ChrisWeigant.com

My 2012 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 21st, 2012 – 18:13 PST ]

Welcome to the seventh annual homage (which sounds so much nicer than "blatant ripoff," don't you think?) to the television show The McLaughlin Group, since they have the most extensive year-end award category list of anyone around. Since "extensive" is my middle name (well, not really, although I do tend to wander off into the parenthetical wilderness at times, do I not?), such a long list fits right in here.

Before we begin, we have a few quick things to run down that can't be ignored. The first is the fact that this may be our last column, due to TEOTWAWKI (or, to the less savvy, "the end of the world as we know it"). My only thought, should it be my final one, is that perhaps the Mayans were fans of the band Rush -- look right there in the date... 12/21/12! Heh. Today is a good day to dig out a short story Arthur C. Clarke wrote almost 60 years ago, "The Nine Billion Names Of God," especially if you've never read it before.

Quickly, here are a few things I would be writing about, were this a normal Friday column: A full-page pro-marijuana ad in the New York Times (with lots of "these must be the end times" sorts of jokes). South Carolina is apparently attempting nullification once again (since the first time worked out so splendidly for them in the 1860s). And finally, Sarah Palin channelling Groucho Marx, who famously stated that he would never join any club which would have the likes of him as a member. Palin ridiculed Time magazine's choice of President Obama as "Person Of The Year" because -- get this -- Time had previously called Sarah Palin one of the most influential people in America. Palin was (thankfully) largely absent from the political stage in 2012, but gems like this give rise to a certain nostalgia for the times when the national media hung on her every word.

Oh, speaking of hanging on every word (ahem), I was interviewed on the Uprising! radio show (on the Pacifica Network) yesterday, on fiscal cliffery, so I definitely would have had a plug for that. If this were a normal Friday column, that is.

But it's not, of course -- instead we bring you our year-end awards, which are long enough as it is, so let's get underway, shall we?

 

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   Biggest Winner Of 2012

We start with an easy call. President Barack Hussein Obama was the Biggest Winner Of 2012. Winning a second term as our nation's leader eclipsed all other wins of the past year, hands down.

 

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   Biggest Loser Of 2012

This was a bit tougher to call. Mitt Romney was an obvious contender, as was Karl Rove and the SuperPACs who supported him. But the real Biggest Loser Of 2012 was the Republican Party and the Republican brand. Across the board, the GOP lost in many significant ways. Republicans lost not only the presidential vote, they lost any shred of support from African-Americans, Latinos, young people, and gays... and they went a long way towards losing women as well. But it wasn't just the presidential vote -- for the first time in American history, several states voted to allow gay marriage and to just flat-out legalize marijuana. On issue after issue, the electorate is signaling they are tired of the traditional Republican "wedge issues" and are taking their votes elsewhere. Meaning the Biggest Loser of 2012 was not just "a Republican" or "Republicans in general," but the entire Republican Party and the Republican platform, to boot.

 

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   Best Politician

Elizabeth Warren certainly earned her chops as a politician this year. Likewise, Chris Christie had his moment -- not "in the sun," but in the aftermath of a tragic storm. But the Best Politician this year was none other than Bill Clinton. The Big Dog. Bubba. Clinton's campaign efforts boosted Obama out on the campaign trail, and Clinton outshone all others with the speech he gave to the Democratic National Convention. If Hillary Clinton wins the White House in 2016, perhaps she'll take seriously Barack Obama's quip that a cabinet position should be created for him as the "Secretary of Explainin' Stuff."

 

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   Worst Politician

No shortage of choices here, mostly from the Republican side of the aisle. From candidates blowing what should have been easy Senate victories through their boneheaded insensitivity on the subject of rape to the endless parade coming out of the clown car that was the Republican primary season (Rick Perry springs to mind, if you know what I mean), we certainly had a lot to choose from. But one man stood out among this crowd, and his name is Willard Mitt Romney. Romney showed America that he downright expected to win the presidency, and his disdain for the whole process of, you know, asking for votes was so apparent that it oozed out of Romney in a constant stream. Only releasing two years of tax forms. Not explaining what he would do when he got into office on just about every contentious issue raised. The stiffest delivery of any politician since John Kerry trod the hustings. Remarks about people not as lucky as himself in the "choose your parents carefully" sweepstakes. Standing up for issues which he clearly did not agree with on a personal level, just to convince the right wing that he was acceptable. These just scratch the surface of how truly awful a candidate Romney turned out to be. Thankfully, Romney will now fade into obscurity and we will never again have to watch him trying to project a level of sincerity which he was clearly faking, from day one.

 

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   Most Defining Political Moment

We got a lot of votes for "the debates," but we're going to pass on that one. Sure, the debates were riveting this year and were watched by millions, but nothing in the debates was a truly "defining" moment, really. The runner-up in this category was the Democratic National Convention, because it did indeed define the parameters of Obama's victory. Romney got no bounce from his convention, but Obama's numbers did get a healthy uptick -- and they remained at that level for the rest of the race (even if Fox News refused to admit it). But the Most Defining Political Moment of 2012 was the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Obamacare. If the decision had gone the other way, it might have defined Obama's first term as a failure on the one overwhelming issue he tackled. Since the court upheld Obamacare, we will all get a chance to see how it's going to work at the end of next year. The Obamacare decision wasn't just a defining political moment of the year, it was the defining political moment of Obama's entire first term.

