The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
July 12, 2004
Ready, Fire, Aim Edition
wingnuts of Team Bush (1,2) were out in force last week trying to
knock down John Kerry's selection of John Edwards as his running
mate - to very little avail. Ken Lay (3) was indicted, which was
exciting, and George Bush pretended not to know him (again). Meanwhile
it was revealed that the Bush Administration (4) are already in
the process of organizing an October Surprise - or a "July
Surprise" if they get really lucky. And if just in case anyone
started asking awkward questions, along came Tom Ridge (5) to scare
the pants off everyone with another terror alert - well, more of
a terror reminder really. Elsewhere, the Boston Herald (6)
are really stretching it by pretending that there's a link between
John Kerry and Enron, Jeb Bush's Banana Republic of Florida (8)
is doing what it can to win the election for Dubya, and the Pentagon
(9) has mysteriously mislaid Our Great Leader's military records.
How peculiar. Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!
Note: You can now link directly
to a Top Ten item by adding "#" plus the number
of the item to the URL. So if you wish to point someone directly
to, for example, number 6 on this week's list, add "#6"
to the end of the URL so it looks like this:
John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running mate last week - and
the Republican attack machine immediately went into overdrive. Unfortunately
Team Bush ended up spinning their wheels because they really couldn't
find anything that bad to say about Edwards. About the worst they
could come up with was the suggestion that Edwards was John Kerry's
second choice after John McCain, and they attempted to hammer this
message home all week. RNC spokeswoman Tara Wall referred to Edwards
as "sloppy seconds" (video:
skip to 6:30) which, in case you were wondering, is the term for
the second person in line at a gang-bang. Charming. And when the
RNC launched a video
showing McCain praising Bush, the DNC promptly released their own
showing McCain demolishing him (funny how nobody ever calls McCain
a flip-flopper, isn't it?). It should probably also be pointed out
that Dick Cheney was Bush's second
choice in 2000 (his first was - you guessed it - John McCain).
But the dumbest thing about this whole GOP charade is the unfortunate
fact that McCain was never Kerry's first choice - the Arizona senator
Tony Snow on Fox News that the VP slot "was never offered"
to him. So as usual, Team Bush are just making shit up.
Of course, the McCain thing wasn't the only way Team Bush tried
to denigrate Kerry's veep selection last week - in true "Ready,
Fire, Aim" style several GOP arrows were launched at Edwards,
all of which missed handily. For example, one Team Bush tactic has
been to harp
on Edwards' alleged lack of experience for the position of vice
president. Edwards has only been a senator for six years - although
Team Bush seem to forget that George W. Bush only had six years
of political experience before he ran for president. And while Edwards
has served on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary
Committee, all Bush had to do as governor of Texas was swan about
shaking hands and executing people. Another GOP tactic is to describe
Edwards as a - gasp - "trial lawyer." Which is pretty
funny since Edwards has spent his life helping folks who get shafted
by companies run by people like Dick Cheney and Ken Lay. But last
week's most bizarre attack had to come from Matt Drudge, who for
some reason decided to insinuate
that Kerry and Edwards are gay lovers. Oh boy, they're getting so
Unfortunately Team Bush's attacks on Kerry/Edwards were somewhat
undermined last week when long-time Bush pal Ken Lay surrendered
himself to authorities and did the perp
walk after he was indicted
with "undisclosed criminal charges for alleged misdeeds."
Last week the White House attempted to distance Our Great Leader
from Lay, saying that "it has been a long time since they talked
and suggesting it was only a passing friendship," according
to the Associated Press. Ah, a passing friendship. Well that
would explain why the Bush campaign only used Enron private
jets a dozen or so times during the 2000 presidential election
(and four times during the recount). And it would also explain why
George W. Bush sent this extremely formal birthday note to "Kenny
And I guess it would explain why Poppy Bush says in this
video, "You have been fantastic to the Bush family. I don't
think anybody did more than you did to support George..." And I
guess it would explain why Dick Cheney had a series of secret
meetings with Enron executives - including Ken Lay - in 2001,
and why Ken Lay was part of the Bush transition team. You know,
just the normal things that happen during a "passing friendship."
