Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Leaf

By Zamboni

We cats have seen plenty of posts about how awful the year 2015 was. And normally, we'd say, yep — if you were talking about people murdered by nutcase Islamic terrorists or American women seeking their Constitutional right to an abortion, 2015 was pretty bad.

But this New Year's Eve, we prefer to look on the bright side. And gosh, when you think about it, 2015 brought a lot of really good news. Here's our list:

Marriage Equality — The feel-good story of the year still casts its warm glow. We've enjoyed watching the bigots and the haters trying to grapple with the ramifications of Equal Justice Under Law. Fun!

Climate Change — After the warmest Christmas season on record, we cats say thank goodness Barack Obama and John Kerry were able to broker an historic international agreement on global warming this year. Maybe the fact that cherry blossoms were popping out in the middle of December will inspire even some Neanderthal Republicans to get on board.

Obamacare — The Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act's tax credits were constitutional, thus slapping down another right-wing run at our 44th President's signature law. Who knows what's in store for the ACA in the time to come? But for now, it's making millions of Americans' lives a whole lot better.

Iran Nukes — We can't begin to describe how tickled we were to learn that the NSA spied on Benjamin Netanyahu during negotiations on the nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu, a foreign leader, was actively working to undermine an agreement that strengthens American national security. Screw him.

Canadian Elections — You knew that we were going to finish with this one, right? But please, cut us some slack. After nine years of the anti-charismatic Stephen Harper — who was as destructive to Canada as a President Trump, Cruz or Rubio would be to America — having him and the Tories booted out in a landslide in October was the highlight of our year. We're trying to think of ways to sneak into the White House for the Trudeau state dinner on March 10 — but meanwhile, every time we think of Justin and the Liberals turning the Harper agenda upside down, we just have to grin. And, of course, PURR. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Little Mo

By Baxter

Ooooh! Big news from "Low-Energy" Jeb! The Bush 2016 campaign has announced it's canceling $3 million in ads that they'd reserved in Iowa and South Carolina, and will spend that money on the ground game in those early states instead.

Be aware that this is campaign and not Super PAC money that's being reallocated. Parasite political consultant Mike Murphy, who is making billions (okay, millions) by running Jeb!'s silly "Right to Rise" group, will (so far) still keep Bush on the airwaves — so don't look for the Freeper-despised "killer of Terri Schiavo" to disappear from television screens completely.

But nevertheless, the ads remain canceled, and we cats are wondering: How much of this shift is a people-powered GOTV strategy, and how much is a tantalizing clue of trouble in Bush World? Is it possible that on top of all the cash they've been burning through, they didn't raise enough money in the soon-to-be-ending fourth quarter?

Donors on the campaign conference call may have been asking about that as well: "Bush fielded several questions and gave an upbeat assessment of the campaign's fundraising performance in the fourth quarter of 2015...though he did not provide an exact figure of how much he had raised."

Hm! Interesting! Well, we won't know any of the answers until January 15, when final-quarter reports are due. But it's fun to think about in the meantime. We cats PURR.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

We Agree With Donald Trump!

This teeny-tiny, eensy weensy image is a 2008 blog post by Donald Trump. Since you can't read it, we'll tell you what it says: "I know Hillary and I think she'd make a great President." We cats PURR.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Herring Denies Guns To Patriotic (Drunk-Driving, Mentally Ill, Drug-Busted, Stalking, Illegally Immigrated) Americans

By Sniffles

The Washington Post editorial board, from whom we cats rarely expect great things, has come down deservedly hard on the, um, hair-trigger-temper Republican gun nuts who are all mad at our hero, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. It sure makes for some fun Sunday morning reading.

As The Post correctly points out, Herring was completely within Virginia law (previously supported by these same screaming Republicans) with his decision (endorsed by the Virginia State Police) that the commonwealth would no longer recognize concealed-carry permits from states with more lenient gun restrictions. But that hasn't stopped the slaves of Wayne LaPierre from whining and carping. One nutcase, Philip Van Cleve of the "Virginia Citizens Defense League," even said he would never visit two of the states that require mutual permit recognition, because in New York and New Jersey, "you really need a gun."

We guess this Van Cleve fool hasn't heard about how crime rates in New York have dropped, or how New Jersey has gone after terrorists (even if Chris Christie has been lying about his part in it).

Goodness gracious, the silliness of the gun crazies knows no bounds. If Van Cleve doesn't like living under Mark Herring's jurisdiction, we suggest he move to Texas — which has reciprocity with Virginia, a nutty teabag governor and attorney general, and where he can shoot at the December tornadoes. We cats PURR.

(PHOTO: Mark Herring, pondering other ways he can drive the Republicans crazy.)