 

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   Turncoat Of The Year

Charlie Crist certainly turned the colors of his coat this year, but it didn't really have much of an impact outside of Florida. Watching Chris Dodd shill for the movie industry on whatever odious legislation they supported was pretty revolting (after Dodd had previously disdained lobbying as a career choice), but again, it wasn't really of national impact. And a case could certainly be made for Chris Christie, whose support for Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy hit his state certainly helped, in the final week of the campaign. But instead, we're going to give this award to President Obama, for "turning his coat" on the subject of gay marriage. When Obama announced he had "evolved" on the subject, many commentators predicted that he'd lose support among African-Americans. They were wrong. What happened instead was that support for gay marriage began rising among African-Americans. That, folks, is what leadership is all about.

 

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   Most Boring

For two years running, we've handed Most Boring to Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner. This year, we were even tempted to give it to "the Olympics." And while Mitt Romney certainly was a frontrunner in the Most Boring category, we're going to instead hand the award to Jon Huntsman. Oh, sure, his daughters have a fair amount of charisma, but Huntsman himself was about as exciting as dry toast -- to all Americans who don't live inside the Beltway and have a job spouting punditry for the mainstream media, of course.

 

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   Most Charismatic

Bill Clinton was a contender in this category, but then that's no real surprise. Michelle Obama is delightfully charismatic, but this only earned her a runner-up this year. Because the Most Charismatic award goes to Chris Christie. The choice is obvious, really. We're certainly looking forward to his upcoming campaign for president, as it will likely be one for the ages in the charisma department.

 

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   Bummest Rap

Some of our loyal readers hate it when we award ties, so we've cut way back on the practice in general, but there were two candidates for Bummest Rap this year, and for the life of us we can't choose between the two. We even had a strong third outside of the United States -- the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Their sentence was harsh and in no way fit their "crime," but we have to at least thank them for the amusement of watching PBS NewsHour anchors bemusedly reading the words "Pussy Riot" on the air, which may be juvenile of us but was also priceless. But our first winner for Bummest Rap was "Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare!" out on the campaign trail. This was a bum rap for so many reasons -- first and foremost being that it wasn't a benefits cut, which Romney and Ryan ignored. The second was that Ryan's own budget made exactly the same cut. And the third is that, since the election, Republicans have been falling all over themselves to slash Medicare funding. Making it the Bummest Rap on the campaign trail, by far. Our second winner here needs no real explanation: the abrupt curtailing of Susan Rice's career over her repeating talking points on television that she had nothing to do with creating.

 

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   Fairest Rap

There were several ugly incidents which qualify for Fairest Rap. Just in the world of sports we had Lance Armstrong and the Penn State scandal. The Secret Service apparently got in the Christmas spirit a bit early this year, with a little too much cheer in the "Ho! Ho! Ho!" department. [OK, I apologize for that one, I'll put down the eggnog now.] In the military world, we had David Petraeus and his off-duty shenanigans. But the Fairest Rap of all this year was the one laid on Mitt Romney by Team Obama: that Romney was an out-of-touch plutocrat. Romney proved this over and over again, by the simple expediency of opening his mouth and saying something that should have been in a Grey Poupon ad three decades ago. From his enjoyment at firing people to his friends the NASCAR team owners to his sneering contempt for the 47 percent, Mitt just couldn't escape from the "open mouth, insert foot" syndrome all year long. Our favorite was one that the media didn't even really pick up on (I think they were having fun with his "the trees are the right height" comment instead). Mitt said he remembered going to Tigers games as a kid (he was in Michigan at the time, naturally), and then -- instead of just stopping right there, which would have been fine -- adding that he remembered chatting with the folks "in the box next to ours" who happened to be the team owners. Oh, to grow up in Plutocradelphia!

 

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   Best Comeback

Gabby Giffords giving the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic Convention was certainly notable this year, as was the standing ovation she got for her attendance of the State Of The Union speech at the start of the year. But the Best Comeback of 2012 was completed when Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren was named to the Senate committee responsible for overseeing the banking industry. The Wall Street lobbyists used their considerable influence to keep her from leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she had originated, so instead of getting mad, Warren got even. She ran successfully for the Senate and captured Teddy Kennedy's old seat back for the Democrats -- by running as what can only be called a (capital-"P") Populist campaign -- and now she'll be one of the senators grilling bank executives before the cameras for the enjoyment of the public at large. In fact, this is the best political comeback we've seen in a long while and is downright phoenix-like. We look forward to watching Senate banking hearings for the foreseeable future.

 

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   Most Original Thinker

The SpaceX company, who will be launching privately-built capsules into orbit so our astronauts have a way up and down from the space station, certainly qualifies in the Most Original Thinker category. Private space vehicles -- real ones, not the toys Richard Branson is creating -- are now an important part of the future of the American space industry. Likewise, the folks over at N.A.S.A. who thought up the Rube Goldberg method of landing a rover on Mars deserve at least a tip of the hat. But we have to give Most Original Thinker to none other than Nate Silver. Perhaps we should have included him in "Bummest Rap" for the seething hatred directed at him from all those folks on the Right who are incapable of believing in "math," but we thought this would be a better category. Nate Silver is now the gold standard of crunching political numbers, and all the Karl Roves of the world need to realize that his numbers don't lie.

