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ISSUE #134
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Features

ArrowA NEW YEAR'S GREETING from Mohammed Ajmal Kasab Iman
The last Mumbai terrorist says hi!

ArrowTHE BEAST 50 MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, 2008
Get ready to write an angry e-mail

ArrowSTUPID, or HOW TO LOSE MONEY RUNNING A SPEED LAB
Part III:
John Dolan

ArrowCHANGE YOU CAN SMOKE?
Is Obama smart enough to end the drug war?
Alexander Zaitchik

ArrowINVASION OF THE OUTSIDERS
A people's plague
Anchor Downs

ArrowHOW TO RUN AN ELECTION
Minnesota gets it right
Brad Friedman

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Race-baiting Hysteric

ArrowWaxy Beast: Music Reviews
by Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews
by Michael Gildea

ArrowBEAST-O-SCOPES!
Your completely accurate horoscope

[sic] - Your letters

 

THE BEAST 50 MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, 2008

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50. Barack Obama

Charges: Beyond a few token acts of bipartisan marketing, Barry's major duty in the Senate was to avoid legislating, so he could pretend Washington-outsider status and nullify attacks on his non-existent policy positions. That's the thing about Obama and his candidacy: He was a blank slate, the pinnacle of vapid public relations—onto which the benighted masses may project their sincerest, yet unfounded, hopes in the wake of the worst administration in history. Couldn’t disown Rev. Wright, until he suddenly could, and then marred his first moments as president ahead of time by inviting a pastor whose advice to gays is just to refrain from sex for life. Promised not to run for president, then did; vowed to take public election funds, then didn't; backed telecom immunity, then accepted the nomination at the AT&T sponsored convention; expressed displeasure with Clinton's hawkish foreign policy and vote for war in Iraq, then named her as Secretary of State. And despite all that, he's plenty affable. There's nothing more loathsome than a likable politician.

Exhibit A: “Yes we can” is the “Just do it” of politics.

Sentence: Presiding over the decline of an exhausted empire.

49. M. Night Shyamalan

Charges: A font of mediocrity, Shyamalan's success as a screenwriter and director is more confusing than quantum mechanics. He peaked with the overrated, not-at-all-surprising The Sixth Sense and each proceeding film's been worse than the last. This year's The Happening was dumber than an inbred moth. A heavy-handed allegory about  humanity's self-destructive environmental impact, starring pseudo-scientific killer plants and Mark Walberg's flared nostrils, it made us want to recreate a scene from the movie and jab ourselves in the neck with a crocheting needle.

Exhibit A: Gave himself the name “Night.”

Sentence: Surprise ending to next film:  it was actually never made!

48. Barry McCaffrey

Charges: According to Seymour Hersh, the U.S. Army general committed “war crimes” during the Gulf War, ordering his men to murder retreating Iraqi forces after a ceasefire had been declared. More recently, as an NBC military analyst, he was one of the “message force multipliers” at the center of the Pentagon's Iraq war propaganda campaign, uncovered this year by the freedom-hating New York Times. After his 2001 retirement, he started BR McCaffrey Associates, a consulting firm designed to connect Pentagon buyers with military suppliers like Defense Solutions, a company McCaffrey's pitched shamelessly to Generals on Pentagon-sponsored trips to Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress and the American public via his NBC gig—all without disclosing the appalling conflict of interest.

Exhibit A: McCaffrey criticized Rumsfeld’s strategy from the start, calling the troop numbers “grossly anemic”—in private, while he assured MSNBC viewers that combat would be over in no more than three weeks.

Sentence: Fragged by Pat Buchanan.

47. Michele Bachmann

Charges: Exemplifies the simmering, all-American fascism lurking behind the forced smiles of uptight church ladies throughout “real America.” Echoing Sarah Palin’s alarming hints about “helping” the media do its job, Bachmann’s casual call for a “penetrating” press investigation into “anti-Americanism” in congress was so fucking dumb it made Chris Matthews seem smart. Once it occurred to the Oral Roberts University graduate that calling for witchhunts against Democrats might be a tad extreme for election season, she decided to just pretend she didn’t say it, and then she blamed Chris Matthews. Then she just blamed words. Then she denied it again. Then she won. Way to go, Minnesota’s 6th.

Exhibit A: BACHMANN: Actually, that's not what I said at all. COLMES: Well, I'm just — I'm reading your exact quote. BACHMANN: Actually that's not I said. It's an urban legend that was created. That isn't what I said at all. COLMES: We have — it's on tape.

Sentence: Assigned to conduct her own “expose” on anti-American views, in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

46. Thomas S. Monson

Charges: If Satan were real, and had a severely chapped anus from a fortnight of angry, unlubricated gay sex with an evil moon-dragon, we imagine it'd look a lot like Monson's disturbingly weathered face. As supreme cretin of one of this country's most ridiculous religions (just a nose behind Scientology), the Latter Day Saint did a divine job sanctioning and funding the “Yes on Prop 8” initiative to deny gays the right to be unhappily married. The Mormon faith is based on the existence and translation of magic, golden plates no one has ever seen except the charlatan who claimed they existed, kind of like the evidence that gay weddings threaten “traditional” marriage, which, to Mormons, is defined as between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman.

Exhibit A: “Choose your love, Love your choice.”

Sentence: Photographed at the Salt Lake City Marriot with an evil moon-dragon named Lance.

