Monday, August 31, 2015

Canadians Had Better Watch What They Sing

By Miss Kubelik

This amusing anti-Stephen Harper protest song was written and performed this summer by an Environment Canada scientist who sings in his spare time. And it's gotten him suspended from his job.

Seems like "Harperman's" Tory government believes that Tony Turner's performance has now compromised his "ability to impartially study migratory birds" (what?!).

And so, like the post-9/11 doomsday warning to Americans from Ari Fleischer, it appears that Canadians had better watch out, too. Funny how Stephen Harper keeps reminding us of the Bushies (and every other right-wing Republican he worships). We cats HISS.

(P.S.: "Who puts the 'rogue' in 'prorogue'"? Love it! We wish we'd written these lyrics. They make us PURR.)

EXCITING UPDATE: Canadians are invited to defy the Tory clampdown and join in a cross-country sing-along of "Harperman" on Thursday, September 17! Visit Turner's website for more information!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Peace, Not Apartheid

By Zamboni

So now that we cats are up in Canada, having endured no hassles crossing into the country yesterday, we're wondering what kind of reception the latest Republican idea is getting in the halls of 24 Sussex Drive.

Specifically, that idea would be from the cross-eyed college dropout from Wisconsin, GOP candidate for President, who thinks we should have a 5.525-mile wall on the US-Canadian border. "That's a legitimate issue for us to look at," said Scott Walker, asked about it today on Meet the Press.

We cats have been convinced for years that Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has Karl Rove, et. al. on direct-dial. So we're wondering if anyone in the Canadian press will ask him what he thinks of his friends in the Republican Party now. We cats HISS.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Earl Grey, Hot

 We cats can't wait to get to Canada tomorrow — because the True North is embroiled in a federal election just now. We expect to see a lot of TV ads for Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair and Elizabeth May. Plus tons of posters for Parliamentary candidates across Montreal. Fun!

What we didn't expect was a cat running for Prime Minister, on the incredibly worthy platform of updating Canada's animal cruelty laws.

Now, we are torn: Will Earl Grey of the Tuxedo Party irrevocably split the anti-Harper vote and send the Tories back to power? Or will he only tip the results in Halifax, Nova Scotia, his home riding? We promise and investigation and a full report. Until then, we cats PURR.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

These Are The Only Folks With The Right To Say "Get Out Of My Country"

One consolation: This clip will become part of countless Democratic campaign ads in the months to come.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gone God

By Baxter

We cats have only one reaction to the news that a portrait of Jesus Christ was finally removed from a public school in Kansas: Thank God.

Yep, J.C. is pretty hunky (and mighty Caucasian) in this famous piece of kitsch. And we invite devout Christians across America to hang it in their trailers homes. But it has no place in a public institution.

"We have the right to keep our picture up," one of the local yokels said. No, Mr. Yokel, you don't. We cats PURR.

Tidbits And Cat Treats: Dread Of Donald (And Jivin' For Joe?) Edition

By Sniffles

Oh, darn, we thought maybe we were past the problems of the stock market now. Because two political news stories have caught our attention.

The rash of Republican state parties — including Virginia's — that don't want to let any candidates on the ballot unless they pledge to support the eventual nominee reminds us that when we talk about today's GOP, we are not discussing reasonable people. After all, these are the folks whose rules in 2012 made it impossible for anyone to compete in the Old Dominion's primary except Willard Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

So while we're no fans of Donald Trump (although we are fans of the tight knots he's tying the Republicans into), this latest move to limit the primary ballot to those who pledge fealty is unsavory. After all, this is the party that's been hell-bound on rolling back early voting and on passing numerous laws to make voting more difficult for people they don't like. So this latest anti-Trump move is the latest example of the anti-democratic mud pit in which today's GOP has chosen to wallow. Incredible.

Meanwhile, on our side of the aisle, the Joe Biden 2016 speculation continues. This analysis of eight reasons a run might be a bad idea was particularly interesting to us. Here are a few thoughts:

Number 3, the "gaffes," doesn't really impress us. Knowing the Vice President as we do, we cats have long thought that his reputation for verbal goofs is more media-manufactured than actual. He says what's in his heart. If we were advising him for 2016, we'd tell him to collect a bunch of the more harmless blurts and run them proactively as a funny commercial. People are interested in anti-Establishment politicians, and Biden's resume is as Establishment as they come. Gaffes help de-Establish him.

