Saturday, June 29, 2013
The right wing is beside itself, and the rest of us couldn't care less. These weddings in San Francisco are just fabulous. And although this little guy is a dog and not a cat, how can we not approve of a pet named "Punum"?
UPDATE: Justice Kennedy has denied a desperate last appeal from Prop 8 supporters to overrule the 9th Circuit Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages to proceed in California. How unfortunate for the haters that it's Kennedy and not, say, Scalia who handles appeals from Western-state losing parties. So, ha, and double-ha. It's a mystery to us why anyone would want to put a stop to such happiness. (See above.)
We cats have been on the road the last few days and dashing about here and there, so we're just now catching up on some of the juiciest tidbits in the news. Here are a few thoughts.
So Baby Marco Rubio couldn't get any of his fellow Senate teabaggers to vote with him on the immigration bill: No Chambliss. No Isakson. No Paul. No Fischer, no Johanns, no Heller, no Coburn, no Inhofe. No Toomey, no Scott. No Cruz, no Lee. Et cetera. Meanwhile, all the Democrats and Independents voted a resounding "yes." Somebody has their act together for 2016, and somebody else doesn't. Plus we cats would love to ask RNC Chair Rancid Pieface how that "reboot" is going.
Speaking of which, how quickly did we hack up a hairball when we heard Phyllis Schlafly declare that the GOP should just stop trying to appeal to Latinos because they don't understand democracy and have too many babies? Our first thought was that she must have been doing a riff on Jeb! Bush's "fertile" remarks. Our second thought was, wait — what? Phyllis Schlafly isn't dead?
We are still trying to figure out what Rick Perry was talking about when he said Wendy Davis "hasn't learned from her own example." First, really stupid of Rick for attacking her, but of course that's Rick Perry we're talking about, isn't it? And PURRS to Wendy for shooting right back with an inconvenient truth: As a young single mom trying to make it in the world, she relied on Planned Parenthood for healthcare.
The Supreme Court's support of marriage equality is a tremendous vindication of Joe Biden, who got the ball rolling in a big way last year and who, as usual, has been underestimated by the media and the punditheads.
Finally, Ray LaHood is ending his tenure at the Department of Transportation, and he had a few biting comments about his fellow Republicans on his way out. "I hope I can be a part of finding ways to getting back to the idea that our party can be relevant," he said, after trashing the House GOP. "We’re not relevant right now nationally.” We couldn't agree more, Mr. Secretary. We couldn't agree more.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Goodness gracious, what a day it's been. We cats are about to hit the road for a marriage-equality country, only to find that our own country might be on a path to marriage equality itself. Gloryoski!
As depressing as yesterday's Supreme Court news was, today's was swell. There's so much to say about the Court's twin decisions on gay rights that we cats are on sensory overload. But one theme keeps knocking around in our furry little heads: economics.
Yep, the death of DOMA will probably help lower the federal deficit — as the Congressional Budget Office estimated, about $400 million a year in extra tax revenue. So, yes, we know Republicans hate taxes, but we also thought they believed in better-balanced books. Whoops!
But here's the other thing: The Republicans are waging such vicious war on people who don't look or think like them, that they're splitting the country into states where you can 1) get an abortion and contraceptives, 2) marry the person you love, 3) stay safe from gun violence, 4) buy healthcare coverage, 5) rely on a social safety net, and 6) send your kids to schools that teach science, not fiction — and states where you can't.
Which can have huge economic repercussions. In today's highly competitive jobs environment, when too many companies and corporations are chasing too few talented workers — especially young ones — why would any sane businessperson move his or her operation to, say, South Dakota, Kansas, or even our own state, Virginia?
We cats have to laugh when we think of Rick Perry trying to lure businesses to Texas. What CEO wants to break it to employees that they're moving somewhere they have no rights?
Somebody said something once about a house divided against itself. But in the end, we believe the favorable economics of marriage equality will win the day. We cats PURR.
P.S. We also love the fact that Democrats are excoriating the GOP for wasting millions of dollars on defending DOMA. Republicans are such irresponsible spendthrifts!
P.P.S. This gets Bill Clinton off the hook. Bet he's glad.
Another big day at the Supreme Court today. But before the news cycle explodes into total gayness, let us take a moment to salute what happened last night in Austin.
Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster of the Republicans' draconian Texas abortion bill — which, thanks to Ken Cuccinelli, we essentially have here in Virginia, no doubt making Rick Perry very jealous — was shut down 30 minutes to the bill's midnight deadline. Why? Because she "violated" three filibuster "rules" set by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst — who clearly was a member of the Spanish Inquisition in a previous life and who, by the way, was the "reasonable" alternative to Ted Cruz in last year's Senate race. (Brrrr!)
Nevertheless, the bill is dead — because 400 supporters of reproductive rights up in the gallery hit the ceiling, and screamed so loudly for 15 minutes that they disrupted the vote. Stories conflict as to whether the vote was taken before or after midnight, but the computer said after. Dewhurst, caught in a vise that he would have loved back in his Inquisition days, simply said, "With all the ruckus and noise going on, I couldn't sign the bill." (What?) He swore he didn't lose control of the proceedings, blaming the "angry mob" upstairs. And hinted the Republicans would try again.
We don't care. All we know is that this is just another very bad development for Rancid Pieface's reboot of his sorry party brand. And clearly, the Republicans in charge of last night's GOP disaster in Austin were the same team of skilled professionals who ran Rick Perry's 2012 Presidential campaign. So we cats PURR.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Ugh. The Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in one of those maddening 5-4 votes.
Like all progressively minded Americans, we cats were braced for this. We're not happy, but we can't help seeing a few political silver linings in this very dark cloud. Here's why.
Had the Court upheld the entire Act, we could have all said "amen" and moved on. Instead, by kicking Section 4 over to Congress to fix, the Court has ensured that the whole question of minority voting rights (and Republican efforts to squash them) is thrown back into the roiling maw of our combative national discourse.
Said another way: Now, the Republicans are going to have to defend their fears and loathings in a very, very public discussion.
The Court's decision also will prove that Republicans and pundits who swear that minorities won't vote if Barack Obama's not on the ballot have their heads up their you-know-whats. As communities in Florida and elsewhere showed last year, when you try to restrict the votes of people of color, they get mad — and turn out in droves instead.
Finally, it bears noting that the Court scrubbed Section 4 just two months before the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. We're not sure how well that timing works for the haters. But we cats are booking our space on the Mall right now.
So — thanks for nothing, SCOTUS. On the other hand, here are five words to make mainstream Republicans everywhere cringe: "Let the national conversation begin!"
Monday, June 24, 2013
So here we liberals are, left wondering if we should defend Edward Snowden as the new Daniel Ellsberg — so that we won't be hypocrites and say that spying is okay when Barack Obama does it.
We cats actually fall into neither category — first, because we need to have explained to us exactly how some American's individual privacy has been violated. And second, because we know from experience that stuff from one Administration can bleed over into another. Which is not to give Barack a pass if he doesn't deserve one, mind you — but programs, once instituted, tend to be difficult to dislodge. Just ask the Republicans who hate Social Security.
Back to Snowden, though: Our reaction is also tempered by the fact that gosh — we really don't care for the people who are in his corner. They are so unappealing. Julian Assange, ugh. Glenn Greenwald — well, suffice to say that Billy Joel's lyric about the "angry young man" being "boring as hell" definitely applies.
We're also not impressed by Snowden's hopscotching around the world and accepting the alleged hospitality of China and Russia and heaven knows who else. First, it reminds us of the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, scampering around the U.S. like a scared rabbit on 9/11. Second, we are reminded that when Daniel Ellsberg handed over the Pentagon Papers, he never left the country — he stayed and faced the music.
But our distaste for Snowden is based in one other inescapable fact: This is what you get when you let Republicans who hate government outsource it to private contractors. Edward Snowden — the $125,000-a-year high-school dropout with access to national security secrets — would not have existed before Reagan and the two Bushes. Because Republican Presidents before them actually believed in government, not in making big businesses rich at the public trough.
Oh, and one more thing, not nearly as important: We are sick of the twentysomething stubble. In the words of Burt Lancaster's character in Local Hero, one of our favorite films:
"MacIntyre: Get yourself a shave."
We cats are famous for throwing up. Which is a good thing, because this story in POLITICO really made us want to hack up a hairball. Ralph Nader never fails to give us a not-so-pleasant jaunt down Memory Lane.
Which reminds us: Back during the 2008 primaries and caucuses, it was pretty clear to us Hillary Clinton supporters that many on the Democratic Party's left wing were not enamored of her. But when Barack Obama secured the nomination, being good Democrats, we instantly turned on a dime and endorsed him because A) he was a really good guy, and B) the alternative was unthinkable.
