The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
February 13, 2006
Fun With Dick And Scooter Edition
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the Executive Branch wants greater powers during a time of war?
Then perhaps Dick Cheney (1) should stop authorizing his subordinates
to release top secret information as a form of pure political payback.
It just doesn't really inspire a great deal of confidence, you know?
On the subject of inspiring confidence, George W. Bush (2,3) is
really starting to hate the names "Katrina" and "Jack,"
while Tom DeLay's (4) recent bout of amnesia is not particularly
encouraging. Elsewhere, new GOP leader John Boehner (7) gets off
to a great start, and Alberto Gonzales (9) shows about as much scientific
prowess as George Deutsch (10). Enjoy, and don't forget the key!
It was revealed last week that Dick Cheney's former chief-of-staff
Scooter Libby has dropped a dime on the vice president. Libby testified
under oath that he was authorized to disclose classified information
"by his superiors," according
to a letter written by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
That loud whirring you hear emanating from the direction of Washington
D.C. is the sound of Cheney's pacemaker going into overdrive: if
this information is true, then his next undisclosed location could
well be a federal
prison. Or perhaps Guantanamo Bay - I believe that's where they're
supposed to keep enemies of the state these days. Hey, if he's really
unlucky, Cheney could end up being "extraordinarily renditioned"
to some black hole in Uzbekistan. (Don't worry Dick. After all,
it's not really torture, right?)
This news comes hot on the heels of fresh information revealing
that - despite the radical right's assertions to the contrary -
Valerie Plame was an undercover agent. According
to Newsweek, "Plame had indeed done 'covert work
overseas' on counterproliferation matters in the past five years,
and the CIA 'was making specific efforts to conceal' her identity,
according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion."
Gentlemen, start your waterboards.
Incidentally, I'm sure you've heard by now that Dick Cheney shot
one of his hunting companions over the weekend. Sources close
to the vice president say that just before the incident Cheney was
giving off sparks and shouting "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! ALL
HUMANS MUST DIE!" He is currently undergoing repairs.
Remember that famous Bush quote from September 1 last year?
The quote in which Bush revealed
the depth of his incompetence by announcing that "I don't think
anybody anticipated the breach of the levees?"
Funny - that's not what practically everybody else in the world
to a story by the Associated Press last week, not one, not two,
Twenty-eight government agencies, from local Louisiana parishes
to the White House, reported that New Orleans levees were breached
Aug. 29, the day Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, documents released
A timeline of e-mails, situation updates and weather reports,
pieced together by Senate Democrats, indicates the Bush administration
knew as early as 8:30 a.m. EST about levee failures that would
ultimately lead to massive flooding of the city and its surrounding
Twenty-eight government agencies? White House officials knew the
levees had been breached at 8:30 a.m. on August 29? Good lord! Where
was George W. Bush during all of this? Why didn't he take charge
of this situation? What on earth could he have been doing on August
29 that was more important than trying to alleviate the impact of
the disaster that was about to unfold in New Orleans?
Well, yeah, sure - I guess he couldn't get out of Sen. McCain's
party. And to be fair, Bush was already in Arizona on August
29. You can't expect him to be everywhere at once.
But he rushed back to Washington D.C. immediately after that, right?
Okay, so he had to go do a photo-op
in Coronado, Calif. on August 30. But let's not be too hasty - at
this point the White House had only known for just over 24 hours
that the levees had been breached and that the city of New Orleans
was underwater. So give the president a break. After all that excitement
at John McCain's birthday party, he needed a day to relax.
And hey, Bush flew
over New Orleans on August 31, a mere two days after first receiving
word that the levees had breached. What more do you want? I mean,
pay no attention to his actions, listen to his words: "I
understand the anxiety of people on the ground," he said.
See? Bush didn't need to step up and take charge after all. From
the comfort of his luxuriously-appointed Boeing 747, he could understand
the anxiety of the people on the ground. He could practically feel
their pain. With capable
disaster management professionals like Mike Brown in charge,
he could be confident that the situation was well under control.
As he said on the August 31 edition of Good Morning America, "I
want people to know there's a lot of help coming."
In a related story, thousands of Katrina victims were evicted from
hotels last week "as the Federal Emergency Management Agency
began cutting off money to pay for their stays," according
Just a few weeks ago Scott McClellan was busy insisting
that George W. Bush did not know Jack Abramoff, had rarely met Jack
Abramoff, and on those occasions when they did meet, had closed
his eyes and put his fingers in his ears. Unfortunately for the
White House, it appears that Mr. Abramoff doesn't like to be dissed
in such a fashion.
Emails from Abramoff to Kim Eisler, editor of the Washingtonian
magazine, were released last week - and it doesn't look too good
for Our Great Leader. According to Abramoff, he was asked to join
Bush at a little shindig down on the Crawford pig farm, along with
some other $100,000-raising Bush Pioneers. "I was invited during
the 2004 campaign," wrote Abramoff.