 

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   Most Stagnant Thinker

Speaking of Karl Rove... heh. There was much stagnation across the landscape of politics this year, indeed. Donald Trump doesn't even qualify, because we simply can't bring ourselves to use the word "thinker" in the same sentence as The Donald. Paul Ryan is in a class by himself in stagnation, no matter what "Serious People" think in Washington. The Tea Party is a whole stagnant swamp by itself. We could even give the award to the entire Republican Party, for running a campaign promising to take us back to at least the 1950s, if not the 1850s. That's pretty stagnant right there. But two men stood apart this year -- so much so that one comedian quipped: "When someone brings up the guy from your political party who made ignorant comments about rape and you have to ask 'Which one?' you know you're party's in trouble." Our Most Stagnant Thinker award for 2012 goes to Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin and Richard "Something God Intended To Happen" Mourdock. Guys... it's the twenty-first century... I mean, really.

 

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   Best Photo Op

The recently-released photo of President Obama with a very short Spiderman certainly was pretty amusing, we have to admit. Our personal favorite photo ops of the entire year were the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, complete with a cameo by the Queen, and (the best part) the tightrope-walker staging of the cover of the Pink Floyd album Wish You Were Here. During the campaign, seeing Big Bird respond to Mitt Romney's "I'm going to cut funding for P.B.S." comment on Saturday Night Live was probably the best photo op of the political year. Continuing our space theme this week, the guy who parachuted to Earth from the boundaries of space was certainly pretty cool. But in many places across America (and with various different actual spacecraft), the "last hurrah" sendoff of the Space Shuttle program was indeed the best photo op of the year. From flybys of major cities to a slow crawl through the streets of Los Angeles (how appropriate!), the remaining shuttles took their last journeys to their resting places in museums across the land. And they had a pretty impressive last moment in the spotlight.

 

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   Worst Photo Op

Clint Eastwood immediately springs to mind, but we've got an even better category for him next week, in Part Two of this column. Then there was that finger-pointy photo of Jan Brewer and Barack Obama, but we're not even sure that happened in 2012 and, quite frankly, we are not interested enough to check. Alan Simpson attempting to dance "Gangnam Style" was so awful that legions of Americans simultaneously tried to rip out their eyeballs to avoid seeing another nanosecond of it. Paul Ryan visiting a soup kitchen during the campaign turned into a disaster of bad press, which was pretty memorable. And there were bigger disasters that we don't think should be lowered to mere "photo op" status (such as Sandy's devastation or the images from Benghazi). But the truly worst photo op of the year wins for two reasons -- the incident itself happened because it was creating a "photo op" -- and then it became a different kind of photo op because of what happened. When the cruise ship Costa Concordia "buzzed" the shore of an island to provide a striking photograph for those on board and those on shore, it ventured too close, resulting in tragedy. The image of a monster ship on its side in the water was indeed the worst photo op of the year.

 

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   Enough Already!

This is a catch-all category, so feel free to add your own.

"Gangnam Style" -- Enough already!

Honey Boo Boo -- Enough already!

Linsanity -- Enough already!

Chick-fil-A -- Enough already!

Trump and the birthers -- Enough already!

Rush Limbaugh's bashing women -- Enough already!

Passing laws to keep people from voting -- Enough already!

Denying gay rights as a political wedge issue -- Enough already!

 

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   Worst Lie

This is a tough one to pick a winner. After all, it was an election year. The Romney "Jeep factories will move to China!" ad was universally condemned as one of the worst lies of the campaign, just for starters. Likewise, the previously-mentioned "Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare!" nonsense was a whopper. We almost gave the award to the Republicans' "There is no 'war on women' -- really!" since it was so patently, obviously false. But, on sheer technical grounds, we have to award the Worst Lie to Mitt Romney who, during a debate, tried to tell Obama what words had come out of Obama's mouth. Obama's response was "read the transcript," but the reason this was the Worst Lie of the year was that Romney was caught lying immediately by the moderator of the debate. This is what watching only Fox News does to politicians, folks. They start believing things which are just demonstrably not true.

 

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   Capitalist Of The Year

He's either Capitalist Of The Year, or Magician Of The Year, we can't decide. Karl Rove took $390 million from rightwing SuperPACs, and made it disappear. Heh. Which allows us all to wallow in the schadenfreude in uninhibited fashion, here at year's end. Karl Rove spent a whopping amount of other people's money (or "capital"), and did his best to boost the economies of television stations across the land with ad buys. All to no avail. The "return on investment" for Rove's own political organization was pretty damn low this year. To put it another way: didn't get a whole lot for your money, guys, did you? But the whole point is that Karl talked all those billionaires into ponying up so he could have fun doing what he does. That's raw capitalism, folks -- the ability to sell nothing more than sheer unadulterated moose poop, for very high prices. Karl himself, at the end, actually fell into the "believing your own P.R." trap, much to the delight of Obama voters, on the night of the election, when he simply could not believe that Obama had won a huge victory. For his flim-flamming rich conservatives so spectacularly well, our Capitalist Of The Year is none other than Karl Rove.

