See that trophy above, the one that looks like an upside-down bottle of VOSS designer water? That’s what the Western Publishers Association, a trade group for magazine publishers operating out in the wild west, wants to hand eXile Editor Yasha Levine for “Best Web Article” at their 59th Annual Maggie Awards.
While much of Levine’s work is worthy of such honor, this year’s nomination went to a kickass article he penned for Truthdig in December 2009, which exposed Tea Bagger Queen Michele Bachmann as a queen of another kind—a welfare queen, who has collected more than $250,000 in government handouts in the form of corrupt farm subsidy payments. The article was an instant viral hit, getting over a quarter-million reads just on the first day.
“I’m deeply touched,” Levine said upon hearing news of his nomination. “To be nominated for an award alongside magazine industry greats like Pool & Spa News and Auto Rental News is not just an honor and a privilege, but the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”
The Maggie Awards, considered to be the “most prestigious publishing event in the West” (only by the Maggie Awards), is a black-tie affair. Over 600 tuxedo-wearing magazine publishing professionals will gather in LA on May 7, 2010, paying $100 a head to honor Levine’s journalistic excellence.
Read Levine’s soon-to-be-award-winning article, and judge for yourself!
Teabagger Queen Michele Bachmann Cashed In On $250,000 In Welfare
By Yasha Levine
Michele Bachmann has become known as the Queen of the anti-government Tea Baggers, protesting health care reform and slamming every other government handout as “socialism.” But what her followers don’t know is that Rep. Bachmann is also a queen of another kind—a welfare queen. That’s right, the anti-government insurrectionist has taken more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts thanks to corrupt farming subsidies she has been collecting for at least a decade.
And she’s not the only one who has been padding her bank account with taxpayer money.
Bachmann, of Minnesota, has spent much of this year agitating against health care reform, whipping up the tea-baggers with stories of death panels and rationed health care. She has called for a revolution against what she sees as Barack Obama’s attempted socialist takeover of America, saying presidential policy is “reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.”
But data compiled from federal records by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog that tracks the recipients of agricultural subsidies in the United States, shows that Bachmann has an inner Marxist that is perfectly at ease with living on the government dole. According to the organization’s records, Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies between 1995 and 2006. The farm had been managed by Bachmann’s recently deceased father-in-law and took in roughly $20,000 in 2006 and $28,000 in 2005, with the bulk of the subsidies going to dairy and corn. Both dairy and corn are heavily subsidized—or “socialized”—businesses in America (in 2005 alone, Washington spent $4.8 billion propping up corn prices) and are subject to strict government price controls. These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.
However, Bachmann doesn’t think other Americans should benefit from such protection and assistance. She voted against every foreclosure relief bill aimed at helping average homeowners (despite the fact that her district had the highest foreclosure rate in Minnesota), saying that bailing out homeowners would be “rewarding the irresponsible while punishing those who have been playing by the rules.” That’s right, the subsidy queen wants the rest of us to be responsible.
Bachmann’s financial disclosure forms indicate that her personal stake in the family farm is worth up to $250,000. They also show that she has been earning income from the farm business, and that the income grew in just a few years from $2,000 to as much as $50,000 for 2008. This has provided her with a second government-subsidized income to go with her job as a government-paid congresswoman who makes $174,000 per year (in addition to having top-notch government medical benefits). “If she has an interest in a farm getting federal subsidy payments, she is benefiting from them,” Sandra Schubert, director of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, told Gannett News Service in 2007, when the subsidies to Bachmann were first publicly disclosed.
But Bachmann isn’t the only welfare recipient on Capitol Hill. As it turns out, there is a filthy-rich class of absentee farmers—both in and out of Congress—who demand free-market rules by day and collect their government welfare checks in the mail at night…
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