Friday, October 31, 2008
A measure of one's success the increasing numbers of enemies one makes and Rush Limbaugh is no exception. The polemic below is typical of the journalist hit pieces written by Leftard writers who very likely go to the local sewage plant and do a close examination of Rush Limbaugh's bodily waste looking for something they can use to bring down one of the all time greats in media. Well what does our Leftard British cousin, a writer I never heard before reading article, find to destroy Rush The Great. Oh dear me, Rush thinks along with untold millions of objective and reason based Americans that Global Warming is a hoax. You're damn it's a hoax and a very dangerous one designed by Leftard politicians like Al Gore to wreck American capitalism. What else? The writer thinks Rush is lonely and isolated living all alone in his vast and well appointed home in Florida. The writer also mentioned Rush owns a jet. Did it occur to this word smith that perhaps Rush uses the jet to fly all over the country and often give speeches to organizations our British cousin never heard about like the Federal Society? Then he simply must bring up Rush's former addiction for prescribed medications! We can't forget that one, now can we? These are the same journalists who never seem to ask Obama about his love affair with Marxism. Then there is the cigar thing. You see Rush smokes cigars and the writer finds this offensive for some reason. Perhaps because Rush SMOKES them and doesn't use them as sex toys as did Bill Clinton. Speaking of cigars and smoking, we come at last to the picture that sets the tone for the article. What do we get? We get a dark, brooding and sinister one of Rush sitting in the shadows; The Godfather of the Conservative Movement. I think the journalist got the idea from the Leftard comedy/drama/propaganda classic "Dr. Strangelove" and the character of General Jack D. Ripper, as the ultimate Right Wing Godfather who sends his wing of nuclear armed B-52 bombers to attack Soviet Russia.
Rush Limbaugh: The man who's always Right
Global warming? A hoax. Barack Obama? A disaster. John McCain? A winner. So says Rush Limbaugh, America's most listened-to and influential – not to mention richest - radio personality. But will America prove him wrong in the US elections on Tuesday? Interview by Nigel Farndale.
Although Rush Limbaugh doesn't actually work from a bunker, he does have a bunker mentality. His studio is on the third floor of a (purposefully) anonymous building 100 yards off the white sands of Palm Beach, Florida, and about a mile from his gated mansion (the one next to Chuck Norris's). Along with the Gulfstream jet (cost: $54 million), fleet of sports cars and eight-year contract, worth $400 million, this mansion is his reward for being the most listened-to talk-radio host in America, a title he has held for 20 years.
But it is also his compensation. Professional Right-wing controversialists do tend to upset people, and Limbaugh has had his share of death threats. He has also had his quota of criticism from the media, or the liberal media, as he tends to call it. He hates interviews and has rarely given any, though he does have a soft spot for this newspaper, because it was once owned by his sometime friend and neighbour Conrad Black (currently serving a 6½-year jail sentence for fraud; Limbaugh wrote a letter to the judge attesting to Lord Black's good character).
The 'drive-by media', as Limbaugh also calls it, came down to Florida looking for him when he insulted Michael J.Fox a couple of years ago – by saying the actor was hamming up his Parkinson's disease for political gain after he appeared in an appeal for embryonic stem-cell research. They came back a few months later when Limbaugh was arrested for 'doctor shopping' painkiller prescriptions; that is, persuading several doctors to give him overlapping ones. He pleaded not guilty and cut a deal; the charges were dismissed after 18 months on condition that he continue rehabilitation and treatment with a therapist. The press staked out his mansion on both occasions, but never found his studio on this palm-fringed boulevard. You wouldn't know it was here.
He calls it his 'Southern Command', having spent most of his career broadcasting from New York, and describes it on air as 'heavily fortified', yet when you travel up in a lift and step into a glass and leather reception area, there isn't even a receptionist, let alone a security guard, just several white locked doors and a CCTV camera that follows you. One of the doors buzzes. I am expected.
On the walls of the corridor there is evidence of Limbaugh's considerable power and influence, and his friends in high places. Here a framed picture of him with George Bush. Here one of him with Donald Rumsfeld. Here he is with Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan.
There is a humidor – Limbaugh is a connoisseur of cigars – and a bust of Churchill. There is also a bust of Beethoven, which has a plaque reading: 'A genius who produced masterpieces without hearing.'
Limbaugh became almost completely deaf at the age of 50, but is able to hear callers now thanks to a cochlear implant – an electronic device which stimulates nerves in the inner ear. It explains his way with a monologue, which actually is a dialogue with himself. But even if he could hear, he probably wouldn't listen. Rush Limbaugh is a talker, not a listener. He keeps it up for three hours at a stretch, five days a week from noon until three. There are commercial breaks and phone-ins, but mostly it is him delivering homilies on politics and current affairs, extemporaneously. His fluency is breathtaking.
Some 20 million Americans tune in to hear it on 600 stations across what he calls 'this fruited land'. And he says he's not retiring until everyone agrees with him.
He is on air now – I can hear him over the speakers – 'Welcome back, this is Rush Limbaugh, your shining light, the doctor of democracy, the all-knowing, all-sensing, all-caring Maha Rushie…' I get slightly lost as I'm looking for the control booth and end up in his private washroom. There are several big black polo shirts on hangers and, in his medicine cabinet, cold remedies and bottles of Listerine and Drakkar aftershave, but no painkillers. That ship has sailed, it seems.
For the next two hours I sit behind a glass panel and watch him perform. Though it is radio, his is a physical performance. He raises his arms and shakes them in mock frustration. He takes his glasses off and pinches the bridge of his nose. He drums his fingers, as you can sometimes hear on air. Though he doesn't use notes he does have some papers on his desk which he taps as a form of punctuation, and sometimes he will crumple them up in disgust, another sound effect.
In the corner of his studio he has a standard bearing a silky Stars and Stripes. Behind his desk, there is a neon replica of his signature. At 57, he is looking fitter than he has done for a long time, having shed a hundredweight (he weighed 23 stone at one point).
His hair is slicked back and he is dressed in a black polo shirt and deck shoes without socks. There is a rolling musicality to his voice.
His tone is warm and confidential. He has the rhetorician's habit of repeating himself three times in three different ways.
Today, as usual, he is riffing about Barack Obama – 'the Lord Messiah, the merciful, the acting President…' – whom he dislikes intensely.
When Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced a few days ago that he would be breaking with his party to vote for Obama, Limbaugh said it was only because he was black. Groan. He was being insulting, of course, on many levels, to both men, but at least he was being consistent with the Limbaugh world view, the view of the fabled 'angry white man'. Indeed, it would have seemed hypocritical of him to start making compromises on the grounds of sensitivity at this stage in his career.
Besides, he doesn't go easier on the McCain camp. He described the Republican candidate as a phony conservative and, when Sarah Palin first appeared, dismissed her as 'some babe McCain met at a convention'. He has come round to Palin since then, saying that she 'kicked Biden's butt' in that vice-presidential debate. His politics are closer to hers than McCain's. And ultimately he would rather have McCain for all his faults than Obama. 'McCain's right,' he said on air recently. 'We do have them right where we want them because they think it's over.' Note the 'We'. Limbaugh does not pretend to be impartial.
