Wednesday, November 30, 2005

One Picture Is Worth A Thousand Victory Strategies

President Bush, left, waves as he departs the White House while Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, right, misses the ladder and walks into the side of the helicopter. Again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

If You're A 'Guest' Worker Do You Still Have To Be Paid?

You have to feel sorry for president Bush. We mean after all, God told him if he'd just sober up he could become president and bring we mean democracy to the heathens...umm... downtrodden and oppressed.

So he held up his end of the bargain, sort of, and look what it got him. The number of things he can talk about in public without wearing his radio receiver has dwindled to Barney and immigration.

"Illegal immigration is a serious challenge and our responsibility is clear: We are going to protect the border," Bush said. "I have instructed Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to draw up a plan for the invasion of Mexico. Or is it Syria? I don't remember. All those brown people countries look alike to me."

After spending nearly a week at his ranch in Crawford dodging Cindy Sheehan, Bush went on the road to pitch his immigration plan. "Illegal immigrants may carry the WMD's that we didn't find in Iraq, "Bush told reporters. "How many nuclear devices are we going to allow to be buried in the gardens of rich people around the nation? How many children will we allow to swear at their parents in Spanish?"

The president has been urging Congress to act on a guest-worker program for more than a year. "We intend to invite only certain people to immigrate," said press Secretary Scott McClellan. "The president feels that way they will be more respectful of our traditions, like minimum wage and no benefits."

"This program would help meet the demands of a growing economy," Bush said. "The program will create a legal way to match foreign workers with American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do, like join the military."

Bush said his plan would reduce the number of workers trying to sneak across the border and free law enforcement officials to nab criminals, drug dealers and terrorists. "Guest workers will be required to dress in casual business attire so we can tell them from the criminals."

"The program that I propose would create an automatic path to service sector employment," Bush said. "But there would be a language test for those who wanted to drive taxicabs."

"Language alone does not work," Senator John Cornyn said. "Unless we address the relationship between foreign cabbies and the display of religious icons in their cabs, cultural confusion will increase and Americans may be forced to use public transportation."

The Senate has postponed its work on immigration proposals until early next year, partly because Senator Frist is still mad at Senator Reid for calling the senate into special session and not providing refreshments. The House hopes to tackle some border security measures before adjourning, but lawmakers may lose their quorum as colleagues go to jail.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cookie Jar. Hand. You Get The Picture

Thomas Jefferson said, "I have not observed men's honesty to increase with their riches." Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham said, "Not guilty...OK, guilty."

A hearing in Cunningham's case will be held in San Diego and two people close to the investigation said Cunningham would enter a guilty plea to conspiracy and tax charges, and admit to taking $2.4 million in bribes. "Well, 'guilty' has such negative connotations," said Cunningham's attorney, Lee Blalack. "Let's just say my client will acquiesce to the description of his negative innocentosity."

In November 2003, Cunningham sold his home to defense contractor Mitchell Wade for $1,675,000. Wade put the house back on the market and sold it after nearly a year for $975,000 — a loss of $700,000 in one of the nation's hottest housing markets. "Hey. I'm a defense contractor, not a real estate agent," Wade said. "I just know about blowing things up."

Prosecutors said Cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes paid to him by several conspirators through a variety of methods, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations. "I thought they were part of the benefits package," Cunningham told reporters. "I guess I should have asked someone, besides Tom DeLay."

Wade also let Cunningham live rent-free on his yacht and his firm, MZM Inc., donated generously to Cunningham's campaigns. "Well, he had to live somewhere," Wade said. "I had bought his house for crying out loud. Besides, he did handyman stuff for me on the boat."

Around the same time, MZM was winning valuable defense contracts when Cunningham sat on the House Appropriations subcommittee that controls defense dollars. "I told you he was a handy man," Wade explained.

"I did the worst thing an elected official can do," Cunningham said. "I got mean I enriched myself through my position and violated the trade...umm...the trip...heck Carol, what's that word," Cunningham showed a statement to U.S. Attorney Carol Lam who said "trust."

"Right. Trust. I violated the trust of those who elected me. OK, there's your statement. Can I go now? Lam then whispered something in the Congressman's ear.

Shortly after Cunningham announced that he wouldn't seek re-election. "Hard to get to roll call votes when you're in jail," He told reporters.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

On Wednesday we told you about a group of overlord intelligentsia who were suing the state of Iowa so they could get their racing license back and proceed to lose their shirts. Again. You probably thought, "Boy, what a bunch of losers. Nobody is that stupid."

Yes, they are. They are that stupid. Plainfield Greyhound Park reopened Monday, offering simulcast wagering, and has received state approval to run greyhound racing again in 2006. But there are no guarantees that dogs will run at the track. Connecticut Yankee Greyhound Racing, which operates the facility, agreed in 2004 to sell the facility to Trumbull developer Gene Arganese, who has said he plans to use the site to build a 140,000-seat, domed auto racing track.

