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Profile Information

Name: Kathy Hinsman
Gender: Female
Hometown: Pittsburgh PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Pittsburgh
Member since: Sat Feb 18, 2017, 02:16 PM
Number of posts: 30,658

Journal Archives

Tiedrich rant: John Fetterman is still a fucking boss

Link: https://www.jefftiedrich.com/p/john-fetterman-is-still-a-fucking

last February, I wrote a thing called John Fetterman is a fucking boss, about Fetterman’s public struggle with depression following his stroke....

seven months have passed, and John seems to have set his troubles behind him — and just this past week, Fetterman has shown us all why he’s still a fucking boss....

recently, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer relaxed the Senate dress code so that John could wear his famous hoodie in the well of the Senate. no big deal, right?

wrong. the entire wingnut outrage-industrial complex blew a fucking gasket. you would have thought it was the burning of Atlanta and the sacking of Rome all rolled into one — and the loudest howls came from the Republican screech-monkeys in the House of Representatives.

Friday bonus screenshot of Fetterman Xweets and replies:

- more at link -

Great rant! John Fetterman IS a boss!

GM, Ford Paid Average Combined Tax Rate of Just 1 Percent on $42B in Profits

Truthout link: https://truthout.org/articles/gm-ford-paid-average-combined-tax-rate-of-just-1-percent-on-42b-in-profits/

Despite reaping tens of billions of dollars in profits between them over the past five years, General Motors and Ford paid an average combined tax rate of just 1% on total pre-tax income, an analysis published Tuesday by economic justice advocates revealed — as the auto giants claimed they cannot afford striking workers’ demands for better pay.

The Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) analysis — which posits that “the tax system is rigged to benefit multinational corporations over the workers who keep them running” — notes that over the past five years, GM and Ford made a total of $34 billion and $8 billion respectively, but paid an effective federal tax rate of only 1.3% for GM and -0.2% for Ford.

“While some of those tax savings have found their way into rapidly rising compensation packages for the firms’ top executives and board members, wages of rank-and-file workers have lagged,” the report states. “Average executive pay at GM and Ford grew by 32% over the past five years, while median autoworker pay grew by just 8.8% over the same period, widening the executive-to-worker pay gap to 183-to-1.”

“Over that same period, GM and Ford paid out a combined total of $14 billion in dividends (34 times more than they paid in taxes), spent $3.6 billion on stock buybacks (nine times more than they paid in taxes), and lavished $614 million on top company executives (50% more than they paid in taxes),” the publication continues.

- more at link -

Solidarity with the UAW strike!

Tiedrich rant: steaming pantload Jim Jordan wastes everyone's time on another idiotic hearing

Link: https://www.jefftiedrich.com/p/steaming-pantload-jim-jordan-wastes

- more at link, including video of Eric Swalwell -

There's just too much on today's rant for me to include all the highlights.
You have to read it for yourself. It's a classic!

Well done, Jeff Tiedrich....

Critics are questioning the Working Families Party's independence as it gains traction in Philly

Philly Inquirer link: https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/kendra-brooks-nicolas-orourke-philly-city-council-20230920.html

Democrats have dominated Philadelphia politics for decades, but Republicans could always count on having at least some influence in City Hall. That’s no longer certain. The progressive Working Families Party has shaken up the status quo and is vying this year to win two City Council seats reserved for non-Democrats.

That reality, coupled with the Working Families Party’s close ties to Democrats, has some Republicans questioning if its presence on Council is what the framers of Philadelphia’s government intended.

“The purpose of the non-Democrat seats is to maintain diversity on City Council,” said Drew Murray, a Republican running for one of the at-large seats. “They are not an independent party.”

Republicans — and even a few Democrats — are pushing the issue of ideological diversity ahead of the Nov. 7 general election, when the GOP will battle the Working Families Party for the pair of seats on Council that represent the city at large. It demonstrates how seriously the GOP is taking the threat from progressives, who are explicitly trying to oust them from city government.

- more at link -

Progressives tend to be more vocal on issues that concern minorities and people of color, where the Democratic establishment sometimes falls silent. For this reason, it's a racial movement as well as a political one.