 

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   Honorable Mention

Another catch-all category, for everyone that doesn't cleanly fit in the other categories. Heidi Heitkamp, for instance, for winning the closest Senate race of them all this year. Scott Walker, to be fair, for beating his recall. Hillary Clinton, for her last year as Secretary of State (and for her political future, as well). The wit in the crowd at a state fair (Iowa?) who, when seeing Barack Obama in line for drinks, yelled out: "Four more beers!" -- the best campaign slogan we heard, all year long, in fact. Jimmy Carter IV, who was the one who tracked down the "47 percent" video which changed the face of the presidential race. The Etch A Sketch. The Higgs boson. The amazing Democratic National Convention (which I actually got to attend). And, of course, Mitt Romney's dancing horse.

 

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   Person Of The Year

We end Part One of this column where we began. President Barack Hussein Obama is our Person Of The Year for 2012. Obama ran a campaign on raising taxes, which was one of the boldest moves by any Democrat since the 1980s -- and he succeeded. Obama will likely end this year with his job approval rating at the highest point it has been since the summer of 2009 -- higher even than when Osama Bin Laden was killed. Politically, he's never been stronger. As president, he's hitting his stride. He's learned a tough lesson on negotiating with Republicans, and he's a far better negotiator as a direct result. Obama will never have to run for another office for the rest of his life, so he is now free to do whatever he chooses to cement his already-impressive legacy. We look forward to Obama's second term, thanking all that is holy that we're not facing the prospect of President Romney.

 

[See you next week, for the conclusion of our 2012 awards!]

-- Chris Weigant

 

If you're interested in traveling down Memory Lane, here are all the previous years of this awards column:

2011 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2010 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2009 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2008 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2007 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2006 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress

 

52 Comments on “My 2012 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    How and why is it that the biggest loser of the year is going around acting like its King Shit of Turd Island? Excuse my french.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    the abrupt curtailing of Susan Rice's career over her repeating talking points on television that she had nothing to do with creating.

    Two words...

    "Colin Powell"

    'nuff said...

    . From flybys of major cities to a slow crawl through the streets of Los Angeles (how appropriate!),

    The Core Right??? :D

    We look forward to Obama's second term,

    And may the gods have mercy on our souls!!

    Michale
    0546

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    How and why is it that the biggest loser of the year is going around acting like its King Shit of Turd Island? Excuse my french.

    Simple...

    The best revenge on your enemies is to live well and be happy.. :D

    Seriously, though. The reason I think the GOP is thinking they are sitting pretty is because they know the delusional factor of Obama and the Democrats are extremely high right now..

    Obama & the Dems are going to tax this country to death, ignore spending cuts and increase spending dramatically...

    In other words, in 2014 and 2016, the American people are going to be BEGGING the Republicans to take charge...

    Just a guess, though.. :D

    Michale
    0547

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Hillary Clinton wins the White House in 2012, perhaps she'll take seriously Barack Obama's quip that a cabinet position should be created for him as the "Secretary of Explainin' Stuff."

    Not one to nitpick an obvious typo, but that would be 2016, not 2012.. :D

    Michale
    0548

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have a suggestion for an award..

    Most Amazing Bedfellows

    The NRA and MoveOn for taking the same position that armed officers in our schools is the best solution to the mass-casualty school shootings problem. Of course, they took that idea from me, but.... :D

    And the NRA for taking the Left's tried and true talking point that, when bad things happen, it's all the fault of Movie/TV/VideoGame violence..

    Of course, in the here and now, the Left has been more subdued with this particular talking point so as not to offend their biggest donor base.

    Thereby providing even more evidence (as if any was needed) that Party loyalty trumps principles and integrity every day of the week and twice on Sunday...

    Michale
    0549

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    And the NRA for taking the Left's tried and true talking point that, when bad things happen, it's all the fault of Movie/TV/VideoGame violence..

    And music lyrics.. Can't forget music lyrics.. :D {{cough}} Tipper Gore {{cough}} {{cough}}

    Michale
    0550

  7. [7] 
    db wrote:

    Have to disagree. The "Rove Stimulus" spent millions, if not billions, on American products. That money is now filtering through the economy providing jobs for Americans.

    I'd also suggest Mitch McConnell filibustering his own proposal ranks high on any OOPS list.

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [4] -

    Good eye. Yep, it was a typo, thanks, and it's fixed now. Also, in the first version of this, I put the Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here" thing in the opening ceremonies, when it was the closing ceremonies.

    Mea culpa all around.

    [6] -

    OK, here's a quote for you, because it's Christmastime:

    Tipper Gore is the only woman I ever directly called a bitch on any of my records, and I meant that in the most negative sense of the word.
    -- Ice T

    Here's the context, with not just a quote but Frank Zappa's entire Senate testimony.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2007/09/25/is-this-really-the-best-use-of-the-houses-time/

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    db -

    I've always called campaign season "welfare for small local television stations" myself. Heh.

    But you raise a good point. Whenever someone brings up the trope "Politicians spent X dollars on this election... think of what good things that money could have been spent on!" I have to counter it.

    What do political campaigns spend money on? Well, plane tickets and hotel reservations and local contractors to do stuff like set up stages and renting public spaces. Then there's the advertising -- some is skimmed off by wealthy "consultants" but most goes into both the production of the ad (salaries for artistic political types) and airing the ad (see: welfare for tv stations comment). Yard signs are bought, bumperstickers and T shirts are printed... all, again, money that flows into the American economy, often at a very local level. Democrats HAVE to have a Union stamp of approval on (for instance) yard signs and any printed material, so they're helping unionized print shops.

