Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Well, they were right about John Edwards The National Enquirer is "reporting" that Cindy McCain is doing the nasty with dome dude - not Mr. Strait Talk - who looks like a "washed up 80's rock star." No, it ain't David Coverdale. Stop asking! They have a grainy photo, just like they did when they broke the Edwards story. So...

This is gonna make Bill O's head explode The American Humanist Society is placing ads on Washington DC city buses that proclaims "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake." The ads will appear next week and run through December. A spokesman for the AHS said that the purpose of running the ads through the holiday season is not to challenge believers, but to remind Agnostics and Atheists that there are others like them out there. And planting seeds of rational thought and critical thinking is a bonus, too.

The economic downturn comes knocking on Intel's door The largest manufacturer of computer chips lowered its fourth-quarter sales forecast by about $1 billion amid ``significantly weaker'' demand across its entire product line.

Another $100 billion in fake money disappears The global hedge fund industry contracted by 3.3% last month according to an estimate by Singapore-based hedge-fund research and publishing company Eurekahedge Pte. The biggest market losses since the Great Depression and investor withdrawals hurt the $1.7 trillion hedge funds industry, largely unregulated pools of capital. The index measuring global funds has lost 11 percent this year, set for the worst performance since 2000 when the data provider began tracking the performances.

Connecticut steps into the 21st Century Same-sex couples gained full equality in Connecticut today after a final court hearing cleared the way for gay marriage, ending a long legal battle in the Constitution State.

Why doesn't this pervert have the decency to just stay gone? A little over two years after losing his congressional career in a sex scandal involving underage male congressional pages, Mark Foley has broken radio silence. He says he isn't a pedophile because the young men he engaged in inappropriate electronic conversations with were almost eighteen.

Begich pulls ahead of Stevens in Alaska Senate Race The recount is still underway, but as of this writing, Begich is ahead by three votes.

We have been in worse company After Sarah-geddon whined about bloggers being mean to her and dismissed us as just sitting around in our parents basements in our pajamas - Rachel Maddow expressed her solidarity with us, saying she considers herself “a blogger on TV” - and did her show in her pajamas.

The Grand Dame of the White House press pool is back at work Helen Thomas returned to the press pool today after battling a stomach infection for several months. She has covered nine presidents and intends to be there to cover the President-Elect, but warns that he shouldn't expect much of a honeymoon from her, "maybe a month," she said.

Blast from the past: About that boon to gun sales - what the M$M is not reporting in their breathless coverage of guns flying off the shelves after the election - it is the result of carefully planned manipulation by the ad wizards at the NRA. They spent tens of millions of dollars whipping up a frenzy of fear among their reactionary minions, even though President-Elect Obama never mentioned gun control on the trail. (Click the link - the article goes to a Politico post from last June...)

Something else I voted for: As a transition team for the Obama administration begins work on a Justice Department overhaul, the key question is where to begin. Political considerations affected every crevice of the department during the Bush years, from the summer intern hiring program to the dispensing of legal advice about detainee interrogations, according to reports by the inspector general and testimony from bipartisan former DOJ officials at congressional hearings. Although retired federal judge Michael B. Mukasey, who took charge of the department last winter, has drawn praise for limiting contacts between White House officials and prosecutors, and for firmly rejecting the role of politics in law enforcement, restoring public confidence in the department's law enforcement actions will be central, lawmakers and former government officials say. A-fucking-men it is.

Assclowns abound: Madison County, Idaho was once dubbed "the reddest place in America" by Salon, but that didn't make it any less shocking when elementary school children started chanting "assassinate Obama on the school bus. Matthew Whoolery told KIKD News he found out about the chanting from his second and third graders, who had no idea what the word "assassinate" meant. "They just hadn't heard anything like this before," Whoolery stated. "I think the thing that struck us was just like, 'Where did they get the word and why would they put that word and that person together?'" I dunno--the parents? Duh.

It gets fishy when these banks start talking about what they will and won't do: US regulators urged banks Wednesday to "fulfill their fundamental role" in the economy by maintaining lending to creditworthy borrowers. A joint statement by the US Treasury, Federal Reserve and other bank regulators said the economic outlook could be worsened if banks retreat or tighten lending standards too much. "At this critical time, it is imperative that all banking organizations and their regulators work together to ensure that the needs of creditworthy borrowers are met," the statement said.

And this is news? North Korea may be hoping to squeeze concessions from the international community by refusing to let inspectors remove samples from a plutonium-producing nuclear plant, the South's foreign minister said on Thursday. North Korea said on Wednesday that the issue infringed on its sovereignty and was not part of a disarmament-for-aid deal reached with five countries, including the United States and China. "If we consider North Korea's clear negotiation pattern, its strategy has always been to create a crisis before resolving something, and trying to use that point to secure further concessions," Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told a seminar.

Let's pray that Saxby Chambliss is utterly destroyed, and soon: With Sen. John McCain returning to the campaign trail on Thursday on stump for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss in his runoff race in Georgia, Democrats are reminding voters and donors of a controversial ad aired by Chambliss in the heated final weeks of the 2002 campaign that shows pictures of Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, a triple-amputee from wounds suffered during his service in Vietnam, just after shots of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The ad — which has a voice-over warning that, "As Americans face terrorists and extremist dictators, Max Cleland runs television ads saying he has the courage to lead," then lists votes where the Democrat opposed President Bush before concluding that "the record proves Max Cleland is just misleading" — helped propel Chambliss to an unexpected victory. "I'd never seen anything like that ad," McCain said at the time of the spot, which was widely condemned by Democrats. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield is "worse than disgraceful," said McCain. "It's reprehensible."

The Spanish word is "pirĂ¡mide" Thousands of Colombians rioted around the country on Wednesday, demanding their money back after being defrauded in a series of pyramid schemes and in some cases mocked by those who took their cash. In some of the nine cities where the protests erupted, police used batons and tear gas to subdue angry victims. In recent months, a number of phony loan companies have vanished after promising depositors interest rates as high as 150 percent. Regular savings accounts are unpopular in Colombia due to high banking fees.

A breakthrough?A bone marrow transplant using stem cells from a donor with natural genetic resistance to the AIDS virus has left an HIV patient free of infection for nearly two years, German researchers. The patient, an American living in Berlin, was infected with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS and also had leukemia. The best treatment for the leukemia was a bone marrow transplant, which takes the stem cells from a healthy donor's immune system to replace the patient's cancer-ridden cells.

Human rights under attack in Bahrain: Bahrain's government should withdraw a threat by the interior minister to prosecute human rights activists for having met with foreign government officials while abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. In a statement published by Bahrain's official news agency on November 5, 2008, the interior minister, Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, threatened Bahraini activists with prosecution for having meetings abroad "for the purpose of discussing internal affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain in violation of the law," citing article 134 of Bahrain's penal code. "Bahrain points to its membership on the UN Human Rights Council as proof that it's committed to human rights, then threatens to jail people who exercise them," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North African director at Human Rights Watch. "The kingdom should change laws that violate human rights and stop threatening people who exercise them."