Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bushies Support Affirmative Action!

"Bush administration officials kept liberals out of jobs [at the Department of Justice] even if they were well qualified... and they hired conservatives who were sometimes less qualified." —NPR

Giving to a Good Cause

By Sniffles

Feeling pinched at the gas pump? Trying to decide between filling up your SUV and putting food on the table tonight? Well, feel better: Your hard-earned money has helped Exxon Mobil — the company that fouled Alaska in the most horrific spill of the 20th century — rack up some record profits.

Exxon made $11.68 billion this quarter. That's $1,485.55 a second — most of which is going to shareholders.

So, cheer up. Exxon is happy. The oil men who support the Bush Administration are happy. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are happy. And it's all due to the financial sacrifice you make every time you pull up to the pump. So how can you not turn that frown upside down? And how can you not want to put even more money in the oil companies' pockets — by letting them drill in ANWR or offshore?

We cats are awfully glad we don't drive. If we did, we'd have to GROWL.

Going Negative, Part II

"You know, I don't pay attention to John McCain's ads. Although I do notice that he doesn't seem to have anything to say very positive about himself. He seems to only be talking about me. You need to ask John McCain what he's for, not just what he's against." —Senator Obama

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Thoughts on the Cheese Aisle

By Baxter

So the dominant campaign narrative today seems to be, "Has Senator McCain gone too negative too soon?"

We cats vote, YES.

We generally don't care for candidates who think we should elect them because they tell us other guy is so bad. Tell us why you're good first.

But that doesn't seem to be the way things are done on the Republican side in the Age of Rove.

And so, we have Carly Fiorina — who was fired as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, by the way — saying the other day that Senator Obama's economic summit was "yet another photo opp."

Oh, we see. Reading three-by-five cards, as Senator McCain did, in front of a gallon of milk or a pack of cheese is serious economic policy. Meeting in a bipartisan group of economic and financial leaders such as Warren Buffett, Paul O'Neill, Paul Volcker, Bill Donaldson, Robert Reich, Laura Tyson, Bob Rubin, etc. is mere cream puffery.

If that's cream puffery, please direct us to the "Dairy Delights" aisle. Because we think America could use some words of wisdom from the cream puffs of the world.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Going Negative

By Zamboni

Senator McCain's behavior sure has been scummy lately. Here's what Republican Senator Chuck Hagel had to say about it in a Sunday T.V. interview:

"I think John is treading on some very thin ground here when he impugns motives and when we start to get into 'You're less patriotic than me. I'm more patriotic'... John's better than that."

Well, Senator Hagel, we hope Senator McCain is "better than that." But we're not so sure.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gee, the Bushies BROKE THE LAW?

By Sniffles

Didn't we already know this?

The Bush Administration unforgivably politicized the Justice Department. Several years ago, we cats somehow suspected this, when we heard sotto voce that former Attorney General Janet Reno was having trouble obtaining archived documents — on the off-chance that she'd like to pen her memoirs.

The irony: Janet Reno's memoirs are probably the ones we'd MOST like to read from the Clinton Administration.

We cats are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yes, we know that the Bush DOJ was a travesty when it came to hiring. We're just waiting for the day when the world understands that it's a travesty when it comes to a whole bunch of other things.

Steve Doesn't Know, um, Schmidt

By Baxter

So, Steve Schmidt has been in charge of the McCain campaign for — what, less than a month now? Let's take a fond look back on all that's happened since.
  • Senator McCain, cornered on whether he supported insurance coverage for women's birth control equal to Viagra (as campaign surrogate Carly Fiorina had falsely averred), paused for an excruciating eight seconds until he finally admitted he couldn't answer the question. Republican strategist Ed Rollins called the resulting video the most awkward moment he'd seen in 40 years of politics.
  • After Senator McCain declared Social Security "a disgrace," it was revealed that A), he doesn't understand how it works, and B), at age 71, he collects it.
  • Anheuser-Busch was sold to the Belgian company InBev. The residents of Missouri — a key battleground state and home of the King of Beers — are breathlessly waiting to hear how much money Cindy McCain made from the sale. (Hint: A lot.)
  • McCain adviser and multimillionaire Phil Gramm called us "a nation of whiners" and said hard economic times were all in our heads.
  • Senator Obama made a smash-hit trip overseas, the least exciting moment of which occurred when he sank a three-point basket while visiting U.S. troops in Kuwait.
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and the Bush Administration pulled the rug out from under Senator McCain's Iraq talking points by endorsing Senator Obama's withdrawal plan (Al-Maliki) or coming out for some kind of "time horizon" (Bush).
  • The McCain campaign at first tried to compete with the visuals coming out of Senator Obama's trip by scheduling a visit to an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. They soon canceled, citing Hurricane Dolly, but the real reason was a giant oil slick that fouled the Mississippi River — and which would have uncomfortably highlighted the presumptive Republican nominee's recent flip-flop on offshore drilling.
  • The McCain campaign openly sulked about the media attention Senator Obama was receiving and began calling him "The One."
  • Senator McCain made a disastrous visit to a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania supermarket, spilling jars of applesauce and posing against a backdrop of — well, you know.
  • Senator McCain repeatedly said that the Anbar Awakening happened after the so-called "surge" when it really happened before.
  • Senator McCain had a growth removed from his face for a biopsy. (Okay, that's not Schmidt's fault, but still, it's just more of the same sad, sorry stuff that we're seeing from this campaign.)
In short, is this a Presidential campaign that's been fixed? Listen — our vet did a better job fixing us. We think that Steve Schmidt is Exhibit A for a familiar political argument — that Republicans aren't smarter. They've just always had a lot more money.

