Monday, June 30, 2008

Return Of The Plastic Man

Every once in a while reality sneaks up on the porch here at the marbled halls of IM Central and drops a big bag o' flaming dog poo, rings the bell then scampers off into the weeds giggling like a school girl.

Surprising many Republican insiders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is at the top of the vice presidential prospect list for John McCain. But lack of personal chemistry could derail the pick.

We don't really see that as a problem, since the Mittster can have just about any personal chemistry you'd like.

Campaign insiders say McCain plans to name his running mate very shortly after Barack Obama does, as part of what one campaign planner called a bounce-mitigation strategy. "We figure after Obama names someone that gets the country all excited and interested, we'll name Romney and everyone will be all like WTF?" said a McCain campaign spokesperson. "Then they'll totally forget about Obama's pick trying to figure out what we've been smoking."

One of the chief reasons the Massachusetts governor is looking so attractive is his ability to raise huge amounts of money quickly through his former business partners and from fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons. "Well, that and he's the best choice for the country," said the aide."Don't forget to write that too."

Romney’s other advantages, according to people involved in McCain’s screening process:

— Squeaky-clean and fully vetted by the national media."There is the dog incident," said a representative for Romney. "But we don't figure to get the pet vote anyway."

— Has presidential looks and bearing and immediately would be a strong campaigner who could be trusted to stay on message."Besides looking like a sack of potatoes that fell down a flight of stairs, McCain has a tendency to babble if he's late with his meds." A McCain spokesperson told reporters. "It's all about ticket balance."

— Family’s Michigan roots would help in a swing state that went Democratic in 2004."We don't think anyone will remember he hasn't lived there in god only knows how long," said a representative of McCain's Michigan office.

But there’s one big problem: Despite the buddy-picture choreography of a McCain-Romney campaign swing, McCain remains less than enamored with Romney. "Not a problem," said one aide. "We plan to tell the senator he picked Fred Thompson. We figure he doesn't pay that much attention, it'll be inauguration by the time he figures it out."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Hound Blogging

Ruh Ro. Seems like all the bad news of the years or so is beginning to make the overlords a bit testy.*

Karyn Zoldan would like to see Tucson Greyhound Park boarded up and greyhound racing ended. It's not much of a secret. For several years, Zoldan has been an outspoken critic of the track and of greyhound racing, speaking out about how the dogs are treated and the problems that arise when they are retired and no one wants them. And by "problems" we mean killing perfectly healthy dogs simply because they can't make a buck for their overlords anymore.

Zoldan now finds herself the target of a defamation lawsuit in Pima County Superior Court. Those statements, Tucson Greyhound Park claims, have damaged the track's reputation. "You can imagine how one would feel reading that tens of thousands of dogs had died at your track," said John Munger, an attorney representing the track. "That just isn't true. We take them away from the track and kill them."

Because of the small purses it offers, Tucson Greyhound Park is widely regarded as an "end of the line" destination where greyhounds finish their racing careers. That distinction has led to a glut of retired racers and incidents of greyhound abandonment and disappearance. Two years ago, more than 140 dogs disappeared after they were supposed to have been taken to adoption groups. A number of other incidents also have made headlines. "Yeah, but most of our customers can't afford a subscription to the newspaper," Munger said. "She puts her stuff on the internet though and we're afraid some of the rubes might stumble across it while they're searching for porn."

That's a point Counselor, but it may already be too late. Check out this comment from one of the rubes:

I will point this out. I am a dog racing fan. I do not support TGP and also wish they closed their doors and went under. The track itself is ran (sic) poorly and has so many issues that has ran(sic) me off from supporting it. Very evident the state is keeping TGP alive by the tax measures it has passed to alleviate the loss in handle and revenue starting in the early 90's.
One problem is that the handlers and trainers need to be tested for drug use. Always hear stories of trainers getting busted for meth, cocaine, and heroin abuse. That and booze as well. The kennel compound is not that great but considering the weather here it could be much worse. TGP does house dogs who no longer race and take care of them so they can be adopted but it is too big a number and these dogs can not go to Caliente, MX to race.
What Karyn does miss most of all is the over breeding that occurs in this industry. In hopes of running at major tracks like Derby Lane, Wheeling, or Twin Rivers for major purses. (sic) If the NGA forced breeders to cut down the breedings the problem would help and alleviate tracks like Tucson, Mobile, or Wonderland that are struggling. Dog tracks that are supported buy casino money, like Wheeling, need that cut off and the breedings will also stop. She is correct that dog racing is a dying sport and eventually only a handful of tracks will have it. More due to more casinos opening in Florida and closing ballot initiaves (sic) in Mass.

Well, we never said the rubes were literary geniuses, but you get the point, huh Taz?

Dirty Dare AKA Taz is a very sweet, happy, mellow boy. He is affectionate and sometimes shadows his foster family around the house. He is playful play and run in circles. He greets his family with enthusiasm when they get home. Taz would do well in a working family home with older, well-mannered children, 9 and up. He is good as an only dog, and is good with other medium to larger size 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.

* if you have to sign in, try this: password: kissmine

And while you're searching for porn, why not stop by Karyn's blog and show her some love.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This Is Change We Should Have Seen Coming

We have to say that we've been somewhat conflicted as to the outcome of the impending election. One the one hand, if McCain wins, we can look forward to four more years of ironicus at its maximus, not to mention death, destruction, economic collapse and general Armageddoniness. On the other hand, if Obama wins we were afraid there would be a wholesale purge of governmental operatives who loved Jesus more than the environment, thought disaster relief meant buying Bear Sterns, and had "stay the course" tattooed on their foreheads, but also a return to rationality, competency and fairness.

