Thursday, January 29, 2009

What's in a name?

The radio mechanics Click and Clack are really, REALLY funny. I offer you names of their staff members:

Car Talk's Official Staff Credits

Accounts Payable Administrator: Imelda Czechs
Aegean Caterer: Sue Flockey
Accounts Payable Clerk, Moscow Office: Dasha Chekhov
Air-Quality Monitor: Carmine Dioxide
Air Traffic Controller: Ulanda U. Lucky
Assertiveness Training Coach: Lois Steem
Assistant Director of Moral Support: Hugo Gurll
Assistant Director of Strategic Planning: Kent C. Detrees
Asst. Transportation Coordinator Orson Buggy:
Audience Response Analyst; Luke Warm
Australian Tour Guide: Joaquin Matilda
Auto Seat Tester: Fitz Matush
Back Seat Driver: Mischa Turnov
Bowling Coach; Menachem Down
British Doorman: Isaiah Olchap
Bunji Jumping Instructor; Hugo First
Business Forecaster: Luigi Bord
Chairman, Underemployment Study Group; Art Majors
Chief Negotiator: Bernadette Bridge
Children's Sleepover Coordinator: Amos Muhmahmi
Cleanliness Inspector: Adolph Deflor
Commencement Speaker; Gladys Overwith
Communications Director II : Noam Sayin
Compassion Coordinator: Ophelia Paine
Complaint Line Operator ; Xavier Breath
Conflict Resolution Specialist: Yvonne Apeesamey
Conservative Political Commentator: Eileen Tudor-Wright
Construction Manager: Dustin Dubree
Coordinator, 12-Step Recovery Program: Cody Pendant
Coordinator of Summer Visits to the Inlaws: Don Juan-Gogh
Corporate Spokesperson: Hugh Lyon Sack
Credit Counselor; Max Stout
Customer Car Care Representative; Haywood Jabuzoff
Defense Dept. Consultant: Major Error
Dental Hygienist: Ginger Vitis
Desi Arnaz Biographer: Ike Arumba
Director of Accounts Payable: Bill Shredder
Director of Delicate Electronics Repair: Anita Hammer
Director of Grad Student Transportation: Iona Heap
Director of Guaranteed Repeat Business: Lucinda Boltz
Director of Long-Range Strategic Planning: Kay Sera
Director of Purchasing: Lois Bidder
Director of Staff Pay Increases: Xavier Breath
Director of Top Secret Strategy: Donatello Nobatti
Downsizing Consultant: Candace Guy
Ebay Specialist: Selma Junkoff
Emergency Preparedness Director: Ron Lykell
Empathy Coach: Enzo Watt
Fact Checker, Mexico City Office: C.S. Verdad
Fashion Consultant: Natalie Attired
Head of Working Mother Support Group: Erasmus B. Dragon
Help Desk Coordinator: Doris Shutt
In-law Hospitality Provider: Emile Endicott
Insurance Agent: Heidi Ductible
Jeep Driver: Jocelyn De Contents
Liaison to the British Isles: Isaiah Oldchap
Long-Distance Truck Driver: Etienne Wheeler
Manager, Car Talk Listeners Rebate Program: Wendy Pigsfly
Marine Biologist: Frieda Wales
Marriage Counselor: Marion Haste
Mechanic's Assistant: Hannah Twomey
Montana Traffic Law Director: Hugh Jim Bissell
Moving Van Driver: Carrie Desofa
Museum Guide : Desdamona Lisa
New-Employee Training Program: Ewell Flounder
New York-based Dispute Settlement: Coordinator Hugh Talkinamee
New Truck Reviewer : Zbigniew Rigg
Official Spokesperson: Howie Vasive
Official Spokesperson: Lou Scannon
Ornithologist in Training: Luke A. Boyd
Overseer of Florida Voting Practices: Emmanuel Recount
Parole Officer: Willy Bolt
Political Consultant: Mark Iavelli
PR Director: Bea Esser
Practical Joke Evaluator: Odessa Goodwyn
Press Secretary: Don B. Zonozi
Proof Reader : Erin Spelling
Puzzler Tester: Otis S. Hard
Ratings Analysis Specialist: Rita Menweip
Rental Property Manager: Ulysses Up
Rental Property Manager: Condoleeza B. Broken
Repair Cost Consultant: Bill M. Moore
Repo Agent: Carmine Now
Russian Intern : Igor Beaver
Russian Vacation Specialist: Ivana Veekoff
Self Esteem Coach: Mia Culpa
Senior Accountant from the Paris Office: Count De Monet
Senior Citizen Driving Instructor: Tonya Blinkeroff
Shop Foreman: Luke Bizzy
Solicitor of New Ideas: Obie Quiet
Staff Activities Coordinator: Dewey Hafta
Staff Priest: Neil Down
Staff Fact Checker: Neera Nuff
Staff Forger: Vera Similitude
Staff Grief Counselor: Ariel Bummerman
Staff Intern: Lois Rung
Staff Psychologist: Les Moody
Statistician: Marge Innovera
Tailor: Euripedes Imenedes
Tax Consultant: Lou Pole
Telephone Complaint Taker: Opal Lease
Urgent Response Coordinator : Candace Waite
Weekend Excursion Planner: Deepak Tumuch

A little blogging music, Maestro: "All Shook Up," by Elvis

Dr. Forgot

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Zen of Sarcasm

A Doctor friend of mine, Dr. Sandra, sent me the following rules for life. I found them to be a solid basis for happiness. The author is Anon.

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

3. Its always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force.' It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing. Neither one works.

19 Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

A little blogging music Maestro, From the Beatles, "Help!"

Dr. Forgot

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When Guns Are Outlawed...

No Guns, just Roses

My Dear Friend and Brother, Emi: I have a good friend who is more like a brother, as I’m an honorary uncle to his sons, but that’s another story. Emi and I often have differing views. He thinks I’m a raving mad liberal and I don’t want to say he’s a staunch anti communist, but he probably believes O’Reilly sits too far to the left. Among our many topics for discussion is the proliferation of guns in our American society. Now I’m not too bright about some things and do not purport to be a scholar of the constitution, although I’ve heard enough squeals of “Second Amendment” each time a gun advocate’s trigger finger is threatened. But gun arguments on both sides have become so convoluted that I simply feel the need to inject some common sense into the argument.

When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns: The image of a frail wannabe Moses holding a flintlock rifle in the air and proclaiming in his stentorian voice, “I’ll give them my gun when they pry it from my cold dead hands.” Makes for great theater but makes little sense. The second amendment was written as part of the Bill of Rights, (can you tell me what the first, third, fifth, or other amendments say?) and says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The fear at the time was that the U.S. government might overthrow the people and if the people kept guns that would prevent such a possibility.

What the founding fathers did not have: The right to keep and bear arms in those days meant flintlock rifles and pistols that shot little iron balls. That’s all the government had too, except for cannons that shot big iron balls. The citizens with little iron balls outnumbered the government with their big iron balls so it made sense to keep and bear arms. Besides, the long guns were needed to shoot game, which was plentiful in the neighborhoods, not the zoos. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and weaponry has become more sophisticated. The only thing one shoots for dinner is the bull while shopping at the local super market and purchasing portions of a cow, pig, chicken or lamb to cook for dinner. The little pop guns that most garden variety crooks, cops, and weekend warriors carry are no match for the sophisticated weaponry owned by the federal government.

My nephew-in-law in the Navy: My cousin Steve has three adult daughters, one of whom married a Navy man and submariner. He was aboard, but not above board his sub the USS Illkickyourass floating under water in the Middle East. The Iraq war was going strong and our troops were looking for Saddam and his lovely family, the boy sadists. Intelligence got a lead on where Udau and Qusay were hanging out. The information was sent to the sub on which my son-in-law served and on that warm July day a designated sailor pushed a button that opened a hatch that allowed a missile to pass that flew through the air that blew up the house that Saddam built for his boys. Oh yes, the boys were in it probably torturing a few soccer players who had lost a game. Anyhow, Poof! There goes civilization from hundreds of miles away.

