Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt Ceiling Antics Now More Ridiculous Than Royal Wedding Hats

Events in Washington are so dismal and depressing that we cats have had to turn to yesterday's royal wedding for some comic relief.

And as usual, the Windsors have not let us down. Thanks, Camilla!

(P.S. Any birds in there?)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Worst. Ever.

Should we be surprised that people who hate government don't know how to govern?

UPDATE: Megan Carpentier in The Guardian says it pretty well:

"Boehner's willingness to let his freshmen members have sway, lest they complain about his forceful leadership style, set up the situation in which we find ourselves today: a small contingent of intransigent ultra-conservatives who care little about the real-world ramifications of a debt crisis and a great deal about ideology and personal brand are holding their own leadership – and the country – hostage to a plan of spending cuts few people actually think is desirable or sustainable."

Read more here.

Fools On The Hill

By Baxter

Gosh, just look at these smiley, happy faces on the hapless John Boehner and that McCarthy whip guy. You can just tell that things are going really, really well for them on this whole debt-ceiling recalcitrant-teabagger thing. Way to go, fellas!

What a way to run a railroad. They said they'd have a vote on "the Boehner plan" on Wednesday. Then that became early yesterday afternoon. Then mid-afternoon. Then early evening. Then evening. Then for sure during the night. (Remember, there's only one political party of true, foundational Constitution-loving Americans who always tell the people the truth.)

We'd be loving every single second of this Republican chaos if we weren't so enraged by their willingness to destroy the country in the name of 1) their twisted ideology, and 2) their unreasoning hatred of Barack Obama.

Therefore, we cats HISS — and urge all Americans to call their Congress members... again. (Sigh.)

(PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


By Zamboni

We cats are very fond of our nicknames for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney: The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, and The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived (If Indeed He Were a Person).

In fact, we think that those names have been endorsed by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who today penned this memorable paragraph: "The last century was the American century. But this one will not be, thanks to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who...spent eight years and trillions of dollars either barging into stuff they should have left alone or leaving alone stuff they should have intervened on."

If that's not a definition of "worst," what is?

Well, to answer that, let's travel down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. John Boehner, take a bow as the Worst Speaker of the House — Ever, Ever, In History, Amen.

Boehner has stumbled so much since accepting the gavel from Nancy Pelosi that his oopsies and goof-ups have become standard punch lines in the blogosphere. But this debt ceiling fiasco just takes the cake.

On top of all the idiocies and outrages, last night the hapless House GOP had to postpone a vote on a Boehner-crafted debt bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would not save the money he said it would. Today, the CBO says Harry Reid's plan will save more. And Republican infighting has reached new heights as Republican Study Group staffers were caught urging outside right-wing-nutjob groups to pressure House members against Boehner's legislation.

This is not a political party that has its house — or its House — in order.

"Fire him," Congress members reportedly chanted against the RSC e-mailer. We cats think that perhaps John Boehner might be a candidate for that as well.

Normally we'd delight in Boehner's incompetence. But it's tough to do so when the whole country, and the entire world, may end up suffering grievously because of it. So we cats HISS instead. "Get your asses in line," the Speaker has allegedly barked at his caucus — but without a doubt, he is the Chief Ass.

UPDATE: It's Thursday, and the House vote has been postponed... AGAIN! We stand by our headline. And yes, the picture.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Debt Ceiling Debate: "Can't Make Up Our Minds Here! No, Too Many Flies Here!"

By Miss Kubelik

We cats had a tough time getting through to our Congressman last night. His website wouldn't load and the Capitol telephone operator didn't answer for the longest time. But we finally made it. Today, we've heard that circuits on the Hill are still deluged. Good.

We were kind of hoping, though, that President Obama would use his speech to the nation to announce that he was choosing to bypass Congress and exercise the 14th Amendment. But this afternoon the White House is saying nerts to that. Bad.

Getting nervous? We would be if we weren't so frustrated at Republicans' willingness to drive the country over a cliff. All so that — they think — they can win the election next year. Can you imagine the screams of "traitor" from the GOP if the Democrats were doing this? The Republicans' lack of patriotism is breathtaking.

Meanwhile, we think Mr. Obama may have a line from the musical "1776" running through his mind. "Good God, consider yourselves fortunate you have John Adams to abuse," the second President tells the Continental Congress. "For no sane man would tolerate it."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bush: Too Busy Watchin' Sports, Eatin' Pretzels

By Sniffles

In the wake of the terrible events in Norway, we cats are thinking of The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived.