Truly a dilemma worthy of a fresh bottle of Stoli.

Then we read Senator Obama's statement on the FISA bill...oops...not that statement...this statement...and realized we shouldn't have worried. It's like a prostate exam. Sometimes you have to bend over and grab your ankles, other times you can rest your forearms on the examination table. The outcome is the same.

On the bright side, we did discover a new bumper sticker.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Next Time Try Sending It From

You know, most times we like to keep up the illusion that we at least put a modicum of effort into searching through the detritus of the day's events to bring you yet another reason to question the future of the human race. Then there are times like this:

The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said.

We'll run the operative part of that paragraph by you once again: "...telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened..."

Don't ask, don't tell becomes the core of Bush environmental policy. Do you see now why we drink?

The Bush administration’s climate-change policies have been evolving over the past two years. "Well, let's say 'maturing'," said Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman. "'Evolving' isn't a word we like to use around here."

This week, more than six months later, the E.P.A. is set to respond to the howling whackos in the White House by releasing a made up version of the original proposal that offers no connection to reality. "We serve at the pleasure of the president," said one E.P.A. aide who asked not to be identified.

Fratto refused to comment on discussions between the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency. Asked about changes in the original report, Mr. Fratto said, “It’s the E.P.A. that determines what analysis it wants to make available” in its documents, "and we deterimnie which e-mails we will open. Right now, I'm pretty busy corresponding with a Barrister in Nigeria over the transfer of 10 million dollars."

The House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, led by Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, has been seeking the discarded E.P.A. finding on the dangers of climate change. "If he wants to see the dangers, tell him to go look out the window," Fratto said.

Simultaneously, Mr. Waxman’s committee is weighing its response to the White House’s refusal to turn over subpoenaed documents relating to the E.P.A.’s handling of recent climate-change and air-pollution decisions. The White House, which has turned over other material to the committee, last week asserted a claim of executive privilege over the remaining documents. "If Waxman wants documents, tell him to send us an e-mail," Fratto said.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In Which Ironicus Multi-Tasks

We're coming to you today from the Attention Deficit Disorder Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. You know, generally when we take our daily trip through the faux pas and foibles of our betters we try to find a particular tale of mendacity that rises above all the others; that gives mendacity a bad name; that even causes mendacity's neighbors dissembling, disingenuous, duplicitious, decietful, and their cousin perfidious to cross the street when they see mendacity coming. Today's excusion, however was like a voyage on the S.S. Slappy with all hands on deck. Just when it seemed we'd been brought up short by the fist of phoniness, along came five more fingers of fallaciousness. For example:

As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement's biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the bible. Now, if anyone knows about distorting the bible, it's James Dobson. Hey Jimmy, read us that passage again when it talks about taking your son into the shower with you.

Sorry to put that image back in your head, but we're not done yet.

A top adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain apologized after he was quoted as saying a September 11-type attack before the November election would benefit McCain. "Hey, we're grasping at straws here," McCain political adviser Charlie Black said. "Have you seen that picture of McCain hugging Bush? How do you run against that? Besides, terrorists only attack in the cities and that's where most Democrats live anyway, so it's not like what I said was out of line."

Oh no, not a bit. By the way, did you know Obama was black? And so is his wife. But moving on:

The administration lacks an updated and comprehensive Iraq strategy to move beyond the "surge" of combat troops president Bush launched in January 2007 as an 18-month effort to curtail violence and build Iraqi democracy, government investigators said. "A plan!" the president said when told of the report. "Dang. I knew we forgot something."

No biggie, Mr. Bush. McCain wants to stay for 100 years. I'm sure we'll figure something out by then. If you need us, we'll be down in the basement banging our heads on the wall.

Monday, June 23, 2008

If People Buy The Book, That Means It's True, Right?

We're coming to you from the fiction section here in the marbled halls of IM Central today. Those of you who made the mistake of staying sober during the 2004 election may remember a contribution to the national dialogue by one David Freddoso titled John Kerry: Scary, Scary Elitist Nancyboy in which we learned that Mr. Kerry hates Christmas, puppies and domestic beer. It was a book similar to Profiles in Courage except different.

Well, Mr. Freddoso, having barely missed out on the Pulitzer last time is about to bring his considerable talents to bear on Barack Obama with a new book titled Barack Hussein Obama: Scary, Scary Black Elitist Probably Muslim (Did We Mention He's Black?)

The book will offer “a comprehensive, factual look at Obama,” according to Regnery Publishing president and publisher Marjory Ross. "And by 'factual' we mean stuff we get from the voices in our heads."

Ross contends that the mainstream media has offered insufficient scrutiny of Obama's inability to wear a flag lapel pin and likens the goal of Freddoso’s book to that of the drug induced, fact free diatribe of Kerry’s war record that rocketed to No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list. "To tell you the truth we never even thought anyone would buy the Kerry book," Ross said. "You just can't go broke underestimating the slop the American people will slurp up though, so we're going to try it again."

“I think it’s critically important that the country gets a clear and honest view of who is running and what they stand for — warts and all,” Ross said. "Well, especially the warts. OK, only the warts. Do black people get warts? We'll have to look into that."

Freddoso has taken a leave from his job with National Review Online — where he has written posts with titles such as “Obama’s Problem with the Truth, or Why the Candidate be Shucking and Jiving?”

Ross declined to share any failings in Freddoso’s reporting since the manuscript hasn’t been made up yet, but said the 31-year-old journalist has material from Obama’s days in Madrassas, street gangs and and with the Shining Path guerrillas."

