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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 137)
December 8, 2003
Fake Turkey Edition

If you like holiday turkeys, we've got ten of them right here. The Turkey in Chief, George W. Bush (1), flew all the way to Iraq for perhaps the most expensive photo op in history. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh's (2) legal woes only seem to be growing, Diebold (3) suddenly learns the meaning of the First Amendment, and The White House (4) spins a colorful tale about a phantom airplane. We've also got a homophobic elementary school (5), a tongue-tied Defense Secretary (7), and a presidential brother (10) with an improbable sex story. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1George W. Bush photo-opping photo-opping
Massive props to George W. Bush this week for visiting Iraq on Thanksgiving. This exquisitely-planned publicity stunt photo-op was meticulously carried out, from skipping out on dinner at the pig farm under the noses of reporters, to George's keen interest in staying out of harm's way ("I was fully prepared to turn this baby around, come home"), to prancing around with an inedible turkey in front of the cameras for two and a half hours before, uh, flying home again. Through an amazing coincidence, Bush also managed to upstage Senator Hillary Clinton's official trip through Afghanistan and Iraq, where, unlike Our Great Leader, she didn't hide in a bubble, spent considerably more than two and a half hours on the ground, and met with soldiers, civilians, and members of Iraq's Governing Council. Come to think of it, Bush's "visit" was actually pretty lame. Not to mention the fact that if everything's going so great in Iraq, why did he have to make the trip in complete secrecy? Hmmm. It's okay though because despite the quagmire in Iraq and the huge deficit caused by the billions of dollars of taxpayer money we're currently throwing directly into the pockets of his campaign contributors, Our Great Leader has come up with an exciting new plan to brighten the nation's mood - by returning man to the moon. We're not entirely sure why he wants to do this - does he think Saddam's weapons of mass destruction are up there or something? Gonna find bin Laden holed up in a crater eating moon cheese? Tell you what though, to show his support for this massive endeavor perhaps George could volunteer to be an experimental chimp during the testing phase. That would be cool.

2Rush Limbaugh drugs excessive spin
Things just keep getting worse and worse for the King of the Dittomonkeys. Last week prosecutors obtained search warrants which enabled them to seize Limbaugh's medical records because they believe that he has been "doctor shopping." According to ABC News, "Doctor shopping refers to looking for a doctor willing to prescribe drugs illegally, or getting prescriptions for a single drug from more than one doctor at the same time." Reading from a statement by his attorney on his show last week, Rush defended himself saying, "What these records show is that Mr. Limbaugh suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication." Okay, let's talk for a moment about Rush Limbaugh and his back problem shall we? I've brought this up before but I think it needs to be reiterated: if Rush Limbaugh suffers "extreme pain" brought on by this back condition, what the hell is he doing playing in pro-celebrity golf tournaments like the American Century Championship? In an interview conducted during the tournament, Rush reveals how he can drive the ball 240 yards, and that he's played in many other pro-celebrity tournaments, including three appearances at the Bob Hope Classic (here's a picture of Rush in extreme pain - he's on the left) and one at the AT&T Pro-Am event. But apparently his "back problem" isn't Rush's only excuse - heck no. Believe it or not, Mr. Personal Responsibility is trying to place the blame squarely at the feet of - you guessed it - liberals. From his statement: "Unfortunately, because of Mr. Limbaugh's prominence and well-known political opinions, he is being subjected to an invasion of privacy no citizen of this republic should endure." Waaaaaah. Look Rush, we'll always forgive you for having an addiction - that's a tough road to walk. But you really need to start cutting down on the lies and hypocrisy or even your fans might figure out that you're full of shit.
(Incidentally, Rush sent his minions over to DU again last week. The last time he mentioned us on his radio show, the influx of dittoheads almost shut down the web server. This time they hardly registered a blip. He must be losing his touch.)

