They crawled into the newsroom, waves of agonized staffers unable to cope with the layoffs, the downsizing, the outsourcing, the gas prices, the mortgage payments, the campaigns, the Iranians, the Chinese, and the current season of "So You Think You Can Dance?"
They slithered up to the editor's desk, each raising a stapler in their right hands and pledging allegiance to the noble cause of smart-aleck journalism, whatever cause that might be, vowing to get back to work taking low-cost pot shots at anything rolling off the teletype. Of course, they forgot we ditched the teletype about the same time people started asking, "What's a Macintosh?"
"You don't understand," I tell the aggrieved masses. "We don't have a budget anymore."
It doesn't matter. The cause is important enough to warrant its own version of Skunk Works. So we shall carry on, laboring when we can, striking while the inspiration is hot. As for a paycheck, Larry's Sub Shop is hiring down the street.
GO DEPORT YOURSELF! The INS has got a deal for illegal immigrants: turn yourself in during most of August, and avoid arrest and detention. As always, you have to read the fine print, as the Arizona Daily Star explains:
The program doesn't offer any monetary compensation or a path to legalization.With a lack of discernible benefits other than a clear conscience and a shame-free return, your Lightning Round wonders if illegals will opt instead for the government's repatriation program, which includes a free flight back to Mexico.
"The benefit is not being detained and being allowed to make arrangements for their families and themselves to join them or to schedule their departure," [ICE official Jim] Hayes said. "But there is very little chance with an individual who has a final order of removal, that they are going to be eligible for any other type of benefit."
(No, wingnuts, you can't self-deport Isabel Garcia. Please get real.)
AND YOU THOUGHT MORRIS WAS BIG. "Princess Chunk" is turning into the new poster-cat for the foreclosure crisis. The story of the 44-pound cat has bubbled up from the kicker block to the first segment now that its owner has come forward, saying she abandoned the cat because she was losing her home.
The obvious question: Was the cat eating her out of house and home? Even Garfield had to go on a few diets.
We don't know, but now the cat will surely get a new home in light of all the television exposure... and possibly a lap-band.
BIPARTISANSHIP George H.W. Bush accused future President Clinton of trying to be on both sides of an issue. Might he say the same about California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's backing John McCain but praising Barack Obama?
As the AP reported:
"I would take his (Obama's) call now, I will take his call when he's president—any time. Remember, no matter who is president, I don't see this as a political thing. I see this as we always have to help, no matter what the administration is," he said.Even if that call came at 3am?
GOING, GOING... It's looking less and less likely that Sen. Hillary Clinton will be Obama's running mate, killing any hope of a dream ticket. She'll have to settle for a convention speech, according to a message from Hillary backers disclosed by the Boston Globe:
"We hope you are as pleased as we are that he has tapped Senator Clinton to deliver one of the most important messages of that crucial week—the very role that Barack Obama had four years ago," the message says. "Regretfully, this means that Senator Hillary Clinton is no longer under consideration as Senator Obama’s running mate."Pleased, maybe, but still grumbling under their teeth and driving a bus with Bill's name on it. We'll let you figure out where they're going with it.
SEX, LIES, AND THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT. The Fellowship of the Interlocking Rings will be checking the gender of athletes at the Beijing games using lab tests, because looks aren't enough.
From The Guardian:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) introduced sex testing in 1968 at the Olympic games in Mexico City, after the masculine appearance of some competitors, many pumped up by anabolic steroids, had started to raise questions about the gender of athletes in female events. Unsurprisingly, gender-determination tests were seen as degrading, with female competitors having to submit to humiliating and invasive physical examinations by a series of doctors. Later, the IOC decided to use a supposedly more sophisticated genetic test, based on chromosomes. Women usually have two X chromosomes; men an X and a Y chromosome. So, according to the rules of the test, only those athletes with two X chromosomes could be classed as women. However, many geneticists criticized the tests, saying that sex is not as simple as X and Y chromosomes and is not always simple to ascertain.And in the age of the "meterosexual," that's the understatement of the year.
Conduct yourselves as ladies and gentlemen, dearest readers, until we return... whenever that may be.