My 2023 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 22nd, 2023 – 17:37 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

As always, we must begin with a stern warning: this is an incredibly long article. So long you likely won't make it to the end, at least not in one sitting. It is -- as always -- a marathon, not a sprint.

We have tried to credit readers' nominations where we could, but writing the whole column is such a frenzied activity that we may have omitted the citations here and there -- for which we apologize. Reader suggestions make our job putting together this list a whole lot easier, and we are indeed grateful for the people who do take the time to do so (and you still have a chance to make nominations for next week's awards, we would point out).

OK, since it is so long, let's not make it any longer and get right to it. Here are our winners for the awards categories first created on the McLaughlin Group television show, for the year that was.


   Biggest Winner Of 2023

Our first inclination in this category turned out to be a repeat of last year's Biggest Winner: abortion rights being on the ballot. Just like in 2022, abortion was a big winner in 2023. In the most fiercely-fought (and most expensive) Wisconsin state supreme court election ever, liberal Janet Protasiewicz won in a double-digit landslide over her conservative opponent, on a platform of supporting women's rights and getting rid of the rampant gerrymandering in the state. Then in Ohio, abortion rights won not just once but twice, since the Republicans tried an end-run around the ballot measure which cemented the protections of Roe v. Wade in the state's constitution -- and both won by overwhelming landslides in a reddish-purple state. Putting abortion rights on the ballot is a winner, and candidates who support abortion rights are winners -- a clear message for the 2024 elections, where it will be on the ballot in various ways in many other states.

But instead, we are going to give the Biggest Winner of 2023 to "American Unions." The Unions flexed their muscles this year, and they emerged victorious. The biggest strikes to hit the national news were the United Auto Workers and the Hollywood writers and actors' strikes. And both forced their respective industries into massive concessions and a very favorable contract as a result. These weren't the only organized labor activities during the year, but they were the ones that got most of the attention.

Unions in general have been in a long slow multi-decade decline, from their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, but this year they were resurgent and effective. With both the writers and the actors striking simultaneously, Hollywood was brought to its knees. Television and film production came to a screeching halt. The auto workers didn't call a general strike, with every factory shut down at once, instead they tried a new tactic where they had only targeted strikes at certain factories. This stretched their strike fund (which pays striking workers) enormously and allowed them to keep a constant pressure on the "Big Three" automakers. The U.A.W. head was masterful in his use of the national media throughout the strike, and seems to be a Union boss cut from the old mold of Union bosses of yore.

President Joe Biden, a longtime supporter of Union rights, became the first sitting president to actually appear and walk a picket line with the striking autoworkers, which may help him when it comes time for Michigan to vote next year. All around, the Unions won the battle in the court of public opinion and forced their industries to take their concerns seriously and to cough up some of the record profits being earned and return it to the workers who made those profits possible. So this was a pretty easy call -- American Unions were the Biggest Winners of 2023.


   Biggest Loser Of 2023

We had quite a few nominations for Biggest Loser of 2023. From our readers: "democracy" (andygaus), "Rudy Giuliani" (nypoet22), and "Florida Man/election denier Ron DeSantis" (Kick). Those last two tied into a general sort of nomination we had considered: election deniers in general (Fox News losing $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems, Rudy Giuliani losing $148 million, all the fake electors who are now either indicted or about to be, etc.).

We also considered Donald Trump, since he's been racking up lots of losses all year long: a $5 million judgment to E. Jean Carroll for raping her and lying about it, possibly $10 million more for her second defamation trial against him -- which the judge has already ruled Trump has essentially lost (the court case will, like Rudy's recent one, only be about how much more money he'll owe her), the civil fraud case in New York (which, again, he's already essentially lost, other than figuring out the penalty), all the gag orders, all the denied appeals, and as icing on the cake his recent defenestration from the Colorado GOP primary ballot.

But we thought there was one loser who stood out even among this sorry lot. Because Kevin McCarthy lost it all this year, in spectacular and historic fashion.

As the year dawned, Kevin McCarthy (and the rest of America) had to endure an excruciating 15 votes before he convinced his fellow GOP House members to reward him with the speaker's gavel -- in the first such contested speaker's election in over 100 years. To obtain all the holdout votes, McCarthy cut all sorts of "side deals" that left him perhaps the weakest speaker in all of American history. He survived one tense moment when he reached an agreement with the White House over the Republican tactic of holding the debt ceiling (and both the American and world economy) hostage, but then when he passed a continuing resolution during a budget fight to avoid a government shutdown, he was unceremoniously chucked out (for the crime of doing his job). This is the first time in American history this has happened. His speakership -- a job he has been wanting for years and years, mind you -- lasted less than nine months. He tried to herd the Republican cats, but in the end he got clawed and bitten and eviscerated by them. Their unprecedented "motion to vacate the chair" worked, and McCarthy was out on his ear.

At least his predecessors (John Boehner and Paul Ryan) were given the opportunity to gracefully step down from the role, but Kevin McCarthy was forced out by the same hotheaded faction that's been essentially running the Republican House every time they have gotten a majority for the past decade or so. McCarthy slunk back to a position of "backbencher," and took potshots (and, apparently, literally threw elbows) at the ungrateful Republicans who ousted him. But after a few months of this humiliation, he decided to just hang up his "young guns" before the end of the year and resign his House seat altogether. "Young guns" is a reference to the 2010 book of the same name, which touted three up-and-coming Republicans in the House: Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Kevin McCarthy. All are now gone from the world of politics. McCarthy was the last standing, and just like the other two he was taken down by "friendly fire" from within his own caucus.

That's a pretty spectacular rise and fall. And an interesting comment on the savagery of internecine warfare within the Republican ranks as well. The saddest thing of all? According to one website (you just can't make this stuff up), the day the House voted to dethrone McCarthy was listed as "National Kevin Day."


   Best Politician

We couldn't decide on this one, so we're giving it to three Democratic governors.

We did consider, we should mention for the sake of completeness, to give Best Politician to Donald Trump. All year long, things which would have completely torpedoed any other politician in American politics did nothing of the sort to Trump. With every bit of bad news, his poll ratings actually went up. But for some reason, "Best Politician" just didn't seem to fit, at least in our opinion. "Best" really should be more positive....

So instead we are giving it to three Democratic governors: Gavin Newsom of California, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, and Andy Beshear of Kentucky.

Newsom has spent all year running what might be called a "shadow campaign" for president. He's not actually running, he will tell you, but he certainly is out there having a whole bunch of fun building up his own personal political brand. And we'd bet our bottom dollar he will be running next time around, in 2028.

Newsom had somewhat of a unique opportunity, after he easily beat back a recall election in 2021 (where only 38 percent voted to recall him). This turned his 2022 re-election into an absolute cakewalk, and he barely had to spend any of his campaign war chest at all. This left him with a lot of money in the bank while he's facing term limits -- he cannot run for governor again. So he decided to have some fun with this money.

Newsom has become the nemesis of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, spending money to advertise in Florida to rip into DeSantis on a number of issues. If you'll excuse the language, it's kind of a pissing contest between the governor of two of the most-populous states in the country, over whose state is actually better. Newsom began this crusade when it appeared as though DeSantis was going to truly threaten to win the GOP nomination from Donald Trump, but even after that pipe dream faded, Newsom kept the pressure up. The two even debated on Fox News recently, which (when you think about it) is just downright bizarre -- a non-frontrunner GOP candidate for president debating a Democratic governor who isn't even running.

In any case, love him or hate him Newsom has done an excellent job of putting his face before a national audience, which should pay dividends when he does actually get around to running for president.

Gretchen Whitmer, on the other hand, also had a rather unique opportunity. In 2022, Michigan Democrats won control of both chambers of their state legislature for the first time in decades, while Whitmer coasted to re-election herself. Since then, Whitmer hasn't been timid about getting as much done as possible with full control of the Michigan government. She has passed a long list of Democratic agenda items that have all been sitting around gathering dust for decades. This has truly transformed the state, and not unlike Gavin Newsom there is a lot of talk of her running for president some day on her impressive record. So while Newsom wins Best Politician for his rampant politicking (California has had a Democratic statehouse for years, meaning there was no such backlog for him to tackle), Whitmer wins the same award for getting things done.

And finally, Kentucky's Andy Beshear wins Best Politician for, well... winning. As reader Kick put it in his nomination: "Andy Beshear won handily in deep red Kentucky." There aren't a whole lot of Democrats left who can manage to decisively win re-election in a red state, but Beshear managed the feat, keeping his campaign local and running on his record of accomplishments in the state. It wasn't particularly close, either, Beshear won by a margin of five percent. For such a victory, we agree he also deserves Best Politician of 2023.


   Worst Politician

Well, there was George Santos...

But there's got to be a more apt award for him. We find ourselves wishing for a "Worst Human Being" category at times, we have to admit.

And we got two excellent suggestions from readers, the first from andygaus: Tommy Tuberville. "Yeah, he's pretty bad," we thought to ourselves, when reading that.