In that spirit, we ask any Obama supporters who may be rolling their eyes at the idea of Hillary Clinton in 2016 to click on the link and consider Ralph Nader's current "plan."
Goodness gracious. After Nader threw the 2000 election to the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived — and after all the crap that the nation has endured thanks to that godforsaken administration (9/11, Iraq, Katrina, Samuel Alito, the economic meltdown, Jeff Gannon ) —we'd hope that any potential Hillary '16 Dislikers on the Democratic side would want to avoid a repeat of Bush v. Gore and get on board.
In the meantime, we can only hope that Ralph, not being a spring chicken, checks out between now and then. How sad that when that actually happens to the man who brought General Motors to heel, we cats will not miss him.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Tuesday is the special election in Massachusetts for John Kerry's former Senate seat, and Republican Scott Gomez is "barnstorming" the Bay State looking for independent voters.
Except — whoops. Scott Gomez said that on FOX "News." We cats want to know: Why would you go on the RNC's approved cable network on the Sunday before Election Day if you're trying to reach independents? They don't watch FOX. So Gomez is using a media strategy that's more effective for a primary than a general election. Hm.
Here's the other thing we object to. "These polls move up and down and all over the place," Gomez bravely blustered today.
Um, no, they haven't, sir. If you look at the RealClearPolitics average, in fact, they've been pretty consistent — showing Democrat Ed Markey around 12 points ahead. (Oh, there was one outlier. But it was a Republican poll, of course.)
The GOP needs more than just the base to win in Massachusetts. And although we cats never believe in counting chickens, from what we're seeing so far, it looks like the odds of Gomez giving a concession speech on Tuesday are pretty much signed, SEALed and delivered. Stay tuned.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Goodness gracious. The Republicans' greedy attempt to decimate SNAP — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps — sank yesterday's farm bill, and the story appears to have significant legs. Its moral? If you're gonna be in charge of the House of Representatives, you have to know how to count. Nancy Pelosi is right: The House GOP is truly "amateur hour."
But this is more than just the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of The GOP Screws Up. We cats have not been able to get Lyndon Johnson out of our heads all day. Yes, we know he was Master of the Senate, not the House. But in LBJ's time, the shenanigans we're seeing in on Capitol Hill today were not only not tolerated — they were unheard of. And you know what? Back then, stuff got done.
Think about it: Five — five — House committee chairs voted against Speaker Bonehead and his "leadership" team yesterday. Heck, even under Newt Gingrich, those five guys would be ex-House committee chairs. And if Johnson and his fellow Texan Sam Rayburn were still running things, they'd be dead committee chairs.
Once again, we're left wondering when America will realize that people who hate government cannot govern. In refusing to compromise on their hard-right ideological purity — in refusing to work with a President they hate — in refusing to even allow earmarks (which, sure, could be smarmy but which also can bring a lot of members along on needed legislation) — they have neutered themselves, not just politically but legislatively.
We don't yet know what will make the dam in Washington break. But we think the punditheads' conviction that the Republicans have a lock on the House until the next reapportionment will be proven way, way wrong. Which would make us cats PURR.
(IMAGE: LBJ expresses affection for Sam Rayburn. Perhaps if Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy kissed each other more often, they'd deliver more results for the American people? Our phones are open!)
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Wow, Republicans have so turned into the We Hate Everybody Party that they can't even pass a freaking farm bill.
House GOP "leaders" (a.k.a., Bonehead, Clueless and McIdiot) thought they had the votes for farm legislation that used to be a no-brainer and that a major Republican constituency wants. But the bill went down to defeat today because the teabagger caucus just insisted on adding a food-stamp gouge.
Yep, Republicans really hate hungry people. Or poor people. Or that "47 percent" that Willard Mitt Romney was yammering about last year.
We cats hate to break it to the Grand Old Party, but sooner or later they're going to have get over their contempt for folks who aren't like them and try to govern. Otherwise, even their natural allies — ag companies today, or big and small businesses who want immigration reform tomorrow — are going to abandon them.
Which will make us cats PURR.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
With the exception of Abraham Lincoln, there may be no more commanding a 19th-century American figure than Frederick Douglass, who just today was granted a presence in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.
