Monday, December 15, 2008

Week of 12/15/2008

The 2008 Brutally Honest Awards
– by David Matthews 2

Yes it’s time. It’s been a long year but it’s finally here.

It’s time to reward the good and embarrass the bad with the big end-of-year wrap-up!

And what a year it has been, huh? A whole year full of politics and presidential wannabes and people who thought that they were instrument of destiny only to find out that they were just being delusional. A year of slime and crime and corruption.

And now we’re at the end of it! All we have to do is survive the next few weeks of self-important holiday headaches and it’ll be 2009! A new year, a new president, and a whole new set of problems for us to be concerned about.

So here we go…

The 2008 Brutally Honest Award For The Most Dysfunctional Presidential Campaign: Senator John McCain – Here’s the basic gist of it… here’s a guy who campaigned on a platform of “change” and “honor” and “ethics”, being supported by a conservative base that originally said they would rather vote for Hillary Clinton before voting for him but changed their minds after he named Bizarro-Hillary as his running mate. A party that mismanaged the Iraq War, mismanaged disaster relief after Katrina, and outright dismissed the warnings of economic troubles until they were firmly on our heads, but still said that they needed to stay in office and stay in power “at all costs”. A party that saw nothing wrong with the Bush Imperium but still distanced themselves from it while at the same time campaigning as the continuation of the Imperium.

And then the Republicans were absolutely flabbergasted that they lost!

The Most Foolish Quest for the 2008 Election: “The Quest for 60” – The Democrats weren’t just hoping to win the White House. They also wanted a filibuster-proof Congress to boot. To that end they were obsessed with getting SIXTY Democrats in the Senate.

There’s just one problem with that: the most they could get would be 58, because there are two independent Senators. And only ONE of those two could be trusted! The other one showed up at the GOP convention and accused the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate of being incompetent and was busy campaigning for the GOP candidate!

Didn’t matter, though. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wanted 60 at all costs. So he caved and let Joe Lieberman keep his cushy chairman seat in exchange for Lieberman’s “support”, even though he cannot be trusted at all!

STILL didn’t matter, though, because getting 60 Senators, even WITH Lieberman’s dishonest support, also meant winning the Senate races in Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia. They won in Alaska, Minnesota (as of this column’s printing) is still up in the air, but they had no chance in Georgia during a run-off in a solidly conservative state.

In other words, the best they can get is 59, including the support that cannot be trusted.

But even then, it STILL WOULD NOT MATTER, because they CANNOT TRUST LIEBERMAN! What part about that message does Harry Reid NOT understand?

The Most Dangerous Member of the US Senate Award for 2008: Senator Joe Lieberman – Let me come right out and say it… Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is a weasel. He looks like a weasel, he sounds like a weasel, and he acts like a weasel. That putz had the absolute audacity to campaign against the Democrats, and then turn to those same Democrats that he spent six months bad-mouthing and say “no harm no foul”.

Worse yet, because of the sheer incompetence of Harry Reid, Lieberman was given political POWER that goes beyond his seniority and his overinflated committee chairman seat. Lieberman is now treated as the lynchpin for Democratic support in the Senate when, by all rights, Reid and the rest of the Democrats should have cut him loose just like his state’s party cut him loose a few years ago! But because Reid is inept and incompetent, Lieberman now has power over the course of the party’s actions.

The Most Incompetent and Useless Members of Congress in 2008 (tie): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – They could not pass a federal budget by the October 1st deadline, but they found the time to declare a special day for “watermelon lovers”. Not one single appropriations bill could be passed! NOT ONE! But they could declare “dirt” to be a natural resource. They agreed to have ONE hearing on ONE article of impeachment against the Bush Imperium, but only as long as there would be NO VOTE on that article of impeachment.

Is there any bigger reason why Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are, without a doubt, THE MOST INEPT PEOPLE in this whole world?

Worse yet, Pelosi was actually RE-ELECTED! The voters in her district were given a choice; they could have gone with a nationally recognized liberal icon running as an independent, but they said no. They stayed with Pelosi, even after she betrayed everything they were pushing for. Her constituents are just as INEPT and INCOMPETENT as her!

It’s hard to imagine that Barack Obama is even in the same political party as these two idiots, never mind that he now has to work with them to get his programs put in place.

The Most Deserving Victory of 2008: The Presidential Election of Barack Obama – I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… I did not support Obama, and I did not vote for Obama. But even I have to admit that he EARNED his victories.

At the start of 2008, every political consultant and every member of the air-fluffed ego-driven media kept on saying that this would be a New York “subway election” between Republican wannabe Rudy “The Thug” Giuliani and Democratic wannabe Hillary Rodham-Clinton. That was it! Those were the “chosen” candidates! They deemed John McCain’s campaign to be too liberal and weak, and they deemed Obama to be a flash in the pan.

