Doomsy’s Do-Gooders and Dregs (2013 – Pt. 5)

November 27, 2013

Prior related posts appear below:

Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1 (with setup)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

West Virginia high school senior Katelyn Campbell, who filed an injunction against her principal, who she claims threatened to punish her for speaking out against a factually inaccurate abstinence assembly at her school (here…pretty ridiculous that a move like this is necessary just to tell the basic truth – what country am I living in again?)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds for this – hard to contain my disgust to be honest (h/t Atrios)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies for claiming that Obama is going to take away our guns, or whatever, here (shut up and throw strikes, you moron)…

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Lord Wolfson, CEO of the clothing retailer Next, gave his giving his 2.4 million pound (or $3.7 million) bonus to his employees, as noted here (cheerio, pip pip and all like that – rule Britannia, dude).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Some asshat in the Arkansas state “lege” named Nate Bell tweeted something here along the lines of “I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 assault rifle with a 30-round clip” in response to the news that the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing were on the loose with one dead and a manhunt underway for the other one, who was eventually caught (the bombing killed three people and injured and maimed about 170).

There’s a time for poliitcal nonsense, and there’s a time to show respect and shut your damn mouth. Obviously, this clown doesn’t know the difference.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Repug U.S. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona told the mother of Alex Teves, one of the victims in the Aurora, Colorado movie shooting, that he supported universal background checks on gun purchases. The problem is that Flake was one of the Repugs who voted against Toomey-Manchin when it came up for a vote in the Senate.

It really does take a particularly repugnant form of weasel to lie to the mother of a murder victim about something like this, which is supported by 90 percent of the people of this country (here).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield said that U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and others who are fighting for common-sense gun laws should now focus on a ban on “assault pressure cookers” after the Boston Marathon bombing (here); as Think Progress tells us, Campfield also compared homosexuality to “shooting heroin” and he also threatened to reduce funding for the University of Tennessee over their sex education week programming (sounds like Tennessee deserves him).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominees

Anyone with any familiarity with this blog knows what I think of Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, but kudos go out to the entire organization for this item; in April, the team wore a “Boston Strong” patch on commemorative jerseys in a game against the Bruins in support of the city after the Boston Marathon bombings…the jerseys will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go to The One Fund Boston, set up in support of the bombing victims and their families (in my mind, I’m lightly tapping a hockey stick on the ice in approval as I type this).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

College athlete Cameron Lyle of New Hampshire had his mouth swabbed when he was a sophomore to find out if he would one day be able to donate his bone marrow; the swabbing procedure is fairly routine, but apparently it’s difficult to find someone whose bone marrow can be donated (a lot of requirements must have to be met).

Well, guess what? He finds out when he’s a senior that he’s a match for a 28-year-old male suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And if he donates his bone marrow (Lyle throws the discus, hammer and shot put), he won’t be able to lift the 20-pound hammer over his head for a recovery period that will wipe out the final two weeks of his college career.

So what does Lyle do (as noted here)?

“I knew right away I was definitely going to donate,” Lyle told the Eagle-Tribune. “I was pretty terrified at first, but it is starting to settle in.”

Lyle underwent the procedure on April 24th, proving that a lot of people can be a successful athlete, but it takes a special person to truly be a hero.

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Our State Department earns a dubious mention here for not allowing Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro, to enter our country to receive an award in Philadelphia for her gay rights activism.

This totally represents our utterly moronic policy towards Cuba, No, I don’t like the Castros either, but we continue to give that country an importance it doesn’t deserve by making it look like they are our poor stepchildren or something with these stupid gestures.

Get rid of all of this “Dulles Brothers” and “Bay of Pigs”-era idiocy and allow travel in an out of Cuba, lift any embargoes…end this nonsense. And do you know what will change with that country? Nothing, because the Castros are cunning and crafty as politicians but utterly inept as leaders, but they will no longer be able to blame this country for it (and yes, people like Bob Menendez, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers will be apoplectic, but we’ll be taking steps at last that are long overdue).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I don’t suppose that Andrew Taylor of the AP really understood how much he portrayed true Beltway “villager” priorities here in April, complaining about the effects of the “sequester” on the FAA and plane flights…of course, don’t look for Taylor or his ilk to express similar misgivings about the sequester’s effects on the poor, women, elderly, kids, veterans, those dreaded workers of “big gumint” who need a paycheck just like the rest of us, etc.

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The Tennessee Firearms Association (once more, “Danger, Will Robinson!”) raffled off an AR-15 assault rifle in April here like the one used by Newtown, CT shooter Adam Lanza against 6 adults and 20 innocent schoolchildren; the group said that the goal was “to resist Barack Obama” (“From doing what?” a sane person might actually ask).

Likewise, Indiana Moms Against Gun Control (“OOWWWW! THE STUPID!!! IT BURNS US!!!”) organized a rally of sorts “to thank Congress for voting down gun safety measures, including a proposal to expand background checks for guns sales” here.

Fortunately, public opinion in this country is moving in a decidedly opposite direction from these troglodytes. Have fun shooting each other, and don’t come to us if you need help burying the victims of your stupidity.

Dregs of the Year Nominee (“Roll Another Number For The Road” Citation)

PA Governor Tom (“Space Cadet”) Corbett for his claim here that, basically, if you don’t have a job, it’s because you’re taking drugs (perhaps a subject matter expert, Tom?)…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Emerald Aviation President Ed Dahlberg, who attacked Muslim cab driver Mohamed A. Salim, breaking Salim’s jaw in what is being called (quite rightly I think) a “hate crime” here (Dahlberg was ranting about jihadists and 9/11, as if that’s an excuse…oh, and by the way, Salim served in this country’s armed forces during the Iraq war)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

There are a lot of reasons to give a citation like this to Ted Nugent, but the latest is because he made the claim here that President Obama is responsible for military suicides, which were out of control under Dubya before Number 44 was even sworn in; as C&L points out, Nugent got at least two deferments from Vietnam when he was eligible to serve (and wasn’t Nugent supposed to be “dead or in jail” anyway by now?)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

New Hampshire State Rep and Alex Jones acolyte Stella Tremblay earns a dubious mention; here, she said that the Boston Marathon bombing must have been “staged” by the federal government, because a victim who lost his legs “looked calm.”

She should be forced to spend her remaining days caring for our disabled military in VA hospitals; I guess their ruinous injuries are “fake” because they “look calm” sometimes too (of course, some of our heroes would likely object to the presence of someone like Tremblay since they quite rightly deserve to be cared for by honorable people).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

“Glibertarian” radio host Adam Kokesh, who, in May, planned a march on Washington on July 4th with about 900 gun owners, carrying loaded weapons in violation of D.C.’s gun ordinance, to “put the government on notice” (here…awww, too bad – nitwit)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Charles Ramsey of Cleveland, Ohio, the guy who heard screaming from a house next door and went to investigate; it turns out that the person doing the screaming was Amanda Berry, who had been held hostage for 10 years…Ramsey’s “Good Samaritan” action also helped free Gina Dejesus (who disappeared in 2004) and Michele Knight (who disappeared in 2002), who had also been kept in the same house by Ariel Castro, who later took his own life – nice work by Ramsey (here).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

The Los Angeles Dodgers played a road series against the San Francisco Giants in May, and after one of the games (a 4-3 Giants win), Matt Kemp of the Dodgers approached a young man named Joshua Jones wearing a Dodgers hoodie and sitting in the front row on the third-base side (Jones has terminal cancer and, sadly, is not expected to live much longer).

Kemp gave Jones an autograph, but that wasn’t enough. Kemp also gave him his cap, jersey and cleats (Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach…who wore out Phillies pitching when he played for Montreal way back when…deserves credit also for letting Kemp know about the fan – Kemp said that he did that partly because, when he was young, he was once snubbed when he tried to get an autograph from his favorite player, and he definitely didn’t want to give this kid the same treatment).

Oh, and by the way, there was no ESPN camera rolling at the time; Kemp was just trying to do the right thing. Which he definitely did (classy stuff on his part – here).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

“Christian” rocker Tim Lambesis of the band As I Lay Dying, who was arrested in Oceanside in May on suspicion of hiring a hit man to murder his estranged wife, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (and I’ll bet he’s never even read Faulkner – here)…

Dregs of the Year Nominees

This is just about a yearly citation, but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge A. Raymond Randolph in particular (I’ll let you, dear reader, speculate as to what the “A” stands for) get a nod here for ruling that the National Labor Relations Board cannot require employers to post a notice detailing workers’ organizing rights under the National Labor Relations Act, basically ruling that this agency of government can’t put up instructions in the workplace concerning a function completely under their purview (umm, now how many years of precedent is Randolph pissing all over with this boneheaded ruling, I wonder?)

Dregs of the Year Nominees (Special “Journamalism” Citation)

The AP ran a story in May with a headline about “restroom sex” which, in actuality, had to do with a lawsuit filed by a young woman at a Washington State university who alleges that the school failed to protect her from a 16-year-old boy who raped her on school property (here); yes, AP, apparently it is necessary to remind you that there’s big difference between sex (implying consent) and rape…no comment.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Filmmaker Greg Karber gets a citation for his “Fitch the Homeless” campaign (here), in response to the ridiculously snotty (and probably discriminatory) attitude of Mike Jeffries, CEO of upscale clothing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch, epitomized by these remarks…

“We go after the cool kids,” Jeffries told Salon magazine. “We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.” Jeffries went on to admit without regret that Abercrombie’s policies were exclusionary.

So what does Karber do? He launches a campaign to give away Abercrombie and Fitch clothes to the homeless in LA, making a video that has garnered at least half a million views on YouTube (with Karber saying that the people he gave the clothes to were initially reluctant to take them because “perhaps they were afraid of being perceived as narcissistic date-rapists.”)


