Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 52)
Clinton Surplus ... Bush Deficit Edition
week we celebrate the joys of fiscal irresponsibility. Why,
here's George W. Bush (1), topping the list for managing to
get rid of the Clinton Surplus within a year. Good job, George!
We also have Arthur Andersen LLP (2) - ready, steady, shred!
And look, here's Jeb Bush (5), who, by any Congressional Republican's
definition, is raising taxes in Florida. Meanwhile,
fundamentalism is creeping elsewhere on the list, with the
Penryn Police Department (4) deciding that it's Christian
to strike, and Pat Robertson (9) deciding that you're next,
San Francisco. Bwahaha! Finally, we're pleased to note that
George W. Bush (8) has made it onto the list twice this week,
since we can't figure out whether he's more comfortable sitting
behind the wheel of a combine harvester or driving the economy
into the ground. Enjoy! (Here's the the key
to the icons.)
Back when those fiscally-irresponsible, big-government, tax-and-spend
liberals ran the show, the federal government was running
yearly budget surpluses stretching into the future as far
as the eye could see. Oh, what a difference a year makes.
After the Bush Recession and the Bush Massive Tax Giveaway
to the Rich, we now have the Bush Deficit. To be exact: the
$127 billion surplus of 2001 has morphed
into a $106 billion deficit for 2002. The Washington Post
called it "the swiftest plunge in the nation's fiscal health
in a half century." That's worse than Bush I, and even worse
than Mr. Budget Deficit himself, Ronald Reagan. In fact, no
lesser authority than the current White House budget director
said that the budget would be in deficit for the rest of
President Bush's term. So conservative ditto-monkeys,
repeat after me, slowly: "Clinton Surplus … Bush Deficit …
Clinton Surplus … Bush Deficit … Clinton Surplus … Bush Deficit."
There. How does it feel to have your entire economic worldview
come crashing down in only one year?
Two weeks ago we reported that the accounting firm Arthur
Andersen LLP had destroyed documents relating to it's client
Enron. Since then it has become clear that this wasn't just
a routine house cleaning, but rather an orchestrated effort
to cover up the truth. It turns out that just two days
after Enron announced publicly that the Securities and Exchange
Commission was mounting an informal investigation of the company,
an Arthur Andersen executive issued a frantic
memo demanding that employees work overtime in order to
shred Enron documents. This revelation came as David Duncan,
the Arthur Andersen exec who handled the Enron account, refused
to testify before Congress about his role in the affair. In
another strange coincidence, it would seem that Nancy Temple,
an attorney at Arthur Andersen, sent out an email shortly
before the infamous shredding memo, reminding employees about
the company's oxymoronically-named "document preservation
policy," which (conveniently) calls for a whole lot of
document desecration, ifyouknowwhatimean. Hmm. It makes
me wonder what the "document preservation policy"
is over at the White House.
The Boo-Freaking-Hoo-Of-The-Month Award goes to Army Secretary
Thomas White, a former Enron executive who last week revealed
that he had suffered "significant personal losses" since the
company went into bankruptcy. Wow - then surely Secretary
White can relate to all the poor bastards who toiled for Enron
for years before losing their jobs and their retirement savings!
Why, he certainly can. I mean, sure it's true that White received
$12.1 million when he was forced to sell his Enron stock before
taking office last year, but do you have any idea what
the cost of living is for a man with a seven-figure bank account
these days? Goodness, there's the payments on that nice new
Jag, Beluga caviar doesn't come cheap, and since 9/11 it's
been practically impossible to hire illegal immigrants,
you know. But despite the hardship he must be facing, Secretary
White is putting on a brave face. Responding to an inquiry
from Henry Waxman about his recent contacts with Enron, White
wrote, "The nature of both conversations was a concern on
their part for the impact that the bankruptcy of Enron may
have had on my personal well-being. My response in both cases
was that I had suffered significant personal losses, but that
I would persevere." Woof. Thank goodness that our great army
is led by a man of such fortitude, strength, and courage-under-fire.
Penryn Police Department
So it seems that the police can now pick and choose whom they
will serve and protect. Last week Police Captain Robert Fichtorn
of Penryn, PA, announced
that his eight-man force would not be directing traffic at
the local YMCA triathlon because - hold on to your hats -
the club reads Harry Potter books to children. "I don't feel
right taking our children's minds and teaching them (witchcraft),"
said Fichtorn. Oh, well, that's fair enough then! Yep, no
need to actually do your job or anything like that. Kinda
makes you wonder what will happen next... can we expect to
see the Penryn PD refusing to assist Jews? What about atheists?
Or will Robert Fichtorn only come to the aid of upstanding
members of the community who go to church once a week, hang
the Ten Commandments from their rear-view mirrors, and only
engage in sexual intercourse for the purposes of procreation?
Incidentally, about 600 athletes will compete in the triathlon,
although that number is expected to swell to around 1,200
after you take looters into account. See you there!
For the last few weeks, President Bush has been slamming Democrats
in Congress, saying they want to "increase taxes" because
some of them had the gall to suggest that perhaps we should
put the tax cuts on hold for a bit until we get our economic
house in order. Strangely, he hasn't been slamming his own
brother or three other Republican governors
for doing exactly the same thing.
