Arbitron: Rush Limbaugh’s ratings have fallen 27% to 40% in key markets

The Limbaugh Ship of Fail is slowly sinking.

Rush Limbaugh’s ratings have dropped sharply in several major markets following the firestorm over his comments about Sandra Fluke, Politico reports. [...] Politico’s Dylan Byers got an early look at the latest ratings report from Arbitron:

The conservative radio host’s ratings fell 27 percent in the key 25-54 demo in New York City, 31 percent in Houston-Galveston, 40 percent in Seattle-Tacoma, and 35 percent in Jacksonville, according to a selection of the March 29-April 25 Arbitron ratings provided by an industry source.

Sources told Byers that it was possible that a bubble has burst: Limbaugh saw a spike in listeners due to the controversy, and now those people have stopped tuning in. Limbaugh’s ratings were also up in other markets, such as San Francisco.

Rush Limbaugh Ratings Drop In Several Big Markets

Wednesday morning’s 6 marginally interesting things

1) Rick Santorum

  • Santorum wins in Mississippi and Alabama – Former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) pulled out narrow wins in the Alabama and Mississippi presidential primaries Tuesday, bolstering his claim to being the conservative alternative to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. “We did it again,” Santorum told cheering supporters in Lafayette, La.; that state will hold its primary March 24. “Who would have thought . . . that ordinary folks from across this country can defy the odds day in and day out?”

2) Mitt Romney

  • Romney Blows Another Chance To Seal The Deal - It’s clear your candidate didn’t have a great night when you have to go on CNN and remind viewers not to forget about the American Samoa caucuses. And Eric Fehrnstrom — the senior Mitt Romney aide who found himself in that precarious position Tuesday night — would probably admit: this was not a great night for his candidate. Despite early attempts to temper expectations for Romney’s performance in Alabama and Mississippi, tight polls and the candidate’s own election-eve bravado created the illusion of an open door — another chance to seal the deal with a big, hard-fought win.
  • Mitt Romney Said He Was Going to Win Alabama – Making it worse, his advisor Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN tonight: “I don’t think anybody expected Mitt to win Alabama or Mississippi. As Mitt said, this was an away game for him, and I think that’s absolutely true.”
  • Romney: Forever Awkward / Tone deaf – Mornin’, y’all,” said Mitt Romney recently to a Mississippi crowd. He started his day off right, he said, with “a biscuit and some cheesy grits.” That would be cheese grits, but never mind. Would Romney greet an audience at a Jewish Community Center with: “Oy vey, did I ever enjoy my loxies and bagels this morning!”? Or African Americans with: “Yo, dawg, wassup?” Actually, yes, he might. Forever tattooed in the memory is the image of Romney approaching an African American baby at a 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Pointing to the baby’s necklace, he said: “What’s happening? You got some bling-bling here!”

3) Your 21st Century Republican Party / American Theocracy

  • McConnell: I’m Filibustering Seventeen Judges Because Reid Made Republicans ‘Look Bad’ – McCONNELL: It is highly unlikely any of these district judges are not going to be confirmed. We’ve done a number of them this year. We’ve done seven this year. District judges are almost never defeated. This is just a very transparent attempt to try to slam dunk the minority and make them look like they are obstructing things they aren’t obstructing. We object to that. We don’t think that meets the standard of civility that should be expected in the Senate. And, so, any effort to make the minority look bad or attempt to slam dunk them that is sort of manufactured as this is is gonna, of course, be greeted with resistance.
  • PA Passes The Most Anti-Democratic, Anti-Environmental Law in The Country - Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed and where the U.S. coal, oil and nuclear industries began, has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients. The draconian new law, known as Act 13, revises the state’s oil and gas statutes, to allow oil companies to drill for natural gas using the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, where large volumes of water and toxic chemicals are pumped into vertical wells with lateral bores to shatter the rock and release the hydrocarbons. The law strips rights from communities and individuals while imposing new statewide drilling rules.
  • Romney Promises To ‘Get Rid Of’ Planned Parenthood’s Funding – ”The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it’s worth borrowing money from china to pay for it?” Romney said of federal programs. “And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrack, I’d eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities.”Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Dawn Laguens responds: When Mitt Romney says he wants to ‘get rid’ of Planned Parenthood, he means getting rid of the preventive health care that three million people a year rely on for cancer screenings, birth control, and other preventive care. This is dangerous and out of step with what most Americans want. Mitt Romney simply can’t be trusted when it comes to women’s health. He supports so-called “personhood laws, opposes making birth control affordable and accessible, and wants to undermine women’s health care… [RSRomney attended a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in 1994 and his wife donated to the group from their joint checking account.

4) Womenfolk (make me a sandwich!)

