Saturday, November 29, 2008

"One Nation, Indivisible"

By Sniffles

Back when we were kittens, we cats had the occasion to meet Dr. George M. Docherty, the pastor at Washington's New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. He was no spring chicken even then, so we were astonished to see his obit just now, in The Washington Post.

Dr. Docherty was pretty progressive in a lot of ways, and not so in others. He was active in the civil rights movement, but he had a ways to go, we think, when it came to women's rights and gay rights. But that's okay. Since he died at 97 we'd be safe saying that he came from a whole 'nuther generation on stuff like that.

However, there's one Docherty legacy with which, we now believe, we must take a moment to quibble: Helping inspire Congress to put "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Post obit quotes him: "I came from Scotland, where we said 'God save our gracious Queen.' Here was the Pledge... and God wasn't in it at all."

You got that right, Reverend Docherty, and that's the way it should have stayed. Here in America we have a pesky thing called separation of church and state. And the Pledge was doing just fine for many, many years until you came along and messed with it.

We never said any of this to the late Dr. Docherty's face, and we're glad that we didn't. Water under the bridge and all that. But we can't help wishing that he'd be remembered for marching to Selma instead of giving us a part of the Pledge that we don't repeat. As someone of more recent political vintage has been known to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Idiots Pardon Turkeys. Smart People Help Others.

The Obama family helps distribute food to needy Chicagoans at the St. Columbanus Parish on the South Side.

(Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)

Memo to the Man in the Cheese Aisle: Get Lost

By Zamboni

John McCain held a news conference on Tuesday, and we cats are very tempted to quote Bill Maher to him. "GO AWAY. If we wanted to see more of you, we would have voted for you."

Why are we so cranky this day before Thanksgiving? Well, it isn't just that Sarah Palin has totally put us off our turkey. It's that we're getting fed up with Senator McCain continuing to defend an indefensible campaign.

We have to break the news to him: You can say a ton of nice things about Barack Obama now, Senator, but as soon as you declare that you're proud of those American Bund rallies you held, and proud of that jackass you picked for a running mate, you lose us.

Sure, McCain is probably doing it to needle the Republican "boys" he ran against in the primaries — and the other Republican "boys" who have their eye on 2012. (Tim, Haley, Mitt, Mike, Newt, Jeb, Charlie, Bobby, etc. — you know who you are.) We're sure they're furious that McCain has elevated a clueless idiot as a potential GOP primary rival, and we're glad that that bugs them.

But McCain didn't just put Palin smack in the middle of their road to 2012. He put her in our lives at the same time. And we'll simply never forgive him for that.

So, John, we're happy to pay you back by savoring one of the worst moments of your sorry campaign for the Presidency (see above). And we hereby declare that this holiday season, we're thankful that America rejected you, your faux "Country First" slogan, and your airhead running mate.

So there, PURR.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

America's Chateau d'If

By Baxter

So the Bush Administration, after years of bellowing that he was a dangerous terrorist, has finally negotiated Salim Ahmed Hamdan's handover to his native country, Yemen.

Hamdan is a guy who falls into our "poor slob" category — a hapless jerk who was picked up after September 11, 2001, on a flimsy pretense. And whose case would have efficiently sorted out — if American justice had been left to its own, very sensible devices.

But, no. The Bush Administration had other ideas — so Mr. Hamdan is the 21st-century version of Jean Valjean. (Or Edmond Dantes, depending on which literary classic appeals to you.)

It occurs to us cats that Mr. Hamdan — who was convicted on far lesser charges than George W. Bush (or Dick Cheney) would have preferred — has spent more time in unwarranted United States custody than John McCain did, as a captive of the Viet Cong, in Viet Nam. Does this mean that Mr. Hamdan has a brilliant political career ahead of him, simply because he suffered an unjust captivity? Not to draw comparisons. Just sayin'.

We cats SNARL at the fact that the U.S. justice system could ever be put in this sorry-ass position: lumped in the same category as the tyrannies of the world. It'll take a long time before America can extricate itself from the days it turned its back on the Geneva Conventions. In the meantime, we hope that Senator Obama's Administration will be able to sort through these horrors and put them right.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks, But No, Thanks, Governor You-Know-Who

By Sniffles

Right-wing nutjobs are still living in that mystifying alternate universe in which George W. Bush has not brought America to its economic knees, the recession is Senator Obama's fault, and Mike Huckabee isn't Christian or conservative enough.

The latest example of nut-jobbery is the "Thank You, Sarah Palin" T.V. spots that a group calling itself "Our Country Deserves Better" is running in Alaska. This is the same political action committee that ran the "Stop Obama" bus tour. (Gee, that worked out well.) Says the PAC's spokesman on the ads, "Governor Palin inspired millions of Americans by fighting for common-sense conservative principles in a positive and uplifting manner."

"Positive" and "uplifting"? These folks must have watched a different general election. The McCain-Palin campaign was an almost wholly negative one, questioning Senator Obama's character and patriotism, and coming close to inciting violence against the Democratic nominee. Congressman John Lewis finally warned the Republicans that their tactics were "sowing the seeds of hatred and division" and "playing with fire."

