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Friday, October 28, 2016

This is a letter to political centrists.

For those of you alarmed that Rep. Eric Cantor was not conservative enough for Republicans in Virginia’s 7th congressional district, I encourage you to read Charles Wheelan’s The Centrist Manifesto. Wheelan, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College, puts to words what we can all sense: Partisan gridlock is becoming more than a nuisance in our lives. It is threatening our economy, our children’s educations, the welfare of the planet, and every other national priority.

Take a read through Wheelan’s “Manifesto.” It’s a short read, published last year after it became clear that President Obama’s re-election would not bring a new age of bipartisanship to Washington. Wheelan calls for the center to step outside of the two major parties and stand up for itself. In noting that the fastest growing bloc of voters is Independents, Wheelan argues that both the Democratic and Republican parties have driven out moderates by standing only for their political bases — and that the only resolution to this is an organized movement of Independents.

Take a read, because Wheelan is wrong.

Wheelan’s vision may have made sense in 2013, but much has changed in the past year. We are now well past the time for quixotic visions of bipartisanship driven by centrists on both sides of the divide. To read “Manifesto” is to recall a time when Americans could reasonably believe that in spite of bitter partisanship in Washington, Congress could transcend the ideological gap to act on immigration reform, universal background checks, and tax reform. To behave, in short, like statesmen.

If we have learned anything from Eric Cantor’s demise, it’s that the Republican Party is no place for pragmatic centrists. It’s not even a place for relentless partisans who may stray from Republican orthodoxy on an issue or two.

So it’s time to just say it out in the open: The resolution to Washington’s dysfunction is a migration of Independents into the Democratic Party, because there is only one side that seems at all interested in welcoming centrists.

We should first note one of the most fundamental rules of political science: Duverger’s Law. This is the observation, made famous by French sociologist Maurice Duverger, that in winner-take-all two-party systems, voters inevitably gravitate toward one of two major parties. This is because voters do not want to waste their vote on a candidate who will not win. Recall how quickly liberal voters snapped back into the Democratic fold after wasting votes on Ralph Nader in 2000; they know Duverger’s Law well.

Given Duverger’s Law, it would follow that any potential “Centrist Party” would run into institutional obstacles not easily surmounted by even the most popular movement. And even those preaching the gospel of bipartisanship, nonpartisanship, and centrism must accept the reality that the current Republican Party is plainly interested in none of that.

This goes for the 501(c)(4) groups like Mark Zuckerberg’s If you want Congress to move “FWD” on immigration reform, under what circumstance could you expect a GOP-led House to buck the Tea Party and pass a bill that commands broad bipartisan support?

This also goes for moderate voters, whom Wheelan notes comprised 41 percent of the electorate in 2012.

Wheelan correctly observes that any centrist party should not simply meet both sides halfway on each issue, but rather take the best ideas from both sides. A rational observer, for example, would not conclude that climate change is “probably” happening because Democrats are sure it is, and Republicans are sure it’s not.

He also correctly notes that many Democrats have strayed from sensible policies in favor of myopic political interests. But it simply cannot be said that there is no home for centrists in the Democratic Party.

In fact, several prominent Democrats — including Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) — are on record as supporting school choice. Congress passed free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama in 2011 with large numbers of Democratic votes, and President Obama signed them into law. The Obama administration and many of its congressional allies have supported lowering the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 28 percent.

In other words, Democrats often support centrist policies without reprisal. Such apostasy would never be tolerated in the GOP.

Wheelan examines the U.S. Senate in “Manifesto,” and proposes that if moderate members began asserting themselves as independent from their parties, the cogs of Washington may begin to turn again.

“With a mere four or five U.S. Senate seats, the Centrists can deny either traditional party a majority. At that point, the Centrists would be America’s power brokers…good things can start happening again,” Wheelan writes.

He’s right, but who might these four to five senators be? At the moment, they would almost assuredly be Democrats.

Take a look at the vote scoring of the 112th Senate (which ended after the 2012 election,) done by political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal. The NOMINATE scale, an abbreviation for Nominal Three-Step Estimation, is immensely complex, and explaining it is well beyond the scope of this piece. Please accept for a moment that -1 on the scale is the score of the most liberal senator imaginable, and 1 is the most conservative. Zero is the perfect middle.