As with so many issues related to African Americans, this one was fraught with delay and dissention and, frankly, silliness. Why should Douglass have been honored with a statue so long after Confederate heroes such as Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee? In contemporary terms, Davis and Lee were rebels and traitors; Douglass, despite his slave past, remained a loyal American. We cats say, fie on that.
But true to today's partisan atmosphere, even something as non-controversial as a statue dedication became enmeshed in discussions of D.C. voting rights, which we cats don't doubt Douglass would have wholeheartedly supported. Why this is even an issue today is beyond our comprehension — but for the fact that the GOP doesn't want to give black Americans additional power at the ballot box. (Oh, yeah, there's that.)
If Frederick Douglass were transported by a time machine to 2013, we cats are sure he would not recognize today's Republican Party. So it's appropriate to quote Douglass after an 1865 visit to the White House:
"I could not have been more than 10 feet from him when Mr. Lincoln saw me; his countenance lighted up, and he said in a voice which was heard all around, 'Here comes my friend Douglass.' As I approached him he reached out his hand, gave me a cordial shake, and said, 'Douglass, I saw you in the crowd today listening to my inaugural address. There is no man's opinion I value more than yours; what do you think of it?' I said, 'Mr. Lincoln, it was a sacred effort.'"
Somehow, we cats think that today's Republicans would define "a sacred effort" very, very differently. Which is why, among other reasons, that they're an endangered species.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
First, we cats want to know why Trent Franks has such a strange face. It looks unfinished. Did somebody throw acid on it? Or was he born prematurely, before it had a chance to fully form? Is that why he's such a Nazi on abortion?
Well, never mind. Franks's face doesn't matter nearly as much as the fact that his entire party, ignoring the electoral disaster that was 2012, is still going full-bore against women's reproductive freedom. The GOP-controlled House has just passed a nationwide abortion ban that would take effect at 20 weeks.
The bill has no chance of either passing the Senate or getting signed by the President, so this is just foolish political posturing. It also comes on the heels of the famous quitter from Alaska emerging from whatever padded cell she's been in and trying to style herself a libertarian, which is a laugh. Note to Republicans: True libertarians are in favor of abortion rights, because they believe (correctly) that whether or not you should reproduce is nobody's business but your own.
It's a mystery why the party of "smaller government" thinks otherwise. But it's also kind of chilling when you realize how captive to the War on Women the Republicans are. Especially when the present Supreme Court could vote 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade.
We cats are way past having Jeb! Bush describe us as "fertile" — and we're fixed to boot. So we're not worried for ourselves. But we're afraid that if cats younger than we are don't wake up and smell the coffee soon, they'll end up being forced to have kittens they don't want.
(IMAGE: See what we mean?)
Sunday, June 16, 2013
We cats think it's hilarious that Governor Rick "Oops" Perry is campaigning hard to get businesses to move to Texas.
Texas has "the best business climate in the world," he avers. And of course if you want to take a gun to work, that's a-okay in the Lone Star State. But not in, say, New York (which is governed by a sane person).
So why is this hilarious? Because Governor Oops just vetoed an equal pay bill that, had he signed it, would have allowed Texas women to sue over wage discrimination.
We ask you, why? Why would American corporations needing to attract young talent agree to move their operations to such backward Republican states?
We'd like to be flies on the wall when GOP Governors like Scott Walker, Pat McCrory and Phil Bryant — just to name a few — pitch businesses to move to Wisconsin, North Carolina and Mississippi. Under Republican control, all three states are lurching back into the 19th century with anti-minority, anti-worker, anti-female, anti-family legislation.
If we cats were captains of industry, we'd take a meeting with Walker-McCrory-Bryant-et-al just so we could tell them to take a hike. Which would make us PURR.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
So Republican Senator Jeff Flake's 15-year-old son tweets hate, which forces Daddy to issue abject apologies and indicate that idiot son also apologizes, and so on, and so forth.
The first thing we cats want to know is, Who names their son "Tanner"? But, anyway.
We've seen a bunch of political writers bending over backward to say, oh, gosh, the children of politicians are usually off-limits, and we're so sorry to be bringing this up, and of course you know this is not Senator Flake's or Mrs. Senator Flake's fault.
We cats respectfully disagree on both points. The little Tanner twit took to what we old fogies used to call the airwaves, and posted his racist and homophobic rants for all the world to see. Therefore, he is what Karl Rove would call fair game. Also, every time we've read about young people straying in life, invariably we're told, "Look no farther than the parents." So there.