This particular story is about Philadelphia progressives, however we've seen a lot of similar activity in Pittsburgh in the last few years. As far as I know, there's no Working Families Party in Pittsburgh yet. It would be a mistake for Pittsburgh Democrats to ignore this trend.

Revealed: almost everyone in Europe is breathing toxic air

Guardian link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/20/revealed-almost-everyone-in-europe-breathing-toxic-air

Archive (no paywall) link: https://archive.ph/adhjv

Europe is facing a “severe public health crisis”, with almost everyone across the continent living in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, an investigation by the Guardian has found.

Analysis of data gathered using cutting-edge methodology – including detailed satellite images and measurements from more than 1,400 ground monitoring stations – reveals a dire picture of dirty air, with 98% of people living in areas with highly damaging fine particulate pollution that exceed World Health Organization guidelines. Almost two-thirds live in areas where air quality is more than double the WHO’s guidelines.

The worst hit country in Europe is North Macedonia. Almost two-thirds of people across the country live in areas with more than four times the WHO guidelines for PM2.5, while four areas were found to have air pollution almost six times the figure, including in its capital, Skopje.

Eastern Europe is significantly worse than western Europe, apart from Italy, where more than a third of those living in the Po valley and surrounding areas in the north of the country breath air that is four times the WHO figure for the most dangerous airborne particulates.

- more at link -

This is simply astonishing!

Rupert Murdoch often wishes Donald Trump dead, Michael Wolff book says

Guardian link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/sep/20/rupert-murdoch-wished-donald-trump-dead-michael-wolff-book

Archived (no paywall) link: https://archive.ph/dAync

Rupert Murdoch loathes Donald Trump so much that the billionaire has not just soured on him as a presidential candidate but often wishes for his death, the author Michael Wolff writes in his eagerly awaited new book on the media mogul, The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty.

According to Wolff, Murdoch, 92, has become “a frothing-at-the-mouth” enemy of the 77-year-old former US president, often voicing thoughts including “This would all be solved if … ” and “How could he still be alive, how could he?”

The Fall was announced last month and will be published in the US next Tuesday. The Guardian obtained a copy. Wolff has written three tell-all books about Trump – Fire and Fury, Siege and Landslide – and one about Murdoch, The Man Who Owns the News. In his second Murdoch book, he says he may be “the journalist not in his employ who knows [Murdoch] best”.

Wolff also describes his source material as “conversations specifically for this book, and other conversations that have taken place over many years … scenes and events that I have personally witnessed or that I have recreated with the help of participants in them”.

- more at link -

Personally I wish they were BOTH dead. But that's probably just me.

Tiedrich rant: pro tip: hassling Joe Biden at a cemetery is not journalism

Link: https://www.jefftiedrich.com/p/pro-tip-hassling-joe-biden-at-a-cemetery

just when you think our worthless, corporate-controlled media has sunk as low as it can, here comes ABC reporter John Parkinson. this past weekend, John was super fucking pleased with himself, because in his mind he had committed an awesome journalism. John caught up with the president and asked Biden if he would pardon his son Hunter.

nothing special about that, right? just a reporter doing his job and asking questions. perfectly normal.

oh wait, I left out the best part: this shouted question happened while Biden was at a cemetery, visiting the gravesites of his first wife Neilia and their children Beau and Naomi.

holy shit.

- more at link -

Bonus screenshot of John Robinson's Xweet (now deleted):

Danny Masterson's Wife Bijou Phillips Files for Divorce

Rolling Stone link: https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-news/danny-mastersons-wife-bijou-phillips-files-divorce-1234828153/

DANNY MASTERSON’S WIFE Bijou Phillips has filed for divorce, less than two weeks after Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after being found guilty of two counts of forcible rape, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed.