In a totally objective and accurate effort to burn the brotha' down, the book will examine Obama’s relationship with his blackness, with members of the Windy City’s underground communist cell, and with well known terrorist sympathizer Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Moving to the national stage, the book will argue that Obama’s political views are far too rational. “He’s the No. 1 most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, and nobody has really smeared his record,” says Ross. "He's for things like Health Care, living wages, clean environment, and this one is especially troubling, talking to rather than bombing people who are brown. Now, if that's not a terrorist agenda, I don't know what is."

"The more people fall in love with a candidate, the more they might vote for him set this country on a path different from the last eight years," Ross said.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Hound Blogging

Last week we told you how, even though with the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, jobless rates increasing and food and gas prices going through the roof, people still weren't desperate enough to risk what little money they had trying to hit it big at the greyhound track. Because of that, the track in Colorado was closing temporarily, and by temporarily we mean forever.

Well, it seems there is a group of people that think closing a money losing business is a bad decision and they guessed it...the overlords.

A corporation with managers who have half a brain is accused of trying to shut down one of Colorado's most inhumane industries, putting as many as several hundred low and no skilled Coloradans out of minimum wage no benefit jobs. BLB Investors is the company under fire by the Greyhound racing industry in Colorado. "Look, name me one greyhound park in the country that's making money," said overlord Tom Phelps. "Why should we be the ones to shut down?"

"The people that are being forced out of the business are the ones that I consider the good guys." Jan Woll claims. "Oh sure they make their living exploiting innocent animals and then dumping them on other people, or killing them when they can't make a buck anymore, but other than that they're just like you and me."

Phelps says he sees his greyhound training business slipping away, and he questions the corporation that's causing it. "They say they're losing money and I don't know how they can be losing money" he said. "I mean sure, nobody comes to the track anymore, and even the people that do bet two bucks and spend the rest of their money on beer, but it's not like we ever made much money in the first place. Look, I'm an uneducated substance abuser with anger issues, what kind of job am I going to get if this place closes?"

Yeah, well that is a puzzler. Got any suggestions Ace?

Ace is enjoys playing with a ball or a pillow and he will throw things in the air. His handler’s say that he is 24 hours of fun. He is affectionate with people he knows, but he is a little shy with strangers. He is a happy dog that enjoys spending time outside. He also likes to be close to his family members. He is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Ace would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. He is good with other dogs and 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.

And if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance at Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For Homework, Outline Leviticus

Full disclosure: We were not the type of students our Instructional Technicians looked forward to seeing each day. Not that we were bad...well, there was the Levi Ben Hur episode that sent the sub back to rehab...and there was the time we learned that applying voltage to a frog's leg could make it move so we tried it on Sally Konkolevski' Then there was the unfortunate combination of super glue and our History teacher's desk drawers. OK, maybe we were bad, but that's not the point. One of the reasons we were so emboldened was we knew our teachers couldn't do half of what they would have liked to have done to us without incurring the wrath of the authorities. Times, apparently, have changed.

The parents of a Mount Vernon boy who says his science teacher branded a cross on his arm have sued the teacher and the school board.

Now, when we first read that we thought, Man! Talk about your innovative discipline techniques. The only downside is he seems to be mixing church and state. Well, that and assault. So we're thinking, if fourth graders get arrested and taken away in handcuffs for throwing a tantrum, this guy's about to have a big o' can a law and order opened up on his evangelical behind.

The boy's parents complained to school administrators, who say they told Freshwater not to do it again.

Oh.'s works too.

In addition to the branding incident, Freshwater is accused of teaching the "theory" of intelligent design to his eighth-grade science class even though the district ordered him not to in 2003, the lawsuit says. "We're talking eighth grade here," said the principal. "It's not like anyone was listening to him."

Mr. Freshwater advised his students that although he is forced to teach from the textbooks, the teachings are wrong or not proven according to the Bible.

Where'd this guy get his science degree? The Pat Robertson College of Chemical and Hormonal Imbalance?

School administrators knew that Freshwater disregarded their instructions, but they allowed him to continue teaching and never disciplined him even after the branding. "Well, duh," said an administration spokesperson. "The guy brands his students for crying out loud. We weren't sure what he was capable of. You want to be the one to tell him he's fired?"

Freshwater told his students they could earn extra credit in his class if they watched the film Expelled, which mocks the theory of evolution. The assignment directed students to “ explain why it is important to examine this objectively and not let bias affect your observations."

"We figured out why the film was biased," said one student who asked not to be identified. "But we weren't sure that's what Mr. Freshwater was looking for."

Although the school district placed a monitor in Freshwater's classroom, Freshwater still tried to impose his Christian beliefs on students, according to the lawsuit and letters from the family's attorney, Jessica Philemond.

Attempts to contact the monitor, the Reverend Billie Bob of the Church of Jesus of the Tattoed Forearm were unsuccessful.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yeah? Well We Would Be Winning If It Wasn't For All Those People Trying To Make Us Lose

Frequent readers of this blog have probably learned to mean often search the inter toobz for insightful, sharp, penetrating analysis of political and world events. And then when they're done with that, they come here.

Now, we're not saying we don't occasionally provide insightful, sharp, penetrating analysis. We mean look, if you put enough monkeys in a room with enough typewriters...well, you get the point. Still, we have to admit to a certain level of confusion after reading a spate of reports about our glorious crusade to bring freedom, Big Macs and cheap oil to the liberty loving people of Iraq. OK, the cheap oil is for us, but what the heck, you think freedom is free?

