Worst Americans of 2008


This video from the USA is called Must See Hilarious George Bush Bloopers.

By Michael Tomasky in British daily The Guardian:

Welcome to America’s hall of shame

From Sarah Palin to AIG’s pamper-hungry sales reps, the following characters have made us less than proud

Wednesday 31 December 2008

In at least one obvious way, 2008 was a pretty good year in my country. We made history in electing an African-American president. I and 67 million of my fellow citizens brought the era of conservative dominance to a thundering close. For those of us who’ve been told for eight years that we weren’t real Americans – liberals, urbanites, non-believers, cabernet-sippers, same-sex lovers, anti-war-mongerers, Volvo drivers – well, the tables have turned. We’re the real Americans now.

But ill winds still blew, and blow, across the republic. It being the duty of journalism to take the measure of these winds, I hereby dedicate my year-end column to ranking some of the worst Americans of the year. It started as a bottom 10 list, but consultations with various associates persuaded me that 10 was not enough, and further research suggested that a non-round and totally capricious number better suited the exercise. Herewith, the Tomasky List of the 19 Worst Americans of 2008.

19 E.D. Hill. Ms Hill is the Fox News anchor who referred to Barack and Michelle Obama’s on-stage fist bump in early June as a “terrorist fist jab”. I guess she’s well familiar with the various and sundry ways in which couples express intimacy – she’s been married three times herself. Fox announced in November that it wasn’t renewing her contract.

18 Don Blankenship. Who? He’s the head of a huge coal-mining company that is an industry leader, if one must put it that way, in so-called mountain-top removal mining. It’s a hideous practice that destroys mountains and communities, and Blankenship is its poster child. Our supreme court has agreed to hear a case in which Blankenship financed the election of a state judge who, in a $50m lawsuit, ruled for Blankenship’s company. Google Caperton v Massey, read more about Massey, and tell me if this fellow shouldn’t perhaps be even higher. …

10 The boys from AIG. Less than a week after the insurance giant received an $85bn federal bail-out, some AIG execs and sales reps spent $440,000 on a retreat at an exclusive resort, including $23,000 in spa charges. Well, they were under tremendous stress, you know. …

8 Dick Cheney. Just because. If he lives to be 99 – and he’s not as old as he looks: can you believe, for instance, that he’s younger than Ringo? – and I’m still doing this column, something tells me he’ll always find his way on the list. It’ll take that long to undo the damage he’s done to flag and country.

7 Steve Schmidt. John McCain didn’t make the list, but his chief campaign strategist has earned an indisputable spot. He displayed a rare combination of incompetence, tone-deafness and cynicism. He’s only as low as number eight [sic; seven] because it didn’t work.

6 Joe Lieberman. It’s not that the Connecticut senator backed McCain. It’s the way he did it, the way he does everything – the self-regard, the pride, the arrogation to himself of some kind of moral authority that he in fact does not have any more (even if he once did, itself a debatable proposition). Don’t take it from me. Take it from his constituents, who ignored him to the tune of supporting Obama by a 22-point margin.

5 Michele Bachmann. Of the many memorable moments the campaign produced, I will never forget watching this Minnesota congresswoman say on national TV in October that Obama “may have anti-American views” and endorse the idea of a media investigation of all members of Congress to determine whether their views were sufficiently pro-American. The single most appalling political statement of the year. …

3 George Bush. There were years when he would have been higher – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. I’ll give him a slight pass for 2001, what with the attacks and all that. In those previous years, he stole an election, started an unnecessary war, lied about it, approved torture, let a great US city drown and so on. This year he merely presided over the bankruptcy of the global economy. Twenty days and counting.

2 Sarah Palin. Does she really deserve to be this high? Never in my adult lifetime has one politician so perfectly embodied everything that is malign about my country: the proto-fascist nativism, the know-nothingism, the utterly cavalier lack of knowledge about the actual principles on which the country was founded. So, heck, you betcha she does! [See also here]

1 Bernard Madoff. It’s pronounced “made-off”. Could Dickens have named him better? Bilking people and institutions out of $50bn is a pretty surefire way to make yourself No 1 with a bullet on anyone’s year-end bad guys’ list.