But most of all, our heads are spinning at what the reaction would have been had Sasha or Malia Obama tweeted something about obnoxious about whites, straights or Christians. The whackjobs over at Free Republic would be screaming for impeachment and the death penalty. No kidding: The right-wing firestorm would make Colorado's current scourge look like a single lonely candle on a winter's night.
Of course, it would never happen. Because Sasha and Malia are head and shoulders above the little Flake bigot. But we cats HISS nevertheless.
Friday, June 14, 2013
From the Just-When-You-Think-They-Can't-Get-Any-Worse Department — and believe us, there's lots of competition — Jeb Bush takes the prize.
Immigrants are "more fertile," he says.
Goodness gracious. We cats just can't get over the Republicans' preoccupation with private parts and birthing babies. Although that doesn't mean they're in favor of reproductive freedom, mind you. No, they want to control that part your life — so they are obsessed, obsessed, obsessed. Like 10-year-olds looking up dirty words in the dictionary, they can't stop talking about it.
But the interesting thing about this particular running-at-the-Republican-mouth is that it comes from the guy the pundits have dubbed The Serious One. The guy who's going to save the GOP from itself, even though he carries That Dreaded Last Name. Because compared to the nutcases running the party these days, he's allegedly "moderate" and "reasonable" and — oh, yes — he's married to that Mexican customs criminal, and speaks Spanish.
The Serious One! So, this is the best the GOP's got?
We cats don't know whether to PURR or HISS. Either way, Jeb! has got some 'splainin' to do.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
It's clear that the GOP — in thrall to Grover Norquist and blinded to any quest not involving "smaller government, lower taxes" — has not only stymied legislation that would benefit the country and their own sorry party, but over the years has managed to bring governing to a screeching near-halt.
After all, as reasonable people have queried: How can you have a debate about government policy with folks who think government should do nothing at all? Drown it in the bathtub, they say. Any tax — any tax at all — is an insult to freedom.
Well, guess what: It turns out that Republicans don't hate taxes as much as we thought they did. Or at least, let's just say that they don't hate taxes as much as they hate women, gays, African-Americans and mixed-race Presidents.
See, taxes are okay if immigrants pay them.
We cats HISS.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
All the news about the advancement of marriage equality and the GOP's lame efforts to harness 21st century technology has made us cats realize how much the Democratic Party owes to Howard Dean. Let us recap:
The Marriage Movement — Gosh! It was only a little over 10 years ago that then-Governor Dean had to walk around in a bulletproof vest because of his support for civil unions in Vermont. Sounds quaint now, no? That's because a Republican or otherwise less-progressive Governor could have stopped that nascent gay-rights movement in its tracks. But once the state legislature sent him the civil unions bill, Dean signed it without hesitation. What's that line about the rest being history?
Data Dominance — Willard Mitt Romney's pathetic "ORCA" Election Day app just couldn't hold a candle to the Obama campaign's superiority when it came to wielding the Series of Tubes. And we all know, children, that Democratic tech-savviness has its roots in Governor Dean's 2004 campaign — which employed nerdy-but-cool computer geeks and organized through MeetUps and what then passed for social media. Dean for President set the stage, and the Democrats never looked back.
The 50-State Strategy — When Governor Dean chaired the DNC, he famously tussled with now-Hizzoner Rahm Emanuel about the best way to deploy Democratic resources. We're all friends again — but it's clear now that the Dean Doctrine of run everywhere, cede no (or very little) territory has become the Democratic mantra. States like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Virginia have gone from red and pink to purple and blue. Will Texas be next?
We cats could probably come up with more Dean legacies if we put our furry little minds to it. But for now, we'd just like to PURR in the former Governor's direction and declare that his gifts to the Democratic Party are really worth screaming about.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Since we're expecting the Supreme Court to weigh in on marriage equality soon, we cats took note of a very interesting event on Capitol Hill today. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Stuart F. Delery, the Obama Administration's nominee for assistant attorney general, Civil Division, DOJ.
At the start of the hearing, Senator Amy Klobuchar invited Mr. Delery to introduce his family. And Mr. Delery was happy to oblige.
"First is my partner, Richard Gervase," he said. "I wouldn’t be here without the support that he’s given me over the last 20 years." And then he recognized his and Gervase's two sons, Michael and Sebastian.
And — guess what? — nobody batted an eye. (Well, maybe the Freepers will. Give 'em time.)
