Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Come to Kentucky--Motto: Laws Are For Little People

OK, when you read a lede like this you know hoot is about to turn into holler:

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher, in one of the more audacious displays of political grandstanding, in a setting full of cheering and clapping political supporters, thumbed his nose at the Kentucky criminal justice system and announced he was issuing "blanket" pardons to anyone who "might have violated" state's Merit System laws. Yes, he left it that open and vague.

"Screw them legal beagles," Fletcher said. "This here is Kentucky where the big dawgs run and the little dawgs stay on the porch...umm...I'm not sure I know what that means, but it sure is colorful, huh?" Supporters in the crowd cheered wildly and waved signs saying things like "Support Governor Mullet," and "A Man + His Cousin = Marriage."

When asked to explain how he could justify pardoning people who "might" have committed a crime, Fletcher described the acts which have resulted in more than a dozen indictments as nothing more than "noodling" which is the term for catching fish without bait. "Don't we southerners have a way with words?" Fletcher said. "There ain't nothin' better n' a good ole boy covering his posterior with some high falutin' talk, know wudamean Vern?""

Fletcher says he will not pardon himself unless he needs to to avoid jail, and will appear before the grand jury tomorrow as required. He stated that he would not speak. "I'm gonna be quieter than a dead frog in a bucket a mud," he said.

Fletcher, a Republican was elected to office when his predecessor, a Democrat, issued pardons for four campaign workers and commuted the death sentence of a convicted murderer. "Things like that are not going to happen in a Fletcher-Pence administration," said Republican lieutenant governor candidate Steve Pence at the time.

When asked to compare the two events, Fletcher said, "Hey. Ain't nobody here killed nobody. Besides the people I'm pardoning are all good Christians, like me. You from that liberal media, boy?"

Later Fletcher said he didn't fear prosecution because most of the judges were Bubbas. "Ain't no Bubba gonna put another Bubba in jail," the Governor said. "It's in the Bubba By Laws."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Did We Torture You? No? OK, You Can Go

Now, we've heard the griping of the detainees, and the stories about prisoners being held for long periods of time without being charged and we'd just like to say to those gloomy Gus's that if you wanted people released from prison, all you had to do was ask.

The US military has released 1000 detainees from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. The prisoners who were released were carefully vetted by a combined board of Iraqi and coalition officials. "We're not sure why the Iraqis wanted them looked at by Vets, said US military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Steven Boylan. "But we figured what the heck, There has been some kennel cough going around."

"All have admitted their crimes, apologized to their mothers, and poor Mrs. Mohammed whose cat they teased, renounced violence, R rated movies, and pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq if there ever is one," said Boylan. "And just to be on the safe side we made them put their hands in front of them and stand with their legs apart so there'd be no crossing of fingers or anything like that."

The decision to release the prisoners may be linked to a request made by the Sunnis who were having the draft constitution shoved down their throats. They asked that authorities release some Sunni prisoners so that they could participate in the civil war scheduled to take place later this year.

"I know the big one is coming, but I can't say if it is related to the growing unrest," said Boylan. "Could just be they wanted the guys to play in the soccer tournament they have coming up."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Well it's been a pretty quiet week in the wacky world of the overlords. A few people went to jail, a few tracks continued to slide into oblivion, but all and all a week of same o same o.

Well, there is the expansion of racing into Juarez Mexico. (Yes, that Juarez). That's right. The country that hemorrhages hundreds of thousands of immigrants both legal and illegal seeking a better life is the next growth target for the racing industry.

With sharp insight and sterling business acumen like that, it's a good thing this week's hound is retired. Meet D's Zola's Best:

Zola is friendly, playful (at times), and very loving and affectionate. He likes to stay near you in the house and will bury his head into your body or hand for attention. He has learned to play with stuffed toys. He is a happy boy and he wags his tail a lot. He is confident, intelligent, sweet, and obedient. He wags his tail straight up and down when he is happy. He is learning to play with other dogs and enjoys their company. He “talks” with his teeth and will move his mouth as if he is trying to communicate with his family. His foster mom calls him Ferdinand once in awhile because he is so big but wimpy. The little dog next door sent him up onto the deck with his tail between his legs when it started yapping! 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, August 25, 2005

We Will Win, If It Takes Every Last Son And Daughter You Have

You have to feel sorry for the president. The guy can't get a piece of brush cut, or a bicycle ridden, or a nap taken in peace without someone harshing his mellow. Now the poor guy has to take time out of his busy vacation day to inform the ever dwindling number of folks who actually believe anything he says, that yes indeed we are going to win the war.

