Monday, August 31, 2009

And So It Begins

By Baxter

Summer's almost gone, and so, we cats hope, are the dog days of right-wing nutbags dominating the health care debate. Organizing for America is swinging into action, not only to inject some sanity into the conversation but also to represent the views of the vast majority of the American people.

To wit: we need reform, and we need it now.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts state legislature is pondering a change in the law to allow Governor Patrick to quickly appoint an interim successor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy before a special election is held. And although the Senator's widow Vicki has apparently indicated she's not interested in temporarily filling the seat, we cats hope she changes her mind. We can think of few sights more satisfying than another Senator Kennedy casting a decisive vote on health care reform this fall.

As for any Republicans fulminating about the possible change to the law of succession, too bad. After their election antics in 2000, they have forever forfeited their right to be outraged.

(PHOTO: Stephen Chernin / AP)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"I Lost the Sandwiches"

By Zamboni

It's been an exhausting day for many reasons, but chief among them is the fact that we cats still haven't recovered from former Senator John Culver's hilarious tribute last night to his late friend and colleague, Ted Kennedy.

As we were trying to catch our breath between guffaws, it dawned on us that many years ago, Senator Culver was one of the first Democratic victims of the then-nascent right-wing attack machine. How ironic that the Republican who beat him is current Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, whose conduct in the health care "debate" has been so utterly despicable.

We were struck throughout the eulogies and tributes at the classy and wonderful people with whom Senator Kennedy surrounded himself.

When you're not so classy, you surround yourself with people like — well, like Lee Atwater.

'Nuff said.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cat Fight! Sanford vs. Bauer

By Sniffles

So the Republicans in South Carolina thought their current travails would get lost amid the wall-to-wall coverage of Senator Kennedy's death. Wrong!

Lt. Governor Andre Bauer — whom his fellow Republicans can't bear ascending to the big job because he's probably gay — has called on Sanford to resign and pledged he won't run for Governor himself next year.

Sanford fired back with another one of his on-camera meltdowns. Meanwhile, impeachment clouds started gathering and tantalizing Tweets began to circulate, accusing Sanford of continuing his extramarital affair.

We cats say, go ahead, South Carolina — impeach the bastard. But don't do it because he cheated on his wife. Do it because he's a preachy hypocrite who abandoned his job, misused tax dollars and betrayed the public trust.

In the meantime, we are amused by all this, but, in the end, unimpressed. The Palmetto Republicans' latest cat spat looks more like a kitten fight to us.

Call us when you boot the jerk from office.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Statement from Senator Robert Byrd (D-WVA)

"I had hoped and prayed that this day would never come. My heart and soul weeps at the loss of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy.

“In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.”

Edward M. Kennedy, 1932-2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"You're Nothing But a Bunch of Racist Haters"

By Baxter

Republican Congressman Wally Herger of California is getting a lot of deservedly negative press about his approving response to a constituent at a town hall meeting who identified himself as a "proud right-wing terrorist."

What's getting lost in the coverage is the story of another attendee, a woman named Marisa Hewitt. She was so disgusted at the Congressman's and the crowd's behavior that she decamped the meeting — but not before noisily pronouncing judgment on them. And then she got in a scuffle on the way out (for which she may be charged, although she's claiming self-defense).

We cats think that Ms. Hewitt put her finger right on it, frankly. The "town hells," by and large, are not filled with people angry about health care reform. They're filled with people angry that Barack Obama is President.

As we've suggested to these jerks before, the American way to deal with such a situation is to figure out how to win the next Presidential election. In the meantime, though, we'd advise all "town hell" attendees to chill. We felines adore a good cat fight, but you humans are terrible at it.

UPDATE: And John McCain was booed at his town hall meeting today. His crime? Saying that President Obama respects the Constitution. Hoo boy, this is like a bad recurring dream.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chew On This, NFL

By Zamboni

We're not dogs, but we cats feel we must show solidarity with our colleagues in the animal kingdom by expressing our disgust and outrage at the signing of Michael Vick.

Will somebody please tell us — why should we give a rat's ass about football? We didn't fault the entire sport when Vick turned out to be a criminal and a jerk. But we do blame the NFL when one of its leading teams is willing to give a guy who abused and electrocuted helpless dogs a highly paying job.

So we dump our dirty litter boxes in Vick's locker and pee inside his helmet. And as for you sports fans who are equally turned off — may we suggest the Canadian Football League? The CFL's Montreal Alouettes are doing very well.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lutherans Recognize Reality

By Sniffles

Yay for the Lutherans! Leaders of the Protestant denomination in the U.S. voted today to allow non-celibate homosexuals to serve as their ministers. It was hardly close: the winning side clocked in at 68 percent.

Of course, while we cats nod approvingly at this development, we realize at the same time that it's a bit of an eye roll. Good gracious, people, it's 2009. If the founder of your sect had his moment of epiphany in the water closet, if you've been ordaining women and divorced folks for years, what took you so long?

Well, never mind. We won't look at gift horse in the mouth. And Lutherans, if this decision serves to, um, "flush" the homophobes among you out of the Church, then consider yourselves well and truly plumbed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is It Too Late, or Can We Still Impeach Bush?

