Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leaving Diana In The Dust

By Sniffles

The famous quitter from Alaska is back in the news again. Or, we should say, the famous quitter has made sure that she's back in the news again.

We cats won't bore you with the details, but there's quite a kerfuffle over whether or not Sarah Palin will show at a teabagger event in Iowa this weekend. As usual, she's jerking people around — especially the press, which (also as usual) is dutifully allowing itself to be whipsawed.

We cats are wondering: Why is this a story?

It's occurred to us that if no one in the media paid any attention to Sarah Palin, we wouldn't have this nonsense intruding on our consciousness (and we'd all be happier for it).

On this, Diana's death day, we can't help re-remarking that in terms of media manipulation, the famous quitter from Alaska has far outpaced the late Princess of Wales. But they are still sisters at heart. Like Diana, the quitter is able to manufacture outsize coverage of herself thanks to: 1) her good looks, and 2) her undeserved elevation to a position of importance by an institution she has since scorned.

If and when the famous quitter finally announces that she's out of the 2012 race, someone — an intern at POLITICO, perhaps? — should go back and catalog all the breathless MSM coverage of her every feint, utterance and inarticulately expressed thought. We assure you, it will be quite a list.

(PHOTO: Unlike Diana, at least the famous quitter is smart enough to buckle her safety belt.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shooting Ourselves In The Paw

By Zamboni

We cats have received an e-mail rant from a political activist associated with this lame-looking website. Her mission in life: Elect more women to public office, whether Democratic or Republican. Her latest complaints: 1) She received a direct mail piece from the DNC, even though she hasn't been a registered Democrat for the last five years, and 2) President Obama hasn't done enough for women.

To which we cats reply, quelle naivete! Let us answer her grievances, and add a few observations of our own.

First, in the world of direct mail, organizations obviously keep mailing to anybody who's shown previous support. In other words, duh. That's why we cats keep getting friendly missives from the Human Rights Campaign, although we haven't been members for awhile. (And by the way, since we're sure that some time ago we unsubscribed from the very e-mail blast we received today, the sender is guilty of the same transgression she's accusing the Democrats of. How ironic!)

Second, as long as there are Michele Bachmanns and Sarah Palins and Nikki Haleys and Christine O'Donnells and Sharron Angles and Carly Fiorinas and Meg Whitmans in the world, we not only will not punish the Democratic Party, we will never, ever subscribe to the notion that more Republican women in office is a good thing.

Third, as for her ragging on President Obama: What's the alternative? We cats are always distressed when our fellow liberals A) forget how bad life was under George W. Bush, and B) carp and moan without appreciation for the state this country would be if today's Republican Party were in charge.

But ours isn't just a "worst-case scenario" argument. From its earliest weeks, this Administration has done good things for women. President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, appointed two outstanding women to the Supreme Court, and lifted funding restrictions on abortion (in his first few days in office), just to name a few. But, gosh! — surely President Romney or President Perry or President Bachmann or President Palin would do the same — right?

Um, not.

Finally, the e-mail in question completely lost us when it used the word "Democrat" as an adjective. Why the sender thinks it's okay to employ sinister Republican pejoratives is beyond us.

We cats HISS at liberal losers, and urge them to get lives. Nine lives, in fact. We'll need all of them, in our fight to keep the crazy teabaggers from taking over the country.

UPDATE: Here's another example of how Barack Obama has "let women down" (not): His new health reform law requires insurance companies to cover birth control with no co-pays. Quelle horreur!

Monday, August 29, 2011


By Baxter

Jon Huntsman is trying to get back into our good graces (and back on our Valentine's Day list) by saying that he thinks evolution is God's plan.

Yep, believe it or not, we cats think that's a mighty interesting remark. We have a strong Deist strain in our natures, and it makes perfect sense to us that if there's a Supreme Being (besides us felines, of course), evolution probably bought Him or Her some time — in fact, a couple of million years — to go do other things before He or She had to come back to our neck of the universe and mind the humans.

Of course, most pundits would say that Huntsman is trying to have his cake and eat it, too — attempting to appeal at the same time to whatever rational thinkers are left in the Republican Party and the crazy teabaggers who make up its base. But we don't think that the base will allow Huntsman to not take every word of the Bible literally, so the nomination will most likely still be beyond his reach.

As for us, Huntsman's right-wing positions on issues that we care about cancel any warm and fuzzy feelings we might be temped to have.

