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2009 in Review

Posted Sunday, January 3, 2010, at 4:27 PM

A every year ends all kinds of lists come out regarding the best and the worst of politics, movies, music, etc. I am not going to buck that trend:

Worst Political Move: Senator Blanche Lincoln(D) - The Arkansas senator made one of the most astounding votes as she voted against the Public Option in committee. The real reason and not the reason she gave was obvious. The insurance companies are against the public option and they contribute heavily towards her. The fact that most Arkansans support the public option point to a tough re-election campaign for her.

Best Political Move: Senator Olympia Snowe(R) - She effectively led the Senate Democrats around in committee and got a bill through that she personally endorsed.

Biggest Political Bonehead: Representative Joe Wilson(R) - In a heated and non-thinking moment for the Representative he suddenly burst out during President Obama's address and exclaimed, "You lie". Nevermind that the specific charge that Wilson was claiming Obama had lied about he wasn't, nevermind that it made Wilson look like a 10 year old that had his favorite toy taken away, nevermind, even, that he apologized and later took it back. It was a boneheaded move on his part and if a Democrat had shouted that at President Bush during his presidency every talking head on Fox News and talk radio would have demanded that the Democrat be charged with treason. What a difference a letter makes.

Worst Political Blunder: Senate Democrats - They had a chance to bring real reform to health care. Instead they allowed four Democratic senators to completely take the process hostage and the eventual bill that was passed was no real change but more of the same.

Worst Political Move that Worked: Sarah Palin(R) - Who else could quit as governor and leave the people of her state and actually gain more support from the ultra-conservatives. For months she railed on then candidate Barack Obama for not have the experience to be president and yet she couldn't even complete one term as governor. Most people that pull stunts like this typically see their political life end, Mrs. Palin for the meantime has seen hers extended.

Biggest Political Hack: Senator Jim DeMint(R) - Since October he has held up the nomination of a new head for the TSA. After a failed terrorist attack on Christmas Day, he blamed every Democrat he could find for the attempt even occurring. He even blamed the Democrats for their not being a head of the TSA. He has further blamed Obama for just about everything except actually making the attempt himself.

Runners-Up: The Republican Party - This is the party that for eight years branded any dissenter of President Bush's anti-terrorism methods as anti-American, America haters, etc., etc. only to turn around and completely obliterate the Obama Administration for being too weak on terrorism. they are so busy terrorizing the American people and trying to scare them into submission all the while blaming Obama for the fear they have completely forgotten about the actual terrorist. They have been reminded that after the shoe bomber attempted his terrorist act in December of 2001, no one questioned the President, no one came out calling President Bush weak on terrorism and that it took President Bush more than a week to even mention the terrorist attack but only in passing. Meanwhile President Obama made a statement almost immediately and has kept the American public aware of what's going on with the underwear bomber. Yet President Obama is the one weak on terrorism?

Now to go away from politics.

Mind you this list is solely based on what I have seen, listened to, etc.

Best Movie: Sherlock Holmes and Transformers 2 - I grew up on both Sherlock Holmes and Transformers so both of these movies coming out had me really anticipating them. I couldn't really decide which movie I enjoyed better. Transformers 2 was an excellent movie, that was well written, and moved quickly while Sherlock Holmes gave a needed new injection to the series with one of my favorite actors (and one who deservedly got a second shot) Robert Downey Jr.

Honorable Mentions: Star Trek and It's Complicated

Worst Movie: Star Wars: Clone Wars - I am a huge Star Wars fan. I was born the year the first movie came out and Star Wars became a part of my life thanks in large part to my late brother, Brandon. But this should have been released as nothing more than a television movie on Cartoon Network.

Best Album: KISS: Sonic Boom - Honestly it's the only album I bought this year but it was a great album and one of KISS's best albums. In my opinion three of their last four albums (Revenge, Carnival of Souls (which was actually a completed album of the band that consisted of the Revenge album but it was only released out of demand after the group reunited with the two original members) and Sonic Boom) are their best musically sounding albums of any of the other.

