Presented by: The Religious Freedom Coalition of the SouthEast
Go to http://professionalleft.blogspot.com for a treat!!!
THE TRUTH ABOUT REPUBLICANS BY GEORGE CARLIN
Audio only and of course NSFW. But Carlin has some opinions.
Satan says,‘We Are Terminating Our Relationship with Rush Limbaugh!’
Radio Host Loses Longtime Sponsor
March 5, 2012
COLUMBUS, OH (The
Borowitz Report) –
Embattled radio host Rush Limbaugh suffered another major
desertion today as he lost the support of one of his
longtime sponsors, Satan.
March 5, 2011
Can Rush Keep It Up? Is Limbaugh Losing His Potency--Politically, at Least?
The response to Rush Limbaugh’s latest tirade about college women having too much sex suggests that he may be growing impotent, politically at least. We know he needs Viagra to keep it up when he visits the Dominican Republic, but we believe he has run out of Political Viagra.
With a large audience of conservative listeners, the radio reactionary was once able to intimidate Republican politicians into defending his outrageous comments or publicly apologizing to him if they dared voice even the mildest criticism. He was invited to speak to gatherings of GOP pols and activists, who took Limbaugh’s advice in order to gain his favor and avoid his vitriol.
A Who’s Who of the conservative political world — including Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, Mary Matalin, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — attended Limbaugh’s fourth wedding in 2010.
But the reaction to his comments on his radio show last week – when he called a Georgetown University student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for advocating expanded access to birth control – shows that his influence may be on the wane. Has Limbaugh finally become politically impotent?
Last year, Fox News pulled Glenn Beck’s show off the air as a result of declining ratings, a boycott by consumers of companies that advertised on his show, and growing controversy over Beck’s increasingly lunatic diatribes. Is the end now in sight for Limbaugh’s radio empire?
The latest firestorm over Limbaugh began after he attacked Sandra Fluke, a law student who testified on Capitol Hill last month in favor of the Obama administration’s decision to require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover birth control.
Limbaugh said that Fluke “wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
The talk-show host then went further, adding: “So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”
Limbaugh’s remarks sparked sharp criticism not only from President Barack Obama (who phoned Fluke on Friday to express his support) and other liberals like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, but also from some Republicans and conservatives, who acknowledged that Limbaugh had crossed the line.
GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were forced to rebuke Limbaugh’s comments, even though their own remarks were quite tepid. Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who is running for reelection, called Limbaugh’s comments “reprehensible” and said that he “should apologize.”
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that Limbaugh’s words were “inappropriate.” Carly Fiorina, the former corporate CEO and one-time GOP candidate for U.S. Senate from California – who now serves as vice chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee – called Limbaugh’s comments “”insulting.”
Could it be possible that the GOP establishment is finally realizing that its sharp rightward turn — fueled in large part by the right-wing echo chamber of which Limbaugh is the most influential player — is alienating all but the most conservative voters and leading the party off a cliff?
(Over the past two decades, the modern Republican Party has often walked hand in hand with Limbaugh toward that cliff. After the GOP congressional victory in 1994, the House Republicans were so thankful to Limbaugh that they made him an honorary member of their new majority.)
Since his comments about Fluke, however, several of Limbaugh’s top advertisers pulled out of his syndicated radio show. Quicken Loans’s Twitter statement said: “Due to continued inflammatory comments — along with valuable feedback from clients and team members — QL has suspended ads on Rush Limbaugh program.”
Two mattress companies, Sleep Train and Sleep Number, made similar statements on Friday. A Sleep Number spokesperson wrote on Twitter, “Recent comments by Rush Limbaugh do not align w/ our values, so we made decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program.”
At first Limbaugh not only stood by his statements, but escalated the controversy. On Friday, he offered to “buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want,” as a form of birth control.
But by Saturday, the anger toward Limbaugh had reached such a crescendo that he was forced – perhaps for the first time in his career – to apologize. The apology, posted on his website, said he did not mean to make a “personal attack” against Fluke.
“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir,” he wrote. “I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
However, his sincerity remains in question. Limbaugh has made a habit – indeed an entire career – of cowardly hate-mongering toward women and other groups. For years he has called women’s rights activists “Femi-Nazis.”
The Anti-Defamation League has challenged Limbaugh for anti-Semitic remarks. He has a long history of making anti-gay statements. He lost his position as an ESPN sports commentator for his racist comments about an African-American quarterback.
But what fueled Limbaugh’s tirade against Ms. Fluke? The brouhaha over Limbaugh’s recent comments have drawn attention to Limbaugh’s hypocrisy between his past public rhetoric and his own personal life, including his previous habit of unleashing harsh attacks on drug users at the same time he himself was addicted to drugs.
