The Top Ten Conservative
Idiots (No. 152)
April 19, 2004
Turkey and Mustard Edition
So, did you see Bush on tee-vee last Tuesday? Four words: Worst. Press Conference. Ever. His ridiculous performance earned him the top three spots on this week's list. But that's not all. He and Cheney collectively earned the number four slot for their massive tax windfall they both received this year from the Tax Cut. (Must be nice to have the power to stuff fat cash into your own pocket like that.) Rounding out the list, we've got some familiar faces: John Ashcroft (5) is blaming Bill Clinton for 9/11. Randall Terry (7) of Operation Rescue has a gay kid. (Oh, the horror!) And Antonin Scalia (9) has learned an important lesson. Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!
Millions of viewers tuned in to George W. Bush's primetime press conference last Tuesday, and immediately tuned out again when they realized that American Idol had been pre-empted. But those viewers really should have "stayed the course," because they missed out on a performance just as half-baked and devoid of talent, as hilarious and yet downright sad, as any of American Idol's worst auditions. Think William Hung in a suit - just as Hung has made a career out of repeating "she bangs" over and over again until it ceases to be funny and merely annoys the piss out of you, so George W. Bush continued to drag out the same tired old platitudes last Tuesday night. Regardless of the question being asked, Bush returned again and again to the safe havens of "freedom," "terra," "war on terra," and even that old stand-by, "weapons of mass destruction." What's your best prediction on how long U.S. troops will have to be in Iraq? The Iraqis want freedom. You said that the Iraqis would welcome us with sweets and flowers - how do you explain to Americans how you got that so wrong? Saddam Hussein used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. Why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9-11 commission? I look forward to answering their questions. Sorry George. America may not have voted yet, but you're in the bottom three tonight.
While George formed a lot of substanceless sentences from a lot of substanceless words last Tuesday, it was what he didn't say that proved to be quite telling. When asked the question, "You've looked back before 9-11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9-11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?" Bush clung to the podium, cast his eyes to the heavens as if looking for divine inspiration, looked at his feet for a while and shook his head, before finally blurting out, "You know, I just - I'm sure something will pop into my head here" (for video, visit this link, open it up in RealPlayer, and skip ahead to 50:58). The Worst President Ever then went on to explain that he was having trouble "in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer." Um, I hate to break it to you, numbnuts, but you're the Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America. And you can't even handle the pressure of a press conference? I'm going to start calling you Jello W. Bush from now on.
To be fair, there was one line that stuck out during Dubya's incoherent blatherings at the press conference. Yes, he was talking about weapons of mass destruction - again - but we can apparently now add 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm to all the VX, anthrax, yellowcake and aluminum tubes. That's right - it wouldn't be a press conference without Our Great Leader telling fibs about stockpiles of WMDs. During his non-answer to the question "what's your biggest mistake?" Bush started going on about how he still thinks that WMDs will be found: "See, I'm of the belief that we'll find out the truth on the weapons. That's why we sent up the independent commission. I look forward to hearing the truth as to exactly where they are. They could still be there. They could be hidden, like the 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm." Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm story, here's the deal. Bush was talking about Libya's voluntary disclosure of weapons earlier this year, during which inspectors discovered - you guessed it - 50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm. Except... the day after the press conference Scott McClellan had to clarify Bush's statement, because apparently only 23.6 tons of mustard gas were found. Oh, and the substance was actually found scattered across Libya, not at the turkey farm. Um, in fact, there wasn't any mustard gas at the turkey farm at all, just unfilled munitions. So technically Bush's statement was correct, apart from the bit about "50 tons of mustard gas in a turkey farm." You know, it's not surprising that Bush can't think of any mistakes he's made since 9/11, considering that he DOESN'T HAVE A BRAIN.
W. Bush and Dick Cheney
But that's enough about Bush's piss-poor press conference. Let's turn our attention instead to tax cuts for the rich. It was revealed last week that "President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney reaped tax benefits last year from the cuts that they pushed through Congress," according to the Associated Press. Jello and Pickles paid a mere 28 percent of their adjusted gross income for 2003 compared to 31 percent in 2002, while Crashcart and, uh, Lynne, paid a piddling 20 percent of their $1.3 million income compared to 29 percent in 2002. So it's good to know that Bush's tax cuts are going to help those who really need it. A White House spokesperson said that the tax cuts have "had the effect of spurring economic growth and creating jobs." Yeah, right. With a bit of luck, Bush's elitist tax reform will have the same effect on his job this year as it's had on the jobs of three million of his fellow Americans since he came into office.
The Crisco Kid himself appeared before the 9/11 Commission last week to explain why everything that the Bush administration did leading up to September 11 was in fact the fault of the Clinton administration. According to Ashcroft's version of the story, he "moved quickly" to focus the nation on fighting terrorism as soon as he got into office, which I guess would explain why former interim FBI director Thomas J. Pickard testified before the Commission that Ashcroft specifically asked not to be briefed about terrorism. I guess it would also explain why Ashcroft testified that "We did not know an attack was coming, because for nearly a decade our government had blinded itself to its enemies," despite the fact that Condoleezza Rice already testified that the Clinton plan was a good one, which is why she chose to keep it in place and retain Richard Clarke. And I guess that it would also explain why, according to the UK Guardian, on September 10, 2001 Ashcroft "sent a request for budget increases to the White House. It covered 68 programs, none of them related to counter-terrorism." Oh, and he "also sent a memorandum to his heads of departments, stating his seven priorities. Counter-terrorism was not on the list." Oh yeah, and let's not forget that he "turned down an FBI request for hundreds more agents to be assigned to tracking terrorist threats." Damn you, Bill Clinton and your terrorist-loving penis! Look what you made John Ashcroft do!
