The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 103)
March 17, 2003
Freedom Fries And Dark Oranges Edition

Freedom fries are back! This time, they're in the United States Congress, thanks to Bob Ney and Walter Jones (1). Perennial Top-Ten favorite Bill O'Reilly (2) is back on the list for some first-class hypocrisy. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney (3) is using the upcoming war as an excuse to funnel a little more government money back to his buds at Halliburton. The White House (4) is slamming on Tony Blair, Tom Ridge (5) is turning a darker shade of orange, and Mark Sanford (7) wants to run state government like Wal-Mart. And if you're a journalist, watch out, because the Pentagon (8) might shoot at you, and the FBI (9) is gonna open up your mail. Enjoy, and don't forget the key!

1Bob Ney and Walter Jones dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb
You may be forgiven for thinking that our elected leaders are busying themselves with important matters of state. After all, that's what we put them there for. But the latest news from Capitol Hill seems to indicate that rather than spending time coming up with solutions to the nation's problems, some congressmen would rather waste the taxpayer's money on spreading bigotry and xenophobia. Why aren't we surprised? Step forward Republican congressmen Bob Ney and Walter Jones, who are currently succeeding in their mission to turn Capitol Hill into an isolationist's paradise. See, Jones was so impressed by Neal Rowland's recent anti-France zealotry (see Idiots 101) that he managed to persuade Bob Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee, to jump aboard the "freedom fries" bandwagon. And lo and behold, henceforth there will be no more "french fries" on House cafeteria menus - it's "freedom fries" or nothing. What a wonderful use of government resources. And now I'd like to take a moment to say: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU IMBECILES THINKING? THIS IS THE ONE OF THE MOST MORONIC ATTEMPTS AT PATRIOTIC CORRECTNESS I HAVE EVER SEEN! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES, YOU IGNORANT, CONTEMPTUOUS, XENOPHOBIC WASTRELS. Thank you.

2Bill O'Reilly hypocrisy hypocrisy
And oh, how unsurprised we were to see Bill The Hypocrite O'Reilly flip-flopping and U-turning last week. It just last month that the No Spin twit was trashing Mark Stinson of for organizing a boycott of Rush Limbaugh's advertisers (see Idiots 98) - but suddenly boycotts seem to be all the rage in the O'Reilly household. Bill The Shill has decided that the best way to punish France for their refusal to rush into a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq is to - you guessed it - boycott their products. "It's time. It's time for the United States people, the American people, to say, 'OK, France, you want to do this, then we do what we can,'" barfed the fair-and-balanced one on The O'Reilly Factor last week. Odd that O'Reilly doesn't suggest that we punish Iraq by boycotting their products - especially since the US is currently the biggest buyer of Iraqi oil in the world - but I guess he must have decided that he hates France more than he hates Iraq. Mon dieu.

3Dick Cheney greed greed
Last week Dick Cheney got on the list for being a humorless fool. This week he's on the list for being a humorless war profiteer. You know, it's going to take a lot of time and money to clean up Iraq after we blow it to smithereens, and who do you think is going to pay the tab? That's right folks - it's you, the taxpayer. So since you're going to be paying the tab, you should probably know where the money's going. Last week five companies were invited to bid for contracts to put Iraq's infrastructure back together following a war, and wouldn't you know it, one of those companies is a subsidiary of Halliburton Inc., Kellogg Brown & Root. And Halliburton Inc.'s former CEO is Dick Cheney (they still send him a million dollars a year). It's the mother of all surprises. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Halliburton subsidiaries were rebuilding Iraq during the nineties (after Dick bombed them the first time) and it was obviously very profitable. Incidentally, Kellogg Brown & Root has already won a contract with the government to salvage Iraq's oil fields on the off-chance that Saddam (or someone else, wink wink) blows them up. So here's what happens - Dick Cheney and friends start a war, and then send in their companies to clean up the mess they've created, making a huge profit which is passed on to you, the taxpayer. Figuring out how the Bush administration works yet?

4The White House warmongering dumb
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. When your biggest ally is fighting tooth and nail for his political life, solely because of his support for the US, bashing him is probably not the best idea. But then the Bush administration isn't exactly winning awards for diplomacy right now, is it? A White House official said of the British prime minister last week that, "Blair is hurting himself by dragging this out...It's not for Americans to tell British politicians how to behave. But what is he getting out of this? He should just stand up and say: 'We're ready to go.'" Now that's what I call brilliant diplomacy! "Come on Tony, we know that less than 20 percent of Britain supports this invasion, and we know that your party is starting to grumble about replacing you, but jeez, can't you just pull your finger out already? Fer chrissakes man, you're either with us or against us!" Yes folks, it looks like we're just one small step away from Freedom Muffins.

