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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 81)
August 26, 2002
Biblical Spanking Edition

Some top quality shenanigans in the world of conservative idiocy force Dubya from his number one position this week, although the Chump-in-Charge does manage two more entries this week at numbers 4 and 10. But this week's top slot is reserved for Jerry "Biblical Spanking" Regier, Florida's new head of the Department of Children and Families. Nice. Nudging up against Jerry Regier's mudflaps we find Bob Barr (2) to whom we can only say, "You lost! Get over it!" And man, does it feel good to say that. Elsewhere, Judy Woodruff (5) is now having her TelePrompTer fed directly from the White House - no, she really is - and the head of Miami-Dade's Christian Coalition, Antonio Verdugo (8), is just a big ol' fraud (allegedly). Enjoy, and as usual, here's the key.

1Jerry Regier religious nut religious nut
Florida's Department of Children and Families managed to get on the list last week (see Idiots 80), and now their new boss has made it on - in his first week on the job. Last week Jeb Bush named Jerry Regier to be the new head of the DCF. Hours later it was revealed that Mr. Regier had previously made some, shall we say, "insane" comments. See if you can guess which ones they are! A) ''biblical spanking [that leads to] temporary and superficial bruises or welts do not constitute child abuse.'' B) Christians should not marry non-Christians. C) Wives should view working outside the home as ''bondage.'' D) The ''radical feminist movement has damaged the morale of many women and convinced men to relinquish their biblical authority in the home.'' The answer? Yep - it's all of them of course. The man who is to be charged with the welfare of Florida's children and families thinks that keeping your woman indoors and beating your kids is just the right thing to do.

2Bob Barr hypocrisy partisanship crybaby Clinton hating gun nut massive ego pandering
And so farewell, Bob Barr, conservative idiot extraordinaire, gun safety expert, Reagan bootlicker, Clinton-hater and professional congressional crybaby. We must admit that it brought little tears to our eyes when Bob Barr lost his primary race last week. Well, not really. But still... who could forget when Bob almost literally shot himself in the foot (Idiots 79)? Or when he threatened to hamstring Washington's DC's public transport system if they didn't change the National Airport signs to Ronald Reagan National Airport (Idiots 11 and 47)? Or when he tried to sue Bill Clinton for "emotional distress" after that whole messy impeachment business (Idiots 72)? Yes, Bob Barr was one of the greats. We shall miss him. But Bob, don't be a stranger! Just because you can't be a congressman any more doesn't mean that you can't still be a conservative idiot!

3The Pentagon dumb helping the terrorists
So, this war with Iraq should be a "cakewalk," right? Well you'd think so if you listened to the buzz coming from the Bush administration and the military. There's no denying that we have the mightiest fighting force in the world (um, except Bush & Co. told everyone it was completely useless during the 2000 presidential campaign). So it's interesting to note that General Paul Van Riper, ex-head of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, quit his job as commander of the "enemy" forces after the recent Millennium Challenge 2002 war game. See, the war game was touted as proof that the military's "new war-fighting concepts" are the best thing since sliced civilians. Not so fast. According to Riper, "It was in actuality an exercise that was almost entirely scripted to ensure a Blue (friendly forces) 'win.'" For example, at one point Riper's tactics managed to "sink" most of the Blue team's naval forces, resulting in the Blue team having to stop the game, "refloat" the fleet and, um, start again. So there you go - military tests out new war strategies, military fixes results, and surprise! - new war strategies work out just great. Now let's go kick Saddam's butt!

4George W. Bush hypocrisy hypocrisy
When Bill Clinton let his pals stay at the White House, Republicans almost shit a brick. So what do they have to say now that the White House has released a list of George W. Bush's overnight sleeping buddies? They are surprisingly quiet. Hmm. Funny that. But see, there's a big difference. Turns out that while Clinton opened the doors to friends, donors and Hollywood celebrities, Bush has only welcomed, um, friends, donors and bad country-and-western singers. Big, big difference there. Bush's chums must have had quite a free-for-all though, because according to the Washington Post, "administration officials didn't know if any of the guests slept in the Lincoln Bedroom." They didn't know? How can that be possible? Didn't they have to make the bed? Or clean up? Or did the guests do that themselves and then sneak out unseen? Eeew! Maybe the sheets haven't been changed yet!

