Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday Stuff

Yep, based on this, I guess it would make sense that Blago would name someone as duplicitous as he is for Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat from Illinois (here - and this is nice too, isn't it; h/t HuffPo)...



...oh, and as it turns out, there was more stuff thrown at Dubya than a shoe a few weeks ago (who knew?)...



...and you know, I've seen this video a couple of times, and I admire it in a way because it's exactly the type of cause he would have supported (here), but I'm sorry; it's just too damn creepy...



Update 1/6/09: This story about the "Lennon Bus" that made possible the performance of Zimbabwe's Liyana band with five gifted San Francisco School of the Arts students is pretty neat, I must say.

...and at this point, I think this song captures what I feel pretty well and is a good tune to close out the year ("I've Seen Enough" by Cold War Kids).

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 8)

Time to end this: prior related posts are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here (and I also posted over here)...

R.I.P.

Bobby Fischer, Richard Knerr, John McWethy of ABC News, Roy Scheider, Howard Metzenbaum, Paul Scofield, Richard Widmark, Abby Mann, Dith Pran, Jules Dassin, Mildred Loving, Ron O’Brien, Robert Rauschenberg, Will Elder, Sister Catherine E. Mulkerrin, Sydney Pollack, Anne d'Harnoncourt, Alton Kelley, Jim McKay, Tim Russert, George Carlin, Larry Harmon, Randy Pausch, Edie Huggins, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Jerry Wexler, Ike Pappas, Norman Whitfield, Paul Newman, Gil Stratton, Neal Hefti, Levi Stubbs, William Wharton, Studs Terkel, Miriam Makeba, Catherine Baker Knoll, William Gibson, Robert Prosky, Dennis Yost, Mark Felt, Robert Mulligan, Harold Pinter, Delaney Bramlett, Freddie Hubbard

Update 1/1/09: Add former Dem Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell here.

Dregs Of The Year

Though there were few-and-far-between moments when they distinguished themselves as a body, as far as I’m concerned, this year’s winners are the U.S. Supreme Court (I really went back and forth between giving it to the Bush “Administration” since they’re on their way out, but then I realized that such a citation would imply that they would qualify for this year only, when in fact, they qualify for each of the three-plus years that I’ve been doing this).

And when I speak of The Supremes, I speak primarily of these four characters…

I hasten to add that, though, that the conservative bloc on the court was hardly the only offending party; Justice John Paul Stevens cast the deciding vote in favor of upholding Indiana’s onerous voter ID law here, believing that the law did not cast an undue burden on the elderly and minorities (though it does) to remedy the supposed problem of voter fraud at the polls, which, for all but the rarest of cases, doesn’t exist (that and other rulings are noted here).

And I also think it’s noteworthy that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia, both professed Catholics, voted in favor of upholding Kentucky’s method of capital punishment by lethal injection here (the Church opposes capital punishment; I don’t oppose it either, but then again, I don’t sit on the High Court). Further, Scalia bellowed in response to Stevens when the latter spoke out against the death penalty, as noted by Nat Hentoff of the Jewish World Review.

However, what was for me the lowest of the low points of the Court’s term came here, when they struck down the handgun ban in the District of Columbia which had stood for 32 years, postulating rather speciously I think that every American has the right to own a gun as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, particularly hypocritical since the Supremes don’t allow guns in their building (the ruling also had more than a little bit to do with this rare moment of disagreementand a strong one at that – with the Dem U.S. House Rep from PA’s 8th district).

Another low moment came here last month when the Supremes ruled in favor of the Navy in the case of sonar testing off the California coast and its harmful effects on whales and other marine life (with this update telling us that, as part of the settlement terms in the case won by the Navy, that branch of our services will be forced to conduct the environmental impact studies that they should have conducted anyway).

Also, I found the Court’s deliberation in the case of a Muslim man from Long Island rounded up indiscriminately after 9/11 to be a bit odd here, particularly when they wondered whether his actions would be similar to those of “the president of Coca-Cola” (Stephen Breyer), as well as trying to determine a parallel to the case of Bill Clinton and Paul Jones (Stevens).

Another injudicious moment came here in February, when Scalia spoke here in favor of torture (AND capital punishment? “Who Would Jesus Kill,” Your Honor?).

Want more? Here, Justice David Souter claimed that the fine for the Exxon Valdez spill ($2.5 bil) was “excessive under maritime law” (how would anything less be sending a message to perhaps the worst corporate offender against the environment on the planet?).

The high point for the Court’s term as far as I was concerned, though, was the ruling in Boumediene v. Bush in June, in which Justice Anthony Kennedy (writing for the majority) claimed that prisoners in our custody have the right to habeas corpus, with Scalia claiming in dissent here that “(the ruling) will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed” (something Scalia should have thought of before he decided to vote to overturn the D.C. handgun ban as far as I’m concerned).

The influence of the Repugs in this country started to erode in 2006 with their loss of Congress, and the Dem takeover has now happily extended to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, the solid conservative majority of the High Court is likely to remain for decades to come (to say nothing of appointments to other federal courts throughout this country during Bushco’s foul reign). We can only hope, though, that, over time, the Court will come to recognize that such rulings as those I’ve noted here do not, for the most part, reflect the spirit and intent of what this country wants to see in its justice and its politics.

A thin hope to be sure, I know. But for now, consider the Court to be the 2008 Dregs Of The Year.

Update 1/1/09: Looks like Hangin' Judge J.R. is returning to form with his bi-yearly complaint here (aww, he only makes $217 grand a year - poor baby!)

Update 1/8/09: And here is another "gift that keeps on giving."

Update 1/13/09: I forgot about this decision also.

Runner up: Any Senator who voted against the automaker loan (here)

Do Gooders Of The Year

Aside from the overturning of the DC gun ban, the other most notorious story for yours truly over the last year was the utter capitulation of the Congressional Democrats on the revision sought by Bushco and the Repugs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA – here is one prior backgrounder post).

However, journalists Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein (pictured), along with The Nation magazine and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit against FISA as soon as it was signed into law by Dubya, as noted here (I have no word of any recent activity in this matter).

For showing the courage that utterly escaped our representatives in Congress, the plaintiffs in the FISA lawsuit, including Hedges and Klein, are the 2008 Do Gooders Of The Year.

Runner up: Why, that would have to be…

YOUR 2008 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES!!

(And so the New York Mutts are the “team to beat” because you now pitch for them, "F-Rod"? We’ll see about that!)

Happy 2009 to one and all – may we navigate through the next 12 months OK and find ourselves in a much better place this time next year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Stuff

TPM TV brings us the sleaziest campaign ads of '08 here, with the winner to be announced tomorrow (and nary a Dem in the bunch, as you might have expected)...