Fortunately, though, the voters also decided that our country deserved better.

On Election Day, they gave us Senator Obama. Thanks, America!

Crist Marriage Doomed

By Zamboni

But not for the reason you think. (Although, that doesn't help.)

The Miami Herald reports this morning that the Charlie Crist-Carole Rome wedding invitations have gone out. And it's — gasp! — "black tie optional."

We're sorry, but if Governor Crist has larger career ambitions in mind (and we suspect he does, hence this, um, engagement), he simply must understand that no self-respecting political couple would ever make their wedding guests decide how to dress.

All the Governor has to do is pick up a copy of any book by Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, the ultimate authority on all things correct.

Weddings are either formal or informal. "Semi-formal," under which the horrid "black tie optional" would fall, simply doesn't exist. "When you refuse to tell the guests what to wear... each of them shows up for a different party," Miss Manners explains. "When each of the guests are all secretly convinced that they are the ones who are incorrectly dressed, it throws a damper on the festivities."

Not that there isn't already a pretty big damper on that wedding! But we cats will not discuss elephants, either in or out of the room. What we will say is that Governor Crist should find the moxie to tell his guests whether or not they should wear white tie, black tie or business suits.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Media in a Lather (As Usual)

By Baxter

Why do the folks in the media overblow things? Must be all that on-air time they have to fill.

In other words, we cats are mighty unimpressed with the alleged fuss surrounding the potential nomination of Senator Clinton for Secretary of State. Not that we don't think it's a brilliant choice; we do.

We're just getting awful tired of the talking heads' breathless coverage of the whole thing. If they're not parroting the (already tired) "No Drama Obama" line, they're wildly speculating about anything and everything. Subjects range from the role, if any, "Bill" will play, to his finances, to his speeches, and his influence, blah blah blah.

Gee. These are the same folks who don't give a rat's ass (pardon our French, but we think rats' asses are delicious) about Bush Senior's — and Bush Junior's — cozy relationships with the Saudis, and all those no-bid contracts enjoyed by Dick Cheney, Halliburton, and Blackwater in Iraq. No, we have to get all worked up about Bill Clinton's library donors, and his speaking schedule.

You know what? Somehow we don't think the "drama" is on the Obama side of life. Senator Obama appears to have made an interesting and wise choice, and they're working out the details of it. That's all.

In short, no drama, folks. Not even a tragedy. But where the media are concerned, apparently it's Comedy Tonight.

(Photo: Jim Young / Reuters)

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Real Turkey? Sarah Palin, Of Course

By Sniffles

We refuse to post the Sarah Palin-turkey slaughter video. (But if you absolutely must watch it, it's easy to find.)

The reasons we aren't jumping on the bandwagon? Well, first, we don't think turkeys would appreciate it. Not that we felines are particularly kind to birds — we've been known to kill a few and leave them on your doorstep if we like you. But we can just imagine how we'd feel if Governor Palin were interviewed while an animal shelter staff euthanized cats in the background. (Oh, God, that's next, isn't it?)

Second, we are heartily, heartily sick of this awful woman and her grating voice and her glasses and her winking and her coffee cup and her clothes and her Burberry scarf. And her trailer-trash family. And the way she's ridiculed people — like community organizers — who try to make people's lives better every day.

Third, we're thinking that tofu for dinner next Thursday might be a good idea.

So, forget it. You won't see the video here. But at the same time, we can't help wondering how Tina Fey and the "Saturday Night Live" crowd would have handled this latest example of Palin idiocy.

UPDATE: Our thanks to the staff at MSNBC's "Countdown" just now, for obscuring the more gruesome parts of the video with pixels. It made it almost watchable. But we're reminded that for the second time in less than two weeks, Governor Palin has been front and center in a very, very badly managed public event. (Remember those unhappy GOP governors lined up behind her at the aborted press conference in Miami?) And this woman is the alleged future face of the Republican Party! Mike and Mitt, Jeb and Bobby, and Haley and Tim must be gnashing their teeth — and cursing John McCain — with renewed energy tonight.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Heard It Here First

By Zamboni

The New York Times is hot on the trail of the mysteriously timed Alaska tourism letter. (See our earlier post, "Off and Running... With Whose Money?")

The folks at the Alaska Travel Industry Association aver that the invitation for a FREE Alaska travel guide was in the works well before Senator McCain impulsively picked Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Still, we cats find everything connected with this particular Governor to be suspicious. She's so ambitious that we're certain she leaves nothing to chance.

Besides, if you were a Governor and wanted to attract tourists to your state — let's say, to the state of Alaska — wouldn't you feature gorgeous photos of mountains and streams and moose — instead of a head shot of, um, yourself?

We cats narrow our eyes and switch our tails. But we're happy our non-Republican friend who received this mailing is sending it back with a fake e-mail address. Have fun with it, Sarah!

(Image: The New York Times)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gee, This is Fun!

By Baxter

And the GOP circular firing squad continues.

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker writes in today's Washington Post that to recover from its recent election defeats, the Republican Party should abandon its religious base. And the right-wing blogosphere is, predictably, going nuts.

