Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 225)

December 12, 2005
Dis The Season Edition

Christmas is almost here, not that you'd know it if you pay attention to Bill O'Reilly (1), who seems to think that we're all going to be dancing naked around a sacrificial goat's carcass this year. But if you were looking for a Christmas present from The Bush Administration (2), don't expect to get one in the form of increased homeland security. Elsewhere, Donald Rumsfeld (3) is either incompetent, or lying, or both (hint: it's both), Republican Warmongers (4) think that victory over the Democrats is more important than victory in Iraq, Tom DeLay (5) is fighting for his political life, and Dennis Hastert (6) is giving him a helping hand. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1Bill O'Reilly hypocrisy hypocrisy hypocrisy
Onward Christmas soldiers, marching as to war! Yes, the "War On Christmas" is really heating up. At least, it is in the minds of people with nothing better to do; not so much for everyday Americans who are getting a bit fed up of the radical right trying to ruin everything for everybody all the frickin' time. Bill O'Reilly in particular has been practically spitting pine needles about people who refuse to accost unsuspecting passers-by and yell "MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS" down their earholes.

Shame the Falafel Master hasn't been practicing what he preaches. Last week an alert DUer noticed that a quick right-click on Bill O'Reilly's website logo revealed that the file was named "holidaylogohome.gif." Criminy!

And that's not all. If you can actually stomach visiting O'Reilly site, you'll notice that moving your mouse over the drop-down menu entitled "About Bill" brings up a list headed by the item "Recommended Christmas Gifts."

That's not quite what it said earlier in the week though:

Tsk tsk. Call yourself a Christmas Warrior, Bill?

And as usual, O'Reilly has resorted to making shit up in order to sell his point. Last week he ran a clip from The Daily Show in which Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee lampooned the War On Christmas. Apparently O'Reilly thought that it made some kind of point about secular liberals hating America. That's right - he's actually been reduced to quoting satirical comedy shows in order to "prove" that Christmas is under attack.

Unfortunately for Bill, it was quickly pointed out that the clip he ran wasn't even recent - it was from last year's War On Christmas. Jeez, get with the times, Falafel Man! This despite the fact that O'Reilly preceded the clip by saying:

'Secular Central' is Jon Stewart's Daily Show. Here's what happened there last night. Roll it.

Can someone remind me again how this pompous, uniformed asspipe managed to get a regular job as a television "journalist?"

And if all that isn't enough, check out the way Bill blew his top on radio last week. Whipping himself (not literally I hope) into a frenzy, he declared:

I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday and the celebration. I am not going to let it happen. I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that.

Because after all, isn't bringing horror to people what the spirit of Christmas is all about?

PS. I notice that Jeb Bush has just sent out his "holiday card," devoid of any mention of Christmas. I'm sure O'Reilly and friends will be outraged.

2The Bush Administration covering your ass
The 9/11 Commission (remember them?) released a report last week intended to evaluate how well the government has dealt with the 41 recommendations made in their original report. So do you want the good news, or the bad news?

Just kidding, there isn't any good news. According to the Commission's new evaluation, the government deserves "more F's than A's." Committee Chairman Thomas Kean, put it into blunt words that even a Bush supporter can understand: "God help us if we have another attack."

And it seems that "God help us" has actually been the Bush administration's plan all along, since they've done bugger all to actually protect the country from attack. Oh, sure - they've invaded Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11) and secured its deadly weapons of mass destruction (which didn't actually exist) - but when it comes to protecting the homeland, they're falling far short. Commission member Jamie Gorelick said last week that America is "less safe than we were 18 months ago ... The interest has faded. We assumed that our government would be able to do what it needed to do, and it didn't do it."

Brilliant. Don't worry though - the Bush administration has taken full responsibility for the... ha ha! Just kidding again. Of course they haven't taken responsibility. Instead they've placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Congress, which, the last time I checked, was still run by Republicans. Time for some new leadership, perhaps?

3Donald Rumsfeld lying lying
On PBS' Newshour last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the following:

I was very careful. I never predicted any number of deaths or the cost or the length because I've looked at a lot of wars, and anyone who tries to do that is going to find themselves wrong, flat wrong ... I don't know anybody who had any reasonable expectations about the number or the length of the war or the cost of the war. I just don't - no one I know went out and said these are how those three metrics ought to be considered. And you can take it to the bank.

Okay, where to begin... well, first it's probably worth noting, as Atrios did last week, that a Defense Secretary who wants to start a war but hasn't got any idea whatsoever of the potential length, the potential cost, or the potential number of casualties, probably shouldn't be doing the job of Defense Secretary. Atrios didn't put it quite as politely as that, mind you.