Inside the control booth there is a staff of three: Jim, a sound engineer wearing headphones; Dawn, a stenographer with long blonde hair (who sends Limbaugh real-time transcripts of on-air phone-ins), and his long-time producer Bo Snerdly, a tall, well-cushioned Afro-American with an affable manner, a flat cap on backwards and spectacles dangling from a cord around his neck.
Limbaugh does not have sidekicks with him on air, but he does keep up a running conversation with Snerdly, who is almost as Right wing as he is. They banter via an internal talk-back circuit. Snerdly has his own twice-weekly spot on air in which he introduces himself as an 'African-American-in-good-standing-and-certified-black-enough-to-criticise-Obamaguy.' It is a deliberately insensate but amusing take on the race issue in this election. What Left-wingers, or 'Rush-deniers', as he calls them, don't get about the self-aggrandising Limbaugh is that he is first and foremost a satirist: funny, self-mocking and entertaining. He couldn't have held his audience for 20 years if he was only nasty, bigoted and extremely Right wing.
The broadcast over, I join Limbaugh in the studio and ask if he ever has off days when he's not in the mood. Though he can hear, thanks to the acoustics in here, he stares straight at me, lip-reading. 'I have days where I feel I've left half my brain at home and I'm not functioning 100 per cent, but I don't think the audience would ever know it, and there's never a day I don't want to do it. I prep it, but I don't think about it until it starts. At noon today I had no idea what the first thing was I was going to say until about 20 seconds into the theme music. It's improv. Stream of consciousness. That little pressure improves my performance. I do my best, most expansive thinking when I am speaking. I get on a roll.'
He surely does. Limbaugh is always a factor in American elections.
When the Republicans won the House of Representatives in 1994 for only the second time in 50 years, they made Limbaugh an honorary member of Congress. If by some fluke the Republicans win this time, in contradiction of the polls, will that be partly down to Limbaugh?
'That's so hard to measure,' he says.
He's being falsely modest and possibly disingenuous. One of his biggest successes in this election cycle was Operation Chaos, a radio campaign designed to encourage Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton and prolong internecine fighting among Democrats. Karl Rove, 'the President's brain', reckons it helped tilt Texas for Clinton. She herself said as much the day after the vote: 'Be careful what you wish for, Rush.' Berkeley is doing a course study on it.
'I came up with Operation Chaos because we were facing a Republican primary that was over, with most of my audience dissatisfied with the choice. My audience wasn't up. Excited. Jazzed. I figured we had many more months of the liberal media salivating over the Democratic primaries on the cable networks and that that could be divisive. I don't want Obama to be President, he would be a disaster, but I do want him to be bloodied up politically, be forced to acquit himself to a political audience that isn't sycophantic. Someone had to do it.'
But Obama is the Democratic presidential candidate now and I wonder whether the race issue makes Limbaugh nervous. After all, at a White House correspondents' dinner during the Clinton administration, the President joked that Limbaugh had stood up for Attorney-General Janet Reno, but he 'only did it because she was attacked by a black guy'.
(The 'black guy' being Representative John Conyers.) Limbaugh was in the audience, and he was livid. He demanded, and received, a White House apology. 'There is nothing worse than being branded a racist,' he said afterwards.
On the race issue now, he reckons he has nothing to feel nervous about. 'Obama's people are trying to silence any criticism of him by implying it would be perceived as racist. It's a form of intimidation but I'm not going to be intimidated by them.'
Until 1988, when Limbaugh more or less invented the talk-radio format as a political tool, the liberal media in America had a monopoly, he reckons. 'The reason my show was successful was that so many people with a conservative viewpoint did not think it was being reflected in the media. I validate what they already think.' He reckons he is not always preaching to the choir, though. 'We get Democrats. Calls from people who disagree with me all the time. Last week I had a call from a woman in Dallas who said I was causing her high blood pressure because she couldn't stop herself listening to my show. The doctor told her to stop and she wouldn't.'
His audience is now 12 times the circulation of The New York Times, he tells me. 'And you can add up CNN, MSNBC and Fox, and my audience is 20 times that. They have no pretence of objectivity. They are activists now and they make no bones about it. CNN, MSNBC and Fox all opinionise. Like I do. They acknowledge this, and so it has become a battle between the two medias. The liberal media see this Obama candidacy as historic because race is a big deal to them. They think this country committed Original Sin. I actually believe that most of their support for Obama is that they are creaming in their jeans about the historical nature of the campaign. They want to be a part of it.They want to make it happen. They want a stake in it. They want to be able to say they did it if Obama wins.'
Well, he is going to win, isn't he? 'No. I don't see it, Nigel. I think he's been dead in the water since the primaries. He is going to need to be up 10 to 12 points to win by three or four. Don't forget that Hillary winning was a foregone conclusion, too. If the polls had been right it would have been Giuliani versus Hillary. That's why polls a year out are worthless. Obama is going around as the acting President. It's off-putting. Unionised blue-collar Democrats didn't vote for him, they voted for Hillary.'
Wasn't that to do with race? 'No… well it might be to a certain degree, but there was never any substance to his speeches, just soaring rhetoric. That guy can say nothing better than anyone I have ever heard say nothing.' He drums his fingers. 'My take on this is that we are all Americans and I am sick and tired of hyphenated Americans. Afro-American, Hispanic-Americans.
'I am truly colour blind and I wish everyone else was. We Balkanise when we say only women can represent women in Congress and only Jews can represent Jews and only blacks can represent blacks. It's bullshit. We all want the same things. Prosperity and a decent education for our kids. Treating this country like it is stuck 50 years ago is bullshit; we have made more progress than anyone over this. Get over it. If Obama says stupid things I'm not going to say they are not stupid because he's black. He's running for President, for God's sake. It's the Left who has been racist by agonising about whether he is black enough. Is he authentic enough? Does he have a civil rights record? For me he's a liberal. That is reason enough to oppose him.'
Limbaugh thinks there is a war going on between people like him who want small, efficient government and people who want a powerful state that decides who gets what. 'And they use hoaxes like global warming to advance their agenda of higher taxation and bigger government.'
Oh dear. You don't have to agree with his red-meat views to find them insightful. They represent, after all, the authentic voice of conservative, and neo-conservative, America. But there is one issue about which I think he is dangerously wrong. Global warming. After all, I point out, 98 per cent of the world's leading scientists in this area don't think global warming is a hoax.
He stares at me. 'Nigel, man-made global warming is a 100 per cent, full-fledged, undeniable hoax.'
That's his opinion. 'No, it's not even arguable in terms of science.'
Of course it is, I say, and he's being deliberately provocative to say it isn't. 'We don't have the power to make cold weather warm. We can't make warm weather cold. We can't produce rain clouds. We can't steer hurricanes, we can't produce diddly squat and the idea that only advanced democracies are doing this with their automobiles is absurd.
Global warming is a religion. It has what all religions have which is faith, because no one can prove their religion. It has a Garden of Eden element, destruction brought by humanity then redemption for our sins by paying higher taxes and getting rid of our cars and planes.'
Does part of him go after a subject like that just to wind people up?
'No, I believe it. I hate people who feel rather than think. Most people feel they don't matter. When they are told they can save the planet, well, that gives their lives meaning. These stupid ribbons – breast cancer, Aids awareness, they say – "I care more than you." ' He drums his fingers on the table again.
Limbaugh doesn't give the impression of having doubts, but does he?
Does he have long nights of the soul? 'I'd only have those if I had lied, made something up that I don't really believe, for an illicit motive. I won't be deliberately provocative just to get people to listen.'
