Sunday, May 31, 2015
Having met Vice President Joe Biden many years ago under amusing circumstances, we cats have always had a soft spot for him — something that even the Clarence Thomas hearings couldn't erase. These days, we're reminded of that soft spot every time we see him joyfully swearing in new and returning Senators of both parties (and slobbering over their moms).
Somebody who loves his life and the people in it as much as Joe Biden does should have less sorrow visited on him. But sadly, it doesn't always work out that way. If we could, we'd jump up in Joe's lap and rub our heads under his chin. But since we can't, we simply PURR in the Biden family's direction today, and in all of the days ahead.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
We cats don't even have to visit our favorite crazy right-wing friends over at Free Republic to know that their heads must be exploding over this.
Rev. Jim Tenford of Moose Jaw's St. Andrew's United Church observed Pride Week with an open letter to the Saskatchewan town's gay community, asking them to excuse his church's history of intolerance:
"Another important part of Christianity is forgiveness," Tenford wrote,"and so I ask you something which maybe I have no right to ask. I ask that you forgive the church and those of us who claim to follow the Way of Christ. As in so many other matters of civil rights that humanity has struggled with, the church has often been slow to get on board. But once we do, we can be powerful allies."
For the full letter, click here. (For Freepers fulminating over "the international gay conspiracy," click here. For Freepers very confused over Dennis Hastert, click here.) And to salute Rev. Tenford and this all-around feel-good story, we cats PURR.
Friday, May 29, 2015
attack ads on TV. (Usually when the Stanley Cup playoffs are on. Hmm, what do they think their demographic is?)
We just have one thing to say to Harper: It's pretty sad when, after nine years in office, the only thing you have to tell voters is "Don't vote for the other guy." We cats HISS.
We just have one thing to say to Harper: It's pretty sad when, after nine years in office, the only thing you have to tell voters is "Don't vote for the other guy." We cats HISS.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Goodness gracious, but we are all agog at today's indictment of Dennis Hastert — former Republican Speaker of the House and current Turkish lobbyist extraordinaire. Naturally, we're trying to figure out what the kinda schlumpy Illinois Congressman did to make him agree to pay out zillions of dollars to "Individual A."
Sure, it could be something boring. But we cats totally vote for a homosexual molestation episode during Hastert's high school coaching days. Not just because we always found the wrestling-coach myth (and the media's promotion of it) irritating — and not only because it would throw the GOP into further gay conundrums. But because it would be the perfect bookend to the Duggar hetero-molestation thing.
What a week for Republicans! Democratic oppo researchers must be unearthing anti-Bill-Clinton Hastert quotes about purity and morality and straight-arrow behavior even as we speak, and in that mission we wish them Godspeed. We cats PURR.
UPDATE, May 29: It looks like we cats have hit the jackpot. Republican family values strike again!
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Goodness gracious, but these right wingers are so aggrieved.
Caught having to defend institutional homophobia in the marriage equality debate — not unlike the opponents of interracial unions back during Loving v. Virginia — they're dealing with their discomfort by making it All About Them.
The latest entry in this silly parade is Baby Marco Rubio, who whined to (who else?) the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christianity is being cast as "hate speech.""If you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater," he bleated.
They're coming after us! Baby Marco appears not to specify who "they" are, but is he accusing 62 percent of Irish voters of persecuting him? Did the CBC interviewer pose that follow-up question? Somehow we doubt it.
We cats have one answer for Baby Marco and his ilk: Stop twisting the teachings of Jesus to vilify, threaten and marginalize others, and you'll stop being accused of hate speech. Easy peasy.
But since we doubt that Baby Marco is smart enough to get this simple idea, we will simply HISS.
(PHOTO: Irish citizens celebrating their "Yes" vote — and clearly plotting their next nefarious move against the helpless Vatican.)
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
As we cats have pointed out before, we do not tweet. (Although we love little birds.) Why should we, we figured, since we'd run the risk of encountering right-wing mental cases like the odious troll Charles Johnson? Please. Even our nine lives are too short for that.
