Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So's Your Mother

By Zamboni

It is our humble opinion that Representative Alan Grayson of Orlando hit the nail on the head when he said that the Republican stance on health care means that they want Americans to "die quickly."

Why? Because it's long been clear to us cats that the GOP only cares about people before they're born — and then only after they die. Why else would they scream incessantly about abortion and the burdens of the so-called death tax? Why would they incite killers of abortion providers and also implacably oppose health care reform?

However, at the same time we recognize that President Obama would not consider Representative Grayson's words helpful to the current debate. As sympathetic as we are to Mr. Grayson and his commitment to health care reform, we must agree.

Yes, the right wing has engaged in extreme, over-the-top language. And they have done so since January 20, 2009. But as gratifying as tough talk is — and the Republican health care plan surely is "don't get sick" — it doesn't necessarily help that our side is piling on.

In a perfect world, Representative Grayson's language would force the Republicans to acknowledge their inappropriate behavior. Alas, this is not a perfect world. Nevertheless, we can hold ourselves to certain standards of behavior, even if Republicans won't.

So can we please all use our inside voices and ratchet the rhetoric down a tad?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why We Haven't Been Enticed by Facebook — and Now, May Never Be

By Sniffles

We cats won't even repeat the story that inspires this post — except to say that if it's a joke, anyone who lived through the assassinations of the 1960s could not possibly be responsible for it.

We trust that the Secret Service is investigating; however, we're concerned that they're overworked.

Everyone? This is not funny, okay?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Now, If Only Incivility Could Have Died With Him....

By Baxter

Back in 1996, after William Safire called Hillary Clinton a "congenital liar" in print, we cats would clip the odious man's "On Language" columns from The New York Times and mail them back to The Gray Lady.

"We have no need of this," our enclosed note would invariably say.

It was a small, futile way to express our outrage, but in those days before the Internet it was the only thing we could think of to do. Needless to say, The Times never acknowledged our protest, although Mrs. Clinton responded to the former Nixon speechwriter's attack in her usual classy way.

Well, we cats can put away our scissors. William Safire won't be writing any more columns.

Friday, September 25, 2009

That Old Republican Sense of Entitlement

By Zamboni

There's an interesting little political dust-up going on out in California. It appears that Meg Whitman — a Republican who thinks she deserves to be Governor — has barely voted her entire adult life.

An investigation by The Sacramento Bee reveals that the former CEO of eBay (remind us cats to cancel our membership) did not register to vote in the numerous places she's lived since turning 18 in 1974. The first registration that the newspaper found was in San Mateo County in 2002. But Ms. Whitman failed to vote in California's gubernatorial recall election the following year.

Why was The Bee looking so hard? Because Ms. Whitman told them to.

"In an interview, Whitman said she was registered as a Republican before coming to California [in 1998], but declined to say where the public record might be found. 'Go find it,' she said."

Now.... let us get this straight. The Unhinged Fringe demands that President Obama produce his birth certificate. When he does, it isn't good enough, and they demand that he cough up more. Either way, in their eyes, the onus is on him to deliver.

But when questions arise about Meg Whitman's voter registration, she gets to say "Go find it"?

We cats HISS at the double standard. In the meantime, though, we think the former Miss eBay may be regretting her previous statement. As Gary Hart discovered, it can be dangerous to dare journalists to do their jobs.

(PHOTO: Hector Amezcua, The Sacramento Bee)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bad Old Days vs. Good New Days

By Sniffles

On the occasion of President Obama's first address to the U.N., let us take a few moments to remember The Bad Old Days.

The Bad Old Days were when the rest of the world hated us. Yes, you ignorant yahoos at Free Republic and other right-wing sites, you may think that's a good thing — but it's not.

The Bad Old Days were when the United States went at it alone. For why that's bad, see above.

The Bad Old Days were when America ignored seriously pressing problems. Middle East peace and global warming come to mind. Inaction on each is astounding, because the fate of the planet can rest on either or both.

Who was in charge during The Bad Old Days? You guessed it. Bush-Cheney, that's who. (Note to Bushies: Guys, it's time to take down your re-election website.)

Therefore, we cats PURR at President Obama and The Good New Days. Things may not be perfect — as some demand — but 1) it's only been eight months, and 2) things can't possibly ever be as bad again as they were in The Bad Old Days.