We cats realize that it's best that such events remain underwhelming — i.e., normal. But we'd just like to point out — especially to the First Lady's recent heckler — that despite unprecedented Republican obstruction to almost everything else he does, President Obama has managed to change this particular tone in Washington.
We cats PURR.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Yes, we cats know that Willard Mitt Romney is yesterday's news. But he keeps popping up on our computer screens. We'd find that annoying, except for the fact that it surely annoys Republicans more.
The latest? Silly Willy is lamenting his infamous "47 percent" remarks, in which he slammed fully half of America to a well-heeled, exclusive crowd of Boca Raton fat cats. "There were a number of times I said things that didn't come out right," he said.
Wait — what? "Didn't come out right"?
Pardon us, Willard, but the firmness of your statements and the conviction in your voice made it clear that you knew exactly what you were saying, and meant every word.
How refreshing it would be if Romney would simply admit that. But instead, ironically, he refuses to take personal responsibility for his behavior. Hey — isn't that what he was accusing the "other half" of America of?
There may be no greater sign of how screwed-up the Republican Party is than this year's election in Virginia for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General.
Let us cats try to summarize it for you.
On the Republican side, the party's extreme right wing continues to call the shots. A motley crew of teabaggers, libertarians and slobbering fans of Ken "I Never Met a Fetus I Didn't Think Had More Rights Than a Woman" Cuccinelli changed state party rules and mandated a nominating convention of activists and insiders — instead of making their candidates run in a primary and be judged by actual voters. Result? Cootchy gets tapped for Guv while a more moderate candidate, current Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, is run out of town.
That same convention also nominated to succeed Bolling a crazy hater named E.W. Jackson, who has compared Planned Parenthood to the KKK and who regularly insults gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Virginians. This guy is so off the wall that even Cuccinelli has been trying to distance himself from him — without much success, we're happy to note.
(Cootchy apparently has no problem with his party's wacko A.G. candidate, who thinks that women who suffer from miscarriages should report themselves to the police.)
And what's happening on the Democratic side?
We have a primary election — in fact, it's this Tuesday. Terry McAuliffe, who we cats have known ever since he was a little baby gubernatorial candidate, is facing the voters so he can, in turn, face Cuccinelli in November. And running for Lt. Governor and Attorney General are four outstanding contenders — so outstanding that we have no clue how we're going to choose among them.
Aneesh Chopra, Ralph Northam, Mark Herring and Justin Fairfax all pledge to return Richmond to sanity, oppose discrimination, reduce gun violence and stop the all-out GOP assault on women's reproductive rights, healthcare and the environment.
How will we cats ever decide among such great candidates — guys who aren't afraid to subject themselves to the voters' best judgments? We might end up having to play Eenie Meenie Miny Moe. But since we don't approve of catching tigers by their toes, it might be Rock-Paper-Scissors.
That last possibility reminds us that one thing is clear: The Virginia Republican Party, captive of its fringe yet needing to appeal to moderate voters, is between a rock and a hard place. (There's that phrase again.) We'll do our best to humiliate them in November.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Isn't it ironic how we've all decided that the PATRIOT Act isn't patriotic any more?
Well, okay: Some prominent Democrats have certainly come out with Cheneyesque statements on the newly revealed NSA anti-terrorism surveillance. But it's pretty amusing to see Republicans like James "Fat Butt" Sensenbrenner and Johnny Isakson suddenly decide that the government doing what their own Congressional legislation authorized is way, way beyond the pale.
(Is that because a Democratic President who's not a "paleface" himself is executing it? We wonder.)
Anyway, it's quite the kerfuffle, and it's made for some interesting political bedfellows. Karl Rove and Dianne Feinstein think it's swell. Rand Paul and liberals are outraged. Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, John McCain and Lindsey Graham say it's routine. And hovering over it all is the ever-choleric, liberal-loser killjoy Glenn Greenwald — to whom, strangely, although he is gay, nothing is fabulous.
We cats can't say we're surprised by Greenwald's "scoop." You can't, in a total post-9/11 panic, pass a massive homeland-security law without reading it and expect everything to be hunky-dory later. Especially after that law has been renewed by Congress twice. But at least now that a veil has been yanked, maybe we can all talk about what we really want.
Despite the President's hoped-for dialogue in that direction, though, we cats aren't optimistic. We recall the days when the execrable Ari Fleischer said we should all watch what we do, and what we say — and was never called to account for it. Heck, now he's making money as a talking head on CNN.
