Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cat Fight! John "Zombie" McCain vs. Chris "Fifth Columnist" Christie

By Miss Kubelik

Here's something interesting. John McCain appeared on CNN this morning and soft-pedaled the idea that Wednesday's debate will make a difference in the Presidential race.

Obviously, McCain was trying to relieve any additional pressure on Willard Mitt Romney, who we cats suspect may be at the point of being over-prepped for the big event. On the other hand, don't forget that we're talking about a guy who left a 2008 debate looking like this. Who wouldn't try to lower expectations after that?

But something's wrong here. Because Chris Christie also appeared on TV today — squeezing into Bob Schieffer's guest chair on "Face The Nation" — and said the exact opposite thing.

"This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning," he declared. The debate, he said, would turn the election into a "barn burner."

So in light of this mixed messaging, we cats have a few questions:
  • Didn't the Romney campaign give Christie the same talking points they gave McCain?
  • If they did, did Christie just ignore them?
  • Or.... is Chris Christie purposely setting Romney up? Can anyone say "2016"?

Clueless Romney Supporter Must Prefer The "Inappropriate Biker Chick" Look

"It's about time we get a first lady in there that acts like a first lady, and looks like a first lady... I am [frustrated]. I just hope Romney wins."
—Bobbie Lussier, Manassas, Virginia

"[Virginia] is not a red state anymore. It's a very purple state."
—GOP pollster Whit Ayres

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

If John McCain Were Alive Today, He'd Be Spinning In His Grave. (Oh, Wait... He IS Alive)

By Sniffles

We cats attended the President's campaign event at the Capital Hilton today. You didn't know that cats were allowed in fancy Washington hotels, did you? Well, we are. And because we are cats, we were immediately escorted up front — as you can tell from the photo above.

Okay, we know that this picture could be better, but we blame the bright stage lights that were shining directly into our furry faces. That's how close to the President we were. On the other hand, the lights kinda give him a halo, don'tcha think?

But never mind that. Here's our favorite part of the day: After his speech, we knew the President would work the rope line, and we had wracked our brains for something we could say that would catch his attention. Luckily, one of our owners had made an excellent suggestion.

So as the President approached and the crowd surged forward and hands reached out for his, we called out, "ARIZONA! WIN ARIZONA!"

And it worked! The President stopped, gave us Clintonesque eye-contact, pointed a slender finger at us and replied, "We're working on that!"

Now, we cats think the President may have taken a moment to chat with us anyway because we are cats. But the rope line was pretty fraught. And although we don't know if Obama-Biden will carry Arizona in November, we think the fact that the President clearly thought it was possible, and stopped in his tracks to respond to us, was really, really cool.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tidbits And Cat Treats: Eve Of Atonement Edition

By Baxter

As the world hurtles toward another Yom Kippur, we cats have decided to adopt a line from Willard Mitt Romney: "No apologies."

That's right. We refuse to atone for all the criticism this blog has thrown the Republicans' way — because, since the GOP just keeps getting worse and worse, they keep so richly deserving it. In that spirit, therefore, here are some more catty anti-Republican comments for which we'll never be sorry.

Consumer confidence is up. Hm. We cats don't see how that fits in with the "are-you-better-off?" narrative of the totally on-message (NOT!) gang up in Boston.

POLITICO has examined the 1980 Presidential election vis-a-vis 2012's — and while it found the Republicans' desperate comparisons wanting, it needs to reboot some of its copy almost as badly as Willard Mitt Romney needs to reboot his campaign. "Romney — never a favorite with the conservative base — faced a tough GOP primary in which he had to repeatedly prove himself." "Tough"?? He was running against a bunch of clowns and bimbos. We cats call litter-box leavings on that.

Here's another meme that the media cling to that drives us crazy: A definition of "battleground state" that routinely favors Silly Willy. For example, today's numbers from The Washington Post show President Obama leading Romney by eight points in Ohio. Yet the pundits continue to cast the Buckeye State as a battleground, battleground, battleground! But if a Romney lead in Arizona is just five points or less, why is Arizona not a battleground? We don't get it.

Romney's strange comment on why airplane windows don't open didn't just give us a good laugh. It helped confirm our suspicion that, with the possible exception of Richard Nixon, Willard is the most unhuman person ever to run for President.

And a final note: Reacting to Willard's speech at The Clinton Global Initiative today, our madcap right-wing pals over at Free Republic feel he has much to atone for.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Quickie: Goppers

By Zamboni

We cats have invented a new word for whoppers, tall tales and outright lies told by members of the GOP: "Goppers."

We've heard quite a few Goppers over the years, but here are some recent standouts.

