Friday, April 30, 2010

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Total Screw-Up Edition

By Sniffles

Here are some major snafus that are commanding our attention on this gorgeous Friday afternoon in the National Capital area.

Perhaps deciding that its state had had enough of bad publicity lately, Arizona's legislature has canned its silly birth certificate bill. "Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed [President] Obama's citizenship, and his Hawaiian birth certificate has been made public," The New York Times reports. 'Nuff said.

Charlie Crist will run for the Senate as an independent, declaring, "Our political system is broken." (No, Charlie, you idiot. The system isn't broken — the Republican Party is. We cats are disappointed to see that you have no balls after all.) Meanwhile, we're waiting for someone to observe that the conveniently married Mr. Crist erred by appointing his political Rasputin, George LeMieux, to Mel Martinez's Senate seat — thereby severing the head of his political "machine" and leaving himself incapable of responding to even the slightest changes in Florida's political landscape. And now LeMieux is saying he won't support Crist in the Senate race. Tsk!

Bob McDonnell, the Confederate history guy, has once again shown his true colors by deciding to allow Virginia state troopers to refer to Jesus in public prayers. First, we cats want to know why state troopers need to be praying in public. Second, what can you expect from a governor who graduated from Regent University?

Do we all know that "BP" stands for "British Petroleum"? Just checking. Gordon Brown can comfort himself that some other of his countrymen have messed up worse than he has this week. But although we appreciate the Obama Administration's announced hold on new offshore drilling, we sure wish the President would stop "standing by" this energy source that the Republicans seem to so desperately want.

Did we mention that the Montreal Canadiens beat the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs? Wheee!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

X is for Xenophobia

By Baxter

The Republican Party sure has hopped on the let's-be-ugly bandwagon lately. First, Arizona's GOP governor signed that awful anti-immigration bill into law. Now, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Alabama is stoking fires against non-anglophone residents of his state.

We cats will pass on the issue of whether, as Tim James claims, English is actually spoken in Alabama. We just think it's interesting that he so publicly joined the GOP immigrant-bashing mob right after the approval of a law that was drafted by a hate-group attorney.

Yep, that's right. Arizona's wonderful new law was written by Kris Kobach (pictured). He's a lawyer from the "Federation of American Immigration Reform," an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center identified as a hate group back in 2007. (Gee — can Mr. Kobach find himself a middle name that starts with "K," too? It would be appropriate.)

You know, if we cats were on the other side of the aisle, we'd be concerned about this stuff. One is known by the company one keeps, and Mssrs. James and Kobach would not be our beer buddies of choice. No wonder Charlie Crist is leaving the Republican Party.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Red is Rocked

By Zamboni

We cats were briefly worried that to recognize tonight's astounding achievement by the Montreal Canadiens, we'd have to go off-topic. After all, this is not a sports blog. But then we realized we were okay.

Because as surely as the Washington Capitals choked in three periods of hockey at the Verizon Center just now, Senate Republicans finally crumbled on the Hill — after three votes defending the Wall Street thieves and vandals who almost wrecked the country.

The GOP hasn't been distinguishing itself much lately. Like the Caps, they make a lot of noise and occasionally even win a battle or two. But in the end, as we saw with financial reform, they can't keep it together. They knew that with repeated Senate votes held far into the night — a scenario promised earlier today by Harry Reid — their farcical talking point about guaranteed future bailouts just wouldn't hold up.

"Rock the red" sure sounds a little hollow — whether we're talking about guys in red jerseys or folks from red states. We cats PURR.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hey, GOP: How's That "Drill, Baby, Drill" Thingie Workin' For Ya Now?

(PHOTO: Gerald Herbert, Associated Press)

Still Bending

By Sniffles

As the Republicans have managed to stall financial reform, we cats are reflecting on how long it can take to get stuff done in our country.

And not just because the GOP is bucking the very reforms that two-thirds of Americans want. Today is also the 10th anniversary of same-sex civil unions in Vermont. Governor Howard Dean signed H.B. 847 into law on April 26, 2000.

