Monday, December 31, 2012
We cats are spending a quiet New Year's Eve at home, relaxing and savoring the events of 2012. But tonight our thoughts turn to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. We wish you a speedy recovery, Madam Secretary, and a deservedly restful 2013!
Sunday, December 30, 2012
As President Obama's first term draws to a close, and with his second one soon to dawn, we cats are thinking back on the last couple of years. And we're struck by how much two losers — Willard Mitt Romney and former BP CEO Tony Hayward — have in common.
They both presided over disasters — one natural, one unnatural.
They both spent a ton of money in a fruitless pursuit: trying to convince people that they cared.
They both suffered from an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and felt that their respective journeys were all about them.
They both screwed up with disastrous video appearances.
Best of all: They both have their lives back.
Friday, December 28, 2012
If you think that the current gang on Capitol Hill is making the 80th "Do-Nothing" Congress look like industrious worker bees, you're right. It's caught the pundits' attention that the 112th Congress has passed the fewest bills since — well, since the 104th, back in 1995-96.
Hmmm. We cats wonder who was in control of those Congresses? You'll never guess! (Answers below.)
Republicans just continue to prove that people who don't believe in government are lousy at doing it. For example, nearly lost in all the fiscal-cliff hand wringing is the fact that the latest farm bill, which has always passed in five-year increments without much fanfare, is also stuck in the mud of GOP intransigence and, unpassed, threatens to make all our pocketbooks explode.
"Progress stopped when House Republican leadership refused to allow floor debate on the [current proposed] package even with [a] promise of tens of billions of savings over the next decade," POLITICO reports.
We cats just can't understand it. The GOP's in charge, most representatives from farm states are Republicans, and it's in their interest to pass it. But, like so many other pressing matters that the Republicans hold hostage to obstreperousness, it's going nowhere.
This Congress — and specifically, this House — is an embarrassment. Thanks to their incompetence, soon we'll all have to pay $8 for a gallon of milk. Which makes us cats HISS.
(ANSWERS: 80th Congress: Republicans, both chambers. 104th Congress: Republicans, both chambers. 112th Congress: Republicans, House of Representatives. Surprise!)
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Having just returned from La Belle Province, we cats must bid everyone joyeuses fetes, and a soon-to-be Happy New Year. How wonderful to be spending the holidays without the specter of a Willard Presidency looming over us.
We also should report how pleased we were to be out of the country in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown-gun-control-Wayne-LaPierre-meltdown thing. It was a relief to be able to enter restaurants, movies, shops and museums in Montreal without worrying about who might be packing heat.
What does amuse us, however, is the hue and cry over The Journal-News's online posting of a gun-owner database in Connecticut. We cats heartily endorse this publication, and wish it were available in our area. It would be nice to know which one of our neighbors could blow us away if we have a disagreement over, say, birds getting killed at our respective backyard feeders.
It also strikes us as hilarious that gun owners feel their privacy has been violated. First — if they own weapons, what are they worried about? Second — how likely is it that these are the same people who posted, or approved of posting, abortion providers' names and addresses online?
Since we cats see the irony, we PURR.
Monday, December 24, 2012
What is it about Idaho? Is it the mountains, the potatoes, the fact that Ernest Hemingway committed suicide there?
Whatever it is, Idaho has had some bad luck with its Senators lately. First, Larry Craig gets caught playing footsie with an undercover cop in an airport men's room. Now, the unfortunately named "Mike Crapo" has been arrested for drunk driving in Alexandria, Virginia.
Okay, so this recent incident is interesting. We cats didn't know that Mormons like "Crapo" could possibly get in trouble with strong drink. See, in one of the earlier of our nine lives, we had a boss who was a Mormon, and he wouldn't even order a pot of coffee for an 8 AM staff meeting. So what's with this DUI?
For that matter, what is "Crapo" doing in Washington so close to Christmas? Why isn't he home in Idaho Falls with the family? We cats suspect that there's a whole lot more to this story than we currently know, and we just hope that the media won't be too busy with lazy end-of-the-year wrap-ups to do a little digging.
Well, off to our holiday revels. Before we go, though, we must correct our headline to note that Larry Craig is not Mormon but a Methodist. And oh, by the way, he's also on the board of the National Rifle Association. Which we find way more disturbing than being gay.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
We cats want to know why Republicans keep giving white men these important jobs. Like Speaker of the House.
