A lot of interesting events have occurred over the past ten days or so, some still ongoing. I am always relieved when I read that the Republicans are protecting America from the socialist/communist Obama. It saves me the trouble of looking under my bed for commies who might be hiding there but for our Republican representatives.
Over and over on the conservative/right wing/reactionary radio waves I hear how the “liberal media” is destroying our country. If I am to believe Rush Limbaugh, he alone has a daily listening audience of over 20 million. Add Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Glen Beck, Mark Levin, and many more, and we are talking about some serious numbers. Those numbers probably add up to far more listeners than the NYT and Washington Post, among other liberal media, have reading their newspapers. We already know that FOX has a wider viewing audience than CNN. In Atlanta there are no stations that I am aware of that carry any well known liberal talking heads. Randi Rhodes, who I rank among the best of them and who is virtually unknown to most Americans, is no longer heard in Atlanta. Air America, which carried her and several other liberals, disappeared some years ago with no replacement. Same for many other cities in the U.S.
So for those who rely on the reactionary talking heads for “news”, it has been interesting. Former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, a Republican who served under Bush and Obama has a new book out. I haven’t read it yet, only the newspaper accounts of it. The talking heads have been touting Gate’s opinion of how Obama is essentially responsible for our failure to bring peace to Afghanistan. Yet Gates took Bush apart too for abandoning Afghanistan while winning that war in order to engage in a war with Iraq. Not a mention of that on any of the talk shows I have listened to. No mention either of Gates’ praise for Hillary Clinton, or even a passing comment that Condoleezza Rice sought to close our detention center at Guantanamo Bay. And for sure there wasn’t even a tip of the hat to Gates’ statement that Obama’s decision to send in the SEALS to capture or kill Osama bin Laden was the most courageous political decision that Gates had ever seen. To hear these “fair and balanced” bloviators one would believe that Gates’ only agenda was to rip Obama and Joe Biden.
The same commentators have also been heavily critical of Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana. That’s a fair political debate in my opinion, but their position seems to be at odds with their mantra of states’ rights. Not one reactionary bloviator that I heard mentioned Mitt Romney’s healthcare law in Massachusetts that was the blueprint for Obamacare, or the Republican argument frequently heard that states should be laboratories to experiment with new ideas. Last week listeners were subject to days of critical commentary of the conservative version of what free speech is with reference to Duck Dynasty actor Phil Robertson. But all went silent when Gun & Ammo magazine columnist Dick Metcalf proposed some regulation of firearms and lost his job as a result. (See Kevin Foley’s blog concerning this, a very well done piece that explains the conservative hypocrisy concerning speech.)
To close the week out we can’t overlook the debate concerning extending unemployment benefits for three months at a cost of $6 billion. The Republicans insist on an offset, cuts from somewhere else in order for them to support the bill. Our own two U.S. senators, Johnnie Isakson and Saxby Chambliss insist on the offsets. While this is going on, the next farm bill is coming up soon for a vote that will cost $500 billion over ten years. Yet not a whisper from our two senators that just maybe we can find $6 billion from the “unemployment bill” for farmers who get paid not to grow crops, receive insurance subsidies, and much more. I have to believe that the unemployed who need additional help right now don’t fill the campaign coffers like Big Agriculture does. In other words, there is a solution, but cash is king, and the voice of cash speaks much louder than the voices of the down and out. It’s just more of the same…