Sunday, February 28, 2016

Memo To Fred Malek: Tell Us How This Makes You Feel

"I think [Donald Trump] deserves a close look by those who believe the era of political correctness needs to come to an end...The real privilege in America is Jewish privilege. They talk about Hollywood being anti-black and all that. How about the fact that it's completely dominated by Jews? Hollywood is  overwhelmingly Jewish-controlled...

"I am pretty hard on the Jewish question, I really do believe there is a Jewish tribalism that dominates [our] country....Voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage."

—David Duke, white nationalist, ex-Klansman

"Just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke. I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists."

—Donald Trump, Sunday, February 28, 2016

Note To MSNBC: In The Words Of Antonin Scalia, "Get Over It"

By Miss Kubelik

MSNBC has had a lot of problems recently, what with low ratings and, now, Melissa Harris-Perry's one-woman rebellion. But to us cats, it was summed up by one silly moment we witnessed during coverage of the South Carolina primary last night. Sadly, we have to single out Rachel Maddow, who is usually one of our favorites, for a tsk-tsk.

Just before the polls closed, the Clinton campaign confidently predicted that Hillary would meet or exceed Bernie Sanders's 22-point margin in New Hampshire. Oooh, Rachel wondered, what if Clinton only wins by 15 points and it ends up looking like a loss? To which Chris Matthews responded that he thought the campaign probably knew what it was talking about.

Nothing like a 48-point blowout to make a talking head look stupid.

We cats have to get something off our furry chests. What will it take to get the Bernie-Sanders-loving Maddow (not to mention her equally-BS-loving colleague Chris Hayes) to admit that Hillary Clinton has had a good night? We'll be wondering just that this Tuesday, when Clinton is forecast (at least by Nate Silver and his merry band of data-crunchers) to do well. But sadly, the pundits will probably be consumed with what's going on on the insult-hurling, name-calling, bathroom-humor-laden other side.

A friend of ours recently emailed Rachel to suggest that she quit her job and go work on the Sanders campaign, which made us grin. As for us, we're merely hoping that going forward, Maddow and other liberal pundits try to refrain from indulging in the "media malpractice" that they constantly inflict on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In MSNBC's case, it's less of a case of out-and-out inaccuracy (yep, we're looking at you, New York Times), and more of an unrelenting skepticism, a thinly veiled hostility and a continued resistance to giving credit where credit is due. It drives us cats crazy, and it makes us HISS.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Time Is Running Out!

By Zamboni

The most interesting thing about the leaked memo from Data Targeting about whether panicked Republicans could mount an independent bid against GOP nominee Donald Trump is the blacked-out list of possible alternative candidates.

Data Targeting makes no recommendation from what appears to be a seven-or-so-name list. The consulting firm primarily warns about the steep logistical hill any independent candidate would need to climb to gain ballot access in key states, but concludes that — only with speed, mind you — success is possible.

Hm. We cats are superior in many ways, but we still wouldn't relish having to haul our butts down to Texas to gather 80,000 valid registered-voter signatures and signed consent forms from 38 Electoral College candidates by — goodness gracious — May 9. Maybe if the GOP establishment had grappled with the reality of Trump back in the late summer or early fall, they could have gotten a jump-start on stuff like this, but — oh, well.

But back to the list. Here are the establishment names that we think are on it. Yes, we know there are more than seven here, and yes, they're probably all, as The Donald would say, losers. Nearly all are flawed in some way, and none is currently in the race. But desperate Republican times call for desperate Republican measures, no? We cats PURR.
  • Jeb! Bush
  • Mitch Daniels
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Nikki Haley
  • John McCain (really!)
  • Rick Perry
  • Rob Portman
  • Colin Powell
  • Condoleezza Rice 
  • Willard Mitt Romney
  • Rick Scott

Friday, February 26, 2016

Stop The Presses!

By Baxter

Chris Christie's endorsement of Donald Trump definitely throws a monkey wrench into the engine of the GOP clown car — but not for the reasons you might automatically think.

No, he's not going to deliver New Jersey, where he is loathed. He's not going to be on the fat short list for Vice President (two guys from the Northeast? — we think not). And there's still that Bridgegate thing out there, so don't assume that Christie's not going to be toast come April.

While we cats are appalled that a man who, in the past, called the right wing's sharia-law freakout "crap" could now be, um, throwing his weight behind a guy who wants to ban all Muslims from America, we're savoring the fact that Christie just stole the show from Baby Marco Rubio.

With his debate performance last night, Baby Marco was set to totally rule earned media today.