Well, here’s to a better 2009, for America, the world, and you and yours. And keep yer nose clean.

• Michael Tomasky is editor of Guardian America.

By Dan Solin in the USA:

The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme is generally regarded as the biggest financial scam of all time. I don’t agree.

Hedge funds, and particularly “fund of funds,” make Bernie’s despicable conduct look like small potatoes.

Worst coal ash spill in US history ruins huge area in Tennessee: here. And here.

8 thoughts on “Worst Americans of 2008

  1. Jan 3, 11:06 AM EST

    Bushisms over the years

    President George W. Bush will leave behind a legacy of Bushisms, the label stamped on the commander in chief’s original speaking style. Some of the president’s more notable malaprops and mangled statements:

    – “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” – September 2000, explaining his energy policies at an event in Michigan.

    – “Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?” – January 2000, during a campaign event in South Carolina.

    – “They misunderestimated the compassion of our country. I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the commander in chief, too.” – Sept. 26, 2001, in Langley, Va. Bush was referring to the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks.

    – “There’s no doubt in my mind, not one doubt in my mind, that we will fail.” – Oct. 4, 2001, in Washington. Bush was remarking on a back-to-work plan after the terrorist attacks.

    – “It would be a mistake for the United States Senate to allow any kind of human cloning to come out of that chamber.” – April 10, 2002, at the White House, as Bush urged Senate passage of a broad ban on cloning.

    – “I want to thank the dozens of welfare-to-work stories, the actual examples of people who made the firm and solemn commitment to work hard to embetter themselves.” – April 18, 2002, at the White House.

    – “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” – Sept. 17, 2002, in Nashville, Tenn.

    – “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” – Aug. 5, 2004, at the signing ceremony for a defense spending bill.

    – “Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” – Sept. 6, 2004, at a rally in Poplar Bluff, Mo.

    – “Our most abundant energy source is coal. We have enough coal to last for 250 years, yet coal also prevents an environmental challenge.” – April 20, 2005, in Washington.

    – “We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job.” – Sept. 20, 2005, in Gulfport, Miss.

    – “I can’t wait to join you in the joy of welcoming neighbors back into neighborhoods, and small businesses up and running, and cutting those ribbons that somebody is creating new jobs.” – Sept. 5, 2005, when Bush met with residents of Poplarville, Miss., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    – “It was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship. After all, 60 years we were at war 60 years ago we were at war.” – June 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

    – “Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die.” – Dec. 7, 2006, in a joint appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    – “These are big achievements for this country, and the people of Bulgaria ought to be proud of the achievements that they have achieved.” – June 11, 2007, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

    – “Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit.” – September 2007, in Sydney, Australia, where Bush was attending an APEC summit.

    – “Thank you, Your Holiness. Awesome speech.” April 16, 2008, at a ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the White House.

    – “The fact that they purchased the machine meant somebody had to make the machine. And when somebody makes a machine, it means there’s jobs at the machine-making place.” – May 27, 2008, in Mesa, Ariz.

    – “And they have no disregard for human life.” – July 15, 2008, at the White House. Bush was referring to enemy fighters in Afghanistan.

    – “I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office.” – June 26, 2008, during a Rose Garden news briefing.

    – “Throughout our history, the words of the Declaration have inspired immigrants from around the world to set sail to our shores. These immigrants have helped transform 13 small colonies into a great and growing nation of more than 300 people.” – July 4, 2008 in Virginia.

    – “The people in Louisiana must know that all across our country there’s a lot of prayer – prayer for those whose lives have been turned upside down. And I’m one of them. It’s good to come down here.” – Sept. 3, 2008, at an emergency operations center in Baton Rouge, La., after Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast.

    – “This thaw – took a while to thaw, it’s going to take a while to unthaw.” Oct. 20, 2008, in Alexandria, La., as he discussed the economy and frozen credit markets.

    © 2009 The Associated Press.

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  2. Stolen Madoff statue returned with note attached
    Fri Jan 2, 2009 1:41pm EST

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A statue stolen last month from Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff’s Florida home has been returned undamaged, and with a note attached, to a country club where the accused swindler is a member, Palm Beach police said on Thursday.

