Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 148)
Wrong Answer, Do It Again Edition
once again to the wonderful world of conservative idiocy.
This week we have a whole stableful of asses, beginning with
George W. Bush (1) and Donald Rumsfeld (2,3) who have been
firmly leading us away from the war on terror. But they're
not just misleading everyone on foreign policy - Team Bush
(4) and the Bush Administration (10) are doing a fine job
of keeping the blinders on at home too. Elsewhere, Dennis
Hastert and Henry Hyde (5) and Paul Wolfowitz (6) are showing
us what they really think about democracy, Rhea County,
Tennessee, Commissioners (7) want to ban gays, and traditional
marriage is coming under attack from, um, the Christian Coalition
(8). Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!
If you need any more evidence that the Bush Administration
was looking for any excuse to go to war against Iraq, here it is. Appearing on the CBS News program "60 minutes,"
Richard Clarke, the former top anti-terrorism advisor to George
W. Bush, said that on September 11, 2001, "The president dragged
me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door,
and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.'" After
Clarke explained that the government had already looked into
it and found no conection to Iraq, Dubya responded (as only
Dubya could), "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection."
Clarke got the very clear impression that Bush was trying
to intimdiate Clarke into giving the answer which Bush wanted
to hear. So, the FBI and the CIA got together and wrote a
report which basically stated that Iraq was not involved in
the 9/11 attacks. When it was sent to the National Security
Advisor, Clarke says that the report "got bounced and sent
back saying, 'Wrong answer. ... Do it again.'" Of course,
this revelation should come as no surprise to any non-biased
observer with an ounce of sense. Anyone can see that Bush
would have given his left testicle for an excuse to attack
Iraq. 3,000 Americans were killed in cold blood, and this
sick bastard uses it as an opportunity to settle a score for
his daddy, using totally fabricated evidence. Disgusting.
But of course, Bush wasn't the only person responsible for
this disaster. The "60 minutes" interview with Richard Clarke
showed that Donald Rumsfeld was probably even more jazzed
about attacking Iraq than his boss was. According to Clarke,
on the day after 9/11 Rumsfeld was arguing that the U.S. needed
to attack Iraq. The intelligence community, of course, explained
that al Qaeda was in Afghanistan, not Iraq. To which Rumsfeld
responded with perhaps the single most idiotic justification
ever for attacking another country: He said that there
weren't any good targets in Afghanistan, but there are lots of good targets in Iraq. What the hell? So now the United States
of America invades other countries because they've got lots
of good targets? These people are sick, sick, sick!
Fortunately, Don ended up looking quite the ass last week
when MoveOn.org released a video of his lying, hypocritical
performance on Face The Nation. See, for a while now the Bushies
have been trying to push the idea that nobody used the phrase
"immediate threat" in reference to Iraq - and they seem to
have started believing their own lies. Said Rumsfeld on FTN:
"You and a few other critics are the only people I've heard
use the phrase 'immediate threat.' I didn't... and it's become
kind of folklore that that's what happened." Oh really? Team
Bush seems to specialize in folklore and rewriting history
- but Thomas Friedman called them on it this time, reading
a direct quote from Rumsfeld himself, made on September 18,
2002: "Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq
is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years
away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so sure."
Responded Rumsfeld, "Well, I've tried to be precise and I've
tried to be accurate..." Yeah, right. Obviously you haven't
been trying very hard, Don. But if that quote wasn't quite
incriminating enough, Friedman immediately presented Rumsfeld
with more of his own words, also from September 18, 2002:
"No terror state poses a greater or more immediate threat
to the security of our people and the stability of the world
than the regime of Saddam Hussein." For a good laugh (followed,
unfortunately, by a sinking feeling of utter disgust at the
brazen lies of the Bush administration) check
out the video. The look on Rumsfeld's face is priceless.
We all know how much George W. Bush wants to spread democracy
around the world. Unless of course it's a "bad democracy"
like Haiti, or a "good dictatorship" like Pakistan, or Saudi
Arabia. But believe it or not, it seems that Bush also believes
in turning a blind eye to democracy if it means he can get
a good deal on some cheap sweaters. Back in July
of 2003, Bush signed a bill and issued an executive order
which would ban the import of products from Myanmar, aka Burma,
in order to punish the country's military leadership for cracking
down on pro-democracy movements. "By denying these rulers
the hard currency they use to fund their repression, we are
providing strong incentives for democratic change and human
rights in Burma," said Bush. Oh yeah? It was discovered
last week that Our Great Leader has been flogging campaign
clothing on his website with a rather revealing tag attached
- "Made in Myanmar." But as usual, the Responsibility President
has placed the blame squarely on someone else, this time the
company that shipped the pullovers, Spalding Group of Louisville,
Kentucky. I mean, come on. Clearly, it was not the Bush campaign's
fault. How were they to know that they were selling illegally
imported "Bush-Cheney '04" clothing thus propping up a freedom-hating
dictatorship? Well, yes, okay. They could have read the labels.
Hastert and Henry Hyde
It looks like Spain has also joined the list of bad democracies
following their general election two days after a series of
terrorist bombings which killed more than 200 people in Madrid.
