Friday, July 11, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Stay stubborn George, stay stubborn
You are truly "exhibit A" as to why we need more and better Democrats - The Medicare cuts already hurt several sitting Senators who are up for reelection this year - and now the petulant little retard is threatening a veto, he's pissed about health insurance companies taking a small hit by cutting Medicare Advantage. Even the Kitster will vote to override the threatened veto - and he is Class III - which means he isn't up for reelection until 2010. We read this flip flop as a sign that Bond will make a run for one more term before retiring. <(BG Sez: This scenario could result in an open seat in 2016 for Jolie Justus to sail into...

The wingnut lie that just won't die
We've tried silver bullets. We've tried a wooden stake and a mallet on the grave of Nosferatu at midnight under a full moon while nymphs danced naked among the trees of a fertile orchard. Still, the lie won't die. Former congresswoman Melissa Hart, who got her ass handed to her in a 2006 upset is attempting a comeback - but we think she needs to do a little better talking point than 'Yeah, okay, I was full of shit a couple of weeks ago when I said the Chinese weren't drilling in the Gulf of Mexico -- but they might be drilling now!!!'

The price of progress and the coldest calculation
How much is your life worth? Sure you want to know? Are you sure you want to know that such a calculation exists and is a pert of the cost-benefit analysis when the decision is made about whether regulations will be enforced and how stringently. Here is how it works - a human life is worth $6.9 million in todays dollars - If it would cost 50 million dollars to enforce a regulation that would save ten lives - the regulation is worthwhile. If the same regulation would cost 100 million to implement - the business would find it cheaper to simply pay out $69 million for the ten people who die than to enforce the regulation. By the way - your life is worth $6.9 million in todays dollars - a year ago, when the dollar was stronger - your life was worth about a million bucks more.

Think Progress does the heavy lifting, once more
No matter what Phill Gramm-the-cracker-with-a-PhD says, the economic anguish you feel is real, and TP has ten reasons why.

At least this time when McCain misfired, it was just rhetoric, and misfired rhetoric wasn't what killed 132 Sailors
Here is the gaffe: McCain issued a statement criticizing Obama’s positions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the part of the Iranian Army that is taking credit for the recent missile launches. McCain wrote, “This is the same organization that I voted to condemn as a terrorist organization when an amendment [Kyl-Lieberman] was on the floor of the United States Senate. Senator Obama refused to vote.” Hold up there pardner....Let's look at the record. McCain wasn't there to cast that tough-guy vote he is crowing about. Turns out he didn't cast the vote, either - he was in New York City at the time, and Senator Obama was campaigning in New Hampshire.

The sentence isn't long enough and the fine isn't steep enough
A retired U.S. Diplomat has been sentenced in Federal court to one year in prison for civil rights violations after pleading guilty to sending racist, threatening messages to an Arab-American organization, the Arab American Institute, located in Washington DC. The former diplomat, Patrick Syring of Arlington, Virginia, sent abusive and intimidating e-mails to the group, but of particular interest was the institute's president, James Zogby, "and his wicked Hezbollah brothers." Ampong the hate being peddled by Syring: "the only good Arab is a dead Arab." In an email included with the indictment last year, he wrote "They will burn in hellfire on this earth and in the hereafter." Grace Chung Becker, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, was totally unsympathetic to the diplomats pleas. "Threats of violent hate crimes have an impact far greater than the impact on the individual victim. These are crimes against the fundamental ideals on which America was founded."

The Bank Failures are Starting
Regulators swooped in and closed IndyMac BanCorp Inc on Friday after withdrawals by panicked depositors led to the third-largest banking failure in U.S. history. California-based IndyMac, which specialized in a type of mortgage that often required minimal documents from borrowers, became the fifth U.S. bank to fail this year as a housing bust and credit crunch strain financial institutions. The federal takeover of IndyMac capped a tumultuous day for U.S. markets that saw stocks slide on a surging oil price and renewed fears about the stability of the top two home financing providers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Germany sendign 1000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan
Germany's Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung announced Tuesday that Berlin wanted to increase the country's troop contingent to 4,500 by the fall -- up from the Berlin-imposed 3,500 ceiling that has been in place for years. The government also wants the new troop mandate to run until December 2009, so that the politically sensitive issue would be kept out of next year's election campaign.

Just Us in Alabama? Indeed,
The abrupt dismissal of a veteran University of Alabama employee who blogged about the firing of seven US Attorneys has added a bizarre new twist to allegations that the state's US Attorneys targeted political opponents for prosecution. Roger Shuler -- a high-profile blogger and leading critic of Alabama's judicial system -- has written extensively about alleged corruption among U.S. Attorneys for over a year. In particular, Shuler focused on two US Attorneys from his home state: Alice H. Martin of the Northern District and Leura G. Canary of the Middle District. An editor in the University of Alabama Birmingham publications office for the last 12 years and a university employee for 19, Shuler was placed on administrative leave May 7 and formally fired May 19. "I had worked there for 19 years and never received anything but positive performance reviews," Schuler wrote RAW STORY in May. "I never received an oral warning about anything. Then I was fired without warning, contrary to university policy and almost certainly in violation of federal law." Although he can't prove it, he believes his dismissal was due to hs blogging activities, including a propensity for writing about the Justice department debacle.

Freudian Slip?
Speaking at a town-call meeting on Friday, McCain let the mask slip "I'll do everything in my power to get those offshore reserves exploited ... um, er, explored, discovered and um..." McCain said, drawing some knowing chuckles from the largely Republican audience.

Viguerie: McCain campaign depresses conservatives
Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of, says that many conservatives are depressed and coming to grips with landslide losses his fall. "Senator McCain has never been a conservative, is not one now, and will not govern as one. From McCain-Feingold to cap-and-trade, he is a supporter of one Big Government scheme after another. History shows that, in the Oval Office, where almost all the political pressure comes from supporters of Big Government, he would only get worse."

Schwrtzwenegger calls up 2000 Guradsmen to battle wildfires
The steep increase in Guard troops comes as nearly 20,000 firefighting personnel work overtime to contain blazes caused by lightning strikes over the last three weeks. The state has had 1,781 fires since June 20, with 322 fires remaining active, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The fires have burned 752,944 acres. "The fire season as we have known it in California is pretty much over," Schwarzenegger said today during a press conference in Los Angeles to announce a new anti-smoking campaign. "We used to have a fire season that goes from the end of summer throughout the fall, but now we have a fire season all year around. So we need the extra manpower and also the extra equipment."

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