Both Kick and nypoet22 suggested Kevin McCarthy, which is entirely appropriate, but we just gave him Biggest Loser, so we don't want to pile on too much....

Instead, we're going with a very visceral reaction.

Our choice for Worst Politician became obvious, while watching the first Republican presidential debate. And it became absolutely set in stone, with every subsequent debate we watched afterwards.

Vivek Ramaswamy -- even though he only briefly appeared on most people's political radar -- was easily the Worst Politician of the year.

It wasn't even close, really.

If you didn't see any of the debates and you are wondering why we made this choice, well, just watch any random clip of him from any of the debates, and you will understand our choice within about 15 or 20 seconds.

We're not saying he's the worst as a politician in the sense of "doing it badly" (like Tuberville or McCarthy), we're saying it in the sense of "listening to him or watching him is torturous." Seriously, that bad.

We pray to all we hold holy that Donald Trump won't choose Vivek Ramaswamy as a running mate, because that would mean we would be subjected to seeing more of him next year, instead of him fading away to some sinecure job at Fox News or someplace.

For now, just for his annoying presence, for his repulsive personality... Vivek Ramaswamy is the Worst Politician of 2023.


   Most Defining Political Moment

This one was pretty easy, actually, after re-reading all the events of the past year. The Most Defining Political Moment was Donald Trump's mugshot.

It was the focal point of a whole bunch of things that happened to Trump all year long:

His indictment in the case of the payments to Stormy Daniels.

Losing a defamation case to E. Jean Carroll, and then having the judge clarify that yes he had been judged to be a rapist.

His indictment in the classified documents case.

Him going on television repeatedly and admitting his guilt in most of these cases, while his lawyers tear their hair out offscreen.

His indictment in the January 6th attempted insurrection case.

His indictment in Georgia on RICO charges -- which are usually used against organized crime bosses.

All the motions and appeals he filed and lost.

All the gag orders placed on him.

Losing -- in advance -- the New York fraud trial against him.

Losing -- in advance -- the second defamation trial brought by E. Jean Carroll (scheduled to begin in January).

All of the breathless television coverage of an ex-president surrendering himself to the authorities, and the circuslike atmosphere of it all.

And, of course, the highest court in Colorado ruling that he engaged in the January 6th insurrection and thus is ineligible to become president again.

All of that (and a lot more, we didn't even mention all the legal troubles Trump's former lawyers and aides are facing...) was boiled down into one key moment -- a mugshot of a scowling former president, taken in Georgia (the other jurisdictions allowed him to skip this step).

The funniest part was that Trump immediately grifted a cool $7 million from his supporters by selling T-shirts and other merchandise with his mugshot and the phrase: "never surrender." This is the mugshot taken while he was surrendering himself, mind you. For us, that was indeed the Most Defining Political Moment of the entire year.


   Turncoat Of The Year

As usual, we did consider Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, just on general principles. However, Sinema actually turned her coat (declared herself an Independent) at the very end of last year, and Manchin is technically still a Democrat (while eyeing a third-party bid for the presidency on the No Labels ticket), so we're giving them both a pass.

We also considered all of Trump's co-defendants in his Georgia RICO case who have already flipped on him and turned state's evidence -- most especially those who used to be his lawyers. That's going to provide all kinds of fun, when the case gets to trial and they testify (which, unlike the federal trials, will happen on camera).

From reader nypoet22's suggestion of Matt Gaetz, we also considered "all the Republicans who chucked out Kevin McCarthy," since that was some prime, Grade-A turncoatism, we have to admit. And entertaining, too, for the entire month of October, while the House GOP flailed around trying to find someone else to take the job!

But we're going to have to go with Robert F. Kennedy Junior, with a side-award to the Democrat who was briefly his campaign manager, Dennis Kucinich. R.F.K. Jr. is a nutjob, plain and simple. He's been an anti-vaxxer for a while, and he has plenty of other crazed conspiratorial beliefs to boot. Many of his own siblings denounced him when he announced he was challenging Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries (which is pretty embarrassing, you've got to admit). And Kucinich? What the heck was he thinking?!?

But that wasn't what truly won him the Turncoat of the Year award. What did was when he decided to abandon the Democratic Party and launch a third-party bid for the White House.

R.F.K. Jr., just on his name-recognition alone, could be enough to throw the entire race to Donald Trump. That is serious. And disappointing in the extreme. We have to think that both his uncle J.F.K. and his father R.F.K. are now turning over in their graves at what R.F.K. Jr. has become and what his candidacy might enable. So we sincerely hope we won't be awarding him this honor next year (if he turns out to be irrelevant, when people actually cast their votes), but for the threat he represents, we have to give Turncoat of the Year to R.F.K. Jr. (and, by extension, to Dennis Kucinich as well).


   Most Boring

Our go-to for this award is always Joe Biden, since (in contrast to the hurricane of chaos Donald Trump emits constantly) he is so comfortably and soothingly boring.

But this year we had to stick them together.

Because the Most Boring thing that happened all year was the snoozefest of the presidential election. Not too many American voters are real happy that we're going to get "Biden v. Trump II" next year -- a replay of the 2020 election. Plenty of Republicans would have preferred someone beat Trump and plenty of Democrats would have preferred that Biden step down instead of running, but neither of those things took place. So we're all going to sit through a rematch next year, barring any major unexpected developments.

Trump could be running as a convicted felon by that point, but it's doubtful whether he'll literally be running from a jail cell (he will draw his appeals out as long as humanly possible, no doubt). But none of it is going to matter, since the Constitution is silent on convicted felons being president (or even "incarcerated convicted felons").

But for pundits like us, this year (where the primary race was supposed to happen) was supremely boring. You simply cannot get excited about a Republican race where the battle is for "who will win second place, only 30 or 40 points behind Trump." Trump's dominance of the GOP field has led to boring (and Trumpless) debates, and very little actual political news from the campaign trail.

Perhaps the actual general election cycle will be more interesting next year, but in the world of presidential politics 2023 was a total snoozer of a year.


   Most Charismatic

Well the default answer to this category this year would have to be "Taylor Swift." We must admit, we are not a "Swiftie," but we do have acquaintances who are so we do understand the magnetic draw (or we try to, at any rate).

Swift (and, to be fair, Beyoncé as well) went on tour this year and they both brought an absolute economic bonanza to every single town they visited. They literally changed the local economy in dramatic ways. Swift's tour was pretty impressive (with a 44-song set that lasted over three hours!), and even more impressive was her announcing in the middle of it that she was giving all the workers on her tour (the roadies, the truckers... all of them) a nice $100,000 bonus each. We have never heard of such largesse from a performer before, so that was indeed impressive!

Then afterwards, Swift apparently hooked up with an NFL player, and that brought the collision of two completely independent (and almost mutually-exclusive) worlds of American pop culture together, sometimes with hilarious results (to wit: lots of teenage girls quickly trying to educate themselves on the rules of football, as well as a ketchup-and-ranch-dip meme that instantly went viral...).

But we deal with the political world, so we had to reluctantly decide not to give Taylor Swift the award...

Instead, we are giving Most Charismatic to the head of the United Auto Workers, Shawn Fain. He presented the face of the striking workers to America, and he seems cut from the traditional "tough as nails" Union boss mold. He achieved a monumental victory over the Big Three auto corporations and won a 25 percent raise for his workers.

And through it all, his personality shone through in a very charismatic way. OK, sure, we know he's not as charismatic as Taylor Swift, but he was the Most Charismatic in the political world this year.


   Bummest Rap

The Bummest Rap this year was pretty easy to identify. Despite Republicans desperately trying to paint Joe Biden as some sort of kingpin of what they call the "Biden Crime Family," they've actually got nothing on him. Nothing. Nada. Zippo. A big fat goose egg.

Throughout the year, Republicans have been attempting a sort of "Hail Mary whataboutism," evidenced best by their pathetic attempt to say that Joe Biden finding a handful of classified documents, immediately informing the Justice Department, and not only voluntarily handing them over but allowing his property to be searched (just to make sure there weren't others) was anything like the criminal antics of Donald Trump trying to hide the hundreds of classified documents that he was refusing to hand over, even after a subpoena.

The Republicans have worked themselves into an absolute frenzy over Joe Biden, despite not finding a single shred of evidence of any wrongdoing. This will likely culminate in the Republican House impeaching Biden next year, which is when we will all see the absolute hollowness of their fevered claims.

Joe Biden is clean as a whistle. Saying he's a crime boss was the Bummest Rap of the year.


   Fairest Rap

There are so many to choose from: Rudy Giuliani. George Santos. Donald Trump's 91 indictments. Donald Trump is a rapist.

Our runner-up in this category is Fox News, who was sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Systems for spewing lies about the company somehow being at the center of a giant election-stealing plot in 2020. The rap against Fox has always been that they are not a news organization but are instead nothing short of a propaganda operation. They used to be a Republican propaganda outlet but since the rise of Trump became a Trump propaganda outlet. Since then, they've changed their ways (marginally) and don't parrot Trump's Big Lie anymore. Because it hurts their bottom line, in a big way.

