Thursday, June 30, 2005

Your Call Is Important To Us

We're sorry. Ironicus cannot come to the blog today. Please leave a message and we'll return your post as soon as we sober up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

To "Stay The Course" Shouldn't You Have A Course To Begin With?

Like all committed athletes, we believe preparation is the key to superior performance. Unfortunately we prepared for the president's speech a little too intensely last night so our memory of what was actually said is a little foggy. Today, when our vision cleared, we went through the transcript and read what the president said, followed by what we thought we heard, until we became unable to think that is.

Thank you and good evening. I am pleased to visit Fort Bragg – “Home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces.”

I like to come to places where people are sworn to protect me and there's miles of fences and lots of guys with guns between me and those people who try to sneak into my Town Hall meetings.

The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. This war reached our shores on September 11, 2001.

Ha! Second paragraph and I make my first 9/11 reference. Cheney though it would take me at least four.

The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent.

They think we all work for Halliburton.

This Nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy.

Provided that enemy is pretty weak and has a lot of oil. And isn't Saudi Arabia.

Our mission in Iraq is clear.

And because we've already accomplished it, I won't take the time to explain it to you again.

I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it?

Since the election is over, I don't have to answer, but let's just say Barbara and Jenna are not considering careers in the Armed Forces.

“The whole world is watching this war.” Bin Laden says it will end in “victory and glory or misery and humiliation.”

He's almost as good at stating the obvious as I am.

We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who behead civilian hostages and broadcast their atrocities for the world to see.

If only they would waterboard them, or do the fake electrode thing like we do they wouldn't be so hateful. And get the women involved. Makes the whole torture thing more homey.

The terrorists – both foreign and Iraqi – failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our Coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies.

Oh wait, they did do that. Not that we'll miss them eye talians that much anyway.

They failed to incite an Iraqi civil war.

Well, they're still working on that one.

They failed to stop the formation of a democratic Iraqi government that represents all of Iraq’s diverse population.

Except for the Sunni's of course, but Dick says they're just a bunch of doofuses who wouldn't welcome us as liberators anyway so who cares.

They failed to stop Iraqis from signing up in large numbers with the police forces and the army.

Well, when your country's infrastructure has been bombed, your economy destroyed and your government blown away, it's not like the want ad section of the newspaper is that big, you know?

We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard.

Especially when as soon as we rebuild something we have to blow it up again.

We have continued our efforts to equip and train Iraqi Security Forces. We have made gains in both the number and quality of those forces.

Well, not so much the number, as they tend to run away when the shooting starts. And not so much the quality either because they can barely handle traffic control, but I have high hopes.

Today Iraqi Security Forces are at different levels of readiness.

Those levels range from totally useless to able to find the donut shop on their own.

Iraqi Army and Police are being trained by personnel from Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Romania, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

And if you don't think it's going to take time for the Iraqis to learn all those languages, well, you've got another think coming..

We are embedding Coalition “Transition Teams” inside Iraqi units. These teams are providing battlefield advice and assistance to Iraqi forces during combat operations.

In Viet Nam we called these "Advisors." Eventually we needed so many "Advisors" we had to start drafting them.

Some Americans ask me, if completing the mission is so important, why don’t you send more troops? If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them.

But Rummy assures me he has ordered them not to say that.

I will continue to be guided by the advice that matters – the sober judgment of our military leaders.

And I emphasize I want to keep these guys sober. I'm afraid if they got drunk they'd tell me what they really think.

Under the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Shia and Kurds were brutally oppressed – and the vast majority of Sunni Arabs were also denied their basic rights while senior regime officials enjoyed the privileges of unchecked power.

Sort of like what James Dobson would like to do here.

Many Sunnis who opposed the January elections are now taking part in the democratic process.

Of course their idea of taking part is to blow up a polling station, but we're working on that.

Before our Coalition liberated Iraq, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. Today the leader of Libya has given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs.

Of course that didn't work on North Korea and Iran, but hey, no plan is perfect.

The terrorists do not understand America.

And neither do I. How in the heck did I get reelected anyway? I thought I'd really screwed the pooch with that WMD thing. Thank God for American Idol.

We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens – and Iraq is where they are making their stand.

Yeah. I know. Geography wasn't my strongest subject either.

The Department of Defense has set up a web site –

It's certainly less expensive than buying all that body armor, plus it's got neat graphics.

I thank our military families – the burden of war falls especially hard on you.

Well, actually the whole burden falls on you. Bet you wish you stayed in school now, don't you?

To those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our Armed Forces.

Unless you were thinking about living until you reach retirement age. And if you were, remember, there will be no social security for you.

Thank you. And may God bless America.

Because she's sure going to need it after I get done.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And Afterwards, We'll Visit The Vomitorium

The only thing more fun than a major speech by the president is a major speech on Friday during happy hour. This being a Tuesday however, some controls will have to be placed on the presidential bloviatory drinking game that will allow those who perform important societal functions--say police, fire and pizza delivery people--to carry the rest of us tomorrow. As part of our service therefore, we here at the marbled halls of IM Central offer the following guidelines:

The audience for his speech will be 600 to 700 soldiers. Watch their eyes. They will be looking off the to left to get their applause cues. Recommendation: when they applaud, one swig from the gallon of cheap red you're passing around.

Bush will argue that there is no need to change course in Iraq despite the fact that it's been over two years since he declared "Mission Accomplished" and we still don't even control Baghdad. Recommendation: Every time the president says "progress" shot of Absolut.