...and shifting gears a bit, I thought this was a nice tribute from Turner Classic Movies in memory of all of those movie biz pros who left us this year...



...and I'm a bit late with these two, but RIP Delaney Bramlett (performing Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell" on "Shindig!" in 1964)...



...and Freddie Hubbard ("Misty")

A B.Rush/Blago Double Team?

There are many reasons why we wish Dem Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois would show an ounce of decency and give up his office, then go crawl under a rock somewhere (taking his wife with him), but one of them is because Blago's departure would put the lid back onto the steaming pot of Illinois political corruption that runneth over in response to this mess (and living in PA, I know a thing or two about steaming pots of statewide political corruption, to say nothing of local).

Part of that, I believe, was demonstrated in the following quote from Illinois State Representative (and former Black Panther) Bobby Rush (pictured) from this story (in response to what Rush believes is the main reason why Obama's vacant Senate seat should be filled as soon as possible, preferably by B-Rod)...

"Let me just remind you that there presently is no African- American in the U.S. Senate," Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, told reporters.
With this in mind, please review this post which tells us that Rush supported Obama for the U.S. Senate in 2004, but only after Rush's first choice, Blair Hull, lost in the Democratic primary.

Apparently, Rush believes that, with Obama now in the White House, B-Rod is the best choice for funneling contributions to Rush's favored causes, appearance of impropriety be damned.

Despite Rush's protestations, I think the only color that matters to him is green, not black.

And annoying Fran Drescher laugh and all, I think it's apropos to embed this again.



Update 12/31: Looks like Roland Burris (Blago's pick) takes after the Guv too based on this (and Rush sure knows how to play the race card, kind of like somebody else with that first name but a different skin color).

Update 1/1/09: What BarbinMD sez here...

Update 1/7/09: Stay classy, Bobby (ye gods)...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 7)

We're getting there, people, I promise: prior related posts are here, here, here, here, here, and here (and I also posted over here - sorry this is so long, but I'm trying to just about finish this)...

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Klaus Emmerich, the retired editor-in-chief of Austrian broadcaster ORF, for claiming here that African Americans "are not civilised (sp) enough to rule"; must be a paid consultant to Fox Noise (yeah, you guys sure showed a lot of guts during the Anschluss, didn't you? Welcomed your goose-stepping little pal Adolf with open arms as I recall).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Michael Barone, who said that the “Alaska Disasta” herself, Sarah Palin, was attacked by the media because “she did not abort her Down’s Syndrome baby” here (real nice).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who filed suit to prevent the enactment of Proposition 8 which would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry here

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Former DC appeals court judge Patricia Wald, who compared the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody to the treatment Bosnian Muslims received at the hands of their Serbian captors, basically accusing Bushco of committing war crimes here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Collectively, the New York Times (and our corporate media in general) for their woeful “reporting” on the recount in the U.S. Senate contest between incumbent Norm Coleman and Dem challenger Al Franken here (more on this later in this post).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

David Karlson, chief operating officer for PSI, a company that manufactured and resold “flash bang” grenades that they knew were defective and could have been fixed for about $3.72 apiece, as noted in this CNN story; the grenades were first sold to the military, then resold to the FBI, and three agents suffered “severe bruising, a concussion and burns to (their) neck and ears (as well as) hearing loss” when the grenades blew up while they carried them in their vests (Karlson and three others have been indicted for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Minneapolis, MN talk show host Chris Baker, who said that the media has “blood on its hands” for the murder of transgender woman Moses Cannon because it creates “a false sense of reality” (I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about either; I just know that he’s a bigot and a moron in whichever order you choose - here).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Departing Repug Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for taking a shot at Flush Limbore and Hagel's former colleagues here.

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Staying in that state for now - Nebraska musician Eric Hahn gets the nod for cutting his 27-inch-high Mohawk (and yes, it set a new record for the Guinness Book) and donating it to Locks of Love here – hat tip to “Countdown” for this.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Madison County, Idaho superintendent Geoffrey Thomas, who blamed “the media” for spreading the story about second and third graders on a school bus in Rexburg chanting “assassinate Obama” here (oh, so what the hell were we supposed to do – ignore something like that?); conversely, kudos to Rexburg Mayor Shawn Larsen for speaking out against it in a local newspaper.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Richard Peters of Marysville, Washington, who was arrested after his 6-year-old daughter was fatally shot in their Washington state home; Peters allegedly told authorities he had been drinking double shots of vodka while cleaning his guns (two other kids in the home were subsequently removed by Child Protective Services – as a rule, I usually avoid crime stories, but I had to say something about this).

Bogus Lawsuit of the Year

Naming "Deadeye Dick" Cheney in the Texas prisoner abuse case; District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra, the person who included Big Time based on the grand jury indictment, has had his own legal battles (hey, I want to get Cheney too, but it should be over something a lot more substantial than this – Cheney was charged in engaging in an organized crime activity because of his holdings in the Vanguard Group – hey now! – that managed the assets of the prisons where the abuse allegedly occurred; Abu G may actually be on the hook, though, which is totally deserved...here).

Update 12/31/08: And speaking of Abu G. (here - he gets named again later in the post)...

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

George Will, for saying that the New Deal didn’t work here (I swear, the next time these conservatives take another cruise to Alaska, I hope the ship sinks and they all drown; I know I shouldn’t wish ill on these people, but this country is in the biggest mess I’ve ever seen right now due to Repug non-governance, and the right-wing idiots refuse to change their tune in the face of it).

(And just for good - or bad - measure, here's Will again downplaying the current economic crisis; Paul Krugman, who has forgotten more about economics than Will will ever know, has said that, if anything, the New Deal didn’t feature enough public works spending, not that it spent on public works at all and failed, as Will alleges).

Surreal Fourth Estate Moment Of The Year

Smerky in his November 23rd newspaper column tells us here that “I don’t do reporting”..

Um – is that something like a surgeon saying, “I don’t do medicine”?

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Andrew Ross Sorkin, business writer for the New York Times, who originated the preposterous lie that UAW members make $73 an hour (so noted by K.O. in the third video here)

“F” Blast Of The Year

Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, after the team won the World Series, let fly at the victory celebration for all to hear; hey, people, the team had just finished playing 162 regular season games, 10 playoff games and 5 World Series games (including the fifth one, split just about in half because of the rain – thanks, Bud Selig), so I would say that they’re entitled to blow off a little steam, OK (I didn't get the link in time before it was deleted - sorry).

