Friday, October 31, 2008

Look Out Behind You, Mr. Secretary!

By Sniffles

Whew. We know it's Halloween and all, but somebody really must have scared Lawrence Eagleburger.

Mr. Eagleburger is one of those former Secretaries of State whose endorsement John McCain is so proud of. So it was a little bit of an "oops" when he said yesterday that Sarah Palin wasn't ready to be President.

Well, somebody in the McCain campaign must have gotten hold of the former Secretary and unloaded on him. Because today — on Fox News, of course — he was desperately, desperately trying to take it back.

"I made a serious mistake yesterday," he babbled. "I wasn’t thinking when I said it... And I was just plain stupid."

What was most amazing about the Fox appearance was Mr. Eagleburger's demeanor. A man who has confidently represented America to the leaders of the world looked nervous and unsettled. Gosh, who called him? Steve Schmidt? He's pretty scary even under normal circumstances.

Although he's given us a good laugh today, we cats still HISS at Lawrence Eagleburger. Because the thing that's really frightening about this election is the thought of Sarah Palin a heartbeat away.

(Image: "Nosferatu," F.W. Murnau, 1922)

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

(Photo: Reuters, apparently in a vengeful mood)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

President Gore Comes Back!

By Zamboni

President Gore is returning to Florida.

Really. He and Mrs. Gore are coming back to the state, to campaign for Senator Obama, for the first time since "Recount." What do you think that says about the importance of this election?

Not only that, but Senator Clinton has appeared at campaign events for Obama-Biden more than 70 times.

In the words of CNN's John King, "The Democratic Party is incredibly unified, and the Clintons are the exclamation point." 'Nuff said.

On the Subject of Bad Karma...

By Baxter

We cats go way back. Many, many moons ago, in a long-forgotten political campaign, we innocently confused two lists of Republican and Democratic members of Congress. Mayhem ensued. We still hide under the bed when we think of it.

Which means that we felt almost — but not quite — sorry for the hapless McCain staffer who didn't call Samuel J. Wurflenburgerschneiderbacher in time to attend this Republican rally in Ohio. Senator McCain called out to "Joe" and asked him to stand, only to find that he was not there. Sheesh, did McCain look stupid.

Any potential sympathy we had for the negligent staffer — especially considering the Republican nominee's reputed volcanic temper — was immediately squelched by Senator McCain himself, who urged the crowd to applaud the so-called Joe the Plumber "for what he's done for America."

For what he's done for America? As in what, not paying his taxes?

We cats SNARL. We know many, many other ordinary Americans who are more worthy of applause than Samuel J. Wurfenmeltzerschneiderwonder.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sure Was a Lot Better Than "Pushing Up Daisies" on ABC

We loved Senator Obama's infomercial. And we can't wait to see if Wal-Mart fires the retired black guy who had to go back to work to pay for his wife's rheumatoid arthritis medication.

John McCain, Sayin' What Ain't So

By Sniffles

"No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm President," the Republican nominee said yesterday.

Well, guess what. No one's doing that now.

A Fox Broadcasting executive has denied that Senator Obama's half-hour message to the nation will interfere with tonight's possibly deciding championship game.

"Our first pitch for the World Series is usually around 8:30 anyway — so we didn't push back the game, it was really just about suspending the pre-game [show]," Fox's Joe Coppola said.

But you know what? What if it did?

In other words, it's dawned on us cats that Senator McCain thinks baseball is more important than the following facts:
  • Millions of people have lost their jobs and are losing their homes.
  • Every American family with any retirement savings has seen those savings decline by at least 40 percent.
  • We haven't gotten bin Laden after seven years.
  • We're spending billions a month in Iraq.
  • We're bogged down in Afghanistan with things slipping away.
  • The whole world hates us.
  • The United States is held hostage to imported oil.
  • Our infrastructure is falling into the Mississippi River.
  • Our budget is entirely out of whack.
We could go on, but you get the idea.

No, we cats love baseball, but we find Senator McCain's implication offensive. Because what he's really saying is that he knows best — so, you just sit in front of the T.V., mindlessly watching the rain in Philadelphia and drinking Cindy's beers, and don't trouble your tiny little brain about any of these problems.

Thank you very much. You betcha.

(Image: Major League Baseball)

Another View of the Paw Print

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Car Spotted in Old Montreal, October 2008

We especially appreciate the paw print!

Getting Sticky Down in Florida

By Zamboni

Now that the McCain-Palin feud has degenerated into the use of such terms as "diva" and "whack job," we cats are taking a moment to examine someone whom Senator McCain didn't choose for the Republican ticket: Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

Our sources in the Sunshine State tell us that Governor Crist was passed over as Vice President because, among other reasons, he belongs to a demographic not tolerated — oh, heck, just out-and-out condemned — by the Christian Right.

Now, we cats don't pass judgment on that, although we'll be interested to see if the snowy-haired non-nominee actually goes through with his wedding this December. What's really grabbing our attention today is that Mr. Crist has suddenly overridden his Republican legislature and extended early voting hours throughout the state from eight hours to 12.

A few thoughts pass through our minds between catnaps.