Now, in light of Limbaugh’s attack on the Georgetown law student, it hasn’t escaped attention that the radio shock jock has been married four times (beginning in 1977) and has no children. Did all of Limbaugh’s wives use birth control? Or could it be that Limbaugh is impotent in that way, too?
In 2009, returning from a vacation in the Dominican Republic, Limbaugh was briefly detained by U.S. Customs when they checked his bags and found a vial of Viagra with another person’s name listed as the user. Viagra is prescribed for erectile dysfunction, but it is sometimes taken by men visiting other countries for “sex tourism.”
Limbaugh’s attorney Roy Black said Limbaugh’s doctor prescribed the Viagra for Limbaugh but the prescription was put in the doctor’s name for privacy reasons. Limbaugh chuckled about the Viagra incident on his radio show, “I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it.”
Now, people are wondering: Could the link between Limbaugh’s sex life, his anxiety about his declining political power and his intemperate outburst about female birth control just be a fluke?
By Peter Dreier | Sourced from Consortium News
March 1st, 2012
By Robert Greenwald and Jesse Lava
Just in time for the release of Brave New Foundation's new film, Koch Brothers Exposed, Rush Limbaugh has thrown in with Charles and David Koch in their letter war with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. No surprise there; Rush has made his fortune defending the rich and powerful against the 99%. But does Rush actually have a vested interest in the Koch brothers' success? The letter war started when Messina sent a fundraising letter saying the billionaire brothers bankroll "Tea Party extremism" and manipulate oil prices to buttress their energy business. The Kochs responded that Obama was treading on their "right to free speech." (To them, I guess, being criticized by the president is tantamount to being arrested for sedition.) Team Obama shot back again, and here we are.
Rush has taken to the airwaves and lauded the Kochs. "This is how you do it," he says. And on the surface, the reason for Rush's apologetics is straightforward enough: he's a man of the Right, and so are the Koch brothers. But below the surface of this defense lies a much more complex and insidious truth. The fact is that Rush needs the Kochs,and the Kochs need Rush.
Limbaugh is, fundamentally, a mouthpiece for conservative propaganda. He's not a researcher. He's not a grassroots organizer. He's a mouthpiece. And where would he be without propaganda to spout? He has to get his ideas from somewhere. He can't feed the right-wing echo chamber that's hijacking our democracy if someone isn't feeding him first. That's where the Kochs come in.
The video we made with Sen. Bernie Sanders reveals the Kochs' general method, whether Limbaugh is involved or not: fund an army of right-wing organizations so that politicians and pundits know exactly what to say:
Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, the Federalist Society, Manhattan Institute: the list of Koch-backed groups goes on and on. And when such groups badmouth Social Security, say, or worker rights, that gives people like Limbaugh something to talk about.
The reverse is true too: without people like Rush -- or, for that matter, Fox News's Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham, who also just defended the Koch brothers against Obama -- the Kochs could never spread their pro-corporate ideology as far and wide as they have. That's why the Kochs provide the financial fuel that lets these people yap their trap. The propagandists need the funders, and vice versa.
Koch Brothers Exposed goes into detail on exactly how this echo chamber works. The reality is that corruption doesn't happen mainly when a rich guy wangles a quid-pro-quo from a politician in a smoke-filled room. It happens when interests align so that powerful people have an incentive to stick up for each other and keep things just the way they are.
So are the Koch brothers funding Limbaugh? I'm not sure Rush has ever sent them an invoice. But he doesn't have to. And that's what's so insidious about what the Kochs do.
Rush Limbaugh Calls Sharon Bialek (Herman Cain's 4th Accuser) a 'Babe,' Makes Slurping Sound (AUDIO)
Rush Limbaugh discussed Sharon Bialek, the fourth woman to come forth with sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, during his show Monday.
Bialek, who Limbaugh referred to as "a blonde bombshell," addressed press on Monday afternoon about the sexual harassment allegations. Her lawyer Gloria Allred stood at her side.
Limbaugh reported that Bialek, who he also called a "babe," said that Cain "put his hands up her dress" and "tried to pull her hair..." Limbaugh pronounced Bialek's last name as "bee-ah-lek," which he later told listeners was incorrect.
Instead, he said, Bialek is pronouced "buy-ah-lik." Limbaugh belabored the point to stress that Bialek's last name was, according to him, pronounced like "buy-a-lick." He even made crude slurping noises to drive his point home.
Listen below for just the slurping noises. Scroll down to listen to the full audio and view a slideshow.
We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether Rush Limbaugh has made serious errors in in judgment. Although Rush has consistently supported a Conservative position especially when it comes to Church and State issues, it is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment is in danger from his past and future actions. This Wingnut is not religious and is considered an Atheist.
