Assclowns of the
Week Year #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 Edition
Happy Holidays, Potterites, and welcome to the 2nd annual Assclowns of the Year roundup. It’s just a given that our great nation, thanks chiefly to our politicians, would give us at least 50 individuals/parties/movements worthy of mention. The dilemma, in fact, is to winnow the list down to the 50 most reprehensible reprobates. In 2009, the usual suspects made the grade but, as always, such a subjective roundup necessarily involves some unexpected and even controversial choices. As with last year’s retrospective, the ones that made the grade are, in JP’s humble opinion, the 50 who did the most damage to our national reputation and our species in general in either a political or social context.
Submitted for your approving disapproval: President Barack Obama (9) for putting a smiling, handsome face on a third Bush term; Joe Lieberman (11) for breaking Guinness’s record for the most Republican cocks simultaneously stuffed into a single mouth; former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (2) for somehow subtracting from the nation’s literacy without writing a word; former “President” George W. Bush (50) for trying to burnish his legacy with a spit and a hasty wipe of his coat sleeve and Gov. Mark Sanford (47) for covering South Carolina with more glory than it already had.
So hop on board the omnibus of progress as our nation’s political and cultural carjackers drive it over the cliff and review the 50 top assclowns and much, much more!
Last year as the incumbent, Junior made the #7 spot. This year, he slides down to the cellar. However, he still barely made the grade (because the complacent American public persisted in conferring on him the honorary title of President) on account of his petulant final presser in which he treated Helen Thomas as if she didn’t exist. Bush whined about charges that the federal government didn’t arrive in NOLA in time because it allegedly pulled 30,000 off their roofs. Forgotten in Bush’s Swiss cheese recollections was him shortchanging the Army Corp of Engineers for money they’d requested in 2002 to fix the levees and pump stations and ignoring the news that the levees were breached and hiring a company to the tune of $1,000,000 to develop an evacuation plan that was never developed or handing over to Halliburton cost-plus contracts for the clean-up and trying to undercut the Bacon-Davis Act or… Well, you get the picture. About the only good thing that can be said about Bush is that, for the most part since January 20th, he’s kept his pretzel hole shut. That could either be due to presidential etiquette or the fact that he no longer gives a shit what happens. I’ll leave it up to you, Constant Reader, to decide which.
Matt Fox and A.J. Rice made the list for trashing one of the most revered Christmas songs on the planet. Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” was turned into “The Illegal Alien Christmas Song” and then posting the song on Human Events’ website. The website’s editor profusely apologized and the anti-immigrant parody was removed… by Christmas Eve, after having been on the site for two weeks.
This proves once again that Republican assholes like Rice and the aptly-named Fox not only think nothing is sacred, they have no compunctions about perverting a Latin American Christmas standard in order to make a xenophobic statement. This is somewhat on a par with Dick Cheney ordering NORAD to shoot down Santa Claus for violating US airspace.
When you hear movie wise guys confidently tell each other while walking their little dogs or over espressos about having judges in their pockets, they’re talking about these two sleazemeisters. Last February, Amy Goodman wrote of Ciavarella and Conahan on Truthdig:
As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited. The two judges pleaded guilty in a stunning case of greed and corruption that is still unfolding. Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan received $2.6 million in kickbacks while imprisoning children who often had no access to a lawyer.
What Goodman didn’t mention was that, while sending thousands of unrepresented children to private prisons for what weren’t even misdemeanor offenses, both judges were also running interference for Pennsylvania mobster William D’Elia. When you hear the occasional story of the Bush administration having jailed innocent children abroad, you can at least be assured their only motivation was mere sociopathy. When these two coldblooded cocksuckers did it here in the US, they did so for kickbacks.
The Republican Party is the gift that just keeps on giving. South Carolina Governor and parttime gash gaucho Mark Sanford is a prime but hardly unique example of how little a Republican man o’ God regards his marriage vows taken under the eyes of said deity. Last summer, Sanford told his aides that he’d be unavailable and hiking on the Appalachian Trial. When worried supporters began to wonder about the Governor’s absence, it came out that he was fucking his mistress in Argentina. What made this stunningly heartless act even more reprehensible was that he chose to do this during Father’s Day weekend. Even his fellow Republicans sat this one out by closeting their cloaks of invisibility and demanded his impeachment or resignation. By December this year, Sanford’s wife, who’d refused to stand beside him during his self-flogging Jimmy Swaggert moment, filed papers for divorce and Sanford’s political viability is like Eva Peron: Still in the public eye but deader than a mackerel.
In a show of solidarity with their Republican brothers and sisters (aka the Fools on the Hill), Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota provided brilliant delineations of the Peter Principle by cutting off their respective states’ funding for ACORN. The only problem is that ACORN is funded by neither state. Still, it’s the thought that counts. The Bayou Exorcist also ensured his posterity on this list earlier when in his lame rebuttal to Barack Obama’s speech to Congress last March he told the Romneyesque story of his bravery in opposing bureaucracy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by standing shoulder to shoulder with the late Sheriff Harry Lee. The problem with that is he merely said “That’s ridiculous.” And, oh yeah, he wasn’t actually in Sheriff Lee’s company when he said it. Still, as with the ACORN non-defunding, it’s the thought that counts.
The anti Al Gore and the Senate’s premier anti-conspiracy theorist, James Mountain Inhofe had based virtually his entire Senate career pooh-poohing global warming, even going so far as to invite the late sci fi writer Michael Crichton on Capitol Hill to “prove” global warming is a hoax. I suppose it’s strictly coincidental that Inhofe comes from a state noted for its oil fields and more than any other Senatorial candidate save for Texas’ John Cornyn had vacuumed up more moolah in 2004 in bribes from the oil and gas industry that’s largely responsible for greenhouse gases (in the ’08 and ’10 election cycles, they were, once again, his biggest contributors). But this year Inhofe made the list for the second year in a row for making up his mind to vote against Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor 11 years before she was nominated for the high court even to the point of refusing to meet with her. Like a senile uncle who escapes the orderlies and begins wandering, Inhofe recently spent thousands of dollars and thousands of gallons of polluting jet fuel flying to Copenhagen just to blurt to one reporter and a few staff members that, once again, global warming was a hoax, cap and trade will never pass then rushed back out before the Danish press even knew how to spell his name or find out who the fuck he was.