First, we can't imagine that this is good news for the Republicans. The Obama campaign has mounted an unprecedented early-voting effort in Florida. And our "cat on the street" interviews from Miami tell us that the folks waiting in those long, long lines are not doing it so they can vote for John McCain.

Second, we're thinking that if Governor Crist has his eye on 2012, he might be trying to demonstrate that he's the kind of inclusive, progressive Republican governor that Jeb Bush was supposed to have been but never was.

Finally, we're wondering if this is a bit of a payback to Senator McCain for picking the diva instead.

We cats watch with patient interest. In the meantime, we're taking nothing for granted. We were on the phone at Obama HQ just this afternoon, getting out the (now extended) vote.

Change Is Whassup

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yep, Ronald Reagan's Definitely Dead

By Baxter

Jeez. It's only been a little over four years since it was Mourning in America, but how soon the GOP forgets the spirit of Saint Ronald.

Remember Reagan's fabled "11th Commandment"? "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican"?


"The Republican Party I knew in the 1970s is just all gone." (Former Senator Larry Pressler, R-SD)

“It is pretty hard to identify with efforts to divide the country. I don’t think negative campaigns should be rewarded. And this is a very dispiriting campaign that the McCain-Palin ticket is running.” (Former U.S. Representative Jim Leach, R-IA)

“I’m disappointed in the tenor and the personal attacks on the part of the McCain campaign, when he ought to be talking about the issues." (Former Governor William Milliken, R-MI)

“The choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate, and the resultant shallow campaign based on fear and suspicion, looks frighteningly similar to the politics of Karl Rove.” (Former Governor Arne Carlson, R-MN)

“[McCain headquarters is] not an extraordinarily happy place to be right now. I’m not gonna lie. It’s just unfortunate.” (Anonymous senior McCain aide)

"The cake is baked. We’re entering the finger-pointing and positioning-for-history part of the campaign. It’s every man for himself now.” (Anonymous former McCain strategist)

"I don't believe [Sarah Palin is] ready to be President of the United States, which is the job of the Vice President. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made." (Former Secretary of State Colin Powell)

"[Palin] is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone. She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else." (Anonymous McCain campaign source)

"[Palin] is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom." (Anonymous McCain campaign source)

Meeeee-ow! And we cats are loving every minute of it.

UPDATE: Mike Allen of reports this morning that an anonymous senior McCain adviser has called Governor Palin "a whack job."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gee, Maybe We're a Democracy After All

By Sniffles

Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball predicts a possible voter turnout this year of 135-140 million people (out of a universe of 212 million American adults over 18).

If that happens, the 2008 turnout would exceed even 1960, when 63 percent of adult Americans voted.

Wow! We knew Senator Obama was comparable to Jack Kennedy, but we didn't know the comparison was this close.

Well, We Didn't Get to See Obama — But We're Still Fired Up!

By Zamboni

Here's testimony to Senator Obama's star power — these folks in Miami lined up to see him last week, but, unfortunately, didn't get in.

By the time they made it through security — what with tens of thousands of people there — the rally was over. Waaaaah!

Did it matter? NO! Whether or not they got to hear the speech, thousands of attendees promptly trooped down to the Stephen Clark Center to vote early.

That's why this election is so special. People don't stand on ceremony. They just want their country back.

Yes, we can!

(Image: Nora Denslow)

It's All About the Court

By Baxter

With a little more than a week to go — and with Senator Obama leading in the polls — here's a reminder that we mustn't rest on our laurels.

After all, it's all about the Supreme Court.

Convince an undecided voter to support Obama and qualify for a great corn pudding recipe!

Meow Moments (and another big crowd)

By Sniffles

(Yawn.) One more 100,000-person rally.

Oh — excuse us. We just woke up from our latest Sunday afternoon nap to hear that Senator Obama has drawn another record crowd, this time in Denver (again).

We almost, but not quite, feel sorry for Republicans today. (Accent on the "not quite." It's been a rough eight years.) It's not just because Obama-Biden are holding steady in the polls — and not just because the Democratic nominee is continuing to attract the kind of throngs that usually only turn out for Madonna or Springsteen. It's this: The MSM and the Internet are awash in buzz this weekend about McCain-Palin/GOP infighting. Whee!

We cats are particularly intrigued by the "Palin-as-diva" backbiting. This isn't because we care about Sarah Palin — because we don't. In fact, we're counting the hours until Election Day, after which we presume we won't have to think about her for awhile. Rather, we're agog with speculation about who in GOP circles is pushing these anti-Witch of Wasilla stories to the media.

Face it, somebody is. Somebody deep inside the McCain campaign, or inside the Republican National Committee. Example: How did Politico break the $150,000-clothing story? Who was their source? They never exactly said.

We cats think that someone in the RNC who likes, say, Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee or Haley Barbour — or any Republican other than Palin in 2012 — cattily called up Politico's Jeanne Cummings to deliciously backstab the Governor of Alaska. Hey, it's the Bush Doctrine — preemptive strike!

And it continues. This is not a happy Republican Party we're dealing with here. In fact, Karl Rove himself has pronounced it "sad."

