Democratic Underground

The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
(No. 224)

December 5, 2005
Back Asswards Edition

It only took him two and a half years and more than 2,000 dead U.S. soldiers, but George W. Bush (1,6) finally has a plan for victory in Iraq. If you guessed that the plan involves bombing media organizations, give yourself a pat on the back. Meanwhile, Duke Cunningham (2) cried over spilt bribes, Jean Schmidt (3) digs her hole ever deeper, and the AFA et al (4) are fighting a war against those who hate Christmas (unless they're Republican). And speaking of Christmas, Bill O'Reilly (10) has got an enemies list, and he's checking it twice. Have you been naughty or nice? Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1George W. Bush excessive spin excessive spin lying covering your ass
Great news! We have a plan for victory in Iraq. Now, for all of you who are thinking to yourselves, "Wait a minute... shouldn't we have had a plan for victory before we invaded?" - well you're wrong. See, this administration likes to work backwards. Which is why we got this:

...before we got this:

Yes, last week George W. Bush unveiled his National Strategy for Victory in Iraq (pdf), just a little over two and a half years and 2,000 dead U.S. troops after he announced that the mission was accomplished. Good job.

Bush's plan calls - again - for Iraqi forces to "stand up" so that U.S. forces can "stand down." If you think you've heard that before, well, you have. But there's a difference - since the last time Bush announced this plan, things have apparently changed in Iraq. Here's what Our Great Leader had to say last week:

The progress of the Iraqi forces is especially clear when the recent anti-terrorist operations in Tal Afar are compared with last year’s assault in Fallujah. In Fallujah, the assault was led by nine coalition battalions made up primarily of United States Marines and Army - with six Iraqi battalions supporting them... This year in Tal Afar, it was a very different story. The assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces - 11 Iraqi battalions, backed by five coalition battalions providing support.

Great! Just one problem: it's not true. As Think Progress recently noted, journalists who are actually embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq (remember them?) are painting a very different picture of the reality on the ground. Here's what Time magazine reporter Michael Ware told Anderson Cooper last week:

I was in that battle (Tal Afar) from the very beginning to the very end. I was with Iraqi units right there on the front line as they were battling with al Qaeda. They were not leading. They were being led by the U.S. green beret special forces with them. Green berets who were following an American plan of attack who were advancing with these Iraqi units as and when they were told to do so by the American battle planners. The Iraqis led nothing.

George W. Bush lied? I'm shocked.

But this whole "Plan for Victory" thing becomes far less surprising given the revelation that Bush's speech was written, at least in part, by Dr. Peter Feaver, a National Security Council pollster. According to the New York Times, Feaver concluded through public opinion research that "Americans would support a war with mounting casualties on one condition: that they believe it would ultimately succeed."

So it seems that the real plan for victory in Iraq is "we don't actually need a plan, as long as the American public thinks we've got a plan."

Good job Our Great Leader doesn't pay attention to the polls, right?

2Duke Cunningham prison crybaby
Back in July we noted that Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Naturally) had been raided by federal agents who were investigating allegations of bribery and corruption (see Idiots 204). At the time I commented that Cunningham's dubious dealings with defense contractors stank worse than Stilton cheese stored in a hobo's sock.

Fortunately, federal prosecutors last week burned the sock and threw out the cheese, clearing the air as Duke Cunningham resigned from office after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. He now faces up to ten years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

According to the Toledo Blade, "prosecutors said Cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes paid to him by several conspirators through a variety of methods, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations."

Prosecutors are now investigating the possibility that at least three of the rugs may have been passed along to other top Republicans.

3Jean Schmidt covering your ass dumb
Two weeks ago we mentioned Jean Schmidt briefly as part of an item on the disgraceful attack on Rep. John Murtha by House Republicans (see Idiots 223). But given that the Top 10 was on vacation last week, it seems like a good idea to backtrack slightly this week and examine Schmidt's full idiocy in depth.

For those of you who live on another planet, Schmidt is the Republican congresswoman who during a recent debate over a resolution to withdraw American troops from Iraq said:

A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do.

The remark caused an uproar and was eventually stricken from the record. But let's take a look at what Jean Schmidt's been up to since that fateful day.

First, Schmidt tried page one of the Republican playbook - she blamed the media and said she had been "misinterpreted." Nice try. Next, she announced that she had been invited to visit Iraq as part of a congressional delegation. During the announcement she demonstrated her breathtaking ignorance by saying "I'm not sure whether Congress should have a national debate on whether we should be there or not." Duh.

But this misunderstanding can all be cleared up quite easily - you see, it turns out that Jean Schmidt didn't actually know that Murtha was a Marine Corps veteran when she made the comments. At least, that's what she says. This, of course, despite the fact that Murtha's service was mentioned several times during the House debate before she made her comments, and the fact that she used the phrase, "Marines never do." (That must have just been a coincidence.) "I did not know he was a Marine or I would not have said it," she said, adding that she didn't think that Col. Danny Bubp knew either.

Which would tie things up quite nicely, if it weren't for the fact that Danny Bubp subsequently announced that he never actually mentioned Murtha by name when he talked to Schmidt, and that he would never call a fellow Marine a coward anyway. Whoops.

