Thursday, June 22, 2017

Damn The Optics, Full Speed Ahead

By Baxter

The Republicans are so hell-bent on destroying the Affordable Care Act that they blatantly dragged away and arrested disability advocates who were protesting the GOP bill at Mitch McConnell's office today. United Airlines must be relieved — they're no longer the worst people in the world. We cats don't know what this country is coming to, and we HISS.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trump: Not Queen For A Day

By Miss Kubelik

In case the GOP feels like it's riding high this morning, we cats would like to remind them that they're standing on shifting ground. Here's how we know.

Jon Ossoff did 20 points better against Karen Handel than the Democratic candidate did against Tom Price in 2016. By that logic, every Republican seat that was won by 20 points or less ought to be in play next year. (As our favorite pundit has pointed out: "Lots of Dem disappointment in SC and GA. Don't!! Just keep fighting. These results would win us 50 seats in 2018, and win the Senate...if our candidates close the gap as much as these two did.")

There are 71 Congressional districts that are bluer than Georgia's sixth.

Good Democratic candidates keep lining up to run in key GOP seats. The latest: Andy Kim, who is vying to challenge Tom MacArthur, a Republican who's been very busy trying to take healthcare coverage away from 24 million Americans.

More proof that we're not sitting on our butts: This new Democratic super PAC aims to kick seven California Republicans out of their jobs. Seven seats down means we'd just have 17 more to go.

Finally, Queen Elizabeth II opened Parliament today. What has that got to do with us? She failed to mention the upcoming Trump state visit to the UK in her speech. The omission "suggest[s] that he is not expected in the next two years," say reports. But — they won last night's special elections! He wants to ride in the golden coach!

Question: Will Donald Trump even be President in two years? We leave that to those with better sources than we have. We cats PURR.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"It's Time To Make A Bigger Table"



It's only the middle of 2017, but the best campaign ad of 2018 has just come out. And best of all, it's against Paul Ryan.

Here Comes The Sun (There Goes The GOP)

By Zamboni

These days, it helps to take an Obama-esque long view of the US political landscape. Specifically as in how the Republican Party is making itself obsolete.

Example: Kicking 23 million people off their healthcare coverage.

Example: Running candidates, like Karen Handel in Georgia's sixth Congressional district, who are extraordinarily anti-gay. (Young people won't stand for that nonsense.)

Big example: Destroying the planet by ignoring climate change and promoting dirty energy sources like coal.

That last one is big for obvious reasons: Millennials and other young voters will be around a lot longer than 71-year-old jackass Presidents will be, and will have cope with the consequences of rising seas, extreme heat waves, ever-more-powerful hurricanes and newly prevalent diseases. But it's not just those under-35 folks who are leading the way on climate consciousness.

Back before they were even born, in fact, our 39th President put solar panels on the roof of the White House. A few years later, Ronald and Nancy Reagan ripped the panels out.

How fitting, then, that The Carter Center just installed 324 solar panels on its roof — the first Presidential library to be powered by the sun.

Here's young Jason Carter speaking at the installation. Just a reminder, though, that the President who knew solar power was the way to go 38 years ago is alive and kicking at 91. We cats PURR.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday Night Pick-Me-Up

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Wow, can the news can get any more dispiriting tonight? Republicans gutting Affordable Health Care behind closed doors, White House press briefings held in secret, innocent Muslims getting attacked — and who knows what the hell is going to happen in Georgia tomorrow. Time for a double dose of red panda!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

They've Burst Your Pretty Balloon And Taken The Moon Away

via GIPHY

By Sniffles

Another bad day for Donald Trump on "the shows." Do we think that, squirreled away at Camp David as they were, Melania and Lurch oops, Barron grabbed the remote from Donald's tiny orange hands and stuffed it in a couch? Let's hope so, because absurdities piled upon absurdities.

We cats aren't sure that there's anything we can add to the Orwellian back-and-forth that Chris Wallace (Chris Wallace!) had with Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow. It's probably beyond description, so just click here and watch for yourself instead.

