Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, those overlords. They're all about the dogs, you know? Just ask them. Well, ask someone besides Vera Filipelli, the director of media relations at Derby Lane track. "A few dogs sick with kennel cough will mean some lost revenue for Derby Lane, but the greyhound track doesn't expect to have to close its doors," she said. "Dogs get sick, they die, we get more. It's what racing is all about."

Because state rules say dogs cannot race while under any medication - even prescription drugs - the track is now running only 12 races a day, down two from its usual 14. "Yeah, when we need dogs to race we just stop their medications for a couple of days. Most of them survive."

The losers come out here with a set monetary amount to bet, so they will still spend about the same amount of money, just divided over fewer races, Filipelli said. Overall the track's losses should be slim. "It's important that we keep the rubes coming in though because we've all got trailer payments."

"Any time you change your format there is the risk of revenue loss," she said. "We'll be down a little," she said. "But if we need to we'll just stop medications for all the dogs and race a full ticket. The marks don't know if the dogs are sick or not."

The disease is not generally dangerous unless it weakens the dog's immune system and the dog catches a secondary infection which can happen if the dog doesn't get prompt treatment, or if the dog is forced to race before making a complete recovery. "Yeah, but these are athletes. They know the risks. Besides, we're risking too. Well, it's not like we could die or anything, but having to avoid running the air conditioning because you need to keep your utility bill down can be a real inconvenience, you know?"

Yeah. We sympathize. Dying is pretty inconvenient too, right Ward?

Ward is loving, gentle, confident, and easygoing. He will follow the foster mom around the home and will lie close to her and look at her with loving eyes. He gives kisses, will rest his head in your lap. He sometimes will lie his front end down and rest his head while his hind end was still in the air. . He is happy, smart, entertaining, easy to read, and very expressive. He amuses the foster family and himself. He can be a bit needy. He enjoys playing and he gets very exuberant when he plays. He can be a bit “mouthy” when he plays. He needs to have plenty of chew toys to play with. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Plus My Golf Membership Is Going Up

OK, here's some quick ironicus for your maximus:

The Senate voted to defeat a bill that would have raised the minimum wage for the first time in almost 10 years. The final vote was 52-46, eight short of the 60 votes needed to pass the legislation. 43 Democrats, eight Republicans and one Independent voted in favor of the legislation. All 46 votes against it were cast by Republicans.

Republicans to little people: Hey, macaroni and cheese three times a day isn't bad.

Democrats promised to block a Republican sponsored congressional pay hike unless some of the lowest-paid hourly workers get their first raise in nearly a decade.

Republicans to themselves: Look, we're losing a lot of income due to these ethics investigations. We got bills, you know?

Lawyer bills. We know.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Better Think Before You Vote. Be A Shame If The Troops Couldn't Come Home Because Of You

Finally we have a plan to bring the troops home from Bush's folly. Except that we don't. Well, we do, but it's not really a "plan" plan, more of a sort of perhaps...ah...shall we say...carrot? Yes, a carrot that could become a stick if you were to...oh...we don't know...maybe vote the wrong way?

Cynical ploy? Why heavens no. It's just know...staying the course and all that might mean that it could be that possibly there might be a scenario in which the probability would be that in certain circumstances it could be predicted that the likelihood might exist in which the feasibility of a hypothetical troop reduction has the potential of becoming practicable. Right General Casey?

The White House confirmed on Monday that the top U.S. military commander in Iraq has drafted a plan for U.S. troop cuts there, but said the plan was just one option being considered and was not set in stone. "It all depends on what the electorate...I mean the Iraqis do between now and the election...I mean now and the end of the year," said a White House aide who asked not to be identified.

Well, at least that's a glimmer of hope, right Mr. Snowjob? "I would caution very strongly against everybody thinking, `Well, they're going to pull two brigades out,'" the White House press secretary said. "Heck, we don't even know what a 'brigade' is."

The New York Times reported that Casey had drafted a plan that would first reduce U.S. troops in Iraq in September and then cut the number of combat brigades to five or six from the current level of 14 by the end of 2007. "That's dependent on holding the House of mean peace on the ground in Iraq," added a Pentagon representative.

