The Top 10 Conservative Idiots
The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 269
November 20, 2006
Powder To The People Edition
This Thanksgiving week, we here at Democratic Underground are giving thanks for the fact that conservative idiots are about to lose control of the United States Congress. But not to worry: there are still plenty of conservative idiots left in this country, and we've got ten of 'em right here for your enjoyment. As usual, don't forget the key!
Chad Castagana of Woodland Hills, CA, had a worse post-election hangover than most Republicans - he was apprehended by the FBI last week after allegedly sending letters filled with white powder to liberal celebrities and politicians. According to the Los Angeles Daily News:
Federal agents said he had sent more than a dozen letters containing a mysterious white powder to Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, "Late Show" host David Letterman and "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart among other high-profile figures. Castagana used aliases such as "William Shatner" and fake return addresses and sent the letters over a three-month period, beginning in September, according to the FBI.
Many of the notes inside the envelopes contained death threats, insults and anti-Semitic phrases, federal agents said.
Radar Online kindly posted some of those notes. Check out Castagana's awesomeness:
To Keith Olbermann: "There are too many demagogues in America. All of you are poisoning the well! Time to give your kind a taste of your own medicine."
To David Letterman: "more then one way to frag a demagogue... your kind are the real poison"
To Nancy Pelosi: "CUNTFACE. IMPEACH THIS."
Not quite as eloquent as the Unabomber, but there you go.
Let's learn a little more about Chad. Again according to the Daily News:
On an old van parked in the driveway of Castagana's hillside home, the phrase "Death to all liberals" is inscribed on the van's dirty back window.
Castagana lived in a beige, multistory hillside home on Baza Avenue with his 78-year-old mother, Geneve, reportedly suffers from diabetes and rarely ventures out.
He didn't like to be spoken to, said his closest neighbor, Diana Anderson.
"He said to me, 'I don't have to talk to people face to face,"' she said Monday. "I guess that's why he used the mail."
Castagana "described himself as a compulsive voter who votes Republican, and he said that he sent the letters to specific individuals because he did not like their liberal politics," according to an FBI affidavit.
Hmm... so he's 39 years old, lives with his mother, has a dirty old van with "Death to all liberals" written on the back, votes Republican, and doesn't "have to talk to people face to face." If you think that sounds like the very definition of a member of FreeRepublic.com, guess what? You're right!
It turns out that Castagana is - or rather, was - a member of Free Republic. (The connection was made here on Democratic Underground by morgan2.) His account isn't there any more, but fortunately several people were able to grab his profile before he was banned. Check it out:
I am a lifelong Conservative Republican .
I have an Associates Degree in the Science of Electronics .
Ann Coulter is a Goddess and I worship Laura Ingraham and Michele Malkin .
English is the langauge of the United States of America- - our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are written in the langauge that expresses our civilized freedoms .
Spanish is the language of Banana Republics, beyond that it belongs in a European country.
Funnily enough, "Marc Costanzo" had plenty to say about the fake anthrax attacks over at FR, where his signature line read, "Name your poison."
So much for "liberals supporting the terrorists." It seems that conservatives are the terrorists.
Now that the Democrats have regained both houses of Congress, the honchos at Fox News are as desperate as Rush Limbaugh shaking an empty bottle of OxyContin. Last week the Huffington Post obtained an internal memo allegedly written by the network's senior vice president for news editorial, John Moody. The memo reveals some interesting tidbits about the mentality at Fox News.
For example, did you know that everyone who works there considers the Democratic victory in the November elections to be the end of the world? It's true. Why else would Moody feel the need to comfort his troops?
The elections and Rumsfeld's resignation were a major event, but not the end of the world.
Yes, cheer up, little Foxers. It's not the end of the world. But hey - just because it's not the end of the world, it doesn't mean that you can't report it like it's the end of the world. The memo goes on to say:
The war on terror goes on without interruption. Jennifer Griffin sent info on Hamas' calls for attacks on American interests. And let's be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem-controlled Congress.