You may note the slight asymmetry of the distribution. I would mark the area between -0.25 and 0.25 as centrist territory. Thirteen of these centrists were Democrats, and only five were Republicans. Of these five, only Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) remain in the 113th Senate. Murkowski, it should be noted, held on to her seat in 2010 only after a miraculous write-in campaign overruled GOP primary voters, who nominated fringe Tea Party candidate Joe Miller.

You might also note that NOMINATE scores President Obama as being as liberal as Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) was conservative. Obama commands the approval of nearly 80 percent of Democrats, while Lugar was dismissed by GOP voters in favor of a man who believed that “God’s intent” was for women to bear the children of their rapists.

A Pew Research Center poll released this week found that 82 percent of “consistently liberal” respondents said they would like elected officials to make compromises; only 14 percent said they would prefer that elected officials stick to their positions. When offered the same dichotomy, “consistently conservative” respondents said they would prefer elected officials hold fast to their views by a 63 to 32 percent margin.

This Republican intransigence left Thomas E. Mann and Norman Ornstein, two of the most prominent scholars of the Senate, to place the blame for Washington’s dysfunction squarely on the GOP in their 2012 book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.

“When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country’s most pressing challenges,” Mann and Ornstein write.

Of course, we recently had two years of almost unfettered Democratic control in Washington. Was the record of the 111th Congress, which reigned in 2009 and 2010, perfect? Of course not. But it got things done, including passing a markedly centrist health care bill that has expanded coverage to more than 10 million people to date.

It got done because those four or five senators Wheelan speaks of cooperated. Those senators were all Democrats.

On the issues, I have no apparent disagreements with Wheelan. He’s a brilliant author and public policy expert.

But he, and others, has to drop these silly notions of false equivalence. I too hope for a day when Republicans in Washington are ready to rejoin mainstream political thought. But it does no good to pretend that they exist in that space now. And given the message that GOP voters just sent us from Virginia’s 7th congressional district, they aren’t coming back anytime soon.

Until the GOP is ready to return to rationality, centrists are left with no choice but to organize and vote for Democrats, and work within the Democratic Party to advance centrist goals.

Thomas L. Day is an Iraq War veteran and a Defense Council member of the Truman National Security Project. Views expressed are his own.

Photo: TechCrunch via Flickr

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  • ps0rjl

    The problem with Republican party is that the extreme right has taken control of the party and they view compromise as defeat or failure. It use to be that compromise was the hallmark of how things got done in Washington. Nobody got everything they wanted but at least congress functioned. Today because the red states have gerrymandered districts so the Tea Party guarantees the seat will remain in their control even the hint that someone will compromise can virtually guarantee they will be defeated the next election.

    • DhannaReaderaci

      just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I didn’t believe that my
      sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from there pretty old
      laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only about 22 months and
      at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and bought themselves a
      Chrysler . see here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

      • browninghipower

        Please for the love of gawd, get the fuck out of here with your bullshit!

        • Allan Richardson

          Keep your cool, pal. These posts are probably the result of malware hijacking the computer, and the person whose name appears on it may not have known about it (until you replied to it, if he/she asked for email alerts of replies).

          I agree; we no longer have two moderately opposing parties, we have a rational party (with a few of its liberals being a bit more extreme) and a loonie party (with lots of well meaning moderate voters re-electing the loonies because of the brand’s legacy reputation).

          Republicans, if you are not crazy enough to believe in EVERYTHING the loonies say (even to the point of advocating secession, guns in child care centers, no social services at all, totally unregulated pollution, etc. etc.), come join the Democrats for a breath of fresh air! Don’t worry, we won’t brainwash you with magic Kool Aid the way they do; you can go back when they return to some modicum of sanity if you want, and we’ll still respect you! Just like driving, D to move forward, R to move backward!

          • joe schmo

            That’s like putting the blame on yours, yours, and yours… essence, the ‘mine’ takes no blame at all….and you would say you are sane?