Number 4, getting humiliated, is huge. We could be wrong, but we don't think he wants to end his political career as a three-time loser. Just sayin'.

Otherwise, the other six are pretty much right on the money. And we'd add two. First: If Biden can't beat Hillary, will he want to spend the next 10 years raising money to retire his inevitable campaign debt? Second: Joe Biden's best, most passionate, most articulate and most available campaign surrogate died earlier this year. Who can replace the number of voter touches Beau Biden could have made on the trail? On that note, we cats continue to send our sympathies, and we PURR.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

In Case You Missed It

Here is President Carter's entire press conference from Thursday, August 20, 2015. If you have ever been worried about a medical diagnosis, please watch this. You will feel better. We cats, who have nine lives, PURR.

It's Easy Being Mean

By Miss Kubelik

The rise of Donald Trump in the Republican Party and the havoc he's wreaked have been mostly fun to watch. But it's also been disturbing. Trump appeals to people's base, uneducated instincts, and sadly, there are a lot of haters in the world. But at the same time, we were hoping Americans won't vote for a Republican next year for that very reason: Surely most of our fellow citizens are decent folks who are turned off by all the nastiness and the venom.

And then we saw Rafael Cruz, Jr. and the Fat Tub from New Jersey slamming Jimmy Carter — even after Carter's graceful announcement of his cancer diagnosis. Politically, it seemed ridiculous. Nobody under 35 today was alive when Carter was President, so they have no memory of what the two clowns are talking about. (And we'd like to see Cruz and the Tub craft a Middle East peace agreement that's lasted for decades. Try that, suckers.)

Voters aren't going to like that kind of vitriol, are they? Going after a now-universally-revered 90-year-old with melanoma? But Jimmy can handle it; we're not worried about him. What does concern us is all this "anchor-baby" hate, and the unfathomable discussion of ending birthright citizenship. We can't believe the 2016 clown car has gotten that far over the right-wing cliff, and that they're pulling Rancid Pieface and the rest of the hapless RNC with them.

Here's some food for thought: The humans who claim to be our owners — for nobody really owns a cat — are an American family founded by two Scottish immigrants who lived in the United States for years without becoming citizens. (They eventually moved to Canada.) If birthright citizenship is revoked the way Republicans want, the immigrants' two sons — members of the Greatest Generation who were born in the US and served in World War II and Korea — would have to leave. Including all of their descendants. After all, Donald Trump believes in "keeping families together," doesn't he?

There are millions of Americans with histories like this. So let's start that conversation. Do Trump and the GOP, screaming about ending birthright citizenship, want to deport the children of all immigrants, even white Northern Europeans? Somehow, we doubt that they do. They save their hate for people of color, and we cats HISS.

(IMAGE: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Take a lesson, GOP.)

Thursday, August 20, 2015


By Zamboni

So today we have two couples in the news, and their situations could not be more different. See if you can guess which two couples we're talking about.

One couple has been married for 69 years, has worked tirelessly for decades to eradicate horrible diseases that afflict the world's poorest people, and are joined at the hip by endless devotion. This morning, one half of the couple announced a cancer diagnosis by saying, "I was surprisingly at ease — much more so than my wife was."

The other couple was recently convicted of greedily accepting gifts from a slimy businessman, were sentenced to prison, and have been throwing whiny tantrums ever since. Yesterday, one half of the couple told a federal court that she shouldn't be hauled off to the hoosegow even if her husband is. (And it's increasingly looking like he will be.)

Both couples are supposed to be Christians. Which one do you think actually is? And which one do you think is happier, even with melanoma and radiation and all that other awful stuff hanging over their heads? We cats know, and we PURR.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Taylorism, Meet Bezosism

By Baxter

We cats were captivated by the New York Times take-down of Amazon this past weekend. Mostly because, like billions of other people in the world, we have ordered stuff from them — but also because we: 1) have an inherent interest in quality workplaces, and 2) continue to wonder what effect Jeff Bezos's ownership will have on the shadow-of-its-former-self Washington Post.

