Friday, August 31, 2012

Woe Is Willard: Spaced-Out Cowboy Edition

By Miss Kubelik

We cats shouldn't have been surprised. Every time something in the campaign has gone right for Willard Mitt Romney, it's immediately been followed by something that's gone horribly wrong.

Sometimes, it's Willard himself who steps all over his good fortune by saying something stupid (e.g., "I'm not concerned about the very poor," which he babbled right after winning Florida). Other times, it's people outside his control, behaving badly, or beating him in Iowa. And of course, last night it was — well, you know. Goodness gracious, we're never going to see that car commercial again, are we?

The Twitterverse lit up immediately over Doddering Clint Eastwood and His Empty Chair, and the blogosphere followed suit, and nobody's talking about anything else. Instead of celebrating their candidate's big coming-out, the Romneybots were forced to spend today playing defense on Dirty Harry. Clint will doubtlessly dominate all the pundit-world Sunday shows, too.

There's a lot of finger pointing going on, but here's the thing. Last night was Clint Eastwood's fault, the convention planners' fault, the Romneybots' fault, and the fault of the stage-prop guy who agreed to hand Eastwood the chair when he asked for it. But most of all, it was Willard Mitt Romney's fault.

Why? Because despite running for President since probably the day that his father lost, Willard Mitt Romney is incapable of letting American voters know who he is. So he had to rely on a gimmick on his big night. And the gimmick failed.

Willard Mitt Romney, The Unknowable Man, has finally helped America understand him better. But we don't think he should be pleased.

Tidbits and Cat Treats: Convention Wrap-Up

By Sniffles

Up here in French-speaking Quebec, a "canard" is a duck. But down in Tampa, it still means "lie." And Republican canards were everywhere these last few days.

And not just then, either. With Republicans, canards are a constant. We cats are struck by how shameless they are about lying now. Their fibs are no longer swathed in a delicate veil of "compassionate conservatism." Nope, today's GOP is just flat-out bold about all the people they're going to suppress, deport, disenfranchise, rape and destroy.

So, while canard-ing was, hands down, the overriding theme of the Isaac-shortened, snake-bit 2012 Republican convention, a few other developments should not go unnoticed:

Clint Eastwood spoke, which was kinda funny because we cats generally treat GOP confabs like the Academy Awards — why waste hours watching when we can read the results in three minutes the next morning? Apparently, though, Clint Eastwood also bombed. In fact, his bizarre performance is threatening to become the story du jour. Where was the Oscar-night orchestra when they needed it?

Chuck Todd asked Rick Perry if he'd consider running for President again in 2016, and instead of instantly protesting, "Chuck! How can you ask that? Mitt Romney is going to be in the White House in 2016," Perry said, "Oh, absolutely!"

David Koch supports gay marriage? Does this mean we have to say nice things about him now? Nah. But it's another sure sign that the needle is moving inexorably toward equality. Sorry, Freepers.

Ann Romney is our nominee for queen of the GOP Freudian slip. "Time for a grown-up"? As if President Obama hasn't been the only grown-up in Washington these last three and a half years. Or is she implying that our African-American Commander in Chief is a "boy"? Whoops.

As for keynoter Chris Christie's (GURK!) "belly-flop" — why are we surprised? Most of his so-called political brain trust is made up of Giuliani people. And we all know what happened to Rudy Giuliani. (P.S. If they aren't Giuliani people, they're Steve Forbes people. Remember all the grand accomplishments of the Forbes Administration? Of course you don't.)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Quickie: Republicans Love Everybody! (Not)

By Baxter

Once again, the Republicans have gotten all twisted-knickery when called on what they do. It's amazing what thin skins they have.

"Racists? We're not racists!" they cry, after two conventioneers pelted a black CNN camerawoman with peanuts. (Note to CNN: We think this is a good enough reason for you to stop covering this particular event. Go to New Orleans, where something is actually happening.)

But the bottom line, folks, is that you'd never see that at a Democratic Convention. Because the Democratic Party is way, way less than 90 percent white. Like America is.

The Republicans are so white, in fact, and their policies toward people of color are so hostile, that we cats continue to marvel and would like to ask: Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Tim Scott, et. al, what are you doing in that party?

Except for Allen West — they can keep him.

(IMAGE: Frederick Douglass, who belonged to the GOP when it truly was the Party of Lincoln, and who today would be... you know.)

UPDATE, August 30: Here we go again, with a subsequent news item that has surfaced to prove our earlier point. A federal court has smacked down a Texas voter-photo-ID law, saying it would impose too great a burden on minorities and the poor. In case we need to remind anyone, Texas is run by Republicans.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Willard Outs Himself

By Zamboni

Willard Mitt Romney thinks that America should elect him President because he's such a smart businessman.

You know what? He's not a smart businessman. He's an idiot. Here's proof.

Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard who recently blew nearly $200 million of her own money on an embarrassing run for Governor of California, has had to swat Willard away for saying "she'd be perfect" for his Cabinet. Au contraire, her spokesguy rushed to say. Whitman is "committed to staying at HP as long as the turnaround is going."

What a Silly Willy that Romney is. The man whose business record is supposed to qualify him for the White House doesn't know the first thing about how business works. Willard put Whitman and HP in a terrible position. A company on the ropes, that tears through CEOs faster than Willard changes his policy positions, can't afford to have rumors floated by the Republican Presidential candidate that if he gets elected, it's going to lose its boss.

