The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
September 12, 2005
What didn't go right? Edition
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Clueless George wants to know
"What didn't go right?" The list of screw-ups is too long
to list in one place, but we've got ten of 'em right here. At the
top of the list we've got George W. Bush (1) himself, who messed
everything up, but somehow (as usual) doesn't seem to realize it.
FEMA (2) and its director Michael Brown (3) are also here, as their
incompetence equaled that of Dubya himself. Barbara Bush (4) said
something royally stupid, and Dick Cheney (5) went mansion shopping.
And once again, the "blame America first" crowd (10) turns
out to be conservative. Enjoy (if you can) and don't forget the
The last two weeks have been pretty rough on poor old Dubya.
Apparently his mythical crisis-management skills, honed during the
aftermath of 9/11, have turned out to be just a myth (see cartoon
as he and his administration completely bungled the relief effort.
But apparently no one told Bush, as this cringe-inducing
discussion with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi illustrates:
Pelosi: Tells Bush to fire FEMA director Michael Brown
Bush: "Why would I do that?"
Pelosi: "Because of all that went wrong, of all that didn't go
right last week."
Bush: "What didn't go right?"
Mind you, this is the President of the United States, who is supposed
to be the most powerful man on earth, with access to the greatest
intelligence-gathering infrastructure ever created -- but somehow
he doesn't know what went wrong. If I were Nancy Pelosi, I would
have punched Bush right in the smirk right there. (Which, incidentally,
is pretty much what Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu threatened
to do. Oh, man, I would pay good money to see that.) Of course,
it was obvious to everyone who wasn't the President of the United
States that damn near everything didn't go right. All I can figure
is that Bush's advisors have been so successful in keeping him in
his hermetically sealed cocoon that he actually isn't aware of the
massive human tragedy. Or else he doesn't give a shit, which is
also possible. All he knows is that everything went swell when they
firefighters flown in from Atlanta for that presidential photo
op. And the other photo op with the two black ladies was great too,
except for that whole having to interact with black people
part. And he really showed a lot of compassion when he learned that
his friend Trent Lott had lost his house in the storm. Said Bush:
"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house ... there's going
to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting
on the porch."
Speaking of "what didn't go right," how about: Every
goddamned thing that FEMA tried to do for the last two weeks.
No doubt The Buck stops with George W. Bush, but the bureaucratic
Keystone Kops who have been stopping, passing, and fucking up The
Buck for the last two weeks were FEMA. To give you an idea of how
badly they screwed this up, here is a just a small sampling of the
utterly moronic choices made by FEMA during the last two weeks,
courtesy of DUer peabody71:
won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations
turns away experienced firefighters
turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks
prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel
won't let Red Cross deliver food
bars morticians from entering New Orleans
blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid
fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board
to Chicago: Send just one truck
turns away generators
"First Responders Urged Not To Respond"
(That last one is a direct quote from the FEMA website.)
Now mind you, that is a list of examples where FEMA was faced with
a clear choice, and made a conscious decision about how to respond.
So, for example, the Red Cross comes to FEMA and says, "Hey,
FEMA, we would like to deliver some food," and FEMA responds,
"Please don't deliver food, thanks." And the Red Cross
is like, "But people are starving." And FEMA is like,
"Whatever, dude. I'm the boss here, and I say no food."
And the Red Cross is like, "What the hell is wrong with
you people?" But the list doesn't include stuff like how
they just kinda sat there doing nothing for a few days while people
were dying in New Orleans, apparently because ... um ... I don't
know ... maybe they just forgot. "Hey, FEMA. We've got
a situation in New Orleans. Maybe you should go check it out."
FEMA looks up from its desk and scratches its ass and yawns and
says, "Yeah, I'll get right on that in a sec," and then
returns to playing solitaire and on its computer (because it's too
fucking stupid to figure out how to play Minesweeper). And when
FEMA finally looks up from its three-day solitaire-fueled stupor,
it's like, "Oh, shit! I forgot all about that New Orleans thing!"
and it starts frantically running around its office shuffling papers
and trying to remember what it was supposed to be doing. And thousands
of people are already dead.
But what are we supposed to expect when Bush used FEMA as a
way to hand out political patronage to his cronies? According to
the New York Daily News, practically all of the political appointees
in FEMA are Bush
buddies with no experience handling disasters. Deputy director
and chief of staff Patrick Rhode worked on the Bush-Cheney campaign.
