Friday, December 31, 2010
Now that our least-favorite holiday, New Year's Eve, has arrived, lists of "the best," "the most" and "the worst" of 2010 are everywhere. We cats will refrain from joining the endless droning — although we were amused by a discussion we heard on NPR of how nasty people were to one another this year. (And we think it's wonderful that, since Leona Helmsley's death, someone's available to assume the moniker of "Queen of Mean.")
No, since we cats are busy preparing for our evening revelries — which will include an early dinner and then a safe trip home to our yawning beds — we'd just like to take a moment to nod in the direction of the world's biggest hypocrite, for 2010 and perhaps for all time.
Former RNC chair Ken Mehlman spent Election 2004 scheming with Karl Rove to get anti-gay-marriage measures on state ballots so they could drive conservative evangelical turnout. As we all know, it worked — the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived was elected, and gays across the country were demonized and denied equal rights.
This year, the execrable Mr. Mehlman came out of the closet. Of course.
We cats suspect that Mehlman will be on no one's "best" or "worst" list today, but we believe it's important not to let this traitorous fiend fall off the national radar screen.
So we cats HISS at Ken Mehlman, and dump our dirty litter boxes in his underwear drawer. And we're sure that sometime soon we'll be doing the same to Karl Rove — when he comes out of the closet.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Goodness gracious. We cats would never have thought it possible that we could feel sympathy for dog-killer Michael Vick. But since bow-tied, right-wing idiot Tucker Carlson has said Vick should be executed for his crimes, and since President Obama has apparently expressed a different opinion on the matter, we feel we have to say something.
We cats are not fans of the death penalty — even for killing people, let alone animals. Therefore, this Carlson stuff is way over the top. But although we're equally not fans of Michael Vick — and were initially puzzled by the President's comments — we feel we need to take our cue from PETA, the animal rights organization for which Vick has been doing community service. PETA has basically taken the Ronald Reagan approach with Vick: Trust, but verify. And his efforts seem to be okay by them. Therefore, they are okay by us.
But of course, don't ask us to love football, and don't ask us to approve Vick owning a dog. Like President Obama's position on gay marriage, our feelings on that aspect of the Vick saga are, shall we say, "evolving."
By the way, when will Carlson demand that Sarah Palin be executed for killing that caribou on her stupid reality show?
Gee, we cats might be able to get behind capital punishment after all!
We cats were just wondering how to celebrate the second anniversary of a President who understands proper subject-verb agreement — when we suddenly realized that all is not well in the world of education. At least, not here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia textbooks aren't just wrong about blacks fighting for the Confederacy. They're positively riddled with errors.
We're tempted to see this as part of the vast Cuccinelli Conspiracy — our right-wing attorney general's ideological assault on the University of Virginia. After all, there's no need to produce well-educated, inquiring minds at the K-12 level if you're going to turn your Ivy-League state school into an extension of Liberty "University," is there?
Meanwhile, we're wondering where the Virginia Education Association and the National Education Association are on this matter. So far, their silence is deafening.
As Mrs. Malaprop might say, if Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Now we cats know that Christmas is really over. Because Joe Miller, the gift that kept on giving, is apparently on the brink of leaving the political stage.
The unshaven teabagger — who would cop the title of worst candidate of 2010 if it weren't for Christine O'Donnell — will not contest the certification of Lisa Murkowski as the winner of Alaska's drawn-out Senate race.
Most normal people would assume that this would be the end of the line for Miller. But he keeps hinting that he'll pursue his lawsuit against Murkowski's victory in federal court — so there's hope among all amused Democrats that this crazy turkey may not be fully cooked yet.
Meanwhile, it's always fun to visit Free Republic and see what the teabaggers there are saying. Here are a few choice quotes. (We cats take no responsibility for capitalization or lack thereof.)
"Sad, sad day for Alaska, the country and Justice."
"Repeal the 17th amendmend [sic] and recall the senator."
"Republican leadership in the Congress should place [Murkowski] in the worst office in the building. Right next to the Dumpster. But they won’t."
"I now consider Alaska’s judiciary and election system to be as corrupt as those in Venezuela."
"[Murkowski] is NOT the choice of Alaskans. We voted her OUT in the primaries. This election was stolen by fraud by Unions, democrat voters, and crooked Native association executives, whose job it is to PLUNDER the Native association investments and treasuries. THIS ELECTION WAS STOLEN."
Note to Freepers: We cats understand that stolen-election feeling. Except, for real.
UPDATE: It's Tuesday, and U.S. district judge has just tossed Miller's federal lawsuit. Although this would deal any sane individual's campaign a final crippling blow, we cats say, hey — Joe's a teabagger, so never count him out for crazy behavior. And it would be fun to see if Joe screams "bias." See, the judge was appointed by an election-stealer himself — the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
So, let's see if we've got this right:
A single mom — with just a high school diploma (if that) — and with no job — buys a five-bedroom house in Arizona and pays $172,000 for it in cash.
We cats are certain that financially struggling, foreclosed-on families all across America appreciate this (NOT!).
The Palins sure aren't blue bloods, but there's no doubt in the world that their "regular folk" act is just that. We cats HISS.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
the Washington, D.C. weather forecasts this evening. Tomorrow we will get SNOW! Will the government even be functioning come Monday? Seeing the anticipatory panic, we cats wonder how in the world JFK ever got inaugurated. A full report anon. Meanwhile, it's back to the Baffle Box comforter for snuggles and PURRS.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Goodness gracious, we cats haven't finished our holiday shopping. Here are some observations you can chew on while we battle the crowds at the mall.
Republican cartoon character Haley Barbour's revisionist comments on the White Citizens Councils were not a gaffe. He was just performing the old GOP trick of throwing some outrageous meat to the party's racist base — and then walking it back when the base wasn't paying attention. He's able to do because this because the media never, ever hold people like Barbour accountable for such stuff. Disgusting.
It's interesting that Fat Mike Huckabee — who might be feeling a little self-conscious about the weight he's gained back — has taken aim at the famous killer from Alaska over her opposition to Michelle Obama's healthy-eating initiative. Perhaps Palin would be better off if she worried less about healthy food going into America's youth and more about the penises that are going into the bodies of her teenage daughters. Sorry to be vulgar, but as Walter Cronkite would say, that's the way it is.
