Saturday, February 11, 2006

Too much ice cream....

...makes for a sleepy, sleepy plushmonster.


Dessert all around. Zombie movies always make me hungry.

Looking for aliens

Maxx looks skyward for the imminent alien invasion.

Bush to sell national forest lands

Okay, this just makes me angry. Rather than even consider phasing out some of the tax cuts for the most wealthy (tax cuts that they originally said were temporary), the chimperor is proposing to sell off up to a billion dollars worth of our national forests to subsidize schools in rural areas. And why is there a shortfall in the first place? Chimpy's 2007 budget calls for funding to be cut from those areas. The Houston Chronicle reports: Bush team seeks to sell land
The Bush administration Friday laid out plans to sell off more than $1 billion in public land during the next decade, including 85,000 acres of National Forest property in California.

Most of the proceeds would help pay for rural schools and roads, making up for a federal subsidy that has been eliminated from President Bush's 2007 budget.

The cynic in me thinks of all those logging interests who have been itching to get their mitts on our heritage, those stunning national forests. So it's a two-fer for him. Reward his contibutors, and keep his wealthy "base" happy.

In the meantime, our Canadian neighbors came down on the right side of conservation. Canada to protect wildlife and logging in huge B.C. park. The new park in British Columbia will be twice the size of Yellowstone.
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Canada unveiled a 16 million-acre preserve Tuesday, including parkland covering an area twice the size of Yellowstone, teeming with grizzly bears, wolves and wild salmon in the ancestral home of many native tribes.

Closing another chapter of the wars between environmentalists and loggers, the Great Bear Rainforest is the result of an accord between governments, aboriginal First Nations, the logging industry and environmentalists.

It will stretch 250 miles along British Columbia's rugged Pacific coastline -- the ancestral home of groups whose cultures date back thousands of years. The area also sustains a rare white bear found only in British Columbia, called "spirit bears" by the Gitga'at people of the region.

"The agreement on these areas represents an unprecedented collaboration between First Nations, industry, local governments and many other stakeholders in how we manage the vast richness of B.C.'s coast for the benefit of all British Columbians," said Premier Gordon Campbell, who was accompanied by native dancers and drummers for the announcement and formal First Nations blessing.

The republicans won't be happy until the entire country is paved over and filled with McMansions. Feh.

Latest Hubble

We haven't seen anything from Hubble in a while- this is one of the latest images of a pinwheel galaxy. NGC 1309
Looking like a child's pinwheel ready to be set a spinning by a gentle breeze, this dramatic spiral galaxy is one of the latest viewed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Stunning details of the face-on spiral galaxy, cataloged as NGC 1309, are captured in this color image.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Root beer floats....

all around!! Enjoy!

Let the games begin!

AP Photo/Chris Helgren

I wish I were there. What a lovely photograph.

Update: Sorry, this is the fireworks display over Olympic Stadium as the Olympic torch is lit.

Let the curses begin!!

Photograph by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

A stunning anouncement of a new tomb opened in the Valley of the Kings, via National Geographic News- New Tomb Opened in Egypt's Valley of the Kings
LUXOR, Egypt (AP)—Through a partially opened underground door, Egyptian authorities gave a peek Friday into the first new tomb uncovered in the Valley of the Kings since that of King Tutankhamun in 1922. U.S. archaeologists said they discovered the tomb by accident while working on a nearby site.

Still unknown is whose mummies are in the five wooden sarcophagi with painted funeral masks, surrounded by alabaster jars inside the undecorated single-chamber tomb.

I loves me some mummies. I wonder if the 42 foot one knows about this?

Eeeeeeeek!! A mouse......

...there's a mouse on my cat! how did that happen?

Maxx sez, "Now I shall have to keeeeeeelllll you! hold still."

Early friday lion kitty Maxx fix.....

Atrios probably won't give us kitties, so Maxx has valiantly agreed to be pimped for your cat-blogging pleasure.

Never Forget

Michael Appleton/New York Daily News

I post this photograph to remind us all why we can never forget what happened in New Orleans. Take a good look. This is not a war photograph. This is an American city in the aftermath of a natuaral disaster.

Our government failed the people of New Orleans with their incompetence and malicious disregard.

Our government is failing them still.

(This image released by World Press Photo in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 , shows the third prize Spot News Stories of the World Press Photo 2006 contest by American photographer Michael Appleton, New York Daily News, showing Hurricane Katrina aftermath in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Michael Appleton)


Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

"I too, am an enormous douchebag."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lion kitty Maxx...


The Rainbow....

photo: Rob Kendrick, National Geographic

For Thursday, in my quest to become one with all peoples of the world.... I shall be a sherpa!!

