Tuesday, December 31, 2013
We cats generally dislike New Year's. Instead of partying, we prefer to enjoy a big early meal and then head home to snuggle in for a safe, comfy evening. But even though the snow is flying in Montreal, and the Canadiens are on the TV, a few headlines are still getting our attention and generating thoughts. Here they are — and happy 2014!
The state of Utah is so freaked out about joining the ranks of marriage equality that it's asked the US Supreme Court for help. This is interesting for two reasons: First, Utah has already been turned down three times by the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Second, they've had to appeal to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is assigned to the 10th. Gee — we think Justice Sotomayor is already pretty busy tonight.
Awww, that little CPACker we met at Union Station a couple of months ago must be very sad. A Florida law mandating narcotics tests for welfare recipients was struck down today as unconstitutional. Just another example of how the right wing doesn't mind government interference when it comes to sex, drugs, and (maybe even) rock n' roll.
Meanwhile, felicitations to the 2.1 million Americans — and counting — who, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, will get health coverage in 2014. To the tune of Ronnie and Mommie Reagan's favorite song, "It's very clear / Obamacare's here to stay."
And ya know, we hate to stir the pot, but we think Dean Obeidallah was right: The adopted grandkid really does make the Romney family look like the Republican convention.
Finally, while we usually use paw prints (or reindeer tracks) for Tidbits and Cat Treats, we would like to close out 2013 with this most excellent photo of three Presidents and a First Lady walking through the Lincoln Memorial on the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington. Despite all the trials, tribulations and Republican misbehavior that the nation had to go through this year, we cats Still Have A Dream. Sleep tight, everyone.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Yes, we know we're not a sports blog. But we cats remember asking once why we should care anything about football. The object of our ire at the time was Michael Vick, who was convicted of illegal gambling and animal abuse. Now, we wonder why we should be excited about a sport that rewards an accused rapist with the Heisman Trophy.
But maybe there's divine payback, even in the NFL. The Washington, DC football team just finished its season 3-13. This also happened to be the year that the campaign against its racist name reached a welcome crescendo. We cats sincerely hope that, come December 2014, the team will be called something else.
Is it fair? Who cares? Despite its current sad-ass record, the franchise has zillions of fans, is worth truckloads of dollars, and is not going out of business any time soon. Changing its name will not hurt it in the least. The Washington Wizards have survived just fine without a moniker that evokes gun violence and urban mayhem.
And besides, it's the right thing to do. Unless the Redskins want to keep courting the wrath of the gods — in which case they can prepare for a lot more 3-and-13 seasons.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
We cats haven't shopped at Target since CEO Gregg Steinhafel spent company money on a known gay-hater and right-wing whackjob, Tom Emmer, in the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race. We had to punish Target for assuring us that they were a socially responsible and progressive company when — oops! They weren't. (Happily, Emmer lost to Democrat Mark Dayton. But as far as we know, he's still a hater and a whackjob.)
Today, however, our Target boycott has richly rewarded us, because — well, you know the 40 million reasons why. And to make matters worse for the folks who still shop there, after assuring hacked customers that their encrypted information was safe, it turns out that Target, um, lied. All of which has sent its brand favorability plunging.
So we're feeling very smug. On the other hand, we're not so pleased that A&E, after taking a principled stand against a racist and homophobe on some silly duck show, has reversed itself and decided not to suspend the guy after all. Why did they even bother to take him off the air in the first place? If it was to goose (pun intended) the ratings up, we cats hope that, Target-like, A&E's actions will come back to haunt it in the form of a long, torturous ratings slide in 2014.
Ah, well. Someday, little kittens, all companies will suffer as Target has for hating their potential customers. We don't know when that will happen, but we promise you that, eventually, it will. In the meantime, though, there are even "great places to work" that haven't yet seen the light. Which makes us cats HISS.
Friday, December 27, 2013
We cats don't understand why anyone should care that Santa brought "Nikki Haley" a Beretta this year. But it's unbelievably gauche to tweet about that at the same time that the Newton police file is released.
By Miss Kubelik
Well! It turns out that Republican Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania might be known for something even more repugnant than restricting voter rights and giving women unnecessary ultrasounds. Yesterday, he let the good citizens of the Commonwealth drive on unsafe roads.
We cats were — thankfully — traveling in the opposite direction of two huge chain-reaction pileups, first on Interstate 81 and then, after we bailed out from 81, on Interstate 78. And although we didn't see it, there was another one on the Pennsylvania Turnpike: dozens of cars slamming into each other, others skidding into ditches, tractor-trailer trucks jackknifed, and ambulances and other emergency vehicles caught up along with everybody else in the miles-long backups.
Why? We'll tell you: The roads weren't treated. The Pennsylvania highways we traveled were slick and slippery, with lethal strips of pounded-down snow caked along the center lines and more snow coating the shoulders in dangerous slabs. Scary!
The only thing we can think of is that Corbett — who, as a Republican, doesn't believe in government, taxes or public works — declined to pay state workers triple-overtime on Christmas night and Boxing Day morning to salt and sand the roads.
We'll be interested to see whether anyone in the media, or anyone caught up in yesterday's highway cauchemar, will ask why the Keystone State was allowed to become a disaster zone yesterday. But it was pretty clear to us: If Corbett had to sign an executive order to get the road crews out there, he refused to use the pen in Pennsylvania.
(IMAGE: This AP photo doesn't begin to capture the carnage. We cats averted our eyes.)
UPDATE: Just in case Corbett's people are (still) reading this, we cats would like to remind everybody that the Republicans hold majorities in both houses of the Pennsylvania state legislature.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Finally! We cats are celebrating the fact that it's December 24, and since we won't set paws inside a retail space until after tomorrow, we won't hear any more loud and obnoxious Christmas music. Or will we?
(We don't have anything against Christmas music. Just the loud, obnoxious kind.)
