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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 64)
April 22, 2002
Disco DeLay Edition

We couldn't resist putting Dancing DeLay on the cover this week, although there are more serious issues to probe. It seems that the Bush Administration's (1) commitment to democracy involves overthrowing elected leaders of foreign countries so that we can get cheaper oil. And Christie Whitman (2) is doing her best to cover up alleged misconduct at the EPA. But it's not all corruption and fraud this week - no sirree! Tom DeLay (3) shoots himself in the feet - that's dancing feet - and Trent Lott (6) blunders his way back onto the chart. Meanwhile Dick Cheney (7) is being made to look foolish by his own townspeople, and the White House (9) is rewriting history to make Dubya look a little less like an incoherent buffoon. Enjoy! (And don't forget the key).

1The Bush Administration greed excessive spin lying hypocrisy
Right, let's see if we can boil down the latest Bush Administration affront to democracy for you. First, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela (the fourth largest exporter of oil in the world) has serious problems with his country's oil industry, which causes prices to rise. Next, administration officials meet clandestinely with Venezuelan military leaders and opposition activists, including an oilman named Pedro Carmona. Suddenly, dozens of Venezuelan military personnel working in various embassies around the world return to Caracas without explanation. There is a military coup, and the pro-Bush, pro-oil Pedro Carmona is installed as interim leader. Hugo Chavez is sent to an island prison where he sees an American plane, which he presumes is there to take him into exile. Venezuela's neighbors denounce the coup, but the Bush Administration quickly recognizes the new government, announces that Chavez has resigned and calls his actions undemocratic. Much glee and rubbing of hands at the thought of all that lovely oil ensues. Surprise - two days later there is a countercoup and Chavez is reinstalled as President. George W. Bush's response? Sickeningly, to tell Chavez that the US had absolutely nothing to do with the coup, and that Chavez must "embrace democracy" if he wishes to be a successful president. Well, perhaps if Chavez didn't have a bunch of American cowboy oil barons helping the military to force his democratically-elected ass out of office, he could give that a try. Eh, George?

2Christie Whitman covering your ass quid pro quo anti-environment
The independent ombudsman has been doing a little digging into Christie Whitman' shady dealings at the EPA - he's performing an investigation into possible financial shenanigans between her husband John and environmental polluters. John Whitman is the managing partner of a venture capital firm controlled by Citicorp, a subsidiary of Citigroup - and Citigroup stock valued between $100,000 and $250,000 is listed in Christie Whitman's financial disclosure statement. Meanwhile, Citigroup is responsible for screwing up the cleanup of the Shattuck Superfund site in Colorado (they will pay $7 million towards the cost). The investigation into Whitman's dubious behavior at the EPA had remained under lock and key by the EPA ombudsman - that is, until April 12, when Whitman told the EPA inspector general to seize his files. Of course, Whitman is not at all desperate to prevent the files from becoming public. Not at all. That's why if she can't get her hands on the ombudsman's files through regular means, she intends to combine the independent ombudsman's office with the inspector general's office, which would essentially end the investigation. How very convenient! Still, it's good to see that she's avoiding even the appearance of impropriety, isn't it?

3Tom Delay dumb flip-flopping dancing
Tom Delay is no stranger to making dumb statements, but since this one has managed to piss off Republicans, we thought we'd better give it a mention! Faithful Tom was taking part in a question and answer session at a church meeting last week when he was asked where good Christians should send their kids to college. Now a good Christian would obviously know the answer to that, but all Tom could come up with was where not to send your kids - Texas A&M or Baylor. Now I know most people consider these schools to be quite conservative - but not our Tom, who has two very good reasons for holding a grudge against A&M and Baylor. First, his daughter, a 1995 A&M graduate, was shocked to discover students had sex in their dormitories (shocked I tell ya). Who would have thought it!? And second, poor Tom himself was a student at Baylor back in the Sixties - until he was kicked out for dancing. But thanks to the fact that an unknown person was taping Tom's remarks at the church meeting, word got around that Delay was bashing local colleges, and now his own constituents are upset with him. What a shame. In his defense, Delay issued a statement saying that he "strongly supports both schools," which is an unbelievably hypocritical flip-flop, even by his standards.

4The Pentagon partisanship partisanship partisanship partisanship
We've been hearing a lot of talk about "bipartisanship" coming out of the current Administration, particularly in regards to the War Against Terror. Democrats, for better or worse, have been acting in a bipartisan way, giving Bush and the Pentagon a great deal of leeway in how they prosecute the war in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the White House has not returned the favor, and has repeatedly treated Democratic concerns with outright contempt. So we weren't surprised to learn that since Bush took office, the Department of Defense has unceremoniously shit-canned a bunch of Democrats from influential Pentagon advisory boards that were supposed to be bipartisan. After the firings, the boards have 17 Republican members and only "a few" Democrats. Apparently Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld weren't satisfied to have the support of almost every prominent Democrat in the United States, and still felt the need to go on a fascist partisan purge. So much for bipartisanship.

