Monday, October 31, 2011

The Sound of Music

By Miss Kubelik

"Herb" Cain sang?

Okay, we cats haven't seen the likes of this since Margaret Trudeau burst into embarrassing song at a state dinner in Venezuela. Mind you, when Mrs. Trudeau did that — oh, 40 or so years ago — everyone thought it was terrible. Because it was.

Margaret, you have been redeemed.

Guys running for President of the United States — guys taken undeservedly seriously by the mainstream media — are singing in public! Have we got this right?

GOP, the next move is yours. What's next — your candidates appearing in lederhosen at the November 9 debate?

We cats yawn, stretch and await. The hills are alive!

P.S.: Of course Cain called this a "witch hunt." It's Halloween, after all.

Freepers: GOP Trying to Can Cain

By Sniffles

We cats will have more to say about the sexual harassment allegations that are swirling around "Herb" Cain today. (Such as: Any story that reminds us of Clarence Thomas's ick factor is good for America.)

But for some instantaneous Cain reaction, we figured it would be most efficient to visit our wacky teabagger friends over at Free Republic.

And ooh, are they mad. Guess who they're mad at.

Mitt Romney! Karl Rove! Rick Perry! The whole doggone Republican establishment! Even Concerned Women for America!

We can't wait to see how many teabaggers crowd the convention floor in Tampa next year — and what they say and do. In the meantime, here are some choice Freeper comments on L'affaire "Herb" (that is, until we come up with some deathless remarks of our own).

"RINOs are territorial, Herman. Just keep your eyes sharp and remember that RINOs aren't very bright and you'll be fine."

"I suspect the Rovebot GOP Establishment is behind this. They have been doing everything they can to derail Cain. This sort of sleazy tactics is right up their ally."

"Along with Romney."

"This is exactly how Mitt Romney’s political aides work."

"Looks like Perry camp behind this. Pretty damn dirty, I might add."

"Concerned Women for America, the right-leaning women’s group... This smells like those who are sMITTen."

"I believe that there are mentally ill women who for some reason feel all men have an interest in them, whether real or fancied. They tend to enjoy the drama at the expense of their victims."

"Concerned Women for America: He already answered the 'charges.' Go fix sandwiches."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Simply Frightful Amendment

By Zamboni

On this Halloween Eve, let us pause and consider the scariest thing on today's political scene.

Nope, it's not the GOP 2012 clown college. They're mostly just good for a laugh (and the one guy who isn't, is roundly hated by the Republican base). It's not even the nervous-making state of the economy. It's the "personhood" amendment.

The state of Mississippi is on the verge of approving a constitutional amendment that would define an embryo as a full person. Its off-the-radar-right-wing creator and the religious nutcases who support it think they're taking a brilliant new tack in the fight against abortion. But what it could actually do is outlaw many forms of birth control and take away the ability of women (and men) to control their own lives.

It's this kind of stuff that makes us cats so, so, SO glad that we no longer can have kittens. Thanks to that long-ago bit of surgical intervention, we know that no matter how hard they try, the personhood-pushing fundamentalist maniacs can't touch us. But women in Mississippi and maybe even in other parts of the country would lose their right to self-determination if this horrific thing passes.

The right wing likes to scream about how important it is to keep government out of our lives. But somehow they manage to make an exception when it comes to the work of scary people like the great American pictured above.

We cats SNARL. Happy Halloween, everyone.

UPDATE, October 31: Ironic, of course, that people are crusading for this amendment as the world's population hits 7 billion — today.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Eric

By Baxter

Have you been tracking Eric Cantor's comings and goings lately? That's a trick question, because keeping tabs on the little weasel can be pretty tough.

See, Cantor is ducking the "mobs" — which is what he famously called the Occupy Wall Street folks.

First, he canceled a speech at the University of Pennsylvania (at the last minute, we might add). Now, he's scheduled to speak at Northwestern University tomorrow, but unlike most campus addresses given by visiting dignitaries, it's all very hush-hush.

What does Cantor think — that if the Occupy demonstrators get hold of him, they'll Gaddafi him? "Now that we know when and where he'll be, there will be people there," an Occupy organizer said.

Whatever he's afraid of (and we cats think we know what that is), we're willing to bet that he finks out on his Northwestern speech, too. Because that's what finks do.

