Monday, September 1, 2008

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

This is not where we expect a "reformer" to start making her name Sarah Palin's name was listed on incorporation papers for a 527 bearing Ted Stevens' name. "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," was set up to (skirt campaign finance laws and) raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. We are inherently suspicious of those who make a big deal out of their maverickiness anyway, because it always turns out that they have a habit of slipping between the sheets with corrupt bastards.

Being called a "big blowhard doofus" by Karl Rove is kinda like being called homely by Quasimodo, isn't it? The wingnut freakazoids are in a tizzy because...get this...Joe Biden acknowledged that the beauty queen is pretty, (Git a rope!) and Rove denounces him as a "blowhard doofus" for it. Rove casting that aspersion at anyone makes me think of that playground taunt "I'm rubber and you're glue..."

Damn it to hell, he's going to have to accept the nomination in person after all Gustav didn't do the damage the GOP was counting on when they heaved a sigh of relief that they had an excuse to cancel the festivities rather than try to follow the Democratic convention that went splendidly and culminated with Obama's acceptance speech, delivered in front of 84,000 and seen by 40 million. You just know McSame wanted to do it via video from the gulf coast, but the storm didn't cooperate. Now he has to do it in person.

Some republicans arent even bothering to fake sincerity At least one delegate to the RNC is steamed that the convention was curtailed by a hurricane. "The fact is," said Jim Ellison, a delegate from Oregon, "hurricanes happen. We didn't stop anything for Florida, and New Orleans has certainly been through it. President Bush in his wisdom has put qualified FEMA people in place. They're ready for it." He continued, "I don't think we should have interfered with our convention because we already do a lot for the people of New Orleans."

Japanese PM resigns in face of deadlocked parliament The unpopular Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda resigned today over the stalemate in parliament. He is the second leader to resign in less than a year. His resignation loosens the conservative party's grip on power as the country slides toward recession.

Does this mean there will be peace or more civil war? The U.S. military handed over control of once brutally violent Anbar province to Iraqi forces Monday - marking a major milestone in America's plan to eventually send its troops home. But American officials warned that the struggle against al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgents was not over in the western region, the scene of some of the bloodiest battles in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. "This war is not quite over, but it's being won and primarily by the people of Anbar. Al Qaeda has not been entirely defeated in Anbar, but their end is near and they know it," said Marine Maj. Gen. John Kelly, the top U.S. commander in Anbar, during the handover ceremony. Implicit in this, though, is the fact that the Marines want nothing to do with Iraq anymore--it has exhausted their troops.

More earthquakes in China: Rescuers appealed for temporary housing and tents Monday after a weekend earthquake in southwest China killed at least 36 people, injured hundreds and left tens of thousands of homes in ruins. The temblor Saturday in Sichuan province, which the U.S. Geological Survey measured at magnitude 5.7, struck along the same fault line as a May 12 earthquake that killed nearly 70,000. "We need temporary houses ... we need more than 10,000 tents," said Zhang Hai, head of the foreign liaison office of the Communist Party propaganda department in Panzhihua city. "This is a mountainous place and so we can't build temporary houses everywhere."

Just for show? Fighter jets bombed Taliban hide-outs in Pakistan's troubled northwest while troops pushed into militant territory on the ground, killing at least 40 insurgents in a 24-hour siege, the army said Saturday. Separately, five others died when an explosion ripped through a house near the Afghan border, local officials said. Claims that it was a missile strike could not immediately be confirmed.

Refusing to enter a plea is like saying you know what the verdict is going to be, isn't it? Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic refused to enter pleas Friday to charges including genocide and crimes against humanity. Karadzic faces a total of 11 charges at the U.N.'s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal. Judge Iain Bonomy, who presided over the hearing, entered not guilty pleas on Karadzic's behalf. He is charged with genocide for allegedly masterminding atrocities, including the slaughter of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995 and the deadly siege of Sarajevo, when he was president of the breakaway Bosnian Serb republic.

Oxygen bottle to blame? Air safety investigators said the "sudden and complete release" of a pressurized oxygen bottle caused the explosion that blew a hole in the fuselage of a Qantas jet last month, forcing an emergency landing in the Philippine capital. Julian Walsh, acting executive director of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, released an interim report Friday into the investigation of the emergency that occurred over the South China Sea on July 5. Walsh said one of the seven emergency oxygen cylinders below the cabin floor had exploded. He did not say why.

Uh oh--not this again: More than 150 snakehead fish have been found in Charles County. Officials with Maryland's Department of Natural Resources say the invasive predators were found last week in puddles near Mattawoman Creek, which flows directly into the Potomac River. The snakeheads were found in an area more than 50 yards from the creek bed. Some were buried in mud under water less than an inch deep. They included a female full of well-developed eggs.

Wonder what Dobson's statement would read like if a democratic politicians teenager was knocked up? It would be a scathing indictment of liberals and the evils of secularism and the end of civilization as we know it. It sure wouldn't be a paen to facing ones challenges head on, that's for damned sure.