Turkeys of the Year

In a highly competitive 2009 field, Governor Rick Perry is the biggest gobbler of them all.

Why it was Perry-noxious: Besides the whole hypocrisy thing? The "hardware store" was the Bering's near the Galleria. That's like calling Neiman Marcus "a local five-and-dime."

He told a Midland crowd that the Obama administration was taking illegal immigrants arrested in Arizona and dumping them off in Presidio. "This is a city that does not have the social services, does not have the law enforcement, does not have the ability in any form or fashion to handle that type of influx of people," Perry said. "Do the math on that. In a year period of time, we're talking 28,000 people that are going to be turned loose on our border."

Why it was Perry-licious: In the same speech, he said Obama was "hell-bent toward taking America towards a socialist country," which is somewhat close to being in English, but which also got him a nice big red headline on the Drudge Report and lots of face time on Fox, which Perry gleefully Twittered about.

Why it was Perry-noxious: Because, ­ummmm, it wasn't true? Local officials told reporters that no illegals were being dumped in Presidio. Instead, they were taken from there across the border back to Mexico, where they were given free bus rides back to the interior.

"If somebody from Mexico hires a smuggler to bring them in through Arizona, and they get apprehended and then they are repatriated through Arizona, they go find the smuggler, and they keep doing it until they get past us," a customs official told reporters.

So instead they head to where the buses to the interior are. "We're standing there. They're not going to be able to come back."

Do the math on that, and you come up with a great big zero.

He jumped on the bandwagon about Obama's speech to schoolkids. Remember that run of idiocy? Obama, like presidents before him, was going to give a televised speech to students. Unlike presidents before him, though, he was Obama.

Why it was Perry-licious: Here's the lead from an Associated Press story: "AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry called President Barack Obama's plan to speak to the nation's school children about the importance of education 'disturbing,' but he said he would not advise parents to keep their children home from school that day despite calls to do so from angry critics."

Anytime you can call a "plan to speak to the nation's school children about the importance of education" disturbing, you've accomplished something.

Why it was Perry-noxious: Perry went on to specify just what he thought was so disturbing about the content of Obama's speech: "Nobody seems to know what he's going to be talking about." Hmmm. You have to admit, that meant it was possible that the speech could have included a call to piss on the classroom's American flag. We just couldn't be sure.

Best of all, he threatened to secede from the United States. This, of course, is very, very different from the traitor-ish behavior of Hollywood stars who threaten to leave the country if a Bush gets elected. Perry told a tea-bag crowd, "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

Why it was Perry-licious: Even after every constitutional expert in the country said Texas couldn't secede — at the remote best, it could break itself up into five states — Perry, according to a spokeswoman, "believes Texas could secede if it wanted," news reports said. Who cares that you're calling the Earth flat when you've got Rush Limbaugh admiring you for doing so?

Why it was Perry-noxious: Try as we might, we just can't get our heads around the whole "Love it or leave it" crowd applauding the concept of someone saying, "I don't love it so I'm leaving it." We're sure there's some subtle political analysis there that is best conveyed using placards invoking Stalin and Dachau, but we're going to have to read a whole lot more all-caps e-mails forwarded from angry people using their grandkid's old AOL accounts to figure it out.

Perry has nicely positioned himself to be forever mentioned in any and every history book written about the Obama administration and politics in the post-Bush era. He'll be the equivalent of the Red Scare-era folks who frothed that fluoridating water was a Commie plot.

It's not exactly a place in history most people would want, but it's likely to get him another term in office.

And that's all that counts, right?
_____________________

Turkey Sportsman of the Year:
Cecil Cooper

Last year Astros owner Drayton McLane won this distinction, and arguments were strong that he should be a repeat offender. He tried to fool fans with a tired, old, injury-prone, unexciting lineup that had some names from the days when the 'Stros would be bad but then mount a furious late-season rush.

This year the rush never came.

While McLane deserves much of the blame, manager Cecil Cooper gets our award for his innate ability to absolutely embody and epitomize the Astros' futility this year.

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