Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sole Mates

By Baxter

Okay, this shot by Brian Peterson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is really not a very good picture of Franni Franken, but we couldn't help looking at it and thinking a bit about marriage.

To wit: The newest Democratic Senator's been married for 32 years, and as far as we can tell — and we defy you to come up with contrary evidence — nobody but the woman in the photo above has ever been, in the latest incredible words of Mark Sanford, Al Franken's "soul mate."

We realize that somehow, sometime, some way, the Frankens could prove us wrong. But we'd be shocked if they did. Because, funnily enough, it always seems to be the lecturers and scolds and religious fanatics who do that, instead. (Governor Sanford, for example, is now 'fessing up to "crossing the line" with other women — "dancing with somebody else," as he put it. Hoo, boy. There's a lot more to that story, we think.)

So we'll take the Frankens, and yes, the Clintons, and the Obamas, and the Bidens, and all those other Democratic couples who, however they've conducted their lives, don't try to tell the rest of us how to live our own.

Sanford Pours Gasoline on the Fire

Is this Buddhist monk Thich Quang Du'c, self-immolating in 1963, or Mark Sanford? We cats get so confused.

Now We Can All Rest More Easily

Paul Wellstone's Senate seat will finally be in the hands of a worthy successor. Congratulations, Al Franken!

At Long Last, 60

By Sniffles

Now we'll all see if Tim Pawlenty is a man or a mouse.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of Al Franken in his Senate race with the ever-creepy Norm Coleman. (Somebody tell the fat OxyContin addict down in Florida, who tried to spin yesterday's 5-to-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court as nine-zip. Ha!)

Although we cats do enjoy the occasional tasty mouse, we're rooting for Pawlenty to be a man, keep his word, and certify this ridiculously never-ending election. Good heavens, the country needs healthcare reform, you know?

UPDATE: The little worm known as Norm Coleman just did exactly as we expected — accepted defeat but whined about the process. The one decent thing he did was thank his colleague Amy Klobuchar and her staff, for carrying the load of two U.S. Senators for the last six months. Well, jerk, whose fault was that?

Monday, June 29, 2009

E-mails Sat In Drawers, While Sanford Dropped His

By Zamboni

We cats have often thought that it wouldn't be so bad if we all allowed the state of South Carolina to secede again. But maybe we should just start with The State.

What a lousy, lazy, second-rate excuse for a newspaper. If we were McClatchy, we would unload this rag immediately.

In a lengthy article published yesterday, The State recounts the juicy unraveling of L'Affaire Sanford. Because we dislike hypocritical Republicans, we admit that, mostly, it was a fun read. Nevertheless, we cats HISS.

Two reasons: First, we find no convincing explanation of why The State would sit on the incriminating Mark-loves-Maria e-mails for nearly six months while titanic political wrangling was underway in Columbia. "With the S.C. Legislature in session and a battle over federal stimulus money escalating," the paper declares, "the e-mails went in a drawer."

What?? We cats wonder how that stimulus battle would have gone had legislators known that Governor Sanford was getting "stimulation" of his own, down Argentina way. Shame on The State for not doing its most basic job — reporting.

Second reason: Our understanding of responsible journalism means that no story should beg more questions than it answers. Therefore, we find The State's throwaway reference to more women's names "coming in over the transom" pretty astounding. "The total was at three and counting," the story says. No further explanation. No quote from anybody backing it up. Nothing.

The State is in a sorry state indeed. But we cats have sharp ears, and we think we hear the sound of more Sanford shoes dropping. In the meantime, we can't help but speculate: How much dirt do these folks have on other South Carolina politicians that that they haven't been publishing? Like, say, Lindsay Graham?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Globe May Be Warming, But Sanford Household Very Chilly

By Baxter

Gracious. We cats have been offline for a few days, and so much has happened.

Yes, we know the House of Representatives may have just saved the planet with the passage of the climate change bill (and Juan Williams can go jump in the lake for telling NPR that unnamed "people" came out of rehab to vote on it). But we prefer to focus on the latest Republican embarrassment, the Sanfords.