But, wait! Who needs Jon Huntsman anyway? Check out Alan Krueger, the new chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers! We cats PURR.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cat Fight! Dick Cheney vs. Colin Powell

By Miss Kubelik

Now that we cats have survived Hurricane Irene without a loss of power, we're amused to see that former Secretary of State Colin Powell and The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived (If Indeed He Were a Person) are engaged in a power struggle of their own.

Dick Cheney is always wrong, so his stupid memoir is not exactly "rocking" Washington. But Powell is wet-cat mad that the warmongering ex-Veep is taking, in Powell's words, "cheap shots."

To which we say, hmmmm. Cheney avers that Powell was criticizing the Administration's foreign policy decisions to others? Really? The only thing we remember is that embarrassing performance Powell gave to the U.N. on Iraq. Would he had been so critical then.

But, never mind. An intraparty Republican spat is always amusing. There's just one thing that's still kind of bugging us.

POLITICO's coverage of this Bushie dust-up says that Powell "famously broke with the GOP" to support President Obama in 2008. But it is silent on Powell's choice back in 2004.

We cats are, as you probably know, curious. If Powell felt, as the piece alleges, that by '04 the Administration was "dysfunctional" — did he vote to return them to office?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Heavy Weather Edition

By Sniffles

No, we cats aren't waiting for Irene Dunne to visit us (how we wish). It's another Irene. Anyway, the hatches are battened and we've put fresh batteries in the flashlights. But it's getting a little squally out there, so we thought we'd post while we still have electricity. Here are a few non-hurricane-related stories that are grabbing our attention today.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, take note: You guys may have talked tough ("Smoke 'em out!"), and told us we needed to watch what we said and did in the fight against Al Qaeda. But it's Barack Obama who just killed himself another terrorist. We think this proves Obama is a manly man. You? You guys are pansies.

We're loving the ongoing cat fight between Karl Rove and Sarah Palin. If only we could remember who Sarah Palin is.

Finally, one last note about developments north of the 49th parallel. Yes, we cats know that we've been yammering all week about the death of NDP leader Jack Layton. Let us close with the observation that today's wonderful, nearly Wellstonian state funeral for Mr. Layton was a teabagger's nightmare. And we loved every minute of it.

Readings from the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, a blessing from the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, terrific Sixties music, and a standing ovation for Layton's last "manifesto for social democracy." We could hear right-wing teeth grinding across Canada. Now, that's end-of-life planning. Nicely done, Jack.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Avant Le Deluge

By Zamboni

Let's see if we cats have this straight:

With his Congressional District in the path of category-2 Hurricane Irene, hard-hearted Republican Eric Cantor already has started bleating about how any post-storm federal aid will have to be balanced by spending cuts.

Sir, is there anything you think government should do? We're just wondering.

We cats HISS at Eric Cantor — and we hope that tomorrow, his house in Virginia washes away.

(IMAGE: Rainfall potential from Irene, The Washington Post)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jack Leaves Parliament Hill

We cats PURR in the direction of Jack Layton. May all those baby NDP MPs who were elected this spring govern in his spirit: energetically.

A State of Emergency

By Baxter

So we cats left South Florida last year for Northern Virginia, thinking that we'd escaped hurricanes forever. Think again.

Our silly Republican Governor has declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Irene, and we're apparently in a tropical storm watch right now. But natural disasters are not solely occupying our furry little minds this afternoon.

American politics are in a sorry state. After the debt ceiling debacle, the President has gone on a vacation we counseled against, and the Republicans are behaving despicably over the NATO success in Libya. We cats do not have high hopes for progress when Congress and the President get back to work in September.

Meanwhile, watching the Jack Layton commemorations in Canada today, we're wondering how many American politicians would merit the kind of send-off that he's receiving this week. We're guessing, not many.

Layton's farewell is that rare combination: a celebration of a lefty life with the trappings of national mourning. Saturday's Layton funeral undoubtedly will regale us with "O Canada" — as well as a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

In our opinion, we Americans need more leaders who would celebrate this kind of spirit. Until then, consider us in a real state of emergency.

Saying Adieu to "Le Bon Jack"

By Miss Kubelik

We cats think it was Harry Truman who said, "The only thing new under the sun is the history you don't know."

In that spirit, we've discovered some new history ourselves: The first state funeral ever held in Canada was for Thomas D'Arcy McGee, a cabinet minister assassinated in 1868. (His eponymous Irish pub sits just a stone's throw from Parliament Hill in Ottawa today.)

