Rush Limbaugh and other crazies
March 8, 2013By Dick Polman
We interrupt our normally scheduled program for another edition of This Week in Crazy. The envelopes, please!
Third runner-up: Rush Limbaugh. The new jobs report, released this morning, says that the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.7 percent (the lowest since 2008), and that private employers in February added 236,000 jobs. From the Associated Press: "Stronger hiring shows businesses are confident about the economy." Plus, the Dow this week hit an all-time high. That might all sound like positive news, but Limbaugh's devotees already know better. On the air earlier this week, Rush offered his inimitable economic forecast for the next six months - pre-spinning it, as it were:
"Why would there be positive economic numbers? It's, it's - look, if there are any positive numbers, they're fake."
Second runner-up: Roger Ailes. The macho maestro of Fox News, the man most responsible for the Fox infauxtainment ethos that we know and love today, is the subject of two impending biographies. New York media writer Gabriel Sherman, who has been appropriately tough on Ailes in the past, is due to publish in May. Ailes refused to talk to Sherman. Instead, he decided to cooperate with the other biographer, Zev Chafets, hoping that he could trade access for favorable treatment. (A crazy idea, because in the end Ailes winds up creating more interest in the Sherman book.)
Chafets' book will be out this month, and an excerpt ran this week in Vanity Fair. In the excerpt, Ailes tells Chafets that Vice President Biden is "dumb as an ashtray," that President Obama is a liar who "has never worked a day in his life," that Newt Gingrich is "a prick," and that he loves "to blow off steam, create some bulls---." Meanwhile, Chafets writes that Ailes comes off like a "forbidding small-town banker in a Frank Capra movie," and that Ailes' view of America is "somewhere in midwestern America circa 1955."
And this is supposedly the more positive of the two books.
First runner-up: Arkansas' Republican legislature. The way it's supposed to work, in America, is that the U.S. Supreme Court has the last word on what constitutes the rule of law. Forty years ago, in a landmark ruling written by a Republican appointee, the high court legalized abortion and said that states could fully ban its practice only after the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. That has been the court standard ever since, courtesy of swing-voting Republican appointees.
But in defiance (or ignorance) of the rule of law, GOP lawmakers in Arkansas have enacted their own law: a full abortion ban at 12 weeks.
Their attempt to revert to Roger Ailes' 1955 America was swiftly vetoed by the Democratic governor, who rightfully noted that the law "blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court" - but the lawmakers overrrode his veto.
I know I speak for all mentally cognitive Americans when I say that Arkansas' crazy ban will be challenged in court, and will ultimately have the half life of a fruit fly. Indeed, National Right to Life general counsel James Bopp Jr. said the other day that "as much as we would like to protect the unborn," the Arkansas law "is futile." Not even Bopp, a veteran anti-abortion strategist, is crazy enough to believe that conservatives can simply defy 40 years of judicial precedent. And, hey, isn't respect for precedent supposed to be a conservative concept?
The winner: U.S. House Republicans: Yeah, I know. You guessed who the winner would be when you were reading about Limbaugh. But how is one to ignore the gem on page 105 of a new GOP budget bill? No need to look it up, I've got it right here:
SEC. 8099. None of the funds made available under this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries.
Umm, crazy people? ACORN died in 2010.
No word yet on whether the Republican bill also seeks to defund Friends of Hamas, or the War on Christmas.
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