We can't answer the second question, except to say that the Post continues to fall short of our expectations (and yes, we are longtime subscribers to the print edition, so shut up, Martin Baron).

The first question, however, leaves us a little unsettled. We are not sure how contemporary American workplaces are providing employees with meaningful career opportunities if they are increasingly unable to unionize, and if their performances are being constantly monitored in real time by data and metrics — "a phase in which technology mediates our experience of the physical world," as New York magazine aptly put it.

This is disturbing. Why? Because back around the turn of the 20th century, Frederick Taylor introduced a scientific concept of management by instituting systems in which productivity would be taken out of the hands of the workers and put under the control of the bosses. It was the first time that measurable results were used to gauge worker performance. The problem was that it effectively disarmed the employees whose productivity was being measured.

So we cats are sorry to say that we see no difference between the present-day Amazon of Jeff Bezos and the early-20th-century Taylorist factory floor managers — who monitored assembly line workers for how many widgets they screwed into place per hour, and how many minutes they took for a bathroom break. The methods of measurement are different, that's all. The pressure to perform — without the ability to control one's environment — are, sadly, all too similar.

We would be pleased to have "Amazonians" (a term we have to say we frankly despise) dispute our impressions of their workplace. But until we do, we cats will have reservations about patronizing Amazon — and you can be sure that we'll be keeping an extra eye on The Washington Post. Not that it could get much worse — but if the Jeff Bezos who was portrayed in The New York Times is at all accurate, we cats believe it could. So we HISS.

Happy Birthday, President Clinton

Make all the puns you want, but we've always known that Bill Clinton is a cat man. RIP, Socks, and Mr. President, many happy returns of the day.

A Quickie: Puzzle Du Jour

We cats don't understand two things about Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who is refusing to obey the law and issue marriage licenses to gay couples: 1) How she can be a Democrat, and 2) how somebody who looks like this could have been married four times. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Time For Him To Go

By Sniffles

We cats have been biding our time, not leaping to comment on the excellent op-ed that appeared in Sunday's New York Times about how totally awful Stephen Harper is.

Who's that? you ask. Answer: Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, who for the last nine years has turned the True North from an admired model of openness, tolerance and democracy to... something not so much. From abolishing the long-gun registry to wiping out the long-form census, Harper has been bent on making Canada more insular, less neighborly, and decidedly less informed about what its government is doing.

But will fed-up Canadians be able to toss Harper come October 19, or will the non-Conservative vote be split between the NDP and the Liberals, allowing the Tories to live to see another day? We cats sincerely hope not, but with Quebec as the wild card, things could be close.

And then, goodness gracious, this appeared: The Canadian Senate expenses scandal has suddenly burst forth anew with fresh ties to the Prime Minister's office. It's a little complicated, but suffice to say that checks that shouldn't have been written were, and people close to Harper lied about it. Since slimy finances were exactly the issue that helped propel the Tories to power over the Liberals back in 2006, we assume (and hope) that the Canadian version of Republican hypocrisy will come home to roost.

So we're glad to have allowed the Times piece to marinate a bit, so that we could take 48 hours to relax, reflect and ruminate on Canada's near-decade of Tory rule. But our opinion hasn't changed. Stephen Harper has been a disaster. Not just because we disagree with every policy move he's made, and not just because we still suspect him of having Karl Rove on speed-dial, but for the worst thing he's ever done: sully the Canadian brand. We cats HISS.

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's Red Panda Time Again!

We cats normally share photos of red pandas when we're disgusted by something and need a quick pick-me-up. Now, while we freely admit there's plenty in the news to repulse us these days (the Republicans' hate-filled 2016 clown car alone makes us want to hack up a hairball), the reason we're going all red panda today is this alarming story in The New York Times.