Gee, this is fun. As we cats say, meow, meow, meow.

(Photo: Getty Images / The Huffington Post)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Zamboni Palin"? The Real Zamboni Reacts

Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me?

(Photo: A Country Cat House)

The Curse of the Babe?

By Zamboni

No, no, not that one. Not the fat guy traded by the Red Sox back in 1919. We mean the good-looking Witch from Wasilla in 2008 — you know, the one with all those expensive clothes?

Seems like every time Sarah Palin drops a ceremonial first puck at a hockey game, the home team loses.

First, it was the Philadelphia Flyers. Their season opener — which Palin headlined two weeks ago — was promptly ruined by the New York Rangers, 4 to 3.

Now, it's St. Louis' turn.

After welcoming Governor Palin at a puck-dropping ceremony last night, the Blues were promptly blanked by the L.A. Kings, 4-zip.

Blues goalie Manny Legace also had to leave the game after the first period. Why? He slipped on the carpet that had been laid on the ice for the Palins to walk on. Strained his left hip flexor.

Hm. We cats have been the victims of many superstitions over the years. So we think we know a curse when we see one.

We'd also bet that the Flyers are grateful to the Blues for taking on what's sure to be known as the Wasilla Whammy. That's because Philadelphia won their first game last night — beating the Devils 6 to 3.

Whew. We cats are relieved that our favorite team won't be under this curse anytime soon. Somehow we can't picture the Witch of Wasilla dropping a puck at the Bell Centre in Montreal. She wouldn't get a very warm welcome.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Meet the New Susan Smith

"If the [Ashley Todd] incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."

—John Moody, FOX News executive

Planting Plumbers (or, Susan Smith Redux)

By Baxter

Not since the days of G. Gordon Liddy — that domestic terrorist and supporter of John McCain for President — have there been so many plumbers in politics.

Being innately suspicious creatures, we cats found it very odd that Samuel J. Wurzelsmurfermuzzlinbacher or whatever his name is conveniently "showed up" when Senator Obama was canvassing an Ohio neighborhood and, confronting the Senator, quizzed him on his small-business tax plan.

Too neatly to be believed, Mr. Wurzelmufflergizzardbuttkins said he was about to buy a business that was making — zounds, what a coincidence! — more than $250,000 a year. That figure is, amazingly, the point at which Senator Obama's tax plan begins to kick in.

And the rest, as we know, is history. Now, not only is Senator McCain on a self-described "Joe the Plumber Tour," but Mr. Wurzelorgansmifflinbutton — having enjoyed (or not enjoyed) his 15 minutes of fame — is trying to cash in by peddling a book proposal.

Why do we cats smell a rat?

That is, aside from the fact that we're very good at smelling rats.

Why do we think that "Joe the Plumber" was, from the beginning, a McCain campaign plant?

We had the same eerie feeling when the story surfaced about a female McCain fan who claimed she was attacked at an ATM by an African-American Obama supporter who, she said, carved a "B" on her face. It turns out that our instincts were correct: The whole story is fake.

We'd laugh, except for the fact that this one is really, really, really ugly. Remember Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her two sons in 1995? Her initial story was that a black man attacked her and hijacked the car with the boys in the back seat. After Newt Gingrich blamed national Democrats for that alleged horrific crime, it turned out that Ms. Smith had done it herself.

As Senator Obama has famously said, enough is enough. Election Day 2008 cannot come too soon for us.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sorry, Governor, The Name's Taken

By Zamboni

So Sarah Palin says she'd love to have a son named Zamboni.

What a silly name — for a human.

Sigh. We're mystified as to why the ever-more-laughable Republican nominee for Vice President would like to name a child after a Democratic cat-blogger. Even more to the point: The world definitely doesn't need any more Palins. Therefore, to solve that larger problem, we urge the Governor and her husband to get spayed and neutered immediately.

But we understand they may not choose to do the responsible thing. So in lieu of "Zamboni" we'd like to make a few other naming suggestions.

How about Nicklas (after Lindstrom)? Or Mats (as in Sundin)? Or Saku (like Koivu)? Or, wait — here's a good one: Nikolai (after Khabibulin). He's from Russia, which of course the Palins can see from their house.

Or they could just play it safe and name the child Stanley. (As in Cup.)

There's a whole wonderful National Hockey League to choose from, so we've just scratched the surface here. But there's one thing we do know: After November 4, the Palins will have plenty of time on their hands to decide.

Princess Palin

By Sniffles

We cats have sat for a couple of days on the $150,000 Palin wardrobe story because, frankly, our furry little heads were spinning. The Republicans, who lately have been distinguishing themselves by how many bad campaign decisions they can make in a short period of time, seem to be batting a thousand.

So many aspects of the story, broken by Politico, were staggering. Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus? For a candidate who adoring Republican women in Wal-Mart polyester pants claim is "just like" them? And if that weren't bad enough, nearly $5,000 on hair and makeup alone?

Goodness. Our sessions with the cat groomer only cost us about 65 bucks, and that includes a free flea bath. Governor Palin's RNC dressers are spending way too much money on her. And it's probably money that some Republicans would rather see spent in tight Congressional races.

