Sunday, August 31, 2008

Those Anti-Pet Republicans

By Sniffles

We cats are watching the Hurricane Gustav evacuations with great interest — not only because we're worried for the residents of the Gulf Coast, but because we remember all too well what happened to people and their companion animals in Hurricane Katrina.

It appears that the pet evacuation process is going smoothly so far — thanks to H.R. 3858, the federal Pet Evacuation Transportation Standards (PETS) Act of 2006. This post-Katrina federal legislation mandated emergency care for animals as well as people.

Cats are curious, you know. So we did a little research on the act. We were wondering how many — if indeed any — members of Congress voted against such a sensible law.

Well, not many did. Out of 373 recorded votes, only 24 House members voted "Nay." But guess what. All but one of the 24 anti-pet votes were by Republicans, including some fairly notable fellows such as Tom Feeney and Adam Putnam of Florida, Colorado's Tom Tancredo, and Ron Paul of Texas.

But then, are we really surprised that Republicans would vote against us?

After all, one of their major candidates for President once vacationed with the family dog strapped to the roof of his car. And the presumptive Republican nominee for Vice President has a bearskin rug in her office, and shoots animals for fun.

Gustav Messes With the GOP

By Baxter

It looks as if there won't be much of a party in St. Paul after all — at least, not tomorrow night.

Sucker-punched by Hurricane Gustav, the Republicans are scaling back their convention. No Bush. No Cheney. And depending on how the week goes, maybe even no McCain.

(These storm-related no-shows, of course, are in addition to the prominent Republicans in tight races who can't afford to be tainted by the brand: Senators like Gordon Smith of Oregon and John Sununu of New Hampshire. Oh, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — who is not up for re-election — suddenly decided he had to stay in Sacramento and deal with budget problems. But, we digress.)

We'd feel sorry for the Republicans and their logistical nightmares — not to mention their lost marketing opportunities — but for two reasons.

First, the Republicans would have absolutely no compassion or sympathy for Democrats under similar circumstances. Proof: Although Republicans put on a great show of bipartisan comity after September 11, by 2002 they had whirled around and cut our electoral throats. (If you don't believe us, just ask former Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a war hero whose patriotism they viciously and effectively trashed.)

Second reason: Stuart Shepard of "Focus on the Family." You remember him — the former pastor who asked Christians to pray that Senator Obama's acceptance speech be washed out by torrential rain?

Nope. The only people we feel sorry for today are the people of New Orleans. And, of course, any Republicans who fruitlessly argued against their party's greedy plan to schedule their convention as close to the anniversary of September 11 as possible. If they'd prevailed, it would be over already. Instead... they're dealing with Gustav.

"Payback's a" — well, you know what they say.

(Image: Warner Bros., "What's Opera, Doc?")

Stephen Harper, Man in a Hurry

By Zamboni

We cats are not so consumed with the Presidential election here in the U.S. that we're unaware of what's going on in our Neighbor to the North.

It looks as if there will be an election in Canada before the one in America — even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government recently enacted a law setting the next election's date for October 2009.

Why? Because Mr. Harper and his Tories want to run when they think they can win.

Now, we cats do not believe that everything that happens in Canada is a direct reflection of, or reaction to, what's going on in the United States. This is despite our dear friend Pierre Trudeau's memorable comment that "Living next to you is like sleeping with an elephant... one is affected by every twitch and grunt."

But since we devoutly believe that Stephen Harper has a direct line to Karl Rove and vice versa, we delight in the idea of Karl dialing him up in the last few days and saying, "Stevie boy, I'd advise you to hold your election before Barack Obama wins ours — and inspires Canadians to sweep you out of power."

Don't laugh at either notion. First, Canadians strongly favor Senator Obama over Senator McCain for U.S. President. And as for Republicans' recognition of the strength of the Obama movement here at home, enjoy the following report from Peter Baker of The New York Times:

"One former Bush aide who spends his days publicly bashing Barack Obama sat down for lunch with me recently and before the appetizers even arrived lamented that the Democrat will probably crush McCain. He ruefully called Obama one of the three most talented political figures of his lifetime, along with John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan."

We cats aren't predicting the future. We just think we understand why Stephen Harper is in such a rush.

The GOP Convention Staff Reacts.... the logistical problems posed by Hurricane Gustav.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

By Zamboni

We've heard some scuttlebutt that Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Governor Mitt Romney are pretty ticked off at Senator John McCain for the way the presumptive Republican nominee jerked them around during the V.P. selection process.

Actually, we cats were a little surprised at the Palin pick, too — as you know from our earlier posts. But of course we're not distressed at all. In fact, we agree with the Democratic strategist who yesterday e-mailed the gang on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," "Oh, please let John McCain's running mate be Sarah Palin!"