During the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-da Plantation) showed his true colors and they were the red, white and blue of the Confederate flag (especially the white). With the zeal of a basement-dwelling conspiracy theorist, Sessions grilled Sotomayor over her involvement with La Raza, a group of (gasp) organized Latinas, and over a comment she’d made in a speech a decade ago about “a wise Latina” using her ethnic background and life experience to help her make legal rulings. Our good ole boy from Alabama couldn’t have that and was basically saying that only old, embittered white racists are allowed to use their non-ethnic background and life experience as a basis for judicial rulings that also included the Dred Scott decision.
When the American public realized that acting and comedy wasn’t for him, after all, Paul Rodriguez, a “Democrat”, became the chairman for the Latino Water Coalition. In doing so, this pugnacious prick became a rabid tool for the right wing. This is what Rodriguez told a group of mostly white Republicans last May:
We're using this race card in a positive manner, a cloak. You know everybody's welcome to this. The reason why we call it the Latino Water Coalition [is] because it gives them a pause. 'Better not attack these Latinos, we don't know.' If we call it the Caucasian Coalition, you bet they would already be attacking us. Because Caucasians, sadly to say, who is defending you? I am. You know, just to put that to rest, there's no division.
Shorter Rodriguez: I’ll be glad to use my fellow Latinos as human shields in case the leftists try to pull the race card. Just please don’t call INS on me and my family.
Another old, embittered white racist who would do Jesse Helms and Strom “I Split the Dark Oak” Thurmond proud, Saxby Chambliss is a draft-dodging chickenhawk Republican who had the gall to run for the Senate on a patriotism platform against war hero Max Cleland. This past September he publicly proclaimed on national TV that President Obama, during his speech to a joint session of Congress on health care, ought to “express some humility” when addressing the legislative body and the largely white, racist screaming recycled teabaggers and astroturfers. It essentially reaffirmed the national suspicion that most southern Republicans view a black man in the White House with as much alacrity as Hal Turner would welcome into his the Rev. Jesse Jackson. No wonder they’re so bitter- all the black porters have gone away and they have no one to lug their racist baggage for them.
There’s the 29 team Major Leagues then there’s the New York Yankee League. Yet, even with a payroll that exceeds the defense spending of most countries, these pinstriped pricks still couldn’t buy a World Series during the entire decade until last November despite spending close to $2,000,000,000 on player payroll alone during the drought. The new Yankee Stadium, at $1.3 billion more, cost more than the GDP of 22 Third World countries and priced out all but the richest of their fans. For decades, these cheating, elitist assholes have tried to set themselves above the rest of the major leagues with their repugnance for names on jerseys or facial hair.
Yet these overpaid, Frank Sinatra-playing bastard sons of shipping magnate George Steinbrenner, the most dictatorial owner in MLB history, maintain such a pervasive air of smug superiority that visiting players to Yankee Stadium feel as if they’re playing in a cathedral. Then these overhyped tycoons finally came across a World Series opponent that suddenly forgot how to hit and bought themselves a Fall Classic. May Joe Torre come back next fall with his Los Angeles Dodgers and spray paint “Fuck you, George!” all over their billion dollar temple as they sweep the Yank Me’s back into the oblivion they deserve. That would be worth seeing the Red Sox sitting out another World Series.
This was the beginning of Steve King’s (R-The Dead Zone) mealy-mouthed, sanctimonious rationale for being the only House member to oppose renaming the Great Hall to Emancipation Hall to honor the slaves who’d helped build our Capitol:
Last night I opposed yet another bill to erect another monument to slavery because it was used as a bargaining chip to allow for the actual depiction of 'In God We Trust' in the CVC… Our Judeo-Christian heritage is an essential foundation stone of our great nation and should not be held hostage to yet another effort to place guilt on future Americans for the sins of some of their ancestors.
The problem is that our so-called Judeo-Christian heritage is what gave us the moral currency to kidnap, own, use, abuse and profit from the slavery of our fellow human beings by considering them beneath human status. In being the lone nut in a 399-1 vote to not “place (the) guilt” that we ought to feel and retain as an object lesson counseling us of the evils of human trafficking, the fact that King’s office felt the need to explain his sole Nay alone spoke volumes.
2009 was a lousy year for Republican Governors and Senators but it wasn’t a picnic for wives, either. If you were married to Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Mark Sanford and Max Baucus, you had the nation’s sympathies. But if you were Mrs. John Ensign you had to contend with not only being cuckolded but watching your hot-pricked dog of a husband having his infidelity, damage control and hush money transactions aided, abetted and brokered by his scumbag Republican and Holy Roller crony Tom Coburn.
Early last July, John Ensign admitted to having an affair in the Hamptons (literally, not figuratively). Ensign got the cuckolded husband a job to be followed up by Mommy and Daddy ponying up $96,000 in hush money before being ratted out anyway by Mr. Hampton. He also broke off the affair in a letter sent to his squeeze via FedEx. It was yet more egg yolk on both faces of the Honduran death squad-loving Fellowship on C Street, the clubhouse of other Christly scumbags.
Earlier this year, Pope Karloff was said to be “deeply disturbed” about a report that came out last year about Irish clerics protecting pedophiles over a period of several decades. Of course, what the mainstream media didn’t report was where Ratzinger miraculously obtained the moral authority since the Irish victims merely reiterated what’s been said many times before, namely that Ratzinger protected Father Marcial Maciel, the fertile founder of Legionaries for Christ, or when he ran interference for 19 US cardinals and other high-ranking RCC officials back in 2001.
"And what do you want for Xmas, little boy?" "For you to stop being such a homophobic asshole."