Will America remember stuff like that as we have our national discussion? Hm.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
On a day that President Obama gave a huge, satisfying Presidential "Take that, you knaves" to Senate Republicans by naming Susan Rice his new national security adviser, we cats are musing on the burgeoning use of rudeness in politics.
For example, there's that wacky Code Pink lady who heckled Mr. Obama's speech on terrorism the other day. We thought the President was remarkably patient with her — more so than she deserved — and were impressed that he skillfully wove references to her outburst into the remainder of his text. In fact, we couldn't tell which was improvisation and which was the Teleprompter.
Michelle Obama, on the other hand, readily admits that her husband's talent for handling bizarre people doesn't easily transfer to other members of the First Family — namely, to herself. We cats cringed when we heard that a gay activist interrupted Mrs. Obama during her speech at a fundraiser last night. Ugh. The First Lady came down from the lectern and confronted the woman, who claimed to be "taken aback." Wait — what? You can't take what you dish out? "Taken aback," indeed.
Of course, for four years now, America has witnessed instance after instance of blatant disrespect toward the first African-American residents of the White House — from "You lie!" on down. So it's kind of comforting to know that it can happen to white people, too: Tory brats crashed Justin Trudeau's first policy press conference as Liberal leader in Ottawa today, flashing silly "homemade" signs and bleating mindless Conservative talking points. Like the Republican riot against the recount in Miami-Dade County after Election 2000, we cats have rarely seen anything quite so fake.
Still and all, we're tired of the incivility. With all the communications tools at our disposal these days, there must be better — or, at least, more clever — ways to make ourselves heard.
Dick Tuck, where are you when we need you?
IMAGE: Dick Tuck, running unsuccessfully for a California state senate seat in 1966. Not only did this campaign result in the most memorable concession speech in history ("The people have spoken....the bastards"), but this photo eerily echoes one of Tuck's best pranks on Richard Nixon: Getting Nixon's train to pull out of the station just as he started a whistle-stop speech. Great stuff.
Monday, June 3, 2013
We cats were very sorry to hear today of the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg — not because he didn't live a long, fulfilling life, but because we still fondly remember how he pulled the Democrats' butt out of the fire when Bob Torricelli imploded back in 2002.
But Frank Lautenberg was also a political animal, and we're sure he'd appreciate our instant reaction to his now-open Senate seat: What will Chris Christie do?
The way we cats see it, Christie has two choices, neither very appealing for him. He could appoint a right-winger, which could hurt his re-election effort this fall, and which — assuming that the appointee runs for the seat in his or her own right — probably makes it easier for Cory Booker to win in 2014.
Or does Christie appoint a moderate — assuming there are any such folks left in the Republican Party? If he does, it probably erases any threat to his gubernatorial re-election — but it would really hurt him with the wacky Republican base in 2016.
That's what we call a classic case of the rock and the hard place. And just like Lloyd Bridges in the movie "Airplane" ("Looks like I picked the wrong year to stop drinking/smoking"), maybe Chris Christie picked the wrong year to stop eating.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
This is not a movie blog, but having snuck in to see "Star Trek: Into Darkness" with human viewers whilst in Canada last week, we cats were, naturally, curious.
The film, dedicated to post-9/11 veterans, comments on terrorism, militarism and — we think — the entire neocon Bush-Cheney foreign policy, which was a pack of lies foisted by chickenhawks who could never be bothered to fight wars themselves. So we were interested to see what the right-wing nutjobs over at Free Republic thought about it.
(We've also observed over the years that Freepers are "Star Trek" fans. This has not kept us cats from enjoying "Star Trek" ourselves, mind you.)
Well, ooooh! It didn't take us long to discover that the Freepers don't like this movie at all. Here are the reasons, in a nutshell:
- The franchise has become a "paean to socialism."
- Zachary Quinto is gay.
- Zoe Saldana said she "might end up with a woman" as a life partner.
- "Most of the characters in this latest series look gay. That makes the movie less believable." (Are we detecting a pattern here?)
- Movies are NEVER just “movies," and Hollywood is immoral.
- You libs would have gone military mad if Vulcan had been destroyed, too!
- They're all really angry at Benedict Cumberbatch, although the rest of the world seems to adore him.
- Zachary Quinto is gay. (Did we mention that already?)
Actually, we cats didn't notice that. Guess we'll have to see the film again. Which, by the way, we're happy to do.