Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bob Begs

By Miss Kubelik

As "Transvaginal Bob" McDonnell beseeches Judge James R. Spencer to spare him prison time at his sentencing next week, we cats thought it would be interesting to see how many executions Bob presided over as Virginia Governor.

The answer: five, including the first woman put to death in the Old Dominion in 100 years.

So yes, those five folks were murderers. But since Bob is supposed to be such a devout and thoughtful Christian, we hope that he's been spending a lot of time pondering redemption and compassion, and all the good things that can happen when judgment is tempered with mercy.

But — nah. We know the truth: Bob couldn't care less; he's only worried about his own sorry skin. And fake Jesus groupie that he is, he can't see the irony that he who once condemned others now pleads for clemency for himself.

We cats would HISS if we thought Transvaginal Bob were worth it. Instead, even though we appreciate all the joy he's brought us this year, we'll end 2014 by dumping our dirty litter box over his head.

Bad Company

By Zamboni

We cats were wondering what the statute of limitations was on speaking before white supremacist groups: 10 years? From John Boehner's statements on Steve Scalise, that appeared to be the case.

But now that we've found out that former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke's aide — the appropriately named Kenny Knight — gave Scalise $1,000 in 2008, we're scratching our furry heads anew. Since speaking to a bunch of neo-Nazis more than a decade ago is okay, what time frame applies if you get a big contribution from one of them?

We cats can't believe that the Republicans think they're going to ride this out, but maybe they will. And perhaps they think that being in the same room with people like David Duke and Kenny Knight is acceptable.

We have news for them: It's not. Ever. Breathing the same air as haters and Nazis is completely and utterly disqualifying. Just ask the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. We cats HISS.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Now We Know What It Takes To Stop A Bad Mother With A Gun.

By Baxter

It must warm the cockles of Wayne LaPierre's heart to know that a two-year-old in Idaho exercised his Second Amendment rights today.

Okay, so the kid shot and killed his mother in a Walmart, but still.

We were trying to figure out how Wayne and the gang down at the NRA were going to spin this one. But we must admit, it didn't take long:

If this mom didn't have a loaded, concealed gun, liberals would try to kidnap her and force her to have abortions or marry a person color, because goodness knows liberals love minorities and they hate unborn babies. Plus, liberals love government, and the government could come after her and take her gun at any time. So it was a good thing that she had a loaded, dangerous weapon with her while she was out in public, shopping with her multiple children.

(Hm, somehow that didn't come out right...)

If we cats could wipe the Second Amendment right out of the Constitution, we would. But since we can't, more young mothers will get wiped out themselves. By toddlers. God bless America, everybody.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Sound Of Silence

By Sniffles

Ya know, if John Boehner kicked every extremist out of his caucus tonight, Nancy Pelosi would be Speaker again.

We cats say this with scratchy tongue in furry cheek, because we know what's going to happen with the whole Steve Scalise situation: A flurry of attention, a fading into the background, and Republican silence. Which the media will let them get away with.

We are so sick of it all. If a Democrat spoke to, say, a prominent Palestinian group, the GOP and their media enablers would be all over it. But a sitting member of the House leadership addresses a bunch of white supremacists, and nobody bats an eye. When is this double standard, not to mention the repulsive behavior in the first place, going to stop?

And since Rancid Pieface and the entire Republican Party are so proud of their successful 2014 Congressional, Senate and gubernatorial candidates, when are all those newly elected Republicans going to declare their outrage about Scalise? Where is Mia Love on this? Ben Carson? Tim Scott? And why can Republicans like Rand Paul get all umbrage-y about accusations of party racism — but stay quiet now?

But let's not stop there. Let's fast-forward to 2016. The question for a candidate like Ben Carson, who thinks the only racists are Democrats, is this: "Dr. Carson, if Steve Scalise offered to endorse you today, would you accept his endorsement?" For that matter, would Jeb "Mr. Moderate" Bush accept a Scalise endorsement? Would Chris Christie? Rand Paul? Rick Perry? Any of the rest of them?

Scalise should be the first question at the opening Republican debate. Of course, no one in the press will ask it. We cats hack up a hairball, and we HISS.

(IMAGE: Steve Scalise, David Duke. Any questions?)

Goodness Gracious, But Political Blogging Should Be Harder Than This

"The only things that have ever mattered to him are God, his family, and his job. He has never cared about money or things."

—Jenine McDonnell Zubowsky, pleading for leniency for her father, convicted felon "Transvaginal Bob" McDonnell

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Keen Observer

This stunning portrait of Orson Welles was taken in 1951 by the Observer's longtime photographer Jane Bown, who died on December 21 at the age of 89. Sometimes, when you want a job really well-done, give it to a woman.

For more on Jane Bown's body of work, click here.

Deserved Defeat

By Miss Kubelik

Aside from "Transvaginal Bob" McDonnell and advances in marriage equality, the other feel-good story of 2014 for us cats was the Washington football team — whose controversy off the field was matched only by its travails on it.

Today's squish of Washington by the Dallas Cowboys was preceded by a manifestation outside FedEx Field, where demonstrators on the right side of history marched and argued with fans. ("Fans"? Washington still has them? Considering how badly they've been playing and how fair-weather and uninformed DC's sportshounds generally are, we cats wonder.)

Until Washington and its execrable owner change the team's disgusting name, we cats are thrilled at their misfortune. Our only regret is that today was the last chance for demonstrations at the stadium, since the [CENSORED]s' season is over. We cats HISS and PURR.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cat Fight! McDonnell vs. McDonnell

By Zamboni

Ooohhhh, please, Judge Spencer, don't haul my fine, upstanding Christian father off to the hoosegow! So pleads Jenine McDonnell Zubowsky in a letter that — while claiming that Transvaginal Bob McDonnell's corruption-trial defense did not throw Mom Maureen under the bus — goes on to throw Mom Maureen under the bus.

"My mom," writes Jenine, "has always been concerned about getting discounts or freebees. She hid her coordination with people for free or discounted things or services and she didn’t communicate with my dad because she knew he would not approve."

Yeah, right: That's why Transvaginal Bob drove the Ferrari, accepted the loans, wore the Rolex, took the vacations, and allowed someone else to pay for his other daughter's wedding. And then, of course, pushed Anatabloc in return. And furthermore, if Bob is so innocent, why was the one conviction that Judge Spencer dropped Maureen's?