But in the meantime — a moment of silence, please, for the Pawlenty and Romney teams, who are going through the Kubler-Ross five stages of death but who haven't yet gotten past the one called "anger."

And really, how can you blame them? Governor Pawlenty was told by the McCainiacs to get the heck out of Denver and start preparing his remarks. Governor Romney — who famously does not get along with Senator McCain — aggressively campaigned for the V.P. spot and did everything a good Republican soldier should: traveling the country, going on T.V., regurgitating Republican talking points — even coming to Senator McCain's defense when he couldn't remember how many homes he owned.

Instead, Senator McCain chose an inexperienced Governor from a remote state, someone whom he'd met in person once. Yes, if we were Pawlenty or Romney, we cats would be plenty mad — arching our backs, fattening our tails, and HISSING.

But — oh, well. Probably by the end of the week — assuming that Hurricane Gustav, already a Category 4, doesn't delay proceedings at all — the Republicans in St. Paul will kiss and make up. But the real story of this horribly mismanaged nomination probably won't be fully told until November 4, when we see how Minnesota and Michigan vote.

Why? Well, because Senator McCain was considering both Governors Pawlenty and Romney for sounder political reasons than the obvious, craven ones that compelled him to choose Governor Palin: He wanted to win Minnesota and Michigan. Both would be huge prizes in the Electoral College, obviously. And in Minnesota there's a crucial Senate race going on between the creepy Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, a guy who we think Paul Wellstone would be enormously proud to see take his seat. So in short, there would be plenty of up-ticket/down-ticket reasons to pick either Pawlenty and Romney — and we're wondering how those men's loyalists in both states (and how the party establishment in Minnesota in particular) feel today.

Maybe like hacking up a hairball?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Theory on What's-Her-Name

By Sniffles

We cats have thought a little bit more about the Republican Party in 2012. And we think that underneath the surface of the Sarah Palin V.P. selection — with some new background information from CNN — there are some pretty nasty politics roiling around.

In short, we suspect that Rove and Schmidt looked at their polls this week and panicked. Why else would they have called Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as late as yesterday, told him he was under serious consideration, and advised him to get back to Minneapolis from Denver so he could get to Dayton more easily?

Are their polls even worse than we can imagine? Do they already know they're going to lose? Because if so, surely the Bushies to whom Senator McCain has sold his soul would want him saddled with a Vice Presidential candidate too weak to inherit the leadership of the party. That way, nothing will stand between the 2012 nomination and — oh, say, Jeb Bush.

Well, So Much for THAT!

"[T]he first and really major and overwhelming priority [in a Vice President] is a person who shares my principles, my values, my priorities — as you know, priorities are very important in Presidents — and [who] could... immediately take my place. That's, I think, the overriding criteria." —Senator John McCain, April 8, 2008

Obama Gets Pat Buchanan's Vote

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings

By Baxter

We cats are awfully fond of President Gore. So we didn't want to relegate him to our "Favorite Things" list from the convention. He gets his own post.

We loved his speech last night, and his line about recycling failed policies. And we're particularly proud that the Democrats had not one but two Nobel laureates in Denver this week (Jimmy Carter being the other one). If that's not a global endorsement of how the Democratic Party stands on the issues, we don't know what is.

But now, one more thing has crossed our mind regarding President Gore. Remembering a spirited debate that he had with the ever-hapless Dan "Potatoe" Quayle in 1992, we're wondering if he had Joe Biden on his speed-dial this morning.

Some Early Analysis on What's-Her-Name

By Zamboni

Talk about Hail Marys. Here are our first reactions to the mystifying selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee. We may come back later with more.

It takes away the "experience" argument. Good heavens, Sarah Palin has been Governor for less than two years. Before that, she was the mayor of Wasilla (estimated 2005 population: 8,471).

It highlights McCain's age. Having turned 72 today, he'll be the oldest party nominee in history. So if elected, this woman really has a chance of becoming President — which brings us back to the now-destroyed "experience" argument.

Compare her resume to the resume of other prominent women in politics today, such as Senator Clinton, Governors Sebelius and Napolitano, Senator Feinstein, or Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, just to name a few. (Oh, okay, none of these accomplished public servants ever competed in the Miss Alaska pageant...)

Like most of the Alaska Republican Party these days, Governor Palin is the subject of a corruption investigation. Does Senator McCain really want to 1). shine a fresh spotlight on the problems of the Alaska GOP, and 2). possibly reopen the topic of his own sorry past as a member of the Keating Five?

Although Governor Palin may have been chosen to appeal to women voters, her staunchly anti-choice beliefs will be anathema to supporters of Senator Clinton and to anyone else worried about the Supreme Court and women's reproductive freedom. It's an issue that otherwise may have comfortably flown under the radar for Senator McCain, whose anti-choice views are not well known.