We cats don't presume to have visited every site, but here's just some of the anti-Parker vitriol that's flying around in Elephant World. Mind you, while we don't approve of some of the vulgarities, we have cleaned up the grammatical and punctuation errors somewhat. There's no possible way to clean up the misogyny, though.

"RINOs like KP can kiss my ass."

"The left is clueless about God."

"Kathleen needs to STFU about conservatives and go to a cocktail party with her new Marxist pals."

"Wow. This ignorant cow needs a protein injection."

"Is this just sour grapes, or PMS?"

"We've already established what you are, Mrs. Parker. Now, we're just haggling over the price."

"The reason McCain lost in 2000 was because he came out just before an important primary and downright insulted evangelicals. I remember people in my church being outraged, and quite a few of them switching to Bush from McCain."

"Wait until God gives up on you, Ma Parker. You won't like that day. Nor afterwards." (We cats ask: Does this sound like a threat? We think maybe yes.)

"We win! We have Sarah and they don't!"

"I'm Dancin' and Singin' in the Rain"

By Sniffles

Miles Kimball has gone gay. Well, maybe not exactly, but they're getting there.

We cats have been on the Oshkosh, Wisconsin catalog company's mailing list for simply ever. And naturally, over the years we couldn't miss the fact that they're kind of Jesus-y. For example, where else can you get a "Reason for the Season" kaleidoscope?

But oh, well, they've never really banged us over the head with it — and they do have all those neat kitchen gadgets (even cat trivets)!

However — hm. We just got our Christmas catalog today, and we think somebody better tell them that this kid umbrella could be a little dicey. Unless, of course, your kid is gay. Or planning to attend a lot of marriage-equality rallies in rainy weather.

Actually, a marriage-equality rally in any weather sounds like a fine idea. We cats PURR.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Begich Wins! Now, About that Travel Guide....

Dear Senator-elect Begich:

Congratulations on your election victory today! We're looking forward to seeing you join the Senate's Democratic majority. Your presence on Capitol Hill will certainly help President-elect Obama fix all the things that the Bush Administration broke.

Just now, though, we were wondering — could we call your attention to what we cats think is a potentially inappropriate use of state resources? It's a little mailing going out over Sarah Palin's name for a FREE Alaska travel guide. We've posted about it before, but now that you're going to be an Alaska Senator and all, we thought we'd write to you directly.

It's a little weird, don't you think? Governor Palin peddling a book to us, when we can find all the Alaska tourism information we want on the Web? And making the state pay for the return postage when we send back the little card that conveniently asks for our demographic information and an e-mail address?

You might say we cats are curious. Or, at least we smell a rat. A 2012 rat.

Okay, Howard, You've Convinced Us

"You know, the desire of revenge is great, of course. But the truth is, public policy doesn't run on revenge very well. And when you see the trouble this country has gotten into, in terms of foreign policy — where Bush basically ran a foreign policy based on petulance because he was mad at, for example, Mexico for abstaining on the Security Council when the Iraq War came up — if you have to actually run the country, it is best not to do it based on feelings of anger toward your enemies."

—Governor Howard Dean, on Joe Lieberman

UPDATE: We cats have poked our noses into a few corners of the liberal blogosphere tonight and just want to say something: While we are completely and totally lefties, we also don't believe in shooting ourselves in the foot — er, paw.

Therefore, we trust that that Democratic caucus meeting today was a lot like the famous scene from "Mister Roberts," in which Henry Fonda and James Cagney come to a torturous, secret negotiation for shore leave. The crew thought Mister Roberts had sold out to their tyrannical captain. How wrong they were.

Sorry, Sarah

By Zamboni

We cats are proud to say we don't slobber the way dogs do. We may delicately lick our little lips if presented with a juicy plate of tuna. Or we might do those whom we trust (and maybe that's you) the supreme compliment of fully shutting our eyes in your presence. But we don't get all goofy over you.

Therefore, it is with a stern sense of feline dignity that we instruct all those nutjob "Palin pals" over on the Republican Party's right wing to calm down and wipe the froth off their faces. Because that Alaska Senate seat fantasy is looking even more iffy today.

Democratic Senatorial candidate Mark Begich now leads Ted Stevens by 2,374 votes, up from 1,022 earlier. More numbers will be released in a few hours, but obviously the trend isn't exactly going in Senator Stevens' direction.

In other words, it's increasingly likely that we'll have to put away the entertaining pipe dream that Stevens, a convicted felon, would either resign or be tossed from the Senate after beating Begich, with Governor Palin running to fill the seat in a special election. Awww, darn!

It's Senator Stevens' 85th birthday today, but maybe we'll be the ones getting a gift: A 58th Democratic Senator.

We cats PURR at that thought, and lick our little lips. Paws crossed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Off and Running... With Whose Money?

By Baxter

A friend of ours occasionally receives Republican direct mail. Not because he's a Republican but because he subscribes to magazines like Forbes, FORTUNE and Money, and they sell their lists. See, the GOP makes the mistake of assuming that anyone interested in money management issues must be One Of Them — so from time to time this friend gets to see some pretty interesting Republican stuff.

