Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Here's a little ironicus for you: the overlords are, aside from the current administration in Washington, probably some of the most corrupt people on the planet. Yet it's the greyhounds that are going to jail.

The program, dubbed the Second Chance at Life Greyhound and Prisons partnership, started in June at four Indiana prisons and soon will expand to three more, said J. David Donahue, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Correction.

We wrote about this once before, but it seems the idea has taken off and there are active sites at prisons in Michigan, Ohio, and now Indiana.

Police Department Sgt. Rick Hubbard remembers one inmate who credited training the greyhound with helping him re-establish a relationship with his son. The emotional experience of having the dog for 10 weeks helped him rethink his priorities, he said.

Hmm...just being around the greyhounds makes a person more human. OK, what's the overlords' excuse Alamo?

Alamo is a little timid, but he is very sweet. He is young, curious, and intelligent. He is generally on the quiet side. He will bark at strange things outside and will bark when he thinks he sees something (like his own reflection). He likes to play with toys and with the male greyhound in the home. Alamo would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 8 and up. He is good with other dogs and would probably be okay as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rice On The Lam From Subpoena; Last Seen In The Racks At Bergdorfs

OK, so where are the world's hot spots? Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan, Nigeria, Palestine, you know, places like that. Places where diplomacy is badly needed. So where's our Secretary of State? Oslo, Norway about as far from where you'd expect her to be as she can get. Why? This is why.

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said she has already dodged the questions she has been subpoenaed to answer before a congressional committee and suggested she is not inclined to comply with the order. "I would imagine she's 'not inclined' to go to jail either," said Representative Waxman, Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "But ask her how she looks in prison orange."

Rice said she would respond by mail to questions from the Committee. "Hey, look. I'm willing to write stuff down. Was Gonzales? That's all I'm saying. Cut me a little slack here," Rice told reporters outside Frogner and Bygdýy where she had gone to buy knick knacks.

Rice said she respected the oversight function of the legislative branch, but maintained she had already testified in person and under oath. "They already know this is one of the most corrupt, incompetent, bunch of bald faced liars to hit Washington since Garfield. What more can I tell them?"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hi. I'm Tom DeLay And I'll Be Conducting Your Ethics Lesson Today

Well, this caught us by surprise. Of course, given our traditional breakfast of Bloody Marys and Rum Cake, sometimes the floor catches us by surprise.

Democratic leaders are acting like traitors by opposing the Iraq war, and President Bush must answer with a toughened stance, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said.

And the first thing we thought was, they let him give interviews from prison? Silly us though, he's not in prison.


Anyway, Apparently Mr. DeLay was in Pittsburgh because he knows if he keeps moving around it will be harder for U.S. Marshals to find him, when he was recognized by a newspaper reporter after he had withdrawn $100 from an ATM machine using one of his many aliases. Never one to be able to walk away from a chance to get his name in print, Mr. DeLay agreed to an interview in which he said: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "are getting very, very close to treason."

When asked what was worse, opposing an unnecessary war in which thousands are needlessly killed and injured, driven from their homes and have their lives and the lives of their families permanently damaged, or violating the public trust and presiding over what could be the most corrupt, unresponsive and incompetent administration ever sent to Washington, DeLay responded, "Um...which one has democrats in it?"

Bush cannot afford to lose this fight, DeLay said. The president must demand a "clean bill" that does not set a withdrawal date or include so-called pork barrel spending on unrelated projects, he said. When asked to compare the pork in the democrat's bill with the pork record set under his leadership when the republican backed transportation bill was passed, DeLay responded that since leaving Congress he had become a vegetarian.

His resignation and subsequent scandals that roiled the GOP leadership helped Democrats seize control of Congress last year, DeLay said. He faulted Republicans for not coming up with a new agenda. "They let too much attention be drawn to the fact that we were a bunch of corrupt, bumbling, scum bags," he told the interviewer. "Hard to win on a record like that."

Delay praised the president, but had harsh words for his handlers: "If they let George W. be George W., he'd be just fine. By now he would have forgotten he's president, wandered off someplace and we would have accepted Cheney as our cyborg overlord."

The administration, DeLay said, needs to stand up to Democrats. He criticized the administration for replacing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the November election. "Since when does government listen to the people?" he asked. "Especially people who don't contribute to republicans."

As for his indictments, DeLay said he was set up by the Democrats as a "poster boy" for political corruption. "This is what happens when you're good at something," he said. "People just want to tear you down."

"It's not good enough to defeat somebody politically or vilify him publicly," DeLay said. "They've got to get all law and order on you, all nation of laws and not of men. These people just don't understand why anyone would go into public service."