It’s heartening to know that, despite their galling hypocrisy, the Pope and everyone below him can still find Christian forgiveness in their hearts even for pedophiles and rapists.
In what had to be the most stunning display of gullible stupidity since the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, the Two Rivers Authority in Montana decided to sell their unused $27 million jail to a shadowy and shady outfit called American Police Force. This Blackwater wannabe is run by a jailbird who goes under the assumed name “Michael Hilton”, an elderly con man who has a history of alcoholism and petty fraud.
For a short time, Hilton’s American Police Force, renamed American Private Police Force when people began asking questions, essentially had free run of Hardin, Montana, even showing up in three SUVs with American Police Force decals. It’s amazing that someone would just literally hand the keys of a $27 million dollar penal institution over to a jailbird with a history of passing rubber checks before the deal had even gone through without even vetting this guy’s background. But then again, this is a state that kept electing a clown like Conrad Burns to the Senate.
In retrospect, the Iranian government should’ve unpried some sheckles and hired Karl Rove to teach them how to plausibly steal elections. Because the June 12th elections in Iran were more brazenly corrupt than anything we’ve seen in Afghanistan, Russia or even here. However, unlike the complacent American people, who largely passively watched the serial theft of the presidency in ’00 and ’04, the Iranians actually thought their democracy was worth fighting for and took to the streets as did the people in Mexico, Pakistan and Kenya. The response was an orgy of bloodletting and repression. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the only world leader who dresses like a hockey dad, denounced his rival Mousavi's supporters as enemies of the state, shrieked about nonexistent American interference, denied the world press their credentials, blocked internet access and cell phone signals and just as passively as Obama watched innocents get murdered by the basiji.
Indeed, Barack Obama clucked his tongue at the mayhem and murder that essentially amounted to a human rights emergency. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who thought of all the other nations we’d invaded and occupied in the past for far less evil transgressions and usually under the guise of the democracy to which Iran only pays lip service.
In retrospect, it has to be acknowledged that the Senate wouldn’t have passed the health care bill 60-39 on Christmas Eve if Arlen Specter hadn’t jumped ship last spring and joined the Democrats. However, perhaps the Democrats were a little too eager to accept Specter into the fold. As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported last September,
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid performed some disgraceful maneuvering to provide Sen. Arlen Specter with political cover so he could attend a campaign event.
Reid, D-Nev., announced that the Senate would hold no votes after 3 p.m. on Sept. 15. The reason? So that Specter wouldn't miss voting on any legislation while he was holding a fundraiser in Philadelphia attended by President Barack Obama. The move was intended to shield Specter from allegations of hypocrisy. Specter has hammered U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Delaware County, for missing a handful of House votes.
Said Sestak: "Can Arlen Specter -- or anyone in this fundraiser -- explain why it's OK to hold up the entire U.S. Senate to benefit his political campaign, but it's -- in Arlen's words -- a 'court-marital offense' for missing a few primarily procedural votes"?
The answer, unsurprisingly, was no.
So if you’re curious why it took the Senate until Xmas Eve to pass its health care bill, that begins to explain why. And don’t forget, this was done on behalf of a Bush enabler who admitted that he only jumped ship because he knew he couldn’t win as a Republican and voted against Dick Durbin’s Homeowner’s Relief bill in one of his first votes as a DINO.
In the Marvel Comics universe, there’s a villain named Crusher Creel, aka the Absorbing Man. Creel got his powers by coming into possession of a chip from Mjolnir, the hammer of the Mighty Thor. Joe the Plumber has just such an origin story. By all rights, this ignorant pinhead shouldn’t merit even a goldfish’s attention. But this other bald-headed miscreant had been yeasted up into the poor man’s political pundit by both the right wing and the MSM after having a brief conversation with Barack Obama at a rope line and then being used as a symbol of working men and aspiring small businessmen by both McCain and Obama during one of their three presidential debates.
Before America knew what had hit it, this assclown had a paying gig with Pajamas Media and was given both a recording and book contract while countless thousands of others of actual talent continue getting form rejection letters and playing on street corners. So while one needs no more reason to ridicule Joe the Plumber other than general principle, the fact is other ignorant pinheads in “Real America” keep listening to this bozo with the same devotion they do to Sarah Palin, Levi Johnston and others who had been briefly or tangentially connected to the presidential campaign.
If social troglodytes like John Derbyshire had their way, women’s suffrage would be repealed back to at least the 19th century and females would be peeling grapes for their men while toiling pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen. On September 29th, Derbyshire told Alan Colmes on his radio show that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because it’s bad for America. Two years ago, Ann Coulter said exactly the same thing while operating under the rubric that women mainly vote Democratic (which hasn’t stopped Coulter from engaging in a little voter fraud herself).
Later in the Colmes interview, Derbyshire also said he’d love to see the Civil Rights Act of 1964 repealed because you can’t legislate people to do the right thing, another stupendously stupid white man statement that for some reason wasn’t picked up on as much in the liberal blogosphere.
A perennial Pottersville favorite, Michele Bachmann (R-
Which is odd because, thanks to the Environmental Working Group, it came out a few days ago that Bachmann’s little farm house on the prairie in Minnesota received $252,000 in federal subsidies, thereby making her quite possibly the queen of hypocrites in a kingdom filled with them.
Last November 4th, Maine voters overturned 53-47% the same sex marriage law that had been ratified just six months earlier. One of the biggest opponents of the same sex marriage law, Stand for Marriage Maine, was partly funded by Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. You may remember the latter. They literally went broke last year kicking almost a million bucks to repeal California’s same sex marriage law, necessitating the layoff of 202 Focus on the Family employees just before Xmas (after having laid off another 75 the previous September). In fact, this is how blogger Tyler Evilsizer sized up the evil:
The measure pitted conservative groups and churches against gay-rights groups, a few wealthy donors, and more than 10,000 smaller donors from Maine and around the country. Question 1 attracted over $9 million, or 72 cents of every dollar raised around Maine’s seven ballot measures.