Fox settled with Dominion -- after a whole tranche of embarrassing internal communications was made public -- for the mind-bending sum of 787.5 million dollars. Again -- they entered into this settlement voluntarily to avoid a jury slapping them with even higher damages. In other words, they fully admitted that they were indeed a propaganda outfit and not a news organization -- that the rap against them was fair.

But instead, we are going to give Fairest Rap to the obvious conclusion that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is for sale to the highest bidder. News broke this year of all the goodies he grifted off of conservative donors, and then more and more details have trickled out in a constant stream ever since. The other Supremes were so embarrassed by all of this that they came up with -- for the first time ever -- a code of ethics for them to live by.

Of course, this code may prove to be inadequate window-dressing, since it has no teeth (no enforcement method). It is all voluntary. The justices are supposed to keep to the code and police themselves (which doesn't sound like a recipe for ethical success to us).

But the justices have long resisted even making such a window-dressing move in the first place. This year, however, they were forced to. Because Clarence Thomas is so obviously greedy and entitled and corrupt -- the Fairest Rap of the year.


   Best Comeback

In all honesty, we really thought that Donald Trump would be the winner of this category. But then we thought some more and realized he didn't have a "comeback" because he never had anywhere to come back from.

Trump's political resilience is extraordinary. He is King Teflon -- nothing sticks to him ever. Throughout the year, he has faced more and more legal problems, getting indicted a jaw-dropping 91 times and having to surrender himself to the authorities on four separate occasions -- and each and every time his poll numbers went up.

More and more details emerged in these indictments as to just how guilty he is of so many different serious crimes. Republican voters didn't care. Trump went right on being his bombastic self, saying a truckload of intensely offensive things -- and again, none of it hurt him politically at all. Trump defies the law of political gravity, over and over again.

But again, he never had a "comeback" because he never slipped or fell. He was never behind in the polls and then had a resurgence, he's just been on top all year. He blew off all the R.N.C. presidential debates, and nobody cared. But being untouchable isn't the same as launching a comeback.

So instead we are going to award "Best Comeback" to a rather mundane sort of organization: the Internal Revenue Service.

From an article way back in March:

The Internal Revenue Service's massive -- and controversial -- funding boost has begun to reach the front lines of tax season, and it's vaulted the agency from more than a decade of disarray, tax experts say, to a once-unimaginable position: a functioning tax service.

The IRS is answering 90 percent of its phone calls, has squashed its backlog of overdue returns, introduced new online taxpayer tools to keep pace with private software companies and processed 99.7 percent of returns filed this tax season, according to agency reports.

They have been using the money provided to them by Congress to hire lots of people to answer phones and dig through the massive backlog they piled up the year before. And they've succeeded. Their stats are all impressive, and it is notable that there simply weren't a raft of stories in the news this tax season about unprocessed returns and unanswered phone calls. That is a monumental turnaround for a government agency, when you consider where they were in 2022. Such rebuilding can occasionally succeed at government agencies, but it usually takes many years (if not decades) to have any sort of real-life impact. The I.R.S. turned things completely around within one year.

That is not just impressive, it was the Best Comeback of the year.


   Most Original Thinker

While that last one was a fairly literal interpretation of the award category, in this one we're going to get a little looser.

Most Original Thinker of the year was George Santos. After all, Santos wasn't content to tell the story of his life, instead he had to make it all up. He spun story after story about his wonderful life, which you have to admit takes a certain amount of creativity. As reader Kick pointed out: "not content to lie about being a star athlete on a college volleyball team, also fabricated knee replacements (both knees) as a consequence." Santos also got the nod from reader MtnCaddy, and we have to agree. Santos built story upon story, weaving a web of fabrication that eventually ensnared him and brought about his ruin.

It was all very tawdry and pathetic, of course. At least Donald Trump (who told over 30,000 lies while in office) usually lied about big and dramatic things. Santos, by comparison, was definitely varsity-league.

We have no idea what mental needs a person has to have to construct an entirely false life story. To just lie and lie and lie, and when you are caught lying to cover it up with even more lies -- that takes a certain type of person, and (not being a trained therapist) we have no idea what it all means, inside the head of George Santos.

But you have to admit -- it was all original! It was all made up of whole cloth, spun into a pattern of lies Santos proudly draped around himself. He is facing almost two dozen charges now (mostly for stealing from people during his campaign) and it certainly seems like a stint in prison is in his near future. But whenever he gets out, we fully expect him to make a bid for that year's "Best Comeback" award, because he seems like that type of guy -- the type that never really goes away completely. After all, he's got so many stories to tell!


   Most Stagnant Thinker

We did consider one reader suggestion for this one (andygaus nominated "Mike Johnson," and it'd be easy to make that case), but we have to vent about one specific bit of stagnant thinking that brought great harm to millions of families' lives instead.

Senator Joe Manchin pretty much singlehandedly killed the expansion of a federal program which had been passed as an emergency COVID measure but really should have continued afterwards because it was such a smashing success story. With the expansion of the Child Tax Credit that literally put checks in the mailboxes of millions of families, child poverty was cut in half. But two senators saw to it that the program would not continue beyond the COVID years, Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. But Manchin was the worst:

Sen. Joe Manchin isn't sharing any regrets about letting his party's expansion of the Child Tax Credit lapse, even after a historic spike in youth poverty last year.

According to Census data released on Tuesday, the share of Americans under 18 living below the poverty line jumped from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022 as the Biden administration's bulked-up credit expired, the biggest annual increase on record.

Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat whose opposition to extending the supersized credit was a decisive factor in its demise, seemed unfazed when asked if Tuesday's poverty data left him with any second thoughts. "It's deeper than that, we all have to do our part," he told Semafor. "The federal government can't run everything."

A number of Democrats reacted with regret and indignation at the new numbers. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Penn., called it "a specific choice" in a statement. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., took aim at his moderate colleagues. "Unfortunately, we had zero Republican support and we lost two corporate Democrats in Manchin and [Kyrsten] Sinema" on the Child Tax Credit, he told Semafor. "And that's why we are where we are today."

Manchin, when all the other Democrats were trying to convince him to continue the program, stated that he wasn't a fan of it because (to his way of thinking) all the people who got the money would just spend it "on drugs."

That is some pretty world-class stagnant thinking, and why Joe Manchin gets the award, since even after seeing exactly what everyone predicted happen -- a huge spike in child poverty -- he just didn't care in the least.


   Best Photo Op

We are struggling mightily not to give Best Photo Op to NASA's "Taters the cat" video, which was just publicly revealed. In keeping with the maxim "where would the internet be without cat videos?" the folks at NASA needed a video clip for a test of a laser communications system they wanted to test from a probe which is on its way to the asteroid belt. So, since it was a laser-based linkup, they decided to use a video of a cat chasing a laser-pointer dot. That's pretty epic, you've got to admit!

Personally, our vote was set very early on last year, as a few weeks into January both California's governor and President Joe Biden personally visited a restaurant which is located about a mile from where lives. We couldn't resist, and drove down to wave and show the colors. Biden and Gavin Newsom were touring the massive storm damage and for some reason a wharf nearby was the real poster child of the storm's violence (a big chunk of it was destroyed). But that was just on a personal level.

We could have gone with "funny," as the most hilarious political video of the year was seeing Vivek Ramaswamy giving a speech outdoors in front of a big sign reading: "TRUTH." At some point, the breeze picked up and the sign (not heavy, it didn't do any harm) toppled over on top of him. So -- quite literally -- it showed Vivek Ramaswamy "getting hit with the truth" (which we found completely hilarious).

Or we could have gone with "adorable," and chosen two White House photos of "take your kids to work day," which feature several children of Biden's Secret Service detail dressed up like their parents and doing a very serious job (if you click on only one link in this entire article, this should be the one -- it's that heartwarming!).

We got two nominations for Joe Biden appearing in a surprise visit to Kyiv, since it showed Biden's strong commitment to Ukraine so well (plus, for Biden it must have been irresistible since he had to take a very long train ride to get there).

But instead we were in agreement with reader andygaus that the Best Photo Op of the year was Joe Biden visiting a United Auto Workers picket line -- the first time a U.S. president has ever done so, as far as we know. Nothing says solidarity like showing up. And Biden's always been a very strong supporter of Unions, so it was entirely in character for him to do so. Standing with America's hardworking men and women as they demand a share of the massive profits their companies are raking in was indeed the Best Photo Op of the year.


   Worst Photo Op

We are heavily inclined to give Worst Photo Op to Trump's mugshot, but we already gave it Most Defining Political Moment, so we're going to instead be contrarian with the category. Instead of "photo op" we are going to interpret it as what should have been a photo op but instead had to be drawn by hand.

But before we get to that, we have a few other nominees worth mentioning. The Chinese spy balloon. Biden stumbling over a sandbag on stage. Mitch McConnell freezing up as his brain's software crashed during a press conference (twice!). Pretty much all of the war images out of both Ukraine and Israel/Gaza. And, of course, closing the year off with a gay sex video shot inside a Senate hearing room (which is so graphic we refuse to even link to it).

