Update (1/3/11): Thanks to RD in comments. For months every time I'd tried to access The Beast, I would get an Error 404 message. I had heard that the site was going under at one point, so I just assumed that it had. But the real deal is that my sidebar link was just suffering from a severe case of linkrot, which is now fixed. Thanks, RD!
10. Mark Burnett
Largely responsible for "reality" teevee taking over network and cable airwaves during the past decade. Not that teevee was ever a grand cultural medium, nor have humans ever been quite as exalted as they think they are. But thanks in large part to Burnett's schlocky efforts, anonymous nincompoops consider it a star-making turn to be dumped out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of like-minded assholes, and eat bugs for the amusement of millions of emotionally-stunted couch potatoes.
With his latest entertainment abortion, however, Burnett crosses the line in allowing someone with a lamentable degree of political viability to get paid to pimp themselves -- essentially a two-month campaign commercial in which the candidate gets paid to shill their own happy horseshit.
Sentence: To be dropped on a remote island, forced to eat grubs and deer penises in exchange for life-sustaining basics, only to be shot by Sarah Palin from a helicopter.
9. Fox News
For these guys, the Big Lie is not just dogmatic consistency, it's a proven business model. This year's list alone underscores the fundamental fact that, for a substantial portion of people, "facts" are incidental to the overall narrative they need to remain "vigilant", in the sense that your neighbor is "vigilant" for building a giant cinderblock tower on the side of his house so that he can keep an eye out for unicorns. Has more Republican candidates on its payroll than the RNC, to which it now openly contributes, which at least removes the long-standing pretense of "fair and balanced". Simply calling Fox an irresponsible journalistic enterprise does a disservice to truly irresponsible, yet far less damaging, journalistic enterprises, such as, say, the National Enquirer.
Sentence: To live in the financially, morally, and intellectually bankrupt backwater which it strives to create.
8. The Supreme Court
Ideological handmaidens of corporate rapacity. Purveyors of the periodic charade that Roe v. Wade is the be-all/end-all of jurisprudential knowledge and advancement, whilst bumwipe such as Kelo and Citizens United (not to mention, say, Bush v. Gore) pass through unabated. Possibly an even more sclerotic instituion than Congress, which takes some doing. Home of intellectual reprobates such as Combover Tony Scalia and Long Dong Clarence Thomas, which should be warning enough.
Sentence: Tied to chairs and forced to watch LA Law reruns until they promise to retire.
7. The Democratic Party
The proverbial pawl to the Republican ratchet of awfulness. Considering the supermajority they had after the 2008 elections, pound-for-pound quite possibly the most gutless, ineffectual group of cheesedicks this country has ever seen. Time and again, they found themselves flummoxed by bare minority opposition, undercooked Faux News rhetoric that a sixth-grader could have eviscerated, and a complete lack of internal discipline. It's bad enough when the usual circular firing squad forms, but it seems to be an ineffably Democratic trait to accomplish this feat whilst holding all the cards.
Unless, of course, you happen to be one of the Wall Street rentier scumbags who paid good money to have these chumps look after your bad bets, in which case, they did exactly what they were paid to do.
Sentence: Permanent irrelevance.
6. The Republican Party
From career asshole Mitch McConnell to tanorexic crybaby John Boehner to teabagger godfather Jim DeMint, this is a collection of goofballs and whackjobs right out of a Dick Tracy or Batman lineup. A bunch of moral cretins, acting on borderline treasonous impulses, who would rather stall and further wound an economically reeling nation, just for the opportunity to fuck over Barack Obama. Would probably filibuster a resolution expressing support of Mom and apple pie until they were allowed to attach some district earmarks. Ran two candidates for the US Senate in the last election (Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell) who were so marginal in terms of qualifications and, well, sanity, they made even Sarah Palin look somewhat rational. As difficult as it is to overestimate just what scumbags the leaders of this party really are, it is even more difficult to fathom why supposedly reasonable people would remotely identify with these sociopaths.
Sentence: Unemployment, and benefits have been cancelled.
5. George W. Bush
A solipsistic, birdbrained amateur, who seriously does not appear to understand just how badly he monkeyfucked the country during his reign of error. Still and always a gladhanding butt-boy to the haves and have-mores, if only because he has no concept of anything else. Seriously believes that his biggest failure was his inability to turn Social Security over to ass-raping Wall Street fiends, even after they nuked the economy. A living, breathing, stammering insult to anyone and everyone who has actually busted their ass to earn an honest MBA, or even just worked their way through life. Does not realize or care that most of the shit that's gone down the last several years really is his fucking fault. Still butt-hurt about that Kanye West thing, as if anyone besides Kanye West gives half a goddamn about anything Kanye West has to say about anything. Should stand as a stark warning about putting unqualified morons into higher office, but will probably end up being some sort of totem for the burgeoning know-nothings barnacling their way onto the hull of the ship politic. Brags that he read fourteen biographies about Abraham Lincoln while in office, which may explain why he never got around to learning the nuances of his job.