First we are told we have turned the corner:

Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets. And in case you're wondering, yes I could have written 'gearing up for a battle at the ballot box rather than slaughter in the streets,' and finished that whole alliteration thing I started, but hey, I'm a serious journalist, not Jesse Jackson.

'Bout time we think. After all, Cheney's been telling us we've turned a corner for five years. He was bound to be right sooner or later. Stopped clock. Twice a day. You see our point. So, we're just about to break out the V I Day champagne when we see this:

A Shiite "special group" leader was behind a car bombing that killed and wounded scores of people Tuesday evening in northwest Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday. "And by 'special group' we mean the same guys who've been blowing things up since we got here," said an unnamed Pentagon official."

Dang. Back to the Stoli. When are those whacky Iraqis going to learn we're the ones who are supposed to be blowing stuff up and shooting people. What part of "occupying army" don't they understand? Well, on the bright side, at least they're learning to live with us...coalition troops Humveeing all over their country.

Or maybe not.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the virulently anti-American militia leader, announced that he was forming a new, exclusive wing of his al-Mahdi Army to fight US forces. "We've got to do something with all the people who've been joining us," said a spokes mullah for al-Sadr. "Your president is a better recruiter than the 72 virgins."

You can see the nature of our confusion. So when do we get to the welcomed as liberators part we wonder. Yeah, yeah, it's not like we haven't been told all this before, but like we said, stopped clock. Twice a day. See, this is the surge man, the surge. This was the part where the president finally got it right, you know, even though everyone else said he was still screwing it up.

Iraq Study Group. Ambassadors. Foreign policy experts. What do they know? Bush has Dick Cheney.

Hmm...looks like confused may be about the best we can hope for.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Get Me The Guy Who Used To Write My Papers In College

We're coming to you today from the You Can't Make This Stuff Up Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. YCMtSU is a division of the Say Again? Corporation in partnership with Sometimes This Stuff Just Writes Itself, Inc. Let's get right to it:

president George W. Bush, scrutinized in books by former colleagues including a blistering critique by his ex-spokesman, is considering writing a memoir of his own.

OK, here's an image for you: Bush hunched over his computer staring intently at the screen and keyboard. After several minutes he straightens up and calls to Laura, "Hey, where do you put the paper in?"

Asked if he planned to pen his own book after leaving office in January, Bush said, "Do I have to use a pen? I don't spell too good and ink's hard to erase."

"I'm going to think about that, yes -- writing a book," Bush said in an interview. "I like those books where things pop up when you open them. What if you opened my book and Dick popped right up at you. That'd be scary heh heh."

Bush's predecessor Bill Clinton wrote a best-selling book after leaving office that chronicled his life as well as his eight years in the White House. He has made more than $23 million from his memoir "My Life."

"Twenty three mil, huh?" Bush said. Well, I couldn't make that much because I don't remember most of my life, and only what Dick tells me about being president."

Bush also said he never saw the award-winning network television show "The West Wing" about a fictitious U.S. president, preferring instead to watch sports and read books. "Actually, Laura reads the book to me while I watch sports," the president said.

Monday, June 16, 2008

When You Lie, You're Grounded. When I Lie, It's Education

Now, we'll admit to having endured our fair share of educational innovations while denizens of the educorporate training facility in our neighborhood. Some of them actually worked, like the history teacher we had who used to throw erasers at students he deemed inattentive. Well, that is until Joe Pavlik threw the eraser back. Then his book. Then a chair. Joe had issues.

The point is, as helpless victims of the corrupt and power hungry teachers' unions we've all endured academic experimentation, some of which was merely embarrassing, some of which was flat out, howl at the moon, run naked on the beach with leaves and twigs in your hair crazy. This is from the latter category.

Many juniors and seniors were driven to tears – a few to near hysterics – May 26 when a uniformed police officer arrived in several classrooms to notify them that a fellow student had been killed in a drunken-driving accident. It was an elaborate hoax.

Sure. Show up and tell a bunch of hormonally imbalanced teenagers at one of the most emotional times of their little teenager years (school getting out for the summer, prom, graduation) that one of their best friends has just been killed. Then tell them you were lying. What can go wrong?

The officer read a brief eulogy, placed a rose on the deceased student's seat, then left the class members to process their thoughts and emotions for the next hour.

Oh even better. After you tell them this devastating lie, walk out and leave them alone. Who came up with this idea? Dick Cheney?

Though the deception left some teens temporarily confused and angry, if it makes even one student think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, it is worth the price, said California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Newbury.

Yes, and what are they going to "think" about Officer Newbury? The fact that adults lie to them? The fact that adults can't be trusted not to trick them? If they can't believe you about their friends dying, why should they believe you about drinking?

OK, here's a little bit of advice for you Officer Newbury. A relationship that needs to be built on mutual respect and trust cannot rest on a foundation of lies. That's...that's...well, that's a description of the republican party.

“When someone says to me, 'Oh, my God, you're traumatizing my children,' I'm telling them, 'No, what I'm doing is waking them up,' ” said Newbury. "They need to know that as they enter adulthood, there's no one they can trust. No one they can believe, least of all the police. I call it the X-Files philosophy."

“If you don't do your job as a parent ... the only thing I can do is either arrest them and take them to jail or scrape them off the ground and tell you, 'I'm so sorry.' ”

Hey Officer Newbury. We've got an idea. Next year why don't you just pick some parents you think aren't doing their jobs and go to their house and tell them their son or daughter is dead. You know, just to 'wake them up.' We're sure they'll be grateful and probably recommend you to your bosses for some sort of say Walmart security.

