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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 99)
February 17, 2003
Bin Laden Tape and Duct Tape Edition

Read it and weep: This is the 99th installment of The Top Ten Conservative Idiots — the last double-digit idiot list, forever. And what a great list it is. The Bush Administration appears in the top three slots, thanks to a cassette tape, some duct tape, and their reaction to the Blix report. Next we've got a pair of racists, Bill O'Reilly (4) and Howard Coble (5). Meanwhile, Tom Delay (6) is showing his hate for the working man. And we've got a pair of conservative idiot companies, Enron (7) and Viacom (8). Don't forget the key!

1The Bush Administration warmongering warmongering warmongering excessive spin excessive spin
It seems that the Bush Administration will grasp at anything in their effort to link Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. For months we've been treated to stories of al Qaeda members in Iraq, apparently on the theory that if one guy is somewhere in the country, then the only possible explanation is that he must be on his way to a secret meeting with Saddam. So we were all ears last week when the Administration told us of a tape which proved an "unholy partnership" between the two most hated individuals on the planet. Judge for yourself: According to a BBC Transcript, Bin Laden called for Muslims to join with Iraqis to fight against the Americans, which I guess might be considered a smoking gun if we didn't already know that Osama Bin Laden was a homicidal maniac who hates the United States. But I'm unconvinced. The fact that OBL chooses to root for Iraq in a war against the US should come as no surprise to anyone with an IQ higher than, um, what's Dubya's IQ? Incidentally, in the tape, Osama refers to Saddam and his socialist Ba'ath Party as "infidels" which, as far as I know, is not exactly a term of endearment in the world of insane fundamentalist Islamic fanatics.

2The Bush Administration (again) dumb
With the Orange Terror Alert in its second week, the Bush Administration is taking the lead against chemical and biological attack. Their newest anti-terror initiative: Duct tape and plastic sheeting. Imagine the surprise of the American people when they learned that billions spent on the war against terror could have been saved by a simple trip to Home Depot. The message to the American people was clear... This war on terror is your responsibility now, not ours. Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle was quick to point out that Americans need more than duct tape, and called for increased funding for Homeland Security, "If we're going to be providing the resources to our defense forces, as we should ... we ought to be willing to commit the resources to protect our own people." Indeed.

3The Bush Administration (yet again) warmongering warmongering
On Friday, Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix reported to the UN Security Council about what they've found in Iraq. Regarding weapons of mass destruction, Blix told the council, "One must not jump to the conclusion that they exist. However, that possibility is also not excluded," which is
diplomat-speak for "we haven't found anything yet." Not surprisingly, the Bush Administration seized on the part about the possibility being "not excluded" and declared that the lack of exclusion is proof enough of the existence of WMDs. (After all, two negatives make a positive, right?) Apparently, it doesn't matter what the inspectors say, because the U.S. and Britain are just going to cherry-pick the parts they like anyway. Full speed ahead for war in 5... 4... 3...

4Bill O'Reilly racism racism
It appears that Bill O'Reilly isn't just a hypocrite (see Idiots 98), he's also a bigot. On the February 6 program of "The O'Reilly Factor," while advocating the use of the military to control illegal immigration, O'Reilly referred to Mexicans as "wetbacks." O'Reilly insists that he was simply "groping for a term to describe the industry that brings people in here," and did not mean to disparage anyone. But it appears that this is not the first time he groped for this particular slur. Last it was reported that O'Reilly used the term at an event in Pennsylvania last January, where he was the featured speaker. You are about to enter a no-tolerance zone...

5Howard Coble racism racism
More than 50 years after the fact, you'd think almost everyone has come to the realization that the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was wrong.
But not North Carolina Republican Howard Coble, who has come up with a ridiculous new justification for it. On a North Carolina radio program, Coble indicated that that Japanese-Americans were interned for their own safety. Said Coble: "We were at war. They were an endangered species. ... For many of these Japanese-Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street." (Before I get to the main point, take note of the fact that Mr. Coble referred the Japanese-Americans as a "species.") Presumably he thinks that Japanese-Americans weren't capable of deciding for themselves how to protect themselves. Instead, they needed a benevolent government to kick them out of their houses and out of their jobs and send them to isolated prison camps surrounded by barbed wire. Just get in on the train... It's for your own good!

6 Tom DeLay excessive spin partisanship
What do Republicans do when they get busted for their hate-filled anti-union rhetoric? They try to weasel out of it, of course. Last week it was reported that Tom Delay signed a fundraising letter that questioned the patriotism of union members, and suggesting that they harm national security by asserting labor rights. After hard working, patriotic union members across the country cried foul, Delay showed some classic Republican "personal responsibility" and blamed a nameless staffer, calling the letter "sloppy." Judging by DeLay's response, it seems that the problem was not the sentiment expressed in the letter, but rather the "sloppy" way it was handled. After all, the letter was written for the Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, a notoriously antiunion organization that hates working people. Gee, I didn't mean to offend all those union members, I just wanted to show my support for an organization working to strip away the rights of union members everywhere.

7Enron greed
Enron, the posterboy for corporate responsibility, was back in the news last week, and it wasn't good. During a Senate inquiry into the now-bankrupt energy firm, we learned that the company managed to avoid paying any federal income taxes from 1996 though 1999. The Enron tax division would deliberately bend federal tax rules, using complex schemes to get around their obligations. Enron executives even resorted to outright bribery of tax officials with free meals, alcohol, tennis, tennis, fishing, and golf. Remember: These are the close friends of George W. Bush and the Republican Party. They question our patriotism because we oppose their war, but when the issue is fulfilling your financial obligations to the federal government, tax evasion is the American Way!

8Viacom warmongering
Viacom, the parent company of CBS and MTV, has refused to run an anti-war billboard sponsored by MoveOn.org. What could this billboard have possibly said that Viacom considered so offensive? Did it have pictures of mangled women and children? Did the ad say nice things about Saddam Hussein? Here's the full text of the ad: "Inspections Work. War Won't." Just plain text on a white background, no more, no less. See for yourself here. After the fact, Viacom made some lame excuse about deadlines and guidelines. Yeah, whatever. It's that damned liberal media again!

9 The House Republican Policy Committee warmongering dumb
Want some idea of how nuts some of these warmongering Republicans are? Consider a proposal by the House Republican Policy Committee, which would allow the U.S. government to initiate pre-emptive nuclear attacks against hostile nations with caches of biological or chemical weapons.
Apparently kicking Saddam's ass with conventional weapons is simply not good enough. They won't be satisfied unless we go nuclear. If these cretins have their way, the U.S. policy will be: "Weapons of Mass Destruction are really, really bad and nobody should ever use them, but we reserve the right to use them first even if the other guy doesn't do anything to us first."

10Michael Bloomberg cowardice cowardice dumb
And finally, when the city of New York was named as a possible target for terror attacks, Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged city residents to remain calm and continue on with their business. If only the Mayor had heeded his own advice. Rather than stay behind to provide leadership in a time of crisis, cowardly Mike figured it was a good time to get the hell out of town, and take a "vacation" to Florida. An employee at the Miami Beach Smith & Wollensky Steak House reports that Bloomberg and his friends "had a wonderful time" on Saturday night. Well, isn't that sweet. A thousand miles away from danger, it was a "Red Sunburn Alert" for the Mayor, who didn't use enough SPF 15 on his billionaire forehead. It was also a Yellow Coward Alert. See you next week.

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