Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 64)
Disco DeLay Edition
couldn't resist putting Dancing DeLay on the cover this week,
although there are more serious issues to probe. It seems
that the Bush Administration's (1) commitment to democracy
involves overthrowing elected leaders of foreign countries
so that we can get cheaper oil. And Christie Whitman (2) is
doing her best to cover up alleged misconduct at the EPA.
But it's not all corruption and fraud this week - no sirree!
Tom DeLay (3) shoots himself in the feet - that's dancing
feet - and Trent Lott (6) blunders his way back onto the
chart. Meanwhile Dick Cheney (7) is being made to look foolish
by his own townspeople, and the White House (9) is rewriting
history to make Dubya look a little less like an incoherent
buffoon. Enjoy! (And don't forget the key).
Right, let's see if we can boil down the latest Bush Administration
affront to democracy for you. First, President Hugo Chavez
of Venezuela (the fourth largest exporter of oil in the world)
has serious problems
with his country's oil industry, which causes prices to rise.
Next, administration officials meet
clandestinely with Venezuelan military leaders and opposition
activists, including an oilman named Pedro Carmona. Suddenly,
dozens of Venezuelan military personnel working in various
embassies around the world return to Caracas without explanation.
There is a military coup, and the pro-Bush, pro-oil Pedro
Carmona is installed as interim leader. Hugo Chavez is sent
to an island prison where he sees an American plane, which
he presumes is there to take him into exile. Venezuela's neighbors
denounce the coup, but the Bush Administration quickly recognizes
the new government, announces that Chavez has resigned
and calls his actions undemocratic.
Much glee and rubbing of hands at the thought of all that
lovely oil ensues. Surprise - two days later there is a countercoup
and Chavez is reinstalled as President. George W. Bush's response?
Sickeningly, to tell Chavez that the US had absolutely nothing
to do with the coup, and that Chavez must "embrace
democracy" if he wishes to be a successful president.
Well, perhaps if Chavez didn't have a bunch of American cowboy
oil barons helping the military to force his democratically-elected
ass out of office, he could give that a try. Eh, George?
The independent ombudsman has been doing a little digging
into Christie Whitman' shady dealings at the EPA - he's performing
into possible financial shenanigans between her husband John
and environmental polluters. John Whitman is the managing
partner of a venture capital firm controlled by Citicorp,
a subsidiary of Citigroup - and Citigroup stock valued between
$100,000 and $250,000 is listed in Christie Whitman's financial
disclosure statement. Meanwhile, Citigroup is responsible
for screwing up the cleanup of the Shattuck Superfund site
in Colorado (they will pay $7 million towards the cost). The
investigation into Whitman's dubious behavior at the EPA had
remained under lock and key by the EPA ombudsman - that is,
until April 12, when Whitman told the EPA inspector general
to seize his files. Of course, Whitman is not at all desperate
to prevent the files from becoming public. Not at all.
That's why if she can't get her hands on the ombudsman's files
through regular means, she intends to combine the independent
ombudsman's office with the inspector general's office, which
would essentially end the investigation. How very convenient!
Still, it's good to see that she's avoiding even the appearance
of impropriety, isn't it?
Tom Delay is no stranger to making dumb statements, but since
one has managed to piss off Republicans, we thought
we'd better give it a mention! Faithful Tom was taking part
in a question and answer session at a church meeting last
week when he was asked where good Christians should send their
kids to college. Now a good Christian would obviously know
the answer to that, but all Tom could come up with was where
not to send your kids - Texas A&M or Baylor. Now
I know most people consider these schools to be quite conservative
- but not our Tom, who has two very good reasons for holding
a grudge against A&M and Baylor. First, his daughter,
a 1995 A&M graduate, was shocked
to discover students had sex in their dormitories (shocked
I tell ya). Who would have thought it!? And second, poor Tom
himself was a student at Baylor back in the Sixties - until
he was kicked out for dancing.
But thanks to the fact that an unknown person was taping Tom's
remarks at the church meeting, word got around that Delay
was bashing local colleges, and now his own constituents are
upset with him. What a shame. In his defense, Delay issued
a statement saying that he "strongly supports both schools,"
which is an unbelievably hypocritical flip-flop, even by his
We've been hearing a lot of talk about "bipartisanship" coming
out of the current Administration, particularly in regards
to the War Against Terror. Democrats, for better or worse,
have been acting in a bipartisan way, giving Bush and the
Pentagon a great deal of leeway in how they prosecute the
war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the White House has not
returned the favor, and has repeatedly treated Democratic
concerns with outright contempt. So we weren't surprised to
learn that since Bush took office, the Department of Defense
has unceremoniously shit-canned
a bunch of Democrats from influential Pentagon advisory boards
that were supposed to be bipartisan. After the firings, the
boards have 17 Republican members and only "a few" Democrats.
Apparently Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld weren't satisfied
to have the support of almost every prominent Democrat in
the United States, and still felt the need to go on a fascist
partisan purge. So much for bipartisanship.
and Phil Kent
Ever since Rep. Cynthia McKinney started calling for investigations
into the events of September 11, she's been a prime target
for right-wing nutcases. And last week the decidedly unfair
and unbalanced CNSNews.com published
a most excellent hack job linking McKinney to terrorists.
