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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Midnight in America

Midnight in America: the Mainstreaming of the GOP's Lunatic Fringe
Arianna Huffington

Posted October 22, 2007 | 04:35 PM (EST)

The most significant takeover of the past decade isn't to be found among the telecoms, the big oil companies, or in Silicon Valley. The reconfigured entity is headquartered in Washington, but we can see and hear the results everyday on your television, radio, and computer screen. And America is much the worse for it. I'm talking about the takeover of the Republican Party by its lunatic fringe.

Reagan's GOP has been replaced by the dark, moldering, putrefied party of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh, Coulter, and Malkin. Morning in America has given way to Midnight in America.

Of course, there the Republican Party has always had it Jesse Helmses, Spiro Agnews, and Lee Atwaters. But they were the minority, far removed from the mainstream of the Party -- Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, the first George Bush.

But these days it has become impossible to tell where the mainstream stops and the fanatical fringe begins. Just look at what the so-called "mainstream" of the party is endorsing

We have a mainstream on the right that supports torture, that is backing an Attorney General nominee who is agnostic on torture, and that rallies behind a president who refuses to define what the word "torture" means.

A mainstream that supports -- even applauds -- the behavior of Blackwater thugs.

A mainstream that continues to back the White House's delusions about Iraq at the expense of our military, our treasure, our safety, and our standing in the world.

A mainstream that supports the gutting of our civil liberties.

So, it can no longer be denied: the right wing lunatics are running the Republican asylum.

These days, the only thing that separates the RNC and Rush Limbaugh is a prescription for OxyContin.

The latest evidence: the ugly smear campaign mounted against 12-year-old brain injury survivor Graeme Frost and his family. This new-low-in-messenger-killing wasn't just the doing of the toxic talk radio, rabble-rousing right; it was Senator Mitch McConnell's office pulling together the talking points. And then lying about its involvement when exposed.

And notice the dearth of Republicans willing to distance themselves from the Swiftboating of a 12-year-old boy - a boy who has worked diligently to make a remarkable recovery from his devastating injuries, supported by a loving, hardworking, intact family. Aren't those some of the basic core values the GOP used to stand for?

Despite the fanatical right's takeover of the Republican Party, the traditional media -- with its obsession with "balance" and its pathological devotion to the idea that truth is always found in the middle -- has failed to properly document the metamorphosis. So much easier to see everything that's happening in American politics through the lens of right versus left.

Making matters worse, today's Democrats continue to tread lightly when it comes to holding accountable the fanatics running the GOP. Time and time again, the Democratic leadership allows itself to get played, run over, or distracted. Republicans want to deflect discussion of the war by arguing over newspaper ads and radio comments? Okay, Reid and Pelosi are game. Republicans want to avoid talking about children without healthcare by crying about Pete Stark's tough assessment of the president? Sure, here comes a Pelosi reprimand.

Democrats are in the majority today because their positions are in line with mainstream America. But if the lunatic fringe group now known as the Republican Party is to be stopped in its efforts to radically remake this country, the Democrats are going to have to step up and defend the mainstream that elected them.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 01:24 PM
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I think Mitch might just have gone a bit too far with this one. The lineup here in Kentucky is starting to become large and loud. With the Governor's race coming up in two weeks, Mitch's power seems to be ebbing hard.

________________________________________________-

McConnell stands put him in the crosshairs
Various groups gunning
By Larry Dale Keeling
HERALD-LEADER COLUMNIST

If you punched in the Web address for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) last week, you might have thought momentarily that you had been misdirected to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's Web site.

Hit the DSCC site at the right moment, and you would see McConnell's smiling face dominating the top of the page. A different picture of the Senate minority floor leader was featured in a small box just below the top of the page. And his name appeared twice in the news headlines on the right of the page.

