Archive for March 4th, 2009

The “leader of the Republican Party” question has been thoroughly analyzed and debated. And after many days and many cable news roundelays, I think we can all agree that, yes, the GOP has been inextricably grasped within the meaty, sweaty mitts of that familiar planetoid of addiction, racism and self-indulgence known as Rush Limbaugh.

And that’s just fine and dandy.

But contrary to what Drudge and Politico are reporting today, this isn’t some sort of wicked conspiracy cooked up by Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs from within the same underground war room where they keep the president’s madrassa diploma and his secret Kenyan birth certificate.

This Limbaugh situation is entirely the fault of the Republican Party. The White House is merely exploiting it — and rightly so.

Throughout the last several decades, the Republican Party has been careening willingly towards this destiny. Year after year, the Republicans have been magnetically drawn ever closer to the simplistic worldview espoused by far-right talk radio: a segment of American society that’s perhaps a little too comfy with laughing at a racial or sexist joke, or repeating nearsighted bumper sticker slogans like, “Your mortgage is not my problem.”

The Republican Party has become the purview of The Dittohead: the thoughtless undead automaton who lazily yet proudly announces on the radio that he or she doesn’t simply “ditto” but, in fact, “mega-dittos” everything spoken by Rush Limbaugh. “Mega” as in millions of times over.

Michael Steele has proved himself to be a Dittohead. Mike Pence and Rick Santorum and Tom DeLay? All dittoheads. You’d be hard pressed to find a Republican politician who hasn’t in some way expressed his or her Dittohead status while also genuflecting at the bloated cankles of their radio warlord.

So it should come as no surprise that the leader of the dittoheads has become the leader of the Republicans.


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MIKE ECKEL | Huffington Post | March 4, 2009


MOSCOW — If you’re inclined to believe Igor Panarin, and the Kremlin wouldn’t mind if you did, then President Barack Obama will order martial law this year, the U.S. will split into six rump-states before 2011, and Russia and China will become the backbones of a new world order.

Panarin might be easy to ignore but for the fact that he is a dean at the Foreign Ministry’s school for future diplomats and a regular on Russia’s state-guided TV channels. And his predictions fit into the anti-American story line of the Kremlin leadership.

“There is a high probability that the collapse of the United States will occur by 2010,” Panarin told dozens of students, professors and diplomats Tuesday at the Diplomatic Academy _ a lecture the ministry pointedly invited The Associated Press and other foreign media to attend.

The prediction from Panarin, a former spokesman for Russia’s Federal Space Agency and reportedly an ex-KGB analyst, meshes with the negative view of the U.S. that has been flowing from the Kremlin in recent years, in particular from Vladimir Putin. (more…)

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Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, has urged the United States to “seize the moment” and lead the world out of recession in a speech to Congress in Washington.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington Photo: AP

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington Photo: AP

Mr Brown called for the same determination that saw the US drag itself out of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

But the Prime Minister also issued two strong messages and said America needed to reduce pollution and reject protectionism for the global economy to revive.

In a speech to a joint session of Congress, the Mr Brown said it was unusual for a British Prime Minister to address American legislators outside a time of war.

He said: “I come now to talk of new and different battles we must fight together, to speak of a global economy in crisis and a planet imperilled.”

Mr Brown made a plea for America not to slip into protectionism. He said that “an economic hurricane has swept the world.”

He added: “So should we succumb to a race to the bottom and a protectionism that history tells us that, in the end, protects no one? No. We should have confidence that we can seize the opportunities ahead and make the future work for us.” (more…)

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Mea Culpa

I encourage anyone who has had unkind things to say about the dope addict pedophile intellectual force and de facto Republican leader to make quick use of this website to atone for your transgressions.

Oxy Moron's Favorite Pastime

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Steele: ‘My Personal Opinion Doesn’t Matter In This’ — Only Limbaugh’s Does

Think Progress- By Ali Frick at 9:48 am

This morning, RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on NBC’s Today Show. Host Matt Lauer asked Steele three separate times whether he agreed with Rush Limbaugh and hoped Barack Obama fails. Steele avoided answering all three times, insisting that his own opinion was inconsequential:

LAUER: I guess I’m asking you your personal opinion. Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh when he says that it’s common sense that as a conservative he wants the policies of Barack Obama to fail?

STEELE: Well, my personal opinion doesn’t matter in this. My job as the RNC chairman is to take into account all of the various views out there within our party and try to put together a strategy and a team that’s going to help us win elections. […]

LAUER: Mr. Steele, let me try it this way. There are many Republicans out there as well as Democrats who are unemployed right now. People are hurting across this country. Republicans like Democrats are losing their homes, they’re unable to send their kids to school. Do you think those Republicans want the policies of Barack Obama to fail right now?

STEELE: I don’t think that Republicans, Democrats or Independents or anyone wants policies that redistributes the wealth of this country…

Watch it:

The Today Show appearance cements Steele’s full 180-degree turn in less than 72 hours. On Sunday, Steele readily admitted that Limbaugh’s rhetoric — including his desire to see Obama fail — was “incendiary” and “ugly.” After Limbaugh took Steele to task on his radio show the next day, Steele was forced to bow downto the head of the Republican Party,” as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called Limbaugh.

When Steele was first elected to head the RNC in January, ThinkProgress wondered whether he would “join in as a Limbaugh footsoldier.” His refusal to distance himself from Limbaugh’s comments today makes it clear he’s a full member of Rush’s army of ditto heads.

UpdateRep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) issued the following statement: “I’m sorry Limbaugh called for harsh sentences for drug addicts while he was a drug addict. I’m also sorry that he’s bent on seeing America fail. And I’m sorry that Limbaugh is one sorry excuse for a human being.”

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Sudhan @12:40 CET

We need a citizens commission to investigate how far the Bush White House wanted to take executive power after 9/11.

Tim Rutten | Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2009

Just how close to the brink of executive tyranny did the United States come in the panic that swept George W. Bush’s administration after 9/11? The answer, it now seems clear, is that we came far closer than even staunch critics of the White House believed.

On Monday, the Obama administration released nine legal opinions produced for the Bush White House by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. That heretofore obscure office essentially serves as the president’s arbiter of what’s legal and what isn’t. Among other things, the memorandums issued by the office in 2001 asserted that Bush had the power to order the military to capture suspected terrorists on U.S. soil and to treat them as enemy combatants without any rights to due process.

In the course of such operations, according to the Office of Legal Counsel, the military was free to ignore 4th Amendment prohibitions on illegal search and seizure and to engage in warrantless wiretapping. 1st Amendment protections of free speech also could be suspended at the chief executive’s directive, according to these opinions, and the president has the power to abrogate any international treaty at will.

Continued >>

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