Turkeys and Drumsticks 2014

For seven years running, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to give out my awards for Turkey of the Year and Golden Drumsticks. The latter are for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere. The former are for those who exemplify silliness and stupidity. I rarely give them out to someone who is evil; they are reserved for those who regularly make me shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. It’s a sort of “thank you” for making blogging easier.

We’ll start with the Turkeys of the Year. For reference, the past winners are:

2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez

2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden

2009: Mike Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.

2010: Janet Napolitano and TSA, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, MSNBC, Lower Merion Schools, California Voters.

2011: Nancy Pelosi, Republican Presidential Field, Occupy Wall Street, Anthony Weiner, the Eurozone.

2012: The Culture Warriors, Unions, The Poll Unskewers, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, MSNBC

2013: Healthcare.gov, the Platinum Coin, the Shutdown Caucus, the National park Service, Fiscal Cliff Panic Mongers.

For this year, I picked:

Jonathan Gruber: #3 was in the lead most of the year. Then #2 took over earlier this month. But the millionaire consultant from MIT has to take the top prize now. The thing about Gruber is not that he made comments that support Halbig. It’s not that he helped create Obamacare. It’s not even that he called the voters stupid. It’s that he revealed the ugly reality that undergirds of much of the progressive movement in this country: the belief that Americans are stupid, that leaders are wise and that the latter must lead the former to good choices through deception, obfuscation and coercion. The most common thing I read on liberal message boards after Grubergate was “Hey, he’s right!” There is a large section of the Left Wing that thinks we need to be ruled by a technocratic elite. Gruber pulled back the veil. And that he looked like a horse’s ass into the bargain was just gravy.

Lamenting Democrats: In the wake of yet another electoral shellacking, the professional whining class went into overdrive, trying to find something, anything to blame for their loss. Random articles about science topics would start with lamenting that evil Republicans were taking over the Senate. Robert Reich screamed that Republicans might use reconciliation to do stuff (reconciliation being a legitimate tactic up until November 3). A thousand articles sprang up about “how to talk to your crazy right-wing uncle/parents/cousin/neighbor/imaginary friend at Thanksgiving about Issue X” (hint: don’t).

I’ve been disappointed by elections. But I hope I never get to the point where the results of an election make me gnash my teeth and rend my garments in such hilarious fashion.

Barack Obama: The only reason his approval ratings aren’t at record lows is because of mindless Democrat loyalty. The economy continues to improve despite the Republicans rejecting every “jobs bill” he proposes. His party got crushed in the election. And his response to this was to … implement immigration reform through executive action (polls show Americans support the policy, but oppose the means). His White House is also becoming famous for what are called “bad optics” and would be called scandalous if Bush were doing it: fund-raising while the Ukraine is in turmoil, having a huge dinner while Ferguson is burning, golfing right after a press conference on an ISIS beheading. He has earned the low poll numbers. And earned a place on this list.

Jim Ardis: Earlier this year, Ardis persuaded a judge to launch a raid on a house because one of the inhabitants was … mocking him on Twitter. He apparently still thinks this was a fine idea. Jim Ardis … meet the Streisand Effect.

(One infuriating note: a judge has upheld the drug charges that resulted from the raid finding drugs in the house. Because warrants to arrest parody account holders are apparently just fine.)

Paul Krugman: Another year for Krugman, another set of factually-challenged opinion pieces apparently written by unpaid interns. My favorite was his assertion that Halbig represented “corruption” in the courts, a claim the indispensable Walter Olson demolishes here. As several bloggers noted, Krugman was a big supporter of the Platinum Coin Caper, where he said, essentially, that we should concentrate on the letter of the law, not the spirit, the opposite of what he’s saying now.

Note, also. This year is coming a cropper for things Krugmans believes in. The Picketty analysis of inequality appears to be badly flawed. And Keynesian ideas are failing all over the globe.

Dishonorable Mention: Wendy Davis, whoever is doing PR for the Ferguson Police, the Ferguson rioters, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Secret Service, Mary Landrieu, Everytown USA.

