Monday, November 30, 2009
The celebrations of last night's stunning Grey Cup victory by the Montreal Alouettes might still be going on. Our owners will find out at around noon tomorrow, because they're flying up north for a little taste of winter before the holidays. We cats, meanwhile, are snug like bugs in the five-paw cat hotel. But we'll try to post from time to time. Stay warm, everybody!
Mike "I'm Fat Again" Huckabee is probably real busy today, answering questions about his early release of an alleged cop killer. (Goodness, we can just imagine what Karl Rove and all the Republican talking heads would be saying on cable news if a Democrat were involved!)
But police assassinations aside, we cats found Fat Mike's recent interview on FOX "News" Sunday — in which he said he may not run for President in 2012 — very interesting. We think it says several things:
First, Fat Mike evidently thinks President Obama is a shoo-in for re-election and is willing to bide his time, building his media profile, until 2016.
Second, he apparently is convinced that Sarah Palin is sucking all the air out of the right-wing Republican room, and he might have to get out before he suffocates. This elevates the threat to rumored 2012 candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. With the specter of Huckabee supporters turning to Palin instead, Newtie and the Mittster will have to take her down quicker and harder.
Third, a Huckabee withdrawal, if it happens, could be partly blamed on the media. One of their favored "nice" guys on the Republican side may end up being pushed out by the rabid Palinistas that populate the GOP base. Where have the talking heads been when it comes to confronting the harsh tactics and language of the teabaggers and right wing? Nowhere, that's where.
These are just our initial impressions. As for any further observations, we cats will wait to see how the Maurice Clemmons situation unfolds. Willie Horton, anyone?
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The conservatives in the GOP are gleefully steering the Republican Party into icebergs, and we cats couldn't be more pleased.
Latest case in point: The New York Times has paused to consider the woes of South Carolina Republicans, who not only appear ready to impeach their hapless and silly Governor, but whose Senators — right-wing maniac Jim DeMint and only slightly less-right-wing Lindsey Graham — are trying to take their party in diametrically opposed directions.
We love it, because it's always good for Democrats when Republicans fight with each other. But over and above that, this quote really got our attention:
"Mr. DeMint... has said he would prefer having fewer, but ideologically pure, Republicans in the Senate rather than more Republicans who were ideologically suspect."
We cats fail to understand how, with that attitude, the demented Mr. DeMint thinks his side will ever get back in power again. But hey, Jim, have at it.
And to our liberal friends out there, we cats simply say this: We agree with you on many of your frustrations with our own party. But may we never, ever find ourselves rearranging those famous deck chairs again.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Can we lock them up, and throw away the key?
You know of whom we cats speak. But we will not state their names, because to do so would give them what they so desperately want.
We continue to be mystified at people's desire to give up their privacy. We've never succumbed to watching reality TV shows — first, because the "reality" is never real, and second, because we're certain we'd be bored.
Now, we're just mad. It's one thing to defraud law enforcement about an errant balloon in Colorado. It's quite another to embarrass the hardworking members of the U.S. Secret Service and put the safety of the President in question. So we HISS and GROWL at that deservedly nameless husband and wife, and we dump our dirty litter boxes on their stupid heads.
Once, the subject of party crashing made a classically funny Hollywood movie. But of course, the people depicted in "The Philadelphia Story" were true society bluebloods. The couple who wormed their way into the White House the other night are — shall we say — not.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Gee, if only Republicans would take Ari Fleischer's 2001 admonishment to heart. If they'd just watch what they say and do, they'd have a much smoother ride with their crazy-eyed base.
How do we know? Here's one example — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Bobby, the nutcases over at Free Republic have turned against you. First, you had the temerity to support the $300 million Senator Landrieu secured in the health care bill for your state's Medicaid program. Governor, the Freepers believe you should have turned that money down. Since you didn't, you've generated comments from them like this:
"Jindal has been incredibly disappointing in terms of potential for national office... [H]is comments on working with Obama on health care show him to be tone deaf. I had very high hopes, but 2009 has been a bad year for Bobby."
