Earlier this week, I offered the first part of my list of all the things from 2009 that I want to forget. Now, as we prepare to cross the threshold into 2010, here is the second part of my compilation of 2009's political and cultural detritus.
We'd all be better off if we could forever put out of our mind:
Tom DeLay's rump-shaking cha-cha to "Wild Thing" on Dancing With the Stars.
Mackenzie Phillips telling Oprah about her long-term sexual affair with her father.
That Sen. Sam Brownback introduced legislation outlawing "part-human, part-animal creatures, which are created in laboratories, and blur the line between species." And that the bill had 20 co-sponsors.
The Obama administration's habit of conflating the health of the Wall Street economy with the health of the real economy -- when, in fact, the two economies have become decoupled.
Jon and Kate. Kate's hair.
Rachel Uchitel, Jaimee Grubbs, Kalika Moquin, Jamie Jungers, Cori Rist, Mindy Lawton, Holly Sampson, Joslyn James, Loredana Jolie, Julie Postle, Theresa Rogers.
That Hamid Karzai is still our man in Kabul.
That close to 4 million foreclosure notices were sent to homeowners this year, but both the House and the Senate voted down cramdown amendments that would have allowed judges to modify mortgages.
That the Bush Years ended with W lying about there being not enough room at Blair House to allow the Obama family to move in in time for the kids to start school.
How quickly Michael Steele caved in after saying that Rush Limbaugh's show was "incendiary" and "ugly."
The post-beating snapshot of Rihanna. That it took Rihanna a while -- and public rebukes from Oprah and Ellen -- before finally breaking up with Chris Brown.
That Lou Dobbs latched onto the birther movement.
What happened in the backyard where Jaycee Lee Dugard was kept for 18 years. The numerous missed opportunities to rescue Jaycee over the years.
That Obama nominated Judd Gregg as his Commerce Secretary.
That Bill Kristol, hot on the heels of being dropped by the New York Times, was picked up by the Washington Post.
Patti Blagojevich putting a tarantula in her mouth on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
That in his final press conference Bush claimed: "I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession. In the meantime, there were 52 months of uninterrupted growth." (This is kind of like saying the flight of the Hindenburg was fabulous up until the landing.)
The right-wing firestorm over President Obama's speech to America's school kids.
That Kris beat Adam on Idol. Adam's performance on the American Music Awards.
Kanye at the VMAs.
James Inhofe welcoming Al Franken to the Senate by saying, "We are going to get the clown from Minnesota."
House Minority Leader John Boehner spending an hour on the House floor reading aloud portions of the landmark climate-change bill he labeled "a piece of shit."
John McCain's head-spinning spin on Sarah Palin's resignation: "I don't think she quit. I think she changed her priorities."
Investors Business Daily claiming that physically disabled scientist Stephen Hawking would have had his life cut short by the government-run British health care system if he lived in England -- which, in fact, he does. And always has.
Chuck Norris, health care expert.
Bobby Jindal's primetime rebuttal to Obama, in which he used part of his moment in the spotlight to rant -- inaccurately -- about wasteful "volcano monitoring" programs.
Tom Ridge's couldn't-be-less-surprising admission that he was pressured to raise the terror alert at the end of the 2004 campaign to help Bush win re-election.
Heidi Montag, recording artist ("Body Language" was easily one of the worst records of the year).
Heidi Montag, author (How to Be Famous -- co-authored by Spencer Pratt -- was easily one of the worst books of the year).
That John McCain, the number one recipient of telecom campaign cash in Congress, introduced a bill that would effectively kill Net Neutrality -- and, Orwell-style, named it The Internet Freedom Act.