Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 57)
and welcome to idiot festival number 57. This week brings
us an old favorite at the top of the pile, Ari Fleischer,
who last week took it upon himself to blame Bill Clinton for
everything that's gone wrong in the Middle East - um, except
Ari didn't mean it of course. Next up is Trent Lott (2) who
has apparently forgotten that you can support the troops but
not the president, and Tom DeLay (3), who's been sticking
his fingers in the Enron pie. Further down the list we have
Tom Feeney, who hired this week's cover girl Bridgette A.
Gregory for reasons we'll leave you to work out for yourself.
And last but not least we have Fox News (9) accidentally sending
the Dow in a downward spiral, and Dick Cheney (10) who managed
to pop out of his cowering place just in time for a spot of
arch-nepotism. Enjoy! (And don't forget the key).
You'd think that a White House Press Secretary and political
operative with years of experience would know better than
to blame an ex-president for the actions of Middle Eastern
terrorists. And therefore there's no explanation for Ari's
behavior last week, other than that he simply lost it. Early
Thursday morning, Fleischer announced that the reason there
was ongoing violence in the Middle East was because, er, of
the Clinton administration's attempts to push the peace process.
"You can make the case that in an attempt to shoot the moon...
more violence resulted," Fleischer told reporters. "That as
a result of an attempt to push the parties beyond where they
were willing to go... it led to expectations that were raised
to such a high level that it turned into violence." This bizarre
and outrageous spin led reporters to hammer Fleischer during
the daily briefing, forcing him to back-pedal at record speed
and weasel out of what he said by calling it a "mischaracterization."
In a final humiliating twist, the White House issued
a "statement of regret" later in the afternoon. "I mistakenly
suggested that increasing violence in the Middle East was
attributable to the peace efforts that were underway in 2000,"
Fleischer wrote. "That is not the position of the administration.
. . . No United States President, including President Clinton,
is to blame for violence in the Middle East. The only people
to blame for violence are the terrorists who engage in it.
I regret any implication to the contrary." We can only hope
that Dubya doesn't fire this guy - he's hilarious!
Screw bipartisanship. George W. Bush recently asked the Senate
for $379 billion to fight his increasingly obscure war on
terror, so it's no wonder that Tom Daschle stated
that "I think that it is critical that we keep the pressure
on; we do the job that this country is committed to doing.
But we are not safe until we have broken the back of al Qaeda,
and we haven't done that yet." Daschle also said that while
the war had been so far successful, "the jury is still out
on further success." These remarks seem eminently sensible,
unless of course you're Trent Lott, who exploded like a Dan
Burton watermelon. "How dare Senator Daschle criticize President
Bush while we are fighting our war on terrorism, especially
when we have troops in the field,'' wrote the Senate Minority
Leader, almost pooping his pants in apoplexy. "He should not
be trying to divide our country while we are united.'' Glad
you're united, Mr. "I cannot support military action
at this time." (Remember THAT?
- you've probably just erased it from memory, you partisan,
Who's the latest Republican greaser to be fondled by the oily
tentacles of Enron? Step forward Tom DeLay! It was reported
last week by Roll Call that The Hammer "personally
recommended to Enron officials that they hire the team of
strategists who make up the inner circle of his political
and fundraising machine." Why? So that they could, "secretly
conduct an aggressive grassroots campaign pushing energy deregulation,"
of course. Splendid. And lo and behold, Enron took DeLay's
advice and awarded a $750,000 contract to his strategists
to do just that. According to Roll Call, "The previously
undisclosed connection between DeLay and Enron offers a glimpse
into how the Texas lawmaker and the corporate giant combined
forces behind closed doors to deliver a bare-knuckled political
punch aimed at breaking a legislative logjam frustrating efforts
to deregulate the $300 billion-a-year electricity market,
a top goal of both Enron and DeLay." Mind you, Enron probably
did exactly the same thing with Democrats, right? Right?
Move along, move along. Nothing to see here.
Wingnuts, Part Three
If you missed last week's Lying Wingnuts Part One and Two,
you should check here. This week we
deal with the story of Bill Clinton's fabled golf game with
Ken Lay. From the way the story has been reported, you may
have been led to believe that Clinton and Lay were off to
the links every other weekend, sinking birdies and slapping
each other on the back. But unfortunately for the wingnut
believers out there, it's just another piece of sad conservative
spin. It turns out that Clinton did play golf with Lay - once.
And it's not even what you think. Here's the real
deal, from the Washington Post's "Names and Faces" back
in 1993: "Clinton began his vacation with a bipartisan golf
match Saturday at the Country Club of the Rockies in Vail,
Colo., teaming up with fellow Democrat (and golf pro) Jack
Nicklaus to take on the Republican duo of former president
Gerald Ford and Houston businessman Ken Lay." Man, does that
sound shady or what? I mean, you can almost smell the
dirty deals they were cooking up on that, um, one golf round.