"[W]e need strength of character and someone who is willing to say NO to all our enemies foreign and domestic."
"Jindal looked like he might be good, but he's proven, especially with this, that he's a dud."
"Well, looks like ol’ Bobby was a very rapid flash in the pan."
Adding insult to injury, Jindal, all smiles, turned up at the White House for last night's state dinner. The Freepers are sure it's political payback for the health care bill. Of course, the dinner honored the Prime Minister of India — and Jindal is Indian-American — but, never mind.
So Governor Jindal is now wanting in the eyes of the far right. Which means he probably also would fail the GOP's new "purity test." Our only question is, who would pass?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Oh, Lou Dobbs, please, please run for President. We cats don't care whether you're a Republican or an Independent. We just want you to suck all the oxygen out of the room, eat up a lot of money that otherwise might go to the GOP, and drive more Hispanics and minorities into the Democrats' arms. Plus, you'll be one more cartoon figure — move over, Palin, Huck and Gingrich — taking on a real President. (We do, though, find your hypocrisy astounding. A guy as rich as you doing the populist pose. Give us a break.)
Speaking of hypocrisy, consider the Catholic Church. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island recently demanded that Representative Patrick Kennedy refrain from taking communion because of the Congressman's support for abortion rights. Sounds like a red herring to us. Tobin is trying to distract us with this faux communion issue — and what better way to grab headlines than to involve a Kennedy? — because his fellow church leaders in Connecticut have been ordered to release documents about priestly sex abuse on December 1. Stay tuned, everyone.
Why do we have the feeling that the so-called "abrupt" resignation of RNC communications director Trevor Francis was actually in the works long before, and that somebody convinced him to stay just until the November elections were over?
David Frum has gotten into more trouble with the nutbag Republican base by suggesting that GOP men like Sarah Palin a lot more than GOP women do. We cats disagree with Mr. Frum on many things, but not on this. We all know that if Palin looked like Barbara Mikulski, none of this would be happening. (Forgive us, Senator! We love you!)
Finally, we cats don't know about you, but we never want to be at an event where it's okay to announce, "We're fixin' to introduce the ladies." Which means we're glad we didn't attend the Republican Governors Association meeting. Ugh. Excuse us, but we feel a hairball coming on.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
"Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
One of Sarah Palin's many undesirable traits is her constant desire to have things both ways.
Example: If she'd been in elected office 30 years ago, as a right-wing Republican she surely would have campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment. Yet today she expects us all to join her in outrage over a "sexist" magazine cover. (Sorry, ma'am, but we cats haven't cared about Newsweek since they hired Karl Rove as a contributor.)
Another example: We find it really interesting that Palin — as someone who opposes reproductive rights and believes that all pregnancies should be carried to term — seems to be falling down on the job when it comes to parenting herself.
It's a question we haven't seen posed since the great "book" tour began:
Who's taking care of that baby she had last year?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
We cats are amazed at the reaction to Attorney General Holder's (correct) decision to try the September 11 conspirators in New York. While we now fully expect the Republicans to oppose everything the Obama Administration does, they still somehow manage to surprise us with their — well, their idiocy.
We say "idiocy" because the railing right-wingers are the very people who always rush to extol all things American (and, in the process, slander those whom they find less than patriotic). But too often, they fail to understand that which they extol.
Do the Republicans not believe that an American court will render justice? Do they fear the first amendment of the Constitution? Do they doubt the mettle of Manhattanites — not to mention all other Americans?
The lack of logic is breathtaking. The Attorney General's decision is as American as apple pie. We should be standing up proudly to the rest of the world, saying, "Look at us! How many countries on the planet could be so grievously wounded and still treat the accused in such a democratic fashion?"
The right wing is very fond of quoting Winston Churchill. Funny how they can't see that a terror trial in New York could be our finest hour.
Monday, November 16, 2009
In an era in which anybody, no matter how ordinary, can become a celebrity, we cats would like to say goodbye to someone who was truly accomplished: the actor Edward Woodward.