You read that right- Six other ballot measures yet Question One that banned same sex marriage sucked up 72% of all the money raised by both sides of all seven referendums. That would be evil enough were it not for one other wacko liberal conspiracy theory: Namely, that Stand for Marriage Maine is just a thinly disguised money laundering operation so they can keep the donors’ names anonymous.
Out of state money got Joe Lieberman reelected and out of state money put the kibosh on gay marriage in California. Why there isn’t a law banning out of state money to catapult propaganda for state ballot measures and elections is beyond me but what happened in Maine last month provides a textbook example of why we need such a law.
2009 was not exactly a banner year for governors on either side of the ideological divide. Case in point: Former Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who on January 29th was unanimously impeached 59-0 by the state Senate for trying to sell President Obama’s Senate seat. In his own self pity tour, the Perfect Hairball compared his “persecution” to a cowboy about to be lynched and the Holocaust and insisted, despite the US Senate’s strenuous objections, on handing over the vacant Senate seat to an elderly, egotistical nonentity who decided he didn’t want to be a Senator after 2010, after all. He further enhanced his already tabloid appeal by trying to get both his wife and himself on reality TV programs until he was tossed yet again because of his ongoing legal troubles. Plus, like Sarah Palin after him, he’d subtracted from the nation’s literacy by whining in a book that should’ve been called Death Of a Salesman about how he’s just a misunderstood mobster.
For a brief shining moment, Newsmucks’ John Perry was one of the most avidly-read bloggers in Right Blogostan for a post in which he suggested that the US military should rise up against President Obama in rebellion. This is the beginning of Perry’s revolutionary manifesto to the proletariat:
There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.
America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont (sic). Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes…
“Through military eyes”? Since when was John L. Perry ever in the military and in a position to see things from the military POV?
At the end of his seditious screed, Perry opines, “In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass.” No, asshole. The 2008 election was a reaction against the GOP’s “self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility.”
Even Newsmax, Perry’s employer, took down the article almost immediately after it was put up while trying to distance themselves from him by stressing his work in the Johnson and Carter administrations and that he’s a mere unpaid blogger, thereby implying that Perry’s a left winger despite advocating in almost every detail the proposed coup by Prescott Bush in 1933 against another Democratic administration. Another problem with that is this mealy-mouthed zombie has been writing incoherently hateful columns about Obama since before he was first elected to the Senate in 2004 and he’s been writing a regular byline for Newsmax for well over a decade.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with the GOP trying to rebrand itself as hip and reaching out to a younger demographic. That’s their right and it’s the key to their political survival. But if you’re a dying political party and acting cool is your aim, then send to the ‘hood someone cooler and less stiff than RNC Chairman Michael “Beatbox” Steele.
In February, Steele talked to the Moonie Times that somehow had managed to keep a straight face when he had this to say about the GOP’s proposed reinvention: “We need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.”
Somehow, I just don’t see this little guy stumping, no pun intended, for any Republican.
Bill O’Reilly is always good for a cheap laugh, especially during the holidays. Doing his admirable part in using Christmas for political gain, O’Reilly like our retailers got an early jump on his jihad early last November by taking up his next picayune pet peeve, namely a school in Chelmsford, MA. The school, during their Christmas fair, decided to expunge any icons or hints of Christianity so as not to offend people of other religious persuasions.
From his bile-stained bully pulpit and backed up by Fox’s legal analyst, O’Reilly called the school’s principal “a nut” on the air. He’d then dispatched his professional stalker, producer Jesse Watters to harass the superintendant. At the end of the segment, he gave his staff stalker a lesson in admirable singlemindedness when he promised the principal, “I have to tell you, madam, that you'll appear on this program one way or the other ... because we're not letting it go.”
As long as Barack Obama insists on outsourcing so much to Blackwater, perhaps he ought to have Uncle Sam hire a few of their trigger-happy goons to work his detail considering the bang-up job the Secret Service did this year. Last August, during several presidential town halls several people brought guns with them and not a single one of them were detained or arrested. Instead, all we heard from the Secret Service was that they were legally entitled to carry firearms for no explainable reason and that local gun ordinances trumped the federal laws regarding the president’s safety.
Then last month, there was the case of the two party crashers at the White House, Michaele and Tareq Salahi. Somehow, they got past the Secret Service even though their names weren’t on the guest list and were able to stay long enough to mug for photos with the president, vice president, WH chief of staff and even a bunch of Marines standing guard outside.
I suppose this is all just coincidence considering that earlier this year, Ronald Kessler’s book, In the President's Secret Service, predicted that budget cuts would be felt even in the president’s elite security detail, making the Treasury Department’s vociferous denials at the time ring a little hollow in the wake of these unprecedented fuckups.
It’s hard to believe that a nation like Uganda can actually get worse years after the death of Idi Amin (called in the 1970’s by 60 Minutes “the world’s worst dictator”) but there they are. This past year, Uganda’s government, led by President Owen Kaguta Museveni, who, 23 years ago, ran on a term limits platform and genially presided over the disappearance of millions of Ugandan shillings earmarked for AIDS relief, proposed a law that would criminalize homosexuality with penalties that include lengthy jail time and even death if the accused are HIV-positive.
What’s truly horrifying about this proposal is that it makes a presumption of pedophilia and pederasty on the part of gays. Anyone convicted of having sex with a minor would also be put to death. This is consistent with a right wing attitude here at home that lumps homosexuality and even the fledgling institution of same sex marriage with bestiality, pederasty and even incest.
Cheer: President Barack Obama accusing the Cambridge PD of “acting stupidly” in arresting Prof. Henry Louis Gates at his own home. Jeer: President Obama then backing off from that accurate statement the very next day as if the Cambridge PD’s racially-motivated misactions suddenly got less stupid in retrospect. Last July 16th, Prof. Henry Louis Gates, our most prominent African American scholar, was arrested when a neighbor saw him trying to enter his own home on returning from a trip. What happened next is kind of murky but the bottom line is that the black guy got uppity, gave the cops some lip and was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace as if contempt of cop is a crime.