Popguns vs. guided missiles: The days when citizen posses kept their guns to ward off the threat of government takeover went out with powdered wigs and wooden teeth. Scratch that argument. So how about the good guys vs. the bad. Every once in a while a homeowner shoots a burglar. Yea for our side. But in fact, a resident is 43 times more likely to be killed by a gun than to shoot a burglar. Worse, every once in a while a toddler gets hold of that gun meant to dissuade intruders and shoots his little brother dead. More often, the homebodies are at a concert or movie when the homeboys break in and steal those guns, sell them to their fellow homies who shoot, rob, pillage, and kill each other with them with occasional collateral damage done to innocent bystanders during drive-by shootings. Those are some of the reasons guns in the home don’t make sense to me. And I haven’t even started on the need for assault weapons. For what? Other than to clutch as a phallic symbol and give one a false sense of safety or a feeling of power, I can’t for the life of me understand the need for such weapons.

Taking a life – the consequences: I know many men and a few women who, with bravado, tell how they would shoot or threaten to shoot a criminal if they held a gun during a robbery. A current email is running rampant that tells of a “White boy in Savannah” who was with his girlfriend and threatened by a knife wielding ghetto mugger who wanted his Burberry jacket. Get real. No self respecting ghetto kid would wear a Burburry, but even that begs the point of the racist email. I have a friend who is a counselor and she has worked with people who have taken a life – people from soldiers to police officers, to folks protecting their property. She tells me that most never get over it.

Squeeze your honey, not a trigger: So all you right wing defenders of the Second Amendment, fear not. I do not want to change the constitution even though I think that amendment is now silly since its initial purpose no longer makes sense. If you want to own a handgun, a bb gun, a son-of-a-gun or a water pistol, you are setting yourself up for more harm than good, but I do not think there oughta be a law to ban them. This post will likely not have changed one person’s mind. Certainly not mine. I just don’t understand the irrational fear that drives otherwise apparently sane people to make their home a fortress.

A little blogging music Maestro: The country and western classic, “If I had Shot You When I wanted to I’d be Out by Now.”

Dr forgot

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A real Wrap Around

Sunday Musings - This was sent to me by my good friend Dr. Loraine. The author is anonymous

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron......

But Love

A little blogging music maestro, Ziggy Marley's album, "Good Old Days."

Dr. Forgot

Friday, January 16, 2009

Where Have All the Students Gone?

Don’t Get No Respect

We’re Number One: From the bottom, that is. It has been said that the state of Nevada is 49th out of the 50 states in funding for education. Many reasons have been given for this – most casino jobs do not require an education. Dealer? Count to 21. Food server? Know when your order needs to be picked up. Casino host? Know how to glad hand. It helps if you are a sports celebrity so the patrons can go home and say, “Guess who I met in Vegas?” Cab drivers need to know the longest route between two hotels. Change persons need to know who they gave the “lucky quarters” to so they get a good tip. Cocktail waitresses need to know how to balance drinks on a tray while wiggling. Visitors and convention goers are more concerned after their meetings with good food and action rather than determining the validity of the Pythagorean theorem. They don’t care whether or not pie are square, they only care how it tastes.

A one Horse Town: Perhaps not. We have the best entertainment in the world, the most convention space, and the finest dining establishments. We have the world’s largest hotels and the most hotel rooms. Bottom line of the bottom line is that Nevada is a one-industry state and Las Vegas is a one-industry town. But what more can one expect of a town located in the middle of a desert? A town that has no logical reason to exist. A town that has over three hundred days per year of sunshine? Well, how about bringing in some clean industry like, perhaps computer of electronics? Sorry, the population base is not well enough educated for high tech industries to adequately man the factories. Ok then, what about solar energy? With all that sun, why not take advantage? Our local power company is loathe to provide the kinds of incentives to make such research viable. Also, there are not enough scientists in the state to develop the kind of technology needed. We’d better expand our higher education system and infuse our pre-college system with funding to make Nevada the premier source of education. With a small population that should not be too difficult.

Pardon me, Gov: Surely the governor, a highly educated man and former military and commercial pilot would understand this problem and help out education. In fact, his budget is due out today. Let’s see what he has done to encourage education in our state. We’re in a financial bind. Our biggest industry is gaming – whose entities pay a fraction of their compatriots in New Jersey and other states. Perhaps we could bump gaming taxes up a bit to help education. Maybe the mining industry. Since precious metal prices have spiked, maybe we can tap them for a dollar or two for education. Of course there will have to be cuts, but with education spending in Nevada at the bottom of the barrel among the states, maybe they can be spared some of the cuts.

The former pilot crashes education: Governor Jim Gibbons just put forth his proposed budget which included $ 633 million in cuts to the state’s general fund. How did the nation’s poor cousin of education fare? Eighty-six percent, $ 547 million of the $ 633 million in cuts came from an education system that ranks close to dead last in funding already. The guv is attempting to gut a system that wallows near the bottom. Teachers, not known for being among the higher paid employees are scheduled for a 6% pay cut. These are the folks who take a portion of their own salary to buy supplies for their students. These are the people in whose pockets Governor Jim Bob is reaching. Oh, he agreed to cut his own salary from $ 150,000 not including perks. I’m sure any third grade teacher making $ 150,000, a car allowance, a free mansion, and other perks would also agree to a 6% salary cut. How did his cronies in the casino and mining industries and other businesses fare? Read his lips, no new taxes.

No question about it: The Guv is not doing anything that he did not promise – leaving his cronies untouched while the children of our state suffer through cutbacks. Yes, Martha, we deserve exactly the representation we elected.

A little blogging music Maestro: “You Left Me Just When I needed You Most,” by Randy VanWarmer.

Dr forgot

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Soimething to offend Everyone

Political satire or reality?

We will do something a little different in today’s post. Rather that blather about our own political views, let me share with you the contents of an email I received from dear friend and colleague Dr. Jerry. We’ve omitted the illustrations from the original since my technical knowledge is not sophisticated enough to transfer them and my teen-age grandson does not have the time to show me how.

Without editorial comment I give you…

Written by Allan Uthman & Ian Murphy
with contributions from John Dolan, Eileen Jones, Alexander Zaitchik, & IOZ.


50. Barack Obama
Charges: Beyond a few token acts of bipartisan marketing, Barry's major duty in the Senate was to avoid legislating, so he could pretend Washington-outsider status and nullify attacks on his non-existent policy positions. That's the thing about Obama and his candidacy: He was a blank slate, the pinnacle of vapid public relations—onto which the benighted masses may project their sincerest, yet unfounded, hopes in the wake of the worst administration in history. Couldn’t disown Rev. Wright, until he suddenly could, and then marred his first moments as president ahead of time by inviting a pastor whose advice to gays is just to refrain from sex for life. Promised not to run for president, then did; vowed to take public election funds, then didn't; backed telecom immunity, then accepted the nomination at the AT&T sponsored convention; expressed displeasure with Clinton's hawkish foreign policy and vote for war in Iraq, then named her as Secretary of State. And despite all that, he's plenty affable. There's nothing more loathsome than a likable politician.
Exhibit A: “Yes we can” is the “Just do it” of politics.
Sentence: Presiding over the decline of an exhausted empire.

49. M. Night Shyamalan
Charges: A font of mediocrity, Shyamalan's success as a screenwriter and director is more confusing than quantum mechanics. He peaked with the overrated, not-at-all-surprising The Sixth Sense and each proceeding film's been worse than the last. This year's The Happening was dumber than an inbred moth. A heavy-handed allegory about humanity's self-destructive environmental impact, starring pseudo-scientific killer plants and Mark Walberg's flared nostrils, it made us want to recreate a scene from the movie and jab ourselves in the neck with a crocheting needle.
Exhibit A: Gave himself the name “Night.”
Sentence: Surprise ending to next film: it was actually never made!

48. Barry McCaffrey
Charges: According to Seymour Hersh, the U.S. Army general committed “war crimes” during the Gulf War, ordering his men to murder retreating Iraqi forces after a ceasefire had been declared. More recently, as an NBC military analyst, he was one of the “message force multipliers” at the center of the Pentagon's Iraq war propaganda campaign, uncovered this year by the freedom-hating New York Times. After his 2001 retirement, he started BR McCaffrey Associates, a consulting firm designed to connect Pentagon buyers with military suppliers like Defense Solutions, a company McCaffrey's pitched shamelessly to Generals on Pentagon-sponsored trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress and the American public via his NBC gig—all without disclosing the appalling conflict of interest.
Exhibit A: McCaffrey criticized Rumsfeld’s strategy from the start, calling the troop numbers “grossly anemic”—in private, while he assured MSNBC viewers that combat would be over in no more than three weeks.
Sentence: Fragged by Pat Buchanan.