Anyway, despite all the holiday cheer, the news rocks on. Here are a few items that have gotten our attention amid the egg nog.
Republican Governor "Gary Herbert" of Utah says that federal Judge Robert Shelby's decision overturning his state's ban on same-sex marriage has caused "a lot of chaos." Really? We cats aren't seeing chaos. We're seeing hundreds and hundreds of couples lining up patiently in the cold for marriage licenses and, then, celebrating joyously. If "Governor Herbert" wants to decry chaos, perhaps he should slam the improper expenditures that the Mormon Church made on behalf of Prop 8. A religious institution violating campaign finance laws, and not getting its tax exemption revoked? That, to us, is chaos.
Big story over at The New York Times about Chris Christie bullying people. We cats are happy for the coverage, but we do wonder why reporting a known fact is breathless news. Pretty soon we'll be seeing articles with headlines like "Romneys Felt Entitled To White House." (Or, "Brian Boitano Comes Out." Hey!—wait a minute...)
We've noted with interest that 2 million people visited healthcare.gov today. You know, just as Fahrenheit and Celsius intersect at minus 40 degrees, pretty soon the number of people who get coverage through Obamacare will equal the number of people who lost coverage during the administration of The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived.
Finally, congratulations, Alan Turing, for receiving a royal pardon 61 years late. And of course for being absolved for something he needed no pardon for in the first place. Homophobia is an enigma (pun intended). Merry Christmas, everyone.
Monday, December 23, 2013
We cats are just having a gay old time. We're reading the outraged comments of the folks over at our favorite right-wing corner of the Internet, Free Republic, over all those same-sex couples getting married in Utah.
They just can't understand it, they bleat. Where in the US Constitution does it say that gays can get married?
We cats have decided to perform a public service, and answer their hand-wringing entreaties. Here it is, folks: Here is the basic constitutional reasoning behind marriage equality — aside from that whole question of demeaning dignity, of course. Read and enjoy!
Amendment XIV, Civil Rights, Section 1:
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
(IMAGE: Hooray for Utah! And we're all getting our hair done to celebrate, right?)
One of the things that distresses us cats about political discourse today is that so many nutjobs are never pressed to prove their most outrageous statements.
This is partly journalism's fault: The really good follow-up question is, sadly, a lost art. (Or even the good first question. We cats spent most of 2013 wondering why no one in the media bothered to ask Virginia Republican Mark Obenshain why he was supposed to be a "vote-balancing moderate" attractive to ticket-splitters — even though he'd endorsed reporting women who'd had miscarriages to the police.)
Well, here's an early Christmas present — and from West Virginia, of all places. A Democratic member of the state House of Delegates, Nancy Guthrie, has filed a complaint against Byron Calhoun, an anti-choice physician in Charleston, who says he regularly treats patients suffering from "botched abortions."
See, Guthrie correctly reasons that if this silly doctor is telling the truth, he should have been diligently reporting his shocking evidence to the West Virginia Board of Medicine. But, whoops! — the Board says they've received no communications from him.
We cats love this. Not just because Calhoun is unmasked as a liar and an hysteric, but because (surprise, surprise) he refuses to comment or otherwise defend himself to the press. In short, he's a coward. As for Delegate Guthrie, we cats PURR.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
We cats have been eagerly awaiting the certain indictment of the greedy, grasping Transvaginal Bob McDonnell and his squeezing, wrenching, covetous wife on federal charges in their pathetic gifts scandal. That, we thought, would be the swellest Christmas gift of all.
But HISS, it is not to be — at least not until after the New Year. Transvaginal Bob's attorneys apparently convinced the feds to delay their decision until after Transvaginal Bob and the repulsive Maureen vacate the now-besmirched Governor's mansion. Nuts! Since T-Bob has caused such pain to so many Virginians — particularly female Virginians hoping to control their reproductive destinies — we cats were hoping that the DOJ would ruin his and Mo's Christmas.
Well, maybe it will, after all. How could anyone enjoy the holidays with that hanging over their heads? Meanwhile, we continue to marvel at a peculiar trait of so many Republican wives — one that we can only describe as a gigantic sense of entitlement.
We've called it the Nancy Reagan Award. But maybe we should change it to the Ann Romney Award, since Ann graced us with so many memorable moments last year. Remember her haughty response on Willard's tax returns, "We've given all you people need to know"? And who could forget this classic: "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"?
And now, Maureen McDonnell — with her $15,000 New York shopping spree, her "junkets for Johnnie" to promote their scam-artist friend's diet supplement, and her abuse of employees (most famously, her and T-Bob's lame attempt to throw her chief of staff under the bus) — may deserve to have our GOP-queen award named after her. That is, if she weren't such a soon-to-be has-been.
Somehow this just doesn't seem to be as much of a problem on the Democratic side of life. Can you picture Dr. Judy Dean acting this way? We can't, either. As for the Transvaginals and their pending and much-deserved indictment, all we cats can say is, our paws are crossed.
(IMAGE: "Bob, does this bedspread make me look fat?")
Thursday, December 19, 2013
As with other birds, we cats are very fond of eating duck. But we had to ask a friend what "Duck Dynasty" was. See, reality shows are just not our brand of catnip.
Now, though, you can't surf the Internet without seeing that the "star" of this duck "show" is in hot water because he's turned out to be a homophobe. Well, good. People who are haters deserve to be called out for it.
And, of course, cue the clueless Republicans, who are complaining that liberals are forcing "political correctness" on America and there's no free speech left. Bobby Jindal, for example.
We cats find this fascinating. First, would Jindal feel so charitably toward this Duck Dynasty person if he'd uttered slurs about people of Indian descent? Second, we thought that Republicans like Jindal were big capitalists — committed to preserving, protecting and defending the business community at all costs. So why don't they believe in the concept of "what the market will bear"?