Biggest Unnecessary Jump to Conclusion: Global Warming Deniers response to hacked emails - This was a little embarrassing for the Global Warming Deniers. Some emails in Europe were hacked of scientists working on Global Warming. It got around that the emails admitted to what would have been the largest scam in the history of man. Without reading any of the emails for themselves a large group of Deniers in America declared that they had been right along. Unfortunately when the true texts of the emails came out it wasn't even close to what the Deniers had said was in those emails. To quote Donald Rumsfeld, "There was no there, there." In fact what was in the emails was a long discussion about where the starting point for the current global warming should be. There was no smoking gun they weren't conspiring to fool people they were trying to figure out when Global Warming began.

Worst Trend in Humanity: This one was quite simple for me. Something happened this year that had been percolating for years but finally blew up. People now have the ability to absolutely make things up about other people and they don't have to apologize for it. This one is quite astounding and it's not limited to politics it is happening all over the spectrum of humanity. When someone lies about what someone has said, or who they are, or what they are that person's life can absolutely be ruined by that lie. What's worse is that when the liar is caught there are typically three reactions: apologize for it and retract the lie, retract the lie but don't apologize (or issue a non-apology), or don't retract the lie and don't apologize. Unfortunately this year more and more people are choosing the third option, not only do they not apologize for the lie, they don't retract that lie and they often push that lie even after the lie has been proven to be completely untrue. It's a sad comment on humanity as a whole.

2010 should be a fun year especially with a mid-term election. Hope everyone has a great start to the year.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]


-- Posted by doodle bug on Sun, Jan 3, 2010, at 5:42 PM


A major tactic for the insurance industry relies on the "legal" technique of paying expenses and "Honorariums" for public officials to speak at industry meetings.

Not just before employees of a single company, but "many" companies within the industry.

A gross example -- A relatively new police chief in a California city of 80,000 people, about 25,000 homes in the city and 40,000 homes in the total area with autos in the city limits on a daily basis.

The chief convinced a dead-headed city council that to properly direct auto traffic in the city, he needed eight large Japanese motorcycles --and just to add effectiveness -- a new hand-held radar gun for each two wheeler.

The equipment arrived, officers were trained with considerable personal instruction by the chief about what was expected of them.

Essentially closed sessions, without anyone but the chief and the 18 officers being trained.

After the first year with the new equipment, some new council members asked, then demanded a full accounting of all the numbers associated with the motorcycle corps.

Eight motorcycles, normally operating from 4 a.m. through 11 p.m. seven days weekly -- had produced two radar speeding tickets per city-area household.

By the end of the second year, there had been nearly five radar speeding tickets per city-area household issued by the cycle officers within those 24 months.

The majority of all drivers in the city were on assigned risk with three or more infraction points on their record within less than three years.

Before the end of the third year, almost eight tickets per household had been issued within the three years.

More than 95% of all motorists were on assigned risk with more than a doubling of premiums for insurors, who had not paid a cent of claims.

During the holidays toward the end of the third year, the chief was invited to speak to an insurance industry group in Hawaii, with he and his wife "comped" to a two-week stay in a private luxury beach house.

A nosy reporter followed and observed the speaking engagement drawing this consideration. There were Morning, Noon and Evening Police Chief talks before groups of attendees, for five days.

The California Chief spoke to exactly five young insurance salesmen at 7 a.m.

For this he received an honorarium of $25,000, plus the two-week vacation for him and the Mrs. He spoke for less than 15 minutes. A rate of about $2,000 per minute.

The size of his audience and length of his talk were par for the week.

It required a court order to extract the amount of payment he received.

Very simple, a $30,000 open payoff for doubling auto insurance premiums on about 90,000 motorists, without the companies paying a dime in claims.

It would be interesting to see how many state officials, congressmen and senators have been invited to speak before health insurance groups, receiving honorariums, plus resort facilities, in return.

