Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

RNC launches ad attacking...republicans
The ad starts with a female announcer saying "Record gas prices. A climate in crisis. John McCain says solve it now with a balanced plan: Alternative energy, conservation, suspending the gas tax and more production here at home. He's pushing his own party to face climate change." The messes he says he wants to fix were all created by a republican administration, so apparently even the r's realize that they are a party in trouble. Video and a great ad description at the link - make sure to read some of the comments. One guy actually wants four more years of bu$h!

See Jane Go! Go, Jane! Go!
Jane Hamsher and the gang at FireDogLake made a full-page ad buy in the Washington Post against the FISA overhaul and draws a stark contrast - whose back do you have? Thomas Paine's, or Richard Nixon's? If you didn't call your senators today, get on the phone first thing in the morning. Here is the link to find the contact information for your Senators. Small donations from thousands of pissed-off patriots bought the ad, and ought to serve to remind the weasels in the Senate that we are not going to just sit back and crack open another beer and say "whadya gonna do?" while they trample all over the Constitution we revere. Nope, we are going to do it again. Jane is still hustling and intends to do it again on August 8 - this time going after the blue dogs.

Maybe because they got less than nuthin'?
As the blogosphere emerged as a political player, the Democratic candidates embraced us and started hosting daily conference calls for bloggers and journalists. You call in to an 800 number and enter a code, and you hit *1 if you have a question - and you have a place in the queue and sometimes you get in early enough and sometimes you don't. But the McCain campaign is only taking softballs from friendlies. Like we care what was his favorite parade! We want to know where Cindy scored the dope that inspired his *ahem* economic plan *ahem*.

Tonights McCain Media Mancrush™ Moment
Nedra Pickler let the mask slip completely in a fawning, gushing, McCain-fluffing piece that can basically be summed up thusly: "Well, yeah, maybe McCain's plans aren't realistic - but sheesh, Obama isn't even going to play along and try to top the pandering and the stupid! Waaahhhhh!!!!!"

The Helms Hagiography is enough to make ya wanna puke
He was a racist and a homophobe and he was filled with hate. Hate is what fueled the so-called "conviction" that has had the right-wing lunatics fellating his cooling corpse for the last four days. He didn't "fight the good fight" - he fought the wrong fight. Now he's buried and we hope the hell that everyone goes back to forgetting him, which is exactly what we did as soon as the racist, avaricious old throwback retired.

A new War Powers Act?
We are willing to entertain the notion. The current one sure let us down with bu$h and Iraq, didn't it?

Hows about a mandatory ten year federal sentences for every thousand dollars these weasels defraud us for?
Sellers of DME, or "durable medical equipment" - a particularly larcenous bunch on a par with Irwin Mainway, have defrauded you - the taxpayer - out of $92 million since 2000 by billing for equipment such as wheelchairs and oxygen tanks that were prescribed by physicians who had died up to five years before, and presumably remained dead - to the best of our knowledge, dead is a permanent condition. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) honored about half a million such claims - even though the CMS vowed they would fix the problem in 2001 after it was first identified by the Health and Human Services Department's inspector general. "We discovered that some medical equipment suppliers have scammed the Medicare system -- and the American taxpayers -- out of massive amounts of money," Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.), the panel's top Republican, said in a statement. "Using the ID numbers of dead doctors, these scam artists have treated Medicare like an ATM machine, drawing money out of the government's account with little fear of getting caught."

A decent sort of fellow would have slunk away and stayed gone
, but not Gary Condit. Since his adulterous relationship with intern Chandra Levy came to light after she disappeared in 2001 sparking a nationwide uproar and resulted in him losing his seat, he and his wife have filed about half a dozen lawsuits claiming defamation. Not a single one has gone to trial, and another one was thrown out today. The judges that the cases come before apparently see nothing libelous about calling a rutty bastard a rutty bastard.

Oh that pesky 6th Amendment!
With the Supremes recessed until October it is up to the lower courts to smack the bu$h administration around on detainee matters. In the first hearing held since the Supreme Court ruled that detainees have the right to challenge their imprisonment in court, U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said he recognized the unprecedented nature of the proceedings, but warned both government and defense attorneys that he would be "suspicious" of requests for delays because the detainees' constitutional rights were at stake. Addressing Just-Us Department lawyers directly, presumably with a steely gaze, he told them to prioritize the detainee lawsuits over all other cases. "We have to have a prompt resolution to these matters," he said, before adding, "The Supreme Court has spoken."

Feingold lays it out about telecom immunity
Speaking in support of an amendment he is co-sponsoring with Sen. Chris Dodd to strip retroactive immunity from an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Feingold once more eloquently reminded us yet again why we think he is truly a mensh. "This immunity provision doesn't just allow telephone companies off the hook. It will also make it that much harder to get at the core issue that I've been raising since December 2005, which is that the president broke the law and should be held accountable," Feingold said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "When these lawsuits are dismissed, we will be that much further away from an independent judicial review of this illegal program. We're considering granting immunity when roughly 70 members of the Senate still have not been briefed on the president's wiretapping program," he said. "The vast majority of this body still does not even know what we're being asked to grant immunity for." We can't verify that it is more than a vicious rumor, but we hear that Claire McCaskill spent the entire speech with her fingers in her ears singing "lalalalala - I can't hear you!"

Gee, Ben! Ya think?
Leading the fed at a time when the economy is wore than it has been at any time since the Great Depression, the Chairman of the Fed, Ben Bernanke, said that he would endors major changes to the way the financial system is regulated, advocating new tools to make sure big financial firms that fail do not damage the overall economy, or in the common vernacular - "we gotta regulate these thieving bastards" - because Phill Gramm's idea to let the foxes guard the chickenhouse turned out to be as spectacularly awful as it was predicted/feared it would be. He said that if the Fed were to gain more responsibility for guarding against financial crises, that responsibility would need to come with the power to "regulate the activities of a wide range of financial players."

C'mon! Lighten up! What's a little plagiarism among friends?
Michael E. O'Neill, a former aide to Senator Arlen Specter who has been nominated to a federal judgeship by bu$h said he acknowledged that he had inadvertently lifted material from another writer in a law review article. "It wasn't intentional. It was my fault. It was my mistake, and I have to own up to it," O'Neill said in an interview. We are inclined to give a little benefit of the doubt, because we live in the age of cut-and-paste. A few short years ago, a claim of accidental plagiarism would have been laughed at, now it is plausible. With no other incidents in his background, we are inclined to think he is probably telling the truth and it happened the way he says it did. He may be a little conservative for our tastes, but that doesn't make him an automatic fraud.

Bets on when he loses it?
Today on CNN, McSame got pressed, and then got pissed.

Surrealism really isn't my cup of fur
Appearing on Hannity and Colmes yesterday, Mike Huckabee attacked Barack Obama for not having the "convictions" of Jesse Helms. Watching the r's triangulate these days is witnessing the transformation before ones very eyes as they go from the sublime, straight past ridiculous, and on to surreal.

Why the Sudden Shyness, Rev?
Lawyers for the controversial evangelist John Hagee suddenly swooped in late last week and had more than 120 videos of and about the raging lunatic removed from YouTube.

Freudian slip?
McInsane tried his hand at genocidal humor again today when he said of increased exports to Iran, mainly cigarettes, he *quipped* "Maybe thats a way of killing them." Cindy poked him and he quickly added that it was a "joke."

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