Monday, November 29, 2010

We Take Exception

By Baxter

Whew. There's a big debate going on at 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

Credit Where Credit Is Due

By Zamboni

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

What We're Grateful For

By Miss Kubelik

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.

(IMAGE: DailyPets)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Too Many Turkeys Edition

By Sniffles

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

It's Only Called "Keeping America Safe" When Republicans Do It

By Baxter

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.

Not Too Taxing For The Teabaggers

By Zamboni

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

Lisa's Revenge?

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

Tidbits and Cat Treats — "Once Upon A Time" Edition

By Sniffles

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

Sore Losermen

By Baxter

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


By Zamboni

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

All You Need Is Love

By Miss Kubelik

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

A Creche From the Catholics? Just Ducky!

By Sniffles

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

Lest We Furr-get: Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Potatoe

By Baxter

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

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Exclamatory Edition

By Zamboni

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

Pussies in Boots

By Miss Kubelik

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

With Keith Olbermann Suspended, We Nominate the GOP "Worsts" of 2010

By Sniffles

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!

Quote of the Year — And Maybe the Decade

"I almost wish there were another podium here tonight, because I feel like Nancy Pelosi has been in this campaign the whole time. And Nancy ought to take a victory lap with me. And maybe President Obama as well. The disservice and disrespect that has been leveled on them has been so outrageous and so unjustified that it makes me really fear for this country. When you have two people who work every day to make life better for every American and they put up with the nonsense... [I]t's not only unjustified, it's un-American."

—Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), in his Election Night victory speech

(IMAGE: Shayne Hull)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

But Don't You Dare Call Them Racists!

By Baxter

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.

Time to Throw In the Teabag

By Zamboni

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

Some Positive Thoughts While We Lick Our Wounds

By Miss Kubelik

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

Well, At Least THIS Guy Lost.

Rich Iott (second from right) — Republican candidate for Congress, friend of John Boehner, and Nazi wannabe.

Answering the Call

By Sniffles

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

The (Possible) Gospel According to Jon

By Baxter

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.