Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Stuff

Looks like Dan Choi can take back his ring now (here) - well done, Harry (and Lord knows I hate giving Holy Joe Lieberman credit for anything, but he also had a lot to do with what will be the official DADT repeal shortly)...

Update 12/23/10: And just to prove that Reid is as good as his word (h/t Daily Kos)...

...and oh yeah, this guy did too (and I'm not sure who looks like a bigger fool at this moment - Saint McCain, the newly-elected "Democratic" senator from West Virginia here, or the Log Cabin Republicans...or the majority of voters in PA-08, actually)... the meantime, here is one seasonal item...

...and here is another (Alka Seltzer, anyone?)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Stuff

Two from the late Don Van Vliet, otherwise known as Captain Beefheart...

...and I think Jon Stewart should get an Emmy for this (or a Cable ACE Award, or whatever)...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

...and here is something "secular" for the season, if you will...

...and here is something sacred.

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2010 - Pt. 7)

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

Do Gooders of the Year Nominees

Think Progress for breaking this story about the "U.S." Chamber of Commerce using overseas donations to run attack ads against Democrats (more here)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Erik Opczynski and the Rutgers-Camden College Republicans get it for launching a campaign to remove the name of alum Paul Robeson from the school library because of Robeson’s communist sympathies; as Andrew Shankman, an associate professor of history at the campus (who earns a Do Gooder citation for drafting a rebuttal signed by a dozen faculty members) pointed out, Robeson “suffered greatly for his beliefs.”

We know that the Republican Party has no interest in practicing actual governance any more, but having to reach back through nearly 70 years of history in search of a “values” issue is lame even for them (and get a load of Opczynski’s smug pic in the Daily News story).

And speaking of self-satisfied New Jersey Republicans...

Dregs of the Year Nominee

NJ Governor Chris (“Governor Bully”) Christie gets it for killing the $9 billion commuter tunnel project here (with a good analysis from Paul Krugman here – this would turn into a theme for Repug governors, by the way, as noted here in Wisconsin, here in Ohio, and here (?) in Florida…now watch PA Governor-elect Tom “Space Cadet” Corbett do the same thing; as Bob Herbert basically said recently, once we could fly a man to the moon, but now we can’t even build a tunnel into New York…and by the way, Christie would end up owing $271 million for the cancellation – more here...add this to the $400 million in education funding he ended up losing due to administrative incompetence).

Oh, and it looks like Christie had another temper tantrum here, telling us that nothing "short of suicide" would convince people he will not run for president in two years.

Funny how October's “unspeakable tragedy” (an entirely apt way to put it, noted here) is supposed to be November's clever turn of a phrase, or something.

It’s also kind of funny to me that, with an approval rating of just over 50 percent, our corporate media thinks that Christie is overwhelmingly popular, while, with an approval rating of just under 50 percent, Obama has to "regain his mojo," or something.

Update 12/31/10: And I'm sure he forgot all about clearing the snow while riding on Space Mountain (here).

Update 1/1/11: And in a related story, as they say, I wonder if it will ever occur to this big dummy that there are quite a few people in the Garden State who cannot take a vacation (here).

Zombie Lie Of The Year Nominee

That only the Obama Social Security Administration was responsible for sending out 89,000 benefit checks to deceased recipients (as noted here, it had been going on for the last three years, also under a certain Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History, and in fact, the Obama people are currently trying to create a database full of the names of the recipients to correct the problem in the future…of course, our corporate media con-vee-niently neglected to mention that detail – h/t Atrios).

Craptacular Economic Hackery of the Year Nominee

N. Gregory Mankiw for trying to explain here why higher taxes make him lazy, or something (h/t Atrios)

Dregs of the Year Nominee (Almost-Never-Ending Election Season Division)

Repug U.S. Senate candidate (and eventual loser) John Raese from West Virginia, for hiring actors from Philadelphia to play “hicky blue collar” West Virginians here(remember this the next time you read a conservative screaming about how only liberals look down on them...a completely unsurprising update here)

Do Gooders of the Year Nominee

Center Rock Inc. of Berlin, PA gets a nomination for this (the company that made the drill that ended up freeing the Chilean miners)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Pat Sajak, host of “Wheel of Fortune,” for “question(ing) whether public employees should be ‘able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly’," as noted here (yep, Pat, you “lose a turn” for this one...h/t Atrios).

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Jeff Ament of the band Pearl Jam gets credit here for building a $40,000 skate park in his hometown of Big Sandy, Montana; he also plans to buy a few skateboards, helmets and pads to keep on hand for kids who don’t have them. And next spring he said he plans to bring some friends who are professional skateboarders to town to put on a show – nice job.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Virginia Thomas, wife of Silent Clarence on The High Court, who called up Prof. Anita Hill, who of course had a former association with her husband, and left a voice mail message asking her to apologize here – seriously, WTF?

And gee, ya’ think that maybe Ginny should have kept her mouth shut?