5Judy Woodruff excessive spin excessive spin partisanship
Well, if you didn't already have the evidence, here's proof that CNN really are mere whores for the Bush administration. According to the Associated Press, more than 1,000 protesters showed up to demonstrate against George W. Bush when he appeared in Portland, OR, last week. There were scuffles and arrests when some of the protesters broke through barricades, tear gas was fired, and the whole thing was quite a mess. So how did Judy Woodruff report this incident? After spouting off for a while on Bush's California agenda and his support for Bill Simon, Woodruff told the nation that "according to our White House sources, this is the same small group of protesters who follow the president around the country." And that, ladies and gentlemen, was that. According to our White House Sources? Is that what passes for journalism these days? Just wait for the White House to hand you today's spin, and then read it word for word on the air? Absolutely despicable.

6Tulia, Texas racism racism racism racism racism
Here's an outrageous story brought to you by Bob Herbert from the New York Times. Herbert has recently thrown a great deal of light onto a disgusting incident which happened three years ago in Tulia, TX. On 23rd July, 1999, police rounded up and arrested on drug charges 40 black people from a shanty area of Tulia known locally by whites as "Niggertown." The local newspaper reported the incident the next day with the headline "Tulia's Streets Cleared of Garbage." The UK Independent reports that, "police found no money, no weapons and no trace of illicit drugs of any kind at their houses. There were no fingerprints on the drugs that had been seized. The authorities subsequently failed to produce any photographs, tape-recordings or other concrete evidence that the alleged drug trades had taken place at all." So why were the vast majority of those arrested convicted (by all-white juries), and are now serving sentences, some for up to 434 years in prison? The answer lies in a clue given by Tom Coleman, the dimwitted officer responsible for all the convictions, (whom coworkers have referred to as "a compulsive liar"). In an interview, Coleman admitted to freely using the word "nigger" because he didn't think it was "as profane" as it used to be. See? Perhaps the right-wing are actually correct, and we really have eliminated racism in America after all!

7Funtua, Nigeria misogyny religious nut religious nut just plain evil
And while we're on the subject of hatred, check out this doozy from Nigeria. A conservative Muslim court in Funtua last week sentenced a woman to death by stoning for... wait for it... having a child out of wedlock. But it's good news for her! She won't be brutally battered to death until she has weaned the child, which could take two years. Meanwhile, international human rights agencies are, of course, outraged. We just want to know one thing: does the father of the child get to cast the first stone?

8Antonio Verdugo religious nut homophobia homophobia arrest
What Would Jesus Do? Commit election fraud of course! Antonio Verdugo, head of the Miami-Dade Christian Coalition, was arrested last week for allegedly forging hundreds of signatures on a petition which forced a referendum on gay rights. The Miami-Dade Christian Coalition wants to overturn the law which protects gays and lesbians from discrimination in housing and employment, so they decided the best way to go about it was to break some other, less important laws. After all, God hates homosexuals, right? So he must have wanted them to do this. So really, if you look at it like that, they weren't really breaking the law after all. Or something. Well, Mr. Verdugo will have plenty of time to ponder this theological conundrum - if convicted he faces up to five years in prison.

9 John Hostettler misogyny misogyny anti-choice anti-choice
So, is there anything that Republicans hate more than abortion? If John Hostettler is any indication, it would appear that they hate women even more. It seems that fundies across America have latched onto a thoroughly discredited so-called "study" suggesting that women who have abortions have a higher rate of breast cancer. So, when a group of breast cancer survivors came to Rep. Hostettler's office to discuss funding for breast cancer research, the idiot from Indiana began insinuating that the women must have all had abortions. This, of course, fits with the warped and bigoted conservative viewpoint that God inflicts illnesses (breast cancer, AIDS) on groups of people that they do not like (women who have abortions, gays). Of course, prostate cancer and impotence are just random occurrences that imply no Divine intervention.

10George W. Bush dumb
Run, George, run! Apparently the war on terrorism has done wonders for Dubya's track times. Says he, "It's interesting that my times have become faster after the war began. They were pretty fast all along, but since the war started I have been running with a little more intensity." Hey President AWOL, perhaps it reminds you of the last time you got close to a war and those running instincts kicked in! But that's not all. Bush went on: "And I guess that's part of the stress relief I get from it. The psychological benefit is enormous. You tend to forget everything that's going on in your mind and just concentrate on the time, distance or the sweat." Imagine that - Bush forgetting everything that's going on in his mind. I'm amazed that he can pull off such a feat of mental discipline. See you next week!

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