P.S. That link to the Obama inauguration on YouTube that we just provided reminds us that Chief Justice John Roberts still deserves to be run over by a parade float. As Bugs Bunny would say, what a maroon.

(IMAGE: Doug Mills, The New York Times)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Full "What"?

By Baxter

If we cats hear the expression "the full Ginsburg" one more time, we're going to scream. Have you ever heard a cat scream? It isn't pretty.

Which means the political pundits in Washington better be reaching for the ear plugs. Over and over, from Politico to Howard Kurtz to everyone in between, we kept reading about President Obama's full you-know-what — i.e., appearing on five talk shows over the course of a single Sunday.

You know what, guys? You need to come up with a more original metaphor. William H. Ginsburg (hey, all you young people, guess who he was) appeared on every Sunday talk show more than 10 years ago. And while he has faded from view, there remain other Ginsburgs in the world — namely, a sitting Supreme Court justice. We hesitate to think what "the full Ginsburg" might mean if it applied to our Ruthie.

In short, the expression is old, it's tired, and it doesn't work any more. But you inside-the-Beltway bubbleheads just seem to write for each other these days, not us. Oh, and as your editor might tell you (if, indeed, you have an editor): You need to stop being so goddamn lazy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fat Mike Wins

By Zamboni

So former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has won the straw poll of the nutbags at this weekend's "Value Voters Summit." Whoopee.

We cats recall that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney eked out a win on this same prize back in 2007. "Fat" lot of good it did him in 2008. No pun intended, of course.

Meanwhile, on behalf of President Gore and all the Democratic politicians who've had to endure jokes about weight, we're still waiting for someone to notice that Mike is getting massive again.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

John Edwards, Total Jerk

By Sniffles

We cats tend to cut politicians a lot of slack on their personal lives as long as they don't lecture the rest of us on how to conduct ourselves. (Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, David Vitter, John Ensign, Mark Sanford, et. al., please take note.)

But we have to break with our tradition this time. Because we simply must declare that former Senator John Edwards is a complete moron.

John, we were disappointed in you after your 2004 Vice Presidential debate with Cheney, in which you were only marginally better than the lamebrain Joe Lieberman was in 2000. But now that the media are reporting that you're close to admitting paternity of that other woman's child — and that you allegedly promised her you'd marry her after your wife Elizabeth died of cancer — we are disgusted.

Ugh. We cats SNARL at you, and pee on the cuffs of your Brooks Brothers slacks. Come back to us in about 30 years, after you've atoned for this behavior with a ton of Ted Kennedy-like good works. In the meantime, you can't blame us if we hope that Elizabeth outlives you by decades.

Huck's Heft

By Baxter

Mike Huckabee is getting fat again.

The right-wing former Governor of Arkansas is famous for the diet that helped him lose 120 pounds a few years ago — and the book he wrote about it. But we cats have noticed that Huckabee is looking like he's dived into a few too many bags of Whisker Lickin's lately. Here he is at this weekend's "Values Voters Summit." You be the judge.

This is fascinating to us on a lot of levels, but mostly because we've yet to hear any journalist or public figure comment on it.

Remember how mercilessly we all had to discuss Al Gore's weight? And just recently, how George W. Bush said of Hillary Clinton, "Wait 'til her fat keister is sitting at this desk"?

Well, we still harbor hope that someone will mention it. Maybe Mitt Romney — since he and the Ample Arkansan will be fighting tooth and nail in the "Values Voters" Presidential straw poll.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Rosh Hashanah Edition

By Zamboni

On the Republican racist front, Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) referred to the President today in simian terms. "You have to play the ball where the monkey throws it," he told the right-wing nutheads at the so-called Values Voters Summit. Well, now. Even if Roy Blunt wasn't a bigot — and since he's a Republican, the odds are higher that he is — you'd think he'd have brains enough not to say something like that. Or, maybe not.

Republican racism is nothing new, by the way. Remember that 21 years ago George H.W. Bush rode to the White House on the back of Willie Horton. And Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 Presidential campaign with a "states' rights" speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi (site of the 1964 Freedom Rider murders). Not to mention years of bad behavior before that. Wonder how they've gotten away with it for so long? It's partly because the people who determine what is discussed in the media are insiders, not outsiders — and they are not comfortable acknowledging that half of the muckety-mucks with whom they consort are overt racists. Our humble opinion.

