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Tom Zirpoli: Worst examples deserving of awards

There are so many interesting stories in the news these days that I thought I would provide each with a special award.
The "Just Plan Embarrassing Award" goes to Anthony Weiner, one of several Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City. Unfortunately for the people of New York and the rest of the nation, we are forced to watch Weiner and his wife appear on national television over and over again. We all want him to go away, but he does not go away.
Weiner's behavior might be explained by the fact that he also qualifies for the "Just Plan Self-absorbed Award." But there are so many other politicians who qualify for this category; it would be unfair to give it to just one person.
The "Just Plain Will Not Resign Award" goes to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, Democrat, who has several women charging him with sexual harassment allegations. Filner has apologized to the women that he says "he offended" and announced that he is taking a two-week leave of absence to receive therapy. Everyone, including the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee and Filner's girlfriend, has urged Filner to resign. Like Weiner, however, he will not go away.
The "Just Plain Silly Award" goes to Sen. Mike Lee, of Utah, who has proposed to shut down the U.S. government until Obamacare is unfunded. Interestingly, Lee's proposal has amendments to keep many elements of Obamacare, including: The part that makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny health insurance due to a preexisting disability or medical condition, the part that provides for wellness programs for seniors, the part that removes payment caps for sick and injured Americans and the part that allows children under the age of 27 to remain on their parents' insurance policy. Like so many other Republicans, Lee says that he is against Obamacare, but seems to support almost everything mandated by the law.
The "Just plain Un-American Award" goes to the State of North Carolina, where Republicans control the state legislature. Last week they passed a bill that is aimed at suppressing the votes of young people. It seems they are concerned that 60 percent of people under 30 years identify with the Democratic Party. To suppress their vote, Republicans deleted the college photo identification card as an acceptable proof of identification at the polls. To further ensure that the young vote is suppressed, they eliminated a state-wide high school civics program that registers students to vote on their 18th birthdays. As stated by North Carolina State Sen. Josh Stein, what the Republicans have done is "shameful" and "un-American."
The "Just Plain Racist Award" goes to Congressman Steve King, of Iowa, for his criticism last week of a proposal to help the children of undocumented immigrants gain legal status. "For everyone who's a valedictorian," King said, "There's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert." Nothing like painting all undocumented immigrants as Mexican drug smugglers.
House Speaker John Boehner stated that "What he said is wrong. There can be honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language. Everyone needs to remember that."
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor echoed Boehner. "I strongly disagree with his characterization of the children of immigrants and find the comments inexcusable," he said.
The "Just Plain Mean Award" goes to Congressman Steve Stockman, of Texas, who says that the $4.50 per day allotted to people on food stamps is too much. To prove his point, Stockman says he went on a $4.50 per day diet to demonstrate that cuts to the food stamp program, proposed by Republicans, would not hurt the poor. Stockman said that "the proposed food stamp cuts are still quite filling."
House Republicans want to cut 2 million poor women and children from the food stamp program. And to think that they call themselves "Christian" and "pro-life."

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