Monday, November 17, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Schadenfreude alert! After pouring half a million bucks into the effort to codify second-class-citizen status to the California's gay and lesbian citizens, Colorado-based Focus on the Family announced today that they are slashing jobs in both the ministry and the media operation.

Racist bigots are finding that they just can't catch a break these days Glenn Beck was accosted at a Wendy's on Saturday night by a truck driver who called the racist bigot a racist bigot to his racist, bigoted face.

Okay, this just strikes me as odd Mike Huckabee is back, kicking off his 2012 primary bid, promoting a book and settling scores. He is especially pissed off at the big name celebrity preachers who fell under the sway of lust for power. The confusing part is his antipathy for John Hagee. Rather than being relieved that he dodged the bullet and wasn't faced with denouncing Hagee like McCain was, you would think he would be relieved, but he seems like he is still pissed off that he didn't get Hagee's blessing. Weird.

Dark days at the National Review In less than a year, they have lost two Buckley's and a whole bunch of political clout. I mean, let's put Mr. Buckley's brainchild in perspective...not only do they employ Johah Lucianne and K-Lo, but Rich "she winked at me!" Lowry is their standard bearer. It doesn't get any sadder than that.

Vendors want lead rules relaxed Sellers and manufacturers of children's products are asking the government to back off on tough new regulations that were passed following several product recalls of products found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of lead.

Hunger on the rise in the United States The number of American children went hungry at some point last year, and at least one in eight people struggled to provide enough to eat. The numbers for 2007 not only represent a 50% increase over the numbers for 2006, they also represent a snapshot in time taken before the current economic downturn.

Huge cuts at Citibank: Citigroup Inc. is cutting approximately 53,000 more jobs in the coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after suffering massive losses from deteriorating debt. The presentation of the company's plans, posted on the company's Web site, are being discussed by CEO Vikram Pandit at the company's town hall meeting in New York Monday with employees. The company said total headcount is being reduced by 20 percent from its peak of 375,000 at the end of 2007; the company had already announced in October that it was eliminating about 22,000 jobs from those levels.

Greenpeace sounds warning about whale hunt: The mother ship in Japan's whaling fleet left Monday for the country's annual hunt in the Antarctic, the environmental group Greenpeace said, as anti-whaling activists vowed to disrupt the expedition once again after high-seas clashes forced an early halt last year. Government officials declined to confirm the departure of the Nisshin Maru, hoping to avoid protests. The ship left the port of Innoshima near Hiroshima on Monday afternoon under tight security, Greenpeace said. The rest of the fleet is expected to leave from another port this month.

Must be the weather: What's the healthiest city in America? It appears to be Burlington, Vt. Vermont's largest city is tops among U.S. metropolitan areas by having the largest proportion of people - 92 percent - who say they are in good or great health. It's also among the best in exercise and among the lowest in obesity, diabetes and other measures of ill health, according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just don't try to bring this to Burlington: Digital video recording company TiVo Inc. said Monday it is teaming up with Domino's Pizza Inc. to allow subscribers to order pizza for delivery or pick-up from their TV sets. "This is the first time in history that the 'on-demand' generation will be able to fully experience couch commerce by ordering pizza directly through their television set," said Rob Weisberg, vice president of precision and print marketing at Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino's. Weisberg said TV watchers will see an ad for Domino's and will be able to click "I want it" from their TV remote. In about 30 minutes, the pizza will be at the door, he said.

Yahoo! CEO gone: Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang is stepping down as chief executive, ending a rocky reign marked by his refusal to sell the Internet company to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion — more than triple Yahoo's current market value. The change in command announced Monday won't be completed until Yahoo finds his replacement. The Sunnyvale-based company said it is interviewing candidates inside and outside Yahoo in a search led by its chairman, Roy Bostock, and the executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles.

Again with this crap? A year after problems emerged in the construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, another State Department post being built largely by the same Kuwaiti-based company is engulfed by delays, recriminations, and an Inspector General's probe, according to U.S. officials. The embassy building, in the central African nation of Gabon, was supposed to be finished by April 2009. Instead, according to U.S. officials and to documents obtained by McClatchy, the $55 million complex is only 7 percent complete. Workers are still excavating the construction site in the Gabonese capital of Libreville, and early 2010 is the new target date for completion. State Department officials confirmed that the department's inspector general is actively examining the project, but declined to provide details

First we thought it was really cool that Barack Obama collects Spiderman comics and that made us feel happy because we love, love, love, love, love Stan Lee. I mean, c'mon! He created Spidey and he was in a Kevin Smith movie! Now he has been awarded a National Medal of the Arts.

Bark Beetles kill millions of acres if trees in the west From New Mexico to British Columbia, pine forests are succumbing to a huge infestation of mountain pine beetles that are turning green forests rust red. Montana alone has lost a million acres of trees to the parasite.

Newest veterans hit hardest by economic downturn Jesus Christ. We watched the God Boys take over as SAC drew down, and thought we had a hard time. Who knew that what we experienced would be the good old days for members of the U.S. military? That's a sad fucking commentary, by the way.