Oops, too late.

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Christian Cutler, who, until recently, was the art gallery director at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA); as noted here by Think Progress, he was forced out because he decided that he didn’t want anything to do with the high school art show he had been asked to judge by Repug U.S. House Rep Louie Gohmert as a protest against the latter’s ridiculous “terror baby” claims (that women were coming to this country to give birth to these kids so they could be raised and indoctrinated to blow us up) – Gohmert leaned on the university to get Cutler to resign in response (and Dregs citations go out both to Gohmert and SFA…forcing somebody out of their job in this economic climate is so cruel that I can only imagine a Republican doing it)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Stephen Broden, a “constitutionalist pastor” from Texas who won the Republican nomination for Texas’ 30th Congressional District and who also said that a violent overthrow of our government if the Repugs lose is “on the table” here (make an example out of this asshole and throw him in jail).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Dale Woods, general manager of WHO-TV in Iowa, for refusing to air a campaign ad against Sen. Charles Grassley in October; Woods says he agreed with “95 percent” of the ad, except the part about Grassley saying that HCR would “pull the plug on grandma” – Woods said the proper context wasn’t included in the ad, though Think Progress explains here that the charge is utterly ridiculous (Grassley said it and the context is there – wrong for a Dem, but, as always, IOKIYAR)…

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Gene Epstein in these parts for this…

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Ed Rendell, for issuing an executive order halting drilling into the Marcellus Shale over the Repugs and their typically piggish obstinacy over a measly 1.5 percent tax on drilling here (I wish they wouldn’t drill at all; I don’t know how many of these jokers have seen “Gasland”…after the election, this issue should be the number one priority in our beloved commonwealth – h/t Atrios)

The “What Do You Expect, Since Saddam Hussein Was Hung Over A Relatively Trivial Charge That Didn’t Involve The U.S.?” Citation

As noted here, Pope Benny XVI condemned the death sentence of Tariq Aziz, one of the prior Iraqi ruling regime’s henchmen – I don’t know if it’s better to let Aziz languish in jail for the rest of his life or not instead; it’s just that it seemed like the Vatican uncharacteristically sprang to life quickly on this one...looks like Aziz will be spared, though, based on this.

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Dem Congressman Pete DeFazio of Oregon for investigating whether or not Hangin’ Judge JR can be impeached here (now THAT’s what I’m talking about!)

And in a related story, as they say...

Dregs of the Year Nominees

I could give top “honors” to the High Court of Hangin’ Judge JR most years, and they might even qualify for this in a normal year (as noted earlier, though, about Citizens United, this year wasn’t “normal” in terms of disasters, IMHO - at the very least, though, they should get a mention for this)...

Dregs of the Year Nominee ("Not Lovin' It" Citation)

A McDonald’s in Ohio told its employees to vote Republican (here).

Stupidest Media Idiocy of the Year Nominee (Big Field For This One)

As noted here…

Blame it on biology

Researchers at the University of California and Harvard University say there's a genetic reason why some people just can't stand former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Here’s my own theory as to why I don’t like Sarah Palin, and it has nothing to do with genetics – IT'S BECAUSE SHE’S A MORON!

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The “Dean of Beltway Journalism” for calling for war with Iran here to boost the economy (oh, but David Broder is a respectable monster – h/t Atrios...on Halloween, which is somewhat appropriate)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming gets a citation; she said the return of the estate tax “is leading her constituents to commit suicide” here…as K.O. noted at the time, wouldn’t doing everything possible to live longer be a more logical form of protest?

Worst Political Instincts of the Year

Beau Biden (I realize there’s no way anyone could have foreseen that Mike Castle would get the boot in favor of "Yes, Wiccan!" O'Donnell – but seriously, I wonder if he’s kicking himself for not getting into the DE Senate race now?)

Missed Opportunity of the Year

The Stewart/Colbert “Rally For Sanity And/Or Fear” or whatever it was called – it turned into a media-bashing episode at the end; no problem on my end with that, but it would have helped if it have been a bit more of a civics lesson too...I respect the fact that Stewart tries hard not to cross the line into advocacy, but all he and Colbert had to do was utter two simple words: "Go Vote!"

All You Need To Know About The Electoral Disaster Of 2010

Right here...

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison of the WMMR morning radio show in these parts – I’ll need a minute or two to explain this, so please bear with me.

As a fairly (former) longtime listener to the show, I can say with a good bit of certainty that Steve Morrison doesn’t like Democrats. That’s OK – I respect the fact that that’s his opinion. He has repeatedly made smart remarks about celebrities making political comments, particularly Al Gore, and when I’ve heard him say this, it has always been in response to those with a Democratic point of view speaking their minds. But he doesn’t like that. I get it.