It was a selfish, myopic, self-serving comment that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Romney has no idea how the real world works.

The good news, of course, is that now that we know he's clueless, we don't have to elect him.

UPDATE, August 28: Proving our point, Hewlett-Packard's stock dropped nearly 2 percent today, dragging the Dow down with it. So the next time a Romney guy tells you Willard is a good businessman, laugh in his face.

Woe Is Willard: Screwed-Up Convention Edition

By Miss Kubelik

We cats have worked on credentials at two Democratic National Conventions.

We won't say which ones, since that would reveal which of our nine lives we're currently on, and that's not a topic for polite conversation. But suffice to say that neither of those conventions was menaced by a tropical-storm-slash-hurricane. And doing the credentials for them was still a nightmare.

Collapsing their schedule because of Isaac will wreak more havoc with the Republican National Committee and the Romneybots than anyone who hasn't coordinated convention logistics can imagine. Here are a few ways things can go wrong this week.

Sure, credentials are probably digital now and are scanned. But it'll be a hassle to reprogram them, and to deal with people who only had one- or two-night admission.

With flights canceled, connections screwed up and hotel room availability uncertain (thanks to any visitors who didn't get out of Tampa before the GOP rolled in), the flake rate could be big. Look for swaths of empty seats — or maybe a replay of the photo above.

Speakers the RNC wanted to put in prime time either won't be able to appear or will have to speak when no one is watching. Bwwwwaaaa!

Conversely, the compressed schedule could make those to who do make it to the lectern run late. While we don't expect a re-enactment of George McGovern's 3 AM acceptance speech in 1972, it might not be pretty.

No Bobby Jindal again. Of course, that's miniscule compared to the reminder that all Americans could receive this week, of how the last Republican Administration let New Orleans drown.

So, all in all, this convention is a prescription for a Xanax overdose. Does being threatened by a natural event mean that God is punishing Republicans for hating women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, veterans, teachers, public employees, non-Christians, anyone needing healthcare, and the poor?

Or is it a signal to the fundamentalist whackjobs that the Lord is angry they're about to nominate a Mormon? Calling Sarah Palin!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Willard's Repulsive Birther "Joke" Makes Quebec's Craziness Look Pretty Good

 By Sniffles

Thank goodness the student manifestations in Montreal take place on the 22nd of each month. That means that we cats missed the traffic jam that this demonstration likely caused on Wednesday.

Still, despite the manifs and the upcoming provincial election on September 4, we're looking forward to some peace and quiet on our holiday, which starts tomorrow.

But not to worry. With Hurricane Isaac and the Silly Willy campaign scheduled to blow into Tampa at about the same time, we'll be sure to post when we can.

(PHOTO: Reuters / Olivier Jean)

The Five-Percent Solution?

By Baxter

We cats weren't going to post again until later today, but we simply had to bump that picture of the woman-hater from Missouri down from the top of the blog. Whew!

But as the GOP disaster known as Todd Akin continues, we had another thought about just how screwy these anti-choicers' thinking is.

Case in point: Certified religious whacko Bryan Fischer has (surprise, surprise) leaped to Akin's defense on the "legitimate rape" question, asserting in no uncertain terms that "he was entirely correct to say that pregnancies in cases of forcible rape are rare."

Aside from the fact that these Republican male lamebrains have suddenly all become practicing OB-GYNs (gee, we missed that), we have a theory about why about five percent of rapes result in pregnancies.

Unfortunately for Akin and his ilk, this is NOT due to "shutting that whole thing down." It's thanks to Margaret Sanger, Emma Goldman, Planned Parenthood, The Guttmacher Institute and thousands of advocates who have been fighting for nearly 100 years now to ensure women the right to control their reproductive destiny and their reproductive health.

The large number of women who use birth control methods that work day in and day out — like the pill or the IUD — has got to be a big factor behind the five percent. 

Of course, if Todd Akin and Paul Ryan and all the other Republicans have their way, birth control will cease to be covered by insurance, and Planned Parenthood will be out of business. And forget about Medicaid assistance. So, more women who are raped will conceive.

We're not sure how a Romney-Ryan America would deal with that. But in the meantime, instead of hearing about how women's bodies "shut things down," we'd dearly love it if the knuckle-draggers in the GOP would just shut up.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Woe Is Willard: Romney's Anti-Choice Trifecta

By Zamboni

We cats can't decide if we want Hurricane Isaac to hit the Republican convention, or if we'd just be satisfied with the tempest that may take place inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Back in the day, we thought that any kerfuffles within the convention hall would be due to the Ron Paul folks, who took over a bunch of delegations right under Willard Mitt Romney's nose. But, no. It appears that although much of the mainstream media have yet to take serious notice, a wildfire is raging among the GOP's most virulent anti-choicers.

Yep, the no-exception folks are apoplectic over Silly Willy. Not only has he endorsed a rape-incest-life-of-the-mother exception for abortion, but he did it in the same week that the GOP platform put its foot down in the exact opposite direction. (Which raises the question of as to what other parts of the platform he declines to support.)

Not only that, Romney has forced running mate Paul Ryan to to reverse himself and say that while he personally believes in a no-exception policy, he is willing to go along with Romney's position on the issue. Hm. We cats didn't know that was a negotiable item for the firebrand anti-choice crowd. (We also think that Ryan's plagiarism of President Obama is pathetic, by the way.)

