Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 112)
OMG WMD SNAFU Edition
everybody, we've found the weapons of mass destruction! Well,
actually we haven't yet. But that doesn't really matter, does
it? Top of the list this week is the Bush Administration for
the startling revelation that weapons of mass destruction
were not the reason that we invaded Iraq! At least,
they're not right now because we haven't found any. Or have
we? According to George W. Bush (2) we have, but then I'd
trust George W. Bush about as far as I could throw Rush Limbaugh.
Meanwhile Congressional Republicans (3) thought you weren't
watching and decided to screw the poor, Halliburton (5) is
raking in the cash, the Florida Legislature's (7) new definition
of "catastrophic injury" will cost you an arm and
a leg, and Chuck Dunnick (10) chucks his wife. Enjoy, and
don't forget the key!
So they finally admitted it - the invasion of Iraq was not
about weapons of mass destruction at all. Despite months of
scaremongering, bullying, and cajoling the American people
into believing that Saddam Hussein was just minutes away from
launching a massive chemical attack on the United States;
despite sending Colin Powell to stand before the UN with graphs
and maps and satellite photographs showing huge stockpiles
of supposedly lethal materials, Deputy Secretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz admitted last week that it was all just a bunch
of baloney. In a recent Vanity Fair interview, Wolfowitz
said, "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue,
weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason
everyone could agree on." Bureaucratic reasons? And there
I was thinking that if we didn't take out Saddam I'd be eating
anthrax for breakfast. According to Wolfowitz there was another
"almost unnoticed but huge" reason for invading
Iraq, which was "the prospect of the United States being
able to withdraw all of its forces from Saudi Arabia once
the threat of Saddam had been removed," according
to the UK Independent. Hmm, I don't remember Our Great
Leader mentioning that while he was spouting off about
mustard gas-spraying unmanned drones and tons of buried Sarin.
And now Lt. Gen. James Conway, top commander of the Marines
in Iraq, is "surprised" that his troops haven't
found any weapons of mass destruction. He said,
"Believe me, it's not for lack of trying...We've been
to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti
border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there." Perhaps
if people stopped believing without question every ounce of
bullcrap that this administration feeds them, there'd be a
lot less surprise and a lot more outrage.
Remember: it's not about the sex - it's about the lying.
So what's a president to do when he gets caught lying to the
American people? Usually the first step is a little wordplay
- remember the fits of rage conservatives had about Bill Clinton's
redefinitions of the words "sex" and "is?"
Now Our Great Leader is trying the same trick by changing
the definition of the words "weapons of mass destruction."
to the Washington Post, last week George W. Bush announced
in an interview that, "we found the weapons of mass destruction."
We did? Wow! But wait a second - it turns out that the "weapons
of mass destruction" Dubya is referring to are a couple
of trailers with lab equipment on board - but no actual evidence
of pathogens. So... before the war in Iraq, weapons
of mass destruction meant tons of nerve gas, anthrax, remote-controlled
crop-sprayers, chemical warheads, etc. After the war
in Iraq, weapons of mass destruction means a couple of empty
trucks. Talk about lowering the bar. And what's this? It seems
that while Bush was convincing the American people that an
attack by Iraq was imminent, Colin Powell was "under
pressure to use shaky intelligence," according to the
Associated Press. Apparently
a report handed to Powell during the administration's rush
to war contained "such questionable material that Powell
lost his temper, throwing several pages in the air and declaring,
'I'm not reading this. This is bullshit.'" Bullshit indeed.
But of course, Bill Clinton telling lies to cover up a private
sexual encounter is still ten million times worse than
George W. Bush telling lies to cover up the illegal invasion
of a foreign country involving the deaths of hundreds of U.S.
soldiers and thousands of Iraqi civilians. So, uh, just leave
Our Great Leader alone. He's restoring honor and integrity
to the White House don'tcha know.
Have Republicans finally given up all pretense that they actually
give a damn about the American people? First they admit that
they misled everyone about Iraq for political purposes, now
they're just coming straight out and saying "screw the
poor." Last week it was revealed
that a last-minute revision to Our Great Leader's latest tax
cut means that while families making more than $26,625 will
receive a $400 per child refund, families with incomes from
$10,500 to $26,625 will not benefit. According to the Center
on Budget and Policy Priorities the revision will affect one
child in every six under the age of 17 - so much for "leaving
no child behind." So why did Republicans make this last-minute-under-the-radar-screw-the-poor
amendment? House Republicans claimed that it was the Senate's
fault for lowering the tax cut to $350 billion - apparently
if there had been more money to throw around, they could have
been more "flexible." As it stands, they simply
can't afford to give refunds to the poor. Wealthy investors
will, however, make a killing from the latest tax cuts. So
the poor shouldn't complain - under the Republicans' trickle-down
tax plan, those investors will soon have enough money to provide
work for people who need a third job to make ends meet.
And here's some more rotting baloney from the Bush adminstration:
it was revealed
last week that before ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was
fired, he commissioned a report on the future of America's
budget deficit. The report showed that - well, basically we're
in the crapper. It's looking increasingly likely that the
retirement and healthcare plans of baby boomers - and future
generations - are in serious jeopardy. And yet strangely,
the report was shelved and not included in the 2004 Annual
Budget Report, published a mere two months after O'Neill was
fired. Of course this had absolutely nothing to do
with the fact that George W. Bush was shopping yet more tax
cuts for the rich. No, it was just a mere oversight. There's
nothing to see here. Um, pay no attention to the truth. Here,
take this $400 and shut up.
