Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Time to Refight The Late Unpleasantness

By Zamboni

We cats visited Manassas National Battlefield Park this weekend and picked up a book at the visitors' center gift shop. Published by the U.S. Department of the Interior, The Civil War Remembered is a collection of essays exploring the conflict's legacy and meaning — socially, politically, racially, militarily and culturally. We're finding it much more educational than a lot of the Civil War stuff we studied in school, back when we were kittens.

But — oh, my. We can't stop thinking about the teabaggers while we read. Because we're sure they would not like this book at all. From the introduction by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar onward, there is much in this tome that an angry, Gadsden-flag-waving right winger would brand as "P.C. moonbattery" but which is, in reality, thoughtful and reasoned sense. Here's a small sampling:

"While slavery was not the only cause for which the South fought during the Civil War, the testimony of Confederate leaders and their supporters makes it clear that slavery was central to the motivation for secession and war...African-American slavery was the only thing that stood between poor whites and the bottom of Southern society, where they would be forced to compete with and live among black people." —James Oliver Horton, professor emeritus, George Washington University

"The abolition of slavery...did not end racism, discrimination, and caste segregation of which slavery had been the most extreme manifestation...The issue of racial justice that came to the fore in the Civil War era is still with us today." —James McPherson, professor emeritus, Princeton University

"Traditionally portrayed by historians as a sordid time when vindictive Radical Republicans fastened black supremacy upon the defeated Confederacy, Reconstruction has lately been viewed more sympathetically, as a laudable experiment in interracial democracy." —Eric Foner, Columbia University

"The myth of the 'Lost Cause'...held that the South had fought for a noble cause; had a constitutional right to secede; had been led by morally superior leaders; had fallen short in its quest for independence due only to the North's superior resources; and had been motivated by the defense of the Southern homeland and states' rights, not chattel slavery. This genteel narrative...justified both massive resistance to concepts of equality and the inferior social and economic positions accorded African Americans [in the South]." —Rick Beard, American Association for State and Local History, and Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop

"Above all, the Lost Causers...have advocated a story about [their] nation's triumph over the racial revolution and Constitutional transformations of Reconstruction. In his 1881 memoir, former Confederate President Jefferson Davis argued that...slaves had been 'contented with their lot.' He also declared the Lost Cause not lost: '...This is the great victory of total non-interference by the Federal government in the domestic affairs of the States.' To this day, whether they realize it or not, all advocates of states' rights doctrine, and resistance to federal authority, must get right with Jefferson Davis." —David W. Blight, Yale University

Egad. We cats fully expect that the next time we drive by the battlefield, we'll see hundreds of teabaggers protesting in the visitors' center parking lot. In reply, we can only advise our right-wing friends to man up. The Civil War sesquicentennial will require us all to accept some hard truths. We cats know. Because until the Great Migration, the election of 1932, the 1964 Civil Rights Act — and of course, the Republicans' infamous "Southern Strategy" — it was the Democrats who were the racists.

(IMAGE: "The Kit Kat Klub," a set on Flickr. Check out all 14!)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Palin's Rolling Blunder

By Sniffles

We cats aren't big fans of vets — at least, not the animal-doctor types. But military veterans who have served their country? That's another story. Today we saw plenty of Rolling Thunder folks tooling around Northern Virginia. None of them seemed focused on the annoying intruder who barged in on this morning's "Ride for Freedom" on the Mall.

However, after some discussion amongst ourselves, we decided that the famous quitter from Alaska was probably one of the few Republicans who could have shown up to the Rolling Thunder event with any kind of credibility.

Yes, she invited herself, and no, a lot of the bikers weren't pleased she was there. But at least she had a son fighting in Iraq for awhile. That's something. John McCain's military credentials are even more solid (although Rick Santorum doesn't think they are).

On the Democratic side, George McGovern, Daniel Inouye, Charlie Rangel, John Kerry, Max Cleland, Jim Webb, Bob Kerrey and Joe Sestak could have shown up to Rolling Thunder, hoisted beers, and swapped war stories with ease.

But chickenhawk Republicans? Santorum, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich,  Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Dick Armey, Jeb Bush, George Allen, Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove are definitely not Rolling Thunder material. We cats can't count all the deferments among them. Sorry, boys. Put those leather jackets away.

P.S. We are convinced, by the way, that the famous quitter's "bus tour" will not receive the rave reviews she expects. Her logistical operation is understaffed and disorganized and not cooperating with the press. (And we all know how much journalists love their holiday weekends disturbed.) Watch for lots of upcoming catty coverage. We cats PURR.

UPDATE: It's Monday, and so far, POLITICO isn't impressed. We'll keep you posted.

UPDATE #2: It's Friday, and more negative stories have surfaced. Here's The Washington Post on how Palin can't get anything right when she ventures into alleged policy discussions. And here's POLITICO on the displeasure of the Republican grass roots.

BONUS UPDATE: There's a really interesting conversation going on over at Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog about how Palin is using her young daughter Piper as a human shield. So true, so true.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Not Much Ado About Mitt

By Baxter

Now it is time for us cats to visit a subject that sends shudders down most Republicans' spines: Mitt Romney.

Never have we seen so little enthusiasm in the Grand Old Party for its purported front-runner. (Well, at least not since 2008.) We know from our fun forays into the madness that is Free Republic that the teabaggers and their ilk despise him. And to tell the truth, although the lazy Beltway media have crowned him prom king of the clown college, we're not sure that Republican primary voters much like him, either.

