Archive for Rush Limbaugh

Conservatism is a Winning Strategy—Except in Elections

That seemed to be the message from this extended call to Rush Limbaugh yesterday:

RUSH: Here’s Ian in Fort Myers, Florida. It’s great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Awesome. I appreciate it, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: First of all, I just want to let you know that I truly appreciate your perspective and all the ideas you share every time. I’m gonna do my best to try to articulate the point I was making to the screener. With regard to the Koch brothers article and just the message there that they’re trying to communicate, I just think the Republican Party is struggling to connect with the average person.

RUSH: Now, wait. Before you continue, I just want to make sure that we identify them. This is Charles Koch. The Koch brothers are Charles and David. There are two other Koch brothers that are not part of “the Koch brothers” as the Democrats use them.

CALLER: Sure.

I highlighted the caller’s point, and will trim the excess verbiage to try to keep it short. His inarticulateness and Rush’s deafness made for some tough listening.

CALLER: [...] I think when it comes to trying to persuade people about who they want to vote for and who they want running the country, to go out there and tell them that they need to distance themselves from the government, most people are afraid of that, in the masses at least. I mean, you’ve gotta understand, these people follow the advice of these progressives for the last 40, 50 years –

RUSH: No, I agree with you. I think it’s a scary thing for a lot of people to think of the government not being involved in their lives, particularly single women.

Okay, well, let’s take this down to the basic level. Do you have any kids?

CALLER: Not yet.

RUSH: Not yet. How old are you?

CALLER: Thirty-three.

RUSH: Thirty-three. Well, let’s pretend for a moment that you have a son who is 12 or 13, maybe 15, just on the verge of getting a driver’s license and a car. Let’s also, as part of our hypothetical, let’s stipulate that you and your wife have spoiled your son. Your son is way too dependent on you, and you are worried that he hasn’t learned and isn’t interested in learning how to take care of himself.

CALLER: Sure.

RUSH: What would you do?

CALLER: Well –

RUSH: The reason I ask is because you just said we can’t confront these people with the idea that they’ve got to take control of their own lives.

Again, cutting:

RUSH: Well, now, wait a second. See, this is where I kind of have a differing opinion from yours. Why is it that people today are immune from lessons in life? Why are people today somehow, “We can’t talk about taking care of yourself with this group. We can’t talk about providing for yourself. We can’t talk about making your life your own.” Why? What is it about this group that that so scares them? My point is, you would not raise your children that way.

If you were running for office, let’s forget that you’ve got a kid that’s gone off the rails and he’s dependent. You’re running for office, you want to reach these people. Okay, you’ve said we can’t make ‘em feel alone. We can’t humiliate ‘em. We can’t tell ‘em we’re gonna take things away from ‘em but we still want ‘em to vote for us. So what would you do? What would be your pitch?

CALLER: I don’t think there needs to be as strong of a pitch like you’re assuming to get people to vote for the person that they’re confident in. I don’t think Obama had a super strong pitch when he first won. He was just somewhat of a likable person. And even though these ideas that you share on a daily basis are pretty much the gospel to get yourself to a level in society that –

RUSH: I disagree with you. I think Obama did have a pitch, and it was he was gonna take care of you, and he was gonna fix everything that was wrong. And he personally was gonna guarantee you that things are gonna be okay. And he personally was gonna guarantee that the country be loved again. And he personally was gonna do all these wonderful things.

And, finally, Rush concluded:

RUSH: I can tell you that this radio audience is filled with converts, people that used to be dependent liberal Democrats who now listen to this program. You think that might not be possible because of the way they’re being approached because I make them afraid or feel vulnerable or whatever. But nobody that I know of anywhere is demanding that people be left alone.

That is not what “self-reliance” and “individuality” mean. It doesn’t mean alone. It doesn’t mean with no help. It doesn’t mean with no assistance. What it means is, “Be yourself, find out what you love, find out what you really want to do, and go do it. And don’t depend on people who don’t have your best interests at heart,” i.e., Democrats and the government.

If we’ve gotten to the point where we are literally destroying people’s futures by creating this dependency and then we can’t wean them off of it because that’s gonna make them vulnerable, then it’s not just that we’re gonna go to the grave never winning an election; we’re gonna go to the grave with the country never recovering. That, for me, isn’t an option. Tough love. You may think that’s too direct and so forth.

But I’m telling you, the question I asked you about how you would take care of somebody in your immediate orb that you feared was ruining their life is relevant here. If you love people, if you love the country, if you believe that everybody in the country contributes to making it great — if you love everybody and you want the best for them and if you know how they can achieve the best for them — you can’t be afraid to tell them.

As Rush said at CPAC five years ago:

I want to tell you who conservatives are. We conservatives have not done a good enough job of just laying out basically who we are because we make the mistake of assuming people know. What they know is largely incorrect based on the way we are portrayed in pop culture, in the Drive-By Media, by the Democrat Party. Let me tell you who we conservatives are: we love people. When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don’t see groups. We don’t see victims. We don’t see people we want to exploit. What we see — what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don’t think that person doesn’t have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government.

It’s up for debate if this is a winning message. But it’s the only message conservatives have. Liberals own the other side, the argument that you need government to complete you (which is appealing to some, repugnant to others). Where conservatives can win is if they persuade people that realizing their potential not only benefits them, it benefits that country. With ever greater numbers leaving the job market and going on aid, the liberal siren song sounds sweeter and sweeter. Until the ship capsizes (like Guam) from too many people rushing to one side to listen.

But as appealing as the conservative message is to me on its own, sometimes you win elections by pointing out the shortcomings on the other side.

ObamaCare.

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Conservatives Are Bad, But Did You Know We Were This Bad?