DeLay, who resigned from the House in June, is promoting his book, "No Retreat, No Surrender: One Man's Struggle With Cognitive Dissonance."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Foolish Consistency Is The Hobgoblin Of Little Minds...Right Mr. President?

You know, we've been thinking a lot about president Bush lately. To be honest we've also been thinking about Jolene Blalok, how much longer Paula Abdul can make a career out of not having a career, and the local liquor store's free delivery special. But back to the president.

President Bush's stance on a Democratic agreement to set a timetable on the Iraq war has not changed: he will not accept it. "Look, this guy hasn't changed his mind since he switched from Cuervo to Patrón that summer he was hiding from the Air National Guard in Alabama," said Deputy White House Press Secretart Dana Perino.

"If they insist on sending the bill to him in its current form, that has an arbitrary surrender date and handcuffs the generals, the president will veto it," Deputy Press Secretart Perino said. "The president will not surrender," she added. "Of course neither will he learn, grow, change, adapt, admit to mistakes, or take responsibility for anything, including that SBD he cut at the movie last night. Besides, is there anyone who could handcuff the generals better than he has? I don't think so."

As part of the president's push, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was expected to meet Tuesday with key senators, including members of the Senate Finance Committee to discuss the funding bill. Shortly after that announcement was made the Secretary's office issued a statement saying that her appearance had been canceled due to a sale at Bergdorffs.

A leading Republican, meanwhile, warned that Democratic leaders are making an all-too-familiar mistake with the impending showdown: not listening to seasoned commanders. Representative C.W. Bill Young, R - No Sense Of Irony, said catastrophe always follows when civilians turn a deaf ear to their military officers. Aides to the congressman tried unsuccessfully to explain why the room burst out into laughter at his remarks.

General David Petraeus, the new Iraq commander, will try to persuade lawmakers in a private briefing this week to pursue a difference course. He is expected to tell Congress to "Get us the H. E. double hockey sticks out of there."

"I will strongly reject an artificial timetable (for) withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job," Bush told reporters in the Oval Office. Later Representative Young tried unsuccessfully to explain to Bush why the room burst into laughter at his remarks.

Monday, April 23, 2007

BREAKING: Catholic Church Caves To Pagan Baby Lobby

See, this is why we never listened in Catechism class. Well, that and the fact that our teacher Sister Victorine was deaf and whenever she would ask a question you could say whatever you wanted and she would think you were answering her. Example: SV: "Billy, do you know why we say the mass in Latin? Billy: Because that was the language they were speaking that last time anyone paid attention? SV: Very good Billy. Now, who can name the seven deadly sins? Tommy: Donder, Blitzen, Dasher, Dancer Prancer Cupid, Comet.

The other problem is if you do take the time to learn something, they change it.

The Roman Catholic Church has effectively buried the concept of limbo, the place where centuries of tradition and teaching held that babies who die without baptism went. "It was getting to be too much of a sideline," said a Vatican spokesman. "Used to be we could charge big money for indulgences to get the kids out, but lately we make more on Bingo."

"The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness especially now that they have formed a union," the document said.

Noted Catholic Theologian Bill O'Reilly concurred. "Finally this Kraut Pope gets something done. Now let's go after all that standing and kneeling at mass. It's like high school PE all over again except no one stuffs me in my locker after."

The document stressed that its conclusions should not be interpreted as questioning original sin or used to negate the necessity of baptism or delay the conferral of the sacrament. "We killed limbo and we can bring it back if anyone starts getting all uppity on us, like your religion is better than ours and stuff, " said a Vatican spokesman

The study was made all the more pressing because "the number of nonbaptised infants has grown considerably, and therefore the reflection on the possibility of salvation for these infants has become urgent. It was like they needed FEMA trailers up there," said one Vatican official. "Or down there. We were never really sure where limbo was. Some said Kentucky, but that was never proved."

The Church's International Theological Commission said limbo reflected an "unduly restrictive view of salvation," said an aide to Pope Benedict. "Well, that and people kept getting it mixed up with the dance."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Hey, you think Alberto Gonzales is living in a dream world because he thought his testimony before Congress was a success because only one Republican Senator told him to his face he should quit? Ha! He's got nothing on these guys.

For the first time in history, Derby Lane and Tampa Greyhound Track will feature year-round live greyhound racing and compete head- to-head, beginning July 1. Both tracks are expected to make official announcements next week. "Yep. We're open about a month and a half now, run about 12 races and get 22 people total, so we figure if we go all year the crowds will flock here," Derby Lane president and chairman of the board Vey Weaver said. "As the kids say, we got Teh Mad Bidness Skillzz."

