Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Quote of the day Paul Begala today on Meet the Press: "This guilt by association path is going to be trouble ultimately for the McCain campaign… the problem is that a lot of people know John McCain’s record better than Governor Palin. And he does not want to play guilt by association or this thing could blow up in his face."

Obama opens up seven point lead in Ohio A new Columbus Dispatch poll shows Obama pulling far enough ahead to overcome the margin of error in Ohio, with 20 all-important electoral votes.

Virginia GOP fears the state will turn blue Virginia has gone republican in every presidential election since 1964, but that looks like it will change this year. McCain isn't even airing ads in NoVA and has held one campaign event in the state since securing the nomination. Obama, meantime, is blanketing the airwaves and between the candidate, his running mate and his very effective wife, the Democratic ticket has held 12 rallies and events in the state. They seem effective - has Obama inching ahead - the lead is less than a point so far, but the trend is toward Obama.

Yet McCain takes weekends off! Not that it hurts our feelings that he is imploding like a busted CRT, but damn! For the sake of the people who gave him money, he could at least act like he wants the job! He is in Sedona, but Obama was on the trail today, campaigning in Newport News, Virgina.

Okay, calling her an 'unctuous guttersnipe' was an understatement Yesterday at a rally in California, Palin misquoted Madeline Albright, spinning the former Secretary of State and U.N. Ambassador's statement that "there is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women" as a mandate that all women ought to vote for the republican 'ticket' by changing "help" to "support" - then slapped at the media by spouting some undiagramable 'sentence' that ended with "that is turned into whatever it'll be turned into tomorrow with the newspaper." Jeebus - is it November yet? She makes our brain hurt.

Violence claims the lives of 33 in northeast India Fighting erupted in northeast India between Bodo tribesmen and Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, killing 33 and leaving thousands homeless. Eight of the dead were shot by police, who opened fire on rioters. A curfew has been imposed on the area, the police have "shoot on sight" orders, and the military has been called in to restore order and keep the peace.

Russian forces are pulling back Russian forces in the buffer zones between Georgia and the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have dismantled one checkpoint and are breaking others down as the October 10 deadline draws near. Some expressed concern that a car bombing two days ago in Tskhinvali, the capital city of South Ossetia, killed eight Russian soldiers and three Ossetian civilians would delay the withdrawal, but so far, that does not appear to be the case.

Assessing the environmental impact of Ike Last months devastating hurricane on the Texas coast was an environmental nightmare - half a million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and coastal bayous and waterways as high winds and huge waves demolished drilling platforms, destroyed storage tanks and compromised pipelines. The hardest hit areas were industrial centers near Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, as well as oil production facilities off Louisiana's coast.

Watch how they nationalize this problem in Europe: Germany became the latest country to move to allay fears about the financial meltdown, enhancing a rescue plan for Hypo Real Estate AG and guaranteeing private bank accounts as European governments scrambled on their own Sunday to save failing banks. Chancellor Angela Merkel said that no citizen should fear for the safety of their investments. Hours later, her government announced a new bailout package totaling 50 billion euros ($69 billion) for Hypo Real Estate, Germany's second-biggest commercial property lender. Hypo said an original euro35 billion ($48 billion) rescue plan fell apart after private lenders withdrew support, a key element to the proposal that had already been approved by the EU. The deal was on top of the guarantees of private accounts. German Finance Ministry spokesman Torsten Albig said the unlimited guarantee covered some 568 billion euros ($785 billion) in savings and checking accounts as well as time deposits, or CDs. At the same time, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said that France's BNP Paribas SA had committed to taking a 75-percent stake in Fortis NV.

What will the Livni era look like? Israeli Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni warned Sunday that time is running out for a peace agreement with the Palestinians, with extremists gaining strength as negotiations stumble. In her first foreign policy speech since her appointment to form a new government, Livni said Israel must press ahead with peace talks because "doing nothing has its own price." Israel and the Palestinians resumed talks last November at an international conference hosted by President Bush. They set a target date of January 2009, when Bush leaves office, for completing a peace deal, but little apparent progress has been made, and both sides cast severe doubt about meeting the target.

Please pay the right kind of attention to countries like Kazakhstan: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that America was not playing a "zero-sum game" with the Kremlin to pry resource-rich former Communist states from Russia's influence. Stopping in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan after a one-day trip to India, Ms. Rice also rejected the idea that any country exercised "a special sphere of influence" in the region. President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, who said in August that Moscow had "privileged interests" in areas formerly in its domain, visited Kazakhstan just two weeks before Ms. Rice. Vice President Dick Cheney visited the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine in early September. "Kazakhstan is an independent country. It can have friendships with whomever it wishes," Ms. Rice said in answer to a question about whether the United States was trying to steal Russia's allies. Her comments, at a news conference in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, were posted on the State Department Web site. Later, after meeting with Kazakhstan's foreign minister, Marat Tazhin, Ms. Rice said, "This is not some kind of contest for the affection of Kazakhstan between the countries of the region." Stop her before she screws up again, please.

No shit: Al Ribeiro, until now McCain's Michigan state director, had the unenviable task of sending out an email to Republicans in the state explaining as delicately as possible why they were pulling out. "With 30 days before the election, the campaign must decide where it can best utilize its limited resources with the goal of winning nationally and ensuring John McCain is our next President,' Ribiero explained in an message Saturday, adding that McCain hadn't given up on the state and urging activists to keep working. One county chair wasn't buying -- and he let Ribiero and a large list of other Michigan Republicans know in a scalding email reply. "If you are going to end visits to the state by McCain/ Palin, do it," urged Jack Waldvogel, Chairman of the Emmet County GOP in a message obtained by Politico. "Just don't formally announce that you are 'pulling out' of Michigan, and then come back two days later asking the base core of support to 'keep working.' What a slap in the face to all the thousands of people who have been energized by the addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket. I've been involved in County Party politics and organization for 40 years, and this is the biggest dumbass stunt I have ever seen."