"Well, we knew the car race track would be bigger around, and made out of cement and stuff, but we figure hey, dogs like to chase cars, right?" Karen Keelan, executive vice president of Connecticut Yankee Greyhound Racing, said. "Got to be a buck or two in there somewhere."

Arganese said he continues to move forward with his plans for the auto racing facility. "I at least got through to these folks that the cars don't need to chase a mechanical rabbit, but they still keep asking how many social security recipients like auto racing."

Well, if Ms. Keelan loses her job in Plainfield, we hear they're looking for some executive talent in Iowa. Seems like she's got what it takes, right Salt?

Salt aka Spice is intelligent and very affectionate. She wants to be near you and have her touch her all the time. She is very friendly and outgoing. She loves walking. She tends to be a quiet girl. 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, November 24, 2005

Hounds Home For The Holidays Part Deux

We're off to stuff ourselves, but before we go here's a hound who is thankful she's no longer a minion of the overlords, but is still in need of a couch and a few stuffies to play with. Meet Pay By Check:

Check is a very sweet greyhound. Check really loves to be in her back yard where she can run and pay hide and seek. She is a very young greyhound who shows much of her puppy side while outdoors. She is a shy greyhound who takes a little more time adjusting and feeling comfortable with new situations. She would need a quiet, patient home that will socialize her at her speed. She does learn quickly. Check will lean into the foster mom for affection. She will make a wonderful family addition. 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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hounds Home for The Holidays

As we enter the annual battle to save Christmas from, heathens, we thought is would be appropriate to expand our weekly Friday Hound Blogging feature to cover the holiday celebrations and maybe get a few more hounds on couches to start the new year. That in mind we'll be highlighting some homeless hounds over the Thanksgiving break and again at Saturnalia. So get thee behind me Mithras and let's check in on the overlords:

First a review. Three tracks have gone belly up this year. The industry is in a ten year slide towards oblivion. States like Massachusetts and Oregon have organized movements to ban greyhound racing entirely. So what do the folks who once closed the Waterloo Iowa track because they lost their shirts want to do? Reopen it of course. And what do they do when the state gaming commission tells them the people of the state of Iowa don't want to have to bail them out again? Why they sue the state naturally.

These guys must have been sleeping in Intro to Business class the day they talked about...umm...everything.

The National Cattle Congress closed the Waterloo Greyhound Park in 1996 after financial troubles. The NCC is now is suing the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for denying its application to reopen. "It's our position that they are denying it because we won't make any money," said NCC Board President Wally Mochal. "That's not their entitlement. This is America and if you can't be stupid here, where can you be stupid?"

The commission voted unanimously last month to deny the group's application. "We asked Mr. Mochal what he was going to do differently this time to assure the outcome wouldn't be the same as before and he said he had just bought a brand new rabbit's foot. We didn't think that was an adequate answer," said a member of the Gaming Commission.

Well, the dogs do chase the mechanical rabbit, but unless Mr. Mochal plans to run around the track trailing his new talisman behind him, the Commission probably has a point. What do you think Scrappy:

Scrappy is a very playful young dog who would love to find a family to include him in their daily activities. Scrappy is a typical young greyhound who is a Velcro dog because he loves being with people. He has a playful side but can be relaxed and easygoing. He has a tub of stuffed animals to play with so he definitely needs a toy supply in his adoptive home. Scrappy is good-natured with other dogs and greets all people with an eager tail wag in hopes to get some pets. He will make a wonderful companion for the right home. 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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

And The Lord Said, "Kansas Ma Dawg"

As that well known cultural observer and roustabout philosopher Scooby Doo has opined, "Rut Ro." Looks like Toto will be glad he's not in Kansas anymore.

Creationism and intelligent design are going to be studied at the University of Kansas, but not in the way advocated by opponents of the theory of evolution. "We're not on board with all that questioning and thinking stuff they want to do, "said a representative from the Kansas state School board. A course being offered next semester titled Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies. "Look," said Paul Mirecki, a KU faculty member, "Our state motto isn't '1850 Is Good Enough For Us.'We're tired of being number one in Letterman's top ten list of reasons to stay in Mississippi."

"Creationism is mythology," Mirecki said. "Intelligent design is mythology. Steve Abrams is real, but he's a doofis of mythological proportions."

John Calvert, an attorney and managing director of the Intelligent Design Network in Johnson County, said Mirecki will go down in history as a laughingstock. "Why, the Lord told me just last night Mirecki's gonna be riding a greased pole to Satan's front yard when he dies. And I know it was Jesus speaking to me too, and not the other voices in my head."

