Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Term limits are a really, really stupid idea because they destroy institutional memory and reduce every last Senator and Representative a legacy-assuring agenda whore. Anyone who doubts this need only look at the devolution of the Missouri state lege.

What really happened with that state-owned jet and eBay? She is quite fond of touting the line "That luxury jet that came with the office... I put it on eBay!" but there is a lot more to the story than her maverick-y assertion. First of all, it wasn't her idea. "It was the practice of the state to dispose of items such as this via eBay prior to listing the jet," Vern Jones, Alaska's Chief Procurement Officer, said yesterday. Second, it was a boneheaded move because the plane didn't sell, and a broker eventually unloaded the plane at a loss - while the state continued to pay over $20,000 per month as part of the original purchase contract, so those charges kept adding up. But it's a cute story. Apocryphal, but cute. And totally, totally mavericky.

The Villagers have found their pitchforks and are looking for their torches CBS is not amused that the McCain camp used a clip of Katie Couric in an ad that attempts to manufacture outrage and paint Obama as "sexist" after he used an ages-old idiom. The ad makes it look like Katie C is talking about sexism leveled at Palin - but it's an old clip, recorded during the primary. She was actually talking about Senator Clinton. CBS spokesperson Leigh Farris was blunt. "CBS News does not endorse any candidate in the Presidential race. Any use of CBS personnel in political advertising that suggests the contrary is misleading." Unauthorized use of copyrighted materials is becoming something of a modus operandi for the McCain camp, but that's okay, 'cuz it's maverick-y.

How stupid is it to lie about Pretty damned stupid, would be my guess, but that is exactly what the McCain campaign is doing. Maverick-y, huh?

Ron Paul rebuffs Gramm's request for an endorsement of McCain Paul said in a news conference that Gramm rang him up earlier this week and said "You need to endorse McCain." Paul declined, saying he didn't want a few million people pissed off at him and instead suggested his supporters vote for one of the third party candidates on the ballot.

Morales calls for ouster of American Ambassador from Bolivia "Without fear of anyone, without fear of the empire, today before you, before the Bolivian people, I declare the ambassador of the United States persona non grata," said President Evo Morales, speaking about Ambassador Philip Goldberg in a nationally televised speech from the presidential palace. "I ask the foreign minister to find the legal and diplomatic framework to return him urgently to his country. We do not want separatists, divisionists, people who conspire against the unity. We do not want people who work against democracy."

Veteran legislator Jim McDermott signs on to impeachment effort over five years ago, McDermott tried unsuccessfully to have asterisks placed in the Congressional Record by the statements bu$h made to congress to make the case for war with Iraq, and was ridiculed and derided for deigning to question the president.

"I drink your milkshake, my friends, I drink it up" The candidate who used to scorn the "stale soundbite, staged rallies and over-managed messages" has done another flip-flop (if we count this one, it's up to 77) and now embraces the scripted format. It has been four weeks since he has done a presser, too. It's all stagecraft, all the time.

Republicans love the death Donn Teske, the president of the Kansas Farmers Union and a former Republican, is voting for Obama. He may come from a big city, Teske admits, but the Farmers Union gives him a 100% rating for his votes in Congress, while John McCain gets a 0%. "If any farmer in the Plains States looked at McCain's voting record on ag issues," Mr. Teske says, "no one would vote for him."

Sarah's source In one of the schmaltzier parts of her speech at the convention, she waxed poetic about small town folk and credited her source simply as a "writer." Turns out that "writer" was Westbrook Pegler, who fancied himself a populist but was, in reality, just a whack-job with a disturbing bloodlust and an audience. He was such a nutjob those lefties in the John Birch society thought he was off the rails, until he lost his contract and they pitied him and published him in what we believe is the first confirmed instance of wingnut welfare. Also worth noting: Palin denies being a Buchanan Buccaneer or whatever the hell those knuckleheads called themselves, but the only other time Pegler's ghost has been summoned in decades was in a 1990 book by Buchanan.

47 bullets Eight policemen in Inglewood, CA fired 47 shots at a homeless man. Some of the bullets injured a pit bull and grazed the head of a passing motorist. Police say they are "responding aggressively" to the City Council's order to review training within the department.

Mr. Medvedev, are you familiar with the law of unintended consequences? The hopes of Russia's own separatist groups have been bouyed by the Russian Federation's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Keep our friend and fellow liberal blogger Brave Sir Robin in your thoughts. He is having a hell of a go of it right now. He needs us all sending him good thoughts. As if his brother being comatose after sustaining massive head injuries in a motorcycle crash wasn't enough, he is now being forced to leave his brothers bedside because Hurricane Ike is barreling right toward his house and he is under mandatory evacuation orders. Like I said, he could use all the white light we can muster.