(Sekulow — jeez, what a jackass.)

But nothing tops Baby Marco Rubio, who swore up and down today that it's really okay that the President of the United States doesn't believe in, and doesn't care about, a Russian attack on our country.

So, okay. No jetliners hit 110-story towers, and nobody died. But thanks to the mobster that Vladimir Putin has installed in the White House, Americans will suffer — and yes, some will die. Women who try to self-abort because safe and legal abortion procedures aren't available, for sure. Undocumented families who are broken apart. But also Trump voters who either overdose on heroin because opioid addiction treatment has been cut, or who lose their healthcare when their Medicaid gets gauged.

That's why we can't bring ourselves to read this profile of sad Trump supporters by The Washington Post. Voting for this dangerous narcissist is an unforgivable act. So we couldn't care less if they're feeling let down. We cats HISS.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Lest We Furr-get: Definitely NOT Both Sides Now

By Baxter

We cats are sick and tired of opinion makers and others claiming that "both sides" are to blame for the dangerous rhetoric that reigns in Washington.

Sorry, gang, but both sides are not to blame. This is, once again, a maddening case of false equivalence. How do we cats know? Because we were there.

You can trace the end of DC comity to the rise of Newt Gingrich and the Republican takeover of the House in 1994. That was the year that the GOP got its revenge on a young Democratic President who had successfully tossed a hapless George H.W. Bush from office after just one term. The Gingrich Republicans, hypocrites that they were, went on to impeach Clinton for breaking his marital vows. But even before that, we well remember how Newt and his minions managed to mainstream hate and vitriol.

Their extreme reaction to the 1992 election startled us Democratic cats. We remember respected pundit friends who went on TV to express puzzlement over the Clinton hatred. Silly us: We'd thought that the Republicans would simply gird their loins and do battle with us on policy. Instead, they surprised us by engaging in the politics of personal destruction (PPD).

The PPD intensified with the election of Barack Obama and reached new heights during his Presidency, as we all know. And it surely would have continued had Hillary Clinton won the election last year. That, boys and girls, is the history of the stark divide the country now finds itself in.

If we'd had no Gingrich — whom Garry Trudeau used to portray as a lit bomb, remember — we'd have no extreme polarization on Capitol Hill, or at least less of it. And oh, by the way, if we'd had no Republican redrawing Congressional districts after the 2010 census, we'd have far fewer "safe" GOP seats that could coddle extreme right-wing rhetoric. (Yes, Steve King of Iowa, we're looking at you.)

So, at the risk of seeming less than accommodating to today's reality — in which we apparently all must forget that Steve Scalise willingly spoke at a white supremacist event — we cats say no way to both sides being equally guilty of demonizing the other.

Democrats believe in government — which means that Democrats know that to alienate opponents leads to nothing getting done to help Americans live better lives. This is as plain to us as the noses on our furry faces (see above). And to anyone who doesn't see it, we cats HISS.

Where's The Winning?

By Miss Kubelik

We cats are happy to report that the Democratic team beat the Republican team at Congressional baseball last night, 11 to 2. A squish! (Now, don't tell us this is no time for partisan gloating about the score. If we wanted to get really partisan, we'd point out what great healthcare Steve Scalise has — unlike most of his constituents.)

And speaking of victories, we also saw this morning that US housing starts have taken a dive for the third month in a row. So we're wondering: Where's all that "winning" that Donald Trump promised?

Such as:
  • Why are we still seeing headlines about our losing war on opioids? We thought that one was going to be easy.
  • Where are all the new coal country jobs?
  • Shouldn't ISIS have been defeated by now?
  • Why is the Taliban back to winning in Afghanistan?
  • Yes, we know that the Senate is trying to rape Obamacare in secret. But whatever happened to "Repeal and Replace on Day One"? Day One is long gone.
  • Why does the world's smartest businessman — with the best brain — still have so many executive vacancies at every level of government? (P.S. Most do not require Senate confirmation.)
  • Where is Ivanka's comprehensive program to support working moms?
  • Why are foreign leaders laughing at us?
  • Why don't sports champions want to go to the White House and be with the greatest winner ever?
While we can't say we're "tired of all the winning," we are tired — of this dangerous, clueless, malevolent jackass and the mob that serves him. We cats HISS.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gillespie Wins GOP Nomination... Bless His Heart

By Zamboni

It's been a long time since we cats have said something like this, but after yesterday's gubernatorial primary in Virginia, we'd rather be Us than Them.

