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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. Make the jump»

So let me get this straight...

So, let me get this straight - any time a disaster occurs that the Religious Right can possibly use to claim that "God is angry with the nation because of gays / abortion / marriage" etc., they go nuts making those claims. Make the jump»

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. Make the jump»

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: Make the jump»

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. Make the jump»

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. Make the jump»

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).

Make the jump»

'Tis the Season

YouTube: 

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.  Make the jump»

Occupy Movement Next Step

Occupy Movement: Next Step Convergence

Joel S. Hirschhorn

There is a growing convergence of thinking about where the US Occupy movement should go as a next step to turning its values, concerns and commitments into changing what most Americans see as broken government under control of corporate interests. When it comes to political and social movements, history shows us that they usually fail not because they disappear, but rather because they become marginalized, unimportant despite a core group of committed people and groups. Make the jump»

A Matter of Perspective - The Overton Window, Reservation Life and a Chain of Sorrow

Crossposted from Native American Netroots and Daily Kos.

Cross Posted at Native American Netroots

An ongoing series sponsored by the Native American Netroots team focusing on the current issues faced by American Indian Tribes and current solutions to those issues.

I'm not a Native American. I did not grow up on a Reservation. For the longest time, I had only been dimly aware of the extent and level to which Native Americans have been exploited, abused, repressed & discriminated against.

Even now, my awareness likely only begins to scratch the surface, and yet what I've learned over the past few years has brought anger, grief & frustration as my awareness of both past and present bureaucratic b.s. and institutionalized standards of cultural genocide has grown.

Recently, NPR put out a 3 part series called Native Survivors of Foster Care Return Home. (You can watch all three which are linked in the title.) Not too long ago, Metro Times posted a story called Chain of Sorrow that also speaks of the impact and legacy of Indian Boarding Schools.

It's a legacy of pain and sorrow that our nation should be ashamed of.

While reading the latter piece, a paragraph jumped out at me which can be read more than one way. The first way it occurred to me is likely due to my less-informed perspective - but, because of that, it may also be a reflection of a more wide-spread misunderstanding.

Here's the paragraph, with the emphasis on the phrase that stuck out for me:

"It wasn't just the boarding schools that brought this about. From the time Columbus landed in the New World, the assault on Indians, their culture and their religious ways has been relentless. Their sacred lands taken, the people murdered, the women raped and, at times, subjected to forced sterilizations, the deprivation of reservation life, the scourge of alcohol — all these had combined to cause his people to lose so much."

When I first read the paragraph, it didn't sit right - I couldn't understand what was meant by "the deprivation of reservation life" - it first processed in my mind as "children removed from the rez would be deprived of the quality of life on the rez"...which, in the article, was cited as being the reason ~why~ some parents let their children be taken in first place. So, my initial reaction/interpretation was - I hope - incorrect. It wasn't that a child was being deprived of life among their people on the reservation - it was the fact that conditions on the reservation itself were usually harsh and oppressive, becoming yet another aspect of the type of harm done to Native Americans as part of an ongoing (if not always externally recognized) way to continue the same cultural genocide that had begun so many years before.

In either interpretation, however, the paragraph itself was both damning and dismal.

What dismayed me and prompted me to write this article was the thought that immediately followed: what if my first reading of the phrase was the intended interpretation?

That would be pretty sad - for it would present an unchallenged view of the reservation as false equivalent of a way to preserve cultures and traditions.

Sure, there is some of that in reservation life - but, for peoples who were forcibly relocated to unwanted expanses of real estate and who previously harbored little concept of "personal property" the way the settlers conceived of it - how much of their cultural heritage was already compromised? And how much was destroyed in the process of "re-settling" them, or in the subsequent efforts to get them to conform & integrate?

It may be the only current place where the traditions are able to be upheld, but if the belief that it's "good" (versus a way to avoid total cultural extinction) is prevalent, then efforts to improve any relations or conditions are doomed...if not to failure, then to any sort of substantial reform without an awful lot of effort.

Efforts to undo (and prevent further) the whitewashing of our national history with regard to the treatment of Native Americans already have a tough row to hoe. If perspectives - and the associated Overton Window that helps frame them - are still predominantly akin to what my first reading of that paragraph came away with, then there's a very long way to go before beneficial change (for Native Americans, in their perspective) can occur.

A parting thought, also from the Metro Times piece:

"The realization of just how much was stolen from these people begins to set in. It wasn't just their land, or even their way of life. What was taken was their sense of self, leaving them spiritually wounded.

And it was done, in no small part, by taking their children."

Help spread the word & increase awareness: share the links to the Metro Times & NPR pieces. And share a link to Native American Netroots, too: there, people can find a great deal of information - both historical and current - about cultures, customs and ongoing issues.

