Sunday, December 30, 2007

By Request

One of the regular readers of this blog (her name rhymes with "Flipparchia") has requested cat photos. If you're opposed to cat blogging, please look below for the more familiar rants. This white guy is Howie. He's about six months old. He's very affectionate and insanely playful. He loves all the other cats. He doesn't understand the meaning of the word "fear." Or the word "no."

This handsome gray fellow is Norman. Norm is easy-going, friendly, and seldom gets into trouble. Norman, too, loves everybody, but he especially loves Mrs. Archaeopteryx. He's happiest lying in her lap, snuggling with her and nipping at her nose. Although he's huge, Norm has a oddly high-pitched voice (maybe it has to do with his "operation.")

This is Clovis. Clovis may well be the smartest cat alive. She knows how to open every closet and cabinet, including the one where the cat treats are stored. Although she has no interest in eating all the treats, she doesn't mind opening up the cabinet so the rest of the herd can have their way with them. Clovis thinks it's fun to open drawers and loudly remove all the contents, especially when people are trying to sleep in the same room. Clovis only gets along well with Norman. She tolerates Howie, and picks on Pearl.

This fuzzball is Pearl. At age seven, Pearl is Senior Cat in our household, but doesn't take the title all that seriously. She doesn't much care for the other cats, but will tolerate Norm and Howie. Like all our cats, Pearl was somebody else's throw-away. She showed up on my porch one Sunday morning while I was in graduate school, I opened the door, and she made herself at home. She didn't have white whiskers until we got the other cats.

Turns out there is a line between being contented pet owners and crazy cat people. That line is the line between three and four cats. If you have a cat, and are thinking about getting another one, that may be okay. If you have three, and have that thought, think again.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ron Paul--Creationist Nutcase

Being right on one issue--the war--doesn't make Ron Paul much more palatable as a candidate than any of the rest of the Republicans. He's in favor of dropping out of the UN, eliminating the Department of Education, ending Social Security as we know it, destroying the EPA (counting on the free-market to protect the environment), and dismantling the FDA. To top it off, Paul has outed himself as a creationist.

He says he doesn't believe that the presidency should be "decided on a scientific matter." Of course not. He's a Republican.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Huckabee Has The Mark Of The Beast

This blog is not really meant to be "All Huckabee, All The Time," but this is too delicious to pass up. The Beast has named Huckabee one of the "fifty most loathsome people of 2008." Here's their complaint against Huckabee:
Charges: What's worse, a calculating politician pretending to be a devout Christian, or a genuine heartland preacher who didn't come from no monkey? Huckabee is both -- a Southern Baptist who rejects Darwin, wants to give everyone a gun and thinks people with AIDS should be quarantined, and a seedy, corrupt politician who's never seen a payoff so low he won't stoop to pick it up. Democrats see Huckabee as easily defeated in a general election, but they shouldn't be so sure -- Smooth talking preachers tend to do well in this country. Huckabee is well-spoken, kind-faced, and the opposite of wordly -- he's Obama for hicks.

Exhibit A: "I got into politics because I knew government didn't have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives... I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."

Huckabee only managed a 47th-place finish on this list, well behind his competitors Rudy Guiliani, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton. I can only assume the folks at The Beast just don't know the Huckster well enough yet. Let's hope that they don't get the opportunity to get to know him better.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Huckabee the Hypocrite

While lieutenant governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee was paid by a political action committee called Action America. At the time, he refused to say who the donors to Action America were, mendaciously claiming that doing so would violate federal law. Now we find that the main contributor to the fund was R. J. Reynolds. That's right--Mr. Health turns out to be a tobacco company stooge. Recent polls show Huckabee winning in Iowa; respondents say they like his "honesty." I guess that word means something different to Iowa evangelicals than it does to everyone else in the world.

Newsweek has the story (the relevant parts are on page 7). Thanks to the Arkansas Times for the heads-up.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hey, Look Over There!

Joe Klein doesn't always get everything right, but he hits one out of the park in this week's Time. Klein writes of how immigration has become the most contentious issue of the 2008 presidential race. Some of the presidential candidates--Huckabee and Clinton--are surprised at the ferocity with which they are assailed by members of the public about "open borders as the issue that will destroy this country." Others, notably Mitt Romney, are demagoguing immigration for all it's worth.

Klein rightly points out that immigrants are not a real problem, but that the fury against them seems to be a symptom of the faltering economy (at least, it's faltering if you happen not to be rich). People like Romney and Tom Tancredo are fanning the flames of immigrant hatred, apparently forgetting the lessons of the last century, and the one before that. It's easy to blame immigrants for the loss of jobs, and loss of security, and everything else that's wrong with this country. Immigration serves to distract the public eye from a war that continues to destroy the economy, and from the administration and their masters in the giant corporations that use the war to drain the country of every last dollar that they can. "Hey, look over there!" they cry. "That Mexican hotel maid is stealing your wallet!" Meanwhile, they're literally loading pallet-loads of cash into airplanes and flying it off into oblivion.