And he received a lot of death threats for his trouble. "He wore a bullet-proof vest," says Elizabeth Birch of the Human Rights Campaign. "At public events, he was called 'faggot' and every other epithet gay people have endured." (We suspect that these days, Governor Dean has probably given a lot of helpful advice to members of Congress whose lives have been threatened over healthcare reform.)

But our point is how slowly change can come. Today, 10 years after Governor Dean signed his name to that bill, the national conversation has moved more firmly toward same-sex marriage — but still, it's legal only in five states and the District of Columbia. (California — well, California is still thinking about it.)

On the one hand, that's pretty sad. We remember how shocked a Canadian friend was when we told her that marriage equality still doesn't exist in 45 U.S. states. But on the other hand, it's fairly speedy. American women didn't get the vote until 133 years after the Constitution was written. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 came nearly a full century after the end of the Civil War. So let's all remember the elegant words of Dr. King: "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."

Happy anniversary, Vermont. And thanks, Governor Dean.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Head-Scratching Edition

By Baxter

We cats are very fond of head scratches, particularly behind the ears. But just at the moment, we're scratching thanks to these various mind-boggling samplings from the news. Anybody with explanations should please speak up.

So the Dow not only closed strongly today but has just finished an eight-week "up" streak that's the longest in six years. But the teabaggers say President Obama's a socialist? Hm. Seems to us that the folks on Wall Street are doing quite well under the Debs Administration. (P.S. Do the teabaggers know who Eugene V. Debs was? We doubt it.)

Also, new-home sales skyrocketed last month. But the teabaggers — who are financially better-off than your average American — say the economy's in the toilet. Hm, again.

The bigwigs in the Republican Party of Florida are meeting behind closed doors — in a luxury hotel in Tallahassee, mind you — to try to contain the damage from their recent spending-spree scandals. Their former party chair, Jim Greer, charged $500,000 to his RPOF credit card. Right-wing darling Marco Rubio racked up a mere $100,000. There's just one thing we cats don't understand: Why don't the allegedly fiscally prudent teabaggers get all up in arms about stories like this?

And finally, while we're on the subject of the Sunshine State GOP, can they really enforce a "loyalty oath" if Charlie Crist goes independent? Brrrrr. And they call President Obama a Nazi! We cats agree with Will Rogers — maybe it's better for a political party not to be too organized.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Charlie's Balls

By Zamboni

Okay, this is our last post on Charlie Crist for awhile... at least, until he does something that makes us post again.

We cats were just speculating on whether the last several weeks have humiliated Charlie enough to make him grow a set of — how do you say it? — cojones.

Because if so, and if he chooses to run for the Senate as an Independent come April 30, we know what the newly Ballsy Charlie should say:

"I'm being run out of the Republican Party because I accepted badly needed stimulus money for my state. I did it for Florida's future and for all my constituents. Our economy was suffering. And now that it's improving, I'm pleased to say that I did the right thing.

"Sadly, this is no longer good enough for the extremists who have hijacked the GOP. For them, and for the national party leaders who are afraid to repudiate them, it is not a question of doing the 'right thing,' but the 'right-wing thing.' If you refuse to toe their line — if you take stimulus money or, say, veto a bill that would harm Florida's teachers — well, then you're just not pure enough to be a Republican any more.

"I can remember a time when we could count on the two parties, working together, to govern effectively. But thanks to the intransigence of the Republicans, those days are gone. I run for Senate now as an Independent because we need to send reasonable, rational people to Washington again. Only then can we face our serious issues together and get something done."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Charlie's Dance

By Sniffles

Ever heard of Bill McCollum? Your answer may be yes — if you recall that sorry-ass group of GOP lamebrains who decided that Bill Clinton's sex life was a high crime and misdemeanor. McCollum was "an impeachment manager" when he was a member of Congress, and since then, has run for just about every office in Florida.

