The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 240
Flaming Pants Edition
You know it's a watershed week for conservative idiocy when The Hammer resigns in disgrace and doesn't make it to the top slot on the list. George W. Bush (1) has that dubious honor in the wake of his flat-out fraudulent claims of a desire to stop White House leaks, while Tom DeLay (2) crawls into second place, followed closely by his supporters (3) - or as I like to call them, "petty thugs." Elsewhere, Chris Matthews (5) sucks up, John McCain (6) just sucks, and the Grand Old Pedophiles (7,8) get two slots on the list this week. As usual, don't forget the key (and yes, I know, we still need to fix it).
George W. Bush
George W. Bush has had a problem with leaks and leakers since 2003. Boy, has he been pissed at those leakers.
"...if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of... I want to know the truth." - George W. Bush, September 30, 2003
"...there's a lot of leaking in Washington, D.C. It's a town famous for it. And if this helps stop leaks of - this investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked - and this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action, but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth. ... I don't know who leaked the information, for starters. So it's hard for me to answer that question until I find out the truth. - George W. Bush, October 6, 2003
It turns out that George W. Bush's promise to find the leaker is going to go down in history along with O.J. Simpson's promise to find the guy who killed his wife.
Last week it was revealed that Scooter Libby recently testified under oath that the president authorized him to release classified portions of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to members of the press. That's right folks - the whole time Our Great Leader was out there telling people how outraged he was about leaks, he was the Leaker-in-Chief.
The Bush administration's lame defense? Why, it's not technically a leak. Bush says that he declassified this information - and you can't leak declassified information, you can only disclose it. See? All you have to do is crack open a dictionary, parse a few sentences, read between some lines, and the whole thing becomes crystal clear. After all, doesn't the president always disclose important information by having his aides whisper it into the ears of friendly reporters while demanding anonymity?
Never mind that Scott McClellan announced that the information had been declassified on July 18, 2003 - a full ten days after Libby said he was authorized to make the disclosure. And never mind that Our Great Leader chose to only declassify portions of the NIE which were favorable to his case for war, leaving out all of his intelligence agencies' opposing opinions. The administration was trying to get the facts out there. Sure, not all of the facts, but hey - the facts that America needed to know at the time in order to support the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq. You know - the important facts. According to spokesman Scott McClellan, these leaks were "in the public interest."
Don't you get it? Before the invasion of Iraq, there were all these un-American scoundrels running around out there saying things like "Saddam Hussein doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction," and, "Invading Iraq would be a really bad idea," and, "This is going to cause chaos in the Middle East for decades to come." If those people had been allowed to continue telling the truth, Saddam might have used his non-existent nuclear weapons on us! So you can't blame the administration for cherry-picking pro-war intelligence and furtively leaking it to reporters in an effort to provide the American people with the other side of the story. They were just acting in the public interest.
Did you want Saddam Hussein to use his unmanned aerial vehicles to drop reconstituted nuclear weapons on America? Did you want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud? Then you should give George W. Bush a standing ovation. Because thanks to his bold decision to leak biased information, cover up his involvement, and then use the information to invade Iraq, we'll never again have to worry about that false but nightmarish scenario unfolding.
So, farewell, Tom DeLay. How lame your predictions of returning from the wilderness to lead the Republican party into permanent majority status now seem. DeLay announced his resignation from the House of Representatives last week, which clears the way for his final humiliation - the possibility of conviction and imprisonment for conspiracy. But DeLay certainly wasn't going down without a fight. When he was booked in Texas he name-checked Jesus ("Let people see Christ through me"), and last week it was the turn of Martin Luther King ("Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last"). Then the Bugman lashed out at his former colleagues in Congress, saying that the Republican leadership had no agenda.
DeLay managed to pull off one last screw-job on his supporters before resigning. He knew that the shit was hitting the fan well before his recent primary election but chose to run anyway. Why? Well, it turns out that all the money he managed to raise during the primary can go directly into his legal defense fund. Thanks for the cash, suckers of Congressional District 22.