He also had
this to say:
The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me
about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps
he has forgotten everything, who knows.
Yes, who knows? Perhaps George W. Bush has forgotten everything.
It wouldn't surprise me.
Looks like Our Great Leader isn't the only one with a memory
like a sieve. Last week the Former Hammer sent a letter
to his few remaining supporters, begging them to get behind his
upcoming re-election campaign. The letter read:
The notion that Abramoff was a close friend who wielded influence
over me is absolutely untrue. Jack Abramoff and I were not close
personal friends. I met with him only occasionally, in fact less
frequently than numerous others who brought issues before Congress
- never did he receive preferential treatment.
I guess he must be referring to a different Jack Abramoff, because
here's what DeLay had
to say during a trip to the Northern Marianas Island of Saipan
When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your
most able representative in Washington, D.C., invited me to the
islands, I wanted to see firsthand the free-market success and
the progress and reform you have made.
In case you were wondering, the all-expenses-paid trip to Saipan
was arranged by that fellow whom Tom DeLay barely even recognizes,
Jack, er, whatsisname.
All of this bad news can only mean one thing - it's terror
time! Last week the Bush administration reminded everyone of what
a great job they're doing fighting the "war on terror"
by releasing details of a terrorist plot to crash an airplane into
a Los Angeles landmark in 2002. Cue Our Great Leader:
As the West Coast plot shows, in the war on terror we face a
relentless and determined enemy that operates in many nations
- so protecting our citizens requires unprecedented cooperation
from many nations as well. By working together, we took dangerous
terrorists off the streets. By working together, we stopped a
catastrophic attack on our homeland.
George W. Bush was quick to laud this as a "foiled" plot,
despite getting the name of the alleged target wrong
(he said "Liberty Tower" - it's actually "Library
Tower," now known as the U.S. Bank Tower). But upon closer
inspection, Bush's thwarting of this "catastrophic attack"
doesn't look quite so convincing.
First of all, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said
last week that he was "blindsided" by the announcement.
"I'm amazed that the president would make this (announcement) on
national TV and not inform us of these details through the appropriate
channels," he said last week. "I don't expect a call from the president
- but somebody."
And then it was revealed that according
to a combined wire services report, "Several U.S. intelligence
officials are playing down the relative importance of an alleged
al-Qaida plot to strike the West Coast after Sept. 11, 2001, cited
by President Bush Thursday in defense of his campaign against terrorism."
The intelligence officials, who declined to be identified because
they did not want to criticize the White House publicly, said
there is deep disagreement within the intelligence community over
the seriousness of the scheme to attack the 73-story building
and whether it was ever much more than talk.
Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism specialist with the Rand Corp., said
Bush's account still leaves key questions unanswered.
"It doesn't really give us any more indication of whether
this was a plot that was derailed or pre-empted, or a plot that
was more in the realm of an idle daydream," Hoffman said.
But who cares about that - at least it put a good scare into the
Who Should Mind Their Own Business
A large right-wing-generated non-scandal blew into town last
week, as the late Coretta Scott King became the newest victim of
People Who Should Mind Their Own Business.
We've known for a while that the radical right feels they should
be able to dictate what is said at people's funerals ever since
they almost crapped themselves after Paul Wellstone's memorial service.
Last week they were frothing
at the mouth once more when poor George W. Bush had to sit through
some slightly uncomplimentary criticisms of his policies during
Coretta Scott King's memorial. Can you imagine - the president had
to actually listen to criticism? Unbelievable!
So tell me:
Coretta Scott King was a civil rights leader. Why was it wrong
to say this at her memorial service?
The struggle for equal rights is not over. We only have to recall
the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi,
those who were most devastated by Katrina, to know that there
are not yet equal opportunities for all Americans. - Jimmy
Coretta Scott King's family was spied on by the government. Why
was it wrong to say this at her memorial service?
It was difficult for them personally - with the civil liberties
of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of
secret government wiretapping, other surveillance, and as you
know, harassment from the FBI. - Jimmy Carter
Coretta Scott King was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War. Why was
it wrong to say this at her memorial service?
She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions
way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction
over there, but Coretta knew, and we know, that there are weapons
of misdirection right down here. For war, billions more - but
no more for the poor. - Rev. Joseph Lowery
Of course it wasn't wrong to say any of those things. But it certainly
set off the right-wing howler monkeys who had a jolly old time on
radio and cable news sniffing about "bad manners" and
pontificating loudly about making funerals "political."