Rush's office like others we called, stated that his position is that Hindus, Moslems, Wiccans, aren't "Real" religions" and in fact are evil cults. What is a real religion, Mr. Limbaugh? It certainly can't be what you have been practicing. Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known." This is a summary of information collected from several sources about Wingnut Rush Limbaugh.
(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone. Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself! And remember, the First Amendment Coalition does not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process. This information is only for those who wish to investigate Rush Limbaugh and his anti-first amendment stance)
Rush’s core concern seems to be that there is no such thing as the center or independent voters. He believes that America is divided between the far-right and the far-left, and he likes to offer only that false choice because he believes it’s a fight he can win. But an emphasis on swing voters or independents—the largest and fastest-growing segment of the electorate—makes the math more complicated. It screws his inflexible ideologue mind up.
"If we do this right, we can discredit this whole mind-set of the ‘moderate center’ being the defining group in American politics," said Rush. "I am going to show you what a fraudulent idea that whole concept of, ‘There are people who decide issue by issue. On the left they like certain things, on the right they like certain things.’"
So Rush believes that there are no principled Americans who decide what they believe on different policies issue-by-issue. For someone who talks about freedom a lot, he doesn’t have much faith in free will or free-thinking. He doesn’t believe that Americans—especially independent voters—can consider themselves fiscally conservative but socially liberal. You either walk in lockstep as a social conservative and fiscal conservative or you are a ‘hard-core liberal’—libertarians, apparently, need not apply.
It is an illustration of one of the lies of modern American politics—that people who surrender their individuality to an ideology and vote the party line are somehow "courageous." That’s not courage, it's conformity.
For someone who talks about freedom a lot, Limbaugh doesn’t have much faith in free will or free-thinking.
But this all-or-nothing mindset is what allows Rush to look at the range of people who are becoming involved in the "center" and dismiss them all. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is "an überliberal" as presumably is the self-described libertarian-conservative congressman turned cable host Joe Scarborough, Bush-era Comptroller General David Walker, Reagan administration alumni David Gergen, Congressman Mike Castle and David Brooks who cut his teeth at William F. Buckley’s National Review before joining The New York Times. Rush also took time to dismiss other bipartisan initiatives to achieve fiscal responsibility like the Concord Coalition (co-founded by Granite State Republican Warren Rudman) and Nixon Commerce Secretary Pete Peterson’s legion efforts to education Americans about the crippling impact of the deficit and the debt.
Says Mark McKinnon: "Rush thrives on hyper-partisanship. He's against everything we stand for. He doesn't want us to get along. He doesn't want Republicans talking to Democrats. It's a zero sum game for Rush. It's all about winning for Republicans and losing for Democrats. Rush said he wants the President of United States to fail. Forget about the good of the country, it would be good for Republicans. We could not disagree more. We hope that any president succeeds, Republican or Democrat. Because progress for the country is more important that points for a political party."
Criticizing Limbaugh is not the same thing as demonizing him. We can recognize that he is a talented broadcaster, a popular political entertainer for folks on the far-right. He also helped create a big part of the problem in our politics today. He uses conflict, tension, fear and resentment to drum up his ratings, appealing to a narrow but intense (and aging) niche audience by using the old trick of dividing Americans into "us" vs. "them," perpetuating the polarization he profits from. That’s why it’s a little absurd to hear Limbaugh point out disapprovingly that the book Wingnuts itself uses a label to describe the use of fear and hate by hyper-partisans. Its funny how quickly people who throw around labels for a living ("feminazi," for example) cry foul when a term like Wingnut is directed at them. But bullies are always shocked when you punch back.
In the all-or-nothing world of hyper-partisans even trying to transcend political labels is a traitorous act. That’s why Limbaugh tried to lump the new organization, No Labels, in with Michael Moore and Julian Assange in his opening monologue this Wednesday. Wearing his polarizing political entertainer hat, he questioned whether they were part of the PC police who want to remove mention of the word "Christmas" from the public square. Most offensive to all patriots, he said, “The No Labels mind-set leads to not being willing to admit who the terrorists are.”
A large number of people witnessed the attacks of 9/11 from as close as within the buildings to Live television. Some witnesses spent months writing eulogies for the firefighters and police officers who were murdered by the radical Islamist terrorists who took down the Towers. More recently, Rush quoted a story about the Park 51 Islamic Center Developers applying for $5 million in dedicated 9/11 funds for cultural redevelopment. Suggesting that a call for common ground between fellow American citizens is somehow equivalent to appeasement or amnesia when it comes to terrorists is unforgiveable.
One of the core purposes of the organization No Labels is to remind Americans that our domestic political opponents are not our sworn enemies. Neither President Bush nor President Obama ever deserves to be compared to tyrants or terrorists—and if you only object to the president of your party being compared to Hitler, you’re part of the problem. No Labels may help rekindle some of the spirit of national unity we found and then quickly squandered after 9/11 —because we can’t wait for a terrorist attack or natural disaster to remember that there is more that unites us than divides us as Americans.
