Saturday, May 30, 2009
So, if we cats have our calendar right, this is the week that oral arguments begin before the Minnesota Supreme Court — to determine whether Al Franken, who has more votes than Norm Coleman, should be the state's next U.S. Senator.
We can only assume that the court will rule "yes" on that question. And if and when they do, we fully expect the Grand Old Party to protest that former Senator Coleman's fight must, absolutely must, carry on. But we cats know what the real subtext of that argument will be.
It's this: The Democrats must not have 60 Senators to approve the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Al would be that 60th vote, and then that Puerto Rican woman would get on the court for sure.
Ahhh, the GOP. The party — at least, the one that's represented by the wild-eyed, right-wing base and the outside-the-Beltway shouters like Rush Limbaugh — is committing suicide before our very eyes. This is why the inside-the-Beltway Republicans have, for the most part, kept so quiet.
We cats are sure they're plotzing. John Cornyn, for example, is head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (and eventually has to run for re-election in Texas). John Ensign — who also represents a heavily Hispanic state — is considered a 2012 hopeful. And nobody's mentioned yet how all this anti-Latino Republican vitriol will affect this year's New Jersey governor's race.
If you can get beyond the revolting words of the Republican talking heads —the true racists in this fight — it's all really quite entertaining. We cats PURR.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Here's the newest thing to hit the streets of Montreal: BIXI.
It's a public bike system that was just introduced this month and will run through November, when snowy weather will call a halt to most cycling till spring. But right now, BIXI bikes are available at 300 solar-powered pay stations throughout Montreal. Renters just swipe their credit cards and go.
Although we cats can't rent bikes ourselves — we have no thumbs with which to steer, and our back paws don't reach the pedals — most BIXI bikes have nifty paniers (baskets) big enough to carry whole litters of kittens.
It's a green and healthy mode of urban transport that we think President Gore would surely approve.
So we PURR at the city of Montreal for its dedication to the environment and to the health of its citizens. And yes, "BIXI" would be a great name for a cat.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
In between massages and playtimes at the five-paw cat resort, we vacationing felines have become aware of a brawl that's recently broken out in the Republican Party.
Not content with keeping their political fire fixed on the Obama Administration, the Fightin' Gops now have unsheathed their claws on each other. And we're just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the spectacle of Cheney v. Powell.
We love this for three reasons. First, the formerly-Grand Old Party continues to be consumed with inside-baseball stuff that has no meaning for the average, non-politically minded American, and no relevance to the upcoming elections in 2010 and '12.
Second, it keeps Dick Cheney in the news. We've already expressed ourselves that the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived (If Indeed He Were a Person) is the perfect anti-role model for voters who are moderate, independent, suburban, Hispanic, female or young — in short, voters that the Republicans have to attract if they hope to survive.
And finally, on that same note, it's a constant reminder that Cheney and the ever-repellent Rush Limbaugh are trying to run one of the nation's most popular Republicans out of his own party.
We PURR at the hapless elephants, who are truly an endangered species. Keep up the good work, fellas!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Oy, we cats have been away from the computer for only a couple of days, but already so much has happened. We can't hope to catch up on everything in one post, but we just want to take a moment to say this:
If the GOP wants this guy to be the face of the Republican Party, that's just hunky-dory with us.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
So the Federal Election Commission has ruled that the Republican National Committee broke no laws when it spent $150,000 on clothes and makeovers for the Palin family.
To which we cats say, great!
First because we believe that anyone who keeps Sarah Palin from appearing in public like this is doing a service to society. (What is it about GOP candidates and dairy aisles?)
Second because we'd much rather have the Republicans spend tons of money on clothes instead of on things like grass-roots organizing, direct mail, targeting, leadership and message development, and Get Out the Vote. You go, guys!
P.S. We cats are about to embark on one of those north-of-the-border vacations. Or rather, our owners are. But we'll beam in from the five-paw feline resort — in between playtime and massages.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Can we cats get Maureen Dowd to plagiarize us?
Because we can't think of better publicity. And unlike Josh Marshall, we won't let her off so easily.
