Thursday, December 17, 2009

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2009 - Pt. 6)

Back after a brief hiatus (Part One is here, Part Two is here, Part Three is here, Part Four is here, Part Five is here, and I also posted here)...

Holier-Than-Thou Republican Comeuppance Of The Year

Definitely some competition in this category this year, but I have to give it to Repug Senator John Ensign, who once called for Bill Clinton’s impeachment over the business with Monica Whatsername, and said that his infidelity wasn’t as bad because he did nothing “legally wrong” (here, though, as noted here, Ensign really isn't "in the clear").

The “Interesting Reaction From One Of Our ‘Friends’ (I Mean Libya)” Citation

Downing Street confirmed that Gordon Brown had written to Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, calling on that country to "act with sensitivity" and to ensure a "low-key return" for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (the mastermind, for lack of a better word, of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 that broke up over Lockerbie, Scotland and killed 270 people; he was released because he supposedly is terminally ill – think what you will of the judgment behind that decision). Hours after Britain sent the letter, however, Megrahi was cheered by hundreds of supporters, some waving Scottish flags, as he landed at Tripoli airport accompanied by Gaddafi's son (here).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Chris Wallace of Fix Noise here, who was caught doctoring information supposedly from a VHA document alleging that the agency is “pressuring vets to end their lives,” then is called on his BS by VA head Tammy Duckworth, and then calls her a liar in response ("journamalism" at its worst, my fellow prisoners – h/t Atrios).

Class Guy Of The Year Citation

To conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart here, for his “unrestrained Twitter attack” on Ted Kennedy upon news of the senator’s death, calling him a “villain,” “a big ass motherf@#$er,” a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick.” “I’ll shut my mouth for Carter. That’s just politics. Kennedy was a special pile of human excrement,” (I’ll be honest – I’m not real big on the concept of Twitter anyway, though I’m sure it has a practical use. And by attacking Kennedy like this, it just ensures Breitbart’s place in the wingnut Hall of Shame.)

The “Maybe You Mistyped An ‘H’ Instead Of A ‘D’” Citation

Repug Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, who said her party needs a “great white hope” here (And you know what? I’m sick of these “if I offended anybody, I apologize” non-apologies. I was taught that an apology was an act of contrition showing remorse and communicating that you understood the reason why you did wrong, and Jenkins plainly doesn’

…and Jenkins strikes again here.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell, who made a “joke” here about issuing hunting licenses for the President (presumably to hunt him as opposed to the small, helpless creatures Rammell is no doubt used to blowing to bits, since, if he went after some serious game, this panty waist could actually get hurt – kudos to Repug Sen. Crapo for slapping Rammell down, not that that should have taken much courage, I know)

“Walk Back” Of The Year

Former DHS Head Tom (“OMIGOD, it’s a Yellow Alert Day, And I’m Wearing Clashing Chino Slacks!") Ridge, for claiming here in his book that he was pushed to raise the security alert on the eve of President Bush's re-election, something he saw as politically motivated and worth resigning over…though, as if by magic, he backtracked on that here (Abu G also did that little “two step,” if you will, on Holder’s investigation into torture).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

“Pastor” Steven Anderson for dedicating an entire sermon to “Why I hate Barack Obama,” and for having a parishioner who brought an AR-15 to a protest outside a speech delivered by President Obama, with Anderson declaring “I’m not gonna pray for (Obama’s) good. I’m going to pray that he dies and goes to hell.”…every time I get annoyed with Bill Maher (a future "Dregs" nominee, by the way) because he says something putting down religion, along comes one of these numbskulls to validate him (here)…

Dregs of The Year Nominees

Baby Newton Leroy and Congressman “Man Tan” here (attacking the “stim,” of course)…

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Global warming denialist George Will (yes, you read that right) for calling for a U.S. troop pullout in Afghanistan here (I’m not thrilled with his reliance on drone aircraft, but hey, we’re talking “baby steps” here, people)…

“Comedian” Of The Year

During the August congressional recess, Arlen Specter performed his patented stand-up act and apparently included a joke or two about Sarah Palin (here).

However, do you want to watch something REALLY funny? Check this out (and to do something in response, click here).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Michele Bachmann (again) for calling for people to “slit their wrists” in opposition to health care here (you first, dear)

The “One Small Step To Combat Vote Fraud For Real” Citation

Diebold sold its voting machine business unit (here)

Dregs Of The Year Citation

Teamster Boss James Hoffa here for waffling on the public option (tell us who got to you, Jim…for real; of course, many others in power would end up following suit, unfortunately)

Do Gooders Of The Year Nominee

The Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals, which ruled here that the claims of a former University of Idaho student plausibly suggest that former AG John (Lost To A Dead Guy) Ashcroft can be sued because he “purposely used the material witness statute to detain suspects whom he wished to investigate and detain preventively.”