…on the other hand…

Do-Gooders of the Year Nominees

Abercrombie and Fitch get a mention again here, but in a good way this time; thus far, they’re the only U.S. retailer (besides PVH) that said they would sign a safety upgrade plan for factories in Bangladesh that includes independent factory inspections and requires companies to help underwrite building upgrades and repairs (this in the wake of a Bangladesh factory collapse that killed hundreds of workers).

So what of other U.S. “corporate cousins”?…

Gap has voiced concerns that the plan could be used to sue it in American courts and Walmart objected to governance and dispute resolution mechanisms. Walmart announced on Wednesday that it would instead use its own voluntary plan that includes inspecting all of its Bangladesh facilities and providing fire safety training to workers. Gap also sent a letter to employees at its headquarters saying that it has hired a fire inspector to examine factories in Bangladesh and will commit $22 million in loans to factories to make upgrades.

So basically, whatever is done by Gap and Walmart (assuming anything is done at all) will take place apart from media scrutiny or any kind of governmental oversight.

Heckuva job!

Dregs of the Year Nominee

U.S. House Repug (I believe) Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who said here that the school shootings in this country, including Sandy Hook, were tied to the legalization of abortion (I’d slap a Jackson down on the table right now – that’s all I’ve got; I live on a low budget – if it would make this clown actually spout this crap in front of families trying to cope with losing loved ones to gun violence in this country…I’m sure he would get the reaction he completely deserves)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Texas (of course) Judge John Roach, who ruled here that a lesbian woman could not live with her partner and gave the woman 30 days to move out (she should show up at Roach’s front door and “squat” there for however long she pleases)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

It takes a truly special kind of stoo-pid to re-elect Mark “Appalachian Trail” Sanford to the U.S. House after his utterly abysmal turn as governor (there were many, many other reasons to vote for Sanford’s challenger, Elizabeth Colbert Busch – and sister of Stephen Colbert – not related to Sanford’s personal life, including this one), but the majority of supposedly intelligent voters of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District voted for Sanford anyway (here).

More later…

Doomsy’s Do-Gooders and Dregs (2013 – Pt. 4)

November 26, 2013

Prior related posts appear below:

Part 3
Part 2
Part 1 (with setup)

Dregs of the Year Nominee (“This is CNN?” Citation)

The network was criticized in March for what many considered its slanted coverage by reporter Poppy (?) Harlow and anchor Candy Crowley of the conviction of Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16 in the rape of a drunken 16-year-old girl from West Virginia.

As this HuffPo column tells us…

“These two young men who had such promising futures — star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart,” Harlow said. Crowley asked a CNN legal analyst, “What’s the lasting effect though on two young men being found guilty juvenile court of rape essentially?”

This is partly like that tasteless “SNL” sketch about the National Organization for Men, where John Belushi once said, “When a man commits a rape, sometimes he feels disoriented, confused…like he needs to reach out, y’know?” The only problem is that SNL is, ostensibly, a comedy show and not something that purports to be a legitimate news broadcast.

A little sympathy for the victim (the real victim) would be nice here…just a little. And some chastisement towards these two monsters instead of a crying towel wouldn’t hurt either (And here is an update).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Steubenville, OH resident and blogger Alexandria Goddard earns a mention in this also. As this story tells us, drew the world’s attention to the damning Facebook posts and “tweets” concerning the rape victim who was attacked by Mays and Richmond, for which the two were convicted; the story also tells us that, because of her courageous act, Goddard’s family has been harassed. She has had a slow AIDS death wished upon her by a former friend, was sued for defamation of character by a student (it was dismissed) and has been hospitalized due to the stress of being sued.

Would she do it again? “Absolutely,” she says.

Courageous stuff…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Departing (not soon enough) U.S. Senate Repug Saxby (“I’m Not Gay, So I Don’t Want To Marry One”) Chambliss here (idiot – yeah, the Repugs are really going forward on marriage equality…uh huh)

Do-Gooders of the Year Nominees

The N.H. “lege” (here) and NYPD Officer Pedro Serrano (here)…

…on the other hand…

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The North Dakota “lege” gets a dishonorable mention for this (uh huh, the Repugs are sure going to win back women voters with this, with women legislators from even their own party protesting – yep)

Dregs of the Year Nominee (Special “Et Tu, Trapper?” Citation)

Wayne Rogers appeared on Fix Noise here in March and said we lived in a “fascist” government to commemorate the third anniversary of health care reform (guess those M.A.S.H residuals must somehow be running out; can’t think of any other reason why he would need the dough to help spread this BS – pity).

Dregs of the Year Nominees

I’m tempted to give this straight up to “Calgary” Cruz (or should I say “Caribbean Cruz”) and his playmates in the U.S. Senate who voted against the health care law and also voted to repeal the student loan reform law (here), but instead, this citation goes out to anyone who cast a ballot for these clowns (Wonder why we can’t get more done to fix what ails this country? Stupid voters is one reason).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

83-year-old Edith Windsor (here) – wishing her all the best…

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Carol Sutor, of Bristol, Bucks County, PA, came across some secondhand clothes that had $30,000 in cash stuffed inside; she returned the money ultimately to the son of an 85-year-old woman who had inadvertently left the money in a clothing bag (another Do-Gooder citation to the son of the woman who gave Sutor $1,000 as a thank you for returning the money and not doing what far too many other people would have done – here).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Apparently, ever since Number 44 was re-elected, Shawn Moore of Carney’s Point, Salem County, NJ had been acting like a total fool, including carrying on at an Applebee’s restaurant (ZOMG, THAT KENYAN MUSLIM SOCIALIST IS TRYING TO STEAL MY GUNS!!!!). What gets him a dishonorable mention here, though, is the fact that he posted a pic on Facebook of his 11-year-old son holding a 22-calibre assault rifle, which supposedly was a birthday present.

Hey dipshit, if you want to make a fool out of yourself, that’s one thing. But next time, leave the kids alone when it comes to this stuff, OK?

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The Chester County, PA Commissioners earn a dishonorable mention for compelling that county’s workers from the county’s human services departments (include Aging, Children and Youth, Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health/ IDD and the Youth Center) to attend a compulsory meeting run by wingnut union buster Peter A. List.

As the Daily Kos post tells us…

The caseworkers are charged with working with the most needy and vulnerable of the county’s citizens, in many cases those unable to care for themselves. Despite the wealth all around them (Chester County boasts a median income of 84,800 with 51% of the residents over the age of 25 having a bachelor degree or higher – the wealthiest county in PA), these employees are frustrated by increasing workloads and budget cutbacks. They are constantly being asked to do more with less. They have not received a raise in four years and many feel they can no longer afford to live in the county they serve. They remain the lowest paid in the 5-county Philadelphia area.

Actually, I now realize that I should expand this citation to include not just the commissioners, but Pete List along with any voter that allows this miserable circumstance to remain unchallenged.

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The gun nuts who showed up at this Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns National Day to Demand Action rally in Indianapolis, IN fully armed to intimidate those who attended the rally, as noted here (and yes, they succeeded) – didn’t we used to fight wars against countries that did this kind of stuff?

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominees (“Retroactive to 2012” Citation)

As noted here, court documents in a lawsuit filed by “a powerful Republican nonprofit fundraising organization, American Action Network” against a nonprofit (figures) responsible for providing entertainment for last year’s Repug National Convention reveal that Lady Gaga turned down $1 million to perform (rapper Pitbull and Dolly Parton deserve Do-Gooder citations also for likewise saying “no thanks,” but not with that kind of dough on the line, I’m sure).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Alaska Repug State House Rep Kurt Olson told an Exxon company representative here that Exxon shouldn’t be blamed for the second-worst oil spill in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 (when the rep heard this, he said “Wow” – that’s my reaction also, but for an altogether different reason I’m sure).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Powerball winner Pedro Quezada for deciding to use some of his winnings to pay the rent for his entire neighborhood for a month (here) – good guy

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former NRA lobbyist and founder of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Dudley Brown gets a dishonorable mention; he said here that it’s “time to hunt Democrats” during election season, supposedly (wonder what kind of outrage would have been generated if Jim Carrey, during his “Cold, Dead Hand” spoof, had made a remark like “time to hunt Republicans”?)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee (Special “Would Have Been, Had He Not Fallen Victim To This Country’s Epidemic of Gun Violence About Which We Can Apparently Do Absolutely Nothing On The Federal Level, At Least To This Moment” Citation)

Joseph Massenburg, 18, was shot multiple times and killed on a New Orleans street corner as noted here in April; he had been eager to embark on his first project in NOLA as an AmeriCorps member, friends and family said in the Times-Picayune story…Massenburg’s father called his son a dedicated public servant who spent most of his youth volunteering at his local church in suburban Illinois (here).

In other words, he was exactly the type of person this country needs desperately and can ill afford to lose, though I want to emphasize that any death due to gun violence is a tragedy and you can’t really say that one is worse than another (hat tip to Joe Nocera and The Gun Report at the New York Times).

Do-Gooders of the Year Nominees

Any federal government employee who has volunteered to take pay cuts in support of furloughed federal workers as long as the “sequester” (in which Man Tan Boehner infamously said that he got “98 percent of everything he wanted”) remains in effect, including President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Defense Hagel, Tammy Duckworth, and Mark Begich (here)

Do-Gooders of the Year Nominees

Clergy for Justice – as Think Progress tells us here, it is a Tennessee-based organization that is currently fighting a typically ridiculous Republican-sponsored bill to deny welfare assistance to families whose kids don’t do well in school; as Rachel Maddow, among others, has said, forget about what the Repugs say to the lapdog Beltway media – instead, pay attention to their crappy attempts to punish the less fortunate of the “99 percent” as they do here

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The Bucks County Courier Times ran a front-page headline story in April about the Valley Forge Gun Show in Warminster (wonder why it wasn’t called the Warminster Gun Show then?) in which promoter Pearl Nudy said the following (here)…

“It’s human nature as soon as you say someone can’t have something, just like prohibition,” Nudy said. People are concerned that their Second Amendment rights might be violated, she added.