Deputy chief of staff Scott Morris was a public relations guy. But
the most impressive resume (at least, the part that doesn't include
information) belongs to FEMA director Michael Brown, who was
the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian
Horse Association, which is well known for its depth of experience
managing emergencies involving, um, Arabian horses. Like, for example,
when a rider gets thrown out of his saddle. Or when a horseshoe
falls off. Or when you're taking one of those horse-and-carriage
rides in Central Park and the horse takes a dump right in the beginning
of the trip and it stinks up the entire experience and maybe even
ruins your entire vacation to New York City. Except Mr. Brown did
such a shite job in that position that he was fired.
I don't know about you, but I've been fired from a job before in
my life. Let's just say that nobody swooped in and offered me a
position like Director of FEMA. I was more like Director of Sitting
at Home Watching Reruns of Jerry Springer and Eating Doritos. But
I digress. Apparently in the current atmosphere where national security
is the number one priority, it never crossed anyone's mind that
perhaps the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be important.
(Go figure.) So we get a washed-up horse-show reject in a position
of vital national importance. And even after the guy has fucked
up New Orleans so bad that even the media starts to notice,
the President of the United States says,
"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" It took nearly
two weeks and thousands dead before someone in charge finally sent
this moran packing back to Washington DC.
During a crisis when virtually every public statement
coming from everyone associated with the current presidential
administration was idiotic, out-of-touch, and insensitive, it seems
pointless to even try to select one quote as the most idiotic, the
most out-of-touch, and the most insensitive. But Barbara Bush, mother
of the current president, has made it easy. During an interview
last week, she said something that pretty well epitomized the insulated,
self-absorbed worldview of everyone involved in this administration.
Speaking of the Hurricane survivors in Houston, the Bush family
Battle Axe said
"What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to
stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.
And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged
anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very
well for them."
Gee, Mrs. Bush, it does seem to be working out very well
for them. I daresay that the people in the Astrodome got a really
sweet deal. A massive hurricane leveled their hometown, destroyed
their homes, cars, and property, caused them to lose their jobs,
left them without food and water for days, and maybe even killed
some of their family members. In exchange, they get a fun-filled
open-ended field trip to one of America's favorite sports venues
(considered by some to be the Eighth
Wonder of the World with a new Monsanto "Magic Carpet" system
instead of Astroturf, two Diamond Vision screens, a large matrix
board, two auxiliary matrix boards and a game-in-progress board!)
It's even better than a mansion in Kennebunkport!
From the Compassionate Conservatism file: While tens of thousands
of Hurricane survivors were left homeless and hungry (that is, if
they were lucky enough to not be dead), Vice President Dick Cheney
decided it was a great time to go mansion
shopping. You heard me right: mansion shopping. These
assholes aren't even trying to look like they care anymore. According
to the Washington Post, Dick Cheney was checking out real estate
in St. Michaels, a tiny resort town on the Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Apparently "Cheney's house," which is listed at $2.9 million,
"backs up in spectacular fashion to an inlet of the Chesapeake
Bay." How charming. But I suppose it is possible that I am
being too hard on the Vice President. Given the timing of the purchase,
I think there may be something else going on here. Maybe Vice President
and Mrs. Cheney were so distressed by the stories of displaced families
from New Orleans that they are buying the property in order to use
it for emergency housing for hurricane survivors. Yeah, that's the
By the way, Crooks and Liars has video of someone telling the Vice
President to go
On August 30, Lt. David Shand and Lt. Matt Udkow, two helicopter
pilots from Pensacola Naval Air Station, were sent on a mission
to deliver food, water and other supplies to Stennis Space Center,
near the Mississippi coast. After finishing the mission, the pilots
picked up a Coast Guard transmission calling for helicopters to
help with rescue operations in New Orleans. Unable to get permission
from Pensacola because they were out of radio range, the two pilots
-- trained in search-and-rescue -- had to make a life-or-death decision.
They chose to respond to the call for help. This is just one story
of courage and heroism which came out of a terrible tragedy. Thanks
to the efforts of Lieutenants Shand and Udkow, 110 people were saved.
Upon their return to Pensacola, the two pilots were greeted as heroes
and given medals and immediate promotions. No, wait a second.
That's not what happened at all. Upon their return to Pensacola,
the two American heroes were reprimanded
by Commander Michael Holdener, who said their rescue efforts were
a diversion. For his efforts, Lieutenant Udkow was removed from
flying rotation and assigned to overseeing dog kennels instead.