Poor Max Baucus. Nobody likes him, everybody hates him, he'd better eat some worms.

We cats have a friend who thinks that George W. Bush is completely uninterested in women. Not that Bush is gay — but that all he cares about is cocaine and alcohol, not sex. (After all, he and Laura may have only had to do it once, right? Daughters Jenna and Barbara are twins.) Well, now we know this friend is right. According to former speechwriter Matt Latimer, Bush said of Sarah Palin, "I'm trying to remember if I've met her before. What is she, Governor of Guam?" Now, we cats heartily dislike Sarah Palin. But we think she's physically attractive enough that a normal straight guy who wasn't hooked on coke and booze would remember meeting her.

Finally, in that same Latimer book, Bush allegedly said of President Obama, "This cat isn't remotely qualified." We are offended. What does George W. Bush know about cats?

Happy New Year!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Shoe Obviously Fits

By Sniffles

After the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 for George W. Bush and he proceeded to 1) ignore the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief; 2) invade a country that didn't attack us; and 3) generally shred the Constitution, we cats often lamented to one another that we wanted to get our country back.

So when the right-wingers on the unhinged fringe start using that same line about a decisively elected President who happens to be black, we can't help but wonder what else might be behind it.

That's just one reason we're so pleased about what former President Jimmy Carter said earlier this week. It's certainly kicked up a kerfuffle, with lots of whining from the guilty parties.

It's because they are so clearly guilty of that which the 39th President accuses them (see above) that we're relieved. It's about time that someone with moral authority spoke up. We'd feel similarly happy about other figures of great stature calling these haters out — people like President Carter's fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bishop Desmond Tutu, say, or former South African President Nelson Mandela. But it helps that Jimmy Carter is white. It also helps that he's an American, a Southerner, and more than old enough to remember some of the worst days of Jim Crow.

And last but not least, he's fearless. President Carter has never shied from telling us things we don't want to hear. We cats just wonder whether, this time, we're finally grown up enough to handle it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose

By Baxter

We cats were saddened to hear of the death of Jody Powell yesterday at his home on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Sixty-five is way too young an age to leave us.

But we still couldn't hold back a Cheshire cat grin when we were reminded of one of Jody's most wry observations: that one of the burdens of being a governor — like his former boss, Jimmy Carter — was having to read "barely legible letters from morons."

How little has changed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The GOP and The Spirit of 9/13

By Zamboni

So a motley crew of right-wing nutbags turned out in Washington on Saturday for a demonstration that was loosely tied to a Glenn Beck-Fox "News" marketing promotion called "The 9-12 Project."

See, the way it goes is this: We Americans need to return to how united we felt after the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. However, from some of the ugly sentiments displayed on their signs, we cats think that the loony-tunes in D.C. on Saturday were more interested in dividing the country than in uniting it. And we're still waiting for Republican leaders to go on the record to denounce all the vitriol and veiled threats, by the way.

Hm. We think we'll be waiting a long time. But in the meantime, we're reminded of something that happened precisely eight years and one day ago. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, chatting away on "The 700 Club" on Thursday, September 13, 2001, knew exactly whom to blame for the terrorist attacks.

Not those 19 guys who hijacked the planes, but us.

Falwell: "What we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."

Robertson: "Jerry, that's my feeling. I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population."

Falwell: "The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this."

Robertson: "Well, yes."

Falwell: "...The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, the People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

Two days. It only took them two days to start demonizing. So we shouldn't be surprised at what's happened in the eight short months since President Obama's inauguration.

It's time for Republicans to speak up: Are they with America — or with the domestic terrorists, like the clown pictured above?

While we're waiting to hear, we cats GROWL. And since Jerry Falwell is dead and gone, we dump our dirty litter boxes on Pat Robertson's head.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Time to Dig Our Toes in the Sand

We cats will be offline for a few days while we visit a "low-tech" cottage on Cape Cod. Yes, it will be difficult to tear ourselves away — but like our President, we believe that things that are hard are worth doing.

See you next week!