Hot on the heels of stories about Willard Mitt Romney's mismanagement of his Presidential campaign, John Boehner suffers an unprecedented public humiliation at the hands of his own GOP caucus — over which, by the way, he has never had control.
This is the same John Boehner who was supposed to be a breath of fresh air after the allegedly difficult and temperamental Nancy Pelosi. Well, it turns out that Pelosi was a master — healthcare reform wouldn't have passed without her, for example — while Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy cannot even count.
On the one hand, what can we expect? You can hardly be good at governing when you hate government itself. On the other hand, the Republicans' rush to set themselves up for failure still is pretty stunning.
We cats would be PURRING in glee, except for the fact that Boehner's incompetence leaves the country only days away from the fiscal cliff. And here we thought white males were only dangerous with assault weapons in their hands.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
It always astounds us cats that the right-wing teabagger types are indignant about alleged infringements on one Constitutional right, but perfectly happy to have the hated government play buttinsky when it comes to another Constitutional right sanctioned by the Supreme Court in January 1973.
But on the other hand, their lack of logic could be downright inspiring. Check this out.
Want to buy a gun? Okay — but here's what you have to do.
First, you're only allowed to buy at certain specified and highly regulated Firearms Distribution Centers, which are in incredibly inconvenient places located hours and hours away (sometimes, in fact, in another state).
Then, when you arrive at the FDC, you must run a gantlet of anti-gun protesters shoving posters of bloody corpses in your face and pleading with you not to go through with it.
Once inside, you have to submit to a series of embarrassing questions as well as a completely unnecessary and invasive physical procedure — say, a test to see if you can properly shoot a gun with a probe stuck up an orifice — after which you'll be made to pay a couple of hundred dollars out of your own pocket for the privilege of undergoing that procedure. (Cash only, no credit cards or checks accepted.)
At the same time, photos of dead bodies — for example, people gunned down in gang wars, domestic disputes, or Connecticut elementary schools — will flash on a screen off to the side. Of course, this is not at all an imposition, because you'll always have the option of looking away.
After this, you'll be escorted into a waiting room, where you'll have to submit to about an hour of "counseling" from Brady Campaign representatives, who will try to get you to change your mind.
Finally, after all the probing, poking, hurdles and hassles, you'll be forced to wait 24, 48 or 72 hours before being allowed to finally buy your gun. And it won't matter if burglars are breaking into your home at that very minute. You'll still have to wait.
Sound good, right wingers?
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
When we cats were kittens, we read Senator Daniel Inouye's surprisingly engaging autobiography, Journey to Washington. Not because he was particularly famous at the time (the Watergate hearings had yet to happen), but because his story as a Japanese-American soldier in World War II was such a compelling one.
To this day, we remember the following scene: Inouye, lying in a hospital bed after battle, minus one arm, asks a nurse for a cigarette. He assumes she'll take one out and light it for him. Instead, she tosses him the pack and a box of matches and lets him fend for himself. Cursing her the whole time, Inouye finally extracts a butt with one hand and somehow manages to strike a match.
Thanks to that nurse, Senator Inouye learned that as an amputee, he would have to figure out how to do stuff for himself. After all, it was the 1940s. There was no ADA back then.
We cats believe that Americans who have served, and who have given an arm or a leg or more to their country, deserve a little more accommodation. So as Capitol Hill prepares to honor Inouye tomorrow with a lying-in-state, let's all remember what Senate Republicans did to the UN treaty on the disabled.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Tidbits and Cat Treats: Republicans Are Anti-Choice So That Babies Can Be Born And Shot Later Edition
We cats are so disgusted and appalled at what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday that it's taken us a couple of days to wrap our furry heads around it. But this morning, we have a few thoughts. (Most of them angry.) Here we go:
Unlike those idiot parents in Aurora who brought a baby to a midnight movie, the children of Newtown were where they were supposed to be — in school, learning. Sometimes, there just are no words.
Chalk up 26 more bodies on the kill list of the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, who back in 2004 allowed the assault weapons ban to expire.
Speaking of which, if this incident had been an act of international terrorism, we'd not only be moving heaven and earth to keep it from happening again — we'd be restricting a hell of a lot of Constitutional rights to do so.
We cats can't imagine how the first responder or police official — a public employee, no doubt — who had to inform Newtown parents that their children were killed will avoid intensive PTSD therapy for the rest of his or her life.