This month's award for needlessly self-inflicted political wound goes to Justin Trudeau, Member of Parliament for the riding of Papineau in Montreal, who posed with his very attractive family in fur-lined jackets for his official Christmas card. We cats love Justin, but we think that the only fur one should wear should be one's own. Disappointing.
More reassuring is the fact that the Republicans were shamed into supporting medical care for September 11 first responders. Before this bill passed, we cats were wondering how the GOP was getting away with dissing the very people whose backs they've politically ridden these last nine years. We figured it was because they had no morals, and we Democrats had no balls. But considering the string of Democratic victories in the 111th Congress, apparently there was some testosterone under our Christmas tree after all. May God bless us, every one.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Whew. We cats know it's been awhile since our last post — but we've been traveling, and once we got home, it seemed that there were a million things to do. But we did take a few minutes this morning to watch President Obama sign the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" into law.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, what a Christmas present! It was a moving and wonderful event. We felt as if we'd witnessed Harry Truman desegregating the military. And the enthusiasm of the invited guests was such an infectiously terrific, feel-good way to start the day. (We also confess to a bit of schadenfreude: It was delicious to contemplate all the bigots who, thanks to Congress and President Obama, will now have to salute and suck it up.)
Of course, the morning also was marked by a teeny little note of idiocy. Meet Bob Marshall, the Republican clown who represents Prince William County (!!) in the Virginia House of Delegates. This lamebrain has responded to the smiting of DADT by saying he'll introduce a bill to — get this — ban gays from serving in the Virginia National Guard.
By the look of him, "Delegate Bob" isn't cruising for dates any time soon. But he is positioning himself for a possible run for Senate. And he'll probably have to run to the right of expected candidate George "Macaca" Allen. Even knowing this, we cats nevertheless continue to be amazed that these GOP loonies allow themselves to get derailed into social issues. And apparently catch their Republican Governor by surprise as well.
But in the end, we can't help but ask: Since "Delegate Bob" is so convinced that the repeal of DADT is harmful to the troops, how does he know? Has he ever served? From his insipid bio on his House of Delegates website, we tend to think, um, "No."
Delegate Bob Marshall: Chickenhawk. Bigot. Hatemonger. Anti-patriot. Jerk. We cats HISS.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Okay, we cats admit it: It's better to have had Congress repeal the loathsome "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy — with the help of eight Republican votes that surely are giving the right wing indigestion today — than to have the President do it through an executive order. Cats are never wrong, but there are always exceptions that prove the rule.
We have so many reasons to be pleased tonight. First, there's the hope that maybe we can get all those Arabic translators back. If they're willing, our nation and the world will be safer.
Second, there's the knowledge that a lot of folks we despise are gnashing their teeth over this. We're also wondering where a few of them are. For example, does anyone know the whereabouts of famed Republican homosexual Ken Mehlman this evening? After all, it's only six years since he and Karl Rove put all those anti-gay initiatives on state ballots to turn out their hate-filled religious base.
But most of all, we're celebrating the utter slap in the face that John McCain's just received. What a fabulous Christmas gift to the country — "refudiating" the man who foisted the famous killer from Alaska on us. What goes around comes around, John. We cats PURR.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Today we cats were shopping in Montreal at an exposition of Quebec artisans. We bought something from a leather-purse maker. While she was ringing us up, she asked us if we were Americans. Since we obviously were, there was something she wanted to tell us.
"We love your prime minister," she said.
(Of course she meant President Obama. But Canada has a prime minister, so that's the first English term she came up with.)
It struck us cats that that never would have been said to us during the dark days of the Cheney Administration. A nice thought after a challenging political year. We cats PURR.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
We cats are heading out for a few days of pre-Christmas vacation. But we won't be too far from a laptop, so we'll post when we can. In the meantime, please enjoy this tastefully arranged rubber ducky creche.
(PHOTO: Snakken & Gubli)
In a twelvemonth simply jam-packed with putzes — Rand Paul, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Evan Bayh* come to mind — we cats now know who's going to walk away with the big prize for unparalleled putziness. Even though there are 16 whole days left in 2010.
Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, take a bow.
Col. Lakin pleaded guilty to disobeying orders at his court-martial yesterday. The Army doctor had refused to go to Afghanistan because he allegedly believed that President Obama couldn't legally order him there. (Because, you see, President Obama wasn't born in the U.S.)
Well, we cats used the term "allegedly" because it turns out that ol' Terry didn't quite believe that birther nonsense after all. Gosh, he whined to the judge, the past several months have been "a confusing time, a very emotional time for me.” And he was awfully sorry about missing that flight to Kabul. “I understand that it was my decision, and I made the wrong choice,” he said.
What a coward. You know, Terry, you either believe in this crap or not. Go to prison and get your honorable discharge like the man you pretend to be.
We cats imagined that our disgust in Col. Lakin was surely exceeded by his fans in the birther community, so we did some quick searches. The Russian mental case Orly Taitz had no comment on Lakin's capitulation, only invective for the judge. And this site hasn't been updated at all. We cats YAWN.
*Surprise! There are Democratic putzes, too.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
We cats are curled up together on the family room sofa, napping the late afternoon away. But it doesn't mean we don't have opinions about things.
Case in point: We find the fulminating from the right wing of the U.S. Supreme Court about whether or not to attend next month's State of the Union address disingenuous, to say the least. You can bet that the Roberts-Thomas-Scalia-Alito butts will be fast in their front-row seats the next time a Republican President delivers that address.
So, dead racist and anti-Semite Richard Nixon makes rude comments about blacks and Jews on the most recently released White House tapes, and we're still waiting for journalists to ask Michael Steele or Eric Cantor what the hell they're doing in that political party. Good thing we cats aren't holding our breath on that.
Awwww, poor John Boehner is all upset that President Obama said the Congressional Republicans were holding everybody hostage over tax breaks for the rich. We have no pity, Eyeliner Man — you don't exactly deserve politeness. For example, we're wondering when anyone in your party is going to condemn those strident teabagger signs, or disavow the latest "birther" guy, or castigate those Kansas mental cases who picket funerals.
