Saturday, December 31, 2016

First, The Election — Now, The Electrical Grid

By Miss Kubelik

Let's get this straight: Russia has attacked the United States — and Donald Trump is on Russia's side? When will America wake up and smell the coffee? We cats SNARL.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Choose Your Weapon

By Zamboni

Gosh, we cats had no idea that the Breitbarters and the right-wing haters cared so much about the Chicago Review of Books. Don't they think they're just a bunch of irrelevant, pointy-headed liberals whose opinions will scatter like dust in the Trumpian winds?

But, no. They're all super-upset that CHIRB has declared a 2017 boycott of Simon & Schuster titles as a protest against the publisher's alleged signing of Twitter terrorist and Dylann Roof soul mate Milos Yiannopoulos to a $250,000 book deal. "War on speech!" they bleat.

Ya know what? A boycott is free speech, too.

As the old malapropism goes, if Richard Simon (Carly's dad) were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave. What would he think of his company getting in cahoots with the likes of Yiannopoulos? Somebody at S&S's conservative imprint obviously thinks that Yiannopoulos will rake in some bucks. But if the economic argument works for the right wing, it works for us, too.

So while the Republicans are hell-bent on denying the Democratic coalition access to the ballot box, we can still vote with our pocketbooks. Don't be looking for us to buy any Simon & Schuster books until this is proven untrue or the publisher scraps the deal.

The spluttering righties have it all wrong, anyway. A boycott of Simon & Schuster is not anti-free-speech. Hijacking a shipment of Simon & Schuster books and burning them in a public square would be anti-free-speech (and destruction of property). Refusing to buy books from a publisher that promotes a self-loathing gay racist — just like refusing to buy Trump "wines" or Trump ties — is an economic weapon. We cats intend to use it everywhere we can, and we PURR.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"I Must Plead A Subsequent Engagement," Part II

By Sniffles

A few days ago, we cats opined that, in the wake of Donald Drumpf siding with former KGB head and famous foreign killer-of-enemies Vladimir Putin against the oldest political party in America, Hillary and Bill Clinton were officially excused from attending the inaugural thingy in Washington on January 20.

We are happy to announce that now, President and Mrs. Obama are no longer obliged to show up, either. Not unless Drumpf denounces his execrable supporter, Carl Paladino, for Paladino's recent comments on what he hopes will happen to the Obamas in 2017.

Yes, we know that the "Trump transition team" has criticized Paladino. Not good enough. We want Trump himself.

And why not? The Buffalo, New York, Board of Education, appalled and disgusted, apparently has guts enough to demand the piggish Paladino's resignation from their membership. If they don't get it, they say, they'll petition the state of New York to remove him. So the New Worst Person Who's Ever Lived — who, after all, exists on planes far loftier than a mere school board — should have no trouble following suit.

But, oh — right. We're talking about Donald Trump here. The candidate who indulges and coddles racists and haters, because he's a racist and hater himself.

Dear Mr. President: You and Michelle should feel free to be otherwise occupied in 23 days. We cats HISS.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The People's Other Princess

This is not an entertainment blog, but we cats are always sad when the world loses a smart, funny woman. Carrie Fisher was right: Who does wear that much lip gloss into battle? We cats PURR in her direction and wish her safe travels to — as her mum put it — her next stop.

UPDATE: Now we're seeing news that Debbie Reynolds has also left the planet. The California dew is just a little heavier than usual tonight. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Only The Beginning

By Baxter

Back when he was just a talking head on the fill-the-endless-afternoon-hours cable news shows, Jason Miller struck us as the ugliest man we'd ever seen on television. So we're boggled that of all the Trumpy knaves and thugs to go down in flames in a sex scandal, Jason Miller is not only the first but surely the fastest would-be White House appointee to self-destruct.

And the Trumpsters just set the all-time record for the quickest makin'-whoopie casualty ever. They're not even in office yet, and Miller's job evaporated in a mere two days. Wow! Don't blink, or you'll miss it.

