Thursday, March 31, 2005

Iraq? Ain't No Thang.

Today's stop of the Bush Administration's "My Bad" tour, which tries to explain how we got into the war in Iraq is in Japan, where we feature former Secretary of State Colin ("I have the facts") Powell explaining we may have been too "blustery" in our run up to the war.

Colin, baby. When umbrellas get turned inside out, that's too blustery. When men get their hats blown off, that's too blustery. When small dogs get blown across the parking lot, that's too blustery. When you ignore the world and launch around 800 cruise missiles on Baghdad over a two day time span, over twice the number of missiles used in the entire first Gulf War, which lasted for 40 days, that's not because of "bluster." That's some flat out, wild eyed, spit slinging, hand waving, talking in tongues, craziness.

Powell also was quoted by Stern magazine as saying that the ongoing insurgency in Iraq is "much bigger" than anticipated. "Actually we didn't expect any insurgency," he continued. "When the president asked the eight ball what would happen after the fall of Saddam, it said 'The future looks bright.'"

He also said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's labeling of France and Germany as "old Europe" did not help. "Don's a little hard of hearing," the former Secretary explained, "and he may have dozed off at the meeting. What we wanted him to say was 'Bold Europe.' We figured it would play well in France."

When asked about his presentation to the UN in February of 2003 in which he claimed he had factual evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Powell replied, "Some of this information was wrong. I have to live with that. Can't say the same for over 1500 of the troops we sent over there, or the hundreds of Iraqi children who will die of malnourishment since we invaded, but hey, life goes on, you know?"

He defended the U.S. invasion despite the continuing insurgency. "Yes, the insurgency is much bigger than we assumed. But I'm happy that Saddam is in jail. And I'm darn glad that we will never again have to talk about weapons of mass destruction in connection with Iraq," Powell said. "Well, come to think of it we didn't need to talk about weapons of mass destruction in the first place," he continued, "because they didn't have any. Ha. How ironic. You Japanese folks get irony, don't you?"

As the news conference ended, the Secretary was heard to say, "Hey, where can a man get a burger around here? I've looked at my last plate full of sushi, let me tell you that. And I'm not just blustering either. Going to be some shock and awe if I don't see a Big Mac coming my way pretty soon."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

And If Elected, I Promise Hillary Will Not Be Allowed In The State

Who says politicians are craven opportunists who care only about getting elected and are out of touch with the needs of their constituents? OK. Trick question, but for those of you still harboring a shred of hope, let's visit the upcoming gubernatorial campaign in Texas:

First, we set the scene: We're at war in at least two countries, and the deficit is at an all time high so the Federal government is backing away from the states faster than Jeb Bush from Terri Schiavo. Domestic programs are collapsing all around the country and states are considering selling their legislatures to local Native American tribes, as long as they get a cut from the casinos.

So what's the focus of the two Republican candidates for Texas Governor? Who hates Hillary Clinton more.

Governor Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, expected to be opponents in next year's race, are taking shots at each other over an apparently friendly relationship each has with the Senator from New York.

A videotape, made by two men working for Perry's campaign showed a brief hug and air kiss between the women. "Hillary and Hutchison sittin' in a tree K. I. S. S. I. N. G.," said a spokesperson for the Perry campaign.

When asked if Governor Perry's office was aware that Senator Hutchison was thinking about running for Governor of Texas, and Ms. Clinton was actually the Senator from New York state, the spokesperson replied, "Well, yeah we know that. But politics has gotten so complicated these days. Use' to be you could count of winnin' if you were agin the nigras, or the wet backs, but today, those positions could actually cost you an election. Go figure."

Hutchison spokesman Chris Paulitz said Perry's supporters were taking "silly political shots." She explained that right after the meeting Senator Hutchison went back to her hotel and "washed off the Clinton cooties."

In response to the Governor's allegations, Hutchison's campaign aides produced a copy of a letter Perry wrote to Clinton, when she was first lady. "I think your efforts in trying to reform the nation's health care system are most commendable, plus you're really hot" Perry wrote.

At a joint news conference, representatives from both campaigns were asked if they were aware that Texas ranked fifth highest in unemployment, tenth highest in elderly residents living below the poverty line and eighth highest in the number of children living below the poverty level out of all 50 states.

"Well, yeah. There's that," Hutchison spokesman Chris Paulitz said, "But if Governor Perry didn't love Hillary so much maybe he could do something about it."

"Oh yeah," Perry campaign director Luis Saenz replied, "Well if Senator Prissy wasn't so busy making kissy face with her Hillary pal, maybe she could do something about it."

"You think you can do something about it?" Paulitz said.

"You want a piece of this?" Saenz replied. At that point police intervened.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Go Ahead. Make My Math Class.

We would be the first to admit that we weren't what you might call model students during the years we haunted the hallowed halls of academe. And while we are sure some of our instructors fantasized about it, it wasn't until yesterday that we learned the NRA is suggesting that teachers be allowed to shoot their students. Man. Talk about an incentive to get your work in on time.

"I'm not saying that that means every teacher should have a gun, but what I am saying is we need what waving a piece in some punk's face will do for classroom discipline,” said NRA’s first vice president, Sandra S. Froman. "No gun law could possibly prevent someone intent on destruction, so why bother having any laws at all?” She continued.

"We want more marksmen, not more laws," she explained. "I mean, take that kid in Minnesota. If it is the responsibility of teachers to protect students in a school, then we have to provide a way for the teachers to do that. I'd bet if one of those teachers had a Glok, or a 357 he could have popped the little psycho the minute he got out of the car."

When asked if she thought economic conditions, or lack of jobs and opportunity, or health care at the reservation could have played a role in creating conditions that lead to the shooting, Mrs. Froman replied, "Hey. They live out in the country. They couldn't hunt? They couldn't fish? They're indians for crying out loud. That's how they live."