It was SOOOO scary....

AP Ron Edmonds

... his feet were smoking and everything!

Update: ed. note- I don't believe a fucking word he says about anything.

The best thing about the olympics....

AFP Franck Fife that we won't have to see a a bunch of jingoist US crap. I'm so glad they're in Italy. Photo is of the bridge leading into the Olympic Village.

This Plush is for you Hecate!!

I am rewarding good behavior. Hecate's lunch with John Asscrack


Illustration courtesy Zhongda Zhang/IVPP

Via National Geographic, scientists in China have discovered the earliest known ancestor of T-Rex. T. Rex's Oldest Ancestor Discovered in China
Scientists say the 160-million-year-old animal, which had simple feathers and an elaborate head crest, is the oldest known tyrannosaur—a group of swift, flesh-eating dinos that culminated in T. rex some 90 million years later.

Two specimens of the previously unknown dinosaur have been found in the fossil-rich badlands of Xinjiang province in northwest China.

Boy, that evolution is something, eh? He looks hungry. Maybe we can feed him some fundies.

Big Game Hunting

Via Rorschact, we learn that Libby is going to testify that Cheney authorized the leak of classified information in the Plame matter. Murray Waas reports: Cheney 'Authorized' Libby to Leak Classified Information
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.


Beyond what was stated in the court paper, say people with firsthand knowledge of the matter, Libby also indicated what he will offer as a broad defense during his upcoming criminal trial: that Vice President Cheney and other senior Bush administration officials had earlier encouraged and authorized him to share classified information with journalists to build public support for going to war. Later, after the war began in 2003, Cheney authorized Libby to release additional classified information, including details of the NIE, to defend the administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case for war.

Oh. My. Fitzgerald seems to have some very big game in his sights.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Alien Carrots!! invasion!!!! Eeeeeeek!!

I think there is stuff on my cat.

I am all colors of the rainbow

photo: Izzet Keribar

Some too-stupid-to-live fool in comments at Eschaton said something that really bothered me yesterday. I quote:
"This is a period of dramatic racial transformation of our species and that fact should be discussed more openly.

Your agenda disdains any such discussion, however."

Uh, WTF? I guess the troll meant that icky people were interbreeding with scary brown people and diluting the white man's magnificence.

So okay, let's talk about it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the genes that are responsible for things like skin color, eye shape, etc. make up a really teensy-tiny part of our genetic code. We're all one species.

So, in honor of stupid trolls everywhere, I shall proclaim my fondest wish... that everyone in the world should interbreed like crazy and turn us all a lovely cafe au lait.

And I, four legs good, resolve to be a different nationality and color every single day!!

So for today, I am...... ummmmm.... Japanese!! excellent! Who knows what I'll be tomorrow?

(really, the stupid things wingers worry about)

Boner's basement

Via Crooks and Liars, Jack Cafferty had another sterling moment this afternnoon. Jack Cafferty and Boehner's Basement
Wolf: You did hear Ed Henry say that it is a basement apartment which is not necessarily all that desirable---

Cafferty: Yea...and pigs fly upside down and the moon is made of green cheese and there's no quid pro quo from a lobbyist who is also your landlord. Do I look like I just fell out of the back of a vegetable truck to you?

That's just damned funny. Cafferty may deserve a daily plushy for that.

Mr. Plushy thinks McCranky is an asshole

He's not amused.

I'd have to agree with him. What a wise feline!!

Help meeeeeeeeee!!!

Rueters/Yves Herman
Someone rescue me! my human is an asshole!!

Lost world

Photograph © Stephen Richards/CI

Via National Geographic News, scientists have found a treasure trove of new species in New Guinea. "Lost World" Found in Indonesia Is Trove of New Species
To boldly go where no one has gone before, one group of scientists didn't have to venture into space. They found a lost world right here on Earth.

"It really was like crossing some sort of time warp into a place that people hadn't been to," said Bruce Beehler of the wildlife expedition he co-led in December into the isolated Foja Mountains on the tropical South Pacific island of New Guinea.

"We were like kids in a candy store," said Beehler, a bird expert with Conservation International in Washington, D.C. "Everywhere we looked we saw amazing things we had never seen before."

Read the rest. Mother earth in all her glory!

On Bipartisianship

Just a couple of thoughts on the Obama/McCranky flap.

It seems to me that the problem here is the definition of "bipartisan." Remember that Grover Norquist said that, "bipartisanship is just another word for date-rape." Republicans have internalized that definition during the past 4 years. Their idea of "working together" is that the democrats shuffle in like good little ass-wipped chillens and get with the republican program.