"I've got a very effective campaign. It's doing a very good job. It doesn't need a turnaround." —Willard Mitt Romney

"[Romney] never said he didn't care about [the 47 percent], that he wasn't concerned about them." —Bay Buchanan

"That... was a political analysis at a fundraiser... not a governing philosophy." —Kelly Ayotte

"It is time for all Americans to realize... how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country." —Ann Romney

"I had a feeling there would be a mixed reaction." —Paul Ryan (after getting lustily booed by the AARP)

"I believe the state of [my] campaign is looking better and better." —Todd Akin

"I think we had a good week last week." —RNC Chair Rancid Pieface

Friday, September 21, 2012

White Noise

By Miss Kubelik

Can we cats talk color for a minute? Taken together, we are a tortie, a calico, and two gray girls. Our owners, however, are white. Which means that they're highly embarrassed by national politics these days.

When they hear commentators in Pundit World talk about Willard Mitt Romney's and the Republicans' "dog whistles" to the right — stuff like "the 47 percent," "feeling entitled," or "not taking responsibility for their own lives" — they want to dive into a sinkhole, or at least deface every Romney lawn sign they see. To them, this language is racism of the worst sort.

Now, obviously, we don't know anything about dog whistles. We are cats. But we can tell you one thing. There are plenty — tons, in fact — of white people who are shocked, appalled and disgusted by what Willard Mitt Romney said to that roomful of zillionaires in Boca Raton last May. The arrogance, the assumptions, the elbows and winks — all are too repulsive to be borne.

And, like all clear-thinking Americans, our owners are freaked out by the Republican-engineered voter ID laws. Who would have thought that the election of the first African-American President would lead the GOP to try to roll back the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act? Talk about irony!

But unlike Willard Mitt Romney, we cats still believe in America. Why? Well, here's a recent example. Last weekend, our owners attended a training session for voter-protection volunteers for Election Day. Hundreds of people were in the room.  Many of them were white. To a person, they were very concerned about minority-voter suppression — and willing to put themselves on the line to defend voters' rights at the polls. All voters' rights.

So, here's the deal. Although we're cats, when the media talk about dog whistles, we're sure that only a tiny, disgusting sliver of white people in the Republican Party is hearing them. Which helps us, well — believe in America.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pawlenty Self-Deports

By Sniffles

You know your Presidential campaign is in trouble when your co-chair quits seven weeks before Election Day.

That's right — the ever-distasteful Tim Pawlenty is fleeing Willard Mitt Romney for a high-paying job at The Financial Services Roundtable. (The what, you ask? Well, the Roundtablers are folks who want less regulation on the banks that helped take the US to the brink of economic disaster a few years ago. Let's just say they aren't big fans of Elizabeth Warren.)

We cats wonder: When was the last time a national co-chair pink-slipped himself before the job was done? We haven't seen such a spectacular example of GOP towel-throwing since the famous you-know-what from Alaska did it in 2009.

And we cats also want to know: How long was the Roundtable job search? Was Pawlenty interviewing with the bankers during the VP selection process? Hm!

In the meantime, we hope that "T-Paw" does for banks what he did for bridges in Minnesota!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tidbits and Cat Treats: Willard Video Round-Up

By Baxter

Sheesh, Willard Mitt Romney's post-"47 percent" polls are starting to roll in, and they're not looking good for him. To celebrate, we cats would like to add a few more observations on the "What Happens In Boca Doesn't Stay In Boca" video that is still rocking and rolling our political world.

The Republicans are desperately invoking the "bitter and clinging to their guns and religion" comment that President Obama made at a San Francisco fundraiser in early 2008. We cats would like to know the answer to a question nobody's asking: If then-Senator Obama committed such an egregious political error, why didn't Willard take notice and learn from the mistake?

Speaking of recordings, now the GOP has proudly dug up some audio of Barack Obama in 1998, talking about "redistribution" — a "gotcha" to Willard's 47-percent rant. Here's what we cats say to that: You want to talk about 1998? Fine. In 1998, Willard Mitt Romney had just lost a Senate election to Ted Kennedy and had a Massachusetts Governor's race in his near future. Which means that in 1998, Willard Mitt Romney was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, anti-NRA, and pro-individual mandate. Willard Mitt Romney in 1998? Bring him on!

You know what state should really be offended by Silly Willy's "dependent on government" remarks? Alaska. The Last Frontier's entire existence is made possible by federal subsidy and largesse. Alaska is 722,000 rugged individuals carving civilization from the wilderness with outstretched arms and open palms. Calling Sarah Palin!

Finally, remember how Ann Romney claimed awhile back that President Obama wanted to "destroy" Willard Mitt Romney? Sorry, Mrs. Dressage-Horse-Coupla-Cadillacs-and-Car-Elevator. Your hapless hubby is doing a perfectly good job of doing it himself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Willard's Macaca Moment

 Here's a study in contrasts for you:

"There are 47 percent of the [American] people who.... are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it... These are people who pay no income tax. My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
—Willard Mitt Romney, May 17, 2012

"To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your President, too."
—Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

Woe Is Willard: 47 Percent Edition

By Zamboni

There's a famous quote popularly attributed to Humphrey Bogart: "I don't trust any bastard who doesn't drink. They're afraid of revealing their true selves."