On Saturday, Jack Layton will be honored with a state funeral of his own. In the meantime, Canadians have been paying tribute to the late NDP leader by laying flowers and — yes, that's right — cans and cartons of Orange Crush. (A reference to the orange-themed party's strong showing in this spring's election.) And they're filing past his casket as he lies in state in Parliament's Centre Block. So many people showed up this morning that authorities had to throw the doors open early. Catch the CBC live coverage here.

The thought of Canada without Jack Layton is depressing. We're tempted to drown our sorrows in Orange Crush — but we guess we'll have to settle for D'Arcy McGee's "2-Pint Friday" instead.

UPDATE: Jack Layton left Parliament Hill for the last time this afternoon — but before he did, the bells in the Peace Tower played "O Canada," "The Dominion March" and John Lennon's "Imagine." We cats couldn't help thinking that that last selection would never happen at a dignitary's funeral in the U.S.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


By Sniffles

Unlike July 2010's meager 3-pointer, which we slept through, we cats definitely felt today's 5.8-magnitude earthquake — as well as this evening's 4.2 aftershock. (The dishes in the kitchen clinked and clanked. But we'll take that over this afternoon's dancing picture frames and swaying chandelier.)

The whole experience made us wonder what it's like to be a Republican these days. Because their 2012 Presidential field never stops shaking.

Just a little over a week ago — when that nut from Texas joined the fray — the "unassailable" truth in Pundit Land was that the GOP had a three-way race. But today, with 1) Romney's planning that 12,000-square-foot mansion in La Jolla, 2) Bachmann's Iowa balloon pretty much deflated by Rick Perry, and 3) Perry himself rapidly losing credibility by threatening the life of the Fed chairman, the "Good God, is this all we've got?" bleating continues on the right.

Rudy Giuliani! George Pataki! Jeb! Paul Ryan! The famous quitter from Alaska! Please, somebody, save us from ourselves!

Expect the hand-wringing to continue — at least, until filing deadlines make it moot. In the meantime, we cats assume that next month's Republican debates will be very interesting. And who knows what else will happen between now and then to, um, shake things up?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Who's the Elitist Here?

By Zamboni

We cats recall John McCain getting into a bit of trouble in 2008 because he couldn't remember exactly how many homes he owned.

Now, hot on the heels of the McCain debacle comes Mitt Romney, who seems comfortable enough in his alleged "front-runner" status to expand his La Jolla, California mansion by about 8,000 square feet.

See, here's the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

We Democrats were angrily e-mailing the White House a couple of weeks ago, urging the President to relocate his summer vacation from Martha's Vineyard — or forgo taking a vacation at all. Because we understand how 10 days at a wealthy playground can look to average Americans, especially those who are out of work.

We still believe that. But in our humble opinion, the Romney story completely cancels out the Vineyard vacay.

The President is relaxing for a few days and keeping tabs on world events. Mitt Romney is simply the nation's most conspicuous consumer.

Take your pick, America.


By Baxter

Now that it appears that Muammar Ghadafi is toast, we cats wonder how the clown college that passes for the 2012 Republican Presidential field will grapple with this apparent resolution to the Libyan situation.

In fact, the question that should be asked of all the GOP candidates — and their next debate seems an opportune time — is this: "What would Ronnie have done?"

That would be Ronald Reagan, the 40th President, who did not, repeat, not dislodge Ghadafi from his perch — despite plenty of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations between the U.S. and Libya during the Reagan Administration. (After which, in December 1988, the Libyans brought down Pan Am 103. We're just sayin'.)

We cats would never claim to know Reagan — we are fans of Jimmy Carter, after all. But we think that if Ronnie were alive today and not drooling, he would congratulate President Obama on achieving a great foreign policy objective — to the benefit of the United States, and the entire world.

Republican candidates, take note. And fall in line. Thank you.

Un Homme Courageux

By Miss Kubelik

Goodness gracious, was it only four months ago that we cats wrote about the New Democratic Party's surge in the May 2 Canadian elections? Although we were wrong about NDP leader Jack Layton moving into 24 Sussex Drive, he did end up as head of the official opposition after the biggest victory in his party's history.

Today, he's gone, at the incredibly early age of 61. Although it's not exactly a surprise — he'd been fighting cancer — we're still shocked. He campaigned last spring with such brio.

Some other time we'll comment on how damn lucky the undeserving Tory Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is. But today it's more appropriate just to quote the end of an open letter to Canadians that Layton penned on Saturday. What a gift to his fellow citizens, that Layton both took the time and had the courage to write it.

"Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one — a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity...My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Call Him Crazy, Call Him Cute

By Sniffles

Sigh. We cats thought we'd have to write off our crush on Jon Huntsman when, like the rest of the Republican clown college that debated in Iowa this month, he foolishly raised his hand on the "I would not accept a 10-to-one deficit deal" question.

How, we thought, could we still feel ankle-rubby about Huntsman when he displayed such teabagger intransigence? It's impossible to like anybody who would walk away from 10 parts spending cuts to one part tax increases.

But now, he's gone all sensible on us. "I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming," he recently tweeted. "Call me crazy."

We're sure the nutjobs over at Free Republic are calling Jon Huntsman a lot worse than that. So sure, in fact, that we don't even need to check. (Sometimes we just don't feel like indulging in their particular brand of insanity, you know?) But anyway, okay — Huntsman's sudden attack of reasonableness means that maybe we can fantasize about sitting in his lap once more.

The sad thing about all this? That the Republicans have gone so far off the rightward cliff that one of their more plausible candidates will be rejected by a huge chunk of their party for speaking the simple, scientific truth.

That is, the Huntsman campaign doesn't succumb to its fumbles and defections first.

(PHOTO: Esquire magazine)

Friday, August 19, 2011

42 Turns 65

We cats were so busy today that a proper post will have to wait for tomorrow. But we had to take just a moment to send former President Clinton the warmest of birthday greetings. Best wishes, sir, and may you add many more chapters to My Life. We cats PURR.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

All My Sons

By Zamboni

We cats pride ourselves on our knowledge of American political history. Therefore, we understand that the concept of the "favorite son" may be a bit out of date. However, we're wondering if the GOP isn't thinking of the "favorite son" concept with some, um, favoritism these days.

Why? Because the Republican Presidential field is so incredibly fractured.

Does President Obama seem vulnerable in 2012, pundits ask? Yes, is the resounding response — mostly due to the economy. Yet despite a plethora of candidates, the GOP seems to be searching, searching, searching. Even as their latest Texas superstar ascends to the top of the polls, the Republican establishment is yearning for the Great White Hope. Who will it be?

We cats have some advice for the GOP: Until you know that the hell you're doing here, we suggest that you adopt the age-old concept of the "favorite son."

In other words, your despicable Republican Governors should hold onto their delegations until your national Republicans get things together.

That means that Walker (WI), Daniels (IN), McConnell (VA), Christie (NJ), Kasich (OH) and other key-state GOP governors should just stake out their territory and wait until the Republican powers-that-be come up with a nominee — at which point they throw (or don't throw) their support, and their delegates, to that person.

We cats realize this is a quaint concept. And one which the teabaggers would never endorse, since they don't approve of backroom Washington deals. But hell, backroom deals is how government used to work. And worked quite well, we might add.

But we're thinking that even with President Obama's low poll numbers, it's the best-case Republican scenario. Especially when you're talking about a splintered party in an election year in which the opposing party holds the White House.

But what are we cats doing, devising campaign strategy for Republicans? Our only consolation is that the GOP will never in a million, billion years, take our advice. We cats PURR.

(IMAGE: "The Best Man," 1964)

Cat Fight! Sarah Palin vs. Michele Bachmann, The Sequel

By Baxter

We cats keep our promises. We pledged to check the right-wing nuts over at Free Republic to see how they felt about Michele Bachmann's win at the Iowa straw poll — and the answer is, it's hard to tell.

In short, we sense an uncharacteristic restraint in their postings. Bachmann is perfect for them on the issues, but their preferred candidate still is the famous quitter from Alaska. So they seem to be holding back. Hedging their bets. But for how long? Certainly, Sarah Palin will never declare — or not declare — for President until she has to. Because to remove any suspense about her "decision" would surely interfere with her current income stream, no?

To that end, therefore, the best Freeper comment we could come up with is this:

"If when Palin gets in, there is no way MB beats her."

We could be wrong, but we think it represents the entire Freeper universe on the Bachmann v. Palin question. But as the GOP clown college progresses, we'll continue to keep tabs on these crazy people. (So you don't have to.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kids Should Pack Heat!

By Miss Kubelik

Kim Simac, the vapid blonde teabagger who failed to unseat Democratic State Senator Jim Holperin in Wisconsin's recall elections yesterday, is apparently a "children's book author."