UPDATE: Okay, we were wrong: The little weasel spoke at Northwestern today after all. Don't "demonize" rich people, he implored. Not very brave of him, considering that his audience was invitation-only.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Republican Lunacy Edition

By Miss Kubelik

The GOP has gone so nutty these days that we cats could use this headline over and over again. Heck, even Chris Matthews sputtered last night on "Hardball" that the 2012 clown college seems like a bunch of goofballs playacting at running for President. (With the possible exception of Mitt Romney, which, of course, must drive the Freepers crazy.)

But every day, our news clips bring us more head-scratching Republican tidbits. To wit:

Newt Gingrich has risen from the dead, avers the too-young-for-his-job Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. "The recent slew of debates [have worked] in Gingrich's favor," says he. "Gingrich has emerged as a kind of star in these forums... to regularly emerge as a winner in the after-action analyses of the debates." But isn't it worth noting that the next debate isn't until November 9? How will that affect Gingrich's Big Mo? And more important, what's he doing otherwise, organizationally? We cats think he and Callista have been going out for coffee and shopping at Tiffany's. Hm.

Rick Perry says he won't support specialty license plates that feature the Confederate battle flag. "We don't need to be scraping old wounds," Mr. Birther ironically said.

More information has come to light about the terrible suffering Marco Rubio's parents endured to get to America. "On May 18, 1956," POLITICO reports, "Mario and Oriales Rubio walked into the American Consulate in Havana and applied for immigrant visas. The form asked how long they intended to stay in the United States. 'Permanently,' Mr. Rubio answered." Sounds like the typical harrowing, desperate, flee-for-your-life Cuban immigrant experience to us! Is there a bigger fraud in the U.S. Senate today than Marco Rubio?

Speaking of frauds, James Carville is officially "worried" about next year's Presidential election. Ever notice how Carville will freely criticize Democrats, but his wife, Mary Matalin, never deviates from Republican talking points?

Finally, we cats note with satisfaction that the teabagger freshman House members are having trouble raising money. Ha. They blame the system, of course. But we cats say, have we seen a bigger case of buyer's remorse? We PURR.

Monday, October 24, 2011

He Shoulda Stuck to Scrapbooking

By Sniffles

Some unsettling news is coming out of Libya about the last moments of Muammar Gaddafi. It seems that the dictator who always said his people adored him was set upon by a mob — and all the nasty things that you imagine could happen to him.... well, they happened.

We cats can think of few people who would deserve such a horrifying end — Hitler, Pol Pot, Karl Rove, Allen West. But, ugh. Add the fact that Gaddafi's body has, until recently, been on public display in a meat locker, and we're feeling a little numb. We're no experts on Arab culture, but could this guy have suffered any more disrespectful treatment, before and after death?

Let us be clear: We're weeping no tears for Muammar Gaddafi. And we're sure that anyone who lost a loved one on Pan Am 103 would agree. But this rebel rage, unleashed by 42 years of brutal Gaddafi rule, nevertheless is shocking.

We cats agree with Human Rights Watch that a full investigation and accounting must take place. But we also must remember that back in February, Gaddafi was on the brink of massacring the entire city of Benghazi — an atrocity that the NATO action helped prevent.

Gah. We liked it better when he was making photo albums of Condoleezza Rice.

Cat Fight! Rick Perry vs. Common Sense

By Zamboni

Oh, dear. We cats share something with Rick Perry: an admiration for the film "Immortal Beloved." (Yes, we know that its star, Gary Oldman, is a right winger. But the music is good.)

However, the most important tidbit to come from Perry's recent Parade magazine interview is that he's not sure President Obama's long-form birth certificate is real.

It's incredible that this is still a subject for discussion in GOP circles — but fine with us. We don't call the Republican 2012 contenders the clown college for nothing, and it's nice to know that their nuttiness is continuing to marginalize them for next year's general election.

It must be driving Karl Rove crazy to know that at some point in a domestic policy debate, the moderator is going to ask Mitt Romney (or whoever the GOP nominee is), "Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States?"

As we've said before, we can't wait.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wanted: Boatlift Veterans for Truth

By Baxter

It's happened again. A new member of the GOP clown college shows up, gets inundated with all the hopes and dreams and longings of a frantic and desperate party, and ends up being an idiot.

Latest case in point: Marco Rubio, the little brat from Florida who's been touted as a possible Republican Vice Presidential nominee next year. Want to make the famous quitter from Alaska look like a sage, mature choice? Marco's your boy.

Rubio's right-wing politics make him repulsive enough, but on top of all that he's just been outed as a liar.

His parents, he's said, fled Castro's Cuba and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps as exiles in the United States. Um, no. Rubio's parents came to America in 1956. Last we checked, Fidel Castro took over in '59.