It's occurred to us that there was one decent thing that George W. Bush did in all of the eight years of his horrendous Presidency: Defend Islam in the post-9/11 hysteria.

Never mind that his inattention helped the September 11 attacks to occur in the first place. Never mind that he and his abhorrent Administration milked terrorism politically for all it was worth. At least, the Worst Person stepped forward — only days after the attacks — and said, essentially, Islam is not to blame here. We're not at war with the Muslim world.

Which begs a question: Where the heck is he now?

Bush doesn't have credibility on very much, but on this issue, he does. We cats would gladly salute him if he would emerge from his man cave, workout room, or wherever he hangs out in his palatial North Dallas home, and say something along the lines of "Anders Breivik is a jerk." But as far as we can tell, crickets.

Sadly, we can only conclude that Bush hasn't changed. He's remained the careless narcissist who's good at repeating lines from a Rove-authored script and who happened to be able to take shameful advantage of an extreme national vulnerability. He doesn't care that Muslims are being demonized — hell, he doesn't care about anything. He's still The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived. We cats HISS.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Freepers To Perry: "We Don't"

By Baxter

We cats could think of no better way to celebrate New York's first day of marriage equality than to see whether Rick Perry has freaked the Freepers out.

And he has. O joy!

The Governor of Texas, who is constantly being mentioned as a possible Presidential candidate by panicked Republicans who hate their 2012 field, is without a doubt a far-right whackjob who thinks you can pray away every problem America has. But he's made the interesting and potentially Freeper-bending comment that constitutionally, his support of states' rights trumps his opposition to gay marriage.

We just had to know how our teabaggy friends over at Free Republic were reacting to that. What fun, watching them forced to choose between Perry and their rampant homophobia. So, without further ado, here are some of their most memorable sputterings. (At least, ones that, apparently unlike many, were not deleted by the moderator. Also, they're upset, so their spelling and grammar have gone a bit awry. Enjoy!)

"This bozo has no business being in politics, let alone as a governor. Marriage has been defined as a union between one man and one woman in law dictionarys [sic]."

"I’m opposed to gay marriage as a matter of principal [sic]."

"Perry was an anti-Reagan activist Democrat that [sic] fought Reagan and supported his opponents in 1980 and 1984, and Al Gore in 1988."

"Rick Perry is a phony. I don’t know why anybody gives this guy one speck of credibility."

"Perry does give off the same old smarmy politician vibe. Better than BO but still gives me that impression."

"The nice thing about a long primary season is that one usually gets to see one’s 'pretty boy' candidate show some in this case. He’s toast...thankfully."

"Why does Rush Limbaugh promote this guy?"

"I DON'T LIKE THIS!! PERRY has just joined my CRAP list along with Christie and Daniels as being ISLAMOPHILIC [sic] ECONOMIC CONSERVATIVES who are SOCIAL LIBERALS!!"

"OK, well, that has to be a record for the shortest campaign in history. Over 3 weeks before he announces."

"Just crossed Perry off the list. Next!"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chicken Run

By Zamboni

Okay, we cats have refrained from commenting on the debt ceiling talks, but this afternoon we think this might change.

The reason we've refrained is that, honestly, we couldn't face the idea that something that was so simple, something for which Ronald Reagan pushed 17 times, would now be impossible. See, this is what happens when teabaggers get elected to Congress.

Ya know, on the political, "Inside Baseball" level, it's a perfect example of how Republicans have refused to extend the courtesies to President Obama that Democrats routinely afforded St. Ronald — which pisses us off. But even more important than that, this debt-ceiling game of chicken screws around with our economy, the country, the well-being of all 330 million Americans, and the world economy. Even stalwart members of the GOP like Bob McDonnell recognize this as so.

The blame for which we totally lay at the feet of Republicans. Somehow we don't think the Founders had teabagger inflexibility in mind when they designed the system of federal checks and balances.

We cats would be much more sanguine about all this if we didn't realize that the Republican leadership was not only ineffectual but held hostage by its extreme right-wing base. We can only assume that the President will rope-a-dope them until he gives up, says the process is impossible because they are unreasonable, and invokes the 14th amendment.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


By Miss Kubelik

How happy do these people look? Um, kinda not very. Today is the 150th anniversary of the first skirmish of the Civil War, the battle of Bull Run (also known as first Manassas). These poor slobs are attending this morning's commemorative event. As we cats write this, it's 99 degrees in Manassas, with a heat index of — wait for it — 109.