Well, Willard Mitt Romney has just proven that a Mormon who doesn't drink can reveal his true self — in spades.

A video has surfaced from a tony Boca Raton fundraiser in May, in which Romney tells his well-heeled audience that those of us who voted for President Obama are lazy, shiftless moochers who don't believe in taking responsibility for our lives.

In case you ask, the answer is yes, we cats are offended.

Not that we need to justify our existence to a soulless zillionaire, but we are responsible citizens. We get up very early every morning to work, typically, a 15-hour day. We've richly earned the support we will someday receive from government programs like Social Security and Medicare. And, oh — we've paid lots of taxes, Willard: hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth, which, now that you mention it, we'd love to have back. But we agree with Oliver Wendell Holmes that taxes are the price of civilization.We wish you rich jerks would pay more.

Willard, his hair surprisingly unkempt, frantically tried to explain all this last night. But he didn't seem contrite. Hm.

We started this post by suggesting that in this video, Willard revealed his true self. But does he have a true self? It's hard to know. In the meantime, considering the effect that this tape is going to have on his campaign, we suggest that he start drinking.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Limits of Etch-A-Sketch

By Miss Kubelik

The big political story today is whether Willard Mitt Romney can right his sinking ship, I Deserve The Presidency 2012.

Goodness gracious. Even while he tries to regain control, we cats think Romney is taking quite a few things for granted.

Willard thinks he can hit the "reset" button? He thinks that 300 million Americans will forget that he's been running for President for zillions of years, and that he hasn't said a damn thing that whole time? He thinks that the American people are simply sitting and holding their breath, waiting for him to opine on the issues they care about? And that, once he does, all will be well?

We have news for Willard: It might not work that way.

If he squandered opportunities over the summer, if he failed to capitalize on his VP pick, and if he put on a lousy convention — all of which Willard did — he may not be able to regain ground. So now, they're flailing — saying that Romney will surely come out with specific policy positions, to convince voters they should fire President Obama and hire him.

Funny how quickly the Romneybots laughed off Peggy Noonan and her ilk last week, for suggesting that Willard should get all serious and detail-y about what he would actually do as President. Now, they pledge that they'll do what she says.

These are not the hallmarks of a winning campaign. Right?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Woe Is Willard: Fritterin' Edition

By Sniffles

We cats understand that we cut our teeth on campaigning many feline lives ago. When we were kittens, there were only three TV networks, cable was in its infancy, there were lots of newspapers that employed actual grownups who knew how to write, and only a few geeks in the Department of Defense knew about what Ted Stevens eventually called the series of tubes.

Which means that campaigns were different then, too. Nevertheless, even in this newfangled day and age of Two Thousand And Twelve, we are astounded that, less than eight weeks before Election Day, Willard Mitt Romney spent yesterday goofing around with his family in Massachusetts.

The GOP nominee, behind in the polls, hung out at his son "Tagg's" house, attended a grandson's soccer game, and went out to dinner with his wife. All in a state he's probably going to lose by double digits. We guess he feels no sense of urgency about the campaign.

Now, we realize times have changed. There's the Internet thing, and e-mail, and all that social media stuff to help put a candidate on people's laptops and tablets and phones and other devices. And there's advertising to be had on a zillion cable channels. But goodness gracious, why isn't this man out campaigning?

He and his running mate and their respective spouses could hit four or five battleground media markets every day, kissing babies, thanking volunteers, pressing the flesh and getting free media by giving interviews to local TV. (After all, you can only run so many Super PAC commercials. Pretty soon they're going to run out of ad slots to buy, and then what will they do? Advertise on BET?)

We cats almost feel bad for Willard's campaign staff. Because you could possibly maybe kinda excuse this behavior if the Romneybots, as has been observed of the Obama operation, had mastered a fabulous, highly branded 21st-century campaign efficient enough to give the candidate some leeway on his schedule. But we've seen no evidence that they have, have you? We guess Romney just figures that he's entitled to the Presidency — that Obama isn't — and that, between now and November, American voters will realize that.

In the words of Meredith Willson, Willard is "fritterin' away his noontime, suppertime, chore time, too." We cats PURR.

(PHOTO: AP. The ultimate fritterin' picture.)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Richard Milhous Romney

By Baxter

After the terrible two weeks that Willard Mitt Romney has had, we cats hate to pile on — but pile on we must.

On top of all the bad headlines we're seeing for Willard these days — the carping from anonymous Republicans, the withering media criticism, Obama's lead in the national polls, the new 11-point gap in Pennsylvania, and now, China — there's one topic that's still out there like a hanging chad.