(And by the way, a "Dregs" citation goes out here to the 26 people who complained out of probably upwards of a million people who actually heard it - probably the same bunch of fundamentalist tightasses who went crazy over "The Tit That Will Never Die," helped re-elect George W. Bush twice and have no issue with him lying this country into the Iraq war or the gutting of FISA, assuming they even know what FISA is)

The “It Might Be A Good Thing If We In This Country Know About This Story” Citation

The plight of Aafia Siddiqui (here – h/t Avedon Carol)

Dregs Of The Year Nominees

A joint citation to Big Pharma drug merchant Johnson and Johnson and Harvard University psychiatrist Joseph Biederman; as reported here by Miriam Hill of the Philadelphia Inquirer, J&J “gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a research center run by (Biederman) explicitly to generate data to help expand sales of the company's antipsychotic drug Risperdal in children, according to court documents (side effects of the drug in kids include “weight gain, breast milk production in both sexes, facial tics and muscle tremors”); gosh, I wonder if that fine, upstanding one-time Repug contender for Patrick Murphy’s seat (Tom Manion by name) knew anything of this?

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Catholic pastors (or any religious figure) telling their congregation that they must atone for voting for Barack Obama, as was the case here (he’s “pro-choice,” see; as a McClatchy commenter put it, “No, don't vote for the president who will care about all Americans and will be the first honest decent president in eight years. Just vote for a treacherous lying republican who is a war monger with hateful policies.”)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Deborah Lawrence of Seattle, WA, who was asked to contribute an ornament to the White House Christmas tree here; she did so, with the words “Impeach Bush” painted ever so delicately amidst the swirling design (the Washington Post and the AP pointed out the wording, and Laura Bush had the ornament removed – no word on whether or not Lawrence will ever get it back – h/t “Countdown”).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

To WXPN, the public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania in these parts, for their “One Day, Funky Friday” pledge drive on Friday December 5th.

I realize that they need to “put the bite” on us to make payroll and provide their diverse music selection, but I’d just like to point out three things. First, is asking people to contribute during the holidays like this really a good idea when people are spending on seasonal gifts? Why not try a drive like this AFTER the holidays are over?

Second, does the station management read the headlines? Are they aware that over half a million people lost their jobs in November, the highest total job loss in 34 years, and that unemployment currently stands at 6.7 percent (noted here)? If they have to make cuts, it will stink, but we’ll understand.

Third, given all of this, can they please be a little less obnoxious when they ask us for dough (as opposed to radio personality Michaela Majoun whining at us, “Make your call for support NAAAOOOOWWWW”)?

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

U.S. Attorney and Buscho underling Mary Beth Buchanan, who (judging from this Think Progress post) has no intention of resigning her position under the incoming Obama Administration; Buchanan, among her many other sins, hired Monica Goodling, who went on to fire other U.S. attorneys for not prosecuting Democrats on specious charges, as Buchanan herself has done concerning the inquisition of Cyril Wecht (noted in the post).

I’d pay Obama $20 out of my own pocket if he made sure that Buchanan was led out of her office in restraints by U.S. marshals.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Peggy Noonan, Reaganite and Wall Street Journal Op-Ed writer, who claimed in an Op-Ed here that “at least Bush kept us safe.”

Here’s one response to this absurdity from Glenn Greenwald (and here is another from Eric Alterman).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Montana Dem Senator Jon Tester, for the following from here...

Still, some lawmakers said they could only conclude that the automakers were forced to travel an unduly rough road, and that the financial firms got a free pass.

At a banking committee hearing on Thursday, Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, gestured angrily at a chart showing the billions that have been received by the financial firms. “You guys have been put under far more scrutiny, far more scrutiny than the people up here on the board, for far less money,” he told the auto executives.

“I would love to have those birds in here again because they need to be talked to.”
Yeah, but he ended up voting against the automaker loan, so I guess I have to put an asterisk next to this one.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

White House press flak Tony Fratto, for claiming here that Bushco's horrific "midnight rule" changes are "transparent," "routine," and "responsible"; I swear, these people couldn't tell the truth if their lives depended on it.

Concern Troll Of The Year Nominee

David Horowitz for this, in which he chastises his fellow conservatives for continuing to agitate over Obama's birth certificate (please), but then states, "What difference does it make to the future of this country whether Obama was born on U.S. soil?

Uh, and what exactly is the question about anyway, David (h/t Arianna Huffington for noticing this on "Countdown").

Denialist Of The Year Nominee

Tom Friedman for this (and I loved kos's line about six more months).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Sean Inanity for claiming here 10 million jobs were created under Dubya (uh, no...that happened under Clinton, and in each of his two terms actually; that's 20 million total, Sean - I wouldn't want you to overwork your brain cell trying to do the math)

The “He Obviously Didn’t Get The Memo That His Fifteen Minutes Were Up” Citation

Joe The Plumber (and let us not forget that he isn’t a plumber, and his name is Samuel, not Joe) tells us here that he was “appalled” by John McCain, which is particularly low because, were it not for McCain – despite it all, a far better man, let’s not forget – “Joe” would be an unknown nothing as opposed to a “known” one.

Most Undeserving Winner Of The Presidential Citizen Medal

Charles Colson here (more on Colson from "Right Wing Watch" here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina for claiming here that “we’re going to have riots” in Detroit if the bailout for the automakers is passed (he won’t have to worry - DeMint and his fellow knuckle-dragging Repugs in that body of Congress effectively killed it, though a compromise of sorts was reached with Dubya; tells you how much of a no-brainer this issue is that Commander Codpiece was personally involved)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Colin Powell for slapping down "Governor Hottie" over her "value system" here (a little late, but kudos for doing the right thing)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Actually, they could be dregs of the century for a variety of reasons (probably too many to list here), but Bushco gets it here for its role in prisoner abuse (and Lawrence Di Rita, a former aide to Rummy, gets a particular huzzah for his spiteful, childish, propagandistic reaction which is completely typical for this regime...and here's more Di Rita stupidity).

And here's Bushco in action once again (every time I think they can't sink lower)...

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Dem (!) U.S. House Rep Silvestre Reyes for this (Torture is OK? Is he kidding?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

DHS Secretary Mike (“City Of Louisiana”) Chertoff for allowing illegal immigrants to pass Secret Service checks and clean his house here (reported by the Inquirer; the paper then asks a good question – if Homeland Security can’t police the home of the person who runs it, how well is it policing our borders?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Our Gal Condi Rice, who said in an interview that the Repug Party has brought us to a place "where people can look beyond race" - as Think Progress tells us here, "of the 247 members in the (congressional Republican) caucus, none are African-American and just five are Hispanic" (also for this)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominees

Workers at the Smithfield Packing Slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, N.C., who fought for 15 years to unionize and finally succeeded, noted in this post - congratulations!