Dumbest Damn State in the Nation

By Sniffles

So President Obama obviously got our memo last Thursday that a few bitch slaps were in order, and we cats are about as happy as we can be.

We've never heard such an inspiring speech that managed to so effectively say "shame on you" to Congressional Republicans at the same time. And true to form, GOP members managed to look like sullen children throughout.

Or should we say, naughty children. A sitting member of Congress shouted out "lie" as the President spoke. Politico and the AP are reporting that it was Republican Joe Wilson of — OMG! — South Carolina.

Congressman Wilson, you are a disgrace. In fact, we think that Van Jones had the right word for Republicans like you. You are an asshole.

There's no question about it: The Palmetto State has serious problems, and they need to do something about it. But in the meantime, let's all write Joe Wilson and tell him to get some manners:

Or call the Capitol at 202-224-3121, ask for Congressman Asshole's office and tell him to show some respect.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Note to Freepers: Feeling Assimilated?

By Baxter

Now that President Obama's address to America's schoolchildren has entered the history books, we cats just want to say that we're through with this silly story. It was a fake "controversy" stirred up by Neanderthal nutbags on the right wing, and abetted by cable news producers looking for conflict where it didn't exist and with advertising dollar signs in dancing in their eyes.

However, before we leave it forever, we just thought we'd beam into Free Republic and see what the reaction was. And it was — well, kind of let down.

A Freeper named "Kevin in California" posted the following query: "Does anyone have the Obama school speech in it's [sic] original form before it was modified? I can't find it and I know it exists." (Kevin, you needed to pay more attention in spelling class.)

The post elicited a paltry 15 responses, all along the lines of: "We’ll never see it. That’s my guess."

That's what they've come down to, folks — spinning wild conspiracy theories at their computers late into the night, while the Administration and the rest of us try to fix the country that the Republicans broke.

We cats HISS at the Freepers, for being stupid and annoying. But we also PURR at them for making utter fools of themselves at the same time. They are their own worst enemies, and we thank them for it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Republicans' Favorite Librarian Defends Obama — Freepers React

By Zamboni

"I think that there is a place for the President of the United States to talk to school children and encourage school children, and I think there are a lot of people that should do the same." Laura Bush to CNN, September 7

So in between bites of our Labor Day barbecue, we cats were wondering: What are the nutjobs on the right wing going to do now that Mrs. Bush has spoken?

It didn't take us long to find out. Here are some of the juicier comments from Free Republic:

"She says it because she has to."

"With all due respect, Ma’am, Obama is a communist, and I am not going to tolerate one damned thing from him."

"Shut up, Bushies."

"This was a stupid move on her part as Ole W put this Pinko Cretin in Office and we will not forget that little fact."

"Laura is a RINO and so is George and his entire family!"

Hmmmmm.... Jeb Bush, are you taking notes?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Joe Likes Liberty, Upsets Right Wing

By Sniffles

So Joe Scarborough is scolding the right wing for its insane focus on President Obama's birth certificate, his alleged "racism," his supposed socialist conspiracy to take over America, and his alarming czars.

Which means that Joe is taking his own Republican Party to task as well — for coddling the nutbags, and for keeping silent as they rage.

"Indoctrination of socialism? The President as a racist? Death panels? Seriously? That's all you've got? If so, it's time for you to go home," he Tweets. "I'm just naive enough to believe that a party that shows restraint at home, restraint abroad and respect for the Constitution wins elections. Perhaps that party doesn't exist."

We cats appreciate Joe's sentiments, but what immediately caught our eye was his choice of Twitter art: Delacroix's "La Liberte Guidant Le Peuple" — "Liberty Leading the People."

We happen to love this painting, which hangs in the Louvre. But we also note (as we always have, to no great consternation) that Liberty is, ahem, topless.

Goodness! The right wing fundamentalists in Joe's party won't like that!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Franken and Citizens Talk Civilly — World Does Not End

By Baxter

When reality seems upside down, this is a breath of fresh air.

We cats are still trying to absorb the fact that someone got a finger bitten off at a "town hell," that Freeper parents are apparently making school districts buckle to their racism, and that the Republican Party — which coddles nutbags who unreasonably fear a return to the Fairness Doctrine — is demanding "equal time" to the President's address to Congress next week.