We cannot imagine who would ever stoop to have a fling with the mirror-shattering Jason Miller. But we're sure that he's only the first of what will turn out to be a long list of Trumpy appointees and insiders who will have to decline, resign, be grilled, or who will otherwise explode in dramatic fashion — thanks to sex, drugs, corruption, bad tweets, or ties to Nazis and white supremacists.

Let's revisit this in a year, and see how long the list is by then. In the meantime, we cats HISS.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Questions

By Miss Kubelik

This is the Hotel de Ville in Old Montreal. Yep, it really looks like this — something right out of a Christmas card. Appropriate for today, yes?

Which reminds us that Jesus is not the only VIP celebrating a birthday today. Happy 45th, Justin Trudeau! (And happy 43rd, Sacha Trudeau. Two brothers born on Christmas Day, two years apart. Weird, eh!)

We cats have managed to have a pleasant day, but lurking in the background is our concern about things to come in the lower forty-eight. What havoc will the new administration wreak, and how much? (Plenty, we fear.) But most of all, now that all of 2016's presents have been delivered, we wonder: Will Donald Drumpf cede the Arctic and the North Pole to his BFF, Vladimir Putin? And if so, what will happen to Santa? We cats HISS.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

"I Must Plead A Subsequent Engagement"

By Zamboni

We cats were undecided on the whole should-we-attend-the-inaugural thing. On the one hand, there is a solid tradition of former Presidents and other similarly celestially placed VIPs showing up — and we are keenly aware of the niceties of solid traditions. On the other hand, what else is the Drumpf extravaganza going to be but vulgar and depressing? If you're Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton, or even George W. Bush, why endorse such a hideous production with your presence? (Bush Sr., we understand, has already pleaded advanced age. Not so Jimmy Carter, who so far is the sole former Commander-in-Chief to RSVP yes.)

Then we heard that Vladimir Putin had scolded the Democrats, and that Drumpf had piled on. And that, as they say, was that.

In short, it's the Clintons' out. Before, we would have said: Oh, gosh, kids, suck it up — you would have expected the same of Drumpf had James Comey and the Electoral College not interfered. But now that Drumpf has sided with a murderous dictator against a major American political party's nominee and the 66 million US citizens who voted for her, we say, screw it. Come January 20, you both now have official permission to be very busy washing your hair.

And by the way, if Jimmy Carter wants to cancel at the last minute? We say to him and Rosalynn: Go for it, baby. Even though we suspect you're indestructible, tell the Vulgarian President you have a heavy cold. We cats PURR and HISS at the same time.

Panting After Putin

By Sniffles

What would Richard Nixon think about the latest outrage from Putin and Drumpf? We cats believe he would never stop throwing up — and we're wondering if, after all these years of red-faced, raging "love it or leave it" patriotism, GOP stalwarts are really, truly okay with all of this. Are they Republicans first, or Americans?

Meanwhile, a poll reveals that rank-and-file Republicans like Putin a lot now, too. Which means they've caught up with the Freepers and the teabaggers, who began to lust after Vlad once he started cracking down on the gays. We don't know about them, but we cats like democracy — despite its messiness.

So, on this Christmas Eve, here's the question of the day: With all the questions that journalists could ask about Russia and Putin and nukes and what-not, will The New Worst Person Who's Ever Lived go down in history as the only President to never hold a news conference?

We think yes — because Bannon, Conway, Spicer, et. al., will never allow him to be somewhere they can't control him. Maybe he'll do one-on-ones, with friendly jackasses like Hannity. But a real presser, with dozens of journalists asking about inconvenient truths? No way.

He's already going to go down as the only "winner" to never hold a news conference during the transition. Why should he change? We cats HISS.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

False Equivalency, Again

By Baxter

Remember when North Carolina was a bastion of Southern progressivism? No worries if you don't. The days of Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt are long gone, and today the state has slipped alarmingly backward — with the malevolent spirit of the Ghost of Haters Past, Jesse Helms, reigning supreme. (If he were still around, though, Helms probably wouldn't be pleased that he plays a bit part in the celebratory exhibit on Robert Mapplethorpe, now at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.)

