Monday, January 30, 2012

Going Willard's Way

By Baxter

This is not a cartoon, but a serious graph by Nate Silver at The New York Times depicting the Romneybots' most-upbeat scenario in tomorrow's Florida primary.

But since Nerdstrodamus gives Willard a 97 percent chance of winning the Sunshine State, rose-colored glasses for the Rommey camp are not required. In fact, if you're a teabagger who hates the moderate from Massachusetts, we cats think it's time you moved on to other battles.

As always with these things, though, there's a downside for the expected victor. Romney is shining so brightly in Florida polls these days that we think he must win by 15 or more points tomorrow — or he'll go down in GOP primary history as an epic fail of embarrassing proportions.

And since expectations are now so high, a mere five-point spread between him and Newtie — which we admit would be a surprise — would also qualify as a loss. (On the other hand, a Romney win going away would make our right-wing friends at Free Republic go bats.)

Of course, that's assuming the votes get counted. Since Florida doesn't have a very good track record that way — and since the Iowa GOP kinda fell short this year, too — that remains to be seen.

UPDATE: It's Tuesday night, and there are no surprises. But the margin of victory has dropped to 16 percent. We cats are really sorry we didn't say Willard had to win by 20! More thoughts on the 2012 Republican clown college tomorrow.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dear Willard, You Have a Problem

By Miss Kubelik

Gosh, we cats don't know how the Romneybots are going to mend fences with the teabaggers after Tuesday.

We just looked in on the rabid Republican base over at Free Republic and they are gun-totin' mad about the Republican establishment's anti-Gingrich campaign in Florida. Here are a few samples of their rage — some of which, we've noticed, have started to stray into anti-Mormon territory. In the meantime, GOP, good luck with all this. You'll need it.

"God help me, I detest Romney...I always disliked him and I always knew I could never vote for him. But after seeing his cutthroat, ruthless, rotten, wicked, underhanded campaign against Newt, all the while keeping that insincere, superior little smile on his face, the very sight of him sickens me. He is one of the most repellent individuals I have ever seen."

"He is a brainwashed Stepford Husband completely owned and operated by the cultists of the LDS church!"

"Mormons are a CULT plain and Simple, no differant [sic] than Scientology."

"Not surprising when you know that Joseph Smith burned down newspapers he didn’t like. They are one and the same, we don’t like you — we will destroy you."

"After this past coupla weeks [with] the RINO establishment becoming cheap-shot snipers against Gingrich...and Romney also playing dirty, I am so angry I could spit blood! God help us!"

"Some of us having been warning Free Republic for half a decade what it would be like when a Mormon Mechelzdiak Priest ran for office (the lies, the nastiness), but we were called bigots. Now, maybe people will understand what we were talking about. You can’t separate the religion and the history from the man."

Finally, this last one sounds kind of scary. Remember, we said gun-totin'. Has somebody called the cops?

"Our goal is the complete political destruction [of] Romney...and by extension the GOP, if necessary. We're not going to roll over this time. We have opted for war. Mitt Romney will not be President of the United States. We will take him out of the political mix in the primaries if possible. However, we are willing to ENSURE his defeat in the general election...If that becomes necessary, we will take out as many of his supporters as possible."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Even More Numbers

By Sniffles

The stats are in: GDP growth in the last quarter was 2.8 percent, the highest rate in a year. While economists had predicted it would be 3 percent, it's still a lot better than the negative numbers during the Great George W. Bush Recession. On top of that, consumer sentiment is up for the fifth straight month.

For those Republicans who claim President Obama has put the economy into recession or, even, a depression: The National Bureau of Economic Research defines a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

Therefore, we cats are unclear as to how a 2.8 percent positive growth qualifies as the worst-ever economic news possible. (Unless of course, Barack Obama is in the White House.)

You know what we cats think? That a cynic might believe that the people who drove the economy into the ditch a few years ago don't deserve to be in charge again. If so, call us cats cynical.

GOP: Gone With The Willard? (The Sequel)

By Zamboni

How sad that our Comcast programmers weren't up to any mischief last night. The 2012 Republican clown college met in debate (again!), and our on-screen guide didn't insist that we were watching "Fear Factor." (But of course we didn't watch it. That opening rendition of the Star Spangled Banner had us running for the concession stand.)

Anyway, since Newt Gingrich blew it, and Willard Mitt Romney is apparently on top again, we cats are sure that from now through next Tuesday, the world will collectively witness an epic battle — a fight to the death, in fact — between the GOP establishment and the teabaggers for the soul of the Republican Party in Florida. Assuming, of course, that it has a soul.

We're certain of this because we've beamed in on some right-wing corners of the Internet today, to see how they're reacting to the idea of Willard Ascendant. Our nutty friends at Free Republic, for example, are loaded for bear. And the famous quitter from Alaska has reared her head and weighed in on how the Romneybots and their allies are "crucifying" Newtie. This Palin Newt-love has not gone unnoticed in the world of teabaggery (although they'd prefer it if she out-and-out endorsed him).

Prediction: Hundreds of official teabag groups in Florida will be burning through e-mail and the phones this weekend to turn out the vote. Their message:"victory or death." Their under-the-table goal: Find a Gingrich voter who will officially challenge the RNC's winner-take-all rule after Willard prevails in Florida.