Riding a huge turnout, the Democratic nominee for Governor cruised to victory instead of having to squeak by. Meanwhile, to everyone's surprise on the Republican side, Chinless Ed Gillespie was forced to scrape out a heart-stopping one-point win from Prince William County's own Heinrich Himmler, Corey Stewart.

What's more, Stewart refused to endorse Gillespie. We love it when Republicans fight.

More bad news for Chinless Ed: The counties he won were Democratic strongholds — where he'll lose badly in November. (The GOP will argue he'll cut their losses there. We'll see.) Meanwhile, the counties he lost were rural and Trumpy. How many Stewart voters, upset with a swamp denizen like Gillespie and receiving no prodding from Stewart to support him, will simply stay home in the fall?

More possible fallout:
  • How much of a drag will this primary be on the Republicans running for Lieutenant Governor, state Attorney General and the state legislature?
  • How much more infighting will go on between the Trumpsters and the Virginia GOP establishment? And will more David Brats rise up to take on incumbent Republican members of Congress in 2018?
Finally, we hope this portends another bloody primary next year in the GOP primary for Senate against Tim Kaine. We cats PURR.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gallup-ing Toward Disaster

By Sniffles

We cats will have lots to say on the hideous developments of the day (reporters banned from interviewing Senators, Alex Jones getting TV time on Father's Day, Republicans gutting healthcare in secret). But first, this.

Gallup reports that 60 percent of Americans surveyed disapprove of Donald Trump's performance in office. Sixty percent!

Seeking to put that in context, we found some helpful tweeting from London School of Economics fellow Brian Klaas.

Days it took the last seven Presidents to hit a 60% disapproval rating:
  • Carter: Never
  • Reagan: Never
  • H.W. Bush: 1,288 (but just for a few days)
  • Clinton: Never
  • W. Bush: 1,756
  • Obama: Never
  • Trump: 144
You know what? This means that Trump hit 60 percent disapproval nine times faster than Bush Senior, and 12 times faster than the previous Worst Person Who's Ever Lived. Fun! We cats PURR.

P.S. Another fun fact: Gallup does three-day tracking polls. So if Trump was at 59 percent disapproval yesterday and 60 percent today, his numbers last night were 61 or even 62. And the trend line is only going in one direction right now. Tired of all the winning yet?

P.P.S. With 60 percent disapproving and 36 percent approving, only 4 percent of Americans are undecided on this raving narcissist. Has any President had such a low percentage of undecideds this early in his Administration?

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Conscience Of The King

By Baxter

We cats haven't seen the New York Public Theater's new production of Julius Caesar, but we're amused at the kerfuffle it's kicking up.

(And yes, we're already on record as hating Kathy Griffin's Trump decapitation video, and no, that has nothing to do with this latest staging of Caesar — despite the right wingers who are trying mighty hard to link the two.)

It's Shakespeare, folks. And people have been interpreting and re-interpreting the Bard for hundreds of years. We've seen a Nazi Richard III, a Japanese Lear and — most famous and popular — a street-gang version of Romeo and Juliet. So what if we have a Trumpy Caesar? He's just the latest in a long line of Shakespearean characters recast in forms that modern audiences will recognize and relate to.

While it's a tactic that helps us all slash through the thickets of Elizabethan language, in this case it apparently went over the Trumpsters' heads. The message of Julius Caesar is the pointlessness of political violence. Guess those alt-righters weren't paying attention in English literature class!