"Besides," she continued, "Those aren't the schools I'm really interested in. I'm talking about our schools. Schools where my children go to school with...well, let's just say schools where my daughter sits in classes with boys I wouldn't let her date and leave it at that."

When asked to clarify her point she replied, "Look. All over the country schools, are in turmoil. Walk into any school today and you're liable to hear every language but English, most of the faces you see aren't white. Now I'm not against equal opportunity, but if these people are going to come over here and live in our country, they need to learn to play by our rules, and nothing teaches rules better than looking down the barrel of a 9 millimeter."

To emphasize her point, Mrs. Froman took out her revolver and shot over the heads of the audience. After the screaming and running stopped she said, "See. Got your attention didn't I?"

Monday, March 28, 2005

You Can't Make This Stuff Up. We Tried

As you might surmise from the title of this blog, we often go rafting through those frothy ripples that make up white water on the river of life in the early 21st century.

You might surmise that, but you'd be wrong. Mostly, we just make stuff up. OK. OK. We may start with our kayak in the reality based lagoon but we much prefer "creative nonfiction" to--and pardon our language here--reporting.

That being said, every once in a while we run across a little backwater of reality so astoundingly bizarre that even here in the marbled halls of IM Central we have to slap our palms to our foreheads and say, "You've got to be kidding." This past weekend we innocently floated into just such a swamp.

Tom DeLay, last bastion of Congressional ethics, Darth Vader's evil twin and defender of the brain dead did, in fact, pull the plug on his own father in 1988. "The situation faced by the congressman's family was entirely different than Terri Schiavo's," said a spokesman, "DeLay's father was too old to campaign for the Congressman. And besides, we weren't in trouble with the Ethics Committee back then and didn't need the diversion."

There were, however, similarities: Both stricken patients were severely brain-damaged. Both were incapable of surviving without medical assistance. Both were said to have expressed a desire to be spared from being kept alive by artificial means. And neither of them had a living will. "Look, a spokesperson for DeLay said, "the Congressman didn't make the Schiavo crisis. He's just taking advantage of it, that's all."

So what did the grieving Congressman do after the death of his father? Filed suit against Midcap Bearing Corp. of San Antonio and Lovejoy Inc. of Illinois, the distributor and maker of a coupling that he said failed and caused the tram his father had been riding to become uncontrollable.

Yes, that's the same Tom DeLay, who wants to end these types of lawsuits by controlling trial lawyers and protecting American businesses from "frivolous, parasitic lawsuits" that raise insurance premiums and "kill jobs." He is an outspoken defender of business against the crippling effects of "predatory, self-serving litigation." On the House floor he attacked trial lawyers whom he said, "get fat off the pain" of plaintiffs and off "the hard work" of defendants. "You should have seen the cut those vultures took out of my 250K," DeLay told a reporter.

DeLay cosponsored a bill specifically designed to override state laws on product liability such as the one cited in his lawsuit. When asked about the apparent contradiction at a press conference, DeLay replied, "Look. You think I can afford to run a campaign based on contributions from ordinary citizens? Corporations. That's where the money is, and I can't do good if I don't get elected."

Aides for DeLay defended his role as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, saying he did not follow the legal case and was not aware of its final outcome. "He stayed drunk most of the time," an aide said. "I don't even think he remembers cashing the check."

Friday, March 25, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Well well well, let's see what the overlords have been up to this week. Two executives at a New Hampshire Greyhound track who have been indicted on illegal gambling charges have lost their jobs. Sort of. They were "suspended with pay."

"The layoffs had to do with the management and operation of the track and were no reflection on their guilt or innocence," a track spokesperson said, "as soon as the heat's off, we'll bring them back.

Meantime in Iowa, Louis Roden gets high on racing, but his dogs are just high. "Hey. I can't watch them all the time," Roden said, "you know what the crowd that hangs out around a race track is like."

Yeah. We do. Now let's meet one young lady who won't be hanging around a race track any longer, More Candy:

Posted by Hello

Candy is very outgoing, energetic and puppy like. She is just learning how to play; she likes to carry the toys around the house. She starts to lick her lips and slurp when she gets excited. She also tends to jump up on people when she gets excited. (Her foster mom is working on this.) She is happy, friendly, and very affectionate. She always wants to be touched and petted. She can be a little vocal when she is excited. She tends to calm down when she it getting pets. Her foster mom says she has an inside voice and an outside voice (inside is more whiny/ yappy, and outside she sounds like a Great Dane). For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Of Course With A Special Exemption For Y'all

What is it about Virginia? (Motto: Wanted: Properly dressed, well spoken Christians for LTR. King James Version only) It's got to be the best place to live in the country because all they have to worry about are baggy pants, non-Christians and now, people who don't speak English.

A Republican delegate says he will force a floor vote on his bill to designate English as the official state language if a House committee rejects his legislation. "I don't care if the bill ain't got the support it needs," Delegate Pat McDonough said, "We're gonna try and get this bill voted on through an amendmerman or ammendation, or a, whadeva ya call those things, because we think the House of Delegates needs to go on record about whether they want people to talk good English."

House Deputy Majority Whip Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, who immigrated from Jamaica is one of the bill's opponents. She said it will oppress newcomers to the state. "I believe it's divisive mon," said Mrs. Nathan-Pulliam, "We been thinkin' there is no immigrant out dere that doesn't want to learn de English."

Mr. McDonough said his bill is "pro-immigration" and is designed to encourage people to learn English. "Look, my daddy spoke English and so did his daddy before him and his daddy before him. All the way back to the plantation. Now my great great ma maw Hildy Mae used to teach English to the slaves.

