Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 49)
Brand New Year, Same Old Idiocy Edition
Hope everyone had a good holiday season - we certainly did,
because it gave us an excuse not to have to hunt for conservative
idiots for a week or two. If you think it's maddening to read,
you should try researching and writing it... good grief! But
as 2001 fades slowly into memory, and 2002 is but a few weeks
old, conservative idiocy sadly remains a constant presence.
Orrin Hatch grabs the number one position this week for telling
blatant fibs which would make his mother ashamed. Meanwhile,
George W. Bush (2) is following in his father's footsteps,
our "good friends" Saudi Arabia (3) are doing their
bit to put an end to the gay agenda, and Rudy Giuliani (4)
seems to be letting that "Person of the Year" stuff
go to his head. Elsewhere we find Bill O'Reilly (7) displaying
his complete and utter impartiality, American Airlines (9)
taking racial profiling to interesting new levels, and USA
Today (10) demonstrating why they should probably think about
changing their name to "USA Toady." Enjoy! (Oh,
and you'll notice this week that the key
New year, new hypocritical swill leaking from the GOP slop-bucket...
Orrin Hatch was spotted bashing Democrats for a "systematic
and calculated effort to confirm the absolute minimum number"
of George W. Bush's judicial nominees. "Contrary to the widely
held belief," he sniffed in a recent column, "the Republicans
did not play such games when Bill Clinton was president."
Oh really? Here's the Washington Post's take
on Hatch's ludicrous claim: "During Mr. Hatch's tenure as
committee chairman, the average time between a judicial nomination
and final Senate action grew substantially, with individual
nominees sitting around for outrageously long periods of time
- sometimes years. In 1999, Mr. Hatch went so far as to freeze
consideration of all nominees for several months in an effort
to force Mr. Clinton to nominate a conservative lawyer favored
by Mr. Hatch for a district judgeship in Utah. Before Mr.
Hatch complains too loudly about the 28 nominees the Senate
confirmed this year, moreover, he should recall that in 1996,
the Senate confirmed only 17." So is our Orrin suffering from
a rare and unpleasant form of selective amnesia? Or is he
just a big fat liar? We report, you decide.
"Not over my dead body will they raise taxes!" Thus
Dubya last week. But leaving aside the comedy misphrasing
(not over my dead body?!), poor George could end up
pulling a "Read my lips - no new taxes" of his very
own. Like father like son I guess. However, it looks like
Bush Jr.'s administration has come up with a novel new way
of hiding his taxes - by simply, um, not calling them
taxes. Last week the Department of Transportation issued a
which will impose a $2.50 "fee" on all air travelers, to help
the government pay for the cost of providing security. See,
it's not a tax - it's a fee! What's the difference, you say?
Duh! Taxes are when you give the government some money so
they can pay for stuff. Fees are when you add a little extra
money onto the price of something, which then, um, goes to
the government so they can pay for stuff. Make sense? Good,
I'm glad we cleared that up. I suppose it would be foolish
to mention that there's a chance these "fees" might be going
to cover the cost of the $14 billion in corporate welfare
that the government just gave to the airlines, wouldn't it?
Okay, I'll shut up now then.
"The President, from the first day, has been very satisfied
with the actions of the Saudi government and the Saudi people,"
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in response to the
September 11 attacks. Oh yes, they've been a real boon in
the war against terrorism, haven't they? Gag. Now, since Bush's
goverment translators "accidentally" missed out the embarrasing
bits in the now-famous bin Laden video tape, presumably the
administration won't want to ruffle any more feathers - which
is a shame, because last week Saudi Arabia executed three
men for the heinous crime of... wait for it... homosexuality.
an execution. The men were publicly beheaded in the Saudi
mountain "resort town" of Abha (uh, I think I'll pass on a
vacation there, thanks) after falling foul of Saudi Arabia's
extremely strict interpretation of Islamic law. But don't
expect the Bush administration to speak out on these sickening
human rights violations - they're too busy whispering sweet
nothings into the Saudi government's earholes (see Idiots
48.) Not that Bush would be one to complain about a) more
executions, and b) less homosexuals, of course.
Rudy Giuliani must now be of the opinion that being Time
magazine's "Person of the Year" gives him a free pass to just
make stuff up and pass it off as the truth (although of course
he is a Republican so what do you expect?) At his farewell
speech last week, Giuliani boasted of New York's impressive
crime rate drop - apparently there was a 67 percent increase
in Boston's murder rate while New York's dropped 12 percent.
In addition, Giuliani said, "San Diego has 16 percent more
crime than New York. And in the last six months' statistics,
San Diego had crime go up by 3.9 percent; New York City had
it go down by 7.6 percent." Uh... um... ah... well, no actually.
The San Diego Times reported
that the crime statistics certainly didn't come from the FBI,
and NYPD spokesman Tom Antenen confirmed that the figures
had in fact come from a New York Times survey. Oddly enough
though, that particular survey stated that New York's drop
in murders was 5.2 percent, not 12 percent as Rudy had stated.
Oh, and San Diego's 16 percent more crime than NYC was per
capita, not overall. Rudy must have simply "misspoken," I'm
sure. But the question still remains - why did Giuliani choose
to not only lie about his achievements, but base his stats
on newspaper surveys instead of getting the correct numbers
from the FBI? Well hey, he's the Person of the Year. He can
do that you know.