So what happened recently when JFK biographer Ted Sorensen passed away in October? We’re treated to the requisite JFK impressions in the clipped Brookline, MA cadence that we all know so well (anyone out there old enough to remember Vaughn Meader – gulp – knows exactly what I’m talking about). And of course, the words were stuff like “that chick has a penis,” etc. (ha, ha). OK, those guys are entertainers, I think to myself. I’ll let that slide.

The capper, though, occurred on 11/3 when they interviewed Jon Runyan, who won the NJ-03 U.S. House seat on 11/2 formerly held by John Adler in the Repug wipeout of the U.S. House (hard for me to feel bad about Adler’s loss, I must say). After letting Runyan expound the obligatory talking points, the former Eagles’ offensive tackle ends with “we’re taking our country back,” to which Preston responds “Awesome!,” along with the rest of the crew, whooping it up of course.

Gee, I guess it’s OK for some celebrities to make political comments, as long as it’s the type of comments you prefer, huh guys?

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The voters of Florida: now I think it’s laughable that, say, Kentucky voted Rand Paul to the U.S. Senate, but at least Paul is somewhat of a “blank slate” politically. However, in the case of the Sunshine State, not only did they elect teabagger Marco Rubio to the Senate, whose plan to supposedly balance the budget specifies extending tax cuts for the rich but ending them for everyone else (here), but they also elected Rick Scott governor (Scott was forced to resign as Chief Executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997 amid a scandal over the company's business and Medicare billing practices; the company ultimately admitted to fourteen felonies and agreed to pay the federal government over $600 million).

As noted here (in a story about new recent allegations of improper Medicare billing)…

Scott was never charged, or even interviewed by authorities. Columbia/HCA paid Scott about $10 million, along with roughly $300 million worth of stock, to leave the company. He has previously said he had no knowledge of the wrongdoing and would not have condoned it. But people familiar with the case, like John Schilling, a former Columbia/HCA employee who reported the abuses to the feds, have stated that Scott’s aggressive emphasis on profits and cost created the environment for the fraud to develop.
And on top of that, they also voted out of office perhaps the highest profile progressive Democrat in Congress (Alan Grayson) and voted into office a guy who was on his way to getting court-martialed for threatening to kill an Iraqi when he was forced to resign his commission, to say nothing of telling his supporters to make his opponent (incumbent Dem Ron Klein) “scared to come out of his house” (and I’m referring to Allen West, whose chief of staff advocated hanging illegal immigrants who commit crimes here).

The voters in that state who elected these three frauds (Rubio, Scott and West) would do better spending a little less time worshipping the Mouse in Orlando and, instead, trying to find their own rear ends with both hands.

Update 12/25/10: And speaking of Scott, why am I not surprised by this?

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The Bucks County Courier Times gets it for its utterly "in the tank" "reporting" by Gary Weckselblatt on the Murphy-Fitzpatrick U.S. House race (and for other reasons noted as follows).

As noted by Op-Ed letter writer Max Roesler of Morrisville, PA, Weckselblatt used the GOP boilerplate term "death tax" to refer to the estate tax in what was essentially a factual news story about the debate between Murphy and Fitzpatrick at Shir Ami Synagogue in Newtown. The reporter also "devoted four paragraphs to reporting what he indicated were factual inaccuracies in candidate Murphy's presentation, without offering any indication whether or not candidate Fitzpatrick had overstated his facts, or whether he had presented any," according to Roesler.

Weckselblatt, in another article, justified the true accusation from Murphy that Fitzpatrick had given himself $20K in raises over 10 years as a Bucks County Commissioner by saying that Fitzpatrick had received cost-of-living adjustments of $2 grand per year, so that supposedly invalidated Murphy's charge. It didn't (and we're talking about a "public sector" job as a commissioner, of course).

Also, in the absentee ballot application controversy, the paper mentioned numerous times about how Dem applications apparently were funneled to something called the “Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office,” which apparently was a ham-handed attempt by the Murphy campaign and the state Democratic Party to coordinate the ballot applications (and it has never been proven that that was a violation of election law), whereas the letter from Repug State House Rep candidate Rob Ciervo in which he said “Mike Fitzpatrick and I need your help” to engage in “voter caging” by having ballot applications completed with the addresses of college students from their college residence, not their voting district…well, that letter was mentioned once in the initial story on this controversy, but disappeared in subsequent stories.

And a dishonorable mention goes to the paper's editorial board for endorsing both Murphy and Fitzpatrick, essentially copping out on its duty to educate and inform while trying to appear "fair and balanced" (offering no endorsement would have been more honest). Also, the board gave Murphy a “Thumbs Down” on 11/5 for the PA Voter Assistance Office stuff without mentioning the Ciervo letter, as noted above.

In addition, can the paper prove conclusively that those full-page ads that they ran for Fitzpatrick every day for two weeks until the election (with blue banner front-page button graphics telling people where to go to find the ad, as if people aren’t able to find full-page ads in a newspaper) weren’t paid for at least in part by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (with the Chamber, in all probability, paying for those ads at least in part with foreign donations that they won’t disclose)? I know the answer, but I’m still inclined to ask the question.