Earlier this month, the state Board of Education adopted new science teaching standards that treat evolution as a flawed theory. "Hey, I can't even program my VCR and you're telling me this universe just popped up? No way," said state School Board member Kenneth Willard.

"To equate intelligent design to mythology is really an absurdity, Calvert said. "Mythology is all about supernatural stuff and magic, not like Intelligent Design which is hard core science. Well, except for the God part."

University Chancellor Robert Hemenway said Monday said he didn't know all the details about the new course. "If it's a course that's being offered in a serious and intellectually honest way, those are the kind of courses a university frequently offers," he said. "Representative of Intelligent Design will be invited to speak to the class, providing they don't speak in tongues."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Traitorous Scum Have A Right To Question The Conduct Of The War

We know about changes in medication, so we can understand the two Dick Cheneys. The unmedicated (some would say Cheney au natural) calls those who prefer to take their meaning from the world around them "opportunists" who were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to gain political advantage while U.S. soldiers died in Iraq. "Sort of like what we did before the war started, except no soldiers were dying then," Cheney explained.

The kinder gentler Cheney says he welcomes a public airing of dissenting views about the war and an "entirely legitimate discussion" about changing policy."Even if those who want to change the policy are "opportunists" who were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to gain political advantage while U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

OK, so some medications kick in faster than others.

Cheney acknowledged that "flaws in the intelligence are plain enough in hindsight." But Cheney added: "Any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped, fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false. Look, we're talking about George Bush here. The guy needs help tying his shoes. You think he could pull off a con job like this? Of course not. That's where we come in."

"I do not believe it is wrong to criticize the war on terror or any aspect thereof. Disagreement, argument and debate and the essence of democracy and none of us should want it any other way," Cheney said. "It's just that answering all these charges takes time away from planning the invasion of Syria."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

No one ever said the overlords weren't sensitive to the complaints of the general public when it comes to their treatment of the dogs. In an effort to recapture the public goodwill that they enjoyed before people found out about...well...let's just say found out about their disposal methods, they've taken to publishing press releases.

Forty greyhound racetracks in 13 states employed nearly 14,000 people in low wage no benefit dead end jobs and paid more than $84 million in taxes, which works out to about 2 million per track. About what one legislator spends on office supplies.

The greyhound industry funds a number of programs designed to care for the
welfare of racing greyhounds. The industry spent more than $330,000 on
welfare-related programs in 2004 because you tree hugging animal welfare nuts were on our case.

We have a "farm inspection program", where inspectors make "unannounced" visits to
breeding farms to verify compliance with the industry's greyhound welfare guidelines.
"That's true," said a breeder who asked not to be identified. "They only gave me a weeks notice that they were coming 'unannounced" this year. Usually you get at least two weeks to clean up the place."

The Industry has developed an educational video on how to safely lead greyhounds to the starting box. "We left out what you do when you get them there though. "Our bad," said an industry spokesperson.

Yeah. Really. How's your tail King?

King is a gentle giant. He is a very easy going greyhound who loves to follow his foster family around where ever they go. King has so much fun romping in the back yard. When King gets excited he will hop up and down with his front feet like he is doing a dance. King seems to be a dog that has energy but can also relax and be a couch potato at the end of the day. He would make a wonderful addition to just about any family. 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, November 17, 2005

Hi. I'm Bob Woodward And I Need attention

Oh come on now. Are you really that surprised that Bob Woodward is caught up in the Plamegate brouhaha? Get real. The guy's nose is so far up Bush's butt it's tickling his glottis. He's the 24/7 "exclusive access" man, who hard hitting journalistic, investigative, fourth estate, watchdog, pension securing exposes of the mind of GWB (Yeah. We know. Should be a short story,or maybe a haiku).

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense against charges he lied to investigators and a grand jury in the CIA leak investigation got some potential help Wednesday from The Washington Post's Bob Woodward, former prosecutors say. "This is just too perfect," said Aitan Goelman, an attorney at the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder. "And right after Bob bought that new Mercedes Benz too. What a coincidence."

Libby's lawyers will use the Woodward revelations to raise doubt about the thoroughness of special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's 2-year-old investigation. "Come on. It's not like Bobby was in the witness protection plan," said Libby attorney Ted Wells. "Everybody knows nothing happens in this town without the Bobster being in on it. He's been on Oprah for Chrissakes."

Libby's lawyers could use Woodward's account to bolster Libby's argument that he wasn't deliberately trying to mislead investigators or the grand jury when he testified that he thought he learned about Plame from NBC's Tim Russert in July 2003. "Russert? You mean old Charlie Brown head?" said an assistant to Libby. "Yeah. He's the first one to learn about stuff like this. And I'm the Queen of England."