Oh — we forgot one thing. The McCain campaign did come out with a scurrilous T.V. ad claiming that Senator Obama snubbed wounded troops on his trip — when it was the Pentagon that canceled the visit. How truly Rovian of them.

See "Exhibit A," above. Except of course now we're the ones with more money.

The Week That Was: Obama

(Image: The Huffington Post)

The Week That Was: McCain

(Image: Duane, from YouTube)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Those Cheesy Production Values

By Zamboni

We cats can't wait for the Republican convention in September, because the McCain campaign has shown a surprising ignorance of good stagecraft.

You remember, for example, that dreadful puke-green backdrop in Louisiana? The one that was behind Senator McCain as he gave a not-very-well-received speech on the night that Senator Obama clinched the Democratic nomination? It was universally (and rightly) panned as unattractive, unflattering — just plain bad.

Well, that backdrop has been outclassed — and not in a good way — by the "Dairy Delights" supermarket aisle.

Back story: Among his many pratfalls last week, Senator McCain had a particularly unfortunate visit to a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania grocery store, where he "shopped" with a "local mom" (really a Republican Party plant) and pretended to commiserate with her about high food prices.

As if a dozen jars of applesauce spilling onto the floor at Senator McCain's feet wasn't bad enough, the campaign then posed him in the cheese aisle as he tried to explain how he got the Anbar Awakening-surge timeline all mixed up.

Of course, we cats couldn't follow a thing he was saying, and not just because he wasn't making any sense. We just couldn't keep our eyes off the cheese — or stop marveling at the campaign's willingness to place a 71-year-old candidate in such highly unforgiving supermarket lighting.

We PURR in the direction of the McCain campaign and their bad judgment — they've given us a lot of laughs. (We also PURR in the direction of our new friend Duane in Ontario, who helped fetch this image from YouTube).

Say cheese!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Against the Timetable Before He Was For It

By Sniffles

Republican strategists like to paint their Democratic opponents as unreliable flip-floppers whose judgment we cannot trust. But maybe they should take a look at their own presumptive nominee for President before they try that again this year.

Here's what John McCain said just two and a half weeks ago about a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq:

“And since we are succeeding and then I am convinced, as I have said before, we can withdraw and withdraw with honor, not according to a set timetable."

Here's what he's saying, now that Prime Minister Al-Maliki has endorsed Senator Obama's call for a 16-month phased withdrawal:

“I think it’s a pretty good timetable.”

Gee, Senator McCain sure changes his mind a lot. He seems like an unreliable flip-flopper whose judgment we cannot trust. HISS!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mes Chats Sonts les Democrats

By Baxter

Senator Obama is in Paris, and we cats can hear the right-wing blowhards already: "Ooooh! Obama and the French are saying nice things about each other!"

To which we respond with one question: Can we stop?

It's not just that we cats like France because we've had French lessons since the third grade. (Note to Francophiles: That was many, many years ago, and we still have much to learn before we speak your beautiful language correctly.)

It's just that we're sick and tired of all the anti-Gallic stuff that we've had to put up with since the frenzied, lie-soaked run-up to the war in Iraq that was staged by the Bush Administration back in 2003. Heck, we can even remember a lovely French restaurant in our local downtown having to hang an American flag in their window. All because France (and Canada, and other countries) refused to allow themselves to be distracted from the real front in the war on terror: Afghanistan.

And don't even get us started on the reception that the Montreal Canadiens received when they came to play our NHL team that season. Suffice to say, ce n'etait pas jolie.

But you know what? France was right. Here we are, spending trillions of dollars in Iraq, and they're not. Here we are, spinning our wheels in a country that had nothing to do with September 11, while the Taliban and Al Qaeda regroup in Afghanistan. But President Sarkozy is too polite to say "Nanny, nanny, boo boo" (or however you say that in French).

In fact, Sarkozy — a right-of-center President, by the way — said that he and Senator Obama had "a great convergence of views."

Now, that's actualities we can use.

We PURR in President Sarkozy's direction, for being such a bon ami. And we celebrate the fact that the dreary days of "Freedom Fries" appear to be over.

(Photo: AP.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Geezerville, Part II

(Photo: Texas on the Potomac)

Ich Bin Ein Swell Speaker

A crowd of 200,000 turns out for Senator Obama in Berlin today.

(Image: The Huffington Post)

"In the Tank" for McCain, Actually

By Zamboni

It looks as if Senator McCain hasn't lost all of "his base" — the press. Not quite yet.

In a week in which the McCain campaign has openly pouted about the media's huge alleged crush on Senator Obama, the presumptive Republican nominee can still count on the folks over at CBS.