5CNSNews.com and Phil Kent partisanship partisanship hypocrisy hypocrisy
Ever since Rep. Cynthia McKinney started calling for investigations into the events of September 11, she's been a prime target for right-wing nutcases. And last week the decidedly unfair and unbalanced CNSNews.com published a most excellent hack job linking McKinney to terrorists. Apparently McKinney received campaign contributions from members of the American Muslim Council and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) - CNSNews discovered this information at opensecrets.org and used it to attack McKinney. However, a quick search at opensecrets.org reveals that McKinney is not the only person these organizations donated to. The American Muslim Council donated twice as much money to Republican Dana Rohrabacher, and CAIR donated more money to Energy Secretary Spence Abraham than they did to McKinney. But this didn't stop CNSNews.com from publishing a smear-vehicle for Phil Kent, president of the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF). "If she had any shred of integrity, which I don't think she has, she'd repudiate these people," said Kent. "I'm wondering if she's going to give the money back. But I know she won't." We wonder if in the interests of fairness and integrity Mr. Kent will be making the same calls to Rep. Rohrabacher and Spence Abraham? Don't hold your breath, folks.

6Trent Lott partisanship dumb
What a loser! Fathead Trent's hopes have been dashed once again as his new Internet project was thwarted at stage one last week. With a flourish, "Bipartisan" Lott gleefully revealed his new website - www.disappointed.senate.gov - which was to poke fun at Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. (That's what we like to see - our leaders in Washington spending the taxpayer's time and money on sensible, mature projects to promote Senate unity.) But if only the Rugmaster had bothered to read the Senate rules, he would have discovered that "The use of Senate Internet Services for personal, promotional, commercial, or partisan political/campaign purposes is prohibited." Whoops! Now Trent is going to have to purchase a commercial domain instead. So keep your eyes peeled - we're sure the launch of www.partisan.wigboy.com is just around the corner.

7Dick Cheney dumb
Would you want your high school named after Dick Cheney? Fat chance! And funnily enough, not even the high school which Dick attended back in the 50s wants to be named after him. A businessman in Cheney's old home town of Casper, Wyoming, floated the idea of renaming Natrona County High School in honor of the vice pResident and was amazed by the flood of negative letters to the local newspaper. The Boston Globe reported that, "one alumnus, Alan Fenwick of Drums, Pa., remembered watching Cheney play football, and said: 'We stunk.'" (Hey - kinda like watching the administration in action!) Another Casper resident wrote, "My uneducated guess is that he has done more for Halliburton Oil and Texas than for Wyoming." Perhaps if Casper is seriously considering renaming its high school in honor of Cheney they should call it something more appropriate, like Hidey-Hole High, or Undisclosed Location School for the Scared, or something like that.

8House Republicans fiscal irresponsibility fiscal irresponsibility partisanship screwing the poor
It's clear that the last year's tax cut for the rich was an unmitigated disaster for the economy and the federal budget, which is once again running Reagan-style deficits. Under current law the tax cuts are set to start phasing out some time around 2010. So, here's a great idea, courtesy of Bush and the House Republicans: Let's make the tax cuts permanent! The House of Representatives voted to do exactly that, on a largely party-line vote. Talk about pure politics in the great Republican tradition. You see, it's not really a tax cut, and it wouldn't actually happen for nearly a decade, so don't start spending your refund just yet. Democrats fought the measure, which would require a raid on the Social Security Trust Fund. It's compassionate conservatism in action: Steal retirement funds from working people and hand the money over to undeserving rich people.

9 The White House lying lying
Bush's penchant for misspeaking is legendary. But strangely, in the official White House transcript, he always seems to get it right. According to the Washington Post, the White House has been systematically scrubbing speeches by Bush (and by his staffers) to expunge all of the made-up words, mangled syntax, and other instances general presidential stupidity. While in Bridgeport recently, Bush asked each American to volunteer "4000 years" and called the lieutenant governor of the state by the incorrect name. But in the official transcript, no mistakes. In Knoxville he got a hard time from some hecklers. Again, no mention in the transcript. In fact, the official record was edited when he called for a permanent extension of the estate tax (which he opposes), and it happened again when he made some bizarre comments about "devaluation" of the Japanese Yen. Even Ari Fleischer got scrubbed when he said that people "need to watch what they say." Of course, if you're a member of the Bush Administration, you don't need to watch what you say, because someone else can always clean up after you.

10 Alabama racism dumb
And finally, from the Dueling Banjos File comes a classic example of right-wing idiocy. Karen Taylor, a professor at Alabama State University, was pulled over and given a ticket for going 51mph in a 35mph zone. Fair enough. But then, in a fit of conservative small-mindedness, the cop proceeded to give Taylor a ticket for covering the word "Dixie" on her license plate. Alabama's criminal code requires that all license plates have a representation of a heart and the words "Heart of Dixie" on them - although one can't help but wonder if this was a simple case of Driving While Black. Taylor, an African-American, covered the word "Dixie" ten years ago to protest the song's racist heritage - she has paid the $118 speeding ticket, but is fighting the tag violation. Ain't it funny how conservatives are always calling themselves "defenders of freedom," when their idea of "freedom" clearly means government-enforced political correctness and bowing down to the Confederacy? See you next week!

« Number 63 Idiot Archive  Number 65 »

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