"So long as I'm the president, we will stay, we will fight, and we will win the war on terror," Bush told National Guard troops and their families. "Well, you will stay and you will fight, but let's not quibble."

Bush praised the unique role of Guard members, who serve both their states and their country. "If it wasn't for the fact that we can put you the line of fire people with more important things to do might have had to actually make some sacrifices."

Referring specifically to the war's growing death toll, a recent change in his remarks on Iraq prompted by the fact that Condi finally told him people die in wars and it's not like in the movies, Bush said 491 Guard and Reserve members had lost their lives. "And if you think that terrible tragedy will cause us to actually come up with a policy that gives this whole fiasco some meaning, well, be certain we are going to stay the course," he said.

Bush said the United States must stay on the offense even as troop casualties mount violence continues and the whole situation deteriorates into one big cesspool of failed policies and bad decisions. "Well, 'offensive' might be a bit strong," he said, "since we don't even control the road from Baghdad to the airport. But we're planning on getting out of the green zone any day now."

"The stakes in Iraq could not be higher," he added, painting a bleak scenario for his reputation as a manly man if U.S. troops retreat and insurgents prevail. "We will not allow the terrorists to establish new places of refuge in failed states from which they can recruit and train and plan new attacks on our citizens," he said. "They've got all the refuge they need in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. Not to mention Pakistan...and parts of Africa...and Saudi Arabia, but don't tell anyone I said that."

"Now we're trying to break their will with acts of violence," Bush said. "I mean they're trying to break our will with acts of violence," Bush said. "Their goal is to force us to retreat, but we're going to defend the green zone with every last volunteer soldier we've got because since we can't control the highway to the airport, we're pretty much stuck."

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Bush met privately with 19 military families for nearly three hours, about an hour longer than scheduled. "As in all such meetings with relatives who have lost loved ones, we double the secret service guard," Duffy said. "We always handpick who can see the president, but you can't be too careful when you're killing off people's loved ones."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I'm Sorry About Your Son, But It's Time For My Nap

Now look, he told you once before and apparently you didn't listen. Now you've made the president take time away from his new vacation from his old vacation to tell you again: he started this war and dog gone it, he's going to finish it, even if it takes every last son, daughter, wife and husband he can lay his hands on...well, except the twins that is...and donors, can't let the donors go over there...or their relatives...too dangerous to risk those folks, but for everyone else military service is a noble calling.

President Bush says he has listened to, but disagrees with war critics who want U.S. troops brought home immediately, saying to pull out now would hurt that country's fledgling democracy and the United States too. "Well, 'listened too' might be a bit strong since they were a half mile away, and 'democracy' might be a bit strong, especially if you're a woman, or a Sunni," Bush said.

Addressing reporters Tuesday at a resort in Donnelly in the mountains north of Boise where he was vacationing from his vacation, Bush talked about Sheehan, who had kept a vigil outside his ranch. "She doesn't represent the view of a lot of the families I have met with," Bush said. "Especially the ones Dick and Condi picked for me."

Bush said U.S. troops in Iraq are wrecking the country and becoming targets for the terrorists and that Iraqi progress toward establishing democracy would probably not matter much in the long run. "Especially after them Mullah folks get power," Bush added.

The president urged people not to pay attention as the Iraqi government tries to complete a constitution that erases women's rights, cuts the Sunni's out of power, and initiates a civil war. "That's what we're seeing in Iraq and Dick says that's a positive development," Bush said. When asked to elaborate Bush replied that "We got rid of the evil dictator Saddam and almost have the power restored to the green zone. 9/11! 9/11!"

After the president spoke, more than 100 anti-war protesters gathered at a park across from the Idaho State house to read the names of the more than 1,800 U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq and to erect hundreds of tiny crosses in their memory.

"Eighteen hundred, huh?" Bush said. "Well, nobody I know at least."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

God Gave Me A "Get Out Of The Commandments Free" Card

We'd be the first to admit that paying attention in Catechism class was pretty far down on our list of things to do, but we're pretty sure that assassination is not exactly what God had in mind when he said love your neighbor, wouldn't you agree Reverend Robertson?