Curious. Why, after Americans have soundly rejected the Republican party at the ballot box, would the nation's most fair and balanced news network want to go out of their way to find statements by Iraqi insurgents for no apparent reason other than to make the Democratic party look bad? Send your answers on a postcard to:
John "Goebbels" Moody
Vice President of Propaganda
New York, NY
George W. Bush
George W. Bush went to Vietnam last week, "embracing the former U.S. enemy as a symbol of progress," according to the Chicago Tribune. "(Laura and I) were talking about how amazing it is that we're here in Vietnam," he said.
Amazing indeed, considering the lengths Dubya went to to avoid going there in the 1960s and '70s. But it turns out that Our Great Leader did learn a lesson about his unnecessary war in Iraq from America's unnecessary war in Vietnam, and that lesson is: "We'll succeed unless we quit."
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Hang on a minute... we lost tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, killed a million civilians, and ended up pulling out when the North overran the South, yet now we're on friendly terms with the Vietnamese government, so how on earth does one glean the lesson 'we'll succeed unless we quit' from this experience? Is the president suggesting that we should have stayed in Vietnam and suffered the deaths of even more Americans and Vietnamese? Or is he laboring under the misapprehension that we actually won that war?"
If that's what you're thinking, don't worry - you're not insane. George W. Bush, on the other hand, is batshit crazy.
By the way - in yet another classic example of Bush diplomacy, the White House displayed the wrong Vietnamese flag on their website prior to Bush's trip.
They used a picture of an old flag which, according to Think Progress, "hasn't been the official flag of Vietnam since South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam in 1975. The display of the old flag is highly incendiary to the current Vietnamese government."
Oh well. Another day, another national embarrassment.
Two weeks ago America elected its first ever Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison (D-MN). Keith's platform included "immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq," "universal single payer health care" "energy independence through increased use of renewable energy," and "a strong and comprehensive public education policy." Apparently the voters of Minnesota's 5th Congressional District liked what they saw, because Ellison won in a landslide.
Unfortunately all those people who voted for Keith Ellison were obviously misled, so thank goodness for CNN's Glenn Beck who last week Beck pressed Ellison on his real intentions. Here's the transcript:
ELLISON: How you doing, Glenn? Glad to be here.
BECK: Thank you. I will tell you, may I - may we have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards face up on the table?
ELLISON: Go there.
BECK: OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. I've been to mosques. I really don't believe that Islam is a religion of evil. I - you know, I think it's being hijacked, quite frankly. With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, "Let's cut and run." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies." And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.
No doubt a lot of Americans feel this way. And no doubt they're all ignorant racists - excuse me, "politically incorrect" - like Glenn Beck. Ellison was apparently so thrown by the question that he forgot to take off his mike, get up from his chair, and give Beck the finger while walking out. Instead he said this:
ELLISON: Well, let me tell you, the people of the Fifth Congressional District know that I have a deep love and affection for my country. There's no one who is more patriotic than I am. And so, you know, I don't need to - need to prove my patriotic stripes.
Which, to be fair, is a much classier response. Not that Beck deserved it.
The Republican Party
The GOP is clearly in a state of denial and disarray - last week they re-elected the same leaders who just led them straight into the minority, John Boehner and Roy Blunt. And speaking of minorities, it seems that the Republican party is so hard up for leadership that they've decided to give Trent Lott a second chance.
Boehner and Blunt were comfortably re-elected, proving that House Republicans are still keen to "stay the course" despite the fact that their minibus just drove through a guardrail and is currently bouncing to the bottom of a crevasse. The big losers in last week's House leadership election were arch-conservative John Shadegg (27 votes) and Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who garnered an impressive one vote.
Things were closer on the Senate side, at least for the number two spot. While Mitch McConnell - who was running unopposed - grabbed the Senate Minority Leader position, Republicans gave a good hard look at Sen. Lamar Alexander for Minority Whip before plumping for Trent Lott by 25 votes to 24. Lest we forget, Trent Lott was drummed out of his job as Senate Majority Leader in 2002 after announcing, "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
So congrats, Repubs! You just picked a pair of losers and a disgraced racist to lead your party into a bold new future. Best of luck.