Personally, we're glad that our country has reached a place in which language that slanders entire groups — from people of color to gays and lesbians — is no longer tolerated. And that corporations and media companies are increasingly sensitive to bigotry, penalizing their employees if they engage in it. (Yes, Alec Baldwin, that includes you.)
How ironic that this flap has occurred just as New Mexico has joined the ranks of marriage equality. And as a Methodist minister has gotten defrocked for declaring all God's children the same. A few steps forward, one or two back. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
If you're like us cats, you found John Boehner's anti-teabagger umbrage the other day quite fakey. Excuse us, Mr. Speaker? You're only now calling out the extreme right wing of your pathetic party? Sorry, but you're the one who's "ridiculous."
However, he's given us a theme, and our unhallowed paws shall not disturb it, or the country's done for. But what the Dickens — here are some truly silly (and wonderful) GOP shenanigans that we cats are savoring today.
Right-wing-fanatic-posing-as-a-moderate Mark Obenshain has conceded to Democrat Mark Herring in the Virginia attorney general's race. This, dear readers, is the nanniest of all nanny-boo-boos. It means that the Old Dominion's party of the patriarchal divine-right-of-succession now has no one who is the logical (or even semi-logical) heir to take the commonwealth back in four years. The Republicans' idea that they could appeal to the statewide electorate by nominating three off-the-radar nutjobs was, of course, "ridiculous."
Apparently there's a documentary about the 2012 Romney campaign, "one man's quest for the Presidency." Okay, fine — but only if Netflix defines "quest" as: 1) Taking five-day weekends in the middle of the campaign, 2) doing one event a day (and a fundraiser in a state you're gonna win anyway), 3) sitting on your cash until it's too late, and 4) putting your fate in the hands of super PACs you can't control. Then, yes, we guess it's a "quest." We think, however, that Don Quixote would say that "quest" in this context is "ridiculous."
So the ever-ugly Charles Krauthammer thinks Democratic Senator Joe Manchin should join the GOP? That would be like Rhett Butler enlisting in the Confederate Army after the burning of Atlanta. "Ridiculous."
Finally, exciting news: The Obenshain concession means that the race to fill Mark Herring's Virginia state senate seat is underway, and the Republicans have nominated an anti-Semite. At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, we cats think its good to be mindful of our non-Christmas-celebrating fellow Virginians. Which means we won't give "John Whitbeck," who is truly ridiculous, the time of day. If you'd like to contribute to Democrat Jennifer Wexton instead, click here.
Well, the Democratic hill to reclaim the House next year just got a little steeper. Congressman Jim Matheson (D-Utah) has decided to move on.
Then again, a couple of Republicans are throwing in the towel, too: Tom Latham in Iowa, and Frank Wolf, here in Virgina. Which makes us wonder about their sense of timing.
See, it's interesting that when John Boehner allegedly has the teabags on the run — when President Obama's approval ratings are in the ditch — when Obamacare is presenting this huuuuuge electoral opportunity for the GOP — and when the Republican Party's business wing has gone all-in to help so-called moderates beat back primary challenges — this is the moment that Wolf and Latham choose to bail.
Will they get any questions on this from the vaunted Fourth Estate? Yeah, right. In the meantime, we've got a Virginia House seat to fill. Calling Krystal Ball!
Monday, December 16, 2013
We cats are not atheists: The ancient Egyptians considered us gods, so why quibble? But we're frequently disturbed at how religion tends to oppress more people than it liberates. Whether you're talking Islam, Protestant fundamentalism, Mormonism or Catholicism, it all seems the same — bad for women, bad for gays, bad for anybody with a brain.
That's why we're taking particular delight in the fits that Pope Francis is giving the right wingers. As we're sure we don't have to tell you, a pontiff like Frankie doesn't come along much. John the Twenty-Third comes to mind, but after his too-early exit he was succeeded by such a rash of jerks (yes, JP Two, we're talking about you), we despaired of ever seeing an interesting pope again.
Enter Frankie. Wow! It's been kinda exciting! Even though yes, the church has a long, long way to go and we're mighty glad we don't belong. Still and all, Frankie obviously has figured that at almost-77, he doesn't have a lot of time to make his mark. And make his mark is what he intends to do.
And all the conservative sputtering is too delicious for words. The Pope is a liberal! He's tolerant! He worries about the poor! He hates trickle-down economics! Pretty soon he'll be endorsing Democrats!
As Democrats who well remember how conservative US bishops twisted Catholic doctrine not only to promote peace-hating Republicans but demonize social-justice Democrats — "Deny John Kerry communion!" — we cats have only one reaction. We PURR.
(IMAGE: By the way, in case you were wondering: Yes, we are. Any questions?)
Sunday, December 15, 2013
We cats are not big fans of the young Chris Cillizza lad over at The Washington Post — not because he's evil, but because he is so often callow and accepting.
Which is our snarky way of saying that we disagree with his pronouncement that President Obama had the "Worst Year in Washington." How is it that the President, whose approval rating has never dipped below 38 percent, had a rougher year than Congress, which — thanks to obstruction, scandalmongering and a complete lack of productivity — currently stands at 9?
For sure, Obama's had it tough. Gun legislation died, Ed Snowden leaked and ran, and the healthcare.gov launch was a mess. But it was Congressional Republicans who shut down the government, cost the economy $24 billion, and made everybody hate them — and who, in the end, were stared down into submission by the President. And it's the Republican Party that's now engulfed in open civil war.
So, back to Cillizza. We cats hate to be hard on him. But like so many in the Beltway echo chamber, he didn't put any original thought into "Worst Year." He just repeated what everybody he talks to is telling him. "The Fix" needs some fixing. We cats HISS.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Yesterday we cats wondered aloud if Paul Ryan would get a primary challenge next year. While we don't have the answer yet — and we wouldn't be surprised if it's "yes," what with the teabags and the Freepers up in arms — our thoughts this Friday evening are turning to the Senate.