We cats think that folks who truly suffered to get from beleaguered Caribbean islands to the U.S. should form a new political action committee: Boatlift Veterans for Truth. They should run commercials calling Rubio the fake and the fraud he is, and they should show up at every Rubio event and hound him without mercy. Yep, Marco Rubio should be "boatlifted."

Who would bankroll such a worthy effort? We cats are wondering if John Kerry has any loose change lying around.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No More Muammar

By Miss Kubelik

Add another notch to Barack Obama's "bag the bad guys" belt: Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi was killed today in Sirte.

We cats caught the first airing of a gruesome cellphone video of Gaddafi's bloodied corpse on Al Jazeera English this morning. We could post the screen grab from that video, but we think we'll refrain. We're not squeamish — we just were sick of looking at the guy long before he was dead.

So, a big conversation is going on over at POLITICO about whether President Obama should "get credit" for Gaddafi's toppling. Well, duh. Of course, many commenters are saying, "Sure, this is an accomplishment. But the economy is the issue!"

Um, yes. The state of the economy will be huge in 2012. But like it or not, whichever member of the Republican clown college gets nominated next year, he or she will have to engage in a debate with the President on foreign policy.

And not only has Obama made George W. Bush and Dick Cheney look like tough-talking pantywaists who couldn't get the war on terrorism done — the Republican nominee will be representing a party that's weak and rudderless on engaging with the world. Heck, one of the GOP's "bright lights" didn't even know that Libya is in Africa.

We can't wait.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Various & Sundry Edition

By Sniffles

With so many different news stories competing for our attention, we cats have decided to post a grab-bag of topics before we take our fourth afternoon nap of the day. Here goes.

We must take a moment to salute our chief diplomat, Hillary Rodham Clinton— not just for her surprise visit to Kabul but her entire State Department tenure thus far.

We think that Ms. Clinton will be viewed by historians as one of the most effective Secretaries of State, ever. President Obama may have received the Nobel Peace Prize for restoring America's standing with the world, but Hillary has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the last three years to make stuff happen. Kudos to her — and kudos to the President, for one of his wisest hires.

We cats are against red ties. When Rick Perry wears one, it makes him look like a hard-nosed bully. (Of course, he probably is a hard-nosed bully.) When President Obama wears one, it just doesn't flatter him as well as an ice-blue or silver tie does. And of course our opinion has nothing to do with that whole political-party, red-blue thing.

We don't understand why anyone should be upset that Susan Sarandon called Pope Benedict a Nazi. Pope Benedict was a Nazi.

We refuse to read this awful story from Ohio, about the jerk who kept exotic animals and then threw their cages open before committing suicide. You know what? People have no business keeping animals. Unless, of course, the animals are us. We're domestic companions — lions and tigers and bears aren't. We cats HISS.

Finally, we just had to beam in, at least for a couple of minutes, to see what the right-wing nutjobs at Free Republic were saying about last night's GOP debate. This is not a scientific survey. But we noted a sudden absence of enthusiasm for "Herb" Cain, a total abandoning of Rick Perry, a sustained hatred for Mitt Romney, and an abruptly renewed appreciation for Newt Gingrich.

But overall? One commenter posted the following: "I worry for the nation if these are the best candidates the GOP can offer."

We agree, dear Freeper, we agree.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Fredding of the GOP

By Zamboni

We cats are not watching the 2012 Republican clown college go after each other this evening. We're applying our time-honored Academy Awards rule: Why waste hours seeing it live when we can read all about it in three minutes tomorrow morning?

But we did quickly beam into the political talk shows today — at least, as much as we could stand. The topic du jour (and for jours well before this): Why "Herb" Cain is a joke. Not that they were putting it that way, but that was the essence of the conversation.

As the prognosticators describe the GOP candidates as "flavors of the week," an analogy has dawned on us. Remember Fred Thompson? In 2008, he was going to be the savior of a Republican Party that was struggling with who could possibly succeed the disastrous George W. Bush. Thompson dillydallied for awhile, and his entry into the race was eagerly anticipated. But he quickly crashed and burned.

A Fred Thompson candidacy used to happen only once or twice an election cycle. But this Republican crowd for 2012 is so bad, that with the possible exception of Mitt Romney — who holds pretty steady at, but cannot seem to improve upon, his 26 percent — they're all Fred Thompsons.

Meanwhile, congratulations to David Axlerod, for putting the GOP in its place. Was Barack Obama unprepared for the Presidency, as the Republicans claim? "Maybe you should go ask Osama bin Laden," Axelrod replied. We cats PURR.

