The US Presidential election is almost over, in a day or two voting will be completed and the counting starts.
Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, has received a more than fair hearing by the world’s media, but as far I can see they have avoided talking about his weirder views and what might happen under a Romney Presidency.
“Organizers of the Million Puppet March on Capitol Hill in support of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television and National Public Radio (NPR) put the turnout at around 1,000 people, three days before the US presidential vote.
Characters from the children’s show “Sesame Street” — a PBS staple since the network’s founding in 1970 — figured prominently, including two Big Birds, many Kermits and Elmos, and a Miss Piggy grooving to “Dancing in the Streets.”
But the family-friendly rally on a chilly and cloudy day also attracted a frisky marionette of President Barack Obama and a blue-suited protester in a Mitt Romney mask jammed into a trash can with Big Bird on his back.
There was no shortage of sometimes witty placards, like “Keep your Mitts off Big Bird,” “puppets for peace” and, on the arm of a middle-aged gentleman with a skunk puppet, “Romney smells funny.”
The New Yorker looks at Mormonism, private equity, and the making of a candidate:
“Just about the only thing in life that Mitt Romney is obviously not very good at is the public aspect of running for office. During his four campaigns for office—U.S. senator, in 1994; governor, in 2002; President, in 2008 and 2012—he must have undergone endless hours of training and practice, but the magic just isn’t there. In June, I spent a few days on the campaign trail with him, in Wisconsin and Iowa. Romney’s trip had several purposes. A film crew was gathering footage for campaign commercials to run in the fall; Romney stopped in Janesville, Wisconsin, talking privately and doing an event with Paul Ryan, soon to be his running mate; and it was another attempt, apparently fruitless, on the part of the campaign to demonstrate the candidate’s concern with ordinary people. This segment was officially called the “Every Town Counts” tour. Romney rode around in a sleek bus painted with all-American scenes of mountains, church steeples, and ships in harbors. “
Joan Smith looks at a similar issue, men with power and keeping it to themselves:
“Now he’s been criticised by the first female head of the Home Office, the kind of person who very rarely speaks out, for excluding women from top government posts. Dame Helen Ghosh, who left her job as permanent secretary last month to run the National Trust, told students at a Cambridge college that Westminster is run by powerful networks of men which are hard for women to break into. She pointed out that there was a “magical moment” six years ago when half the heads of government departments were women, but now there are only three female permanent secretaries. “
The West-friendly Bahrain regime is locking up people, again:
“MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A defense lawyer in Bahrain says a prominent human rights activist is in custody after defying an official ban on protest gatherings in the Gulf kingdom.
The detention of Yousef al-Muhafedha could further embolden Shiite-led demonstrators seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.”
Tom Watson’s 10 days that shook my world:
“These allegations go way beyond the claims made on BBC Newsnight yesterday. Newsnight failed to name the paedophile mentioned by a North Wales survivor. I can understand why. A career can be destroyed by an allegation of such magnitude. There needs to be a high bar of proof.
Yet the thing I learnt most from the hacking scandal, and for that matter, the Savile case, is that the intelligence was staring the police in the face. These people were hiding in daylight. So powerful, so brazen in their actions, those who had an inkling of what was happening turned a blind eye.
Or maybe none of this happened. Maybe the 50 plus emails and numerous phone calls and letters I have received were all from fantasists. Maybe the allegations of the victims – made for many years, consistently to anyone that would listen, maybe they’re bogus.
One thing is for certain: someone has to join the dots. And that should be the police. There are a few hardy child protection specialists who for many years, have been burrowing away, trying to uncover the truth. Their work and insight should be taken more seriously. The police should work with them. “
“Glasgow-born MacShane’s crass stupidity and cavalier attitude to taxpayers’ money should serve as a lesson to all politicians and would-be cheats of the public purse.
Whatever your financial gain, it simply isn’t worth it.
MacShane could have gone down in history as a great fighter for injustice.
Instead, he’ll be remembered as just another greedy MP caught with his snout in the expenses trough. “
Universal credit takes an intellectual pounding, but I can help thinking that Iain Duncan Smith’s quest will go deeper and further than any of us can guess. His latest nonsense points to a Victorian mentality to the welfare state:
“Asked whether he supports universal benefits for pensioners, he said: “How we give benefits to pensioners is always a matter for debate.”
The F Word’s late October round up is good.
An election reminder, Presidents Winning Without Popular Vote.
Elsewhere, the Iranian leaders admit enriching, albeit it in a round about way, which could lead to an all out war in the Middle East if Romney gets in, not good:
“Twenty percent uranium enrichment activities continue as before and no change has happened,” the semi-official Fars news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying on Sunday.”
Laurie Taylor’s Thinking Allowed on Jobs for the Boys is a sad, but necessary reminder of the class nature of society.
Finally, this quote seems to sum up the US election:
“Can’t believe the US election is this close; Romney seems like an unlikeable bully who’s only marginally more intelligent than Palin. Crazy. “