Friday, April 29, 2011


By Miss Kubleik

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had to miss today's Royal Wedding because of next week's election, and we cats couldn't be more pleased.

Why? Because the wedding apparently was brilliant, and the election — well, the election may be less than Mr. "Pillsbury Doughboy" Harper had hoped. The New Democratic Party has surged to within five points of the anemic minority-government Conservatives.

So, we cats say to Canadian Liberals: If you can afford to vote for an NDP member in your parliamentary riding, please do so. Prove that Stephen Harper's Bushian brand of hostile, punitive conservative government is not the model for the world.

If you do this, we cats will PURR.

UPDATE: Ugh. You Liberal voters in Ontario apparently read us wrong. You were supposed to vote for the NDP, not the Tories, you goofs. So the Conservatives finally have their majority. Let's hope that their more looney-tune right-wing policies are blocked by a robust opposition. It's up to you, Jack.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Is This Man Smiling?

By Zamboni

We cats think we know. Already it's starting to dawn on folks that rope-a-dope works.

Meanwhile, we have a few lingering questions from yesterday's events.

Since President Obama had to send his personal lawyer to Hawaii to pick up the long-form birth certificate, shouldn't taxpayers be reimbursed for that trip? We cats suggest sending the bill to A) Orly Taitz, B) Franklin Graham, C) Mr. Triple Combover, or D) the Republican National Committee — since GOP leaders were too frightened of their crazy-ass base to repudiate them.

So how will nutcase Jerome Corsi deal with the fact that the rug has been pulled out from under his silly new book? We cats urge all sane, clear-thinking Americans to complain to Amazon and to any local bookstore that carries the thing.

We cats send big PURRS in the direction of CBS's Bob Schieffer, who last night spoke the obvious truth — that birtherism is racism — and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, who tossed the execrable Ms. Taitz off his show.

Finally, as for the ridiculous Ivy League bit, we cats have these questions for Mr. Triple Combover:
  • How come you never asked how George W. Bush got into Yale?
  • How come you've never demanded to see Bush's transcripts? (Bush, a known embellisher, always said he got by with Gentlemanly C's. How bad were his grades, really?)
  • How come you've never demanded to see Bush's National Guard discharge papers?
  • How come you've never asked to see Cheney's Vietnam War deferment papers?
  • How come you've never demanded to see court papers on Laura Bush's vehicular homicide?
  • How come you've never demanded to see SEC filings on Bush's failed oil ventures?
  • How come you've never demanded to know how Bush parlayed a tiny investment in the Texas Rangers into a huge windfall?
Is all this because President Obama is half-black — and George W. Bush is all silver spoon? As we were saying, we cats think we know.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Long-Form Birth Certificate Edition

By Sniffles

We cats had to get past our initial disgust this morning that a decisively elected mixed-race President of the United States would need to make a special request to the state of Hawaii to release his long-form birth certificate. After all, no white man would be subjected to such nonsense.

But then we actually saw what the President said in the White House briefing room this morning, and we think it's all simply grand. This was not the demeanor of someone who'd been hounded into anything.

In fact, it was quite the opposite. Obama was cool and confident and smiling, knowing that he'd had the last laugh.

How so? Let us cats count the ways.

Releasing the long-form birth certificate opens doors to a ton of tits for tat. Where are the Republicans' birth certificates? Was Sarah Palin really born in Idaho, not Alaska? Who is Trig Palin's father? Is Mitt Romney's first name really Willard? And who is the Republican who the folks at Free Republic aver has a "birther" problem?

By allowing mountebank Donald Trump to take some sort of silly "victory lap" today, it keeps Trump right where he is — helpfully sucking up all the oxygen in the Republican room. (We cats have even seen Freeper comments resenting Mr. Triple Combover for taking all the birther glory after years of their "hard work.")

It just vindicated Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, whom we know the nutjobs are already really mad at.

It makes us wonder whether those disingenuous Republicans in all those other red states will plow ahead with their own birther bills. After all, they swore their legislation had nothing to do with Obama. (Um-hmmnmmmmmm...)

By stepping on Ben Bernanke's first-ever press conference today, it messes up Ron Paul, who — inexplicably — is thinking of running for President again, and whose entire campaign is based on the crazy idea of abolishing the Fed. Doubtless Rand's daddy was planning to get some free media by blasting Bernanke from here to kingdom come. Oh. well!

But above all, it gave us something priceless: President Obama's reference to "sideshows and carnival barkers." Zing! The President paused after that, and you could hear a gasp from the reporters in the briefing room. It was a gorgeous moment, and you had the feeling that he'd been waiting years to deliver it.

You know what? We cats think this long-form birth certificate release could be the ultimate example of Obama rope-a-dope. And to all the idiot "birthers" and the Republicans who refused to repudiate them, we just say: You, ladies and gentlemen, are the dopes.

The Only Grownup in the Room

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

25 For 67

We cats first saw this Annakin Slayd video only just today. Although we enjoyed it, we had no intention of sharing it since we don't write a sports blog.

But we changed our minds, for two reasons: A) The Canadiens beat Boston tonight to force Game 7 tomorrow. B) We love the homemade sign that says, "Gary Bettman is the George Bush of the NHL." Don't blink, or you'll miss it.