So, in one week, the untrustworthy-on-abortion-in-the-first-place Romney has: 1) thrown a leading Christian advocate for the unborn under the bus, 2) thrown the Republican Party platform's abortion language under the bus, and 3) humiliated his courageous, no-exceptions, anti-abortion Catholic running mate. Wow!

Could Willard's real, secret, rabidly pro-choice position be any clearer in the eyes of the Christian crusaders? We cats PURR.

(IMAGE: Todd Akin... looking particularly martyr-y, yes?)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Republicans, Tied Up

By Miss Kubelik

Journalists: Need to confirm Patrick Gaspard's statement about Paul Ryan today? Sure. Just ask us.

In other words, yes, indeedy — Paul Ryan did "look like a cat in a ball of yarn" when he attempted to talk about the messy topics of rape and abortion yesterday.

It's just another example of the tangle into which Republicans have ensnared themselves. We cats PURR.

Ill Winds

By Sniffles

Why do the media always seem to assume that things will go right for the Republicans? Do they have that much invested in a tight Presidential race — to ensure they have something to talk about 24/7 between now and November 6?

Guess so. Because nothing the GOP does these days seems to go right.

The Ryan roll-out — meh. Romney's trip to London, Israel and Poland — a disaster. The New Hampshire summer vacation? —Why was Ann driving the Ski-Doo? The Republican primaries? Don't get us started.

And now, the Todd Akin self-immolation. No wonder GOP Senate candidates are telling reporters to go (CENSORED) themselves. Even worse — it looks like the Republican National Convention might get rained out.

(We cats think that is great, by the way. Because jackasses like Akin are always invoking the name of God. And if God doesn't send a hurricane, who does?)

But here's the most delicious news tidbit of the day: A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of African Americans is in, and it's one that, while not completely shocking, still manages to leave you breathless.

Obama: 94 percent. Romney: 0 percent.

This is an amazing accomplishment. John McCain reaped 4 percent of the African American vote in 2008. And The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived — after doggedly courting religious black Americans — got around 11 percent. But zero??? Positively mind-boggling.

We cats assume this is a combination of Romney-Ryan's pathetic positions on domestic policy, the Republicans' relentless demonizing of President Obama, plus the fact that until 1978, the Mormon Church specifically banned blacks from its priesthood.

But what's most delicious to us is that the favorite nickname for the President over at that nutcase corner of the Internet known as Free Republic is "Zero."

Well, Freepers: Who's Mr. Zero now?

We cats PURR.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Akin To Mitt: Diss One's For You

By Baxter

We cats were once again planning to write about those naked Republicans running through the streets of Israel, screaming and drunk.

Okay, they weren't running through the streets. They were swimming in the Sea of Galilee (presumably because, despite how highly they think of themselves, they cannot walk on that body of water).

But, Todd Akin once again interferes.

The firestorm continues unabated — partly because talking about "legitimate rape" is completely, utterly and unalterably unacceptable, and partly because the woman-hater from Missouri has told his fellow Republicans in no uncertain terms to take a hike.

Including his party's presumptive Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. Paul Ryan was apparently the only Republican able to reach his Congressional colleague yesterday by phone. No dice. But Akin saved his most delicious public smackdown, which he delivered to Sean Hannity on radio, for Willard Mitt Romney:

“Don’t you think he may have built this thing up and made a bigger deal about it than he needed to?" he said. “Why couldn’t he run his race and I’ll run mine?”

Wow! So much for Romney and Ryan as the putative leaders of their party. That pesky man Akin is simply not falling into line. What have we cats been saying for, like, eons now? That the Romneybots aren't in control of their campaign? We're beginning to wonder if they have control of anything.

Tampa should be very interesting.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Todd Akin: The Freepers React

"What the hell is there to apologize for? He was simply implying if abortion was legal in the case of rape, some women would make false claims of rape to get one. That is a fact. There is nothing wrong with a pro-life candidate stating that."

We cats say: Ahhh, thank you, you madcap right wingers at Free Republic. We were wondering what "legitimate rape" was.

A New Primer On Ryan And Rand

By Zamboni

Okay, boys and girls: We cats have decided that this whole Todd Akin explosion has provided us with an important teachable moment. So, here goes.

1. Under the "personhood" amendment that Paul Ryan co-sponsors, the rape victims about whom Akin has spoken so compassionately (not) would have to bear their rapists' children.

2. Many of those children would then either die for lack of obstetric care — because Mitt Romney and the Republicans would defund Planned Parenthood and myriad accessible forms of female reproductive health services — or, postpartum, would starve to death for lack of food stamps, housing assistance and other human-service initiatives that Republicans call cruel government interference in the free market.

3. Ayn Rand, while rooting for the abortion, would approve of the poor, postpartum life of the rapist's child.

Any questions? And no, you can't ask the obvious one, as in, "Why do Republicans have their heads up their butts?"

GOP Is Achin' Over Akin

By Miss Kubelik

Wow! We cats have so much we could write about today, between creepy Republicans talking about rape and drunken, wild and naked Republicans cavorting in the Sea of Galilee. Plus Donald Trump, heading to Tampa! — How can we ever choose?

Actually, it's pretty easy. The Republican convention doesn't start for a week, and the naked Israel stuff isn't going away for awhile. Creepy Todd Akin, however, may only have hours left to live. So we're going with him.

Goodness gracious. The GOP is just tied up in knots, as well they should be. But we cats think that, over and above the Congressman's repulsive comments yesterday, Republicans are missing the point. "He doesn't represent us!" they scream. Oh, yes, he does, dearies. Yes, he does.