For example, take the recent Gallup Poll of Republicans that showed Romney at 17 percent. The famous quitter from Alaska was right behind him with 15 percent, but that's not why we cats are unimpressed. Everybody missed the real story of the poll, which was that "None/No Opinion" led with 22 percent. In short, Romney and Palin both trail "nobody" by five points or more. That's the headline.

Then there's Chris Silly-izza's recent blog post about all the "hard work" Romney has done in New Hampshire and how it's "paying off." He's polling at all of 32 percent there. Hm. Mitt has been working The Granite State for four-plus years, spent a ton of money and pandered his little Brooks Brothers bottom off— and he doesn't quite crack a third of the primary vote? And why wouldn't that number go down once some non-carnival-barkers finally declare and the race heats up?

But most of all, we cats are utterly bored with the breathless reporting of the Romney phone-a-thon that raised $10 million in a day. The fact that anyone in the media is impressed with this is proof that most political reporters have no idea how campaigns are run and financed. The Romney folks were planning this gig for a long time. They told people not to make contributions in the first quarter so they could show a huge haul in the second. Then, they got 800 Romney pals to agree to be callers, not a difficult feat in the nationwide Mormon network. With that many callers participating, each one had to raise approximately $12,500 to hit $10 million. So if each Romney caller himself gave the max, plus got his spouse and, say, two adult children to do the same, he only had to get one other person that day to write a check.

See how it works? It was a bogus, phony, and — excuse the expression — trumped-up media event. And everyone, of course, fell for it. (When you think about it, it's a good example of Sarah Palin's "lamestream media" accusation, isn't it?)

Yep, we cats suspect that the Freepers are right — the Mittster is an empty, empty suit. There's nothing underneath but those magic Mormon underpants he wears.

Friday, May 27, 2011

We'd Rather Hear About Babs, Thank You

By Miss Kubelik

So in their usual lemming-like fashion — since they wouldn't pay the least bit of attention if she looked like Barbara Mikulski — the media are falling all over themselves to speculate about a 2012 run by the famous quitter from Alaska.

Goodness gracious, please spare us cats. Although we freely admit to being thrilled about anything that roils the clown college that passes for the 2012 Republican field, the reaction of the boys-not-yet-on-the-bus is pretty ridiculous. (Lawrence O'Donnell, you are excused from this.)

The other day, the callow and often lazy Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post even bemoaned the fact that he couldn't read the famous quitter's tiny little mind. "So, we wait," he writes in implied hushed tones, "and read the tea leaves."

We cats say — no, dude, you don't have to wait. You can call out Sarah Palin's hypocritical, cowardly, money-grubbing butt, by ignoring her. (But no. You'd rather faux-whine about the monster you helped create.)

Oh, well. Let's look on the bright side. Now Karl Rove will have to spend a lot of money and time, and call in a ton of chits, to try to stop her. That's money, time and chits he won't be able to spend on the House and Senate. We cats PURR.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Freepers Weigh In On NY-26

By Zamboni

Our good friends over at Free Republic apparently were live-commenting the race in NY-26 last night. Once Kathy Hochul was declared the winner and the story was posted, 262 Freeps raced to express their disgust. Their disdain for senior voters was pretty evident, too. Hey — if we cats are remembering it right, seniors were the voters that the teabaggers couldn't get enough of last year. Hm. We guess the bloom is off the rose.

So, shall we get right to it? Freeper fulminations, followed by our witty observations?

"New York deserves everything they vote for." (We bet that commenter was one of the first super-patriots to express Bushian outrage after September 11.)

"It’s a great day for the ruling class. Now they can get back to the hard work of raising our taxes and taking our freedom." (Now, there's an angry man.)

"So...is this going to be a pattern for the Dems to use? I’m guessing that in close districts with stupid people, this methodology would work." (Show some respect, you young whipper-snapper.)

"When the huge Baby Boomer generation are all retired, they will vote in 110% taxes on everyone who still has a job if that's what it takes to keep the gravy train running." (This silly person seems to forget that Americans, Baby Boomers and others, have been paying into the system their entire working lives and have the right to expect Medicare to be there when they need it.)

"It really is amazing how stupid people in this country are becoming... entitlements created a society of 'the entitled.'" (But last fall when the GOP won all those seats in Congress, the voters were "brilliant," we're sure.)

"Bonehead and Cantor need to be REMOVED." (Ahhh, we cats smell intraparty revolution. What fun!)

"It’s pretty clear that a huge chunk of Americans obviously aren’t interested in freedom anymore. SCREW ‘EM. I’m planning ahead and will be waltzing right past them in the government healthcare waiting line with a fistful of cash." (We can't top this comment, because it's hard to outdo the tin hat brigade. We cats PURR.)

Tidbits and Cat Treats — NY-26 Edition

By Sniffles

We cats have to laugh as we revisit the coverage Jane Corwin received when the GOP selected her back in February to run for descamisado Christopher Lee's Congressional seat. So many advantages the perky blonde assemblywoman had — including, with a personal wealth that could be as high as $158 million, her "ability to self-fund the race to the tune of seven figures."

Well, now Ms. Corwin will have to cancel all her Washington plans. NY-26 has gone to the Democratic candidate by a healthy six points, and the Republicans are much poorer for it: Corwin by $2.5 million, the National Republican Congressional Committee by $425,000, and Karl Rove's "American Crossroads" PAC by $650,000. And that's just the money we know about. Goodness gracious.