Specifically, this: We think Jenny Sanford sounds like a pain in the ass.

We realize that Mrs. Sanford has created a bit of a buzz, not just for toeing a tough line on her hapless husband's infidelities, but for mounting an aggressive PR campaign rather than slinking into the shadows like other political wives. And we are in no way taking Governor Sanford's side, or anyone's "side," for that matter. These folks are self-righteous Republicans, so we're indulging ourselves in another satisfying round of Schadenfreude here.

But we're particularly struck by Mrs. Sanford's report that she forbade her husband to visit his "sweetest" in Argentina.

Excuse us? No wonder he promptly disobeyed.

The last we checked, Governor Sanford is a grown man. Grown people are supposed to be able to determine their own destiny. So we cats are not into spouses "forbidding" one another to do anything. Who made Jenny the boss of Mark? And for that matter, why does Mark apparently seem to need a boss?

Bugs Bunny would call Governor Sanford a "maroon." We cats just think he's a pussy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Never Take Marital Advice from a Guy Named "Cubby"

By Sniffles

We cats are still catching our breath from the incredibly weird Mark Sanford press conference.

What IS it with Republicans? Not only are they hypocrites about sex, but why do they constantly feel they can just skate through stuff? We can think of lots of people — regular, hard-working Americans — who would never dream of vanishing from work without telling their staff or colleagues how to reach them.

In fact, if they did, they'd be fired.

People of South Carolina — take the hint!

P.S. Note to news media: When covering this story, please refrain from quoting anything from "Evita." Even if Sanford said he'd spent the last few days, um, crying down in you-know-where. Thank you.

UPDATE: OMG, these Sanford e-mails are beyond embarrassing. However, we cats are repulsed most by the hypocrisy. Have any Republicans seen the movie "Elmer Gantry"? Ye will be hoisted on your own holier-than-thou sexual petard, guys. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the subject of whether the people's business has been getting done in South Carolina lately.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR TONIGHT: According to the standards of then-Congressman (now Senator) Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, such consensual adult behavior — and, um, lying about it — absolutely disqualifies one for elective office. Just ask Bill Clinton. So — where are the articles of impeachment against Governor Mark Sanford?

We cats are NOT holding our breath.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not Missing Nixon After All

By Zamboni

The Previously Worst Person Who's Ever Lived (Before George W. Bush Came Along) is still revealing himself, 15 years after his death.

New tapes n' memos n' stuff from the Richard M. Nixon Administration are coming out, and it appears that Nixon was not the anti-abortion fire-breather that so many in his party are today. Instead, the President who presided over Roe v. Wade was fairly measured in his response to it, even in private. Gosh, is it possible he wasn't so bad after all?

Then we read a little further. Oh. Never mind.

"There are times when an abortion is necessary," Nixon told an aide. "I know that. When you have a black and a white."

So, thank you, Tricky Dick. Lest we feel too charitable toward him in the wake of the awfulness of Bush, Nixon himself speaks from beyond the grave and handily reminds us of the way he won the White House. He was the first Republican President, in fact, who used the so-called "Southern Strategy" — romancing the racists who were stampeding away from the Democrats for enacting civil rights. And as we sadly know from recent events, the GOP has been home to the haters ever since.

We HISS at Richard Nixon. Wonder how he'd feel about the son of "a black and a white" sitting in his Oval Office chair?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Life, Liberty & The Right To Be Called What You Want

By Baxter

We cats realize there are much more important things going on in the world than the subject of tonight's post. But we're so tired of Republicans latching onto a molehill and trying to whip up a mountain.

Latest case in point: Republican Senator Jim DeMint referring to his colleague from California, Barbara Boxer, as an "embarrassment" because she asked a military officer testifying before Congress to call her "Senator" instead of "ma'am."

"I worked so hard to get that title," Senator Boxer explained — politely, we might add. "So, I'd appreciate it."

