The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
July 18, 2005
Corruption, Conspiracy, and Cover-Up Edition
matter how hard they tried, the GOP didn't have much success making
this whole Traitorgate thing go away. Despite their efforts to confuse
the story, it's apparent that Karl Rove (1) really did put
politics ahead of national security. Even White House spokesman
Scott McClellan (2) was reduced to repeating the same pathetic mantra
over and over again, to very little effect. In other news, Rick
Santorum (7) showed once again that he's one of the biggest hypocrites
in Washington. And the good people over at Enron (10) decided that
they've been doing such a swell job that, well... you'll see.
The Plame Affair took off last week, and the media has done
their usual trick of falling for the right-wing's smears, obfuscations
and downright lies. Never mind the fact that the senior adviser
to the president has been blithely discussing official secrets with
reporters, potentially threatening our national security. Never
mind the fact that the White House previously called questions about
Rove's involvement "ridiculous." No, in the interests
of "fairness" and "balance" we must repeat these
talking points which have just arrived by fax!
One thing's for sure: we won't know what really happened until
the investigation is complete. But here's what we do know.
First of all, Karl Rove is not the only traitor running around in
the White House. Robert Novak cited two "senior administration
officials" in his original
story which revealed Valerie Plame's CIA position. Not only
that, but Rove is now claiming that he actually received
the information from Novak rather than the other way round. Frankly,
after two years of cover-up and denial, this seems somewhat bizarre
- and if it's not true, Rove is guilty of perjury. But if it is
true, who are the other two senior administration officials?
Even if Rove did get the information from Novak - a claim which,
as I just mentioned, gives off a strong whiff of bullpoop - Rove
was still responsible for spreading the information at least as
far as Matt Cooper of Time magazine - and Cooper insists
that Rove was his first source on the matter. Rove even went so
far as to tell him, "I've already said too much." Refresh
my memory - when has it been okay to reveal national security secrets
to reporters for the purposes of partisan political point-scoring?
And just to be clear - why didn't Karl Rove reveal this information
two years ago when the investigation began? In 2003 the White House
fell all over itself to declare that the Plame leaker would be dealt
with. Scott McClellan called the leak "a very serious matter," saying,
"if anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking
of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration."
So why did Rove allow his colleagues - not to mention his boss,
George W. Bush - to make embarrassing statements about bringing
the leaker to justice? Why did he sit back and watch while journalists
were threatened with jail time? Why didn't he step forward and reveal
his role in the leak?
Here's why: because what Karl Rove did was politically motivated,
potentially criminal, injurious to the national security of the
United States, and at the very least embarrassing to his White House
colleagues who had already insisted that the leaker's head be brought
to them on a platter. And, more importantly, he thought he could
get away with it. But this time, despite the Karl Rove's legalistic
and ever-shifting defense, it looks like he might have finally stepped
in some shit that he can't scrape off on Democrats. And the ramifications
could be disastrous
for the entire administration.
You almost had to feel sorry for Scott McClellan last week.
His masters dangled him like a piñata in front of a suddenly-aggrieved
White House press corps with but one instruction: stonewall at all
costs. And stonewall he did, clearly at great cost to his own mental
Scott's stock response to every single question regarding Karl
Rove was that he would not comment during an "ongoing investigation"
- even to questions which had nothing to do with said investigation.
Reporters were so frustrated that some of them even heckled Scott
at the end of one press conference, shouting "Karl Rove! Karl
Rove! Karl Rove!" and "Will Karl be on the space shuttle
tomorrow?" as Scotty ran from the podium with his tail between
Funnily enough though, the White House had no problem commenting
two years ago - during the ongoing investigation. In 2003, answering
questions about Karl Rove's role in the leak, Scott McClellan said
I've made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in
the first place. ... I've said that it's not true. ... And I have
spoken with Karl Rove.
I've made it very clear, he was not involved, that there's no
truth to the suggestion that he was.
Oh dear. Still, we'll be looking forward to Mr. McClellan's press
conferences this coming week, and we even have a special gift for
him, which I'm sure he'll find quite useful:
"I want to know the truth. Leaks of classified information
are bad things," said
George W. Bush back in February of 2004. "If the person has violated
law, that person will be taken care of. I welcome the investigation.
I am absolutely confident the Justice Department will do a good
job. ... If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know
who it is."