The McCain-Palin campaign now says the clothes will be donated to charity, but — ick. Campaigns entail long, tiring, wrinkly, sweaty days. So, personally, we wouldn't want to wear any dresses or pantsuits from the trail — even a Democrat's.

But then it hit us: How Diana of them. Months before her death, the Princess of Wales, at the suggestion of her son Prince William, allowed Christie's to auction off a number of her House of Windsor horrors to benefit the National AIDS Trust. Perhaps that's the sort of thing the Republicans can do with Governor Palin's clothes, since they're outfitting her like a prin — no, like a queen!

Can Sarah Palin paper dolls be far behind? And will all those Republican "Jane Six-Packs" — who shop much farther downscale from Saks and Neiman's — buy them? Only time will tell.

Half-Assed Apologies

By Zamboni

If there's anything that we cats dislike more than Republicans questioning others' patriotism or indulging in anti-Obama racism, it's Republicans offering lame, qualified mea culpas for crossing those despicable lines.

Latest case in point: This repulsive image, produced in a California GOP women's group newsletter. Although the president of the group has resigned over it, she apologized "to anyone who was offended."

Madam, the entire world is offended at this. There are no "ifs" about it. Say you're sorry and be done with it.

It reminds us of Sarah Palin's idiotic backpedaling on her "real America" comments and her implication that urban or sophisticated areas of the country are less patriotic than small towns. "If that's the way it has come across, I apologize," she said.

Shame on you, Governor. You know exactly what you were saying and how it was "coming across." We swipe our claws at you and at the now-former president of Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated.

And we are so glad that Democrats don't do stuff like this.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Doesn't It?

By Baxter

In the aftermath of the Powell endorsement of Senator Obama, we cats are struck by one quote.

Senator John McCain: "This doesn't come as a surprise."

Why not, Senator? We're just wondering, because Secretary Powell said that he didn't discuss his endorsement ahead of time with either campaign.

Is this just more racial code? If not, can you please explain?

And why aren't journalists asking this follow-up question?

Take a Stand Against the New McCarthyism

By Sniffles

If you're looking to take action after comments by the ever-reprehensible Michelle Bachmann, here's how to contribute to her Democratic opponent's campaign:

We sent $50 and we feel great! "Have you no sense of decency?"

Here's Inspiration for Ya

“Somewhere, former conservative icon Senator Jesse Helms must be turning over in his grave at the prospect of Obama winning North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes. The Republican stronghold that elected Helms to five terms in the Senate no longer exists.”

—James Bennett, managing editor, The Independent Tribune

Secrets & Lies

By Sniffles

We cats have returned to the Lower Forty-Eight, and there is so much to catch up on: Colin Powell, Michelle Bachmann, Senator Obama's grandmother, the St. Louis rally with 100,000 people. In short, we're on sensory overload, which — considering how much we can pick up with the tips of our whiskers alone — is saying a lot.

But what's really got us switching our tails between naps is the recent New York Times report on the health of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates.

Not that any of them are necessarily near death's door — although there is much we don't know about Senator McCain and his skin cancer. No, what really astounds us is the arrogance of Sarah Palin. She has released no medical information.

Incredible. The woman has been on the national stage for less than two months. She's aspiring to the second-highest office in the land — and on a ticket with a cancer victim who, if he wins on November 4, would be the oldest elected President ever. And she's released no medical information???

We cats generally try not to soil our paws with the Palin family dirt, and all of the gossipy speculations that whirl about it. Mainly because so much of it revolves around having babies — and the thought of Republicans procreating, in or out of marriage, is so unappealing that we prefer not to think about it.

But Governor Palin's refusal to document the soundness of her health forces us to address the subject. We can only conclude from it that she has something to hide about the "Trig" pregnancy.

Was it a ruse to cover up her daughter's condition? Is the baby not really Todd's? Somehow we think we'll never know — and mercifully, if things turn out the way we want on Election Day, we'll never have to know.

Still, we GROWL at Sarah Palin and swipe our claws at her. She owes the American people an accounting of her health. Even if she's going to be feeling pretty bad come November 5.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mise au Jeu

By Zamboni

We cats will attend the Montreal Canadiens-Phoenix Coyotes game at the Bell Center tomorrow night. (Yes, they have special VIP booths for cats — so we don't get stepped on by the enthusiastic Habs crowds.)

Although the Coyotes are coached by The Great One, we're still looking forward to seeing a team from Arizona get its butt kicked. Because if that happens, it'll put us in the perfect mood for November 4.

See, when we cats wind up this most enjoyable holiday in Canada, we'll be returning home to a key battleground state — and we'll work hard in the last two weeks to Get Out The Vote.

That's pretty much where we think the Democrats are right now: We get our vote out, we win. Despite those disgusting robo calls that the McCain campaign is doing.

So, all you Obama supporters in all states, not just battleground ones: Make those phone calls. Knock on those doors. Talk to your neighbors. Urge folks to vote early. Drive people who need it to the polls. Then, at 7 p.m. EST on November 4, start calling key states in earlier time zones to get their voters to the polls.