North Carolina descended into chaos and idiocy yesterday, as the you-repeal-yours-I'll-repeal-mine deal to junk the state's notorious HB2 "bathroom bill" fell apart. Republicans' heads exploded when the Charlotte City Council left intact its community relations committee's power to nix discrimination. So GOP legislators fired back: Leave HB2 on the books, they said, for a six-month "cooling off" period, after which they'd maybe kinda sorta look at a repeal.

The result: Lots of insults, a ton of finger-pointing, and no deal. But color us cats skeptical on the Republicans' umbrage.

After all, why are those two things equal? Why does empowering a city committee to deal with discriminatory practices that may or may not happen rise to the level of leaving a hate-based, paranoid, unenforceable, business-killing, tourism-killing, and collegiate and professional sports-killing law in place for half a year — and maybe forever? Somebody please explain.

And why would a state not want to protect its citizens from discrimination, anyway? Maybe we should visit that Mapplethorpe exhibit again — just because we know Jesse Helms wouldn't want us to. Meanwhile, we urge the world to continue its boycott of the Tarheel State, whose knavish Republican rulers make us HISS.

UPDATE: The Electoral Integrity Project has concluded that North Carolina no longer ranks as a democracy. How many other Republican-run states would also qualify? We cats HISS again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Quickie: Justin Under Glass?

We cats happened upon this odd little sculpture in Montreal the other day. In case you're wondering, the card next to it describes a piece that's out of the photo. But — who or what is this? We can only assume that it's supposed to be Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Wow... sometimes Justin seems very young to us. This is one of those times. Still, we cats PURR.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Getting An Earful

By Miss Kubelik

In the early months of the Obama Administration, we cats were in Quebec and bought a hand-crafted portfolio from a local artisan. When we presented our US credit card and she realized where we were from, she said, "Oh, I love your Prime Minister."

She meant "President," of course, but since she was speaking in her second language, we didn't quibble. In fact, we gladly accepted the compliment. Since we'd had to apologize to Canadians for Bush and Cheney so often, it was a great feeling.

Yesterday, we were at the same artisan market and bought some ear muffs. (Why not? See above.) We had the same experience, but with one very important difference. When the seller looked at our credit card, he said, "Are you American?" Yes, we said. He shook his head politely. "Your new President is a joke."

What could we say? We sadly and disgustedly agreed. The only thing we can hope now is that our Election 2016 Apology Tour will only last four years, not eight. We cats HISS.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Good Job, Justin!

The photo on this year's White House Christmas card was taken at the March 10 state dinner — at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's request. Nice! We cats PURR.

Freudian Slip

By Zamboni

During this hideous transition that we cats have been striving to ignore, one thing that has managed to permeate our fog of denial is how many people have met with The New Worst Person Who's Ever Lived — thinking, apparently, that they could reason with him or get him to offer a job — and then been publicly, Trumpily repudiated or humiliated. President Gore? Played. Bob Corker? Played. Harold Ford? Played. Cathy McMorris Rodgers? Played. Heidi Heitkamp? Probably played. (And richly deserves to be.)

But no one has been more played than Willard Mitt Romney, omg.

We cats had idly hoped that, after the disaster that was November 8, Willard might turn out to have a manly man hiding inside that irritatingly awkward, aw-shucks Mormon-y exterior. Why not? Who had criticized Drumpf more than Romney had this year? His "con man" speech last spring was searing, biting, dead on — dare we say irredeemable? We instantly thought at the time that Ann had written it, but we never doubted that Willard believed it. Gosh, we thought — he might have some cojones after all.

Fast forward to today, and Willard has been embarrassed beyond belief over the Secretary of State thing, as the whole world and possibly parts of the unexplored galaxy now know. We'd wonder how Ann feels about this excruciatingly public take-down, except... we don't have to.

In a letter to The Salt Lake Tribune, Willard has tried to explain the whole debacle. But even there, he's stumbled. Protesting that offering himself up was all part of serving the nation he loves, he made a super-telling grammatical error:

"As the country's next President, I earnestly hope that [Drumpf] will be successful in..." blah blah blah.

("As the country's next President, I"??? Hilarious.)