Of course, as usual, no proof is offered whatsoever in support of the argument that anyone’s so-called “second amendment rights” are bring “violated.”


“(The right to bear arms) is for me to protect myself from bad government and bad people,” the gun show promoter said.

Oh, so Nudy admits that she favors a potentially violent insurrection against our government? She admits that she favors anarchy? How nice.

The article does include a comment from the organization called Bucks Safe in favor of universal backgrounds checks (which wingnut commenters predictably tried to hoot down), so the article does have some slight merit to it (not much, though).

Dregs of the Year Nominee (“Wonder What Happened to the Real Bloody Sock” Citation)

Former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling who, as noted here, is accused of trying to bilk Rhode Island taxpayers out of $75 million to prop up his failing company that he moved to R.I. from Massachusetts – and of course, Teahadist Curt is all against “big gumint” handouts for everyone else apparently (h/t Atrios)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I really hesitate to go after anyone in our military because I never served myself (unless you’re taking about a high-ranking person guilty of terrible actions on the job, either still in the military or acting in a civilian capacity…Rummy comes immediately to mind), but Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin gets a dubious mention here for overturning a sexual assault conviction against a subordinate, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, on the basis of 18 arbitrary points, several of which were ruled inadmissible in court and others based on supposition that assumed guilt on the part of the victim.

Sen. Claire McCaskill responded as follows…

“This explanation crystalizes exactly why the convening authority should not have the unilateral ability to overturn a jury verdict — and why we need legislation that restricts their ability to do so”…“This letter (containing the 18 points) is filled with selective reasoning and assumptions from someone with no legal training, and it’s appalling that the reasoning spelled out in the letter served as the basis to overturn a jury verdict in this case.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The so-called “Democrats” in Texas who supported a bill to drug test welfare recipients here (I would expect this crap from Repugs, but definitely not our side)…

…and speaking of Republican Texas BS, someone named Barry Smithson, who apparently is Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission appointed by “Goodhair” Perry, “tweeted” this pic with the names of the 16 Republican senators who voted to advance the Toomey/Manchin gun background check bill to a vote in the Senate – the pic contains a noose and accuses them of “treason” (and by the way, you pea-brain, the New Hampshire Senator’s last name is “Ayotte”).

I give you Exhibit A in the full-on wingnut gun hysteria in this country. This is what they do before the bill even comes up for a vote! And by the way, the Toomey/Manchin bill makes it a federal crime to try and compile a federal database of gun owners.

So the wingnuts basically get a big piece of what they want out of this anyway, and they’re still caterwauling like a cat with its tail stuck in an electrical outlet. Is it any wonder that I hate these people?

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Anyone at The Philadelphia Inquirer responsible for sticking this paragraph on the end of this story about Do-Gooder Antoine Gardiner, who tried to rescue a young man shot in the stomach who later died at Lankenau Hospital…

A recent investigative report on unpaid property taxes in Philadelphia revealed that Gardiner (who tried to save the boy) and his company, Bizness As Usual, owed $471,000 in back taxes on 58 properties, many of which are rentals. Gardiner disputes the city’s accounting and said on Saturday that he had since paid about half of the back taxes.

Was it really necessary to mention this in a story about the man’s otherwise good deed which nearly saved the boy who was shot (h/t to one of my senior correspondents for this one)

Dregs of the Year Nominee (“Representative Penis Now Has The Floor” Citation)

New Hampshire state lawmaker Peter Hansen referred to women as “vaginas” in an April Email to a state house listserv in which he defended his state’s “stand your ground” law, as noted here (he later apologized – duuuuuhh!!)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The Regal Theater movie chain gets a dishonorable mention for cutting the hours of its employees to prevent compliance with “Obama Care” and thus provide health insurance coverage for its employees (here – oh, and I’m sure their employees make a king’s ransom in salary to begin with, right? And they’ll probably raise the price of their watery soda and burnt popcorn anyway).

More later…

Doomsy’s Do-Gooders and Dregs (2013 – Pt. 3)

November 25, 2013

Prior related posts appear below:

Part 2
Part 1 (with setup)

Dregs of the Year Nominee (“From One Bum(s) to Another” Citation)

The Women’s Ministry in Austria has repeatedly proposed passing a law against a man grabbing a woman’s butt, affectionately known as “the bum law” in that country, but the Austrian government insists that there’s nothing wrong with that kind of behavior. Under Austrian law, a sexual assault victim must prove that the perpetrator initiated contact that was “more than fleeting” and involved a “primary or secondary sexual organ” and apparently a hand doesn’t qualify (I’ll leave any additional snark on this to you, dear reader).

And in case you were wondering, the Dregs citation goes to the Austrian government here.

Dregs of the Year Nominee (Probably the Front Runner So Far)

A life form named Franklin Sain gets a nod for his disgustingly racist, misogynist death threats against lawmakers Rhonda Fields and Beth McCann; convict him and throw his ass in a Supermax prison with other hardcore cases – give him about 30 years to think about what a hateful pig he really is (here).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Once more, the bar is set really low, but I’m having to scrounge here a bit; at this moment, I think Governor Bully gets it for deciding to accept extra Medicaid funds for NJ, as noted here, which of course Tom (“Space Cadet”) Corbett won’t do in PA, as I pointed out already – Corbett is too busy working with Repugs in Harrisburg to try and siphon off PA’s electoral votes in the 2016 election so the Repug candidate gets some instead of the “winner take all” system we have in the rest of the country, primarily the “red” states

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Police Chief Edward Flynn of Milwaukee for this (there are a few of these characters on Capitol Hill who definitely need a “bitch slap”…sorry if that’s not “PC”…and Huckleberry Graham is definitely one)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Repug U.S. House Rep Sean Duffy for this (what an assh*le)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

State Rep. Ernest Hewett (D-CT) for this (once again, what an assh*le)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

San Diego “Christian” College, for firing teacher Teri James for becoming pregnant while engaging in premarital sex with her boyfriend (here); James violated the school’s “moral code” – and to ramp up the hypocrisy meter a little more, the school apparently offered James’ job to her boyfriend after he impregnated her (there’s a reason why there’s a legal remedy for this sort of garbage)

Do-Gooders of the Year Nominees

The rock band Train get a mention for pulling out of this year’s Boy Scouts National Jamboree to protest that organization’s ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders (here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Sen. Charles (“This Guy”) Grassley gets it for this – the almost garden variety wingnuttia isn’t the reason for the citation, but the singular disrespect towards the president from another elected federal politician; as long as we’re at it, though, can we please do away with this socialism BS as long as the stock market continues to set new growth records?

(Yes, I know, I can dream, can’t I?)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

(This video link is from November 2012, but I heard about this in March.)

The story I linked to is about the reaction of students in a West Philadelphia high school to the district’s efforts to reduce the calorie content in school lunches; apparently, to qualify for federal funds, there must be a serving of fruit or vegetables with the other stuff on the plate for each student (which I applaud, by the way).

In response, some students have taken to playing “food basketball,” throwing their apples and oranges into the trash can like they’re shooting a basketball or something.

This, to me, is utterly disgusting. I absolutely hate food waste like this (litter too, if you want to know the truth – funny that way, I guess).

Congratulations, morons. Welcome to the world of increased risk for diabetes (not like we don’t already have an epidemic in this country), to say nothing of potential heart attack and stroke (the Dregs citation goes out to the food wasters, to say nothing of wasting taxpayer dollars also). And yes, I know we’re talking about kids (I’m sure their parents are happy to see the product of their hard-earned incomes wasted this way), but as far as I’m concerned, that’s absolutely no excuse.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Richard W. Rahn, an economic adviser to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, referred to Democrats pretty much as blood-sucking parasites here (as the Daily Kos poster noted, wonder what the reaction would be if a “lefty” referred to a Repug politician that way? As opposed to the otherwise-sensible Martin Bashir’s stupid remarks about Sarah Palin here, covered from sea to shining sea).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I don’t enjoy this one bit, but I have to give a citation to Dem Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon; in March, he joined pretend ophthalmologist Rand Paul along with Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Tex.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.) for a “talking filibuster” that lasted about 12 hours (here).

Talk about a confederacy of dunces…

I don’t begrudge Wyden’s argument against John Brennan as CIA director, with Brennan being the Obama Administration person who recommends where we send our flying death robots (presumably, Number 44 gives the final signoff). But by deciding to help Paul and his pals, Wyden gave Paul’s filibuster the imprimatur of respectability that, as far as I’m concerned, it didn’t deserve.

The Repugs have left the Dems hanging on their own more times than I can count. Why the hell should we blow an opportunity to return the favor?

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Major League Baseball gets a dishonorable mention here for refusing the request of the Venezuelan national baseball team, prior to an exhibition game against the Miami Marlins, for a moment of silence to commemorate the death of Hugo Chavez, that country’s leader.

Hey listen, I totally get it if people didn’t like Chavez. But come on – don’t cook up some nonsensical excuse like there wasn’t enough time to process the request, or something, prior to saying no.

Here’s a crazy, nutty, tree-hugging-liberal notion; maybe we would look like the adults in the room and maybe generate more good will if we had said yes instead, adding that, well, maybe we didn’t think Chavez was so great, but we’re willing to acknowledge someone with whom we frequently disagreed, in part to recognize that he did accomplish some good in his life.

But no – let’s shoot ourselves in the ass again, figuratively speaking, for no good reason.

(“U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A!”)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Murad Khan, a police officer in southwest Afghanistan, who, as the news story tells us, sacrificed his life for the sake of others, embracing a suicide bomber before the explosive was detonated (as it is written somewhere, there is no greater love – a true hero) – Khan and eight other minors were killed, which is horrific enough, but it could have been worse, in an area of the world where horrific tragedy sadly comes with the territory

Dregs of the Year Nominees (Special “Thank You Sir, May I Have Another!” Citation)

I have to admit that I’m not completely surprised by this, but the info from this link tells us that NHL attendance across the league is up by about 2 percent over last year, and this in spite of a player lockout that wiped out about half of the 2012-2013 season, including the Winter Classic and the All-Star Game (I thought there were “Stepford” fans only in Philadelphia –shows what I know I guess).