The president will remind us that 8 million people went to the polls and voted in Iraq. Makes sense, since without electricity or running water there wasn't much else to do. Recommendation: Down two shots of Jim Beam if he uses the number, one shot if he doesn't.

Bush has said we will not leave until Iraqi security forces are trained and equipped to keep the peace. Recommendation: If you think this is Deja 'Nam all over again, shot of Tanquery. If you believe Iraqi forces will be unable to take over for the US in time for your grandchildren to avoid the draft, get drunk before the speech starts.

Bush's approval ratings have fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency in part because of growing fears about Iraq. Recommendation: If he tells us he doesn't care about his popularity, chug a beer. If you're for the war, Bud Lite, if you're against it, Heineken, or 3 Monts.

Bush will stress the need for patience as Iraq moves toward establishing a permanent democratic government. Recommendation: "Freedom's on the march," shot of tequila. "Stay the Course" chug Jack Daniels until your eyes water, "Clear path to victory," Everclear until you pass out.

Special bonus: If he makes veiled attacks on opponents by implying they would rather give the terrorists therapy than blow them and their countries up, go find someone with a college degree and beat them up for America.

As always, drink responsibly and use a designated driver.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Candlelit Dinners Aren't Allowed. Glowsticks OK?

Well, despite the four star cuisine, the idyllic tropical setting, and the fact that Rush says what we're doing is OK with him, it seems these persistent stories about torturing the Guantanamo, enemy, detainees...yeah that's the term. Anyway folks are getting a little concerned that we may be, shall we say, a little too enthusiastic in extracting information from people who may know someone who may know a guy who might have had a conversation with someone who may have been in on an alleged plan to steal Abdul's prize goat.

A new independent investigation of abuse allegations at Guantanamo Bay isn't necessary Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said. "I think that to go back into all of the things that's already been reviewed by everybody else doesn't make sense. Especially since any independent investigation would probably want to look at more than what's on the detainees' menu."

The White House also rejected the idea of an independent commission, citing 10 major investigations by the Pentagon. "Look, they're the guys using the glowsticks," Press Secretary Scott McClellan said. "I think they're in the best position to get to the bottom of the situation." He added, " pun intended."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said an independent commission could explore how troops were trained. "My understanding is that soldiers don't, know how to properly chain people down until they defecate on themselves. I want to know who wrote the manual on that."

Some detainees have been incarcerated for more than three years without being charged. Rumsfeld defended the detentions by citing the prisoners' alleged deeds. "We're pretty sure that if we'd left some of them alone, they might have tried to think about ways to possibly hurt us. Maybe," he said.

Asked if there were any plans to try or release detainees, Rumsfeld said, "That's not a decision for me. That's a decision for the president which he plans to get to as soon as he learns to pronounce Abu Ghraib."

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Sometimes, when an overlord has squeezed the last pound of profit he can from the dogs at a particular track, he or she will load them up and hit the road in search of a less competitive track with the hopes the there might be another dollar or two left in the units before he dumps them.

Such was the case with Jesse Burgess. He's a kennel operator who was transporting 35 dogs to Mexico because they were no longer competitive at any American racetrack. Eight of them died of heat stroke.

"Well it was only 12 hours," Burgess said. "And the trailer was air conditioned, but I guess that didn't help much because I put twice as many dogs in as it could hold."

Burgess -- who's been racing dogs for almost 20 years -- says he never knew about the rules on transporting greyhounds which were passed by the Arizona Racing Commission back in 1993. "I don't read so good," he told an investigator.

Burgess has been fined $500 and his license has been suspended for 60 days. But he plans to return to racing as soon as he can. "I have to," he said. "You really think I could hold down a real job?"

He may have a point, although we would like to think he could be trained to say "Welcome to Walmart" when prompted. Anyway, here's a hound who survived her jaunts in the company trailer and now is looking for one more trip--to the couch. Meet My Mother Marian:

Posted by Hello
Marian is shy around people and in the home. She tends to spend a lot time in her crate or in a “safe” spot in the home. She has enjoyed pig ear treats. Marian needs a patient home that will work with her through her extreme shyness. She needs a family with older children, as younger children might be too noisy/vocal and would probably scare her. She is good with other dogs, but would probably be fine as an only dog. 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, June 23, 2005

They're Definately Getting Weaker, But They May Be Getting Stronger

We've heard about the fog of war, but we always thought the fog was where the fighting was. Turns out that isn't the case because there was certainly a lot of fog at a Senate hearing on Iraq yesterday.

Vice President Cheney speaking from his undisclosed location (that's where the fighting isn't), said the insurgency was in it's "last throes." Then General John Abizaid, top American military commander in the Persian Gulf, having returned from Iraq (that's where the fighting is) for the hearing said, the strength of the insurgency is basically "undiminished" from six months ago.

Hmmm...Whom to believe...A dilemma to be sure. On the one hand, Mr. Cheney, while sipping on a fine Chardonnay and enjoying a crisp Salade du Chef says, "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline."

Then we've got this General guy who probably actually carries a gun in Iraq and most likely has thrown hand grenades and stuff, and he tells us, "I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago."

Oh my. Our poor citizen heads are spinning. Can you help us out Secretary Rumsfeld? "Between now and when an Iraqi constitution is drafted and voted on later this year, they may very well be in their last throes by their own view because they recognize how important it will be if they lose,"

So Mr. Cheney is saying that the insurgents believe they are in the last throes?