Senator Boxer an "embarrassment"? Actually, we're sorry that she felt the need to justify her request at all. It's less a question of hard work than the fact that, in the words of Miss Manners, "It is courteous to address people in the fashion with which they feel comfortable."

And Jim DeMint? The next time she runs into him, we hope Senator Boxer says, "Hi, jerk."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Is Past Prologue?

By Sniffles

A few questions for a Sunday afternoon:

Do Republicans who vote "no" on a war funding bill still support the troops?

How can Republicans who wanted to bomb the Iranian people criticize President Obama for not speaking up for those same people?

Why are we cats reminded so much lately of Chicago 1968? Oh, yes — that was a police riot, too.

(PHOTO: CNN.com)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cat Fight! Ensign vs. Hampton

By Zamboni

The stereotypical cat fight is a couple of females taking swipes at one another. Rowr!

But it simply can't compare to boy cats when they get into the act. Any owner of an entire male knows that boys often spray, to A) be aggressive and B) mark territory. And let us tell you, there's a lot of spraying going on right now between Republican Senator John Ensign and Doug Hampton, the cuckolded husband of the Senator's most recent Afternoon Delight.

(We say "most recent" because — gosh! — Ensign apparently has a track record with other women.)

For us Democrats, this sorry episode — from the allegations of extortion to the embarrassment of FOX "News" to the Hamptons' really bad taste in furniture — has been a lot of fun to watch. But here's the most astounding fact we've uncovered so far.

John Ensign is a veterinarian.

Ick!! Keep him away from us.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tidbits and Cat Treats — One Day Early

By Baxter

Tomorrow might be a busy day, so to be on the safe side, we cats decided to share a few thoughts now.

The U.S. Open is getting rained out. Big deal. We're sorry, but we just don't give a damn about golf.

The accused Miami cat killer has been released pending trial. If we hear of any more murdered felines while he's out, we're going to be really, really mad.

Remember all the brouhaha over the Democratic pollster who said that African Americans and Hispanics traditionally don't vote for one another? How long ago all that seems — especially now that racists like Rush Limbaugh are doing all they can to push both groups out of the GOP and into each others' arms. (Vacuum cleaners, good God!)

Note to PETA: We know you guys love us non-humans, but — getting upset about a squished fly? You're making idiots of yourselves.

Speaking of idiots, what sane newspaper would can Dan Froomkin and keep Charles Krauthammer? HISS!

And — oh, no. We're hearing bad things about the health of Walter Cronkite. Think good thoughts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Racism & Rectitude

By Sniffles

So, somebody named "SavedGirl" has posted a comment over at The Washington Post regarding President Obama's extension of some benefits to gay federal employees.


Goodness gracious. You always know that the nuts are posting when they use all caps.

While we cats were mildly relieved that not all the posters were gay people mad at Obama — something that we'd understand, although we're not ready to give up on the Administration quite yet — this comment disturbs us. How many times have we written recently about the increasingly bold racism of the other side?

After all, what does President Obama's skin color have to do with this particular policy? Why go out of the way to use a word — "Negro" — that is now generally used only ironically? (And of course, why would we want a President's agenda to hew to any particular religion? — but, we digress.)

"SavedGirl," in short, is just another bigoted case in point.

But wait, there's more.

We cats have been ruminating on right-wing Christians' seemingly never-ending thirst for judging people. Take Republican Senator John Ensign's latest little domestic mess. Folks in the media have had a swell time recalling Senator Ensign's condemnation of Bill Clinton's personal behavior back in 1998. And they've noted that Senator Ensign is an active, dedicated member of that vaunted Christian organization, Promise Keepers. (Hm. A lot of good that did.)

Talk about irony. Isn't it Christ who said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged"?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

God Will Get You for This

By Sniffles

There may be some justice in the world. Just as we cats were shaking our heads in disgust at the Republicans' latest foray into the less-than-wonderful world of racism, the news broke.

One of the GOP's — um, shall we say — "rising" stars is owning up to an extramarital affair. Of course, it's a prominent social conservative — John Ensign of Nevada. Isn't that always the way?