Get ready to be abused again the next time the players’ collective bargaining agreement expires.

Dregs of the Year Nominee (Commemorative “Road To Nowhere” Citation)

Texas (of course) State Rep. Dan Branch introduced legislation that would rename a seven-mile stretch of Dallas highway in honor of Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History; no word on whether or not this would be the only stretch of road on earth where drivers would be encouraged to “go with their gut” and plunge ahead, making all kinds of ridiculously bad driving decisions regardless of the potential result (here).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Sir Patrick Stewart gets a nod here for his campaign calling on men to prevent violence against women, in light of the online attacks against Zerlina Maxwell who apparently dared (as some view it) to suggest that maybe we should teach rape prevention to men rather than asking women to take all sorts of precautions that might or might not work to guard themselves against assault.

All I can say in response is “Engage!” – sorry, too easy.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

South Carolina (once again, of course) state house rep Kris Crawford supported his state’s Medicaid expansion on the one hand, but on the other hand, he expected his state’s Republican delegation in Congress to vote against it because “It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now” (here)…

Gee, I wonder if this is something like Willard Mitt Romney and his “47 percent” comment? Way to give away the Repug game, you racist nimrod!

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

I don’t know why it takes a family member having an issue of some kind for a Republican to actually show a bit of conscience, but credit where it’s due here to Ohio Senator Rob Portman for flip-flopping and now supporting marriage equality after his son has “come out” here in March.

…on the other hand…

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I had a feeling that the CPAC brown shirt rally would lead to a citation or two, and I wasn’t disappointed (that may be an odd way to put it, though) – Repug U.S. House Rep. Tim Huelskamp attacked Portman, saying he would still oppose marriage equality even if his son “came out.”

Huelskamp doesn’t get a citation for opposing Portman on this issue (which is Huelskamp’s right) – he gets it for the typically small and petulant attitude he displayed while doing so, criticizing Portman because he couldn’t “deliver” Ohio for Willard Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election (as if supporting a family member in an alternatively traumatic and courageous moment is in any way similar to a presidential campaign – here).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Just Plain Folks Sarah Palin Dontcha Know earns a dubious mention also; at the same CPAC rally, she criticized New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his restrictions on soda (which, as far as I’m concerned, is pretty smart – I don’t care if it’s “nanny state” government or not…we have an obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country, and Bloomberg’s trying to do something about that).

As with Huelskamp, Palin has the right to take an opposing point of view. That’s not why she got the citation. And the fact that she pulled out this Big Gulp drink to display to emphasize her point for the crowd of knuckle draggers in attendance (who totally loved it, of course) isn’t the reason.

She gets the citation because she didn’t even finish the damn drink, letting it go to waste in all-too-typical fashion in this country.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Singer Michelle Shocked gets a dubious mention for making an anti-gay slur prior to a show in San Francisco (duuuh); as a result, her audience walked out and about four tour dates were cancelled.

(And listen, I’m not saying she has to even like gays or LGBT folk. If you don’t, just keep it to yourself, OK?)

I think this is desperation time here…she never really hit it big, and she was just looking for a way to gain some kind of market share, somewhere (of course, the wingnuts now will love her…I’m sure she’ll be appearing with Dennis Miller before too much longer). I never really thought much of her as a performer, though she is living up to her name here.

Maybe she should change it now to Michelle Stupid(ed)?

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I really was going to give a pass to Plymouth County, Massachusetts sheriff Joseph McDonald over making a joke about President Obama getting shot in the head a la Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, mainly because…y’know….I’ve just reached a bit of Obama Assassination Remark Fatigue. Maybe I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do; I mean, there have been so many supposedly jokey references to Number 44 getting killed that it has become background noise (of course, God forbid if any of them should ever come to hideous fruition –and God bless our Secret Service for the work they do). And no, I wasn’t going to cut McDonald a break because he lives in a “blue” state.

But you know what? Screw it – for what it’s worth, he gets a mention for “doubling down” when he gets called on it, referring to his critics as “Nazis” (again, really tired stuff here).

What an asshat (oh, and liberals supposedly made the same remarks about Dubya? Give me a date, time, place, web site, name of said person – details, you schmuck).

More later…

Doomsy’s Do-Gooders and Dregs (2013 – Pt. 2)

November 25, 2013

(Part One including the setup is here.)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

PA Governor Tom (“Space Cadet”) Corbett for turning down additional Medicaid funds as part of health care reform, as noted here (as Crooks and Liars points out, I guess the health of the “poors” doesn’t matter versus trying to burnish your wingnut bona fides…he made noises later in the year like he would accept the additional Medicaid funding, but I’m not sure that he ever did…and just add this to the pile on Corbett)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Eric Lowry, owner of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms, came up with the idea to offer one AR-15, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and 30 high-capacity magazine clips, for free, on his company’s Facebook page, in response to the gun control policies recent advocated by President Obama and members of Congress (here).

Here’s an idea for Lowry – why not go “full wingnut” and turn into a survivalist with your own compound, like that lunatic Jimmy Lee Dykes who abducted that young boy with Asperger’s Syndrome (noted in Part One)? Why not “walk the walk” and stop trying to make money off of others’ bloodshed and instead turn completely against that “big gumint” you apparently hate?

Is it because Dykes ended up getting shot dead by police? Well, why should that stop you? No guts, no glory as they say.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

As is so often the case, Sen. Bernie Sanders earns a well-deserved nod here for introducing a bill to repatriate potentially hundreds of billions of corporate tax revenue; the measure would end the practice of “deferral,” meaning that corporations would pay taxes on profits as they are earned and not at some point in the future, if at all…

Under the Corporate Tax Fairness Act, U.S. corporations would continue to get a credit against their U.S. taxes for foreign taxes they pay. That means that when an American corporation has profits in a country with lower corporate taxes than the U.S., they would pay the federal government the difference between the foreign rate and the U.S. rate. When an American corporation has profits in a country with higher corporate taxes than the U.S., they would pay nothing to the U.S.

Sounds like a plan, and I’m sure Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao is doing his best to figure out how to derail it as I type this.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Definitely not a fan since she beat Patrick Murphy in the Dem primary last year (with a big assist from Bill Clinton, as a payback for Murphy supporting Obama and not Hillary in ’08), but incoming PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane deserves a nod for closing that ridiculous “Florida gun loophole” which allowed a Philadelphia resident whose gun permit was not approved by PA to get a permit from Florida instead, with said permit owner being allowed to own a gun anyway (here – not sure why this was ever legal to begin with…also opposed that stupid PA Defense of Marriage Act, or whatever that is)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Kobe Bryant of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers for calling out a fan here who used “gay” as an insult (as Think Progress tells us, Bryant has apparently come a long way on this issue – here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I could probably run “Man Tan” Boehner of the House out here for a lot of reasons, but here, he said something along the lines of President Obama not having the guts to cut spending, or something, when federal spending under Obama’s watch has decreased from 25.5 percent (when he took office) to 24.7 percent of total federal expenditures as a share of the economy.

Oh, and speaking of Congress and financial matters, I think we should consider this item as a response.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

The bar is set low here I’ll admit, but credit where it’s due to New Mexico governor (and Teahadist) Susana Martinez for also expressing a willingness to close the “gun show loophole” in her state here.

Mistake Photo-op Of The Year (about which I care nothing except for now)


Dregs of the Year Nominee

Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, predicted before the first game of the strike-shortened NHL season that the Flyers would win the Stanley Cup in 2013 – they ended up not even making the playoffs.

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Stephanie Wolfe, a political science professor at West Liberty University in West Virginia, who stated in her syllabus that, when students do written assignments for her class, they can’t use Fox News as a source (she also said students can’t use The Onion – speaking for myself, I’d be hard pressed to figure out the difference, perhaps only that The Onion is intentionally humorous; of course, the predictable outcry from the knuckle-draggers for whom Fix Noise is gospel is already underway…and yes, Wolfe is completely within her rights to do this…here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Joe Scar gets it for some truly ridiculous false equivalency here, saying that Wayne LaPierre of the NRA is as “extreme” on guns as Paul Krugman is on the debt.

Scarborough is a pro when it comes to playing the corporate media game of trying to sound sensible one moment and then embracing utterly batshit wingnuttery the next; hell, I saw him do it within the space of about three minutes once on “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

Tell you what, Joe – the next time someone gets a bullet in the head from the production-possibility frontier or a nine-year-old girl in Tucson is slaughtered by a disturbed market equilibrium or an inefficient distribution of labor, let me know, OK?

(Oh, and by the way, beyond the fact that the comparison is utterly absurd, LaPierre remains tragically and dangerously wrong and Krugman remains thoroughly correct.)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Boxer Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxing champion who regularly pulls in guaranteed purses north of $20 million per fight, for refusing to box in Las Vegas because he doesn’t want to pay U.S. taxes for income earned in this country – fine, go 15 rounds with some palooka in Yemen then, you ingrate (here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

On Sunday February 17th, Tom Friedman wrote what seems like his 1,217th column on how now is supposedly the time for Obama to strike a “grand bargain” with supposedly moderate Republicans (pathetic – here).

Republicans on the national level “bring the crazy” pretty much 24/7/365 because they don’t want to be primaried by the Teahadists. More than anything else, that is why Republicans in Washington and most statehouses dare not do anything that makes it look like they’re trying to work with that Kenyan Muslim socialist. I’m hardly a “well kept” New York Times pundit, but even I know that (and of course, whenever Friedman talks about compromise, on the Dem side anyway, it has to do with “reining in spending,” or something, which inevitably means that the 99 percent gets it in the neck again…Freidman would do well to read Paul Krugman, who has forgotten more about this stuff than Friedman will ever know).

