The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (#118)
Drip... drip... drip... ker-sploosh! Things are starting to look decidedly leaky for the Bush administration, who top the list this week with further revelations that, well, they told a few fibs about Iraq. But hey everyone, don't worry about it.
The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (#118)
July 21, 2003
Under The Weather Edition
Meanwhile George W. Bush (2) has failed to notice that his previous lies about Iraq are becoming a problem, and has instead started to make up new ones. Elsewhere, Rep. Bill Thomas (3) is not just a brand new name this week, he's also a giant fascist. Finally, the White House (4) has started smearing reporters who tell the truth, the State Department (6) has a groovy new mag for Middle-Eastern teenagers, Pat Robertson (7) is losing it, and the once-great pro-war movement (10) has decided that now is probably a good time to start bashing the troops. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!
The Bush Administration
It appears that the Bush administration's pushing of false information about uranium from Niger is just the tip of the iceberg in the evolving Iraq scandal. What's that you say? No kidding? Well, quite. While more informed members of the public have been aware of this administration's machinations for some time, it's only now that the media is starting to wake up. But that's okay - we can be patient. The latest crack in the administration's fašade is the revelation that Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction were not ready to be deployed in 45 minutes, as claimed. This lie has been dogging the British government for some time, and now it's the Bush administration's turn. And administration officials admitted last week that they "did not seek CIA approval before charging that Saddam Hussein could launch a biological or chemical attack within 45 minutes," according to the Washington Post, despite the fact that this charge still appears on the White House website. So why on earth would they make such a claim without consulting the CIA? Well, either they a) wanted to invade Iraq so badly that they were willing to simply make stuff up to justify it, or b) uh... that's it. But it's okay, because as the UK Guardian reported last week, the administration have apparently been making good use of a "shadow rightwing intelligence network set up in Washington to second-guess the CIA." Now, I'm of the opinion that competition is generally a good thing. But when it comes to national security I'm not entirely sure that encouraging competition between agencies to see who can come up with the most politically convenient intelligence is necessarily the best idea. I dunno, call me old-fashioned...
George W. Bush
Was it just two weeks ago that Our Great MisLeader lambasted "revisionist historians" for dissembling about what happened in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq? Because this week Bush proved beyond doubt that he is not merely a liar or a stinking hypocrite, but - worse than that - he actually has no fucking clue what's going on around him. During a speech last week about his "darned good intelligence" Bush came up with this gem: "We gave [Saddam] a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him." Now pardon me, but of all the lies that the administration has told during this affair, this particular one is 100% FIRST-CLASS TOP-DRAWER A-ONE BULLSHIT. Since George has obviously forgotten, here's what actually happened - the Iraqis did allow the weapons inspectors back into Iraq, and then they had to pull out because George gave Saddam a 48-hour ultimatum. I mean, have I gone mad here? This did actually happen didn't it? But let's face it - the most frightening thing about this latest lie is that I'm left wondering to myself why I know that UN weapons inspectors were in Iraq for four whole months before we invaded, and yet the President of the United States doesn't. I mean, this is only the pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign nation we're talking about here. So it would probably be nice if the leader of this country - the commander-in-chief of the military - could clearly remember decisions that he was involved in as far back as, ooh, March. And don't give me this "misspeaking" crap either. How the hell do you misspeak about something this important - something so relevant to your decision to go to war? It's a simple fact for crying out loud! For goodness sake, man, sort yourself out! You're an embarrassment!
The police state: a glimpse of things to come if the Republicans get their way? Last week House Republicans made last-minute changes to a pension bill (which was, incidentally, generally supported by both Democrats and Republicans). The changes were included shortly before midnight, and the next morning Democrats complained that they didn't have enough time to review the new bill before voting on it. Tough noogies, said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, clearly expecting Democrats to simply go along and approve something they hadn't even read. So the Democrats invoked a House rule which forced a clerk to read aloud the entire 200 page bill, line by line, and, leaving only Rep. Pete Stark to hold the fort, retreated to a nearby library to discuss what to do next. Unfortunately they didn't have much of a chance, because Bill Thomas - obviously emboldened by the recent redistricting fiasco in the Texas State House - promptly called the police to remove the Democrats from the library. Back on the House floor, as chaos reigned in the library, Thomas interrupted the reading of the bill to ask for unanimous consent to move on and vote, and immediately brought down his gavel before Rep. Stark had a chance to object. Stark then attempted to make a "parliamentary inquiry," only to be ignored by Bill Thomas, who immediately allowed the Republicans to approve the bill unanimously by voice vote. Nice. Don't give Democrats a chance to read bills before expecting them to vote on them, call the police on them while they're trying to figure out what to do, and then force through a vote anyway after ignoring the objections of the opposition. It's democracy, Republican-style. Thank goodness George W. Bush's plan to end partisanship in Washington has borne such wonderful fruit.
The White House
The White House is in such a serious state of panic right now that they've resorted to doing everything they can to smear reporters who don't toe the Bush line. Take ABC's Jeffery Kofman, for example, who did a story last week on the rapidly- vanishing morale of American soldiers in Iraq. The White House didn't like this - telling the truth to the American people is a serious offense these days - and obviously decided that any reporters caught actually doing their jobs should be punished. Sounds scary, but don't worry - apparently the best punishment they could come up with was to leak to Matt Drudge that not only is Jeffrey Kofman openly gay, he is also... wait for it... Canadian. Oh, ouch, that hurts. Ooh. Please, no. C'mon guys, this White House is supposed to be the most powerful, most on-message, most unified of all-time in the history of the world ever. Is this the best you can come up with? Lame!