Now the Golden Drumsticks, awarded to those who best exemplified what is right with the world. Here are the past awards, the first round from West Virginia Rebel.

2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks

2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama

2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush

2010: The Tea Party, Chris Christie, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Next Wave of Republicans, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, The American Soldiers

2011: Seal Team Six, Mark Kelly, The Arab Spring (ugh), the Technicians at Fukushima

2012: Down Ballots, The Sandy Responders, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, Mathew Inman

2013: Francis I, Edward Snowden, Rand Paul, The American Military, The Institute for Justice

For this year, I picked:

Ebola Responders: In the face of a colossal healthcare crisis and one of the most terrifying diseases out there, Africa has been flooded with volunteers risking their lives to help. Hundreds of healthcare workers in Africa, including Humarr Khan, have been killed trying to comfort or save the dying. Even in this country, we’ve seen nurses and doctors work hard to care for Ebola victims, including two nurses who were infected in Dallas and mercifully saved by modern medicine.

Here’s a little thing about me: I tend to dislike movies about dystopias. Not because I think a dystopia won’t happen or because I’m ignorant about the dark side of human nature. I dislike them because they usually ignore the flip side of human nature: our capacity to be generous, brave and compassionate.

Francis I: He continues to shake up the religious world while adhering closely to Catholic doctrine. My initial impression of him remains unchanged. He is just a good man.

Rand Paul: Paul gave a speech earlier this year that was a rebuke to the neocons: defining a foreign policy that defends our interests while avoiding senseless overseas debacles. He is pushing the Republicans toward reforms of our criminal justice system, our surveillance state and our War on Drugs. I’m a bit worried whether he’ll hold up to the pressure of special interests, especially if he has Presidential aspirations. But right now, he’s doing good.

David Brat and the Republican Candidates: “A monarch’s neck should always have a noose around it—it keeps him upright.” – Robert A. Heinlein. I’m not sure what to make of Brat at this point, but I think his defeat of Cantor is an important reminder to the Republicans of what will happen if the get stupid again. Among the other Republicans running for office this year, there was barely a gaffe to be heard. In fact, the biggest War on Women complaint was about Mark Udall, criticized by his own supporters for talking too much about the War on Women. In general, they stuck to the bread and butter themes of the economy, Obamacare and big government. Let’s hope they deliver.

The Supreme Court: It’s always a mixed year from the Court, but this year they gave us good decisions in Riley, Hobby Lobby, Harris v. Quinn, McCullen v. Coakley, NLRB v. Noel Canning, Town of Greece v. Galloway, Schuette v. BAMN and McCutcheon. They continued their streak of unanimously rejecting Obama’s power grabs. You can check on this year’s key decisions here. There are a few I had issues with but most were solid.

Honorable Mentions: marijuana decriminalization efforts, Scott Walker, Charlie Baker (anyone who defeat Martha Coakley gets a mention), the American military

Put your nominees in the comments. And I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Comments are closed.

  1. Thrill

    Turkey Nominees:

    1. The House Intelligence Committee for their bullshit Benghazi report that deceitfully claimed that there was no intelligence failure and for failing to clarify what the Ambassador’s and the CIA’s role was in Benghazi.

    2. Dorian Johnson. He didn’t attack Darren Wilson or shoot Michael Brown, but his false and inciteful characterization of what happened that day has directly led to the burning of Ferguson and ongoing nationwide protests. What an asshole.

    3. Chuck Hagel. He was never up to the SecDef job, could never gain credibility within the White House or even get on the same page as the President (which is admittedly impossible to do for any but his most beloved political lackeys). Still, his service in that role must be considered a disaster.

    4. John Kerry. His State Department has made us an international laughingstock. Does anybody, anywhere take him seriously? May he, like so many other Obama cabinet appointees, find his political career at an end when he finally steps aside.

    5. Ebola Nurse. You wouldn’t think that a woman who went to Africa to help save other people’s lives could ever be portrayed as a narcississtic twat, but lo! She pulled it off with her arrogance and fame-seeking. What an accomplishment.

