Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Last week we told you what an optimistic bunch the overlords were. Turns out their motto is if it rains on your parade let a smile be your umbrella.

Well, the overlords in Massachusetts must really be smiling this week because of this.

Local backers of a bill that would see slot machines introduced at the state's four racetracks were left reeling Wednesday after House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi predicted the measure is unlikely to win House approval. "My prediction is that once the state outlaws greyhound racing entirely, we won't need to put slots at the tracks," DiMasi said.

DiMasi said slot machines will not provide the economic revenues people think and will come with high social costs. He also said the bill will not save the state's greyhound and thoroughbred racing venues, which he branded a "dying industry."

Gary Temple, general manager at Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park, does not share DiMasi's view. "I disagree with him wholeheartedly," Temple said. "It's not a dying industry when the legislature gives us the subsidies to stay open so we don't have to get real jobs. Oops. Did I say that out loud?"

Umm...Yeah. But it's OK. You're not telling us anything we didn't already know, right Dyna?

Dyna is young and puppy-like. She has a lot of energy. She is well mannered for a young dog. She likes to pick up things with strings, including the camera and other toys. She has very long legs and will slip on the floor like Bambi on ice, but is not afraid of them. She is very affectionate, and she is very friendly with people. She likes to be petted and snuggled. She tends to be vocal for a greyhound, and will bark at neighboring dogs when she is outside. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

All Brown Countries Look Alike To Me

OK, before everyone gets a huffy and finger pointy, let's just remember that president Bush's No Child Left Behind act has caused schools to cut back on actually educating kids so they can be prepared to take standardized tests that determine whether the adults are going to get federal money or not.

That means, among other things, less money for classes like geography. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that when Representative
Howard Kaloogian (R-Mapquest) thought he was in Baghdad, he was actually somewhere in Turkey.

"We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq." Kaloogian said, "Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. Funny thing though, the people didn't seem to understand our Arabic translator."

"Look, Representative Kaloogian is a busy man," explained an aide. "He's constantly monitoring the liberal media to spot attempts to portray Reagan inaccurately, and when he's not doing that he's in Washington helping the Republicans maintain their reputation as the party of fiscal responsibility."

A press release for Kaloogian's office attributed the mistake to "pilot error. It's obvious the pilot turned left at Saudi Arabia rather than right," the release said.

"This happens all the time," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "I can't tell you how many times in the runup to the war we almost invaded Turkey."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

George W. Bush: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Sometimes we peruse old entries in this blog for inspiration. OK, really it's because we don't remember what we've written from day to day and we chalk that up to the Ambien and Stoly cocktails that make up the better part of our lunches.

Anyway, as we were skimming through the last few entries trying to figure out what we might have been thinking that would result in an entry like that, it occurred to us that the last few entries, save Friday Hound Blogging, have been about the man who likes to call himself CEO of America. We'll let you apply your own verbiage to that acronym, our point is we seem to be stuck on the guy.

Not wishing to bore our readers (both of them) by becoming ensnared in a rut (something that happens far too frequently after lunch--but that's another story) we resolve to cast our gaze to the wide horizon and bring forth an entry that will be both dazzling in its wit and composure as well as felicitous and contemporaneous in its expression.

Then we run across this. Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in.

President George W. Bush expressed support on Monday for U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, who is under pressure over his links with Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist at the heart of an influence-peddling scandal. "He's not the biggest crook in Washington," Bush told an enthusiastic crowd of people who didn't speak English. "At least that's what Dick tells me. And he should know."

"He's the kind of person I need here. Somebody who's clueless when it comes to defending the country, and who's more than willing to spend your money," Bush said.

"I'm proud to stand by this man," the president said. "He's someone whose poll numbers are actually lower than mine. You're doing a great job Connie."

Burns said he would return $150,000 he had received from Abramoff-related sources over the past several years. Insisting they were "legal and fully disclosed," he said they had undermined public confidence in the government. Then his head exploded.

Later, a staffer explained that the Senator wasn't really concerned with public confidence, but knew that Abramoff had reserved the skybox for the baseball season and "he was just trying to hold off the indictment until the playoffs are over."

In Vanity Fair magazine's April edition, Abramoff said he worked closely with many top Republicans, despite their claims to the contrary. According to the article, Abramoff said Burns was especially cooperative. "Around the office we called him Easy B," Abramoff said. "He was even cheaper than DeLay."

Jason Klindt, a spokesman for Burns' campaign, said it had asked the Justice Department to review documents in the matter. "He (Burns) has done nothing wrong and the sooner it's reviewed the sooner his name will be cleared," Klindt said.

Later Klindt was found wandering in a local park trying to hand out campaign literature to squirrels. Representatives of the Burns campaign said he had been under a lot of stress lately.

Monday, March 27, 2006

How President Bush Saved Monday From The Mundane

OK this is getting spooky. Last week we showed up in our usual state of disrepair wondering how we were going to maintain the scintillating social comment and ignescent prose style that has become a hallmark of this blog, and what should we find on our doorstep, but a huge box of ironicus neatly wrapped and clearly printed in big block letters on the side: "Try to read this without your head exploding," Signed the Goof in Chief, George W. Bush, or as his friends call him, Curly. Not being one to look a horse's's horse in the we took the proffered benefaction and, as they say in sports, ran with it.

Now, today we show up in not much better shape and what to our wondering eyes should appear but this:
"No one should play on people's fears or try to pit neighbors against each other," the president said, referring to debate over immigration reform.