Dregs of the Year Nominee (Special “Yeah, I’ll Have An Extra Cheese With Pepperoni, Mushrooms And A Side of Lead, To Go” Citation)

All Around Pizzas and Deli in Virginia (here), where customers who bring in a gun or show a gun permit get 15 percent off their order (Wonder what’s next? A free six pack at the beer distributor if you walk in the door with a rocket launcher?)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Victor “Hugh” Bowman for his lawsuit against food processing giant Monsanto here – the company sued Bowman for using second-generation genetically modified seeds (Monsanto being the king of “GM” foods – in this context, I should probably put “food” in quotes too)…as TP tells us (about Bowman’s appeal that has made its way to the High Court of Hangin’ Judge JR), “(This) gives the Supreme Court an opportunity to determine whether or not Monsanto is using patent enforcement to control their monopoly on a vital resource.”

(By the way, a Dregs citation within this to the Obama Administration for siding with Monsanto, and to “Almost Silent” Clarence Thomas, once a Monsanto lawyer, for not recusing himself…knowing the pro-business bent of this Court, it’s probably not hard to figure out what will happen, but we’ll see)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

North Carolina Repug (of course) Governor Pat McCrory for his “unprecedented” gutting of unemployment insurance in his state affecting about 400,000 claimants and their families (here) – his measure reduces the maximum benefit allowed from $535 a week to $350 while cutting the number of weeks an unemployed worker is eligible for the program from 26 to 20 (every resident in the state should probably chip in some change so McCrory can go see the movie or stage production of “Les Miserables,” even though the meaning would no doubt be utterly lost on him…and by the way, McCrory is also a tool for this)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Nevada Repug U.S. House Rep Joe Heck, who said here that he considers former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to be a “prop” on behalf of common sense gun control efforts in this country (and if Heck were to take a bullet in his head and survive, then I’m sure he would be a “prop” on behalf of ignorant politicians everywhere…and yes, I know he released an update saying he didn’t consider Giffords to be a “prop” after all – mighty decent of him – but as is too often the case, an apology for his terrible choice of words was nowhere to be found)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Montana “Tea Party Patriot” Jennifer Olsen for sharing Rich Diamond’s photo here on Facebook of a “plot to kidnap the President” involving a stick-propped-open box and a watermelon (the pic shows what I’m talking about…and by the way, a Dregs citation to Diamond also for being a clueless nut sack – and isn’t this stuff “sooo 2009” anyway? Yep, keep telling me that the Teahadists aren’t racist)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Judy Viger, a 33-year-old mom in Glen Falls, NY, who hired two strippers for her son’s 16th birthday party, the problem being that 16 is underage and all, as noted here (I read somewhere that she could be looking at a year in prison for corrupting the morals of a minor, but a neighbor acted like it was some kind of a misunderstanding by police…uh huh, sure – all inappropriate jokes about a “boy’s dream come true” or something notwithstanding, this is ultimately a serious legal matter)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Former first lady Laura Bush, who objected when she was included in an ad in support of marriage equality; I know it’s a bit of a slippery slope to include family members of public figures (though she is that in her own right), but the issue is that there is a public record of her support on the issue, and now she’s trying to wash her hands of that, you might say (here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Trisha Lynn McLaughlin, 36, of East Street Road in Warminster, PA was accused in February of embezzling about $355,000 from her employer, where she was the office manager, as noted here.

Was her employer a bank? An insurance company? A pharmaceutical firm? No.

Her employer was Newtown Veterinary Hospital, a place near and dear to Mrs. Doomsy, the teenaged one and I since they looked after our family pet, who lived with us for 15 years before he passed away last year (and currently taking care of the new felines also).

This woman is accused of stealing $355 grand from a place that gave (and continues to give I’m sure) wonderful care to people’s treasures, and NVH, I suspect, had to do a lot of scrounging to make up the shortfall.

If she’s convicted, I hope she gets at least 20 years.

More later…

Doomsy’s Do-Gooders and Dregs (2013 – Pt. 1)

November 25, 2013

OK, I’m going to rev this up again and see how far I get with it.

This is the beginning of my year-end wrap-up, and I’d better get started now because I’ve got a bunch of stuff. The point of this is to cover a lot of items that I’d managed to accumulate over the prior year, but I really didn’t want to include them in a post because I didn’t have much to say at the time.

(A bit of background here: I originally started the whole “Do-Gooders and Dregs” thing over at the Blogger site in 2005, and I did it every year since – with each post or set of posts gradually getting longer and longer – until last year, when I was unable to do it for a variety of reasons. However, I really felt that this blog was the worse for not having it, so I’m going to try and get it going again. And I’m going to do the posts here at WordPress instead because I think it’s a better platform for what I have in mind.)

And by the way, unacknowledged hat tips are probably owed here to Eschaton, Daily Kos, Think Progress, Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, Balloon Juice, firedoglake, MSNBC, and a few other sites here – many thanks.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Joshua Boston, a Marine who penned a letter complaining to Dianne Feinstein, his senator, about her efforts to try and reinstitute the assault weapons ban after the Newtown, CT shootings here; that’s not the reason for the citation – he has the right to do that – but to do so with this language…

“You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain,” Boston wrote in his letter to the senator. “I am not your subject,” he continues. “I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant.”

He also compared gun control efforts to Nazi Germany.

Uh huh.

Thank you for your service. Now, STFU.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The South Carolina (Danger, Will Robinson!) Mexican restaurant Taco Cid for its “witty” T-shirts worn by its employees that show a “joke” about “catching” illegal immigrants; when they were busted, they lashed out at the newspaper that published the story and the reporter who also took the picture, saying it wouldn’t advertise in that newspaper anymore (hereAy Carumba, are these people nitwits, the ones running the restaurant I mean!)

Dregs of the Year Nominees (Commemorative “Too Darn Hot” Citation)

The news networks with initials for names for excluding the one story that trumps everything else here

Ingrates of the Year (Possibly The Millennia) Citation

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former chairman of AIG, gets it for filing a lawsuit on behalf of the insurance giant claiming that “the federal government violated the Fifth Amendment by taking too large a share in the company and charging it excessive interest rates on the $182 billion in loans it gave the company” (here).

So these gutter snipes accept hundreds of billions of bailout dough and award themselves bonuses to boot, and now they’re mad because we (perhaps in our stupidity) enabled them?

Nationalize them right now. That will fix their sorry asses (more here).

Self-Defeating Right-Wing Moron of the Year

James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, a Tennessee company that trains people in weapon and tactical skills, claimed in a video posted on YouTube and Facebook that he would “start killing people” if President Barack Obama decides to take executive action to pass further gun control policies (he later apologized, as well he should – here).

I give you Exhibit A in the argument that there are some people in this country who shouldn’t be allowed to own a firearm (to say nothing of meriting prison time for making terroristic threats).

Dregs of the Year Nominee

George Burnett, the Colorado smoothie shop owner who charged more to liberals than conservatives and sent the difference to some right-wing outfit that pretends to care about the deficit here (which, as noted here, has been going down under that Kenyan Muslim Socialist in the White House)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

The five Repugs here (including disgraced former Reagan AG Ed Meese) who wanted to impeach Obama over #44’s eminently sensible gun proposals…

…who were slapped down by some actual adults in that party here (color me shocked!)

…thought that still didn’t stop the NRA from this vile maneuver (and a Do-Gooder-within-a-Dregs citation here to Chris Christie – again, credit where it’s due)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao for resurrecting the Obama-“gun grabber” mythology immediately after #44 was sworn in for another term here (of course, it has been long since proven that such a charge has absolutely no basis in actual fact)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

The head of the Mon Valley Republican Party in McKeesport, PA who hung his American flag upside down – a distress signal used by soldiers in times of war – to protest the Obama inauguration (this guy apparently said that our country is “a horrible place”…if you really think that, well, I don’t see anyone forcing you to stay, jackass – here and here)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Steve Kozachik, vice mayor and a member of the Tucson, AZ City Council, for stating here that the gun issue was the “last straw” for him and the GOP – one of the items he notes in his 1/22 CNN column is that he helped institute a gun buy-back program, but at about the same time as one of those events, the NRA set up a stand nearby with their “Cash for Guns” program, outbidding the gift cards that were given to those who participated in the buy-back program…those who went for the NRA deal traded in the cash for guns with no background checks on anyone, which apparently is legal in Arizona…beyond belief, though PA doesn’t have anything to brag about on that score either

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Golfer Phil Mickelson, who claims that he’s paying about 62 to 63 percent in taxes and cannot afford to pay more, as tax rates for those making more than $450K return to Clinton-era levels, which were hardly oppressive to begin with (as Think Progress states here, if Mickelson is really paying that much, then he’s being taken for a ride big time, even though it is higher in CA I realize when you add in all levels of taxation – regardless, he needs to be better informed on this subject at the very least, and maybe just a tad more empathetic too)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Former Bushco Secretary of State Colin Powell, for calling out his party on their voter suppression efforts primarily in the 2012 elections here; no, this doesn’t redeem his “baking soda in a vial” moment at the U.N. before the Gulf War, but it’s progress, and it builds on Joe Scarborough’s thoroughly truthful comment the day before about the fact that the House GOP has hung onto power through gerrymandering

Dregs of the Year Nominee (Commemorative “I Don’t Know What Any Adult On This Show Says – All I Ever Hear Is This ‘Wau Waauu Waaauuu’ Crap” Citation)

Peter Robbins, the man who voiced Charlie Brown as a child for all of those TV shows remembered by boomers everywhere including yours truly; in January, noted here, he was arrested and charged with 12 felony counts, facing up to nine years in state prison for stalking his ex-girlfriend and making criminal threats against a La Jolla plastic surgeon (good grief…too easy I know)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien for this (file this under “kicking butt and taking names”)…

Here is what happened – she had some wingnut on her show who opposed women in combat (which is stupid anyway because women have been fighting and dying in combat for years, to say nothing of enduring other miseries, as noted here), and O’Brien read a quote from someone that seemed to validate what the wingnut was saying. The only problem is that the quote was actually spoken in 1941 from someone who opposed African Americans in the military.

