December 10, 2013

Loserville 2013

Remembering a year that should have been better

As Kentucky Proud product Abe Lincoln once said, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” Our annual December remembrance of the hacks, hypocrites and hams who have befouled our fair city and state is often misinterpreted as an act of malice toward our home, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, we roast because we care. Our love of the Land of Lawrence and Ali is too great to simply ignore the bad behavior of the few, when we could impart our snarky penance upon them in an effort to reform those who could do much better. It’s like Possibility City, without the naivety. Go forth and bask in our dark adoration, as our heart is here to help.

MItch McConnell
McConnell’s No. 1 goal for 2013 was to intimidate any viable candidates from running against him next year, but much like his previous goal of making Obama a one-term president, this ended in failure. Despite his attempts to woo the Tea Party, Republican Matt Bevin entered the primary with the support of local and national Tea Party groups. And while he scared off Ashley Judd, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes entered the ring and is already in a dead heat with McConnell. He continued his mastery of the Dark Arts of Obstruction by blocking background checks for gun purchases with paranoid misinformation, but then tried to play peacemaker by surrendering to Democrats three weeks into his hopeless government shutdown to extract policy ransoms. Now he’s in the middle of a GOP civil war, with approval ratings at an all-time low back home. Unfortunately for Mitch, he can’t filibuster next year’s election.
Penance: Turtle shell flipped over, spun

Eric Flack
Our favorite local television scaremonger had another banner year single-handedly protecting us from nefarious shysters, evildoers and imaginary threats, most notably warning us all of the toxic culinary dangers of food trucks. In a hilariously misleading “exposé” of food trucks, the WAVE-3 “Troubleshooter” used footage of a temporary two-week licensed vendor to cast suspicion upon all food trucks as bacteria-filled diarrhea traps. Absent from his report, however, was any documented case of food-borne illness from a food truck, or the fact that inspection scores from mobile vendors in Louisville average higher than that of brick-and-mortar establishments. But such context is difficult to stomach if your goal is to play pretend superhero on sweeps week.
Penance: Strict hot-dog-cart-only diet

Joda Pyle
If there’s anything worse than an egomaniacal, pathologically lying pseudo-hipster, it’s an egomaniacal, pathologically lying pseudo-hipster who exploits and rips off local artists. Joda Pyle created the Goomby Gallery in Louisville last year, luring in local artists and staffers with hopes of commission sales, while hawking “hipster apparel.” However, by summer, an army of disgruntled artists rose up to demand money owed to them and walked out due to broken promises and discoveries of Pyle’s violent criminal record. Joda disappeared and wouldn’t return their calls, but explained to LEO that these were just money-hungry artists who were unappreciative of his benevolent genius. Right. Don’t fuck with the local arts scene, bro.
Penance: Narcissists Anonymous classes

Louisville drivers
It’s a peculiar thing: Louisvillians are some of the sweetest, most courteous people in the world when you meet them in person. But put them behind the wheel, and they become territorial wolverines, almost gleeful about running down cyclists or pedestrians who get in their paths. And then there are those too-kind drivers with the opposite problem: waving you on when it’s not your turn or otherwise chivalrously luring cyclists and pedestrians into dangerous situations. It’s a distinction that regularly gets us on the list of most dangerous driving metros, which is extra impressive when you consider the top cities are in the sun belt, where many drivers are napping or already dead. The city is trying to improve this dismal situation by implementing traffic-calming measures and painting more bike lanes, but until the culture shifts, watch out!
Penance: Actually walking somewhere sometime

Kentucky Progress
It takes an incredible amount of incompetence to turn coal-hearted Sen. Mitch McConnell into a sympathetic figure, but this so-called Super PAC that couldn’t shoot straight did its best to achieve the impossible. First, they sent out a tweet suggesting McConnell’s loyalties to America were compromised by his wife being “Chinese” (she actually emigrated from Taiwan as a child). Then two of its members were involved in clandestinely recording a meeting in McConnell’s campaign office where vile opposition research against Ashley Judd was discussed, leaking it to Mother Jones. But instead of leaking this anonymously and telling no one — like Scott Prouty, the bartender who filmed Romney’s infamous “47 percent” speech — Curt Morrison bragged about it all over town. WFPL exposed Morrison, turning the story not into Team Mitch’s loathsome words, but those ruthless “Democrats” who “wiretapped” him. Kentucky Progress would disband soon afterward, which was sad news for McConnell, who began basing his entire campaign on attacking them — and tying the amateurs to his opponents.
Penance: Neighborhood canvassing for Team Mitch

Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center
Artists Billy Twymon and Devon Turley accused the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center of censorship in September, saying they were told to remove three paintings described as “sacrilegious, pornographic (and)… not family-friendly.” The exhibit was next to a child pageant organization’s office in the Center, and female nipples apparently did not have the same artistic dignity as “Toddlers & Tiaras.” After airing their grievances to LEO, the artists were promptly evicted, with Mellwood sales director Scooter Davidson derogatorily referring to the “so-called artist” exploiting LEO to cover non-G-rated art. Less Michelangelo, more Disney!
Penance: New exhibit: George W. Bush shower art

Louisville Area Christian Educator Support (LACES)
While some may argue that test scores, inequality and college readiness are the biggest challenges of Jefferson County Public Schools, this new group of educators begs to differ. Instead, it is that pesky establishment clause and the separation of church and state that presents an obstacle to evangelizing the lost souls of students who are sure to burn in hell without the love of Jesus. At LACES’ inaugural meeting, speakers — including a JCPS principal and administrator — told educators in the “mission field” of JCPS they have the right to teach biblical creationism in science class (which is “just another theory”), along with tips for loopholes allowing them to testify to their captive young audience. This might explain some of those science test scores.
Penance: Merger with Louisville Area Muslim Educator Support

Rand Paul
Rand Paul spent 2013 struggling with multiple personality disorder. He became cable-news famous with his filibuster to stop the supposed threat of Obama drone-striking crowded New York cafés, and then later said he’d be OK with a drone killing a person who walked out of a liquor store carrying a gun and money. Paul spoke of the need for his party to become more socially tolerant to compete in blue states, and then thumped his Bible in front of fundamentalist crowds in early 2016 primary states. Paul spoke to people of color about the need to stop the drug war and pass immigration reform, then stood by his neo-Confederate racist staffer and voted against immigration reform. Paul presented himself as the intellectual leader of the conservative movement, and then fantasized about dueling Rachel Maddow and others who exposed the serial plagiarism in his speeches, op-eds and book. Perhaps Paul can assign a different personality to each of the 50 states when he runs for president, though.
Penance: 2016 running mate: Sybil

Alison Lundergan Grimes
Kentucky’s Secretary of State gets kudos for being the only prominent Democrat in the state to have the guts to take on Mitch McConnell and his practically unlimited war chest full of demonizing negative attack ads. It’s just too bad those guts don’t extend to a realistic discussion about the state of the coal industry in Kentucky. Grimes is eager to use the tired “War on Coal” rhetoric to scapegoat the EPA for eastern Kentucky’s problems, but light on specifics for how to rebuild a region too reliant on a dying industry the free market is killing. Attacking investments in renewable energy doesn’t change that. And just because McConnell dodges the press and gives canned talking-points answers doesn’t mean you have to.
Penance: One-hour sit-down interview with LEO

Audubon Park Police
We’d never wish more crime on a neighborhood, but perhaps the Audubon Park Police have too much time on their hands. They need to spend more time acting like McGruff the Crime Dog and less time harassing their employees for their sexual orientation. The only thing openly gay police sergeant Kile Nave appears to be guilty of is spelling his first name kinda funny. Yet, his former supervisor allegedly ridiculed him, made gay jokes and eventually fired him despite two decades of solid work within the police service. The Human Rights Commission backed him up with their findings. We’ve done our own investigation and found that, despite what the last few sentences suggest, it is indeed 2013 — practically 2014. Yet, some people seem to have learned nothing from the Fairness Ordinance or the jovial, singing cop in the Village People. Gays, they can do stuff just like the rest of us!
Penance: Six months without donuts

Blind Pig
It should have been a battle for the soul of Butchertown — the first great restaurant to open up in the small but beautiful and well-located neighborhood, found just around the corner from the evil-smelling Swift meatpacking plant. Sure, it was a soul battle between carnivores; if you don’t eat the swine, it wasn’t for you, anyway. But it became less about quality or ideals and more about … well, we’re still not sure we understand why Pig owner Joe Frase and his colleague-turned-landlord, Peyton Ray of the upstairs bar Meat, were at each other’s throats, but in the end, everyone lost out. A lovely place for food, drinks and socializing turned into a spiritual slaughterhouse, and now all that’s left is an empty building and lawyer fees.
Penance: The two men must spend a week locked in a Wendy’s together until they can find common ground

