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... and We're Back!

As some of you may have noticed, the site has been down off and on for the last week or so. We have been busy dealing with software updates and a move to a new server. During all of this, we also updated the site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

The site is back, tho still limping a little. There were some of the old features that have to be either discarded or rebuilt to work with the new backbone. We will be back, fully functional, in the very near future, and look forward to a revival. If anybody is interested in helping out, please drop a note using the contact form.

 

Rachel's Reality-Check for Republicans

This is what we need to repeat for everyone.This is Reality. Share it. Repeat it ad infinitum.

Make sure this reality - ~actual~ reality - is propagated everywhere. Help quench the pseudo-reality that the GOP, Tea Party, Libertarians & conservative "media" have been living in for the past 4 years.

We need to wake them up. We need this term to be the defining one - the one where our nation actually, truly begins recovery.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Update: Here's the transcript -

Ohio really did go to President Obama last night.

And he really did win.

And he really was born in Hawaii.

And he really is legitimately President of the United States, again.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month.

And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.

And the polls were not screwed to oversample Democrats.

And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math.

And climate change is real.

And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.

And evolution is a thing.

And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us.

And nobody is taking away anyone's guns.

And taxes have not gone up.

And the deficit is dropping, actually.

And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.

And the moon landing was real.

And FEMA is not building concentration camps.

And U.N. election observers are not taking over Texas.

And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.

Listen, last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons, but it was also, possibly, a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country, we have a two- party system in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides, both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. and we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea.

That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff.

And the if the republican party and the conservative movement and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum-sealed door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate about competing feasible ideas about real problems.

Last night the republicans got shellacked, and they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them in realtime, in real humiliating time, not believe it, even as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to is secede, they are going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again, and that will be a painful process for them, but it will be good for the whole country, left, right, and center.

You guys, we're counting on you. wake up. There are real problems in the world. There are real, knowable facts in the world. Let's accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let's move on from there.

If the republican party and the conservative movement and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation. and in that spirit, congratulations.

This is our opportunity to clearly, succinctly & competently set the record straight, wash the crap from the walls & floors & challenge any remaining denialists to step forward into the light of reason to begin anew as clear-thinking, reasonable adults.

Thank you.

Namaste.

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The War on Science

You may have heard rightwing pundits such as columnist David Limbaugh, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Todd Starnes of Fox News tell you (with no real evidence, but with lots of emotional rhetoric) about the war that’s being waged against Christianity.

The Christians are absolutley safe. The Justice Department isn’t going to investigate the claims made by priests during sermons. The FCC isn’t going to regulate church sermons and force priests to be truthful and accurate. The United States Congress isn’t going to order the U.S. Treasury to take the words “In God We Trust” off of our money, and religious programming such as “The 700 Club” will not be taken off American television. Christians make up more than 75 percent of the U.S. population and they run all three branches of the U.S. government. They also control the American mainstream media and comprise most of the U.S. armed forces and law enforcement agencies. With such power and wealth and influence at their command, who in America could possibly wage war against them?

However, while many of you are focused on the fabricated “war on Christianity”, there is a very REAL war going on against science and scientists in America. Unlike David Limbaugh, Rick Perry and Todd Starnes of Fox news, I will sumbit real evidence that this war is being waged.

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Just What Is "Breitbarting"?

Well, for one thing, it is not journalism.

When I wrote "The Pride and Reward of Falsification: Post-Objectivity as Post-Responsibility" for the recent book News with a View (edited by Burton St. John and Kirsten Johnson) centering on Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe, I wasn't thinking in terms of a specific, definable strategy, certainly not one that would come to be known as "breitbarting." I should have been.

The French newspaper Le Monde reports 1.5 million living the American dream on $2 a day

Written by an American Expat who holds an M.B.A. degree living in the E.U.
My email address is: democratsramshield (at)yahoo (dot)com

Surely the death of the American working class dream is not news to the American 1 percent elites. The truth be known simply put they like it that way, as they surely are the architects of the GOP led class warfare against the American working class.

(The Statue of Liberty in the photo below is located in Paris, France and is believed to have become emblematic as the American dream now resides in Europe instead of America).

Delusional & Deceptive: Artificially Created "Issues" Causing Real Problems

Originally posted as a note on my Facebook page.

The long & short of the ongoing "fiscal crisis" is that it is, at this point, an artificially manufactured crisis that is causing serious real-world issues. The delusion & deceptive "national conversation" that the traditional media insists on promoting isn't helping.

Case in point: a piece from the Washington Post1 makes the following statement:

Ideally, the budget environment for weather and climate research wouldn’t be an either/or situation. State of the art computing resources should be available to both areas.But during a time when our nation faces a fiscal crisis and the government is having to make tough choices about what the highest priorities are - leadership within NOAA and Congress should take a close look at the balance of resources...

There are a couple of things wrong with that. The first one that leaps out and grabs my face like one of the creatures from Alien is "during a time when our nation faces a fiscal crisis" - really? Simply letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich expire would substantially resolve that, but the fiscally feral Republican, Tea Party & Libertarian extremists keep pushing for more tax breaks for the wealthy...hoping, apparently, that the rest of the nation is either too pre-occupied or distracted to notice just how much damage that those tax cuts have done, or who has benefited.