Friday, December 25, 2015

And Now, Some Trees

Rockefeller Center, 2015. We cats weren't dreaming of a green Christmas, but Joyeuses Fetes anyway!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Written In 1843, Still Relevant In 2015, Part Three

"Man," said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child."
—Charles Dickens

Written In 1843, Still Relevant In 2015, Part Two

"There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us."
—Charles Dickens

Written In 1843, Still Relevant In 2015

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say. Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."
—Charles Dickens

Jeb! Gets It Wrong Again

By Zamboni

Maybe if Jeb! Bush is lucky, Santa will bring him some brains for Christmas.

Mr. "Low Energy" has been trying — we guess — to suck up to the racists and haters who are flocking to Donald Trump's campaign, claiming that "the problem with the Confederate flag isn’t the Confederacy. The problem with the Confederate flag is what it began to represent later."

Um, no. Sorry, Jeb!, but there's a real problem with the Confederacy. Itself.

We cats are mystified as to why Trump supporters (and the lamebrains named Bush who covet them) think — as Jeb! also averred — that "the Confederacy is part of our heritage" and "should be respected." Nope. Isn't it incredible that Republican super-patriots believe that a rebellion against the United States, based on keeping an entire race of people enslaved, and which ended up killing 600,000 Americans, is something that should be cherished and honored? Not in our book!

That sentiment — on top of the other revoltingly Trumpian beliefs that Harold Meyerson has so eloquently pointed out — means the GOP and its clown-car candidates are the anti-Christmas Scrooges of the year. And with no visiting ghosts of past, present or future to straighten them out, either. We cats HISS.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

OCD C-in-C?

So the more we read about Donald Trump and his weird obsessions, the more we're reminded of Howard Hughes. Are we wrong? We cats wonder.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fact Of Life

Oh, Donald Trump, you are so dumb. Although we cats use litter boxes, we know why Hillary Clinton was late getting back to her debate lectern the other night. She may have been the only woman on the stage, but the line for the ladies' room was still longer. We cats HISS.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Recruitment Tool (Or, Just A...)

By Baxter

Donald Trump, 2015's recipient of PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" award, has his knickers in a twist and is demanding an apology from Hillary Clinton for, um, lying about him (he says). We cats are glad to report that the Clinton campaign has responded with a succinct "Hell, no."

And we also wonder: Why wouldn't it be true that ISIL is using Trump in its recruitment videos?

We have the sneaking suspicion that this is going to be one of those things that the press whips itself into a frenzy about — and which, when push comes to shove, is going to turn out to be completely correct. We cats HISS.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Iowa Caucuses: Dynamic, Exciting And Glamorous

By Sniffles

Not too long ago, we cats wondered whether the short-attention-span crowd that supports Donald Trump in Iowa would be willing to toddle down to their local VFW lodge (or wherever) on a frigid February night and sit or stand around for hours to caucus for their guy.

We know from experience that Iowa takes not just a lot of organizing, but a ton of cadging, cajoling and follow-up. You have to babysit every one of your caucus-goers and make sure they 1) turn out and 2) stay for the whole thing — and it's not an easy lift.

Now, we're finally seeing the news media catch up with us on that subject.

The New York Times has just noted that the Trump ground game in Iowa is, um, not so hot. And The Washington Post attended a Trump rally — so you don't have to — and reported that, after an initial burst of chest thumping and generic racist insults, the crowd basically gets bored and drifts away. Even before Trump is finished speaking.

Hm. Trump may yet win New Hampshire, but Iowa comes first, and his supporters still don't strike us as the type that will tough out the caucuses. And we'd like to point out that we haven't been nearly as snarky about Trump supporters as Rand Paul's Iowa guy just was.

"It’s far different to get that person out of a La-Z-Boy to hop in a car and avoid the black ice and head to their local firehouse," Steve Grubbs told the Times.  

"La-Z-Boy"? Meee-ow! We cats PURR.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Big Headache

By Miss Kubelik

So let's see if we can get this straight:

The Republicans' 2016 clown car passengers had a debate on Tuesday night that was supposed to be Jeb! Bush's big/last chance to assert himself against Donald Trump. And Jeb! went after Trump big-time and everyone in his camp was purportedly pleased.

And yesterday, a new poll comes out that has Trump shooting up to 39 percent. Jeb! is so low in the poll that we don't even see him mentioned.

Well, that worked.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has a few headaches of her own today, but you can bet she wouldn't change places with her counterpart at the RNC for a zillion bucks. We cats PURR.

Friday, December 18, 2015

"What? He's Not PM Any More?"

By Zamboni

We cats were just thinking that the boundless, youthful enthusiasm of Justin Trudeau for his new job as Prime Minister of Canada must be driving the Harper Conservatives crazy. And guess what? We were right!

"Call him Prime Minister Selfie," sniffed the Ottawa Sun. It seems that Trudeau has just been too ebullient for the Tories' taste. Hm. How do you say "sour grapes" in French?

If the Conservatives had their way, a much more "appropriate" person would be in power: A dictator who stifles all dissent, gags scientists and civil servants, tramples on transparency and refuses to groom someone to succeed him. Which helps explain the cellar that the Conservatives dwell in today.

