Thursday, December 31, 2009


By Sniffles

The New Year will find us cats on the road and in the air, so we'll be offline for a few days. Here's to a happy and prosperous 2010. See you then!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tidbits and Cat Treats — (Almost) Year-End Edition

By Baxter

We cats despise New Year's Eve. It's the most artificial, unpleasant, sorry excuse for a holiday that humans ever invented, and whenever it rolls around we're routinely in our beds well before midnight. But on the eve of the dreaded Eve, we have a few thoughts that we'd like to share.

All those stories in the media about "the end of the decade" are not only boring, they're wrong. The "decade" isn't over until December 31, 2010. And why should we care about these 10-year increments anyway? Please, spare us.

How have the Republicans gone from "United We Stand" and "Support the Troops" to the bile Dick Cheney is spewing today? We don't know the answer, but it's more proof that The Worst Person Who Ever Lived (If Indeed He Were a Person) has a most apt first name.

While we are pleased with the poll that has Secretary of State Clinton topping the famous quitter from Alaska as America's most admired woman, we wonder how Secretary Clinton could not win this contest.

As if we needed any reminding that Chip "Chipmunk Cheeks" Saltsman is an idiot, try this on for size: Mike Huckabee, Saltsman says, is "the most successful failed Presidential candidate in the history of our country." Gee — when did Mike Huckabee win the Nobel Peace Prize? Guess we missed that.

We can't believe that anyone would have been fooled by that ridiculous JFK "photo" that TMZ posted. Get a grip, people.

Finally, although we dislike New Year's, we're very happy to be bidding farewell to 2009. Even if the decade's not over yet.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Instant Gratification

By Zamboni

We cats have always quibbled with the idea that the Baby Boomer generation — of which President Obama is a member — fancied itself special.

It wasn't just that, as cats, we have shorter life spans than most humans, whenever born. It's just that the Boomers weren't experiencing anything unique — but rather, that they had the time, and the ability, to reflect on what they were experiencing. Perhaps more than any other generation before them.

So as our parents and others before us pass on, at this turning of the calendar year we cats are in a reflective mood.

We think that perhaps our current world is too hurried. In the ability to connect with one another almost instantaneously — a rare privilege indeed — we might be losing the gift of perspective, of being able to view experiences in a certain context. Or at least to pause and privately sum things up before we react.

How ironic, therefore, that the singular talent we perceive in the current occupant of the White House is the ability to stop for a moment, and consider. It's not just that he thinks — a welcome change from the previous Administration — but that he thinks at a measured pace.

We know, folks. It'll take some getting used to. But in the end, we'll all PURR. We cats promise.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Silly Monday

By Sniffles

Hoo, boy. We cats can just imagine how the Republicans would have excoriated — in fact, did excoriate — any Democrats who dared question the Bush Administration's handling of national security.

But as you might imagine, they're not allowing that to keep them from jumping all over the Obama team in the wake of the foiled Christmas Day airplane bombing — even though the TSA has no administrator because GOP nutbag Jim DeMint has held up Erroll Southers' nomination over a labor union issue. Shameless.

We cats will agree, though, that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was too quick to proclaim that "the system worked." Now, she's backtracking. Embarrassing, for sure — but at least she didn't try to say she'd only been using a metaphor.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Crist Mess

By Baxter

South Florida Republican Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart have given their Governor, Charlie Crist, a strange Christmas present.

They've taken back their endorsement of him in the 2010 Republican Senate primary. Goodness gracious. We cats have heard of re-gifting, but never de-gifting.

The brothers also declined to endorse another candidate, i.e., right-wing darling Marco Rubio. And they allowed The Miami Herald to float the wacky idea that they reneged on the endorsement because Lincoln Diaz-Balart, especially, was miffed over an unmade judicial appointment.

Hm. Seems pretty fishy to us cats (and we're good at smelling out fish). But we have a possible explanation that we'd like to propose.

What if the Rubio campaign has been doing serious opposition research and now is making the rounds to prominent Crist endorsers, warning them that the Governor will be outed, with proof, by thus-and-such a date? If so, supporters like the Diaz-Balarts (who, as former Democrats, are not exactly known for their bedrock principles) could jump ship now — on a phony pretext — and avoid having to defend a gay candidate later.

Knowing how comfortable (NOT!) today's Republican Party is with homosexuality, we find this theory not only compelling but quite plausible. Are we onto something? We cats PURR at the thought.

"Welcome, Christmas / While we stand / Heart to heart / And hand in hand"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eyeball to Eyeball, Senate Republicans Blink

By Zamboni

Despite the travails of their long-suffering aides, not to mention the "little people" — security officers, cafeteria workers and gift shop cashiers — who keep Capitol Hill functioning, obstreperous Senate Republicans seemed hell-bent on delaying the healthcare reform vote until Christmas Eve.