"While I didn't use that term and I might not use it, I think it's understandable that we can expect that kind of a response from the enemy," Rumsfeld added.

"Isn't it time for you to resign?" Senator. Edward M. Kennedy asked. "I've offered my resignation to the president twice," Rumsfeld shot back, "But Bush keeps spilling his chocolate milk on it and I have to type it up all over. I don't type fast so it takes a while."

Some lawmakers have called for the Bush administration to set a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. "That would be a mistake," Secretary Rumsfeld said. "I should think it's pretty obvious by now that doing anything by a timetable is way beyond us. Besides, don't timetables take planning?"

Speaking to General Abizaid, Senator Carl Levin asked if he realized he was contradicting Cheney. The general shrugged and said, "Well, that happens when you work for idiots."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

We Wondered Why He Was Speaking Arabic With A Southern Accent

We've written before about how, given the fact that because the current administration can no longer be smarter than our enemies, they've tried to be more evil. Turns out the president's gang isn't very good at that either. Unless you count torturing an American soldier by mistake.

A U.S. military policeman was beaten by fellow MPs during a botched training drill at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison. Sean Baker was assaulted in January 2003 after he volunteered to wear an orange jumpsuit and portray an uncooperative detainee. Baker said the MPs, who were told that he was an unruly detainee who had assaulted an American sergeant, inflicted a beating that resulted in a traumatic brain injury.

"That's just good training protocol," explained White house Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "We figure if we can make our guys mean enough to permanently injure one of their own, then we should have no 'interviewing' a terrorist."

Baker, a Persian Gulf War veteran who re-enlisted after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, was medically retired in April 2004. He said the assault had left him with seizures, blackouts, headaches, insomnia and psychological problems.

Baker orders that night were to get under a bunk on a steel floor in a dark cell, and wait: He asked if second lieutenant Shaw Locke, the drill officer, was going to tell the soldiers that he was a U.S. soldier.

"I told him 'Yes, you'll be fine. Trust me.' said Locke. "What a rube. He actually believed me. Like we really want the other soldiers to know it's not a real rag head they're working on. Takes the edge off, you know?"

As he was being choked and beaten, Baker said he shouted "I'm a U.S. soldier! I'm a U.S. soldier!" The beating continued, he said, until the jumpsuit was yanked down during the struggle, revealing his military uniform.

"That's when we knew something wasn't right," said Scott Sinclair an MP who was holding onto his head. "I was all like Whoa, dudes. He's one of us. Bummer."

Bloodied and disoriented, Baker somehow made it back to his unit, and his first thought was to get hold of the videotape of the session. My squad leader went to get the tape." But Baker says his squad leader said, "There is no tape."

"Funny story there," said Michael Riley, Baker's platoon sergeant. "Turns out the guys in the media room were ordered to tape an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond for the Commander. It's her favorite show. Anyway, the guy that was supposed to do the taping left the blank tape in his room, so when the show came on he just grabbed one off the shelf and guess what? It was the Baker tape. What are the odds?"

The Pentagon first said that Baker's hospitalization after the training incident was not related to the beating. "We thought it was a shaving related accident," said a pentagon spokesperson.

Later, officials conceded that he had been treated for injuries suffered when the five-man MP "internal reaction force" choked him, slammed his head several times against a concrete floor and sprayed him with pepper gas. "Was the pepper spray too much? Was that over the line?" Asked the pentagon spokesperson. "Maybe we went past our guidelines here, but the military is all about going the extra mile."

The Army didn't conduct a serious investigation into what happened to Baker for 17 months. "Its as if they just went on living their lives, as if they'd done nothing. Nothing wrong," said Baker, who now takes nine medications a day.

"On the bright side, he has no copay for his medications, said Captain Judith Brown, the commander of the Kentucky National Guard at Guantanamo."

Asked if there was any justification for what happened to Baker, McClellan said, "If we're that thorough with an American, think what it's like for one of the detainees."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I Can't Afford The M16, So I'll Go With The Super Soaker

Since it's only the middle class that's paying taxes, the country can't afford as many wars as if everyone was...oh, we don't know...say paying their fair share? So we're all for government spending what tax money they have in an efficient way. That being said, we still find this a little over the top.

Marine Pfc. Jeremy Tod was urged by his superiors to buy a flak jacket with armor plating, to enhance the prospects of his survival in Iraq. The purchase was to be made with his own money.

Major Nat Frahy, explained that the military issues equipment, but it's possible that some of that equipment may not contribute directly to saving Tod's life. "Hey, we give them these neat uniforms, plus cool patches to sew on, and a helmet. What are we, made of money?" Frahy said.

Besides the flak jacket, the shopping list included a Camelbak (water pouch) ballistic goggles, knee and elbow pads, a "drop pouch" to hold ammunition magazines and a load-bearing vest.

"Well, unless he was going buy ammunition, he wouldn't need the pouch," Said Frahy. "And the Camelbak is no good unless he signs up for the water program. We're having a special this month, two gallons a week for the price of one. We feel our troops deserve a break now and then."

Tod's father decided to pick up the tab for his son. Dad says he is tempted to forward the bill to the Pentagon. When informed of the possible charge to the military, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "You know, he may have something there. Triple the price he paid and put the bill on Halliburton letterhead and we just might pay it."