Libby's lawyers left little doubt that he considers Woodward's story to be helpful."Woodward's disclosures are a bombshell," Wells said in an e-mail news release. "Hopefully as more information is obtained from reporters ... the real facts will come out. Oh wait. Getting facts for reporters? Never mind. I mean maybe we can muddy up this thing so much the judge won't know the players from a hole in the ground."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Oh, You Mean THAT Dick Cheney

You have to feel a little sorry for big oil executives. Here they are, trying to figure out ways to spend all that money (What do you say to buying Ecuador?) when they get hauled up in front of Congress and asked if they're gouging the American public. (No more than you Senator) If Congress isn't careful, big oil will just use the money to buy both houses and...oh wait.

It was very nice of Congress not to ask them to swear in so they wouldn't have to, you know, worry about telling the truth. Not to imply that they would lie or anything like that. "The energy industry is an honest, law abiding and above board industry," said Senator Ted Stevens. "Where do you think these guys work, Enron or something?

The chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001. A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies did meet with the task force.


The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge. And just so you know, I drink quite a bit, so there's a lot I don't remember."

The chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know. "I'm on drugs," he added.

Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office found that Chevron was one of several companies that "gave detailed energy policy recommendations" to the task force. "That's not the same thing as being there," said Chevron Chairman David J. O'Reilly. "I heard they had pizza and subs for lunch paid for with tax dollars. We never got any of that."

Vice President Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP's chief executive. "Yeah, but we didn't talk about energy policy," Browne countered. "We were watching porn or something. I don't quite remember."

Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for Cheney, declined to comment. "But if I were going to comment," she said, "I'd tell you no meeting took place and the Vice President wouldn't know these people if he passed them on the street."

Alan Huffman, who was a Conoco manager until the 2002 merger with Phillips, confirmed meeting with the task force staff. "We met in the Executive Office Building, if I remember correctly," he said.

"The man's obviously delusional," commented McBride. "Oh, look over there, a missing white woman! And she's a survivor of 9/11!"

Exxon spokesman Russ Roberts said the company stood by chief executive Lee R. Raymond's statement in the hearing. "Oh, yeah, like I'm going to call Raymond a liar. Do you know how big my mortgage is?"

Darci Sinclair, a spokeswoman for Shell, said she did not know whether Shell officials met with the task force, but they often meet members of the administration. "All task forces look alike to me," she said.

The person familiar with the task force's work, who requested anonymity out of concern about retribution, said the document was based on records kept by the Secret Service of people admitted to the White House complex. "We're going to have to explain to those boys why the word 'Secret' is in their name," said McBride.

Senator Lautenberg asked the five executives: "Did your company or any representatives of your companies participate in Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001?" When there was no response, Lautenberg added: "Raise your hand if you don't speak English. All five raised their hands.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Congress to Bush: How's That Iraq Thing Going?

Uh oh. There's gonna be trouble now. You know this whole Iraq thing? The quagmire? The debacle? Well, it's gotten Congress' attention. Somebody's gonna furnish the butt for a beatin'.

The Republican-controlled Senate defeated a Democratic effort to pressure president Bush to outline a timetable for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, then it endorsed a weaker statement calling on the administration to explain its Iraq policy. "The president told us that outlines were tough for him," said Senate majority leader Bill Frist. "You know, the combination of Roman numerals and letters can be confusing. He thought an essay would be better."

Senators also voted to endorse the Bush administration's military tribunals for prosecuting miscellaneous brown people held at the U.S. torture base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but to allow survivors to appeal their status and punishments to a federal court. "We figured that after surviving torture the American judicial system would be a piece of cake for them," said Senator Kennedy. "Unless Scalia gets a hold of the case. Then all bets are off."

The developments in Congress underscored the political significance of the war as the U.S. death toll climbs, public support plummets, the insurgency continues and the price tag soars with no end in sight. "We want the American people to know we're on the job," said Senator Frist. "Give us two years or so and over two thousand deaths and you'll get our attention. Well, assuming there's no election or anything."

The bill includes provisions that mark an effort by the Senate to rein in some of the wide authority lawmakers gave the president following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "Yeah, we told the president he could do stuff said Senator Specter. "But who knew he would actually take us up on it. Besides, it's not like we actually read the president's request before we passed it."

The measure includes language that would prohibit the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees and standardize interrogation procedures used by U.S. troops. The Bush administration has threatened to veto any bill that includes language about the treatment of detainees, arguing it would limit the president's ability to prevent terrorist attacks. "Look, if we can't torture the guys we've got, what's to keep the guys we don't have from attacking us," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Reflecting senators' anger over recent leaks of classified information to the public, the bill also includes provisions requiring the Bush administration to provide Congress with details on laughingly secret CIA prisons overseas and stripping of security clearances of any federal government official who knowingly discloses national security secrets. "Oh, it's on now baby," Senator Santorum explained. "Bush isn't pushing us around. Did you see his poll numbers? I mean we're standing up for America."

