The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
October 24, 2005
Fitzmas Eve Edition
a strong smell of indictments in the air this week, and the battle
of Team Bush vs. Team Cheney (1) is just heating up. Meanwhile,
Tom DeLay (3) is already enjoying the hospitality of the Texas legal
system, Harriet Miers (4) is stinking up the joint, and Jeanine
Pirro (5) is flexing her political muscle. Elsewhere, Rupert Murdoch
(7) incurred the wrath of the Parents Television Council, the Pentagon
(8) shafted Ed Schultz, and the Today Show turned on Bill O'Reilly
(10). Enjoy, and don't forget the key!
Bush vs. Team Cheney
The story on everyone's lips right now is of course Patrick
Fitzgerald's investigation into whether individuals inside the White
House conspired to reveal the identity of CIA operative Valerie
Plame. We haven't commented much on this case of late, simply because
until very recently there's been a lot more speculation than story.
However, as Fitzmas Day approaches, a flurry of leaks last week
indicate that the administration could be in deep doo-doo.
First the Washington Post reported
that the prosecutor has focused on Dick Cheney and Lewis Libby:
As the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name hurtles
to an apparent conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald
has zeroed in on the role of Vice President Cheney's office, according
to lawyers familiar with the case and government officials.
In grand jury sessions, including with New York Times reporter
Judith Miller, Fitzgerald has pressed witnesses on what Cheney
may have known about the effort to push back against ex-diplomat
and Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV, including the leak of
his wife's position at the CIA, Miller and others said. But Fitzgerald
has focused more on the role of Cheney's top aides, including
Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, lawyers involved
in the case said.
Uh oh. That doesn't bode well for Team Cheney.
And not long after that report was released, Raw Story learned
that one of Cheney's aides may have spilled the beans to the prosecutor:
A senior aide to Vice President Dick Cheney is cooperating with
special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the outing of CIA agent
Valerie Plame Wilson, sources close to the investigation say.
Individuals familiar with Fitzgeralds case tell RAW STORY
that John Hannah, a senior national security aide on loan to Vice
President Dick Cheney from the offices of then-Under Secretary
of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs,
John Bolton, was named as a target of Fitzgeralds probe.
They say he was told in recent weeks that he could face imminent
indictment for his role in leaking Plame-Wilson's name to reporters
unless he cooperated with the investigation.
Others close to the probe say that if Hannah is cooperating with
the special prosecutor then he was likely going to be charged
as a co-conspirator and may have cut a deal.
Kapow! But Team Cheney wasn't going to take that lying down. One
day later, the New York Daily News reported
An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove
two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources
told the Daily News.
"He made his displeasure known to Karl," a presidential
counselor told The News. "He made his life miserable about
Bush has always known that Rove often talks with reporters anonymously
and he generally approved of such contacts, one source said.
But the President felt Rove and other members of the White House
damage-control team did a clumsy job in their campaign to discredit
Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, the ex-diplomat who criticized
Bush's claim that Saddam Hussen tried to buy weapons-grade uranium
A second well-placed source said some recently published reports
implying Rove had deceived Bush about his involvement in the Wilson
counterattack were incorrect and were leaked by White House aides
trying to protect the President.
"Bush did not feel misled so much by Karl and others as
believing that they handled it in a ham-handed and bush-league
way," the source said.
Score three points for Team Cheney. Bush, of course, has maintained
from the very beginning that "I don't know all the facts. I
want to know all the facts. I would like this to end as quickly
as possible. If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work
in my administration." So if the Daily News story turns
out to be true, it looks like Bush may have just had his very own
But the game's not over yet - late in the week, the Associated
Top White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter"
Libby discussed their contacts with reporters about an undercover
CIA officer in the days before her identity was published, the
first known intersection between two central figures in the criminal
Rove told grand jurors it was possible he first heard in the
White House that Valerie Plame, wife of Bush administration Joseph
Wilson, worked for the CIA from Libby's recounting of a conversation
with a journalist, according to people familiar with his testimony.
Which the Los Angeles Times followed shortly
Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff was so angry about
the public statements of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV,
a Bush administration critic married to an undercover CIA officer,
that he monitored all of Wilson's television appearances and urged
the White House to mount an aggressive public campaign against
him, former aides say.