            Yah, welcome to LaLaLand complete with swimming sharks, jackasses and weasels. They will take away all your rights cramming their agenda down your throat. By the time they are done with this country, we will no longer have fuel, fish, guns, cigarettes or money because most of it will go to pay for entire countries that come here to live from South of the border. Hell, we might as well become a 3rd world country. We will have to ride bikes or walk miles to get where we need to go. But gee, we won’t have any pollution, or jobs, or food on the table because, by then, we will be squatting and living in tents or cardboard houses. Won’t that be clean. Well, no worries, with all that pot floating around we can all get high and forget about every little thing that even goes on in the world and maybe we can even spike that Kool-aid (which is cheap by the way) with some other dope and fry our brains out. Then we won’t even care how manipulated we have become because we will no longer know who we are. No, nothing like revisiting the modern ‘Dark Ages.’ It’s just the greatest.
            R to Run forward, D to Digress backward.

          • Elliot J. Stamler

            ALLAN, you are so right your words are golden. I walked out of the GOP over 25 years ago when I first saw its loonies taking over..especially in Calif. where I was then living for a while. The Democratic Party IS the responsible, sane party of reasonable, sensible people…usually center-liberal, humane capitalist, rational. As to extreme leftist liberals…they belong in Nader’s Green Party or the Socialist Party or in a few cases, quite frankly, Sam Webb’s Communist Party.

          • Steven Webster

            Demos are the problem, brainwashing is a direct result of the fed intrusion into education.

          • angelsinca

            You make a good argument Allan. With the way dems attack republicans, it seems like a natural progression they would attack their own. And they do. If I’m going to be attacked, I would choose it to be from someone that doesn’t matter. And I do.

        • dpaano

          Definitely!! If you want to run an ad, go on E-Bay or Craigslist……leave this site for intelligent conversation and debate! I get sick of seeing these comments interspersed in these websites!!!

    • FireBaron

      So True. And another problem is if any Republican has the audacity to vote against the party line just a single time, even in committee on a unanimous vote, he is automatically branded a RINO, and the campaign to unseat him by the Baggers commences!

      • neeceoooo

        And they have the money of the Koch bothers to do just that.

      • idamag

        Anything as rigid as the new Republican platform smacks of cult mentality. It is a controlling measure.

    • joe schmo

      Democrats do it more than Conservatives in the BIG BLUE STATES WHERE THERE ARE MORE DISTRICTS. Like two peas in a pod….

  • browninghipower

    I find this type of positing utterly disgusting. Moderate Democrats like Booker are nothing more than Rockefeller Republicans. They are more than willing to eviscerate the true ideals of what the Democratic Party once stood for…Unions, the Middle Class, a strong minimum wage, strong Public Education, low tuition State Colleges, Land Grant Colleges, (California’s College system; Colleges in the Midwest), low-interest student loans not given over to private rapacious banks, real SEC with teeth and people who enforce bank and Wall Street regulations, a complete re-do of the disastrous 2004 Bankruptcy Laws that Joe Biden ushered in that are little more than debtors’ prisons, bringing corporate power to heel, reforming the tax code, fighting the Right Wing with guts, not feathers… Fuck Moderates like Booker, Ben Nelson, Landrieu, Pryor. I admire the Tea Party for the guts they have in challenging the ones they think are selling them out. I only wish we Progressives had that kind of courage. The Dem establishment, with the aid of clowns like this writer will always sell us out and we will always be taken in by liars like Obama and Clinton.

    • My God, an actual liberal/progressive with some brains. As I am called everything these liberals can think of everytime I post this, once again I will say I am a registered democrat. However, I now align myself more with the Tea Party because of what the democratic party has become. The Emperor has betrayed not only the party that backs him, but our entire country. His policies seem designed only to destroy and divide America. After 8 years of Bush, I was ready to see anyone that was not a republican in office. When I voted for change, I never dreamed that change would be to transform my country into a communist dictatorship. We have placed a tyrant in power that needs to be removed

      • tue

        do you actually know what a communist is???

        Obama is a lot of things communist he is not, he is a posterboy right of center capitalist

        • He self proclaimed he was a socialist, but his policies are communist. Might want to take a closer look at what the Emperor has been doing to this country.