You don't really need us to finish this do you? Didn't think so.

However, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that Bush entreating us not to play on fear to advance a political issue is a little like Atilla the Hun asking us to obey all laws and customs when visiting a foreign land; a little like David Duke asking us to treat our fellow man with respect and dignity; a little like James Dobson enjoining us to be tolerant of other religions and lifestyles; a little like Tom DeLay asking us to be honest and forthright in our business dealings.

Well, you get the point.

"Completing a comprehensive bill is not going to be easy," Bush said. "It will require all of us in Washington to make tough choices and make compromises. Neither of which I know how to do, so you know all that stuff I've done to you to get elected and stay in power the last six years? Don't do it to me."

We're beginning to think there might be a God, after all.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Oh, those wacky overlords, they're an optimistic bunch. Track closed down because two employees were indicted on illegal gambling and money-laundering charges? No problem. Greyhound tracks closing all around the country? So what? All that's needed is someone with more money than brains. Someone with shall we say...mental and fiscal acumen than the overlords. Impossible you say? No one can be that dumb? Ha. Just watch:

Mississippi gambling mogul Marlin Torguson bought the track for $4.1 million.

Yes that's right. He's from Mississippi (motto: Mississippi, most people who live here can't spell it). Any questions?

The track plans 100 days of live greyhound racing; simulcasts from greyhound, thoroughbred and harness tracks around the country; and other changes the owners hope will make it a year-round attraction. The changes include a blues club and a steakhouse. "We're trying to have as many distractions from greyhound racing as we can," said spokesman Rick Newman. "We figure it's the only way to get people to come here."

“If you were to look at the track today and then look at it in a few months, it's going to be night and day. I've seen the plans and they're very exciting. The renovations are being done with style and being done very professionally,” he said. "Of course the employees will still be the same under paid unskilled misfits we had before, but hopefully no one will get arrested this time."

Well, we told you they are an optimistic bunch. So what comes first Casey, police raid or Torguson goes broke?

Casey is quiet and mellow. He is a little playful with toys. He is very affectionate, but a little shy. He does not actively seek out affection, but loves it when he gets it. He gives a Stevie Wonder impression when his foster mom scratches under his chin. He follows his foster mom around the house and will poke her in the bum with his nose if he wants something. He will also grab her things to get her attention. He is sweet, loving, and gentle. He is also a collector and likes to take his foster mom’s things to his bed. 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, March 23, 2006

Better The Idiot You Know Than The Idiot You Don't Know

This is a strange thing. Almost everyone in the country with an education beyond the third grade is coming to the conclusion that the Bush team to say this politely...Bush league. So naturally the question arises as to if the president plans to bring on some people that are...what's the phrase...minimally competent. Not a big surprise considering this administration is 0 for everything. Even the president, from deep within his bubble seems to get it. "Well, I'm not going to announce it right now," he said, probably because there was static on his com line to Cheney's office.

But here's the strange part. Karl Rove told associates he was confident he could resist calls to bring in new advisers. "We've got a perfect record going here now," Rove said. "I'm not going to bring someone on board now who might screw that up."

Very strange. There seems to be some sort of disconnect between the president and his staff over this. Let's ask two experienced and talented reporters for the New York Times to put it into perspective for us:

It is not clear what role a new appointee would take on, or whether Mr. Bush, known for his loyalty, would be able to make a change without diminishing the standing of Mr. Card and Mr. Rove. Nor is it certain that Mr. Bush will even make a change.

Ah. So, something could happen, or maybe nothing will happen. Ok, let us ask you this: Did federal financial aid finance any of journalism training? If so we'd like our money back.

One Republican said Mr. Bush should view it as replacing a top-notch pitcher struggling in the later innings of a baseball game, rather than as a vote of no-confidence in a friend.

Now, we certainly don't want to imply that we are experts on the game of baseball, or anything like that, but we're pretty sure that when one pitcher comes in, the other must go out, and the reason the pitcher goes out is because he's thrown too many long balls and not enough strikes.

To their credit though, the two staff members most often singled out (subtle baseball metaphor) are Andrew Card and Karl Rove. "I take responsibility for everything that has not happened well," Mr. Card said. "Each night when I go home I'm go out into my backyard, take the top off my garbage can, a metal garbage can mind you, and bash it into my forehead 20 times."

"We're all paid every two weeks," Mr. Rove said. "Whether we're on our game or not — I'm an idiot one day and a genius the next — that's the way it is." OK. When you get to the genius part Mr. Rove, would you give us a call? We're in the book.

Mr. Rove said he attributed Mr. Bush's problems more to external events, in particular Hurricane Katrina and Iraq, than to anything the White House did wrong. "Look, we came here to improve our corporate friends' bottom lines, our rich friends' portfolios and our oil buddies' supply lines," Mr. Rove told colleagues. "Unless you can show me a way they can make money off hurricanes, I don't see your point."

Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota said, "When you've had horses there that you've been riding for a long time, you kind of need to change them once in a while." Oh yeah. This is way better than the baseball metaphor, but would you like to get a little more specific Senator Thune? Would you like to describe the specific part of the horse's anatomy that you had in mind?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

This Public Service Brought To You by Ironicus Maximus

OK, we've figured out the president's problem. He jokes around at a press conference when someone asks him about why he started a war that has taken over 2300 American and who knows how many Iraqi lives and he blows it. He puts Dum Rumsfailed in charge of the war and they blow it together. A hurricane destroys New Orleans, he thinks Brownie is doing a good job, but he's blowing it.