A little background, helpfully provided by James Taranto:

One explanation for this phenomenon comes from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.” Todd Zywicki, coincidentally on the same day Cuomo made his remark, summed up the relevant finding in a Volokh Conspiracy post:

Haidt reports on the following experiment: after determining whether someone is liberal or conservative, he then has each person answer the standard battery of questions as if he were the opposite ideology. So, he would ask a liberal to answer the questions as if he were a “typical conservative” and vice-versa. What he finds is quite striking: “The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who describe themselves as ‘very liberal.’ The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the Care and Fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives.” In other words, moderates and conservatives can understand the liberal worldview and liberals are unable to relate to the conservative worldview, especially when it comes to questions of care and fairness.

In short, Haidt’s research suggests that many liberals really do believe that conservatives are heartless bastards–or as a friend of mine once remarked, “Conservatives think that liberals are good people with bad ideas, whereas liberals think conservatives are bad people”–and very liberal people think that especially strongly. Haidt suggests that there is some truth to this.

How often have we said this ourselves? (Other than all the time?) It helps me, anyway, to have been a liberal for many years myself. I know the thought processes (to be generous), the denial, the sacrifice of reality for dogma. I consider my liberal self to be an unfinished version of my better self. I’m still not finished, mind you, nothing so smug and self-satisfied as that, but I could never go back—and it would be back—to modern American/Western liberalism.

But let’s look at a few less evolved people, shall we? Taranto names two:

[Mayor Bill] de Blasio launched an attack, or rather reinforced one, on a minority he can afford to alienate. Breitbart.com’s Kerry Picket reports the mayor “emphatically backed New [York] Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversial remarks that ‘extreme’ conservatives . . . ‘have no place in the state of New York.’ ”

“I stand by that 100%,” said the mayor.

[Cuomo said:] “Right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay–if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

Cuomo’s statement was a gaffe, though one suspects it was a Kinsley gaffe, an inadvertent disclosure of his true feelings. De Blasio’s endorsement of it, by contrast, was unquestionably purposeful. “I agree with Gov. Cuomo’s remarks,” he said. “I interpret his remarks to say that an extremist attitude that continues the reality of violence in our communities or an extremist attitude that denies the rights of women does not represent the views of New York state.”

These were no pissant pipsqueaks, but the Mayor and Governor of New York City and State. Conservatives are not only demonized (anti-gay, pro assault weapons, holders of “extremist attitudes” that perpetuate violence and subjugate women), but as such, they cannot live among decent people. Would you want to live next to Charles Manson?

But Cuomo and de Blasio are pissant pipsqueaks next to the President of the United States:

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.”

Says the recently reelected Barack Obama. America as a whole seems to like the idea of a black president. Or, to give America more credit than it deserves, it likes the idea of Barack Obama as president. (He wasn’t the first black candidate, just the first successful black candidate.) Still, there’s no denying that his race (the black half) was more responsible than anything else in putting him on the political map. Just about every white supporter I know has said it.

Even Obama acknowledges it:

“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president,”

Maybe? Did you think it was your effervescent personality? Your sharp wit? Your uncanny ability at bird calls? “Maybe some white folks…” No [bleep], Sherlock.

And you know who it is poisoning the minds of those “folks” who don’t like him. Why, none other than:

“Another way of putting it, I guess, is that the issue has been the inability of my message to penetrate the Republican base so that they feel persuaded that I’m not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, but I’m somebody who is interested in solving problems and is pretty practical, and that, actually, a lot of the things that we’ve put in place worked better than people might think. And as long as there’s that gap between perceptions of me within the average Republican primary voter and the reality, it’s hard for folks like John Boehner to move too far in my direction.”

Got that, “average Republican primary voter”? (Is that a synonym for “typical white person”? A cousin of a “bitter clinger” to guns and religion?) You don’t see “reality”, but a shucking and jiving “caricature” depicted by Rush Limbaugh (pbuh) and Roger Ailes. Maybe you’re not so bad, after all. Just incredibly stupid. So there’s hope.

Oh wait. Maybe not:

RUSH: … So yesterday the New Yorker releases more pages from their interview with Obama in which Obama blames me and Fox News for the fact that he is not as popular as he used to be.

And then later that same day, Chuck-U Schumer heads out to the Center for American Progress to make a speech, and he mentioned me and Fox News five times. Here’s the first…

SCHUMER: What gives this group such undue power? The power of the message machine led by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and the Rush Limbaughs that can broadcast the same exaggerated and even false messages instantaneously are all means that the Tea Party has used to gain ascendancy.

The underlying unrest that allowed the movement to ascend can be found in economic as well as cultural and social forces that in combination have greatly unsettled the American psyche. The first and most important phenomena is a phenomena that Democrats have recently begun to address, the decline in middle class incomes. When the Tea Party elite came in and said, “Government is your problem,” we didn’t say, no, it’s part of the solution. The American people became frustrated, sour, and angry, and the Tea Party elites, unchallenged, tapped into that anger with their pied piper solutions.

Tea Party “elites”? Tea Party “ascendancy”? Who? Since when? Barack Obama is still president, Harry Reid still runs the Senate, and John Boehner, Republican, hates the Tea Party more than both of them put together!

Schumer is just making [bleep] up! And he wasn’t done:

SCHUMER: These people are wealthy, hard right, narrow, people who don’t want to pay taxes, people who say, “I created my business all by my myself. How dare your government tell me what to do with it?” Government paved the roads and built the airports so they can ship their products. Government educated the workers that make their companies run and purchase their products. They conveniently ignore these facts. Over the years, they built a powerful and successful message machine that amplified and sold this anti-government theory to their followers. The Rush Limbaughs, the Fox Newses agree with the plutocrats and spread their propaganda to the masses.

