rhia_starsong: (Josh victory is mine)
Exciting new polling today; my home state (which is, once again, one of those infamous 'battleground states') is polling 2 points in favour of President Obama.  As one of the grassroots volunteers, this is especially rewarding.  So, insert plug here for Americans to go vote; Early Voting is already going on in, like, thirty states.  I've been mainlining MSNBC today.  Conclusions: I kind of love Martin Bashir, men saying anything about women's bodies needs to stop yesterday, and this election needs to hurry up and be over.  Also, I miss Keith Olberman.
rhia_starsong: (Default)
This is the sort of thing that needs to be said more often as we come to election time here in America:

The more everyone finds out about Mitt Romney's finances, the more questions they have. Perhaps that's why he's hiding as much as he thinks he can get away with.

Today, The Boston Globe reported that Romney was still running Bain Capital two years after he claims he left the firm, directly contradicting his campaign's denial that he was involved in deals that led to layoffs, bankruptcies, and American jobs getting shipped overseas.

It's a pattern of secrecy, and this is just the latest example of him trying to hide the truth from voters. There are a number of issues in play right now -- questions to which voters deserve answers:

1) Why won't Romney come clean about his taxes? He seems intent on being the first presidential nominee in over 30 years to keep his financial records hidden from the American people. Earlier this year, Governor Romney hedged when asked if he'd follow the precedent set by his own father, George Romney, and release multiple years of tax returns. After pressure from fellow Republicans, Romney released one year -- 2010 -- which raised many more questions that full disclosure would answer. Here's why that matters: Presidents make important decisions for this country, and Americans ought to know the motivations behind those decisions.

2) Who are the secret supporters raising millions for his campaign? I'm not talking about the shadowy outside groups -- I'm talking about the people in charge of raising money for Romney's campaign and the Republican Party. Romney refuses to reveal his fundraising "bundlers," something even George W. Bush did when he ran for president. Why is that important? Because we'd never know whether these "bundlers" were getting special consideration in decisions made in a Romney White House.

3) What's up with this corporation in Bermuda? One of the Romneys' assets revealed in his 2010 tax returns is a corporation that had previously been transferred to a blind trust the day before he took office as governor. The single year of taxes he's released shows that at some point it was moved back into Romney's sole ownership. What's going on? And, crucially, what's the purpose of having a corporation in a known tax haven like Bermuda in the first place?

4) Why did he have a Swiss bank account? Even his closest allies, like Republican House Speaker John Boehner, can't explain why any American running for president would have ever kept his money in a secretive Swiss bank account.

5) When exactly did he stop running Bain? Today's Globe story sheds light on the two years he now claims he wasn't running the firm. According to legal documents Mitt Romney signed and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, he was the sole owner, chairman of the board, CEO, and president of Bain Capital, drawing a salary as an executive until late 2001, and legally responsible for decisions the company made until that time. The Romney campaign denies this report is true, but the SEC documents with Gov. Romney's signature are hard to refute. If he was in charge, it means his role in deals that led to layoffs, bankruptcies, and outsourcing is much deeper than he has admitted to date.

And people still think this guy's for the "average" American?

rhia_starsong: (Default)
We defeated this internet spying crap in the US Congress, but if you're in Europe, you need to fight something even worse. Use this to tell your MP or whoever represents you that this sort of thing is not okay and you oppose it. Also consider the protests planned for this Saturday!

Stop ACTA & TPP: Tell your country's officials: NEVER use secretive trade agreements to meddle with the Internet. Our freedoms depend on it!

For European users, this form will email every MEP with a known email address.
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rhia_starsong: (Default)
I'm sure many of you have at some point enjoyed the web comic xkcd.  The artist who draws it makes a great case here:


rhia_starsong: (facepalm)
Okay, it's gone on long enough.  Once again, we have incontrovertible proof that this country contains way more idiots than is just.  All these...people...who really just live to expound conspiracy theories and rumour- slash hate-mongering, it's time to shut the fuck up.  I mean, really--death panels?  How is it that millions of people can't perform a simple logic test that my friend's six-year-old could do?  Does it sound reasonable or logical that the federal government would institute a) something called a 'death panel' and b) something as stupid as a panel of 'experts' to decide who 'gets to die'?

Anyone with a functioning brain really should be able to come up with 'no' as the answer to both of these questions.  To think, we let these people drive cars and vote.  No wonder everything's fucked up.  Oh, and the hypocrisy award goes to all the medicare/medicaid recipients out there who decry a single-payer health insurance option and yet take blatant advantage of just such a programme.  And then there's the ever-obvious and yet so under-emphasised fact that, no matter what, all of this is optional.  If you like paying too much money so that insurance company execs get overcompensated, stick with your private insurance and leave the rest of us the fuck alone.