Things have been very cranky in the upper house, but that's not why we're writing. We're thinking specifically of all the money that the GOP is going to have to spend defeating nutcase Senate candidates in 2014 before they can even begin to pivot to the general election.
Let's take the incumbent Republicans first. Lindsey Graham has a primary. Lamar "I Hire Child Porn Enthusiasts" Alexander has a primary. Pat Roberts has a primary. Thad Cochran has a primary. John Cornyn has a primary. (Okay, Steve Stockman is a clown, but still.) Mike Enzi has a primary, and boy, don't we know that! And of course, Mitch McConnell has a primary — not to mention a difficult November if he survives.
Then, of course, there are Republican primaries for open or Democratic seats. Look for things to get ugly in Iowa, Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia and Louisiana. (Those last two are particularly delicious. Virginia will nominate their anti-Mark-Warner candidate at a party convention filled with whackjobs. And Louisiana is an open primary in which a run-off ensues if no candidate gets 50 percent plus one — which means more opportunities for GOP candidates to tear each other apart.)
Republicans have so far avoided nasty primaries in West Virginia, Michigan and South Dakota — but of those, Michigan and South Dakota could still see a late challenge, so stay tuned.
Bottom line, we're seeing a huge money drain here. We cats don't understand why the Beltway media haven't woken up to this yet — is fundraising boring? — but we're happy to be the first to point out that Rancid Pieface and whatever donors he has left in the Republican Party have their work cut out for them next year.
And, oh — by the way, when is the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee going to dump Ted Cruz as a vice chairman? Because we're not seeing him helping the GOP's Establishment crowd much. Which makes us cats PURR.
(PHOTO: We first spotted this priceless Pieface-related image at Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog.)
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Wow! Remember our rule for the Current State of the Political World?
It boils down to one thing: Would we cats rather be Us (Democrats) or Them (Republicans)? Now, we're sure that someday, somewhere, sometime, the forces of nature will shift, and the GOP will once again be ascendant. That's just the way of the universe — the pendulum swings. But goodness gracious, it sure isn't swinging yet. And we are so glad we're Us.
What else can happen? The Republicans are publicly imploding over a budget deal that their 2012 VP nominee just crafted with a mom in tennis shoes. The Breitbart nuts are livid over the firing of Paul Teller from the Republican Study Committee. The Freepers are tied up in knots over Ted Cruz's presence at the Mandela memorial. And last but not least, a top aide to Senator Lamar Alexander was just arrested for possessing kitten porn.
(Oops, we meant child porn, but you knew that. Can they go any lower? Sure, if it turns out that the guy belonged to a Republican Child Porn Committee. There might be one, you know.)
Oh, and more people are signing up for Obamacare. So, since the GOP's prospects seem so bleak, we just have one other question: Will Paul Ryan get a primary challenge? We can't believe we're asking that, but then again, we can. We cats PURR.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Mother Nature and not Ted Cruz shut down the government today. Which meant that after shoveling snow, we cats had plenty of time to catch the headlines. Here are a few that warrant mentioning.
Why do the media never circle back to the authors of the Republican "autopsy" to ask how the "reboot" is going? We're just wondering, thanks to the latest outrageous, offensive and homophobic remarks by an RNC member from Michigan. We say "latest" because anti-gay slurs seem to emanate constantly from today's GOP. So why aren't reporters asking for comment from people like Ken Mehlman, Richard Tisei, Carl DeMaio, the authors of the "autopsy," and, of course, Rancid Pieface?
Oh, thank God President Obama shook hands with Raul Castro at the Mandela celebration today. Now we can talk about something other than that stupid selfie. (And did anyone notice that Castro bowed to Obama?)
We don't know in what world John Cornyn, the two-time head of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, qualifies as a liberal — but that pronouncement's happened on the same day that Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed Pat Roberts' primary challenger. That's right, folks: John Cornyn and Pat Roberts — two bastions of the Senate's left-wing caucus.
Count us as completely unsurprised that Ron Paul says that Rand Paul will "probably" run for President in 2016. Unlike the rest of the lemmings in Pundit World, we cats have privately suspected that the GOP nominee next time will not be a Governor, but a member of the U.S. Senate. And the fact that the Paulites have taken over the party in key primary states like Iowa and Nevada is the kind of boring detail that nobody really notices until later — when it makes a difference.
Finally, we are awed and amazed at today's events in South Africa. It's pretty hard to be cynical and hateful when you see so much love pouring out from so many people (although we're sure the Freepers are managing it). We were concerned about the rain until we heard that Africans believe it marks the passing of a great soul. But of course, we all knew that already, didn't we? We cats salute Madiba, and we PURR.
Monday, December 9, 2013
The entire world is celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. Except for one Pickens County, South Carolina sheriff.
A jackass named Rick Clark has refused to comply with President Obama's executive order that all flags on government property should be lowered to half-staff in the wake of Mandela's death. Clark claims that such an honor should be reserved solely for Americans.
We're wondering what his department did back in 2005, when the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived ordered flags to fly at half-staff for Pope John Paul II. And of course, John Paul was white, while Mandela was — not. (But don't you dare try to say this is racially motivated!)
Isn't it obvious what Clark is doing? He's laying the groundwork for teabaggers in the far-distant future to resist lowering the flag for another "African," President Obama.
We cats don't look forward to being proven right on this any time soon. But it's all plenty disgusting in the meantime. So we HISS.
This is not a movie blog, but we cats must recognize today's passing of the exquisite Eleanor Parker. Anyone who thinks "The Sound of Music" is overly sentimental would do well do remember that screenwriter Ernest Lehman gave Ms. Parker the best line in the film. "Why didn't you tell me," she accuses sidekick Richard Haydn, "to bring my harmonica?"