We cats have been impressed with Nate Silver's enlightening analysis of the race's larger implications in today's New York Times. It's reasoned and sober, we'd say. But as we are cats, and are prone to meow, meow, meow, we can't help gloating over these additional fun tidbits:
  • John Boehner had to haul his orange butt up New York to campaign in what should have been a super-safe GOP district. A fat lot of good that did.
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Republicans Allen West and Marco Rubio recorded robocalls for Corwin. Again, file that under "Good, Fat Lot of." However, they at least get credit for showing up. Other prominent GOP endorsers — most notably the famous quitter from Alaska — were nowhere to be found.
  • Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton did a robocall for Kathy Hochul — in a district in which Republicans outnumber Democrats by 30,000 — and Hochul won. Whee!
  • Corwin canceled a 5 PM Election Day visibility event at the last minute to "spend time with her family." What?? Okay, Jane, we're certain you knew you were going to lose and were probably pretty depressed. But what about all the people who supported, volunteered for, and gave money to your campaign? You owed them your smiling presence, no matter how bad things were. You're despicable.
  • One thing's for sure: Jane Corwin gets the 2011 Martha Coakley Bad Candidate Award. Congratulations, Jane, you've won something today!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Les We Furr-get: When GOP Stars Explode

By Baxter

So Mitch Daniels took the weenie way out and sent an e-mail at midnight on Saturday, saying he wouldn't run for President in 2012. Goodness gracious, what a way to inform your would-be supporters. Daniels partisans (and we have no idea why they exist) surely were the only people who believed the world was actually ending that night.

We cats will pass over the Governor's vaguely offensive remark about "the women's caucus" having a "veto," since he recently saw fit to make the lives of so many Indiana women worse by cutting off Planned Parenthood funding. We simply suspect that Daniels has declined to run because he'd hoped to keep another family shoe from dropping, and that it became clear over the weekend that he was wishing in vain. What that shoe could be, after everything we already know, we cats haven't a clue. Particularly with the wild lives these Republicans live.

Speaking of which, it's dawned on us how many prominent members of the GOP crowd have self-destructed lately, and for such a variety of amazing reasons. For example:

George W. Bush — The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived is perhaps the quintessential example, considering how he ran his disastrous Presidency (and the country) into the ground. Our only objection is that we all had to suffer along.

Arnold Schwarzenegger —Was it just a few years ago that Republicans wanted to amend the Constitution so that Arnold could run for President? Later, of course, those folks morphed into birthers — screaming that Barack Obama was an affront to that same sacred text. It just makes our furry little heads spin.

Newt Gingrich — The king of needless self-immolation has been mercifully (but surely, only temporarily) shoved out of the headlines by Mitch Daniels.

Donald Trump — Humiliated by the release of the Obama long-form birth certificate and then by the President himself at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump finally declared he loves reality television more than his country. But — wait! He might be back! Republicans, gird thyselves.

Mark Sanford — We'll never forget that jaw-dropping 2009 press conference when this alleged Presidential contender admitted to not hiking the You-Know-What Trail.

John EnsignOy.

Rick Santorum — A man who knows nothing says he understands more about torture than John McCain. You know, in a just world, somebody would give Santorum some actual experience on that subject now.

Sarah Palin — Need we say more, post-Tucson? She's never recovered. And now the slew of tell-all books is beginning. Still and all, we cats believe that the famous animal killer from Alaska harbors secret hopes that she can beam in and grab the Republican nomination late in the game. Particularly since she's obviously too lazy to spend the next year engaged in get-your-hands-dirty retail politics.

Has this list covered them all? If not, no worries. Surely in the coming weeks and months, there will be more to add. We cats PURR.

UPDATE #1: In the wake of yesterday's special election, we cats can't believe that we forgot to include Craigslist Congressman Christopher Lee in this Republican Hall of Shame. Now we understand why the cat food we eat says "Senior" on the can!

UPDATE #2: Although his "Macaca" moment was a few years back, we'd be remiss if we didn't put George Allen on this list as well. Especially since he thinks he can be a Senator again.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dear Harold: What Next?

By Miss Kubelik

We cats would like to think that if the Rapture had actually happened today, we would have been the first to be recruited to the big political Jesus Tent in the Sky.

And why not? We know that we're superior beings — yet we harbor no contempt for any lesser creatures (except Republicans). Surely the Son of God would forgive us that one transgression, since the current GOP goes against everything He ever taught.

Alas, alack, May 21 has passed uneventfully, and we're back at Square One. While we are disappointed, we have only one request this evening.

Going into 2012, can the Republican Party please agree to acknowledge the following? That 1) evolution is a fact, 2) climate change is a problem we should deal with, and 3) perhaps we should raise the U.S. debt ceiling to ensure that the world does not end after all? Just wondering.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Say "Tennessee"

By Zamboni

The Tennessee Senate passed a bill today that would block schoolchildren in that state from discussing homosexuality or even acknowledging that it exists.

Needless to say, the Republican-sponsored "Don't Say Gay" bill is appalling and ridiculous. It will be interesting to see if the Tennessee General Assembly approves it next year.

In the meantime, while we love, love, love "Star Trek" alumnus George Takei's answer to this hate bill — just substitute his last name for the hated "g" word — allow us cats to, um, "volunteer" an alternate solution: If this execrable bill becomes law, we propose that no schoolchildren in the remaining 49 states be taught that Tennessee exists.

