Friday, August 15, 2008

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

What are you saying, John? It's only politics, which is what bu$h famously said to you after he unleashed Rove on you in South Carolina and smeared you and your wife and daughter? Isn't that what you're really trying to say when you say elide that you find the debunked bullshit of Jerome "Lying Piece of Shit" Corsi "humorous"? By the way - McCain said that at a meeting with T.Boone Pickens, who bankrolled the ads by the dispicable Swiftboat Liars in 2004. The meeting took place in that elitist enclave Aspen, where McCain is meeting with the heads of 527 organizations, possibly to illegally coordinate strategy between the campaign and the third party smear-merchants for the remainder of the campaign.

American Airlines fined $7.1 Million for endangering passengers and crew...again The fine was levied after it was determined that the airline delayed needed repairs and returned planes to service with the problems unremediated. Two planes were found to have flown 58 times between when repairs were requested and when they were actually rendered.

Wall Street abandons the GOP, too Donors that were key to the reelection fundraising of aWol in 2004 are giving about $1.50 to Obama for every buck that same group gives to McSame. So Kudlow is nuts. But pointing that out is kinda belaboring the obvious, isn't it?

McCain speaks, and the base freaks It didn't take long for his assertion in an interview with the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes that former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge’s pro-abortion rights views wouldn’t necessarily rule him out as a potential running mate to set the social conservative base to squawking. One authoritarian wingnut from Ohio was especially overwrought with the prospect of a pro-choice running mate. “It absolutely floored me,” said Phil Burress, head of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values. “It would doom him in Ohio." And he took to his keyboard and called the Christian Soldiers to arms! "That choice will end his bid for the presidency and spell defeat for other Republican candidates,” he wrote in his hyperventilating email. He’s not even sure the know-it-all, tell-other-people-how-to-live wingnut base would even vote for him "let alone work for him if he picked a pro-abortion running mate." So...please, please, please, please, please let it be Ridge...

There are those who will read this as a sign of the apocalypse The first Christian 527 has decamped from the republicans and is running a pro-Obama ad. The group and it's affiliated pastors touted Obama for having a “sterling reputation as a family man,” according to Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell. If that name sounds familiar, it is because you have heard it recently. He was the pastor who officiated at the recent wedding of Jenna Bush.

More evidence mounts against Uncle Ted Late Thursday federal prosecutors filed additional information in the case against the indicted Alaska Senator. The new information alleges that he made more than $100,000 in profit off a Florida real estate deal after a friend secretly loaned him $31,000 interest-free to buy a condominium, and he failed to report the loan in his 2001 senate disclosure forms.

Noted without comment The trustees of the tiny Harrold Independent School District in north Texas is set to be the first in the nation to allow teachers to carry guns to class. Teachers and staff wishing to carry a pistol on school grounds will have to have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun. They will also have to be authorized to carry by the district and will have to receive training in crisis management and hostile situations. They will also have to load their guns with ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.

Americans think the Pickens alternative energy plan will work More of them should read Kevin. He untangled the real reasons behind the greening of Pickens over a week ago.

Gee, John...did you enjoy your stay in prison? I know it is supposed to trump everything and you are never supposed to have to answer a hard question because, hey, you were a POW and that is all anyone ever needs to know. But seriously - a guy who was held prisoner by an opposing military force for five and a half years actually said that Guantanamo is "one of the nicest places on earth to live." Seriously??? I don't care if its heaven on high, prison is prison, and by definition not "one of the nicest places on earth to live." What a dumbass.

No reduction of forces in Korea In fact, the 8th Army commander Lt. Gen. Joseph Fil Jr. told 77 incoming DODDS teachers today that "In fact, we’re going to pick up the force level a bit."

Oh my god, McCain's technology platfor sucks It should not surprise anyone that a computer illiterate reflexively opposes net neutrality ("When Regulation Is Warranted, John McCain Acts") - but have Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman spoke up at all about this apostasy at all? Or are they just along for the ride at this point?