Well, never mind. We cats just love the McDonnells. They never, but never fail to make us grin. They are squeezing, wrenching, grasping, clutching, corrupt and covetous Republican hypocrites. (And drunks, too.) After making life miserable for Virginia women who were merely trying to exercise their Constitutional reproductive rights, Transvaginal Bob and his sorry clan are now miserable themselves. We cats PURR and PURR and PURR.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Key Scene Deleted

By Baxter

We cats are glad that people are going to see "The Interview" today, and that North Korea doesn't have anything to say about that. And we also think it's probably not a very good movie.

But no matter. Nothing worse has happened than folks spending money on a subpar film. Which doesn't surprise us — yet in all the coverage of the "Interview" controversy, we cats kept listening for one word that we never heard: Aurora.

We finally had to zip over to The Denver Post to find that movie theaters were skittish about "The Interview" partly because Cinemark in Colorado was hit with nearly two dozen lawsuits after the "Dark Knight" massacre in 2012.

Yes, we cats think that Americans should be able to see even lousy films without North Korean dictators weighing in. But it would have been a lot more honest of our national media if they had reminded us all that Americans have died en masse in movie theaters before. As they have in McDonalds restaurants, Sikh temples, shopping malls, high schools and, sadly, elementary schools. We cats HISS.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tidbits And Cat Treats: Eve Of Christmas Eve Edition

By Sniffles

Goodness gracious. We cats are looking at today's headlines and finding a lot to be grateful for (or amused at). Let's review a few as we all get ready for those visions of sugar plums, shall we?

Despite a year and a half of rending garments and gnashing teeth over the so-called IRS "scandal," Darrell Issa and his committee have come up empty. The House Republicans hatehatehate the Internal Revenue Service, but they sure don't seem to have any problem wasting taxpayer money on fruitless witch hunts. When is somebody going to call them out on that?

The economy is booming. This, after Barack Obama inherited the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression. (Of course, Democrats being weenies, we'll never hear them boasting about any of this. That makes us HISS.)

The world has taken note and will long remember what an idiot Rudolph Giuliani is. And people are also starting to realize how stupid toy guns are. They're both only small nuggets of good news — but we cats, who find all these stories about the police wildly depressing, will take what we can get.

In the category of "WTF, Is That Still the Law?", the FDA is finally allowing gay and bisexual men to donate blood again. Jeez. Now, if we can just get that "celibate for one year" restriction removed.

And finally, the Republican gift that never stops giving: "Transvaginal Bob" McDonnell! His lawyers are on their knees begging that Bob be given a zillion hours of community service instead of jail time next month. We cats say, fat chance. But in the unlikely event that Judge Spencer is tempted to agree, we cats have some suggestions for organizations Bob could volunteer at: Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, the Immigration Advocates Network, Gay Men's Health Crisis, the Human Rights Campaign, or the NAACP. We cats PURR.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mayor Bloomberg Was Right

By Miss Kubelik

We've long since entered the (excuse the pun) fat part of the holiday overindulgence season, but we cats have been recently been reminded of Michael Bloomberg's fruitless efforts to ban the sales of 16-ounce sugared sodas in New York.

It's only because one of our humans — scolded by his family physician for his blood sugar levels — decided to give the doctor's advice a try and has cut out virtually all Sprites, Cokes and Mountain Dews.

Result? He's lost seven pounds in six weeks.

Meanwhile, conservatives, Republicans and other idiots (see above) who prefer to rail against the so-called nanny state are just getting less healthy, more haggard, and — if possible — more stupid. We cats PURR.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blame Shame

By Zamboni

So yesterday's assassination of two New York City police officers is Bill de Blasio's and Barack Obama's fault? Unbelievable. Why does nobody blame Rudy Giuliani — who failed to upgrade police and firefighter communications — and the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived — who ignored the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief — for the deaths of 3,000 people on September 11? We cats HISS.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mug Shot

By Baxter

"Transvaginal Bob" McDonnell and his family have been so good to us this year. We really must send them a fruitcake or something.

After a wonderful 2014 packed with McDonnell-related Schadenfreude, they've given us even more. Bratty-faced "Bobby" McDonnell was arrested for drunk driving at 3:25 AM the other day.

This latest adventure, of course, follows on the heels of Bob's and greedy cheerleader wife Maureen's multiple convictions on corruption charges, and twin bro Sean's 2013 arrest for for his own public squiffiness. (Now we understand why Jonnie Williams didn't want the boys behind the wheel of his famous Ferrari. And perhaps "Bobby" can get a cell next to his parents when they get hauled off to the hoosegow next year.)

Clearly this a family with problems. But that fact inspires no sympathy. Instead, it just makes us wonder — again — why Transvaginal Bob felt he could tell his fellow Virginians how to live their lives. We cats HISS (after we PURR).

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Republican Romance With Rome: Is It Over?

By Sniffles

We cats don't understand why American Catholics are supposed to feel so cozy and warm in the Republican Party's embrace. Is it all about abortion? Reproductive freedom? Nah — lots of Catholics use contraception, support sex education, and think abortion is a decision for a woman and her doctor.

So what gives? Because these days, the church and the GOP are hardly a match made in heaven. Consider, for example, the following:

John Paul II begged the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived not to invade Iraq in 2003."War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations," he said. We all know what Bush's answer to that was.

Pope Francis has urged tolerance for gays. The GOP, apparently bent on winnowing itself out of existence, disagrees.

Frankie also has scolded anti-immigrant haters. The Republican Party harbors people like this guy.

And now, Frankie has helped broker the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba — leaving Republican critics like Baby Marco Rubio sputtering when asked about his role.

No doubt about it: The GOP and the Holy See sure don't see (eye-to-eye, that is). We cats PURR.

(PHOTO: Frankie and Barack. "Ave Maria / Gee, it's good to see ya.")

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Return To Normalcy (Or, At Least, To Havana)

By Miss Kubelik

Just when we cats were wondering if politics were ever going to be fun anymore, Barack Obama and Pope Francis (and yes, apparently Stephen Harper) have just thrown a huge monkey wrench into the Republican Party's run-up to 2016.

Sure, everybody's talking about the usual suspects, like "Jeb!" Bush and Baby Marco Rubio and "Ted" Cruz and how mad they are. Which is amusing enough in itself. But we cats are thinking beyond those three jackasses. Specifically, we're thinking Farm Belt.

See, lots of American farmers have been itching to do business with Cuba for simply ages. The folks at Bob Dole's favorite company, Archer Daniels Midland, must have been turning cartwheels at today's news. And it'll be real interesting to see how right-wing freshman Senators like Joni Ernst and Mike Rounds react — since their home-state farmers are champing at the bit so hard, they've probably already bitten through it.