Now we're just providing a little incentive like ma maw used to do, 'cept we don't have a whip. OK so we're not really providing 'incentive' incentive. We're saying learn English or get out. That's sort of the same thing."

Henry P. Fawell, spokesman for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. would not say whether the governor would sign the bill. "We ain't read the thing yet, so I got no opinion."

Delegate Gareth E. Murray described the bill as an "onion. When you pull back the layers of this bill, you will find stuff to oppress brown folks," he said. "Brown folks and hillbillies I mean."

"Onion. Ha. That's like a metaphor or something isn't it? Mr. McDonough said. "See how great English is? Why would anyone want to not talk like us?"

To exemplify his belief that English is the best language in the world, McDonough read a poem that he had composed himself:

Give me your subjunctives, your infinitives
Your compound subjects yearning to breathe free
The double negatives of your teeming shore
Send these dangling participles to me
I lift my gerund beside the past perfect tense.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hi. I'm Al. As In Et Al

Man. Sometimes we think our old professors were right in their evaluation of our intellectual capabilities. Especially when we read something like this. Why didn't we think of that? State Senator Richard Colburn, has the right idea. College is hard enough without having to deal with all those stress inducing details like writing papers.

Here's a poor working stiff trying to balance attendance at all the frat parties and attendance at all the fund raisers in the legislature. Plus trying to find out who sent a sexually harassing e-mail with one of his supporter's name on it. "It had to be more than just ironic that we traced it back to a U.S. House of Representatives office building," Colburn said. "Those guys got sexual harassment down. Have you read some of their stuff. That Tom DeLay, he's a hoot, he wrote this poem about headlights, forget that. I never asked anyone over there to write anything for me."

Gregory Dukes, a former legislative aide, says he wrote five papers for Colburn for two sociology courses. "He told me we could share the degree. You know. When I was applying for a job I could use it, and when he ran for governor he could use it."

Colburn denies the allegations, saying he wrote the papers longhand and gave them to Dukes to type because he does not know how to type or use computers. "Hey. I'm a legislator," he said, "All that new fangled technology stuff like computers and typewriters is what I have assistants for. Oh. Was that a good thing to say? Anyway, it's his word against mine," he said. "We're talking about a disgruntled employee. He's mad because I didn't give him first shot at the sexually harassing e-mail. I would have, but man, have you ever read a Hastert limerick? Dukes couldn't touch that guy with a ten foot...well you know. Ha. Maybe I'm not such a bad writer after all."

Dukes provided copies of draft papers, notes, e-mails and faxes to support his allegations. One note is handwritten from Colburn to his aide, and it describes a sociology professor's direction in writing a term paper.
"Gregory -- I talked to Dr. Alston (Assistant Professor David Alston) about a term paper comparing the plight of Native American (Indians) on reservations in America vs. that of Jews in concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Dr. Alston states that he felt such a paper would be too complex. He stated to just read this chapter and try to read and quote from other authors," the note said. It is signed, "Thanks, Rick."

"OK so it's my word against his and those notes," Colburn said, "I'll prove I wrote the paper right now. Ask me about Native Americans. Ask me anything and I'll answer it. Native Americans. Those are the indians, right?"

Ronnie Holden, vice president for administrative affairs at the University, stated that Colburn is no longer enrolled and said the withdrawal came after Dukes submitted the complaint. But Holden cited student confidentiality laws and would not comment further. "We can''t tell you if he withdrew because he couldn't tell us the titles of those papers, but when we asked him how many pages he had written he said 'I'm outta here.'"
"Even if Dukes' allegations are true and he wrote papers for Colburn on state time, that probably does not constitute a legal violation," Assistant Attorney General Robert Zarnoch said, because lawmakers have wide latitude in the tasks they give their employees. "You should see some of the things these guys have their assistants doing," he continued, "It would curl your hair."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Plus You Never Know When Bambi Is Going To Get Body Armor

Around the marbled halls of IM Central, Sundays are usually reserved for quiet contemplation, reflection and preparation for the upcoming week. That and looking for vodka bottles that still have a sip or two left in them.

Depending on when that search is abandoned, we may turn our attention to 60 Minutes to see if any of the broadcast fossils have expired in the intervening week. Such was the case last Sunday when the octogeneric show broadcast a story on 50 caliber rifles.

Our first thought was Wow! Where can we get one of those? "You just have to have a credit card and clear record, and you can go buy as many as you want. No questions asked," said Florin Krasniqi, the gun dealer interviewed in the piece. OK, so that lets us out.

Dang. But there's still hope for our neighbor down the street. The one who runs out of his house at night and shines a flashlight up into the sky to catch the Black Helicopters.

Not everyone is excited about these guns. The Illinois Legislature is trying to ban them. Luckily, even in Illinois (Motto: Why shoot someone from a mile away when you can walk a little a stab them?) there are those who will stand up to protect our right to military grade weapons.

"There isn't a single person in the United States that I know of who has been killed by one of these firearms," said Todd Vandermyde, an NRA lobbyist in Springfield. "What a sad state of affairs that is in this supposedly 'free' country. No wait. I mean let the people decide if the long effective range along with high energy and availability of highly effective ammunition such as API and Raufoss M213 allows for effective operations against targets like radar cabins, trucks, parked aircrafts and so on in their neighborhood. No, I mean...Oh, I had a point there somewhere, but it's gone now."

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had a sharpshooter fire the department's own .30-caliber sniper rifle and the bullets bounced off a half-inch-thick plate of steel. Then, the marksman fired the .50-caliber sniper rifle, and the bullets blew right through the steel plate.

"Can you imagine what a blast that would be at parties?" Vandermyde stated. "It can also be used against planes and helicopters. Much more manly than those wimpy lasers the girlie men are shining into cockpits now. Wait. I think I lost my point again."