Finally, we cats are amazed. Former Democratic Senator Sam Nunn has come out in favor of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." My, my, how things change. When Sam was in the Senate, he was to the right of half of the GOP caucus there. Now he appears to stand far, far, far to the left of the mavericky multiple homeowner from Arizona. Who should crawl in a hole somewhere and never come out, by the way. We cats SNARL at him.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
We cats don't understand. If the Pentagon has spoken, the military brass has spoken, the troops have spoken, and the American people have spoken — why can a few clueless jerks in the United States Senate block the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?
Do not get us started on the Republicans tonight. They clearly care nothing for the men and women serving in our military any more than they care for the first responders who sacrificed their health and well-being on September 11, 2001. They are disgusting and abhorrent. But right now, our focus is on Barack Obama, President of the United States. We have something to say to him about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Mr. President, the time to wait has passed. This sorry-ass Congress will not repeal this hated law, although you've given them every chance. You must now step in and issue an executive order to repeal DADT. Do it now, before the courts take action and all heck breaks loose.
In short, it's time to summon your inner Harry Truman, Mr. President. If you have one, that is. We cats pray that you do.
P.S. Want to write President Obama and tell him to stand up for gays and lesbians? Do it here.
Aaron Sorkin, the creator of President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet and all those West Wing staffers who talk and crack wise in the same tone of voice, has finally captivated us with the quality of his writing.
That's because Sorkin has gone after the famous quitter from Alaska — taking her to task for gratuitously killing a caribou on her "reality" T.V. show. Which, like the famous quitter herself, is obscene.
Sorkin made us LOL with comments like "I don't watch snuff films and you make them," and "That was the first moose ever murdered for political gain. You knew there'd be a protest from PETA and you knew that would be an opportunity to hate on some people, you witless bully." He compared her to Michael Vick, called her "Cruella" and added, "I'm in film and television... [and] I know exactly how many feet off camera your hair and makeup trailer was."
Bravo, Aaron! We cats couldn't agree more. In fact, we have something to add: To borrow a term from the animal kingdom, Sarah Palin is a bitch.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
We cats are struggling with what, if anything, to say about the sad, early death of Elizabeth Edwards. The whole Edwards situation is, to say the least, messy and unpleasant — and we're unsure what we could add that would be valuable. But we always mourn when there's one less Democrat in the world. And we think her obituary in The New York Times did a respectable job of balancing the bad with the good.
So here's what we're thinking today: While we continue to be disappointed in her husband — and are sorry that his terrible behavior added to her already heavy burdens — we think that Elizabeth Edwards would have been a very interesting First Lady.
Monday, December 6, 2010
We cats have refrained from commenting on the nonsense that's been going on in Washington lately, because we were thinking (hoping) that the President was playing rope-a-dope with Congressional Republicans and would eventually turn around and skewer them with a deft parry and thrust.
Looks like we were wrong. The White House is on the verge on cowering once again, this time on tax cuts for the wealthy. Now we know why we supported Senator Clinton in the primaries.
You know, we cats understand the complexities of governing. As we've said before, it's complicated and difficult. So we were never as impatient as our fellow liberals these last two years — even though the Republicans have obstructed, denied, and basically not given a rat's ass about helping the country since Obama became President.
But this tax-cut thing? If this happens, it'll be beyond hacking a hairball. It literally will make us ill. We cannot understand how the Obama team — an awe-inspiring steamroller in 2008 — has become such a bunch of Washington wimps today.
Guys, you need a little testosterone. Here's an unlikely source: "Dems May Keep Senate in Session Over Christmas for DADT Repeal." Way to go, Senator Reid. Now, that would be manning up.
(PHOTO: This is somebody named Tommy, and we'd love to meet him!)
Sunday, December 5, 2010
We cats don't relish commenting on the famous quitter from Alaska — partly because the subject is so distasteful and partly because she's a publicity monger, and we have no desire to feed the beast. But today we're noting that Joe Miller, the never-say-die teabagger whom Sarah Palin endorsed (and whom Lisa Murkowski apparently defeated last month with an historic write-in campaign), is continuing his Sisyphean legal battle to get a recount.
You know, if Sore Loserman Miller can tie this thing up for a few months, that would mean that the Republicans would be short a seat come January, and Senate Democrats would be in the lead 53-46. So we say, you go, Joe!
But we're also noting that not only have the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee gone silent on this race — so has the famous quitter. At least, we can't seem to find it — not a Tweet, not a Facebook post... nothing.
What cowards. Of course, it would be really nice if the intrepid members of the Fourth Estate would corner Palin, John Cornyn and the hapless Michael Steele and demand a comment. But we cats aren't holding our breath (especially since we need it to HISS).
Friday, December 3, 2010
Boy, if there are two things that Americans are immature about, it's art and sex. We cats can't come to any other conclusion after encountering the following news stories in the last couple of days.
On the art front, the Smithsonian Institution has pulled from the National Portrait Gallery an AIDS-related video created by artist David Wojnarowicz, after right wingers and faith-based organizations said it contained religious imagery that upset them.
We cats say, tough patooties on them. Who do these squeamish religious nutjobs think they are, to speak for us? Besides, art is not a Hallmark card. In many cases it is meant to challenge, disturb and provoke. Which is why it so often concerns difficult and unpleasant subjects like death, AIDS and Ronald Reagan.
(By the way, if you'd like to register your objection to the video's removal, write Secretary of the Smithsonian Wayne Clough at Cloughw@si.edu.)
On the sex side, some jerk on the Board of Supervisors in Loudon County, Virgina claims that the recent non-controversy over the TSA's new security procedures was really a gay campaign to get subversive jollies. "The next TSA official that [sic] gives you an 'enhanced pat down' could be a practicing homosexual secretly getting pleasure from your submission," this idiot, Eugene Delgaudio, wrote. (We cats PURR in the direction of our friend Sondi, cat adorer and all-around good Democrat, for tipping us off to this story.)
Uh, Mr. Delgaudio, sir? We hate to break it to you, but have you seen the B-roll from those airport pat downs on T.V.? Ninety-five percent of the folks going through TSA security aren't exactly, shall we say, hot. Ugh.
That aside, we think his comments say a whole lot more about Mr. Delgaudio than perhaps he intended. But rather than get into the good supervisor's deep-seated homosexual tendencies, let's just stick with the obvious and say, "Oh, grow up!"