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Aw! It looks like we cats won't have Ken "Let Us Now Praise Famous Fetuses" Cuccinelli to kick around any more. At the Virginia Republican heads-in-the-sand confab at The Homestead last night, Cootchy announced that he wouldn't try to run against Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner next year.
(The Cootch also continued his streak of ungracious speeches, using his time in the Homestead spotlight to slam his fellow GOPers for deserting him. The very thing that Eric Cantor urged Republicans not to do any more. What were we just saying about heads in the sand?)
Well, never mind. Gearing up for a run — and thus riding to our funny-bone rescue — is maybe, just possibly, and totally tantalizingly: The Chinless Wonder, Ed Gillespie.
This is so great. You remember Chinless. He's the former Republican party chair and Beltway consultant who said he was going to fix the Romney campaign and then didn't. He's a lifelong political hack who's thinking of competing with a successful Democratic entrepreneur and real-life job creator. He's one of the gay haters who helped craft the 2004 anti-marriage-equality strategy for the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived. But most of all, he's a Washington insider who, at next June's nominating convention, is going to have to woo scores of rabid teabaggers who despise people exactly like him.
"It's a very winnable race," Chinless said. There's that GOP heads-in-the-sand thing again. We cats PURR.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
From the "Cutting Off Their Noses To Spite Their Faces" file: A GOP jackass from Virginia, Representative Randy Forbes, has declared that his party should refuse to fund any gay Congressional candidates.
The two openly gay Republicans who are the subjects of Forbes's disdain are Richard Tisei in Massaschusetts and Carl DeMaio in California. Never mind that both of these guys have a reasonable chance to flip a couple of seats from the Democrats. They're gay, so they're bad.
While we cats sit back to watch the resulting infighting, we can't help but wonder how these two GOP candidates will function should they win their respective elections next year. Tisei, for example, says he'll work across the aisle on important issues. But how can he do that when there are colleagues on his side who think he has no right to be there? (Or no right to be, period.)
Well, it's not really our problem. If the GOP Congressional campaign committee wants to stiff strong candidates in winnable races, that's okay by us. But on principle, we still HISS.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
We cats are fixed, so we don't have to worry about having kittens, wanted or otherwise. But the Republicans' war on human women of childbearing age continues.
For example, catch this latest news out of Georgia. The Peach State has more women dying from pregnancy-related conditions than any other place in America: 35 maternal deaths per 1,000 live births. Just a few years ago, Georgia's rate was 20 per 1,000.
Gosh! It's a good thing that Republican Governor and all-around idiot Nathan Deal rejected Obamacare and the zillions of free Medicaid dollars he could have had from the feds. Because it's not as if they need any help with their healthcare down there.
And speaking of Obamacare, get this. Unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act or to get the Supreme Court to invalidate it, Republicans' latest gambit is to claim that the law is horrible because it butts into the patient-doctor relationship.
Really, GOP? Really? Let us cats get this straight. Obamacare is an evil government intrusion into our doctor's (or, in our case, our vet's) office — but it's okay to mandate that physicians prescribe unnecessary ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. And it's just fine to force docs to lie to women about the alleged medical consequences of terminating a pregnancy. And it's hunky-dory to make physicians have hospital admitting privileges before they can perform abortions. And we haven't even gotten to limiting access to birth control.
Do Republicans really not see the contradictions here? It is truly amazing. And while we cats are gladder than ever that our kitten-bearing years are behind us, we still worry about the GOP pushing American women back into the dark ages. Which makes us HISS.
Monday, December 2, 2013
We cats can think of few things more insulting than to file federal income tax as a recognized married couple, and then have to turn around and check "Single" on a state tax form. Yet that's exactly what the Commonwealth of Virginia is forcing same-sex couples to do.
And surprise, surprise: The Virginia Department of Taxation made that decision after checking with state Attorney General Ken "I Hate Everybody But Straight White Males and Fetuses" Cuccinelli — who, as we've thankfully noted, will not be our Governor next year.
We look to Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe to right this repulsive wrong. But in the meantime, we take consolation in the fact that Virginia residents Mary Cheney and Heather Poe, legally married in Washington, D.C., will be forced to deny each other's existence on their Old Dominion form.
In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if Liz, Mary's hatemonger sister (and current family feuder) had a hand in this. We can just hear her phone call to Cucinnelli now: "Okay, Ken — I said I'd run for Senate in Wyoming so you could run against Mark Warner next year if you lost to McAuliffe. You owe me."
You know what they say payback is. We cats PURR.
Friday, November 29, 2013
We cats received a nice Thanksgiving Day message yesterday from Terry McAuliffe, our Governor-elect of Virginia. Hooray! How appropriate — we can't begin to tell you how grateful we are that Ken "Fetuses Are People, My Friend" Cuccinelli won't be moving into the Executive Mansion in Richmond next year.
We're mystified, though: Even all these weeks after the election, why were the Republicans so against our friend Terry? They said he was an inexperienced novice, a businessman who traded on his connections, and — as a previous DNC chair — a mere gladhander and fundraiser who didn't have the chops to run an entire state.
Goodness gracious. That is the perfect description of Haley Barbour — a deeply networked lobbyist, former chair of the RNC, and all-around GOP hail-fellow-well-met who before 2004 had never held elective office himself. In other words, a fat, Republican version of Terry McAuliffe.
But somehow, in Republican eyes, it was okay for Haley Barbour to be Governor of Mississippi. According to them, he was eminently qualified. But for Terry to be Governor of Virginia? Not so much.
It's just another case of Republicans making rules for the rest of the world, but not applying them to themselves. We cats HISS.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
While people's heads continue to explode over Justin Trudeau appropriating a quote from the late NDP leader Jack Layton, we cats — who write for a living when we're not chasing mice — figured we'd better weigh in.
