Saturday, May 31, 2014

"If You Don't Want To Pay All The Real Costs Of Taking The Nation To War, Then Don't Take It To War At All"

"Thus ends the honorable career of a soldier who was correct about the lies behind the greatest policy disaster of our times, about the essential criminality of the people who launched the invasion of Iraq, but whose primary failures as an administrator were his inability to oversee the people in his department who were directly trying to cope with the flood of casualties that resulted from all of those soldiers that most of official Washington told Eric Shinseki they would never need to create a democratic paradise in Iraq."
—Charles Pierce, Esquire magazine

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lest We Furr-get: Robbing Roy

By Zamboni

In case you're tempted to feel sorry for Bob Dole for being old, in a wheelchair, and dissed by today's whackjob Republican Party, the death of Dr. William Roy is a handy reminder of how horrible the GOP's 1996 Presidential nominee is and has always been.

Roy was narrowly denied a Senate seat back in 1974 by a vicious Dole campaign that labeled the mild-mannered physician a baby killer. Yes, sigh, even then. It fact, it could have been the start of the GOP's shameful hit parade of smearing Democrats over a woman's right to choose.

And of course we cats will never forget Dole's 1976 Vice Presidential debate with Walter Mondale. "Democrat wars," anyone? (Was that the first time anyone used the noun "Democrat" as an adjective?)

We cats do not regret that Dr. Roy didn't outlive the repulsive Bob Dole. Au contraire — we are pleased that Dole has lived long enough to see the teabaggers mock and reject him. That makes us PURR.

(IMAGE: Dole debates. Sinister, no?)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

First, Gay Marriage — Now, Ferrets

By Miss Kubelik

Okay, we cats know that there are many more important stories happening in the world today. But we really have to take a moment and applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for lifting New York City's ferret ban.

How can anybody resist these cuties? And more to the point, how can anyone not applaud the reversal of something Rudy Giuliani did?

Giuliani even went so far as to ridicule a ferret advocate when he instituted the ban back in 1999. "There's something deranged about you," he told the head of New York Ferret's Rights Advocacy. You know what we think? That anybody who buys an extra plane seat just for his wife's purse to sit on is pretty deranged himself.

So ferrets rule! We cats aren't sure if we'd want to share a small apartment with one — but any law that allows people to own and love a little furry face that they couldn't before has got to be good. We PURR.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Martinez, Unchained

By Baxter

It's time for us cats to weigh in on the latest mass shooting, a sadly recurring American event that we find acutely embarrassing.

Yes, we know that there was a shooting recently at a Jewish museum in Belgium. But goodness gracious. After Columbine, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, the Washington Navy Yard and Newtown, in the words of bereaved UCSB dad Richard Martinez, "When will this insanity stop?"

Martinez, in fact, has gone on another tear today, damning both Wayne LaPierre and the politicians who fear him. “I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a s— that you feel sorry for me,” he said. “Get to work and do something." He urged Americans to send all elected officials post cards (and, we assume, e-mails) saying, "NOT ONE MORE."

We cats say, good on you, Mr. Martinez. We ardently wish you success, and we're sending our "NOM" messages as we speak. But why can't we shake this horrible feeling that Wayne and his minions are just ducking your incoming fire until attention turns elsewhere? That's been their strategy in the past, and it's worked. And after 20 slaughtered six-year-olds couldn't move the needle, how will six dead college kids?

Sigh. We so wish it were otherwise. In the meantime, while a half-dozen promising young kids may be dead, Scott Brown's exquisite sense of bad timing is alive and well. Saying you'd abolish gun-free zones in the same week that Elliot Rodger becomes the new Adam Lanza?

Scott, we have some advice for you: Don't call Richard Martinez with your condolences. You'll get an earful.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lest We Furr-get: Grooming

By Sniffles

We cats have decided that it's official: The Republican Powers That Be have hereby given up on Chris Christie 2016.

Why else would we be seeing stories in, for example, The New York Times about Jeb! as the "intellectual" Bush (as if there were such a thing), searching... searching... searching.... and never coming up with a non-conservative thought his entire sorry life?

We cats say, ridiculous. Let us all remember that Jeb! belongs to a party for which his and his brother's outrageous interference in one family's personal medical decisions was still not enough for the GOP's extreme teabaggy base — who thought that Jebbie should have sent the FDLE into Terri Schiavo's hospice with guns blazing, to spirit her away to a paradise in which all vegetative patients are kept in a state of blissful, well, vegetativeness.

