The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
December 19, 2005
Spy Hard With A Vengeance Edition
the season to... spy on American citizens? Apparently so. But that's
not all George W. Bush (1,2,4,7) has been up to - with the Iraqi
elections, the Tom DeLay case, and a report indicating that Congress
didn't see the same intelligence as the White House prior to the
Iraq war, it's been quite a week for Our Great Leader. Elsewhere,
Condoleezza Rice (3) has been put in charge of rebuilding Iraq (again),
Bill Frist (5) has got more to worry about than his SEC investigation,
Bob Novak (6) is heading to Fox News, and Bill O'Reilly (10) has
lost his mind - just in time for Christmas. Enjoy, and don't forget
You want a political bombshell? I got yer political bombshell
right here. Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse
for George W. Bush and his rapidly deteriorating administration,
the New York Times reported
that the National Security Agency has been spying on American citizens.
According to the Times:
President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency
to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States
to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved
warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency
has monitored the international telephone calls and international
e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside
the United States without warrants over the past three years in
an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda,
the officials said.
Oh boy. In case you were wondering - no, this isn't entirely legal.
to the Washington Post, "Congressional sources familiar
with limited aspects of the program would not discuss any classified
details but made it clear there were serious questions about the
legality of the NSA actions." And then of course there's that
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable
cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing
the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
And this spying was specifically mandated by the president
of the United States via executive order, and kept secret from courts
that are supposed to oversee this kind of activity, as well as from
Now, the NSA was supposed to be spying on people who are connected
to "potential terrorism-related activities," which is
still illegal but there you go. But considering the fact that news
also broke last week of a secret
Pentagon database used to collect data on peace protesters,
one has to wonder if the two stories are somehow related.
Bottom line: George W. Bush has ordered American intelligence agencies
to spy on American citizens on American soil, and has allowed the
Pentagon to surveil American citizens who are are opposed the war
in Iraq. This is not conspiracy theory stuff - this is real, it
is happening, and not only has Bush admitted it, he's proud
So now can we impeach him?
It's going to take a few weeks for the Iraqi election results
to come in, so while we're waiting let's take a look at George W.
Bush's efforts to bring democracy to the Middle East. First of all,
big-cheese Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani "called
Iraq's parliamentary elections a 'victory' for Iran and said the
vote had shattered any U.S. expansionist ambitions in the Middle
according to the Financial Times.
It's no wonder that Iran, a charter member of the Axis of Evil,
is delighted at the turn of events in Iraq. I mean, twenty years
ago they were in the middle of a bloody, violent war with Iraq,
against a secular dictator by the name of Saddam Hussein, who was
being funded and armed by the United States. Twenty years later
Saddam is gone, Iraq has been destroyed, and its people are on the
verge of electing a Shiite theocracy.
The cost? Let's do a quick end-of-year round-up. Last week George
W. Bush casually
estimated that 30,000 Iraqis have lost their lives since the
U.S. invaded. (He didn't bat an eyelid. It was quite impressive.)
Meanwhile, the death toll among American soldiers has passed 2,150,
with at least
15,000 wounded (and the dead are being shipped back as freight,
if you can believe it). It was also announced last week that the
cost of the Iraq war to the American taxpayer will soon balloon
past $500 billion. That's half a trillion dollars.
Meanwhile, Iraq has become a training ground for anti-American
terrorists, the torture rooms have re-opened,
Osama bin Laden is still at large, no weapons of mass destruction
have been discovered, and Iran is throwing a party.
So I guess it's a big thumbs-up
so far for Our Great Leader's Great Middle East Experiment!
George W. Bush gave Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a very
important job last week. According
to the Financial Times:
President George W. Bush on Wednesday announced that the State
Department would lead all US post-conflict reconstruction, a move
that supersedes the controversial decision to give that task to
the Pentagon in Iraq following the 2003 invasion. ... A former
senior official involved in what he called the "chaos" of post-war
reconstruction efforts in Iraq said yesterday's announcement also
affirmed the growing power and influence of Condoleezza Rice,
secretary of state.
Ah yes, those "chaotic" postwar reconstruction efforts.
Now who was in charge of those again...? Let me see here... (cue
wobbly visuals and bleepy keyboard music as we travel back in time)
USA Today, 10/6/2003:
President Bush is giving his national security adviser, Condoleezza
Rice, the authority to manage postwar Iraq and the rebuilding
of Afghanistan. ... Rice will head the Iraq Stabilization Group,
which will have coordinating committees on counterterrorism, economic
development, political affairs and media messages.
Huh. So... how did that work out? (wobble wobble bleep bleep)
Washington Post, 5/18/2004:
With all the chaos and uncertainty in Iraq, this would be a good
time to call on the White House's Iraq Stabilization Group. At
least it would have been a good time to call on the Stabilization
Group if the group itself had not become, er, unstable. ... Critics
of recent U.S. actions in Iraq, including some within the White
House, said the destabilized Stabilization Group is a metaphor
for an Iraq policy that is adrift as U.S. ambitions in the country
are thwarted by an insurgency and a prisoner-abuse scandal.