Jim Host
Jim Host may be in the College Basketball Hall of Fame, but if there was such a thing, he should be in the Architects of Terrible Arena Deals Fleecing Taxpayers Hall of Fame. The “father” of the Yum! Center’s financing deal, Host was supremely confident the arena’s abnormally large TIF district would bring in loads of tax revenue to pay the bulk of construction debt without pain. However, 2013 showed once again that this was a pipe dream, as the city again kicked in the maximum $10 million payment, and the Arena Authority faced another downgrade as it barely scraped together enough money to avoid default. But due to the lease Host crafted with U of L, the men’s basketball team continued to make out like bandits with a disproportionate share of the loot. Cards fans should enjoy it until the really big bailouts begin in a few years.
Penance: Shortfalls on debt payments come from his own pocket

Aubrey Williams
Defense attorneys often have a dirty job; sometimes that’s the nature of the business. However, Aubrey Williams — the attorney for Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin during her expulsion trial — unquestionably took his conduct to an unacceptable low in an attack on Shanklin’s prosecutor, David Tachau. In a bench conference during the trial, Williams stated that Tachau could not be trusted to tell the truth, because he “doesn’t believe in God” or in “heaven or hell.” Williams managed to succeed in helping Shanklin keep her job, but unfortunately, his dignity did not survive intact.
Penance: Write First Amendment on chalkboard 100 times

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer
The Kentucky State Police spends millions of dollars eradicating the scourge of munchies-inducing marijuana plants, but failed in their efforts this year to block legislation seeking to bring about the state’s new agricultural terror: industrial hemp. In laughter-inducing testimony, KSP commissioner Rodney Brewer said people can get high off of hemp and claimed that hemp growers would hide marijuana plants in hemp fields — failing to note that would destroy its THC potency. Though the bill passed, the feds are still blocking hemp crops from being grown, so his Drug Warriors are safe from our next gateway drug for the time being.
Penance: Hemp bong hits (otherwise known as no-buzz laxatives)

Matt Bevin
We won’t deny the pure entertainment value of watching Mitch McConnell’s Tea Party Frankenstein monster — which he helped enable and exploit — rising up against its master. But Matt Bevin’s primary campaign against McConnell often leaves us asking what planet he lives on. It’s very difficult to take a candidate seriously when he paints McConnell as a “liberal” who fights to protect his beloved Obamacare, or emulates the 21st century McCarthyism of Ted Cruz and his pointless crusade to shut down the government. At least he hasn’t dragged Sarah Palin to Kentucky to stump for him … yet.
Penance: Must wear tri-cornered hat at all campaign events

Hogs
Not that long ago, the Louisville restaurant scene had some pretty good protein diversity: a wide variety and styles of cuisines providing a vast array of animal and vegetable flesh. And then, a local conspiracy of some kind obviously decided everything should include pork. There’s pork in the bread, bacon on the doughnuts, pig in the grits, tenderloin in the sushi, and jowls in the juice. There are so many pork-specialty restaurants, you can probably find one that’ll deliver ribs to your car, à la Fred Flintstone. So who’s the big loser in all of this? Vegetarians, Muslims, Jews, people with heartburn, people who will get cardiovascular disease, people who will get cancer, tubbos? Um, well, yes. But mostly it’s the hogs.
Penance: Extra slop

Fourth Street Live
Sadly, 2013 saw more of the same from the Cordish Company’s hideous neon tourist trap of non-local businesses at Fourth Street Live. Known for its decade of discrimination against African-Americans and racially targeted dress code, matters came to a boil in May when former U of L basketball player Jason Osborne was arrested for criminal trespassing. State Rep. Darryl Owens recommended that African-Americans avoid Fourth Street Live after dark, but we think he’s misguided. Louisvillians of every race should avoid it.
Penance: Civil rights sit-in monuments in front of every business

Barack Obama
It’s a difficult job keeping America safe from terrorism, the Koch Brothers and what currently passes for Republicans in Congress, but there’s no excuse for some transgressions. If your main legacy as president is the Affordable Care Act, it might help if the federal benefits exchange website does not involve a hamster wheel. And if we wanted unaccountable drone strikes, the NSA collecting our phone records and emails and targeting of journalists, we would have just installed W. as our junta.
Penance: 24/7 livestreaming video of Oval Office