Oh, Willard, Willard, Willard. Perhaps while ducking the plates that Ann is throwing, you can get her to pitch a primer on pronoun-antecedent agreement at your head. In the meantime, let's just say that by meeting with Drumpf, Willard Mitt Romney abandoned all pretense of ever having balls. We cats HISS.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Like Son, Like Father

By Sniffles

This portrait to commemorate the Queen's 90th birthday year made us cats think, goodness gracious: Doesn't the Prince of Wales look just like his father now? Maybe not quite so rakish, but getting there.

And considering all the despots and cretins who have ascended to power recently, we cats would really appreciate a cup of tea with Her Majesty and a little wisdom — and perspective — on how these things, too, shall pass. It would make us PURR.

One Day More

By Baxter

Yes, there's a new world to be won — which we Democrats thought we had in the bag on November 8, especially since nearly three million more Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than voted for The New Worst Person Who's Ever Lived.

But thanks to the way Americans have distributed themselves between urban and rural areas — not to mention Russian interference — the Electoral College tilted against us. We cats aren't usually profane, but we have to say that the Russian part of this is scary shit.

Therefore, all that's left is for the Electoral College to do the right thing — as in, not vote for Donald Trump — on Monday. Why? Because this: The FBI is investigating what the CIA has already declared, that Vladimir Putin put Trump in the White House. Is there a reason that the nation isn't up in arms about this?

Our favorite blogger has it right: President Obama should request an official delay in Monday's vote until we can all get to the bottom of this. In fact, lots of Democrats should. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Harry Reid, Jerry Brown, Andrew Cuomo, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, just to name a few — where are your voices?

Constitutional crisis? Sure, maybe. But anything would be better than to have a fraudulently elected administration installed in Washington at the behest of Vladimir Putin. We cats HISS.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Anti-Democrats

By Miss Kubelik

And we mean that with a small "d."

We cats are astonished at what's going on, and we wonder if we're the only ones. It seems to us that the Republican Party (the party of Lincoln, remember) couldn't care less that our government is being handed over to a hostile foreign power — through the manipulation of the US election, and through key administration appointees who are in the pocket of Vladimir Putin.

As if that weren't hideous enough, get a load of this: Republicans in North Carolina are so miffed about losing the Governor's race there that they're introducing legislation that will strip incoming Democrat Ray Cooper of his powers and make him little more than a figurehead.

Honestly, we never in a million years thought we'd be writing stuff like this. Yes, we know the GOP loves to suppress the franchise of nonwhite Americans, especially since the Supreme Court cut the heart out of the Voting Rights Act. But these antics in North Carolina are proof: The Republicans not only hate government, they hate democracy. We've seen comparisons to the Reichstag, and we don't think they're far-fetched.

So now what do we do? We cats have come across some excellent suggestions, but we think engaging in local politics is key. Our path out of the wilderness — and, apparently, the salvation of the country — will have to start at the municipal, county and state levels. We've seen how the right-wing nut jobs, not just in North Carolina but in states like Ohio and Oklahoma, are destroying any semblance of reasonable governance for all. Time for us Democrats — and democrats — to get cracking. In the meantime, we cats HISS.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Questions That Aren't Getting Asked

By Zamboni

We cats are not exactly holding our breath to see if the Republican Congress will delay the Electoral College vote on December 19. After all, the CIA says a hostile foreign power intervened in the Presidential election — why worry?

But it's dawned on us that everybody's focused on Russian interference with the general election. If Vladimir Putin was so enamored with Donald Trump from the get-go, why wouldn't he have messed with the Republican primaries too? We're wondering if this has occurred to the other members of the GOP clown college, whom Trump managed to knock out with surprising ease.

How did Trump steamroll the other clowns? By needling them and getting under their skins, right? And what is the former Soviet KGB, which Putin used to run, most renowned for? Psychiatric operations — PSYOPS — the effectiveness of which is scarily magnified on social media and the Interwebs, but which we can easily imagine being put to use as Trump faced his Republican adversaries in the debates.

Picture it: Trump is handed a short set of index cards with bullet points. (Yes, index cards. He doesn't use email.) The cards say: "Tell Jeb Bush he's 'low-energy.' Call Marco Rubio 'Little Marco.' Make fun of way John Kasich eats. Insult Fiorina's face. Call Ted Cruz a basket case and a failure." And so on and so forth.