Instead, Trump holds this bombshell news conference and, ahem, rolls out Christie. In the old days, the typesetters in the bowels of newspaper press rooms would be throwing out the letter blocks and starting all over. Today, the web page headlines got changed in an instant — and the Rubio folks, flying from Texas to Oklahoma when the news broke, had to step off the plane and instantly react. The candidate put a brave face on it, but all in all, it's a bad day for Baby Marco.

In short, a masterful PR move by The Donald. We hope the Clinton folks are paying attention to all this, because although we're confident a GOP ticket headed by Trump would go down in flames, he will be a slippery opponent. In fact, we have a suggestion: Put James Carville in charge of the Department of Trump. We cats PURR.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Real Apology Owed

By Sniffles

Jeb! Bush — or maybe that's just plain old "Jeb" now, sans exclamation point — got on the horn today and apologized to his major donors for being such a pathetic failure at running for President.

We cats can't begin to imagine how surreal and excruciating that must have been. But on the other hand, 10+ years ago, Jeb Bush gave Terri and Michael Schiavo a different lesson in "surreal" and "excruciating." So our sympathy is limited. What goes around comes around, they say.

And yet we can think of another group of people that deserves a mea culpa tonight from the denizens of the clown-car-infested GOP. That would be the responsible citizens who participate in the Democratic caucuses in Iowa and Nevada.

Why? Because the Democratic caucuses are really — well, caucuses.

Here's how they work: You gotta give up an evening on which you would otherwise be fixing your clunky radiator or helping Junior with his homework or playing the slots on the Strip and hang around for hours instead in a high school gym, publicly committing yourself to the Presidential candidate of your choice. First you stand around with others who support your gal or guy — and if, after the counting, he or she doesn't get 15 percent of the vote, you have to disband and go elsewhere. That means listening to the arguments of the other candidates' supporters, and then deciding which one is your second choice. And then you go and stand there.

It's an hours-long process that involves a lot of give-and-take with your neighbors and, inevitably, a real substantive discussion of the issues. Democracy at work!

At a Republican caucus, on the other hand, you can show up drunk, grab a handful of out-of-date paper ballots from a caucus volunteer wearing a Trump T-shirt, vote two or three times, and promptly decamp to a nearby game of blackjack. No hanging around, no in-depth conversations with your fellow voters about the minimum wage or immigration or whether Apple should help the FBI with that dead terrorist's iPhone. And you don't even have to show an ID! (Really? Tell that to all the minority voters the GOP's disenfranchised.) What a farce.

So, journalists and others who are blithely describing what happened in Nevada last night as a "caucus" — please. The good Democrats of the Hawkeye and Silver States know better. And like us cats, it's probably making them HISS.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Republican Establishment Still Doesn't Understand How Much Trouble It's In

By Miss Kubelik

What are they going to do with all those leftover exclamation points from the Bush campaign?

Answer: Give them to the Freepers. Yes, our favorite friends over at Free Republic, one of the Internet's most paranoid corners of what passes for right-wing thought, are positively giddy that The Donald has vanquished the $130-million-dollar-man from Florida and chased him from the race. Their posts are so heavily punctuated they could find immortality on this blog. Sample: "The guy was just NOT likable!!!! W. was likable!!!!!" Sheesh.

But if you're assuming that the Freeps are ready to call a truce and fall into line with whatever post-Bush candidate the frantic Republican establishment tries to foist on them, think again. They've tasted blood, and they want more.

The next victim on their list: Baby Marco Rubio, who has been gobbling endorsements from old-timers like Bob Dole and Orrin Hatch and from new-timers like Dean Heller and Tim Scott and Nikki Haley.

The Freepers are unimpressed, because gosh, they hate Baby Marco, and they hate the endorsers almost more. This semi-vulgar Freep comment pretty much says it all: "Rubio, with our ball-less RINOs in Congress, will implement total amnesty for untold tens of millions of illegals." Hm.

All of which makes us wonder: Where will Baby Marco win? Because he can't keep losing these states and spinning it as some moral victory.

The last we checked, Nate Silver & Co. had Donald Trump at a 65 percent chance of winning Nevada tomorrow. And Super Tuesday? Goodness gracious. Trump leads in every survey except for one little poll that had Rubio up by, like, two points in Minnesota. And Pundit World seems to have just suddenly discovered the same thing.

A lot can change in a week, but for now, it seems like Donald's in the driver's seat. Fasten your seat belts, Cleveland. It's going to be a bumpy July. We cats PURR.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pay No Attention

By Zamboni

Sixteen years ago, South Carolina gave The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived a lifeline to the Republican nomination — after his campaign destroyed John McCain with race-based personal allegations. Big surprise after Willie Horton, right? Right.

