Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 78)
W. Bush (1) is clearly the man for the job when it comes to
cleaning up crooked corporations, since he already knows all
the dirty tricks in the book. And Dick Cheney (2) is not just
his faithful number two in the administration - he's nudging
up behind Dubya on the list this week as well. Meanwhile Paul
O'Neill (4) is single-handedly destroying Brazil's economy,
Rick Perry (6) is going straight for the personal attack ads,
and Bill Simon (8) seems absolutely determined to lose the
California governor race. Finally in last place we have a
certain special someone who is very dear to our hearts, making
a great big foul up in a most amusing manner. Enjoy! And here's
Well, well, well. The dripping tap dripped a little more last
week after it was revealed
that our oh-so-patriotic responsibility president moved part
of his company overseas to avoid paying US taxes. Back in
1989, while Bush was on the board of directors of Harken Energy,
Harken set up an offshore subsidiary in the Cayman Islands
- exactly the kind of behavior that President Do As I Say,
Not As I Do has been decrying recently. But wait - there's
a fantastic excuse! Ready? According to the New York Daily
News a Bush spokesman said that "the offshore company
did not save any taxes because it failed to find oil or make
a profit." Got that? Dubya didn't do anything wrong,
see, because he ran the company so badly that he didn't have
a chance to screw the American taxpayer! Is that a
Grade A excuse or what? Kinda like telling the police to let
you go because you made such a loud noise breaking into somebody's
house that you didn't have a chance to steal anything. Absolutely
brilliant! Interestingly, the White House also claimed that
Bush opposed the deal. Unfortunately for them, documents obtained
by the Center for Public Integrity prove that statement to
be complete and utter horsefeathers.
Integrity, George. Remember that?
During the 2000 campaign, Bush and Dick were insistent that
if they were elected they would run America like a corporation.
Well they weren't elected, but lo and behold, they're running
America like one of their corporations anyway - straight into
the ground. Fresh reporting
by the New York Times reveals that during his tenure
as CEO of Halliburton, Dick Cheney oversaw mounting debt and
screwed shareholders out of millions of dollars by buying
a company which had massive asbestos lawsuits filed against
it. Of course, he ended up rich from the deal and then walked
away to leave the mess behind him. Sound familiar? Dick's
explanation is that, well, he didn't know about it. Or, er,
it was somebody else's problem. You know, the typical "Responsibility
Our Dubya was on top form again last week, spewing nonsense
phrase after mispronounced syllable at a photo-op with King
Abdullah of Jordan. First, Bush expressed his "furity"
at Middle Eastern terrorists, and then went on to attempt
to cause his very own international incident by declaring
that "we must collectively get after those who kill in
the name of some kind of false religion." All good stuff
for the red-blooded, ham-fisted, meat-beating patriots out
there, but not so impressive for the millions of peaceful
Muslims whose religion President Dickhead had just denounced.
And so much for the First Amendment, eh? It seems that the
president now gets to decide which religions are "true"
and which are "false." But anyway, the White House
backpedaled furiously hours later, with Ari Fleischer coming
out for the umpteenth time this year to explain that what
Dubya said was, in fact, not what he meant. Surprise. Here's
some audio of the comment (if you can stand to listen to the
Chimp's voice for four and a half minutes).
Paul O'Neill likes to think of himself as George W. Bush's
financial Metatron. It's just that his boss isn't quite as
infallible. And neither, it seems, is O'Neill, who last week
managed to cause all kinds of financial distress in Brazil
by making some rather foolhardy
comments about Brazil's monetary mismanagement. After suggesting
that Brazil should enact sound policies "so that [aid]
does some good and doesn't just go out of the country to Swiss
bank accounts," Brazil's currency promptly lost 5% of
its value, as panicking traders worried about the impact O'Neill's
statement would have on a potential IMF loan. Amusingly, O'Neill
is supposed to visit Brazil this week - but it's looking increasingly
likely that he will have to get on his hands and knees and
crawl all the way there.
Let it never be said that Republicans like to profit from
the victims of terrorism. Except, of course, when there's
evidence that they do like to profit from the victims
of terrorism. Last week Rep. John Conyers of Michigan launched
an investigation into one of John Ashcroft's best buds, St.