The selection risks comparisons to Walter Mondale, one of the biggest losers in Presidential history, who chose Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate in 1984 in a dramatic — but ultimately desperate — game-changing attempt. Similarly, it reaffirms comparisons of Senator Obama to "The Great Communicator," the victorious Ronald Reagan. (Oh, and as we recall, Congresswoman Ferraro had some ethics problems crop up during the campaign... gee, this is getting a little creepy.)

The selection may appease the anti-choice base of the Republican Party, but it does nothing to attract undecided white male voters, who we suspect won't be comfortable at the thought of Governor Palin being a heartbeat away. And yes, it makes Senator McCain look desperate (see "Walter Mondale," above).

The selection gives any Republican with Presidential ambitions — say, the passed-over Mitt Romney, the temporarily sidelined Jeb Bush, or the ever-aspiring George Allen — no incentive to help his party's ticket this year. Why would they help elevate a person who, in 2012, would either be a sitting Vice President if McCain wins or the inheritor of the party mantle if he loses?

Alaska has three electoral votes. At least when Senator Obama picked a running mate from a state with three electoral votes, he picked someone with experience.

Finally, how is choosing a grossly unqualified person for the position of Vice President putting "Country First"?

We cats are only sorry it wasn't Joe Lieberman. Now, that would have been fun.

Raindrops on Roses — and Whiskers on Kittens — And...

By Sniffles

There were so many magic moments in Denver this week, but here, in no particular order, are just a few of our favorites.

  • Ted Kennedy looking and sounding just the same as always — despite chemotherapy and (oh, my gosh) kidney stones.
  • Bill Clinton trying to shush an adoring, cheering crowd with "I love this, but we have important work to do tonight."
  • Hillary's "No way, no how, no McCain."
  • Jimmy Carter's thoughtful interview with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in which he dismissed the media's obsession with a Clinton-Obama divide. "I think I know something about divided parties," the former President said. This wasn't one of them.
  • Joe Biden's surprise appearance at Invesco Field to warm up the crowd for a decidedly extraordinary group of "ordinary" voters, who testified why they were supporting Barack Obama.
  • "Ordinary" voter and lifelong Republican Barney Smith saying America needed someone who would do more for him than for Smith Barney — and the delegates breaking into a "Barney, Barney" chant. Send that man on the road as a campaign surrogate!
  • Pat "Blues Brothers" Buchanan sporting cool sunglasses as the MSNBC panel of experts danced to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."
  • Somebody looking an awful lot like veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer dancing to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," too.
  • The cable news blowhards being proven wrong on everything — from Michelle to Hillary to Bill to the choice of Invesco Field.
  • The awe-inspiring sight of 85,000 people cheering the speech of the Democratic nominee.
  • Senator McCain's apparent inability to fill 10,000 seats at his V.P. rally in Dayton this morning.

(Photo: Susan Biddle/The Washington Post)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tonight, What Heights We Hit

By Baxter

The McCain campaign has a real dilemma on its hands tomorrow — and it's not whether they should postpone the Republican Convention because of Tropical Storm Gustav. (Although, good gracious, that is a problem.)

No, it's whether they should spend the day trashing the wildly successful Democratic Convention — and Senator Obama's magnificent, historic speech — or focus instead on their potential feel-good story, their Vice Presidential pick.

Gee, go positive or negative? We hope that — despite their anemic "instant response" to Senator Obama tonight — they'll be forced to go positive, with their Veep.

Which couldn't be such a bad thing. After all — and we never thought we'd say this — we agree with Chris Matthews, who just said, "I think people really do hate the politics of Karl Rove."

Going positive: Now, that would really be putting Country First.

(Photo: Preston Keres/The Washington Post)

Maybe God's Not a Republican After All?

By Zamboni

Two weeks ago, the right-wing evangelical Christian organization "Focus on the Family" asked its members to pray for torrential rain to fall on Senator Obama at Invesco Field tonight.

"I'm talking 'umbrella-ain't-going-to-help-you' rain," said Stuart Shepard, the group's director of digital media.

Now, this request was just really out-and-out mean, and we don't think Jesus Christ would approve. But it was also foolhardy. We cats — being cautious souls despite our nine lives — would never dream of mixing up politics with the weather. Way too risky.

Anyway, the forecast for Denver tonight is clear. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gustav is predicted to head toward the Gulf Coast as a hurricane on Monday or so. Hmmm.... a weather event to remind all Americans of the Bush Administration's greatest domestic failure... just as the Republican Convention gets underway in Minnesota.

We're keeping our paws crossed for the people of New Orleans, who really don't need another storm right now. But we also dump our dirty litter boxes in Stuart Shepard's bed. What a jerk.

The Power of Our Example

By Sniffles

This week has been a tremendous reminder of why the Republicans hate the Clintons like poison: Because they're soooooooooooo darn good.