No more. Not only did right-wing nutbag James Inhofe miss today's procedural vote, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell caved to Harry Reid and, with the Majority Leader, announced a Thursday vote of 8 a.m. instead of 7 p.m.

Now, we cats are mindful that it ain't over till it's over. But we find it amusing in the meantime that, Sarah Palin-like, the GOP can't seem to follow through on their threats and finish what they start.

P.S. We're a little mystified about Inhofe's reason for missing the second cloture vote today. His wife isn't capable of flying home alone?

Cat Fight! Jim Greer vs. Florida Republicans

By Sniffles

So, embattled Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer has injected some startling venom into the holiday season, in the form of a 19-paragraph screed to his state committee members. Goodness gracious. We know that the pro-Marco-Rubio forces have been giving Greer a hard time lately, but as Scarlett O'Hara would say, Oh, Jim, how you do run on.

But it's not just the length of the tome that has our suspicions heightened instead of assuaged. His angry ramblings evoke the best of Richard Nixon and Captain Queeg combined. He even uses the word "treason"! (We cats thought that term was reserved for Presidential candidates who pick completely unqualified running mates.)

Despite that, though, Greer makes some interesting points — all of which will get lost in his party's ongoing vitriol. He's right when he cites the fratricidal infighting among Florida Democrats in the 1990s and blames it for the party's decline into near-total irrelevance. He's right to warn that that could also happen to the Florida GOP. He's right to defend his privilege as party chair to endorse a candidate, even in a primary. And he may deserve points for identifying his critics by name — although the wave rising up against him is so high, so long and so strong that he might as well call it what it is.

Finally, Greer makes some unforced grammatical errors: using inconsistent capitalization and "Democrat" as an adjective (although we're certain that's intentional), typing "precept" instead of "percent," saying "my support with" Charlie Crist instead of "of." These mistakes — which were, of course, "made," in classic-Reagan passive tense — may just be the latest proof of the Sunshine State's inferior schools. Or they may reveal a writer under a certain amount of duress.

Those Rubio folks sure seem to have him unhinged. We cats PURR.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Elephant in the Room

By Baxter

Well, it's about time. We cats PURR in the direction of Michael Tomasky over at The Guardian, for explaining why healthcare reform has been so ugly. Yes, folks, the culprit is the GOP — the party that has been purged of all reason.

"Lyndon Johnson got 83 Republican congressional votes for Medicare [in 1965]," Mr. Tomasky writes. "And he didn't have to lift a finger for most of them. They were moderates... But in 2009? Believe me, I'd be a happy camper if this bill had had the support of even five moderate GOP senators and 12 moderate GOP House members. But they no longer exist."

Forty Republicans marching in lockstep against giving Americans what other Western democracies can take for granted — healthcare as a right, not a privilege — is a problem. It gives the Democratic majority absolutely no wiggle room: They must get 60 votes, and do to so they have to make deals, including some pretty unattractive ones. Why the cable-news talking heads in the U.S. haven't been all over this point, we cats have no idea. But it's one of the main reasons we've been reluctant to jump on the isn't-this-bill-awful bandwagon.

Note to all you alleged journalists out there: The next time you find yourself blathering about the minefield Harry Reid has had to negotiate, try asking yourselves why.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

And a Merry Christmas to You, Too!

By Zamboni

Does this look like the end of civilization as we know it? Aside from the fact that there's a dog in it, we mean.

Apparently some unenlightened people thought so — although it's merely a Christmas card, sent to constituents by Nova Scotia Liberal MP Scott Brison. The problem, as bigots posting to the Globe & Mail website saw it, was that it featured Mr. Brison's partner, Maxime St. Pierre. (That's Maxime on the left.)

OMG! A pair of sodomites on a holiday card! Never mind that Mr. Brison is openly gay, married to Mr. St. Pierre for two years, and (in addition to the dog), there is a decorous amount of space between them. Unfortunately, though, the Globe & Mail was forced to disable its comments section after "an overwhelming number" of hate-filled posts. "We can't allow our site to become a platform for intolerance," the website commendably says.

The good news? MP Brison has been inundated with messages of support. So we cats take heart that most Canadians don't agree with the homophobes — whom we'd like to remind that the man they repeatedly hail as "the reason for the season" commanded us to love one another.

(PHOTO: Garey Pridham)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Comes Early, Part II (we hope)

By Sniffles

Is there anything prettier than the White House in the snow? If so, we cats are hard-pressed to think of it — unless it's a successful vote on healthcare reform. We hear reports that the Democrats have reached the magic number of 60. It's the least they can do after 92-year-old Robert Byrd managed to arrive on Capitol Hill at one o'clock this morning.