47. Michelle Bachmann
Charges: Exemplifies the simmering, all-American fascism lurking behind the forced smiles of uptight church ladies throughout “real America.” Echoing Sarah Palin’s alarming hints about “helping” the media do its job, Bachmann’s casual call for a “penetrating” press investigation into “anti-Americanism” in congress was so dumb it made Chris Matthews seem smart. Once it occurred to the Oral Roberts University graduate that calling for witchhunts against Democrats might be a tad extreme for election season, she decided to just pretend she didn’t say it, and then she blamed Chris Matthews. Then she just blamed words. Then she denied it again. Then she won. Way to go, Minnesota’s 6th.
Exhibit A: BACHMANN: Actually, that's not what I said at all. COLMES: Well, I'm just — I'm reading your exact quote. BACHMANN: Actually that's not I said. It's an urban legend that was created. That isn't what I said at all. COLMES: We have — it's on tape.
Sentence: Assigned to conduct her own “expose” on anti-American views, in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

46. Thomas S. Monson
Charges: If Satan were real, and had a severely chapped anus from a fortnight of angry, unlubricated gay sex with an evil moon-dragon, we imagine it'd look a lot like Monson's disturbingly weathered face. As supreme cretin of one of this country's most ridiculous religions (just a nose behind Scientology), the Latter Day Saint did a divine job sanctioning and funding the “Yes on Prop 8” initiative to deny gays the right to be unhappily married. The Mormon faith is based on the existence and translation of magic, golden plates no one has ever seen except the charlatan who claimed they existed, kind of like the evidence that gay weddings threaten “traditional” marriage, which, to Mormons, is defined as between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman.
Exhibit A: “Choose your love, Love your choice.”
Sentence: Photographed at the Salt Lake City Marriot with an evil moon-dragon named Lance.

45. Nancy Pfotenhauer
Charges: A face so hewn can't be found in American politics outside of the Black Hills—or possibly the Speaker's office. The envy of any giraffe prostitute, her Coulterish neck suggests a correlation between head-shoulder distance and affinity for dissembling fascism. Past crimes include acting as head lobbyist for Koch Industries, which faced 97 indictments and four criminal charges to individuals for dumping benzene, until Koch donated $800,000 to Bush and other Republicans in 2000, and all the charges magically disappeared. As advisor and spokes-liar for the McCain campaign, Nancy touted offshore drilling as the desperate, calculated and completely ineffective solution to America's energy woes. She minimized the environmental impact, claiming “We withstood Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and didn’t spill a drop” of oil. There were, in fact, almost 600 spills. Other Pftotenhauer falsifications included pretty much everything else that passed her collagen-bloated lips.
Exhibit A: "But the rest of the state, 'real Virginia,' if you will..." We won’t.
Sentence: Projectile vomits crude oil whenever she attempts to speak.

44. Brett Favre
Charges: On the day of March 4th, the perp, a recovering drunk, pill-popper and hick preempted Ohio and Texas primary coverage to announce that his "career is over." Bathed in tears of self-importance, Favre broke the news with the composure one would reserve for describing the next 9/11. We get it: You throw a football. Your now official and permanent retirement, which is permanent and official, is a monumental news event. So, Favre decided to jam some more "vitamins" into his 39 year-old ass and sign on to a middling Jets squad, even though he admitted to leaving the Packers because they had no chance of getting him another ring.
Exhibit A: "I wanted to come across as genuine. I wanted to leave gracefully."
Sentence: Denied Sensodyne, arms and legs bound, encased in ice cream igloo.

43. You
Charges: You think it’s your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have on crap you don’t need. You think Hillary lost because of sexism, when it’s actually because she’s just a bad liar. You think Iraq is better off now than before we invaded, and don’t understand why they’re so ungrateful. You think Tim Russert was a great journalist. You’re hopping mad about an auto industry bailout that cost a squirt of piss compared to a Wall Street heist of galactic dimensions, due to a housing crash you somehow have blamed on minorities. It took you six years to figure out what a tool Bush is, but you think Obama will make it all better. You deem it hunky dory that we conduct national policy debates via 8-second clips from “The View.” You think God zapped humans into existence a few thousand years ago, although your appendix and wisdom teeth disagree. You like watching vicious assholes insult each other on TV. You support gun rights, because firing one gives you a chubby. You cuddle falsehoods and resent enlightenment. You think the fact that 43% of whites could stomach voting for an incredibly charismatic and eloquent light-skinned black guy who was raised by white people means racism is over. You think progressive taxation is socialism. 1 in 100 of you are in jail, and you think it should be more. You are shallow, inconsiderate, afraid, brand-conscious, sedentary, and totally self-obsessed. You are American.
Exhibit A: You’re more upset by Miley Cyrus’s glamour shots than the fact that you are a grown adult who is upset about Miley Cyrus.
Sentence: Invaded and occupied by Canada; all military units busy overseas without enough fuel to get back.

42. O.J. Simpson
Charges: Jesus H. Christ, man. You literally get away with murder, to the astonishment of anyone capable of tying their own shoes. Then you write a book, coyly framed as “hypothetical,” in which you explain slicing and dicing your ex-wife and some poor shlub by describing her as a pain in the ass. You know the whole country is still gunning for you. And yet, you feel it sensible to try your luck one more time, because some guy in Vegas is selling a football you signed? Sure, O.J.’s sentence was too harsh to believe he wasn’t being punished for previous crimes of which he was acquitted, but did anyone think that wasn’t going to happen? O.J. could get 33 years for pissing on a tree, and he knew it, so at a minimum the whole “gimme my shit back” caper was unbelievably stupid, the product of a life in which consequences are things that happen to other people. At least now he can get to work on his next book, “If I was an idiot who got himself locked up for life after skating on a double homicide.”
Exhibit A: "I'm O.J. Simpson. How am I going to think that I'm going to rob somebody and get away with it? Besides, I thought what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas."
Sentence: Ghost of Howard Cosell narrates the remainder of OJ’s life: “This man, once a man of greatness, now a man fallen, disgraced, disgusting, reduced to defecating in an unenclosed, seatless toilet, in close proximity to other convicted felons, the indignity apparent on his sad, rapidly aging face. What an incredibly pitiful story is his.”

41. Mark Penn
Charges: The most overpriced gravedigger in the world. As Clinton’s Chief Strategist, this too-creepy-for-TV pollster steered what was initially considered a cinch presidential campaign with all the talent of Joseph Hazelwood at the helm of the Exxon Valdez. His laziness was explained by his strategy: Inevitability. Penn’s cheap, backfiring smears of Obama as a coke-snorting Islamic radical teenager, coupled with pathetic whining about the mean old press, gave Clinton’s campaign an odor as repugnant as his own playground-flasher looks. Like most reptiles, Penn was slow to adjust to environmental changes, racking up millions in direct mail fees while Obama plundered the internet, which Penn predicted wouldn’t have any impact in 2008. His very employment signaled a total abdication on the corruption/lobbying issue. But it gets worse: Mark Penn didn’t understand basic electoral arithmetic, announcing to colleagues that Hillary would win easily by gaining California’s 370 delegates, assuming, wrongly, a winner-take all vote tally. Despite the revelation of his woeful lack of elementary knowledge, Penn did not adjust his big-state strategy, ignoring the caucus states that Obama rode to victory, and to the end, seemed utterly baffled that a candidate could win without “any of the significant states.”
Exhibit A: After burning through $200 million before Super Tuesday, Penn now blames Clinton’s loss on inadequate funds.
Sentence: Surgically attached to Harold Ickes.

40. Free Credit guy
Charges: OK, he’s actually French-Canadian, but he invades America’s headspace every day. It’s bad enough that we have to see this albino smurf lip-sync some ad man’s grating jingles of financial woe fifty times a day. It’s bad enough that these ditties, as calculatedly infectious as bio-weapons, bounce around our skulls like a .22 caliber bullet. But the kicker is that this culture parasite and his “band” are hawking a scam. That’s right; isn’t free—in fact, it’s 15 bucks a month after the week-long “trial period.”
Exhibit A: There is a website where you can get a free credit report: It’s called, and it was created in compliance with an act of Congress by the three big credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Then Experian set up, and their suicide-encouraging commercials, to cultivate and benefit from public confusion.
Sentence: Powering Ween’s tour bus with a stationary bicycle.