So, okay, they're trying to pretend that he doesn't, by diving into a fruitless argument about whether to allow abortions after rape. As far as we cats are concerned, limiting a woman's right to choose, and harassing her if she tries to exercise it, is like raping her in the first place. But, never mind — for now, let's let them fight with one another.

What truly amuses us is that earlier this year, there was some chest-thumping among the GOP punditocracy about how quickly Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill would run from President Obama if he had the — shall we say audacity? — to contest her state in 2012. They were positively giddy when Claire announced she wasn't going to the Democratic Convention. In short, like certain other weasels we know, Republicans were laughing themselves to death over the idea of McCaskill playing hide-and-seek with her President.

Now, we cats guess it's time to ask whether the Romneybots would welcome Akin at their candidate's side if and when Willard or Ryan set foot in Missouri?

The very thought must give Willard the willies!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

66, Lookin' Mighty Pretty

By Sniffles

We cats would like to know why people call Bill Clinton "the Big Dog."

Okay, maybe we do know why. But he's so svelte and elegant now, we think a feline monicker would be more appropriate.

In the meantime, we raise a glass of (what else?) milk to our former Prez on his 66th birthday — and remember with fondness that he presided over the largest peacetime economic expansion in American history. Which the Republicans promptly wrecked.

We cats HISS and PURR at the same time.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Missive From Messina

To Matt Rhoades, Romney campaign manager
Dear Matt:

I am writing to ask again that the Governor release multiple years of tax returns, but also to make an offer that should address his concerns about the additional disclosures.

Governor Romney apparently feels that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide. So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more — neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.

This request for the release of five years, covering the complete returns for 2007-2012, is surely not unreasonable. Other Presidential candidates have released more, including the Governor's father who provided 12 years of returns.

In the Governor's case, a five-year release would appropriately span all the years that he has been a candidate for President. It would also help answer outstanding questions raised by the one return he has released to date, such as the range in the effective rates paid, the foreign accounts maintained, the foreign investments made, and the type of tax shelters used.

To provide these five years, the Governor would have to release only three more sets of returns in addition to the 2010 return he has released and the 2011 return he has pledged to provide. And, I repeat, the Governor and his campaign can expect in return that we will refrain from questioning whether he has released enough or pressing for more.

I look forward to your reply.

Jim Messina
Obama for America Campaign Manager 

(To add your name to this letter, click here.)

(PHOTO: Daisy the Curly Cat)

Town Hall Terrors

By Baxter

Is Willard Mitt Romney scared of town halls?

We cats wonder, because he had to drag his running mate, Paul Ryan, with him to just such an event in New Hampshire this week.

So, let's get this straight:

Willard has been running for President for 20 years. His summer home is in New Hampshire. He's done hundreds of campaign events in the state over the last six years, including events for other candidates in 2006 and 2010. He shops on Main Street in tiny Wolfeboro. But he needs Ryan at his side to do a simple town hall? John McCain must be checking himself into a hospital, he's laughing so hard.

Of course, the best thing about it is that when Romney and Ryan campaign together, they cover much less ground. We cats PURR.

(IMAGE: Yes, we cats know that Sleepy Hollow is actually in New York. We point that out for the benefit of Republican Presidential candidates who are clueless about geography.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Joe Biden Is Our Cup Of Tea (and Coffee)

By Zamboni

We cats are weary of these fake Biden brouhahas.

They are fake. The last true verbal slip that we can remember Biden making was back in 2007, when he referred to the not-yet-nominated Barack Obama in kinda condescending terms. (And it seems to us that after three and a half years of leading the country together — including sitting in the Situation Room on the night we got Osama bin Laden — Obama and Biden have worked that out.)

All the other so-called gaffes? They were right on the money. That crack about John Roberts. Healthcare reform being a big [CENSORED] deal. Republicans putting people back in chains.

Oh, yes, the chains. We cats ask, where is the gaffe? When Republicans pass laws to prevent Americans with whom they disagree from voting, they are making those Americans second-class citizens, just as slaves were. They are in chains. Our umbrage-y friends on the other side of the aisle can call it what they like, but chains is just as apt a word as any other. Biden was right. He owes no one an apology.

The only thing more ridiculous than this flap? The idea that Meghan McCain, daughter of the man who made the worst VP pick in history, has any credibility on the subject.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Republicans Should Be Worried About Voter Fraud. Because It's Republicans Who Are Doing It.

By Miss Kubelik

So, here's the deal: A guy who was semi-taken-seriously as a Republican Presidential candidate for one brief shining moment in 2012 should not even have been serving legally in Congress since 2010 — and maybe not since 2008.

"Former US Representiave Thaddeus McCotter had less [sic] than the minimum 1,000 petition signatures from registered voters to make the 2010 ballot," POLITICO reports.

"McCotter's campaign claimed it submitted the maximum 2,000 petition signatures allowed. But rampant copying of petition signature pages showed at least 35 petitions pages were copies."

And that's not all, folks:

"McCotter's status for the 2008 ballot appears borderline at best.... More than 900 signatures [were found] that could have been invalidated as a result of the apparent copying of petition signatures from a previous campaign and pasting them onto petitions for 2008.

"The discovery comes days after the Department of the Attorney General charged four former McCotter staffers with election fraud for similar practices that the Bureau of Elections did discover for the 2012 campaign."