In fact, this kinda reminds me of the "passing friendship"
the White House had with Ahmed Chalabi. Incidentally, Bush spokesman
Scott McClellan tried to suggest last week that Lay has been a supporter
of "Democrats and Republicans in the past." Right. Well,
I guess since in the last five years Lay has donated
91% to Republicans and 2% to Democrats, McClellan's statement is
Ties to Ken Lay not enough for ya? Well how about this: it was
last week by The New Republic that the Bush administration
has been trying to arrange the capture of a top Al Qaeda chief in
Pakistan - specifically timed to have an effect on the upcoming
election. Yup, it's long been suspected that the administration
will have an "October Surprise" up its filthy sleeve but
there was no evidence - until now. TNR reported that the
administration "significantly increased its pressure"
on Pakistan to capture bin Laden or another "high value target"
(HVT). Which is fine - except that the Bushies insisted it should
happen before November. For example, a Pakistani security official
told TNR that they had "been told at every level that
apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute
must." Not only that, but a White House official apparently told
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence director that "it would be
best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six,
twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July." That's right in the
middle of the Democratic National Convention. And what does
Pakistan get in return for pulling Osama out of a hat at just the
right moment? According to TNR, "During his March visit
to Islamabad, [Colin] Powell designated Pakistan a major non-NATO
ally, a status that allows its military to purchase a wider array
of U.S. weaponry. Powell pointedly refused to criticize Musharraf
for pardoning nuclear physicist A.Q. Khan - who, the previous month,
had admitted exporting nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea, and
Libya... In addition, the administration is pushing a five-year,
$3 billion aid package for Pakistan through Congress over Democratic
concerns about the country's proliferation of nuclear technology
and lack of democratic reform." So there you have it folks
- this administration is perfectly happy to turn a blind eye to
a Pakistan's nuclear proliferation, provided they get at least one
big name terrorist delivered at a politically expedient moment.
And Bush is supposed to be making us safer?
But don't get too excited about Our Great Leader's recent political
misfortunes - because here comes Tom Ridge to save the day! Tom
who? Tom Ridge! You remember, that guy who disappears for months
at a time and reappears when the nation needs him most, ie. when
Dubya's re-election prospects are looking dismal. Last week - coincidentally
on the same day that Ken Lay was indicted, the same day it was revealed
that the Bush Administration had turned a blind eye towards the
threat of nuclear terrorism in order to announce the capture of
Osama bin Laden in the middle of the Democratic National Convention,
and just two days after Kerry revealed his choice for vice president,
thus generating a ton of positive coverage of the Democratic ticket
- Tom Ridge took to the airwaves to remind everyone that we're all
going to die. Ridge announced
that Al Qaeda was planning to attack the United States before the
election "in an effort to disrupt the democratic process" (read:
a vote for John Kerry is a vote for Osama bin Laden) and so everybody
had, um, uh, better watch out. But Ridge didn't raise his famous
color-coded terror chart to "orange alert" - no, he just
made the announcement as, well, a handy reminder. Yes, despite the
fact that his warning pushed all the other news off the front page
and yet contained absolutely no new information, the timing was
purely by chance. You know, they keep going on and on about
attacks affecting the election and America's resolve and how we
shouldn't be scared of the terrorists (except when they remind us
we should be). But I'll tell you this - I'm sick of their bullshit.
If America isn't attacked before the election, I'm voting
for John Kerry. And if America is attacked before the election,
I'm voting for John Kerry.
Let's get back to Enron for a moment... last week the Boston
Herald splashed on their front page that John Kerry and John Edwards
are "LEFT OF TED!" - that's Kennedy, in case you were
wondering - which they presumably think is some kind of insult.
But a few days later it was out with the giant banner headlines
and in with, well, just plain
nonsense when the Herald tried to tie Kerry to Kenny-Boy
Lay. According to the Herald, SHOCK! "Kerry and Teresa
Heinz Kerry reported more than $250,000 in Enron stock ownership
before the firm's 2003 collapse." HORROR! "Kerry also
was forced to return a campaign contribution from an implicated
Enron executive." DISASTER! "Heinz Kerry served on a charity
board with Lay, even after he was implicated in the alleged fraud."
My goodness, it certainly sounds like John Kerry was in cahoots
with the evil Enron mastermind. Let's read on a little to find out
more. "Kerry's campaign took $1,000 from an executive of Enron
Wind in November 2001, a check he returned a few months later."
Hmmm... well that doesn't sound quite as bad as him being "forced"
to return it. "He also took $250 from an Enron accountant in
May - a check he won't return... because that donor hasn't been
implicated in the alleged fraud." A $250 donation from someone
who hasn't been implicated in the alleged fraud, eh? Call
the cops! "A Heinz family trust bought between $250,000
and $500,000 of stock in December 1995... The stock brought between
$5,000 and $15,000 in dividends in 1996 before it was sold in 1997."