Instead of all that, we're going with not Trump's mugshot but instead all the courtroom drawings of Trump being lectured by judges and scowling mightily. One, in particular, seems appropriate to highlight during this holiday season because for all the world it looks like "Trump as Mr. Grinch." One reporter went a step further and said it looked like: "a Romulan and the Grinch had a baby."

Most of Trump's trials next year will be in courtrooms that do not allow cameras. So we'll probably be seeing a lot of these courtroom sketches, but it's pretty hard to top Trump-as-The-Grinch, we have to admit. Which is why even though it isn't a photo but instead actual art, we are giving Worst Photo Op to this sketch.


   Enough Already!

The first of our "catchall" categories. And an always-popular one to boot. Here is our list for "Enough Already!" for the past year (with credit for readers afterwards in parenthesis, to give credit where it is due):

George Santos -- Enough Already!

House speaker elections that last forever -- Enough Already!

"X" (né Twitter) -- Enough Already!

Elon Musk -- Enough Already!

Book bans -- Enough Already!

Donald Trump quoting Hitler -- Enough Already!

Trump's Big Lie -- Enough Already!

Rudy Giuliani -- Enough Already!

The entire government of Texas -- Enough Already!

Ron DeSantis -- Enough Already!

Vivek Ramaswamy -- Enough Already!

The Israeli/Gaza war -- Enough Already!


   Worst Lie

Our go-to default for this category is, of course: "everything that Trump says, all the time."

Or, this year, perhaps: "everything George Santos has ever said, ever."

But instead we have not just one lie but a whole passel of them. And as things turned out, these were incredibly expensive lies. But the worst of the whole pack was one in particular that was especially heinous.

In 2020, Rudy Giuliani tried to subvert democracy by convincing the Georgia state legislature that two elections workers in the state had somehow, all by themselves, flipped a bazillion votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. In testifying before a legislative committee, Rudy accused the two of "quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they were vials of heroin or cocaine." The women's lives were destroyed by what followed this lie.

Recently, of course, Rudy got his comeuppance, as a court just awarded the two women $148 million dollars as the price Rudy must pay for his lies about them.

So Rudy viciously attacking the character of two innocent women who were just doing their job protecting the basic right of democracy wasn't just the Worst Lie, it was also the Most Expensive Lie as well (unless you count "corporate lying," where Fox News shelling out $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems for all their lies about the company would top the chart).

And Rudy still hasn't learned his lesson -- he's out there still telling lies about the women. Which has already led to a second lawsuit being filed against him.

Some people just never learn, it seems.


   Capitalist Of The Year

We are going full-on tongue-in-cheek for this one.

According to everything the House Republicans and Fox News have to say on the subject, the choice of Capitalist Of The Year is an easy one: Hunter Biden!

He took nothing more than his last name and made millions of dollars off it. He's still cashing in on it, even as he fights his legal battles. So obviously he's got to be considered the Capitalist Of The Year, right?


   Honorable Mention

Our second catchall category, for everyone who did or said something notable that didn't quite merit an actual award this year, our list of Honorable Mentions:

Congressman Robert Garcia, who was sworn into office on a copy of the United States Constitution, a photo of his parents (who both died during the COVID pandemic), his naturalization papers, and... a copy of Superman #1 from the Library of Congress. He explained this choice thusly:

"I learned to read and write English reading comics as a kid. Never stopped reading," he said.

Garcia, who moved to the US from Peru, said that the values he grew up with while reading Superman are ones that he brings with him into his adult life and his new job.

"I grew up mostly reading Superman comics, you know, truth and justice, an immigrant that was different, was raised by good people that welcomed them and always someone that if you look at Superman values, and caucus values, it's about justice, it's about honesty, it's doing the right thing, standing up for people that need support."

Hakeem Jeffries, for holding together Democrats during both speakership floor battles.

Liz Cheney, just on general principles. (nypoet22)

Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. (Kick)

When Representative Jamie Raskin underwent chemotherapy and lost all his hair, he began wearing bandannas on his head and in an interview called the E Street Band's "Little Steven" Van Zandt "an inspiration." Van Zandt heard this while he was on tour, so he immediately packed up a bunch of his own signature bandannas and sent them to Raskin. That's classy, you have to admit.

John Fetterman for being so open about his treatments for depression.

The Department of Health and Human Services, who this year finally made a recommendation (that has yet to be acted upon) that marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III. This is the most tangible retreat yet from any branch of the federal government in the pointless War On Weed.

The federal government finally beginning to open up their U.F.O. files and let some light in.

An unnamed Capitol Hill tour guide who, during the big debt ceiling crisis walked by a group of reporters staking out then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy's office and remarked: "Over here on your right, you'll see a nation on the brink of economic collapse."

And one that was even funnier -- the best headline of the year, to us. Politico, on the morning that both Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon got fired from their respective cable networks, ran the story under the header: "Fox Nips Tuck, CNN Squeezes Lemon Out."

   Person Of The Year

No, it's not Taylor Swift (sorry Swifties!).

Instead, we're giving a collective award this year. To us, every single person working to serve Donald Trump and all his henchmen and henchwomen the heaping helping of justice he has more than earned deserves some sort of award for their labors, and we decided they should all get the highest honor on the list.

All of the prosecutors, from federal Special Counsel Jack Smith to District Attorney Fani Willis in Fulton County, Georgia and all the rest of the prosecutorial teams that put together all those 91 indictments. Plus all of the judges sitting for all of these cases, and all of the court support staff as well.

All of them have become targets, because Donald Trump operates using the same stochastic terrorism as a mob boss. Trump insults them, lies about them, vents his anger at them, and all of it is a big cue for all his followers to do the same (and worse).

None of these civil servants deserve that. They are just doing their jobs. They are applying the laws as written and bringing an ex-president to justice.

For standing strong despite the constant death threats and other threats of violence directed against them, we salute them all. To us, in this year of indictments and court cases, the Person Of The Year was earned by everyone who worked on any of these cases and then started getting death threats as a result. No one should have to put up with such fascistic and terroristic behavior for doing what is right, period.


[See you next week, for the conclusion of our 2023 awards!]

-- Chris Weigant


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

2022 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2021 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2020 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2019 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2018 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2017 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2016 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2015 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2014 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2013 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
2012 -- [Part 1] [Part 2]
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


105 Comments on “My 2023 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Biggest Winner of 2023 - American Unions!

    Very nice. Lately, I've been pondering a new North American union, of sorts, that will actually work to support musicians as they struggle through the current climate of the music industry ecosystem.

    Sure, there are organizations that purport to have the best interests of artists at heart but this is simply not the case. And, since the pandemic, the live music community needs all the support it can get.

    Recently, there was an open letter to Taylor Swift published online that spoke to all the ills of the music industry and the need for someone to take the lead in forming an organization that would work to the benefit of musicians, especially when it comes to compensation for the product they provide.

    I don't know if TS is the one to lead such an effort from the American side but I can't think of anyone better than Bryan Adams from the other side of the greatest border in the world! Anyway, just something I've been spending an increasing amount of time on, these days ...

  2. [2] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Turncoat Of The Year

    As usual, we did consider Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, just on general principles. However, Sinema actually turned her coat (declared herself an Independent) at the very end of last year, and Manchin is technically still a Democrat (while eyeing a third-party bid for the presidency on the No Labels ticket), so we're giving them both a pass.

    You give Sinema a pass because she renounced being a Democrat and Manchin did not renounce being a Democrat?

    Nonsense! Both voted against the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and Manchin could throw the election to Trump — it’s how both acted and voted not how each self identifies is what counts. In fact this award should be permanently renamed the Manchinema Award!

    You really missed the boat on this one.*smh*

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Biggest Winner Of 2023

    Abortion rights and Unions were indeed big winners this year but considering the headwinds Biden sticking the “soft landing” with some record setting numbers to boot makes The Economy the biggest winner, IMO.

    Runner up could arguably be the system of so-called Justice which is FINALLY holding Trump accountable and flying through(relatively speaking) his delay, delay, delay legal strategy.

  4. [4] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Most Boring

    Hmmm. Let’s sum up this “boring” 2024 race to date:

    While in office TFG trashed a decent economy and lost the most jobs since Herbert Hoover.

    His Criminally Negligent response to Covid resulted in an estimated half million excess American fatalities according to The Lancet.

    Corruption like nobody’s seen! Loves dictators and hates democracies!

    After he lost the 2020 Electoral College by a landslide to use his terminology he attempted an auto-coup. He is an existential threat to our Constitutional Republic.

    He’s currently charged with 91 felony counts with numerous ongoing state-level investigations and the Mueller Report into Obstruction, so we don’t even know if he’ll make the ballot come Iowa. Birdbrain and DeSanctimonious surely agree with me, no?