When asked how the facts that greyhound tracks were closing all around the nation, how states were refusing to issue licenses, how attendance was dropping had affected his decision, Weaver responded that he was encouraged because "There'll be less competition for us."

Right. Hey, that guy don't know Jack, right Jack?

Jack is very calm. He enjoys affection but does not actively seek it out. He likes to play and be outside. He likes to be near his foster parents most of the time. He loves the daughter’s princess wands. He enjoys playing with toys and can fetch a ball. Jack would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children. He is good with other dogs and is also good as the only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Don't Make The President Lock Himself In The Bathroom Again

We're coming to you today from the Chicken/Roost Re-homing department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. Right now we're out on the south portico watching said chickens coming down the road and heading roostward.

And what is the destination of this little metaphorical jaunt you ask? Only this. Oh, and this. We're betting it's not exactly what the president had in mind when he said "Bring it on."

During an hour long meeting at the White House, after which the president had to take a nap. Bush told lawmakers directly he will not sign any bill that includes a timetable ending his war, and they made it clear Congress will send him one anyway. At that point the president ordered that beans be brought into the oval office and he threatened to shove them up his nose unless the democrats took the timetables out of the bill.

Several officials said the session was polite. But they said it turned pointed when Senator Reid recounted a conversation with generals who likened Iraq to Vietnam and described it as a war in which the president refused to change course despite knowing victory was impossible. Bush bristled at the comparison, according to several officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private. One quoted him as saying, "I reject" the comparison. "Of course I reject global warming, evolution, book learnin', and uppity wimmin, so what do I know," the president continued.

Reid made it clear to the President that he understood that after the veto the Vice President would come after him and Speaker Pelosi. "We're pretty sure Cheney's a cyborg," Reid told the president. We recently hired Vic Stone as chief of security for Congress and feel confident Mr. Cheney's influence on that body can be neutralized."

Reid said that he and Pelosi would respond aggressively by interdicting the president's weekly deliveries of chocolate milk. He said he was convinced that they were on the right side of the issue. "Respect Ma Athorata!" Reid is said to have told the president.

At one point, according to officials familiar with the meeting, Senator Dick Durbin, D - Not Getting It, said Democrats had no intention of leaving the troops without funds and noted that gives Bush enormous leverage to bend Congress to his will. He said he hoped some sort of accommodation could be worked out. "Now that's my kind of democrat," the president said. What's an 'accommodation' anyway? Is that where I get what I want?"

Several officials said the president and congressional leaders spent considerable time puffing out their chests at one another, except for Speaker Pelosi who was prevented form puffing out her chest due to federal anti-discrimination regulations.

Outside the White House, Republicans said there was no hope Bush would sign a bill resembling the Democrats' legislation. House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said nothing had changed as a result of the meeting. "The real issue ... is whether we're going to agree to a surrender date, and that's not going to happen," he said. "I say as long as no one I know has to go, we never surrender."

Dana Perino, Deputy White House Press Secretart, said, "It appears that they are determined to send a bill to the president that he won't accept. The president has consistently made clear his position on reality. When it doesn't agree with him, he refuses to accept it. You'd think the democrats would know that by now."

"We came here in a spirit of hope, (phffft!) recognizing that this is a historic opportunity (fffittt!) for the executive branch, the president and the Congress to HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Oh forget it. We came here to see if the rumors were true that the president actually wore his footie pajamas to work," said Pelosi.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We Must Let This Hurt

Is it just me, or was anyone else unsettled by the TV news coverage of the tragedy at Virgina Tech? I mean, here I am listening to young people who've just had their lives shattered, who've lost their bearings in the world, who have become, in many senses, walking wounded. Then I see still photographs of single students sitting alone on the ground as if they'd been dropped there from a great height, I see groups of students clutching together looking lost, frightened and worst of all looking as if their young spirits had been ripped from them. Which of course they have. Then the screen goes black.

And just when the barbarity those students lived through begins to clutch at me, just when the icy realization blows through me of the lightless depths of pain and sorrow they have been flung into by the chaos of the last few hours, and the enormous, courageous effort they will have to make to climb back from those depths, just when I think I can touch the slightest aspect of what they are enduring, and thus reach out over the distance to petition this community of mourners with my meager offering, just when it almost seems I can hear their spirits crying out...there's Sally Fields telling me how happy she is to have discovered Boniva.

This, then, is the world we leave to our children. One where horror is commodified, set to music and narrated by blow dried mannequins who have mastered the sad face, the slow, muted cadence of whispering through a funeral, and who will all get back into their airplanes tomorrow and be off to the next tragedy like so many barking dogs chasing the grim reaper.