Don't count Tom out just yet though - he has a plan to revamp the Republican party "from the outside." Whether he'll be able to do that from the inside of a prison cell remains to be seen. But you never know - if Ahmed Chalabi can go from wanted fugitive in Jordan to deputy prime minister of Iraq, could President Thomas D. DeLay be too far down the road? And hey, if America won't forgive him he could always literally follow in Chalabi's footsteps and run for office in Iraq. Actually scratch that - they've got enough to worry about.
The fact that their hero has just resigned in disgrace hasn't dampened the spirits of Tom DeLay's supporters one bit. In a frenzy of disappointment and embarrassment, they decided to take out their frustrations on TX-22 Democratic candidate Nick Lampson last week.
Chris Homan, DeLay's campaign manager (sorry - former campaign manager), sent an email to supporters which read:
From: chris homan
To: 'Cress Ann Posten'
Cc: 'Leonard Cash'
Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 6:10 PM
Subject: FW: LAMPSON CALLS FOR MAY 13 SPECIAL ELECTION
We would meet tomorrow morning at 9:45 am on the first floor of the parking garage attached to the Marriott. Please get folks to call our campaign office 281.343.1333 and let us know they can do it - or e-mail Leonard Cash (in the cc field above) so that we can get some head count. Let's give Lampson a parting shot that wrecks his press conference.
A parting shot indeed. DeLay's band of thugs showed up at Lampson's event with signs and an air horn, shouting down the candidate and roughing up attendees. Here's how 69-year-old Lampson supporter Marsha Rovai described it: "I got pushed. I got hit. I got a sign wadded up in my face and my hat pulled down over my eyes. They just did it to be nasty."
Real classy. Don't these idiots have pictures of the Bugman that they need to go home and masturbate over?
George W. Bush
Last week Seymour Hersh reported that an invasion of Iran could be closer than you think. He said he'd been told by an unnamed Pentagon adviser that "this White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war." Hersh reported in the New Yorker that the White House has started comparing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler and that planning for a war with Iran is "enormous," "hectic" and "operational." Stop me if any of this sounds familiar.
The Bush administration has obviously learned its lesson from Iraq though. Rather than re-run Donald Rumsfeld's patented method of invasion, which involves a quick victory on the ground carried out by not enough troops to prevent a disastrous insurgency, followed by the transfer of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury directly into the coffers of Halliburton and Friends, the Bush administration is pulling out all the stops with a "massive bombing campaign ... including use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs to destroy a key Iranian suspected nuclear weapons facility," according to the AFP. That's right - George W. Bush is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran.
During the presidential debates in 2000, Bush said, "It really depends upon how (the) nation conducts itself in foreign policy. If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. And our nation stands alone right now in the world in terms of power. And that's why we've got to be humble and yet project strength in a way that promotes freedom. So I don't think they ought to look at us in any way other than what we are. We're a freedom-loving nation. And if we're an arrogant nation, they'll view us that way, but if we're a humble nation, they'll respect us." Somehow I don't think pre-emptive nuclear strikes falls into the "humble foreign policy" category.
Oh, but I forgot - September 11th changed everything. How foolish of me. Because 19 terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we now have to go around the world dropping nukes on people. It all makes perfect sense.
Incidentally, whatever happened to the guy who planned that whole thing? Osama something-or-other...
So I was watching MSNBC the other day and a promo for Hardball came on. There were some whiz-bang graphics and then Chris Matthews announced that he was sticking up for me and that he'd always ask the tough questions and that politicians should bow down and tremble in his presence because he was going to squeeze their nuts until they told him the truth. Or something like that. I wasn't really paying attention. If you watch MSNBC at any time other than weeknights at 8 PM it can be awfully easy to drift off.