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (born January 12, 1951) is a rotund radio talk show host, bloated political commentator, and porcine conservative television personality. Though he makes his thoroughly well-deserved $35 million a year by regularly castigating liberals as “dope-smoking hippies,” Rush Limbaugh is himself a well-documented “prescription” drug abuser. Limbaugh seems thoroughly untroubled by this, mostly because hypocrisy has become such a major part of the modern Republican platform, right alongside guns, creationism, and yellow ribbon bumper decals. Oh, and lest it go unsaid: Rush Limbaugh is a Traitor to American Values; a huge one.
Rush Limbaugh’s creatively titled The Rush Limbaugh Show pollutes the airwaves all across the U.S. on Premiere Radio Networks, the same company that syndicates (or “syndickates”) the likes of fellow traitors Bob Costas, Dr. Laura, and Glenn Beck. As such, Limbaugh is credited with reviving American AM radio, although you really have to wonder whether anyone would have actually missed AM radio had it been allowed to die in peace. He is also considered to be a prime force behind the so-called “Republican Revolution” of 1994, which paved the way for a fifteen-year conservative hegemony in Washington, DC. Good luck ending it now.
Early Life and Education
Rush Limbaugh began chubble-butting his way to sensationalistic fame and fortune from his birth on January 12, 1951, a birthday he shares with Hermann Göring, The Amazing Kreskin, Oliver Platt, and Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, you know, the one-legged super-model.
Like so many traitors before (and after) him, Rush Limbaugh grew up a child of privilege, born into one of the most esteemed lineages of Missouri, the “Show Me State.” Established in Cape Girardeau since the time of slavery—and probably owning more than several slaves itself—the Limbaugh family is one of those prominent families like the Bushes, the Kennedys, and the Sheen-Estevezes.
Born Rush Hudson Limbaugh III—a traitors name if ever there was one—he is the son of Rush Hudson Limbaugh II, a conservative windbag and prominent attorney, himself the son of Rush Hudson Limbaugh I, also a conservative windbag and prominent attorney, who was still screwing people over via the United States legal system until his Strom Thurmond-esque death at age 104. The name “Rush” originates from the Limbaugh family’s desire to honor one of its matriarchs. Apparently she was a huge fan of Canadian prog-rock power trios.
Limbaugh cut his teeth doing community radio in his teens—a prime time period in most pundits’ lives—under the name Rusty Sharpe. This is almost as clever a pseudonym as Yahoo Serious.
It is important to note that while absolutely qualifying as a conservative windbag, Rush Limbaugh III is not a prominent attorney. In fact, he’s not even a college graduate—he dropped out after less than a year in 1970. And we’re not talking about Harvard here, either. He couldn’t even cut it at Southeast Missouri State (no offense to SMS kids, but come on…he flunked out of what was essentially a community college and yet still conducts himself like he’s the smartest guy on the AM dial).
Professional Career and Rise to Fame
For the next 15 years, Rush Limbaugh gained all the experience he’d need as America’s most influential political pundit by DJ-ing Top 40 music and directing promotions for the Kansas City Royals, arguably the crappiest team in professional sports.
It was not until the FCC’s repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, which freed TV and radio stations from having to provide equal airtime to both sides of controversial issues, that Limbaugh came into his glutinous own.
In August 1988 he spewed forth The Rush Limbaugh Show, a weekly syndicated talk show that in a mere six years appeared on more than 650 radio stations nationwide. So influential was Rush Limbaugh on the 1994 Congressional elections, the incoming Republican freshmen called themselves the “Dittohead Caucus” and named Limbaugh an “honorary member of Congress.” In both cases, it’s hard to tell which is more of an insult to whom.
The Rush Limbaugh Show ushered in a whole new genre of one-sided political commentators who also a) think they’re absolutely hilarious when they’re average at best and/or b) purposefully spark outrage to increase audience size. In addition to both call-in and live interviews with high-profile politicians, Limbaugh does tired parodies with punch lines like “Hillary Clinton walks like a longshoreman.” The show is also known for “comedic” segments known as “Updates,” which pretty much exist just so he can play an oh-so-cleverly “inappropriate” theme song. For instance, Feminist Update, is accompanied by the song “Maybe I Mean Yes” (ha, ha); Sexual Harassment Update, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (yet again, ha, ha); and AIDS Update, “I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again” (once more: ha, ha). In this way, Rush Limbaugh has made an entire career out of baiting liberals. You might even call him a “master” baiter, if even we weren’t embarrassed by that joke.
