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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 50)
January 14, 2002
Enronor and Integrity Edition

Top 10 Conservative Idiots

It's the 50th Top Ten Conservative Idiots, and there's just one word on everyone's lips this week: Pretzel. Um... I mean, Enron. It finally seems to be catching on, folks. That's why the first three spots this week are reserved for the top players in this developing scandal, George W. Bush (1), Arthur Andersen (2), and Ken Lay (3). Apparently none of them know anything about the whole thing, they've never heard of one another, and they can't even remember what they had for dinner last night. How surprising. But there's more to life than the Bush administration and Enron fondling one another's buttocks - which is why we turn to the world of entertainment to find CNN (4), Dr. Laura (6), and Ann Coulter (8) on the list this week. And if you're a fan of schadenfraude (aren't we all), don't miss our special 11th idiot. Enjoy! (And don't forget the key.)

1Enron's Lying-Ass White House Lackey (George W. Bush) lying lying covering your ass
Enron? What Enron? George W. Bush was in full-on, ass-covering, I-don't-know-what-the-hell-you're-talking-about denial mode last week as the proverbial poo hit the fan over Enron's shady business dealings. Up until recently, Bush has made no secret of the fact that he and Enron chief Ken Lay have been best buds (even going so far as to nickname him "Kenny Boy.") But last week, as the scandal began reaching the highest levels of his administration, Bush decided it was time to put a little distance between himself and that guy. And he did the the old fashioned way: He lied. You see, they're not really friends. No way, Jose, Ken Lay. In fact, Bush said, Kenny Boy "was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994." Oh, really? Then why, exactly did Lay and his wife give three times as much money to Bush than they gave to Richards? Hmm. Maybe he wasn't really lying. I guess what Bush meant to say is: "Ken was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994. But he supported me even more." It's telling the truth, Republican-style.

2Enron's Shady Auditor (Arthur Andersen, LLP) covering your ass covering your ass
As the arrogant, greedy, and almost-certainly corrupt actions of the Enron gang drew worldwide attention, one piece of the puzzle has gone missing - and, it seems, will remain so for the rest of eternity. Last week, Arthur Andersen (Enron's auditor) told investigators that employees disposed of or deleted "a significant but undetermined number" of documents about Enron. How very convenient! I doubt this would have anything to do with the fact that the auditing firm has a serious conflict of interest here, with its hands in a number of far-flung Enron ventures. According to a source at Arthur Andersen, the audit turned up "possible illegal acts." Of course, destroying documents has a long and distinguished history within the ranks of the conservative idiots. I can think of a certain lieutenant-colonel who was nearly elected to the United States Senate thanks to his awesome law-breaking and paper-shredding talents. Who knows? Maybe there's a conservative rising star over at Arthur Andersen. Stay tuned!

3Enron's Two-Faced, Lying Chief Exec (Ken Lay) lying lying greed greed
Last August, while Enron's executives were scrambling to squeeze as much money as possible out of the company before it went belly-up, Chief Exec Ken Lay sent a two-faced, lying email to the company's employees, many of whom had their entire life savings invested in Enron stock. According to the email, the future of Enron had "never been more certain.'' Said Lay: "Our performance has never been stronger; our business model has never been more robust. ... We have the finest organization in American business today." Of course, only two months later the company admitted hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for the third quarter, and went on a death-spiral toward bankruptcy. An Enron spokesperson says that the email was truthful, because the problems didn't arise for two months. Yeah, right. If you would believe that guy, the company was doing just fine, right up until it incurred all of its losses in the week before declaring bankruptcy. Either that, or Ken Lay and everyone at Enron was smoking crack last August. Or else he's just another greedy, lying, corporate bastard.

4CNN dumb dumb sex
A comedy blunder of epic proportions gets CNN on the list this week. After stealing Paula Zahn away from Fox News, one would assume that CNN would go to great lengths to play up the journalistic skills and professionalism of their new employee. After all, Paula Zahn is a respected newswoman with years of experience. Which is why CNN were forced to yank a promo for Zahn's morning show which went as follows: "Where can you find a morning news anchor who's provocative, super-smart, oh yeah, and just a little sexy?" This delightful advertisement for quality journalism was accompanied by what appeared to many to be the sound of a zipper being unzipped (although CNN claimed it was the sound of a needle scratching across a record.) The promo ran about ten times over the weekend before embarrassed execs had it pulled. What next? Are we going to see more of these? "Wolf Blitzer: intelligent, well-informed, and ladies, he's got a beard you can really hang on to." Or maybe, "Robert Novak: he's brusque, he's bold, he'll take you roughly from behind." Or perhaps they'll just go with the simple but effective, "Daryn Kagan: PHWOOAR!!"

5Jeb Bush nepotism
Phew! Jeb Bush was in a bit of a pickle there for a while, considering that his fiscally irresponsible tax cuts (which brother George was so keen to try out on a federal level) were about to force him to cut public school funding. But in the nick of time his bro stepped in and signed the education reform bill. Now Jeb will be able to rest easy knowing that there's a fat truckload of cash heading down to Florida, which will enable him to dig himself out of his huge financial hole. Thank goodness for the federal government! But hang on a second... surely the Republicans are always moaning about big gubmint and how the states should be able to take care of themselves? Yet now they're signing into law a bill which hands over big piles of taxpayer dough to states who can't manage their finances properly. Hmm... you don't think the GOP might be quietly admitting that they were wrong, do ya? Nah, of course not. Why, that would be ridiculous. No, this law just demonstrates how much compassion conservatives have for the people. Can you feel the love? Helping Jeb fix his fiscal disaster just in time for this year's elections is surely just a coincidence.