I'd suggest that if there's anything "political" about
this brouhaha, it's the right-wing making a calculated, cynical
attempt to drag Coretta Scott King, her memorial service, and her
mourners through the mud in order to score partisan points. And
if there were bad manners on display, I'd suggest that they belonged
to George W. Bush, who apparently expected a standing ovation at
the memorial of someone who was deeply opposed to everything he
stands for. Perhaps he should stick to his pre-screened audiences
Last week the Republican party elected Rep. John Boehner of
Ohio to replace Tom DeLay as House Majority Leader. Embattled by
ethics scandals, the GOP were looking for a leader who could bring
a fresh face and a new broom to sweep the party clean.
This week they may be wishing that they'd looked elsewhere. According
to the Associated Press:
House Majority Leader John Boehner rents a basement apartment
from a lobbyist whose clients had an interest in legislation overseen
or sponsored by Boehner, according to lobbying records. ...
In a related development, it was revealed Wednesday that a former
top aide to Boehner helped plan a 1996 trip to the Northern Mariana
Islands that was organized by fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff. ...
Since Boehner started campaigning early this year to replace
DeLay as the No. 2-ranked House leader, he has denied having any
relationship with Abramoff. Boehner has promised reforms to shake
the GOP's Abramoff-related troubles.
Still, this probably explains why the GOP's new strategy for
victory in the 2006 elections is to retreat to Maryland's eastern
shore and feast on their own propaganda. According
to the New York Times:
Hunkered down at a retreat intended to help them regain their
footing after a corruption scandal and a leadership shake-up,
about 180 lawmakers were treated to a film spoof that portrayed
Republicans as the "Star Wars" heroes being pursued
by the evil Democratic empire led by "Darth Nancy."
That would be Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House
"After a decade of exile, the evil Democratic empire has
created their most fearsome henchman to date, a mighty machine
built to regain the majority once and for all," said the
text that scrolled at the opening of the parody, which superimposed
Ms. Pelosi's face on the movie villain.
You have to be kidding me - the party that currently rules the
Senate, the House, and the White House; the party which is literally
attempting to create an American empire run by an unaccountable,
all-powerful president, is portraying themselves as the poor, downtrodden
victims of the party which has no power whatsoever in Congress?
May the farce be with you.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared before the Senate
Judiciary Committee last week to defend the Bush administration's
illegal warrantless wiretapping scheme. Unfortunately he didn't
appear particularly prepared - apparently forgetting
at one point that he was no longer the president's personal counsel,
Gonzales referred to Bush as "my client." Whoops.
But the most bizarre moment of Gonzales's testimony surely came
when he argued that there is a presidential precedent for spying
on Americans. He said,
"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson,
President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance
on a far broader scale." Really? That's strange - I was under
the impression that electronic surveillance required electricity.
It is possible, of course, that Gonzales may have been referring
to the famous 18th Century Ben Franklin kite-flying experiment,
which unbeknownst to most people was actually a secret operation
to spy on nearby British sympathizers. The kite carried a chimp
in a basket which was trained to draw pictures of the suspected
collaborators. But the kite was struck by lightning, temporarily
electrifying the monkey, and thus Ben Franklin performed - albeit
briefly - the first ever electronic surveillance.
Sadly, the chimp died. But his legacy lived on and his offspring
went on to participate in many other important government programs.
Rest in peace, Bobo.
And finally, speaking of chimps in charge of important government
programs, meet NASA public affairs officer George Deutsch. Actually
I should say former NASA public affairs officer - Deutsch
resigned in disgrace last week. Why? Let's just say he's no rocket
The 24-year-old Deutsch was given a job at NASA after working on
George W. Bush's 2004 election campaign, and one of his duties was
to censor the reports of some of the most brilliant scientists in
the country. For example, he removed information from NASA's website
which showed that 2005 was the warmest year on record, and forced
a web designer to insert the word "theory" after every
mention of the phrase "big bang." Here's how he explained
the "big bang" incident:
The theory that the universe was created by a "big bang"
is just that - a theory. It is not proven fact; it is opinion.
Yes, the scientific community by and large may share this opinion,
but that doesn't make it correct ... It is not Nasa's place, nor
should it be, to make a declaration such as this about the existence
of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator
- the other half of the argument.
And this guy was a public affairs officer for NASA, for
cryin' out loud.
It's quite clear that the Bush administration is infesting agencies
with these brainless drones as part of their attempt to undermine
the federal government. (Mike Brown anyone?) This probably explains
why "The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration
has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture
last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse
gases linked to global warming," according
to a January New York Times article.
But that's not the end of the story - if you thought Deutsch was
forced out because of his views, think again. It turns out that
he'd decided to engage in a little bit of creative resume padding,
which included listing a journalism degree from Texas A&M university
as one of his academic achievements. Just one problem - he didn't
have a degree from Texas A&M. In fact, he didn't have a degree
So, to recap, a 24-year-old with no college degree and a penchant
for intelligent design was until very recently employed by the Bush
administration to make sure that information which might upset the
radical right could not be released to the public by NASA scientists.
I'd be shocked - if this sort of thing wasn't becoming so depressingly
predictable. See you next week...
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