Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Bush's War If the newswrap ends up a little bit lacking tonight, it is because I am rounding up items of interest while I'm watching, and you can stream it at the link. This is all so infuriating. I mean, it isn't like we didn't know this stuff...but holy hell! They're war criminals! Period. Can we charge them, arrest them and try them already?

What the hell??? Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who co-chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red-to-Blue Program, is refusing to help three democratic challengers who are running against Cuban-American wingnut republican incumbents in Miami-Dade because she is afraid to make enemies of any of the sitting republicans by publicly working against them!!! Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are wingnuts! They aren't going to work with her anyway! Can you stand this??? It's simply intolerable. She is a weak-kneed candy-ass, and she needs to step down from her role with the Red-to-Blue Program because she is too chickenshit to stand up the the republican wingnuts in her own state.

The Surge™ Worked!!! Petraeus and Crocker today gave Bush the war plan for the remainder of 2008, and it keeps troop levels at fifteen combat brigades after the last Surge™ troops leave in this summer. Since the whole purpose was to move the ball down the court a year so the whole mess could be handed off to the next president, it worked! (900 dead notwithstanding, you understand...)

Someone call a WAHHH-mbulance for little Mikey O'Hanlon. The phone has stopped ringing and he isn't getting nearly as many opportunities to fluff aWol's futile war. “I was getting on average three to five calls a day for interviews about the war” in the first years," he whined. “Now it’s less than one a day.” He blames you and me for his wide-open schedule. You see, in his estimation, now that the Surge™ has worked spectacularly, war opponents aren't interested in hearing about it. I think his dearth of commitments is more likely a result of the fact that he has been absolutely wrong about absolutely everything all the way through this fiasco, and someone checked his record.

Pakistan has a new Prime Minister The new Parliament overwhelmingly selected Yousaf Raza Gillani of the Pakistan Peoples Party (he got 264 of 342 votes) and immediately upon being sworn in, he released the judges that Mushareff had ordered detained last year. He also said that he would officially request the United Nations conduct an investigation into the assassination in December of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. “Our slain leader Benazir Bhutto sacrificed her life for the cause of democracy, and now it is our responsibility to strengthen the democratic institutions in line with the aspirations of common people,” Mr. Gillani said.

Diebold makes this sort of thing easier but since he doesn't he'll have to stuff ballot boxes. Tendai Biti, secretary general of Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, is accusing the government of president Robert Mugabe of printing millions of extra ballots for the upcoming presidential election. Information supplied by Fidelity Printers, the printer of the countries banknotes, indicate that the government ordered 9 million ballots for 5.9 million eligible voters. They also said that 60,000 absentee ballots had been requested for a few thousand soldiers.

The third shoe falls Remember back just over five years ago, when we were told that we had to go to war because the Saddam Hussein was an ally of al Qaeda who was developing weapons of mass destruction. And besides that, "he tried to kill my daddy." Well, the lie has been adequately put to the first two assertions...and now, the same Pentagon report that disproved any operational link between Iraq and al Qaeda also implies that the supposed 1993 plot to assassinate Bush pere during a trip to Kuwait probably didn't really happen. So...a hat trick of lies! That's an accomplishment!

Last week it was the sex revelations, this week it's drugs. New York's new governor is coming clean on everything he has ever done. He admitted in a television interview that he used cocaine a couple of times in his twenties and he smoked the reefer as a young man, too. Pretty tame stuff, really. Next week, we can only presume that he will get to his high-school misbehaviors. Me? I am waiting for the following week, when he confesses to snitching cookies after his mommy told him no, and spoiling his dinner when he was five.

The demand for platinum, used in electronics components and in the catalytic converters of automobiles is prompting human rights abuses by the Anglo American mining company and it's subsidiary Anglo Platinum. In the last five years, 20,000 people in South Africa have been misplaced and people who resist giving up their tribal lands have been shot with rubber bullets and forced off to yield to the mining company.

Didn't any of the people occupying positions of power learn life's basics when they were growing up? Lessons like "if something seems to good to be true, it probably is"??? Biofuels is the latest perpetual motion machine/fountain of youth/wart remover/miracle hair regeneration tonic to come along, and the advent was heralded with much fanfare. But not so fast there, sportsfans. Maybe it isn't a panacea after all. Not only are food prices going up because we are putting far too much of our cereal grains into gas tanks; the carbon footprint is just as big. So why are we rushing toward that mirage again? (Especially now that we know it's a mirage.)

Ya know why I'm looking forward to the Beijing games? There are going to be thousands of reporters running around loose in one of the most tight-assed authoritarian regimes on the globe. There are going to be far too many of them for the Chinese government to keep tabs on. That just tickles my fancy and delights me no end. It makes me grin ear to ear. I have been waiting for this since 1995, when the International Decade of Women conference was held in Beijing. Teeheeheeheeheeheehee!

Mondale totally dissed Darth Cheney in a presentation he delivered on the vice presidency at the Humphrey Institute. He accused Cheney of a "wholesale assault on the Constitution, the balance of powers, and the system that evolved since World War II to coordinate intelligence and defense policy..."They wrecked that system," Mondale said.


And that's it for Monday. It may have to hold you until early afternoon...

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