Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
On Monday I called Limbaugh and predicted that Gingrich would call to make things right with the Republican Party boss and the leader of the conservative movement in America.
It Disn’t take long; Media Matters caught this today:
A little more about the point I wanted to make on the call (Rush was heading into the top of the hour break, so we didn’t have time to get into it as much as I would have liked.)
Limbaugh should be the kingmaker if he wants to see a conservative get the nomination. Otherwise, the media will crown the winner, and Republicans will end up with another John McCain.
From my perspective as a liberal, I fear that. If the Republican nominee is a batty tea-party endorsed candidate, Democrats may have a chance in 2012, bad economy notwithstanding. But if they put up someone that can be presented as reasonable, things get a lot tougher for the good guys.
Moreover, if the Republican base is excited by a far-right candidate, Obama may feel it necessary to motivate his own base. Maybe we’d finally see prosecutions on Wall Street, accountability for torture, a return to the rule of law and fewer concessions on tax cuts, drilling, etc.
Republican Congressman and NRA board member Don Young re- affirms his pledge to indicted right-wing militia leader Schaeffer Cox
Right wing militia leader Schaeffer Cox was arrested on March 10, 2011 for plotting to kill state police and a federal judge, and for possession of illegal weapons. He pled not guilty and has a trial date set for mid-May.
Coming two years into the Obama presidency, you may be stifling a yawn right about now. The story of the right-wing nut job has, admittedly, lost a bit of its novelty. What makes this story interesting, however, is the fact that a United States Congressman, Alaskan Republican Don Young, has unabashedly allied himself with Schaeffer Cox.
On April 13, 2009, Schaeffer Cox orchestrated a gathering of gun-rights extremists at an Alaska Denny’s. Young, Alaska’s long-time at-large United States Representative, was in attendance and an active participant. Cox produced the following video:
As you can see, Congressman Young encouraged the assembled extremists to ignore federal law as it pertains to gun registration and, alarmingly, signed a “Declaration” that Schaeffer Cox had drafted, the text of which reads:
Let it be known that we, the people of Alaska, stand in recognition of the true principle that whenever a government abandons the purpose for which we have created it and even becomes hostile towards that which it was once a defender of, it is no longer a fit steward of the political power that is inherent in the people and lent to this government with strict conditions. These conditions are clearly defined in the United States Constitution and understood by the common man.
Furthermore, to the extent that our government violates these conditions, they nullify their own authority, at which point it is our right and duty, not as subjects but as sovereign Americans, to entrust this power to new stewards who will not depart from the laws we have given them.
This being the case, let it be known that should our government seek to further tax, restrict or register firearms or otherwise impose on the right that shall not be infringed, thus impairing our ability to exercise the God-given right to self-defense which precedes all human legislation and is superior to it, that the duty of us good and faithful people will not be to obey them but to alter or abolish them and institute new government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to us shall seem most likely to effect our safety and happiness.
A few weeks ago, after Cox was arrested, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence discovered the Cox/Young video and the Cox-authored “Declaration” that Representative Young signed. Emphasizing the call to “abolish” the federal government if the United States acted to “further tax, restrict or register firearms”, CSGV insists that Representative Young’s commitment to the “Declaration” conflicts with his oath of office, which reads,
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
CSGV launched a petition drive that called upon Representative Young to re-affirm his oath.
I decided it was worth checking into, so I decided to ask Young point-blank if his two oaths conflicted. On March 31, I staked out his Washington DC office until I was able to catch him in the hallway. I explained that I was there to discuss the Schaeffer Cox “Declaration”. Young was gracious, and invited me into his office. He called on his press aide, who was asked to record the interview and provide the Congressman with a copy of the Cox “Declaration”. I promised the Congressman I wouldn’t reproduce any of our conversation that occurred before his aide got her recorder running.
The following is a recording of our exchange, and a transcript:
TRANSCRIPT OF STARK INTERVIEW WITH REP. YOUNG
STARK: There’s this group, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, that’s asked you to re-affirm your oath of office. What they’ve taken from the letter is the part where they call for the abolition of the American government if new taxes or other gun control measures were passed by the government.
YOUNG: And if they take my gun, I would not say this is the nation that I represent. To me, the Second Amendment is the key to all the other amendments, and that’s what I stand for, and if they don’t understand that, that’s their problem. And they keep insisting that no one should be armed but the police.
STARK: Well I understand that this…
YOUNG: Don’t argue with me. And I’m saying “No.” An armed civilian militia, an armed civilian, is a deterrent for a government that does not in fact represent the people, if that was to occur. I’m a gun owner as you can see, and a gun user, and I’ve been that way since I was six years old and I was taught by my father that it is really very important that you have a right to defend your home against all intruders, and that’s what I said.