And second, it turns out that Rumsfeld and other administration officials have made predictions about the "three metrics" - it's just that they all turned out to be wrong. Flat wrong, if you will. From Think Progress:

Length:

Rumsfeld, 2/7/03: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

Cheney, 3/16/03: "I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months"

Cost:

Daniels, 12/30/02: "The administration's top budget official [Mitch Daniels] estimated today that the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion... Mr. Daniels declined to explain how budget officials had reached the $50 billion to $60 billion range for war costs..." [New York Times, 12/31/02]

Casualties:

Q: If your analysis is not correct, and we're not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

Cheney: Well, I don't think it's likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. [Meet the Press, 3/16/03]

So to sum up, Don Rumsfeld isn't just incompetent, he's a liar.

And you can take that to the bank.

4Republican Warmongers excessive spin partisanship
So I guess the Republicans have gone back to doing what they do best - they're ignoring any kind of substantive discussion of the terrible situation in Iraq, and are instead resorting to childish taunts. (And before you write to tell me that the "Top 10 Conservative Idiots" is pretty damn childish, bear in mind that I'm not running the country here.)

Last week the RNC released an Internet ad accusing the Democrats of "retreat and defeat," which showed images of Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Barbara Boxer with a white flag waving in front of them. Very clever. After positioning themselves with Bush's "Plan for Victory" (not an actual plan for victory, some restrictions may apply - see Idiots 224) Republicans now apparently feel free to call Democrats cowards and traitors for daring to suggest that we should try to get out of the quagmire that Bush has created in Iraq.

Since 54% of Americans now think we should withdraw troops within the year (40% think we should withdraw immediately) and 39% think we should set no timetable, I guess the RNC must think that a majority of the American people are white-flag-waving terrorist-appeasers too. Seems like an odd message to take into the 2006 elections, but there you go.

And while we're on the subject, this whole RNC propaganda campaign is based on Howard Dean's comment last week that, "The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong. I've seen this before in my life and it cost us 25,000 brave American soldiers and I don't want to go down that road again."

For shame! President Bush would never offer such a pessimistic assessment! Now, leaving aside the fact that pretty much everything Howard Dean has said about Iraq has turned out to be true, and pretty much everything the Bush administration has said about Iraq has been utterly wrong (see Idiots passim), here's what George W. Bush said on the Today Show last year when Matt Lauer asked if we really could win the war on terrorism:

"I don't think you can win it."

Yup. He said it.

Meanwhile, Our Great Leader is still rejecting a timetable for withdrawal, saying last week that, "There are some who are arguing for a fixed timetable of withdrawal, I think it's a wrong policy." Funny how he didn't mention who those "some" are: Sunni and Shiite parties in Iraq which include "followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Sunni Iraqi Consensus Front," according to the Associated Press.

Bottom line: everybody wants us out of Iraq - even Republicans are turning against Bush on this one. Unfortunately what's important to the Republican warmongers now is not how to get out of Iraq in a timely or productive fashion, but how they can smear Democrats while they're doing it. I'm telling you - next thing you know they'll have the troops out of there and they'll be blaming Democrats for wanting to keep them in. Just you watch.

5Michael Reagan excessive spin
Strangely enough, it seems that Howard Dean's comments have such power that certain Republicans have actually suffered massive brain damage because of them. Take Michael "Son of Ronald" Reagan, for example. Before I get to Michael's rebuttal, let's take another quick look at what Howard Dean actually said:

Q: Governor Dean, the key to eventually getting the US forces out of Iraq is going to be having the Iraqis doing a better job of defending themselves and taking a greater role. Are we on the right track to achieving that goal?

DEAN: Well I think our military's working very hard to do that, but let's not forget. This is ultimately what America had to do in Vietnam. Ultimately we said we're going to turn this over to the Vietnamese and of course the South Vietnamese couldn't manage to take care of their own country. I supported the first President Bush's war in Iraq, I supported this president Bush's war in Afghanistan but I do not believe in making the same mistake twice and America appears to have made the same mistake twice. I wish the president had paid more attention to the history of Iraq before we had gotten in there. The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong. I've seen this before in my life and it cost us 25,000 brave American soldiers and I don't want to go down that road again. We need to maintain a presence in the area so we can deal with terrorism but not in Iraq.

And here's Michael Reagan's thoughtful rebuttal which he gave live on air during his radio show:

REAGAN: Howard Dean should be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the end of the Iraq war.

