Stock Markets and BP

First I want to say I am proud to be part of the U.S.Constitutional Free Press they are doing a great job keeping the American people informed about anything that the are not getting fom other media sources keep up the great work everyone

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News Free Press Of Kooskia Idaho Logo 2 June 17,2010 

Hello Everyone,

                               First I want to say I am proud to be part of the The U.S. Constittional Free Press, they are doing a great job. Keeping the American people informed about anything that they are not getting from other media sources. Keep up the great work everyone.

                               Lets start with BP British Petroluim it has come out in the last couple of days, that a new estimated amount of oil being poured into the waters of the Gulf. They are saying 30 to 60 thousand Gallons a day is spilling in the ocean,  which equels making an Exxon Valdes every 5 days. We are now on day 59 of this massive leak of oil,   

                               BP is an 80 Billion dollar company, and this spill could exceed the value of the company. In Europe they are saying that BP could have to file for Bankruptcy before the well is capped.  just this week they are saying that BP could spend 81 Billion dollars to just clean up this oil in the Gulf. Thats not even touching on the amount of money that will make the people of the affected area of the Gulf made whole. The Macondo well is spilling about 2.50 Million Gallons per day into the Gulf.  

                            Today it came out the President of the USA gave Mr George Soro’s own oil company the one he owns 80 percent of in Brazil 2 Million Dollars, Mr Soro’s has 80 Billion dollars in an oil company so whats the 2 Million Dollars for well its for drilling in the Deep waters of of Brazil for oil.   Mr Soro’s has been one of President Obama’s advisors on this oil spill.   

                              This week an new Fund was started for the people affected by the oil spill in the Gulf, and its being headed up by Kenneth Feinberg. Yes the same Gentleman that headed up the 911 fund, money was miss handled Mr Obama chose Mr Feinberg he said for his fine work with 911 fund. more to come about BP .

                               Now onto Information about the stock Market this last 2 weeks. This week California that they have a zero cash flow, just by saying that they are saying they are broke. What will happen next is that we have to bail them out, so here is what I say to CA inadvance  of their request for a loan. Tighten your wallets, pay off your bills, use the tenth Admendment of the state Constitution. Alot of the state spending is their fault, the rest of it is the federal Governments Fault. So CA get some guts to tell the Federal Government to keep their Mandates, next go through all of your monthy bills, pick all the important ones pay for those. And get rid of all of the waste and fruad and abbuse. There are at least 16 other states in the same boat, and that boat is about to sink into an never ending sea of constant. Debt I say that you need a realistic  Budget. There are 22 other states that are in so bad a shape that they will be cutting back on retirement benifits for their state employees, not suprised that Idaho is one of those 22 States in Dire straits.

                           There is someone that could teach you how to stay within your means. I have no debt other then my land, which will be paid of in about the next 1 year and half. My house is not finished, why becuase I have not gotten a loan to pay for the supplies to finish it but it is getting done.

                                        this next couple of weeks I will finaly have a closet, to put clothes in. I have been living out of a suitcase for the 12 years, I have lived here. Now before all of you yell at my husband, for me not having closets. Dave is a hard working man, he does a lot of honey do’s arround here. He tried to get the closets done while I was on my Mothersday vacation. I just got back before they were done lol. Anyways back to what I was saying about being Debt free. We dont spend money we dont have. We save up for everything we want, I am putting a business together piece by piece. I save up for awhile spend some on the things I need for my business, then I save up some more. I am not like the Government can’t borrow money, or print my own money. So I have to live within my means.  I feel its way past the time the  States get there act together.

                               This week Greece has been downgraded to BA1 statice which is junk Bond statice , and next week france will have their rating lowered to AA statice from AAA the rating.  Are done by Moody’s and this week I found out whom owns most of Moody’s.  This week I Found out that Moody’s is owned by Halliburtan and they are owned by Warren Buffett owns stock in both Halliburtan and Moody’s. well I will end this blog for today and will write my next blog on http://NewsFreePress.wordpress.com I should have a blog there in about 24 hours from now have a great day.

                             Tonight I will co host News Free Kooskia Idaho at this link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/News-Free-Kooskia-ID   tonights show airs at 9pm Pacific and 10pm Mountain and 11pm Central and 12am Eastern time zones Tonight is our Thrsday night Ham Radio show with Dave Brainerd wb6dhw

Rush Limbaugh Weds for 4th Time, and Elton John Sings

Kate Rogers and Rush Limbaugh

By Stephen M. Silverman

Talk about an odd couple: conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and outspoken gay-marriage advocate Elton John.

But, according to a News Corporation (which owns Fox News) wire report, the Rocket Man, 63, serenaded the 400 guests into the wee hours Saturday night to celebrate the marriage of Limbaugh, 59, to Kathryn Rogers, 33, in the Ponce de Leon ballroom of Florida’s fabled Breakers hotel in Palm Beach. Sir Elton’s fee: $1 million, the report notes.

Amid dozens of giant bouquets of white roses (and very tight security), reports the Palm Beach Post, guests at the wedding included former Bush adviser Karl Rove; actor-politician Fred Thompson; former Kansas City Royals slugger George Brett; Fox News commentator Sean Hannity; former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft; former Clinton adviser James Carville and his wife, GOP analyst Mary Matalin; and golfer Tom Watson. A wedding guest also tells PEOPLE that among the others was Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The couple met six years ago, while she was running a charity golf tournament and Limbaugh was in the process of divorcing for the third time.

Sunday morning, a source tells PEOPLE, the newlyweds hopped Limbaugh’s private Gulfstream jet for a honeymoon in Mexico, Africa and a couple other spots.

Rogers is a direct descendant of President John Adams, and her father attended the U.S. Naval Academy with the future Arizona Senator (and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate) John McCain, reports NewsCore.

The wire service also quotes the new bride as saying of the couple’s 26-year age gap: “I’m sometimes not able to relate to the average person my age.”

The University Guild vs. Glenn Beck

By Amity Shlaes

Drive them crazy. That’s what Glenn Beck seems to specialize in doing, whether the “them” at issue is fellow radio hosts, fellow tv hosts, or, now, professors at universities. This last group is opening its own front in the war against the television king. An associate professor, Joseph Palermo of California State/Sacramento, took to the Huffington Post to mock the broadcaster as “Glenn Beck, Ph.D.” I personally noticed this since Professor Palermo mentioned me by name, in tandem with author Jonah Goldberg, as an effort to “misinform” the gullible.

The rage at first seems odd, coming from professors. Why should these serene Yodas care what a man on television bellows? Yet they are on the warpath. The academic fury is at first directed at interpretation. Mr. Beck’s explanation of how the Framers viewed religion, Mr. Beck’s depiction of how Franklin Roosevelt’s policy affected the Great Depression; Mr. Beck’s argument that regulation is currently curtailing liberty in general — all fall short in academic eyes. Prof. Palermo, for example, calls Mr. Beck’s views as “stupid and false.” But the real issue, the reason professors are on the attack, is not specific content. It is rather the professional and, in the end, economic, threat that Mr. Beck represents. To academics, Mr. Beck is more dangerous than any other radio show host, and they know it.

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Amity Shlaes RealClearPolitics
education Glenn Beck

To understand the nature of the Beck challenge, you have to recall that our system of higher education is a throwback to medieval economics: a guild. As in the classic guild, members require a lengthy period of training, with formal stages. To be in any way authoritative, a writer must have a Ph.D., a guild seal. Members of this guild have enormous discretion when it comes to the conferring of the seal – also typical. In the humanities and social sciences, Ph.D.s. and, it goes without saying, tenure-track posts — are usually awarded to those not hostile to the master professors’ views. For many decades top universities have been especially rigorous in this practice, with the result that it is difficult to find non-progressives with top credentials in the humanities. The guild demands much from its apprentices, graduate students, including dull work in obscure texts. Indeed it is proud of that obscurity, for it distinguishes academic work from, say, the easy popular histories on bookstore shelves or tv.

In the field of history, the guild also maintains a monopoly on education by generating curricula, syllabi, and, of course, a canon, a set list of texts for each period of the past. Of course the academic guild, generally on the progressive side, has made many concessions to conservatives or classical liberals. Professors have assigned the odd conservative book; they mentioned the opponents’ arguments. But such offerings have generally been presented as an afterthought, secondary, less authoritative. Looking back at their education many adults saw through this pretense of fairness. They resented the guild monolith. Something was missing.

Enter Mr. Beck. At first, the radio show host appeared no different from the rest of conservative radio. In other words, another product of the 1987 repeal of the old Fairness Doctrine, which said that a radio license “may not be utilized to achieve a partisan or one-sided presentation.” Pre-repeal that requirement was so strictly adhered to that radio tended the dull. After the repeal hosts were free to deliver soliloquys of rage and individual insights, legal, historical, political. This change which turned out to be welcome to millions of viewers. The first to take advantage of this market opening was Rush Limbaugh, who remains the undisputed king of conservative talk radio.

The second explanation for Beck rage however involves the guild. For unlike other hosts, who tend to pick up and drop topics, Mr. Beck has begun to develop a new canon for adults. And unlike other hosts, but indeed like a professor, Mr. Beck tends to demand a lot of his viewers. For example, he recently devoted the better part of an hour to a biography of Samuel Adams by a historian without a Ph.D., Ira Stoll, whose book highlights the revolutionary firebrand’s piety. Mr. Beck breaks other tv rules. He insists viewers read books by dead men – W. Cleon Skousen’s work on the Constitution, the “5000 Year Leap.” It is all a long way from “Oprah,” “The Newshour” or even much of public television. Mr. Beck’s broadcast was barely over when Mr. Stoll’s book shot up to the highest heights of the Amazon list, where it has resided ever since. Beck-recommended books sometimes sell as well as, heaven forfend, textbooks. I had the good fortune to experience some of this after Mr. Beck talked about my Great Depression history.

Every author is glad to sell books. But the victory is far more Mr. Beck’s than any individual writer’s or publisher’s. His genius has been in his recognition that viewers do not want merely the odd, one-off book, duly pegged to news. They want a coherent vision, a competing canon that the regulated airwaves and academy have denied them. So he, Glenn Beck, is building that canon, book by book from the forgotten shelf. Since the man is a riveting entertainer, the professors are correct to be concerned. He’s not just reacting or shaping individual thoughts. He is bringing competition into the Ed Biz.

What to do? The Glenn Beck reading list may not satisfy everyone. Some of his views are indeed worth questioning. Some of us don’t agree with important components of his politics. Beck’s personal attacks put a lot of us off. Maybe there should be yet a third new reading list. As for the guild, a better response than its own ad hominem smearing is to widen their own reading lists and lectures. Professors can blame only themselves if Mr. Beck has taken an opportunity to teach. It is they who gave it to him.

Great news: Hollywood to make Rush Limbaugh biopic

by Ed Morrissey

Even better news: Deadline says the effort will be similar in tone to Oliver Stone’s W. The pitch line, according to screenwriter James Sclafani, is Citizen Kane meets Private Parts, except of course for one key point (via Slashfilm):

He’s the country’s top-rated talk radio host, beacon of conservatives, a lightning rod for controversy. Is Rush Limbaugh movie material?

Writer/producer James Sclafani thinks so, and has written a feature film about Limbaugh’s life that is in the process of being packaged and shopped for financing. Sclafani, who recently sold his script Counter Kid to Bill Murray’s Devoted Pictures, optioned The Rush Limbaugh Story: Talent on Loan from God, an unauthorized biography by longtime Gotham-based journalist Paul Colford, who currently heads media relations for the AP. The book served as the basis for the script.

Sclafani said the script he’s written is a close cousin to the Oliver Stone-directed George W. Bush feature W, in that he tries to get beneath the surface politics and controversies and down to the ambition and demons that drove Limbaugh’s success. The film will include contradictions that have gone against his radio diatribes, from the dubious 4-F draft status during Vietnam (unearthed in Colford’s book) to a get-tough stance against drug abusers that was contradicted by the revelation that he himself was addicted to prescription painkillers and got them illegally.

“This is Citizen Kane meets Private Parts, where you have a man who always had trouble relating to people in the outside world, but does it effortlessly in the booth,” said Sclafani, adding that Limbaugh is the proverbial fat kid, ignored in high school, and determined to prove everyone they were wrong about him. “There’s this anecdote about a game of spin the bottle in high school. The bottle pointed at him, and the pretty girl who was supposed to kiss him ran away, and that stayed with him,” Sclafani said. “When he came up in radio, he was culturally opposed to everything happening in the 60s and 70s, and all this left him with something to prove. He is an underdog, and became an extremely determined person with something to prove.”

Howard Stern told his own story in Private Parts, from his own autobiography. Sclafani used an unauthorized biography for his screenplay. Citizen Kane was another thinly-veiled unauthorized “biography” written by Orson Welles about William Randolph Hearst, another media titan of his time, as a means of casting Hearst as a bogeyman at about the same time Hearst was going broke. It’s a brilliant film, perhaps the best American film ever made (my money is on Casablanca), but it’s hardly a model of unbiased truth.

This seems much less incisive. We’re to assign Rush’s conservatism and his will to succeed to a game of Spin the Bottle? Well, heck, I played Spin the Bottle in high school too, but the girls didn’t run away from me. Does that make me a hippie? It’s hardly a Rosebud moment, although according to the film RKO 281, “rosebud” wasn’t a reference to a sled in Hearst’s life, and is closer to Spin the Bottle than snow-covered hills.

If Sclafani himself wants to compare his script to W, a political hit piece that the Washington Post called “a rushed, wildly uneven, tonally jumbled caricature,” few of Limbaugh’s fans will hurry to correct him. If he’s using that as a pitch, Sclafani may want to check the box office of Stone’s magnum dopus. It cost over $25 million to make and only made $25 million in domestic sales, only stayed in theaters a total of six weeks, and made less than $60 million worldwide despite skewering a deeply unpopular Bush.

Addendum: Congratulations are in order for Rush, though, as he gets married tomorrow.

Now We Know Why Clinton and Obama Had Lunch on Thursday

Rush Limbaugh

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT
RUSH: I guess now we know why, ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton had lunch yesterday. They had to get their stories straight. You know who this is, and you know what this is, so let’s go.

JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!

RUSH: There is no major media figure like I who takes this great a career risk every week. On Friday when we go to the phones the content of this program is totally yours, unlike Monday through Thursday where you have to talk about things I care about — ’cause I don’t want to be bored because if I’m bored, the audience will be bored and nobody will listen. But on Friday, ever you want to talk about is fine, if I don’t care, I’m fake it. I’m pretty good at that. It’s a golden opportunity for you to discuss things you think haven’t been discussed or to pretend that you, too, are a real radio announcer. Telephone number if you want to be on the program, 800-282-2882, the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, hurricanes could be… (interruption) Yes! I’m going to get to Sestak in a minute. Just keep your pants on. “Hurricanes could be stronger than usual because black oil would heat water faster and accelerate formation.” So the hurricane geniuses are now revising their forecasts because of all the oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The theory is the oil is dark, it’s black. It gets hot faster than the water does, and if a hurricane comes along, I mean it’s over. Why don’t we all just commit suicide and be done with this? Let’s just be done with it. Every waking moment is a disaster waiting to happen. The Drive-By Media cannot wait for it.

Okay, now we know why Clinton and Obama had lunch yesterday. They had to get their stories straight on this Sestak business. It is… (laughing) Folks, this is just too rich. Isn’t it great? Here’s what happened. Apparently Rahm Emanuel went to Clinton and said, “Look, would you go talk to Sestak informally? See if he’s interested in taking a nonpaid — an unpaid job — high position job, unpaid here in the administration.” And Clinton, of course, said (impression), “Hey, Mr. President, whatever you want. You know, I said, ‘You’re going to have to kiss my ass’ back during the campaign if you wanted my support ’cause of the way you called me racist and so forth, the way you portrayed me and Hillary. Now you gotta come kiss my ass. So fine you’re kissing my ass.” I got the story right here. Clinton said that. Sit tight.

“I’m going to kiss your ass, you kiss my ass, and I will make sure that you are all right. You come groveling to me I’ll be happy to help you out here.” Now, look at what’s happened here. They go to Bill Clinton. He’s famous for getting people jobs. Monica Lewinsky offered a job at Revlon. She was offered a job at the United Nations. She didn’t take any of them. But they’ve got Bill Clinton. Isn’t it great, folks, that they’ve found a guy who they know will commit perjury to carry the water here? (chuckling) Snerdley… This is why the staff does not have microphones. People ask, “Why can’t we hear them speak to you?” (chuckling) Anyway, what better choice than Bill Clinton, a man who they know was willing to commit perjury in order to carry the water here.

Now, there’s some question over whether this is any big deal or not. The document dump on this coincides with The One’s arrival down in New Orleans. He’s going to spend three hours touring the disaster in Louisiana. His average golf game, according to the New York Times, is five hours. Last summer he went on vacation up to Martha’s Vineyard and he played on a course owned and operated bay good friend of mine, the Vineyard, and he spent five hours out there. The reason it takes five hours because he’s not any good, most of the time is spent in the woods looking for his errant shots. That’s in the New York Times! I’m not it up. Now, I went and looked at the law on this.
“18 U.S.C. § 211 : US Code – Section 211: Acceptance or Solicitation to Obtain Appointive Public Office — Whoever solicits or receives, either as a political contribution, or for personal emolument, any money or thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both,” and it doesn’t say here anything about it has to be a paid position. “Whoever solicits…” In this case it would be Rahm Emanuel going through Der Schlick Meister. “Whoever solicits or receives,” that would be Sestak — and then, by the way, Clinton went to Sestak’s brother. That’s the circuitous route here.

“Whoever solicits or receives any thing of value in consideration of aiding a person to obtain employment under the United States either by referring his name to an executive department or agency of the United States or by requiring the payment of a fee because such person has secured such employment shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. This section shall not apply to such services rendered by an employment agency,” I guess they’re going to say Clinton has one because Lewinsky has been a previous client “pursuant to the written request of an executive department or agency of the United States.”

So they’re trying to get around this by saying it’s not paid. You know, we’ve always thought “B.J.” meant one thing. No. It means “bribe jobs.” That’s apparently what it means. Lewinsky is what it is. B.J. means “bribe jobs.” There are two laws here, this one I just read to you. There two laws they appear to be violating but I doubt anybody’s going to press this, but clearly this is subject to the law. A lot of people have been saying this is a potential impeachment type of offense here. Now, I’ve heard some commentators inside the Beltway commentators “Oh-ho-ho! This no big deal. Why, this is just the way Washington works. It happens all the time. People are offered jobs for silence. People are offered jobs to give up their congressional seats all the time if they think they’re going to lose, fall on the sword. This happens all the time.”

Well, just because it happens all the time doesn’t make it right. Sestak, the onus has been on him because he belie the whistle on this. He’s the one that said he was offered a job. Well, who and what and how? So Clinton, Obama had lunch yesterday and the story is, “Well, Rahm Emanuel went to Clinton and Clinton sought Sestak out through his brother to see if Sestak was interested in a very influential and important unpaid federal job.” Now, we are left here to believe that that is what happened, t was totally innocent, and as I say: It looks like the lawyers are gonna claim that if the offer was for an unpaid position, it is of no value, and therefore not technically a bribe, because it all centers here on whether or not Sestak was being bribed by the administration to give up his campaign for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Now, if… (interruption) (laughing) Bribery for him?

Every time the Democrats break laws, we need to “reform the laws,” as though the law was the problem. The Democrats are just fine people. Even if the White House and Clinton are not lying about this (which is unlikely) it’s still a very tough argument to make, since a high position in the government has real value besides and beyond just monetary compensation. No matter how they slice it, it’s still a quid pro quo offer. So Fox News was first on this saying the White House counsel’s office going to say that Clinton offered Sestak a vague unpaid position or possible positions through Sestak’s brother. Buried way, way back in the New York Times on their website, the Caucus Blog: “White House Used Bill Clinton to Ask Sestak to Drop out of Race — Obama’s chief of staff” that would be Rahm Emanuel “used Clinton as an intermediary to see if Sestak would drop out of the Senate primary if given a prominent but unpaid advisory position.”

Now, a lot of you are probably wondering, “What do you mean, Rush, that you started out here with Clinton talking about kissing his rear end?” Here it is. This is the UK Telegraph back in June of 2008. It’s by Tim Shipman in Washington and Philip Sherwell in New York, and it’s June 28th, 2008. This is after Operation Chaos is over and the Democrat primaries are over. “Bill Clinton is so bitter about Barack Obama’s victory over his wife Hillary that he has told friends the Democratic nominee will have to beg for his wholehearted support. … The Telegraph has learned that the former president’s rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence. A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could ‘kiss my ass’ in return for his support.”

So here it is, UK Telegraph, the media. Clinton’s “lingering fury has shocked his friends. The Democrat told the Telegraph: ‘He’s been angry for a while. But everyone thought he would get over it. He hasn’t. I’ve spoken to a couple of people who he’s been in contact with and he is mad as hell. ‘He’s saying he’s not going to reach out, that Obama has to come to him. One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support.” Well, it appears that it happened yesterday. It appears that it happened. (laughing) Clinton finally got what he wanted. He was asked to bail Obama out of this, and has — has done so. So this has been a building. It’s been building to a crescendo here and people have been wondering, “Well, who did what to who?” because, you know, Sestak, the onus has been on him. He’s the one that revealed this had happened but he wouldn’t provide any details.

He was waiting for the White House to come out with the story, and now that they’ve come out with the story, Sestak’s not talking. You know, he’s going right along with it. But he was either one of two things. Either Sestak was lying when this all happened, or something far more serious was going on and that is that a bribe was offered. Now, it may be “the way the game is played in Washington” but Sestak blew it by going public with it. So now the lid’s off, everybody is looking into it, and it remains to be seen if this is going to be accepted and the end of the story. In the meantime, Sestak’s poll numbers in the Pennsylvania senatorial race are sort of leveling out. He’s run against Pat Toomey, as you know, who looks good.
BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Have you noticed the Democrats always throw their brothers under the bus when a controversy comes up? I mean look at the brothers of Democrats always get thrown to the wolves. Billy Carter got thrown to the wolves. Roger Clinton got thrown to the wolves. Hillary’s brothers got thrown to the wolves. Hugh Rodham was thrown to the wolves and now Sestak’s brother. It’s all Sestak’s brother’s fault! Do you know what the two most dangerous jobs in the world are? The two most dangerous jobs in the world are being number three at Al-Qaeda and being the brother of an American Democrat politician — and of course look at Obama’s brother! This guy, he’s still stuck in a hut. He’s still living in a six-by-nine-foot hut in Kenya. His brother is president and he hadn’t even sent the him a little sign “Home, Sweet Hut.” Living in a hut for crying out loud! Twenty dollars would change this guy’s life. No running water.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We’ll start in Chicago with Susan. Glad you called, and welcome to the program.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s a pleasure to talk with you and an honor.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: I just think that this is absurd with this Sestak job offer. Nobody’s going to offer somebody a job with no compensation to give up a Senate race? That’s absurd.

RUSH: Well, but the Democrats understand they’ve got a sympathetic and supportive stenographer-like media to report this — and they have, of course, the august stature of Bill Clinton stand behind the veracity of this. I mean, what better guy could they have found to carry the story than a guy that has been willing to commit perjury before.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: It’s made to order. So you’re not buying it.

CALLER: No, not at all. And another thing I wanted to bring up to you is I heard on late night radio that President Obama has a Connecticut-issued Social Security number that he supposedly got when he was 21 years old from a state that he never lived in.

RUSH: I seem to have heard that somewhere. I don’t know. I don’t know any of the details about that. In fact, I don’t know if that’s actually true. I haven’t looked into it, but I think I’ve heard that. But regardless, that’s way down on the list of things to be concerned about is where he has his Social Security card. I appreciate the call, Susan.
END TRANSCRIPT

Zev Chafets’s ‘Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One,’ reviewed by David Frum

RUSH LIMBAUGH

An Army of One

By Zev Chafets

Sentinel. 229 pp. $25.95

“Every great man has his disciples,” quipped Oscar Wilde. “And it is always Judas who writes the biography.”

Not so for Rush Limbaugh. Biographer Zev Chafets received unprecedented access to the broadcaster, and he has more than kept faith with his subject: “I relished his bravado, laughed at his outrageous satire, and admired his willingness to go against the intellectual grain.”

There are no scandalous disclosures here, no unearthing of long-concealed secrets. The book originated as a New York Times Magazine profile, and even plussed-up to more than 200 pages, a profile it remains. It was embargoed to protect one mild-to-medium anecdote: When invited to play golf with Limbaugh, President Obama supposedly answered, “Limbaugh can play with himself.”

Otherwise, the story is the familiar one: origins in the gentry of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; the early struggles for radio success; the switch to political monologue in Sacramento in the 1980s; the move to New York City in 1988; the explosive success of the now-national program; three marriages with a fourth on the way; the struggle with drug addiction and subsequent hearing loss; the amazing recovery and his starring role in the opposition to Obama.

So what, if anything, is new and interesting in Chafets’s long-form treatment?

For one, Chafets exposes some disconnects between Limbaugh’s private life and public presence. Chafets has seen more of the pundit’s personal world than any other journalist, and reveals some distinctly grandiose tastes in this self-imagined tribune of Middle America.
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“Largely decorated by Limbaugh himself, [his Palm Beach house] reflects the things and places he has seen and admired. A massive chandelier in the dining room, for example, is a replica of the one that hung in the lobby of New York’s Plaza Hotel. The vast salon is meant to suggest Versailles. The main guest suite, which I didn’t visit, is an exact replica of the Presidential Suite at the Hotel George V in Paris. There is a full suit of armor on display, as well as a life-size oil painting of El Rushbo. Fragrant candles burned throughout the house, a daily home-from-the-wars ritual.”

There is a great deal more in this vein, and not a syllable of it is meant mockingly. Yet Chafets also writes the following, with equal non-irony: “Rush wasn’t enthusiastic [about the reelection bid of George H.W. Bush]. Bush struck him as a pretty, country club moderate, an Ivy League snob.”

And this: “[Limbaugh’s] far enemy in 2010 would be the Democrats, but the near enemy was ‘blue-blood, country-club Rockefeller Republicans’ embarrassed by the party’s unsophisticated ‘Billy Bobs’ and consumed with the need to be popular in Washington and the northeast corridor.”

And finally this: “Limbaugh had, for many years, traveled in social reverse, haunted by his father’s admonition that a dropout would never have any real status.”

Chafets quotes Limbaugh telling Maureen Dowd in a 1993 interview, “You have no earthly idea how detested and hated I am. I’m not even a good circus act for the liberals in this town. . . . You can look at my calendar for the past two years and see all of the invitations. You’ll find two, both by Robert and Georgette Mosbacher.” (Robert Mosbacher was secretary of commerce under President George H.W. Bush.) Not two pages later, we hear of Limbaugh’s New York evenings with investment banker Lewis Lehrman, William F. Buckley and Henry Kissinger. And yet the aggrieved subject and biographer are fully sincere in both instances.