Snowjob refused to disclose what Casey told Bush but said the general has "a number of scenarios in mind for differing situations on the ground." He said planning would change based on conditions on the ground. "We've got the hold our majority scenario, the lose the House but hold the Senate scenario, and the lose the Senate but hold the House scenario.," Snowjob said.

When asked if the White house had planned for losing both House and Senate Snowjob replied that was the "invade Iran" scenario.

Bush, facing waning support over the past year for the Iraq war, has repeatedly said that troop withdrawals will take place as Republican forces become more able to assume control. A revised statement was later released from the White House that removed "Republican" and replaced it with "Iraqi." The error was attributed to left wing blogger Markos Moulitsas who, using his control of the internet, intercepted the press release and changed it to embarrass the president.

I'm certainly not going to announce in advance anything that General Casey may have in mind for the president or that he may be recommending," Snowjob said. " We just don't do that in a time of war. And war is just what the Democrats are waging against patriotic Americans. Well, except that they always want to cut and run so they really aren't in a position to wage war. We still need to get some bugs worked out of our message."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, another FHB. We have to admit to being a little ragged around the edges this week, mostly due to the extreme attention we've been paying to Rollie's bung hole, the odd hours at which he gets various meds, and ultimately because we've had to stay sober through the whole ordeal. The sacrifices we make for our animals...

Anyway, the pooch continues to make steady progress in his recovery, but rather than put all the effort into pointing out yet again the vacuity, hypocrisy and in humaneness of the overlord world, we thought we'd bring you a happy story.

If you were an orphaned greyhound, Shana Laursen's foster home for ex-racing dogs wouldn't be a bad place to go. Ain't that the truth. When your options are dying, being sold for medical experiments, or heading to a stint in the dog motel, well, there's not much to think about is there?

Shana Laursen started serving as a foster greyhound mom last year for Greyhound Friends for Life, a Bay Area-based group that helps find homes for ex-racing dogs. Group members say greyhounds are over-bred by the racing industry and cast-off the minute they fail to be profitable. Hey. That's not fair. The overlords are all about the needs of the dogs. Oops. We didn't say that right. The overlords are all about the needs of the winning dogs. Told you we were tired.

"It's such a wonderful thing she has done here," said Susan Netboy, founder of Greyhound Friends for Life. "She's one of the best foster moms ever." Laursen is able to take more dogs than most foster homes, which can only take two to three at a time, she said. "With this kind of facility, she can be very active in adoptions and match the right dog to the right person," Netboy said.

And speaking of someone looking for the right person, heeeeeere's Splinter Man!

Splinter Man AKA Woody is very laid back and easygoing. He wants to be petted and scratched all the time. He is a big baby; he will put his nose right in your lap or face. He seems to want to be touched all the time. He has big sad looking eyes when he wants to be petted. He loves to play and he collects all the toys – takes them to his bed. When he plays with toys, he has a lot of fun. He is a very big boy, so he is kind of like a bull in a China shop when he gets to playing. He likes to rub himself against a wall. In the morning he will rub himself against the entire bedroom, rubbing against all the furniture, storage units, and walls. 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, June 22, 2006

New Santorum Slogan: "I Got The WMD, Now Vote For Me!"

Oh Yeah Baby! It's on now. All you sniviling leftie weenie peaceniks out there who keep reminding the president that his war is wack listen up 'cause WE FOUND THE WMD!!!!1!!

US-led coalition forces in Iraq have found some 500 chemical weapons since the March 2003 invasion, Republican lawmakers said, citing an intelligence report that one of them found under some papers on his desk. "Nobody ever said we were going to find them all at once," said Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum who was chosen to make the announcement because he is behind in the he knows someone who knows Peter Hoekstra, head of the intelligence committee of the House of Representatives who actually called the press conference.

"This is an incredibly -- in my mind -- significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," Santorum said. When it was pointed out that the find amounted to 14 WMD's per month, or about 0.2 of one per death of an American soldier, Santorum replied that he wasn't "that good at statistics."

A Pentagon official who confirmed the findings said that all the weapons were pre-1991 vintage munitions "in such a degraded state they couldn't be used for what they are designed for." The official, who asked not to be identified, said most were 155 millimeter artillery projectiles with mustard gas or sarin of varying degrees of potency.

