From Sam Stein at THE HUFFINGTON POST:
WASHINGTON — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has built a large part of her conservative appeal on strict opposition to federal intervention in the free market. Her real-time criticism of the Troubled Asset Relief Program earned her plaudits among the base voters who will soon decide Republican primary elections. Her pledge to repeal President Obama’s health care law, on grounds that it imposes an across-the-board government solution, has become a focal point of her presidential campaign.
When it comes to the agriculture industry, however, Bachmann’s record doesn’t match the fiscal conservative hype. A Freedom of Information Act request for communications the Minnesota Republican has had with the Department of Agriculture shows that she leaned heavily on federal officials for help — never more so than when it came to aiding the pork and dairy producers in her state.
On Oct. 5, 2009, Bachmann wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praising him for injecting money into the pork industry through the form of direct government purchases. She went on to request additional assistance.
At the time, the pork industry was facing a two-pronged calamity: fallout from the H1N1 influenza crisis and the ripple effects of the recession. Pork producers had lost nearly $4.6 billion in equity since 2007 and Vilsack, sensing greater market doom, had injected funds into the industry at least four times since that spring. In March 2009, the USDA purchased $25 million in pork, in April it made a $50 million purchase and in July it bought 775,000 pounds of ham, according to reports. In September, just one month before receiving Bachmann’s letter, Vilsack had signed off on $30 million in additional federal purchases of pork.
Seeking to balance the narrow political interests of her district (which is affected by the ups and downs of the pork market) with her broader message of reining in government spending, Bachmann urged Vilsack to ensure that “any federal funds expended are used wisely to provide timely assistance to struggling producers.” Clearly, however, she welcomed the crutch of federal funds, pleading that producers had not experience a situation as dire “in decades.”
So, kids, I was wondering why Batshit Bachmann is so interested in pork for the pork industry. We all know that she’s been way too busy chasing TV cameras to actually have done any real work for her constituents, so it can’t have anything to do with that. Perhaps she has pigs on the farm that she’s been receiving socialist subsidies for for years? I don’t think that’s it. I think I’ve figured it out. Have you looked at old pictures of her compared with new ones? Nothing above her eyebrows move. Now, what comes from pork? Botulism. And what’s botulism used for?