Now, Donald and Melania in the Scottish play — that would be something. King Duncan would be, of course, Uncle Sam. We cats PURR.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Give Me An Opportunity To Work With You"



Speaking of strong Democratic women, here is Claire McCaskill on the atrocious healthcare bill the Senate Republicans are trying to sneak through in the dark of night. To the phones, everyone!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Person Of The Week

By Miss Kubelik

A few days ago, one of the born-on-third base Trumps — who has never had to rely on Medicaid or food banks, never had to worry about choosing between his medication and his rent, and who has never had his rights as a privileged white male questioned — weighed in on Democrats who oppose his father and every selfish, greedy thing the Republicans stand for.

"To me, they're not even people," Eric Trump whined.

Eric Trump, allow us to introduce you to Nancy Pelosi, Person.

By all accounts, the former House Speaker and current House Minority Leader is a ruthlessly strategic politician and master strategist. She ran her House caucus with steely discipline. And as far as we cats are concerned, she lands near the top of the list of Important People We Would Really Not Want To Be Mad At Us. (Brrr!)

Today, however, Pelosi was asked about the orange clown in the White House. And while she was tough on him, she also responded like — well, like a worried mom.

"He needs sleep," she said. "I think his family should be concerned of his health," she added.

You would never, ever hear one of the bomb throwers and opportunists across the aisle — not Ryan, not Gingrich, not McConnell, not DeLay, not any of them — express a concern that a Democratic President or party leader should get enough shuteye. Nope, they were (and are) too busy demonizing and dehumanizing.

So, which side has the real people, and which side does not? We cats know, and we HISS.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Nice Try, Paul

By Zamboni

No, Paul Ryan. No way.

The short-fingered sociopath in the White House did not treat James Comey the way he did because he's "new to this." Ordinary Americans who have been pressured, manipulated or otherwise had the rug pulled out from under them at work instantly recognized the kind of repugnant boss behavior that Comey described in Donald Trump during his Senate testimony today. But Ryan tried to excuse that behavior — lamely, we might add.

The more we see of Ryan, the more we loathe. He is not only a heartless and soulless pseudo-Catholic whom we think Pope Francis should excommunicate — he's an opportunist. And a coward. Time and time again over the last two years, he could have stood up to Trump, or tried to stop the GOP from caving in to Trump's hostile takeover. Time and time again, he's taken a pass.

Ryan's risk is that regular voters who have experienced that oh-my-God-my-boss-is-setting-me-up situation in their own lives will hear what Ryan said today and snort in derision. Did we say "risk"? Hey, we think we hear snorting right now. It almost drowns out the slobbering from John McCain's end of the dais. We cats HISS.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Anti-Cedent

By Sniffles

Republicans aren't just out to gut your healthcare — they're out to destroy the English language.

We have a blogger friend who is constantly amazed at the crap that advertising agencies convince their clients to produce and air. We agree. Which means that somebody, somewhere — whether at the agency, the GOP PAC "American Action Network" or even just in the recording studio — should have caught a massive grammatical boo-boo in one of their silly pro-AHCA ads:

"As a mom, rising healthcare costs are a big concern."

Gosh! Did you know that healthcare costs could be moms? We cats HISS.

UPDATE: On that same kind of note (accuracy and precision when communicating), Trump's lawyer, Marc "I Won't Take Any Questions" Kasowitz, just published a statement on today's Comey testimony. It was peppered with misspellings and typos. Tsk!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bienvenue, Barack

By Baxter

Overwhelmed by all the sewage that's washing over Washington these days? Just look to the north for a little relief.

Sanity reigned in Canada today as Barack Obama paid his first visit to Montreal and told an admiring crowd that the world's democracies must step up as the US sinks into irrelevance amid the chaos and treason of the Trump administration.

Okay, he didn't put it exactly that way. He never mentioned Trump's name. But we all got it.

Nobody in the US will notice — but before Obama stepped up to the lectern, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland pledged in the House of Commons that Canada would pursue a vigorous leadership in the world: on military matters, climate change and international trade.

