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Tom Hanks' movie about the incredible success story that was the recovery of the Apollo 13 crew, was great. It's one of those movies that I hate to see when I'm flipping, because I'll compulsively click on it, and then I'm immersed, once again, in a movie I've seen a bzillion times already. Astronauts, engineers; thrown into a frenzy of innovation and desperation; in the end, exemplifying the very best in us.

It's been 45 years, and I still fervently believe that the accomplishment of that team stands unsurpassed, head and shoulders above any other achievement where technology and humanity have intersected, before or since.

Why I view Apollo 13 with reverence, links to superb and fresh accounts, with some snippets; to be discovered as we re-enter the dKos atmosphere, descending through the fluffy orange cloud. {hope the 'chutes deploy, or we're crash landin' in the Comments...}

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While US corporate media is lionizing and mourning the death of Saudi Arabia's beheader-in-chief:

"He was really quite (an) extraordinary figure. He was probably the most progressive and liberal-minded king of Saudi Arabia since King Faisal, which is a long time ago, in the early 1970s," CNN's Fareed Zakaria said about Abdullah, whom he described as "much loved."

"I had the opportunity to meet with him once, and what you got a sense of was somebody who really was determined to move his country forward," Zakaria said. "It's a conservative country and a conservative society -- and he kept emphasizing that to me -- but he was very clear in the direction he wanted to go."


So are top US officials:
President Obama said in a statement it was "with deep respect that I express my personal condolences and the sympathies of the American people" to the king's family and all Saudis.

He noted that the king's life "spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations. He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region."

Obama said he always valued Abdullah's perspective "and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship. As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. "


Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States had "lost a friend" with Abdullah's death. He commended the king for investing in Saudi Arabia's people, infrastructure and economic development.

"Even as he battled age and illness, he held on to his sense of determination," Kerry said in a statement. "He was so proud of the Kingdom's journey, a brave partner in fighting violent extremism who proved just as important as a proponent of peace."

- USA Today

Really? Progressive? Liberal-minded? A proponent of "peace"?

A brave partner in fighting violent extremism???

More, and an explanation of my incendiary title (with Wikileaks goodness) below...

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Some say a more populist Democratic Party will soon emerge. It won’t happen as long as these leaders and this system are in place.
- Bill Curry, from via Alternet
Virtually your entire party, the leadership, the majority of the elected officials, are in the thrall of Voldemort, under a spell of unending campaign cash. The Democratic Party, like the Malfoy family, are simply craven, they'll go in whatever direction the cash and power pulls them, flipping their loyalty from unions to Wall Street without conscience. One minute a member of the Ministry of Magic, the next, a Death Eater.

And you are Dobby.

Raise your voice and you'll be shouted down with vicious contempt. How did Cuomo treat Teachout again? What was it that Rahm called us?

Shut up you pathetic little house-elf, and get back to the phone bank.

To have an impact on the outcome of the story, Dobby had to free himself from the Malfoys. He could never heal them from within. He could not save them from themselves. He was impotent, powerless, as long as he remained loyal and enslaved to his craven masters.

Thus Progressive Reformers...
...must declare their independence from the Democratic Party...
- Bill Curry, from via Alternet

First, this diary is somewhat shorter than it looks, because the tables and blockquotes take up a lot of real estate.

Second, I'm going to quote liberally from this piece by Bill Curry, linked here at Alternet:

"The Democratic Party Keeps Screwing Up: Why Progressives Need to Be Independent of the Party
Progressives have no power in a corporate, focus-grouped, Wall Street-leaning party."
I strongly recommend that you go read it. I'm just using snippets so I can embellish upon one aspect of his thesis. If you only skim this diary, you won't even come close to the depth of analysis of the current relationship between Progressives and the Democratic Party which he details.

One thing I've learned here, when a diarist says "Go read the original article", I go read the original article.

All emphasis in blockquotes is mine.

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Just like Bill Clinton did. And when Clinton got one, he gave us:

  • the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, and

The combination of which resulted in the meltdown of '08,
and thus the chronic "recession for the 99%" slash "boom for the 1%"
economic debacle which we are hopelessly mired in right now.

The recession/boom which ends in an American Banana Republic.

Or the North American Hunger Games, whichever metaphor you prefer.

Today's Cromnibus vote proves that as a Lame Duck, President Obama's shiny new Republican Congress will be a bonus for the next two years, especially with a couple of his own NAFTA-on-steroids "free" trade deals just about ready to drop.

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This time in a televised local debate, in front of an audience of interested voters and party loyalists. A spectacular fail, and I'm not exaggerating.

