Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap - a roundup of news you might have missed

We love it when real live Conservatives beat up on stupid republicans And the real Conservatives at American Conservative do it better than anyone. Follow the link - Daniel Larison makes Roger Kimball his bitch.

We sincerely hope this is the end of the odious Mark Penn's political career As that upstart Barack Obama had the audacity to keep winning primaries and caucuses, Penn suggested that the Clinton campaign make an issue of Obama's diverse background and plant seeds of doubt that he isn't "fully American" in the minds of the electorate. Since several of the contributors to this blog hail from the demographic that Penn's craven, xenophobic dog-whistle would have been blown for, we resent the hell out of it. What an asshole he is for thinking so little of us. Someone should tell these jackasses that coming from a place where the population isn't dense doesn't automatically mean that the people are.

Airlines falter and airports flounder As the era of cheap flights comes to an end and the number of passengers passing through airports declines, the facilities face budget shortfalls. Fewer passengers means money isn't made on concessions and parking. The problems are being felt most acutely at secondary airports that are losing a bigger share of their flights as airlines scale back service. Secondary airports lack international service to prop up the struggling domestic market.

The European Laboratory for Particle Physics will inaugurate the Large Hadron Collider next month when a particle beam is sent through a seventeen-mile circular tube. The machine is the largest in the world, engineered to study the smallest particles in the universe. The objective is to recreate the "Big Bang" at the atomic level, to further our understanding of the physical world.

Bolivians turn out for Morales in face of recall effort Voters in Bolivia turned out in huge numbers today to strongly reaffirm their faith in President Evo Morales, who faced a recall referendum that he devised himself in an attempt to try to break a political stalemate in the bitterly divided nation. Calling for the referendum was a bold gamble on the part of Morales, a former leader of coca growers in South Americas poorest country. Morales is attempting to revive his stalled crusade to remedy age-old inequities in South America's poorest country, but his leftist agenda has been met with bitter opposition in the eastern half of the country, where the "haves" reside. Protesters there last week blockaded airports to keep Morales from touching down for campaign visits.

McCain gets chilly reception from veterans group Addressing a group of disabled veterans at their yearly convention in Las Vegas yesterday, McCain got a less-than-enthusiastic response from the vets in attendance. Many were put off by McCain using the forum to attack Obama rather than address the issues of concern to Veterans. Duke Hendershot, a double amputee retired Marine who served in Vietnam, supported McCain’s run for president in 2000 but is undecided this year. “John just isn’t the same as he used to be. He’s not his own man,” said Hendershot, who lives in San Antonio, Texas. “A lot of that has to do with how he’s wanted this job so bad for so long that he’s tied himself to President Bush.” He said McCain’s embrace of Bush, whom Hendershot called a “draft-dodging coward,” is even more perplexing because of the rivalry between the two candidates during the 2000 campaign. Hendershot also criticized McCain for taking swipes at Obama in his speech. “He should have been talking about veterans issues, not his opponent,” he said.

Yes, because he's got such a fantastic track record so far, you know: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says there's a lot of truth to U.S. President George W. Bush's comment that Wall Street "got drunk and now it's got a hangover," and it will aid understanding of the current economic climate. Paulson, a former investment firm executive, also is taking a wait-and-see approach on a possible second round of economic help - an idea that congressional Democrats are pushing to a vote. The $168 billion program of tax rebate checks that Bush signed into law in February was the right size to help the struggling economy this year, Paulson said. He wants to see how it ends up helping the economy in the July-September period and worries about driving the budget deficit higher with a second plan.

Meeting with a lawyer is such a quaint Western kind of idea: Detained Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has met with her lawyer for the first time in five years, one of her colleagues said Sunday. Nyan Win, a spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party, said she consulted her lawyer about the detention law under which she has been confined without trial for more than 12 of the past 19 years. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been detained continuously since May 2003, most of the time under house arrest. Nyan Win quoted the lawyer as saying that Suu Kyi appeared to be in very good health when they met Friday. She was last seen by her doctor in May. Her house arrest was extended by one year in May, even though the action seemed to defy a law that stipulates that no one can be held longer than five years without being released or put on trial.

Appeasement being slowed down: The United States said Sunday it was unlikely North Korea would be immediately taken off the US list of countries that sponsor terrorism. US President George W. Bush began a process in June of taking North Korea off the blacklist, and said then it could happen in 45 days, which is Monday. "At this point, I think, it is reasonable to say that tomorrow probably will come and go without that happening," said Dennis Wilder, National Security Council senior director for Asian affairs, who is in Beijing with Bush. Bush notified Congress of his intent to delist North Korea immediately after it gave a long-awaited declaration of the nuclear programmes it had spent decades developing.