The Naughty! Former Director of the CIA, General David Petraeus: And no he doesn't make the list for having an extramarital affair with the co-author of his biography, Paula Broadwell. He makes the naughty list for being head of the CIA and choosing a mistress who clearly cannot keep a secret.
Secessionists: Who likes playing with a loser who flips the chessboard over and stomps out of the room? No one. Meet the current Party of Lincoln; Public Policy Polling (PPP) reported that 25 percent of Republicans want to secede. Let it be said here first: 25 percent of Republicans wish the United States were more like Europe.
Senator John McCain: Hopefully when looking back on John McCain's career we will all focus on his 2008 concession speech and ignore the last four years. He makes my naughty list because he spearheaded a nontroversy campaign to preemptively take down the highly qualified Ambassador Susan Rice for Secretary of State. "Not being very bright," is how McCain described her. Who would McCain like to have as Secretary of State? John Kerry! Why? It would open up a senate seat the Republicans think they can fill with outgoing Senator Scott Brown. Painfully political. Disturbingly cynical. Country, apparently, is no longer first.
Tramplers: Whether it's Black Friday stampedes or a sign-up for a private school that looked like a Running of the Bulls.
Speaker of the House John Boehner: The Wikipedia entry for "Pyrrhic victory" should be the home for Boehner's official Capital Hill portrait. I've personally worn out a keyboard writing about why the 112th Congress is the worst in the history of the concept of worst. Under Boehner's leadership the House has done nothing but re-name post offices, have approval ratings on par with ringworm and go on TV opining the president isn't trying to get along with them. Now they're, basically, promising (threatening) to do the same for the next two years. If we want to cut government waste -- start with Boehner's paycheck.
Hurricane Sandy volunteers/victims: New Yorkers didn't really need to come together. They live together already. But they helped out their neighbors and the fallout from this Super Storm could have been much worse. Natural disasters can bring out the best and the worst. In the states hit directly by Sandy, with few exceptions, it was the best.
Candy Crowley: Fact checking a presidential candidate live in front of 40 million Americans takes two things: courage and being correct. At the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney declared President Obama took 14 days to say the word "terror" in regards to the attack on our embassy in Benghazi on September 11th of this year. There's a transcript and a video from the Rose Garden the next morning proving otherwise. Crowley set the record straight. And to all those who know the facts, I say: "Can you say that a little louder?"
Newark Mayor Cory Booker: The problem with Cory Booker is that as far as public servants go, he's the exception and not the rule. Yes, Booker went into a burning building to save a constituent. Yes, he expedites Newarkers' issues on Twitter. But also this year he went on a food stamp diet of $4 a day for a week. Does your mayor do that? They should!
New York Times Blogger Nate Silver: He makes the nice list for putting the sexy back in statistics! It's not just that Mr. Silver (swoon) got the election right; it's that he's a gracious host navigating us through the deluge of data we're subjected to. He showed us science and math have a place in politics and sometimes that place is in the crosshairs of the conservative media complex.
My readers: Yes, I'm sucking up to all who read my column every week. But specifically the ones who read my 600-word pontifications on a regular basis and let me know (sometimes quite sweetly) they never agree with me. It's you who are on my nice list. You're what is cool about public discourse. And I thank you.