Editorial: Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice this year? Boy, have we got a list
Naughty, nice — so judgmental, yes, but, well, that’s what editorial writers do. We pass judgment. Here’s our list of folks deserving coal, or worse, and those who can line up for virtual candy canes.
President Trump. Because.
Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore, Al Franken, John Conyers, Trent Franks, Matt Dababneh, Garrison Keillor, Israel Horovitz, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and scads of other cads outed for alleged sexual misbehavior ranging from boorish innuendo to outright assault. And an extra “naughty” for the institutions that protected many of them for so long.
The National Rifle Assn., for its long-running efforts to make this a more dangerous society. This year’s outrages: pushing a federal concealed-carry reciprocity law, opposing a ban on bump-fire stocks, and callously disregarding life in defending access to semiautomatic weapons.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, for allowing himself to be baited into a war of words with Trump that could turn into a war with nuclear weapons.
The party-pooper state lawmakers who killed a bill that would have let bars stay open past 2 a.m.
The Los Angeles parks officials who closed a much-loved hiking trail to the Hollywood sign to settle a lawsuit and appease nearby homeowners, leaving Angelenos with less access to public open space.
Amazon, for picking a location for a $5-billion second corporate headquarters through a “Bachelor”-like competition that’s really just a cynical hunt for tax breaks.
Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, for abjectly refusing to recognize the scientific consensus on the human actions propelling climate change and, by undercutting related regulations, putting business profits ahead of public health and environmental safety.
The black-clad “anti-fascists” who committed acts of violence and property destruction in Berkeley, making a mockery of the university town’s reputation as a citadel of free speech.
USC, for covering up the drug use and associated misdeeds of former medical school dean Dr. Carmen Puliafito.
The California Senate, for blocking a proposed ban on polystyrene takeout containers, a major source of our littering problem.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Herb Wesson and the Los Angeles Police Protective League, for sending L.A. voters a ballot measure to tilt the police discipline process in favor of accused officers.
The California Republicans behind the nakedly political recall campaign against state Sen. Josh Newman, and the Democrats in the state Legislature who responded with a nakedly political law making it harder to recall sitting legislators.
Pepsi and Kendall Jenner, for using a fictional protest against police violence as a backdrop for a soda commercial.
Mother Nature, for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, not to mention the powerful earthquakes and devastating wildfires.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, for leading efforts to kill net neutrality rules and end virtually all of the FCC’s oversight of internet access services while those services enjoy near-monopoly power in their local markets.
The federal Commission on Election Integrity, a supposedly public panel created to shed light on an imagined problem but which was in fact so secretive that one of its own members filed a lawsuit to find out what it was doing.
Congressional Republican leaders, for rushing transformative pieces of healthcare and tax legislation through Congress with little or no regard for hearings, costs or bipartisanship.
The mutual fund industry, for persuading its Republican allies in Congress to undermine state retirement savings programs for lower-income workers whose employers don’t provide retirement benefits.
The Los Angeles Police Department, which somehow failed to notice that an officer was (allegedly) having sex with an underage cadet, or that cadets stole police cruisers for joyrides, took bulletproof vests and stun guns, impersonated officers and generally ran amok.
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, for turning back the clock on federal justice policy by seeking maximum penalties against all suspects and dropping civil rights oversight of police departments.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, for deploying drones without first reaching out to the public and establishing a proper oversight process.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, for a great baseball season that came within a whisper of winning the World Series (pitchers and catchers report for spring training in two months).
The California firefighters and other first responders who’ve been confronting some of the largest and most destructive wildfires the state has ever seen.
The thousands of volunteers who pitched in to help after a spate of natural disasters in the Americas, including the catastrophic earthquake in Mexico and the hurricane-induced damage in Houston and Puerto Rico.
All the women who courageously stepped forward to reveal the abuse they have received from so many men.
The lawyers and activists who have brought attention to the unfairness of the money bail system that determines who stays in jail and who is released before trial.
The Alabama voters who were principled enough to reject Roy Moore after allegations surfaced that he had chased after teenage girls while in his 30s, allegedly subjecting some to sexual abuse.
The Academy of Motion Pictures, for an awards season that wasn’t #Oscarssowhite (though it is still way too #LightonLatinos and #AintmanyAsians.)
The Supreme Court, for ruling that even naughty words are protected by the Constitution, in upending the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s refusal to grant a trademark to the Slants, an Asian American band that chose to undercut the word’s traditional use as a racial slur.
California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, for stopping SB 562, a hasty and half-baked bill to establish a single-payer healthcare system in California, before it could wreck the state’s budget.
Pop singer Ariana Grande, for returning to Manchester, England, to conduct a benefit concert and raise $13 million for victims less than two weeks after a terrorist set off a bomb at her show there, killing 22 people.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain, for resisting the heedless push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a poorly thought out, destined-to-fail GOP substitute.
The state lawmakers who voted to move California’s presidential primaries to an earlier slot, so that the most populous state in the nation would have some say in selecting the major party nominees.
The Los Angeles County transportation leaders who pulled the plug on the $5-billion 710 tunnel, ending a highway project that no longer makes sense for the region.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ, for insisting on the importance of free speech on campus at a time when, as she herself acknowledged, “we have a generation of students now who are much more willing to think about restrictions on speech.”
The Los Angeles city voters who rejected the slow-growth, anti-development Measure S initiative, which would have worsened the city’s housing crisis.
The Los Angeles County voters who overwhelmingly imposed a quarter-cent sales tax on themselves to boost services for the homeless and nearly homeless.
Gov. Jerry Brown and other elected officials, who finally got serious about the housing crisis and adopted a linkage fee on new development in Los Angeles, as well as streamlining and funding affordable housing statewide.
The state lawmakers who passed a long-overdue bill to allow some former offenders to be removed eventually from the state registry for sex offenders.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, for not deploying drones without first reaching out to the public and establishing a proper oversight process.
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