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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 70)
June 3, 2002
Cover Your Ashcroft Edition

Our friend John Ashcroft manages to leap from number three last week to number one this week. Why? Because he's dismantling the Bill of Rights! Good work, John. John beats out his own boss, Dubya (2) who this week shows off those famous foreign policy skills. And not far behind are John Boehner and Steve Chabot (4), who would like children to grow up to be just as S-M-R-T as their president. The evil beast from hell, um, I mean, Katherine Harris (5) makes a comeback this week, and Dick Cheney (6) figures that George isn't sending the economy down the crapper fast enough so he'd better lend a hand. In the rear we have more Bill of Rights bashing from the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (8), and finally Jerry Tingle (10), a Dubya wannabe whose doctorate fell off the back of a truck. Enjoy! (And as usual, don't forget the key.)

1John Ashcroft unconstitutional unconstitutional
John "Big Brother" Ashcroft is watching you. Last week the Bush administration gave itself a collective woody and announced that the Fourth Amendment was toast. See, apparently the FBI needs "broad new powers to monitor Americans," according to Yahoo News, and John Ashcroft is salivating with excitement now that he can spy on websites, libraries, churches and political organizations without needing any evidence of criminal wrongdoing - oh, providing the goal is "detecting or preventing terrorism," of course. Civil liberties organizations are concerned that these new powers will mean a return to the civil rights abuses of the 60s and 70s, but apparently the government has promised that it won't, which means there's nothing to worry about. So if John Ashcroft is reading this, we'd just like to say: Luv ya, John! You're the man! You crazy whacked-out unconstitutional power-hungry psycho!

2George W. Bush dumb dumb dumb dumb
President Brainiac was on top form last week as he demonstrated his extensive knowledge of furriners. During a meeting with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Bush's synapses misfired like a tailpipe stuffed with a Dan Quayle potatoe. Perhaps he was looking for ways to bond with Cardoso, perhaps he was simply paying too much attention to the voices in his head, but Bush suddenly asked the Brazilian president, "Do you have blacks, too?" As Cardoso gibbered with confusion, Condoleezza Rice gently explained to Dubya that yes, they have blacks in Brazil. Probably more than in the US in fact. In a display of overwhelming generosity, Cardoso said later that when it came to Latin America, Bush was still in his "learning phase." Perhaps cokeboy should just go back to preschool and start all over again.

3John Ashcroft (again) election stealing election stealing covering your ass covering your ass
It was a little more than a week ago (May 21, to be exact) that Ashcroft's Department of Justice declared they were going to file suit in three Florida counties, charging voting rights violations in the 2000 presidential election. If you thought the news was too good to be true, that's because it was. By the middle of last week, the DOJ had already begun making excuses for people they were supposed to be suing. On May 28, the DOJ declared that there was (
surprise!) no credible evidence that any Florida residents were intentionally denied voting rights in 2000. Apparently this is not going to be a particularly vigorous legal action on the part of the DOJ. If they do uncover any wrongdoing at all, my guess is that they will miraculously discover a previously unknown stash of 50,000 Bush votes which had been "misplaced" in the office of a loyal Republican member of the board of elections.

4John Boehner and Steve Chabot dumb religious nut
Reps. John Boehner and Steve Chabot of Ohio last week urged the Ohio Board of Education to ensure that students understand that there are alternatives to the "controversy" of evolutionary science, according to the Washington Post. Yes, proponents of the completely unscientific "Intelligent Design Theory" (which basically says that if you can't figure why something happened, Superman must have done it) are crawling out of the woodwork to let children know that when in pursuit of scientific knowledge, there are more important things than facts and evidence. Intelligent Design Theory is nothing more than Creationism dressed up as science, except without the need for all those pesky scientists. So hats off to John Boehner and Steve Chabot - tirelessly working to ensure that we nurture a generation of kids with the critical thinking capability of George W. Bush.