Would Murphy have won without all of this? I don't see how. Would the race have been closer to the point where it would have been worthwhile to try recounting the 8,000 or so absentee ballots in question to see if it would have swayed the outcome? We'll never know.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I don’t recall if Baby Newton Leroy Gingrich has been cited or not this year, but here, he imagined that the world was happy with the Repug rout in the House on Tuesday, when in fact, quite the opposite is true (and why exactly do our corporate media still take him seriously anyway?).

Do Gooders of the Year

Those zany teabaggers – and no, I’m not losing my mind; basically, as kos explains here, their antics probably cost the GOP control of the Senate (though the 2012 campaign, unfortunately, is already underway…here’s an unhappy thought, though – if “Yes Wiccan!” O’Donnell had been running in the Deep South instead of Delaware, she might have won)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Mark Penn, who said the following here…

President Clinton reconnected (after the Oklahoma City bombing). And the President right now he seems removed. And it wasn’t until that speech that he really clicked with the American people. Obama needs a similar kind of, yeah...
Sick bastard (Penn, I mean), to say nothing of being utterly clueless and out of touch if he seriously thinks that, in response to a wrecked economy with virtually no hope of a rebound in the face of upcoming congressional gridlock, a speech by the President will make everything just hunky dory again.

Do Gooders of the Year Nominees

The voters of California, who withstood a $5 million onslaught of negative ads from the “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce against Dem Senator Barbara Boxer and returned her to office in November – well done.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, for allowing those ridiculous Duck tour boats to invade the Schuylkill, disrupting the contemplative experience of doing just about anything else in the vicinity of Boathouse Row on East River Drive (here - moving these eyesores from the place where that awful accident occured won't make the problem go away)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Dem Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan who, by all appearances based on this (h/t Atrios), acted like he would cave on DADT to “Straight Talk” McCain (Levin needs to seriously grow a pair – I mean, the Defense Secretary has come out, so to speak, against DADT, for God’s sake…WHO ELSE DO YOU NEED???!!! And the White House, to its credit, opposed stripping DADT repeal from the defense authorization bill – about goddamn time...the repeal is actually getting closer and closer to being enacted as I type this)

Update 12/18/10: FINALLY! And let St. McCain's mega-hissy fit begin.

Oh, and here's a word or two about someone else who deserves credit for this moment.

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (including the truly dreadful Priscilla Owen), which sanctioned a cheerleader at Silsbee High School in Texas (why am I not surprised?) because she refused to cheer for her alleged rapist when he got ready to shoot basketball free throws herewhat country am I living in again?

Special “Teabaggers – Time To Recycle The ‘Crazy’” Citation

Having effectively prevented the Republicans from taking over the U.S. Senate along with the House, some of those moronic teabaggers are now protesting an Arizona trash recycling program here (yep, I would say that they are truly in their element with this one).

Dregs of the Year Nominees

So many reasons to nominate Sen.-Elect Rand Paul (ugh), but this goes out to the fools in Kentucky who believed his whole “small government, no spending” tea party rap only to see him flip to a typical corporatist Republican – BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

More later (getting there, slowly but surely)...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Stuff

RIP Blake Edwards...

...and yep, more like this also (every time I hear Cornyn yap out of both sides of his face again, I can't help but feel that he should pay a royalty to Foghorn Leghorn - would have been nice to see more corporate media reporting like this before the election, though)...

...and here is a preview of what the Repugs have in store for the 112th Congress after it is sworn in next year (think a whole bunch of "wedge issues" and "values voter" crap along with a whole heap of non-governance...and take a look at who plans to wreak havoc in charge of the House Health Subcommittee - I've been yelling about Pancake Joe Pitts for years now, but idiot voters in PA-16 insist on sending him back to Washington every two years to keep voting No; now, unfortunately, he'll be in a position where he can do some real damage)...

...and speaking of pains, here is more seasonal stuff (and hopefully back to posting tomorrow - we'll see).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Stuff

And as a "tribute" to the callow, cowardly ignorance of waay too many voters in this country, I would ask that you watch this clip and realize that, had he faced "Chicken Lady" Sue Lowden instead of crazed teabagger wingnut Sharron Angle, Harry Reid probably would have lost last month (and had it not been for "Yes Wiccan!" O'Donnell along with her, and maybe if that $5 mil spent against Boxer in California had beaten her, the Senate would officially be in control of the Repugs along with the House, or nearly so - h/t Daily Kos).

Boy, is this country going to be sorry come next January...

..."Worst Persons" (Some group called "No Labels" ended up stealing its branding, despite its initial claims to the contrary; His World's Neil Cavuto decries "fat" remarks aimed at "Governor Bully" as "racism," though, when he makes them against Obama nominees...all together now - IOKIYAR!; but Repug U.S. House Rep Allen West of Florida gets top "honors" for really and truly saying that the press should be "censored" over the Wikileaks business - what a shame that we can't "censor" his political career instead, which, sadly, is just beginning for at least the next two years)...