We'll take Justin's "sunny ways" any day, thank you. Even though we know Stephen Harper is supposed to be a cat lover, having the Liberals in power makes us PURR.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

As A Doornail

By Baxter

Can an autopsy be pronounced dead? After five awful debates filled with xenophobia, bigotry, warmongering and lies about everything from Planned Parenthood to generals' resignations, the GOP's 2016 clown car passengers have effectively killed off everything in their party's post-2012, soul-searching, what-went-wrong report. Instead of reaching out to new constituencies as the autopsy recommended, the Republicans have decided to tick off everyone in sight.

Yes, we cats know that the lid was slammed on that coffin some time ago. But we were reminded of it again when the GOP's front-runner, Donald Trump, hit 40 percent in a recent Monmouth University poll of national Republicans and then promptly went out and reminded Hispanics and other minorities across the country why his party is not, repeat, not for them.

First, he appeared at a rally in Arizona with professional hater Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who in addition to his usual railing against Spanish speakers tossed a glowing birtherism reference into his speech. Heck, Donald, why not give "the blacks" another reason to vote for Hillary next year?

And then a bit closer to home, Trump chose a leading anti-immigrant lamebrain from Prince William County, Corey Stewart, to chair his Virginia campaign. Sure! Let's raise alarm bells among the 90,000-plus Hispanics who are fundamentally transforming this purple state's most important bellwether county. Why not?

Ah, Republicans. Every one of you is complicit in this. As long as none of you repudiates Trump for his bad behavior, you must all plead guilty to the cold, bloody murder of the "Growth and Opportunity Project." We cats PURR.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Being Smart And Reasonable...Is Not A Sign Of Weakness"

By Sniffles

Here's the perfect answer to last night's apocalyptic, fear-mongering Republican debate:

"If we allow politicians to succeed by scaring people, we don't actually end up any safer. Fear doesn't make us safer, it makes us weaker...We need to remain focused on keeping our communities safe and keeping our communities united — instead of trying to build walls and scapegoat communities. Painting ISIS and others with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant, it is irresponsible."

That was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking at a town hall meeting in Ottawa today. And by the way, it still tickles us cats to write the words "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau." It makes us PURR.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Message Out Of Its Element

By Miss Kubelik

We cats recently got on the bad side of a Washington Post reporter, whom we tsk-tsked about his incorrect grammar in an otherwise moving story about a mass-shooting survivor in Oregon.

Being purr-fect, we knew we were in the right to point his error out. But knowing that you catch more mice with honey than with vinegar, we not only softened our message with an admission of possible curmudgeonism, we laid ultimate blame on his editor. Still, he didn't respond well. (But we've noticed that the error has been corrected.)

Today, though, we feel vindicated. Because it appears that the Los Angeles Unified School District may have made the wrong decision on a bomb threat, while New York City schools made the right one — all based on the writing style and punctuation of the email involved.

NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that the message they'd gotten, which was the same one that popped into an LA school board member's in-box, must have been a hoax, because it was rife with errors — such as "Allah" written in all-lower-case. Even on the Internet, Bratton said, it "would be incredible to think that any jihadist would not spell Allah with a capital A.

"This was a very generic piece of writing sent to a number of different places simultaneously and also written in a fashion that suggests that it’s not plausible," Bratton concluded.

Okay, so it may turn out that the threats were real. But we cats don't think so, which means that grammar will have saved the day (at least, in New York). In short, how you present your tale — or threat — matters deeply. And we hope that the folks in LA aren't on any Nigerian scammers' email lists. Their bank accounts are going to be emptied before they know it. We cats PURR.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Prepare For Pugnacious Pachyderms

By Zamboni

Good news from France: The far-right party of Marine Le Pen lost big in today's regional elections, a reversal of expectations. High turnout by folks who wanted to give the racists a big smackdown was apparently the key. Hooray! We cats take it as a small glimmer of hope that the better angels of our nature can prevail, even after Paris and San Bernardino.

Unless you're talking about today's US Republican Party, which, in its bigotry and xenophobia, remains mired in the 1930s. In fact, the 2016 GOP clown car is heading into a Presidential debate on Tuesday night going on the record as favoring completely unconstitutional religious tests for immigration (or, at least, not vehemently opposing them), and with a nutcase from Texas — who wants to "carpet-bomb" innocent Middle Eastern civilians — leading the pack in Iowa.

So, what are the other clowns going to do about that? Attack Ted Cruz, of course. Donald Trump has already begun the process, but everybody's going to have to pile on. Mainly because although the last two Republican Iowa caucus winners didn't get anywhere near the 2008 and 2012 GOP nominations, Cruz is different in that he's raised a ton of money and has solid organizations in the next-up states — especially the ones that vote on March 1. Look for Cruz, if he can remain undamaged, to be the first non-incumbent Presidential candidate in years to leverage an Iowa win into something substantial.