Told about the Marine request, Representative J. D. Hayworth, the Republican whose 5th District includes Tod's home town, said he has never heard of a service person being told to buy his own equipment. "I kind of like the idea of a 'pay as you go' war though. And since not everyone will be able to afford vests, it'll also cut down on the number of veterans we have to support after the war is over. Sounds like a win win to me."

Monday, June 20, 2005

If A Bomb Blows Up In The Woods And Nobody Hears It, Have We Broken The Back Of Terrorism?

We've mentioned before that the vice president is having a harder and harder time keeping his fingers in the president's ears while shouting "LALALALALALA HE CAN'T HEAR YOU." Even members of his own party telling him things he doesn't want to hear.

Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel said "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality. It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."

"That's not true," said Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "We're just not winning as fast as we'd like to be, that's all." When asked to comment on the two Republicans who have joined a pair of Democratic colleagues in sponsoring a bill calling for a troop withdrawal plan to be drawn up by year's end, McClellan slammed his hand on the podium, then pointed at the reporter who had asked the question and said, "No soup for you!"

Only 41 percent of Americans now support Bush's mishandling of the war, and the Iraq news has combined with a neocon economy and doubts about the president's intellectual capacity to push Bush's overall approval ratings near all-time lows. "Hey. This is the guy you elected," said long time supporter Tom DeLay. "He's not any dumber today than he was when you elected him. What did you expect anyway?"

The Bush administration is planning to hit back, starting this week, with a renewed public-relations push. We're going to let the president go to the American people," McClellan said. "As soon as we recruit, interview and train them."

Bush has scheduled a major speech for June 28, the anniversary of the hand over of power to an Iraqi government from U.S. authorities. "There's been too much disassembling going on here," Bush said in a Rose Garden interview. "It's time to get out there and repeat the propaganda for the good of the American people, or at least those Americans who can't read and don't know how to work a TV."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

No one ever said the overlords had a firm grasp on reality. After all, these are people who believe that exploiting animals for profit and then casting them aside with about as much thought as you'd give yesterday's paper is a proper career for someone.

Luckily, some of the state regulators in Iowa are card carrying members of the reality based community. State gambling regulators reacted skeptically Thursday to a proposal by the National Cattle Congress to reopen Waterloo Greyhound Park for dog racing. The commission ordered a shutdown of the park in 1996 after it declined to renew the financially troubled track's racing license. "The place was hemorrhaging money," said said Commissioner Kate Cutler. "We just got tired of bailing it out."

Dave Nagle, a lawyer representing the track's supporters, is convinced pari-mutuel wagering on greyhound racing and simulcasts of races from other tracks can be profitable. When asked how he could believe that when two tracks in other states had shut down just this year, and other tracks were reducing their seasons to cut costs, he replied "A little birdie told me."

Well, that or drugs. Anyway, here's one greyhound who spent her time in La La Land and now is looking for a reality based couch. Meet P's Crystal Jane:

Posted by Hello
Jane is energetic, confident, friendly, playful, and a little vocal. She is affectionate. She likes to be petted and will lean against the foster mom, although she is not an overly cuddly dog. She is starting to play with toys. 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, June 16, 2005

We've Got To Find A Way To Blame This On Clinton

We have to admit that whole red state blue state thing confuses us a little. If red states are where the righteous people are supposed to live, why did they choose the devil's color? And why do they do things like this?

Representative Don "I was just giving her a back rub" Sherwood repeatedly punched and choked a Maryland woman during a “five-year intimate relationship” with her, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Sherwood would not comment on the lawsuit. “He hasn't seen the suit,” said Sherwood’s spokesman, Jake O’Donnell. "He's been locked up in the bathroom since it was announced."

The complaint states that throughout the long-term relationship, Sherwood repeatedly struck Cynthia Ore on her face, neck, chest and back; violently yanked her hair; and tried to strangle her.

"We're sure she's just misinterpreting his actions," O'Donnell said. "He does the same thing to us all the time." Ore stated she lived with Sherwood in Washington for much of the relationship and that he repeatedly promised to marry her and start a family.

"OK, he's never promised us anything like that," O'Donnell said," well, I'm only speaking for myself, but he's a really gentle, big hearted guy." Ore plans to pursue obtaining a restraining order against Sherwood forbidding him from having contact with her. "When he's not drinking," the spokesman added.

Sherwood, who is married and has three daughters, struck Ore on her face and body with a closed fist while she attempted to sleep and he began “violently choking her.” "She fell asleep during sex," according to O'Donnell. "How would that make you feel?"

“This unprovoked, cowardly, brutal and vicious attack occurred without warning,” the suit states. "We contest that," O'Donnell said. "When Don starts shouting 'Who's Your Daddy,' everyone knows to shout 'You are Pappy.'"

Police, responding to a 911 call at Sherwood’s apartment last September 15 initially said she was choked, then changed her story, saying “nothing happened.”

"And if you don't think I had to call in just about every favor the Congressman has done since he's been here to get that one fixed, you're living in La La land," O'Donnell said.

The lawsuit says on Sept. 22, Sherwood threatened Ore, saying he'd harm her if she made any further attempts to tell police about the assaults.

"That's another misunderstanding," O'Donnell said. "When Don said 'break your friggin' neck like a dry twig,' what he meant was 'help you get counseling.'"

