The President's Speech

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.


Cataclysmic: The GOP's Politics Are Anathema To Good Government And Fiscal Responsibility

Originally posted 2011-02-17 17:54:35 -0500. Bumped and promoted. -- GH

Yes, it's their strategy. It's part of their practiced meme, and nobody's called them on it. They rinse, repeat and repackage the same tired old b.s. time and again, increasingly ginning up greater crises and fomenting unrest while claiming that government is the problem, and they're the 'solution.'

And too many people keep falling for it.

Well, now maybe more people will begin to wake up and start remembering -- and keep telling each other to stay awake, stay alert and make it through the next election cycle with one goal intact: oust the GOP and their Teapublican buddies, once and for all, from all levels of government if you want to have at least an even chance of beginning to fix the mess that this merry-go-round has been generating.


Domestic Terrorists Strike Inside US Against Children and Mothers Engaged in Prayer

Hat-tip Chris Rodda for this story; his her piece is currently sitting at the top of the Recommended list over there. Please help get the traditional media to cover this story, and make sure they call it what it is: domestic terrorism.

Terrorists have struck on US soil again. All the bluff and bluster of "we're fighting them there so we won't have to fight them here" -- along with all the idiotic, illegal and unconstitutional surveillance, searches and seizures -- have finally been put to the test and found ridiculously wanting.

The attack was by domestic terrorists, the most insidious kind.

They struck, as if on some unholy jihad, against children.1

Staging the Presidency


"All the world 's a stage, and all the men and
women merely players. They have their exits and their
entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts"

        -- William Shakespeare
            As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

Indeed, never before have the words of the great Bard rung so true.

All across the United States, the play's the thing wherein the GOP will try to capture the attention of the people, and with it the crown of a new king. Make no mistake about it -- that's what they've effectively turned the Presidency into, and a John McCain presidency will simply continue along the path set by his predecessor.

It's time to royally dethrone them and wrest the future of our nation from their arrogantly clumsy, ham-handed fingers and present the nation with a rare treat -- an actual leader, with intelligence and charisma and stuff.

Eight years of Republican dominance, political gamesmanship and unopposed, entrenched cronyism has created a standing pool of fetid, putrid corruption that permeates the entire infrastructure of our nation. The injection of political spin into the realms of science, law enforcement, legislation, accountability and oversight has reached maximum absorption -- we can't take any more. Things are falling apart; the centre cannot hold, and the very foundations are crumbling.

Since when did the "Surge" succeed?

Crossposted to ePluribus Media, DailyKos, Docudharma and Below Boston

Maybe I missed something -- that can happen. In real life, things can sometimes occur that are unexpected. But this seems almost surreal:


Obama website's opposition to successful surge gets deleted

A funny thing happened over on the Barack Obama campaign website in the last few days.

The parts that stressed his opposition to the 2007 troop surge and his statement that more troops would make no difference in a civil war have somehow disappeared. John McCain and Obama have been going at it heavily in recent days over the benefits of the surge.


Words To Live By, And For A Nation, Die By

Bumped. Originally posted 2008-06-20 13:13:50 -0500.

Posted simultaneously on ePluribus Media, DailyKos, Docudharma and Below Boston.

There are words that comprise paper tigers and those which ignite fires; some words are worth fighting to protect, others are not.

Some words forge new nations and ideals amid the forge-fires of conflict, while others are relegated to the dustbins of history as naught but a footnote at most.

There are words, on the page following, which have worth that appears to vary across the depth and breadth of the nation today. Once -- long ago, perhaps -- they were words that could inspire and entice the people of a nation to do great things. Now, however, their fate appears uncertain. I ask, fellow netizens, just one simple question: Whither the words necessary to marshal a hue and cry of outrage and demand for restoration, restitution and accountability?

Financial Forecast Looking Grim

From the poster Becca in the Delphi Forum Pulling to the Left there's this bit of glum news:


If you go to the Financial Forecast Center, you'll find the current 6-month T-bill yield from the US Treasury. There are links to other forecasts on the page, so you can see how truly spectacularly (yes, that's sarcasm) this economy is chugging along.


What does the Financial Forecast Center show? A rather depressing graph:

It's a good thing that the GOP, the Bush Administration and George W. Bush himself are telling us we're not in a recession -- acknowledging it might actually mean they'd have to take some responsibility for doing something about it, instead of leaving it (and the myriad of other disasters they've spawned) for the next Administration to clean up.

