Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 223)

November 21, 2005
Swiftboat Redux Edition

While George W. Bush (1) makes a nuisance of himself in Asia, Republicans at home have been on a mission to smear Iraq war dissenters. It began with Dick Cheney's (2) attempt to rewrite history, and culminated in The White House (3) and House Republicans (4) accusing a decorated 36-year Marine Corps veteran of cowardice and anti-Americanism. Just when I thought they couldn't go any lower... Elsewhere, Sam Alito (5) is looking more and more like the wingut everyone predicted he would be, Bob Woodward (6) has thoroughly embarrassed himself, Rush Limbaugh (7) supports the troops - if the price is right - and Bill O'Reilly (10) has just gone off the deep end. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1George W. Bush dumb dumb dumb
Our Great Leader's National Embarrasment World Tour is really rolling along nicely. After a warm welcome (literally - they were setting cars on fire) in South America, George was greeted in Japan and South Korea by cheering crowds:

... and happy, smiling supporters:

But that wasn't going to stop Our Great Leader from doing what he does best: making an ass of himself. While in Japan he decided - for some unknown reason - to give Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi the wonderful gift of a Segway scooter. Yes, according to the Seattle Times, "Bush was riding the vehicle when he met Koizumi outside the Kyoto State Guest House in the ancient Japanese capital." Lest we forget, here's what happened the last time Bush got on a Segway:

If that wasn't enough, Bush also managed to give an accidental plug to the ongoing CIA leak investigation by naming the vehicle "Scooter 1." I mean, really. He might as well have called it "The Indictmentmobile."

2Dick Cheney excessive spin hypocrisy
Vice President Crashcart appeared in a puff of smoke last week, briefly surfacing from his undisclosed location to speak to a roomful of conservative fat-cats. Doesn't he look lovely in his bow-tie?

Ah, sorry, wrong pic. Here we go...

Cheney's job was to slam Democrats who have been criticizing the administration for manipulating the intelligence which led us into the Iraq war. He told his fellow fat-cats that the claim Bush lied the country into war is "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."

Really?

More dishonest and reprehensible than, say...

  • We know [Saddam]'s got chemicals and biological [weapons]. ... We know he's working on nuclear. - Dick Cheney, May 19, 2002

  • He now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs. ... Specifically aluminum tubes. - Dick Cheney, September 8, 2002

  • We do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon. - Dick Cheney, September 8, 2002

  • His regime has had high-level contacts with al Qaeda going back a decade and has provided training to al Qaeda terrorists. - Dick Cheney, December 2, 2002

  • We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003

  • My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003

  • We had intelligence reporting before the war that there were at least seven of these mobile labs that he had gone out and acquired. We've, since the war, found two of them. They're in our possession today, mobile biological facilities that can be used to produce anthrax or smallpox or whatever else you wanted to use during the course of developing the capacity for an attack." - Dick Cheney, September 14, 2003

  • [Saddam Hussein] had an established relationship with Al Qaida - providing training to Al Qaida members in areas of poisons, gases and conventional bombs. - Dick Cheney, October 18, 2003

  • In terms of the question what is there now, we know for example that prior to our going in that he had spent time and effort acquiring mobile biological weapons labs, and we're quite confident he did, in fact, have such a program. We've found a couple of semi trailers at this point which we believe were, in fact, part of that program. - Dick Cheney, January 22, 2004

  • I think there's overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government. - Dick Cheney, January 22, 2004

  • "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency." - Dick Cheney, June 20, 2005

I could go on, but honestly, what's the point?

3The White House excessive spin
Clearly the White House thinks that this is 2004 all over again. Last week they manned the swiftboats in a desperate attempt to sink Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) who recently demanded an debate on the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Murtha's certainly not your everyday anti-war Democrat - he is typically hawkish, voted for the Iraq War Resolution, and happens to be the ranking member (and former chairman) of the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

Murtha is also a decorated Vietnam veteran who spent 37 years serving in the Marine Corps. But then, when has the White House ever been beneath smearing a genuine war hero?

Apparently unaware that these kind of attacks just don't have quite the same punch they used to, the White House announced last week that it was "baffling that [Murtha] is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party."

Oh, yawn. That old chestnut?

Sorry, fellas - times have changed. Americans ain't biting like they used to, and pretty soon the only people paying attention to this crap are going to be you, the Freepers, and the fundies. Hope you enjoy the party.

