Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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

It's time to start stripping licenses, levying heavy fines and criminally prosecuting facilities and individuals alike for this sort of abuse A mental patient in North Carolina sat in a chair for 22 hours, unattended by staff that played cards and sat on their lazy asses a few feet away, and choked to death on his medications. No one checked on him, helped him to the bathroom or fed him. That is blatant criminal neglect and everyone on all four shifts should be terminated and prosecuted.

It's no longer mere speculation Holy Joe will be speaking at the republican convention. Better the wingnuts have to sit through 30 minutes of his whiny-sounding, warmongering petulance than us. His transformation is complete, and good riddance to bad rubbish.

Gore to speak final night of convention All y'all that were on pins and needles, fearing you would be denied an Al Gore stem-winder at the Democratic convention next week can relax...he will not only be speaking, but he will be doing so at Invesco field in front of 70,000 screaming fans who still consider him the guy we really elected in 2000, and the idiot occupying the oval right now the thief-in-chief. (Late addition, via my friend Steve: Former President Jimmy Carter will speak on Monday night.)

THIS is how you hit a bought-and-paid-for whore Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack in a conference call yesterday hit McCain as hard as anyone has on his ties to Big Oil, who loosened the pursestrings and unleashed a gusher of money the minute McCain changed his ethics position on offshore drilling. "[McCain] continues to reject bipartisan compromise because it would roll back massive tax breaks for the oil companies," he said. "That is not putting the country first, it is putting the interest of oil companies first." Then he looped his comments and hit him on the "country first" theme of the McSame campaign. "We have been talking about our energy problems for 30 years," he concluded. "And John McCain has been in Washington for 26 years. It is now time for someone, Sen. Obama, to put the interest of the country ahead of oil." Democrats, are you paying attention? That is how it's done. You hit the fuckers where they live and don't stop until they fall sown. When they fall down, you kick them. When you get tired, rest a minute, then resume kicking them until they are spitting teeth and all their ribs are broken. The survival of the very republic is at stake, and we don't intent to let it go without a fight. And when you fight, someone bleeds. That's the nature of the beast. Get scrappy and get pissed off and start hitting back with everything you can muster, or take up needlepoint and get the fuck out of the way.

New England Journal of Medicine files amicus brief in Supreme Court Preemption Case Merck, Wyeth and Bayer Healthcare withheld important information from the FDA regarding the safety of certain drugs, costing tens of thousands of lives, according to 10 former and current editors and authors of The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). “The drug companies have withheld key information from the FDA and ardently negotiated against stricter label warnings — all the while continuing to market their unsafe drugs to an unsuspecting public,” NEJM editors write in an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court. The brief highlights drugs that were withdrawn from the market due to safety reasons — Merck’s Vioxx (rofecoxib), Bayer’s Trasylol (aprotinin) and Wyeth’s diet drug fen-phen and Redux (dexfenfluramine). Earlier this year, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) charged that Merck withheld mortality data on its painkiller Vioxx before its approval and that Merck employees guest-authored and ghostwrote medical articles about the drug.

The danger of a high-altitude air burst to disrupt communications is greater now than during the Cold War The Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack warns that a nuclear attack aimed at crippling the nation's technological backbone could be greater today than it was during the Cold War. Such an attack also would be easier to orchestrate, and potentially more devastating, than a direct hit to a major metropolitan area. "The electromagnetic pulse generated by a high-altitude nuclear explosion is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences," the commission found.

CNN looks into McCain's "greatest moral failure" That would be his serial adultery that, so far as we know, ended with the conquest of Cindy. John King of CNN has been looking into it and asking uncomfortable questions and pointing out things like the fact that they applied for a marriage license in Arizona while he was still married, and the fact that what he says now about the chronology doesn't match the public record. The real gem in the interview, though, came from Cindy, when she told King that it didn't bother her to be dating a married man because "my husband had been separated. ... You know, six and a half years, it was a long separation." Classy. They were separated all right - while he was first deployed and then imprisoned, and she was faithfully keeping vigil at home, and not even allowing him to be informed that she had been seriously injured in a car crash so he would not be worried about her.

Metrolink Murderer gets life in prison Juan Manuel Alvarez will spend the rest of his life in prison, after parking his SUV on the tracks in an aborted suicide attempt that caused the derailment of a passenger train that killed eleven and injured 180 others. The judge called him a "remorseless killer" and lamented that he could not sentence Alvarez to prison "forever."

Testy? McCain told Ben Smith that Obama was being "testy" about his odious charge that Obama "would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign," and Traitor Joe's smarmy assertion that the race is between "one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not.’’ They aren't questioning his patriotism with those scurrilous statements, you see. They are questioning his judgment. It's bullshit, of course, and everyone knows it. But he can do that, you understand, since he was a POW. (Lieberman the draft dodger has no such out.) For the record, we would go a hell of a lot father than "testy" on the pissed-off scale if our patriotism was questioned. Don't believe us? Give it a whirl...

Is Ney bucking for a dram of redemption by telling the truth? Disgraced and convicted former republican congressman Bob Ney granted his first post-prison interview on the "Howard Monroe and the Morning Show" this morning. He told Monroe that the lobbying bill passed in the wake of the Abramoff scandal that sent his crooked ass to prison probably won't stop abuses in Washington, and the law is full of loopholes and noted that lobbyists are still allowed to host events at conventions. "Anybody who thinks lobbyists aren't paying for things — ­ they are," Ney said.

Get ready to count the 9/11s! Rudy! will deliver the keynote address at the republican convention. We are going to ebay right now to look for those clicker-counters our parents kept in the glove box to occupy us when we stopped at railroad crossings...

Stevens trial will stay in DC First Ted Stevens said he wanted to stand trial on corruption charges before November so it would not interfere with his campaign for reelection. A September trial date was set. Apparently feeling lucky, he went back to the well and asked to have it held in Alaska, so it would not interfere with his campaign, you understand, not because that is friendly territory. This time, his prayer wasn't answered and the trial will take place in DC, where the alleged crimes were committed. In September, as requested.