Apparently not.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said. "God told me it's all right because Chavez is a Catholic."

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. Besides, God wants us to have that oil anyway. Why do you think he told the president to invade Iraq?"

"But Iraq is costing us a bundle," Robertson continued, "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one taco bender. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with. Just like on the A Team. Boy I liked that show."

Robertson, 75, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a raving paranoid schizophrenic, accused the United States of failing to act when Chavez was briefly overthrown in 2002. "We could have popped a cap on that bozo back when he was out of office and that would have been the end of it. Now we'll have to explain God's will to all those beaners after we off their president. Probably affect contributions to my ministry from that region too, but I'm willing to sacrifice."

Robertson has made controversial statements in the past. In October 2003, he suggested that the State Department be blown up with a nuclear device. He has also said that feminism encourages women to "kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

"That was taken out of context," Roberstson said. "I was willing to give the State Department a two hour warning, and as for the feminists, well, OK I did say that, but only because uppity women scare me."

Monday, August 22, 2005

It's Normandy! It's The Alamo! It's Vietnam...No Wait

Just so you know, the president is very unhappy with your response to his war. So unhappy in fact that he has taken time off from his vacation to remind you, once again, why blowing things up and killing people is the way to spread democracy.

I mean come on, didn't we find the WMD? Ok, forget that. Didn't we build a democratic Iraqi state? Ok, forget that. Didn't we smash one of the legs of the axis of evil? Oh wait, that's Iran. Didn't we get rid of Saddam? Yeah. That's what we're talking about. So Long Saddam, you corrupt, brutal dictator. We're replacing you with an Islamic Republic closely allied to Iran.

Senior aides say Bush will attempt to portray the Iraq conflict in the context of popular wars like World War II. "You know, funny story there," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "When the president first suggested comparing this war to WW II we said that's probably not a good idea. In WW II we fought dictatorial governments bent on world domination. In Iraq we're chasing a bunch of fundamentalist crazies. It's more like when we went after Pancho Villa, but the president though that would irritate the hispanic vote, so here we are."

The president also will invoke the September 11, 2001, attacks, which he does at least 12 times a day, arguing once again that the insurgents battling American troops in Iraq share the same diet as the al Qaeda operatives who crashed hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. "Plus they're all brown," McClellan added.

In a previous attempt to boost sagging support for the war, the president delivered a prime-time, nationally televised address. When asked if he would request air time again McClellan responded, "No. Last time we found out American Idol is more popular than the president."

"Our mission in Iraq is clear: We're ruining the capability of our military. We're helping fundamentalist nut jobs build a pool of recruits that will last for the foreseeable future," Bush said in June.

"We're advancing the return of the 13th century in the broader Middle East. We are removing an obstacle to our oils mean to the free flow of oil, and laying the foundation for violence abroad and hard times at home for our children and our grandchildren."

The 9/11 commission's report, issued in July 2004, found no evidence that Iraq had any operational relationship with al Qaeda. "I'll say it again," McClellan responded. "They're all brown. And let me add, not Christians. Christians wouldn't do this."

Meanwhile, some congressional Republicans have raised questions about the progress of the war. Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska told ABC's "This Week" that "'stay the course' is not a policy. Look, we've known all along that Bush wasn't the brightest penny in the jar, but if a little war was the cost of us getting total control of all three branches of government we were willing to go along, but this guy is such a royal ditz that we've got to drop him or we won't even be able to elect a dogcatcher."

Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, told "Fox News Sunday": "Nobody wants to admit we really screwed the pooch on this, but people are concerned. It's gone on longer than we thought. The violence is larger than we thought it would be. It's like a war or something. What's up with that? Nobody expected it."

A bipartisan group of House members and Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, have proposed a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq "as soon as we can gas up the planes. We just declare victory and go home, like we did in Vietnam," Feingold said. "Who will know the difference? Iraq was already screwed up when we got there."

The administration opposes the plan, arguing that a timetable would simply let the insurgents wait out U.S. troops. "See, we had a timetable for the vote, and a timetable for the constitution and neither one of those meant a rat's behind, so we're like, done with timetables. Know what I mean?" said McClellan.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

A while back we told you about the Lakes Region Greyhound Park that had closed because it's owners were going to be guests of the local corrections bureau for a few years.

