Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Anyway, even we have noticed that the Middle East is what you might call troubled, if by troubled you mean some off the charts bonkazoids are running around jihading everything that moves and fatwahing it if it doesn't. Don't you just know Pat Robertson wishes he could lay a fatwah the size of a Lincoln Navigator on all those Hollywood Jews (see page six) and James Dobson wishes he could turn all those crazy catholic jihadis loose on the nearest gay bar, or Synagogue. Whatever.
But back to the Middle East. Having noticed that the birthplace of the several major world religions is one of the most violent, hate filled, self destructive places on the planet (perhaps one could say a place where the ironicus is at its maximus) we noted with interest and a small degree of hope that not only was Secretary Rice taking time off from her hunt for that perfect pair of braided thong low heeled mules to head out for some big D diplomacy, she took the Secretary of Defense (which means he's in charge of all of America's wars) with her.
Ah, Americans. We're the eternal optimists, aren't we? Hand in hand our two intrepid sojourners head off to face that thorny, some would say intractable challenge that is peace in the Middle East. The top Bush administration officials, on a rare joint visit, arrived in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh with promises of tens of billions of dollars of military aid.
Yay! Peace through war. See, this is why we aren't diplomats. Who would have thought that the answer to generations of mutual killing and hatred in the region...was more efficient means of carrying out the killing that comes from mutual hatred. See, that way we maintain our position of neutrality. Very important for that negotiating stuff. If there's anyone left to negotiate with.
Iran has criticized the promised arms sales, accusing the United States of trying to destabilize the region."If there is a destabilization of the region it can be laid at the feet of an Iranian regime," said Rice.
Well, except for that whole Iraq invasion thing. It was in all the papers, Dr. Rice, we're surprised you missed it.
"There is, I think, a growing body of opinion in Washington -- wherever you are on the issue of withdrawal -- that whatever we do next in Iraq needs to be done very carefully and with a view to the long-term stability of the region," Secretary Gates said. And by "long term" he means November 2008.
OK, budding diplomats, let's see what you've learned. What's wrong with this statement: In another move that could please Arab friends, the United States signed a statement endorsing an Arab initiative for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
If you correctly noted that the United States doesn't have any Arab friends, you may be State Department material. Umm...after the current administration leaves office, that is.
Rice and Gates appealed to Arab countries to do more to encourage reconciliation among the warring factions in Iraq. The United States has repeatedly sought Arab help with Iraq although its Arab allies have little or no say there.
Lesson two: always ask for the most help from those least able to give it. They usually say yes, which looks good on your resume, but since they're pretty useless to begin with, nothing really happens, you don't have to deal with the real problem but can still claim to have been successful.
The initiative offers Israel normal relations with all Arab countries in return for full withdrawal from the land which Israel captured in 1967.
These would be some of the same Arab countries that...um...well, that don't admit Israel even exists. That going to be a problem, Dr. Rice?
In her meetings, Rice discussed U.S. plans for a conference this year to revive Arab-Israeli peace hopes. The joint statement said the ministers "welcomed the commitment expressed by U.S. President George W. Bush" in his July 16 speech proposing the conference, but shed no further light on arrangements or who would attend.
Hmm...a conference that no one will come to, to talk about peace with a country most don't believe exists. In diplomatic circles this is known as the wind wind.
Monday, July 30, 2007
We tell you this by way of introduction to some public service comments we'd like to send out to the authors and defenders of this article.
First of all, IT'S HILLARY FREAKING CLINTON!!1!! Do you not go out of your houses? Do you ever visit the beach? Do you watch the tee vee? Sweet hopscotching Jebus dudes, that isn't cleavage. This is cleavage.
The second issue we feel the need to address is WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT HILLARY'S CHEST??!!??1!! Look, we enjoy the sight...er...we appreciate a good...uh...Well, never mind. The point is when you look at the...erm...competition, obsessing on Hillary's...let's say attributes, is like going to the Louvre and looking at the graffiti in the john. No offense Ms. Clinton. Please don't have us killed like you did Vince Foster.
OK, so the original article was written by a woman, Robin Givhan, who apparently has some cleavage issues of her own. That's her on the right. Yeah, we're not impressed either. Anyway Robin says Hillary's display of what for lack of a better word we'll call cleavage is a "provocation," sort of like if Barak Osamabama showed up for work in a wife beater or something we guess. But the bigger question is who's being provoked? Her fellow senators? Just the republicans? After her speech did she lean over the podium and say, "Hey Boehner, can't touch this"?
And what if she did? Look, the average age in the senate is 112. Let the old people have their fun. Which brings us to John Hardwood...er...Harwood, who apparently was "provoked" by the fact that Hillary is naked under her clothes. He said, "When you look at the calculation that goes into everything that Hillary Clinton does, for her to argue that she was not aware of what she was communicating by her dress is like Barry Bonds saying he thought he was rubbing down with flaxseed oil."
Now, let's start with the fact that in Harwood's mind, microscopic views of Hillary's cleavage (and we must point out again we're using the word under protest) get linked with images of a big, strapping black athlete being rubbed down with oil.
That's just disturbing.
Harwood says Hillary is "calculating" so she knew full well when she put on that outfit it would upset him. Dude, get over yourself. And call this lady. You need some...uh...therapy.