39. Caroline Kennedy
Charges: A limp, lifeless, murmuring slouch whose dearth of vivacity makes John Kerry look like Richard Simmons, Kennedy has the apparent focus and charm of a shock therapy victim on Haldol. If the Kennedy name (and fundraising pull) can carry this passive princess into the Senate, it could get a bottle of fish sauce elected. At least fish sauce doesn’t say “y’know” every three seconds.
Exhibit A: “I’ve spent a lifetime growing up around public policy issues.” Her dad died when she was 5.
Sentence: Badly injured in a car crash, Kennedy is rushed to the hospital, where she is attended to by a guy whose dad was an excellent doctor.

38. John Updike
Charges: Being foolishly wrong about absolutely everything for about a thousand years and counting. Getting rich applying faux gilt, and guilt, to the dull, pointless, overstuffed lives of New Yorker readers. Systematically tackles the big issues, and is subsequently dragged by them right into the end zone like Bo Jackson dragged Brian Bosworth. Latest attempt to capture the zeitgeist, The Terrorist, resulted in unintentionally comic transposition of Congregationalist soap opera to the Semtex demographic. Won’t learn, won’t quit. Like the Energizer bunny, only dumber.
Exhibit A: Apparently immortal, always a mark of evil.
Sentence: Eternity working for minimum wage in a university photocopy shop.

37. Keith Olbermann
Charges: The crazy man’s Howard Beale, Olbermann is an infuriating conundrum—a person who adopts mostly correct positions for mostly erroneous reasons. Olbermann has an uncanny ability to find the obtusest angle on any issue, delivering glancing blows to wide open targets. Perhaps this is why Olbermann only argues with various cameras, reserving interviews for Newsweek sycophants whose main role on “Countdown” is to listen to a series of uncomfortably leading yes or no questions and reply to each, “that’s right, Keith.” He’s been wearing out the impact of his “special comments” like a cheap sex doll for the ratings, rapidly diminishing their credibility by applying the same outraged, spluttering, accusatory tone to his uniquely unbearable all-caps missives, whether directed at White House war criminals or Clinton campaign PR hacks. Largely false accusations of anti-Hillary bias in the media found their mark with Keith, who wildly overreacted to relatively minor Clinton slights, while engaging in freakish logical contortions to justify Obama’s apparent deficiencies, despite sad pretenses to objectivity. Somehow, manages to seem dykier than Rachael Maddow.
Exhibit A: “I don’t vote…it's the only thing I can do that suggests even that I don't have a horse in the race."
Sentence: Obama loses in 2012 by one vote.

36. Ron Fournier
Charges: Since taking the reigns as AP Washington bureau chief in 2006, Fournier's steered the notorious just-the-facts wire service toward an opinionated brand of reporting he's dubbed “accountability journalism.” It sounds good, but when the country's most widely syndicated news outlet pawns its right-leaning opinions off as hard news, everybody gets a little more stupider. Fournier's “Obama walks arrogance line” article from March was the genesis of one such dumbed-down national conversation.
Exhibit A: Told Karl Rove to “Keep up the fight" in a recently revealed e-mail.
Sentence: Falling out with Rove, “accidental” plane crash.

35. Dina Lohan
Charges: Fame isn’t the only thing that screws up child stars; it starts with self-obsessed, psychopathic parents living out their failed ambitions through their hapless offspring (Dina has been telling false stories of her days as a Rockette and Broadway actress for years). Her college-aged daughter may be a rehab veteran and serial drunk driver, but that’s no reason for mom not to televise the warping of daughter number two, a pre-rhinoplasty 14-year-old with no discernible talent or personality who calls the absent Lindsay her “role model,” and an 11-year-old boy whose future mugshot will no doubt become iconic. You may think your parents sucked, but at least they didn’t do it on TV.
Exhibit A: Rarely has a person’s life been so succinctly synopsized by real events as when Lohan’s house caught fire with her minor children alone inside while she was busy accepting—no shit—a “Mother of the Year” award.
Sentence: Age, ugliness, poverty, obscurity.

34. Joe Scarborough
Charges: An incredulous, squinting brat, who's turned "Morning Joe" into the "My Super Sweet Sixteen" of cable news, Scarborough has a decent shot at being named the world's largest toddler by Guinness. He treats his MSNBC coworkers with less professional courtesy than the dead intern found in his congressional office ("Mika, don't make me backhand you").Between tantrums, Scarborough provided a litany of partisan misinformation and deliberate misquotations this year, claiming that Obama was the most liberal member of the Senate and would raise taxes on everyone, that McCain called for Rumsfeld's resignation, never changed his immigration policies and had no association with hatemongers on the religious right. Joe's immaturity is also apparent in his cartoonishly simplistic take on the American electorate, whom he purports to know intimately, ostensibly by way of his own bigotry.
Exhibit A: “I remember during the Valerie Plame episode. Remember, Bob Novak told us from the beginning, "This wasn't an ideologue that gave me the name. This wasn't Karl – this wasn't a Bush operation." And liberals, ‘Oh, he's lying, da da da da da.’ And then remember earlier this year, Bob Novak -- and, of course, Novak was right.”
Sentence: Mandatory stint in Rageaholics Anonymous, nuts shaved live on "Morning Joe" by Pat Buchanan, pubes glued to face with a mixture of pulverized Cheetos and Jamie Foser's stool.

33. Jeremiah Wright
Charges: It’s said that in politics, a gaffe is when someone tells the truth, like connecting 9/11 to blowback from America’s long history of Middle East meddling. But then again, sometimes they just say something incredibly fucking stupid, like that AIDS was created by the U.S. government to kill black people. Seriously, you don’t think the U.S. government could do a better job than AIDS? AIDS takes years to kill, spreads relatively slowly, and kills white people all the time. A CIA super-virus that can’t beat Magic Johnson? Unlikely. But beyond past statements of viral delusion, Wright’s weird-ass grandstanding at the height of the sound bite frenzy seemed to indicate he really didn’t give a shit whether Obama was elected president, and might even be jealous.
Exhibit A: “And I stand before you… with the hope that this most recent attack on the black church is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright; it is an attack on the black church.”
Sentence: Sickle cell anemia.

32. Ben Stein
Charges: Daddy got him a job as a lawyer and speechwriter for Nixon; since then his ethics have slid. Whether misrepresenting Democratic policies on Fox News or dry-humping free market mythology in The American Spectator, Stein's brand of conservatism is as credible as a memoir on Oprah’s reading list. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, his 2008 anti-science propaganda film, would have made Leni Riefenstahl blush. He intentionally misquoted Darwin to link the theory of evolution to the Holocaust, earning the diehard Zionist a firm rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, to which he replied, “It's none of their fucking business.” In his cinematic quest to paint a handful of fact-deficient creationist teachers as the oppressed soldiers of free speech, Stein willfully misrepresented himself to interview subjects, butchered their words with creative editing and infringed on a multitude of copyrights.
Exhibit A: Used portions of John Lennon's “Imagine” in his movie without permission or irony.
Sentence: ClearEyes replaced with a virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant staph.

31. Stephenie Meyer
Charges: She’s the unforgivably perky Mormon mom who wrote the Twilight Series of books, currently draining IQ points from Western Civilization. This silly wank-off vampire fantasy for teenage girls has been embraced by legions of sad, middle-aged women who fight for access to their daughters’ sticky copies of the books. It’s an embarrassing spectacle for all Americans who aren’t actively participating in it. Meyer admits she can't handle the better class of vampires and has never watched a whole vampire movie, even the more anemic kind: “I've seen little pieces of Interview with a Vampire when it was on TV, but I kind of always go YUCK! I don't watch R-rated movies, so that really cuts down on a lot of the horror. And I think I've seen a couple of pieces of The Lost Boys, which my husband liked, and he wanted me to watch it once, but I was like, ‘It's creepy!’”
Exhibit A: The hit movie version of Twilight, featuring Meyer’s dreary characters, a tiresome teenage girl and the pathetic “vegetarian” vampire who loves her, mooning around on first base for two hours and giving vampires everywhere a bad name.
Sentence: Meyer encounters a non-vegetarian vampire, who kills her immediately and gruesomely in front of an appreciative audience of horror film fans.

