Worst Year Ever!: 2013

Why 2013 was a lot of the same bullshit.

Dec 26, 2013 at 10:46 am
click to enlarge Princess Bub.
Princess Bub.


State Board of Education President Debe Terhar has made some folks not so happy. She shared a link on Facebook from some pitiful source who posts things like photos of our president with the caption “Where’s Lee Harvey Oswalt when you need him?” (their misspelling, not ours) and a picture of a polar bear with the caption “Holy f*** I’m glad I’m white.” The intellectual gem she mined and shared today was a quote from noted humanitarian and all-around good guy Adolf Hitler about gun control that makes no sense. Tehrar admitted that it might have been uncouth of her to bring up a genocidal maniac while making a clumsy attempt at solving the gun control issue once and for all. After the negative reaction to her Facebook fail, she is reconsidering the content of her planned speech next week at the Department of Education’s Pupil Transportation conference titled “When Hitler Was in Power the Trains Ran on Time.” (Isaac Thorn)


Fox News continued to wipe the egg from its face today after being called out for proclaiming that solar power works in Germany because they get more sunlight than the United States. Host Gretchen Carlson and reporter Shibani Joshi tried to toss some shade on President Obama’s solar power initiatives by explaining that solar power only works because “they’re a smaller country, and they’ve got lots of sun. … They’ve got a lot more sun than we do.” Joshi and Carlson went on to explain how solar power won’t work in Australia because everything is upside down there. (IT)


University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono recently stopped by Cardinal Pacelli School in Mount Lookout to read to his daughter’s second-grade class. Lots of parents volunteer to read to students at the school, but the university president’s educational background made him a natural fit to do so. Ono said he wanted to lead by example and help encourage every kid in the region to read. Ono then helped the youngsters prepare for what reading is like during the college years by telling them the new edition of their science book has a panda instead of a tiger on the cover so they all needed to toss the one they currently use and give him $90. (IT)


American schoolchildren seem to always be getting in trouble for things that are cool. This week, a 7-year-old in Baltimore was suspended from school for eating his Pop-Tart in a fashion which caused it to resemble a gun. The boy told reporters he was trying to chew the Pop-Tart into a mountain shape and does not think it’s fair that his education has been put on hold until his punishment is up. Lawyers wanted to pursue litigation over this stupid situation on the student’s behalf, but they quickly cooled on the idea after the boy admitted that if the school administrators didn’t like his gun pastry art, they should check out the wieners he’s been drawing with Toaster Strudel icing. (IT)


Raising a son involves several difficult transitions for fathers — first, the child who thinks dad knows everything figures out that all the stuff he fixes breaks again in two weeks; by the time the kid becomes a teenager he can kick his dad’s ass; and in college he learns what a bunch of horseshit his father’s political views are. In the case of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, his son learned all these things while also figuring out that he is gay. Sen. Portman today described how his son came out to his family two years ago, prompting months of reflection by his father and consultations with people whose backgrounds make it look like he got thoughtful advice on whether to continue loving his own kid even though he’s a homo. Portman announced his newfound support for gay marriage via newspaper op-ed, admitting that he would never have voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act if he knew something like this would happen to him. (Danny Cross)


Rep. Michele Bachmann, former presidential candidate and regular source of quotes that sound way too dumb to be true, today learned that her campaign is under investigation by an independent ethics panel on Capitol Hill. Once this panel has concluded, the House is expected to launch another query to determine how she graduated from high school. (IT)


Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and a host of other business and governmental leaders will take part in this week’s season finale of the CBS show Undercover Boss. The show does a great job of making viewers wonder what it would be like to travel all the time and eat sashimi instead of microwaving all your dinners and watching TV to see what the world outside your city is like. However, none of the bosses involved with Undercover Boss have taken part in an update before now. When Mallory was on the show back in 2011, he wore glasses, a wig and a mustache in order to not arouse the suspicions of the coworkers he was attempting to dupe. Mallory took part in the ruse by pretending to be a city mechanic, until he was exposed after a coworker standing 15 feet away from him asked the mayor to toss him a spark plug. (IT)