(IMAGE: Thompson shills for reverse mortgages now. How Presidential.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

"The Cantor Rule"

By Baxter

We cats are stick of Republicans saying, "We tried a stimulus, and it didn't work."

Okay, two things.

One, every impartial study says that the 2009 stimulus did help, if only in slowing the rate of economic decline. Yes, it wasn't anywhere near as successful as we hoped. Of course, when we were feeling optimistic in '09, no one knew that the economy had fallen quite as far and as hard as we now know it had. In short, George W. Bush had screwed up the country more seriously than even we suspected.

But let's revisit the Republican claim that the stimulus "didn't work." What they're saying is, we tried it, it didn't work, let's try something else. Fair enough. But shouldn't we apply the same rule — and for argument's sake, let's call it "The Cantor Rule" — to all of the economic machinations of the Bush years?

Massive tax cuts for the wealthy, the destruction of economic regulation, allowing regulators to write federal rules and regs, stopping any serious enforcement of what regulations remained on the books, et cetera? Let's apply the Cantor Rule! We tried all those things! They didn't work!

In light of all those enormous errors of the Administration of the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, we cats wonder why the Republicans, after repeated failures, get a pass — but it's one-and-done for the Democrats. Double standard?

It makes no sense to us. We cats just wish that the Democrats had the balls to hold the GOP's feet to the fire on crap like this.

P.S. Is Eric Cantor gay? Sometimes we wonder. He's already self-loathing enough to have appeared at the Values Voters forum on the eve of Yom Kippur. Surely it's not that much of a leap to suppress his sexual orientation in homage to his Republicanism. Ugh. We cats HISS.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Ce N'est Pas Un Crise, C'est du Vol"

By Miss Kubelik

Now we know the "occupy" movement is serious. It's reached Montreal.

Protesters are camped out in Square Victoria, our neighborhood subway stop. Although they hadn't yet arrived by 6 AM yesterday — and believe us, for reasons we won't bore you with, we know — as Saturday progressed they arrived by the hundreds.

Well, good on them. We're still sizing up the occupiers. Every now and then on TV, we see one toting a Gadsden flag, which signals "teabagger" to us. But we suspect that by and large, the Occupy Wall Streeters and others are the kind of folks who would not agree with Mitt Romney's assertion that corporations are people.

(HEADLINE TRANSLATION: "It's not a crisis. It's theft.")

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mitt's Money Mess, Part Two

By Sniffles

Okay, we know that the Supreme Court handed down that loathsome Citizens United decision, and the Koch brothers are out there just waiting to dump tons of money into the general election to defeat President Obama. But we cats thought it might be a good use of time to make a quick check on the financial state of the 2012 Republican clown college.

The much-unloved GOP "frontrunner" Mitt Romney is reporting $14.2 million this quarter and proclaiming himself pleased. (We forget, is that amount more or less than he's personally spending to add 100 more rooms to his 350-room mansion in California?)

The problem for Romney is when you look beneath the surface, you see a few wrinkles. As in: He only has 55,000 unique contributors. That's it? The guy's been running for President for 83 years, and Michele Bachmann outpaces him by 37,000 individual donors? Beating him by a ratio of 3:2? As Ross Perot used to say, that's just sad.

We've long suspected that Mitt's money-raising was a lot of smoke and mirrors. This is just more of the same. Remember the silly dialing-for-dollars marathon in Las Vegas? How ridiculous was that? We don't understand why a candidate who's favored by the Republican establishment — many of whom grew up at his daddy George's knee — has to resort to such sleights of hand. But apparently he does.

Of course, on the other hand, at least he's not broke.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Manly Men

By Zamboni

We cats believe that one of the reasons the Republicans were able to brand Democrats with the "girly man," "soft on national security," and, eventually, "soft on terrorism" labels was not just because of the left wing of the Democratic Party's opposition to the Viet Nam War — but because of Senator George McGovern's refusal during the 1972 campaign to tout his record as a decorated bombardier in World War II.

Seems quaint and silly now, doesn't it? Especially in the wake of the "let-us-prostrate-ourselves-at-the-altar-of-your-service" treatment that Republican war veterans Bob Dole and John McCain both have received. But Senator McGovern felt it would be unseemly to brag about his combat accomplishments. Need we say that that attitude has long since fallen out of fashion?

