The Republicans in Michigan have decided that democracy is no longer necessary.

I love my state, but it’s legislative branch has taken a nose dive ever since the last election. With a Republican Governor and majorities in both state houses, they’ve been railroading their agenda like never before. Rachel Maddow had a pretty good segment about this just recently:

It’s difficult to write much of anything about this without devolving into rants, but I wanted to at least get Rachel’s segment out there to help raise awareness. It was a mistake on my part to vote for Rick Snyder in the last election, but I thought that we’d keep the state congress balanced. We didn’t and now we’re paying the price for it. This could all be headed to a major court case which could see a lot of laws thrown out for being passed illegally.

Rachel Maddow on the GOP Miniverse.

If you pay attention the the Republicans it often seems like they’re living in their own little world. A recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll seems to indicate that impression may be correct. Not surprisingly we’ve got FOX News to blame for it:

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Spend any amount of time watching FOX News and it’s clear that they’re helping to promote many of the flat out lies that Republicans are shouting at various town halls. All the major news channels have their opinion/editorial shows, Rachel Maddow is one of MSNBC’s, but if you watch the reporting of news outside of those shows it’s clear that the FOX anchors inject their opinions into their reporting quite a bit more than any other network.

It brought to mind the time before cable was available when we had just the big three networks and, if you were lucky, a smattering of UHF channels to choose from. The UHF channels often didn’t have much, if any, news programming so you watched one of the big three to find out what was going on. Now this may just be the fuzzy memory of nostalgia kicking in, but as I recall the big three news programs generally reported the same set of facts on most stories with any editorializing being labeled clearly as such in its own segment. Sure sometimes one network would scoop a story, but overall if you saw a news report on one network the facts would be pretty much the same as either of the other two networks reporting on it.

With the advent of cable and the 24 hour news channel the race to get a story first resulted in a lot more speculation and hearsay showing up in any reporting of something happening right that second. That’s annoying enough, but with the rise of FOX News we’ve moved beyond having to deal with a lot of air time devoted to anchors guessing at what’s happening and scrambling for info to anchors actively trying to spin news stories to match the talking points of one of the two major political parties. Throw in “pundits” that are willing to spout off the most batshit insane bullshit you’ve ever heard from someone who wasn’t wearing a tinfoil hat and you have a recipe for what we have today.

Which isn’t to say that MSNBC and CNN are paragons of TV journalism, but it’s amazing how less misinformed viewers of either of those two networks are compared to the folks who follow FOX News. Consider this survey by Public Policy Polling*PDF file in which of the questions was: “Do you think the Government should stay out of Medicare?”

The results? 39% of respondents said YES! An additional 15% said they weren’t sure. (Note: For those of you who aren’t clear on the issue, Medicare is a government run program. I say this not to the usual SEB audience, but to any morons who might be passing by.)

Now not all of the people who answered yes to that question considered themselves Conservative, some felt they were Liberal or Moderates, but when you break it down by those categories you find that 59% of those who answered “yes” identified themselves as Conservatives. Now it’s possible that some of the people misheard the question and thought they had said “health care” and not “Medicare”—and there’s a part of me that hopes that’s the case—but that’s still a lot of people who don’t know that Medicare is run by the government.

It says something that the pundits on FOX News have made heavy use of the word socialism in addition to suggesting that the Obama administration shares a lot of similarities with the fascist Nazis. Glen Beck alone has made heavy use of Nazi imagery when ranting and crying (literally) over some perceived outrage on the part of Obama. So what do we end up seeing at various town halls across the nation? Angry Republicans with pictures of Obama as Hitler yelling about the socialist programs Obama supports blissfully unaware of the fact that Socialism is pretty much the opposite of Fascism. I guess that’s just a sign of how evil Obama really is that he manages to be two opposing -isms at the same time.

Or perhaps it’s a sign of how fucking clueless your average Republican is these days.

Rachel Maddow on GOP thugishness.

A lot of representatives, particularly Democrats, are finding their town hall meetings being overrun by supposed constituents protesting their stances on health care reform and global warming. At first glance you might think these are legitimate constituents voicing their opinions to the elective representative, but it turns out that these “protests” are being organized by GOP lobbying groups and often consist of people from outside the district in question driving in to disrupt civic discourse:

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It seems clear that the Far Right isn’t beyond flat-out lying to achieve their goals. What amazes me is how many Republicans are willing to vote against their own self-interest at the behest of major companies that will probably screw them over as soon as they get the chance. So wrapped up in their ideology they can’t even see how they’re damaging themselves for someone else’s gain. I suspect some of them don’t even really give a shit if they’re cutting off their own nose to spite their face so long as they manage to stop us evil liberals from doing anything that might be remotely worthwhile.

Rachel Maddow explains the $700 billion bailout.

Rachel Maddow explains what the $700 billion bailout is all about and why we should be very worried with the proposed legislation to fix it:

This is what the past 8 years of Republican leadership has gotten us. An ongoing war costing us billions a month and now an all-time record breaking Wall Street bailout which won’t be open to oversight or judicial review. After all the shit they’ve pulled they still expect us to just trust them?

Via BD.