    The attached note read: “Bernie the Swindler, Lesson: Return stolen property to rightful owners. Signed by The Educators,” according to police.

    “We don’t know who that is,” Sgt. Chris Proscia told Reuters. “We think it was done just to prove a point.”

    Madoff, a former Wall Street fund manager, is accused of running a $50 billion scam that ensnared wealthy investors, banks and charities around the world.

    The 70-year-old investment advisor is under house arrest in his Manhattan apartment. He was criminally charged on December 11 in what could prove to be Wall Street’s biggest fraud. According to court documents, Madoff has confessed to his sons that he ran a Ponzi scheme for years, paying off early investors with money from new clients.

    (Reporting by Nick Zieminski; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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  3. Posted by: “Compañero” companyero@bellsouth.net chocoano05
    Sat Jan 3, 2009 3:30 pm (PST)

    ‘Karl Rove’s IT guru’ Mike Connell dies in plane crash

    12/20/2008 @ 1:10 pm
    Filed by RAW STORY

    A top level Republican IT consultant who was set to testify in a case alleging GOP election tampering in Ohio died in a plane crash late Friday night.

    Michael Connell — founder of Ohio-based New Media Communications, which created campaign Web sites for George W. Bush and John McCain — died instantly after his single-prop, private aircraft smashed into a vacant home in suburban Lake Township, Ohio.

    “The plane was attempting to land around 6 p.m. Friday at Akron-Canton Airport when it crashed about three miles short of the runway,” reports the Akron Beacon Journal.

    Connell’s exploits as a top GOP IT ‘guru’ have been well documented by RAW STORY’s investigative team.

    The interest in Mike Connell stems from his association with a firm called GovTech, which he had spun off from his own New Media Communications under his wife Heather Connell’s name. GovTech was hired by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to set up an official election website at election.sos.state.oh.us to presented the 2004 presidential returns as they came in.

    Connell is a long-time GOP operative, whose New Media Communications provided web services for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Republican National Committee and many Republican candidates. This in itself might have raised questions about his involvement in creating Ohio’s official state election website.

    However, the alternative media group ePlubibus Media further discovered in November 2006 that election.sos.state.oh.us was hosted on the servers of a company in Chattanooga, TN called SmarTech, which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican Internet domains.

    “Since early this decade, top Internet ‘gurus’ in Ohio have been coordinating web services with their GOP counterparts in Chattanooga, wiring up a major hub that in 2004, first served as a conduit for Ohio’s live election night results,” researchers at ePluribus Media wrote.

    A few months after this revelation, when a scandal erupted surrounding the firing of US Attorneys for reasons of White House policy, other researchers found that the gwb43 domain used by members of the White House staff to evade freedom of information laws by sending emails outside of official White House channels was hosted on those same SmarTech servers.

    Given that the Bush White House used SmarTech servers to send and receive email, the use of one of those servers in tabulating Ohio’s election returns has raised eyebrows. Ohio gave Bush the decisive margin in the Electoral College to secure his reelection in 2004.

    IT expert Stephen Spoonamore says the SmartTech server could have functioned as a routing point for malicious activity and remains a weakness in electronic voting tabulation.

    “…I have reason to believe that the alternate accounts were used to communicate with US Attorneys involved in political prosecutions, like that of Don Siegelman,” said RAW STORY’s Investigative News Editor, Larisa Alexandrovna, on her personal blog Saturday morning. “This is what I have been working on to prove for over a year. In fact, it was through following the Siegelman-Rove trail that I found evidence leading to Connell. That is how I became aware of him. Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened.

    “He has flown his private plane for years without incident. I know he was going to DC last night, but I don’t know why. He apparently ran out of gas, something I find hard to believe. I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully.”

    “Mr. Connell has confided that he was being threatened, something that his attorneys also told the judge in the Ohio election fraud case,” concluded Alexandrovna.

    An FAA investigation into the causes of Connell’s plane crash is underway, but no results are expected for several weeks.

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