Silly Obama, expecting to bring his ideas to the table. Whatever was he thinking? (/sarcasm)

And Sen. Joementum! yeah, I'm talking to you. Thanks for fucking nothing. You are now officially "part of the problem." It's time for you to get out of the way. You're hurting America.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Later that same night....

A post prowl nap. Sigh.

Why I can't get an action photo...

Mr. Plushy makes a break for it as soon as I walk in the door. Feh.

Come jump on my fucking razor sharp pitchfork....

Digby has the lowdown on that disgracefill waste of oxygen, Kate O'Beirne's appalling attack on Jimmy Carter this afternoon. Stop Making Sense
Kate O'Beirne isn't fit to wipe Coretta Scott King's shoes and criticizing her on the day of her memorial service is disgusting. What kind of unfeeling ghouls have Republicans become??

Why Digby! the soul sucking, brain-eating radioactive zombie type.

And O'Beirne? I don't really like this expression- but O'Beirne is a cunt. And the perfect ambassador for her party.

I miss my president...

At today's service for Coretta Scott King..
This is a woman, as well as a symbol, as well as the embodiment of her husband's legacy and the developer of her own.

The second point I want to make is the most important day in her life for everyone of us here at this moment in this church except when she embraced her faith, the next most important day was April 5, 1968, the day after her husband was killed. She had to decide, "What am I going to do with the rest of my life?"

We would have all forgiven her, even honored her if she said, "I have stumbled on enough stony roads. I have been beaten by enough bitter rods. I have endured enough dangers, toils and snares. I'm going home and raising my kids. I wish you all well."


Because what really matters if you believe all this stuff we've been saying is what are we going to do with the rest of our lives?

What are we going to do?

This is the first day of the rest of our lives. And we haven't finished our long journey home.

Sometimes I get tired. The complete and utter stupidity and maliciousness of the other side just exhausts me.

Listening to Clinton today I remembered why we fight. And why the fight matters. Thank you President Clinton.


Reuters/Yves Herman

The invasion has begun!

Feingold on Abu Gonzales

Russ Feingold, who is a plushy hero, discusses Abu and his curious relationship with truth and the constitution at Talking Points Memo Cafe: "What We Heard From the Attorney General".

Not surprisingly, it isn't flattering.

Conspiracy... eh?

Via firedoglake, we learn that John Dickerson, formerly of TIME Magazine, has spilled his guts in Slate on his role in l'affaire Plame. Where's My Supoena?

As Reddhedd says, he drops some bombshells. Dickerson Speaks...And Drops Some Bombshells
In Washington, the only thing worse than having to testify before a grand jury is not being asked to. I never wanted to go to prison or make hard choices about protecting my sources, but I thought I'd get more out of my bit part in the Valerie Plame saga than the overheated scrutiny of a few bloggers.

Back when I was at Time, I co-wrote the July, 2003 story that has made the last two years of Matthew Cooper's life so difficult. After the special counsel went after Matt so enthusiastically, the arrival of men in trench coats asking what I knew seemed imminent. But I never got to try out any of my Dashiell Hammett lines on them. When my other former Time colleague Viveca Novak got tangled in Fitzgerald's hunt last year, I thought, OK, they're coming now for sure. Nope. No Fitzgerald; no FBI; no nothing.


But it turns out the special counsel was on to me all along. Last week, Scooter Libby filed a motion requesting materials from Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation.


Though Fitzgerald threw out the tidbit about me (thanks, Pat), he turned down Libby's request to pick through his investigative material. Now it's up to the judge to decide whether Libby gets to take a look. While the wheels of justice grind, here's my story....

Go read the rest, and reddhedd's excellent analysis. The WHIG group has got some serious 'splaining to do.

Show me, don't snow me...

Digby has a great post up about how the democrats communicate and why they're so fucking bad at it. Process Talk I'm going to quote at length so bear with me:
Via Armando over at Kos I see this statement from Tom Vilsack today:

Gov. Tom Vilsack said Monday that Democrats risk political backlash if they object to the Bush administration's wiretapping but cannot show that Americans' civil liberties are at risk.

The Democratic governor, who is weighing a 2008 presidential bid, said the party will suffer if it continues to be perceived as weaker than Republicans on national security.

. . . "If the president broke the law, that's unacceptable. But I think it's debateable whether he did," Vilsack told Des Moines Register editors and reporters. "And I think Democrats are falling into a very, very large political trap," he said. "Democrats are not going to win elections until they can reassure people they are going to keep them safe."

There are many things about this statement that are bullshit. I don't have to lay them all out for you. But I would like to expound on one aspect of this statement that drives me crazy: it's a process answer.