Limbaugh is also known for peppering his strong opinions with asides, interjections, and gags, all meant to be funny, but like Keith Olbermann’s idea of funny. These include Limbaugh’s patented “Caller Abortion,” in which he interrupts an unsuspecting caller with the sounds of a vacuum, followed by screams. And people call conservatives insensitive.
Another well-known bit is “Safe Talk,” in which Limbaugh stretches a condom over his studio microphone. Though he claims this is to illustrate his support for abstinence-only sex education, Rush Limbaugh’s anti-condom stance most likely originates the way it does for most men: he just prefers it raw.
Perhaps Rush Limbaugh’s most rib-tickling segment was the one in which he mocked actor/stem cell advocate Michael J. Fox and said the actor was faking the tremors that are a symptom of his Parkinson’s disease. Oh, and also when he suggested on-air that African-Americans make inferior NFL quarterbacks. Oh, yeah, and also when he called veterans who were opposed to the Iraq War “phony soldiers.” The guy oughta write for Saturday Night Live.
In 2007, Talkers magazine named him #1 in its “Heavy Hundred” most important talk show hosts. He also ranked #2 in its “Heavy Hundred” heaviest talk show hosts, wedged between Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell.
Rush Limbaugh’s views are just what you might expect from America’s highest-paid conservative news personality: he loves himself, he loves other conservatives and he generally forwards whatever the most extreme right-wing stance happens to be because that’s usually the most entertaining.
Another reason for Limbaugh’s success is his employment of a colorful and extensive language of on-air jargon. Among such others as “Iraqnophobia,” “Drive-by media,” and “Chopadickoffome” (slang for M-to-F sexual reassignment surgery), Limbaugh most famously coined the term “Femi-Nazi.” Again, this is almost as clever as Yahoo Serious.
Somehow, Rush Limbaugh has cultivated a massive, cult-like following that calls itself “Dittoheads.” This is not to be confused with the national photocopy chain of the same name.
Rush Limbaugh is currently single, but has been married and divorced three times, to a radio station secretary, an usherette at the Royals Stadium Club, and an aerobics instructor, respectively, all of whose willingness to “nail the whale” apparently didn’t last more than a few years until fatty remorse set in. Want to know just what kind of a turd Rush Limbaugh is? His third marriage was performed by Clarence Thomas. At Thomas’ house.
It also turns out that Rush Limbaugh is a drug addict. In 2003, it came out that Limbaugh was illegally obtaining pain killers oxycodone and hydrocodone. Perhaps he was taking them to kill the pain of having such enormous junk food man-tits. Then in 2006, he was stopped by DEA agents at Palm Beach International Airport, returning from vacation in the Dominican Republic with someone else’s prescription Viagra. Ew.
Rush Limbaugh is also famous for smoking cigars. No non-dicks smoke cigars, at least ones that aren’t filled with indoe.
Limbaugh Falsely Claimed Obama, Reich Were Never Professors
February 10, 2010
Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed on his radio show that President Obama and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich were never professors. Limbaugh's claim about Obama echoed a claim previously made by Karl Rove.
Limbaugh falsely claimed Obama was never a professor
Limbaugh: "One of the reasons I don't call Obama a professor is because he never was one." On the February 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Rush Limbaugh said: "One of the reasons I don't call Obama a professor is 'cause he never was one. Calling him a professor is elevating him; he was a visiting lecturer."
University of Chicago considered Obama a professor
Obama was among "Professors" listed on University of Chicago website. Obama -- who held the title "Senior Lecturer in Law" between 1996 and 2004 -- was listed under "Professors" on the University of Chicago Law School's faculty page at least as far back as August 24, 2000, according to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. By contrast, "Lecturers in Law," which Obama was between 1992 and 1996, are listed separately.
Limbaugh's claim echoes a false claim made by Karl Rove
Rove put Obama's statement that he was a law professor on a "list of exaggerations." In April 2008 on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Fox News analyst Karl Rove said he had a "list of exaggerations" by then-Sen. Barack Obama. As one purported example, Rove said that Obama claimed, " 'I was a law school professor,' " before adding: "No, you were an instructor."
The University of Chicago issued a statement clarifying that Obama was a professor. From the University of Chicago's statement:
Limbaugh falsely claimed Robert Reich was never a professor
Limbaugh: Robert Reich "was never a professor." Rush also stated on his February 10 radio show: "It's just like Robert B. Reich. He was never a professor. He was a guest lecturer, but never a professor."
Reich has been a professor at two separate Universities
Reich is an associate professor of political science at the UC-Berkeley. Reich is a professor of Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley. Prior to that, Reich was a professor at Brandeis University. Reich "joined the faculty at Brandeis in 1997 as the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy."
Rush Limbaugh Inspired By Union Hospitals, Socialized Medicine
Excerpts from Media Matters and huffingtonpost.com
Conservatives can rejoice -- Rush Limbaugh recently left Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu hospital with a clean bill of health.