Game on!

UPDATE: The Canadiens did kick Arizona butt. The final score was 4-1... eerily, the ratio by which Senator Obama is outspending McCain in advertising. Is it a sign?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Giving a New Meaning to the Term "Lurching Campaign"

By Baxter

We cats really have to thank Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog for turning us on to this simply horrific photo of John McCain by Jim Bourg of Reuters.

Apparently this is Senator McCain's reaction when he nearly headed offstage the wrong way after last night's debate. So, since McCain votes with Bush more than 90 percent of the time, we figured we needed to pair it with the famous picture of Bush trying to open a locked door in China.

Why do we think the press is counting the hours until these guys are off the political radar screen?

Encore Une Fois

By Sniffles

We cats did not watch the final Presidential debate last night. We simply couldn't bear the thought of spending another evening with John McCain. We feel sorry for Senator Obama, since he couldn't avoid it.

But there already has been an election up here in Canada, and although the Tories added seats in Parliament, they've remained a minority government. The country seems stuck in a rut: It's awfully hard to put together a majority when you have four political parties competing to lead. So why did Stephen Harper go back on his word and call the snap election in the first place?

Because he thought he could reach, or even surpass, the magic number of 155 on Parliament Hill. The fact that he didn't has been laid at the feet of Quebec — because Quebecers, annoyed with Harper on a couple of issues, either stayed reliably Liberal on Montreal Island or stampeded back to the Bloc Quebecois in the rest of the province.

One of those issues was culture (*sigh*). We cats are so tired of conservative politicians railing against federal funding for what they consider to be "objectionable" art. This riled Quebecers who not only like their art unmeddled with, merci, but who also don't like Ottawa telling them what to do.

So, we cats HISS in derision at Stephen Harper, for throwing away his majority. And we PURR at Montreal's famous son Justin Trudeau and former astronaut Marc Garneau, both of whom will be sitting in the House of Commons when next they meet.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Hearts Will Be In...

By Zamboni

Now that we've made back a little money on the stock market, we're celebrating by flying to Quebec for a few days.

We'll keep posting from time to time, though — in between outings to see the fall foliage.

In the meantime, a belated Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the True North. Don't forget to vote tomorrow.

We Like Where You Have Us, John

By Baxter

It's not often that we cats feature a member of the dog side of the animal family. But thanks to John McCain, we need to come to the defense of a canine we've always admired.

In other words, it's one thing to be an underdog — which Senator McCain fancies himself. It's quite another thing to be totally delusional.

That's pretty much what Senator McCain seemed when he unveiled a new stump speech today, positioned himself as a fighter — and then, inexplicably, claimed he had the Obama campaign "just where we want them."

Where would that be, Senator? Ten points ahead of you nationally (not six, as you claimed)? Flush with cash? Taking the battle to you in red states — which would explain why you had to make those remarks today in, um, Virginia Beach?

Your speeches, Senator, would be a little more credible if you could resist the urge to recite these silly tag lines. If you're not careful, they're going to — excuse the expression — dog you.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Taking a Page from Palin

By Zamboni

This unappealing-looking person is the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper. There's an election in Canada on Tuesday. We cats aren't sure if the ruling Conservatives are going to end up with a majority government or not. But we do know one thing.

The Prime Minister is following the example of Sarah Palin and refusing to meet the press.

"Harper normally takes 10 questions per day from national reporters traveling with his campaign," The Montreal Gazette reports.

Who are these people, who think they're too good to answer to the public they profess to serve? Karl Rove and Harriet Miers thumb their noses at Congressional subpoenas, Palin wraps herself in a campaign cocoon, her husband refuses to personally testify in Troopergate and submits a written statement instead — and now, Harper.

We cats HISS at this behavior, and long for the days when our leaders weren't afraid to face us. Maybe those days will come back soon.

(Photo: The Montreal Gazette)

Playing to the Base

By Sniffles

Remember the halcyon days of the McCain campaign, when they were going to appeal to white working class voters, disgruntled Hillary supporters and Jews?

There are still three weeks left and things could change. But right now those days are looking mighty gone. It's not just what the McCain-Palin crowds are like — quite the story this past week — but where McCain and Palin themselves are spending their time, and what decisions they're making.

A campaign that's playing offense would not be sending Sarah Palin to West Virginia today, or to Philadelphia to drop the ceremonial first puck at the Flyers opener last night. West Virginia should be in their pocket (it isn't), and Eastern Pennsylvania is pretty much gone. Better they concentrate on Western Pennsylvania — Richard Mellon Scaife territory. But no, they couldn't resist an empty PR stunt. (We cats note with satisfaction that the hockey gods made the Flyers pay for their hospitality by losing.)

A campaign that's appealing to unhappy Hillary supporters would not be sending its Vice Presidential nominee out to suddenly attack Senator Obama on abortion. PUMAs, if there are any of you left, please take note. (And P.S., we also continue to be distressed at the ugliness of Governor Palin's rallies. Despite the Governor's plea that it's not "mean-spirited" to raise differences on the issues, we do find cries of "Killer" against Senator Obama, um, not very nice.)