Whatever he tries to do it turns out the opposite. The man needs the Costanza maneuver.

Think about it. His name is George, right? He's failed at everything he's ever tired, right? All of his friends are as dysfunctional as he is, right. Face it folks, our president is George Costanza.

But it doesn't have to be bad. With the Costanza maneuver we can put this country back on track, win the war in Iraq and bring the soldiers home.

And here's the beauty part: The president doesn't have to do anything at all. He can keep doing every thing he has been doing, we just have to remember that whatever he says, we do the opposite.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Well, fresh off the catastrophic success of his speaking tour, today the president launches himself directly on the press with his second press conference of the year...and it's only almost April. Now, before you second guessers and nay sayers jump into the discussion, we feel obligated to tell you that being president is hard work. So stick that in your unarmored Humvee and drive it up the Baghdad highway.

Anyway, taking a page from some of the blogs written by people who are actually sober this time of day, we decided to tune in on the president's press conference and try our hand at this "live blogging" thingy. Thinking on our feet, snappy comebacks, hilarious rejoinders, the whole basket of fish. What could go wrong? Let's roll:

10:05: The president says reigning in federal spending is a priority. Great. He's going to lock himself in a closet until 2009. Ah, no, it's all Congress' fault. He does know about vetoes, doesn't he?

10:09: Did he just say the insurgents use violence to spread violence? They stole that strategy from us didn't they?

10:12: Wait. Baghdad isn't the capital of Iran. Well, not yet anyway. Aha! Another piece of our strategy is unveiled.

10:14: Uh oh. Bush calls on Helen Thomas. So, the rumors that the president comes to these things high is true. Helen warns him the question is going to be a doozy. He doesn't seem to care. Man is he wasted. What's the real reason he went into Iraq?

Uh oh. Now they're having words. Looks like the president is getting ready to take off his belt. "No president wants war." Yeah, but she's not talking your war in Afghanistan she's talking about Iraq.
Oh Snap! Where are the guys pretending to be secret service? Oh. Wait a minute. Jokes about Helen's performance at the Gridiron. Whew! Another potential conflict disarmed with humor. Too bad we couldn't use that strategy today in Iraq.

10:22: Ok, Rumsfeld is up. Should he go or stay? We know it's Rumsfeld because the reporter used the term "Tone Deaf"
which is Rumsfeld's secret service designation. Bush says he's satisfied with the people he's got around him which makes sense we suppose, in a birds of a feather kind of way.

Who's the "gray beard" they're talking about? Did a reporter just ask if Gandalf was going to join the administration?

10:30: Uh oh. The polls. This is going to be painful. Or maybe not. The president's job is to go out and "tell people what's on my mind." So. That's why he takes so many vacations. Nothing left to say.

10:33: Oops. Not done with Rumsfeld. Bush doesn't believe he should resign because he conducted "two battles" in Afghanistan and Iraq. We get that. The two battles went well. The rest of the wars are in the crapper, but those two battles? First rate stuff there.

10: 39: On to the warrantless spying program. The president believes there should be "
an honest and open debate without needless partisanship." Then he goes on to paint the Democrats as the party against keeping tabs on terrorists. Our ironicus has just passed its maximus.

And that's our cue to switch over to The Price Is Right.

Monday, March 20, 2006

President Bush Saves The Day

It will probably come as no surprise to you that Monday isn't the favorite day of the week in the venerable halls of IM Central. Usually we struggle blearily out of the sack, check to see that we didn't do any lasting damage to ourselves in the previous 48 hours (some of which we may even recall) and get on about the business of brightening your day with razor wit and off beat takes on the events of the day.

This becomes a particular challenge on the first day of the work week. Not because we have to, like, work or anything, but because our normally finely honed ear for the absurd statement and our sharp eye for the cockamamie behavior seem lost in the fetid, brooding swamp that makes up our Monday mental landscape.

Occasionally though, the gods of sophomoronic humor leave a steaming pile of opportunity on our doorstep. Today is one of those days. As we stumbled to the table with our bowl of sodden rice krispies sloshing milk all over the dogs who, having lived through previous Mondays, know the potential for food on the floor is quite high, what should greet our rheumy vision but the following headline:

"Bush Says He's Encouraged by Progress in Iraq ."

We could probably stop right here, call it a day and return to the land of Nod comfortable in the knowledge that we have, once again, succeeded in pointing out, in our own inimitable fashion, why we should all move to Belize. But we won't because, to paraphrase the poet, one never knows how much is enough until one knows how much is too much. Words we live by.

"I encourage the Iraqi leaders to continue to work hard to get to meetings without being shot," Bush said from the South Lawn of the White House after returning from yet another vacation. "I'm encouraged by the progress. Why, just the other day we went over an hour without a car bomb killing somebody."

Bush said he spoke by phone earlier in the day with the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, and had received a positive report. "Sure, it was just about the weather over there," Bush said. "But you have to start someplace."

Bush noted thousands of Americans volunteered to serve in the military, especially after the attacks of September 11, 2001, even though they would be placed in harm's way. "It's unfortunate that they wised up as soon as they did though, because now they're un-volunteering in droves."

"We are clueless as to a strategy that will lead to victory in Iraq. Sure it took three years to just figure out we even needed one, but trust us just a little longer. OK, a lot longer." Bush said.