    Drumstick Nominees:

    1. Captain Ron Johnson of the MO Highway Patrol. The man did everything he could to reduce tensions and has been a voice of reason throughout the ordeal. He was the perfect man for the job and he rose to the occasion.

    2. Bob McCullough. A controversial choice, yes, but I believe that his decision to put ALL the facts before the Ferguson Grand Jury was a fair compromise balancing the wishes of the politically-driven lynch mob out to get Wilson against his own perceived bias in favor of law enforcement. He could have easily thrown Wilson to the wolves or refused to prosecute but he didn’t. More prosecutors should follow the example set by his integrity and nerve.

    3. Everyone who is fighting for their lives against ISIL with minimal support from the West or the Arab nations. To the Kurds especially, but including the anti-ISIL Anbar Sunnis who are still resisting (they do exist), and the entire City of Baghdad, among others.

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    Between Gruber, Biden, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and a few others of their ilk, I’ve noticed that they no longer feel constrained to watch their mouth and just let their unvarnished real opinions just blast out. Somewhere along the line they decided that these opinions were held by the overwhelming majority and they could speak candidly. Must come from living in an echo chamber of gerrymandered districts or something.

    Also, they are extremely frustrated and confused by the last couple of elections – the opposition was to have been finished and marginalized, allowing the progtard, neo-marxist elite a free reign to finally “fix” everything they saw as problems the masses were too stupid to accomplish (guns, health care, how you live your life, what you eat/think).

    I think they are even more confused by the rise of what is looking to be a 3rd party that is young, pissed off, and tired of the same two nearly identical parties fucking up their future. It wasn’t supposed to work that way; everyone was supposed to be indoctrinated to be good little drones for euro-socialism through school and let their professors select who the next generations of leaders were going to be. I think this is why the current crop of feminists/perpetual victims are screaming so loud to be heard – because nobody is really listening to them despite the amount of overly generous and sympathetic press coverage given them (number of people I’ve communicated with that actually believes there is a “rape culture” in America: 0).

    Or course, the flip side of that Bill Cosby is finally getting taken to task for his 30+ years of drugging & raping young women and some morons with media outlets are having the knee-jerk response of defending what many of us heavily suspected was the truth in the early 80s. Is ripping apart a cultural icon (particularly a black man that won’t play libtard ball on demand) standard process for the left? Of course it is, and the payout is in the slandering of the defenders so you can marginalize them without actually having to debate them with hard data. The best response right now is to see what sort of hard info comes to light.

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  3. richtaylor365

    Thrill, both Dorian Johnson (why isn’t that lying POS going to jail for providing a false statement? Let’s hope that poor shop keeper testifies that Dorian was also complicit in the stolen cigars), and Kerry are on my list as well. The Obama administration is like the Bermuda Triangle, it is where illustrious careers (Sebelius, Pinetta, Kerry, Patreaus, Shinseki) go to die.

    More Turkey;

    1)Ray Rice- laying hands on a female for any malevolent purpose is just wrong, and makes you a total pussy. And by extension, the NFL, for lying about not having the original tape and tap dancing around the issue.

    2)This asshole;

    All those men in the stands next to him, no one had the decency to beat him bloody.

    3)Jay Nixon- for calling out the National Guard ahead of the riots, then giving them the “stand down” order, right when they were needed the most. Send him back to the private sector at earliest convenience. And by extension, Peter Kinder as well for politicizing the whole mess.

    4)Lois Lerner/John Koskinen- for subverting the system and using the IRS as a political weapon, then lying about it. These 2 really need to go to jail, for a very long time.

    5)MSNBC- for even in the face of ever lower ratings and viewership refusing to put down that bucket, still carrying the president’s water. And by extension, Fox news, for turning themselves into the Juan Williams Network (I know it’s hard to find a black liberal that does not shout “racist” at the drop of a hat, but come on, must you let this clown host half of your so called news shows?)

    6) Luis Gutierrez, Linda Sanchez, and all the other La Raza idiots who just can’t figure out that sovereign nations must have enforceable borders.