Today's mail brought the latest, from the "Office of the Governor of Alaska," the envelope proclaimed. It was an invitation from Sarah Palin — complete with fetching photo and her signature ("Sarah," just "Sarah") — to send for a FREE Alaska travel guide. (Emphasis hers.)

We cats thought that the timing of this mailing was kind of interesting. Particularly since we've just heard that Governor Palin is the first speaker to sign up for next year's Conservative Political Action Conference.

And the fact that you have to cough up some detailed demographic information to get your FREE Alaska travel guide is kind of interesting, too.

If we lived in Alaska, we'd have some questions for Governor Palin about this mailing. But — she probably wouldn't answer them, would she?

Pass the Dunce Cap to Haley

By Sniffles

Haley Barbour is living in an alternate universe.

The Republican Governor of Mississippi is quoted in Politico today on the GOP's problems in the wake of the Obama win. The way that the Republicans could have defeated Senator Obama, the porcine Mr. Barbour averred, was to make him "unacceptable" to voters. "And the McCain campaign did not choose to try to make that argument."

Huh? Did Governor Barbour watch the same general election that we did? Or did he just happen to miss little McCain-Palin gems like "Palling around with domestic terrorists," "This is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America," and "Who is the real Barack Obama?" (To which their increasingly frenzied crowds shouted, "A terrorist!" and "A traitor!" And, charmingly, "Kill him!")

Not to mention "that one" and all those negative ads.

Governor Barbour, we cats HISS at your twisting of the truth. What you really meant is that McCain-Palin did try to make Senator Obama unacceptable to the American people. And the American people found that unacceptable.

Now, go sit in the corner.

Friday, November 14, 2008

John Randall, Guess What You Are

By Zamboni

Speculation again is swirling whether the Democrats will attain a filibuster-proof, 60-seat majority in the Senate.

We cats never say die — after all, we have nine lives — but we agree with Senator Schumer. It's only possible, not probable, that Democrats will win all three of the seats still up in the air — Minnesota, Georgia and Alaska.

However, there's one thing we do know. A National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson named John Randall really crossed a line yesterday.

"At this point, all that stands between an unchecked, liberal, Democrat tyranny in Washington are two yet-to-be-determined races and a runoff in Georgia," he said.

Really, Mr. Randall? "Tyranny?" Amazing. It seems to us that these three Senate races aside, the American people voted pretty decisively for what you call a "tyranny."

We cats HISS at the never-ending, over-the-top language from desperate, unhappy Republicans.

Oh, and one more thing, Mr. Randall — "Democrat" is a noun, not an adjective. The term you're looking for is "Democratic tyranny."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy 60th Birthday, Prince Chuck!

By Baxter

It's hard to believe, but that chubby-cheeked little Balmoral boy, bouncing along bewilderingly in his mummy-pushed pram, is hitting 60 tomorrow. (Actually, it's already tomorrow in the U.K., so break out the noisemakers.)

But we cats admit we should have run a more flattering picture. Because thanks to a head's up from Tina Brown, today we've come across an amazingly prescient letter that the Prince of Wales wrote back in 2003.

"What is wrong with everyone nowadays?" the peevish Prince inquires. "Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far beyond their... capabilities? ...People think they can all be pop stars, high court judges, brilliant T.V. personalities or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting in the necessary work or having natural ability."

My gosh, he's talking about Sarah Palin! Before any of us knew that Sarah Palin existed!

Now, that's a man fit to be King. Sir, we are impressed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Diplomacy Is Not a Toga Party

By Sniffles

We cats joined friends for a post-election, happy-hour celebration last night. (Yes, cats are allowed in bars. Certain, special bars.)

We agreed that among all the abuses and outrages committed by George W. Bush — suspension of habeas corpus, spying on Americans, the politicization of the Justice Department, the failure of Katrina, governmental intrusion in our private lives, appointing two bimbos to the Supreme Court, steamrolling Congress, the denial of science, a pre-emptive invasion of a country that did not threaten us, and the unnecessary deaths of nearly 4,200 American soldiers (not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis) — one of the worst things Bush ever did was this.

Trying to give German Chancellor Angela Merkel a shoulder massage.

For those of you amused by drunken, frat-boy humor (and we can't imagine that if you are, you read this blog): Can you picture President-elect Barack Obama doing crap like this?

We thought not. Senator Obama is dignified, classy, cool. Oh, yes, and mature.

Our only question tonight is this: It's a little over two months until Inauguration Day. Can we last?

"When the Lord Closes a Door, Somehow He Opens a Window"

By Zamboni

We cats never thought we'd say this, but it looks like Sarah Palin is right. The Lord has cracked open a door... Or, um, something like that.

One week after voters overturned it in California, gay marriage has become law in Connecticut. Wow, Fraulein Maria! What would the Reverend Mother have to say about that?

We're not sure. But we wonder how people like Governor Palin — who seems to believe that God will personally determine the course of her political career — feel about the Connecticut decision. After all, if God has such an active hand in Republican politics, where does it stop? Did He instruct the Connecticut Supreme Court to rule as they did? Hmmmmm.

