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The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 95)
January 13, 2003
Death and Taxes Edition

Happy new year! So what's in store for 2003? In a nutshell: the economy, war, war, racism, war, racism, corruption, and of course, war. And what do these things all have in common? Conservative idiocy of course! Kicking off the new year in style is George W. Bush, cracking the chart twice this week for his great new tax giveaway to the rich and his ridiculous assault on civil liberties. Dubya's administration also manages two spots (for war, and, uh, war). Meanwhile the GOP racists are back in full swing, represented this week by Charles Pickering (4) and Bill Back (5). Elsewhere we find Robert Mueller (6), David Laven (8), Thomas Kean (9), and Donald Rumsfeld (10) all doing terrible, terrible jobs. This week we also have a new feature, Idiots At Large, which highlights other conservative transgressions of the previous week. Enjoy, and don't forget the key.

1George W. Bush fiscal irresponsibility fiscal irresponsibility screwing the poor screwing the poor
George W. Bush has unveiled his so-called "economic stimulus" plan, and it looks more like a plan for economic disaster. Here's the deal: Tell everyone that you're trying to stimulate the economy as a cover for your real agenda, which is to give another massive tax break to the rich people who bankrolled your campaign. The centerpiece of the Bush plan is a huge tax cut on dividends, which (surprise!) substantially favors the affluent. According to the Tax Policy Center, people earning more than $316,895 a year would on average save $13,243 in taxes, while people earning $21,350 would save just $47. Big bucks! And remember that budget surplus we had during the last presidential administration? Well, you can forget about it. By some estimates, the Bush tax plan would increase the deficit to $350 billion next year, a new record. It's fiscal responsibility, Republican style!

2The Bush Administration warmongering warmongering
It's war! And if due to some unforeseen circumstance it's not war, then don't worry - it's still war! Last week UN weapons inspectors announced that since they restarted their hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, they had not yet found a "smoking gun" (or "steaming test-tube," presumably). But it's okay - the good news is that Dubya is going to bomb those rotten oil-hoarding brown people back to the stone age anyway. Why? Because according to Colin Powell, we don't actually need a smoking gun. And why don't we need a smoking gun? Because according to Ari Fleischer, we know "for a fact" that Iraq has WMDs. Well I'm glad Ari knows for a fact. I guess it would be cool if he would share the information with the rest of us. So let's recap: brown skin... check. Lots of oil... check. Weapons of mass destruction... sure - they've got 'em, probably, somewhere, right? After all, Dubya's daddy and Ronnie Reagan sold them a bunch back in the eighties, so they must still have some lying around, yeah? But there's no need to get bogged down with details, fer chrissakes! Lock and load! Fire in the hole! Fox three! Kablammo!

3The Bush Administration warmongering
Meanwhile, as Bush prepares his enormous penis extension - uh, I mean, the U.S. military - to go to war in Iraq, trouble is afoot elsewhere. Rogue nation and founding member of the Axis of Evil North Korea is growing increasingly bellicose, last week dropping out the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But don't worry, since North Korea hasn't got any oil a diplomatic solution is preferable to war. It's just a shame that the diplomatic solution is two years too late. The BBC last week slammed the Bush administration for North Korea's actions, citing a "policy of military options against proliferation" and "the collapse of sanctions on India and Pakistan for their nuclear testing." And don't forget that as well as pulling out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia, "the Bush administration initially withdrew from the political process with North Korea designed by former President Bill Clinton, and which had rolled back but not entirely removed North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes." But what the heck - the BBC is just a bunch of foreigners so we don't really have to listen to what they think anyway.

4Charles Pickering racism
It's like deja vu all over again, with a heaping pile of racism thrown in for good measure. Last year Bush nominated Charles W. Pickering Sr. to a seat on the US Court of Appeals, and he was later sent packing by Democrats in the Senate. Not only was Pickering an extreme fringe right-wing judicial activist, but he had also intervened to reduce the sentence of two racists who had burned a cross and fired shots into the house of a mixed-race couple. (See Idiots 54.) Whoops! Now that the Republicans have taken control of the Senate, George W. Uniter-Notta-Divider Bush decided to nominate Pickering and a bunch of other former rejects again. I guess all that mumbo-jumbo about "inclusiveness" during the Trent Lott fiasco was just a bunch of Rovian posturing. It seems that the real lesson Bush learned was that his party's senators are mostly a bunch of racist cretins who, rather than censure Trent Lott, would just as soon put a Trent Lott clone on the federal bench.