That's right: Wipe Tennessee off the books. Skip Andrew Johnson in the list of the Presidents. (That actually might be a good thing.) Shift all those Civil War battles elsewhere. Forget about the Grand Ole Opry. "Elvis" who? Oh, and let's change the name of the TVA.

We cats realize this is drastic and possibly silly — but not nearly as silly as what the Tennessee Senate did today. (And our apologies to President Gore. But you know, Al, your home state didn't vote for you in 2000 anyway.)

UPDATE: Now, here's a poser: What would high school English teachers in the Volunteer State do about Tennessee Williams? He'd be quite a double whammy: a homosexual playwright with that dreaded first name. But as we cats would be loath to remove Blanche DuBois & Company from any classroom, we'd insist that students read Williams. But only refer to him as Thomas Lanier.

Blue Elephants

By Sniffles

Perhaps anticipating the spine-tingling announcement from Tim Pawlenty that he's entering the 2012 Republican race for President, speculation abounds that the poor GOP is down in the dumps.

Gee, why would that be? Is it because Republicans have unnecessarily self-immolated on a pledge to kill Medicare — or because their White House candidates comprise a veritable clown college — or that they may lose a slam-dunk special Congressional race next week in western New York? Or all of the above?

Whatever the cause, formerly giddy Republicans who were once so sure that 2010 was a replay of 1994 are suddenly overwhelmed with gloom, certain that 2012 is going to be like 1996 — when Bill Clinton crushed them with 70 percent of the electoral vote.

Hm. We cats aren't overly impressed with all the "history repeats itself" arguments, although heaven knows we love the idea of a second Obama term and expect it to happen. But we could be convinced, because: 1) President Clinton did not kill Osama bin Laden the year before his re-election. 2) Bob Dole, lame as he was, was wildly superior to any of the 2012 Republican contenders. 3) The Republican National Committee back then was not $23 million in debt.

Sorry, GOP. We suggest you get your Prozac prescription refilled.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"We Don't Care About Jobs, We Just Hate Women"

By Baxter

We cats have not commented much on the GOP's war on women. Mostly because we think that if female Americans aren't willing to rise up and oppose the Republican Party to protect their reproductive rights, screw 'em. What do we care? We've been fixed. No one has power over our reproductive destiny, thank God.

The Republican attack on abortion has been so overwhelming, so repellent, that we cats can barely believe that no revolt has ensued. This morning on NPR we heard a story about all the jobs that are going begging in Aberdeen, South Dakota. They can't find enough people to work there. Our thought was, "Why would anyone want to live in a state in which the government butts into your private life?"

On the other hand, it bothers us to no end that helpless people will have their lives messed up by the GOP's skewed priorities. The Republicans rode into their House majority on the basis of "jobs, jobs, jobs." Since then, though, they've done nothing but legislate against women — and in particular, poor women. Picking on the weak is despicable. We cats HISS.

(IMAGE: Governor Rick Scott of Florida. Whoops, sorry — that's Nosferatu.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Amazing Stories

By Miss Kubelik

It seems like everywhere we cats turn, there are strange happenings in the news. Former Republican governors having children out of wedlock? IMF chiefs sexually assaulting hotel housekeepers? And those are just two. Here are a few more stories that have us tres deconcertants today.

Hot on the heels of Fat Mike Huckabee dropping out of the 2012 Republican clown college, Mr. Triple Combover says he won't run for President, either. Dozens of Trump supporters across the country must be feeling oh, so sad. But that's nothing compared to how depressed thousands of news anchors, TV stations, cable providers, newspaper columnists, radio hosts, bodyguards, direct mail experts, online political consultants, pollsters, printers and event planners must feel.

We never thought that Newt and Callista Gingrich would ever remind us of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, but they do.

Here's a doozy: Right-wing hypocrite and Hampton-outing weasel Rick Santorum now thinks that he, and not John McCain, is an expert on torture. Never mind that John McCain has personal experience with torture. (On the other hand, thanks to McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate, so do we.) We cats despise it when Republicans like Santorum go so far over the wingnut cliff that reasonable folks like ourselves are forced, even just for a split second, to at least not think totally ill of people like McCain. Like the way George W. Bush made us pine for Nixon.

Lastly, on a lighter note, here's a head-turning moment from PBS's excellent "American Experience" documentary on the 1961 Freedom Rides: Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy saying in May of that year that it was entirely possible that a Negro could someday be elected President. (Three months later, Barack Obama was born.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tol'able Bob

By Zamboni

We cats now realize we must add another person to our list of Republicans who, unlike most of their party, haven't lost their minds: Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Secretary Gates told "60 Minutes" tonight that President Obama's order to send the Navy SEALs into the bin Laden compound was "one of the most courageous calls — decisions — that I think I've ever seen a President make."

Well, we haven't been around Presidents much when they're in the midst of history-making choices, but we suspect that Gates is right. Heck, rubbing out bin Laden was almost gravy. At this point, we wonder whether having our hands on all of his computers, videos, documents, thumb drives and porn isn't far more significant. There must be an awful lot of terrorist-thwarting going on right now.

The other reason we know Gates is right is that the Freepers are still in denial. (Gosh, this bin Laden stuff must be killing them. We cats PURR.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tol'able Jon Huntsman (and Dick, and Dede, and Gordo, and Lisa....)

