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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 91)
November 18, 2002
The Idiots Are Back In Charge Edition

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Hoo boy, there's no denying that we took a beating on November 5. And now the Republicans have complete control in Washington DC, and it's entirely up to them to prove whether or not they can run the country. So let's see what they have in store for us, shall we? This is the first Top Ten after the election, and already the conservatives are cranking up the idiocy machine. We have The Army (1) who have far more important things than the War on Terrorism to worry about. We have Trent Lott (2) and Judie Brown (3) who have far more important things than women's lives to worry about. And we have Rush Limbaugh (4) who has far more important things than... um... the truth to worry about (not that you didn't know that already). Meanwhile, Janet's got a gun (5), Shawn's a dunce (7), John's your new Big Brother (8), and Sonny's a racist (10). As usual, don't forget the key.

1The Army homophobia homophobia helping the terrorists helping the terrorists
If you've been led to believe that George W. Bush's most important priorities are Homeland Security and fighting the War on Terrorism, think again. Last week it was revealed that nine linguists, including six who speak Arabic, have been dismissed from the military - because they're gay. Yup, it seems that there are more important things to do than fight the War on Terrorism, and discriminating against gays is one of them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a huge flap about the military not being able to translate September 11 warning messages fast enough? (See Idiots 73) And yet it's obviously more important to ensure that we don't have homosexuals subverting our troops. Unbelievable.

2Trent Lott anti-choice
Now that the Rugmaster is back in charge, what's his number one domestic policy priority? Well undermining a woman's right to choose, not to mention threatening the health and safety of pregnant women certainly seems to be up there at the top of his agenda. Lott made a vow last week to ban so-called "partial-birth abortion," a rarely-used third trimester procedure which is only performed when the life of the mother is seriously at risk. Of course, Lott is simply pandering to the Christian right who helped the Republicans secure their election victory. But he's also sitting at the top of the slippery slope towards a total abortion ban, and is trying to give a everyone a gentle nudge. Look out, 19th century - here we come...

3Judie Brown anti-choice anti-choice religious nut religious nut
And the right-wing Christian fundies - who are now expecting Bush & Co. to push through their extreme agenda - are even more frightening than the Mississppi Hair-Helmet. Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, says that a recent partial-birth abortion ban circulating the halls of Congress is "bogus." Why? Because it bans partial birth abortions except when the life of the mother is in danger. And since this counts for virtually all instances of partial-birth abortion, Brown says that lawmakers will have to remove this "loophole" or "this well-intentioned effort will not even save a single baby's life." Got that? For some reason the so-called American Life League is working to make sure that more mothers die during childbirth. Still, that'll teach them not to fornicate, right

4Rush Limbaugh lying
Conservatives must feel pretty comforted by the knowledge that they can listen to Rush Limbaugh and know that they're always hearing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And if they ever get into a sticky debate situation, they can always just put their hands over their ears and shout "DITTOES! DITTOES, RUSH! MEGADITTOES!" Anyway, we thought it was pretty funny to hear that Lard-ass had been complaining on his show a few weeks ago that the New York Times was supressing a pre-election Adam Clymer story which reported that Republicans were going to pick up seats in the House. Tsk tsk, that mean ol' liberal media, always covering for those rotten communist Democrats. Unfortunately it was later revealed that Limbaugh was in fact talking out of his enormous backside. See, the story actually did appear in the New York Times - on November 4, on the front page, in the top right-hand column - which the Times reserves for its most important stories. Well spotted, Rush. That must be "observational talent on loan from Mr. Magoo." And since we all know how much Rush hates liars, we were quite surprised to discover that the incorrect version of the story is still posted on his website. Nice job, truth-boy.