So, is God punishing the GOP for fomenting racial hatred? We cats can't be sure. But if we were Republican, we'd be.... well, spooked.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"You Are Capable of Deciding Your Own Destiny. The Question Is — Which Path Will You Choose?"

Opposition protesters fill the streets of Tehran, June 15, 2009.

GOP Collapses Into Its Own Black Hole

By Zamboni

When will it stop? The Republican Party is imploding like the planet Vulcan in the new "Star Trek" movie, but we cats have long stopped thinking it's funny.

A South Carolina GOP activist has likened the First Lady of the United States to a gorilla. And given one of those half-assed, "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" apologies.

Don't they get it? Do they really think that unbridled racism and attacks on a woman with a 72 percent approval rating are good ways to rebuild their pathetic party?

At this rate, the GOP will not live long and prosper. In fact, it's probably already dead.

UPDATE: It's occurred to us that South Carolina was the first state to secede back in December 1860. Perhaps instead of Texas, we should let history repeat itself.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Disputed Election? We Know From Disputed Elections

By Baxter

We cats don't believe for a moment that millions of voters in Iran re-elected Leisure Suit Man by a two-to-one margin.

And right now, it looks as if Iranians are refusing to roll over and take it quietly.

Note to Ahmadinejad: Despite Saddam Hussein's best efforts to kill your countrymen in the Iran-Iraq war, you have an awful lot of constituents under the age of 25. And they're angry.

Time is not on your side.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tidbits and Cat Treats (TGIF)

By Sniffles

Will the people who are supposed to bring us the news never cease to amaze us? There's a hugely important election in Iran today, but no matter where we surf, all we find is trivial crap. Hence, a few random thoughts while we await word from Tehran.

Karl Rove getting all upset because "Maureen Dowd is mean" is a serious case of the pot calling the kettle you-know-what.

Although we cats enjoyed last Sunday's Stephanopoulos sit-down with Secretary of State Clinton, we wonder how a former campaign aide interviewing his ex-boss's wife qualifies as serious journalism.

While we couldn't care less if George H.W. Bush falls out of an airplane, we think it's pretty cool that he's come to Sonia Sotomayor's defense.

We'd like to tell Chris Matthews and all the other clueless anchors at MSNBC that the correct pronunciation of the word they've been using is "anti-SeMITic." Not "anti-SeMETic." How pathetic. Earn your salaries, people!

Joe Scarborough has jumped the shark.

The latest polls in the Virginia governor's race make us PURR. We wonder how much bigger Creigh Deeds' lead will grow once people figure out that his Republican opponent is a product of Regent University.

Finally, we categorically refuse to comment on the manufactured and completely ridiculous cat fight between David Letterman and a certain idiotic Republican Governor. What a waste of our valuable time.

Is It Just Us, Or....

...Are Iranians just a gorgeous people? More later on today's election, we hope.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And Here's Another One

Not to pick on a dead woman or anything, but what was she thinking?

Fashion Don'ts

By Zamboni

We cats have written a lot about hate lately.

Well, we hate, too.

We hate an outfit that Michelle Obama wore recently to visit Westminster Abbey. It's so hideous, in fact, that we refuse to post a picture of it. You can look at it here.

Not only is it weird and unflattering, but goodness gracious. To Westminster Abbey? We'd recommend something a bit more restrained when going to church.

But, hey, that's okay. Princess Diana (above, with Prince Charles) wore her share of klunkers, too.

Taking a Page from "Why We Fight"

By Baxter

Is there a trend developing in the liberal blogsosphere? We cats can't be sure — because we haven't done a representative sampling — but we suspect maybe there is.

Rather than just railing against the idiocy of the increasingly violent American right wing, bloggers are taking the haters' heinous comments directly from their wacko websites and re-posting them. Hanging them with their own words.

As you may know from reading us, we cats plead guilty to this tactic. We started browsing some of the tamer right-wing sites after the 2008 election. One reason was the healthy case of Schadenfreude we were enjoying after eight long years of Bush. But, being cats, we were also curious about the reactions of folks like the Freepers to President Obama's victory.