Where are the tax returns? Romney promised a paltry two years, 2010 and 2011, and he's only released one.

Ed Gillespie said last month that Willard would make his 2011 returns public by October 15. Why? Not because he's being proactive about it, because it's inexcusably late, but because that's the deadline for the extension he was given by the IRS. What a profile in courage. It makes us think that there's a 50-50 chance that, hoping we'll just forget about it, he never releases them at all.

Clandestine tax returns, no specifics on policy, and a crippling inability to share a philosophy, a world view or even a sense of self: Romney is the most secretive Republican candidate since Richard Nixon. Why is he even in politics?

We cats will say it again: American voters should be able to see as many years of Willard's returns as his father produced of his own: twelve. We will not forget. We'll help keep up the drumbeat. And we never want to hear the phrase "you people" again.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Not S'Wonderful

By Zamboni

We cats nominate Willard Mitt Romney for The Washington Post's upcoming "Worst Week in Washington" award. Honestly, even though Willard is technically not in Washington, nobody else this week comes close. But while we wait to see, here are some additional observations on the train wreck his week has become.

Trying to hold a moment of silence for the diplomats whose deaths he'd previously exploited, Willard was heckled during a campaign appearance in Virginia yesterday: "Why are you politicizing Libya?" Faced with the yelling, Romney gave up on the silence but said, "What a tragedy to lose such a wonderful, wonderful, uh, wonderful people that have been so wonderful."

Meanwhile, the Romneybots continue their absurd line of attack on foreign policy. But Romney has still failed to go out of his way to criticize the anti-Islamic video that's causing most of the fuss. How can he not, when he himself is a member of a much-maligned religion?

Speaking of Mormons, Cutie-Pie Jon Huntsman — who has a ton more foreign-policy experience than Silly Willy — joined his fellow Republicans in blasting the party nominee.

"I don't know what Governor Romney is proposing [about the Mideast] at this point," he said. "“I thought this was a perfect opportunity for the Romney campaign to step up, and begin, not through immediate criticism, but begin to articulate their vision for the Middle East... That’s what the American people want to hear. I think they’ve heard enough of the finger-pointing, the criticisms, the anger. It's kind of a problem." (Sigh. Jon's so cute.)

Peggy Noonan said that, frowning through his awful press conference on Wednesday, Romney looked "like Richard Nixon."

And wow, in an interview with ABC on Thursday, Willard so revealed his inner weenie that he made George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis look like manly men. When presented with President Obama's assessment that he "has a tendency to shoot first, aim later," Willard refused to fight back. "Well, this is politics," he said. "I'm not going to worry about the campaign."

We cats hope that someone will explain what the heck that means. But we're glad Willard isn't fretting —because when it comes to his campaign, he has plenty to worry about.

UPDATE, September 14: The results for the "Worst Week" are in — and Willard wins! More later.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Richard Grenell "Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda" Question

By Miss Kubelik

We cats just want to know one thing.

If Willard Mitt Romney had not fired his gay foreign policy adviser, would today's Libya-Egypt campaign debacle even have happened?

We think quite possibly not. Don't tell us that rank prejudice doesn't have consequences.

Willard Cracks

By Sniffles

Well, it was probably only natural.

You come under fire for weeks, and months, and maybe even years, from the crazy nitwit base of your party. And after you choose a running mate and you get no bounce, and after you have a convention and you get no bounce, and even after you address the National Guard on September 11, you not only get no bounce — you come under renewed assault from the wingnuts. So, you just lose it.

That's what we cats think has happened to Willard Mitt Romney in the last 24 hours.

Given reports that some in the Romney camp urged caution, we can only come to the conclusion that Willard's despicable performance on Libya and Egypt was, while Americans were still under fire in Cairo and Benghazi, a from-the-gut, thin-skinned reaction from a panicked nominee himself.

We can't imagine the agonies that Republican advisers like Ed Gillespie are enduring (not that we feel sorry for Ed Gillespie).

The President put it very succinctly today when he said: "There's a broader lesson to be learned here. Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. As President, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that."

Here's our prediction. Watch for the Republican Party to distance itself even further from its hapless nominee — to give up on 2012 and set its sights on 2016. It's coming.

UPDATE, September 13: We cats have been supported in our theory by Andrea Mitchell, who told the gang on "Morning Joe" that "It seemed to be almost a response to the fact that Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and others the day before had REALLY been criticizing [Romney]... for not being tough enough... And it showed SUCH bad judgment."

Woe Is Willard: Shooting From The Hip Edition

By Baxter

What would George Romney think? His son Willard has turned into Sarah Palin.

Not a full 24 hours after the famous quitter from Alaska urged the hapless GOP nominee to attack President Obama personally, Willard started screaming about a U.S. "apology" in the Middle East that never happened.