Because in an interview with Katie Couric the other day, Senator McCain got wrong what he called "just a basic matter of history": the timeline of the Anbar Awakening in Iraq and the Bush Administration's subsequent escalation of the war. But never mind. Ms. Couric did not challenge the Senator on his false assertion, and when the interview went into the can, the CBS editing team left the error on the cutting room floor — substituting another answer instead.

Here's the video. (Thanks to Media Matters for sharing it.)

We cats are appalled that CBS would cover up for Senator McCain. And we can imagine how quickly the media would jump on Senator Obama for a mistake like this. They would have pounced faster than we do on a catnip mouse!

We HISS at Ms. Couric and the Colombia Broadcasting System. But we also HISS at Senator McCain, and not just because he can't get his facts straight. This is, we believe, the first interview in which he tried out his new talking point — that "Senator Obama would rather lose a war than lose a campaign."


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Well, George, You Ought to Know

By Sniffles

We cats are not amused by this video of the person whom the media call "President." Do we have to explain?

Somehow, we can't picture President Gore having to make this speech.

We just hunch down, claws sheathed, waiting for better days. Surely, by November, they will come.

Another Bad Week for Senator McGaffe

By Baxter

Gee, John McCain has had a bad week, and it's only Wednesday. Joan Walsh, over at Salon, may feel sorry for him — but we cats sure don't.

The presumptive Republican Presidential nominee has resorted to whining (Phil Gramm, please take note) about the media's coverage of Senator Obama's overseas trip. McCainiacs, we hate to break it to you, but Senator Obama is actually making news over there.

As opposed to you, that is. Submitting a New York Times op-ed piece that only repeats Republican talking points and platitudes isn't exactly news. Holding a badly staged town hall meeting in New Hampshire doesn't really compete with King Abdullah flying all the way back to Jordan from the U.S. for dinner and then, himself, driving Senator Obama to the airport.

But wait, there's more.

On top of everything — the Obama trip, Prime Minister Maliki's endorsement of Senator Obama's Iraq timeline, the three-point basketball shot in Kuwait, McCain's many recent verbal goofs, and Ron Paul's upcoming "counter-convention" in Minneapolis — Senator McCain now also has to contend with a shady donor.

The Washington Post reports today that the McCain campaign has had to give $50,000 in donations from one Mr. Craig Berkman to charity.

Why? Because Mr. Berkman is the subject of a civil fraud lawsuit — brought by fellow investors who are furious he gave top-dollar contributions to McCain for President before he paid them the $28 million he owed them first.

As The Post's story pointed out, "...[T]he jilted investors... said they found it disturbing that political leaders eagerly took donations from a man they knew so little about. '[Berkman] used political donations and the doors those opened to build a web like a spider,' said Jordan Schnitzer, the head of an Oregon investment firm who says Berkman duped him. 'Someone should ask John McCain, "With all these folks in your campaign, you couldn't put his name into Google?"'"

Well, we cats have news for you, Mr. Schnitzer. John McCain doesn't know how to use Google. We can't speak for whether his staff does or not. What we do know is that we don't want a President who doesn't know how to visit us and write a rebuttal to our posts.

Oh, well, as we said — it's been a bad week for Senator McCain. And we'd join Ms. Walsh in feeling sorry for him, if he weren't the sort of person who makes bad jokes that disparage whole groups of people. HISS!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


(Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Monday, July 21, 2008

John McCain: Back to the Slush Pile

By Zamboni

We cats know what it's like to have something we've written rejected. Truly. Even though we don't have thumbs, and our deathless prose is typed for us, we've definitely experienced the pain of the letter that starts out, "Sorry, but your submission doesn't meet our current needs."

However, we find the bloviating by the right-wing blogosphere about The New York Times' rejection of Senator McCain's Iraq Op-Ed piece as Exhibit A in the "He Doth Protest Too Much" sweepstakes.

As Vincent Rossmeier points out at Salon, "In rejecting McCain's submission, New York Times Op-Ed editor David Shipley... explained his rationale by saying: 'The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans ... It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq.'"

We cats say, thank you, David Shipley. We've often wondered what Senator McCain means when he talks about "victory" in Iraq.

You'll pardon us if we're a little skeptical, especially after George W. Bush's claim in May 2003 that our "mission" in Iraq was "accomplished." (Hey, we're still there.) But it's a particularly cogent point since Viet Nam vet McCain has declared he knows "how to win wars" — after the United States, um, failed to log a victory in Saigon back in 1975. Anybody who's seen a Broadway musical in the last 20 years knows that we didn't exactly win that war.

We PURR in the direction of David Shipley, and HISS at John McCain for being a petulant would-be author. Try again, John!

McCain = Bush (Part III)

By Sniffles

Senator John McCain has adopted an annoying Bush habit — insisting that something is true because he says it is.

Latest example: "I know how to win wars."

We cats find this statement generally amusing, mostly because Senator McCain made it in the midst of a recent, breathless rhetorical catch-up. The presumptive Republican nominee was forced to agree with Senator Obama's declaration that Afghanistan is the central front on the war on terror and that the U.S. should increase its troop levels there.