The bad news for Cruz? Once the attacking begins, he will have no allies in the clown car. Who will rise to his defense? Who will have a "People are sick of your damn e-mails" moment? We cats think, no one. Rafael Jr. is roundly disliked by everyone except the crazy teabags. So assume that if the rest of the clowns can take Cruz down a few pegs, Baby Marco will probably be the beneficiary. Cruz's supporters won't turn to him — but a relieved GOP establishment will. We cats switch our tails and wait.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Birds Of A Feather

By Baxter

Is it just us, or has anybody else noticed how similar the Republican Jewish Coalition's logo is to The Carter Center's?

It's actually kind of funny, since we cats suspect that American Jews who identify with the GOP are not big fans of Jimmy Carter. In fact, is there any Democrat they would want to be identified with less?

But since The Carter Center was born in 1982, and the RJC didn't come on the scene until three years later, we're thinking that Jimmy and Rosalynn should send Sheldon Adelson & Co. a cease-and-desist letter. We cats PURR.

Friday, December 11, 2015

What A Difference The 49th Parallel Makes

While the Republican Party is embarrassing itself and the world is wondering how a country that could elect Barack Hussein Obama in 2008 could turn around and embrace a bigot and xenophobe like Donald Trump (hint: It's not America, it just the teabaggers), the first planeload of Syrian refugees arrived in Toronto on a Canadian military jet. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there to greet them. Fellow Americans, take a cue, please. We cats PURR.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Circular Illogic

By Sniffles

We cats are trying to figure out this latest line of GOP reasoning: We Republicans hate Donald Trump. Donald Trump is bad for our party. Donald Trump is saying things that are unacceptable to us all. But we will support our nominee, even if it's Donald Trump.

The way they're excusing this silliness is by claiming that Donald Trump will never win the 2016 GOP nomination — ergo, etc. John Kasich is just the latest malpractitioner of this already-tired Republican line — which we cats think is the new version of "I'm not a scientist, so who am I to say if global warming is real?"

What nobody is asking, however, is why we should take the word of someone like Kasich, who's at 4 percent in the polls, that the 2016 clown-car passenger who's been in the front seat at 30 percent or higher for six months now isn't going to win.

As "Morning Joe" Scarborough has been repeating of late, if any other candidate were sitting on Trump's lead at this point, that person would already have been anointed the Republican nominee. So why doesn't Trump get that same treatment? And why can GOP candidates and members of the hapless Republican establishment try to get away with this oh-he's-never-going-to-get-nominated argument?

It makes no sense to us. But nothing on the Republican side is rational, is it? We cats PURR and HISS at the same time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Real Donald Trump

The Problem

By Miss Kubelik

With the widespread and completely justified condemnation of Donald Trump's call to bar Muslims from entering the United States, we cats were thinking that perhaps the Republican Party's biggest long-term headache had been temporarily papered over.

And that problem is this: Even with folks calling Trump the pigheaded fascist that he is, the hatemongering, nutcase base of the GOP still thinks that Trump is Statesman of the Year. In fact, more than ever.

We cats checked in on our right-wing friends over at Free Republic for confirmation of this, and it took us exactly three seconds to find comments like:

"Trump makes sense."

"Loving this guy."

"Finally, someone with the courage to speak the truth."

"I’m a Cruz guy. But Trump might have just won me over."

And it goes on and on. The Freeps and the teabags are in thrall with Trump, and totally digging the angst that he's causing the Republican Establishment, whom they roundly hate.

We cats feel like penning a quick note to RNC Chair Rancid Pieface, who just tried to delicately step among the Trump manure piles without soiling his shoes: Mr. Chairman, these are the crazy people whom your party hugged close to its bosom. And now you're paying the price. Especially since we know that 68 percent of them would bolt the GOP for an independent Trump candidacy in the general election. Which makes us cats PURR.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bringing Trump To Heel?

By Zamboni

Now that GOP front-runner Donald Trump has called for barring all incoming Muslims to the United States, we cats are wondering when in the hell someone in the Republican Party is going to really try to smack him down. (Effectively, we mean. Rick Perry's stupid "cancer on conservatism" doesn't count.)

See, while we Democrats are enjoying all the Republican chaos, we are, we have to say, truly revolted by the off-the-charts rhetoric that's being tossed around on their side of the aisle, as if it's something normal in American political discourse. (Note to young folks who are just starting to pay attention: It isn't.) So we think it's important that somebody in Rancid Pieface's world steps forward in the spirit of Margaret Chase Smith or Joseph Welch, and does America a service.

Both Smith and Welch went up against Trumpian demagogue Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Welch famously slapped the junior Senator from Wisconsin around during the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings ("Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?"). But Smith, a Republican Senator from Maine, spoke out earlier. In June 1950, she made a "Declaration of Conscience" on the Senate floor, with these words:

"I speak as a Republican. I speak as a woman. I speak as a United States Senator. I speak as an American...Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism."