But, soft! — Twitter has banned Johnson at last. They've finally figured out that threatening someone's life is not a good idea. (Unless Johnson is going to try to claim that "taking out" a civil rights leader is a reference to a dinner date.)
Before we put our paws together in celebration, however, we're perfectly aware that, yes, Johnson can merely park his ugly butt somewhere else on the web. So beware, hapless users of other social media — you may be "treated" to CJ's malodorous presence sooner rather than later. And it'll be interesting to see how other platforms handle it: Will Mark Zuckerberg be forced to draw a similar line in the sand at some point?
We shall see. In the meantime, we'll continue to take a giant pass on social media. Unless they all ban Charles Johnson, in which case we'll rush to sign up. We cats PURR and HISS.
(IMAGE: Trolls. We cats couldn't bear to post a picture of that Johnson jackass.)
Sunday, May 24, 2015
As long as we're on the subject of progress on the LGBT front, let's take a quick note of the fact that the CFL's Montreal Alouettes have signed openly gay player Michael Sam to a two-year contract.
We cats are excited about this, and not only because we might see Michael around town someday. We also couldn't help noticing that the CFL commissioner immediately issued this special statement:
"Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes on the signing of Michael Sam. Our players come to us from different places, different walks of life and ultimately they take different paths to get to our fields. Today is another indication of how open and progressive the CFL is — consistent with our rich and storied history of great football tradition."
Okay, so NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also issued a welcome statement back when Sam was drafted by St. Louis. But it took him three days to do it — on his spokesman's Twitter account. How lame. So we cats PURR at the Montreal Alouettes. But as always when it comes to American football, we HISS at the same time.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Today, just as we cats entered Canada — a country that's allowed its citizens to marry whom they love for 10 years — we learned about the Reaganesque landslide vote for marriage equality in Ireland.
Goodness gracious, but the 2016 Republican wannabes and their nutty fundamentalist Christian base must be beside themselves about this. A Roman Catholic country has told the Vatican to stick it in their ear! That's more delicious than a fried mouse topped with fresh solid tuna.
The Freepers and teabaggers and the CPACkers — the kind of folks who voted for Ben Carson in the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll this afternoon — must feel like the world is turning against their values in a big, big way. And if liberalism and tolerance are taking over, where can they flee? Since they think America has already been ruined by socialism, and since Belize can be kinda dicey as far as one's personal security goes, the only escape hatch we can think of is Uganda. Surely the gay haters in Kampala will welcome them with open arms.
Meanwhile, the Irish vote is just another reminder of how out of step America's right-wing Republicans are with the rest of humanity. Jeez, when you think about it, it's amazing how much the GOP base has in common with Islamic extremists: Both groups are anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-anybody who doesn't adhere to their fundamentalist doctrines, and (side note) both believe that the US should commit itself to an endless ground war in the Middle East. How will the likes of Carson, Fat Mike Huckabee, Rick "Santorum" and Ted Cruz explain that? We cats PURR.
P.S.: We assume that the Supreme Court is paying attention to the Irish results as well. Of course, we cats suspect that Justice Kennedy is already going to vote on the right side of history next month. But it's tantalizing to wonder if a guy like John Roberts, who clearly cares about the legacy of His Court, has taken note. We cats PURR again.
(PHOTO: Clodagh Kilcoyne, Getty Images)
Friday, May 22, 2015
What is it with these so-called Christians-slash-conservatives and their sex problems? As in adultery, rape, molestation, harassment, texting/sexting and visits to prostitutes? Their membership is legion — David Vitter, Bill O'Reilly, John Ensign, Mark Sanford, Strom Thurmond, John Diehl in Missouri, that guy in Vermont... for a longer list (and if you have a strong stomach), click here.
Now, naturally, Democrats have been guilty of some of this stuff, too. But we are not the party of the righteous wingnuts, trying to tell everyone else how to live. On the Republican side, however, the latest case in point is "Josh Duggar," who has been forced to resign from his position at the Family Research Council because it's been revealed that as an underage teen, he molested other underage teens.