But even more delicious is the thought of Presidential wannabes like — oh, let's say, John Thune, jetting down from the wheat fields of South Dakota to raise big bucks in — oh, let's say Florida. What's Thune and the rest of the guys in the Republican clown car going to say to all the angry exiles whose money they'll want so bad? "Gee, you're right — my constituents' business interests should definitely take a back seat to your 54-year-old grudge against Fidel"?

In short, fun! We cats see a lot of Republicans twisting themselves into pretzels over Cuba for the next two years. In the meantime, we're thrilled and hopeful that normalizing relations with the island will mean we'll never have to go through something like this again. That would truly make us PURR.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gingrich Gas

By Zamboni

We cats have been worried. We thought we were the only ones who remembered Newt Gingrich screaming back during the 2012 Republican debates that Americans should be paying $2.50 a gallon for gas. And that only he could make that happen.

Well, thank goodness for the Interwebs. Because we found that not only was Newtie blathering about $2.50 gas during the debates — he wrote a whole book about it!

We love this, mainly because we stopped at our local station to fill up yesterday. What did we pay for our gas? $2.49 a gallon. (You may have noticed who's President. Hint: It's not Newt Gingrich.)

We cats are waiting for some intrepid journalist to track Gingrich down and ask him about this. In the meantime, we PURR.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Finally, A Doctor In The House

By Baxter

It is truly disgusting that thanks to the NRA, nearly all the Republican Senate, and (sigh) a few Democrats, the United States of America was without a Surgeon General for more than a year — even when Ebola first reached American shores (and everyone hit the panic button).

Well, no longer. Today Harry Reid, our favorite wily Mormon, put his deep knowledge of Senate rules to good use and pulled off a 51-43 confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy. Take that, Wayne LaPierre.

You might wonder why in the world the NRA would care who the Surgeon General is. Here's why: Dr. Murthy had the effrontery, after the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, to tweet in favor of gun control (see above). Yep — we cats would say that six-year-olds dying about 70 years before their time is a public health concern.

What truly saddens us are the three Democratic "no" votes today: Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, and, ugh, Joe Manchin. Say it ain't so, Joe! We cats had hope for him after Newtown. Now, we're wondering.

Well, no matter: We'll take the vote. And while we're still convinced that LaPierre and his legion of tiny-brained gunsuckers would be hounded off the face of the earth if police photos from Sandy Hook ever saw the light of day, we're just glad that the NRA took it on the chin and that America has a Surgeon General again.

Now... how about that other new General we need? The one whose title starts with "Attorney"? Harry, the ball's in your court. That would make us cats PURR.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vitter Quits Call Girls, "Screws" Senate Staffers Instead

By Sniffles

David Vitter — the Louisiana Senator who, thanks to his fondness for D.C. prostitutes, could probably use a health checkup himself — has decided that it's worth messing with Republican Senate staffers' medical coverage to make a point.

At Vitter's urging, the Republican Senate Conference has voted to drive more of their Hill employees off the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and onto insurance exchanges through the Affordable Care Act. "Washington should have to live under Obamacare until we repeal it," Vitter growled. (Meanwhile, as far as we can tell, Senators are keeping their own cozy coverage under FEHBP.)

Irony check: According to the Congressional Management Foundation, many Congressional employees who have already signed up for Obamacare are loving their lower premiums. They just don't like "being kicked around like a political football," said the Foundation's president.

We'll be blunt: We cats couldn't really care less about GOP Senate staffers. But we continue to be appalled that Republican jackasses like Vitter are willing to toy with people's lives because of their blind, tiresome hatred of Barack Obama. So we HISS.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Birds (And Other Critters) Of Paradise

By Miss Kubelik

We cats are not big fans of the Catholic Church, but boy, we sure are intrigued by this Pope Frankie guy. He's quickly turned into the only pontiff we'd want to have a beer with.

The latest reason, naturally, is his assertion that animals go to heaven.

Okay, let's qualify this. Francis said, "Paradise is open to all God's creatures," and he said it in response to a little boy whose dog had died. But you know — you start with dogs, so you must mean cats; how could you not? And then there are all those animals that humans eat, like cows and pigs and fish and what-not — and well, you go far enough and all hell breaks loose. But believe us, heaven would be a more fun place if we were there.

Like Frankie's other pronouncements on gay people and unmarried moms and all the other fallen folks that Catholic conservatives hate (calling Pat Buchanan!), this is driving certain quarters crazy. We cats like that. After the retrograde John Paul II and the Nazi Benedict, Frankie is a breath of truly fresh air.

At 77, Francis is no spring chicken. He figures he doesn't have a lot of time on the throne, so he's being bold and making his mark. Or at least, he understands the breadth of his power and is completely willing to make the conservatives mad. We cats wish that our own President had as much moxie.

The icing on the cake? Rick Santorum surely thinks Pope Francis is a dangerous nut. He's probably plotting with the cardinals right now to get rid of him. Will we hear a lot of criticism of Frankie on the Santorum campaign trail? We cats PURR at the thought.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Voter Suppression, Canadian Style

By Zamboni

We cats have frequently averred that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has, for years, taken multiple pages from the Karl Rove book of Screw Your Enemies. In fact, we've always suspected that Harper has a direct-dial line from his offices on Parliament Hill to Rove, to the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, and to all the repulsive reprobates of the Cheney-Bush Administration.

But now we know he does. What more proof do you need than the "Citizen Voting Act" — which would force Canadians living overseas to vote absentee solely in the riding (district) they last lived in, no matter how long ago that was, and which requires new levels of ID to "prove who they are, where they live"?

Gee, sound familiar? From allowing his fellow countrymen living abroad to simply prove that they are Canadian, Harper and his Tories have decided to put them through hoops that only an American of color, intending to vote for Barack Obama, would have to jump through.

This is a Tory attack on Canadians on active military duty. And on career diplomats and Canadians in the foreign service. And on those who choose to work for an NGO like the Red Cross. In fact, it's an affront to uber-patriot Don Cherry, who like all right wingers champions the Canadian armed forces every chance he gets.

Will Mulcair and Trudeau call Harper on this? That would make us PURR. In the meantime, Canadian Conservative (and American conservative) attacks on voting rights continue to be attacks on the essence of democracy. Which make us HISS.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

We Are Horrible, Redux

We cats never thought this cartoon would ever be recyclable. But then, we hadn't read the Torture Report.

Monday, December 8, 2014


By Baxter

We cats don't know what the Native American word is for glee at another's misfortune, so we'll just use the German expression instead.

This is not a sports blog, but we could not be happier that the Washington football team is doing so badly. It kind of makes you wonder if they're being punished for their racist name that they refuse to change. Or rather, that their execrable owner refuses to change.