Administration officials marked the anniversary by arguing that, despite the deaths of more than 2,300 U.S. troops and unchecked violence that has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis, progress continues toward wrecking the whole region. "Look, Iraq is going to be a model for the rest of the mideast if there are any people left when we get done," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

Vice President Dick Cheney said Iraq is not in the midst of a civil war, despite what former Prime minister Iyad Allawi said. "What does he know?" Cheney told reporters. "Just because he lives there doesn't make him an expert. I get reports." When pressed by reporters about how he could know more about conditions in Iraq than someone who lived there, Cheney canceled the news conference and invited reporters to go hunting with him.

The vice president said he did not think loony statements that he has made about the war have contributed to Americans' skepticism. For instance, he predicted that invading U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators and then said 10 months ago that the insurgency is in its last throes, even though violence still rages. Cheney said the hopelessly out of touch statements "were basically the result of changes in his medication that didn't quite work out."

He said most Americans have a negative perception of Iraq because they keep seeing daily violence in the news instead of the progress being made toward democracy. "As soon as it's safe enough to go out in the streets without an armored vehicle, we'll be showing the American people all the street signs we've replaced," Cheney told reporters. "At least what's left after the insurgents get done blowing them up. Again."

General George W. Casey, the top commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said that U.S. troops likely will remain there for the next few years though the numbers will be scaled back as Iraqi forces gain strength. Then he burst out laughing. "I'm sorry," he said. "I've been saying that for three years now and it just gets funnier and funnier each time I say it. Iraqis gaining strength. What a hoot."

Casey said he did not think at the time the war began that the insurgency in Iraq would have been as robust as it has been. "We invade the country, blow up the infrastructure, wipe out any semblance of government, torture and kill civilians, three years later haven't even got the electricity back on in Baghdad, and the Iraqis are ticked off at us. Who would have thought?"

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Another week another Owie for the overlords. The state of New Hampshire is about to quit giving subsidies to the racing industry. Why would the glamorous and exciting world of unit racing need to be propped up by subsidies from the state that's supposed to be raking in the tax revenues from all those two dollar bets you ask? Two words. Old People.

See, greyhound is a pari-mutuel type of gambling. That means that all the' bets go into a big pot from which the winner, the track and the state take their cuts. But if there aren't enough bets to make it worthwhile, the state sweetens the pot so the saps will keep spending.

The problem here is that the saps are dying off, and in spite of the fact that some would argue American schools are failing, the younger generation is too smart to give overlords money for work done by dogs.

After a while even people with the mental acumen of politicians can see that sending money to greyhound tracks so the overlords can finance their trailer payments while the schools and roads slowly crumble down around the voters is not what you would call a win win situation. Apparently that's what's happened in New Hampshire.

Hmmm...Common sense coming out of a legislative body. What will they think of next, huh Summer?

Summer is very easygoing, well mannered, sweet and loving. She is a Velcro dog; she likes to be with her foster family all the time. She will nuzzle for attention. She is also a couch potato and would love to sleep in the foster family’s bed if they would allow it. She is very light on her feet and sometimes approaches without a sound. She plays with toys and will pick them up by the corner of the toy and will carry them around. She especially loves squeaky toys. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dispatches From The Global War On Consonants

OK. Yeah. Now this is what we're talking about. We've been listening to the president's speeches on victory in Iraq and we're fired up! It's time to quit fooling around and win this thing. Let's get together people. Let's put these petty squabbles behind us and get out there and support the troops and plant the flower of democracy in the middle east. Our president put it best when he said:

Iran may pose the greatest challenge to the United States and diplomacy to thwart the Islamic nation's nuclear program must prevail to avoid confrontation.

Right on! Let's roll! Wait a minute...Iran?

In a 49-page national security report, the president reaffirmed the strike-first, or pre-emptive policy he first outlined in 2002. "Dick says it's working so well for us in Iraq that I wanted the Iranians to realize they could be next," the Bush said.

The White House released the National Security Strategy report in conjunction with a speech that Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, is delivering at the U.S. Institute of Peace. "That's right, the U.S. Institute of Peace," said White House press secretary Scott McClellan. "To quote my favorite blog, 'the ironicus can't get any more maximus.'"

"If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self-delusion, we do not rule out the use of bluster before attacks occur," Bush told reporters. When asked where the forces for another invasion would come from, the president said he had discovered a "cheat code" that would allow him to fully power up the military "with just a few key strokes. We tested it out on SOCOM 3 and totally kicked Iran's butt."

In the report, Bush reproaches Russia and China and calls Syria a tyranny that harbors terrorists and sponsors terrorist activity. "I always knew there would be a World War III," he said. "Though I just recently realized that I'm the one who's supposed to start it."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

All Dogs Go To Heaven. But Jews? Not So Much

Full disclosure: We attended a Catholic high school run by the Christian Brothers (yes, those Christian Brothers). Explains a lot, doesn't it? Anyway, the point is we're well informed when it comes to who can and can't get into heaven, having spent many an afternoon in Sister Victorine's class praying for the pagan babies instead of practicing our Latin. (Sona si Latine loqueris)

More full disclosure (perhaps too much): It was Sister Victorine who noted in class one day that we were left handed. No doubt filledl with the Holy Ghost, she took it upon herself to explain to the class that Beelzebub himself was a southpaw. Instantly our motivations and behaviors were laid crystal clear before our classmates and from that moment on only the bad girls would agree to dates. Shortly after that we came to understand the phrase "unintended consequences." Thanks Sis.