Suffice to say that Margaret Chase Smith would not be welcome in the Republican Party of 2015. Still, we wonder who among the GOP's 2016 clown car is capable of dinging Trump for his bigotry and hatred, especially when some Republicans are clearly trying to figure out how they can extend Richard Nixon's famous Southern Strategy with The Donald at the top of the ticket.

That person could possibly be John Kasich, who has mounted a recent anti-Trump ad campaign. But we're actually convinced it could and should be Lindsey Graham, who just famously took Rafael Cruz, Jr. down a peg at the recent Republican Jewish confab.

Trouble is, Lady Lindsey, polling at less than zero percent, will never make it onto that December 15 debate stage with Donny T. We cats suggest that he try to come up with some other way to have a Margaret Chase Smith moment. It might do him good — at least, with Americans who don't think our country stands for hate. We cats PURR.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Former President Jimmy Carter told his Sunday school class in Plains, Georgia, this morning that his latest scans show no sign of the liver and brain cancer that he was diagnosed with this summer.

And a happy first night of Hanukkah to us all! We cats PURR.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

With A Name Like Jerry Falwell, Jr., You're Not Expected To Be Smart

By Baxter

That's what we need, all right — more guns!

The president of Liberty "University" has advised his student body to "get your permit." Worrying aloud about ISIL sympathizers attacking his campus, Falwell went on, "we could end those Muslims before they walked in." (Ugh. How Christian of him.)

Problem is, most gun deaths are not from the mass shootings Falwell's obsessed about happening at his silly school. According to this fascinating (and depressing) analysis by The Washington Post, of the thousands and thousands of gun deaths every year, only a tiny fraction are from rampages like Aurora or Sandy Hook or San Bernardino. So we fail to see how everybody packing heat everywhere is going to contribute to Americans' overall safety.

We cats have said it before and we'll say it again: We would rip the Second Amendment out of the Constitution if we could. In the meantime, we'll have to console ourselves that folks like the staff at the New York Daily News are refusing to be silent — or back down from Wayne LaPierre's outrage. It all makes us HISS.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Spell Check

By Sniffles

It must be totally un-fun to be a Muslim American these days. Thanks to the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, American women in headscarves are getting harassed, American mosques are receiving threats of arson and mayhem, and — as usual — Republican Presidential candidates are going off the deep end. (P.S.: Please, Muslim Americans, take note: We Democrats will be happy to welcome you into our voting ranks next November.)

But even Canada isn't immune to this bad behavior. Up in Calgary, Alberta, commuters at one subway station stumbled upon disgusting (and totally misspelled) anti-Muslim graffiti on their way to work. Why are racists and bigots always so illiterate? By the way, the image above was not censored by us — but it doesn't take a lot of effort to imagine what the graffiti writers wanted to do to "Syrea."

Happily, however, a group of Calgarians responded by showing up with giant red hearts that bore messages of tolerance and inclusion:

And they even spelled stuff right!

So all is not lost. Because unlike their English-language-challenged fellow citizens, these folks are living the spirit that the late NDP leader Jack Layton urged on Canadians back in 2011:

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." We cats PURR.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Equal Access to Locker Room 1, Misinformed Paranoia 0

By Miss Kubelik

We cats won't go into details, but will simply say that we have some history with a certain Midwest community and school district that's, um, been in the news lately. And not in a good way.

The folks in charge of District 211, outside Chicago, faced losing zillions in federal funds if they didn't stop treating a transgender student — who identifies as female and plays girls' sports — like a pariah in the locker room. At the last minute, the district reached a compromise with the Education Department to save the day (or, we should say, the money).

This didn't go over well with right-wing parents who went crazy at last night's school board meeting, branding the student in question a "he" and citing Adam and Eve in that silly, tired way that fundamentalists use when sexuality — theirs or others' — makes them uncomfortable.

It all just goes to show you that nothing much in northwest suburban Chicago has changed, and that we cats were wise to flee as soon as we possibly could. The fact that we did, and never went back, makes us PURR.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Burn This Building Down

By Zamboni

What were we cats just saying about Halloween not being over?

Yet another mass shooting has taken place in America — and we'd be tempted to treat it with the ho-hum that Wayne LaPierre wants, except this one involved three gunmen who stormed a services center for the disabled in a way that, at least to us, eerily echoed the attack last month on the Bataclan theater in Paris. Without the suicide belts, unfortunately.

At this point, we cats don't really care if the shooters were domestic or foreign terrorists — although we suspect domestic, since they appeared to focus on space at the center that was rented by the San Bernardino County Health Department. Still, the people wielding the guns are less important than the fact that their guns can so easily be gotten. And that, folks, is thanks to the NRA, their Republican slaves, and the Democrats who allow themselves to be intimidated. (We're looking at you, Heidi Heitkamp.)