UPDATE: Well, Montreal lost Game 7, alas. But we still like this video.

Ripple Effect?

By Baxter

Americans are so self-absorbed that it's likely they've missed the real political earthquake of the week. No, we cats aren't talking about the potential Republican 2012 candidates who are A) making fools of themselves, and B) dropping like flies. It's the election up in Canada.

What started out as semi-yawner as to whether Bush knockoff Stephen Harper and his Conservatives could win a majority morphed into a horse race with the Liberals advancing to just six points back. But today, a mere week before election day, the Liberals have changed places with the New Democratic Party. It's the NDP that now sits six points behind the Tories, who are back down to 33 percent.

Tempted to ask, "So?"

If you are, we cats must report that pollsters are saying they've never seen a surge like the NDP's before. If we were Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal Party leader, we would not be pleased. But Stephen Harper shouldn't rest easy, either. Because if, as usual, the Conservatives can't crack 40 percent, the New Democrats and the Liberals together would win the most seats in Parliament. Which means we could be looking at an NDP-led coalition government, making party leader Jack Layton (see above) Prime Minister.

Okay, we admit it — this would make us cats PURR. Not only would the ever-unappealing Stephen Harper be out of 24 Sussex Drive, but Canada would be in the hands of a party that's more liberal than the Liberals.

How has this happened? We cats have several thoughts. Canadian voters are much more fungible than their polarized counterparts in the U.S. We don't think they're particularly happy with Harper, but in the last few years have not appeared willing to forgive the Liberals for their sponsorship scandal (or for their uninspiring leaders). Suddenly — campaigning hard despite recent hip surgery — Jack Layton has become a viable alternative. After five years of a harshly conservative government presiding over a moderate-to-liberal electorate, perhaps Canadians are willing to try the left again.

The only question in our furry little minds is whether any events south of the border have influenced this political swing. The father of Canada's national health care system was a New Democrat: Tommy Douglas. Today's NDP health care platform calls for further improvements and a stronger federal role. Have Republican attacks on Medicare and health care reform in the U.S. had any effect on Canadian thinking? In short, has Paul Ryan helped Jack?

(Well, we said we were self-absorbed.)


Monday, April 25, 2011

One Less Clown At The Clown Convention

By Miss Kubelik

Wow! The uber-pathetic Republican Presidential field for 2012 just narrowed by one!

Seriously, it narrowed a lot. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour throws a gigantic shadow, and we cats don't mean that metaphorically. If Fat Mike Huckabee drops out next, look out.

Meanwhile, yes — Haley Barbour won't run, and the GOP is in turmoil. We cats have a few fun theories as to why this particular Republican cartoon character looked at the 2012 Presidential landscape and said, "Nein!" To wit:
  • Forget the reluctant wife. Is there a gay son that Barbour wanted to keep out of the spotlight? (We cats are assuming that Sterling Barbour is gay based on his e-mail about the unwanted scrutiny his dad's campaign would bring.)
  • Or, maybe ex-lobbyist Barbour decided, in the end, that he couldn't bring himself to do the financial disclosure statement thing. (Hello, Donald Trump!)
  • Maybe Barbour feared the coverage Mississippi would get as last-in-the-nation in education, median family income and "best states to live in," and first-in-the-nation in obesity — not to mention all the federal dollars the state receives.
  • Or maybe fellow GOP Governor Mitch Daniels told him he was going to run, and Barbour deferred to him. (Least likely, we cats think — although the lazy hordes of the chattering class may stampede to Daniels next.)
Bottom line? Another day, another headline — and more time out of the spotlight for whoever the eventual sorry-ass Republican nominee will be. Oh, well!

The High Price of Hate

By Zamboni

We cats are always sad to admit that folks often need an economic incentive to do the right thing. But, what the heck.

The Atlanta-based law firm of King & Spalding, hired by John Boehner to defend the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act," has changed its mind. Of course, the King & Spalding attorney who had been anointed to lead the defense, Paul Clement, has declared his allegiance to DOMA and has left the firm in a mincing huff. (But since Clement was a solicitor general for the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, we can't say we're surprised.)

Nevertheless, we cats are thrilled. First, the news that King & Spalding was hired in the first place made us want to hack up a hairball. After all, this is a law firm with a lot of ties to one of our admired Presidents and Nobel Peace Prize winners, Jimmy Carter. (It sent Griffin Bell to Washington as Attorney General.) So we found it unseemly that folks with Carter associations would agree to defend institutionalized discrimination.

But perhaps more important, King & Spalding may have decided that the literal price of defending DOMA was just too high to pay.

Yes, there clearly must have been some vociferous pushback — from partners, clients, the gay community (both in Atlanta and nationwide) — and from fair-minded, clear-thinking people and cats across America. But the money guys at King & Spalding must have wondered what kind of reception they'd receive at Ivy League recruitment fairs this spring. (No, they'd probably not get much grief at Dartmouth. But at Harvard? Yale? Penn? Michigan? Hm!)

The arc of history just bent a little tiny bit more toward justice today. We cats PURR.