Why are we not surprised to discover that Halliburton's contracts
in Iraq are apparently much larger than earlier reported?
In a recent letter to US Army Secretary Les Brownlee, Rep.
Henry Waxman wrote, "When the contracts are combined,
the total amount that Halliburton has receieved to date for
work related to Iraq is now nearly 500 million dollars,"
to the AFP. Not only that, but one contract with the Army
Corps of Engineers has "a two year duration and a ceiling
of seven billion dollars," and a second contract "has
no ceiling at all." Not bad, considering they didn't
even have to bid for contracts in Iraq (see Idiots
104). And there's more: according to Waxman, the contracts
"allowed Halliburton to profit from virtually every phase
of the conflict with Iraq, including the military buildup
prior to the war, the conduct of the war and the restoration
of Iraq after the war." And while the previous CEO of
Halliburton was current vice president Dick Cheney, there
is absolutely no conflict of interest involved here.
So get that straight.
A couple of weeks ago, columnist Robert Scheer reported that
the BBC had some serious doubts about the official version
of the Jessica Lynch story. The BBC reported that "the
U.S. military and media of inaccurately and manipulatively
hyping the story of U.S. Pvt. Jessica Lynch and her rescue
from an Iraq hospital," according
to Scheer. The right-wing response was, of course, predictable.
The Pentagon called the report "a tirade," "outrageous,"
"patently false," "an insult," and "unsupported
by the facts." Wow, that's quite a bunch the Pentagon
have got their panties in, and they didn't even bother to
actually present any facts to back up their side of the story.
In fact, they even refused to let the BBC see the footage
of Lynch's "rescue." So they obviously have nothing
to hide. Interestingly though, the right-wing media - led
by FOX News - parroted the Pentagon's line. But of course
this has nothing to do with the fact that Rupert Murdoch has
"already committed a huge book advance" to the telling
of the Jessica Lynch story. Well, their version of it anyway.
What's that cloud of dust on the horizon? Why, it's the Florida
Legislature chasing fat piles of cash - and they're running
so fast they seem to have time-traveled back to the 19th Century!
The Legislature passed a reform bill last week with the aim
of cutting down on workers' compensation cases - and how are
they going to do that, you ask? Well, in Florida it's no longer
good enough to lose an arm, or a leg, or an eye in a workplace
accident for your injury to be considered "catastrophic".
You now have to lose both arms, legs, eyes, etc. According
to the St. Petersburg Times it's okay to "mix
and match" - you can lose an arm and a leg, or a foot
and an eye, for example. But anything less and there's no
compensation for you, bucko. How about brain or spinal cord
injuries? Pah! Get off your sick bed and back to work, you
malingering swine! And who is behind this latest example of
compassionate conservatism? Let's just say it's probably about
time they put up a sign at the Florida State Capitol Building
which says "The Florida Legislature - brought to you
by big business and insurance companies."
Talk about historical revisionism. Lionel Chetwynd is the
creator of a new made-for-TV movie based on the events of
9/11, which give us an interesting perspective on the
behavior of Our Great Leader during the terrorist attacks.
Chetwynd's script is - get this - "based on lengthy interviews
with Mr. Bush, Mr. Rove, top aide Andy Card, retiring White
House press aide Ari Fleischer, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
and other Republican officials in the White House and the
to the Toronto Globe and Mail. So it must be
a true account of what actually happened. For example, the
script contains such gems as this: BUSH - "If some tinhorn
terrorist wants me, tell him to come and get me! I'll be at
home! Waiting for the bastard!" SECRET SERVICE CHIEF
- "But Mr. President..." BUSH - "Try Commander-in-Chief.
Whose present command is: Take the President home!" Excuse
me while I laugh myself senseless for a moment. If I recall
correctly, while New York and Washington were under attack
Bush was flying around the country from secure location to
secure location like the yellow-bellied chicken-hawk he is.
But then, if the TV tells me otherwise, I suppose I'll have
to believe it...
Despite Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's best efforts to
give his behavior a patriotic spin, he appears to be slowly
backsliding into fascism. Gov. Pawlenty - who previously suggested
that anti-war protesters should pay extra fees (see Idiots
104) - last week signed a bill "requiring schools
to lead most students in the Pledge of Allegiance at least
once a week," according
to the Star Tribune. "You can't legislate patriotism,
but you sure can educate children on what makes our country
great," he said. So having the government force
people to recite patriotic mantras is what makes our country
great, is it Tim? I wonder what the Founding Fathers would
have to say about that.
And finally: more exciting news from Florida. Osceola County
Commissioner Chuck Dunnick was arrested and charged with battering
his wife last week after the pair had an argument. Here's
The Honorable Chuck Dunnick returned home late and his wife
was so mad she started throwing baseballs and glassware at
him. She then climbed onto the back of his Ford pickup truck
and dumped out the cooler of beer he was keeping there. So
Chuck climbed up, grabbed his wife by the shirt and neck,
hoisted her over the side and dumped her on the ground. Chuck
was subsequently arrested and sent to jail before being given
a pre-trial release, and in a burst of false optimism later
announced "I'm convinced something good for my family
is going to come out of this." Um, okay. And the moral
of the story? Simple - never get between a Republican County
Commissioner and the beer stash on the back of his pickup.
See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List