Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Ruth Marcus calls McCain a liar And confesses to a shortcoming of journalists in the same column. This unexpected snippet of political poetry, from a Democrat advising Barack Obama, was prompted by my expressed desire to hold both campaigns accountable for their lapses from good policy and honest argument. At which point my eloquent economist invoked the lure of false symmetry...He was peddling a self-interested, but important, point: All campaigns fall short, but some fall far shorter than others. And it is a phony evenhandedness, comfortable for journalists but ultimately misleading, that equates these failures without measuring the grossness of their deviation from the standard of decency. And then she opens the floodgates. Why should we believe McCain would be an honest president when he lies like a rug in his quest for the job?

Shorter Sarah Palin: How dare the Democrats hold John McCain accountable for his own words! (Don't they know he was a POW???)

Cindy McCain translated: Those women on The View were mean to my husband! (Don't they know he was a POW???)

Lovely, just lovely North Korea has tested an improved engine component for an ICBM that could be capable of hitting cities on the west coast of the United States. The test took place at a previously unknown launch facility on North Korea's west coast. The facility has a mobile launch pad and a 10-story tower that would support the North's largest ballistic missiles, Jane's Defense Weekly reported.

A step in the right direction HCD research will be registering responses to the upcoming presidential debates in realtime, employing text messaging and internet response avenues for the respondents. Individual questions will be sent out on specific issues as they are addressed during the debate. Participation will be prompted to respond throughout the entire broadcast of the debate. The company expects the participation of approximately 2,000 individuals.

Voters aren't buying it Try as he might to wrest the "change" mantra from Obama, McCain just can't manage to pull it off. He is, for now and for always, tied to Bush and the failed policies he supported.

We are going to miss Carly too, Jonathan Jonathan Capeheart at the Washington Post is pining over the banishment of Carly Fiorina from the interview circuit. Us too. Her exquisitely shod foot was just the right size for McSame's mouth, and some of the stuff she said left McCain searching the heavens in stunned silence when reporters asked about it. We are going to miss that, and hope she returns to the airwaves real, real soon.

Tzipi Livni claims victory in elections held today to determine who will lead the Kadima party. With embattled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stepping down amid allegations of corruption, Livni's victory puts her on a trajectory to be the first woman to hold the office of Prime Minister in over three decades, if she can form a coalition. Odds are probably pretty good that she can. Even if she didn't have her own record to point to, her quite compelling life story would go a long ways in many circles.

Vatican official "dismayed" at rejection of evolution by certain christian groups The official, who is also a professor at a Vatican-sponsored university, openly criticized biblical literalists yesterday and expressed bemusement at Christian groups that reject the theory of evolution. He went on to underscore the official Vatican position - that evolution is not incompatible with faith.

I bet China executes some people over this A third Chinese infant has died from the infant formula tainted with the industrial chemical Melanine. At least 6200 have been sickened, many sustaining serious kidney damage and , as a result of the contamination. Melanine is the same chemical that was implicated in all of those pet deaths caused by tainted Chinese pet food last year. In July of 2007, the chief drug regulatory officer was executed for taking bribes and approving dangerous drugs, so there is precedent.

An apology from Gates for the deaths of Afghan civilians. So far this year, 1445 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan, about half by militants and half by occupying forces.

Eclipse 500 light jet approved by FAA in spite of safety concerns voiced by government engineers with the Transportation Department that stem from problems with the design and production of the aircraft. The House Transportation Committee is also investigating the approval, “there is a disturbing suggestion that there was a ’cozy relationship’ and reduced level of vigilance” by the agency during the jet’s approval process, according to a briefing paper prepared for the committee.