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge says he was pressured to raise the country's terror alert levels for political reasons.

Harper & Co.: A Bunch of Dirty Bums

By Baxter

Here's a little comfort for every political staffer who has ever made an embarrassing mistake in print. Say, for example, leaving the letter "l" out of the word "public."

Stephen Harper's office has topped you.

The Canadian Prime Minister, heading out on a five-day tour of the Arctic, issued a news release with a tiny but significant misspelling of the capital of his country's newest province, Nunavut.

See, add an extra "u" to "Iqaluit" and you get a word in the Inuktitut language for people who, um, don't wipe themselves very well.

“Hopefully this unfortunate typo, which we have corrected, will inform the greater public that there is no [extra] ‘u' in Iqaluit,” said PMO spokesman Dimitri Soudas.

Well, we cats — known to be fastidious for keeping ourselves clean — hope that Mr. Soudas will not issue a follow-up press release using the term "greater public." Could be dangerous.

But will we forgive his incorrect use of the adverb "hopefully"? Maybe not.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"We Are Tired of Greedy People Using Stupid People to Thwart Progress"

By Zamboni

We cats don't know who coined this headline, but we like it a lot.

We also love Congressman Barney Frank for giving the right-wing nutbags a richly deserved push-back.

Congressional Democrats, you may emulate Barney Frank — who kept things civil but who more than lived up to his last name — any time. We sincerely hope that whatever healthcare plan passes Congress includes coverage for Democratic spine replacements. Have at it, guys!

Congressman Frank, you are a man among men. We cats PURR at you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

And Speaking of Rodents...

Is Patrick Fitzgerald Squirrelly, or Just Nuts?

By Sniffles

Robert Novak has died, and we cats are unmoved — save for our extreme puzzlement over why Patrick Fitzgerald let him go scot-free in the Valerie Plame affair. It's our humble opinion that the man should have died not at home but in jail.

However, we'll refrain from further comment. And since writing anything more on the subject would require us to run the late Mr. Novak's photo — a disagreeable prospect indeed — we'll just go with this one instead.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Open Letter to Janet Napolitano

The Honorable Janet Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

Dear Madam Secretary:

We cats were alarmed to learn that about a dozen people carried assault rifles and other weapons to President Obama's event in Phoenix today.

You may be wondering why we aren't addressing this letter to the head of the Secret Service. Well, we'll probably do that, too. But we're writing to you now for two reasons:

1). You were recently excoriated by the Rush Limbaughs of the world for issuing a report that warned of potential right-wing violence in America.

2). You used to be Governor of Arizona.

Please explain to us why this is okay. Somebody is going to get hurt.


Sniffles, Baxter & Zamboni

Blowing Our Stacks

By Baxter

We cats are grooming and yawning this summer afternoon, and wondering why everyone seems to be so upset.

Headlines scream that the public option is dead or dying. Lyndon LaRouche followers and other right-wing morons threaten their Senators and Congressmen. President Obama's approval rating drops. Charles Grassley loses his mind. Michael Vick returns to football. (Wait a minute — Michael Vick! Okay, now we are upset.)

But — hold on a second. Don't we all realize what's going here? It's August.

Hinky things always happen in August. Countries get invaded, nuclear bombs get dropped, Presidents resign, and princesses die in car crashes. It's just a crazy month.

Meanwhile, we cats — unlike most of the humans populating cable news these days — endeavor to relax and take the long view.

Sure, it's nutty out there. But that's why they call them "the dog days."

If they were cat days, they'd be much more pleasant.

Friday, August 14, 2009

All Hell Doesn't Break Loose

By Zamboni

We cats couldn't help noticing how mildly disappointed the media were that President Obama managed to have civilized town hall meetings this week.

Gee, guys, that's too bad, isn't it? As our hero of the week, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean said, you folks aren't paid to cover substance — you're supposed to cover controversy.

Ha! What an indictment.

But just think about it — what if the majority of Americans didn't believe in being rude and disrupting Congressional town halls? What if most Americans actually supported health care reform? What a novel concept!

Well, if that were the case, we can only think that President Obama would have received multiple standing ovations in Montana today.

Which he did.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Health Care Reform Coming, World About to End

By Sniffles

In the wild cacophony of the so-called health care "debate" — amid all the half-truths and misrepresentations and out-and-out lies — our keen little feline ears pricked up at one particular line.

"I want my country back!"

No, that isn't the scream of the Tyrannosaurus Rex on the left in this picture. It's actually been the whiny cry of many of the right wing's "town hell" disturbers. You know, those lovely people who think President Obama was born in Kenya, threaten Congressmen's lives, bring guns to Presidential events, and tear up photos of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

The reason this plantive shout of the teabagging-birther-racist nutbags got our attention is that often, during the horrors of the Bush Administration, we felt the same way. And because we did, we worked our butts off to win the 2008 election.

So here's what we say to all the screamers out there: You can do the same thing, you jerks.

You're obviously organized enough to disrupt members' home-district town halls. Why don't you put the same energy into organizing for 2012?