We at WWE! don’t like to sugar-coat things, so when we bring up U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, we’re not trying to act like we think he looks, acts or sounds cool in pretty much any situation (unless someone draws him with a beach bod — funny). But today the Westsider-who-only-got-his-seat-back-because-of-redistricting made a move we can all get behind: trying to get the Cincinnati Zoo a rhinoceros. Chabot reportedly had to ask John Kerry, now U.S. Secretary of State despite how many times George W. Bush called him a coward for actually fighting in a war, to help get Indonesia to give us one since they’re critically endangered. The request is being considered because of our zoo’s prestige, though Chabot reportedly went the extra mile by including a drawing of a rhino running through space with bullets bouncing off its metal skin. (DC)


There are only so many ways to hurt somebody with a tampon, but Texas state troopers today made sure that society would see none of them during the Texas State Senate’s vote to restrict late-term abortions. The GOP banned any and all feminine hygiene products from the Senate floor while it passed Republican-backed legislation that, much like regulations in Ohio’s recently passed budget, will pretty much ban abortions and includes a roundabout way of defunding abortion clinics, also like in Ohio (maybe UT and OSU should play a football game to determine which state hates women more; winner gets to repeal the 19th Amendment). The final vote came amid protesters inside and outside the Senate gallery, though they were unable to break any windows or light police cars on fire because they were all out of maxi-pads. (DC)


House Republicans last week passed a farm bill that keeps farmers and agriculture production businesses happy in more ways than one — they get the federal subsidies they’ve been receiving since the 1970s, plus the GOP lawmakers removed food stamp benefits that many in the heartland think are just wasted by poor urban people. The Enquirer today reported how much eliminating the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would cost if it were to actually happen (Republicans say they’ll take it up in a separate bill later), detailing how more than 260,000 people in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky collected $35.7 million in food stamps in May alone, part of $75 billion annually spent at American stores via the program. SNAP benefits will continue at current levels until the Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate agree to a real farm bill, likely to include guidelines similar to those which yuppie bars use to try to keep black people from coming in, like banning backward hats and saggy pants. (DC)


Mainstream American media freaked the hell out over a performance by Miley Cyrus at the MTV Music Awards today. The 20-year-old former Hannah Montana star and daughter of Country music performer/epic mullet rocker Billy Ray Cyrus began her live performance by singing a song about how she/her generation cannot be stopped from partying and doing whatever they want. Old people who get paid to ignorantly argue about how young people should act criticized Cyrus for shaking her ass in people’s faces wearing only a flesh-colored bikini thing and allowing Robin Thicke to simulate sex from behind her during his actually offensive song, “Blurred Lines.” Cyrus’ publicists are expected to spend several weeks thanking American conservatives for caring so much about the overworked former child star’s MTV-sanctioned lewd behavior that they ignored Lady Gaga showing everyone her butt cheeks right before the performance because she’s almost 30. (DC)


It’s difficult to consider the Cincinnati Bengals to be one of the NFL’s more innovative franchises — aside from winning the most lopsided stadium deal in the history of football and then hiring the guy who negotiated it for the county, the team is really only known for losing Super Bowls to the 49ers and a funny 1990s touchdown dance. Even this year — when the team is good for once — Bengals executives have managed to embarrass themselves with what one would assume is a fairly easy part of the team-building process: choosing motivational music for the players to hear while they run onto the field super mad (ever hearda Slayer?!?). Bengals fans presumably enjoyed the team’s Monday Night Football win against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sept. 16, except for the part where the team played Katy Perry’s Pop song “Roar” during breaks, causing fans to blast the team on social media for turning the Bengals into Perry and making the Steelers John Mayer in this complicated, homoerotic metaphor. Bengals Director of Sales and Public Affairs Jeff Berding — also a former Cincinnati politician/Katy Perry superfan — told the Wall Street Journal that the team was surprised by the backlash because “the lyrics are sort of on the mark and we thought it was a good song.” Berding also noted that the team first considered using Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” but was afraid it would rile Pacman Jones up too much and he’d do something crazy. (DC)