Justin paraphrased Layton this past Election Night, when he made a speech criticizing the New Democrats for running a negative by-election campaign. "It is the Liberal party tonight that proved hope is stronger than fear, that positive politics can and should win out over negative," he said.
It's the "hope" and "fear" part that has made people mad. Because a few days before his death back in 2011, Layton published a lovely letter to Canadians, saying, in essence, goodbye. "My friends...hope is better than fear," he wrote. "Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."
We cats think that by itself, the borrowing of "hope" and "fear" is harmless. But our first thought was this: Although those were not Layton's "dying" words, as some have claimed, Jack has been gone only a short time. If we had been Justin's speechwriters Monday night, we would have told him to leave well enough alone.
But then we realized what he was really up to. He was laying down a marker for 2015 — making a definitive statement to Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party that, two years from now, trashy, Republican-style campaigning (of which Harper is so fond; just ask Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff) will not be tolerated.
So, NDPers who are loading the Twitterverse with outrage and umbrage: Take the long view. You are not the real target. And in the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to remember your late leader's other famous words: "Love is better than anger."
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Isn't it interesting how two very different — but similarly tight — elections can have completely opposite meanings?
Take the race for Virginia attorney general. The state Board of Elections has certified Democrat Mark Herring the winner by a margin of 165. (Since the last we heard, Herring led by 164, glorioski — he not only prevailed in the canvassing, he picked up another vote.)
We cats fully expect the rabid right-wing Mark Obenshain to demand a recount, but for now, those 165 votes mean a total sweep across the Commonwealth for Democrats — in an off-year in which our party holds the White House. That's a super big deal.
Meanwhile, up here in Canada, the Liberals and the Conservatives split the four by-elections held yesterday right down the middle. But goodness gracious — the Tories came this close to losing a previously safe seat in Manitoba, only winning by fewer than 400 votes. This race, then — although carried by the Conservatives — is actually a moral victory for Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
Aren't politics great? Elections like these are more fun than a catnip-filled Bizzy Ball. We cats PURR.
Monday, November 25, 2013
We cats were traveling this weekend — but even if we hadn't been, we probably would have left that lovely photo of President Kennedy and John-John at the top of the blog.
Still, despite the 50th anniversary observations (which we're thankful are over), the political world rocks on, both here in Canada and below the 49th parallel. Here are a few of our thoughts:
John Boehner's insurance premiums have gone up under Obamacare? Oh, be still our hearts! Of course they have. The guy's a smoker — it's high time that he starts paying for his dangerous and expensive habit. And we'd say that even if he weren't the worst Speaker of the House ever.
We're trying really really hard, but we just can't bring ourselves to care about the trials and tribulations of the Cheney family. Besides, it seems like a nefarious ruse to convince 575,000 gay haters in Wyoming that it's all right to vote for Liz. Bore, bore, bore.
If you're into microcosm, check out the civil war that's raging in the Iowa Republican Party right now. This important state — not just because of the caucuses but also due to those six swing electoral votes it bestows in November — has always had a state GOP with an establishment tradition. But now the nut cases have taken over, and the establishment is not going quietly. So... what does somebody like Chris Christie do? Does he run in the caucuses in 2016, or skip them and make everybody mad? We cats don't presume to say. All we know is that when you've got one half of a key state party mooning and sighing over you and the other half saying "Buzz off, Fat Man," you've got a problem.
Finally, the political world is popping in the True North. And no, we're not talking about that drug-addicted buffoon in Toronto. We've got by-elections today! (Think of special elections for House seats in the US, and you get the idea.) And since they're playing out against the backdrop of the Conservative party's Senate scandal, everyone's watching to see What It All Means. We cats don't believe in contributing to the babble, but we're sure of one thing: Thanks to Tory troubles and the surging numbers of Justin Trudeau's Liberals, it would be nice to party like it was 2015.
Friday, November 22, 2013
"Let us not be blind to our differences — but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
"For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."
—Commencement Address, American University, June 1963
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Senate Republicans on Monday blocked three eminently qualified Obama nominees for the US District Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, inviting Democrats to end the filibuster as we knew it. And the Democrats did. So now, GOP Senators are saying they'll regret it — maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of their lives.
We cats are amazed. Did Mitch McConnell and his teabagger-infested caucus truly not believe that mild-mannered Mormon Harry Reid would follow through on his threat? Guess not. We're sorry if they're in shock, but it was the only way to break the logjam.
And now Barack Obama can fill the 93 remaining vacancies on the federal bench with just 50 Senate votes plus one. Memo to the President from Us Cats: Do it, and do it now. Because one of our few arguments with you is that you didn't fill them when you had a supermajority. Now, that would have been a wow finish.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
"I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world."
—Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
We cats heard the news about Trey Radel today and immediately thought about that CPACker we met while passing through Union Station last month.
Why? Because after she tried to strike up a conversation and figured out she wasn't going to change our minds about anything, Ms. CPAC turned to talk to the person on the other side of her. The two of them agreed that it would be just swell if people on unemployment compensation were required to take drug tests.
(Never mind that workers on unemployment have earned those payments through previous payroll deductions. Ms. CPAC and her new pal still thought those folks needed to pee in a cup.)
So, we're wondering how she feels about Trey, the Republican Congressman who just pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine. Cocaine! And he cast votes in Congress on the same day he was arrested!
Gosh, that takes moxie. But not nearly as much moxie as insisting that Americans in the food-stamp program should also be tested for drugs. Which Trey Radel has said they should do.
Incredible. Just when we think the Republicans can't possibly reach new heights of hypocrisy, they do. If you're a paycheck-to-paycheck US citizen who falls on some temporary hard times, the GOP wants your urine. But if you're a member of Congress who needs a fix? That's okay. (And you only get a year's probation? While other Americans get life for shoplifting?)