But maybe the arc of history truly does bend toward justice. Because Jeb! Bush just dropped out of the 2016 Republican race after a poor showing in... wait for it... South Carolina. Wow! Lee Atwater's home state hands Little Jebbie his death sentence. We cats couldn't think of better symmetry.

Gosh, how insulting is this? We cats have to wrap our heads around it, because we are Democrats and have to get into the Republican mindset. We're thinking that even though we know that the Freeps and the teabags and the religious nuts have despised Bush for years, it's still a massive humiliation — especially since the Republican establishment couldn't josh the base along and make them believe that Jeb! would make their dreams a reality.

Ya know... maybe the Schiavo case was a decider in 2016. Normal Americans saw that as as unwarranted governmental intrusion into a family's personal medical decision. The teabags and the Bible bangers, on the other hand, thought that Jeb! should have sent the FDLE into Terri's hospice and kidnapped her. We're thinking that perhaps Jeb!'s lukewarm reception in the GOP primaries was due to that after all.

Well — whatever. We cats despise Jeb! and all Bushes. And although we wish he'd had the moxie to stick it out longer, we simply have to PURR.

Estoy Contigo

We cats would like Pope Francis to weigh in on candidate behavior like this. For us cats, it makes us PURR.

Calling All Cats

By Baxter

Donald Trump was so upset when Pope Francis questioned his faith the other day. "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," Frankie told the press on the Pope Plane as he headed back to Rome from Mexico. He immediately qualified his statement by adding, "We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt." But Donald was livid anyway.

So, here's a question: Was Trump offended enough to keep from questioning other people's faith? Indeed not: Check out what he tweeted about President Obama today.

We cats are so disgusted that we're not only dumping our own dirty litter boxes over Donald Trump's head — we're organizing a flash mob of cats to dump theirs on him, too. (It will take him forever to get the clumps out of his rug.) And, of course, we HISS.

(IMAGE: "What? Dump this on Trump? Sure!")

Friday, February 19, 2016

Jean Louise Goes Home

By Sniffles

We cats don't know if we should put Harper Lee on our list of "Human Beings We Will Miss." Recluse-wise, she ranked right up there with J.D. Salinger — or, maybe we should say, Boo Radley — so it's not like she's left a sudden void. But the good news is that we'll always have her wonderful book to keep us company. (Forget that Watchman thing.) We cats salute Nelle and Atticus and Scout and Jem, and we PURR.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lest We Furr-get: Fairy Tales

By Miss Kubelik

We cats don't often disagree with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, but today, we must.

At Yale Law School yesterday, Breyer spoke about Antonin Scalia and called him "a decent man." Wow! It looks like Justice Breyer and we have different opinions of what makes somebody the d-word.

Nobody who said and wrote what Scalia said and wrote about African-Americans qualifies as "decent."

Nobody who said or wrote the pissy things that Scalia said and wrote about gay people is "decent." Ditto what he said and wrote about women.

And of course, nobody who helped saddle the United States with the disastrous Presidency of The Worst Person Who's Ever Lived goes in the "decent" category in our book. There are about 4,000 US fighting men and women and countless Iraqis — not to mention all those folks in New Orleans and, oh yes, let's toss in the 3,000 from 9/11 — who would be around today if it weren't for that.

So, Justice Breyer: We're sorry for you that the Supreme Court will be a "grayer place" without Antonin Scalia. But for us and the other Americans whom Scalia ruled against and couldn't abide, it feels like going from sepia Kansas to gorgeous Oz. We cats HISS and PURR.

Him Don't Talk So Good

By Zamboni

Reasons abound for not electing Jeb! Bush President, but here's the most recent one: poor grammar.

As his fellow GOP clown car passengers were exploding over Pope Francis's "non-Christian" labeling of Donald Trump, Bush issued this statement: "Christianity is between he and his creator."

Jeb! doesn't know the difference between objective and subjective pronouns? We thought he was supposed to be "the smart one." We cats HISS.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


By Baxter

Reading the possible scenarios that could ensue if the Republican Senate refuses to do its Constitutional duty and confirm a ninth justice to the US Supreme Court, we cats think that least of those would be that the original Originalist, Antonin Scalia, would be spinning in his grave.

Nope, the really scary one is that our system of government could end up collapsing. (Although Transvaginal Bob McDonnell no doubt is petrified that he'll probably have to go to jail.) With an evenly split 4-4 SCOTUS, and lower-court rulings standing, the country could face the spectacle of citizens' Constitutional rights changing as they cross state lines.