Right now, he's the state's attorney general. In fact, you may know that he's suing the federal government to stop health care reform. At the same time, he's in the race to succeed Charlie Crist as Governor on the Republican side.

Since McCollum is charisma-challenged — to us, he kind of looks like an even goofier Pa Walton — and, as his suit against the government is pretty fringe-y and dumb, we cats wonder if Charlie Crist is doing some behind-the-scenes tap dancing to get his party to force McCollum to drop his gubernatorial bid. This dawned on us when we read today's New York Times article on the hard choices facing Gay Charlie come April 30.

See, if the GOP bailed on McCollum, they'd give Crist a face-saving way to get back in that race and cede the Senate contest to the teabaggers' darling, Marco Rubio. Charlie could argue that this would keep both the Governor's mansion and Mel Martinez's Senate seat in the Republican column.

Our theory doesn't account for the gubernatorial candidate and right-wing nut Paula Dockery (whose website shows that she doesn't know the difference between "principle" and "principal"). And it doesn't account for the fact that Charlie's beard, oops, we mean wife, is alleged to dislike Tallahassee and want outta there. But we like it nevertheless.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dear Charlie Crist: We Told You So

By Baxter

Oh, goodness. We cats have been watching with great interest the latest political developments in Florida. Having just left that crazy state to live in another one — remember, our Governor now is Bob "Confederate History Month" McDonnell — it's fascinating to watch the Florida Republican Party tie itself up in knots.

It appears that Charlie Crist, who once was considered by everyone in the known universe as the next Senator from the Sunshine State, now "cannot win" and is pulling his ads off T.V. Will he run as an Independent instead? Although we cats remember warning Charlie that he surely topped the teabaggers' hit list, we never really thought we'd see the day. But if he's going to do it, he's got to decide by April 30.

The fact that this Crist conundrum is even a topic of conversation shows how captive of the nutbags the GOP has become.

Think of it: A man who was known as "Chain Gang Charlie" is too far to the left for his party. Incredible.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

By Zamboni

We cats are not angry. Which makes us different from the rest of America — or at least, from the teabaggers, who are furious and oh, by the way, we know why.

There could be no more compelling argument for the teabaggers-as-racists theory than a quick review of the headlines today. While the world is nowhere near perfect and never will be, we cats see several reasons for rational people to be pleased.

We just nailed a couple of major Al Qaeda bad guys in Iraq — just the kind of thing that the right-wingers used to crow about when they were in charge. (Quick reminder: There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until George W. Bush needlessly invaded the country in 2003.)

The rest of the world likes us again.

GM's paying back $4.7 billion to American taxpayers ahead of schedule.

And that's just to mention a few. For more post-January-2009 developments to feel good about, click here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We're Not Managing This Very Well...

By Sniffles

As we peruse the Sunday headlines, we cats are struck by the number of matters that are spinning out of control but shouldn't be. (NOTE: The no-shows at the Polish President's funeral don't count. Nobody controls a volcano.)

Stephen Harper's clumsy handling of the Helena Guergis affair is stretching, unnecessarily, into its second week. Which has made his Conservative Party plummet in the polls. P.S.: Now, the Ethics Commissioner must investigate new allegations about Palin — oops, we mean Guergis, and her hapless husband.

The repercussions from Virginia Governor McDonnell's self-inflicted boo-boo, "Confederate History Month," won't go away, either. This is partly thanks to the stupidity of Haley Barbour and partly thanks to teabaggers who claim they never called John Lewis the n-word.

But today's prize-winner has to be Pope Panzer — otherwise known as Benedict XVI — who can't even seem to shake his organization's sex-abuse scandal on a harmless overseas trip. (Notice that we cats said "organization," and not "church." No real church would foment, condone and cover up such repugnant sins.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nous Allons Partir Pour Le Week-end

But we'll be back in a few days. We'll try to post when we can — especially if Stephen Harper decides to come clean on Helena Guergis!