And these so-called “experts” were proven to be WRONG on both counts!

McCain ended up being seen as the more credible of candidates to the primary and caucus voters, even though he almost ran out of money in March and April. And Obama’s pop support, along with some usual campaigns from Oprah Winfrey, Will.I.Am, and “Obama Girl”, managed to beat out Hillary’s political favors and dirty tricks. They each had to overcome their party’s “destiny picks”, but it is Obama that really deserves credit for coming off as the more credible of the two. He EARNED his victory, and that’s a rare thing to say in this day and age of politics.

The Tricky Dick Nixon Award for Dirty Tricks in 2008: Hillary Rodham-Clinton – This award originally was supposed to be shared with the McCain campaign, but the truth of the matter is that pretty much every dirty trick that McCain’s people employed got their start with Camp Hillary!

Hillary was the WORST kind of presidential candidate from day one. She campaigned under the assumption that the party nomination AND the White House were both HERS for the taking. She carried herself and she ran her campaign under the assumption that this was all HERS. It was “HER turn”. She did her time in the Senate, she paid her dues, she waited until the Bush Imperium was on the out, and now it would be HER TURN in the Oval Office. And no matter the gender, any candidate that claims that being in the highest office in the land is simply a matter of paying your “dues” and waiting your “turn” is THE WORST kind of candidate to have.

And when the primary and caucus support started going to Barack Obama, Camp Hillary pulled out the dirty tricks. THEY were the ones that spread the story that Obama wasn’t a native-born American. THEY were the ones that spread the story that he was either a Muslim or a “closet Muslim”. THEY were the ones that linked him to Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers and Tony Rezco. They did everything possible to discredit and dismiss Obama and Obamamania. They wanted to throw out caucus results, because caucuses mostly went to Obama. They wanted to throw out young voters, because they supported Obama. They painted Obama as being an “elitist” because of how he spoke. They claimed that Obama wouldn’t have the experience to handle “the 3am call” even though Hillary’s own experience consisted of picking up the phone and saying “Bill, where are you and who are you doing?” They used convoluted and tortured logic to justify how she “should win” the nomination when the numbers weren’t there, and when worst came to worse, she dropped enough references in the media to suggest that Obama shouldn’t get the nomination because he could end up being another Bobby Kennedy and get himself assassinated!

For all that can be said about John McCain’s campaign, about the dirty tricks that he and his soothsayers and spin-masters employed, I don’t think that ANY of them would even entertain the idea that they would ever link the words “popular support” and “assassination” in their campaign. Their myrmidons, maybe, but not the campaign people. But Hillary did! She did that herself! Not her campaign people, not her surrogates, SHE DID! She opened the door to suggest that people should not support Obamamania because Obama could be ASSASSINATED!

Worst kind of candidate indeed!

The Fake Idol Award for 2008: Governor Sarah Palin – I know the conservatives and neo-conservatives are saying “That should be Obama’s award” but the truth of the matter is that Sarah Palin did very little of what the cons and neocons claimed she did for the campaign. She did not “energize the base”. They did that all on their own. She was not a leader or an innovator of the party. She was a VESSEL of the party and of the neo-conservative campaign. She was their product, their end result of years of propaganda and politicking.

And that was the really scary part about her. This wasn’t an act. Her Jiffy-Pop “Redneck Woman” demeanor and her small-town “Good-ol-boy” approach were genuine. Sarah Palin is EVERYTHING that the conservatives and neo-conservatives could every look for all wrapped up in the body of a former beauty queen. She wasn’t intelligent, but she didn’t have to be. She was just politically savvy to say all the right buzzwords to keep the myrmidons eating out of her hand.

She wasn’t their spokeswoman. She was their spokesMODEL. She was the very definition of a false idol.

So much for that whole “glass ceiling” thing.

The Most Pathetic Presidential Campaign for 2008: Former Senator Fred Thompson – It’s sad, because people were really begging this guy to come in and be the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan, and goes ahead and goes in, he has to give up his TV role to do it, and then suddenly he freezes and he just doesn’t recover.

The Biggest Screw-job for 2008: Congressman Ron Paul – Ron Paul was the only libertarian Republican candidate in a batch of con and neocons wannabes. He also stirred up the libertarians in the party and got them to generate a record number of donations in one single day.

It was clear that Ron Paul was a threat to the status quo. And the GOP hierarchy knew it.

So they conspired to shut him out.

The primary debates were quick to silence Paul, focusing on the other candidates. Then the debate organizers shut out Paul along with the others. Even when the number of candidates were narrowed down to three or four candidates, party leaders REFUSED to include Paul in the debates. Paul did not give up, even when he suspended his campaign. He still had plenty of support.