    Now, where does the money come from? Mostly wealthy donors, who otherwise would not be doing things with that money that were as directly productive to the American economy.

    So it's really win-win all around. Which is why I really don't care how much is "wasted" on political campaigns, personally.

    And thanks for reminding me about Boehner's instafilibuster... there are plenty of categories next week to fit it in.

    Anyone else have suggestions of people worth of awards from 2012?

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    db -

    Nice use of "Rove Stimulus" ... I may use that next week. Want me to give you public credit? Let me know...

    "As commenter db suggested on my site last week..."

    :-)

    Just say the word.

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Good eye. Yep, it was a typo, thanks, and it's fixed now.

    Yea, I hesitated even pointing it out, but I know what a stickler ya are for detail.. :D

    OK, here's a quote for you, because it's Christmastime:

    Awwww, thanx...

    Personally, on a manly man level, I have always liked Tipper.. She's pretty hot. :D

    But I always have a problem with people who try to set themselves up as Keeper Of The Morals.. More often than not, it's from the Right.

    But, prior to the ascension of the "Modern Liberal", it was always the Left that tried to blame TV, Movies, Lyrics, Parents, what have you, for the criminal acts of dirtbags...

    I think Jeff Foxworthy said it best..

    "Mom was fine, Dad was fine. I'm just a shithead..."

    :D

    Anyone else have suggestions of people worth of awards from 2012?

    Honestly, I think the "Strangest (Most Amazing) Bedfellows" is a pretty kewl category...

    I understand that the Gun Control issue has been beaten to a pulp and ya probably don't want to add more fuel to the pyre, but the category itself does have a lot of potential... :D

    Michale
    0551

  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [11] -

    I could call it the "Al Franken/Arianna Huffington Memorial Award." Heh. Anyone who doesn't get the reference, search on their names and "bed" to see the 90s TV show. The first time I met Al Franken, I thanked him specifically for "turning" Huffington away from the dark side.

    :-)

    Hey Folks!

    The pledge drive thermometer, after a week's dormancy, has moved! We got a couple donations today, but we're still a ways from our goal... must I trot out the kittens again?

    Heh. You have been warned.

    :-)

    -CW

  13. [13] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    OK, it's the end of the year, it's the holidays...

    ...so even YOU've got to admit, that Obama/Spiderman photo was pretty funny, no?

    :-)

    -CW

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris [12]

    I'm not sure I made my pledge known but I'm going with matching Michale but at 50 cents per Michale comment ... so chalk me up for that and I'll send the total in after we celebrate the New Year and I know Michale's total ...

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Anyone else have suggestions of people worth of awards from 2012?

    I'd like to see Tim Geithner get something for his efforts other than the ole 'don't let the door hit you on the way out' put down ...

  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    May have forgotten to tell you this story last year, but you'll appreciate it nonetheless. Your 2011 donation money order came in, and so I took it to my bank. They tried to credit me with those "loonies" until I pointed out that you had been kind enough to submit your donation in "USD" (or, for the uninitiated, "U.S. dollars") instead of that Canadian money you folks use up there in the northern parts (heh), and so she credited me with the proper amount. Americans just aren't used to world currencies, sad to say...

    :-)

    Are you sure you can keep up with Michale, even at 50 cents on the dollar? He's pretty... um... prolific, don't ya know.

    Heh.

    -CW

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    ...so even YOU've got to admit, that Obama/Spiderman photo was pretty funny, no?

    Yea, it's cutesy.. I can see why the Team Obama didn't want to release it during the campaign.. :D

    But, as I said, I don't have a problem with Obama, the father or Obama, the person.

    I just have a problem with Obama, the President.

    :D

    He's pretty... um... prolific, don't ya know.

    I've been called worse.. :D

    Michale
    0553

  18. [18] 
    db wrote:

    CW #10

    Your thanks, already expressed, are all I'd want for contributing "Rove Stimulus" to the lexicon. You've done a much better job explaining it in any event.

    I'd add that even Republicans are not about to have several hundred pounds of yard signs printed in China & shipped here. The freight charge will kill you.

    Consultants, while wealthier than I, tend not to be unduly loaded. Rove is perhaps the best known & I haven't heard that he contributed in the 7 figure range.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Well, with the way exchange rates are going and given the ongoing "fiscal cliff" fiasco in the southern parts, you might want to let your banker make that mistake again. Heh.

    Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

    As for our prolific Michale, I shall do my best to keep to my end of the bargain. And, so, if you don't hear from me for a while, it's just because I've temporarily lost my internet connection.

    Just kidding! It's all for a great cause, after all.

    How many more comments can he make, anyways, in just nine days? ... Onwards and upwards, Michale!

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Anyone else have suggestions of people worth of awards from 2012?

    Best Government Dollar Spent: the TARP which has earned the taxpayers a profit as a result of how prudently and responsibly that program was managed under the Obama administration.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    How many more comments can he make, anyways, in just nine days?

    That sounds like a challenge to me!!! :D

    the TARP which has earned the taxpayers a profit as a result of how prudently and responsibly that program was managed under the Obama administration.

    Which was offset by the BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars the taxpayers lost with the moronic auto-bailout...

    Hay, that's a good award too..

    Most Moronic, Useless And Ultimately Futile Government Action

    Obama missed a golden opportunity there.