    So with these things in mind how the hell is this election boring? How can the most important election in our bleeping history be boring? Again, I’m *smh*

    Here’s my suggestion: Trump rallies. I cannot know if any of y’all have watched as many of them as have I, but I’ve only very recently slacked off…because they’re so, well, boring. He gets up there and just makes up stuff. I haven’t been entertained by this for some months because it’s the #SSDD. His crowd is considerably less entertained as well. It reminds me of the Catholic Church back before I started worshiping the Devil — the low, desultory way the congregation mouthed the various creeds and affirmations. Never ever ever felt the presence of God in there.***

  5. [5] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Right about now, Chris, I want to hear you say Thank you, Sir! May I have another?

    ***For the record nypoet22, I’ve attended one Bat Mitzvah and one Yom Kippur with the fasting and subsequent out-of-this-world Break Fast. Met a Holocaust survivor! Those were the times that I felt the presence of God in the building. This is especially noteworthy as I was an Atheist for a few years beforehand.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Good point. Especially when most Americans (and Canadians) of whatever political stripe operate under the wildly mistaken notion that Republicans, then and now, are the better stewards of the economy!

  7. [7] 
    Tzx42 wrote:

    And Rudy still hasn't learned his lesson -- he's out there still telling lies about the women.

    "Freedom is just another word for noting left to lose".

  8. [8] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    You lefties are actually doing Trump a disservice (and thereby risking generating undeserved sympathy for him) by accusing him of having read "Mein Kampf",

    I seriously doubt that the man has EVER read a single book, cover to cover, in his whole life!!

  9. [9] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Couldn’t argue with that CRS. But Ivana’s claim that TFG kept Hitler literature by his bedside, while unlikely, is certainly more likely. Especially if they contained illustrations or pictures. :D

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    "my new order" was apparently a collection of speeches, so it's unlikely more than a few pages at a time were required.

    regarding the presence of the divine, i think it's something one has to "feel" since it's also something there's no possible way to prove or disprove.


  11. [11] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    A really good article - I can't argue with any of the 'winners'. :)

  12. [12] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    'As we reach the halfway point of the 118th Congress, it’s worth looking back at the most jaw-dropping and newsiest moments of the year on Capitol Hill.'

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Has the Biden campaign for re-election begun yet? It doesn't seem like it has. Where is he!?

    If he can't make a persuasive case against this crew of Republicans - with Trump at the helm, no less!!! - on any given issue, then he has no business running again.

    Of course, making a persuasive case for Biden's re-election will necessarily mean reversing course on a number of issues with the environment, Ukraine and Israel at the top of that list!

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I just heard the chief political strategist for the Obama campaign say what he thinks are the major obstacles to a Biden re-election. He wasn't even close. :(

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How about Al Gore for Biden's new running mate?

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Where to put Kamala? That shouldn't be a problem. There are many problematic issues that require her specific expertise where she could really make a difference ... for the better!

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's something special, especially for Caddy!

    It's a snippet from William Bradley's latest missive, er ... Christmas message! (And, no, he has no plans to open up his expansive email list to include new admirers. Sorry.) It succinctly reveals how and why Biden needs to change his message and shake up his campaign if he hopes to get re-elected in 2024 ... assuming it isn't too late to make such significant course corrections and have the voters believe you!

    "There’s always the recently concluded UN global climate summit in Dubai, heralded by former Secretary of State John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate — who negotiated 2015’s fabled and failed Paris Accords — as an important success.

    "Indeed, why worry? We’re going to “transition away” from “unabated” fossil fuels “in energy systems,” right?

    "Actually, stripping away the dodgy language, the reality is that we’re not committed to phasing out or even phasing down fossil fuels.

    "Because we are phasing up fossil fuels.

    "The US has just produced more oil in the past year than any nation in history. Not surprising, since Joe Biden, breaking his campaign pledge to do the opposite, approved more fossil fuel development on public lands than Donald Trump. With Biden pushing liquefied natural gas, which is worse than coal, as his replacement for piped Russian natural gas, US national policy is to drive forward to one-third of fossil fuel production on the planet by 2030."

  18. [18] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    It's a snippet from William Bradley's latest missive, er ... Christmas message! (And, no, he has no plans to open up his expansive email list to include new admirers. Sorry.)

    Elizabeth, where’s the link? Once again I googled this name and came up with a Senator/NBA player and a California Chef.

    Who the bleep is this and will you ever post I link so I can check him out for myself?

  19. [19] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    regarding the presence of the divine, i think it's something one has to "feel" since it's also something there's no possible way to prove or disprove.

    Agreed! For the record I started as a Catholic, took a class from an Atheist Philosophy Professor and became what my BFF termed a “ militant atheist“ in that I enjoyed conversations with Christian students — with NO malice and the firm belief that neither would convince the other, I just wanted their views.

    After a half dozen years worth of minor miracles in my life I concluded that there must be a God and this God hath been looking over this unworthy individual.

    Along the way I discovered and joined the Church of Religious Science/Science of Mind. I’d summarize it’s main philosophy as “Gods and religions throughout history ALL “work” complete with miracles small and large…because people sincerely believe.

    Oh yeah, when my Dad croaked in 1999 he subsequently visited me and the rest of my family (it was set in heaven) whence he assured us that the afterlife is just dandy. And, yep I “feel” the reality of the Divine. Different paths still lead to the same mountaintop.

    I hate people trying to “convert” me so I myself don’t care what anyone else thinks or believes. Reminds me of a Genesis song from my all-time favorite album “The Lamb lies down on Broadway”…

    I never trust a man who shouts what he’s found

    There’s no need to sell when you’re Homeward bound.

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy, haven't you read his bio?

  21. [21] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    My dead Dad visited me in a dream that was set in heaven.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    I’d love to Elizabeth. Please post a link!

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, what do think of Biden approving the development of more fossil fuels on public lands than Trump drill-baby-drill did! Biden didn't even attend COP28. I know, I know, he sent his vice president. I guess she gets to do a lot of his dirty work. Heh.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy, here's a link for you with some of his old columns at HuffPost

  25. [25] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I've only read three articles and i'm already convinced bradley's views are a grade-a pile of ivory tower tree-vomit.

    not that i'm unbiased or anything, but he's just so completely wrong about everything. even trump.

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Have a lovely rest of the evening, Joshua!

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I wonder if Chris ever intends to write about the catastrophic and indiscriminate assault on Gaza by the US-supplied IDF in the wake of the horrific Hamas attack on Israel.

    Biden has handled this very badly. Which is a big reason for his lousy poll numbers.

    What's worse is that I can almost feel in my bones another big terror attack in the US over what Bibi and his IDF have been up to. Most of the world, I'm guessing will say that the US had it coming. I won't be one of those but I sure will understand the sentiment.

    All of which makes me very, very sad.

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Elizabeth, I scrolled his entire archive and then read a couple columns and *phew* he is/was** very sharp, and as memory serves, quite ahead of the curve in his evaluations. I do remember what the prevailing sentiments were at the time.

    Don’t understand why I couldn’t find him on Google the two or three times, now. Must not have…my mind right, ya’know?

  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    I mean, is he even alive. Did the Mossad or maybe the Rooskies um, take him out? I could see that. It’s a Robert Ludlum novel that half writes itself.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, he has somewhat retired from public writing. That's why I feel so fortunate to have been involved with his New West Notes blog which put me on his email list.

    He writes in a brutally honest manner - lately, it's not been a ton of laughs but it certainly is reality-based!

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, he's very much alive.

    Would you like to read more? :)

  32. [32] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There aren't many more people on the planet who are more disappointed in the Biden administration than I am but, he's one of them.

    I wish he had a direct line to the oval office but, he's been there and done that and it's doubtful Biden would even listen.

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm not talking to you, Joshua. Not until you can discuss things without tapping out stuff like I read in [25] ...

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sorry, in a bit of a mood, I guess ...

  36. [36] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    And, what do think of Biden approving the development of more fossil fuels on public lands than Trump drill-baby-drill did! Biden didn't even attend COP28. I know, I know, he sent his vice president. I guess she gets to do a lot of his dirty work. Heh.

    On the face of it it sucks, eh? But upon further review Joe allowed us to be completely energy independent when NOW it’s critical he do so.

    In little more than his first year in office, Russia starts (read:escalates) and all that oil and natural gas, which Putin thought would cow their European customers. That’s NINE WARS since the Putin2000 campaign managed a victory. Ahem. Ukraine is just the latest and NATO is just his excuse.

    But I digress.

    Russia’s four to five million barrel daily output is 20% of the world’s demand. I promise you that these cheap energy resources are going off line before 2030.

    ANY kind of hiccup in supply and prices go up. The Russian twenty-some percent going bye bye is waaay more than a hiccup, no?

    So if Joe isn’t doing this distasteful thing NOW then we enter a parallel universe…

    (Twilight Zone theme begins)

    …a place where gasoline/petrol or whatever y’all call it is…

    Ten dollars a gallon aka three dollars Canadian per liter! That means that even a recently deceased Trump would kick Joe out of office.

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Why do you think Biden's poll numbers are so bad?

  38. [38] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Short version:
    The optics objectively suck. But this looks like shrewd strategic move that’s needed.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hope that isn't just a lot of wishful thinking ...

