Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Stuff

As we watch the train wreck of the 112th Congress unfold, keep in mind what the American sheeple voted out of office; namely, grownups who actually got stuff done, as Rachel Maddow reminds us here...

...and I give you the following from the land of Dan Boren, Tom Cole, Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn, etc., though it could easily be replayed across the country (a bit of a happy ending, though - hat tip to Crooks and Liars)...

...and I got a kick out of this earlier this year, so I thought I'd put it up once more...

...and I guess this is an appropriate sendoff to 2010.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Stuff

Before the year ends, I want to revisit some stuff such as this, which is K.O.'s Special Comment on the Citizens United ruling from January, in which Olbermann proved to be sadly prescient...

...and I can't recall whether or not I put this up already, but even if I did, I think it's worth another shot.

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2010 - Pt. 10) - update

(Time to wrap this up...Part One is here, Part Two is here, Part Three is here, Part Four is here, Part Five is here, Part Six is here, Part Seven is here, Part Eight is here, and Part Nine is here.)


Rory Markas, Jean Biden (VP Joe’s mom), Miep Gies, Eric Rohmer, Teddy Pendergrass, William J. Lederer, Robert Parker, Erich Segal, Kate McGarrigle, Steven Lovelady, Air America, Jean Simmons, Pernell Roberts, Howard Zinn, J.D. Salinger, Tom Brookshier, Andrew Lange, Jerilyn Ross, John Murtha, Phil Harris, Charlie Wilson, Dick Francis, Doug Fieger, Melanie Shouse, Dale Hawkins, Tom “T-Bone” Wolk, Fabian Bachrach, Merlin Olsen, Juanita Goggins, Johnny Alf, Peter Graves, Charles Moore, Alex Chilton, Fess Parker, Stewart Udall, Margaret Moth, Robert Culp, Jim Marshall, Johnny Maestro, Jaime Escalante, David Mills, Malcolm Poindexter, Herb Ellis, John Forsythe, Morris Jeppson, Malcolm McLaren, Anna Walentynowicz, Dorothy Height, Benjamin Hooks, Dorothy Provine, Lynn Redgrave, Robin Roberts, Lena Horne, Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, Hank Jones, Ronnie James Dio, Bill “Wee Willie” Webber, Dennis Hopper, Rue McClanahan, John Wooden, Murray Stein, Crispin St. Peters, Manute Bol, Pete Quaife, Sen. Robert Byrd, Bill Hudson, Juanita Kreps, George Steinbrenner, Vernon Baker, Vonetta McGee, Daniel Schorr, Ben Keith, Mitch Miller, Bobby Hebb, Wayne Stephenson, Patricia Neal, Charles Bowser, Dan Rostenkowski, Abbey Lincoln, Bobby Thomson, Harold Dow, George David Weiss, William Saxbe, Dorothy Sucher, Cammie King Conlon, Paul Conrad, Robert Schimmel, Kevin McCarthy, Edwin Newman, Frederick Jelinek, Dr. William F. Harrison, Arthur Penn, Tony Curtis, Arthur Holch, Solomon Burke, Ted Sorensen, Jill Clayburgh, Sparky Anderson, Mary Hanssens, Alex Anderson, Pat Burns, Chalmers Johnson, Kris Froland, Tom Underwood, Irvin Kershner, Ron Santo, Phil Jasner, Elisabeth Edwards, James Moody, Richard Holbrooke, Blake Edwards, Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart), Steve Landesberg, Fred Foy, Bud Greenspan, Michael O'Pake, Billy Taylor, Melissa Lynch

By the way, here are some late citations:

Dregs of the Year Nominees

I admire Will Bunch and departing PA Governor Ed Rendell, but I think they’re both nuts to wax apoplectic over the decision by the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles to postpone the Sunday 12/26 home game with the Minnesota Vikings until Tuesday because of the recent snowstorm – geez people, think about public safety here, willya (here)?

And there may be a proper time and place to criticize the fact that the Chinese are ahead of this country academically (putting aside the craven stupidity in this country of running up a trade deficit with them and deciding to reward the “pay no price, bear no burden” crowd with pointless tax cuts and underfunding education in the process), but the occasion of cancelling a football game does not qualify for that, IMHO.

I’ll tell you what, Governor – if you want to weigh in with some genuine umbrage over the weather, aim some at your New Jersey counterpart Governor Bully, who took a typically Republican “out” for himself by taking a vacation to Disneyworld (here – and kudos to Dem Newark Mayor Cory Booker who made himself useful by delivering diapers to a homebound mother).

(And for all the brouhaha, the Iggles ended up losing the game.)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The Daily Tucker himself here for saying that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick should have been “executed” (as always, threats of violence mean nothing to the wingnuts when it comes to disparaging people with whom they disagree)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Alexander Pirone, 21, and Catherine McGrath, 24 – as the Philadelphia Daily News tells us here, the two burst into St. Charles Borromeo Church in Drexel Hill, PA shortly after Christmas midnight mass began and…well…

"At one point in time, they were fondling one another in the pew to the point where a couple of the church goers had to tell them to stop acting like morons," (police superintendent Michael) Chitwood said. "They had to tell them that they were there to worship and pray and stop making a spectacle of themselves."

When the Mass was over, (Officer Samuel) Sproull (who was attending Mass) decided to wait for the couple outside of the church, but they never came out, Chitwood said. As the priest was about to lock up the church for the night, an EMT worker who also attended the Mass told Sproull that he'd seen the couple go downstairs and never come up, police said.

Sproull went downstairs and found Pirone sitting on the steps and McGrath locked in the bathroom, flushing the toilet, Chitwood said. When he was able to get the restroom door open, Sproull found four glassine bags in the toilet that are typically used to hold heroin, Chitwood said. A search of McGrath turned up a plastic vial with several bags of heroin in it as well as 43 pills, he said. Sproull also found numerous dangerous pills and narcotics on Pirone, Chitwood said. Both Pirone, of Clifton Heights, and McGrath, of Springfield, smelled of alcohol at the time too, according to police.
Authorities believe the two were planning to rob the church, but now they’re in jail for their trouble (I almost think that at least “two hots and a cot” are too good for these losers).

Update: Here are some more entries:

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

President Obama, for his recess appointment of James Cole as Deputy Attorney General – as noted here, Cole busted disgraced former House Speaker Baby Newton Leroy Gingrich (of course, Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the NYT considered the Cole appointment “controversial” here... more corporate media harrumphing)

(I think this is 3-4 Do Gooder citations and 3-4 Dregs citations each to Obama, by the way.)

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

I’m sure his sentence suspension of Gladys and Jamie Scott, two sisters serving double-life sentences for an armed robbery in which they were alleged to have netted $11, was an act of craven political opportunism by Repug Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to deflect the controversy he created over his “White Citizens Council” remarks to The Weakly Standard, but it was still the right thing to do, and he deserves credit for it (here).

And now, without further ado...

Do Gooder Of The Year

I’ve gone around and around on this one, but I just don’t know how it could be anyone else but Julian Assange.

