The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
August 1, 2005
National Insecurity Edition
Top 10 time again! This week John Bolton (1) is leading the pack
as George W. Bush prepares to shove his recess appointment down
America's throat. Meanwhile Sen. Pat Roberts (2) is doing his part
to help the cause by stalling investigations into Bush's misuse
of WMD intel while simultaneously investigating Patrick Fitzgerald's
treason probe. And speaking of Rove, this week we found out exactly
what George W. Bush (3) is doing to punish him. Elsewhere, Jean
Schmidt (5) demonstrates her support for the troops, Joe Braun (6)
waxes poetic, and Fox News (7) are getting ever-desperate. Bringing
up the rear we find The Bush Administration (8) winning the "war
on terror" and Ann Coulter (10) admitting what we all already
Last Friday Scott McClellan told
reporters that "We do need a permanent representative at
the United Nations. This is a critical time and it's important to
continue moving forward on comprehensive reform." McClellan
was strongly hinting that George W. Bush will bypass the Senate
and make John Bolton ambassador to the U.N. via a recess appointment.
But last week the State Department admitted that Bolton lied to
the Senate on a questionnaire during his confirmation hearings.
It turns out that when Bolton was asked if he had been interviewed
for or testified to a grand jury in any investigation during the
past five years, and he checked the box marked "no," he
actually meant to check the box marked "yes."
Bolton had in fact been interviewed
by the State Department's inspector general, who was looking into
the Bush administration's screw-up over the false claim that Saddam
Hussein was attempting to buy uranium from Niger.
Which brings us, somewhat unsurprisingly, to the Valerie Plame
affair, in which Bolton appears to be deeply involved. There was
last week that Bolton may not only have testified before the grand
jury, but may in fact be Judith Miller's source - the source she's
in jail for refusing to reveal. At the very least, Bolton was up
to his neck in the Niger story.
So I say go ahead, Dubya, appoint this guy against all the objections
and disturbing evidence against him, and let the chips fall where
they may. Best of luck - you might need it.
Hey, remember when the Sen. Pat Roberts and the Senate Intelligence
Committee were going to hold an investigation into whether the Bush
administration deliberately misused intelligence reports in order
to get their war on in Iraq? You don't? Allow the Boston Globe
The dispute over the committee's investigation goes back to last
June, when it completed a report criticizing the intelligence
gathering and analysis of the CIA and other agencies, citing errors
that contributed to the mistaken belief by top US government officials
that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
But over the objections of Democrats, the committee declined
to address questions of how Bush and his top aides used the intelligence.
Roberts said those questions would be answered in a second phase
of the committee's investigation, to begin shortly after the election
to avoid the appearance of political motives in the investigation.
So, uh, where's the investigation then? Don't get your hopes up
- it turns out that Pat Roberts' promised investigation is "on
the back burner" because "other issues have more urgent
claims on the committee's attention" and "the committee
could better concentrate its resources on future threats."
And Pat Roberts has certainly identified an urgent issue which
could pose a future threat... not to America, but to the Bush administration.
the Senate Intelligence Committee - which can't find time to conduct
the investigation that Pat Roberts promised - is instead going to
"review the probe of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald,
who has been investigating the Plame case for nearly two years."
Yes, well, I'm glad Pat Roberts stalled his original investigation
because he wanted to "avoid the appearance of political motives."
Perish the thought...
While we're on the subject of Karl Rove and the potentially
criminal leaking of classified national security information, let's
do a quick update on where the case stands so far.
2003, Scott McClellan said, "if anyone in this administration
was responsible for the leaking of classified information, they
would no longer work in this administration. This is a very serious
matter. The President made it very clear just a short time ago in
the East Room, and he has always said that leaking of classified
information is a serious matter. And that's why he wants to get
to the bottom of this. And the sooner we get to the bottom of it,
2004, George W. Bush affirmed that anyone who was involved in
the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity would be fired.
2004, Time reporter Matt Cooper confirmed that the covert
identity of Valerie Plame was given to him by the senior advisor
to the president, Karl Rove.
And last week George W. Bush demonstrated his commitment to honesty
and integrity by not only not firing Karl Rove, but giving him a
Ever get the feeling you've been cheated, America?
last week that Our Great Leader's Supreme Court pick John Roberts
worked for Team Bush in the Florida recount debacle of 2000 - and
yet, funnily enough, Jeb Bush only had a "fuzzy" recollection
of his role in the proceedings.