Then, to add injury on top of insult, the Republican hierarchy actively SHUT PAUL OUT OF THE CONVENTION!

He was the ONLY candidate that was NOT allowed to speak. Not only did they NOT invite him to speak, but they actively barred him from even showing up there.

Not only did they shut him out, but they also shut out all of his supporters! Ron Paul actually had convention delegates, but they were prohibited from even getting near the convention center! Paul and his supporters ended up having their own counter-convention just down the street.

That was not only dishonorable and disrespectful, but it was uncalled for! This is the party that CLAIMED to be a “big tent” party, and at a time when they were looking for unity and bringing people together, and at the same time the GOP hierarchy turned to the libertarians and said that THEY were not welcomed.

That is what your pompous partisan attitude got you Republicans.

Speaking of which…

The Spoiled Baby Award for 2008: Conservative Talk Radio and the GOP Myrmidons – This was by far the most antagonistic campaigns in recent history. It’s one thing to disagree with your opponents, but to exhibit out-and-out HATRED was uncalled for.

This commentator firmly believes that John McCain really had no idea just how antagonistic things were until about two weeks before the election, and by then it was really too late to do anything about it.

Now think about this: once the antagonism came out and the media was talking about it, don’t you think that it would have a negative effect on the voters? I mean, on one side you had an eloquent speaker like Obama, and followers that were passionate but also optimistic. Then you have the addled McCain and a bunch of rabid, snarling, angry, myrmidons acting like it was the 1950’s and they were waiting to start lynching someone for drinking from the “wrong fountain”. Don’t you think that may have had an impact on the other voters?

Worse yet, these guys are still claiming that McCain was supposedly “robbed” of his election by liberal groups like ACORN. They also still continue to claim that Obama is not really a native-born citizen, even going so far as to ask the Supreme Court to step in before the Constitutional Convention meets. (Thankfully the justices said no to that request.)

Remember when the Democrats complained about the 2000 Fiasco? What did you call them when they started talking about having a “Shadow Cabinet” and a “Shadow Administration”?

Yeah, you know what you called them. You called them “left-wing nutcases” and “moonbats”. You called them spoilsports and sore losers.

Well now you guys are exhibiting the same actions. So what do you think people are calling you? It’s certainly not “patriots”.

Congratulations… it’s eight years later and the tables have turned.

The Don Imus Award for 2008: Randi Rhodes – I will admit that I HAVE listened to Randi Rhodes on several occasions. I often don’t agree with what she has to say, but she tries so hard to be the anti-Rush that she becomes somewhat entertaining to listen to. I also felt sorry for her when I watched the documentary “Left of the Dial” on the start-up of Air America Radio and how she was treated as the ugly stepchild as opposed to Al Frankin.

Anyway, Rhodes got the Imus treatment after she made a public appearance and called Hillary Clinton surrogate Geraldine Ferarro “a big (f’ing) whore”, and then called Hillary the same thing. For that, Air America Radio pulled her off the air.

But I will give Randi credit for sticking up for what she believed in. She didn’t go sucking up to her bosses. She didn’t ask for her job back. She just turned to them and said “(F) you, you breached the contract, and I’m taking my show to a place where they appreciate my work!”

And now she’s on Nova M Radio in Phoenix, where they air her show along with that of fellow Air America exile Mike Malloy.

Good for you Randi! Worst comes to worse, of course, there’s always Internet radio… I know that ShockNet Radio would LOVE to get your fan base!

The Big Stinking Hypocrite Award for 2008: (former) New York Governor Elliot Spitzer – “Mister Clean”, “Mister Law and Order”, the so-called “sheriff of Wall Street” ended up leaving the Governor’s office in shame after getting caught soliciting a high-priced prostitute. How funny!

The most infuriating part of this story is that he is actually GETTING AWAY WITH IT! The US Prosecutor handing the case has REFUSED to pursue charges against Spitzer, even after making all of those arrangements and all of those deals and after all of the details of his mess were made public. What the hell? The biggest fish in his whole career and he lets it go? I wonder what sort of political wrangling went on behind the scenes for that kind of blunder to happen.

The “Shut The Hell Up and Go Away” Award for 2008 (3-way tie): Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Governor Sarah Palin, and “Joe the Plumber” – Unlike Sarah Palin, “Joe the Plumber” really is a fictional creation of the Republicans. The guy that plays “Joe” decided to blame John McCain for supporting the Paulson Plan. He also accused McCain for not giving thanks to Palin for her “hard work”, even though McCain did just that just a couple of nights previously on David Letterman’s show.

Uh, Joe? I got some bad news for you, Joe. YOU’RE A TOOL! You’re nothing more than a convenient political prop whose time had long since expired. You are thirty minutes beyond your proscribed fifteen minutes of fame. It’s time for you to sit down, shut up, and figure out what you want to do with your life besides being a political prop.