And as long as we're on the subject of "The Sound of Music," we remember Maria telling Captain Von Trapp that the Reverend Mother had always advised her to "look for your life" until you find it. So with this latest glimmer of hope, we look forward to the day when all gay people in the United States will be able to look for theirs. Even if they don't live in Connecticut or Massachusetts.

The Cat's Pajamas

By Baxter

So Sarah Palin's on a frantic quest to rehabilitate her tattered reputation (we've dubbed it "The Defeat Tour"). And she's blamed bloggers who are "kids in pajamas sitting in the basement of their parents' homes" for all her PR troubles.

We have news for Governor Palin. Bloggers or not, we cats always sleep naked.

But the fact that Sarah Palin says something untrue is hardly news at this point. We're just not sure we're in the mood to call her on it. After two months of wading through her impossibly mangled syntax, we're tired of trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Mainly because there's only chaff.

No, Sarah Palin is the Republicans' problem, not ours. Let the GOP boys with 2012 aspirations worry about how to short-circuit her vast ambition. Mitt, Mike, Tim, Charlie, Newt, Bobby, Jeb — have at it, if you're up for it. Just remember that in Sarah's mind, it won't be Republican voters cracking the door open for her. It'll be God.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still Looks "White" to Us

By Sniffles

This shot of the soon-to-be-former and future First Couples doesn't just underscore how much we cats are looking forward to January. It also reminded us of a disgraceful campaign button that was on sale at the Texas Republican convention last June.

It said: "If Obama is President... will we still call it the White House?"

We wonder how the Republicans who bought and/or wore that button feel today.

Personally, we think they should be ashamed of themselves. But barring the very real probability that they aren't, we have a little suggestion: Partially redeem yourselves by doing some good deeds.

A generous contribution to the United Negro College Fund would be a good start.

(Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Thought for the Future — A Lesson from the Past

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

—John F. Kennedy, American University Commencement Address, June 10, 1963

Joe Scarborough Gives Total Cover to Rahm Emanuel for the Next Four Years

"Should Joe Go?"

By Zamboni

The answer: Yes.

First, let us cats take pains to point out that this is purely a question for the Senate. President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden are not involved.

But — when addressed at the proper level — we think the answer is clear.

Senate Democrats can never trust Joe Lieberman again. He should not be in the caucus room when Democratic Senators convene to discuss politics and policy. He cannot be trusted.

Yes, it's a political issue. But that's Joe Lieberman's doing. He not only endorsed Senator McCain for President — he actively questioned Senator Obama's patriotism in the course of the campaign.

Cats' memo to Harry Reid: Toss him. Swipe your claws at him. This is one guy whose support, please God, we can afford to lose.

Spinning Their Wheels

By Baxter

We cats have a degree in political science. You didn't know that, did you? Well, felines are very smart, so you shouldn't be surprised. The only difficulty in completing the course load was 1) being able to get to class — it was tough to navigate those busy hallways — and 2) taking notes without thumbs. But, we managed.

Anyway, that's why we were fascinated by the fact that, for apparently the first time in history, a Presidential nominee's selection for Vice President made a difference this year. And by the fact that that very ill-fated Vice Presidential nominee has given an interview to The Anchorage Daily News, blaming absolutely everyone and everything for the Republicans' loss except herself.

“I think the Republican ticket represented too much of the status quo, too much of what had gone on in these last eight years," Sarah Palin has babbled, undoubtedly endearing herself to the McCain campaign and to any Republicans who opposed her nomination to the ticket. (NOT!)

Governor Palin also decried the rumors about her and her family — including the gossip about baby Trig's parentage — apparently blissfully unaware that her resistance to releasing her medical records may have contributed to it.

It's all very amusing, and we will let it speak for itself. But we cats do have a comment on Governor Palin's assertion that "It's amazing that we did as well as we did."

Republicans have been pushing this storyline ever since last Tuesday. Our retort: Why didn't you do better?

After all, you had five months — from February to August — to hone your campaign and your message — while Senators Clinton and Obama duked it out in the Democratic primaries.

What did you Republicans do with yourselves all that time?

Uh-huh. We thought so.

Thank You, Howard!

By Sniffles

It's apparently official: Howard Dean will step down as the chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Which means we cats would like to take a moment to salute the medical doctor who breathed new health and vitality into the Democratic Party back when it was on life support.

Governor Dean was ridiculed by the pundits for his "50-state strategy," but that's pretty much what Senator Obama did this year: Bring the fight to Republicans in places where they least expected it. (In that spirit, Obama-Biden forced McCain-Palin and the RNC to spend money and resources in states they should have been able to take for granted. Offense sure is better than defense!)

On top of that, Governor Dean is one of the most relentlessly on-message T.V. interviews we know. Never once, in all the times we've seen him this year, has he let his Eyes be distracted from The Prize.

We cats PURR at Howard Dean and rub our faces against his ankles. In the immortal words of Ira Gershwin, "Who's got the last laugh now?"

How Sweet It Is

By Zamboni

It's been almost a week since the election, and every day something new dawns on us.

Something else that's going to get fixed, or put right, once George W. Bush leaves the White House.

There are so many, it's taking us a long time to wrap our little cat heads around them.