Nothing is real anymore. Not even reality.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh Sure, You've Got Suicide Bombers, But Do You Have A Mascot?

We're coming to you today form the Dubious Achievement Department here at IM Central. A wholly owned subsidy of the Unintended Side Effects Corporation. Now, as part of the cancer that is slowly eating away the brains of young people in this country and assuring that soon we will be a third world country of communists and dirty hippies, we're generally pleased to see education taking a front row in world matters. However we must admit to a certain apprehensiveness at this.

The head of an al Qaeda-led group in Iraq said the country has become a "university of terrorism" producing highly qualified warriors since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. "We're planning to apply for accreditation next year," said Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq. "We need to make some improvements in our chemistry department first. You can only do so much with fertilizer and kerosene you know. We'll be interviewing prospective faculty next month at the CCC Conference."

"From the military point of view, whitey was right in saying that if Afghanistan was a school of terror, then Iraq is a university of terrorism," said the leader of the group set up last year by al Qaeda's Iraq wing and some other Sunni groups. "At first we were a little concerned that the students were scoring low on their entrance exams, but since we instituted the No Jihadi Left Behind program, we've been quite pleased with their improvement."

"The largest batch of soldiers for jihad ... in the history of Iraq are graduating and they have the highest level of competence in the world," Baghdadi said. "We were disappointed that the American vice president Cheney could not be our commencement speaker. He's done more for the field of terrorist training than any world leader. We've established a scholarship fund in his name."

"The fear of the American Marines has disappeared from the hearts of the people of the world, as the mujahideen have become thousands from the few they were after the fall of the infidel Baath regime," Baghdadi said. "And while it's true the Marines knocked us out in the semis this year, we've got a young team and our coach thinks we'll be even stronger next year."

Baghdadi vehemently denied rumors of recruiting violations at the University. "These are the lies of infidel swine," he told reporters. "We welcome the NCAA investigators. They will be taken from their hotel, blindfolded and brought to campus next Thursday."

Later Baghdadi's office issued a statement confirming the Terrorist University was an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. "TU is committed to achieving excellence through violent revolution. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of appropriately dressed women, persons of other colors, veterans of the worldwide struggle against the crusader and persons with disabilities who still have the ability to blow themselves up," the statement read.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

OK, so we're pretty certain that whatever genetic deficiency there is that results in someone actually thinking exploiting greyhounds is a career choice is not contagious, yet we're still at a loss to explain this extremely overlordish behavior on the part of the Governor of Kansas.

Oh wait, Kansas. We just answered our own question.

Even though she believes a new law to expand gambling in Kansas is constitutional, Governor Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday she wants the attorney general to consider filing a lawsuit to get a court ruling to remove any doubt. "All this legal stuff just confuses me, Sebelius told reporters. "But I'm going to sign this bill anyway, because I like writing my name. See the little smiley face I use to dot my i's? Can someone spell governor for me again please?"

In what she called a ''piecemeal bill signing,'' she started in Wichita, went to Dodge City and finished signing the bill at the Cherokee County Courthouse, signing part of her name at each location, adding ''S-e-b-e'' to the signature line at the Woodlands Greyhound Track. "It gives me a chance to check my driver's license regularly," Sebelius said. "Make sure I'm getting all those e's and i's in the right place. Can't be too careful when you're signing laws and stuff you know."

Sebelius said she plans to meet with Attorney General Paul Morrison about a potential challenge designed to get a quick ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court. ''We're going to challenge the law we just passed so we can get the court to tell us we don't need to do that,'' she said. ''I am confident this is a good use of taxpayer dollars.''

Matt Grace, one of The Woodlands' owners, said he would welcome action by Morrison. "You don't know what a relief it is to finally find someone more stupid than me,'' he said.

Yeah, long time coming though, huh, Sue?

Sue is very sweet, happy and friendly. Her tail is always wagging in a circle. She greets people for attention. She is very affectionate. She will rest her head on her foster mom’s shoulder when she is in the chair and Sue will push down against her shoulder. She is a little on the shy side with new people and new situations. She takes the lead from the family grey. She really likes to play with squeaky toys. She tends to “shop” for clothing in the laundry room and will take it to her bed. Sue would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 8 and up. She is good with other dogs and seems to take the lead from the other dogs. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Billy Pilgrim Has Come Unstuck In Time

I'd like to step out of character for a moment today and say good-bye to a person I've never met, yet has been a source of strength and inspiration, a role model and friend, Kurt Vonnegut.

Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle," died Wednesday. He was 84.

It's hard for me to say which of Vonnegut's books affected me the most. Reading them was often a roller coaster of hope, fear, anger, joy, laughter, and tears. They were funny because laughing at hopelessness brought us back to hope. Vonnegut had a knack for finding the punch line in existential dread.