So now we know who found the half empty Vodka bottles.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Hey Smiley Face, Let's See Your Green Card

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. escaped criminal charges by agreeing to pay a record fine of $11million to end an investigation into its use of illegal immigrants to clean floors at stores in 21 states. Lee Scott, Jr., Wal-Mart CEO said he planned to pay the fine as soon as his secretary returned from lunch. "She has the key to the petty cash drawer."

"We are satisfied that this is being settled as a civil matter," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Mona Williams said. "Despite a long, thorough and high-profile investigation, the government has not been able to pin anything on us. And if you don't think that cost us a pretty penny, you've got another think coming," she added.

Williams said no executives or mid-level managers knew the contractors had hired illegal immigrants. "Hey. They go home at five, you know? What happens after that is outside of their control."

Lawyers for some of the workers say they worked as many as seven days a week, were not paid overtime and did not receive injury compensation. "Funny story there," Williams said. "We told them if they went to the hospital, the Immigration agents would get them. What a bunch of rubes. Most of them didn't even know the doors were locked and they couldn't have gotten out anyway."

Michael J. Garcia, assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said a third of the workers have been deported to their home countries. "We feel justice has been served," he continued. "We kicked out only the ones who got bad employee evaluations."

Friday, March 18, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

OK, here's a pop quiz: When is a dog not a dog? Stumped? When it's in Kansas (Motto: Damn Dirty Apes). Yes, the good folks of Kansas have decided that greyhounds aren't dogs because they weren't bred to be pets, they were bred to be profit centers for their human overlords.

NGA Executive Director Gary Guccione said that the exclusion had been in effect for decades for a number of reasons, the most significant of which are that greyhounds are not bred for sale as pets, and that greyhound breeding farms are already regulated and subject to inspection by the National Greyhound Association (NGA), the Kansas Greyhound Registry and the Kansas Racing Commission.

When questioned on the matter of inspections, Guccione admitted that farms are notified in advance of inspections and the NGA inspector is actually one of the breeders hired part time. "We did want to hire him to be a full time inspector," Guccione continued, "but he has a bit of a drinking problem."

"The current system isn't broke, so we don't think it needs to be fixed," Guccione said. "Besides, if something goes wrong and we lose a few, there's always more where they came from."

Let's meet this week's "unit" Haven's Jupiter:

Posted by Hello

Jupiter is very easygoing, happy. He is very affectionate and will approach and put his head in your hand for pets. He will sit in a very polite way until you stop petting. He loves to play with his toys and loves to throw the squeaky ball around the room. He is a “love sponge.” He wants to be loved, touched and cuddled all the time and he loves to be near the foster mom all the time. He loves to play with toys and in the yard. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

GM Promises To Name Their New SUV The Caribou

ANWR. Before the neighborhood went bad. Posted by Hello
We've felt for years that those millions of migratory birds, caribou, three species of bears (polar, grizzly and black bears), Dall sheep, muskoxen, wolves, arctic and red foxes, wolverines, and the rest up in ANWR were getting a free lunch from good old Uncle Sam. There they were, just wandering around on their 19.6 million acre wildlife sanctuary while we picked up the tab for protecting them.

Well, yesterday the Senate closed the buffet. Welcome to the ownership society sanctuary where you get as much sanctuary as you can pay for. What's that you say Mr. Caribou? Can't work because you don't have any hands? Tough break. Keep your head down so you don't bump the pipeline.

"This project will keep our economy growing by creating jobs and ensuring that businesses can expand," President Bush said in a statement. "And not only jobs for my oil compadres," the president continued, "but also for all those botanists, zoologists, biologists and them other brainy types who will be up there categorizing all the species we're destructifcating and extinctifying. It's like a full employment bill for eggheads."

The oil industry has sought for more than two decades to get access to the oil. Or maybe not. But there's 10.4 billion barrels of oil up there. Or, maybe not. But America needs whatever oil is there. Or maybe not. OK. OK. But at least we can drill up there safely, Well, maybe not.

Democrats accused Republicans of "an end run" by attaching the refuge provisions to the budget instead of the energy bill. "It's the only way around the filibuster," countered Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. "Besides, when you're trying to do something ecologically unsound, economically inconsequential, and ethically suspect, you're expected to bend the rules a little."

When asked if he expected any negative political fallout from his constituents back home as a result of his vote, Stevens, replied, "I doubt it. Muskoxen can't vote and no polar bear ever contributed to my campaign."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I AM the Congress, Bi Otch

Truth be told, another politician being investigated, or indicted, or arrested in a motel with a former White House reporter named Bulldog doesn't light many candles around the marbled halls of IM Central. It's sort of like watching C-Span with the sound turned off. Pretty boring, plus it makes it impossible to play drinking games.

Unless the politician in trouble is Tom DeLay, Darth Vader's evil twin, and drinking game mother lode. ("Democratic vendetta"--one drink; "partisanship"--one drink; "Conspiracy"--chug) DeLay is, once again, in trouble, or maybe still in trouble, we're not sure.

"We want to work with the ethics committee to prove how baseless these and other allegations are," said DeLay, "especially since my dawg Hastert bounced that punk Hefley out of the Chairmanship."

DeLay has been at the center of troubles before, most recently last fall. Those investigations resulted in committee letters of admonishment to DeLay in cases involving fund-raising; practices, to which DeLay responded "Hey. Send me all the letters you want chump. I got the scratch and it has soothed my itch, know what I'm saying?" Several Republicans on the Ethics Committee replied "Word."

Another incident involved lobbying a Republican House member to change his vote against the Medicare drug benefit bill. Responding to this charge at a recent press conference Representative DeLay characterized the incident as "a little friendly lobbying. We told the dude if he didn't get his mind right he wouldn't make it out of the lobby."