Our first thought, of course, was an end to the war in Iraq. Then we remembered that we no longer had to be worried about Republican appointments to the Supreme Court. Now, this morning, we've been reminded of more.

Guantanamo Bay is expected to close, and the people incarcerated there will finally get a chance to face their accusers under American law. We cats are especially relieved on behalf of all the poor slobs (and you know they're there) who are completely innocent but who've never had the opportunity to defend themselves. We're tired of our government behaving like something out of The Count of Monte Cristo.

And the Obama team already is reviewing Bush policies that the President-elect can reverse by executive order immediately upon being sworn in — including drilling for oil in environmentally sensitive areas, restrictions on stem-cell research, and the ridiculous global gag rule.

It's been a long eight years of darkness, but we cats can finally start to see the light. And we PURR.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Republicans = Incendiary

By Baxter

See, this is what we're talking about: Republicans use dangerous language.

Since Tuesday, we cats have been dipping our paws into some conservative websites, just to see what they were saying about the Obama landslide. At first, the conversations were tinged with shock and dismay. Now, they've gotten pretty ugly.

Here's just one example. It's a post about the McCain campaign staffers and other GOP operatives who are leaking unflattering stories about Governor Palin to the press. (Emphases are ours.)

"It is my personal desire to hunt them down, ruin their reputations with the fact that they are leaking, and make sure they never, ever, ever work in Republican politics again. Let me be clear here: it is not just about Palin. It is about mercenary politicos who work for the paycheck, not the cause. They are the reason the GOP is where it is now. They had no principle and no loyal [sic] except to the paycheck. And they must be annihilated."

Wow, "annihilated." We cats GROWL at this vituperative tone. It's so contrary to the mood of the country right now. And the fact that the Republicans are now training it on each other doesn't really make us feel any better.

Butter Wouldn't Melt

By Sniffles

So, let us cats get this straight: Before Tuesday, Barack Obama was a terrorist and a traitor. A sinister figure we couldn't possibly allow to be President.

Now, everything is just swell. In the words of Sarah Palin herself: "God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family.”

See, this is one the reasons why we disapproved so strongly of the Republicans' over-the-top campaign rhetoric. Because now that they're forced to tone it down, they sound exactly like what they are: utterly insincere people.

But here's the other, more important, reason: Their speeches against Senator Obama were dangerous.

As Newsweek reports: "The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied."

We're sorry, but making nice comments now can't erase that.

If we cats ruled the world, we'd arrest John McCain and Sarah Palin for attempting to incite violence.

Especially Sarah Palin.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A "Greyt" Suggestion

By Zamboni

Okay, okay. We cats initially swore we wouldn't get involved in this issue. But now we feel we have to.

The Obamas should adopt a greyhound.

It would be perfect — a rescue dog that poses minimal allergy issues. And just imagine the sight of a greyhound racing in circles on the South Lawn.

As cats that once shared a home with the breed, we can personally testify that greyhounds are gentle, loving, eager to please, and frankly, not the brightest bulb in the chandelier — which means they're especially good with us felines.

Which reminds us, the Obamas should adopt a cat, too.

Whoops! Kinda Confused My Whacko Presidents' Wives for a Moment

By Baxter

We cats think we have the perfect comeback for Senator Obama in case the right-wing blogosphere (and we haven't checked yet, but we can just imagine) goes crazy over his "Nancy Reagan seances" comment today.

"I'm terribly sorry that I implied that Nancy Reagan held seances in the White House. Obviously, I confused her with the wife of that other great Republican President, Abraham Lincoln."

Personally, this suggestion makes us want to hack up a giant hairball, but whatever works.

"Pressing" Matters

By Sniffles

We cats noticed something interesting at this afternoon's press conference with President-elect Barack Obama. His questioners weren't sure what to call him.

Notwithstanding what that sign on the lectern says, we think only a couple of the journalists got it right today.

As Senator Obama has been careful to point out since his election, the United States only has one President at a time. Therefore, it was a little weird to hear the reporters address him as "Mr. President-elect."

We've consulted Miss Manners and even our much-outdated copy of Emily Post — in which all the dignitaries in the "Protocol" chapter are men, ha ha! — and we can't find any such form of address.

However, our research has led us to suspect that it's never incorrect to call an elected official by the title that he or she currently holds. So, until January 20, 2009 — and believe us, we are counting the hours — Senator Obama is still a Senator, and journalists should address him as that (or, as one reporter did today, by the ever-useful title of "Sir").

P.S. It was kind of nice that the reporters stood up when Senators Obama and Biden walked into the room, although that probably wasn't necessary either. Besides, we got thrown off a couple of laps, on which we were contentedly curled and purring. (See, we've felt mighty happy since Tuesday.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Hatfields & The McCoys

By Zamboni

Thank you, anonymous McCain campaign people. Just when we cats were about to interrupt our election euphoria to be depressed for awhile over Tuesday's anti-gay votes in California, Arizona and Florida, your snarky, blame-pinning war against Sarah Palin has cheered us right back up.

While it's frightening to think that an ignoramus like Palin was even remotely close to being a heartbeat away, we are so entertained that McCain staffers and other Republicans are trashing the Alaska governor to the press, including FOX News.

