For some, the end of the year is a time to think back on all the memorable moments from the previous 12 months. I prefer to continue my contrarian tradition of performing a mental cleanse, removing from my internal hard drive all the things that should no longer be cluttering my mind.
Here then is a list of the things I'd like to forget, circa 2009:
Glenn Beck's tears. Glenn Beck's whiteboard. Glenn Beck's attacks on Van Jones. Glenn Beck calling Obama "a racist." Glenn Beck.
That Lloyd Blankfein told the Times of London that Goldman Sachs was "doing God's work."
The $38 billion tax break the IRS just handed Citibank.
That the nation's four biggest banks, all of which took taxpayer money, cut lending by $100 billion over the last six months.
That we know as much as we do about David Letterman's sex life.
That we know as much as we do about Tiger Woods' sex life.
That we know as much as we do about Sen. John Ensign's sex life.
That we know as much as we do about Gov. Mark Sanford's sex life.
That we know as much as we do about Nadya Suleman's uterus.
That Sen. Chuck Grassley joined in the "death panel" nonsense, saying voters had every right to be worried that the government would "pull the plug on grandma."
That Rep. Joe Wilson raised millions for his re-election after yelling "You lie!" at the president.
Bristol Palin, abstinence ambassador.
That Sean Hannity refused to follow through on his offer to be waterboarded for charity, even after Keith Olbermann said he'd donate $1,000 for every second Hannity endured.
That Alberto Gonzales, who approved torture, politicized the Department of Justice, and lied to Congress about warrantless wiretapping and pre-war intelligence had the nerve to claim: "I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."
The endless hours of precious media air time given over to the Balloon Boy hoax.
Balloon Boy vomiting on national television. Twice.
The number of warning signs exhibited by Maj. Nidal Hasan that were overlooked.
That even after credit card reform legislation passed, credit card companies can charge 30 percent interest rates.
The toothless stress tests the Obama administration applied to the banks.
That Sen. Jeff Sessions argued for keeping Guantanamo open by pointing to the "tropical breezes blowing through" the prison.
That Kim Hendren, a Republican Senate candidate from Arkansas, referred to Chuck Schumer at a campaign event as "that Jew."
That waterboarding had been used in an attempt to extract backup for Dick Cheney's fantasy of an Iraq/al Qaeda connection.
The way conservatives played the race card in attacking the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.
Bernie Madoff's mistress' revelation that he "had a very small penis. Not only was it on the short side, it was small in circumference."
That the toughest interview of the year was done by a comedian (Jon Stewart's masterful evisceration of Jim Cramer).
French President Jacques Chirac's revelation that George Bush told him in 2003 that he wanted to invade Iraq to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible's satanic agents of the Apocalypse.
The revelation that John Edwards had promised Rielle Hunter a post-Elizabeth rooftop wedding featuring the Dave Matthews Band.
That conservatives couldn't contain their glee when Chicago lost out in the battle for the 2016 Olympics despite the combined star power of Oprah and the Obamas.
That Nancy Pelosi, who had promised to "drain the swamp" and create "the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history," instead resisted calls to remove scandal-plagued Ways and Means Committee chairman Charlie Rangel from his post.
That we are spending $30 billion a year to take on the 100 al-Qaeda members still in Afghanistan -- that's 1,000 U.S. soldiers and $300 million for every one al-Qaeda fighter -- in an unnecessary war of choice.
The beer summit.
Ryan O'Neal's admission that he hit on his daughter, Tatum, at ex-wife Farrah Fawcett's funeral.
That after an inspiring presidential campaign that promised to take on the special interests, special interest lobbyists flexed their muscles (and their wallets) and showed who really runs the show in DC.
Miley Cyrus, pole dancer.
The Movie Multiplex from Hell: Bride Wars, The Box, The Ugly Truth, All About Steve, Old Dogs, Land of the Lost.
Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Sarah Palin's resignation speech. Sarah Palin's feud with David Letterman. Sarah Palin's book tour. Sarah Palin.
The look in Neda Agha-Soltan's eyes just before she died, gun downed on the streets of Tehran. At the same time I never want to forget it.
I'll add to this list the amount of money religious conservatives spent lobbying against gay rights rather than feeding the hungry or housing the homeless or addressing poverty.