And, oh — Marco Rubio? You've reaped yourself a ton of teabagger grief. Just sayin'.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Before Florida: A Teabagger Snapshot

By Baxter

Ooh, those teabaggers just love Newt Gingrich!

Never mind his three marriages, and his philandering outside of same, and his insidery Washington-ness! He is their friend and champion and savior — all because he can command a debate in which audience participation is allowed. He channels their rage. Yay for Newt!

In fact, our friends at Free Republic think that Mitt Romney, Karl Rove, Ann Coulter, Drudge, Tom DeLay, Bob Dole and the National Review gang will resort to no less than the final solution — murder! — to stop Newtie. "I honestly believe if Gingrich gets the nomination, the Washington insiders will consider assassination. They are that scared of him," one Freeper writes.

We cats say, this is so great. If the Newtmeisters are saying this now, what will they do at the Republican convention? Because like it or not, there will be some Gingrich delegates on the floor in Tampa.

We cats PURR.

Hilarious News-Story Juxtaposition Of The Day

"[Hispanic voters] have often felt the sting of prejudice...They tire of the stereotypes built by the media and some politicians. Like all voters, Hispanics respond to candidates who show respect."
—Former Governor Jeb Bush, 
"Four Ways Republicans Can Win Hispanics Back,"
The Washington Post, January 26, 2012

"I might have tacos when I go home; I'm not quite sure yet."

—Republican Joe Maturo, Mayor of East Haven, Connecticut, 
on repairing relations with his city's Latino community

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

For Crist's Sake!

"Charlie Crist is running to be the people's governor. He is sure to follow in Jeb Bush's footsteps, and will continue to provide the valued leadership Floridians have come to expect. His passion, conservative values, and lifetime of experience will serve him well once [he is] elected governor."
—Mitt Romney, September 2006

(IMAGE: New Times)

Tomorrow's Clown College Debate: What Wolf Blitzer Should Ask (But Probably Won't)

By Miss Kubelik

We cats often write posts like this. But we wouldn't have to if the guys who call themselves "journalists" would do their jobs. (Besides, it gives us another lovely opportunity to post a third "Fear Factor" picture, albeit a slightly blurry one.)

Tomorrow night is another, goodness gracious, Republican debate. While we're confident that the GOP will look back on these 2012 clownfests and kick themselves for doing them, they've certainly provided us Democrats with entertainment. (And some frustration, since there are always questions that the moderators should ask but don't.)

To wit, here are some queries the Wolfman should pose tomorrow. But don't hold your breath. You'll pass out.

"Gentlemen, many of your fellow Republicans from farm states are on record as supporting the lifting of the 50-year-old U.S. embargo against Cuba, so that American farmers can sell their goods there. But here in Florida, much of the Cuban electorate opposes lifting the embargo.

"Where do you stand? Do you agree with large numbers of farm state Republicans that the embargo should end — or do you believe, as the Republican leadership in Florida's Cuban community does, that it must continue?

"If you support continuing the embargo, why didn't you talk about that in Iowa, before the caucuses took place?

"If you support continuing the embargo, will you discuss your position when you campaign in Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska and North Dakota?"

(NOTE TO WOLF: Don't trouble Ron Paul with this. He opposes the embargo. He'd like Texas cattlemen to be able to sell beef to Havana.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Our Lame But Perfectly Understandable Excuse to Post Another Fabulous "Fear Factor" Screen Shot

By Sniffles

We cats recall resolving recently to take Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan with a larger grain of salt. After Monday evening's "Fear Factor" debate, we feel vindicated.

If we were going to be charitable about it, we'd say that apparently Andrew doesn't live in Washington, and isn't familiar with our cable channels here. Which meant he couldn't find last night's Willard-Newtie-Ricky-Ron smackdown on TV — mainly because of that little programming-guide snafu we pointed out. He didn't beam in until 9:15 — having missed a full quarter of the event!

Our question to Andrew, therefore, is a logistical one. Since you knew you were supposed to live-blog the debate, why didn't you figure out the correct channel number ahead of time?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gee, Maybe There Really IS a Liberal Media

Okay, everybody — it's 'fess-up time. We all knew this debate was happening, right? Who's the guilty programmer? We cats want to curl up in his lap and PURR.

No Early Bird Special for Romney

By Zamboni

We cats have often felt sorry these last few months for whoever at Obama-Biden 2012 is charged with watching the endless Republican clown college debates. Yes, it must be done — but what a tedious, irritating chore it must have been.

Ha! No more. In fact, we might even look in on tonight's Tampa smackdown. If his lamely scripted, haltingly delivered and unconvincing "attacks" on Newt Gingrich today are any indication, Willard Mitt Romney will be the main smackdownee. We'll see.

In the meantime, contrary to what the pundits are saying — particularly that lamebrain, Alex Castellanos — we cats would like to dispute the notion that Willard's absentee-ballot effort gives him some sort of built-in advantage in Florida. Why? Because those folks were going to vote for Willard anyway. Early/absentee voting doesn't translate to cleaning up on the back end of the process.

Also, if you're undecided — and some nine percent of Florida Republicans are — you're not going to vote early, no matter how convenient it is. You're going to wait and see what happens. Somehow, we cats think that unless something seismic occurs, those undecided folks are not going to go for Romney.