In fact, it's gotten so bad that posters over at have started the awkwardly named "Operation Leper" — a kind of informal GOP blacklist to punish those quislings who would dare attempt to figuratively assassinate their darling Sarah. Furious Palin fans are threatening to stiff any Republican who would hire nasty people like, say, Nicolle Wallace, and some are even declaring a boycott of FOX. What fun!

But, as always, these kerfuffles are never just about Palin. In the end, they're always about McCain. To us, the GOP civil war is just the latest evidence that one of Senator McCain's biggest mistakes in 2008 was sitting on his hands for five months after clinching the Republican nomination.

What on earth did McCain do all that time? Could he not have looked over his Vice Presidential possibilities and properly researched them between February and August — instead of rushing at the last minute to select a flashy but totally unqualified person whom he'd met only a few times? We are astounded, although obviously pleased, that the Republicans chose to spin their wheels while Senators Clinton and Obama continued to duke it out in the Democratic primaries.

At the risk of repeating ourselves, it just goes to show you: The Republicans were never smarter than we were. They just — until this year — had more money than we did.

In the meantime, we cats PURR. This feud is the ultimate GOP cat fight, and we just love it.

(Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This Is How We Feel

What an election. It didn't really hit us until around mid-afternoon today. At which point we felt kind of the way Senator Obama looks in this picture. Yes, We Laugh.

Some Perhaps Not-Often-Mentioned Reasons To Be Thrilled About The Election

By Baxter

Yes, yes, we felines know that the first African-American President is a wonderful, historic thing — and we're happy that the Democrats added to their majorities in Congress (hang in there, Al Franken!). In short, we're making like Cheshire cats all day today.

But we also can think of a whole bunch of other reasons to PURR over last night's results. Here are just a few:

Come January, Joe and Jill Biden will kick the Cheneys out of the Naval Observatory.

The Secretary of the Treasury won't be Phil "Nation of Whiners" Gramm.

We won't have to listen to any news media reports from "the Western White House in Sedona, Arizona."

We can't wait to see if the respective weddings of 1) Florida Governor Charlie Crist and 2) Bristol Palin actually come off.

We'll never have to face the unpleasant prospect of bumping into Liddy Dole on the USAir flight from Washington National to Charlotte, North Carolina. (Whoops, sorry — that stopped being a possibility six years ago.)

Now we can go to Canada, meet people, and not have to start every conversation with "It's okay, we hate Bush."

Seeing dedicated Hillary Clinton backers like Ed Rendell, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Evan Bayh, Kendrick Meek and Ted Strickland instantly become Senator Obama's strongest advocates and work tirelessly to unite the party and deliver their states.

Watching all the GOP boys (Romney, Pawlenty, Ridge, Giuliani, Crist, Jeb Bush, Barbour, Allen, Santorum, Brownback, Huckabee, Jindal, etc.) swear up and down that Sarah Palin was the most qualified candidate ever for Vice President — all of whom will now have to spend the next four years trying to stop the runaway train known as Palin 2012.

Rachel Maddow getting her own show on MSNBC.

Marveling at the lasting image of the McCain crowd embarrassing itself, their candidate and their party in Phoenix last night, with their Palinesque lack of grace, class and sense of history.

Knowing that we can enjoy the holidays now without the specter of a McCain Presidency hanging over us. Hmmm, where's that lemon-garlic turkey recipe?

That's the Way It Crumbles, Cookie-wise

By Sniffles

President-elect Obama (gee, that sounds nice) wouldn't approve of this, because he's such a nice guy. But in the midst of all the good feelings last night, we cats couldn't resist the temptation to visit some right-wing Republican message boards to see what the fringe-y folks were saying.

Here are a few choice morsels. Back with more about the election later.

"Watched Fox News last night and this morning and in two of their videos of the celebrations I saw clearly two different persons wearing red T-shirts with what appeared to be a yellow star, and (the hammer?) sickle (I clearly saw the star and the sickle). Did anyone else see this?"

"We are no longer on the edge of the abyss, we just did a swan dive into it."

"A veil has been thrown over the head of the great Lady of Liberty as her enemies have finally found a way to bring her to her knees."

And here's our current favorite. Please note that we didn't clean up the punctuation.

"Thank you Pres. Bush for being a wholly inarticulate educator of and a hypocritical example of conservatism. "

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


America, meet your new First Family.

Monday, November 3, 2008

We Couldn't Agree More

World Saved, or World Doomed?

By Baxter, Sniffles and Zamboni

Tomorrow is Election Day.

Tomorrow, Americans will determine the future of the country — and the world.

The questions before us are momentous. They are no less serious than these:

Will we have a future?

Will we arrest global warming, end the war in Iraq, finish the fight in Afghanistan, fix the economy, lower taxes on the middle class, promote Main Street over Wall Street, create energy independence, depoliticize government, restore the Bill of Rights, rescue the Supreme Court, preserve reproductive rights, protect minorities, end torture, fix our schools, repair our infrastructure, save New Orleans, re-separate church and state, restore America's standing in the world, and bring the country together after years of division?