We loved every word of President Clinton's speech last night. We particularly loved one of his most important points. It's something so obvious, so full of truth and common sense, that surely we all know it in our hearts. Yet, after the disastrous Bush-Cheney Presidency, it was vitally important to hear.

It's better when people like you.

Really. America as a nation was much better off in the days when the world admired and believed in us — before Bush invaded another country on the basis of a lie. "People the world over," President Clinton said, "have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."

We agree. Which is why we were so moved to see 200,000 people in Berlin waving American flags this summer. Senator Obama — the first African-American nominee of a major party for President — is the latest power of our example.

We PURR happily at President Clinton for one of the most brilliant speeches of his career. And we send wet, scratchy kisses to Joe Biden — for making the best Freudian slip we've ever heard.

(Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rabbit Season — Duck Season — McCain Season

"The only thing [the Republicans are] going to do is, in old Brooklyn terms, rabbit-punch every day, and Obama has to show the American people that he can rabbit-punch, that he can be in that street fight." —Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)

A Great Speech

By Baxter

We have still not recovered from Senator Clinton's magnificent performance last night. From Stephanie Tubbs Jones to Harriet Tubman, we were mesmerized.

But honestly. Even though we cats are famous for hurling — what with our hairball problem, and all — if we hear one more cable news blowhard yammering on about the so-called feud between the Clinton and Obama campaigns, we are going to puke.

We realize that the talent is far deeper, and the personalities way more compelling, on the Democratic side. And the media, with hours and hours of airtime to fill, have to gravitate to the great story. But we only hope that next week in the Twin Cities, they will discuss the sad, sorry state of the Republican Party with as much foaming fervor as they've dissected the Democrats in the last few days.

Will they? Will they focus on the discontent among the Republican base — the cranky members of the Club for Growth, the Ron Paulmeisters and their counter-convention, the anti-choice crusaders who are virtually dictating Senator McCain's choice of running mate? Will they fulminate about the testy McCain-Romney relationship? Will they discuss the less-than-appealing details of John McCain's biography — his age, his failed first marriage, his union with a much-younger beer heiress, his many homes — with the same enthusiasm they've used to rip into Democrats?

We're not holding our breaths. But in the meantime, we jump on Senator Clinton's lap, PURR, and knead contentedly away. And we can't wait to hear Joe Biden tonight.

(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gee, Michelle, If Only Rove & McCain Thought This Way

"Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them." —Michelle Obama, August 25, 2008

(Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)

Monday, August 25, 2008

What the Kennedys Gave Their Lives For

By Zamboni

It occurs to us tonight that the Kennedy brothers gave their lives for a noble cause: To elect an African American President.

Oh, and by the way, to guarantee African Americans equal rights under the Constitution for all time.

We suspect that the Kennedys did not start out their political careers with this goal in mind. But that's okay. It's what ended up happening.

Those of us who have mourned the death of Jack for 45 years — we can raise our heads in pride, now. It was all worth it. We promise. (The fact that he saved us from nuclear annihilation in 1962 is an extra added attraction.)

We PURR in the direction of the Kennedys. It's complicated, but we love you guys.

Four More Years of McSame?

"I'm Hillary Rodham Clinton, and I Do Not Approve of that Message"

By Sniffles

One of our favorite movies is this British sci-fi flick from the early '60s (left), in which simultaneous H-bomb explosions by the U.S. and U.S.S.R. send Earth spinning off its axis and hurtling toward the sun. As the two superpowers feverishly work to set off new atomic bombs that will send the planet back into its rightful orbit, newspaper typesetters prepare two different headlines: "WORLD SAVED" and "WORLD DOOMED."

We cats have had occasion to think about this as the traditional media — apparently dying for something which with to fill hours of Democratic convention coverage — foam at the mouth about the alleged feud between Senators Clinton and Obama. (Obviously taking their talking points from the McCain campaign's most recent, scurrilous ad.)

But Senator Clinton has just met with an overflow crowd of her supporters in Denver. She repudiated the McCain ad, reiterated her strong endorsement of Senator Obama, and unequivocally urged the crowd to support Obama-Biden in the fall.

Kind of takes the wind out of the McCain sails, we think.

Make no mistake. We supported Senator Clinton in the primaries. But like her, we realize that for a thousand reasons — the Supreme Court being just one of them — the Republicans must not win in November.

Despite all the media hype and the breathless polls, we trust that our fellow Clinton supporters will, in the end, feel the same. A McCain in the White House would definitely be a case of "WORLD DOOMED" — especially when it comes to women's reproductive freedom.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again

"I want to congratulate Joe Biden... Joe is a friend and colleague, a strong, experienced leader and a devoted public servant." —Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Aug. 23

(Photo: The Washington Post)

John McCain: Pussy Whipped?

