Vote for Putz of the Year

Vote on who gets this year's (dis) honor.

We’ve reached the last month of 2012 and it’s time once again for the annual Putz of the Year Award, given to the individual or group that manages to look dumber than a horse’s patootie. The rules are quite simple. One must have been a complete jackass within the given calendar year. I do not claim that the nominees below are the most evil or ridiculous characters on the planet, only that they’ve engaged in particularly galling behavior during 2012. Off the list are  Lifetime Lack of Achievement Awards for those who make a case for retroactive abortion: Eric Cantor, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Bud Selig…. I am happy to consider new lifetime nominees, but the 2012 nominees are:

1. Mitt Romney: If there was any doubt of the man’s absolute and utter inability to lead a nation, his classless comments after the election should remove all doubt. Why did he lose? He blamed it on “gifts” President Obama bestowed on “special interest groups.” The 47% remark was bad enough, but Mitwit went on to ID the special interests: women, young people, African Americans, and Hispanics. Let’s do some math here. Granted there are those who fall into multiple categories, but Bubba Romdum just dissed 96.9% of Americans! Yep. That’s how many fall into at least one of those categories. The week after the election some people were urging Obama to consider approaching Romney for advice. Don’t do it, Barack. Let the Toxic Mormon ooze back under the rock from which he came.  

2. Scott DesJarlais: Romney isn’t the only tone deaf Republican. Take Tennessee Representative Scott DesJarlais (please!). He’s a leading (dim) light in the anti-choice movement. But it seems that (Don’t-Beam-Me-Up) Scotty only thinks po’ folks need to keep their babies. All the time he was pounding the piety pulpit, DesJarlais found nothing wrong with pro-choice if the cradle threatened to rock his way. DesJarlais urged his now ex-wife to get not one, but two, abortions. He also counseled his pregnant mistress to get one. Apparently the hypocrisy barrier has been lowered to the point that it lies (operative word) with the underground cables.

3. Jeffrey Loria: Baseball always seems to produce its share of world-class jerks, but Snake-oil Loria takes the cake. First he blackmailed Miami officials into underwriting a new ballpark to the tune of $640 million ($1.4 billion over the life of the bond), and then he promised he’d spend money on the team. He did–for ten months. After spending a king’s ransom to sign players such as Mark Buerhle, Jose Reyes, and Heath Bell at higher-than-market prices, he surrounded them with bums that led to Marlins to a last-place finish. This after years of pocketing money plundered from the luxury taxes of so-called “big market” teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. Loria held a fire sale and traded away all the good players so that next spring’s payroll is projected to be around $34 million, nearly 40% below the next lowest pay roll. This is extortion, pure and simple. Several things should happen. First, rich teams should sue Major League baseball to recover monies that went to the Marlins. Second, the city of Miami should rescind the bond and offer it to Loria; if he refuses to assume it, bring in the wrecking ball and level the damn stadium. That would still leave the city on the hook for construction costs, but it would be sweet vengeance. (It would also cover the mistake of building it in the wrong part of the city in the first place.) Barring that solution, jack up Marlin fees for everything–impose a surcharge of tickets, parking, and concessions; install toll gates on access roads to the park; raise utility rates to the site; and pass an “occupational privilege tax” that impacts every Marlins’ player, worker, and official. If this drives Loria out of the game, MLB will be the better for it. Ditto if MLB folds the Marlins.

4. David Petraeus: I couldn’t care less that he was having an affair. Petraeus, from all I can tell, was a decent general, and his personal life would be his own business–were he not the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. What galls me about Petraeus isn’t his morals, it’s his stupidity, arrogance, and complete ignorance of history. What the hell makes top public officials think that their dalliances will remain secret? If you don’t wish to be scrutinized, do what most people do and stay the hell out of public life. But when a man is in charge of secrecy and can’t keep a secret, it gives pause as to whether he should be in that position. To top it off, it looks as if his mistress had classified documents in her possession. Maybe national security wasn’t compromised, but under what set of logic does one entrust classified documents to a paramour rather than the spooks at Langley? The Petraeus scandal is on par with the philandering dolts who left their Little Black Books open to public view whilst trying to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.

5. The Anti-Choice Movement: The moralizing band of Neanderthals that refuses to STFU…. Most aren’t as openly hypocritical as Scott DesJarlais-–who earned his separate nomination–but what a band of misogynist jerks: Richard Murdock, Todd Akin. Rick Berg, Paul Ryan…. In Georgia, we got State Rep Terry England, who co-sponsored a “fetal pain bill” in which he compared American women to pregnant livestock such as pigs and cows. The Commonwealth of Virginia produced the idea that women seeking abortions should have to undergo an invasive IUD procedure; Oklahoma declared that fetuses were “persons” as did Missouri, Mississippi, and Michigan. (Does this mean they are also “corporations?”) There’s so much zealotry in this coterie of self-appointed guardians that I suspect it might be a cadet branch of the Taliban.

6. Gary Bettman: The National Hockey League’s Gary Bettman may be the most incompetent commissioner ever of a “major” sport. We must use the word “major” with caution, as Bettman seems hell-bent on destroying all interest in hockey and reducing its status to something on par with the Little League World Series. If you wanted to sabotage a sport, how would you do it? Move teams from places where people care to where they don’t? Check. Try to play a winter sport in places where the only ice rattles in mint julep glasses? Check. Shut down play three times in 17 years? Check. Align yourself with union busters, scabs, and robber barons? Check. We’re talking a figure so vilified that even some of the robber barons want his bones boiled down for pucks. Name one good thing Gary Bettman has done since he became NHL commissioner in 1993? Take your time… you don’t need to rush off to watch a hockey game. 

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