I often marveled at how a man with Vonnegut's sensibilities could get through life on this planet surrounded by the likes of us, and of course he couldn't. He suffered from depression most of his life, even attempting suicide. Yet even in what must have been his darkest of times, he could laugh at his own tragedy. Luckily for us he came back from those depths and in so doing gave strength to us all, a kind of off kilter, wry sort of strength to be sure, but strength none-the-less.

Vonnegut said be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be. Unraveling the dizzying levels of that statement is typical of the trips he sent me on. If you looked for complexity in his novels, you could find it, but each time you bent to touch it, it would disappear in a poof of pretension. The whole thing, after all, is really quite simple: Hello, babies. Welcome to earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you have about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of– God damn it, babies, you’ve got to be kind.

Well, there is one other thing:

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wanted: Fall Guy. Must Be Highly Decorated, But Not Too Smart

Far be it from us to cast aspersions on our fellow citizens, particularly those who spend the better part of their day sober, but we have to say this seems to be, how shall we say, lacking in team spirit? We mean, sure it looks like a tough gig, but think of the rewards. Take George Tenet. Took the hit for WMD, got a Medal of Freedom. Colin Powell was the administration's sock puppet at the UN, got a...OK bad example. Look, the president just needs a stand up guy that's all. Someone to stand up and take the blame.

The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority flail about at the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but at least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position. "I'm a soldier, not an idiot," said retired Army General Jack Keane. "I've led men into combat on three different continents. I know a suicide mission when I see one."

"Ever see those clown cars in the circus? Well, this one's looking for a driver, and I ain't into grease paint.," said retired Marine General John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job.

The White House has not publicly disclosed its interest in creating the position, hoping to find someone who didn't burst out laughing the moment they were approached. "The new czar will have 'tasking authority,' or the power to issue directions, over other agencies," said Deputy White House Press Secretart Dana Perino. "Not that that means anything as the agencies are about as helpful as a screen door on a submarine. We really just need someone in the spotlight. At least until the president gets to Paraguay.

The administration's interest in the idea stems from the long-standing failure of civilian and military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan by different parts of the U.S. government. "We thought if we could consolidate all the incompetency under one head, that would be more efficient," Deputy Secretart Perino said.

The highest-ranking White House official responsible exclusively for the wars is deputy national security adviser Meghan O'Sullivan, who reports to national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley and does not have power to speak without being spoken to. O'Sullivan plans to escape soon, giving the White House the opportunity to rethink how it bungles the war effort. "You don't have to hit me with a bat," O'Sullivan said. "I can see what's coming, oh, and Condi, call me."

Kurt Campbell, a Clinton administration Pentagon official who heads the Center for a New American Security, said the difficulty in finding someone to take the job shows that Bush has exhausted his ability to get people to take the fall for him. "I mean, after Rummy, people began thinking, 'hey, I'll need to get a job somewhere when this bozo is out of office,'" Campbell said. "Even people in the Bush administration haven't lost their instinct for survival. That's located in a different part of the brain from the part you have to shut off to work for the guy in the first place."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ask Not What You Can Do For Your Country. Ask What You Can Do For Your President

Ah, Democracy...deliberation, consensus, compromise. The two hundred plus year old experiment in people governing themselves. The birthplace of historic orators like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. People who inspire, who can, through their eloquence cause us to reach beyond ourselves and stretch to greatness, as a people and a country. Where else but in America is the future illuminated by the fire of ideas burning brightly in the public square? Where else does a person's ability to convince 51% of the value of an idea contain the power to move us all? And further, is it not so that the continual struggle of competing visions provides fuel for the engine that drives progress?

Wouldn't you agree, Mr. president, that the true cause of America's greatness lies in these simple facts? Bush will invite Democrats to the White House to discuss their standoff over a war-funding bill, but he will not budge from his opposition to troop-withdrawal deadlines in Iraq.
Oh. OK, then. Well, never mind.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino announced that the Defense Department will soon send Congress a bill to transfer $1.6 billion from the Veteran's Administration to cover funding for troops — a move needed, she said, because lawmakers have "acted like they don't need to do what the president says. Congress needs to quit interfering with the president's wishes," Perino said. "We'd have won this war by now if it wasn't for Congress."

Perino said Bush would invite congressional leaders to the White House to "discuss how they should agree with him," Perino said. "I will point out this is not a negotiation. Negotiations are something democracies do...I mean something you do with those on an equal footing, no wait, something unions do. Yeah, that's it. Negotiations are for unions, and we all know how unions have wrecked this country."