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What's happening in Gaza is what's concerning me the most these days ...

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... and Biden is doing precious little about that!

  42. [42] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    It sure is a real pain to bap this out on a smartphone.


    In the dark.

    Completely Full Monty naaa — whoops! Cain’t go there this would be the first time I saw anybody get banned from this place. ;D

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Caddy, a very, very Happy Christmas Eve to you! If I had to do this on a smartphone, in the dark or nude, then I'd never tap anything out. Heh.

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy, in honour of the late and great Ron Tabak, here's a little tune for you ... thinking about him tonight on the sad anniversary of his tragic death on Christmas Day, 1984...

    Nickels and Dimes - PRiSM

  45. [45] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I disagree. What negotiators say in public is quite routinely what’s being said in private.

    Gotta give the man props Joe has huevos grandes. He kept Trump’s promise and got us out of a two decade war. Cleanup on isle Trump. Losing thirteen was the unfortunate price we paid to get a hundred people out of there.

    NOW. Instead of the half century of America vociferously standing by and shielding Israel. Nothing but agreement and “democracy blah blah blah”…and UN vetos. Consider:

    (1) What Joe is saying publicly now tells us that what he’s saying that what he’s saying privately must be considerably harsher. This mirrors the same trend in world opinion (and pressure)

    (2) is getting harsher and harsher. You know, the death and destruction part.

    We ALL know that this slaughter is urgent and unacceptable. But this is how this process goes.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not good enough for me.

  47. [47] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    What negotiators say in public is quite routinely what’s not being said in private.

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sorry, Caddy ... but I am compelled to post another Bradley excerpt ... mostly because I need some company commiserating with all of this ...

    "It became increasingly evident last year, as discussed in the “We Are/Are Not the World” pieces, that the US had much less influence across the world than most Americans imagined. Despite right-wing post-Soviet Russia lacking the ideological appeal of its (much bloodier) left-wing Soviet Russian predecessor — and the Western media canonization of corrupt-turned-plucky Ukraine and its Churchill-meets-Chauncey Gardener leader — the world outside the bubble of the U.S./NATO orbit refused to follow Washington’s lead on anti-Russian sanctions.

    "might almost think there was a lot of pre-existing doubt in the Global South and elsewhere about US geopolitical motivations. Perhaps from those who know US history in what we used to call the Third World, which includes former Secretary of State Madeline Albright declaring that 500,000 dead Iraqi children was “a price worth paying” in pursuit of the Clinton administration’s policy of Iraq regime change through draconian economic sanctions. (A policy which, of course, failed. The next neocon move, from the Bush II/Cheney administration backed by leading Beltway Dems, was to invade Iraq.)

    "With multiple “surefire” US strategies to win the Ukraine War having predictably failed — and Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell’s repeated assurances that they would move a new Ukraine War package through the Senate amounting to nothing — that Global South doubt comes into even sharper relief on the Gaza War.

    "It didn’t help that Israeli forces killed more children in the first week of their retaliation for the Hamas horrors of 10/7 than Russian forces killed in the entire Ukraine War.

    "Or that Biden administration officials who screamed bloody murder every time Russian forces killed three Ukrainian civilians had nothing to say every time U.S.-supplied Israeli forces killed 300 Palestinian civilians. (The State Department is now working to block a conference on violations of the Geneva Convention.)

    "Finally, the White House got wise and started getting stories in the New York Times touting their private advice to the Israelis to kill fewer Palestinian civilians.

    "But the unabated brutality of the siege of Gaza, and the unabated flow of resources from the US, spoke louder than the reported words.

    "So the stage was well set for the embarrassing 13 to 1 vote in the UN Security Council and the 153 to 10 vote in the UN General Assembly demanding a Gaza ceasefire.

    "Even many NATO allies are abandoning the Biden administration on this catastrophe.

    "The revelation that Israeli troops simply blew away three shirtless, unarmed Israeli hostages waving a white flag in central Gaza only adds to the sense that the US is stubbornly backing a thoroughly indiscriminate assault on Gaza, casting Biden’s previous aspersions about the Palestinian death toll in an especially dark light.

    "Not incidentally, we’re more than five weeks on from the Israeli seizure of Al Shifa hospital, illegal under the laws of war, which the IDF justified because it was supposedly the site of a big Hamas command-and-control center. But, despite years of claiming to know all about it, they still can’t find it. The Shifa seizure came on the heels of the supposed IDF discovery of a Hamas command post at the Rantisi children’s hospital. But I was able to debunk that claim by examining the IDF’s own video presentation, as I shared with Israeli contacts. Though embedded CNN (which described the Israeli Navy admiral conducting the on-the-spot briefing as an Army general) and some other outlets initially went along with the spin, a hurried follow-up IDF video showing troops entering the wrecked hospital was even less convincing and the claim is no longer repeated.

    "But Biden backed up all this errant nonsense, citing his administration’s customary non-specific “intelligence.”

    "With IDF targeting intelligence exposed as spurious, an apparent shoot-first approach on the ground, and record levels of death and destruction, the Israeli venture in Gaza looks very bad around the world. And so does the Biden administration’s backing of it.

    "It looks like the Biden crew is buying time with its UN Security Council veto, and in the process countenancing the killing of thousands more Palestinian civilians, for the Israelis to finally accomplish at least some of all they’ve failed to do (having rescued only one hostage in a series of failed special ops raids) in more than two months of trying to take down Hamas.

    "And that’s a charitable view.

    "A less charitable view is that the most right-wing government in Israeli history is trying to render Gaza — with ruined housing, power, water, infrastructure and health care — simply uninhabitable for its Palestinian population. If they can’t live there the handwringing of Western politicians is even more irrelevant.

    "Indeed, the Israeli minister of intelligence — a politician, not a pro — called in a Jerusalem Post column for the resettlement of the Palestinians outside Gaza. “For humanitarian purposes.”

    "Gaza, which is literally a small strip along the beautiful Mediterranean coast, can ultimately be redeveloped for other purposes. Super-rich Gulf Arabs presently upset about all this might even end up among the investors. The Jabalia refugee camp could become the Jabalia Hotel and Casino. And the Palestinians? Well, they just lived in the wrong place for all those centuries till the future Israelis showed up in rapidly increasing numbers.

    "Of course, there are other, darker scenarios for how this all plays out. It might be best not to bet on an “urban renewal” dream.

    "Meanwhile, as Biden dreams of defending democracy by having Trump tossed off the ballot for something the special prosecutor refused to pursue, here’s a neat Christmassy fact for Biden holiday celebrations.

    "There’s a Methodist church in Bethlehem that does a nativity scene every year. This year it’s a Palestinian baby in rubble."

  49. [49] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Hey, Caddy, a very, very Happy Christmas Eve to you! If I had to do this on a smartphone, in the dark or nude, then I'd never tap anything out. Heh.

    Don’t knock it ‘til you try it, sister.


    Although the optics here can…can…what’s the phrase? Oh yeah — the optics can objectively suck.

    I suppose that’s a matter of taste, of preference. I’m 1.80m and hover around 100 kilos, and I wanna get it down around 90. Whatever.

    Thanks for that and for helping me get through to the Bradley Archives. I will listen to Ron Tabak tomorrow for Christmas and maybe whisper a little prayer. G’Nite

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    G'nite, my friend!

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, and thanks for always making me laugh ... no matter what. :)

  52. [52] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    in the spirit of the holiday, i'm not going to share my opinions on this excerpt.


  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    You can share your opinions and still not detract from the spirit of the holiday. Bradley's pieces are not easy to read, not in the least. Mostly because they are full of inconvenient truths. They are not impossible to debate and argue against, either. I just prefer that it be done in a civil way.

    I am very afraid that how Israel is going about the impossible task of destroying the military capability of Hamas and how the Biden administration is supporting it is going to blowback on the US in ways I don't care to even imagine. 

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  55. [55] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Okay then, my opinion on Mr Bradley is he wouldn't know the truth about Gaza, convenient or otherwise, if it bit him on the posterior. Which if he went to one of those hospitals himself to gather actual evidence, it well might.

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The truth is often hard to accept.

    The truth about Gaza is plain enough for everyone to see.

  57. [57] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In Gaza NOTHING is plain to see, because a vast portion of it is underground.

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, yes, the vast underground network of tunnels is pretty impressive.

    What is clear to see, though, is the vast deficiency of Israeli intelligence, along with the use by the IDF of those 2000 lb dumb bombs that are about as indiscriminate as you can get. It's also pretty clear what the current Israeli government is up to in Gaza and where it is bound to end.

    And, the current military strategy has no political component for what does come after the demolition of the Gaza territory and for what will become of its Palestinian inhabitants.

    As I understand it, Netanyahu does not believe in the two state solution and has no intention of stopping the building of Jewish settlements in a future Palestinian homeland.

    Where does that leave Israel?

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why, it leaves them wanting to intensify the war in Gaza!