Mr. Woodward first came to our attention in 1980, in "Breaker Morant." It was a film about so many serious topics — the twilight of empire, the agony of an unwinnable war, the insanity of the death penalty — that we wonder how much patience audiences would have for it today. In another of our favorites, he did a spirited turn (no pun intended) as the Ghost of Christmas Present in 1984's "A Christmas Carol."
That's just a sliver of his impressive filmography, and we cats will miss him. But we secretly suspect that he died just to get away from the relentless coverage of you-know-who's book tour.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Oh, boy, here we go again. The right-wing nutbags must be going bananas over President Obama's latest bow to a head of state. This time it was to the Emperor and Empress of Japan, with whom he lunched in Tokyo.
While we cats see nothing terribly significant in the President's gestures and are certain he is doing them to be polite, we wish he'd cut it out. Not because it inflames the crazy base of the Republican Party (which we enjoy), but because it's simply wrong.
Decrees no less an expert than Miss Manners:
"Royal personages... do not have the right to receive physical obeisance from American citizens. One does not bow or curtsy to a foreign monarch because the gesture symbolizes recognition of her power over her subjects."
Okay, Mr. President? Can we stop now?
As for all those right-wing maniacs who frothed over a completely fabricated earlier Obama "controversy" — and you know what we mean — Miss Manners also has the final word: "The hand-over-the-heart gesture is optional for all."
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The news is simply chock-full of Republican brawls these days. While we celebrate them all, here are a few of our faves.
Hutchison vs. Perry: We cats note with interest that Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is itching to be Governor of Texas, has decided not to resign her Senate seat after all. Perhaps she didn't want to equate herself with the recent sorry string of Republican quitters? We cats think she decided it would be too dangerous to hand a Senate appointment to her despised GOP rival, Governor Rick Perry — who could promptly solidify his standing with the whackjob base by choosing... oh, say, Lou Dobbs.
South Carolina GOP vs. Lindsey Graham: Poor little Lindsey. Far-right nuts like the folks at Free Republic have always hated him. Now his own state party has decided it likes him even less than it likes Mark Sanford. Lindsey is so unpopular back home now that we cats are wondering when, not if, that inevitable other shoe will drop.
Crist vs. Rubio: Speaking of such shoes, Florida Governor and Senate wannabe Charlie Crist has had a very rough week. He's been caught needlessly lying about his support of the stimulus plan, and now his telegenic right-wing primary opponent has been invited to keynote CPAC. We cats think Marco Rubio is a mental case, but Crist — ugh, what a revolting fake of a man.
Sarah Palin vs. Everybody: While we will spend none of our valuable time reading about the "book" tour, we are thrilled that what's-her-name's ghosted tome has reopened all those ugly McCain campaign wounds. (And P.S. to Katie Couric: Since the Alaskan quitter has accused you of leaving "substantive" interview bits on the cutting-room floor, we urge you to release all of your Palin tapes. Surely the more appropriate "S" terms for what you didn't air are "silly," "stupid," and "shockingly unqualified.")
RNC vs. The Unborn: Finally, although they are hastening to "correct" it, the fact that the RNC insurance plan covers abortion is another deliciously disgusting example of Republican entitlement. They think nothing of butting into the rest of our lives, but assume that the rules do not apply to them. We cats HISS at their hypocrisy. Did we mention how happy we are that they're not in power any more?
(IMAGE: Pelea de gatos en una despensa, Paul de Vos, 1592)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
UPDATE: If you don't believe us, read this account of the President's visit from The New York Daily News.
(PHOTO: Luke Sharrett, The New York Times)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
We cats are very fond of former President Clinton. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that he would have escaped his second term completely unscathed if he'd only thought to proposition us instead of that Lewinsky girl. Of course, our scratchy tongues may have bothered him a bit. But he was clearly, um, a cat man.
Anyway, we were very pleased when we heard that Bill was heading up to Capitol Hill today to give Senate Democrats a pep talk on health care. It sounds as if he not only breathed new life into an understandably roiled caucus, he made incredible sense along the way. (And supported our post from yesterday, too.)