He postures and blusters before our Ambassador to Libya's body is cold? Before he knows all the facts? He lifts an embargo on a campaign statement 90 minutes earlier than midnight on September 11 because he just couldn't wait to try to score political points in a policy area about which he knows nothing?

Is this the guy whose finger we want on — or anywhere near — the nuclear button?

No, thanks. We cats will stick with the folks who believe, as Secretary Clinton so eloquently said, "We must be clear-eyed, even in our grief."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Quickie: Snappy Comebacks

By Zamboni

Th Romneybots couldn't have been very happy, looking at the headlines we cats were perusing today. Many of them were negative, and often of their candidate's own making.

But one of the most interesting was this one, attached to a lengthy story in POLITICO that discussed the Democrats' very effective campaign against the Republican nominee on national security.

You know the old saying: What goes around comes around. And the Republicans, who have essentially abandoned any serious discussion of foreign policy this election, deserve this payback in spades.

In fact, it's been brutal enough for the GOP that we cats are certain that some of their whiny weepies — with entirely straight faces and umbrage worthy of the famous quitter from Alaska — soon will condemn Democrats for the Swift Boating of Willard Mitt Romney.

To which we cats would have the following replies:
  • Oh, yeah? Max Cleland.
  • What else would you expect from the folks who campaigned on "Vote Democratic And Die"?
  • Republicans didn't finish the fight in Afghanistan. They lied the country into Iraq. They put both wars on a credit card. And left us to fix everything.
  • Whining. It's so not like Ronnie, so un-George H.W. Bush, so anti-Ike.
  • When Mitt Romney and his five sons can match the wartime service of a Democrat like Tammy Duckworth, maybe we'll listen.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Woe Is Willard: Wash Day

By Miss Kubelik

We cats have taken a couple of days to comment on Willard Mitt Romney's "laundry lists" remark, because — frankly — we still can't believe he made it.

Even with our nine lives, we never thought we'd see the day when a Republican candidate for President would publicly refer to the service of our U.S. troops as a box to be checked in a speech.

On the other hand, we don't see anything odd about a Republican draft dodger who spent the Vietnam War as a Mormon missionary in France — and whose five sons haven't spent a day in the armed forces — comparing military service to ironing. Willard doesn't know a thing about either job.

How things change. We wonder how GOP military veterans like George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole and John McCain feel about all this. In the meantime, as members of the party whose President killed Osama bin Laden, we cats PURR.

And Now, Some Inside Baseball

By Sniffles

A new Public Policy Polling survey shows President Obama widening his lead over Willard Mitt Romney in Ohio to five.

It's just one of recent PPP polls indicating no movement, or negative movement, for Romney — including North Carolina, which is still way closer than the Romneybots were hoping.

So, let us cats get all wonky and detailed on you. Here's what we think is going on.

Looking at the election on a state-by-state level, we think it's likely that, between now and the first debate, the Romney campaign takes some combination of states — say, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota — off the table as places they can possibly win.

Additionally, we think that a couple of the current tossup states — such as New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa or Wisconsin — could move to where the polls are in Pennsylvania and Michigan today.

If that happens, you'll start hearing news stories about the Obama campaign making fresh, concerted efforts in such presumed-Republican states as Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota or Arizona.

But back to Ohio.

The PPP five-point Buckeye lead for Obama — and PPP has been historically quite accurate — means that Romney has a heck of a mountain to climb. To be tied — not ahead, but tied — with Obama by Election Day, he would have to close the Ohio gap by a point a week. These would have to be solid gains — not ephemeral blips — that he would have to make, either by taking away significant numbers of committed Obama supporters or by moving equally significant numbers of uncommitted voters. (Since there are so few uncommitteds, to move the polls by a single point, Willard would have to sway about 10 to 20 percent of them.)

These are such huge ifs that they're almost incomprehensible. They're predicated on no bad news for Romney and total incompetence by the Obama campaign.

The Willys might think they'll rectify that with an onslaught of negative ads and three stellar debate performances. The problem, among others, is that all the negative ads in the world won't work when 1) you haven't established your own guy's positives, and 2) the other guy is more personally popular than your guy. (Funny, the Romneybots have been building an economic argument for years now. We cats guess they haven't figured this one out yet.)

As for the debate performances, we cats fail to see how Romney's 20 encounters with the Republican clown college during the GOP primaries would set a bar high enough to argue actual facts with the President.

So, do the Silly Willys feel the Buckeye State slipping away? Less than two months out, they're having to spend precious time furiously (and profanely) denying it. All we know is, if you have to resort to words that we wouldn't print in this blog, you're probably a frustrated loser. Our paws are crossed, and we cats PURR.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Good Thing This Guy Isn't A Christie Supporter

Scott Van Duzer is a Republican small-business owner who says he will gladly repeat his 2008 vote for President Obama this year. And oh, yes, he can also bench-press 350 pounds.