Sentence: Home mistakenly foreclosed on by predatory slice-and-dice operation that "accidentally" robo-signed his mortgage and tanked his pension on credit default swaps.
4. Barack Obama
In the kingdom of the people without balls, the man with one testicle is king. Constantly treads the fine line between capitulation and collusion. Seems to think punting on first down is a strategy. Not only is unable to garner credit for the few decent things he has accomplished, but has continued many of his predecessor's policies, even after swearing on a stack of Qu'rans that he wouldn't. Has managed to squander a supermajority in less than two years, even with most of the country understanding the enormously bad hand he was dealt. Does not seem to realize just how badly his Wall Street buddies have rolled him, and like Clinton, will ultimately have to hock what remains of his hide to them if he hopes to get what will at any rate be an utterly meaningless second term. May eventually get a clue that the only way to approach a completely thankless job is to say "fuck it" and at least try to take some suckas down with you.
Sentence: Four more years! Four more years!
You've really let yourself go, yet you don't seem to mind. You've spent most of the last decade watching has-beens and never-weres sort their sock drawers and give each other herpes, and are mightily offended at the notion that someone else might think they're smarter than you. You let smug assholes in DC and New York skull-fuck you at every opportunity, and are enraged that they don't respect you. You think it's always someone else's fault, never your own. If you're a man, you think Sarah Palin wants you to jump her bones; if you're a woman, you think she wants to share her secret moose chili recipe with you. You've convinced yourself that it's your god-given right to have a vehicle roughly the size of a Winnebago to run mundane errands around town. You'll fight to the death to protect your right to guzzle and squander, you might even send a protest letter if Jersey Shore gets cancelled, but not much else seems worth the effort. You know your kids think you're a jerkoff, but you have no idea why.
Sentence: Reap the whirlwind.
2. Sarah Palin
The Oprah dream turned on its head -- a petulant, obnoxious smartass, empowered by pure spite and gall. Let's face it, folks -- a person who knows barely half of what they're talking about, and can't be bothered to learn the other half, is not fit for higher office, as if George W. Bush's rotten tenure weren't proof enough of that. Communicates primarily by crafting catchphrases via incessant twittersniping, then repeating ad nauseam in her fundraising road show, since her audience is generally of the sort that needs shit recited to them over and over and fucking over again. Insists on riding fambly valyews schtick until the wheels fall off, yet has a fairly poor slugging percentage with her older kids, and seems content to use the younger ones as props.
Seems to seriously think that Michelle Obama's initiative to discourage childhood obesity is some sort of conspiracy to forcibly keep Americans from choosing to swim in Cheez Doodles and sodium benzoate (and having the rest of society subsidize their excesses). In a decent society, people like Palin would be relegated to harmless bridge club and quilting activities; here, she's a political rock star for morons. Here is America 2010 in a nutshell -- on a recent episode of Palin's reality show, fellow professional pain-in-the-ass Kate Gosselin made an appearance with her in-vitro brood, and at one point, both women apparently complained about the intrusiveness of the media and the hassle of being famous for being well-known. At no point did it to occur to anyone, including the halfwits who actually sit through this dreck, to turn the cameras (or the teevee) off.
Sentence: After attempting to parlay her heretofore humorous political career into talk-show gravy, Palin is dragooned by her army of gibbering maroons into running for President -- and somehow wins, upon which she instantly nukes Pyongyang (on order from her prayer warriors), and sets off World War III.
1. Glenn Beck
Yet another "only in America" success story -- pudgy alcoholic cokehead finds Mormonism and becomes Fox News' most popular moralizer, surely cable's coals-to-Newcastle moment if ever there were one. Makes a tidy living affirming every John Bircher legend and outright lie to unbelievably credulous audience. Calling Beck a professional calumniator would be like saying Lindsay Lohan might have a little substance abuse problem. As the saying goes, every word is a lie, including "and" and "the". Between the simpering fugues and the messianic delusions, Beck's career arc will make a fascinating case study for some future scholar trying to figure out how millions of idiots bought into Beck's pet notion that Woodrow Wilson turned us all into communists. As with most professional jackasses, Beck's success says more about his followers than about himself. It is actually scary to contemplate so many foaming-at-the-mouth morons willing to pay money for the third-rate product this asshole generates; the only sensible explanation is that they are not working nearly hard enough for their money.
Sentence: Fired, preferably from a cannon.