All the more reason that we find it intensely ironic — and grimly amusing — that a Democrat, a Constitutional law professor from Chicago, whom the Republicans have tried to characterize as "effete," has turned out to be the true "exterminator" in George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney's so-called war on terror.

In short, Barack Hussein Obama has just claimed himself another scalp. This time, it's Haqqani militant Janbaz Zadran. Done in by a drone, just this morning.

Yes, we cats know — with the exception of icons like Osama bin Laden, these enemies of America are tough to keep track of. Their names are hyphenated and difficult to spell, and you have to kind of know what countries they're operating in and which murky parts of the terrorist network they control. But suffice it to say that President Obama has quietly knocked off dozens more anti-American bad guys than the tough-talking jingoistic fool Bush ever dreamed of.

To which we cats say — to the Freepers and all the right-wing nutjobs who think the President is alien, and other-worldly, and won't defend America — you can apologize any time. If not, we have some lovely litter box residue you can eat.

(And we suspect that if George McGovern had been elected President, he would have been just as bad-ass as Barack Obama. Warriors are that way, you know.)

P.S. And what tough-guy foreign policy credentials do the 2012 Republican contenders have, by the way? None.

Okay, This Is A Really Nice Dress, Too

By Baxter

One of the advantages of occupying the White House is that you get to ooh and aah over state dinners and what the First Lady wears. When Nancy Reagan and Barbara and Laura Bush lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we couldn't have cared less. (Especially about Barbara.)

But although we think Michelle Obama would be hard-pressed to top her gown for the Indian state dinner in 2009, she may — may — have accomplished that feat tonight.

What do you think? Our phones are open.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats – Wednesday Night in Canada Edition

By Miss Kubelik

Was there a Republican debate last night? Canada doesn't care. The eastern half of the country is still delirious over their just-passed Thanksgiving weekend, which featured a delightful blast of Indian summer weather. But there are other matters occupying their minds, too. Here are just a few.

The Tory government of Stephen Harper has stepped in to block a now-cancelled strike by Air Canada flight attendants. While nobody wanted the strike to happen, we are vaguely discomfited about Ottawa's willingness to tell workers what they can and cannot do. Kind of reminds us of that vaguely cross-eyed guy from Wisconsin. In the meantime, on the off-chance that Harper ever flies commercial, we're sure he's going to get some hot coffee tossed in his lap.

Amnesty International has called upon Canada to arrest the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived when he travels to British Columbia for a conference on October 20. The charge: human rights violations (i.e., torture). “As the U.S. authorities have, so far, failed to bring former President Bush to justice, the international community must step in," Amnesty says. We cats love this. Have at it, Canada, have at it.

But the huge story here, and we mean huge, is the kerfuffle over some vicious comments made last Thursday night by an overdressed buffoon who used to coach the Boston Bruins. See, right now there's an important conversation going on as to whether the National Hockey League, in the wake of grievous head injuries and some deaths, should ban fighting from the game. Don Cherry of the CBC's "Coach's Corner" is completely against this — and on his show last week, called three former players who he thinks oppose him on the issue some un-family-friendly names.

The problem is, some of the players whom Cherry slandered are not campaigning for a fighting ban. Oops. So they're considering a defamation lawsuit. The Canadian sports blogosphere and the newspaper opinion pages are, as you can imagine, on fire.

We cats go back and forth on the fighting issue, but we find it amusing that Cherry's defenders always, without fail, cite his right to free speech. Not unlike the right-wing nutjobs who were outraged over ESPN's firing of Hank Williams, Jr. Once again, though, it's not a question of speech in the public square but, rather, the noxious words of a transgressing entertainer. If the market determines that Cherry's behavior, like Williams', is unacceptable — and we cats sense that sentiments could be moving that way — the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will have to make an economic decision and let Cherry go.

If that happens, let's just hope Don Cherry doesn't sing.

Monday, October 10, 2011


By Sniffles

There's an advantage to being in the True North, Strong and Free.

You don't have to worry about the next Republican debate. You don't have to think about whether Iowa will repeal same-sex marriage. You don't have to remember the fact that Eric Cantor exists.

None of this matters. The only things that are important today? That the weather was glorious, that the Jets came back to Winnipeg, and the Massey Lectures are about to kick off again.

We cats approve. We PURR.

Jobs, Well Done

By Zamboni

You know how somebody famous but not really important or transforming dies — and the media go into a ratings frenzy, and spend 24/7 covering his or her passing, and what his or her life meant to all of us? Because of course it must have meant something!

And you're left with the feeling of either, "Yes, this dead person gave me reason to live," or "What the hell is everyone so upset about?"