Since we're political beings, we were trying to figure out why this "Duggar" jackass thought he could take a prominent position with the Family Research Council — not that we care about the effect on the Family Research Council, but you get what we mean — knowing that this outrage was lurking in his past. And how many Republican candidates have had their pictures taken with him? The mind boggles. We just didn't get why "Josh" didn't realize he was putting his party and his employer in peril.
A friend suggested this: "Because Jesus has forgiven him!"
Well — fine. That still doesn't explain the political arrogance — or naivete.
But then it dawned on us: Maybe Jesus hasn't forgiven him. Not at all. Which is why all this is coming out in the first place. God works in mysterious ways! We cats PURR.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
We cats aren't saying we're never going to tweet (although we know for sure that we're never going to be on that Mark Zuckerberg invention). But sometimes stuff happens that reminds us how happy we are to be free of the tyranny of Twitter, the folly of Facebook, the inanity of Instagram and the pathetic triviality of Pinterest.
Item 1: President Obama jumps aboard the Twitter bandwagon, and before you know it, @POTUS gets slammed with racist, hateful and threatening posts. Are we surprised? Ugh. And do we think that the President writes his own tweets, checks out his followers, and thus sees pictures of himself with a noose around his neck? Heck, no — he's busier than even we are. But since we can't be bothered with Twitter, we don't have to look at them, either, thank goodness.
(P.S.: We hope that the Secret Service is investigating all those people who tweeted threats, by the way.)
Item 2: We cats were diligently working away on our computer today when we heard a little ding! to announce a new email popping into our in-box. Imagine our surprise when we saw that it came from our Republican Congressman, Rob Wittman (we prefer to call him "Twitman"), to whom we have never given a dime and for whom we would never in a million years vote. So that was startling enough. But on top of that, Twitman was writing to say he wanted to "connect" with us on the Face Thing.
We weren't exactly looking for another reason to shun Facebook, but we're pleased to add Rob Twitman to the list. We cats HISS.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
We cats don't do Facebook. We have enough on our plates as it is, thank you. But we're amused to see that all-around evangelical jackass Franklin Graham is posting desperate prayers on Facebook for the Supreme Court.
Frankie wants God to open the eyes and hearts and minds of all the justices who he fears are going to decide next month that gay people should be able to get married. If they would just recognize "the truth of Scripture"! We're sure that's going over well with the Supremes who are, um, not Christian.
But wait, there's more: Surely none of the 60,000 Facebookers who "liked" the SCOTUS prayers know that 40 years ago, Franklin's father, that noted anti-Semite Billy Graham, was caught saying some not very nice stuff about Jewish people on the Watergate tapes. Even Elena Kagan is old enough to remember that.
So we think that Franklin Graham is pretty much wasting his time with his desperate Facebook appeals. Because if Ruth Bader Ginsburg was indeed throwing hints around this weekend, maybe some of the Catholic justices are past his prayers, too. We cats PURR.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Two quick questions for journalists tonight:
1). Will anybody from The Hill circle back to Jason Chaffetz and ask him how he feels about Baby Marco Rubio's take on foreign policy now?
Here's Chaffetz on Saturday: "Anybody's who running for President better darn well understand foreign policy. Marco Rubio showed he was fairly deft in his ability to smoothly answer those questions."
Here's Baby Marco on Sunday: "I still say [the Iraq war] was not a mistake because the President was presented with intelligence that said Iraq had WMD... I don't understand the question you're asking."
2). And will anybody touch base with Kenny Boy Mehlman — openly gay Republican and one of the architects of the homophobic George W. Bush 2004 campaign — and ask him how much money he's bundled for "Jeb!" for 2016, and if he's going to ask for any of it back?
The reason we're asking is that "Jeb!" — no doubt feeling the heat from his recent gaffes and carping from conservatives about maybe skipping Iowa — threw the gay haters a bone yesterday by telling the Christian Broadcasting Network that he didn't support Constitutional protections for marriage equality. "We need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage," he bleated.
What a big win for Mehlman (not). But will anyone bother to ask him how he feels about it? Nah. In the lightning-fast world that journalism inhabits these days, reporters suffer from a serious case of Institutional Memory Disorder. Which makes us cats HISS.