"Yeah, but the point is this will get me votes," Santorum said. "I mean, this justifies our glorious war to free the noble Iraqi people from the foul grip of an evil dictator who threatened the entire world. Did I mention I'm running for reelection?"

Santorum said the two-month-old report was prepared by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a military intelligence agency that started looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the Iraq Survey Group stopped doing so in late 2004. "We were brainstorming things we could do to distract voters from Rick's record when someone mentioned it," said an aide who asked not to be identified. "We decided it was our best shot."

Asked just how dangerous the weapons are, Hoekstra said: "One or two of these shells, the materials inside of these, transferred outside of the country, can be very, very deadly. Well, if they worked that is. A Pentagon guy told me they were useless. Did I mention Rick's running for reelection?"

Reporters questioned the lawmakers as to why the Bush administration had not played up the report to boost their case for continued warfare in Iraq. "Well, the president already admitted that there weren't any WMD's in Iraq," Santorum replied. "We wouldn't want to make the mastermind of the war into a liar now would we? Besides, he's not running for reelection. Would anyone like some of my campaign literature?"

Later in the news conference , Santorum invited reporters to a camapign fundraiser were he promised to introduce "the cousin of a guy who knew Saddam's personal driver who heard someone say he knew where Saddam hid his nuclear weapons. Plus, there'll be clowns for the kids."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

We Want The North Koreans To Know We're Building A Giant Slingshot In Alaska

Well, you can't really blame the North Koreans for threatening to launch a long range missile. After all, look at all the attention Iran gets and it just has posters of atomic bombs on the wall in the Ahmadinejad's office. And what about India? Are they a threat to world peace? Anybody think their regime needs to be toppled? Axis of Evil material? Not even close, and yet they get this sweetheart deal from the president. Yeah, we can see why old Kim is a little frosted.

So no one is surprised when the Kimster pulls a saber or two out of the closet, goes down to the beach and rattles it in the general direction of America. What worries us is what we're doing to return the chest puffery.

International tensions over the testing of a long-range North Korean missile continued to escalate today with the Bush administration making plans to shoot it down. The US's recently installed ground based interceptor missile defense system has been activated and may be called into use if the communist regime defies warnings over firing the Taepondong rocket.

Uh, guys. You sure that's the best way to go? Are the North Koreans likely to be put off their missile test knowing that we might shoot it down with a system be generous, isn't exactly operating at peak efficiency? Seven failures out of 12 attempts isn't exactly the promise of certain doom we might like it to be. Just saying.

Oh, and let's not forget the test where "the booster failed to leave the ground." In other words, we couldn't get the engine started. Then there was the time "the booster failed to leave the ground due to a fault in the arms which hold the missile in the silo." In other words, we got the engine started, but couldn't get it in drive.

Look, we've all been there. In college we had this old Ford that lost second gear. It also had a rust hole in the floorboard and you could see the road going underneath. We managed, but then we were just trying to get to class, not scare the North Koreans to the negotiating table.

All we're saying is you might want to reevaluate your options. It might be better to go with something more traditional, say, offering Kim season tickets to the Lakers, or a bit part in Spielberg's next film. See, we're just thinking about you. Let's say the North Koreans launch the missile and you go all Def Con one and everything. You rush into the silo, contact the president on the hotline, wait for him to finish watching the Flintstones, get the official okey dokey to launch, turn the key and get that rrrr rrrr rrrr that everyone knows means nothing on fire is leaving the island today.

Or worse, let's say the launch goes off but you miss and blow up Japan.

Not good.

Meanwhile the North Koreans launch a missile that manages to hit the Pacific ocean and they look like Jimmy Neutron, boy genius.

How about if we offered North Korea a total makeover. We promise to rebuild, spruce up, improve and generally put spit and polish to anything and everything they name. They'd have to go for that, right? Now, here's the beauty part, after they agree, we send over the same team we sent to Iraq to manage its reconstruction. Within a year or two, North Korea would be so screwed up we could take them over with a battalion of grandmothers.

Why, no, we've never considered a career in the foreign service, but thanks for asking.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hound home From The Hospital (Again)

The forecast for blogging this week will be light and variable due to Rollie having a bit of a setback and having to spend last night in the hospital. The Vets think he is trying to cook up a post-op infection, so when they released him this morning they sent him home with massive doses of antibiotics, a pain killer and a muscle relaxant. And you can put that thought out of your mind right now. We would never presume Rollie's meds. We don't do that. OK there was that time Mrs. Maximus hurt her back in a horse riding accident, but she really didn't need all those pills.