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The mainstream German Magazine Spiegel asks, has the US mixed Economy turned into an Oligarchy?

Written by an American expat living in the E.U. (who holds a M.B.A. degree). This diary is a review of the Spiegel article entitled "Has America Become an Oligarchy?" from the perspective of a business librarian.
My email is: democratsramshield@yahoo.com

Spiegel quote: 2002 and 2007, 65 percent of the income gains went to the top 1%

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The GSA scandal -- a personal perspective [Reprinted with Permission]

The article below was written by a friend of mine who has a background working in the government. He has given his permission for me to reprint this on Daily Kos and ePluribus Media. The original article was posted on Gather.com as The GSA scandal -- a personal perspective. If you are so inclined, please send some traffic to the original article to help give it the bump & notice it deserves. Thank you. -- GreyHawk

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The GSA scandal -- a personal perspective


by John S.
First posted April 07, 2012 10:49 AM EDT

I used to work for the General Services Administration (GSA) before transferring to USDOJ.

The scandal which has been hitting the news is so different from the GSA I knew that it is like finding your sainted grandmother arrested by the police for having an orgy in front of the local courthouse on Sunday afternoon.

GSA had always been very strict on following government guidelines, and pinched every penny. No flying first class. No gifts. Everyone got training on how to avoid problems with the ethics rules. This was so much a part of the agency's culture it is hard to see how such a major change could take place.

I then found this article:

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Fake news video true story from the Onion, in humor diary about facebook being a CIA program


Written for the phazebooq group @ the daily kos.
http://www.dailykos.com/user/phazeboooq

According to a recent report from the Onion fake news report Mark Zuckerman won a medial from the CIA for his work with face book. Of course it is not true but it is true.
Are you feeling confused.

A Spark to Digital Tinder: 'Kindling" To Light A Fire [Shameless self-promotion]

Adapted from my post on Daily Kos.

On Sunday, 18 March 2012, we're offering a free promotional download of Her Final Year: A Care-Giving Memoir. (It's also available in print form through Amazon, but we're just running the free promo for the downloadable Kindle version.)

And the best part of this? You don't need to own a Kindle to download & read it.

Join me below the fold if you would...

 

A Farewell


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (retired) was a naval flight officer who commanded an aircraft squadron and was operations officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt, the carrier that fought the Kosovo War. He earned a master-of-arts degree in post-modern imperialism at the U.S. Naval War College where many of his essays became required student reading. Jeff’s weekly satires on U.S. foreign policy high jinks appear at Antiwar.com and his critically applauded novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now." - Excerpted nearly completely from Jeff's blog Pen & Sword.

By now, many folks who knew of Cmdr Jeff Huber have heard of his passing, but I just wanted to take a moment to say "Farewell, Commander" and point folks to some of his previous work for ePluribus Media:

Farewell, Jeff. You are missed.

People are invited to use this as an Open Thread, and encouraged to list any other items (ideally with links) to works by Jeff that helped make a difference - and helped to make the world a better place, in spite of the efforts of others to rein it in & rain darkness upon it.

 

Idiots, Assholes & The Borg Hive Mind

For those of you who are familiar with Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager, you'll recognize the character Q as played by John de Lancie. The Borg served as a foil in the form of a nearly unstoppable enemy, one that had a shared hive-mind and assimilated every being & technology in their path, making themselves stronger as they went.

In a way, the Borg is like a social & intellectual living viral colony - a virulent disease, a cancerous tumor that exists solely to feed itself & grow...very much like the right-wing loonies that have infested our political process and begun to tear apart not only the Republican party but also the nation & the world.

There's one notable scene that comes from an episode of Star Trek: Voyager which ties together Q & the Borg in a rather amusing way: Q admonishes his son not to provoke the Borg in the episode 7x19 ("Q2").* You can see the clip here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-X1zY5KvV0

I can't help feeling that the GOP & Koch brothers are a bit like Q in this way, and that the TeaBaggers are embodied by the character of Q Junior - out of control and in serious need of an intercession.

Niceties & chuckles aside, it's also very interesting to note that the "activists" on the Right appear unable to discern fiction from reality, public from private...and completely fail to recognize their own penchant for both intellectual dishonesty & hypocrisy.

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RIP Commander Jeffry Lyle Huber, US Navy (retired)

We learned, late, of the passing of Commander Jeffry L. Huber (retired) at the age of 57, on January 24, 2012.

He was one of ePluribus Media's bright bulbs who shined a light from his flight deck experience in a bounty of words wizened by U.S. Navy command and time on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.   It all sharpened the satire in his critcally acclaimed Bathtub Admirals.

He graced not only our shores but through the wider appeal of his blog, Pen and Sword, the DailyKos, and AntiWar.com, among other venues. 

The spirit of his humor and insighted commentary are a loss and will be missed by many. 

RIP Commander Huber. 

For a long thread of worthy respect, see this eulogy at DailyKos or the bon voyages of well-wishers at Tributes.com.

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