We cats realize that late-night comics will have a field day with ol' dog Trey and his CPACker fans. But right now, all we can think of is the unfairness of it all. So we not only HISS. We SNARL.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Ooooh! We cats are so excited. Why didn't anyone tell us that Ken "Love the Unborn, Hate the Born" Cuccinelli is thinking of running for Mark Warner's U.S. Senate seat next year?
True to form, the Cootch has just given a whiny interview to The Washington Post, in which he speculated on 2014 and blamed everyone for his gubernatorial loss except himself. (This, on top of his peevish election-night concession speech and his continued refusal to call the Governor-elect and concede. Goodness gracious, these Republicans are such babies.)
But never mind. How can we contact Cootchy and ask him to please, please run? Although we don't understand how he thinks he has the time or the wherewithal to pull it off, we'd love to see Cuccinelli in a knock-down, drag-out at another one of the Virginia GOP's far-right party conventions. It'll be him, that nutcase hater known as E.W. Jackson, and of course, the failed attorney general candidate, Mark Obenshain. And whoever else crawls out of the teabagger woodwork.
We just have two questions: How does the Cootch, who is really bad at asking for money, hope to compete against a self-funder who is probably the most popular politician in the state? And will he bring Ted Cruz in to campaign for him? We cats PURR.
Monday, November 18, 2013
"Let me be blunt: I'm sick of hearing the biased news media and the politicians in Washington trying to tell Americans like you and I [sic] what we're supposed to think."
—Fundraising letter from Jim DeMint, hilariously mailed to us cats
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Hmmm, that's funny. Whole days have gone by, and we haven't noticed the Virginia attorney general's race flipping again. The winner and still champion is Democrat Mark Herring, by a whisker — 164 votes.
Although we know the results won't be certified for another week or so — and that the far-right-winger-posing-as-a-moderate Mark Obenshain could still go whining to his GOP pals in Richmond — we cats are already looking forward to the next Republican debacle in 2014.
That's when Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner will be running for re-election. And guess what? Virginia Republicans haven't learned their lesson: They're still planning to nominate their Senate candidate at an extremist-packed party convention.
Goodness gracious. This is exactly the same tactic that in 2013 allowed the party to foist upon the Old Dominion the most off-the-wall slate of candidates ever. And we all know what happened because of that.
So, since Virginia Republicans refuse to rescue themselves from their never-ending death spiral, we can't wait to see next June's pitched battle in Roanoke between — drum roll — Mark Obenshain and E.W. Jackson. Such fun! We cats PURR.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Barely two and a half years ago, we cats opined on the then-new French law banning the Muslim niqab. Our take: Personally, we're not big on religious attire, but once you start calling one silly outfit out of bounds, where do you stop?
Now, we're sorry to say, the Parti Quebecois is going down the same road, seeking to forbid not only the hijab among public-sector workers in Quebec but the wearing of all "conspicuous" religious symbols. This, from a provincial government whose National Assembly (above) features a big honkin' crucifix on the wall.
Hilarious — except, not. Like the teabaggers in the US screaming about sharia law, the PQ has decided to attack a problem that does not exist. And already some prominent Quebec-based employers — such as the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal — have publicly declared that they will ignore the ban. (What will Premier Pauline Maurois do? Send in the gendarmes?)
As part-time Quebeckers, we cats find this whole thing very sad. While the PQ and its separatist allies cling to the past, Quebec and Canada are striding confidently into the future. Meaning that they're welcoming new Canadians from all around the world. A truly diverse and exciting society is being built in Montreal, but the ostriches in the rest of the province have yet to catch up.
We would only remind PQers of the words of Roch Carrier, author of The Hockey Sweater, a Canadian classic: "I was in a park recently and saw a Muslim couple," he said. "Her face was hidden by a scarf, and they were walking side by side, and in front of them was a child, I'd say, seven years old, wearing a Canadiens sweater."
And that, mesdames et messieurs, is Quebec's true religion. We cats PURR.
Friday, November 15, 2013
We cats never thought we'd rush to defend a Pope, but when the famous quitter from Alaska is involved, you never know what will happen.
Referring to Francis, she recently babbled, "He's had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has [sic] taken me aback, has [sic] kind of surprised me."
Unbelievable. Never mind the faulty subject-verb agreement — what right does Sarah Palin have to criticize this guy? Is she Catholic? Is she a thought leader? Is she anyone of consequence at all?
If Palin wants to judge a Pope, she can slam Benedict — the guy who quit. Otherwise, as in myriad other areas of life, she's just not qualified. We cat HISS.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
—Remarks at the dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners, 1962
Okay, so Prince Charles turned 65 today. Barely anybody noticed, save for those Dianafans/Charleshaters who are taking the occasion to propose that Queen Elizabeth II abdicate in favor of Prince William — which will never happen.
We cats have an odd sympathy for Charles. Sure, he's been hamfisted in the past, but we can't help but think he would have handled things better had Uncle Dickie been alive to guide him.
Plus, we predict that when Charles eventually does succeed to the throne, the media and the bloviators and the opinion makers will say, Give the chap some room, everyone.
And you know what? Better to turn 65 in the comfortable circumstances of a happy second marriage than to have died in a Paris tunnel with a fly-by-night suitor whose chauffeur was drunk. Just sayin'.
We cats have been trying to decide what, if anything, to say about that buffoon up in Toronto, Rob Ford.
It's been tough. His behavior has been so outrageous that any comments from us would automatically seem superfluous. But we think it's reached a point at which we simply have to weigh in.
To say, in short, the following: Why is this repulsive individual even Mayor of Toronto in the first place? Who among the 2.5 million gentle souls who inhabit Canada's most deeply boring city looked at this guy and said, "Yeah, that's who I want running things"?