“I want them to be an emotional wreck. I don't want them to have to live through this for real,” Newbury said.

Erm...Officer Newbury? If they believe your lie, they are living through it for real. Just a thought.

A few teachers chose not to take part in the production. They were from a small group in the school who called themselves the responsible professionals. One teacher told reporters, "We don't think you have to lie to kids to get them to do the right thing."

"Oh that's just naive," Newbury said. "What's next, trusting them?"

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Hound Blogging

Well this isn't exactly the best of economic times is it? Luckily for the overlords, when times get tough, people often gravitate to gambling hoping to make that big score that will make up for the fact they lost their job, or their house, or both. Depressing we know, but bad times are good for the overlords, right Bruce Seymore, Mile High's Greyhound Track director of racing operations?

Colorado's last dog track will end live greyhound racing for the season at the end of June.

Yeah. We know. It's a sad state of affairs when people are so desperate they'll use their last dollar to...wait a minute, what?

Mile High Racing and Entertainment, located in Commerce City, will cease its live greyhound racing on June 28. Discussions between the track and the Colorado Greyhound Kennel Association, which represents dog owners, did not lead to an agreement to extend the racing season through the summer. "We just couldn't figure out a way to make it work without the mean the customers," Seymore said.

Well, yeah, not having anyone come to the track is certainly a complication, but there has to be some room for compromise doesn't there?

Seymore said the track sees a financially-viable future for greyhound racing in Colorado. "Of course I also see aliens in my back yard," he added. "It's going to be seasonal, and by seasonal I mean we're closed for good. Then we can make it, if I can keep my part time job bagging down at the Piggly Wiggly."

"We need year-round racing to make enough for our trailer payments," said Gary Bryan, president of the Greyhound Operators Association.

When asked by a reporter if greyhound kennel operators would bring their dogs back to Mile High next year if the track didn't open, Bruce Fraser, executive vice president for the track's parent company, reacted angrily. "I guess you don't understand the racing business," Fraser said. "What choice do they have? It's not like they've got some high paying job at the Piggly Wiggly to fall back on."

Well, not just anybody can get a job like that, right Toolman?

Toolman loves to play and go for walks. He is a happy, easy going boy. He likes to carry his muzzle around and he appears to be holding it with pride. He likes to lie in the sun, in the grass, or under a shade tree and enjoy the nice weather. He is friendly and outgoing. He loves attention and meeting new people. He is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Toolman would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. He 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.

And if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance at Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You Mean Those People Don't Have Trust Funds?

We're coming to you today from the Better Get A Clue Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. BGaC is a wholly owed subsidiary of the Out of Touch Corporation in partnership with How To Kill A Party, Inc.

Check out this lede:

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives blocked an effort by Democrats to quickly pass an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

"Some people think that was a bad move considering we probably just alienated that segment of voters who like to eat and live in a house with walls," said minority leader of the House John Boehner. "But we figure we'll get them back with our stands on gay marriage and stem cell research. Besides, we need that money for the war."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer a Maryland Democrat, said the bill will be brought back to the floor under rules requiring only a simple majority for passage. "We knew we were going to pass it anyway," he told reporters. "We just figured we'd give the republicans another opportunity to shoot themselves before we did it."

The White House issued a veto warning shortly before the House vote, saying it would instead support an extension of benefits targeted to states with the worst unemployment. When asked how those states would be determined, White House Press Secretart Dana Perino said "Voting for the president in the last election" would be a prime consideration.

About four dozen Republicans broke ranks with president George W. Bush and supported the measure amid deepening election-year concerns about the stagnant U.S. economy and increasing awareness that the republican party was fast becoming an anachronism.

During House debate of the measure, Democrats bemoaned the condition of the economy, with some tying fiscal problems to the war in Iraq, which has cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. "Well, sure, but look how much better off Iraq is," said Press Secretart Perino. "Isn't that worth a few hungry children and homeless families in this country?"

In its statement, the White House said the legislation could remove the incentive for some people to find work. "The counterproductive result of a broad extension of benefits would be that recipients may remain unemployed for slightly longer than they would have otherwise," it said. "Of course the fact that there are no well paying, full time jobs to be had could figure in to that as well, but we think that's a minor point."

The AFL-CIO labor organization said there are now more than two jobless workers searching for every available job.

"I hear the army and Marine Corps are looking for people," Perino said.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BREAKING: War On Terror Over. Allies Win!!

We're coming to you from the produce section here in the marbled halls of IM central where we are handing out eggs by the dozen for you doubting Thomases and Thomisinas to put on your face. You know who you are. You're the ones who made fun of the fact that given the gulag full of miscreants in Guantanamo the government couldn't buy a conviction with gold plated Visa card. You're the ones who made fun of the FBI because they couldn't find their way to the Starbucks downtown even though they took a cab. You're the ones who made fun of the Justice Department because they...well, OK that was justified, but as far as the other stuff goes: Suck. On. This.

Federal authorities have four people in custody accused of plotting terrorist attacks.

Yeah baby! How you like the FBI now Abdul? What do you think is going to happen to your bomb making, vest wearing, building blowing little jihadi behind now that you've become a guest of the federal government, Huh Abdul? Let's bring 'em out FBI guys. Let's show the whole Arab world that when you mess with Uncle Sam, you get a big o' can a whupass opened up on your sorry self. Who we got?

Marvin Hall, Perry Landis, Morgan Jones, as well as Melissa Huet are in custody.

Oh, fake names huh? Pretty funny Akbar. You thought you could fool us with that old dodge huh? Let's see 'em guys:

Uh...those are white guys.