As for Hillary, she's turned the whole thing into a fund raising opportunity. Apparently her philosophy is when life gives you melons, make melonade
Friday, July 27, 2007
Racing Commission OKs Expanded Weekend Hours At Southland Greyhound Park
Yay! Finally you can afford to supersize your meal. And who knows, this could be the turning of the corner, the cresting of the hill, the coming into daylight, the chance to by your toothbrushes new instead of used. Well, when you only have two teeth, it's not really that big of a deal, but still, the important thing is you could if you wanted to.
Yeah, it's a new day in the greyhound exploitation industry Bunky. Prosperity is spreading like STD's at the trailer park, right Mr. Calef?
Hinsdale Greyhound Park is cutting back on live racing days, moving to a shortened schedule next year. The track will end year-round racing as its popularity wanes, said track spokesman David Calef.
Ah, yes. Who said dropping out in the third grade would come back to bite you, huh Mr. overlord? Looks who's...wait a minute, what'd he say?
The track opened in 1958, offering seasonal harness racing. Greyhound racing started in 1972 and off-track betting in 1990.In recent years, live greyhound racing has accounted for a shrinking portion of the track's business. For example, live greyhound racing accounted for nearly 35 percent of total bets placed at the track in 2000. That fell to 10.8 percent in 2006. So far this year, live greyhound racing has accounted for 8.8 percent of total bets.
Let's see, 2 dollars times umm...carry the one....minus..uh...OK we've dropped out of new toothbrush territory haven't we? Well look, so it's bad in New Hampshire. We still got Arkansas. Folks are still flocking out here to see us make a living off the dogs' backs right Mr. Baldwin?
Barry Baldwin, retiring general manager of the West Memphis dog track, said the additional hours would only be for the park's new gaming room.
Oh. Ethel, go easy on that duct tape. Winter's a coming.
And just in case you were wondering if the clientèle coming out to the poker rooms and slots were a cut above the old racing rubes...erm...not so much.
Kind of makes you glad you got out when you did, huh Bonnie? Yeah. We think it's pretty funny too.
Bonnie is very sweet, happy, and loves attention. She will tuck herself right into you and loves to be held and touched. Her tail is always wags. She is easy going. She enjoys being outside and loves to go on walks. She will stand near you “forever” if you keep petting her. She will play with soft toys for a little while. Walks are her favorite things. Bonnie would do well in a working family home with well-mannered older children, 6 and up. She is good with other average to larger dogs and is also good 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.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Where were we. Oh, yeah, the building chorus of teeth gnashing, hair pulling and chest beating rising up from the Pit as more and more republicans realize that when they go for a job interview after they aren't reelected and face that inevitable question: What did you do in your previous position? Their answer is going to have to be: Supported an idiot president who got the country into a needless war. And then lost it. The war we mean.
Senate Republicans are growing increasingly nervous defending the clusterf...er...war in Iraq. More than a year before the 2008 elections, it is a political role reversal that bodes ill for the few republicans who remain unindicted for money laundering activity, or criminal sexual conduct. "Those of us who aren't going to jail are beginning to get concerned about being reelected," said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky who is not currently under investigation for anything.
Yet as the party leader, McConnell is more circumspect than many Republicans in his characterization of the administration's war strategy. Asked whether he agreed that the conflict had been badly mismanaged McConnell declined to respond verbally, but spelled out "The president's insane" using American sign language.
"The strategy we had before was not the right strategy,"Senator Christopher Bond, told reporters at midweek. When asked if he was competing with the president for the number of times he could state the completely obvious as if it were a new and startling revelation, Bond responded that he was "distanced" from the current administration. "I'm a straight talking Maverick," he said. "And I'll tell you exactly what I think. As soon as I get it from Cheney's office."
"Today's mission is focused on reelection," said senator Jon Kyl. "Erm...al-Qaida. I mean al-Qaida," reflecting what other senators who must run in November say privately.
One Republican senator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the shift in talk of a military objective was a prelude to a change to a strategy that would pull U.S. troops back from a civil war between Sunni and Shiites. When asked why he requested anonymity, senator Lieberman replied that he didn't want to give the impression that he was no longer supporting president Bush. "I have my own nickname," he added.
But focusing attention on al-Qaida raises familiar questions: Were terrorists present in Iraq before the 2003 invasion. "Well, of course not," said senator Kyl. "What are you? One of those people who only watches Fox News or something?"
According to several officials, senator George Voinovich, and McCain engaged in a brief, impromptu debate touching on that point recently at a private meeting of the rank and file."Well, it wasn't much of a debate really," said one observer who asked not to be identified. "Everybody pretty much shut up and went back to their seats when Cheney came in."
Only four of 49 Republican senators defected in last week's showdown on deadlines for troop withdrawal. The group did not include senators John Warner of Virginia, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Pete Domenici of New Mexico and other senior lawmakers who are seeking a change in course. "Oh, you mean we have to vote on this stuff too?" asked Domenici. "I'm going to have to get back to you on that part."
"In May, Republicans were dismissing even tough questions about the escalation. Now, they're falling all over themselves to distance themselves from the president," said senator John Kerry. "Well, that's not entirely true," responded senator Lugar. "We're republicans. We don't 'fall all over ourselves.' We have our staff do that while we are driven away in the limo."
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Why does BBDO hate America?