Dregs of the Year Nominee

California wingnut Randy Thomason here, who opposed the designation of May 22nd as a day of “special significance” honoring Harvey Milk; the bill designating that day was passed by both houses of the Democratic-controlled California Legislature the week of August 31st (Thomason also compared the day of recognition for Milk to “a hypothetical day…in which California school kids would be forced to show up in drag and watch a ‘Queer as Folk’ marathon while pledging allegiance to a pride flag” here – nice guy; and by the way, this is a wonderful film, and Sean Penn is brilliant)…

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The Central Bucks and North Penn school districts in Bucks County (here) for refusing to air President Obama’s speech to the school kids on Tuesday September 8th (dishonorable mention to the Council Rock and Pennsbury school districts for not showing the speech live, or so they said)…

A message on North Penn's Web site stated: "As Sept. 8th is the first day of school for NPSD, it is impossible to notify all parents of the webcast and for our staff to develop a viable and consistent exemption process. Prior parent permission is critical because of the national debate that is occurring and because we have heard from so many parents who do not want their child to have access to the speech."
In response, I think John Harwood of the NYT nails it here…

Dumb Campaign Idea Of The Year

Yes, I support Admiral Joe Sestak against Arlen Specter, but deciding not to invite Specter to a health care forum here - in which Sestak and Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth answered questions and did the whole political-back-and-forth thing by themselves - was petty and generally not a very bright thing to do.

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

The lady attending the Town Hall meeting with wingnut Tom Coburn here who advocated a single payer system, to which Coburn immediately fell back on the “tenther” argument that the Constitution doesn’t allow it, which of course is wrong (and a “Dregs” citation to Coburn for his misinformation on other nations’ health care and the crowd who tried to hoot her down).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

Tom Brokaw, for wrongly claiming that the public option would cost $1 trillion here (actually, it would save $150 billion, and this was after chiding Americans for not being informed on the whole health care dustup) – Brokaw has praised “The Greatest Generation,” as well he should, but my dad was part of that era, and he thought Brokaw was nothing but a phony…my dad was right

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

The obligatory yearly citation to Repug U.S. House Rep Jack Kingston of Georgia, this time for telling a man named Jim Parker here at a town hall meeting on health care that the system worked “very well” for him, even though Parker went bankrupt paying for his cancer treatment (wonder if Kingston ever found his flag lapel pin?)

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

U.S. Senate Repug Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, for claiming here that Obama needed to show “humility” in his speech on health care in September (funny to hear that coming from a guy who never showed it for a second when smearing Max Cleland on his way to winning Cleland’s Senate seat, alleging that Cleland’s actions were sympathetic to al Qaeda…as we all know, Cleland left three limbs on the battlefield of Vietnam – a pox on any Georgia voter who supported Chambliss over Cleland now and always)

Dregs Of The Year Nominees

The various GOP dumbasses who acted like spoiled brats during President Obama’s speech on health care here on 9/9/09 (including U.S. House Rep Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who called out “You Lie!” when Obama said coverage wouldn’t include illegal immigrants…which it plainly doesn’t – should be obvious even to a disrespectful moron like Wilson…and yes, Wilson apologized, though not to the U.S. House as he should have).

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

This is a really tough call I know, but I have to give it to Mike Tharp, editor of the Merced Sun-Star in California (here), who decided to run the AP photo of U.S. Marine Lance Corp. Joshua Bernard, who was mortally wounded by a grenade in Afghanistan; Bernard was shown with one leg partly blown off while tended to by his comrades. He died at a hospital a short time later.

I understand Tharp’s “deep duty to show American civilians the costs of fighting a war. To show the ultimate sacrifices paid by our servicemen and women in our name,” as he put it. And that is commendable.

The problem is that the parents objected to the release of the photo. And as far as I’m concerned, their wishes come first. And violating a rather simple guideline like that creates an opening for yet another brainless politician or media numbskull to call for a ban on all wartime photos and video.

Dregs Of The Year Nominee

NBA great Michael Jordan for his utterly classless acceptance speech into the NBA Hall of Fame on Friday September 11th (here); it sounds like the only person he didn’t put down was former teammate Scottie Pippen (and guess what, Michael – nobody cares about buying concession items in your restaurants if the food is lousy)

More later...

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