Those efforts by the chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter"
Libby, began shortly after Wilson went public with his criticisms
in 2003. But they continued into last year - well after the Justice
Department began an investigation in September 2003, into whether
administration officials had illegally disclosed the CIA operative's
identity, say former White House aides.
Slam! Touchdown, Team Bush. Can you imagine how uncomfortable it
must be inside the White House right now?
ROVE: Hi Scooter.
LIBBY: Hi Karl.
ROVE: So, uh, see you later then.
LIBBY: Right. Later.
For his part, George W. Bush dismissed
the oncoming political hurricane as "background noise,"
"chatter," and "a lot of speculation and opining."
But, he said, "The American people expect me to do my job,
and I'm going to."
Thanks, George. Let us know when you plan to start.
White House Cabal
Adding to George W. Bush's political woes, last Thursday Colin
Powell's former chief of staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson made a devastating
attack on the administration, and talked of his time inside
the White House:
What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United
States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld,
on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did
not know were being made. Now it is paying the consequences of
making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is
America is paying the consequences.
If you're not prepared to stop the feuding elements in the bureaucracy
as they carry out your decisions, you are courting disaster. And
I would say that we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea,
Wilkerson also placed the blame for Abu Ghraib squarely on the
shoulders of the administration, called Condoleezza Rice "part
of the problem" (sorry, Dick Morris), said that the military
is overstretched and demoralized, and made a painful comparison
between George Bush 41 and George Bush 43, calling the former "one
of the finest presidents we have ever had," while the latter
is "not versed in international relations and not too much
interested in them either."
Wow. With friends like these...
Last week, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was arrested,
fingerprinted, photographed, and released on $10,000 bail.
Let me just repeat that. Last week, former House Majority Leader
Tom DeLay was arrested, fingerprinted, photographed, and released
on $10,000 bail.
Ahhh! Yes! Feels
Of course, everyone was dying to see the mugshot. Let's take a
Hang on, that's not it. Let me see here... oh yes:
Whoa! He looks like he was arrested for possession of crack cocaine.
Been sniffing the Deltamethrin again, Tom?
Actually if we pan out a bit you can see the real reason why DeLay
looks so cheerful:
Of course, The Former Hammer was doing his best to muddy the issue
last week, claiming that a fair trial would be impossible since
the judge assigned to the case once donated
money to MoveOn.org. Crying partisanship to the bitter end,
As prosecutor Ronnie Earle put it, "What this means is if
a judge had contributed to Crime Stoppers that judge could not hear
a burglary case ... We don't live in a country where political party
determines the measure of justice."
So suck it up, Tom. You're innocent anyway, right? What's the big
It looks like the Harriet Miers nomination may not be long for
this world. Miers sent a 57-page questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary
Committee last week, which according
to the Associated Press was meant to answer questions about
"her legal career and background and such issues as how she
would deal with court cases involving the Bush administration if
confirmed as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor."
The bad news? Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter(R-PA)
and ranking Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) called the answers
"incomplete to insulting." Ouch.
The senators are interested in learning more about issues on which
Miers remains opaque; her opposition to abortion while running for
for the Dallas City Council in 1989, whether she'll go easy on the
Bush administration if any of them end up before the Supreme Court,
and, um, why she was booted out of the D.C. Bar Association for
faling to pay dues.
Incidentally, it was revealed last week that a majority of people
single state now think that the country is heading in the wrong
direction. When you consider the fact that Bush said he picked Miers
because she was "the best person I could find," everything
else starts to make sense...
You could tell Jeanine Pirro's campaign against Hillary Clinton
was going to be amusing from the moment she muffed her announcement
speech (see Idiots 210).
And last week, the gaffes poured in.
First it was revealed
that Pirro's campaign had sent a fundraising letter to Clinton,
which read, "Dear Hillary, I need you and every New Yorker."
The letter was sent to Hillary's former residence, the White House.
The next day Pirro attempted to kickstart her campaign with a radio
ad, but she showed up at the wrong address for a press conference
announcing the commercial - "despite a campaign press release
listing the right location," according
to the New York Post.
Fortunately Pirro managed to save the day by later telling
a reporter who asked about her gaffes, "I got to tell you,
was it my best day? Absolutely not. Am I better than that? Absolutely
If you were wondering what Halliburton is getting up to in Iraq
with all those millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayers' money, you
probably won't be surprised to learn that it's not good. It was
reported last week that many of the workers Halliburton is employing
in Iraq are from poor countries in Asia. The catch: Halliburton
tells them they're not going to be working in Iraq, and then
sends them there anyway.