That is all for now.
rhia_starsong: (Default)
So, far from the serious, humble, straight-up apology that she regrets her offensive misportrayal of the facts, Rep. Virginia Foxx today offered a non-apology apology:  "I am esp. sorry if the grieving family was offended..."  She then blamed an ABC report which was made in the immediate aftermath of the attack, saying that the inconsistencies of parts of it showed the whole thing was untrustworthy.  Of course, in this frankly stupid and insincere effort at apologising, what the Representative failed to note was that the relevant part of the report, the part that no-one disputes, is the part that featured one of the then-suspects admitting that he knew Shepard socially and knew that he was gay, also saying that that was why he and his friends attacked Shepard.

So, harridan, I agree with Keith Olbermann: "Apologise, sincerely, or resign."  Those are the only options voters in the 5th Congressional District should ethically accept.


On a nearly-completely separate note, this hullaballoo over "Swine Flu": here's the deal, people; WASH YOUR FREAKING HANDS AND COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU COUGH, just like your mother told you when you were TWO.  There.  I've done the federal govt.'s job for them, they can go back to working on health insurance overhaul now.  Or, we could believe the moron Bush chose to run FEMA during Hurricane Katrina, and think that all the advice from the gov't. represents a "Chicken Little" attitude.  Yeah, heckuva job, Brownie.

rhia_starsong: (chasewtf)
Since probably only [livejournal.com profile] russianmissile has any idea who she is, let me provide the intro before the rant.  Ms. Foxx is, unfortunately, North Carolina's Congressional Representative from the 5th House District, over by Winston-Salem.  I've never had any reason to know anything about her before, as I live and vote in the 8th Congressional District.  However, I do know that I've routinely seen political signs for her over the nearly fifteen years I've lived here, so she keeps getting re-elected fairly easily, apparently.

However, what I heard come out of this woman's mouth, on the House floor no less, makes me outraged.  I'm sure most, if not all, of the Americans here will remember the name Matthew Shepard, but in case you don't he was a young man in Wyoming about a decade ago who was lured out of a bar by a gang of other young men, then robbed, beaten, pistol-whipped, and then tied to a fence post overnight in the freezing Wyoming winter.  And the excuse for this heinous act?  One of the murderers later confessed he knew Matthew was gay, so they pretended to be gay to lure him out of that bar, and leave him, badly beaten, tortured with a sharp object, and tied to a post, to die.  He was not found for 18 hours.

There was a Hate Crimes law named after him, signed by President Clinton, and it was this law which was apparently up for discussion in the House today.  Ms. Foxx took her opportunity to speak in order to give voice to vicious lies, saying that 'we know that [the Matthew Shepard incident] was really a hoax.' 

Yes, that's right.  Apparently, Rep. Foxx's version of things had this pegged as just a robbery.  No, this young man certainly didn't suffer horribly because hate-filled idiots targetted him and tortured him and killed him because of his sexuality, because he was gay.  Nope, if you relied on the House minutes today for your facts on this crime, you'd think nothing but a robbery took place. 

And all this pales in comparison when you learn that Matthew Shepard's mother was in the House gallery, having to hear this woman spread lies about her son, and disparage both his suffering and death as well as the law named for him aimed at enforcing harsher penalties for people who commit crimes motivated by an ideology of hate like this.

I cannot imagine what she must have felt, but more, I cannot imaging what possible motivation Rep. Foxx could have had in being so cruel, so disingenuous as to try to rewrite history which I certainly remember as happening, and in doing so, add just a little more intolerance and hate to the world.

rhia_starsong: (facepalm)
This will be familiar if you've read [livejournal.com profile] russianmissile's latest post. If not, this will make new and startling reading.

From Rolling Stone--"Makebelieve Maverick"
rhia_starsong: (Jack/Ianto)
So, in an opinion column in the paper yesterday, Leonard Pitts made an interesting (and funny point):

Writing about the online ad for Dunkin' Donuts that Rachael Ray did that caused so much controversy last month, Pitts commented, "Consider the case of Rachael Ray and the scarf that made people scream.
"Ray, of course, is the preternaturally perky host of cooking shows on the Food Network--and a spokeswoman for Dunkin' Donuts.
"In that capacity, she wore the aforementioned scarf around her neck in an online ad--and people started screaming. It seems that in the eyes of conservative columnist Michelle Malkin and a handful of blogosphere blowhards, the scarf resembled a kaffiyeh, the Arab headdress most infamously worn by the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
"Me, I thought the paisley scarf resembled a paisley scarf, but then, I haven't been taking my paranoid lunatic pills lately, so what do I know? Those with more discerning vision cried foul and late last month, the doughnut maker crumbled, pulling the ad, lest anyone assume the company was selling mass terror along with its iced coffees and crullers."

Also, my parents are out of town until Friday! We're getting ready to have a midterm in sociology, and get this: not only are we assigned a study guide directly from the class notes (which are from PowerPoint), the day before the exam, the professor is going over the entire exam with us. How easy does it get, guys?!

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