The key to boosting the image and effectiveness of U.S. military occupations around the world involves "shaping" both the product and the marketplace, and then establishing a brand identity that places what you are selling in a positive light, said clinical psychologist Todd C. Helmus, the author of "Enlisting Madison Avenue: The Marketing Approach to Earning Popular Support from People You're Trying to Kill." The 211-page study, for which the U.S. Joint Forces Command paid the Rand Corp. $400,000, (after manufacturer's rebate) was released this week.
"See, it turns out getting their houses blown up really negatively impacts positive feelings towards the agents of that destruction. We're thinking of giving all the combat patrols coupons to Home Depot to distribute after they kick someone's door in," Helmus said.
Helmus and his co-authors concluded that the "force" brand, which the United States peddled for the first few years of the occupation, was doomed from the start and lost ground to enemies' competing brands. "We really should have used focus groups," Helmus told reporters. "We weren't aware the our slogan 'Shock and Awe' would carry a negative connotation with the people who were being bombed. Fox News tested it for us and said it was a slam dunk."
Helmus acknowledged that it could be too late for extensive rebranding of the U.S. effort in Iraq. "Once a Yugo, always a Yugo," said a representative of the Rand Corporation.
"This isn't just about going in and blowing things up," said Duane Schattle, whose urban operations office at the Joint Forces Command ordered the study, "This is about working in a very complex environment. And then blowing things up."
Walmart's desired identity as a friendly shop where working-class customers can feel comfortable and find good value, for example, would be undercut if telephone operators and sales personnel had rude attitudes. ""Well, sure, you like them now," Schattle said. "But give them automatic weapons and tell them to clear the parking lot and then see how popular they are. Oh, and no rain checks either."
Helmus recommends expanding military training to include shaping and branding concepts such as cultural awareness, and the study underscores the perils of failing to understand your consumer. "In the big picture though, it becomes somewhat problematic how you develop this level of understanding when your objective is to kill the consumer. We're still working on that," Helmus added.
Schattle acknowledged that much of what works for consumer advertising in the United States might not translate well in Baghdad. But urban ops, he said, is all about experimenting and adapting to new realities. "We'll do better in Iran," he added.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The overlords won a major victory in New Hampshire recently when the state Pari-mutuel Commission changed a controversial policy after a national anti-greyhound-racing group lodged a complaint with the state attorney general's office. It seems that until the Commission ruling greyhound injury reports had been written by commission's supervisor of racing, Dale Childs, who is not a veterinarian.
Now we all know how the overlords care for the units...er...dogs. How they are always telling us that the dogs represent massive investments of time and money, so it would be absolutely ridiculous to treat them in any way but the most professional. So we bet you can imagine how excited they were to have these reporting duties put in the hands of trained veterinarians instead of Childs, whose reports often started with "He got an owy."
And probably Childs is most happy of all because now she can see that her beloved greyhounds are in the hands of trained professionals from the moment of their injury, Right Ms. Childs?
Childs said the decision came about within the commission, as a means of stemming bad press generated by Grey2k. "The AG did not force us. It had nothing to do with the attorney general. We did this as a commission because we do everything we can to avoid negative publicity from Grey2k."Oh. Well...um...yes, there is that too. But still, isn't it worth it to know the dogs are getting improved care because their injuries diagnosed professionally right away?
"I think that's Grey2k's purpose in life: to make us do more work and not have us out there making things better for dogs -- to kill us with paperwork," Childs said.
So you're saying you were able to accurately and professionally describe a dog's injuries before? Then why are they bothering you?
Grey2k president Christine Dorchak wrote a letter to the attorney general's office in June alleging that the commission's supervisor of racing, Dale Childs, illegally added comments to injury reports, classifying them as "major" or "minor" and sometimes adding other notes.
"There's no question that Childs has political motives in altering these records. Most of her comments were attempts to minimize the injuries these dogs are suffering," she said.
Hmm...So it looks like "got an owy" just isn't going to cut it anymore. What about you Josh, you ever get an owy?
Josh is very docile and easygoing. He follows his foster mom around the house. He enjoys going for walks. He enjoys affection but he does not actively seek it out. He likes to look at himself in the mirror or any other shiny surfaces. Josh would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 8 and up. His is fine as the only dog in the home and would probably be good with other dogs. 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, July 18, 2007
Take the troops for instance. Aside from wanting to be protected as much as possible when people shoot at them, they want someone to help put them back together after they get blown up, and they want to be paid. This can be a problem when you're cutting taxes to increase the value of all your rich friends' portfolios. What to do? What to do?
Bush administration has said it "strongly opposes" a military pay raise for next January of 3.5 percent. "This is just budgetary irresponsibility," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "I mean, this war is already costing us an arm and a leg. If we don't cut costs we're going to have to ask the average American to quit buying Support The Troops car magnets and instead maybe pay more taxes, or not buy so much crap. Then what's going to happen to support for the war?"
The administration also grumbled that the Senate intends to block for another year Tricare fee increases for under-65 retirees and dependents. "Hey, these guys aren't going to be deployed anymore," Snowjob said. "What do they want from us."
The objections appeared in a "Statement of Hypocritical Stuff We Need To Do To Keep From Actually Facing Reality" from the White House's Office of Management Idiocy and Budget Over Runs delivered to Senate leaders as they opened floor debate on the defense authorization bill. Senate Republicans, at White House urging, blocked amendments that would have shortened Iraq tours for U.S. ground forces and slowed the frequency of war deployments. "How can we fight this war if nobody's over there fighting? " asked Snowjob. "If we couldn't keep the soldiers fighting made up enemies we'd have to fight the real ones. Is that what you want?"