(IMAGE: Journalist Cat)
Sunday, May 17, 2015
We cats read something today that — after shaking our furry heads and rubbing our eyes — we had read again to believe.
Scott Walker's personal net worth is minus $72,500. Yes. Minus.
How is this possible? Walker was the executive of Milwaukee County for eight years. Didn't he get paid? He's been Governor since 2011. Does he work for free? Wife "Tonette" has a job with a nonprofit organization. Don't they pay her, either? Scott Walker "wrote" a book. Hasn't it sold any copies? Why don't they have any money?
We cats don't understand how a Governor who's running for the nomination of the favor-the-wealthy party and who's such a fabulous friend of the Koch Brothers has no positive net worth. The Walkers have two children. Do they eat beans and franks every night? This sounds mighty irresponsible to us.
Just as wallowing in his vast fortune makes Mitt Romney appear out of touch, Scott Walker's lack of money is alarming, too. It makes you think, Whoa. He can't manage his family finances, why should he manage the country?
And most of all, why does he hate the working families of Wisconsin so much? We cats HISS.
(IMAGE: Ginger Rogers, a good Republican, in "The Gold Diggers of 1933." Bet she handled her money responsibly.)
Friday, May 15, 2015
We cats have a suggestion for the subject of Ken Burns's next PBS documentary: the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.
Yes, we know that Burns is working on a big show about Vietnam. But as surely as that unnecessary war marked our baby boomer childhoods, so also did the Eisenhower highways. After all, weren't we the generation whose family driving vacations have become home-movie legends? Didn't we learn about the history of America — Fort Ticonderoga, Mount Rushmore, Monticello — by traveling those storied roads (and fighting in back seat when we weren't playing Auto Bingo)?
The biggest reason we want Burns to celebrate the interstates is because of politics, of course. Would the national highway system pass today's Congress? Please don't make us laugh. Would Dwight D. Eisenhower even be welcome in today's Republican Party? We wish that Susan and David Eisenhower would come forward and make a stink about that.
At a time when our infrastructure is falling apart, when people are dying on Amtrak, and the US is lagging behind countries like China in transportation investment, we cats can't help thinking about what a huge accomplishment our country made in the '50s with the highway system — and how much we all benefited from it. Some day, perhaps, a new generation of Americans will realize that a government effort like the interstates can not only build roads, but the economy as well — and how it's worth the trouble. Until we can get out from under the yoke of the Boehner Congress, however, we cats will just have to HISS.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
"Jeb!" Bush has finally, maybe, set the record straight about whether he would invade another country on a lie. But considering all the twists and turns he's taken this week on the issue, we're still not sure.
What we are certain of, though, is that Bush is extremely vexed. Have you seen the video of his would-I-or-would-I-not-wage-war-on-Iraq statement today? God, he is so annoyed. As in, how-dare-you-doubt-me annoyed.
"We're all supposed to answer hypothetical questions" these days, he whines with deep resentment. You know what? We don't care how many versions of the Iraq answer he's given this week — that attitude makes us want to slap his silly face. Hey, Jebbie, do you know how many Americans died because your brother started that war? Show a little respect.
And of course he's not the only Republican who suffers from feelings of entitlement. But Jeb! Bush's was so vividly on display today that we cats just want to hack up a hairball in his underwear drawer. Right after we HISS.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
We cats have always had a soft spot for the Prince of Wales. We wonder why. Is it because since everyone hates him, we have a natural affinity for the undercat?
Even before Dianamania took hold, it seemed, the world decided that Charles was a big-eared goofball, an impression interrupted by his brief interregnum as "Action Man," after which he became the goofball again. And as we all know, his reputation was later compounded by that of the Adulterous Betrayer (partly because of his hamfisted PR, at which he was terrible, but at which his equally adulterous wife was great).
It was as if we all collectively absorbed the attitude of Charles's gorgeous and most likely uncaring father, who was impatient with his eldest son's sensitivities and interests. What else could explain polls of Britons who pine for Charles to be skipped over in the line of succession, in favor of William?