By Baxter

A story in today's New York Times may partially explain why Senator McCain didn't know how many homes he owns: While the presumptive Republican nominee is one of the richest members of the U.S. Senate, most of his assets are in the name of his wife, Cindy Hensley McCain.

To us, this means one of two things, neither of them appealing. Either Senator McCain is trying to hide his wealth behind Cindy's expensive designer skirts — or he's a clueless old fart whose 54-year-old wife calls the shots.

We suspect a bit of both. After all, we're discussing a man who was a not-so-proud member of the Keating Five, so we don't exactly trust him on financial stuff. And clearly Mrs. McCain, who inherited a $300-million-a-year beer distributorship from her father, makes the serious financial decisions in their marriage. (Remember that beachfront condo for the kids?)

What other shots does Cindy call, we wonder? And why won't she release her tax returns?

(Photo: Gregory Bull, AP / The New York Times)

Friday, August 22, 2008


I can't BELIEVE I forgot the condo in Catalina!

How Are Things Going for YOU?

The Sky is Falling (NOT)

By Zamboni

You see, Democrats, how quickly things can change?

Or not change. For the past several weeks — in fact, ever since John McCain signed over his campaign (and his soul) to the Bush-Rove acolytes — the Republicans have been pounding Senator Obama with intensely negative ads. And the media, desperate for something to talk about in August, have latched onto tightening national polls and a "nervous Democrats" storyline like Gus Grissom grabbing a life preserver from his sinking Apollo capsule.

Well, guess what? After all the crap that the Bush-McCain people have thrown at him, Senator Obama's lead in the Electoral College still hasn't budged. And the Electoral College, as we painfully know, is the only poll that matters.

As for things that can change, well, that's already happened. We always suspected that Senator McCain would do something stupid, and this one's a doozy. Not being sure how many houses he owns? That's what we call a real Milton Armitage moment, one that only a guy married to a skinny blonde beer heiress could have.

So, who understands the problems of average Americans in this tough economy better? The guy who's not sure how much real estate he has? Or the guy who was raised by a single mother and his grandparents, who had to make his own way in the world? You be the judge!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's Not Make It Nine

By Sniffles

Sigh. How typical. Filthy-rich Republican pretends to be one of the people, gets caught with his pants down. We don't know about you, but we're pretty disgusted that Senator McCain doesn't even know how many houses he owns.

The answer? If you include a beachfront getaway that Cindy McCain just bought for their kids, it's eight. (Gee, why didn't our parents buy us a condo on the beach?) And now the McCains want to add 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to that list.

We cats say, enough. Particularly when the McCain campaign responds with such umbrage when the Obama campaign raises the issue.

We're sorry, Senator McCain. You can take potshots at Senator Obama's recent vacation all you want. But to our way of thinking, there's a big difference between making money writing (actually writing) a couple of best-selling books — and coming into a gazillion dollars by divorcing your crippled first wife to marry a beer heiress.

And by the way, when are we going to see Mrs. McCain's tax returns? Oh — not until after the election!

We cats HISS at John and Cindy McCain and their eight (count 'em) eight homes. There are plenty of cats in this world who don't even have one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Elmer Gantry Redux

By Baxter

We cats aren't sure, but the name "Saddleback" sounds very gay to us. We're picturing manly men on strapping, muscled horses. And then we're picturing Rick Warren picturing that, and going into a foaming frenzy of religious fervor, and then — oops, never mind.

In other words, we think Rick Warren is your typical evangelical charlatan, only maybe richer. And not as good-looking as Burt Lancaster was. But clearly Warren wants John McCain to be President, and clearly — at least to us cats, who are suspicious by nature — Warren lied when he said Senator McCain was in a "cone of silence" the other night.

What's interesting to us, though, is that even with those nefarious odds stacked against him, Senator Obama more than held his own, and in front of an unfriendly audience to boot. But then, give us a man who will thoughtfully answer faith-themed questions, any time.

Oh, and by the way, we heartily approve of Senator Obama's unwillingness to define when life begins. We can only assume that his reticence was due to an innate realization that it was ridiculous for three men — two of whom are against reproductive freedom for women — to be discussing such a subject.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's No Surprise to Us

By Zamboni

The traditional media are agog that U.S. servicemen and -women deployed overseas have given six times more money to Senator Obama than to Senator McCain.

But to us cats, it's pretty clear why.

1. They like Senator Obama.
2. They want to go home.
3. They're tired of being used as campaign props by Republicans, most of whom didn't serve and who are happy to have others fight for them.
4. They understand that Senator McCain is all hat and no cattle when it comes to supporting the troops. Heck, he even opposed the new G.I. bill.
5. All of the above.

We send a nice soft PURR to Senator Obama's military contributors. If supporting you means ending the war in Iraq and bringing you home, we support you 100 percent!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Math Lesson of the Day

By Sniffles

The population of Canada is about 33 million. Since 2002, Canada has lost 90 soldiers in the war in Afghanistan.