I’ve been wanting to make this point to the “you didn’t build that” crowd for a long time: Romania has paved roads and airpots; so does Zimbabwe. Where are their thriving economies? If that’s all it took, poor countries would become instantly rich with the application of tarmac and blacktop. Stop it.

You really have to hear the contempt, the loathing, dripping from Schumer’s voice. He echoes Obama, but without his “cleanliness” or his “optional Negro dialect” (™ Joe Biden and Harry Reid respectively). I can’t be certain that he and Obama and Cuomo and de Blasio (and Reid and Pelosi, et al) actually feel this much hatred for their conservative fellow citizens—I truly hope note—but their base does. We all know people who hate us this much; we’re related by blood to some. This is their red meat.

We just ticked over into an election year, so we should expect only more. What else do the Democrats have? Obamacare? Loser issue. Immigration? Loser issue. Economy? Loser issue. Peace and respect around the world. Major loser issue.

In politics as in law: “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”

That thumping you hear is the entire Democrat-Media Complex pounding the table. Get used to it.

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Dammit!

Untitled

Rush says he lives “rent-free” in Obama’s head.

Then why don’t we warrant a broom closet or a corner of the boiler room?!

RUSH: Well, ladies and gentlemen, it looks like I continue to live rent free in the head of the president, Barack Obama. It seems that the New Yorker has just posted more from their 18-page Obama interview. I don’t know if the whole thing has been on the Internet. I didn’t read the whole thing. It may have been up there all the time. But here is what the president said, the New Yorker interview with David Remnick that they have just posted.

“Another way of putting it, I guess, is that the issue has been the inability of my message to penetrate the Republican base so that they feel persuaded that I’m not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, but I’m somebody who is interested in solving problems and is pretty practical, and that, actually, a lot of the things that we’ve put in place worked better than people might think. And as long as there’s that gap between perceptions of me within the average Republican primary voter and the reality, it’s hard for folks like John Boehner to move too far in my direction.”

So it’s me again, and Fox News. We are the reason Obama can’t advance his agenda, because Boehner is afraid to move too close to Obama because I have made you — along with Fox News has made you — think Obama is something that he isn’t. And it’s such a shame. I have so distorted who the real Obama is in your mind, that it is paralyzing our government. It is paralyzing the Speaker of the House, who really, really, really, really wants to go in there and really, really work with Obama, but he just can’t. It’s hard for people like Boehner to move too far in my direction because of the misperception of me, Obama says, created by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

Rush and Fox, Fox and Rush—what have we been for the past eight years?!?!?! We’ve called him doofus, fascist, Omoeba, and any number of other names! We’ve opposed just about everything he’s said or done.

Where’s our space in his jug-eared head?

Naturally, Obama doesn’t want to portray the opposition is principled. He himself is rational, centrist, practical. It’s the foamy-mouthed radicals on the right who just spew hate. (You don’t know the half of it, General Secretary!)

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Recovery

Funny strange, not funny ha-ha:

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 379,000, the highest since March. The increase may reflect volatility around the Thanksgiving holidays.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average jumped 13,250 to 343,250, the second straight increase.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Last month, they fell to nearly the lowest level in six years, as companies cut fewer jobs. But two weeks ago, they surged 64,000 to 369,000.

Economists dismissed that spike, saying it likely reflected a Thanksgiving holiday that fell later in the month. That can distort the government’s seasonal adjustments. But if the trend continues it would be a troubling sign of rising layoffs.

“We are inclined to ignore the recent claims data,” said Joseph LaVorgna, an economist at Deutsche Bank. “We see little evidence to suggest that the labor market trend of the past few months has meaningfully changed.”

Easy for him to say. He has a job.

Maybe he knows what Rush knows:

Now all of a sudden, on the heels of magnificent news on the employment front, now we’ve got this unexpected, massive in applications for part-time. The Associated Press is gob-smacked. They don’t understand it. “The number of people seeking US unemployment benefits rose 68,000 last week … the largest increase in more than a year. The surge in first-time applications could be a troubling sign,” they say, “if it lasts. But it likely reflects the difficulty adjusting for delays after the Thanksgiving holiday.”

That’s not what this is at all. You know what this is about? The Democrats are upset that the budget deal does not contain any extension for unemployment benefits. That’s all this is. I’ll lay you a dollar to a doughnut they put this number out to further the idea…

Rush said this when the budget was still in negotiation, but the issue of unemployment benefits is only just below the surface.

You think Rush needs to reline his tinfoil hat?

You need to check your memory:

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

Hey, what do I know?

I know this: the criminal regime in the White House routinely uses government agencies to further its own nefarious ends; that they manipulate data, the press, and the low-information voter to get their way; and that they never, ever give up until they “succeed”.

Tell me where I’m wrong. We’ll see.

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Distract-a-Palooza!

Step right up, ladies and gentleman, and watch the Amazing Hussein make one-sixth of the American economy disappear! Now you see ObamaCare…

Now you don’t!

The growing gap between rich and poor Americans is threatening the ideals the country was founded upon, President Barack Obama said in remarks Wednesday that appeared to signal a leftward turn in his economic agenda.

Making sure that the U.S. economy works for every working American is “the defining challenge of our time,” Obama said in a speech at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. He later said the “dangerous and growing” income and opportunity gap is jeopardizing the notion that if people work hard, they can get ahead.

Thank the lord we have a new president to reverse this “dangerous and growing” calamity! Oh wait. Isn’t it amazing how The Amazing Hussein can summon the wraith of George Bush to obscure the myriad failures of his regime? Amazing.

To combat the chasm between haves and have-nots, Obama called for a hike in the federal minimum wage, saying an increase is a good step for families and the economy as a whole.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have pushed for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 an hour. A proposal would boost it to about $10, and the White House has said Obama supports such a measure.

That extra $20 a day will make millionaires of every American. Porterhouse for all! Moet for the house!

