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The Washington Post

By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Friday, April 27, 8:46 AM

Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.

It is clear that the center of gravity in the Republican Party has shifted sharply to the right. Its once-legendary moderate and center-right legislators in the House and the Senate — think Bob Michel, Mickey Edwards, John Danforth, Chuck Hagel — are virtually extinct.

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Think Progress

By Adam Peck  on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:30 am

Two years ago today, President Obama affixed his signature to the Affordable Care Act, the first major piece of federal healthcare legislation since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. The bill was the end result of months of careful negotiations in Congress and years of failed attempts by previous administrations to reform an increasingly expensive and outdated healthcare system.

Even before the ink dried, Republicans started calling for the law’s repeal and have so far voted at least 25 times to roll back or defund it.  Should they succeed, millions of Americans would become uninsured,  seniors would pay more for prescription drug coverage, and the insurance industry would once again be able to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions and impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.

While most of the law does not go into effect until 2014, take a look at some of the benefits Americans are already enjoying and what Republicans would take away:

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February 28, 2012

Addicting Info- By

Ever since the US Government saved the American auto industry from the abyss through a bail out that kept millions of jobs from being lost, the Republican Party has bitterly bashed the action, especially since President Obama took over the Oval Office. The GOP believes that the American auto industry should have been allowed to fail and had they gotten their wish, millions of Americans would have become unemployed and the American economy would have collapsed even more.

On Tuesday, President Obama answered his Republican critics while speaking to the United Auto Workers convention in Washington DC and defended the American industry along with the workers who continue to make it thrive. Here is part of what Obama said, via Huffington Post.

“It’s been funny to watch some of these politicians completely rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet,” President Obama said. “These are the folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, “You can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.” Now they’re saying they were right all along. Or worse, they’re saying that the problem is that you, the workers, made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions. Really? Even by the standards of this town, that’s a load of you-know-what. About 700,000 retirees saw a reduction in the health care benefits they had earned. Many of you saw hours reduced, or pay and wages scaled back. You gave up some of your rights as workers. Promises were made to you over the years that you gave up for the sake and survival of this industry, its workers, and their families. You want to talk about values? Hard work — that’s a value. Looking out for one another — that’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together — that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper — that is a value.

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February 15, 2012

Addicting Info  By

Rick Santorum is currently the poster boy for conservatism and the candidate leading the national polls among Republicans. Every day, Romney gets a little weaker, and Santorum gets a little stronger. And that makes him a threat to be the Republican Presidential nominee who faces President Obama in the general election this fall. But who exactly would the American people really be voting for if they elected Santorum? The answer could make you throw up in your mouth a little bit.

If Americans were to elect Rick Santorum to the Presidency, they’d be electing a second George W. Bush. In fact, Santorum would be even worse. If Rick Perry is the dumber version of Bush, Rick Santorum is the extreme version. According to Congressional Quarterly, Santorum supported Bush policies over 95% of the time from 2001 to 2005. Here is just a sample of the many Bush supported policies that Santorum voted for.

Tax Cuts) Santorum loves tax cuts. In fact, he voted for the 2001 Bush tax cuts, the repeal the Inheritance Tax in 2002, the 2003 Bush tax cuts, and he voted for extending the Bush tax cuts in 2006. These tax cuts are partly to blame for the large deficits created by Republicans that continue to plague our economy today and has contributed to the largest increase in income inequality since the Great Depression. But Santorum would be worse than Bush because he wants to cut taxes even more for corporations and the wealthy.

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Addicting Info- February 3, 2012

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A day after Mitt “Moneybags” Romney stated his lack of concern for the economically disadvantaged (an old school Republican touchstone), President Obama shot back by finally using the right-wing’s bullets against them.  Despite constantly being smeared as a secret Muslim, Barack Obama in fact subscribes to Christianity.  Today’s perverse version of Christianity typically refers to super rich, white proselytizers who flagrantly manipulate the pure teachings of Jesus and spew bilious hatred towards gays, women, single moms, blacks, and the poor and middle-class. It also tends to refer to making a bunch of bombs to kill a bunch of Middle Easterners so that some  defense contactor can continue to eat caviar.  So it’s only natural for thinking people to stay within 100 yards of it. But, much like everything else under the sun, the Republicans love co-opting it blatantly injecting it into politics in order to claim higher ground.

Former president Bush, a simple-minded lummox with virtually nothing to offer other than his ability to relate to even dumber people, understood that invoking Jesus’ name would guarantee universal support of his hawkish foreign policy no matter how severely flawed and unreasonable it may have been.  For that reason, I have been constantly saying that President Obama should put on his best decider face, hold a press conference on the white house lawn, and state that his good homeboy JC told him that he should return taxes on the highest earners to the levels during the Clinton era. But that’s not the style of the guy of the president who sings Al Green.