So, yes, Senator McCain was caught well behind the curve on that important question. But, "I know how to win wars"?

Excuse us, but this assertion is based exactly on what, Senator? The war you fought in? Because the last we checked, Viet Nam went Communist in the Seventies.

Doesn't sound like much of a win to us.

(Image: UNdata)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama Supports the Troops (and the Troops Support Obama)

(Photo: Sgt. Jarod Perkioniemi, U.S. Army)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Star-Crossed Bushies

By Baxter

Things just aren't going the Republicans' way. Especially on days like this.

Not only are our T.V. screens filled this evening with great video of Senator Obama in Kuwait, sinking a basket from outside the paint — but the White House press office has, much to its embarrassment, pushed a wrong button.

They accidentally sent a Reuters article on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's backing of Senator Obama's troop withdrawal plan to members of the news media — rather than to their own staff.

The people who couldn't figure out how to rescue New Orleans apparently don't know how to send out a press advisory, either. "Hey, everybody, look at this!"

Guys, you just can't win lately. So why don't you follow Senator McCain's example and take the rest of the weekend off?


By Zamboni

We cats couldn't make it to the Netroots Nation conference in Texas this weekend. First, we had serious responsibilities here at home — napping, kneading our owners, eating, and chasing up wadded-up balls of tissue paper. But second, we didn't think that the Austin Convention Center allowed attendees with four legs.

Oh, well! We'll get over it, because we can watch neat streaming video at the Netroots Nation website. But we have to admit we're a little jealous of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who was joined onstage today by one of our favorite humans in the whole world, President Al Gore.

In fact, Speaker Pelosi got a big hug from President Gore. Gosh, how lucky can a girl get?

Why do we love President Gore so? Because he's been right on everything. Because he loves his wife. Because he sacrificed himself for the good of the country when the Supreme Fix was in. Because he won the Nobel Peace Prize (take that, Ronnie Reagan fans!). Because he's going to help us all save the planet.

And because if it weren't for visionaries like him, we cats wouldn't be blogging on the Internet today!

We send warm, scratchy kisses and little love bites to President Gore. Time to go watch Netroots video now. Before our next nap.

(Photo: Harry Cabluck, AP)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Phil Gramm Resigns

By Sniffles

It's Friday evening, so it must be time for a major Republican announcement — something that under normal circumstances wouldn't give them good media coverage — something that they want to hide.

In other words, Senator Obama is off on his trip and everyone else is on summer vacation. What better time to have former Senator Phil "Nation of Whiners" Gramm resign his post with the McCain campaign?

Never fear, Democratic voters. Former Senator Gramm has already given us wonderful footage for T.V. ads this fall. Watch for it on a television set near you!

We cats PURR at former Senator Gramm, for being such a jerk. Sure helps OUR candidate!


By Baxter

Sometimes an era can be defined by the women who sang about it.

Jo Stafford, who crooned behind the Second World War and the Korean War, has died. But amazingly, Vera Lynn, who bucked England up through the Battle of Britain, is still with us.

In honor of both women, then, we leave you with these hopeful thoughts for the weekend.

I'll be seeing you

In all the old familiar places

That this heart of mine embraces

All day through...

(Photo: AP)

Happy 90th Birthday, Nelson Mandela

And the best present of all is for us: Mandela has outlived Jesse Helms!

(Photo: AP, The Huffington Post)

McCain Has Lost His Base! (The Press)

By Zamboni

So John McCain — that unappealing man who laughs in all the wrong places and tells terrible jokes about women getting raped by gorillas — is miffed that the folks in the MSM are paying so much attention to Senator Obama's trip abroad.

Well, we cats are amused by all this. But we're also disgusted.

First, we think that Senator McCain owes an apology to women, gorillas, and everyone else in the whole world. We heartily dislike the way he regularly disparages others — from Senator Clinton, to people of Asian descent, to primates, to his very own wife — and then tries to excuse it as "humor" or "being authentic." If this is "McCain being McCain," we sure don't like McCain. But the media, long in love with the self-described "straight talker" from Arizona, have always given him a pass on this.

But second, we hope that the next time Senator McCain opens his potty mouth to criticize Senator Obama going to Iraq — or not going to Iraq; he hasn't exactly been consistent on this — he'll stop and go after the folks in the Air Force instead. You know — those top brass who want to spend counter-terrorism money on "comfort capsules" for their planes?

Somehow we don't think the guys who parachuted into Normandy just ahead of the D-Day landings rode in "comfort capsules."

But — sigh. We're sure that Senator McCain will have far more nasty things to say about Senator Obama's trip, and the network anchors who allegedly are fawning over it, than he will about this latest outrage from the military. That's McCain being McCain.

We feel a hairball coming on...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Something's Not Right Here...

By Sniffles

John McCain thinks Social Security is a "disgrace." He's also collecting it.

There's an obvious question here — aside from why Senator McCain is taking money from a system he thinks is so terrible. And aside from the fact that he's old enough to receive it.

Why does he need it?

