McCain: Evading Baldness & Facts

September 30, 2008

By Fred

Up against that sleek young black cat Obama, it’s a shame that a scarred old white tom like John McCain never took a cue from Patrick Stewart or Yul Brynner. The media could be comparing him to a capable starship commander, boldly going where no man has gone before, or the mesmerizing, virile King of Siam.

Instead, he flaps a few white wisps across his chrome dome like a wimp. Who can take Mr. Straight Talk seriously when he can’t even acknowledge the state of his scalp?

McCain talks tough, but wind and water must scare him to death. His comb-over means that a sudden gust, a dip in a pool, or a shower leaves his hair on the right side hanging nearly to his chin.

Imagine that photo on the cover of Time.

If he can’t face baldness, what other realities is he avoiding? Let’s start with Congress’s failure to pass the Wall Street bailout. McCain blamed Democrats, saying:

“Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship in the process.”

Truth/Reality: 140 Democrats sided with Bush and voted for the measure. Only 65 Republicans did likewise.

Obama never presumed to spear-head the process. It was McCain’s grand gesture of suspending his campaign to rally his buddies in Washington that failed spectacularly, with 133 of them telling him to go pound kitty litter by voting no.

Republicans are trying to pin the blame on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for saying that 8 years of their failure to rein in naked greed caused this mess.

According to them, Pelosi wounded their sensitivities so deeply, they had to cling to their status quo just to spite her, instead of passing legislation to put some long-needed controls in place.

Truth/Reality: They’re afraid that their clueless constituents, who don’t understand the implications of doing nothing, will vote them out of their cushy jobs in November’s elections.

While Wall Street swirls down the bowl and takes the world economy with it, Republicans and John McCain hide behind wispy excuses and do nothing.

OK, McCain, when’s this “change” you’re promising ever going to start? We need it now.

Idiot Juror Lets Remorseless Cat Murderer Go Free

September 29, 2008

By Adele

Ex-Mets baseball player Joseph Petcka was lucky to have one fellow cat-hater to hang his jury. On September 26, the judge declared a mistrial in Petcka’s brutal beating death of Norman, a long-haired orange tabby. Petcka appeared on The Today Show this morning looking for sympathy.

The late Norman (Photo - NY Daily News)

The late Norman (Photo - NY Daily News)

Petcka, now a bit-part actor and waiter, had been dating Lisa Altobelli about six weeks, but apparently never impressed her 8-year-old cat, Norman (with good reason, as Norman would fatally learn).

On March 27, 2007, a drunken Petcka argued and got physical with Altobelli, so she left her apartment to give him a chance to cool down, leaving Norman alone with him.

Petcka claimed on the stand that 7-pound declawed Norman lunged at and bit him several times, knocking his 205-lb. butt onto a coffee table. Petcka admitted kicking at the cat with steel-toed boots, but didn’t know if the blows landed and that Norman seemed fine later.

An ASPCA vet testified that Norman died in agony, probably surviving up to 15 minutes after the attack. He had chipped teeth and a torn tongue, as if his head had been whacked against a countertop. He also had 3 broken ribs, a ripped lung and liver, and died when blood filled his chest cavity.

Norman managed to crawl to his favorite hiding spot under Altobelli’s bedside table to die, where she later found him.

Some 32-year-old moron on the jury who lives in a building prohibiting pets didn’t think this was enough to convict Petcka, who could have gotten 2 years in jail for felony aggravated animal cruelty.

They haven’t decided yet whether to retry the case. In the meantime, Petcka roams free, enjoying his 15 minutes of infamy. Here’s hoping Petcka encounters some street-smart, hungry NY ferals in a dark alley real soon who will show him how justice works – feline-style – for Norman.

It’s Official: Cats Prefer Obama

September 26, 2008

By Yul

Felines everywhere are burying John McCain in the kitty litter and showing their support more than 3 to 1 for the black cat who’s regaining his lead in human polls, too – Barack Obama.