Maybe if heavily armed Americans kill enough of their fellow citizens in dramatic events like this — or in events like the Planned Parenthood attack, Sandy Hook, Aurora or a ton of others — we will all suddenly realize that an ISIL terrorist could enter the US on a tourist or student visa, arm himself to the teeth, and take out even more of us.

Take it from us cats: If we want to catch those ISIL guys we fear so much, it would be easier to institute expanded background checks on gun purchases than it would be to build Donald Trump's "beautiful wall." Because we know how to control these guns — we've done it before. All it takes is a little political will. Anybody got some?

Perhaps not. Perhaps it will take drastic measures, like releasing police photos of today's mayhem. Or of Sandy Hook. We cats have long thought that pictures of dead six-year-olds in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school would have moved the needle that extra necessary inch for Congress to enact sensible background checks on gun buys. Three years later, if Sandy Hook parents are willing to have their children's bleeding bodies uploaded to the Internet in order to save a few more American lives, our admiration would know no bounds.

Newtown, the ball's in your court. Until then, we cats HISS.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Halloween's Not Over Yet

By Baxter

Yes, we cats know that with the holidays upon us and the end of calendar year 2015 staring the world in the face, we're seeing a slew of articles about how the Republican Party establishment is in a full-blown panic over the fact that Donald Trump has Not Gone Away.

They should be. Trump keeps getting more obnoxious and more outrageous — and we cats fervently hope that CNN not only tells Donald to take a hike on the $5 million thing, but also calls Rancid Pieface and tells him, "Rancid, we don't have the problem. YOU have the problem."

But although we Democrats are all highly amused at the travails of the GOP, let us not forget the following:

Taking into account all the passengers of the GOP's 2016 clown car, a major American political party is on the verge of nominating — for the most important job in the world — a fool.

To drive home the point, we leave you with George Packer's chilling summation in The New Yorker. (And we suggest some Ambien to keep the nightmares away.) We cats HISS and dive under the bed.

"Next fall, the Republican Presidential nominee will be committed to taking away health insurance from 18 million people, keeping the minimum wage where it is, cutting tax rates on the wealthy to historic lows, reducing the progressivity of the income tax, creating trillions of dollars in new deficits, returning to a militarized foreign policy, and allowing Iran to resume its pursuit of a nuclear weapon by tearing up the deal just signed. If, come next November, that nominee wins the Presidency, and Congress remains in Republican hands, these commitments will start to become realities."

Bad Actor

On this World AIDS Day, in memory of all the people who died because he didn't give a rodent's behind, let us all take a moment to recall how awful Ronald Reagan was. And HISS.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Au (Revoir) Canada

By Sniffles

We cats soon will be traveling from one enviable Western democracy to another. In the Western democracy we'll be leaving, climate change is taken seriously, federal elections wrap up in a matter of weeks, diversity is valued, Syrian refugees are welcome, and women can go to a health clinic without worrying that they'll be shot by a Republican-inspired gunman. Sadly, in the Western democracy we'll be entering, none of those things is true. Which makes us HISS.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

More Strange Language

By Miss Kubelik

As if we needed more possible proof in this world that words matter, a middle-aged white guy has attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and killed three people, including a police officer.

No, we don't know why he did this. Maybe it was a domestic violence dispute with a patient or a staffer at the clinic. But sorry, folks — after 1) months of PPA vilification by smarmy little video editors and bandwagon-jumping Republicans, 2) Cecile Richards abuse on Capitol Hill, and 3) over-the-top language by GOP Presidential candidates, we cats find it hard to believe that this Colorado moron didn't have a political agenda.

Was Robert Lewis Dear inspired by Carly Fiorina's completely bogus lie that Planned Parenthood harvested the brain of a living, leg-kicking fetus? If so, will Fiorina accept any responsibility for the death of the Colorado police officer (a religious man and father of two) and the others at the clinic?

Somehow, we doubt it. After all, Donald Trump said he wasn't to blame for the recent beating that a Black Lives Matter demonstrator endured at one of his rallies. In fact, he endorsed it. Trump supporters have messed with pro-immigration demonstrators, too, and it's hard not to draw a direct and very bright line between Trump's routine demagoguery and people's awful behavior.

Words, as we all know, are powerful, but they're particularly dangerous in a culture as steeped in guns as ours is. We Americans are currently obsessing over ISIL guys shooting us up at the mall. But with the deliberately provocative language and total lies that are being tossed around by the Republicans these days, we should worry about our fellow citizens instead. It's too easy in America to get mowed down, not just at our workplaces, our churches, our McDonald's and our schools, but at our health clinics, too. It all makes us HISS.

(IMAGE: Chan Lowe, Tribune Content Agency)

UPDATE: Of the passengers in the 2016 Republican clown car, only Kasich and Cruz issued statements today, neither of which mentioned Planned Parenthood. Fiorina and the rest were conspicuously silent, even though a police officer was killed. They are all cowards, knaves and fools, and we cats HISS.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Then Again...

We cats stand corrected on the selfie thing — at least as far as the legendary Montreal cartoonist Aislin is concerned.