We saw it with Diana, Princess of Wales. We saw it with Ronald Reagan. We saw it with Michael Jackson. Each time, we cats were tempted to ask, is all the fuss worth it?

Prior to this past October 5, the answer was, generally, no. But this time, we think the answer is yes. Steve Jobs is definitely worth the fuss.

We cats are old enough to remember the early '80s, when computers were asking us to memorize keyboard strokes to get anything done. And then Steve Jobs came along and gave us a desktop, and icons, and a mouse. Simple as that, easy as pie.

There are only a few people in history about whose passing you'd say, "Gosh, isn't it amazing what human beings can accomplish if they just put their minds to it?"

To which we cats say the following: Isaac Newton. Johannes Gutenberg. William Shakespeare. Galilieo Galilei. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Thomas Jefferson. Ludwig Van Beethoven. Louis Pasteur. Guglielmo Marconi. Marie Curie. Albert Einstein. George Gershwin. Judy Garland. Steve Jobs.

(And no, this list does not include businesspeople like the anti-Semite Henry Ford. We cats are only concerned with people who knew what we wanted before we knew ourselves. You know — artists and scientists? Those folks.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Defend Mormonism? That'll Wait for a Latter Day.

By Baxter

Now there's certain proof that Mitt Romney isn't human. He has no balls. (Or, in Palin-speak, "cojones.")

The great unloved Republican frontrunner spoke at the ridiculous "Values Voters" summit today, and totally passed on an opportunity for a Sister Souljah moment.

See, yesterday — at this stupid conservative gathering for right-wing whackjobs who pretend to care about Israel but who nevertheless held their big meeting on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar — a religious nutcase named Robert Jeffress disparaged Romney's religion and called it a cult. (Whether he also knew that it's a hit Broadway show, we're not sure.)

So, did Romney respond to Jeffress in his speech this afternoon? Not really. Clearly he hopes he's going to skate by this time, and not discuss Joseph Smith or his magic underwear or the Mormon Church's traditional hostility to people of color. Rather than try to address questions about his faith head-on — that's so 2008, don'tcha know — he's banking on keeping that Christian-right discontent simmering beneath the surface just long enough for him to capture the 2012 GOP nomination.

What a weenie way to go — the weak response of the cautious man. No wonder the rabid Republican base doesn't like him.

We cats have news for Romney, and for all Mormons who consider themselves proud members of the Grand Old Party: Republicans hate you. You are like the Cubans to them — handy in states and communities in which you are either in charge or a sizable majority. The GOP will happily pander to your issues come election time. But in the long run, their attitude is "Beat it, kid, you bother me." Your fealty to the Republican Party is a joke.

We cats are hoping that a prominent Mormon — maybe cutie-pie Jon Huntsman, who hasn't got much to lose? — will bravely step up and state this simple truth. But you'll never hear it from Mitt "The Robot" Romney.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Atonement Edition

By Miss Kubelik

We cats can't think of any group that should more fervently beg forgiveness for its sins than Republicans. So as Yom Kippur begins, let's get right to it.

First, we are shocked that Scott Brown could be so stupid.

But Brown's blithe and careless riposte about his potential Democratic challenger is just the latest proof that in GOP circles, there is no such thing as unacceptable speech — with the exception, of course, of the word "taxes." They think they can say and do anything without consequence. To wit:

Boo a gay soldier serving in a combat area? Go for it.

Call your hunting camp "Niggerhead"? No problem.

Aver that all women have a Christian duty to be subservient to their spouses? What's wrong with that?

Compare the President to Hitler? That's my first amendment right!

Cheer executions and root for a hypothetical uninsured American to die? Sure, why not?

(That last, by the way, completely proves Alan Grayson's much-maligned statement that Republicans want Americans to "die quickly." And as for the Hitler thing, we cats are amused that Hank Williams, Jr. — who we're sure is a fervent defender of the free market — whines like a little baby when the free market judges his behavior unacceptable.)

All these examples are bad enough, but consider this final outrage: As this holiest day in the Jewish calendar begins, the so-called GOP "Values Voters" are kicking off their own holy weekend of speeches, rantings and group-gropes. With the Christian right's alleged devotion to supporting Israel, how can this possibly happen?

Aren't there any Jews on the planning committee for this ultimate conservative event?  Or don't they have any Jews to recruit for the planning committee? Or — wait a sec — maybe they really don't want any Jews there when most of the GOP Presidential field shows up to pander to the social-voter Taliban. And will Eric Cantor attend? Hm.