Here's a thought. At a time when the nation is roiled by white cops needlessly killing black men and boys — and when athletes are taking the field and the court to express their outrage — Dan Snyder would show some real class if he stepped up and said, "You know what? I don't want to contribute any further to the race issues that are dividing our country. From now on, the R-word is toast."

Of course, he won't. But take it from us: If Washington is struggling under some sort of curse right now, that one small step by Snyder would lift it. And make us PURR.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Udall Unleashed

By Sniffles

Funny how on the very same day that Candy Crowley interviews the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, we cats have run across a most interesting — well, threat from Senator Mark Udall.

Udall — one of a slew of Democrats who got booted from their jobs last month — has said that if the White House and the Senate Intelligence Committee can't come to agreement on releasing the committee's CIA Torture Report, he might just walk onto the Senate floor and read it into the Congressional Record.

If Udall did this, the Worst Person, not to mention the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived If Indeed He Were a Person, would be instantly unmasked as the modern-day Torquemadas they are — something to which America has for more than 10 years turned a "beat it kid, you bother me" blind eye.

We cats are thinking of writing Senator Udall a mash note, urging him to do it. After all, even if the report is released, major portions will be, as they charmlessly say, "redacted." So quite possibly the only way any of us could really find out what our country did to prisoners after September 11 is to have Mark Udall go rogue. (P.S.: He can't be prosecuted for it.)

Udall sure sounds like a man on a mission. "What happened broke faith in the Constitution," he said. "It’s made our challenge much greater when it comes to facing the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. And it is morally repugnant."

The American people, he added, will be "shocked, disgusted and appalled." We cats will just settle for no more Worst Person interviews, thank you very much. We find them shocking, disgusting and appalling. And they make us HISS.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Lest We Furr-get: People With Guns Kill People

By Miss Kubelik

Today is the 25th anniversary of an event you've probably never heard of: the Montreal Massacre. On December 6, 1989, 14 women were killed at the University of Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique by a gun-toting jackass who, you guessed it, then committed suicide.

Yep, it happened in the True North, and it really goes against the Canadian stereotype, doesn't it? But the gunman at the Ecole Polytechnique told his victims that he was "fighting feminism," because women were the source of all his problems, and he was going to do something about it. So he shot them.

For those of us who share citizenship with the likes of Aaron Alexis, James Holmes, Adam Lanza and Wade Page, it's almost comforting to know that other countries can have problems with mass shootings, too. (Don't forget that lovely man in Norway, who killed all those kids at a Workers' Youth League summer camp.)

But at the same time, it's discouraging to realize that even though Canada has no Second Amendment, there's a gun-nut lobby and a Conservative government that's willing to do its bidding. Sadly, Stephen Harper and his Tories continue to take pages from Wayne LaPierre's book — despite the October attack on Parliament and the death of a soldier guarding the War Memorial in Ottawa.

Can Canada wait until next fall's election to get rid of these Harper clowns and bring in a government that will legislate sensibly on gun control? Or will more Canadians have to die before that happens? We cats sincerely hope not. In the meantime, we remember the 14 women who were killed 25 years ago at the Ecole Polytechnique, and we HISS.

Friday, December 5, 2014

GOP Reacting Reasonably On Eric Garner? Don't Hold Your Breath.

By Zamboni

Just when we cats thought humanity could collectively agree that breathing is good, we got a whiff of the right-wing umbrage over Eric Garner's death.

Umbrage, that is, that a man in the process of being murdered would be able to gasp out a last breath.

We cats are not sure what Peter King, who should be stripped of his office and have his head shoved into a dirty litter box, wants Eric Garner to prove. After all, the man died. But we'd like to state for record and for the jackass Republican Congressman from New York that we know from experience (an emergency-room encounter with an endoscope down the throat) that yes, indeed, you can say "I can't breathe" when, truly, you can't.

It's just unbelievable that a sitting member of the House of Representatives would get on TV and say what King did. Scarier still is the fact that with the teabagger takeover of the Republican Party, and the dearth of moderate Republican office holders left in the Northeast and across the country, King is supposed to be one of the "reasonable" voices of the GOP.

God help us. Although we're heartened by the fact that right-wing voices like Charles Krauthammer, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and the guys with the small penises over at The Federalist have all expressed dismay at the Garner decision, the skepticism, scorn and disrespect that King and others have shown the star of the nation's most widely viewed snuff film takes our breath away. So much so that we can barely HISS.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Armed And Definitely Dangerous

By Baxter

Ever get a phone call from a fast-talking guy in a noisy boiler room, asking you to donate to your local sheriff's department? Do you still see yellow-ribbon bumper stickers urging us all to "support the troops"? We cats do. We always instantly hang up, or avert (or roll) our eyes.

Is that blasphemy? Or can we, as Americans who are lucky enough to have never felt menaced by police officers or seen military-style vehicles roll down our streets, come out and say that we have had enough? From sexual assaults in the armed services to the recent string of murders by police of black men and boys, we cats are up to here with so-called figures of authority stepping out of line, and over the line.

This isn't the first time we've felt this way, either. We well remember the ridiculously fevered excitement of 2003, when the US was invading Iraq and we all were supposed to... well, you know. We didn't support the troops then, and we don't now — because it always depends on what the troops are doing. If they're invading an innocent country at the behest of the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, or if they're raping their fellow soldiers, or if they're murdering civilians — we withhold our affection and respect. (Sadly, it has always been thus. We cats recall how, back in the day, My Lai massacre mastermind William Calley had his defenders, too.)

And we sure as heck don't support law enforcement when we see outrageous killings of black citizens by white officers or wannabe cops, who then, of course, get off scot-free. (Even more sadly, this has always been thus as well. It's just that the high-profile cases of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice have reminded those of us who are white just how terrible life is for Americans of color when they encounter police.)

So please excuse us cats while we hack up the world's biggest hairball. We are disgusted and ashamed. Is there a bright side to all this awfulness? Who knows? Maybe the nation's consciousness has been raised, and things will change. Indeed, they must. A country awash in guns must ensure that people who wield authority and its weapons do so with emotional intelligence. And when they're not, justice has to be done. In the meantime, we HISS.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Elizabeth Lauten, Prize Turkey

By Sniffles

Well, Democrats may have gotten wiped out in last month's midterms, but one Republican on Capitol Hill is unexpectedly out of a job. "Elizabeth Lauten," formerly communications director for GOP Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, has resigned her job after posting on Facebook a perversely unprovoked holiday-season attack on Sasha and Malia Obama.

Clearly, this Lauten person thought that after the Republicans' triumph on November 4, there was no line that could not be crossed. After four days of firestorms, she's found out otherwise.