He said, "Just pass the bill, even if it's not exactly what you want. When you try and fail, the other guys write history.”
Bravo, Mr. President. We cats can only add the following words from a predecessor of yours: "No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
And to all 100 members of the Senate, we say this: It's time to find out who's a human being — and who's not. We already have plenty of nominees for the latter category. Prove that you belong in the former one.
Monday, November 9, 2009
What did we cats say about governing being complicated and difficult? The House version of the health care overhaul is not even 48 hours old, and an urgent fund raising appeal from the National Abortion Rights Action League has landed in our e-mail.
"The House passage of the Stupak-Pitts amendment is an outrageous blow to women’s freedom and privacy," the message says. "If this gets through the Senate, it will be tantamount to a FULL BAN on abortion access in the new system."
Sigh. We cats are not sure that Stupak-Pitts is what NARAL goes on to call it: "the greatest restriction on abortion in a generation." But let's not split hairs. Our point is, while we almost always agree with NARAL on the issues, we're going to let this one go.
Why? Because governing is complicated and difficult.
We need to give cover to all those Democrats who represent Republican-leaning Congressional districts and who voted for health care reform. It's more important to us cats to hold the House with a healthy 258-seat majority comprised of Democrats like Congressmen like Brad Ellsworth (D-IN). Because a lot of stuff has to get done.
In our view, it's not only important to get health care reform passed — it's crucial for abortion rights that we Democrats continue to control the White House and the Congress. The folks on the Supreme Court aren't getting any younger.
In the end, House members like Rosa DeLauro agreed, and voted for the bill. “I stood my ground,” the pro-choice Connecticut Democrat told Politico. “We all stand our ground. We also know, we all know, that you must focus on the endgame, and that’s to pass health care.”
So — sorry, NARAL. We cats won't be sending you any money today. We're too busy focusing on the endgame — not just health care, but Roe v. Wade. Try us again later.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
A week that saw the Fort Hood shooter brought down by a feisty five-foot-four civilian police officer named Kimberly was capped last night by an historic House vote that even the cranky guys over at Politico admit was thanks to Nancy Pelosi.
"For all the work that went into pulling together the votes for the bill — the President, Cabinet secretaries, legions of White House aides, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s deft touch with conservative Blue Dogs and senior lawmakers, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and his team of vote-counting lieutenants, progressive grassroots organizations and any number of others who could rightly take credit for a piece of the victory — no one could doubt that it took Pelosi’s leadership to deliver a congressional vote in favor of a national health care system that eluded President Bill Clinton, Sen. Ted Kennedy and [Congressman John] Dingell’s father, who first introduced such a bill in 1943."
We cats don't know what's going to happen over on the Senate side. But today, we PURR at Ms. Pelosi — all, um, five feet of her. Well done, Madam Speaker!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
In this age of cable news gab- and shoutfests, it can be difficult to appreciate the lasting impact of the political events we're witnessing. Talking heads — with or without journalistic credentials — inflate or spin them to suit their preferred narratives.
Knowing that, we cats are gratified that The New York Times has chosen to remind us today of ripples from NY-23 that you'll never hear on FOX News. Heck, you may not even hear them on "Hardball," although the chances there are probably greater that you could.
Ripple #1: The National Republican Congressional Committee sank a quarter of a million dollars into the candidacy of Dede Scozzafava, only to see her driven from the race by their conservative base and endorse the Democrat — who went on to win. That's $750,000 they won't have to spend somewhere else. We cats are sure that Democratic Congressmen like Ron Klein from Florida are grateful for that.
Ripple #2: Now-Congressman Owens will be, in the words of The Times, "a crucial vote in the health care debate." Hel-LO, teabaggers! You can shout and scream and wave your disgusting Holocaust signs all you want, but our guy just won a seat that's been Republican for almost 140 years. And he's on the floor voting. (Canceled out on his White House meeting, in fact, to do so.)