          • YellerKitty

            and YOU might want to research the meaning of the word “delusional” …

          • joe schmo

            You need to research the meaning of ‘communist.’

          • idamag

            Shhh, don’t laugh at kenneb, he might get violent.

          • Suralin

            So what you’re arguing, by calling Obama a communist, is that he’s been working towards nationalizing all private property.

          • joe schmo

            Where did you get that idea. BLM land in Western States and water rights in Texas. Hmmmm,

          • joe schmo

            Kenndeb, you are cut from the same mold as me:) I have been telling them that very same thing for some time. Wonder why they just don’t get it?…And my family escaped from Communist Europe…..

          • hey Joe. I’m always amazed at the vocabulary these liberals use, especially seeing they are supposed to be the “tolerant” ones. It is unfortunate that they can not, or will not open their eyes to what is happening in this country. I admit that I was once just like them, in that I too voted for change from the Bush years. I never thought there was anyway we could get a tyrant in our White House. I hated Bush, but at least he was an American, and had American values. The Emperor falls short of both.

      • Independent1

        Exactly how do you become a dictator when you’ve issued by far, the fewest executive orders to dictate your wishes of any president since just before 1900??

        I’d appreciate hearing all these “ISSUES” that Obama has “DICTATED”. Come on, spit them out!!

        You’re brain is obviously about the size of a pea – do you put it to bed in a thimble every night?? No one with half a brain could utter the absolute nonsense you come out with.

        • joe schmo

          Give the guy/girl a break Independent1. You know damn well what he/she is referring to because I have pointed it out to you plenty of times. Don’t make the poor guy/girl go through the agony of your repent.

          • BillP

            Hey schmoey I told you I would respond to you whenever you write your typical bs statements. You are (not your) doing it again. Are you going to respond with another F*** you. At least most of your comments have been on the brief but usual bs style.

  • browninghipower

    Oh and one more thing…just how have those Trade Deals worked out, huh? And the new one Obama is pushing for so hard? Hmmmmm? Yeah, Centrist Dems are really pulling for the Middle Class and the American Worker. right. I must have missed the silver lining in that one.

    • Independent1

      I know a lot of folks want to put a lot of the blame for America’s job problems on trade deals, but I’m not convinced that trade deals have been what’s caused as much of the problems as many want to think.

      Personally, it’s my feeling that the strong emphasis over the past 15-20 years of companies like Bain Capital, to do leverage buyouts of American companies, then destroying them in America and shipping their jobs overseas, has been a much bigger factor in why manufacturing and other jobs had moved away from America. It’s been companies like Bain Capital buying out companies here only to restructure them abroad, many times with the American manufacturing know how, that’s allowed these foreign companies to be able to produce products that would be acceptable in the American market, at a much cheaper cost because of the labor wage differences.

      A company in point is Solyndra. Solyndra didn’t go bankrupt because of mismanagement; it went bankrupt because it couldn’t compete with the cheap solar panels that flooded the American market from China. And where do you suppose China got the technical know how to make solar panels that American companies would purchase – from a company that had been leverage bought out in America, destroyed here and the company then reconstructed in China.

      It’s the same thing with small auto parts. Why do you suppose that the majority of small auto parts now come from China and Mexico. Because Mitt Romney, together with his hedge fund buddy, Singer, bought Delphi, what had been Delco, at the same time GM and Chrysler were trying to restart production; only to destroy 25,000 American jobs; pocket all the pension monies; leave 25,000 Americans on unemployment while throwing the older workers pension liabilities onto the government and then reconstructing the company initially in China and then moving some of its work to Mexico. What had been 25,000 union jobs in America, are now close to 100,000 jobs in China and Mexico.

      When people are bemoaning what’s happened to many American jobs; trade deals may have had something to do with that, but personally, I think corporate pirates over the past 15-20 years are far more responsible for the American job losses (millions of them) than flawed trade deals.

  • Helen

    Climate Change= Global warming= fill Al Gore’s pockets…. This is the biggest goernment scam of the centuy outside of a Kenyan in the White House who our politicians are afraid to remove!

    • Sand_Cat

      Thanks for announcing to all here that you’re an idiot, a birther, and an anti-science zealot.