Oh Michael, haven't you heard? We don't do that sort of thing here in the Land Of The Free. I mean, I know you and your conservative buddies are working on it, but imprisoning people in holes in the ground and hanging them because they said something you don't like isn't legal just yet. Maybe if Alito gets confirmed, eh?

6Tom DeLay covering your ass
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Shit Creek) received yet more bad news last week after a judge dismissed conspiracy charges against him, but upheld more serious money laundering charges. Oh dear. Not that you'd know about the alleged money laundering if you're a Fox News fan, of course - courtesy of BradBlog, here's how three different media organizations broke the news via their email alert system:

Yahoo News
Breaking News: AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A Texas judge has refused to dismiss money laundering charges against Rep. Tom DeLay but threw out conspiracy charges.

CNN:
Breaking News - Judge tosses conspiracy charges against ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, but allows money-laundering charges, according to AP.

Fox News:
Texas judge drops conspiracy charges against Rep. Tom DeLay.

Oh my rolling eyes. Anyway, the fact that DeLay could still go down for money laundering hasn't made one jot of difference to George W. Bush's "honor and integrity" administration - Vice President Dick Cheney popped out of his undisclosed hidey-hole last week to raise funds for the Former Hammer in Houston. Classy.

Mind you, it's no wonder that DeLay is still in trouble - it turns out that his argument for dropping the money laundering charges was that "the statute did not include the use of checks," according to the AFP. Yes, according to DeLay only people who launder cash can be convicted of a crime. Nice try.

And with polls now showing that 49% of registered voters DeLay's district would vote for an unnamed Democrat compared to 36% who would still vote for DeLay, it looks like Hammertime may be finally drawing to a close...

6Dennis Hastert partisanship
...unless Dennis Hastert can help it, that is! Last week it was revealed that the Speaker of the House is in the process of pulling a little "DeLay tactic" of his own - according to the Boston Globe:

Hastert has scheduled the first House session of 2006 for Jan. 31 - after a holiday break of more than a month, and two weeks after senators are due to return to Washington. The late start gives DeLay, a Texas Republican, a greater amount of time with which to dispose of the charges, as new leadership elections could not occur until the House is back in session.

So if you weren't sure about the priorities of House Republicans before, perhaps this will give you a clue. With the victims of Hurricane Katrina still in desperate need of federal assistance, with the war in Iraq taking the lives of American soldiers on a daily basis, with big American oil companies refusing to provide relief to low-income familes who face huge heating oil bills this year, Dennis Hastert has decided to put off doing the people's business for a few weeks so that Tom DeLay can try to wrap up his criminal trial.

Congratulations, Republicans. I think you're almost touching the bottom of the barrel.

8Hooligan Creationists religious nut religious nut
Yes, you read the title right - hooligan creationists. Last week a religious studies professor at the University of Kansas was beaten up on the side of a rural road in Douglas County. Professor Paul Mirecki said that the men who attacked him made references to a course which he was due to start teaching next spring called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies." Mirecki canceled the course not long after he was assaulted.

Now, to be fair, Mirecki had made some rather rude comments about "fundies" and described his course as "a nice slap in their big fat face." But I really don't think he deserved a beating for it, particularly from a bunch of so-called "Christians." After all, I say shit like that every week right here in the Top 10 and nobody beats me up. Mind you, I don't live in Kansas.

But anyway, my point is this: I'm sitting here writing a story about a college professor who got beaten up by thugs for daring to suggest that creationism should be taught in religious studies classes rather than biology classes. But here's the amazing part - apparently, I live in America, and this is the 21st century!

Who would have thought it!

9BellSouth greed greed
Speaking of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, you probably won't be surprised to discover that some companies are more interested in making a profit than helping them out. Earlier in the year BellSouth Corp. promised to donate a damaged building in New Orleans to the city police department, which would act as a new police headquarters. But last week they reneged on the promise.

Why? Because New Orleans officials recently announced "that they would deploy a city-owned, wireless Internet network in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [which would] bring high-speed Internet access for free to homes and businesses to help stimulate resettlement and relocation to the devastated city," according to the Washington Post.

And we can't have that, can we? Especially if it cuts into the profits of a massive telephone company. You know, the free market and all that. Upon hearing the news, an "angry" BellSouth promptly withdrew their donation offer, saying, "we are a little surprised by these comments."

I only wish I could say I was equally surprised at BellSouth's shameful money-grubbing.

10Ann Coulter dumb
And finally, Ann Coulter lasted about fifteen minutes before packing up her speech at the University of Connecticut last week - she was booed off the stage by students.

Not surprising really, considering that one of her best lines of the night was: "I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am."

I guess that explains why she's on Fox News all the time. See you next week!

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