Perhaps Jeb had accidentally taken some of his daughter's illegal
prescription painkillers at the time, because it was revealed last
week that "John Roberts played a broader behind-the-scenes
role for the Republican camp in the aftermath of the 2000 election
than previously reported," according
to the Miami Herald. Roberts worked as a "legal
consultant, lawsuit editor and prep coach for arguments before the
nation's highest court, according to the man who drafted him for
the job [Ted Cruz, now Texas' solicitor general]."
You know, I think that if there's one thing that this country definitely
needs in this time of partisanship and division, it's a Supreme
Court justice who was actively fighting on one side of one of the
most controversial and partisan Supreme Court decisions ever. Yeah,
that should do the trick.
But that's not all - it turns out that John Roberts was also "a
significant backstage player in the legal policy debates of the
early Reagan administration," according
to the Washington Post. Apparently Roberts "presented
a defense of bills in Congress that would have stripped the Supreme
Court of jurisdiction over abortion, busing and school prayer cases;
he argued for a narrow interpretation of Title IX, the landmark
law that bars sex discrimination in intercollegiate athletic programs;
and he even counseled his boss on how to tell the Rev. Martin Luther
King Jr.'s widow that the administration was cutting off federal
funding for the Atlanta center that bears his name."
And there are plenty more documents where those came from. Just
one problem - the White House won't
release them. Gee, I wonder why?
On Tuesday August 2, voters will go to the polls to decide a
special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District. The main
contenders are Jean Schmidt (R), who despite being embroiled in
investigation has happily accepted the maximum
donation from ARMPAC, the political action committee belonging
to the king of ethics scandals, Tom DeLay.
Her opponent is Paul
Hackett (D), a retired Marine colonel who, despite disagreeing
with the war in Iraq, voluntarily returned to the military in order
to fight there. He saw action in Fallujah, among other places.
So what's an ethically-challenged Republican to do when faced with
a real live Iraq war veteran opponent? Why, smear him, of course!
After the success of the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth,"
Schmidt's supporters have been attempting to use similar deplorable
tactics on Hackett.
A local conservative radio host questioned Hackett's service, a
reporter asked Hackett, "Some say that this was all a plan
on your part. To go to Iraq and come back with this great story
while running for congress," and Republicans have been "calling
into talk radio across the district saying things like, 'Paul wasn't
really a Marine Corps Major in Iraq,'" according
to Swing State Project. Voters have also apparently started
receiving mysterious automated phone calls ragging on Hackett's
So there you have it - once again, the Republican smear machine
leaps into overdrive to attack a military veteran. So much for "support
the troops." And people wonder why we're having a recruitment
problem? "Hey, go fight for your country - but when you come
back, make sure you don't run for office as a Democrat, or we'll
slander you senseless. PS. Thanks for your service. Now shut up."
But guess what? It turns out that Jean Schmidt isn't just a
smear-artist: she's a first-rate hypocrite. In her primary campaign,
Schmidt's platform included
"promoting family values." But last week it was revealed
that her campaign manager, Joe Braun, is not exactly your conservative
DailyKos diarists discovered
that some emails unintentionally bounced back from the Schmidt campaign
showed that mail addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org was actually being
forwarded to his AOL address, email@example.com. After some intrepid
Googling, it was revealed that firstname.lastname@example.org showed up on two
intriguing websites: the first was the Scioto
County Ohio Republican Party, and the second was collarme.com,
"the largest BDSM community on the planet."
Deanofcorn's listing appears to have since been removed - but never
fear, here's a screenshot:
Yes, it turns out that Joe Braun is apparently an experienced Dom
seeking a sub for long term exploration and training. His specialities
include collar & cuffs, wax play, and medical exams. Not that
there's anything wrong with that, of course. It just seems a tad
odd considering he's the campaign manager of a family values Republican
who is currently engaged in a a smear campaign against an Iraq war
veteran. Although now I come to think of it, it's actually not that
odd at all.
I normally wouldn't watch Fox News if you attached electrodes
to my testicles and made me stand on a stool with a bag over my
head (although the way things are going, this may be the way that
we dissenters will all watch Fox News in the future). Fortunately
though, somebody else watches Fox News for me - otherwise this piece
of rank conservative idiocy would have slipped through the net.
In the wake of last week's fatal shooting of an unarmed Brazilian
man in Central London, British police called the incident a "tragedy,"
apologized to his family, and admitted
that he was innocent.