By Sniffles

Okay, we have read the Senate Ethics Committee's report on John Ensign. As you might suspect, we cats prefer to groom ourselves. But after digesting the sordid Ensign saga, we feel like taking a bath the way humans do. Then we'd take a shower to wash the dirty water off us — and then take another bath. It's that bad, folks.

The whole time we were reading it, we kept flashing on the fact that this awful, awful man was just a few years ago touted as Republican Presidential timber. We believe we already have pointed out the fact that Ensign barely had the right to breathe oxygen on planet Earth, let alone think about living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

If Republicans were considering Ensign to be White House material, where does that leave the rest of their potential candidates? In a pretty sorry state, let us tell you. Actually, we cats can't remember a more reprehensible Republican field. It's wide open in the first place because their 2008 Vice Presidential nominee is a moron (remember, they're a hierarchical party). And who do they have to take her place? Guys who flip-flop, guys who would have voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, guys who don't believe in evolution. Incredible.

Which got us to thinking. In the insanity that defines the GOP today, are there any Republicans who are reasonable? Over several beers at our local pub, we managed tonight to scrape up five names. Here they are. And may we say, none of them will have a speaking role at the 2012 Republican Convention.

Jon Huntsman — We cats admit right up front that we think that Mandarin speaker and former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is cute, cute, cute! But aside from that, he's kinda liberal (in a Utah sort of way), and has said and written very nice things about President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For which he's earned the everlasting indemnity of the teabaggers and Freepers — which means he's a-okay with us.

Senator Richard Lugar — This ancient Hoosier has not only called out the tea party, he voted for both Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. 'Nuff said.

Dede Scozzafava — Who could forget the moment that the valiant but un-spellable Scozzafava threw her support to the Democrat in the NY-23 election in 2009? And oh, how the GOP has punished her. We want to be martyred with you, Dede!

Gordon Smith — The former Oregon Senator used to be the ultimate example of nutty right-wingism. But now that the GOP has gone off the deep end, his independent streak and willingness to work with the other side appear downright reasonable. Gordon, we hardly knew ye.

Lisa Murkowski — The Alaska Senator just barely squeaked onto this list. Mostly because we don't trust her; she's the daughter of a crook and has been seen air-kissing Sarah Palin. But her gutsy comeback last year against Palin teabagger candidate and all-around jackass Joe Miller has earned her points. She's on this list until somebody more reasonable bumps her — something for which we don't exactly have high hopes.

Oy. It was so tough coming up with these five people that we cats are depressed. This is not good for our country. Time for a nap.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — "Busted Blogger" Edition

By Baxter

Well! It's the Attack of the Giant Google Glitch. We cats, along with many other bloggers who use this fabulous software, have been, um, kind of indisposed the last couple of days. But we're happy to report that not only can we post again, our previously published ruminations have returned. Thank you, Blogger — and a happy Friday the 13th to you, too.

So let's not waste another moment, and get to our newest musings.

Democrats have received some good 2012 news lately — and no, we're not talking about the killing of Osama bin Laden. First Congressman Joe Donnelly declared he will run for Richard Lugar's Indiana Senate seat, and now Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez is filing candidate paperwork in the race to replace Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison from Texas. Two big, back-to-back recruitment wins for the Democrats in red states. But are any pundits spinning it that way? Somehow, we doubt it.

Turns out that Republican nut Ron Paul, who (yawn) declared today that he's running for President again, says he would not have ordered the bin Laden mission. Which means that, with President Paul, bin Laden would still be holed up in his compound, watching porn on his thumb drives. But, gee, think about it — under a Paul Administration, which would cut the federal budget to practically zero, we wouldn't have the wherewithal to find bin Laden in the first place.

We cats send a big PURR in the direction of Jon Huntsman, who wrote the following note note to a gay supporter in North Carolina: "Let's hope that someday...all people are seen as equal under the laws of our land." Our nutty right-wing friends over at Free Republic, however, are less impressed with former Ambassador Huntsman's correspondence.

Finally, and — oh, gosh. We can only mention in passing the Senate Ethics Committee's jaw-dropping report on slimeball former Senator John Ensign. It's 75 pages long, and we cats have only just started it — but one glance at that incendiary table of contents is proof that all that silly Beltway buzz about "Presidential timber" is pure, pardon the expression, bullshit. This awful Ensign man should never have come anywhere near the halls of Congress, let alone thought for a moment that he could reach 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And he's a veterinarian! More later on his many transgressions. But in the meantime, suffice to say that the Freepers are apparently so appalled, they can't even bear to post on it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Running At The Mouth

By Miss Kubelik

Just because Newt Gingrich tweeted his candidacy for President today doesn't mean that he gets to hog the stupid-statement spotlight to himself. (Even though, yes, we cats are aware that he once claimed his patriotism's to blame for all that adultery he committed.)

Let's give Newtie some company by visiting a few other Republicans and the silly things they say.

Here's Ron Paul, who stated in that bizarre GOP debate the other night that drugs should be legal because liberty applies "across the board." Except when it comes to reproductive rights and reproductive health, right, Congressman?

Not to be outdone, Planned Parenthood-hater Mitch Daniels told reporters yesterday that the chances that he could defeat President Obama next year are "quite good." This is the guy, of course, who as White House budget director said that the Iraq war would cost $50-$60 billion. (Guess again, you jackass. It's $1 trillion.)