I used to oppose knee-jerk hikes in the minimum wage (after supporting them). But now I’m back on board. Sure, there’s a direct link between minimum wage hikes and unemployment—stretched business owners can’t just “make it rain”, tossing cash in the air like confetti—but I’m tired of leftist weenies like the namesake of Obamacare getting all the joy out of grandstanding on the issue.

Take your $10 an hour and shove it up your backside! Give me a Grant or give me death!

I recall a great moment on Rush Limbaugh this summer: [I necessarily edited this to add coherence to the caller's point.]

CALLER: This is Sean in San Diego, and I believe those workers at McDonald’s and Burger King deserve some more money. The shareholders are getting rich. I watch every day on MarketWatch, and the CEO is getting rich. They’re making their profits. They can afford to pair their workers a bit more money. They’re not asking for much. They haven’t had a raise in 25 years.

RUSH: Really? In 1988, people at McDonald’s were making $7.25 an hour?

CALLER: I’m not exactly sure of that, but –

RUSH: Well, that would be important.

CALLER: They’re not being paid fairly, Rush.

RUSH: Why can’t they [get a job that does pay]?

CALLER: Probably no other jobs out there in this bad economy.

RUSH: Why? Why aren’t there any jobs out there?

CALLER: The Democrats have destroyed this economy. We all know that.

RUSH: Okay. Well, the minimum wage, by the way, back 25 years ago was $3.35 an hour, just to get the number out there. It was not what they’re making today. I’ll get the inflation calculator out and take a look at it. They’re asking for double their current wages. Sean, why doesn’t the McDonald’s franchise just pay it? You know, why not just give them more money?

CALLER: Oh, that’s simple. Greed.

RUSH: Greed? Or is it competition?

CALLER: Why should they if they don’t have to and nobody’s making them? Government sets the minimum wage, and they don’t want to do it.

RUSH: Well, okay. Let’s take a look McDonald’s, and let’s say the McDonald’s gives their employees a raise. Let’s just say $10 dollars an hour. Would that be enough?

CALLER: No. I don’t think so.

RUSH: Okay.

RUSH: How about this? How about McDonald’s raises everybody to $20 an hour? Would that be enough? Would that be okay?

CALLER: I think that would probably help a lot of people.

RUSH: What about $25 an hour?

CALLER: Managers should probably get at least that. They probably already do.

RUSH: Okay, then what about $30 an hour?

CALLER: If that’s the fair market rate.

RUSH: Well, no, that’s what $7.25 is.

CALLER: I don’t believe that.

RUSH: Yeah, that’s why it’s $7.25. It’s the fair market rate. It’s $7.25 not because it’s temporary. That’s the fair market rate. Let’s pay ‘em $50 an hour, how about that?

CALLER: $15 an hour.

RUSH: No, $50.

CALLER: $50?

RUSH: Five-oh, $50 an hour. How about that?

CALLER: Yeah. That should be the new fair market rate.

RUSH: Right on. Right? Well, let’s keep going, how about $75 an hour, let’s pay ‘em $75 an hour.

CALLER: Where you going with this?

Finally! It took how long for Sean from San Diego to get Rush’s point?

Except he doesn’t!

RUSH: Well, I want to know whether you agree with $75. I’m not going anywhere with it. If $50 is good, $60 would be better, right?

CALLER: Well, yeah.

RUSH: What about $75 an hour?

CALLER: Where you going with this, though? I don’t understand.

Coulda fooled me. But Rush is kinder than I am:

RUSH: Sean? Sean, one thing. I’m not trying to trick you. I’m not playing a trick on you here. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not taking you anywhere. I don’t want you misunderstand.

The point, Sean, is that you just said that $7.25 isn’t the market price, and it is. That $7.25 an hour is what it requires for McDonald’s to be fully staffed. There are people who will work for that, and therefore that sets the wage scale. Now, $10 would be better.

Yeah, you can keep raising it, but at some point, everybody who believes in a minimum wage will say, “No, wait a minute. That’s too much,” and at that point, you have demonstrated that that there’s no market relationship. You’re just talking emotion. You’re just talking “fairness.” You’re just talking being nice, and that’s not how the market works. People aren’t paid a wage because they’re being nice to, or because it’s fair. In the market, the market rules. You can control it all you want, you could add arbitrary numbers on it all you want, and all you’re doing is delaying the inevitable.

The market will always win and will always rule, because it is the market.

The Amazing Hussein now stands naked before us, and considerably less well-endowed than Piers Morgan thinks he is.

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Whose N-Word Is It, Anyway?

Cleaning out some backlogged stories, this discussion came up on Rush about ten days ago:

RUSH: Now we’re getting into this televised discussion of who can and who can’t use the N-word and how. Let me just give you three examples of this — and, frankly, this is just reprehensible to me. Call me a fuddy-duddy if you want, but I will not sit around and watch this kind of stuff.

I’m not gonna get caught up in it, and I’m certainly not gonna weigh in and have an opinion on it. First, TNT, Inside the NBA, the anchor Ernie Johnson speaking with Charles Barkley about Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes having to apologize after he was fined for using the N-word in a tweet after he was ejected from a game Wednesday night. Ernie Johnson says, “Charles, what do you want to get off your chest about this?”

BARKLEY: I’m a black man. I use the N-word. I’m going to continue to use the N-word with my black friends, with my white friends. They are my friends. What I do with my black friends is not up to white America to dictate to me what’s appropriate and inappropriate. What we say in the locker room, the language we use sometime(s) it’s homophobic, sometime(s) it’s sexist, and a lot of times it’s racist. White America don’t get to dictate how me and Shaq talk to each other. And they have been trying to infiltrate (sic) themselves saying, “Well, you guys use it. It’s in rap music.” No, no, no, no, no. That’s not the same.