That's a statue of Stonewall Jackson in the background, and we bet you could grill a tasty mouse on it this afternoon.

As for us cats, we are taking it easy indoors. But we're wondering if any of the folks attending today's ceremonies are climate-change deniers. See, we have this theory that many Civil War buffs around these parts — and especially those insane "re-enactors" — are teabaggers. First because we've seen them tooling around with Confederate and Gadsden flags on their pickup trucks. But also because they seem unhealthily seduced by the idea of battle, having never served in an actual war themselves. (And, of course, by all that "Lost Cause" crapola.)

We're happy to be proven wrong. But in the meantime we're also content to bask in our owners' air conditioning. As for the nuts who are commemorating just a few miles north of us, we hope that Prince William County has lots of ambulances standing by. They're going to need them.

UPDATE: The National Park Service has canceled Friday afternoon's sesquicentennial activities at the Manassas battlefield due to the excessive heat. We're sure that the Republicans will say that this weather is just the result of farting cows and breathing trees.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maybe It's That Time of the Month

By Sniffles

Goodness gracious, but Allen West is so — emotional.

Should he even be in Congress? He doesn't seem to be able to handle such an important job. Or is he unstable? Maybe, like so many men, he can't deal with conflict. Perhaps he should just stay home and take care of the children, instead of trying to represent Florida's 22nd district.

What other conclusions can we cats come to, when — after a speech by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the House floor — "Colonel West" explodes like a child denied candy in a grocery store?

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz stuck to policy matters. In reply, West hurled personal invective. Ms. Wasserman Schultz, he screamed in an e-mail, is "vile," "despicable" and "not a Lady" (punctuation his).

Oooh, that last one hurts!

In the end, this whole affair will probably be laughed off as a shouting match between two highly partisan members from neighboring districts. But in reality, West's tantrum is the latest example of the GOP's ongoing, destructive and ultimately hateful campaign to de-legitimize the opposition. We cats hate this. We HISS.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Obdurate Defense Edition

By Baxter

We cats could spend this entire post on today's Murdoch/Murdoch/Brooks reality show, but instead we think we'll share some random thoughts bumping around in our brains.

We know we've mentioned this before, but with the thermometer creeping past 100 degrees Fahrenheit this week, why aren't Democrats hounding ignorant fools like James Inhofe and other Republicans who build igloos in the winter to deny climate change? Is it because we're intelligent and decent enough to know that one July heat wave does not global warming make? Too bad. Get going!

We think this POLITICO story on the upcoming Ames, Iowa straw poll is a gentle prediction that the eminently unlikable Tim Pawlenty will come in fifth. Based on where things stand today, here's what we're looking at: 1) Bachmann, 2) Paul, 3) Romney, 4) Perry, and 5) Timmy — whom Lassie soon will have to rescue from the bottom of a well.

Why don't pundits understand that the Republican primaries are no longer winner-take-all? They're criticizing Ron Paul's recent big media buy in Nevada and wondering why he's wasting his money. They are silly. With proportional representation, the Paul people obviously are signaling to Mitt Romney that he doesn't own The Silver State. Makes sense to us.

Speaking of Romney, in light of the PPP poll showing Bachmann leading among Republicans nationally, it appears that Mitt's "play it safe" frontrunner strategy is working out really well for him. Yeah. Like phone hacking worked out for News of the World.

And yes, we were pretty riveted to the Murdoch-gate hearings in Parliament today. We found the legendarily hands-on Rupie to be utterly unbelievable, the unctuous James as slithery as a snake, and — Beckers? Well, Beckers should not give up her quest for a good hairdresser. (Or maybe she should call Locks of Love.) Their testimony didn't go badly, and it didn't go well. And therein lies their dilemma.

In the meantime, we cats assume the meatloaf position, close our eyes, and wait contentedly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Piling On" Is a Pile of You-Know-What

By Zamboni

Well, you knew this had to happen. The American right wing is getting all umbrage-y over coverage of the Murdoch scandal. (Guys, take it from us — when you find yourself complaining that too much attention is being paid to a story, you're on the wrong side of history.)