That's just not sustainable. The Founders crafted such an ingeniously interlocked system that truly, all three branches must do their jobs to keep it going. Even though we know from all the vacations that George W. Bush took that depending upon who's in it, the executive could be the least-important branch.

So while all this terrifying stuff is being tossed around, we cats are wondering what Chief Justice John Roberts thinks of it all.

He won't speak publicly, of course. But he must be quaking in his robe. We don't agree with much of anything John Roberts says or does, but from his occasional votes — say, his two on Obamacare — we get the impression that he cares deeply about the reputation of his court and its institutional integrity. "We don't work as Democrats or as Republicans," he said at a banquet in Boston just a couple of weeks ago.

We have no clue, really — but is John Roberts freaked out about this pending Constitutional crisis, and is he making some furtive calls to Republican Senators? We were wondering why Charles Grassley suddenly walked his "no nomination" position back. At first we thought that maybe a home-state paper took him to task — but maybe he looked down at his ringing smartphone and saw "SCOTUS" pop up instead. Stranger things have happened. We cats PURR.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

What Part Of "Decisively Elected" Do They Not Understand?

By Sniffles

Antonin Scalia is dead. But Mitch McConnell and Kelly Ayotte are just dead wrong.

Both the turtle-faced Majority Leader and the endangered Republican Senator from New Hampshire have declared that no Supreme Court nomination should take place before Election Day. "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice," McConnell bleated. "Americans deserve an opportunity to weigh in given the significant implications this nomination could have," Ayotte whined.

Hey, Mitch and Kelly! Ya know what? The American people have weighed in — twice! When you add up the election results from 2008 and 2012, Barack Hussein Obama got 130 million votes to exercise all the powers that the Constitution gives the President of the United States — including picking people to serve on the Supreme Court.

We know this is a fact that Republicans can't seem to accept. But you'd think that after seven years, they'd get over it. We cats HISS.

Tidbits And Cat Treats: Ding Dong, Scalia's Dead Edition

By Miss Kubelik

Sure, our headline today is a little rude, but we cats are paragons of politeness next to the Republicans these days. Not only are they vile to one another (not that we watched), but we were shocked, shocked at how quickly they rushed to politicize yesterday's big news — and with Antonin'a body hardly cold! Tsk.

Meanwhile, here are some other Scalia-y thoughts we've had today.

It kinda says in Article II of the Constitution that the President will make nominations to the courts, Supreme and otherwise. If the Republicans and the teabags just lovelovelove the Constitution so much, why don't they want to follow it?

Who else was on this "hunting trip" with Scalia? Was Mrs. Scalia there? If not, what's Antonin doing, going on a trip on Valentine's Day weekend without the missus? Inquiring minds and all that.

Donald Trump missed a real opportunity last night by not pledging to appoint Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court. Then again, some of us have suggested that President Obama should appoint himself — with his resignation contingent upon his confirmation. LOL!

Finally, we cats are disgusted with the GOP pushback against our decisively elected (not once, but twice) Commander in Chief. Believe us, to no other President would this happen. Since election-year nominations have been made before — Anthony Kennedy (1988), William Brennan (1956) and Benjamin Cardozo (1932) — there's precedent, so we can only wonder: Hmmmmmm, what is it about Barack Obama that makes him different from his predecessors? Wait, it'll come to us.

But while Republicans do enjoy some leverage here, let us not forget that they're taking a gamble: If they stall a nominee, they could have a freshly elected, honeymoon-enjoying Hillary Rodham Clinton nominating a justice with a newly Democratic Senate — after we win races in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Arizona, Wisconsin and maybe even Kentucky. It could happen. We cats PURR.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ruth Loses Her Opera Buddy

By Zamboni

We cats will have more to say about the Scalia news later, but we're happy for at least one reason. Scalia went to Texas on a hunting trip. Since he apparently died in the middle of the night, maybe a few innocent animals escaped with their lives today. Which — since we cats have no idea how anyone could find sport in shooting a living being — makes us PURR.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Justin's First 100 Days

We cats PURR.

Marcobot Dispenses With Proper English

By Baxter

We cats have been waiting for days now for someone to point out the error in Baby Marco Rubio's robotic, anti-Obama talking point.

Specifically, it's the difference between what Baby Marco said ("Let us dispel with the fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing") versus what he should have said ("Let us dispense" with it).

But hey! All is not lost. Other people have noticed, too. So we're left wondering why the people in the strongly anti-immigrant Republican Party can't seem to speak American. We cats HISS.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Bad Hand?

By Sniffles

In a speech in Springfield today, President Obama bemoaned the negative, insult-laden tone of American politics — comparing the antics of 2016's over-the-top partisanship to the relative comity he enjoyed with Republicans as a member of the Illinois legislature.