30. Antonin Scalia
Charges: The bullet-shaped conservative justice should have stuck to his old policy of not allowing anyone to record him, because the more we see of him, the worse he seems. Scalia drew back the curtain on his legendary mind last April on "60 Minutes," revealing the legal acumen of a gibbon with a Magic 8-ball. Asked about the legal atrocity of Bush v. Gore, Nino bravely replied, "Gee, I really don't want to get into, I mean this is—get over it, it's so old by now." This about a 2000 decision, perhaps the least legally defensible in recent history, which has had and will continue to have an incalculable impact on this country and the world. Scalia has sebaceous cysts older than Bush v. Gore. But it was Scalia's asinine, compartmentalized semantic parsing on torture that we hoped would give pause to his lionizers. Arguing that torture isn't "cruel and unusual punishment" because the subject hasn't been convicted of a crime, so he can't be "punished," the so-called Constitutional Originalist puts the framers in the awkward position of saying that it's wrong to beat up a convicted criminal, but it's just dandy to kick the shit out of him before he is even charged.
Exhibit A: “Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.”
Sentence: Broken on the wheel by James Madison.

29. Mary Matalin
Charges: Surgically mortified face creates the impression of a barely passable “earthling” mask worn by an insectoid alien, a possibility credited by her gradually digesting husband and her consistent locus at the Republican Party’s shifting center of evil. From Chief of Staff for original Mayberry Machiavelli Lee Atwater to Adviser to George W. Bush, Counselor to Dick Cheney and member of the best sales team in history, the White House Iraq Group, Matalin has served in more unholy positions than Jenna Jameson. To this day, Matalin simply denies the well-documented story of Atwater’s deathbed repentance, which is not surprising considering her main skill is obscuring reality. Matalin’s main contribution to undermining the truth and bolstering closet racism this year was publishing World Net Daily plagiarizing lunatic Jerome Corsi’s Obama Nation, a collection of blatant falsehoods that didn’t come close to meriting its non-fiction categorization, in her role as “Editor” of Threshold Books, a conservative imprint that inestimably diminishes Simon and Schuster’s prestige by its simple existence. Matalin called the book, riddled with easily debunked lies, “a piece of scholarship,” claiming it “does not set out to be a political book,” while Corsi himself said “the goal is to defeat Obama.”
Exhibit A: “This is a crime and -- and he did not commit a crime. He had a mis-remembrance of when it was that he heard about it, but clearly he's not one of the guys that revealed it in the first place, which the revelation of such was not a crime.”
Sentence: Sex with James Carville.

28. Frank Caliendo
Charges: The retarded man's Rich Little, Caliendo has been irritating Americans for nearly a decade, gaining recognition as the implausibly fat impressionist on the lethally unfunny "MADtv". Nicholson, De Niro, Shatner, Seinfeld.... no impression is too hackneyed for Caliendo, who mimics them all with the skill you'd expect from the hypertensive "funny guy" at the office. The only thing that could have made “Fox NFL Sunday” any worse was two John Maddens. Mission Accomplished, dickbag.
Exhibit A: His TBS vehicle, "Frank TV," is the least amusing thing to appear on television since the morning of September 11, 2001.
Sentence: New impersonation: The rotting corpse of Marcel Marceau.

27. Peggy Noonan
Charges: A Catholic hysteric who should be submitting poems about her kitty cats to online poetry-contest scams, Noonan’s call for “Patriotic Grace,” which is nothing more than a call for liberals to stop picking on Republicans for being wrong all the time, comes a little late, after actively helping the most despicable, character assassination-driven campaigns of her lifetime. Like her fellow elite conservative columnist David Brooks, Noonan feigned admiration for Sarah Palin until she got caught expressing her true opinion during an MSNBC commercial break, saying "it's over," and that McCain opted for “political bullshit about narratives.” Horrified at having her actual thoughts revealed and not the “graceful” bullshit she feeds her readers, Noonan scrambled to spin the extemporization, but eventually admitted Palin’s selection represented a “vulgarization” of politics, as if that was something new. She loved Bush when America did, and hated him when America did, and pretended she’d felt that way all along. An opinion columnist is supposed to express her opinion, not ours. Noonan is still writing speeches, but her vanity is her only client.
Exhibit A: “Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world.”
Sentence: Chained like Prometheus to a rock, to undergo a cycle of pregnancies and abortions for eternity.

26. Tila Tequila
Charges: A silicon “bisexual” whose purported attraction to women has led to her rise as reality show oxygen thief, self-proclaimed “Queen of Myspace” and horrible “musician.” Her songs make “Hamster on a Piano” sound like the final movement to Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Helping America convert its girls into self-debasing sluts with twisted values, calling themselves “strong women” all the while.
Exhibit A: "I'm shooting a commercial for safe sex. How ironic. Because I don't have that."
Sentence: AIDS.

25. Eliot Spitzer
Charges: A moralistic legal crusader who spent more on poon in an hour than the average American spends on food in a year, Spitzer would be somewhat less loathsome had he not gone after prostitution as a prosecutor. Like every paragon of public ethics, he was in private a mere pervert. That he might have been a decent governor for a state that badly needed one is just one more reason to hate him.
Exhibit A: “Governor Spitzer did not remove his mid-calf length black socks during the sex act.”
Sentence: Rest of life spent as hack columnist for

24. Plaxico Burress
Charges: This Giant prima donna kicked off 2008 by skipping minicamp, watching training camp from the sidelines, whining about his $3.25 million yearly salary and milking a phantom ankle injury. The receiver's laziness and ego resulted in a predictably lackluster year, which ended abruptly at a New York City nightclub, as he overestimated the tensile strength of his sweatpants holster.
Exhibit A: Name sounds like a rheumatoid arthritis medication.
Sentence: Traded to Detroit Lions.

23. John Fund
Charges: Membership on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board requires that one be a cynical sophist, but the dog-faced Fund actually appears to be in love with lying. Fund has devoted himself lately to muddying up the election fraud issue by selectively promoting mostly spurious tales of ground-level Democratic voter fraud in an effort to obscure more credible stories about the GOP’s top-down machinations. Fund’s book, Stealing Elections, is replete with phony numbers and discredited stories—he even sources a well-refuted tale to a WSJ editorial he probably wrote. Fund delivers his lies with a sneering smugness that would merit facial pummeling even if he were truthful, but whipping conservatives into a creative frenzy of demonic fabrication against ACORN, creating the lamest conspiracy theory of the year (which even McCain hyperbolized absurdly) based on false registrations that ACORN themselves flagged a suspicious, and none of which could conceivably have led to actual voter fraud, reveals Fund to be against not fraud, but the simple act of registering voters. The endgame here is to pass Voter ID laws that will prevent 20 million legal voters in this country who don’t have the required ID from voting.
Exhibit A: “Republicans focus more on the rule of law.”
Sentence: Malfunctioning Diebold central tabulator flips public referendum on whether Fund should be fed to sharks.

22. PUMAs
Charges: Redefining feminism as “supporting Hillary Clinton, whether she wants you to or not,” and “defending” that feminism by embodying negative stereotypes of women as irrational and scornful, there was no demographic more painfully dumb than aggrieved Hillary backers plotting to defeat Obama. Drunk on a dream of vengeance for their queen, this strange minority picked up every despicable, paranoid, racist talking point they could from the worst of the right wing, even complimenting Sean Hannity on his “fair and balanced” coverage of Obama. Desperately twisting words in a sad attempt to tar Obama as a sexist and willing to subject themselves and their country to a probable assault on reproductive rights in the name of spite, the PUMAs comported themselves with all the dignity and sense of a false rape accusation.
Exhibit A: It’s hard to choose, but nothing was more ridiculous this year than hearing an obscenely rich Hillary fundraiser named “Lady de Rothschild” describe Obama as “an elitist.”
Sentence: President Palin appoints Mullah Omar to Supreme Court.

21. Michelle Malkin
Charges: It’s a remarkable achievement in unconscious projection that the author of a book called Unhinged could lose her fucking marbles over a patterned scarf in a donut ad, but that’s what Michelle Malkin did when she sounded the nutbar clarion call and sicced her half-cocked league of masturbators on Rachel Ray and Dunkin Donuts for the flatly absurd notion that they were sending a message of solidarity with Palestinians. Right, Michelle—you just can’t sell donuts without joining the intifada these days. What did the nauseously spunky Ray do to incur the wrath of the Malkinoids? She wore a black and white scarf. A paisley scarf. A scarf that was clearly not a kaffiyeh, which, by the way, is just a hat that Arabs wear, not some universal symbol of jihad. In terms of completely false outrage, the only thing that rivaled this travesty of reason this year was the “lipstick on a pig” metaphor panic. But what puts this embarrassing sham over the top is that Dunkin Donuts actually apologized and pulled the ad, rather than try to explain to the fact-phobic horde that they were just blind, raging idiots with the collective brain-power of a lobotomized howler monkey.
Exhibit A: “If your neighbor's got an "Obama '08" bumper sticker or lawn sign, you might want to double-check your door locks at night.”
Sentence: Deported to China for wearing red T-shirt.