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
But before we get on to today's festivities, a little bit of full disclosure. Regular readers of this blog can attest to the fact that some people do, in actuality lead lives of quiet desperation...er...we mean regular readers know that this blog has never had anything intelligent to say, has never shown even the slightest scintilla of analytical acumen, and has never been even in the same zip code with any value that might even remotely be construed as being socially redeeming. Do we exaggerate? Do you not concur? Don't make us link to previous posts to make our point.
Anyway, that brings us to the second reason we cast our desultory gaze in the particular direction of this story and that is, it occurs to us with the specific skill set described above, we should be report writers for the government. Or journalists.
The terrorist network Al-Qaida will likely leverage its contacts and capabilities in Iraq to mount an attack on U.S. soil, according to a new National Intelligence Estimate on threats to the United States.
Gee. Ya think?
"See, it's like this," explained White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "When the Saudi Arabians attacked us on 9/11, we responded by blowing up Afghanistan and Iraq. Our analysis suggests that this has been somewhat problematic for the Arab people."
The report makes clear that al-Qaida in Iraq, which has not yet posed a direct threat to U.S. soil, could become a problem here. "Now, what that means is that as long as they're in Iraq, they'll continue blowing up stuff in Iraq, but if they came here, they would be obliged, vis-a-vis their geographic location, to blow up our stuff," Snowjob explained. "It's all highly technical."
"Of note," the analysts said, "we assess that al-Qaida will probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the homeland." When asked how it was determined that al-Qaida in Iraq was the only terrorist group who had "expressed a desire" to attack the United States a spokesperson responded that they were the only ones "who returned the survey."
The analysts also found that al-Qaida's association with its Iraqi affiliate helps the group to energize the broader Sunni Muslim extremist community, raise resources and recruit and indoctrinate operatives. "We're trying to adapt some of what we've learned about how they've increased recruiting to our own difficulties recruiting soldiers at home, but so far it doesn't look like we're going to be invaded by a foreign army and occupied anytime soon," said one official familiar with the report.
"We're trying to remind people is that this is a real threat. This is not an attempt to divert. As a matter of fact ... we would much rather — one of the things we'd like to do is call attention to the successes in the field" in Iraq, Snowjob said. "Danged if we can find one though."
House Republican leader Representative John Boehner of Ohio said the report confirms gains made by Bush and blamed Democrats for being too soft on terrorism. "Look, if the democrats had been in charge we wouldn't even be in Iraq right now. Then where would we be?"
Al-Qaida has been able to restore key capabilities it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. U.S. officials have warned publicly that a deal between the Pakistani government and tribal leaders allowed al-Qaida to plot and train more freely in parts of western Pakistan for the last 10 months. "In other words, the surge is working," Snowjob added.
Lebanese Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim extremist group that has conducted anti-American attacks overseas, may be more likely to consider attacking here, especially if it believes the United States is directly threatening the group or its main sponsor, Iran. When asked if that would cause president Bush to reconsider military action against Iran Snowjob replied that he wasn't sure if the president will read the report. "He doesn't like to clutter up his thought processes, and besides there aren't many pictures."
The high-level estimate notes that the spread of radical ideas, especially on the Internet, growing anti-U.S. rhetoric and increasing numbers of radical cells throughout Western countries indicate the violent segments of the Muslim populations is expanding. "Allow me to repeat, "Snowjob said. "The surge is working."
Monday, July 16, 2007
Sorry. Maybe we should just move on.
Bush fought to buy time for his irrational Iraq strategy, as his chief spokesman resignedly said that the war-torn country's lawmakers would take an August vacation. " "You know, it's 130 degrees (54 Celsius) in Baghdad in August," Tony Snowjob explained. "Can you imagine what that does to all those jihadiis hiding on rooftops looking for a clean shot at Maliki?"
Snowjob refused to criticize the move because the Iraqis "quit listening to us years ago" or say whether there had been recent US efforts to threaten them, even though top US officials including Vice President Dick Cheney had done so. "Well, in his defense I have to say that disarmed, Cheney isn't as persuasive as he can be," he added.
In a fresh blow to Bush's mismanagement of the war, two of his Republican party's dwindling supply of continent white men, Senators Richard Lugar and John Warner, urged him to start pulling US troops out of the cross-fire by the end of the year. "Or next year. Or the year after that," Warner said. "The president, who I completely disagree with by the way, knows what he's doing and deserves our support."
"We are attempting to ensure that US military and diplomatic policy is prepared for change when the Petraeus report arrives in September," said Lugar, whose plan does not include a hard date for completing the withdrawal. "Hey, I said 'prepared' for change," he added. "I didn't say we'd actually do anything. This is Congress for crying out loud. Why do you think the people sent us here?"
The move came one day after the House of Representatives voted to withdraw most US combat troops by April and as Bush held a videoconference with top military aides in Baghdad and Washington to hammer home his point that the war can, and must, go on until he's safely hidden away in Paraguay. When asked if there shouldn't be some sort of plan to achieve victory if that was the desired result, the president responded that he "wasn't a detail man."
While he spoke, the aides sitting around the conference table at the White House, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs chairman General Peter Pace adjusted the pieces on the White House Risk Board.