And I’m sure the first objection to this citation is that there is a pending rape charge against him. Well, as noted here, the charge was dropped in August of this year, but the Swiss refilled the charge. And according to the post from Zennie62 of the San Francisco Chronicle, the charge is based on the fact that Assange had consensual sex with two women, one in her 20s and one in her 30s, without a condom (and apparently, not using a condom in Sweden constitutes a rape charge punishable by two years in prison if convicted). So it sounds to me like this charge against Assange is definitely questionable.

Another accusation against Assange is that information in the diplomatic cables he published has led to the deaths of U.S. military or Foreign Service personnel. Here is the closest I came to substantiating that accusation (and as you’ll see, I couldn’t).

This Washington Post column by former Bushco flak Marc Thiessen linked back to an AEI post in which Thiessen claimed that the identities of 100 Afghans cooperating with us were revealed (and I think it’s telling that Thiessen doesn’t say that in the WaPo column). The source of that claim (or as near to one as I can find) is, as noted here, Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, one of the places where reality-based commentary goes home to die.

I think it’s plain that the real reason for anger against Assange is that, by releasing the information quite probably provided to him by Bradley Manning (who I’m sure will never see the light of day again as a result – more on him here), he has made our government look bad in a similar manner as Daniel Ellsberg did when he released The Pentagon Papers (Keith Olbermann interviewed Jim Moore of HuffPo below for more background – Ron Paul made a similar comparison here).

Actually, I think what the leaks are exposing is some of the idiocy (to say nothing of potential criminality) of our military decision-making (and if you want to read something darkly humorous, this post based on a cable released by Assange tells us just how much Bushco was preoccupied with filmmaker Michael Moore; ask more questions and see where they lead to give you a picture of what contemptible pirates our prior ruling cabal really were).

And by the way, in response to the Wikileaks controversy, the Obama Administration has said something along the lines of “we support the free flow of information and approved access,” or whatever. I would actually believe that if, for starters, they would sign off on a federal press shield law, which they will not do. Also, while I was debating myself about Assange, Iraqi-torturing Repug U.S. House wingnut Allen West stated the following here, which helped to “seal the deal” as they say, and it’s hard to argue with Assange’s “anarchy” comment here, unfortunately.

As a final defense of Assange, I’ll turn the floor over to Glenn Greenwald (here)…

Almost as revealing as the contents of the secret U.S. cables being released by Wikileaks is the unanimity of the condemnation from "our political and media class," Glenn Greenwald of said Tuesday.[1] -- Noting the widespread currency of calls for Julian Assange's assassination, Greenwald wrote: "The way in which so many political commentators so routinely and casually call for the eradication of human beings without a shred of due process is nothing short of demented." -- "Without exception, all of these people cheered on the attack on Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, yet their thirst for slaughter is literally insatiable." -- "After a decade's worth of American invasions, bombings, occupations, checkpoint shootings, drone attacks, assassinations, and civilian slaughter, the notion that the U.S. Government can and should murder whomever it wants is more frequent and unrestrained than ever." -- And it is noteworthy that "These are usually the same people, of course, who brand themselves 'pro-life' and Crusaders for the Sanctity of Human Life and/or who deride Islamic extremists for their disregard for human life." -- As for the media, the response to Wikileaks is a demonstration that our servile corporate mainstream media is essentially the equivalent of state-run media, Greenwald said. -- Greenwald is not an unconditional defender of Wikileaks, but believes that "our government and political culture is so far toward the extreme pole of excessive, improper secrecy that that is clearly the far more significant threat. . . . I seriously question the judgment of anyone who -- in the face of the orgies of secrecy the U.S. Government enjoys and, more so, the abuses they have accomplished by operating behind it -- decides that the real threat is WikiLeaks for subverting that ability." ...
(More great commentary on Assange from Greenwald is here, by the way.)

I realize that divulging secrets in the manner Assange has done is not the best thing to do. However, when doing so reveals the moral bankruptcy of our foreign policy (to say nothing of putting Assange himself at great personal risk of harm), I think that puts him head and shoulders above the other nominees here (and runner-up citations to Wendell Potter for helping to “blow the whistle” on CIGNA’s odious health insurance practices – here – and to Josh Fox, the filmmaker of “Gasland” about the wreckage wrought all over this country by the exploration for natural gas – here).

Update 12/31/10: And speaking of the mess in PA over drilling in the Marcellus Shale, I give you this.

Also, 10 medical aid workers – six Americans, one German, one Briton and two Afghans - were slain in August in Afghanistan here…may God take them into His care, and may their cowardly murderers wish they had never been born.

Dregs of the Year

As I said at some point earlier, the Supreme Court of Hangin’ Judge JR would have taken this hands down for January's catastrophically awful Citizens United ruling in somewhat of a normal year.

However, BP made sure that this year was anything but normal last April (here).

And on top of that:

  • BP ran full page ads in newspapers saying they had taken “full responsibility” for the spill, even though 76 percent of those polled disapproved of their handling of the spill (here).

  • BP bused in 400 temporary workers for a photo-op when President Obama toured the Gulf region to examine the spill (here).

  • Taking full advantage of the tragedy, BP bought up the rights to oil-related search terms to make its site show up first on search engines (here).

  • Showing that, among other shortcomings, BP has no sense of irony, they put up signs at their stations at the time of the Gulf disaster telling customers that they are responsible for any spills (here).

  • BP and their corporate partners Transocean and Halliburton skipped hearings in Mississippi on the spill here.

  • As noted here, former BP CEO Tony Hayward predicted a lot of “illegitimate” lawsuits over the spill because “this is America” (Gee, any wonder why Hayward was forced out?).
  • Also concerning the disaster in the Gulf, I should note that I could fill up tons of space on this site if I chronicled every stupid thing Charles Krauthammer ever said or wrote even more than I do already, but this example was particularly ridiculous; in May, he blamed “environmentalists” for the BP spill.


    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    After Hayward took his fall, his replacement pretty much picked up where Hayward left off.

    Here, Robert Dudley launched a “feisty” defense of the company and “accus(ed) the media and some people in the oil industry of fear-mongering and a ‘rush to judgment’ that exacerbated the crisis.”

    Your company is responsible for the worst ecological disaster that has ever inflicted this country, pal. So why don’t you just go and pour yourself a great big, heaping glass full of STFU (and a related dishonorable mention goes out to Bobby “Don’t Call Me Piyush” Jindal for this and this).

    And in case anyone thinks I plan to give Dems a pass on this, I should note that former House Rep and “Bush Dog” Gene Taylor of Mississippi compared the spill to “chocolate milk” here and said it would “break up naturally.”

    Update 2/20/11: And the beat goes on, sadly (here)...

    WASHINGTON – Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist's video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn't degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.

    That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012.
    In addition to BP, I have two runner-up Dregs of the Year citations. The first is to anyone in this country or overseas belonging to what is known as “the pain caucus,” who claims to support deficit reduction at the expense of any kind of stimulus meant to encourage employment (though, truth be told, all they really care about is the most favorable high-end tax rates possible at the expense of everyone else).