(PHOTO: Paul Clement. We cats know nuzzink, we say nuzzink.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Somebody Ask Tim Pawlenty About This, Please

By Sniffles

Isn't it funny how Republicans are surprised at the pushback they've received at their town hall meetings? Voters have squawked at them about the Ryan budget, the GOP's insatiable desire to eradicate the social safety net, the destruction of Medicare, and more. Visions of 2005 and the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived's rapidly diminishing "political capital" are dancing in our heads.

To these startled Republicans, we cats can only quote an Easter-appropriate phrase: You reap what you sow, fellas. (It's in the Bible. Look it up.)

Seriously, though, it's outrageous that Ryan and his partners in crime think they should not be held accountable for trying to ruin Americans' lives. On that note, we cats wish that journalists would be a little more aggressive in pursuing hypocrisy and mendacity in all its forms.

For example, the other day, the Republican speaker of the Minnesota House egregiously — and erroneously — cited the right to vote as a "privilege." After someone apparently informed this fool of his mistake, he frantically tried to take it back.

We cats think that ex-Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is flirting with a run for the 2012 Republican nomination, should be asked about this at every stop he makes on the campaign trail. Why not? The House speaker idiot is from his party, and from his state. Make Pawlenty disavow it until he's blue in the face!

It's a problem. Republicans are rarely made to disavow. Even when they say and do scary, un-American things. We cats HISS.

This Is Either "He Is Risen," or "Rub My Tummy"

We're not sure which. Oh, well, happy bunny day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Good Fringe-y Friday Edition

By Baxter

On the day that Jesus died, we cats are focusing on the Republicans' obsession with President Obama's birth. Goodness gracious, they're so obsessed, you'd think they believe the President is the Second Coming. How to explain this rampant nuttiness?

Well, our first answer is that the Republican Party is so rudderless, so completely bereft of leadership going into 2012, that the crazies have taken over. Indeed, it seems that no one in the GOP side is excited about their Presidential prospects. There's no authority figure around to tell them to shut up and sit down. Therefore, birtherism flourishes.

But we agree with The Daily Beast that the birtherism phenomenon is not a good thing for the GOP. Like all Democrats and most Independents, we cats find the fact that a decisively elected mixed-race President is subject to suspicion and prejudice this late in his term unattractive, repellent and, frankly, embarrassing. This has never happened before, because A) all our other Presidents were white guys, and B) a major political party has never been captured by extremists to the extent that the Republican Party has been today.

Still and all, there's some fun to be had with this. Namely, throwing it right back in the Republicans' faces. Here are a few examples.

Take Newt Gingrich. Although he says he believes the truth — that President Obama was born in Hawaii — Gingrich still thinks that birther conspiracies are worthy of discussion. "Anything is a fair question in this society," he opined. Oh, really? Well, then, Mr. G! Shall we, therefore, discuss your 1) adultery? 2) gay sister? 3) lack of military service? 4) finances? We cats are eagerly awaiting your responses on these extremely pressing topics.

Or take the Republican Presidential field as a whole — such as it is. The birther thing is roiling them. How will it all play out in the Presidential primaries? For instance, Jon Huntsman accepted President Obama's appointment to be ambassador to China. Does that mean that Ambassador Huntsman has officially repudiated the birther position, since agreeing to join the Administration necessarily confers an acknowledgment of Mr. Obama's Presidential legitimacy? We cats await the answer with interest.

Finally, we end with the words of conservative commentator Michael Medved who, like other worried Republicans, is weighing in on the political effects of birtherism.

"It makes us look weird," he said. "It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled and not suitable for civilized company." Well, Mr. Medved — we cats hate to tell you, but your entire political party is looking, um, awfully that way.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

He's Just a Dandy-Lion

By Miss Kubelik

So Nevada Republican John Ensign suddenly resigns from the Senate — after having already said he wouldn't run for re-election next year?

Speculation is rampant. Either Ensign wants to avoid a decision by the Senate Ethics Committee — or the Republicans want Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to appoint GOP Congressman Dean Heller to replace Ensign, thus giving Heller, who already said he'd leave Congress to run for the seat, the advantage of incumbency.

Or perhaps this is the Republican establishment's sneaky way of screwing over Sharron Angle, who announced that she'll run for Heller's seat. But if Heller moves to the Senate now and the Governor appoints a mainstream Republican to represent the 2nd District — well, there's that old incumbency advantage again. (Freepers, are you listening?)

Whatever is going on behind the scenes, one's thing's for sure: For Ensign to release his resignation statement at the close of business on Good Friday eve — on the cusp of a long weekend and when Congress is out of session— is the height of cowardice. In the words of Lenny Dykstra, we cats call BS on that.

UPDATE: We cats stand corrected. Nevada has a 2003 law, never yet put to actual use, that calls for a special election for the House seat. It's unclear whether it will involve a party nomination process and, therefore, whether Angle will benefit or not. We'll keep you posted.

Dear Michele Bachmann, The Freepers Hate You Now

By Zamboni

We cats know. We've been pretty lazy this week, relying on the right-wing maniacs over at Free Republic to write our posts for us. But they're so entertaining — and besides, it's spring break.

