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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 53)
February 4, 2002
Lays Down In The Gutter Edition

Top 10 Conservative IdiotsMake sure you have a box of tissues handy, because this week the Top 10 Conservative Idiots starts off with the Ken and Linda Lay's heartwrenching tale of personal financial tragedy. It's curtains for John Ashcroft (2), who is protecting the nation's C-SPAN junkies from sexual perversion. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush (3) illustrates the wisdom of compassionate conservative child-rearing, Ari Fleischer (4) engages in a little historical revisionism, and Anthony Kennedy (5) suddenly discovers the rule of law. And looking forward to the upcoming festivities in Salt Lake City, we can all be thankful for Generation Life (10) who teach all of us a lesson about the Olympic Spirit. (Here's the the key to the icons.)

1Ken and Linda Lay crybaby crybaby crybaby crybaby fiscal irresponsibility greed lying
My bleeding liberal heart bled even more profusely than usual last week. Why? Well, I was just so cut up by the plight of the poor Lay family, ex of Enron fame, that I could not help but shed a tear or two of pure, unadulterated compassion. It was almost enough to break one's heart when the resolute yet broken Linda Lay appeared on the "Today" show and announced that she and her husband Kenneth are struggling with personal bankruptcy. "Everything we had mostly was in Enron stock," bemoaned the dear lady. "We've had long-term investments and those long-term investments have cash calls. Virtually - other than the home we live in - everything we own is for sale." Can it be true? Can these unfortunate victims of mammoth corporate crime really be down to their very last sheep? Sadly, yes. It is with distinct displeasure that we must report that the Lays now own only ten houses, worth ten million dollars, which are not for sale. And in a staggering setback to the couple's finances, Mr. Lay will only receive a $25 million severance package from Enron. Finally, the real death-blow to the Lays is the fact that Kenny Boy only managed to relieve himself of 1.8 million shares of Enron stock for $101 million before his company tanked. We at Democratic Underground would like to express our condolences to Ken and Linda, and if anyone would like to donate to our "Lays Down In The Gutter" fund, please click here. You can be sure we'll pass the money along ASAP.

2John Ashcroft sex dumb
What a boob. John Ashcroft was left looking like a complete tit last week after failing to keep abreast of society's changing view of sexual modesty. To be fair, it's not difficult to see why a man living in the 19th Century, like our John, would be offended by a woman's bosom (albeit in statue form) hanging over his shoulder whenever he gives a speech in the DoJ's Great Hall - no doubt Mr. Ashcroft also covers up the legs on his tables at home, just in case they provoke promiscuous thoughts and tempt him to go out at night and "clean the streets" as it were. Now, for the select few of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the scoop: last week, our Attorney General decided that he was tired of being photographed in front of the statue of the "Spirit of Justice," in the Great Hall, because while the female form is clad in a toga, one of her breasts is exposed. Now clearly, this could offend nobody but the most zealous religious crackpot. Step forward John Ashcroft, who has decided to have the statue, along with its male companion, the "Majesty of Justice" concealed by curtains at a cost of $8,000 to the taxpayer. I suppose we could make a joke here about Ashcroft doing his best to cover up the Spirit and Majesty of Justice, but that would be a little intellectual. No, we'll just stick with the knocker jokes, thank you very much.

3Jeb Bush hypocrisy hypocrisy
"To suggest there should be no penalties for continued drug use is to stick our heads in the sand," pontificated Governor Jeb Bush back in August last year. Bush was at a luncheon honoring the 30th anniversary of the Center for Drug Free Living, and was trying to explain why Florida judges should not be forced to grant treatment or rehabilitation to non-violent first- or second-time drug offenders. "Prevention is the key to reducing drug abuse in our state," Bush said. "Preventing the illegal use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco among our young people now will save us a myriad of costs later - social, economic and, of course, human." Hmm, yes... well, perhaps if Mr. Bush hadn't had his "head in the sand" he might have been able to "prevent" his own daughter, Noelle, from being arrested for illegally attempting to obtain the prescription drug Xanax last week. Now, according to Leon County State Attorney William Meggs, fraudulently obtaining a prescription is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. But Meggs went on to say, "The most likely course in this case is probation or drug court," And apparently, if she goes to drug court, "she most likely would be placed in a rehabilitation program or in counseling with drug testing." Funny, I thought that was the complete opposite of what her Dad has been advocating. Guess Jeb just wants to put other people's kids in prison for non-violent drug offences.

4Ari Fleischer excessive spin excessive spin dumb
Just when you thought Ari Fleischer couldn't talk any more crap, he comes up with a humdinger so immense that you could orbit satellites around it. In the most extravagant and nonsense-filled defense yet of Dick Cheney's refusal to hand over energy documents, Fleischer tried this one on for size: "the very document that protects our liberties more than anything else, the Constitution, was of course drafted in total secrecy.'' Yes folks, Ari is comparing the White House energy policy to the Constitution. Well, I mean, you can see the similarites, can't you? One guarantees freedom, the other guarantees large profits for Dubya's corrupt buddies. Interestingly though, delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were, in fact, publicly identifed. So if you follow Ari's "the more secret, the better" train of thought to its logical conclusion, you realize that while the Constitution is really great and all, the energy policy must be EVEN BETTER! What on earth could they have been discussing in those meetings? Cold fusion? A plan to teleport the human race to some kind of Star Trek-style paradise planet? I'm sorry, but they can't tell you, because, you see, that would spoil the whole thing. Schroedinger's Cat would be rolling in its grave, um, if you could tell whether it was dead or not.