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    why isn’t that lying POS going to jail for providing a false statement?

    This would open a can of worms. People are rarely prosecuted for conflicting testimony, even if it contradicts other people’s testimony or forensic evidence. The reason is that eye-witness testimony is notoriously unreliable. It’s more like a story than a VCR. Numerous people have been exonerated when reliable eyewitnesses testified that they committed a crime. It’s not that people are lying, it’s that they don’t remember things correctly. We’ve even seen witnesses testify to physically impossible things (such as during the Satanic abuse panic). It’s possible that both Wilson and Johnson are telling the truth as they see it. And it would be very very hard to prove that Johnson is lying, especially as he can site witnesses, however shaky, that will support his side.

    And again, this is can of worms you don’t want opened because if it opens, a lot of police are going to find themselves accusedt. We’ve seen numerous instances where police have given statements about events only to be contradicted by video. With the Tamir Rice killing this week, the police were saying the told him to drop the gun and so on. But the video now shows they drove up, jumped out and shot him right away. The courts generally give them a pass on that sort of thing or allow them to revise their statements.

    Thrill, agree on Ron Johnson. He really took control of the situation. We need more cops like him.

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  5. richtaylor365

    Oh Hal, what a load of horseshit. We aren’t talking about witness A describing the perp as 5-10 with blond hair and witness B describing him as 6-0 with brown hair (one has to be lying, lock him up), but you knew that anyway. Obviously 4 people can witness the same event and have 4 different versions, duh, but we aren’t talking about that either. When witness C describes the events , intimating events he saw with his own eyes, then upon further inquiry is found out that he wasn’t even there but was miles away and made up the whole story, yes, that clown should be charged with giving a false statement. When Johnson provides a formal statement saying Wilson was the instigator, reached out with his non dominant hand, grabbed Brown and pulled him into the cop car, then later recants, admitting that Brown attacked Wilson, and punched him while Wilson was still seated in the car, yes, he had admitted that he initially lied. Sure, I guess we can expect some lying, like when he said he did not know Brown very well (yet they managed to hang out for 4 hours prior to the robbery), or that they did not smoke weed (even though a significant amount was found in Brown’s system), but when you drastically change the narrative like he did, then admit to lying about it, not quite the same thing. In an earlier theft arrest he admitted to lying to the police as well, but I guess nobody wanted to open that can either, so his bad behavior is rewarded.

    And concerning the Tamir Rice incident that you brought up, do you have anything, anything at all, that shows they did not tell him to drop the gun? Any audio to prove your point? Yes, it appeared to me as well that the officer was premature in his actions, an investigation is in order, but don’t imply that you know for a fact that the order to drop was not given or imply that a “revising” of their statements is necessary. I expect shenanigans like that over at MSNBC, not here.

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    I’m not saying these things are necessarily true of Johnson; I’m explaining why they won’t charge him. Charging someone with lying when they are not under oath is garbage. It’s the sort of thing they charged Martha Stewart with because she hadn’t committed an actual crime. Investigators and police can lie during an investigation. This is how false confessions sometimes come about, when they tell people they have evidence or testimony they don’t really have.

    (It’s possible, if he keeps saying these things in public, that Wilson could sue him for defamation. But that too would be a difficult case.)

    Now this guy, on the other hand: http://hotair.com/archives/2014/11/29/cnn-michael-brown-autopsy-expert-may-be-a-fraud/

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  7. richtaylor365

    I’m explaining why they won’t charge him.

    No explanation necessary, everyone knows why, the mob was surly enough already for not getting their indictment, Brown’s robbery stooge had to walk.

    Charging someone with lying when they are not under oath is garbage.

    Really? Even though it is a crime in Missouri to do so? So all these scenarios are acceptable to you;
    1) A female who just got a speeding ticket calls up the officer’s supervisor with ,”Officer Jones grabbed my boob, threatened to rape me if I didn’t go out with him, offered to sell me crack”.
    2) Your drunk buddy runs over a 5 year old on her bike, killing her, then drives over to your house and convinces you to tell the cops that he was with you all afternoon watching football.

