Doomsy’s Do-Gooders and Dregs (2013 – Pt. 12)

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I need to wrap this up – prior related posts appear below:

Part 11
Part 10
Part 9
Part 8
Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1 (with setup)

RIP

Patti Page, Richard Ben Cramer, David Wycoff, Paul P. Woolard, Pauline Phillips (“Dear Abby”), Eugene Patterson, H. Craig Lewis, Stan Musial, Michael Winner, Happy Fernandez, Joseph Eger, George Gund, “Sally Starr,” Stanley Karnow, Hadiya Pendleton, Ralph Collier, Patty Andrews, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, Ed Koch, Reg Presley, Donald Byrd, Stuart Freeborn, Eula Cousins, John Kerr, John E. Karlin, George “Shadow” Morton, Jerry Buss, Magic Slim, Alan F. Westin, Damon Harris, Andre Cassagnes, Wolfgang Sawallisch, C. Everett Koop, Dan Toler, Van Cliburn, Bobby Rogers, Hugo Chavez, Alvin Lee, Kimani Gray, Peter Banks, Malachi Throne, Bobbie Smith, Chinua Achebe, Timothy J. Driscoll, Wayne Fleming, Deke Richards, Phil Ramone, Jack Pardee, Chuck Fairbanks, Joseph Massenburg, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Roger Ebert, David Kuo, Milo O’Shea, Les Blank, Annette Funicello, Mikhail Beketov, Anne Smedinghoff, Andy Johns, Rehtaeh Parsons, Jonathan Winters, Pat Summerall, Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Storm Thorgerson, Richie Havens, Christina Amphlett, Allan Arbus, Bob Edgar, George Jones, Jack Shea, Ray Harryhausen, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Carol A. Baumhauer, Ray Manzarek, Steve Forrest, Haynes Johnson, Rev. Andrew Greeley, Jean Stapleton, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Deacon Jones, Esther Williams, Michael Hastings, James Gandolfini, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Richard Matheson, Sarah Guyard-Guillot, William Gray, John Wible, Phil Lindy, Douglas Englebart, Helen Thomas, Dennis Farina, Lindy Boggs, Lois DeBerry, William Scranton, Eileen Brennan, Col. George “Bud” Day, “Doghouse Riley,” aka Douglas Case, John Palmer, Julius Chambers, Michael Ansara, George Duke, Jerry Wolman, Margaret Pellegrini, Eydie Gorme, Jack Germond, Allen Lanier, Elmore Leonard, Joyce Patterson, Karen Black, Zachary Reyna, Julie Harris, Dean Meminger, Gilbert Taylor, Marian McPartland, Seamus Heaney, Joan Krajewski, Darren Manzella, David Frost, Judith Glassman Daniels, Sushmita Banerjee, Ibrahim Mothana, Terrie Hall, Jackie Lomax, Ken Norton, Martin Bodrog, Margaret Mary Vojtko, Michael Ward, Evelyn Lowery, Robert J. “Bo” Terry, Abraham Nemeth, Bill Eppridge, L.C. Greenwood, Harold Agnew, Nicholas Oresko, Scott Carpenter, Jadin and Joe Bell, Laporshia Massey, Tom Foley, Gloria Lynne, Michael Landsberry, Hal Needham, Marcia Wallace, Lou Reed, Charlie Trotter, John Tavener, Barbara Park, Doris Lessing, Peter Lewis, Jack Gardo, Peter Kaplan, Paul Walker, Nelson Mandela, Colin Wilson, Joe Bihari, Eleanor Parker, Delbert Tibbs, Colin Eglin, Peter O’Toole, Tom Laughlin, Joan Fontaine, Ray Price, Claire Davis, Laney Brown, Paul Blair, Ricky Lawson, Joseph Ruskin

Dregs of the Year Nominee

That sleazy weasel Eric Cantor for not meeting with the immigrant families as shown in the clip here (another citation goes to the Capitol cop and his “this is getting old real fast” stuff – crowd control happens to be part of your job…like to see how YOU would react if you were trying to be naturalized like these folks)…

…though I guess Cantor likes some kids after all, but apparently, they must be dead first.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Well, well, the governor of our illustrious commonwealth, Tom “Space Cadet” Corbett, FINALLY revealed his Medicaid “reform” proposal that, in his tiny mind, would justify the expansion for health care reform.