Certainly, it would be a research task for at least a dozen major graduate schools to come up with accurate data -- but one does wonder.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Sun, Jan 3, 2010, at 6:32 PM

I'm not so sure people in Arkansas support health care as much as you claim Mike. At least according to Rasmussen.


-- Posted by right_all_the_time on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 1:00 PM

First of all Rasmussen is not a reliable poster. Most places don't quote their polls because of their leading questions.

For instance their question that said "if the plan might encourage some employers to drop coverage and force workers on to the government option" that is not even what the public option was.

The last internal poll that was taken in the state of Arkansas showed support for the public option in Arkansas in the 60s.

But then again you misquoted me. I never "claimed" that Arkansans supported the current health care proposal passed by the Senate. As I stated in my original blog I, myself, am opposed to the bill passed by the Senate. So your statement was a tad bit misleading to what I had said.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 2:05 PM

I did not mean to "misquote" I just tied Health Care and Public option together. But in the same Rasmussen artical there is not much support for the public option either.

Here is a second link that shows 48% oppose public option and 39% support public option.


-- Posted by right_all_the_time on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 3:50 PM

As I've said Rasmussen is not a trusted polling agency because of their method of polling. They ask leading questions.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 4:56 PM

Is the newswise poll an offshoot of Rassmussen?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 5:20 PM

the only polls that have any merit are the ones that support your point of view

-- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 5:53 PM

That doodle bug, and that the questions asked by Rasmussen requires some actual thought. Not the usual "do you feel the president cares for me?" type question the "news" polls ask. When thought replaces feelings, you tend to get a more conservative leaning answer.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 7:46 PM

Nice attempt doodle bug at putting words in mouth as usual, but as usual way off the mark.

CPB so in your mind a question that makes you think is a question about provisions not even in a bill and not even based in reality? Good to know.

A poll is considered unreliable when one of two or both conditions occur: The questions are asked in such a way that the only possible response by the person responding to the poll is the response that pollster is wanting - Rasmussen is horrible at this. Zogby is also guilty of this. The second is if their polling data is always an outlier when compared to other polls asking similiar questions. If you look at approval ratings for President Obama, Rasmussen has almost always been the outlier showing disapproval numbers from anywhere from 6-10%, no other poll comes close to that.

source: http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/jobappr...

It's simple political science.

There is a blogger out there who is a true non-partisan that simply looks at polling data. He has no liberal or conservative bias. As much as Rasmussen continually pats itself on the back for the 2004 Presidential Election, this guy called not only the 2008 Presidential but Congressional Elections. This is his look at several different polling operations out there included his review of those polls, including non-partisanship of the polls and method of questioning.


-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 6:24 AM

once again you are blinded by bias. my previous post did not defend either side; if you truly looked at it, it accuses both sides of the spectrum. would you please post links where you find your news? (not the opinion polls, but NEWS)

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 9:30 AM

"the only polls that have any merit are the ones that support your point of view" I apologize doodle bug but I took the portion of your comment when you said your point of view to be directed solely at me and not directed at both sides of the spectrum. If that's what you meant than you are exactly right and if that's what you meant than I sincerely apologize.

What specific links to news are you wanting?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 10:22 AM

Demint is apparently going for political hack of 2010 as on Sunday he went on talk tv and demanded that we "take the politics out of" the debate on terrorism. Even though he has been the (by no means not the only one but one of the loudest) one putting politics into the debate by solely blaming the attempted attack on Obama and the Democrats and seemingly giving the actual terrorist a pass.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 10:26 AM

news organizations: print, tv, radio, online, etc.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 11:31 AM

somewhat of an apology myself; i can see where you construed my comments to be directed at you personally. my intent was to use the term "your" as all inclusive.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 12:17 PM

A little more insight into the Rasmussen Poll and why it is NOT an unbiased polling firm. It's president, Scott Rasmussen, was a paid consultant for the Bush Administration in 2004 to the tune of $45,500 for doing polls for the Bush Re-election campaign and he was also a paid consultant to the Republican National Committee to the tune $95,500 from 2003-2004. That's a grand total of $141,000 that was paid to Rasmussen to do polling for Bush and the Republicans.

source: http://projects.publicintegrity.org/cons...