During the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C. that took place yesterday, the president revealed that his Christian (or Christ-like) faith heavily influenced his economic policies– including calling for the wealthy to pay more taxes and overhauling the healthcare system. He explained to the attendees that the nation’s challenges require smart policies coupled with a strong values system, and not of the philandering on your dying wife, or subscribing to anti-gay policies and making anti-gay rhetoric only to have secret gay sex variety.

It’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone,’President Obama said.

“For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that, for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,’ he added, referencing verse 48 of chapter 12 in the Gospel of Luke. “To answer the responsibility we’re given in Proverbs to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute,” added Obama.

VIDEO & MORE HERE

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Politicususa- February 1, 2012

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It is early, but an analysis of state by state polling data reveals that President Obama may be heading for a huge victory over Mitt Romney.

Although President Obama’s polling numbers have been trending upwards for a few months now, the right wing media is claiming that the president is heading for a huge defeat based on a state by state analysis of an average of his 2011 Gallup approval ratings. The analysis assumed that any state where the president has an under 50% job approval rating would go Republican in fall. There are three obvious problems with this conclusion. First, Obama’s national job approval rating is a tick or two under 50%, so that under the right wing analysis, Obama would lose most of the states in the country. Second, what a year long average can’t reflect is that President Obama’s approval ratings are trending up.

Third, President Obama isn’t running for reelection against his own approval rating. He will be running against Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. The more accurate way to measure Obama’s reelection chances is by looking at how he matches up with Mitt Romney in each state. When Obama and Romney are matched up on a state by state basis, guess what? Obama’s huge defeat becomes a huge victory.

For instance the Republican analysis has Obama losing Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but a PPP poll released today found that President Obama is leading Mitt Romney, 49%-42%. Romney’s favorability rating in the state has fallen to 28%. In North Carolina, the latest PPP poll found that Obama leads Romney by 1 point, 46%-45. A December, a Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania found Obama leading Romney, 46%-43%. The latest Quinnipiac poll of Florida found Obama and Romney tied in Sunshine State, 45%-45%.

The Republican analysis had Mitt Romney getting 323 Electoral College delegates to Obama’s 215, but a January PPP state by state analysis of the head to head match up found the opposite. Obama finished with 337 Electoral College delegates compared to 195 for Mitt Romney.

Relying on an average of 2011 job approval numbers was not accurate way to project an Electoral College map. The general consensus is that if Obama wins any one of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, or North Carolina, he will win reelection. The snapshot of the national mood today suggests that Romney is trending down and Obama could be headed for a big reelection win, but we are still more than nine months out from Election Day.

With so much time before the election, it is foolish to predict any result with certainty, but Republicans see their frontrunner falling apart before their very eyes, so they are doing their best to try to convince America that Obama is heading for a major defeat.

They are living in a delusion, and now they are inventing Electoral College maps to provide themselves comfort in their unreality.

Image: Poz Blogs

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Huff Post- Posted: 02/ 1/2012 10:21 am  By-

The Florida primary is in the history books and, as analysts predicted, Mitt Romney romped Newt Gingrich. While the Romney campaign should pat itself on the back for its double-digit victory, they should keep the champagne on ice for now. The polls show President Obama down in Florida, but he may have gotten the last laugh.

Here are four troubling signs for the GOP emerging from the Sunshine State’s primary:

1. Statewide GOP turnout is down from 2008

You would think that with a Republican Party whose “single most important political goal” is to make President Obama a one-term president, GOP voters would have flocked to the polls; however, they did not.

Compared to the 2008 primary, GOP turnout was down 14% on Tuesday. In 2008, 1,949,498 Republicans cast their ballot in the Florida primary; last night, the number was 1,672,702. Are there less registered Republicans now in Florida than there were in 2008? No, there are 25,000 more.

The cause for the drop in GOP turnout last night is unclear. The Republican base isn’t electrified by its front-runner candidate, but it would be foolish for Democrats to assume that means they won’t show up to vote in November because the one thing they are fired up about is defeating President Obama. However, as we saw in the 2000 Florida recount, elections are sometimes won on the slimmest of margins, and Washington Republicans are going to need all hands on deck if they want to defeat the president.

2. Romney’s favorability ratings are down and his negatives are up

Romney may have bombarded Gingrich with negative ads and outspent him 5:1 in Florida, but as the HuffPost Pollster chart below shows, it wasn’t just the former speaker’s image that took a dive as the GOP candidates toured the Sunshine State.

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