Was there a point at which he decided he would have to thicken his skin if he was going to last in talk radio – not take insults personally, I mean? 'Insults are badges of honour. There is nothing anyone can say that would offend me. Prior to doing this show no one hated me. No one thought I was a racist, sexist or homophobic bigot.
No one thought I was a hate-monger. I was not raised to be hated. I was raised to be loved. Within six months I was getting death threats.'
For all his claimed equanimity, there is a residual paranoia, vulnerability and vanity that floats around Rush Limbaugh like a toxic cloud. He hates being photographed, for example, because: 'They are going to try to get the most embarrassing or unflattering shot of you they can.' They. Always they. These dark forces out to get him. I ask about the insecurities that lay behind his dependency on painkillers.
There was pain to kill, after all, and it wasn't physical. 'That's all in the past,' he says. 'Done. The rehab was in Arizona. A spartan place called The Meadows. Not one of these half-assed places for celebrities. It was five weeks and I really got into it. Very educational for me to learn about myself. It was inspiring. I can't imagine taking a pain pill now. It holds no attraction. I haven't had a relapse or craving since then. I had to talk to a therapist for 18 months afterwards. Never done that before. Thought it bunk. Actually that helped.'
Born into a family of lawyers, Limbaugh obtained his radio licence at the age of 15 and began Dj-ing on a local radio station. One insecurity that dates back to that time is that he was wounded by his father's disapproval of his chosen profession. He was also miserable when his father insisted he attend college. Under protest, he enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University, where he lasted a year before dropping out. After that he was fired six times by radio stations and other employers. It was a wobbly start and, as a defence mechanism, he seems to have acquired an ultra-confident alter ego.
Nevertheless, he tells me that when he's at home, when he can drop his public guard, he can feel flat. 'Mentally, I'm zapped after this show every day. I don't do anything for three hours. I go read a novel or play golf. I won't speak a word because I don't use the phone. Sure I can get melancholy.'
I never had him figured as an emotional man. Isn't his whole shtick that you have to think not feel? 'Don't cry easily. Get close to crying then I stop it. A movie or a book will get me misty-eyed. It's always happy ending good stuff that gets me crying, not bad stuff.'
'Last time?' Long pause. 'Last time was when my little cat died. Five years old. Had a stroke. I had two cats and this one had the personality and almost humanlike behaviour. Pets are like sports: you think you can invest a lot in them without consequences.'
And like wives. He has been married three times, though he hasn't had any children. He met his current girlfriend, a West Palm Beach events planner, last year. When I ask about the ups and downs in his personal relationships he hesitates again. 'I would find myself very difficult to live with because I am totally self-contained and resent having to do things I don't want to do. Now I can choose. When I'm put in a position where I don't want to be there, I make sure everyone else is miserable.'
That's some confession, even for a thick-skinned man. He seems to know himself well, knows he can be selfish and that he cuts quite a lonely figure – just him and his remaining cat rattling around in that big house. He also knows he is easily bored. 'I don't have guests on my show because I don't care what other people think,' he tells me. 'Most guests are boring.' But it's not only others he is bored with, it is also, perhaps, himself. This may be what explains his recklessness, his bravado, his determination to say the unsayable. And perhaps it also explains why he never misses a beat, until you draw him out about himself — how he is difficult to live with, how he cried when his cat died, how, to his surprise, he found it helpful talking to a therapist. Only then does he hesitate. As we part he bets me a cigar from Desmond Sautter's of Mayfair that Obama won't win. I'd better go and choose one.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
I'd really like to live beside you, baby
I love your body and your spirit and your clothes
But you see that line there moving through the station?
I told you, I told you, told you, I was one of those
Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
I don't like your fashion business mister
And I don't like these drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
I'd really like to live beside you, baby ...
And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I practiced every night, now I'm ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
I am guided
Ah remember me, I used to live for music
Remember me, I brought your groceries in
Well it's Father's Day and everybody's wounded
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
We all know the answer to the question: Barak The Magic Negro Obama was born in Kenya. A birth certificate in Hawaii would be a forgery and easily exposed. The Governor of Hawaii who sealed the records, technically a Republican, is a RINO -- Republican In Name Only -- and actually favors the socialist policies of The Lord Messiah Obama.
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Although the legitimacy of Sen. Barack Obama's birth certificate has become a focus of intense speculation – and even several lawsuits – WND has learned that Hawaii's Gov. Linda Lingle has placed the candidate's birth certificate under seal and instructed the state's Department of Health to make sure no one in the press obtains access to the original document under any circumstances.
The governor's office officially declined a request made in writing by WND in Hawaii to obtain a copy of the hospital-generated original birth certificate of Barack Obama.
"It does not appear that Dr. Corsi is within any of these categories of persons with a direct and tangible interest in the birth certificate he seeks," wrote Roz Makuala, manager of constituent services in the governor's office, in an e-mailed response to a WND request seeking the information.
Those listed as entitled to obtain a copy of an original birth certificate include the person born, or "registrant" according to the legal description from the governor's office, the spouse or parent of the registrant, a descendant of the registrant, a person having a common ancestor with the registrant, a legal guardian of the registrant, or a person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant.
WND was told the official reason for denial of access to Obama's birth certificate would be authority granted pursuant to Section 338-18 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, a provision the anonymous source claimed was designed to prevent identity theft.
Still, the source told WND confidentially the motivation for withholding the original birth certificate was political, although the source refused to disclose whether there was any information on the original birth certificate that would prove politically embarrassing to Obama.
Get the book that started it all, Jerome Corsi's "The Obama Nation," autographed by the author, exclusively from WND's online store for the amazing low price of just $4.95.
The source also refused to answer WND's question whether the original document on file with the Department of Health was a hospital-generated birth certificate or a registration of birth that may have been filed subsequent to the birth.
The anonymous source made clear the Hawaii Department of Health would immediately release Obama's original birth certificate, provided Obama requested the document be released, but the Department of Heath has received no such request from the senator or from anyone acting officially on his behalf.
WND also found on microfilm in the Honolulu downtown public library a notice published under the "Births, Marriages, Deaths" section of the Honolulu Sunday Advertiser for August 13, 1961, on page B-6, noting: "Mr. and Mrs. Barack II Obama. 6085 Kalanianaole-Hwy, son, Aug. 4."
In searching through the birth notices of the Honolulu Advertiser for 1961, WND found many birth notices were published between one and two weeks after the date of birth listed.
The notice in the Honolulu Advertiser does not list the hospital where the Obama son was born or the doctor who delivered the baby.
In a startling development, Obama's Kenyan grandmother has reportedly alleged she witnessed Obama's birth at the Coast Provincial Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya.
Friday, U.S. Federal judge Richard Barclay Surrick, a Clinton appointee, dismissed a lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania attorney Phillip J. Berg who alleged Obama was not a U.S. "natural born" citizen and therefore ineligible for the presidency under the specifications of the U.S. Constitution, under Article II, Section 1.
Berg told WND last week he does not have a copy of a Kenyan birth certificate for Obama that he alleges exists.
In Kenya, WND was told by government authorities that all documents concerning Obama were under seal until after the U.S. presidential election on November 4.
The Obama campaign website entitled "Fight the Smears" posts a state of Hawaii "Certificate of Live Birth" which is obviously not the original birth certificate generated by the hospital where Obama reportedly was born.