The United States, with a population of 301 million, has lost 500 soldiers in Afghanistan.

This means that proportionally — that is, as a percent of total population — Canada has lost approximately 80 percent more servicemen and -women in the real war on terror than the United States has.

These figures are depressing to us cats. Because we think that if the U.S. hadn't gotten all distracted by George W. Bush's unnecessary war in Iraq — you know, the one John McCain wants to continue for a hundred more years? — maybe we could be giving Canadian troops in Afghanistan a little more help.

Unfortunately, though, George W. Bush is still President. And the war in Iraq goes on. So for now, the best we can offer Canada is a PURR of thanks — and a vote for Senator Obama in November.


Monday, August 11, 2008

To the True North, Strong & Free

Our owners are off to the birthplace of Pierre Trudeau for a bit of a summer holiday. But unlike Senator Obama in Hawaii, we will not be taking "a vacation." We'll be posting from time to time.

Well, A Fat Lot of Good THAT Did

By Baxter

We cats keep flashing on Laura Hope Crews' immortal delivery of an Aunt Pittypat line from Gone With The Wind: "Yankees in Georgia! How did they ever get here?"

Except of course the headlines today are about Russians in Georgia. And not our Georgia — rather, it's the former Soviet state that's now being overrun by what used to be called The Red Army.

We think that probably good old Vlad Putin — the man whose soul George W. Bush, a very long time ago, alleged he could look into — overstepped a bit here.

But we find it equally laughable that that same George W. Bush thinks he has any credibility when he tries to criticize Russia's assault against Georgia as "disproportionate," and one that's "substantially damaged Russia’s standing in the world."

Okay — so the guy who invaded Iraq on false pretenses and whose Administration has sanctioned and practiced torture is able to whack Vlad around, exactly how?

We cats wait for the answer. In the meantime, we switch our tails in disgust at the Russian-Georgian conflict. And we're just glad that our owners' good friends, who visited Tbilisi recently, are safe and sound at home.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

One Good Thing About the Edwards Affair

By Zamboni

So much for the idea that John Edwards is a "faggot."

We're waiting for Ann Coulter's retraction and apology. Think she'll give it?

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Age of Innocence

By Sniffles

Edith Wharton wrote great novels about Old New York. We cats think that Jean Philippe Petit wrote a very important chapter of New New York.

Somehow, it just seems so quaint — that a high-wire artist could fake his way into the newly built World Trade Center, string a cable between the two towers, and perform a balancing act that would mesmerize the world.

Are we not correct? That this kind of stunt would be impossible today, in our age of tight security, heightened paranoia and intolerance of art?

Petit's accomplishment makes us ponder things we'd rather not think about. Here he is, balancing 1,350 feet above the ground in 1974. Compare that to the brave souls who jumped from the towers on September 11, 2001. What freedom did the artist — and the victims — feel? We'll never know — but the fact that we can imagine, that we can speculate, makes us human.

Plus, we feel really nostalgic for a time when a guy could pull off a stunt like this. Monsieur Petit, formidable!

We PURR in your direction, and wish the new documentary about you well.

(Photo: Jean-Louis Blondeau, Polaris, The Washington Post)

This is a Circus

By Baxter

It sure is. Unless, of course, you don't automatically know that U.S. Representatives Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart are related to Fidel Castro.

If there's any doubt, you can see the family resemblance in this video.

Say It Ain't So, John

By Zamboni

The news is out: Former Senator John Edwards has admitted to an extramarital affair in an interview that will be broadcast tonight.

Our first reaction was gratitude that former Senator Edwards was never on the short list for Vice President this year. Our second reaction was — as our friends in Quebec would say — "Oh, merde." For some reason — breast cancer? gripping history of family tragedy? — this one really hurts.

But over and above the pain of the Edwards family, we cats have a request. Can we please get out of politicians' personal lives?

You know, unless it's a something that demonstrates intrinsic hypocrisy, something like — 1) Cindy McCain making zillions off the sale of Anheuser-Busch to InBev, 2) John McCain posing as an all-American pillar of rectitude when he left his loyal, crippled wife for a beer heiress after he got home from Viet Nam, 3) Republican Congressman Vito Fossella, exemplar of family values, driving drunk and fathering children out of wedlock, 4), professional Christian Ralph Reed making an illegal bundle with Jack Abramoff, or 5) evangelist Ted Haggard railing against gays while regularly meeting a male prostitute — don't bother us with it.

In short, if the candidate's personal life isn't in direct conflict with his professed public policy, we couldn't care less.

What we are interested in is whether a public figure lectures us about our lives and condemns others — all the while engaging in some highly suspect behavior himself. We don't care if it's financial, sexual or whatever. Just don't pretend to be holier than thou when you're not.