STARK: What I was going to say was that you signed the Declaration in April of 2009. Now that must have been a pretty heady times for a lot of people. Barack Obama had just taken office. I think a lot of people were concerned about movements towards increased gun control. As it happens, exactly the opposite has occurred. He’s opened up National Parks to guns…
YOUNG: He did that because Congress insisted upon it.
STARK: Well, it was a Democratic Congress when it happened.
YOUNG: No, no, no. The Congress insisted upon it and if they didn’t do that, then they’d have been in serious trouble.
STARK: And again, I’d agree with the same point you just made that the Assault Weapons Ban lapsed because Congress didn’t have the political weight to keep it going. Or at least gun control advocates in Congress didn’t have the political weight to keep it going. But the idea is that the Declaration actually says that if you take measures to pass stricter gun control laws—and I would count a ban on assault weapons or a tax on ammunition—you call for the abolition of the American government. Now that sounds like it conflict with the oath of office which says you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
YOUNG: The Constitution says we have a right to bear arms.
STARK: Taxing ammunition isn’t taking…
YOUNG: They’re penalizing someone that has the right to have ammunition and adding impunity damage to it and that’s nonsense. [Inaudible]
STARK: So you would call for the abolition of the United States government if there was an ammunition tax?
YOUNG: If they were to propose something like that [inaudible] arms and taxing ammunition—and by the way ammunition is taxed already, but it goes through the conservation, they just wouldn’t tax it to a point where you can’t purchase it.
STARK: Right, it was a confiscatory tax that made it impossible to purchase I think everyone would see through that and people would say that that’s taking arms away.
YOUNG: Now you’ve got to remember something. You Liberals, you guys never give up. You don’t want free enterprise and [inaudible] government. You want to have the government control everybody. That’s what the health bill was about. That’s what any of this legislation that’s come under the Obama administration. And you Liberals, very frankly, have been pushing this agenda for the past 55 years.
STARK: Well, we think there’s common sense gun control measures that can be taken. Terrorists can’t fly but they can buy guns in this country. People can go out and buy hollow point bullets that kill cops.
YOUNG: Go on, go on, I’ve had enough of you. You just want to argue.
STARK: Listen, you were great for the time that you did give me. Thanks very much. I’m sorry that it ended up angrying you in the end.
Clearly, Representative Young is not backing down an inch, notwithstanding Cox’s run-in with the law. Even when pressed on the point about “taxes” on ammunition being a cause for overthrowing the United States government, Young digs in. The recording and transcript speak for themselves, so I will leave it to others to decide if the Congressman’s emphasis on the primacy of the 2nd Amendment is defensible.
The thing is, y’all don’t know the half of it. When you wait on hold to talk to Rush, during the commercial and news breaks, you’re subjected to a series interstitials that can only appeal to racists. Rush, I think, calls them, “entertaining”. He’s got some guy doing impressions of Jesse Jackson, Ron Artest, Al Sharpton and several other African Americans. Each of them are essentially audio minstrel shows that depict blacks as stupid and incompetent hustlers. I guess white racists need to laugh too, but Rush should take responsibility for doing what he does.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Rush’s racism than his rarely heard interstitials. (You hear them on his live webcasts from RushLimbaugh.com as well).
The truth is that race – and being on the wrong side of the issue – is a favorite topic on Rush’s radio show. He’ll talk about the Black Panther voting case for years, but I don’t think I ever heard him mention anything about Republican voter caging or the wholesale disenfranchisement of people with black-sounding names in 2000′s Florida election.
When the economy tanks, he makes up a reason out of whole cloth – it was all the fault of ACORN and the CRA, dontchya kno? Of course, ACORN and the CRA both had two things in common: they both helped vulnerable African American populations, and neither of them had anything at all to do with the criminal banking class that led the country into its current economic collapse.
Rush has long been a hobbyist when it comes to condemning black athletes that screw up. Hell, is some cases (Donovan McNabb), he loves to condemn black athletes simply because they are black. But I’ve never heard him say anything about Josh Hamilton, Mark Chimura, or Ben Roethlensberger (he says he’s made fun of the latter, but he sure hasn’t made any interstitials or done so in any kind of sustained effort).
Anyway, all this, and more, came up in today’s phone call:
Thad McCotter (R, MI) says we ask too much from the rich. They shouldn’t be part of “shared sacrifice”
He also misled the listeners when he spoke of revenue growth under Reagan. Revenues grew more quickly in the eight years preceding Reagan, and the eight years after Reagan. Revenue growth nearly doubled the Reagan rate during the Clinton years.