A third investigation was the result of his effort last year to use the Federal Aviation Administration to find Democratic Texas state legislators who flew out of their state to stall action on a DeLay-inspired redistricting plan. "My posse needed some backup," DeLay told a reporter.

All the lawmakers who have worked with DeLay in the past, speak to the press only on condition of anonymity. "The dude is whack, man. I don't want him all up in my grill about this. He's jus' as soon bus a cap on you. Know what I'm talkin' 'bout?" one Senator explained outside the Ethics Committee meeting room. Several Republicans on the Ethics Committee replied "Word."

When asked to comment on possible outcomes of his latest appearance before the Ethics Committee DeLay replied, "Cain't touch this."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

News Is A Four Letter Word

It seems the popularity of The Daily Show has caught the attention of the White House. They've brought Karen Hughes back to head up their own fake news division. Not that they weren't into the whole fake news thing before, as presidential press secretary Scott McCllelan said at a recent press briefing that was not attended by fake reporter Jeff/Jim Gannon/Guckert, "Facts sometimes have their own agenda which is not in agreement with the goals of this administration."

In a burst of lucidity, Government Accounting Office Comptroller General David M. Walker wrote to the heads of federal agencies on Feb. 17, saying that "prepackaged news reports that do not clearly identify their source as the government violate a federal ban on covert propaganda."

"It is not enough that the contents of an agency's communication may be unobjectionable," Walker wrote. "They also have to be somewhere in the general vicinity of the truth. At least in the same zip code for Chrissakes. What I'm saying is you guys have to quit making this stuff up."

"Oh Yeah. Like We're going to tell the American public what really goes on around here," retorted McCllelan. "The president hasn't lived in the real world for over twenty years. Why should we?"

'This is more than a legal issue. It's also an ethical issue and involves important good government principles, namely the need for openness in connection with government activities and expenditures," Walker shot back."

"Oh blah blah blah," McCllelan answered. When queried about the legality of the fake news by long time White House reporter Helen Thomas the Press Secretary responded, "Want some falafel Helen."

"Look," McCllelan continued, "Steven G. Bradbury, principal deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said that the department's Office of Legal Counsel, not the GAO provides binding legal interpretations for federal agencies to follow. And yes I know that's the same Justice Department that OK'd torture and outsourcing prisoners for torture so don't even go there all right?"

Later in the briefing McCllelan announced that the Easter Bunny was going to go on a six city tour to help sell the president's social security reform plan.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Scope It Out

About the only thing that could bring us out of a fog in biology class was the phrase "secondary sex characteristics." Well, that and coming up with another excuse to talk to Barbara Bennit. Ah, Barbara. Now that's a story. Unfortunately one with a sad ending.

We tell you this to establish our credentials in the ongoing debate over evolution that is taking place in 19 states. Yes 19, and we know what you're thinking, but they're not all in the south. One is Minnesota (Motto: Our state begins with the same letter as Mississippi and Moron) Actually it seems credentials are not a prerequisite, which makes this a perfect subject for us.

The battle, it seems, has recently gotten more heated as creationist groups, taking their inspiration from the president, have become more vocal. The president mentioned one day that the the jury is still out on evolution. This is the same president who claims that there is no global warming, air pollution is harmless if you're rich and you can find your way out of a forest by looking at what side of a tree the moss grows on.

Well, what he actually said was, "I know I can't be descended from a monkey because I don't like bananas. Never have." That would be progress, Southern Baptist minister Terry Fox said, because "most people in Kansas don't think we came from monkeys." He went on to explain that most people in Kansas thought they came from Illinois, but weren't really sure because it was really foggy that night and they weren't driving anyway.

"What we would like to foment is a civil discussion about science," said Stephen C. Meyer, who believes evolution alone cannot explain life. "And when we've given equal time to the evolutionists so that they may speak and we may identify them, WE'LL ROUND THEM UP LIKE THE DOGS THEY ARE AND SHIP THEM TO CAMPS IN ALASKA AND THEN THEY CAN TALK ABOUT THE DEVIL ALL THEY WANT AND PARTICIPATE IN THEIR BLASPHEMOUS SCIENCE UNTIL THEY DIE AND THEIR SOULS BURN IN THE ENDLESS LAKES OF HELLFIRE THAT AWAIT THEM. AND THOSE FEMINISTS TOO! I'm sorry. Did I say that out loud?"

Bypassing the work of a 26-member science standards committee, the Kansas board of education's conservative majority recently announced a series of "scientific hearings" to discuss evolution and its critics. "But we don't need those gosh darn scientists getting in our way," said the board's chairman, Steve Abrams. He is seeking ways for students to "critically analyze" the evidence without being swayed by all that "fossil this and strata that and carbon dating the other thing."

Fox, pastor of the largest Southern Baptist church in the Midwest said, "If you can cause enough doubt on evolution, liberalism will die. Oops. I mean then we'll have a free and open conversation in this country. Yeah. That's the ticket."

Friday, March 11, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

And what a week it's been for the fastest dog on the planet. The overlords scratched out a partial victory in Florida, but now face more problems in New Hampshire, due to the fact that, apparently the track uses the same company to do background checks on employees that the White House uses to approve credentials for reporters.

Elsewhere Arkansas (Motto: We're like Florida, only without the old people) passed a bill to allow expansion of electronic games at dog tracks. "The bill would not allow games of pure chance, such as slot machines, but only games where some skill and analysis is involved." Like analyzing if you've got enough money left to pay the rent, or if you can go one more round before your wife finds out where you are.