(PHOTO: Doug Mills, The New York Times)

Lest We Furr-get: GOP Dishes It Out, Can't Take It (Part 2)

By Baxter

So, Willard Mitt Romney can't give an interview to "Meet The Press" without his wife's help?

Never mind. We cats are still grinning like Cheshires, though, over a comment Ann Romney made to David Gregory. Her husband, she lamented, "really has been demonized."

Poor widdle Willard! How amazing that Republicans are suddenly all umbrage-y and offended. Here are just a few of the insults that President Obama has endured over the years:
  • "The most successful food stamp President in American history"
  • "Represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany"
  • "You lie"
  • "Kenyan anti-colonial behavior"
  • "Like touching a tar baby... you get it, you're stuck"
  • "We have a President that is a socialist"
  • "Skinny ghetto crackhead"
  • "Represents everything bad about humanity"
  • "I told him to suck on my machine gun"
  • "Very anti-American"
  • "Palling around with terrorists who would target their own country"
  • "Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term"
Fortunately, the President seems to have a healthy way of coping with all this. Which makes us cats PURR.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Asses With Brass

By Zamboni

All righty, then, let us cats cut to the chase and talk about this morning's August jobs report.

So, not great, right? Ninety-six thousand new jobs and an unemployment rate dropping to 8.1 percent, mostly because the workforce shrank.

On the other hand, adding nearly 100,000 new jobs — the 30th month in a row in which jobs have been created — is a lot better than losing 750,000 jobs a month in 2008, when the Romney campaign's economic advisers were running the country.

Willard, of course, has gleefully been trying to make hay with this all day. And although he called it "a national tragedy," he still managed to sound insincere, and not-so-secretly glad that Americans are suffering as long as he could benefit.

To add insult to injury, tomorrow, September 8, marks one full year that Republicans on Capitol Hill have blocked any progress on the American Jobs Act. Never mind that the bill could help the country. It's President Obama's legislation, so it must not pass.

Not to mention the fact that since taking over the House in 2010, the GOP has ignored its own jobs pledge and approved 55 bills restricting women's access to reproductive healthcare.

Former President Clinton talked about stuff like this on Wednesday night. He used a folksy term that means "chutzpah."

We cats agree — and HISS.

And Oh, Yes, The Speech

By Miss Kubelik

Although the most important words uttered last night may not have been a speech, but a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, we cats figured the President's address deserved a post of its own.

We have to say, we did not think the man we affectionately refer to in e-mail shorthand as BHO was this week's best speaker (although he was terrific). We're sorry, Mr. President — our hearts still belong to the man from Hope, who probably gave the greatest performance of his career. And your wife was no slouch, either.

But there are things that a former President, unleashed — or, for that matter, his unelected spouse — can do and say that a sitting President cannot. We cats are sure that we Democrats will host former President Obama at our 2020 convention and say, goodness gracious, what a fabulous speech, and weren't things wonderful when he was in office.

Otherwise, in a nutshell, here's our take on BHO Acceptance 2012:

The riff on "ask not" was neat. The emphasis on citizenship was also quite excellent (and Kennedyesque). Asserting that 2008 was about America and not him was a deft way of saying that all those vile epithets and negative ads that the Republicans have been hurling are aimed at us. (Yes, we should be insulted, and yes, actually, we are.) The President's analysis of the state of hope and change was a thoughtful, frank discussion of what we already knew — that governing is complicated and difficult.

But the most important part was this: "I'm no longer just the candidate. I am the President." That, and going after Willard Mitt Romney's bumbling trip overseas, made it clear to the world that the Republicans just don't have a clue.

That is something a sitting President can say — with complete authority. We cats PURR.

Tidbits and Cat Treats: DNC Wrap-Up Edition

By Sniffles

We cats say, wow! What a convention. Were you able to tell, watching last night, that the venue had been changed? We couldn't. The evening was smooth, efficient and snafu-free. We don't know who was in charge of this gig's logistics, but they clearly were strange visitors from another planet with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.

So now that we're digesting this morning's jobs report, here are some observations about Day Three.

The convention flip-flop that's just getting noticed — Republicans carped incessantly in Tampa about what's wrong with America and ignored the military; in Charlotte, we Democrats had veterans everywhere, declared "Never bet against America" and proudly flexed our foreign policy muscles. They have become us and we have become them.

The tweets have it — We cats don't tweet (we'd rather snack on birds than sound like them), but we're pleased to hear that President Obama cleaned Willard's clock in the Twitterverse.

John Kerry — What a terrific speech our future Secretary of State gave. "Ask Osama bin Laden if he's better off now than he was four years ago." But we agree with the famous quitter from Alaska. Anyone is diminished by mentioning her name.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan — Who invited him?