Louis attorney Charles Polk. According
to Yahoo News, Polk "recruited about 120 survivors and
victims' relatives" of the Oklahoma City bombing after
telling them that he would win them government payments -
for a modest fee of 27.5% of course. Conyers wrote to Ashcroft
recently saying that he was concerned that Polk "attempted
to use his close relationship with you and your staff to profit
from Oklahoma City bombing victims." Ruh-roh! And now Polk's
disgruntled ex-partner, James Helenthal, alleges in a lawsuit
that "Polk told him in March that Ashcroft had encouraged
the venture to help Oklahomans." Oh dear. Looks like
yet another compassionate conservative looking to get rich
quick from the misfortune of others. Dare we say - typical?
Are there signs that Dubya's replacement as Texas governor
is getting a little desperate? Rick Perry launched
a new ad campaign last week accusing his opponent, Democrat
Tony Sanchez, of allowing drug dealers to launder $25 million
through his savings-and-loan back in 1983. All very meaty,
except for the fact that the IRS, two federal judges and the
Justice Department all "totally exonerated'' the bank.
It's somewhat ironic that George W. Bush's excuse for Harken
is that it is "ancient history," yet now Rick Perry
is trying to dredge up a 20-year-old non-story and turn it
into a campaign issue. Still, that's Republicans for you.
They're sick of the politics of personal destruction. They
only want to talk about the issues. Know what I'm saying?
Sullivan and David Myers
We were so proud of ex-WorldCom top execs Scott Sullivan and
David Myers last week, as they demonstrated the beauty of
unbridled, unregulated capitalism by being arrested and led
away in handcuffs. Sullivan and Myers were charged
with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud,
and filing false statements so that they could hide a $3.8
billion loss from investors. Nice. As they were led away,
the pair could distinctly be heard calling out, "Don't
blame us! It was Bill Clinton's fault! If he hadn't gotten
that blowjob we would never had committed securities fraud!
Listen to Rush, he'll tell yooooooooooouuuuuu!!!!"
Republican candidate for California governor Bill Simon seems
determined to shoot himself in the foot painfully and repeatedly.
Last week the Sacramento Bee reported
that Simon claimed that he had "always conducted [his]
business with the highest ethical standards" in his November
ballot pamphlet. Unfortunately for him, a jury found his family
business liable for fraud last week. Oh, and let's not forget
the allegations that Simon's company defrauded the US Postal
Service between 1995 and 1999. Yes folks - it's just another
Republican who just wants to govern the people like he conducts
his business. Run away! Run away quickly!
Here's a tale which would be comedic if it wasn't also somewhat
disturbing. Turns out that we've been bombing in the wrong
place - the Al Qaeda terrorist camps have been here in the
US all along. Last week, detectives from Britain's Scotland
that they suspected that Muslim militants were training at
an anti-terrorism camp in Alabama, "to take advantage
of America's gun laws." And how did British detectives
figure out what the owners of the anti-terrorism camp (called
"Ground Zero USA") failed to spot? Could it have
had something to do with "bullet-riddled police cars
and a school bus with mannequin targets" scattered around
the property, and a huge shed containing "shot-up mannequins,
male and female, in domestic settings, some with red, blood-like
stains on them." Hmmm...
And finally: Katherine Harris has resigned! Hoorah! But don't
get too excited. The brown-nosing Bush-enabler has merely
thrown in the towel as Secretary of State so she can run for
Congress in Sarasota. Booo. Funnily enough though, her resignation
letter had a retroactive date of July 15 on it. Why? Because
she "misunderstood the rules about when she had to quit
to run for Congress." Whoops! Can you believe that? And
our Katherine is such a stickler for rules and regulations.
out that under Florida law, one is supposed to file a
resignation letter on the same day that one becomes eligible
to run for Congress. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune says
that, "It's unclear what impact Harris' actions could
have on her run for Congress," but seeing how Katherine
is so intent on punishing people who "make mistakes"
under the election law she is sworn to uphold, you can bet
she'll be publicly flagellating herself in the streets of
Sarasota next week. Or not. See you next week!
a Conservative for Next Week's List