We could get all mathematical about this, but numbers aren't our strongest suit. (We were really good in English.) But if this kind of stuff fascinates you, check out the math explained here and here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Don't Know Much About (GOP) History

By Baxter

So you thought that after whiffing on that question about his taxes, describing nearly $400,000 as "not very much," and declaring that he liked "to fire people," Willard Mitt Romney was gaffed out? Guess again.

We cats haven't seen a lot of coverage of this, but at his sad-sack "victory" party in South Carolina last night, the deposed Republican front-runner said this:

"Our party can't be led to victory by someone who has...never run a business and never led a state."

We bet that the Romneybot who came up with this line thought it was great — a neat, prissy little way for Willard to pat himself on the back and insult Newt Gingrich at the same time. But unfortunately, it's also an insult to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole and John McCain — three Republican Presidents and two GOP nominees, both of whom have endorsed him.

Gingrich, the so-called "historian" in the race, should be all over Romney for this. In fact, maybe he will be — at tomorrow night's debate.

We can't wait for the next Florida poll to come out. In the meantime, we cats PURR.

Okay, We Totally Understand This, But We're Still Bummed

"Gabby Giffords' tenacity and generous spirit have always made her the example of what is best in Arizona. As she said today, nothing can change what happened last January. But in her time in public life, she has changed Arizona and America for the better. As she continues to work on her recovery, I have no doubt she will also continue to work for and inspire all of us in so many ways in the years to come."
 —Andrei Cherny, Chair, Arizona Democratic Party

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Woe Is Willard (Palmetto State Paddling Edition)

By Miss Kubelik

We cats apologize if we're blogging a bit late in the game tonight, considering how quickly the South Carolina results came in. But it's easy to call a race early when it's won by 14 points.

We'll have more to say in the coming days, but meanwhile, here are a few off-the-top-of-our-furry-heads observations.
  • As we cats write this, Gingrich has 40 percent of the South Carolina vote. Gosh. Romney hasn't won anything yet by 40 percent.
  • What a repudiation of that irritating South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley. We bet you $10,000 she's just been booted from Willard's VP short list.
  • We advise Rick "Don't Google My Name" Santorum to skip Florida completely and go straight to the Super Tuesday states. Florida will do nothing but suck away huge amounts of Mr. Sweater Vest's money and time — for no reward whatsoever. Take a page from Ron Paul's book, Ricky: Go where the delegates are.
  • Speaking of the Sunshine State, do we think that Willard had a bunch of Florida endorsements ready to be marched out onstage in Tampa or Orlando or Miami after he won South Carolina? Wonder what's going on with those now? Hm.
  • We'd give a whole case of Star-Kist to see the South Carolina victory speech that the Romney folks had ready last weekend.
  • But at least Willard has one consolation: Joe Paterno is having a worse day than he is.

A Quickie: Palmetto State Poop-Out?

By Sniffles

After a wild week in the 2012 Republican clown college, early turnout in today's South Carolina primary appears to be low.

Gosh, how can that be? We thought after all that hollerin' and stompin' at the debates, Palmetto State Republicans were loaded for bear. Why aren't they lining up for blocks at the polls? Are they going to let a few little tornadoes keep them away? C'mon!

On the other hand, maybe they don't want to bother — since their votes won't be fully counted, many will be lost, and the official results won't be known for more than two weeks. At least, per the Iowa model.

(PHOTO: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not In Defense of John King

By Zamboni

Can we cats just quickly say for the umpteenth time that if Republican candidates are going to presume to tell the rest of us how to live our lives, their personal conduct is an appropriate topic for discussion?

More Clowns in the College? (Part II)

By Baxter

It's interesting to re-read Larry Sabato's argument from back in early December 2011 that the cast of characters in the 2012 Republican Presidential race is by no means set in stone. More clowns could be waiting in the wings, and could make their entrances soon.

We cats don't want to get into eye-glazing details, but here it is in a nutshell: This year's GOP delegate selection process is "back loaded," Sabato's senior columnist Rhodes Cook argues, with enough delegates allocated after Super Tuesday in caucuses and winner-take-all primary states to clinch the nomination.

"Should Mitt Romney stumble badly in the January events in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida," Cook writes, "another establishment Republican could enter the race in early February and still compete directly in states with at least 1,200 of the 2,282 or so GOP delegates. Many of them will be up for grabs after April 1 when statewide winner-take-all is possible."

Okay — so. Let's look at what's happened in the six weeks since that argument was posted.

Willard Mitt Romney "won" the Iowa caucuses — and then he lost them. He won the New Hampshire primary. And he's on the verge of possibly losing in South Carolina tomorrow. Indeed, by Sunday "Mr. Inevitability" could suddenly be one for three.

Now, with Florida probably not predicable at this point, the pundits would posit that surely Romney will go on to win in Nevada (February 4) and Michigan (February 28). But even if he does, what good is that? He will have proven only that he can win in a New England state he's lived in, a midwestern state he was born and raised in, and a western state in which the Republican electorate is dominated by the Mormon church. (Utah's primary, in case you're wondering, isn't until June 26.)

So, to the extent the 2012 general election will be fought on that battlefield and that battlefield only, Willard's a winner. Not much of a selling point, is it? We cats wonder if any Republicans are starting to wake up to this, and if so, whether any of them read Larry Sabato.

