Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If The Lion Had Lived

By Sniffles

Now that Chuck Schumer has provided us with headlines like this, we cats have to admit to something that, coincidentally, has been on our minds: A "what if?" game with the Affordable Care Act.

We generally don't care for "what ifs." But in this case, with the ACA once again in danger from the right-wing maniacs on the Supreme Court, we were wondering what might have happened if Senator Edward Kennedy had not died on August 25, 2009.

Actually, we have to go back to January of 2008, when Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for President. Did Obama promise then and there that if elected, he would dedicate his first term to Kennedy's signature issue, healthcare reform? Or did Obama decide to pursue it once it became clear that his friend the Massachusetts Senator was seriously ill?

We'll probably never know — Teddy is gone, and the President's not much of a sharer, is he? But it doesn't matter because the big question right now is how much better off the ACA would be if it had had a living, breathing Edward Kennedy to shepherd it through.

Answer: A lot.

Just picture the long-serving Kennedy holding forth on affordable healthcare on the Senate floor. Buttonholing colleagues in the cloakroom. Working the phones to wavering members late at night. Driving not only himself but his expert staff to fight the battle in the offices, dining rooms, gyms and watering holes of Capitol Hill. Gosh, the bill even might have passed with a few Republican votes!

And most of all, imagine Teddy elbowing John McCain off the Sunday talk shows and championing healthcare reform to the skies. In fact, he'd have been everywhere — on TV, talk radio, the Internet, in town halls, in infomercials, at pro-ACA rallies — not only selling affordable healthcare before, during and after passage, but outshouting all the haters on the right.

It would have been a sight to see. If not for an inoperable tumor in Ted Kennedy's brain, the ACA would be possibly one of the most popular pieces of legislation ever passed. Surely the GOP would be less able to chip away at it with appeals and lawsuits. In short, healthcare reform would be a lot healthier today. Which makes us cats HISS.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Lameness Of Positive Talking

By Miss Kubelik

We cats think that Harold Ickes is a very nice man. But right now we're ready to dump our dirty litter boxes over his head.

Why? Try this on for size: "I would think that Jeb Bush and Rob Portman...would be a strong ticket for [the Republicans in 2016]."

Oh, Harold. Why would you say anything favorable about a hypothetical GOP Presidential ticket? In fact, why do we Democrats do this anyway? We're always ceding philosophical and strategic ground when we don't need to — because, as we pointed out earlier, we're nice. Certainly nicer than Republicans are these days.

Believe us cats: If, say, a Hillary Clinton-Julian Castro ticket were floated to a GOP talking head, that talking head would instantly slam it. He (or, maddeningly, she) would probably start out by insulting Clinton's age and Castro's youth. Never, never would the talking head admit any strengths, like the excitement of electing both a woman and an Hispanic to the nation's two highest offices. And the media, as usual, would dutifully repeat the Republican arguments for hours on end. (And we're not just talking about FOX, folks.)

Harold is also ignoring the fact that the crazy right-wing base of the Republican Party hates Jeb Bush because he let Terri Schiavo die, supports Common Core, and says not-vile things about immigrants. And they hate Rob Portman because he flipped on marriage equality. So the chances of a Bush-Portman ticket are nil. Why even discuss it?

We really must get better at this. No matter how horrible the Republicans get, and how much they doom the long-term prospects of their party, in the short run they still play as hard as ever, and for keeps. Which means no more Mr. Nice Guy, Harold. We cats HISS.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tidbits And Cat Treats: The Two Faces Of The GOP Edition

By Zamboni

Here we are entering a major holiday week, and so much is going on! We cats are taking it easy and catching naps in front of the space heater. But we couldn't pass up the chance to comment on a few items from the headlines:

A Republican-led House committee has issued the umpteenth report on "Benghazi": There's no there there! We just had to check on our right-wing friends over at Free Republic to see how they were handling the news. As always, they were crabby and defiant. Just wait until Trey Gowdy's committee starts investigating! Then the truth will come out!

(Actually, it sounds to us as if the House Intelligence Committee went easier on Benghazi than the State Department itself, which issued 30 recommendations for security and communications improvements, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton implemented before leaving office. So there.)