Ugh (here)…

For 48 years, the state and federal governments have jointly paid for all Medicaid health-care expenses for the poor, including bus fare to get to a doctor’s appointment, with no penalties or strings attached.

Corbett wants to add some strings and at least one penalty — in the form of healthy lifestyles, work requirements and job searches — for some current and newly eligible Medicaid recipients to keep their coverage or pay reduced premiums.

Health care is a basic human right that should not be subject to any specious “work requirement” rules from ANY politician EVER (the only thing I’ll say in Corbett’s defense is that he has been talking about this garbage for awhile now, so it’s not as if we weren’t warned).

This is a typically disgusting joke from Corbett (and to do something about it, click here).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, who will retire as a Toronto Blue Jay (the team that originally drafted him and the one he pitched for where he became a master at his craft) – thanks, Doc, for all of the great performances, and best of luck (particularly in 2010, which, by itself, would have been good enough for an entire career – here)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Michigan Republican Dave Agema for this (because, as we know, dying of AIDS falls under the heading of “family values”)

Dregs of the Year Nominee

I honestly try to take it easy on the pundit class with these selections, but somebody named Dan Zak at the WaPo concocted this fawning piece of dookey about Fix Noise humanoid Megyn Kelly (from here) that was too wretched to ignore (h/t Atrios – worth it if for no other reason, though, than to read Charles Pierce’s great response)…

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

As noted here

For the seventh consecutive year, Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson invited 12 kids from children’s protective services to race through Toys ‘R’ Us to nab up as much stuff as their little hands could grab in 80 seconds, CBS Houston reported. The number is representative of the digits he wears on his jersey.

When the last child checked out, the total tally for the toys came to $17,352.

And I’ll bet Johnson didn’t even feel the need to do a stupid end-zone, post-touchdown victory dance (or whatever) after it was all done – nice work.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Scott Bach of the NRA gets a dubious mention; he blasted (so to speak) Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop. What did Fulop do that Bach though was so awful?

As Think Progress tells us here, Fulop “will disseminate a survey to all vendors bidding to supply firearms to local law enforcement asking how they handle gun safety issues, including whether they take steps to prevent illegal gun trafficking.”

In response (among other idiocy), Bach said that “(Fulop’s) grandparents were Holocaust survivors according to Wikipedia. So you’ve got to wonder why he is not getting it.”

OK, so Bach invokes The Holocaust against the descendant of Holocaust survivors. Nice touch.

And Bach also encouraged gun vendors to “boycott” Jersey City as a result. In response, I have only the following to add:

GOOD!

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Anyone in our corporate media (or anyone else overall, really) willing to give credit to “Man Tan” Boehner for getting a budget deal (ensuring the operation of our federal government through 2014) passed by the U.S. House (and in the process, praising Boehner’s “leadership” for standing up to the Teahadists – here).

Excuse me, but isn’t that the bare minimum when it comes to what Boehner and his “leadership” are supposed to do? And as noted previously by a few people (including your humble narrator), the Ryan/Murray deal doesn’t raise any stinking taxes anywhere that need to be raised, including the gasoline tax for infrastructure, which hasn’t been raised in 20 years (all the Dems sought was 13 cents a gallon). It also doesn’t do a thing for the poor or the unemployed, and it doesn’t shore up Social Security by removing the ceiling on earnings subject to withholding either.

There are at least a couple of reasons I can think of right off why Boehner is making these kinds of noises. The first is that the Repugs lost ground in the 2012 election cycle – if, God forbid, Willard Mitt Romney and Mr.-Puppy-Dog-Eyes-With-The-Shiv were in the White House and they had built on their House majority (or added Senate seats), Boehner wouldn’t be saying a word, even though what the Teahadists seek is ultimately our ruination if it adds to their own selfish comfort (and I say this with caution since we have an off-year election coming up, where the Repugs usually do well unfortunately).

Boehner is also saying this because, in the last standoff, President Obama stuck to his guns on the shut down and Boehner got his proverbial lunch handed to him (more on that later). Again, had Boehner somehow been able to weasel more concessions, he would be crowing like crazy instead.

Oh, and even though the budget has passed, the debt ceiling will have to be raised next year also. If Boehner says these same things then and gets the debt limit raised (which, by the way, is a political consideration far more than an economic one) without any histrionics or another shutdown, THEN I’ll give him credit. But not one second before.