Mark our words, this isn't done yet. Lots of "dream-candidate" names will again be floated, from the Indiana Chinless Wonder to that cold-hearted accountant from Wisconsin. But we cats see only two real late-entry possibilities: Jeb Bush, or the famous quitter from Alaska.

As Willard himself would say, "Time will tell."

(IMAGE: Yes, we know this technically is a clown car, not a college. But we couldn't resist.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cold As A Falling Caucus Vote in January

By Miss Kubelik

So now it's time for us cats to weigh in on the big Republican mess in Iowa. It appears that our pick for the winner of the January 3rd caucuses, Mr. "Don't Google His Name" Sweater Vest, actually did win! We are so proud.

Of course, we also have to note that votes from eight Iowa precincts have somehow gone missing. Ya know, the Iowa GOP should have enlisted help from those overachieving recall-Walker folks in Wisconsin, who have a far greater respect for the democratic process. The missing votes never would have vanished in the first place.

We can make a lot of jokes about this — except for the fact that, you know, it isn't funny. The Republican Party's contempt for democracy — whether it's a snafu like Iowa, a relentless national campaign to disenfranchise the poor, the young, and minorities, or a refusal to allow a recount more than 10 years ago in Florida — well, it's just wildly depressing. This is not what the Founders had in mind for America.

As just the latest example, here is our nomination for the most amazing statement ever given by a Republican Party official in American history:

“It’s done. We never got [the missing Iowa votes]. We tried to track ‘em down, and for whatever reason, we don’t have them.” (The only thing this jerk forgot to add: "Oh, well!")

The horror. We cats are dating ourselves, but this cavalier attitude reminds us of the Republican convention in 1972. Moderate Congressman Paul McCloskey had won a legitimately elected delegate. But the Nixon people wouldn't seat the delegate, and forced one of the Nixon delegates to cast a vote for McCloskey instead. In short, Republicans pooh-poohing the democratic process is not a recent thing.

What other conclusion can we come to? The Grand Old Party is a bunch of frauds and cheats who have no respect for the votes of taxpayers and other citizens who happen not to look like them. They pay a ton of lip service to loving America, but in reality, they hijacked the American way a long time ago.

And we cats had to say this, because Mr. Sweater Vest never will.

Lest We Furr-get: Another Clown Bites the Dust

By Sniffles

WOW! What a wild day in the 2012 Republican clown college! It has to be the craziest yet. Hot on the heels of the "I-only-pay-15-percent-in-taxes-and-$370,000-isn't-much-money" Romney gaffes, the Iowa caucuses are declared a draw, Rick Perry drops out of the race and endorses Newt Gingrich, and Wife Number Two tells ABC News that Gingrich wanted an "open marriage" (ugh).

Although we cats could write volumes about any one of these — for example, that the Iowa mess is just the latest proof of the Republicans' contempt for the democratic electoral process — we will focus on Rick Perry for the moment. We have a few questions:
  • Will anyone — we mean you, political pundits and so-called journalists — go back and look at the coverage in August 2011, when Perry was virtually handed the nomination?
  • Will anyone recall how the media covered his announcement as a victory tour that ran roughshod over Michele Bachmann's Iowa straw poll bounce?
  • Will anyone revisit the popular notion that Perry was going to clean up in the early primaries because his guru David Carney was the New Hampshire expert?
  • Is any reporter going to call up Perry's fellow Governors — Bobby Jindal, Brian Sandoval and Sam Brownback — and ask them if they regret their early endorsements?
  • Can Sheriff Joe Arpaio go back to Arizona now?
  • Will anyone bother to dredge up all those old stories about how much money Perry was going to raise, and how he was such a better retail campaigner than the last "Texan" elected to the White House?
Knowing the current state of political journalism, we cats are not holding our breaths about any of this. (Although we're looking forward to the money reports: Perry's and "Herb" Cain's.) In the meantime, until these answers present themselves, we can heartily recommend Paul Begala's Daily Beast indictment of all things Perry.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Memo to Mitt

By Zamboni

See this? You may think it's Google's logo, blacked out in protest over the anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA. But actually it's us cats, censoring our reaction to Willard Mitt Romney's attacks on Newt Gingrich today. This is a pretty clean blog, and we'd like to keep it that way.

The reason we are spitting mad is that in criticizing Gingrich, who apparently is gaining on him in South Carolina, Willard repeated that tired old canard about President Gore claiming he invented the.... you know. We're sick of that, because President Gore never said it. And we HISS in Willard's general direction for cravenly perpetuating the myth.

And while we're at it, we'd advise Willard to stop emitting those McCainish "heh hehs" after he says something stupid — except for the fact that we want him to continue to be repulsive and lose. So we'll hold that advice after all.

Poor Willard. He's having a pretty bad week. We cats PURR.

(IMAGE: We were kidding, of course. It's Google's.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Last Laugh

We just couldn't wait to get that picture of Scott Walker off the top of the blog. So here's a little note to nonagenarian actress Betty White, from a friend.

More Numbers

By Baxter

Goodness gracious, there's so much to talk about today, from Willard Mitt Romney's tax-return-and-speaking-fee mess to how stupid Rick Perry is.

But we're going to wave all that away for now, because congratulations appear to be in order for those hard-working folks in Wisconsin who today submitted 1 million signatures to recall vile Republican Governor Scott Walker.