Senator McCain is married to a wildly wealthy woman — for whom he threw his faithful first wife under the bus after he got back from Viet Nam, don'tcha know. And we cats suspect that Mrs. McCain's bank account is even a little fatter today, thanks to the recent sale of Anheuser-Busch to the Belgian company InBev. (Take that, St. Louis! Take that, swing state of Missouri!)

But that's not all. We also assume that Senator McCain is currently drawing a Senate paycheck and a military pension.

Does he really need to triple-dip on the backs of today's young workers?

Perhaps some nice, well-meaning Republican will explain all this to us. In the meantime, we're going to curl up and take a nap.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Republicans Jump the Shark

By Baxter

How desperate can you get?

This billboard in Florida has drawn a lot of criticism, and not just from Democrats. Local Republican Party officials have called it "inappropriate." We cats think that the better word is "pathetic."

We're also very amused that the man who paid for this billboard blames Bill Clinton for September 11. We recall how Republicans in Congress excoriated President Clinton when he launched missiles into Afghanistan and the Sudan after the terrorist bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa. They said that he was trying to deflect attention from Monica Lewinsky.

And we have one question for Billboard Man: If you think Bush has done such a great job, where's Osama?

As Bugs Bunny would say, "What a maroon."

(Image: CNN)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

America for Sale

By Zamboni

Our list of Why Bush Should Be Impeached is so long, we can't even contemplate boring you with the whole thing.

But here's another reason why the Republicans should be run out of town on a rail.

And the Cartoon Wars Begin

(Image: David Horsey, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

A Lot More to Fear than Just Fear Itself

By Sniffles

Seems like it's finally dawning on the Worst Person Who Ever Lived that under his non-stewardship, the country's in trouble.

Since the Administration's recent attempts to rescue Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae initially went over in the markets like a lead balloon, George W. Bush held his first press conference in months today — to try to calm people's fears about the economy.

In the course of which, he at long last admitted the obvious: "It's been a difficult time for American families."

Gee, ya think?

We don't know about you humans, but there's nothing that we cats find more enraging than a fool like Bush suddenly realizing there might be a problem and pretending he's in charge — unless, of course, it's his claims later in the press conference that the economy is still in good shape.

Contrast that with Fed chief Ben Bernanke's statement to Congress — made nearly simultaneously — that things are gloomy and are bound to stay that way for awhile.

There is no hairball big enough that we could hack up to express our disgust and dismay. Can we possibly last until January 20 — when (we devoutly hope) we get delivered from these people?

Monday, July 14, 2008

McCain = Bush (Part II)

And Now, A Word About The New Yorker

By Baxter

That's right, a single word — and it comes from Webster's.

SATIRE n. 1 a). A literary work in which vices, follies, stupidities, abuses, etc. are held up to ridicule and contempt b). such literary works collectively, or the art of writing them 2 the use of ridicule, sarcasm, irony, etc. to expose, attack, or deride vices, follies, etc. — SYN. CARICATURE, WIT.

In other words, file this magazine cover under the category of "Holding Stupidities Up to Ridicule." Because there's nothing more stupid than the urban legends that the Republicans have been circulating about the Obamas. We applaud The New Yorker for gathering them all in one place so everyone can see how patently ridiculous they are.

Okay, then? Feel better? Can we all discuss something really important now — like the mortgage crisis? (That goes for you, too, Obama campaign.)


(Image: CBC, The New Yorker, AP)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Is It 2001?

By Zamboni

The Feds are racing to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, nine U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan in the deadliest attack in years, Cheney and Bush are pressuring the embattled Israeli prime minister to attack Iran, and IndyMac's customers don't know what to expect when they wake up tomorrow morning.

And — drum roll — what story is front and center on the website of The Washington Post?

Chandra Levy.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Run on the Bank

By Sniffles

Please excuse us cats if we're more concerned with the health of our financial institutions than the death of the press-enabled Bush excuse-maker Tony Snow (David Gregory, you're officially excused from that little swipe we just did with our claws).

Federal regulators have seized IndyMac. A giant bank has failed — the fifth this year. This is right on the heels of this week's panic about the state of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. And goodness knows what's going to happen when the stock market opens on Monday.

Now, as cats, we don't handle money. And sometimes we have trouble understanding all the details of these bank failures. (The 1946 classic It's a Wonderful Life probably provides the best explanation of the whole thing.) But although IndyMac's customers' accounts are insured up to $100,000 — which surely would take care of 99.9 percent of all depositors in Bedford Falls — this is an alarming reminder that the credit crisis is not ending anytime soon.

We can't wait to see how John McCain and his crack economic team — headed by former Senator Phil "Nation of Whiners" Gramm — are going to react to this.

Friday, July 11, 2008

John McCain, Caught in a Lie

By Baxter

Watch again the "Carly Fiorina" video of John McCain (below). He tries to claim that he was familiar with Ms. Fiorina's earlier comment — that women's birth control should be covered by insurance, as Viagra is.

Oh, please.

Could it be any clearer that Senator McCain was NOT aware of Ms. Fiorina's comments — and that he was caught completely off-guard?

John McCain is a liar.

When will the media call him out on it?

