July 20, 2012 archive

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Le Tour de France 2012: Stage 17

The Tour de France 2012, the world’s premier cycling event kicked off last Saturday with the Prologue in Liège, Belgium and will conclude on July 22 with the traditional ride into Paris and laps up and down the Champs-Élysées. Over the next 22 days the race will take its course briefly along the Northwestern coast of France through  Boulogne-sur-Mer, Abbeville and into Rouen then into the mountains of the Jura, Swiss Alps and the Pyrenees.

We will be Live Blogging Le Tour 2012 every morning at The Stars Hollow Gazette starting at 7:30 AM EDT. Come join us for a morning chat, cheer the riders and watch some of the most beautiful and historic countryside in Europe.

Bagnères-de-Luchon and Peyragudes


Again Le Tour starts where it finished the day before, Bagnères-de-Luchon.

Bagnères-de-LuchonThe stage departed from the main artery of the city, les Allées Etigny. This avenue, characterized by its row of architecturally varied buildings is opposite the Thermal Springs for which the city has been known since Roman times. Busiest station of the Haute-Garonne and the Midi-Pyrénées, Bagnères-de-Luchon, that joined the European Association of Spa Towns in 2011, originally specialised in the treatment of respiratory tracts and rheumatology. It added lombago, fibromyalgia and cures for smoking cessation. Its vaporarium, huge natural steam room, is unique in Europe. It consists of a network of galleries built underground in the late 60s and renovated in 2010. From the depths of the mountain, the water filters through the rock walls giving out a soft vapour whose heat varies between 38 and 40 degrees. In addition to their therapeutic properties, the sources have geothermal potential which, in the near future, will be used to heat the spa facility and supply a heating network.


A new mountain and a new finish, Peyragudes is a ski resort in the French Pyrenees, situated in the departments of Hautes-Pyrénées and Haute-Garonne, in the Midi-Pyrénées.

Peyragudes Ski SationAt the heart of the Pyrenees, Peyragudes is a mountain resort that offers 60 kilometres of ski pistes in the winter and a variety of mountain activities in summer. Created in 1988 following the merger of two ski resorts, the resort of Agudes and the resort of Peyresourde, Peyragudes straddles two departments, the Haute-Garonne on the Agudes side and the Hautes-Pyrenees on the Peyresourde side. In summer, many mountain activities are available such as paragliding, hiking, mountain scooters, mountain climbing and fishing while many cyclists frequent the resort to climb the surrounding legendary mountain passes like the Col de Peyresourde or the Aspin. In winter, Peyragudes is a modern ski resort with more than 1500 hectares with magnificent scenery on the highest peaks in the Pyrenees. The resort also offers many after-ski activities: discover the world of the piste-basher, have an introduction to driving sled dogs, try nights in an igloo but also relax at Balnéa, the natural spring spa located fifteen minutes away on the banks of Lake Genos-Loudenvielle.

Mitt Romney: What Is He Hiding?

Mitt Romney has not released a single year of his full taxes. We want to know what is he hiding, join us in demanding he release his full tax returns at www.whatishehiding.com.

He has released part of his 2010 returns but omitted to release the IRS documents on his vast cash hoards sitting in offshore accounts.

According to reporting by the Huffington Post,

Tax experts say it is almost certain that Romney did file the form, known as a Report on Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or “FBAR” in accountant slang. The penalty for not filing an FBAR can be severe, and the IRS would have expected to receive the form since Romney listed the Swiss bank account on his tax return. Listing the account on his tax return and then failing to file the subsequent FBAR would have been asking for a hefty fine, and would probably have heightened IRS scrutiny of prior tax filings.

Nevertheless, Romney’s omission of the form from the earlier disclosure raises questions for tax policy experts about the function of his Swiss bank account, and whether or not Romney used other offshore bank accounts that did not generate interest.

“The campaign has never told us why he had a Swiss bank account,” said Rebecca Wilkins, senior counsel for federal tax policy at Citizens for Tax Justice, a nonprofit tax reform group. “It just looks bad.”

For individuals seeking to game the U.S. tax code, Swiss bank accounts are only useful when used illegally. Swiss accounts are prized by global elites for their extreme levels of secrecy. That secrecy has allowed thousands of American taxpayers to stash income from offshore companies in a Swiss account, shielding it from the IRS.

The question is What Is He Hiding?

Please take a minute and add your voice to the growing call for Mitt Romney to release his full tax returns and reveal to the American people what he has been hiding, go to www.whatishehiding.com.

On This Day In History July 20

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

July 20 is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 164 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1881, Sitting Bull surrenders.

Five years after General George A. Custer’s infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. Army, which promises amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers.


Hunger and cold eventually forced Sitting Bull, his family, and nearly 200 other Sioux in his band to return to the United States and surrender on July 19, 1881. Sitting Bull had his young son Crow Foot surrender his rifle to the commanding officer of Fort Buford. He told the soldiers that he wished to regard them and the white race as friends. Two weeks later, Sitting Bull and his band were transferred to Fort Yates, the military post located adjacent to the Standing Rock Agency.

Arriving with 185 people, Sitting Bull and his band were kept separate from the other Hunkpapa gathered at the agency. Army officials were concerned that the famed chief would stir up trouble among the recently surrendered northern bands. On August 26, 1881, he was visited by census taker William T. Selwyn who counted twelve people in the Hunkpapa leader’s immediate family. Forty-one families, totaling 195 people, were recorded in Sitting Bull’s band. The military decided to transfer him and his band to Fort Randall, to be held as prisoners of war. Loaded onto a steamboat, Sitting Bull’s band, now totaling 172 people, were sent down the Missouri River to Fort Randall. There they spent the next 20 months. They were allowed to return to the Standing Rock Agency in May 1883.


On Topic – Childhood – Star Wars (4:14)

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