Then there's the execrable Tom Tancredo, who once called President Obama "a more serious threat to America than Al Qaeda." Luckily, MSNBC's Martin Bashir had enough of an institutional memory to call Tancredo out in the wake of bin Laden's killing. "To follow your logic," Bashir asked, "would you have preferred then the death of the President as opposed to bin Laden?" The former Congressman (and full-time bigot) sputtered and protested, but we cats don't want to know what he was really thinking.

Last but not least, we cats must include the infamous quitter from Alaska, who rarely makes an appearance here these days because, oh, how her star has fallen. But we thought of her when we saw this recent scientific study of black bears. It's the males who are dangerous to humans, not the females. So much for Mama Grizzlies!

(PHOTO: www.wolfiewolfgang.com)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Slogans' Run

By Zamboni

We cats see quite an eclectic mix of bumper stickers when we're out running errands in Northern Virginia.

Reflecting the diversity of the Commonwealth itself, the stickers range from "Obama-Biden" to the Gadsden flag. And we occasionally see the Republican riff on President Obama's 2008 "HOPE" message: "NOPE." We actually think "NOPE" is kind of clever.

But yesterday we saw a right-wing sticker that we found most odd. It said "STOP OBAMA."

This begs an interesting question. "STOP" Obama from what?

From killing Osama bin Laden? From halting torture? From rescuing America's reputation around the world? From ensuring that women are paid the same as men? From saving the auto industry? From reforming healthcare? From saving the economy? From reforming Wall Street? From having government infrastructure in place to deal with natural disasters? From trying to prevent mining companies from killing their workers without penalty? From appointing sane people to the Supreme Court? From proving at the expense of a preening mountebank that he, the President, is an American?

We cats think the GOP has to come up with better stuff than that. At the same time, driving around with our "2012" bumper sticker, we cats are amused. So, we PURR.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lest We Furr-get: The War Hero the Republicans Smeared

By Sniffles

It's ironic that the carping GOP Senator whom David von Drehle quotes in his TIME story about the killing of Osama bin Laden is Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.

You might be wondering why anyone would complain after bin Laden was nailed. Well, when President Obama addressed the American people on the night of May 1, he said: [S]hortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al-Qaeda."

This simple, factual sentence was too much for Chambliss. Apparently feeling that his pals in the Bush Administration — who diverted American resources into an unnecessary war in Iraq and who outed a covert CIA agent — were slighted by the President's statement, the Georgia Senator whined, "That's Obama politics."

Ready for the irony? Chambliss, of course. was elected in 2002 after Swift-Boating incumbent Democrat Max Cleland — a triple-amputee Viet Nam veteran — in an ad that used bin Laden's image to scare the bejesus out of voters.

So we cats say to the whining Georgian: Boo-hoo and suck it up, you despicable cretin. The shoe's on the other foot now. (And by the way, you're mighty lucky that you have feet on which to put that shoe. Max Cleland doesn't.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Andy Card Lives Up to His Name

By Baxter

He's kidding, right?

Andrew Card, former chief of staff for the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, thinks that President Obama "has pounded his chest too much" over the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Let us get this straight: The Bushies — who put their idiot President in a flight jacket and had him land a plane on the deck of an aircraft carrier with a big, lying banner in the background about a war they waged on a country that did not attack us — think that silently laying a wreath at Ground Zero and then privately meeting with 9/11 families after killing the guy who murdered their loved ones is "pounding his chest"?

We cats can only conclude that the Republicans are angry and jealous. After all, these are the people who moved their 2004 convention to September in New York City so that they could milk 9/11 dry.

So, wow, what is this "pounding the chest" stuff? Hubris? Arrogance? Or perhaps they're just mad that Barack Hussein Obama got done what they never could?

If we cats had Andrew Card in the same room with us, we'd jump on his lap, dig our back claws deep into his thighs, scratch his face to ribbons, and dump our dirty litter boxes over his head. But since we don't, we'll just have to be content to HISS.

Friday, May 6, 2011

One Last Thought

By Miss Kubelik

Just a quickie before we cats shut down the computer and take our 14th nap of the day. We couldn't resist checking on our friends the Freepers just now. We figured that after a week-plus of serious shellacking, they might be feeling a bit beleaguered.

Well, an unscientific examination of site has confirmed our initial assumption. Traffic seems to be down, and in the anemic threads about the President's visit to Fort Campbell today, they've been reduced to silly mantras like "Obama is a Muslim," "He hates everything American," etc., etc., and so on, and so forth.

We cats take great pleasure in their discomfiture. In normal circumstances, we would pay no attention to such obviously silly people. But Barack Obama, a decisively elected President of the United States, has been subjected to such derision, suspicion and disrespect, that we savor the fact that he finally got done what their Supreme-Court-appointed Chief Executive could not.

We keep thinking about that line from the President's election-night speech: "I will be your President, too."

Get used to it, folks. He is.

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Post-bin Laden Edition

By Zamboni

Wow! We cats are happily settling into a well-deserved, relaxing weekend, after an unprecedented whirlwind of long-form birth certificates, Osama killings and WHCD jollies. Meanwhile, we have a few observations.
We heard a brilliant comment from a caller to The Diane Rehm Show this morning. She wanted to know why Republicans and teabaggers doubt President Obama's citizenship and bin Laden's death when they didn't question the Bush Administration for a moment. We'll take a moment now to let that profound thought sink in.