5Anthony Kennedy hypocrisy hypocrisy election stealing election stealing
The shameless hypocrisy meter has jumped off the scale again folks - the latest offender is one Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Felonious Five. Apparently Kennedy has completely forgotten his role in one of the most disgraceful legal rulings of recent times, and has been expressing his concern over the lack of "moral outrage" expressed by students after September 11. "I thought this [the WTC attack] was an attack on the rule of law," said Kennedy, presumably without a trace of irony. The Supreme Court Justice is setting up a program to teach students about "fundamental values and universal moral precepts" - hmmm.... you mean, like, for example, not completely flip-flopping on the Equal Protection clause and your previously-held positions on states' rights so your boy can "win" an election, and then saying that your ruling shouldn't actually set any precedent because it's, um, complete horseshit? Remember kids - if you lack "moral outrage" over such "attacks on the rule of law," well, you're simply letting the terrorists win.

6Tommy Thompson anti-choice anti-choice excessive spin excessive spin flip-flopping
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson wins the "Most Ridiculously Transparent Spin of the Week" Award. Last week, in an uncharacteristically magnanimous move, the Tommy Thompson announced to the Conservative Political Action Conference that pregnant women would be eligible for prenatal care under a government health care program for children. Never mind that conservatives have been steadfastly opposed to government health care programs for children; everyone at the Conference thought this was great news. All it took was a tiny little uncontroversial regulatory change that makes an "unborn child" eligible for care. Of course, when the eeevil liberals wondered aloud why the administration didn't just extend benefits to "pregnant women" instead of "unborn children," the Sanctimonious Blowhard from Wisconsin was shocked that anyone would question his motives: "All we're doing is providing care for poor mothers so their children are going to be born healthy ... How anybody can now turn this into a pro-choice or pro-life argument, I can't understand it." Well, gee, Tommy, I sure can't believe it either. I guess I'm just so surprised that the conservatives have embraced government health care all of a sudden. Perhaps if we had re-classified adults as "post-born fetuses" then we could have passed the Clinton health care bill.

7George W. Bush photo-opping
Well, we don't have much to say about George W. Bush this week, but we did find this photograph which we thought looked eerily familiar. So here's Dubya doing his best impression of a certain mustachioed German dictator, circa 1938. See if you can guess who it is! (For additional fun, try turning the Freedom Corps logo 90 degrees counter-clockwise.)


8Rudy Giuliani sex sex
Just in time for Valentine's Day, we hear that Rudy Giuliani has had his mistress Judith Nathan named to the board of directors of New York's Twin Towers Fund. Aww... how sweet. Now they can gaze into one another's eyes during board meetings. We hope he's careful though, because among the other 14 friends, supporters and/or former employees that Rudy has named to the board is none other than he of the wandering hands, hunky European sexual-harrassmaster Arnold Schwarzenegger (see Idiots passim). Perhaps Rudy had better have a quiet word in his ear, if he can reach it.

9Enron greed greed fiscal irresponsibility lying
Well, well, well. It appears that our friends at Enron have been covering up more than just losses over the last few years. They've also been under-reporting their lobbying expenses to Congress - by almost half. The, um, discrepancy was discovered when a private group which "tracks money in politics compared Enron's lobbying filing to Congress in August with congressional filings by outside lobbying firms," according to the New York Post. Apparently the firms were paid $1.6 million for the first half of 2001, but Enron reported spending only $825,000. Hmm... wonder where the rest went? Perhaps the GAO should hurry up with their lawsuit before Dick Cheney gets Shred Fever. I wonder if it's worth mentioning at this point that one of Enron's chief lobbyists, right up until last month, was Marck Racicot - head of the RNC? Nah, probably not.

10Generation Life dumb sex
And finally: Ladies and gentlemen, it's official - there is opposition to condoms at the Olympics. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee announced last week that the Olympic village would be stocked with 12,000 condoms, and guess what - Christian conservatives are upset about it. No, please, I know it's a surprise, but there's no need to stand up. This is not the first time that Christian conservatives have gotten their ecclesiastical panties in a bunch over - and I'm going to whisper it now - sex. You see, according to Brandi Swindell, director of the anti-abortion and stick-your-nose-in-other-people's-business organization Generation Life, the Olympics should be about "virtues, like the spirit of unity and sportsmanship, not recreational sex, not even safe sex." Got that? The Olympics are not, repeat, NOT about sex! You see, Ms. Swindell is of the opinion that condoms actually cause people to have sex, as if the very presence of those little square packets is some kind of aphrodisiac. The sad irony is that while Ms. Swindell believes that the Olympics are about the spirit of unity and sportsmanship and not about uninhibited sexual intercourse, she has failed to notice some of the new events in this year's Olympic program, such as Short Track Speed Shagging, Freestyle Snowboning, and of course, the Biathlon. See you next week!

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