"We didn’t call each other idiots or fascists that were trying to destroy America," Obama said, "because then we would have to explain why we were playing poker with fascists or idiots."

We cats agree. Having followed Presidential politics for more years than we care to count, we've been concerned recently that young people just getting involved in the process now think that the behavior of, say, Donald Trump and his fellow clown-car passengers is — well, normal.

Using profanity on the stump? Insulting and evicting reporters? Hating the government you're trying to get elected to? Demonizing whole groups of people, from immigrants to Muslims? Glorifying waterboarding? Opposing a woman's right to choose in absolutely all cases, no matter what? Lying about fetuses kicking on tables? Calling climate change a hoax? Building walls against the tired, the poor and the huddled masses, yearning to breathe free? Letting people on terrorist watch lists have guns? And most of all, blocking legislation simply because it was proposed by a President of the opposite party, even if it would (and did) benefit the country?

No, young political whippersnappers, none of this is what politics is about, or what got us fascinated in the first place. Back in the day, there was an unspoken, mutual agreement between the two parties that governing was something that was worth doing well — even if we had different opinions about how to go about it.

Today, though, we have to admit that even we understand how folks who aren't political junkies get turned off. It's discouraging, not just when you take stock of the unpleasant noise of 2016 — but particularly when you realize that a Democratic President can decisively win an election and still not enjoy the working relationship with the other side that his Republican predecessors had. If that can happen, what is this all for?

Were Democrats in 1980s and the 2000s chumps to put the interest of the country ahead of their partisan desires? Gosh, we hope not. But considering what Barack Obama faced in 2009, it's amazing that he got anything done at all. It's a cautionary tale for young people today who are just now throwing their hand into the high-stakes game of politics, elections and governing. We hope they take note, and we HISS.

Tidbits And Cat Treats: New Hampshire Edition

By Miss Kubelik

Last night's Republican results in the New Hampshire primary were almost precisely what we cats had been hoping for to keep their nightmare race bollixed up: Trump way out in front, Kasich (who has nowhere else to win right away) in second, and the rest of the clown-car passengers stepping all over each other way back in the pack. And the icing on the cake? Baby Marco Rubio in fifth! As we said, exactly what we wanted.

So, we're pleased. But we couldn't do a New Hampshire wrap-up without these various and sundry observations:

John Kasich made a big deal last night about having run a clean campaign. (Let's forget for a moment — although Donald Trump has not — about the super-negative anti-Trump ad that Kasich's PAC aired in November before it got yanked.) Touting one's squeaky cleanliness may go over well in Iowa and New Hampshire, but not in the Land of Lee Atwater. They play dirty down there, and Kasich will need a new strategy, fast.

Well, so much for Baby Marco's "3-2-1" strategy. (Third in Iowa, second in the Granite State, first in South Carolina.) Instead, Baby Marco is Miss Colombia to John Kasich's Miss Philippines. Poor boy. How much will his many establishment donors in the Palmetto State help him there? We're thinking that he's so wounded now, he may be able to avoid being attacked for awhile — but on the other hand, another fifth-place result, or a poor fourth, could finish him off. So he's probably still a target.

If Chris Christie had any, um, guts, he would take a pass on South Carolina and just go camp out in Nevada for two weeks. But danger, Will Robinson: The Christie campaign had just $1 million in the bank at the end of January. We cats are wondering what happened to Home Depot moneybag Ken Langone's pledge to do "everything" he could to get Christie elected. "I’m particularly good at fundraising," Langone boasted. Whoops!

Finally, yes, we would have loved it if Secretary Clinton had been able to keep Bernie Sanders below 56 percent. That would have given her half of the delegates. But the silver lining to the size of Sanders's victory (and of his war chest) is that there's really no excuse for him to skip South Carolina, as tempted as he might be to do so. If he goes all in there, will he have enough staff to go all in in Nevada at the same time? We're not sure.

A smart, intrepid campaign reporter would try to figure out where Bernie's Iowa staff went — but the more lazy narratives we hear, and the more overblown, simplistic, 96-point headlines we see, the more we realize that journalists like that are a relic of the past. We cats HISS.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Photo Op (And Not A Cat Fight In Sight)

By Zamboni

New Hampshire is going to the polls. But all anyone is talking about is how Donald Trump called Rafael Cruz, Jr. a naughty name.

The nerve! We cats are ready to HISS. No one running for President who isn't a cat has the right to use that word.

Happily, though, civility reigned in other places. Like Derry, New Hampshire, where this morning Secretary Clinton ran into the husband of one of her most off-the-wall, over-the-top, nutbag critics on the Republican side — and they chatted most amiably.