The GOP That Used to Be

By Baxter

Once during the Bush-Cheney years, on a visit to The Greenbrier (in its pre-casino days, but that's a topic for another post), we cats saw a bumper sticker in the hotel's parking lot that said, "I never thought I'd miss Nixon."

We thought of that sticker this morning, when we read the obituary of Benjamin L. Hooks, former chair of the N.A.A.C.P. The obit reminded us that the late civil rights leader had been appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by — you guessed it, Dick Nixon.

It's one of a small number of actions that Nixon took that were acceptable, even admirable. (Creating the EPA and signing the Clean Water and Air Acts were others.) And it's struck us that were Nixon alive today and trying to appoint Mr. Hooks to something, the current Republican Party simply wouldn't stand for it.

Why not? Well, just check out today's profile in The New York Times of the teabaggers. They are predominantly white, male and — Republican. Although they are wealthier than most Americans, they think the economy is worse than their fellow citizens do. And more than half of them think that too much attention has been paid to the problems of African Americans.

So we doubt that the teabaggers would look favorably upon any Nixonian gesture toward Mr. Hooks. After all, these are the people who shouted the N-word at John Lewis a few weeks ago.

But the so-called leaders of the Republican Party refuse to repudiate them. Others, most notably the famous quitter from Alaska and her nutty friend from Minnesota, actually encourage them to dangerous levels. We wonder what has to happen before people like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell say to these crazies, enough is enough.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More Palin Syndrome

By Zamboni

Wow! Helena Guergis wears her hair up, too. What's next, the eyeglasses? Also, while we haven't heard the former minister speak, we wonder if she can string a coherent sentence together.

As for the possible criminal charges against Guergis, the Harper government is still mum — which is outrageous, by the way. But rumors (or, as they say in Canada, rumours) are swirling that illegal drugs are involved.

We cats would like to caution Stephen Harper that he can't sit on this forever. Oh, and take a moment to observe that Wasilla is the meth capital of Alaska.

UPDATE: Goodness gracious, the resemblance is complete. We cats have learned that the ever-arrogant Ms. Guergis is a former beauty queen.

Interesting how right-wing politicians use physically attractive but demonstrably incompetent women to further their anti-women's-rights (and anti-human-rights) agendas — both above the 49th parallel and below it.

Palin Syndrome

By Sniffles

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his minority Tory government are afflicted with a terrible south-of-the-49th-parallel disease.

That is, they are saddled with a female "star" whose behavior has ranged from ethically suspect to wildly immature to downright dangerous. The difference is that she's finally crossed a line. Helena Guergis, the minister of state for the status of women, has been sacked by Harper and booted out of the cabinet and Conservative caucus.

Way, way too late for a lot of people's tastes. But more about that later.

Ms. Guergis reminds us cats of Sarah Palin in multiple ways. She's good-looking, she has a husband who's been in a bit of hot water himself, and she was placed by a party leader who should have known better in a position for which she was not qualified. She also appears to carry a supreme, yet deeply unearned, sense of entitlement. Why else would she have thrown a tantrum at the Charlottetown, P.E.I. airport when she showed up late for a flight and was barred from blasting through security?

"I'm going to be stuck in this shithole because of you," she screamed at the airport employees — a statement which a lot of Prince Edward Islanders took kind of personally.

But it wasn't the tantrum that caused Ms. Guergis to ultimately lose her job. Harper stepped in only after an unidentified "third party" came forward with allegations about something, but we don't know what. The government declines to give details — but they're apparently sufficient to sic the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on her.

Well, we cats say, enough. George W. Bush's good friend Stephen Harper is a tad slow to react. In our view, the prime minister had reason to rein in Guergis long before she started swearing at airport security folks. Back in January 2008, she endangered then-Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion by revealing the details of a trip Mr. Dion and current leader Michael Ignatieff made to Afghanistan. The security breach was laughed off by Harper and his government.

Hmmm: Good-looking right-wing female superstar proves herself a few Mooseheads short of a six-pack — for which she is then inexcusably excused?