Whoops! Here's One More Reason

By Zamboni

A University of Arizona law professor is asking whether John McCain — born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 — is even Constitutionally eligible to run for President in the first place.

Five Reasons John McCain Has Had a Terrible Week (there might be more)

By Sniffles

At a campaign event in Denver, he declared that Social Security was a "disgrace" because "[W]e are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today." Um, Senator, that's how Social Security works. Always has — since 1937.

He didn't even show up for the FISA vote on Wednesday. (In fact, as Paul Krugman points out, he was the only Senator absent.) What does this say about his priorities, not to mention his, ahem, political courage?

He was utterly flummoxed by Carly Fiorina's comment that women's birth control, like Viagra, should be covered by health insurance. (See video, below.) Gee, that strikes us cats as another reason Hillary Clinton supporters should vote Republican this fall (NOT!).

In CNN's updated Poll of Polls, he's fallen farther behind Senator Obama, who is now leading, 49 percent to 41 percent. Gosh! The margin was 6 percent just a week ago...

"A nation of whiners" — need we say more?

More on the "Nation of Whiners"

"I'm not going to retract any of it. Every word I said was true."

—Former Senator Phil Gramm, top economic adviser to John McCain

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What Happens to John McCain when a Prominent Female Supporter Pees Outside his Litter Box

By Baxter

Here is Senator John McCain, presumptive Republican nominee for President...

Looking stumped, panicked, forgetful, out of it, embarrassed — old.

Usually, adoring journalists give Mr. McCain a pass on "not remembering" his Senate votes. But Maeve Reston of The Los Angeles Times presses on.

Ms. Reston is asking whether Senator McCain has changed his position on insurance coverage for women's birth control. A McCain campaign surrogate — the fired CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina — said this week that birth control should be covered if Viagra is. The problem? Senator McCain voted against a Senate bill that would have required equal coverage.

The body language in this video is the cat's meow. Oh, my God! She's asking me about sex!

We cats PURR at Ms. Reston for her persistence. And we wonder what kind of awful names Senator McCain called Ms. Fiorina when next they spoke. (He's known for his temper, you know. Just ask Mrs. McCain.)

Rove Ignores Subpoena, Is Arrested

...Well, we can dream, can't we?

Phil Gramm is an Asshole

By Zamboni

Well, now we know. Former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, one of John McCain's principal economic advisers — let's repeat that, one of John McCain's principal economic advisers — thinks America is a "nation of whiners."

That's because, although former Senator Gramm refuses to recognize it, the country is in a recession and people are dealing with some tough times out there.

Gee, former Senator Gramm, maybe you aren't feeling those tough times. And goodness knows that Senator McCain, married to his extraordinarily wealthy beer heiress, isn't feeling them. But a lot of Americans can't afford gas, food and health care these days. Many can't pay their mortgages and are abandoning not only their homes but — and this bothers us cats the most — their pets.

Former Senator Gramm, you are an asshole. And we think that Senator McCain, who is frantically distancing himself from your remarks today, should — oh, what's the phrase? — "cut you loose."

We GROWL and HISS at Senator McCain. We're sorry, Senator, but after your indignant behavior in the manufactured Wesley Clark dust-up, you can't credibly claim that your adviser "doesn't speak for" you.

(Photo: The Huffington Post)

McCain = Bush

By Sniffles

Thank you, AFL-CIO, for a T.V. spot that punctures a much-needed hole in John McCain's image.

We cats don't understand why Senator McCain's record of voting not only with Bush on the war but also against increases in veterans' health care benefits doesn't get more play. Unless, of course, it has to do with the many failings of today's journalists.

Ugh. The idea of reporters unquestioningly buying into "the Straight Talk Express" and allowing Senator McCain to run away from his record appeals to us as much as a plate of yesterday's tuna fish — left out in the sun.

Meanwhile, we PURR at the working men and women of the AFL-CIO for a great ad.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our First Reaction to FISA

By Baxter

We cats — at least at this very early moment — are filing today's FISA Senate vote under the heading of, "Can We Just Do This Now and Fix It Later?"

Fact: We hate today's FISA bill. We hate that George W. Bush is happy about it.

Fact: We are in an election year — one in which even the weakened Republican Party is ready to jump all over Senator Obama with that old bugaboo, "You're Soft On Terrorism!" To us, the clearest evidence of this political reality is that while Senator Obama voted for the FISA bill, Senator Clinton — who no longer is running for President — felt comfortable enough to vote against it.

Fact: You can't do merde — as our friends in Montreal would call it — if you don't WIN.

Fact: Senator Obama must win in November.

Can we possibly survive until then? We realize this probably sounds craven and opportunistic to Glenn Greenwald, Jonathan Turley and our friends on The Left. And they are our friends. But this is the way things are. We have 50 seats in the Senate, and a cranky asshole named Lieberman who votes with our caucus but who also is slated to speak at the Republican Convention. We have a Democratic nominee who opposed the Iraq War from the start and whom the Republicans are going to try to brand as "elitist," "non-military" and "out of touch."

Can we please fix this later — when Senator Obama is in the White House, we have 57 seats in the Senate, and around 250 seats in the House?

