Monday, April 28, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Echo Chamber We always knew, and a Pew report confirms it - between 1998 and 2006, conservatives migrated to Fox News and never looked up. As a result, unspinnable reality has set upon us all like a plague of boils.

I know where a whole lot of people's "stimulus checks" are going! Right into the old gas tank. Gas has hit $3.60 a gallon, and crude oil futures are closing in on $120 per barrel. Can we get serious about public transit in areas that don't have it, please? It isn't just for poor people any more - although gas prices are creating a whole lot more poor people...

Go read Brad Friedman right now He has a great post up about the new movie Body of War. He reminds us all that there are a whole lot of people who owe the people who opposed this clusterfuck from the outset an apology for the treatment we were subjected too by people caught up in the revenge spiral of insanity.

Let the voter purges begin The courts are supposed to guarantee citizens access to the polls, not enable voter disenfranchisement and suppression. This is the sort of thing that, if allowed to stand, signals revolution and the end of Republics. And the irony is not lost - they spin the invasion of Iraq as an attempt to instill Democracy. Hard to type that with a straight face, when they suppress the political opposition at home.

I think this means "don't buy the RNC spin" The M$M would have us believe that the Democrats peaked to soon, it's over, McCain has won, so let's go home. But you know what Colbert says about facts - they have a well known liberal bias. In spite of the doom and gloom passed on by the Cassandras at every major outlet, people are still flocking to the Democratic party in droves, so the talk of lost momentum sounds like garden variety bullshit to me.

Hillary courts the military vote in North Carolina Appearing with former Joint Chiefs Chairman Hugh Shelton, she reminded people in this heavily-military state that she is the candidate that over 30 retired flag-ranks have endorsed, not her Democratic primary opponent and certainly not fellow retiree John McCain. That is going to carry some weight with certain segments of the voting public - that's not taking sides, that's just reality.

Regarding the Jeremiah Wright ongoing flap
, a commenter at Washington Monthly hit the nail on the head: If you took every recorded remark, interview and sermon delivered by Rev. Wright and stitched them together into one giant video loop, then took that loop and put it on a cable channel by itself, 24-7 endlessly, it still wouldn't bring a single soldier home from Iraq; wouldn't provide adequate therapy for a single wounded vet; wouldn't affect the price of gasoline or crude oil by a fraction of a penny; wouldn't make a single bit of difference in the day to day life of a single Guantanamo detainee; wouldn't provide health care for a single citizen who doesn't already have it and wouldn't do a thing to insure that a patient actually receives the medical care that their insurance premiums have paid for; wouldn't create a single job to replace any of the millions that have been exported; wouldn't make a single mortgage payment for a single homeowner, in default or not; wouldn't convict nor even indict a single Republican leech in a Bush Administration cesspool of corruption; wouldn't lower global temperatures a single degree for even a single day....but it would give journalists, pundits and bloggers a reason to ignore everything that might matter to anyone on the morning of November 5th and every day after.

Talk about pathetic: The Republican National Committee demanded Monday that television networks stop running a television ad by the Democratic Party that falsely suggests John McCain wants a 100-year war in Iraq. The ad says President Bush has talked about staying in Iraq for 50 years, then plays a clip of McCain saying, "Maybe 100. That'd be fine with me." The announcer then says: "If all he offers is more of the same, is John McCain the right choice for America's future?" Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said the ad deliberately distorts what McCain, the likely GOP presidential nominee, said. The committee's chief counsel, Sean Cairncross, said he sent letters Monday to NBC, CNN and MSNBC insisting that they stop airing the commercial. At issue is McCain's answer, in January, to a question about Bush's theory that troops could be in Iraq for 50 years. McCain said: "Maybe 100. As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, that'd be fine with me, and I hope it would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al-Qaida is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day." That's right--the RNC is complaining about the fact that McCain is being quoted accurately.

Go love yourself some Froomkin: As the Bush presidency staggers to an end, it's hard to say who has less to brag about: the president or the journalists who cover him. So it's fitting that the last White House Correspondents' Association dinner of the Bush era -- the ultimate celebration of chumminess between the most powerful people in the world and those who are supposed to hold them accountable -- was a dispiriting, mostly humorless affair. President Bush phoned in his appearance, uttering a few topical one-liners but leaning primarily on greatest-hits footage from previous performances -- and wrapping up with a cartoonish but crowd-pleasing "conducting" of the Marine band.

Another story that probably won't surprise you: A new government report by the investigative arm of Congress concludes that the process for analyzing health effects of toxic chemicals "is at serious risk of becoming obsolete" because of endless delays and secrecy, CBS News correspondent Chip Reid reports. Behind it all, critics say, is the White House. "We're witnessing a scandal of major proportions, in my opinion," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. "And, yes, politics has taken over the whole thing ... and the scientists are being thrown to the rear." An EPA scientist with extensive experience in this area, who refused to go on camera due to fear of retribution, told CBS News: "these chemicals have effects ranging from learning disabilities to cancer. And EPA scientists can't protect the public because of white house interference." My guess is that everyone will yawn and throw it on the pile. And it's a big frickin' pile...

I so would have aced this class...Teenagers in Singapore are being encouraged to attend classes to help them meet, fall in love, and stay with a partner for life. It would never fly here - they are teaching fact-based sex-ed.

The FDA jumped the gun...It's that simple. For my entire career in trauma services with forays into research, the "Holy Grail" has been a blood replacement with an affinity for Oxygen that we could administer in the field. Currently, we can use LR (lactated ringers solution) which is isotonic to blood, but all that does is replace some of the volume lost while maintaining molarity and electrolytes, and that isn't always enough; lacking hemoglobin, it doesn't carry oxygen to cells. Like I said, a blood substitute is the holy grail - now the FDA is coming under fire for allowing studies to proceed even after data confirmed that the incidence of heart attack and death spiked by 30% for patients who received the products.

Tornados devastated Virginia this afternoon, leaving a 25-mile swath of devastation and prompting Governor Tim Keane to declare a state of emergency. Early reports of a fatality were later retracted, but 200 people were injured in the violent storms.

Iranian Judiciary official want a ban on importing Barbie dolls and other western toys, warning against "destructive" social and cultural consequences.

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