Saturday, January 30, 2016

Iowa Stubborn?

By Miss Kubelik

The last, highly predictive Des Moines Register poll before the Iowa caucuses has come out, and on the Republican side, we cats just want to tell Baby Marco Rubio: You'd better duck, dude.

Not that we think Baby Marco is worth anyone's time come the general election — but for purposes of the 2016 GOP clown car, Rubio's fellow passengers will desperately want to drive him down from 15 percent to maybe 12 or below. We'll see if that's possible. They have one day left to try.

On the Democratic side, we cats know that — not to sound like a broken record — it's all going to come down to the ground game. On that note, we are encouraged by two recent stories: One, that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is not beaming into Iowa to hold huge pro-Clinton rallies but, rather, is knocking on doors; and two, that Rafael Cruz, Jr.'s recent embarrassing town-hall moment over Obamacare came at the hands not of a Republican voter but of a Clinton caucus-goer. Bravo, Mike Valde, and we cats are sorry for your loss.

We are also impressed that the newspaper that broke the "story" of the Clinton emails has, today, enthusiastically endorsed our former Secretary of State for President. We cats have read the editorial, and we wouldn't change a word. (We're not sure how much the paper's simultaneous endorsement of John Kasich on the Republican side is going to help him with the party's crazy teabagger base.)

And goodness gracious, Cruz is in a bit of a pickle, isn't he? While the right-right-right wingers in the Iowa GOP wrestle with what they're going to do on Monday night, we cats would just like to remind them that Rafael Cruz, Jr. was born in a Canadian province which has enjoyed universal health care for going on 50 years now, and has embraced marriage equality since 2005. Just sayin'. We cats PURR.

(PHOTO: Doug Mills, The New York Times)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

About That "Surge" (Iowa, Not Iraq)

By Zamboni

The Iowa caucuses are Monday, and questions are being raised about how much of a "surge" will occur on both the Democratic and Republican sides.

While Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are counting on a whole slew of virgin voters to help put them over the top, The New York Times is reporting that the numbers aren't bearing them out. "The pace of new voter registration in the Iowa caucuses is reason to question whether a huge turnout is really in the offing," the newspaper said. (You can almost see the Gray Lady's eyebrow raise.)

This is not necessarily surprising to us cats. While we'll be biting our nails (see above) along with everybody else, we've been aware for awhile of a few things that could support the Times's observations.

As observed before, Trump's Iowa organization is kind of, um, wanting. They're not doing voter registration, and who knows whom the folks they turn out to the caucuses will actually end up supporting? Although Rafael Cruz, Jr. has a merry little band of imported worker bees who are pounding the pavement and staying in rented dorms, the campaign's focus on evangelicals leads us to believe that they're leaving their registration chores to the churches. Jeb!, who has the next-best organization in Iowa, is focused on long-established voters, not newbies.

On the Democratic side, were there enough grownups in the Sanders campaign who, over the summer and fall, figured out the voter registration piece of this puzzle? Or were they too occupied building 15,000-person crowds for their rallies? Meanwhile, Hillary's "establishment" backers — unions, teachers, Planned Parenthood, EMILY's List — have long focused on registration. Their efforts could explain the modest uptick in the Democratic sign-ups.

We cats are making no predictions here. We're only saying that it's a possible explanation for a set of Iowa facts that don't appear to match the enthusiasm that people are seeing on the ground. So we'll just sit switching our tails, and we'll wait.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Know When To Hold, Know When To Fold

By Baxter

So the GOP clown car, with Donald Trump at the wheel, continues to hit-and-run the Republican Party — perhaps fatally. This reasoned argument by 538's Nate Silver lays out exactly what may be in store for the Party of Lincoln. Of course, if you want to read it, you have to: 1) be willing to invest some time beyond sound bites, 2) consider a bit of history, and 3) employ an intellect a lot higher than your typical Trump supporter's. Just sayin'.

You know what rule applies when your enemy is destroying himself? Never interfere. The second rule is this: Don't do anything silly in your own neck of the woods, either.

So we cats are mystified about Bernie Sanders. We buy the whole give-Hillary-a-primary-opponent-so-she-hones-her-chops-for-the-general-election thing. But in light of Sanders's meeting with President Obama at the White House today, we're wondering if Obama happened to raise the issue of Dr. Robert Califf with him.