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Thank you, Morning Joe, for brightening our day with a gosh-we-hope-this-happens Republican Party cat fight. Sharpen those claws, everyone, because Joe Scarborough has taken on the famous quitter from Alaska.
Well, actually, he's called out the GOP on their fear of said famous quitter. (Which we cats remember saying existed just a little while ago.) And he's been pretty blistering about it. He told the GOP to "man up," and called Palin "a reality show star who cannot be elected." And a bunch of other things.
See, what apparently set Joe off was the famous quitter's recent and surprising disparagement of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. "Great men," Scarborough called them. (Gack!) Pardon us cats while we hack up a hairball at that, but we have to admit we love it when Republicans have the knives out for one another.
For more fun, we took a moment to visit our good nutbag friends over at Free Republic, to see what they thought about Morning Joe. Here are some choice excerpts.
"His use of the phrase Man Up is laughable, since I suspect he hardly knows what the phrase means."
"Joe is a scumbag. He should tear up his GOP card right now."
"Tokyo Joe is an elitist, ruling class, establishment jackass."
"Joe has been living in the upper westsisde [sic] of Manhatten [sic] too long and drinking his emloyer’s [sic] (MSNBC) Kool Aide [sic]. Additionally, he has very gradually moved towards the thinking of his TV 'Partner' Mika who I suspect is more than a 'TV Partner.'"
Gosh, we cats love it when the opposition writes our posts for us. Happy Hanukkah, everyone!
Monday, November 29, 2010
Whew. There's a big debate going on at washingtonpost.com about "American exceptionalism" — which, first of all, means that the Post once again is kowtowing to the folks on the Republican side who are jockeying for their party's nomination for 2012. Believe us, nobody out in flyover land is worried about America's "exceptionalism" right now. They're more concerned with getting that mortgage out from under water, or getting back to work again.
But nevertheless, the GOP is wallowing in it, because that is What They Do. And the inside-the-Beltway media are following suit. Sigh.
Having lived abroad, we cats know that the whole concept of "exceptionalism" doesn't go down well with other folks on the planet. So, contrary to what the teabaggers and the famous quitter from Alaska think — if they think — we see nothing wrong with downplaying this particular notion in the interest of forging alliances and, say, keeping the world from blowing up.
Back at home, we can only think that folks cling to "exceptionalism" in order to justify the genocide committed against Native Americans. But oh, my, that's a subject for the world's longest post, isn't it? In the meantime, since the "exceptionalism" conversation has been started, allow us to throw in our two cents.
Yes, there is a case of American "exceptionalism" — but not as the teabaggers would define it. America is unique because it began as a representative democracy whose government was completely separated from an official national faith. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." As we cats understand it, no country had ever done this before. Bravo, Founding Dads!
In short, we think that the separation of church and state is something to be proud of. We cats PURR.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
It seems as if the Obama Administration has been doing a lot of thwarting lately. Of terrorist plots, that is.
("Thwarting" is one of those words that we cats always want to use. It's kind of Old-Hollywood retro — not something you'd say in everyday conversation. Sort of like "reticule" and "ablutions." But, we digress.)
As the world knows by now, a 19-year-old loser was arrested Friday night for attempting to blow up a phony bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland. This FBI sting operation was the latest in a small string of successful mayhem foilings by the federal government. Remember the plot to blow up Washington's Metrorail system? And the guy who was going to detonate a Dallas office tower?
We cats do. And we've been wondering when the chattering class was going to start praising Democrats for protecting the country. After all, we're in charge — midterm results notwithstanding.
Then it dawned on us that it would be helpful if the Administration would take some credit for themselves. After all, Republicans certainly would! But, being non-saber-rattling, non-jingoistic types, the Obama folks probably hesitate to do that.
So, we cats will do it for them. Job well done, would-be-terrorist thwarters!
(IMAGE: Oh, come on, you know who this is.)
Friday, November 26, 2010
We cats are not known for evincing gratitude, but this day after Turkey Day, we are thankful for a few things. Let us list them.
That Tom DeLay was convicted of money laundering. We would have liked to have seen the reaction of Michael Schiavo, a man who in 2005 was personally tormented by a Republican Congress, led in part by then-House Majority Leader DeLay. We hope that "The Hammer's" jury has given Michael a small but well-deserved taste of schadenfreude.
That Black Friday appears to be a hit. We cats were out and about ourselves today, and we can tell you personally that the traffic was terrific. It would be nice if the economy would continue to improve, so that the Obama Administration could finally get credit for fixing the disaster Bush left.
That the famous quitter from Alaska doesn't know the difference between North and South Korea. "Oh," but the teabaggers say, "it was just a slip of the tongue." We cats say, no. When you're obviously an intelligent person like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, it's a gaffe. When you're Sarah Palin, it's just more proof that you're dumb as dirt.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
We cats actually prefer a nice seafood pate to turkey with all the trimmings. But we're willing to indulge (it's a bird, after all). Here are some observations while we prep for the holiday.
Our nominee to moderate the first Republican primary debate in 2012? Katie Couric. You see, the famous quitter from Alaska has declared, "I will not waste my time with her." Gee — anybody remember how the right wingers and the media went crazy when the 2008 Democratic candidates objected to debates hosted by FOX "News"? As Bob Dole used to say, where is the outrage?
Looks like national "opt-out" day is, so far, a bust. We cats are happy about that, because these anti-TSA hissy fits are manufactured and silly. Apparently the libertarians and the teabaggers have decided that getting home for Thanksgiving is more important than expressing their dislike for America's first black President.
(And can you imagine how they'd be screaming "off with Obama's head" if, God forbid, something happened? Goodness, it makes our furry little heads spin.)
Speaking of airport security, we couldn't be more pleased that the color-coded terror chart could be on its way to the trash heap. It was stupid and unclear — which explains why it quickly became a source for clever satire. And we got awfully tired of Bush Administration officials trotting it out whenever they wanted to score some political points.
We've left the turkey-est of turkeys for last: Fred Phelps and his sorry band of Wichita terrorists. Remember how his hate group showed up in Woodbridge, Virginia last week, and our neighbors shouted them down? It's happened again — this time, to protect a soldier's funeral in Harrisonville, Missouri. Way to go, heartland of America! We cats now have hope for you.
