The Top Ten Conservative
Idiots (No. 150)
April 5, 2004
As the 9/11 investigation continues, the revelations about the White House just get worse and worse. As the White House tries to spin their pre-9/11 foreign policy, a never-delivered speech by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice (1) clearly illustrates their lack of attention to international terrorism. Not surprisingly, the vast right-wing conspiracy was spinning like crazy. Bill Frist (3), Bob Novak (4), and Zell Miller (5) all had some ridiculous things to say about Richard Clarke. And Jim Bunning (7) had some ridiculous things to say about his Democratic opponent for US Senate. And we've even got Bush on the list twice. Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!
It looks like the Responsibility President is down to his last line of defense. Last week George W. Bush threw Condoleezza Rice to the 9/11 Commission in a final attempt to cover his own ass, but it appears that the buck is moving slowly and inexorably towards Our Great Leader's desk, where, fingers crossed, it will stop. Unfortunately it'll probably just sorta slide right off the desk, leave quietly through a side door, and end up scotch-taped to the ass of some low-level bureaucrat - but we shall see. Meanwhile, Condi is likely to face some tough questioning from the 9/11 Commission this Thursday. To be fair, the questions might not have been so tough if she, oh, I dunno, hadn't lied her ass off since September 11 - just a thought. But Condi will also face accusations that she wasn't interested in al Qaeda and terrorism before September 11. It was revealed last week that she was due to give a speech on 9/11/01 which focused on missile defense, not terrorism. Apparently the speech said that we need to face "the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday," and then criticized Bill Clinton for focusing on terrorist groups and not on missile defense. Genius. Not only that but a former FBI translator testified to the 9/11 Commission recently that the US should have had an "orange or red type of alert in June or July of 2001. There was that much information available," and that, "there was specific information about use of airplanes, that an attack was on the way two or three months beforehand and that several people were already in the country by May of 2001. They should've alerted the people to the threat we're facing." Hmmm. Kinda puts a dent in Condi's "we had no idea they would use airplanes as missiles" story, doesn't it?
On the Late Show last week, David Letterman played a series of clips of a recent George W. Bush speech, which featured a teenage boy in the background yawning and checking his watch. Clearly amused by the boy's antics, CNN's Daryn Kagan ran the clips the following morning on CNN Live Today. And here's where it starts to get weird. After breaking for a commercial, Kagan came back and told her viewers that, "that video was from David Letterman. We're being told by the White House that the kid, as funny as he was, was edited into that video, which would explain why the people around him weren't really reacting. So, that from the White House." Hey, nice fact-checking Daryn! So the White House calls to tell you the "truth" and you just blurt it out right there on air? Does this have anything to do with all those missing weapons of mass destruction by any chance? But as if reporting spin directly from the White House isn't bad enough, there's even more idiocy to this than meets the eye. See, it turned out Letterman hadn't edited the boy into the clips - they were 100% real - and not only that but CNN claimed they hadn't even had a call from the White House. Apparently it was all just "a misunderstanding among staff." Fascinating! So this is how the cable news networks really operate - they just make it up as they go along.
Bill Frist has got a long way to go before he can claim the coveted "Ugliest Speech By A Senate Majority Leader" award currently held by Trent Lott (see Idiots 94) - but he'll probably be satisfied with last week's performance nonetheless. On the floor of the Senate, Frist all but accused Richard Clarke of committing perjury during his testimony to the 9/11 Commission, and said that Clarke was merely trying to "profit from the suffering that this nation endured on Sept. 11, 2001." (Of course, Bill Frist would never consider doing such a thing himself.) But it appears that Frist has failed to learn the lessons of Bill O'Reilly's lawsuit against Al Franken. See, Senator, when you latch yourself onto the White House spin machine and decry someone's book on the Senate floor, you're only going to make people more interested in that book. Sucker. Incidentally, Clarke has said that he will donate a "substantial" portion of the sales from the book to the families of military personnel who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq - not that he's obligated to do that. Richard Clarke has already done more for the 9/11 families than the entire Bush administration put together by having the courage to come out and tell the truth. You should try it sometime, Senator. Actually, better not. Your brain might melt.
Mind you, Bob "Traitor" Novak went one step further than Bill Frist last week, desperately trying to inject racism into the Richard Clarke story. On CNN's Crossfire, Novak asked Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Illinois), "Congressman, do you believe, you're a sophisticated guy, do you believe watching these hearings that Dick Clarke has a problem with this African-American woman Condoleezza Rice?" Uh, what? Clearly confused by this brazen statement, Emanuel asked Novak to repeat himself. So he did. "Do you believe that Dick Clarke has a problem with this African-American woman Condoleezza Rice?" asked Novak. "No, no. Bob, give me a break. No. No." said Emanuel. As John Stewart said later on the Daily Show, "I didn't even know this deck had a race card." I mean, for goodness sake, is there anything the Republican Attack machine won't try to pin on Richard Clarke? Look for next week's NewsMax exposé, "Richard Clarke: I wore women's clothing while picking up young boys on the Internet." Seriously, look out for it.