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Former Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) coach and ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose, who was quoted as saying here that he hopes Tampa Bay "doesn't win another game all year" - go out and buy some more hair gel, Barry; yes, Tampa Bay is a mess, but that's a crappy thing to say (and they just won a Cup about four years ago - man!).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Saturday Night Live, for making jokes about the fact that David Paterson, the governor of New York, is legally blind, as noted here - also for making references to drug use and saying that Paterson's path to the governor's office was "an actual plot from a Richard Pryor movie."

I'm sure "humor" about crippled Iraq war veterans is next - soooo glad I gave up on that wretched show years ago (and yes, I'd say the same thing if Paterson were a Repug).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Senate Repug Bob Corker of Tennessee for, more than anyone else, waging war on the UAW and doing his level best to destroy 10 percent of the American economy, as noted here (and how depressing is it that Harry Reid and Chris Dodd, who stood so tall on FISA...Dodd, that is...need to be reminded of that - Reid is up for re-election in 2010 and has an approval rating below 50 percent, for which he has only himself to blame).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Maurice Cheeks, former coach of the Philadelphia 76ers and point guard on the last team of that franchise that won a world's championship in 1983, who blamed himself for getting fired after the team's 9-14 start this year.

Here's what I don't get about that; the team just added Elton Brand, whose star has apparently faded somewhat, though he can still do a lot, but he's also still learning how to mix in with the team (which is a bunch of disparate parts anyway, but that's another story). Also, in the NBA, 9-14 isn't terrible; you could play most of the season slightly below .500 and make a run at the last minute and get into the playoffs. And Cheeks was canned after home-and-home losses to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, not exactly also-rans.

Maurice Cheeks is a first-class person who had the misfortune to be employed with a no-class organization. I'm quite sure he'll land on his feet somewhere else, and I for one wish him all the best.

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Former Philadelphia Eagles running back Siran Stacy (sticking with sports), whose wife was killed along with four of their five children when a drunk driver in a pickup truck crashed into their van near Dothan, Alabama in November 2007, as noted here; Stacy, who preaches at the Pathway Church in Mobile, Alabama, said of the life form once known as Adam W. Wayman (the person responsible for the carnage who died in the accident also), that "I forgive him."

Wow (by the way, the fifth Stacy child was treated and released, though Stacy himself suffered horrific injuries from which he appears to have recovered - Godspeed).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Georgia (where else?) Municipal Court Judge Keith Rollins, who ordered Lisa Valentine to serve 10 days in jail for contempt of court because she would not remove her Muslim head scarf, as noted here; Kelley Jackson, a spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, said state law doesn't permit or prohibit head scarves (the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations cited the same judge for also removing a woman and her 14-year-old daughter from his courtroom in December because they were wearing Muslim head scarves...Valentine was released shortly after she was jailed without comment)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Dem Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas for hinting that she may vote against the Employee Free Choice Act here (just how much $$ is she getting from Wal-Of-China-Mart, I wonder?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Sorry, but this country gets it overall for this.

The "Maybe They Should Have Ordered The Herman Goering Streusel Instead" Citation

To Heath and Deborah Campbell of Easton, Pa., who named their little boy Adolf Hitler; as it turns out, they were shocked - shocked! - when a New Jersey supermarket wouldn't make a birthday cake with the child's name on it (here)

Sometimes I wish we had such a thing as a national parenting test to see who would qualify and who wouldn't (I have a feeling, though, that we wouldn't be as surprised as we might think, and I don't mean that in a good way...I know a lot of news organizations have already picked up on this).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep and former presidential candidate Duncan Hunter once more for claiming that "torture provided 'enormously valuable' information that saved American lives"...uh, no.

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Robert Redford, for speaking out against the "midnight rule" sale of 110,000 acres of public land in Utah by Bushco to oil and gas producers here; also to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for trying to block the sale also (with Dana Perino clueless as usual)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Alberto Gonzales again - OK, so let me get this straight; Gonzales claimed here that the CIA had "orally cleared" the bogus Niger uranium claim used as a pretext to the Iraq war (busted by Joe Wilson, leading to Bushco's reprisal against his wife...meaning that it could be used in speeches by Dubya leading up to the war), but the House Oversight Committee has now discovered that the CIA "objected to the uranium claim in (two) speeches, resulting in its deletion from the President’s remarks."

As Atrios says, they lie, then hundreds of thousands die, then they lie about the lying, and "the Villagers" say nothing. But ask them about a $400 haircut or a presidential blow job from an intern, and they'll prattle on all the day long.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Wingnut statistician (or so he fancies himself) John Lott, for claiming, among other things, that the Minnesota State Canvassing Board decided that four ballots that appeared to show a vote for incumbent Repug Sen. Norm Coleman (in his contest with Al Franken) should be called "No" votes; the problem is that Lott doesn't tell you that - by state law - the votes had to be considered as such because they had "clearly identifying marks, such as signatures"...Lott also misinforms by showing two examples of votes supposedly called for Franken, which were not - wanker (he should stick to his bogus numbers crunching to allegedly show how more guns make us more safe instead...h/t The Daily Kos)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

John Cloud of Time Magazine - no, I didn't like the way Obama handled the thing with Rick Warren either, but that hardly means that Obama is a bigot, and that's a laughable charge coming from someone who defended Mann Coulter, of all people (here).

The “U Stink U nogood lib terrist n’ Obama Sucks Signed BushLvr” Citation

Idaho state lawmaker Stephen Hartgen (R-Twin Falls) may introduce a bill in the 2009 Legislature to force people to use their real names when commenting on the Internet (here) – he’s a former newspaper publisher (gee, just a bit of payback here, ya’ think?)

The "Shrill, Baby, Shrill" Citation Of The Year

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman tells us here that he is "in communications" with the Obama team concerning the economy (smart)

The "And Somewhere, The Masked Avengers Are Smiling" Citation

The New York Times published a letter supposedly from Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe opposing Caroline Kennedy's bid for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, but the letter turned out to be fake (here)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Judge Ricardo M. Urbina for ruling here against Ralph Nader in his lawsuit claiming that the Dems conspired to keep him off the ballot in the 2004 presidential election (all together now...WAAAAAHHHH!!!!).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Former Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey for claiming that Eric Holder should be confirmed here (take that, Snarlin' Arlen!)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Jon Sinton, former president of Air America Radio, for saying that Flush Limbore is right to decry the Fairness Doctrine here (once more, a liberal dupe and "Third Way" sympathizer validates a right-wing talking point, namely, that Obama wants to bring the "Fairness Doctrine" back, making me wonder yet again why I bother to do this at all, with people like Sinton who claim to represent me)

The "My Fondest Wish For The Incoming Obama Administration And Attorney General Eric Holder (Assuming Confirmation, Of Course)" Citation

