Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nightowl Newswrap - Weekend Edition

Dean blasts McCain as trying to peddle more of the same: "As I listened to Senator John McCain's remarks about the economy this week, I heard more of the same Republican policies that George Bush has brought us for the last eight years," Dean said in the Democrats' weekly radio address. Among those policies, Dean said, are "privatizing Social Security, denying our children health care, adding $8 trillion in new deficits, no plan to turn our economy around or help people keep their homes." Despite the nation's current economic woes, including rising unemployment, lower wages and record gas prices, "Senator McCain believes we are better off," Dean said.

Soyuz Capsule Lands Way off the mark: A Russian capsule carrying South Korea's first astronaut touched down 260 miles off target in northern Kazakhstan on Saturday after hurtling through the atmosphere in a bone-jarring descent from the international space station. It was the second time in a row - and the third since 2003 - that the Soyuz landing went awry. Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said the condition of the crew - South Korean bioengineer Yi So-yeon, American astronaut Peggy Whitson and Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko - was satisfactory, though the three had been subjected to severe gravitational forces during the re-entry.

Bill Maher gets it right: Referring to voters who America has left behind economically as “bitter” isn’t an insult. In fact, it’s a compliment, acknowledging that they’re smart enough to understand what’s happening to them. The hopeful, now those are some idiots. So let’s separate the bitter – my people – from the idiots. If you think the Democrats are going to take away your Bible, you’re an idiot. If you think they’re going to take away your gun, you’re an armed idiot. And if you think they’re going to take away your gun and give it to a Mexican to kill your God, you’re Bill O’Reilly."

Jonah Goldberg gets it wrong: "Five of the last seven presidents have been Republicans at least nominally committed to appointing conservative justices. Some have fallen short in that department (though not President George W. Bush), which is why the Supreme Court today hangs in the balance. John McCain could conceivably make the mistake of appointing a Souter or a Stevens or some other justice who sees the Constitution as an ink blot." Actually, it wasn't the Supreme Court that eviscerated the Constitution and treated it like an "ink blot." It was the Bush Administration, but who cares as long as we're half-assing our way through life on mama's dime, right?

So much for who's the "elitist" John McCain on Friday faced accusations of hypocrisy for failing to disclose his wife’s tax records, despite his promise to bring greater transparency and accountability to government. The Arizona senator declared income of $419,731 in 2007 – a fraction of the multi-million dollar earnings reported by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rivals. But the disclosure excluded the income of his wife, Cindy, the heiress to a large Arizona beer distribution company, whose wealth is estimated at more than $100 million. Perhaps he doesn't want to reveal how much of that was stolen. (Cindy McCain, the wife of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), admitted stealing Percocet and Vicodin from the American Voluntary Medical Team, an organization that aids Third World countries. Percocet and Vicodin are schedule 2 drugs, [Vicodin is a Schedule 3 drug] in the same legal category as opium. Each pill theft carries a penalty of one year in prison and a monetary fine.) Either way, the media will just have a big mancrush moment and we'll never get the story. (thanks to reader Bonnie for the clarification)

The Law of Unintended Consequences When You Cave in to Wingnuttery: The debate over the fence the United States is building along its southern border has focused largely on the project's costs, feasibility and how well it will curb illegal immigration. But one of its most lasting impacts may well be on the animals and vegetation that make this politically fraught landscape their home. "This wall is so asinine, and so wrong, I am one of a dozen scientists ready to lay our bodies down in front of tractors," Healy Hamilton, who directs the Center for Biodiversity Research and Information at the California Academy of Sciences, told colleagues at a recent scientific retreat here. "This is one thing we might be able to stop." ...The scientists cite examples such as the 70 remaining Sonoran pronghorns in Arizona's Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, deerlike animals that are the fastest land mammals in North America. They are the only remaining population on U.S. soil, and the five surveillance towers that the administration plans to build in the area will be in the middle of the pronghorns' range, producing noise and human activity that would disturb the sensitive species.

Let's All Make A Big Stink in London: Afoul smell permeating London and parts of England over the past two days is due to farmers on the European continent spreading manure in their fields, forecasters and British farmers said Saturday. Experts say the inescapable farmland smell permeating London will stick around for a couple of days. The agricultural odor is inescapable in central London and smells vaguely of farmland or even garbage. Forecasters said a stiff breeze from the east is carrying the smell across the North Sea from Belgium, the Netherlands and even Germany. They said the smell is likely to hang around through the weekend as the easterly wind continues.

No comments: