What's happening?

Atrios alludes to this today, and I feel it a lot from time to time, too. Today's one of those days. What's happening to America? I feel like I'm living in a different place, at a different time; that this isn't the USA in 2005. The Schindlers have exhausted their media circus, and now their daughter's hospice is a magnet for every wacko kook theocrat with no job and gas money. The President wants to make Social Security more fiscally sound by taking money out of the system. The Congress makes laws to make a political point about one dying woman, who is undergoing a process that's taking place throughout America every day; only without the same media scrutiny. Finally, now: the FCC isn't satisfied just to regulate indecency on the public airwaves, but thinks it should also be the final arbiter of good taste. The FCC also thinks it has the right to regulate indecency on pay cable like HBO and Cinemax, and possibly pay radio like Sirius & XM.
Leading lawmakers and the commission's new chairman have proposed a broad expansion of indecency rules, which were significantly toughened just last year. They are also looking for significant increases in the size of fines and new procedures that could jeopardize the licenses of stations that repeatedly violate the rules. Some senior lawmakers, including Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, and the commission's chairman, Kevin Martin, have suggested that it may be time to extend the indecency and profanity rules to cable and satellite-TV providers, which now account for viewership in 85 percent of U.S. homes.
What's happening? When do we reach the tipping point when the theocrats' influence finally peters out?

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