Well, sigh — that's not how it works, folks. The British monarchy is never, ever, going to do something as bizarre as leapfrog a generation, especially after the abdication crisis of 1936 and the scandals of the 1990s. The House of Windsor will go straight down the line, thank you very much — and we cats actually think that once Charles ascends to the throne, you'll find those polls that currently favor his son quite turned on their heads. Just sayin'.
Meanwhile, we have to say we are quite taken with the "black spider memos," Charles's letters to policy makers, which although they are years old have come to light only through the Freedom of Information Act. We think that the British public will probably greet them with a yawn, but we cats are loving every syllable. And why not? Charles has shown himself to be an environmental/public policy/agricultural Renaissance man, interested in everything and concerned about public health. As the brilliant PBS series "Wolf Hall" has shown us, the UK could do a lot worse when it comes to its monarchs' interests. Could the world go wrong with a King of England who's worried about badger culling? We think not.
Let's put it this way: We cats are not looking forward to the day when Queen Elizabeth II checks out. But unlike everyone else on earth, we actually think that the United Kingdom will be in excellent monarchical hands once Charles III — or whatever name he chooses — takes the reins of non-power. He could be as formidable an advocate for causes like fighting climate change, combating urban poverty, and safeguarding public resources as, say, Pope Francis. Which is kinda ironic, if you think about it. We cats PURR.
Fat Mike Huckabee is all umbrage-y that reporters are asking him about his sham diabetes cure. "I don't have to defend everything that I've ever done," he huffed to Bob Schieffer on Sunday.
Um, sorry, Fat Mike, but yes, you do. Everybody on your side of the aisle has to answer for stuff in their past, whether it be silly, small or, in the case of your cinnamon-roll "diabetes solution," serious. (How many unsuspecting admirers have you led into harming their health? We cats want to know.)
Part of it is because of the Internet machine and all that social media hazarai that we haven't yet dipped our paws into but realize is changing the political landscape almost as fast as Citizens United. But part of it, Fat Mike, is your party's own fault.
Why? Because of the hatemongering, destroy-them-at-all-costs tactics that the Republicans have employed since the 1980s. Lest you think it reached its apex with your fellow Arkansans, the Clintons, it's been going strong in the Obama era with birtherism and Jade Helm and all that other teabag nonsense. (You, yourself, Fat Mike, have counseled Americans to avoid joining the military until Barack Obama is out of office.) But as we know, it all began with Lee Atwater, whom God apparently killed at age 40 for his sins, and who we hope is now in Hell.
In the meantime, you Republicans are in a kind of hell yourselves. Because since the Clintons and other Democrats have to answer to absolutely every act they've ever taken, so must you all. It's the way of the world. The GOP made this big, ugly political bed we're in, so the GOP must also lie in it.
So, Fat Mike, we cats would like to know more about the miraculous healing powers of the cinnamon bun. In fact, we think you should be asked about it over, and over, and over again — and whether, since you're obviously getting fat again, you've been eating too many of them yourself. That would make us PURR.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
We cats are sure going to miss Harry Reid. Not just because he's adopted the cool look of the Men In Black, but because he's just ripped into one of our least-favorite organizations on earth, the National Football League.
We've never liked football much (who can see what's going on, anyway?), but in the last several years the league has gotten so bad we can barely stand it. It's chock-full of animal and spouse abusers, murderers, dick-pic idiots and greedy Republicans. And of course, cheaters.
So Harry came out swinging on the Senate floor today. But not just over the New England "Patriots" and their deflated balls — deliciously, Harry took aim once again at the local team's racist name:
“I find it stunning that the National Football League is more concerned about how much air is in a football than with a racist franchise name that denigrates Native Americans across the country. So I wish the commissioner would act as swiftly and decisively in changing the name of the Washington, DC team, as he did enforcing how much air is in the football.”
Ooooh, Harry, we cats love you. We suggest that you stay off all exercise equipment and relax in a nice comfy chair, so we can jump in your lap and PURR.
Monday, May 11, 2015
"The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away. So there will be times when you feel like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are."
