The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 144)
February 23, 2004
Unsafe in Any Election Edition

I suppose it is a matter of question whether Ralph Nader (1, 2) is actually a conservative, but this week he showed that he's an idiot. And he's got a plan to provide aid and comfort to the conservatives. Meanwhile, Arnold (4) is raising cash hand over fist, while college Republicans in Rhode Island (5) and Utah (6) are acting like complete fools. College football coaches, too (7). We've got Mel Gibson's Dad (9) making moronic statements about the Holocaust. And if you are a fast food worker, Greg Mankiw (10) is about to give you a big promotion! Enjoy, and as usual, don't forget the key!

1Ralph Nader massive ego massive ego massive ego partisanship election stealing
Well, it's official. Ralph Nader is once again working for the Dark Side. Appearing on NBC News' Meet the Press on Sunday, Nader announced that he is once again running for president of the United States. It seems that Saint Ralph couldn't stand the idea of sitting this one out, and putting the interests of the country ahead of his own massive ego. He has once again illustrated how he is the nation's Number One Bush Enabler. Apparently, multimillionaire Nader has been too busy counting his savings from the Bush tax cut to notice or care that the Bush Administration has damn near ruined our country in less than four years. After a few perfunctory and lackluster criticisms against Bush, Nader (as usual) heaped most of his contempt on those of us who are actually out here trying to defeat the illegitimate, unelected moron. In a particularly gag-inducing bit of spin, Nader said that his critics on the left were "against democracy, against freedom." Funny, that sounds kinda like what Ashcroft and Bush said about us when we dared to criticize them these past few years.

2Ralph Nader (again) massive ego massive ego massive ego partisanship election stealing lying
Of course, Ralph wasn't content to simply announce that he was going to once again be the spoiler in the presidential race. Just for good measure, he had to also resort to outright lying about Al Gore. When Tim Russert asked him, "Do you believe that Al Gore would have invaded Iraq?" Nader responded, "He would have." Never mind that Al Gore has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, since before the war even started. No, Ralph isn't going to let the truth get in the way of his outrageous anti-Democrat spin. But really, what could Nader say? His entire campaign was and is built upon the contemptible lie that there is no difference between the two parties. To concede the truth that Al Gore would have been a much better president than Dubya would take away his only justification for running in 2000 and 2004. Which would be tantamount to admitting that
he shares some of the responsibility for the Bush presidency. Sorry, Ralph. This year, liberals aren't going to fall for your ridiculous lies. There is just way too much at stake.

3The Bush Administration dumb
60 top U.S. scientists (including 20 Nobel laureates), laid the smackdown on the Bush administration last week for "manipulating and censoring science for political purposes." The administration was accused of "suppressing, distorting or manipulating the work done by scientists at federal agencies" in a 46-page report. What kind of suppression, distortion and manipulation? Here's a small taste - the administration apparently: "Ordered massive changes to a section on global warming in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2003 Report on the Environment. Eventually, the entire section was dropped... Replaced a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on proper condom use with a warning emphasizing condom failure rates... Ignored advice from top Department of Energy nuclear materials experts who cautioned that aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq weren't suitable for use to make nuclear weapons... Established political litmus tests for scientific advisory boards. In one case, public health experts were removed from a CDC lead paint advisory panel and replaced with researchers who had financial ties to the lead industry... Suppressed a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist's finding that potentially harmful bacteria float in the air surrounding large hog farms... Excluded scientists who've received federal grants from regulatory advisory panels while permitting the appointment of scientists from regulated industries." As you can see, when it comes to science, the Bush administration is much keener on science fiction. Still, I guess it won't be long now before the Rapture, so none of this is really that important.

4Arnold Schwarzenegger cyborg cyborg cyborg hypocrisy
"The people of this state do not trust their government," said Arnold Schwarzenegger back when he was running for governor in 2003. "They feel it is corrupted by dirty money, closed doors and backroom dealings. They see the contributions go in, the favors go out, and the people are punished with wasteful spending and high taxes." How ironic, then, that according to the Los Angeles Times, the groping Austrian beefcake's fundraising is "outstripping that of former Gov. Gray Davis." And he's only been in office 100 days! Here's the scoop: Arnold's future as governor of California may well rest on two very important ballot initiatives which will be put before the voters on March 2 - Proposition 57, which allows the state to borrow $15 billion to cover its debts, and Proposition 58, a balanced budget amendment. Meanwhile, Arnold has a special group called the "California Recovery Team" set up to promote the crap out of these initiatives. Now, because the California Recovery Team is dedicated to ballot issues and not personal campaigning (despite the fact that in this instance the two may well be inextricably intertwined), individual donations are not capped. All of which means that Arnold is free to attend a fundraising dinner in New York this week where donors have been asked for individual contributions of anything up to half a million dollars. Now, why do you think someone's going to drop $500,000 on promoting a ballot initiative which has no organized opposition, but is important to The Governator? Gee, I have no idea. But I'm glad that Arnold campaigned so hard against just this sort of dubious fundraising behavior when he was running for governor. Um, yeah.