Ripple #3: Not mentioned in this particular Times article, but front and center in our furry little minds, is how effectively the Republicans have shot themselves in the foot by alienating and banishing a moderate woman candidate. Goodness, they're even thinking of stripping her of her leadership position in the New York State Assembly. We cats are not in the business of advising Republicans, but we think this would be a mistake. And we're dying for them to do it!
In the end, amid all the shouting, what to think about all this? We cats don't really like water, but we believe the lesson is simple: Don't focus on the rock or pebble hitting the pond surface. Watch the ripples.
Friday, November 6, 2009
We cats worry that mass ignorance of historical and cultural references could forever render outrages like McCarthyism and the Holocaust meaningless.
In other words, folks, over-the-top language gets you nowhere. It immediately diminishes whatever argument you're making because you're reaching for the easy allusion, whether or not it makes sense. (In the teabaggers' case, it never does.)
Therefore, we will not reproduce the ridiculous sign that invoked the Holocaust and which was carried at the "spontaneous" anti-healthcare-reform rally led by that mentally ill woman from Minnesota. We will simply quote Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel — who, unlike the right-wing nuts who have been convinced to lobby against their own interests, actually has some credibility on the subject.
"This kind of political hatred," Mr. Wiesel tweeted, "is indecent and disgusting."
We cats note with interest that President Obama has invited victorious Congressional candidate Bill Owens (D-NY-23) to the White House this afternoon. In that spirit, we'd like to issue a few invitations of our own.
We invite former Republican Congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava, chased out of her race in NY-23 by the teabaggers and Palinistas, to become a Democrat. Oh, and those 11 Republican county chairs in New York who nominated Scozzafava and rejected Doug Hoffman? We invite you over, too. Your party base obviously doesn't think you know what you're doing — despite the fact that you guys have held this seat since 1872. Kiss the crazies goodbye and throw in with us.
While we cats are sorry he lost the election in New Jersey on Tuesday, we can't entirely disagree when The Rude Pundit calls Governor Jon Corzine a naughty name. So we invite Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to appoint Governor Corzine to a position at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Perhaps he could spearhead a new ad campaign on the lifesaving benefits of seat belt use.
We invite New York City Michael Bloomberg to switch parties once more. Put a "D" after your name again, Mike. If you can't win by a large margin after spending $100 million of your own money, you might as well come back.
And finally, now that unemployment has hit 10.2 percent, we invite all those businesses who got stimulus money to start hiring again.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Before we leave the topic of NY-23 for tonight, we cats just wanted to mention a little throwaway item about failed Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman that we saw in The New York Times.
"Mr. Hoffman spoke to a deflated crowd of about 50 in a hotel ballroom here soon after midnight on Wednesday and said he had called [Democratic rival Bill] Owens to concede."
Fifty people? Just 50? Where were the hordes of fervent teabaggers and Sarah Palin lovers who flooded upstate New York to return America to God? Surely midnight is not too late to stay up when so much is at stake?
And then it dawned on us. These are the teabaggers — folks who are much more interested in calling the President an usurper and screaming about taking their country back than in doing the actual hard work of politics. The former gets you talked about on the cable news screamfests. The latter doesn't.
See you in 2010, guys! We cats look forward to it.
Since we cats are getting to this a tad late, we're behind absolutely everybody on the post-election overanalysis. But we'll take a whack at it anyway.
Hairball: The Democrats lost the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey for several reasons. But the thing that sticks up our puckered little butts worse than our veterinarian's thermometer is the fact that, at least in Virginia, we had a prolonged and expensive primary. We HISS at primaries. We simply cannot waste time fighting with each other. Let the Republicans do that.
Yummy: Speaking of Republicans fighting, we absolutely love the results in NY-23, particularly since Sarah Palin intervened so mightily in the race and got slapped back for her trouble. It's clear to us cats that, as with the elections in Virginia and New Jersey, voters said they preferred pragmatism over ideology. Will this teach the Republican base a lesson? We fervently hope not.
Hairball: As for the vote in Maine, on behalf of all our friends and loved ones in the gay and lesbian community, we are devastated. But we took heart when we heard Barney Frank's advice: Time is on our side. A new generation is coming. So hang in there, guys. On this, the first anniversary of the election of Barack Obama, we cats still believe in a place called Hope.