RUSH: Of course it’s not the same, but Chuck — and I can call you Chuck because I know you. It’s what his friends call him. Chuck, it’s not “white America” trying to insinuate themselves into what you can and can’t say. It’s your good buddies on the left who are doing this. It’s your good buddy liberal Democrats who are trying to force you to speak the way they think you should, not white America.

Shaquille O’Neal then had this to say.

O’NEAL: Chuck makes a good point. In the Ebonic culture we have programmed ourselves to use the word positive. We have G14 classification to stay it to each other. But when we say it to each other, believe it or not, it’s in the positive sense.

RUSH: There you go. It has a G14 classification. G14 classification. So when the brothers use it, when the brothers are talking to each other and using the N-word, do you know it matters whether or not there’s an A on the end of it or an E-R? If you pronounce it with E-R it’s worse than if you say it with an A, cause because if you use an A on the end of it you’re talking to a brother in a positive way, and these guys getting all bent out of the shape now that people are trying to take their word away from them.

Kornheiser says to Wilbon, “What do you say about the issue of the use of the inflammatory N-word there, Michael?”

WILBON: People can be upset with me if they want. I, like a whole lot of people, use the N-word all day every day my whole life. Publicly I wouldn’t do that, but I have no issue with it. I have a problem with — and excuse me, here — white people framing the discussion for the use of the N-word. They better not sit there like plantation owners and tell black people how to use the language that was forced on us!

I can see the “positive sense” Shaq means: take what once hurt and adopt it as your own. A word can’t injure if you’ve declawed it. If your closest friends are ni**ers to you, and you’re a ni**er to them, what’s the big deal? But can I just ask you to show good manners and taste and not use so commonly in front of the rest of us not sanctioned to use it? How long before I hear about this ni**er and that ni**er and use it myself, either accidentally or cautiously on purpose; and what will happen?

Anyhow, the listeners got in on the act:

CALLER: I’m just so sickened. As a black woman, I’m so sickened and angered by those clips that you played of those black sports figures and sportscasters just rallying for the right to use the N-word, this vile, disgusting word, this despicable word. These men, and I can’t even call them men with a straight face, who are so happy to use the word that was used when their great-great-grandparents were sold on auction blocks as cattle. You know, there is no other group of people in this country that have embraced a vile word to describe their own people, to describe themselves.

CALLER: — these people don’t even have the intelligence, they can’t even tell you why this is something that they want to use every day. But I will say this and I have to say this. For any black man who wants to sanitize this word and make it something that has laudatory value, let me just say this. This is the word that virtually every black male child, every black male teen, just before he’s shot on the streets by another black teen, that’s the last word that he hears, “I’m gonna kill you, blank.” And that’s the word that’s instilled into that blank. So you tell me what there is positive about this word.

RUSH: I don’t know.

CALLER: This is the word that’s been yelled at your children as they’re being shot dead on the streets of America.

I hadn’t thought about that. Though, of course, it’s the shooting that’s the real problem, not name calling. But maybe ni**er is still dehumanizing in this usage. You’re not my buddy, my brother, the ni**ger, you’re the about-to-be-dead ni**er.

Anyway, one caller begat another:

CALLER: Well, good to talk to you, Rush. I was so glad to hear you talk to the black woman before, ’cause I was afraid I was gonna finally get through to you and call to disagree with you. And I’ve been listening you since the Clinton years. But here you talked to her and you clarified that. I thought you might have thought that Wilbon and Shaq and Charles Barkley should — it was okay for them — to use the N-word as long as they (garbled) like to use the N-word.

I thought you might have insinuated that they’re right to say it, they had the right to say it, that it was some kind of right for them to say it ’cause they’re black. But I heard you talk to the other caller clearly and I said, “Okay, now I understand.” After all these years of listening to you, I didn’t want to call and disagree. I tell you one thing, though, Rush. I wouldn’t mind everybody using the N-word to get free from it, ’cause we tried to insult you white people over the years, Rush. We tried. But you know why we can’t? Because you won’t let us. Because won’t get offended! Well, we can’t insult you if you won’t get offended. That’s freedom for you all. I would love that freedom for black people, where we don’t get offended and that word no longer has a hold on us.

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. My hearing is an obstacle. Who is the “you” won’t let us use the…?

CALLER: White people won’t get offended when black people try to come up with racial slurs against you. You won’t get offended, and that gives you all freedom over yourselves.

RUSH: Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.

CALLER: Yeah. I would love for black people to have freedom from the N-word, but the only way to get freedom from it, Rush, is if we don’t get offended.

RUSH: In other words, is what you’re saying that you wish you didn’t have to be offended when you heard it but everybody’s making you think you ought to be offended so you act like you are?

CALLER: Exactly, Rush, and the only way to get freedom is if you say everyone use it. ‘It’s not offensive; everybody use it.” It’s like you said before, Rush: If you’re gonna say that white people can’t use it? Then it can’t be okay for black people to use it.

CALLER: The rebel flag! The rebel flag is a classic example. Blacks used to love watching the show the Dukes of Hazzard, Rush, with that big General Lee and that big rebel flag on there in the ’70s.

RUSH: Is that right?

CALLER: Yeah!

RUSH: You liked the Dukes of Hazzard?

CALLER: We loved it! Blacks in the South loved it as much as everybody else.

RUSH: Well, that was Daisy, though. Let’s be honest.

CALLER: (laughing) Well, part of it. It didn’t offend us in the ’70s. It wasn’t until the politically correct crowd told us, “Well, you should be offended by that rebel flag.”

RUSH: That’s right.

CALLER: Well, I didn’t know I should have been offended! (laughing)

RUSH: He’s exactly right. He’s exactly right about this, folks. It’s just like if somebody walks down the street whistling Dixie, you’re supposed to get livid about it, and you don’t want to care, right?