We cats say — to paraphrase Willard Mitt Romney — the Grand Old Party could not sink any lower.

Long lines of blacks, Hispanics and people who the GOP thinks hate America, lined up to illegally vote for Democrats? A fantasy.

Republicans in Congress, committing actual voter fraud? A fact.

We cats HISS.

The King Is Still Dead

By Sniffles

It's hard for us cats to believe that Elvis Presley has been gone for 35 years. Not because we were big fans (excusez-nous), but because it's just another reminder that our political awakening during the age of Watergate is starting to be, um, a very long time ago.

Add to that the fact that Elvis, had he lived, would be 77 today — not that much older than folks we love, like Ringo Starr, Simon & Garfunkel and Gordon Lightfoot. Of course, he'd be younger than Pete Seeger — but then, everybody is.

But never mind. Suffice to say that despite his influence on the popular culture, we cats never had much use for The King after he stumbled his way into the Oval Office in 1970. His mission was not clear, and Nixon, being Nixon, did not understand. But this photo is the result.

(Looking back, one realizes that Presley is shaking hands with the man who secretly bombed Cambodia and who promised to end the war in Southeast Asia but didn't for going on five years. How many guys died in the meantime? We don't think Nixon cared. But, we digress.)

Thanks, but no thanks, Elvis. We cats will take this instead.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Why I Support the President" Wall at Our Local Obama HQ

'Nuff said.

A Stearns Warning

By Baxter

We cats find it interesting that while the Romneybots don't seem to have control of their campaign — the last we checked, Willard and his running mate were disagreeing not just on the budget but also on lifting the Cuban embargo — the Republican Party hasn't exactly got a grip on itself, either.

Latest case in point: Cliff Stearns lost his primary in Florida last night, a shocker. Not just because he was sitting on a huge wad of cash, but because he was bested by a teabagger with no experience, less money, and the improbable name of "Yoho."

You can bet that the folks over at Planned Parenthood are celebrating. We're not sure how the lamebrains at Susan G. Komen feel, unless it's "Oh, damn."

And what do we cats think? That despite another Florida election yesterday in which a veteran Republican trounced a teabagger, the Stearns defeat is just one more instance of a high-ranking member of the GOP falling to a clown, in a primary over which the party should have had control. A guy who was elected as a quasi-reasonable conservative a hundred years ago runs farther and farther to the right, and still doesn't insulate himself from the wackos. Incredible.

Oh, and let's not forget that Cliff Stearns had been endorsed by the ever-batty Michele Bachmann and Allen West, and by someone named "Paul Ryan."

(IMAGE: Republicans For Obama)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Here's All You Need to Know for November

A Human Being We Still Miss

By Zamboni

Tomorrow would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday.

We cats are not marking the occasion because we're gourmands. Heck, Friskies ocean whitefish and tuna pate, scooped fresh from the pop-top can, is our idea of heaven. No, we choose to salute Mrs. Child not just for everything she did for American cooks, but because, goodness gracious, she was a good Democrat.

You know that from the delicious 1940s-1950s letters she shared with Avis DeVoto, lovingly collected in As Always, Julia, which we cats highly recommend if you're still casting about for some good summer reading. "Always interesting what you say about the Republicans," Julia writes Avis in October 1953. "I find it rather hard to capitalize that word!" (So do we, Julia, so do we.)

Julia and Avis are equally aghast at the behavior of Joseph McCarthy, and thrilled at Joseph Welch's "have you no decency" smackdown at what would come to be known as the Army-McCarthy hearings.

"Welch is absolutely entrancing," Avis writes Julia in April 1954. "His intonations are positively devastating. The cameras immediately swung to Cohn-McCarthy — McCarthy tittered in a rather embarrassed way, then did a double-take and began to look mad — Cohn looked stony. The hearing room rocked with mirth. And it's all anybody is talking about..."

We cats shudder to think what Julia and Avis would think of today's GOP. Thankfully (for them), they're not around to see it — Avis died in 1989, Julia in 2004 — but we believe they would not be charmed.

In fact, if we cats had a time machine, we'd go back and try to spend an afternoon with Julia, Avis and a pitcher of martinis. Because we'd have a lot to talk about. How do we know? Here's a quote from Julia to Avis in October 1954:

"I keep thinking of the know-nothing Republicans, and their contempt for foreigners... Shall not pursue this line any further."

Some things never change.

A Riddle, Wrapped In A Mystery, Inside An Enigma

By Miss Kubelik

We cats are puzzled by Willard Mitt Romney's campaign stop in Little Havana yesterday — and not because he elected to skip that venerable Cuban hangout, La Versailles.

We're wondering why he went to Little Havana at all. Because the more we think about it, the odder it seems.

Sure, it gave Silly Willy the opportunity to stand next to Baby Marco Rubio, who could then explain why he wasn't at all offended at not being picked for Vice President, despite all those weeks of frantic buzz. But Little Havana — at least, the people who can turn out for a rally in the middle of a business day because they're comfortably retired on Social Security and Medicare — is already a solid win for the GOP. Why go someplace where you've already locked up every conceivable vote? Shouldn't Romney be campaigning among the undecideds?

Okay, maybe the Romneybots would say, "We have to show Hispanics that we still care about them." But even so, Little Havana makes no sense.