That they'll FINALLY resolve once and for all what the #@!# went on in the Anthrax scare and either identify those responsible for sure and arrest/prosecute/convict them or tell us that they're all dead now and there's nothing else that can be done (here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominees

I know this is on a par with beating a horse that is not only dead, but one for which rigor mortis has set in, but I have to nail Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer for AGAIN doing their best to propagate the lie that the reason for the financial collapse in this country is...wait for it...the dreaded COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT!!! (here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

KBR, for (allegedly) knowingly exposing our troops, such as James Gentry of the Indiana National Guard, to a deadly toxin while they were stationed in Iraq here (keep telling me again how much better corporate entities have "managed" the utter failure of Iraq better than professionals representing our government...the monstrous deceit and mismanagement of these cretins almost exceeds the imagination)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Dana Perino, for pledging that Dubya's pardon requests would go through the pardon attorney, Ronald L. Rogers, when that plainly didn't happen in the case of Isaac Toussie here, the Brooklyn developer who served time in prison for masterminding a massive Suffolk (Long Island) real estate scam - Toussie's pardon was revoked soon after the inevitable outcry began (our corporate media will blow over this, of course, but prattle on about Marc Rich all day).

(I read an article in the New York Times magazine recently about incoming Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs in which Perino confessed to having trouble sleeping because of the strain of the job. Yep, a guilty conscience will do that.)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Tonia Thomas, a “Christian woman (Baptist, who) claims she was fired from her job because she greeted callers with ‘Merry Christmas’," according to this story; her former employer, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc. of Pensacola, FL, claims they are “a Christian company.”

The story tells us that Thomas has already found another job, though it pays less than the $10.50 an hour she made at Counts-Oakes (of course, a lawsuit is involved here or else no one would have reported this; the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission is representing her in her complaint, which alleges that Counts-Oakes “harass(ed) and taunt(ed) Thomas after she was fired by calling the police to watch her pack her belongs and leave”).

Why does this story get me steamed? Well, because Thomas found another job for one thing, which is something a lot of people cannot do in this wretched economy. Also, in this day and age, many of her former customers at Counts-Oakes just don’t observe Christmas, and no one should assume that everyone does.

Finally, she’s mad because the police watched her pack her stuff as she left; I hate to break the news to Thomas, but as cold as that can be, her former employer has that right (many employers don’t even grant their former employees the right to go back to their work areas and claim their stuff after they’re let go).

Basically, Thomas wants special treatment because she’s “a Christian.”

Welcome to reality, lady.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Rick Warren for this - God, I wish this guy would just shut his pie hole and go away; I hope this is a lesson for Obama, as well as any other pol with an ounce of common sense...NO MORE DAMN PREACHERS, OK??!!

Here's a Warren backgrounder, for the benefit of anyone who needs to be "brought up to speed" (maybe one or two).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, who asserted in a column (here) that she "hears rumbles President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is reportedly on 21 different taped conversations by the feds -- dealing with his boss' vacant Senate seat!" Sneed added: "A lot of chit-chat? Hot air? Or trouble? To date, Rahm's been mum. Stay tuned."

I think that’s kind of interesting, since I’VE heard “rumbles” that Sneed “likes to fornicate with livestock and exhibit her private parts for a nominal fee to complete and total strangers.”

Sourcing on that claim? Why, I have none. Just like Sneed on her claim about Emanuel.

The difference is that I don’t get paid to peddle lies for ready consumption by wingnut media, and Sneed does.

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Gladwyne, PA businessman Todd Carmichael, who journeyed across 700 miles of Antarctica alone, on foot, pulling a sled of supplies in temperatures that reached 35 degrees below zero. It took him 39 days to reach the South Pole and complete the journey - a new record.

Part of the reason for Carmichael's trip was to conduct scientific reporting on global warming (as opposed to other millionaire vanity adventures that do nothing but attract attention to that person and their supposed greatness - see Fossett, Steve...yeah, I know his death was confirmed this year, but he still deserves a shot for all of the man-hours spent trying to rescue him when his balloon inevitably went down or his plane inevitably crashed).

(By the way, if you can access the Inquirer editorial here where they praise Carmichael, please take a shot at trying to figure out their logic on why Ralph Nader's failed '04 presidential bid in PA - speaking of vanity adventures - merits "a well-deserved review of the decision" in which he was disqualified because of bogus signatures on his petition.)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Chip Saltsman, who distributed a CD containing “Barack the Magic Negro” as part of his campaign to be elected chairman of the Republican National Committee next month, according to this story (he's got my vote - tee hee)

And why is it that so many Repugs are named "Chip" or "Tucker" or "Haley" or "Clayton," by the way?

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

The Bucks County Courier Times in these parts; I don't know how a publisher can claim to produce a Saturday "newspaper" with barely any news coverage, a preponderance of local area school sports (plenty of ads, of course) and, worst of all, no Op-Ed page.

For the longest time, the Courier Times didn't publish on Saturdays, though they started publishing a Saturday paper a year or so ago, but about six months ago I believe, they started publishing this wretched Saturday tabloid-looking product that is practically unreadable.

Either publish a legitimate newspaper or take the day off.

Update 2/6/09: The paper announced today that they're going to an "online version only" for Saturday editions. I'll check it out and see how good it is, but kudos to them for taking the right step here.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Anyone who subscribes to the notion that a "gas tax" is required to compel consumers to buy more energy-efficient vehicles since they'll have to pay more for gas, as the New York Times did here; this notion is often applauded by those who advocate more spending for mass transit (this isn't a slam at Atrios, by the way - he's fundamentally right to be pushing for SUPERTRAINS).

Here's a thought; how about spending more for mass transit AND making more energy-efficient vehicles and forgetting about the damn gas tax, since the price of gas will fluctuate independent of anything a politician in this country does anyway?

Build the hybrid and price it affordably, and you've got yourself a deal (assuming we all keep our jobs and we'll have enough money to pay, which is another story I realize).

Dregs Of The Year Nominees

Anyone who automatically assumes without question that Israel has the right to pummel Gaza with rockets; I mean, does our lockstep support of Israel in this country mean we've forfeited our obligation to at least think about whether this is the correct course of action (in light of this post from Greg Mitchell of E&P)?

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominees

PA State Rep Josh Shapiro, who has been sponsoring legislation since 2005 that would make it illegal to drive in PA while talking on a hand-held cell phone, and fellow state rep Eugene De Pasquale, who has proposed banning text messaging while driving, as noted here (both Dems, in case you need to ask)

I'll wrap this up next time.

Update 2 1/2/09: I found out a bit late about Celia Chazelle, the chair of the history department at the College of New Jersey and a scholar of medieval history, who teaches the class “Social Justice, History and Practice” at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility in Bordentown (here - definitely a "Do Gooder" nominee).