Conveniently forgotten or ignored by the Cambridge PD was that Dr. Gates’ luggage was still on the porch, he readily proved ownership of the house and he still had his keys in his hand. Despite being treated like a common burglar and charged with a crime, the charges were dropped while the chief of police, predictably, backed up his men.
Two weeks later, everything was all hashed out in a conspicuous photo op at the White House with the president and vice president as if 450 years of white repression and race-based presumption of guilt and intolerance of dissent can be erased over a single beer.
And while we’re on the subject of police abusing their authority with impunity from their superiors…
According to Sheriff Roger Mulch, this is what passes for “act(ing) appropriately” and “nothing out of the ordinary” in Jefferson County, Illinois:
(David) Bowers and sheriff's deputy Lonnie Lawler went to the center near Marion on July 4, 2008 in response to a report that three teenagers were acting unruly. But the young people suing the deputies were not those disruptive children, the lawsuit said.
Bowers allegedly pushed one boy toward his bed, and repeatedly shocked him with a stun gun. Bowers then held down a second boy, stunned him several times and threatened to sodomize him, ultimately causing the child to soil himself, the lawsuit claimed.
A third child complied with the deputies' demands that he sit on a couch, but Lawler handcuffed him before Bowers zapped him repeatedly, the lawsuit said.
The fourth child, a girl, pleaded with the deputies to stop but Lawler handcuffed her. Bowers lifted her off the ground, pressed her against a wall and choked her, the lawsuit alleges.
"Do you want to live or die (expletive)?" the lawsuit, filed July 1, claims Bowers asked the girl before she was thrown into a closet, vomiting.
I can perfectly understand a sheriff or chief supporting his men and women but it’s usually prudent to simply shut the fuck up when extraordinary Deliverance-style brutality such as the kind identified in the lawsuit is under investigation. If beating up, tasing and brutalizing helpless, innocent children is all in a day’s work, it tends to get noticed by the civilian populace who can always elect another sheriff.
Getting in right under the wire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for this heartwarming holiday news item that came out on Christmas Eve that the lending giants’ two CEOs will still pull down $6 million this year. Not $6 million combined, $6 million each.
Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were both seized by the federal government last year, that makes Michael Williams and Charles Haldeman Jr. the highest-paid federal employees in the country, making over 15 times more what President Barack Obama makes. And yet the Federal Housing Finance Agency that regulates and oversees their actions still maintains that excessive pay is needed to “attract and retain top talent” like the kind that resulted in a $112 billion bailout at taxpayer expense.
When Hal Turner got picked up earlier this year for threatening two Connecticut lawmakers then again for threatening the lives of three federal judges, everyone who wasn’t a right wing white separatist psychopath breathed a small sigh of relief (and a big sigh of relief if you lived in North Bergen, NJ). However, that was just the entrance of the rabbit hole into which Turner somehow squeezed his fat ass.
Because it came out that Turner actually was a paid informant for the FBI and that Chris Christie, the incoming Governor of New Jersey, ran interference for Turner while he was still a US Attorney. In fact, Christie’s involvement in the Hal Turner/FBI connection was so deep that he was subpoenaed to testify in what would prove to be a mistrial when all the documented evidence of Turner's rabid hate speech suddenly evaporated in the prosecuting federal attorneys' briefcases. Uh huh. Can we spell Boston FBI and Whitey Bulger, boys and girls?
The shrieking uterus of the birther movement, Israeli-born Orly Taitz, a glorified dental hygienist with legalistic pretensions, put herself on the map and this roundup by spearheading the birther movement that tried to claim Barack Obama wasn’t, in fact, born in America but in Kenya. Despite the Obama campaign providing conclusive evidence proving his citizenship, Taitz and her fellow conspiracy theorists bravely and strenuously ignored the facts and she was welcomed into the warm cloisters of news network sound stages as if she wasn’t completely insane. Earlier this year, Taitz drew a $10,000 fine from Judge Clay Land by taking on a case representing an Army doctor who refused to ship out to Iraq on the basis that President Obama wasn’t, in fact, the Commander in Chief. When given 10 days to prove why he shouldn’t slap her with the 10K fine, Taitz then filed a brief claiming that Obama wasn’t the real president and that Judge Land’s entire circuit was working in evil collusion with the Obama administration. She also touted as evidence of the conspiracy an account of a “witness” who claimed to see Attorney General Eric Holder walk into a coffee shop across the street from the courthouse. Smaaaart.
”Semen! Oh no, Mother!”
What happens when you let a radical homosexual activist such as Kevin Jennings into your schools? Well, his organization GLSEN counsels students to be more tolerant towards other sexual persuasions, resulting in fewer gay and straight students getting beaten up. Well, such a radical homosexual agenda was too much for Tony “Who’s the Girl, Norman?” Perkins and his super duper prayer team in the Family Research Council. Last summer, President Obama appointed Mr. Jennings to head up the Education Secretary’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, eliciting a more hysterical firestorm from Perkins, Lou Dobbs and other homophobic assholes than did Obama’s choice of the equally homophobic Rick Warren to read the Inaugural Invocation. The response was so hysterical, in fact, that the far religious and media right wing even misquoted or deliberately denied context from passages in Jennings’ autobiography.
What’s even more chilling is that at least 53 members of Congress actually wrote a letter to President Obama demanding Jennings’ removal from the Dept. Of Education, meaning that a snake oil-pushing huckster like Perkins still has clout in the legislative branch.
As with many of the dishonorees on this list, it’s difficult to enumerate all the assclownery of a single year and the rat horde of Rupert Murdoch is certainly no exception. But Fox, the forerunner of the giant talking heads in 1984, really walked into a Homeric, epic fail in the wake of the teabaggery on September 12th, thereby commemorating the day George Bush came out of hiding after the terrorist attacks.
