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July 18th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

When it comes to the gay community, is Michele Bachmann living in the Twilight Zone?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has been a rising star of sorts in a lackluster field of GOP candidates who hope to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012. Bachmann came out on top in three separate polls of likely Iowa Republican voters last week.

But Bachmann is running into a lot of criticism for her rather extreme positions on some social issues. Let's begin with the gay community.

Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus, runs a Christian counseling business. Former clients have said he encourages homosexual patients to try to change their sexual orientation or at least repress it. Critics call it "pray away the gay." In an interview last week with the Minnesota Star Tribune, Marcus Bachmann did not deny that he and other counselors at the clinic use that technique, but he said they only do so at the request of a patient.

Michele Bachmann has been skirting around her own views on homosexuality. But that party is about to come to an end. She recently signed something called "The Marriage Vow" written by a conservative group in Iowa. It's a vow to be faithful to your spouse. Fair enough. But the vow also condemns adultery, pornography and gay marriage. And it describes homosexuality as a choice. In a speech in 2004, Bachmann said that being "involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle" amounts to "personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement."

Comedians and bloggers are having a field day with all of this of course.

On a more serious note, a group called the Human Rights Campaign - a gay rights group - is vowing to go after Ms. Bachmann and her beliefs in the upcoming campaign. They call Michele Bachmann "the very definition of a target rich environment." If they're serious, she could have a problem.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the gay community, is Michele Bachmann living in the Twilight Zone?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Gay Marriage • Michele Bachmann
July 18th, 2011
04:25 PM ET

What's your greatest fear if the U.S. fails to raise debt ceiling?

ALT TEXT

Blank U.S. Treasury checks are run through a printer at the U.S. Treasury printing facility in Philadelphia. President Obama recently stated he can't guarantee retirees will receive their Social Security checks in August if the House and Senate can not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

On August 3, the U.S. government is scheduled to pay $23 billion in Social Security benefits. But if a deal isn't reached in Congress to raise the debt ceiling, there's a chance those checks won't go out. That's because only $12 billion in revenue is expected to come in that day, which would leave the Treasury a cool $11 billion short, according to Politico.com.

Without an agreement, the federal government's line of credit will run out, and so will its options to write those checks. And when you include other payments scheduled that day, the federal government will be $20 billion short. Wonderful.

That's just one scenario, of course. Talking heads from Washington to Wall Street have weighed in with predictions on what could happen if a deal isn't reached - everything from a financial apocalypse to a nonevent. The administration has used words like "calamitous," "catastrophic" and "Armageddon." But a handful of vocal Republicans say the Obama administration is exaggerating the situation. They claim not a whole lot would happen if an agreement isn't reached by August 2.

But by and large, most economists say if the United States defaults on some of its loans, interest rates would shoot up, the dollar would plummet, stock markets around the world would tumble and our very fragile economy could suffer a mighty blow. Suffice it to say there doesn't appear to be a lot of upside to Uncle Sam defaulting on his obligations.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Congress • National debt