    Michale
    0554

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Actually, the reverse is true with respect to the auto bailout.

    US taxpayers have saved many more billions and billions of dollars as a result of the auto bailout - an action which, incidentally, was the opposite of moronic. In fact, the auto bailout rivals the TARP for the most well spent government dollar.

    I'm afraid your assessment of the auto bailout is quite fallacious.

    Careful, any more comments like that and we may have to start deducting from your impressive total. :)

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm afraid your assessment of the auto bailout is quite fallacious.

    If, by "fallacious" you mean "factual" then you would be correct.. :D

    But, in a report sent to Congress, the White House raised to $25.1 billion the amount it said it cannot now expect to recover – primarily by selling off the remaining 26% stake it still holds in GM. The previous quarterly estimate was $21.7 billion. On the other hand, the latest figure is about 45% less than the $44 billion the Obama Administration had once predicted.
    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/auto-bailout-cost-now-upped-25-billion-942325

    No matter how you slice it, Obama screwed the pooch on the Auto-Bailout...

    Michale
    0555

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You really need to take a break.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    And, while you're relaxing on your break, think about what would have happened to the US economy without Obama's auto bailout and about the state of the US auto industry today.

    Just because the US government isn't going to make a profit on the auto bailout, as it did with the TARP, doesn't mean that it wasn't a great success.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    You really need to take a break.

    Yea, that's usually the case when I start making sense and spouting facts.. :D

    Michale
    0556

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, while you're relaxing on your break, think about what would have happened to the US economy without Obama's auto bailout and about the state of the US auto industry today.

    Oh I have already thought about it..

    We would have cutting edge 21st Century technology and building 21st Century vehicles and well on our way to a REAL recovery, rather than limping along from one financial disaster to the other.

    The SYSTEM is broken...

    Propping it up with cash at taxpayer expense simple prolongs the inevitable collapse..

    Better to let the system come crashing down and rebuild it with newer better technology.....

    "We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better. Stronger. Faster."
    -The Six Million Dollar Man

    :D

    Sure, it would have been really hard at first. But it would be a LOT better now..

    With the current bonehead plan, it's hard and not getting any better..

    Like I said. Obama missed a golden opportunity. He opted for the same limp-dick status quo rather than doing something that would drag our economy into the 21st century..

    For a man reputed to have "vision", he is really just stuck in the past and will go the way of the dodo..

    Michale
    0557

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    On another note.. A while back a fellow Weigantian and I were discussing the future of Egypt as an Islamist state...

    http://rt.com/news/egypt-referendum-approves-constitution-670/

    Looks like the discussion is over...

    So now, either Egypt will descend into more civil war (bad) or will become another Iran (VERY bad)...

    Either way, it illustrates the complete and utter moronic-ness (an old word that I just made up) of Obama's "Leading From Behind" strategy...

    It would have been easier and faster for Obama just to wrap up North Africa in a nice shiny box with a large bow and deliver it to Iran....

    Yer doing a heckuva job, Obama..... :^/

    Michale
    0558

  29. [29] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [23] -

    Let's see... from that article:

    "Chrysler has paid off all the money it received from the Obama Administration but didn’t cover another $1.3 billion granted by Pres. Bush."

    So who exactly got the better deal from the auto bailout? Obama or Bush?

    Heh.

    -CW

  30. [30] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [27] -

    OK, I'm confused. What, exactly (in calm language) do you think are the problems with the auto industry? Don't use "Obama" anywhere in that answer. I'm just trying to make sense of your position on Detroit's future.

    You say you want to have a modern, future-oriented industry, but you also (in the past) have poured hatred on the Chevy Volt. So which is it? Or is there some design flaw with the Volt I'm missing? Volts seem to be selling pretty well, as with all the other hypbrids (I could be wrong, I don't pay much attention to the business news) and electric cars.

    So, stripped of politics, if you were King Of The World (man, that's a scary thought) or even just King Of Detroit, and without getting into the economics or the past, and you could wave your magic wand, what exactly would your plan be for the future of the auto industry? I'm not making fun of you, I am just curious to see, as I don't know that you've ever explained what future you'd like to see. Not past, not present even, but the future of the auto industry (and if you say "flying cars" I will know you're not being serious...).

    :-)

    -CW

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    What, exactly (in calm language) do you think are the problems with the auto industry?

    Oh lets see...

    Smog.. Gas guzzling.

    Has there been any significant fundamental changes in the auto technology in the last 50 years??

    No, there has not..

    The basic design of the combustible engine is identical to what it was 50 years ago..

    Sure, there has been minor improvements here and there, but the basic design is the same..

    Put it another way.. If you took a 2012 vehicle back in time to the 1950s, a fairly intelligent person of the 1950s who was abreast of 1950s automotive technology would likely be able to operate the 2012 vehicle after a short acclimation period..

    Now, compare that to the leaps and bounds of Information Technology in the last 50 years...

    Take an Android Tablet back in time to the 1950s and they would likely try to fry it up in a pan...

    (referring to his cell phone) "Can you, uh, tell me where I can get reception on this thing?
    "The U.S.S. Enterprise?"

    -SUPERNATURAL

    Information Technology has grown by leaps and bounds because the old was discarded and new and innovative technologies have been allowed to grown..