Thank you.

One of the creators of #OccupyWall Street reflects on its success so far

Cross posted from Real Economics.

Without issuing a single concrete demand, the Occupy movement has already scored a significant victory: it has shifted the political discourse in USA back in a more progressive direction, examining real problems. Less than two months ago, most Americans watched morosely as USA elites “debated” the debt ceiling and vied to come up with the most “acceptable” program of austerity, including cuts in Social Security and Medicare at the federal level, and education and police and fire protection at the state and local levels.

Now, the focus of political discourse are the inequalities of wealth and income, and how they cripple our economy and democracy by allowing the rich a disproportionate role in setting national policies.

That is a monumental shift in political direction. Especially considering the billions of dollars the rich and wealthy have poured into trying to dominate the political process and public perceptions, such as by astro-turfing the so-called Tea Party.

Many people have wondered just who is behind the Occupy movement. If you don’t know, the idea of occupying Wall Street was first proposed by the Canadian culture-jammers, Adbusters. I have known about Adbusters for a few years now, because of their excellent work on revealing the darker sides of economic neo-liberalism, and our consumerist culture. (One of the best articles attacking neo-liberalism was Adbusters’ November 2007 take-down of leading economist Gregory Mankiw, Economic Indoctrination.) Make the jump»

Occupy Hartford CT's tents are safe for now

Occupy Hartford CT

They came to an agreement for at least another night and here is where it gets sort of rumorish and repeated by many people but but I will try and piece it together for you as best as I can... Make the jump»

Police Want the Tents Gone from Occupy Hartford CT

Here is the Hartford Chief of Police in his own words, earlier today:

Now, police may want to do this and may go ahead and do this BUT... They should not do this. Both because there is clear legal precedence on this and because it just is not a smart political move for them. (More below the fold) Make the jump»

U.S. Energy Companies Blow up Appalachian Mountaintops in Search of Coal

bumped - luaptifer

As U.S. energy companies blow up Appalachian mountaintops in search of coal, the nation’s lawmakers yawn with indifference.

By Donald R. Soeken, Ph.D., and Tom Nugent

“West Virginia is the template for what happens when corporations take over democracy.” blew up a mountain in the Berkshires or the Catskills or California or Utah, you would go to jail or a place for the criminally insane. --Environmental Activist Robert Kennedy, Jr.

 

Charleston, W. Va. – Ever wondered what would happen if an invading power suddenly attacked the gorgeous, summer-green mountains of Appalachia with massive bombs that together equaled the explosive power of the Hiroshima A-bomb, each and every week?

Amazingly enough, that stark scenario is happening right now in West Virginia, with hardly a whimper of protest from federal government regulators or the state politicians in Charleston.

During the past ten years, in fact, mountaintops all across Appalachia have been blowing up one after another, creating rock-strewn “moonscapes” which now include more square miles than those contained in the entire State of Delaware.

Fact: As of July 1, 2011, more than 500 Appalachian mountaintops have been destroyed by these bombers . . . who are now using more than 3 million pounds of explosives each day in West Virginia alone.

An environmental catastrophe? You bet it is. Hour by hour and day by day, we’re witnessing the ongoing destruction of our oldest and perhaps most beautiful mountain chain. And yet most of our politicians – along with most of our news media – seem to be totally unconcerned about the bombing campaign against America.

Maybe that’s because the “invading powers” now blasting away at the steep ridgelines of West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky aren’t foreign countries, after all.

They’re actually giant U.S. energy companies – hugely powerful industries that long ago became accustomed to dictating energy policy in Washington D.C. and in the state capitals of Appalachia.

How bad is the wholesale destruction now being caused by the ruthless bombing-and-digging technique known as “mountaintop removal mining,” all across the once-forested and once-life-abundant region that was America’s first frontier? Make the jump»

Tom Coburn & The GOP Target The Elderly

Via Think Progress,

Last week, ThinkProgress reported that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) believes that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional. Turns out, he’s not he only one. At a town hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared to embrace Perry’s claim that providing for America’s seniors is unconstitutional:

QUESTION: With more and more cuts in Medicare and Medicaid on the horizon, I’m really worried about protecting our frail elderly in the Medicare and Medicaid facilities. So I would like to know how Congress proposes to balance the budget and still make sure our frail elderly in these facilities are protected and have trained care staff.

COBURN: That’s a great question. The first question I have for you is if you look in the Constitution, where is it the federal government’s role to do that? That’s number one. Number two is the way I was brought up that’s a family responsibility, not a government responsibility.

The video is embedded below.

Think Progress provided a good rebuttal - check it out at their link.

And treat this as an Open Thread.

 

 

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