Category Archives: Rush Limbaugh

The Great Tea Party Con

UN-believable. Anyone who gave so much as $1 to the Tea Party got fleeced in a well-orchestrated conservative con job:

“The arrangement was simply FreedomWorks paid Glenn Beck money and Glenn Beck said nice things about FreedomWorks on the air,” Armey, the former House majority leader, told Media Matters Friday. “I saw that a million dollars went to Beck this past year, that was the annual expenditure.”

Armey, who left the organization this past fall after a dispute over its internal operations, said a similar arrangement was also in place with Rush Limbaugh, but did not know the exact financial details.

Wow. So the Tea Party was basically a massive shake-down by the conservative media. Beck and Limbaugh get all the white folks in a lather about some invented Obama conspiracy they cooked up, then they tell everyone to donate to FreedomWorks to fight said manufactured horrible thing, and all the money goes straight back to Beck and Limabugh.

You know what gets me? That Dick Armey had nooo problem with this little scam as long as he was in charge of FreedomWorks. But he obviously knew the whole set-up was a grift, because he wouldn’t be spilling the beans about it now.

These people have no shame. Every damn one of them should be thrown in jail for fraud. The syndicators and networks who aired their programming were complicit in the fraud, and they need to be held accountable too. And finally, the MSM which decided the Tea Party was some shiny-sparkly political toy deserve to go out of business for their negligence.

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Filed under conservatives, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tea Party

You Can’t Spell “Bullies” Without “Bull” & “Lies”

The attacks on Sandra Fluke have taken a decidedly nasty, personal turn. It was bad enough that Rush Limbaugh would stoop so low as to call her a slut and prostitute and demand she post sex videos on YouTube, all based on his completely made-up thesis that she wants taxpayers to pay for her birth control (she never said anything of the kind).

But now even her boyfriend and his family are being attacked. The pile-on started with Bill O’Reilly, who first revealed the identity of Fluke’s boyfriend, giving the right-wing bloggers their fresh meat. And now we have hacks like Jim “Dim” Hoft, who calls Fluke a “far left activist” and attacks her boyfriend as a “socialist.” (Other hacks refer to the boyfriend as A “socialist Jew.”) Hoft lifted year-old vacation pictures from her Facebook page, the message being, “she wants you to pay for her birth control so she can have hot sexy sex with radical leftists in Yurp. Yer tax dollahs!!!”

Again: this smear is based on Rush’s original lie, because nowhere in Sandra Fluke’s testimony did she ever say that she wanted taxpayers to foot the bill for anyone’s birth control: hers or anyone else’s. But don’t let facts stand in the way of a good smear.

Well, there’s a reason we call Hoft the dumbest man on the internet. Weigel does a good job debunking Hoft’s many lies and misrepresentations, but Right Blogistan is in full bully mode and there just isn’t enough bandwidth in the universe to debunk all of the sludge. Here’s a representative headline from a place called TheGraph, and you’ll just have to Google it because I refuse to give these hate sites any hits:

Or, Google “Sandra Fluke boyfriend” and you’ll see what I mean.

This has been the week in All Things Sandra Fluke Hot Sex Babe, which led up to the smear’s shining moment: CNN’s Dana Loesch, writing on her website that Fluke’s boyfriend should pay for her birth control because,

His father donates heavily to Democrat candidates. The couple is currently enjoying spring break in California, which poses the question of how Fluke can afford a trip across the country when she can’t afford birth control pills.

CNN should be so proud. Again: she repeats the lie that Rush started, but this one has an extra twist with the Democratic donor stuff. It’s gotta be a conspiracy, I tell ya!

This kind of bullying is what we’ve come to expect from the right wing blogosphere. It’s only a matter of time before Michelle Malkin reprises her role as trash-sifter in chief — if she hasn’t done so already. But let’s remember that Bill Maher called Sarah Palin dumb once in a comedy sketch. Both sides do it!