PHOTO (which we wouldn't dream of not crediting): Fred R. Conrad, The New York Times
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
It's always so refreshing when a public figure says exactly what we've been thinking. So we cats have lots of PURRs and scratchy kisses this afternoon for President Gore.
That's because he's just taken a well-deserved swipe at The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived (If Indeed He Were a Person) — Dick Cheney.
“I waited two years... to make statements that were critical [of the next Administration],” Mr. Gore said. "Talk about somebody that shouldn't be talking about making the country less safe, invading a country that did not attack us and posed no serious threat to us at all."
A Nobel Peace Prize winner bitch-slaps a war criminal! It doesn't get any better than this.
We cats have never been in favor of the death of newspapers, but now that The Washington Post has published this, we are tempted to change our minds.
How can Americans even be having these conversations?
Shame on Charles Krauthammer — whose name sounds a bit like a torture device, actually — and shame on The Post for printing him.
(PHOTO: The Cat's Paw, a favorite toy of the Spanish Inquisition. We 21st-century felines resent such barbarism being named after us.)
Thursday, May 14, 2009
We cats are pleased to report that Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) might not have anything to worry about in 2010 if her re-election opponent is Republican State Senator Kim Hendren. But we'll take this opportunity to drive home a little grammar lesson nevertheless.
It seems that State Senator Hendren, at a recent meeting of his fellow Republicans in Pulaski County, somehow managed to refer to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York as "that Jew."
First, we cats would like to point out that we've never heard such language at a meeting of our party activists. That's because we Democrats are all bleeding-hearted and squishy, don'tcha know. Oh, and we tend to be decent and polite and civil, too.
But although State Senator Hendren clumsily attempted to explain that he was trying to distinguish himself as someone who — like the characters in "The Andy Griffith Show" — believes in "traditional values," we'd just like to say that using rude and crude references to stigmatize whole classes of people is a "traditional value" we can live without.
See, that's what Republicans like Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh and John Boehner and all the rest do when they insist on calling our party the "Democrat" Party. It's the same as calling Israel a "Jew nation." It's not only grammatically incorrect, it sounds purposefully pejorative. It's something white supremecists do.
Oh, and by the way, State Senator Hendren: Andy Griffith supported President Obama last year. You can look it up.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
It's hump day, and there's a lot going on. As we've noted before, sometimes the best way to get your paws around the day's news is just to throw out a few questions. Here goes.
Will the Cheney family never go away? First "Dick," now the daughters, defending torture in the name of democracy and freedom. We cats fully expect to see Lynne on the talk shows soon. Maybe she gets off on the idea of waterboarding and walling. She's always seemed a little kinky to us!
When Republicans claim that the Bush Administration "kept us safe," why do they always forget about those 3,000 people who were killed on September 11, 2001?
Why doesn't the Republican National Committee understand that the word "Democrat" is a noun, not an adjective?
When will former Republican Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave get some therapy?
And finally — Mr. President, if the photos you've decided against releasing are "not particularly sensational," why would they put American troops in danger?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The nutty right-wing base of the Republican Party has set cyberspace aflame with reaction to Wanda Sykes' performance at last night's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. As expected, they're not taking kindly to Ms. Sykes' jokes about their heroes, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.
Their solution? Call Wanda a lesbian — among other things.
"This vile bull dyke is a spokesperson for Appleby’s [sic]," misspells one. "[S]he says that Rush was the 20th hijacker. Well, I think that Hussein was an accessory to one or more of Bill Ayers’ bombings," impotently fumes another. "When the government attacks private citizens is reason for alarm." (Private citizens??) "First state that secedes, I am moving there."
And last but not least, our personal favorite: "Hate isn’t funny." Irony, anyone?
We cats think our good friends on the farthest-right fringe have short memories. Because for truly repellent behavior at Washington dinners, nothing beats this.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
"The difference between these Republican videos and the very terrorist propaganda that seeks to damage our society is negligible. Each attempt to stoke the embers of fear in order to disrupt American life. Just as Al Qaeda videos should be viewed as misguided rants from a small group of marginalized radicals, so too should these Republican videos be equally dismissed. As opposed to what the GOP thinks, the American people are not that naive."