Some would consider that to be a journalistic trick, but not me (particularly since Fix Noise and their ideological brethren repeatedly clip quotes and twist meanings; O’Brien presented something that was truthful in a historical context…we need more like this).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter for presenting what he calls his “Sandy Hook principles” to encourage responsible corporate behavior by gun and ammunition manufacturers here; as part of this, he has called for divestment from gun companies in much the same way that we once encouraged divestment from companies that supported Apartheid in South Africa (Joe Nocera of the New York Times has also been “following the money” on this issue here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Jerry Boykin for this

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Roxanne Rubin, a casino worker on the Las Vegas strip and a Nevada Republican, who tried to show everybody how easy it is to commit voter fraud and ended up getting arrested for – wait for it! – voter fraud (yep, I definitely think there’s a Darwin award in her future…here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Idaho State Senator Sheryl Nuxoll for comparing “Obamacare” to the Holocaust (ya’ think these numbskulls would have gotten the message by now that this country is sick of their eliminationist rhetoric, but I guess not; just keep losing elections, then…fine with me – here)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Charles Albert Poland, Jr., a bus driver in Newton, Alabama, apparently confronted some anti-government survivalist nut named Jimmy Lee Dykes when Dykes (allegedly, let’s not forget) boarded Polard’s bus with a gun, threatening the kids. Polard confronted Dykes (unarmed, apparently) to defend the kids, and Polard was shot dead for it. Dykes allegedly then took a 5-year-old hostage into his underground bunker where, apparently, Dykes had enough food and other necessities to last for days or even weeks at a time (Dykes ended up dead and the boy was saved – works for me).

Poland laid down his life for his kids – in terms of commitment, I can’t see what can top that…here.

Dregs of the Year Nominee (“Heckuva Job” Citation)

Buscho FEMA Director (using the term loosely) Mike Brown, for attempting a joke about the blackout that took place in New Orleans during the Super Bowl, won by the Baltimore Ravens, and then copping an attitude when confronted over it here…if there is any person on this earth who has no room whatsoever to joke about New Orleans (and recalling Katrina in the process), it’s Brown (and why is it not surprising in any way that Brown is now a talk radio host?)

Crime Story of the Year, So Far (Commemorative “(Prison) Walls and Bridges” Citation)

Three different Brazilian criminals with surnames including that of slain former Beatle John Lennon were involved in a crime spree on or about February, as noted by The Daily Mail (the popularity of The Fab Four in that country was cited as a possible explanation, along with the fact that, after Lennon’s 1980 killing, more babies were named after him in particular among the rest of the group…here)

More later…

Friday Mashup (11/15/13)

November 15, 2013
  • I’ve been a bit delinquent in linking to sites where you can provide assistance in some way to the victims of the horrific events in the Philippines recently, and I apologize for that:

    Here is a link to the Red Cross (blood donations, supplies, etc.).

    Here is a link to Oxfam America (financial contributions will assist with providing food, clean water, medicine, and shelter).

    Here is a link to World Vision (same as above).

  • Next (and turning to the kids in this country), this tells us that Dem U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, Dem U.S. House Rep George Miller and Repug U.S. House Rep Richard Hanna support the Strong Start for America’s Children Act – more follows…

    According to a draft, the bill would expand early childhood education from birth to age five over a decade. It would give states funding to expand preschool to all four-year-olds in low-income families who earn below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, or about $47,000 for a family of four, based on the number of children that would be served. States would also have to qualify by meeting quality standards and by already providing state-funded Kindergarten. The states would start out having to match 10 percent of the federal money and then increase that match to an equal share by the 10th year, although the match would be reduced for those that serve half or more of their eligible four-year-olds. If a state achieves universal access to preschool for four-year-olds, it could then start working on serving three-year-olds so long as that access remains for the older children.

    The bill doesn’t just address preschool, but also high-quality childcare for infants and young children. States could set aside 15 percent of the money for high-quality education and care for infants and toddlers. It would authorize a new partnership between Early Head Start and those who offer childcare to improve the quality of the care while changing the block grant that supports childcare so that it can raise the quality and ease eligibility. The Department of Health and Human Services would also convert Head Start programs that currently serve low-income four-year-olds into programs to serve three-year-olds and younger.

    The Think Progress post also tells us that the U.S. is 21st in the world when it comes to the percentage of GDP it spends on preschool, even though “the benefits of access to high-quality learning at a young age have been well documented,” as Think Progress points out.

    More on the bill can be found from here (a link to Congressman Miller’s web site).

    So what say you on this, Mikey the Beloved?

    Well, this links to the Education page of Fitzpatrick’s web site, where we learn that he supports tying student loan interest rates to the market, he also supports the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act, which is commendable– and of course, NO LABELS NO LABELS NO LABELS BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    If he comes out in favor of the Miller/Hanna legislation, I’ll update this post accordingly.

  • Continuing, I give you the following from Doug Schoen of Fix Noise…

    It’s official: ObamaCare is a failure.

    Data released by the administration shows that only 100,000 Americans have signed up while the administration has been touting a 500,000-person enrollment goal for October.

    Reuters is reporting that ObamaCare has only reached three percent of its enrollment target for 2014 in 12 states.

    “Hold me accountable for the debacle. I am responsible,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee. And while I appreciate Secretary Sebelius’s willingness to take responsibility, we’re past the point where blame and pointing fingers will do us any good.

    We need a fresh start with health care. Going back to square one is the only way we’re going to make any progress. We still have an opportunity, albeit a waning one, to make this right.

    (By the way, I apologize for not being able to link back to Fix Noise on this. For some reason, the page this appeared on is no longer valid. A real head-scratcher, that.)

    And all of this from an operation that has not shown an iota of objectivity on this issue (and Schoen is very definitely a part of that regime).

    I think that more context is needed on this matter, and Think Progress provides some here (I realize that I’m echoing a lot of what they’ve posted recently – I see a lot of other good sites, but I don’t see anyone else doing their type of reporting on this stuff).

    To me, the most important takeaway from Igor Volsky’s post is that the enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Law reflect pretty much those of Commonwealth Care in 2007 (the coverage instituted in Massachusetts by then-Governor Willard Mitt Romney) and Medicare Part D under Dubya.

    (By the way, Schoen actually has a bit of a point in highlighting what President Clinton said about the Affordable Care Act numbers. I don’t mean that to second what Schoen says in any way, but only to respectfully add in response that The Big Dog should shut his trap on this, particularly since his commendable expansion of children’s health insurance in 1997 followed a similar enrollment pattern also.)

    It should also be noted from here that those in need of medical coverage still view the Affordable Care Law favorably, and as noted here, the Kaiser Family Foundation (the only people who should be trusted when it comes to measuring public response on this as far as I’m concerned) tells us that, based on their data, approval of health care reform is “inching upward,” and non-Republicans basically aren’t excited by all of the breathless “reporting” out there when it comes to web site glitches and what not.

    Oh, and just as a reminder, this tells us how much of a “Democrat” Doug Schoen really is.

  • Further (and sticking with the health care law), I give you this from The Hill…

    A House bill that would allow insurance companies the option of offering old healthcare plans is gaining dozens of co-sponsors ahead of a vote this week.

    Sixty-eight House members signed on to the bill Tuesday alone, giving the measure sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) a total of 156 co-sponsors.

    Nearly all of the sponsors so far are Republicans, but two Democrats have joined the Keep Your Health Plan Act: Reps. John Barrow (Ga.) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.). Both are top 2014 targets for the GOP; each Democrat represents a district easily won by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

    This is a really difficult issue, made so in no small part because of our utterly brain-dead corporate media which refuses to do its job of educating and informing us, though I admit this matter is pretty convoluted at times. So I, in my admittedly imperfect manner, will try to do so here.

    (And by the way, to prove my point, the news networks with initials for names could provide some historical context to similar legislation as Igor Volsky at Think Progress did previously. Short of that, they could also point out that it’s ridiculous to hold Obama responsible for the machinations of private insurers, though admittedly he was a bit mush-mouthed on the whole question of whether or not we would keep our health care plans or have to look for coverage on an exchange; one again, those who seek to undermine him have found some new, creative way to do so and give the majority of the country the old “middle finger raised on high” in the process.)

    To begin, this tells us that there are two competing bills out there when it comes to people keeping their health insurance coverage. The bill by Sen. Mary Landrieu, while imperfect, represents a workable “bridge,” I think, to help with the transition. However, the Upton bill supported by Barrow and McIntyre is yet another back-door attempt to undermine the law by making “grandfathered” coverage permanent (here).

    This is a typical move for Barrow and McIntyre, by the way; as noted here, they opposed the Affordable Care Law from the beginning (also noted here). And Barrow actually benefitted from campaign funds from the “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce in the 2010 election cycle, when 21 incumbent Dems were defeated in U.S. House races because our media fell in love with the racist-sign-and-funny-hat crowd and the Repugs claimed that they would be better at managing the economy (here).

    As for McIntyre, this “Democrat” voted with the Repugs here for that typically idiotic bill to prevent DHS from using taxpayer dollars to buy and stockpile ammunition until they provide a “comprehensive report” to Congress on its ammunition usage, purchase history and contracting practices (authored by Teahadist Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who, more than anyone else, is to blame for the government shutdown…he authored that letter to Obama saying he, and 79 of his playmates, would block a continuing resolution to keep the government going unless “Obamacare” was defunded – by the way, the DHS bill was a paean to the Teahadists who were worried that that danged li-bu-ruul Obama was going to use that agency to seize all of the ammunition instead of taking their guns away – yep, crazy is as crazy does).

