Mary Beck, Trig Palin and God’s Agents on Earth

Today my Facebook has a post from the tireless blogger, Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend. MSNBC host, Professor Melissa Harris-Perry is getting flamed for pointing out the obvious truth that citizens bear a collective responsibility for the welfare of our children. Even if they are not our own family, we don’t tell them to go play in traffic. Well, maybe the grouchy guy who listens to Rush Limbaugh does, but we don’t call him an expert.

I replied to Pam–
Rush Limbaugh is childless despite 4 marriages. Glenn Beck has a daughter, Mary, with a disability. Maybe he never took any state or federal benefits and had the means to afford all she needed, but if the wealth ever runs out over the course of her life and she needs medical or social security it will be the community that steps up. The same goes for Trig Palin. Are these activists so sure their own children will never need the safety net they are set on tearing apart?

In honor of the gummint entitlements that make possible benefits such as Meeting Street School, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and public education for all children regardless of their medical condition, I’m re-running this post from 2009…

Recently I got an email from Jim Wallis at Sojourners, a progressive Christian organization.

Glenn Beck has received a lot of attention for his inflammatory rhetoric lately. Recently, he shared a personal story about his daughter who has cerebral palsy, which gets to the heart of his fears about health-care reform:

They [the government] will say exactly what doctors said about my 21-year-old daughter: “She may not really have a quality of life. She may not walk or talk or feed herself. But then again miracles happen.” The “then again, miracles happen” part of that will be left out of the conversation. And I will not be able to see my daughter’s 21st birthday, where I can reflect with her how miracles do happen. Because really, as I was told at the beginning of her life: Well, what kind of quality of life is she going to really have? I don’t know, but that’s for God to decide, not the government. -The Glenn Beck Program, 8/6/2009

I hope everything is well with Glenn Beck’s daughter, Mary, and I can’t argue with faith. I can understand the Beck family praying for a miracle, and I hope it was granted. But in the world of meeting material needs, petitioning God directly doesn’t usually produce a check out of thin air. For that, Glenn Beck would petition his insurance company.

He has faith that the insurance company will be there for him. And that is fortunate. Because if he discovered in his time of need that the insurance he chose wasn’t adequate, he’d have a very tough time getting a new insurance policy for his family, with a newborn needing medical care. If his insurance company stalled on paying, who would he look to? The law, and the government.

So the question is not ‘who will you trust, God or the Government?’– the question is how much you trust your insurance company. Because when you or your family have a serious health problem you will be in no shape to go shopping on the free market.

God helps those who help themselves, they say, and maybe God blesses us when we help each other. I don’t know how long private insurance covers a child with cerebral palsy, but there are Government programs to help people with disabilities. It’s possible that Mary is benefiting from one of these programs. They exist because private insurance was not willing to meet the need, so a public option was created.

God loves us all, but insurance companies have to collect more money than they disburse, and they maximize profits by denying care. They don’t get into philosophical arguments about quality of life, they just refuse to pay the bills. Then you have to appeal to the Government. So it’s in our best interests to keep our Government strong and regulate our insurance providers, so that they have to uphold a standard of care.

Glenn Beck has faith in God, but who are God’s agents? Blue Cross, Tenet and Cigna? It’s not a debate about God vs Government– it’s how much you trust private insurance. If your trust is not blind, you’ll want the Government on your side.

UPDATE: The passage of the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed ‘Obamacare’, provides protection for people with disabilities, like Mary Beck, who cannot now be denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition. As wealthy as her family is, she most likely will need the support of a government program, such as Medicare D, at some point in her life. Health care reform is beginning to change the focus of private insurance from paying for procedures to maintaining wellness. Ordinary working Americans cannot meet all the needs of a child with a disability without government assistance. I’m skeptical that even the Becks, with their millions, are immune from the contingencies we all face.

Endangered Manhood

Hey, what’s the use of working as a nurse for over 20 years if you can’t laugh about some of the crazy stuff people do. Like when you stay overtime to help a guy who is circling the drain for kidney failure and he tells his doctor he’s there for the condition Rush Limbaugh will be organizing a telethon for real soon.

Rush Limbaugh Thinks He Discovers a New Disease
It’s called DUD (Dwindling Unit Disorder), and this nurse explains why a man might think he is a DUD, when really he’s a WUSS.

Rush to the Lifeboats

Ipsos at Daily Kos has an analysis of how the money flows in talk radio. Ipsos argues that the best way to exercise your free, unsponsored speech is with your local station.

As I’ve been telling you (here, for instance, a week ago), Rush makes money for Premiere Radio Networks (aka Clear Channel, half-owned by Bain Capital) in two ways. Premiere sells four minutes of national ads during each hour of Rush’s show, 12 minutes a day in all, to national advertisers, and it charges radio stations to carry the show, giving them 10 minutes of ad time in each hour to sell to local advertisers.

To make Rush’s huge salary (probably not the $56 million a year Forbes claims, but surely in the tens of millions of dollars) pay, Premiere has to charge premium prices for those 12 minutes a day in the show.

If those minutes aren’t filled, or if they’re filled with advertisers getting the show at a discount, Premiere loses money on the deal.

For Premiere to essentially give up 120 minutes of Rush ad time (12 minutes a day over the next two weeks) in hopes that this will all blow over suggests that they’re more worried than they’ve let on until now. They were almost sure that this would blow over by now, and it just keeps going. That’s bad news.

Remember what that judge said about pornography, ‘I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.’ Opinion is one thing, verbal targeting and incitement is another. Anyone who thinks that branding a private citizen a ‘slut’ for attempting to testify in Congress is not declaring open season never went to junior high.

Rush Limbaugh is very good at what he does, a great deal of his communication is by context and tone. I still remember during Sen. John Kerry’s presidential race, the way Limbaugh would say the words, ‘Jewish grandfather’, as if this was a terrible, concealed shame, just found out and gleefully exposed.

It’s not censorship to take the microphone back from one voice that is distributed by a media monopoly. It’s a time to question the manipulation of the law that allowed a few big players to stifle local programming. Let’s start now.

Just a Flesh Wound

This episode of Monty Python and the Black Knight is dedicated to Rush Limbaugh, who insists that advertisers are begging to be allowed back on his show.

Raw Story reports Public Service Announcements and dead air on Thursday.

And one of Limbaugh’s remaining advertisers, a vitamin for memory loss, is causing troubles for a real health care company…

Louisville, Ky.— A Kentucky-based health care company has sued to protect its name after being involuntarily drawn into the backlash over Rush Limbaugh’s derisive comments about a Georgetown law student.

Louisville-based Humana, the parent company of Concentra Health Services, filed on Thursday for a preliminary injunction to stop the Preval Group of Portland, Maine, from using the name Concentra to market memory aid pills.

Humana said in court filings it received angry phone calls, emails and web postings after an ad for Concentra pills aired on Limbaugh’s show Monday. Concentra Health and the Preval Group are not related.

Here’s Concentra’s disclaimer. It’s on a big tab on their home page called ‘Limbaugh Ad Confusion’. I think Preval would like to forget they named their potion after a branch of a mega-corporation, but you can’t say Limbaugh’s ads don’t get attention.

Clear Channel

AlterNet has some history on Clear Channel, the mega-conglomerate dominating our airwaves…

Clear Channel has been the largest owner of radio stations in the U.S. since telecom ownership rules were relaxed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The company has faced charges of censorship, and has consolidated its hold over radio in part by getting rid of local hosts and programs and syndicating national shows instead. It was bought out in 2008 and taken private by Bain Capital (founded by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who still rakes in the cash from Bain and who has remained mostly quiet on the Limbaugh issue) and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Limbaugh’s 2008 contract with Clear Channel goes through 2016, and was worth $400 million in total. Limbaugh broadcasts his show from a 24,000-square-foot mansion in Florida, and has a private jet that alone is worth $54 million.

Deregulating to allow one big player to buy all the toys is one thing, diverting our tax dollars to support them is another…

Iraq war veterans Miranda Norman, Kayla Williams and Robin Eckstein, and Katherine Scheirman, the former chief of medical operations for the U.S. Air Force, all with the organization VoteVets, released a statement calling for Limbaugh’s show to be removed from taxpayer-funded American Forces Network, which is heard by troops serving overseas. They wrote:

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.

The Pentagon, though, doesn’t seem interested in dropping Limbaugh yet.

Not in an election year. All of our politicians are afraid of him. It will come down to the balance sheet. Rush is expensive, if he’s a liability to Clear Channel and its stations he’ll be traded for another radio ranter.

WHJJ Sent me an Email!

UPDATE: Check this out at Daily Kos for what happens if you read the FCC regulations and exercise your right to place a comment in the public file each station needs to keep. Also, bloggers report that local stations are running a lot of unpaid public service announcements during Rush Limbaugh.

Dear Kmareka Readers,
I normally go for months hardly aware Rush Limbaugh exists except when I visit my Mom, but these days the blog posts just about write themselves. Here’s a nice letter I got from Bill George at WHJJ. If Mr. George is this tolerant and easily satisfied in general, he must be a super-mellow guy…

Thank you for your feedback regarding Rush Limbaugh. 920 WHJJ is committed to providing its listeners with access to a broad range of opinion and commentary without condoning or agreeing with the opinions, comments or attempts at humor expressed by on-air talent. The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue. We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.