Republicans have so much to atone for, they need more than just a day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Making Dan Quayle Look Good

By Sniffles

We cats promised we'd beam in on the Freepers to see how they're coping with the news that their heroine, the famous quitter from Alaska, will not run for President in 2012. It took us all afternoon, but we finally just checked. And goodness gracious, are they upset!

We've only browsed, but the responses appear to range from horrified surprise to hand-wringing predictions of America's certain doom. Interestingly, we've also seen a touch of anger toward their sainted goddess. "I thought she loved America," one commented."I feel sick to my stomach. She owes those of us who bought her books and supported her financially a [sic] explaination [sic] and an apology."

Hm. Somehow we doubt that most Palin worshipers will come to grips with reality quite as quickly. But before we leave the famous quitter in the dust for awhile (because of course, she'll never completely go away), all the Freeper keening and moaning has made us think once again about what life has been like these past three years — before John McCain foisted this Alaskan nightmare upon us.

We've mused before about how McCain's selection of Sarah Palin in 2008 was pretty darn near close to treason. How could an elderly cancer survivor pick a potential Vice President who was so incalculably unqualified for the top job? But with her second, most recent quitting — after having teased her party and the nation for months and months — we realize anew that McCain's irrational and impetuous decision was even more than merely treasonous.

An honorable Presidential candidate selects a running mate who will serve his party and the country well. Jimmy Carter's Vice President was a respected Senator and the Democratic nominee in 1984. Lloyd Bentsen went on to serve in the Clinton Administration. President Gore won the 2000 election and the Nobel Peace Prize seven years later. Cheney, for ill or for good, essentially ran the country for two terms while the smirking man-child cleared brush and rode his mountain bike. Kennedy and Johnson each pulled a Lincoln and elevated a political rival. Reagan's VP went on to be elected in his own right and conducted the first Gulf War reasonably well (up until its end). Even Goldwater, indirectly at least, gave us the legacy of Stephanie Miller.

And then there's John McCain. His running mate's Shermanesque statement last night, as unintelligible and "me-first" as anything she's ever uttered, proves for the millionth time the folly of the Arizona Senator's selection. Palin had an obligation, as a young Vice Presidential nominee, to guide and lead her party in the wake of its defeat. Instead, she chose to quit her job, and prostitute herself and her entire family. Fortunately for us Democrats, she has half-frozen, half-divided her party. Neither action is what you expect from the right kind of Presidential running mate.

In short, a mere three years later, McCain's cynical, craven — and yes, treasonous — decision is still coming home to roost for what remains of the Republican Party.

Will any of the punditry who will slice and dice Palin's non-announcement over the coming days indict McCain — and hold him completely responsible for this horrific political soap opera?

Don't bet on it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Herb" Cain Just Got Some Good News

By Zamboni

Well, the famous quitter from Alaska was all set to dominate the headlines for the rest of tonight and tomorrow, and then the news arrived that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died. While we're not surprised that Mr. Jobs has lost his battle with cancer, we are very sad.

However, we must do the responsible thing and talk about the famous quitter for just a moment. Her apparent statement that she won't run for President next year is something we were certain she would never do. We thought that she'd let the tease go on forever, while she raked in the bucks. So now — although who knows if we should believe anything Sarah Palin says? — we guess we have to eat our words. Fortunately, our words taste like tuna.

Aside from that, our first thought at the Palin news was one of deep thankfulness. While we were hoping she'd run and roil the already goofy Republican race, at least now we won't have to watch the media prostitute themselves over her, and hear that awful, tinny voice every day of the campaign.

Our second thought was that our nutty right-wing friends over at Free Republic must be devastated. But we're not in the mood to enter their crazy world tonight, so we'll check on them tomorrow.

In the meantime, now that Sarah Palin says she's not a candidate, we call on journalists everywhere to cover this one story and then boycott her forever.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Repose en Paix

Jack Layton's ashes were scattered this weekend in Hudson, Quebec, the town where he was raised.

Party Like It's 2015

By Baxter

We cats didn't watch Chris Christie's "I'm not running" news conference this afternoon. Like everyone else, we knew what he was going to say.

Naturally, for reasons outlined in our previous post today, we disagree with Chris Cillizza that the 2012 Republican clown college is set in stone. (But then, we frequently disagree with Chris Cillizza.) However, the GOP field for 2016 is well on its way.

In fact, the Republicans probably have more people running in 2016 than they have for 2012 right now — despite the recent poll that says people expect an unknown GOP candidate to defeat President Obama next year. That poll is silly. Unknown candidates never win.