The House version of the defense bill doesn't include those provisions, nor does it include the language on the detention, interrogation or prosecution of detainees. "Those guys are wusses," said House leader Dennis Hastert. "We ought to send Tom DeLay and a couple of his crew over there for a little caucus, if you get my drift."

Republicans largely adopted the Democratic proposal as their own, but they omitted one paragraph calling for the president to offer a plan for a phased withdrawal of the roughly 160,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq. "Yeah, we ran out of ideas over a year ago," said Senator Frist. "So we traded the democrats Virginia and New Jersey for a foreign policy."

Monday, November 14, 2005

By The Way, God's A 5 Handicap

OK, so we aren't the first to point out that everybody's favorite religious wing nut is up to his wacky tricks again, but sometimes, you just have to pile on.

Pat Robertson had a special message for residents of Dover, Pennsylvania after voters there elected to boot the current school board, which instituted an intelligent design policy that led to a federal trial. "I was cleaning my tin foil helmet this morning," Robertson said, "When the Lord spoke to me through the radiator in my bedroom."

"He said to tell the heathen brood of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just voted him out of your city. If there's one thing that really honks God off, it's losing an election. Especially after he spent all that money buying ads. Look what he did to Louisiana and Mississippi when they voted for Kerry."

The new school board members have said that they are not against intelligent design, but that they just don't want it taught in science class. "Too late," Robertson explained. "It's my way or the highway...God's way I mean. You get the point."

"I'm not saying he will get his smite on, but if he does, just remember, you're the ones who voted democratic. When asked how he knew the deity was male Robertson responded that they had played golf together on several occasions and 'freshened up' in the club locker room and shower afterwards. "Oh he's male all right," Robertson said. "All male."

When asked if he thought God would target Dover for any particular disaster Robertson replied that he wasn't sure. "Well, he's pretty much done the whole hurricane thing. I'm thinking he might want to go with a flood, or maybe that bird flu. Yeah, the bird flu. They got KFC's in Dover right?"

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Another week another track closes. "We were hoping that our governor and the Legislature would give us something," said Milt Roth, general manager of Geneva Lakes. "You know, like enough money to tide us over until I mean until we could find other jobs."

When asked what kind of job he was looking for Roth said he wasn't sure, but was keeping his options open. "My grandson has a paper route," he said. "I'm thinking about going in with him. Probably make more than I do here."

Track owner Robert Glick, a Chicago cab driver, held on as long as he could, hoping new social security recipients would find their way to the track. When that didn't happen, it was time to close the doors on live racing and go back to falling down in super markets and threatening to sue. "It's a living," Glick said.

Geneva Lakes' closure leaves Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha as the state's lone greyhound track. Three other tracks closed before Geneva Lakes. A spokesperson for the greyhound racing industry said he wasn't concerned about the closing. "I'm only three lessons away from getting my correspondence degree in appliance repair. Oh, you mean am I concerned about those people, uh, sure."

Ah, it's heartening to see such a close knit group of folks come together in a crisis, right Augie:

Augie-doggie (as his foster home refers to him) is very friendly and affectionate. He shadows his foster mom around the home. He is a charming older boy that likes to say “hello” to everyone. He is laid back and mellow. He likes to bury his snoot in when he takes a nap. He loves to be petted. He plays dog bed bingo with the other dogs in the house but eventually each selects one. 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, November 10, 2005

Every War Has Casualities

So we've reading a lot lately about the so called culture wars (Yes, we can read. Without moving our lips too). If we understand this correctly, Christians, and particularly republican Christians are the good guys and the rest of us, particularly Christians who are democrats are heathen pagans who drink the blood of womb babies and worse, vote for affirmative action and gay marriage.

Pretty simple, and we admit to being attracted to simple. Black/white. Light/dark. Saved/damned. We get it. And given that complexity takes time and effort to process and comprehend, we can empathize with those who would rather have their values produced at the factory and shipped completely assembled next day air postage paid. In fact, if it weren't for the all or nothing membership fee we might be tempted to join the club.

Which brings us to today's conundrum. President Clinton came within a hair (facial were told, not the other kind) of being tossed out on his ear for ...umm...paying too much attention to his, but Representative Don Sherwood shacks up with a hottie, slaps her around, gets sued, settles out of court and he's a "GOP rising star." We don't get it. Oh wait..."rising"...nevermind.

Sherwood reached a settlement Tuesday with a former mistress who accused him of abuse in a $5.5 million lawsuit, according to his lawyer. "Don's really the victim here," said Sherwood's attorney, Bobby Burchfield. "He's known all around the capitol because he's always taking in strays. It's just this time he took in one he with and it got the better of him. Could have happened to anybody."