As for us cats, we are pleased to know that Lauten will no longer be drawing a government paycheck. Because, quite frankly, she's an idiot. How is it possible that someone who was supposed to be one of the GOP's bright-light social media mavens doesn't understand how social media work?

Not only did Lauten not anticipate how badly her remarks about the Obama girls would go over, she also plainly didn't have a clue that it could get so out of control. (Welcome to the world.) And this isn't the first time that Lauten's been caught screwing up online. Back in August, she posted on her boss's official Twitter account a personal comment that used a British term for the F word.

Using social media well requires one important trait that Lauten doesn't have: good judgment. But why should we cats complain? To tell you the truth, we're thrilled to know that Republicans are relying on fools like Elizabeth Lauten to navigate the scary world of Facebook, Twitter, and the like. The very thought makes us PURR.

(PHOTO: "Spot at the bar"? What does that even mean?)

Only A Real Princess Can Pull This Off, Part II

By Miss Kubelik

If we cats had to pick one story that delighted us more than any in 2014, it would be the Bob and Maureen McDonnell corruption trial, paws down. It was the gift that never stopped giving — filled with Rolexes and Ferraris and catered weddings and icky loans. And now all the fond memories are simply flooding back, thanks to Judge James Spencer, who has denied the Robert and Maureen McDonnells' request for a new trial (or for an outright acquittal — what a laugh!).

As much as we would have loved to see the spectacle played all over again, it's good that the judge has tossed the request. The McDonnells are singularly silly people, and nothing they do or ask should be treated seriously.

We're a little disappointed, though, that Spencer threw out the obstruction of justice charge against Maureen. In our opinion, she deserves the jail time she'll get next month just for that charge alone. Let's revisit the cheesy letter that she wrote Jonnie Williams to cover her ample ass on the New York shopping spree:

"I truly hope your daughter will now be able to enjoy these lovely outfits...If not, I'm sure there are many exemplary charitable organizations like we talked about who would welcome the opportunity to auction them for a wonderful cause."(As we cats have pointed out before, if Princess Diana were alive today, she'd be spinning in her grave.)

But oh, well. Maureen and her execrable husband will, we hope, receive official notice in a few weeks that they'll be hauled off to the hoosegow, where Maureen will probably make plans to auction off her prison jumpsuit. We cats PURR.

(PHOTO: The Princess of Wales attends the 1997 auction of her royal dresses, which, unlike Maureen McDonnell's sweaty cast-offs, people actually wanted to buy.)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Surprise Inside

By Zamboni

When visiting the True North, it's always good to pop into the local bookstores and see what's filling the shelves. One is Justin Trudeau's new memoir, his get-to-know-me tome that we'll all need to read before he runs for President — oops, Prime Minister — next year. And we have to admit it's shorter and breezier than the giant Clinton doorstop that we recently slogged through.

Maybe that's because Justin spends a lot of time in the book talking about his famous family. There are fewer Trudeaus than, say, Kennedys, but their lives are just as crazy and glamorous. (And yes, sad.) And naturally, he slams the ever-unappealing Stephen Harper and his "we hate everybody who's not like us" Conservative Party at every opportunity. But we cats were pleasantly surprised to come across slaps at right wingers south of the 49th parallel as well.

Here's one: "My father was fond of quoting Thomas Aquinas's admonition hominem unius libri timeo (I fear the man of a single book). I internalized that: Whenever a classmate or friend tried to convince me that the answers to life's big questions or major political issues could be derived from The Communist Manifesto or Atlas Shrugged...I grew wary. [T]he world is too complicated to be stuffed into a single overarching ideology."

Fun! What American would pick up this book expecting a shot at Paul Ryan, Ron and Rand Paul, and the entire staff of The National Review? We cats loved it, and we PURR.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tidbits And Cats Treats: Ingrate Edition

By Baxter

Today is Thanksgiving. Are we thankful for our nine lives, for being Democrats, for being cats? Absolutely. But this Turkey Day, there are definitely some things that we feel no gratitude for. Here are a few.

We cats are not thankful for the farce that took place in Ferguson, Missouri, this week. So many things trouble us about the Michael Brown shooting that we don't know where to start, but this is probably the most eloquent summation we've seen yet.

Meanwhile, the police officer has been waltzing around free as air, milking his moment in the sun and giving interviews to the world. This is repugnant. We cats suggest that he do what he did right after the shooting: Vanish.

We cats are not thankful that former Attorney General Janet Reno recently lost another member of her family.

We cats are not thankful that the only Republican we ever kinda had a crush on got dumped from the Cabinet. And who's going to get confirmed as anything on Capitol Hill these days?

We cats are not thankful that journalists are so easily cowed and never ask what they should and faithfully toe the Republican line on so much stuff (example: "Bobby Jindal is a clever policy wonk"). But if we're going to be fair, we are thankful that every now and then, somebody in the media notices.

And while we're not thankful that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to have stent surgery this week, we're relieved that she's out of the hospital and expected to be back at work on Monday.

So, okay... pass the drumsticks. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

If The Lion Had Lived

By Sniffles

Now that Chuck Schumer has provided us with headlines like this, we cats have to admit to something that, coincidentally, has been on our minds: A "what if?" game with the Affordable Care Act.

We generally don't care for "what ifs." But in this case, with the ACA once again in danger from the right-wing maniacs on the Supreme Court, we were wondering what might have happened if Senator Edward Kennedy had not died on August 25, 2009.

Actually, we have to go back to January of 2008, when Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton for President. Did Obama promise then and there that if elected, he would dedicate his first term to Kennedy's signature issue, healthcare reform? Or did Obama decide to pursue it once it became clear that his friend the Massachusetts Senator was seriously ill?

We'll probably never know — Teddy is gone, and the President's not much of a sharer, is he? But it doesn't matter because the big question right now is how much better off the ACA would be if it had had a living, breathing Edward Kennedy to shepherd it through.

Answer: A lot.

Just picture the long-serving Kennedy holding forth on affordable healthcare on the Senate floor. Buttonholing colleagues in the cloakroom. Working the phones to wavering members late at night. Driving not only himself but his expert staff to fight the battle in the offices, dining rooms, gyms and watering holes of Capitol Hill. Gosh, the bill even might have passed with a few Republican votes!

And most of all, imagine Teddy elbowing John McCain off the Sunday talk shows and championing healthcare reform to the skies. In fact, he'd have been everywhere — on TV, talk radio, the Internet, in town halls, in infomercials, at pro-ACA rallies — not only selling affordable healthcare before, during and after passage, but outshouting all the haters on the right.