Investigators say they were stockpiling a cache of weapons with plans to target local government buildings.The FBI, in raids over the weekend, confiscated hundreds of weapons - including everything from hunting rifles, homemade bombs, rudimentary rockets and cannons.

Cannons? We have to take our shoes off and throw away our Pellegrino to fly on an airplane and these guys can buy cannons?

Sources say the suspects made threats to blow up government buildings and carry out other extreme acts of domestic terrorism.

Oh, domestic terrorism. Well, that's different. OK, move along then. Nothing more to see here.

Included in the federal indictment is a listing of some of the confiscated weapons, including "exploding blasting caps," a Romanian AK 4 assault rifle and "destructive devises including two exploding golf balls."

Exploding golf balls? Does John McCain know about this?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bush Farewell Tour. Tickets Available

Hey Mr. president. Now that you've wrecked this country, what are you going to do?

I'm going to Euro-Disney!

George W. Bush, weakened by the Iraq war and a sour US economy, launched a farewell trip to Europe vowing to "improve the solidifatory factor" of relations and plead for more help with Afghanistan. Mostly pleading. Some crying and feet stomping too. "We are very excited the president is coming," said one French official. "We hope he brings with him the freedom fries and freedom toast."

"I'm looking forward to meeting with our friends and allies." the president said. "And I plan to stay until I find some."

Bush told reporters, "we've got strong relations in Europe. You can tell by how they've rallied to our side in Iraq and Afghanistan."

With roughly seven months before his successor gets the keys to the White House, Bush plans to stay out of the country as much as possible looking for a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

Bush also aimed to ensure that the European Union fully implements international sanctions on Iran over its suspect nuclear program, and push EU members to further tighten the financial screw on Tehran, aides said. "That is if we can get anyone to meet with us," an aide added.

Bush said he would deliver the message that "We've got to keep our economies flexible; both the US economy and European economies need to be flexible in order to deal with today's challenges. But what would be even better is if the European economies could bail us out. I've pretty much driven the US economy into the ground and we've got about as much flexibility as a two by four has dancing shoes."

It was not clear what sort of welcome the US leader would get from European counterparts, most of whom had already informed the White House they would be out of town that week, or that was the day they planned to sort their sock drawers.

"I don't think you're going to see people pay much attention to us," US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley told reporters last week. "In fact, a lot of the folks have changed their phone numbers and we're having trouble getting a hold of them."

Bush, who has explicitly refused to rule out the use of force against Iran, met this week with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and media reports said the Israeli leader pushed Washington to plan for a possible strike. "Our official position is let's you and him fight," said one highly placed Israeli official. "We think Bush is stupid enough to go for it."

Bush also aimed to annoy his hosts by complicating the Middle East peace process, making difficult Western relations with Russia more difficult, undercutting Georgia in a feud with Moscow, damaging democracy in Lebanon, and enraging Serbia.

When asked what preparations were underway for the president's visit, one German official said, "We're hoping we'll get lucky and he'll get lost before he gets here."

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Hound Blogging

Last Monday we told you about the eloquence of one of the leading overlords, Gary Guccione. It seems Mr. Guccione had been compelled to take up the pen after an article had appeared maligning the animal exploitation industry he so effectively represents. Well, when he's not working down at the Quickie Mart. Saving up to get cable on the tee vee don't you know.

Anyway, using geometric logic and a thesaurus he demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that not only are greyhounds treated as royalty while they are in service to their overlords, it is in fact that very treatment that bestows upon them the gentle nature and loving hearts that makes them wonderful pets. If they aren't killed first that is.

So, case closed it would seem.The final word has been written, the final point elucidated, the final argument argued. Unfortunately, some people are not swayed by Mr. G's obvious intellectual acumen.

I was astounded when I read the May 31 letter from an employee of the American Greyhound Council defending the industry and claiming humane treatment. His assertion that more than 90 percent of all registered greyhounds are adopted or returned to the farm is grossly misleading.

Now, we feel we must come to Mr. Guccione's defense here. As we explained on Monday, he suffers from a condition that renders him incapable of doing math. It's called Octophobia, which, in simple terms means Mr. G is terrified by the number eight. Also October, but that's not the point. Anyway, you can see how this would interfere with his ability to calculate the number of dogs adopted each year. Especially a year that has an October in it.

The farms that the council representative refers to are not the pastoral settings he is trying to invoke. The dogs are often kept in cramped cages, metal muzzles are sometimes used, and there is limited human companionship.

But see, this is Mr. Guccione's point. After years of being mistreated, ignored and living under the constant threat of injury or death they're just so grateful to be rescued that they give their undying loyalty to their rescuers which is why he said their experience on the track in what makes them good pets, right Kaye?

Kaye is fun and lovable. She is outgoing, curious, confident, and affectionate. She is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Kaye would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. She is good with other dogs and 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.

And if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance at Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Oh Good, Something Else To Compare In The Lockeroom Shower

We're coming to you today from the Mine Is Bigger Than Yours Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. MiBtY is a subsidy of the Size Matters Corporation in partnership with OMFreekin'G!!1!!, LLC.

Now, we know what you're thinking and considering the Herculean effort we put into maintaining high moral and ethical standards on this blog, it wounds us deeply that thoughts such as the kind you are now having would even ever so fleetingly cross your mind.

Hahahahahaha!!! We crack us up. And that's the point.

Perceiving sarcasm, the smirking put-down that buries its barb by stating the opposite, requires a nifty mental trick that lies at the heart of social relations: figuring out what others are thinking. "Nifty mental trick." That's our middle name, but you can call us mental.