(IMAGE: Deep Woods Designs)
Monday, November 22, 2010
After days of overheated coverage, it's become clear — as we cats suspected it would — that most Americans support the TSA's latest airport security measures.
We do wonder, though, whether all the hyperventilating would be taking place if this idiot were still President.
How quickly would the Bushies accuse any complainers of treason? We cats shudder to think.
We cats went to Tyson's Corner mall over the weekend. (No, they don't allow animals, but we received special shopping dispensation.) We always park far away from the entrance so we can get some exercise — and we walked past a number of cars with this license plate.
Which got us to thinking: Do the maniacally right-wing, government-hating teabaggers support statehood for the District of Columbia? Goodness knows they should — they hate taxes like poison. And having to pay 'em without even a voting voice in Congress seems pretty unfair.
But somehow we cats think, "Nah." Don't you dare call them racists, of course! — but we can't imagine the Republican base getting all enthusiastic about two new African-American Senators and an African-American House member showing up on Capitol Hill.
So just for yuks, we paid a quick visit to our nutty friends over at Free Republic to check out their views. Unfortunately, we didn't see anything specific about D.C. statehood. However, we struck gold when it came to Puerto Rico. Which is a pretty good clue, we think!
They don't rush to dump tea in Boston Harbor when it comes to taxing black and brown people, do they?
We cats HISS.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
By Miss Kubelik
Since the current Senate has already pretty much gone to the dogs — what with the "country first" GOP forcing the Democratic majority to pass everything by 60 votes for the past 18 months — we cats have come up with an interesting thought for when Congress reconvenes in January.
The idea dawned on us when we heard that Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is just a teensy bit miffed that her party deserted her after teabagger Joe Miller beat her in the August primary. Not only that, but the GOP establishment is continuing to toss money Miller's way — to force a recount, disenfranchise Native Americans or, at least, keep the election results from being certified — all because they're too chicken to face down Murkowski's arch nemesis, the famous quitter who used to be Governor.
There being no doubt in our little cat minds that Lisa will make it back to Washington as a successfully re-elected Senator, we have a suggestion for her. Ma'am, if you really feel like getting back at Cornyn and DeMint and the chinless wonder from Kentucky, you could.
Since the Democrats will retain the majority with 53 seats, all you have to do to reach the magic number of 60 — which alas, we assume will continue to be necessary — is cobble together a caucus of somewhat reasonable Republicans and conservative-leaning Democrats and bring 'em to the table.
Let's call them the Murkowski Red Dogs. Here are a few potential members: Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Mark Kirk, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Richard Lugar and Olympia Snowe. That's seven right there. Add you, and it would be eight.
We cats are not usually impressed by dogs, but you and the Red Dogs might make the Senate worth watching next year. You'd be able to A) wield some well-deserved vengeful power, B) make Mitch McConnell's life miserable, and C) counter the newly elected teabaggers, who as we know are all barking mad.
What do you think, Senator? We cats are panting to hear.
(IMAGE: Clifford, of course!)
Friday, November 19, 2010
More than two years after President Clinton got into trouble for using it during the Democratic primaries, the term "fairy tale" is back. And we cats are less than thrilled. Here are a few reasons why.
We thought that the disastrous marriage of Charles and Diana would have put all notions of "fairy tale weddings" to rest forever. But now that Prince William has popped the question to his great and good friend Kate Middleton, journalists reporting the story around the dial have lazily reached for that trite and hackneyed phrase. Come on, people, you can do better than that!
Here's another item straight out of Grimm's: There's a new fringe group in town. They call themselves the "sovereign citizens," but they're really just a bunch of middle-aged white guys who claim that U.S. and state laws don't apply to them. We cats find it amusing that a lot of these losers are from Staunton, Virginia — birthplace of Sixteenth Amendment champion and 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.
Last but not least, there's the famous quitter from Alaska. She's spun a lot of fantasies lately: That the media are out to get her, that talentless moneygrubbers are bad (hel-LO!?!) and that abstinence works. But — "I could beat Obama in 2012"? Now, that's a fairy tale.
(IMAGE: Daisy the Curly Cat. Hmmm... doesn't look too happy.)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We cats thought it would be amusing to visit our wingnut friends over at Free Republic, to see how they're taking the news from Alaska. The state GOP has issued a statement asking teabagger and famous-quitter darling Joe Miller to concede the Senate race to Lisa Murkowski.
Of course, Miller has since asked for an injunction to keep the race from being certified. But in the meantime, the Freepers are hopping mad. Here are a few of their sputterings, along with some snappy feline comebacks.
"Screw them! Don’t fall for it Joe. This election is being stolen from you. Fight them tooth and nail. Don’t let them sucker punch you. You are fighting for all of us who can’t stomach these crooked, fraudulent, stolen elections. Enough!" (Where was this guy in 2000? Hm!)
"This is exactly what is wrong with the two party system. If we do not get a third party I suppose I will have to quit voting." (Great idea. You do that.)
"Its [sic] an uphill battle, but I hope Mr. Miller fights this one to the last bullet." (There they go with those Second Amendment remedies again...)
"This would not happen if Sarah were in the statehouse." (Well, friend, she quit. And it's the Lieutenant Governor who oversees the division of elections, anyway.)
And finally, our favorite: "Fight the bitch all the way to the supreme court and back." While this poster neglected to capitalize the name of the highest judicial body in the country, he apparently learned how to hurl insults from Barbara Bush.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
So, how would you have liked to have been in the room when the famous quitter from Alaska learned that her nemesis Lisa Murkowski had defeated her pet teabag, Joe Miller? Gosh!
"Miller's loss is a major rebuke for Sarah Palin," The Washington Post reports. "Miller's defeat means Palin couldn't deliver in her home state for a candidate she roundly endorsed."
Because we cats despise the famous quitter, we send our hearty congratulations to Senator Murkowski for her valiant (and now, successful) war against the teabags.
We think it's pretty sad that these days, evidence of statesmanship and reasonableness on the Republican side is when somebody like Murkowski says, "I am not one of those who wants Obama to fail. If he does well, that means the country's doing well." But we'll take what we can get.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
We cats are pretty proud of our new neighbors here in Northern Virginia. Hundreds of them turned out at 7 AM yesterday to counter a protest by the anti-gay lunatics from Westboro Baptist "Church" — and successfully chased them away.