Apparently McKinney received campaign contributions from members
of the American Muslim Council and the Council on American
Islamic Relations (CAIR) - CNSNews discovered this information
at opensecrets.org and used it to attack McKinney. However,
a quick search at opensecrets.org reveals that McKinney is
not the only person these organizations donated to. The American
Muslim Council donated
twice as much money to Republican Dana Rohrabacher, and CAIR
more money to Energy Secretary Spence Abraham than they did
to McKinney. But this didn't stop CNSNews.com from publishing
a smear-vehicle for Phil Kent, president of the Southeastern
Legal Foundation (SLF). "If she had any shred of integrity,
which I don't think she has, she'd repudiate these people,"
said Kent. "I'm wondering if she's going to give the
money back. But I know she won't." We wonder if in the interests
of fairness and integrity Mr. Kent will be making the same
calls to Rep.
Rohrabacher and Spence Abraham? Don't hold your breath,
What a loser! Fathead Trent's hopes have been dashed once
again as his new Internet project was thwarted at stage one
last week. With a flourish, "Bipartisan" Lott gleefully
revealed his new website - www.disappointed.senate.gov - which
was to poke fun at Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. (That's
what we like to see - our leaders in Washington spending the
taxpayer's time and money on sensible, mature projects to
promote Senate unity.) But if only the Rugmaster had bothered
to read the Senate rules, he would have discovered
that "The use of Senate Internet Services for personal, promotional,
commercial, or partisan political/campaign purposes is prohibited."
Whoops! Now Trent is going to have to purchase a commercial
domain instead. So keep your eyes peeled - we're sure the
launch of www.partisan.wigboy.com is just around the corner.
Would you want your high school named after Dick Cheney?
Fat chance! And funnily enough, not even the high school which
Dick attended back in the 50s wants to be named after him.
A businessman in Cheney's old home town of Casper, Wyoming,
floated the idea of renaming Natrona County High School in
honor of the vice pResident and was amazed by the flood of
negative letters to the local newspaper. The Boston Globe
that, "one alumnus, Alan Fenwick of Drums, Pa., remembered
watching Cheney play football, and said: 'We stunk.'"
(Hey - kinda like watching the administration in action!)
Another Casper resident wrote, "My uneducated guess is
that he has done more for Halliburton Oil and Texas than for
Wyoming." Perhaps if Casper is seriously considering
renaming its high school in honor of Cheney they should call
it something more appropriate, like Hidey-Hole High, or Undisclosed
Location School for the Scared, or something like that.
It's clear that the last year's tax cut for the rich was an
unmitigated disaster for the economy and the federal budget,
which is once again running Reagan-style deficits. Under current
law the tax cuts are set to start phasing out some time around
2010. So, here's a great
idea, courtesy of Bush and the House Republicans: Let's
make the tax cuts permanent! The House of Representatives
voted to do exactly that, on a largely party-line vote. Talk
about pure politics in the great Republican tradition. You
see, it's not really a tax cut, and it wouldn't actually happen
for nearly a decade, so don't start spending your refund just
yet. Democrats fought the measure, which would require a raid
on the Social Security Trust Fund. It's compassionate conservatism
in action: Steal retirement funds from working people and
hand the money over to undeserving rich people.
Bush's penchant for misspeaking is legendary. But strangely,
in the official White House transcript, he always seems to
get it right. According to the Washington Post, the White
House has been systematically scrubbing
speeches by Bush (and by his staffers) to expunge all of the
made-up words, mangled syntax, and other instances general
presidential stupidity. While in Bridgeport recently, Bush
asked each American to volunteer "4000 years" and called the
lieutenant governor of the state by the incorrect name. But
in the official transcript, no mistakes. In Knoxville he got
a hard time from some hecklers. Again, no mention in the transcript.
In fact, the official record was edited when he called for
a permanent extension of the estate tax (which he opposes),
and it happened again when he made some bizarre comments about
"devaluation" of the Japanese Yen. Even Ari Fleischer got
scrubbed when he said that people "need to watch what they
say." Of course, if you're a member of the Bush Administration,
you don't need to watch what you say, because someone else
can always clean up after you.
And finally, from the Dueling Banjos File comes a classic
of right-wing idiocy. Karen Taylor, a professor at Alabama
State University, was pulled over and given a ticket for going
51mph in a 35mph zone. Fair enough. But then, in a fit of
conservative small-mindedness, the cop proceeded to give Taylor
a ticket for covering the word "Dixie" on her license
plate. Alabama's criminal code requires that all license plates
have a representation of a heart and the words "Heart
of Dixie" on them - although one can't help but wonder
if this was a simple case of Driving While Black. Taylor,
an African-American, covered the word "Dixie" ten
years ago to protest the song's racist heritage - she has
paid the $118 speeding ticket, but is fighting the tag violation.
Ain't it funny how conservatives are always calling themselves
"defenders of freedom," when their idea of "freedom"
clearly means government-enforced political correctness and
bowing down to the Confederacy? See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List