4The AFA Et Al dumb partisanship
You know, I was always under the impression that Christmas was about celebrating the birth of baby Jesus. But Fundies are doing their bit to make sure everyone remembers the true meaning of Christmas: shop till you drop, consume till you puke, and empty your wallet into the bottomless pockets of mega-corporations. Why else would the American Fascist - sorry, Family - Association start a campaign to boycott retailers who decide to go with "Happy Holidays" over "Merry Christmas?"

"The second-largest home improvement company in America no longer sells Christmas trees," said AFA Director of Special Projects Randy Sharp. "They've decided that it's more politically correct to sell 'holiday' trees - therefore their signs in front of their stores (say they) will sell you a 'holiday' tree."

Of course, some might consider it slightly odd that the AFA is getting bent out of shape over a pagan fertility symbol, but there you have it. Their marching orders are clear: when preparing to celebrate Christmas this year, make sure you're careful about which retail establishments you choose to patronize while prostituting yourself to a credit card company in order to purchase cheap crap made by a Chinese twelve-year-old. Meanwhile, Jerry Falwell has issued a Falwah against anyone who "alters or forbids traditional Christmas events," threatening to sue the ACLU among others.

But it's not just Godless liberals who have been caught up in the "Happy Holidays" craze - even staunch conservatives like George W. and Laura Bush have been ensnared in this devilish trap:

LAURA BUSH: "Hello, and Happy Holidays."
   - Holiday message from Laura Bush, 2001


LAURA BUSH: "Happy holidays to everybody. Very happy New Year."
   - Remarks by the President and Mrs. Bush on Showing New Carpet in the Oval Office, 2001


LAURA BUSH: "...look who I brought in to show you the gingerbread house."
G. W. BUSH: "Happy holidays."
   - Interview with Laura Bush, 2003


G. W. BUSH: "Thank you for coming. Happy holidays. Happy Hanukkah."
   - President and Italian Prime Minister Discuss Middle East, Economy, 2004

For shame! And the Bushes are still under Satan's spell this year - although it carries a short passage from the Old Testament book of Psalms, the just-released White House "holiday card" - mailed by the Republican National Committee - reads, "With best wishes for a holiday season of hope and happiness 2005." I hope to see the American Family Association and Jerry Falwell mounting a large protest outside the White House within the week.

Incidentally, I hear that Bill O'Reilly is also running his campaign for a traditional Christmas again this year - it's a time for giving, a time for getting, and a time for pleasuring oneself with a dildo while fantasizing about falafel.

5The Bush Administration quid pro quo dumb
Guess what? You'll never believe this, but it turns out that the Bush administration has been secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to plant pro-U.S. stories. According to the Los Angeles Times, "The articles, written by U.S. military 'information operations' troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor."

Who would have thought it? I mean, it's not like the Bush administration ever did anything similar on the home front, is it? Well... apart from Armstrong Williams. And Maggie Gallagher. And Michael McManus. And there was that incident with the fake news reports and the actors. But hey, it's not like the Bush administration was breaking the law. What's that - they were? Oh.

But as the Washington Post pointed out in an editorial last week, "In hindsight, maybe it shouldn't be surprising that the Pentagon has been secretly paying Iraqi journalists and news organizations to write and run positive stories about the war. ... But saying it was predictable makes it no less loathsome and damaging to find that the Bush administration has treated the Iraqi press, the Iraqi people and the very idea of Iraqi democracy with even greater contempt."

That's right folks - it appears that "freedom and democracy" isn't really turning out to be much of a reason for invading Iraq either. So... we're not in Iraq because they had ties to Al Qaeda, we're not there because they had weapons of mass destruction, we're not there because Saddam Hussein was going to attack America, and we're not there to bring them freedom and democracy.

But hey, we can't leave. That would be cutting and running. And if there's one thing more important than the lives of U.S. soldiers, it's the Bush administration not having to admit that they made a mistake.

6George W. Bush warmongering warmongering warmongering covering your ass
Last week the U.K.'s Daily Mirror reported that an internal British goverment memo documented George W. Bush's intent to bomb the Qatar-based media organization Al Jazeera during the Iraq war. Al Jazeera has been a thorn in the side of the Bush administration since the war began, inconveniently getting in the way of the administration's attempts to spread propaganda throughout the middle east.

According to the Mirror:

President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals.

But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash.

A source said: "There's no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."

A British government official said that the threat was probably intended to be "humorous, not serious." Well ha ha. But if that's the case, why has the memo now been suppressed by Britain's attorney general, who is also prosecuting two people under the Official Secrets Act for leaking it?

But let's be serious - of course the Bush administration would never bomb Al Jazeera. Why, that time they destroyed the Al Jazeera offices in Kabul, Afghanistan, was just an accident.