Because scientific studies have shown that most overlords were dropped on their heads as babies (It's true. You can look it up.) several potential buyers stepped forward to buy the track and continue watching their investments dry up and blow away like a leaf in a hurricane.

Recently though it seems that an attack of common sense has precipitated itself on some of the overlords because all of them have backed out of the deal. Well, all except one.

Another shakeup in the prospective new ownership of the Lakes Region Greyhound Park leaves Mississippi casino developer Marlin Torguson and his company alone as the likely buyer.

"I'm very excited by this development," Torguson said. "Now I'll be the sole owner of a beat up piece of real estate and a dying business. Isn't America great?"

"We'll start interviewing general manager candidates next week," said company spokesperson Rick Neuman. "As soon as the last candidate gets out of jail."

Speaking of getting out of jail, that's what happened to this week's hound when her sentence at the overlord kennel was up. No time off for good behavior though. Meet Lady Van Gough:

Lady Van Gough aka Genesis is a very wonderful girl who is great with kids, happy to greet you when you get home, sweet, easygoing, quiet, and affectionate. She will approach and nudge you wit her nose to get 5 minutes of attention and then will go lie down. She only has one ear and it will stand at attention when she is listening to things. She loves to lie in the kiddy pool to cool off. 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, August 18, 2005

Reed Buks And You'll Be Smart Like Me

Oh, so you think the president is actually vacationing during his vacation? Think again. Laura is making him read books. By himself. And not out loud either.

Bush took three heavy books with him on his five-week stay at his Texas ranch, each about 500 pages long. "That's more than I read all the time I was in college," Bush said.

When asked for the titles of the books Bush responded that he hadn't gotten that far yet, but had discovered that the books contained "precious little" pictures and the type was "real small."

At the daily press conference White House spokesperson Scott McClellan said the president preferred fiction to memos and briefings. "All those foreign names and places are hard for him to pronounce," McClellan said.

"He was planning to read I Am Charlotte Simmons again," McClellan said, "but some of the pages were stuck together." McClellan also said there was no truth to the rumor that Bush had requested a copy of My Pet Goat because he hadn't had a chance to finish it.

Bush often takes books with him on vacation. Earlier this year he read Mountain Biking for Dummies and How to Profit from the Coming Environmental Disaster.

"The president is really a pretty intellectual fellow," Press Secretary McClellan said. "You should see how he cleans up playing Trivial Pursuit with the twins."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Come On, Man. We Got Clint Black!

Aw, man. What a bunch of party poopers. The Washington Post announced that it will cease its co-sponsorship of the Pentagon-organized Freedom Walk next month.

"As it appears that this event was one of the stupidest ideas to come out of this administration since Bush in a flight suit, The Post has decided to honor the Washington area victims of 9/11 by sending our entire editorial staff to a seminar on how to develop a scintilla of class," said Eric Grant, a Post spokesman.

The Pentagon expressed disappointment with the decision. It has called the event a memorial to 9/11 victims and a salute to our troops. "With free balloons for the kids," added Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

"It is The Post's practice to avoid activities that might lead readers to question the objectivity of The Post's news coverage," said Grant. After the laughter died down Grant was heard to say, "No. Really."

"Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias," said a resolution passed Monday by leaders of The Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. "The Guild was all like 'we need to keep those reporters on a short leash,'" Grant said. "Then someone pointed out that referred to them too and the Guild was all like 'Dang! I guess we can't go either or some idiot will file a grievance. Can we still get tickets to Clint Black?'"

Publisher Bo Jones said he would remove the Post as a sponsor of the "Freedom Walk" if the event turned out to be partisan. "I still don't think it's partisan," Jones said. "Crassly commercial, sure, but partisan? I just don't see it, especially after they dropped the loyalty oath requirement." When asked how he explained the "Find the WMD Funland" for the kids, Jones said he hadn't heard about that.

The Department of Defense released this statement on Monday: This is a commemorative event to honor the memory of the victims who died in the attack on the Pentagon and to highlight the yet to be constructed Pentagon Memorial Walmart Super Store.