HE'S BEHIND YOU!!!
There he is again!! Quick, grab him before he gets away!!
Or don't, whatever. But Our Great Leader should be warned: the
tidal wave of crap gushing forth from the White House may well explain
his collapsing approval ratings. A recent NBC/Wall
Street Journal poll shows that Bush's rating for appearing "honest
and straightforward" has fallen 9 points since January, from
50 percent to 41 percent. Meanwhile, an AP-Ipsos
poll shows his overall approval at 42 percent, and six in ten
Americans say the country is on the wrong track. That's not pretty.
But then, neither is he.
CORRECTION: We noted last
week that George W. Bush fell off a bicycle for the second time
during his presidency. We have since learned that it was actually
time he has fallen off a bicycle. We apologize for the error.
Speaking of honesty and straightforwardness, here's an extremely
rare display of it from a Bush Administration official. Last week
Douglas Feith, chief policy adviser to Donald Rumsfeld, admitted
that "the Bush administration erred by building its public
case for war against Saddam Hussein mainly on the claim that he
possessed banned weapons," according
to the Associated Press.
Feith backed up the assertions made in the Downing
Street Memo that facts were being fixed around the policy saying,
"I don't think there is any question that we as an administration,
instead of giving proper emphasis to all major elements of the rationale
for war, overemphasized the WMD aspect." Well, yes... but considering
the other rationales were "Saddam Hussein gassed his own people
in the 1980s with weapons we gave him" and "We really
want the Iraqi soccer team to play in the World Cup," you can
So there you have it - they wanted the war, they lied about the
reasons, and they got the war. And now the world is a much safer
place - provided you aren't an American
soldier, or an Iraqi
civilian, or just someone who happens to live in a major
city anywhere in the world. Good job.
After the London bombings, Britons were keen to demonstrate
their resolve. A group claming responsibility posted a message on
their website shortly after the attacks, saying
that "Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic
in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters."
Hardly. The vast majority of Britons went about their business as
usual before stopping to quietly and tastefully remember
Not so the Pentagon, who decided to hand Al Qaeda some free publicity
instead. While the British demonstrated their fortitude, the Pentagon
American military personnel stationed in the UK from travelling
to London to "ensure their safety and security."
to Simon Jenkins, former editor of the London Times,
"The order has since been rescinded, but the damage is done.
London must be one of the safest cities on Earth. The only conceivable
purchase the terrorists can get is by sowing fear, a fear which
is statistically irrational - Americans are more at risk on the
roads round their bases than in the capital. Yet Washington handed
Al-Qaeda a free publicity coup on a plate. It incidentally had every
front page and every pub bar ranting about cowardly Americans, jeering
at the US Marines 'We are not afraid' website, which adds 'We stand
with our British brothers and sisters.'"
Question: if the Pentagon can't even figure out its public relations
with Britain, what chance does it have of winning the hearts and
minds of the Iraqi people?
Bill Frist and Friends
Last week Democratic senators suggested an amendment which would
"deny access to classified information to any federal employee
who discloses a covert CIA agent's identity," according
to the Washington Post. Sounds reasonable, right? I mean,
we shouldn't be letting federal employees who run around gabbing
about CIA agents get their hands on even more information about
CIA agents, right?
Sadly the Republicans didn't see it that way. Instead, Sen. Bill
"Follow The Balloon" Frist proposed a different amendment
which would prevent "Any federal officeholder who makes reference
to a classified Federal Bureau of Investigation report on the floor
of the United States Senate, or any federal officeholder that makes
a statement based on an FBI agent's comments which is used as propaganda
by terrorists organizations thereby putting our servicemen and women
at risk, shall not be permitted access to such information or to
hold a security clearance for access to such information."
Uh, what? If you're as confused as I was, read David Corn's analysis.
It turns out that Frist's amendment was aimed directly at Dick Durbin,
who made that remark about Nazis on the senate floor not so long
Hmmm... so Democrats propose an amendment which would actually
improve U.S. national security by removing the security clearances
of those caught leaking; Republicans propose a stupid and irrelevant
counter-amendment purely for the purposes of a) chilling free speech
on the Senate floor, and b) making a partisan political dig. And
I thought the adults were in charge.
