Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Justice delayed is not necessarily justice denied Luciano Benjamin Menendez, the former chief of the Argentinian army went on trial today to answer charges that stem from his role in kidnapping, torturing and killing leftist elements that opposed the military dictatorship during Argentina's "Dirty War" waged against it's own citizens by the military junta from 1976-1983. Menendez, 80, is already confined to house arrest for his involvement in other cases from the dictatorship era. He has steadfastly refused to enter pleas in any cases, insisting that the civilian authorities have no jurisdiction over him, and instead he should be tried by a military court.

It was Buchenwald, not Auschwitz Yesterday, when Barcak Obama misspoke and said his uncle was in the unit that liberated Auschwitz, the wingnuts went into full froth - the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, so he is, int their little wingnut minds, obviously a pathological liar unfit to serve, and his uncle was probably a phony soldier, too! Today he corrected the record and the RNC had to soften their "unfit to lead" stance a wee bit. "At times it appears that Barack Obama inaccurately recalls his own history and American history, so it’s important that we point to the facts. In this case, we’re happy to see that he took the time to set the record straight," said Alex Conant. (The Nightowl wonders if Mr. Conant will fact-check Mr. McCain's nuclear proliferation speech delivered earlier today with the same level of scrutiny?)

Power Vacuum in the Senate
Two lopsided votes in the Senate last week signaled that Senate republicans have abandoned bu$h to such a degree that if they only could they would wish him into the corn. Both the Farm Bill and S 22, Senator Webb's GI Bill legislation, passed with healthy veto-proof margins. But the r's aren't just dissing the cokefiend-in-chief, they are also leaving McCain looking like a leader with no flock. The vote on S 22 was couched specifically in terms of loyalty to McCain, “It’s us against them,” GOP senators were told, but 25 of the 49 found the whole ordeal to be puerile nonsense, and crossed the aisle to voted for the bill.

Another example of why we need a certain amount of regulation
a medical syndrome seems to be emerging among people displaced by Hurricane Katrina who lived in FEMA trailers. Many of the trailers, hurriedly manufactured in the wake of the storm, had dangerously high levels of the industrial chemical formaldehyde. Tens of thousands of children may face a lifetime of health problems because the FEMA trailers that were supplied by the feds contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level. (Formaldehyde is a key ingredient in bonded wood products, and bonded wood products are key components in the manufacture of trailers.) CDC insiders are apprehensive about the lack of a plan to care for the children whose health has been compromised as they grow up. "It's tragic that when people most need the protection, they are actually going from one disaster to a health disaster that might be considered worse," said Christopher De Rosa, assistant director for toxicology and risk assessment at the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC. "Given the longer-term implications of exposure that went on for a significant period of time, people should be followed through time for possible effects." (Cynical prediction: They collect a whole bunch of random data without a study metric to plug it into, and it turns out to be largely useless.)

Scotty can do scathing! Who knew???
Former White House Press Secretary Scotty McClellan has a book coming out next week and the advance buzz is that he blasts the president for waging a perpetual campaign at the cost of competence; the press corps for being complicit in selling the war in Iraq, and Karl Rove and Scooter Libby for the outing of Valerie Plame. He alleges a secret West Wing meeting between Rove and Libby to "get their stories straight" about the act of treason they committed as the investigation mounted, and accuses Rove and Libby of misleading him. Of course, it's all too little too late. He should have located his spine a few years ago, when it might have made a difference. At this point, we just want them all to slink away and offend no more, but apparently everyone who served in the Bush administration is the un-fucking dead.

Foreclosures in military towns are happening at four times the national rate Foreclosure filings in 10 towns and cities within 10 miles of military installations rose by 217% from January through April, compared with the same period last year. Nationally, the rate increased 59% in the same period, according to RealtyTrac, which tallies bank seizures, auctions and default notices. The military town with the worst housing picture was Colombia, S.C., home to Ft. Jackson, where foreclosures rose a whopping 492%. Second was Woodbridge, VA, which sits adjacent to Quantico Marine Base.

We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried Phill Gramm's involvement with the McCain campaign has been longstanding. He officially signed on in March 2007, but his involvement goes all the way back to 2006, when he dispensed economic advice. The first head-scratcher comes from the fact that the campaign is relying on Gramm in the first place. He is the guy who created the current crisis by chucking regulations when he was chair of the Senate Banking Committee. The second comes from his lobbying on behalf of Swiss bank UBS, which is heavily invested in the american mortgage market. Tuesday night, MSNBC reported that lobbying disclosure forms] filed by UBS listed Gramm as a lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation regarding the mortgage crisis as recently as Dec. 31, 2007. The bank deregistered him on April 18. When did McSame issue that no-lobbyists-on-my-staff proclamation again?

We don't call him John McSame for nothing, you know He can't be bothered to show up and vote in the senate very often, but when he does, he sure is goose-steppin' reliable marching to aWol's drum. In 2007 he was only 95% reliable, but he redoubled his efforts and this year he is holding steady with a 100% fealty rate.

And hey, he sounds like him too! Petulant, deserving, angry, irascible, bullheaded, and wrong.

Lets play a round of "what if a Democrat said this? Two days in a row he has been dismissive of the trauma suffered by returning troops. He went so far as to actually assert that concern about PTSD and TBI has been "overblown." He went on to compare the trauma of having explosions bounce ones brain around inside the cranial vault with "what asnyone who played football in their youth might have suffered." Brandon Friendman, blogging at VetVoice said it best, so we will just quote him. Frankly, Peake's casually dismissive attitude sucks. Being hunted by other humans every day for 15 months, watching your friend bleed to death, and having your brain flattened like a pancake from a thousand-pound detonation are not comparable to football injuries...It's also quite clear that this was neither a mis-speak nor a quote taken out of context, as this was the second day in a row that Peake has belittled the combat injuries sustained by those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Saturday, Peake suggested that PTSD was being "overdiagnosed."
For the record - this is where it starts, folks. They have already started turning the ship. The aWol bu$h administration is drawing to a close and now that the military no longer serves a political purpose for these republican bastards, they are turning on them. They are busily recasting those who serve as a liability, so the republican minority in congress can protest vocally all the unnecessary spending on those ungrateful bastards who ought to be happy that they got to see the middle east. What the hell else could they possibly want?

Britain set to ban cluster bombs Blamed for civilian death and dismemberments the world over, cluster bombs disperse into "bomblets" that are frequently brightly colored, and children pick them up and lose life or limb. They are second only to landmines in causing civilian casualties after war gives way to peace.

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