Califf is the adminstration's nominee to head the FDA, and Sanders has put a hold on his nomination. Too many ties to the pharmaceutical companies, Bernie says. Never mind that the position has been vacant for nearly a year.

This drives us cats crazy. Is it because we love Big Pharma? Heck, no. But we have to think that any nominee to the FDA from a Democratic President is going to be way superior to a nominee from the other side. And goodness gracious — we Democrats don't need to be putting a hold on our own Chief Executive's nominations, do we?

Ah, but then we remembered: Bernie Sanders is not really a Democrat. He's an Independent who just caucuses with us. And while it's always interesting when people put principle over politics, at a time when the Democratic Party is rallying to oppose the off-the-charts nutcases who will choose a nominee in Cleveland this summer, we need not to be doing stuff like this. We hope President Obama got Sanders to release his hold. And we HISS.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Blanket Error

By Sniffles

Snowzilla's big cleanup must be getting on everybody's nerves. We cats are running into bad grammar.

Wait — maybe we always hear bad grammar, and it's not just because of the blizzard. Ya think?

The latest offender is an Arlington, Virginia, county manager who's been dealing with citizens' complaints that their streets aren't plowed yet. He knew he had to reassure them, but that it would probably be futile. "No amount of words will help the snow melt faster," he said.

No, Mr. Arlington County Manager. It's "number" of words, "amount" of snow. But don't fret. We'd be a lot harder on you if we didn't hear this mistake constantly from everybody, everywhere. Which makes us HISS.

A Hall, Not A Brawl

By Miss Kubelik

Last night, the Democratic candidates for President held their final town hall before the Iowa caucus. Bernie Sanders said he'd raise taxes. Hillary Clinton schooled a young voter on 30 years of Republican attacks. We're not quite sure what Martin O'Malley did. But when all was said and done, it was a thoughtful, issue-packed, substantive event.

What a difference from the adolescent hatefest that's going on on the other side.

Democrats were up there discussing how best to govern —  in poetry? in prose? with pragmatism? — which is a key question as the country turns to face the challenges of the next four years. (Oh, and Secretary Clinton got in a nice takedown of the GOP clown car's blinkered xenophobia. "One of the most distressing aspects of this campaign has been the language of the Republican candidates, particularly their frontrunner, who denigrates different people," she said. "We cannot tolerate this and we must stand up and say every person in this country must be treated with respect.")

Republicans? They've gone dark and negative, downright apocalyptic. In the words of President Obama, "The Republican vision has moved not just to the right, a place that is unrecognizable." We cats, pleased with the accomplishments that Obama's had so far, find the GOP portents of doom overheated and silly, unless of course we don't do anything about climate change. Otherwise, we have to assume that a message of hope and possibility — and an emphasis on our collective ability to tackle tough problems — will be far more successful than one of anger and gloom.

Our yardstick for coping with the sturm und drang of national elections is always our answer to this question: "Would we rather be us than them?" Today, we cats, reassured by the substance and civility of our primary race, would still so much rather be us. (Despite all the lumps and bumps.) We Democrats have seen a lot of bloodletting and garment-rending in our own party history, but we've never seen anything like GOP 2016. And so we PURR.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Counting The Cars On The New Jersey Turnpike

We cats are big Simon & Garfunkel fans. And as Art Garfunkel just told Michael Smerconish, the point of the song is that America is always looking for itself. You know what? Maybe America its empty and aching for its first woman President. Just sayin'.

Katrina Kontinued

By Zamboni

True to our word, we cats spent part of today moving more snow around. (Of course, with a name like "Zamboni," our actions should have been confined to ice, but never mind.) We're happy to report that we came through "Snowzilla" just fine. Other folks, maybe, not so much.

And on that subject, we just have to say that Chris Christie is 100 percent right when he slams Baby Marco Rubio for saying that our blizzard is "one of the best things to happen to the republic in quite a while."

Goodness gracious, when will we ever agree with Chris Christie again? Still and all, Baby Marco — being from a hurricane-prone state — has no business dissing the federal government in a time of disaster. In fact, he should be ashamed of himself.

Christie is probably annoyed that Baby Marco snagged the Des Moines Register endorsement ahead of the Iowa caucuses — but still. We cats wonder when the Republicans will realize their hypocrisy on national emergencies. And when will the American people ever understand that the GOP doesn't care about their welfare? How many Katrinas, Flints and Rubio comments will it take? We cats HISS.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tidbits And Cat Treats: "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" Edition

By Baxter

We cats have spent the day moving snow around. And tomorrow we'll probably move some more. But despite the weather, we've been keeping our eye on the world of politics. Here are a few headlines that caught our attention.