It would have been a sight to see. If not for an inoperable tumor in Ted Kennedy's brain, the ACA would be possibly one of the most popular pieces of legislation ever passed. Surely the GOP would be less able to chip away at it with appeals and lawsuits. In short, healthcare reform would be a lot healthier today. Which makes us cats HISS.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Lameness Of Positive Talking

By Miss Kubelik

We cats think that Harold Ickes is a very nice man. But right now we're ready to dump our dirty litter boxes over his head.

Why? Try this on for size: "I would think that Jeb Bush and Rob Portman...would be a strong ticket for [the Republicans in 2016]."

Oh, Harold. Why would you say anything favorable about a hypothetical GOP Presidential ticket? In fact, why do we Democrats do this anyway? We're always ceding philosophical and strategic ground when we don't need to — because, as we pointed out earlier, we're nice. Certainly nicer than Republicans are these days.

Believe us cats: If, say, a Hillary Clinton-Julian Castro ticket were floated to a GOP talking head, that talking head would instantly slam it. He (or, maddeningly, she) would probably start out by insulting Clinton's age and Castro's youth. Never, never would the talking head admit any strengths, like the excitement of electing both a woman and an Hispanic to the nation's two highest offices. And the media, as usual, would dutifully repeat the Republican arguments for hours on end. (And we're not just talking about FOX, folks.)

Harold is also ignoring the fact that the crazy right-wing base of the Republican Party hates Jeb Bush because he let Terri Schiavo die, supports Common Core, and says not-vile things about immigrants. And they hate Rob Portman because he flipped on marriage equality. So the chances of a Bush-Portman ticket are nil. Why even discuss it?

We really must get better at this. No matter how horrible the Republicans get, and how much they doom the long-term prospects of their party, in the short run they still play as hard as ever, and for keeps. Which means no more Mr. Nice Guy, Harold. We cats HISS.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tidbits And Cat Treats: The Two Faces Of The GOP Edition

By Zamboni

Here we are entering a major holiday week, and so much is going on! We cats are taking it easy and catching naps in front of the space heater. But we couldn't pass up the chance to comment on a few items from the headlines:

A Republican-led House committee has issued the umpteenth report on "Benghazi": There's no there there! We just had to check on our right-wing friends over at Free Republic to see how they were handling the news. As always, they were crabby and defiant. Just wait until Trey Gowdy's committee starts investigating! Then the truth will come out!

(Actually, it sounds to us as if the House Intelligence Committee went easier on Benghazi than the State Department itself, which issued 30 recommendations for security and communications improvements, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton implemented before leaving office. So there.)

Meanwhile, on the immigration front, yippee! Republicans have decided that Kansas Secretary of State and all-around hater "Kris Kobach" should be the face of GOP outrage over President Obama's recent executive actions on immigration. We could not be happier. Still, we're wondering why the media aren't stampeding to Rancid Pieface's door, asking whatever the hell happened to the Republicans' post-2012 "Growth and Opportunity" report.

Remember that? Here's what it said: "We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party's appeal will continue to shrink...We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all."

What a bunch of lying hypocrites. Which makes us cats PURR.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

JFK 50 + 1

"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."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lest We Furr-get: Republican Lawlessness

By Baxter

We cats were traveling yesterday and only caught the last few minutes of President Obama's address on immigration. But it wasn't long after that that we switched off the cable news talking heads in disgust.

We were already fed up that they offered no recap — why inform when you can go straight to arguing? But when MSNBC brought on a little twerp from the RNC who started his comments with "I'm not a constitutional lawyer" (when the entire Republican argument is based on constitutionality)... well, let's just say we hacked up the world's biggest hairball.

But back to that GOP talking point. We wondered: If what Obama is doing is illegal and lawless, then wasn't it unconstitutional when:
  • Nixon bombed Laos?
  • Ronald Reagan sold arms to Iran to fund the Contras?
  • Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby outed CIA agent Valerie Plame?
  • The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived invaded Iraq, killed thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, all on a credit card, and all for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist?
We're not equating last night's executive orders with those horrendous Republican acts. We're just saying that as always, the hypocritical GOP is silent on such crimes, but invents others for Presidents they don't like. And to make matters worse, the media give them a pass. All of which makes us HISS.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Disenfranchisement By Robocall

By Sniffles

We cats love any opportunity to use the word "hoosegow," and the Conservative Party up in Canada has just given us another chance. Today a little Tory creep named Michael Sona learned that he'll be hauled off to the you-know-what: He was sentenced to nine months in jail and additional 12 months' probation for election fraud.

Yep, fraud. We cats don't know what else to call it when you robocall Liberal Party voters in the 2011 federal election with false alarms that their polling places had changed. It's perverting the election process and a subversion of citizens' most cherished right. Sona actually deserves the maximum — five years — but we'll take what he got, thank you.

Funny how this sort of thing always seems to happen on the conservative side of the spectrum. As we know, here in the land of E Pluribus Unum voter suppression is a cause celebre of the Republican Party, and robocalling is just one weapon in their arsenal. Proof: A flunky for former GOP Governor Robert Ehrlich's campaign was convicted in 2011 for precisely the same thing (except those robocalls were aimed at predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Maryland's Baltimore and Prince George's counties).

What a coincidence! That direct line between Stephen Harper and Karl Rove was busy, yes? But messing with the vote makes us sick. So we cats hack up a hairball and dump our dirty litter boxes over Michael Sona's head. Enjoy the hoosegow, Mikey!

(IMAGE: What a lovely couple!)

UPDATE: Is it just us, or is Michael Sona a dead ringer for Adam Lanza?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Long Shot

By Miss Kubelik

We cats have written more about Mary Landrieu in the last week than we have in six years of blogging — and probably more than we'll ever write about her again, since Pundit World has followed today's Keystone vote by pronouncing her dead.

That may well be. Nevertheless, we have some last-ditch advice for the beleaguered Senator, since we won't see our earlier cunning plan that could not fail — well, fail.

We respectfully suggest that Landrieu, who now has completely nothing to lose, scorch the campaign trail between now and December 6 with raging, flaming populism. She needs to rag without mercy on Bill Cassidy, Piyush Jindal and all the smug Republicans who continually, mysteriously manage to convince their constituents to vote for them against their best interests.

Why shouldn't she? Louisiana is a mess. It scrapes the barrel bottom in health, education, poverty, employment, growth, you name it. Landrieu should just shamelessly tar the Republicans and their mean, wizened, punish-the-poor-and-gut-government policies for letting it get that way.

In short, go Huey Long on their ass. Go ahead, Mary. If you're heading for the exit, you might as well do it telling the truth with your head held high. (And, of course, with spunk.) We cats PURR.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Everybody (Except Rich Republicans) Should Love Obamacare. Here's Why Everybody Doesn't.