    The next time you are audited, you go tell the IRS officer some real whoppers, and see what happens.

    It’s the sort of thing they charged Martha Stewart with because she hadn’t committed an actual crime.

    So multiple incidents of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators (even when they tell you in advance that you must be truthful under penalty of law) does not constitute ‘committing an actual crime”.?Boy, for someone that wanted Scooter Libby drawn and quartered for a lesser offence, you are a bit scattered, I guess Scooter did not set as nice of a Holiday table, or sucked at making Christmas cookies.

    Investigators and police can lie during an investigation

    Not if they are the TARGET of that investigation, nice try though.

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  8. Xetrov

    Late Entry for another Turkey –

    John Boehner.


    House conservatives are griping that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is putting the squeeze on them by rushing through a $1 trillion spending bill in Congress’s last week in session.

    Appropriators are expected to roll out the legislation early next week, giving critics scant time to figure out what’s inside before they cast their votes by the end of the week.

    These Fuckers are not going to learn until both parties are removed from power permanently.

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  9. Xetrov


    The GOP’s draft 2015 “omnibus” spending bill reportedly includes $948 million to help poor and unskilled Central American migrants establish themselves in the United States, but includes no effective restrictions on President Barack Obama’s plan to provide work permits and tax payments to millions of resident illegal immigrants.

    That new spending works out to $16,928 for each of the 56,000 youths, young adults and children who crossed the border during the 12 months up to October 2014.



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  10. West Virginia Rebel

    Late Entry for Drumsticks:

    Bill Cassidy, for finally driving Mary Landrieu out of office.


    Rolling Stone magazine, feminists who ruined a scientist’s life because he wore the wrong shirt, Fergusen protesters.

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  11. Xetrov

    Holy Shit.


    The nation’s rail passenger service earns $1.39 billion, the same amount it currently receives. The rail service carries passengers through 46 states and hit an all-time high of 31.6 million passengers during the last fiscal year, according to Democratic aides.

    For those keeping track at home, that’s about $44 for every person who rode the railroad last year.

    The bill would dramatically expand the amount of money that wealthy political donors could inject into the national parties, drastically undercutting the 2002 landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance overhaul. Bottom line: A donor who gave the maximum $32,400 this year to the Democratic National Committee or Republican National Committee would be able to donate another $291,600 on top of that to the party’s additional arms — a total of $324,000, ten times the current limit.

    *headdesk* Any doubt that both parties are doing everything they can to kiss the ass of the rich while hoping the average idiot voter doesn’t catch on?

    Roughly $5.4 billion is provided across several agencies to combat the spread of the disease in the United States and around the world. The amount is less than the $6 billion Obama requested.

    $2.6 Billion per Death on American soil from Ebola so far seems a bit excessive, even for Federal spending.

    The bill only funds the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees most immigration policy, until February. But negotiators gave new money for immigration programs at other federal agencies. There’s $948 million for the Department of Health and Human Service’s unaccompanied children program — an $80 million increase. The program provides health and education services to the young migrants. The department also gets $14 million to help school districts absorbing new immigrant students. And the State Department would get $260 million to assist Central American countries from where of the immigrant children are coming.

    We can’t afford to deport them, or protect the border, but we can afford to pay the illegals that are here. I want to cry.

    For the first time, the benefits of current retirees could be severely cut, part of an effort to save some of the nation’s most distressed pension plans. The change would alter 40 years of federal law and could affect millions of workers, many of them part of a shrinking corps of middle-income employees in businesses such as trucking, construction and supermarkets.


    White potatoes, to be exact. The Women, Infants and Children program that provides food aid to low-income families would receive $6.6 billion, a $93 million cut from the last fiscal year. But the program will be required to ensure that “all varieties of fresh vegetables, including white potatoes, are eligible for purchase” through the program, said Republicans. The change is a big victory for the potato lobby, which has long fought to be part of the food assistance program.

    Just to reiterate – All Lobbyists should be shot.

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