John Lewis, again — The civil rights legend's moving speech (Republican voter suppression laws are "not right, not fair, not just") had us cats wondering: Who would have thought that the election of the nation's first African-American President would lead to a rolling back of the Voting Rights Act?

Jennifer Granholm — Don't let anyone tell you Canadians are laid-back folks. As the former Michigan Governor spun around the podium, pointing to various delegations and calling out the numbers of jobs the President has created in each state, all we cats could think of was, "I'll have what she's having."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

One Nation, Under You-Know-Who

By Baxter

We've heard a lot of flapping from the Republicans the last couple of days about God and the Democratic platform.

At first, we rolled our eyes. At first, we thought it was just a question of political expediency. So we understood why the platform language was quickly amended (even though it didn't need to be).

And then we heard John Lewis speak tonight.

As a young Freedom Rider in 1961, the future Georgia Congressman was brutally beaten by whites for trying to enter a segregated waiting room in the South. After the election of 2008, Congressman Lewis said, one of his assailants came to Lewis's Capitol Hill office. He said, "I am one of the people who beat you. I want to apologize. Will you forgive me?" Lewis said, "I accept your apology."

Don't tell us cats that God isn't present at this convention.

Katharine Graham Would Be Spinning (We Hope)

By Zamboni

In July 1861, assuming they'd witness a cakewalk for the Union, hundreds of curiosity-seekers packed picnic baskets, got into carriages, and traveled the 26 or so miles from Washington City to Manassas, Virginia, to watch the first Battle of Bull Run. (The fight turned into a Federal rout, sending the spectators fleeing in disarray back to the capital.)

Our point is that if folks in horse-drawn buggies could make it to Manassas that day, why couldn't an up-to-date print edition of The Washington Post do the same?

We cats were astounded to open our hard copy of the Post on Wednesday morning to see no mention, not even a photo, of First Lady Michelle Obama and her remarkable speech to the Democratic National Convention. Everything was written in the future tense: "First Lady to Reflect on Obama's Values," "First Lady Michelle Obama was scheduled to....," etc. Disgusting.

In fact, given Mrs. Obama's social media ratings on Tuesday night, it's downright atrocious.

Now, we realize that a lot of stuff is done online these days. Heck, we're online; we get it. But — nothing in print? Goodness gracious. Our hard copy of The New York Times had it. Last we checked, The New York Times is a newspaper from.... New York.

It's just the latest in a long line of quibbles we cats have with the Post. The paper that courageously pursued the Watergate story at great risk has become fat, lazy, and scared of appearing as if they disfavor Republicans. Case in point: Chris Cillizza calling Ted Strickland's speech "rankly partisan."

"Rankly partisan"?!? This is our convention!

If Democrats say the slightest most combative thing, the Post pundits raise eyebrows and cast it as a declaration of nuclear war — while the GOP can regularly launch abusive lies and get a pass. We cats don't know how anyone could have listened to more than one minute of the Republican Convention and not call it, um, rankly partisan.

The Post is a sad, sorry mess. Like the Union cause, they'll ultimately survive — but in the meantime, we cats say, their generals suck.

Tidbits and Cat Treats: DNC, Day Two

By Miss Kubelik

It's raining here in the Washington, DC area this morning, a reminder to us cats — who hate being wet — how much better it is to be warm and dry under a roof than outside in a monsoon. Nevertheless, the Republicans have jumped all over the Democrats' decision to move tonight's Presidential acceptance speech indoors.

We cats say: How amusing that the party that let New Orleans drown (after a hurricane whose projected path was clear for days) thinks that it has the credibility to criticize a party that makes a preventive, responsible decision to shelter tens of thousands of people from severe storms in Charlotte. Just sayin'.

So, let's get down to business, and review some goodies from Day Two.

Last night belonged to Bill Clinton, and boy, did he deliver, giving a brilliantly devastating take-down of the GOP's heartless policies. But that's no surprise — which is a big reason we've always loved him. As an incredibly gifted man who is also a naughty one, Clinton is way more interesting than a Republican straight arrow like, say, Willard Mitt Romney. Which means that more people, intrigued, tune in to what he has to say. As Steve Schmidt hinted on MSNBC, this has always driven the Republicans crazy. We cats PURR.

Note to Darrell Issa and Rush Limbaugh: Thankyouthankyouthankyou for giving us Sandra Fluke, who skewered Willard for his cowardice like no one else could. How fast can we run this woman for office?

Elizabeth Warren dug her claws into Romney-Ryan and wouldn't let go. "We don't run this country for corporations. We run it for people." We cats PURR again — but how sad that one hundred years after Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Era, the Republicans still have to be lectured about that.