A campaign that wants to sow doubts about Senator Obama would not be relying on a known anti-Semite to spread the message on Fox News. (Thank you, Fred Grimm of The Miami Herald, for pointing this out while the MSM have pretty much ignored it.)

Nope, this is not a campaign whose electoral map is expanding. This is one that desperately needs every member of its hardcore 30 percent — you know, those people who still think George W. Bush is a great President — to show up on November 4.

People like the happy faces in the photo above.

(Image: AP Photo / Gerald Herbert)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

John McCain is Shocked, Shocked by John Lewis

By Baxter

John Lewis is absolutely right.

John McCain, who during the primaries named Congressman Lewis as one of three "wise men" he'd consult should he become President, can splutter all he wants. But the behavior that's "beyond the pale" is not Mr. Lewis' — it's the McCain supporters who have yelled, "Treason!", "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" at McCain-Palin rallies.

Senator McCain is in a box. On the one hand, months ago he declared he would run an "honorable" campaign and not engage in divisive tactics. On the other hand, now he is behind in the polls and can't seem to find any traction on the issues. So the man who said there was "a special place in hell" for the Bushies who trashed his family and reputation in 2000 now has sunk to their level himself.

You can see his ambivalence at his events. First, he makes baseless charges against Senator Obama. Then, he counsels "respect," although at the same time he tells his supporters that he doesn't want to discourage their "ferocity."

Thanks, Senator McCain, but this kind of ferocity America can live without.

Clearly, someone has taken you aside and told you that with the scurrilous campaign you're running, you're not only going to lose the election — you're going to go down in history as the Father Coughlin of 2008. But with your faux outrage at Congressman Lewis — who may know more about the consequences of hate than any living American — you have branded yourself as a weak, unprincipled jerk who will do anything to win.

And we cats SNARL at you for that.

"Choose Hope, Not Hate"

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Anxiety Can Feed Anxiety"

By Zamboni

Gee, thanks, George. We weren't feeling at all concerned, until you came out and made your remarks this morning.

Normally, we'd say, get the (BLEEP) back in the Oval Office and shut your face — so that our retirement account can maybe try to recover.

On the other hand, every time you mince out into the Rose Garden of the White House and remind the American people that you're President, you give John McCain a new headache.

We cats think we vote for the headache.

"The Biggest Risk is Four More Years of the Last Eight Years"

Meanwhile, Back in the World

By Sniffles

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that gay couples have the right to marry.

With this ruling, the court overturned a gay marriage ban and, in our opinion, affirmed equality under state law. Of course, they also voted for Connecticut to benefit from the economic windfall that California and Massachusetts have enjoyed since making gay marriage legal. We think that other states, with their bare coffers, might be looking on with a certain amount of understandable envy.

There are a number of anti-gay measures on state ballots this November 4 — but, despite that, we cats trust in the words of Martin Luther King.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Does This Look Like a Winning Ticket's Rally to You?

"Please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive." —John Weaver, former McCain campaign adviser

Obama Embraced by Older White Minister Guy

That's Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio. Yes, he's an ordained Christian minister. And the son of a steelworker. Clearly, a dangerous man.

(Image: CNN)

American Bund

By Baxter

The mainstream media are just starting to notice a phenomenon that we cats have observed for about a week now and not liked one bit. (Of course, bloggers have been way ahead of the MSM on this, but never mind.)

McCain-Palin campaign events have become gatherings of surly mobs.

From the disturbing Palin rally in Clearwater, Florida — at which attendees yelled "Treason!", "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" — to the Waukesha, Wisconsin crowd described by today's Washington Post, we cats expect Republican riots to break out any minute now.

Are these people angry because they're scared? We can understand that. Heck, we're scared, too, what with the world's financial markets imploding and our retirement accounts plummeting to zero. But — whoops. Somehow we don't think that we and the Republican faithful are scared of the same thing.

Said one Waukesha attendee of Senator Obama, "I can't stand to look at him, I don't trust him. I don't like the circle of friends he keeps, I don't like his policies. I'm pissed off by it. I'm beyond mad. How is he climbing up in the polls?"

Gee, Madam, where do we start? Had a look at your 401(k) lately? However, from the personal nature of your comments, we suspect that something more than money is motivating you.

And faced with this roiling crowd, what did the candidates do — try to tamp down the emotions, assure their supporters of better days ahead? No, they continued to stoke the flames against Senator Obama, "[drawing] on the crowd's energy," according to the Post.

Behavior like this makes us want to hide under the bed. It's frightening. And by encouraging it, McCain and Palin are proving what we've always thought — they are unfit to run the country.

As Senator Obama has said, "This isn't a time for fear or panic. This is a time for resolve and steady leadership."

We're not seeing it in the Republican ticket.

(Photo: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum / University of Southern California)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Scarlet Letter

By Zamboni

Actually, we were thinking of the 18th letter of the alphabet, not the first.