Some TV talking heads were sniffing about Donald Trump's latest tacky outburst: "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters." Tasteless, yes — but just to anyone sane. With Trump supporters, it won't hurt him one bit.

Speaking of which, we were highly amused by The New York Times's coverage of Republicans in New Hampshire who are repelled by The Donald. He's offensive, juvenile and inexperienced, they say. We cats couldn't agree more — but one GOP voter's comment stood out. "He's very entertaining, but I don't want an entertainer for President." We cats are dying to ask that woman whom she voted for in 1980.

We're also pleased to see that the Des Moines Register endorsed Secretary Clinton in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. But on the Republican side, Baby Marco better prepare for some serious incoming from his fellow passengers in the clown car.

Meanwhile, we hear that Joe and Jill Biden, unable to fly back into DC from an overseas trip, are stuck in Miami. (That's "stuck" in Miami.) But as former longtime residents of South Florida, we cats just have to say that having been in several hurricanes and now Snowzilla, we'll take the snow, thank you. The white stuff can be a pain, but generally it makes us PURR.

Friday, January 22, 2016


By Sniffles

As Washington gets buried in what might end up as two feet of snow, we cats are sitting in front of the fire, listening to the plows going by, and thinking back to the Ghosts of DC Blizzards Past.

Sure, they say that 1922 or 1979 or the "Snowmageddon" of 2010 top 'em all. But since this is a political blog, the storm that's most on our minds this evening is the one that dumped close to a foot of the white stuff on Our Nation's Capital back in January 1961.

Goodness gracious. Knowing how Washington shuts down at the slightest flurry, we're wondering: How did the Kennedy inauguration ever come off? How did they do it, when you read stories like this?

"Before the night [of January 19] was over, the storm would bury Washington under more than eight inches of heavy, wet snow. 'Traffic that night was the worst I’ve ever seen,' Russell Baker, 85, The New York Times color reporter assigned to the gala that night, remembers. 'The city has always been famous for grinding to a halt at the first hint of bad weather, and the snow that night was the real thing, real Minneapolis-quality, a genuine Washington paralyzer. The downtown streets were choked with motionless cars locked bumper-to-bumper, nothing moving at all...'

"A cocktail buffet at the home of Philip Graham, the publisher of The Washington Post, and his wife, Katharine, that had been intended as a drop-by reception for 600 people instead became a marathon for 'about 200 who got to our house mostly on foot and wouldn’t leave,' Kay Graham would recall years later. 

"The newly appointed White House social secretary, Letitia Baldrige, was stuck for two hours in a White House car with a Secret Service agent and a reporter, finally persuading the proprietor of a shuttered liquor store to open up and let them buy a bottle of Scotch. 'We had our own gala...We got out of the car at one point and danced in the snow.'"

That's the spirit! But in light of the "Snowzilla" that we're getting today, should we maybe consider going back to the old Inauguration Day of March 4? Just sayin'. In the meantime, we cats PURR.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fetus Frenzy Knows No (Snow) Bounds

By Miss Kubelik

Now that we've all learned anew how despicable Carly Fiorina is — making Iowa kids on a field trip pose in front of fetus photos, for heaven's sake — we are reminded once again, on the eve of Roe v. Wade's anniversary, how little Republicans care about children once they're born.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been lead-poisoning kids in Flint for nearly two years. Republicans in states across America refuse to expand Medicaid (screw the poor families). Republicans deny climate change, so future generations — not to mention the planet — can go to hell. And Sarah Palin — oy, her children are such a mess. If she's a GOP role model, parenting does not seem to be a Republican strength.

But fetuses, oh, fetuses! They are sacred. We cats don't get it — but we sure as heck know that if any of the passengers in the GOP 2016 clown car, God forbid, get elected in November, reproductive rights are doomed.

One consolation: Washington's blizzard is supposed to start about midday tomorrow. But the rabid anti-choicers apparently refuse to call off their silly annual march. Let's hope they all get battered by high winds, stuck in snowdrifts, and then find themselves stranded in shelters, with no light and no heat, the entire weekend. We cats can dream, can't we? It would sure make us PURR.

