Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 95)
Death and Taxes Edition
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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...
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.
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...
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?
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?
finally, here's a brief look at the rest of this week's conservative
failed a gun-control survey... Ariel
Sharon faces allegations of bribery and fraud... Three
people were indicted for plotting to kill Timothy McVeigh's
Fleischer won't say how many felons are on the White House
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
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!
a Conservative for Next Week's List
We fixed the bug.)