6Dr. Laura excessive spin dumb
Overheard on right-wing hate radio everywhere last week: Dr. Laura has apparently decided that the REAL enemy of the United States of America isn't the Taliban, nor Al Qaeda, nor some other random terrorist organization - no, according to the good doctor, the most virulent anti-American organization that exists today is in fact... the ACLU. Why? Because they've apparently been asking foreign (ie. Arab) nations about examples of racial profiling so that the ACLU can represent suspected terrorists in legal actions. And as we all know, we don't actually need to have trials for suspected terrorists, because they're all obviously guilty. No, the real problem here is that the ACLU pledges to "conserve America's original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights - and defend the rights of every man, woman and child in this country," and fight for every American to be, "treated with equality and fairness, no matter who you are." Isn't it strange how most conservatives (who are all, of course, staunch defenders of the Constitution, God bless America!) seem to have a REAL problem with that?

7The Washington Times partisanship partisanship partisanship excessive spin excessive spin
Spotted this week in the Washington Post, a nice analysis of the Washington Times as a simple PR/propaganda rag for the GOP. It would seem that the Times cover article in the year-end edition of their magazine Insight, carried a most intriguing title: "The Making of the Clinton Recession." That's funny, we could have sworn that the current "president" was actually George W. Bush. And that the recession officially began on his watch, despite his ludicrous attempts to stimulate the economy by giving lots and lots of money to people who don't need it. But no, according to the Washington Times this is the "Clinton recession." NEWS FLASH! BILL CLINTON ISN'T THE PRESIDENT ANY MORE! HELLO? Oh, what's the use...

8Ann Coulter dumb dumb dumb
More from the quality journalism front: step forward Ann Coulter. We usually try to avoid Ann as much as possible, since her conservative rants are so deliberately over-the-top it's clear she's just doing it for the attention. But you know, every so often we like to remind our readers of the rotten crap she feels the need to spew forth in the national press. Why, here she is on Yahoo! News, commentating on the Secret Service agent who was thrown off an American Airlines flight recently for being... um, an Arab. But Ann seems to have gotten a bee in her bonnet about the fact that the agent was extremely annoyed about being singled out and has threatened to sue. "This man should not be allowed near the president with a loaded gun. At the least, he's an immature nut. At worst, he's a ticking time bomb, in a simmering rage at America's supposed mistreatment of Muslims." Ooo-kay. And yet Ann then goes on to say, "There is no principled basis for opposition to using Arab appearance as a factor in airport screening procedures." So the basic gist is this: we should be kicking people off planes because of the way they look. But if you happen to be kicked off a plane because of the way you look, you'd better not whine about your "supposed" mistreatment. Ah, Ann. You can read the rest of her delightful nonsense here.

9Alaska State Appeals Court dumb dumb dumb
Here's an interesting interpretation of the whole "responsible gun ownership" argument. When Timothy Wagner entered the Alaska Mining and Diving store in Anchorage back on October 7, 1998, he was asked why he was dripping wet. Well of course, there had to be a rational explanation, and there was: he was trying to wash chemicals from his body before they killed him. Oh, and somebody had implanted a computer chip in his head. You know, that old story. Anyway, employees called the police, who proceeded to show up and run a check on Mr. Wagner. The check revealed that Wagner had a permit to carry a concealed handgun. And lo and behold, he just happened to have a loaded .357 and plenty of ammo stashed in his briefcase. Wagner was convicted of not informing the police officers immediately that he was carrying a concealed weapon (a requirement under Alaska's concealed carry law) and in September of 1999, a judge ruled that Wagner's permit be revoked until his mental illness was "either cured or improved." Sounds eminently sensible. Ah, but thankfully for RKBA-ers everywhere, a state appeals court overturned the decision. Why? Because under Alaska law "mental illness alone cannot be considered in deciding fitness to carry a concealed weapon." Absolutely brilliant.

10Trent Lott dumb dumb boat
Trent Lott has come up with a novel way to demonstrate just how much the GOP cares about the military: he's decided that it would be a good idea for the government to buy an unfinished cruise ship and convert it into a Navy war vessel. Think about it though, it could be an excellent morale booster for the crew. After a hard day swabbing the decks, lucky midshipmen could relax with a nice game of shuffleboard, or a dip in the pool located conveniently behind the Cruise missile batteries. Don't forget to stop by the torpedo bulkhead sing-along bar for an evening of karaoke and musical entertainment! Or for sailors who like to take risks off- as well as on-duty, there's always the McDonnell-Douglas Casino, just down corridor 15-C, next to turbine room 6.

11STOP PRESS! EMERGENCY 11th IDIOT! dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb pretzel accident
And finally: this just in from the AP wire: "WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush fainted briefly in the White House residence Sunday after choking on a pretzel while watching a National Football League playoff game on television, White House physician Dr. Richard Tubb said ... 'I do not find any reason that this would happen again,' ... 'He fainted due to a temporary decrease in heart rate brought on by swallowing a pretzel.' ... Tubb said Bush suffered an abrasion on his left cheek the size of a half dollar and a bruise on his lower lip, apparently from falling onto the floor from a couch. ... Tubb said Bush believes he was out only for a few seconds because when he awoke, his two dogs were sitting in the same position they were when he lost consciousness. ... 'He said it (the pretzel) didn't seem to go down right.'" DU ANALYSIS: Forget about chewing gum and walking at the same time, this guy can't even sit on a sofa and eat a pretzel simultaneously! See you next week!

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