—Michelle Obama, to Tuskegee graduates, May 2015
Sunday, May 10, 2015
We cats have a measurement by which we take the current political temperature: Would we rather be Us or Them?
In other words, who's got the stronger hand, the Democrats or the Republicans? Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz cheerier these days than Rancid Pieface? Is George Soros a merrier billionaire than, say, Sheldon Adelson? You get the idea.
Well, going into 2016, we are way happier that we're us.
Is it occasionally nerve-wracking to think that the Democratic Party has but one dominant candidate for the Presidency right now? Sure — because we're not used to it. Historically, we have always been the party of chaos, while the Republicans, neat and orderly, have reliably awarded their crown to the next person in line. (Except, of course, for Sarah Palin — a revealing anomaly that we still can't believe the press doesn't talk about more.)
But today, here we are — lapping up a bunch of stories by startled political writers who are marveling at the smooth efficiency of the Hillary Clinton operation: its prudent budget moves, its Obamaesque use of social media, and its deft end-run of a Koch-bankrolled charlatan peddling another eye-rolling scandal book. It must be working. "Americans now view Mrs. Clinton more favorably and more see her as a strong leader than they did earlier in the year," reports a new New York Times/CBS News poll. "Strong leader," in fact, improved eight points, to 65 percent.
This must drive the Republicans nuts, but they have only themselves to blame. Their behavior has been so bad — veering completely off the cliff in so many ways — that, when you add in their laughingly crowded field, the GOP has a ghastly mess on its hands. So we've got Hillary or nobody? Big deal. The Republicans have almost nobody. There's no such thing as a deep bench when they're almost all clowns — and when the one or two "serious" candidates they do have (Jeb? Kasich?) will have to endure months of vicious infighting and circus mayhem to get to the nomination.
Yes, we know it's only May. But we'll take our candidate and her strengths over that crazy group on the other side any day. We cats PURR.
(IMAGE: Mike Luckovitch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Wow! Like the rest of the world, we cats could not have been more surprised by the results of Thursday's election in the UK. Who conducted all those surveys before the vote, Mitt Romney's pollsters? We may have more comments about all this at some point, but for now let's just say we think Ed Miliband should be relieved that he's living in the 21st century and not the 16th.
Meanwhile, here are a few other political stories that have caught our attention, based slightly closer to home:
Chris Christie is in New Hampshire, trying to jump-start his flailing campaign. Those lucky Granite Staters! They have to put up with a guy who's at 3 percent in the polls, but at the same time they get opportunities to badger him about Bridgegate. Fun for us Democrats, but we're wondering why the media aren't pointing out that Rudy Giuliani tried to reboot his desperate 2008 campaign in the very same state — and with the very same people at the helm.
Also today, "Jeb!" Bush went to Liberty "University," to try to suck up to the right-wing religious nutcases there — you know, the folks who are mad at him because the "let" Terri Schiavo die? And he said the thing that we cats have been screaming about for as long as we can remember: This guy is no moderate. “I am asked sometimes whether I would ever allow my decisions in government to be influenced by my Christian faith...Whenever I hear this, I know what they want me to say. The simple and safe reply is, ‘No. Never. Of course not.'" Jeb! went on to label keeping religion out of public policy as "political correctness" — when we cats would simply call it separation of church and state. But will this get noticed? Earn a mention on the Sunday shows? Hmmm.
Finally, at least the media are covering the support that billionaire Norman Braman is lending Baby Marco Rubio in his quest for.... whatever. You know, we're old enough to remember the days when Norman Braman was a Democrat, like most Jewish Americans are. But a little bird (and we cats love little birds) has suggested that Braman hasn't pulled a "D" lever since 1980, when he decided Jimmy Carter hated Israel (and threw tons of money behind defeating him). Ah, well. Since Braman's own hatred of taxes exceeds any loathings he ascribes to others, we'd say he's the epitome of a selfish, greedy, grasping Republican. Which means we wish him good riddance, and we HISS.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Somewhere, Jack Layton must be smiling.