The reason the hate group from Wichita picked Woodbridge Senior High School to stage their demonstration wasn't exactly clear. "It's just the one [high school] we lit up to," certified crazy person Shirley Phelps-Roper explained. (We cats don't know what "lit up to" means. Is that English?)
Woodbridge's principal asked his students to ignore the Westboro group — all five of them — to keep from giving them unwarranted publicity. But members of the community and Woodbridge grads showed up instead, with signs supporting the military and gays as well as an admirable spirit of make-fun-of-the-haters cleverness. ("God Hates Pirates," complete with pirate costumes? Very nice.)
We cats say, bravo. Yesterday's counter-protest was, to us, a small but encouraging offshoot of the recent Rally to Restore Sanity. Let's hope the trend continues — because it's the sane and reasonable people who really need to take the country back.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The interminable and tiresome quarrel over Christmas continues, and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. The latest salvo in the "war"? The Papists versus the Damned.
That's because the Catholic League has sent creches — complete with the Baby Jesus, Joe, Mary, and barnyard critters, we assume — to all 50 governors, asking them to display them in their capitals to "counteract" the recent marketing campaign by organized atheists.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has said he will joyously comply. We cats wonder how Republican member of the tribe Eric Cantor — who represents the Richmond area in Congress — feels about that?
Of course, to be fair, we cats have to admit that if the devoutly Catholic Democrat, Tim Kaine, were still in office, he'd probably display the darn thing, too. But we're tired of this bogus claim that Christmas, the most institutionalized holiday of the year, is under siege — so we HISS.
IMAGE: We cats actually want this rubber duck Nativity scene. In the meantime, check out some other frightful (and funny) creches here.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
We cats happen to be very good spellers, and we've often been amused by others who lack that particular talent. (Especially tea party signmakers and the people who created Christine O'Donnell's website.)
So we think it's ironic that teabag nuthead and East-German-Communist-dictatorship admirer Joe Miller has suddenly become a stickler for the correct rendition of M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I on ballots that have been cast in the Alaska Senate race. Little Joey and his jackbooted minions are insisting that every syllable of his opponent's last name — AND her first name — be absolutely, completely, totally picture perfect, no exceptions!
Miller's selfish rush to disenfranchise thousands of Alaskans would be funny if it weren't so — have we said this before? — disgusting, Rovian, un-American and sad. After all, proper spelling isn't exactly a Republican trait.
UPDATE: It's Saturday morning, and we cats have just read that the famous quitter from Alaska has given $5,000 to Miller to help disenfranchise her former constituents. We always knew the quitter was selfish and mean. Now we know that she's also just plain — let's hear it again — disgusting, Rovian, un-American and sad.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
There's quite a bit in the news to exclaim about today. So let's not waste another minute — because the mid-autumn sun is slanting through the family room windows, and we have to get to our afternoon naps.
That silly rumor about Senator-elect Joe Manchin switching parties is pretty ironic. We cats were just thinking the same thing — but in the other direction, obviously — about a couple of Republicans. Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown are in the teabaggers' sights — and we all know what happens to Republicans who can't satisfy their bloodthirsty base. We cats think Chuck Schumer should start working to flip these two, if he hasn't begun the process already. Go, Chuck, go!
So Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL) has declared that the famous quitter from Alaska cost the GOP control of the Senate. "[It] would be Republican today except for states [in which Palin endorsed candidates] like Christine O'Donnell in Delaware," he said. Gee. Far be it for us to defend the famous quitter on anything, but we cats are struck by something here. Obviously there's one white male, Southern standard for Sarah Palin — and a completely different one for Jim DeMint. Teabagger ladies, you should be up in arms!
The voter suppression scandal in Maryland marches on. We're waiting to hear whether Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich signed off on those despicable robocalls to African-American households in Baltimore and Prince George's County. We're also waiting to see if anybody in the press will think to ask GOP chairman Michael Steele about the issue. (Yeah, right....) But in the meantime, it's our humble opinion that if FOX "News" can scream about voter intimidation by the "New Black Panthers" — really, two guys in a single Philadelphia precinct — then the Ehrlich campaign robocalls are definitely DOJ material. Calling Eric Holder!
Monday, November 8, 2010
We cats well remember the ravings over at Free Republic when their heroine, the famous quitter from Alaska, burst onto the national scene. Liberals and Democrats, they cackled, were afraid of her.
Gee, Freepers, you have that exactly backwards. It's your fellow Republicans who are quaking in their boots. How else to explain John Cornyn's continued schizophrenia on the Alaska Senate race?
Having sat by phlegmatically during what was expected to be a snoozer win by Lisa Murkowski, the National Republican Senatorial Committee — which Cornyn heads — was caught flat-footed when the Palin-endorsed teabagger Joe Miller beat Murkowski in the primary. The NRSC hastily pumped money Miller's way during the general election, but the candidate's thuggish behavior and admission to lying about an ethics charge caused Republicans to start backing away from him in the last days of the campaign.
Now, all of a sudden, Cornyn and his cronies are sending out urgent e-mails to GOP donors to get back on the Miller bandwagon. "We need to get Joe the resources he needs to win the vote count. Because we need Joe to join our fight against Barack Obama."
Goodness gracious, John. You can't have it both ways, as much as you'd like to. Because while you know you can count on a re-elected Senator Murkowski to be a reliable anti-Obama vote, you're also terrified of angering the famous quitter. Tick off Palin, tick off your party's crazy base. It's that simple.
We cats PURR.
(IMAGE: From "Shrek," of course. Yes, we know, Puss was fearless, not a fraidy cat — but we just had to use this.)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
So, who was the most ridiculous Republican candidate of 2010?
We cats know that this question could take hours to answer, because the Republicans fielded a plethora of pathetic politicos this year.
Some of them — as we knew would happen — got elected. (Rand Paul, Allen West, Rick Scott, Paul LePage — OMG! They're all nuts.) But others appear to have been too crazy even for mad-at-Washington midterm voters, and have bitten the political dust.