UPDATE, Jan. 22: Awww, a bunch of anti-choicers from Alabama can't get out of town and have nowhere to stay! And the size of the anti-choice march was way down this year. We cats love snow! And we PURR.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Wow! What a glut of bad news. Earth just had its hottest year ever, the water is poisoned in Flint, Wall Street is melting, Snowmageddon is about to hit, and the Famous Quitter from Alaska is back. Sheesh. We need relief. Time for some red panda!

Monday, January 18, 2016

This British MP Gets MLK Day More Than A Lot Of Americans Do

"I will not allow the rhetoric of badness into my life, into my heart, or that of my constituents. What I will do is challenge that with goodness, because hatred breeds hate — and that is not something that I will tolerate.

"I would take [Donald Trump] to the synagogue, I would take him to church, I would take him to the mosque. I would invite him for a curry.

"Given that it is Martin Luther King Day, I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

—Naz Shah, Labour Member of Parliament, 
January 18, 2016

Flint's An Emergency. Snyder's The Disaster.

By Zamboni

One of the most alarming political developments over the past several years has been the number of state houses and legislatures that have flipped to the Republicans. And you'd be amazed at how hazardous to your health living in a Republican state can be.

We cats have already noted how most of the states at the bottom of POLITICO's quality-of-life list are run by Republicans. (A majority of the top 10 have Democratic Governors.) And of course it's become abundantly clear that if you live in a Republican state and want to take advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, or exercise your Constitutional right to have an abortion or even just to vote, you are, in many cases, cat-poop-out-of-luck.

But now, we're thinking nobody's going to top Michigan Republican Rick Snyder for dereliction of duty when it comes to the safety and security of his constituents. Snyder's administration has been poisoning the people of Flint — who, gosh, haven't exactly had life easy to begin with — for months on end with leaded water. And now they have the moxie to complain that they've only been declared a federal emergency, not a disaster.

You know what, Rick Snyder? Go drink some lead. You not only committed this crime with your government-is-bad-spending-is-worse Republican mind-set, but — typical of you hypocrites in the GOP — you only care about children before they're children at all. Once they're born, they cease to exist for you. That has always been, and ever will be, utterly despicable.

Disasters are acts of God (or Mother Nature, if you prefer) — floods, tornadoes, that kind of thing. The horrors of Flint are Snyder-made, Republican-endorsed. Somebody needs to be hauled off to the hoosegow — and at the very least, every passenger in the 2016 Republican clown car should be asked on the campaign trail why Americans should entrust their lives to the GOP. We cats HISS.

The .00000001%

By Baxter

Some words from a prominent American on the day we learn that 62 people in the world hold as much wealth as half the population on Earth:

"We must develop programs that will drive the nation to the realization...  that our Declaration of Independence must be taken seriously: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'

"Capitalism fails to realize that life is social. Marxism fails to realize that life is individual. Truth is found neither in the rugged individualism of capitalism nor in the impersonal collectivism of Communism. The kingdom of God is found in a synthesis that combines the truths of these two opposites."

—Martin Luther King, Jr., November 14, 1966

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Lest We Furr-get: When Adults Conduct American Foreign Policy

By Sniffles

Was the Republicans' nearly solid opposition to the newly minted Obama Administration's efforts to recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression enough evidence of their lack of patriotism? How about their inability to stand and applaud the successes that President Obama outlined in his final State of the Union address? Well, if not, the GOP clown car passengers are once again proving, with today's Iranian developments, how much they hate America.

Let us cats be clear: There is no down side to Americans coming home from difficult situations. We all know that — even if we're talking about somebody like Bowe Bergdahl. Bring 'em home, then deal with whatever stuff we must. The point is that no foreign state is holding them and, by extension, us.

So, on the assumption that American politics stop at the border — at least, they used to — we cats are appalled at the Republicans' reaction that four Americans held in Iran have been freed.

This would have been grand news even if it weren't couched in the bigger story of Iran's compliance with the nuclear disarmament agreement. But, so consumed with hatred for Barack Hussein Obama, they can only carp and moan, belch and bleat, and criticize.

Gosh! How would the sainted Ronnie Reagan have reacted if, on January 21, 1981, outgoing President Jimmy Carter had said, "You know what? This deal to bring back the American hostages in Iran stinks. My administration worked its ass off to get these people home, and it ruined my Presidency, and I think it sucks"? Goodness gracious, the Republican outrage would have known no bounds.

And ya know what? Carter would have had every right to say something like that — but he's a grownup, and he didn't. And we're all glad that the hostages came home. In fact, President Carter went to Germany and met with them.