Monday, August 15, 2005

He Ain't No Terrist. He Was A Borned Here

OK, so we've been holding on to enemy combatants, suspected terrorists and parking violators for what, three years now? And how many have been convicted and sentenced again?

"Actually convicting someone isn't the point," said Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. "We just want to send the message that if you even think about doing something to this country you're going away for a long time."

Well, unless you're Charles Dreyling.

In a sworn affidavit Dreyling told FBI agents the device discovered in his carry-on bag at the Oklahoma City Airport was ‘basically a pipe bomb.’ Dreyling told agents he had learned how to make homemade explosive devices from web sites such as ‘The Anarchist’s Cook Book.’ In the affidavit Dreyling explained how he built and detonated several pipe bombs in the past for ‘recreational purposes.’ "I like blowing things up," Dreyling said.

So, you're thinking this guy is about to get an all expense paid vacation to the Hotel Federal' right? Well, let's just hold on a minute there Lady Justice.

The college student has received the support of former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphries. Humphries was in federal court in the front row with Dreyling’s parents. "Just look at that boy, your honor," Humphries said to the judge. "He can't be a terrorist. Why he's white as a plate of rice."

Humphries said Dreyling had just been down at Lake Eufala and had the pipe bomb with him, but he never detonated it and had just "thrown it back into his bag and forgot about it. We had been doing some fishing and that one was just left over."

Apparently, Humphries' testimony on behalf of Dreyling was effective because It took US Magistrate Gary Purcell just 30 minutes to decide to release Dreyling into the custody of his parents. "Well, you sure don't look like no terrorist to me, boy," Purcell said. "And it's not like you were trying to blow up the courthouse or anything. Besides, I think you and me go to the same church.

Dreyling must relinquish his Home Depot credit card, make a $10,000 contribution to Humphries' senate campaign, stay on his block between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and he must not visit any airports unless accompanied by an adult.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

OK, by now you may be used to reading about overlords going to jail and tracks closing and maybe you're thinking does anything good ever happen in the exciting and fast paced world of greyhound racing that doesn't involve law enforcement officials?

Oh, youbetcha. For over a year now overlords in Wisconsin have been salivating over a proposed deal with the Menominee Indians to purchase a dog track and build a casino next to it. The idea was that some of the money generated by the gambling would spill over to them.

Greed is a great motivator because the overlords worked tirelessly to grease the indians' skids and recently the last i was dotted and the last t crossed on the deal.

That's when the indians told the overlords to take a walk.

Shocked we tell you, they were shocked! They'd been used, taken advantage of and made out to be fools. OK, that last part happened long before the indians came into the picture, but a reminder is not out of order.

So, the indians have their casino and the overlords have, well, bupkus. Ah, karma. One of the overlords was heard to exclaim, "They used us to get their referendum passed, they promised us that we would be "the best racing facility in the country". WE WILL GET NOTHING." (emphasis in the original) Greyhounds all over the world, both racing and retired may now rise and say with one voice, "Welcome to the club, chumps."

Speaking of being taken advantage of, this week's hound is done with that and now would like to take advantage of your couch. Meet BTR Quick Trip:

BTR Quick Trip was nicknamed Sophie by her foster home, because her eyes look like Sophia Loren. She is very active and puppylike. She is already throwing stuffies around the room. She is also very affectionate and loving. She will approach for pets and hugs. She is silly and funny. She is a typical greyhound collector and she is a chewer; she likes paper. Her teeth chatter when she is happy or excited. 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, August 11, 2005

Talk About Benefits. And There Isn't Even A Copay

John Spenkelink, who probably wished he was a member of the Republican party, once said, "Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment." James Tobin, the Bush 2004 campaign chairman for New England probably couldn't agree more, except he has the benefit of being a member of the GOP.

Despite a don't ask don't tell policy on tampering with voters, the Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for Tobin who is charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in New Hampshire. "Hey. Some jobs give you health insurance, we pay your legal bills," said Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the RNC. "Given the way we do things, it's actually a better deal for the employee."

Tobin is charged in New Hampshire federal court with four felonies accusing him of conspiring to jam Democratic and labor union get-out-the-vote phone banks in November 2002. "'Jam' is such a nasty word," said RNC chairman Ken Mehlman. "We prefer 'utilizing our family free minutes.' There's no rollover you know."