"Something's Gotta Change"

By Zamboni

Al Franken — Democratic candidate for Paul Wellstone's Minnesota Senate seat — has a great new ad running:

When we saw this spot, we couldn't help thinking fondly (NOT!) of former Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, who — as our friends over at Cotton Mouth Blog remind us — had to rush out of office before a new law effective on January 1, 2008 would have required him to wait two years to start lobbying his erstwhile colleagues on behalf of all those Republican sacred cows.

The Senate will be a better place with Al Franken in it. We PURR up at him as we sit on his lap and knead his tummy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One Reason Why Carter Won the Nobel — and Reagan Didn't

By Sniffles

We cats are not unreserved fans of The Washington Post's Richard Cohen, but despite his gratuitous swipe at the sound of felines screeching, we think his column today is spot on.

Mr. Cohen reminds us that Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States — who never told the country a lie (and who was punished mightily for it at the ballot box) — was right about the energy crisis. Thirty years ago, President Carter warned us to conserve. But we would rather listen to the sunny, empty promises of Ronald "What me, worry?" Reagan. Republicans have been running on that irresponsible attitude ever since.

Our only quibble with Mr. Cohen is that he neglected to point out that while Mr. Carter installed solar panels on the roof of the White House, Mr. Reagan ripped them out almost as soon as he moved in.

Funny how President Carter has turned out to be so right on so many things. For example, here's another important topic, which he addressed in his Nobel Peace Prize lecture in December 2002:

"War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children."

A few months later, George W. Bush invaded Iraq — in a war that was, to say the least, not necessary.

We PURR in the direction of President and Mrs. Carter, who have worked so hard since their Presidency to wage peace, fight disease and build hope.

Monday, July 7, 2008

No Wiggle Room for Senator McCain

By Baxter

We cats aren't seeing a lot of good news for John McCain today.

First, his trip to Latin America seems to have been pretty much a bust. The dramatic hostage rescue in Colombia pushed him off the front page last week — and for the rest of his journey the MSM consensus boiled down to: "WHAT is Senator McCain doing, cavorting against a backdrop of historic churches and lush tropical foliage, when Americans are feeling such economic pain at home?"

Then this morning, The Washington Post published this article about the Republican platform and how conservative activists are ready to push back against their presumptive nominee on issues such as global warming and immigration. "The current GOP platform is a 100-page document, and all but nine pages mention Bush's name," The Post says. "Virtually the entire platform will have to be rewritten to lessen the imprint of the President, who has the highest disapproval rating of any White House occupant since Richard M. Nixon."

We're not really sure how Senator McCain is going to run away from the Republican brand come convention time.

But to add insult to injury, check out these recent state polls:

  • Mississippi — McCain 50%, Obama 44% (Rasmussen, 6/27)
  • Ohio — Obama 48%, McCain 46% (Survey USA, 6/27)
  • New Jersey — Obama 49%, McCain 33% (Fairleigh Dickinson University, 6/27)
  • Texas — McCain 48%, Obama 39% (Rasmussen, 6/28)
  • Virginia — Obama 49%, McCain 47% (Survey USA, 6/30)
  • North Carolina — McCain 45%, Obama 41% (PPD, 7/1)
  • Massachusetts — Obama 52%, McCain 33% (Rasmussen, 7/2)
  • Louisiana — McCain 52%, Obama 36% (Southern Media, 7/2)
  • Florida — McCain 49%, Obama 45% (Strategic Vision, 7/2)
  • Georgia — McCain 51%, Obama 43%, Barr 3% (Strategic Vision, 7/2)
  • Montana — Obama 48%, McCain 43% (Rasmussen, 7/3)
  • New York — Obama 60%, McCain 29% (Rasmussen, 7/3)
  • Rhode Island — Obama 55%, McCain 31% (Rasumussen, 7/5)
  • Connecticut — Obama 57%, McCain 35% (Research 2000, 7/5)
If you're not into lists, here's some quick, cut-to-the-chase analysis: It already was a given that the McCain campaign would have to spend big money in states like Florida, Virginia and Ohio. But now, these polls show that they're ALSO going to have to spend big-time in states like North Carolina, Mississippi, Montana and Georgia — which should already be comfortably in the GOP column. Whoops!

And just to keep everything in historical perspective: In 1972, George McGovern got 29 percent of the vote in Mississippi.

John McCain GROWLS. But we cats PURR.

Friday, July 4, 2008

We're Just Wondering...

By Zamboni

The death of Jesse Helms has reminded us of a question we've never heard satisfactorily answered:

Why was Helms never prosecuted for threatening the President in 1994? Because in our view, that's what he did.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth of July, America

(Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt)

The Canadian Embassy's Really, Really, Really Bad Idea

By Sniffles

Although he resigned as foreign minister some weeks ago now, we cats suspect that Maxime Bernier is moonlighting for the Canadian embassy in Washington. Because the embassy issued a Canada Day party invitation that was so stupid, we're sure that only Monsieur Bernier — who's not known as the brightest bulb in the chandelier these days — could have thought of it.

The invitation showed a picture of Samuel Champlain, the founder of Quebec City, holding a plate of poutine. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Now the embassy is apologizing to French-Canadians who may have been offended. And quite frankly, we wouldn't blame them if they were.