But apparently that's not good enough for Fox News - see, it interferes
with their all-terror-all-the-time carnival of crap. Why, the police
don't make mistakes. How could you possibly think such a
to Crooks and Liars, here's an as-yet-unidentified Fox News
guest to explain it to you:
It wouldn't be out of the question for them [Al Qaeda] to pick
on someone who may not be Middle Eastern but who may look Middle
Eastern. Say, someone who is from South America, someone who is
from Central America, and, say, you know, we know they're racial
profiling us, so we're going to try to get some public opinion
on our side. Let's dress this guy up, tell him to act suspicious,
and if the police approach him, tell him to run away, and when
the police catch him, then he appears to be innocent, so, you
know, in essence, they start sending out decoys.
Got it? If you're feeling a twinge of concern that the police are
essentially executing innocent people on the streets of London,
have no fear. In the world of Fox News, the guy was probably working
for Al Qaeda anyway. Hey, he was brown and suspicious-looking...
what more proof do you need?
The war is over! Huzzah! Or perhaps, "Mission Accomplished,"
if you will! Yes, the "War On Terror" is officially over.
Don't get too excited though - this doesn't mean that we'll be pulling
troops out of Iraq, or that terrorists will stop blowing the crap
out of people all over the world - you see, the Bush Administration
has simply decided that it's time for a corporate
So henceforth the "War on Terror" is now the "Global
Struggle Against Violent Extremism." Don't look for any administration
officials to use the word "war" any time soon, unless
it's a slip of the tongue. Instead you'll all be hearing about the
"struggle" against terrorists, or the "struggle"
against extremism, or the "struggle" against violent ideologies,
or whatever. See, a "struggle" just sounds so much more,
I don't know - winnable - than a war which has been going on for
some years now and which the American people have now decided
we ain't winning.
And let's not forget the ongoing military recruitment disaster.
Hey, what would you prefer to sign up for - a "war" in
which you might get your legs blown off by a rocket-propelled grenade,
or a "struggle" where the worst injury you might reasonably
expect to receive is from a noogie, or perhaps a Chinese burn?
But whatever you want to call it - "War on Terror," "Struggle
Against Extremism," "Vietnam Part Deux," "21st
Century Oil Grab," or "Crusade Against Brown People,"
I think I'm still going to stick with my old favorite, "Clusterfuck
of Epic Proportions."
Here's a curious story right out of the Clusterfuck of Epic
Proportions, I mean War on Terror, I mean Global Struggle Against
Violent Extremism... well, you know what I mean. I seems that two
recent U.S. military news releases about two separate attacks in
Iraq contained strikingly
similar quotes from a single Iraqi gentleman.
Here's the relevant excerpt from the first release, from July 13:
The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children
and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified.
"They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort
of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now
take the fight to the terrorists."
And here's the relevant excerpt from the second release, from July
"The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF
and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion
or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and
I will now take the fight to the terrorists," said one Iraqi
man who preferred not to be identified.
The Pentagon referred to the curiously-similar news releases as
an "administrative error." Which seems a little odd, since
the quotes are not identical, but have clearly been rewritten. The
Pentagon can't be making up quotes and putting them into news releases
can they? Surely not. I mean, only other person who's going around
calling the Iraqi insurgents "not religious" is White
House press secretary Scott
"Those who carry out these kind of attacks and espouse such
a hateful ideology are not religious people. They have no regard
for human life..."
Hang on a minute.
And finally, it doesn't happen very often, but occasionally
a right-wing nutcase will accidentally slip from the script and
utter the truth. For years now conservatives have been drilling
the lie that the media is liberal into the American psyche, even
though they know the real story - but sometimes they reveal a little
too much information. Brit Hume said of the 2002 mid-term elections,
"It was because of our coverage that it all happened. We've
become so influential now that people watch us and they take their
electoral cues from us. No one should doubt the influence of Fox
News in these matters." Even Rush Limbaugh once said that "the
traditional liberal media monopoly doesn't exist anymore,"
even though he continues to lambast it daily.
And now it's Ann Coulter's turn. Last week on the Sean Hannity
show she argued
that Bush should - and more importantly could - nominate a more
extreme right-wing Supreme Court justice than John Roberts. How
could Bush get away with this? Because, Ann explained, "it's
a better Senate than it was then [when Clarence Thomas was appointed]
and we have the media now."
There you have it - straight from the horse's mouth, as it were.
So next time your conservative neighbor starts droning on about
the world's problems being caused by the "liberal media,"
tell him Ann Coulter disagrees. That should at least confuse him
into silence. See you next week!
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