Saturday, February 25, 2006

Eeeeek!!! they're back!!

Maxx does not welcome our marshmallowy overlords.

A Year in Iraq- A Lifetime of Cowardice

Atrios calls our attention the today's review of Paul Bremer's new book, "My Year in Iraq," in today's NYTimes. Desert Sturm:
The most startling moment in "My Year in Iraq," L. Paul Bremer III's memoir from his days as the head of the American occupation, comes near the end, when violent uprisings were sweeping most of the central and southern parts of the country in May 2004. With the whole American enterprise verging on collapse, Bremer decided to secretly ask the Pentagon for tens of thousands of additional American troops — a request that, as the rest of his book makes clear, was taboo in the White House and Pentagon.

Bremer turned to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top American commander in Iraq, and asked him what he would do with two more divisions, as many as 40,000 more troops. General Sanchez did not hesitate to answer. "I'd control Baghdad," he said. Bremer then mentioned some other uses for the soldiers, like securing Iraq's borders and protecting its infrastructure, to which General Sanchez replied: "Got those spare troops handy, sir?"


Thanks to Bremer's book, we now know he harbored doubts of his own. He knew, or at least strongly suspected, that the fledging Iraqi security forces weren't up to the job. He just didn't say so in public.

Bremer's concern reflected a broader disquiet: "Coalition forces were spread too thin on the ground," he writes. "During my morning intelligence briefings, I would sometimes picture an understrength fire crew racing from one blaze to another."

As Atrios notes, this is hardly a profile in courage. Bremer knew things were going from bad to totally hellish, and kept quiet. And he wasn't alone. He still isn't. As Atrios notes, the entire media has been complicit in keeping the "tinkerbell" strategy alive.

I'm not for letting any of them off the hook. There are real consequences to invading a fucking country and blowing it to shit on false pretenses. Take a look at some of them:

AP/Alaa Al-Marjani
AP/Mohammed Adan

Let's be clear, all the death, all the destruction, all the mayhem... it's America's fault. And those who could have spoken up, and chose not to, deserve a special place in hell.

More space news....


... and because the photograph is beautiful. This is an artist's conception of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter over the Martian landscape. The MRO is on course to enter orbit around the red planet on March 10th. It will spend 2 years photographing the planet's surface.

It is my fondest dream to someday walk the surface of an alien world. Sigh.

Mardi Gras

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

I think even chimpy should get the symbolism of this float.

Then again, maybe not. He is pretty slow.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A new supernova??

Via, NASA has detected a mystery explosion only 440 million light years away that might signal the beginning of a new supernova. NASA Detects 'Totally New' Mystery Explosion Nearby
Astronomers have detected a new type of cosmic outburst that they can't yet explain. The event was very close to our galaxy, they said.

The eruption might portend an even brighter event to come, a supernova.

It was spotted by NASA's Swift telescope and is being monitored by other telescopes around the world as scientists wait to see what will happen.

Neil Gehrels, principal investigator for the Swift mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, called the event "totally new, totally unexpected."

If the eruption indeed precedes a supernova, then it would reach peak brightness in about a week, scientists said.

The event, detected Feb. 18, looks something like a gamma-ray burst (GRB), scientists said. But it is much closer—about 440 million light-years away—than others. And it lasted about 33 minutes. Most GRBs are billions of light-years away and last less than a second or just a few seconds.

Other aspects of the newfound eruption were inexplicable, astronomers said. It was dimmer than most. Even so, the newly spotted point of light in the sky outshines the entire galaxy in which the event occurred.

Fascinating. If it's not a supernova, what is it?

other people's cats

This is the mean kitty down the way that chases poor little lion kitty when he goes out on his nightly prowls. Bad kitty!

In his defense, he is rather fluffy.

Space News!!

Via National Geographic News, it appears that Pluto has two more moons. We know this courtesy of Hubble, the space telescope that chimpy doesn't seem to worried about saving. Pluto has two more moons, Hubble confirms.
February 23, 2006—Rumors of twins have been swirling around a certain heavenly body lately (hint: we're not talking about Angelina Jolie). Now the truth can be revealed.

A Hubble Space Telescope image released yesterday confirms what a fuzzy shot taken last May only hinted at: Two more moons have been found orbiting Pluto, making a total of three.

The new picture, captured on February 15, shows S/2005 P 1 and S/2005 P 2—catchier names will come later—faintly glowing in the starlike shine of Pluto and its other moon, Charon.

Astronomers led by astrophysicist Hal Weaver of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, estimate that P 1 is 38 miles (61 kilometers) in diameter, versus P 2's 29 miles (47 kilometers).

The newfound moons orbit on the same plane as Charon. This suggests that all three moons were born from a cataclysmic collision of two Pluto-size objects millions of years ago, the researchers write in a report in today's issue of the journal Nature.