5Katherine Harris election stealing excessive spin
Ding dong, the witch isn't dead - she's busy getting ready to move to Washington when her braindead constituents hand her a landslide victory this November. But in the meantime Ms. Harris is also occupying her time writing a book all about how brave and honorable she was in the 2000 election fiasco. Vomit-inducingly titled "Center of the Storm: Practicing Principled Leadership in a Time of Crisis," the book will apparently feature "previously unknown anecdotes" (which we're sure will be hilarious) and according to CNN will "focus on the leadership principles Harris drew upon during the process." Well if Harris's example of "leadership principles" is anything to go by, we're sure the book will be a useful manual for anyone who wants to take away the people's right to vote, bend over and obey one's political paymasters, and basically do the complete opposite of what is right and moral. We think a lot of Republicans will buy it.

6Dick Cheney fiscal irresponsibility fiscal irresponsibility
Let's face it - the country was much better off when Dick "Undisclosed Location" Cheney was cowering in his hidey-hole. Why? Because while he was in hiding he obviously figured that Dubya's tax cut wasn't doing enough damage to the economy, so he's now taken to trying to wreck it all by himself. How so? Well, on May 20, Yahoo News reported that the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 123.58 points after Cheerful Cheney's vague terrorist warnings over the previous weekend. Two days later, they reported that the Dow Jones had lost 247.37 over the previous two sessions, after "warnings from the FBI and Vice President Dick Cheney each of the past three days." And what's this? On May 29 Yahoo News again reported that the Dow had fallen, this time by 58.54 points. Why? Because "more corporate red flags flew over the market, alerting investors to weak profits and yet another government probe into corporate accounting, the latest inquiry involving oilfield services giant..." - can you guess who it is? Of course you can! - "...Halliburton Co." Dick, for the love of Zod, get back in your hidey-hole before the dollar collapses!

7Donald Carty greed
Never mind September 11 - airline execs can feel those hefty profits slipping through their fingers and something must be done. Step forward Donald Carty, chief executive at American Airlines, who suggested last week that "It will be a hollow victory indeed if the system we end up with is so onerous and so difficult that air travel, while obviously more secure, becomes more trouble for the average person than it is worth." Hmm, yes... although I think most people would find it less onerous to stand in line for an extra thirty minutes than to be slammed into a building at 450mph.

8Bethesda Chevy Chase High School unconstitutional
If you think First Amendment Zones are bad news, be thankful you're not still in high school. Condoleezza Rice will be speaking at the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School on June 4, and school administrators are threatening to ban students from the ceremony if they continue to plan a protest. One fourth of the senior class signed a petition against Rice, and now the administration is demanding that the student government write her a letter of apology. Apparently a sympathetic teacher has also come "under fire," according to IndyMedia DC. Welcome to Bush's New America! Please check your First Amendment rights at the door...

9 Dick Armey booze dumb
What's a Member of Congress to do? You've got a group of junior-high-schoolers visiting Capitol Hill, and you're afraid of looking like a geek. Dick Armey's got a great way to look hip to the *Nsync set: Ask the kids if they drink alcohol. But Armey doesn't give the kids any of those dorky just-say-no lectures. No way. Here's a report from The Hill newspaper: "As his young listeners saw it, the question gave Armey the aura of being one very 'cool' congressman. One 13-year-old, Mike Ayers, said he felt that Armey brought up the subject of booze to connect with them and to 'relax us a little so we donít act like retards.'" Well done, Dick. I can just hear the kids now: "But mom, Dick Armey says alcohol is cool..."

10Jerry Tingle dumb lazy lying
And finally, Jerry Tingle, Republican candidate for the Alabama state Senate, is a very smart man. He must be - he has a PhD in biomedical engineering from LaSalle University, graduating magna cum laude. But wait - that's not the respected LaSalle University in Philadelphia, no sir. This is LaSalle University in Mandeville, LA. Which isn't so much a university, per se, as a "diploma mill," according to the FBI. Yes, it turns out that Jerry's doctorate was obtained from a university which was not accredited, whose five-member faculty held one bachelor's degree between them, and whose owner, James Kirk, pleaded guilty to fraud and admitted that he swindled students for $36 million. He's a smart guy, that Jerry Tingle. So, to sum up - that's not a real school, not a real doctorate, and not the James Kirk. See you next week!

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