—Richard Clarke, on the GOP's most recent terror video
Friday, May 8, 2009
What a week! We cats are catching our breaths — and eagerly awaiting tomorrow's arrival of TIME magazine so we can curl up in our owners' favorite chair and read that dishy story about the sorry state of the Republican Party.
Meanwhile, we just have a few questions.
If there's no global warming, why is Sarah Palin staying away from the White House Correspondents' Dinner because it's 70 degrees in Alaska and there's a flood?
Why don't our liberal friends understand the concept of political capital? We refer specifically to the lefty voices rising to complain that President Obama hasn't jumped feet first into gay rights yet. We cats say, it looks like marriage equality's got a winning formula right now — at the state level, where acceptance can continue to grow. Don't interfere!
Why do people think torture is okay if it works? (P.S.: It doesn't.)
Why doesn't Dick Cheney volunteer to have his grandchildren waterboarded?
What is that black triangle in the bottom right-hand corner of this career-ending picture? And why didn't they just Photoshop the damn thing?
Thursday, May 7, 2009
No. And that's a good thing.
You see, we've never been particularly crazy about ideological purity, regardless of which direction it goes in. All you have to do is spend some time in the right-wing blogosphere to know that insisting on such purity gets a political party exactly nowhere.
Take our friends at Free Republic, for example — the red-meat base of the GOP. Man, they don't like anybody. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist — they are all RINOs because of one issue or another, and therefore the Freepers despise them all. Even Mike Huckabee isn't conservative enough for them, because he had the nerve to raise taxes once. We've seen some tepid approbation of Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford and Jim DeMint — but for the most part, only Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin pass the Free Republic litmus test.
As Democrats, we cats choose to take a lesson from these nutbags. They are our anti-role models. So whenever President Obama does something that doesn't precisely toe the liberal line, rather than lash out angrily, we suck it up. We choose to celebrate the fact that this White House gives us Cheshire cat grins at least 90 percent of the time — instead of focusing on the 10 percent on which we disagree.
That's because of the, um, previous Administration. The real relief of having President Obama is that after eight years of sheer hell, even when we don't like something, we don't not like it as much as before.
In other words, perfection is scary. Unless, of course, it's in a cat.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
We cats are still PURRING loud and strong — first, in homage to Maine Governor John Baldacci, who has signed a marriage equality bill today less than an hour after it was passed by the state legislature. (We bet our Maine coon cat cousins are really proud.)
Then, we need to happily rub up against the ankles of President Obama, who, ending another silly Bush practice, has officially demurred on participating in this month's "National Day of Prayer."
To us, this is not only in good taste, but in the true spirit of the Constitution. Although we are not out-and-out disbelievers ourselves — there are some things even we cats, superior beings that we are, aren't certain about — we agree with the head of American Atheists when he says, "When church and state are separate, separate is separate."
It's only Wednesday — and so far, it's been a really bad week for people like James Dobson, Michele Bachmann, Fred Phelps, Michael Savage, and the Freepers.
Which means a really good week for America.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
We cats can barely contain ourselves today. It isn't often that we hear about another step forward for marriage equality on the same afternoon that we learn of the U.K.'s antipathy for homophobes.
The D.C. city council has voted overwhelmingly to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. But that's not all, folks. Not only is the right-wing maniac Michael Savage banned from entering Britain, so is that repugnant Topeka, Kansas "minister," Fred Phelps, and his equally awful daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper.
It's about time somebody took some action against the horrid Mr. Phelps, who thinks it's fun to picket American soldiers' funerals with anti-gay hate signs. Why the sanctimonious, "support-the-troops-at-all-costs" base of the Republican Party isn't all over this guy, we have no idea.
Thanks, D.C.! Thanks, U.K.! Now, if only John Edwards would behave himself...
UPDATE: Wait, there's more. The Maine House of Representatives has approved a bill to legalize marriage equality. How PURRfectly wonderful!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Can we cats be agreeing with the posters over at Free Republic?
Yes, we can!
As the United States Supreme Court appears to be on the brink of gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965, let's consider this interesting observation of the Democratic President who helped make it law:
"[Lyndon] Johnson was a deeply flawed man whose ego was as big as his home state. His great sin was Vietnam. But his great redemption came with his forceful advocacy for the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. By muscling those two pieces of legislation through a balky Congress, Johnson made real the promises set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation.