Super-drunk Papa John
If you haven’t seen the photo of a seemingly shit-faced Papa John Schnatter being held up by what appear to be two frat boys, you might want to do a Google image search for “drunk Papa John.” Stories about the photos claim the pizza pusher was being helped out of the Georgia Dome after U of L’s National Championship basketball victory and, hey, who among us didn’t get a little bleary-eyed that night? But the Internet meme-sters quickly got to work, and the slurred results are kinda hilarious. So, is the story really true or just “better-ingredients” true? The world may never know. And we’ll drink to that.
Penance: A thermos of coffee and a greasy-ass pizza

Weather
Hey, guys, I have a great idea. Let’s put on a music festival/local crafts sale/art show/etc. outside, in a city where it’s often either too hot or too cold, and sometimes rains and snows. What could possibly go wrong?!? Oh, right, that. Whether it’s the Flea Off Market — lovingly teased in our Fake Issue for moving their dates based on rain or wind or a tempeh shortage (there we go again!) — or the Forecastle Festival emptying Waterfront Park of thousands of music fans because it might storm (it didn’t that day), it makes us wonder if there’s an easier way. What’s that, Flea Off? You’re moving inside to the ol’ abandoned Mellwood Center for winter? Like WFPK moved “Waterfront Wednesday” inside the Clifton Center for winter? Now we’re getting somewhere.
Penance: 2014, the year shopping and music went back inside and the outdoors was enjoyed, when possible, through walking, hiking, bicycling, etc.

John Arnold
The good ol’ boy perverts and misogynists of Frankfort had a good run until state Rep. John Arnold ruined all of their wicked fun by getting caught. The gropey old Democrat had sexual harassment charges filed against him by three legislative staffers, subsequently resigning from office along with Legislative Research Commission director Bobby Sherman, who never seemed to be quite interested in investigating similar charges. Other tales of discrimination and misconduct by male legislators against female staffers have bubbled up, so don’t be surprised if more good ol’ boys are joining Arnold to spend more time with their poor, poor wives.
Penance: Tootsie-style makeover to understand life as a woman

Jack Conway
Not only does Attorney General Jack Conway remain completely uninterested in halting Kentucky’s completely broken death penalty system, his office continues to block post-conviction DNA testing that could exonerate the innocent. On top of his lack of evolution on gay marriage and “War on Coal” pandering, we won’t be too heartbroken if he chooses not to run for governor in 2015.
Penance: Passenger on the next “Nuns on the Bus” tour

Coal Industry
The coal industry of eastern Kentucky continues to take a beating from the realities of the free market, but their CEOs have never let such a sober view get in the way of a good scapegoating of Obama’s EPA boogeymen. At least they’ve managed to buy off most Kentucky politicians in both parties so we continue to bury our heads in the abandoned coal mine instead of figuring out a real way to help Appalachia. Until those campaign contributions dry up, let’s just enjoy our asthma and mountain streams that look like Sunkist.
Penance: Distribute free asthma inhalers to people living within two miles of a coal-fired power plant

WHAS Radio
It was hard for WHAS Radio to get much worse than Mandy Connell — who compared gun background checks to Nazis forcing Jews to wear yellow stars — but the station managed to pull it off. WHAS replaced Connell with Leland Conway, the immigrant-fighter who advises listeners to go without health coverage rather than face the tyranny of affordable and comprehensive insurance under Obamacare. Is it that hard to find an honest and responsible Republican mouthpiece these days? Eh, maybe.
Penance: A program from 9 a.m.-noon more grounded in reality: “Coast to Coast AM”

Metro Council
Unfortunately, there’s just too much blame to go around here. Throwing out all notions of rational thought and ethics, four Council members found that Barbara Shanklin committed ZERO misconduct in her expulsion trial for ethics violations, while three more members joined in to save her from being ousted. Meanwhile, most of the rest of Council remain completely uninterested in funding the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, despite the desperate need for it. Seems like the courage and leadership of Mayor Fischer is rubbing off on them …
Penance: Council chambers and offices moved to vacant and abandoned properties

The Rev. Kevin Cosby
The West End pastor and president of Simmons College fancies himself as a free-thinking rebel by comparing the bootstrapping anti-civil rights crusader Rand Paul to Martin Luther King Jr. Yes, because you know how MLK loved to rail against labor unions and the social safety net, amirite? Cosby — formerly Anne Northup’s favorite pastor — claims he’s not endorsing Paul, just his commendable stance against the Drug War. But let’s see how long it takes before he’s touring early 2016 primary states with the curly-haired senator who loves voter ID laws, food stamp cuts and repealing Obamacare.
Penance: Organize movement to raise pay and working conditions of city sanitation workers