That being said we feel qualified to speak to the latest dictum from that spurting font of Biblical effluvia, Jerry Falwell, or as his friends call him, The Right Reverend Bozo, who penned the following:

"Reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without donating to my ministry. This is categorically untrue. Only people on my donor's list can go to heaven." (Job 11:12)

"I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and dearly love the Jewish people and believe them to be the chosen people of God. That said, I just can't see how God would let them into heaven when my organization has much better television ratings." (Job 8:13)

"In this age of political correctness and diversity, the traditional evangelical belief that salvation is available only through helping me elect right wing whackos is often portrayed as closed minded and bigoted. This is not true. I'm close minded and bigoted because I'm a white man. A rich white man." (Matt. 23:23)

"I have been on record all 54 years of my ministry as being opposed to jews in heaven, or blacks or women for that matter. OK, women maybe, but not the uppity ones." (Matt. 7:5)

"I want to reaffirm that I am a Zionist in terms of Israel's entitlement to its homeland. I continue to pray daily for a crack at the tourist trade. But I still wouldn't want my daughter to go out with one." (Proverbs, 11:19)

"I simply cannot alter my deeply-held belief in the exclusivity of salvation for me and those who are like me for the sake of political or theological expediency. I mean, what kind of God would God be if he didn't care who got into heaven? Do you really think there are ghettos in heaven?" (Matt. 22:18)

Right. And for those of you keeping score at home, Mark 10:25.

Monday, March 13, 2006

And If Everybody Jumped Off A Bridge, Would You Do That Too?

When we were little Ironici, like many children, we often emulated the behaviors of adults around us. This usually involved harmless acts of imitation like wearing the old man's shoes, or his hat, or drinking his whiskey.

OK that one taught us an important lesson about the relationship between body mass and alcohol intake.

Anyway, most of these episodes would result in happy clucking from the gathered adults and repetitions of the phrase "Monkey See Monkey Do." Which brings us to today's report from the the administration of president Bush (known to his friends as
Captain: )

The arrest on theft charges of Claude Allen, a former top Bush adviser and previously the most senior African American on the White House staff, was an apparent attempt to show solidarity with the Republican party and president Bush in particular.

"Look, everyone else is in trouble with the law," Allen told reporters outside of the police station. "I felt it was my duty as a good Republican to do something illegal."

Police said Allen had swindled department stores out of more than $5,000 in refunds. "Yeah, it's no Halliburton, and I'm not up there with Abramoff, but I did the best I could," Allen said.

"Well, that explains all those times we caught him going through the clothes donation bin," said the Reverend Joshua Harris, pastor at the Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, where Allen and his family are members.

Through his lawyer, Allen denied the charges, saying that there was a mix-up concerning his credit card. "The mix up was I used my own credit card instead of someone else's."

Bush said on Saturday that he was saddened by the charges against Allen. He said the information in those charges was different from the account that Allen had given to the White House staff. "He told us he was sure he could get away with it," the president said.

A longtime conservative, Allen started his career working for Jesse Helms, the former Republican senator from North Carolina. "That should have been a clue," said White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. "But how many times does a token walk through your door and say 'I'm clueless, but I want to work for the Republican party'? We couldn't pass it up."

A former deputy secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services, Allen was nominated in 2003 to a federal appeals court seat, but Senate Democrats blocked him. "Did you see that guy's rap sheet?" said Senator Patrick Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "It was longer than some of the people who would have come before him."

He was appointed the president's top domestic policy adviser last year at the start of Bush's second term. In February, Allen resigned abruptly, citing a desire to spend more time looking for a good lawyer.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

It probably will come as little surprise to you that the overlords don't make the best business decisions. A third grade education will do that for you. Even if you stayed in the third grade until you were eighteen.

Of course it is possible that the overlords in Colorado couldn't find anyone to read the paper to them that day, so they failed to see what was going on in Wisconsin, still you would think at least a rumor would be floating around that maybe things are so great in the dynamic and exciting world of unit racing.

Pueblo Greyhound Park soon will get a new logo and marketing strategy following gambling giant BLB Inc.'s buyout of the track and five others in the state, BLB spokesman Sean Beirne said. "Even though live greyhound racing went belly up here years ago, we're hoping we can still draw the suckers with big screen TV's that show porn in between the races."

Elsewhere in the news...

Geneva Lakes Greyhound Track & Simulcast Center is in the process of being sold, general manager Milt Roth said Thursday. "We tried showing porn in between the races, but it just caused anignas and we were worried about getting sued.

Roth declined to name the buyer, saying the buyer has not determined what it will do with the track. "The buyer is exploring different possible uses for the facility," he said. "One possibility is a parking lot. There's plenty of flat space out there where the track used to be." When asked what people would park for, Roth responded that the buyer was "still working on that. Maybe if we made it free parking?"

But back to the geniuses in Colorado...

BLB is continuing to assess all of its Colorado properties but the company has already begun some upgrades at a number of the tracks, Beirne said. Southern Coloradans will soon will see stronger marketing efforts at the Pueblo park, he said. "We're thinking about offering free parking. There's plenty of room out where the track used to be."

BLB hired GA Wright, a Denver marketing firm, to develop a new logo and new marketing strategy that soon will be put into place at the Pueblo track, Beirne said. "We're thinking about a dollar sign with wings flying off into the distance."

Yeah, that sounds about right. What do you think Seth?