But Pundit World has forgotten all that. We cats are only too happy to remind them that the teabags and the Freepers and the right-wing crazy people have — um — not.

What this current Jeb! puffery reminds us of most is the pre-2000 media groundwork that Karl Rove pulled off for The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived — positioning him as the "compassionate conservative" who could "unite" everybody after all that alleged Clinton Fatigue. Remember that?

No, of course Pundit World doesn't remember that. It was 16 years ago — Chris Cillizza was in high school! But we cats, who know a thing or two about grooming, remember it well.

The Jeb! fluffing is the latest proof that the Republican Party — which gleefully claims that the Democrats boast nobody besides Hillary — has a mighty, mighty thin bench. Christie is fat and tainted, Jeb! is to laugh, and everybody else is either a whackjob or a buffoon. Welcome to the world, GOP! We cats PURR.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tidbits and Cat Treats: Crimes and Misdemeanors, Republican Style

By Zamboni

The recent death of Watergate conspirator Jeb Stuart Magruder made us cats nostalgic for the good old days of Republican transgression. After all, Watergate wasn't just a tabloid "scandal" — 38 Nixonites broke the law and deservedly went to jail. These days, though, the lines between bad and criminal behavior are a little fuzzier. Here are a few examples that we're pondering this Memorial Day weekend.

Things haven't gone so well for "Transvaginal Bob" McDonnell and his greedy wife this week. They've tried every legal trick in the book to disable the 14 federal counts against them, all to no avail. We're wondering when they're going to pull a Dinesh D'Souza and cop a plea to avoid further embarrassment. (And also like Dinesh, explode with indignation and umbrage right up until they cry "guilty!")

Meanwhile, down in Mississippi, teabaggers are breaking into nursing homes and taking pictures of ga-ga Senate wives. This very strange story has gotten us wondering: How long will it be before Thad Cochran's much-younger mistress surfaces?

More scoop on the recent woulda-been-a-DUI-if-he'd-been-driving arrest of FOX "News" anchor "Gregg Jarrett": It looks like pharmaceuticals were also involved. What we cats want to know is this: Why did Jarrett, just released from an alcohol treatment facility, confess to drinking vodka since nine o'clock that morning?

Finally, just a couple of days from the premiere of HBO's "The Normal Heart," let us remember that unsurpassed Republican criminal, Ronald Wilson Reagan. For years he refused to even speak the word AIDS as thousands of Americans were dying.

How was it possible? We cats HISS.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Harvey

By Miss Kubelik

Wow! Have you ever had the feeling that you'd better remember something while it's happening — because it's going to be really important when you try to recall it later?

We cats have that thought about today's unveiling of the US Postal Service's Harvey Milk stamp — on Harvey's 84th birthday, no less. Not because we can easily imagine Harvey at 84, but because we think he would be tickled, um, pink at the strides gay rights have made in the last few years.

One thing that delights us about being American is that unlikely heroes like Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez — and, hell, even Elvis Presley — can be commemorated on stamps. We hope that snail-mail never dies so that this fine tradition can continue.

In the meantime, let's salute Harvey Milk for blazing the trail. It's a cause for which he ultimately gave his life — but in the end, he helped make America oh, so much better a country. We cats PURR.

Wide Stances

By Baxter

What is it with Republicans and the Minneapolis airport?

In case you haven't heard: FOX "News" anchor "Gregg Jarrett" has been hauled off to the hoosegow after causing a disturbance at a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport bar. This, a mere seven years after Republican Senator Larry Craig was arrested at the same airport for soliciting a blow job from an undercover police officer.

Hm. Right wingers, who are so intolerant and judgmental of others, always seem to be falling into scrapes like this. Andrew Breitbart gets loaded and screams at Occupy protesters. Vito Fossella is pulled over for DUI (and eventually, reveals that he has an entirely second, secret family). And then of course there's John Boehner. We cats could go on and on.

Yet whenever Republicans are caught misbehaving, it's always a "problem," never a crime — and the hypocrisy is never addressed. In the words of the FOX "News" official statement, "[Gregg] is dealing with serious personal issues at this time." Such understanding, such compassion!

We've said it before and we'll say it again: You're not a first-class person until you've learned to have some regard for human frailty. The Republicans have none — yet, how incredibly frail they continue to be.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Post-Pennsylvania, Depressed Freeper Punts On Patriotism

By Sniffles

As if a Bush-appointed judge overturning Pennsylvania's ban on marriage equality wasn't bad enough for Keystone State posters at Free Republic — Republican Governor Tom Corbett's refusal to appeal Judge Jones's decision really has them reaching for the strychnine.