Well, okay. We promise. Here's our last one for awhile. We just couldn't resist checking out the umbrage once teabagger darling Michele Bachmann told George Stephanopoulos, who presented her with a copy of the President's birth certificate, that the "birther" issue was over and done with.

Michele, as far as the Freepers are concerned, so are you. Read on.

"She officially made my ‘weasel’ list and won’t be acceptable to me as a candidate for President."

"Michele Bachmann always has struck me as a good looking lightweight. Please move on from her."

"She never was relevant. She had poll numbers in what? Single digits? Forget her."

"Can't believe she caved to that little [CENSORED]!"

"That was a quick flip-flop, wtf?"

"Sorry, Michelle [sic], you aren’t smart enough to be president."

"Her performance this morning made her look like a typical, politically correct politician, and like we both know, this isn’t the first time."

"Looks like Michele Bachmann is going after the liberal vote and the RINO vote. Good luck with that Michele, you just lost the consevative vote, later."

"Her presidential aspirations are over."

"Bachmann for pres? NO WAY!"

That's it. That's all we cats can do. The Freepers raged on for 327+ comments, eventually degenerating into attacks on one another over Obama-birth minutiae. Time for a nap.

Memo to Marilyn

George Carlin once had a great line about people who are against abortion: That he wouldn't want to f--- them anyway.

In somewhat that same vein, we cats have a little advice for Orange County Republican racist Marilyn Davenport: It's not wise to make fun of other people when you look like this.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brewer Bounces Birther Bill. Freepers Fume.

By Sniffles

Okay, we cats just want to say for the record that we're still not going to any meetings or conventions in Arizona any time soon. But yesterday Governor Jan Brewer vetoed two disgusting teabagger bills. So maybe we'll stop regretting that charming Christmas Night we spent drinking in Fredonia so long ago.

Brewer tossed a bill that would have allowed guns on college campuses, and vetoed the teabag-fave "birther bill," which its sponsors swear, up and down, has nothing to do with President Obama.

“I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for president of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their ‘early baptismal or circumcision certificates,'" Brewer said. (We cats wonder: What would a Jewish woman submit?)

Well, at any rate, Jan Brewer isn't the most popular person over at Free Republic right now. We cats once again have performed the vital public service of wading through the filth for the choicest remarks. Here's a small sampling:

"She is the idiot I always believed her to be."

"I want to vomit! Who would have thought that Jan Brewer was nothing but a weak Janet Napolitano wannabe. What the hell is wrong with this country?"

"She's been talking to Karl Rove."

"Remember Jan Brewer WAS the Arizona Secretary of State for the 2008 Presidential election. SHE validated the usurper on Arizona’s ballot. She is implicated in the cover up."

"Somebody got to her. That leaves Jindal (LA). IF the LA legislature passes their bill and he doesn’t sign it, we know all bets are off and the nation will be gone in 4-10 years."

"Can a 50-year-old woman (or however old she is) be as stupid as a 7th-grade girl in heat? What kind of morons is she listening to anyway?"

"Another back room deal... another high-priced escort."

Goodness gracious, these people are vicious. (And we cats only call her Governor Melty-Face!) Jan, we think you'd better watch your back. Except maybe for this commenter, who we're sure will be hounded from the Freeper site forthwith:

"You all are just ignorant dolts. To claim that he wasn’t born in the USA with zero evidence of that fact. You all dismiss all the evidence that he was in fact born in Hawaii. Stupid fools. All of you."

(PHOTO: Governor Brewer greets the President as he arrives at the January Tucson memorial. The Freepers see this picture as more evidence of her complicity in the evil Obama conspiracy.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

And These Are the People John Boehner Thinks He Can Control

By Baxter

Our racist friends over at Free Republic are just having a baby over reports that Governor Melty-Face in Arizona is thinking about vetoing the "birther bill." (A friend once mentioned to us that she thought Jan Brewer looked like the Nazis whose faces melted at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. We agree.)

But, we digress. This "birther" legislation, of course, would be the notorious bill recently passed by the Arizona House and Senate, mandating that candidates for President provide proof of citizenship.

Separate out the racism behind the measure — and all the emotion that routinely accompanies teabagger railings — and you have a rather cut-and-dried (accent on the "dried") question of federal versus state authority. Governor Brewer, surprisingly quite reasonably, appears to believe that the feds might trump the states in this case.

But, oh, goodness. Don't tell that to the Freepers and the teabaggers. They are livid. Here are a few representative morsels from today's postings.

"Unbelievable! What politicians can you believe in anymore?"

"WHAT got to Jan Brewer? If she backs out of this, Arizona, vote her OUT!"

"Jan, if you don’t want to sign it, let it become law without your signature. Wonder if the Holder DOJ gave her a call. Barry has given we [sic] citizens of Arizona the finger so many times, I say sign it, if not just to irritate the man."

"Obozo will win in 2012 not because Obama is anything other than a rotten communist, but because the GOP has become so stupid as to shoot itself in the foot."

"The GOP has gotten to all of them. I was called silly for thinking the GOP plans to put someone on their own ticket who is also ineligible*, to get the Hispanic vote. Gee, wonder who?"