And — what a story! Since we cats last posted, Murdoch "daughter" Rebekah Brooks was arrested, the head of Scotland Yard resigned, and now, his  number-two guy has also stepped down. (Not to mention the News of the World whistle-blower who's just been found dead at home. Hmmm!)

This latest wave of Murdoch misfortune is like the Saturday Night Massacre, Bush Senior's "Read My Lips" speech, and Election Day 2008 all happening at once. And there's no end in sight. Which means that Rupie's stateside excusers have started manning the barricades.

Check out these fools from FOX "News," whining that the media are "piling on." We cats particularly love the part where they cast Citigroup and Bank of America as hacking victims equal to a murdered 13-year-old. "Put this behind us"? "Move on"? Hilarious. Clearly Roger Ailes rushed Rupie's pathetic talking points to these guys, who parroted them like bad actors at a phone-sex audition.

Wait till David Cameron resigns. Will FOX cover it? Maybe not.

We cats PURR.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

While You're At It, Rupie...

By Miss Kubelik

We cats hope that Rupert Murdoch's apology tour has just begun.

He met yesterday with the family of Milly Dowler to beg forgiveness. And probably more than anyone else, they richly deserved to see him so humbled. Now we wonder, of course, if he'll do the same with Gordon and Sarah Brown, for violating their infant son's medical privacy. Somehow, we're not holding our breath on that one.

While we're at it, by the way, we'd also like Rupert Murdoch to meet with and apologize to us — and, actually, to all Americans — for all the lies, outrages and indignities foisted upon our national discourse by FOX "News." For ruining The Wall Street Journal.  For pumping tons of money into shadowy organizations whose sole purpose is to corrupt our electoral process and bend it to his right-wing views. For myriad other crimes and offenses that we don't even know about yet.

We haven't said we'll forgive him. But we'd sure love to see him grovel.

(PHOTO: Andy Rain/EPA)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — "The Bad Week for People We Hate" Edition

By Sniffles

Wow, we cats can scarcely believe the beleaguered state so many people we dislike find themselves in these days. Which makes us PURR. Here's a short list to start your weekend.

Michele Bachmann apparently has raised a paltry $2 million for her silly Presidential run. We cats say paltry for several reasons. First, although you'll see stories about her having raised $4 million, note that half of it comes from an injection of cash from her Congressional fund. Which doesn't count.

Second, it's paltry because the Bachmann campaign allowed the punditry to quote an anticipated figure of $8 million — without shutting it down. Bad expectations management, Michele. Tsk.

Never mind the fact that Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld basically questioned Marcus Bachmann's sexual orientation this week. We cats have nothing to say beyond the fact that we've observed that people who are virulently anti-homosexual frequently turn out to be homosexual themselves.

Eric Cantor has become public enemy number one. But we think this blogger has the best Cantor characterization we've ever read.

On the Rupert Murdoch front, we awoke this morning to hear that Rebekah "Better Dead Than Red" Brooks had finally thrown in the towel over at News International. Our first thought? Oh, goody, Rupert is unhappy. (He dotes on her; we're sure that at some point we'll find out exactly why.) Our second thought? Maybe now she'll have time to find a good hairdresser.

And finally, noticias caliente: The CEO of Dow Jones has just resigned himself. So Murdoch-gate has definitively jumped the Atlantic. This is as big a loss to Rupert over here as Brooks is in the U.K. And we cats predict that Robert Mueller and Eric Holder and Eric Schneiderman and Mary Schapiro and the U.S. media — and who knows who else digging into this — will find, in the elegant words of Ernie Hudson, sh-t that will turn you white.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"On Second Thought, Let Us Not Go to Camelot. It Is a Silly Place."

Many thanks to White House spokesman Jay Carney. His report that the President's been urging Republicans to aim for "the holy grail" in the Washington debt ceiling talks has given us cats a golden opportunity to indulge in a little Monty Python.

Even 40 years later, the Pythons manage to capture the insanity that Congressional Republicans have been foisting on us all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things To Come?

By Baxter

It's amazing how such a good week for Democrats — including President Obama's record-setting fund raising and election victories in Wisconsin and California — can at the same time be such a bad, bad week for Rupert Murdoch.

All hell has broken out over in the U.K, and now the phone-hacking scandal is threatening to invade the United States. Please tell us cats why Murdoch's minions wouldn't hack into the phones, bank accounts and medical records of American 9/11 victims.