Howard Kurtz observes in today's Washington Post that the McCain campaign spinners were a little subdued after the debate the other night. Said Bush veteran Steve Schmidt, "We have a tougher hill to climb than our opponent.... We understand the difficulty of having an R next to your name."

And The New York Times reports that with the financial meltdown, the GOP is facing even more daunting odds in Congressional races. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is threatened with the possible loss of his seat.

Okay, we know there's a month to go. And we're not saying Democrats are perfect. (Only cats are.) But we sure wouldn't trade places right now with McCain-Palin, or with any of those Republicans in tight races for the House and Senate.

Oh, well. Those are the Republicans' problems. For us, it's time for a nap. Wake us when the next battleground-state polls come in.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Elephant (or Donkey) in the Room

By Sniffles

We cats have to admit something. We were Hillary supporters. We always felt that if we were in the same room with Senator Obama, he would ignore us.

Well, no more. Senator Obama's performance last night convinced us.

Senator Obama cares about us. He understands the challenges American families are facing. He may not exactly relate to us the way the Clintons do — who could? — but he has the same concerns at heart.

We also think Senator Clinton would concur.

There is a new age dawning. We don't know precisely what it will bring, but we think it presages better days.

The history of America has always been a struggle of the greater good against daunting odds. And we think if we were thrown together in history with Senator Obama, we could tell him our story, and our obstacles — and he could relate to them.

Why? Because he gets it. He understands the challenges of people's everyday lives, and how they relate to the overall dream that is America. And despite his underprivileged background, he does it in a completely unsentimental way — more effectively than anyone since JFK.

Being cool. Caring about life, Taking it seriously— but not taking oneself seriously. Not making it icky. That's the key.

"Let's back Jack." "Let's back Barack."

"No One Can Quantify It"

At what point — if at all — will Americans vote against their own economic interest, because of race?

"The Senator Has Reported Every Gift He's Ever Received"

Ooh! You can turn the world on with a smile!

We cats think maybe Norm Coleman's creepy smile won't be enough to get him through this.

Right Back Atcha, John

We Obama supporters are so hip!

Triumph of the Will, McCain-Style

By Baxter

We cats hate to say this, but we think the Republican nominees have done way more than jump the shark.

They need to make a major apology to Barack and Michelle Obama — and to the American people.

Sarah Palin's rallies have gotten totally out of hand. While she repeats her ridiculous charges about Senator Obama and William Ayers, she's inspiring frenzy among her crowds. Major media outlets have reported that attendees at her campaign events have shouted "Treason!", "Terrorist!" and — most disturbingly — "Kill him!"

This is the stuff of Nazi and KKK rallies. It has no place in American politics. And the person who needs to immediately be asked to repudiate this behavior is the man at the top of Governor Palin's ticket, Senator John McCain.

But we're not holding our breath. After all, not one questioner at last night's "town hall" debate brought it up.

We are reminded of the words of Joseph Welch. Special Counsel to the Army, to Senator Joseph McCarthy, on February 9, 1950:

"Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Where John McCain is concerned, clearly the answer is: No.

"I Won't Be Buried Under [America's] Damn Flag"

These are the folks Sarah and Todd Palin "pal" around with. Egad!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not a Game Changer

By Zamboni

We cats are not jittery types, but we have to admit we were on the edge of our seats throughout tonight's debate.

It was Senator McCain's breathless, urgent delivery. Good heavens, we thought, is he going to have a heart attack?

Well, thankfully he didn't. (Although the behavior of his running mate these past few days should certainly give him one.) It's just that we vastly preferred the calm, reasoned and — we have to say this — Presidential demeanor of Senator Obama.

After all... Our 401(k) is tanking. We don't know how we're going to retire or even be able to pay our mortgage next month. We can't afford to put food on the table or gas in our car. We wonder how we're going to send our kids to college, and we're worried about our elderly parents and the astronomical cost of health care.

With all that on the table, we sure don't need a President who makes us nervous.

Oh, and P.S.:

We cats really, really, really didn't like it when Senator McCain referred to Senator Obama as "That one." It was inappropriate, disrespectful and — yes, vaguely racist. We SNARL at that.

(Image: The Montreal Gazette)

We Heart Mrs. Hagel

By Sniffles

We cats are getting ready for our afternoon nap — and the lap of the person we'd most like to curl up in belongs to Lilibet Hagel, wife of Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel.

Mrs. Hagel is endorsing Senator Obama for President today in a joint appearance with Susan Eisenhower in Alexandria, Virginia.

Great timing, Mrs. H.! Your thoughtful endorsement is a terrific Republican contrast to the venom that the McCain campaign is spewing now.

know what's important to the American people these days. They want good, solid leadership and ideas — not erratic, angry petulance and personal attacks. (Oh, and thanks for doing it in Virginia — in the words of Joe McCain, "communist country.")

Can we rub up against your ankles, too?

Monday, October 6, 2008

We Are Flattered!

By Baxter

Finally, someone has recognized the importance of cats to the democratic — and Democratic — process.

A friend who's working hard on the Obama campaign in Virginia sent us this adorable button the other day. We are wearing it proudly everywhere we go. It's handmade by artist Patti Maslinoff and you can buy it here.