No Selfie Necessary

 By Zamboni

Justin Trudeau meets the Queen. Looks like it was a pleasant encounter.

And about that portrait of Elizabeth II that Trudeau had removed at Ottawa's Foreign Affairs building in order to restore two Canadian paintings?

"[Taking down the Canadian paintings] was something that the previous government did as, I think, a sign of its disrespect for the arts community — for which they had been famously accused, and I think rightly accused on many levels," Trudeau told the BBC. "So it was more about restoring Canada’s place, and not meant at all as a disrespect to our Queen."

We cats note that Her Majesty seems to not have a hair out of place over the whole affair. And we PURR.

Another Passenger For The Clown Car

By Baxter

Does Ralph Nader have dementia? We cats have never been fans, especially since Nader helped cost President Gore an important election 15 years ago. But we can't think of any other reason why even Ralphie would write this obnoxious open letter to Federal Reserve Board chair Janet Yellen:

"Chairwoman Yellen, I think you should sit down with your Nobel-Prize-winning husband, economist George Akerlof, who is known to be consumer-sensitive" — to discuss, as Nader favors, raising interest rates.

Aside from acting piggy to the Fed's first-ever female chair, Nader apparently felt that, for clarity, he needed to name Yellen's husband in a public letter. But we're wondering if he was also trying to remember it himself. We cats HISS.

Voice Of Reason

By Sniffles

Despite the day, we cats are resisting calling Donald Trump a turkey. "Turkey" is too mild for him.

Now, he's in the news for making fun of a disabled New York Times reporter. Well-deserved outrage has ensued, and Trump, as is his wont, has pushed back by attacking some more.

All of this clownishness is paralyzing the Republican Party, which we Democratic cats love, but as we've said before, it's also wearing thin. Immature behavior from privileged white guys who enthrall trailer-owning, Confederate-flag-flying, not-so-privileged white guys ceases to amuse after awhile.

So this Thanksgiving, we're grateful that just over the 49th parallel, we're hearing reassuring words from Justin Trudeau, who recently cited both Trump and the fat drug addict from Toronto, Rob Ford, as wannabe leaders who are destined to fail.

"When you get right down to it, when citizens take a long hard look in the ballot box at actually voting against your neighbors, against someone who's different from you," Trudeau said, "in pluralistic societies like we have, it becomes very difficult to sustain the hatred."

We'll raise a glass of egg nog to that. And of course we PURR. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Au Canada, Part Deux

Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, November 24, 2015

Strange Language

By Miss Kubelik

The Republican clown car increasingly inhabits another decade, another generation, another century. The way Donald Trump is talking these days, we cats are thinking that it's 1964 and that Freedom Riders are on the verge of getting murdered in Mississippi. And fast-forwarding to today, we wonder if we'll soon see extra security at the mosque down the road from us in Northern Virginia.

It is all despicable — and even more embarrassing to us as Americans, since we're visiting a Western democracy whose citizens have consciously chosen to embrace their diversity (and tell those who would divide them to go to hell).

But equally revolting as Trump's bigotry (which his fellow GOP candidates weakly refuse to decry) is the other weird stuff coming out of Republican mouths. Like Ben Carson, the world's stupidest pediatric neurosurgeon, saying that he saw "newsreels" of New Jersey Muslims celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Newsreels? If you asked Carson what year it was, what would he say? The 1930s? (Come to think of it, the GOP rhetoric is kinda Nazi-ish.)

As always, however, because it is just as offensive as casting aspersions on other groups of Americans, we cats are duty-bound to call out horrible grammar when we hear it. On that, we must finger Baby Marco Rubio, who, talking through his hat as usual, said in the latest Republican debate that America needed "more welders and less philosophers."

Sigh. It's "fewer," Baby Marco, "fewer." But we sure would like to see less of you. We cats HISS.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Confusion To The Enemy! (Cat Style)

By Zamboni

Post-Paris, while we Americans are whining and worrying that some ISIL guy is going to mow us all down at our local Starbucks, the citizens of Brussels are in actual lockdown for a third day.

So, how are they coping with across-the-board closures, with nowhere to go and nothing to do? Tweeting pictures of cats, of course.

After the authorities asked people not to use social media to discuss any of the anti-terrorism raids they're staging — and tip off ISIL to police operations — Belgians are doing the cops one better. What could be more confusing to the terrorists than a cute feline photo? Not to mention Super Cat, Darth Vader cat, Hovercats, Socks the Cat, gifs of cats jumping out of backpacks, and countless cats wielding machine guns, just daring ISIL to come and get them.

We cats are not only proud to play such an important part in the Global War on Terror, we are bowled-over impressed by our Belgian friends, who, despite all this crap going on in their capital, have clearly retained their sense of humor. Good for them! They deserve a great big PURR.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Strategic Alienation (Whoops!)

By Baxter

The Republican Party keeps committing suicide with different constituent groups. Shall we recap?