5Tom Ridge dumb
Hats off to the Department of Homeland Security! Apparently there aren't enough levels in Tom's ridiculous color-coded alert system to describe the amount of fear we should all be living in, so he's going to add one more. Yup, when the bombs start dropping on Iraq we will be officially at terror level "dark orange," and you will be instructed to poop your pants accordingly. "Dark orange" apparently falls between orange and red, so it's a bit like saying, "Okay, you're not completely screwed, and you're not almost screwed - you're almost completely screwed." Well frankly Tom Ridge can stick his color chart up his backside as far as I'm concerned. Brown alert, Tom. Here it comes...

6Arlon Lindner homophobia homophobia homophobia
Minnesota state Rep. Arlon Lindner seems to have a knack for pissing off just about everybody he comes into contact with - and it's hardly surprising. Linder is a Holocaust denier who used to claim that gays and lesbians were never persecuted by the Nazis during World War II. But now he has an even better explanation - gays and lesbians were actually responsible for the Holocaust! After reading the loony-right-wing propaganda tract The Pink Swastika, which claims that gays were responsible for the rise of Hitler, Lindner said that "the main gay participants in the Holocaust were Nazi concentration camp guards." In defense of his comments, Lindner said that he was merely trying to prevent an American Holocaust caused by sexually transmitted diseases (all the fault of gays, obviously) and "if you want to sit around and wait until America becomes another African continent, you do that, but I'm going to do something." Somewhat predictably, Lindner's African American colleagues were also offended by this. So what's next for Arlon Lindner? Suggesting that women should be in the kitchen where they belong? Or that immigrants should go back where they came from? We wait with bated breath...

7Mark Sanford dumb
Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has come up with a great new idea - he wants to run the state like Wal-Mart. "When you think about Wal-Mart, you think about value and the lowest possible price. When you think of state government, do you think of value?" said Sanford last week. Well, not usually. But then when you think about Wal-Mart you also think of other things, like low wages, high turnover, crappy benefits, badly-treated workers... I dunno, maybe this is what Sanford has in mind for South Carolina. Sounds like a typically Republican idea don't you think?

8The Pentagon warmongering warmongering warmongering
Well now we know what the Pentagon is planning to do with independent news journalists working in Iraq if there is a war - blow the snot out of them. Last week, veteran British journalist Kate Adie appeared on Irelandís RTE1 Radio "Sunday Show" and told Tom McGurk that the Pentagon would "target down" telephone and television signals coming out of Baghdad. "I was told by a senior officer in the Pentagon, that if uplinks - that is the television signals out of... Baghdad, for example-- were detected by any planes... electronic media... mediums, of the military above Baghdad... they'd be fired down on. Even if they were journalists..." said Adie. I mean, it's understandable. We don't want any of those pesky non-Pentagon approved independent news stories getting out, do we.

9 The FBI unconstitutional unconstitutional
More exciting news from the war on civil liberties - the government can now open and seize your mail without even requiring a warrant
. Well, they're not supposed to - but they will anyway. According to the Associated Press last week, "Government agencies opened a package mailed between two Associated Press reporters last September and seized a copy of an eight-year-old unclassified FBI lab report without obtaining a warrant or notifying the news agency. The Customs Service intercepted a package sent via Federal Express from the Associated Press bureau in Manila to the AP office in Washington, and turned the contents over to the FBI." See, while the package contained an unclassified 1995 FBI report that had been discussed in open court in two legal cases, the FBI thought that it contained "sensitive information that should not be made public." So they took it upon themselves to intercept the package and confiscate it. Ah, America, the land of the free. Well, it used to be.

10The Food and Drug Administration greed screwing the poor
And finally: last week the FDA decided to stop senior citizens from shafting big drug companies by abandoning its relaxed view of Americans going to Canada for cheaper medications, going so far as to threaten legal action. Drugs can be up to 80% cheaper in Canada than in America and the FDA is clearly upset about all those anti-American seniors who prefer to be able to buy drugs and food. "Hey, you like it so much in Canada? Why not move there, grandma! If you're not going to help us get of this rotten economic situation by spending your dwindling pension on American products, we don't need you! Come on, it's patriotic to give American drug companies five times as much money for the same products you can get in Canada!" See you next week...