When you looked more closely, of course, you found that the beaming visage of McConnell at the top of the page floated above a headlined that read "McConnell Refuses To Explain Why He Misled Kentucky" about his staff's involvement in the swift-boating of Graeme Frost, the 12-year-old selected by Democrats to serve as the voice and face of their efforts to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Looking more closely at the picture in the smaller box below, you learned that it accompanied an announcement that Kentucky's senior senator had been inducted (for the second time) into the DSCC's Hall of Shame. An explanation for bestowing this dubious honor on McConnell noted:

"Kentucky currently has 111,000 uninsured children and the proposed bill would cover almost half of those children. But President Bush staunchly opposed the legislation despite strong bipartisan support. So when Mitch McConnell was faced with choosing between President Bush and Kentucky's uninsured children who did he pick? George Bush."

One of the news headlines on the DSCC page dealt with a story that said McConnell knew his staff had been involved in swift-boating Frost before he denied that involvement in a taped interview with Mark Hebert of Louisville's WHAS-TV (Channel 11). The other headline topped an editorial from The Courier-Journal that questioned McConnell's truthfulness in this affair.

What's clear from the emphasis the DSCC site places on McConnell Ð and from the negative ads that have been airing all summer, courtesy of the Democrats' campaign committee and a handful of so-called 527 groups Ð is that McConnell has a large target on his back going into his 2008 re-election campaign.

And the man who seemingly had the golden political touch for more than two decades now finds circumstances breaking against him.

He's joined at the hip with an unpopular president in support of an unpopular war.

He's joined at the hip with an unpopular president in opposition to expansion of a popular health insurance program.

(Now that the House has failed to override President Bush's veto, look for D's to pass a continuation measure and bring this issue back up for vote during the middle of next year's congressional campaign.)

He's just been caught being untruthful about his staff's crude (albeit abortive) attempt to figuratively beat up on a 12-year-old boy for partisan political purposes.

And back here in Kentucky, his creation, Gov. Ernie Fletcher (whom I often referred to as Mini-Mitch before he earned in his own right the designation Boy Governor) has imploded, damaging the Republican Party so badly that Trey Grayson, the very able young secretary of state, has been put at risk in the upcoming election.

But the biggest threat to McConnell comes from Senate Democrats' desire to get revenge for the defeat of their own floor leader, Tom Daschle, in 2004.

In 2008, which appears to be shaping up as the kind of banner year for Democrats that 2004 was for Republicans, the DSCC might be counted on to help the right challenger raise sufficient money to compete with the $15 million or so that McConnell will have for his campaign.

And the 527s aligned with Senate Democrats' agenda could be expected to continue pounding McConnell with negative ads.

But the thing about that target on McConnell's back is this: It's meaningless unless the D's come up with a viable candidate.

And frankly, Attorney General Greg Stumbo, the only entry in the field at the moment, has too much baggage to be that candidate.

Plus, he seems to forget that the only statewide race he has won was in a three-way field with a very weak Republican and a perennial gadfly. And even against such minor competition, Stumbo failed to get a majority of the vote.

If Democrats want to take advantage of the target on McConnell's back, a better candidate must emerge - and soon.

McConnell stands put him in the crosshairs

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 01:39 PM
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"...pour out of one vessel into another; and as those old Romans robbed all the cities in the world, we skim the cream of other men's wits, pick the choice flowers of their tilled gardens to set our own sterile plots."
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 02:16 PM
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^^^^^^
heh, heh....so true and apt! heh, heh........
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 02:40 PM
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Democrats Like What’s Being Said: Dems score higher than GOP on addressing issues people care about
Source: New York Times

By MEGAN THEE
Published: October 23, 2007

Democratic voters are considerably more satisfied than their Republican counterparts that their party’s candidates are addressing the issues they most care about, according to the latest CBS News poll.

Foremost on the minds of Democrats is health care, followed by the war in Iraq. For Republicans the issues are the same but in reverse order.

Fifty-three percent of Democrats say their party’s candidates are discussing the relevant issues while just 14 percent of Republicans say the same about their candidates. In fact, Republicans view the Democrats as addressing the key issues more than their own party’s candidates — as do independents. Still, about a third from each party say no one is discussing the issues they deem most important....