Attorneys for Cynthia Ore and Congressman Don Sherwood announced that their clients have resolved their differences. "Ore gets a nice house in Alexandria and a trust fund. Sherwood stays out of jail. Sounds good to me," said an aide to the Congressman.

Sherwood, a fourth-term congressman, is married with three daughters. He issued a statement this summer apologizing for the affair but denying he physically hurt Ore. "Don's an effusive guy," said a staffer who asked to remain anonymous. "He's left bruises on me just by saying good morning."

Cynthia Ore could not be reached for comment as she was out shoppping for her new

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wanted: School Board Members. Apes Need Not Apply

So, you think the drama of this election yesterday was between New Jersey and Virginia? You think people really worried about the anti gay marriage amendment passing in Texas. Again. (Motto: Everything is bigger in Texas. Even discrimination) Well. That just shows how little you know.

The real question in yesterday's election was would Kansas snatch back the coveted title of Whacko Central from long time title holder and reigning champ, California? The votes are in folks and it was no contest. Kansas has regained the crown they lost four years ago when residents voted out the state school board and elected people who could read.

Well, there's a new sheriff in town now, pilgrim and he ain't about to put up with no monkey business. The Kansas Board of Education voted Tuesday that students will be expected to study Intelligent (sic) Design along with small e volution because of the "doubts" about Darwin's theory. When asked what those doubts were, Board member Kathy Martin said, "They were the doubts that I mostly used to hear from the voices in my head, but I wrote them down for the students."

"This is a great day for education. This is one of the best things that we can do. This absolutely teaches more about science," said Steve E. Abrams, the Kansas board chairman. "Now our students will reap the benefits of the greatest minds of the 19th century."

Members of the Kansas majority insisted that science motivated them. Board member Iris Van Meter said, "This isn't about religion at all. I know that because God spoke to me in a dream and said it wasn't."

Member Kenneth Willard accused the scientific establishment of having "blind faith in evolution." When asked if he wasn't the one having the blind faith since the weight of scientifically collected evidence supports evolution, Willard replied, "Get thee behind me Satan."

Asked to comment on the loss of the Whacko Central title to Kansas for the second time, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "We'll be back."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We're The "Less Is More" Congress. You Get Less, We Get More

Man! Iraq, Katrina, Wilma, Rita, Avian flu, Scooter Libby's defense fund. How many hits can the federal budget take before it's drier than an alcoholic at a Southern Baptist's wedding?

Looks like president Bush's tax cuts for the rich are in trouble, right Republican controlled Congress?

Congress is moving toward still more tax cuts that would cost the Treasury $70 billion during the next five years. Some 97 percent of the benefits will go to households earning more than $200,000 annually.

Oh. Sorry. Guess we misunderstood.

Congressional Republicans have figured out a nifty way to begin lifting the nation out of the budget hole their borrow-and-spend spree has left us in: take from the poor and give to the rich. "Hey. What are poor people going to do with money anyway?" House leader Dennis Hastert asked. "Probably just buy drugs or something. You know how those people are."

The House would add co-pays for children covered by Medicaid, the primary health coverage for the poor, and increase the co-pays for their prescriptions. Medicaid over all would be cut by $30 billion over 10 years, with more of the cost passed on to higher medical and prescription payments. "We're proposing that only a certain percentage of poor people be allowed to become ill in a given fiscal year." said Jim Nussle, Budget Committee Chair. "It's cost containment that makes sound fiscal policy."

The House would also cut the food stamp budget by $844 million, withholding help from about 300,000, including 70,000 legal immigrants, many of them elderly. "Legal, illegal, they all look the same to me," said Congressman John Spratt another committee member.

And over 5 years, $5 billion would be taken from enforcement for child-support payments, a "saving" that would result in the loss of an estimated $7.9 billion in support for children, according to the Congressional Budget Office. "Yeah, well, we felt bad about that," said Congressman Dennis Moore, a committee member, "But then someone told us poor people don't vote and kids can't vote, so what the heck, better them than white folks, know what I'm saying?"

When asked how the house could consider these types of cuts when between 2001 and '04, the number living in poverty increased from 11.7 percent of the population to 12.7 percent. The income disparities between the well-off and the poor -- indeed, between the rich and everybody else -- have widened. A record 45.8 percent of us have no health insurance. Congressman, and budget committee member Jim Ryun said, "Those people don't live in my district."

Monday, November 07, 2005

It's Not Torture If God Is On Your Side

Well, technically the president is right here. When he ships prisoners off to secret jails in foreign countries the locals do the torturing, so when the president says "we do not torture," 'we' is him and Barney. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

Bush defended his efforts to stop the U.S. Congress from forcing the administration to act in a humane manner towards terrorism suspects. "Because we don't torture anyone already, if Congress limits our ability not to do what we aren't doing, then we may not be able not to do that in the future."