On that note, we cats would like to echo another keeper of the late Ted Kennedy's flame and join Victoria Reggie Kennedy in urging passage of this bill. "[Ted] predicted that as the Senate got closer to a vote, compromises would be necessary, coalitions would falter and many ardent supporters of reform would want to walk away," she writes in The Washington Post today. "He hoped that they wouldn't do so. He knew from experience, he told me, that this kind of opportunity to enact health-care reform wouldn't arise again for a generation."

We agree. As for those ardent supporters who want to walk away, many of whom we like and admire, we can't believe that they don't realize that when they say "Kill the bill," they sound just like the wacko teabaggers. You know what, guys? Denying insurers the ability to withhold coverage over preexisting conditions is huge. Just think about it.

And if that doesn't convince you, remember that the Republicans will hold failure over our heads for decades — maybe even longer than they've tried to make us weak on defense. And they'll never, ever be made to pay for their despicable, lockstep opposition to any reform whatsoever. We cats deeply, deeply want them to pay.

So let's slog through the snow and pass this thing. "As Ted always said," Mrs. Kennedy concludes, "when it's finally done, the people will wonder what took so long."


Friday, December 18, 2009

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Waterlogged Edition

By Baxter

We cats are watching the impromptu lake on our street slowly drain away — while Washington and other points north are bracing for a record-breaking wall of snow. (Silver lining: Maybe Congress will be forced to pass healthcare reform, because no one will be able to leave.) So since the weather outside is frightful, here are a few thoughts on current events to pass the time.

Our friends at Politico have touted the following screaming headline for the last day: "Monica's Back — Says Clinton Lied." With all due respect to President Clinton, whom we love, we'd like to know why this is news.

We also are quite fond of Howard Dean, but fear we must part ways with him on the healthcare bill. The good Dr. Dean was Governor of a very small state with a legislature that could not possibly have compared with the intractability and polarization of the current U.S. Congress — so we question his appreciation of how complicated and difficult all this is. But at the same time we're happy to report that unlike many of our ideological friends on the left, we don't feel the need to agree with our heroes 100 percent of the time.

Does the famous quitter from Alaska ever finish anything? Now it's her alleged vacation that she's bailing out on. And by the way, since she's making so much money from her so-called "book," can't she afford a new sun visor?

We HISS and SNARL at MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan for channeling Glenn Beck this morning. Dylan, you owe an apology to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We dump our dirty litter boxes all over your collection of Savile Row suits.

And finally, here's a note to everybody else in Talking Head World on cable TV: Before you start jumping all over President Obama for the climate change deal he reached in Copenhagen today, remember that the Bush Administration wouldn't even have been there.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Comes Early

Al Franken, you are our hero. We cats PURR, rub your ankles and knead the biscuits. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

P.S. To write Senator Franken and express your appreciation, visit

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Naughty & Nice

By Zamboni

Goodness gracious, what lack of holiday cheer these days. Everyone is crabby, everyone is fighting. So we cats thought we would interrupt our Christmas preparations and join the bashing for a moment. (Look away, Santa.)

Unlike many of our colleagues in the left-wing blogosphere, we cats recognize the difficulties of governing in a highly polarized era — especially with the crushing problems bequeathed by the current Administration's horrifying predecessor. But we do fault the Obama team for wasting a precious resource: their campaign workers. If most Americans want healthcare reform, then Organizing for America should have had us all marching in the streets this summer. Instead, the teabaggers took over. We cats HISS at that.

But here's something on which we do agree with our fellow bloggers: We hate Joe Lieberman. Really. We hate him. If we could, we'd lift our tails and spray his pant legs so bad he'd never get the smell out. And we'd do it on a Saturday so he couldn't go to the dry cleaner until Monday.

However, let us emulate President Obama and face reality. We had our chance to knock Lieberman off in 2006. We didn't get it done, alas. So, we're afraid we're stuck with this cretin until we get healthcare reform and other key elements of the President's legislative agenda passed. But after that — watch out, Joe. We sincerely hope that thousands of lefty bloggers are not waiting for 2012 and are doing massive oppo research on Lieberman now.

Okay, we've indulged. Time to get back to holiday cheer. Let's see, what can we be joyful about? Well, there's the lovingly rumpled Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who never seems to take his eye off the healthcare ball — and there's Al Franken, who continues to make us proud that Paul Wellstone's Senate seat is back in safe hands. Gentlemen, you are gifts that keep on giving. We cats PURR.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Years Later, God Finally Strikes Oral Roberts Dead

By Sniffles

The world is short at least one charlatan today, as evangelist Oral Roberts has finally checked out — 23 years after he claimed God would kill him if he didn't meet a fundraising goal.

We cats don't mean to sound harsh, especially during the holiday season. But we're not sure there's any group we loathe more than those who peddle religious claptrap to gullible people and bilk them out of their money. Unless it's the ones who try to inject their faith — such as it is, since we don't think Jesus lived in multimillion-dollar compounds or flew on private jets — into public policy.

