Monday, October 10

DU - Top Ten

Every week or so Democratic Underground does it's "Top Ten" Conservative Idiots list.
Somewhat cribbed from the Letterman Top Ten it's an often irreverrent and highly entertaining hit piece on the Right Wing. If you haven't seen it - you should. It's deliciously insightful and drop-to-your-knees funny most of the time. So what if Idiot #1, #3 and #5 are all George Bush, he's more than enough of an idiot to go around. Here's a copy of my favorite tidbits from this week:

1George W. Bush cronyismcronyism cronyism dumb
Last week, facing a firestorm of criticism over corruption and cronyism in the White House, George W. Bush nominated yet another of his completely-unqualified-but-close-personal-friends to a position of power - this time the Supreme Court.

But here's the question on everyone's lips: just how good a Supreme Court justice will Harriet Miers be? To find out the answer let's turn to some leading conservative thinkers.

"Harriet Miers is a taut, nervous, anxious personality. It is impossible to me to imagine that she can endure the anger and abuse - or resist the blandishments - that transformed, say, Anthony Kennedy into the judge he is today."

"There are 1,084,504 lawyers in the United States. What distinguishes Harriet Miers from any of them, other than her connection with the president? To have selected her ... is scandalous."

"It is not important that she be confirmed because there is no evidence that she is among the leading lights of American jurisprudence, or that she possesses talents commensurate with the Supreme Court's tasks."

"Bush had a chance for greatness in remaking the Supreme Court, a chance to succeed where his Republican predecessors from Nixon to his father all failed. He instinctively recoiled from it. He blew it."

"I'm disappointed, depressed and demoralized."

Um, hang on a minute. This is George W. Bush's nomination to the Supreme Court we're talking about here? Our Great Leader? The man who will transport us all into a glorious new conservative future? My, how times have changed.

Don't worry though - while real conservatives are gnashing their teeth at the Miers nomination, the radical religious right know which side their bread's buttered on. They're more than willing to stay the course and continue to trust the president. Which is a bit odd really, considering that for the last five years he hasn't actually done anything at all to enact their agenda.

"We welcome the president's nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. He pledged emphatically during his campaign to appoint judges who will interpret the law rather than create it."

"This is just part of the process. It's actually good positioning because it confuses the liberals."

"I did talk to the White House, I did hear what I needed to hear, and I happen to trust George Bush."

Oops... Hang on a minute... Dobson's having second thoughts...

"If I have made a mistake here, I will never forget it. The blood of those babies who will die will be on my hands to a degree."

Yes, it's business as usual in nutjob land.

2Harriet Miers cronyism cronyism cronyism dumb
But the question remains: just what kind of justice would Harriet Miers really be? Will she be a Scalia or a Souter? At this point, nobody knows... which seems to be what's twisting conservatives' panties.

At the end of the day, the Miers nomination is about cronyism. To the great benefit of his billionaire buddies George W. Bush has done an incredibly effective job of destroying government institutions by filling them with completely useless and unqualified people (Halliburton thanks you, Michael Brown). The only qualification that these people do have is that they are totally and utterly loyal to King George. And he plans to do the exact same thing with the Miers nomination.

We know that she was in charge of the Texas Lottery - where she oversaw "the firing of two executive directors. She left early amid lagging sales. One of the firings stirred questions about whether political influence helped George W. Bush avoid active duty in Vietnam."

We know that she was the first female head of a major Texas law firm, which during her tenure was "forced to pay more than $30 million to settle claims it vouched for the reputation of two clients who cheated investors out of millions in an elaborate Ponzi scheme."

We know that she "assumed such an insider role that in 2001 it was she who handed Bush the crucial 'presidential daily briefing' hinting at terrorist plots against America just a month before the Sept. 11 attacks."

And we know that Harriet Miers thinks that George W. Bush is "the most brilliant man she had ever met." Which ought to disqualify her right there.

Oh yes, Harriet Miers is a Bush crony - even Michelle Malkin thinks so - and as we're all more than aware, what's good for George W. Bush tends to be very, very bad for the American people.

It's somewhat less of a problem if you're appointing someone to a position they can easily be fired from, but putting them on the U.S. Supreme Court for life... well, that's a different story.

5George W. Bush just plain evil
Did you know that George W. Bush has not vetoed a single bill since becoming president? It's true - but he could break that tradition soon. Last week the Senate added an amendment to a $440 billion military spending bill which would, according to the Miami Herald, "ban the use of 'cruel, inhuman or degrading' treatment of any prisoner in the hands of the United States."

And yes, George W. Bush has threatened to veto the bill unless that language is removed.

90 senators voted to add the anti-torture amendment - co-sponsored by John McCain and Lindsey Graham - with only 9 voting against. But if the House version of the bill ends up containing the same language, George W. Bush will veto it.

That Bush would threaten to veto a huge military spending bill while 150,000 of our troops are fighting overseas is highly unusual - that he would veto it because he doesn't want U.S. lawmakers to take away his ability to torture prisoners is... what phrase am I looking for here? Morally bankrupt? Criminally depraved? Ethically disgraceful? Just plain evil?

Any of those will do.

9Fox News partisanship
It's not much of a secret that despite claiming to be "fair and balanced" Fox News has an agenda cribbed directly from the playbook of Joseph Goebbels. However, it is interesting when former Fox News employees confirm it for us.

Last week, David Shuster (now of MSNBC) recounted some details of his six-year stint at Fox News:

At the time I started at Fox I thought, this is a great news organization to let me be very aggressive with a sitting president of the United States."

That president was, of course, Bill Clinton - and there's nothing wrong with that. The media should cast a thoroughly critical eye over those in power.

Shuster continued:

I started having issues when others in the organization would take my carefully scripted and nuanced reporting and pull out bits and pieces to support their agenda on their shows. With the change of administration in Washington, I wanted to do the same kind of reporting, holding the (Bush) administration accountable, and that was not something that Fox was interested in doing.

My my. There's a shock. Do go on...

Editorially, I had issues with story selection. But the bigger issue was that there wasn't a tradition or track record of honoring journalistic integrity. I found some reporters at Fox would cut corners or steal information from other sources or in some cases, just make things up. Management would either look the other way or just wouldn't care to take a closer look. I had serious issues with that.

So there you have it. Fox News: fair and balanced, or a giant turd clogging the media toilet bowl? We report, you decide.

(Psst. It's the turd.)

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