But who knows, really? So many of these political figures say they write, when of course we all know they can't. (The famous quitter from Alaska immediately comes to mind.) And Simac's publisher's website only describes her as "a conservative activist and Christian patriotic speaker." Not a word about any literary qualifications.

But okay, we'll take her at her word. And now that a friend of ours has shared some of Simac's gag-inducing verse, we cats are inspired to write a bit of — forgive the expression — doggerel ourselves.

So here's Kim Simac's ridiculous ode to the Second Amendment — slightly, um, reworked.

I really love my country,
Its people? Not so much.
Especially if they're black or brown
Or Democrats 'n such.

So my rifle's my good buddy.
Of me it is a part.
I love my gun like nothing else,
With all my cold, dead heart.

I cling to all my weapons
And the dear old GOP.
My rifle's always at my side
Where Jesus Christ should be.

But I'm sure my views are Christian.
It's what my Bible said.
So I fight to preserve our children's rights
To shoot each other dead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rick Perry Taps His Inner Jesse Helms

By Sniffles

Gosh, everyone is so upset that Rick Perry basically called mild-mannered old Casper Milquetoast Ben Bernanke a traitor.

Seriously, how could anybody be a threat to the country when soft-spoken Paul Giamatti plays him in a movie? (On the other hand, we would certainly understand if Bernanke asks to have Perry investigated by the Secret Service or the FBI or whomever.)

But although we know that Perry is an intemperate jerk who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office, we're hardly surprised. This is the way Republicans have behaved for years. Remember?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Freepers Blast Buffett

By Zamboni

Jeepers, we thought we might find a few Warren Buffett fans over at our favorite whackjob corner of the Internet, Free Republic. After all, don't all right wingers — even (or perhaps especially) those who live in trailers — admire incredibly rich guys?

But nay — nay. The Freepers are all over Mr. B for patriotically asking Congress to tax him more. Below are a few of their choicer nuggets. Gosh, do these people like anybody? It must take an awful lot of energy to be so perpetually angry.

(Speaking of which, when we cats have a little more time on our hands, we promise we'll investigate how the Freeps feel about Michele Bachmann's win in the Iowa straw poll — and what, in their tiny little minds, it means for Saint Sarah. Stay tuned!)

"Buffett is so lame. Listening to him talk is more tiresome than mowing grass."

"You no longer are the Oracle of Omaha. You now, sir, are the FOSSIL OF OH-MAHA!"

"He is a lying SOB. Start taking his frigging money and see how loud he screams."

"Buffet [sic] is rich but not smart."

"Hey you old fool, start by sending all of that money you funneled to obama [sic] and democrats [sic] to the treasury."

Finally, here's our favorite:

"Why don’t we just arrest Buffett — and his family — throw them all in the Gulag. Look at all the billions we can get back."


Sunday, August 14, 2011

T-Paw Collapses

By Baxter

Wow, we cats are amazed at how the GOP Iowa straw poll granted almost all our wishes yesterday.

Yup, "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann won — but only in a squeaker. Ron Paul, our first choice, was a very close second. Just 200 or so votes separated them. Excellent!

The pathetic Tim Pawlenty was a way, way distant third. And our favorite man-on-dog guy whose last name you cannot safely Google, Rick Santorum, was fourth! With Herman Cain fifth!

Even better — although we know that despite a personal appearance at the state fair, he didn't seriously contest this silly event — bringing up the rear was Mitt "Corporations Are People" Romney, who with 567 votes came in behind a write-in candidate, Rick Perry, with 718.

So we cats were feeling pretty good last night — only to awaken to the fabulous new news this morning that that irritating fake from Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, is dropping out of the race. A few post-Pawlenty observations:
  • Since they were supposed to have had such a great organization, the Pawlenty campaign must have bused in a whole bunch of straw-poll attendees who promptly voted for, um, someone else.
  • His departure will free up literally hundreds of dollars in contributions to the remaining candidates.
  • With a performance like this, you have to wonder why John McCain didn't select him as his Vice Presidential running mate in 2008. (Remember whom he did select.)
  • Finally, Pawlenty has all but doomed his chances to be anybody's running mate in 2012. So what's the best he can hope for in the next Republican administration, whenever that may be? Some post in charge of — gulp — infrastructure

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Straw Poll We'd Like To See

By Miss Kubelik

So today is the GOP Presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa. So much ink spilled on such a silly event. But we cats are loving it just the same, because the Republican race is still a mess and getting messier.

While we don't know what the results of the straw poll will be, but we can definitely tell you what would make us PURR:

First PlaceRon Paul, because it would screw things up even more.