"I think the stupidity [sic] excuse of the GOP is a ruse, they are complicit in the execution of a crime in order to further their addenda [sic] against the American people. Vote them all out, especially Boehner as he is willfully perpetrating this fraud of a party."

"If Brewer vetoes this bill, she is dead meat, along with all her GOP supporters."

"Amen. That is why I support trump [sic] bachmann [sic] and west [sic] and sarah [sic]. They are the only ones going after obamo [sic]."

(*We cats are curious. Who on the Republican side is ineligible to be President? Our phones are open.)

UPDATE: Well, she vetoed it. Along with a bill that would have allowed guns on college campuses. We cats will stop by Free Republic again later today to check on the outrage.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rick Santorum Hearts Langston Hughes

By Miss Kubelik

See, this is what happens when you home-school: You don't know jack about anybody except people who look and act and think like you.

How do we cats know? Because ThinkProgress has caught right-wing Republican has-been Rick Santorum, who thinks he should be President, cribbing from Langston Hughes.

Ricky and his ignorant team of wet-behind-the-ears Christian campaign nobodies decided that it would be really neat if he adopted the slogan "Fighting to Make America America Again" for 2012. Gee, we thought. That's offensive. It sounds so much like the perennial teabagger whine of "We want our country back!" Or that Ricky thinks the U.S. needs to be snatched out of the evil, grubby hands of a mixed-race (and decisively elected) Democratic President — before the nation is irretrievably despoiled and besmirched.

But guess what? That "slogan" takes a whole 'nuther meaning when you consider its original context — a brilliant poem by Hughes, who was African-American, a sometime Communist, and probably gay. Here's part of it (emphasis added):

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine—the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME—
Who made America
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again...

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me.
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Hm. Doesn't sound like the kind of sentiment Rick Santorum would go for, does it? And clearly it's not — since he's spent most of the past two days trying to disassociate himself from his own slogan. "I had nothing to do with that," he lamely protested.

Oh, Ricky, Ricky, Ricky... As Tom Coburn would say, you got some 'splainin' to do.

"You're Not Going to Make a Big Deal About This, Are You?"

By Zamboni

Well, yes, actually. We are.

Teabaggers have always indignantly protested that oh, no, they're not racists. They simply oppose President Obama on economic issues and the size of government.

And then something like this turns up.

Seems that a teabagger and Republican central committee member from Orange County, California — a bigoted fool named Marilyn Davenport — circulated a "family portrait" showing Mr. Obama as the child of apes. "Now you know why no birth certificate," the grammatically suspect e-mail said.

"It was a joke," she insisted when contacted by a local reporter. Then, she launched into the age-old excuse of "I have friends who are black." As if that weren't bad enough, she added, "Besides, I only sent it to a few people. Mostly people I didn't think would be upset by it."

Where do we cats begin? There's so much here to respond to, but we think we'll start with the obvious: That e-mail goes everywhere, forever. We'll decline to comment on the hateful, smug, I'm-in-the-club-and-you're-not tone of her other remarks.

On the other hand, we cats must thank this wretched teabagger moron for inadvertently performing a public service: Her repellent "joke" is birtherism laid bare. How much clearer could it be? Birtherism is not a "where was he born" issue. It's a race issue. No white man would ever be asked to provide proof of his citizenship. When teabaggers question a decisively elected President's eligibility to hold office they are effectively saying, "We are racists." Case closed.

Nevertheless, although we cats HISS at the racist Marilyn Davenport, we're sure that she must be feeling a tad beleaguered. Used to be that you could drive through Orange County and see only white folk. Now, this once-reliably-Republican bastion is 34 percent Hispanic. The times, Ms. Davenport, they have a-changed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tit for Tat

By Sniffles

If we cats wore hats, we would take them off for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who was simply brilliant on The Diane Rehm Show today.

Governor Patrick said there was no point in having opinions about why the United States is in the fiscal position it's in today. It's a matter of fact, he said — not opinion — that the Bush Administration 1) fought two wars on a credit card, 2) passed a Medicare prescription drug benefit that wasn't paid for, and 3) gave the wealthiest Americans a huge tax break at the same time. Cased closed.

Okay — so. Let's go a little further and agree on the following. (President Obama, members of your Administration, and Democratic leaders in Congress, we cats are talking to you.)

Instead of the age-old GOP demand that every increase in discretionary spending be accompanied by an equal-or-greater cut in discretionary spending somewhere else — to balance the federal budget, Democrats should insist on dollar-for-dollar tax hikes on the rich (individuals and corporations) for every dollar in discretionary spending that's cut.

That's tax hikes on wealthy people like... oh, let us see: Donald Trump. Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck. Rush Limbaugh. Wayne LaPierre. Richard Mellon Scaife. The Koch Brothers. And on greedy, tax-avoiding companies like Chevron and GE. Shall we cats go on?

If the Democrats can't sell an idea like this to an America that's hurting financially, then — well, we deserve the worst in 2012. That's all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tsk, Tsk!