4House Republicans excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin excessive spin
Of course, it didn't take long for desperate House Republicans to jump on board the White House's swiftboat. Last week, John Murtha introduced a resolution which proposed that:

Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.

Section 3 The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

But Republicans, who are forever whining about Democrats "playing politics," submitted a different resolution which read:

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Why they couldn't debate Murtha's original resolution I don't know. Well, actually I do know - it's because they would rather turn to cheap political tricks than debate the merits of his proposal. But here's an example of how the Republicans then went on to "debate" John Murtha last week:

REP. JEAN SCHMIDT: A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.

Schmidt remarks were later stricken from the record. She said, "Mr. Speaker, my remarks were not directed to any member of the House and I did not intend to suggest they applied to any member, most especially the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania." Odd - I could have sworn that the remark was aimed directly at Murtha. (I think the line about "sending Congressman Murtha a message" was a bit of a giveaway.)

So there you have it - rather than debate the substance of Murtha's original resolution, House Republicans decided to introduce their own faux resolution and then called a decorated 37-year veteran of the Marine Corps a coward on the House floor. Now that's what I call leadership.

5Samuel Alito extreme extreme extreme
John Roberts was an unknown quantity without a paper trail. Harriet Miers was an unqualified toady without a clue. And what do we know of Sam Alito, Bush's most recent nomination to the Supreme Court?

Well, in a 1985 job application, Alito wrote that it was "an honor and source of personal satisfaction" to work for President Reagan.

Eww.

Continuing, Alito wrote that he was "particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed, and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

Oh yes, and according to the Boston Globe, "he made a statement that has startled many legal analysts: He said he disagreed with the Warren court decisions on reapportionment, which required that voters have equal representation."

I mean, come on. Hasn't Our Great Leader heard? All this ultra-right-wing, racist, anti-woman stuff is just so Bush-era. Sure, Dubya and Co. managed to ride the religious right to victory in 2004, but it hasn't taken long for the sheen of victory to wear off. Banning abortion is a great issue to get your rabid supporters frothing at the mouth, but it might not actually play that well in the real world.

Moderate Republicans are abandoning you, George! The mainstream is flowing away from you! Sure, I know it's tough to admit it, but be a man. Wake up and smell the coffee. America is starting to get real sick of you and your Reagan-sucking, minority-crushing, woman-controlling buddies. Dump this chump and pick someone who doesn't want to turn the clock back to the 19th century.

6Bob Woodward partisanship partisanship hypocrisy hypocrisy covering your ass
Bob Woodward, one of America's most famous investigative reporters, was shamed last week and forced to apologize to his newspaper the Washington Post after he revealed that Valerie Plame's secret identity was leaked to him by a senior administration official before Scooter Libby outed her.

Bob Woodward apparently declined to mention this earlier because he was afraid of being subpoenaed - but now he's neck-deep in the investigation, and as Rolling Stone's Eric Boehlert put it, "It looks like what people have been saying about Bob Woodward for the past five years, that he's become a stenographer for the Bush White House."

Of course, the fact that Woodward knew all along that White House officials were dropping Plame's name to reporters didn't stop him from frequently appearing on television to trash prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald - whom he referred to as a "junkyard dog" - and do his best to undermine the investigation. According to the Post:

Woodward has criticized the Fitzgerald probe in media appearances. He said on MSNBC's 'Hardball' in June that in the end 'there is going to be nothing to it. And it is a shame. And the special prosecutor in that case, his behavior, in my view, has been disgraceful.' In a National Public Radio interview in July, Woodward said that Fitzgerald made 'a big mistake' in going after [Judith] Miller and that 'there is not the kind of compelling evidence that there was some crime involved here.'"

And this guy is supposed to be the standard-bearer for investigative journalism? Kinda goes to show how far the bar's been lowered since Bush came into office.

6Rush Limbaugh greed greed greed
America's most famous gasbag has just come up with a despicable new way to exploit the troops. (Or as he likes to call it, "support the troops.")

Here's how it works: non-military members sign up to adopt a soldier on Rush's website, while current military members sign up to be adopted. Once an adopter and an adoptee are matched up, the adopted soldier receives a free subscription to "The Limbaugh Letter" and to the premium content on Rush's website.

Fabulous! And all at the low, low cost of $50, which goes directly into Rush's pocket.