Meanwhile, we're enjoying the show — from Gordon Brown's fiery speech to Parliament, to the hapless Tory government piling on, to the Bancroft family saying they'd never have sold Murdoch The Wall Street Journal if they'd known. (But of course, shame on them for not regretting the Journal sale well before this.)

What's most intriguing us, though, is a comment that News International CEO Rebekah Brooks made last Friday. In breaking the news to employees that the News of the World would publish its last issue on Sunday, Brooks predicted more scandalous revelations that would lead to "a very dark day for this company."

We cats find this tantalizing. First, we couldn't imagine what could be "darker" than hacking into the phone of a 13-year-old murder victim. (And then of course came the news about Gordon Brown's infant son's medical records.) Second, so much has happened since last Friday that we can't help wondering if Brooks' "dark day" revelations have already been revealed — or if they're still to come.

If the latter, there's only one event we could think of that, if Murdoch is somehow involved, would outrage the British public more than the murder of an innocent teen: The death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Who was that mysterious Fiat Uno driver?

Let the rumor mill begin!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

These People Are Nuts

By Zamboni

We cats frequently think we've seen it all. Only to be proven — to our astonishment — wrong.

To wit: It becomes apparent that in President Obama's attempts to govern, the Republican Party couldn't go any farther off a cliff. And then Mitch McConnell steps in and hands us a gift. We know it's a gift because the right-wing maniacs over at Free Republic think that McConnell should be burned — and not just in effigy.

Well, good. But unfortunately, other obstacles remain. At the risk of offending people, we cats present the small example of Betty Ford: An Historical Figure Who Faltered.

We're sure we'll vex some readers by speaking vaguely ill of the dead, but we cats find it unacceptable that the heretofore outspoken First Lady Betty Ford remained silent on the extreme-rightward tilt of her political party. How much influence Mrs. Ford could have had in the GOP, had she only objected to her party's enslavement of women.

It's testimony to the sorry state of the Republican Party today that we have these thoughts, and that Cokie Roberts has said she'd been asked by Mrs. Ford to eulogize a time when Republicans and Democrats in Washington were friends.

That, as we've pointed out before, is a very long time ago. Lee Atwater, we're sure, is burning in hell as we speak.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Time to Start Asking About FOX

By Miss Kubelik

With the reprehensible Rupert Murdoch engulfed in well-deserved scandal on the sceptred isle — a scandal that appears to be spiraling even further out of control — we cats can think of no better time than now to turn our attention to his media empire here in the U.S.

Specifically, isn't it time for some outrage over at FOX "News"?

Well, maybe not. To our amusement — or disgust; we alter between the two — FOX has barely covered the tsunami crashing over their owner. If you need more evidence that FOX is merely the U.S.-based bullhorn for Murdoch's right-wing politics, and not a real news organization, we cats can't think of better proof. At the very least, this poseur called FOX should be kicked out of the White House press room.

But we're also wondering why the Republican luminaries who draw paychecks from Murdoch are still doing so. After all, it's one thing when politicians and members of the Royal Family are phone-tapped and hacked. It's quite another when Murdoch's minions poke into the private lives of soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, or dead 13-year-olds. In the case of the murdered girl, Murdoch's hackers gave false hope to her family that she was still alive, because her voicemails were being deleted.

This is so disgusting that we cats think that coughing up a mere hairball isn't enough. It makes us want to vomit a dead rat and leave it on Rupert Murdoch's doorstep.

In light of this, we ask once again why Republicans serving as FOX "News" commentators — people who describe themselves as avatars of morality, decency, family values and tough-on-crime-ism — haven't resigned in en masse revulsion.

Why are fine, upstanding Americans like Fat Mike Huckabee, Dick Morris, Bill O'Reilly, Greta van Susteren, Sean Hannity, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, the famous quitter from Alaska —and, of course, the most wronged journalist on the face of the earth, Juan Williams — still working for Rupert Murdoch?

Could it be — do you think — that they really aren't as moral and decent and wronged as they say? That they're just a bunch of greedy opportunists looking to make a buck?

Let the drumbeat begin.

(IMAGE: Milly Dowler, victim — first of murder, then of Murdoch.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lest We Furr-get: Whitewashing Slavery

By Sniffles

We cats love Gone With The Wind and all, but it's time for America to stop pretending that slavery either didn't exist or was kind of benign.