Fox had the hubris to take out full page ads in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other publications that asked, “How did ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN miss this story?” Problem? Well, they didn’t fail. In fact, CNN covered the tea party with four news people. Not only that, in their full page ad, they even used a still from a CNN pole cam. Notable as that was, it was just one lowlight. If you want a comprehensive list of their creative take on history’s first draft, you could do a lot worse than go here.
After swinging her bony little fists for months in favor of a public option, Nancy Pelosi was still saying a health care bill without a public option wouldn’t pass in the House up until Tuesday September 8th. By Thursday September 10th Nancy Pelosi was saying that all “non-negotiable options” were no longer on her now infamous table. Then within hours, hours, I tells ya, Steve Elmendorf, a UnitedHealth lobbyist, announced this:
From: Steve Elmendorf [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 8:31 AM
Subject: event with Speaker Pelosi at my home
You are cordially invited to a reception with
Speaker of the House
Thursday, September 24, 2009
6:30pm ~ 8:00pm
At the home of
2301 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Just late July, she gave an interview on CNN and there was this exchange between her and John King:
KING: You gave an interview this week where you were asked if you could support a bill that didn’t have one in the end, and you said, I don’t think so. Is that some softening?
PELOSI: No, no, no, no…
As in “Oh God, no.” At this point, people, they’re not even going out of their way to hide their corruption and taking any pains to avoid the appearance of impropriety. But take heart: By mid-October she was defending the public option again. Maybe the cocktail shrimp at the fund raiser on September 24th wasn’t too good.
Time’s Man of the Year, according to Think Progress, ignored warnings about the impending housing crisis because Peter had been hollering about the wolf since 1979. Essentially, this financial equivalent of the 8/6/01 PDB and Bernanke’s closed mind to the dangers and realities puts him on a par with none other than George W. Bush, the most intellectually hermetic man who ever lived.
In January 2005, CitiBank’s head economist told Bernanke that the crisis would hit hardest in California. “They have been saying that about California since I bought my first house in 1979,” the future Fed Chairman said, obviously forgetting that 9 of the top 10 home lenders were in California, including the top five.
To give you another idea of how amazingly incompetent Alan Greenspan’s successor is, check out this blast from the past from a 2007 meeting between Bernanke and Chicago bankers and businesspeople:
Importantly, we see no serious broad spillover to banks or thrift institutions from the problems in the subprime market. The troubled lenders, for the most part, have not been institutions with federally insured deposits.
The Washington Post continues, “He was wrong. Five of the 10 largest subprime lenders during the previous year were banks regulated by the Fed.”
And yet, in spite Bernanke’s decades-long cluelessness, Barack Obama saw fit to nominate him the Fed chairman for another term even after being faced by Congressman Alan Grayson, proving once again that failing upwards is something that crosses party lines.
As always, Coburn joins his senior colleague James Inhofe largely on the strength of his grilling of then Federal Appellate Judge Sonia Sotomayor. During the judge’s confirmation hearings last July, Coburn affected a Ricky Ricardo accent and said, “You have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.” In stopping just short of Freddie Prinze and his little Mexican dog on the dashboard routine, Coburn became the beloved clown prince of racism, giving a refreshing sense of humor to a darker and more sinister GOP exemplified by Jeff Sessions and James Inhofe.
As if that wasn’t enough, Coburn ensured his inclusion in this list by “counseling” his old Chum in Christ John Ensign and even drove not so Dear John to send a Dear John letter breaking off his affair with Cindy Hampton by FedEx. This past December, he made the Senate clerk read the 767 page amendment introduced by Bernie Sanders that would’ve given Medicare, or a single payer option, to all ostensibly so everyone could understand it, essentially a lazy man’s filibuster. Just for good measure, Coburn called on the American people to pray the feeble 92 year-old Sen. Robert Byrd wouldn’t make the health care reform vote. Small wonder Coburn is so shrill about even the tepid reforms of the bill: The health care mafia is the most generous industry to his campaigns.
Having bozos like Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke fix our nation’s economic ills is a lot like taking your sabotaged car to the shop of the mechanics who’d vandalized it. As the head of the New York Fed, he cut his teeth in the world of bailouts by engineering the $29 billion loan that resulted in the Bear Stearns acquisition. He further fucked up the economy by buying AIG in the long run. Then it came out from an AIG report that Geithner (and us) had been rear-ended by Wall Street banks (Geithner's former stomping grounds). Eliot Spitzer asked “Why were AIG's counterparties—including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS—paid 100 cents on the dollar when the feds rescued the insurance giant, helping raise the cost of the bailout to nearly $200 billion?”
A week into the Obama administration, Geithner named as his chief of staff Mark Patterson. Who’s Mark Patterson? Well, he’s a former lobbyist for the aforementioned Goldman Sachs and his very presence so high up in Treasury in itself makes a mockery of Obama’s campaign mantra about keeping lobbyists away from Capitol Hill and Geithner’s promise to keep lobbyists away from TARP funds. Somehow, the MSM managed to keep a straight face as Geithner last June told the Chinese that our debt to them is safe.
So soon into his new administration, it was inconceivable that Barack Obama could make an even worse decision than Bush when he appointed that other Goldman Sachs fuckstick Hank Paulson to head the Treasury. Yet somehow, Barry managed it.
Showing the backbone of Gumby’s horse Pokey, the Democrats essentially, especially with the aid of several dozen Blue Dogs, even with a filibuster-proof majority, handed control of the government back to a minority party that’s one more disastrous election away from wearing a paper bag on its pointy head. Led by “Give ‘em Head” Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats gave up tens of billions in necessary spending on the stimulus bill to get three Republican votes. They united with the GOP to cut funding for ACORN and let Obama fill Afghanistan with more warm bodies without him declaring war on it.
They were always willing to cut the throat like a sacrificial lamb of a public option to temper an individual mandate on the immediately compromised health care bill to cadge the vote from the one Republican they could briefly seduce to their side (Olympia Snowe). A single payer plan was never in the running and they stood helplessly by while the likes of Tom Coburn ground things to a smoking halt by making the Senate clerk read Bernie Sanders’ entire 767 page single payer amendment. And all these betrayals were done in the name of that holiest of holies: Barack Obama’s wet dream of bipartisanship with a party that would sooner hang him from the White House Xmas tree than watch him light it.