As for John, we cats love you, but we're very sorry to say that we'll never again jump in your lap and purr. You make us want to GROWL.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

McCain in Sturgis: More Family Values

We're not sure, but we think the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee is whistling in appreciation at this T-shirt. At the very least, we find it hard to believe that he didn't understand what competing for "Miss Buffalo Chip" was all about.

(Photo: The Huffington Post)

Wal-Mart: Even More Disgusting Than You Think

By Sniffles

Here's another good reason to boycott Wal-Mart — and no, it's not because managers have been telling employees they shouldn't vote for Democrats. Which is quite bad enough.

No, this little saga takes place north of the border — where our owners will be very soon. (They go to Canada. We stay at the five-paw cat hotel.)

Seems that Wal-Mart closed a store in Jonquiere, Quebec back in 2005. Why is this important? Well, Jonquiere is a town that's rather off the beaten path — three hours north of Quebec City. Not a lot of shopping options there. And the closing also threw 190 people out of work.

But that's not all. The store was shut down right after its employees voted to unionize — one of the first Wal-Marts to do so.

We cats have pretty good noses, and to us, this just doesn't pass the smell test. The Canadian Supreme Court may agree: They've decided to hear a court case brought by some of the folks who lost their jobs.

Bonne chance, Wal-Mart workers. We hope your "Supremes" are smarter than ours.

(Photo: The Montreal Gazette)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We Call Bulls*** on CNN

By Baxter

Please excuse us cats. We're not usually profane, but CNN's latest headlines have us seeing red.

"Obama Squeaks By McCain in Polls," they say at the CNN website.

However, in our experience, five points are well outside the margin of error. Where does the "squeak" come in, we wonder?

Forty-eight to 43 percent is fine with us — especially since the Worst Person Who Ever Lived defeated John Kerry by four points in 2004.

News media, PLEASE get some perspective! If you don't, we HISS and GROWL in your direction.

Oh, and By the Way...

Please inflate your tires.

We'll save lots of gas that way.

Even John McCain agrees with that now.

Happy PDB Day! (Kidding)

By Zamboni

Today is the anniversary of the Presidential Daily Brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

That's right, folks — it's the seventh anniversary of the day that George W. Bush ignored specific warnings that terrorists were going to attack on September 11.

But never mind — somehow the Administration earned a total pass on responsibility because Bush seized a bullhorn at Ground Zero on September 14.

We cats don't always understand the way things work in the human world. But it seems to us that if something bad happens on somebody's watch, that person should get the blame for it. Just our two cents.

Whatever. This post is in memory of all the people who died on September 11 — especially including the passengers on United 93, who fought back so bravely.

(Image: The Washington Post)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

But Do They Take Plastic?

By Sniffles

By now you may have heard, as we cats did, that John McCain spoke at a gathering in Sturgis, South Dakota yesterday. The first thought that popped into our heads was, "Why is John McCain spending valuable time and money in South Dakota? That state should be a lock for him."

And then we realized that Senator McCain was speaking in front of a biker group — one that we don't think fits the Republican idea of family values.

In fact, the presumptive Republican nominee even suggested that his wife, Cindy, compete for the title of the event's "Miss Buffalo Chip" — even though she would have had to go topless to do so.

So, let's get this straight: It was Senator Obama who was supposed to have problems with women voters who supported Senator Clinton?

Ick. Total ick. We hack up a hairball and drop it on Senator McCain's $520 Ferragamo shoe. (And of course we wonder why the traditional media aren't covering this latest McCain campaign fiasco.)

(Image: The Huffington Post)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tonight's Vocabulary Lesson (as inspired by the McCain Campaign)

Arrogant (adj.) — full of or due to unwarranted pride or self-importance; overbearing, haughty. — SYN. Proud.

Uppity (adj.) (informal) — inclined to be haughty, arrogant, snobbish, etc.

This vocabulary lesson is posted as a partial salute to Stephen Price, reporter for The Tallahassee Democrat.

(Source: Webster's New World College Dictionary)

Bush Surveys Damage Caused by his Presidency

Play This Fun Campaign 2008 Game!

By Baxter

Feeling a little battered by the fluctuating national polls and the horrible slew of negative T.V. spots from the McCain campaign? Glad that Paris Hilton's mom has repudiated the "Celebrity" ad, but worried about it anyway?

We cats understand. Although we are the very definition of relaxation, we are Democrats. So we know you might be feeling a little bit skittish, especially after that disastrous Supreme Court decision in 2000 and John Kerry's loss in '04. Maybe you're even wondering how you'll make it to November without breaking into Rush Limbaugh's house for some Valium or Xanax.

So to feel better, here's a little game you can play. Fill in the blank on the following question.

"Would you trade places with John McCain on —?"