Sherwood has not returned phone calls to the Pennsylvania paper which broke the story about the incident since April 29, when he tried to convince an editor not to publish a story on Ore’s contentions. "He said he'd give me a back rub and explain the whole thing," Associate Editor Nancy Pellagrini said, "But when he said he wanted to meet in the state park at midnight I declined."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

And Now, Crossfire with Elmo and Cookie Monster

A House Appropriations panel approved a spending bill that would cut the budget for public television and radio nearly in half and eliminate a $23 million federal program that has provided money for producing children's shows, including "Sesame Street."

We're not sure why the Republicans hate PBS so much, but we think it has something to do with Bert and Ernie. We can just see discussions raging back and forth among the various GOP factions, like the rich old white men and the richer old white men. Are Bert and Ernie, a) gay; b) Democrats; c) College educated urban professionals; d) all of the above.

Republicans said the cuts were not aimed at punishing public broadcasting for being anti-American and a hotbed of liberal propaganda poisoning the minds of our youth with new age propaganda like global warming, but were the reality of preparing budgets at a time of growing deficits.

"Look, we have to pay for the war," said Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House. "And that means we all have to sacrifice, including Big Bird. OK, so maybe some of us don't have to sacrifice, but my understanding is birds can't vote."

The cuts in financing went beyond those requested by the White House and are likely to be approved next week by the full Appropriations Committee and then by the House. "I was thinking bleed it slowly to death," said president Bush at a recent prayer breakfast. "But they wanted to gut it outright, so I say bring it on."

"It is clear the GOP agenda is to control public broadcasting or to defund it," said Representative David R. Obey, the senior Democrat on the committee. "All this started when PBS refused to air All Things Considered with Ann Coulter."

The head of the Republican-controlled Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, said that the perception that the stations are not balanced could prompt the Republican-controlled Congress to reduce financing. "We say we want PBS to be fair and balanced like Fox news is," he told a group of religious broadcasters at a recent fundraiser.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tell Us What You Know Or You're Toast. Freedom Toast

Americans have always thought of themselves as the good guys. We are the ones who play by the rules, well most of the time anyway. So when we get in a scuffle with the bad guys, we don't beat them by being meaner, more cruel or more viscous. We beat them by being smarter than they are.

OK, with the current administration in Washington burrowed into fantasy like a tick on a dog's back, we've pretty much lost the smart edge and it looks like our fall back position is to try to out evil the evil doers.

GOP voices are lining up to defend Guantanamo, a facility that one human-rights group has called a "gulag." Vice President Cheney said war-on-terror detainees would continue to be held at there, even as the White House said all options for prison's future were on the table.

But it's all right when we do it as Representative . Duncan Hunter explains. The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee displayed Guantanamo-like prison entrees of lemon-baked fish and oven-fried chicken with rice, fruit and vegetables, "purchased for them by American taxpayers" to illustrate conditions at the prison. "They've never eaten better." Hunter said.

So. After a hard day of thinking you are being drowned because of a wet towel or dripping water being used to induce suffocation, or being threatened them with dogs, or having guards smear you with fake menstrual blood you get a nice meal. Maybe spaghetti tonight.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said the prison was "housing terrorists bent on killing Americans and destroying freedom" and "it should remain in place until it is no longer needed to help keep our four star chefs fully employed."

"We need to look and see whether any of the allegations being levied are real," said Representative Curt Weldon. When told that videotape of abuse existed, he replied, "Well, I was thinking of the allegations that they're being fed well. I want to know if freedom fries are on the menu."

Ok, so if we can't be smarter than the bad guys, at least the torture is getting us some information. Or maybe not. Well, at least it's getting us some convictions of terrorists. Or maybe not

When asked why he was in favor of keeping the base open when the information obtained was suspect, there were no convictions of prisoners forthcoming and the whole issue had turned into a recruitment tool for islamic fundamentalists, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said, "Hey. This strategy has worked for the Israelis and Palestinians for the last sixty years. It ought to be good enough for us"

Monday, June 13, 2005

It's My Party And I'll Leave If I Want To

Ah, Democracy in action. The spirited debate, the parry and thrust, the back and forth, the stomping out when you can't get your own way.

Following repeated Democratic criticism of the Bush administration, House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. on Friday gaveled a hearing to a close and walked out. "It was a perfectly legitimate thing to do," said a spokesperson for Sensenbrenner. "The democrats were bringing in people who were questioning the policies of our president. It's like they thought it was a hearing or something."

"We ought to stick to the subject," the chairman said. "Sure the suspension or deferral of certain rights at home created a climate for these abuses elsewhere, but why do we care what happens to brown people?"

Congress is debating what changes it should make when reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act, "Well, 'debating' may be too strong a word, "Sensenbrenner's spokesman, Jeff Lungren said. "We're just killing time until the vote." The hearing had lasted two hours and "the chairman was very accommodating, giving members extra time. And then the batteries got low on his iPod," according to Lungren.

Sensenbrenner, who is known for a brusque insistence on decorum, said he considered putting his fingers in his ears and going lalalala, I can't hear you, but opted for walking out instead because he felt "that was more in keeping with the great traditions of this deliberative body."

C-SPAN 2 continued televising the proceedings for six minutes after Sensenbrenner had departed. "We thought he had just gone to pee or something," A C-SPAN 2 spokesperson said." But when one of our production assistants saw him heading down the hall with his golf clubs we knew the hearing was over."