(And by the way, based on this, it sounds like “Orange Man” has more work to do.)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled recently here that the NSA spying program likely violates the 4th amendment of the Constitution (‘ya think?).

As HuffPo tells us…

The federal ruling came down after activist Larry Klayman filed a lawsuit in June over the program. The suit claimed that the NSA’s surveillance “violates the U.S. Constitution and also federal laws, including, but not limited to, the outrageous breach of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the due process rights of American citizens.”

It utterly sickens me to be on the same side with Larry Klayman on anything (citation goes to Judge Leon), but fair is fair (nice if this ruling had come, oh, I don’t know…about seven years earlier at least, maybe?)

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominees

The 50 Catholic leaders who signed a letter here protesting the fact that the Catholic University of America accepted a $1 million donation from Charles and David Koch – the letter reads in part as follows:

As you well know, Catholic social teaching articulates a positive role for government, an indispensable role for unions, just tax policies, and the need for prudent regulation of financial markets in service of the common good. We are concerned that by accepting such a donation you send a confusing message to Catholic students and other faithful Catholics that the Koch brothers’ anti- government, Tea Party ideology has the blessing of a university sanctioned by Catholic bishops.

And in case you were wondering whether or not the CUA actually got the message, I give you the following response:

Andrew Abela, dean of CUA’s new School of Business and Economics, said that the Koch Foundation will allow the school to hire the new faculty with no strings attached. “I’m just delighted to draw anybody into that conversation,” he said before receiving the letter. “And if they want to bring money, double bonus .”

A spokesperson told America Magazine that the signers of the letter “seek to instruct The Catholic University of America’s leaders about Catholic social teaching, and do so in a manner that redefines the church’s teaching to suit their own political preferences.“

Sounds to me like the CUA needs to revisit the whole “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” thing as noted in Matthew 22:22, among other places in the Bible.

Dregs of the Year Nominee (Commemorative “Fa-La-La-La-La-LOSER!” Citation)

Lewis Atwood of Michigan, who (inebriated, of course) repeatedly punched his mother in the face when she forgot to hang a Christmas tree ornament with his name on it (and apparently this was a third offense – have fun with your “Christmas balls” in the gray bar hotel…here)

Dregs of the Year Nominees

Individuals who claim to be “men” have filed false rape reports at Occidental College to protest the school’s use of an anonymous form to track alleged incidents of rape on Occidental’s campus, with these trolls using the supposed excuse that men are being victimized since the forms let the victims off the hook, as it were, because they don’t have to reveal their identity (here).

Well, here are some things to consider in response, as noted by Think Progress: first, the form in question was instituted in 2009; second, those accused have gotten off in at least one case with five-page book reports as a supposed “punishment”; and third, just 2 to 8 percent of rape reports are based on false claims.

Congratulations, you morons. Now, the school will have to waste time weeding through your idiocy to try and determine if a crime has actually been committed, as opposed to using those valuable law enforcement assets to protect students of the campus facing actual danger. Heckuva job!

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Lex Luthor Scott earns a dishonorable mention – as HuffPo notes here, it can be argued very plausibly that laying off hundreds of employees with the Florida Department of Children and Families and recommending budget cuts to the agency led to the deaths of 40 at-risk children in the state.

So how does Scott respond? Through a spokesperson…

“We are prioritizing spending on critical services as we craft the budget, and vital child protective services will not be reduced,” said an e-mailed statement from deputy press secretary John Tupps.

And of course, Scott said the budget cuts were necessary to “grow jobs.” Riiiiight…

Yep, I suppose it was necessary to cut the funding for child welfare services to “decrease the surplus population,” wasn’t it?

Do-Gooders of the Year Nominees

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which recently struck down a provision of PA’s Oil and Gas Act that stripped municipalities of the power to determine where natural gas drilling activity could occur within their boundaries, as noted here (wow, so ALEC actually lost for a change, to say nothing of Governor Tom “Space Cadet” Corbett – cool! And please tell me again how the Repugs are supposed to be the anti-“big gumint” party).