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    That is quite possibly the most one-dimensional analysis ever. It's a complex conflict, with literally thousands of years of back story. Read a book!

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    This is a blog. A blog with comments. Comments that are not at all comprehensive analyses.

    I think we've had this discussion before ...

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I love how you assume I haven't, ah, read a book. ;)

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Must we bring into the discussion thousands of years of history in order to voice an opinion or make an observation about what is happening in the here and now?

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I notice that you aren't justifying what Netanyahu and his IDF are doing in Gaza, not to mention the West Bank. Nor have you commented on the capacity of Israeli intelligence, before and after Oct 7 ...

  65. [65] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    My sincere apologies, I must withdraw from this conversation before I completely and utterly lose my temper. Suffice to say, you have yet to post anything to dispel my perception of your profound ignorance on the topic, which for me is quite personally existential. As shallow and inadequate as it is, this Howard Jacobson response to October 7 is the best I can offer before withdrawing to hug my children for dear life.

    Have a good night,


  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    For the record, I have never nor will I ever justify the horrific acts of terror inflicted by Hamas upon Israeli citizens and, indeed, citizens of the world. And, I resent the implication that I am engaged in victim-blaming.

    We should be capable of expressing views on this subject without trading insults or losing our tempers. But, if we're not, then it's probably best to withdraw permanently from discussion on this issue and just, well, hope for the best.

  67. [67] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    who says genocide is always bad? Maybe we should just back off from the eternal Arab-Jewish conflict and just let 'em fight it out until one side gets wiped out.

    Then maybe we could all enjoy some relative peace and tranquility!

  68. [68] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Suffice to say, you have yet to post anything to dispel my perception of your profound ignorance on the topic, which for me is quite personally existential.

    You know I love you, Elizabeth, so please take the following in that spirit:

    This quote may seem a tad brutal but I bet that Joshua was being restrained in his response. I believe this because both Joshua (Israel) and I (Ukraine) are connected to countries currently dealing with existential threats to their very existence.

    For almost two years I’ve spent a lot of times responding to your “It’s all Biden fault” nonsense, collecting and summarizing many hours of research. IMO you have yet to engage with nor otherwise respond to my arguments.

    A few days later you repeat the same nonsense — appearing as though you never saw my response. Rince and repeat…

    This is frustrating as hell. Of course you read books. Just the ones that don’t contradict your beliefs? That provide new information?

    Do you remember when I made a joke about pogroms and Joshua jumped down my throat? My first reaction was Yeah, fuck off. It’s just a joke and Joshua is just being politically correct, which I despise. But I researched pogroms and learned that they were often fatal to Jews and in fact ethnic cleansing.

    And with this new information that I learned I changed my mind and that tasteless joke will not pass my lips again.

    On a different subject, you never need apologize for posting long excerpts. The douche formerly known as Michale used to do it all the time. I read your latest [48] and find a lot that I disagree with and I shall take it apart shortly.

  69. [69] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    …and the Western media canonization of corrupt-turned-plucky Ukraine and its Churchill-meets-Chauncey Gardener leader…

    Once again, Zelenskyy campaigned (and won) on reducing corruption aaand improving ties to the West. And just like the Ukrainian military has risen far beyond expectations, so has Zelenskyy. He’s the polar opposite of the delightful Chauncey Gardener character. All former Soviet satellite countries had/have a problem with corruption so I don’t get why you’re obsessed about it.

  70. [70] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    With multiple “surefire” US strategies to win the Ukraine War having predictably failed…

    Two years in and this is the first and only time I’ve read something like this. Where did he get this notion?

  71. [71] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    "It didn’t help that Israeli forces killed more children in the first week of their retaliation for the Hamas horrors of 10/7 than Russian forces killed in the entire Ukraine War.

    It’s statements like this that really killed his credibility! Almost two years of Russia bombing of civilian targets (with unknown casualties) along with>700,000 Ukrainian children kidnapped, versus a total of 20,000 and counting how do you begin to believe this statement?

  72. [72] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    …the world outside the bubble of the U.S./NATO orbit refused to follow Washington’s lead on anti-Russian sanctions.

    Serbia, Mexico and Brazil announced at the start of the invasion that they wouldn’t participate in sanctions against Russia. Yes, India and China are buying deeply discounted Russian fossil fuels and the bad guys in Iran and North Korea aren’t participating in sanctions, either. But this short list is far short of being “the Global South.”

  73. [73] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    "Even many NATO allies are abandoning the Biden administration on this catastrophe.

    That’s news to me! Please specify which NATO countries.

  74. [74] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Enough of that. IMO Israel will NOT destroy Hamas et al. There is NO military solution to this problem and the civilian casualties are merely further radicalizing the Palestinians, which ensures that this conflict will go another generation.

    Mind you the Palestinians have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. That two state solution every one’s talking about was repeatedly turned down by Arafat and others. On the other hand, in 1948 the Israelis buy any definition engaged in ethnic cleaning of the Palestinians and are doing so to this day in the West Bank, so there’s that.

  75. [75] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    William Bradley last wrote for HuffPost in 2018. Where are you getting his current stuff? (Link, please.)

  76. [76] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    So who’s land is it?

    The area was dominated roughly the same number of years by the Canaanites and by the Muslims, with the Ottoman Empire a distant third.

  77. [77] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    It’s also worth noting that the number of Jews living in Muslim countries can, in each country, be counted in the hundreds or low thousands. So whether by self sorting or via ethnic cleaning the Jews in the Middle East have no place to go besides Israel.

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I thought I told you already that Bradley doesn't publish in any public forum, anymore. He writes specifically for people who have followed his journalism and blog when it was running and who are currently on his email list. I think he may be working on a book! :)

    In other words, there is no link ... just my exerpts here, from time to time.

  79. [79] 
    Kick wrote:


    Both Kick and nypoet22 suggested Kevin McCarthy, which is entirely appropriate, but we just gave him Biggest Loser, so we don't want to pile on too much....

    Pile on while you can, CW, since Kevin "I never quit" McCarthy is definitely quitting because he's absolutely the worst. We just calls them like we see them. ;)

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, you're right, Caddy ... I'm pretty sure I didn't get both barrels from Joshua. Far from it, in fact. Heh.

    More still, I completely understand where you on Ukraine and Joshua on Israel and Ukraine are coming from.

    Israel sits in a nearly impossible position - literally and figuratively and every other way, too. While it has every right to defend itself - especially in the wake of the horrors of 10-7, it doesn't seem to learn lessons of the past very well. Of course, neither does the US. But, what are ya gonna do.

    As for my, ah, nonsense Re Ukraine ... I've never said that I blame Biden for Putin's war in Ukraine. The line that I've often repeated is that by taking any discussion of Ukraine's wish to be in NATO off the negotiating table in the weeks - if not decades, ahem - leading up to the invasion, Biden made sure that we'd never find out if war could have been prevented if those sorts of negotiations had been decidedly on the table, as Zelensky himself even seemed ready to discuss early on.

    Of course, the other point I may have tried to make, once or twice, is that it was pretty wild speculation to think that Ukraine could win an all out war with Russia, even with the support of US/NATO as has been clearly shown over the course of the last couple of years.

    Also, the US thought it could 'win' this war by bringing Russia to its knees, economically speaking - a complete failure and why we are where we are today on the Ukraine file. Oh, I know, I know ... time is not on Russia's side. Is that what's called the fog of war? :-)

    Ukraine would have been in quite a strong negotiating position - despite all of its internal troubles - if it had accepted its role as being neutral between Russia and US/NATO and if US/NATO hadn't been pushing for its inclusion in NATO just up to the point of never being accepted into the club. That disingenuousness on the part of Biden and his neo-con pals is what really sticks in my craw.

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    "It didn’t help that Israeli forces killed more children in the first week of their retaliation for the Hamas horrors of 10/7 than Russian forces killed in the entire Ukraine War."

    Caddy, what part of this assertion by Bradley do you find to be in error?

  83. [83] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    It's a snippet from William Bradley's latest missive, er ... Christmas message!

    It's pure propaganda bullshit, and you posting this BS (again) proves your (continued) gullibility for this obvious propagandist.

    It succinctly reveals how and why Biden needs to change his message and shake up his campaign if he hopes to get re-elected in 2024 ... assuming it isn't too late to make such significant course corrections and have the voters believe you!

    It reveals how gullible you are if you seriously believe 2023 is too late for politics in late 2024! Nevertheless, you sure believe whatever drivel this idiot drools, no matter what or when he spews it. It says a lot about you... not a whole lot about reality, however.

    Actually, stripping away the dodgy language, the reality is that we’re not committed to phasing out or even phasing down fossil fuels.

    ~ Elizabeth Miller's right-wing shill

    Utter BS.

    During Biden's first week in office, he issued an Executive Order that instructed the Department of the Interior to pause all new lease sales on public lands and waters while it reviewed how to adjust the program. That was followed by 14 Republican-led states and multiple Western oil drillers suing regarding the Executive Order and a Trump-appointed federal judge in Louisiana issuing an injunction to block it.