Anyway, Rollie is back on his pad in the marbled halls sleeping the sleep of the heavily medicated and his prognosis is still good. Many thanks to James and George for the good vibes.

Oh, and sell the paper towel stock. Diarrhea is "resolved."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging (On Saturday)

Well, things are settling down somewhat around the marbled halls of IM Central. If by settling down you mean Rollie's diarrhea is almost gone. Almost. Ever see those movies about fighter pilots sitting around the ready room in various stages of repose, and then the siren goes off and the room explodes into a fury of motion? That's us every time the old boy even glances towards the door. "Explodes" is probably an appropriate descriptor too...if you take our meaning and we think you do.

Anyway, as we said, the sirens are going off less and less frequently now so we thought we'd take a few albeit tardy moments to bring you our weekly look into the overlord's world and introduce you to a homeless hound. This week it seems the wacky world of greyhound exploitation has it's own lobbyist scandal, although in true overlord fashion, it;s not about money and power like the one in Washington, it's about stupidity.

A lobbyist for Florida's greyhound breeders acknowledged two South Florida lawmakers for helping to kill a proposal earlier this year that would have forced racetracks to report statistics on injured dogs.A national greyhound protection group was furious. And now the two legislators, state Senator Steve Geller, Beach, and Representative Yolly Roberson, say they never intended to block the proposal.

"You mean we were talking about dogs? Said Roberson. "I thought he meant the busses." The legislation had quietly died but then resurfaced after Jack Cory -- a lobbyist for the Florida and national greyhound associations -- posted a note about the victory on an industry website, saying Geller and Roberson helped stopped the bills.

"Yolly Roberson gave up one of her 6 Bill slots to file HB 1181 Relating to Racing Greyhounds/Injuries/DBPR containing the GREY2K proposal for me as a defensive move to help stop any last minute amendments from the GREY2K Lobbyists." Cory said. Later he explained that his remarks were not meant to indicate what he meant by his remarks, but rather "something else entirely."

Cory, who represents greyhound breeders, owners and kennel operators, said he did everything he could to stop the reporting measure, which would hurt the industry, he said.''It's a good sport. The animals love it,'' Cory said. "That's really who I'm a lobbyist for. The dogs. I'm all about the dogs."

Yeah. Right. Well, thanks anyway Mr. Cory, but with friends like you...Roxy doesn't need enemies, right boy?

Roxy is very loving and affectionate. He will stand right by his foster mom and will get closer and closer, demanding attention. He shadows his foster mom around the home. He is also good at slipping between the family dogs and his foster mom to get attention. He's very playful and very energetic. He LOVES to run after tossed toys, and he loves to lay in the yard when his foster mom is outside working. He is a collector and he likes to take all the toys to his crate. Roxy loves it when his foster mom wakes up in the morning; he always leans his head over the mattress and she reaches over and pet him. He's very happy and sings to her, and his whole body shivers when she gets home from work. She says he's an adorable addition to the household. 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, June 15, 2006

Hound Home From The Hospital

Blogging is likely to be somewhat sporadic for the next sum of days, and no, not because we plan to win the free case of beer given away on "Thirsty Thursday" by the local Double A baseball team, but because we are nursing one of the famous IM Central Pack 'O Hounds back to health. You met the boys previously. The particular hound in need of our care services is Rollie who was recently diagnosed with Cervical Vertabral Instability otherwise known as "Wobbler's Syndrome."

This syndrome caused the old boy (11) no small amount of pain which, eventually, medications could not touch necessitating surgery. As you may imagine, neck surgery on an 11 year old dog is no small undertaking, but in true IM fashion Rollie came through with all his faculties intact and even amazed the Vet when he walked on his own the second day after the operation.

He's very weak must be supported when he walks due to the danger of him stumbling or falling and hurting his neck. Staples come out next Tuesday and it's back to the Neurologist the week after that at which time we hope to see more progress.