Here's one of them:

"Corbett will not get one more dime from me. I’m finished with him. I’ve also now come to a sobering revelation over the past day and it absolutely CRUSHES me to espouse this... But I think I’ve reached the point where I’ve fallen out of love with America.

"Actually, maybe I can better state it this way... I’ve come to HATE what this culture and overall collection of humanity has become over the past six or so years. It tempts me to want to move my lovely wife and I [sic] out to some remote rural location so we can divorce ourselves from the rest of this completely insane and sick society and allow it to complete its unmistakable suicide mission."

We cats found this ungrammatical, despairing wail sandwiched between outraged Freeper oaths to boycott the ballot box in November. All of which, of course, makes us PURR.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pennsylvania: "19 And Counting"

By Zamboni

Marking the arrival of marriage equality in Pennsylvania, we cats couldn't help thinking about the ridiculous Duggar family, who endorsed gay-hater Rick Santorum for President in 2012.

That's because the Keystone State makes.... wait a second... 19 states where you can marry whom you love! There's some delicious symbolism here. Until we put our paw on it, we'll rerun this classic picture of the little girl whom the heartless Santorums shoved in front of the cameras back when Rick lost his Senate seat in 2006.

After all, Ricky must be feeling pretty "Waaaaah!" at US District Judge John Jones's decision today, and we couldn't be more pleased. How many more eloquent state-level rulings will we have before the Supreme Court bends and makes same-sex marriage legal nationwide? We cats look forward to that, and, in the meantime, we PURR.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hating In Plain Sight

By Miss Kubelik

When a racist like Robert Copeland ends up as a respectable community's police commissioner, you kinda wonder how in the world he got there in the first place.

For example, did the now-resigned-even-though-he-swore-he-never-would commissioner always shout the N-word in restaurants? Or did he keep his hatred under wraps until that one unguarded moment in March? Unless he's recruited soon as a guest blogger for Stormfront, we'll probably never know.

Interestingly, Georgia's state government also just got jolted by a vocal hater who they wanted to hire as public health director. Turns out that one Eric Walsh, who until just now served in the same position in Pasadena, California, is a Muslim-hating, homophobic Seventh-Day Adventist preacher. Unfortunately for our friends down in the Peach State, Walsh's decidedly un-Christian sermons surfaced after they offered him the job.

Whoops! Georgia Department of Public Health spokesguy "Ryan Deal" (give you three guesses who he's related to) said Walsh's rants have "caused some concern." Gee, Ryan, ya think?

We cats haven't been very impressed with DPH's vetting abilities in the past, and it seems as if they haven't improved much — or at least still haven't learned what YouTube is. We look forward to hearing if they tell Walsh to take a hike — or if a Donald-Sterling-Robert-Copeland clone is just their kind of guy. Knowing who's in charge of state government down there, we cats wouldn't be surprised if it's the latter.

(IMAGE: R.C., before he caved and quit. So warm and fuzzy!)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Willard, Offended, Still Talks Like A Thesaurus

By Baxter

The white police commissioner of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire has refused to apologize for calling the President of the United States the N-word, and in fact is doubling down. Willard Mitt Romney is shocked.

"The vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community," the 2012 Republican Party standard-bearer huffed to The Boston Herald.

What Willard doesn't get into is how the citizens of any city or town can have confidence in a police official who slurs whole groups of people. But today's Arpaio-ish GOP isn't really known for worrying about stuff like that, are they?

And besides — what took Willard so long? This story broke days ago, and the Romneys are the most famous inhabitants of this renowned (and now, roiled) vacation spot. Maybe with a son who has spoken thuggily about the President in the past, Willard had to take some time to decide just how "vile" the police commissioner's behavior really was. (Meanwhile, thousands of teabaggers across the country are wondering what the word "epithet" means.)

And Scott Brown: Really? Your condemnation comes in an email from a staffer who writes "Scott Brown believes..."? Mister Butt Tweeter couldn't haul his smartphone out of his pants pocket long enough to make a statement himself?

Finally, Rancid Pieface needs to be asked about this. Why does his party attract so many people who are so bold about expressing overt racial hatred — generally, but not exclusively, directed at the twice-elected leader of the free world?

He won't get that question, of course. We cats HISS.