"Fight the Smears" declares, "The truth is, Barack Obama was born in the state of Hawaii in 1961, a native citizen of the United States of America."
Although the Obama campaign could immediately put an end to all the challenges by simply producing the candidate's original birth certificate, it has not done so. And the "Fight the Smears" website offers no explanation as to why Obama has refused to request, and make public, an original hospital-generated birth certificate which the Hawaii Department of Health may possess.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Waco was an important victory for Ms. Miller. City officials joined the [anti-coal] coalition because they worried that if TXU turned the nearby natural gas plants into coal plant sites, Waco would no longer meet federal clean air standards.
This refers to federal regulations on emissions of substances other than carbon dioxide. But direct regulation of carbon dioxide is the next step, and the EPA is already preparing it.
I mentioned at the beginning of this series that we have all been anticipating a giant legislative battle in the new Congress over "cap-and-trade" controls on carbon dioxide emissions—but that the legislature may simply be superseded. The most dangerous way in which this may happen is through a combination of action from the other two branches of government: from the courts and from the regulatory agencies of the executive branch.
The contribution from the courts is the April 2007 Supreme Court ruling requiring the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide—a basic constituent of the atmosphere—as an "airborne pollutant" under the 1990 Clean Air Act. The "EPA can avoid promulgating regulations," the majority opinion declared, "only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change." This means that mere uncertainty in the claims about human-caused global warming is not enough to stop those claims from becoming a basis for regulation. Only proving a negative—proving that human emissions of carbon dioxide do not cause runaway warming—can stop the EPA from issuing regulations.
The irony, as I have recently pointed out, is that this can be proved. But since this proof is not likely to be widely accepted soon, given the relentless cultural propaganda for the global warming hysteria, the Supreme Court's ruling gave the advocates of global warming regulation inside the EPA an unstoppable political momentum. The Supreme Court declared, in effect, that the EPA could not hesitate or temporize on the regulation of carbon dioxide—that there was no room for the discretion of the administration. The EPA is required to regulate carbon dioxide or to declare why it will not do so.
As I wrote at the time here and at RealClearPolitics:
This is one of the most sweeping and intrusive demands for government controls that I can recall. But the court is establishing a mechanism by which all of this can be imposed without legislation—sidestepping the need to convince the American people and secure their consent.
Seeing the popularity of Al Gore's traveling tent revival act, many of us have been preparing for a long and bruising public debate on global warming and a political battle royal over whether to impose a cap on carbon dioxide emissions. We weren't happy that we would have to fight this battle, but we could at least hope that an extended public debate would give us a chance to cool the global warming hysteria and point out the disastrous consequences of a "carbon tax" or the fuel-rationing scheme of "cap and trade."
But the Supreme Court is now telling us that the whole game is over before it even begins: the Clean Air Act, passed some thirty-odd years ago, already demands total government regulation of the lifeblood of the economy. Their decree cuts off the debate.
This ruling could only have been neutralized by active, vigorous resistance from the Bush administration. Instead, it has merely been delayed by a half-resistance. The administration did not insist that the EPA declare that carbon dioxide is innocent of causing global disaster; instead, it merely refused to allow the EPA to begin in earnest the process of developing regulations to apply to carbon dioxide emissions.
According to a June 25 report in the New York Times
The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency's conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior EPA officials said last week.
The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the EPA's answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.
At the end of July, the EPA finally released a draft of an overall plan for carbon dioxide regulation, but a version that is, according to the New York Times, "a watered-down version of the original proposal that offers no conclusion. Instead, the document reviews the legal and economic issues presented by declaring greenhouse gases a pollutant." The Times also notes that "the White House successfully put pressure on the EPA to eliminate large sections of the original analysis that supported regulation."
You can judge for yourself by viewing it online, at the official site for what is technically known as the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act. But I have no particular plans to wade through the hundreds of pages of this document, which will almost certainly be altered and expanded by the next administration. The specific content of this document is not really important; what is important is its very existence, which establishes the legal foundation for the next administration to plan out and implement a comprehensive scheme for regulating carbon dioxide emissions, coordinating the actions of dozens of regulatory agencies, all of them acting under the authority of the Clean Air Act—a law passed by Congress almost two decades ago with no intention of regulating carbon dioxide.
How could this happen? The crucial term here, from the title of the proposed regulation, is "rulemaking." In a proper system of representative government, the word for "rulemaking" is "legislation," and only Congress can do it. But Congress long ago ceded a large part of its legislative power to the executive branch by passing laws like the Clean Air Act, which set vague goals such as "fighting air pollution" and then give executive-branch regulatory agencies the power to make "rules" for the implementation of those goals. In effect, it is a surrender of legislative power to the executive branch.
Having surrendered that power, Congress may never get it back. When I first planned out this series of articles, I intended to mention the speculation about what the next administration will do with the regulatory foundation for unilateral executive power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. But events have overtaken me, and it is no longer necessary to speculate. On the day that I sent out part 2 of this series, the Bloomberg news service carried a report confirming Barack Obama's plans for pursuing carbon dioxide regulation when he takes office.
Barack Obama will classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant that can be regulated should he win the presidential election on Nov. 4, opening the way for new rules on greenhouse gas emissions. The Democratic senator from Illinois will tell the Environmental Protection Agency that it may use the 1990 Clean Air Act to set emissions limits on power plants and manufacturers, his energy adviser, Jason Grumet, said in an interview. President George W. Bush declined to curb CO2 emissions under the law even after the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the government may do so….
Obama "would initiate those rulemakings," Grumet said in an Oct. 6 interview in Boston….
Grumet…said if Congress hasn't acted in 18 months, about the time it would take to draft rules, the president should….
"The EPA is obligated to move forward in the absence of Congressional action," Grumet said. "If there's no action by Congress in those 18 months, I think any responsible president would want to have the regulatory approach."
Under what system does the chief executive say to the legislature, in effect, "write the legislation I want, or else I will simply enact it by decree"? The answer: not under a system of representative government and the separation of powers. Barack Obama is proposing to govern, not in the manner of an American president, but in the manner traditionally sought by leftist strongmen like Hugo Chavez.
When global warming regulations are imposed—and given the legal framework of the "advanced notice of proposed rulemaking," they are now almost inevitable—their ultimate cause will be decades of dishonest cultural propaganda condemning industrial civilization as a scourge to be eliminated, for which goal the proposed regulations are well suited. But the immediate cause for this massive new extension of government power is the structure of existing executive-branch power: the all-encompassing reach of the regulatory agencies, and the vast power already ceded to them by Congress, power which can now easily be extended to swallow up an entire national economy.
Bear in mind that carbon dioxide emissions are produced by every major source of power that drives our economy—so that the power to regulate carbon dioxide amounts to the power of total control over the American economy. But then again, isn't this the power already seized, through the unilateral actions of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, supposedly to solve the financial crisis—with Congress only consulted as an afterthought, to ratify the trillion-dollar commitments already made by Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke?
This is the shape of the current danger to liberty: our economic freedom is being taken away by regulatory decree, with public debate and congressional votes declared irrelevant ahead of time. It proves the adage that freedom is indivisible—that attempts to take away our economic freedom always begin and end with an attack on our political freedom.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Congratulations to patriot and war hero John McCain for his triumph over the Marxist Obama on November 4, 2008 to become the 44th president of the United States. The staff of The Freedom Fighter's Journal salute this stalwart Republican and hope he will lead the first air strike against the American Communist Headquarters at the University of Chicago.
