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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 76)
July 22, 2002
Triple Dubya Edition

George W. Bush hits the trifecta this week by placing first, second and third in the race for biggest conservative idiot. What a showing from our George! Dubya beats out Harvey Pitt (4) who may have trouble fitting his head through the door of his office - until he gets fired that is. Also lagging behind are House Republicans (5) who think that best way to deal with HIV is to sweep it under the carpet, and Senate Republicans (6) who think that Iran and Syria have the right idea when it comes to women's rights. Meanwhile Bill Simon (9) is doing his royal best to screw up his election chances in California, and Bernard Ebbers (10) is on a mission from God. Enjoy, and as usual, here's the key.

1George W. Bush unconstitutional
The Chimp's brilliant new idea for stopping terrorism is as ridiculous as it is frighteningly totalitarian. Bush wants to recruit up to 10 million Americans as part-time informants, to spy on their neighbors and report "suspicious activity." What a fantastic and not-at-all Orwellian concept! President Stupid even asked the US Postal Service to join his Stasi-esque scheme, but thankfully the USPS decided that the specter of mailmen snooping through people's correspondence was a little too ugly, and declined. Now Dubya will just have to rely on an army of cable guys, plumbers, cleaners, and anyone else who may enter your home for his sordid little snitch program. So the next time your sink gets blocked up, better keep that copy of "The Forbidden Truth" out of sight! You never know who might be watching...

2George W. Bush nepotism quid pro quo
More fun and games with Harkengate last week as billionaire George Soros, who owned one third of Harken Energy at the time, admitted that Harken bought George W. Bush's failed Spectrum 7 oil company because "we were buying political influence." Ah, the story of Dubya's life, it seems. Let some folks buy you a company, trash it, sell it to somebody who wants to suck up to your Dad, repeat. Now that's what I call hard work and responsibility. Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, if you will. But anyway, it turns out that when Soros was asked why Harken bought the ruined Spectrum 7, he was quoted as saying, "I didn't know [George W. Bush]. He was supposed to bring in the Gulf connection. But it didn't come to anything. We were buying political influence. That was it. He was not much of a businessman." Funny, he's not much of a President either.

3George W. Bush unconstitutional
We've said it before and we'll say it again - if the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, the simple solution is to take our freedoms away. And thankfully we have a simple President to put this plan in motion! Last week George W. Bush sought broad new powers to consolidate his iron grip on the galaxy... uh, I mean, fight the terrorists. These powers include presidential authority for transferring money without congressional approval (if you look at his business track record Bush has always been great at spending other people's money) and the possible domestic use of military forces (we have a feeling the Founding Fathers wouldn't be too keen on this). But it's okay, because we all have to make sacrifices to win this endless, shadowy war on terrorism. And if those sacrifices include giving the President absolute power to spend the people's money and deploy the full force of the US military against its own citizens, then so be it. God bless America!

4Harvey Pitt massive ego massive ego massive ego
It's official. In an administration where just about everyone seems to think he is a Bonfire of the Vanities-style "Master of the Universe," SEC Chief Harvey Pitt has earned the dubious distinction of being the most full of himself. Now that certain Clinton-era ethics laws have expired, Mr. Pitt has decided that it's time to get directly involved with cases involving his former clients from his days as a fat-cat Wall Street lawyer. (Never mind the fact that "ethical" is not a synonym for "legal." If it's legal, then it must be ethical, right?) Pitt offered this shameless bit of puffery (and please, set down your beverage before you read on): "it is an enormous advantage to the public to have somebody who knows about the securities business and the securities law as I do, and it would be unthinkable to deprive people of my expertise." Take another hit of that crack pipe, Harvey. It appears that there have been an awful lot of people thinking the "unthinkable" these last few weeks.

5House Republicans dumb
Republicans got their underpants in a knot when it was revealed last week that Sesame Street would address the worldwide problem of childhood AIDS by introducing an HIV muppet to the show. Somewhat predictably, GOP lawmakers denounced the scheme as inappropriate for young children. But it's okay - the makers of Sesame Street announced that the new character is only going to appear on the South African version of the show, where 1 in 9 people are infected with HIV and the GOP really doesn't care what goes on. And since we all know that those South Africans are only infected because they are either a) seriously lacking in moral fiber, or b) being punished by God for homosexuality, we can all rest safe in the knowledge that a lack of education has nothing to do with it, and American kids should simply grow up blissfully ignorant of the dangers of HIV. Excellent.

