Sunday, August 24, 2008

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

Let's hope so If Ted Kennedy's medical team clear him to travel, he will make an appearance at the Democratic Convention in Denver. "If anything, it'd be an 11th-hour call," U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island said in a telephone interview Sunday with The Associated Press. "If he's up to it in the 11th hour and can get the green light from doctors, he might be able to pull it off."

What, exactly, is the drug cocktail that Mark Halperin is enjoying these days? because I simply must speak to my physician about getting some for those days when reality just sucks too bad (like it has every day since January 2001). What did he say this time, you ask? "My hunch is that is gonna be one of the worst moments in the entire campaign for one of the candidates, but it's Barack Obama," he said on THis Week this morning. Yes. You read that right. In his exquisitely constructed alternate reality, McCain's gaffe about not knowing how many houses he has is terrible news...for Obama.

We know that politics often goes from the sublime to the ridiculous, but what comes next? Whatever it is, McCain has blazed a new trail into that thicket with an ad that attacks Obama for...wait for it...not selecting Hillary Clinton to be his running mate!!!

All Michigan and Florida delegations will be seated at the DNC The credentials committee today voted unanimously to restore full voting rights to the delegations at the urging of Senator Obama. The states were initially stripped of delegates for holding primaries before Feb. 5. The party's rules committee restored the delegates in May, but gave them only half votes. Democrats hope the gesture will strengthen their standing in two important battleground states while ending a contentious chapter of the nominating process.

How many of you knew there even WAS a drug czar and how many of you knew his name? The U.S. drug czar appealed to Venezuela's government on Friday to take action against the flourishing flow of cocaine being smuggled through the country. White House drug czar John Walters told The Associated Press that Venezuela has shown no willingness to cooperate with U.S. officials against drugs. "Cooperation's gotten worse and the problem's gotten bigger," Walters told the AP in a phone interview from Washington. The flow of Colombian cocaine through Venezuela has quadrupled since 2004, reaching an estimated 282 tons last year, he said. It's called whack-a-mole, and if it doesn't come out of Colombia, it comes out of places like Venezuela--duh!

What happens if it all melts? Rapidly melting ice on Alaska's Arctic is opening up a new navigable ocean in the extreme north, allowing oil tankers, fishing vessels and even cruise ships to venture into a realm once trolled mostly by indigenous hunters. The Coast Guard expects so much traffic that it opened two temporary stations on the nation's northernmost waters, anticipating the day when an ocean the size of the contiguous United States could be ice-free for most of the summer. "We have to prepare for the world coming to the Arctic," said Rear Adm. Gene Brooks, commander of the Coast Guard's Alaska district. Scientists say global warming has melted the polar sea ice each summer to half the size it was in the 1960s, opening vast stretches of water. Last year, it thawed to its lowest level on record.

No, not "coca." It says "cocoa." ...[A]n ingredient in some chocolates is showing promise in promoting blood flow to the brain. The ingredient is flavanols, which are nutrients found in cocoa. Flavanols are considered to act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories on cells. These chemicals can protect cells and tissue from damage, which in turn protects against heart disease and cancer. The research and similar studied were funded by Mars Inc., the maker of Snickers and other foods. "The totality of the research on cocoa flavanols is impressive. This is just one more study adding to an increasing body of literature connecting regular cocoa flavanol consumption to blood flow and vascular health improvements throughout the body," according to news release comments from Harold Schmitz, chief science officer at Mars. Yeah, no bias there. Sheesh. But, if the science is good, okay then.

You're not going to find a legacy out there, no matter how much you pretend to care...US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left Sunday for the Middle East in a new bid to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by January 2009 despite mounting odds. In her seventh visit to the region since the Annapolis peace process was launched in November last year, Rice will arrive in Israel on Monday for talks with top Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. Rice's spokesman Sean McCormack said Rice's talks would include senior Israeli and Palestinian officials and would cover "ongoing efforts to create positive and lasting peace in the region and progress towards the shared goal of a peace agreement in 2008."

Tim Pawlenty just might be challenging Doug Feith for the dubious honor of being "the fucking stupidest guy on the planet." What makes me say such a thing? He actually said in an interview that Obama should have selected GEN. Petraeus as his running mate, and did not appear to be kidding.

There is media bias, but it isn't liberal The traditional media outlets are all corporate owned and show unabashed bias to conservatives and their positions. Criticism from the left can take a variety of forms, including fact-checking, aggregating links and sometimes original reporting. Frankly, if the M$M did their damned (Constitutionally protected!) jobs, we wouldn't be here doing this. But they don't, we are, and we won't stop pushing back and demanding accountability. Suck on that, lapdogs of the press. You can come out of the doghouse when we do something irresponsible like, say, help a war criminal sell an unjustified invasion of another country.

Money laundering indictments upheld for DeLay aides Indictments against two former aides to disgraced former congressman Tom DeLay have been upheld by an appeals court. The panel of three judges found that the Texas statute is not unconstitutionally vague or overly broad. "The challenged statutes give constitutionally adequate notice of the conduct prohibited and sufficiently determine guidelines for law enforcement," said Third Court of Appeals Justice Alan Waldrop in a 46-page opinion issued late Friday. The ruling was handed down exactly two years from the date the case was argued. All three judges on the panel that heard the case are Republicans.

Indiana v Countrywide The Indiana Attorney General's office has filed a law suit against Countrywide. Attorney General Steve Carter said the company mislead homeowners and at times even flat out lied to them.