Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 109)
May 12, 2003
Administration Misinformation Edition
Lies, damn lies, and the Bush administration. Yup, the folks who were supposed to be as honest as the day is long seem recently to have been going out of their way to lay the BS on extra-thick. Top of the chart this week we have Team Bush Misinformation Squad, a group of individuals who've been desperately spinning the Top Gun story. Then we discover that the Bush Administration (2) have been lying to us about weapons of mass destruction all along. And there's George W. Bush (3) himself lying to us about his hydrogen-powered car initiative. But it's not all liars this week, no sir. Check out Ted Nugent (5) who is either incredibly naive or just plain stupid (we're going with the latter) and John Mott (7) a cop on a patriotic mission to destroy critical thinking at all costs. Yup, the idiocy runs the gamut this week, so enjoy, and as usual, here's the key.
Bush Misinformation Squad
Looks like Our Great Leader's Great Money-Wasting Top Gun Photo-Op may have backfired on him. After Dubya made his carrier landing two weeks ago, a lot of people have been asking such questions as: how much money did this little exercise cost? Why did Ari Fleischer originally say that the Abraham Lincoln was hundreds of miles offshore when it was actually only 30 miles away? And if that was the case, why take a Viking when a helicopter would have done? Why was the carrier ordered to cruise around in circles when it saw land, instead of heading home so the sailors could be with their families? (Idiot answer from Navy chief of information Rear Admiral Stephen R. Pietropaoli: "We're not doing the families any favors by tricking them and coming in sooner.") And why was Dubya dressed like some kind of third-world military leader? The flight suit question has been vexing conservatives who claim that Dubya had to get togged up like that to fly on the Viking. As Ari the Liar put it at a press briefing last week, "If you noticed, everybody who came off the Viking wore a flight suit, as you were required to wear a flight suit if you were going to participate in a flight on the Viking. That is what you wear if you're on a Viking." Funny, because when Republican congressman Mike Pence was asked on CNN's Crossfire if he had to wear a flight suit when he made a tail-hook landing on the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, he replied, "If they offered me one and if I could fit in, I would have put it on in a heartbeat." How peculiar!
The secret's out at last: "senior Bush administration officials" have admitted that "Saddam Hussein probably had no weapons of mass destruction," and would be "amazed" if they found any, according to the British newspaper The Sunday Herald. The Herald reported last week that "According to administration sources, Saddam shut down and destroyed large parts of his WMD programmes before the invasion of Iraq." And yet the Herald also notes that in a speech given soon after this information was leaked, Bush claimed that, "Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We will find them." So there you have it - the Bush administration's misinformation steamroller continues to crush the truth beneath its mighty wheels. And there's a faint voice in the back of my mind which keeps repeating the forgotten phrase restoring honesty and integrity to the White House. What a joke.
Remember when Bush promised during his last State of the Union speech that he would spend $1.2 billion so ensure that we would all soon be driving around in non-polluting hydrogen-powered cars? It wouldn't be a stretch to say that some people were a tad surprised at Dubya's sudden embrace of all things eco-friendly. But as always with the Bush administration, there's a twist. MotherJones.com reported last week that despite the fact that hydrogen can easily be obtained from water (you know, that stuff that covers 70% of the planet) Bush's $1.2 billion dollars would be going straight back to his buddies in the fossil fuel industries. Yep, Dubya plans to give a large handout to his corporate donors, by ensuring that "up to 90 percent of all hydrogen will be refined from oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels - in a process using energy generated by burning oil, coal, and natural gas." So - Bush's hydrogen-powered car scheme is nothing more than a giant scam to benefit polluters. Why aren't we surprised?
Looks like GOP Senators have hit upon a fantastic way to cover the cost of Bush's latest insane tax cut for millionaires - simply raise taxes elsewhere! According to the Washington Post, "All told, committee members approved more than 30 tax increases or other revenue raisers to help fund their tax cuts in other areas, including dividends." Brilliant! Give a massive tax cut to the rich, create a massive deficit, propose more tax cuts for the rich, and then propose raising taxes on people such as Americans working overseas to cover the cost. What is it about the Republican party and their animal desire to hand as much money as possible to millionaires? Oh, that's right - they get it all back in contributions when campaign season rolls around again.