A lot of the social cognition we take for granted and learn through childhood, like the ability to appreciate that someone else is being ironic or sarcastic or angry — the so-called theory of mind that allows us to get inside someone else’s head. Ah, so you have to have the openness of a child to appreciate this blog. Or perhaps be child-like. Or childish, but let's not pick semantic nits.

Magnetic resonance scans revealed that the part of the brain lost among those who failed to perceive sarcasm was not in the left hemisphere of the brain, which specializes in language and social interactions, but in a part of the right hemisphere previously identified as important only to detecting contextual background changes in visual tests. “The right parahippocampal gyrus must be involved in detecting more than just visual context — it perceives social context as well,” Dr. Rankin said.

"Gyrus?" We thought that was a Greek sandwich.

Don't get it? Try some right frontal lobe enhancement, but if you're still laughing after four hours, seek a republican.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hillary! Motto: Vice President. Don't Make Me Hurt You

OK, here's the scenario: January 20, 2009. President-elect Obama climbs the platform to take the oath of office. Suddenly a scuffle breaks out. Obamas's secret service guards rush to the the president-elect's aide, guns drawn, and come fact to face with...senator Clinton's secret service guards. Confused about what to do they stand idly by as the senator, who is shouting "I'm not conceding, I'm not conceding! Recount Florida and Michigan!" and the president-elect roll around on the dais. Finally Michelle Obama steps forward and cold cocks Clinton with her purse. Obama capitalizes on the incident by appointing his wife Secretary of Defense.

Think that's far fetched? You haven't been reading the papers.

Hillary Rodham Clinton refused to bow out of the Democratic race Tuesday, hoping to maintain a snit as Barack Obama clinched the delegates needed to secure the party's nomination. "Just because we lost doesn't mean we can't win," said Clinton spokesperson Terry McAuliffe.

"A lot of people are asking, 'What does Hillary want?'" Clinton told supporters at a rally in New York. "I want what I have always fought for: I want the nearly 18 million people who voted for me to be respected and heard. Oh, and president. I want to be president. Now."

Clinton told the crowd she would consult in the coming days with advisers about the fate of her moribund candidacy. "Tuesday I'll be meeting with Gandalf," Hillary said. "Then over the weekend I"ll meet with Merlin and Harry Potter." The senator left open the possibility of meeting with Voldermort and Sauron.

Many of her top supporters were told to speak openly of Clinton's potential vice presidential prospects. "We're not saying we expect something to happen to Obama," said Clinton aide Lanny Davis. "But no one expected anything to happen to Vince Foster either."

Clinton's national finance chairman, Hassan Nemazee, said he was also pushing an Obama-Clinton ticket, claiming that together they would be able to raise $200 million to $250 million for the general election. "Hillary would be willing to put up most of that herself if he picks her," he added.

Aides to the Illinois senator said he and Clinton had not spoken about the prospects of her joining the ticket. "She kept setting off the metal detectors, so we decided not to let her see the senator," said one Obama aide.

Advisers indicated earlier Tuesday that the former first lady would publicly acknowledge in her speech that Obama had crossed the delegate threshold. But she changed her mind and refused to do so even after television networks and The Associated Press declared the Illinois senator had sealed the nomination. "We're not saying we expect something to happen to any delegates," said Clinton aide Lanny Davis. "But no one expected anything to happen to Vince Foster either."

Most of Clinton's campaign staff will be let go and will be paid through June 15, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to divulge her plans. "We're hanging on to those people with covert military operations experience," one official said

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Change Is Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose

We're coming to you today from the Department of Political Strategerization here in the marbled halls of IM Central. As a public service, the DPS in conjunction with the Holy Crap! What Are We Going To Do Now Consulting Group, will offer some suggestions to the McCain campaign as they attempt to convince people that the senator wouldn't recognize George Bush if he passed him on the street.

See, the problem is that 81% of the people in the country think that times are not as good as they could be. The other 19% were evangelical christians so their responses where spoken in tongues. When asked how they would respond to a continuation of Bush administration policies into the term of the next president, 62% ran screaming from the location, 19% engaged in projectile vomiting, and 19% said it didn't matter anyway as gay marriage will destroy the planet.

Yes, well gay marriage aside, you can see senator McCain's dilemma. You can't? Try this:

A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case 270 electoral votes, so we applaud the McCain campaign's We're Different Tour.

With voters sour on the status quo, Republican John McCain plans to spend the next five months arguing that he has a history of fighting to reform government. "In his 26 years in Washington, the senator has consistently fought for change," said a spokesperson. "Change from peace to war, prosperity to recession, and oversight to laissez faire.

McCain told an audience last week, he long has taken a bipartisan approach to fixing the country's ills. When asked if saying the enemy in Iraq was celebrating Democratic efforts to end the war, or that Hamas was supporting Obama were examples of his reaching across the aisle, McCain admitted that reaching across the aisle "with a baseball bat" probably wasn't the most productive of strategies, but he was "going to work on his anger issues."

McCain will start making his case in earnest during a prime-time speech in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, La., a searing symbol of government inaction after Hurricane Katrina. "Now it's true, I didn't lift a finger for you folks after the hurricane," McCain said. "And I haven't done squat for you even as the scope of government ineptitude became obvious over the last three years, but that's about to change now that I want to be president. Get it? Change. That's my new theme. Change me fro a senator to the president."

The Republican nominee-in-waiting plans to draw contrasts with Obama on a range of issues and argue that the Democrat offers the wrong kind of change while he offers the right kind. "What kind of change do you want?" McCain asked. "Do you want peace? Do you want prosperity? Do you want a government that can tell its elbow from a hole in the ground? Then I'm not your guy."