    Oh, and speaking of the shut down, McIntyre was one of the U.S. House Dems who sponsored government “a la carte” during the shutdown, along with Barrow, on at least one related vote here (way to fold like card tables, people…maybe the reason why your seats are “weakly held” is because you lack the courage of what are supposed to be your convictions).

    And this tells us how Barrow and McIntyre voted to cut renewable energy funding (by the way, this Daily Kos post to me is shocking because Mikey the Beloved actually does something good here, and that is to support the Army Corps of Engineers in changing current guidance on how the federal government defines waters subject to the Clean Water Act, and yes, this is a good thing in this context…of course, Mikey probably knew the bill wouldn’t pass in this House, so it’s not as if he’ll ever have to pay a price for it, and can instead try to burnish some imaginary “centrist” cred here).

    Also, Barrow and McIntyre both voted in favor of H 368 Section 2 to defund the government, as noted here.

    I realize that, were we to lose John Barrow and Mike McIntyre, it would be a harder road for the Dems to eventually retake the House. But with votes like these, I cannot possibly imagine why we should spend any money whatsoever or contribute anything else to help them in their upcoming campaigns (and as usual, what Digby sez here – h/t Atrios).

  • Buckyballs

  • Finally, I came across an Op-Ed in the Murdoch Street Journal written by former Bushie Nancy Nord about the so-called “Buckyballs” case – I can’t link to it unless I subscribe (too funny), so I went to Nord’s blog instead to read more about it (here)…

    A number of manufacturers make small powerful magnet desk toys and manipulatives. Buckyballs had the largest share of that market. Even though Buckyballs were not intended for or primarily sold to children, when reports of ingestion started coming in, the company making them, Maxfield and Oberton, stepped up with an aggressive safety education program to warn against the danger of children swallowing powerful magnets.

    Even though that education program was fully discussed with and encouraged by the agency, the CPSC then demanded a recall and decided to sue the company when it disagreed with its demand—all before the safety education program could be fully put into place. A principle tenet of the agency’s case is that warnings were not sufficient to protect the public. Yet, the only evidence it has to support that contention is its speculative conclusions, since the aggressive safety campaign envisioned by the industry was prematurely shut down by the agency.

    “Aggressive safety campaign envisioned by the industry”? As noted here, Craig Zucker, the head of Maxfield and Oberton (the company that made Buckyballs) apparently had at least one opportunity to get this product off the market in 2010; despite that, he still wasn’t able, apparently, to market this product or package it in a way that protected kids, enough to prevent the choking and digestion problems like the ones encountered this year.

    And as I read more about this, I found out that this case has become sort of a lightning rod for the wingnuts, who of course perpetually hate any “big gumint regulation” of any kind (here, though I admit that there is a bit of a twist noted below)…

    Over the last three weeks, more than 2,200 people have placed orders for $10-to-$40 sets of magnetic stacking balls, rising to the call of a saucy and irreverent social media campaign against a government regulatory agency.

    The money from the sales of the so-called Liberty Balls goes to a legal-defense fund. At the crux of the battle is an arcane legal tussle that has caught the attention of a number of mainstream business organizations and free-market legal groups.

    It involves an effort by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall Buckyballs, sets of tiny, powerfully magnetic stacking balls that the magazines Rolling Stone and People once ranked on their hot products lists.

    Last year, the commission declared the balls a swallowing hazard to young children and filed an administrative action against the company that made the product, demanding it recall all Buckyballs, and a related product called Buckycubes, and refund consumers their money. The company, Maxfield & Oberton Holdings, challenged the action, saying labels on the packaging clearly warned that the product was unsafe for children.

    But the fuss now has less to do with safety. After Maxfield & Oberton went out of business last December, citing the financial toll of the recall battle, lawyers for the product safety agency took the highly unusual step of adding the chief executive of the dissolved firm, Craig Zucker, as a respondent in the recall action, arguing that he controlled the company’s activities. Mr. Zucker and his lawyers say the move could ultimately make him personally responsible for the estimated recall costs of $57 million.

    While the “responsible corporate officer” doctrine (also known as the Park doctrine) has been used frequently in criminal cases, allowing for prosecutions of individual company officers in cases asserting corporate wrongdoing, experts say its use is virtually unheard-of in an administrative action where no violations of law or regulations are claimed.

    So the reason why Zucker is manufacturing his so called “Liberty Balls” (akin to “Freedom Fries” or “Freedom Toast” from back in the day, apparently) is to raise money for his legal defense over what appears to be a highly unusual action by the CPSC, naming him as a respondent in the recall of his dangerous product.

    The Times also tells us the following…

    Conservative legal groups like Cause of Action, a nonprofit that targets what it considers governmental overreach, have been watching the proceedings with interest and weighing taking some action.

    “This really punishes entrepreneurship and establishes a bad precedent for businesses working to create products for consumers,” said Daniel Z. Epstein, the group’s executive director. “It undermines the business community’s ability to rely upon the corporate form.”

    Mr. Epstein once worked for a foundation run by Charles G. Koch, who, with his brother David, has funded numerous conservative and antigovernment or antiregulatory causes. He would not disclose the donors behind Cause of Action. The Washington Legal Foundation, which promotes pro-business and free-market positions, has weighed in with a background paper titled “C.P.S.C.’s Misuse of R.C.O. Doctrine Bodes Ill for C.E.O.’s and Consumers.”

    So of course the Koch Brothers have found a way to worm themselves into this mess.

    Anyone have any idea why the CPSC would do such a thing? I would guess that the following provides a hint (here)…

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission, stymied in attempts to get a manufacturer to foot the bill, persuaded several prominent retailers to voluntarily join the agency in a recall of Buckyballs, the super-magnet desk toys which have seriously damaged the intestines of children who swallow them.

    The CPSC sought the cooperation of retailers after the manufacturer of Buckyballs abruptly dissolved the company late last year. The agency tried unsuccessfully to get the former CEO of Buckyballs to pay for the recall, and has sued the corporate parent, Maxfield & Oberton, in an administrative complaint.

    To me, it sounds like the CPSC was actually being pretty damn vigilant, taking action to get a dangerous product off the market while the owner of that product apparently didn’t want to be bothered with aiding in that effort (and again, there had been a recall three years earlier, so Zucker should have been aware that there could still be a problem…and yes, I know we’re not really talking about a toy per se, but we’re still talking about something that is a danger to the public).

    And speaking of that, while we’re supposed to be preoccupied with shareholder return or possibly damaging this country’s entrepreneurial spirit or whatever, it might be a good idea to consider the damage these “Buckyballs” have caused (from here)…

    9 year old girl was playing with an antique/toy lamp that used buckyball magnets as the string to pull the light on, took some of the magnets and placed in her mouth, accidentally swallowed about 5-7 of them. Patient underwent multiple exposures to radiation via XRays, anesthesia, and an endoscopy in an attempt to retrieve them. Magnets were in small intestine by the time endoscopy was performed, required more XRays to follow magnets around the bowel. Fortunate for the child, they passed without incident.

    The doctor stated that her 2 years old patient swallow 62 rare earth magnets and suffered intestinal perforation. The doctor stated it’s believed that the incident happened while the child was playing with the magnets without supervision.

    The doctor stated that the 62 magnets were removed from his intestines and stomach. The child was currently admitted at the intensive care unit and will be in the hospital for approximately 5-7 days. The doctor stated that soon after his release from the hospital the child would have to follow up with the pediatric surgeon as well as with his regular pediatrician.

    Ingestion of 4 bucky ball magnets. Patient presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain and distension, decreased oral intake and vomiting. The magnets were removed from the colon endoscopically.

    Caller states that he is a physician and attended twelve year old boy who put thirty 5mm magnetic balls into his urethra and into his bladder.

    Physicians attempted to remove the Bucky balls using a cystoscope for greater than one hour but this was unsuccessful with only three being removed and a one and a half hour surgery was performed by cutting into his stomach to his bladder for removal of the remaining twenty seven balls.

    Child was in Yale New Haven Hospital overnight then returned home.

    Caller wanted to report this action so that CPSC would have knowledge of other ways that magnetic balls can be dangerous for young people.

    I actually found myself becoming enraged as I read about this, I have to admit; I know I’ve got a mile or two on the odometer, as the saying goes, but I can remember a time when we would say or do anything and spare no expense to protect our kids from danger of any kind, and the hell with how much somebody responsible for that danger has to pay or what punishment they have to undergo (I’ve got two words to say in response to the “punish(ing) entrepreneurship” crap, and they’re not Happy Birthday).

    And how utterly typical, by the way, for Nancy Nord to leap to Zucker’s defense.

    And that is because Nord was possibly the very worst head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission who has ever held the office (as I know I’ve said before, in addition to Iraq, 9/11, tilting the Supreme Court in favor of corporations into remote posterity and its other horrendous judicial appointments, Bushco’s worst legacy is the fact that they managed to install some of the very worst human beings imaginable as heads of federal agencies…see Norton, Gale; Kempthorne, Dirk; Chertoff, Michael; Brown, Michael; Doan, Lurita, Chao, Elaine, and Nord, along with too many others).

    As noted here

  • Nord blew off a hearing on defective toys because the hearing also would have included the testimony of child safety advocates (and Nord’s CPSC didn’t decide to test products until an incident was reported, and they negotiated every word of a recall alert with the manufacturer of a defective product).
  • Her CSPC was clearly understaffed and underfunded, where a “fox running the hen house” mentality ran rampant (oh, and she actually opposed a bill that would have increased the funding of her agency).
  • She also blew off pool safety alerts, and this tells you about Nord’s far-less-than-stellar response on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (or CPSIA) of 2008.
  • So go ahead and tell me how much the Consumer Products Safety Commission is supposedly guilty of regulatory overreach in the “Buckyballs” case, and how we’re unjustly attacking poor Craig Zucker, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to aid in the recent recall when it was found out just how dangerous his product really was.

    Actually, Zucker could do me a little favor if he wanted to (I’m sure he doesn’t), and I would take it easy on him from that point forward.