  • Another Religious Freedom® Law Will Allow Employers to Fire Women for Using Whore Pills - A proposed new law in Arizona would give employers the power to request that women being prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they’re using it for non-sexual reasons. And because Arizona’s an at-will employment state, that means that bosses critical of their female employees’ sex lives could fire them as a result. [...] Yesterday, a Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Republican Debbie Lesko‘s HB2625 by a vote of 6-2, which would allow an employer to request proof that a woman using insurance to buy birth control was being prescribed the birth control for reasons other than not wanting to get pregnant. It’s all about freedom, she said, echoing everyone who thinks there’s nothing ironic about claiming that a country that’s “free” allows people’s bosses to dictate what medical care is available to them through insurance. [...] Further, Lesko states, with a straight face, that this bill is necessary because “we live in America; we don’t live in the Soviet Union.” [image: WWJD]
  • Obama team hits Romney for ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood comment “Planned Parenthood is a vital health care provider for millions of American women, giving them affordable access to life-saving services like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings,” she added. “Even more offensive is that he would justify on fiscal grounds the elimination of Planned Parenthood, which represents 0.01% of the federal budget, even as he proposes a $5 trillion tax plan that would give massive tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. Whether it’s his support for the Blunt amendment, which would allow any employer to drop coverage for health care services like contraception because of personal beliefs, or these extreme comments today, it’s clear that American women cannot trust Mitt Romney to stand up for them.”
  • imageFLASHBACK: Limbaugh To “Feminazi[s]“: Love Your Body, “Because Nobody Else Does” – Rush Limbaugh is a pioneer in American misogyny: He popularized the use of the slur “feminazi” against women who seek to be treated equally in our society. Although he originally claimed that the word referred to “a specific type of feminist” and that there were “not many of them,” Limbaugh has routinely used it to attack feminists, abortion-rights advocates, and progressive women alike. In October 2008, he dragged out the slur to attack the National Organization for Women (NOW) for promoting “Love Your Body Day.” In a press release on its website, NOW said the day marked “another year in our campaign to educate and encourage women and girls to say ‘no’ to negative stereotypes and ‘yes’ to awareness, health, and a positive body image.”

5) President / Democratic Party

  • Obama files trade case against China, warns Beijing on ‘skirting the rules’ - China produces at least 90 percent of “rare earths,” and U.S. officials charge that it imposes export restrictions that unfairly raise the prices paid by non-Chinese firms that need those raw materials, making these less competitive on global markets. “We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies. Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we’d have no objections. But their policies currently are preventing that from happening,” Obama said, stressing that the high-tech manufacturing at stake is “too important for us to stand by and do nothing.” The decision struck another blow at China at a time when U.S. lawmakers and other critics of Beijing accuse the rising economic giant of unfair competition that costs U.S. jobs, notably in manufacturing.
  • AFL-CIO ‘enthusiastically’ endorses Obama for reelection – Leaders of the influential AFL-CIO labor federation announced Tuesday it voted “proudly and enthusiastically” to endorse President Obama’s reelection effort. “We feel that he’s put forth bold initiatives and put people back to work, put revenues back in the country, put out a vision that expresses opportunity and fairness,” said Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “We think he’s a good man.” The council spoke to Obama by telephone during its closed-door session, in which the president sounded “very engaged, very knowledgeable,” according to McEntee, who serves as chair of the AFL-CIO’s political education committee. The vote, among the AFL-CIO’s 57 member executive council, was unanimous.
  • Texas Democrats Look To Secure Alternative Federal Funding For Planned Parenthood In The State – Democratic lawmakers are trying to find alternative ways to keep Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas afloat just one day before the state officially bans the organization from receiving funding through the joint state-federal Women’s Health Program. Tomorrow, a new rule goes into effect stopping any clinic affiliated with an abortion provider from receiving WHP funds, and federal officials have said they will cut off funding to the state program if Texas bans Planned Parenthood from WHP. If the program stops, 130,000 women will lose their access to affordable health care.
  • Obama considers quicker exit from Afghanistan after Kandahar massacre – The president had those words for reporters from the White House this week, and echoed those sentiments again on Monday to KDKA in Pittsburgh. “It’s important for us to make sure that we get out in a responsible way, so that we don’t end up having to go back in,” said Obama. [...] But one day into the aftermath of the Sunday slaying of 16 civilians, the White House says they are looking for a faster way out of Afghanistan, even after already moving up the withdrawal date once in 2012. Prior to the latest episode, the US was expected to send 22,000 troops back to the States by September, leaving around 68,000 to stay until America formally forfeits in 2014. As for those remaining troops, though, Washington is now deciding if they should see an end to their tour as earlier as expected. [image: White House’s Flickr Stream]

6) Misc

  • Taking a time-out from trying to legislate women’s choices, Catholic Church Puts Legal Pressure on Survivors’ Network – Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church and priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists. [...] “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, “it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s what they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.” [...] William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a church advocacy group in New York, said targeting the network was justified because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
  • Bill Donohue: It’s ‘a Lot Less Expensive’ To Fight Victims Of Pedophile Priests – Donohue was one of the most vocal defenders of the Catholic Church during the height of the church’s pedophile scandal in the early 2000s, and more egregiously, he remains one of the only people to publicly attack the victims and their supporters. During a radio interview in 2009, Donohue downplayed the charges being leveled by victims because “almost everybody who was abused wasn’t raped.” He also dismissed complaints of priests kissing and engaging in “inappropriate sexual talk” to minors as a non-issue, saying that he “think[s] a lot of these people are gold diggers looking to get money from the Catholic Church.”
  • Celebrated war criminal / profiteer and beloved chickenhawk DICK Cheney says CANADA is ‘too dangerous’ for visit – Cheney was set to appear at an event in Toronto on April 24, but canceled on grounds that the risk of trouble from protesters was too great. Cheney’s last Canadian appearance in September of 2011 erupted in violence as protesters swarmed the entrance of the private Vancouver club where the former Bush administration official and Iraq War architect was speaking. The protesters rained down verbal abuse on attendees and, in once instance, choked a security guard. Vice President Cheney was trapped inside the venue for more than seven hours as police in riot gear attempted to disperse the crowd and quell to the resulting melee.
  • Americans hate regulations in the abstract, but love them in the particular – The overwhelming majority of Americans believe that government regulations of the food industry, car safety, workplace safety, prescription drugs, and even environmental protection should either be strengthened or be preserved as they are, with only a small fraction believing they should be reduced. [...] Americans also tend to favor more regulation when asked about specific industries: a plurality believe that the health insurance, energy, banks and big corporations are underregulated.

