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The Truth About the Confederacy

  • Posted on: 29 May 2011
  • By: Tony Wikrent

Originally posted April 10, 2011 on CorrenteWire and DailyKos. Posted to ePluribus Media 2011-05-29 11:33:17 -0400 - bumped and promoted. -- GH

The 150th anniversary of the Fort Sumter bombardment that formally began the Civil War is tomorrow, and wrong-wingers throughout the South and the rest of America are fixing a big celebration. There’s going to be a seemingly infinite issuance of blogs, articles, radio interviews, and television appearances that will proffer a prettified picture of a brave and stolid South, courageously defending the “true conservative Constitutional” principles of states rights, individual responsibility, and limited government.

If you’re one of the many Americans who don’t really know that much about the Civil War, you have probably been perplexed by the number of wrong-wing Republican politicians who have made open statements of admiration the past year or two for the Confederate ideas of states rights and secession. This very lengthy diary is designed to fully inform you what the Confederacy was really like – a society suffering acutely from class differences; a society ruled by a slave holding oligarchy that was sickeningly arrogant and grasping, as well as racist. A number of myths about have been developed about the “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy for over a century, and those myths and lies are probably going to be repeated so often the coming days and weeks that you’re going to want to puke. My intent for this diary is to help shatter those myths and lies.

 

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Tuesday Open Thread: The GOP's Paul Ryan - Super-Villain Wannabe, The Cape Edition

  • Posted on: 24 May 2011
  • By: Open Thread

Does anyone else think that Paul Ryan looks suspiciously like he's trying to pull of a Peter Fleming/Chess look?


James Frain played Peter Fleming, a.k.a. Chess, on NBC's recently cancelled The Cape.

I think that either Ryan's a Fleming/Chess wannabe, or the character Fleming/Chess was derived after watching Ryan.

Chess is, after all, a split personality - the darker half of an already dark-enough Peter Fleming.

Well?

...ok, well then - over the chirping of the crickets (and the occassional snicker from that guy in the back), if you've got any better observations or comparisons, or anything different that you'd like to bring up for discussion, then drop it into the comments below the fold.

This is, after all, an Open Thread.

 

 

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Intelligence Breakdown: The Controversy Surrounding pre-9/11 Orders to Stop Tracking bin Laden

  • Posted on: 23 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

An interesting story recently appeared on Truthout, titled Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden. Specifically, the story by Jeffrey Kaye intimates that

Ques­tions about what in­tel­lig­ence agen­cies knew or didn't know about al-Qaeda ac­tivit­ies go back some years, most pro­minent­ly in the con­trover­sy over the ex­ist­ence of a joint US Speci­al For­ces Com­mand and De­fen­se In­tel­lig­ence Agen­cy (DIA) data min­ing ef­fort known as "Able Dang­er."

What hasn't been dis­cus­sed is a Sep­temb­er 2008 De­part­ment of De­fen­se (DoD) in­spec­tor gener­al (IG) re­port, sum­mariz­ing an in­ves­tiga­tion made in re­spon­se to an ac­cusa­tion by a Joint For­ces In­tel­lig­ence Com­mand (JFIC) whistleb­low­er, which in­dicated that a sen­ior JFIC com­mand­er had hal­ted ac­tions track­ing Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.

Here's where the story gets interesting:

Earlier this year, a blogger, Susie Dow, who has been following the story of Kirk von Ackermann , a US Army contractor in Iraq who disappeared on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk in October 2003, asserted that von Ackermann had earlier belonged to JFIC's Asymmetric Threat Division.

According to Truthout, the Asymmetric Threat Division was known within the Department of Defense primarily by its DoD designation, DO5.

The Truthout piece also goes on to mention Susie's work with ePluribus Media, specifically the piece she wrote, with Stephen Reich, entitled One Missing, One Dead; An Iraq Contractor in the Fog of War.

The potential implications are damning.

Susie Dow has also recently posted about the Truthout piece, now front-paged here. Check it out.

 

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Bogus Grass-Roots Politics on Twitter: Guess Who?

  • Posted on: 18 May 2011
  • By: Zwoof

Originally posted on 2010-11-08 19:54:40 -0400 but got stuck in our spam filter...ugh! - GH

Researchers at Indiana University have discovered evidence that political campaigns and special-interest groups are using fake Twitter accounts to create the impression of broad grass-roots political expression.

Who would sink so low?