Welcome to Fort Kempthorne! That's what Idaho residents
have renamed the state capital after Governor Dirk Kempthorne
recently surrounded it with concrete barriers and other security
measures in the wake of September 11. It seems that rather
a lot of people are upset that Dirk spent $335,000 on his
hidey-hole when the rest of state government is cutting spending
in other areas - and not only that, but their Governor is
making himself look like a bit of a pantywaist in the process.
"I hope the governor feels secure sitting in his fortress
while the rest of us are sitting in traffic,'' wrote
a Boise resident to The Idaho Statesman. "The
office of the governor is not for cowards, something to think
about next election." Well quite. Because I suppose if you
think about it, there's about as much chance of terrorists
targeting Idaho as there is of Rush Limbaugh getting a gig
doing SlimFast commercials.
In Idiots 48 we made mention of the fact that Marc Racicot,
the new head of the Republican National Committee, was also
whoring for seven different lobbying organizations. Of course,
the GOP claimed that there would be absolutely no hint of
a conflict of interest. No sirree. So it is interesting to
note that the Bush administration is preparing
to announce regulatory changes which would favor big corporations
and seriously weaken the 1970 Clean Air Act. "If these changes
are implemented as we understand, industry would be allowed
to increase their emissions significantly more than what they
would be allowed under existing law," said S. William Becker,
executive director of the State and Territorial Air Pollution
Program Administrators and the Association of Local Air Pollution
Control Officials. Not that this is much of a surprise for
an administration as anti-environment as this one. So what
does this all have to do with Marc Racicot? Well, as we pointed
out in Idiots 48, one of the lobbying organizations he works
for have been recently engaged in intensive lobbying to...
yes, weaken the Clean Air Act. It looks like having the head
of the RNC on your team can do wonders for your lobbying power.
Conflict of interest? Nonsense!
"No Spin Zone," my ass. Last week, Bill "not a conservative,
honest" O'Reilly wrote a fascinating opinion piece suggesting
that Bill Clinton acted unwisely by sending $70 million in
aid to the people of Afghanistan. "Boy, that was money well
O'Reilly. "Did the Taliban ensure that the money got to the
poor folks? Did you check out Mullah Muhammed Omar's compound
in Kandahar?" It makes you wonder what Bill thinks about the
$43 million that George W. Bush sent over there just last
year - but wonder is all you'll be able to do I'm afraid,
because Mr. O'Reilly has remained curiously silent on the
matter. Not that he's just, ooh, I dunno, shilling for the
Bush administration or anything. I mean, this is Bill O'Reilly
we're talking about here - a man of principles and integrity.
An "independent thinker." A fierce non-partisan. A man who
is willing to give a fair shake of the stick to those on the
right and on the left. The master of "no-spin." A man
who will... oh, I'm sorry. My keyboard just exploded.
Last week, we learned (once again) that conservatives' hatred
toward Bill Clinton knows no bounds, and observes no standards
of common decency. When Clinton's dog Buddy was struck and
killed by a car, expressions of conservative compassion toward
the former president were few and far between. Imus made jokes
about it. CNN's Aaron Brown quipped, "The former president
may have acted like a dog; Buddy was the real thing." But
then virtual unknown Julia Gorin put them all to shame with
her heaping pile of excrement in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "What
happened to Buddy is precisely what can be expected to happen
to a dog when it's meant to be little more than a pawn in
its owners' continuing attempts to impersonate human beings...
So Buddy's dead. Socks they gave away. Has anyone seen Chelsea?
Personally, I was surprised the girl made it past the '93
inauguration, having already done her part to fulfill the
minimum family-unit requirement so her parents could have
a political life. Of course, she was a self-sufficient adolescent
by then, not quite as vulnerable as a dependent canine."
So let me get this straight - Bill
Clinton murdered Vince Foster, Ron Brown, Jim McDougal, and
his dog Buddy. And he's been trying to kill his own daughter
for the last nine years. Quick! Somebody impeach him before
he kills again!
Welcome to the brave new world of airport security. On Christmas
day, American Airlines spread a little holiday cheer by kicking an Arab-American Secret Service agent
off of one of their planes. American claims that the agent,
who is assigned to protect the president, was given the boot
because of paperwork "inconsistencies." Later, another
passenger came forward to say that the agent was in fact "kicked
off the plane because of his race." Boy, this September
11 thing sure is handy. Want to raise taxes? Call it a "security
fee." Want to return to deficit spending? Say it's for
"national security." And security is a great excuse
to keep all of those irritating minorities from riding on
airplanes with the rest of us. Looks like the conservative
master plan is falling right into place.
finally: Add USA Today to the list of newspapers caught whoring
for the GOP. A couple days after Christmas, they published
an article outlining how Enron, the disgraced energy giant,
gave 73% of it's nearly $5.8 million in political donations
to Republicans since 1989. During the last campaign, Enron
chief executive Ken Lay raised over $350,000 for the Republican
Party and his buddy George W. Bush. For most of the year 2001,
Enron's donations favored Republicans by a ratio of 9 to 1.
Then, only a week before declaring bankruptcy, the company
abruptly changed course and gave $100K to the Democrats (who
then decided to give the money to charity). So, what does
USA Today use as the title of this article? Here at DU, we
might suggest: "Enron donations favor GOP by 3 to 1."
Or: "Enron tries to hide pro-GOP history with last minute
donation." But the folks at USA Today decided to run
with this jaw-dropping headline
instead: "Enron donates to Democrats just before bankruptcy."
Damned liberal media! See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List