So now we know what Republican albino Mike Pence was going to announce the other day when he was "Penced" by the Obama Administration. (That is, he was forced to cancel because Barack Obama killed Osama bin Laden.) He's going to run for Governor! Oh, hooray. Said the Planned-Parenthood-hating Pence, "Those of you that [sic] know me know that I fight for what I believe in. Well, I believe in Indiana." No, Congressman: You believe in running for President when there's no incumbent.

We cats had a debate last evening as to from whence the execrable "Bush feels ignored" story sprang. One of us thought that the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived truly exhibited some class by declining President Obama's invitation to Ground Zero yesterday, and that the story was shopped by weaselly cretins like Ari Fleischer. Another of us averred that the Worst Person, true to character, didn't want to trouble himself to show up because — being the shallow and empty individual he is — he honestly doesn't care. Yes, we cats know that he'll probably be in New York come September. However, we still think that, after that awful "where are the WMD?" gag video, Bush is a man who can be touched by nothing.

Finally, we cats are amused and satisfied by the polls showing that birtherism is withering on the vine. Still, we'll be interested to see whether, and how much, the clown college that passes for the 2012 Republican Presidential field panders to the idiots who refuse to be convinced. And by the way, has any journalist asked the repellent Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, who whispered to a teabagger that she agreed with her birtherism, to comment on the long-form certificate? Just wondering.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Le Quebec, Comme La Floride

By Sniffles

We cats are sure that Quebeckers don't often think of themselves as having anything in common with Miami — or, specifically, Little Havana. In fact, when we cats lived in South Florida and would travel to La Belle Province, the locals who chatted us up invariably would tell us we were crazy to ever want to leave the sunny tropics to visit — let alone live part-time — in their frozen clime.

But this week's mostly depressing election results in Canada have reminded us that au contraire, Quebec and Miami are definitely alike — in political, if not in actual, temperature.

Nearly lost in the headlines that Americans saw about the Pillsbury Doughboy winning his first majority was the fact that the separatist party, the Bloc Quebecois, has been practically wiped out. Thanks to the province's surge toward the New Democrats, the folks who have always sworn allegiance to splitting from Canada no longer qualify as an actual political party. Amazingly, only 16 years after Quebec voted by a whisker not to leave Canada, separatism is dead.

We cats think this is fascinating, and here, we think, is a possible reason. Quebec sovereignty appears to of little or no importance to Francophones under the age of 40, and to all the immigrants who have come to the province in the last decade or two. Just as today's young Cuban-Americans in South Florida may not understand why their elders are so passionate about hating Castro — or the American Democratic Party as long as there's a Kennedy in it — these younger Quebeckers just don't relate to separatism. They have other fish to fry. Which we cats understand (we love fish).

Time does march on, doesn't it? Sorry for the cliche, but the older we get, the more true it seems.

(IMAGE: A rally during the 1995 sovereignty vote, in which "non" won in a squeaker, keeping Quebec in Canada by just over one percentage point. It feels like a hundred years ago.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dead-Duck Debate

By Baxter

Okay, we cats are really glad we're not President because decisions like this are tough. Good arguments exist, we believe, on both sides. That said, however, here are several reasons that we suspect President Obama made the right call to not release the Osama bin Laden death photos:
  • The famous killer from Alaska, one of the most ignorant people on the face of the planet, thinks he's wrong. (And no, although we are felines we're not impressed that she used the word "pussy.")
  • The President used the term "spike the football." Good metaphor. We hate it when professional athletes showboat.
  • Releasing gory pictures could have negated all the care that the military took to treat bin Laden's body with respect and with sensitivity to Muslim tradition. This is something that we're sure was wise, because the Freepers thought it was horrible.
  • When the right-wing whackjobs (the "deathers") are saying they need proof, what they're really saying is that the military, the CIA and the Department of Defense guys are lying. We thought teabaggers believed that elite personnel like the Navy SEALS were gods and that the military was sacrosanct. Hm.
  • We still believe Leon Panetta was right: The photos will come out inevitably. But not tomorrow. Maybe in 50 years? As we cats have nine lives, we can afford to wait.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We Owe It to This Guy.

By Miss Kubelik

We cats understand the sensitivities that the White House staff is grappling with as they assess whether or not to release the bin Laden death photos. Truly, we do.

That said, here are our arguments in favor of releasing them:

Shutting people up. You can't underestimate the value of this. From teabaggers who want to deny President Obama his signature national security accomplishment to Islamic extremists who are bent on keeping their minions fired up by claiming bin Laden is still alive, these balloons need to be punctured.

The Internet is probably ahead of you. There's no dearth of gruesome images available on the web. Honestly, whatever you've got is not going to surpass some of the awful stuff from September 11 alone.

We can take it. If we Americans can handle watching jumpers from the World Trade Center, let alone seeing autopsy photos of John F. Kennedy, we can handle anything. Do it.

(IMAGE: The Falling Man, Richard Drew, Associated Press)

Sorry, Folks. Waterboarding Doesn't Work.

By Zamboni

Well, that didn't take long. The Republicans already are insisting that thanks for Sunday's bin Laden bagging are due to the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived* and his Administration's shameful policies of torture.

Never mind the fact that this absurd claim has been effectively put to rest by reputable journalists such as Andrew Sullivan, and Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times (who ought to know). The Republicans keep trumpeting it. Is it because of their intense dislike of Barack Obama? Their childish disappointment that they have to give the guy some credit now? Their fury that the upcoming 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks will help remind the nation that it was Obama who got Osama?