"On March 15, 1965, a week after violence erupted in Selma, Alabama over the rights of blacks to vote, Johnson delivered what's known as the 'We Shall Overcome' speech, most notably rejecting the segregationists' phraseology of 'state's rights.'
"'There is no issue of state's rights or national rights,' Johnson said. 'There is only the struggle for human rights.' In words and actions, Lyndon Baines Johnson paved the way for the 44th president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama."
Dear Kemp Grandchildren...
My first thought last week upon learning that a 47-year-old African-American Democrat had won the Presidency was, "Is this a great country or not?"
You may have expected your grandfather to be disappointed that his friend John McCain lost (and I was), but there's a difference between disappointment over a lost election and the historical perspective of a monumental event in the life of our nation.
Let me explain. First of all, the election was free, fair and transformational, in terms of our democracy and given the history of race relations in our nation.
What do I mean?
Just think, a little over 40 years ago, blacks in America had trouble even voting in our country, much less thinking about running for the highest office in the land.
A little over 40 years ago, in some parts of America, blacks couldn't eat, sleep or even get a drink of water using facilities available to everyone else in the public sphere...
As an old professional football quarterback, in my days there were no black coaches, no black quarterbacks, and certainly no blacks in the front offices of football and other professional sports. For the record, there were great black quarterbacks and coaches — they just weren't given the opportunity to showcase their talent. And pro football (and America) was the worse off for it...
You see, real leadership is not just seeing the realities of what we are temporarily faced with, but seeing the possibilities and potential that can be realized by lifting up peoples' vision of what they can be.
When President-elect Obama quoted Abraham Lincoln on the night of his election, he was acknowledging the transcendent qualities of vision and leadership that are always present, but often overlooked and neglected by pettiness, partisanship and petulance...
My advice for you all is to understand that unity for our nation doesn't require uniformity or unanimity; it does require putting the good of our people ahead of what's good for mere political or personal advantage...President-elect Obama talks of Abraham Lincoln's view of our nation as an "unfinished work." Well, isn't that equally true of all of us? Therefore, let all of us strive to help him be a successful President, so as to help make America an even greater nation.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
—A Freeper who styles himself "RegulatorCountry" (don't ask us cats to explain... his "About" page is way too windy)
Friday, May 1, 2009
We cats usually visit the right-wing blogosphere for amusement — and we did so today, to see what folks were saying about the impending retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Unfortunately, the comments were so virulently nasty and homophobic (we know, we repeat ourselves) that we signed off without any of our usual Cheshire cat grins. Whether the wingnuts were speculating on Justice Souter's private life or trashing a possible candidate for his seat on the Court, we just found their viciousness depressing.
But, then — a glimmer of humanity. The President interrupted this afternoon's White House briefing to speak about Justice Souter and the search for his replacement.
"I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook," President Obama said. "It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation."
Whether they feel welcome in their own nation. We cats felt instantly better. Thanks, Mr. President!
Look at this picture of Michael Steele. Is his head not too small for his gigantic shoulders?
No matter. Whether you find the RNC chairman a pinhead or not, we cats are savoring the latest Republican circular firing squad. In the wake of the NY-20 loss and Arlen Specter's desertion, the party faithful are turning on one another faster than a bunch of kittens in a too-small litter box. Treasurer Randy Pullen has proposed a new rule that would severely constrict Steele's control over party finances.
We can't decide if this move is about A). Steele's embarrassing PR gaffes, the latest being that weird hat remark; B). Losing NY-20 and Specter and, most likely, the Minnesota Senate recount; C). The $20,000 Steele has spent redecorating his "way too male" RNC office; or D). The GOP regretting electing Steele in the first place and doing everything it can to make him go away.
Whatever. It's just delicious that on top of this controversy — and the dueling e-mails between Pullen and Pinhead ally Reince Priebus — former House speaker Newt Gingrich has chimed in, calling the RNC establishment "precious."
Have at it, guys! Go ahead and mark your territory. Meanwhile, we'll pick the next Supreme Court justice.