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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 78)
August 5, 2002
Offshore Edition

George 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 the key.

1George W. Bush excessive spin excessive spin fiscal irresponsibility screwing the poor lying covering your ass hypocrisy
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?

2Dick Cheney screwing the poor fiscal irresponsibility
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 Era" answer...

3George W. Bush dumb dumb excessive spin religious nut
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).

4Paul O'Neill fiscal irresponsibility fiscal irresponsibility fiscal irresponsibility
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.

5Charles Polk screwing the poor
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?

6Rick Perry excessive spin hypocrisy
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?

7Scott Sullivan and David Myers arrest fiscal irresponsibility
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!!!!"

8Bill Simon dumb dumb dumb lying
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!

9 Ground Zero USA helping the terrorists dumb
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 Yard revealed 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...

10Katherine Harris election stealing covering your ass dumb excessive spin hypocrisy hypocrisy hypocrisy
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. Turns 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!

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