20. Joe the Plumber
Charges: The Che Guevara of bald, pissed off white men. In a lot of ways, Samuel Wurzelbacher really does represent the average American—basing economic opinions on unrealistic expectations of personal future success, blaming his failure to meet those expectations on minorities and old people, complaining about deadbeats getting his taxes when he isn’t actually paying his taxes, and advertising his own rudimentary historical and mathematical ignorance by warning of creeping socialism in a country whose highest income tax rate has dropped by half in thirty years. “Joe” indeed symbolizes the true American dream—to become undeservedly rich and famous through a dizzyingly improbable stroke of luck. As American folk heroes go, Wurzelbacher ranks somewhere between Hulk Hogan and Bernie Goetz.
Exhibit A: "Social Security is a security I've never believed in, don't like it. I hate that it's forced on me."
Sentence: After blowing his fifteen minutes and all his money on coke and Thai
hookers, an infirm, elderly Joe finds that social security actually is a joke, and is finally forced to snake toilets for a living.

19. Ted Stevens
Charges: It’s amazing, really, what can take a 40-year senator down. You can take money for legislative favors, but whatever you do, don’t let your lobbyist friends give you a gaudy statue. Alaska owes its very statehood to Stevens’ willingness to break the law—he was illegally lobbying congress to pass the bill from within the Eisenhower administration in 1954. “We were violating the law,” he happily admitted years later. Stevens has gotten rich off his lack of integrity, and the friends it has brought him. And what friends they are, paying for a house-sized extension on his house, offering him land deals that multiply his money tenfold in six years, and all he had to do is funnel hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to them, bringing home between 500 and a thousand dollars per Alaskan annually. Finally busted after a lifetime of graft, charged and convicted on seven felonies, Stevens still very nearly won reelection. And people talk about Chicago.
Exhibit A: Four days after being convicted, Stevens told a debate audience “I have not been convicted.”
Sentence: Pushed through a series of tubes—each one narrower than the last.

18 The Clintons
Charges: Still around. Still married. Still rich. Still acclaimed. Still influential. Still sought. Still sanctimonious. Still aggrieved. Still phony. Still compromised. Still petulant. Still striving. Still self-pitying. Still self-important. Still important.
Exhibit A: Madame Secretary.
Sentence: Sniper fire.

17. Rod Blagojevich
Charges: Some things are worse than being bald—Blagojevic should have given that senate seat to John Edwards’s barber. A sad truth about Blago is that he’s not really in trouble for corruption, abuse of power or favor-trading, all of which are routines practices in just about every elected official’s office across the nation; he’s in trouble for being so damn rude about it, and for not being smart enough to realize what “appreciation” means to more careful favor-traders.
Exhibit A: “[O]ur recommendation is fire all those fucking people, get 'em the fuck out of there and get us some editorial support.”
Sentence: Flesh removed a pound at a time and used as topping on deep dish pizza, which he is force-fed while his wife spews obscenities at him and Eugene Robinson writes scathing editorials about it.

16. Rick Warren
Charges: Dubbed “America's Pastor” by The Nation, he's duped people from both sides of the political spectrum into thinking he's the kinder, fatter version of James Dobson. Though he is fatter, how could anyone think a man who—professionally—quotes a book written by a make-believe space-giant, instructing the murder of homosexuals, could be anything other than a delusional bigot? Still riding the undeserved wave of fame onset by a meth-head kidnap victim’s ownership of his pop-psych hybrid of churchy prudishness and self-help pabulum The Purpose Driven Life, Warren had a big year hosting a presidential forum at his gay-sounding Saddleback Church, helping to pass Prop 8 and being tapped to invoke said make-believe space-giant at Obama's inauguration. Plus, his neatly trimmed goatee is the queerest thing we've ever seen.
Exhibit A: “God tells us that he created all the land animals on the sixth day of creation, the same day that he created mankind. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time.” Can you feel the wisdom?
Sentence: He shalt giveth The Lord a blumpkin and eatheth of the pie until he bursts.

15. Kwame Kilpatrick
Charges: Had a stripper party at the mayor’s mansion, at which his gate-crashing wife assaulted the entertainment. The stripper was later gunned down in an obvious hit, the second attempt on her life. The guns and bullets were Detroit Police standard issue. The cop investigating the incident alleged sabotage by two subsequent police chiefs and other officials, finding files deleted and reports missing. He was transferred. Nothing happened. Then Kwame was accused of having an affair with his Chief of Staff, which they both denied, perjuring themselves, until steamy text messages were released—the only part of this story that made national news, naturally. Other texts showed preferential treatment for friends in business contracts, but that’s just not very sexy. Oh yeah, he also assaulted a cop. Finally, “justice” caught up with the mayor—and gave him 120 days in jail. Even Kwame had to laugh, calling the sentence a “joke.”
Exhibit A: “I want to tell you, Detroit, that you done set me up for a comeback.”
Sentence: Stomped to death with eight inch clear heels.

14. Ashley Todd
Charges: As attention-getting devices go, trying to start a race war is a tad disproportionate. It’s a good thing this batty bitch was completely hopeless as a fraudster, or her 11th hour “big black Barack backer battered burgled and branded Barbie” ruse could have done a lot worse than throw Pennsylvania to McCain. It’s not surprising that log cabin bottom feeder Matt Drudge slapped the headline “Shock: McCain volunteer ‘attacked and mutilated’ in Pittsburgh” on his bafflingly popular website in big red letters, as he’s got about a 40% accuracy rating on the stories he “breaks.” We’ve tried feeling sorry for Todd, but the fact that she scratched the “B” backwards, because she was looking in the mirror, is just too damned funny.
Exhibit A: “Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths [sic] off, but its better if you do.”
Sentence: The reverse “B” never heals.

13. Joe Lieberman
Charges: A fickle, flabbery fiend reviled by both parties, Lieberman somehow finds himself more powerful than ever, failing forward by virtue of the Democrats’ unfalteringly chumpish lack of discipline. After promising that he was “not going to go to…the Republican convention, and spend my time attacking Barack Obama,” Lieberman went to the Republican convention and attacked Barack Obama. But that was just the beginning of his descent into a self-dug hole of betrayal that should have proved inescapable. Lieberman thought it was “a good question” to ask if Obama was a Marxist. He campaigned not just with McCain, but with Palin and down-ticket Republicans, another thing he said he wouldn’t do. But the most loathsome trait Lieberman exhibits is that most loathsome of all: Smearing dissent as treasonous. The kind of suppressive asshole who would accuse you of helping terrorists by beating him at checkers should not be Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and is not someone worth rewarding for his own dissent.
Exhibit A: “In matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.” “Sen. Obama doesn't come to this debate with a lot of credibility.”
Sentence: Lieberman awakes to find himself in the body of an impoverished Iraqi living in a small apartment with 12 family members and no electricity. Shocked by this inexplicable turn of events, he stumbles outside and cries to God, looking up just in time for the white phosphorous to hit him in the face.

12. John Edwards
Charges: For all his rhetoric about income disparity and his millworker dad, it was impossible to ignore Edwards’s raging vanity and not-so-slick southern-fried hucksterism. Even a smart phony would know that a $400 haircut and dolphin-smooth skin just isn’t the right look for a food bank photo op. And anybody knows that no nominee’s secret affair could survive the scrutiny of general election season—no Democratic nominee’s, anyway—so Edwards was knowingly jeopardizing the future of the world on the off chance the Enquirer reporter following him around, who already knew about the affair, wouldn’t find anything concrete. But hey, it’s not so bad, because, as Edwards stressed, his wife’s cancer was in remission when he began the affair. Classy guy.
Exhibit A: "I don't know if that picture is me. It could well be. It looks like me. I don't know who that baby is. I have no idea what that picture is."
Sentence: His prospects dashed and his fortune lost in collapsed hedge funds, Edwards toils the rest of his days as a millworker and Supercuts customer. Rielle Hunter dumps him for Dennis Kucinich’s wife, and every few days Ralph Nader stops by his studio apartment to piss on his futon and laugh.