(And yes, for those of you on the other side of the animal divide, she has a dog button, too. So we guess not all dogs are Republicans!)

We PURR at Ms. Maslinoff and at all those folks who are building support for Obama-Biden in Virginia. Today's polls say you're doing a pretty good job!

McCain Sinks Lower Than the Stock Market

("Hannity & Colmes," Fox News, March 2008)

In Honor of the Stock Market (Which is a Real Train Wreck Today)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tucker Gets an "F"

By Zamboni

Ah — it's been so long since we've posted a comment about grammar. But now we can, thanks to the improbably named McCain spokesman "Tucker" Bounds.

Defending the Republican campaign's latest ludicrous smears against Senator Obama — which we will not repeat here because they're so darn desperate and silly — Mr. Bounds said, "These are true facts about Barack Obama."

Tsk, tsk, Tucker. Facts are true. You are being redundant. And if that weren't bad enough, the "facts" you cite are not facts.

We cats HISS at you for your mangling of the English language. But then, what can we expect from someone whose party is headed by George W. Bush?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Follow the Money

By Sniffles

We cats laughed out loud when we read that a McCain spokesperson claimed that it was Senator Obama, and not the Republican nominee, whose campaign was on the defensive.

Yes, cats can laugh. Who knew?

Now, we're careful not to count our chickens, and we've still got four weeks to go. But for the moment it seems that it's Obama-Biden playing offense, not McCain-Palin. (Although like most Bushies, the people running the McCain campaign think that declaring something makes it so.)

In the wake of the Wall Street bailout — which put the economy back on the political radar screen where it belonged — the media have started covering Senator Obama's expanding electoral map and Senator McCain's shrinking one. Yes, it's because of the economy, and the debates, and the fact that people are truly starting to focus one month out. But also behind it all: Proper allocation of finite resources over time. Senator Obama has done this much better than Senator McCain.

Take the recent Republican retreat from Michigan. We don't just suspect that it's delicious commentary on Governor Romney's lack of enthusiasm for delivering his native state to his hated rival from the primaries. (After all, what's in it for Mitt? Surely he wants to run again in 2012.) We've also been reminded that Senator McCain spent $8 million there — and this by a publicly funded campaign and a national party committee that's strapped trying to defend a boatload of House and Senate seats. Eight million is a ton of money.

But here's a question — how much did McCain spend in Florida over the summer? Zero. And now he's trailing Obama-Biden there, too. What if he'd poured all that Michigan money into the Sunshine State instead? These are the questions that Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis must be asking themselves today.

Again, we're not counting chickens. We're too superstitious for that. But winning the Electoral College is a zero-sum game. And so far, with decisions like these, the McCain campaign is looking like a big fat zero.

Bill to Barack: Brace Yourself

By Baxter

Here's a conversation that we hope President Clinton and Senator Obama have already had: How to survive desperate Republican attacks.

Why? Because The Washington Post reports this morning that the McCain campaign, down in the polls, is about to unleash fierce new assaults on Senator Obama — not on his policies, but on his character.

Our first reactions? That swing voters won't like it. That it's lame. That, as Jon Stewart would say, they got nuthin'.

Our second reaction? That, unfortunately, below-the-belt often works — even though it's reprehensible. But what does that matter to John McCain, who has completely sold his soul to the Rovians, the Swift Boaters and the right-wing nutbags?

We cats SNARL. This latest desperate move is more proof that in McCain's mind, it's not "Country First." It's "Me First."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hokey Mom

By Zamboni

We cats sure hope Senator Obama wins the election next month, because we cannot wait to get John McCain and Sarah Palin out of our lives.

Especially Sarah Palin.

Yes, we know that cats named "Zamboni" should probably like someone who calls herself a hockey mom. But we don't.

What fails to charm us? That relentlessly earnest demeanor that we've seen referred to as "warmth," "folksiness," "likability," "perkiness" and "spunk." Her endless mentions of "Joe Six-Pack" and her incessant droppin' of her g's. Her "shout-outs" and "you betchas" and — heaven help us — her winks.

Winks! We heard a caller on National Public Radio this morning say that Palin's winking turned him off voting for McCain for good. "We're not electing a coquette," he said. (Or an infomercial hostess, either.)

Now, we're not trying to be a wet blanket. We cats appreciate an upbeat attitude as much as the next feline. But we hate it when it's forced and faked, which is the case with Palin. And it's so tone-deaf for the country right now. People are hurting. We need intelligence, maturity and judgment in our leaders like we can't remember when.

These are serious times. Sarah Palin is not a serious person.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Night (Not) to Remember

By Sniffles

On the Vice Presidential debate: A draw.

Which means it will not matter, come November 4.

In other words, Sarah Palin is like a rocket that the Titanic shot off on the night of April 14-15, 1912. It was dazzling, but nobody answered it.

And we cats have to say that we totally choked up in the last 10 minutes. We know that Senator Biden understands the tragedies that American families face.

Governor Palin? — eh, not so much.

We cats PURR in the direction of Senator Biden. He knows what it's like when there are too few lifeboats in the storm.