Latest case in point: A "Marriage Vow" issued by a group of fools called the Family Leader, which has pressed Republican Presidential candidates to sign it. Unsurprisingly, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have done so.

The document's main purpose appears to be a broadside attack on marriage equality, but it also avers that a black American slave baby was "more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American president.”

Ridiculous. The very idea that there were such things as "two-parent households" under American slavery is absurd. Slave parents could not even marry. They were property, folks. So slave families were constantly split apart by being, um, sold. (And here's an extra added bonus: Slave women were constantly subjected to rape by their masters. If they resisted, they were beaten or killed.)

Yep, a real fun life. But don'tcha know, so much better than under President Obama. Now this silly group has issued one of those lame "we're sorry if anyone was offended" apologies.

We cats are tired of the right wing planting monstrous lies into the mainstream political discourse, and then feebly walking them back when they assume no one is looking. It's corrupting, dishonest and evil. As for this latest outrage, didn't we all see Roots, or are we dating ourselves?

The ignorance and/or rewriting of history that the Republican Party fosters and institutionalizes is one of the gravest threats to the future of our nation. How can we govern ourselves if we don't even know how we got here?

We cats SNARL.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Happy Prince

By Baxter

We cats are simply thrilled and agog at the mess that Rupert Murdoch is in. Is it possible that the world is a just place? Well, probably not. But considering the fact that folks are being arrested left and right, that David Cameron's in a pickle, and that Murdoch has had to fly back to the U.K. to deal with the reprehensible behavior that he, over 40 years, has inspired — we're tempted to think yes. At least for a little while.

Yet as pleased as we are, we suspect that nowhere is there more Schadenfreude today than in the House of Windsor.

Little notice is taken over here in the colonies, but Rupert Murdoch not only is a Republican with a capital R, he's a republican. In British terms, that means anti-monarchist. And he has made the Royal Family's lives miserable over the years. Small example: In 1992, Murdoch's Sun, snubbing its nose at tradition, published the Queen's heretofore embargoed Christmas broadcast two days early. A fine slap in the face at the end of an annus horribilis.

There are other instances, but if you really want to go back in time, recall the day that the News of the World printed a photo of Princess Margaret and Roddy Llewellyn hanging out in swimsuits in Mustique. As the late Queen Mother was known to have said, that was a very long time ago.

And of course, in 2005 the soon-to-be-shuttered paper hacked the cell phones of Prince William and Prince Harry.

Perhaps none of this Windsor-chasing compares with violating the privacy of murdered little girls, commuters slaughtered by terrorists, and fallen soldiers. But we have the funny feeling that the Prince of Wales, long a victim of Murdoch's tabloid press himself, is smiling tonight. We cats join you, Sir!

UPDATE: The Guardian now reports that Charles and his wife Camilla have been warned that Rupert Murdoch was hacking their voicemail. We assume that our lack of surprise is surpassed only by the Prince's own.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pawlenty's Problems

By Zamboni

Goodness gracious, the folks over at Tim Pawlenty 2012 must be so depressed. Not one but two stories hit today, basically saying the same thing: "TPaw" is in trouble.

The New York Times speculates that Pawlenty could be the first Republican Presidential candidate to pack it in after the Iowa straw poll on August 13. (Even before Newt Gingrich? Now, that's an accomplishment.) Similarly, Bloomberg is averring that Pawlenty's current six percent in the Hawkeye State could deal him a political death blow.

We cats have some random thoughts on all of this.

First, either these two stories running concurrently is a total coincidence, or someone in one of the other Republican camps is doing an incredibly effective job of setting Pawlenty up to fail. (Cutie-pie Jon Huntsman probably has the greatest incentive. But it could also be Ed Rollins, poisoning the waters on behalf of Michele Bachmann. Or Romney. Or Perry.)

Second, we are puzzled by the continued assertion in the press that Pawlenty has built an impressive Iowa organization. We've seen little evidence of this. We have noted some top-level endorsements — but does Pawlenty have a campaign chair in each of Iowa's 99 counties? Or captains in Iowa's 2,500-plus precincts? We want names. Lists of names.

On that note, does the Pawlenty campaign have a fleet of buses standing at the ready? (These early states often become a battle of who can shuttle in the most supporters. Just ask Ron Paul.) Will Pawlenty bring people down from Minnesota? Somehow, we cats think that the candidate who will win the "I-can-bus-more-people-in-from-our-home-state-than-you-can" contest will be Bachmann.