3Diebold election stealing unconstitutional
So the company that is in control of so many of our votes - the company whose CEO is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year" (see Idiots 124) - has finally caved in its attempt to squash the First Amendment rights of freedom-loving Americans. After the Electronic Frontier Foundation threatened to sue, Diebold retracted the threats it had made towards websites (including Democratic Underground) and ISPs who were hosting, or even merely linking to, the company's leaked memos. (The memos are quite something, and detail a staggering degree of incompetence at the company. You can read them here.) In a letter to the people it had threatened to sue, Diebold's president announced that they were backing off and then went on to make some pretty lame excuses for their behavior: "No company - whether an ISP, a software developer, or any type of company - wants its internal conversations openly broadcast, and I am sure your internal business correspondence includes information involving the unique capabilities and insights that you feel are important to the successful operation of your company. The correspondence between individuals within our company often contains information concerning unique software, features and capabilities that provide Diebold with a potential advantage in a competitive marketplace." A potential advantage in a competitive marketplace? Excuse me, these are our frickin' votes you're talking about here. Damn straight we're interested in what goes on behind the scenes at Diebold - and if you won't allow that, you have no business determining the outcome of public elections. In a related story, it was reported last week that Diebold's memos reveal that they would charge the state of Maryland "up the yin-yang" if Maryland wanted their voting machines to have the ability to keep a voter-verified paper trail - thus making it prohibitively expensive for the state to be able to double-check what Diebold are up to. Gee, I feel so safe knowing that our democracy rests in the hands of these scumbags.

4The White House excessive spin excessive spin
It seems that a favorite hobby of this White House is making things up, and Bush's 150-minute tiptoe through Baghdad International Airport gave them the opportunity to do just that. According to the Washington Post, communications director Dan Bartlett described the intense secrecy surrounding the flight thusly: "Air Force One had come within sight of a British Airways flight over water. The British Airways pilot, Bartlett said, radioed to ask, 'Did I just see Air Force One?,' and, after a pause, the Air Force One pilot radioed back, 'Gulfstream 5.' After a long silence, Bartlett said, the British Airways pilot seemed to realize he was in on a secret and said, 'Oh.'" Isn't that an exciting story? Well it would be - if it had actually happened. The next day British Airways reported to Reuters that none of their aircraft had contacted Air Force One during its flight. So the White House had to change its story: apparently the British Airways aircraft didn't contact Air Force One, it contacted air traffic control in London. Case closed. Except... that didn't actually happen either - British Airways and Britain's National Air Traffic Services both denied this second version of events. So the White House revised its story again, this time claiming that "the aircraft inquiring about Air Force One was, in fact, 'a non-UK operator,'" and that "The presidential pilots thought the query 'was coming from a pilot with a British accent, and so that's why they had concluded that it was a British Airways plane.'" Okay. And why is this such a big deal? Well, during a recent White House press briefing, Scott McLellan was quick to explain: "what we always try to do for you all in the press corps is to provide you a little color of important events, because we believe that's helpful to you for your stories, and to do your reporting to the American people." So there you have it, folks - finally, official proof that they just make stuff up and try to pass it off as fact.

5Ernest Gallet Elementary School homophobia homophobia
Hey kids, remember - it's good to tell lies. At least, that seems to be the conservative moral of Marcus McLaurin's story. Marcus - who is seven years old - got into trouble at school when another child asked him about his mother and father. Marcus explained that his mother is gay, and that gay means "when a girl likes a girl." Marcus wasn't lying - his mother is gay, she's divorced from Marcus's father and they live with her partner. But for telling the truth, he was scolded in front of his class, sent to the Principal's office, barred from recess, and ordered to attend "behavior clinic" where he was forced to write repeatedly, "I will never use the word 'gay' in school again." Congratulations, homophobic conservative wackos - you've outdone yourselves this time. But it gets even crazier - an assistant principal called Marcus's mother to explain that he was in trouble, and told her that Marcus had used "foul words" and that he "didn't feel comfortable" using them over the phone. I mean, for crying out loud, what's
wrong with these people?!? I guess the new method of preaching family values to seven year olds is to ridicule them in front of the class, tell them that their parents are evil, and make them write a pledge to never, ever discuss their family in school. Compassionate conservatism strikes again.

6Congressional Republicans dumb
Fresh from their victory over CBS in the battle to canonize St. Ronnie of Reagan, Republicans are at it again. This time the plan is to put The Gipper on the humble dime - replacing Franklin Roosevelt. Around 80 Republicans lawmakers have apparently signed on to this plan - a.k.a. "the dumbest and most pointless plan since invading Iraq" - although they do have a really great reason. Want to hear it? According to Rep. Mark Souder, "It is particularly fitting to honor the Freedom President on this particular piece of coinage because, as has been pointed out, President Reagan was wounded under the left arm by a bullet that had ricocheted and flattened to the size of a dime." Well holy crap, it's a miracle! Gee whiz, if it had flattened to the size of a nickel, I guess we'd have to put Reagan's head on the nickel instead. I mean, what the hell? Tell you what, why don't we all just tattoo Reagan's image on our foreheads, and then we'll never be able to look at another person without being reminded of all the great things he did. You know, like covertly selling arms to Iran in order to illegally fund the Contras, or training Osama bin Laden to fight insurgent warfare, or cheerfully turning a blind eye to Saddam Hussein's accumulation of WMD ingredients... that sort of thing.