No policy details. No in-depth proposals, or how he'd do things differently from his rivals. Just insults and sound bites.

And it worked. The only question is: Who translated all of it from the original Russian? We cats HISS.

UPDATE: Lady Lindsey Graham has just confirmed our theory. Who's next? (Not Rick Perry, we bet!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What Might Be So For Joe

By Sniffles

While we cats are waiting to see if the Republicans will allow Russia to take over the United States, we thought we'd take a glance toward 2020 — on our side of the aisle.

After teasing about it in typical Biden fashion, our current Vice President is leaving open the possibility that he could run for President in four years — when he'll be 78. (But oh, heck, the incumbent — assuming he hasn't been impeached, or deposed by teabaggers angry that he hasn't built The Wall — will only be four years younger.)

"Who knows where we're going to be?" Biden asked, and we think we know the answer: In a mess. America's partisan divide will be bigger than ever. Foreign policy will be a corrupt nightmare. Rights will be violated across the board here at home. There will be a staggering need for adult supervision at the State Department, the Pentagon, the Justice Department and all the domestic agencies. The US will be crying out for someone with ordinary Joe credentials who can clean up the corruption, the insider dealing and the cabal of gazillionaires who will have been responsible for all the multiple disasters.

Did we say "ordinary Joe"? Hmmmm.

So here's what we think Biden is thinking: Pledge to run for only one term so that he can address the mess without worrying about needing to be re-elected. And pick a Vice President who, similarly, would disclaim any interest in running for the White House him/herself, so our younger generation of Democrats can get ready to step up in 2024.

It's a little crazy — but what isn't these days? We think, though, that there's enough Joe love out there that if he stays active and visible — and works his butt off for Democrats in state and local races for the next two years — he could pull it off. It just might make us PURR.

P.S. As for who that Biden veep would be, we have an idea. Like we said, crazy!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Scary Sequel?

By Baxter

Just in time for Kirk Douglas's recent 100th-birthday celebration, we cats are reading unsettling news from real life that has us remembering 1964's "Seven Days in May."

Except now, instead of a military takeover of the US, we're picturing CIA guys overthrowing the Trumpsters — and doing it not to destroy American democracy, but to protect it.

Okay, that's probably still the stuff of political thrillers. But why are we seeing headlines that even make us think about it? We cats don't like it one bit, and we HISS.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy Abdication Day

By Miss Kubelik

Eighty years ago today, King Edward VIII of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas addressed his people and told them he was quitting to marry the woman he loved.

We cats, even with our nine lives, weren't around at the time. But from all we know, it was a pretty big deal. A constitutional crisis, no less, and one that sealed the destiny of Britain's current (and longest-serving) monarch. But in the end, it was a really good thing.

Why? Because Edward VIII was an open Hitler sympathizer and, had he not stepped down, probably would have collaborated with the Nazis to remain on the throne after a successful German invasion of England. World (and American) history could have been appallingly different.

So we all dodged a bullet in 1936. Sadly, we cats see no way for the US, without the escape hatch of abdication, to get out of watching a similar colluder-in-chief ascend to the Presidency next month. It's eight decades on, a different Western democracy and a Russian, not German, tyrant — but frighteningly the same. We cats HISS, GROWL and SNARL.

(PHOTO: Palling around with their chum Adolf in 1937. What jackasses.)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Not Just A Lack Of Civility. Uncivilized.

By Zamboni

As we learn of the CIA's conviction that Russia intervened in the US Presidential election to help Donald Trump — and wait to see if the Republicans are going to do anything about it (yeah, right) — we're also wondering when Trump will say or tweet something that will get somebody killed.

We've speculated about this before, and since then, another hideous story has popped up that doesn't make us feel any better. In fact, we're more worried than ever. We live in a country with millions of heavily armed nutcases, and the next guy who walks into a conspiracy-beleaguered pizzeria and fires a gun could very well hit somebody. A Trump-inspired murder is possible.