Dregs of the Year Nominee (“Most Aptly Named Citation Recipient” Citation)

Cracker Barrel (and don’t ask me exactly what they are – not a clue) earns a dubious mention for first joining the boycott of the show “Duck Dynasty” and related products after supposed “DD” leader (or something) Phil Robertson uttered homophobic sentiments, then “doing a 180” and dropping out of the boycott when they apparently found that they had offended what I guess is their elderly, overweight, borderline diabetic, deep-fried-Southern (and elsewhere I guess) clientele (and upon further review, as they say, it turned out that Robertson had uttered racist sentiments too – color me shocked, not!).

Figure out exactly what your convictions are (or aren’t in this case, I guess), and stick to them. Is that so difficult?

That being said, I have something else to add. Yes, standing up to racist, homophobic, and other types of hateful words and actions is important – I certainly don’t argue that. However, I should note that I actually watched a minute or two of that program, and my question is this: how ELSE do you seriously think these people are going to act (all of this is noted here).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Talk about a Christmas story (here)…

Widower David Schmitz was called by radio station KSTZ in Des Moines, Iowa and told that they received a letter they wanted to read on the air. The letter, as it turned out, was written by Brenda Schmitz, David’s wife who had died two years previously from ovarian cancer; Brenda had written the letter and sent it to a friend to be read two years after her death, and David knew nothing about it.

In part, it read as follows…

Brenda had three wishes on her list, including one for her children’s new stepmother.

“First, for David’s new life-long partner, a day or better yet, a weekend, of pampering in all aspects of her life. She deserves it,” she wrote. “Make her smile, and know her efforts are truly appreciated from me. Thank you. I love you, whoever you are.”

Her other wishes were for a night of food, drink and fun for the Mercy Hospital staff that took care of her while she battled ovarian cancer.

David told NBC News he was in shock at Brenda’s wishes for his new family.

Her third and final wish was for a magical vacation for her husband and his new blended family at a place “where they all can enjoy their company and companionship as a family and create those memories that will be with them forever.”

Obviously, a Do-Gooder citation goes out here to Brenda for her courageous act of kindness, and another goes out to the Des Moines radio station which, as Crooks and Liars tells us, granted all three wishes by sending David, his kids, and his new spouse to Disney World.

Dregs of the Year Nominee

Snarf’s, a Chicago-area sandwich shop, which (as noted here) fired all of its employees shortly before Christmas – oh, and by the way, many of the store’s employees participated in the nationwide day of action in December to protest low wages for fast-food workers (but see, the place is closing for renovations…yeah, that’s the ONLY reason the workers were let go…uh huh).

Do-Gooder of the Year Nominee

Carlos Santana, for helping former band mate Marcus Malone, who is now homeless – as noted from here

Malone was forced to quit the band in early 1969 when an arrest sent him to jail, before their big breakthrough at Woodstock.

The footage found its way back to Santana, and after 40 years, the two were reunited on camera, just days before Christmas.

You don’t know how hard I prayed to get to see you,” Marcus told Santana.

“God has a way,” he responds.

And now that they’ve found each other again, Santana doesn’t plan on letting Marcus get lost again.

“I want to offer him a place to stay in an apartment, get him some clothes, and just get him out of the street,” he told CNN.

“I want to offer my brother Marcus Malone an opportunity to record on the next album with the original band, with Greg Rolie,” Santana says. ” We wrote a song for him called ‘Magnificent Marcus Malone.’ We want him to play on it and we’re going to start, Lord willing, in January or February. So I would like to get him some congas so he can get his hands hard again because he hasn’t been playing the congas in a while.”

I think this is a truly great story, and how appropriate that we learn about it during the season of miracles (and a Do-Gooder citation to reporter Stanley Roberts of KRON TV also).

And now, without any more ado…

Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John G. Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Smauel Alito Jr., Elena Kagan

Dregs of the Year

I know I’ve given this citation to the High Court of Hangin’ Judge JR once before, but as far as I’m concerned, they definitely deserve it again for basically chucking the “pre-clearance” provision of the Voting Rights Act in June, meaning that geographic locations in the Act that have practiced historical discrimination against minorities (and had been forced to comply with the Act’s provisions against that sort of thing as stated in the 1965 law) are now basically free to do so once more without what they see as a hindrance from the federal government (the fallout is noted here, here, here, here, and here).

scaliagesture03302006

Let’s not forget, though, that Antonin Scalia of The Supremes gave us a bit of a warning as to how the High Court would rule when he said during oral that the Act is the “perpetuation of racial entitlement” here; typical for such a willing tool of his corporate and political puppet masters who want to pursue their goal of an “ownership society” to its utterly disastrous ultimate realization (h/t Atrios).