So he came home Tuesday and, except for the diarrhea has been making steady progress. Yeah. You're right. Diarrhea. 3:00 in the morning. Dog that can't walk too well. Buy stock in paper towel companies folks. Just saying.

Oh, here's Rollie in action before the operation:

Monday, June 12, 2006

The President Will Have Frank And Open Discussions At His Summit Of Yes Men

We're coming to you from the Better Late Than Never department (a wholly owned subsidiary of Who You Trying To Kid, in partnership with Too Little Too Late) here at IM Central where we have just learned that president Bush will convene a summit on the war in Iraq.

The president plans two days of meetings at the mountainous Camp David presidential retreat with national security advisers on hand and top commanders in Iraq connected by videoconference. When asked why the president had decided to convene a summit now, three years into the war, White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob said, "He just felt like staying up at Camp David this week...I mean Zarqawi, that Zarqawi guy. He's dead and we have to be ready to be welcomed as liberators."

The high-level talks aimed to capitalize on the killing of Al-Qaeda's chief in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as the formation of Maliki's government, which US officials say gives them an excuse to declare victory and "beat feet out of there before November."

General George Casey said he thinks it will be possible to withdraw some of the 130,000 U.S. forces in the months ahead putting him in first place among administration officials for the number of times they have announced the possibility of troop withdrawals while actually increasing them.

Iraq national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie told US television that the talks at Camp David would deal with US troop levels, predicting that US-led forces could be sharply drawn down by the end of 2006."I believe by the end of the year, of this year... that the number of the multinational forces will be probably less than 100,000 in this country," Rubaie told CNN. "Of course I also believe do you Americans say it...the fairy of the teeth?"

Bush said the new government marks a new chapter in the U.S. relationship with Iraq. "I don't want to say we've turned a corner," the president said. "But it looks like that's what I'm going to have to say because no one changed the phrase. I though we were changing that to light at the end of the tunnel this month. Where's Tony?" Later the president told reporters that "home stretch" was actually to be the phrase during this phase of the war."

The re-evaluation of the administration's Iraq policy starts with meetings for Bush, his national security team and the military commanders. It continues with a luncheon attended by outside experts. When asked if "re-evaluation" was a term that could be applied to a policy that hadn't been thought through in the first place, Press Secretary Snowjob said he wasn't sure, but felt "The evaluation that had been performed on the initial evaluative positions would most likely be returned to in this evaluation to have its evaluative performance evaluated in a quasi evaluative sort of scenario. Plus there will be chocolate milk at lunch and that's a result of the president's re-evaluation of the menu."

Bush said he wanted a "realistic appraisal" of the war effort and declined to speculate on whether he had actually ever used the words "realistic" and "appraisal" together in the same sentence before.

The sessions conclude with a joint meeting via videoconference with Bush's Cabinet and top ministers in al-Maliki's new government. "Providing they haven't been blown up by then," Snowjob added.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Rut Ro. Looks like the horse overlords and the dog overlords are getting into a bit of a spat on how to divvy up the rubes.

In 1994 the state enacted a statute to ensure that both horse and greyhound racing tracks in Pima County would have their business enterprises fortified from larger racing entities and that no monopolies would exist. A current bill before the legislature, SB 1329 seeks to change the relationship between horse and dog racing operations.

Recent articles and editorials in the Arizona Daily Star show how one-sided the larger, more profitable tracks in Maricopa County plan to wipe out Tucson Greyhound Park. "They want to drive us out of business and it's completely unfair," said Chris McConnell is the general manager of Tucson Greyhound Park. "Those horse guys don't work for a living, why should we?"

"More profitable tracks? Yeah. Right. Have you seen the size of the trailer I live in?" Tim Kelly, president of the Pima County Horsemen's Association responded. "Look, the marks are dying off and no one is stupid enough to replace them We just want our share, that's all."

Agreements between Tucson Greyhound Park and the Turf Paradise and Yavapai Downs horse tracks dictate the terms of revenue dispersion. About two-thirds of the revenues go to Turf Paradise/Yavapai racetracks and their horsemen. The remaining one-third is dispersed in Pima County. "Who we going to get to help us with that math?" Kelly asked

Language in SB 1329 states that in Pima County, the greyhound permitee must get the permission from the horse permitee to operate simulcast greyhound racing before 4 p.m. "OK, I can get someone to tell me when it's 4pm, but what's a 'permitee'? Math. English. These weren't my best subjects in school," McConnell said.