    The second citation goes to everyone in this country who voted for a Republican last November (Update: Also, to those who didn't bother to vote at all).

    Now believe me, I’ve tried to settle for the explanation of “well, the economy stinks, so of course the Democrats lost.” However, that to me doesn’t come even close to a reasonable excuse.

    The Republicans, then as now, have offered nothing but the same failed policies that originally got us into the mess we currently face. The biggest fault of the Democrats is that they failed to remedy the epochal blunders of Bushco and the Republican congress of the earlier part of this decade quickly enough to suit a spoiled electorate (the closest I came to reading a column that summarized what took place was this from Pulitzer Prize-winner Eugene Robinson, who basically said that the voters of this country were consumed by a “temper tantrum,” which ended up enabling you-know-who – and when it comes to Republican enablers, Media Matters had an interesting related post here).

    Oh, and in another gloriously intelligent move; the voters of PA-16 absolutely insist on sending Joe Pitts back to Congress every two years. Well, guess what? Now this guy, as incoming head of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in the House, has some real power and can really f*ck things up for women first and foremost on the issue of choice (more on this almost unspeakably depressing development here).

    Update 1/2/11: More here also.

    With a Republican governor, an incoming Republican U.S. Senator and U.S. congressman and what appears to be a thus-far endangered Democratic U.S. Senator (if this is any indication), to say nothing of a state government which is pretty much a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party, I would say that our beloved commonwealth of PA is pretty much up the proverbial creek without a paddle. And we have a gang of utterly partisan, quite likely prejudiced and thoroughly misinformed voters to thank for it (by the way, I’m in my early 50s, and that remark is aimed pretty much at anyone 30 years of age or older, and a few younger voters also). You all should be proud of yourselves for the likely disasters to come (I also wonder if the prior ruling cabal before Obama did a far better job of embedding a panic/stupidity reflex into most of the voters of this country than anyone realized after 9/11, and that has become the default option, if you will).

    Update 1/5/11: I probably should have thought of this way before now, but what is noted in this video contains what, for me, will easily be the most enduring image of the 2010 elections.

    And with that, as is my custom, I usually go “meta” at this point and thank everyone who has taken time over the course of the year to read this site, and I do so again now. However, I have to tell you that I’m really unsure how to proceed at this point. More so than at any time prior to now, the events of last month have made it thoroughly clear to me that my efforts at debunking the various right-wing nonsense and trying to bring something approximating truth to stupidity is not unlike spitting into a tornado. As Rachel Maddow, among others, has pointed out, the right-wing noise machine is thoroughly self-sustaining at this point; I can recall a time when they were considered to be part of the “fringe” in our media environment, but now they are thoroughly mainstream. And I can’t change that, not by myself anyway (there are literally new idiotic narratives being concocted by National Review, Tucker Carlson, the Washington Times, Andrew Malcolm, Marc Thiessen,, the Wall Street Journal, etc., etc. every day – usually, debunking them for the moment just means that they’ll return a few days or weeks later with another twist that bears no resemblance to discernable reality either).

    What I envision at the moment are most weeks where I may post for 3-4 days tops. That depends on a number of factors, though. One is the extent of my activities which actually generate income, which this site most certainly doesn’t (and that’s just an observation on my part, not a complaint – kind of hypocritical for me to bitch about that when I don’t tip other sites myself). The other I guess is the level of disaster that our Republican overlords will inflict on us when they seize power for real next year (and on that subject, I’ve been meaning to compliment the Senate Dems on their attempts to change the rules for the next session, though sadly they’re more than a little late with that effort; that also assumes that intelligent legislation will be coming to them from the Repug-controlled House, which to me is an utterly laughable prospect).

    Maybe I’ll change my mind as events warrant, but I’m going to wait and see. I’ll keep you posted.

    And despite it all, I hope everyone has a Happy 2011.

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010

    Wednesday AM Stuff

    We in the reality-based community know that, just because of the increased amounts of snow in these parts over the last couple of winters, that doesn't mean that global warming is any less of an issue - actually, Dr. Reese Halter explains how that means that the problem is getting worse ( the way, Sam Seder sitting in for K.O. on "Countdown" did a good report here comparing Obama and Michael Vick to Dubya and Scooter Libby - no video I can embed here yet - the stuff that matters starts at about 2:22; I though the "weather map" bit Seder did here was pretty clever, and if you want a chuckle, stick around to see Rachel Maddow's "light saber")...

    ...and again, no video here, but I just like the song, so here it is.

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    Wednesday Mashup (12/29/10)

    Kind of a "Turbo" version coming up here…

  • With the departure of the 111th Congress, it looks like it’s time for the wingnuts to begin their umbrage festival over how much further this latest session allegedly ended up sinking our country into debt (here).

    I’m not going to waste any more time trying to dissect this, since I’m sure a week or so later someone who knows more about these matters than I do will end up pointing out how such a conclusion is wrong (For example, how is it the fault of this Congress that it has spent funds for wars Iraq and Afghanistan that did not originate on its watch? Or for Dubya’s useless stinking tax cuts for the “pay no price, bear no burden” crowd, which deprived our government of needed revenue?).

    Instead, I’ll merely point out (speaking of Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History) that this shows how much he added to the debt versus other presidents in the last 50 or so years, and wonder how the right-wing echo chamber can carry reality avoidance to yet another whole new level.

  • Also (speaking again of Number 43), the book he allegedly authored, “Decision Points,” has sold 2 million copies, as noted here.

    Considering the voluminous instances of plagiarism, as noted here, I’m sure that, in another dimension somewhere, P.T. Barnum is having one great big laugh after another, both over the author and the poor suckers who shelled out hard-earned money to read a tome that Dubya was too lazy to actually write himself.

  • Finally, there was much rejoicing at the Daily Tucker here over the upcoming return of the U.S. House from the “iron-fisted” Nancy Pelosi (too damn funny – some reality-based commentary on the former speaker is here) to “show Republicans are listening to Americans frustrated with Washington’s ways of doing business”…

    One of the most significant changes — and a favorite of Tea Party activists — will require members of Congress who introduce legislation to cite the powers in the Constitution to enact it. To emphasize the importance of the U.S. Constitution, Boehner will have it read aloud on Jan. 6.
    As dday tells us here…

    This is fairly anodyne stuff, and if it’s the worst by-product of the Tea Party’s newfound prominence in national politics, we’ll have all dodged a very large bullet. But this just seems needlessly silly to me. If legislation is unconstitutional that will come out somewhere down the line. Entire court cases are devoted to this question, I’m told. And a line inside the legislation, which “proves” the Constitutionality, just isn’t going to be good enough for the judicial branch, I can safely assume.

    There’s an Office of Legislative Counsel which already provides advice on Constitutional matters to lawmakers. So this mechanism already exists. Spelling it out in the legislation may make a few tea party activists happy (although I doubt it), but it does nothing to actually address matters of constitutionality.
    And given how thoroughly those newly-minted Repug reps elected to Capitol Hill are likely to be absorbed into the corporatist wing of their party (as noted here), a recitation of the Constitution is all the teabaggers are likely to get for their trouble.