Kind of reminds us of somebody. We cats HISS.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lest We Furr-get: Marco Rubio and the 2008 Presidential Election

By Baxter

Is there now any doubt that the teabaggers are idiots? Or are they just on the same let's-rewrite-history train that the Republicans are? We cats suspect both.

That's because Republican Senate candidate and teabagger darling Marco Rubio came out with a simply extraordinary statement the other day. He told The Los Angeles Times, "I think the folks in charge of government have overreached... They quite frankly misinterpreted what they thought was a mandate."

Excuse us? Where was this kid in November 2008? Unlike the eternally suspect George W. Bush, Barack Obama is a decisively elected President of the United States. His 9,124,522 popular-vote victory margin gave him the largest-ever victory by a non-incumbent Presidential candidate. More than 62 million Americans voted for him in what the United Press International called a "blowout." President Obama earned 365 electoral votes, including 27 from Mr. Rubio's home state.

Sounds like a mandate to us!

So we cats HISS at the right-wingers. Don't try telling us that Americans didn't vote for the Obama agenda in 2008.

As for Little Marco? You, young man, must stay after school — and miss recess, too.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy "Get Over It" Day!

General Robert E. Lee surrenders his army to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Now it's YOUR Turn to "Get Over It"

By Zamboni

As newly minted Virginia residents, we cats couldn't help noticing that the Republican governor of the Commonwealth has chosen to re-institute the state's silly and pointless "Confederate History Month."

Our first reaction? What an interesting way to commemorate today's anniversary of the South's defeat at the battle of Shiloh.

But seriously, folks. Our two previous governors, who happened to be Democrats, recognized how unnecessarily divisive such a proclamation was, and they refused to make it. Now, along comes Bob McDonnell, a right-winger who campaigned as a moderate, to stir the pot all over again.

The melting pot, that is. We cats find it hard to believe that the diverse population of Northern Virginia would have much affinity for Confederate battle flags and songs about Johnny Reb. But even over and above that, we're reminded of the sentiment that supporters of George W. Bush (see the "60 Minutes" clip of Antonin Scalia above) hurled at us Gore voters after the stolen election of 2000.

So, in that spirit, we say to Bob McDonnell and the people to whom he's pandering: Get over it. The Civil War was 150 years ago. And you lost.

UPDATE: Well, after spending most of the day defending himself, that ridiculous McDonnell man down in Richmond has had to say he's sorry. Unfortunately, his language — "I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed" — kinda sorta borders on "Gee, you're the one with the problem, not me." But, what the hey. One thing's for sure: This is the most amazing example of a needlessly self-inflicted Republican wound in Virginia since George Allen's "macaca" moment.

New Feature: "Lest We Furr-get"

By Sniffles

We cats are consistently dismayed by the media's lack of an institutional memory. We don't understand from whence it springs, but it seems we can't get through a single week these days without Republicans accusing President Obama of something of which they themselves were guilty. We wait in vain for the press to call them on it.

So we've decided not to wait any longer: Welcome to "Lest We Furr-get," a new feature on My Cats Are Democrats. Its purpose: To highlight Republican hypocrisy that too often is given a pass. Here's our first installment.

Back during February's record snowfall, right-wing maniac Senator James Inhofe's grandchildren built an igloo on the National Mall to mock climate change. They dubbed it "Al Gore's new home." Apparently they believed that the blizzards rendered the entire notion of global warming moot.

Well, guess what. Today in the Washington area it's 91 degrees — about 20 degrees higher than normal for early spring. Yet we don't see any Inhofe progeny hustling to the microphones to take back their silly rudeness — nor do we see anyone in the press asking why not. Where's the global-warming-is-bunk crowd now that it feels like August in April?

We're not saying that today's high temperatures are proof of climate change — we believe the scientific evidence presented by President Gore. But once again, Republican wingnuts have tossed their grenades and run away like the cowards they are. And a mere two months later, no one holds them to task for their hypocrisy.