Speaking of corporations and people, the GOP's been waiting with gleeful anticipation for the Labor Department's jobless claims figures and the ADP August employment report to come out this week and spoil the Democrats' fun. Well, both reports are looking good. We'll wait for tomorrow morning's DOL unemployment report, but in the meantime, our condolences to Republicans, who have always been willing to see the country suffer if it means the President fails.

Finally, thank goodness, no balloon drop tonight. We cats have always hated the balloon drop. There wasn't one in Denver, of course, and we were glad. But if the convention planners are looking for a boffo finish this evening, we suggest Stevie Wonder or Bruce Springsteen. Unless, of course, the President wants to sing.

(PHOTO: Doug Mills, The New York Times)

UPDATE: We cats forgot to mention Cecile Richards' speech and how moving the ovation for her mom, Ann Richards, was. Cats don't really cry, but last night we almost did.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tidbits and Cat Treats: DNC Day One

By Sniffles

Didn't we cats say recently that doing credentials for a national political convention is a nightmare? Today we don't envy the Democratic credentials staff one bit, since it's been announced that tomorrow's weather forecast has moved the President's acceptance speech indoors. We'll send a case of Scotch to those guys — they'll need it. But in the meantime, let's savor some of the great stuff from last night.

We loved the way both Mayor Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama both snuck the word "marathon" into their speeches: "The American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay" (Castro) and "Wounded warriors... tell me they're not just going to walk again, they're going to run, and they're going to run marathons" (FLOTUS). Two nice, subtle — or maybe, not so subtle — jabs at a certain dishonest Vice Presidential candidate.

On the grammar patrol, we applaud Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Castro. Each knew what to do when "who" was the object of the clause they employed ("Today in Massachusetts, you can marry whomever you love," and "When it comes to letting people marry whomever they love, Mitt Romney says 'no'"). Sadly, we must give a demerit to Elaine Brye, the military mom who said the Obamas had invited "my husband and I" to the White House. (We note with interest, however, that her error has been corrected in the official transcript. Curmudgeons rule!)

Speaking of the verb "to marry," this is a very gay convention. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. And while we're on the subject, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley kinda bombed. Not like Clint Eastwood did, but Marty was pretty underwhelming. Which is too bad, since current polls project that he'll preside over a successful marriage equality referendum in November.

Finally, there were so many great lines last night — like Kal Penn's "Thank you, Invisible Man in the Chair" — that we cats could do a post dedicated just to them. But for now, we must single out Deval Patrick's right-on-the-money observation about Willard Mitt Romney: "As Governor, he was more interested in having the job than doing it."

(And yes, Mrs. Obama wore a fabulous dress. We cats PURR and say to designer Tracy Reese: "Que dios los bendiga.")

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Quickie: That Other Election

By Baxter

Eh bien, it looks like the Parti Quebecois is winning the provincial election in Quebec — but from our first read, we cats have to say that we're surprised at the Liberals' strength.

After nine years in power, the Liberals were sure to suffer from voter fatigue. But we suspect there has been a good deal of strategic voting in La Belle Province today. Which means we could be looking at a minority provincial government in Quebec City.

The questions remain: After 17 years of quiet, will Pauline Marois take Quebec once again to a referendum on separation? And, whether yes or no, how much of a problem will she pose to Stephen Harper? We cats suspect, quite a bit.

UPDATE: Yep, a PQ minority government. We cats continue to be impressed that the Liberals weren't completely run out of town on a rail. More on les developpements later.

UPDATE, September 5: Well, this isn't quite the developpement we cats were expecting. We've had to replace our post's original image with this photo by Pierre Obendrauf of The Montreal Gazette, of security agents hustling PQ leader Pauline Marois off the stage after a shooting incident at her victory party. Last week, we spoke with a few locals (in a totally unscientific survey, mind you), who indicated that Quebeckers were cranky about the election and annoyed with one another. We guess we just didn't know how annoyed.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Quickie: Bon Bumper, Bad Bumper

By Zamboni

We cats have been traveling, which means that we've fallen behind on posting these last couple of days. But with tomorrow's provincial election in Quebec and the Democratic National Convention this week, we promise to get our paws back to the keyboard, pronto.

In the meantime, A Tale of Two Bumper Stickers.

We saw this one a few days ago in Old Montreal. We heartily endorse the political sentiment, but were fascinated by the Quebec license plate. Barring the possibility that the car belongs to a mixed-marriage couple (Canadian and American, don'tcha know), we can only assume that our Neighbors To The North really, really want to see President Obama re-elected.

The other bumper sticker we spotted was just a few blocks away — but it was for Romney, on a car with a Massachusetts plate. We cats were puzzled: Are there any Romney supporters left in the Bay State? But one thing was crystal clear: By browsing the galleries, shops and restaurants of chic Old Montreal, the car's owner spent his Labor Day weekend in as elitist a fashion as his candidate did