Menczer says the research group uncovered a number of accounts sending out duplicate messages and also retweeting messages from the same few accounts in a closely connected network. For instance, two since-closed accounts, called @PeaceKaren_25 and @HopeMarie_25, sent out 20,000 similar tweets, most of them linking to, or promoting, the House minority leader John Boehner's website, gopleader.gov.

Just a couple of "Bad Apples" no doubt.

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Bill Maher - Facts about Republicans and Reality

  • Posted on: 7 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

While I'm not thrilled with the "How many muslims does a black guy have to kill before the crackers climb down off his ass?" - I would have preferred "terrorists" or even "radical muslims" instead of broad-brushing muslims as a whole, the overall takedown of the GOP is otherwise pretty good:

In essence, the GOP is neither a party of fiscal responsibility nor a party that's strong on national defense - it's a party that's strong on fear-mongering, ignorant self-service and self-propagation at the expense of everything and everyone.

 

 

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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Aftermath Edition

  • Posted on: 3 May 2011
  • By: Open Thread

While reading a short blurb by Jed Lewison over on Daily Kos, a small part of text excerpted from here caught my eye - and my imagination:

"They cleaned it out," one official said. "Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive?"

Hmmm...Angry Birds, anyone?

Seriously, tho - the vast amount of information gathered at the bin Laden compound as a result of the raid should prove invaluable in terms of gutting Al Qaeda as well as exposing much of the underlying support network.

If you have any thoughts or comments regarding this or on any other topic that you'd like to discuss, add 'em to the comments below and we'll discuss. Please keep in mind that this is an Open Thread, and you should keep all appendages within the reasonable proximity to your body whenever you suspect your compound may be about to be invaded by angry birds or Seal Team Six.

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Mission Accomplished: Osama Bin Laden Dead in Pakistan

  • Posted on: 2 May 2011
  • By: ePluribus Media

Tonight, the White House made the surprise announcement that Osama Bin Laden is dead as a result of small precision strike against his compound in Pakistan, following a brief fire-fight.

Eight years to the day, on the anniversary of former President George W. Bush's infamous "Mission Accomplished" carrier speech, the mission has - finally - been accomplished.

Osama Bin Laden has been killed, and his body is in US custody. For those who fear that an outbreak of outraged violence may result from accusations of mishandling of the body, it appears that assurances of proper handling of the body have already been made. Via Meteor Blades of Daily Kos:

In a background briefing from several senior officials, which is now in the question-and-answer phase, it was stated:

The action was a surgical raid by small team and sought to minimize civilian damage.

In addition to Osama bin Laden, three adult men were killed, including one believed to be bin Laden's son. One woman being used as a shield in the compound was also killed. Two women were injured.

The team was in the compound for 40 minutes.

Lost a helicopter due to mechnical failure. It was destroyed.

[Update]: Osama bin Laden's body will be handled in accordance with Islamic tradition.

[...Read the rest on Daily Kos...]

Get the full text of the President's remarks over the fold.

 

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The President's Speech

  • Posted on: 1 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

The trailer for "The President's Speech" was introduced by President Obama at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. It's an excellent hat-tip to the movie "The King's Speech" and a great response to those who have obsessed about the President's teleprompter.

Campaign 2012 is apparently off to a roaring start, and if this and if the President's performance at the dinner are any indication, it will be a doozy of a campaign cycle with the ridiculous multitude of conspiracy theories and high-school level hijinks of the Tea Party, the Birthers and the GOP's conservative "leadership" getting schooled for their complete avoidance of real-world problems.

As it should be.

We shouldn't have had to wait until this latest campaign cycle for the Democrats and for the news media to start pushing back against the enhanced levels of Kabuki theater in a Potemkin village that has infiltrated & taken over Washington DC politics. That's something that the media, in particular, should have capably dismissed all throughout the news cycle instead of presenting the conspiracy theories and propaganda as serious issues that reality-based individuals actually debated and cared about.

The media failed, and let a politically motivated messaging machine almost completely supplant the news cycle.

That, alone, is reason enough to put out a call to all those who complain about the traditional media's failure and encourage them to step up as citizen journalists, helping organizations like ePluribus Media bring back the voice and interests of the People, by the People, for the People.

 

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A Response to "Big Things" - The President's Campaign Fundraising Letter

  • Posted on: 28 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

I received an email from Barack Obama - well, his fundraising campaign - that cited "big things" as a subject and provided a link that had "begin_again" in the URL.

