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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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A bump in the road...

For those following this year's Presidential election festivities (as well as keeping tabs on the GOP's ongoing record-breaking race to obstruct, deconstruct, vilify & destroy all possible progress in the United States), there's a possible minor news item that may be seized upon by the Right to try and take the wind out of the sails of President Obama's re-election bid.

The President is running on job creation, saving the auto industry, rebuilding the economy & creating new energy initiatives (among other things), and up to now his record hasn't been bad. Recent news from GM, however, may give some of the opposition party something to grab onto:

GM Will Stop Building Volt Plug-In to Cut Inventory

General Motors Co. said it will halt production of its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car for five weeks in an effort to control its inventory. The car maker had a stock of about 6,300 Volts on hand at the end of February.

[...more...]

Apparently, this will lead to the layoff of 1,300 workers.

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The Swan Song of N. Leroy Gingrich (version 2.0)

May the ghost of T. S. Eliot forgive me. I first wrote this a little more than a year ago. This is a slightly revised version... a little better,

I hope. Let us go then, you and I,
Before Tea Party politics passes us each by
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through Washington's K Street,
The lobbyists' retreats And chicken dinners in one-night swank hotels
Still taking time for whatever sells;
Lobbyists that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, ``Why is it? "
Let's take the money and make our visit.

No more the commercial crisis? Definitely not before 2015

It should not be depressed on Sat to hear the speakers for the symposium on the crisis, on top of the Grande Arche de la Defense. Philosophers, financial experts : all of them stand an apocalyptic picture. "We are on the brink within the pit," says Edgar Morin. What diagnosis made? How to cope?

Joseph Stiglitz is delayed. The occupants economist, in the promotional tour for his latest publication, accepted the invite of Eva Joly, a leader in Europe Ecology. Provided that the normal on the party just isn't within the podium.

The Tea Party & GOP Jihadists will have a field day with this...

Oh holy crap - the nutbars of the GOP & Tea Party (& associated Santorum-coated Gingriches) will have a field day with this one: Muslims Declare Jihad on Dogs in Europe, by Soeren Kern of StonegateInstitute.org

Of course, they don't realize that the "Sharia Law" call-outs they make against Muslims - and the back-and-forth justifications of each side, per the article - sound JUST LIKE their own b.s. when promoting their "Christian values" agenda. But that won't stop 'em making laws against "Sharia law" in the US...they don't see the disconnect between such idiocy & their own Talibanesque encroachment upon the Constitution with their "Christian values" (values they loudly promote to garner religious support, but consistently & resolutely fail to uphold in their own lives & dealings).

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Florida - Outsourcing Election Night to Microsoft

Every two years we get to raise the question, once again: 

"Where were the Florida election results counted tonight?"

Because, for much of the last decade, the State of Florida has had a non-State entity hosting the election night results that Floridians trust are the accurate representation of their cumulative vote.  

This scenario is the Florida replay of what we first identified had occurred in 2004 when Ohio's votes made a roundtrip through SMARTechcorp computers, in Tennessee, and George W. Bush beat John Kerry in the general election.

We've only been able to capture records of the IP address for the State of Florida's election night host computers since 2005.  Two years ago (maybe four) election results were hosted on computers managed by a company based in the state of Georgia. 

If I was Newt Gingrich, I would be happy about that location, if it was repeated tonight.

GOP Primary

Perhaps.   Or maybe not. 

What is a Newt?

newt [noot, nyoot] noun
1. any of several brilliantly colored salamanders of the family Salamandridae, especially those of the genera Triturus and Notophthalmus, of North America, Europe, and northern Asia.
2. any of various other small salamanders.
3. one of several slimy republican primary candidates (can be brilliantly colored)

I knew I had to leave America when I was no longer able to go to the county fair.

(This diary was cross-posted by author from the Daily Kos and was rated as the number #1 diary on January 14th 2012 as indicated at the link below.)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/15/1054991/-High-Impact-Posts:-January-14,-2012

(Written by an American Expat living in the E.U.)

That's when I knew the America I grew up in was gone for good.

'Tis the Season

Wishing a Happy Holiday season to my ePluribus Media family & friends. I hope each and every one of you have a stellar Christmas and that 2012 is the best year yet! Put Kenny G's Holiday album on (nothing better than good sax), pour a glass of wine and let's toast the end of 2011. 

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Lying Karl Rove's lying about Elizabeth Warren and TARP

Simon Johnson provides his separate assessment of the lies and distortions used in attacking MA Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren, at BaseLineScenario:

Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS has another ad out attacking Elizabeth Warren. This is beyond ludicrous – the ad attempts to blame Ms. Warren for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and for bank bailouts. The principle here seems to be that when the truth cannot be slanted in a way you want, just ignore the facts and go all out for disinformation.

I count at least five misrepresentations in the ad, and I suggest the following corrections (here):...

In case it's not so obvious, Karl Rove and American Crossroads / GPS are in full-blown service to launder the electoral interests of the richest 1% who don't have the numbers but have the money that designed the Citizens United decision exactly in order to be able to buy corporate speech, instead. 

Senator Bernie Sanders, just yesterday, offered a Constitutional amendment in what I consider to be the last-ditch effort to reverse the Citizens United-induced spiral into a straight-up representative fascism.

Until that Amendment is passed, I guess, American Crossroads Watch will continue to respond to, for further example, what is likely to be a ramping of attacks on the efforts of candidates or officials like Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

But it takes more than documenting the expose, and your help is needed to get the word out.  Please help spread it to your friends and families.

Last Chance: The Saving American Democracy Amendment

Of all the extraordinary things going on in the world right now, I don't believe there is an outcome that is more essential to assuring that our children can survive the corporatocratic nightmare blueprinted by SCOTUS' Citizen United decision, than the Saving American Democracy Amendment offered by Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont.

Please get on board, and help get this Amendment considered and passed.
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Warning that American democracy in endangered," Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S. elections. The first constitutional amendment ever proposed by Sanders during his two decades in Congress would reverse the narrow 5-to-4 ruling in Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission.

Show your support - sign the petition at http://sanders.senate.gov/savingdemocracy

 

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