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Special Report

Lawmaker Compares Town Hall Protesters to Racists in the 1960s

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Comparatively Speaking

The third-ranking Democrat in the House is comparing protesters at health care town halls to people who unleashed dogs and spat on civil rights protesters in the 1960s.

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn tells The Huffington Post: "I have seen this kind of hate before... I have seen snarling dogs going after people who were trying to peacefully assemble. I have seen the eyes of people who were being spat upon...This is all about activity — trying to deny the establishment of a civil right."

Earlier this week, Michigan Democrat John Dingell compared town hall protesters to members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Cutting the Power

Several senators are urging colleagues to abandon efforts to pass so-called "cap-and-trade" legislation this year and concentrate instead on renewable energy.

So who are these anti-environment Republicans? Actually four Democrats are behind the movement. Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln tells Bloomberg: "The problem of doing both of them (cap-and-trade and renewable energy) together — is that it becomes too big of a lift. I see the cap-and-trade being a real problem."

Also on board: Ben Nelson of Nebraska and North Dakota Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad.

Target Acquired

Monday we told you that since Sarah Palin left office, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has become number one on a Democratic hit list.

Bachmann is now using that as a fundraising tool. Her latest newsletter says: "Don't let them Palinize me!" And she even includes the Urban Dictionary definition of the new word. It says to "Palinize" is: " To smear or mock someone using falsehoods, baseless accusations, or unsubstantiated character assassinations — for the purpose of blocking them from achieving a goal...."

— FOX News Channel's Marty Hill contributed to this report.