We cats think that nobody in the current Republican field would have the balls to do something like that, which means that they are lesser men than Jimmy Carter. So we HISS, and we PURR.

Talking Sure Beats "Carpet Bombing"

By Miss Kubelik

Gosh! How awful, awful, AWFUL that the United States and five of its allies brokered that nuclear deal with Iran. You know, the one that the Republicans and Mr. Pain-In-The-Ass from Israel said would bring on Armageddon? Well, guess again, folks.

Not only is Iran complying with the agreement, but here's some icing on that already-excellent cake: First, Iran quickly freed those US sailors who had trespassed in the Persian Gulf. (Okay, showing that video was tacky, but who cares? The guys are back, safe and sound.) And now it appears that more Americans held by Iran will be released, including a reporter from The Washington Post who holds dual citizenship and who was arrested in Tehran in 2014.

Negotiations are swell, aren't they? That's what we cats call "Smart Power," all right. (Whoops, well, maybe former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it that first.)

Rafael Cruz. Jr. talks about how he wants to bomb the Middle East so badly it'll make the sand glow. But how much better to speak with our adversaries, bring captives home, and make their families' faces glow instead. We cats PURR.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Counter-Programming The GOP Hatefest

By Zamboni

We cats have long thought that if Bill Clinton could personally meet everyone in America, everyone in America would turn around and vote for him. In our opinion, last night's interview with Rachel Maddow proved that our theory applies to Hillary Clinton as well. (Despite the odd and hostile posts on YouTube from "Sanders supporters," many of whom, we're sure, are Republican trolls.)

We have no animosity toward Bernie (or Martin O'Malley, come to think of it), but — please. When our candidate makes her case as calmly and competently as this, there's no need for us to pile on in the Comments section. Her intelligence and experience speak for themselves. We cats PURR.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Still Alberta-Born

By Baxter

We cats didn't opine on President Obama's final State of the Union address — not because we didn't love it (as an uplifting call to citizenry and a deft smackdown of obstructionist Republicans, all at the same time), but because blogging on the SOTU doesn't get much better than this.

Now here we all are, a couple of weeks out from the Iowa caucuses, and races are tightening and candidates are slugging it out in both parties. But as always, we're finding a lot more to chortle about on the Republican side. (We assume that the Democrats will work things out in Philadelphia after the best woman wins.)

Meanwhile, we continue to be fascinated by Donald Trump's "birther" attacks on Rafael Cruz, Jr. Back in the day, we were amused that the teabags, convinced that Obama was Kenyan, would so illogically excuse Ted's Canadian roots, but we didn't really think it would become a — well, a thing. Now, thanks to The Donald's ingenious argument ("The Democrats will sue!"), it definitely is that.

And Cruz is losing his grip on the whole situation by babbling about Donald Trump's "New York values." (What New York values is he talking about? Trump's divorces? If so, then Mark Sanford, Bob Dole, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain and many, many others will have to excuse themselves from the Republican Party.) And then, of course, L'Affaire Goldman is starting to loom large.

All in all, it looks like tonight's debate could be unexpectedly exciting. But we cats are thinking beyond it, to the evening of February 1. Our thought is that while the Goldman loan is just more evidence of Rafael Jr.'s hypocrisy, it's the Canadian question, and the way Trump is pushing it, that will cause Cruz more problems.

Cruz is supposed to have a sounder Iowa ground game than The Donald. But if his caucus-goers, worried about the birth issue, start faltering in their support, who's their second choice? Most likely, Trump. Which means that that excellent GOTV effort for Cruz could end up giving Trump the edge. And because a razor-thin victory for one of the top two passengers in the clown car — with the rest of the clowns closely bunched way back in the pack — is our dream Iowa result, we cats PURR.

(IMAGE: Chan Lowe, South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The States' State (And One State's State)

By Sniffles

We cats love it when experts rank quality of life in the various American states, because it invariably throws into stark relief how awful Republican policies are.

The latest case in point is POLITICO's list of state "strength," one that New Hampshire bestrides like a colossus and in which Louisiana, recently so horribly raped by failed Republican Presidential candidate Piyush Jindal, brings up the sorry-ass rear.

We cats can't help noticing that of the top 10 states on POLITICO's list, Democrats head the majority of them — which is pretty impressive if you take into account that we only hold 18 Governorships. Of the bottom 10 states, Republicans preside over no fewer than eight of them. Do we detect a pattern here?