It's all because of words, and people's carelessness with them. Trump has encouraged a 1930s-style political atmosphere that he and his acolytes are still feeding. We're escaping back to Canada in a few days, but unfortunately it's happening there, too. Conservatives rallying in Alberta against a carbon tax last weekend threw "Lock her up!" chants at pro-tax NDP Premier Rachel Notley. Gee, where could they have gotten that idea? (The Tory candidate who was speaking at the time did nothing to stop them.)

As one Ottawa-based blogger has noted: "Yes, these are 'just words' so far, but words matter. Words lead to thought, and thought to action. Those who are suffering must always be given a voice and a platform; but it is up to all of us speak up in circumscribing the limits of barbarism."

Meanwhile, we cats are very sad. America's greatest gifts to the world used to be our can-do attitude, our relentless optimism, and a sense that if we keep striving for that more perfect union, we can continue to set an example to others who also seek justice and equality. Now, we export hate and fear, division and chaos. We cats HISS.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Another Harry Who Always Gave 'Em Hell

By Sniffles

We cats have to say that we're going to miss The Fightin' Mormon.

Harry Reid, indeed, was not cut out for the media age, what with cable TV and that Twitter thing and whatever-streamin' on the Interwebs. But he was one wily Senate leader who always had the interests of the people at heart. It will be interesting to see how history treats him.

But we believe our nickname for him says it all. Harry Reid was, unfailingly, the kind of guy who brought a gun to a knife fight.

One of the memories he spoke about in his Senate farewell was how, as a youth, he had scraped together $250 to buy his mother some dentures. The richest dentist in town sniffed at him: How could a kid like Harry afford his services?

"He said, I don’t do credit here," Reid said. "He insulted me. So I went to Dr. Marshall, of Henderson, and bought my mother some teeth. It changed my mother’s life. My mother had teeth."

That's what we love about Harry: He had teeth. And he bit — a lot.

Vaya con Dios, HR. We cats salute you, and we PURR.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Flower Power, 2016

By Baxter

Sadly, the rise in hate incidents after the November 8 Presidential election is not confined to the US.

Last month — on Election Night, actually — some white male jackass in Edmonton, Alberta, confronted two hijab-wearing women in a local train station. He flashed a noose at them and said, "This is for you."

Thankfully, local college students and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees decided yesterday to implement the perfect response.

We're reminded of something novelist Louis de Bernieres said: "The real index of civilization is when people are kinder than they need to be." Edmonton appears to be working on that. Are we here in America? We cats HISS and PURR at the same time.

Trumpsters Who Claim To Love Free Speech Threaten Chuck Jones

By Miss Kubelik

No, not that Chuck Jones.

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999 in Indiana, told the press that Donald Trump "lied his ass off" when he said he'd saved a thousand of Jones's members union jobs.

From The Washington Post: "Carrier, [Jones] said, had agreed to preserve 800 production jobs in Indiana. (Carrier confirmed that number.) The union leader said Trump appeared to be taking credit for rescuing 350 engineering positions that were never scheduled to leave. Five hundred fifty of his members, he said, were still losing their jobs. And the company was still collecting millions of dollars in tax breaks."

And since Donald Trump is a sociopathic narcissist who cannot bear criticism of any kind, he slammed Jones on Twitter, after which the threats began. Phone calls like: "What kind of car do you drive?" "We’re coming for you." "You better keep your eye on your kids."

We cats wish that the other Chuck Jones, who animated some of the best Bugs Bunny cartoons, were still around to comment on the bottomless cesspool of frightening idiocy into which America has sunk. Thanks to Trump and the Republicans, the terrorist tactics of the KKK and the most radical anti-choicers have become mainstream. It's already bad, and it's only going to get worse. We cats SNARL.

IMAGE: "Hair-Raising Hare," 1946. Pure, silly genius, and laughs we sorely need right now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What Jake Tapper Should Have Asked

By Zamboni

Yes, CNN's Jake Tapper has become an irritant to the incoming Administration. We cats report this with no glee — since the media, including Tapper, so utterly failed during the 2016 election.

