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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 56)
February 25, 2002
Lying about Lay Edition

The conservative lies were laid on thick last week. And just about everyone in the right-wing disinformation machine was joining in the fun. In the top two slots, we've got the catchall "Lying Wingnuts" who have apparently given up even trying to base their Enron spin on anything even remotely resembling facts. We also learned that the safety and security of the Vice President of the United States (3) apparently wasn't that important after all. Religious fanatics in Alabama and Saudi Arabia take the fourth and fifth spots. Dubya (6) forgets about World War II, while Jeffrey Skilling (7) conveniently forgets, well, everything. And bringing up the rear, we've got John Fund, that paragon of conservative hypocrisy and family values. (Here's what those icons mean.)

1Lying Wingnuts lying lying lying Clinton hating partisanship
The Republicans' pathetic attempts to tar Clinton with Bush's oily Enron brush continue to backfire. The latest lie to be debunked involves the popular myth that Ken Lay slept in the Lincoln Bedroom while Clinton was president. The rumor apparently started in the Chicago Tribune, which published a story claiming that, "Lay was no stranger to the Clinton White House, playing golf with the president and staying overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom." Since then the story has been doing the rounds of the usual conservative trash-talk outlets. One problem - it's complete BS. Ken Lay never stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom while Bill Clinton was president - although he has stayed there before, courtesy of (wouldn't you know it) Poppy Bush. So sorry about that, conservative sheeple, but I guess that's what happens if you believe people like Rush Limbaugh and Fox "News." Oh wait, I forgot - they tell the truth. Ha ha!

2Lying Wingnuts, Part Deux lying lying lying partisanship
You want more? Okay, how about this. So far, the GOP's defense in the Enron scandal has been to pretend that Enron treated both parties equally - which, as you're about to find out, is complete horsefeathers. Aside from the fact that Enron donated significantly more money to the Republican party - and to George W. Bush in particular - than they did to the Democratic party, we also hear that Enron was secretly funding attack ads against Democrats. Newsweek reports that the bankrupt company routed more than $50,000 through Americans for Tax Reform (see Idiots 26) to a group called the 21st Century Energy Project. This group, headed by close friend of the Bush administration and conservative lobbyist Ed Gillespie, proceeded to run ads attacking the Democratic party. According to Newsweek: "The group briefly ran TV, radio and print ads attacking 'liberal elites' who were trying to depict Bush as a tool of his 'Big Oil buddies,' as Gillespie put it in a memo to colleagues. One ad pictured Carter-era gas lines under the headline REMEMBER THE '70S?" So much for Enron cozying up to the Democrats, eh? Don't worry, conservative sheeple, you can take your fingers out of your ears now. I'm done with this subject.

3Dick Cheney partisanship partisanship partisanship cowardice cowardice
Where has Dick Cheney been? Not doing his job, that's for sure. Aside from a handful of public appearances, the Vice Resident has been cowering in his undisclosed hidey-hole since September 11. At least, that's what we thought, until now. It appears that there was only one thing which could lure Dick from his bunker - the smell of money. According to Time magazine, he's been "the star attraction of at least three party fund raisers," since 9/11 - two of which came right after the government's monthly terror-alert on December 3rd. Isn't it nice to know that Dubya's second-in-command is too scared to show his face in public, unless it's to fill the GOP's coffers with wads of corporate cash? I guess when it comes to running the country, some things are just more important than others.

4Roy Moore homophobia homophobia homophobia religious nut religious nut
In case you occasionally forget which century you're living in, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is here to remind us. It's the nineteenth! Yes, the man who famously insisted upon putting a 5,800 pound monument to the Ten Commandments in the state Supreme Court rotunda (see Idiots 30) is positively overflowing with fundamentalist exuberance right now. Take the recent 9-0 state Supreme Court decision to award the custody of three children to their father, rather than their mother, for example. Since all fundies think that a woman's job is to cook, clean, and have babies until her uterus falls out, this woman must have done something particularly heinous, right? Yup - she's a lesbian. This prompted Mr. Chief Justice Fair-And-Impartial-Under-God to write in his opinion that the woman would be an unfit parent because homosexuality is "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature," not to mention "an inherent evil." Hey, he even quoted scripture to back up his argument! What more "proof" do you need in a court of law? Anyway, keep a close eye out for Roy Moore in the future - he's gotta be a shoo-in to replace Rehnquist.

