Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Yes, this rises to the level of "homicide"
A police officer who was fired after tasing a handcuffed suspect nine times may face criminal charges in the death of the suspect. The medical examiner in Winn Parish, Louisiana has determined that the death was a homicide, and that the 21-year-old sawmill worker was jolted so many times by the 50,000-volt Taser that he might have been dead before the last two shocks were delivered. He noted in the report that Baron "Scooter" Pikes had "stopped twitching after seven" bursts from the weapon. The 247-pound Pikes was on the ground and handcuffed, and tased when he was slow to get up when ordered to do so by police officer Scott Nugent who has since been fired and now awaits indictment.

This is pretty lame
John "a noun, a verb and the Surge™" McCain absurdly attacked Barack Obama as insincere about opposing genocide. "Today he says 'never again.' A year ago stopping genocide wasn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces in Iraq. Doesn't that strike you as inconsistent?" said McCain attack-dog Michael Goldfarb asserted. What has the McCain camp squawking so loud? A year ago Obama said about leaving troops in Iraq forever to prevent a sectarian bloodbath: "Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces," said Obama, "then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now." Goldfarbs Kananist-flavored fear-mongering screeching for the right-wing Jewish neo-con base is pretty explicit - Obama wouldn't stop the holocaust (and he might be one-a them Mooslims!)

FEMA wants protection from formaldehyde fumes
After housing victims of Hurricane Katrina in toxic trailers that sickened thousands of people, FEMA wants immunity from the lawsuits that have been and will be filed by those who have been harmed. Lawyers for FEMA say that the agency should be immune from lawsuits; the plaintiffs say that the agency worked hand-in-glove with trailer manufacturers and share responsibility. The lawsuits contend FEMA ignored concerns about formaldehyde levels in trailers for months after Katrina. "FEMA is right to blame the manufacturers for the production of the toxic trailers, but the agency is not without culpability or legal liability for this debacle," plaintiffs attorney Tony Buzbee said in a written statement Tuesday.

"Uncooperative" Chairman of the House Judiciary committee John Conyers blasted Attorney General Michael Mukasey, charging that there hasn't been enough cooperation with Congress on voting rights issues. Conyers also said the work that has been done hasn't been effective. The department is under fire from congressional democrats for politicizing justice and embarking on a voter suppression effort headed up by Bradley Schlozman.

McCain isn't all about the off-shore drilling to help you and me, he is trying to help his big-oil buddies
- even going so far as to use their projections to push for his their vision of a platform off every shore and regularly scheduled spills. "The oil executives say within a couple years we could be seeing results from it. So why not do it," McCain said in Rochester, NH. "We need to do it." Why not do it, since the oil executives say we should? Lots of reasons. Toyota leads GM by over 300,000 units sold after the first half of the year and is on it's way to overtaking the company by years end to be the biggest auto manufacturer in the world, ending the 77-year reign by GM.

GEN Clark is right, Generals don't rule Washington
A General has the expertise of one area or theater - the Commander in Chief has to consider all facets, not just ask "how high?" when a General says "jump."

Schumer sees a 60-Democrat Senate as possible
The chances are slim, but the Democratic majority is going to increase from the razor-thin 51-49 split that currently exists in the upper chamber, and a nine-seat pickup is not out of the realm of possibility. “It’s very difficult, but it’s not out of the question,” Schumer told reporters at a news conference Wednesday. “We expect to pick up a whole bunch of seats.”

One of those seats will be in Virginia
, where they will still have a Senator Warner, but he will be on the other side of the aisle. But it is no fun watching Jim Gilmore flounder, unable to gain any traction in any area. Haplessness is such an uncomfortable thing to witness in others, after all. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore has become the butt of every senate-race joke out there. Sorry Jim - it's just a really, really bad year to be a republican.

Hello, Dolly
Hurricane Dolly made landfall today, coming ashore as a Category 2 hurricane; but quickly weakened and was downgraded to a tropical storm by about 1:00 p.m. A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the area from Brownsville to Port Aransas, but tropical storm warnings for other areas were lifted.

This is misappropriation of funds
The bu$h administration wants to use over $200 million from antiterrorism funds to help Pakistan upgrade their aging fleet of F-16s. The F-16s are a muscle flexed at India, not an anti-terrorism tool.

The Divine MsN sent us this link two days ago
and it got lost in limbo, but it still needs a mention. Oil companies are cleaning up like bandits, but they aren't reinvesting any of the profits. They say they are "exploring" but the numbers tell a different story. The money they reinvest in exploration is a drop in the bucket compared to what they spend on stock buybacks and dividends. Good news for stockholders, bad news for you.

Our friends at VoteVets are back with another commercial
that hammers home the folly of the war in Iraq. This one addresses timelines, McCain and freedom for Iraqis. Like all the ads they have done before this one, it is well done and makes its point with dignity and honor. Click the link, watch the ad and if you have a few bucks to help them get it on the air, they will appreciate it and so will we.

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