"The position of the Republican National Committee is simple when we get caught: We will not tolerate fraud; we will not tolerate intimidation; we will not tolerate suppression. Any employee, associate or any person representing the Republican Party who engages in these kinds of acts will be promoted immediately, unless convicted," said Mehlman. "Further, if anyone were to ever not do that, we would help with their lawyers' fees."

Tobin's lawyers have attacked the prosecution, suggesting evidence was improperly introduced to the grand jury, that their client originally had been promised he wouldn't be indicted and that he was improperly charged under one of the statutes and that the prosecutor made faces at him during a hearing causing "great mental anguish and bed wetting." "We're going with every technicality we can find because, basically, this guy's guilty as sin," said Dennis Black, one of the defense lawyers.

Federal prosecutors have secured testimony from the two convicted conspirators, Charles McGee and Allen Raymond, in the scheme directly implicating Tobin. "When I found out the RNC was paying for Tobin and turning down my request for legal fees I was all like What. Ever. Get me the prosecutor on the line." Raymond said.

It was purely a budgetary decision," Mehlman said. "We just don't have the funds to defend every Republican operative in trouble with the law. We got the whole Rove thing coming up you know. That's going to take some bucks."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

We're Gonna Party Like It's 9/11

Whoa. Does law enforcement get testy after a high speed chase. No sense of humor. What. So. Ever.

Well, anyway, we're back from what turned out to be a small misunderstanding that's been cleared up, or at least the bail bondsmen have quit calling so we think it's cleared up, although we're not sure how a misunderstanding that involves the pointing of firearms can be characterized as "small." But that's behind us now and we can begin planning for the big 9/11 party.

The Defense Department has announced the first "America Supports You Freedom Walk and Mexican Cookoff" to celebrate 9/11 and America's military personnel, even though those people are either dead, or in Iraq and won't be attending. "What better time to party than on the anniversary of the worst attack on American soil since the Civil War," Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said.

To avoid protesting 9/11 families, America Supports You Freedom Walk and Mexican Cookoff participants are encouraged to arrive at the Pentagon South parking lot between 1 and 2 a.m. and dress in dark colors. The first 1,000 people to arrive will receive an official America Supports You campaign lapel pin shaped like a Jalapeno pepper. "Plus free balloons for the kids!" Secretary Rumsfeld said.

The walk route will consist of a two-mile slink through Arlington National Cemetery, over the Potomac River, and will end by the reflecting pool on the National Mall, where the cookoff and a free concert featuring country music star Clint Black will take place. "I wanted to take out the part through the cemetery," Rumsfeld said. "It is a bit of a downer being around all those dead people you know, but that's where the souvenir vendors wanted to setup."

"I am proud to be the only one who agreed to be part of the America Supports You Freedom Walk and Mexican Cookoff," Black said. "You know, the administration has really screwed the pooch on this whole Iraq thing. We really could use a great party to get our minds off it. And the 9/11 families? Hey. That was four years ago. Get over it."

The walk is made crassly commercial with the help of several supporters, including Stars and Stripes newspaper, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Subway, Washington Post, Lockheed Martin, WTOP, ABC/WJLA-TV Channel 7 and News Channel 8, and the Washington Convention & Tourism Corporation. "Next year we're hoping to attract a large corporate sponsor," Rumsfeld said. "How does the Halliburton America Supports You Freedom Walk sound?"

"America Supports You" is a distraction launched by the Defense Department with the goals of highlighting how Americans across the country are ignoring the men and women of the armed forces and keeping people from wondering why president Bush won't meet with Cindy Sheehan. "You can only sell so many car magnets," Rumsfeld said. "We knew we needed to come up with a new angle, and nobody was using September 11th for anything except memorials. It was a natural."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Usually when one of the overlords gets caught reducing costs, or being creative with regulations, the rest of the overlord choir all come together and sing a few choruses of "One bad apple don't spoil the bunch." Well, this week the choir is out doing a twelve state tour with matinee on Saturday because Herb "Dutch" Koerner of Hays, Kansas, a dog breeder, owner and kennel operator who served 10 years as president of the National Greyhound Association told an Iowa investigator that he had hidden ownership for about five years in a kennel at Bluffs Run greyhound track in Council Bluffs.