We're not saying we started it — in fact, we're sure we didn't — but more and more, we're noticing other bloggers joining in. Particularly in the wake of the Tiller murder and yesterday's Holocaust Museum attack.

In the long run, we think, this is probably a good thing. Sure, we don't want to give these nuts any more exposure. But — as Frank Capra so cannily realized back during World War II — decent, clear-thinking Americans everywhere are naturally revolted when they read and hear the actual words of people like James von Brunn. So, best to hoist the haters on their own petard.

We think Mr. Capra would approve. Born in Italy, he was a truly great American.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Right Wing: You're Grounded

By Sniffles

Although felines are expert jumpers, we blogger cats try to refrain from leaping to conclusions. But it seems pretty clear that some white supremacist moron opened fire at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum today and killed a security guard there.

To which we say, okay, that's it. Time to do the thing that the right-wing nutbags most fear.

Take the guns away.

It's sort of like parents confiscating the car keys — only more serious, of course. The "From My Cold Dead Hand" crowd clearly is not mature enough to handle all the responsibilities that go with the Second Amendment. If doctors who provide legal healthcare services and Holocaust Museum security guards can get shot dead by fringe fanatics within two weeks of one another, why should we wait for something else to happen?

Sorry, right-wing haters, but we can't think of any other solution. We're writing to Attorney General Holder today.

Oh, and another thing — you all owe Janet Napalitano an apology.

Where's Palin?

By Zamboni

We cats have noticed something about today's USA Today/Gallup poll, "Who speaks for the GOP?"

Sarah Palin is nowhere to be found. At least, not in the top group of losers — oops, we mean, leading Republicans — whom respondents were able to identify.

Rush Limbaugh led the sorry pack with 13 percent, followed by Dick Cheney, John McCain and Newt Gingrich. George W. Bush came in fifth.

In the current parlance of FOX "News," we find this very interesting. Unlike us Democrats, the GOP is a very hierarchical party. Therefore — under normal circumstances — a previous year's Vice Presidential nominee would figure prominently in a poll like this.

But these are not normal circumstances. The Republicans are completely shut out of power after being soundly repudiated in two national elections, sure. And they're faced with a highly popular Democratic President. But more to the point, their Vice Presidential nominee last year was an ass.

And people obviously know it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cat Fight! Sarah vs. Newt vs. GOP

By Baxter

Wow, we felines haven't seen this much action from the top of the backyard fence in a long time. A three-way Republican cat fight!

The hapless GOP — specifically, the National Republican Congressional and Senatorial Committees — are completely tied up in knots about their silly fundraising dinner in Washington tonight.

Back in March, they wanted Sarah Palin to be the keynote speaker. First she said she would, then she said she wouldn't. (Blame her incompetent "SarahPAC" staff, we think.) With a printing deadline fast approaching, the organizers turned to Newt Gingrich, who said yes. Now, there's new confusion about whether the failed 2008 Vice Presidential nominee, who's on a trip to the Lower 48, is A). speaking in addition to Newt, B). attending but not speaking, or C). not even attending at all.

We cats love stuff like this, and not just because we're into territoriality. It begs the question of how these Republican nincompoops would run the country, if they can't even run a darn fundraiser. And we're also enjoying the fact that it's coming on the heels of a small plagiarism dust-up between Palin and Gingrich.

But the best of of all? The wingnuts at Free Republic are furious, which, as always, bodes ill for the GOP. "These people are monsters." "Sarah, don't go!" "I think the GOP wants to use Palin to draw people and money, but they don't actually want to support her, or give her air time."

More elephantine disorganization and acrimony! We cats PURR.

UPDATE: Palin will attend, but not speak. This is decided — what, three hours out? What unholy messes these people are.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Take Ileana — Please.

By Sniffles

We cats are vastly amused at how effectively President Obama is raiding Congressional Republicans for key Administration appointments — and how depressing and demoralizing it's been to the GOP members left behind.