"Give my best to Carly," Clinton told Frank Fiorina. "Want to get a picture?" And they did.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Land Of The Free, And The Home Of The... Gay?

By Baxter

So, was it a "gay" national anthem? Some people think so. Or that to have Lady Gaga perform The Star-Spangled Banner at last night's Super Bowl was a statement in and of itself.

To which we cats would say, "By whom?" Certainly not by the uber-conservative NFL, which — goodness gracious, don't get us started. Suffice to say that we were about to go on a rant about guys beating up women in elevators. But other things we remember include Commissioner Pete Rozelle's insistence that Detroit and Minnesota play on the Sunday after President Kennedy's assassination. Ugh. This is why, when the rest of the country goes mad over football, even we cats tune to the Puppy Bowl instead.

Since we missed Gaga's performance live, we checked it out on YouTube (and now, of course, we share it). Here's what we thought: That Lady Gaga has the voice, and the presence, and — clearly — the proper respect for the national anthem (no, it's not a "song") to thrill everyone who heard her. But at the same time, she was saying, "Isn't all this Super Bowl stuff over the top?"

At least, that's what we heard and saw. "Ain't I a stinker?" (Bugs Bunny's immortal line) came to mind. But whatever each of us took away from the performance, we cats join Tony Bennett and Julie Andrews in adoring Lady Gaga, and we PURR.

No, Nobody's "Confused" (Except Baby Marco)

By Sniffles

On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, we cats are gratified to see that some voters are realizing that the Republican agenda would send the country back to the 1950s. And they're speaking up about it.

Example: Baby Marco Rubio, coming off his terrible performance from Saturday night, had an awkward encounter in a Manchester diner today with a gay man who got in his face over marriage equality. "Why do you want to put me back in the closet?" the voter asked. Amazingly, Baby Marco did not reply with his robotic talking points about President Obama. We guess that some adviser finally told him to cut it out.

What Baby Marco did say, however, was ridiculous. "I don't. You can live any way you want."

Um, no. Baby Marco has pledged to appoint anti-marriage-quality justices to the Supreme Court to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges. Which would mean that gay people would definitely not be able to "live any way they want."

Meanwhile, on the women's rights front, there's quite a kerfuffle going on on the Democratic side about the meaning and import of electing the first female President. We cats find this silly. Of course no one would vote for fools like Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina or Joni Ernst or Meg Whitman or that drunk, Susana Martinez, or Mary Fallin or Marsha Blackburn or Barbara Comstock because they're girls. Gender does not override odious political positions.

However, hardly any light shines between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on policy. Honest to goodness — they agree on stuff a hundred times more than they disagree. Bernie may not be a Democrat, but there's a reason he caucuses in the Senate with us and not with the GOP. So while there could be other scenarios under which we'd be happy to feel the Bern, his lack of foreign policy chops and the fact that Hillary is a woman tilts us to her.

Yep. That, for us, is where Clinton's gender matters. It's not the deciding factor — just a really, really, really nice bonus. And as for the 20-something women who are supporting the 74-year-old guy, this blogger made our case better than we ever could. Please read it and PURR.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fat Man And Little Boy

By Miss Kubelik

So before we leave the topic of last night's Republican debate, let us cats once again say (in the spirit of our headline) that Baby Marco Rubio bombed.

Now, mind you, we think that Presidential debates are silly. Sure, Kennedy-Nixon 1960 was issue-substantive and game-changing, but that's because it was the first one, and TV was young. Since the debates were resurrected in 1976, they've increasingly become like over-produced game shows — last night's debacle when the candidates were introduced just being the latest ridiculous example.

Only occasionally have debates provided telling moments, like Rick Perry's senior moment, George H.W. Bush looking at his watch, or the piece de resistance, Lloyd Bentsen's classic quip to Quayle, "You're no Jack Kennedy."

Considering Baby Marco's extreme right-wing positions, we've never understood why he should have emerged as the GOP establishment's golden boy. But after his nuclear exchange with Chris Christie last night, perhaps that brief Rubio reign has, um, exploded. We cats look forward to Tuesday, and we PURR.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tonight's Republican Debate: America's Future?

By Zamboni

While the Republicans stage their latest knock-down, drag-out fight on ABC tonight, let us all remember once again that there is an alternative.

So, okay — quickly, let us cats say that while we loathe Chris Christie, right now we would like to shake his hand and give him a Daniel Webster cigar. His takedown of Baby Marco Rubio this evening was nothing short of masterful. From what we can tell, Baby Marco has not been able to recover. And we understand that Rafael Cruz, Jr., busy pandering for the Rand Paul vote, hasn't had a great night, either. Cheshire cat grins all around!