Koerner also acknowledged working to have ineligible greyhounds falsely certified as Iowa-bred dogs in an effort to make additional money. What? You mean all the regular money that's available in greyhound racing wasn't enough?

Wonder if they'll take his picture out of the greyhound hall of fame. Wonder what his picture is doing there in the first place. He wasn't the one running the races so the overlords could avoid having to work for a living.

Oh, by the way, another track is closing.

Speaking of working for a living, this week's hound has had enough of it and is seeking a retirement home. Must have couch and dog biscuits. Meet Vacume:

Vacume is a typical laid back grey. A real gentleman and classic leaner. He loves his stuffies and always greets anyone coming into the house with one which he proudly drops at their feet. He is the classic "velcro" dog who attaches himself to the leg of whichever foster parent is moving about the house. He enjoys walks and playing in the yard with his greyhound brothers, but only for short times as what he really enjoys is lounging on the couch. His ears stand straight up. 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, August 04, 2005

It's My War And I'll Call It What I Want

Yipes! Who says government is slow? Faster than you can say The Stugglatory Movement Against The Religiosity of Exteremifacation, the president has returned the country to the GWOT, or as it's more informally known, "Them A Rabs want to wreck social security and are against John Roberts."

President Bush overruled his top advisers in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, "There's too many words in your sloganationing."

In a speech Mr. Bush used the phrase "war on terror" no less than five times. Three of them in a row until Laura slapped him on the back. Not once did he refer to the "global struggle against brown people," the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

It is not clear whether the new language embraced by other administration officials was adopted without Mr. Bush's approval. "He was down in the basement playing with his trains when we decided to change the slogan," Secretary Rumsfeld said at a press conference. "He probably just didn't read the memo, or maybe he spilled his chocolate milk on it. Again."

Mr. Bush made a nod to the criticism that "war on terror" was a misleading phrase in the sense that the enemy is not terrorism. "Laura told me the other night that 'terrorism' isn't even a person. Heck, I thought it was Osama's brother in law or something the way everybody talked about stopping 'terrorism' and defeating 'terrorism.' I'm always the last to know."

"Some ask, are we still engaged in a war on terror?" Mr. Rumsfeld said. "How the hell should I know? It's a war, and a lot of people are terrified, particularly the folks over here at the Pentagon when they think about who their commander in chief is."

In introducing the new language, administration officials had suggested that the change reflected an evolution in the president's thinking. "Then he told us he didn't believe in evolution, so we had to go back to the old term," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

But Officer, It's A "Hard" Water Balloon

Vernon, the local bully when we were growing up, always relied on the kindness of others. "Loan me a quarter," he would say. We knew what "loan" meant so we usually complied never expecting to see the proffered 25 cents again.

One day, after a particularly exhausting baseball practice, we were heading out of the park with our minds firmly set on a sixteen ounce RC Cola and bag of barbecue potato chips when Vernon appeared. "Loan me a quarter."

Perhaps we were tired, or distracted by Barbara Bender who was walking across the street, or as one friend later said, suffering from severe loss of intelligence, but the word "no" escaped our lips before we could stop it.

"No" wasn't a word Vernon heard often so it caught him a little off guard. Recovering himself he reached out to grab us. For some reason that still escapes us we swung our bat (wooden one--old school) and caught him about mid thigh. It wasn't a hard blow, but the message apparently got through to Vernon, and he took us off his donors list. The point of the story is Vernon left us alone and we weren't arrested for a felony like this girl was.

Fresno's mayor and police chief say Maribel Cuevas's case was handled appropriately for brown skinned people, and that assault with a deadly weapon is the proper charge for throwing a 2-pound rock during a water balloon fight. "That's definitely felony weight," Police Chief Jerry Dyer said. "Anything over 12 ounces gets you the big house."

Maribel was arrested for throwing the rock at a boy who had pelted her with a water balloon. The rock gashed the boy's forehead, and the girl spent five days in Fresno's juvenile hall and a month under house arrest after police said she resisted arrest threatened to hold her breath until she passed out.

"This girl is a threat to society," Dyer said. "Well, maybe not so much now because her parents have grounded her, but before, yeah. The whole town was living in fear."

Elijah Vang, the boy who was injured by Maribel acknowledged throwing a water balloon at her. "Who knew girls could throw like that," he said. " After she gets out of prison we're going to ask her to try out for our little league team."