11. Rush Limbaugh
Charges: The father of modern stupidity, Limbaugh spins reflexively, never struggling with issues, because he knows his conclusion must favor Republicans, and his only task is finding a way to get there. In other words, he may or may not actually believe what he’s saying, but it’s beside the point. His job is not to say what he thinks, but to instruct his listeners on what they should think. If the facts don’t agree, he can always change them, as his “ditto heads” are already armed against the contrary evidence with the all-purpose “liberal bias” attack. “Rush is right,” as the slogan goes, and all those nerdy reporters in the “drive by media” are lying, because they secretly love terrorists. It’s this creepily worshipful, breathtakingly infantile abdication of intellect to a blatantly dishonest hypocrite that makes Limbaugh’s audience so goddamn sad. These pathetic, insecure, failures of men look to Rush as the champion of their impotent rage, helping them to externalize responsibility for their own deficiencies, pinning the blame on those darn liberals and their racial and gender equality.
Exhibit A: You have to marvel at the sheer ignominy of someone who coins the term “Obama recession” two days after the election.
Sentence: Tiny speaker implanted in his inner ear which blares Randi Rhodes 24-7.

10. Bernard Madoff
Charges: Normally, the idea of a bunch of billionaires getting robbed blind for believing in a free lunch would amuse the hell out of us, but Bernie Madoff stole a lot of money from charity endowments, and is responsible for two suicides so far. Here’s a tip, Bernie: If you’re running the biggest scam since the Catholic church, handling billions of dollars, and all it takes to get busted is that some of your marks ask for their money back, you really should take some of that money and set up an escape plan. Still, he gets some credit for making Mort Zuckerman look like a jackass. The real villains here are Christopher Cox and the SEC, who investigated Madoff eight times, the last time specifically on suspicion of running a Ponzi scheme, each time “finding” no wrongdoing, which begs the all-too-familiar question of the last eight years: Satanically corrupt or grossly incompetent? Either way, Madoff was finally brought to justice… by his kids.
Exhibit A: "In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules ... but it's impossible for a violation to go undetected, certainly not for a considerable period of time."
Sentence: Sold into slavery.

9. Phil Gramm
Charges: Gramm’s blood-boiling “nation of whiners” comment was a pinnacle of class condescension in a year teeming with “let them eat cake” moments, but it was by no means an isolated incident. In fact, the ruinous state of our economy can be seen as the culmination of his career, one he spent derailing the economy in an effort to implement his anarchist regulatory philosophy, earning him the title "the most effective proponent of deregulation in a generation" from the New York Times. Gramm’s deregulatory death blows to fiscal sanity were brutal and several, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (which repealed the post-depression Glass Steagall Act, designed to control speculation) and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (which made it illegal to regulate credit default swaps), each of which enabled the Wall Street massacre in their own special ways. Forever pushing to incur public risk for private profit, Gramm was well-rewarded during his congressional career, and his plum position destroying the once-respected Swiss bank UBS’s portfolio for the past few years was only part of the payoff.
Exhibit A: "Most people don't have the luxury of living to be 80 years old, so it's hard for me to feel sorry for them."
Sentence: Mental depression with a golden anvil.

8. David Addington
Charges: In a nation fat with lawyers, it takes something special to be the worst of them all. If a White House legal argument is evil, unconstitutional and makes no actual sense, it’s a safe bet Grand Moff Addington is behind it. An expert in spook law since his early-‘80s stint as counselor to the CIA, Addington first hooked up with Cheney during the Iran-Contra hearings, even then pushing the “Unitary Executive” theory of unfettered presidential power and attempting to shoehorn dictatorship into the constitution. Addington thinks the president is above the law in times of war, which is awful convenient if you declare an endless war on a global battlefield. It’s this flimsy pretext on which the White House has evaded accountability for torture, domestic spying, and secret detention, proving that the best legal tools in DC are a straight face and a huge pair of balls.
Exhibit A: “I frankly don't know what you mean by the Unitary Theory of Government.”
Sentence: Declared an enemy combatant for farting in oval office; waterboarded with a fire hose by John Yoo.

7. Dick Cheney
Charges: Still alive. The amount of medical resources devoted to keeping this black hole of decency operational could have cured cancer by now, but if they had, Cheney would make sure to keep it a secret. Since Watergate, Cheney’s been fighting to rehab Nixon’s image, and he has succeeded in a way, by showing us all just how much worse a presidency can be.
Exhibit A: “It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”
Sentence: Eaten alive by baboons.

6. Hank Paulson
Charges: The latest practitioner of the real Bush Doctrine, which is indistinguishable from Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine. This time, it was Paulson, not Powell, holding up a vial of toxic mortgage backed securities, but the similarly election-panicked congressional reaction’s been the same—a panicked passage of whatever crazy late-term legislation the White House wants, namely Paulson’s 3-page “Gimme the money and go away” bill, plus $150 billion in anonymous pork, in one last massive federal theft on the way out the White House door, costing more than the entire U.S. space program for its 50 years of existence, even in inflation-adjusted dollars. Paulson’s initial spending plan was the financial equivalent of blowing into a broken balloon, and his typically Bushian demands for unfettered power seemed appropriate for a guy who looks and sounds like the ghost-melted Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Exhibit A: “It’s a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation.”
Sentence: Crushed by falling brokers.

5. Alan Greenspan
Charges: The mortgage meltdown may seem complicated, but it started simple, with Al Greenspan pegging the Fed fund rate at 1%. This made Treasury Bonds a fairly lame investment, and led to investors looking for other seemingly safe securities to buy, which led to a flourishing demand for mortgage-backed securities, which led to banks increasingly lowering their standards for mortgage applications, eventually giving liar loans away to anyone willing to take them, which used to be called usury. This led to a decline in the real value of these MBA securities due to high probabilities of foreclosure, but somehow they were still AAA-rated by credit agencies displaying either hopeless incompetence or criminal collusion. Even a monkey wouldn’t need a slide rule to see what would come next. But Alan Greenspan, super-genius guru of the glorious realm of the self-regulating free market, is totally flummoxed. Refusing to accept any blame for years as the housing bubble, long-predicted by out-of-favor economic realists, bloated and burst, only recently has Greenspan accepted even marginal responsibility, admitting only that he was “partially” wrong, professing a state of “shocked disbelief” that lenders couldn’t regulate themselves, and thinking to himself, “This isn’t how it worked in Atlas Shrugged!”
Exhibit A: “Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.”
Sentence: Recurring role as a senile great uncle on new C-grade sitcom “Krugman’s Krew.”

4. George W. Bush
Charges: It’s hard—believe us, we know—to keep coming up with new things to say about this brutally stupid narcissist, who may have ruined this country irrevocably and certainly has ruined a couple of others, mugging amiably all the way. If anything good comes from Bush’s reign of error, let it be the death of the notion that vitally important, life or death decisions that affect the entire world should be made with one’s “gut.” We used to think that incompetence was just a good cover story for this administration, an excuse that masked their deliberate criminality, but it turns out that Bush and his inner circle are both treasonous, corrupt warmongers and inept fools. One good thing about him, though, is that he has no real interest in politics, and probably won’t give a flying shoe what happens to the world when his term is up. As he once put it, ““History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.” Here’s to George W. Bush being history.
Exhibit A: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
Sentence: Detained in formaldehyde-laced FEMA trailer without charges or counsel, sodomized by Lynndie England, declared guilty by military tribunal, set adrift naked on a small ice floe in the Arctic.

3. Sean Hannity
Charges: This relentlessly repugnant McCarthyite tool really outdid himself this year, in an all-out quest to otherize Obama in any way he could. This paranoid pustule is able to find a liberal conspiracy lurking behind any mundane occurrence, even attributing Obama’s selection as Time’s Person of the Year, an event as predictable as sunrise, to a pay-to-play scheme. Hopelessly outmatched shill Alan Colmes is finally leaving his role as Hannity’s doormat; he will not be replaced.
Exhibit A: "I never questioned anyone's patriotism."
Sentence: Wrongfully convicted of murdering Vince Foster, based on evidence falsified by Jerome Corsi.