"Legitimate rape", "Macaca", "47%", when we catch Republicans saying what they really believe, it's curtains. Tonight, at a local candidate forum, the Republican candidate for Pueblo County Commissioner essentially endorsed the Sandy Hook truther position.

Even his Republican cheerleaders, who showed up en masse to support their challenger, turned on him. The boos, gasps, and shouts of shock and contempt came from just about all of the ~200 folks in attendance. There may have been a few people with their tin foil hats in their pockets, but the very vocal outrage seemed unanimous.

The debate was essentially over at that point. The cheerleader applause after each of his answers was distinctly muted. Details below the cloud rising from his vaporized candidacy.

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Update at the bottom. 14:05 24 Sep 13

The big fail in Colorado, especially Pueblo, was caused by Democratic cowardice.

Not lack of Democratic turnout. Democratic cowardice.

There was a diary floating around this weekend that is nothing but a Democratic Echo Chamber, ludicrously declaring a huge loss a win, and a very important victory for the NRA to really be a loss for the NRA. Doesn't that make you feel all better?

The Democratic Echo Chamber is dangerous. That is, if Democrats intend to maintain control of Colorado, or the US Congress, or the US Senate.

You do not learn lessons in an echo chamber. (ref: FOXNews viewers)

So let's dispel the Echo Chamber myths about what caused the Pueblo recall fail, and only then can we see what really went wrong. Because if you don't understand what the real fail was, you'll repeat it with both the rollout of Obamacare, and then in 2014.

You don't want to fail in 2014 like you did in 2010, or in Colorado, do you?

Then read on...

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UPDATE: Nope, it didn't.

See the update with an unpublished PPP poll at the bottom of this diary...

These facts refute speculation in other diaries posted today.

Data from the Pueblo County Clerk's Office.

Calculations and conclusions by me.

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“Let’s just say I think this a colossal waste of taxpayer money,” one older man volunteered as his wife nodded. “We voted for (Giron) three years ago and she would be up for election next year anyway? Why are we doing this?”
from The Pueblo Chieftain, posted September 5, 2013 11:11PM
More than 11,000 Pueblo County voters have cast ballots...

After five days of voting, 5,887 Democrats, 3,314 Republicans and 2,051 unaffiliated voters had cast their ballots.

from The Pueblo Chieftain, posted September 6, 2013 03:17PM

Not wanting to jinx anything, and lord knows there's going to be litigation after the count, but it looks like Yosemite Sam might be rootin' tootin' shootin' blanks in Pueblo.


What do you call that white stuff around chickensh|t?

25%6 votes
75%18 votes

| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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Kristin Chenoweth, performing at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, talked to a couple of audience members, asking them if they knew the song "For Good". She chose a female, who had mentioned that she was a "voice teacher" and did know the song. The woman, Sarah Horn, was then escorted to the stage by one of Chenoweth's backup singers, handed a microphone, and sent on stage.

YouTube links after the fold.

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A Quinnipiac poll published yesterday tells us that Coloradoans oppose recalling two Democratic state senators, while also opposing the gun laws which sparked the recalls.

This is the first polling data I've seen dealing with the "they voted against the will of their constituents" charge the gun nuts have been leveling at Angela Giron of Pueblo, and John Morse of Colorado Springs.

But there's a catch; this is not a poll of the affected senator's districts, it's a poll of all of Colorado. Nonetheless, it contains revealing data.

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"What’s the matter with Liberal Land? Why do they continue to support politicians who frequently work against their economic self-interest? Are social issues being used on liberals the same way they’ve been used on Thomas Frank’s Kansas voters?"


If you are consumed by social issues, and you use them to excuse President Obama and the Democratic leadership for betrayals like the failure to prosecute Wall Street, and wholesale attacks on the 4th Amendment, you have fallen into the divide and conquer trap of the 1%, who own both parties.

AlterNet has a piece by RJ Eskow, posted on Independence Day, entitled, "Are Corporations Trying to Distract Us with Social Issues While They Take Control of Our Economy?" (mentioned on dKos here). The quote that leads off this diary is from the AlterNet piece.

Continue below the bittersweet, burnt orange tears of rox-fail and experience a clarity of mind heretofore known only by the stalwart and brave champions of Clan Suxxer.

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Scarborough threw everything at Mika short of telling her to "Stifle it" on yet another unwatchable edition of "Morning Joe".


Mika & Joe's on-air relationship is:

11%1 votes
0%0 votes
66%6 votes
22%2 votes

| 9 votes | Vote | Results

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