Monday, November 2, 2009
We cats are understandably confident of our superior writing skills. In fact, we're confident of everything we do. But sometimes, it's best to just sit back, shut up and let someone else do the talking.
Surfing around some Maine-based media sites to get a sense of what might happen with gay marriage there tomorrow, we found these most excellent observations at the website for The Bangor Daily News. Meet poster CGGage. We certainly would like to.
He writes: "I remember... when I was a kid (we wintered in Florida) and I, as a white male, was not allowed to ride in the back of the bus (where the BIG window was!)... I was told that I did not belong in the back of the bus... [that] that is where the 'n****s' sit. I was stunned. I was five years old.
"Now, my home state of Maine, always a place to subscribe to 'live and let live,' has a new challenge that, to me, ought to be an 80/20 vote for NO on 1. Instead, it is split. The YES people comment on morality, offenses to religion, children being taught in schools, and the general downfall of the all humankind. I am so disappointed by these self-serving, sanctimonious, reactionary, out-of-touch comments. I wonder how many of the same arguments were directed at blacks in 1960 in Miami?
"It seems as if we have regressed as a country. Instead of progressing forward to benefit all of mankind, many of our citizens instead have wrapped themselves in a cocoon of Old Testament values. It is almost like talking with those rattlesnake charmers and KKK people. It is so far out of touch with reality, you would think they were a member of the original Crusades. If you really want to see how far back to the Stone Ages we have fallen, just go to the message boards (as I did) on FOX News. ...Every gay epithet possible is used. Obama fares no better and is just short of the N-word. It is almost freakish. You would not believe these attitudes were possible in the United States of America in 2009.
"I ask myself why? What happened that pulled the bus into the ditch? Was it Falwell and that group? Is the bad economy driving people to circle the wagons, hate everyone, and 'protect' their own? What possible effect will the lifting of the marriage gender restriction be on them? None, but yet they feel somehow threatened by this. I am astounded this even came to a vote...
"The rest of the modern world long ago resolved this same-sex marriage rights. We, instead, are in the Dark Ages, and for some reason many of our citizens cling to these archaic ideas. It makes no sense. It is not even logical, yet it is happening.
"When I retire to my farm in Maine in a few years, I guess I will need to build a high wall and install that sprinkler system. No doubt there will be a cross-burning on my front lawn."
Sunday, November 1, 2009
We cats have to say we're as surprised as anyone that the fracas in the 23rd Congressional District of New York has turned — well, so fracas-y.
But indeed it has. Erstwhile Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava, chased from the race by conservative whackjobs, sang in her church choir this morning and then quietly released an endorsement of her former Democratic rival, Bill Owens, for Congress.
Will that throw the election to Owens? We cats are not counting chickens. It's a longtime Republican district — and conservatives, crowing with their "victory" of purity over moderation, surely must be pumped. They don't need anybody to push them to get to the polls.
Which brings us to the dire warning captured in our headline. We're still enjoying the antics of all the right-wing nutbags because we agree with David Plouffe that they could send the GOP into a permanent minority status. We also think that today was a very bad day for so-called Republican moderates. Like Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist, who wants to be his state's next Senator.
The conveniently married Charlie was the first GOP "star" we thought of yesterday when we heard Scozzafava had quit her race. Crist is way ahead in fundraising for the Senate seat — but his poll numbers in Florida have dropped, and his ultra-right primary opponent, Marco Rubio, has got to be feeling mighty bold in the wake of NY-23. Like their compatriots Palin, Pawlenty and Beck, Mr. Rubio and his supporters tolerate no dissent from their very conservative beliefs.
Watch your back, Charlie. The right-wing pod people are after you!
We cats are honored. Choosing elegance and power over the spectral, First Lady Michelle Obama decided to dress like us for Halloween! Or is she commenting on the cat fights going on in the Republican Party? Either way, we're thrilled.
(PHOTO: Getty Images)