Bush, who has vowed to veto any legislation mandating what he calls reality, also underlined that "there's still a lot of work to be done," just eight weeks before the deadline "and we've got to come up with more progress."
"I grant you it's not a lot of time," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "We're under no illusion. Now the president, that guy's a walking, talking boogalooing illusion factory, but hey, you govern with the president you have, not the one you wish you had."
"The president is saying, 'Let's give it a little bit more time to work,'" said Perino, "And yeah he's been saying that for four years now, but the classics never get old, do they?" She added that that the Democrats lacked the two-thirds majority to override a Bush veto. "Oh, and cojones. They lack the cojones too."
She also emphasized that House Republicans had, with few exceptions, sided with the White House -- even as increasing numbers of the party's heavyweights in the Senate have broken with Bush's plan. "Yeah. We care what you say."
And the president himself summoned a phalanx of conservative columnists who support the war for chocolate milk at the White House and to repeat why his approach deserves more time. Most declined to show up, however saying Bush was using the same reasons he always had and they could just change the dates on articles they had written a couple of years ago and still make their tee times.
Friday, July 13, 2007
A while back we told you about Phase II of the overlords' plan to keep cat food off the menu at least until their social security kicked in. Once they convinced their legislators that just because people weren't in to animal exploitation didn't mean they couldn't be fleeced with slots and poker rooms, the next step was to get rid of the dogs entirely. From there on, it was a limo ride to easy street.
Well, don't have Jeeves bring the car around just yet.
The Florida Greyhound Association asked the director of the state's Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to intervene to restore summer dog races at the Melbourne Greyhound Park. "This is a wrongful eviction that jeopardizes the safety of these dogs," Greyhound Association President Phil Ruotolo wrote in his request, "but more importantly, without greyhound racing, I'm out of a job."
Patrick T. Biddix, track president, said live races are difficult during the summer because of the heat and lack of interest. "OK, mostly the lack of interest."
Ruotolo asked for an immediate hearing to determine whether he needed to finish filling out his Walmart application.
Already, many of the dogs have been moved out. Sheila Landell, trainer for By a Nose kennel at the park, said their kennel only has 39 dogs remaining at the park. Landell blamed the lack of interest in summer races on park officials.
"They quit doing promotion once they got the poker room and they went to all matinees so the races were during the day when people were working and when it was hot," she said. "They just didn't seem to want the dogs any more."
What? Didn't want the dogs anymore? We are shocked, we tell you shocked. Right Shania?
Shania is outgoing, happy, friendly, and affectionate. She will rub her face and nose against you for attention. She also follows her foster family around the home. She would love to be your “bed bug”. She is playful and energetic for a greyhound and likes to run with the family’s dog in the yard. She is a greyhound “collector” that likes to collect the family’s things and takes them to her bed. Shania would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 7 and up. She is good with other medium to larger size dogs and she 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, July 12, 2007
Or, more specifically we take drinking our way through presidential news conferences seriously. OK, we take drinking seriously, which is why we were disappointed that we only got to read about the president's news conference with a glass of iced tea. See, the problem is, when you read this stuff sober, it gets in your head and if you forget yourself and actually try to make any sense of it. Well... But we serve you our reader(s) so, let's begin with the opening statement:
As president, my most solemn responsibility is to keep the American people safe. So I started a war and, on my orders, good men and women are now fighting everybody all over the place in Iraq. You know, I never really understood irony until I took this job.
I've given our troops in Iraq clear objectives. Not enough armored Humvees, vests and heck, not even enough soldiers, but objectives? I got that nailed.
Sometimes the debate over Iraq is cast as a disagreement between those who want to keep our troops in Iraq and those who want to bring our troops home, mostly because my administration has done everything in its power to cast it that way. I do love the either or stuff, makes being the decider much easier and leaves more time for vacations.
When we start drawing down our forces in Iraq, it will because I'm in Paraguay where there is no extradition...er...our military commanders (Who by then will be General Barney and Colonel Jenna) say the conditions on the ground are right, not because we need the troops for the war in Iran. Whoops, forget that.
The strategy I announced in January is whack, but who cares? I'm the president and there's nothing you can do about it.
Our top priority is to help the Iraqis protect their population while they still have some people left. We've launched an offensive in and around Baghdad to go after extremists, to buy more time for Iraqi forces to be infiltrated by the militias and to help normal life and civil society take root in communities and neighborhoods throughout the country. If by normal you mean a Mad Max movie.
Two months ago, in the supplemental appropriations bill funding our troops, Congress established 18 benchmarks to gauge the progress of the Iraqi government. Now I thought Benchmark was a bourbon, but Laura says it has something to do with whether we're winning the war or not. Like I know that stuff.
I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now. And some outside of Washington, But I was elected by the people of the United States so I get to do what I want. The fight in Iraq is part of a broader struggle that I made up because Dick said we needed their oil. I like oil. Running an oil company was one of my favorite things that I failed at.
Nations throughout the Middle East have a stake in a stable Iraq. To protect our interests and show our commitment to our friends in the region...wait...who wrote that? We don't have any friends in the region. Dag! I gotta start reading these things ahead of time. Where was I?
We need to ensure that when U.S. forces do pull back, the terrorists and extremists cannot take control. Which means, very simply, when we leave most people will have to be dead.
And, now, I'd be glad to answer a few questions.