Okay, so a Heinz family trust bought Enron stock in 1995 and sold
it in 1997... hang on a second, what the fuck is the point of
this article again?
After the 9/11 Commission announced that there was no "collaborative
relationship" between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, Dick Cheney
appeared on CNBC to refute their conclusion and insist
that he "probably" had information that the Commission
did not. Last week, the Commission told Crashcart to get lost. In
a statement, the Commission said that it "believes it has access
to the same information the vice president has seen regarding contacts
between al Qaeda and Iraq prior to the 9-11 attacks." They came
to this conclusion "after reviewing available transcripts of
Cheney's public remarks on the subject," according
to Reuters. Is there an explanation for Dick's delusions of
grandeur? Perhaps his doctor slipped him a mickey. That's right,
Cheney had to fire
his doctor last week after it was revealed that the doctor is
a long-term prescription painkiller addict. This is the same doctor
that announced Cheney was fit to run for vice president back in
2000, and has given us regular updates on Cheney's health ever since.
Hmmm... I guess since he used to work for Dick Cheney he won't be
to prison anytime soon, so he'll be looking for a new job. Let's
see... Rush Limbaugh can be contacted between 12pm and 3pm ET, Monday
to Friday, at 1-800-282-2882...
Bush's Banana Republic of Florida
Karl Rove said
last week that "The conditions for a Bush victory are all there."
Yup, when you take Diebold voting machines, the partisan 5-4 Supreme
Court, and the disenfranchisement of minority voters into account,
the conditions for a Bush victory are all there. Especially, as
was revealed in Florida this week, if you avoid purging the right
kind of minorities from voter rolls. See, in Florida, Hispanics
traditionally vote with the GOP. All but one of the state's Hispanic
lawmakers are Republican. Florida is 17 percent Hispanic. So why,
I wonder, of the 47,763 people on Florida's "purge list"
- the list which is supposed to prevent felons from voting - are
only 61 identified as Hispanic? In case you were wondering,
that's less than one tenth of one percent. Florida election chief
Dawn Roberts insisted
that no names were left off for political reasons. "That was
simply not a factor in our database," she said. Sure thing, Dawn.
And Katherine Harris was impartial.
In Top Ten 162 we noted that the Justice
Department couldn't provide the Center for Public Integrity with
information on foreign lobbyists because by retrieving the information,
they apparently risked destroying their database. I commented that
their next excuse would be "the dog ate it." This doesn't
quite reach that level - but it's close. Last week the Pentagon
announced that - coincidence of coincidences - "Military records
that could help establish President Bush's whereabouts during his
disputed service in the Texas Air National Guard more than 30 years
ago have been inadvertently destroyed," according
to the New York Times. Inadvertently destroyed, eh? My,
how con-vee-nient. From the Times: "[The Pentagon]
said the payroll records of 'numerous service members,' including
former First Lt. Bush, had been ruined in 1996 and 1997 by the Defense
Finance and Accounting Service during a project to salvage deteriorating
microfilm." Hmm. 1997, eh? That would be right around the time
that Lt. Col. Bill Burkett saw Bush's performance record in
a trash can. And hmm... deteriorating microfilm? I thought microfilm
was supposed to be extremely durable and last for more
than 100 years. My my, isn't it odd how things like George W.
Bush's military records and driver's
licenses just disappear? Lucky for him, I guess...
New York Post
And finally, we couldn't let this edition of the Top Ten close
without mentioning the New York Post's "Dewey Defeats
Truman" moment last week. The Post's editors attempted
to scoop everyone by predicting
that John Kerry had selected Dick Gephardt to be his running mate,
and sadly ended up looking like massive tools when it turned out
that wasn't the case. Apparently the big inside tip came from none
other than head honcho Rupert
Murdoch himself, which makes the Post's embarrassment
even more delicious. See you next week!
The Top Ten Conservative Idiots
list is back on the radio! The Air America Radio Network's
of Fire show is currently broadcasting "Cuckoo Conservatives"
- excerpts from the Top Ten read by 30+ year radio veteran
Dean Randall. Dean has worked in broadcast markets from the
Midwest to the west coast including an overseas hitch in Wellington,
New Zealand, and most of his radio experience was spent as
a morning show personality. He is currently employed by a
local ABC TV affiliate and is active in politics on a local,
state and national basis. Dean says, "My liberal roots went
down and deep early when my father hosted a Minnesota state
DFL rally in 1961. Ever since I have had a keen interest in
politics and the Democratic philosophy and history." You can
drop him a line at [email protected].
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