But it is Friday and time to find a home for another rescued racing greyhound, who was lucky enough not to be born in Florida or Arkansas. Meet UBet Da Steelers:

Posted by Hello
Steeler is very loving and affectionate. He loves to cuddle and will turn to putty in your hands when he is petted. He chatters his teeth when he gets excited. He is curious, intelligent, and happy; his tail always wags. He is playful and enjoys playing with toys. He loves looking out the window. He is definitely enjoying retirement life and loves to spend time in the yard. He does the “5 minute madness” in the home after having fun in the yard, as if to share it with this foster family. He loves to be petted and hugged, but does not give kisses. He smiles often. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Why Don't We Just Start With Homo Free Zones?

A while back we told you about Delores Jackson, an old school chum of ours who took issue with us on the playground after school because we had targeted her little brother at dodge ball. Truth be told, he was a little slow and we did have a wicked arm back in those days.

Anyway, Delores didn't see it that way and impressed her opinion upon us with the back of her hand. And the front. And probably the side too, but we tell you this to point out that Delores wasn't a bully. At least not the kind these legislators in Iowa are trying to control.

Well, were trying to control until Sen. Paul McKinley found out the bill would also protect the homos. McKinley said he's all for safe schools, but said he doesn't agree with including a list of specific groups to be protected. "I mean come on," the Senator said at a news conference before he hosted WWF's Smackdown in Corn Town in Des Moines, "If we start saying you can't beat up the homos, then we'll also have to say you can't beat up the nerds, or the poor kids, or the cripples. Pretty soon you won't be able to look at another student without getting in trouble, let alone stuff them in their locker."

Not all of Senator McKinley's constituents agree with his strategy though. "I happen to be a lifelong, rabid Republican who has a gay daughter," said Ted Coppock, a Des Moines businessman. "When she went to school at Saydel High School she was faced with these issues. There were many times when she came home from school crying because she had been harassed or bullied."

When asked how he coped with the situation, Mr. Coppock replied that he bought the school and expelled anyone who had picked on his daughter. "The free market solves another problem," he added. "Maybe we could just pay the homos to move to Nebraska."

Now there's the kind of compromise I can get behind,," Senator McKinley exclaimed when told of Mr. Coppock's suggestion, "No pun intended by the way," he added.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Sometimes You Act Like A Nut. Sometimes You Don't

Regular visitors to the halls of Ironicus Maximus (Hi mom!) will recall that each Friday we feature rescued racing greyhounds looking for permanent homes due to the fact that they are no longer profit centers for the human overlords who suck their meager existence from the speed and endurance of the world's oldest breed of dog.

Last Friday we mentioned that in a desperate effort to keep from having to go out and get real jobs, the overlords were trying to pass a law that would allow slots to be placed at greyhound tracks in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in Florida.

Well, the votes have been counted and it looks like the good people of Miami-Dade county said get a job, while the folks over in Broward county said it's OK with us if you leech off the dogs, then dump them, as long as we can sit in air conditioning and lose our pension money.

The greyhound track that is about to receive the benefits of the yea vote is Hollywood Greyhound Track--yes that Hollywood (soon to be renamed Hallendale. Motto: We Need Your Money). As a service to the greyhound betting public in Broward county--at least those who can read--we offer a little tour of the establishment you are about to waste your savings on:

Long ago, the Hollywood track was a magnet for glitterati. Damon Runyon presented the raceway's first trophy 70 years ago. For decades, this place lured the likes of actor William Holden and sex bomb Jayne Mansfield. In its prime, it drew a half-million people each season, and even ten years ago, it was pulling down $65 million in live wagering a season. Attendance, however, collapsed during the 1990s. It now attracts fewer than 100,000 a year and took in a paltry $11.8 million last season.

Hmm...From 500,00 bettors to less than 100,000 in ten years. Well, you can only look at Jane Mansfield so many times without makeup, and isn't Damon Runyon one of the guys on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy? But let's move on:

The Hollywood track has drawn the scrutiny of federal prosecutors. A half dozen people were sentenced for a tax evasion scheme at the track that patrons and tellers contend took millions of dollars from federal coffers. Some tellers testified that illegal shortcuts are a way of life when it comes to betting the dogs at Hollywood.

Illegal shortcuts a way of life? We're shocked we tell you shocked! Let's ask one of the track regulars how this could be:

Warren G. Miller was a familiar sight at the Hollywood Greyhound Track through most of the 1990s. Toting a plastic bag filled with odds and ends, the Jheri-curled middle-ager shuffled around the betting parlor looking like a homeless man. With his top front teeth missing, he had a drooling problem and wiped his lips frequently with a handkerchief. Even so, Miller stood out from the down-and-out gamblers for only one thing: He was a key player in a scheme to bilk the IRS out of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. Federal Judge Jose Gonzalez sentenced Miller to 18 months in prison and ordered him to pay the IRS $442,000 in restitution. The judge also meted out jail time, fines, and probation to a half dozen tellers for their part in the so-called ten-percenting scheme. The case reveals a deeply entrenched culture of fraud and greed at the track.

Oops. Guess we asked the wrong fellow. Our bad. But he looked so knowledgeable, so professional. Well, there was the whole teeth thing, and the speaking in tongues, but we thought it was just some kind of good luck ritual. Not that luck has anything to do with betting on dogs. It's a science you know. Most of the patrons have spent years in apprenticeships and intensive study. Let's meet some of them:

Roberto is a twig of a man with dark, rheumy eyes, caterpillar eyebrows, and a droopy face ripped from a Dali canvas. The few teeth remaining in his top gum are jagged and slightly skewed. His thick Italian accent makes him a bit difficult to understand. Despite myopia that borders on blindness, his mind is a handicapping machine. He asked that his last name not be used.

Roberto is a retired Nuclear Physicist who once worked on the Manhattan Project. Or so he says between swigs of his forty. Here's a friend of his:

Mike, a hulking Bulgarian with missing teeth who declined to give his last name. Mike has been betting the dogs for 23 years and at one time even owned greyhounds. He sits close to the TVs and mingles little during the 14-race live meets. "He's going to take a shot in the mouth one day, in the face," Mike says.