Kevin AKA Seth is very quiet and mellow. He chooses to spend a lot of time in his open crate. Enjoys affection, although he does not actively seek it out often. He will rest his head in your lap while you pet him. He appears to have been given furniture privileges in his prior foster home, and wants to sneak onto the bed at night. His foster home is working on this. He likes to play with toys especially the squeaky toys. He quickly removes the squeaker. 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.

PS: Our blog buddy James over at CM pointed us to a couple of cool dog sites. Check out Doug's great offer here, and then visit the Carnival of the Dogs (and some other critters as well).

Inspired by James' example, we sobered up long enough to read the Blogger instruction manual and added the links permanantly over on the right under the spiffy title Animal Farm. We also added a couple of our favorites that will take you to more information about the needle noses.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This Is Kentucky. We Don't Put Up With No Monkey Business Mister

Ernie Fletcher is the governor of Kentucky (motto: We ain't no apes). We tell you that so if you ever bump into him you'll know not to say "pardon me" because he will.

Bada boom bam. Thanks, we're here all week.

What we really want to share with you is Governor Fletcher's response to a Kentucky Academy of Science press release that said Intelligent Design shouldn't be taught as science in schools.

We know what you're thinking. After Dover that's a no brainer. Well, speaking of no brains, check out the Governor's response.

My educational background provided me with thorough understanding of science and the theory of evolution. Our nation, however, was founded on self-evident truths.

If you can figure out why those two sentences are connected, please try contact us before your head explodes.

From my perspective, it is not a matter of faith, or religion, or theory. It is similar to basic self-evident objective truths that are the basis of knowledge. For example, 2 + 2 = 4. It disappoints and astounds me that the so-called intellectual elite are so concerned about accepting self-evident truths that nearly 90% of the population understands.

So, only 90% of the people in Kentucky know 2+2=4. The rest, apparently, went into politics.

To deny this understanding of our nation's beginning, and prevent it from being taught to American students, is to undermine the foundation of our nation.

Umm...Governor? The topic is evolution. We're pretty sure America didn't start out as a one celled organism.

Since 1970, state law specifically allows public schools to teach “creationism” in conjunction with the theory of evolution.

Yes, ah...Mr. Fletcher? Sir? Edwards v. Aguillard? Supreme Court? Law of the land? Any of this sounding familiar? Nod if you can hear us.

Although you my (sic) question the intelligence of raising this issue, the computer, which is state-of the-art, and less sophisticated in function than this writer, was built by an intelligent designer.

All right, so he has a Mac. Big deal.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Laws Are For Little People. I'm Tom DeLay Bee Otch

OK, what is it you have to do in this country not to get reelected? Tom DeLay held off three challengers to keep the Republican nomination to the U.S. House. According to final but unofficial returns, DeLay scored 20,558 votes, or 62 percent. Sixty Two percent. That means six out of every ten people who voted, bought into DeLay's campaign slogan, "Vote for me. It may be your last chance."

In the Ironicus can't get much more Maximus department, the Congressman, who spent election day in Washington at a lobbyist fundraiser. He plans to return to the district this weekend and personally thank those who voted for him by spitting in their faces. "That ought to get us a couple of extra points in the election this fall," an aide said.

Plans also include having Delay go on local television and beat a puppy to death with a hammer. "We figure that will really run with the younger voter," said a spokesperson for Delay's campaign.

DeLay held on to his ballot position by avoiding public discussions of his considerable political problems — a felony money-laundering indictment, close ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the loss of his leadership position. "Most of the people who vote for Tom can neither read nor write," said political scientist Cal Jillson of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "At one rally he told them that 'indictment' meant he was getting an award for 100% attendance."

"Democrat attacks and the politics of personal destruction were heavily used by my opponents in this Republican primary, and they were rejected just like they will be in November," DeLay said in a statement. "Oh, and by the way, I'd appreciate if you'd quit calling my office with your petty concerns. You're tying up the lines and my staff can't contact donors."

DeLay was indicted last year and is awaiting trial on charges that he illegally funneled corporate donations to GOP candidates for the Texas House in 2002. "You think I'm going to jail?" DeLay asked reporters. "I'm Tom DeLay Bee otch!"

DeLay also has come under scrutiny over his ties to Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to fraud in January and is cooperating in an investigation of influence-peddling on Capitol Hill. "Abramoff is small time," DeLay said. "I don't need him to commit fraud. The fraud I commit before breakfast makes his fraud look like it was done by girl scouts."

Nick Lampson, who will be DeLay's Democratic opponent in the November general election, told supporters that he was a man with "thick skin and hard hands" ready to take on DeLay. "Tom DeLay gets headlines for all the wrong reasons," he said. "Well, I'm looking forward to that headline on November 8th — No Further DeLay."

"What a loon," said a DeLay spokesperson. Wait until he sees the bounce we get when Tom robs a bank."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

That Torture You Think Is Torture Really Isn't Torture. Except The Part That Is

See, what people have to realize is that when the government says something, well, that's what it is. That would sure save Attorney General Alberto (The Mexican Glow Stick) Gonzales a lot of time running around telling people we don't torture those people we are torturing. OK. We're not torturing them. The people we've hired are torturing them. Ain't globalization great?

Gonzales, speaking at the International Institute for Eye Gouging, denied such charges but acknowledged that rational people might interpret the term "torture" in ways "that reflect an ongoing connection with reality. Sleep deprivation, mock executions, waterboarding, the Bent Up, electrodes, dogs, most people think that's torture," Gonzales said. "That just shows you how uniformed most people outside of the Administration are. We have our own definition, and that's the intentional infliction of stuff we wouldn't do unless we thought we could get away with it."