      • neeceoooo

        Sometimes, all they have to do is open their mouth and we know where their minds are. Sucking up to the likes of Rush, Trump and others.

        • joe schmo

          You betcha:) People that actually have a ‘brain’ in their heads…..

          • ps0rjl

            Of course Rush is smart. He can get all you dittoheads to believe anything he says and in doing make himself very rich. Rush believed all drug users should be put in jail until he was caught abusing Oxytocin. He believes marriage is between only a man and a woman. Of course he is an expert because he has been married and divorced three times. He talks the talk about being a real American but during Vietnam he avoided service with a boil on his butt.

          • joe schmo

            Well, when you are dealing with potty mouths the likes of Harris-Perry, Olbermann, Bashir and, God forbid, Sheen, Rush is a breath of fresh air. They are all so primitive. I’m surprised MSNBC has any credibility whatsoever.

            Sheen, seriously?

            Limbaugh’s birthdate was ranked as 175 in the Vietnam War draft lottery. No one was drafted above 125. Also, he was classified as “1-Y” (later reclassified “4-F”) due to either a football knee injury or a diagnosis of Pilonidal disease.

            Please, do not pretend that military service is something that you suddenly care about. When John McCain’s record was attested to time and time again, all you liberals could do is find ways to poke at it and prove that military service does not make you a good person. Now you’re trying to make Limbaugh look bad, and you’re falling back on military service? You liberals are nothing if not consistent. Consistently hypocritical, that is.

            How did Joe Biden (dumb and dumber) and Harry Reid (biggest hypocrite ever) avoid military service?
            Why did Barry Obama the chickenhawk never serve? He initially hates the military and they have very little respect for him. Not a good thing.

          • ps0rjl

            Funny you should mention the 1-Y deferment. I had one my senior year in college. I was in a flex cast for six months and then a walking cast for two months. Then without even a physical was classified 1-A and drafted into the marines. Rush got out because daddy who was a judge got him a 4-F because he had connections like many upper class white boys did. My dad was just a farmer and didn’t have those connections. Old football injury my butt. I served with another marine who had hay fever so bad he could barely breathe in the fall and was drafted while in graduate school. Further more why would old Rush boy worry about getting a 4-F if he already had a lottery number that assured him of not going? Joe Schmo pedal your crap somewhere else, not with this marine.

          • neeceoooo


          • Sand_Cat

            You mean people completely unlike you? What would you know about it?

        • old_blu

          Hey! neece, Speaking of “you betcha” I read something the other day that said Palin was mad at her Tea Partiers because they didn’t want to be humanitarians toward the children crossing the southern border, and actually threatened to become Democrat.
          Little does she know we don’t want her

          • neeceoooo

            Hey there old_blu, maybe we could all get together and send her a letter asking her not to come over. She is an embarrassment to the republicans and we would rather not have to deal with her.

          • old_blu

            Yeah maybe we could start an online petition. We could call it the “No Liberal Sarah” petition.

          • plc97477

            I think she knows that all too well. We haven’t been showing her a welcome mat.

      • old_blu

        Hey Sand_Cat. Why is it the ones that can’t spell four words in a row right, or put a sentence together that spout off about the ” Kenyan in the White House”?

      • idamag

        Don’t laugh at her. You don’t know what she might do.

        • Sand_Cat

          I’ll take my chances, but thanks for the thought;>)

    • Independent1

      Tell me Helen. What are you going to suggest humans do, if you’re wrong?? Find another planet to live on??

      Have any of you absolute know it alls, considered that you may be wrong, and that if you are, we may soon reach the point of NO RETURN???

      Are you really that certain???

      • joe schmo

        Tell us what you are going to do when you find out that you are wrong? Go live in the North or South Pole to prove us wrong?

        The earth has been evolving and revolving for centuries. With it the climate was always changing. Cataclysmic events changed the weather, meteors crashing into earth changed the weather. volcanoes erupting change the weather, fire changes the weather(it actually creates its own weather), currents change the weather, solar flares effect the weather. Weather is cyclic. Dude, there are so many factors involved. Even meteorologists can’t predict the weather. So how is what your side stating set in stone? It’s not.