By Baxter

We cats have noticed that the website POLITICO can be particularly inattentive when it comes to the fine art of editing. Yesterday's piece about Republicans who hate Mitt Romney is just the latest example.

Quoting Michael Graham, a Boston man who's devoted an entire website to his Romneyphobia, POLITICO posted the following: "Together we have signed the AMB Treaty: 'Anyone But Mitt.'"

Now, we cats love it when Republicans attack their plausible front-runner. But what could "AMB" possibly stand for? "A Mormon Bypass"? Certainly not "Anyone But Mitt." Being cats, and consumed by curiosity, we rushed to the anti-Romney site and found that the error was Graham's. But POLITICO should have marked it as such.

But egad, even The New York Times is falling down on the grammar and punctuation job. This morning's paper ran a story about Republican Senator Scott Brown's summer-camp sexual molestation revelation. Actually, the story concerned a series of alleged molestations at the camp (which — you guessed it — is Christian). A counselor accused in the affair recently committed suicide, but the Senator, The Times averred, "had never met the employee who shot himself to death, who was younger than him."

We cats are tired of sloppy editing.

In fact, you might say we're [sic] of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sometimes We Think T.S. Eliot Was Right

April might be the cruelest month. On the 66th anniversary of his death, we cats pause to remember Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Eyes On The Unemployed (Republicans)

By Miss Kubelik

Democrats are rubbing their hands in joy over the most recent CNN-Opinion Research Poll that shows cartoon character Donald Trump tied with Fat Mike Huckabee for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

We cats agree with the glee: What's not to love? Trump is sucking all the oxygen out of the room. Send in the clowns, GOP. The more the merrier.

However, we cats caution that this is a national poll, and therefore completely meaningless. What really matters, nomination-wise, is what happens in the states. We know this because we well remember how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led President Obama in national Democratic polls in 2008 — only to lose to him when the state-by-state delegate counts piled up.

On that note, we call your attention to this obscure South Carolina straw poll, in which has-been right-wing nutbag Rick Santorum came out on top. We cats find it perplexing that anyone takes Rick Santorum seriously, but it's worth noting this result from — gasp! — 413 Republican diehards in a single county in the Palmetto State. Why? Because the fringey nut cases are driving the Republican train these days.

Also, Santorum bears watching because as a former Senator without a real job, he can campaign full-time — that is, when he's not busy home-schooling his 53 kids. Therefore, he might have an advantage here. When you haven't anything better to do, you can trot around GOP primary states, making red-meat speeches that resonate with off-the-wall Republican crowds and racking up straw-poll victories.

But wait a minute: The famous quitter from Alaska doesn't have a full-time job right now, either. Couldn't she visit primary states and pitch herself at teeny-tiny straw polls, too? Yes — but that would be actually working, wouldn't it? Newt Gingrich can campaign around the clock as well (and let's hope he does, because he prefers to travel first class, and as such will burn through his money quickly). Ex-Governor Tim Pawlenty can do it, too — but he's going to have to spend all his time raising money, because he can't inspire the grassroots droolers the way Rick Santorum can. Meanwhile, Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie and Michele Bachmann are gainfully employed. So they simply can't be everywhere at once.

Which leaves us with Mitt Romney, another ex-Governor — who appears to be the real loser in the CNN poll. Why? Because he can't go to the mat with the hard-right, teabaggy, healthcare-reform-hating, non-Mormon-loving Republican base the way the other clowns can.

The Republican field is a mess. But if we cats had to try to predict their 2012 nominee right now, we'd say, keep your eye on the teabag-loving clowns without a job. It's going to be one of them.

Tim Pawlenty Hires Bill Ayers!

By Zamboni

Whoops! Guess we made a mistake. Wrong Ayers.

But in the fine tradition of FOX "News" and the right-wing spin machine, we cats won't bother to issue a correction. We'll just let the thought lie out there.... percolating.

Monday, April 11, 2011

France Says "Non" to the Niqab

By Sniffles

Today, France's ban on the niqab and the burqa went into effect, and women insisting on wearing the Muslim veils were arrested.

And we cats say, "Degoutant!"

Don't get us wrong. We cats firmly support gender equality. We completely believe in a progressive society with total separation of church and state. So when French President Nicholas Sarkozy says that women should not be oppressed, and that veiling Muslim women is an affront to the modern secular state, we are sorely tempted to agree.

But something feels very, very wrong about this.

It's not just that only a couple of thousand women in France are affected by the ban. (Although it's ironic that the anti-niqab folks' efforts probably will end up isolating those women more than the veil itself — by forcing them to stay at home rather than violate their religious principles.)

It just seems to us that an open, liberal, diverse society should be able to tolerate silly dress. Goodness knows we here in America do that every time a Tea Party rally is held. And Rome does it every time the College of Cardinals meets.

Besides, you start in on the Muslim niqab, and what's next? Jewish prayer shawls? Yarmulkes? Orthodox guys who wear big furry hockey pucks on their heads? Knowing France's history of anti-Semitism, we cats have an uncomfortable feeling of slippery slope here.