Second Place — Michele Bachmann. Not good enough to give her more momentum or bad enough to dump her, but enough to keep her in. Which is a good thing (we can use the laughs).

Third Place — Mitt "Corporations Are People" Romney, weakly. It won't matter to him and his $264 million fortune anyway.

Fourth Place — Rick Santorum, in a surprise. A payoff from his go-where-no-other-candidate-has-gone-before rural strategy. (See above, "laughs we can use.")

Fifth Place — Tim Pawlenty, because he's a pathetic fool and we cats are sick of him. It would be no great loss if he dropped out, because there are plenty of other whackjobs in the race and he's not sucking any big money away from other candidates as it is. Go home, Tim.

Back tomorrow with commentary on what actually happened.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Sugga Daddy" Of Your Dreams?

By Sniffles

Here we go again: Another anti-gay Republican has been caught being, um, gay.

Considering all the bad political news for Democrats over the past couple of weeks, we cats are properly grateful to Indiana State Representative Phil Hinkle. The self-righteous Republican, who is 64, hooked up with an 18-year-old man on Craigslist for a same-sex assignation in a Marriott hotel room.

(For money, of course. Would anyone in his right mind have sex with this guy for free? Ugh.)

The story, which is here, is simply jam-packed with fun and amazing details — including Hinkle telling his "date" that he was an elected official (incredible), Hinkle's wife offering the young man and his sister $10,000 to keep quiet, and the fact that Hinkle is very proud of co-authoring the bill that created an "In God We Trust" specialty plate. We love that last one.

And, naturally, Hinkle voted for Indiana's gay-marriage ban and is no friend of LGBT anti-discrimination legislation. But that's to be expected with these clowns, isn't it?

Perhaps one day we'll all understand the psychology behind Phil Hinkle and his fellow Republican haters. In the meantime, we can celebrate the fact that another GOP hypocrite is out of the closet. We cats PURR.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Looking Like America

By Zamboni

Nancy Pelosi announced her appointees to the "Super Congress" deficit-reduction committee today: a black guy from South Carolina, an Hispanic guy from California, and a white guy from Maryland. These Democratic nominees are added to the party's Senate appointees, which include a white woman from Washington State, our almost-President from Massachusetts, and a white guy from Montana.

Okay, so the Democrats probably could use some more women, but we'll consider proper homage paid to 1) former party nominees for President, and 2) guys who have had budget experience. (Besides, we like Max. Sorry, folks, but it's sentimental.)

Meanwhile, though, the Republican nominees are all white males.

We cats just want to know: Which party better represents the nation? Our phones are open.

Iowa Debate Should Be A Riot (NOT)

By Baxter

Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, who's having a very bad year, says that in the wake of the UK riots his government will ban people from social network sites if they have to. Really? Doesn't that sound like something Assad, Mubarak, Putin and the guys who run China would do? We cats never thought we'd see the day.

And speaking of right-wing nutcases who want to run everybody's personal life, let's turn to tonight's pre-straw-poll lollapalooza in Iowa tonight. Or, actually, let's not. We cats are going to treat the Republican "debate" the same way we do the Oscars: Why waste your precious time watching it when you can read about it in all its ridiculous glory in three minutes the next day? (Besides, with GOP debates there's always the ick factor. We haven't hacked up a hairball lately, and we'd like things to stay that way.)

Still, we think we can make some unsurprising predictions about this evening.

1) Expect a few whacko litmus-test questions, about issues that reasonable people consider long settled (e.g., "Do you believe in evolution/gay marriage/climate change?").

2) If these questions don't arise as quickly as he wants them to, assume that right-wing social engineer Rick Santorum will force them.

3) Look for Ron Paul to do his usual gold-standard rant and to slam the Federal Reserve, and enjoy the spectacle of the mild-mannered Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty trying to draw someone's blood — anyone's, but probably Romney's or Bachmann's.

4) And of course many if not all of them will say Jesus Christ is the person they most admire. (After Reagan, of course.)

We cats say, borrrrrrrrring. We think we'll spend the evening napping — and looking at more pictures of Royal Family wedding hats instead.

UPDATE: Now we cats are wondering whether David Cameron stole the block-social-network idea from BART, or vice versa. Either way, folks, it's a bad idea — civil liberties-wise, and otherwise. Find some other way to deal with your problems.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"This... Is London"

By Miss Kubelik

Okay, it's not — at least, not today. But goodness gracious, it could be.

Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has had to rush back from his August holiday to give press conferences and get all umbrage-y about the riots that are racking his capital city. But heck, you'd get umbrage-y too, if you were a rich guy denied his velvety nights in Tuscany. Especially after the summer Cameron's had.

Of course, never mind that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has formally found that the young man whose death at the hands of the cops started the riots did not fire first at the officers who killed him. (Gosh, what a surprise!) And never mind that the U.K. is in the middle of a draconian domestic-spending austerity program that hard-hearted conservatives love but that invariably inflicts tremendous hardships on the invisible underserved.

That's not an excuse for all the looting, of course. But we're just sayin'.

Grover Norquist, teabaggers, and all the weak-kneed Republicans who can't demand that wealthy Americans pay taxes: Take note.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Low-Hanging Fruit Edition

By Sniffles

Thanks to the teabaggers in Congress and the fools at Standard & Poor's who said all those junk mortgages were okay a few years back, we cats have lost a ton of money in the stock market today. But oh, well — we're in it for long haul, so we're not going anywhere. In the meantime, here are some easy political shots to brighten our spirits.

Now we know for sure: Rick Perry didn't pray right on Saturday. Because one of his biggest fund raisers died in a car crash yesterday. Since the dead guy was also a funder of the Swift Boat liars and other unregulated campaign evils, we cats are unmoved. Except that now we're wondering if there really is a God after all.

We love this Republican carping about how bad it is that Tim Geithner is staying on as Treasury Secretary. But how, we ask, would any new appointee get through this whacko Congress? Yep, better to stay until those Republican nutjobs can be sent home next November.

Conservatives are upset that the latest Newsweek cover "makes" Michele Bachmann look crazy. We cats wonder: Do these same people think that all photographers "make" Marcus Bachmann look fruity?

Finally, On Wisconsin. Tomorrow is the first of the state senate recall elections in the Badger State. As usual with recalls and special elections, we're in uncharted territory here. Also as usual, Republicans have behaved execrably. We weren't so dinged in the stock market that we didn't send a few bucks to ActBlue. We hope you do, too.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Big, Fat Omission

By Baxter

So we're all excited about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's recent rant about sharia law: To wit, that right-wing criticism of a highly qualified Muslim-American he nominated to the state bench is, in his elegant phrasing, "crap."

We cats agree. Wigging out about a creeping influence of sharia ranks on the same level with us as the contents of a dirty litter box. We fervently hope that it will be scooped up and flushed away. But we don't see the Republican Party doing that any time soon.

Which brings us to our frustration with the Christie comments. Sure, he said he was "tired of dealing with the crazies." But why didn't he elaborate as to just who those "crazies" are?

Why didn't he call out his party's Presidential candidates who have bleated furiously about sharia law and the alleged Islamization of America? As a Governor, why didn't he criticize the whacko state legislatures that have rushed to enact legislation against the non-existent sharia threat? Until you do that, Chris, your credibility does not exactly, um, loom large with us.

On the up side, the religious bigots over at Free Republic are pretty upset with you. Another Freeper hero tarnished by his lack of ideological purity! We cats PURR.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Well, That's Taken Care Of

Now that the crazy secessionist Governor of Texas has called on his good buddy God to fix everything that ails America, we cats expect to wake up tomorrow morning and find the world a better place.

No one will be out of work, Republicans will stop obstructing things in Congress, the S&P will re-up the nation's credit rating to AAA, and those 30 guys who died in the helicopter in Afghanistan will be alive again.

But if we find tomorrow that these things have not happened, it will be Rick Perry's fault.

Sorry, but isn't that how it works?

UPDATE: It's Sunday morning, and nothing has changed. Rick Perry obviously doesn't pray right.

Here's a thought. What if the Republicans left pie-in-the-sky and obstructionism behind and tried to work with Obama to help the country? What a concept!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shaky Piers

By Zamboni

Memo to teabaggers: Today Wall Street has realized, among other things, that you're getting your wish — austerity just when the government needs to spend more, not less. Congratulations. Investors now fear the outcome you most desire: a double-dip recession. Anything to get rid of Barack Obama, right? Struggling Americans be damned!

How wildly depressing.

We cats need a lift, but alas, we see no more royal weddings on the horizon. Yet fear not — we return to the British Isles anyway, because Murdoch-gate is the gift that keeps on giving.

Fresh phone-hacking allegations have arisen about Piers Morgan, who, as then-editor of The Daily Mirror, listened to a recorded voice mail to — ugh — Heather Mills from Paul McCartney. (We can think of few people we'd want to eavesdrop on less.)