We cats HISS.

(IMAGE: From "8 Ball Bunny," Warner Bros., 1950. Is the little penguin crying ice cubes because he knows the planet's in trouble?)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wingnuts: Not Exactly Constitutional Scholars

By Baxter

We cats are idly curious: How many right-wing maniacs think the U.S. census is un-American?

We know of one. He's an overweight, overindulged Republican fool named Erick Erickson, and he's come mighty close to inciting violence against census workers.

"What gives the Commerce Department the right to ask me how often I flush my toilet? Or about going to work?" the pudgy Mr. Erickson recently fulminated. "I'm not filling out this form. I dare them to try and come throw me in jail." He then went on to describe how much he'd relish waving a shotgun at any census taker who came to his door (which happens to be in that erudite center of culture and sophistication, Macon, Georgia).

We have news for Fat Erick. Although we're not aware that it asks about flushing toilets or commuting habits, the census is authorized by the Constitution of the United States, which is about as American a document as we know. (Of course, it originally only mandated counting slaves as three-fifths of a person — an appalling circumstance rectified later by the Fourteenth Amendment).

Unfortunately, however, we fear there is no hope of rectifying the aforementioned Rotund Republican. Karl Rove, want to give it a try?

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Easter Monday Edition

By Zamboni

Personally, we cats would rather eat deviled eggs than roll Easter ones. But whatever your pleasure, here are a few thoughts that are knocking around in our heads this afternoon.

Nearly every day, John McCain proves himself perennially unfit to be President. Of course, he instantly disqualified himself last year, by picking an ignorant fool to stand a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the Oval Office. Now, running scared in his Arizona Senate primary and trying to appeal to the mouth-foaming Republican base, he claims he's not a maverick after all. Liar, liar, pants on you-know-what.

It's beyond ironic that Rush Limbaugh would accuse President Obama of "character assassination" when the right-wing, Limbaugh-loving mob that's taken over the Republican Party — and which GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are too scared to criticize — have called the President every name in the book, from "socialist" to "Communist" to "Nazi." Of course, none of them knows what any of these labels mean.

Two more reasons not to give a crap about Tiger Woods, even though he's named after a cat: 1) He hired that little snot-nosed Bushie, Ari Fleischer, to rehab his image, and 2) He's playing at Augusta, which discriminates against women. We cats dump our dirty litter box in Woods' golf bag.

Finally, we cats PURR at White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, for the best Michael Steele one-liner so far.

UPDATE: There's a big cat fight! over at the Republican National Committee tonight. Fun!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Motley Crew

By Sniffles

We cats have noticed a trend in the coverage of the RNC's recent travails: that it's an alleged hiccup in what's anticipated to be a good off-year election for the GOP.

You know, we're the first to admit that we're biased, but we're not so sure about that. A whole lot can happen between now and November 2. Witness today's jobs report, for example.

In the meantime, it's instructive to think about what kind of Republican would be coming to Congress should the Democrats suffer losses in the midterms.

For example, look no further than the current members of the Senate GOP caucus. You rarely will find a sorrier collection of twits.

  • One has posed nude for a women's magazine.
  • One has dementia.
  • One is an adulterer and multiple-ethics -violator who tried to buy the silence of his paramour and her spouse.
  • One is a Christian-family-values crusader with a penchant for D.C. hookers.
  • One is a flip-flopper who said she'd resign and then didn't.
  • One cravenly endorsed an absurd lie by the famous quitter from Alaska, that healthcare reform would bring us death panels.
  • One was appointed to his office by the number-one RINO in the eyes of the GOP base and the teabaggers.
  • Two represent a state with a microscopic population — yet they seek to impose their wingnut policies on a nation of 330 million.

We're sure we've missed some. After all, the boys from Oklahoma probably merit a post of their own. But this short list leaves us cats at a loss as to why the Republicans should be allowed to increase their numbers in the Senate — let alone run it.