So, aujourd'hui, we cats say: France, nous vous aimons. We love your food, your wine, your language, your Eiffel Tower, and Albert Camus. But we don't love this law. You should dump it, tout de suite!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bush Clone

By Baxter

We cats recall mentioning just a little over a week ago that Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was running an inexplicably negative election campaign. This in spite of the fact that the country is in good enough shape for the Tories to be sunny and positive.

Hmmmm.... negativity. Remind you of anyone? Lee Atwater, Alex Castellanos, Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman? The list of Republican attack dogs goes on and on.

Well, now The Globe & Mail has noticed, too. And they believe they know whom to blame for it. "Has U.S.-style 'voter suppression' made it to Canada's election?" they ask.

Seems that pounding voters on the heads about the opposition's inherent awfulness — which Harper is doing — is depressing and wearying, and tends to discourage people from going to the polls.

Consider us cats embarrassed. We'd like to think that American democracy is a wondrous, inspiring export — not something on the level of Japanese nuclear waste water or Africanized killer bees, for heaven's sake. And if the Conservatives' negativity brings them electoral success in a few weeks, we don't know how we'll hold up our heads the next time we visit Montreal.

Yes, we're embarrassed — but not surprised. We cats always knew Stephen Harper had a direct phone line to the RNC. This just proves it.

(IMAGE: The boys, cuddling.)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Armageddon Averted — Teabaggers Complain

By Miss Kubelik

So, no government shutdown. Millions of Americans will receive their tax refunds, the economy won't be crippled just as it's starting to improve, and the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will march its original route today after all.

Normal people are relieved. But to the folks who hang out at Free Republic, our favorite online corner of teabagger rage, last night's budget agreement means that the country is doomed. And that the Republicans are traitors.

Yep, traitors. That was the word used right out of the box by Eric T., a Freeper whose moniker includes the unsettling parenthetical question, "Can we start hanging them yet?" This charming lad's profile includes the harrowing tale of his escape from the horribly Democratic state of "Khalifornistan" to the friendlier, teabaggier confines of Nashville, Tennessee.

Which means we're wondering how our Freeper friend Eric feels about Tennessee Senator Bob Corker's recent characterization of the budget battle as a waste of time over "powder puffs." (We're not sure what Senator Corker is saying here. Is he telling the teabaggers that their beliefs are insubstantial and unimportant? Or does he mean that only women — the predominant users, as far as we know, of powder puffs — benefit from environmental regulations, use Planned Parenthood, or listen to National Public Radio? If the latter, Corker could be agreeing with Majority Leader Harry Reid, who likened teabagger intransigence to "throw[ing] women under the bus.")

But back to the Freeper comments. Hours before yesterday's budget deal was done, they were already venting. Here are some of the choicer excerpts. Our glee at their anger — and at John Boehner's certain discomfiture — is tempered only by the fact that we'll have to go through this all over again in six months.

"If the GOP doesn’t have the guts for a shutdown now... they won’t have the guts for one later. If they can’t stick to their principles now, they won’t stick to them later."

"If you aren’t willing to dig in the heels over some things as tiny as this, how can you ever lead on the saving of the nation?

"Why is that it's our side that always caves and compromises?"

"They want the Tea Party to become the 'Blacks' of the Republican Party....No thanks!"

"Boehner is a Bowel Movement."

And here's our personal favorite. Watch out on the road for this guy:

"Sorry for the spelling I’m driving while typing"

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glenn Beck Hates (Fat) America

"If I want to be a fat, fat, fattie and shovel French fries all day long, that is my choice. But, oh ho. No, not so fast anymore. Because now we have the new fact, whether you like it or not, we have government health care now... [T]he nation's health care costs are directly tied to the government, and obesity is one of — if not the most costly conditions, costing you and me now at least $150 billion a year.

"You know those fat people who sit in their couch — and I mean really fat... I mean the people who, like — their skin grows into the couch. And then, you know, they call the fire department and they cut them out of the wall, and then they have to bring in a truck, and then they take them to the hospital. I say let them die."

—Glenn Beck, September 14, 2010

No Return to Normalcy

By Zamboni

These are not normal political times. How do we cats know? Because Rick Santorum is taken seriously.

By whom, we're not sure. To us, Santorum is an off-the-charts right-wing fool whom the voters of Pennsylvania were silly enough to twice elect as their U.S. Senator. (Thankfully, they came to their senses in 2006.) But now, the Republican Party has become so fringey-nutsy that Santorum is considered some kind of credible candidate for President, and he merits mentions on POLITICO's "2012 Live" calendar.

For example: Today, Santorum spoke to the Home School Legal Defense Association's Pacific Home School Conference in Santa Clara, California. POLITICO listed it as one of his events. Ho hum.

Ya know — in normal times, it would be an automatic disqualifier for a Presidential candidate to speark to such an inherently un-American group. America wouldn't be America if not for the shared experience of public education. Public schools helped make generations of immigrants true citizens of this country. Public schools are (pardon the expression) as American as apple pie.

Home schooling? Home schooling is creating a generation of Bible-quoting, science- and math-denying, fundamentalist automatons who won't be able to come up with an original thought if their lives depended on it. Children who are home-schooled will grow up knowing nothing — literally, figuratively and historically — about people who don't look, and act, and think like them. Home schooling contributes to the Balkanization of our country. It's bad for America.