When a reporter said it sounded like an invitation for Democrats to agree with Bush, Perino said, "Well, hopefully so, but it doesn't really matter because under the president's constitutional powers, he really doesn't need the Congress.That's just a rumor started by the liberal media."

"Maybe they need to hear again from the president about why he thinks it is foolish to set arbitrary timetables for withdrawal," Perino said. "I mean take the 'surge' for example. When we first announced that everyone said it was a timetable because a 'surge' doesn't last forever. But, we fooled you because there is no end to it. See, just when the mean insurgents think we're getting ready to leave, we shout 'Surprise, we're staying.' Got to be disheartening. A brilliant piece of military strategy on the president's part, no?"

Monday, April 09, 2007

Don't Make Me Honk Up A Noogie

Hey, we got nothing. George does, but if you don't click on the link, it's like we thought this up all by ourselves.

While Janet and Allen generally enjoyed listening to William's stories, they were often dismayed by his penchant for flicking a greenie at people who didn't seem to be paying enough attention.

Originally uploaded by pterjan

Flickr-Blogging explained.

Friday, April 06, 2007

In Second Life The Bars Never Close

We're coming to you today with a special post from the IM Central Social Responsibility Department, which is just down the hall from the Drinking Games Research and Development Department. Anyway we hope you'll take notice of the above banner and plan to participate in the Virtual Town Hall hosted by the good folks at MoveOn.

"Virtual" means you can participate in the grand experiment we call democracy while playing drinking games in your living room, wearing funny hats and just your underwear. Ain't America grand?

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, the overlords. They may be down, but they're not out.

Last month, the New Hampshire House of Representatives declined to pass a bill that would have outlawed greyhound racing in the Granite State and effectively would have ended betting on simulcasts. The vote on the so-called Dog Protection Act was 198 to 138. "Though some complain that the dogs are mistreated at the tracks, I think they are relatively pampered," Representative Kenneth Weyler, a Kingston Republican, said last week. "Now if you'll excuse me I'm going shopping in Baghdad with Senator McCain. It's safer than Detroit you know."

Weyler, who spoke against the bill on the floor, said, "The bill would have put 500 people out of work. Do you know how many Walmarts it would take to re-employ that many workers? Well, actually only one. But it would have to be a supercenter."

"I don't think greyhound racing is an industry that reflects the values and sensibilities of the people of New Hampshire," said Representative ."Peter Schmidt, a Dover Democrat, chief sponsor of the bill to ban the sport. "Well, at least those New Hampshirites who have all their teeth."

"It's a profoundly exploitive industry that is unhealthy and unappetizing. The dogs basically spend the first four years of their lives in cages. But the tracks made a strong argument that the animals are not abused; you'd think they were living in the lap of luxury. If by 'strong argument' you mean campaign contribution."

A report prepared by Grey2K states that, in the past two years (2005 and 2006) 716 dogs were injured at New Hampshire tracks, with 22 percent, or 157, of the injuries described as career- or life-threatening.

Daniel Callaghan, a law student based in Manchester who is a lobbyist for Seabrook Greyhound Park said, "There is no question that some of the animals are injured but those injuries are minimal. I mean look, a dog has four legs so if one gets broken he can still get along at 75% efficiency, whereas if one of us breaks a leg we are reduced to 50% efficiency. See, it's all in understanding higher mathematics."

"If racing were to end, the impact on the town would be substantial," said Seabrook Selectman Richard McCann. "The track is a nice local attraction and they've been a good neighbor. Well, except for the crime and the drugs."

Mr. McCann may not want begin planning the next tourist destination just yet though. Representative Jim Splaine, said even though the "Dog Protection Act" was rejected in the House, the vote showed there is significant interest in examining further the conditions dogs live in at the state's three tracks in Seabrook, Hinsdale and Belmont."

In other words, "We're watching you." Sounds like the overlords may wish the bill had passed huh Diablo?

Diablo is a big boy. His name is Spanish for devil, but he is more “gallant” than devilish. He is a strong, happy, boy who wags his tail often. Diablo is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Diablo would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 12 and up. At this time he would probably be best as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I'm Mitt Romney. No He's Not. I Am

OK, we think we have it figured out. See, the real Mitt Romney was kidnapped by aliens and replaced with an android. The idea was he would get elected president, and get all our defense codes so when our planet was attacked by the Giant Crab Monsters of Galaxy X we would be defenseless. Either them or Michael Moore.

At any rate something went wrong with the programming of Mitt2D2 who is now taking the exact opposite positions that the real Mitt Romney has. Check it out:

Real Romney loves him Teh Gay. Evil android Romney, not so much.