But never fear: Louisiana has a Democratic Governor now, and he has just — be still our hearts — expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act!

We sure hope President Obama gives a shout-out to John Bel Edwards in his State of the Union address tonight. Because Edwards's move is the latest proof that when it comes to the well-being of the ordinary American, Democrats are the ones who care. We cats PURR.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Forget Ziggy Stardust

This is not a style blog, but for us cats, David Bowie was always more interesting when he was just... David Bowie.

Days Of Destruction

By Miss Kubelik

As long as we cats were taking a stroll through the wacky world of Free Republic, we decided to check their reactions to this recent analysis by The New York Times about the pickle the Republican Party finds itself in.

From our side of the political spectrum — opposite of the Freeps', of course — we thought the article was fascinating. Not because it told us any particularly new news, but because it 1) tied the GOP's current dilemma into a neat little package, and 2) succinctly portrayed the so-called "Establishment Republicans" as what they are: clueless. We could picture the expressions on their older, white male faces: classic George W. Bush, learning for the first time that the World Trade Center was under attack.

This kind of amazed us, until we remembered the famed Republican sense of entitlement (currently personified by Jeb! Bush). The GOP elite thought they could pander to the worst instincts of the hard right — and then stiff them on the issues they hold near and dear — and pay no political price, forever. Now, that's arrogant. 

Thanks to the miracle of the Interwebs, however, we've seen the Freeper rage building for years now — so we're not exactly reaching for the smelling salts. As one Freeper said of the New York Times piece: "We’ve been split for the last two Presidential elections. Took them a while to figure this out." We cats couldn't agree more. After all, we've seen countless comments that were anti-John McCain, anti-Mitt Romney, anti-Mitch McConnell, anti-John Boehner, anti-Paul Ryan, and anti-anti-anti-nearly everybody inside the Beltway with an "R" after his name since we started this blog back in 2008.

The teabags feel wronged over everything they think the Republican Party has failed to do. Some of it is imaginary ("They never stood up to Obama!"), some of it is real (the Bush Administration did expand Medicare and wasted trillions in Iraq), and some of it was just kinda out of the GOP's control (marriage equality). And they never take comfort in the fact that an abortion is a lot damned harder to get than it used to be, that the Voting Rights Act has been gutted, that guns are everywhere, or that the Republicans currently control the House, the Senate and most of the states — everything but the White House. All of this scares us to death — but the Freepers are just wet-cat mad, because in their view, nothing is ever enough.

We can tell those deer-in-the-headlights Republican elites when it all started going off the rails for them. It was when John McCain, then a 71-year-old cancer survivor, plucked a crazy former Alaskan mayor out of obscurity and lifted her to national prominence by nominating her for a job she was completely unqualified for. To us cats, it was a grave disservice to the country that nearly bordered on treason. But for the GOP, the rise of Sarah Palin — even though she later became a cartoon — is the point at which the frustrated and restive haters who make up the party base became the awakened giant, filled with a terrible resolve.

Does John McCain feel any responsibility for all this? We doubt it. Which would usually make us HISS at his idiocy — but since we love watching the travails of the GOP, it makes us PURR.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cruz Country

By Zamboni

Well! Donald Trump went on the Sunday shows this morning, and the Ted Cruz Citizenship Scandal lives to see another day. We cats think this is just hilarious, and couldn't happen to nicer people.

Example: We just checked on our right-wing friends the Freeps, and boy, are they confused. Endless threads about the true meaning of natural born citizenship, which of course can't be settled because it isn't. (While most scholars agree on it, the Supreme Court has never weighed in.)

In short, it's frustrating enough that before long, the Freepers are block-copying unreadable treatises and all-capping each other, and you just know that if they were in the same room together instead of merely in cyberspace, the fur would be flying.

A few are starting to sour on Trump — calling him a Democrat, and worse. But here's our favorite comment, bar none: "Whatever the truth is about Cruz... it is nothing compared to the ineligibility of the current President."

Is that funny, or what? Since when is a guy born in Canada more American than a guy born in Hawaii? Ah, the world they live in.

Anyway, all you need to know is that Ted is a native Calgarian, and Donald won't stop fanning the flames. We love it! And one more thing: We guarantee you Canada doesn't want Ted Cruz back. We cats PURR.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Have You No Decency?