6Junkyard Prophet unconstitutional religious nut
Of course, the Bush administration's propaganda war isn't just taking place in Iraq - back at home, the government is still finding all kinds of insidious ways to brainwash America's youth. Take "You Can Run But You Cannot Hide," for example, a youth outreach project which, according to their website, "helps adolescents of all nationalities with life controling (sic) issues and problems they face in society. Our objective is to secure the future by educating and equiping (sic) the youth, with the tools they need to make sound decisions. We provide education and the proper tools needed to deal with issues such as: drug addiction, alcoholism, sex, violence, depression, suicide, peer-pressure, relationships, and abuse." Sound good so far.

The project is based around a rock band by the name of Junkyard Prophet, which has performed at more than 220 school assemblies over the past seven years or so. Clever stuff - what better way to relate to "the kids" than through the awesome power of rock 'n' roll?

You Can Run But You Cannot Hide also happens to be a non-profit organization which maintains a "nontaxable status," and Junkyard Prophet apparently charges upwards of $1,500 per show, which, according to, "some schools have paid out of their drug-free schools funding from the Department of Education."

So what kind of message are these government-funded non-taxable rockers spreading to America's schoolchildren? Well, take a look at their "Sources & Links" page and you will find...

Where manditory (sic) to own guns, crime plummets!

The Second Ammendment (sic) declares that your right to bear arms shall not be infringed!

It was illegal in every state to be gay until 1961!

Why is evolution still being taught in schools? $250,000.00 offer still stands unscathed

Abortion is murder! (Warning! - contains embedded video of abortion procedure on homepage)

Teaching girls once again the beauty of being The Bride Of Christ

...among others. You know, considering that one of their albums is called "Enemy of the State," you'd think Junkyard Prophet might feel a bit guilty about being sponsored by the state to spread their, um, joyful message. Guess not.

Oh, and one more important thing - if you like music, do not under any circumstances actually listen to Junkyard Prophet... I'm warning you. Although to be fair, while they do suck monkey balls, some of the music is quite effective. For example, they've got a song called "Virtue" - which I think is about abstinence - and it really works. Seriously! Play it to someone you've got the hots for and they'll never come near you again.

8William C. Bradford lying loser
Back in June of this year, William C. Bradford, an associate professor at Indiana University School of Law, claimed that he had been discriminated against by a faculty committee. Bradford was a Special Forces major who fought in Desert Storm and Bosnia, and was awarded the Silver Star. He said the committee had voted against him for tenure because they were liberals who didn't like his military service.

Bradford did radio interviews, appeared on Fox News with Bill O'Reilly, and was championed by David Horowitz. According to the Indianapolis Star, "He wore a Silver Star lapel pin around campus. He had a major's gold-leaf insignia plate on his vehicle."

And last week he resigned from Indiana University because it turns out that, funnily enough, he wasn't actually a Special Forces major at all, nor did he win a Silver Star in the first Iraq war. In fact, Bradford was a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He was in military intelligence, never saw active duty, and was not awarded any medals.

But hey, I guess this is all the fault of those evil liberal professors who just hate veterans. They probably forced him to wear that Silver Star pin, put that major's plate on his car, and made him lie about his service record. Because it can't possibly be William Bradford's fault.

9Samuel Alito anti-choice anti-choice
As 2005 winds down, the nation is starting to look towards Samuel "Scalito" Alito's new year confirmation hearings - and information revealed last week could make those hearings a bit more interesting. According to the Los Angeles Times:

In a lengthy 1985 memo, Alito - then an assistant solicitor general - urged the Justice Department to defend states seeking to put restrictions on the (abortion) procedure, saying that the Supreme Court's rulings did not mean that abortion is "unregulable." In particular, he wrote, states should have the right to order doctors to inform patients about potential medical risks and alternatives to the procedure.

"If abortion is a woman's choice, as the court has held, then surely the choice should be informed," Alito wrote.

Such state regulations, he continued, are "preferable to a frontal assault on Roe v. Wade" and could eventually lead the court to reconsider Roe itself.

Alito's defenders are, of course, dismissing the memo. I mean, come on people. Just because he's a strong advocate for overturning Roe vs. Wade doesn't mean that he'd actually do it once he got onto the Supreme Court. Or... something.

Alito himself attempted to reassure Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter last week. "He said that his personal feelings would not be a factor in his judicial decision," said Specter.

Well that's great - so he won't overturn Roe vs. Wade based on his own personal opinion. He'll just find a legal reason for doing it instead.

10Bill O'Reilly crybaby
And finally, exciting news for those of you who have been following the Bill O'Reilly saga - the Falafel Master's fabled enemies list (see Idiots 223) is finally online! Don't get too excited though - unless you're the New York Daily News, the St. Petersburg Times, or MSNBC, you're not on the list.

Yes, Bill's attempt at McCarthyism is a tad weak at the moment - he only has three names listed so far, and they're the aforementioned news organizations. Presumably they neglected to say anything complimentary about Bill's suggestion that Al Qaeda terrorists should blow up the Coit Tower in San Francisco.

Come on, Bill! Your list is lame! Where's Where's Where's Where, for that matter, is Democratic Underground? We've been ripping you a new one for years!

So be a pal - put down that telephone, switch off your vibrator, and get your list on. There are millions of people out there waiting to patronize the organizations you despise. See you next week!

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