Morgan, of course, has gone all umbrage-y and can't believe that his credibility is being questioned. Best defense is a good offense, you know? But we think the real story here is about CNN. We hope that the so-called "worldwide leader in news" has learned its lesson.

Specifically, that any news organization that attempts to maintain some semblance of standards, ethics and behavior should never, ever, ever hire anyone with Murdoch on his resume. And individuals who dare to think of themselves as journalists — who value accuracy, ethics, integrity and responsibility — should not think for one moment of taking a paycheck from Murdoch. (Stateside, that's FOX "News" and The Wall Street Journal, most prominently.)

We cats can't imagine why this isn't clear to anyone who's not a total Murdoch-whore-posing-as-a-journalist-or-pundit. It's really not that difficult!

Hm. We still don't feel very cheerful. Maybe we should go back to the wedding hats.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


By Miss Kubelik

It's amazing how thin-skinned Republicans are. First there's Allen West's "vile and despicable" e-mail to Florida Congressional colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz — and now the GOP has their knickers in a twist over Vice President Biden's highly accurate characterization of the teabaggers' debt ceiling behavior.

The Vice President is spot on. Holding the nation's debt, triple-A credit rating and overall economy hostage to their off-the-radar-screen, right-wing ideology — when the American people have made it clear they expect compromise and problem-solving — sounds like terrorism to us. (This columnist for The New York Times agrees.)

Of course, we could also add that the Obama-Biden Administration, being the one that killed Osama bin Laden, knows terrorism when it sees it. So we guess we understand that Republicans might be a little sensitive about that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Thank You, Gabby"

It's Not The Titanic, It's The Taconic

By Sniffles

Imagine you're a kid, riding in a car with your dad. Suddenly, a minivan is barreling toward you like Diane Schuler speeding the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway. With sure death hurtling at you, it seems to take forever for your dad's reflexes to kick in. But finally they do, and he swerves safely onto the shoulder. The minivan zooms by. Eventually, it will crash in white-hot flames, but not before taking a few victims along with it. Meanwhile, you're so relieved to be alive that your first reaction is to be mad at Dad.

Your car is the United States. President Obama is your dad. And the minivan, of course, is the Republican Party — with the teabaggers at the wheel.

Yep, in their refusal to raise the debt ceiling — the equivalent of driving southbound in the northbound lanes of the American economic highway — this is what the right-wing crazies in the House were willing to do: Destroy the United States in order to "save" it from a decisively elected African American President whom they loathe. We cats are not amused.

In fact, as we write this, the debt ceiling deal that leaders in Washington brokered last night hasn't yet been passed. But that's supposed to happen later today. Nevertheless, the chattering class's post mortems have already begun. Who won? Who lost? The scorecard is all the pundits care about. But overlying all that is a sinking feeling (no pun intended) that the country has struck some sort of economic and political iceberg — and there's no going back to the good old days.

Okay, we're mixing our metaphors. But here's what we cats care about.

Barring Congressional disaster, the debt ceiling will be raised. Yes, we're irked beyond words that it was an issue in the first place. But as with the NATO intervention in Libya, it will be hard to prove after the fact that one has averted certain doom. (You will not see panicked people taking sledgehammers to their ATMs.) Second, this ghastly nightmare will not be repeated in the middle of next year's Presidential election. (We haven't yet visited Free Republic to see how the teabaggers are reacting to that, but we assume they're furious. Which would be a good thing.)

We can only assume that the White House once again decided to take the long view: That political pressure for finally letting the Bush tax cuts expire in December 2012, and for corporations and the rich to pay their fair share, now can be brought to bear. They may be right. Because ironically, this whole ridiculous argument has served the very useful purpose of making it clear anew that our society cannot function without tax revenue. So while the execrable Grover Norquist may be tempted to pop Champagne today, we caution him to remember that all glory is fleeting.

Meanwhile, though, the entire exercise was a maddening farce. Knowing that our side has been less than perfect, we cats nevertheless lay the whole mess at the feet of: 1) George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, for squandering the Clinton surplus, 2) the teabaggers who hate government almost as much as they hate Barack Obama, and 3) Republican party leaders, who are too weak and ineffectual to keep their crazies in line.

Oh, and that fiery crash with the teabaggers at the wheel? Look out, GOP. If we were you, we'd buckle up. Big time.

(PHOTO: Alan Zale / The New York Times)