By Baxter

Whew, it's tough to be a Muslim these days. A woman in a hijab was tossed out of a South Carolina Donald Trump rally yesterday, for standing silently during the candidate's speech. "Get out!" the Trump supporters around her screamed. Check out the photo above and see how disturbing you find her. (In case you're wondering, her T-shirt says "Salam, I Come In Peace.")

We're sorry to report, though, that hate is not limited to less-well-educated parts of America. A group of Syrian refugees was pepper-sprayed in Vancouver last night by a shadowy hoodied guy on a bicycle. The refugee group, by the way, included a bunch of children. Nice.

Every time something disgusting like this happens, leaders of whatever country is involved say "This isn't us." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was quick to weigh in with just that message. We applaud and agree with him — but we're way tired of the Trump fans and the pepper-sprayers and the gun-toters and the spray-painters getting all the headlines.

It would be great if the decent people of the world — who we still think make up the majority — could express themselves and grab attention the way ignorant fools can. Until that time, we cats HISS.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Break Out The Balloons

By Sniffles

One of the things that drives us most crazy about our fellow Democrats is that we never stop to celebrate our accomplishments. Particularly the ones that benefit the country and the American people, and which the Republicans fought against tooth and nail.

Take the auto bailout: "A road we should not go down," bleated Senator Richard Shelby, unironically. Said former GOP Senator Jon Kyl: "Just giving them $25 billion doesn’t change anything. It just puts off for six months or so the day of reckoning."

Wrong again, Republicans. Here's what's actually happened, post-bailout: The industry was saved, and 17.5 million cars and trucks were sold last year — the most since 2000.

Hmmmm! The Obama Administration should have paraded victorious US automakers past the White House, with the President and Vice President waving to them from the North Lawn. But did they? No.

Then there's this morning's jobs report. Experts expected the economy to add about 215,000 jobs in December, but we gained 292,000 instead — the fifth year that's seen 2+ million jobs added annually. Gee! Who's been President this last half-decade?

But did we see Obama and Biden toddle over to the Council of Economic Advisers for some cork-popping and a well-deserved photo op? Nope.

Ugh, this makes us nuts. We advise the current occupants of the White House to start celebrating, tout de suite, and the future occupant of same to make sure her campaign speeches are chock-full of rah-rah-sis-boom-bah. In the meantime, we cats PURR.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mommy Wars

By Miss Kubelik

We cats know that our right-wing friends over at Free Republic are not the most logical of folk, but it always amused us that they gave Rafael Cruz, Jr. a pass on his US citizenship but screamed constantly that Barack Obama was ineligible to be President.

Because although Cruz was born in Canada, they consider him legit because his mommy was American. Problem is, so was Obama's mother, Ann Dunham. So what's good for Cruz should be good for Obama — that is, if Obama had been born in Kenya, which of course he was not.

In other words, if the Freepers were thinking straight, they'd realize that this "NBC" question is far more weighty for Rafael Jr. than it ever was for a President from Hawaii. But alas, alack, that's not one of their strengths. So now that Donald Trump is raising questions about Cruz the Canadian, they are, shall we say, confused.

They love Trump. They love Cruz. What to do now? Go around in argumentative circles, mostly. This pleases us cats, because we love nothing more than when Republicans fight with one another.

But almost none of them seem to get the whole Cruz-Obama thing. Why would Mrs. Cruz's American citizenship count and Mrs. Obama's not? We cats scrolled through Freeper threads, grinning all the way at their silliness, until we found the one exchange that perfectly captures their twisted thinking:

First Freeper (making sense): "If Obama could run and be eligible with an American mother and Kenya [sic] father, how could Cruz not be eligible to run?"

Second Freeper (personifying everything): "Because he’s a 1) Democrat. 2) Black. 3) Commie. 4) He was allegedly born in Hawaii, which helped reduce pressure on the question."

What else can we cats say? Our work here is done. Except of course, we HISS (when we're not laughing in derision).

(PHOTOS: Top: Eleanor Cruz, US citizen. Bottom: Ann Dunham Obama, US citizen.)

Even More Strange Language

By Zamboni

We cats will opine anon on the new "birther" chatter that's rattling the much-beleaguered Republican Party. But first we wanted to explore a little further one of the most striking ways the GOP is out of touch with America: the way its members talk.

For example, remember how the late, not-great John Boehner used to refer to "the dustbin of history"? He accused President Obama of wanting to "shove" the GOP into it. But "dustbin" is a British expression. We cats bet that back home in Ohio, Boehner doesn't roll the garbage out for the "dustman" to collect in the morning. Did anyone in Media Land not point out how odd that was?