This is pretty amazing, for a lot of fun numerical reasons.

First, recall organizers only had to gather 540,208 signatures. "Only"! You try getting 540,208 signatures when you have frightened Republicans and teabaggers screaming and swearing at you, scribbling on your petitions, and committing heaven knows what other felonies. But the recall folks not only managed it, they got 460,000 extras.

Recall organizers got nearly as many signatures as the number of people who voted for Walker in 2010.

Recall signers represent 30 percent of all Wisconsin registered voters.

Wisconsin recall organizers gathered 100 times more signatures than Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann failed to get in order to qualify for the Virginia Republican primary.

In sheer tonnage, organizers delivered almost as much petition material as Chris Christie weighs. (Okay, not really.)

So we send a big PURR in the direction of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, United Wisconsin, and all Badger State citizens outraged at the gutting of their rights. And we think that Scott Walker, who always looks like he just rolled out of bed, had better wake up.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jonny Ends His Quest

By Miss Kubelik

After an awkward rollout, a bunch of lame slogans and jokes, and only a few charming debate moments, Jon Huntsman is calling it quits, and the cute quotient of the Republican 2012 clown college has just decreased a thousand percent.

We can't quite imagine why Huntsman chose to drop out now rather than a week ago (or hence). We'd have thought that a man who apparently relies on the rhythm method of birth control might have a better sense of timing. We also can't decide why he thought his message of reason and relative moderation would appeal to today's GOP.

That aside, our only guess is that he'll wait for the Republican Party to self-destruct this year, after which he can ride to its rescue in 2016.

Let's hope his next campaign staff spells his name right.

(PHOTO: Grant Cornett for TIME)

Friday, January 13, 2012

If Katharine Graham Were Alive Today, She'd Be Spinning in Her Grave

By Sniffles

Take a good look at this guy who wasn't elected President. Not in 1944, and not, more memorably, in 1948.

Thomas E. Dewey, Governor of New York. REPUBLICAN. That hair.... that mustache.... what else could he be? But of course, you'd never know that from today's Washington Post.

In our hard-copy edition of the newspaper that plopped on our doorstep this morning, a photo of Dewey that accompanied this article labeled him thus: "Democrat lost to Harry Truman."

Yes, we cats know, people make mistakes. But for the major newspaper in the nation's capital — a newspaper with national pretensions — to make this particular mistake is almost beyond imagining. Clearly the Post now is staffed by children whose political knowledge stops with the second Bush Administration. Is there a more famous Democratic comeback than Harry Truman's in 1948? Is there a more famous political picture? Don't make us show you.

We have written to the Post and verbally boxed their ears. But, goodness gracious. They'll be saying Nixon was a Democrat next.

We cats HISS.

Calling James Inhofe

By Zamboni

So today is the 30th anniversary of the Air Florida Flight 90 crash, and amid all the coverage, there's something we've noticed but which nobody else seems to be pointing out.

Take a good look at that white stuff in the Potomac River. What the heck is that? Oh! It's called "ice." It forms from water when it's cold out.

Is there any ice on the Potomac in January three decades later? Somehow, we think not. In fact, it was 65 degrees in the Washington area just a few days ago.

We cats don't want any planes to fall from the sky from ice and snow. But this weirdly warm weather is freaking us out. And we wish to God that someone from our side would torture the "junk science" Republicans each time our thermometer sets a new winter record.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Professor Gingrich Teaches Politics 101

By Baxter

Newt Gingrich may not be a member of the 99 percent — nobody with his Tiffany's bill could be — but he is entirely correct on his right to slam Willard Mitt Romney's Bain Capital days:

“This issue at hand is neither about Bain Capital, private-equity firms, nor about capitalism. It is about Mitt Romney’s judgment and character. It was Governor Romney’s decision to base his candidacy, in large part, on his background as a portfolio manager. Thus, it is entirely legitimate to ask questions about whether he is accurately presenting how he conducted himself during that career.”

(Another reason we know Gingrich is doing the right thing: Other Republicans are freaking out.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Woe Is Willard (New Hampshire Victory Edition)

By Miss Kubelik

Well, the results from New Hampshire are in, and it looks like Willard Mitt Romney may have wobbled only a little bit. Thirty-nine percent is five points lower than his highest Granite State polls, but it was plenty big enough for a comfortable win.

Still and all, we cats are seeing some cracks in the veneer. No one in Pundit World will say it, but it is our considered opinion that Willard failed in New Hampshire. Here's why.

He's campaigned there for six years. He's been running for President for thousands more than that. The Granite State has always been his primary target. He moved there. He had one of his only two campaign organizations there. He spent tons of money and time there in 2008, after which he never stopped stumping. He doled out huge checks to every New Hampshire Republican, elected official and candidate, in 2010. Except for Ron Paul, none of his 2012 opponents had an ounce of organization or money. And he still only got 39 percent.

We cats never would have thought we'd say this, but Newt Gingrich was right. With all those resources, Romney should have cracked 50 percent in New Hampshire — easily.

In short, Willard is the same old Willard — winning by surviving, by being not quite as clowny as the other members of the 2012 Republican clown college. And while Gingrich, Santorum and Perry have effectively tested several general-election attack lines for Obama-Biden, Willard reinforced his own clown-college status by contributing to the arsenal with wooden, unfeeling, corporate-raider remarks.