He did not confirm or deny the existence of CIA secret prisons that everyone except Paris Hilton already knows about. "All I can say is Dick told me there is no reason to visit the old car factory south of Bancock," the president told assembled reporters.

"We are catching arabs and bringing them to mean justice," Bush said. "It's just that the cost of mean the cost of me fix this thing in my ear. OK. We don't torturer. I'm told we use aggressive interrogation protocols in which cost is based on who is being tortured. Ouch! Quit shouting Dick!"

Vice President Dick Cheney has been spearheading an effort on Capitol Hill to have the CIA exempt from acting in a civilized manner.

When asked by reporters what his justification for opposing the ban on torture was, Vice President Cheney remarked that he "didn't need no stinking justification." He said "It's like when somebody disrespects your family, or more important Halliburton. People, particularly brown people, need to recognize that they can't get away with that and we're going to send them to talk to the fishes any way we I mean any way that is lawful."

Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel said that the Bush administration was making a "terrible mistake" in opposing the McCain amendment. "McCain was a prisoner of war when Cheney's biggest worry was making sure he didn't miss his tee time," Hagel said. "Cheney ought not to be telling a hero how to conduct a war when his middle name is 'undisclosed location.'"

The Senate voted 90-9 for the McCain amendment to prohibit the use of torture and abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody. Vice President Cheney said it was one of the "darkest days of the the administration."

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

It has to be hard to be an overlord sometimes. There you are, scraping out a meager existence freeloading off your dogs, worrying whether the folks who own the trailer park are going to sell to the mall developer and wishing you hadn't dropped out of school in the sixth grade. Then you pick up the paper and read this.

Seabrook Greyhound Park will shorten live racing to three days a week. This is down from six days a week of live dog racing currently being held at the track.

The shortened live schedule was announced in by Edward Keelan, president of Yankee Greyhound Racing, Inc. When asked is dropping attendance precipitated the move, Keelan responded that attendance wasn't dropping, "It's just that no one's coming out anymore."

If you're an overlord you think crimanee, surely there must be some social security recipients somewhere with two bucks and the IQ of a potato. Disgusted, you turn the page and find this.

Greyhounds will run their final laps around Geneva Lakes Greyhound Track in Delavan, Wisconsin Sunday, the last day of live racing. "It's no longer economically feasible to keep it open," Milt Roth, general manager of the track said. "We're really disappointed that the community showed such a lack of support," he continued. "Exploiting animals for profit can be such great family entertainment."

So now you think you'd better put the paper down and go practice saying "Welcome to Walmart," but just as you're looking for a piece of paper to write the phrase on so you can begin memorizing it, this catches your eye.

The lure is set in motion for greyhound racing's first million-dollar prize, the largest paying stakes event in the history of the sport. The Derby Lane Million will pay a winning purse of $500,000.

Somewhere, in the back of your mind a little voice wonders if $500,000 is a million, but you're not one to quibble about the particulars. If your fellow overlords say $500,000 is a million, then that's good enough for you.

Track President Vey O. Weaver made an official announcement at the National Greyhound Exploiters Hall of Shame. "This will be the biggest event in the history of this so called sport," said Weaver. "We are looking forward to this pathetic attempt to lure clueless suckers to our rundown facility. And we're hoping no one noticed $500,000 isn't a million because...umm...let's just say we don't have a 401(k) here and let it go at that."

Well, good luck with that. Even $500,000 is a lot of $2 bets. And if we were betting people, we'd put our money on this week's hound to be occupying a couch in a very short period of time. Meet Wabash Petie:

Petie is a very calm boy. He is curious and loves to explore his surroundings. He would make someone a wonderful walking companion. Petie is also a fun greyhound with his toys. He will throw them up high in the air and jump to catch them. He does leaps and bounds while playing with toys. He would benefit from someone who would spend time everyday playing with him. He is a Velcro boy so he does shadow his family around. As most dogs he would benefit from an obedience class. Petie is looking for a fun family looking to have a nice companion and a dog who really likes to play. 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, November 03, 2005

Oh Dear! My Staff Has Run Amok. By The Way, Did You Get The Skybox I Asked For?

Scooter Libby...knocked out of the box. Harriet Miers...back to the minors. Samuel Alito...batting second and playing right field...Karl the clubhouse cleaning out his locker. You know who hasn't been on the field in a while? Big bat Tom DeLay.

Delay's staff helped lobbyist Jack Abramoff win access to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, an effort that succeeded after Abramoff's Indian tribe clients began funneling a quarter-million dollars to an environmental group founded by Norton.

"Hey, this is my staff you're talking about," said Mr. DeLay at a recent press conference. "I can't watch over them day and night. I have to trust them to be as straightforward, forthright and law abiding as I am." DeLay paused for a moment, then said, "OK, I think I see where the problem might be."