It's from among this latter group that we will choose our winners, in terms of:
Money Spent: Meg Whitman excepted, we cats have to award this trophy to none other than Sharron Angle. Teabaggers and GOP fat cats across America shoveled $14 million dollars into the coffers of this mental case in a single financial quarter, trying desperately, desperately, desperately to unseat the uber-hated Harry Reid. "Eighty percent [of this money] came from out of state," Angle inexplicably boasted. All the pundits said the election would be a squeaker. Instead, Reid beat her by a more-than-adequate five points. Congratulations, Sharron!
Joke Factor: Is there any contest? Christine O'Donnell.
Historic Loss: Goodness gracious. We cats know that the results aren't officially in, but with "write-in" leading the Republican Senate nominee 41 percent to 34 percent, we'd say that the journalist-arresting, chronic liar scumbucket Joe Miller is toast. Not only will Lisa Murkowski be the first Senator to win as a write-in candidate since 1954, Alaska is a Republican state. Pretty embarrassing. Way to go, Joe!
P.S.: We cats welcome your nominations. Bring 'em on!
—Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), in his Election Night victory speech
(IMAGE: Shayne Hull)
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Republicans get very touchy when people accuse them of bigotry. At the same time, they're quick to hang the racist tag on organizations that empower minorities, such as the National Council of La Raza. It's the old "we'll-distract-you-while-you-catch-us-being-guilty-as-hell" ploy.
The latest case in point is a repellent political hack named Julius Henson (above), whom the Bob Ehrlich for Governor campaign hired to suppress the black vote in Michael Steele's home turf, Prince George's County, Maryland.
Yep, we cats are just coming right out and saying it: voter suppression. How else to characterize the despicable robocalls made to African-American households at 6 PM on Election Day, assuring voters that the Democratic Governor O'Malley was safely re-elected and they could "relax" and stay home?
To add insult to injury, Henson himself is, of course, African American. We cats can only guess that the Ehrlich forces believed this would give them "cover." Additionally, Henson is using the completely unbelievable explanation that the robocalls were meant to inspire blacks who were intending to vote for Ehrlich to get to the polls.
What utter nonsense. The bottom line is this: The Republicans' overall assumption — that's it's okay to systematically disenfranchise voters on the basis of their race — is disgusting, Rovian, un-American and sad.
How ironic that eight years ago, Julius Henson called Bob Ehrlich a Nazi. We'll resist the temptation to play off that epithet, and pick another one instead.
Meg Whitman, move over. There's a new whore in town.
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) has widened his lead over teabagger Keith Fimian again. Final tallies now show Connolly ahead by 968. He led by 487 on Election Night.
Gee. It seems like every time Fimian throws a tantrum and demands that election officials check again, Connolly just keeps getting more votes.
Keith, your signage may be all over the 11th Congressional District, but your ground game was clearly wanting. We cats say, give up now — or risk looking like a Sore Loserman.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Boy, were we cats happy that there was a hockey game to distract us last night! Not only that, but the broadcast was in French. Of course, the Canadiens were blanked by the Blue Jackets, but at least we got to practice phrases like mise au jeu and baton eleve.
In short, we didn't have to endure the torture in real time, and instead checked the election results this morning. Better to take all our medicine at once, you see. And we don't have to tell you it's mighty nasty medicine — although not quite as nasty as we thought it would be.
Really? Yeah, honest. To prove it, here are a few bright spots to latch onto while we uncap the Prozac.
Shooting Oneself in the Foot — In our own Congressional district, the incumbent Democratic Congressman leads his teabagger challenger by 821 votes. The Democrat has claimed victory. The teabagger — who had damaged himself with an insensitive comment about how the shot-dead Virginia Tech students should have been "packing heat" — refuses to concede. We cats think that 821 votes is more than enough. Just ask Al Franken, who won his Senate seat by about 500 fewer than that.
No Trophies for You! — Does anybody remember John Cornyn's obnoxious boast last spring? About how the GOP was gunning for President Obama's, Vice President Biden's, and Harry Reid's Senate seats? "I call them the trophy seats," Cornyn squeaked in barely controlled excitement. Well, John, hate to tell you this, but you're one for three. (Note to journalists: Digging up that Cornyn quote is called practicing institutional memory. Get the idea?)
Stuff Can Happen When You Stupidly Invoke the Supreme Being — While we're on the subject of Harry Reid, we can't help recalling how Sharron Angle loved to talk about how God had "plans" for people — especially rape victims. Gee, Sharron, is your election defeat part of God's plan, too? Please explain! (We cats do think, though, that a Republican voter in Reno summed it up best: "I've watched Sharron Angle, and she's nuts.")
Rebuke du Jour — The most delicious thing about Democrat Joe Manchin winning the late Robert Byrd's Senate seat is that John McCain and Sarah Palin both just campaigned in West Virginia for Bob Raese. Well done, Mountain State.
Big Bucks — Yes, we cats hate the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, and we have no doubt that Karl Rove helped enrich all his Republican consultant friends this election. But here's something worth thinking about: If wealthy jerks like Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and Carl Paladino can spend zillions of their own dollars in California and New York and still come up short, how much is it going to cost Republicans who want to be President to even try to compete in those big blue states in 2012?
Hyperbole — Finally, we cats are unsurprised that the punditocracy and the Republican talking heads oversold the GOP's gains in the House. Except for Charlie Cook and Nate Silver, everyone was pretty irresponsible. Not that it wasn't brutal. But once again we find ourselves wishing for reason, and moderation and thought. Wait — haven't we said that before?
UPDATE: It's Thursday night, and we cats have just heard that Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly of Virginia has widened his lead to 935 votes. (Please forgive us for linking to a news source whose third paragraph is grammatically unintelligible.) Note to teabagger Keith Fimian: Time to hang it up, dude. And maybe your fellow Republican in Illinois could do the same?
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We cats are not claiming that Keith Olbermann reads us, and responded to yesterday's post about stepping up to the civility plate. But in the wake of the Rally to Restore Sanity he's decided to suspend his "Worst Person in the World" segment.
Our first thought was, "Oh, noooooooo, we love the 'Worst Person'!" But then we took a deep breath and sucked it up. In the interest of toning it down — and perhaps to shame others — we understand that the segment will have to go. (However, we refuse to stop referring to George W. Bush as The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, because it's true. Just ask more than 100,000 dead Iraqis.)