    Tee hee hee…

  • Update 1/3/11: I thought this was a terrific post by David Waldman concerning the whole "reading of the Constitution" thing, particularly the stuff on John Lewis.

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Monday Stuff

    (Still kind of an off-on posting period at the moment - I'll definitely try to have something this week.)

    It looks like there may be an end in sight to the Korean hostilities if a particular demand of the "Dear Leader" can be met, as The Onion News Network tells us here...

    Kim Jong Il Ends Nuclear Program For Lead In Next 'Batman'

    ...and as a tribute of sorts to incoming Repug U.S. House Rep Joe Walsh and his decision to forego taxpayer-funded health care as a member of Congress (here), I thought this was appropriate (sorry, no video).

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Sunday Stuff

    I suppose this officially marks the end of Christmas, though the season isn't over (not until about 1/6 as far as yours truly is concerned - and oh yeah, the snow keeps us in the mood a bit also)...

    ...and Turner Classic Movies put together what I thought was a nice tribute to those in the movie biz who left us last year (though a mention here didn't make it, unfortunately).

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Friday Stuff

    More Christmas stuff - here's Bing and Bowie...

    ...and the former lead singer of Johnny and the Moondogs.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Thursday Stuff

    Not sure how I forgot this one, but somehow I did, almost...

    ...and I know I gave him static for playing at Flush Limbore's wedding, and he doesn't quite get the whole thing going on in Arizona, but Sir Elton is still OK anyway ...

    ...and I thought this was pretty neat, in case you're in the mood for a Christmas lights show and can't make it to Longwood Gardens in these parts...

    ...and it wouldn't be the eve of Christmas Eve without this one, would it?

    Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2010 - Pt. 9)

    (Once more unto the breach, dear friends...Part One is here, Part Two is here, Part Three is here, Part Four is here, Part Five is here, Part Six is here, Part Seven is here, and Part Eight is here.)

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Departing PA Governor Ed Rendell gets it for his veto of a gun bill that would have expanded the "castle doctrine" to "outside (of the) home or car," as the Philadelphia Inquirer puts it here (now just watch and see how fast Tom Corbett, Space Cadet signs it into law when it reaches his desk again after he's sworn in).

    As I've said for about the 20 millionth time, the only issue I care about is whether or not our favoring that twisted interpretation of the Second Amendment helps law enforcement. And I can't possibly see how this, in particular, does that.

    Do Gooders Of The Year Nominee

    The Faith Advocates for Jobs Campaign, a coalition of religious groups launching a grass roots effort to help the unemployed, noted here (and Do Gooder citations to Sens. Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey and Bernie Sanders for joining the effort...wonder how much impact the Catholic Church would have on this issue by itself if it spent a fraction of his time fighting the scourge of unemployment as it did yapping abort abortion, euthanasia and - gasp! - human cloning...

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Repug nut case U.S. House Rep Steve King of Iowa, for calling for a return of the “Congressional internal security committees” – cutting to the chase, King is calling for a return to McCarthyism here (as I said after the 2010 election results, I now know that there are people in this country who would vote for the You Tube talking orange if it had an “R” next to its name, and in addition to Kentucky, this is one of the elections I was thinking about when I said that, for what it’s worth)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Recent loser of the Delaware U.S. Senatorial Election Christine O’Donnell gets it for comparing the extension of unemployment benefits to Pearl Harbor and the recent death of Elizabeth Edwards – formerly, we laughed at her because she was an idiot, but now we can ridicule her because she’s utterly cruel and ultimately contemptible, noted here.

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    The editorial board of the Bucks County Courier Times, for advocating here that departing Democratic congressman Patrick Murphy should run for Bucks County Commissioner; I think it’s pretty hilarious to suggest that a political figure with a national profile like Murphy’s should settle for a job doling out favors on behalf of our beloved little “backwater” (sorry, Diane).

    And why exactly does the paper suggest this? Because of the GOP’s “sense of ownership and entitlement,” which the paper encourages when it refuses to report on the Rob Ciervo voter fraud letter from the November election (the PA Democratic Party filed a protest over it).

    Too funny…

    The "And Try Telling Me One More Time About How You Clowns Are Supposedly The Defenders Of Social Security" Citation of the Year

    As noted here...

    WASHINGTON – House and Senate Republicans on Wednesday thwarted Democratic efforts to award $250 checks to Social Security recipients facing a second consecutive year without a cost-of-living increase.

    President Barack Obama and Democrats have urged approval of the one-time payment, saying seniors barely getting by on their Social Security checks face undue hardships without the COLA increase.

    But most Republicans contended that the nation couldn't afford the estimated $14 billion cost of the payment, and that the COLA freezes in 2010 and 2011 come after seniors received a significant boost in 2009.
    And this from a group that sent a letter to Obama saying they wouldn't even consider working on legislation (yeah, I know...they have an interesting definition of "work on legislation," as we'll find out once more next January - ugh) until the top 2 percent of this country got an extension of their precious, stinking George Dubya Bush trillion dollar tax cut that will do absolutely nothing to generate jobs or (of course) lower the deficit.

    Truly, how do these life forms sleep at night (also for this - h/t Atrios, though the Repugs later caved on Zadroga, though not without cutting almost a third of the funding).

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Can't forget Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo (here)

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    Once again, the scumwads of the Westboro Baptist Church for planning to picket the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards (here...sometimes there truly are no words - good response here)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Newly-minted Dem Senator Joe Manchin for opposing repeal of DADT here (I mean, of course the Repugs would oppose it along with President Snowe - Manchin, you'll recall, is the putz who fired bullets at what was supposed to be a copy of "cap and trade" legislation in opposition to Obama...Manchin would later miss votes on 12/19 for DADT again and the DREAM Act - he apologized here, but that's still pretty lame)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Laurie Nordquist, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement Trust, for the following here...

    "Too many Americans have their heads in the sand in the face of obvious savings deficits," said Laurie Nordquist, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement Trust. "Barring a miracle, a winning lottery ticket or a big inheritance, they're going to be forced to dramatically cut back their lifestyles after retirement."
    As mcjoan tells us, "Austerity for the middle class isn't the answer to solving the savings problem. Addressing income inequality is. That includes not cutting Social Security, but strengthening it. That, or we face a future that looks depressingly like Depression era America--seniors living hand to mouth."

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Repug U.S. House Rep Dana Rohrabacher, claiming here that "we" (meaning white people) will "lose our freedom" if the DREAM Act passes (don't worry, you moron - it didn't pass, though it should have)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    As a follow-up, this New York Times story tells us Repug Senator John Cornyn of Texas repeats the wingnut mythology that the recently-defeated DREAM Act "as written would have allowed illegal immigrants with criminal records to obtain citizenship."

    As noted here (particularly in the following excerpt), Cornyn is lying, as is much of the wingnutosphere propagating this talking point (shocking, I know)...