        • Independent1

          It doesn’t take someone with a brain larger than pea (which of course lets you out) to realize that although the earth has been evolving for eons, that when you take a more or less pristine planet (the way the earth was before about 1900), and then suddenly start building huge cities all over the planet which were never there before, and start digging up fossil fuels that had been hidden in the early for billions of years and start burning them for energy, and manufacture millions upon millions of cars that were never there before, and start lacing the planet with millions upon millions of miles of asphalt highways which hold the suns heat during the day, which were never there before, and do all of this and more in a 100 year period, that changes to the earths climate were going to start changing exponentially.

          Only a total moron such as yourself would even fake in believing that all this human activity, all taking place in 100 years, wasn’t going to create some change to the earth’s climate. Only people totally stupid, such as yourself, would disavow that this would happen. I’m more than confident, I’m absolutely certain that all the things man has done to change nature, and change the game with respect to the “evolving of the centuries”, is ABSOLUTELY MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE.

          The only thing I’m not convinced of is that it’s all due to the fault of spewing carbon into the air. I have no clue why scientists don’t think that just wrapping the planet with millions of miles of asphalt which holds the suns heat and slows the cooling of the earth over night – not only from the asphalt but also from all the mega cities with their huge skysrapers and parking lots, and buildings that do the same thing, wouldn’t over time help to cause the latent temperature of the earth to gradually rise.

          How can scientists believe that if you took earth, from the way it was before 1900, and then wrapped it with all the highways and huge cities that have so many buildings which also hold heat, that all that wouldn’t create heat retention and gradually cause the world to warm.

          People such as yourself that are dispelling all that, just really aren’t thinking. Which for conservatives unfortunately, is fairly common. No common sense whatsoever.

          • joe schmo

            1900? Let’s talk caveman. Specifically because you think fires are a pollutant, seems you would most love to go back to the time of our ancestors the Neanderthal. No fuel, so we can’t drive (remember electric cars are powered by electricity that comes from fuel plants both nuclear and coal) Wind machines are environmentally polluting. The material that solar panels are made from are toxic(who knows down the road what kind of impact that will have on the environment). Riding a bike is not an option especially in areas where everything is a distance. Horses? Nope, they are environmentally polluting. Trains? Run mainly by fuel or electricity distributed by nuclear and fuel plants. What about that food. Tons of restrictions on fertilizers and chemicals used to curb pests. I know of no totally natural fertilizer that can control bugs. In fact, our state the restrictions are so strict that we are beginning to get inundated with pests of every kind. For example, of late we have tons of moths eating up the leaves on our wild oaks. They look dead. The State used to spray for the moths. Now they don’t its an epidemic of dieing trees. Another example, the Native Americans in this state and others used to burn to control underbrush and allow the grasses to come up in the spring for the creatures to feed on and thereby provide them with food. Ranchers used to do ‘controlled burns’ for that same reason. So that cattle would have plenty of grass to eat in the spring so that they could sell the cattle in the Spring so that we could have meat in the stores and on the table. But noooo can’t do that. It’s a pollutant. As a result of the non burning issue, we have fires that take everything in its wake. What about our rivers and lakes. Not allowed to clear brush in river beds because of frogs and fishes. Not clearing the debri has led to other issues like massive flooding and no water for farmers. You just don’t get how extreme and damaging your ideas have become to this once self-sufficient country. Do I believe that we are the sole factors regarding the environment? Nope. Especially America. We are the poster child of clean environment. Do I believe we need some environmental restrictions? Yes. However; just how extreme do YOU want to take it? That is the point. 3rd world nation or….a balance?

            If you really want to help this planet why don’t you be the example you want to see in the world and get involved in places like South America or China where the pollution and tearing up of the earth is at extreme levels. Don’t bitch to me about climate change. One thing is for sure when a country has money to invest in the environment than things can become better, however; the world is in a down hill spiral and if America becomes another 3rd world statistic you will only have yourselves to blame because of your extreme overburdening views.


          • Independent1

            Here Joe! Explain away this graph from the NASA for me will you. The graph which shows that over the past 100 plus years the carbon content in earth’s atmosphere has increased to levels not seen on earth for the past 650,000 years – and pretty much all of it happened in less than 200 years.