Incidentally, the media didn't seem particularly interested in the return of Boner, Blunt, and the Mississippi Hair Helmet, preferring instead to obsess over "divisions" within the Democratic party like they'd never seen a leadership contest before. Oh my god! They voted! And they didn't all agree on who the new House Majority Leader should be! This is the end of the Democratic party, I tells ya.
Apparently the media have forgotten that Democrats like to hash things out and debate issues, and the pundits seem stunned that the Dems aren't marching in lockstep like the Republicans have done for the past six years. By selecting Nancy Pelosi as the first ever female Speaker of the House, Democrats gave Republican commentators everywhere an opportunity to demonstrate their feelings about strong women. Here's Mort Kondracke:
Well, so, the history on House leadership is, we had the "Hammer" - Tom DeLay - and now, we have the "Wicked Witch of the West," you know, Nancy Pelosi...
Not ugly enough for you? Perhaps you prefer New York Post Washington bureau chief Deborah Orin-Eilbeck's take:
Forget 'The Devil Wears Prada' - the hot show in Washington is 'The Shrew Adores Armani.' In just a few short days, House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi has turned into a caricature of the shrill, petty woman boss.
Hmm. Methinks there might be just a little bit of sore-loserdom creeping in here.
Poor Bill O'Reilly seems a little confused about the identity of his corporate paymasters. Reacting with horror to the news that Fox Broadcasting would be airing a prime-time special on O.J. Simpson's latest shenanigans, the Falafel Master exclaimed:
Here's a man many believe did kill those two Americans, Nicole Brown Simpson being mother of his two children. Yet Simpson is participating in a project that is exploiting the murders. Shamefully, the Fox Broadcasting Unit is set to carry the program, which is simply indefensible, and a low point in American culture. For the record, Fox Broadcasting has nothing to do with the Fox News Channel.
Hmm. Fox Broadcasting has nothing to do with the Fox News Channel? Well, I guess if O'Reilly said it, it must be wrong. And it is. According to Radar Online:
That last part must have come as shocking news to O'Reilly's boss, Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes, who also chairs Fox Television Stations, the group behind the forthcoming "low point in American culture." The shared "Fox" moniker is no coincidence, either. Fox Broadcasting and the Fox News Channel are both owned by Australian overlord and News Corp. founder and chief Rupert Murdoch. And the Fox Broadcasting Corporation - the people who program prime time for the Fox network - regularly air Fox News-produced programming, from coverage of presidential speeches to O'Reilly's special "documentaries" about people who hate children and Jesus.
In other words, Fox News Channel was conceived, launched, and continues to be run by the man who is responsible for running the selfsame stations that will, shamefully, broadcast Simpson's fantasy about killing "those two Americans" to millions of other Americans.
But more to the point, doesn't O'Reilly have far more important things to worry about than O.J. Simpson, like, I don't know, the war on Christmas?
And now, a helpful public service announcement for Republican legislators.
At the end of October, the wife of Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) called police "to complain her husband was 'knocking her around' during a late-night argument at the couple's home," according to the Albany Times-Union.
The emergency call to a police dispatcher triggered a visit to the couple's residence by a state trooper from Clifton Park, who filed a domestic incident report after noting that the congressman had scratches on his face, the document states. No criminal charges were filed.
Gaia M. Sweeney, 36, told a trooper that her husband had grabbed her by the neck and was pushing her around the house, according to the document.
The Times-Union notes that 2006 was a "tumultuous" year for the Sweeneys, because:
Less than two weeks earlier, his son, John J. Sweeney, then 19, pleaded guilty to felony assault charges for his role in a fight that left another young man with skull fractures and blurred vision. The younger Sweeney initially faced the prospect of spending up to 15 years in prison, but a plea deal gave him youthful offender status and a sentence that included four months of weekends in jail and community service.
Sweeney, 51, has blamed his political opponents for his son's prosecution on felony charges.
Of course he has.