Meanwhile, yes — we're aware that there's a Democratic race in New Hampshire on Tuesday. And we know there are lots of young people who are not in Secretary Clinton's corner. But we'd just like to ask them how they'd feel about a Republican President making nominations to the Supreme Court in 2017. Goodbye, voting rights. Goodbye, gay rights. Goodbye, especially, women's reproductive rights. Goodbye, everything we clear-thinking Americans hold dear. Just sayin'. We cats HISS.

Guise And Dolls

By Baxter

We cats are not big on the burka (who would be?), but we have always admired the hijab — an elegant look that, with our round little cat faces, we know we'd never be able to pull off. (We also have never tried the Jackie O headscarf-and-sunglasses style. Only she could do that with flair.)

But now, we can live out our Islamic-inspired headgear fantasies with Hijarbie, created by a young Nigerian woman named Haneefa Adam. Good for her!

At a time when American Muslims are feeling beleaguered and President Obama gets slammed by idiot Republicans for speaking at a mosque, this feels kinda good. We cats PURR.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

As Plain As Black And White (Not)

By Sniffles

Charles Blow of The New York Times has written an amazing column that we cats hope will, pun intended, blow a lot of readers away.

You can find it here. But let us just enlighten you by saying that Blow explains — to clueless if well-meaning white people — what American history means for folks who don't look like us. Its most important paragraph is this:

"America has a gauzy, romanticized version of its history that is largely fiction. According to that mythology, America rose to greatness by sheer ruggedness, ingenuity and hard work. It ignores or sidelines the tremendous human suffering of African slaves that fueled that financial growth, and the blood spilled and dubious treaties signed with Native Americans that fueled its geographic growth. It ignores that the prosperity of some Americans always hinged on the oppression of other Americans."

Wow. That really struck us, even though, unlike the troubled white voters who are flocking to Trump, we don't feel left behind by America in the twilight of the Obama Administration. On the contrary: We're encouraged by the progress the country has made in the last seven years, and we're looking forward to building on it. But between Charles Blow and, coincidentally, President Obama's speech at a Baltimore mosque yesterday, we now understand a whole lot more about America than we thought we did.

And it's striking that — as Blow points out — Bill Clinton seems to get it. For all his flaws, Clinton has not only an immense intellect but a keen ability to empathize that we cats are jealous of. He grew up in a poor community in the South. We cats grew up in a lily-white Chicago suburb a generation later. Our kittenhood would probably be judged more privileged, economically. But somehow we think that Bill Clinton's was the richer.

We're sorry that we haven't been smarter about this stuff than before we read Charles Blow today. But we're grateful that while we may have been blind, now we see — or, at least, see better. And we PURR.


By Miss Kubelik

We cats are not sure if the newspaper that got the Iowa polls wrong is going to get anywhere with its call for the caucus results to be audited. ("Smell"? What smell?) But if you're feeling nostalgic about Democratic politics in the Hawkeye State, you may want to check out this terrific short video that Nate Silver's put out. We were big fans of Howard Dean in 2004, so it was one of those things that wasn't funny at the time. But the video made us Cheshire-cat grin.

Meanwhile, the other headlines we're seeing today should go over well at Hillary Clinton headquarters. Gee — Republican Secretaries of State got classified stuff in email! And Chris Christie is refusing to release his Bridgegate-related messages! (Do recall that Secretary Clinton has turned over thousands and thousands of pages of hers.) And just to remind Americans how bad their lives can be under Republican rule, it appears that Rick Snyder in Michigan learned that Flint's bad drinking water raised the risk of Legionnaires' disease — and, of course, didn't say a word!

(Paul LePage wants to bring back the guillotine. Should Rick Snyder's be the first head it takes? Just sayin'.)

But nothing struck us quite so much as the news that the Koch brothers would be willing to bench themselves for a Trump-Clinton match-up in the fall. First, they loathe The Donald. But more important, there's this little nugget: "There is absolutely no love between the Clintons and the Kochs, whose company experienced one of the most traumatic periods in its history as it fought off regulators during Bill Clinton's Presidency."

We cats sure hope that all those young voters who are angry about the corporate takeover of America — and who are flocking to Bernie Sanders as a result — will take note that when they were still in grade school, people named Clinton were making the lives of Charles and David Koch miserable. That's important news for them, and it makes us PURR.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lee Harvey Oswald Leaves The Race

By Zamboni

We cats are pleased to know that we're not the only ones who think that Rand Paul looks like one of the stars of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. We were reminded of it today when we saw that the 2016 Republican field was shrinking once again.