Limbaugh has skillfully conjured for his listeners a world in which they are disdained and despised by mysterious elites — a world in which Limbaugh’s $4,000 bottles of wine do not exclude him from the life of the common man.

Chafets also reveals Limbaugh’s expanding vision of his own central place and role within the conservative world. “Whatever feelings of inferiority Limbaugh may have had,” Chafets writes, “disappeared as he became better acquainted with the work of his fellow commentators. . . . While Limbaugh appreciated some conservative thinkers — including Justice Antonin Scalia, columnist Charles Krauthammer, and economist Thomas Sowell — he now clearly saw himself as the thought leader of the movement. . . . ‘I know I have the intellectual engine of the conservative movement.’ ”

Chafets acknowledges that Limbaugh has no conception of fairness or objectivity, that he is not an original thinker, and that he is prone to “hyperbole, sarcasm, and ridicule, none of which is meant to be taken literally.” He’s unnerved by Limbaugh’s “Magic Negro” racial insensitivities and his indifference to real politics. ” ‘There are no books written about great moderates,’ he sometimes says. ‘Great people take stands on principle, not moderation.’ That’s not true of course — the founding fathers Limbaugh venerates compromised their way into a Constitution, and even Ronaldus Maximus [Reagan] knew when to bend. Politics is the art of compromise. But, of course, Limbaugh is not a politician or even a political strategist. He is a polemicist.”

It might seem ominous for an intellectual movement to be led by a man who does not think creatively, who does not respect the other side of the argument and who frequently says things that are not intended as truth. But neither Limbaugh nor Chafets is troubled: “Over the years, [Limbaugh] has endeavored to carry forward the banner of Ronaldus Maximus, which he always credits as ‘Reaganism.’ But as time moves on the memory of Reagan fades. It is Limbaugh’s voice conservatives now identify with. For millions, conservatism is now Limbaughism.”

That is Limbaugh’s achievement. It is Chafets’s story line. And it is American conservatism’s problem.

Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, is editor of FrumForum.com.

Rush Limbaugh mocks Bill O’Reilly in book

By Christina Wilkie

In a new biography on sale Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh calls fellow conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly a “Ted Baxter” — after the fictional character on the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” who was portrayed as a vain, shallow, buffoonish TV newsman.

“Sorry but somebody’s gotta say it,” Limbaugh is quoted as saying in Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One by Zev Chafets. At press time, O’Reilly had yet to respond to the comment.

But it wasn’t just Bill-O who took grief from Big Rush. Limbaugh said he doesn’t consider any of his fellow conservative talk show hosts to be in his league.

“Sean Hannity and Mark Levin are protégés,” writes Chafets, “and [Limbaugh] has defended Glenn Beck.”

But Limbaugh “doesn’t really consider them, or anyone else, in his league.”

Also on Limbaugh’s hit list is CNN’s Larry King, whom Limbaugh “really doesn’t like.”

“He has never had nice things to say about me,” Limbaugh says about King in the book. “He was working midnights [on the radio] when I started and demanded that his syndicator move him to afternoon drive when my success was obvious. He bombed and quit radio for CNN exclusively.”

The book also divulges how Limbaugh spends his multimillion-dollar earnings: The radio host owns five houses on an oceanfront estate north of Palm Beach, as well as a garage full of Maybach 57Ss (all black) and a $56 million Gulfstream G550 jet.

Limbaugh’s main home on the estate is 24,000 square feet, while the remaining homes are for guests.

The décor includes a massive chandelier just like the one that hangs in the lobby of New York’s Plaza Hotel, as well as a full suit of armor and a “life-size oil portrait of El Rushbo.”

And according to Chafets, “fragrant candles” burn throughout the place. The main guest suite is “an exact replica of the Presidential Suite of the Hotel George V in Paris.”

The publisher notes that the biography is unauthorized, but Limbaugh gave Chafets extensive interviews for it. Chafets first wrote about Limbaugh in a 2008 New York Times Magazine cover story.