5Bill Back racism
I think it's about time they stop referring to the GOP as the "Party of Lincoln," as many of them seem to harbor a secret Confederacy fetish. And the Lott situation notwithstanding, not all of these neo-Confederates live in the old Confederacy. Take Bill Back, vice chairman of the California GOP, and candidate for the state party's top job. Back in 1999 (before Trent Lott made racism uncool) Mr. Back emailed to party members an article by Bill Lind of the Center for Cultural Conservatism. Here's a sample from that article, courtesy of the Associated Press: "Given how bad things have gotten in the old USA, it's not hard to believe that history might have taken a better turn. ... The real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won." You read that right folks -- According to these people, slavery didn't damage race relations, the end of slavery did.

6Robert Mueller dumb
With us or against us? Marion Bowman, an FBI supervisor who denied a search warrant against Zacarius Moussaoui before September 11th, was given a presidential citation and a fat cash handout last week, reported to be 20-30 percent of his annual salary. According to the Associated Press, Bowman was recommended for the award by FBI boss Robert Mueller for "efforts to attract within the FBI a staff of attorneys to examine diverse and highly complex issues for which little or no formal legal education has been available." Well when you put it like that, I suppose it's easy to overlook the minor matter of jetliners crashing into buildings all over the eastern seaboard. Good job

7George W. Bush unconstitutional unconstitutional
Good news - it won't be long before we win the war on terror! After all, how will terrorists be able to hate us for our freedoms if we don't have any freedoms left? A federal appeals court ruled last week that Our Great Leader George Wonderful Bush has the authority to "designate US citizens as 'enemy combatants' and detain them in military custody if they are deemed a threat to national security," according to CNN. Well isn't that just fabulous! So how do you feel, living in a country where the president has the power to arrest anyone and lock them up indefinitely without trial? I'm sure that this is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind! Mind you, those supposedly-Constitution-worshipping conservatives probably think that this is a marvelous development, since now we'll be able to get all those horrible brown-skinned people out of the way without a fuss...

8David Laven unconstitutional
While we're on the subject of deteriorating freedoms, check out this story from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. An eighth-grade student was recently punished by his teacher, David Laven, for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in his US history and constitution class. And when the boy presented his teacher with a packet of information about students' rights, Laven threw the materials into a trash can and said he didn't care what the law is. Good to see that students are learning all about what it means to be an American in their constitution classes, isn't it? Salute the flag or else, and screw the law. Yep, that's what this great nation is all about! The Founding Fathers would be truly proud of teachers like David Laven.

9 Thomas Kean helping the terrorists
So... who could be the best possible person to replace Mr. Corrupt himself, Henry Kissinger, as head of the 9/11 commission? How about someone who is actually in business with relatives of Osama bin Laden? Surely no conflict of interest there! Here's how it works:
according to the Centre for Research on Globalisation, the Saudi Arabian company Delta Oil is owned in part by financier Khalid bin Mahfouz. Bin Mahfouz's sister is married to Osama bin Laden, making them brothers-in-law. Meanwhile, Thomas Kean is a director and shareholder of Amerada Hess Corporation, which is involved in the Hess-Delta joint venture with... Delta Oil. So in a nutshell, the man who is in charge of investigating bin Laden's role in the September 11th attacks is also sitting on the board of a company which has business dealings with a company owned by bin Laden's brother-in-law. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along, move along...

10Donald Rumsfeld dumb dumb
The man who would lead us courageously into war (from the rear) decided that it would be a good idea to demean the contribution of Vietnam War draftees last week. Speaking at a news briefing at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld announced that the government would not be reintroducing the draft for a war against Iraq. Why? According to Donald the Brave, "If you think back to when we had the draft, people were brought in; they were paid some fraction of what they could make in the civilian manpower market because they were without choices. Big categories were exempted - people that were in college, people that were teaching, people that were married. It varied from time to time, but there were all kinds of exemptions. And what was left was sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months, and then went out, adding no value, no advantage, really, to the United States armed services over any sustained period of time." No real value? Why don't you try telling that to the families of the draftees that make up 75% of the Vietnam memorial? Dumbass.

Idiots At Large
And finally, here's a brief look at the rest of this week's conservative idiots. Alabama failed a gun-control survey... Ariel Sharon faces allegations of bribery and fraud... Three people were indicted for plotting to kill Timothy McVeigh's judge... Ari Fleischer won't say how many felons are on the White House staff... Fairfax County police are breath-testing and arresting people for being drunk - in bars... the Bush administration is on the verge of exempting up to two-thirds of the nation's waterways from federal rules that protect them from pollution... someone finally noticed that Freepers are skewing Internet polls... Jeb Bush apparently wants to abolish government entirely... and former Oregon state schools superintendent Stan Bunn will settle 1,433 state ethics charges against him - but only if taxpayers pay his fine. Conservative personal responsibility at its finest. See you next week!

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