After the demonization of Barack Obama in which the GOP has engaged for years, African Americans have cemented themselves as the group most likely to shun Republicans in significant numbers for generations (if not centuries). Even Rancid Pieface and the rest of the Establishment must assume that's a given. But despite its post-2012 "autopsy," the Grand Old Party has been very successful in alienating a ton of other people: gays, Millennials, women, Asians, soccer moms — and, of course, Hispanics — with their regressive policies, gun love, religious zealotry, xenophobia and general intolerance of All People Not Like Them.

To that list, let us now add Muslim Americans.

That group might not strike you right away as a critical voting bloc in a general election, but here are a few points to keep in mind.

The Muslim-American demographic is growing, big time, and in key states. And while in 2000, 70 percent of them voted for The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, 15 years later, we don't see them maintaining that GOP loyalty when the current Republican front-runner is talking about setting up Muslim databases, issuing special IDs and closing mosques. (Whatever happened to "religious liberty"? Oh, wait.)

We cats will be happy to welcome all those Muslim Americans who voted for Bush into the Democratic Party. Particularly if it means that, while maybe a few more paranoid white guys in Roanoke vote Republican, we get a bigger edge in Northern Virginia — solidly delivering the Old Dominion to Hillary in 2016, and to the Democrats overall in elections to come.

And we'll be pleased to cede a couple of percentage points in the Godforsaken red state of Alabama if the GOP's anti-Muslim rhetoric helps take Michigan off the table for the Republicans forever.

And do you know where else a lot of American Muslims live? Texas and Florida. Hmmm! We cats PURR.

Au Canada

The French Consulate in Montreal is located in an office tower at 1501 McGill College. We cats were in the area today and happened upon this impromptu memorial outside, near the building's front door. A week after the Paris attacks, people were still lighting candles.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Who's "Not Ready" Now?

By Sniffles

We cats are popping into Canada soon, to see how things are going under the new Liberal government. But even before we get there, we've noticed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already has the G20 in Turkey and the APEC Summit in the Philippines under his belt.

In fact, he's made quite an impression. There have even been suggestions that he's outshone another "young, telegenic global sensation" who happens to be President of the United States.

Hm. That may be a teensy bit over the top, but who cares? It's pretty hilarious that Justin has captured the fascination of the world — and has proved that he can mix in thsee new, big-league circles with style and confidence — because a mere three months ago, we were seeing ad after ad from Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, claiming that Trudeau was "Just Not Ready."

LOL! The 2015 Harper campaign will probably go down as the worst in Canadian history. Sorry, Stevie — you not only went stupidly negative on Justin, you tried to appeal to people's worst instincts in the most digusting, Rovian way. And Canadians told you to get lost. We cats PURR.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Letter To ISIL

 "Friday night, you took away the life of an exceptional human being, the love of my life, the mother of my son. But you will not have my hatred.

"I do not know who you are, and I do not wish to. You are dead souls. If this God for whom you kill so blindly has made us in His image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in His heart.

"So I will not give you the privilege of hating you. You certainly sought it, but replying to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance which made you into what you are. You want me to be frightened, that I should look into the eyes of my fellow citizens with distrust, that I sacrifice my freedom for security. You lost. I will carry on as before.

"I saw her this morning. Finally, after nights and days of waiting. She was as beautiful as when she left on Friday evening, as beautiful as when I fell madly in love with her more than 12 years ago.

"I am of course devastated by heartbreak. I'll cede you that little victory, but it will be short-lived. I know that she will be with us every day and that we will meet again in a paradise of free souls to which you will never have access.

"There are only two of us, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world. Moreover, I have no more time to grant you, I must go to Melvil, who is waking up from his nap. He is just 17 months old. He will eat his snack like he does every day, then we will play like we do every day, and every day of his life, this little boy will affront you by being happy and free. Because you will not have his hatred either."
—Antoine Leiris

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

David Bowers: Naughty And Stupid

By Miss Kubelik

We cats are continuing to see a lot of behavior over Syrian refugees that would make Emma Lazarus cry.

The latest case in point is a lamebrain from here in the Old Dominion, Roanoke Mayor David Bowers — who's trying to justify barring Middle Eastern refugees by invoking FDR and World War II.

"I’m reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor," Bowers said.

Um, no, Mr. Mayor. President Roosevelt did not uproot Japanese foreign nationals. (Well, maybe a few.) Mostly, he interned thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent. Sixty-two percent of the people the government rounded up and sent to camps were Americans! Just ask George "Mr. Sulu" Takei.

Bowers should be ashamed of himself for trying to score points by citing the biggest mistake FDR ever made. Instead, we should all be learning from it. We can start by not casting panicked aspersions on innocent people — Americans and non-Americans alike.

Oh, well. This Bowers jackass left the Democratic Party in 2008, so it just goes to show you he's not very bright. We cats HISS.

(IMAGE: Allegiance, a new musical.)