Speaking of attorneys general, meet Robert Owsiany, former deputy state attorney general from Pittsburgh. Owsiany - a Republican Party activist - is somewhat infamous in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where he served as the local GOP solicitor, because according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "The GOP-dominated county Board of Elections hired Owsiany to investigate allegations of absentee ballot fraud in Kennedy between 1997 and 2002. His report alleged township Democrats were involved in an organized effort to forge absentee ballots in municipal primaries and elections...A federal probe was initiated, but criminal charges have not been filed in the case. County Treasurer John Weinstein and his father, Kennedy Treasurer Melvin Weinstein, longtime Democratic Party power players, disputed any wrongdoing and argued Owsiany's report was tainted. They contended Owsiany was a 'hired gun for the Republican Party.'" But anyway, that's all water under the bridge. Owsiany's got other things on his plate at the moment, not least of which is the fact that he apparently had to step down from his position last month "after the FBI seized the hard drive of his office computer in a child pornography investigation." Tsk, tsk.
Is there anything more embarrassing for a militant anti-abortion/anti-same-sex marriage activist and all round right-wing nutcase than your son revealing that he is gay? That's what just happened to Randall Terry, the former head of Operation Rescue. See, Terry's son Jamiel wrote a recent article for Out magazine, and now Terry is pissed. Apparently Jamiel, who Terry adopted when he was eight years old, came out to his father two years ago, but making it public has driven Terry bonkers. In a recent essay on right-wing turd-outlet WorldNetDaily.com, he says that "Jamiel is incredibly gifted. He is articulate and handsome. He sings like an angel, he plays the piano, he's a great cook, and he's a great debater. He would make a powerful lawyer and a formidable politician." Now, I have no doubt that Jamiel is all those things and more, which is why it's kinda confusing when Terry goes on to say, "My son is a young man in crisis who needs intervention and therapy, not heady interviews with CNN.... And Out magazine is despicable for their participation in a sham and exploiting my son for their own political agenda." Uh, so your 24-year-old son would make a great lawyer or politician, but he also needs intervention and therapy and Out magazine is exploiting him? What a load of crap. Three big cheers for Terry the Younger, several hundred large boos for Terry the Elder.
Former Democrat-turned-traitor Sen. Ben Nighthorse-Campbell of Colorado got into a spot of hot water last week when he made a crass joke about the Coors Light twins. Campbell is retiring this year, and beer magnate Pete Coors has indicated that he will run on the Republican ticket to replace him. So Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Littwin decided to ask Campbell about one of the most important issues of the upcoming campaign - what he thought of the Coors Light twins. Littwin showed the Senator a picture of the twins and asked him if he saw a problem with it. "Whoa, what the hell's the matter with that?" Campbell replied. "Hey, what have you got in your pants?" Oh my, what... gravitas. So Littwin dutifully reported the Senator's comments in his column last week. But here's the funny thing: the day after the column was published, Campbell claimed that he'd been set up. "I didn't even say it. I had two of my staff right with me, and I didn't even say it," he blustered. "But, it miraculously showed up in print." Miraculously indeed. Good job Littwin had a tape of the incident which the Rocky Mountain News decided to publish on their website, along with a convenient transcript. Enjoy the show.
And now, a follow-up on last week's story about Antonin Scalia having one of his goons erase the tapes of two reporters who were recording a recent speech he was giving at a Mississippi high school. Scalia wrote an apology to both reporters, saying, "As I understand it from press reports, a United States Marshal erased, or caused you to erase, the tape recorder that you were using for the purpose of assuring the accuracy of your press report. I imagine that is an upsetting and indeed enraging experience..." According to the Associated Press, "vowed he would make it clear in the future that recording his remarks for the use of the print media would not be a problem." Said he, "I have learned my lesson." Uh, hang on a second - isn't it a bit late for a Supreme Court Justice to be learning lessons about the First Amendment?
U.S. Forest Service
And finally, the U.S. Forest Service recently put out a brochure which insists that more logging is imperative to prevent wildfires in the Sierra Nevada. Want proof? The brochure contains six photos which demonstrate how the "forests of the past" were in fact much sparser than the forests of today. The photos - taken in 1909, 1948, 1958, 1968, 1979 and 1989 - show an open area of forest which, in each picture, becomes filled with more and more trees and underbrush. The pamphlet says, "Today's forests, dense with green, may seem beautiful, but in fact are deadly... Our old-growth forests are choking with brush, tinder-dry debris and dead trees which make the risk of catastrophic fire high." There's just one tiny problem - it was recently revealed that the 1909 photo used in the brochure was taken after the area had been logged, so that would explain the large, open area with hardly any trees or underbrush. Oh yes, and there's one other minor detail they left out of the brochure - the 1909 photo was taken in Montana, which is nowhere near the Sierra Nevada. In fact, the photo originally appeared in a 1983 Forest Service research report and was captioned "cleanup operations on the Lick Creek timber sale." A Forest Service spokesperson said "Our goal here was to... increase the clarity and understandability of our message. We needed to be accurate but not necessarily precise to the 99th degree." Well all I can say is thank goodness the Bush administration has made blatant manipulation and outright distortion acceptable in today's society, or someone would probably get into trouble for this. See you next week!