Republicans might have been able to shrug off Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's pick as Ambassador to China, but New York Congressman John McHugh's departure to become Secretary of the Army hits them where it hurts — by giving them another competitive seat to defend.

Add Jim Leach of Iowa to the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Ray LaHood as Secretary of Transportation, and — well, too bad. The President pledged a bipartisan team, and he's keeping that promise. But is there anyone left he could steal? The pool of so-called "reasonable Republicans" is mighty small.

We cats have one suggestion for him: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as Ambassador to Israel.

Why not? Although she's Havana-born, Ileana's grandparents were Sephardic Jews from Turkey. Her district in South Florida — formerly represented by the late, legendary Claude Pepper — has a sizable Jewish population, so she knows their interests and issues. And, closest to our Democratic hearts, her departure from Congress would help put that district back in play.

(Plus, since Israel is now once again run by that giant pain in the ass, Benjamin Netanyahu, we can't think of a better headache to stick her with.)

Well, we'll have to see. But we cats bet that Obama has Ileana in mind for something — because he's reached out and made nice to her before. Remember how he called her cell phone and, thinking it a hoax, she hung up on him — twice?

Friday, June 5, 2009

When Words Have Consequences

By Zamboni

It's the end of another week of the right wing screaming about President Obama and how he's a socialist or a fascist or a Communist or a Marxist or a Muslim or all of the above.

The latest goofball is Republican Senator James Inhofe, who has called the President's speech in Cairo "un-American." But even before a word of the speech was given, the wingnuts were going over the top. In an appearance on Wednesday night on Sean Hannity's FOX show, Rush Limbaugh declared that Barack Obama was more destructive to America than Al Qaeda.

Hm. We cats can't wait to see if anyone in the media will ask elected Republican officials other than Inhofe to either support or repudiate this — or any of the rest of the vitriol that's been spewing from the party's base since January 20.

But there's a larger question in our minds tonight. We're actually torn between wanting the spewers to be ignored and wanting them to get even more coverage. On the one hand, they're all despicable and don't deserve the attention. On the other hand, the crazies — with Limbaugh in the lead — are hastening the demise of the Republican Party. So it's a tough decision.

What may ultimately tip us, though, is our concern for the safety of the President of the United States. And other people.

UPDATE: Oh, God, here's another one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Enough Is Enough

By Baxter

We don't know about you, but we cats are awfully tired of America's right wing.

We're sick of the vitriol that the talking heads like Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity and Beck dish out day after day after day. We're weary of fundamentalists and their Republican friends butting into the end-of-life decisions of families like the Schiavos. We're done with homophobic maniacs protesting at U.S. soldiers' funerals. And we're appalled that physicians and other healthcare practitioners can be stalked, harassed and, ultimately, murdered for providing legal medical services to women.

Why does this kind of behavior never seem to occur in the other direction? Back when Vermont was debating civil unions, then-Governor Howard Dean had to wear a bullet-proof vest because he favored gay rights. So why don't teams of vigilante homosexuals stalk and threaten people like James Dobson today? For that matter, why aren't Randall Terry's and Bill O'Reilly's lives made miserable by women who are fed up with being demonized for their personal reproductive choices?

The American Right: angry, hateful, violent, deadly. If you have the slightest doubt, just check out a brief history of the Ku Klux Klan. Or take a moment to recall that Oklahoma City federal building that was blown up.

We cats are in a very bad mood about all this today. Our pupils are narrowed, our ears are flat, and our tails are fat and switching. So yes, we HISS and GROWL — but we also have some advice for these wingnut zealots.

If you don't like the laws of this country, work peacefully to change them. Otherwise, shut the fuck up and leave us law-abiding citizens alone.

UPDATE: Looks like the anti-choice lunatics are ignoring our suggestions. They'd better not get too close to us cats, or we will SCRATCH them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Truest Thing George Carlin Ever Said

"Have you ever noticed how all the people who are against abortion, you wouldn't want to f--- anyway?"