So now it's on to South Carolina. We bet that the Romney people wish that the Palmetto State were voting this Saturday rather than next. Eleven days can be an eternity in politics. We expect one of Willard's rivals to jump on the release-your-tax-returns bandwagon soon.

Meanwhile, last night's Granite State results means that this may be our final opportunity to declare that Jon Huntsman is cute. With nearly 17 percent of the vote, he probably has lived to fight another day — but where? The primary map looks pretty bleak. Hey, can we get him back as Ambassador to China?

Finally, let's interrupt this Republican smackdown to congratulate Vice President Biden for his comments to supporters on Tuesday. It was not a statement that a silver-spoon Bain baby could utter with any credibility.

"We inherited a broken bargain," the Vice President said, "a deal that our parents didn't have to face. Middle-class folks, if you gave them an even chance, they got to share in the benefits they helped to produce for this country. That bargain was broken during the Bush years and we were determined to fix it."

We cats PURR.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lest We Furr-get: Silly Slogans

By Sniffles

Should we cats mention again that we think Jon Huntsman is cute? We're just wondering, because we hope our suspicion that Huntsman is surging in New Hampshire isn't wishful thinking.

Not that we want him to get the nomination, of course. He'd be too good a candidate! Nope, we're more than happy to have the GOP pick a phony whose only genuine moments occur when he admits he likes to fire people — instead of a thoughtful, Mandarin-speaking conservative who could attract Democrats and independent voters.

Of course, it would be ironic (and delicious) if Huntsman's fine Sunday-debate retort to Romney over "country first" ended up being the decisive New Hampshire moment for him. Not just because he called Romney on his partisan playacting — but because the last Republican nominee, a decorated ex-POW, used that slogan. And then proceeded to make a mockery of it. You know how.

Monday, January 9, 2012

"I Like Being Able to Fire People"

We cats just Googled this phrase and got 2,540,000,000 hits. We figure that 2,539,999,999 of them were about Mitt Romney.

Has Willard Wobbled?

By Zamboni

We interrupt this Mitt Romney coronation to bring you... Bill Daley wanting to spend more time with his family.

You know, if we were Willard, we might be relieved that a Daley heading back to the City of the Big Shoulders is dominating the news for a bit. Because Mitt just stepped in it for the first time since he tried to bet Rick Perry $10,000 on the individual mandate: He's made a comment about liking to fire people.

To be fair, it appears that Romney was referring to insurance vendors. But nobody will remember that. Instead, the remark will play into Jon Stewart's brilliant assertion that Romney "looks like everyone who ever fired your dad."

Okay, so we're not in New Hampshire and it's snowing here in the Washington, D.C. area and people out in America probably have their minds on other things. But you can be sure that folks up in the Granite State are watching and listening. And cutie-pie Jon Huntsman, sigh, has jumped all over Willard for this stupid remark.

Hmmmm..... 1) a strong Sunday debate performance, 2) an opening provided by a privileged, thoughtless front-runner, 3) in a state that's famous for taking people down a peg? We cats are thinking our Republican crush-guy just might surprise tomorrow.

(PHOTO: We agree that Huntsman's campaign sign looks like a bad imitation of the Tommy Hilfiger logo. But, sigh again. Maybe Guy Pearce will play Jon in the movie?)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

One Year Later

GOP: Gone With The Willard?

By Baxter

The anti-Romney members of the 2012 Republican clown college are clownier than ever this weekend. Yesterday they all decided they were running for Vice President. Today, they're back to running for President again. As Newt Gingrich himself would say, "pathetic."

However, we cats will indulge ourselves in a few pre-New Hampshire observations.

Willard Mitt Romney is down almost 10 points from the last Granite State poll we cats paid any attention to. We'd like to know how his folks are going to spin a lower number if and when he wins. Here's the funny thing about this primary: If Willard wins, folks will say it won't matter because he was expected to. If he loses, they'll say it matters a lot, for the same reason. Not a good place to be in, we think.

Oh, please, oh, please, oh, please let one of Rick Santorum's sons turn out to be gay.

We cats still have our crush on Jon Huntsman, sigh. He's not just a Republican who truly puts his "country first" — but by highlighting the baby Huntsmans who are enlisted in the Navy, he took a well-deserved swipe at Willard's 2007 assertion that his five sons serve America by campaigning for him. (Ugh. What a disagreeable memory that is. Think we'll ever see a movie called "The Fighting Romneys"?)

While we're on the topic of LDS guys, here's a question. We thought that Mormons did missions to needy places like Africa. How come Willard got to go to France? Ooh la la, that sounds difficult, not.

Finally, we thought we'd check on our teabagger friends at Free Republic again. We were wondering how they were handling all the reports that Willard was on his way to an early-February coronation. Here's how: They're taking what they call the Scarlett O'Hara pledge: "As God is my witness, I will not vote for Mitt Romney for President." We cats PURR.

Friday, January 6, 2012


By Miss Kubelik

You know, it seems like it was only yesterday — because it was — that the pundits and prognosticators were saying that the economy probably only added 150,000 jobs last month.

Surprise! Thanks for playing, folks, but it was more than 200,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate went down to 8.5 percent, the lowest it's been in three years.