Female veterans call for American Forces Radio to drop Rush Limbaugh

“Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform. Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect. When many of our female troops use birth control, for Limbaugh to say they are “sluts” and “prostitutes” is beyond the pale. It isn’t just disrespectful to our women serving our country, but it’s language that goes against everything that makes our military work. Again, we swore to uphold our Constitution, including the freedom of speech, and would not take that away from anyone – even Limbaugh. But that does not mean AFN should broadcast him. In fact, it shouldn’t.”

–  A group of female veterans have released a statement today through Vote Vets (a progressive coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans) calling for AFN to drop Rush Limbaugh’s show in light of his repulsive statements about Sandra Fluke and women using contraception. AFN is owned and operated by the Pentagon, and according to spokesman George Little, currently has no intention of dropping Limbaugh.

Source: ThinkProgress 

Of course the Pentagon would have no problem with Limbaugh calling a young woman a slut. It’s not like the DoD doesn’t have its own internal problems with how women are treated in the military. It’s interesting though, that Rush’s listenership is everywhere because he’s so popular, right? It’s actually radio’s dirty little secret that Limbaugh’s show was given away for free (and still is) on many small and medium stations. That’s why he’s everywhere.

“Rush’s audience is a myth. He is a paper tiger. Do some people listen to him? Of course. Is it anywhere near the hype? Not remotely. Talk radio is a dying business. I wouldn’t be surprised if his daily listeners didn’t even reach a million. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have more online viewers on The Young Turks (which are100 percent Google verifiable) than he has radio listeners. Rush is a sad, old man that a couple of other sad, old men listen to. His days are numbered. Rush, it definitely wasn’t nice knowing you. Tick tock, tick tock.”

– Cenk Uygur: A Challenge to Rush: Prove Your Ratings

via: randomactsofchaos 

Monday morning’s 9 barely interesting things

1) Obama At AIPAC  | Andrew Sullivan - For the worldview of Cheney and Netanyahu to prevail, Obama must be defeated. That is clearly the agenda of the current Israeli government, and what the NYT delicately but accurately calls “Israel’s backers” in the US. My worry is that once the Likudniks begin to realize Obama may not be defeated by the GOP at home, the current Israeli government would launch a war without warning to create a crisis to humiliate the president, rally end-times evangelicals to vote, send oil prices soaring, and force the US president to coopt a war he does not want and does not yet believe is necessary. If that helps the GOP nominee, so much the better. Every GOP candidate is now committed to the most extreme positions of the Likudnik Israeli right – and are to the bellicose right of most Israelis. I hope that the Israeli government is not that reckless or extreme. But ask yourself when thinking about Netanyahu: what would Cheney do? These individuals are radicals. They turned the US into a torturing nation and regarded that decision as a “no-brainer.” A “wag-the-dog” scenario in which Netanyahu creates a war to wound and weaken a US president before an election is, sadly, not unthinkable. And he will have the GOP as his critical back-up.

2) Should We Be More Scared Of Pandemics? – “Worst case for a severe pandemic would certainly be in the millions [of deaths] in the U.S. alone,” says John Barry. He has advised the last two U.S. presidents on the flu virus and wrote The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. … When the so-called Spanish flu struck in 1918, it resulted in 500 million infections and 50 million to 100 million deaths, in a world with a population of about 1.8 billion people. That’s equivalent to around 385 million deaths—only a little less than the current population of South America—if extrapolated out to today’s population. “Because of the mildness of the 2009 pandemic, I would say most people underestimate the threat,” says Barry.

3) And Breitbart goes out not with a bang but a whimper – Apparently the big expose Breitbart promised before his death has been released at one of the Big Morons sites, and the shocking revelation is… Obama attended a play 14 years ago that was about Saul Alinksy. || And THIS is the “damning information” that caused Breitbart’s “assassination” by Obama, according to conspiracy theorists. lol.

 4) David Frum: HBO’s ‘Game Change’ Charts Sarah Palin’s Revenge - The professionals soon discover their mistake. “I don’t even like to say this, but has it occurred to you guys that she might be mentally unstable?” asks one staffer about the woman the McCain campaign proposed to put next in line to America’s nuclear codes. As they come to know Palin, the campaign professionals begin to feel an awakening of conscience: first qualms, then fears, and finally revulsion—not for the campaign, not for their careers, but for their country. They supported McCain because they saw him, in Schmidt’s words, as a statesman and national hero running against a celebrity with no major life accomplishments. In hopes of reversing adverse poll numbers, they yoked a great man to a running mate who was not merely unworthy, but dangerous. Some of the best acting in the film is in the looks of unspoken dread that flit about the faces of Sarah Paulson’s Wallace and Harrelson’s Schmidt as they react to Palin’s wilder and wilder provocations. What have they done? And if this campaign somehow wins—and Palin is put within reach of the presidency—what might they have done?

If ever there were a scenario in which Godwin’s Law was apropos, Sick Rantorum is it.5) Santorum: Contraception ‘a grievous moral wrong’ – “The Blunt amendment was broader than that. It was a conscience clause exception that existed prior to when President Obama decided that he could impose his values on people of faith, when people of faith believe that this is a grievous moral wrong. [...] I’m reflecting the views of the Church that I believe in. We used to be tolerant of those beliefs. I guess now when you have beliefs that are consistent with the church, you are somehow out of touch with the mainstream. And that to me is a pretty sad situation when you can’t have personally-held beliefs.” || I find it “pretty sad” that, as president, Santorum would like to impose his personal religious beliefs on the entire country.

motherjones:Context: Rick Santorum pledges to repeal 130,000 legally recognized same-sex marriages if elected president.6) Santorum backs nullifying existing gay marriages – There are 18,000 married gay and lesbian couples in California and at least 131,000 nationwide according to the 2010 census, conducted before New York state legalized same-sex marriage in July. Rick Santorum says he’ll try to unmarry all of them if he’s elected president. Once the U.S. Constitution is amended to prohibit same-gender marriages, “their marriage would be invalid,” the former Pennsylvania senator said Dec. 30 in an NBC News interview.