No surprise there, huh Mysty.

Mysty has a very sweet, friendly and loving personality. She wags her tail non-stop and loves to play with and squeak her squeaky toys. She approaches the foster family quite freely and is very affectionate and rubs on them to be petted. 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, June 08, 2006

So Long. Please Send Toothpaste And Toilet Paper

Say what you will about Tom DeLay, and probably what you're saying is "guilty," but here in the Marbled Halls we really like the guy. It's like he's the gift that keeps on giving. Check out his latest dispatch from the land of total cluelessness.

Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay urged colleagues Wednesday to "stand on principle" and ignore the media in a farewell speech to fellow Republicans. "Just because they got me, doesn't mean they'll get you," he said.

DeLay, facing trial in Texas on campaign money laundering charges, is leaving Congress Friday. When asked where the Congressman was planning to go, an aide said, "Well, we're hoping for Ashland, but we'll take Butner or Morgantown. I just hope we don't get Lexington. Oh, you mean while the trial's going on. I don't know."

When the doors were opened to let a congresswoman in to Delay's speech, members could be seen on their feet, cheering and applauding. "We always make the girls come in after we've had a little 'boy chat,'" said one congressional aide. "DeLay told this great story about Katherine Harris' talking bra and...well...never mind."

DeLay said later to reporters that he had advised GOP House members: "Keep a lawyer on retainer, at least three Swiss bank accounts, and never let anyone see the red accounting books."

"We have been able to make history for 12 years and we'll do it again once we're off probation," DeLay said he told colleagues. "It'll take the Justice Department 20 years to uncover all the programs we've put in place. And that's even if they do start caring about the laws again."

"I don't bear any regret at all. I'm very excited about what the future may hold," he said. "I'm told I may become someone's, what do they call it, beotch? I'm not sure what that is, but I'm ready for whatever the Lord has in store."

Just A Random Thought (the kind we're best at)

Today Bush said the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a "decisive victory" in the war on terror. During World War I the Battle of Belleau Wood was a decisive victory. In World War II it was the Battle of the Bulge. In the war on terror it'' killed a guy.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

WWJD? Shout Go Rockies Go!

We're not really big sports fans around the marbled halls of IM Central (although we do have this neat drinking game based around how many times a baseball player spits) but we do know that among those who religiously (ha ha ha ha. Just wait, you'll see) follow a team there are certain rituals that true fans hope will insure their team's success. Things like always wearing the same shirt, or sitting in the same chair or having wild, hot monkey sex in the neighbor's garage before the game are all thought to be ways to curry the favor of the sports gods.

OK, we made that last one up, but if anyone is looking for a ritual...well, you know where to find us. Anyway the point is, if you are one of those devoted sports fans, you can forget it, because Jesus has weighed into Major League Baseball, and his choice in the Colorado Rockies.

Now, put aside for a moment that the Rockies' home field is named after beer because, well, apparently Jesus doesn't have a problem with it and just focus on this: Jesus' team is currently in fifth place playing sub .500 ball. Do you think it puts any more pressure on the manager to know that being "fired" has a lot more implications for him than for other managers around the league?

From ownership on down, it's an approach the Rockies are proud of — and something they are wary about publicizing. "We're nervous, to be honest with you," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said. Jesus' expectations are a little higher than most owners, especially with Satan doing so well with the Yankees."

The Rockies, at 28-30, are having their best season since 1995 with a payroll of $44 million, the lowest in the National League's West Division. "Well, render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," said O'Dowd. "As for rendering to god...that means learn to hit the breaking pitches."

"I had no idea they were a Christian team. I would love for them to talk about their Christianity publicly," says Tim Boettcher, 42, a season ticketholder for 12 years and an elder at the Hosanna Lutheran Church. "But what I'd really like is for them to get a good closer. Lord knows they aren't going anywhere without a stronger bullpen."

"We had to go to hell and back to know where the Holy Grail is. We went through a tough time and took a lot of arrows," says Rockies chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort, one of the original owners. "I have no idea what I just said, but it's now team policy to have at least two religious references in every interview given to the press."