You read that part. We've got a few Benchmarks of our own to meet.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Neener neener neener.
Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the coolosity of the Roman Catholic Church approving a document that says other Christian communities are whack. "Now we don't want to unduly scare the heathens...er...our unsaved brethren," said a Vatican spokesperson. "But I feel I must remind you that a couple of months ago we also did away with purgatory, so those of you thinking you might might not need to join the team to be allowed to spend eternity in heaven's suburbs, well, word to the wise, that's all I'm saying."
"It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes its dialogues with the reformed family and other families of the church," said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants in more than 100 countries. "Oh we take it very seriously," said the spokesperson. "If 75 million people start going to mass and contributing a few bucks a week, well we can get out from under this whole lawsuit thing in a matter of months. Oh, and there's the whole salvation thing. That's important too."
It was the second time in a week that Benedict has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-1965 meetings that brought the church out of the 13th century. When asked how there could be an "erroneous" interpretation of church doctrine when the pope was supposed to be infallible when ruling on church doctrine, a spokesperson for the pope's office of soul enhancement replied, "It was the sixties. Everyone was high."
Benedict also revived the old Latin Mass — a move cheered by Catholic traditionalists but criticized by more liberal ones as a step backward from Vatican II. Benedict, who attended Vatican II as a young theologian, has long complained about what he considers its erroneous interpretation by liberals, saying it was not a break from the past but rather a renewal of church tradition. "Who's got the power now libtard," said a cardinal who asked not to be identified. "Or should I say Father Libtard? Stick that in your sandal wearing, folk singing, acoustic guitar, English mass and smoke it. I got your Kumbaya, right here."
The Congregation for Getting Righteous on your Scrawny Protestant Behind, which Benedict headed before becoming pope, said it was issuing the new document because some contemporary theological interpretations of Vatican II had been "diggity-dank" and had prompted confusion and doubt. "Jews in heaven? I don't think so." said one member of the panel.
The new document — formulated as five questions and answers like, Can I get To Heaven If I Don't Speak Latin? Answer: Nullo modo, Jose' , has riled Protestant and other Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches because they don't even have bingo, and therefore did not have the "the official godly seal of okey dokeyness. That sounds better when we say it in Latin," said one Vatican spokesperson."
"Christ 'established here on earth' only one church," said the document. "And if you ain't with the pope, you're just a dope. That's all I'm saying," added one official.
The bingoless "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense" because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles. "You think the Jews are the chosen people," said one official from the pope's office of community outreach. "Pulllease. We got the whole Christ posse, man. Top that."
The Rev. Sara MacVane, of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said "It's important always to point out that there's the official position and there's the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between Anglicans and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics."
"Oh sure, we like you," said Salvatore (little walnuts) Maraschino, pope Benedict's Consiglio. "You're going to hell, but we like you. Plus she's a woman. What's up with that?"
Despite the harsh tone, the document stressed that Benedict remains committed to ecumenical dialogue. "The pope has just completed a correspondence course at the George W. Bush School of Dialogitating and Discussation and he's eager to try out some of the principals he learned there," said an aide.
The top Protestant cleric in Benedict's homeland said the Vatican apparently did not consider that "mutual respect for the church status" was required for any ecumenical progress. "Oh we respect them," said Maraschino. "We respect them because we know they're there....FOR US TO POOP ON!!"
In a statement titled "Lost Chance," Lutheran Bishop Wolfgang Huber argued that "it would also be completely sufficient if it were to be said that the reforming churches are 'not churches in the sense required here' or that they are 'churches of another type' — but none of these bridges is used" in the document. "Bridges? Bridges? We don't need no stinking bridges," said one cardinal familiar with the document.
The statement, signed by the congregation prefect, American Cardinal William Levada, was approved by Benedict on June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul — a major ecumenical feast day. "Plus it twofers down at the Holy Mary Mother Of God Pub and Grill," Levada added.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
A Bush administration report to Congress citing a lack of progress by the Baghdad government is "a look at the beginning of the initiation of the first phase of the approach to the on deck area of the back of the starting line's approach zone of the U.S. troop surge, preliminary to the actual surge, which will be just before the surge in earnest which culminates in the mother of all surges. Unless we run out of benchmarks for the Iraqis to miss. Then we start over." a White House spokesman said.
"What Congress will get this week is a snapshot of the beginning of the retooling of the development of the contemplation of the idea of the possibility of a mission in Iraq," said Tony Snowjob. "We're sorry the snapshot is so out of focus, but it's hard to get things in focus...WHEN YOU'RE INSANE!!! HAHAHAHA... Oh. Did I say that last part out loud?"
"Some of the benchmarks have been made, some of them haven't," he said. "Maliki getting through most days without getting shot at? Check. Electricity in Baghdad? Not so much."
Rebuffing reality, president Bush said he won't succumb to the voters. "I'm the knowledge guy," he said. "I know what I'm doing. Now will someone help me tie my shoes. I've lost the instruction sheet." During a visit to Parma Ohio he reiterated that troop levels in Iraq "will be decided by our commanders on the ground, not by political figures in Washington D.C.. Well, except for me, that is, 'cause I'm the commander guy. And the knowledge guy too. I can be both because I'm the decider, just ask Dick."