Nevertheless, we take note when journalists actually become bold enough to do their jobs. Case in point: Tapper's recent interview with Mike Pence, about Michael Flynn's involvement with Pizzagate.

Here's what should have happened.

TAPPER: Governor, it's a simple yes-or-no answer. Did you approve Flynn Jr.'s application for a security clearance?

When Pence refuses to answer yes or no:

TAPPER: Governor, is your reluctance to provide a simple yes or no answer to a straightforward question a sign of ignorance — or a willful condoning of the views of the alt-right white supremacists?

— OR —

TAPPER: Governor, the Internet will be saying that your reluctance to answer this simple question is proof that the Presidential transition is peopled by racists. In that light, how many white racists are currently employed by the transition?

Sigh. If only the media would do what it's supposed to do. We cats would PURR.

Someday, Fake News Will Equal Real Death

By Sniffles

We cats love the Interwebs. We're on it every day, and as you faithful readers know, we try to post as often as we can. And because The New York Times's hard-copy edition leaves newsprint on our paws, and cable TV is stupid, we get a lot of our news online.

But when we do, we try to visit real sites like the Times and The Washington Post and, yes, POLITICO. We have quibbles with each of these, but at least it appears we can rely on them for stories that are, um, true. We don't solely inhabit lefty sites that reflect our political opinions. At least, we try.

So we were astounded to learn about this bizarre story in the Breitbart and alt-right world about a pizzeria in Washington, and how Hillary Clinton was using it as a front for a child-abuse ring. Whut? We had no idea this even existed until some jackass from North Carolina with an assault rifle paid a visit to the restaurant on Sunday — a visit could have been worse, but that still didn't end well.

We're obviously appalled that any fool could read anti-Hillary crap on the Internet and decide to take the law into his own hands. And we know that although nobody was hurt in this incident, someday, somehow, somebody is going to get killed.

But what really infuriates us is that Comet Ping Pong and its fellow neighborhood businesses had tried to alert the DC cops and the FBI about the cascading online abuse they were getting from Bannon acolytes — and asked for help. And were ignored.

You know, on top of James Comey's interference in the Presidential election, this just doesn't sit well with us. In fact, we're enraged, and we're trying to decide what to do. When we figure it out, we'll let you know. In the meantime, we cats say: Mike Pence, welcome to the neighborhood. And we HISS.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Alan Jay Lerner Reflects

By Baxter

We cats have yet to see "Jackie," but we feel as if we already have. Because we know the back story — not only of John F. and Jackie Kennedy, but also of the Broadway musical "Camelot," so well.

(If you're tempted to do a eyeroll here, folks, remember that this is the music that Lin-Manuel Miranda grew up on. So there.)

Alan Jay Lerner, who penned the lyrics to "Camelot," described his reaction to Jackie's invocation of his and Fritz Loewe's show this way.

"I was crossing the lobby of the Waldorf on my way to the Park Avenue side of the hotel, when I passed the newsstand," he wrote. "The Journal-American, now defunct, had just been delivered. In headline letters above the title of the newspaper I saw 'Don't let it be forgot/That once there was a spot/For one brief shining moment/That was known as Camelot.'

"The tragedy of the hour, the astonishment of seeing a lyric I had written in headlines, and the shock of recognition of a relationship between the two that extended far beyond the covers of one magazine, overloaded me with confused emotions," Lerner continued. "I was so dazed that I didn't even buy the wasn't until 83rd Street that I realized I had passed my house."

It's a very New York story. But thanks to Jacqueline Kennedy, national hero, it's also a very American story.

Goodness gracious. What other 34-year-old would have had the presence of mind to so cement her dead husband's legacy in history, mere days after his head was blown off in Dallas? We cats say, our Democratic women kick ass.  And of course we PURR.

Flying The Flag

By Miss Kubelik

We cats heartily approve of gay-hater Mike Pence's new neighbors in the Chevy Chase area of the District of Columbia, many of whom are unfurling the gay-pride flag to "welcome" Pence and his dumpy wife to the neighborhood.

After all, how different is Pence's reception in DC from the reaction of the business community in Indiana to his "religious freedom" hard-on? Not very, we think.