The Polls? — Yes, they're all over the place. And yes, the pundits have bought into the mantra that with the economy the way it is, Senator Obama should be miles ahead, nationally. But we cats believe this line of argument is the product of lazy talking heads whose bosses are leaning on them to produce "conflict narratives" on the cable news shows. (And to date, while it's close, Senator Obama has never been behind.) We also believe that many of Senator Obama's strongest supporters are being underpolled. But even if you don't buy any of this, check out today's New York Times electoral map. The only polls that matter between now and Nov. 4 are state-by-state.

Money? — Senator Obama has raised more money than anyone who's ever run for President before, mostly from donors who have given less than $100. And he can spend unlimited amounts of money in the general election. Senator McCain can't.

Organization? — The Obama campaign is a lean, mean, disciplined fighting machine. They are leak-proof, tech-savvy and tightly knit. They're opening offices in states that Democrats have no business in — like Montana and North Dakota. They're registering new voters at a record pace. And they're forcing the McCain campaign to defend turf that normally they'd be able to take for granted. Virginia's only the tip of the iceberg.

Up-ticket/Down-ticket Effects? — The Democrats could gain between 20 and 30 seats in the House. With the indictment of Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), they could get close to 60 seats in the Senate. Strong Democratic candidates at the Congressional level can contribute even more to Senator Obama's margin in key states, just as a strong performance by Senator Obama can contribute to Congressional margins. However you look at it, Democrats definitely have the advantage in the coattails department.

State of the Party? — The Republicans are a mess. The base doesn't trust John McCain. Enthusiasm is rock-bottom. Bob Barr is running as a Libertarian. Ron Paul is holding a counter-convention in Minneapolis. George W. Bush is the leader of the Republican Party. Eek!

There are more items on this list — such as "National Mood," "Issues," "Image," and "Luck" — but this post is already way too long. We'll revisit this game again. In the meantime, enjoy!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

2nd Republican Quote of the Week

"I don't think I'm Miss Congeniality with the [McCain] campaign, but it's an awful campaign. I'm not afraid to say it on television, because it's the truth. I was critical of the campaign before they decided I was poison." —Mike Murphy, former McCain adviser, July 2008

(Image: The Observer)

Republican Quote of the Week

"Ordinary voters are tired of these Swift-Boating attempts to bring out the negative side. The issues are just too big right now." —Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, lifelong Republican, Obama supporter

Quote of the Week

"[Republicans are] very good at negative campaigning. They're not so good at governing." —Senator Obama, Aug. 2, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Run That By Us Again?

By Zamboni

"We are not going to let anybody paint John McCain, who's fought his entire life for equal rights for everyone, to be able to be painted as racist." —Rick Davis, McCain Campaign, Aug. 1, 2008

Equal rights for everyone?

How could that be, when women's equality is based on their ability to determine their reproductive freedom? And John McCain, his entire career, has been anti-choice?

Here's what we cats know: John McCain has NOT fought his entire life for equal rights for everyone. These campaign people are full of — well, you know what they're full of.

We dump our dirty litter boxes in their beds.

What's REALLY Important?

"Who played the race card, who is more patriotic, who would have visited American troops in Germany — all subjects that Senator John McCain, the... presumptive presidential candidate, has used to criticize Mr. Obama, his Democratic opponent — seemed to matter a bit less on a morning when the Labor Department reported that unemployment had risen to a four-year high of 5.7 percent and General Motors said it had lost $15.5 billion in the second quarter." —The New York Times, Aug. 1, 2008

Gone to the Dark Side

"McCain has adopted an approach that was once thought beneath him. And that choice dates back to his decision to ally himself with George W. Bush and indeed with Rove, despite the vicious tactics that defeated him in the Republican primaries of 2000 — for which he held them responsible." —Joe Conason

WHO'S Playing the "Race Card"?

By Sniffles*

(*Who is posting twice in a row, because, as a calico, she's part black.)

We cats find the McCain campaign's recent pretend-outrage strategy ridiculous and desperate. And wildly dishonest.

Here's just one example of why: Watch this video of a McCain supporter — a very bad speaker from a group called "Vets for Freedom" — introducing the presumptive Republican nominee at an event on April 8, 2008.

Gosh, somehow we think this guy was talking about — drum roll — persons of color! (In other words, "Vote for the white guy, because my two sons couldn't possibly look up to a black, or even half-black, man.")

But where were the media on this — except for Keith Olbermann, of course? We don't recall any kind of flurry comparable to what's going on with the talking heads today. Ohhhhhh, wait a minute, let's think.... April 8. Gee, nobody was paying much attention to Senator McCain back then because the Democratic primaries were still going full force.

The Republicans are running a scurrilous campaign, because — as Jon Stewart would say — they got nuthin'. We HISS and swipe our claws at them in disgust.