Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Quickie: Happy (Soggy) Canada Day!

Here's how Google is marking the day — which you may not see if you have a US-based ISP.

And actually, the way it's raining in Montreal today, we're thinking of breaking out the canoes ourselves. Oh, well: Happy Canada Day anyway!


By Miss Kubelik

This is not a sports blog, but we cats simply must post about that amazing performance we witnessed last night.

No, not the US women's soccer team — although they were brilliant, much to the dismay of the six German guys who were sitting behind us. (By the way, we think it was pretty neat that they were there. It's a long way from Berlin to Montreal, and, you know, those were girls down on the field.)

Nope, the other amazing performance was the pumped-up screaming of the 51,000 fans who filled Montreal's ramshackle Stade Olympique — nearly all of whom were ardent, unbridled and oddly dressed Americans.

Now, we cats generally recoil when we see thousands of people decked out in the south-of-the-border version of bleu, blanc et rouge. Our first reaction is that we've wandered into a teabag rally or stumbled into the Republican convention. But these fans couldn't have cared less about Supreme Court decisions, fast-track authority, the Confederate flag, fair housing or Obamacare. All they wanted was for the US to beat Germany.

We cats have never been among so many other Americans in Montreal. We're used to being the only Yanks in the crowd, so it was kind of surreal. But you know what? Considering the dramatic 2-0 win we were lucky enough to be present for, and the amazing week that the United States has just enjoyed, it was pretty fun. And so we PURR.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Talking Points For Pundits — As Clear As Black And White

By Zamboni

Last week was so momentous and satisfying that we cats are still doing our happy dance and feeling like we've barely recovered. But even though we're quaffing champagne and throwing confetti and sucking up every ounce of news coverage we can, we're nevertheless aware of what the pundits aren't yet saying. Here are a few points that we'd just like to get on the record.

Everybody is agog over President Obama's singing during that remarkable eulogy for Clemenza Pinkney on Friday, and we cats concur. But although the video has gone viral, is anyone focusing on the real eloquence of his sermon? ("Sermon" because, well, that's what it was. Thank you, Reverend President.) We cats were so impressed when Obama tied the immortal line "I was blind, but now I see" to white America's sudden understanding of how black Americans feel about the Confederate flag. Sheer, sheer eloquence — and a reminder that preaching can be uplifting when it's done by someone with intelligence and perspective.

As for the little prick who killed all those warm and welcoming people on June 17, has anyone mentioned when his trial(s) will be? It looks like he'll be tried by South Carolina for murder and probably also by the federal government for a hate crime to end all hate crimes. So most likely he'll be back in court first in October, and then in February 2016 — right in the middle of Presidential primary season. Heck, the South Carolina primary is February 20! The Republican Party can't be looking forward to that.

As for the so-called backlash against the removal of the Confederate flag, we cats say, piffle. Who's "renouncing history"? Not us. (In fact, we wish Americans understood more of their history. Can PBS rerun Ken Burns's "Civil War" any time soon?) That battle-flag rag belongs in a museum, or maybe in a Confederate cemetery, but nowhere else — especially on public lands. We cats applaud the gutsy woman who scaled the flagpole in Charleston and ripped the damn thing down from the state capitol grounds. It's a symbol not only of race hatred but of an armed insurrection against the United States — and we're surprised that all those faux patriots who defend it (and the opinion leaders who wring their hands over "renouncing history") don't understand that.

So that's it for the moment, although we're sure that more pointers will occur to us as the days go by (and the champagne wears off). Meanwhile, let's just say that we hope Pundit World will get more thoughtful about a lot of this stuff. They should stop bouncing between left-right and thinking that they do their jobs if they merely present both sides, and maybe inject a little nuance into their coverage instead. For inspiration, we suggest that they read, and reread, Obama's Pinkney eulogy. And we PURR.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Tonight, Our Union Is A Little More Purr-fect

An astonishing day. There's too much to cover in one or even 10 blog posts.

So we'll take a catnap and come back to it all, we promise. Because aside from that great Supreme Court decision today, we also had a Presidential performance extraordinaire. And that was after his remarks this morning in the Rose Garden.

Good night for now — and may we wake up tomorrow still striving to embody the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion... and all that other stuff. We cats PURR.

Even MORE Evidence For RBG's Good Mood

By Baxter

On the day that the Supreme Court affirms gay marriage nationwide, it feels good to quote a queen.

No, seriously. We're talking about England's late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Her most magic moment may have come during the Second World War, when Buckingham Palace, previously unscathed, was blitzed. "I'm glad we've been bombed," she said, surveying the damage. "Now I feel I can look the East End in the face."

Amen to that, Queenie. When we cross the border into Canada this weekend, we'll be happy that, for the first time as Americans, we can truly look that tolerant, diverse, marriage-equality-affirming country in the face. We cats PURR and PURR and PURR.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Obamacare: Who's Smiling, Who's Not

By Sniffles

Surely the millions of Americans (some leukemia-ridden) who would have lost their Obamacare coverage if today's Supreme Court decision had gone the other way must be raising a glass tonight. And whew, we don't blame them. What a relief it must be to know that the GOP wasn't able to snatch their healthcare away!

Then just for fun, we started to wonder who else must be celebrating. Which led us to think about who wasn't. Here's who we came up with, on both sides.

Everyone knows how Antonin Scalia feels. He made it abundantly clear with all that bile and colorful language he spouted from the bench. ("Jiggery-pokery"? What century is he from?) But as long as we're on the subject of vocabulary, we'd like to say that it's highly amusing that the name "Scalia" is so close to the word "sclerotic." (As Casey Stengel would say, you could look it up.)

And of course our teabaggy friends over at Free Republic are definitely not putting on a happy face. In fact, they've been raging all day — not knowing whether to impeach John Roberts or move to Costa Rica first. But if there's a heaven, and if Ted Kennedy is there, he's one grin-bearing angel right now. (Would President Obama have pushed so hard for healthcare reform early in his first term if Kennedy had not died when he did? We wonder.)

We cats have heard all day that, behind the scenes, the Republicans are relieved that they don't have to deal with the fallout of an adverse SCOTUS ruling. Horrors — they might have had to come up with an alternative! But balancing that out, we think, is the big headache they're going to have in the 2016 clown car race. The words "litmus test" come to mind. (And just imagine how rigid that litmus test will be if the Supremes uphold marriage equality nationwide!)

Finally, of course, we cats are thrilled. Sure, it might have been fun to watch Paul Ryan and his fellow House goofballs try to cobble together an ACA replacement by the middle of next week. But thanks, we'll take today's King v. Burwell decision over that any day. Many Americans will sleep easier tonight, thanks to the Supreme Court, and that makes us PURR.

First Evidence For RBG's Happy Mood

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."
—Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.