(IMAGE: Willard and Ann jet-ski in Wolfeboro instead of campaigning in 2012. Ah, memories!)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Visual Aids: Two Million — And, Um, Not Two Million

By Sniffles

See this? This is what two million Americans converging on the National Mall in January 2009 looked like: Each face a tiny pixel, stretching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial — all to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States.

Now, see this? This is what the pathetic "Operation American Spring" turned out in Washington today, after predicting — believe it or not — that 10 million (maybe even 30 million) teabaggers would swarm DC and topple our duly elected government.

Sure, nobody showed up, but never mind that. All you have to do is look at photos of a "mere" two million people at Obama's first inauguration to know that anticipating a 10-, 20- or 30-million-person turnout is right out of Tinfoil Hat Land.

We cats are thankful that the teabaggers are the Republican Party's problem and not ours. But we're wondering when the media will stop cloaking them with even a modicum of respectability. Because — with apologies in advance for our choice of phraseology — they are all fucking nuts.

Friday, May 16, 2014

When Thugs Get Iced

By Zamboni

We cats know of few things more satisfying than when people who deserve to lose, lose.

Which means we're contentedly licking our chops today. This is not a sports blog, but something happened in the world of hockey this week that reminded us of a similar event in politics.

After the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins to advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday night, a sore-loser Bruin threatened one of the Habs during, incredibly, the storied post-game handshake. Instead of sucking it up and acting like a man, Milan Lucic told Dale Weise, sotto voce, that he was going to, um, effing kill him next year.

You know what we cats say? Enjoy yourself on the golf course, Milan. Play better hockey next time.

L'Affaire Lucic couldn't help but remind us of another Bay-State-based bully, "Tagg" Romney. Remember him? He's the little creep who in 2012 said he wanted to rush the stage and "take a swing" at the President of the United States. See, "Tagg" was a little upset because that second Presidential debate didn't go so well for dear dad Willard.

We cats are always unimpressed by such boorishness. And we are equally glad that just as Milan Lucic won't be hoisting the Stanley Cup this year, "Tagg" isn't breakfasting in the family quarters at the White House. Which makes us PURR.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"And All That Remains Are The Faces And The Names Of The Wives And The Sons And The Daughters"

By Miss Kubelik

A bipartisan crowd was on hand at today's dedication of the National September 11 Memorial Museum — but not because anybody from the Bush White House was there.

Joining Mayor de Blasio, President and Mrs. Obama, former US Senator from New York Hillary Clinton (and her husband) were Republicans Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki. And you could possibly stretch and count Michael Bloomberg, as a former member of the GOP, in that latter group, too. But no other Republican of note showed up.

We cats wondered why. But then it dawned on us that after ignoring the Presidential Daily Brief of August 6, 2001, the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived might find it too difficult to look into the eyes of the people his negligence killed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Karl Rove Jumps The Shark In A Single Bound

By Baxter

We cats were big fans of Superman comic books when we were kittens. But despite our affection for the series, we could never understand how merely donning a pair of eyeglasses would keep the Man of Steel from being recognized as Clark Kent.

Answer: It doesn't. The specs were a ridiculous device. But we all played along anyway. (At least Christopher Reeve, a good Democrat who should rest in peace, realized that in order to make the "disguise" halfway believable, Clark needed to be, well, mild-mannered.)

Why was Superman's secret identity on our minds today? Eyeglasses suddenly popped into the news.

That's because just as Bill Frist diagnosed Terri Schiavo as cognizant and functioning from a few seconds of grainy video, Karl Rove has suddenly turned brain surgeon, stating that Hillary Clinton's recent choice of specs simply proves a traumatic brain injury.

Hm. We thought Secretary Clinton's selection merely demonstrated a funky sense of fashion, but what do we know?

A few thoughts on this Lazio-like overreach:
  • Why do Rick Perry's new glasses make him look intelligent and distinguished, while Hillary's mean she has brain damage?
  • On that note, how often do fat, unattractive, know-it-all men pat women on the head and tell them what's wrong with them? (That could prove awkward, since the Republicans will surely nominate a female VP next time.)
  • If this is Rove "testing the limits" of anti-Hillary rants, could we assume that in 2016 we're looking at a gender gap of Armageddon-like proportions? Like, Hillary gets 400+ electoral votes?
Isn't it great, how scared they are? Faced with a possible 2016 opponent whose powers and abilities far exceed those of mortal men, Republicans are desperately searching for Kryptonite. Wake us up if they find any. We cats PURR.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Elections Have Consequences (Happy Face Edition)

By Sniffles

See, this is why we cats spent all those hot (and then cold) afternoons last fall, going door-to-door for Terry McAuliffe for Governor:

"Governor Terry McAuliffe moved to free Virginia’s abortion clinics from strict hospital-style building codes on Monday, loading up the state health board with abortion-rights supporters and ordering it to review rules that clinic operators say threaten to put them out of business.
"The Democratic Governor is also looking for ways to soften or suspend the rules to keep clinics open during the health board’s review, which could take more than two years. The General Assembly approved the regulations in 2011; they are set to take effect as early as June."