Go ahead, we dare you. Pick a candidate, raise the money, create the Website, sign up the volunteers, target the states, raise more money, build your field operation, plan the rallies and the fundraisers and the picnics and the dinners and the debate parties — and, in the end, get out your vote and defeat President Obama that November.

Yeah, we know it's hard — much harder than shouting down a member of Congress at a town hall. But we hate to break it to you folks: That's how you'll "get your country back." That's the American way.

Or you can just cry and whine and moan as if it's the end of the world. Your choice.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Franken Draws the U.S., Alaska Looks a Little the Worse for Wear

Senator Al Franken drew this map of the U.S. for Senator Mark Begich (D-AK). From memory. We bet this makes him smarter than 40 of his Senate colleagues.

The Ghosts of Palin Past

By Baxter

It's taken us awhile, but we cats are finally ready to say something about the "town hells."

And it's this: Boy, are those right-wing Republicans dumb.

Because, goodness gracious. If these tactics aren't irrefutable evidence of the wingnuts' desperation, we don't know what is. After all, the quickest way to turn someone against you is to be obnoxious, rude and scary. You'd think the insurance companies would have mentioned this when Dick Armey dreamed it all up.

But the prize, as always, goes to former Alaskan Governor and current ne'er-do-well Sarah Palin, who — after declaring that President Obama's plan for healthcare reform would kill her son Trig — has apparently asked that the hells be turned back into halls.

There she goes again, trying to have it both ways. Or is she just disturbed that some have compared the town hall near-riots to her own campaign rallies in 2008?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Shucks, Folks, We're Speechless

By Zamboni

So, we cats think this has been a pretty good week. Not only has the Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice, but Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will run unopposed in New York, we've knocked off the head of the Taliban in Pakistan, and, contrary to the whining of the naysayers, it looks as if the stimulus package has started to work.

Oh, and Bill Clinton rescued those journalists in North Korea. We cats jump up on former President Clinton's lap and rub the tops of our heads under his chin. PURR!

But now, we cats are mesmerized by the news out of Florida: Republican Senator Mel Martinez, fresh off his vote to confirm Judge Sotomayor, has decided to resign his job early. Is there ANY Republican who feels he or she must finish the term to which he or she has been elected?

Scariest scenario on the Martinez resignation: That it's an opportunity for Florida Governor Charlie Crist to appoint Republican Senate primary rival Marco Rubio — not in preparation for the 2010 race, but to position him to run against Bill Nelson in 2012.

Well, no sense borrowing trouble. In the meantime, we cats are marveling at the fact that there are NO blacks, Jews or Hispanics left in the Senate on the Republican side of the aisle. The only minority group represented there are closeted gays. Who'd-a thunk it?

(PHOTO: David Zentz / Associated Press)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Republicans Are Eating Their Young AND Their Old

By Sniffles

So retiring Republican Senator George Voinovich has spoken the truth: The GOP has become too right-wing, too Southern, and is marginalizing itself.

Senator Voinovich made that comment at the end of last month. Since then, a bunch of Republicans have come out against the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, and it's been revealed that Dick Armey's PAC is organizing shout-downs over healthcare at Democratic members' town hall meetings.

Marginalizing themselves? Gee, we think so.

Is this what the Republican Party has come to? Apparently. The salvation of the party apparently no longer lies with someone like Voinovich — who was able to get elected as a Republican in one of the most Democratic cities in America. It lies with (take your pick):
  • The Teabaggers,
  • The Birthers,
  • The insurance company lobbyists,
  • The gun nuts,
  • The Rapturists,
  • The science deniers, and
  • The racists — epitomized by the woman who was just elected head of the Young Republicans.
It's beyond sad. And, of course, we cats PURR.

UPDATE: We cats note with interest that, directly on the heels of this post, Senator Voinovich was one of nine Republicans who voted "yea" on the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. Gee, why doesn't the GOP just change its name to the White Racist Party?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tidbits and Cat Treats, du Quebec

By Baxter

A few thoughts as we start our beginning-of-August weekend.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, desperately searching for a Parliamentary majority in advance of hinted-at fall elections, has once again decided that "ugly" is the way to go. Our owners arrived in Montreal to find a Tory flier in their mailbox accusing the Bloc Quebecois of being soft on child molesters. How Rove-ish. "C'est inacceptable!" the flier screams. You know what, Canadian Conservatives? You're the ones who are unacceptable.

We cats think it's time for Montana Senator Max Baucus to get his act together on healthcare. Sure, being cautious has allowed him to make a long and even maybe distinguished career in the Senate, but now, it's time to be bold. Max, you've got seniority, the Democrats have a healthy majority, and your state, which had been trending red, has elected you, Jon Tester and Brian Schweitzer. You're untouchable. So if you take some non-bipartisan risks — and maybe even disappoint some of your donors — the Big Sky is not going to fall on you.

Finally, vomiting is a big part of being a cat, but we wanted to throw up all over again when we heard that the cable news networks had countdown clocks to the "beer summit." It's a good thing that Walter Cronkite didn't live to see that happen.