Palin also just can’t seem to go away. Right after the dirty little diva secrets started to come out concerning her Barbie fashion trends, she gave what was probably the most memorable line in her short-lived national career: “I’ve never asked for anything, except maybe for a Diet Dr. Pepper!”

Riiiiiight… and I’ll believe that just like I believe that you could see Russia from your house.

Look, I’m not complaining about the “Caribou Barbie” fashion scandal… I think it’s hilarious that all of this is coming out. I mean, seriously, do you know how much security would be involved for the whole Palin clan to show up at Wal-Mart? It’s just stupid that she would take the denials to the other extreme.

And then there’s the modern-day reincarnation of Joe McCarthy… Congresswoman Bachman! She who called on the media to investigate who is “anti-American” before the election then turned around AFTER the election and said that she never made such a claim AT ALL! She said it was an “urban legend”, even WHEN the transcripts of what she said were repeated to her WORD FOR WORD! She didn’t claim that it was taken out of context; she flat-out denied ever saying it, even though the actual VIDEO of her saying it has circulated the Internet a few million times!

Okay Congresswoman Bachman, we get the picture. You’re either a pathological liar or else you’re a moonbat. That doesn’t say much about the people who re-elected you, but, hey, the same can be said about Nancy Pelosi’s constituents. Just do us all a favor and sit down, shut up, and hope that you won’t give us another chance to decide which characterization you truly fall under.

The Tom Delay Award for Political Corruption in 2008: Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich – Auctioning off Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder is the lowest of the low. And from news reports I was coming across, this guy is really an abrasive person. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone diagnoses him as being narcissistic. I really hope the state government there does the right thing and remove him from power before he is allowed to pick Obama’s Senate replacement.

The Tom Delay Runners-Up for Political Corruption in 2008: Congressman William Jefferson and Senator Ted Stevens – They each came close. Jefferson got caught with a few thousand in literally “cold hard cash” in his freezer. Stevens was convicted for not reporting several very expensive gifts from an oil contractor. But they got beat out by Blagojevich not only because of the scope of his accusations, but also because the voters then turned around and voted both of these corrupt politicians out of office. Very smart move on behalf of the voters in those areas.

Now, why couldn’t have the voters in Michelle Bachman’s and Nancy Pelosi’s districts do the same?

The Most Pathetic Bumper Sticker Slogan in 2008: “Conservatives in Exile” – Sean Hannity and several others are making this their tagline. They want to claim that they’re now “exiles”.

You know, I hate to burst your bubble, but you guys have to actually LEAVE THE COUNTRY in order to declare yourselves as “exiles”! You can’t just sit in your cushy jobs on Fox News in New York and claim that you’re an exile.

Remember when you were busy telling your critics to go leave the country? Well payback’s a bitch, and it’s her time of the month! Just remember: Delta is ready when you are.

The Second-Most Pathetic Bumper Sticker Slogan in 2008: “Mister Independent” – This is Lou Dobbs’ tagline. He claimed to be an “independent”. Sorry Lou, but you’re nothing of the sort. At best you’re a populist, and at worst you’re a neo-con.

The Best Political Statement of 2008: The Iraqi Shoe-Thrower – This just came in as the article was being worked on, but it probably was the BEST political statement of the year about the Bush Imperium.

During an impromptu visit to Iraq, President George W. Bush was about to make a speech to the media when one of the Iraqi journalists started shouting and throwing his shoes at Bush. Both of the footwear missed the President’s head by a few inches, and the man was taken down after running out of shoes.

What is not being said too loudly is that in the Islamic world, throwing one’s shoes is the biggest insult you can make to a person.

There’s your legacy, Junior. Still think you’ll be treated kindly when history is written?

And finally…

The “Hate to See You Go” Award for 2008: ShockNet Radio’s “Kick Start” – 2008 witnessed several changes to ShockNet Radio’s lineup. First was the return of “Brutally Honest” to Internet radio, taking over where the “American Heathen®” left off. Then came the “Rock and Roll Diner”. And then was the station’s first morning show, “Kick Start”. It was a fun show, and a full crew on staff and yours truly got to take part in some of the high points.

Unfortunately there were a few problems behind-the-scenes that forced the show to join “Sports Talk on the Juice” in radio limbo. Maybe some day it’ll come back. Maybe.

In the meantime, let’s get brutally honest here… I may not like to blow my own horn, but I’m really excited to see how 2009 will look for ShockNet! Between the debut of “American Heathen® Redux” (with myself co-hosting it from Atlanta) and “Uptown Sound with Andrew Brown”, and the return of “High Instability”, “Rock and Roll Diner” and of course “Brutally Honest”, things look pretty good. Time will tell.

And speaking of which… that’s it for 2008! See you guys next January!

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