But oh, how cute. We're fighting the urge to jump in the car and drive to Front Royal this very minute!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Say You Won't Run, Joe

By Miss Kubelik

We cats have a total soft spot in our hearts for Joe Biden. We are reassured by the fact that he could be President if he had to. But we hope he decides not to run for the Democratic nomination in 2016. How can you feel the need to help, love and protect your bereaved family in the wake of tragedy — and then subject them to a Presidential campaign at the same time? We cats wonder.

Lost Cat

We Democratic cats were very sorry to hear about the passing of Julian Bond. On a planet that's inexorably warming, we can't afford to lose an ounce of cool.

Trouble In River City (And The Rest Of The Hawkeye State)

By Zamboni

A recent CNN poll of Republicans in Iowa had Donald Trump significantly out in front, with the cross-eyed college dropout from Wisconsin third behind the crazy pediatric neurosurgeon who doesn't understand the meaning of the term "anti-Semitic."

Since the poll was conducted before this weekend's Iowa state fair, Trump's numbers are no doubt even higher. Amazing what giving a few kids helicopter rides can do.

However, we cats are most interested in the sorry-ass numbers that Jeb! Bush posted in that poll. He was in seventh place — tied with Squirrel-Haired Rand Paul and Baby Marco Rubio at 5 percent.

Wow, that's really bad. So bad that we speculated whether Jeb! would have to pull out of Iowa altogether. But then we remembered: Bush, as the alleged, Establishment-anointed "front runner," can't afford to pull out of Iowa. He also can't afford to stay in (and come in sixth, seventh or lower).

This got us started on all sorts of amusing parallel constructions. Examples:

Bush can't afford to speak the truth about the mess his brother, The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived, made in Iraq. But he can't afford not to admit that invading Iraq was a mistake.

Bush can't afford to talk about how egregiously he interfered with a family's personal medical decisions in the Terri Schiavo case. But he can't afford to talk about how (in the teabags' view) he let Terri Schiavo die.

Bush can't afford to admit that he said he'd do "probably nothing" for black voters in Florida. But he can't afford to avoid discussing how the GOP has to be more inclusive of minorities.

And it just goes on like that. We invite you to play this parlor game at your next cocktail party, and send us the best pairings. In the meantime, we cats PURR.

(IMAGE: "Trouble In River City," from The Music Man. We consider any hour spent in the company of Robert Preston to be golden.)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Note To Bob McDonnell: Edmond Dantes You Are Not

By Baxter

Reading the story of Rudolph Norris, a low-level drug offender whose endless federal sentence was recently commuted by President Obama, we cats were struck by the contrast between the former inmate from Maryland and a certain convicted criminal who used to be the Republican Governor of Virginia.

Here's Norris — free after 22 years, grappling with the Internet and cellphones, and firmly resolved to get a decent job so he can start paying taxes — swearing that he's going to live up to the President's confidence in him. And here's "Transvaginal Bob" McDonnell, kicking and screaming and whining about being hauled off to a cushy federal hoosegow for a mere 24 months.

Never mind that we cats think McDonnell's abuse of Virginia women while he was in office makes him worthy of many more months behind bars. We think it's pathetic that after multiple unsuccessful, self-pitying appeals of his 11-count public-corruption conviction, he refuses to grow the eff up and take it on the chin.

After all, Rudolph Norris didn't languish in jail. He started researching case law in his prison library, trying to figure out how to get around his absurdly disproportionate sentence — aided, deliciously, by a fellow inmate who was in for insider trading. Ah-ha, we thought: Maybe Transvaginal Bob — a lawyer — can help someone like that when he goes to jail. (Note that we said "when.")

So suck it up, Transvaginal Bob. You're making yourself look like an ultra-weenie, when you should be taking a page from the ex-crack-seller who is determined to turn his life around. Because Rudolph Norris spent 10 times longer in jail than you ever will, and is 10 times the man that you'll ever be. We cats HISS.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Let Them Make Cake

By Sniffles

We cats were pleased to see two separate decisions in the last couple of days that gave "religious freedom" people the legal bitch-slaps they deserve.

In Colorado, the court of appeals ruled against a baker who wanted the right to refuse service to a same-sex couple looking to buy a wedding cake. And a federal judge in Kentucky ordered a county clerk to issue marriage licenses to everyone in Rowan County, regardless of sexual orientation.