5College Republicans - Rhode Island racism hypocrisy
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Jason Mattera believes that white folks have it tougher than everyone else, particularly when it comes to getting into college. "White kids are at a handicap," he says. "Handing out scholarships based on someone's color is absurd." So Mattera, who is president of the Roger Williams University College Republicans, decided to do something about this disgraceful bigotry against downtrodden whites - he's offered a $50 "scholarship" to the white student who can write the best essay on the subject of "why you are proud of your white heritage." The student must also provide a recent picture to "confirm whiteness," and the application for the scholarship says, "Evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants." My, how clever and not at all offensive. Mattera himself is of Puerto Rican descent and believes that, "No matter what my ethnicity is, I'm making a statement that scholarships should be given out based on merit and need." Seems reasonable. Oh, except did I mention that Mattera happens to be the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship which is only available to minority groups? So I'm sure he'll be standing on principle and giving that money back immediately. Unless he's spent it already.

6College Republicans - Utah dumb partisanship
But there's more from the bizzaro world of the College Republicans this week! That's right - prepping the next generation of right-wing bigots and future Clear Channel talk show hosts is a full-time job, and it takes dedication, courage, and an inherent ability to slander the dead. At a meet-the-candidate night last week, Mike Clement (representing Republican congressional candidate Mike Bridgewater) was chatting with the audience about Norm Coleman's Senate victory in Minnesota, when, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, an audio tape of the meeting picked up an unknown "Republican gadfly" saying, "We had to kill off Wellstone to get it." He was, of course, referring to Senator Paul Wellstone, who was killed, along with most of his family, in a plane crash just before the 2002 elections. Nice, real nice. I've got a quick tip actually for any College Republicans who might be reading this - just mention in your thesis that Wellstone's plane crash was Bill Clinton's fault, and you'll graduate summa cum laude.

7Gary Barnett misogyny misogyny misogyny
The University of Colorado's football program was in chaos last week amidst allegations of "using sex as a recruiting tool" and six accusations of rape by Colorado football players. One of the accusers was the only woman to ever play on the team, Katie Hnida, who was a place-kicker in 1999. Demonstrating how much he cared about Hnida's plight, and his feelings towards women in general, Colorado head coach Gary Barnett said last week that "Katie was not only a girl, she was terrible." So, uh, I guess she deserved to be raped by one of her teammates then. Way to support your players, Mr. Barnett.

8George W. Bush photo-opping photo-opping
Yes, we noted George W. Bush's taxpayer-funded trip to the Daytona 500 last week - but we couldn't pass up another chance to slam the Chimp for his lame-ass "official visit." Now remember - this wasn't a campaign event. Bush would have to spend his own money on that. This was an official visit. According to the Bradenton Herald, "As Bush strode through pit row, he received rock-star treatment. An extravaganza unfolded around him. A man with a rocket strapped to his back sailed into the speedway, followed by a bald eagle that landed on its trainer's arm. Fireworks erupted, cheerleaders danced, country star Leann Rimes sang 'R-O-C-K in the USA.'" Jesus, it sounds like an episode of The Simpsons. Bush is, of course, not the first president to attend a NASCAR event. That honor belongs to Ronald Reagan, who attended the Firecracker 400 in Daytona back in 1984. Unlike Bush, however, Reagan stayed to find out who won. That's right - Air Force One was back in the air about halfway through the race. Gee, kinda makes you wonder why Bush showed up for this "official visit" in the first place, doesn't it? Mind you, it's possible that Dubya's shameless campaign ploy might not play as well with NASCAR dads as he'd like - as well as spending their tax money on a joyride to the Daytona 500, Bush watched the race (well, half of it) from a posh suite, well isolated from the regular fans. And the following day, the Daytona International Speedway had to issue an apology to fans for the long delays many of them faced getting into the event, because of the massive security precautions which had to be taken due to Bush's visit. And which we all had to pay for. Vroom.

9 Mel Gibson's Dad racism racism religious nut
By now you've probably heard the allegations that Mel Gibson's new movie "The Passion of the Christ," is anti-Semitic. You've probably also heard his lame protestations to the contrary. Well, it seems as if the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. Last week his father, Hutton Gibson, said of the Holocaust: "It's all - maybe not all fiction - but most of it is." He also explained how there was a vast conspiracy of Jewish bankers, the Federal Reserve, and the Vatican to create "one world religion and one world government." There's much more here. I could go on, but the whole thing is just sickening.

10Gregory Mankiw excessive spin excessive spin dumb
And finally, it is said that manufacturing jobs are the backbone of a healthy economy; they provide our citizens with good work for solid pay and benefits. Furthermore, in this post-9/11 world, maintaining a healthy manufacturing sector is vital to national security. So, the Bush Administration has a problem: They can't seem to create any manufacturing jobs (or any jobs, for that matter). Fortunately, in his new Economic Report to the President, N. Gregory Mankiw, the chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers has proposed a clever solution to the problem, which would create millions of manufacturing jobs overnight - reclassifying fast-food workers to count them as manufacturing jobs. They're manufacturing hamburgers! But why not stop with fast-food workers? I mean, by this logic we're all kinda in the manufacturing sector. Musicians are manufacturing music. Authors are manufacturing writing. Janitors are manufacturing clean schools and workplaces. I'm not just a webmaster - I'm manufacturing a website! See you next week!