Thursday, December 23, 2010

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).

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