...and here's something traditional for the season (filmed around NYC, of course)...

...and here is something not so traditional (though maybe it is by now, here anyway).

Doomsy's Do-Gooders And Dregs (2010 - Pt. 6)

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

Dregs of the Year Nominee

John (“We Already Won” The Iraq War) McCain (here - tell me again why he is continually taken seriously as a foreign policy expert by the Beltway gasbags?)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Elton John - this hurts a bit, but it must be pointed out.

According to this, he says that his fellow artists who refuse to perform in Arizona over that state’s “illegal to be brown” law are “(expletive) twits” because, as a gay man, he plays in California even though “he has no legal rights in that state,” implying an equivalency that, somehow, I don’t think exists.

Some apples with your oranges, Sir Elton?

Also, I don’t begrudge John for playing at Limbore’s wedding – the gig payed a mil, from what I understand – but posing with him in the photo is a bit much.

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The National Organization for Marriage returned here, advocating lynching same-sex couples (not content with their ridiculous “gathering storm” TV ad, I see).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The Old Gray Lady gets it here for placing “The Obama Diaries” by right-wing harpie Laura Ingraham on their list of nonfiction literature (h/t Atrios…logical I guess in a way, since they also printed The Moustache of Understanding telling us on 8/1 that Dubya’s Not-So-Excellent Iraq Adventure was to spread democracy – I think Mr. “Suck. On. This” is suffering from amnesia).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former Dregs of the Year Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao for now opposing the DISCLOSE Act here after spending years calling for more transparency in financing of political campaigns; he now claims that the Act is designed to “protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics”…what a world-class wanker (and for this)...

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Tom Shales for doing his best (worst?) to smear Christiane Amanpour as a Taliban sympathizer here; she took over the Sunday morning ABC DC talk show formerly chaired by George Stephanopoulos…

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker for this…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Sticking with legal stuff, Federal District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson gets a raspberry for allowing that idiotic lawsuit against health care reform started by Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli to proceed (signed on by 20 other officials of other states, including PA’s AG and Governor-Elect Tom Corbett here…the Constitution’s commerce clause mandating federal authority exists for a reason, people - and as we know, Hudson would make himself look like a bigger fool than he already is in December...second bullet item here).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

“Democrat” Ben Nelson of Nebraska again, the only senator of his party to vote against confirming Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court (she was confirmed by a 63-37 vote here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Irvin Good Jr. gets a bit of recognition here, the head of an eastern Pennsylvania game company who yanked a carnival game in which players shot foam darts at an image resembling President Barack Obama...OK, so Good did the right thing by pulling the game, but he only did so after Kathryn Chapman, 55, of Medford, Mass complained (Chapman gets a Do-Gooder nomination). As for Good, maybe he didn’t realize the implications of the game, which is hard to believe actually, but he’s still responsible for it.

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria, who returned his award from the Anti-Defamation League here, saying he was “stunned” at their decision to oppose the construction of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero (uh, I hate to break the news to everyone opposing a mosque near the site, but there already is a mosque near where the Pentagon was attacked on 9/11 as well, as noted here)

The “Interesting Way To Try And Get Out of the Pre-Nup (just kidding), And I’m Sure It Was Approved By Marcel Marceau Also” Citation

In an obituary for Lorene Yarnell, one half of the team of Shields and Yarnell (who, along with just about every other individual in the Western world at the time, had a ‘70s variety show), it was noted that the marriage ceremony between her and Robert Shields was performed in mime.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The geniuses behind MSNBC’s web site who totally f#@ked up their video uploads earlier this year and never fixed the issue; before, I would just grab the embedded code and paste it into one of these posts, but no more - I think there's some kind of a IE 8/Blogger incompatibility thing going on, but it isn't my job to fix it, is it?…

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

President Obama, for supporting the mosque and Islamic community center to be built near Ground Zero, a principled stand which will earn him nothing but enmity from people who hate him already (here…he was accused by many in our media of “walking back” his support, and I thought he did also briefly, but I was wrong on that – he didn’t, in theory anyway...I think this is his second "Do Gooder" to go with three "Dregs" citations, for what it's worth)