I'm the whitest guy you will ever meet. The first time I saw an African-American, my dad had to tell me to stop staring. - Glenn Beck
It’s hard to tell where people like Glenn Beck, the twisted poet laureate of the “Real America”, actually come from. Oh, we all know his life story that begins at Mount Vernon, Washington and his courageous determination to become a radio personality in the years following his mother’s alleged suicide. But where do people like Beck and Sarah Palin come from, where is this “real America” that produces these conservative luminaries like rotting meat produces maggots?
And indeed, where do we start with Glenn Beck’s neverending assault on our reason and our own sanity? Teabaggery? The Van Jones Conspiracy? Communist symbology in the bas reliefs at Rockefeller Center and NBC Headquarters? Weepy one man shows? Health care hypocrisy? Nonsensical and incomplete acrostics on O-L-I-G-A-R-H and calling the president a racist?
Perhaps we’ll never know but one thing is clear: A man who was merely a semi-entertaining twit while employed on CNN and ABC didn’t become a full-blown lunatic until he floated up to the mother ship of Fox “News” late last year and began reading books by other arch right wing lunatics.
If Joe Lieberman was a double agent in a Robert Ludlum novel, his victims would be so unrealistically stupid and gullible as to immediately destroy suspension of disbelief. Yet, despite Lieberman voting against the Democrats at almost every turn, badmouthing the President and speaking on behalf of the criminally clueless John McCain at the GOP National Convention, the Democrats continue to let him caucus with them and allow him to keep his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship.
After punting post-Katrina New Orleans by running interference for the Bush administration two years ago, Lieberman this year decided that investigating Blackwater and contractor corruption in Iraq wasn’t important enough to investigate. Over the past winter this flip-flopper threatened to filibuster the Democratic Party’s health care reform bill, putting Lieberman in the ludicrous position of threatening to filibuster while tangentially related to the majority party. And, while we may never know what occasioned Lieberman’s change of heart, one answer couldn’t possibly be the fact that scrapping the public option he’d once advocated would only enhance the career of his wife Hadassah who had made an inspirational return to the world of health care lobbying despite the fact that Lieberman's new position runs counter to the Susan G. Komen foundation The Cure for whom his wife now works. So, should Lieberman be allowed to continue sleeping with the enemy? Oh, God no.
It may perhaps never be understood to posterity why Sen. Max Baucus (D-HMO), a man who has made more pelf from the health care racket ($3.9 million from ’89-’09) than most HMO CEOS, was allowed to take point in the reform bill. The Chairman presides over the Senate Finance Committee, just one of five congressional committees that had to weigh in on the health care bill. When his grand, co-opted plan was unveiled, it was so riddled with loopholes and lack of protections for health care consumers it was laughed off the Senate floor by both parties. Later in the year, it had come out that Baucus had nominated his current squeeze for a spot on the federal judiciary, paid her $14,000 for her services and had her talk to his divorce lawyer back in 2007, over a year before Mrs. Baucus even knew her husband wanted a divorce. With nepotism on that brazen a scale, it’s hard to tell if he was inspired by Paul Wolfowitz or vice versa.
It all started out so promisingly. In short order, we saw an extension of S-CHIP, the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter bill and saw the beginning of the disclosure of the torture photos, a pledge to do away with DADT and the beginning of the closing of Gitmo and the phased troop withdrawal from Iraq. Then a funny thing happened on the way back to democracy:
Suddenly we began hearing that withdrawal from Iraq exceeded the SOFA guidelines, that the pictures and videos of us torturing couldn’t be disclosed, that Gitmo may not be closed so soon after all. The DOJ filed a vile and despicable brief affirming the DOMA and DADT, likening gay marriage to incest and pedophilia, a 30,000 troop surge into Afghanistan and drone strikes there and in Pakistan killing hundreds of innocent civilians. There was a second round of bailouts helping Wall St. rather than Main St. and Obama backing away from a public option as if it was Rod Blagojevich with an STD. Then we began hearing that we’re now outsourcing everything possible in Afghanistan at a greater rate than we saw even in the Bush years. But, hey, he won a Nobel Peace Prize for which he was nominated before his Senate seat even got cold.
I don’t know about you but I sure am glad that last guy’s no longer running the country, how about you?
The brutally stupid and ignorant Republicans, while these days being not much more than a redneck cult, had nonetheless done so much damage to this country in 2009 that one hardly knows where to begin. They tried blocking or successfully blocked: The stimulus bill. The health care reform bill. Limited aid to homeowners. Extending unemployment benefits. The S-CHIP extension.
They did, however, introduce yet another resolution memorializing Christmas, helped to defund ACORN and called the President of the United States a liar to his face while waving blank pieces of paper purporting to be their own health care bill. They egged on the astroturfers, tea baggers and birthers and more and more of them are signing on to the belief that global warming is a hoax. Opposing Al Franken’s anti-rape amendment.
And they wonder why their approval rating is at 29%.
Poor Shawna Forde. Like many of us, she was strapped for cash to fund her Minuteman spinoff so she did the only thing she could: Dispatch two goons like “Gunny” Bush & Albert Robert Gaxiola to break into the home of a Hispanic family, murder the man of the house then his nine year-old daughter so she couldn’t identify them. Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?
Of course, Forde could’ve put up a Paypal button on her racist border patrol’s website or held a bake sale but that wouldn’t have been as fun as killing brown people, right? Yet, despite a 20 minute head start considerately given to them by the local Sheriff’s Dept. while the sole survivor had to look at the bleeding corpses of her slaughtered family, these low-rent hit men and their moll still got caught. Forde and her accomplices now have to stew in jail for 1-2 years while awaiting their respective trials. Meanwhile, they’re ratting each other out like stereotypes in a Mickey Spillane novel in order to avoid the death penalty.