    I could go on showing you a multitude of ways this so-called "journalist" you seem to worship is full of bull, but it would obviously be better if you would "crack a book" and stop reading this disingenuous one-sided propagandist nut job.

    The US has just produced more oil in the past year than any nation in history. Not surprising, since Joe Biden, breaking his campaign pledge to do the opposite, approved more fossil fuel development on public lands than Donald Trump.

    ~ Elizabeth Miller's right-wing shill

    Canada is setting records too, but this is disingenuous bullshit on its face considering world events and demand for production. Unlike OPEC nations, the oil output of the United States (and also Canada) is largely set by the free market. Do I seriously need to explain this to you? The COVID years (non) demand versus the recovery following? Hot war and how it affects the world's production?

    Your lousy source prattles on and on as if Biden has a dial in the Oval Office and turning it to full throttle just for pure unadulterated shits and giggles.

    In the real world, the spike in output in the United States has also been driven by more efficient operations of oil companies. Energy firms have (not secretly) mastered ways to squeeze more and more oil out of the soil without dramatically increasing drilling. Shale oil, new drilling techniques; does any of this reality mean anything to you and your right-wingnut propagandist shill?

    It doesn't seem like it. :)

  84. [84] 
    Kick wrote:


    I've only read three articles and i'm already convinced bradley's views are a grade-a pile of ivory tower tree-vomit.

    Not fair to ivory towers or tree-vomit.

    not that i'm unbiased or anything, but he's just so completely wrong about everything. even trump.

    Yep. :)

  85. [85] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    Sorry, Caddy ... but I am compelled to post another Bradley excerpt ...

    Yes, you should apologize for posting paragraph upon paragraph of this utter asinine BS.

    No, you are not really compelled but definitely rude as hell to post this claptrap on another man's blog... against his rules of which you are well aware.

    Who here is ignorant enough to believe the asinine assertion that "Biden dreams of defending democracy by having Trump tossed off the ballot..."?

    Rhetorical question. That's both ridiculous and laughable... for obvious reasons.

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Kick!

    Time would be better spent helping me come up with a winning message for Biden in 2024 ...

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... he's gonna need all the help he can get, you know. :)

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's something I think can work - in the short, medium and long term - for Israel and Palestinians.

    The IDF fully withdraws from Gaza ASAP, Hamas releases all remaining hostages (with no release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails) and a permanent ceasefire to be enforced by the international community.

    Let Hamas own the destruction and devastation that is now Gaza and let them deal with it. The Biden administration could condition any further military aid to Israel on this plan being put into effect.

    A Sensible Way Out

    Questions, comments, insults?

  89. [89] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    Time would be better spent helping me come up with a winning message for Biden in 2024 ...

    Two things:

    * You particularly need help if you presume to tell me (or anyone else reading this blog) how their time would be "better spent."

    * After your prolific prattling on and on with the regurgitation of uninformed asinine right-wing propaganda spew, I can inform you without hesitation that you would be the last (or dang near it) person to which Joe Biden would listen "to come up with a winning message."

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Some things never change. ;)

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Putting abortion rights on the ballot is a winner, and candidates who support abortion rights are winners -- a clear message for the 2024 elections, where it will be on the ballot in various ways in many other states.

    Truer words were never spoken. And, if there ever was a time that called for putting all of your eggs in one basket, then this is surely it! It's one of those overarching issues that may even trump the economy if the full agenda and battle plan of Republicans becomes more widely known.

    The more Trump and Republicans are forced to talk about abortion rights and what their real plans are, the better it is for women and their reproductive rights, not to mention Democratic candidates.

  92. [92] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    If this guy is so worthy of YOUR adoration why is he ashamed to write for the public? Is it because you’re paying for his crap and he doesn’t want anyone but his chumps, er, subscribers commenting on his work? Please tell me you’re not paying for this propagandist!

  93. [93] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    If so your new nickname will be Elizabeth “Swallowed the hook, line and half the fishing pole” Miller.

    Yeah, he’s THAT bad. I’ll be back later to address some of your posts…

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [92] is a pretty childish comment. I have nothing more to say about it. :(

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ditto for [93] ... :(

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It is so disappointing that juvenile name-calling has become - strike that - has remained so rampant around here to the point of drowning out simple yet cogent debate on the actual issues.

    If you don't like the opinions or facts that are presented here on any given issue, then just refute them on the merits, if you can and leave it at that.

  97. [97] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yeah Elizabeth, that was a little overboard. Sorry.

  98. [98] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Love means never having to say you're sorry. :)

  99. [99] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    It is so disappointing that juvenile name-calling has become - strike that - has remained so rampant around here to the point of drowning out simple yet cogent debate on the actual issues.

    Your posting of (more of) that massive pile of horseshit nutjob opinion littered with choice propaganda pure rubbish from that hack you worship isn't "cogent debate." It's bordering on plagiarism and definitely against the forum rules, which for some reason I (still) cannot fathom, you have always appeared to believe the board's rules should apply to everyone else except YOU.

    I don't come to this blog to read massive amounts of excerpts of another journalist's opinion who is not named Chris Weigant. If you can't post a few paragraphs and then a link to this one-sided propagandist shill's moronic opinion regarding world affairs, you are not granted an automatic license to then spam this forum with that crap in order to display both your and his "profound ignorance on the topic." Props to JL for that one.

    If you don't like the opinions or facts that are presented here on any given issue, then just refute them on the merits, if you can and leave it at that.

    I posted some facts, and you neither attempted to "just refute them on the merits" nor did you "leave it at that" or follow any of the board mothering rules that you post for everyone else to follow with the exception (obviously) of Elizabeth Miller.

    Going forward, you post more ignorant bovine dung, and I will refer to it as moose poop. Post a shit-ton of equine excrement, and I'll refer to it as horseshit.

    Your source is a one-sided ignorant propagandist windbag on a myriad of subjects, and that has been my opinion of him every time you've posted his bullshit. If you cannot stop yourself and you insist on breaking the board rules and posting those massive piles of horseshit of his, then suck it up buttercup because we calls them the way we sees them around here, and that is a special kind of "bone deep" ignorance.

  100. [100] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Whoa, Daddy!"

    What movie is that from?

  101. [101] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I posted some facts, and you neither attempted to "just refute them on the merits" nor did you "leave it at that."

    You may have noticed that I also didn't go off on an expletive-infused, name-calling rant, either. Ahem. Let that be a lesson, of sorts. ;)

  102. [102] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    You may have noticed that I also didn't go off on an expletive-infused, name-calling rant, either.

    Yes, I definitely was not noticing what you didn't do, but you definitely and unequivocally meet (or exceed) that apt description of "profound ignorance" that I borrowed if you're under the mistaken impression that anyone who regularly reads the comments section of this blog is not already infinitely aware that you'll "go off on an expletive-filled, name-calling rant" whenever it pleases yourself and just generally ignore whatever rules you please while simultaneously presuming to peach ad nauseam at everyone else.

    As for your claim of "expletive-infused," well you've definitely got me there *laughs* because I did "say" the hard-hitting words "horseshit" and "bullshit" and other similar non-expletives (crap) as I decidedly deemed necessary to describe that mountain of cut-and-paste dung you posted -- and not for the first time -- contrary to those rules you preach to everyone else but refuse to follow yourself.

    Good thing I did not YELL at everyone anything like this:

    So, let me get this straight ...

    Comey is abdicating his responsibility because he doesn't publically respond to and refute every GOD-DAMNED ASININE THING TRUMP SAYS!?

    ~ Elizabeth Miller

    Elizabeth Miller would have needed her smelling salts... oh, wait!

    So, to recap: Yes, you caught me, I definitely failed to notice that you "didn't go off;" I was undoubtedly focused on what you definitely did doo [not a typo] and was "compelled" (your word) to comment with my opinion of that pure unadulterated ordure you posted contrary the rules you cannot stop yourself from ignoring. :)

  103. [103] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Unintentionally hilarious.

  104. [104] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller

    Unintentionally hilarious.

    Anyone who deigns to claim the ridiculous sentiment posted directly above is hereby and henceforth put on formal notice.

    Three Things:

    * You can most assuredly rest secure in the knowledge (obvious lack thereof) that your "profound ignorance" is on full display if you seriously believe that was done "unintentionally."

    * You've never known half of me half as well as you've prattled on about.

    * Your time would be better spent paying far less attention to that which doesn't amount to a "hill of beans" and a shit-ton more measurable periods to your own obvious "BULLSHIT MOUNTAIN".

    Let that be a lesson, of sorts. :)

  105. [105] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Before comments close on this piece, I would like to conclude with a few words about the mean-spirited and patently false accusatory stream of comments in this thread that have been directed toward one of Chris's colleagues in the political analysis world.

    Let me just say that such comments reflect poorly on the commenters and are not worthy of inclusion in Chris's excellent and reality-based political blog.

    In future, I hope that the name-calling and other personal attacks which have resumed of late, generally speaking, will abate, once and for all, and this place can be a forum for lively and fun debate on the issues of our times.

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