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Ted Olson, whose wife died in the 9/11 attacks, for arguing in support of the Ground Zero “mosque” here (also for his legal support on the marriage equality issue with former Bush v. Gore foe David Boies in case I hadn’t pointed that out earlier…and Dregs citations to both Harry Reid and Howard Dean – the latter was particularly shocking – for being dead wrong on this issue)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Jeff Greene, the “Democrat” who contested Kendrick Meek for that party’s nomination to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Florida; he ended up losing the nomination, but he still forced Meek to spend funds against him that would’ve been better used in the general election, which both Meek and Charlie Crist lost to Marco Rubio (and as noted here, Greene had plenty of baggage)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Judge Royce Lamberth, for his ruling here that not only “block(ed) President Obama’s expansion of federally funded research to include scores of new stem cell lines,” but also potentially restricted funding of lines approved by Dubya (forward into the past, my fellow prisoners)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former Repug Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, charter member of the “catfood commission,” for this (this old fossil should just go lie down somewhere and turn into sawdust or something - also for this and this)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The inaptly named Bobby Bright for this (Any wonder that he lost in November?)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Jim “High And Tight” Bunning again, who said, "Five-hundred twenty starts, I never refused the ball…What a joke!" in response to news of the injury to Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who will need “Tommy John” elbow ligament surgery, requiring a 12-18 month rehabilitation (here - have fun yelling at the TV in your retirement, you loon)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Singer Nadja Benaissa, a member of the group No Angels, who was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and 300 hours community service here after she was convicted in a Darmstadt, Germany administrative court; it found her guilty of causing bodily harm to her ex-boyfriend by having unprotected sex with him despite knowing she was infected with HIV (she faced ten years in jail, but was spared because she said she was sorry – I think that’s a bit lenient, but what’s done is done)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Former President Jimmy Carter, who flew to North Korea and secured the release of Aijalon Gomes, an American arrested seven months ago for “trespassing” into that country (why anyone would go anywhere near that place is something I cannot possibly comprehend - here)

…on the other hand…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I never expected that I’d be giving former President Carter a citation like this, but I don’t know what else I can say since he pointed out that Ted Kennedy blocked his attempt at health care reform prior to Carter’s election loss to Reagan in 1980 – all of this proves what exactly, particularly since Kennedy isn’t here to defend himself and already admitted his stubbornness on this before he died (here)?

(Carter also gets it for this...probably a net minus this year for our 39th president, unfortunately - is he seriously saying that people like yours truly who helped elect him in 1976 were racists?)

Update 12/26/10: Ooops, my bad - definitely a net plus for President Carter based on this.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Chambersburg, PA – apparently the entire locality has been bought off by Fix Noise (here)…

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Orrin Hatch, for defending the “ground zero mosque” (here – fair is fair...this probably assures Hatch of a "teabagger" primary challenge in 2012)…

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Dennis McKeon of “Where To Turn,” a 9/11 victims’ families’ group, for saying that the “ground zero mosque” protests “disrespect the memories of our loved ones” (here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Oklahoma (of course) Repug gubernatorial candidate Mary (“I’ve Never Been Offered A Job By a Poor Person”) Fallin here (also for this)...

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

Roger Ebert, truly a profile in courage, the author of a recently published cooking book (even though the man can no longer eat and has lost a portion of his face due to cancer) and someone who continues to remain a vital presence in online communication with commentary such as this (here...h/t Daily Kos – and oh yeah, he knows a thing or two about movies also)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Baseball player Nyjer Morgan of the Washington Nationals; what a rocket scientist this guy is (here).

First, he threw a baseball at a Phillies fan in the stands and hit him (good aim, if nothing else), then he went out of the baseline to hit St. Louis Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson, and in September, he got involved in a fight against the Florida Marlins in a game where he stole bases while his team was down 14-3 (and he also injured Marlins’ catcher Brett Hayes previously).

Gee, since Linda McMahon lost in Connecticut, she can devote her time to the WWWE again - maybe she could sign up Morgan for a steel cage match.

Dregs of the Year (And Most Other Years Too) Nominee

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio (here, for starters)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Hate “pastor” Terry Jones (definitely not to be confused with the Monty Python member) who decided to stage a “Burn a Quran Day” on 9/11 even though he was warned by Gens. David Petraeus and William Caldwell not to do it because it might endanger our troops (here - idiot at the very least…and how the hell can NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg say the “ground zero mosque” is OK and so is burning the Quran? And yes, I know Jones bailed at the last minute and didn't do it, but it was such a dumb idea that it never should have been considered in the first place.)

Do Gooder Of The Year Nominee

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips for this…

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The “Remember Us We The People” teabaggers for this (but just keep telling yourself that those teabaggers aren't racists)...

The “No Word On Whether Or Not She Now Thinks Jerry Lewis Is A Cinematic Genius” Citation

Due to a migraine headache, an English woman ended up speaking with a French accent (here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

PG&E in California, which never used the 5 million rate hike it requested to repair a high-risk gas line which (yep, you guessed it) blew up and killed “at least four” people (here)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Evan Bayh yet again for this – h/t Atrios...

