The Top Ten Conservative Idiots (No. 126) · 14 September 2003

September 15, 2003
$87 Billion Edition

So the Bush Administration (1) have once again totally misled America over yet another aspect of the invasion of Iraq. But what's $87 billion between friends? Apparently not much, according to Congressional Republicans (2). And Halliburton (3) is loving it, of course. But while there's $87 billion worth of idiocy this week, it's not all Bush. Take the FCC (4) for example, who have got some funny ideas about what constitutes a "news program." Or Ted Nugent (6) who appears to be yet another right-wing deadbeat dad. And then there's Students For Academic Freedom (7) who have a new affirmative action plan - conservative style. Finally, let's not forget the Drug Enforcement Administration (10) who are making our streets safer by locking up stoner comedians. As usual, don't forget the key!

The Bush Administration
Ah, remember when we were going to get Saddam Hussein, find his weapons of mass destruction, pay for the war using nothing but Iraqi oil revenues, and the only thing getting in our way would be the Iraqi people throwing flowers at us? Yes, those were the days. Unfortunately things haven't quite gone according to the neo-con plan, and now we can't find Saddam or his weapons, the Iraqi people are blowing us and each other up with car bombs, and Our Great Leader had to make a groveling speech to the nation last week asking for another $87 billion to rebuild Iraq. And that's just for one year. That brings the total budget for the war - so far - to $166 billion. But pay no attention to the enormous $550 billion budget hole we're slowly digging, if another $87 billion is what's needed, then another $87 billion is what we shall pay. Just to put things in perspective, $87 billion is three times the amount Bush intends to spend on education this year, twice the budget for Homeland Security, and ten times the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency. To put it further into perspective, the 1991 Gulf War cost the United States about $20 billion total. And to put things even further into perspective, ask yourself how much of that $87 billion is going to go directly into Halliburton and the Carlyle Group's back pockets. Let's face it, Bush and Cheney probably don't even care about next year's election - in a few short years the CEO president has already managed to set himself up for the world's biggest golden handshake.

Congressional Republicans
Funny how one day Republicans are all "smaller goverment this" and "cut spending that," and then the next day they're "crack open the piggy bank and let's SHOP TILL WE DROP!" Last week Congressional Republicans gushed over Dubya's $87 billion request, practically soaking the Capitol Building with spittle. Not only that, but to drive the point home they played their "treason" card - again - suggesting that Democrats who criticized Our Great Leader's Great Economic Toilet Flush were "endangering U.S. troops." Ri-i-i-ight. Rep. Ed Schrock of Virginia said that the Democratic presidential candidates were "trying to make this look like the worst thing that's ever happened. Frankly this administration has done a magnificent job and more people need to come out and say that." This administration has done a magnificent job? ON WHAT PLANET IS THAT, ED? This adminstration has screwed the pooch at almost every possible opportunity - alienating our allies, rushing to start a war based on false pretences, lying about the costs - how exactly do you define that as MAGNIFICENT? Anyway, I guess this means the days of the Republican party as a bastion of fiscal responsibility are well and truly over since they're now practically orgasmic at the possibility of throwing good money after bad. Oh and by the way - as George W. Bush is so fond of saying, that's your money.
Speaking of Halliburton, as we were a moment ago, a recent Reuters report indicates that they're making out like, well, bandits in Iraq. The current cost of their no-competition contract to repair Iraq's oilfields is just shy of $1 billion - around $200 million dollars higher than projected last month. Meanwhile - if you can believe this - Halliburton is having such trouble getting the oilfields restored that the United States is currently importing oil into Iraq, which is costing the U.S. taxpayer around $6 million per day. So much for Our Great Leader's claim that we'd be paying for the war using Iraqi oil revenues. Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root has also managed to incur around $1 billion in costs. Incidentally, when Halliburton's no-competition contract expires next month the Army Corps of Engineers will be awarding two new contracts for the long-term rebuilding of Iraq's oilfields. And while a Corps spokesman last week "declined to disclose the number or identity of bidders," one of the companies bidding will be... you guessed it - Kellogg, Brown & Root. Gee, I wonder who's going to get those new contracts?

When is a news show not a news show? Why, when it's the Howard Stern Show of course. Yup, I think I can state pretty confidently that the Howard Stern Show is not a news show - but don't tell that to the FCC. Last week the FCC ruled that Arnold Schwarzenegger could appear on the Howard Stern Show without Stern having to offer equal time to all the other candidates in the recall election. Why? Because according to the FCC, Howard Stern's interview with the groping Austrian beefcake qualifies as a "bona fide news interview." So what's next? Can we expect to see the The McLaughlin Group offering up a spot of naked Twister? Or perhaps Tim Russert dressing as a superhero whose special power is breaking wind? We can but hope...