The Spanish people chose to oust prime minster (and friend
of Bush) José María Aznar, and that did
not sit well with some U.S. lawmakers. "Here's a country
who stood against terrorism and had a huge terrorist act within
their country, and they chose to change their government and
to, in a sense, appease terrorists," said House Speaker Dennis
Hastert. "The vote in Spain was a great victory for al-Qaida,"
said Rep. Henry Hyde. What bullshit. The bombings in
Spain were a great victory for al-Qaida, the election that
followed was a victory for the Spanish people. Tossing around
the suggestion that an entire nation are terrorist appeasers
because they exercised their democratic rights is throroughly
irresponsible - and Hastert and Hyde appear to have overlooked
the staggeringly obvious conclusion that the Spanish electorate
chose to get rid of the government which failed to protect
them from terrorists. Why on earth would they want to
re-elect the government which brought al-Qaida to their doorsteps?
José María Aznar said that he would protect the Spanish people
by dancing to the Bush administration's tune - and he failed
spectacularly. Perhaps the new government will do a better
job of stopping the killing.
But when it comes to Spain, Hastert and Hyde aren't the only
conservatives putting their feet in their mouths - Paul Wolfowitz
has been toeing the party line with equally
disastrous results. Wolfowitz also thinks that the recent
election in Spain is a sign that the Spanish people are in
league with al-Qaida, but instead of sneering at their democratic
process, he decided to try flattery instead: "The Spaniards
are courageous people. I mean, we know it from their whole
culture of bullfighting," said he during an interview with
PBS last week. Way to stereotype an entire nation, Paul. "This
is an ignorant comment," remarked Madrid firefighter Juan
Carlos Yunquera. "For a top official, it shows he doesn't
know what he's talking about." Said bartender Oliver Iglesias,
"We are indeed very brave. But no one here likes the war in
Iraq. And there's a big difference between killing a bull
and killing a person." You know, I'm so glad that Bush has
surrounded himself with highly accomplished foreign policy
experts like Paul Wolfowitz. Their experience and class just
comes shining through.
County, Tennessee, Commissioners
Do you ever wonder what happened to that county where they
held the Scopes "Monkey Trial" back in 1925 to outlaw teaching
evolution in schools? Me neither. But nearly 80 years later
they're back in the news, and this time they're trying to
outlaw gay people. You heard me right. The county commissioners
of Rhea County, Tennessee, voted 8-0 last week in favor of
charging gays and lesbians with crimes against nature.
They also asked the county attorney to find a way to ban homosexuals
from living in their county. According to commissioner J.C.
Fugate, "We need to keep them out of here." Somehow, I have
a feeling that there won't be many gays moving to Rhea county
any time soon, but that's just a hunch. After a "wildfire"
reaction against the measure, the county commision overturned
their decision two days later. Attorney Gary Fritts explained
"There has just been so much misunderstanding about this.
It was to stop people from coming here and getting married
and living in Rhea County." Actually, I don't think there
was any misunderstanding at all.
Ammons and Michele Combs
Traditional marriage is under attack! But this time, it's
by high-ranking officials in the Christian Coalition. Oh,
the irony! Tracy Ammons, the former Senate lobbyist and outreach
coordinator of the Christian Coalition of America, and Michele
Combs, the organization's vice president for communications,
are getting a divorce - and it's a nasty one.
Combs has filed hardball civil claims against her husband
Ammon unless Ammon will give up custody of their 3 1/2-year-old
child. (Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Christian
Coalition have something to say about kids needing two
parents?) Combs also hired a private investigator to entrap
Ammons in an infidelity sting. Meanwhile, Ammons has refused
to pay $36,000 in support and legal fees to Combs, and was
briefly put in jail. To top it all off, Combs' divorce is
being bankrolled by Roberta Combs, the president of the Christian
Coalition. And these are the people who are telling the rest
of us who we can and cannot marry. I'm guessing that they
blame the sucky state of their own marriages on all the loving,
committed gay couples out there who want equal rights.
Oh the hypocrisy. According
to the Los Angeles Times thirteen Republican members
of Congress have written to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg asking her to recuse herself from any cases involving
abortion. Why? Because she is taking part in the Ruth Bader
Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored
by the NOW legal defense fund, which sometimes files legal
briefs before the Supreme Court. "As legislators, we believe
your actions call into question your ability to rule with
impartiality on any case involving abortion," said the letter.
So let me get this straight - Ruth Bader Ginsburg should recuse
herself from all abortion cases brought before the high court
because she's going to give a few speeches which are being
co-sponsored by the National Organization of Women,
but Antonin "Quack Quack" Scalia can go on a quiet, private
hunting trip with Dick Cheney before he hears a case which
could directly affect Cheney's political future (see
Idiots passim) - and that's perfectly okay? What rubbish.
And finally, here's another one for the "they'll do anything
to win the election" file. We noted
last week that Bush's top man on Medicare was warned he would
be fired if he revealed how much the recently passed White
House-backed Medicare bill would really cost - it turned out
that the Bush administration knew all along that the bill
would cost up to $150 billion more than lawmakers thought
it would, but they kept quiet until the bill was passed. Anyway,
it was revealed
last week that the Bush administration recently produced a
series of phony news reports lauding the bill, which were
distributed to news stations who broadcast them as if they
were real. Yup, the "honesty and integrity" administration
used taxpayer money to create these "video news releases"
which come complete with shots of Bush getting a standing
ovation before signing the Medicare bill, "interviews" with
HHS Tommy Thompson (reading off cue cards), a fake pharmacist
agreeing with a fake customer that the new law sounds like
a "very good idea," and paid actors playing the part of journalists.
TV stations in several states then broadcast the segments
as part of their regular news programming, their viewers completely
unaware that they were watching government-produced propaganda.
Mind you, what better way for a phony president to promote
a phony bill than with a series of phony news reports? I guess
1984 was a good year for Republicans. See you next
a Conservative for Next Week's List