Oral Roberts was just one of the many religious buffoons who failed to understand that the Constitution was built on the separation of church and state. So as with Jerry Falwell, we cats do not mourn his passing. We merely sigh with relief and hope that the country can continue to move forward to, um, further enlightenment.

Monday, December 14, 2009


By Baxter

The city of Houston has elected Annise Parker mayor, becoming the largest U.S. city to be headed by someone who is openly gay.

During a campaign debate, Ms. Parker said, “I am not running to be a role model. I am running to be the mayor of Houston.” Now, she is able to acknowledge the milestone, saying, "It's a historic election for my community, and I believe an election that will change some people's minds about the city of Houston. It's a diverse, international city that welcomes everyone."

We cats PURR and celebrate Ms. Parker's win, although not with her chosen method (a bubble bath — ick!). To laud a metropolis — in Texas, no less — for this election makes perfect sense. After all, we've just come through a year in which the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the President, not just for what he's accomplished but for the very good reason of who he is not.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rebuke du Jour

"We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. And we honor those ideals by upholding them not just when it is easy, but when it is hard."

—President Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, December 10, 2009

And Creative, Too!

By Zamboni

The Huffington Post has a very entertaining gallery of "The Funniest Protest Signs of 2009." It includes many examples of teabaggers who can't spell and who don't understand that Medicare is a government program — just to name two.

But the ones we most appreciate are from gay-rights supporters who find rich comic material in demented homosexual hater Fred Phelps and his ragtag band from the so-called Westboro Baptist Church.

This is our favorite. We have no idea who made it or where it was carried — but we cats PURR.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukkah, Hadassah

By Sniffles

On this, the first night of Hanukkah, our attention is taken by the liberal blog Firedoglake, which is scolding the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Center for employing as a "Global Ambassador" the wife of arch-healthcare-reform-foe and ever-irritating whiner Joe Lieberman.

We cats are amused and sympathetic, and have signed the petition asking the Komen Center to fire Mrs. Lieberman. But since she undoubtedly raises tons of money for Komen from Jewish philanthropists and from pharmaceutical and managed-care foundations, we're not holding our breaths.

Still and all, we dare to hope — that perhaps the lesson of this exercise is that actions have consequences. Too often, people in high-level political positions don't have to pay them. One example: Alex Castellanos, who not only is a cable-news talking head but also is apparently allowed to walk around unmolested — despite the fact that he's responsible for much of the hate-filled paid political speech of the last two decades.

Are we equating the Liebermans with hate-spreading Republicans? As the famous quitter from Alaska would say, you betcha.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tidbits and Cat Treats, Winter Edition

By Baxter

If we cats were with our owners right now, we'd leave little paw prints in about two inches of snow outside. (Twelve inches, later.) But instead, we're warm and snug in our cat-hotel paradise down south. Here are our thoughts as we watch the lizards and butterflies at play in our tropical garden.

So the Republicans are all upset with Harry Reid. To which we cats reply, oh, please spare us. After months and months of way-over-the-top GOP rhetoric, we have little patience with their umbrage. In fact, we wish Harry would simply tell them to kiss his Mormon ass.

We're confused. We thought that The Washington Post didn't accept ghostwritten op-eds. Hm.

Speaking of the famous quitter from Alaska, we cats are intrigued that President Obama has appointed one of her sternest critics to a federal position. To us, this is the best evidence of the President's political smarts since Jon Huntsman became U.S. ambassador to China.

Topics in the news that we don't care about: Tiger Woods' marital problems, anything that's on Michael Steele's tiny little mind, and whoever the next host of "Good Morning, America" will be.

Why has John Boehner never taken John McCain to a tanning salon? (Ankle rub to our friend Allan for this canny observation.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

20 Questions

By Zamboni

Well, okay, not 20. But former Governor and famous quitter Sarah Palin has had to amend a remark she made about President Obama's birth certificate, and we cats are inspired.

Palin said that she really meant that "Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose."

Thanks for your permission, Governor. Since the sky's the limit, we'd like to ask you the following:

  • Is Todd really Trig's father, or is it — as we suspect — actually Levi Johnston? (You see, unlike the rest of the blogosphere, it's the paternity of that child that we cats doubt.)
  • What does Todd really do when he's up on the North Slope for three months with a bunch of guys? By that, we mean for sexual release, if you'll excuse the expression?
  • Did you know Bristol was having sex?
  • When did you have a conversation with her about birth control — if ever?
  • Is Bristol using birth control now?
  • Are you willing to make public your grades from the seven colleges you attended?
  • While we're on the subject, when will your college sex tapes be released?
Finally, it's occurred to us that your statement doesn't just apply to you. You've also made it possible for us to ask your fellow Republicans anything we want. We're sure that Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich with their multiple marriages, and John Ensign and Mark Sanford and their extramarital affairs, are forever grateful to you.