Print Media
Woe is us, woe is us. The digital age continues to kick our papery ass, as print media cuts back staff and fights for dwindling advertising revenue. We’ve faced our own unfortunate losses, while WDRB practically stole an entire wing of talent from The Courier-Journal’s newsroom over the span of one week. These are strange days, but don’t worry, we’re still rocking in the free print.
Penance: Praying for a surge of bird enthusiasts who want to keep their cages lined

Men in bow ties sipping bourbon neat
OK, first of all, we’ve got no problem with sipping bourbon neat. It’s been the source of many of our most enjoyable stupors. And, while the bow tie is more likely to make you look like a bank robber disguised as a baby in a Bugs Bunny cartoon than the sophisticated bon vivant you’re probably going for, that doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. But put them together, and you might as well tattoo a giant “L” on your forehead. Here’s who gets a free pass on the bow-tie-and-bourbon look: Pee-wee Herman, Bill Nye the Science Guy and any Playboy bunny. If you’re not one of them, you need a makeover, stat.
Penance: A hoodie and a Natty Light

St. James Court Art Show
The 57th annual St. James Court Art Show was mostly rained out this year, as cloudy skies and torrential downpours put a damper on one of the largest juried art shows in the South. Vendors managed to get one day of sales under their belts on Friday, but for the first time in decades, the association decided to pull the plug Saturday afternoon. Vendors, some of whom drove more than 20 hours to set up, were not refunded their booth fees, which hovered in the $530 range. Sure, it’s a chance you take with outdoor festivals in Kentucky in the fall, but couldn’t they give back artists at least half of the fees?
Penance: No fees for returning artists

Archbishop Kurtz
Pity Joseph Kurtz, the Archbishop of Louisville. The man has built his career on turning the American Catholic Church ever rightward, obscuring its mission of serving the poor or ministering to those in pain by instead obsessing about abortion, birth control and homosexuality like it’s 1958 or something. Well, oops. With a few wisps of white smoke, along comes Pope Francis, a Jesuit who is telling Catholics to stop being sourpusses and start loving everybody. The Pope’s directive to stop obsessing about other people’s naughty bits and start focusing on the poor sounded like a personal tweet to the archbishop. Suddenly the church has its best PR guy in ages, and Kurtz is on the wrong team. Dude must know how Blackberry felt when the iPhone came out.
Penance: 10 Hail Marys and a long look in the mirror

‘Dexter’
They said it couldn’t be done: a great TV drama about a lovable serial killer. For four seasons, they were wrong … dead wrong. But then “Dexter” continued for four more seasons. Not only did the relative quality of each of those final four go up and down like Kentucky Kingdom’s Twisted Twins, but the arguable worst of those seasons involved Louisville’s own Jennifer Carpenter (as the serial killer’s not-literally-blood sister) realizing she might be in love with her own brother (played, tragicomically enough, by her real-life ex-husband). Need more? The series delivered one of the inarguably worst, way beyond unsatisfying final episodes of any TV series ever. That being said, LEO has and will always have affection for Ms. Carpenter, who should totally drop by our offices and say hi.
Penance: Season 9, written by veterans of “Breaking Bad” and “The Shield,” finishing the story in an entertaining and satisfying manner

Hoosiers
Sure, they may live on the sunny side of Louisville, but repeated studies show Hoosiers smell funny and their children are homely and they like their basketball coaches to be creepy psychopaths. But if you think nobody wants to go to Indiana now, wait until it costs money! When the two new bridges open in 2016, it’ll run you anywhere from $1 for frequent commuters to $12 for sadomasochists just to get into the state, which is famous for its love of high-fructose corn syrup and bestiality. That’s like paying a fee to eat a turd! OK, OK, we’re just joshing. We love Indiana. And, of course, we could crack the same jokes about Kentuckians if we were Hoosiers. But you know what we’d be then? Losers.
Penance: Paying $1 to come to Louisville

Lynn Winter
After 22 years in business, Lynn’s Paradise Café suddenly closed earlier this year in a big heap of drama. After firing a waitress for refusing to comply with a legally dubious requirement to bring $100 in cash to work every day to pool tips, a wave of former workers came forward with allegations of abuse and harassment by management. After blaming “third-party agitators” for the ruckus, owner Lynn Winter closed up shop and took its ugly lamps with her. This September, Winter solidified her control-freak reputation by saying she would sell the restaurant in order to re-open it, but only if the new owner kept everything exactly the same. Meaning overpriced, overrated and with bad working conditions, we guess.
Penance: Must eat $15 pancakes every day

