Tuesday, August 19, 2008

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

Big Oil has spent $55 Billion so far this year on lobbying and is on pace to outspend last years $89 Billion. That kind of scratch can produce a lot of summer-stock political theater in a closed chamber, can't it?

The charges are serious and there appears to ba a pattern Florida GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan, one of the five wealthiest members of Congress, is facing seven civil lawsuits and criminal charges are likely to be filed. The lawsuits allege that Buchanan, who owns 15 car dealerships and is worth over $100 million dollars, retaliated against employees who refused to violate the law. One former employee who is not a plaintiff in any of the seven lawsuits, claims that when she worked in the accounting department in one of the Buchanan dealerships reported having received death threats or threats of bodily harm from other Buchanan staffers for refusing to engage in illegal business practices. A recurring theme in the lawsuits is of employees being fired or forced to resign for refusing to violate the law. The lawsuits do not appear to have any political motivation. The plaintiffs whose political affiliations could be determined were all republicans and independents. The FEC is investigating Buchanan as well for illegally pressuring employees to make campaign contributions to republican candidates that were then reimbursed.

Asylum in the US for Musharref? Sunday the option was “not on the table" according to Condi. Today, the table seemed to have a new centerpiece: State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters that Musharraf “has a right to live wherever he wants.”

McCain doesn't like talking about his time as a POW - He LOVES talking about it! Apparently, Gretchen Carlson doesn't watch her own network...in an August 18 recap of the performances of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain at the August 16 Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency in California, said she thought "McCain was revealing a lot of his personal side" and asserted that "he doesn't like to talk about when he was a POW."

Finally! Starting September 8, Rachel Maddow will have her own show on MSNBC, airing at 9:00 eastern. To answer Keith's question: Yes, yes we are!

Andrew Sullivan is a perfect specimen of douchebaggery and this post doesn't make him cool or insightful - it just illustrates what a douchebag the guy really is.

Factcheck lives up to their name McCain does not live up to his claims. His ad "Outrageous" highlights the Arizona senator’s long-standing fight against pork-barrel spending. The ad includes three examples of projects that McCain deems unnecessary and claims that “one man” has “the guts to stand up to wasteful government spending.” Just one - er, make that three - problems...the three examples of spending highlighted in the ad – a “bridge to nowhere,” a study of bear DNA and a museum dedicated to Woodstock – seem chosen more for their impact than for any direct involvement McCain had in attacking them. In fact, he voted in favor of the bill that included the bear study funding; he was absent for key votes on the Woodstock museum (including one on an amendment he co-sponsored); and he never specifically tried to eliminate the bridge earmark and missed some crucial votes on that one, as well.

If anyone could afford to fly these days, I would try to get a boycott of Northwest Airlines started In preparation for the conventions, UCS took out ads in the Denver and Twin Cities airports aimed at both presidential candidates. The MSP ad shows an overhead photograph of downtown Minneapolis and says, "When only one nuclear bomb could destroy a city like Minneapolis ... We don't need 6,000," and urges McCain to get serious about the nuclear threat. The Denver ad, aimed at presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, is similar. They ran into opposition at MSP when Northwest Airlines officials ordered the ad removed. "This is a private airline acting as a political censor," said Elliott Negin, media director for UCS.

Charges brought against two female police officers in the Bronx Two off-duty female transit cops yelled, "We are the police!" - and then pistol-whipped a Bronx man in what authorities call a case of road rage. The two were charged with assault, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon for the Williamsbridge beatdown. It took 25 staples to close the gash in Marlon Smith's head, authorities said.

Whiskey's for drinkin' - water's for fightin' over I can think of wiser moves for a Senator for Arizona than to start talking about renegotiating the water pact less than a year after it was retooled. Especially with the square state undecided between the two. I wouldn't be surprised if half the cars in Colorado are sporting bumper stickers that read "If McCain wants our water piss on him" By the end of the month.

The gift that keeps on giving The New York Times has been forced to run its fourth correction of a Bill Kristol column. He only got the gig in January.

Inflation barreling down the pike Wholesale prices in July climbed at the fastest rate in more than a quarter-century. It coincides with an ebbing of economic activity.