7 Donald Rumsfeld dumb
Exciting news - Donald Rumsfeld has won a prestigious award! Yes, our Don is the proud recipient of the "Foot in Mouth" award, given annually by Britain's Plain English Campaign. The Rumster had to beat our some serious competition, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and his infamous "gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman" comment. But the Secretary of Defense came out on top with the year's most incomprehensible statement. Here it is in all its glory: "We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know." Brilliant!

8 House Republicans dumb partisanship
There's a new kind of game in Washington, and unfortunately it's one that the Republicans have been playing behind our backs for the last several years. Gone are the days of compromise and reasonable bipartisanship - as soon as George W. Bush walked through the door of the White House claiming that he would be a "uniter, not a divider" and that he would "change the tone" in Washington, Congressional Republicans have done whatever it takes to shaft the Democrats at every turn. And when I say whatever it takes, I mean whatever it takes. Take the recent vote on the Medicare Bill, for example, which eventually passed 220-215. I say "eventually" because after the regulation 15 minutes, House Speaker Dennis Hastert kept the vote open for a full three hours while Republicans tried to round up enough votes to win. But that's not the bad part. After the Republicans finally managed to beat enough of their team into lockstep - uh, I mean, gently persuade them to change their votes - it was alleged by several media outlets that at least one Republican had attempted to use bribery as a means of getting a congressman to change his vote. Apparently an "undisclosed Republican" told Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich) that "business interests would contribute $100,000 to help his son, Brad, succeed him" as congressman after Smith steps down in 2004. (Smith's son is running for the seat, and I'm sure $100,000 would be quite useful.) Rep. Nick Smith did the honorable things and turned down the offer - but the fact that it was made in the first place speaks volumes about the party in charge right now. Despicable.

9 An Anonymous Dittohead racism racism
Conservatives must be so proud that this country is back on the right track. Because now that Republicans control all the branches of government, they can get back to doing what they do best. Take this anonymous dittohead for example, who - presumably inspired by Rush Limbaugh's suggestion that Donovan McNabb is nothing but a product of that damn dirty liberal media (see Idiots 129) - has taken to sending threatening hate mail to black NFL players. According to Reuters, the letters said that "African-Americans should not be allowed to play professional football and earn stacks of money." Although I have a feeling that they might not have been quite that polite. Apparently the letters were often signed as "All Whites" or "Angry white women" - which is odd, since they should probably be signed, "Jethro. PS. Thanks Rush for showing me that it's acceptable to tell the TRUTH about black NFL players. You're my hero."

10Neil Bush sex sex
And finally, according to recently-disclosed legal documents, Bush-brother Neil admitted to "sex romps with women in Asia" as part of a deposition taken during his divorce from Sharon Bush. Well I never. But here's the funny part: apparently the women "simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and engaged in sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them." Isn't that incredible? Women just showed up at his door, he had sex with them, and then they just left. What a stroke of luck! According to the documents, Sharon Bush's lawyer was a little confused by this: "Mr Bush, you have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her." Neil's response: "It was very unusual." Yes, almost a little too unusual. Still, probably no point in asking too many questions about these strange women who just show up at your door, have sex with you, and then leave, eh Neil? There must be some perfectly innocent explanation! See you next week...

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots is now on the radio! The ieAmerica Radio Network is currently broadcasting "Cuckoo Conservatives" - excerpts from the Top Ten read by 30+ year radio veteran Dean Randall. Dean has worked in broadcast markets from the Midwest to the west coast including an overseas hitch in Wellington, New Zealand, and most of his radio experience was spent as a morning show personality. He is currently employed by a local ABC TV affiliate and is active in politics on a local, state and national basis. Dean says, "My liberal roots went down and deep early when my father hosted a Minnesota state DFL rally in 1961. Ever since I have had a keen interest in politics and the Democratic philosophy and history." You can drop him a line at - and don't forget to tune into the ieAmerica Radio Network to hear "Cuckoo Conservatives!"

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