"We started to go after character six or seven years ago, but we didn't follow that like we should have," he says. "I don't want to offend anyone, but I think character-wise we're stronger than anyone in baseball. "Of couse, some people say character doesn't win ball games, good pitching wins ball games and that is a good point, so God, if you're listening, we need a left hander with a good changeup."

"Christians, and what they've endured, are some of the strongest people in baseball. You look at whose spent the longest time in the minors, and whose career is the shortest, if they even make it to the bigs...Christians. Those Puerto Rican boys and the South American boys that shoot right into those six figure contracts? Catholics, every one."

The Rockies' approach is unusual in that religious doctrine is a guide for running a franchise. The club's executives emphasize they are not intolerant of other views. "We try to do the best job we can to get people with the right sense of moral values, but we certainly don't poll our players or our organization to find out who is Christian and who isn't. OK, there is the Bible quiz we give to all new players, but heck, you only need 60% to pass. Of course you need 85% to play, but you can take the quiz as many times as you need to," said O'Dowd.

O'Dowd told reporters he has had prayer sessions on the telephone with club President Keli McGregor and manager Clint Hurdle. "Yeah, some people say calling the manager off the field in the late innings of a close game to pray for victory isn't the best strategy, but God's a busy guy. We just want to make sure he isn't on the cell phone with Gabriel or something. We need him to focus."

"You look at things that have happened to us this year," O'Dowd said. "You look at some of the moves we made and didn't make. You look at some of the games we're winning. Those aren't just a coincidence. God has definitely had a hand in this." When asked how sport, which focuses on competion, winners and losers and for the Rockies, seeking to impose God's will on the opposing team, fit with Jesus' philosophy of love cooperation and mutual respect, O'Dowd called the press conference to a close and said he wasn't about to answer questions from "the representatives of Satan, or George Steinbrenner, whichever."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

9/11! 9/11! Oh, Wait. Gay Marriage! Gay Marriage!

OK, here's the deal. We'd be winning in Iraq...if it wasn't for gays. The economy? Be bursting at the seams...if it weren't for gays. Why don't 45 million people have health insurance? Gays. Twelve million children go to bed hungry in this country every night. Why? Gays. Illegal immigrants? Mostly gay.

With his renewed call for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, President Bush reasserted his allegiance to a conservative constituency whose support for him has eroded significantly in the face of soaring government spending and a controversial immigration proposal. "Somebody's got to pay for my poll numbers," the president told reporters. "And that someone is gays."

Bush urged Congress to approve the Marriage Protection Amendment, which is likely to fall short of the required two-thirds support in the Senate. "The president loves an underdog," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob. "And no, underdog doesn't have more than one meaning."

Bush insisted Monday that same-sex marriage is a matter requiring "a national solution. Unlike health care, the deficit and the war in Iraq," he said. "I think we can handle those with a referendum or something. I got Karl looking into it."

"On an issue of such profound importance, that solution should come not from the courts but from the people of the United States," Bush said in a statement on the eve of the Senate debate on the amendment. "As long as they're the 'right' people, huh Dobby boy?"

In pressing for a vote this week, for instance, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is burnishing his conservative credentials for an expected 2008 presidential campaign. "If those folks are stupid enough to believe we actually care about this crap, I'm going to take advantage of that," Frist told a group of supporters.

"Given [Bush's] low popularity ratings, I think he has a lot to risk in that this could be seen by some people like, `There he goes again,"' said Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Maryland. "Yeah, well what else have we got," countered Press Secretary Snowjob. "It's not like we got a boatload of Einsteins making policy here you know. "

Yet for Bush, the amendment's expected defeat in the Senate could serve as a reminder for advocates that the president has only halfheartedly promoted the cause. "So what's your point," Snowjob asked. "The only thing this president wholeheartedly supports is vacations. Well, that and riding his bicycle. Ok he like driving his truck too. With the radio loud. And chocolate milk. He really likes chocolate milk."

The president's failure to more aggressively promote the proposal "definitely disappoints conservative activists," said Matt Daniels, founder and president of the Alliance for Marriage. "But the guy's not the shiniest tool in the box, so we cut him some slack."