Did Hogtown think they had to mix things up a bit by voting in a fat, inebriated, crack-smoking misanthrope? Did they hope that Ford's colorful antics would not extend beyond incorrect grammar? (We hate to tell you, Mr. Mayor, but "I have drank alcohol in excess" is not proper verb construction.)
And then the answer dawned: Tory Rob Ford was elected after years of Liberal governance by focusing on budget issues and saying contrary stuff like, "We just need to get rid of these lifelong politicians that [sic] just give out money to special interest groups and don't serve the community." Remind you of anybody? It's a consolation that we who live south of the 49th parallel are not the only ones suffering from right-wing characters who embarrass us.
And then we wondered: Why are guys like this always Conservatives? Is there something in the Tory/Republican playbook that demands immature, over-the-top behavior?
Again, the answer was easy — at least, as far as the Canadians are concerned. Rob Ford exists to make Peter MacKay look smart, and Stephen Harper look svelte. We're not sure, though, that we can explain Ted Cruz, Steve King, Raul Labrador, Joe Wilson, Michele Bachmann, Louis Gohmert, Rand Paul and Sarah Palin.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
One thing that we lefties don't do as well as the goons on the right — and that we cats wish we were better at — is beat the drums relentlessly for stuff we believe in. Why is that? It must be because as clear-thinking, rational individuals, we're certain that the truth, or reasonableness, will win out in the end.
Don't bet on it! With the teabaggers on the scene, truth and reasonableness go right out the window. The teabags scream about people not being able to enroll in a program they want to kill, and care less about the 3,000 victims of a September 11 that took place when the Bush-Cheneys were in charge than they do about the four victims of a September 11 presided over by Barack Obama.
So we liberals and Democrats should all be out there pushing back, and pushing hard. On the ACA enrollment problems, for example, we should be boldly saying, big woo. More than 100,000 people are getting health coverage they couldn't have gotten before — and there will be more. And the folks who will need to get different coverage than what they've got now will get better, cheaper coverage. (And oh yes, in the words of Bill Clinton, the website will get fixed.)
On the Benghazi thing, why is FOX "News" completely ignoring CBS's retraction of their "60 Minutes" report? We should not only be howling about that (Media Matters can't do it all by themselves), we should be telling the managers of every restaurant, bar or health club with FOX on its TV to change the channel or else.
Happily, all is not quite lost in the pushback wars. After nearly three years of Republican assaults on abortion rights in the states, Democrats in Congress are finally stepping up with the Women's Health Protection Act of 2013. And (sigh, wring hands) it's going to be a heavy lift in the House. Who cares? Put those Republicans on the spot — make them take a stand (or basically declare their hostility to women by not even bringing it up for a vote).
Good things happen when we do stuff like that. Which makes us cats PURR.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
We cats loathe the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, but until now have never wasted any blog space on him. Why? Well, because the Post has fallen so far in our estimation that it seems redundant to criticize its super-lame editorial page now. Also, other bloggers do such a good job of slamming him that we couldn't possibly have anything better to add.
But now he's taken the cake, and we really must say something.
Why, you ask? Is it because Cohen made the disgusting statement that "people with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children"? Indeed not — although it was frightfully behind the times. And of course there's absolutely no reason to tip one's hat in the direction of "conventional views" if those views are decidedly bigoted.
No, we cats have a problem with Cohen's subsequent declaration that "Today's GOP is not racist."
Puh-leeze. Ask any person of color — or any clear-thinking white person, for that matter — and you will get a different take.
To Richard Cohen — and to all other clueless, overpaid, undeserving blowhards in the media punditworld — we cats simply quote Congressman Alan Grayson's devastating recent indictment of the Republican Party's base:
"Tea Party members have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys. Tea Party members also called my fellow Member of Congress, civil rights hero John Lewis, a ‘n***ger,’ and Representative Barney Frank a ‘faggot.’ One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation. If the shoe fits, wear it."
Monday, November 11, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
We cats were privileged to have once known a member of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, those trailblazing "fly girls" who served their country loyally in World War II, but who didn't get official recognition (or military benefits) until 1977.
Now, it's time for the WASPs to get a float in the Rose Bowl Parade.
The Tuskeegee Airmen were honored with a float back in 2009 — and today, all of us who ever loved and admired a WASP are hoping that the 2014 parade will celebrate our favorite female pilots, too.
Wingtip to Wingtip has been working hard to fund the project all year, but to make their goal, they have to raise the last $30,000 right now. So we cats have not only kicked in a few cans of tuna but are making it easy for you to give, too: Click here to give whatever you can afford.
Let's roll up our sleeves and build a float! We cats PURR.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Here's the difference between Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe and a Governor-elect Ken Cuccinelli: Governor-elect McAuliffe spent yesterday calling Republican state legislators to forge common ground. A Governor-elect Cuccinelli would probably have been in Iowa.
Heck, the Cootch hasn't even called Governor-elect McAuliffe to concede. Kinda like that teabag loser in Alabama. Guess that when the voters go against God's will, ultra-right wingers think they don't have to be gracious.
Which is another little-noticed reason that Cootchy would have made a terrible governor, even with that solid-red crowd down in Richmond. He is righteous, judgmental, pinched and peevish — unwilling and unable to extend a hand instead of a fist to the less-than-true-believers he'd need to govern. And he'd drive the nonideological business community away from the tech corridor and other booming areas of the Virginia economy.
Terry, on the other hand, has that oft-repeated-by-lazy-pundits reputation as a gladhander. You know what? Considering how divided the Old Dominion is, perhaps that's just the kind of ebullient, enthusiastic guy we need. Maybe they'll even call it "The McAuliffe Treatment." We cats wish him well, and we PURR.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
"I can assure you that we love our country, not for what it was, though it has always been great — not for what it is, though of this we are deeply proud — but for what it someday can, and, through the efforts of us all, someday will be."