CALLER: Exactly. I want the freedom from it. I want to be as free as you white people are when it comes to words, ’cause we’ve tried to offend you (laughing), but you won’t let us by getting offended, and it’s so much freedom.

Enlightened? Me neither. But I think that Rush is right that the Balkanization of language is the first step to becoming the Balkans themselves.

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Two Great Men

A great man:

The pope “from the ends of the Earth,” as he described himself from the central loggia of St. Peter’s on the evening of his election on March 13, is a reformer who, as he made clear in “Evangelii Gaudium,” will measure authentic Catholic reform by the criterion of mission-effectiveness. Thus the Franciscan reform of the Roman Curia will not be undertaken for whatever modest satisfactions may be derived from moving slots around on an organizational flowchart, but to ensure that the Catholic Church’s central administration serves the evangelical mission of all the members of the church.

He is a man of broad culture, well-read theologically but more given to literary references and illustrations than to scholarly theological citations in his preaching and catechesis. Thus one of his recent daily Mass sermons praised Robert Hugh Benson’s early 20th-century apocalyptic novel, “Lord of the World,” for raising important cautions against dictatorial utopianism, or what the pope called “adolescent progressivism.”

The pope is passionately concerned about the poor, and he knows that poverty in the 21st century takes many forms. It can be found in the grinding material poverty of his native Buenos Aires, caused by decades of corruption, indifference, and the church’s failures to catechize Argentina’s economic and political leaders. But poverty can also be found in the soul-withering spiritual desert of those who measure their humanity by what they have rather than who they are, and who judge others by the same materialist yardstick. Then there is the ethical impoverishment of moral relativism, which dumbs down human aspiration, impedes common work for the common good in society, and inevitably leads to social fragmentation and personal unhappiness.

As he wrote in “Evangelii Gaudium,” Pope Francis is not a man of “political ideology.” He knows that “business is a vocation and a noble vocation,” if ordered to the common good and the empowerment of the poor. When he criticizes the social, economic or political status quo, he does so as a pastor who is “interested only in helping all those who are in thrall to an individualistic, indifferent and self-centered mentality to be freed from those unworthy chains and to attain a way of living and thinking that is more humane, noble, and fruitful.”

And, if you will, a greater man:

“Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny’ and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church. … In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the ‘idolatry of money.’”

Folks, in recent weeks I have endeavored to try to make you understand how it is that people like modern-age Democrats look at small business and business at large. They do not, in the terms of small business, understand how fragile it is. Their view of business is that people who own them or run them cheat their customers, abuse their employees, hoard all the money, and have tons of it. They take it and keep it for themselves. They deny their employees a livable wage. They deny them health care. They deny them benefits. They produce products that kill and maim and sicken, or they produce products that destroy the planet, destroy the environment, or what have you.

I mean, it’s a litany. This is their view and it is why they claim that they must take it over and control it, because it’s inherently unfair that a select few capitalists rip everybody off. Rip off their employees, rip off their customers, and that’s how you have unequal incomes, and this vast gap between wealth and poverty. It’s all because of capitalism. They claim that as socialists or reformers or progressives, that they are fair and compassionate, and they will make that gap between the wealthy and the poor narrower, and they will make life more equitable, and they will engage in equality of outcomes and so forth, and wherever they’ve tried, they’ve failed.

Wherever socialists have gained power, they have done nothing but spread poverty. They cannot and do not produce wealth. They do not understand it. All they can do is destroy it. They are not compassionate; they coerce. And to hear the pope regurgitating this stuff, I was profoundly disappointed. The idolatry of money, urging “politicians to ‘attack the structural causes of inequality’ and strive to provide work, health care and education to all citizens.”

What has been happening in this country the past five years? Exactly what this man claims to want. We have a president who has attacked the structural causes of inequality, and what’s he done? He’s raised taxes on the producers and the achievers for the express purpose of redistributing it. All he’s done is create massive debt. He has destroyed jobs. There are 91.5 million Americans not working in America today, 91.5 million not working. All the while the president, 19 or 20 times, says that he’s doing nothing but focusing on creating jobs, but he can’t. No government can create jobs, not in the private sector. All they can do is hamper job creation.

The pope “also called on rich people to share their wealth.” We were just talking about the charitable donations and contributions that existed in this country, and they are profound. The United States is near the top of the list in the world of charitable countries, but even with all the charity, and it is tremendous, it cannot compete with capitalism in elevating people out of poverty. There is nothing the world has ever devised that has elevated more people out of poverty than capitalism.

Amen.

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Blogging With Half My Brain Tied Behind My Back, Just to Make it Fair

BTL Nov. 18:

What we don’t have is any credible evidence (even incredible evidence) that the “climate of hate” in Dallas had anything to do with it. If you look at the newsreels of the day, with thousands upon thousands of adoring people lining the motorcade route, I’ll be damned if I see any credible evidence of a climate of hate.

Just remain aware of that over the next few days. You’ll be convinced the Tea Party shot Kennedy (both of them, and MLK, Jr.—even Buddy Holly and Richie Valens) by the end of this week.

Rush Limbaugh today, Nov. 21:

Before it’s all said and done, before they finish with this, the Tea Party will actually be said to have had its roots in Dallas in 1963 and that the madcap, extremist, right-wing lunaticism is actually the spawning place of the modern day Tea Party.

Don’t doubt me.

Look, even when I make jokes about these people I end up being right about ‘em, so don’t discount that.

I know how it feels, El Rushbo.

PS: Another point about the “climate of hate” in Dallas: Texas went for Kennedy in 1960. Having Johnson on the ticket helped, of course—not least in stealing a fair number of votes—but if Texas hated Kennedy so much, Texas would have joined the 27 states (by my count) that voted against him.