7) 99% of Republicans expect their kids to go to college, according to Pew report. – No matter what political beliefs they hold, nearly all parents—99 percent of Republicans, 96 percent of Democrats, and 93 percent of independents—expect their children to go to college, the survey found. That resounding endorsement makes clear that Santorum is all but alone in his opinion that only snobs encourage all kids to go to college. || And there you have it: 99% of Republicans are snobs.

8) Chris Wallace: Fox News covers contraception for female employees - During a discussion about women’s health issues on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace revealed that the insurance provided by the conservative news network included oral contraceptives. “Before coming on today, I checked with the women here at Fox News and it turns out that Fox News health coverage does cover — there’s a co-pay — but it does cover contraception,” Wallace explained. “When it comes to contraception, you know the idea that — and we’re not talking about religious institutions. According to the Blunt amendment, any — U.S. Steel, as I said, Fox News, any company could simply decide, we are not going to offer that. An insurance company could decide, one that has no ties to any religious organization.” || There’s an FYI for Limbaugh and his zombie hoard — the “sluts” at Fox News have the health insurance benefit that Sandra Fluke was talking about. 

9) You might wonder: how are Limbaugh’s hoards in the wingnut blogosphere handling the advertising exodus from the barren land of El Rushbo? Like this:  SLUTGATE: CONTACT CARBONITE – DROP ED SCHULTZ!!!!! – A 30-year-old poses as a 23-year-old, chooses a Catholic University to attend at $65,000 per year and can not afford ALL the birth control pills she needs… so she wants the US taxpayers to pay for her rampant sexual activity. By all accounts she is banging it five times a day. She sounds more like a prostitute to me. She must have an gyno bill to choke a horse (pun intended). Slut was a softball. Obama calls her and tells Sandra Slut Fluke that her parents should be so proud of her. He’s a pimp. As for Rush calling a spade a spade, or in this case, a slut a slut, advertiser Carbonite is playing selective outrage. Contact Carbonite here and demand that they drop their ads from Ed Schultz’s program. || That’s courtesy of a woman, Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs. Who better to casually throw around such pejoratives about another woman than a true lady like Geller? 

George Will on the GOP: “They want to bomb Iran but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

George Will Blasts GOP Candidates’ Meek Response To Rush: ‘They Want To Bomb Iran, But They’re Afraid Of Limbaugh’

By Judd Legum on Mar 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm  –  This morning on ABC, prominent conservative columnist George Will blasted the Republican leadership’s meek response to Rush Limbaugh’s sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke. Will mocked Speaker John Boehner for calling Rush’s language “inappropriate ” as comically weak, noting “using a salad fork for your entree, that’s inappropriate.”

Will also attacked the GOP presidential candidates timid response: “They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”

source: questionall

George Will calls it: the Republicans are a bunch of wussies, chickenhawks, sheeple, Koolaide drinkers, spineless jellyfish, and HeManWomanHaters. The only thing they have going for them is that Rush didn’t hurt their fee-fees this week. And, of course, the chemical erections. They’ve got that going for them too. Thank God federal health insurance covers Viagra.

Rush runs the GOP.

Sunday morning’s 9 semi-interesting things

1) Carbonite deserves everyone’s business: “No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.” — David Friend, CEO of Carbonite, in a statement last night

2) Newt To TPM: Never Mind Rush’s Apology, How About Barack Obama’s To Afghanistan? -  TPM caught up with Newt Gingrich after a speech at Bowling Green University in Ohio and asked about Rush Limbaugh’s apology to Sandra Fluke. “I’m not paying attention,” he responded. Asked whether he thought he felt Limbaugh misspoke, Gingrich turned the question on President Obama. “I’m not paying attention,” he repeated.”I’m paying attention to the president apologizing to people who killed Americans.”

 3) Callista Gingrich: Perfect Republican Wife – But all may not be well with this cultivated persona, as this clip suggests. When asked by a reporter what he was giving up for Lent, the hefty Newt admitted sheepishly that he was giving up sweets. Perfunctorily, the reporter asked the same of Callista. Her response had just a tinge of bitterness to it: “My opinion“. Yikes. Anyone want to guess what precipitated that response? Whatever it was, it’s clear that for many in the GOP, that’s the definition of a perfect Republican wife.

4) O’Reilly Joins Limbaugh’s Misogynistic Crapfest – Bill O’Reilly is trying to one-up Rush Limbaugh. Not surprised. These guys are the worst of the worst. “So let me get this straight, Ms. Fluke, and I ask this with all due respect, I am: You want me to give you my hard earned money so you can have sex.” NO! She’s not asking for money so she can have sex. Her testimony was about ovarian cysts! The government isn’t paying for it. Health insurers are. Liars all of them. Watch-

5) via thesoapboxschtick: and the “pro life” right wing is STILL against it…. Still talking about Obama’s communist takeover and death panels in Europe coming to America…  Report: 50,000 Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions Find Coverage As A Result Of Healthcare Reform – The PCIP is a temporary program intended to make health coverage available and more affordable for individuals who are uninsured — and were likely denied coverage based on their pre-existing conditions — and are ineligible to receive Medicare and Medicaid. Once the health reform law is fully implemented, in 2014, insurers will be prohibited from refusing coverage to any American with a pre-existing condition. Since its launch in November 2010, there has been an approximate 400 percent increase in PCIP enrollment — specifically amongst older uninsured Americans, who’s serious pre-existing conditions require more intensive and ongoing medical care — with the PCIP program attracting 8,000 new applications every month from August through November 2011.