At the same time, though, we're wondering something. Is it possible to ask for a little teensy bit more of cable news? As in, could we trade some of the snark — on all sides — for some institutional memory? Although Keith, who was a sportscaster originally, certainly practices it, it appears to be sorely missing from most of the rest of journalism. Institutional memory — particularly in the pursuit of much-needed, rational context — would be very good indeed.
In fact, we cats would be so happy to see it back that we'd be willing to suspend a segment of our own: "Lest We Furr-get." No skin off our little noses. We bloggers are tired of doing journalists' jobs for them.
So come on, vaunted members of the Fourth Estate: Are you ready to stop being lazy? Stop repeating everyone's talking points and do some real reporting for a change? Now, that would make us PURR.
Monday, November 1, 2010
We cats hosted a couple of intelligent and thoughtful out-of-town guests for the Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30. The next morning — over coffee and scrambled eggs, and with the kitchen door open to the cool Virginia air and our autumn-tinged woods — one guest said something with which we think Jon Stewart would agree.
It was this: That in these fraught and emotional times, she longed for the days in which America got its current-events information from (gesturing at the multiple newspapers scattered on the breakfast table) reliable, hard-copy news sources with stories that were solidly sourced, checked, double-checked, and carefully, intelligently edited.
Oh, and maybe the editorial page would give you an opinion on same.
But — today, our 24-hour TV news culture demands otherwise. We cats are distressed about that. When CNN debuted so many years ago, we were hopeful that it meant that we could access news content similar to our newspapers' — except that we could do it any time of day. Wrong! Yes, we could get news any time we wanted. But no, it would not be like a newspaper. Instead, it would be unsourced, untempered, sensationalistic, trivial, combative, simplistic, and (now) heavily influenced by political opinion. Somehow we do not think this is what Edward R. Murrow would have had in mind.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert may have been trying to tell us: That we must infuse some intelligence, moderation, reasonableness and thought into our round-the-clock access of news. Twenty-four-hour journalism is not only a blessing but a crucial player in a successful democracy — if it's handled right.
Of course, we don't mean "right" as in, "right wing." We mean "right" as in "intelligently sourced, edited and thoughtful." Oh, and not loud and obnoxious.
Anyone ready to step up to the plate?
We cats are thinking Rachel. We're not sure why — except that we don't really remember Jon Stewart going after her when he goes after the media screamers. Are we correct about that? In other words, is there anyone else who could claim the mantle of reasonable, thoughtful, intelligent coverage as effectively as Rachel could?
We wait for input. In the meantime, we cats PURR.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Yesterday's Rally to Restore Sanity was wonderful and awful. Wonderful because 200,000-plus people attended. Awful because 200,000-plus people attended.
The Metro came near its breaking point, food vendors were overwhelmed, there weren't enough screens and loudspeakers, and the lines for the Port-O-Potties stretched back to Rosslyn, Virginia. Clearly Jon Stewart and his "Daily Show" forces, as The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived would say, misunderestimated the crowd.
Still, even though we were in the largest sea of humanity since our last Democratic convention, we have to say that everyone there was sane — in fact, very nice. Their homemade signs were funny and inspiring. We left feeling great, that America — at least, the America that we feel a part of — is civil, intelligent, informed and clever.
Nobody was talking about bringing baseball bats to state capitals or "taking out" reporters. There was no stomping. There were just thousands and thousands and thousands of people who couldn't see or hear much of the show but who clearly agreed that violent rhetoric, punching or stepping on other folks' heads, misreading (or not reading) the Constitution and watching FOX "News" were, um, bad things.
A pity that Americans watching at home may have realized none of this. But that's a subject for another post. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: The Globe & Mail is quoting a National Parks police officer who said he thought 400,000 people had turned out for the rally. So let's just agree to say we were half a million strong, shall we? We cats PURR.
Friday, October 29, 2010
We cats are awfully glad we don't have to vote in Florida this year. What to do, what to do, in the excruciating Senate race there? Support Republican-turned-"Independent" Charlie Crist, or the admirable but fast-fading Kendrick Meek?
Goodness gracious. Charlie Crist. There he was, on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" last night — the man who only two years ago was desperately vying to be John McCain's running mate — wearing his faux-earnest face and trolling for lefty votes, talking about the people of Florida he loves so much. Ugh. We felt a hairball coming on.
Still and all — as opposed to the hard right and the far left, who demand 110 percent or nothing — those of us who live in the real world, politically, know that sometimes you have to hold your nose and make an unpalatable choice. This is one reason why the parliamentary system has some advantages over the U.S. representative system. (But we have what we have, and that's a subject for another post, anyway.)
So, here's the deal. If we still lived in Florida, we'd walk into that polling place on Tuesday and punch the ballot for Gay Charlie. Anything to keep the monstrous Marco out of the Senate.
But we PURR that we don't have to make that choice.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
We cats are planning to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity on Saturday. (Yes, they'll have a special section for feline bloggers. Please note, however, that this does NOT mean that other rally attendees should bring their pets.)
"Sanity" seems like such a lofty goal in American politics these days that we're tempted to look to other countries, and other eras, for some answers. We find ourselves thinking a lot about Canada. Not just because this month is the 40th anniversary of the October Crisis, but because our neighbors to the north often seem to engage in the kind of national conversations we Americans should have — but which we always, out of fear or laziness, manage to avoid.
Specifically, today, we in the U.S. are struggling between reason and passion. On the "reason" side, we have a cerebral man in the White House who the Beltway media insist is disconnected from his constituents because he's too intellectual and remote. On the "passion" side, we have right-wingers demanding their country back and stomping on the heads of people with whom they disagree.
So in the middle of all this comes 'The Daily Show," asking the famous Rodney King question of whether we can't all just get along.
We cats think we're all missing the point: Reason and passion are not separate from one another. In fact, to successfully govern ourselves as a nation and a society, the two must go hand in hand.
Which brings us back to Canada. One of its most influential Prime Ministers — a famously remote intellectual, in fact — was long believed to advocate reason over passion. But it turns out that for years he was misunderstood.
"This is.... what I've tried to express for years," Pierre Trudeau said. "Reason shaping, controlling passion. Not thinking without passion. [But] reason and passion together... The uniting of mind and heart. A rational person has all this in balance."
We cats aren't seeing a lot of this balance in America today. But we can dream of a better tomorrow.