But anyway, I guess I must have completely misunderstood what Matthews was trying to say. Turns out he's not going to ask the tough questions, and politicians don't have to bow down and tremble in his presence. At least, not if they're Tom DeLay. Harry Shearer at the Huffington Post obtained a not-meant-for-broadcast video of Chris Matthews and DeLay which was shot off-air during their little chat last week. It's not pretty. Here's the full transcript:
MATTHEWS: Hey thank you for calling me. It was a good thing for me, mostly.
DELAY: Oh really.
MATTHEWS: Oh of course it was. We got on the air as fast as we could....
MATTHEWS: Shannon (DeLay aide) told me, she called me, she said 'don't worry - he's not calling in to complain'...
MATTHEWS: Have you seen this new focus group stuff on the candidates?
DELAY: No I haven't
MATTHEWS: It's great stuff. I'll send it to you - it's great - yeah it's great stuff. Hillary, John Kerry. All these guys, all these democrats, and how they do. And, uh, Frank Luntz did it...
DELAY: who I like
CM: ...and Hillary did not do well. Kerry did well.
DELAY: You're kidding.
MATTHEWS: I am NOT kidding. They didn't like Edwards -- they thought he was a rich lawyer, pretending to care about poor people...
DELAY: Too slick. Too slick.
MATTHEWS: ...and Hillary was a know-it-all.
DELAY: Nothing worse than a woman know-it-all
MATTHEWS: Thanks. I owe you one. I owe you two - today and last night.
DELAY: No you don't.
MATTHEWS: No, I do.
DELAY: I appreciate it.
Jeez, get a room!
If John McCain runs for president in 2008 he won't be driving the Straight Talk Express - sadly the wheels have come off that particular vehicle and it's in the shop undergoing repairs. McCain will instead be riding comfortably aboard the Flip-Flop Jalopy, leaving the middle of the road and making a hard right turn onto Wingnut Boulevard.
During his failed presidential campaign in 2000 McCain distanced himself from the religious right, calling Jerry Falwell an "agent of intolerance." But in a bald-faced attempt to reel in members of that powerful voting bloc, he recently recanted that statement.
I'm not entirely sure what Falwell has done since 2000 to prove to McCain that he's not an agent of intolerance. Perhaps it was the time in 2001 when he blamed "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians" for the September 11th attacks. Or perhaps it was the time in 2002 when he said of Jimmy Carter, "His message of peace and reconciliation under almost all circumstances is simply incompatible with Christian teachings as I interpret them. This 'turn the other cheek' business is all well and good but it's not what Jesus fought and died for. What we need to do is take the battle to the Muslim heathens and do unto them before they do unto us." Or perhaps it was the time last month when he said, "Earlier today, reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ. This is categorically untrue."
But anyway, you heard it straight from the straight-talker's mouth: Jerry Falwell is no longer an agent of intolerance. And that's why McCain will be giving the commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia next month.
What a rebel! What a stand-up guy! Here's a man who says what he means and means what he says, unless of course what he says might be a bit too uncomfortable for the few remaining die-hard Bush supporters who could jeopardize his primary chances in 2008.
Grand Old Pedophiles, Part One
Last week I wrote that the conservative "morals and values" crowd continues to outdo itself - but this really does take the cake. US Department of Homeland Security deputy press secretary Brian Doyle was charged last week after allegedly using the Internet to send porn to a 14-year-old girl, according to the Associated Press. Unfortunately for Doyle, the 14-year-old girl turned out to be an undercover detective who was part of a child porn sting operation. Doyle has been placed on unpaid leave while he awaits trial. According to the AP:
Authorities said he sent her pornographic movie clips, as well as non-sexual photos of himself, officials said. One of the photos, released by the sheriff's office, shows Doyle in what appears to be DHS headquarters. He is wearing a Homeland Security pin on his lapel and a lanyard that says "TSA."
On several occasions, Doyle instructed her to perform a sexual act while thinking of him and described explicit activities he wanted to have with her, investigators said.