5Saudi Arabia religious nut religious nut misogyny just plain evil
In Idiots 49 we noted that human-rights giant Saudi Arabia had beheaded three homosexual men for the crime of, um, homosexuality. And now our great ally in the fight for ever-increasing oil company profits - I mean, the fight against terrorism - is at it again. Last week a Saudi court sentenced a man to six years in prison and 4,750 lashes for having sex with his sister-in-law. But after sentencing the man, the "court" went on to sentence the woman to six months in jail and 65 lashes, even though they found she had not consented to the relationship. Why? They're fundamentalist whackos, of course. You see, the woman made one fatal error: she reported the crime to the police. Having sex with your brother-in-law is a very serious offense under Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic law. Even if he raped you.

6George W. Bush dumb dumb
During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush wanted to know why "if Al Gore invented the Internet, do all the addresses start with Dubya Dubya Dubya?!" To which, of course, the correct answer is, "Please stop it George, you're an embarrassment to yourself and to your country." However, it would appear that in the mind of our great resident "www" doesn't really stand for "World Wide Web" at all - it stands for "What World War?" Bush stepped before the Japanese parliament last week and announced that "for a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times. From that alliance has come an era of peace in the Pacific." Which, if you think about it, is absolutely true, if you don't count the bit between with them attacking Pearl Harbor and us dropping the bomb on them.

7Jeffrey Skilling lying lying covering your ass
Hey, remember when Jeffrey Skilling appeared before Congress and told them that he was having trouble sleeping because he was so worried about the decline in Enron's stock price? No? Well that's probably because he didn't. On February 7, Skilling testified that, "I did not believe the company was in any financial peril. ... I absolutely, unequivocally thought the company was in good shape." How strange! Because to hear Ken Lay tell it, you'd swear it was almost the complete opposite! I mean, why would Lay tell investigators that, "Skilling was taking Enron's stock decline personally and could not sleep at night," I wonder? Surely we don't have someone telling fibs here. I personally believe Skilling though. After all, who wouldn't trust a man who rose to the very top of one of the largest corporations in America, and then testified before Congress that he knew very few details of how the company was run? He must have been looking out of the window while those dull board meetings were going on.

8Tax-Dodging Corporate Bastards greed greed
While patriotism might be all right for the little people, it's certainly not that big a deal for the multinationals. A article in the New York Times last week makes note of the latest trend in legalized tax-dodging - incorporating in Bermuda. The best part of the deal is that corporations get to drastically reduce their tax burden while still being able to perform business in the United States. It's a win-win situation for the fat cats! According to the Times, "by moving to Bermuda, their income from outside the United States becomes exempt from American taxes. Also, when the American company borrows from its Bermuda parent, the interest it pays creates a deduction that reduces U.S. taxes, but there is no tax on the interest earned by the Bermuda parent." And while Joe Sixpack flies the Stars and Stripes from his pickup as he struggles to make ends meet, here's what Kate Barton, an Ernst & Young tax partner, had to say on the subject of patriotism: "Is it the right time to be migrating a corporation's headquarters to an offshore location? ... we are working through a lot of companies who feel that it is, that just the improvement on earnings is powerful enough that maybe the patriotism issue needs to take a back seat to that." How nice. Profits vs. patriotism: no contest.

9Stupid Headline Writer(s) dumb dumb dumb
Last week, the the US Supreme Court heard arguments regarding whether it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute the mentally retarded.
A story about the case hit the AP wire on February 20, and news outlets across the country published it. But somewhere along the line - either at AP, or at various news outlets - something went horribly wrong. An incredibly insensitive headline writer (or writers) gave the article this jaw-dropping title, which appeared on at least two websites: "Execution of Retards to be Reviewed." It would appear that the initial error belongs to the AP, while the idiocy assist goes to editors at the Austin American Statesman and the Las Vegas Sun, who either (a) didn't read the title, or (b) read it and didn't see anything wrong with it. Of course, they later scrubbed the headlines to get rid of the embarrassing and insensitive gaffe. But we've got the evidence right here and here.

10John Fund arrest hypocrisy
And finally: John Fund, the ultraconservative who famously and continuously attacked Bill Clinton for his lack of morals, managed to top the chart way back in Idiots 35 after it was disclosed that he had encouraged his pregnant ex-girlfriend to get an abortion. But Fund, who apparently considers himself to be a bit of an expert on the difference between right and wrong, managed to top himself last week - he was arrested and charged with assault. Turns out that he had a bit of a tiff with the aforementioned ex-girlfriend, Morgan Pillsbury, which resulted in a bruised leg for Morgan and a trip downtown for John. Tut tut. I'm sure it says somewhere in Mr. Fund's Conservative Values Handbook that kicking people doesn't solve anything. Did we mention that John is twenty years older than Morgan and used to baby-sit her? Of course, that was during the time he was banging her mom. Not that that's got anything to do with the assault charge of course, but we wouldn't want to leave anything out. See you next week!

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