Thanks, Terry. We cats are fixed, so we won't be caught having kittens any time soon. But we're still glad to live in a state where, once again, we could deal with it if we were.

The Ice Sheet Hits The Fan

By Zamboni

We cats are not done slapping around Baby Marco Rubio. Let's talk about melting icebergs, shall we?

Thanks to the collapse of the Western Antarctic ice sheet, it is now a done deal that sea levels will rise 13 feet in the next — what? They're saying a century or so, but at the rate the Koch brothers are spending to elect Republicans and keep climate change going, it'll probably be way faster than that. So say goodbye to the Conch Republic, the Everglades, Miami Beach, the Hollywood boardwalk, and probably the rest of the Florida Peninsula. No more Kennedy Space Center, no more Calle Ocho, no more Crockett and Tubbs.

Why? Because 13 feet, for those of you who live in the rest of the world, equal about four meters — and the map above shows the wipeout that South Florida would endure after only about a half meter rise. (For more information on how screwed Miami is, check out this report from Business Insider Australia.)

Yet the child who currently occupies one of the Sunshine State's US Senate seats denies that it's all happening.

We cats were astounded, until we realized what Baby Marco was really saying in that despicable interview. And it is this: "I got elected with big-time help from the Kochs and Americans for Prosperity, and since I'm hoping those same crooks deliver the White House to me the way they delivered a Senate seat, you've got to be a total moron if you think I'm going to provide one inch of daylight between me and the K Brothers on global warming."

But oh, Baby Marco, here's the thing. By going on and on (and making absolutely no sense) about climate change — in the very same interview in which you one-hundred-percent declared your candidacy for (GURK!) President — you have managed to elevate the media's focus on the issue and expose the idiocy of your position, all at the same time.

We cats think your fellow Republicans are none too happy with you about this. And Baby Marco, if you haven't taken swimming lessons yet, now's the time. We cats PURR.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Experience Preferred.

By Miss Kubelik

Let's get it on the record right now that Baby Marco Rubio's foreign policy chops derive solely from the fact that his parents were born in Cuba. We just wanted to point that out — because it is to laugh that a child who denies climate change dares to pass judgment on former Secretaries of State.

First, let us discuss why President Obama nominated Hillary Rodham Clinton to State to begin with.

It was because the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived had effed-up the US economy so badly that he, Obama, knew he could never pay the rest the world the attention it deserved — particularly since the Worst Person, with his phony wars and nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, had similarly effed-up America's foreign policy at the same time. So Obama asked the closest person to a President he could think of to represent America abroad.

That doesn't even begin to touch on accomplishments of the Clinton era at State: Smart power. People-to-people diplomacy instead of military force. Restoring American credibility with the rest of the world. Toppling Ghadafi. Empowering women. Ending America's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Turkish-Armenian accord. A new START treaty. And, oh yeah, killing a guy named Osama bin Laden. (Yes, that was Obama's call, but it happened on Secretary Clinton's watch, too. Believe us, if Condoleezza Rice had been at State at the time, she'd still be yapping about it.)

Can the whining of Baby Marco compare to the lifetime of public service that Hillary Rodham Clinton has given to the US and the world? We think not — which is why we're not seeing any bumper stickers that say "Ready for Marco." We cats PURR.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tidbits and Cat Treats: Ignore The Important Stuff Edition

By Baxter

Boy, things must be really slow in the news world. All we see is stuff about Benghazi and Monica Lewinsky. You'd never dream that millions of Americans are getting healthcare they couldn't afford before, that the GOP is telling working families tough luck on the minimum wage, and that the icebergs are melting.

So there's nothing to do but chow down on some tidbits. Here are a few random thoughts we're entertaining between our Saturday naps.

Rand Paul says that Republicans should stop with the voter-ID laws because they're "offending people." No, Rand, once again you've got it wrong. When the GOP blocks access to voting, it's not offensive to "people." It's offensive to the Constitution, to the Voting Rights Act that you're not sure you support, to everything that America stands for, and, of course, to decency.