It occurs to me that that might be a nice place to send neo-cons.

Friday cat blogging

Max would like to bite chimpy's little haid off... I won't let him because it's probably toxic.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mr. Plushy is ready....

.... to go all deadwood on chimpy's ass.

Seven Soldiers Dead

EPA/Ali Hussein copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Sectarian Fury Turns Violent in Wake of Iraq Shrine Blast
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 23 — At least 138 Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs and including some clerics, were killed in central Iraq Wednesday and today in the maelstrom of sectarian violence that followed the insurgent bombing of one of the country's most sacred Shiite shrines, Iraqi officials said.

Iraqis protesting against the attack on the holy Shiite shrine in Samarra today in Baghdad. More Photos >
Seven American soldiers also died in attacks, the American military said today.

The most powerful Sunni Arab political group said today that it was withdrawing from talks with Shiite and Kurdish politicians to form a new government, accusing Shiite leaders of igniting anti-Sunni reprisals and the American military of standing idly by as the violence unfolded.

That's seven more american soldiers dead today. Three iraqi journalists. Over 125 iraqi soldiers and civilians killed.

Take a good long look. This is the price of georgie's excellent iraqi adventure.

Oh, and the red stuff in puddle in the photo? human blood.


AFP/Goh Chai Hin

Congratulations to Japan's Shiuzuka Arakawa on her stunning gold medal win in women's ice skating. I'm delighted Slutskaya didn't win.

(Sorry, mean of me, I know, but what do you expect from a cranky manimal?) What a lovely photo, eh?

I don't think they like us

AP/A. Mahesh Kumar

That nice man forgot to bring us flowers and bon bons.

Iraq is Broken

Ali Yussef/AFP Getty Images

This is the caption for the photo: "An Iraqi mother, her face covered by the blood of her two policemen sons who were shot dead by gunmen, holds their shoes as she takes part in their funeral procession in Baqouba on Wednesday."

Everytime we see a photo like this, remember, we did this. Iraq is broken, maybe irrevocably, and it's our fault.

Next time little Scottie gets up on his podium and intones about how "freedom is on the march" and how millions of Iraqis are grateful to be able to vote, I'm going to jump through these internets and jam my foot up his ass.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Kitten WARS!!!!!!!

This punk rock kitten will stop Eli. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Babius plushius....

My! what big ears you have, little plushy one.


Shall be your co-pilot for the remainder of the afternoon.

If Only....

Reuters/Jason Reed

...a light would go off in his head, instead of over it.

A hotbed of star formation

Image Credit: European Space Agency, NASA, and J. Hester

This Hubble photograph captures a small region within Messier 17 (M17), a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5500 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation. The wave-like patterns of gas have been sculpted and illuminated by a torrent of ultraviolet radiation from young, massive stars

Home on the Range

Lovely. The WAPO is reporting this morning that the BLM is putting drilling interests in the west ahead of conservation and wildlife preservation. Federal Wildlife Monitors Oversee a Boom in Drilling
PINEDALE, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Land Management, caretaker of more land and wildlife than any federal agency, routinely restricts the ability of its own biologists to monitor wildlife damage caused by surging energy drilling on federal land, according to BLM officials and bureau documents.

The officials and documents say that by keeping many wildlife biologists out of the field doing paperwork on new drilling permits and that by diverting agency money intended for wildlife conservation to energy programs, the BLM has compromised its ability to deal with the environmental consequences of the drilling boom it is encouraging on public lands.

It's not terribly surprising, but it is illustrative of this administration's general contempt of congress and the american people. Read the article- congress specifically appropriated money to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) to monitor the impact of drilling on public land on indigenous wildlife.

So what do they do? Hire biologists as mandated and then make them work on drilling permits. It's a breathtaking act of arrogance. And it's an abuse of the public trust. You have to know something is terribly wrong when oil company executives are calling BLM's policies bone-headed.

Bush has routinely claimed a commitment to conservation. He is a liar.

Worst. Administration. Ever.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Maxx does a fan dance....

... for your late night viewing pleasure.


Busy day again. Let Mr. Plushy entertain you.

Monday, February 20, 2006

"Come out from there!!!...

" evil alien carrot, you!"

"I wonder.....

AP/Pablo Marinez Monsivais
...if mah poll numbers will look higher through these glasses? guess not."

You have to wonder if after these events his staff tells him, "you did a heck of a job sir."

Update: those hands look dangerously gay, n'est-ce pas?


......Dick Cheney is trying to shoot me in the face!!!"

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday night where the heck is 4lgs? blogging

Lion kitty Maxx is annoyed that I walked in the door at 11:15 this evening.