The Republican reaction, of course, is running the gamut from insulting to a grudging admission that things might be getting better (although they're quick to say President Obama deserves no credit). But what else can you expect from the party of the 1 percent?

Meanwhile, another interesting story about numbers has caught our attention. It seems that the Romney vote total out of Iowa — you know, that eight-vote landslide — may be wrong. Rick Santorum may actually have edged Willard by 12.

Okay. We cats have to say that we wondered on Wednesday morning: How do you have 1,800 precincts, 122,000 paper ballots — many of which were hand-scribbled by individual voters — and come up with a definitive eight-vote margin without even one teensy-weensy mistake?

But, hey, we're talking about Republicans here. These are the same folks who in 2000 counted a bogus margin of 537 in Florida, had the Supreme Court put the kibosh on a recount — and who, despite being down by a half million in the popular vote nationally, claimed an insurmountable Bush-Cheney mandate to, um, start illegal wars and stuff.

Rick Santorum's wishy-washy reaction to this Iowa story is kind of shocking. We cats guess that either he's not that bright, or he's had no time to hire an election lawyer to think and act the way election lawyers do. (See reference to 2000, above.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Woe Is Willard (Town Hall Edition)

By Sniffles

By now, anyone who has ever coordinated an event has heard about the disastrous John McCain-endorses-Mitt Romney "town hall" in New Hampshire yesterday.

From the smallness of the crowd to the unfriendly questions to the malfunctioning mics and the oh-so-telling body language, this clown college sideshow will go down in the annals of Presidential campaigns filed under "What Not To Do." (We cats might also add that we've never seen John McCain, physically, looking worse. And that includes his famous "zombie" photo from 2008!)

Gee, the Romneybots are supposed to be a crack logistical team, despite their inability to count noses in Iowa. So we're a little surprised at this, but always grateful for the opportunity to enjoy a spot of schadenfreude. It's a hell of a way to celebrate that eight-vote landslide — and we're wondering how much the news of this "town hall" debacle will trickle down to voters in the Granite State and in South Carolina. Nobody likes to be associated with screw-ups.

Which brings us back to the question of Willard's endorsements. Specifically, did he have others beside McCain lined up for the immediate aftermath of Iowa? You would have thought so — since they expected to win and wanted a one-two punch to end all this primary-caucus silliness.

For example, yesterday would have been a great time for a neutral Terry Branstad or Chuck Grassley to hop on the Romney bandwagon — for the good of the party, and, fittingly, after their Iowa neighbors had voted. But all we hear from them today is crickets. (Or can we say "birds chirping"? We cats prefer birds.)

If the Romney camp did have that post-Iowa endorsement strategy, perhaps some of the people they lined up got cold feet. (Or decided to praise Ron Paul.) What other conclusion can we come to, since they've touted an unending supply of boosters they could trot out to prove that Willard is a "real" conservative?

Bottom line: Willard is not a "real" anything. But if the rest of his campaign goes anything like yesterday, he'll be in real trouble.

(PHOTO: Rod Lamkey, Jr. / The Washington Times. Don't they look happy?)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Woe Is Willard

By Zamboni

Wow, we cats would have posted on Iowa earlier today, but we were too busy looking up synonyms for the word "robotic." (We suppose the folks at Disney World are telling each other, "Well, if Romney gets to the White House, at least we won't have to build a new audioanimatron for the Hall of Presidents.")

Why? Because we've seen Willard Mitt Romney's cringe-inducing attempt to claim his eight-vote landslide as "a great victory." His aides tried to spin their candidate's late-night speech as ditching the teleprompters and "speaking from the heart," but we note with glee that Romney actually ended up giving "a rushed version of his stump speech that lacked the feel of a victory address." That's our boy!

Yep, the Romney campaign is smiling through some very clenched teeth today. He not only has Mr. UnGoogleable and the crazy Libertarian-who-still-thinks-the-government-should-tell-women-when-they-can-and-cannot-have-babies breathing down his neck, he got six fewer votes — 30,015 — last night than he did in the same caucuses in 2008.

This is pathetic. Given all the money, time and resources that Romney's invested in Iowa for six years — given the sorry state of his poorly funded, poorly staffed Republican opposition — given his allegedly heavy-hitting endorsements, and the fact that this past weekend he predicted out-and-out victory — well, throw all that together and you know that merely treading water on his 2008 support was a Meg Whitmanesque defeat of monstrous proportions.

No wonder the poor little Romneybots were caught by surprise last night. Take it from us — they'd prepared a speech for a comfortable win over Ron Paul, with Santorum in third.

Time to start the 2016 countdown clock on Rand Paul's next trip to Iowa. We cats PURR.

P.S. Does an eight-vote landslide mean that Chris Christie won't return to Iowa to lay on a New Jersey whuppin'? And will anyone in the press follow up on that rude and offensive threat?

P.P.S. Gee, eight votes. What do you think would have happened if that weenie Iowa Congressman Steve King had grown a pair and endorsed Mr. UnGoogleable after they went pheasant hunting together? The Santorum campaign must be in a tizzy over that one!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rupie Hearts Ricky

By Baxter

Gosh! Are we all excited? Rupert Murdoch has started to tweet! And he's saying nice things about our projected Iowa winner, the unGoogleable Rick Santorum!