Asked for an example of torture under the Administration definition Gonzales referred the reporters to Vice President Gores' speech on Martin Luther King Day. "Wasn't that just like finger nails on a blackboard?" he said. "Not that that would be torture either."

"The United States has always been and remains a great defender of Republican rights and the rule of law which, as our forefathrs wrote it, states might makes right," Gonzales said. "And if you cross us, then your scrawny behind is in for some serious realignment. "

On the subject of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, Gonzales said detainees were treated properly and afforded legal protections. Then his head exploded. Again.

An aide to Gonzales, who took over the briefing defended their treatment and said the United States had to use all available tools to fight terror, reiterating administration claims the detainees at Guantanamo were "highly dangerous people."

The prison, which opened in January 2002, now holds about 490 men suspected of being brown and from a foreign country. Though many inmates have spent several years at the camp, only 10 have been charged and await trial.

Asked why, if they were so dangerous, none had been tried, or sentenced on any charge the aide replied that as the detainees were so dangerous, "we're afraid to get them out of their cells." Asked if he was referring to people like Ali Abdul Motalib Hassan al-Tayeea the aide explained that "people needing work" was an excuse often heard as a reason to join anti-American groups. "Who are they trying to kid," the aide said." They're all rolling in that oil money over there. Our oil money."

Later, a patched together Gonzales said the United States was continually reassessing the need for the camp to remain open and could consider closing it if circumstances changed. Asked what those circumstances might be Gonzales replied "if donkeys fly."

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's Not That We Have Anything Against Your Heathen False God

Today we are reporting from the My God's Bigger Than Your God office here at IM Central. A resolution stating that “voluntary prayer in public schools, religious displays on public property, and the recognition of a Christian God are not a coalition of church and state” has made it through the committee process and is scheduled for a floor vote in Missouri.

"This shouldn't be construed as discriminatory towards those who worship the wrong gods," said sponsor David Sater (R- Inquisition). "That's right," echoed co-sponsor Barney Joe Fisher (R- Litmus Test). "We aren't going after you because you're a heathen or anything."

The resolution “is just a political statement about Christianity, and why it's the only true American religion,” said Representative John P. Burnett (R- Zealot).

The resolution states that:

“Whereas, our forefathers of this great nation of the United States recognized a Christian God (Well, except the ones who didn't) and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation (Well, except for the principles that came form English philosophers)

“Whereas, as elected officials we should protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs while showing disdain for those who object (Until we're able to lock them up)

“Now, therefore, be it resolved…that we stand with the small minded and intolerant, that voluntary prayer to our god (not yours, ours) in public schools and religious displays on public property as long as said displays are Christian are not a coalition of church and state, but rather the justified recognition of the fact that rich white guys are in charge and the rest of you can eat dirt and die.”

Religious leaders blasted the proposed Missouri House resolution that supports prayer in schools and recognizes a "Christian God," saying legislators are pushing Christianity as a state religion. "What's your point?" said Representative Sater.

Some lawmakers blamed the backlash on a misunderstanding of the purpose of such resolutions. "All we're trying to do is make sure everyone knows who's boss, and that boss is Jesus Christ," said Representative Burnett. "It's a free country. If you don't like it move."

The proposed resolution states that... As elected officials we should protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs while showing respect for those who object."

When asked why the majority needed protection and not the minority, Representative Sater responded that several of his constituents had felt uneasy walking through airports and being approached by Hare Krishnas. "Who do they think they are, Seventh Day Adventists or something? We had to take action."

The Reverend Mark Friz, senior pastor at St. Paul's Evangelical Church in St. Louis, said he was "100 percent behind this resolution. I'd like to see a two dollar per month non-conforming fee charged to every heathen," He said. "It would be a great way to raise money for home school programs because the public schools are godless sewers of vice and depravity. But that's just me."

House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden (R-Speaks in Tongues) said that just because a resolution is filed, it doesn't necessarily represent the views of the entire Legislature. While the resolution on religion has cleared the House Rules Committee, there's no guarantee it will go further, he said. "Sometimes we do stuff like this just because we can."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Well, hello there Mr. Carney. We haven't heard from you in a while. How's that whole bean thing working out? Not so good? Sorry to hear it. So what's up this week?

Raynham Taunton Greyhound Track owner George Carney asked the Supreme Judicial Court to throw out a proposed ballot question that would ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts. "83,431 signatures were gathered by the coalition of animal rights groups supporting the question. Only 65,825 signatures were required to move the question forward," Carney said. "Now you want to let people vote just because of that? What kind of a democracy do we have here? Who's listening to the voice of the people?"

"Instead of presenting this statute in a straightforward way, they list the racing ban after several non-controversial topics," Carney's attorney, Joel Kozol. "Things like protecting police dogs and making dog fighting a more serious crime. Who cares about stuff like that?"

"What do dog fighting and mistreating police dogs have to do with greyhound racing?" Carney asked. "Well, OK, I'll give you dog fighting. That's exploitation sort of like what we do, but greyhounds are very well treated while they're racing. It's only after that they're killed."

"This is a desperate attempt by a wealthy dog track owner to deprive Massachusetts voters from taking a look at his industry," said Christine Dorchak, chairman of the Committee to Protect Dogs.

"Darn straight," said Carney. "I mean, I'm only concerned about the economy. Where are people going to go to get low wage no benefits work if we end greyhound racing?