6) Santorum Concedes Need For Obamacare, Says His Special Needs Child Took Up Much Of His Income - On Fox News Sunday this morning, Chris Wallace challenged Rick Santorum on why he’s given such a small percentage of his salary to charity (1.76 percent) compared to Mitt Romney (13.8 percent) and President Obama (14.2 percent). Santorum explained that he was unable to give because the costs of caring for his daughter Bella — who has a severe genetic disorder — were so high because they are not covered by his insurance: SANTORUM: [...] We have to have around-the-clock care for her, and our insurance company doesn’t cover it so I have to cover it.

7) Paul: Nothing Wrong With Obama’s Apology Over Koran-Burning Incident - On CNN’s State of the Union, Ron Paul said he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with an apology that might calm things down. “I don’t think it wrong, but it’s pretty much irrelevant. But I think Republicans who are condemning it are a little bit over the top too.” The other Republican candidates attacked the President for his apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the an incident in which U.S. service members burned Korans on a base in Afghanistan.

8) This Week in God Evangelist Franklin Graham apologized Tuesday for comments he made about President Barack Obama’s faith. “I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama,” Graham said in a statement. “The president has said he is a Christian and I accept that (and have said so publicly on many occasions). “I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election — for his faith has nothing to do with my consideration of him as a candidate.” Graham, who announced his public support for Donald Trump during his birther endeavor last year, did not explain why he made his recent comments, or why it took him more than a week to issue an apology.

Republicans and their base

9) What They Should Have Done | John Cole – What they should have done is simple. They should have claimed victory when Obama made the modification to the mandate. When the initial mandate came out from HHS, there was a multi-day freakout, the Bishops and the prudes generated a lot of press, and Team Obama looked at things, calibrated the mandate so that so-called “religious freedom” was preserved, and the entire issue would have been taken off the table if the right had done the smart thing and just claimed victory. [...] But instead of seizing upon it, they instead shit the bed and decided to double down, and now we have near 70% of the country looking at the Republicans like they are some kind of freak show, with their leaders introducing the Blunt and Rubio amendments and their spiritual leaders calling all women who use contraceptives sluts and prostitutes and the base doubling down and following their lead. It’s bewildering to watch. [...] I’m not sure what is motivating this insanity. Part of it, of course, is the fact that they just hate you. Part of it is they are just opposed to anything liberals support. Part of it is that they are beholden to religious nuts. Part of it is an attempt to simply gut ACA. And I’m sure part of it is that they are so in their own bubble that they honestly don’t believe anything but their own bullshit. Regardless, it is crazy, and at the same time, I am cheering them on. It’s like watching a movie where the villain is mortally wounded and defeated, yet as they lie there in a pile of their own blood and bile, they still attempt to reach for the gun just out of their reach, giving the good guys one more reason to finish them off for good. Go for the gun. Make my fucking day.

Limbaugh’s apology = weak tea

Via producermatthew:

Carbonite’s CEO, who was not impressed with conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh’s apology to Sandra Fluke after calling her a “slut,” said in a statement published Saturday evening that his company would continue to withdraw its support from Limbaugh’s show.

“Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency,” Carbonite’s CEO David Friend wrote.

Read Carbonite’s statement here

UPDATE

A Statement from David Friend, CEO of Carbonite as of 6:45pm ET, March 3:

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”

This is a list of advertisers from BoycottRush.org:

Hey, ProFlowers, Lifelock and Tax Resolution!
“No business should associate itself with such a pattern of repeated, reckless, personal abuse. If Rush wants to continue to have the opportunity to demean women in the future, that is his right. Good companies have many opportunities to promote their businesses without having to subsidize the denigration of women. Sandra Fluke wasn’t the first woman to be smeared by Rush Limbaugh, but she needs to be the last.”   — Krystal Ball, BoycottRush.org

Limbaugh APOLOGIZES to Sandra Fluke

Hahah! Sue, Sandra, sue! [emphasis below, mine]

Rush Limbaugh apologizes to Sandra Fluke; says word choice was ‘insulting’

In a rare show of remorse, Rush Limbaugh has apologized for calling a Georgetown law student a “slut”.

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke,” he said in a statement on his website about his attack against Sandra Fluke.

His apology comes shortly after four sponsors announced they were severing ties with the show.

[...] During the past four days, he turned Fluke into an international media star with fiery rants, calling her “a slut” and “prostitute” who is having so much sex that she can’t afford to buy her own contraceptives. He also proposed that she make a sex tape for taxpayers to view.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have called Limbaugh’s language disappointing.

In an interview with the Daily Beast published on Saturday, Fluke said she wasn’t ruling out suing Limbaugh over hisbarrage of insults.

“I’ve certainly been told I might have a case,” the third-year law student told the Daily Beast. “But it’s not something I’ve made any decisions about at this point.”

In his surprising statement, Limbaugh said his “choice of words were not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir.

“I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choice.”

Suddenly we’re a society where Rush Limbaugh, a 61-year-old man, can call a young woman — someone who’s old enough to be his daughter — a “slut” and a “prostitute” and, worse,  this man expects his audience to find that HUMOROUS? Which, by the way, they DID find it humorous, since they’re listening to his radio show for a reason (and it’s not likely because they enjoy the company of the women). Just look at some of the comments from the Dittoheads about their Hero-God on other posts on this site.