The Hispanic bloc that is contestable in Florida is the Puerto-Rican-Dominican-Mexican-American vote in Central Florida. Central Florida is where the campaign will be won or lost. It's where Baby Marco rolled up decent-enough numbers among non-Cubans to help him win in 2010. In 2008, it was where Obama-Biden steamrolled over McCain and the famous quitter from Alaska to counter the Cuban vote in Miami. If Romney was truly making a pitch for Hispanics in the Sunshine State, his plane landed 250 miles off its mark.

So.... what does this mean? That Romney is not confident enough to appear before anything but a guaranteed-safe audience? That, having snubbed Baby Marco for veep, they know they really hurt themselves in Florida? That they have no idea where their nominee should be campaigning 90 days before the election?

Just another indication of a finely tuned, well-oiled, everyone-on-the-same-page political machine (not). We cats PURR.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Woe Is Willard: Looking Even Stupider Now Edition

"Today, at the end of these, the third London Olympics... I think you only need two words to sum up these games: Britain delivered. We showed the world what we're made of, we reminded ourselves what we can do, and, yes, we've demonstrated that you should never count Team GB down and out."
—Prime Minster David Cameron, August 12, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Imagine 2016

By Sniffles

It looks as if the London Olympics have ended successfully. That must be a relief to Willard Mitt Romney, who no longer needs to feel disconcerted about them. Just one of the many, many things Silly Willy has called wrong.

And speaking of which, we cats were wondering how the GOP's 2016 hopefuls were reacting to The Wall Street Journal's Paul Ryan pick. See, we figured their comments would give us hints on their plans for four years from now. If they lavished praise on Ryan himself, they're probably not running. If their comments were more generic, they've already bought plane tickets for Iowa. For example:

Marco Rubio (not running): "Paul Ryan is a courageous reformer who understands our nation's challenges, blah blah blah...."

Rubio again (running): "The Romney-Ryan ticket offers the American people visionary leadership, blah blah blah..."

Rob Portman (not running): "Paul Ryan is an accomplished public servant and one of my best friends in Congress, blah blah blah...."

Jeb Bush (running): "This courageous choice is the type of leadership American voters deserve, blah blah blah...”

Bobby Jindal (not running): "Paul is a good friend and one of the smartest guys I served with in Congress, blah blah blah..."

Tim Pawlenty (running, although goodness knows why): "It’s a great ticket, blah blah blah..."

Rick Santorum (running, although trying to throw us off the scent with a few pro-Ryan sidebars): "I look forward to supporting the Romney-Ryan ticket in the weeks to come, blah blah blah....”

Newt Gingrich (not running): "Paul Ryan is the largest step the GOP has taken towards solving the country’s problems since Reagan and Kemp, blah blah blah...”

Chris Christie (definitely running): The Romney-Ryan team is uniquely positioned to blah blah blah...." (Note to Christie: When you book your flight to Des Moines, buy two seats.)

Sarah Palin.... who cares? As usual, she made no sense anyway.

P.S. While we're on the subject, we cats loved this pre-Ryan story about the GOP '16-ers, especially the hilarious quote about how positioning and preening are part of "the normal rhythms of the closing days of a national race." Closing days?!? It's August! Willard hasn't even been nominated yet! (But then, as Ed Rollins pointed out, "People don't think Romney's got that great a shot. He hasn't run a very good campaign.")

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Willard's "I Give Up" List

By Baxter

Here is a tiny sliver of the standing-room-only crowd that turned out for the ribbon-cutting opening of our local Obama-Biden campaign office in Virginia. These folks are all fired up and ready to go, especially now that Willard has named the heartless accountant Paul Ryan to go down in defeat with him in November.

Which got us cats thinking about all the groups that Romney has given up on by picking Ryan. Goodness gracious, but the list is long.

But first, whom have they pleased? Rupert Murdoch, Bill Kristol and the inside-the-Beltway Republican establishment, that's who. Anyone else? We wonder. In fact, it's occurred to us that today might go down in history as the day that Willard officially lost the election.

Second, let's consider for a moment all the constituencies they're taking for granted. Southerners come to mind. So do evangelicals and any other non-Mormon, non-Catholic Christians. Not to mention Florida Cubans who were clamoring for Rubio. How let down they must feel.

But even above all that, picking Ryan means that the Republicans have clearly thrown in the towel on even trying to appeal to:
  • Hispanics — Not even a token nod to you guys. Forget the GOP, Hispanic Americans. They hate you. Stay with us.
  • Women — Paul Ryan voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. (On top of everything else, we point that out in case you were thinking you could be swayed by the VP pick — who, you may have noticed, is not a woman.)
  • African-Americans — Obviously, since Romney ignored Freeper calls for Allen West, you all are — surprise, surprise — nowheresville in the GOP. (P.S. We didn't see a single non-white face in the crowd gathering for the local Romney rally this afternoon. Just sayin'.)
  • Anyone who cares about foreign policy — For the first time since we cats were kittens, the Republican ticket has no international experience, and the GOP can no longer brandish the "strong-on-defense" sword against us. Bless you, Barack Obama.
  • Old white people — Amazing that Romney would be willing to frighten the Medicare crowd with his VP pick. So what if the Ryan plan calls for healthcare coupons only for people currently under 55? The question is: Where will they stop? Especially when they need to keep giving tax breaks to the rich?
Finally, this is not a group, but the Romneybots also have clearly given up on Transvaginal Bob McDonnell.

Poor Bob. Thanks to Virginia's weird one-term-for-Governors law, pretty soon he'll be out of office, with nothing left to do. The best he can hope for is that Romney wins and gives him a Cabinet position. Maybe Secretary of Vaginas? We cats PURR.