It would seem that poor Jebbie bit off a little more than
he could chew with his own compassionate conservative tax
cut, and has created a miniature sunshine-state version of
the (above mentioned) Bush Deficit. When (surprisingly) Florida's
books didn't balance, Jeb did what he had to do. USA Today
says he "signed a bill depriving Floridians of $128 million
in tax relief promised through mid-2003." Hey, wait a
minute, that's not Jeb's money! That's the taxpayers' money!
How can he raise taxes like this simply because the economic
health of the state is at stake? It's irresponsible!
Not that this is any big surprise, but Ari was caught
blowing smoke all over another big issue last week - we still
find it incredible that he can get away with such blatant
bullpoop, but there you go. Ari's latest indiscretion comes
courtesy of some pointed questioning about Ken Lay's access
to the president. "The President thinks that access should
be across the board," answered Ari. "And that's why the Sierra
Club, for example, as you know, met repeatedly with the energy
task force." Well, uh, not quite, actually. You see,
Ari forgot to mention that the Sierra Club wasn't allowed
to meet with anyone from the White House until after
the energy policy was written and released, and even then,
they were prevented from meeting with the full energy task
force. Meanwhile Ken Lay was treating Dick Cheney like a cheap
hooker, and the White House was busy writing "Enron" into
every line of its energy policy. Which was really smart,
wasn't it? Ah yes, Ari, when all else fails, simply compare
the Sierra Club to Enron. That's bound to work every
time. You chump.
And while Ari may be as predictable as ever, here's
a story which took us completely by surprise. If you recall,
Linda Chavez was given the boot before she could be confirmed
as Secretary of Labor, because, um, Dubya found out that she
was employing an illegal alien as a live-in housework slave.
Shortly after that, Chavez appeared on CNN to bemoan her booting
and show what a compassionate conservative she was. "I think
organized labor, I think quite mistakenly, somehow thought
that I was going to be their worst nemesis," she told Wolf
Blitzer. "I think I would have actually been very helpful
in trying to bridge a gap that exists between the Republican
Party and organized labor." Funny then, that a recent fundraising
letter from Chavez says that "big labor has a radical socialist
agenda." And in the letter, Chavez recalls that after she
was nominated, "members of the media were calling me Big Labor's
Worst Nightmare. And they were right!" Wow, didn't see that
one coming, didja?! Chavez goes on to compare labor boss John
Sweeney to Osama bin Laden, and then complains that "labor
pulled out all the stops to defeat my nomination," which is
odd, considering her nomination didn't even get to the Senate.
Linda darling, you really must stop letting that little housework
slave incident slip your mind, otherwise you sound like you're
blaming other people for your own problems. How very un-Republican
of you. Anyway, it sort of makes you wonder about all the
nice things that people like John Ashcroft and Gale Norton
said in their confirmation hearings, doesn't it? Because
if Linda Chavez's example is anything to go by, we're all
in very, very deep doo-doo.
W. Bush (again)
A vicious struggle with a killer pretzel was clearly not enough
to knock the wind out of George's sails. Shortly after the
now-infamous snack food incident, our great president took
of a John Deere farm machinery plant in East Moline, IL. Seemingly
unfazed by the nasty scrape (bruise? rug burn? dog bite? Laura
bite?) Bush was clearly delighted by the enormous combine
harvesters. According to wire reports, "he spent several minutes
honking the horn and flashing the lights on one of the company's
trademark green and yellow combines." Now, we understand that
Mr. Bush may have been interested in a little horse-play for
the cameras, but several minutes? Surely that's the
behavior of a man with a serious problem! And
just in case you need further evidence that the most powerful
man in the world seems to be reverting to childhood, we recommend
that you study the following photograph closely...
Mad Pat is at it again. First he informed the world (or at
least, that very select and mentally-challenged part of the
world which watches and enjoys the "700 Club") that the attacks
on America were all the fault of gays, atheists, and abortionists.
Then he tried to back away from the statements, saying that
his remarks were "inappropriate." But obviously not inappropriate
enough, because Pat has wheeled them out again. On the "700
Club" recently, Robertson, referring to terrorists, said that,
"I do believe that San Francisco is going to be a target of
these people." Yeah, yeah. San Francisco is going to burn
in hell, blah blah blah. You know, you'd think Pat would have
figured out last time that blaming terrorism on gays is really
not a very good idea. Still, when you've got a direct hotline
to God (and, it would seem, Al Qaeda's advanced planning team)
then I guess you just can't be wrong.
F. Daigle, Jr.
And finally, here's
an interesting little story from Norwich, CT. A police officer
named James Daigle, Jr. - who also just happens to be chairman
of the Republican Town Committee - has been put on paid leave
for taking topless pictures of women who had volunteered to
take part in underage drinking stings. On at least three separate
occasions, he apparently
told the volunteer that he had to take the pictures to show
that they weren't carrying identification or wearing a wire.
Oh, and then he paid them $30 not to tell anyone, so it was
all obviously aboveboard and perfectly normal behavior. Hmmm.
Put this together with the accusations that Daigle was drinking
on duty while taking part in some of these stings, and you
definitely have one of the finer examples of modern-day compassionate
conservative morals and values. See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List