In short, somebody's rushing in to fill the vacuum, folks. "America First" is rapidly turning into America Last, n'est-ce pas?

Oh, well — we know that irony is lost on Trump supporters. They probably won't wake up to all this until their healthcare goes away and they can't get treatment for their opioid addictions. Until then, we expect they'll rail at the leaders of America's allies and ridicule their masculinity (except for Angela Merkel's of course).

For us, we were pleased to hear that somewhere in Montreal tonight, Barack and Justin are grabbing dinner and talking. Just knowing that makes us feel a little better. We cats PURR.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tidbits And Cat Treats: Roll Up The Red Carpet Edition

By Miss Kubelik

So many different stories, yet they have one common thread: People misbehaving, and the consequences that ensue. Here are a few.

We cats heartily agree with Mayor Sadiq Khan of London that the UK should cancel the Donald Drumpf state visit. How welcome would a head of state be in the United States in 2001, if that leader had gone after Rudolph Giuliani? We think not very. On the other hand, the protests will be magnificent.

We heartily endorse freedom of expression and always will. But we also recognize that free speech is not the same as the free market. And when it comes to screw-ups like Kathy Griffin's and Bill Maher's, it's a question of what that market will bear. It's probably okay that most people don't have the stomach for Griffin's extraordinarily unfunny "decapitation" video. (Now, Kathy, please go away for awhile.) And it's definitely a good thing that we don't want to hear the n-word from a 61-year-old white man. (What we're wondering is, why did that Republican Senator from Nebraska just sit there?)

Meanwhile, we've noted with interest that Al Franken has canceled planned appearances with both Griffin and Maher. Yep, he must be running for something.

Finally, support for Trump's impeachment now surpasses his approval rating. And it's only Monday! We say that because we have a funny feeling that this week could end up being a significant turning point in this disaster of an Administration. Just remember what the Trumpsters want you to forget: The big story today is that the Russians were hacking US voting systems last year — not the person who allegedly leaked the news to the press. We cats HISS.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Okay, We'll Indulge.

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It's National Hug Your Cat Day. Who knew?

Fact: When The President Is An Idiot, Americans Lose Money.

By Zamboni

The Orange Clown in the White House promised on the campaign trail last year that he would make America so great, we would get sick of all the winning. He'd bring jobs back and put America first. And the people who voted for him must have believed that, with all that winning, he'd put money back in their pockets.

Well, if your business depends on tourism, we cats are just wondering: How's that Trump Presidency workin' for ya?

Example: We've moved to a resort town, a charming slice of Americana just two hours or so from the Canadian border. We're sure that in previous years, a whole passel of Canadians headed down here in the summer, to play the ponies, take in a spa treatment or two, and visit historic places. But how many of them will we see this year?

Not so many, we think. About one-fifth of our neighbors to the north say they've decided not to visit the United States because of Donald Trump. And since this poll was conducted prior to Trump's hideous behavior in the last couple of days, we expect the number of turned-off Canadians taking their loonies elsewhere to rise.

Meanwhile, the world is pretty much in universal admiration of Canadian leadership right now, and with the country celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, Canada should see a lot of tourist dollars coming its way.

Tired of all the winning yet? What winning? We cats HISS.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Note To Trump Voters: You Are Screwed

By Sniffles

Let's talk about stars.

As in, "shimmering, glowing stars in the Hollywood firmament." Or, just in the general firmament.

In the political firmament, we're talking people like French President Emmanuel Macron — who, after just three weeks in office, has positioned himself as the world's definitive anti-Trump.

(Angela Merkel must be jealous, no? But we'll wait for Tracey Ullman to weigh in on that before we say anything.)

Okay, so, let's take stock of where we stand.

Thanks to Trump — and the 80,000 or so losers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan who helped elect him — America is on the wane.

The world no longer looks to the United States for global leadership, economically, morally or environmentally. Which is a real negative for the USA and its economy, we might just mention. Countries that refuse to reject the future will be home to clean-energy industries and clean-energy thinkers and entrepreneurs — not the US.