Catster has been conducting an unscientific photo poll – the only kind cats will tolerate, since we’re wary of becoming lab specimens. The numbers grow every day, but when I last checked, cats for Obama outnumbered McCain cats by 152 to 41.

It’s not surprising that even with only 41 photos visitors could easily remember, the McCain cats were blatantly trying to pad their numbers with at least 10 DUPLICATES.

In fairness, I also found some duplicates on the Obama side, but nowhere near 25%. But even if you discount those, it still shows our overwhelming preference.

Oliver of Berkley, CA, supports Obama (Photo -

Oliver of Berkley, CA, supports Obama (Photo -

Democats for Obama

Grab the Marshmallows – McCain’s Toasting

September 25, 2008

By Yul

John McCain’s latest campaign strategy is to be so wacky and unpredictable, nobody knows what he’ll do next.

It wasn’t enough to pluck an untested hockey mom from obscurity as his running mate. Ditto: pronouncing the economy fundamentally strong while Wall Street imploded.

Now, he’s charging back to Washington on his white horse to whip everyone into shape and hammer out a bailout deal. No matter that he has yet to offer a single useful new idea and they’re reaching compromises just fine without him.

By suspending his campaign, McCain hopes to evade his first debate with Barack Obama, and perhaps even cause a domino effect to win Sarah Palin a reprieve from facing Joe Biden. How convenient.

But while McCain single-handedly saves Wall Street, why doesn’t he have his battle-hardened, fully-qualified Veep campaign in his place?

I think we know the answer to that one.

This attempt to rise from the ashes of his fast-dwindling poll numbers is so transparent, it makes you wonder how they can still capture the guy on film.

McCain is showing us he’s another Republican who can’t walk and chew gum, prone to belated over-reactions to emergencies.

Hmmm… who does that remind you of?

Besides, letting McCain and his ilk clean up this mess they helped create with their laissez-faire attitude toward big business is like asking vampires to guard the blood bank.

That burning odor you smell? It’s McCain’s campaign going down in flames.

Bad Mortgages: Worth Saving?

September 24, 2008

By Fred

If Congress and Wall Street would ever listen to a cat, this is what I’d tell them to do about bad individual mortgage loans. First, they need to sort them into two litters:

1. People who believed they were getting great loans on houses they thought they could afford, only to get screwed by lenders who suckered them in with phony appraisals, extortionist fees, ballooning payments, and other one-sided terms.

2. People itching to “move on up” in spite of previous credit problems. They willingly let themselves be lured into unfair loans on houses they could never afford, possibly thinking they’d make a killing on appreciation and come out way ahead.

The people in scenario #1 deserve a break. They never intended to bite off more than they could chew. Helping them shouldn’t cost taxpayers a cent.

Their loans should be simplified and converted to fixed rates with a cap on interest. Banks should be punished by earning just enough profit on them to stay alive, and then watched so they won’t try to screw anyone again.

The Democrats like my idea but, as usual, the Bush Administration and Republicans are opposed. Why help little guys when Wall Street CEOs are hurting?

As for the people in McMansions, let them go to foreclosure. It’s the only way to make these Beverly Hillbillies face reality. Their stupidity deserves no reward. They’re a slap in the face to every person who bought a house the old-fashioned way – in a neighborhood they could afford with a straightforward mortgage.

Banks can take losses on the foreclosures. Payback is hell. They should never be allowed to profit from the greed that created this mess.

Why Screw Taxpayers, Reward CEOs?

September 23, 2008

By Fred

While we wait to see if Congress and the Bush Administration can agree on how to clean up Wall Street’s self-inflicted mess, I’ve been wondering about the poor CEOs.

They must be losing sleep now that years of unchecked greed and double-dealing have finally caught up with them. They must be worried sick their next paycheck will come from American taxpayers – minus a bunch of zeros.