Surely there has to be more to this intimidation campaign. My guess is it’s designed to give any liberal citizen with the temerity to speak out on an issue pause. Speak out and expect the Rush Limbaugh/Fox News/conservative blogosphere to go in full attack mode. Not just you but everyone you associate with will be fair game.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but the more they attack based on an utter fabrication of her actual statement, the more ammo Fluke has for a defamation suit. And I really, really hope she sues Rush from here to kingdom come. The more right-wing bloggers make her life intolerable, the bigger her potential case. Especially since every one of these attacks repeat what Gene Weingarten referred to as Rush’s “invented calumny.” Textbook slander, indeed.

One of the most surreal images of the past month was that of the now-deceased Andrew Breitbart, glassy-eyed and repeating “be-HAVE yourself” over and over and over again at Occupy protestors. That, plus an interview in which he revealed deep paranoia about Media Matters and MSNBC, capped by a long, final Twitter stream of insults at strangers, are his last messages to the world.

I can think of no more fitting illustration of the right wing attack machine than this. Unhinged, paranoid, and full of hate, I have to wonder if these aren’t the last gasps of a dying breed, just as they were the last utterances of a dying man. I wonder if, like their standard-bearer Breitbart, they won’t soon be found metaphorically tits-up on a sidewalk, consumed by their own hate.

Sue, Sandra Fluke, sue. Sue and win. So no one else inspired to speak out on an issue they care about ever has to pay the price of character assassination and intimidation. Never again.

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Filed under birth control, conservative bloggers, Rush Limbaugh, women's rights

In Honor Of International Women’s Day

Via Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice, I’d like to call everyone’s attention to this most delightful and satisfying piece of satire from Gene Weingarten related to the Rush Limbaugh affair.

The whole thing is awesome so give it a read, but I especially call your attention to this bit, which has gotten completely lost in all of the haranguing that followed:

All of this bile followed from his assertion that she testified about her own extremely active sex life.

Here’s the thing: She didn’t. She said nothing whatsoever about her own sex life. She did not mention her own contraceptive needs at all: She spoke passionately and eloquently, and respectfully, about several friends of hers, Georgetown students who she said were diagnosed with medical conditions requiring the birth control pill, but who could not get it because they could not afford it. That was it. Here is the transcript of her testimony.

In short — though Limbaugh doesn’t address this in his mealy-mouthed, backhanded “apology” — Limbaugh just made it all up, then went hog-wild, oinker-frenzy-wild, elaborating on it so he could call her names. Calling people names is bad, but calling people names based on your own invented calumny is the textbook definition of slander. The First Amendment does not protect you from that, nor should it. Even on an issue of public debate, and even if the victim is a public figure, as Ms. Fluke was here, “fair comment” is not a defense if you made up the central fact, and the central fact is wrong and is damaging and if your intent was to injure. I’m no lawyer, but as I see it: Check, check, check, check. I hope Ms. Fluke knows a good lawyer; if she doesn’t, one will find her, I suspect: The pockets here are really deep, though constricted and attenuated a bit: A LOT of flibbity-flabbity belly fat there, Rush. You really should do something about that, in your well-merited retirement.

Rush, in internet-speak, you are about to be pwned. By a woman.

Indeed. Rush lied about what Sandra Fluke said, then badgered and berated her for three days based on the lie he created! I fail to see how that’s any different from what Andrew Breitbart did to Shirley Sherrod: selectively editing a videotape to completely twist her words and meaning, then hold it up to the world to say “look at this horrible thing this person said.” Sherrod’s lawsuit has cleared its first hurdles and it’s speculated that Breitbart’s death will not affect its progress. It seems to me that Sandra Fluke has an equally valid slander case against Rush. I really hope she does sue, because a lawsuit is the only thing that will keep these blowhards from using lies and character assassination as political weapons.

And let me point out: this case also illustrates the huge difference between conservatives and liberal figures like Bill Maher. Rush Limbaugh is a right-wing talking point factory. His deceitful take on an issue ricochets around the right-wing echo factory — sometimes even percolating up to the mainstream media. Limbaugh said Fluke’s testimony was about demanding taxpayers pay for birth control, a lie that was repeated by Fox News yakkers like Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelley, columnist and talk show host Ed Morissey, even conservative cartoonists like Gary McCoy. The entire conservative media picked up and repeated Rush’s completely erroneous take on Fluke’s testimony, and they’ve been doing it for over a week solid.

Maybe they hope if the lie is repeated often enough it will become truth, or maybe they’re really just taking their information from Rush but the truth is, in no way is this issue about taxpayers paying for women’s birth control — Sandra Fluke’s or anyone else’s. It’s about private insurance companies offering contraception as part of the prescription benefit in your employer-based insurance plan. You know, the one that is part of your benefits package at work.

(As I write this I think I’ve realized why this issue has become so confusing for some conservatives: lots of really big words! “Contraception coverage” and “prescription benefit” and “insurance” — oh my!)

Now, Bill Maher may say something that crosses the line but I’ve yet to see any comment of his get repeated across the “liberal media.” Nor have I ever seen Maher misconstrue an issue, and then watch as his erroneous framing is repeated by Democratic politicians, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, the New York Times and the like. There simply is no equivalency here. None.

And here’s another thing. To paraphrase Adlai Stevenson, if conservatives stop telling lies about liberals, maybe we’ll stop telling the truth about them. But they won’t stop telling those lies until they start being held accountable for them. That’s just reality.

I don’t know why we’re supposed to just be polite and sit back and take it all the time. If someone tells a lie about you for political reasons, and that lie is turned into a hammer and you’re beaten over the head with it for days, and then that hammer is turned into a mallet and you’re beaten over the head with it some more, all because you spoke out on an issue? Fuck yeah, you should sue.

So in honor of International Women’s Day I hope women around America rise up and fight back against these lies and attacks on us. I don’t know Sandra Fluke but I sure hope she sues. Not just for her own justice, but to prevent future intimidation campaigns the next time a woman tries to speak out on an issue. We should not be subjected to character assassination by the right wing smear machine just because we testified before some members of Congress on healthcare.

I want women to speak out to their employers and their legislators about this, and International Women’s Day is as good a day as any. Hell, talk to your priests and pastors. Tell them it’s not okay that women using birth control are characterized as sluts and whores. Tell them it’s not okay for any state government to force women who are fully aware of what’s up in there to submit to vaginal probes before receiving an abortion. It’s insulting! And demeaning!

Tell them it’s not okay to tell us to press an aspirin between our knees instead of enjoying healthy sex lives. It’s not okay to tell women serving in our armed forces that they should expect to be raped.

This stuff is not okay.

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Filed under conservatives, rants, Rush Limbaugh, women's rights

Dispatch From The War On Women

Poor conservatives. They just don’t get it:

The Aggrieved Party Reserves The Right To Do The Reclaiming, Asswipe

This is in regards to the latest attempt to grab some limelight by that bloated sack of cow dung known as Rush Limbaugh. A remark so over the top outrageous that advertisers and even fellow Republicans — men and women — are condemning the comment.

But as the above Tweet from the National Review Online’s news editor shows, not everyone got the memo. They just can’t help themselves, the poor dears.

I think we’ve all seen this movie before. Republicans in Congress do something stupid like try to pass a law oppressing women, minorities, teachers, people on Medicare, etc. National outcry follows, polls show the Republicans hopelessly out of touch with the majority of voters, blah blah. What to do? Why, turn to one of your paid shills to “take one for the team.” Rush says something outrageously offensive on said topic — something guaranteed to raise the ire of the group in question, giving Republican legislators a chance to look reasonable by comparison. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The only way this stupid game stops is if everyone decides they don’t want to play along. I mean really, does anyone take this stuff seriously anymore? Rush Limbaugh is now and always has been a raging asshole, and he always will be a raging asshole. Assholery is Rush’s gimmick. Oh look, Rush said something offensive! Must be Wednesday.

Please. Rush is a useful tool of the right, but not in the way you think. He preaches to his choir and says intolerant, horrible things just for the pleasure of being able to spread his poison. He may get pleasure out of stirring up trouble but he’s just a circus sideshow. The really dangerous ones are the Republicans holding office around the country who pass these offensive laws in the first place. And when Rush says something to get everyone upset he’s just giving them cover. No Republicans, you do not get a pass for your Blunt Amendment votes just because you’re quoted as saying Rush Limbaugh’s comment was “inappropriate.” You know what’s inappropriate? You passing laws that affect my personal, private decisions just because you have a problem with women having sex for pleasure. Oooh. Women like sex, oh the horror the horror! Grow the fuck up, already.

Women are not stupid. We’re not going to miss who the real monster is here. Rush won’t change. Congress will.

And no, Mr. Paranoia, no one wants to blow up your fucking house. You’re SO not the worth the trouble. It was just another grifter in your fan club.

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Filed under Media, rants, Rush Limbaugh, women's rights

>Today’s IOKIYAR: Asian Parody Edition

>Hey I know we’re all accustomed to hearing Rush Limbaugh spew intolerant, racist, bigoted nonsense. It’s like, “Really? In other news, water is still wet.”

So I really didn’t give two thoughts to Rush’s mockery of Chinese President Hu Jintao or the Chinese language, which he did not once but twice and which went on and on and on and on for what felt like a painful eternity.

But something seemed awfully familiar about the whole thing, and then I remembered when Rosie O’Donnell was raked over the coals by conservatives for essentially the same thing. Michelle Malkin, I recall, took special umbrage at O’Donnell’s insensitivity, even calling her an “obnoxious hypocrite” in this video:

So I’m sure Malkin will be all over Rush Limbaugh, right? Ha ha, don’t be silly. That stuff is just for liberals! IOKIYAR.

Okay, big deal. Conservatives are always reaching for their Faux Umbrage Concern Kits when a liberal does something, then looking the other way when a conservative like Limbaugh does the exact same thing. But I’m really sick of this stuff. And it’s not just the conservative media, either.

When Rosie O’Donnell does something like this, it’s front page news everywhere! It sparked a huge outcry from all quarters: the Asian American Journalists Assn., New York City Councilman John Liu, even hitting tabloids like People magazine. Liu even sent Barbara Walters this letter demanding that she hold O’Donnell accountable. It was a huge freaking deal and we didn’t hear the end of it for a week until O’Donnell had apologized three times.

Why is there no outrage about Limbaugh’s comments, save from the usual lefty quarters — Media Matters and the like? Why no articles in People magazine or demands for accountability from the Asian American community? Are we just so accustomed to Limbaugh saying racially charged, offensive things that he gets a pass? Why? Why does he get a pass? Why the double standard?

Mind you, I’m not saying Rosie O’Donnell shouldn’t have faced criticism for her parody in the national media, but if that’s the case then Limbaugh should too. It’s always this way and it’s pissing me off. Why is the Left always held to a higher standard than the guy who makes $40 million a year and has one of the highest rated radio and TV shows in the country and who is basically the de facto leader of the Republican Party because every time he says “jump” they say “how high?” Why is accountability always, always a one-way street in the national discourse? Why is the media always so quick to make an icon of the Left look bad, and so quick to ignore it when someone on the right does the same thing?

And here’s another thing: if the right wingers are going to call for the fainting couches every time a liberal does something, but completely ignore it when one of their folks does the exact same thing, doesn’t that signal an utter lack of credibility? Shouldn’t we just ignore them the next time they call for the the Faux Umbrage Concern Kits? Why are right wing pundits never called to account for that?

I know, you may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one! I’m just tired of seeing this same play over and over again.

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Filed under media fairness, racism, right wing, Rush Limbaugh

>Why We Help

>Rush Limbaugh is an ass. He doesn’t seem to know that a helping hand is far more powerful, and far more enduring, than a shower of bombs.

He forgets we come on the age’s most uncertain hour, and sing an American tune….

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Filed under Haiti, music, Rush Limbaugh

>Hate-y

>So, let’s say your neighbor, the most impoverished person in the neighborhood, suffers a disaster. Let’s say their house catches on fire and burns to the ground. Is the first thing you do:

A) Help your neighbor in whatever way you can;

B) Tell the world that any financial assistance sent to your neighbor will just get stolen, and conclude your neighbor “needs discipline”;

C) Assert that the mayor of your town will just use the disaster to pander to certain voters;

D) Claim your neighbor is paying for a pact they made with the Devil years ago to oust their French landlord. “True story!”

If you are an American conservative with your own TV or radio show, guess which of these scenarios you did yesterday?

International aid organizations and religious organizations have offices in Haiti and staff on the ground coordinating relief efforts. For a more productive response, check out this list of legitimate groups responding to the Haiti disaster. They will not steal your money.

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Filed under Bill O'Reilly, conservatives, Rush Limbaugh

>Because What America Really Needs Is Yet Another Teachable Moment About Race!

>I was pretty busy yesterday so I just caught a snippet of the uproar over how Rush Limbaugh was denied his constitutional right to be a part owner of an NFL team. I think the only thing preventing this from being a bigger story was the Balloon Boy thing and for that, at least, the Heene family has my thanks.

In fact, it was in trying to escape Balloon Boy coverage that I channel-surfed my way to MSNBC, only to see Al Sharpton and Pat Buchanan arguing about it.

Oh, geez.

Well, that kind of tells us all we need to know about how Hardball’s producers saw this story: another chance to go 10 rounds on the race debate! Pass the popcorn or maybe we should all reach for our politically correct beers? It’s another “teachable moment,” America! Cripes.

Seriously, MSNBC: just how productive can another Sharpton v. Buchanan debate on race really be?

I just caught Sharpton saying

The people that thought he was an asset began to think he was a liability. He’s trying now to make this like this is some wounding of American conservatism, he was rejected by his own partners, ultimately.

at which point the conversation was handed to Pat Buchanan who sputtered something about how it was “shabby,” “vindictive,” “petty,” and “disgusting.” With Pat Buchanan fast running out of adjectives, I switched back to Balloon Boy.

Basically I was able to glean that conservatives think this was all liberals’ fault (Red State’s take was pure comedy gold.) Aside from rolling my eyes and thinking “we get blamed for everything!, what is there really to say to an allegation like that? What did we do? Did we create an environment where Limbaugh’s racist rants are deemed inappropriate? If we did, good for us. But I never thought that was a liberal thing; I thought that was a decent people thing.

My mistake.

Despite all of the “teachable moments” our news media gives us, I’m going to agree with Adam Serwer, who pointed out yesterday that a big chunk of the right seems awfully confused about what racism is.

Writes Serwer :

On the one hand, there’s the general anxiety on the right that comes from the recognition that one can’t actually treat black people this way and expect there not to be social consequences. On the other, there’s actual bewilderment about the very concept of racism — conservatives understand in the abstract that racism is bad, but they seem incapable of identifying actual racist behavior. Instead, because (a) racism is bad and (b) liberals are bad (c) racism is a quality possessed by liberals. By definition, conservatives cannot be racist, because they are good, unlike liberals, and therefore nothing Rush Limbaugh says is racist. Moreover, while liberals have sometimes intimated racial motivation for conservative criticism where there isn’t any, conservatives have refused to recognize when attacks on the president become attacks on black people. Calling the president “an angry black guy” is one of those times.