We don't know whether the baker has hung up his mixing spoon yet, or if he'll just try to make cakes and cookies without dwelling on the sex lives of the customers who buy them. But although the idiot Kentucky county clerk didn't show up for work today, her staff sent two gay couples away license-less, in flagrant violation of the law.

We cats hope that sooner or later, everyone will figure out that civil marriage licenses have nothing to do with religion, and that it is un-American for anyone who sells a product or service to deny groups of people access to that product or service. And then we can all go back to what we were doing before, and the world will keep spinning.

But in the meantime, those people in the Rowan County clerk's office should be hauled off to the hoosegow. Nothing less. We cats SNARL.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Things To Come

By Miss Kubelik

On the day that the world has learned of President Carter's cancer diagnosis, we cats are, of course. pulling for him. He is the original Energizer Bunny, and may he continue that way. After all, Jimmy Carter — we have no doubt — will be judged one of the most consequential Americans in world history.

But meanwhile, back to petty 2015 politics.

Gosh! It looks like if you browse the political stories du jour, you either get Donald Trump's offensive comments or Hillary Clinton's emails. Well, boo to The Donald for his buffoonery, and yay to Hillary for turning her server over. May the FBI settle this argument once and for all, not that any of it was necessary. (We're still trying to figure out why the Bushies could use personal email accounts without censure, but Democrats named Clinton can't. Hm.)

However, if journalists can tear themselves away, maybe soon we'll see a small handful of stories on the following:

1. What's the matter with Scott Walker? Why is he fading in Iowa? Why can't he catch fire the way (kinda) John Kasich has in New Hampshire?

2. We understand Baby Marco Rubio's under-the-radar strategy. But is he tempting fate by virtually disappearing after such a strong start?

3. Who in the clown car folds first? Santorum? Jindal? Perry? Will Perry's PAC money also dry up, now that his campaign is begging for handouts?

4. How is it that Jeb!'s public performances keep getting worse? We only need cite his "Bushes Are Not Responsible for ISIL" speech as evidence.

5. When does Jeb! start getting concerned about Carly Fiorina? How fatal would it be for Jeb! to come in behind Fiorina in the Iowa caucuses? We cats are smelling a Bush-inherent-weakness thing.

Just wondering. And if political journalists do their jobs, instead of lazily reaching for Trump and Clinton stories, we'll learn the answers. We cats PURR.

Monday, August 10, 2015

There Will Be Blood

By Zamboni

For the second time, a prominent Republican has gotten into hot water over a comment about blood.

Remember? Back in 2011, the famous quitter from Alaska landed herself into a peck of trouble after the Gabby Giffords shooting. Never mind that her stupid Face Thing page had used a cross-hairs icon to indicate Giffords's CD as a swing district — anybody who called attention to that was guilty of "blood libel."

What the famous quitter didn't realize, of course, was the underlying meaning of the blood libel term — which we cats are sure gets bandied about in her synapse-drained evangelical circles without a hint of understanding of its nuances. Anyway, suffice to say that trouble ensued.

That's all kinda hard to remember now because the famous quitter from Alaska is yesterday's news. Today, we have GOP clowns like Rafael Cruz, Jr., Rand Paul, Baby Marco Rubio, Fat Mike Huckabee, crazy Ben Carson and the cross-eyed college dropout from Wisconsin to kick around. An embarrassment of clown riches! The famous quitter seems so dated by comparison.

Nevertheless, we thought about her when Donald Trump, the Supreme GOP Clown of All, stepped in it with his recent comments about Megyn Kelly. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever," he said — following up by blaming anyone who thought he was talking about — well, you know. Such dirty minds you people have!

We cats don't care what blood was coming out of what orifice of Megyn Kelly's. We refused to turn on Thursday night's debate because we don't ever want FOX "News" broadcasting in our house. But we agree with Hillary Rodham Clinton that the Trump remark was far from the only offensive statement on the debate stage that night.

Meanwhile, here's our favorite quote of all. And it goes to Carly Fiorina. Donald Trump's remarks about Megyn Kelly "were completely inappropriate and offensive comments, period." (Emphasis ours.) We cats PURR.