Capping outrageous compensation for executives who need this bailout was a no-brainer that Democrats immediately proposed. They rightly ask, why should the architects of this disaster that’s wiping out millions of people’s savings and investments walk away with fat taxpayer-provided bonuses?

But Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, representing the Bush Administration, thinks the sky should continue to be the limit for CEO pay because he doesn’t want to “discourage” them from letting the government save their bacon.

As Republicans know so well, avarice always trumps common sense. One man’s golden parachute is always more valuable than a whole bank.

Besides, this issue for them is a slippery slope. If you start punishing individuals for their staggering incompetence and bad decisions, which result in untold employment casualties, widespread financial bloodshed, and a loss of respect in the world, where will it stop? Who’s next?

But I think Democrats aren’t going far enough. Screw caps. Cut executive pay. No one can name any suit on Wall Street today who’s 10,000 times wiser than the company janitor, so why pay them like they are?

Even better, fire them all so they can start to…

· Eat more spaghetti and less lobster because food’s more expensive every week.

· Notice their empty wallet after they buy a tank of gas.

· Rely on drugstore remedies for every ailment because they have no health insurance.

· Owe more on their home than they could ever sell it for.

Making them live like the Americans they’ve swindled is the only way these guys will ever learn.

Decoding McCain’s Latest Palin Whopper

September 22, 2008

By Adele

Whenever McCain talks about Sarah Palin, his breathtakingly unqualified running mate, be prepared to catch your jaw when it drops. This morning, he told The Today Show that Palin is “the most popular governor in the country” because she has an 80% approval rating.

Alaska only has 670,053 inhabitants. Let’s see… 80% would be 536,042 people.

According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. has 305,224,676 people right now. That means exactly one-tenth of one percent (.001756221) of all Americans liked (if they even knew of) Sarah Palin before a blindfolded McCain plucked her from his Rolodex.

To put it in sharper perspective, 18% in a June Harris Poll thought Dick Cheney was doing an excellent or good job. That’s 54,940,441 – nearly 55 million people – who love Mr. Evil himself.

Luckily, most of Hillary’s supporters haven’t been fooled. Let’s hope Palin inspires such a backlash among intelligent women, she’ll become the reason McCain loses.

For dealing with our myriad, complex problems – created mostly by his own party over the last 8 years – McCain couldn’t have picked a more useless partner.

Palin likes to boast she never “blinks,” too dumb to realize that it leads to dry-eye, blurred vision, and blindness. But it does explain her utter lack of vision on women’s rights and social issues.

Palin has tried to get $750 million in federal handouts for Alaska, like she’s been running some Third-World country. And while she was doing that, Senator McCain didn’t complain or lift a finger to stop it.

Since anointing themselves the angels of “change,” those two clearly haven’t a clue where to begin “cleaning up the swamp in Washington.”

As Hillary Clinton told Florida voters, “Choosing a Republican to clean up this mess is like asking an iceberg to save the Titanic. It is not going to work.”

Forget Bamboo – Bourdain’s Gone ITALIAN

September 20, 2008

By Karen

I’ve been hoping Anthony Bourdain would settle down in North America once he gets Vietnam out of his system, but it’s not to be, according to remarks Bourdain made this week in Kansas City.

Blogger Owen Morris quoted Tony as saying, after he lives in Vietnam for a year…

“I will be an Italian citizen. I will because I am married to an Italian. Healthcare is a concern to me and my child’s healthcare is a concern to me and it’s free in Italy. Education is free in Italy and you can actually buy a really nice house there and I could never afford to be in a place in New York. Honestly, I’ve been kicking the idea around depending on how things go. Having the grandparents nearby – my daughter loves them and they’re very hands-on. Having grandparents in Italy is a whole different variety. You’re talking 24 hour day care there. Constantly engaging the child and feeding them good food.”

So now we know how he got Ottavia to agree to spend a year in Vietnam.