There is something seriously wrong with this country if a genuine
hero who saved a hundred people is stuck watching dog kennels, while
all the fools at FEMA and the White House whose incompetence cost
the lives of thousands will likely escape any kind of accountability
Believe it or not, there has been some news that is totally
unrelated to Hurricane Katrina. Long-time Top 10 favorite Tom DeLay
was once again in hot water. Last week a grand jury indicted Texans
for a Republican Majority, a political action committee founded
by Tom DeLay, on charges of accepting illegal corporate money. Three
of DeLay's political buddies had been previously indicted on related
charges of money laundering, unlawful acceptance of corporate political
contributions, and making corporate donations. According to the
Associated Press, the Texas Association of Business was also charged
in a scheme to funnel "massive
amounts of secret corporate wealth" into Texas campaigns. Somehow
The Hammer avoided indictment himself, although a complaint was
filed with the House Ethics Committee last year. Unsurprisingly,
the committee has so far neglected to take any disciplinary action
against DeLay. It's yet another example of the Party of Personal
Responsibility failing to hold any of its own members responsible.
Oh, and while we're on the subject of Tom DeLay, don't miss this
quote. Speaking to a group of young hurricane survivors in Houston,
DeLay compared their situation to being
at camp, and asked, "Now tell me the truth boys, is this
kind of fun?" Yeah, Tom, it's a real blast.
While 9/11 was perhaps the worst thing to happen to the
American people in decades, it was undoubtedly the best thing
that ever happened to George W. Bush. In the years since that terrible
tragedy, when the rest of America was in shock, Bush was cynically
mining a rich political vein by robotically repeating "9/11
... bring it on ... 9/11 ... war on terror ... 9/11 ... dead or
alive ... 9/11 ..." over and over again, thus diverting attention
from his utter failure as president long enough to steal another
four years in the oval office. With his second term off to a rocky
start, it looks like Bush needed another September Miracle to get
his presidency back on track, and Dick Morris is here to show the
way. Once again, Bush is poised to turn our suffering into political
gold. Says Morris: "A disaster like Katrina is just what
a president needs to anchor his second term and give him relevance
and popularity far into his tenure." Apparently in Dick Morris's
bizarro world, having bad shit happen to the country is the best
thing that could possibly happen to a president. So far in the aftermath
of the Hurricane, Dick Morris doesn't seem to be right, as Bush's
approval ratings have sunk to an all
time low. But if 9/11 is any indication, Bush might still be
able to turn this to his advantage. Which would just go to show
how messed up our country is right now. Consider the following:
Thousands of Americans die because of your incompetence (twice)
-- you're relevant and popular. Eight years of peace and
prosperity -- you get impeached.
It has been suggested that the lack of urgency and/or compassion
from conservatives in the wake of Katrina might have something to
do with the fact that most of the victims were black. (I know, I
know. You're shocked that anyone would even suggest such a thing.
Conservatives? Racist? No way!) Just in case there is any
question here, Rush Limbaugh has provided some damning evidence
while talking about New Orleans on his show. Courtesy of Crooks
and Liars, here is a brief mp3 of Rush Limbaugh mispronouncing the
name of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin:
to hear Rush Limbaugh show his true colors. (mp3)
You heard it right, he said "Mayor Nayger." Freudian
slip or intentional smear? You be the judge. Either way,
he's a flaming racist asshole.
who Blame America for Katrina
Why is it that conservatives (and certain unnamed Democrats)
seem to get off claiming that it's liberals who "blame America"
when bad things happen, even though it is almost always their fellow
conservatives who are pointing the finger after a national tragedy?
If you remember, four years ago uber-kook Pat Robertson blamed "the
pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and
the lesbians, ... the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of
them who have tried to secularize America" for helping to cause
9/11. In the wake of Katrina, the second massive national tragedy
of the Bush Administration, once again conservatives are pointing
the finger of blame squarely at their fellow Americans. Michael
Marcavage of Philadelphia blames The Gays (there's a surprise),
because there was supposed to be a gay pride parade in New Orleans
around the time of the Hurricane. Steve Lefemine, an anti-abortion
activist from Columbia, South Carolina, has a different idea. He
insists that "God judged New Orleans for the sin of shedding
innocent blood through abortion." How does he know? It's simple,
really. He was looking at a weather map, and in the swirling vortex
of Katrina he saw some clouds that looked
like a fetus. Realizing that he had discovered the secret key
for reading the Will of God, Mr. Lefemine looked deeper into the
swirl of clouds and declared that responsibility for Katrina also
lay with "Snail shells, the Whirlpool dishwasher company, and
some Cinnabons - the kind with the white frosting, not the kind
with the nuts on top." But American religious kooks weren't
the only people claiming that the Hurricane was some sort of divine
retribution. According to Muhammad Yousef Mlaifi, a Kuwaiti official
(yes, the same Kuwait whose ass we saved in the early 90s): "The
Terrorist Katrina is One of the Soldiers of Allah ... It is almost
certain that this is a wind of torment and evil that Allah has sent
to this American empire." Sounds like some religious extremists
here in America have a lot in common with the religious extremists
we're supposed to be fighting against. See you next week!
Nominate a Conservative
for Next Week's List