That's almost as fun as Santorum's incredibly lame fashion statement, which the press, which must be bored out of its skull with the 2012 Republican clown college, has now started to write about.

But don't get too aflutter, folks. We cats think we know what's behind this sudden Aussie tweeting.

Rupert Murdoch woke up this weekend, saw the prospect of Willard Mitt Romney wrapping everything up with a strong Iowa finish — and panicked.

See, the Republican debates have been huge ratings hits, and the 2012 coverage has been the best thing to happen to FOX since Barack Obama's inauguration. So Rupie latched onto the most likely candidate to stretch out the primaries, and dropped some hints. (As with everything on the GOP side, it's all about cash. In this case, Rupie's cash.)

But don't be downcast, even if Murdoch's motives are a little suspect. There's still something to amuse us Democrats: If our theory is correct, then it means trouble for Romney in terms of how FOX will spin his Iowa results — whatever they are.

We cats PURR.

(PHOTO: One of Rick Santorum's now-famous sweater vests. Check out this very funny Santorum-in-Iowa feature.)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sad Little Freepers

By Miss Kubelik

We cats promised you more Freeper madness, so on the eve of the big clownapalooza in Iowa, we thought we'd check on our crazy teabagger friends at you-know-where to see how they're feeling today.

The quick answer is, a little depressed. Not necessarily because they think their nemesis Willard Mitt Romney will win tomorrow, but because of What Might Have Been. Specifically, contemplating the first official contest of 2012 without their two faves, "Herb" Cain and the famous quitter from Alaska, makes them pretty down in the mouth.

Here's a typical comment: "Palin and Cain were run out of town on a rail, politically raped and lynched because the mainstream media...made it happen. We let it happen only because we are truly without power. The only real power is held by the liberal cabal. The mainstream media is [sic] owned and managed by leftist/gay/pagans."

"Without power"? Aw, c'mon, guys, buck up! You've only been running the House for the last year. Plus, there's that little matter of how both the famous quitter and "Herb" contributed to their respective ignominious downfalls.

We're sure that the Freeps will get over their funk once the unGoogleable Rick Santorum wins the caucus tomorrow. In the meantime, we're more worried about Free Republic posters like this fellow, who we sincerely hope is not your next-door neighbor:

"2010 — We bought 14.5 MILLION guns. 2011— We bought 16 MILLION. 2012—?? I think we all know how this mess will end. Lock and load, boys and girls — it’s going to get interesting."

If he is your next-door neighbor, we advise you to call the police.

Tidbits and Cat Treats — Pre-Iowa Edition

By Sniffles

Like the rest of the world — most notably, Hawkeye State Republicans — we cats have perhaps overdosed a bit on tomorrow's Iowa caucuses. But a few choice items in this morning's news have caught our eye:

Just one day after our post predicting a win by the unGoogleable Rick Santorum, we note that he packed a Sioux City coffee shop with 200 people. Pretty good for a guy whose early days were spent talking to groups of no more than four or five.

And, we might add, we note that the latest PPP poll is showing Iowa a three-way, 21-20-19 tie. Nate "Nerdstrodamus" Silver cautions that this could just be a "random variance" — but we cats think not. Obviously all those Christian fundamentalists in Hawkeyeland read us. Willard and Ron have crested and may be falling a bit; Ricky's on the rise.

After Michele Bachmann loses tomorrow, and Minnesota's redistricting process is completed, we hope the Democrats do a money-bomb fundraiser for whoever runs against her for Congress this year. Michele, it's been fun — but It's Time for You to Go.

Speaking of Bachmann, she needs to go back to English class. You cannot qualify the adjective "unique" with the adjective "very." You either are unique or you aren't. Michele is unique only in her nuttiness.

Wait, we take that back. How could Bachmann be unique when the current Republican Party boasts the likes of Ron Paul, Steve King, Joe Wilson, Allen West, Marco Rubio, "Herb" Cain, scores of other clowns that we don't have enough room to mention here, and the famous quitter from Alaska?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We Pick Rick

By Zamboni

When we cats thought about how to predict the Iowa clown caucus on Tuesday, we were torn: Should we say what we want to have happen, or what we think probably will happen? Happily, is looks as if those two choices may be converging.

Thanks to the latest results from The Des Moines Register poll, we're going to go out on a limb and say that Rick "Don't Google My Name" Santorum will win. Late numbers from this past Thursday and Friday show Rick "That's An African Proverb" Santorum rising to 21 percent — trailing only Willard Mitt Romney.

In other words, Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum is definitely surging. But here are two reasons we think he'll continue to do so:

Romney and Ron Paul have no room to grow. They've hit their respective ceilings (in fact, Romney's been running for President since the beginning of time and he's never been able to rise past a quarter of the vote.) Neither is going to poach much support from divided Christian evangelicals. If caucusgoers are going to desert Perry, Bachmann and Gingrich, they'll do it for Santorum — not for Romney or Paul.

Iowa likes to surprise.

Yes, we cats occasionally go out on the wrong limb and then have to be rescued by the nice men from the fire department. But we're thinking that maybe come Tuesday, we can climb down by ourselves.

P.S. Another prediction while we're at it: When Senator Rand Paul steps off that plane in Iowa tomorrow, consider the 2016 Republican race officially kicked off. (Unless, of course, you count that offensive speech Chris Christie gave for Romney the other day.)