By Zamboni

On Saturday, we cats received a cheerful email from Organizing for Action, announcing that Obamacare was "open for business" again. While we are strong supporters of the ACA, that message made us less than cheerful ourselves.

Why? Because it was our first head's up that a zillion more Americans could get something that the Republicans don't want them to have — health coverage. So we'd like to ask "Team Obamacare": Why weren't you guys shouting "opening soon" from the housetops weeks and months earlier?

We said "housetops." Yes, we know that many OFAers — and maybe even people who need health insurance — spend a lot of time on the FaceThing, in the Twitterverse, and in other parts of cyberspace that we cats are too busy to bother with. But we're talking about a full-bore, mainstream hype-the-hell-out-of-it campaign, with speeches and orientations and town halls and TV spots and ice cream and balloons. Something that most of America simply cannot miss.

We know we've HISSED about Obama's lack of communication before. But we get vexed anew when we see stories like this. (Sure, it's Gallup, and Gallup pretty much sucks. But do we really have to point out that the Republicans will take a poll like this and run with it? "See, nobody likes Obamacare. Repeal!")

There's something eerily Carteresque about this administration's reluctance to brag on its good deeds. We can't get into all of the reasons here. But suffice it to say that once again, Americans don't have a clue about the great things a Democratic White House has done for them. Which makes us very sad. We cats SNIFF.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Just Because

Yes, we know that Obamacare is back open for business, and that the website is working great. But before we write any more about that, here's a picture of something else that we like.

(PHOTO: Nyein Chan Naing/European Pressphoto Agency)

Feeding Frenzy

By Baxter

Chris Christie must be feeling pretty good these days, what with all those Republican governors who got elected on November 4. We cats are sure that he sees a boost to his Presidential hopes for 2016 — never mind that A) Bridgegate has yet to play out, and B) the Republican base hates him.

Many things about Christie bother us. But one is a subject that's rarely talked about, at least not until the GOP primaries heat up: the LAP-BAND procedure he had a year ago February. Team Christie has been quite secretive about it, but if they're serious about a White House run, eventually they're going to have to release some details. (Remember the Presidential candidates' personal health reports from 2008? McCain, an elderly cancer survivor and former POW, issued a monster at 1,200 pages. The athletic, then-47-year-old Obama's was a single sheet.)

Republican primary voters might be interested to know: What were Christie's weight and vitals prior to the surgery? What are his weight and vitals now? Why did he choose the adjustable, least-effective method of the three bariatric procedures currently available? How much will he eventually lose? When will he have the band removed? Will he gain weight back? Has his life expectancy increased? And so on.

Yes, we know Christie gets all pissed off and yells when he's asked questions he doesn't want to answer, but we cats are just looking out for our friends in the other party, don'tcha know.

Meanwhile, because it's traditional for Presidential candidates to sample the primary and caucus states' local delicacies, it should be pretty interesting to see how Christie navigates the various food he'll encounter on the campaign trail. In Iowa, all GOP wannabes are simply required to stop by the Pizza Ranch for chicken, pizza and wings, and the State Fair will have corn dogs and deep-fried Twinkies, Snickers bars and bananas. New Hampshire will bring Polish sausage on a roll, plus flapjacks and maple syrup. And in South Carolina, he'll run into fried catfish, hush puppies and, of course, barbecue.

Well, perhaps Bridgegate will explode between now and the Iowa caucuses, and finish Christie off before the campaign begins. But just the same, we hope he has a plan. Perhaps Michele Bachmann can give him some pointers on taking smaller bites.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

And Speaking Of Mary Landrieu...

By Sniffles

Some of our lefty friends, of whom we're very fond, are upset about Mary Landrieu's push for a Senate vote on the Keystone Pipeline. All that will do, they argue, is enrage the Democratic base — and not benefit Landrieu one bit, since her Republican opponent, also a Keystone supporter, is spearheading the same effort in the House.

We cats thought about this for a little while. And then we came up with what could be a cunning plan that cannot fail.

Congress approves the pipeline. The bill goes to President Obama, who promptly vetoes it. Senator Landrieu runs against President Obama for the rest of the election.

See? It's a total win. Obama takes a hit in a state that hates him anyway, so no skin off his nose. The pipeline dies. And going against her own President, Landrieu gets to remind Louisiana voters that she's got, as we were just saying, spunk.

It could work. Which would make us cats PURR.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


By Miss Kubelik

Pull out the smelling salts again. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, in a tight December runoff with Republican Bill Cassidy, has released an attack ad! Horrors!

Which is our way of saying that the GOP is whining and wailing about how awful Mary Landrieu is. We cats fail to see the problem. After all, her ad only does exactly to Cassidy what Andrew Breitbart did to Shirley Sherrod, and you know what they say about dishing it out and taking it. Besides, what has Landrieu got to lose? The DSCC has abandoned her, and Cassidy, like the other Republicans elected this year, is an idiot.

So we admire Senator Landrieu's spirit. She's got spunk, and unlike Lou Grant, we like spunk. In fact, the White House could use some.

See, when Team Obama — asked on TV about how Obamacare saves lives — fails to tout that storyline and gets all namby-pamby about how they're willing to "work with Republicans" to "fix what's wrong with the law" instead... well, Team Obama might as well just sit back and watch their President's greatest legacy erased.

The Ted Cruzes of the world must rub their hands in evil glee when they hear girly-man capitulation like that. How easy it will be to get rid of Obamacare when its own architects refuse to fight!

We cats are not quibbling with the Administration's accomplishments, of which there are many. We are furious at the lack of communication, which makes us HISS.

So, memo to the White House: The American people would not stand for a single Republican rollback if they understood everything you've done to make their lives better. From now until you pack up your desks in January 2017, show us more Mary Landrieu and less Mary Richards.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tidbits And Cat Treats: Post-Midterm Edition

By Zamboni

It's amazing what a weekend packed with more naps and plates full of tuna will do. It brings some calming perspective. So on this chilly November night, here are some further thoughts on the debacle that was last Tuesday:

Democrats are debating whether to run more anti-Koch ads? What's to debate? Do it. We always thought the wily Mormon Harry Reid was prescient to start putting the Kochs' ugly faces on all that slimy right-wing money. So the message takes awhile to sink in? So what? Somewhere in America, there is a brilliant copywriter who will figure out how to do this.

We cats are always happy to see openly gay Republicans lose. What the heck are they doing in that party in the first place?