On the marriage equality front, the fun continues. Arkansas is the latest state whose anti-gay marriage ban has been tossed onto the legal dump heap. What struck us cats most about this news from the Natural State was the total non-splash it made. It's a teeny-tiny paragraph buried deep inside our newspapers or far down on the websites we read. We cats suspect that this ho-hum treatment will grow — at least until we get to the 50th state. And may that day come soon!

And finally, goodness gracious: The specter of a Republican Senate in 2015 is stirring impeachment talk. We cats hate to say this, but we've been waiting for years for the GOP to go off this particular cliff — they've gotten so bat-guano crazy that we figured it was just a matter of time. But do they know that doing the I-word would electorally doom the Republican Party for generations? Maybe some of them do: Folks like Peter King, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mark Kirk, Ron Johnson and maybe even John McCain would all be toast in their districts and states if they ever dared support it.

Since this totally nutcase move would no doubt tear the Republican Party further apart, we cats are tempted to PURR. But until we know exactly what's happening, we'll just sit and wait — with switching tails.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

To Live And Die (Early) In Dixie

By Sniffles

We cats thought we'd take some time out from fundraising for the National Abortion Museum to check on the GOP's anti-Obamacare campaign.

Item 1: It looks like the President's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services zoomed through her confirmation hearings today, having only to listen to a few anti-ACA sputterings. (John McCain compared Obamacare to the Titanic, but only if you think that enrolling 8 million Americans in health coverage is on par with 1,500 people dying in the icy North Atlantic a hundred years ago. Perhaps McCain was around then and remembers something we don't.)

Item 2: Yesterday, Republicans were disappointed when six health insurance executives, testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, declined to support their Obamacare horror stories. Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky rubbed it in, observing that although the execs "were not the biggest supporters of the law...they do not live in the Republican echo chamber." Way to go, Jan!

Item 3: Meanwhile, check out the stunning map above from the Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on State Health Systems. See that wide, dark-blue swath in the South? Those are the states whose health systems rank in the bottom quartile of performance. Know how many of those bottom-quartile states' Governors have refused Medicaid expansion? All of them — except for Kentucky and Arkansas, which happen to have Democratic Governors.

That's right, folks: Nine of the states you see above in dark blue — Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas — have Republican Governors, all of whom have refused free Medicaid money from Washington.

We cats think this is a scandal — one far worse than the Republicans' manufactured outrages over Benghazi and the IRS. After all, people's lives are at stake. We urge these GOP Governors' constituents to march on their state capitals like the people of Missouri just did. That would make us PURR.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

North Carolina: The Freepers Fret

By Zamboni

We cats aren't quite sure why pushing the Republican Party way off to the right is a victory for either the GOP or the teabags. Will Thom Tillis really be able to defend his out-there positions against Kay Hagan in North Carolina? We'll be interested to see.

We're also wondering something that Pundit World — so far as we've seen — has yet left unaddressed: If the teabaggers' darlings don't win primaries in May, who says they'll show up in November?

To find some hints — and just because they always amuse us — we checked in on our friends over at our favorite teabaggy corner of the Internet, Free Republic. And they're none too happy that their guy in the Tarheel State lost to Tillis yesterday.

Here's just a sampling. Reading them, we cats don't see the Freeps breaking out their tricorner and tinfoil hats this fall. Which would make us PURR.

"Too bad the Establishment wasted all that money. Who do they think will vote for them?"

"If they continue to piss off the Tea Party, they will only be defeating themselves. Such are the idiot Republicans!"

"Amnesty is a done deal now. If that happens, then to hell with the GOP." 

"I don't know how they plan to win without us. They think we will have to vote for them, no we don't."

"I will NEVER again cast a vote for the lesser of two evils. 2012 was the last straw for me and many I know. From this day forward, I will be very contented to never again cast a vote for any RINO."

"I am done with the establishment. They can go to hell."

"Marginalize the conservative base at your own risk. It cost you the presidency in 2012, and it will cost you in '14 and '16 as well."

(Oooohh, we cats are really PURRing now!)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tomorrow Belongs To Us

By Miss Kubelik

How lovely! A Republican state senator in Tennessee has decided to cap off Holocaust Remembrance Week by comparing Democrats to the Nazis.

Way to go, "Stacey" Campfield! (Who, by the way, kinda looks like a Nazi himself. That white skin — that blond hair — those Nordic features!)

Funny thing: When we cats think of Nazis, we picture not the strapping young men from National Socialist recruiting posters but pudgy racist white guys in the South, who carry guns. And certainly not earnest Obamacare representatives signing up more than 8 million Americans for health coverage that they didn't have before.