Tidibts & Cat Treats Meets Woe Is Willard

By Zamboni

The Silly Willy for President campaign is rolling into our quaint Civil-War-era town today, we presume with its freshly minted running mate in tow. But coincidentally — or not; you know how good our side can be at counter-programming — our latest local Obama 2012 office will hold its official ribbon-cutting opening just a few blocks away, at nearly the same time. After which we'll all get to work, organizing.

Therefore, we cats have time for just a few quick thoughts on this morning's news. Here goes.

Poor Willard. He so obviously was bullied by the right wing into this VP choice. And because of that, we think the Romneybots probably haven't properly assessed what effect the presence of Mr. I-Want-To-Kill-Medicare on the ticket will do in high-retirement states like Florida, Arizona and Nevada. Or what it'll do to other key states that tend to keep a lot of their retirees, like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Oh, well!

We want to see Paul Ryan's tax returns.

What happened to all the women that Ann Romney said they were looking at? Ann? Ann? Explanation, please.

Poor Tim Pawlenty, never a bride. We cats wonder how it feels to come in third or fourth in the veepstakes for the second campaign in a row. And what happened to Marco Rubio? Bobby Jindal? Guess you guys of color just didn't measure up.

And pity the evangelicals. Nobody on the ticket for them. No Sarah Palin this time around. Sorry, folks.

But by "choosing" Ryan, the Mormon Romney must foolishly think he's going to get a slice of the Catholic vote. He's actually thumbing his nose at the Nuns On The Bus instead. We cats don't think it's wise for anyone to cross those ladies. But then, who said the Romney campaign knows what it's doing?

(IMAGE: The bus we'd rather see in Manassas today.)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

These Foolish Things

By Miss Kubelik

We cats have been thinking some more about the ever-entertaining mystery of why Willard Mitt Romney won't release his tax returns.

Most folks — quite rightly — are focusing on the big picture: Did he pay taxes? If so, at how low a rate? How much income did he shield? What's he really worth? How much of his wealth is in the Bahamas, the Caymans, Switzerland, etc.? All of those questions are important.

But what about the "little picture"? Are there other items in those returns that are not quite as awful but that are, to use a favorite Willy word, "disconcerting"?

For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employee Charitable Campaign actively participates in the annual United Way campaign. As Governor, Silly Willy might even have signed a "support the United Way" letter to state employees. So we wonder whether he himself contributed — or whether, tithed-out by the Mormons, he gave skimpily.

We cats think this is an interesting question, because many United-Way-supported social service agencies help meet the needs of indigent women and children — including providing such women access to reproductive health services. It would look bad if Romney didn't support the umbrella organization for those agencies — but at the same time, it would be anathema to the rabid right-wing maniacs who form the base of today's Republican Party.

On the other hand, since he used to support Planned Parenthood, will we see contributions to them? Horrors!

We cats bet if we could get our paws on this stuff, some of the smaller details could be easily spun to be equally or even more damaging.

In short, when it comes to Willard's tax returns, the little things might be as embarrassing as the big things.

(IMAGE: Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling. For larger, click here.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Woe Is Willard: Veep Sweep Edition

By Sniffles

We cats put no credence in any pundit-world speculation on whom Willard Mitt Romney will choose as his hapless running mate (*yawn*).

It's all nonsense. After all, this is the same credulous press who dubbed the famous quitter from Alaska "a Senate kingmaker," when that same "Senate kingmaker" got her butt soundly kicked in yesterday's GOP Missouri Senate primary.

Still and all, we've seen some interesting stuff in the run-up to le grand avertissement. For example:

Have you noticed how dead the chatter about Kelly Ayotte has been of late? We cats think that Silly Willy's embarrassing overseas trip has knocked candidates with no foreign policy experience completely off the list. Similarly, Willard's nightmare jaunt may also be behind the thinly sourced yammering about General David Petraeus (who has since set the record straight).

And now that we mention it, have you noticed how all the girl talk has kind of simmered down? For instance, Susana Martinez of New Mexico has been given a speaking slot at the GOP convention. As with Condoleezza "I Am A War Criminal" Rice and Nikki Haley, receiving such an assignment is generally taken as an indication that Martinez is officially out of the veepstakes. But, wait! — Ann Romney said that women were being seriously considered! Will anyone in journalism think to ask her about that if the top finalists turn out to be all boys?

And what were we cats just saying? Oh, yes. It's all ridiculous.

Nightmare Scenarios

By Baxter

So the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal is harping on that old Ronald Reagan chestnut, "Are you better off than you were four years ago," and averring that it's "looming" over 2012.

We cats have always disliked that question, and not just because Reagan asked it. It implies that the only thing Americans care about is financial self-interest, when we know there are people in this country who concerned about non-greedy issues like voting rights, reproductive freedom, the environment, etc.

And of course the other thing that annoys us is that this year, the answer is yes, we are better off. When the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived was in charge, the economy was cratering — and as imperfect as the 2009 stimulus turned out to be (thanks to Republicans, we might add), we were yanked back from the abyss.

