Saturday, April 19, 2008

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

Um, guys, this isn't news...McCain is a only Senator because his wife is loaded. We all know that she was a 20-something strumpet and he picked her up at a hotel bar...while the woman who waited for him faithfully for all those years, not even letting him be told she was nearly killed in a car wreck so he wouldn't worry, was upstairs in their room with their children. (Family values. Where is the family photo with those kids?) Anyway, he bailed on his wife and started his political career on Cin's family money. That is how he fucking got here. Stating the obvious - that she makes a lot of money from the company her family owns - isn't news when that company bought his congressional seat fifteen minutes after the wedding! Jesus our discourse sucks, and Christ almighty I hate the main$tream media.

Wait a minute...I thought John McCain was all about running a "clean campaign" and above the ugliness; emanating serenity and goodness down on the hoi polloi from his vantage point on the high road?

That's gotta sting at least a little
The main temple in the city of Nagano, Japan (host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics, and the Zenkoji Temple played a prominent role in the opening ceremonies) declined today to be the starting point for portion of the torch relay in Japan. A spokesman for the Zenkoji Temple cited humanitarian concern for the oppression of Buddhists in Tibet, as well as for security because the torch relay has been the focus of protesters in many of the places it has passed through. The decision by the Temple leaves organizers scrambling for an alternative starting location, with only eight days to go.

Methinks he doth protest too much
Karl Rove wrote a 2100 word letter to Dan Abrams at MSNBC. Apparently the brains of the operation got his snout out of joint by Abrams reporting on the Don Siegelman prosecution and imprisonment. That letter is, like, twice as long as a Frank Rich column. That's a lot of "oh! and one more thing!" questions (58 to be exact). Maybe he had some bells chimes go off in his head while he was writing and that's got something to do with the fact his attorney is hinting he may now backpedal on the whole agreeing to testify before congress thing.

A political earthquake is set to hit Paraguay on Sunday when the ruling Colorado Party is set to lose control of government after 61 years in power. Two years ago, when he came was invited to address and anti-government rally for the first time, former Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo, who worked with the poorest of the poor in the second-poorest country in South America, was no one on the political stage in Paraguay - but Sunday he is likely to win the presidency. The Colorados have stolen elections in the past, but the mood right now is such that any hint of fraud or election rigging could spark street violence and chaos.

You're tainted now, son
Poor Steve Preston. He has been nominated by Bush to replace Alphonso "Vanity" Jackson at HUD. Poor guy. Appointed by aWol on the limp to the finish. HUD - as in the H stands for "housing" - and he has no housing experience as the nation heads into the worst housing crisis since the great depression as the country slides economically.

Zimbabwe recount set to get underway Mugabe isn't going quietly. Still the results of the presidential election are being withheld, and now recounts have been ordered in 23 of the 210 provinces, and whadya know? The results could restore Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to power.

And Pale Rider can take it from here...

Gotta love it when the law finds a way to go after a blogger, right? An Eastern Shore blogger known for his squabbles with Salisbury officials has been charged with perjury related to a Pittsville land deal. Police say 46-year-old Joseph Albero stated in documents pertaining to the land deal that he was a Maryland resident. But voting records indicate Albero has been registered to vote in Delaware since 2005....Albero says he's a "controversial blogger" with a target on his back, but everything will come out fine in the end. On his site Albero follows Lower Shore happenings and is frequently critical of Salisbury and other public officials. No word on whether he's a wingnut...

A CNN reporter was arrested Friday in Central Park with a small amount of methamphetamine in his pocket, but he avoided jail time by agreeing to undergo drug counseling and therapy. Richard Quest, 46, was arrested around 3:40 a.m. on a count of possession of a controlled substance — a misdemeanor that usually refers to a personal use amount of a drug. He was also charged with loitering; the park officially closes at 1 a.m. When police saw and detained Quest, he told them, "I've got some meth in my pocket," according to the complaint filed in court. The complaint said he had a plastic sandwich bag containing methamphetamine in a jacket pocket. Quest, who is British, is a correspondent for CNN International and is known for his reports on business travel.

Media Matters works to debunk ABC Anchor Charles Gibson's wingnuttery: During the April 16 Democratic presidential debate, co-moderator and ABC World News anchor Charles Gibson asserted of capital-gains tax cuts that "in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down." Gibson later asserted that "history shows that when you drop the capital-gains tax, the revenues go up." In fact, Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, asserted in an April 17 American Prospect blog post addressing Gibson's statements: "[T]he evidence that a capital gains tax cut raises revenue is rather dubious, since most of the apparent increase is likely due to timing: investors delay selling stock when they know a tax cut is imminent. After the cut takes effect, they then declare their gains and pay taxes at the lower rate." Indeed, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Revenue and Tax Policy Brief states that "[r]ising gains receipts in response to a rate cut are most likely to occur in the short run" and that investor responses to capital-gains tax cuts in the short term can "mislead observers."

(CBS/AP) Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter met Friday with the exiled leader of Hamas and his deputy, two men the U.S. government labels as global terrorists and Israel accuses of masterminding suicide bombings and kidnappings. Carter's meeting with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal was the first public contact in two years between a prominent American figure and Hamas' leadership and followed two other meetings between the former American president and the Palestinian militant group around the Middle East this week. Hamas officials say the meetings have lent the group legitimacy...Abu Marzouk was designated a terrorist by U.S. Treasury Department in 1995, allowing the government to seize his assets. He was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York that same year and spent two years in a New York jail before he was deported in 1997. Given all the vitriol directed at Carter for doing this, isn't it odd that it's only been "two years" since a prominent American met with Hamas and that we once had this guy in custody but we "deported" him?

Want to know more about al Qaeda? Sure! We all do. Here's a nifty breakdown: There is no single headquarters. From 1991 to 1996, al-Qaeda worked out of Pakistan along the Afghan border, or inside Pakistani cities. Al-Qaeda has autonomous underground cells in some 100 countries, including the United States, officials say. Law enforcement has broken up al-Qaeda cells in the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Albania, Uganda, and elsewhere. To escape the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda’s leadership once again sought refuge in Pakistan’s tribal areas after September 11, 2001. Magnus Ranstorp, an expert on Islamist terrorism, told Radio Free Europe in September 2007 that al-Qaeda is now "exponentially much stronger" than before. Bin Laden, along with some other members of the organization, is thought to be hiding in Pakistan along the Afghan border. Rohan Gunaratna of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore says bin Laden’s group is training most of the terrorist groups in Pakistan’s tribal areas. “Al-Qaeda considers itself as the vanguard of the Islamic movement,” Gunaratna says, and it has introduced its practice of suicide bombings to both the Afghan and the Pakistani Taliban.