Also, while they were making headlines for deliberating over overturning Prop 8 in California and DOMA, they also managed to sneak this ghastly ruling under the proverbial radar that threw out a class action lawsuit filed by Comcast shareholders over alleged price fixing and anti-competitive practices…yeah, John Roberts just wants to call balls and strikes or something – sure, in a rigged game (more here).

And a runner-up citation goes to the truly dreadful 113th Congress, and the U.S. House in particular (including Mikey the Beloved, of course), which set a record for abject futility by passing on a mere 58 bills that were signed into law (here and herehere also).

Obama2013

Do-Gooder of the Year

No, I don’t like the expansion of the national security state that continues to go unchecked despite all the “hopey, changey” stuff (here). No, I don’t like the fact that the doctrine of “extra-judicial review,” or whatever it’s called now, has grown unabated under his watch and more or less enshrined the kind of presidential dictatorial powers that allow Number 44 or any of his successors to send bombs and flying death robots halfway around the world to blow up dark-skinned people we don’t like (here…gosh, I must have been asleep during the robust public debate over civil liberties that took place over the matter – didn’t it?).

And no, I don’t like the continued clamp down on the press either (here), though our lapdog Beltway media that is all in a snit over it pretty much snoozed through similar abuses under the foul, fetid Bushco reign, including this sorry chapter.

But despite all of that, there is one simple reason why President Barack Obama is the Do-Gooder of the Year. And that is because liberal blogger types like yours truly complained for years that he wouldn’t stand up to congressional Republicans.

Well, guess what? This year, Boehner, McConnell and company pulled their typical garbage, trying to shut down the government over the federal budget. And President Obama stood his ground, as noted here.

Other reasons? How about the Syria chemical weapons deal, which prevented more U.S. “boots in the ground” in harm’s way (yes, it didn’t settle the civil war, though I’m not sure it’s possible for anyone to do that without accidentally starting World War III). And how about a deal in the works with Iran over their nukes (and a pox on these chicken “Democrats” doing AIPAC’s bidding by trying to pour cold water all over it, as noted here).

In addition, this reminds us that Obama decided to be flexible on the enrollment deadline for anyone covered through the Affordable Care Law if their insurance policy was cancelled due to that law. Also, his speech on income inequality, as noted here, was pretty much ignored by our corporate media, as was this).

And speaking of the Beltway punditocracy…well, giving this citation to Number 44 is pretty much my middle-finger-raised-on-high to our bought-and-paid-for Beltway lapdog stenographers for propagating the conventional wisdom that Obama had a “terrible” fifth year, or something. As Steve Kornacki reminded us on Rachel Maddow recently here, if you want to talk about supposedly awful fifth years of a presidency, let’s talk first about Dubya and Katrina, LBJ and Vietnam, The Sainted Ronnie R and Iran-Contra, and of course, Richard Nixon and Watergate, which trumps everything else as far as I’m concerned.

Could Obama have had a better year? Sure. But how about balancing the negative with the positive, OK? And yes, I know Obama said that anyone who had their insurance policy prior to health care reform could keep it, but that turned out not to be completely true. To which I ask the following: how the hell is Obama or any politician supposed to somehow know what a private health care insurer is going to do?

If a president is going to say something like that and it turns out not to be true, then I’m willing to cut a little slack. But if a president says that Iraq has WMD, we didn’t trade arms for hostages or “I Am Not A Crook” (and yes, whether or not a president had sex with an intern or not)…well, let’s just say that some lies are worse than others, OK?

Update 1/7/14: And I guess I have a bit of egg on my face for the Obama selection in light of this.

Also, if I’m giving Obama the Do-Gooder of the Year nod, then to be fair, I should at least acknowledge the contributions of Edward Snowden (here) and Glenn Greenwald (here) on the issue of abuse of state secrets and freedom of information on behalf of all of us.

_____

Well, that’s all I’ve got. As is my almost usual custom, I just want to take a minute and thank everyone who has taken any time at all over the past year to visit this site and read what I have to say. Doing this gets more and more challenging every year – I may be able to keep this going, or I may have to shut it down; I just don’t know yet. I’ll keep you informed.

I hope everyone has a happy holiday season, and all the best in 2014.

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