As the man said at the end of Bridge on the River Kwai, "Madness! Madness!"

But guess what. Al Franken, erstwhile comedian and now Democratic Senator from Minnesota, has had a calm, respectful and informative conversation with his constituents about health care — and with a teabagger, no less!

Is there hope for this country? That's the thing about America — it always suckers us in and makes us think so. We cats PURR.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President:

We cats are concerned, but not because of health care or Afghanistan or the economy. At least, not for the moment.

We're worried that you and your team have underestimated something.

The hate.

You were sworn in a mere seven months ago, but we've already had to hear that you're a Marxist and a socialist and a Communist (all at once, mind you), that you were born in Kenya and therefore ineligible to be President, that you're building forced detention camps for people who politically disagree with you, that you hate white people and white culture (whatever that is), and now, that you're trying to indoctrinate our children.

This stuff is all incredibly stupid, and whenever it gets publicized we cats hold out hope that its very exposure will help sane Americans see it for what it is. But there's a double edge to that sword. One, we fear for your personal safety, of course. And two, we're kind of annoyed that the White House always seems surprised by the vitriol.

How can that be? Did you not live through the Clinton years? One of the principals of that Administration, who was a primary target of the right wing, is now your Secretary of State. A key member of the Clinton White House team is your Chief of Staff. After all the slings and arrows that Bill and Hillary suffered, why doesn't the Obama team ever appear to expect this kind of nutty behavior?

On ABC News tonight, Jake Tapper declared that the White House was "caught flat-footed" by the fake school-speech controversy. Mr. President, we cats are tired of hearing the talking heads saying things like that.

The wingnuts have no weapons left in their scummy arsenals, so they're doing the only thing they know how: Try to delegitimize your Presidency by chipping away at you with these ridiculous arguments and objections.

We know that on Election Night, you made an attempt to be gracious to these people. You said, "I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your President, too."

We cats think it's time for a bitch-slap.


Sniffles, Baxter and Zamboni

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Pre-Labor Day Edition

By Zamboni

Labor Day weekend is almost here, and next week's going to be busy. Therefore, we cats are taking a moment to share some assorted political musings now.

So Senator Kennedy's posthumous memoir says that his behavior at Chappaquiddick was inexcusable. Well, of course it was. What amazes us cats is that the right wing still manages to get so worked up about it. Although we're happy to say that our candidate in 1980 had no such awful incident in his past, we don't see how the loss of one life in a car accident, as terrible as it was, compares with, say, invading a country that didn't attack us. Mary Jo Kopechne versus the needless deaths of more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis? Hm.

Meanwhile, goodness gracious, what's worse? A right-wing religious hypocrite who's shtupping an Argentine woman not his wife, or a lieutenant governor who you think might be gay? Don't ask any South Carolina Republicans. You may not like what you hear.

And then there's Levi Johnston. Ahhhh, Levi, you have made our week. We just can't say the same for our wingnut friends over at Free Republic. They're gamely trying to label you gay because there's talk you'll pose for Playgirl (that's "playgirl," folks). And they dearly wish you'd go away. Don't listen to them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

McDonnell Outs Himself

By Sniffles

In the category of Stuff That Comes Back to Haunt You, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Robert McDonnell — who's tried to cast himself lately as a reasonable Republican — is suddenly in hot water.

As a graduate student at Regent University — which masquerades as a school but which in our view really serves as Pat Robertson's personal right-wing Christian training camp — McDonnell wrote a 99-page thesis in 1989 about the horrible damage people like working women and gays were doing to America, and what Republicans should do about it. (Hint: Going back in time was not an option, but from his tone, McDonnell clearly yearned to do so.)

We cats will not address the question of whether there are any reasonable Republicans left in this world (although we think there aren't, and the McDonnell hubbub just goes to show you we're right). We just think it's very funny that a panicked McDonnell is now claiming his thinking has "evolved."

For two reasons. First, we thought right-wing religious fanatics didn't believe in Charles Darwin. But second — folks, the guy was 34 when he wrote this. Thirty-four-year-olds are grownups. Big-time grownups. Practically old enough to be President.

Take it from us cats: We know about leopards. They're our relatives. And they don't change their spots.

(IMAGE: Burt Lancaster in Il Gattopardo, 1963)