Monday, November 24, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Goode Riddance The Virginia Secretary of State has certified the election in the congressional race for the VA 05 - and it is Democrat Tom Perriello by 745 votes out of more than 316,000 cast. The margin of 0.24 percentage points entitles Goode to a recount at taxpayer expense, and he is exercising that option. The odds are with Perriello and he is moving ahead with transition plans.

The invisible man leaves the room Alan Colmes is leaving ‘Hannity & Colmes.’

Heh! Freedom’s Watch, the hyper-hawkish and uber-conservative 527 is closing up shop. It was formed before the 2006 midterms to make third-party, fear mongering commercials that were supposed to scare the bejebus out of Americans by convincing them that terrorists were comin’ to behead us all so they would vote for republicans was a spectacular failure and republicans experienced devastating electoral losses two elections in a row as a beleaguered populace looked at them, rolled their eyes, said “whatever” and got back to worrying about the war in Iraq in 2006 and the economy in 2008, and voted for Democrats.

Dick Morris used to patronize whores, now he is one Dick Morris has spent a lot of airtime and column inches soliciting donations for the National Republican Trust PAC lately - but in no instance as he been forthright and told the readers/viewers that he benefits financially from the PAC.

Begging his pardon? Bush has pardoned 14 convicted criminals and commuted the prison sentences of two others. The offenses ranged from drug charges to tax evasion (like Mark Rich, who the wingnuts have spent eight years verklempt about.)

That cheer you heard was from Facebook users everywhere A United States court has slapped a Canadian spammer with an $837 million penalty for sending unwanted messages to users of the popular social networking site.

Kewllll!!! An underwater camera on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico has captured 25 seconds of images of a giant finned squid…with elbowed tentacles.

Lukashenko picks his pony The President of Belarus is tossing his lot in with Moscow. Lukashenko, who has ruled the former Soviet republic for 14 years plans to run for another term in 2011, and that Belarus would retain "very strong relations" with Russia. "You fly NATO planes near our country's borders. Why? We begin strengthening our air defences. This is pushing a mini arms race," Lukashenko said in an interview. "We are very concerned about what's happening on our borders. Why expand and strengthen NATO? Let's rather think about how we can dismantle this military machine... It's absolutely unnecessary," he added. Hey - sounds good to me - you think you can get Putin to make Medvedev say that, too?

Russians see Obama as flexible on missile defense Speaking at the Asia-Pacific forum in Peru, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev expressed hope that incoming president Obama would be willing to come back to the table and negotiate about the missile defense system that the Bush administration wants to put on Russia’s borders in the Czech Republic and Poland. What really impressed me was the way Putin was making a show of drinking a glass of water while Medvedev spoke.

Nobel laureate joins Obama’s transition team Mario Molina, the winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is joining the Obama transition team to lead the new administrations science and ecology efforts. Molina was a science and ecology adviser to Mexican President Felipe Calderon and teaches at the University of California-San Diego and the Scripps Oceanographic Institute. Since 2005, he has headed the Mario Molina Center for Strategic Studies on Energy and the Environment located in Mexico City, where he currently makes his home.

Holy shit, sixty really could happen Saxby Chambliss is polling under 50% going into the December 4 runoff election against Democrat Jim Martin. His ultra-sleazy negative ad blitz isn’t putting him over the top - and might actually be working against him. Chambliss is running fear mongering ads accusing Martin of being soft on crimes against children. Does he really think that the people of Georgia don’t remember that Martin’s daughter was abducted when she was eight? Not an experience that makes a man sympathetic to criminals who prey on children.

Biden‘s Senate replacement named Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner has named Ted Kaufman, long-time aide to Senator Joe Biden, to serve out the next two years of Senator Biden’s term, until a special election can be held in 2010. Speculation is that Kaufman will serve as a placeholder and Senator Biden’s son Beau, the Delaware Attorney General, who is currently deployed to Iraq with his National Guard Unit, will run for the seat in 2010.

Dr. Susan Rice likely to be Obama’s Ambassador to the U.N. What a wonderful choice. After the insult of John Bolton, sending Rice to the UN indicates that Obama is serious about rehabilitating our jingoistic image. Apparently it will no longer be standard operating procedure for our etic to run over your emic.

Finally someone gets it right The wingers have been screaming against the Employee Fair Choice Act, claiming it would lead to “coercion” and “disenfranchisement.” This is, of course, bullshit, and any time a winger claims to be sticking up for a workers right to unionize, you know they are full of shit. Just the opposite is true, of course. it would enfranchise employees by limiting employers' ability to coerce them into opposing organization efforts. Anyone who has ever worked in a job that a union tried to organize damned well knows it, too. I was a shift supervisor (one pay-grade below a management title) in 2003-2004 when the SEIU tried to unionize the hospital lab. I know who was doing the coercing, and it wasn’t the union - it was HCA.

So? The CEO of GM says he “got the message” and won’t be flying the corporate jet any more. The question is…will he sell it on eBay?

Richard Clarke for CIA director? As good a figurehead as any, I guess. But intel is a military operation now, so it could be a potted plant if it could do the Sunday shows without stepping on it’s own dick or getting a visible woody at the thought of using torture against brown people.