45. Nancy Pfotenhauer

Charges: A face so hewn can't be found in American politics outside of the Black Hills—or possibly the Speaker's office. The envy of any giraffe prostitute, her Coulterish neck suggests a correlation between head-shoulder distance and affinity for dissembling fascism. Past crimes include acting as head lobbyist for Koch Industries, which faced 97 indictments and four criminal charges to individuals for dumping benzene, until Koch donated $800,000 to Bush and other Republicans in 2000, and all the charges magically disappeared. As advisor and spokes-liar for the McCain campaign, Nancy touted offshore drilling as the desperate, calculated and completely ineffective solution to America's energy woes. She minimized the environmental impact, claiming “We withstood Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and didn’t spill a drop” of oil. There were, in fact, almost 600 spills. Other Pftotenhauer falsifications included pretty much everything else that passed her collagen-bloated lips.

Exhibit A: "But the rest of the state, 'real Virginia,' if you will..." We won’t.

Sentence: Projectile vomits crude oil whenever she attempts to speak.

44. Brett Favre

Charges: On the day of March 4th, the perp, a recovering drunk, pill-popper and hick preempted Ohio and Texas primary coverage to announce that his "career is over." Bathed in tears of self-importance, Favre broke the news with the composure one would reserve for describing the next 9/11. We get it: You throw a football. Your now official and permanent retirement, which is permanent and official, is a monumental news event. So, Favre decided to jam some more "vitamins" into his 39 year-old ass and sign on to a middling Jets squad, even though he admitted to leaving the Packers because they had no chance of getting him another ring.

Exhibit A: "I wanted to come across as genuine. I wanted to leave gracefully."

Sentence: Denied Sensodyne, arms and legs bound, encased in ice cream igloo.

43. You

Charges: You think it’s your patriotic duty to spend money you don’t have on crap you don’t need. You think Hillary lost because of sexism, when it’s actually because she’s just a bad liar. You think Iraq is better off now than before we invaded, and don’t understand why they’re so ungrateful. You think Tim Russert was a great journalist. You’re hopping mad about an auto industry bailout that cost a squirt of piss compared to a Wall Street heist of galactic dimensions, due to a housing crash you somehow have blamed on minorities. It took you six years to figure out what a tool Bush is, but you think Obama will make it all better. You deem it hunky dory that we conduct national policy debates via 8-second clips from “The View.” You think God zapped humans into existence a few thousand years ago, although your appendix and wisdom teeth disagree. You like watching vicious assholes insult each other on TV. You support gun rights, because firing one gives you a chubby. You cuddle falsehoods and resent enlightenment. You think the fact that 43% of whites could stomach voting for an incredibly charismatic and eloquent light-skinned black guy who was raised by white people means racism is over. You think progressive taxation is socialism. 1 in 100 of you are in jail, and you think it should be more. You are shallow, inconsiderate, afraid, brand-conscious, sedentary, and totally self-obsessed. You are American.

Exhibit A: You’re more upset by Miley Cyrus’s glamour shots than the fact that you are a grown adult who is upset about Miley Cyrus.

Sentence: Invaded and occupied by Canada; all military units busy overseas without enough fuel to get back.

42. O.J. Simpson

Charges: Jesus H. Christ, man. You literally get away with murder, to the astonishment of anyone capable of tying their own shoes. Then you write a book, coyly framed as “hypothetical,” in which you explain slicing and dicing your ex-wife and some poor shlub by describing her as a pain in the ass. You know the whole country is still gunning for you. And yet, you feel it sensible to try your luck one more time, because some guy in Vegas is selling a football you signed? Sure, O.J.’s sentence was too harsh to believe he wasn’t being punished for previous crimes of which he was acquitted, but did anyone think that wasn’t going to happen? O.J. could get 33 years for pissing on a tree, and he knew it, so at a minimum the whole “gimme my shit back” caper was unbelievably stupid, the product of a life in which consequences are things that happen to other people. At least now he can get to work on his next book, “If I was an idiot who got himself locked up for life after skating on a double homicide.” 

Exhibit A: "I'm O.J. Simpson. How am I going to think that I'm going to rob somebody and get away with it? Besides, I thought what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas."

Sentence: Ghost of Howard Cosell narrates the remainder of OJ’s life: “This man, once a man of greatness, now a man fallen, disgraced, disgusting, reduced to defecating in an unenclosed, seatless toilet, in close proximity to other convicted felons, the indignity apparent on his sad, rapidly aging face. What an incredibly pitiful story is his.”

41. Mark Penn

Charges: The most overpriced gravedigger in the world. As Clinton’s Chief Strategist, this too-creepy-for-TV pollster steered what was initially considered a cinch presidential campaign with all the talent of Joseph Hazelwood at the helm of the Exxon Valdez. His laziness was explained by his strategy: Inevitability. Penn’s cheap, backfiring smears of Obama as a coke-snorting Islamic radical teenager, coupled with pathetic whining about the mean old press, gave Clinton’s campaign an odor as repugnant as his own playground-flasher looks. Like most reptiles, Penn was slow to adjust to environmental changes, racking up millions in direct mail fees while Obama plundered the internet, which Penn predicted wouldn’t have any impact in 2008. His very employment signaled a total abdication on the corruption/lobbying issue. But it gets worse: Mark Penn didn’t understand basic electoral arithmetic, announcing to colleagues that Hillary would win easily by gaining California’s 370 delegates, assuming, wrongly, a winner-take all vote tally. Despite the revelation of his woeful lack of elementary knowledge, Penn did not adjust his big-state strategy, ignoring the caucus states that Obama rode to victory, and to the end, seemed utterly baffled that a candidate could win without “any of the significant states.”

Exhibit A: After burning through $200 million before Super Tuesday, Penn now blames Clinton’s loss on inadequate funds.

Sentence: Surgically attached to Harold Ickes.


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Written by Allan Uthman & Ian Murphy
w
ith contributions from John Dolan, Eileen Jones, Alexander Zaitchik & IOZ.
Illustrations by Ian Murphy.

Check out Loathsome Lists of the past: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002



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