Not only are these good DC folk making an important point to Pence himself, but they're reminding America that Mike Pence is an anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-needle-program jackass who, we guarantee you, is chomping at the bit to impose his personal religious views on the entire country. Just sayin'. We cats HISS and PURR at the same time.

The Trump Effect? It's A Sin.

By Zamboni

The Freepers and the alt-righters and the Breitbarters must be loving the fact that "the political correctness movement" here in Virginia has turned its sights on two liberal literary icons, Mark Twain and Harper Lee. A mom in Accomack County says that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird should be pulled from the local schools because both books' use of the N-word has upset her biracial son.

Finn, from which Ernest Hemingway famously said all literature derived, is such brilliant social satire that we cats won't even try to tackle it in a blog post. But Mockingbird, partly thanks to the Oscar-winning 1962 film adaptation, is so beloved that defending it is easier than bustin' up a chifforobe.

In fact, Mockingbird is particularly relevant now. Although his minions insist on denying it, the soon-to-be leader of the free world ran a racist, hatemongering Presidential campaign. The result: Teachers nationwide report that bullying is up in schools, and race-based harassment across the country has skyrocketed. Since the Mockingbird characters who most prolifically use the N-word are all horrible people, Lee's novel would be an important and reaffirming lesson for today's Trump-beleaguered kids.

But still — it's very sad. Wouldn't that youngster in Accomack County be more comfortable discussing these classics of American literature if the Republicans hadn't given white supremacy a platform this year? We cats think he would — faster than you can say Tom Robinson. So we HISS.

IMAGE: If you like this tote bag, you can buy it here.

Friday, December 2, 2016

We Still Want To Photograph You In This Light

By Sniffles

We cats were sad to see that Howard Dean dropped out of the running for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In our shock and dismay after November 8, we could only see his leadership as the answer to the Democrats' woes.

It wasn't just the 50-state strategy that we endorsed, but also the fact that when he was in charge, Dean ran a tight ship. At least, you never saw crap that went on during the era of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (We would not like to answer to an angry Chairman Dean for an impolitic anti-Sanders email, thank you very much.)

So the first thing we thought when we heard today's news was: If this is about Howard rightly calling the Nazi Steve Bannon a Nazi, we are going to be furious. And of course we're already mad as wet cats about the fact that, like Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean is always going to be judged through an unjust filter — and by just enough people to make a difference. As John F. Kennedy once observed, life is unfair.

But then we saw that Keith Ellison suddenly said he's willing to leave Congress if he gets the DNC job. And we decided, just maybe, that was the deal that he and Howard and the powers that be had struck.

Who knows? Neither Ellison nor Dean is calling us cats to personally explain — so we can only speculate from what we've seen in the headlines. But if we get a DNC chair whose sole job is to rebuild our organization and win us some elections, we're fine with it. As long as that person listens closely and attentively to the advice of Howard Dean. If that happens, we cats will PURR.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Not-So-Silent Majority States The Obvious: Trump Is A Loser

For more information, click here.

Elizabeth's Eyeroll

By Baxter

It started out as a conversation about the irony of how all the underachieving white men who voted for Donald Drumpf and against the fat-cat Wall Street establishment will end up with a new administration chock-full of — you got it — Wall Street establishment fat cats.

And then it morphed into a debate about Steve "Yep, He's a Nazi" Bannon — with Anderson Cooper trying to tell Elizabeth Warren that Bannon was not a white supremacist. So cue the Senator's eyeroll.

We cats are very glad that Howard Dean is not the only Democrat out there saying what needs to be said about Bannon. First, because as John Oliver has observed, the Drumpf crowd is not normal, and we must fight against all efforts to make them so. And second, because Steve Bannon is exactly what Warren and Dean say he is. As Dean told CTV, "You go look at Breitbart News and you'll make up your own mind."

The final irony: In Breitbart World, of course, guys like Anderson Cooper would be some of the first ones shoveled onto the boxcar. With little pink triangles on their shirts. We cats HISS.

UPDATE: Looks like the Kellogg Co. has decided that Bannon and friends are Nazis, too. Corn flakes and Eggos and Pop-Tarts for all!