PPS: One more small thing. In watching some of the Kennedy hagiography going on, something puzzled me. They described Kennedy as being raised in New York, and as being seen as a carpetbagger when he first ran for Congress in 1946. Huh? I thought he was Boston’s first son. The facts: Kennedy was born in Brookline; the family moved to Riverdale, New York when he was 10; he attended Choate (in CT) for high school, and wanted to go to Princeton for college until his father intervened; thence to Harvard; after graduation in 1940, he mostly worked for his father until enlisting in the war. No big deal; his mother’s side had long roots in Boston, and the family spent a lot of time at the compound on the Cape. But he didn’t exactly grow up going to Red Sox games and taking in Symphony concerts.

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See Cruz

Rush Limbaugh said this on his show today:

RUSH: Now, a lot of people say that Cruz is really exposing people, using them, setting them up for a massive disappointment. “Cruz is promising them things that can’t happen! Obamacare’s not gonna be defunded. Obamacare’s not gonna be delayed. Cruz knows it, but he’s making these people think that that can happen and they are going to be sadly disappointed.”

“Yes, he is. Ted Cruz is making people think that they can actually support and make happen the defunding of Obamacare, and it can’t happen. There aren’t the votes.

“He’s using people, and he’s setting people up for a major, major disappointment. It’s going to fail. It’s so mean. And then Ted Cruz is making people think that if they support him and sign his petition,” he’s not asking for money, by the way, “that they can delay Obamacare. And they can’t, and it won’t happen. He’s just using people, and he’s setting people up for major, major disappointment. It’s not nice and it’s very selfish.”

Well, my question is, “Why isn’t that said about Obama?” You want to talk about misleading people and setting them up for major disappointment and shock? How about a guy who’s promised people will “get to keep their doctor,” and they don’t. How about a guy who’s promised that their premiums come down $2500, and they won’t? How about all the promises Obama’s made with his stimulus and all the shovel-ready jobs?

None of it’s happened. How come the same standard is not applied to Barry? How come it’s not said of Barry that, “Oh, God, what a mean guy! He’s really using us. He’s setting people up. He’s promising all these wonderful things that are not possible really, and they’re going to be so disappointed.” Why is that not said, folks? I think it’s a perfectly legitimate question. Obama is misleading people.

Fine, you say, but hardly unique. Who isn’t saying that?

But who was saying that on October 11th, more than three weeks ago?! He replayed the rant today. I don’t post it to credit Rushtradamus. I post it because it was right then and is right today.

Ted Cruz may have done Obama a (temporary) favor by distracting the public from the rancid smell of the Abortable Care Act, aka EdselCare. But people will little note nor long remember that Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham on the floor of the Senate. They will remember that he was the last man standing in the fight to stop it. We may get our first evidence of that in the Virginia governor’s race, where Democrat (and Clinton stooge) Terry McAuliffe has been leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli throughout the campaign. As the deadline nears, however, EdselCare is featuring more prominently. Obama is even on the stump for McAuliffe, and Cuccinelli is portraying his victory as a “refudiation” of EdselCare. If the Republican wins, a lot of Democrat drawers will be soiled.

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Fecund Foreigners Flock to Our Friendly Confines

Embarrassing:

Making an argument for overhauling the nation’s immigration system Friday to a crowd of conservative activists, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush claimed immigrants were “more fertile” and thus a great benefit to American society.

His remark appeared to be an inarticulate reference to immigrants’ fertility rates, which data show are higher than native-born Americans.

“Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity,” Bush said at the annual Faith and Freedom conference in the nation’s capital.

Before we ridicule, can we at least agree on “immigration”? We love immigration. Love it as no one but descendants of immigrants can. But we don’t love illegal immigration. For while illegal aliens can be “fertile” and can “love their families” (native-borns don’t?), they can’t create businesses. Taking jobs from native borns, living tax-free, burdening the social welfare system, their “engine of economic prosperity” sputters at best, and at worst drags down the rest of the economy.

Now, to the ridicule. Rush?

Did you know that? Did you know that immigrants are more fertile than native born Americans? Did you know that immigrants create far more businesses than native born Americans? Did you know that? Did you know that they love their families and they have more intact families than native born Americans? And they bring a younger population and an engine of economic prosperity. I don’t know. I’m looking at the economic engine that they brought to California. I’m looking at the economic prosperity that’s, I mean, barely containable out in California. I’m looking at it, I don’t really see it, but I’m looking at it.

“Fertile” is borderline racist. In fact, it crosses the border about as easily as those fruitful “immigrants” about whom he waxes so rhapsodic. It summons images of packs of “immigrant” children, barely a year apart, swarming over their weary but high-yielding “immigrant” parents. I love immigrants because they fervently believe (or should) in the political and economic systems we native-borns take for granted. I do not love them (or not merely) because they are rich in loam and composted material.

But looked at more broadly, “fertile” is purely and vilely racist. Many black Americans, native-borns all, oppose the push for amnesty and increased immigration, legal and illegal, because they need the work. The unemployment rate for black men, aged 20 and over, jumped last month from 12.6% to 13.5%. Among black youth, aged 16 to 19 (both sexes), unemployment stands at 42.6%. Don’t they love their families? Can’t they create economic prosperity?

What Jeb Bush, as compassionate a conservative as there is, seems to be getting at is that black Americans aren’t fertile and their families are less intact. On that, as much as it pains me to concede, he is right. The statistics on abortion in the black community are blood-curdling, the “intactness” of the black family only slightly less so. After centuries of slavery, and another century of Jim Crow, we’ve added an additional half-century of holocaust on black Americans and their families. I don’t know what black people did to deserve it, but I think it’s more than enough punishment.