We cats don't know. We're very wise creatures, but we can't predict the future. However, the polls are saying Yes, We Can — and, personally, we are working hard in our community to make sure that it's Yes, We Do.

But — folks — this is it.

Either the earth is off its axis and hurtling toward the sun — or it's going to be okay.

If you love America — if you love your children and grandchildren — if you haven't got any children or grandchildren but just love the idea of America — if you love the idea of preserving the planet — vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Okay, deep breath.

Here are some words of wisdom from another charismatic leader, to carry us through tomorrow. In the meantime, we cats PURR and rub our faces against you.

"Our problems are man-made; therefore, they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."

—John F. Kennedy, June 10, 1963

The Passing of a True FOB (Friend of Barack)

By Zamboni

We cats feel very sad for Senator Obama and his sister at the death of their grandmother, Madelyn Dunham. How sad that Mrs. Dunham couldn't have lived to see the results of tomorrow's election.

We're reminded of the death of President Clinton's mother, Virginia Kelley, in January 1994. Not because we're being presumptuous about Election Day. We just think that both the former President and Senator Obama are men whose lives have been shaped by strong, interesting women. We like men like that.

If we could be with Senator Obama right now, we'd jump up in his lap, curl up and PURR. In times like this, the wordless comfort of a cat is the best thing of all.

But — we're not with him, so never mind. There's too much work to do. In Mrs. Dunham's memory, GET OUT THE VOTE!

Mr. Twenty-Eight Percent

By Baxter

Remember this guy? He's still President! But with record-setting low approval ratings.

That's why the McCain campaign has kept George W. Bush in the, um, closet this fall.

But we cats have long memories. We recall that John McCain said just the opposite last March:

"I appreciate [Bush's] endorsement. I appreciate his service to his country. I intend to have as much possible campaign events together, as it is in keeping with the President's heavy schedule. And I look forward to that opportunity. I look forward to the chance to bring our message to America.… I hope that the President will find time from his busy schedule to be out on the campaign trail with me."

Well, we cats know what happened. John McCain found someone else to rev up the Republican base. In the meantime, he'd like George W. Bush to remain The Forgotten Man.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

War of the Worsts

By Sniffles

Surely that chirpy girl who works on Sarah Palin's campaign staff is dead by now.

Well, probably not. But that's the only fate we cats can imagine for the hapless young staffer who was fooled by two Montreal DJs into thinking that France's President Sarkozy was on the line. Governor Palin must be furious — because, of course, she was fooled too.

If you can stand it, listen to the tape of possibly the biggest radio prank since 1938.

Surely Lawrence O'Donnell is right, that Governor Palin's staff is the worst ever for a national candidate. Don't they have Caller ID? Didn't they know that 514 is a Montreal area code, not a French one?

But we think this excruciating conversation says a whole lot more about Governor Palin than the people who work for her. The DJs identify the Canadian Prime Minister and the Quebec premier by the wrong names, among other goofs that Palin seems not to catch. But what gets us cats is the fact that the men joke about shooting animals from a helicopter, and the Governor just laughs. Heartless.

And why would Palin think that President Sarkozy would suddenly be calling her to "endorse" her and Senator McCain, anyway? If he were, wouldn't he call the person at the top of the ticket? But why would the French President be interfering in the internal politics of the United States in the first place?


Ah, well, tant pis. And actually, the health of Governor Palin's incompetent staff is the least of our concerns. We're wondering if Lawrence Eagleburger is feeling sick to his stomach instead.

Liddy the Loser

By Zamboni

We cats don't presume to know who's going to win the Senate race in North Carolina on Tuesday, but Elizabeth Dole is already a loser in our book.

Down in the polls and scared litter-box-less, Senator Dole has run a despicable ad accusing her opponent, State Senator Kay Hagan, of being "godless."

This is outrageous on several levels. First, it doesn't matter to us cats whether our political leaders believe in a deity or not. We think that the Founders had it totally right when they separated church and state. But second, State Senator Hagan is an active member of the Presbyterian Church.

We know the claws are out, but this is ridiculous, desperate and stupid. And if the Doles had any dignity at all, it would also be demeaning. But they don't.

We cats HISS and GROWL.

UPDATE: It's Tuesday night, and Liddy Dole is officially a loser now. Congratulations, Senator-elect Hagan! Your opponent richly deserved her defeat. We cats PURR.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween's Not Over

By Baxter

Eeek! Dick Cheney endorsed John McCain today!

We cats sure are glad that the scariest (and most unpopular) Vice President in history isn't on our side.

Meanwhile, the ground game continues. We cats were knocking (okay, scratching) at doors this morning, Getting Out the Vote. After that, we were delivering Election Day literature to campaign offices. No job is too small! And by the way, we were particularly impressed with the office in the Allapattah section of Miami, whose front door was open to the street and which was blasting really cool, totally dance-able Latin music. We wanted to stay all afternoon!

We've heard about the AP poll that shows that Obama's supporters are in a good mood while McCain's supporters are glum. We think we saw a tiny slice of it today.

We cats PURR at all the Obama volunteers who are out there this weekend, noses to the grindstone, to Take Our Country Back. You will make the difference between World Saved and World Doomed. (More on that later.)