The Madison Capital Times took
The Tribune got on the story after 12 young civilians from Nepal
were kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq and a few days later publicly
slaughtered. The newspaper sent a reporter and photographer to
Nepal, where they interviewed families and friends and soon discovered
that thousands of men are routinely recruited for "good"
Mideast jobs, but wind up in the most treacherous stretches of
Iraq territory working in private jobs for the U.S. military.
A brother of one of the kidnapped men told Cam Simpson, the Trib
reporter, that the last time he heard from his brother was when
he called from his supposed job in Jordan. He was being sent against
his will to Iraq, the brother said, and then blurted out, "I
am done for." The phone then went dead. The next time the
young Nepalese was seen was on a TV screen two weeks later, his
hands tied behind his back and a gun pointed at his head.
I hope nobody tells Lou Dobbs. He might quite literally crap himself.
You must admit, Rupert Murdoch has got a good thing going. He
runs the Fox News Channel, where outraged conservative groups such
as the Parents Television Council can air their grievances over
the immoral state of television programs these days, and he also
runs the Fox Network, which produces the vast majority of those
morally outrageous shows.
Says who? Well, the Parents Television Council for starters - they
released a report last week claiming that Fox "produces six
of the worst shows for family viewing," according
to the UK Guardian. Apparently the PTC have got their
panties in a bunch over shows such as The War At Home ("one
of the most mindless and unapologetically vulgar shows on television")
and Family Guy ("includes jokes about necrophilia and masturbation").
So Rupert Murdoch puts out shows which outrage conservatives on
the Fox Network, and then employs pundits to constantly froth at
the mouth about the decline of American values on the Fox News Channel...
It's like a conservative idiots perpetual motion machine!
It was supposed to be a moment to celebrate: last week, the
progressive talk radio of Ed Schultz was to begin broadcasting on
Armed Forces Radio. Our troops have been force-fed a measly diet
of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for far too long, but that was
due to change last week.
So it shouldn't be a surprise to learn that the Pentagon pulled
the plug on Ed Schultz at the eleventh hour. According
to the Washington Post, "...at 7 a.m., Schultz's
producer got a call from Allison Barber, the Pentagon's deputy assistant
secretary for internal communications, who said without explanation
that the deal was off."
Now if you're wondering where you've heard the name Allison Barber
recently, perhaps I can refresh your memory:
Yes, that Allison Barber.
Again according to the Post, it seems that Schultz "spent
the end of last week chastising Barber for coaching a group of U.S.
soldiers in Iraq before a teleconference with President Bush."
And now she is apparently traveling and can't be reached for comment.
There was no word on when she would return from her travels, but
we suspect it won't be until the end of the Iraq War.
Marty Bahamonde, "a FEMA public affairs official with
12 years of experience in disaster areas," told a Senate panel
last week that "for reasons he still can't quite comprehend,
most of his pleas for help got little or no response" during
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according
to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
From the day before the hurricane hit, Bahamonde repeatedly tried
to warn FEMA headquarters of the growing problems at the Superdome.
On August 29, he spoke with Mike Brown by telephone and briefed
him on the situation - Brown thanked him and said he would contact
the White House.
And then, on August 31:
... [Bahamonde] had e-mailed Brown from the Superdome to tell
him that thousands of evacuees were gathering in the streets outside
the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center without food or water and
that there were "estimates that many will die within hours."
"Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical,"
But less than three hours later, Brown's press secretary said
in an e-mail that "it is very important that time is allowed
for Mr. Brown to eat dinner" at a Baton Rouge restaurant
that night before appearing on an MSNBC talk show. "We now
have traffic to encounter ... followed by wait service from the
restaurant staff, eating, etc.," the e-mail said.
Strange then that on September 1, Brown appeared on Paula Zahn's
CNN show and
said, "People who were unable or chose not to evacuate
are suddenly appearing. And so this catastrophic disaster continues
to grow. I will tell you this, though, every person in that convention
center, we just learned about that today ... Paula, the federal
government did not even know about the convention center people
I don't know about you, but where I live they call that "lying
out of your ass."
And finally, we're not sure if this was an act of protest or
a genuine typo, but the following subtitle really
did appear on the screen during Bill O'Reilly's recent Today
Finally, some truth and accuracy in reporting from the mainstream
media. See you next week!
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