"We are lecturing foreign governments about the conduct of their behavior with regard to opposition," James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, said, "I'm really troubled about what kind of message this is going to teach to other countries in the world about how they ought to conduct an open society that allows for an opposition with rights."

"That was a completely inappropriate thing to say," Sensenbrenner said after his round (he shot 82). "It's not like I ordered any of the Democrats shot or anything. I mean what does he think this is, Iraq?"

Friday, June 10, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Well, racing greyhounds around the world have spent another week living under the benevolent protection of the overlords. We've written on several occasions about the devoted care given the mean the dogs, and this week is no exception. Last Friday we reported on the fire at the Naples. Florida dog track in which 66 dogs spent four hours breathing smoke while the guard wandered around the track trying to figure out where the alarm was coming from. So far 15 dogs have died.

Firefighters rescued the dogs from the kennel owned by overlords Gregory and Arlene Wootten. Some of the most critically injured dogs were taken to a local veterinary clinic. Because the dogs were so severely injured they had to constantly monitored and treated with oxygen and fluids.

Now, you would think the overlords, because they care so much for their would be grateful for the effort of the Vets in dropping everything and coming to the aid of the injured greyhounds.

You could think that. You'd be wrong.

The Woottens showed up at the Vet clinic to get the dogs, but Dr. Amy Bosecker-Gentsch wouldn't sign the medical release forms because she felt the greyhounds should not be moved yet. The Lee County Sheriff's Office was called, and a deputy was dispatched to the animal hospital at 2:47 p.m., but because the dogs were the property of the Wootens, the clinic staff could not stop the transfer. Twelve dogs — including one in critical condition and one in serious condition — were taken away in a Dodge Caravan.

When asked what they planned to do with the sick dogs, Arelene Wooten said, "These dogs will never race again. What do you do with your toaster when it breaks down?"

And it turns out the don't have to be the victims of a fire to receive the full measure of loving care from their overlords. Just ask Kenneth and Robbin Wiseman.

Five of the 66 dogs removed from the Wiseman kennel were euthanized after a veterinarian determined they were in "very bad condition." Officials had visited the home Thursday after getting a tip. They found excessive amounts of urine, feces and fleas along with the emaciated animals.

When asked to explain the condition of the dogs, Kenneth Wiseman said he wasn't sure how they got that way. "You know, you take a little vacation and when you come back, this has happened," He said. "Next time we'll know to have someone watch the dogs while we're gone."

Here's a who was on the receiving end of overload care and still managed to survive. Meet Moorestown Marnie:

Posted by Hello

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, June 09, 2005

Moms Just Don't Understand What "Volunteer" Means

We've written before about the fact that we did not serve our country in the armed forces. And the country is better off for it. We were, however, once interviewed by an Air Force recruiter. He was an affable fellow, rather straight backed and closely cropped, and apparently pretty intelligent too, because he realized pretty quickly that we were not military material. We wonder what would have happened if we had run across this guy.

The recruiting sergeant and an assistant showed up at the the restaurant where 18 year old Axel Cobb worked, and before Axel, an older cousin and other co-workers knew or understood what was happening, Axel was whisked away in a car.

When asked if kidnapping was standard military recruiting procedure, Brigadier General Walter E. Gaskin, Commander of recruiting operations said, "It depends. This recruit was under age, so alcohol was not an option."

"They said we were going somewhere but I didn't know we were going all the way to Seattle," Axel said. At about 3:30 in the morning, Alex was awakened in the motel and fed a little something. Twelve hours later, without further sleep or food, he had taken a battery of tests and signed a lot of papers he hadn't gotten a chance to read. "Just formalities," he was told. "Sign here. And here. Nothing to worry about."

When asked to explain what those "formalities" might be, Axel was told that since he was a citizen of the United States he had certain rights which must be set aside before he could serve his president.

But Axel's mom was on the case. Why do moms hate America? She went to the Burlington recruiting center where the door was open but no one was in. So she grabbed all the cards and numbers she could find, including the address of the Seattle-area testing center. Then, with her daughter, she headed south, phoning Axel, whose cell phone had been confiscated "so he wouldn't be distracted during tests."

"That is standard procedure," said General Gaskin. "We find that if we allow recruits to talk to their loved ones, it's very difficult to convince them that dying is a good thing."

Axel's mom eventually tracked him down in Seattle, but after being told her son would be returned, her daughter spied him being taken down a separate hall and into another room. So mom ran down the hall and grabbed him.

"We believe that possession is nine tenths of the law," General Gaskin explained, "So by rights that kid was ours and we're considering asking the police to open a criminal investigation as to how she got him out of that Center."

Turns out Axel's mom was way ahead of the Marines though. She got a lawyer and after the attorney called the recruiters, Axel's signed papers and his confiscated cell phone were "in the mail." End of story.

Well, maybe. Hey Axel. Don't go anywhere by yourself for a while. At least until the war's over.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Facts Smacts. I'm Going for An Effect Here

We always figured the president wasn't much of a science guy. We know he went to Yale to study business (well, sort of) so we were a little surprised by his excitement about the missile defense system. Turns out he is into blinking lights and men with deep voices counting backwards. When we read about White House polices on the energy (slogan :Let's drill some more holes) we were even more convinced that old time science was good enough for him.

So we thought he might have some folks on his staff that actually knew a little about science stuff. Seemed like a reasonable enough assumption. Until we read this.