In an ironic delineation of Steve King’s highly-touted Judeo-Christian principles, Rev. Steven Anderson of Tempe, Arizona decided it would be a good idea to publicly pray for the death of the President. Well, “pray” isn’t exactly the word I’m looking for. More accurately, the father of five, when he wasn’t turning Mrs. Anderson’s vagina into a clown car, was “screaming” for Obama’s death. Within days, when the President had appeared in Arizona for a town hall on health care reform, one of Anderson’s parishioners, one Chris Broughton, showed up at the event with an AR15 assault rifle while the Secret Service watched him really, really hard.
Perhaps it was Pastor Anderson’s admirably passionate wish for death on those who disagree with him is what got him in hot water with border patrol agents earlier this year when they had to tase and beat him into submission, a fate that would’ve been even more judiciously applied to the next critic of the President…
Attracting the liveliest interest of both the far right and left, albeit for different reasons, America’s most beloved sex tourist makes his own second consecutive successful bid for posterity by openly wishing for President Obama to fail. What made Limbaugh’s eternal optimism from his spotted mind twice as galling was that he’d said this mere hours after the polls closed on Election Night.
Making more penitent Republicans drop to their knees than the baby Jebus, Limbaugh bullied, slanged and sneered his way to the top of the GOP’s steaming dung pile during Obama’s campaign and election, Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination and confirmation and essentially, whether by design or accident, making his quivering puss the very face of the GOP.
Republicans may be disciplined much like another goosestepping right wing party we’d seen 70-80 years ago but they’ve still yet to learn that when one of them says or does something stupid, which is literally every day, even cash-strapped Americans will always find the money to throw at their Democratic opponents for the upcoming election. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina was the year’s most notorious case in point. While President Obama was addressing a joint session of Congress on health care last September 9th, Republicans en masse jeered. However, only one of them stood up like an erect-nippled baboon and howled “You lie!” when the President said there was no funding for illegal immigrants.
Within minutes after being identified as the shouter, Wilson’s dark horse opponent Bob Miller had already gotten over $40,000 in campaign contributions, eventually collecting over a cool million. Badmouthed by even John McCain, Wilson refused to publicly apologize for slandering the President. Later on it came out that Wilson belonged to a group (the SCV) that’s now run by white supremacists and that he’s sucked up almost $500,000 in legalized bribes from the health care industry.
Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) barely escapes with his life after a town hall health care meeting during which the teabaggers screamed for “Brians, brians!”
The health care Town Halls during the Congressional recess last August immediately brought to mind a Danny Boyle movie that metastasized from a movie set. These Republican and quasi-conservative health care "activists" were largely deployed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey's lobbying firm and its political arm Freedomworks.
The result was the real-world equivalent of the rage virus that spawned the screaming zombies in 28 Days Later. While desperately needing brains, these corporately-animated automatons were actually tricked into screaming, badgering, pushing and beating other people up while simultaneously working against their own interests. Then, in spite of being pwnd by these multimillionaire jackals, these same zombies were again whipped into a bloodthirsty frenzy by Glenn Beck and his 9/12 movement, this time marching on the nation’s Capitol.
The astroturfers that had protested everything from nonexistent higher taxes to nonexistent socialized medicine to President Obama’s nonexistent Kenyan birth certificate had been favorably compared by Freedomworks to Moveon.org’s campaigns. Except that MoveOn.org isn’t financed by corporations and lobbyists. That plus Moveon doesn’t resort to incoherent screaming, name calling and violence. Aside from that, they’re just like us.
The distaff Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin once again finds herself near the top of our retrospective for a truly Barnum and Bailey annus mirabilis that was unintentionally gilded by the MSM as post-political Grand Guignol. From abruptly quitting Alaska’s governorship to feuding with a late night talk show comedian to souring the health care debate with Facebook rumors of death panels to making millions for a book she didn’t write to weighing in on the climate change talks in Copenhagen in the pages of the WaPo (which, I suppose, is a step from her usual venues on Facebook and Twitter), the snake charmers’ patron saint ran the full gamut of lunacy equaled or surpassed by, with one exception, no other.
When not vivisectioning the English language with her sharp but inexpert forked tongue immortally skewered by Letterman countryman William Shatner, Palin insisted on thrusting her children back into the spotlight that should’ve dimmed on her on Election Night 2008. Having long since thrown her dunce cap in the ring, the GOP’s first presidential aspirant somehow made former future son in law Levi Johnston look poised, polished and enlightened by conspicuous relief, which is no mean feat.
The Republican Party’s Jacob Marley, our former senior co-president grabs the top spot in this year’s retrospective for haunting the GOP for its past evils only without any of the repentance. During 2009, Dick “Twister” Cheney couldn’t seem to keep his snarling maw shut, embarking on a whirlwind tour of one sound stage to another unlike any other former vice president. In a stunning counterpoint to the silent GWB, this brutal handjob on wheels said that it would’ve been “immoral” for us to not torture and insisted that the waterboarding on which he’d personally signed off helped us thwart one terror plot after another without providing any evidence proving that.
By scuttling out of his spider hole, Cheney, like Palin last year, so pumped up Bush’s deflated base of Haves and Have Mores that they’re trying to draft him for the presidential nomination in spite of his policies being the root cause of much of the ruination with which the new administration has to contend (Cheney’s not interested in the job, which I guess is unofficially his sixth draft deferment). This is the same guy, mind you, who claimed “deficits don’t matter”, that energy conservation was not a sound basis for an energy policy, locked his own boss out of his office while crafting his energy task force meetings, headed up an assassination ring, funneled through his office millions to three Sunni insurgent groups, tried to claim the OVP wasn’t part of the Executive Branch and personally cleared war profiteering contracts for Halliburton through his office.
Then this month Inhuman Events made Dick Cheney their “conservative of the year.” This bloated, vicious prick is what we need 4-8 years of? Sorry but I’ll still take my chances with the guy who doesn’t snarl “Go fuck yourself” to senior senators.