"I fully understand that this is a difficult war. It's hard on the American people but I will once again explain the consequences of failure,"Snowjob said. "See, when the Supreme Court failed us in 2000, that lead to the appointment of a serial failure to the presidency which coupled with the fact that Congress is a bunch of girly men, except for Hillary lead to the failure of the system of checks and balances that, in the past, had kept fools like our current chief executive from doing too much harm. Sort of a perfect storm of idiots. The rest, as they say is history. Anyone got some Maalox?"
Snowjob said he thought news accounts of the status report on Iraq were too gloomy. "All the media talk about are the people who were killed and wounded. What about the people who escaped? For them it was a very good day, but do we hear their stories? No way. Do they thank us for being there? Nope. Just think what would happen if we never invaded and no bombs were going off in your neighborhood, Mr. ungrateful A Rab. Where would you be then, huh? I'm sorry, what was the question?"
The administration, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, has stressed a September time frame for a wide-ranging assessment of operational strategy after about 4 1/2 years of battle, and has said such a review would be more appropriate then. When asked why, he responded, "Because September is two months closer to when we get out of here to Paraguay."
One U.S. official said that the July report would push the administration to consider its next move, which will be the same as the last move, but with a different name. "We're thinking Son of Surge, or maybe Surge: Part Deux. Catchy huh?"
Another senior official, however, said that Bush and his advisers had already decided no change in policy was justified as yet because there was not enough evidence from Iraq. Just give us a couple more F.U.'s," the official said.
Monday, July 09, 2007
There was relatively high tension on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as majority Democrats — and increasing numbers of Republicans — challenged Bush's Iraq war policy. "Well, if by 'challenged' you mean whined," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine, ranking republican on the Homeland Security Committee there had been "a steady erosion for the president's policy because we're never going to get reelected with that bozo hanging around our necks. Oh, and folks are dying too."
"Oooo. So what are you going to do about it Collins? Pass a law? Take our money away from us? I'm shaking in my boots," Snowjob replied.
Meanwhile, several Democratic-run investigations are playing out this week as they head toward contempt of Congress citations and, if neither side yields, federal court. "I got your contempt of Congress right here," said White House Counselor Fred Fielding. "You think the Libby commutation was something? Keep it up and you'll see pardons and commutations like you wouldn't believe."
In a pair of hearings, the House Judiciary Committee will look at Bush's commutation last week of Libby's prison sentence for obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case. "Go ahead and 'look,'" said Snowjob. Ain't nothing you can do about it. Punks."
The next day, the House panel is expected to turn to the prosecutor firings and has scheduled testimony from former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. It's unclear whether she will appear. "It's only unclear if you think we give a rip about subpoenas," Snowjob said. "I put mine in the bottom of my birdcage."
Democrats expect to resume legislative challenges to Bush's policy on the war as the Senate this week takes up a major defense spending bill. "And this time we're really going to make him sweat before we give him the money," said one aide to a democratic senator.
"The president argued that we needed to undertake the surge in order to give the Iraq government the time, the space to pursue the political reforms," Collins said. "That hasn't happened and that's why you see a real change in support for the Iraq strategy. Well, if by change you mean we're going to say bad things about the war. Probably we'll just give him the money anyway though."
In Baghdad Monday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari warned that a quick American troop withdrawal could lead to civil war and the collapse of the Iraqi state. "Oh wait. We have that now," Zebari added. "Let me get back to you."
Leahy and others said they suspect that Bush commuted Libby's sentence to keep vice president Dick Cheney's former chief of staff from revealing internal White House discussions. "Well that's pretty stupid," Snowjob said. "We were never going to reveal those discussions anyway. The president just let Libby off because he was the only one stupid enough to get caught lying."
White House Counsel Fred Fielding, Bush declared executive privilege on the documents subpoenaed by the committees. He argued that releasing them would damage the confidential nature of advice given the president. "Besides, they've got chocolate milk stains all over them.
Friday, July 06, 2007
As many as 400 dogs have just become homeless after a decision was made to shut down summer racing at Melbourne's Greyhound Park. A new law will allow poker room to stay open without year-round dog races. "You don't have to feed a poker room, and it still brings in the rubes," said a track spokesperson. That means the Greyhounds are not needed over the summer and are being sent away. "Well, if by 'sent away' you mean dumped," said one track worker who had forgotten his name.
"This is absolutely nothing new for us. All those years we found homes for the dogs. We always have and we always will," said Patt Biddix, of the Melbourne Greyhound Park. "Well, that's what we'd like you to believe anyway. Truth is most end up getting a one way ticket out to the Everglades, but you didn't hear that from me."
Dennis Tyler runs an adoption service at Melbourne's Greyhound Park. "Every one of these dogs will find a suitable home. No matter what the situation is. We don't do anything with the dogs other than adopt them out," Tyler said. "Um, except sell them or medical experiments and...er...misplace them from time to time."
Stretch is a very well-mannered, friendly, affectionate dog that will approach for love and attention. He is a typical greyhound “leaner”. He is quiet, easygoing, intelligent, and fun loving. His ears stick straight up. Stretch loves to follow his foster mom around the house. He will come when he is called. He's a collector. His happiest times are on walks. He is starting to play with the family’s mix breed dogs; he is just not sure how to join in with their wrestling. Stretch would do well in a working family home that can let him out mid-day with well-mannered children. He gets along well other dogs and would probably be okay as an only dog. Stretch would do well in a home that will give a ton of love and wants a dog that will give 2 tons back. 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, July 05, 2007
So we shouldn't be surprised that he's going all metaphorical on us when he heads out to give a speech to a group of soldiers, who are about the only people left in the country that will listen to him. Well, after they've been ordered and stuff.