(IMAGE: This is either a still from a Daniel Day-Lewis movie, the Republican primary process going up in flames. Take your pick!)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Attention, America: There Is An Alternative

By Baxter

We cats have been traveling this weekend and occupying ourselves with subjects other than politics (imagine!). So we've come back to these blaring headlines about Donald Trump's latest thingy and how the GOP field is being roiled again and, OMG, what next?

All we can say is, It's your party, GOP. He's your guy. Vaya con Dios.

But two points come to mind that we just have to make.

First, that so-called political correctness is not a bad thing. Contrary to what Donald Trump says, there is not too much of it in the world. Do you know why? Because political correctness is nothing more than being considerate of other people's feelings. Goodness gracious, even Ben Carson agrees with us on this (at least in regard to Megyn Kelly). But we would argue that it applies exponentially. Maybe all these right-wing evangelicals would recognize the sentiment if we phrased it thusly: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

Second, Trump's behavior — and the Republican candidates' unwillingness to totally call him out — is about more than political weeniness. It's about maturity. There is no doubt that Trump the vanity candidate isn't sufficiently adult to be President. But clearly, none of these other GOP guys are, either. Sorry, folks, but Presidential politics just can't be conducted this way.

So if you're fed up with the GOP's verbal equivalent of manspreading, the Democrats have a highly qualified and very intelligent front-runner at the moment who might interest you. She has never accused the media of being on the rag (although God knows she could have), and, like Obama, compared to the Republican clown car she is the only grownup in the room. We're talking Hillary Rodham Clinton. Take heart, America! We cats PURR.

Friday, August 7, 2015

To Thine Own Selfie Be True

By Sniffles

We cats are hitting the road for a couple of days, but here are some quick thoughts on last night's doings.

The young Cillizza lad at The Washington Post must have been spun by the Baby Marco people ahead of the main Republican debate. His "winners and losers" piece this morning doesn't even mention Jeb! Bush. We can only guess that Roger Simon of POLITICO was right: "The candidate who really had the hard time was the man who is second in the polls, Jeb Bush. He wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t very good. He looked like a person who had wandered into a race he wasn’t really interested in."

In fact, the young Cillizza lad's column had all the hallmarks of being pre-written and carelessly tweaked just before upload. In short, inadequate.

Did Chris Wallace really call Baby Marco "Governor" Rubio?

At the kids' table, did Rick Perry say "Ronald Raven"? Twitter seemed to think so.

Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-Netanyahu) issued a statement last night opposing the Iran nuclear deal. His timing was interesting: the two clown car debates, Jon Stewart's last show... did he think nobody would notice?

Finally, yes, there was that other debate in Vancouver. With Canadians still on vacation and not focused on the October election, we're not sure anyone watched. But for those who did, the NDP's Thomas Mulcair was deemed the clear winner. First Alberta, then the nation? We cats are getting ready to PURR.

(IMAGE: Hillary spends Thursday night campaigning — and hanging with Kim and Kanye. Not bad!)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

No "Kids' Table" Here

By Miss Kubelik

Hey, how about that debate tonight! Oh — you were talking about the one up in Canada, right? Because Canadians will go to the polls on October 19, and the leaders of the major parties are mixing it up in Vancouver even as we speak.

It seems that Stephen Harper is getting slammed from all sides on the economy and energy (as well he should). And that NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, in his first real nationwide introduction to the True North, is mopping the floor with him. “Mr. Harper," Mulcair says, "we really can’t afford four more years of you."

If this all seems a bit sudden, it's because the Canadian election was just called a few days ago. So unlike the passengers in the GOP clown car, the candidates in Vancouver had to be ready to debate on a dime. (And by the time all the Canadian votes are in, the American election will still have over a year to go. Goodness gracious!)

But fear not, narcissistic Americans: The Canadian Twitterverse has taken note of the clown car doings in Cleveland tonight. In the words of The Guardian's official debate watcher: "Fans, I’m hearing rumours of another clash taking place just south of the border in the great state of Ohio. Someone called 'Donald Trump' will apparently take the stage. I’ve never heard of him."