    The DREAM Act would give a break to immigrant high school graduates, brought to this country illegally as children and still lacking documentation. It would offer a conditional six-year residency status to those who meet its conditions, which include residency in the U.S. for more than five years, no criminal record, and enlistment in the military or enrollment at a four-year college for at least two years.
    Of course, it would have been nice if Times writer James McKinley, Jr. had pointed that out.

    Lather, rinse, repeat...

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    President Obama (again) for claiming here that Social Security, when it was founded in 1935, paid benefits to widows and orphans, which it didn't until 1939 (when it originated, it paid benefits only to workers who paid into it) - I probably would have let that go had he not also said that Social Security contributes to the deficit, which it doesn't (Medicare does, though)

    Doesn't he have people to help him get this stuff right?

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Dave Tally rates a mention, a homeless man who found a bag containing $3,300 in cash and did the right thing, turning it into the Tempe, AZ Community Action Agency, as noted here.

    And the response?

    In news accounts, Mr. Tally has been praised as a homeless hero. People moved by his selflessness have sent him checks — totaling far more than was in the backpack — and have offered him jobs to help him get on his feet.

    On Thursday night, Mayor Hugh Hallman read a proclamation declaring it Dave Tally Day. Mr. Tally was taciturn, having recently undergone dental surgery in preparation for a whole new set of teeth donated by a local dentist. A lawyer stepped forward, too, to help Mr. Tally try to handle an old court case.

    “I never imagined all this,” Mr. Tally, 49, said as he emerged from City Hall and went out onto the streets where he has scraped by for the past decade. “I just thought we’d turn the backpack over and it would be over with.”
    Well done, Mr. Tally, and good luck to you.

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Alexandra Jarrin, who, as CNN tells us here, is compiling letters from the "99ers" to send to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont asking for help (Lord knows that Sanders isn't the problem, but trying to convince the rest of Congress is)

    Do Gooders of the Year Nominees

    The NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles get a mention, and not because they're in first place in the NFC East after beating Dallas on the road and the Giants in that amazing comeback at the Meadowlands last Sunday (though those are good reasons also).

    It’s because, as noted here from November, “the team announced…that it will be installing 2,500 solar panels, 80 20-ft high wind turbines and a generator that runs on natural gas and biodiesel, making its home park Lincoln Financial Field the first stadium capable of generating all of its own electricity” (h/t John at Eschaton)

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Dem U.S. House Rep Rush Holt for some "straight talk" for real here on Social Security...

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Ginger Littleton, a member of the Panama City, FL school board who tried to knock the gun out of the hand of Clay Duke with her purse; Duke fired at other school board members at a meeting of the board, missing them by inches - security guards shot Duke in the back before Duke took his own life, noted here (I don’t know if it was guts or stupidity on the part of Littleton to do what she did, but it was heroic all the same)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee ("I Heard The News Today, Oh Boy" Citation)

    In an otherwise fairly well-researched column, J.D. Mullane of the Bucks County Courier Times argued that The Beatles broke up over John Lennon’s remark that they were “bigger than Jesus”…actually, it had more to do with the death of manager Brian Epstein, their tiring over the circus of touring (and keep in mind that they had been playing live for years even before they made it big in the U.S. in 1964), the fact that they all got married and settled down to family commitments, the influence of current events (particularly the Vietnam War) and their flirtations with other forms of spirituality (particularly George), the desire to act in movies also (particularly John and Ringo), the legal battles with Allen Klein and all of the stuff with Apple Corps, the disintegration of their deal over the royalties of their songs which led to the fiasco of other artists owning them, even, at one time, Michael Jackson, etc., etc., etc.

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, who said here that if Congress lifts the ban against open service and allows gays to serve without hiding their sexual orientation, the Marines could be so distracted that they would die in the line of duty, with Amos joined by the “amen” chorus of Repug nut jobs including Phil Gingrey, Buck McKeon, Duncan Hunter and Saint McCain (#1, our military has said in large numbers that they don’t care about this issue, and #2, I would argue that our service people are already “distracted” by this nonsense)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Smerky, for acting as soon-to-be-ex Senator Arlen Specter's PR agent again here, this time nominating him to replace the late Richard Holbrooke...

    I thought that when I heard the president's remembrance of Holbrooke on Monday: "As anyone who has ever worked with him knows - or had the clear disadvantage of negotiating across the table from him - Richard is relentless.

    "He never stops. He never quits. Because he's always believed that if we stay focused, if we act on our mutual interests, that progress is possible. Wars can end. Peace can be forged."

    Throughout more than four decades of public service, Specter has embodied many of the same characteristics. He was elected D.A. in the Republican no-fly zone of Philadelphia. Became a hard-charging prosecutor battling corruption. Helped investigate the Kennedy assassination on the Warren Commission.

    He lost elections for mayor of Philadelphia, the Senate and governor before finally winning his Senate seat in 1980. For three decades, he staked out the political common ground as the Senate became increasingly overwhelmed by polarization and gridlock.

    He beat open-heart surgery, a brain tumor and Hodgkin's disease (twice).

    In short, he defied any number of odds to become not only Pennsylvania's longest-serving U.S. senator, but also one of the most influential elected officials in the country.
    I will grant Smerky’s point that Specter ended up compiling a formidable career in public service. However, on the matter of international diplomacy, I think the following should be noted from this 2006 column by the Inquirer’s Michael Rubin…

    Specter's trip was his 16th taxpayer-funded visit to Syria since 1984. While he may relish the image of statesman, Specter has little but failure to show for his efforts.
    And oh yeah, this tells us about those $50 million in earmarks that benefited clients of a lobbyist married to one of Specter's senior aides, Vicky Siegel Herson.

    Senator Specter, enjoy your retirement. You've earned it.

    And Smerky, go find another public figure to mythologize.

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Orrin Hatch, for claiming here that unemployment benefits last "well over 100 weeks"; not unless they're extended, they don't (here)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Ron Paul gets it for proposing a government shutdown here; so basically, Paul thinks it's OK if he doesn't do his job, which is to work on and try to pass legislation...wonder how many other employees would be able to get away with saying "this is the way we should adjust" and then just get up and walk away (before their sorry asses were fired, I mean)?

    If Republicans despise government so much, then they should be disqualified from working in government.

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Peter Orszag, for taking a million-dollar gig at Citibank so soon after leaving the Obama Administration (yes, I realize he technically didn’t do anything wrong, not as I can tell anyway, and a lot of other individuals have parlayed government service for big dough like this, but every once in awhile, I think it’s a good thing to point out that this practice really reeks, as James Fallows notes here – h/t Jay Ackroyd at Eschaton)

    Dregs of the Year Nominees (Reverse Evolutionary Moment Of The Year)

    Officials in Oklahoma who used the animal tranquilizer pentobarbital to execute John David Duty, who killed a prison cellmate in 2001; as noted here…

    Lawyers representing Duty and two other death-row inmates argued during a court hearing in November that use of the sedative could be inhumane and that inmates could be conscious but paralysed when the other drugs were administered.
    I’ll admit that I’m “sitting on a fence” when it comes to the death penalty. However, stories such as this definitely make me lean towards abolishing it altogether.

