TID received several very excellent year end award submissions to the post below, and for that I'm grateful. They were all thoughtful and thought provoking.
Last Sunday's McLaughlin Group focused on his year end awards and the panel had some interesting things to say even though, curiously enough, Hare or Jacobs weren't mentioned at all.
Here's a synopsis. PB= Pat Buchanan, EC= Eleanor Clift, TB = Tony Blankley, L O'D = Lawrence O'Donnell, and JM = John McLaughlin
DESTINED FOR POLITICAL STARDOM
PB: Nicolas Sarkozy
, candidate for president of France
EC: Robert Gates
, newly appointed Defense Secretary
TB: Segolene Royal
, Socialist candidate for president of France
L O'D: Charlie Rangel
who Blankley predicts will be the most powerful man in congress.
JM: James Webb
, senator elect from Virginia who will become the leader of those against the war.
DESTINED FOR POLITICAL OBLIVION
PB: Iraq president Nouri al-Maliki
, along with Fidel and Sadaam
EC: Denny Hastert,
the accidental speaker and placeholder who failed to accomplish much of anything
TB: Nick Lampson
and Tim Mahoney
, the two Dem candidates who replaced Tom Delay
and Mark Foley
L O'D: Karl Rove
, whose "final turn in the spotlight will be as a witness" in the Scooter Libby
JM: Jeb Bush
- "The Bush dynasty is kaput."
BEST POLITICAL THEATRE
PB: Mass demonstrations in Beirut after assassination of former Lebanon PM Rafik Hariri
EC: Bill Clinton
vs. Chris Wa
llace on Fox news - "wipe that smirk off your face"
TB: YouTube - a platform for further political theatre
L O'D: Meet the Press' series of senatorial debates
JM: Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez's
performance at the U.N. where he said that he could feel the presence of "el diablo" or the Devil (Bush) and that "sulfurous fumes" still remained at the podium where Bush had spoken earlier.
WORST POLITICAL THEATRE
PB: Hugo Chavez
for the same thing
shooting his friend in the face with a shotgun, and finding $10,000 in William Jefferson's
TB: Muslim demonstrations worldwide against Danish cartoon's depiction of Mohammed
L O'D: Rush Limbaugh's
"grotesque and FALSE" imitation of Michael J. Fox's
appearance in campaign ads.
s disgrace or Cheney
WORST POLITICAL SCANDAL
PB: "Abramoff, Foley, Cunningham
, take your pick. The entire Republican culture of corruption."
EC: All of the above and the fact that the House Ethics committee looked at what happened with the Foley scandal, agreed that everyone acted disgracefully, then did absolutely nothing.
TB: The "Foley/Hastert
" scandal, which was a double scandal due to Hastert's
L O'D: Abramoff
scandal was the worst, Foley
scandal was the worst timing.
JM: "Sprawling web of Republican corruption" Abramoff, Bob Ney, Scanlon, Delay, Safavian, Cunningham,
and "more to come!"
MOST UNDERREPORTED STORY
PB: The current account deficit which will end with the American dollar becoming the North America peso. It's valued at only 7-8% of the GNP.
EC: The leading medical journal "Lancet"'s report on the number of deaths among Iraqi civilians, well researched by Johns Hopkins and put at 650,000 civilians killed
and murdered in the Iraq invasion.
The fact that "dream candidate" Barack Obama
TB: A Paris police union report that says they're facing an "intifada" from Muslim suburbs of Paris
L O'D: the Darfur massacre
JM: Globalization and its negative impact on the middle class - will soon be spreading beyond manufacturing and into skilled white collar jobs
MOST OVERREPORTED STORY OF 2006
PB: "Bird Flu will kill us all."
EC: Tom Cruise's
TB: The wait for the Baker/Hamilton report - "biggest build-up to mallest dud"
L O'D: The Duke lacrosse team case
JM: "2008 presidential mania" - election just over and already focusing on distant election
BIGEST GOVERNMENT WASTE
PB: "400 BILLION spend on a war Colin Powell
says we're not winning"
EC: The Iraq war, "any part of it or all of it"
TB: The Agency for International Development or AID - "a huge waste of money"
L O'D" "There's no greater waste of money than spending on a war that was a mistake."
JM: Iraq War, including the thousands of US lives lost and "scores of thousands" of injured and wounded.
BEST GOVERNMENT DOLLARS SPENT
PB: the salary of the pilot who bombed and killed Aman al-Zawahiri
, leader of "al Queda in Iraq".
EC: the venture with Russia to find, buy up, and secure "loose nukes".
TB: Increased spending ion brain trauma injuries to returning vets.
L O'D: taking out Zawahiri
was "pointless", best government dollars spent is still Social Security, a "very successful and efficient" program.
JM: funding for the Iraq Study Group
BOLDEST POLITICAL TACTIC
PB: Kim Jung Il's
July 4th "rocket shoot".
teaser ad for the NFL - his "next boldest move will probably be to run for the presidency".