Update 2 1/28/09: Sorry I couldn't approve your comment, mberenis, lest Blogger flag me for spam again, but I can at least give you a link here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Stuff

I know I commented on "Just Plain Folks" Sarah Palin a bit today in the post, but I just cannot resist putting up the infamous interview in front of the turkey slaughterhouse one more time before we close out the year next week...



...Santogold ("Lights Out"; I believe a standard high resolution PC monitor supports about 2 million colors, and I think this video tests every single one).

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 6)

More than halfway there: prior related posts are here, here, here, here, and here (and I also posted over here)...

Do Gooders Of The Year Nominees

The Greensboro, N.C. News And Record, which refused to allow the DVD “Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West” to be inserted with its newspapers for distribution in September (the DVD was described as “fear mongering and divisive” by John Robinson, the newspaper’s editor - here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Robert M. Sanchez, the engineer of the commuter train in southern California that crashed with a freight train, killing 25 people (including Sanchez himself) and injuring more than 130: he was sending text messages via his cell phone shortly before the crash occurred (here)

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Gwen Ifill of “The Newshour With Jim Lehrer” for her thoroughly professional job of moderating the Biden-Palin debate in October in the face of the criticism she received over charges of bias since she mentioned Barack Obama in a book she’d written (give me a break).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

YouTube, for shutting down the account of Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films because of a complaint by Michael Savage, of all people, over the BNF video “Michael Savage Hates Muslims” (and in the process, YouTube also shut down a bunch of great BNF videos; they restored them except the one in question, but they shouldn’t have bowed to censorship and shut down the account at all! - here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug House Rep Heather Wilson of New Mexico for defending “Governor Hottie” and the latter’s baseless smears of Barack Obama alleging that he “pals around with terrorists” here. Get a load of this horsebleep…

He’s been critical not only of the President but of American policy and hence has kind of a negative view of America in the world. That’s not unusual frankly among liberals in kind of post-Vietnam America, to say that America is the problem.
Get any more U.S. attorneys fired lately, Rep. Wilson?

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation opinion columnist Heather Mallick, who wrote here that “Governor Hottie” has “the toned-down version of the porn actress look” and suggested that Republican men were “sexually inadequate,” according to the NY Times story, and of course she “received an alarming number of truly vicious and vituperative messages” for her trouble as a result (also, Palin was nabbed by the Canadian radio duo known as The Masked Avengers pretending to be French President Nicolas Sarkozy here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

CEO Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers (I got yer’ “bailout” right here – WAAAHHH!!!)…

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

AIG (similar reasons as Lehman here – no further comment necessary)…

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Bill Perkins, a Houston-based venture capitalist who took out a series of full-page ads in the New York Times in the form of cartoons during September/October decrying the Bushco/congressional financial services bailout (gee, ya’ think a guy like Perkins who’s cleaned up in the business sector being rescued would, if not show gratitude, at least know enough not to waste tons of money on his little vanity ads – how about taking all that dough he spent to have his little hissy fit and donate it to a fund to help troubled homeowners instead - here).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Champaign County (Ohio) Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott, who offered to reduce the fine of Urbana University student Andrew Vactor from $150 to $35 if Vactor spent 20 hours listening to classical music by the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Chopin (Vactor’s offense was playing rap music too loudly on his car stereo, and the judge wanted him to get a taste of listening to something he didn’t like - here).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Departing Illinois House Repug Ray LaHood for having the guts to stand up to the Palin-McBush mob here (and congrats on being tabbed for Transportation Dept. Secretary by incoming President-Elect Obama)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Flyers owner Ed Snider for allowing “Governor Hottie” to toss the first puck, as it were, for the Flyers home opener against the Rangers on Saturday October 11th.

And here is the completely predictable result.



The “Wankery In Another Language” Citation

MoDo’s Times column on October 12th was half in Latin (without translation, of course - here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Climate crisis denier Bob Conley, a DEM running against Huckleberry Graham for the latter’s Senate seat (as much as it would've been nice to turn that seat over, it was almost a good thing Conley lost - here).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Dennis Hopper, a Repug voting for Obama (here)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Sheila Bair, FDIC Chairman who chided Bushco for not doing more to help mortgage holders caught in the subprime meltdown (here)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Andrew Cuomo for going after AIG (here)

This Year’s Moment of Right-Wing Looney Pundit Inevitability

Glenn Beck leaves CNN and signs with Fox Noise (here)

Non-Story Of The Year Nominee

William Ayres has a picture of Mumia Abu-Jamal on his office door here (can’t see it from the pic, though – h/t?? The Inquirer).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Robin Hayes for saying here that “liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God” (here - screw you).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Bucks County Courier Times columnist J.D. Mullane, for implying here that Obama wasn’t truthful about William Ayres (I don’t have to explain who Ayres is, I’m sure) because – hold onto something now, this is earth-shattering – Obama praised a book Ayers wrote! OMIGOD!!!!!!!!!!

(And by the way, dishonorable mention for his 10/21 column also where he claimed that Obama would raise business taxes; he was too cowardly to say that himself, so he plucked those words from someone who apparently was recently arrived to this country and didn’t bother to point out that this person was wrong, of course – now why on earth would Mullane do that? Ya’ think he just wanted to confirm his opinion and the facts be damned?)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Neil McGinness, former executive at National Lampoon and marketing manager at Broadway Video (founded by Lorne Michaels for SNL), who, as noted here, bought the Weekly World News in October and promised to revive it online (And resuming print editions? Could “Bat Boy” live again?).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Montgomery County, PA lawyer Phil Berg, who filed a suit in U.S. District Court to get Barack Obama thrown off the November ballot because he supposedly was born in Kenya and not Hawaii (yawn is right - here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

20-year-old Ashley Todd of (where else?) Texas, who made up a story here of being beaten at a Pittsburgh-area ATM by “a big black guy” who saw a Palin-McBush bumper sticker on her car (and he supposedly carved a “B” in her face for good measure because of it – your wingnutosphere in action, my fellow prisoners…and yes, she will face charges for filing a false report).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

You betcha there’s a bunch of reasons for tagging “Governor Hottie” with this one, but this stands out in particular – she claimed to support autism research and made fun of studying fruit flies, when in fact that type of study has led to further knowledge of autism-related disorders.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Naomi Judd, who introduced “Governor Hottie” at a rally in Springfield, Missouri here by saying “Never before in the history of American politics has any political candidate ever been so maligned by the unrepentant liberal biased media, the pseudo-intellectuals, the Hollywood elite, and the bloggers and the haters.”

Judd has actually done things to help people, and I don’t enjoy singling her out like this, but I have a big problem with this type of demagoguery, and I don’t care who it is who’s responsible for it; when I hear about it, I’m going to point it out.