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee - Sports Citation #1

    The pic below is of Phils' manager Charlie Manuel from the Philadelphia Daily News serving dinner to Waqaar Jannat at Our Brother's Place Homeless Facility at 9th and Hamilton Streets on 12/17.

    Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee - Sports Citation #2

    Philadelphia Eagles’ cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who bought over $100 dollars of Christmas toys for Jennifer Santoro – the Daily News story by David Gambacorta said that Hobbs, a married father of two “explained that he was fortunate to be in a position to make some else’s holiday a little brighter” (Hobbs has been dogged in his career by at least two severe neck injuries, with the latest one coming on November 21st against the Giants, and at this moment it is unclear if he’ll ever play in the NFL again – yes, he probably has more money as a pro athlete than we do, but still, he performed this wonderful act for a total stranger…all the best to him)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Dem Senator Jon Tester, for voting against the DREAM Act (what kos sez here)...

    Dregs of the Year Nominee ("You-Know-What Me" Citation)

    I'm not sure exactly what happened to Charles Blow of the New York Times after the November elections, but he has turned out some truly wankerific stuff lately; here, he claimed that liberals are threatened/worried/obsessed with "Caribou Barbie" Sarah Palin (OK, repeat after me for the millionth time - I...DON'T...BLEEPING...CARE...ABOUT...THIS...WOMAN!), and here, he said that "far-left liberals would rather fight the friend who disappoints them than focus on the enemy who wants to destroy them. That’s not so for those on the right. They just want to win. Too many liberals just want to whine."

    "They just want to win," huh? Gee, I guess that explains Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, Linda McMahon, Carly Fiorina, Joe Raese, etc. (and I thought Paul Krugman explained pretty well here how the short-term "stimulus" of this deal will likely run out a year from now, unfortunately, just as the 2012 elections..which I can't even contemplate right now, to be honest...start preoccupying our corporate media - one of the reasons why liberals such as yours truly have been howling about the Obama tax deal).

    And as far as Blow's charge of "shrinking to a little fortress of liberalism" or whatever is concerned, I thought this was a good response (I'd rather support politicians who actually fight and win versus those who acquiesce and lose - and I'll support those who fight and lose too, as long as it's for a cause I support).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    The august Bucks County Courier Times editorial board earned another citation for this Op-Ed in which it claimed that Social Security is "a government-mandated pension program" (uh, noted here, one difference between Social Security and an employer-based pension is that it's possible for someone to retire comfortably under the latter, whereas the former was always meant to be insurance that would fulfill a need for some point in time supplemented by other income, since SS didn't provide enough of a payout to do that itself).

    More to the point of the column, though, the paper of course supported the wrongheaded verdict by Judge Henry Hudson against the individual mandate in health care reform (funny, but I don't recall any editorials when Judge George Caram Steeh of the Eastern District of Michigan ruled here that the individual mandate was indeed constitutional, an opinion shared by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, of all people...basically, of the 15 legal challenges thus far to health care reform, the ruling by Hudson - who, as noted here, has more than a little bit of a conflict of interest - is the first one to actually succeed).

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Kind of bending the rules a bit here, but I'm giving this to Michael Steele for deciding to run again for head of the RNC here; if he pulls it off, then we'll be able to have fun with his screwups for a little while longer (and I wish James Bopp were truly the idiot Steele claims he is, but it was pretty smart of Bopp, unfortunately, to get the awful Citizens United case before the docket of Hangin' Judge JR, to say nothing of getting the case won, with the seismic effects that ended up having on the 2010 elections).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    It appears that FCC head Julius Genachowski snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on Net Neutrality, as Chris Bowers explains here (God, does this administration fight for anything besides tax cuts anymore? And what a shame that Al Franken isn't in charge of the FCC, as noted here.)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Our corporate media gets a collective citation for refusing to report on the Afghanistan War here (and don't think for a minute that I'm giving Number 44 a pass here just because he's a Democrat - we used to get in-depth reporting and analysis on stuff like this...maybe Sawyer, Couric and too many others in their clique should go back and look at some grainy, '60s-era videotapes to see some of the coverage of Vietnam if they want to learn how to do this sort of thing, or - God forbid - follow the lead of that baad hippie lib Rachel Maddow who actually journeyed there herself and reported for an entire week).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    “60 Minutes” (sticking with our corporate media), for its godawful report on states dealing with their budget crises (allowing Governor Bully to peddle all kinds of dookey virtually unanswered - somewhere I'm sure Don Hewitt is doing somersaults in his

    Do Gooders of the Year Nominee

    The outgoing 111th Congress gets it for repealing DADT, getting START passed, and getting Zadroga passed by voice vote, all in the "lame duck" session, which should go down as the most productive such session on record...about the only big issues I can think of that didn't end up getting addressed in one form or another as it turned out were cap and trade (which, in the scheme of things, is probably the biggest of all), the DREAM Act, and the DISCLOSE Act, the latter two of which Obama should implement as executive orders as far as I'm concerned (more here).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    And no sooner do I give the Dems credit than I come across the following in the New York Times today here (recalling a past winner)…

    Democrats also disputed that the election results were a repudiation of their agenda and pointed instead at the hard times many Americans are suffering through. “The economy has been awful all over the country,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader. “The economy is the reason you had the uproar from the Tea Party. That’s all it was.”

    Really, Senator?

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Former Kaplan University academic advisor Sheldon Cobbler, who blew the whistle on Kaplan’s practice of “guerilla registration,” which is to “(enroll) students in classes they never take, without their consent and sometimes even after they have sought to withdraw from the university, in order to maximize the company's revenues” – Kaplan fired him in June (and by the way, if you want to see something hilarious, take a look at the graph at the bottom of page one here to see whether or not the WaPo, Kaplan’s “poor stepchild,” is turning a profit – tee hee…wonder how much of that green from '09 represents the salaries of Will, Broder, Cohen, Krauthammer, etc.).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    The utterly monstrous Tom Coburn gets it for doing all he could to block health benefits for 9/11 first responders (and as noted here, some of these heroes visited Coburn’s office to politely protest, and were treated shamefully in response).

    There’s really no point in me pointing out with the most sarcastic language that I can what Coburn truly is. Fools in Oklahoma keep returning him to the U.S. Senate, and despite this, may very well do so again the first chance they get.

    (And while this was great news, it never should have come to this - am I right? And while trillions are showered upon the "pay no price, bear no burden" crowd, Senate Repugs pinch pennies by comparison on those who risked all in midtown Manhattan that fateful day, cutting the funding from $6.2 to $4.3 billion.)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Mann Coulter again (weirdly apt for her to get a citation as the year winds down, since she was the first in January) for saying that she hopes Germany doesn’t "reconstitute an army" here (or something - they already have one...duuuuhh!) now that the repeal of DADT has been signed – as noted here, though…

    Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Poland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom (allows lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals to serve openly in the military), among many other (countries). Examples of countries that ban non-heterosexuals from military service include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Venezuela--and the United States, of course.
    That is, until now (and Senator “Country First” kept such fine company on this issue, didn’t he?).