The kid skates.

Lawyers for an 11-year-old girl charged with assault with a deadly weapon for throwing a rock at a boy during a water balloon fight reached a deal Wednesday that allows the child to escape jail time. "She promised to come straight home after school and no TV for a month," said defense attorney Richard Beshwate Jr.

Maribel will not have to plead guilty, but she will have to participate in a mediation program in which she will be required to meet with her young victim but is prohibited from touching him with her girl cooties.

Fresno's mayor and police chief say Maribel's case was handled appropriately, and that assault with a deadly weapon is the proper charge for an act that might have had fatal consequences. "We can't have kids chucking rocks at one another. What's next? Running with scissors?" said Police Chief Dyer.

The victim's family was to testify for the prosecution but was not expected to be hostile to the defense, Beshwate said. The parents declined to press charges. When asked why the police department had arrested the girl when the parents of the victim had not pressed charges, Chief Dyer said it was important to teach children, 'especially brown children' a lesson.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"Intelligent" Design. Like Our Strategy In Iraq

Hmmm...So president C student has waded in to the evolution debate huh? Well, who are we to cast aspirations on Dick Cheney's pool boy. After all, he's not a scientist himself, he has people who take care of those things for him.

Or maybe not.

Well, so what? When has not knowing what he was talking about ever stopped him? In a question-and-answer session, Bush endorsed efforts by Christian conservatives to give intelligent design equal standing with the theory of evolution.

When asked if he was aware that intelligent design actually wasn't a scientific theory, but a reaction to the theory of evolution, Bush said he wasn't sure about all that "egg head stuff," but felt sure if scientists would just "get a life instead of looking at all those test tubes and such" they would come around to his position.

"I saw those guys when I was in college," he said. "Always at the library and doing homework and stuff. I used to wonder what the heck they were doing in college in the first place. Then someone told me they didn't have rich daddys with lots of connections. That's when I started making fun of them."

Bush compared the current debate to earlier disputes over "creationism," a related view that adheres more closely to biblical explanations. As governor of Texas, Bush said students should be exposed to both creationism and evolution. "I don't know why they changed the name," he said. "Intelligent Design has too many cymbals for me."

"I think that the role of education is to expose people to proper schools of thought," Bush said. "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be taught only approved ideas, the answer is yes."

When asked why students couldn't be exposed to scientific thought in science classes and religious thought in literature, sociology or theology classes Bush responded that science was "too important" because "it's all about truth and stuff. Who cares about poetry, or what's that other thing you said, scientology?"

Bush directed further questions to the Discovery Institute, the leading proponent for intelligent design, which has compiled a list of more than 70 biologists, who are skeptical about evolution. When asked if he was aware that there are over 60,000 biologists in the country Bush responded that the numbers didn't really matter, because "that's just more of that science stuff that we're trying to get rid of anyway."

Bush didn't seem eager to talk about the topic. "Laura picks all my books for me," he said. "And she mostly reads them for me too, except I don't have to pay her like I did in college."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hey Kofi. You're Mine, Bi Otch

Ah, Mr. Bolton, or should we say Ambassador Bolton, or should we say Mr. Bolton, our hopelessly emasculated, yet annoyingly loud representative to the U.N.

President Bush sidestepped the Senate and installed embattled nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the UN ending a five-month impasse with rational people who accused Bolton of abusing subordinates, twisting intelligence to fit his conservative ideology, eating puppies raw and secretly liking hockey.

"This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially because someone qualified might come along and mess up our policies," Bush said.

Bolton said he was honored and humbled by the president's end run around Congress. "It will be a distinct privilege to be a bully for America's interests at the U.N. and to do everything I can to screw up the world if they don't agree with mean agree with us. The president and me," he said.

Bush said that Bolton's nomination had been supported by a majority of the Senate but that "because some people actually wanted a diplomat with, like, diplomatic skills, John was unfairly denied the up-or-down vote that he and the voices in his head deserved."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said, "The president did what he usually does by sending Mr. Bolton to the U. N.. He is almost a complete whack job, and will probably get the world to hate us more--if that's possible."

Republican Senator George Voinovich said he was disappointed. "We never did get to see what medications he was on. I think that would have helped us make a decision."