There must be plenty of clowns in the GOP who wish the same. We cats PURR.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Confusion To The Enemy

By Zamboni

We cats have a friend who was a guest at Donald Trump's third wedding in 2005. (Tony Bennett accidentally stepped on the train of her dress at the reception. "Sorry, sweetie," he crooned with that big Bennett grin.)

So we always knew from this friend that the Clintons had attended the Trump nuptials, which, when we thought about it, was logical. The New York connection alone would explain it, not to mention the Clinton Global Initiative and all the other crossed paths since. And when the clueless inhabitants of Pundit World started gasping about it recently, we rolled our eyes. Please. The political arena is filled with cross-pollinating opportunities, and even in today's polarized red-blue America, they still happen.

Here's a more recent example for you: Jeb! Bush — that absolutely, unequivocally wrong gaffe machine and erstwhile GOP front-runner — in 2013 presented Hillary Rodham Clinton with the National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal for her many years of public service. As you can imagine, right-wing nutjobs went bonkers. But we cats bet that that's news to you, isn't it?

We're all more familiar with stuff like George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton traveling to Southeast Asia for tsunami relief, or the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived teaming up with Bill to help Haiti after the earthquake. Not to mention McCain-Feingold, the bipartisan law that, once upon a time, reined in campaign spending before it was trashed by the Supreme Court.

Long story short, we're amused that the political world seems tied up in knots by the newly reported Donald-Bill phone confab back in May. The Freeps don't know what to think about it, and neither does anyone else. We're sure, however, that some desperate candidate will try to tar Trump with it at tomorrow night's debate.

Humph. All Trump has to say is: "Hey — Americans are always saying they want Republicans and Democrats to work together better. Well, this proves that I can be friendly with Democrats." End o' story.

It makes us grin like Cheshire cats. Or Tony Bennett.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Absolutely, Unequivocally, Jebbily Wrong

By Baxter

Goodness gracious. That exclamation point at the end of Jeb! Bush's name is becoming a gasp of horror.

"I’m not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women’s health issues," Jeb! haplessly opined to the Southern Baptist thingy this afternoon. And the world went crazy: Hillary tweeted, Democrats pounced, and the Jeb! campaign had to backtrack and explain and clarify.

Could the timing of this be worse? It's the same day that:

POLITICO openly speculates that Jeb! is the second coming of Michael Dukakis. 
The New York Times reports that fewer than half of eligible patients are receiving an innovative chemo treatment for ovarian cancer. (NOTE: Men don't get ovarian cancer.)

Bush is coming off an awkward, lackluster performance at last night's Voters First Forum in New Hampshire.

So, let's think about this for a second. We cats are no fans of Donald Trump, but it's occurred to us that when Trump made an unforced error ("John McCain is not a war hero"), the punditocracy and the GOP all pronounced him done.

How many unforced errors has Jeb! had? How many does he get? And it's only now that he's getting the bad headlines? It kinda makes you wonder. We cats HISS.

Don't Call Us, We'll Call You

By Sniffles

The reviews of last night's New Hampshire Republican speed-dating confab are in, and boy, are they bad.

So bad that a certain bombastic buffoon who declined to attend is looking very smart today. As is Willard Mitt Romney. In our view, the universally panned candidate "forum" did nothing to knock Willard off his stealthy game to be the compromise candidate of 2016 (our theory, and, we think, a good one).

Otherwise, for the clown car passengers who did show up, there are no winners, only Donald Trump's favorite word, losers. But here are some of the biggest ones.

Jeb! Bush — The brother of the Worst Person Who's Ever Lived turned in a bumbling performance and thus did absolutely nothing to close the deal with folks who have yet to endorse him. A lost opportunity, particularly since the rubbery-faced John Kasich has squeaked into Thursday night's debate and all signs are that he's going to try to take Bush down a peg.

Still, no one wants to write Jeb! off (even though he's dropped in a series of recent polls), all thanks to his money. But now we're seeing headlines like this. Not good. If this keeps up, Mr. Exclamation Point Money Bags could end up being the John Connally of the Citizens United era. (Stumped on the reference? You could look it up.)