Jeb Bush wants to reform Florida's medical malpractice tort system because of the huge rise in medical malpractice suits which is crippling the state's healthcare system. Doctors are leaving Florida, and the poor downtrodden insurance companies are being forced to pay out millions of dollars in malpractice settlements every year. Thank goodness for Jeb Bush and his support for a cap on pain-and-suffering awards. Except there's one small problem - it's all a bunch of crap. Much like his idiot brother, Jeb is now looking quite the ass after real evidence was put forth to contradict the claims he's been making. As it happens, there are now more doctors in Florida than there were five years ago, and there is no sharp rise in frivolous lawsuits against doctors, nor in the number of malpractice settlements made by insurance companies. All this according to a recent Florida State Senate hearing involving dozens of voluntary witnesses. Oh well, I guess Jeb will just have to start telling people that okay, sure, Florida doesn't have medical malpractice troubles now, but if this isn't taken care of right away, there could be a huge and dangerous problem within 45 minutes. And anyway, he didn't even say it, it was his Chief of Staff. Or the British. Or something.
The State Department
Hey, kids of the Middle East! Don't pay any attention to that nasty Osama bin Laden! He's bogus, dude! Instead, check out the State Department's funky new Arabic-language publication for the plugged-in Middle Eastern teenager, Hi magazine! We've got cool features, celebrity news, and all the latest music gossip! It'll teach you all about what it's like to live over here in the good ol' U.S. of Stateside, and you'll learn why our way of life is so awesome that we have to protect it by invading your countries. So just in case an American bomb happens to drop through your roof and kill your family, remember: read Hi magazine and you'll understand exactly why we had to do it! Peace out!
Pat's on a roll. After his recent sterling defense of murderous dictator Charles Taylor (see Idiots 117) he decided that it was time to ask God for a bit of smiting. So Pat recently opened a 21-day "Prayer Offensive" against the Supreme Court justices who voted to decriminalize sodomy. On his website, Pat wrote, "One justice is 83-years-old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?" Just retire, Pat? Hmm? Nothing else? Don't want God to perhaps strike them down at all? Maybe just a little bit? You know, it's actually quite strange how Pat's religion works: "Dear God, I've been praying to you for ages. Now can you get rid of some people I don't like? I mean, c'mon, do me a favor here. After everything I've done for you! There are those piles of money I collect and look after for you, and hey, what about all those folks that I've convinced to hate gays and liberals?" Look, I'm not sure what religion Pat thinks he's practicing, but let's get one thing straight - it sure ain't Christianity.
Honor, integrity, etc, etc, etc. It doesn't matter which way you slice it, Republicans are hypocrites when it comes to matters of personal responsibility and playing by the rules. Take Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, for example, who was busted last week for his business connections to a telephone company "accused of cheating customers in seven states," according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. And, incidentally, "got $4,500 a month for providing business and legal advice to telecom entrepreneur Elam Baer, a longtime friend," while he was running for governor. Unfortunately "Pawlenty offered only vague recollections of what he did for the money and has not produced evidence of hours worked." Oh dear. But Pawlenty has plenty of great excuses, as is par for the course among conservatives who don't want to take responsibility for their actions. Apparently "he should have asked more questions as a director of a telecommunication firm," and anyway, "he was not aware of the complaints against subsidiary companies, over which he did not have direct supervision." See? Not his problem!
The National Museum of Naval Aviation
The folks at the museum at the National Museum of Naval Aviation were practically pooping their pants with glee when the S-3B Viking used in Our Great Leader's Great Top Gun Propaganda Landing (see Idiots 108) arrived last week. According to the Associated Press, the Viking "will join a flimsy yellow biplane that Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, flew while training as a naval aviator during World War II." So visitors to the museum will soon be able to gag in disgust at airplanes used by two of our worst ever presidents. I wonder if in years to come, parents will bring their children to see Bush's Viking. "See this plane, son? This is the plane that George W. Bush used when he told the world that it was 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq. And we all know how that turned out, don't we? Now let that be a lesson to you."
So-Called "Support The Troops" Protesters
And finally: back before the invasion of Iraq began, the anti-war movement held various huge peace protests around the globe. In response, the pro-war movement gathered their forces and held counter-protests. But these were not "pro-war" rallies, oh no. Nothing so crude. These were "support the troops" rallies, which just by pure coincidence happened to be pro-war. And if you weren't faithfully attending "support the troops" rallies, well then hell, you obviously didn't support the troops. Except anti-war protesters have always supported the troops - by trying to ensure that they aren't needlessly sent to die in, say, some trumped-up imperial war for oil. But anyway, it appears that ever since soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division appeared on TV last week calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, the so-called "support the troops" folks have been showing their true colors. I personally heard radio talk-show host Lars Larson (filling in for Laura Ingraham last week) say that these soldiers were giving "aid and comfort to the enemy" (way to support the troops, Lars - call them traitors) and suggest that the soldiers' complaints that they didn't know their mission were unfounded. See, Lars said that from where he was sitting the mission looked perfectly clear. Freepers are also rushing into this new "criticize the troops" role, suggesting that the troops they used to admire now need to "shut up," stop "whining," and perhaps any soldier whose morale has hit rock bottom should be sent home "with a pacifier in his mouth and a thermometer up his @ss." So this is how you're supposed to support the troops! I get it!
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