Local stoners
It seems like practically every day there’s another state legalizing, decriminalizing or making medicine out of weed. But in Kentucky, where weed grows like a weed, we get nothing. As state after state cashes in on the crop and out-of-state stoners bask in pot’s post-prohibition glory days, it seems like it’s always 4:20 somewhere else. These days, Gatewood Galbraith’s vision to make Kentucky the Marin County of pot seems like a pipedream. (Get it? Pipedream? Maybe you have to be stoned.) Copious tax revenue and precious, legal relief from glaucoma, chronic pain and visits from Aunt Flo are passing us by in favor of the likes of Washington and Colorado. Feh! We never get anything nice.
Penance: $243 nonstop round trips to Denver

Time Warner Cable
We had a feeling the transition this summer from Insight Communication to Time Warner Cable wasn’t going to be pretty, and that evil megacorporation didn’t disappoint. Bumped-up prices and slogged-down Internet speeds have been widely reported, even prompting the creation of the Twitter hashtag #louIR in order to keep track of broadband bullshit. All we know is our Brazzers files are now taking far too long to download these days. How are we supposed to Keep Louisville Weird if the city’s only widely available ISP doesn’t allow unprecedented access to the kind of weirdness you can only find on the Internet?
Penance: 50 hours of dial-up Internet access using an AOL Online disc from 1997

Southeast Christian Church/Trail Life USA
Putting into action all those biblical teachings about accepting others, Louisville’s largest church cut ties with the Boy Scouts in a thinly veiled protest over the organization’s decision to allow openly gay scouts. Building off the buzz of this, a Boy Scouts alternative called Trail Life USA launched. The new national organization welcomes “boys who are experiencing same-sex attractions or gender confusion.” God only knows how they’ll be treated. No, wait, we all know how they’ll be treated, and it isn’t going to be with a badge for challenging gender norms. Indeed, boys who wish to dress like girls or boys who aren’t biologically male won’t be accepted. Not that any of them should want to go camping and start fires using sticks with these close-minded, judgmental, bigoted assholes anyway.
Penance: Build a tree house only gay kids can use. Sit outside it and read Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37, James 4:11-1, and John 8:7

Shitty dog owners on the Big Four Bridge
The city’s best bridge to nowhere is an awesome place to walk or jog for a bit of outdoor exercise — unless you’re a dog. Those four-legged furballs were banned because too many owners failed to pick up their pooches’ poops while on the Big Four Bridge. Sure, Great Dane turds can rival those from a full-grown man after burrito Thursdays, and we sympathize with anyone who has to pick those bad boys up. Still, if you can’t play by the rules, then get a smaller dog whose No. 2s more closely resemble hamster droppings. Alternatively, maybe if the bridge’s Indiana ramp were finished, canines and their owners would just poop over there before crossing back over to Kentucky. Nobody would have a problem exporting the deuces to Indiana, right?
Penance: 2-mile jaunt (that’s 14 dog miles) down River Road — with zero potty breaks allowed

People who don’t want to get shot
Twenty-thirteen started out promising for people who don’t want to get shot. With the horrible mass murders of 2012 fresh on everyone’s minds and a solid majority of Americans in favor of further gun restrictions, it looked likely that Congress would close the gun-show and Internet loopholes and pass common-sense restrictions like background checks on the mentally ill. But then it became apparent that Congress, in the grip of the NRA thanks to “leaders” like Mitch McConnell and Tea Party ideologues like Rand Paul, hates people, especially people who don’t want to get shot. So, 12,000 U.S. gun deaths later, here we are, still hoping not to get shot.
Penance: Body armor

St. Joseph Catholic Orphan Society
With a storied 164-year history, the St. Joseph Catholic Orphan Society has done a lot of good for the community. According to its website, more than 70,000 children have been served through the organization, which runs a home on Frankfort Avenue for abused and neglected children, as well as a daycare center. It’s a bummer, then, that allegations of the sexual harassment of staff members and infighting among the board of trustees has landed the organization on this year’s Loserville list. The developing story, which WDRB has been covering, surrounds the board’s failure to remove a member who allegedly sexually harassed staff back in 2008. Civil lawsuits have been filed, and all we can do is sit back and wonder, who is thinking of the children? Why won’t anybody think of the children?
Penance: 30 minutes in a tank filled with hungry picnic ants

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