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Ear to the Ground

Bachmann’s Craziest Comments, Ricin Letter Sent to Bloomberg, and More

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Posted on May 29, 2013

New Director: President Obama will tap James Comey, the former deputy attorney general while George W. Bush was in the White House, to be the next head of the FBI, NPR reported Wednesday. Comey, you may recall, once threatened to resign from the Justice Department over the Bush administration’s controversial warrantless wiretapping program. “I couldn’t stay if the administration was going to engage in conduct that the Department of Justice had said had no legal basis,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee back in 2007 after he left. “I simply couldn’t stay.” According to NPR, the administration had recently narrowed down its choices to replace outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller to Comey and Lisa Monaco, a White House homeland security adviser. Mueller, who took office just days before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is set to leave this fall. (Read more)

Party Crasher: Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is changing political parties yet again. The onetime Republican U.S. senator who became an independent after losing his re-election bid in 2006 will become a Democrat on Thursday, his spokesman confirmed. Chafee’s shift doesn’t come as a huge shock given that he campaigned for President Obama in 2008 and spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year. His positions on a variety of political issues, including taxes, the environment and abortion, are certainly more in sync with Democrats than Republicans, but as The Washington Post noted, Chafee has “strong political motives” for the switch, especially given that he’s up for re-election in 2014. The Post: “His poll numbers are down and, having been elected in 2010 as an independent, he faces the prospects of a difficult three way race next year that could include Democratic and Republican candidates. He might have a better chance if he prevails in a Dem primary first.” (Read more

Write Is Wrong: A letter that was addressed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and arrived late last week has preliminarily tested positive for the poisonous substance ricin, police said Wednesday. A second letter also believed to contain the toxin was sent to the building that houses a gun control group Bloomberg finances. The letters were intercepted before they reached their intended target. Authorities believe the same person is behind both pieces of mail. “The writer, in letters, threatened Mayor Bloomberg, with references to the debate on gun laws,” the NYPD’s chief spokesman said. (Read more)

Still Crazy After All These Years: There’s a reason why “Real Time” host Bill Maher calls Michele Bachmann “the MVP of WTF” (see below video). In her four terms in the House of Representatives, the Minnesota congresswoman has made so many insane comments—quite a few of which were just outright falsehoods—that an Associated Press editor once publicly announced that Bachmann’s difficulty with facts had forced the news organization to impose a fact-checking quota on the candidate during her 2012 presidential run. When compiling a list of Bachmann’s craziest quotes, the tough part isn’t finding them—it’s paring them down. “The Week” has managed to do that with its list of 19 of Bachmann’s “greatest fibs, flubs and head scratchers,” arranged by topic such as global warming, foreign policy and history. It’s a fitting tribute given that Bachmann announced Wednesday that she would not seek re-election in 2014. (Read more)

Video of the Day: And here’s another nod to Bachmann’s departure from the House. Earlier this month, Bill Maher crowned her the Craziest Congressman of 2013. Watch below as the comedian explains why Bachmann deserved the award—and the hilarious trophy that accompanies it—over fellow Republican Paul Broun of Georgia.


—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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