Meanwhile, State Rep. Mark Olson (R-MN) was arrested last week on charges of fifth-degree domestic assault after his wife called police to their Big Lake Township home. According to the St. Cloud Times:
Rep. Mark Olson was arrested Sunday and is in Sherburne County Jail, facing charges of domestic abuse, said Scott Gudmundson, chief deputy of the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department.
He was arrested at 7:45 p.m. at Calvin Christian School, 8966 Pierce St. NE, according to Blaine Police Chief Dave Johnson. He was handcuffed and transferred to Sherburne County without incident, Johnson said.
The moral of the story? Well, the news of Sweeney's arrest broke on October 31, and he lost his seat on November 7. Olson, on the other hand, was re-elected on November 7 and then arrested on November 12.
So the lesson for Republican legislators is clear: When beating your wife, try not to get caught until after the election.
Republican Phone Jammers
Four years ago, New Hampshire Republicans plotted to foil a Democratic get-out-the-vote operation by jamming phone lines on election day. Last week, a former telemarketer pleaded guilty to his involvement in the plot. According to the Associated Press:
Shaun Hansen, of Spokane, Wash., is pleading guilty to two federal counts of conspiracy to commit interstate telephone harassment, stemming from the Election Day 2002 jamming of get-out-the-vote and ride-to-the-polls phone lines run by state Democrats and a nonpartisan firefighters union. In exchange, prosecutors agree not to oppose his request for a sentence reduction, according to U.S. District Court papers dated Nov. 6.
No sentencing date was posted. The charges carry a total maximum sentence of seven years in prison and $500,000 fine.
Laura Ingraham, take note. On her election day radio show, Ingraham urged her listeners to jam the Democrats' voter emergency hotline, which was set up for people who experienced difficulties voting. Here's the transcript:
RECORDING OF HOWARD DEAN: We have a hotline - 1 888 DEM VOTE - anybody can call that. If they feel like there are voting irregularities, we’ll send some folks over to the polling place in a matter of minutes.
(Phone ringing) OPERATOR: Leave a message with your question or press pound to be transferred at no extra charge to your local election protection team or the state Democratic Party. (Dialing) Your call cannot be completed at this time. Please try your call again later.
INGRAHAM: Wait a second! So - (laughter) you call 1 888 DEM VOTE - otherwise 'Dim Bulb Vote' or 'Dumb Vote' - and all you do is get transferred to muzak, then they cut you off. This is what I'm thinking. Tell me if you think I'm crazy. This is what I'm thinking. I think we all need to call 1 888 DEM VOTE all at the same time.
Hilarious! Surely there's nothing more amusing that trying to block people from casting their vote. Thank goodness we have people like Laura Ingraham to remind the world why America is a beacon of democracy.
The joke might be on her though - at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, Sen. Pat Leahy quizzed the Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division on whether Ingraham should be investigated for vote fraud. Oops! Sucks to have the Democrats in charge, eh?
And finally, good news, people! Like the happy citizens of Iraq, Rush Limbaugh feels liberated. From his radio show the day after election day:
Now, I mentioned to you at the conclusion of the previous hour that people have been asking me how I feel all night long. I got, "Boy, Rush, I wouldn't want to be you tomorrow! Boy, I wouldn't want to have to do your show! Oh-ho. I'm so glad I'm not you." Well, folks, I love being me. (I can't be anybody else, so I'm stuck with it.) The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, "Well, why have you been doing it?" Because the stakes are high. Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat Party and liberalism does.
I hate to break it to you Rush, but the reason people have been saying "Oh-ho. I'm so glad I'm not you," is not because they'd have to do your show the day after the election. They just mean it as a general comment.
But anyway, as you can see Rush now admits that, on behalf of his Republican overlords, he's been blatantly lying to his listeners all these years because "the stakes are high." What you don't know is that the transcript on Limbaugh's website has been altered. He actually said that no longer going to carry their water unless they give him steaks and get him high.
The Top 10 will be taking a break for Thanksgiving next week - have a great holiday, and we'll see you in two weeks time!
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