Yes, it's clear to me now that Enron is a CLINTON scandal!
George W. Bush has been exonerated!
Looks like Republicans need a little lesson in microphone
technique. First it was George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who,
while on the campaign trail in 2000, made the mistake of discussing
journalist Adam Clymer over an open mic during a press conference.
"Major league asshole," was Bush's description of Clymer,
to which Cheney famously replied, "Big time." Now step forward
Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum. At the end of a live TV
interview last week, in which he became irritated by reporter
Matt Barrie's line of questioning, McCallum reached for his
earpiece and said
"Thank you. Sure. Thank you. Dumb son of a bitch." The remark
was broadcast on live television. McCallum later apologized,
although we're not sure what for, since he obviously meant
what he said. Oh well, if the morality party can't keep their
vulgarities off the airwaves, I guess that's their problem.
But perhaps from now on Republicans appearing on TV should
be prefaced by one of those "Mature content, parental discretion
is advised" warnings. Won't somebody think of the children?
Why did Florida House Speaker Tom Feeney call a news conference
last week to defend one of his top legislative aides against
questions about her job? Well, to be honest we're not really
sure. But since he did, we thought we'd give you a bit of
background on the 27-year-old policy staffer, Bridgette A.
Gregory. Miss Gregory has no college degree, no technical
experience for her job, and used to work as a waitress at
Hooters. She is paid $55,664 per year. She can't spell, including,
in some cases, her own
name. Her work duties have got nothing to do with her
job description. Oh yes, and she's apparently been working
on Feeney's congressional campaign from his Capitol office,
which is illegal. But she has a lovely set of gams and according
to Tom Feeney himself, is "underpaid." That's why he gave
her a 13 percent raise last June in "appreciation for your
exemplary work performance." He added, "Oh, Miss Gregory,
I think you dropped your pen."
Scott Sutterlin, Republican hopeful, is using illegal immigration
as the centerpiece of his bid to unseat Illinois State Senator
Chris Lauzen in the upcoming Republican primary. So what?
Well, let's just say that Mr. Sutterlin has some, er, unorthodox
views on the subject of immigration. Take for example the
remarks he made on the "Geraldo" show back in 1994, when he
told the studio audience that black people should have been
sent back to Africa "a long time ago." Said Sutterlin, "I
personally don't like the black people in general." Last week,
Sutterlin inexplicably defended the comments he made on the
show, and while he apparently couldn't recall saying that
black people should go back to Africa, he does think that
they should be given an option. "And we should pay their way,
if that's what they want." In response, Chris Lauzen said
that Sutterlin's comments were "an insult to every single
Republican alive." I dunno, sounds like classic compassionate
conservatism to me.
Not content with stealing an election and bullying the Pope,
Antonin Scalia has taken it upon himself to execute the cognitively
disabled. It's been a bad couple of weeks for those with mental
retardation. Two weeks ago we saw the adorably sensitive AP
headline, "Execution of Retards to Be Reviewed." (See Idiots
56). And now we have Justice Scalia coming over all offended
that people with an IQ of 59 might not be entirely
capable of taking care of themselves (although this doesn't
really explain his treatment of George W. Bush). But anyway,
at a Supreme Court hearing last week Scalia was downright
to the suggestion that it was maybe time to stop executing
people who don't understand why they're being executed. In
fact he went so far as to announce that people with mental
retardation are simply "not playing with a full deck." Please
can we stop this guy becoming Chief Justice when Rehnquist
retires? Pretty pretty please?
Those good ol' boys at Fox News were making a little news
of their own last week when they mistakenly reported that
US ground troops were inside Iraq. The report had been earlier
denied by the Pentagon. But that didn't stop the Fair and
Balanced network from re-running it, prompting a bit of a
panic on Wall Street. As news of US military action reached
the Street, the Dow Jones dropped 140 points despite climbing
earlier in the day. Ah, Fox News. We report, markets slide...
And finally: Obviously hiding away in his hidey-hole was getting
a bit dull for our Dick, so he's found a novel way to keep
himself entertained - setting his family members up in cushy
State Department jobs. It was announced
last week that Dick's daughter Elizabeth (the respectable
one, not the lesbian) will become deputy assistant secretary
of state for Near East affairs for regional economic issues,
a post specifically created for her. So all you folks who've
lost your jobs thanks to Dubya's economic miracle can rest
easy in the knowledge that your shadow Vice President is doing
his bit to kick-start the economy - one family member at a
time. See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List