And on health chucklebuns put his foot in it

George W. Bush held a press conference last week to prove he's still relevant. And how do we know he's still relevant? Because he said so.
COMMANDER GUY: I've never felt more engaged and more capable of getting the American people to realize there's a lot of unfinished business.

Whatever you say cock sucker ! , he's the only unfinished business I see.

It turns out that your Great Leader's plan to remain relevant involves using his veto power to bash the less fortunate, and so far this plan seems to be working. Just when you thought Bush was a lame duck; an increasingly withdrawn and ineffective figurehead; a piece of flotsam bobbing gently away from the wreckage of the neo-con ship of state - he springs into action and vetoes healthcare for poor kids. Pow! The Decider has decided to remain relevant! Take that, sick children!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 04:44 PM
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I agree. Veto it. The plan is bullshit.
It should be all or nothing.

Why aren't more people mad? They pour money into holes in the sand, or shoot it to Mars, but how about spending some of that money on the people who earned it? How about the simple necessity of healthcare?

We are actually in a fantastic position being one of the absolute last industrialized nations on the planet (the only one that matters) without universal healthcare for it's people. We can look around to see what works best, and tweek it better.

I'd rather throw money at little Johnny's broken leg than breaking little Ahmed's leg so that corporate associates can pump oil, then move to Dubai to avoid taxes in this country.

"The country couldn't afford Hillary!" What a load of bullshit! We can't afford GWB. Has everyone lost their fucking minds?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregs300CD View Post
I agree. Veto it. The plan is bullshit.
It should be all or nothing.

Why aren't more people mad? They pour money into holes in the sand, or shoot it to Mars, but how about spending some of that money on the people who earned it? How about the simple necessity of healthcare?

We are actually in a fantastic position being one of the absolute last industrialized nations on the planet (the only one that matters) without universal healthcare for it's people. We can look around to see what works best, and tweek it better.

I'd rather throw money at little Johnny's broken leg than breaking little Ahmed's leg so that corporate associates can pump oil, then move to Dubai to avoid taxes in this country.

"The country couldn't afford Hillary!" What a load of bullshit! We can't afford GWB. Has everyone lost their fucking minds?
You're a commie, socialist and it is not American to think this way, why do you want to be human? That's so weak

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 04:54 PM
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As I spend time in the car traveling to customer sites to work, I listen to NPR. I recently heard an American auto worker union official discuss the disadvantage of our present healthcare system, where the employees and employers pay the bill, vs the rest of the industrialized world, where the government collects taxes and provides health insurance for all. In his words, it adds a significant cost per vehicle, or per manhour, or what ever unit you want to compare and makes the challenge of being competitive unrealistic in many industries. Like auto manufacturing. And nearly all other manufacturing jobs.

He was quite detailed in his presentation. Unfortunately I do not recall any detail. But it was clear enough to make sense while driving. I had not considered that advantage. Jim
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JimSmith View Post
As I spend time in the car traveling to customer sites to work, I listen to NPR. I recently heard an American auto worker union official discuss the disadvantage of our present healthcare system, where the employees and employers pay the bill, vs the rest of the industrialized world, where the government collects taxes and provides health insurance for all. In his words, it adds a significant cost per vehicle, or per manhour, or what ever unit you want to compare and makes the challenge of being competitive unrealistic in many industries. Like auto manufacturing. And nearly all other manufacturing jobs.

He was quite detailed in his presentation. Unfortunately I do not recall any detail. But it was clear enough to make sense while driving. I had not considered that advantage. Jim
what day did you hear it. NPR has streaming and podcasting so it would be available.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 05:07 PM
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So I suppose that soon we will see if an email to Sen Mitch in which the entire body of the note was "Graeme Frost" repeated a couple hundred times is construed as harassment. I really hope so. I would love to see that in court.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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