Awww, how sweet. The New York Times is trying to cheer us up with this: The Republican establishment may be riding high, but the teabags are furious. We cats think that the losses in Mississippi, Kansas, Kentucky, Georgia and Oregon primaries still fester in Freeper World, and the idea of a (pick one) Bush-Romney-Christie nomination in 2016 enrages them. Cue the fireworks!

Finally, let's take a moment to recognize some Democrats for fighting the good fight in a horrible year: Elizabeth Warren, who went to West Virginia for Natalie Tennant. Gwen and Bob Graham, for proving that Florida's not a total lost cause. Tom Wolf, for crushing the odious Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. Al Franken, who won big this time! Michelle Nunn, for giving a great concession speech. And any Democrats who jumped into races they lost, just to make sure that no damn Republican ran unopposed. We cats PURR.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Virginia Keeps Its Senator With A Chin

By Baxter

Although we cats fear that we haven't seen the last of Chinless Ed Gillespie, we were happy to hear that he called Mark Warner today to concede the 2014 Virginia Senate race. Hooray!

For us, Warner's 17,000-vote lead was never in doubt — especially after Virginia's 2013 attorney general's race, which Mark Herring won by only 165. (Now, that was a close one.) Nevertheless, this is welcome news after a particularly brutal week.

We cats can rest happily now, knowing that GOTV efforts are never a waste of time. Oh, and one more thing: You're probably aware that we're not big fans of Chinless. But at least he had the grace to place today's phone call. Unlike some people we know... named "Cuccinelli."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Decision Time

By Sniffles

As if this week weren't politically fraught enough already, the Supreme Court now will have to rule on marriage equality. A federal appeals court has finally gone the other way and pronounced same-sex marriage bans constitutional in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Which leaves Anthony Kennedy, Steven Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the batters on deck — waiting, we hope, to knock the marriage question out of the park for good and all.

Wanna hear a coincidence? It crossed our minds yesterday that the 2014 midterms might have been a partial scream of frustration from old white guys about gays getting hitched. After all, it was the first nationwide election in which anybody could express an opinion, if they had one, on the tremendous progress the country has made since Windsor. So maybe all those teabags out there were hating on Adam and Steve at the same time that they were hating on Obama.

This is making more and more sense, especially since the demographics of Tuesday's voters have come out: They were more white and more male than in 2012, with fewer young people, and smaller percentages of blacks and Hispanics. Blowback on gay rights from an electorate like that certainly could have made a difference in states like Florida, North Carolina, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia and Kansas.

Oh, well. For us cats, the expansion of marriage equality has been the feel-good story of the year, and we wouldn't trade that for anything. We look forward to our gay loved ones' rights soon being settled law, for now and forever. It would make us PURR.

(IMAGE: The New Yorker)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Failure To Communicate

By Zamboni

We cats have sifted through the headlines and had a couple of naps, so we're ready to talk about the midterms again.

And because we are superior beings who refuse to live in a Romneyesque bubble, we realize we have to send some HISSES and SNARLS the Democrats' way. (Like that infuriating embarrassment, Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose speech last night was awful. How in the world do you let Mitch McConnell outdo you in the graciousness department?)

But the real objects of our disdain are the folks over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Amazingly, the vaunted 2008/2012 election machine — and its most famous practitioner — have forgotten how to communicate. It's the only explanation we can think of for what's happened to them (and by extension, the rest of us) these last six years.

We cats have pointed out before the many ways that the Obama Administration has helped the country pick itself up and dust itself off after the debacle of the Bush/Cheney regime. We won't repeat them all again, except to wonder why it seems to be against Democratic rules to take a page from St. Ronnie Reagan's book and celebrate your success.

The glaring-est example? The Affordable Care Act. The most significant social legislation since Medicare was signed into law in March of 2010, but Team Obama never sold it to the American people, before — or, especially, after — it passed. Sure, it was going to take three years to set up and implement. But what good is the bully pulpit if you don't use it to ceaselessly remind the country about all the Obamacare benefits that were A) coming on line, and B) still in store?

Believe us cats: If the Republicans had passed the ACA, they wouldn't have shut up for a second about how wonderful it was going to be. But since the White House walked away from the sales job, Americans had no grounding in the law and why it was so fabulous. Which meant that when Republicans in the House endlessly tried to repeal it, or screamed about the website screwing up, voters had no frame of reference that allowed them to say, "Hey, shut up. This is a good thing."

This drives us mad.

Somewhere in the White House, a light bulb needs to go on that you can't keep doing the same stuff and expect better results. That goes for messaging more than anything else. But it also goes for Congressional relations, for delivering stump speeches that always sound the same, and for giving 10-minute answers at press conference when a simple "Yes, we fucked up" will suffice. And it also goes for thinking that at some point, the campaign is over and you can relax. Sorry, Mr. President: The campaign never ends.


By Miss Kubelik

All righty, then, the Republican wave finally materialized last night. It sure was slow getting here, but once it arrived, goodness gracious. (One bright spot: Minnesota, that island of sanity in a sea of craziness.) We cats are still picking up the pieces, and will have more to say as further trouble ensues.

But in the meantime, we're struck by the number of headlines we're seeing, one right after another, that drive home the true darkness lurking beneath: "The most expensive Senate match-up in US history," "Tens of millions of dollars in negative advertising," "One of the most expensive races this cycle."

Yep, it's the money — Koch money, Adelman money, and other money that came from God knows what right winger where. (And only God, since the donors will never have to be revealed.) So first and foremost, we can lay this debacle at the feet of Citizens United. Thanks for nothing, John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.

We cats were hoping that the Democratic ground game would be able to make up for all the conservative spending. But now we're afraid that after yesterday, the Kochs and their ilk will be emboldened and double down. Which makes us HISS — and fear for our country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

And Don't Forget That Blankety-Blank Photo ID

By Baxter

We cats are off to do our civic duty, and then will spend the rest of the day helping humans get to the polls. Democratic humans, of course.

Meanwhile, after some bad numbers this weekend, now suddenly when we look at the headlines on sites like this, everything's tied again. Yes, including Iowa.

We're wondering why the highly paid morons on Talking Head TV haven't been asking why. It's the sixth year of a re-elected President's administration. His party is supposed to be wiped out big, and we all should have been able to see it coming weeks and weeks ago. But a zillion key races are too close to call.

The media really need to break loose from their lazy narratives and start doing some substantive, break-from-the-pack analysis. And oh yes, reporting. We cats HISS. (Go vote!)

P.S. Speaking of Iowa, can we cats just say that we think Tom Harkin's comment about Joni Ernst was right on the money? Ernst is "offended"? Too bad. We're offended that she refused to talk to The Des Moines Register.