Tom Rudy, a DeLay staffer, wrote Abramoff promising he had "good news" about securing a meeting with Norton, forwarding information about the environmental group Norton had founded. Within months, Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and the lobbyist and a representative from one of the tribes he represented won face-to-face time with the secretary.

"The secretary is a very busy person," said an Interior Department spokesperson. "Her time is extremely valuable. In fact, it costs about a quarter million dollars an hour. And that's with the Native American discount."

Abramoff's clients were trying to stop a rival Indian tribe from winning Interior Department approval to build a casino. "We thought about raiding their camp at night and stealing all their horses, but Mr. Abramoff said this would be a better way to go," said a spokesperson for the group represented by the lobbyist.

DeLay signed a letter with other GOP House leaders to Norton on behalf of Abramoff's clients, records show. A spokesperson for DeLay's office denied any connection between the letter, Abramoff's firm and the money given to Norton's organization. "Mr. DeLay likes Indians," the spokesperson said. "You know that stuff they do with turquoise? He's always buying it and giving it as gifts. And blankets. He likes their blankets too."

The assistance to Abramoff from DeLay's staff occurred just a few months after DeLay received political donations, free use of a skybox and an all-expense paid trip to play golf in Scotland arranged by Abramoff and mostly underwritten by his clients. "The guy only makes $162,000 a year," said a DeLay spokesperson. How do you expect him to afford skyboxes and European golf trips on that pittance?"

"Tom DeLay conducts himself consistent with the highest standards of conduct and he mandated the same for his staff," Delay attorney Richard Cullen said. Paramedics had to be called to revive him after a choking episode caused him to lose consciousness.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

But Real Estate Is So Much Cheaper Over There

We have to admit this confuses us a little. Why transport prisoners all over the place to torture them when it's so much more cost effective to do it right here? There is the deficit to consider you know.

The CIA has been interrogating al Qaeda captives at a secret facility in Eastern Europe, part of a covert prison system established after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Soviet-era compound is part of a network that has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand.

Thailand denied it was host to such a facility. "There is no fact in the unfounded claims," government spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said. "So there's no need for you to go down to the old car factory south of Bancock."

When asked if there ever was "fact" in "unfounded claims" Suebwonglee repeated that there was nothing of interest in the old car factory and journalists should just stop asking him about it.

The existence and locations of the facilities were known only to a handful of officials in the United States and the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country. "Well, until you guys came snooping around," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "Now everybody and his sister knows about them. Except the one that doesn't exist in the old car factory south of Bancock."

The prisons are referred to as "glow stick insertion facilities" in classified U.S. documents and virtually nothing is known about who the "campers" are, how often they are tortured or how long they will be held. "Is that a problem?" McClellan asked.

Several former and current intelligence and other U.S. government officials, said the CIA used such detention centers abroad because in the United States it is illegal to hold prisoners in such isolation. "Well, duh," responded McClellan. "Look the whole idea is not to have to give these guys the rights we're fighting the terrorists to protect. If we do that, the terrorists have won."

The names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program were not published at the request of senior U.S. officials. When asked if the names might be known to the terrorists through those released from the prisons, McClellan explained that prisoners at those prisons never get released. "Don't charge them. Don't try them. Don't let them go. It's the perfect trifecta of defending democracy and individual rights."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Dog Ate My Disaster Plan

Without seeming to heap too much praise upon ourselves, we can say that when it came to excuses for not getting our work done while inmates of the educorporate complex, we had no peer. Therefore, with a sense of duty to our country we humbly offer ourselves to the Bush administration for service in the campaign to explain why deadlines are for other people. We can talk about remuneration later once we see if Armstrong Williams goes to jail.

The Bush administration has missed dozens of deadlines set by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks for developing ways to protect airplanes, ships, and railways from terrorists. "We deliver reports to the White House," said one spokesperson, "but they keep disappearing. The president suspects Barney."

A plan to defend ships and ports from attack is six months overdue. Rules to protect air cargo from infiltration by terrorists are two months late. A study on the cost of anti terrorism training for federal law enforcement officers who fly commercially was supposed to be done more than three years ago. "Hey, we got an extension on that anti terrorism training," said a Homeland Security spokesperson. "My grandmother died that weekend and I had to go to the funeral. Then I got mono."

Congress must share the blame for the department's sluggishness in protecting commerce and travel from terrorists, according to other observers. "They kept wanting to know what progress was being made on the plans. What's up with that? asked a FEMA official who spoke under condition of anonymity.

Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson said the government has yet to develop a comprehensive plan to protect roads, bridges, tunnels, power plants, pipelines, and dams. He said a broad plan to protect levies and dams might have helped prevent the New Orleans levies from being breached. "Well, that and funding the Army Corps of Engineers so they would have actually been able to build reinforce the levees."