And according to the apology posted on his website (screen shot below), he says he DIDN’T MEAN A PERSONAL ATTACK on Ms. Fluke. Really? REALLY?!? Suddenly she’s “Ms. Fluke” now and all that “slut” and “prostitute” and “you should post sex tapes on the internet so I can watch them” wasn’t supposed to be personal?

Here’s hoping his former advertisers learned their lesson and won’t return to shovel more money into this guy’s trough. And if Sandra Fluke decides to slap Limbaugh with a lawsuit, I’d say he deserves it.

Saturday morning’s 9 moderately interesting things

1) See What A Daily Show Joke Looks Like On The Senate Floor - “Barbara Boxer meanders through episodes of The Daily Show like one of your mom’s friends.” Watch:

2) Richard Cebull, the chief federal judge in Montana apologizes over racist Obama email: “Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do.” - “I sincerely and profusely apologize to you and your family for the email I forwarded. I accept full responsibility; I have no one to blame but myself,” Cebull wrote in a letter to the President, adding that the action will “never happen again” and that he referred his conduct to the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit. “Honestly, I don’t know what else I can do.” Josh Glasstetter, research director for People for the American Way, had some ideas. “How about resign? Or at the very least, relinquish his position as chief judge,” he told TPM in an email. “Did those possibilities “honestly” never occur to him?!”

3) Why Does Rush Limbaugh Get Away With Calling a Young Woman a ‘Slut’? - John K. Wilson, who wrote a book about Limbaugh, digs up another example of his commentary on women: “My cat comes to me when she wants to be fed. I have learned this. I accept it for what it is. Many people in my position would think my cat’s coming to me because she loves me. Well, she likes me, and she is attached, but she comes to me when she wants to be fed. And after I feed her — guess what — she’s off to wherever she wants to be in the house, until the next time she gets hungry. She’s smart enough to know she can’t feed herself. She’s actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn’t have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat’s taught me more about women than anything my whole life. But we put voices in their mouths.” I run through this history — there are more examples — so that Limbaugh apologists cannot portray these latest remarks as an aberration. They are not. This is what the man is like. He is nevertheless invited to the White House by Republican presidents, praised by conservative magazines, given honorary titles by conservative think tanks and defended by conservative bloggers.

4) Ruh roh! Game over, Mittens – A tape from Romeny’s 2002 campaign for governor, secretly shot by Democratic opponents, on which Mitt explains, “I’m a big believer in getting the money where the money is, and the money’s in Washington.” As Betty Cracker says, it’s unseemly to say the least to have Mr. Private Sector shaking his tin cup so aggressively at the feds. Not that his fellow plutocrats don’t all do it, of course. But it spoils the narrative. Watch:

source: finalellipsis

5) Maher: Liberals have to get ‘out of the bubble’ regarding Obama – Host Bill Maher ended his Friday night episode of Real Time by explaining his $1 million donation last week to the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action. “Every time I turn on the news, Christ-y-McSweater-vest [Rick Santorum] has just said something crazier than the last crazy thing he said…History shows us many times the joke candidate is the one who ends up winning. And you don’t even have to go back to that asshole Millard Filmore to verify this. Just think about the year 2000 –when gas was 12 cents a gallon and the Internet was powered by steam– George W. Bush, the town drunk of Texas, decided he should try his hand at some ‘presidentin.’ And oh, how we laughed!”  || Video at the link.

6) Pelosi: GOP Favors Government Intrusion On Individual Liberty Only When It Comes to Matters of Sex – In an interview with the Washington Post this morning, Pelosi went after the Republicans’ tendency to “favor government intrusion on individual liberty only when it comes to matters of sex.” “They don’t believe in a government role except when it comes to women exercising her conscience on an issue like that,” she said. “People who choose to marry and find comfort with each other — they decide that government should step in there. But clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education, public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — they want to end the government role.” Pelosi has vocally opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) decision to defend the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), noting that the legal team hired to uphold the statute in court has spent $1.5 million on the effort.

7) Less Than 1% of Americans Think Politicians Should Talk About Birth Control – A new poll from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows that a large majority of Americans support requiring private health insurance to cover contraception, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone except a Republican; looks like Americans aren’t eager to return to the 1800s after all. Even more interesting: less than one percent said they thought birth control was what Presidential candidates should be debating. And yet: GOP Vows to Fight on After Defeat on Birth Control.

8) Limbaugh Attacks Help Put Chevy Volt Workers Out Of A Job – Relentless attacks on the Chevy Volt from Rush Limbaugh and Republican politicians have taken their toll, as General Motors has announced a five-week suspension in production of the range-extended electric car. Conservative enemies of clean energy and the Obama administration seized on isolated reports Volts with battery fires, calling the cars “Obama-mandated death traps.” Limbaugh even said GM was a “corporation that’s trying to kill its customers.”  These conspiracy-tinged partisan attacks have now cost American jobs, with 1300 workers temporarily laid off in the face of lower than expected demand for the innovative cars, even as gas prices rise. [...] Oh, and about those attacks? After an investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the Volt is just as safe as any gasoline-powered vehicle on the road.

9) AFP: Six dead, one town ‘gone’ as tornados rip central US – At least six people were killed and one small town was “gone” as more than six dozen tornados tore across the central United States on Friday. Five other deaths were reported, but have not yet been officially confirmed. The latest wave of storms comes after a string of twisters killed 13 people earlier in the week. Homes were flattened, schools and businesses were smashed, and cars, trucks and trees were tossed aside like candy as deadly funnel clouds descended on five states. The National Weather Service had received 74 reports of tornados in seven states by Friday evening, bringing the week’s total to 126, though not all were confirmed. More could be on their way as a “particularly dangerous” tornado watch was set to continue until early Saturday in four states. Watch:

  • UPDATE 6AM CT: Tornadoes kill at least 28 in Midwest and South – Powerful tornadoes raked across a wide swath of the Midwest and South on Friday, killing at least 28 people in four states and bringing the death toll to at least 41 from a week of deadly late-winter storms.