A White House official with no scientific training edited government climate reports to play down the links between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Responding to requests for an explanation, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, "Well, it's not like he has no scientific training. He took two chemistry classes at Community College." Later McClellan admitted that one of the classes was a correspondence class.

Philip Cooney, chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, often would subtly alter documents -- for example adding "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties" -- to create an air of doubt about findings few scientists dispute. Asked to explain the reasoning behind his edits, Cooney responded, "Hey. I like adjectives. So sue me.

Cooney, who before working at the White House in 2001 was a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute and led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases. Asked if his relationship with the oil industry may have influenced his editing of scientific reports Cooney said it was "unlikely" due to the fact that he had been trained as a lawyer. "Besides," Cooney explained, "Showing favoritism wouldn't be...ummm...scientific. Ha! That's funny. Get it. Science is supposed to be objective and unbiased. Like me."

Asked to respond to Rick Piltz, who resigned in March as a senior associate in the office that coordinates government climate research and who wrote in his resignation letter that "Politicization by the White House has fed back directly into the science program in such a way as to undermine the credibility and integrity of the program," Press Secretary McClellan said he was certain that politics had not played a part in the editing of the report because he had been at the meeting where the president and vice president discussed what they wanted the report to say.

"There isn't anyone in Washington that's less knowledgeable about science than those two guys," McClellan said. "Wait. That didn't come out right. Well, no matter. These are oil guys. They know what they're doing."

Asked about the edited report at a press conference, President Bush said, "Science is pretty cool. Last night after supper Cheney made one of those model volcanoes. You know the ones that fume and have lave flowing and stuff? I tried to show Laura, but I must have done something wrong because it just spurted and messed up the carpet."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

If You Think I'm Bad, You Should See Bush's Number Two Choice

Ok, so we didn't do so well on that whole Monday off thing last week, so we had to stay after yesterday and do it again. Reluctant learner? When it comes to fully sleeping off the previous night's bad decisions, you bet.

Alas, today we find ourselves back in the clutches of "the man," lifting that barge and toting that bale. At least when he's looking. Too bad we can't say the same for John "I'm the ambassador bi otch" Bolton.

Democrats forced the Senate to put off a final vote Thursday on Bolton's nomination to be U.N. ambassador. They demanded more information before the Senate can give Bolton an up-or-down vote. Explaining the move, Senator Joe Biden said, "We read that stuff about channeling foreign money into the Republican National Committee, trying to run down old ladies, receiving tens of thousands of dollars in order to help Taiwan gain a seat in the United Nations, spying on Colin Powell for Dick Cheney, and we think, Wow. How many bushes did the president have to beat to find this nut job. Get it? Beating the bushes? See, the president's name is bush too. It's what you call a double entendre."

Senate Majority Leader Frist said the Bolton matter soured the air of cooperation. "Look, we know the guy's a bonkoid," he said, "But that's the point. He fits right in with the rest of the administration, don't you think?"

Democrats do not want to postpone an up-or-down vote indefinitely. "We are willing to vote 10 minutes after we get back in session, if they provide some information on the medications he's taking," Biden said.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the administration was pleased that the Senate would revisit the vote. "It is a shame to see the Democratic Senate leadership resort to such a rational approach," McClellan said. "This is a nominee that enjoys majority support."

When asked why he didn't get the endorsement from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which was controlled by Republicans if he enjoyed "majority" support, McClellan responded, "Oh. Did I say majority? No, No. I meant 'majority' as in the 'majority' of voices in his head."
Senators. Mark Pryor, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu were the only Democrats to vote for going to a final vote on Bolton. Asked to explain their votes, Senator Pryor said he was drunk, Senator Nelson said he got confused and though he was voting for "The National Dinosaur," and Senator Landrieu said she seldom paid attention to what she was voting on because, "Heck. Everybody up here is crazy. Why should we single out one person?"

Friday, June 03, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

One of the responses the overlords have when confronted with yet another example of the systemic cruelty of their chosen profession is that the dogs are highly trained athletes, each representing an investment of thousands of dollars and thus are treated to state of the art facilities and care.

Or maybe not.

A fire alarm wired to a guard shack on the Naples Florida greyhound track alerted twice, at 1:20 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. No one discovered the distressed dogs until just before 5 a.m., however, when the owners arrived at the kennel to prepare for a day of racing.

"We forget to tell the guard how to determine which kennel the alarms were connected to," track authorities said. "But it wouldn't have mattered anyway since he was passed out from drinking all night."

Upward of 60 dogs had been in the kennel when the fire broke out. The blaze is being attributed to a buildup of dust and dander in the air conditioning unit. In addition to the large amounts of dander 60 dogs in a room produce, the animals sleep in shredded paper, which creates dust when the greyhounds move around.

"Oh yeah, the kennels are dusty," said one track worker who asked that his name not be used. "I come out of there at night and my nose is so stuffed up you'd think I had a bad cold. The dogs sneeze a lot too I've noticed. Sounds like a TB ward sometimes with all the coughing, sneezing and hacking going on. And I'm talking about the human workers."

Track officials have said the operators of the 12 kennels on its campus are responsible for air conditioning maintenance. About 1,000 dogs are housed at the track. "It's not up to us," said a track official. "We just built the place, it's not like we have enough money to run it or anything."

Investigators looked at an air conditioner in a different kennel that had only been in place three weeks and found it already coated with the buildup. "Somebody ought to clean that," the track official said. "Oh, by the way, we'll get back to racing today. No runny no money, know what I mean?"