No wonder the Republican brand is in trouble -- it's true value is now plainly evident, and it's worth far less than the junk bonds it is printed upon.

Accuracy Matters: Reported Numbers of Trained Iraqi Security Forces Unreliable

According to the LA Times, the U.S. Military has no way to tell the number of Iraqi security forces who have been trained or who are present for duty.

Isn't that reassuring?

The information is contained in a report issued by a special inspector general.

Nothing to see here, folks...move along...

Katrina, McCain and Bush: "McSame" (h/t DailyKos)

You can find it on the ePluribus Media Katrina Timeline handily enough -- perform a search where "summary" contains "McCain" and see what record pops up. When I tried it, the record found provides a brief summary and links back to the source article on the White House website: a wonderful photo essay of John McCain and George Bush, celebrating a birthday and having a party...just where you'd expect the Commander in Chief to be, instead of paying attention to one of the biggest natural disasters to strike our nation in years.

What does Mr McCain have to say about it? Well, he appears torn on the issue.

McCain, in New Orleans today:


"I want to assure the people of the Ninth Ward, the people of New Orleans, the people of this country: Never again, never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in the terrible and disgraceful way it was handled. Never again."

McCain, during the immediate aftermath of Katrina, when the government failed to respond and people were drowning:

McCain and Bush responding to the Katrina disater

Two dKos links where this was brought up today and inspired this post, in case the link above to the White House website happens to stop working:

Blue Intrigue and BarbinMD

J. Sydney "Let Them Eat Cake" McCain: this man wants to be president in mold of George W. Bush. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

"From This Day Forward..."

Bumped. Originally posted Sat, 04/19/2008 - 00:33.

Recognize the title? Perhaps you may, particularly if you are married -- it's a snippet from a marriage vow.


To Have and to Hold From This Day Forward,
For Better or for Worse,
For Richer, or for Poorer,
In Sickness and in Health,
Forsaking All Others,
To Love and to Cherish,
Until Death Do Us Part.

Unfortunately, when I came across the phrase and paused long enough to take each line separately, it was not any type of matrimonial bliss that graced my mind, but instead the unholy union that has resulted in the current disaster currently damning our nation at the highest levels. What follows are the random thoughts I found darkly circling each phrase in the vow; tread softly now, that the imprints left do not permanently mar the once-bright promise and potential formerly associated with it...

A Reminder of Republican Failures

First off, a chart of the telco contributions to Republicans vs. Democrats. It came in handy during a conversation about FISA and telco immunity where someone tried to illustrate how the "trial lawyers" going after the telcos were "buying off" Democrats. When I countered stating that the Telcos themselves had bought off Republicans, the fool said "Show me" -- so, I did. :)


Also important to remember -- the legacy that the George W. Presidency leave us, via

Hypocrisy In Action: Republican "Support" for The Troops Hurts Readiness

"Willful and malicious" may not apply, but "negligent and clueless" certainly does with regard to how the failure of Conservative ideology has continued to manifest under the auspices of the Bush Administration and the Republicans in Congress.

From a post on Delphiforums by JRichards33, the following article is excerpted:

War demands strain US military readiness

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer, 1 hour, 29 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - A classified Pentagon assessment concludes that long battlefield tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with persistent terrorist activity and other threats, have prevented the U.S. military from improving its ability to respond to any new crisis, The Associated Press has learned.

Despite security gains in Iraq, there is still a "significant" risk that the strained U.S. military cannot quickly and fully respond to another outbreak elsewhere in the world, according to the report.

[...story continues at link in title...]

This isn't good, and for more than one reason. Aside from the impact on national security on both the foreign and domestic fronts, and completely ignoring the rising tide of PTSD-related incidents and contractor deaths, our military is being left with fewer options on how to deal with new threats...

As Recruiting Numbers Dwindle, Podhoretz Bangs His Drum

An article in the Washington Post tonight caught my eye, almost simultaneous with the eye-catching (and popping) article from Norman Podhoretz that I'll get to in a minute. Army Off Target on Recruits, by Josh White, starts off with an interesting blurb:

The percentage of new recruits entering the Army with a high school diploma dropped to a new low in 2007, according to a study released yesterday, and Army officials confirmed that they have lowered their standards to meet high recruiting goals in the middle of two ongoing wars.

So, this means that as the Army fails to get the numbers of fresh bodies it needs going into the Iraq meatgrinder, it lowers the standards in order to expand the net and capture more folks -- folks who would not have formerly qualified.