If Ronald Reagan had spoken to such an outrageously fringe, far-right Christian group as the home schoolers in 1980, the media would have immediately drummed him out of the Presidential race as a ridiculously senile idealogue. But Rick Santorum speaks to these folks today, and nobody bats an eye. All is right (pun intended) with the world.

How far have our standards of acceptability fallen.

There's only one party, one ideology, and one religious movement to blame for it. We cats HISS.

(IMAGE: Norman Rockwell... who's more American than that?)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Republicans Are SO SMART!

By Sniffles

A Democrat has won Scott Walker's old Milwaukee County Executive position, but right now the Wisconsin Supreme Court race is too close to call.

This is amazing since a few months ago, the Republican Supreme Court candidate issued a press release saying that he would be "a common-sense compliment [sic]" to Walker and the draconian Wisconsin state legislature.

We cats are wondering why Wisconsinites would want a Supreme Court Justice who can't spell. This, on top of a GOP campaign operative who recently said it would be good if the 2012 Presidential candidates had "less debates."

These are the people we want running things, right?

(IMAGE: Wisconsin's Supreme Court candidates. The guy on the left is the Republican who doesn't know the difference between "complement" and "compliment.")

Monday, April 4, 2011

Justice — And A Lack Thereof

By Baxter

Okay, we cats need to get over a serious case of the heebie-jeebies. Not only has Southwest Airlines grounded a ton of planes because they might peel open mid-flight, but bodies from the 2009 Air France crash have been found on the ocean floor. Brrrr!

What better way to distract ourselves than to scream about the sad, sorry developments on the KSM front?

We cats should have known that the idea of trying an alleged September 11 conspirator in a federal court in the heart of Manhattan was too good to be true. Today, Attorney General Holder announced that the Obama Administration had thrown in the towel and decided to try Khalid Sheik Mo-whatshisname in a military tribunal at Gitmo.

So, in short, we're back where we started from — in Bush/Cheney Land. Consider us cats disgusted.

On the other hand, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has nominated an openly gay woman to serve on the state's Supreme Judicial Court.

Two steps back, one step forward. Not quite even steven, but we're getting there.

(IMAGE: Nope, this isn't Lady Justice, but sometimes this is how we cats feel about the frustrating lack of progress in our country. Ah, well — tomorrow is another day.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fire In a Crowded Theater (of War)

By Miss Kubelik

We cats are on sensory overload from hateful comments we've seen defending the Quran-burning jerk in Florida. (We refuse to use his name, ever again. Dick Durbin is right — the guy only wants publicity.)

Commenters at POLITICO and other sites not only champion the jerk, but they want to burn all Qurans and deport all Muslims from America. Sigh. So full of bile and venom. We cats are tired of bile and venom. There's way too much of it these days.

Which is not to say that we're against free speech, although we're none too fond of book burning. If the jerk in Florida (and why is it always Florida?) doesn't understand the value of America being admired, rather than hated, around the world, there's probably nothing we can do about that. But like those morons from Wichita, we'd be satisfied if the guy's 30-member "church" could have its tax exemption taken away.

Meanwhile, for what feels like the umpteenth time, we cats wearily caution our fellow Americans to appreciate the tremendous responsibility that the First Amendment confers upon us. It is not a right to be taken lightly, abused or used immaturely. People can react, and often not well. We cats know this, which is why we don't go out to our nearby Virginia state highway and burn a Confederate flag.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — "No April Fool" Edition

By Zamboni

Happy April Fool's Day. This is just a note to tell you that, unfortunately, everything we cats are commenting on this evening is true. To wit:

What better evidence do we have that Canada's Tory Prime Minster Stephen Harper is a U.S. Republican soul mate than the Globe & Mail's complaint that he's playing the politics of fear? "Mr. Harper has chosen to run a 'be afraid, vote against' campaign, instead of something more aspirational," they lament. Well, duh, everybody. That's how Republicans — and the people who emulate them — conduct themselves.

What's really sad, of course, is that after five years under a Tory minority government, Canada's current state of the union is copacetic enough for Harper to run a positive campaign — you know, a Canuck version of "Morning in America"? Clearly, he's taking his cues from the dark, not the sunny, side of the GOP.

And speaking of Republican history, is it possible that the famous killer from Alaska is the one potential 2012 candidate with any kind of quasi-military credentials? (We say "quasi," only because she has a son who served in Iraq.) We cats think maybe the answer to that question is yes. It's mind-boggling. The GOP traditionally has abused Democrats on this issue, whether they were war heroes (George McGovern, John Kerry) or not (Bill Clinton). But did Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty or any of the other Republican clowns serve? No, they did not.

Finally, we cats are amazed and disgusted that 12 people at the U.N. compound in Aghanistan had to lose their lives because Terry Jones is an idiot. We seem to remember opining that the freedom of speech carries with it grave responsibilities. Apparently, that sentiment has fallen on deaf ears. We cats HISS.

(IMAGE: Yes, that's a new paw print. We got tired of the old one. Which isn't to say that we won't use it again.)