Interestingly, Frist's amendment failed by 64 votes to 33 with
20 Republicans voting against the measure when they realized that
Frist's definition was so broad that they might all lose their security
As for the Democratic amendment - you know, the one that would
actually improve our national security - that failed too by 53 votes
to 44. Down party lines. Yup - every single Republican senator voted
against it. So I guess they don't want to make America safer after
Last week Sen. Rick "Man On Dog" Santorum (R-Fecal
to retract statements he made in 2002 suggesting that Boston's
"sexual license" and "sexual freedom" are to
blame for the Catholic Church child abuse scandal. When pressed
to explain, a Santorum aide elaborated,
"It's an open secret that you have Harvard University and MIT
that tend to tilt to the left in terms of academic biases. I think
that's what the senator was speaking to." Which begs the question,
what is Rick Santorum and his staff smoking?
Uh, sure Rick, Harvard and MIT are to blame for child abuse. And
Terri Schiavo was just faking.
But let's face it, Rick Santorum has never been shy about his views
on homosexuality. Here's what he said
back in April 2003:
...if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual
sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have
the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have
the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. ...it destroys
the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's
antithetical to strong, healthy families. Whether it's polygamy,
whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things,
are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.
Hmm. I wonder then what Santorum makes of the fact that his senior
spokesman, Robert L. Traynham, has just confirmed that he is gay?
Let's see what the senator has to say:
Robert Traynham ... is widely respected and admired on Capitol
Hill, both among the press corps and among the congressional staff,
as a communications professional. Not only is Mr. Traynham an
exemplary staffer, but he is also a trusted friend confidente
to me and my family. Mr. Traynham is a valued member of my staff
and I regret that this effort on behalf of people who oppose me
has made him a target of bigotry in their eyes.
It is entirely unacceptable that my staffs' personal lives are
considered fair game by partisans looking for arguments to bolster
my opponent's campaign. Mr. Traynham continues to have my full
support and confidence as well as my prayers as he navigates this
rude and mean spirited invasion of his personal life.
Rick is calling people bigots? Thinks they shouldn't intrude on
the personal lives of others? Good lord, the hypocrisy is making
my eyes bleed.
Music Educators Association
I'm sure Rick Santorum will approve of this new rule made recently
by the Texas Music Educators Association: according
to the Los Angeles Times, "Boys cannot audition
for soprano or alto roles in that state's All-State Choir. Girls
cannot audition for tenor or bass. No matter where their talents
That's right, girly men! If your natural singing voice is too high
for Texas, you can just shut up - despite the fact that, as the
Times points out, "countertenors [the male equivalent
of soprano] ... are a widely respected part of classical music and
So what's next? A rule requiring Texas males to grill at least
ten hamburgers a week? A rule requiring them to drive pick-up trucks?
A rule requiring them to walk around with their thumbs tucked in
their jeans pockets, farting loudly and proclaiming "better
out than in?" Stay tuned...
to the Associated Press, "The five-member Enron Corp. board
of directors has voted for pay raises that boost salaries by as
much as $1 million. In a filing with the New York bankruptcy court
that oversaw the company's reorganization last year, the board said
it voted to increase its compensation retroactively to the beginning
Let me just repeat that.
"The five-member Enron Corp. board of directors has voted
for pay raises that boost salaries by as much as $1 million. In
a filing with the New York bankruptcy court that oversaw the company's
reorganization last year, the board said it voted to increase its
compensation retroactively to the beginning of June."
Has the world gone mad? Wait, don't answer that.
And finally, it was revealed last week that Steven Damion, head
of the New Jersey College Republicans, has "resigned amid allegations
he embezzled hundreds of dollars from the student organization's
account and tried to extort a $3,000 donation from Doug Forrester's
gubernatorial campaign, according to the group's executive director,"
to the Star-Ledger.
According to an email sent to Doug Forrester's campaign, Damion
wrote, "If there is a 3,000 dollar check waiting for me I am
coming running and the campaign will have total access to our resources
at all times, no problem."
Damion, unsurprisingly, denied any wrongdoing and proclaimed his
innocence, insisting he was framed. "This is all self interest
and ... personal vendettas. I'm staying out of New Jersey politics.
I'm done." Oh Steve, don't give up so easily - the Republican
party needs unethical, possibly criminal young up-and-comers
like yourself. Don't let them down! See you next week...
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