On the other hand, Campfield has bent over backwards to try to clarify his remarks (Stace, hate to tell you, but if you're explaining, you've screwed up). But let's take his ridiculous behavior as an opportunity to celebrate the Affordable Care Act and everything it's done to improve people's lives in our country, shall we?

Because even though we're just at the beginning, it has. Americans no longer have to worry about pre-existing conditions. Young people can stay on their parents' health plans until age 26. And now, with the first ACA enrollment over and done with, folks don't have to stay tethered to jobs they hate just for medical coverage. We cats are still convinced that last Friday's good-news jobs report included people who have left the workforce because now they can start up businesses or go into consulting without having to worry about healthcare.

On top of that, Massachusetts has reported a 3 percent lower mortality rate since Romneycare, the model for the ACA, went into effect. How awful! More than 17,000 residents of Massachusetts are living longer! We're turning into Nazi Germany!

Ya know what? If Willard Mitt Romney had any pride and/or spunk, he would stand up to the "Stacey" Campfields in his party and say, "Screw you, jerk. My health policy has saved 17,000 lives." But sadly, Willard is spunkless. Another opportunity missed — and all you "Willard 2016" Republicans, please take note. We cats HISS.

Monday, May 5, 2014

What "A Man Called Peter" Would Have Said About John, and Mitch, and Ted, and Rand, and Eric, and Mike, and....

By Baxter

So the Supreme Court has said that a little town council in upstate New York can start its meetings with a prayer — even if it's the Jesus-y kind. What?

We cats must have missed something. We had no idea that this Town of Greece v. Galloway case had even reached the Supremes, so obviously we've been out of the loop and are very bad bloggers. But now that Alito, Thomas, et. al. have decreed that anybody is welcome to pray before a civic meeting, we hope that communities across the country are simply deluged with Jews, atheists, Hindus, Muslims and Scientologists, all clamoring to have their say.

It's kinda ironic, when you consider that both houses of Congress have traditionally kicked off their sessions with an appeal to a Higher Power. And sure, the Chaplains of the Senate have become a bit more diverse lately, but all have been Christian. We're waiting for somebody to nominate Bishop Gene Robinson next time around. Now, that would be fun.

We point out this unhelpful fact not because we have a magic solution to the wrangling over the separation of church and state — particularly in the age of John Roberts — but because former chaplains can be interesting to revisit.

Consider Peter Marshall (no, not the game-show host), who had the dubious honor of serving as Senate Chaplain during the do-nothing Eightieth Congress. (Which now couldn't hold a candle to the ultra-do-nothing 112th.) And although he wasn't a political animal, Marshall did manage to slip some choice nuggets into his daily prayers. Here's a small sample:

"If there be any here sulking as children will, deal with and enlighten them. Make it day about that person, so that he shall see himself and be ashamed."

"Forgive, O Lord, our failure to apply to ourselves the standards of conduct we demand of others."

"Ever sensitive to the hurting of our own feelings, may we be sensitive also to our grieving of Thy Holy Spirit when we give ourselves to the lesser loyalties and spend our time and our energies in that which is less than the highest and the best."

"Save these, Thy servants, the chosen of the people, from the tyranny of the nonessential, from the weary round of that which saps strength, frays nerves, shortens life, and adds nothing to their usefulness to Thee and to this Nation."

"Let us be tolerant of the thoughts of others, for we never know in what voice Thou wilt speak."

"Bridle our tongues lest they stampede us into utterances of which, later, we shall be ashamed."

"In our choices let us not ask, 'Will it work?' but rather, 'Is it right?'"

Can you imagine what Dr. Marshall would say about Republicans who disdain the poor, diss women, hate immigrants, insult the President, blow racist dog whistles, and vote to repeal Obamacare a thousand times? We cats PURR.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tidbits and Cat Treats: The Ill Will of Strangers Edition

By Sniffles

Thank goodness, that silly exercise known as the White House Correspondents' Dinner is over for another year. We cats aren't sure that we'd agree with calling it "an abomination" — it's not important enough for that. Instead, it's like Twitter: lightweight, adolescent and, too often, an outlet for meanness.

Not that we're necessarily against calling 'em like they deserve. (We're looking at you, Chris Christie and Fox News.) We're just glad that Washington journalism's cringeworthy annual oh-how-we-wish-we-were-Hollywood event will soon be gone from the headlines. So on this blessed day after, here are some WHCD and non-WHCD thoughts.