    I'll end this next time.

    Update 12/24/10: I've got some more for you...

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominees

    We know that New York governor David Paterson is on his way out, but he recently granted clemency to a man named John White just in time for Christmas.

    As we learn from the NAACP...

    In 2006, a group of teenagers came to John's Long Island home shouting words of violence, yelling racial slurs, and threatening to kill his son. John did what any father would do -- he defended his home and his family.

    In the ensuing struggle, one of the teenagers lunged at John's handgun and was tragically killed. John was sentenced to prison.

    NAACP members across New York rallied behind John, supporting his family during the trial and guarding his home. One stalwart NAACP life member, a woman from a working-class background, donated $20,000 of her life savings to help.

    "It wasn't easy financially," she said, "but it was an easy choice to make. Justice only happens when we sacrifice."
    How true that is (and a citation also to that fine lady and the NAACP members who defended White during his ordeal).


    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel - as noted here, his company continues to donate to anti-gay politicians despite his claims that "Target will take a leadership role in bringing together a group of companies and partner organizations for a dialogue focused on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including GLBT issues."

    Merry bleeping Christmas, you disgusting hypocrite.

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Manuel Lara Lopez - as Think Progress tells us here, he is a legal U.S. resident for 20 years, immigrating to Texas from Mexico like many immigrants to seek a better life. After being diagnosed with severe intestinal cancer, Lara pronounced his “dying wish was to become a U.S. citizen, and that wish was granted this week in his South Austin backyard” (and a secondary Do Gooder citation to U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who administered the oath)

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominees

    Joe and Wendy Rocca - as noted here, they work year-round sending care packages to bases where our military are stationed on the other side of the world. They call the project Operation American Soldier (sorry for not highlighting our service people more on this site...kudos to the Roccas for this).

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Wednesday Stuff

    (Hopefully back to posting tomorrow...)

    In the meantime, RIP Fred Foy...

    ...and I'm sure these remarks by John Kerry will earn a whole new round of wingnut derision over French ancestry, windsurfing, eating brie or whatever, which is what just about always happens when a bunch of loudmouths can't make an intelligent argument (here) - thank you, Senator...

    ...and here's some seasonal silliness...

    ...and some cool stuff by "Sweet Baby James."

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Tuesday Stuff

    (Posting will be sporadic from now through the end of the year, just to let you know.)

    Here is a clip of today's Jon Kyl/Lindsay Graham press conference, noted here (welcome to the world of actual work, you frauds)...

    ...and RIP Steve Landesberg (this was one of my favorite clips from one of my favorite shows)...

    ...and here's something traditional from a favorite son of our beloved commonwealth...

    ...and I'm not sure this needs any further explanation (and I'm also not sure that anyone wants one).

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Monday Stuff

    I guess Cleavon Little stole his white robe and hood from Haley Barbour (here)...

    ...and this goes out to Barbour and that whole "tell me again how The Civil War was really about states rights" crowd...

    ...turning to the spirit of the season, we have this offering from Mr. Shatner (only a joke, people)...

    ...and an "oughts-era" update to a timeless tale (hat tip to one of my senior correspondents for this one).

    Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2010 - Pt. 8)

    (Part One is here, Part Two is here, Part Three is here, Part Four is here, Part Five is here, Part Six is here, and Part Seven is here.)

    The “Let’s Decry The Patronage ‘Sausage-Making’ Behind Health Care Reform…And By The Way, Look Over There – ACORN!” Citation Of The Year

    U.S. Senate Repugs reportedly offered incoming Dem Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia $1 billion for a plant to convert coal to diesel fuel that has stalled under Democratic leadership in Washington if Manchin were to switch parties (but just remember that only Dems make tawdry, back-room deals…and why anyone would be dumb enough to trust a Repug on anything is something I cannot imagine - here).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Dem (!) Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia for comparing progressives to teabaggers here (lucky for Warner he isn’t up for re-election until 2014 – of course, we have long memories, as well as that Google thingie...Warner also gets it for this)

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    I don’t know how many others besides me have noticed this, but former Reagan White House Budget Director David Stockman has really been smacking down some in his own party over our budget mess, including House Repug Mike Pence of Indiana here – a little late to the game, but welcome (also here)…

    Do Gooders of the Year Nominee

    The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who, as noted here “banned most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys, as they're now served...The ordinance (issued by the Board) requires McDonald's and other fast-food servings with toys to meet new nutritional standards” (the wingnut harrumphing will begin momentarily)

    “You Better Think Twice” Citation Of The Year

    Yes, we know the rules of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate really stink, but guess what? I don’t think anyone should be in a hurry to fix them assuming the Dems lose the majority in the Senate in 2012, which, given the amount of unregulated corporate campaign spending by the “U.S” Chamber of Commerce and other groups benefitting from the horrible Citizens United ruling, is a real possibility (if there’s one thing I’m sick and tired of almost beyond words, it’s this notion that the Repugs are allowed to play dirty, but the Dems have to play by the rules...Obama should issue an executive order implementing the DISCLOSE Act to try and prevent another electoral catastrophe in 2012...still, though, I'll admit dday makes some good points here).

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    Anyone involved in any way at all with trying to get President Snowe to become a Democrat (here...I can’t criticize what the Repugs are trying to do with Manchin but pretend that this is OK in the other direction just because Democrats are doing it)

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    The “catfood commission” gets it for its proposal to cut Social Security and Medicare (gee, what a surprise) as well as eliminate the home mortgage deduction (ditto) while also eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit which, as Atrios notes, “is about the only thing we do for the working poor.”

    Also (noted here)…

    The proposed simplification of the tax code would repeal or modify a number of popular tax breaks — including the deductibility of mortgage interest payments — so that income tax rates could be reduced across the board. Under the plan, individual income tax rates would decline to as low as 8 percent on the lowest income bracket (now 10 percent) and to 23 percent on the highest bracket (now 35 percent). The corporate tax rate, now 35 percent, would also be reduced, to as low as 26 percent.
    This whole episode was utterly unproductive and totally futile. And it has Obama’s name on it (and somehow I’m sure he knew it would be a dead dog – that’s why he happened to be in Asia when all of this “dropped”).

    Weirdest Political Anecdote of the Year

    During an interview with Matt Lauer to promote his book “Decision Points,” Dubya (who of course was nowhere to be found before the election, but suddenly became ubiquitous after November 2nd) said that his mother, Mrs. “Beautiful Mind” herself, kept the remains of her miscarried fetus in a jar and showed it to her son when he was a teenager (, that’s seriously messed up even for that family).