Whatever. Let us just take a moment to imagine what would have happened if it had been George W. Bush who'd taken bin Laden out. Goodness gracious, the thought of the Republicans' reaction just makes our furry little heads spin. Their gushing and trumpeting and touting and taunting would make the GOP's Reagan-naming frenzy look pale by comparison.

We kid you not. Every tunnel, freeway and airport in America would be named Bush. His birthday would be declared a national holiday. The silly "ranch" in Crawford, Texas would replace Mount Vernon and Monticello as a national shrine. We'd all have to buy Worst Person tchotchkes from the Franklin Mint. (If we didn't, our patriotism would be questioned.) Our kids would have to go to Worst Person schools and read Worst Person biographies, and — oh, good heavens, the Republican conventions. We can't even bear to think about that.

But — guess what? That didn't happen. You know why? Because the Republicans have always been more interested in surface appearances and propaganda than in really getting the job done. So, go ahead, GOP — keep pandering to the crazy. You're just dooming yourselves to the kiddies' table.

*In the wake of the death of a truly horrible person like Osama bin Laden, we cats would like to clarify once more that our nickname for George W. Bush is based on the our higher expectations for Americans, and how they conduct themselves as leaders, role models and human beings. Thank you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Ding Dong, bin Laden's Dead Edition

By Sniffles

We cats generally are nocturnal creatures, but last night's events were too much even for us. Now that we've gotten some sleep, had an opportunity to surf around, and have let the bin Laden news sink in, we have a few thoughts. We'll stay on the political side since most of the other genuinely profound and moving stuff has already been said.

Yes, Mr. President, you are absolutely right. We Americans "can do whatever we set our mind to." Especially when we're not invading countries that didn't attack us, or outing covert CIA agents. (We know that you can't say this, but we can.)

We've watched with interest the Republicans' reactions, and must admit to a tiny bit of glee that they've had to finally give the 44th President of the United States some respect. But as for the clown convention that passes for their 2012 Presidential field, apparently Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty are the only grownups in the GOP rubber room.

Speaking of Republicans, right-wing Planned Parenthood demonizer Mike Pence has been forced to cancel his scheduled political announcement today, whatever it was. Therefore, from now on, any time President Obama outmaneuvers the GOP and makes them do things they don't wanna do, it will be known as "being Penced."

Is it true that Osama bin Laden's last words were "I love the Tea Party"? Just thought we'd start the rumor.

We wonder where Michele Bachmann was last night and how she heard the news. You may recall that Bachmann was grudgingly put on the House Intelligence Committee after Boehner and Cantor blocked her for a leadership post. Which means that Vice President Biden didn't call her (he only notified leaders). A normal person would have been told once her committee chairman was. But given her testy relationship with the House GOP hierarchy, we think there's a possibility Bachmann wasn't. In short, if she was at home with her closet-case husband and heard it on TV, we'd say she has been, um, cut out.

Mitch Daniels was getting a lot of pressure to jump into the 2012 Presidential race last week. Doesn't look as inviting today.

And yes, in case you're wondering, we cats have indeed checked out our nutty friends over at Free Republic. (In fact, we visited them very very early this morning, to see how they were coping. Incredibly, they were speculating that bin Laden had actually been killed a week ago, but that the White House had delayed the news in order to wipe the birth certificate story off the front pages.) Today, they just seem baffled and subdued: Only three people have commented on the "it's a great day to be an American" thread. Maybe we can keep them that way long enough to throw a butterfly net over them.

We cats PURR.

UPDATE: Already the speculating has started as to whether this is President Obama's greatest accomplishment. What — this, and health care reform, too? Goodness gracious.

Mission (Actually) Accomplished.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Katharine Graham Should Be Spinning In Her Grave

By Baxter

We cats disapprove of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It is a silly event. However, we're willing to relent long enough to throw loud PURRS in the direction of President Obama, who, as Kenny Bania would say, "killed" last night.

And unlike his fellow comedians, Seth Meyers appears to have navigated the dinner's treacherous waters — although he needs to learn that you cannot use "I" in the objective sense. (It's "Ron and Rand Paul have something in common with my father and me," Seth, dear.)

That said, we continue to find it unseemly that journalists spend an evening flashing cleavage on a red carpet and cozying up to their sources. To us, it just doesn't pass the smell test — and we cats have mighty powerful noses.

Consider, for example, the wildly inappropriate behavior of The Washington Post, which invited famous carnival barker and all-around mountebank Donald Trump to sit at its table. The Post fancies itself a serious newspaper and a competitor with The New York Times (which, to its credit, no longer attends this idiotic soiree).

Yes, you could argue that by inviting him, The Post set Trump up for some high-level scorn, which apparently offended him enough to make him decamp early. But we don't care about Trump. We're just wondering how any newspaper could then write an objective story about someone who had been its dinner guest. (It reminds us of that awful "salons with newsmakers" idea that the The Post got in so much trouble for two years ago. Apparently, they haven't learned a thing.)

Oh, well. That appears to be the WHCD's raison d'etre — to allow news outlets to host ridiculous public figures who will attract attention. People magazine, for instance, invited Bristol Palin. (Who has about as much chance of becoming President as Donald Trump.)

We cats HISS.

(IMAGE: Mr. Triple Combover, not amused.)