Nice.

I didn't bother to read it. I have little money to spare - none, actually. The economy sucks; the recovery is slow. Much of this is do to a dual circumstance: the backbone of the GOP's efforts to undermine recovery, and the almost complete and utter failure of the Democrats and the President to effectively push back and expose those efforts as the crappy, un-patriotic shite that it is.

I wrote a response instead, and posted it as a note on Facebook that I shared as a status. (You can find the status here with a link to the note.) Feel free to share it via Twitter and/or FB.

I'm reprinting it below the fold for those of you who'd rather not venture there, and to give everyone the opportunity to comment.

Have at it...

 

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Hilarious WI Recall Efforts By The GOP..."And then there's the booze thing."

  • Posted on: 22 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Via AlterNet, a hilarious clip of Rachel Maddow showing the latest GOP tactics in their efforts to launch retaliatory recall campaigns against democrats in the state:

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

Can you smell the desperation among the snake-oil sweat oozing out the elephantine pores?

 

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O'Reilly Factors Out The Donald

  • Posted on: 14 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Hat-tip to Katia McGlynn of the Huffington Post for the article, and to Lordrag of Delphi Forums for the catch.

Oh, wow - Bill O'Reilly verbally slams the Birther conspiracy theorists as well as several other Internet-based memes, and Jon Stewart gives him a tip of the yarmulke for it.

Watch:


The Daily Show
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

Thank you, Jon, and "Nicely Done!" to you, Bill.

That was fun.

 

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U.S. to Pass the Baton in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

  • Posted on: 11 April 2011
  • By: David_EHG

Originally posted David Harris-Gershon on April 5, 2011. Reprinted here with permission. - GH

Tony Karon, in a recent piece from The National entitled, "Obama's retreat leaves Israel at the mercy of multilateralism," brilliantly argues what most have come to realize: the United States can no longer serve as an effective broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Given the current multilateral approach being championed by the U.S. in Libya, is a similar multilateral approach with regard to Israeli-Palestinian talks – with the Obama administration standing on the sidelines and letting others take the lead – on its way?

According to Karon, many U.S. allies, namely France, Britain and Germany, certainly hope so, and are currently holding out their hands, asking for the baton.

It is a baton the U.S. may be willing to pass.

It is a baton Israel hopes the Obama administration does not relinquish.

******

 

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Cataclysmic - The GOP's "Unlawful Combatant" Master Technique

  • Posted on: 5 April 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

It's a strategy that is used by conservative wordsmiths, con artists and masterfully corrupt politicians. The intent is to use unReason to systematically dismantle constitutionally protected rights and freedoms and further free the conservative mindset from the shackles of truth, justice and responsibility.

The following post sums it up nicely. It was posted as a comment in a recent Daily Kos diary that was reporting on the recent overturning of Brown v Board by our illustrious SCOTUS:

It's "Unlawful Combatant" school funding.

It's the same tactic, I mean. Create a new ambiguous category and use it to allow the parts you like and disallow the parts you don't.

We can detain these guys because they're combatants, but we don't have to give them the POW rights because they're not an official army. We can keep them in Cuba because it's our base, but they have no rights under American law because it's Cuban soil. We can have them tortured by foreign nations at our behest, but no American is responsible because it's not done by Americans. Our military can hire private contractors who aren't liable under civil law for that reason, nor are they liable under military law because they're civilians. Et cetera, et cetera.

We can let people pay into these private school funding schemes with tax money that is thus taken from public schools, but we can't regulate the schools in the same way as public schools because they're private, see?

One nation, indivisible.

by Doctor Frog on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 08:35:52 PM EDT

Here's the link to the main story.

That single comment is a perfect embodiment of how today's GOP is systematically dismantling everything they see as a threat to their primary interests - namely, anything that came out of the New Deal (remember that program, the one which helped pull us out of the Great Depression, which was in a large part created by deregulation and out of control financial speculation?).

The use of the "Unlawful Combatant" technique is a hallmark of the Bush Administration, but its continued use and improvement by conservatives speaks volumes: it's effective, like a masterful martial arts technique. One that we, as a nation, need to develop a defense against, before the Orwellian effects of this unReason truly undermine our nation so completely that we are unable to fight back at all...and all the progress that we made as both a nation and as a civilization are undone.

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