So let us not waste a moment of time. Here's our — probably incomplete — list of Republican candidates for 2016. (If some of them seem preposterous, don't complain to us. Consider the party they belong to.) Do we think they'll be able to settle the '12 race before '16 kicks off in earnest? We're not so sure.

Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, Scott Brown, Sam Brownback, Eric Cantor, Liz Cheney, Ken Cuccinelli, Mitch Daniels, Jim DeMint, Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Susana Martinez, Bob McDonnell, Sarah Palin, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Scott, John Thune, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, about a half-dozen each of teabagger Congressmen and "businessmen" like "Herb" Cain — and yes, Chris Christie.

Coincidentally, Turner Classic Movies showed "Touch of Evil" this morning.

(IMAGE: Orson Welles. But you'd be forgiven if you mistook him for Chris Christie.)

Late Bloomer?

By Miss Kubelik

Well, here we are, all waiting breathlessly (not) to see if the Jersey Chub will join the 2012 Republican clown college. We're also marveling at the additional meltdowns in the Michele Bachmann campaign, and have decided that Rick Perry's new nickname should be "Perryhead."

But we're not going to post on any of those things. We want to announce that we know how an Anybody-But-Mitt candidate could jump into the race as late as next March, and still have a chance to deny the nomination to the much-unloved Mr. Romney.

The conventional wisdom that everyone's indulging in now dictates that a late-announcing candidate will face significant organizing hurdles. Indeed, yes. But that CW is based on the assumption that he or she would choose to contest the early primary states. To which we cats ask: Who says you have to run in Iowa/New Hampshire/South Carolina/Nevada to win?

What if Romney, Perry, Bachmann and even "Herb" Cain split those early states between them, leaving the race with nobody on a steamroll?

And then, what if Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, John Thune or the famous quitter from Alaska (especially the famous quitter from Alaska) skipped the early contests — and, okay, maybe Florida and Utah and a couple of others with upcoming deadlines — and announced on or around Super Tuesday?

Or on or around the Iowa caucuses, to step on the winner there?

The advantage? Republican party rules dictate that primaries held before April 1 must distribute delegates proportionately. Primaries held after April 1 are winner-take-all.

If no candidate piles up insurmountable numbers in the early, proportional-representation states, someone could come into a state like California after April 1 and get a third of the vote — but 100 percent of the delegates. (Not unlike John McCain clinching the 2008 nomination in then-winner-take-all Florida.) And so on, and so forth.

Now, as we know from all the jockeying that's going on, the calendar is fungible. The details are still settling into place. But the possibility exists. While it wouldn't work for relative nobodies like George Pataki or Bobby Jindal or maybe even Thune, the other clown college members mentioned above might conceivably have a shot. We're particularly convinced that the famous quitter from Alaska has looked into it.

We can hear the announcement now: "The early states not only suck up valuable time and money, they warp the whole nominating process. To beat Barack Obama, Republicans need someone who will run a national campaign — instead of one that's decided by 2,500 precincts in Iowa."

Perverse? Yes. Risky? Absolutely. Uncertain? You bet. But even if Christie announces today that he's not running, it ain't over till it's over.

(IMAGE: Stinkweed, of course.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Big, Fat Omission (Part II)

By Sniffles

Now that the GOP's frantic flirtation with Chris Christie for President has reached a fever pitch, the issue of the Governor's girth has raised its ample profile in Pundit World.

In fact, it's come full circle — morphing from Gene Robinson in The Washington Post, who questioned Christie's physical fitness for the Oval Office, to Frank Bruni in The New York Times, who insists that such matters should be, um, off the table.

We cats don't know whether Chris Christie will join the Republican clown college for 2012. We do know, however, that a debate on whether an obese person can be President would never be happening if Christie's first name were Christine. Because a fat Christine Christie would never have been elected Governor in the first place.

It's a sorry fact of life that while fat people are not taken very seriously in our culture, fat women have it a lot harder than fat men. Can you think of a zaftig woman who's ever wielded real political power? We can't. Chris Christie may be a chub, but at least he's a chub with 9 million constituents and 15 electoral votes.

So, Governor Christie should count himself lucky. Since he's a man, he's getting off pretty easily. (But not with us cats. No Republican escapes ridicule from us.)

UPDATE, October 4: Ruth Marcus has parroted us practically verbatim today. We cats just want to say we said it first.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Quickie: Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, Nobel laureate, 87 years young today.