"The message is change. It's real change. I think it's clear I have a record of working across the aisle. Senator Obama does not. When asked why Obama would have trouble 'working across the aisle' the senator explained that "Obama is a black man, and you know republicans are afraid of minorities."

"I think it's my record of reform and efforts to change the way we do business in Washington," McCain said. "He has the most liberal voting record of any senator in the U.S. Senate." When it was pointed out that the conservatives have been in power in Washington for the last eight years and a liberal vote would be, by definition, a vote for change, McCain responded that the Sunni's were being trained in Iran.

Later the campaign issued a clarification explaining the senator's medications were being rebalanced and he had meant to say Obama was a Sunni because he wouldn't join McCain on a trip to Iraq to view the improving situation there. "And yes, we know what you're thinking," said one aide. "But we'd bring him back too."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Monday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you from the Department of Special Circumstances today. Frequent readers of this blog will note their friends have started avoiding mean that they will note that Fridays are the traditional Hound Blogging day, but it's not often we are treated to the literary stylings of one of the overlords. First of all there's that whole spelling and grammar thing to be dealt with. Very problematic when your formal education ended in the third grade. Never mind that you were sixteen at the time. Then there's saving for a postage stamp. That can take weeks.

Add to that this overlord isn't just any overlord, but Gary Guccione, who is the Communications Coordinator, American Greyhound Council which means, not only can he type, but he owns his own dictionary! Well, you can see we really had no choice but to take a time out from our regularly scheduled posting and give Mr. Guccione the floor:
The May 23 letter from Tom Kortie about greyhound racing reflected the writer's lack of knowledge about the sport.
Doggone right, Mr. Guccione. People go out and read newspaper articles and see news reports about greyhounds turning up dead, or dying, or just disappearing and then think greyhounds are turning up dead, or dying or just disappearing. Where would they get an idea like that?
More than 90 percent of all registered greyhounds are adopted or returned to the farm as pets or breeders when they retire.
OK, we think we can help here. Mr. Guccione may be the Communications Coordinator, but math? Ah, not so much. So let's go to the numbers. In 2006 according to the racing industry there were 3768 litters of greyhounds which were approximately 24,567 animals. Of those 22,951 were registered to race. Now, subtract 22,951 from 24,567...erm...carry the a little dance...get down tonight and we come up with 1,616 dogs that never got registered. We're sure they were adopted. Oh, wait. There's no record of them at all. Must be an oversight, huh Mr. Guccione?

Now take the 22,951 who were registered to race, subtract the approximately 14,800 that we know were adopted >sound of calculator whirring and clicking<...factor out the 1200 that were returned to the farms for breeding...divide by pi...take the square root...and viola! We have 6,951 units unaccounted for. Now, when we went to school that 6,951 is a little less than a third of 22,951 which means--and we'll spare you the higher order math here Mr. G--that means about 66% of the dogs were adopted. In America 66% doesn't equal 90%. Oh, wait. If we figure in those puppies that...uh...failed to register...the number drops closer to 60%. Well, 6 and 9 are easily confused. If you stand on your head.
Meanwhile, greyhound tracks and organizations spend about $2 million a year to fund and promote adoption efforts.
You bet. And as long as those tracks and organizations keep their mouths shut about the industry and tow the company line, they'll continue to get the dough.
The writer has adopted two greyhounds that he describes as "amazing." Greyhounds make great pets in large measure because of the quality of care they receive from the farm to the track.
Right again Mr. G. Nothing prepares an animal for pet life better than being stuck in a two and a half by three foot crate for up to 22 hours a day, being fed 4D meat, then being placed on a track with seven other dogs and being asked to run at 40 miles an hour after a mechanical lure. Oh, and try no to get hurt there little doggy because if you do...well let's just say your medical benefits are not top notch.(PDF)
In cases where industry members fail to meet their responsibility for humane care and treatment of greyhounds, they are banned from the sport for life.
Right on! Throw the bums out! Wait a minute. Who's the designated tosser? The National Greyhound Association is a registry organization. The NGA’s registration database is used for identification purposes within the racing system. Registrants pay a series of fees for the privilege of registering their greyhounds. The organization subsists on registration fees, penalties and a percentage of the sale price of greyhounds sold at NGA sponsored auctions. Beyond providing greyhound identification information, the NGA has no authority over the care, treatment or disposition of greyhounds at racetracks. Can't be throwing out your own customers.

The American Greyhound Council is comprised of rotating members of the NGA and the American Greyhound Track Owners Association. Its purpose is to address public relations nightmares brought on by increased public scrutiny. Hence Mr. Guccione's letter.

The American Greyhound Track Owners Association (AGTOA) is a trade organization that represents the interests of dog tracks throughout the country. You know, get poker and slots to make up for the fact no one comes to see the anymore.

State governments usually oversee dog racing through an assigned department or commission. The rules and regulations of almost all racing states fail to stipulate humane conditions for the animals. is it exactly that's doing the bum throwing here, Mr. G? You got any idea who that might be Trixie?

Trixie is very affectionate and wags her tail a lot. She loves to greet visitors for a pet. She’s pretty vocal; she loves bark at anything that moves outside. She’s very friendly. She’s a love bug she comes up and lays her head in your lap. She’s very sweet; she follows the foster mom around everywhere she goes. She likes to play once in a while. She has a cute cowlick going from the head right down the back of her neck. Trixie would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children. She is good with other dogs, and would probably be good as an only dog.She would do best in a single family home, as she tends to bark at things she sees outside the window. 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.