    He could actually pay a visit to the child who had to have his stomach cut open to his bladder to remove Zucker’s stinking product.

  • Friday Mashup (11/08/13)

    November 8, 2013
  • I give you Repug U.S. House Rep Lamar Smith of Texas (here, in a recent column)…

    We must set priorities and get our nation’s spending under control. To accomplish this we must reform entitlement programs. If we don’t, experts warn, future funding for other budget priorities, including scientific research, could be in jeopardy.

    I have to admit that this is kind of an interesting twist on the typical extortion theme of Smith and his party, as noted here; basically, kick “the poors,” steal Grandma’s Social Security and take her health coverage so she dies early, and THEN we’ll decide to invest in scientific research to create industries in this country that (hopefully) will produce good paying jobs so today’s college graduates won’t still be living at home with mom and dad into their 50s (the students, I mean).

    And just as a reminder as to how we got to this point, this tells us about the effect of the ruinous “sequester” on scientific research (which Smith voted for, of course, as noted here). Also, to give you an idea of how supposedly enlightened Smith is on these matters, this (second bullet) tells us how he falsely charged that scientists hid data that supposedly contradicted the science on man-made climate change, to the point where Smith tried to pass a law requiring politicians to approve scientific funding (and he appointed Teahadist extraordinaire Paul Broun as chairman of the committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, a guy who called the evolution and “big bang” theories “lies from the pit of hell” as noted here).

    Oh, and this tells us about Smith’s typical avoidance on the issue of tar sands pollution. And unrelated to science, this tells us that Smith railed about that Kenyan Muslim Socialist prioritizing the deportation of criminals and violent offenders over, say, students, when in 1999, Smith wrote a letter to then-President Clinton encouraging him to do the very thing that Number 44 is doing right now.

    I can’t really think of a wrap-up to this item that tops this pic (applicable to Smith and his pals), so here it is.

  • bird

  • Next, did you know that the disastrous cut in food stamps, affecting about 47 million Americans, was the fault of the U.S. Congressional Democrats?

    Someone named Hughey Newsome at The Daily Tucker tries to explain here

    The expiration of this expanded spending was embedded in the infamous stimulus bill that was rammed through Congress by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in 2009 at the behest of President Obama. Stimulus spending provided for only a temporary increase. After all, people were only supposed to need more SNAP money until the economy recovered. Surely, they figured, the economy would rebound in four-and-a-half years.

    But that was before things like Obamacare and the administration’s war on fossil fuels.


    (And oh yeah, Newsome also blames those pesky, burdensome government regulations which no one can ever seem to identify when they’re bitching about that “big gumint li-bu-ruul” Obama – and I suppose I’ll have to point out yet again here how oil drilling has actually increased under our current occupant of An Oval Office…it’s irrelevant to me whether or not it has increased on federally owned versus privately owned territory.)

    Also, as noted from here, 37 Democratic (including Al Franken of Minnesota) and 2 Independent senators wrote a letter that was sent to a House/Senate conference committee urging that bunch to preserve SNAP funding (nary a Republican on the list, of course). With that in mind, this provides a state-by-state breakdown of the impact of the SNAP cut.

    I think it’s a testimony to the overall moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party that they and their acolytes (including Newsome) have no trouble making the argument that the admitted food stamp boost under the stimulus is supposed to be temporary, and that it should be discontinued lest “the poors” use it for a hammock, or some such nonsense…then turn around a minute later and refuse to say the same thing about those stinking tax cuts of Obama’s wretched predecessor, which were also set to expire over a fixed period of time, as noted here.

  • Continuing, are you looking for someone from Not Your Father’s Republican Party (unless the father is Rafael Cruz, I guess) to put forward some brave, thoughtful policy ideas to address the many critical issues facing this nation?

    Well, Matthew Continetti of The Weakly Standard gives us what Mike Lee has to say on that subject here

    (Lee’s) tax plan would simplify and reduce rates and offer a $2,500 per-child credit (up from $1,000 today) that would offset both income and payroll taxes. His reform of labor laws would allow employees who work overtime to take comp time or flex time in lieu of pay—an option currently available to federal workers but not to the rest of us. His transportation bill would lower the federal gas tax and devolve power to the states and localities. And his education proposal would create a new optional system of accreditation: “States could accredit online courses, or hybrid models with elements on and off campus.” Parents and students would have more flexibility. They’d also have more choices.

    I will readily admit that I’m not an economist, but from my admittedly cursory review, Lee’s tax plan looks like another attempt to try and starve the government “beast” while giving me a pittance in return (and apparently losing my mortgage interest deduction – I’ve never been able to figure out exactly why the Repugs hate that so much). So, count me as siding with Matt Yglesias on this, as noted here; let Lee’s plan be scored by a reputable financial agency first.

    On Lee’s supposedly great plan to give more comp time “in lieu of pay,” Think Progress had something to say about that here. And as far as “lowering” the federal gas tax, do Lee/Continetti realize that the federal gas tax hasn’t risen in 20 years, as noted here? So if anything, the opposite is true (oh, and I can just imagine the zany wingnut hijinks that would ensue if this were left up to the states – can you see a bridge connecting, say, states with one Dem governor and one Repug one, and the Repug guv only agrees to bridge restorations on his or her side?).

    Oh, and under Lee’s “optional” school accreditation, all kinds of fraud and abuse would likely take place without strict federal oversight (here – somebody from WhatsaMatta U would try to market themselves as the online equivalent to an Ivy league school and likely trap a few gullible suckers).

    So basically, when it comes to brand spanking new proposals on how to make government more efficient and improve our lives in the process, look to someone else besides Mike Lee.

  • Further, I have a couple of tidbits related to President Obama and the health care law; first, I give you former Bushie Andrew Card (here – a tad behind the news cycle, I‘ll admit)…

    The man who served as chief of staff under former President George W. Bush and helped sell the Iraq War to the American people said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s entire team is guilty of misleading the public.

    Andy Card said that the current administration allowed Obama “to mislead the American people for so long” when he promoted the Affordable Care Act. Obama has come under fire recently for his previous claim that those who like their insurance plans can keep them under the health care law, a promise that hasn’t quite panned out as he said it would.

    “Well, first of all, I fault not only the President but I fault the people around the President for allowing him to mislead the American people for so long,” Card told the panel on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “His categorical statements were made not as a candidate but as a President of the United States and words do matter at the White House. And it’s usually somebody in the White House that goes to the President and says, ‘Mr. President, you said that but it’s not entirely true. You’ve got to put a caveat around it.'”

    Blah blah blah…try reading this and then get back to me, OK?

    And as TPM notes, Card has no room to criticize anyone when it comes to “mislead(ing) the American people for so long.” This tells us, among other things, that Card even claimed that Dubya was fiscally responsible, or something.

    My personal favorite from Card, though, is here, when he said in 2004 that Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History would give John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in that election, “the respect of more time” before conceding; of course, there had been all kinds of voter abuse and disenfranchisement in Ohio at the time under then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and the Kerry team was trying to figure out what, if anything, they could do about it (to me, Card’s line was Bush-ese for “quit stalling and tell everybody I won, you brie-eating, sail boating, East Coast liberal, sponging off your wife’s ketchup fortune”).

    We also had this charming little item from Repug U.S. House Rep Trey Gowdy (with Fix Noise humanoid Megyn Kelly, on the matter of Obama saying that people wouldn’t lose their health insurance, as if Number 44, or any politician, can control what for-profit insurers decide to do)…

    I have never understood why politicians don’t look at their fellow citizens and say, “I made a mistake, I need you to forgive me and it won’t happen again.”

    In response, I give you this item from Gowdy, where he supported immigration reform once before he eventually decided to oppose it.

    So, I guess Gowdy’s original support was a “mistake” as far as he’s concerned? Why doesn’t he just apply his own test to himself?

    As usual, a Repug looks in a mirror and sees everyone’s reflection but their own.

  • Finally, I wanted to point out that I came across the following column recently by Neal Gabler of Reuters, in which he tells us the following…

    An editor championing truth over opinions shouldn’t be an earthquake. But it is. Journalistic extremes have long disregarded fact for ideology. However the bulwarks of American journalism — our mainstream newspapers, websites, magazines, and network news broadcasts — have opted for another principle: Every opinion, no matter how uninformed, deserves equal weight — and journalists dare not come down on one side or the other. It makes balance the new objectivity.

    This careful balancing act is now so commonplace that we hardly recognize it. Most anyone watching the evening network news during the government shutdown, for example, saw man-on-the-street interviews of first one person blaming the Republicans for the fiasco (for which they did bear the greatest responsibility), followed by another person blaming the Democrats, followed by a third blaming everyone in government. That has become standard journalistic practice in mainstream media outlets.

    A large reason for the “on-the-one-hand,” “on-the-other” reporting has been the success of conservatives in creating the shibboleth of a “liberal” media and then working the refs in that media to bend over backward to prove it isn’t true. No one, not least of all liberal editors, wants to be considered one-sided.

    I know this isn’t original stuff, but kudos to Gabler for pointing that out.

    I was reminded of how important it is to stress this over and over when I came across the following item recently on the Op-Ed page of the Bucks County Courier Times, the place where (more often than not) reasoned dialogue and informed commentary die a slow, painful death (by the way, John Carr is no better or worse than any of the wingnuts who fester and take up space in that paper)…


    The highlighted statement is demonstrably false. No, it’s not an opposing point of view or some kind of alternative “take” based on a review of current events. It’s a lie. It is provably wrong (and the Courier Times obviously doesn’t know, or doesn’t care about the difference…sadly, they have a lot of company on that). And for proof, click here.

    The fact that the “fourth estate” has (for the most part) completely abdicated its responsibility to educate and inform (along with the fact that too many of us have let that happen) will be one of the epitaphs of this country over the last 30 years or so. And it is absolutely nothing to be proud of.

    Update 11/11/13: God, this is depressing – definitely thought she was better than that.

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