Once the first and only Democrat to ever appear on the Top Ten, Zell Miller could have a permanent spot from now until November if he keeps going at this rate. Last week the proud Bush supporter announced that we should stop investigating 9/11 immediately because it could "energize our enemies and demoralize our troops." That's right - according to Miller, finding out why 3,000 people were killed on September 11 so that we can make sure it doesn't happen again is the same as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. See, on Planet Zell, it's Richard Clarke who's really to blame for 9/11 because he was in the "catbird seat" for ten years. Never mind that Clarke was practically begging Bush to pay attention to al Qaeda and Bush ignored him - has everyone forgotten that Our Great Leader is absolutely not responsible for anything at all that happens under his watch? Said Miller, "It's obvious to me that this country is rapidly dividing itself into two camps - the wimps and the warriors." No Zell, if this country is dividing itself into two camps it's between people who want the truth and people who've got their noses so far up Bush's butt that they've lost their minds.
Pro-life activist John Burt used to run a home for "troubled girls and women." Whether they were troubled before they got there is up for debate - but they sure as hell were troubled afterwards. Burt was convicted last week on five counts of lewd or lascivious molestation or conduct and now faces a maximum of 75 years in prison. The girl Burt molested testified at his trial via a video link, accusing him among other things of showing her "a graphic and sexually explicit note that asks for oral sex and sexual intercourse." Burt testified that the note was actually for his wife, but - surprise - nobody believed him. Incidentally, Burt also associated with two men who were convicted of committing anti-abortion murders in the mid-1990s. I guess murder and child molestation are all part of the new conservative "family values" program.
Nothing like a good ethnic/terrorist "joke" to get a good hearty laugh at a Republican dinner - even better if the "joke" is told by a US Senator. It was revealed last week that at a March 20 dinner, Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning (R-Naturally) told the audience that his likely Democratic opponent in November, Dan Mongiardo, looks like Uday or Qusay Hussein. Ha ha! (Mongiardo is the son of Italian immigrants, which I guess Bunning equates with those swarthy-looking middle-eastern types.) The Cincinnati Enquirer asked Bunning's campaign about the remarks, which were reported to them by a Republican who attended the dinner, and the campaign promptly apologized. But here's the funny thing - later that day they retracted the apology, saying that they had obtained a tape of the event, and the report of Bunning's remarks was "inaccurate." Hmmmm. So could the Enquirer perhaps hear the tape, to find out what Bunning really said? Sorry - no. Well then, could the campaign just tell the Enquirer what Bunning really said? Uh, no. Oh, well, that all sounds completely above board then. Apparently there was something to the story though - Bunning's campaign apologized again last week, this time saying, "We're sorry if this joke, which got a lot of laughs, offended anyone." Well as long as a roomful of fatcat Republicans found the Senator's ethnic slur amusing, I guess that's okay.
According to Our Great Leader, everything in Iraq is peachy-keen - despite his failure to find weapons of mass destruction, 600+ dead American soldiers, and the fact that the country appears to be slipping towards civil war. Last week Bush appeared at a $2000-a-plate fundraiser where he mentioned Iraq but failed to mention the four contractors who had been shot dead, set on fire, dismembered, dragged through the streets of Fallujah and then hung from a bridge just hours before. I guess that wouldn't have gone down too well with his supporters. But that's okay, I guess Bush can keep burying his head in the sand if he wants. Hey, he told us that Iraqis would be dancing in the streets, and he kept his promise. Shame they were dancing around the charred bodies of American civilians.
George W. Bush
Despite the Richard Clarke controversy, George W. Bush is still trying to portray himself as a no-compromises, tough-on-terror kinda guy. Funny then that last week the White House denied an IRS request for 80 more criminal investigators to add to the 160 it currently has tracking down and disrupting al Qaeda's financial networks. And why was the request denied? So Bush can save a mere $12 million. Ah, there's nothing like frugality when it comes to stopping al Qaeda. Sure, we can spend $150 billion making things worse in Iraq, but $12 million to actually do something useful in the war on terror? Not a chance! That reminds me, isn't it about time they fired some more gay translators?
And finally, guess what? The White House is going to vet the 9/11 Commission's report line by line before it is publicly released, to make sure that it doesn't, you know, "compromise intelligence," or "jeopardize national security," or "make them look bad." So first they try to prevent an investigation into 9/11, then they try to delay it, then they try to prevent its deadline from being extended, then they try to prevent any members of the administration from testifying - and now the last ace up their sleeve is to redact half of the final report. According to Reuters, "Commission vice chairman Lee Hamilton vowed not to let the White House 'distort' the report." Ha, good luck with that. If there's one thing the Bush administration is good at, it's distorting. Expect to see a large consignment of black magic markers arriving at the White House sometime this week. See you next week...