We cats have never had poutine — preferring to stick to our Canadian favorites like confit de canard (yum!). But we're quite certain that the cultural contributions of French-Canadians go far beyond a plate of French fries with cheese curds and brown gravy.

Can the Harper government can do anything right these days? Somehow we don't see the Tories rebounding in Quebec anytime soon.

We HISS at staff of the Embassy of Canada, for doing what Conservatives are evidently so good at — insensitively typecasting and labeling an entire group of people.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy 400th Birthday, Quebec City!

Some Answers to Pat Buchanan's Question

By Baxter

Dan Balz, in his blog "The Trail" at The Washington Post, states a reality that we cats are certain is at the root of whatever skittish feelings Democrats may have about the 2008 Presidential election:

"The McCain campaign can point to national polls that show the race with Obama is still close. Most polls have the margin in single digits."

Surely, the political junkies say, with the economy so bad and with more than 80 percent of respondents telling pollsters that the U.S. is "on the wrong track," Senator Obama should be leading by 20 to 25 points — right? After all, that's what we heard Pat Buchanan ask on MSNBC this morning.

Well, wrong. Like so much of the other conventional assumptions about the 2008 election, this one should be turned right on its head.

Here are some reasons why Senator Obama is "only" leading Senator McCain in the single digits:

  • Senator McCain has done an okay job, so far, of distancing himself from the White House. Look for this to change come Republican Convention time. (What are they going to do, lock Bush and Cheney in the closet? Banish the Republican brand? We think not.)
  • At this point, most people are not necessarily expressing preferences based on issues but, rather, on image. And Senator McCain has been The Anointed One for two years — except for his little swoon in the summer of 2007. Meanwhile, Senator Obama had to fight a long primary duel with Senator Clinton.
  • Senator Obama is up by 60 to 40 points in many of the base Democratic states. But in national polls, the overwhelming GOP preference in hard-core red states — in the South, plus places like Oklahoma and Utah — drags Senator Obama's overall number down to "just" 12.
  • We have to pay attention to what pollsters are asking. For example, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll had Senator Obama's winning margin at 12 in a straight-ahead match-up. But with Ralph Nader and Bob Barr added to the equation, the Obama margin matched the Newsweek margin of 15 points.
  • What is the sample that pollsters are taking from? Are they over-sampling older, Christian, white voters, based on voter turnout in 2004 — even though it looks like many of those voters may stay home this year? Conversely, are they under-sampling young people — particularly those who do not own a single, land-line phone number and, therefore, can't even be polled?
Besides, national polls don't count anymore. The state-by-state polls are all that matter. And Senator McCain is virtually — and already — in the Gore/Kerry October dilemma of having to win everything left on the map in order to squeak out a victory. Meanwhile, Senator Obama has multiple paths to those 270 magic electoral votes.

Finally, make no mistake: The fact that Senator McCain consistently comes in second in every poll — with margins ranging from five to 15 points — has an effect. It depresses enthusiasm for him among donors, volunteers and ordinary voters.

So, take heart from all this, Democrats. Keep vigilant, and keep your shoulders to the wheel. But be confident — just like Senator Obama. (As he told Rolling Stone, "We're going to get this done.")

Going After that Republican Vote Abroad?

By Zamboni

We cats are just as mystified by John McCain's trip to Colombia this week as we were by his recent sojourn to Canada.

Now, let's be fair. We understand that a man who wants to be President has to demonstrate that he understands what's going on in the world. That's no doubt why Senator Obama is certain to visit Iraq sometime in the next few months.

But then of course, the United States is spending $400 million a day in Iraq — on top of the several soldiers whose lives we lose there every week. We don't believe we're bleeding nearly as much Down Bogata Way.

And although we are cats and not people, we suspect that folks don't understand why Senator McCain would take an exotic-sounding trip to South America when they — middle-class voters across America — are paying more than $4 a gallon for gas, 6 percent more for groceries, and seeing the value of their homes plummet at the same time. The whole thing just smacks of tone-deafness.

But, then — ah. We note that the McCain campaign has had another staff shakeup today. That explains everything.

We GROWL in the direction of John McCain for this very silly trip. But at the same time, if he wants to keep making stupid political mistakes, we PURR in his direction as well.

(Photo: The Washington Post/Reuters)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hypocrisy Doesn't Qualify You for President Either, Senator McCain

By Sniffles

We cats never were very impressed with the term "Straight Talk Express," and today we're even less so.

USA Today reports that John McCain has accepted nearly $70,000 in political contributions from members of the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — whose anti-John-Kerry smear campaign Senator McCain criticized four years ago as "dishonest and dishonorable."

Somehow, we think this takes the edge off the manufactured right-wing brouhaha over General Wesley Clark's comments this weekend. And it reminds us once again that Senator McCain's vaunted reputation as a post-Keating-Five straight shooter is transparently undeserved. What has changed in the last four years, except the fact that it's Senator McCain now who is running for President and who desperately needs the money?

We cats switch our tails and narrow our eyes in boredom and disgust.