Sports was always about the camaraderie, the playful banter amongst the participants, the assault and batteries. Oh look, there's Stefo:

Stefo moved to Miami in the late 1950s and was introduced to dog racing when he took a job as a driver for a wealthy European who had a penchant for the dogs. He had a series of petty run-ins with the law -- excess parking tickets, expired license plates, some bounced checks -- and usually gravitated to the seamy side of life. In the 1960s, he recruited actresses for the makers of hard-core stag films.

Ah, sports and entertainment coming together under one roof. What synergy! It's like MGM merged with Nike, right Larry:

At 83 years old, Larry rarely misses a day or evening of racing. Today, like most days, he wears brown polyester pants, a baby-blue zippered coat, a plaid cotton shirt, and a "Hollywood Greyhound Track" hat. His yellowed white socks droop around his ankles. Everything he's wearing is overdue for laundering by a month or so.

Well, Larry's the bohemian type, which just goes to show greyhound racing has something for everyone, and a future so bright, those associated with it have to wear sunglasses, right Mr. Berg?

Howard Berg, once an announcer at various South Florida tracks and now a director of marketing at the Hollywood facility, recalls million-dollar nights and crowds of 10,000. Still, Berg is hopeful. He points out that children have been allowed at the track since the 1988-89 season, thanks to the Florida Legislature. "There's the future, to expose them to racing," Berg declares.

Let it not be said the Florida Legislature isn't one of the most forward looking in the country. What other legislative body, charged with the well being of the people who put them in office would have the foresight to see that letting children watch animals be exploited wouldn't be good for the economy. And they can learn about chemistry too:

Hollywood had one of the state's most egregious cases of dog doping. During a frenzied week in January 2003, four dogs trained by Kenneth Purdy took first place in their races. Winners are routinely tested, and the analyses turned up cocaine derivatives in the dogs' urine.

And recycling:

Down here, they used to take the dogs to the Everglades and gut them so there'd be enough blood that the gators would get 'em," contends Michelle Weaver, who with her husband operates Friends of Greyhounds in Sunrise.

So there you have it good people of Broward country, the 18% that turned out to vote, but particularly 82% who decided they'd rather make the early bird special at Denny's. The next time an overlord takes a load of dogs on a one way trip to the Everglades, I'm sure he'll be thankful that you chose the Grand Slam instead of the ballot.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

And Then He Invited Them All To A Strip Club

Is anyone really surprised that Oscar Goodman, the Mayor of Las Vegas would say something like this to a bunch of fourth graders? Come on, it's Las freaking Vegas for crying out loud. Don't you people read the papers? When a student asked Goodman about his hobbies he replied that "drinking" was one of them.


Goodman was at the school with other special guests to read to the students as part of Nevada Reading Week, but as he was too hammered to read, launched into the desert island scenario instead. George Ann Rice, associate superintendent for human resources for the Clark County School District, said if a school employee made similar comments disciplinary action would have been taken.

"It would be the Time Out room for him," she said, "And a possible loss of recess privileges too. This is very serious."

The Principal said the fourth graders didn't seem to pay attention to the mayor's gin and drinking comments. "And when someone talks about drinking they think 'juice' anyway," she said.

Yeah. Right. OK, who's more out of touch here? The Mayor, or the people at the school? The Mayor thinks he can last indefinitely with a limited supply of gin when what he clearly needs is a still, and school officials think when kids say they are going to get "juiced" they mean raid the fridge for some Sunny D.

Monday, March 07, 2005

On The Bright Side, She Wanted Naturally Curly Hair

Confession time. When we were in fifth grade we had the snot beat out of us on the playground after school by Delores Jackson. Apparently we inadvertently offended one of her siblings in gym class with a dodge ball. Three times.

Truth be told, Delores had 20 pounds and a few inches on us, but that didn't matter as word spread the we had been beaten up by a girl.

So it should be no surprise that we read about this incident with a certain what if fascination. Of course there were no such things as Tasers back in the day, nonetheless we have a very clear mental picture of how Delores would have looked flopping on the ground like a fish as 50,000 volts arced across her fillings.

Back to the present though, according to the article, the 15 year old who got zapped was "apparently" acting in an aggressive manner. "Apparently?" We're not experts in law enforcement, but aren't police trained to recognize aggression, say, as opposed to teen angst?

She made a face at me and I thought she was going to spit, said police officer Won Chau. Turned out she just had gas, but how was I to know? She'd already called the principal a jerk so I knew she was capable of anything.

School officials supported the police action, calling the incident "unfortunate.'' Interviewed in his office after detention period, Principal Les Moonves said, She had a body piercing. Probably did drugs too. She was out of control. Did you hear what she called me?

After reviewing a school video of the incident as well as information downloaded from the Taser that indicated the number and duration of stun charges, police Sgt. Lorne Rosand said it was clear the use of the Taser lit her up like a Christmas tree. What if she tried to run away, Rosand stated, In just a matter of seconds she could have been out of range and office Chau would have had to chase her.

Roseville Area High School has an extensive system of security cameras according to Principal Moonves. We want are students to feel safe, he commented. Well, except for the ones we try to electrocute that is.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

The planet makes its seventh spin and we once again release the hounds. Fans of this blog (mad props to you mom!) will recall that this is the day we feature rescued racing greyhounds, who, having failed to please their human overlords have been cast out with only the collar on their necks.

Greyhounds have been much in the news lately (if you happen to live in Florida) because the overlords want citizens to allow them to place slot machines at their tracks The reason for this is no one is coming to the races anymore and they think they can keep their seedy operations going a few more years if they get the slot machines.

This in unfortunate for the dogs who, always an afterthought when not racing, will become even more of a nuisance as money flows to the slot rooms. Slots are a respirator for this brain dead industry. Time to pull the plug. Even the governor knows that.