Update 3/11/09: I think I confused Naomi (wingnut) with Ashley (totally cool progressive) based on this - my bad.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

CNN, for refusing to carry Obama’s prime-time special on Wednesday 10/29 here (though they were happy to provide space to Glenn Beck and will no doubt be amenable to his ideological replacement)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Full mooner Repug U.S. House Rep Steve King of Iowa, who said that Obama would make America a “totalitarian dictatorship” here.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who refused to extend voting hours in her state (here) even though Florida’s Repug governor Charlie Crist did so; some in Georgia had to wait eight hours to vote because of “machine glitches" - more on Handel here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Collectively, to this bunch of B-grade comic actors for trashing Al Franken in a campaign ad (and how lame is John Ratzenberger anyway, a guy who played a working stiff on “Cheers,” turning out to be every bit as obnoxious in real life as his character on the show – you’d think he’d be grateful just to keep his mouth shut considering that he’s probably made a fortune recycling the same voice throughout about two dozen movies, including most of the great Pixar films).

(And by the way, here's the latest on the recount in the Coleman/Franken campaign - let this take as long as it needs to, particularly because Coleman seems to be losing all his legal challenges...a good thing about all of this is that it's helping to establish recount procedures that can be used in other elections.)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Senate Repug Kit Bond of Missouri, for claiming that Barack Obama would nominate judges who “empathize with ‘the gay’” here (or, as Margaret Cho famously said to her mother when she used that phrase, “It’s not like there’s only one, Mom.”)

And is it out of line to say that that’s a funny remark from a guy whose state initials are MO?

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona for stating here that he would block Obama Supreme Court nominees if he thought they were “too liberal,” which is funny for at least two reasons: 1) No openings currently exist, even though Stevens and Ginsburg will likely step down, and 2) Kyl was one of the people who supported the “nuclear option” which prevented filibustering judicial appointees in 2005, which Kyl seems to be advocating now once more.

More later...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday Stuff

Harold Pinter talks here with Charlie Rose about the difference between "natural and social laughter" and the fact that "it's not nice to be dead," which, now, he is, sadly...



...along with Eartha Kitt ("I'm Just An Old-Fashioned Girl").



Forty years ago, Kitt spoke out against the Vietnam War, as noted here by Wikipedia (and let's try to help them out, by the way), and she was "professionally exiled" from this country. Pinter spoke out against the Iraq debacle, criticizing both Dubya and Tony Blair in particular, as noted here.

For these reasons, I think we should take particular notice of the passing of these brave artists (examples to be emulated by us all, including these people).

Merry Christmas 2008

I thought this was pretty neat; this is the 1898 film "Santa Claus" by G.A. Smith using what was, for its time, pioneering visual effects...



...and from us to you, here's Nat "King" Cole with "The Christmas Song" from 1961.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Stuff

Two weeks ago in this space, I pitched a fit because I couldn't embed the MSNBC video of Keith Olbermann's takedown of Dubya and the latter's recent preoccupation with his place in history - well, thanks to YouTuber Jeremy The Blue Duck, here it is...



By the way, I think this is the sort of an endorsement that nobody should want.

(And no, the above pic isn't me "pitching a fit" - ha, ha - but one of another typically clueless "Dubya moment.")

...and here's the trailer for "The Warning" about Bushco's myriad abuses of power (more info here)...



...winding down with the seasonal stuff: here's Bing and Bowie ("The Little Drummer Boy")...



...and John Lennon/Yoko Ono ("Happy Xmas/War Is Over").

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2008 - Pt. 5)

Once more, prior related posts are here, here, here, and here...

Do-Gooder Of The Year Nominee

(Shockingly) to KevMart for this (along with fellow FCC commissioners Copps and Adelstein)

The “Corporate Media Pundit Channeling Phil Gramm” Citation

Dana Milbank of the WaPo, who wrote a July 30th column ridiculing Obama filled with “misleadingly cropped quotes, false insinuations, and negligent reporting,” according to Media Matters (prompting a correction from the newspaper), then criticized those who called him on his BS as “whiners” (here...and kudos to K.O. for this in response)

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

California state controller John Chiang (here - as good as Ahh-nold is on energy and the environment, apparently, that’s as bad as he is on everything else)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Cokie Roberts for blaming Barack Obama for visiting that “exotic, foreign location” of Hawaii, somehow not acknowledging that it’s actually a state here (and congrats to Cokie for this)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Gorby (sadly), for blaming Georgia in the Russian invasion here (though, with the passage of time, he’s been proven partly right).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

U.S. Olympic women’s pole vaulter Jenn Stuczynski for some rather inopportune trash talking of her Russian opponent (hey, I don’t like what they did in Georgia either, but that’s not Yelena Isinbayeva’s fault – she ended up with the gold, and Stuczynski ended up with the silver here)

Front-Runner Of The Year (or the “You Ready To Make Nice?” citation)

Toby Keith, who supported Obama here (kos backgrounder included here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

A collective citation to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign for the “blacker” ad here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Anyone who blames Elizabeth Edwards for her husband’s infidelity, including Flush Limbore here

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Vincent Curatola, the actor who played mob boss Johnny Sack on “The Sopranos,” for starring in ads denouncing the Employee Free Choice Act here (playing up to a mob stereotype is one thing for a TV show, but it's pretty lame to do that for a political campaign)

Taunt Of The Year

(Ya' think McCain wishes he had a 'do-over' here?)



Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Huckleberry Graham for criticizing Obama for missing too many votes here (er, Huck, ya’ wanna’ check “Straight Talk” McCain on that before you open your gob, OK?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler for saying that the timing of Hurricane Gustav hitting the Gulf Coast (disrupting the Repug National Convention in Minneapolis) demonstrates that “God is on our side” here (smooth move, brainiac – they don’t have many weapons as it is, but you just had to hand them one anyway, didn’t you? And dishonorable mention to Michael Moore who said just about the same thing to K.O. in the same timeframe)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

William Gould, a 62-year-old electrician working at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who hung a noose near the locker of a black employee because Gould “was resentful about a program to prepare minority employees for management promotions.” He faces a maximum of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine (at the very least...here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Adam LaDuca, the former executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, who wrote on his Facebook page in late July that Barack Obama has "a pair of lips so large he could float half of Cuba to the shores of Miami (and probably would)."

And kudos to The Pennsylvania Progressive for nailing this idiot (here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Meghan McCain for saying the following: "No one knows what war is like other than my family. Period" (here).