There are plenty of reasons to believe a government shutdown could be a good thing: Wild West style lawlessness; the potential to relate to a Libertarian; GOP leaders looking like adult babies (wearing diapers).The Enquirer today pointed out that America’s governmental dysfunction is not all fun and games, however, as 15,800 local government workers are no longer getting paid, along with 2.6 percent of the national civilian workforce. Although the story’s first example of how the shutdown will affect locals was kind of weird (since when do elementary school students go on field trips to Washington, D.C.; and what’s the difference if they see Mount Vernon or some other racist’s giant house?), the story offered a helpful list of government agencies that are on indefinite fall break, including the tone of each agency’s voicemail stating that messages will be returned once John Boehner gets his head out of Mitch McConnell’s asshole. (DC)


Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory revealed renderings of the rail cars designed for the streetcar route to about 200 supporters during an Oct. 7 rally at Christian Moerlein’s brewery in Over-the-Rhine. The $133 million project has taken forever to come together and has been debated a lot between people who live in the heart of the city and would like to see it built and those who live on the outskirts of town and like to leave comments on cincinnati.com about how there are too many violent crimes and minorities downtown. The streetcars will have an orange, gray and white color scheme, and street-level floors will make boarding and exiting them easy. The cars will also feature a nearly all-glass front, which upset some supporters who wanted the front of the cars to be emblazoned with “Hi Haters!” in graffiti-style writing on the front and “Bye Haters!” on the rear end. (IT)


Those of us who have feminist friends learned long ago that doing sexist things can be subtle and result in painful arguments in public against people much smarter than you. This doesn’t fully explain why last week we saw a story that sounded kind of sexist — The Enquirer’s suggestion that mayoral candidate Roxanne Qualls’ campaign has become “feisty” — and then asked a male colleague if he thought it was inappropriate at all (if the dude we asked is gay does that make it better or worse?). NEVERTHELESS, the corresponding story related a number of campaign talking points Qualls has been using during the final weeks of her campaign against John Cranley, all of which seem pretty normal for someone strategically arguing that someone else’s ideas are dumber than her own. Qualls reportedly “attacked” Cranley for missing meetings (“meow…”), being admired by COAST (“roar!”) and promoting the idea that city politicians don’t care about neighborhoods (“oh, no you didn’t…”). The Enquirer also suggested that Qualls’ references to Cranley being “very, very short on facts” was a veiled knock about his height, though it is assumed that editors toned the accusation down after the writer tried to bring up the size of Cranley’s shoes in relation to other body parts. (DC)


An April 2013 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggested that people who are the most hostile toward homosexuals might be that way because they themselves have same-sex desires (it also found that some homophobes might just have had really authoritative parents; another good reason to put a penis in your mouth to get back at them). We at WWE! pay attention to this sort of thing (mostly because several uncles think we might be gay because we never bring a girlfriend to family Christmas and wear really tight T-shirts — PRETTY MUCH THE OPPOSITE OF GAY, BUDDY), so it made a lot of sense last week when we heard that COAST lawyer Chris Finney asked for tax credits from Clermont County to open a law office at the same time he was trying to stop Cincinnati from giving tax breaks to Pure Romance. The potential hypocrisy was reported by The Business Courier because it begs the question of why Finney has opposed same-sex rights for decades and whether he secretly wants to have sex with tax credits. (DC)


Edward Snowden would be a good novelist or story teller because he knows how to order and present information. His release of all the scary things the National Security Agency does has been organized in a way that each new revelation is just a bit more embarrassing and hard to believe than the one before it. By the time the media finshes sharing his findings, it might come out that National Treasure is based on true events or something crazy like that. For now, Americans have to be content to know that the NSA has harvested data from online gaming networks like World of Warcraft. To make sure that terrorists aren’t using the servers to communicate, NSA agents got paid with tax dollars to set up characters and go questing in lands far, far, away. No terrorist plots have been uncovered yet, but intel gathered from the undercover agents’ online chats indicates that all online gamers have had sexual relations with the mothers of all the other gamers. (IT)