    You say you want to have a modern, future-oriented industry, but you also (in the past) have poured hatred on the Chevy Volt

    I don't think I have EVER "poured hatred" over the Chevy Volt..

    I have been disgusted by the Obama Administration giving billions of dollars, solely on the basis of political connections, to "Green" companies that failed and failed miserably...

    So, stripped of politics, if you were King Of The World (man, that's a scary thought) or even just King Of Detroit, and without getting into the economics or the past, and you could wave your magic wand, what exactly would your plan be for the future of the auto industry? I'm not making fun of you, I am just curious to see, as I don't know that you've ever explained what future you'd like to see. Not past, not present even, but the future of the auto industry (and if you say "flying cars" I will know you're not being serious...).

    It's simple...

    By propping up the same old system, Bush and Obama have stagnated REAL growth...

    It's simply IMPOSSIBLE to create radical new automotive technology within the confines of the current infrastructure....

    Our system is BROKEN... PERIOD...

    Letting the entire thing collapse will cause some major headaches in the short term.. But, in the long term, it's the ONLY way to grow....

    It took a major wallop to the dinosaurs for mammals to assert themselves as the dominant species...

    It's gonna take a major wallop to our automotive infrastructure for us to advance...

    But, that will never happen as long as short-sighted administrations maintain the status quo, solely for the sake of political expediency...

    Michale
    0559

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    By propping up the same old system, Bush and Obama have stagnated REAL growth...

    OK, so I failed the "Don't Mention Obama" test..

    But I coupled him with Bush, so maybe that canceled it out.. :D

    Michale
    0560

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    What a bummer...

    "Quincy" died....

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Now I know that you live in a fantasy world where the entire US auto industry would have collapsed as part of a global financial meltdown but it would have miraculously rose out of the ashes in the midst of the Greatest Depression the world has ever witnessed.

    That's really quite remarkable.

    But, it's also par for the course in that, while your idea about moving the auto industry to the next level with new infrastructure and products is a good one, you look at it COMPLETELY out of the context in which the auto bailout took place thus making your idea utterly meaningless.

    And, I though I was a dreamer ...

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Our system is BROKEN... PERIOD...

    I hate to break it to you but the domestic car industry hasn't looked this competitive in years.

    If I were buying a new car today there is an American car I would consider buying for the first time in about 20 years.

    I have been disgusted by the Obama Administration giving billions of dollars, solely on the basis of political connections, to "Green" companies that failed and failed miserably.

    A couple of points on capitalism and innovation.

    1. 9 out of 10 innovative companies will fail.

    2. You didn't mention all of the innovative IT companies which the government helped fund. You seem to have this idea that IT was all developed privately.

    3. The one thing the 'free market' hates is risk. Unfortunately, you always hear the opposite - free markets love risk. 'Free markets,' on the contrary, understand that 9 out of 10 innovative companies will fail. And therefore they will tend to be very wary of investing in innovation. Especially if it's estimated that there may be a long time before a return on investment is realized. 'Free markets' are also incredibly impatient.

    4. Often, it is a better business model to simply purchase innovative companies and stifle the innovation, rather than to face competition.

    Given this is the case, your antipathy towards government funding of research seems misplaced.

    Government funding of research is likely the only way many new inventions will occur.

    That said, I'm all for private funding of innovation. In fact, my stock portfolio relies heavily on it. I'm simply making the argument for both.

    -David

    p.s. Bring back the space program!!! I'm also all for investing in the development of fusion reactors even though, to this point, they have 'failed'. If there isn't some failure, we will never get to success!

    Merry Christmas!

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now I know that you live in a fantasy world where the entire US auto industry would have collapsed as part of a global financial meltdown but it would have miraculously rose out of the ashes in the midst of the Greatest Depression the world has ever witnessed.

    That's kewl...

    But that means ya'all don't get to bitch and whine about fuel economy standards and automotive pollution when there is a Republican Administration and Congress. :D

    David,

    I hate to break it to you but the domestic car industry hasn't looked this competitive in years.

    Despite ALL the facts to the contrary.. :D

    A couple of points on capitalism and innovation.

    Your Left Wing Talking Points ignore one salient point which was really the target of my beef.

    Obama only supported the companies that supported him and ignored the companies that DIDN'T support him.

    In other words, technological innovation had NOTHING to do with funding. The only criteria was political loyalty.

    Given this is the case, your antipathy towards government funding of research seems misplaced.

    Again, you completely miss my point.

    I don't have a beef with "government funding"...

    I have a beef with government funding based, not on merit and/or potential, but rather solely and completely based on political/ideological loyalty...

    THAT's what sucks...

    Merry Christmas!

    Bah Humbug.. :D

    Michale
    0562

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    I hate to break it to you but the domestic car industry hasn't looked this competitive in years.

    But competitive business is not my point..

    The point is, our government had a GOLDEN opportunity to transform our Auto Industry into an awesome 21st Century technological marvel..

    But, because of POLITICAL considerations, our government opted for the status quo...

    And you know as well as I do that in another 5-10 years ANOTHER bailout is going to be required...

    THAT's my beef... The Obama Administration goes on and on ad nasuem about how Green Technology is the future and that future is now..

    Yet, when given an opportunity to IMPLEMENT such a Green program in a large part of our economy, Obama bows to political cronyism (you will recall that only UNION companies got bailout funds) and maintains the same limp-dick ancient business practices that ENSURE that there will be bailout after bailout after bailout...