Real Romney says stem cells mean we all live forevah! Evil android Romney, let my snowflake children go.

Real Romney says Teh womens can have their own bodies. Evil android Romney says "Submit Biotch!"

Real Romney says he tight wi da lord and so his posse. Evil Romney says, What. Ever.

Real Romney says, "Can't we all just get along?" Evil Romney says, "I'm 'bout ready to bus a cap on yo' skinny rabbit behind."

Well, it's obvious some serious rebooting is needed here, but is it too late? Have too many people caught on to the plot? What to do, what to do. Wait! The Neuralyzer! Somebody get Will Smith on the phone.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Uncle Sam Is Watching You. No Not That Uncle Sam

Hmmm...Looks like boys or Mordor have been getting busy with the eye of Sauron. Wal-Mart defended its security measures after a fired employee went public with allegations he was part of a large surveillance operation that spied on company workers, critics, vendors and consultants. "'Spied' is such a nasty word," said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Clark. We prefer to think of it as pro-active listening."

The world's largest retailer declined to comment on specific allegations made by former security technician Bruce Gabbard, 44, to the Wall Street Journal. Wal-Mart reiterated that it had promoted Gabbard and his supervisor for recording phone calls and intercepting pager messages. Then fired them for talking about it. "It's sort of our version of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,'" Clark said. "And they told."

"Like most totalitarian governments, we are allowed to have systems in place, including software systems, to monitor threats to our profit margins, potential union activity and to monitor our people," Clark told reporters. "It's no different than the CIA, NSA, or Costco."

Gabbard confirmed the allegations that he was part of a broader surveillance operation approved by the company. The team, the Threat Research and Analysis Group, was a unit of Wal-Mart's Covert Operations and Market Research Group.

Wal-Mart's Clark noted that the company had gone public with Gabbard's phone monitoring and had self-reported the issue to federal prosecutors to determine if any laws had been broken. "The minute we read the article in the Wall Street Journal, we covered our butts," Clark said. "Umm...let me rephrase that."

Wal-Mart's union-backed critics, whom Gabbard identified as among the surveillance targets, accused the retailer of being paranoid, childish and desperate. "(Wal-Mart) seems like an organization that has a culture that doesn't trust its employees and it certainly doesn't trust its vendors or consultants," said Larry Ponemon, founder of The Ponemon Institute, a research foundation that focuses on privacy and data protection practices of companies.

"What's his point?" asked Clark.

Gabbard told the newspaper that Wal-Mart sent an employee to infiltrate an anti-Wal-Mart group to learn if it was going to protest at the annual shareholders' meeting and investigated McKinsey & Co. employees it believed leaked a memo about Wal-Mart's health care plans. "It wasn't like a 007 operation or anything," Gabbard said. "More like 005. You know Wal-mart, always the lowest."

Ponemon said that most of the surveillance tactics allegedly approved by Wal-Mart appear to be legal, including the dispatch of a spy to an anti-Wal-Mart gathering, since the meeting was public.

"That's good to hear," said Clark. "But it doesn't really matter because if it wasn't legal we'd make it legal because, well, we're Wal-mart."

Clark said she could not comment on Gabbard's claim of blanket approval because "that's a pretty broad statement. We wouldn't be able to comment on that without knowing the details he's referring to. I mean, is he including the time we sicced the IRS on that union in New Jersey, or the time we got the government in China to arrest those labor organizers? See we just don't know what he knows."

Clark said the Threat Research group is no longer operating in the same manner that it did prior to the discovery of the unauthorized recording of telephone conversations. "It's been moved to an undisclosed location."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Can We At Least Protect The Cartoon Network?

OK, so you think you're a member of the Reality Based Community, that your version of the actual world has some correspondence to said world. Sure? Feeling particularly connected today? All right, explain this actual (as in we are not making this up) headline:

Bush success vs. al Qaeda breeds long-term worries

Yeah. It threw us at first too. Bush and success in the same sentence? That's enough to rip the fabric of space time right there. But before you go fretting about alternative universes leaking into this one and having to deal with Bad Kirk, take a look at the rest of the article.

Bush's administration has crippled al Qaeda's ability to order take out from most Mediterranean Delis, but at a political and economic cost that could leave the country more vulnerable in years to come, experts say. "If the question is why al Qaeda hasn't carried out another 9/11 attack, the answer I think is why should they bother? We're destroying the country ourselves faster than they ever could," said a former senior U.S. intelligence official *cough* George Tenet *cough* who spoke on condition he be given two first class tickets to Belize.