“Ms. Phillips has decided to file for divorce from her husband during this unfortunate time. Her priority remains with her daughter. This period has been unimaginably hard on the marriage and the family. Mr. Masterson was always present for Ms. Phillips during her most difficult times of her life. Ms. Phillips acknowledges that Mr. Masterson is a wonderful father to their daughter,” Phillips’ attorney Peter Lauzon told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

The filing was submitted on Monday and was first reported by TMZ. It follows the verdict that arrived in the second rape trial against the That ’70s Show actor after the jury deadlocked in his first trial, resulting in a mistrial. Masterson’s lawyers asked for the term to be served concurrently rather than consecutively after being denied a request for a new (and third) trial. The judge rejected the defense’s request and sentenced Masterson to prison for the next three decades.

In both cases, the Church of Scientology was a major focus throughout the trial. Masterson is a prominent Scientologist and all three women who accused him of rape are former members of the organization. Of the three, two of the women accused the church of discouraging them from reporting the rapes to authorities. Representatives for the organization have denied the claims.

- more at link -

Better yet, I hope she has severed all ties with Scientology.

Chris Rock 'Had to Go to Counseling With His Daughters' After Will Smith Oscars Slap

Variety link: https://variety.com/2023/film/news/chris-rock-counseling-will-smith-oscars-slap-leslie-jones-1235726409/

Leslie Jones told People magazine while promoting her new memoir, “Leslie F*cking Jones,” that her longtime friend Chris Rock went to counseling after Will Smith slapped him at the 2022 Academy Awards. Rock wrote the foreword to Jones’ new book. “That shit was humiliating. It really affected him,” Jones said. “People need to understand his daughters, his parents, saw that. He had to go to counseling with his daughters.”

Variety has reached out to Rock’s representative for comment.

Jones added that the Oscars slap “infuriated” her, adding, “You don’t know that I was going to jump in my car and roll up there. I was so fucking mad on so many levels… Chris Rock did a fucking joke. I know Will, too… I was like, you couldn’t handle that shit afterwards? This is the Oscars. The whole world is watching.”

Rock was presenting the Oscar for best documentary when he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, despite her public battle with alopecia. Smith reacted by taking to the stage and slapping Rock across the face. He returned to his seat and yelled at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” Smith, who went on to win the Oscar for best actor that same night, ended up resigning from the Academy amid backlash to the slap. The Academy then banned Smith from its membership and from attending events such as the Oscars for 10 years.

- more at link -

I definitely want to read Leslie Jones' new book.

Stephen Fry 'Shocked' to Discover AI Stole His Voice and Replicated It Without Consent

Variety link: https://variety.com/2023/film/news/stephen-fry-ai-stole-voice-harry-potter-audiobooks-1235727795/

Stephen Fry recently revealed at the CogX Festival (via Forbes) that his voice from the “Harry Potter” audiobooks was taken by AI software and replicated without his consent, much to the horror of both himself and his agents. “I’m a proud member of [actors’ union SAG-AFTRA]. As you know, we’ve been on strike for three months now. And one of the burning issues is AI,” Fry said before playing a clip of his voice narrating a historical documentary. Only it wasn’t Fry’s voice. It was an AI replication of his voice.

“I said not one word of that — it was a machine. Yes, it shocked me,” Fry said. “They used my reading of the seven volumes of the ‘Harry Potter’ books, and from that dataset an AI of my voice was created, and it made that new narration.”

“What you heard was not the result of a mashup. This is from a flexible artificial voice, where the words are modulated to fit the meaning of each sentence,” Fry added. “It could therefore have me read anything from a call to storm Parliament to hard porn, all without my knowledge and without my permission. And this, what you just heard, was done without my knowledge. So I heard about this, I sent it to my agents on both sides of the Atlantic, and they went ballistic — they had no idea such a thing was possible.”

Fry served as the audiobook narrator for the “Harry Potter” series in the United Kingdom. He said the discovery of AI mimicking his voice led him to warn his agents, “You ain’t seen nothing yet. This is audio. It won’t be long until full deepfake videos are just as convincing.”

- more at link -

I'm a big fan of Stephen Fry's audiobooks and I think this is theft.

All of today's actors and performers will live to see their work stolen and perverted into something else, and SAG/AFTRA must find a way to stop it from happening.

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