5Janet Rehnquist nepotism gun nut
Hey, remember when Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist exercised a little of that political muscle and got his daughter a cushy job as inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services? Well it turns out that - surprise - she might not have been the best person for the job after all. Who'd a thunk it? Apparently "agency whistle-blowers" have reported that Ms. Rehnquist has, for political reasons, pushed several well-respected senior managers out of their jobs. There are also allegations of "questionable travel, promotions and spending," according to Tampa Bay Online. But here's the best part - it appears that Ms. Rehnquist, who is not authorized to carry a firearm, has been keeping a government-owned handgun in her desk drawer. Why? I dunno - perhaps she was worried that one of those well-respected senior managers might suddenly go postal. Or that somebody might break in while she was working late. Or that she might be mugged while walking to the cofee machine. By the way - just in case you were wondering, the HHS inspector general is charged with ensuring that her department does not waste money or flout rules. Whoops.

6Alabama Schools just plain evil
Mention sex education or drug education to conservative parents and they'll probably throw up their hands and insist that teachers have no right to teach their kids this kind of stuff. It's outrageous, and it should be up to the parents to decide what their kids should and shouldn't be taught, not the schools. And yet, it's funny how that whole concept goes out of the window when the subject is not sex education, or drug education, but beating children until they're black and blue. For example, the great state of Alabama (state motto: "Two Banjos Duel As One") allows teachers to paddle children if they misbehave. Like Michaela Curtis's seven-year-old son, who was spanked so severely for picking his nose in class, that she had to take him to hospital. Remember that mother who was caught on camera smacking her kid around? Well that's all legal and above board if you're a teacher in Alabama. But that's not the worst of it - Ms. Curtis specifically instructed the school not to use corporal punishment if her son misbehaved, but unfortunately in Alabama the law says that a teacher can spank a student even if the parent says no. Oh yes, we're going back to the 19th century alright...

7Shawn Steel dumb
Shawn Steel, chairman of California's Republican Party (ha ha) had a few choice words to say about California's election results on the night of November 5. When asked on public radio station KPCC about the possible Democratic sweep of Sacramento offices, he responded, "Giving all power to one party invites nothing but tyranny and corruption... Everybody recognizes that." Nice words - but a tad unfortunate, because it was immediately pointed out to him that the Republicans had just achieved one-party control in Washington. Steel's response? "You've really got me caught in my own rhetoric." What a dumbass!

8John Poindexter unconstitutional
Here's a plan - let's create a gigantic database of all credit card, phone and travel records, email, websites, banking transactions... you name it. And then let's allow the CIA and the FBI to browse through them without a search warrant. And wait... I have a great idea to top off this whole venture - let's get a guy who was convicted of conspiracy, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and destroying evidence to be in charge of the whole thing! Who's with me? Anyone? Anyone?

9 The Bush Administration anti-environment
Okay, we've got discrimination against gays - check. Taking away a woman's right to choose - check. Beating children - check. Creating a Big Brother police state - check. It's been less that two weeks since the election - what other fantastic ideas can the Republicans come up with? How about getting rid of endagered species - that sound good to you? An environmental conference in Santiago, Chile, was "shocked" (although we're not sure why) to hear that the United States offer a plan that would "allow for a renewed international commercial trade in stockpiled elephant ivory within the next three years," according to the Environment News Service. The head of the United States conference delegation, Judge Craig Manson, admitted to receiving 12,000 emails within a 48 hour period objecting to a relaxation in the ivory trade ban. He said, "The United States continues to be strongly committed to African elephant conservation." And then added, "We just want to make it easier for people to chop off their tusks and sell them to the highest bidder."

10Sonny Perdue racism
And finally, the brand new governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue, seemed to be having a fine old time at his victory speech on November 5. Unfortunately a lot of people think that he might have gone just a little over the top. Perdue decided to draw a rather pathetic comparison to slavery when he celebrated the end of Democratic control of Georgia's government by echoing the words of Martin Luther King: "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we're free at last!" The fact that a large confederate flag was flying in the foreground as his speech started added more than a touch of irony to the occasion. Comments from Georgians ranged from "odd" to "cheap" to "disgusted" to "slap in the face." And now Perdue is making noises about returning Georgia's state flag to the old stars and bars. I think we'll go with "disgusted" and "slap in the face." See you next week...

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