TB: Karl Rove's
micro-targetting strategy - "an effort to overcome with technical means governing flaws of the GOP" "governing flaws"??? Is that what you call it?
L O'D: Joe Lieberman
for "getting up off the mat" after primary loss and winning as independent.
JM: Congressman-elect Keith Ellison
of MN planning to take private oath of office on the Koran.
BEST IDEA OF 2006
PB: 700 mile Mexican border fence - even Hilary
voted for it... and Schumer
EC: Banning transfats in New York restaurants
TB: Decision by the World Health Organization and EPA to start using DDT again to kill mosquitos and fight malaria in Africa. Blankley blames the ban on DDT on Rachel Carson's silent spring and thinks it's just peachy to poison Africans.
L O'D: Jack Murtha's
idea of pulling back troops, which ended up being endorsed by the Baker-Hamilton group study.
JM: YouTube - 100,000,000 videos available for viewing, potential to change politics and journalism.
WORST IDEAS OF 2006
PB: Israel's decision to smash Lebanon rather than "cleaning out" Hizbollah. It destroyed Lebanon, hurt Israel, and helped raise Hizbollah's prestige across mid-east.
EC: Getting O.J.
to write "If I Did It".
TB: Keeping Hastert
as Speaker. Thinks that if they'd booted Denny in the first week of the Foley scandal, the Republicans would still have held the house.
L O'D: Increasing troop levels in Iraq. McCain's
promotion of this idea will cause him to lose the race if he clings to it.
JM: The idiot French soccer player who head butted an opposing player and lost France the championship.
SORRY TO SEE YOU GO
PB: Jack Pallance
(?!) and Milton Friedman
EC: Lincoln Chaffee,
moderate Republican senator from Rhode Island who lost election.
TB: Former Maryland governor Ehrlich
L O'D: Lincoln Chaffee
JM: Caspar Weinburger, Lyn Nofziger, Lloyd Bentson
BEST SPIN OF 2006
attorney' statement - "I am a gay American, I am an alcoholic, I was abused by my clergyman, nevertheless I take full responsibility."
saying we're not winning, but not losing either.
TB: Democratic party saying they will "end corruption and special interest involvement" in Washington.
L O'D: Kevin Sheekey
, NYC mayor Bloomburg's
political mastermind for creating a "Bloomburg for president boomlet" without any help from Bloomburg.
JM: Bush claim that if we withdraw from Iraq, "disaster will follow", McLaughlin cites example of Vietnam - "dominos did not fall" - and says Iraq will be much the same.
MOST HONEST PERSON
PB: Robert Gates
, for being asked by a Senator during his confirmation if we were winning in Iraq and his answer, "No sir."
EC: Evan Bayh
, for dropping out of the presidential race and saying it was because he could not win, rather than citing family, etc.
TB: Eric Canton
R-VA who promised to support Roy Blount
for whip and then got huge pressure from R's to give it up and run himself. Blankley says he would have won, but he stuck to his pledge and supported Blount.
L O'D: the group of retired generals who came out both condeming Iraq policy and demanding Rumsfeld
JM: David Walker
, the head of the GAO who was the only person testifying honestly about the cost of the Iraq invasion and resconstruction.
MOST OVERRATED POLITICIAN
PB: James Baker & Lee Hamilton
EC: Karl Rove
, for his boasting that he had "THE math" and all the polls were wrong, the Republicans were going to win.
TB: Barack Obama
, who Blankley thinks is hugely overrated
L O'B: Ned Lamont
, taking him out was supposed to cripple insurgency, yet assasinating him and his wife and child made no difference whatsoever and insurgency attacks have only increased.
MOST UNDERRATED POLITICIAN
PB: Howard Dean
and his 50 State Strategy.
EC: Howard Dean
for the same reason.
TB: Hilary Clinton,
citing talk that she can't win. Blankley says she's in a powerful position.
L O'D: John Kerry
, who O'Donnell thinks is NOT out of the running for "08. (!)
JM: Laura Bush
and her reported influence on Bush's policy and politics.
PB: The collapse of the dollar results in the recession of 2007.
EC: Democratic investigations in congress result in constitutional clash over the Bushies producing documents and the fact that there will be a flood of rat's leaving Bush's sinking ship, and it will be hard to find replacements.
TB: Thinks there's a "high liklihood" that Bush will bomb IRAN in 2007 if diplomacy fails, which he feels it will.
L O'D: It will be a terrible disaster after US leaves Iraq, but if managed well, in two decades, a U.S. president will be able to visit Iraq as safely as they now visit Vietnam.
JM: Religious fundamentalism will create a backlash and personal freedom will be in demand. There will be a political and social change towards libertarianism. Authoritarianism is "on its way out." A "mirth revolution" will be in force.
PB: to finish and publish his next book, "Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War".
EC: Be nicer...maybe.
TB: Wants to be tougher on Democrats, feels he's been "too nice" this year.
L O'D: Won't write a book, but will try to read one of Buchanon's.
JM: pledges to provide "more mirth" in 2007.
Anyone care to offer their predictions for 2007???
Please feel free.