    I am AMAZED that *I* am the only one who sees this..

    However, I am secure in the knowledge that, had it been a GOP administration, ya'all would be right there on the same page with me.. :D

    Michale
    0563

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRor-xFPepsp_en7V6XssPUgqES_C8A90P6KAtqlCl4_qHMtNbg

    Well, I am sure glad that this country going over the fiscal cliff and entering a new and more devastating recession is not hampering Obama's golf game...

    Cuz I would HATE to think that Obama would be so distracted, he couldn't hit the links. :D

    Michale
    0566

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, ya'all wanted to see Boehner gone as Speaker.. Looks like you might get ya'alls Christmas Wish...

    Rumor has it that Paul Ryan will replace Boehner as Speaker...

    I think this would definitely come under the heading of "Be Careful What You Wish For"... :D

    If true, I can't wait to see Ryan wipe the floor with Obama.. :D

    Michale
    0567

  40. [40] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Obama only supported the companies that supported him and ignored the companies that DIDN'T support him.

    Huh?

    Rumor has it that Paul Ryan will replace Boehner as Speaker.

    I sincerely doubt Ryan would make such a boneheaded move. Then again, he said 'yes' to Romney :)

    -David

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Huh?

    You heard me... :D

    Research which companies got bailout funds and which did not.

    The vast majority of the ones that did, the Unions got the bulk of the money..

    I sincerely doubt Ryan would make such a boneheaded move.

    Time will tell.. But it sounds like wishful thinking.. :D

    Michale
    0568

  42. [42] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The vast majority of the ones that did, the Unions got the bulk of the money.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahah. This is almost laughable. Quickly:

    Citigroup- $476.2 billion
    Bank of America- $336.1 billion
    Morgan Stanley- $135 billion
    JP Morgan- $129.6 billion
    Wells Fargo- $107.2 billion

    Looks like a bunch of Wall Street bankers received more than $1 trillion in bailouts. By comparison, the GM bailout was $27 billion.

    Look at those unions though ... they're trying to steal your money. Haahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!

    -David

    BTW- The government actually has an excellent site to show who received stimulus money.

    http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecoveryData/Pages/RecipientReportedDataMap.aspx

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hahahahahahahahahahahah. This is almost laughable. Quickly:

    Citigroup- $476.2 billion
    Bank of America- $336.1 billion
    Morgan Stanley- $135 billion
    JP Morgan- $129.6 billion
    Wells Fargo- $107.2 billion

    You have been hanging around with Mitchy too long..

    We were talking about AUTO BAILOUT..

    Not Porkulus...

    Looks like a bunch of Wall Street bankers received more than $1 trillion in bailouts.

    And yet, you STILL support Obama, even though he is (apparently) bought and paid for by Wall Street..

    Why is that??

    BTW- The government actually has an excellent site to show who received stimulus money.

    Yea??

    ANd the government would NEVER lie, right???

    Oh wait.. A Democrat government would never lie..

    A Republican government would ALWAYS lie..

    Silly me...

    Michale
    0569

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's what I can't understand..

    Everything ya'all complained about Bush is in Obama in (at the risk of being called racist) spades...

    Obama curries favor to Wall Street. Obama is bought and paid for by corporate and lobbyist interests...

    Obama's Domestic Surveillance Programs and his brutal Drone Assassin Programs make Bush look like an ACLU Star Lawyer...

    And yet, Obama is ya'alls "lord and savior" (direct quote) and Bush is STLLL evil incarnate..

    For someone who tries to look for logic and reason, ya'all are grossly perplexing to me...

    Michale
    0570

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:
  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    On another note..

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/report-gop-senators-wont-confirm-kerry-until-clinton-testifies-on-benghazi/article/2516877#.UNtgwEbCz8A

    Looks like Benghazi is STILL in the news..

    Who would thunked it?? :D

    Michale
    0572

  47. [47] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And cue ... 17 more conspiracy theories.

    I was wondering how they were going to attack John Kerry though. Thanks for that.

    -David

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was wondering how they were going to attack John Kerry though.

    Considering how much baggage Kerry is packing, did you REALLY have to wonder?? :D

    Michale
    0573

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like I said, I don't really have a problem with Kerry at State, even considering some of the skeletons he is packing around..

    But I don't fault people who DO have a problem with him..

    Michale
    0574

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    And cue ... 17 more conspiracy theories.

    I am also constrained to point out that, if it had been a GOP President/Administration, it would be the LEFT that would be screaming for someone's head and it would be the RIGHT that would be ridiculing all the "conspiracy theories"...

    Don't bother denying it because everyone here knows it's an accurate description.. :D

    Michale
    0574

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two days after reports that hotels in Washington are not filling up ahead of Barack Obama's second inauguration, the president emailed supporters to encourage them to come to the festivities scheduled for next month in Washington, D.C.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-emails-supporters-boost-attendance-inauguration_692106.html

    Nothing sadder than a fallen pop star trying to recapture the old glory... :^/

    Michale
    0576

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh wow.. :^(

    General Norman Schwarzkopf died....

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/gen-norman-schwarzkopf-hero-operation-desert-storm-dies/story?id=18078996#.UN1xm3e24eR

    A true American Hero has passed....

    Michale

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