Remember that incident with Senator Obama's plane a few weeks ago? Turns out it was a much bigger deal than we were lead to believe at the time.

How Libya buys its way back to respectability: The United States is confident it will receive adequate contributions, including possibly from US firms, to a fund to compensate American victims of Libyan attacks and those of US reprisals. "The fund is set up as a humanitarian vehicle and it can take contributions from any source and I'm confident that there will be robust sources for this funding," US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch told reporters. He said that an independent "international humanitarian settlement fund" would be established to fullfill terms of a US-Libya compensation agreement signed in Tripoli Thursday, paving the way for full normalization of ties between the two countries. The deal will see compensation paid for families of the victims of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people, and a Berlin disco bombing that killed two Americans. No, the deal means that Libya can buy its way out of the doghouse. But you knew that already...

Uh, it ain't happening: Russia should be stripped of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics for sending its troops into neighboring Georgia, two US lawmakers said Thursday in announcing a planned bill to put before Congress. Representatives Allyson Schwartz and Bill Shuster, both of Pennsylvania, will ask that Congress push the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to pull the Winter Games from Russia and designate a new host city for the event. "Russia's blatant violation of the long-respected 'Olympic truce' should be enough for the IOC to join with us in choosing a more worthy venue," Shuster said. "Russia's belligerence against the people of Georgia and their democratically elected government cannot go unpunished." The planned resolution called for the IOC to "move immediately to designate a new host city for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games." If Chinese oppression of Tibet and a whole host of other minorities--to say nothing of its repression of everyone and everything else--couldn't get the current Olympics shit-canned, then Russia's summer manuevers in the Trans-Caucaus are a walk in the park.

This is one of those simmering issues that isn't going to go away: Minutes after a suicide bomber killed 25 people, hundreds of angry Kurds stormed the headquarters of an ethnic Turkish group in this northern Iraqi city and torched the building and nearby parked cars. The Kurds blamed Turkomen, the city's ethnic Turkish minority, for the bombing. Weeks later, the husks of eight burned-out cars bear witness to the ferocity of emotions generated by the crisis over who will run Kirkuk, the center of Iraq's northern oil fields. The fate of Kirkuk, where an estimated 850,000 Kurds, Turkomen and Arabs uneasily coexist, is a litmus test for the ability of Iraq's ethnic and sectarian leaders to compromise on critical issues. At stake is the country's ability to preserve its recent decline in violence with genuine national reconciliation. "Kirkuk is a test case for a stable Iraq," Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Friday. "If Kirkuk remains stable, Iraq will become more stable. If Kirkuk blows up, Iraq might fracture along ethnic and sectarian lines."

No, there is no such thing as bigfoot, but nice try: Two men who claim to have stumbled across a Bigfoot corpse in the woods of northern Georgia indignantly stood by their story at a news conference in Palo Alto during which they offered an e-mail from a scientist as evidence and acknowledged they wouldn't mind making a few bucks from the "find" they have kept stuffed in a freezer for over a month. "Everyone who has talked down to us is going to eat their words," predicted Matt Whitton, an officer on medical leave from the Clayton County Police Department. Whitton and Rick Dyer, a former corrections officer, announced the discovery in early July on YouTube videos and their Web site. Although they did not consider themselves devoted Bigfoot trackers before then, they have since started offering weekend search expeditions in Georgia for $499. The specimen they bagged, the men say, was one of several apelike creatures they spotted cavorting in the woods. As they faced a skeptical audience of several hundred journalists and Bigfoot fans that included one curiosity seeker in a Chewbacca suit, the pair were joined Friday by Tom Biscardi, head of a group called Searching for Bigfoot. Other Bigfoot hunters call Biscardi a huckster looking for media attention. I watched this press conference today and--yes--they actually filled a freezer full of water to freeze the "bigfoot" corpse into a giant ice cube. I am not shitting you. That's how fucking stupid these guys are.