So Louie Gohmert (R-TX) believes the Sandy Hook principal should have had a gun. Why do these moronic Republicans think that life is like the movies?
Good for Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, for vowing to introduce a new assault weapons ban. We don't expect any miracles, but we need to get all the gun nuts on the record.
And by the way, not a single pro-gun Republican Senator had the guts to go on the Sunday shows yesterday. Cowards!
Then again, perhaps they sense that the tables have turned. Even somebody on Free Republic, our favorite corner of the paranoid right-wing universe, posted this: "We must have more laws against guns. [Lanza] simply ignored about 20 laws and still went ahead with his plan." NRA, you are on notice.
And finally, to any Republican who has criticized teachers, we cats dump our dirty litter boxes over your head, in your breakfast, and in every single one of your dresser drawers. Although what we'd really like to do is punch you in the face.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Like perhaps the majority of clear-thinking Americans, we cats are sick and tired of the National Rifle Association and others on the right who freak out at the slightest suggestion of gun control (or semiautomatic weapon control or cop-killer bullet control or bullet-proof vest control). In their eyes, yesterday Adam Lanza was simply exercising his sacred Second Amendment rights.
So we cats have a proposal: Let's take a page from Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and the other strict constructionists lurking among us. Let's protect only those weapons that Americans used when the U.S. Constitution was written in 1787.
That's it. The Second Amendment stands. Gun rights are preserved. But no Glock pistols, no AK-47s, no Sig Sauer handguns, no Bushmaster .223 M4 carbines. No little kids and U.S. Congresswomen and midnight movie fans and Sikh worshipers getting mowed down for no reason at all.
Works for us.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
When we cats take off for French-speaking points north for the holidays, the humans do all the driving. Which leaves us lots of time for visions of cat treats dancing in our heads.
Mais n'avez-pas peur, nos amis! We will post from Montreal when we can — perhaps with some juicy updates on Trudeaumania 2012.
Yes, we cats know that we used the term "Congressman" in our headline. But that's because out of the 241 GOP members of the current US House of Representatives, we counted only 18 women. So if you're represented by a Republican, chances are he's a guy.
But never mind, on to business. We Obama supporters know that Americans should speak up and contact their elected officials about the fiscal cliff. To that end, those of us who have the bad luck to live in Republican districts have been calling and e-mailing our representatives — telling them to stop protecting the Sheldon Adelsons of the world and do something for the middle class.
We hope you will, too. And if you're stuck for what to write or say, no worries! Here's a handy script you can use:
"Dear Republican Member of Congress:
"If you and the leaders of your caucus drive this nation's government and economy over a cliff in the next few weeks, Americans will never, ever vote for the GOP again. For any office. There is simply no good reason not to raise taxes on Rush Limbaugh, Mitt and Ann Romney, Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and all the others with ultra-high incomes.
"The kinds of budget cuts that your party is discussing will not help the economy — in fact, they will put the country back into recession. George W. Bush's budget deficits aren't the problem. The debt limit is not the problem. Lack of stimulus and Republican intransigence are.
"The time to act like an American is now. The time to act like a rigid ideologue in service to Charles and David Koch is over.
"What will you do?"
(PHOTO: The Missive Maven)
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Re the alleged punching of a FOX "News" reporter in Michigan, we cats just want to know: Why would a journalist try to keep people from tearing down a Koch brothers tent in the first place?
Oh — because he's not a real journalist. Of course!
We cats are planning to have a happy holiday season: The Ghost of a Romney Presidency Yet to Come is not hanging over our furry heads.
Republicans, however, probably won't be having the merriest of Christmases. When they're not stonewalling the White House on the fiscal cliff, they're very busy trying to figure out what went wrong for them in 2012.
This may or may not be a fruitful enterprise. One comment from a nameless GOP operative has caught our eye: "2010 was the biggest midterm win for one party since the 1938 election. Our ideas still resonate."
Um, no, they don't. If they ever did. We cats believe that the 2010 electorate didn't quite know what they were voting for — and having seen the train wreck that the last two years has been on Capitol Hill, they've decided they've had quite enough, thank you.
And what has struck us most this year, not just during the election itself but in the jaw-dropping actions of Republicans since, is how many Americans for whom the GOP has active contempt: Workers, women, the unemployed, the middle class, Hispanics, immigrants, the disabled, African-Americans, gays and lesbians, those who speak English as a second language, young people, Jewish people, other non-Christians... the list may go on, because it's such a long one we fear we've left someone out.