And we've always wondered about the right wing's endless parroting of the term "jackbooted thugs" to refer to agents and officials of the United States government. This is a word that you almost never run across otherwise. Do any of them really know what a jackboot is? Could they draw a picture of one? Could a lot of old-timey American revolutionary soldiers possibly have worn them?

Finally, Jeb! Bush, Mr. Malaprop himself, took the cake the other day when he limply fired his latest (unsuccessful) salvo at nemesis Donald Trump. "He wakes up in his pajamas and watches the TV shows on Saturday and Sunday," Bush whinily complained.

Of course, we know what the moronic-mouthed Jeb! was trying to say: that Trump just lazes around watching the boob tube while the rest of the "serious" GOP candidates are out there hustling. But unless you sleep in the nude (not a visual we want to associate with Trump), who doesn't "wake up" in pajamas? We cats, being expert on jammies, HISS.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Spousal Benefits

By Baxter

Those of us who are seasoned campaigners know that you get more bang for your buck when you send your principals out on the road separately.

Unlike Nancy Reagan — who spent every second tethered to Ronnie and gazing up adoringly at him as he delivered the same speech — candidates' spouses can do a world of good if they strike out on their own to meet and greet voters in serious retail politicking.

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter is Exhibit A on this commonsense strategy, but other spouses have done their bit, too. Except for recently, when we've noticed a lot of wives (mostly wives) only showing up when their husbands do. But then, things have certainly changed in the last 40 years, haven't they?

That's one of the reasons, we suspect, why everyone is agog at Bill Clinton's first solo foray of the 2016 campaign. That, and, of course, the fact that he's Bill Clinton, with all the wonderfulness and awfulness — mostly wonderfulness — that goes along with that. (P.S.: We'll gladly accept the support of the most gifted politician of the last half-century, thank you. We don't care how many times he's been bogusly impeached.)

So, yay! But we still have one question that keeps knocking around our furry little heads. If there's one campaign that could use an extra infusion of spousal support, it's Jeb! Bush's. Where's Columba? We cats HISS.

The Worst Bundys Since Ted Are, Indeed, Terrorists

By Sniffles

Although the super-patriots and the teabaggers don't like to admit it, America has a rich history in terrorism. They flourished in "Bloody Kansas" after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and then openly rebelled against the United States from 1860 to 1865. (You know what we call that.) For the next century, they intimidated, degraded, hunted down, raped and lynched black people in the South and elsewhere. And in the last 40 years, they have blown up federal buildings, threatened women seeking abortions, bombed health clinics and assassinated doctors, in their homes and even at church.

So. Terrorism. America. They pretty much go hand in hand, but suddenly everybody's having qualms about calling these Cliven/Ryan/Ammon Bundy idiots in Oregon what they are.

A bunch of white guys with long guns taking over a wildlife refuge buidling on land that our taxes pay for, in support of a couple of arsonists? We don't know about you, but we cats sure feel terrorized. What's to stop a bunch of teabags from overrunning the forest preserve down the road from us (or an office building, or a mall) and committing all sorts of mayhem because, say, they don't like marriage equality in Virginia or Mark Herring's latest ruling on gun-license reciprocity?

There's civil disobedience and there's terrorism. And no fine line exists between them that we can see. On the contrary: There's a yawning chasm, and it almost always involves some nutcase with a firearm.

President Obama's executive orders on keeping crazy people away from guns can't come soon enough. In the meantime, we cats HISS.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

It's Only January 2, But Carly Fiorina May Have Just Won The Twit Of The Year Award

By Miss Kubelik

Presidential year 2016 isn't starting out very well for the Hewlett-Packard failure known as Carly Fiorina. The world is throwing up on her for her silly tweet about yesterday's Rose Bowl game. A Stanford grad, she nonetheless swore that... well, you know.

Hmmmm.... Iowa. Now what's so special about Iowa?

Ya know, if Fool-o-rina had tweeted something like "Love my Cardinals but good luck, Hawkeyes. Hope it's a great game," nobody would have batted an eye. Instead, she's a pathetic, pandering prostitute. We cats HISS.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Another Reason To Never Go To Texas

 As if we needed more! We cats HISS.

(PHOTO: The New York Times. Yeah, everybody needs to bring an AK-47 to lunch.)