The late New Democratic Party leader would have gotten a real charge out of this week's election results in Alberta, Canada's most Republican-like, Texas-style province: NDP, 53 seats; the Wildrose Party, 21 seats; Stephen Harper's so-called Progressive Conservatives, 10 seats. And the PC Premier resigned not only as party leader but from his seat in the legislature. Alberta in the hands of leftists — meow!
Speculation has already begun about what an NDP-ruled province will mean for the Keystone XL pipeline. For our part, we cats are wondering what, if anything, the NDP Alberta sweep portends for this October's federal election. Have Canadians finally had it with Harper and his anti-environmentalism after nine long years? Our paws are crossed!
In the meantime, we're enjoying some big Cheshire-cat grins over the Tories' Alberta travails. And since the NDP won just over 41 percent of the popular vote, the Canadian rule of electoral math has happily applied: Get into the high 30s and you win a majority. Get more than 40 percent of the vote, and you wipe out the competition. We cats PURR.
(IMAGE: Rachel Notley, Alberta's new Premier. Yeah, she's a little happy.)
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
So two silly Islamist guys in Texas exercised their Second Amendment rights and tried to riddle Pamela Geller's stupid "Draw the Prophet" meeting in Garland with bullets. (And got killed in the process.) And now we must ask ourselves: What was proved here?
Easy: that everyone involved is an idiot. The gunmen for taking Pamela Geller seriously, and Pamela Geller for being — well, Pamela Geller.
Yep, even though we have no (pardon the expression) dog in the draw-Mohammad fight, we know that those two late, unlamented gentlemen in Texas were ridiculously taken in by a professional hatemonger. They would have been better off following the example of the founder of the North Texas Islamic Council, who said Geller's event was "a gimmick...Pamela Geller and people like her have no power. All they can do is cause commotion and bait people into things."
Amen, brother. Sadly, a lack of maturity definitely permeates public discourse these days.
We cats are not atheists ourselves — such as Britain's possible next Prime Minister — but we can't help thinking that the public square would be a lot better off if religion just didn't exist. Since that doesn't seem possible, perhaps the foaming-at-the-mouth Islamic guys and the rabid, nutcase Republican right wing could try raising their emotional intelligence a little bit? We cats HISS.
(IMAGE: Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson, total oafs.)
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
We cats are very taken with "Wolf Hall," the PBS series based on Hilary Mantel's Man-Booker Prize-winning novels about Thomas Cromwell and the reign of Henry VIII. It's not just that we're devotees of English history — we love the political drama that Mantel and the series portray. Just imagine: politics in which being on the losing side could mean you'd die in nasty ways. Scary!
In those circles, if you were a woman, the only political weapon you had was your womb. Marry the king and give birth to a male heir, and you were golden. Fail to do that — as, given the medical realities of the time, Anne Boleyn did — you'd get your head chopped off. (As Katharine Hepburn said in "The Lion in Winter," such is the role of sex in history.)
So we cats had "Wolf Hall" in mind when we saw the latest news on reproductive rights here in Virginia. Attorney General Mark Herring has declared that abortion clinics in the Old Dominion — contrary to Ken "My Fetus Is Better Than Your Fetus" Cuccinelli's previous opinion — do not need to adhere to hospital-style building standards to remain open. Thus endeth a full-scale and very sneaky assault on abortion access in Virginia.
And we cats say, whew. The anti-choice advocates here have driven things mighty close, haven't they? For years, they've been chipping away at reproductive rights. And with a solidly right-wing Republican legislature and — until recently — Republicans in the statewide offices, they were salivating at the prospect of returning Virginia women to an Anne Boleyn-like state of helplessness in the face of biology.
Well, no more. We cats spent the fall of 2013 going door to door in Northern Virginia, asking people to vote for Terry McAuliffe for Governor, Ralph Northam for Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Herring for Attorney General. And we're happy to report that all three squeaked in — in Herring's case, by only 907 votes. Don't tell us that grass-roots organizing doesn't count — maybe we personally convinced two or three of those 907 to vote Democratic!