Tighter U.S. airport security, greater scrutiny of people entering the United States, constant monitoring of citizens, suspension of habeas corpus, using the constitution as a place mat in the White House mess, have made it harder for extremists to want to put the effort into planning an attack, experts said. "They've pretty much gotten all they were asking for, including getting the Miss America TV contract canceled. Again," said the expert with the funny walk.

"Make no mistake about it, however, our enemy is unemployed and has a lot of time on his hands," said Charles Allen, chief intelligence officer at the Department of Homeland Security. "There's still the Oprah Book Club. They hate that stuff."

"Look at al Qaeda's plans," said Michael Scheuer, who once led the CIA team devoted to finding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden "They're very simply defined in two phrases: get Bush elected and keep rubber stamp republicans in control of Congress long enough for him to totally stink up the place . I'd argue America has been under attack successfully every day since January 2000 from that perspective. In fact, if you think about it, George Bush has done a better job at terrorizing this country than Osama ever could."

The Iraq war has been described by U.S. intelligence as both a cause celebre for new al Qaeda recruits and a militant training ground in explosives and urban guerrilla tactics. "Not to mention a giant sucking chest wound for us," Scheurer added.

U.S. intelligence believes that bin Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri, driven from Afghanistan when U.S.-led forces ended Taliban rule there in 2001, are now trying to reestablish operations in remote, semi-autonomous tribal areas in Pakistan. "That would be the Pakistan that's our ally in the war on terror," said Allen.

But IntelCenter chief executive Ben Venzke said the chance of an al Qaeda attack on U.S. soil has grown based on the militant network's increasing references to the American homeland in public messages. "Our leading thinking is that we are closer now to an attempt at a major attack in the United States than at any point since 9/11," Venzke said. "We just need to decide which civil right we need to give up to stop it."

Monday, April 02, 2007

But We Plan To Put Nice Pictures Of The Birds In All The Corporate Lobbies

Full disclosure: we're not big fans of outside. Our idea of camping is a hotel without cable. This penchant for clean sheets and indoor plumbing probably goes back to our childhood traumas. At least once during the warm months the camping bug would bite our old daddy and it was off to the woods for our long suffering, sainted mother, our poor allergic pooch and us. Camping consisted of a pull behind pop up trailer, a hibachi and lots of adult beverages. For the grown ups the weekend was spent melting into lawn chairs while the children ran unaccompanied through the forest getting poison ivy.

Still, we have a lot of respect for the outside, considering most of the planet is there, which brings us to one Julie MacDonald, A senior Bush political appointee at the Interior Department. Now, you would think that president macho outdoors man, rancher, cowboy would at least want to preserve enough of the environment so Cheney wouldn't have to shoot his friends because there was no game left.

Or not.

Julie A. MacDonald, deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks repeatedly altered scientific field reports to minimize protections for imperiled species and disclosed confidential information to private groups seeking to pave over the state of California, the department's inspector general concluded. "Well, sure, it sounds bad when you say it like that," said a spokesperson for MacDonald.

The IG noted that MacDonald "admitted that her degree is in stenography and that she has no formal educational background from about ninth grade on," but repeatedly instructed Fish and Wildlife scientists to change their recommendations on identifying "critical habitats," despite her inability to spell 'habitat.' "Hey, I've been outside. A lot," MacDonald told reporters. "Those animals all those science nerds studied? They're pretty small. I don't think they need that much room. We'll put some trees around the edges of the parking lot."

Inspector General Earl E. Devaney referred the case to Interior's top officials for potential administrative action. "Ooooh, I'm scared,"MacDonald said at a press conference. "Just tell Devaney I've got Cheney's private cell number and lots of accidents happen outside. I'm just saying."

According to Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall, MacDonald tangled with field personnel over designating habitat for the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher, a bird whose range is from Arizona to New Mexico and Southern California. When scientists wrote that the bird had a "nesting range" of 2.1 miles, MacDonald told field personnel to change the number to 1.8 miles. Hall, a wildlife biologist who told the IG he had had a "running battle" with MacDonald, said she did not want the range to extend to California because her husband had a family ranch there. "Oh, three tenths of a mile. Big whoop," MacDonald said. "We needed to move the range back because of our pool."

The report also said MacDonald "misused her position" by disclosing confidential documents to "private sector sources" such as the Pacific Legal Foundation and the California Farm Bureau Federation, both of which have challenged endangered-species listings. "Oh sure, "MacDonald said." Everybody's looking out for the stupid birds, but who looks out for the corporations, huh? What about their environment?"

Kieran Suckling, policy director for the advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity, said "She has demoralized the entire U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by deriding its scientists, overruling its decision-makers, and showing complete disregard for professional channels of decision making."

"Just doing the job the president hired me to do," MacDonald responded.