Memo to Chamber of Commerce Republicans: We call your attention to that fact.

So that means that Democrats like Hillary Clinton are right. "A historic mistake," Hillary tweeted. "The world is moving forward together on climate change. Paris withdrawal leaves American workers and families behind."

We cats wonder: When will Trump voters recognize the obvious? That Trump's rejection of Paris will not protect or restore their jobs, and that, oh by the way, his budget will decimate their healthcare?

We have no idea, but we're hoping that some segment of the Trump vote can be convinced that they've been had. Until then, we cats HISS.

World To Trump: Drop Dead

By Baxter

Last night, government buildings and landmarks in countries across the globe — here's City Hall in Montreal — lit up in green, to show support for the Paris climate agreement and to tell Donald Trump to go fuck himself.

Sorry, we cats aren't usually profane on this blog — but that's the most succinct way we can think of to describe the world's reaction. Also, accurate. The blowback to yesterday's foolhardy, selfish, hateful and short-sighted announcement has been pretty impressive.

And well it should be, because — as our new political heartthrob Emmanuel Macron says — there's not only no plan B, there's no planet B. We're heartened that many in the US, too, have pledged to buck the jackasses in the White House and recommit themselves to Paris. And we're proud that our own Governor Mario Cuomo has teamed up with California's Jerry Brown and Washington State's Jay Inslee to form a US Climate Alliance. (Come on, other govs — and yes, we're looking at you, Terry McAuliffe — hop on board!)

This is all pretty good news, and we admit we're looking for some. We're discouraged that there's no Constitutional remedy that will fix the hideous pickle that, with help from Russia, America has gotten itself (and consequently, the world) into. Impeachment or the 25th Amendment would still leave us with Trump's co-conspirators in charge.

So the goals are to get Congress back next year, and the Presidency after that. With all the damage and the outrage these evil traitors are causing, 2018 and 2020 could be two elections that even Vladimir Putin can't fix. We cats HISS and PURR at the same time.

UPDATE: Vermont has joined the Climate Alliance — who's next?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lights Out, Paris? Not So Fast.

By Miss Kubelik

Depressed yet? Goodness gracious, the damage that Donald Trump and the Republicans are doing to the United States and the world (and all at the behest of Vladimir Putin) is enough to send us looking for razor blades — even if we don't have any thumbs to use them.

So, let's start looking for some bright sides, shall we?

First, Trump may have just sacrificed the planet to a bunch of American coal miners he's hoodwinked into thinking their jobs will come back. But according to the rules, participating countries can't exit the Paris Climate Agreement until three years after it first went into effect. That puts the US's pending withdrawal at November 2019. Hmmm... what happens in the US in November 2018?

On that note, as one of our favorite Democrats (and a fan of the great outdoors) has observed, "Taking the US out of the Paris agreement completes Trump's betrayal of our children's generation. We win House and Senate in 2018." We cats think he could be right: Good candidates with Ds after their names are lining up to run in Congressional districts across the country. They don't throw their hats in the ring this early unless they sense a wave.

Second, the Paris backlash has already been fierce. We'd particularly like to rub against the legs of Mayor Bill Peduto, whose city Trump famously and ridiculously invoked today (see above).

Third, this is sure to light an even bigger fire under this Saturday's March for Truth, yes? If Vladimir Putin put this hideous crowd in the White House, we can do what Russian citizens can't — protest against his autocratic, pasty ass. To find a march near you, click here.

Finally, we're thrilled to report that we have a new superhero: Emmanuel Macron. France's President has wasted no time throwing shade at Trump (G7 handshakes and hugs were involved) and, today, pushing back against all things Trump — in English, yet! Here's part of what he said:

"Tonight, I wish to tell the United States: France believes in you. The world believes in you. I know you are a great nation. I can assure you France will not give up the fight. I reaffirm clearly that the Paris agreement remains irreversible, and will be implemented not just by France, but by all other nations.

"We all share the same responsibility: Make our planet great again."

We cats love this guy. And we PURR.