Sure, things could be better — but not by returning to the policies that drove us to the brink of disaster in the first place. And speaking of Republican policies, let's turn this question around a bit, and ask if we'll be better off four years from now if:
  • Women have to have shaming wands shoved up their you-know-whats, just for seeking a Constitutionally protected medical procedure?
  • Indigent women are forced to give birth to unwanted or unplanned children who are then left to fend for themselves with no state health, housing or education resources to ensure even a minimal quality of life?
  • Physicians who perform mother-saving abortions are clapped in jail for murder?
  • The Supreme Court has another two or three Clarence Thomases?
  • Our public schools have stopped teaching science?
  • Our local governments can no longer pay for police or fire protection?
  • The Koch brothers are torching the entire western U.S.?
  • The United States is at war in Syria, Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?
  • Our taxes go up 100 percent so Willard Mitt Romney's can go down 50 percent?
  • Medicare ceases to exist?
Nope, we will not be better off four years from now in Silly Willy's America. In fact, the very thought of it makes us want to hide under a couch.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lest We Furr-get: GOP Dishes It Out, Can't Take It

By Zamboni

Gee, remember when that Clint Eastwood "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad came out, and all those Republicans complained that it was a secret Obama commercial? (So they're falling all over themselves to apologize since Eastwood endorsed Silly Willy the other day, right? Nah.)

Remember when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report on right-wing domestic terrorism, and the teabaggers blew a gasket? (Now that six innocent Sikhs have been shot to death by a white supremacist, they're taking it all back, right? Wrong.)

And remember when Saxby Chambliss said that a triple-amputee Vietnam vet was the moral equivalent of Osama bin Laden? That, Republicans aver, was just politics as usual — but now, let Harry Reid insist that Mitt Romney release his tax returns (like his daddy did), and the Lindsay Grahams, Rancid Piefaces and Transvaginal Bob McDonnells of the world get all umbrage-y about it.

Jeez, what a bunch of whiners. Sharron Angle, where are you? Tell them to man up!

(IMAGE: Our favorite puss, of course.)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sikh & Tired

By Miss Kubelik

Boy, we cats can really tell we're in the dog days of August (and it's only the 6th, for heaven's sake) — the news is so dismal. Here is our list of complaints. We reserve the right to have more.

So once again, a fool with a gun has walked in on a bunch of innocent people and wreaked havoc. We don't know what we're more embarrassed by: our insanely violent culture and the weak laws that permit it, or the fact that so many hate-filled people apparently think that Sikhs attacked America on 9/11.

Meanwhile, FOX "News" doesn't know what anti-Semitism is. Are we surprised? What do we expect from a cable channel that says American Olympians aren't patriotic enough? (No, they only kill themselves for years in order to perform under tremendous pressure on an international stage for the glory of their country.)

And the Romneybots have raised more money than Obama-Biden again. Come on, people — let's get going!

Finally, though, a bright spot: The GOP is between a rock and a hard place on marriage equality. They can afford to be silent now, but we wonder how long their crazy base will allow that to continue. Tune in in, oh, say, three weeks.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

No Returns

By Sniffles

So now Harry Reid is a "dirty liar."

GOP chair Rancid Pieface says that Willard Mitt Romney's secret tax returns are "just a made-up issue. And the fact that we’re going to spend any time talking about it is ridiculous."

Rancid doesn't get it. He's going to have to keep talking about this "ridiculous" issue until...  well, until his party's presumptive nominee — who doesn't have a great track record when it comes to telling the truth himself, by the way — gives the American people the 23 years' worth of information he willingly gave John McCain in 2008.

We can only assume that what McCain saw was really, really bad. Why else would anyone choose Sarah Palin as a running mate instead?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fightin' Mormons

By Baxter

We cats actually have a copy of The Book of Mormon. We stole it last time we stayed in a Marriott, and we keep it in the drawer of our guest bedroom's nightstand as a joke for visiting friends.

But see, that's the point — it's a joke.

That's all The Book of Mormon can be, because it's too weird and wacky to a). read, and b). take seriously. Honestly, folks, we don't see a whole lot of difference between Mormonism and Scientology. As Walter Cronkite used to say, that's the way it is.

So! What are we to make of this huge dust-up between two of the country's most incredibly major Mormons, Harry Reid and Willard Mitt Romney?? Are major Mormons allowed to fight like this? Is it traitorous to the church, or is it considered to be, um, manly?

We cats have no idea. But as we're good Americans, there are a couple of things that we're absolutely sure of:

1. If somebody wants to be President, he (or she) should be willing to release years and years of tax returns. Why? Because a Governor from Michigan named George Romney started the trend.

2. Anybody who wants to be President should be willing to show voters that he shoulders the same burdens to society, even if he makes zillions of dollars more than they do.

3. Finally, and most important, if Willard Mitt Romney wants to shut Harry Reid up, all he has to do is release his tax returns.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Don't Count Your Chick-fil-A's Before They Hatch

By Zamboni

We cats think it's interesting that coverage of yesterday's "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" — promoted by Fat Mike Huckabee, who's looking like he's packing away too much fried food himself lately — is juxtaposed with a brand-new poll out of the Old Line State.

To wit: Marylanders favor their state's new marriage-quality law, 54 to 40 percent. If this margin holds, voters there will ratify the law via referendum in November.

Now, we cats do not consider even this wide lead a slam dunk. We well know that often, people want to appear open-minded when questioned by a pollster, but are perfectly happy to indulge their bigotries in the privacy of the voting booth. Still and all, we'll take it — because it's a reminder that the folks who stuffed themselves with chicken and waffle fries on Wednesday are on the wrong side of history.

Oh, and don't forget to show up with your favorite same-sex partner for tomorrow's National "We'll Show You, Dan Cathy" Kiss-In.