In short, the Republicans don't seem to like anyone who isn't Willard Mitt Romney. And we all know how that turned out.
Unless the GOP wakes up and realizes that their policies are the problem, and won't be solved by some lame attempts at face diversity, we're looking at the possible extinction of a political party. Which believe it or not, doesn't necessarily make us cats PURR.
Monday, December 10, 2012
As the 112th Congress hurtles self-destructively to its close, we cats were wondering if there were any Congresses worse than this one.
At first we thought maybe the 111th, because it boasted that despicable "You lie!" episode. But then we remembered that the 111th was the Congress that passed the stimulus, Wall Street reform, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the repeal of DODT and healthcare reform — and a ton of other good stuff.
This Congress? Not so much.
Not only did the embarrassing 112th fritter away their time reading the Constitution and pushing the country to brink of default — under the leadership of (who else?) the Republicans in the House, this current Congress failed to clear almost every bar it set for itself.
Republicans in the 112th had a clearly stated goal when they came to D.C.: Make Barack Obama a one-term President. Their second goal: Enshrine the Tea Party as the natural, national governing party.
Whoops — they sorta lost.
What's more, Congressional Republicans had no influence in picking their party's standard bearer in what should have been a gimme Presidential election. They failed. Their candidate failed. Their party failed.
Undeterred by its repudiation at the polls, the Capitol Hill GOP now has doubled down on its diversity problem by appointing only white males to chair their House committees. Looking at those guys is to look at an America that never really existed, but the Republicans cling to that fantasy — um, shall we say bitterly?
And of course, the UN disabled treaty vote was the piece de resistance.
Yep, add all that nonsense to their anti-Obama obstructionism, and you wonder how the economy — not to mention the country — would be faring today if the Republicans of the 112th had simply behaved like the patriots they claim to be.
We cannot wait until they're history. In the meantime, we cats HISS.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
The holidays are indeed upon us, and we cats have a whirlwind week before hitting the road for northern climes. But we couldn't help pausing to muse on the following stories in the news.
Looks like the Republicans went back on their word and dropped more than three-quarters of a million bucks on Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin's hopeless campaign for Senate last month. As Democrats, we cats say: Thank goodness they squandered that money in Missouri — and not in North Dakota or Montana or Wisconsin! (Why are they so stupid?)
Speaking of money spent late in the campaign, it appears that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson wasted a cool $10 million on Willard Mitt Romney just before Willard went down to ignominious defeat. Which makes us grin like Cheshire cats. But we wonder why Republicans give Sheldon — who makes all his money from sin — such a pass on family values. And why reporters don't ask them about that.
It seems like only yesterday that folks were speculating whether Paul Ryan, defeated for Vice President but re-elected by his constituents in Wisconsin, would eschew returning to Congress and burnish his pre-2016 reputation in think-tank world instead. Well, guess what, Paul? The Heritage Foundation has decided you're too damaged for them. Sorry!
Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases on marriage equality, we cats just have one question: For whom did Ted Olson vote for President this year?
Finally, Charlie Crist has become a Democrat. Oh, gosh, that segue from gay marriage was another total coincidence.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
On our owners' wedding anniversary (which is a total but satisfying coincidence), we cats are heartened to see the first gay couples stepping up to get their marriage licenses in Washington State — including one of our faves, Dan Savage, and his partner, Terry Miller.
Our teabagger right-wing pals over at Free Republic, however, are hoping in shock and dismay that God will smite Washington State with more volcanic eruptions — literal fire and brimstone.
Sorry, Freeps. You're yesterday's news, and we cats PURR.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
“One of the reasons I believe in jazz is that the oneness of man can come through the rhythm of your heart. It’s the same anyplace in the world, that heartbeat. It’s the first thing you hear when you’re born — or before you’re born — and it’s the last thing you hear.”
Because of their disastrously inaccurate polls and a general feeling of entitlement, Willard and Ann Romney had hoped to be shopping for furniture for the White House by now. Instead, in the wake of their decisive loss, they just indulged in a spree at.... Costco.
"Besides the paper plates, Dixie cups, wrapping paper, V8 juice drinks, pretzel snacks, Bisquick and bottled water....Mitt and his wife Ann also purchased a model car made by the Maisto company (probably a gift for one of his 18 grandkids....sorry for spoiling Xmas)."