CAN THEY ALL BE WRONG?
Most polls give Barack Obama the lead over John McCain, but by how much depends on who you ask.
Barack Obama's been leading John McCain in almost every national poll since late September, and it may seem like he's got the election all sewn up.
But the Democratic presidential nominee's margin has fluctuated wildly, anywhere from 1 to 13 points in the past two weeks alone. And a few recent polls are even within the margin of error, suggesting McCain could actually be leading among certain sets of voters.
This doesn't mean the surveys are masking a widespread McCain advantage -- he's still trailing in most major battlegrounds needed to secure the election. But survey disparities are so great this year as to suggest that the numbers, contrary to the old adage, sometimes do lie.
Part of the problem? The sheer amount of polls being conducted across the country.
FOX News political analyst Karl Rove said by his count, there have been 177 national polls conducted as of Oct. 24, compared with 55 at the same time in 2004.
"The proliferation of polls, particularly polls run by universities that may not have the skill and capability that a professional polling outfit has, are really not helpful to the process, in my opinion," Rove said.
But some of the inconsistencies in the polls this year can also be traced to the method used by the pollsters.
The "expanded" Gallup poll, unlike the "traditional" one, includes those citizens who call themselves likely voters but who've never actually voted before.
"This year, I think all pollsters are concerned about how they're defining 'likely' voters, and trying to understand turnout," FOX News polling director Dana Blanton said. "There's been so much attention placed on new registration and enthusiasm among the electorate, and it's just -- it's extremely hard to figure out that, that piece of the puzzle."
Obama held a 10-point lead Monday in Gallup's expanded poll, but only a 5-point lead in their traditional poll.
Karlyn Bowman, who studies public opinion for the American Enterprise Institute, urged voters to examine the wording and sequencing of a poll's questions, to be wary of sudden spikes -- and to shop around.
"If you see a huge change in let's say the McCain-Obama margin overall, you might want to think about whether or not there has been something that's happened that would produce that kind of extraordinary change," she said. "But I think it's important to look at one poll, and then to compare that poll to other polls, and that's the way you can be an educated consumer."
A survey of the polling landscape shows the latest CBS News/New York Times poll to be the outlier, placing Obama up by 13 points.
A FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll last week had Obama up by 9 points.
Investor's Business Daily, which came closest to nailing the race between President Bush and John Kerry in 2004 (within four-tenths of a point), has the current presidential race within the margin of error. And The Associated Press recently reported a virtual tie.
With polls still fluctuating but mostly showing Obama in the lead, the Illinois senator says he's taking nothing for granted.
"Don't believe for a second this election is over. Don't think for a minute that power concedes," Obama said Monday in Canton, Ohio. "We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does depend on it in this last week."
McCain, meanwhile, is pledging to stun the pundits on Election Day.
"Let me give you the state of the race today. There's eight days to go. We're a few points down. The pundits have written us off, just like they've done before," McCain said Monday in Ohio. "Senator Obama's measuring the drapes ... You know I guess I'm old fashioned about these things. I prefer to let the voters weigh in before predicting the outcome."
Both Blanton and Bowman said there appears to be no evidence of a so-called "bandwagon effect" in American elections -- the idea that widespread dissemination of polling data trending a certain way will cause voters to in turn move in that direction. Such an effect might have led to a Hillary Clinton-Rudy Giuliani pairing, once the favorites in their respective races.
Experts say the "bandwagon" effect might be more common in places like Israel or Great Britain, where election cycles are much shorter.
From Audacity of Hope: 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'
Monday, October 27, 2008
My college minor was photography and I know most, if not all of the tricks. It ain't photoshop. Is it really The Obamamama? Very likely. Look at the nose, the mouth, the jawline, not to mention the eys and ears. I wasn't there for the photoshoot, but outside of being an actual witness to the happy-funtime photo shoot, I could safely assume that The Obamamama was not shy in front of the camera.
Discussion at The Happy Extremist
Halloween Palin Prop Sparks Controversy In WeHo
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) ― A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others.
The mannequin is dressed in brunet wig, glasses and a red business suit. Another mannequin dressed as John McCain emerges from a flaming chimney.
Chad Michael Morisette, who lives in the house, told CBS 2 News that drivers and bus passengers have been stopping to snap pictures of the macabre scene.
Morisette says the effigy would be out of bounds at any other time of year, but it's within the spirit of Halloween.
He says "it should be seen as art, and as within the month of October. It's Halloween, it's time to be scary it's time to be spooky."
2008 The Associated Press
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Footage of John McCain being interviewed as a bedridden prisoner during the Vietnam War has been released by the French national archive.
McCain, who was filmed smoking, was emotional during the interview
The video portrays the Republican as a hero but the message may be tarnished as he is filmed smoking a cigarette.
In the footage an emotional and shirtless McCain passes a message to his wife saying he will get well and loves her.
He also describes being shot down over Hanoi in 1967, and parachuting into a lake.
At times, when speaking of his family, McCain's lower lip trembles and his voice breaks.
"I was on a flight over the city (Hanoi) ... and I was bombing and I was hit by a missile or anti-aircraft fire, I'm not sure which," he said, adding that his plane "went straight down".
After landing in the lake, McCain said he "was picked up and taken to the hospital, where I almost died".
In the interview, McCain said he was treated well by his Vietnamese captors. Asked about the food, he told his French interviewer: "It's not like Paris ... (but) I eat it."
French reporter Francois Chalais conducted the interview , which was first broadcast on French television program Panorama in January 1968.
The journalist's widow, Mei Chen Chalais, is seeking payment from several television broadcasters in France and the US for the unauthorised use of the footage.
Her lawyers have even written to the McCain campaign as its website features a few seconds of the footage, which Chalais said was done without her approval.
The Complete Article And Video
William Ayers is a communist. But don't take my word for it. He said so himself:
And not some nicey-nice peace-and-love kind of communist. Through his group the Weather Underground, Ayers was planning to "seize power" in a violent communist takeover of the United States:
The Complete Article
Confirmed: MSM Holds Video Of Barack Obama Attending Jew-Bash & Toasting a Former PLO Operative... Refuse to Release the Video!
Introduction: The LA Times is holding a video that shows Barack Obama celebrating with a group of Palestinians who are openly hostile towards Israel. Barack Obama even gives a toast to a former PLO operative at this celebration. If the American public saw this side of Barack Obama he would never be elected president.
But, the media refuses to release this video.
LA Times writer Peter Wallsten wrote about Barack Obama's close association with former Palestinian operative Rashid Khalidi back in April.
Wallsten discussed a dinner held back in 2003 in honor of Khalidi, a critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights.
Barack Obama has denied his close association with Khalidi, too.
The Complete Article
WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. A friend says it's some of the best entertainment he's seen recently. What do you think?
West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.
"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.
West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.
"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.
Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.
"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."
Here's a link to the interview: The video has been deleted at the request of the Obama campaign
WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes."
Jordan said political campaigns in general pick and choose the stations they like. And stations often pose softball questions during the satellite interviews.
"Mr. Biden didn't like the questions," Jordan said. "We choose not to ask softball questions."
