Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

More Devastation from the War on Weed As if violent crime weren't bad enough, the latest casualties in the war on drugs have been pretty unlikely: deer, bear, squirrels, chipmunks, and foliage. In an audacious move, Mexican drug cartels have been using our own National Parks to grow their marijuana crop and treating everything that's not "weed" as weeds. Banned pesticides are being brought in to kill off competing plants, large animals are poached, and rat poison is being spread out to kill off everything else that might be tempted to munch on the valuable plants. A word to the FBI: Uh, gentlemen? If there were ever a use for the ridiculous eco-terrorism laws, this would be it. Perhaps you could stop spying on PETA protesters and the anti-fur college kids long enough to deal with this wholesale destruction of the nation's forests and wildlife.

Go Ahead and Jump! The Golden Gate Bridge will be decked out with a shiny new net to catch bridge jumpers if San Francisco officials have their way. About 20 people a year jump to their death from the bridge with a total of 2000 lost souls since its construction in 1937, a sufficient number to to perturb city officials. The new stainless steel net would run the length of the bridge and presumably extend out far enough on either side that no one short of Carl Lewis would be able to jump past its saving embrace. A question, though: once in the net, however, couldn't someone just crawl to the edge and throw themselves the rest of the way down? Sounds like there may be a need for a second net.

Pakistan Goes Grassroots Against Terror Sixty-three million people or about one in three Pakistanis recently signed their names to a program decrying terrorism as a method to solve problems. Entitled "This is not Us," the lobbying effort sponsored by Muslim businessmen from the U.K. and Indonesia is using Pakistani pop stars and celebrities to get its message across. Here's to hoping that it has more success than Nancy Reagan's "Just Say 'No'."

Holy Cow! Mitch McConnell might lose! Kentucky's own Media Czech, of Barefoot and Progressive, on how thoroughly Mitch McConnel is fucking up the campaign he couldn't lose, but now is about to: Mitch McConnell is rapidly losing his reputation as a master campaigner...With the polls closing in tight, Mitch is loosing his cool, running scared, and making gaffes that he typically avoids. He didn't expect a race, but he by-god got one, and now he doesn't know whether to crap or go blind.

Tearing down the wall between church and state As governor, Sarah Palin made trips back to Wasilla for church events - trips that the state of Alaska picked up the tab for, buying her airline tickets and then paying her a "per diem" for sleeping in her own bed.

450 sickened by contaminated water in China Four of the stricken have been confirmed to be suffering from Arsenic poisoning. The source of the contamination was reportedly torrential rains that caused a spill of dangerous chemicals from a chemical company that serves metallurgical needs.

Tolja so - all the Reagan dems are coming home. The new Newsweek poll, which finds Obama leading McCain by 52%-41% among registered voters, also finds some serious movement among voter groups that had been reluctant to back the Illinios Senator in the past: He now leads McCain among both men (54 percent to 40 percent) and women (50 percent to 41 percent). He now wins every age group of voters -- including those over 65 years of age, who back him over McCain 49 to 43 percent. Supporters of Hillary Clinton, as many as a fifth of whom had at one point told pollsters they'd support McCain over Obama, now back the Democratic nominee 88 percent to 7 percent.

Congo can't catch a break A new rebel group has popped up in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Popular Front for Justice in Congo - known by its French acronym, FPJC, had earlier taken a village close to the provincial capital of Bunia, killing soldiers and sending thousands fleeing for their lives into the bush. Bunia is a critical area, being where U.N. peacekeepers are based.