Rick Santorum — The 2012 also-ran said Carly Fiorina should be on the $20 bill. WTF? First, it's the $10 bill that will have a woman on it. Second, we think you have to be dead to be on US currency. But Santorum's comment is also — aside from being pandering and idiotic — a supreme example of the Republican penchant for rewriting history. Fiorina was fired from Hewlett-Packard. That qualifies her to go on money? (And P.S.: What self-respecting Republican wouldn't nominate Nancy Reagan for that? When she dies, of course.)

Carly Fiorina — Speaking of the failed H-P exec, she must have felt the walls closing in last night, because she whined pointedly about how much better the New Hampshire forum was, format-wise, than Thursday night's extravaganza on FOX. And then she spent the rest of her time calling Hillary Clinton a liar. Which is interesting — because a couple of months ago, Fiorina swore to TIME magazine that she'd be on the August 6th debate stage. So... who's the liar? We cats HISS.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The New Romney

By Miss Kubelik

We cats may have mentioned that we think Willard Mitt Romney is strategizing to be the GOP's compromise candidate at a deadlocked 2016 convention.

Well, here's more proof of that, in our book: Willard is guest-starring in a video ad for Stephen Colbert and "The Late Show."

You might wonder, how do the two connect? We may be dating ourselves, but please keep in mind that part of Richard Nixon's rehabilitation in his run-up to the 1968 election was his "Sock it to me?" cameo on Rowan & Martin's "Laugh-In." And so now we have Willard getting TV exposure by promoting Stephen Colbert.

When the clown car passengers all crash into each other in Cleveland next year, and, Willard Mitt Romney, the GOP turns its lonely eyes to you — we cats predict that Pundit World will look back on your "Late Show" gig and say, "It all started there."

Except for those of us who figured out the strategy long ago. We cats PURR.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

And They're Off

By Zamboni

It's official: Canada will go to the polls on October 19.

So we cats will be inundated with political advertising when we travel back to Montreal in a few weeks. And in case you're wondering: Yes, negative ads still work. The Conservatives' "just not ready" commercials, which we saw ad nauseum during the Women's World Cup, have taken a real bite out of Justin Trudeau.

But here's the news item that most caught our eye in all the hubbub: It's going to be the longest election Canadian ever.

Eleven weeks! Can you believe it?

We cats don't know whether to laugh or cry. So we'll just PURR instead.


By Baxter

We cats see that the young Cillizza lad over at The Washington Post is still dutifully scribbling down (and writing up) everything that his favorite friends in the Republican establishment whisper in his ear.

This time around, he's talking to GOP campaign hacks currently "unaffiliated" with anybody in the 2016 Clown Car and unthinkingly repeating what they say. (Yawn.) Oh, sorry — what was that? Trying to stay awake here, but before we nod off we might as well share our reactions.

Cillizza is still ranking Jeb! Bush as the guy with the best chance to get the GOP nomination next year. We cats bet he wrote this column up before the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll came out today, which has Jeb! in third place. So, how many more polls have to come out with Jeb! in third before alleged pundits like the Cillizza lad stop predicting he'll get the party nod? A lot.

Cillizza has Baby Marco in second place, probably because of the money that his Super PAC has raised. But what about Rafael Cruz, Jr., who 1) has raised more and 2) has a very smart Southern primary strategy going, with his eyes on March 1? He's currently at #6. Hm. We think Rafael might be getting short shrift.

Overall, we cats think that the young Cillizza lad consistently underestimates the enmity of the whackjob Republican base. He's got Kasich at #5, just a few slots behind Baby Marco and Jeb! We'll have to see what our right-wing friends over at Free Republic say about all that. Because we can't begin to describe the loathing that they feel for anybody who's expanded Medicaid (Kasich), who supports immigration reform (Baby Marco) or who's named Bush (Bush).

We have yet to see an inhabitant of Pundit World explain how those guys are going to get around the fury of the teabags, who are fired up and ready to go.

So keep your eye on the cross-eyed college dropout from Wisconsin (#3). Just sayin'. Back to sleep, now.