The “Drill, Baby, Drill” Citation

Employees of the Interior Department for this (representative of their boss, "Dirty Dirk" Kempthorne)

Broken Promise Of The Year

U.S. NJ Dem Congressman Rob Andrews for at first deciding not to seek another term, then welching on that when his primary challenge to Senate Dem Frank Lautenberg went up in smoke (here)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Lynn Forester De Rothschild, a former Hillary Clinton supporter in the primary who decided to work for John McCain in the general election.

I acknowledge that she has the right to do so (though I think it’s cowardly to turn on the Dems this way), but get a load of the reason why; she thinks Barack Obama is “an elitist.”

Once again, her name is Lynn Forester De Rothschild, who splits her time between London and New York and built a multimillion-dollar telecommunications company before marrying international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, according to this post.

As kos would say, “pot, meet kettle.”

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Roynell Young, founder of Pro-Vision, a nonprofit organization based in Houston, TX that began with trips in a red Toyota Land Cruiser to dangerous neighborhoods in search of troubled kids and young men; Pro-Vision broke ground this year on a 16-acre campus with a nature trail, garden, tree farm, amphitheater, and NFL-sponsored football field, all funded by private contributions (and as much as I hate to give Rod Paige credit for anything, he did help with this).

Dregs Of The Year Nominees

Bob DeMoss and Mark Whitlock for this (Obama Waffles)



Beat Down Of The Year

St. Paul storm troopers outside the Rethuglican National Convention do their thing on “Democracy Now” filmmakers and reporters, including Amy Goodman (here).



Dregs Of The Year Nominee

House Minority Leader John Boehner (pronounced bo-ner); so many reasons, but this definitely qualifies as one, where he basically believes that the $700 billion bailout of our financial institutions “shouldn’t help Main Street.”

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Fernando C. de Baca, chairman of Bernalillo County Republicans in New Mexico, for saying that Hispanics wouldn’t vote for Obama since they believe they’re “above blacks” here (apparently, de Baca didn’t get the memo, as they say).

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

You can’t imagine how hard this is for yours truly, but I gotta give the nod to Sen. Jim “High And Tight” Bunning (R-I Hear Voices) for “coming out swinging” against the $700 bil Paulson bailout scheme here (probably for exactly opposite philosophical reasons, but he “found the nut” all the same, and it wasn’t him for a change).

Cartoon Of The Year

This one featuring Governor Hottie, which, according to Editor and Publisher Online, inspired 750 complaints (truth hurts, doesn’t it?)

More later...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Stuff

Oh noes...Rahm Emanuel spoke to B-Rod 21 TIMES!!! OMIGOD!!! AND SEAN INANITY SAID IT WAS FOR 21 HOURS!!!!!

...

Uh, no, people. One phone call to Blago. No "quid pro quo." Four calls to Blago's chief of staff who has since resigned.

There's no "there" there. Just watch and read this if you don't believe me (kudos to "This Week With George S." for a change)...

Update 12/24/08: Pathetic (h/t Atrios)...



(Oh, and before I forget, I also posted over here.)

...and for anyone out there who could still be wondering at this point why we despise Dubya (maybe one or two "bitter enders"), this is only a part of the reason (and contact your elected representatives and tell them you want to bring back the CRA, by the way)...



...time for seasonal stuff again as the day draws nearer; here's Perry Como ("Do You Hear What I Hear?")...



...and The Killers ("A Great Big Sled").

"Deal" Or "No New Deal" For Obama

(Just a quick note: after today, posting is going to be iffy for the remainder of the week.)

I think we can pretty much expect a cacophony of protest against the planned infrastructure spending by the incoming Obama Administration (the editorial page of the Murdoch Street Journal has already been in high dudgeon for some time with their comparisons to Japan’s deflationary troubles in the 1990s when they followed a similar approach, but it’s funny: I’ve heard not a word of protest from them or our other corporate media cousins over the non-oversight of approximately $700 billion in TARP funds and the effect that would have on deflation, to say nothing of that black hole of spending known as the Iraq war – I thought this was a good analysis of what happened in Japan during that time, for what it’s worth).

Update: Kudos to Media Matters for taking on the whole "well it didn't work in Japan so it can't work here" thing here.

Despite the howls of outrage by the Repugs and their acolytes, though, I should note that this story (h/t McClatchy) recalls how the New Deal (the massive public works project that helped to lift this country out of the Great Depression, though I’ll admit that the Depression didn’t officially end until WWII) helped throughout North Carolina; the story tells us that…

The New Deal programs poured an estimated $428 million into North Carolina from 1933 to 1938 (roughly $6.4 billion in today's dollars), according to historians Hugh Lefler and Ray Newsome.

The federal programs had an impact in ways you might not imagine. New Deal programs, for example, were instrumental in creating the state's two major cultural institutions -- the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art.



(President Franklin D.) Roosevelt, who was immensely popular in North Carolina, created a series of national programs to put people to work. They included the Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration.

Armies of unemployed were set to work on public works projects that have helped define the modern North Carolina landscape.

The Blue Ridge Parkway was built. Costumes for "The Lost Colony" production in Manteo were made. Fort Macon was restored.

Public works projects included Mount Mitchell State Park and the migratory bird refuge at Swan Quarter. In fact, much of today's state and federal park system, including Pisgah National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hanging Rock and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, is a product of New Deal programs.
This takes you to California’s “Living New Deal” Project sponsored by the University of California at Berkeley, and this tells you that “Pennsylvania’s Little New Deal” sponsored by Dem governor and FDR confidant George H. Earle III was responsible for the 1935 Child Labor Act that raised the minimum working age to sixteen and regulated the number of hours teenagers could work (and in 1936, just one year after the federal Social Security Act became law, the state legislature, at Earle's prodding, established unemployment compensation for workers who had lost their jobs).

It should also be noted that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was authorized in 1937 “to build what soon became known as ‘America's First Superhighway.’ This state-of-the-art public works project remains among the most significant legacies of Pennsylvania's Little New Deal” (even though I’ll admit that the Commission has always been a patronage haven, try imagining the importance of the Turnpike to commerce in this state and where we would be without it).

Oh, and concerning the New Deal spending of North Carolina, please consider the following from the story…

Conservatives such as then-U.S. Sen. Josiah Bailey, a Democrat from Raleigh, worried about the cost of the millions being spent, whether the projects were boondoggles, whether it encouraged laziness and whether it produced shoddy work.
However, the following should be noted in particular…

Richard Nixon, a Duke law student, earned $30 a month working in the school library. Jesse Helms, a Wake Forest College student, made $18.75 per month doing sports publicity. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Terry Sanford worked in the Swain Hall dining room. They were all federal New Deal jobs.
And because of conservative opposition, North Carolina received fewer New Deal funds than any other state (and based on this story, it looks like, as I noted earlier, the “right” is ready to pick up once more where their predecessors left off…more fool them - and here's another indicator that Obama is doing the right thing).