Vote is March 8. Keep your fingers crossed. Now meet this week's featured hound, EF Eddie Boy:

Posted by Hello
Eddie is very affectionate, lovable, outgoing, and playful, but not hyper. His foster family has nicknamed him “Mr. Personality”. He's a real lover. He likes to cuddle, lean his body against you, rub his head against you, and give kisses. He enjoys playing with toys. He has an average energy level for a greyhound, but gets excited when people come inside. He settles down well and sleeps most the time. Eddie loves full body massages. He “talks” to you buy crying (when he wants petting or to go out) and he wraps himself around you when he comes inside. He longs for affection. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Four Score And Seven Years Ago We Didn't Have Sensible Shoes

Ah, Democracy. Reasoned debate, thoughtful discussion, consensus, compromise. It's little wonder why we are a beacon to the world when we have examples like Representative Jim Gibbons, of Nevada.

Speaking at a Lincoln Day celebration he dedicated his remarks to the "brave young men and women who are serving on the front lines" in what he termed World War III. He later corrected himself and said he meant to say World War three, not World War eye eye eye.

Mr. Gibbons (no relation to Hylobates moloch)
speculated on what the 16th president might be thinking were he alive today. Well, Mr. G. could it be:

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan..."

No? How about:

"The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."

Not quite? Maybe this:

"That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or any denomination of Christians in particular."

No way you say. OK. You tell us Mr. Gibbons:

"It was not movie stars but soldiers and sailors that defended freedom in the deserts of Iraq, the jungles of Vietnam, the sands of Iwo Jima and the beaches of Normandy."

Umm...They didn't have movies back then. Besides, what about Ronald Reagan? He made movies during the Second World War.

"I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else," Gibbons said to another burst of applause. He said that they are the same people who wanted to go to Iraq and become human shields for the enemy. "I say it's just too damn bad we didn't buy them a ticket," Gibbons said.

Reagan wore Birkenstocks? Well, President Reagan's footware aside, a historically accurate extrapolation of what Lincoln might be thinking were he alive today should probably give old Abe the last word:

"Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

Hmmm...Guess they didn't have Birkenstocks either back in those days.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Throw Down The Teddy Bear And Step Away From The Big Wheel

This country is becoming more and more dangerous. We're not talking about the threat of terrorist attack, or random violence on the job, or even the president's social security plan. We're talking about roving bands of third graders.

Three third graders were playing with a spray can of Mace on the playground when it went off, causing fumes to land on three other students. Police responded quickly and cordoned off the block. After a tense standoff, the three came out of the girls bathroom after the officers shut the light off and made scary sounds.

The 10-year-old who brought in the can was charged with having a weapon on school property.Joseline Perez, her nine year old accomplice and driver of the getaway trike, said the canister of Mace fell out of her friend's pocket when they were on the playground. She thought it was perfume, she said, and as she picked it up, it discharged toward the ground. Another accomplice, who has so far eluded police with tracking dogs, then sprayed it into the air, according to the girl's attorney.

Perez and her friends were handcuffed together, side by side. "I felt real scared." Joseline said. When she got to the police station, she said, she cried because "the policeman told me I had to stay in lockup until I stopped acting like a little baby."

The school district suspended the children for five days, and they face disciplinary hearings, which could result in their being removed from the school. "Our policy is to be safe rather than sorry," said Principal Jack Blackstrap. "You never know what's going through the heads of these immigrant children. Half of them don't even speak English very good."

This isn't the first time Philadelphia police have averted a tragedy. Earlier this year, a 10-year-old girl who brought scissors to school, but did not attempt to run with them was handcuffed and taken to a nearby precinct where she admitted to a series of bank robberies after she was told she wouldn't have to go straight to bed with no supper. Her mother, however, has taken away her television privileges and she has to come straight home after school. "And she can gosh well forget about the sleep over at Jenny Claven's house this weekend too," according to her father.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Abort Iron Eagle. Abort Abort!

Yesterday we wrote about Representative Sam Johnson's offer to personally intervene in the abandoned hunt for WMD's by single handedly piloting an F-16 to Syria and depositing a pair of nuclear calling cards on their hiding place. Mr. Johnson did not explain how he came by knowledge that apparently slipped by every other intelligence gathering office of the government, or why he waited so long to make his offer, but no matter, we are now able to say that this brave patriot need not risk his life because WE HAVE FOUND THE WMD!

Representative Johnson, please, put that flight suit back on the hook. The WMD aren't in Syria. They're on eBay.

We're sure intelligence agents all over Washington are smacking their foreheads with the palms of their hands and going Of course! It's so obvious! What better way to disperse an arsenal, and turn a tidy profit in the bargain.

Now Representative Johnson can get to Washington and get this country back on track. Mr. Johnson, can you help us with marriage?

The primary responsibility of marriage in the family is parenting.

Brilliant. Now, how about a hand with Social Security?

So many things have changed since (1935). People are living longer and having fewer children.

Brilliant. Umm...wait a minute. Should people who aren't carrying out the primary responsibility of marriage be rewarded with a guaranteed income as they live out their longer, childless lives?

Let's face it. The Massachusetts Supreme Court made their own law. San Francisco's Mayor made his own law. County officials in New Mexico made their own law. Liberal elitists all across America want to subvert the will of the people by dismantling the time-honored tradition of marriage and all that it stands for.

Oh, so that's what you mean when you say the primary responsibility of marriage is parenting. But couldn't a same sex couple be parents?

Sadly, same-sex marriage has become a high-priority issue. Immediate intervention at the highest level of national law must be taken if we want to stop activist judges and pandering politicians out for personal gain.

Got it. So which category do you belong to? Oh wait. You're not a judge are you?