Darn, we were really hoping that Lee — oops, we mean Rand — could have kept his "Presidential campaign" going for a little while longer. Just to help keep things on the GOP side riled up, you know. But if cat fights are what we want — and they are — at least Donald Trump is riding to the rescue by threatening to sue for a new Iowa caucus. Whee!

Meanwhile, we sure hope that all those folks in the Kentucky GOP are happy that they changed their rules so Randy could run for both his Senate seat and the White House this year. If we were in their shoes, we'd be steamed.

And hey! We have a great idea. In honor of Paul's crash and burn, why don't we all shoot some dollars Jim Gray's way? It would be so fun to complete Rand's humiliation by having the openly gay Democratic mayor of Lexington defeat him in November. That would make us PURR.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tidbits And Cat Treats: Post-Hawkeye-State Edition

By Baxter

Wow! What a night last night. Not that we cats stayed up until 3 AM watching returns, because we knew we could read all about it in the morning — but goodness gracious, things sure were tight on the Democratic side. Still and all, a win is a win is a win. And the Republicans weren't dull, either — even if they're all nuts. Here are a few Day-After feline observations.

Unsurprisingly, we'd say that Rafael Cruz, Jr.'s chances of getting the GOP nomination have gone up. Our current assessment is: Donald Trump 40 percent, Cruz 35 percent, Baby Marco Rubio 25 percent. Trump's chances hang on his ability to keep his lead in New Hampshire. Cruz's rest on his performance in the South on March 1. Baby Marco's? We'll see how quickly he can consolidate support from the other establishment candidates. (On the other hand, this time next week we could all be talking Kasich, Kasich, Kasich.)

Speaking of the establishment, if Iowa was never on Jeb! Bush's radar as his campaign now claims, why did he spend so much money there?

Believe it or not, it appears that Donald Trump was more gracious last night than Ben Carson was. And on the subject of Trump, it was interesting that one of the places Baby Marco beat him was in Scott County (Davenport). That's where the Trump campaign fired their organizer, who has since filed a sex-discrimination suit. Hm!

We love the way Hillary Clinton timed her speech to step on Cruz's. Fun!

But we are not happy with the rude chant that Bernie Sanders's supporters engaged in last night. First, we doubt that any of them could explain in detail the so-called "facts" behind the chant. And second, thanks for giving the Republicans a sound bite in the fall, guys. We cats wouldn't do that to your candidate, and we HISS.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Work Ethic

By Sniffles

E.J. Dionne, one of our favorite observers of the political scene, has written what appears to be an interesting book about the last 50 years of the conservative movement. Take it from us cats, that history is not pretty.

But E.J. argues thoughtfully that the state of conservatism right now is unhealthy for the country, and taking the long view, we suspect he's right. Still, it's striking to be reminded of the fantasy land that so many of the teabags and the Freepers and the anti-choicers and the gay haters currently live in, and which we've seen played out at every Republican Presidential debate so far.

"For half a century, the history of American conservatism has been a story of disappointment and betrayal," E.J. writes. "Conservative leaders have denounced decades of change, pledging what would amount to a return to the government and economy of the 1890s, the cultural norms of the 1950s and, in more recent times, the ethnic makeup of the country in the 1940s.

"But no conservative administration — not Richard Nixon’s, not Ronald Reagan’s and neither of the Bush presidencies — could live up to the rhetoric that conservative politicians regularly deploy to rally their supporters."

And so, those supporters are mad. Really mad. Which is why we have Trumpism. Now, when we cats think about it, we get mad, too. For example, we're plenty mad that young African Americans keep getting gunned down in the streets by police. But overall, we're pleased with a lot of the progress the Obama Administration has been able to make. We want to protect that progress — and we want to make more.

But we understand that to do that — and to achieve the criminal justice reform whose necessity is a current embarrassment to the country — we must be willing to shoulder onerous tasks. See, when you live in a democracy in which multiple voices are heard, and which is constructed as ingeniously as the Founders intended, governing can be complicated and difficult. In fact, we think that maybe Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, et. al. purposely made it so, so that new policies and programs would not be undertaken willy-nilly.

Putting one's shoulder to the governmental wheel is, at least, what grownups in a diverse, dynamic democracy do. The ones who live in Right-Wing La La Land — and who get all riled up by the meaningless generalities of Donald Trump — just scream. Things like "Make America great again!" "Build a wall!" and "Bomb the hell out of ISIS!"

They are silly. As one leading Presidential candidate on our side has observed, "Anyone running for President should see things as they actually are, not just as we want them to be, talk about the real problems and not try to create and inhabit some alternative universe." We cats PURR.

(IMAGE: Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)