6Senate Republicans misogyny
Last week saw some dirty tricks from the Senate Republicans who shut down a vote on a 22 year old treaty which has been ratified by 169 countries. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee would have voted to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, but apparently some Republicans think that eliminating all forms of discrimination against women is not in their best interests. A lone Republican Senator (who wished to remain anonymous) invoked a little-known rule which forced the session to adjourn without voting. It's understandable that the GOP would want to quash this though - I mean, if you end discrimination against women, it's just a slippery slope to ending discrimination against blacks and homos. And we can't have that now can we? Only 22 countries have refused to ratify the treaty, including Iran and Syria. Nice to know that Senate Republicans are keeping us in the company of the "axis of evil."

7Paul O'Neill lying
We at Democratic Underground are constantly amazed at how important, powerful people - CEOs, company directors, etc. - seem to be either chronic amnesiacs or just plain dumb as a stump. There seems to be a never-ending line of top businesspeople who rose to the pinnacles of their professions without ever knowing what was going on with their company's - or indeed in their personal - finances. Take for example Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Now, you'd think that you'd have to have a pretty good memory and a head for numbers to get a job like Treasury Secretary - but apparently not! Last week O'Neill told the US Chamber of Commerce that "When I was at Alcoa I never sold a single share of Alcoa stock. I wanted my financial success and the company's success inextricably linked. Other executives should do the same." Noble words. So we're puzzled why O'Neill forgot that in April 1999 he dumped 662,547 Alcoa shares, worth $30 million. Did he just forget about the $30 million? Or was he lying to the Chamber of Commerce? Whichever way you look at it - amnesiac or dumb as a stump - he's not fit to be Treasury Secretary. And I thought the adults were back in charge...

8George Pataki crybaby
There's a whiff of politics in the air around New York City, and it smells like George Pataki. The Republican Governor was marching in this year's Dominican Day parade to boost his reelection campaign. Unfortunately, Governor Thin-Skin can't stand the idea of anyone else playing politics in his parade. When a group of jobless New Yorkers, some of whom lost their jobs because of 9/11, joined the parade to protest Pataki's lack of compassion for the unemployed, the governor's "visibly irked" campaign lackeys fired up their cell phones. Within minutes, the unemployed workers were surrounded by New York City police and herded off the parade route. But we think the Governor might end up regretting his mistreatment of the unemployed, considering that he could very well be out of a job this November.

9 Bill Simon dumb
It seems that Bill Simon is on a collision course with failure in this year's race for governor of California. First the San Francisco Chronicle, reported that the tax returns of his family's nonprofit foundation indicated that "a substantial amount of money earmarked for charitable purposes ended up at Simon's private investment firm." (See Idiots 71.) And now it appears that Mr. Simon's investment company used an offshore tax shelter which is now under investigation by the feds. Whoops! But it's not Bill's fault, you see - true to form, he's blaming it on his accountants. Wow. The responsibility. The accountability. The typical Republican response when caught doing something dubious - it wasn't me, somebody else did it! Incidentally Simon is still refusing to release his tax returns, which doesn't really help his case. But it doesn't really matter. After November, nobody will remember who the hell this guy is anyway..

10Bernard Ebbers religious nut hypocrisy
And finally, Bernie Ebbers, ex-WorldCom head honcho, makes another appearance on the chart this week after we learned that he is "relying on faith in God and expects to be vindicated in the $3.9 billion corporate scandal," according to the New York Daily news. I'm sure God is very impressed with Bernie's behavior. After all, does it not say in the Bible that the best way to get to heaven is to lie, cheat and steal? I think it does! Anyway, Bernie went on to score even more points with the Lord after he was subsequently overheard "spewing venom about regulators and his own board of directors." Just like Jesus would have wanted! See you next week...

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