The facts of life are conservative, as Maggie Thatcher said. We have an underclass of people crying out for economic justice, while our political establishment (both left and right) seeks to push them further down the ladder of opportunity. Rather than keep them in want, supplying them with the barest necessities but no chance of advancement, we should insist that they work, and give them every opportunity to do so. The immigrant experience that we romanticize describes people arriving here with nothing, and building lives for themselves and their (many) descendants, under the protection of the freedoms we guarantee.

You might say African slaves were the original illegal immigrants (slavery being a crime against God, if not man). Where’s their pathway to citizenship?

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Things That Make You Go Hmm.

From James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today column:

As another reader observes: “The Tea Party caused a huge landslide and then suddenly seemed to go silent, right around the time of this harassment.”

Coincidence? I think not:

RUSH: Listen to Jennifer Stefano, War on Women, here’s the real War on Women. This is last night, Fox Business Network, the Willis Report. She spoke with Americans for Prosperity, Pennsylvania state director, Jennifer Stefano, about the IRS targeting conservative groups. And Willis said, “How were you targeted? Tell us your story.”

STEFANO: This was before I joined Americans for Prosperity. I was just a stay-at-home mother. I was pregnant with another baby, and I wanted to do what was right. My Tea Party group was becoming really large and I couldn’t run the money and the donations through my bank account. I was advised the IRS would come after you for that. So I started calling other groups and I thought I would file and create an organization, and here they were all getting targeted by the IRS, and I got scared.

RUSH: So Willis then said, “Well, what were they asking you?”

STEFANO: These are all out there now, and I have actually documents showing it. You know, “Send us your Facebook pages, your Twitter pages,” and I said, “Does that include personal pages?” and they said, “Everything.” They wanted to know your personal relationships with politicians and political parties. And I asked, “What would happen if I don’t send this to you?” and they said, they made an insinuation like, “Look, it can be considered perjury if you omit things from the IRS.” I’m a pregnant stay-at-home mother on one income, I thought, “Oh, my goodness, I’m not doing anything.” I stopped.

RUSH: Exactly. She stopped. She’s trying to set up a tax-exempt organization to raise money for the causes she believed in. She’s a Tea Party woman. This is the War on Women.

Earlier today I wrote “First they came for the billionaires”, but I was mistaken. First they came for the pregnant stay-at-home moms. Between Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012 came a Tea Party-inspired rout in 2010. Which is about when the harassment started.

QED

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When the Going Gets Tough

The “tough” blame Rush:

President Obama told donors like Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake (who was wearing hipster glasses), and Tommy Hilfiger that Washington gridlock is pretty much Rush Limbaugh’s fault on Monday evening at a fundraiser at Harvey Weinstein’s house in New York’s Greenwich Village. Obama admitted that his theory — that after the 2012 election, the Republican “fever” would break, and they’d decide to co-sign some of his agenda — was wrong. “My thinking was when we beat them in 2012 that might break the fever, and it’s not quite broken yet,” Obama said, according to the White House pool report. This is because of a certain corpulent radio host. “I genuinely believe there are Republicans out there who would like to work with us but they’re fearful of their base and they’re concerned about what Rush Limbaugh might say about them. And as a consequence we get the kind of gridlock that makes people cynical about government.”

Obama left Weinstein’s home for another DNC fundraiser at the home of Alexandra Stanton in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, before a DCCC/DSCC event at the Waldorf Astoria…

Oh, by the way, it cost $32,000 per couple to attend. What a man of the people! What a party of the little guy!

His administration is engulfed in the flames of scandal, corruption eats away at the foundation of our government, millions of jobs are still absent from the economy—and he sees fit to blame a radio talk show host for gumming up the works. I almost can’t believe it as I write it. Does it get any more pathetic? Of course, I’d say something dopey too if I were in the presence of Jessica Biel.

But Rush was in a forgiving, even generous, mood!

RUSH: … He is fixated on me. He simply cannot get me off his mind. I live rent free in his head. And he is using me as his convenient excuse for not being able to get anything done. He really thinks the Republicans would work with him if it weren’t for me. So he’s telling these Hollywood people — and you gotta understand, they’re sitting there and they’re very sympathetic, and they love Obama, and they want Obama to succeed. I’m the guy who said, “I hope he fails.”

Who am I? I’m a guy on the radio. I am your beloved host, El Rushbo. I’m a guy on the radio. The fact remains that the truth of the matter is, by his own admission, I am the opposition to Barack Obama.

Not the Republican Party.

Not any of the Republican think tanks.

Not any of the Republican consultants.

Not any of the Republican political action committees.

I, your beloved host, El Rushbo — soon to celebrate 25 years behind the Golden EIB Microphone — I am the obstacle. I am the Mister Big. I am the wall. I am the obstacle. I’m the one thing in his way, and he’s very comfortable in telling people that I’m it.

I am offering to make myself available to the president at a summit so that we can hash this out, so that I can explain to him why it is that I oppose what he’s trying to do. Maybe we can come to some sort agreement. My mother always told me, “Son, talk it out with people. Don’t go off mad and don’t get all uppity and don’t get angry. Talk it out with people and see if you can solve it with him.”

All I hear is how I am the problem. This is the fifth or sixth time now the president has told supporters that the one obstacle to him moving his agenda forward is me, Rush Limbaugh, because the Republicans are afraid to agree with him.

Of course just last week, folks, I was irrelevant and about to be thrown off the radio because I’m so insignificant. This changes, seemingly, on a weekly basis. So I continue to make the offer and I’ll make it again today. I’d be happy to advise the president on how best to proceed, given current circumstances.

Rush has a line of iced tea drinks, Two if by Tea. How about a Tea Summit. Like the Beer Summit with the Cambridge cop (who “acted stupidly”), only with tea. Come on, Mr. President! Bring the whole family!

You always do.

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