Oh, I'm sorry - you didn't think he was doing this out of charity did you? Nope, despite the fact that Rush's site claims to be offering "complimentary RUSH 24/7 subscriptions," if you want to be able to say you've adopted a soldier through Rush's program then you have to cough up the cash. Because someone's got to pay for those "complimentary subscriptions," and it sure as hell ain't gonna be Limbaugh.

Bottom line: Rush's idea of supporting the troops is to use them as a prop in his scheme to flog more subscriptions. Nice.

8Big Oil Executives lying
The Senate has recently been looking into why oil companies are reporting record profits while Americans continue to pay through the nose at the pump. Of course, the obvious conclusion is that oil companies are reporting record profits because Americans are paying through the nose at the pump, but for some unknown reason the oil companies don't see a correlation.

So the Senate is investigating - and they're uncovering some very interesting information. For example, last week Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asked executives from Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Shell Oil, and BP America, "Did your company or any representatives in your companies participate in Vice President Cheney's energy force in 2001?"

All the executives replied in the negative. Which is unfortunate, because that very same day a newly-released White House document revealed that oil company executives had indeed met with Dick Cheney in 2001.

Which companies did they represent? Yup - Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Shell Oil, and BP America. What a surprise!

9Kevin Beary
Meet Florida sheriff Kevin Beary, who was recently caught up in a spot of ethical bother.

It seems that as well as bringing in a salary of around $140,000 as sheriff of Orange County, Mr. Beary also earns about $45,000 a year teaching at a career school known as Florida Metropolitan University. Just one problem - Mr. Beary frequently fails to show up to teach his classes, and instead sends over sheriff's office employees to substitute for him.

Beary claims that he has paid the substitutes out of his own pocket when they fill in for him. Unfortunately they say otherwise. So let's see... Beary's employees get to do his work for him - on sheriff's office time - and he pockets $45,000 for their efforts. Sounds about right.

Incidentally, Kevin Beary is also under investigation for taking $43,000 from a homeland security company - which he used sheriff's office employees to set up.

So, um, is this how "trickle-down economics" is supposed to work?

10Bill O'Reilly helping the terrorists helping the terrorists helping the terrorists
And finally, we noted in last week's edition that Bill O'Reilly recently invited al Qaeda to attack San Francisco. "You want to blow up the Coit Tower, go ahead," suggested the Falafel Master. This didn't go down too well as you can imagine, so last week Bill took some time during his radio show to apologize and explain himself:

FALAFEL MASTER: What I said isn't controversial. What I said needed to be said. I'm sitting here and I'm looking at a city that has absolutely no clue about what the world is. None.

Hmm... that doesn't sound like much of an apology. Let's continue:

FALAFEL MASTER: You know, if you had been hit on 9/11 instead of New York, believe me, you would not have voted against military recruting.

Really? Funnily enough, an alert DUer happened to notice that "just this past July, New York City Council drafted a measure for deliberation that would have effectively banned military recruitment in public schools." Our Bill seems to have missed that one.

But - believe it or not - there's more. Here's the Fox News teaser for the November 14 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor":

We take on the orchestrated campaign organized by left wing critics who have whipped up controversy about his satirical riff on the city of San Francisco.

Oh, so it's satire now is it? Good one! Yes, on his show that night, O'Reilly actually had the balls to call it a "satirical riff" - but with a "serious point." So, boiling the whole thing down:

1. You want to blow up the Coit Tower, go ahead.
2. I'm not kidding.
3. Okay, I'm kidding.
4. But enough kidding - you want to blow up the Coit Tower or what?

And we're not done yet! After twisting himself into knots, O'Reilly explained exactly how he would "take on the orchestrated campaign organized by left wing critics who have whipped up controversy."

What are his plans? If you guessed "don't tell me, that miserable thin-skinned old fucker is going to start an enemies list," give yourself a pat on the back:

FALAFEL MASTER: Some far left internet smear sites have launched a campaign to get me fired over my point of view. I believe they do this on a daily basis. This time the theme is O'Reilly is encouraging terrorist attacks. Unbelievably stupid. Not unusual with these guttersnipes. I'm glad the smear sites made a big deal out of it. Now we can all know who was with the anti-military internet crowd. We'll post the names of all who support the smear merchants on billoreilly.com. So check with us.

I wonder if Bill knows you can get pills to help with erectile dysfunction these days?

The Top 10 will be taking a break for Thanksgiving next week and will return on December 5. Have a great holiday!

 

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