Despite complaints of sharp chest pains, Limbaugh told reporters that after he went through an angiogram, doctors "found absolutely nothing wrong. It was a blessing. No arterial disease, no coronary disease whatsoever."
Moments later, Limbaugh turned his praise of the hospital's service into his latest proof that the current American health care system is working perfectly.
"Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there is one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy, and I got nothing special," Limbaugh continued.
What Limbaugh didn't realize, SEIU's blog points out, is that the Hawaiian health care system is one of America's most progressive. So progressive, in fact, that Hawaii has been exempted from some of the terms of the Senate health care bill because the current system's requirements go above and beyond the ones federal legislation would mandate.
Furthermore, Limbaugh's saviors at the Queen's Medical Center are represented by the Hawaii Nurse's Associations, which, according to SEIU, offers benefits and protections similar to those of a labor union. The anti-reform talk show host is working to deny more people the same type of "confidence-inspiring" medical attention that made him "thankful to be an American."
THE TRUTH ABOUT RUSH LIBBAUGH AND HIS PHONY SOLDIERS COMMENT!
From Media Matter for America Oct 5, 2007
Wednesday, September 26: On his radio show, Limbaugh gets into a discussion with a caller about people who oppose the Iraq war. "It's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people," he says. The caller replies, "No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media." Limbaugh then interjects, "The phony soldiers," to which the caller responds, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve." The two then go on to talk about how real soldiers want to be in Iraq. A full one minute and 50 seconds later -- after the caller went on to discuss the purported presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and after Limbaugh thanked the caller for calling -- Limbaugh brings up Jesse MacBeth, who had claimed falsely to have served in Iraq and witnessed atrocities.
Friday, September 28: Responding to the controversy aroused by his "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh claims on his show that he had not been talking "about the anti-war movement generally," but rather "about one soldier ... Jesse MacBeth." He then tells his listeners he will present to them the "entire" segment from the day before, so they can hear what he actually said. But the clip he airs actually cuts out a full 1 minute and 35 seconds of discussion that occurred between Limbaugh's original "phony soldiers" comment and his subsequent reference to MacBeth, making it appear as though he had segued directly from "phony soldiers" to MacBeth, when this was not in fact the case. Limbaugh also claims he was "talking about one soldier with that 'phony soldier' comment, Jesse MacBeth," when in fact he said not "soldier" (singular) but "soldiers" (plural). Limbaugh also states during his program, "And by the way, Jesse MacBeth's not the only one," adding to his list of "phony soldiers" Congressman John Murtha, a Vietnam combat veteran and recipient of a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts whose service on active duty and in the Marine Reserve spanned 37 years before he retired as a colonel.
Tuesday, October 2: After the group VoteVets.org airs a television advertisement in which a wounded Iraq veteran, Brian McGough, criticizes Limbaugh for the "phony soldiers" comment, Limbaugh compares McGough to a suicide bomber. "He discusses his service in Iraq, the wounds he suffered there," Limbaugh says, "and he says to me in this ad, 'Until you have the guts to call me a "phony soldier" to my face, stop telling lies about my service.' You know, this is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into."
Thursday, October 4: Displaying his ongoing commitment to reasoned discourse, Limbaugh puts up a picture on his website of Josef Stalin sporting Media Matters' logo on his chest. Because posting audio and transcripts of Rush Limbaugh so people can see what he says is pretty much like heading up one of history's most brutally repressive regimes and murdering 20 million or so people. Just about, anyway.
Now that we're all caught up, we can talk about what this means. In order to understand it, you have to realize that Limbaugh's attack on soldiers who disagree with Bush's policy on the war is in perfect keeping with statements he has made in the past. While most commentators will at least nod to the notion that those who disagree with them can still love their country, Limbaugh has stated on numerous occasions his belief that people who oppose the war are unpatriotic. To take just one example, this past August, he said, "I want to respectfully disagree with the president on the last part of what he said. I am going to challenge the patriotism of people who disagree with him because the people that disagree with him want to lose."
Once you've constructed and maintained this argument -- that only people who hate America could possibly disagree with George W. Bush on national security questions -- what do you do when you encounter veterans who do, in fact, disagree? People who have put their very lives at risk in order to serve their country? So much of the rhetoric coming from people like Limbaugh operates on the premise that people who hold different opinions aren't merely wrong or mistaken, they have bad motives.
Think about how much time and effort they expend on convincing Americans that progressives and Democrats are "anti-military," "hate the troops," and even "hate America." So any progressive veteran who criticizes Bush administration policies represents a profound threat to all the arguments they have made. It becomes particularly thorny when nearly the entire current leadership of the conservative movement -- not only media figures like Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, but also political figures including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and many others -- were of draft age during the Vietnam war but managed to stay out of harm's way.