Jordan added, "I'm crying foul on this one."
By Michael S. Malone
The traditional media is playing a very, very dangerous game. With its readers, with the Constitution, and with its own fate.
The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.
But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I’ve begun — for the first time in my adult life — to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was “a writer”, because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to a stranger that I’m a journalist.
You need to understand how painful this is for me. I am one of those people who truly bleeds ink when I’m cut. I am a fourth generation newspaperman. As family history tells it, my great-grandfather was a newspaper editor in Abilene, Kansas during the last of the cowboy days, then moved to Oregon to help start the Oregon Journal (now the Oregonian). My hard-living - and when I knew her, scary - grandmother was one of the first women reporters for the Los Angeles Times. And my father, though profoundly dyslexic, followed a long career in intelligence to finish his life (thanks to word processors and spellcheckers) as a very successful freelance writer. I’ve spent thirty years in every part of journalism, from beat reporter to magazine editor. And my oldest son, following in the family business, so to speak, earned his first national by-line before he earned his drivers license.
So, when I say I’m deeply ashamed right now to be called a “journalist”, you can imagine just how deep that cuts into my soul.
Now, of course, there’s always been bias in the media. Human beings are biased, so the work they do, including reporting, is inevitably colored. Hell, I can show you ten different ways to color variations of the word “said” - muttered, shouted, announced, reluctantly replied, responded, etc. - to influence the way a reader will apprehend exactly the same quote. We all learn that in Reporting 101, or at least in the first few weeks working in a newsroom. But what we are also supposed to learn during that same apprenticeship is to recognize the dangerous power of that technique, and many others, and develop built-in alarms against their unconscious.
But even more important, we are also supposed to be taught that even though there is no such thing as pure, Platonic objectivity in reporting, we are to spend our careers struggling to approach that ideal as closely as possible. That means constantly challenging our own prejudices, systematically presenting opposing views, and never, ever burying stories that contradict our own world views or challenge people or institutions we admire. If we can’t achieve Olympian detachment, than at least we can recognize human frailty - especially in ourselves.
For many years, spotting bias in reporting was a little parlor game of mine, watching TV news or reading a newspaper article and spotting how the reporter had inserted, often unconsciously, his or her own preconceptions. But I always wrote it off as bad judgment, and lack of professionalism, rather than bad faith and conscious advocacy. Sure, being a child of the ‘60s I saw a lot of subjective “New” Journalism, and did a fair amount of it myself, but that kind of writing, like columns and editorials, was supposed to be segregated from ‘real’ reporting, and at least in mainstream media, usually was. The same was true for the emerging blogosphere, which by its very nature was opinionated and biased.
But my complacent faith in my peers first began to be shaken when some of the most admired journalists in the country were exposed as plagiarists, or worse, accused of making up stories from whole cloth. I’d spent my entire professional career scrupulously pounding out endless dreary footnotes and double-checking sources to make sure that I never got accused of lying or stealing someone else’s work - not out any native honesty, but out of fear: I’d always been told to fake or steal a story was a firing offense . . .indeed, it meant being blackballed out of the profession.
And yet, few of those worthies ever seemed to get fired for their crimes - and if they did they were soon rehired into an even more prestigious jobs. It seemed as if there were two sets of rules: one for us workaday journalists toiling out in the sticks, and another for folks who’d managed, through talent or deceit, to make it to the national level.
Meanwhile, I watched with disbelief as the nation’s leading newspapers, many of whom I’d written for in the past, slowly let opinion pieces creep into the news section, and from there onto the front page. Personal opinions and comments that, had they appeared in my stories in 1979, would have gotten my butt kicked by the nearest copy editor, were now standard operating procedure at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and soon after in almost every small town paper in the U.S.
But what really shattered my faith - and I know the day and place where it happened - was the War in Lebanon three summers ago. The hotel I was staying at in Windhoek, Namibia only carried CNN, a network I’d already learned to approach with skepticism. But this was CNN International, which is even worse. I sat there, first with my jaw hanging down, then actually shouting at the TV, as one field reporter after another reported the carnage of the Israeli attacks on Beirut, with almost no corresponding coverage of the Hezbollah missiles raining down on northern Israel. The reporting was so utterly and shamelessly biased that I sat there for hours watching, assuming that eventually CNNi would get around to telling the rest of the story . . .but it never happened.
But nothing, nothing I’ve seen has matched the media bias on display in the current Presidential campaign. Republicans are justifiably foaming at the mouth over the sheer one-sidedness of the press coverage of the two candidates and their running mates. But in the last few days, even Democrats, who have been gloating over the pass - no, make that shameless support - they’ve gotten from the press, are starting to get uncomfortable as they realize that no one wins in the long run when we don’t have a free and fair press. I was one of the first people in the traditional media to call for the firing of Dan Rather - not because of his phony story, but because he refused to admit his mistake - but, bless him, even Gunga Dan thinks the media is one-sided in this election.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Gov. Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the Big Leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play. The few instances where I think the press has gone too far - such as the Times reporter talking to Cindy McCain’s daughter’s MySpace friends - can easily be solved with a few newsroom smackdowns and temporary repostings to the Omaha Bureau.
No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side - or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for Senators Obama and Biden. If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as President of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography. That isn’t Sen. Obama’s fault: his job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media’s fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.
Why, for example to quote McCain’s lawyer, haven’t we seen an interview with Sen. Obama’s grad school drug dealer - when we know all about Mrs. McCain’s addiction? Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview? All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize? And why are Senator Biden’s endless gaffes almost always covered up, or rationalized, by the traditional media?
The absolute nadir (though I hate to commit to that, as we still have two weeks before the election) came with Joe the Plumber. Middle America, even when they didn’t agree with Joe, looked on in horror as the press took apart the private life of an average person who had the temerity to ask a tough question of a Presidential candidate. So much for the Standing Up for the Little Man, so much for Speaking Truth to Power, so much for Comforting the Afflicted and Afflicting the Comfortable, and all of those other catchphrases we journalists used to believe we lived by.
I learned a long time ago that when people or institutions begin to behave in a manner that seems to be entirely against their own interests, it’s because we don’t understand what their motives really are. It would seem that by so exposing their biases and betting everything on one candidate over another, the traditional media is trying to commit suicide - especially when, given our currently volatile world and economy, the chances of a successful Obama presidency, indeed any presidency, is probably less than 50:50.
Furthermore, I also happen to believe that most reporters, whatever their political bias, are human torpedoes . . .and, had they been unleashed, would have raced in and roughed up the Obama campaign as much as they did McCain’s. That’s what reporters do, I was proud to have been one, and I’m still drawn to a good story, any good story, like a shark to blood in the water.
So why weren’t those legions of hungry reporters set loose on the Obama campaign? Who are the real villains in this story of mainstream media betrayal?
The editors. The men and women you don’t see; the people who not only decide what goes in the paper, but what doesn’t; the managers who give the reporters their assignments and lay-out the editorial pages. They are the real culprits.
Why? I think I know, because had my life taken a different path, I could have been one: Picture yourself in your 50s in a job where you’ve spent 30 years working your way to the top, to the cockpit of power . . . only to discover that you’re presiding over a dying industry. The Internet and alternative media are stealing your readers, your advertisers and your top young talent. Many of your peers shrewdly took golden parachutes and disappeared. Your job doesn’t have anywhere near the power and influence it did when your started your climb. The Newspaper Guild is too weak to protect you any more, and there is a very good chance you’ll lose your job before you cross that finish line, ten years hence, of retirement and a pension.