Bourdain’s desire for the freebies enjoyed by Italians made perfect sense after what he had to say about the recent Forbes list that ranked him the 10th highest-paid celebrity chef…

“That was really fucked. I am really unhappy about that. I don’t make anywhere near that money. The IRS will be extremely confused by seeing this or intrigued, dangerously so I think, when I accurately report my income for the year as being nowhere near that number. My ex-wife will certainly be intrigued and at the end of the day, I’m just not making that kind of bread. And what’s worse, they called and asked. I said I don’t want any part of it and I’m certainly not providing you with numbers, and they went ahead and guestimated. I have a really hard time believing Mario Batali only brings $3 million per year. It’s in no way been good for me.”

Read more on Bourdain’s appearance, with candid photos, at Morris’s excellent blog, Fat City.

During Hurricane Ike, Texas Went to the Cats

September 18, 2008

By Yul

No one knows if Shackle, the 11-year-old lioness, thanked God for saving one of her nine lives during Hurricane Ike on September 15-16. But she took a fancy to His altar at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Beach, Texas, after spending the night there with a bunch of humans.

Did Shackle find religion? (Photo - Tony Gutierrez, AP)

Did Shackle find religion? (Photo - Tony Gutierrez, AP)

Shackle and her owner, Michael Ray Kujawa, were trying to drive to higher ground when they got caught in rising floodwaters on the Bolivar Peninsula. The media reported that Shackle was a zoo animal, but a commenter in the Dallas News who claimed to know the cat said Shackle is actually a pet, tame enough for occasional outings at the beach.

That would certainly explain her pious behavior in church. After humans helped Shackle calmly wade into First Baptist, they apparently had second thoughts and locked her in a sanctuary. At one point, the water inside the church got waist-deep, but they said Shackle remained cool as a cucumber.

Makes you wonder if maybe Shackle should have locked them up for their own safety.

When the worst was over, they let Shackle out and fed her roast pork so she wouldn’t try snacking on People Chow before the National Guard arrived with supplies. The only time they were reminded who’s still Queen of the Jungle was when Shackle allegedly snarled at some Guardsmen who were gawking at her from the choir loft.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, a tiger escaped from an exotic pets center was wandering around. Last word was that no one’s trying too hard to catch him because they think he’s hungry.

Bourdain Gets Snarky on Sandra Lee

September 16, 2008

By Karen

Answering an off-beat question from Cory Streeter of The Kansas City Star, Anthony Bourdain side-swiped Sandra Lee. Here’s the exchange:

Streeter: You have differing opinions on a lot of celebrity chefs. Here’s a different twist on it: If Britney Spears became a chef, would you ever try her food?

Bourdain: So you’re talking someone that’s as stupid and talentless and messed up as Britney Spears cooking? Hasn’t it happened already? (Laughs.) I think we have a pretty good idea what that creature would look like if that happened. It would be called “Semi-Homemade,” and she has a show on Food Network already.

Read the rest of his wit and wisdom here.

I did feel warm and fuzzy when he said he wouldn’t scoff at someone who fails with chopsticks – if they’re enthusiastic about trying. I study his technique every time I see him eat with them, but his dexterity still escapes me.

Bourdain’s in Kansas City presenting, “A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Conditions” tonight. Interesting that he’s using his old Food Network title again, since it really fits him best. He’s probably still trying to buff the tarnish off No Reservations after somebody slapped it on a so-so “chef” movie to lend Catherine Zeta-Jones credibility in front of a stove.

Bourdain in NYC, Sept. 14, 2008

Bourdain in NYC, Sept. 14, 2008

A day earlier, Tony was in New York City at the Star Chefs International Chefs’ Congress having a discussion with Marco Pierre White moderated by Michael Ruhlman. He had kind words for Emeril Lagasse and others, and praised the late Julia Child as lovingly as he’d soon be disparaging Sandra Lee:

She [Julia] struck the ideal balance between chef and chef personality, plus her recipes still work today. She could have been the Martha Stewart of her day with a huge multimedia enterprise.

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