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Stevie Wonder, for pressing the World Intellectual Property Organization to “relax” copyrights to make it easier for about 300 million people who "live in the dark" to "read their way into light" (well put – here)

Do Gooders of the Year Nominee

The Florida 3rd District Court of Appeals for striking down that state’s ridiculous ban on gay adoption (here)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Mary Landrieu for "block(ing) the nomination of Office of Management and Budget director Jack Lew until the Obama administration lifts its deepwater drilling moratorium" here (she lifted her "hold" on Lew last month - Crazy Tom Coburn couldn't have done this any better)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Anyone who thought that Stephen Colbert would not do his comedy bit here when asked to testify on Capitol Hill over immigration (Colbert is a very bright guy and his humor cuts both ways – hard for me to be bugged by a guy who showed the guts he did by skewering Bushco at that White House Correspondents Dinner a few years ago)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former President Clinton for falling back on the whole “we have high unemployment because we have so many workers with the wrong skill set” lie that seems to be perpetrated during every recession/depression, as Paul Krugman points out here

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska (again), Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia (all Dems, of course) who voted to block a bill that would have punished U.S. firms to exporting jobs (here)…

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Prominent Charleston, SC chef Nathalie Dupree for staging a write-in campaign against Jim DeMint, who basically ran unopposed for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina (my cat stood a better chance of winning than “Democrat” Alvin Greene, up on some kind of a porn charge - here; she lost, but nice try)

Stupidest Name For A Cable Talk Show Nominee

So, if you have conservative columnist Kathleen Parker and former New York Governor and “Emperor’s Club VIP” Eliot Spitzer hosting a gab fest, what do you call it? Why “Parker/Spitzer” of course.

Is that the best they can do? How about “The Lady And The Tramp”? Makes no never mind to me.

This is CNN?

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The firefighters in Obion County, Tennessee who, though fully equipped to fight a blaze when they arrived at the scene, stood by and did nothing as the home of Gene Cranick burned to the ground because the Cranick family had failed to pay the annual subscription fee to the fire department (here)

Do Gooder (And Good Sport) Nominee Of The Year

“Snarlin’ Arlen” Specter, who agreed to campaign for Joe Sestak here (yes, I know as a Repug Specter did a lot of things to piss off people of my political persuasion, but he also delivered a hell of a lot to Pennsylvania in the way of jobs that we probably would not have had without him – nice to give him kudos for a change)

Do Gooder of the Year Nominee

Repug U.S. Senator from GA (!) Johnny Isakson, who said here that “reducing the deficit begins with the Department of Defense” (I seriously hope he doesn’t “walk this back,” because he’s absolutely right...he hasn't up to now)

Worst Ad Campaign Of The Year

I give it to the UPS “That’s Logistics” ads based very loosely on the song “That’s Amore” – somehow I don’t think anyone will ever associate legendary crooner Dean Martin with the shipping and processing of parcels as part of the cycle of supply-chain management (kind of a giveaway that I end up watching a lot of CNBC and MSNBC).

More later (we're getting there)...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Stuff

Hey, sounds like a plan to me (even though the Senate Dems might find themselves in need of the filibuster one day - love to be wrong)...

...and here's some more traditional holiday fare (no video, just the eternally amazing voice of Mahalia Jackson).

Tuesday Mashup (12/14/10)

  • This Op-Ed appeared in the New York Times last Sunday from author Ishmael Reed, including the following (the title is “What Progressives Don’t Understand About Obama”)…

    "I thought of them when I pointed out to a leading progressive that the Tea Party included neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers — and he called me a ‘bully’.”
    Really? Does this "progressive" have a name? A blog? A pulse?

    But wait - there's more...

    One progressive commentator played an excerpt from a Harry Truman speech during which Truman screamed about the Republican Party to great applause. He recommended this style to Mr. Obama. If President Obama behaved that way, he’d be dismissed as an angry black militant with a deep hatred of white people. His grade would go from a B- to a D.
    Two points: 1) Progressives don't necessarily want Obama to be angry, though that might not be a bad thing (actually, we'd settle for him not being snide and dismissive to us, who, after all, did have a thing or two to do with his election in the first place). Progressives just wanted him to stand firm on the issue of the ridiculous Bush tax cuts that had a lot to do with getting us into this financial mess to begin with (to say nothing of the estate tax, which now, amazingly, has a more beneficial rate to the rich than it did under Dubya). And we know Obama's explanation, that he felt he needed to cave to get an extension of unemployment benefits (though, as K.O. noted last week, nothing for the so-called "99ers" who have been out of work for nearly 100 weeks). This flies in the face of the fact that the Repugs, though not without their typical belly-aching and obstruction, have extended unemployment benefits five times in the last two years.

    And by the way, 2) The people who would dismiss Obama as an "angry black militant" have done so already, in more PC, Frank-Luntz-poll-tested language (questioning his place of birth, his religion, trying to imply that those who support him are part of a cult, with many more frequent comparisons to Hitler than any leveled at Number 43, and on and on). As Michael Moore pointed out earlier this year on "Real Time With Bill Maher," the only white demographic Obama won in the 2008 election was from 18-29, and you'd better believe that the Repugs took note of that.

    And I love Reed's line at the end of "unlike white progressives, blacks and Latinos are not used to getting it all." In response, I have two words to say: public option.