So Showtime's blatant propaganda puff piece "DC 9/11: Time of Crisis" has come and gone, and the reviews are bad. ran a review by someone who should know 9/11 better than most - World Trade Center widow Kristen Breitweiser. "This film is rated half of a fighter jet - since that is about what we got for our nation's defense on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001," was one of the better things Breitweiser had to say about the movie. Meanwhile Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales thought the movie was "simultaneously dull and disgraceful," "pure fantasy," and "so slanted that it risks sliding right off the screen." Odd really - from what I understand Stalin was particularly keen on this kind of cinematic propaganda, and I certainly wasn't expecting the Bush adminstration to follow in his footsteps... ha ha. Incidentally, I got an email last week from DC 9/11's John Henley, the actor that played the poor firefighter Bush megaphoned on top of a pile of rubble at Ground Zero. And you know what? He was very nice.

Ted Nugent
Ya gotta love the way staunch conservatives can simply shrug off personal responsibility whenever they feel like it. I mean, it's not like they're constantly preaching about it or anything. And that's why ya gotta love the Nuge. It was revealed last week that a woman is suing Ted Nugent over child support for her 8-year-old son that she says Nugent fathered. Apparently the woman's lawyer claims that Nugent "acknowledges" that the child is his but has only paid "minimal" child support since he was born: "Given the fact he's worth millions and millions of dollars, he's paying the amount someone making about $20,000 per year would pay." The woman is also suing for official custody of the child - which is sensible, since Ted would probably let him loose in the woods and give him a one hour head start before coming after him with a crossbow.
Students For Academic Freedom
Did you think you'd ever see a day when conservative Republicans were endorsing affirmative action? Well hold on to your hats, because that day is here! Of course, this isn't quite the kind of affirmative action that you're familiar with. According to the Rocky Mountain News, "Next year, the GOP leadership hopes to implement the 'Academic Bill of Rights,' which sets out 'to secure the intellectual independence of faculty and students and to protect the principle of intellectual diversity.'" And what does that mean exactly? Well, it simply means forcing colleges to accept more conservative professors. The "brain" (and I use that word loosely) behind this plan belongs to David Horowitz, whose innocent-sounding group Students for Academic Freedom thinks that "Universities should not be indoctrination centers for the political left." You know, I think he's right. What this country needs is more indoctrination centers for the political right. I mean, when you only have the presidency, the House, the Senate, cable TV news, and an entire national talk radio syndicate, what you really need is an affirmative action plan for those poor downtrodden white male conservative professors who are currently being left out in the cold. I mean, they're not asking for special treatment here, right? Only equality.

The Montana Family Coalition
The Montana Family Coalition - aka The Montana Bunch Of Conservative Homophobes With Too Much Time On Their Hands Coalition - last week announced plans for a media campaign against "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy." Julie Millam, head of the Montana Family Coalition, called the show "outrageous,'' a ''joke,'' and said, "To me, that's not a reality show about gay people. A really good reality show for gay people would be five gay men dying of AIDS." Yeah, that would be, uh, really good. "We don't want to see (gay content) on every single TV show," said Millam. "I'm hearing from people left and right, that every time they turn on the TV it's something to do with gay people. It's not reality." That's right - get thee hence and stuff yourselves back in the closet, weirdos! My guess is that at this point America is probably not crying out for "really good" shows featuring gay men dying of AIDS, but I can understand that Millam would prefer to see more shows which focus on the traditional aspects of the sacred bond of marriage. You know, like "Married by America" or "Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire?" or "Bachelorettes in Alaska."

The Southern Military Institute
Progress can be a tricky thing, particularly if you're one of those folks who doesn't like women or black people very much. It was announced last week that Michael Guthrie of Madison, Alabama, is planning to start a new organization called the Southern Military Institute, modeled on the old Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel. "Southern traditions that have been tarnished and almost lost will live again," says the group's website, which in this case apparently means "no women allowed." "We believe that education in a military environment is assisted by male bonding," said the SMI's vice president Jack Daniel... although he failed to specify whether the insititute would be implementing a "don't ask don't tell" policy. Oh, by the way, I almost forgot to mention that Michael Guthrie is a former member of the League of the South, a charming organization which believes that it's time the poor, downtrodden white man started standing up to those uppity blacks. Still, the SMI will be a private organization, and as such, they're free to choose their admission policy. Not that it's going to stop me from calling them idiots, you understand.

The Drug Enforcement Administration
And finally, while George W. Bush can't find Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, his misadministration is making good progress tracking down and prosecuting domestic terrorists like Tommy Chong. The 65-year-old actor was sentenced last week to 9 months in federal prison and fined $20,000 for selling his line of bongs and pipes. Phew, now I can finally sleep soundly at night knowing that an evildoer like Chong is safely behind bars. And I expect every man, woman and child in America will feel more secure knowing that this elderly gentleman is off the streets. In fact, now that I know Chong's evil "weapons of grass destruction" are out of commission, I'm going to take the plastic sheeting and duct tape off my windows. Honestly, do we really need to spend $87 billion on Iraq when we can solve the problem of Homeland Security simply by locking up aging comedians for flogging bongs? See you next week...