Monday, October 27, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Using the cancer-fighting dark pigment of fruit to fight cancer: A new study has shown that, with a little help from science, some fruit may even cure cancer...The trick for genetic scientists was to take the natural cancer-fighting dark pigment that exists in blueberries and cranberries, for example, and produce it in more commonly available fruit ... like the garden variety tomato. "Genetic modification is a technology," said genetic scientist Prof. Cathie Martin. "We can do some good things, which offer real advantages to consumers." It turns out that when genes from the snapdragon flower are inserted into tomatoes, which have small amounts of the anti-cancer agent, they produce more of it. And when those tomatoes are fed to a cancer-prone breed of laboratory mice, they live longer.

An empty promise? Croatia's prime minister pledged Friday to relentlessly pursue the killers of a journalist slain in a bombing, promising that no criminal would sleep calmly until this case and other major crimes were solved. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader convened an emergency session of the national security council to discuss the death of Ivo Pukanic, 47, who owned and edited Nacional, an influential publication known for its investigative journalism. Nacional's marketing director, Niko Franjic, also died when an explosive device was placed near their car in the capital, Zagreb.

Mudflats on Ted Stevens: Power has corrupted. Arrogance has become karma. Justice has been served. All that said, I have little doubt that Stevens has not been cowed by this experience. It'll take more than a few goddam lousy felony convictions to get to "Uncle Ted." Remember, this is the guy who wears Incredible Hulk ties on the floor of the Senate. This is the fist-pounding, curmudgeon that just told Democratic challenger Mark Begich he was "crazy as the Devil" during their latest debate. Ted will not go quietly. Expect him to go full steam ahead with his campaign. Expect an appeal of the verdict. And expect a few more good chapters of the Ted Stevens story before this is all over.

Bullshit: The Maryland State Police will allow 53 activists wrongly classified as terrorists in a police database to bring an attorney with them to view the files before they are destroyed. Police initially only planned to allow the individual wrongly entered into the state police's Case Explorer criminal intelligence database to view the file. Police also are allowing individuals to obtain a copy of the file. The change is being made after the American Civil Liberties Union protested, saying many of the activists were reluctant to go to state police offices unaccompanied. Uh, EVERYONE gets a file, EVERYONE gets to see what was done, and EVERYONE gets redress.

Mosul to degenerate further into violence A new Iraqi military offensive is under way in this still violent northern city, but the worry is not only the insurgents who remain strong here. American commanders are increasingly concerned that Mosul could degenerate into a larger battleground over the fragile Iraqi state itself. The problems are old but risk spilling out violently here and now. The central government in Baghdad has sent troops to quell the insurgency here, while also aiming at what it sees as a central obstacle to both nationhood and its own power: the semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north and the Kurds' larger ambitions to expand areas under their control.

Pension funds drained all over America: The market downturn is ravaging public pension funds across the United States, with many state and local governments seeing more than 20 percent of their retirement pools swept away in the turmoil. Even before the financial crisis, many large pension funds already were considered to be inadequately funded, according to the Government Accountability Office. The losses could force some states and local governments to ask taxpayers to pay more into the funds or to demand more contributions from the police, teachers and other government employees whom the benefits cover. Public pension funds dropped 14.8 percent in value for the year ended Sept. 30, according to Northern Trust, an investment company. The funds, which typically have most of their money in stocks, have probably dropped far more than that because the markets have dropped 20 percent more since then.

As a convicted felon in Alaska Uncle Ted will not be allowed to cast a ballot in the upcoming election. He wants to continue to represent a state that will not allow him, as a convicted felon, the right of suffrage.

Stupid, desperate and despicable A phony State Board of Elections flier is being circulated in Hampton Roads, VA advising Republicans to vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5, asserting that the state legislature held an emergency session and added an extra day of voting to deal with the expected high turnout. If it sounds familiar, its because the same trick was tried four years ago by some college republicans in the northeast. It was bullshit then, too. A states general assembly can't change the date of a federal election.

The Dow dropped 203 points today, closing at 8175.

Are bees sentient? That is a legitimate question, since Australian researchers have proven that they can count.

Andy Martin tries a new smear The lying douchebag who started the "Obama is a Muslim!" smear is trying a new tack. Now he says Obama is actually the biological son of Frank Marshall Davis, a poet, activist and one-time communist. He offers no proof for this assertion and implied it was just a gut feeling. We are going to elect Obama and this asshole is going to stroke out.

50,000 purged from voter rolls in Georgia More than 50,000 registered Georgia voters have been "flagged" because of a computer mismatch in their personal identification information. At least 4,500 of those people are having their citizenship questioned and the burden is on them to prove that they are eligible to vote.

Megyn Kelly goes insane on camera Hey, Megs...if ya don't want to be called out for being a GOP shill...don't be a lying GOP shill!!!

Sexist??? The RNC is insisting that the media is sexist for reporting the embarrassing $150,000 Palin wardrobe story.

Hilarious! The McCain campaign is so desperate that they are hiring volunteers from employment agencies...Some of them admit openly that they are actually supporters of Obama, but times are tight, so they will take McCain's money.