Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

We agree that the House republians are revolting...
but we don't think concern over gas prices has anything to do with it. If they were truly concerned about prices at the pump right now, they would be pressing for the president to release some petrol from the strategic petroleum reserve, and they aren't. Instead, they postured, preened and screeched. Their antics accomplish nothing, other than to make them look like idiots.

About that charge of "political celebrity"
McCain tosses around the term now like it;s a bad thing, but anyone who has been paying attention knows that he defined the oeuvre. After his 2000 loss to the preordained bu$h, he became a Hollywood darling. His memoirs were turned into a biopic, he appeared on an episode of "24" and in the movie "Wedding Crashers" and appeared on late-night shows at least 30 times. “[The ad] is a bit ironic given that McCain has been the most pop-culture savvy Republican candidate in quite some time,” said Ted Johnson, managing editor of Variety and editor of the blog Wilshire and Washington, which monitors the intersection of celebrity and politics.

I am cynical enough to believe it
Agence France-Presse is reporting that Radovan Karadzic received the protection of the United States until 2000, when a a CIA phone bug caught him breaking the terms of his 'deal', Serb newspaper Blic reported Saturday, Blic quoted a US intelligence source, on condition of anonymity for their article. The Blic source said: "I'm not sure there was a written document confirming so, but I do have Holbrooke's admission of verbal guarantees given to Karadzic from the highest level of the US. During the year 2000, at the time of the (November general) elections in Bosnia, the CIA learned that Karadzic was still leading the SDS (the Serbian Democratic Party, founded by Karadzic), despite their deal that he was not to interfere in political life," the source added, cited by the newspaper. Richard Holbrooke, of course, denies the allegation.

12-year-old NYC girl survives 14 story fall
The girl had taken a visiting cousin up to the roof to see the view of the Hudson when she climbed up a ladder on the side of the chimney for a better view, when she tumbled down the flue. She landed in two foot of soot and survived the fall with a broken hip and no internal injuries. The building super is relieved that he didn't know the chimney had been swept.

The Falcon 9 rocket has cleared another hurdle on the way to becoming the transportation method used to delivery of supplies to the International Space Station. Nasa hopes the Falcon 9 can help fill the mission gap that will exist while it develops the Ares/Orion successor to the shuttle. The Shuttle mission is scheduled to end in 2010, but the Ares/Orion won't be ready before 2015.

North Dakotans take pretty much everything in stride in my experience
so it really doesn't come as any big surprise that they aren't setting their locks alight over a missile booster in a ditch where an Air Force transport overturned while transporting the thing from Minot AFB to a launch site. The truck and booster rocket for a Minuteman III ICBM, which is 66 feet long and weighs 75,000 pounds, were still sitting along the road Saturday, under armed guard. "The scene is still in the assessment phase," said Maj. Laurie A. Arellano, an Air Force spokeswoman. "It's still on its side in the ditch. It has to be 100 percent stable for movement. It's not a quick process — we have to make sure everything is stable first." She said the wreck would stay there for a least a few more days. (Now you understand why we put these things in the middle of nowhere, don't you?)

U.S. HIV rate much higher than previously estimated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released information claiming that 56,000 people had become infected with the virus that causes Aids in 2006. Previously the estimate had been 40,000. The agency was quick to point out that the increase is due to improved detection methods rather than actual increases in rates of transmission of the virus.

Why is everything framed in militant language with the right wing???
It was surreal enough to hear the term "culture war" the first time, and I admit that I find the language unsettling - raising armies of believers, putting soldiers in the streets - but referring to California's Proposition 8, the referendum on gay marriage, as "the Armageddon of the culture war" is a little over the top even for Watergate burglar and definitive right-wing lunatic Chuck Colson.

Nuclear submarine leaked radiation
Water with trace amounts of radiation may have been leaking for months from th reactor core of the U.S.S. Houston as it cruised the Pacific. The problem was noticed when she put into port in Hawaii for routine repairs, and the Navy informed the Japanese government of the problem because the vessel had put into port there, even though the amount of radiation leaked was "virtually undetectable."

Josh Marshall is right
Everyone should stop what they are doing right this minute and go read the brilliant analysis of this campaign by John Heilemann in New York magazine. The only way for McCain to win is to take the Rovian low road. So far, he seems right at home there.

Food security, fighting terrorism key topics at South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit
, but efforts to enhance cooperation among the eight member nations remain hampered by tensions between India and Pakistan, and the prime ministers of both nations met on the sidelines, grabbing headlines with talks that sought to ease a crisis in their peace process.

We have a cabinet suggestion for President Obama - We want Pat Lang for DNI, and if you know anything about the intel world and can couple that knowledge with so much as a lick of sense, you understand why.

I absolutely love the smell of roast wingnut!
And the gang at Sadly, No! does it oh so well, and in succinct fashion, too. The Confederate Yankee, one of those right-wing bloggers that defines dumbassery, dipshittery and douchebaggery - all at once! - walked out on a limb, turned around, and started sawing when a whole bunch of Blogger blogs were flagged as spam and shut down. He leaped to the conclusion that it was a vast left-wing conspiracy, and fulminated at length in a screed with the ominous title Obama's Netroots Supporters Continue "Blog Burning" - ever the clever one, he even included a graphic of Nazis at a book burning! He jumped so fast that he sprained an ankle on the landing and will be on the injured reserve list for four to six seeks. (No, we are not linking that mo-ron. Ever.)

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