I can't wait for Dubya to announce that he's got this great new
guy called Mike Brown to run FEMA.
Incidentally, Condoleezza Rice also said
last week that "I should remind people we are there [in Iraq]
under a U.N. mandate." Really? UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
thinks differently; he's called
the invasion of Iraq "illegal" and "not in conformity
with the UN Charter." I guess someone must have their wires
Scott McClellan was quite
happy to comment on the CIA leak case until the Bush administration
suddenly realized that they might all actually be in deep shit.
So for months now the White House's cunning plan has been to simply
any questions about Patrick Fitzgerald's probe by announcing that
they won't discuss anything related to an "ongoing investigation."
But it seems that some investigations may be more, uh, ongoing
than others. Last week George W. Bush was pressed to remark on Tom
DeLay's criminal capers, and was asked specifically if he thinks
DeLay is innocent.
"Yes I do," Bush
Curious! So Dubya feels comfortable proclaiming DeLay's innocence,
yet won't comment on any aspect of the CIA leak case because it's
an "ongoing investigation?" That smells worse than the
sewer under Rush Limbaugh's house.
Scott McClellan managed to explain the whole thing away though,
saying, "We don't typically tend to get into discussing legal
matters of that nature. But in this instance, the president chose
to respond to it ... Call it presidential prerogative."
Okay, I'll call it presidential prerogative. Why, Scotty, is Our
Great Leader using presidential prerogative to decide which ongoing
investigations he will comment on and which he will not? See, it's
just that you keep saying things
This is relating to an ongoing criminal investigation. There
are clear distinctions in that. That's a nice try to get us to
discuss an ongoing investigation, but I think we need to let that
I told you and the President told you earlier today that we don't
want to prejudge the outcome of an ongoing investigation. And
I think we've been round and round on this for two days now.
Because of the ongoing investigation and legal proceedings, at
the direction of the White House Counsel's Office, all White House
officials, including myself, are not going to be able to respond
to questions or discuss the factual circumstances of the matter.
It's strange really - all this time, Scott McClellan has been making
out that the White House couldn't comment on Fitzgerald's investigation
for serious legal reasons. But I guess now we know that the president
can open his yap about "ongoing investigations" any time
the mood strikes him, then we also know that the White House's silence
on the CIA leak case is nothing more than pure political stonewalling.
Just in case anyone was still thinking that there might be another
As if being investigated by the SEC for alleged insider trading
(see Idiots 220)
isn't bad enough, a recent report on further dodgy dealings may
ensure that Bill Frist will have a particularly miserable Christmas
this year. Last week it was reported that the Senate Majority Leader's
AIDS charity "paid nearly a half-million dollars in consulting
fees to members of his political inner circle," according
to the Associated Press.
Tax returns show that the $4.4 million dollars raised by Frist's
charity came from just 18 unknown donors, and only $3 million went
to AIDS causes. The rest went to "overhead," which included
"$456,125 in consulting fees to two firms run by Frist's longtime
political fundraiser, Linus Catignani. One is jointly run by Linda
Bond, the wife of Sen. Christopher 'Kit' Bond, R-Mo.," again
according to the AP.
So why is Frist taking huge chunks of cash which is supposed to
go to AIDS charities and giving it to his political fundraiser?
Your guess is as good as mine. And if your guess is "because
Frist is an unethical crook," then your guess is the same
The last time we featured Bob Novak in the Top 10 Conservative
Idiots, he'd just detonated a drunken bullshit explosion live on
national television (see Idiots 209).
Add that to the fact that Novak is at the very center of the CIA
leak investigation - he was the person who first
published Valerie Plame's identity in his syndicated column
- and you'd think that no respectable news organization would want
to go near the old bastard with a ten-foot pole.
And you'd be absolutely right! Last week Fox News announced that
Novak will be joining them as a contributor beginning in January,
where he'll fit right in with such journalistic giants as Bill O'Reilly
and Sean Hannity. Apparently one
of the reasons that CNN dumped Novak (aside from the bullshit
explosion) was because they were worried about "keeping the
political columnist on the air with his involvement in the CIA leak
case." Wow, that sounds almost... ethical.
Fox News, it appears, has no such problem with Novak's involvement.
In fact, be sure to look out for his new regular segment on the
CIA leak case which my sources tell me is tentatively titled Nothing
To See Here, Move Along Now. (Apparently Fox News settled on
that after discarding my personal favorite, Well I Think That's
Bullshit, and the less popular Who Are You People And Where's
So you know how Our Great Leader keeps
insisting that Congress had the "same intelligence"
that he did when deciding whether or not to invade Iraq? He's been
saying it an awful lot recently.
Well last week a report released by the nonpartisan Congressional
Research Service revealed
that, in fact, "The president, and a small number of presidentially
designated Cabinet-level officials, including the vice president
... have access to a far greater overall volume of intelligence
and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information
regarding intelligence sources and methods."
Yes folks, the president was lying. Go on, tell me you're shocked.