Meanwhile, on the immigration front, yippee! Republicans have decided that Kansas Secretary of State and all-around hater "Kris Kobach" should be the face of GOP outrage over President Obama's recent executive actions on immigration. We could not be happier. Still, we're wondering why the media aren't stampeding to Rancid Pieface's door, asking whatever the hell happened to the Republicans' post-2012 "Growth and Opportunity" report.

Remember that? Here's what it said: "We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party's appeal will continue to shrink...We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all."

What a bunch of lying hypocrites. Which makes us cats PURR.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

JFK 50 + 1

"Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lest We Furr-get: Republican Lawlessness

By Baxter

We cats were traveling yesterday and only caught the last few minutes of President Obama's address on immigration. But it wasn't long after that that we switched off the cable news talking heads in disgust.

We were already fed up that they offered no recap — why inform when you can go straight to arguing? But when MSNBC brought on a little twerp from the RNC who started his comments with "I'm not a constitutional lawyer" (when the entire Republican argument is based on constitutionality)... well, let's just say we hacked up the world's biggest hairball.

But back to that GOP talking point. We wondered: If what Obama is doing is illegal and lawless, then wasn't it unconstitutional when:
  • Nixon bombed Laos?
  • Ronald Reagan sold arms to Iran to fund the Contras?
  • Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby outed CIA agent Valerie Plame?
  • The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived invaded Iraq, killed thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, all on a credit card, and all for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist?
We're not equating last night's executive orders with those horrendous Republican acts. We're just saying that as always, the hypocritical GOP is silent on such crimes, but invents others for Presidents they don't like. And to make matters worse, the media give them a pass. All of which makes us HISS.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Disenfranchisement By Robocall

By Sniffles

We cats love any opportunity to use the word "hoosegow," and the Conservative Party up in Canada has just given us another chance. Today a little Tory creep named Michael Sona learned that he'll be hauled off to the you-know-what: He was sentenced to nine months in jail and additional 12 months' probation for election fraud.

Yep, fraud. We cats don't know what else to call it when you robocall Liberal Party voters in the 2011 federal election with false alarms that their polling places had changed. It's perverting the election process and a subversion of citizens' most cherished right. Sona actually deserves the maximum — five years — but we'll take what he got, thank you.

Funny how this sort of thing always seems to happen on the conservative side of the spectrum. As we know, here in the land of E Pluribus Unum voter suppression is a cause celebre of the Republican Party, and robocalling is just one weapon in their arsenal. Proof: A flunky for former GOP Governor Robert Ehrlich's campaign was convicted in 2011 for precisely the same thing (except those robocalls were aimed at predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Maryland's Baltimore and Prince George's counties).

What a coincidence! That direct line between Stephen Harper and Karl Rove was busy, yes? But messing with the vote makes us sick. So we cats hack up a hairball and dump our dirty litter boxes over Michael Sona's head. Enjoy the hoosegow, Mikey!

(IMAGE: What a lovely couple!)

UPDATE: Is it just us, or is Michael Sona a dead ringer for Adam Lanza?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Long Shot

By Miss Kubelik

We cats have written more about Mary Landrieu in the last week than we have in six years of blogging — and probably more than we'll ever write about her again, since Pundit World has followed today's Keystone vote by pronouncing her dead.

That may well be. Nevertheless, we have some last-ditch advice for the beleaguered Senator, since we won't see our earlier cunning plan that could not fail — well, fail.

We respectfully suggest that Landrieu, who now has completely nothing to lose, scorch the campaign trail between now and December 6 with raging, flaming populism. She needs to rag without mercy on Bill Cassidy, Piyush Jindal and all the smug Republicans who continually, mysteriously manage to convince their constituents to vote for them against their best interests.

Why shouldn't she? Louisiana is a mess. It scrapes the barrel bottom in health, education, poverty, employment, growth, you name it. Landrieu should just shamelessly tar the Republicans and their mean, wizened, punish-the-poor-and-gut-government policies for letting it get that way.

In short, go Huey Long on their ass. Go ahead, Mary. If you're heading for the exit, you might as well do it telling the truth with your head held high. (And, of course, with spunk.) We cats PURR.