BTW: Jim Bohannon is the ultimate center-right DC-insider CW tool. He’s just awful. So when even “Jimbo” goes after the Republican, you’ve got to be thinking that we might be doing something right.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard Rush say we all need to “share in the sacrifice,” but he has been militant in his support for spending on things like oil subsidies and expenmsive wars, at the same time he was even more militant in his opposition to tax increases on the wealthy that would pay for his preferred spending programs. Also at the same time, he’s been militant in his suggestion that we just can’t afford the spending anymore (when it comes to things like pensions and health insurance for people making $50K/yr, that is).
So I asked him what he’s asking from the wealthiest in these times of shared sacrifice.
He was honest. He said he doesn’t subscribe to that…. That there’s a reason some people make $25 million a year, while others toil for 25 thousand. And that everything is as it should be – the rich shouldn’t be asked to do more because they are… well… I guess he didn’t really finish that thought.
OK, this is old, but it never gets old… Back in 2005/6, I was calling the Rush Limbaugh Show several times a month, much like I am today. After about 8 months, he must have caught on. I was about to travel to the first YearlyKos Convention in Las Vegas to give a training presentation on calling talk radio, when some guy called Rush with a prepared question. I didn’t know “Jack” then, and I still have no idea who he was, but all my previous calls must’ve been gnawing at Rush. Jack put it nicely when he said that Rush “lost his marbles.”
Hannity spent almost his entire show blaming people that work for a living for Wisconsin’s (and the United States’) budget mess. Of course, once the absurdity of that position is demonstrated, Hannity changes the subject to his objection to the way union’s political money is spent. Of course, the truth is that unions have elections and their rank and file can change their leadership if they disagree with how their dues are spent. But the fact is that union members are likely to be much more politically engaged and aware of how political issues will impact working people. Hence, they vote for Democrats.
And that’s the real issue.
I may be able to put up a transcript later, but for now, here’s the audio:
I waited for a while to speak with him today, and just before he took my call, he spent some time talking about HBGary’s efforts to win government astroturfing contracts. His spin was classic Limbaugh: he suggested that it was Obama contracting with astroturf firms in order to create the appearance of support for liberal policies. Now here’s the truth: HBGary was just caught in a scheme that would have them using social networks to wage war against progressives on behalf of the far-right Chamber of Commerce. Moreover, to the extent that federal contracts have been involved, they were on behalf of the Department of Defense’s propaganda efforts. IIRC, the Air Force was the only entity that signed a contract, and it was to support the war efforts “psyops”.
Anyway, the purpose of the call was entirely different. I wanted to point out that Rush is all for taking money out of the pockets of middle class workers (the little guy), but when it comes to balanced budgets, he stands radically opposed to asking the ultra-wealthy for sacrifice.
I called and made the point that, effectively, what is happening is that the Governor of Wisconsin is increasing taxes on the teachers and other government workers. I mean, when all is said and done, the Governor is reaching into these workers’ pockets and taking out about $100 from every week’s paycheck. What else would you call it? (My math is at the bottom of the post).
Sean – and every other right-wing host’s – argument is that Wisconsin needs to tighten its belt. It can’t spend what it doesn’t have.
I thought that was odd coming from a guy that supported two wars that our country put on its credit card. I mean, if we have to pay for our stuff, why isn’t he suggesting tax increases to pay for the wars? Could it be because he might have to part with a few of his ill-gotten gains? Or, if his argument is that we cannot afford to increase taxes in the middle of a recession, then why is it OK to (essentially) increase the tax burden on teachers? Surely, if they can afford it, the top teir of wealth-holders in this country can afford to do a little more as well, right? Sean? Sean?
Sean’s response? No, seriously, I’m not kidding….
“9/11, 9/11, 9/11!!!!!”
Average teacher pay, according to, of all people, Michelle Malkin: $52K
After tax income: $52K*.65 (assuming overall federal/state tax burden of 35%)=$33,800/yr
Additional contribution demanded by Wisconsin governor: $5K
Therefore, average weekly teacher pay will be reduced by $100/wk (or 15%), from $650 to $550
He covered everything… said that unionized government make twice as much as their peers in the private sector… that Obama added 200,000 unionized workers to the federal payroll… for 3 hours, the lies kept coming. It was awful.
His strategy is to divide the working class. As long as wage-earners concentrate their fire on each other, the plutocratic kleptocracy churns on without hassle.
I’m beginning to wonder how much longer that gambit is going to work. Is Wisconsin a hiccup or a spark?
Strap in and hold on tight.
The first minute of audio sets my call up. It’s one (of many) example of Rush railing against unionized workers to gin up the envy and hatred.