You know, it kinda makes me wonder what would have happened if
it had been George W. Bush who cut down that mythical
cherry tree instead of George Washington. I think it might have
gone something like this:
- First he would have claimed that the cherry tree was harboring
weapons of mass destruction.
- Then he would have insisted that the cherry tree was in league
with Al Qaeda.
- Then he would have explained that he was just trying to bring
freedom to the cherry tree.
- Then he would have pretended that Congress had the same intelligence
about the cherry tree when they gave him the authority to cut
- Finally he would have announced that if he had to do it all
over again, he still would have cut down the cherry tree.
And then he would have gotten his ass spanked.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace is a big fan of the Ten Commandments.
Back in August 2003, he had this
to say about the controversy surrounding Roy Moore and the Alabama
Supreme Court (see Idiots passim):
The state's defrocked Chief Justice, Roy Moore, needs to back
off. Federal courts get to decide what counts as constitutional
and they've spoken. Nevertheless, I'm glad he picked the fight.
... Frankly, I'd rather risk the counsel of the Ten Commandments,
which advocate humility before God and uprightness before society,
than follow sages who claim they can heal kids' spiritual wounds
by teaching them how to stretch prophylactic devices over cucumbers,
members of the squash family and an assortment of tree-ripened
Um... prophylactic devices... what? Well, never mind that. Take
it from me, Chris Wallace is a big fan of the Ten Commandments all
right - at least, as far as they relate to other people.
Last week Wallace publicly
reacted to news that his father, veteran broadcaster Mike Wallace,
had dared to criticize George W. Bush:
He's lost it. The man has lost it. What can I say. He's 87-years
old and things have set in. I mean, we're going to have a competence
hearing pretty soon. ... He's checked out. I don't understand
I shall now refer to my handy guide to all things relating to the
Ten Commandments, Kirk Cameron's website WayOfTheMaster.com.
Let's see here... the Fifth Commandment is "Honor your father
and your mother," and Kirk says, "Have you always honored
your parents in a way that's pleasing in the sight of God? Ask Him
to remind you of the sins of your youth. You may have forgotten
them, but God hasn't."
Sorry Chris, it's the burning lake of hellfire for you. Happy Holidays.
Van Den Heuvel
You know, I've been putting this column together for almost
five years now and during that time I've written about some pretty
wacky stuff - but this particular entry really does stand out. Meet
Earl Van Den Heuvel. Earl is an alderman on Green Bay's city council,
and last week he was also exposed
as a complete and utter moron.
It all began when a man named "Don" phoned WTAQ Radio
during a call-in segment on The Jerry Bader Show and pontificated
They are committing the crimes and they are doing these things,
and I'll tell you what, it's about time we start cracking down
on these people. If he's got his pants hanging down to his knees,
like most of these young black youth have, I'm gonna call the
police. I have and I will. Being a racist may be a smart thing
to protect your property in this city. Until the people start
changing, until the people start doing the things they need to
do to bring around their people, you're not stupid for being a
racist, you're smart and you're looking out for your property.
Unfortunately for "Don," several WTAQ staffers thought
that his voiced seemed awfully familiar - not unlike the voice of
Earl Van Den Heuvel, in fact. So Jerry Bader called Van Den Heuvel
to straighten things out. "I said, 'Earl, did you call my show last
night?'" reported Bader, "'No, no I didn't call your show.'
'You didn't call my show pretending to be Don in Green Bay?' 'No.
Why would I do that?'"
Why indeed? Unsatisfied, Bader had a forensic audio company compare
"Don's" voice to Van Den Heuvel's, and - surprise, surprise
- they said that the voices matched. When confronted, Van Den Heuvel
admitted that, yes, it was him all along.
Which doesn't leave me with much more to say other than: what a
And finally, it seems that the closer we get to Christmas, the
closer Bill O'Reilly gets to a nervous breakdown. The Falafel Master
was back in the news again last week after claiming that "In Plano,
Texas, a school told students they couldn't wear red and green because
they are Christmas colors."
Oh really? Turns out that's not quite true. In fact, it's not even
remotely true. In fact, the school district's attorneys subsequently
sent Bill a letter
requesting that "in the future, he ask his fact checkers to
do a more thorough job of confirming the facts before he airs them."
But apparently Plano isn't the only town featured in O'Reilly's
bizarre no-red-or-green-colors-for-you fantasy. Here's what he had
to say about Saginaw, Michigan:
In Saginaw, Michigan, the township opposes red and green clothing
on anyone. In Saginaw Township, they basically said, anybody,
we don't want you to wear red or green. I would dress up head
to toe in red to green if I were in Saginaw, Michigan.
to "Mid-Michigan's News Leader" WNEM-TV5, "O'Reilly's
comments are flat-out not true. [Township supervisor Tim] Braun
goes on to say the township hall has red and green Christmas lights
adorning the building at night."
Off his meds, I tell ya.
The Top 10 Conservative Idiots is taking a break for the holidays
- uh, I mean, Christmas. We'll be back on Monday, January 9. See
you next year!
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