Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Quote of the day "It's the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys." Rep. Barney Frank, asked about McCain's stunt today.

Runner up "If you were wondering how bad McCain's pollster was telling him things are, there's your confirmation."

Second runner up “It’s not based on any particular data point. We just wanted to choose a really large number,” a Treasury spokeswoman told on Tuesday, when asked where the $700 billion number was arrived at.

Miss Congeniality A spokesman for Afghan president Hamid Karzai, on the meeting with Sarah Palin "She was asking all the right questions." When asked to clarify, he couldn't exactly recall.

Hostages being held in Egypt: Sudanese troops are keeping watch over a band of kidnappers holed up in the desert after snatching a 19-member tour group in Egypt, but are not closing in on them, fearing any move could endanger the hostages, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. Germany, five of whose citizens are among the captives, has been negotiating with the kidnappers since the group was snatched on Friday while on a Sahara desert safari to a remote plateau in the southwestern corner of Egypt, according to Egyptian officials. Negotiations have been taking place through two phone calls a day between the tour company's Egyptian owner, who was among those kidnapped, and his German wife, who lives in Egypt, an Egyptian security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the talks.

Texans return to Ike-stricken areas: Thousands of residents streamed back to their storm-battered island city Wednesday, many for the first time since fleeing the wrath of Hurricane Ike nearly two weeks ago. Huge lines of traffic backed up on the one major highway leading into Galveston, but things appeared to go smoothly once the city of about 57,000 started letting people in about 6 a.m. Many people had been waiting in their cars along Interstate 45 since before dawn. Police officers were stationed to direct traffic at major intersections where signal lights were ripped away by the hurricane's 110-mile-per-hour wind and 12-foot storm surge on Sept. 13.

The tanking economy means fewer immigrants are coming to the US: The wave of immigrants entering the United States slowed dramatically last year as the economy faltered and the government stepped up enforcement of immigration laws. The nation added about a half million immigrants in 2007, down from more than 1.8 million the year before, according to estimates being released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. "The U.S. is still a beacon for many people who want to come here for all kinds of reasons," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who analyzed the numbers. "But what this shows is that the economy plays a big part in it." One other obstacle could be the 69 percent increase last summer in citizenship fees, about 281,000 immigrants applied to become U.S. citizens in the first half of 2008 - less than half the number of applicants in the same period last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services noted two weeks ago.

Afghan strategy under review: President George W. Bush has ordered a review of US strategy in Afghanistan, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday, amid rising insurgent violence and tensions with Pakistan. The review is being led by Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, a deputy national security adviser, with the participation of senior representatives from the Pentagon and other departments, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Clearly this seems to be a larger, more cross-governmental approach to what we do here on a regular basis," the official said, referring to the Pentagon and its regular reviews of military strategy.

No wonder they are keeping her under wraps What do you substitute for mindnumbingly stupid when the stupid fuck you are talking about (Sarah-geddon) is mindless?

That interview cleared one thing up Now we know for certain they are terrified of putting her in a debate against Biden. At least Biden knows her running mates record!

Hard-Line Stance Against Cuba Latest Victim of HurricanesSerious damage to Cuba's economy and infrastructure from two recent hurricanes has prompted even long-term hardliners to push the Bush Administration for humanitarian assistance. The White House, responding to the pleas of exile groups, authorized direct aid for the first time in the history of the 47-year embargo. The historic exchange was awkward and clumsy on both sides: the initial offer of $100,000 was understandably dismissed by Cuba as unserious given damage totaling in the billions, then sincere offers of blankets were rebuffed with requests for building materials and a recalcitrant Castro refusing any funds. But first steps are often unsteady, and with right-wing exile groups changing their tune on tactics, progress on building relations with our erstwhile opponent may just be in the offing.

Longing for the days of $400 haircuts: Perhaps because he has less raw material to work with than John Edwards, McCain recently paid a make-up artist a whopping $5583.43 to spruce up his aging countenance for a television appearance. Of course Obama is elitist by comparison for ordering orange juice, but voters need to remember that the work involved in maintaing twelve mansions and thirteen vehicles can really take a toll on one's appearance.

I bet he regrets canceling on Letterman Letterman mocked McCain mercilessly tonight after McSame canceled his appearance on tonight's show. (Video at the link)