Interesting question, huh Candy? What's that you say? Walmart?

Kiowa La-D-La, aka.Candy is young, happy, and puppy-like. She is energetic and playful and enjoys playing with her toys. She is very lovable and will rest her head on your chest for attention. She likes to play and will lie on her back with a toy in her mouth. She also smiles at people when she is happy to see them. She is very interested in the TV when she hears another dog bark. 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, March 02, 2006

Don't Think Of Them As Charter Schools, Think Of Them As Snakeoil Salesmen Retirement Communities

We generally don't pay too much attention to the pundit class, other than occasionally wondering how they can say some of the things they say without their heads exploding, but we recently ran across this column by John Stossel, and having watched as much as we could of his recent spit flecked rant about schools we thought we'd give it a perusal and see if his new medication had been effective.

Apparently not, for the mustache writes:

Bureaucrats like to say, you will go to this school, because we said so, and you will be taught according to this program, because we said so and we know best. Those of us with confidence in markets think you could do better deciding for yourself.

Yep. No one is in a better position to decide for him or herself where to go to school than a kindergartner, unless its a kindergartner's parents who work full time, try to have some home life and look forward to driving all over the country checking out schools all of which, because of the "free market" spend most of their budget on advertising that promises to make every child a genius. It's 25 degrees and snow here now John. We'd like ot go to school in San Diego. Can you arrange that for us?

Educational experts, freed from the massive regulations that snarl the public schools, can come up with new and better ideas for teaching.

Umm...except there is no regulation that prevents educational experts from coming up with new and better ways of teaching. In fact, most teachers will tell you that they are bombarded with so many new and different ways of teaching they often can't keep them straight and hence the phrase "pedagogy du jour."

No one individual can begin to imagine what competition would create.

Well, you may have a point there Johnny boy. Just look what competition did for the airline (can you say bankrupt) industry, and the energy (can you say Enron) industry. Oh, and let's not forget what Bechtel did for competition when they privatized the water supply in
Cochabamba, Bolivia. All those peasants competing for a drink of water, now there's some free market sumpin sumpin all up in your grill Mr. Third World dirt farmer. Deal with it! Who's got your charter now Jose?

Would you keep going back to a restaurant that served you a bad meal? Or a barber that gave you a bad haircut? Competition makes everything better.

Ah...John? Educating human beings to take their places as functioning members of a democratic society is a tad bit more complicated than making a ham sandwich or getting the balance right on your mustache trim. Just saying.

So many students want to get into charter schools many have to hold lotteries.

Well, it is a gamble, we'll give you that. The kids could end up here, or here, or here, or here, or here or here, or the biggest losing ticket of all, here.

In 2001, Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby found that Milwaukee's private school vouchers made the nearby public schools change. Competition worked — for human beings, and for public education.

Erm...would that be this Caroline Hoxby?

Well, let's leave Mr. Stossel to converse with the voices in his head and go ask an actual educator what his views are on the subject. Dr. Bracey, what do you have to say about Mr. Stossel's argument?

In retrospect, this was a hopelessly naïve and simplistic notion of the way schools operate, but it caught many people's fancy. It has proved to be the latest in the apparently never-ending fusillade of magic bullets targeted at the schools.

Heh. Indeedy.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Freedom's On The March, But She Better Keep Her Head Down

Oh yeah! In your face Osama! Our president right there in your old country. What do you think of us now mountain boy?

president Bush, on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan
vowed to stand by this emerging democracy and "not cut and run" in the face of failure. He also predicted Osama bin Laden would be captured despite a futile five-year hunt. "We're gonna git that feller I never think about," the president proclaimed. "It's job one. Right after democracy in the middle east. And peace for Israel. Oh, and the port deal. That's important too."

When asked why the visit had been unannounced, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who declined to accompany the president on the trip, said, "Are you kidding? That place is a death trap. I mean, we're winning."

Bush's entourage flew into the city from Bagram in a flock of heavily armed helicopters. Two door gunners on a press helicopter fired off a short burst of machine gun fire at unknown targets as the aircraft flew low and fast over barren, rugged countryside. "We don't come off base too much," one gunner said. "Too dangerous."

Bush expressed solidarity with Karzai's U.S.-backed government. You're doing a real good job running the country," he said to President Karzi. "At least that part of the country that pays any attention to you." Later Bush amended his comments to "President Karzi's doing a real good job as Mayor of Kabul."

Bush held a working lunch with Karzai and other Afghan leaders, then attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. "Let's hope they don't blow this up before I get out of here," Bush told reporters. He then punched President Karzi playfully on the shoulder and said, "That's a joke Hamid. Come on lighten up. Who wants to ride some bicycles?"

In the meantime the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, told a congressional hearing in Washington that the insurgency was still growing and posed a greater threat to Karzai's government "than at any point since late 2001."

"And that shows why we're winning," explained McClellan. "Wait. What'd he say?"

Before leaving Afghanistan, Bush rallied U.S. troops at the air base. Speaking to about 500 soldiers ordered into in a huge recreational tent, Bush expressed resolve at the U.S. mission here. "You're doing a heckava job, troopies," the president said.

"I assure you this government of yours will not blink, we will not yield as long as there's a drop of blood left in your body. ...The United States is not cut and run," Bush said.

Several soldiers were heard to shout, "Go ahead. Cut and run. We're fine with that."

Bush later flew to New Delhi, India, where tens of thousands of Indians demonstrated against his visit. "It's a brown country," McClellan said. "What are you gonna do?"