Perhaps Ted Nugent isn't the best person to be hosting a discussion on race relations in America in the year 2003. Appearing on Denver's 103.5 FM Lewis & Floorwax morning show, The Nuge pontificated on Japanese-made guitars, referring to them as "Japs." When the hosts of the show called him on the use of the word, Nugent couldn't resist and let all of Denver know that words such as "Jap," "Gook," and "Nigger" were, hey, just words and shouldn't offend anyone. Ted was apparently baffled to discover that people are offended by these words - namely Asians and African Americans. Who would've thought it? But presumably Ted thinks that Asians and African Americans who are offended by racial slurs are just highly-strung and over-reacting. See, according to Ted, "Political correctness has brought America to its knees." Man, I almost feel sorry for that poor downtrodden white male multi-millionaire. He just can't catch a break.
Oakland High School Teacher
From the "Watch What You Say" files, #5892375: a teacher at Oakland High School, CA, recently reported two students to the Secret Service after remarks they made about George W. Bush in a classroom discussion of the war in Iraq. The Secret Service then showed up at the high school and interrogated the students with neither legal counsel nor their parents present. The interrogation took place in the presence of the school principal, who, when asked by the students if they had the right to remain silent or the right to an attorney, allegedly replied, "We own you, you don't have any legal rights." Remember when the classroom used to be a place for learning and the free expression of ideas? Not any more, my friends. Welcome to Bush's America. Keep your mouth shut, look straight ahead, and don't say anything bad about Our Great Leader or they'll send the goon squad to have a quiet word in your ear. Note to conservatives who think that liberals want to turn America into the Soviet Union: are you blind?
Oakland High School isn't the only high school to have received unwarranted attention from conservative zealots in recent weeks. Take Spaulding High School, VT, for example, which was recently the victim of some unconstitutional police surveillance. John Mott is a police officer in Barre Town, Vermont, who broke into Spaulding High School in the middle of the night to take pictures of the public issues classroom on his personal camera. He was on duty at the time. Why did Mott feel the need to do this? Because apparently public issues teacher Tom Treece, an ardent pacifist, "offended him as an American and a retired military man" and Mott wanted to show the world what was going on in his classroom. Which is, apparently, some incredibly dangerous propaganda. Are you ready for this? Treece says "I tell kids from day one: I don't want you to agree with me, I want you to be informed and think for yourselves. I have never squashed dissent in my class in any way shape or form. Defend what you believe and if you can't defend it I’m going to pick holes in your argument no matter what side of the issue you're on." I can see why Mott was so offended. I mean, teaching kids that dissent is okay? Teaching them to think for themselves? The right-wing must be horrified.
Perhaps if Our Great Leader stopped wasting the military's time and started paying attention to what his kids were up to, he'd actually have a leg to stand on when he preaches family values to the rest of America. It was alleged last week by "That 70's Show" actor Ashton Kutcher that Jenna and Barbara Bush can't get enough of the evil weed. Apparently Kutcher witnessed the twins drinking (they were underage at the time) and hitting his friend's bong at a party a year and a half ago. So, George - it looks like your cunning plan to avoid revealing all your "youthful indiscretions" in order to prevent your children from making the same mistakes is really paying off, eh?
And there's more. Our Great Leader's Great Brother made a teary speech in front of a statewide drug court graduation ceremony last week, saying "he hoped to watch his daughter complete the program soon," according to the Associated Press. Things got a little emotional for Jeb as he blubbed, "I'm going to be sitting soon, I hope, as a loving and proud father, with you." And while I'm sure that watching his daughter graduate from drug court will be one of the proudest moments of Jeb's life - I mean, it's gotta be better than when his wife got busted smuggling $19,000 worth of clothes and jewelry through Customs - just what the hell is it with these moralizing, holier-than-thou conservatives and their junkie kids?
And finally, boom - just like that, the king is dead. It was reported last week that Jay Garner, the US civil administrator of Iraq, is outtathere. He will be replaced by "career diplomat" Paul Bremer, who, as a career diplomat, presumably won't go around saying things like "We ought to be beating our chests every day. We ought to look in a mirror and get proud and stick out our chests and suck in our bellies and say: 'Damn, we're Americans!'." (See Idiots 108). So it's goodbye King Jay I of Iraq and hello King Paul I of Iraq - here's hoping you last a little longer than your predecessor. But don't worry about Jay - I'm sure he'll be beating his chest and sucking in his belly all the way home. See you next week!