Fast-forward to today, when we cats pulled into our pleasant housing development, and passed a neighbor who was driving a car with a "Choose Life" license plate. We wondered: If that neighbor is so hot to trot about choosing life, did she dial up voters or ring doorbells last election? Or did she just put that tag on her car and plant a campaign sign on her lawn for Cuccinelli and his fellow haters, Obenshain and Jackson? If she did, we say this: She has only herself to blame for Herring's decision yesterday.
Like the Tudor court of old, these political battles are a fight to the death. In the anti-choice community's view, it's the "death" of the fetus that's at stake. But we cats know that in the real world, it's the lives of women that matter. Attorney General Mark Herring has made it clear that those are the lives that matter to him, and that's why we'll be in his court when Virginia chooses its next Governor in 2017. In the meantime, we'd rather live in a society slightly more advanced than Tudor England, and we PURR.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
We cats won't go into details, but we do work that occasionally requires us to deal with doctors. And some of those doctors are wonderful. Others are pains in the ass. In fact, a lot of them are pains in the ass.
So it doesn't surprise us that Ben Carson — who is set to announce a campaign for the White House tomorrow — is living proof that you can be a pediatric neurosurgeon and still be an idiot.
Now, don't get us wrong. We're thrilled that Carson is throwing his surgical cap in the ring. The more crazies who join the campaign for the 2016 Republican nomination, the merrier. Let's split the GOP every which way we can, and — in contrast to the reasoned leaders on the Democratic side — let's show America just how nutty they all can be. Hurray for that!
Nevertheless, we must take this opportunity to point out that Ben Carson is a fool. You can be talented at separating conjoined twins, and not know a thing about politics, governance or public policy. Or history, for that matter.
Because who else but a fool would have said that Obamacare was "the worst thing to have happened to the nation since slavery"?
Does Carson know anything about either subject? Does he understand that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans have health coverage now? And that slavery put more than half a million Africans into bondage in the United States? Let us try to explain what "bondage" means: No freedom of movement, no freedom of choice, families split apart, rape, abuse, murder, etc. None of that self-determination, that up-from-the-bootstraps moxie that Dr. Carson cherishes so much.
The Republicans are fond of saying that non-politicians make good presidents. Since "businessmen" like Steve Forbes, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and — most spectacularly — the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived have proved utterly inadequate at political leadership, we hope that the GOP will spare us the notion that a pediatric neurosurgeon would prosper in the Oval Office as well. Because anybody who toes the extreme Republican party line is nobody we'd want operating on us — in the OR or in the public square. We cats HISS and dump our dirty litter boxes on Ben Carson's head.
Friday, May 1, 2015
“To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for ‘no justice, no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man. To those that are angry or hurt or have their own experience of injustice, I urge you to channel your energy peacefully.”
Gee, in less than 24 hours we cats have been treated to two prosecutors, one in New Jersey and the other in Maryland, delivering big smackdowns to folks who we think richly deserve it.
US attorney Paul J. Fishman indicted Chris Christie's inner circle in the Bridgegate saga, and Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby charged six cops with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the case of Freddie Gray. We cats say, quite a day.
Christie lane closer David Wildstein responded with a guilty plea, and his lawyer averred that more's to come — including the fact that "evidence exists" that the Fat Man knew of the lane closures in real time. (Wildstein, by the way, is a shadow of his former self. Perhaps he can give Christie some diet tips.) We cats are thinking that despite the scandal's "-gate" suffix, this is one instance in which the cover-up was truly not worse than the crime. (But it was still pretty bad.)
Meanwhile, down in Baltimore, citizens (although not police officers) cheered at Mosby's announcement. Murder, manslaughter, assault, misconduct in office, false imprisonment — wow! We now are beginning to understand what Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake meant when she said, “If, with the nation watching, three black women at three different levels can’t get justice and healing for this community, you tell me where we’re going to get it in our country."
So, this Friday night, maybe we all have reason for hope. At the very least, we're expecting more fun in New Jersey and maybe even justice in Baltimore. In the meantime, Marilyn Mosby is our new hero. We cats would like to curl up on her lap and PURR.