            Explain how that happened so quickly when nothing like that has ever taken place for at least the past 650,000 years and probably ever on the earth.

            Let’s hear it!!

            (I hope you have your own space ship ready for the time you and your ilk wake up to how wrong you are.)

          • Independent1

            Oh! And Joe, here’s a sculpture that fits you and your political ilk:

        • old_blu
    • Independent1

      By the way, would you care to share with us, why people such as yourself are so hellbent and determined that 95% of scientists are wrong.

      What is it that drives you to be so certain it’s a scam??

      Are people like you against creating the millions of jobs that may be needed to do something about protecting the planet from a rising ocean?

      Why is it you’re so determined not to believe that humans may in fact be causing global warming?? Is it because it may cost a few bucks??

      Is spending a few bucks really that big a deal, if doing so may create jobs and extend the time the earth is a place humans can inhabit???

      What is Helen, how about cluing us all in.

      • joe schmo

        Did she even mention that she was against science? Don’t think so. Against climate change, yes. It has been proven that it is a scam. Europe is on board. We are the only fools who still believe it exists. At first you referred to climate change as global warming. When that just didn’t fit any more you changed it. So what is the flavor of the month this year?

        • Sand_Cat


          • joe schmo

            What’s the matter Sand_Cat….’Cat got your tongue.’

    • joe schmo

      Isn’t that the truth. All that climate change garbage made Al Gore a wealthy man, and he did it on the backs of these fools. Yep, they are terrified to remove him because they have suppressed us with the term ‘racist’ which is furthest from the truth. I believe he was planted on purpose so that the heavy duty Left-wingers, you know the ones that run Obama, can help pull us into the whole global swing of things.

    • ps0rjl

      Helen, 97% of scientist believe in global warming. Don’t you think it is time we starting taking steps to prevent releasing all the man made CO2 into the atmosphere? Granted the earth has gone through hot and cold cycles but this isn’t a cycle. it is a man made problem that has been occurring since about 1900.

      • Helen

        You are soooo wrong! Do not bother me with this nonsense. this is a scam against the American people.
        Believe anything Al Gore is promoting and you will get the wrong end of the stick.

        • dpaano

          Good luck with that, Helen……you believe what you want to believe, but I hope we’re all still around to tell you “we told you so!”

    • Independent1

      Hi Helen! I just asked Joe to explain away the following graph. Since you seem to think you’re such an expert on global warming, I thought you ought to have a try too.

      Explain away this graph from the NASA for me will you. The graph which shows that over the past 100 plus years the carbon content in earth’s atmosphere has increased to levels not seen on earth for the past 650,000 years – and pretty much all of it happened in less than 200 years.

      Explain how that happened so quickly when nothing like that has ever taken place for at least the past 650,000 years and probably ever on the earth.

      Let’s hear it!!

      (I hope you have your own space ship ready for the time you and your ilk wake up to how wrong you are.)

  • As a way of both challenging him and accelerating his learning process, Ender Wiggin was placed in one of the Battle School’s Armies far earlier than was typical. His commander, Bonzo Madrid, who insisted on disciplined precision during battle, decided immediately that Ender was useless and didn’t allow him to participate in its Army’s practice.

    Undeterred, Ender sought out his own private practices. He learned to shoot from his fellow army-mate Petra Arkanian. He also started training with other groups of friends that he made in Battle School. Over the years of his education, Ender personally practiced virtually more than anybody else in Battle School. In those practices, he and his friends constantly challenged each other – coming up with new ideas, tactics, and techniques. And his practice paid off, too – for the bulk of his time at Battle School, he consistently led in most measures that the students were judged by.

    When Ender became a Commander at Battle School himself, he applied the concept of extra practice to his entire Army, which practiced more often than any other Army in the school. And again, this practice paid off – despite unfair advantages against Ender, he and his Army never failed to win a battle

    • Allan Richardson

      I’ve read reviews that say that’s a great story, but what is the connection to the topic?