2. John McCain
Charges: McCain vowed to run a clean, respectful campaign, and then accused Obama of pushing sex ed for kindergartners, calling Palin a pig, hanging with terrorists, being a welfare-loving Marxist, being an arugula-loving elitist and pretty much everything but conspiring with the Borg—but he didn’t really mean it, and he didn’t use Reverend Wright, so we’re all supposed to think he’s swell. McCain lied so blatantly and constantly that even cable news bootlicks were compelled to fact-check him, to which he and his surrogates responded by insisting on the same lies. When pressed on the Nixonian onslaught of falsehood, McCain whined that he wouldn’t have had to be such a mendacious prick if Obama had only refrained from raising so much more money than him. McCain pretended to give a shit about America, and then he picked a vapid ambition-hound to succeed him. His response to the economic crisis might as well have been to punch himself in the face. In every way he could this year, McCain burned up all the credibility he had stored up from decades of shameless worship by the press, utilizing every tactic he ever decried, exuding a heady aroma of bullshit and Alzheimer’s, and displaying an unrequited obsession with Joe the Plumber, and he still wound up a failed Faust even the Devil didn’t want.
Exhibit A: "In the 21st century nations don't invade other nations."
Sentence: Every time anybody says the word “surge,” McCain is shot in the leg.

1. Sarah Palin
Charges: If you want to know why the rest of the world is scared of Americans, consider the fact that after two terms of disastrous rule by a small-minded ignoramus, 46% of us apparently thought the problem was that he wasn’t quite stupid enough. Palin’s unending emissions of baffling, evasive incoherence should have disqualified her for any position that involved a desk, let alone placing her one erratic heartbeat from the presidency. The press strained mightily to feign respect for her, praising a debate performance that involved no debate, calling her a “great speaker” when her only speech was primarily a litany of insults to city-dwellers, echoing bogus sexism charges when a male Palin would have been boiled alive for the Couric interview alone, and lionizing her as she used her baby as a Pro-life stage prop before crowds who cooed when they should have been hurling polonium-tipped javelins. In the end, Palin had the beneficial effect of splitting her party between her admirers and people who can read.
Exhibit A: Waving her embryo-loving credentials, in the form of her Down syndrome baby, at "But ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy."
Sentence: Hand-to-hand combat with Vladimir Putin and a pack of wolves.

A little blogging music Maestro: “The Establishment Blues,” by Rodriguez

Dr forgot

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Memories

Even More Memories of Clairton

Some very clever seniors: Not sure about your emailbox but mine is rife with reflections of the “good old days.” I’m sure they were more old than good but human memory being what it is we have a tendency to reflect mostly on good nostalgia rather than the bad. Thus, as I reflect on the halcyon days of the 1950s and 1960s I often reflect on my hometown of Clairton, PA which is still frozen in my mind as the ideal Norman Rockwell painting setting. Others have shared the setting and written me with their own reflections which stimulated some of my forgotten memories. So, if you can stand one more Reflections of Clairton and 50s era post, read on.

Bridges to the Moon: A small orb was launched from Russia in 1957. It contained two dogs and from that moment the term Suptnik struck terror into our hearts as we were told that Russia was now the dominant world force. The theme of our high school graduation class was “Bridges to the Moon” and a young charismatic president promised the American public that we would place a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s decade. Both were prophetic as on July 21, 1969, even as our lexicon was beginning to include the words “Viet Nam,” an American walked on the moon. Clairtonian Ron Trunzo reminded me that when the Eagle landed on the moon the astronauts discovered Alice Kramden. You have to have been a fan of The Honeymooners sitcom to get than one. Other reflections from readers touched home so with a few tweaks to localize them, read and enjoy:

More Memories – in Technicolor: Someone asked the other day, “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?” We didn't have fast food when I was growing up, all the food was slow. Where did we eat?

It was a place called home. Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work we sat down together at the kitchen table for dinner, and if we didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until we did like it. My sister Kathy usually got to sit the longest because she didn't like much. Meals were called breakfast, dinner, and supper, not breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had to have permission to leave the table.

Many parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis, set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card. They had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Monkey Ward (Montgomery Ward) or Sears Roebuck - or maybe it was Sears & Roebuck. Either way, Roebuck has gone the way of Monkey Ward.

Parents never drove their kids to soccer practice. This was mostly because we had never had heard of soccer. After a hard day at school, learning how to “Duck and Cover” in case the Russians bombed, we’d go home to family supper. I rode the neighborhood on a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed (slow). It was a “boy’s” bike and had a bar that ran from the seat to the handlebars, as opposed to a girl’s bike that had no such bar. We didn't have a television set in our house until I was ten. It was, of course, huge and black and white.

TV test patterns came on at night after the last show and the Star Spangled Banner - and stayed there until TV shows started again the next morning. There were only 3 channels – WDTV Channel 3 from Pittsburgh (The “W” was required by the FCC, and DTV stood for Dumont Television Network), channel 5 from Johnstown and channel 6 from Pittsburgh that later changed its location to channel 11 and call letters to WIIC with the clever slogan, “the ones to watch.”

I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza. It came from a local bar called Juliot's and was called 'pizza pie.' When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had. And Coke? Forget about it. We weren't allowed to drink it because according to my father, a neighbor girl almost died because she drank Coke. However, if we were very subtle about it we were able to sneak a drink of soda at our grandparents' house. My favorite was cream soda.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home but other things were.
The milk man from Keck’s or Aldrich’s dairy delivered milk in quart bottles with cardboard stoppers and cream that rose to the top. He’d leave the milk on the front porch early in the morning. Sometimes in cold weather the milk would freeze and pop the cardboard tops. Neighborhood cats loved that. The bakery man from Clairton Bakery, which is still in business, came three times a week. Mail came twice a day and stamps cost three cents.

Our grandparents did not speak English. Neither did the grandparents of nearly everybody I knew. But January 7 was a very special day for the Serbian, Greek, and other families who attended churches that had “Orthodox” in the name. It is Christmas day according to their calendar – exactly two weeks after the rest of the community celebrated Christmas. Kids lucky enough to attend those churches were often lucky enough to celebrate two Christmases.

I never had a telephone in my room. In fact, I didn't have my own room until I was almost a teen when the back porch was converted. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen to make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line. Many times they would listen in to our conversations. Later, since each house had only one phone line our father was able to get Buzzie, who knew about phones, to gerrymander a couple of extra hookups. Besides the one in the living room there was an extension at the top of the stairs, one in my parent’s bedroom, and one in the basement. But whenever the phone company repairman came by we had to hide all the phones except the one we were allowed to have. Our phone number was CL3-8054. Our neighbors was CL3-8654 and our grandparent's was CL3-7761, but our grandfather (Diedo), despite living more than 60 years in the U.S. never learned the English language and refused to learn how to use the phone.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers. My first route was 21 Pittsburgh Press papers delivered seven days a week. My route included only Halcomb and Mitchell Avenues to the end of Halcomb next to the Niklas Car Dealership - they sold Studebakers. Later I got a Daily News route with 56 papers but no Sundays. When I collected 60 cents every two weeks, Smokey Decarlo’s wife Gloria always gave me a nickel tip. The paper cost five cents, of which I got to keep a penny and 1/4. The Sunday Press cost 20 cents.

I didn't ride my bike to deliver papers, I slung the canvas Daily News bag of papers over my shoulder. Then I folded each paper as I walked so I could toss them. My aim was pretty good. I never remember breaking a window or knocking down a drain spout. My favorite day was Saturday because the papers were only 18 pages - very light and easy to carry.

Our street, St. Clair Avenue, was not paved beyond the intersection that included the Corner Store, Gumble's Chevrolet, and Vitori's Esso station. The part that wasn’t paved was called an ash road, as ashes or other residue from the nearby steel mills were placed on the roadway. With cars rolling over the ashes, they became pulverized and a cloud of dust would rise each time a car passed. To keep the dust down the City contracted to have tar spread over the dust a couple of times each summer. That kept the dust down but drove mothers crazy as their kids would track tar into their pristine homes, so moms would cut up large cardboard boxes and lay them across the street to allow the kids to cross with minimum tar on the shoes. Parents sometimes took a snapshot of their kids using the Brownie Hawkeye camera with blue flashbulbs that worked sometimes.

Our parents never missed a chance to remind us that they were "Depression babies" and had learned to make do. Mom would poke holes in the top of an empty soda or wine bottle and make a sprinkler to dampen the clothes before they were ironed.

A little blogging music Maestro… “Those Were the Days,” the theme song from the sitcom of the same name.

Dr. Forgot