A Dittohead comments on the petition to support Sandra Fluke

When I posted the petition to support Sandra Fluke earlier today, a righwing Rush apologist had to comment:

This is a total misrepresentation of both the testimony of Ms. Fluke before a Congressional-All-Democrat-Policy-Initiative Sub. Committee, and the basis for Mr. Limbaugh’s incredulity and outrage. It’s a flaming-bimbo eruption.

Total ladies man! But he loses one el Rusho point for not using the favorite EIB pejorative: feminazis.

In response to this horseshit claim of “misrepresentation,” or that this vile, pus-filled, misogynistic radio clown is making any kind of intelligent argument by calling Sandra Fluke a slut, I can’t say it any better than Alex Seitz-Wald does:

While it’s difficult to believe that he doesn’t know what Fluke actually said (her entire testimony is on video), Limbaugh and other conservatives like bloggers Erick Erickson and Michelle Malkin are fabricating the claim that Fluke wants taxpayers to pay for contraception. That is blatantly false. Fluke’s testimony, and the entire contraception debate, is about insurance companies paying for contraception as part of their health coverage, they way they pay for any other medication, such as Viagra. Morevoer, Fluke’s testimony was not about herself, but about a friend who need contraception to fight cancer and other fellow law students.

This conservative narrative, which is pure fantasy, seems to be based on a single bogus article from CNS News, which Limbaugh repeatedly cites, with the ludicrous headline, “Sex-Crazed Co-Eds Going Broke Buying Birth Control, Student Tells Pelosi Hearing Touting Freebie Mandate.”

Meanwhile, Limbaugh apparently doesn’t understand how birth control works. His entire stance is premised on the notion that women need more birth control the more sex they have. Of course, as anyone who has taken an 8th grade sex ed class could inform him, that’s not how it works.

Rush Limbaugh — the most influential and defended voice in Republican politics — called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” even though her testimony had NOTHING to do with her sex life. He even demanded that Fluke post sex tapes online so he could watch. If you agree that he’s gone too far, that he’s calling every woman who uses birth control and would like it covered by health insurance a “slut” who should be obligated to post sex tapes online, here are two petitions you might be interested in:

And to the Dittohead who left the comment, here’s a quick list of Limbaugh sponsors and people who know Limbaugh misrepresented Sandra Fluke’s testimony — and has insulted all women who take birth control and would like it covered by health insurance JUST LIKE VIAGRA is covered:

SPONSORS –

MEALY-MOUTHED REPUBLICAN POLS –

ACTUAL GOP POLS WITH A SPINE (I’ve found exactly one) –

  • Sen. Scott Brown: called Limbaugh’s remarks ‘reprehensible’ and demanded Rushbo apologize to Ms. Fluke

OTHERS –

Petition: stand with Sandra Fluke – and ALL women. Limbaugh went too far.

Limbaugh goes too far

Yesterday, he unleashed a hateful tirade against 30-year-old Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, who became a birth control activist after her friend developed ovarian cysts and found that the oral contraception she needed to stop the cysts from growing was not covered under the school’s insurance.

Rush responded by calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” He even demanded that Fluke post sex tapes online so he could watch.

Limbaugh has crossed the line. He isn’t just attacking Sandra Fluke—he’s attacking all women. Use the form on this page to let Sandra Fluke know that you are on her side.

Go here to sign it.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind as well:  Continue reading

TGIF morning’s 9 marginally interesting things


1) Economy gets more good news - “After more than two years of frustrating fits and starts, the U.S. economy is showing signs of moving onto firmer ground. A host of reports Thursday underscored that point, as well as the perils that persist. The number of Americans filing initial claims for government unemployment benefits has fallen to levels last seen before Lehman Brothers collapsed, the Labor Department said. The stock market, a leading indicator of growth, is off to its best start this year since 1998 and notched more gains Thursday. Meantime, consumer confidence has reclaimed ground lost last year, and another report showed that income growth is firming. However the economy is far from robust. Government and company reports showed consumer spending has been mixed. And the manufacturing sector, though on the rebound, isn’t booming, according to a survey of manufacturing purchasing managers by the Institute for Supply Management.”

2) Obama Tells Congress To Eliminate ‘Outrageous’ Big Oil Tax Breaks – In a speech before a large crowd in Nashua, New Hampshire, President Barack Obama exhorted Americans to tell Congress to eliminate $4 billion in annual subsidies to big oil companies, who are making record profits on soaring gas prices. The audience booed as Obama talked about the “outrageous” and “inexcusable” tax breaks. Obama had an unambiguous message for every member of Congress: “You can either stand up for the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people.”

3) Leaders Ask Why We’re Exporting Fossil Fuels Without Considering American Security First – Panelists Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA)  bemoaned the fact that the United States does not have a national strategy on exports.  Wyden accused the country of being “on autopilot” to an energy export policy, which could have tremendous economic, social, and environmental consequences.  He expandedSo I have been somebody who’s been expansionist on trade and think that we ought to have freer trade, have fairer trade, but we also need to have smarter trade.  And allowing energy producers—we haven’t really touched on this—to trade away our international competitiveness and our energy independence by exporting the resources right now without thinking through the implications here of what it means for consumers and our companies doesn’t strike me as a smart trade policy.