We cats have questions for Willard. Does he know that Costco is a Democratic company? Does he know that the Costco CEO spoke at the Democratic National Convention? That he pays his staff at above-market rates and provides generous health insurance benefits? Does he know that the CEO of Costco also supports Obamacare? And that Joe Biden just visited a Costco in D.C.? Does Willard know that Costco is headquartered in deep-blue Washington State?
Why, or why not, did Willard not pay back his friends in Benton, Arkansas, and go to Sam's Club?
We cats can hear the Freepers screaming now. Which makes us PURR.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
When we cats flew from Chicago to Washington Dulles this past weekend, an unusually large number of wheelchair-bound passengers were on our plane. One was a military veteran with two artificial legs. How did we know he was a vet? The back of his wheelchair had "Purple Heart Recipient" embroidered on it.
Only today did we realize that those folks were probably all heading to Washington to see the Senate ratify a UN treaty to ban discrimination against the disabled. If so, then, too bad for them: In spite of their presence, and that of former Senator Bob Dole, the Senate rejected the treaty 61-38.
Voting against Dole were several Republican geezers who had served with him: John Kyl, Dan Coats, Charles Grassley, Mitch McConnell, Olympia Snowe, Thad Cochran, James Inhofe, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Orrin Hatch. Both Republican Senators from Kansas voted against Dole. Cochran switched his vote from "yes" to "no" after he saw the treaty going down to defeat.
This makes us cats hack up a hairball. The Republicans are so scared of their right wing that they can't even vote for a harmless treaty in front of a gallery full of people in wheelchairs — even when their former party standard bearer, who is practically dead, begs them to.
Need we remind everyone that Bob Dole was the Republicans' Presidential and their Vice Presidential nominee, as well as their Senate Majority Leader? That it was Dole who gave the GOP that wonderful phrase "Democrat wars"? How in the world could they turn him down?
We cats can only hope that these cowardly Republican Senators someday find out what it's like to try to board an airplane with a wheelchair or a scooter or two artificial legs. For now, we dump our dirty litter boxes over their heads.
Monday, December 3, 2012
So David Frum, who is selling an e-book, has decided he's frantically worried about all the serious stuff President Obama will have to handle as, well, President — and that no other Chief Executive has ever had to handle such crises before!
This is ridiculous. As we said, David Frum is peddling something, so that means he turns up on all the shows we care about and, then, pens laughingly hyper articles for websites like The Daily Beast.
We cats ask: When has an American President not been dealing with "turmoil on the horizon"? Will the Beast start running breaking news stories such as: "Pope Is Lifelong Catholic"? "Republicans Criticize Taxes"? "Business Leaders Decry Regulation"? "Super Bowl MVP Credits Teammates For Win"?
Americans — outside of the 30-percent, far-right fringe, of course — have demonstrated that they're more than willing to give President Obama a fair shot, and not hold him responsible for things he cannot reasonably control. So it sounds to us like Frum is singing from the same old Republican hymnal — the one dictating that Barack Obama must be blamed for everything.
How tired. How lazy. How boring. We cats HISS (in between yawns).
Sunday, December 2, 2012
The apres-defeat Schadenfreude Festival continues: The Washington Post reports today that Willard Mitt Romney, adrift after losing an election he foolishly thought he would win, is trying to fill his unexpectedly empty days.
"Romney’s rapid retreat into seclusion has been marked by repressed emotions, second-guessing and, perhaps for the first time in the overachiever’s adult life, sustained boredom," the Post avers.
All righty, then! If Willard is bored, we cats have a few suggestions for him:
- Go on another Mormon mission — this time, to a country less glamorous than France.
- Travel the country on an "Official Mitt Romney Apology Tour To The 47 Percent."
- Volunteer in New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy relief.
- Join the military (finally!).
- Refile his tax returns and take his full deductions so he can pay less than 14 percent.
- Read all the binders full of women that his transition team prepared for him.
- Shock shelves at Staples. It's the holiday season — they could probably use the extra help.
- Deliver Papa John's pizzas. Maybe they'd let him include a flyer with each pizza that says, "Because you didn't vote for me, this pizza is costing you 15 extra cents."
- Since he once proudly touted his Michigan birth certificate, do gardening work for whichever Republican candidate he'll support in 2016.
- Start a tattoo-removal business.
- Design airplanes with windows that open.
- Work at a shopping mall, wrapping gifts.