Finally, are these Pawlenty stories a subtle clue to Rick Perry's campaign strategy? The secessionist from Texas claims that he won't decide on running until after his silly prayer extravaganza on August 6. But if he waits just one more week to see if Bachmann wins the straw poll and Pawlenty drops out, Perry can easily step his "Freedom" and "Liberty" cowboy boots into the ring as the establishment, anybody-but-Mitt candidate. (Thus saving the GOP from the specter of nominating a sure disaster like Michele.)

Yes, we realize this is Inside Baseball. But when the players are as whacky as the 2012 Republican clown college, sometimes you need a little help keeping score.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bachmann Ascendant?

By Miss Kubelik

On this anniversary of the London terrorist attacks — a day on which Rupert Murdoch may have received some of his just deserts — we cats are focused on mendacity.

And what is more steeped in mendacity than today's Republican Party? We cats are hard-pressed to think of a domestic example.

To wit: Here is today's story about Michele Bachmann's latest media buy. We have a few declarations about this Bachmann purchase.

It is NOT about the Ames, Iowa straw poll. In reality, it's about scaring Rick Perry (and others) out of the state. It's about giving all the Republican whackbags second thoughts about signing on with Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich — or anyone else.

Most of all, it's about sending a signal to the great, unloved Mitt Romney: that he can't skip the Iowa straw poll and then roll into the state for a couple of days and expect to be in the fight for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination. And that — as the inadequate political media have started to realize — he has a lot of vulnerabilities in a national party that now has fully embraced racism, sexism and extremism.

Incredible as it seems, at this point in the clown college that passes for the Republican Presidential race, we cats think that the stars — and the states — currently align for the whacko woman from Minnesota.

Is that a bad thing? Oh, no. We cats PURR.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mitt's Money Mess

By Sniffles

Wow, remember all those claims that America would be better off with President Mitt Romney because he's such a talented businessman and so good at money and all?

Well, guess what. The alleged Republican front-runner has fallen short of his first-half-of-2011 fundraising goal by a cool $31.75 million.

Yep, you read that right. The initial Romney target: $50 million. The actual number, released today: $18.25. We cats say, pathetic.

We don't want to rub it in, but we recall yawning over the veracity of Romney's much-ballyhooed, $10-million-in-a-day Las Vegas phone-a-thon awhile back. We claimed there was no there there. Now more than ever, we think we were right. Some enterprising reporter with a lot of time on his hands should call all 800 of those Romney phone-a-thoners and ask them how much money they really raised.

In the meantime, since we're obviously so good at making Romney-related predictions, we now have two more:

First, heads will roll in Mitt's money operation sometime this month. Second, sooner or later we'll learn that anemic fundraising was the real reason Romney decided to skip the Iowa straw poll in August. They knew then that money was going to be, um, a little tight.

And perhaps we can put to rest forever the idea that a businessperson would make the best President? The death of that canard would make us cats truly PURR.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A (Non-Litter) Box We Like

By Baxter

We cats have returned from a country that has been occasionally divided by language to a country that seems to be split on just about everything. You know what? Despite the fact that our political party currently holds the White House, sometimes we're sorely tempted to go with the place that just argues English versus French.

While we were there, it was pretty dispiriting to realize, as this writer avers, that the first image Canadians conjure up when they think about the U.S. these days is the teabaggers — their anger, their ignorance, and their sense of entitlement.

That, and his too-true observation that America is teetering on the brink of an inability to function — thanks to the insane right-wing aversion to taxes and the Republican fat cats who feed it — well, it's all just too depressing for words.

Therefore, let us take a moment to celebrate a small something that works. See this adorable mailbox? It's the latest thing from Canada Post, and it's brilliant. Know why? Because it's the world's most effective anti-graffiti weapon. Plain red mailboxes all over Montreal used to be scribbled on within an inch of their lives. But thanks to this busy, cheerful new design, the boxes are graffiti'd no more.

We wish we could have come up with an example from below the 49th parallel this day after the Fourth of July. But we'll take what we can get.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

When In The Course of Human Events...

Here's another quickie, since we cats are still traveling and time is short between revels.

We're slightly miffed that Montreal has gotten a bit of a black eye over William and Kate's visit when it's actually Quebec City that's a hotbed of whatever is left of separatism. But oh, well. At least, this photo is in the spirit of American Independence Day, which as we all know is tomorrow.