In other words, you are facing career catastrophe -and desperate times call for desperate measures. Even if you have to risk everything on a single Hail Mary play. Even if you have to compromise the principles that got you here. After all, newspapers and network news are doomed anyway - all that counts is keeping them on life support until you can retire.
And then the opportunity presents itself: an attractive young candidate whose politics likely matches yours, but more important, he offers the prospect of a transformed Washington with the power to fix everything that has gone wrong in your career. With luck, this monolithic, single-party government will crush the alternative media via a revived Fairness Doctrine, re-invigorate unions by getting rid of secret votes, and just maybe, be beholden to people like you in the traditional media for getting it there.
And besides, you tell yourself, it’s all for the good of the country . . .
Saturday, October 25, 2008
What are they reading and hearing? That Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. It's inevitable. It's his election to lose. What proof does the media offer? Public opinion polls that supposedly show Obama "winning" the race. (But see here and here.) The thousands of devoted supporters who attend Obama's rallies. The legions of blacks and young people who are more "inspired" than ever to vote for a candidate who understands their needs and interests. Etc. We all know the story by heart by now.
This is the "narrative" that the mainstream media has been imposing on this year's presidential campaign almost from the start. Remember how quickly the MSM jumped off the Hillary Clinton bandwagon and onto Obama's? Remember how annoyed and angry they became as Hillary refused to concede the nomination? The MSM decided that electing the nation's first black, socialist, anti-American president was politically and historically more important (and, for them, more exciting) than electing the nation's first female, socialist, patriotic president. And they are doing everything they can to achieve this goal.
Well, there is another story out there that the MSM refuses to address. A huge story. One that could, and I think will, significantly affect the outcome of this race. I'm referring to the widespread phenomenon of registered Democrats openly supporting John McCain. There are numerous "Democrats for McCain" type organizations. There are numerous websites and blogs written by Democrats touting McCain's candidacy. There are pro-McCain grassroots efforts being led by Democrats. And we all know friends or relatives who are Democrats, who voted for John Kerry in 2004, and who are no fans of President Bush - but who are going to vote for John McCain this year.
Yet, surprise surprise, the mainstream media is not talking about these voters, not talking about the real rift that is occurring within the ranks of the Democratic Party. Needless to say, if a similar rift were occurring in the Republican Party, it would be treated as the major story that it is. (Indeed, as such stories about the political fault lines in the Republican Party have been treated in the recent past.)
Who are these pro-McCain Democratic voters? They overwhelmingly tend to be former Hillary supporters. Perhaps the most well-known of these voters are the "PUMAs" - which stands for Party Unity My Ass. These are Hillary supporters who are adamantly opposed to Obama. Let's not forget that during the Democratic primaries - real elections, not polls - Hillary crushed Obama among white working-class and middle-class voters in such key states as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. If a meaningful number of these voters end up voting for McCain, as I predict they will, then Obama's smooth road to the White House is going to run smack into a brick wall.
Earlier this week, I attended a John McCain campaign event in New York City. There were several Democrats in attendance. Not only people who are registered Democrats, but party leaders and workers who had been actively involved in Hillary Clinton's campaign. Indeed, the gentlemen who "keynoted" the event was a former publisher of the left-wing Village Voice magazine and a veteran of the Robert Kennedy, George McGovern, and Jimmy Carter campaigns. Hardly a right-wing conservative. He gave one of the best stump speeches I have heard why Barack Obama should not be elected president. (It comes down to not trusting Obama to keep the United States safe and strong in a dangerous world and rejecting Obama's "government knows best" attitude when it comes to domestic issues.) Another person I met at the event was a sprightly elderly woman who manned telephones for Hillary for five months, and now is supporting McCain.
There is nothing remotely similar to this taking place among Republicans. (No, Christopher Buckley endorsing Obama is not the same thing at all.)
Some more anecdotal evidence of a lack of support for Obama among Democrats: I live in the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City. You cannot find too many places in the country that are more liberal than that. Walking around my neighborhood during the 2004 presidential campaign, I felt "assaulted" on all sides by Kerry-Edwards buttons, bumper stickers, and posters. This year, there clearly is not the same level of outward support for Obama. It is remarkable (and welcome). Will most of the people in my neighborhood vote for Obama on election day? Of course. Will Obama win New York? Almost certainly. But the lack of enthusiasm for Obama among these Democrats, who I'm sure would be going gaga for Hillary, speaks volumes about Obama's true prospects for victory this year.
The point is simple: Don't believe the Obama hype coming out of the mainstream media. If the media were truly objective and unbiased, they would be covering the race much differently. Instead of trying to browbeat the country into voting for Obama, they would be analyzing the issues and factors that favor and disfavor both candidates. Instead of focusing on college students and intellectuals, they would be focusing on working-class and middle-class voters, especially "Hillary Democrats." These voters may very well determine the election. Yet this huge story is being ignored by the MSM.
Furthermore, the media would not so consistently confuse intensity of support for breadth of support. Granted, Barack Obama's supporters tend to be more enthusiastic about their candidate than John McCain's supporters are about him. Leftists are always looking for their earthly messiah. But this does not mean that Obama's supporters, come election day, will outnumber McCain's. Whether in support of McCain or in opposition to Obama, I predict these voters will go to the polls. Contrary to the wishful thinking of Democratic pundits, they are not staying home. These voters may be unexcited, but they are not apathetic. And 51% of "unexcited" voters will defeat 49% of even the most "inspired" voters. Every time.
Of course, we all know what the mainstream media's "narrative" will be if (I believe, when) John McCain wins the election: The American people refused to vote for Obama because of the color of his skin (and not because of the content of his politics). The "right-wing attack machine" scared voters into voting for McCain, even against their own social and economic self-interest. Black and poor voters were intimidated by Republican thugs and prevented from voting. We know this story by heart as well.
So be prepared. In a few more weeks, the political environment in this country is likely to become a heckuva lot nastier. For there are real signs pointing to a McCain victory this year, whether or not the mainstream media wants to acknowledge the reality.
Friday, October 24, 2008
What does this tell you? What in the world...? It's already happening. I shared with you the story yesterday of a couple small businessmen I met on Tuesday. I left out one thing, by the way, that has them mortified. It's not just Obama's taxes. I asked these guys. I said, "Okay, wait a minute, now. You're talking about having to lay people off if Obama's elected, because of what's going to happen to taxes," and they also mentioned... The name of this act is eluding me now. It's the Employer Free Hire Act or something. Basically it is a statute that will force small business to unionize. It will force small businesses to unionize so unions can go in, unionize a business, and then walk out and shut down after having create a unionized business. These guys are terrified of this.
We're talking small business now. The unions, as you know, their membership has been plummeting. It's at 11 or 12% now, if that, and these small business people, they were speaking for a lot of them, are just petrified. Now, when I mentioned this story yesterday, I got some e-mail last night. "Hey, Rush. Hey, Rush. If these CEOs are still afraid of Obama, how come they're going to vote for him and are contributing to him?" We're talking small business here, and I failed to make that plain yesterday. The large company CEOs, folks, they're conflicted here because large company CEOs would love to off-load your health care plan that you have, if you work for a large company, to the federal government. But at the same time, they don't like the idea the corporate tax rate is not going to be cut or may be intensified. But I asked these guys, these small business guys.