    Yeah, this is a "whale" of a lot of pundit dookey from Reed (get it, "Ishmael," "whale"...never mind).

  • Next, I know it’s old news that Virginia District Judge Henry Hudson (a Dubya appointee, natch) has ruled that the individual mandate in the health care reform law is unconstitutional (here). However, I’m a little surprised (though I guess I shouldn’t be) over the fact that Hudson’s ties to a conservative-friendly law firm have been pretty much ignored by our corporate media – Sam Stein of HuffPo told us the following here last July…

    From 2003 through 2008, Hudson has been receiving "dividends" from Campaign Solutions Inc., among other investments. In 2008, he reported income of between $5,000 and $15,000 from the firm. (Data from 2009 was not available at the Judicial Watch database.)

    A powerhouse Republican online communications firm, Campaign Solutions, has done work for a host of prominent Republican clients and health care reform critics, including the RNC and NRCC (both of which have called, to varying degrees, for health care reform's repeal). The president of the firm, Becki Donatelli, is the wife of longtime GOP hand Frank Donatelli, and is an adviser to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, among others.

    Another firm client is Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General of Virginia and the man who is bringing the lawsuit in front of Hudson's court. In 2010, records show, Cuccinelli spent nearly $9,000 for Campaign Solutions services.
    But just remember, IOKIYAR, and rules apply only to Democrats (and I thought Jed L. at Daily Kos had some nice perspective on this here).

  • Update: Good (and more here).

  • Also, the no-longer-Moonie-but-still-hopelessly-conservative Washington Times continues to give column space to Ted Nugent, and you can guess the results (here – he’s steamed that the Obama Administration has imposed a seven-year moratorium on drilling in a portion of the Gulf of Mexico)…

    One of the contributing factors for the (BP) oil spill was that Fedzilla mandated that oil companies drill in deep water where there is arguably more risk instead of the more pragmatic drilling in shallow water, thereby contributing to the cost of drilling and increasing the risk.
    Of course, if we were looking at this logically considering that Nugent is bent out of shape presumably over the deep water exploration, you would think he would actually give Obama credit for the moratorium.

    Silly me to think that logic would have anything to do with Nugent’s pundit flatulence, I know…

    Meanwhile, for the reality-based perspective, I give you the following (here)…

    (The SAFE Act introduced in the House in 2001 included) a suspension of royalties on tens of millions of barrels of oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico—especially from deepwater wells like the one (that spewed) into the gulf (Sec. 6202)

    Just after the (2002) midterms, Republicans guided (the SAFE Act) through the House, with (former House Speaker and now convict Tom) DeLay twisting arms as needed. With Democrats safely in the minority, the conference committee was able to exempt all oil and gas construction activities from the Clean Water Act, force BLM lease approvals within 10 days, grant unprecedented authority to the Department of Interior to fast-track permits, and allocate $2 billion for oil companies to drill in ultra deepwater areas.
    As C&L also tells us, the “Deadeye Dick” Cheney energy bill “exempted oil companies from paying royalties on oil produced from deepwater wells.”

    Also, it should be noted from 2006 here that “In the private sector, studies show that energy companies have a long tradition of eschewing long-term technology quests because of the lack of short-term payoffs.”

    And “Fedzilla,” as Nugent puts it, has nothing whatsoever to do with that.

  • Finally, I give you more hilarity from Moon Unit Bachmann (here)…

    Even during this lame duck session, Democrats have failed to see the urgency of getting tax increases off the table. They’ve dithered with dozens of bills naming post offices and honoring athletes, while around kitchen tables, in company offices, and on family farms, taxpayers still don’t know what the tax rates will be in just a matter of weeks.
    On the subject of “dithering with bills,” this tells us that Bachmann introduced legislation to “prohibit the President from entering into a treaty or other international agreement that would provide for the United States to adopt as legal tender in the United States a currency issued by an entity other than the United States.”

    Even though this story appeared the day before she chose to waste time in the House allegedly doing “the people’s business” (and I believe you could safely consider this to be the last word on this subject).
  • Monday, December 13, 2010

    Monday Stuff

    Got sidetracked from posting today, but I hope to be back at it again tomorrow...

    In the meantime, Rachel Maddow debunks some of the latest headlines (the animation at the beginning is a little corny, but cute - glad to see that "Wall Street Scott" is getting "the treatment" already)...

    ...and I always liked this cover of "Father Christmas" by The Kinks, so here it is.

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Sunday Stuff

    (No news/political/activism stuff for the moment, nothing new anyway - maybe tomorrow...)

    Yes, I remember the whole "psychic friends hotline" BS, but she has also served as a U.N. ambassador of Health and for food and agricultural issues, and she can also sing a little too; happy 70th birthday to Dionne Warwick (always wondered about those digital turntables - try not to get dizzy from watching this)...

    ...and that skinny kid from Hoboken who once made the bobbysoxers swoon (just Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about) would have been 95 today; here is a seasonal favorite.