Let's be clear: I'm not arguing that any particular individual on that list didn't have legitimate reasons to avoid serving in Vietnam -- some may have. Nor am I arguing that the opinions of veterans on matters of national security are necessarily more valid simply because they are veterans. The point is that accusations of troop-hating and insufficient patriotism are difficult to wield at veterans, particularly when thrown by those who were subject to the draft but managed to avoid it.
Unless, that is, they can argue that the veteran in question isn't a real veteran, that his service wasn't real service, that his sacrifice wasn't real sacrifice, and that his patriotism isn't real patriotism. So that's exactly what they do.
If this were the first, or second, or even third time this had happened, one might be able to come up with another plausible explanation. But what we heard this week with Rush Limbaugh was a replay of a record we've heard many times before: a war critic with a military record emerges, and the right responds by attacking his patriotism, arguing that his service wasn't real, or both. Consider the following:
We could go on to list the many Democrats who have had their patriotism assaulted -- like Air Force veteran Tom Daschle, who was accused of treason by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) (Davis said that comments Daschle made in 2002 questioning the success of the war on terror had "the effect of giving aid and comfort to our enemies," language taken directly from the Constitution's definition of treason), and was the subject of a press release by since-disgraced Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) titled "Foley Questions Daschle's Patriotism." But that would take far more space than we have at hand. One thing that all these cases have in common is that no one in the media even considered referring to these conservative attacks as "anti-military," while media figures routinely characterize progressives as "anti-military" if they take issue with policies like the Iraq war, not to mention the converse, that Iraq war supporters are by definition "pro-military" folks who "support the troops" (see here, here, here, here, or here).
So let's consider Limbaugh's comment about Hackett. As far as Limbaugh is concerned, a progressive can't possibly join the military out of a commitment to national service or simple patriotism; if a progressive joined the military, his or her motives must have been dishonorable, in nd a veterans group are expressing outrage over comments made by conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh on his talk radio program last week.
The war of words began last Wednesday when Limbaugh, a longtime conservative radio talk-show host, insinuated that veterans who question the war in Iraq are "phony soldiers" on his talk-radio program.
"They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media," the caller said.
"The phony soldiers," Limbaugh responded.
Democrats have pounced on the controversy -- amplified by bloggers, interest groups and news media outlets -- calling on Republicans to condemn Limbaugh's comments. On Wednesday VoteVets.org, an Internet-based political veterans group, launched a television and radio ad attacking Limbaugh's comments.
It's a sign that in the lead-up to the 2008 election, with their congressional efforts to effect a change of course in Iraq repeatedly thwarted, the Democrats are stepping up their public relations game to portray perceived slights against the troops as proof that the GOP and other war-supporters do not care as much as they do about military veterans.
"Maybe Rush Limbaugh hasn't heard, but there's a new sheriff in town -- America's troops and veterans, who are not going to sit idle while he and his ilk demean the service of those who oppose the president's failed policy in Iraq," said Jon Soltz, chair of VoteVets.org and an Iraq War veteran.
Veterans Group Launches Anti-Limbaugh Ad
The veterans group spent $60,000 on a national ad condemning Limbaugh on cable news outlets last Wednesday and Thursday. They also aired a radio version of the ad during the Rush Limbaugh show in Washington, D.C., and in Palm Beach, Fla. -- Limbaugh's home market.
"More and more troops and veterans of Iraq believe George Bush's military policy has been a disaster," wounded Iraq veteran Brian McGough says in the ad. "I am one of them. Rush Limbaugh called vets like me 'phony soldiers' for telling the truth about Iraq."
Over pictures of his head wound, McGough says to camera in the ad: "Rush, the shrapnel I took to my head was real. My traumatic brain injury was real. And my belief that we are on the wrong course in Iraq is real. Until you have the guts to call me a 'phony soldier' to my face, stop telling lies about my service."
Democrats Mobilize Against Limbaugh Comments
Democrats called on their Republican colleagues to condemn Limbaugh -- just as Republicans called on Democrats last month to condemn an ad by the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org that was critical of Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
"All these Republicans went running to the mic and the TV cameras when MoveOn ran their ad about Gen. Petraeus. Now let's see if they really mean it," Democratic candidate and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said Saturday while campaigning in New Hampshire.
"Let's see if they'll speak out against Rush Limbaugh. Let's see if they'll challenge him about men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States," Edwards charged.
Democratic candidate Sen. Chris Dodd's, D-Conn., spokesman also jumped on the controversy.
"It's ironic, if not remotely surprising, that Rush Limbaugh, who makes his living shooting his mouth off, would impugn the patriotism and service of American troops simply because they have voiced their opposition to this failed policy," said Dodd spokesman Hari Sevugan.
Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean called on Limbaugh to apologize.
This week 20 House Democrats introduced a resolution urging the House to condemn Limbaugh's "unwarranted slur." Forty Senate Democrats Tuesday sent a letter to Clear Channel, asking the company that syndicates Limbaugh's radio program "to publicly repudiate" Limbaugh's comments.
Mark Mays, president of Clear Channel, the parent company of Limbaugh's broadcast, stood behind his broadcaster.
"Given Mr. Limbaugh's history of support for our soldiers, it would be unfair for me to assume his statements were intended to personally indict combat soldiers simply because they didn't share his own beliefs regarding the war in Iraq," Mays said in a written statement.
And yet House Republicans were able to get Democrats to sign their resolution condemning the MoveOn.org ad attacking Petraeus.
Limbaugh Denounces Veterans Group Ad
Limbaugh publicly denounced the VoteVets.org ad, likening the Iraq War veteran featured in the ad to a suicide bomber.
"This is such a blatant use of a valiant combat veteran, lying to him about what I said, then strapping those lies to his belt, sending him out via the media in a TV ad to walk into as many people as he can walk into," Limbaugh said Tuesday on his radio program.
Limbaugh has said that his "phony soldier" comments were referring only to one soldier recently convicted of lying about his service. The radio talk show host has also attacked Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., a retired Marine colonel and opponent of the Iraq War.
"I was not talking about anti-war, active duty troops," Limbaugh insisted. However the liberal media watchdog organization Media Matters disputed Limbaugh's claim that his "phony soldiers" comment was taken out of context, pointing to the transcript as proof that the reference came two minutes after discussion of the discredited man.
"After referring to troops who disagree with him about Iraq as phony soldiers, he's gone on to compare one of our Purple Heart veterans from the war in Iraq to a suicide bomber," said Karl Frisch, spokesperson for Media Matters. "It's time for him to stop digging the hole and start being accountable."
MORE RUSH BACKGROUND
Although he has never run for elected office or held any public position, or been in the military, rabid right talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh is considered to be one of the country's most influential Republicans. The views expressed on his nationally syndicated program, and echoed throughout the land by his legions of dittoheads, often become high-priority issues on the GOP agenda. Rush's values are in large part Republicans' values. The inverse is not necessarily true.
DURING THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS
Several investigators were criticized by leadership of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the archconservative Landmark Foundation for employing tactics that, in theory, could have altered the Senate debate on impeachment and perhaps influence a Senator's given vote. The Landmark Foundation went so far as to petition the Justice Department to launch an investigation into the hypocrisy brigade on charges of possible jury-tampering. The RNC's Jim Nicholson heartily seconded the proposed probe.
Rush Limbaugh evidently believed that the desire of his fellow Republicans to shield the Senate debate from outside influences applied to others, but not to himself.
Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama felt firsthand Rush Limbaugh's selective sense of ethical propriety. On January 25, 1999, Shelby was quoted by the Associated Press on the matter of House Managers calling witnesses in the impeachment trial. Shelby prefaced his opinion on the vote for calling witnesses with a view that the House's case was not airtight, "and there are not 67 votes to convict. If it were an airtight case...you'd probably have about 70, 75 Senators lining up to convict. You don't see that."
Shelby remarked on NBC's Today that the House prosecutors were arguing for witnesses because "they are hoping to find something rather than perhaps having something." The Senator from Alabama felt that unless witnesses would alter the dynamics of the trial, "I say let's dispense with the witnesses and go on and vote up or down after we have arguments."
Later the same day, Rush Limbaugh responded to Shelby's reality-dictated practicality. "I hear he [Shelby] may have a Larry Flynt problem," said Limbaugh.
Allan MacDonell of Hustler, was described by the New York Post as being "morally outraged" by Limbaugh's remark. MacDonell refused to confirm or deny whether Larry Flynt possessed any compromising facts about Shelby, but made clear that Rush Limbaugh would not have been party to any Hustler information.
"I know what Limbaugh is trying to do," said MacDonell. "He's trying to cast aspersions on Shelby, who has opened his eyes and seen reality. It's a pretty rotten trick. It's an attempt at coercion. Rush is trying to get Shelby to put his head back in the sand. I believe a Justice Department probe should be launched against Rush Limbaugh for interfering with a Senate jury, and I'm sure that Jim Nicholson of the RNC, and the Landmark Foundation, will concur that Limbaugh has violated a vital precept."
Predictably, neither the RNC nor the Landmark Foundation voiced any objection to blubbermouth Limbaugh's blatant attempt to blackmail the jury. Again, Republicans behave as if they are entitled to live by a lower moral standard than that to which they hold their opponents. Senator Shelby, equally predictably, voted to allow the calling of witnesses in the impeachment proceedings.
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