He portrays himself as an independent pollster that has never been a campaign pollster or consultant for candidates seeking office yet right there in 2004 he performed both. Look, I have no issues with someone collecting a paycheck to do polls for Democratic or Republican candidates but to actually come out and say that you have NEVER been a consultant or pollster for candidates seeking office when he was paid nearly $50,000 just by the Bush Administration to do just that is amazing and ludicrous.

About the only true "fair and balanced" polling firm out there is Gallup.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Jan 5, 2010, at 1:41 PM

thanks for the heads-up mike. i googled both gallup and rasmussen for presidential approval and disapproval numbers. at the end of december, gallup had obamas disapproval at 51% and approval at 44%. rasmussen had the numbers at 52% disapproval and 48% approval.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 9:25 AM

And if Gallup still has any credibility with Mike;






-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 5:19 PM

That's funny doodle because I did the same thing and Gallup's numbers were completely different from what you claim.


Rasmussen - Approval 47%, Disapproval 52%

Gallup - Approval 49%, Disapproval 44%

And just for good measure the most recent


Rasmussen - Approval 48%, Disapproval 52%

Gallup - Approval 52%, Disapproval 42%

Odd that we would look for the same information and come up with completely different numbers.

Here's my source, what's yours?


-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 11:28 PM

Okay I don't see your point CPB, oh of course you show me a couple of polls from Gallup in the hope that I say it wasn't credible anymore. Wow that was bad even for you CPB.

Rasmussen was discredited as an independent pollster four years ago, Gallup has always done their polling fair and straight down the middle. Sorry, I'm not a Republican I don't change my opinion or my mind like the wind changes directions.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 11:34 PM

You know CPB I really have to ask you if you aren't really reading my posts or are just completely ignoring what I've said about the current healthcare bill currently in Congress. It's got to be one because you threw in the support for the bill poll in there.

I've said it before I'll say it again and maybe, just maybe, you will pick up on it this time I do not support the bill. As you can plainly see in the polling as certain parts of the bill have been stripped out that Americans supported support for the bill has falling. I think it's also interesting to note that in the same polling that after the August protest takeovers of town hall meetings where if you didn't oppose Healthcare reform you were shouted down that support not only was in the majority but actually grew until October when it started to become clear that the public option was not going to make it into the final bill.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Jan 7, 2010, at 11:40 PM

perhaps i didnt delve into it deeply enough; just took the first numbers i came to in the google. btw, still waiting for an answer to my query as to your main news sources.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 10:10 AM

I don't know what main news you are referring to, I'm not a journalist I'm a blogger and this was my own personal list of events and people from 2009.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 3:50 PM

thanks for the spin, dodger. you have finally suceeded; i will not post again regarding your drivel

-- Posted by doodle bug on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 4:20 PM

I know you say you won't post again but I was just simply asking what news you were wanting me to post links to? In my original post it was mostly my opinion on the issues.

I've asked a couple of times what specifically you were requesting links for and you posted "your main news source", "news organizations: print, tv, radio, online, etc",

Maybe you are wanting to know where I get my news from: Okay, The Daily Show, The Courier, McCook Gazette, CNN.com. Yahoo News, local news

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Jan 8, 2010, at 5:58 PM

I see Senator DeMint continues his tour of lies and defaming the President. Not to mention the libelous statements that he continues to spread about President Obama. He's a fine American. Now, DeMint is on record claiming that Obama won't say terror or terrorism even though Obama is on tape saying it over and over again. DeMint has already swallowed one foot and is working on the other. But the fine folks at CNN, the bastion of liberal media bias, continue to give him a microphone and then excuse and give reasons to why DeMint might be mistaken.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Jan 10, 2010, at 10:40 AM

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