We think that mocking CNN's coverage of the missing Malaysian jet is funny. However, the jet is still missing, and that's not. So the yuks about CNN were just a tad, um, uncomfortable for us. Still, though, Wolf Blitzer needs to learn how to smile indulgently, lest he win the Donald Trump Great Stone Face award.

How great is it that Rutgers students have forced Condoleezza Rice out of their commencement? It's about time somebody said "no" to Miss Mushroom Cloud! May this be the first of many times that the Bush Administration war criminals get run out of town — and may Condi forever be banished to speechifying to groups like the Association for the Preservation of the Coelacanth and the American Dehydrated Onion and Garlic Association.

Has anyone besides us noticed how the recent Jeb! 2016 boomlet is uncannily like the GOP clearing the 2000 Presidential decks back in 1998? (Stories like this wouldn't be happening without some intense Rovian lobbying behind the scenes.) We wouldn't be surprised if the party heads into its nominating process with only Jeb! and a few nutcases, who will fracture the anti-establishment vote. Hey, Rand Paul and wacky Republican base: Don't say we didn't warn you.

Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention last night's sly reference to Senator Lindsey Graham, who is tiring us all with his never-ending bleatings about Benghazi. (Our friends over at Free Republic are thrilled.) But unlike the Freeps, we have no interest in Lady Lindsey's sex life or lack thereof. Wake us when the Republicans get around to doing some actual work, like on the economy or immigration or jobs. We cats HISS.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Crowned Not So Good With Brotherhood

By Zamboni

Back in 2003, we cats attended a National Hockey League game between the visiting Montreal Canadiens and an American team that we won't name. (Let's just say they were in the south, and we hope that someday they move to Quebec.)

Before the game, the Canadian national anthem was played, and the crowd booed lustily. Why? Because Jean Chretien's Liberal government had refused to let Canada join the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived's trumped-up and phony invasion of the country that didn't attack us on September 11.

(We don't know what Tory Stephen Harper, who became Prime Minister in 2006 and who has a direct-dial phone line to Karl Rove, would have done about Iraq. Since Canadians overwhelmingly opposed the war, it would have been fun to watch.)

Anyway, we were reminded of all this because of something else that happened in the NHL just the other night. After Montreal's P.K. Subban scored the winning overtime goal in the Canadiens' first playoff game against the Boston Bruins, the Twittersphere lit up with racist comments from angry Bruins fans.

This is grimly hilarious for several reasons. First, because it's happened in Boston before (a couple of years ago, against the Washington Capitals' Joel Ward), and second, because in 2012 the Bruins drafted Subban's brother Malcolm. (We assume that, like P.K., Malcolm is also black.) Want more irony? Willie O'Ree, the Jackie Robinson of the NHL, first took the ice with the Bruins in 1958.

We're not saying that there are no racists above the 49th Parallel. But it's interesting that all three of these black hockey players are Canadians — and that once again, whether we're dealing with racism, nationalism or xenophobia, we cats feel compelled to apologize for American bad behavior.

But what else is new this week? We may say we're the land of the free and the home of the brave, but in reality we are a violent, judging, vengeful and embarrassing people. Just ask Mary Fallin. We cats HISS.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

GOP: Dishes Out, Can't Take

By Miss Kubelik

We cats have been intrigued by Virginia Republicans' responses to recent actions by our new Democratic Attorney General, Mark Herring — and rumored actions by our new Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe.

Oops, perhaps rather than use the word "responses" we should say "freak-outs." Because that's what they're doing.

Herring, who is boldly going where no state attorney general has gone since Ken "Let's Choose Fetuses Over Women" Cuccinelli, took matters into his own hands and declined in January to defend the commonwealth's ban on marriage equality. Then, this week, he opened in-state tuition assistance to children of illegal immigrants.

The GOP, of course, is outraged. See, it was okay when Cootchy colored outside the lines — he was one of them! (Republicans surely are still whining that Herring won the AG election only after a recount. Of course, he finished ahead in that recount...unlike a certain 43rd President we know.)

Meanwhile, rumors are flying that Governor McAuliffe will explore ways to expand Medicaid coverage to 400,000 needy Virginians without the legislature's stamp of approval. That's what they are: rumors. But Republicans are — well, you know.

We cats will reserve judgment on the Governor's strategy until we actually know what it is. But we wonder: Why is it that when Democrats go a little rogue, it's because they want to help others — but when Republicans do it, it's to restrict people's rights? We cats HISS.