I do think that’s it in a nutshell. The noisy fringe of the conservative base, which tends to view everything two-dimensionally, does seem unable to identify actual racism. Take Rush’s younger brother David Limbaugh, a conservative writer and columnist for Townhall.com as well as the ultra-right wing website Newsmax. He called Maureen Dowd and Jimmy Carter racists because, as he wrote back in September:

I ask you: Who is more likely racist, the person who sees race every time she turns around or the person who aspires toward colorblindness?

Whaa…? So you’re saying you’re not racist, you’re just stupid?

You know, the opposite of racism is not being colorblind, especially in this day and age when “colorblind” is a nonexistent, unattainable ideal. So while you may strive all you like, you won’t get there by using “colorblind” to excuse your own racism.

In fact, what David Limbaugh and his ilk display is what’s called “colorblind racism”. And no, I’m not making this up. Stephen Colbert parodied it beautifully with the bit about how he thought he might have a black friend but couldn’t be sure because he doesn’t see race. However, if anyone called him racist he’d be sure to show them a picture of himself with his black friend.

Hilarious. Those who write about colorblind racism say the “colorblind” argument has been used as a cover for a more nefarious kind of racism, the kind that says one group of people is allowed to continue to oppress another group because they have decided racism is a “thing of the past.”

This is not about race so much as power; the group that has traditionally held it is unwilling to give it up, and they don’t care what race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. that you may be. Progress! Sure, your kids can attend the same school as theirs, but let’s make sure everyone knows their roles, okay? You stay in your social and economic place with the limited opportunities parsed out to you and leave the rest of the pie for the folks who have traditionally gobbled it up.

For some reason we never seem to get to the “power” part of the race conversation. A big reason is because having Al Sharpton and Pat Buchanan offer “two sides” of the Limbaugh issue doesn’t educate anyone about anything except that our news media is dominated by a bunch of buffoons.

So, back to Rush Limbaugh. Like Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and the rest of the right-wing gabbers, he’s spent his entire career chasing headlines by being controversial. The price for that is when you step outside your little bubble you run across business partners who don’t view controversy as a selling point. It might sell books, but controversy doesn’t sell football.

Rush just got smacked by the free hand of the market. His business partners didn’t want problems with sponsors, issues with the players and all the baggage that comes with having a controversial figure as a partner.

Sorry, dude. Don’t blame liberals, though. Maybe what Rush Limbaugh needs from this “teachable moment” is a little personal responsibility.

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Filed under racism, Rush Limbaugh

>I Guess Rush Limbaugh Heads The Republican Party After All

>Pass the popcorn. Hours after Rush Limbaugh ripped RNC chief Michael Steele a new one, Steele has issued an embarrassing apology.

Drum roll, please:

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in an interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.

“I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking,” Steele told Politico. “It was one of those things where I thinking I was saying one thing, and it came out differently. What I was trying to say was a lot of people … want to make Rush the scapegoat, the bogeyman, and he’s not.”

Shorter Michael Steele: “Rush Limbaugh is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.”

Ouch. Some of us on the left had bets on how quickly this would happen. I figured Steele would at least wait 24 hours; he didn’t even wait four.

Any doubts about who is in charge of the Republican Party have just been erased. Hint: it’s not the black guy who just groveled before the bloated white bigot who once told an African American caller to “take that bone out of your nose.”

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Filed under conservatives, Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh

>Big Fat Asshole Pills

>I’m really not understanding why the media is all over this latest Rush Limbaugh nonsense. It’s just more kabuki theater from our ridiculous excuse for a media that thinks the latest bloviatings from a right wing radio entertainer is somehow “news,” while what’s truly important to most American right now is not.

We need jobs. We need healthcare. The entire state of Kentucky still resembles a war zone, thanks to something called “winter weather.” We need infrastructure. There’s a real war going on, still, in Iraq. Three Sunni candidates were assassinated on Thursday. So much for that awesome Surge.

It’s a little frustrating that this video, even though it’s from 2006, is still apropriate today. Enjoy.

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Filed under media, Rush Limbaugh