Mr. Bush told the audience of Air National Guard members and their families at the base here, “Our first Independence Day celebration took place in a midst of a war — a bloody and difficult struggle that pitted brother against brother, and would not end for five bloody years until Lincoln freed the slaves as I have freed Scooter Libby."
Addressing National Guard members with the 167th Airlift Wing who were gathered in a cavernous airplane hangar and ordered to keep their eyes open and act like they were listening, he said, “Like those early patriots, you’re fighting a new and unprecedented war. Well, I supposed if this war is new and unprecedented that means it can't be much like the one the patriots fought, especially that playoff game against the Jaguars. Now that was a war. Did you see that game? I never thought Brady was that good of a scrambler...um...I think I've lost my point."
Mr. Bush said if the United States were to leave Iraq now al-Qaeda would be able to move their safe haven from Pakistan to Iraq, which would allow them to do two things: to further spread their ideology and to plan and plot attacks against the United States. "Now people say they can do that from Pakistan, but I say there's no cable in Pakistan and that's gotta slow them down."
Several Democrats have made the case that the president’s strategy is failing and that a full or partial withdrawal would press the Iraqis to settle their problems on their own. "Well, one of their biggest problems is the fact that we blew up their country and took it over," said one democratic senator who asked not to be named. "So us getting out would probably help with the whole chaos thing."
Mr. Bush spent 20 minutes in the hangar, which dwarfed the crowd, because most of the unit had volunteered for latrine duty rather than come to hear the president. Victory, he said, “will require more patience, more courage, and more sacrifice. Well, for you guys that is. In 18 months I'm off to Paraguay where the law can't touch me. Can't pardon myself you know.”
Monday, July 02, 2007
Toughening ethics laws, once a priority of Democrats, has bogged down in Congress as party leaders find their campaign promises colliding with lawmakers' re-election concerns. "Well, truth be told, we were only interested in the Republicans' ethics," said one democratic congressional aide. "We never promised to clean up our own act."
Two months have passed since a task force was supposed to have recommended how an independent panel might avoid ethics complaints before they go to the House ethics committee. A key sticking point is opposition in both parties to letting outsiders file complaints against members of Congress. "Can you imagine what chaos it will be if we let common citizens watchdog us?" said one representative who asked not to be identified.
Currently, only House members can initiate an ethics probe. "And that's the way god intended it," the representative said. "We got so much dirt on each other it'll be a cold day in H E double hockey sticks before one representative rats on another."
Public watchdog groups call the restriction self-serving and unreasonable. "Well duh," said an aide to an ethics committee member. "You think we're stupid or something?"
Meanwhile, a Senate spat over rules governing senators' requests for special pork in their home states is blocking efforts to merge into one bill Senate and House measures to restrict lawmakers' dealings with lobbyists. "Yeah, we were hoping to block the bill with something a little more technical, but this is the best we could do, said one senator. "Say, shouldn't you guys be looking for missing white women or something? There's bound to be one somewhere."
"I find it distressing that they haven't dealt with these issues," Craig Holman of Public Citizen said, referring particularly to the House task force. "Oh wait a minute. This is Congress we're talking about. Never mind."
For years, self-described government-reform groups have denounced the House ethics committee, which is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, as listless and largely toothless. "You say that like it's a bad thing," said one committee member.
On January 31, Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed a bipartisan task force to recommend whether an independent panel of nonmembers should investigate ethics complaints and play a role in avoiding, rewriting, and eviscerating rules of conduct. That report was due May 1. "So the basic question is, should we investigate ourselves, or should we do it right," said an aide to Pelosi. "What do you think we're going to do?"
completed," said Task force members privately briefed colleagues on a plan in which the speaker and minority leader would each appoint three members to a panel that would look at complaints — from members or nonmembers — and recommend whether the House ethics committee should bury them. "This would be a totally independent panel of members, and with three republicans and three democrats. We're sure any investigation it undertook would be quickly and professionally done away with," said Pelosi's aide.
Watchdog groups called the plan weak, especially because the new panel would lack subpoena powers to compel testimony and demand documents. The panel "would have a free hand to recommend the dismissal of a complaint and would be greatly restricted in recommending anything else," lawmakers were told in a letter last week from groups including Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and the Campaign Legal Center.
Yeah. We worked hard on that," said one member of the house ethics committee. "Now that's government in action."
Some watchdog groups are balking at a second proposal floated by task force members. It would require any group that lodges an ethics complaint against a House member to reveal its donors.
Many lawmakers are insisting on such disclosures, saying the public should know as much as possible about people behind allegations that could hurt a politician's meal ticket. "See, the thing is, with these donor lists it will be a lot easier for us to change the subject from the fact that we're all a bunch of low life scum bags to the fact that someone from the other party once gave a contribution to the group charging us with being low life scum bags," said one member of the task group. "Hey, is that a white woman being kidnapped over there?"
Some Republicans particularly like the disclosure proposal because they believe groups such as Common Cause are heavily financed by Democrats and liberals. "If we had this law before, half the republican congressional delegation wouldn't be in or heading for prison right now," said one republican.