Yeah. We do. And here's someone else who had first hand knowledge of the stellar treatment greyhounds receive in the kennel. Meet RC Cummins:

Posted by Hello
Cummins is very easygoing. He is a real gentleman. He is fine playing with the family's active Welsh Terrier. He is affectionate and will follow the foster mom from room to room. (Which is the majority of his exercise he gets in a day - he is a real couch potato) He is quiet and happy; his tail wags often. He is starting to play with toys. He enjoys walks and riding in the car. 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, June 02, 2005

Buy A Ford Help A Fag

Now, we've always known there were chick cars, like the Volkswagen Golf, and guy cars like the Corvette, and weenie cars like...well any minivan, but we never knew there were gay cars and that they were all made by Ford, although it does explain why police departments all over the country are getting rid of their Crown Victorias. Well, that and the whole fire thing.

Anyway, the folks at the American Family Association have decided that cars with to die for interior designs and paint jobs that just scream queen are too much, and have called for a boycott of Ford.

"From including same sex couples in benefits packages, to giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to support tolerance, to teaching managers the power of diversity, Ford's enlightened leadership points the way to fostering equality in the workplace and valuing a person for his or her contribution more than sexual preference." said a notice on the group's Web site. "And that really ticks us off."

Ford provides health care benefits for same sex partners of its employees, as does General Motors and Chrysler. When asked why the Association chose Ford, American Family Association special projects director Randy Sharp said, "It was the shortest and easiest to spell. A lot of our members aren't really educated people, if you know what I mean."

Nearly 55,000 people have signed a pledge supporting the boycott. Asked why he signed the petition, Buford Cady of Jonesboro Arkansas said, "To git one a them Calvin pissing on a Ford sign stickers they's a givin' out. Gonna put that right on ma pickup truck."

The boycott was called by the AFA, which a week before called off a nine-year boycott of Walt Disney Company, which it had originally declared on the same grounds. Asked why the Disney boycott was being ended, Sharp said, "We feel after nine years of boycotting Disney we have made our point."

When told that during the nine years of the Disney boycott the company's stock price went from $18.67 to $27.66 a share, Sharp responded, "See? See? That's what I'm talking about. We took them on! We showed them. Wait. Did you say from 18 to 27? Oh. That's a good thing isn't it? Let me get back to you."

Later the AFA office issued a statement that said problems that the group has with Disney have become "lost among the other battles being fought on a crowded cultural battlefield."

Asked for clarification the person answering the phones at AFA headquarters said, " We just got tired of our kids screaming at us because we wouldn't take them to Disney World."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

It's Not A Problem Unless You Say It's A Problem. Or You Get Blown Up.

Every dog has his day, our old daddy used to say, and if he's a good dog, he has two days. It's beginning to look as if Bush the younger has not been a very good dog.

We draw your attention to this article which details the recent harsh of W's mellow by that old rapscallion, reality. Faced with a string of setbacks on Capitol Hill, Bush shrugged off questions about his political clout. "What? Me Worry?" the president said, quoting his favorite philosopher.

Bush said his policies in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were working. When asked how he knew the polices were working the president responded, "Hey, Don't you watch the news? Don't you listen to the radio? Don't you get the internets? Don't you read the paper? Well, don't worry. As your president I pay people to do that, and what they miss the Vice President catches."

He denounced as "absurd" a report by Amnesty International that compared the U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a Soviet-era gulag. "That is just rude," Bush said. "The gulags were all cold and stuff. We keep our prisoners in very favorable climates."

When asked how he could criticize Amnesty International now when before the invasion of Iraq he had used their reports of abuse of human rights to justify his attack, the president said, "That was before. They've gone over to the dark side now."

The president held firm to his domestic policy agenda even though Congress — including some Republicans — has balked at much of it. "They really don't like it? Are you sure," the president asked when told of Republican resistance to Social Security, the Bolton nomination, a free-trade pact with Central America, an immigration guest worker program and his opposition to legislation to expand embryonic stem-cell research. "You better check your sources boys. Cheney told me everybody is happy as a pig in slop. Why just the other day McCain was giving me the thumbs up sign as he passed by my office. At least I think it was his thumb."

"One thing is for certain, getting things done takes a president willing to push people to do hard things because lord knows I don't want to do anything hard."

Bush denied there was an increase of strength in the Iraqi insurgency, whose attacks have been on the rise since a new government was announced April 28. He said the Iraqi government would be "plenty capable of dealing with them if they knew which ends of their guns to point at the bad guys. With the help of American training they'll be less likely to blow their own heads off," Bush said.

When asked how he defined "progress" the president said he thought it pretty much had to do with taking back Baghdad. "We're definitely winning," he said, "Heck we've only been there three years. As soon as we can secure the capitol things will start going our way. Well, if we don't run out of troops first."

Bush also defended his approach to North Korea, denying he has allowed the government there to expand its nuclear program. "For those who say that we ought to be using our military to solve the problem, I would say heck no. Iraq couldn't even fight back and look what a mess we made of that. North Korea. Now them boys is packing. I ain't about to get all up in their grill," the president said, quoting his favorite rapper Ali G.

Later, Bush and his wife, Laura, had dinner with former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife, Alma, at the Powells' home in McLean, Va. The president spilled his milk again and thus was not allowed to have dessert.