I said, "What about Obama's got this great plan, this $3,000 tax credit for every new full job you hire?" They said, this is a joke, and they told me what everybody in the business knows. If you're going to pay somebody, rough figures, $50,000, it's going to cost you at least 65,000 to hire 'em. Okay, so it cost you 65,000, you spend that to get a $3,000 tax credit? It's a silly deal. Nobody would take it. It's crazy. And then once these employers don't take the deal if Obama actually goes through with this, then that sets up Obama being able to point the finger at them as the reason why there is no rebound in employment. "Well, these greedy small businessmen. We've offered them all kinds of incentives to hire people but they refuse to do it because they want all the money for themselves. They're laying off workers," blah, blah, blah.
That's how Obama plans to escape the rising unemployment he claims to fix during this campaign. This Politico story here today is fascinating in that experts are saying the market is tanking right now because it expects an Obama victory. It's already anticipating that and have partially accounted for it, and if the Democrats get 60 seats in the Senate, then there's going to be a dramatic sell-off. The Washington Post today: "Job Losses Accelerate, Signaling Deeper Distress -- Employers are moving to aggressively cut jobs," I told you this yesterday, "and reduce costs in the face of the nation's economic crisis, preparing for what many fear will be a long and painful recession." Let me redo the lead. "Employers are moving to aggressively cut jobs and reduce costs in the face of the nation's economic crisis," comma, "the Obama presidency," period.
"They are preparing for what they fear will be a long and painful recession," about four years of the Obama presidency. So in light of an Obama win, the market is tanking: "Job losses accelerate, signaling a deeper distress," and why? It's because Obama is unrepentant about his tax increases. And when he says that he's going to give every American, or 95% of Americans a tax cut, he's not -- and he's on the hook for this, too. It's welfare. He is going to take more. He's gonna include people who don't pay income taxes but do pay payroll taxes, Social Security taxes. He's going to give them anywhere from a 500 to a thousand-dollar tax credit, rebate check, what have you. He's basically going to rub the Social Security trust fund -- quote, unquote, lockbox, what have you -- but it's a welfare program.
He's going to give welfare checks to people who don't pay income tax. Now he's when we come back and saying, "Oh, no, no, no, no! We'll have a work requirement on that." A work requirement? Why a work requirement? I thought they already were working! I thought these were the salt-of-the-earth people. They're "working families." I thought they already were working. What do you mean, have a work requirement, Obama? I thought these people were working and they're getting the shaft? By all these rich Americans who are trodding on them all day long and making their lives miserable and unhappy. My opening monologue yesterday about the conversation with the two small business execs, you know what was enlightening about that to me was, we don't get truth from the Drive-Bys.
Yet we live in a world that's ultimately governed by reality. Propaganda couldn't keep the Soviet Union afloat, and propaganda will not protect the media from collapse, either, at some point. The media, if this keeps up, with collapse of its own incompetence, its own immorality, its own injustice. Now, their propaganda may have a shelf life long enough to elect Obama, but it won't change the realities that American businesses face as they prepare their budgets going forward. American business is going to look at its P&L. It's going to look at the financial figures that dominate, govern the business. They're not going to turn on the Nightly News which fewer and pure people are watching, and find out what the business climate. They don't like in the world of fantasy; they don't like in the world of propaganda. They live in the world of reality.
Here I've got these two guys sitting next to me on Wednesday and they're giving me their reality, and I have never heard it reflected in the media. The media is pure propaganda, pure image, pure fantasy. Everything's going to rosy; it's going to be wonderful when Obama is elected. The markets right now are not panicked. You'd have to say they're hysterical. Nobody can figure these out, these up and down swings, what's driving all this so-called daily news on jobs or credit crunch or what have you. I'll tell you what they're doing: they're reacting to what they perceive to be reality. They're not to the propaganda and the fantasy of the media. I have a friend who works for another broadcast entity. They are slashing costs. They are firing and laying off people, trying to survive.
My friend's daughter is having trouble selling yearbook ads when these are slam-dunk in any other year. People buy high school and college yearbook ads as a matter of almost philanthropy. From top to bottom, businesses are taking care of business. They are in survival mode right now. We've had a hurricane, and it's been predicted, and they see the radar images. They see Hurricane Obama coming, and they're behaving rationally. Now, that makes no sense when juxtaposed with the image that's been painted by Obama and his media campaign staff. The financial pictures painted by socialists and Marxists have no similarity to photographs. I mean, their promises have been proven to be lies 100% of the time, and business owners understand that. Business has to deal with reality.
Obama's campaign has been all about imagery and style. The markets will react to long-term stability, and they'll react to instability and volatile, too. Tax cuts and spending cuts, an across-the-board freeze would stop the bleeding and allow for the slow upward build. If you cut capital gains today, if you cut the corporate tax rate, you want to see stability in the market? All you'd have to do is have somebody serious propose it, somebody that the markets think has a genuine chance of winning. Markets are looking for good news. and it's not gonna come in a BS New York Times poll that says Obama's up 15 points. That's not good news! It's not going to be good news they interpret watching The Obama Channel, DNC, MSNBC TV. They're dealing in reality. You work for them. They're not dealing in fantasies and propaganda. They have to make it all work or else they go out of business and then everybody at the small business is kaput.
RUSH: Okay, so here's the triple threat that responsible business people who look at the P&L, they don't look at MSNBC, they don't look at the New York Times poll. Well, they might look at the New York Times poll and get worried over the result, but here's what American business senses. This is what they fear as the triple threat about to hit them: higher taxes, less free trade. Don't forget Obama said he's going to tear up NAFTA and try to rework it, and he's against opening up free trade with an ally in South America or Colombia and a massive increase in union membership. Obama has not really been targeted on this. There haven't been a whole lot of people talking about this union measure that he supports. It's named something that's the exact opposite of what it is. It's called the employer freedom act or something. It's the exact opposite of that. It allows unions to go in with a secret ballot and so forth and unionize any shop that they want to try if it becomes law, so this is what they fear. This is what they are all reacting to.
Now, one more thing about the clothes, Sarah Palin. The Drive-Bys are trying to find the scandal, Sarah Palin, $150 grand, paid for, RNC. Do you realize that it's an illegal campaign contribution for any incorporated business to give away clothes to a candidate? Six thousand dollars the average cost of a Hillary pantsuit, a little over $6,000 is over the personal limit and is thus also illegal. So what the Republicans are trying to do is say, "Okay, we bought it, we paid for it, it's ours, we paid for it, this is the way you do things." To the Democrats that's out of style, that's out of touch, "You're actually going to pay for it?" But the thing is if this designer is right and she's outfitting all these candidates for nothing, then they're violating campaign laws. Not that it will matter. Nobody will do anything about it.
Read the Background Material...
• Politico: Will the Election Drive the Dow?
• Wall Street Journal: An Obamanomics Preview. Tax and Spend, But Not In That Order
• National Review: The Audacity of New Taxes
• American Thinker: Secret of Obama Tax Planned Revealed?
• IBD: Small Businesses & Jobs Not Safe From Obama Tax - Ralph Reiland
• Washington Post: Job Losses Accelerate, Signaling Deeper Distress
• Bizjournals: Wells Chairman Expects Faster Recovery