One of Florida's top federal cops pleaded no contest Wednesday to exposing himself to a 16-year-old girl last year in Orlando at the Mall at Millenia. The plea by Frank Figueroa, who ran U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in Central and North Florida, keeps him from standing trial today in the Orange County Courthouse.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, "The arrest last year led to a nationwide review of the background checks conducted on federal employees who investigate the sexual exploitation of children. It was conducted because Figueroa previously ran Operation Predator, a federal program that deports foreign nationals convicted of sex crimes."
And these are the people who are supposed to be keeping America safe? No wonder they're into this warrantless wiretapping thing. What a great way to find new victims.
Grand Old Pedophiles, Part Two
But we're not done yet. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, "Two young men charged with sodomizing 18 boys at a youth camp last year have been offered a plea agreement that may net them little jail time and no record of sexual assault." The men "were charged in January with 18 counts of aggravated assault and 18 counts of kidnapping for the incidents, which happened at a youth camp last June." Why such a light sentence for such heinous crimes? Well, it just so happens that one of the men is the son of Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett (R-Obviously).
The younger Bennett confessed to police that he and Wheeler sodomized the 11- to 14-year-old boys with broomsticks and flashlights in at least 40 incidents, court documents show. Yavapai County prosecutors now say they'll drop all but one assault charge and likely recommend little or no jail time if Bennett agrees to plead guilty.
Morals and values? Personal responsibility? Pshaw! Go ahead, sodomize those 11-to-14-year-old-boys with broomsticks! You're the son of an elected Republican - it's not like you're going to get into trouble or anything.
The ongoing trials and tribulations of the Katherine Harris Senate campaign (see Idiots passim) continue to provide great fodder for the list. Last week, according to the Associated Press, "Katherine Harris' U.S. Senate campaign lost what was left of its core team when a top adviser, campaign manager and communications director resigned."
And what does Harris make of this? "We are stronger as a campaign today than we were yesterday," she said. Uh, whatever you say.
Former staffers have reported that Harris is losing it. According to the Tampa Tribune, she:
• Had locks changed and posted a security guard at the door of her campaign headquarters in Tampa and had former staff members escorted in to retrieve their belongings.
• Told a gathering of supporters in Cocoa Beach on Saturday that the Republican Party had "infiltrated" her campaign staff to put "knives in my back."
• Told a reporter that a longtime, trusted political adviser had leaked a story about her staff members quitting, then called back to retract the comments.
• Announced hiring her new staff without identifying them
Her former campaign manager said, "It smacks of real paranoia." Maybe not though - Jeb Bush put the boot in last week saying, "I am the party leader. I've got concerns. The campaign can't be about her. It has to be about Bill Nelson and the future of our state and so far, she asked my advice and I gave her that exact advice and it's gotten worse since."
George W. Bush
And finally, Our Great Leader's approval rating sank again last week in several polls. According to the Associated Press:
President Bush's approval ratings hit a series of new lows in an AP-Ipsos poll that also shows Republicans surrendering their advantage on national security - grim election-year news for a party struggling to stay in power.
Democratic leaders predicted they will seize control of one or both chambers of Congress in November. Republicans said they feared the worst unless the political landscape quickly changes.
"These numbers are scary. We've lost every advantage we've ever had," GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio said.
Bush was also confronted at a town hall meeting by a man named Harry Taylor, who took to the microphone and said, "I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration. And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself."
Humility and grace?
Unlikely. But nice going anyway, Harry.
Speaking of humility and grace, Our Great Leader threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener of the Cincinnati Reds last week. You'd think that a guy who is edging ever-closer to approval ratings in the 20 percent range would think twice about making a spectacle of himself in front of thousands of unscreened Americans - but as usual, Bush had a plan. According to the Washington Post's Dan Froomkin:
...although he received scattered boos there, he insulated himself from the worst by walking out to the mound accompanied by two injured American soldiers and the father of a soldier who was killed in action.
Humility and grace indeed. See you next week!
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