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    U.S. House Rep-elect (ugh) Allen West and hate radio host (and almost-West-chief-of-staff) Joyce Kaufman for this (more on West later)…

    “Happy Ending” Of The Year

    Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi was released after seven years of house arrest (here).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Senator “Country First” for his ridiculous DADT posturing (and what a shame that his wife took such a courageous stand but then decided to “walk it back”) here (more here - DADT would eventually be repealed, of course)…

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Bill Orally gets it for his response to Dana Milbank here – it seems Milbank (formerly unsympathetic for “Mouthpiece Theater” and his put-downs of HuffPo’s Nico Pitney for his great Iranian uprising coverage of last year) quite correctly pointed out how Fix Noise was the number one cheerleader for the Repug takeover of the U.S. House on 11/2 (I would also put the Bucks County Courier Times in the “top 10” in that department, by the way).

    Well, how does “Billo” react? By remarks about “beheading” Milbank, to which Milbank responds as follows…

    Hilarious! Decapitation jokes just slay me, and this one had all the more hilarity because the topic of journalist beheadings brings to mind my late friend and colleague Danny Pearl, who replaced me in the Wall Street Journal's London bureau and later was murdered in Pakistan by people who thought sharia justified it.
    And somewhere, I’m sure David Zurawik or Stu Bykofsky will write a column saying that Keith Olbermann is somehow worse because he had too many liberals on “Countdown.”

    Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

    Biting my lip on this one big time, but I have to give it to Holy Joe Lieberman for standing up to “Straight Talk” McCain on DADT here (and for this - whoa!)…

    The “Remind Me Never To Purchase The Oxford American Dictionary” Citation Of The Year

    “Refudiate,” a nonexistent term made up by a former moose-hunting half-term governor of Alaska, was named Oxford’s “Word of the Year” here (good job on giving a nomination to “bankster,” though)

    The “Enough Already!” Citation Of The Year

    MSNBC suspends Joe Scar over Republican Party campaign donations (here - seriously, Phil Griffin, you’re just a laughingstock on this issue right now...stop digging the hole).

    “Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire” Citation of the Year

    The “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce tells Obama they won’t support defeating him in 2012 here (and why exactly should I consider them to be credible on this or anything else?)

    Do Gooders of the Year Nominees

    The “please tax us” millionaires (here)…

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    The TSA and its administrator John S. Pistole for stories such as this (yep, whenever both Daily Kos and Red State are mad at the same agency for the same reason, that’s pretty historic...and I thought this was an - ahem - interesting column on the subject)…

    The “So Really, What Else Did You Expect?” Citation of the Year

    Soon after joining the Congressional Black Caucus, Repug U.S. House Rep Allen West of Florida “accused the organization of failing the black community by promoting dependence on government welfare programs” here (and more on West is here - and still more is here).

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    Our “allies” in Israel for this (and it rates a three-month suspended sentence – unbelievable)…

    Do Gooders of the Year Nominee

    Motor Trend Magazine gets it for choosing the hybrid Chevy Volt as the 2011 Car of the Year, which is good enough. What is better, though, is the smack-down they gave to a certain Flush Limbore who has drooled, bloviated and generally made a bigger fool out of himself than usual (is that possible?) over the vehicle, with Motor Trend reminding Limbore that “driving and OxyContin don’t mix” here (BOO-YAAH!).

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    So many reasons to nominate the “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce, primarily for using money from foreign entities in U.S. elections, but also for their bitching about Obama generally, including the supposedly onerous taxes their clients have to pay (please), when, in fact, “U.S. corporations are on track for (their) biggest earnings growth in 22 years and the stock market is headed for its best back-to- back annual gains since 2004” (noted here).

    Do Gooders of the Year Nominee

    Forty six percent of those polled here who would change the Constitution to ban unlimited corporate funding in elections in response to the Citizens United atrocity of a Supreme Court ruling (and a Dregs citation to the thirty six percent opposed)…

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Former Florida governor Jeb Bush for changing that state’s Medicaid program as part of an “experimental overhaul,” meaning that enrollees “(have) to deal with a private, for-profit insurance company to get…care, not a government agency accountable to the public” – one reason why this matters is noted here in the case of 37-year-old program member Alisa Wilson, who needed a liver transplant which was repeatedly denied; as Think Progress tells us here…

    After “scores of e-mails and…the help of a Florida state legislator,” the HMO, Sunshine State Health, finally gave in and approved coverage for Wilson (in early November). Yet her health was too severe for surgery by then. On Friday evening (November 19th), Wilson passed away:
    And God knows how many Alisa Wilsons there are in this country (but oh, it’s really the fault of that baad Michael Moore who made a film about this which was “loose with the facts,” although nobody can point out where he was wrong).

    If Jeb Bush decides to run for president in 2012, it’s going to get really interesting. This is a pretty severe and tragic story, but there’s a whole bunch of bad lesser stuff that got swept under the proverbial rug on his watch, and it will all come out.

    “Come To Jesus” Moment of the Year

    Pope Benny says that condoms “may be OK under certain circumstances” to prevent AIDS here (baby steps to be sure, but progress)…

    Felon of the Year

    Tom DeLay was convicted of money laundering charges here in November (and to refresh your memory on what a despicable character he is – if you need such a reminder – read this, in which his repeated references to the “Democrat” Party are a comparatively minor offense; awfully funny to hear a guy who never served questioning the patriotism of others, though...still awaiting a sentence).

    Geographically Challenged Wingnut Of The Year (Wasilla entry)

    Sarah Palin says here that we have to “stand with our North Korean allies” (ummm, no).

    Turkey of the Year

    Repug U.S. House Rep Todd Akin said here that the Pilgrims came to the U.S. to flee “unbiblical socialism” (of course, the Pilgrims coming to this country is ostensibly what we observe at Thanksgiving, and they came to flee religious persecution) – sorry, but wrong...thanks for playing our game; here are some lovely parting gifts.

    Inappropriate Invocation of a Deity Of The Year

    Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson blamed God for Johnson’s dropped pass in the end zone of what would have been an overtime Bills victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers here – a little later, Pittsburgh ended up winning on a field goal (sounds like Johnson should introduce himself to Scott Norwood, since both have experience with failing to win big games for their team).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Juan Williams gets it for spouting the usual conservative garbage about the unemployed here, which is actually a bit funny in a “gallows humor” kind of way because, if our corporate media paid a fraction of the attention to the everyday unemployed that it devoted to Williams when he was fired from NPR (and seamlessly moved to his current pricey gig with Fix Noise), then maybe this country would be a hell of a lot less tolerant of the inane garbage composed of political talking points that passes for actual reporting on this subject (h/t Atrios).

    Dregs of the Year Nominees

    Bushco, now and always, get it for this among other reasons (on the utterly interminable tax cut thing, with their minions still towing the line here of course).

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who apparently is a subject matter expert on a particular bodily function (I’ll let you, dear reader, check this out without any further explanation on my part)

    Dregs of the Year Nominee

    I know I just got done with tax cuts, and God do I hate to mention that subject again, but Katie Couric gets it here for blaming the Democrats for the ten-year expiration of Bushco's scheme (Couric is now what she always has been, and that is a corporate media bubblehead).

    More later (it will probably take ten posts to cover everything)...