Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Overnight - A roundup of news items that you might have missed

The Avada Kevadra curse didn't work After an Indian politician blamed tantriks, or black magicians for a series of negative events in her life, India's top tantrik huckster appeared as part of a televised panel discussion on tantric-versus-science. As he displayed the items that can cause instant death, an atheist on the panel challenged the tantrik, right there on live teevee, to kill him. The tantrik tried, but the atheist stubbornly refused to drop dead. Twice.

The burns...Literally! A man in Calgary, Alberta was so determined to get the gopher problem on his land under control, that he employed a device called The Rodenator to help him on his quest. (The Rodenator fills the burrows with propane and oxygen and ignites it, incinerating the little critters.) The resulting grass fire yielded over $200,000 in damages. Someone tell this fellow that Caddy Shack wasn't a documentary.

OK. See ya around. Thanks for the Pentagon Papers. Our favorite crazy uncle has quit the party. Mike Gravel, disgusted over the war in Iraq and the Democrats who keep funding it, has bolted the Democratic party and hooked up with the Libertarians - He sent an e-mail to supporters, stating that the Democratic Party "no longer represents my vision for our great country. It is a party that continues to sustain war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism — all of which I find anathema to my views." He also asked for campaign contributions.

One more for the "rules don't aply to aWol" file On Monday the current occupant issued a decree that henceforth Pakistan would be exempt from the United States law that prohibits military aid going to countries where the legitimate head of state has been deposed by military coup, like in Pakistan. This clears the decks so a whole bunch of your tax dollars can be given to that country because aWol sez they are a valuable ally in the "war on terra."

Iraq, Iran, whatever...who can tell them apart, anyways? Certainly not the DIA, which confuses the two in an official report. They maintain that the Israeli's destroyed an Iranian nuclear facility in 1981. Actually, Osirak is in Iraq, not Iran. And frankly, I don't have a sense of humor about shit like this coming from official agencies. Call me a humorless feminazi who needs a good schtupping if you must, but that doesn't change the fact that the DIA fucked up big time on this, and it belies either a total ignorance of the most basic facts, or it is an overt and blatant attempt to subtly insert historical rewrites into the official history. Either way, it needs to be challenged. Forcefully.

Will Bush pitch to Lo Duca when he throws out ceremonial first pitch? President Bush is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener at the new Washington Nationals Park--but will Paul Lo Duca be the catcher of that pitch? Ken Herman says that Lo Duca’s name comes up 37 times in the Mitchell Report, which said a former Mets clubhouse assistant who has acknowledged providing performance-enhancing drugs to players “estimated that he engaged in six or more transactions with Lo Duca."

Fellow urban dwellers, we are being taken for granted
When the primaries started, those of us who live in our nations largest cities were hopeful that some of our issues would be addressed - Hillary now hails from New York City and grew up in Chicago, and Obama was a street-level organizer in Chicago - eleven million people occupy those two cities alone. Dennis Kucinich was Mayor of Cleveland, which is currently ranked 39th in a run-down of America's top 50 cities. Sadly, no. We are reliably Democratic, and there is only so much love to go around. Since we are going to deliver for the ingrates anyway, they take us for granted and cater to the suburbs and exurbs.

God help me, but I can make this make sense...Convoluted reasoning alert! If it is 2008 and you are running 1996's campaign; cribbing from a 2001 speech is actually progress. Isn't it? That "major foreign policy speech" McCain gave today, where he was trying to drum up support for a war that a grand total of nine clinically insane people believe is a worthwhile venture? Yeah. It is a reprise of a speech he gave in 2001 to pump up support for the "war on terror." (You do remember the "war on terror" don't you?)

This is a contract that ought to be nullified As the Afghan insurgency stepped up, the United States scrambled to supply materiel to the Afghan military. For the last 15 months, most ammo dispensed to the Afghan military has come from a shadowy company that is registered to an address in Miami Beach. The principal is 22 and the veep is a masseur. Since the company secured the $300 million contract, they have supplied ammo that is forty years old, in disintegrating packaging. Not just that - NATO has spent millions to secure and destroy the very ammo that these kids are peddling. Can we have some oversight and accountability, please?

File this under "Sweet Jesus, you just can't make this stuff up"
John McCain was in the middle of another in the series of "We're winning in Iraq, and I don;t care what anyone says" speeches today - when MSNBC preempted him - with breaking news of increased violence in Iraq.