  • ExRadioGuy15

    I’ll remind everyone that I came to the same conclusion the title of this article does two years ago. GOP Progressives and Moderates are truly represented by Democrats now. That’s because of a comment Bill Maher made in December 2011 on his show, “Real Time”: “the Democratic Party has went to the right and the Republican Party has went right into the insane asylum”….
    Nice to see that the Liberal media is finally catching up to me…

  • YellerKitty

    “Of course, we recently had two years of almost unfettered Democratic
    control in Washington. Was the record of the 111th Congress, which
    reigned in 2009 and 2010, perfect? Of course not.”

    Well … not so much …


“Seventy-two days. That’s it. That’s the entirety of absolute Democratic control of the United States Senate in 2009 and 2010. And yet Republicans want America to believe that Obama and the Democrats ruled with a tyrannical zeal to pass every piece of frivolous legislation they could conjure up. They think that the voters are dumb enough to believe it.
All of this and we didn’t even talk about the unprecedented, deliberate, methodical obstructionism on the part of Republicans via the filibuster. Tsk, tsk, tsk…..”

    • Independent1

      And what’s especially galling, is that the last 6 years or so of total GOP obstruction isn’t really just a party coming together in unity, it’s all been a staged deliberate sabotage of our economy planned on inauguration day evening, 1/20/2009 by a bunch of legislators and a weasel named Newt Gingrich. To me, about as close to being treasonous actions as it would seem any anti-Americans can get without being prosecuted. See what you think:

      UPDATE: Eric Cantor Plotted to Sabotage US Economy in Secret Meeting with Hensarling & Luntz

      Here’s a little excerpt to give you a sense for how far these guys went:

      FACT 1. In Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives” Draper wrote that on inauguration night, 2009, during a four hour, “invitation only” meeting with GOP Hate-Propaganda Minister, Frank Luntz, the below listed Senior GOP Law Writers literally plotted to sabotage, undermine and destroy America’s Economy.

      FACT 2: Draper wrote the guest list included:

      The Guest List:

      Frank Luntz – GOP Minister of Propaganda
      Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
      Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
      Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA),
      Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX),
      Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX),
      Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI)
      Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA),
      Sen. Jim DeMint (SC-R),
      Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ-R),
      Sen. Tom Coburn (OK-R),
      Sen. John Ensign (NV-R) and
      Sen. Bob Corker (TN-R).

      Non-lawmakers present Newt Gingrich – Failed GOP candidate for President.

      Here’s the link to the whole DailyKos article:

      • idamag

        The Republican Party cannot even come together with themselves. Look up Idaho Republican Convention. One of the things they argued about was the state paying for a non-denominational Bible (whatever the hell that is) for every classroom. They spent the entire time arguing and couldn’t even elect a chair person.

  • howa4x

    It’s the base stupid! The republican base has shifted to an older whiter group of men and some tag along women. It has a deeply devout religious undertone, that makes compromise an act against god. It feels threatened by the changes that are happening to this country, and reacts by trying to turn the clock back and refight old battles they lost. Abortion is a prime example. This was settled law a few years ago. Now states that are controlled by republicans are chipping away at protections, either by out right restrictions or closing of clinics. Even so called moderate republicans that want to run like Christie shut 75 planned parenthood clinics in Blue NJ to appeal to this group.
    Because of it’s new make up the base is far less inclined come to the middle and now has staked out the fringes as its battleground. The problem for republicans is that most of the electorate doesn’t think like this.
    So by gerrymandering districts, welcoming in the Tealiban, and religious zealots, they have boxed themselves into an ideological corner. Add in the NRA, the chamber of commerce, and right wing billionaires, and there is no center left in the republican party
    Because this group controls the nominating process, by the time any reasonable candidate gets through it they have made too many right wing statements to try and get back to the center, and loose in the general. Think of moderate Romney going through it, and what happened.
    So the GOP has entered a death spiral, that it can’t, given it’s make up, can’t escape from. Once Texas goes Blue and it will happen soon. It will be the end of the GOP at the national level. They will be a regional party and some strength in the states. Republican pros will watch helplessly as another presidential election will pass them by.

  • tdm3624

    I would like to see a viable third party emerge in America. I don’t really care whether it is centrist or not, just something to break the 2 party system we have now.