A process answer is saying what "we should say" instead of just saying it. Nothing drives me more nuts than a politician who talks process instead of engaging voters directly. In this instance it's a backstab equal to anything one of those run-at-the-mouth strategists says to the NY Times to boost his cool factor among the mediatarts. He's positioning hemself as a "reasonable" centrist on national security, but he clearly has nothing to offer on the subject at hand so he just talks about what "we should be doing."

A fucking men. Go read the rest, it's brilliant.

Let me just add that any good writer what the key to great prose is - you never want to tell your reader (or your listener) anything. That's doubly true for politicians.

Have something to say and say it clearly and directly. Quit fucking around. And STOP stabbing us in the back with this "dems are weak on national security crap." It's not helpful.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Come hither plushy

You'd think that all he does is lay on the sofa....oh well. Still teh cute.

Just for beauty's sake


Isn't this gorgeous? Birds at sunset in India. Lovely.


This illustration by space artist Lynette Cook shows a planet ingestion in the HD 82943 system, a solar-type star in the constellation Hydra. HD 82943 has been shown to contain a significant amount of lithium-6, inferring that it swallowed one or more large planets during its history. Since astronomers detected the first planet outside our solar system in 1995, Cook has been illustrating what their instruments reveal about distant unseen worlds.

Beware the dreaded ocelot!!

Teh wild and plushy.

Dark Matter

Scientists are beginning to understand the properties about the strange stuff of the universe known as "dark matter." Via BBC, Dark Matter Comes Out of the Cold
Last Updated: Sunday, 5 February 2006, 23:25 GMT
Astronomers have for the first time put some real numbers on the physical characteristics of dark matter.

This strange material that dominates the Universe but which is invisible to current telescope technology is one of the great enigmas of modern science.

That it exists is one of the few things on which researchers have been certain.

But now an Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, team has at last been able to place limits on how it is packed in space and measure its "temperature".

What's fascinating is that scientists believe that instead of being cold, as current theory suggests, dark matter probably is at least 10,000 degrees, but still doesn't radiate. And bricks! space bricks of 1000 light years across! who knew god had been so busy these past 6,000 years?

(ed. note- the above picture is of the Triangular Nebula and has nothing whatsoever to do with dark matter. It is pretty though)


Atrios has the transcript of the hilarious encounter between powerline mega-wanker and Senator Durbin: Great Moments in Powertoolery
DURBIN: I’ll check out Pajamaline, but I’m not familiar with your publication.

I wonder how his investors are feeling today? What a baffoon.

NSA Hearings- Riddle me this?

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Firedoglake, Glen Greenwald and others have been liveblogging the hearings. I just can't get past one thing- why the hell didn't they put him under oath? Why?

He said he would go under oath voluntarily, and they still declined on a party line vote.

I find this outrageous. Simply outrageous.

Reform, Boner Style

We learn from the WAPO this morning that Rep. Boner (R- Fuckyuistan) is all for lobbying reform, as long as it doesn't actually involve, ummmm..... reform. Boehner Opposes Sweeping Changes in Lobbying.
Newly elected House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said he opposed efforts to ban privately funded travel for members of Congress and provisions in spending bills that fund lawmakers' pet projects.


"In the past, when these scandals have erupted, what's happened is Congress has overreacted, and two days later nobody knew what happened," he said on "Fox News Sunday." He said he would favor more disclosure of dealings with lobbyists but would not seek complete bans on travel or "earmark" provisions. "Bringing more transparency to this relationship, I think, is the best way to control it. But taking actions to ban this and ban that, when there's no appearance of a problem, there's no foundation of a problem, I think, in fact, does not serve the institution well."

Shorter Boner, "We loves us some earmarks! so let's not get carried away by this ethics stuff."

As Billmon would say, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

SuperBowl? who cares. Super Plushy!!

I know I promised action photos, but I've been standing in a darkroom for the past 8 hours and I'm too tired to chase Mr. Plushy around. Maybe tomorrow.

One must post with the plushy one has, not the plushy one wishes one has.

Sunday Snow Cat

Hidey-ho! out in the snow!

(yes, there will be plush later, when I get back from the darkroom)

Plame not actually "just a housewife"

Gee, what a surprise! It turns out that the CIA actually knew what they were talking about when they referred the matter of Plame's outing to justice. Newsweek is reporting that Plame was still covert, and that the CIA was taking affirmative action to protect her identity.
Feb. 13, 2006 issue - Newly released court papers could put holes in the defense of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the Valerie Plame leak case. Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003. But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion.

I wonder what libby defense crowd will come up with next? Perhaps Libby can blame the matter on a manimal conspiracy.


Lion kitty Maxx's long-lost beautiful sister.

Update: I neglected to say that Magoo lives with Barry in Alaska.