The president actually is courting two crucial audiences this week. As Bush sets out for a two-day cross-country tour on immigration reform--promoting a plan that would enable millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S. to remain and work legally--he is reaching out to moderates and angering the most conservative members of his party. But in promoting a marriage amendment, he is appealing to conservatives.

When asked to comment on the chances of success for such a delicate political task before the president, Press Secretary Snowjob said, "Yeah. This guy can't even ride a bicycle and chew gum. What do you think is going to happen?"

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Hound Blogging

Now here's an interesting story. Just reading the headline:"Still Running Despite Dire Predictions" one would think that it's a story of overlord perserverance in the face of a hostile world. Well, a hostile legislature anyway, taking away slots from the tracks and all. Everybody knows tracks need slots to attract customers because, cripes, who comes out to a racetrack to see races anymore?

The Legislature on April 5 voted down a proposal to put slot machines in the state's four race tracks amid warnings it would be the death knell for racing in Massachusetts.
Track owners and employees mobbed Beacon Hill to convince legislators that without the additional revenue from slots, the tracks would be forced to close, costing at least 5,000 jobs.

Turns out though that the whole two page article is about how more people showed up at the horse racing tracks on Kentucky Derby day and so everything's all right in that industry. (apparently horse overlords suffer the same reality disconnect as greyhound overlords). But then, buried about half way down the first page is this line:

"We intend to stay in business with or without the slot machines," said George Carney, owner of Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park. "We will continue on for many years to come."

Sharp eyed readers, or at least sober readers will recognize George Carney. We've met him before. Gee, Mr. Carney, perhaps if the horse industry is successful in having a Kentucky Derby every day some of that increase in business will come your way. Or you could open a hot dog stand outside the horse track. Get it Happy? "Hot Dog?" OK, sorry.

Happy is a very happy, sweet girl. She is very needy and she wants to be near you and getting attention all the time. She is pretty easygoing, but she also has a playful side. She likes to play with toys and will throw them in the air. She also smiles by curling her lips when you baby talk to her. She was used for breeding before her rescue. 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, June 01, 2006

Is It Ethical For The Unethical To Be Proponents Of Ethics? Discuss.

Ok we need a little help here. Please explain this. President Bush goes AWOL during the Viet Nam war and lies about everything from WMD's to the fish he caught. Cheney also dodges the draft during Viet Nam because he had "better things to do," outs an undercover CIA agent, and shoots a guy in the face then makes the guy apologize. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lies to Congress about the NSA wiretapping program. More Republican Congress people come under indictment every day, but it's the troops in Iraq who need training in ethics?

We're confused.

The training over the next 30 days in "core warrior values" would highlight "the importance of adhering to legal, moral and ethical standards on the battlefield," a statement said. "It's beginning to look a little too much like DC over here," said a spokesperson for Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of the Multinational Corps-Iraq. "And we're not just talking about the violence in the streets."

Lieutenant General Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of U.S. combat troops in Iraq, said that of nearly 150,000 U.S.-led troops in the country "99.9 percent of them perform their jobs magnificently" every day. "Can't say that about the Bush administration. And they're not being shot at either." he added.

When asked to explain the apparent contradiction in approaches to illegal, unethical and immoral behavior between the troops in Iraq and the administration in Washington, White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob said, "It's important that public servants in the government be role models for regular citizens. We are held, rightly so, to a higher standard and we should expect no less of ourselves than...hahahahahahahahaha...oh forget it. Look, bottom line is we just steal money and trample the Constitution. These guys shoot people. Apples and oranges folks, apples and oranges."

President Bush said he was "troubled" by the reports which moved him into sole position of second place on the all time list of most obvious things said by a politician as if they were deep insights. Later Bush confirmed that he was also going for the record in number of times he speaks to voters as if they were two year olds. "It's will be my legacy" he told reporters.

"I'm mindful that there's a thorough investigation going on. If in fact, laws were broken, there will be punishment." Bush said. When asked if he was talking about the soldiers or his administration Bush replied that "If someone in my administration breaks a law, we get Congress to change the law. That's how a democracy works."

Later, in an informal meeting in the press room Bush challenged reporters to "shout out a Democrat's name and I'll give you their cell phone number." Before any names could be shouted out someone said Bill Clinton was at a local MacDonalds and the room quickly cleared. "212.555.7351," Bush said, but it wasn't clear that any reporters had heard him.