4) Mitt Romney is not impressed with the ‘fancy raincoats’ worn by NASCAR fans – these three sentences, from The New York Times writeup of Romney’s visit to the Daytona 500, might just be the three most hilarious sentences about Mitt Romneybot that you read all day. But the crowd initially booed Mr. Romney, who occasionally struck a discordant note, as when he approached a group of fans wearing plastic ponchos. “I like those fancy raincoats you bought,” he said. “Really sprung for the big bucks.” The only question is whether he’s so clueless that he’s never seen plastic ponchos before and actually thinks they are a big money item … or if he’s a enough of a condescending jackass that he’d make fun of somebody for wearing one.

  • “Look, I have worn a garbage bag for rain gear myself.” - Mitt Romney

5) SLUTS* AND THEIR CONTRACEPTION: Senate Votes in Favor of Loose-Moraled Hussies (Blunt Act) -The Senate rejected an amendment [yester]day that would have vastly expanded so-called conscience objections to the Obama administration’s health care law. The measure, which was narrowly defeated in a 51-48 vote, would have allowed employers and insurers to opt out of any portion of the health care law they found morally objectionable, including the requirement to cover the costs of birth control. Currently, churches are the only institutions fully exempt from that requirement, though President Obama recently announced an accommodation by which religiously affiliated organizations such as charities, schools, or hospitals can refuse to provide contraceptive coverage through their insurance plans. ||  *if by ‘sluts’ you mean average women…

  • Rep. Speier calls for boycott of Limbaugh sponsors - But on his show, Limbaugh accused Fluke of not being able to afford contraception because she was “having so much sex.” Then on Thursday, he demanded that women post sex tapes online if they use insurance-covered birth control. “Shame on you for calling the women of this country prostitutes,” Speier said. “Ninety-eight percent of the women in this country at some time in their lives used birth control.” “So I say to the women in this country, do something about this,” she continued. “I say to the women of this country, ask Century 21, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, and Sleep Number to stop supporting the hate mongering of Rush Limbaugh and if they do not do that, then I ask them to boycott those companies.”

6) First Company Pulls Ads From Rush Limbaugh’s Show, Others May Follow – After repeatedly and unapologetically attacking law school student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” on his nationally-syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh is facing backlash from his advertisers, reports the Huffington Post. Mattress retailer Sleep Train announced this morning that they would be pulling all of its advertisements from the program after being besieged on Twitter by angry customers. ProFlowers, eHarmony, and several other companies have also been fielding complaints as well, and both companies have said they are considering taking action as well.  || Note: can you IMAGINE getting flowers at this point from PROFLOWERS, sent by some guy who ordered them from there because he listens to Limbaugh? It would be like getting spit on and then pushed down.  

7) John Boehner vows to continue war on icky lady parts – Asshole: “I think it’s important for us to win this issue,” Mr. Boehner told reporters just before the Senate killed a Republican measure with a vote of 51 to 48. “The government, our government, for 220 years has respected the religious views of the American people, and for all of this time there’s been an exception for those churches and other groups to protect the religious beliefs that they believe in, and that’s being violated here.” [...] “I’ve been trying to take this out of the political realm and get it into a position where we can continue to protect the American people’s right to their own religious views,” he said. “And there are a lot of ways to do that. There’s one in the Senate. We have a couple in the House. It’s matter of how we proceed.” [...] “The government is moving in a direction that would force some Americans to violate their religious beliefs,” he said. “This is wrong, and we want to stop it.” 

8) Pillheads in the Senate – This is not a debate, let alone a “fierce” one. This is an issue on which the country made up its damn mind long ago, regardless of how ginned up some politicians can get the rubes. It’s also not a debate about “religion,” unless, to borrow Garry Wills’s felicitous phrase, one reduces the Gospels to “the mere smithying of chastity belts.” … Let us begin by noting that the whole fooferaw happened at all because the Republicans decided to attach an anti-contraception amendment to a multimillion-dollar bill aimed at improving the nation’s highways, which are presently falling apart faster than Roy Blunt’s libido. This, of course, makes the entire thing a profoundly embarrassing charade. This, of course, makes this the United States Senate. The fact that this nonsense failed by an extraordinarily narrow 51-48 reinforces my belief that this issue is not the gold-plated sure winner that White House partisans think it is. (In case you’re wondering, the three hopeless Democrats were Joe Manchin of West Virginia, young Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and the Council Of Trent, and the inevitable Ben Nelson.)

Democratic ideal

9) Dems vow: No more cuts for federal workers - Leading Democrats charged Republicans this week with “discrimination” against federal workers amid Congress’s struggle to cut deficit spending. The Democrats said a series of federal pay cuts – most recently as part of the payroll-tax package – pile the deficit-reduction burden on one group of Americans while the rest of the country gets a free pass. The lawmakers – all of whom represent districts laden with federal workers – are vowing to oppose any future legislation that includes cuts in federal compensation. [...] The Democrats on Wednesday defended the pay discrepancy. The problem is not that federal workers are overcompensated, they said, but that too many private-sector employees are denied fair wages and benefits. “We’re trying to give them a living wage – how awful that is,” Hoyer quipped. “Let’s correct what they’re doing in the private sector,” Cardin added, “[not] race to the bottom.”‘

  • NTEU launches Web site to counter ‘false statements’ against federal workers – Upset by “a wide variety of politicians, pundits and think tanks making grand statements and broad assertions about federal government employees,” the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) has launched a Web site to provide a counter view. “Far too often, these statements will be false,” the union said in a news release Thursday. The Web site, FederalEmployeeFacts.com, is “dedicated to correcting those who are all too willing to bend the truth when it comes to claims about the federal workforce,” NTEU said.