920 WHJJ is satisfied with Mr. Limbaugh’s apology to Ms Fluke, regarding the wording of his statements. We hope that our listeners will join us in accepting that his apology is sincere and appropriate.

Here is the text of Rush’s apology, issued on Saturday:

“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.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was 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 choices.”

Read more:

My reply—

Dear Mr. George,

WHJJ is very easily satisfied. This ‘apology’ mis-represents the debate and fudges what Mr.Limbaugh said. He seems to feel very sorry for himself, but not sorry that he called a young woman a ‘prostitute’ on your radio station, among others. This language is actionable, also it’s the kind of slur that endangers women. I don’t know if your station provides health insurance to employees, but maybe you should hold an audit to make sure you’re not paying for any ‘recreational sexual activities’.

I’m waiting for an audit of who is paying to sponsor this show. There are many Rhode Islanders waiting to share our broad range of opinion with them.

Best Wishes,
Nancy Green, RN

I’m always amused at people who make their careers with words, and then act like words don’t matter. It’s possible that WHJJ would happily broadcast 3 hours of static if it paid the bills, but I’m not so sure. Rush Limbaugh attracts advertisers, it remains to be seen whether he can also drive them away.

WHJJ helpfully sent this contact information. When I get home from work I will post about Clear Channel, a huge radio network with an interesting history.

If you wish to comment further, please feel free to contact Premiere Radio
Network at
Phone: 818 461-5750.
> Bill George | Program & News Director
> Clear Channel Media + Entertainment
> *(401) 519-1320
> *75 Oxford St. Providence, RI 02905
> iHeart Radio | B101 (WWBB-FM) | 920 WHJJ-AM

Rush and The Pill

Which pill is only used by sluts? Not this one, in 2003…

Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities on a warrant filed Friday charging him with fraud to conceal information to obtain prescriptions, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Jail. He and his attorney Roy Black left about an hour later, after Limbaugh was photographed and fingerprinted and he posted $3,000 bail, Barbera said.

Prosecutors’ three-year investigation of Limbaugh began after he publicly acknowledged being addicted to pain medication and entered a rehabilitation program. They accused Limbaugh of “doctor shopping,” or illegally deceiving multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions, after learning that he received about 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months, at a pharmacy near his Palm Beach mansion.

And did the taxpayers, via insurance, help him escape the consequences of his ‘bad choices’?

Limbaugh reported five years ago that he had lost most of his hearing because of an autoimmune inner-ear disease. He had surgery to have an electronic device placed in his skull to restore his hearing. But research shows that abusing opiate-based painkillers also can cause profound hearing loss.

Does this pill make you a slut? In 2006…

Rush Limbaugh could see a deal with prosecutors in a long-running prescription fraud case collapse after authorities found a bottle of Viagra in his bag at Palm Beach International Airport. The prescription was not in his name.

Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at the airport after returning from a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Customs officials found the Viagra in his luggage but his name was not on the prescription, said Paul Miller, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Miller said the alleged violation could be a second-degree misdemeanor. The sheriff’s office was investigating and will soon turn the case over to the state attorney’s office, which had no immediate comment Tuesday.

There was much uncharitable speculation on what he was doing with his money and drugs in one of the poorest countries in the world. I’d rather not think about it.

Rush Limbaugh is on his fourth marriage and has no children. Maybe he suffers from fertility envy and loses his cool at the thought of people trying not to have kids. Maybe there is a psychic wound, deeper than the pilonidal cyst that kept him from serving in the military that explains the bitter hostility he vents on women who do things like graduate from college and have opinions. He really seems frenzied about sex lately. And uninformed about contraception. As if a health measure taken by the vast majority of American women turns us into sex fiends.

Well, Rush, to that I say– your mother. Your mother, and grandmother too probably practiced some type of family planning. And I say also– your father. Dad knew there was a limit to how many mouths he could feed.

It’s actually a good thing if people don’t have more children than they can care for. Or like Rush, not have children at all if they don’t want to. I probably read too much 19th Century literature, where death in childbirth was common and orphans learned to love their father’s replacement wife, or not.

Safe, effective and a available birth control saves women’s lives and health. And increases freedom and choice. And makes women uppity, I guess. Which might be what really fuels the spite and resentment Rush Limbaugh unleashed on one young student who speaks for the majority of American women.

BAD WORDS: Media Matters has a timeline of Limbaugh’s verbal attacks on Sandra Fluke. It’s the kind of language that can make a person a target. Also, Rush sounds like a man consumed by resentment. He seems to think there is a party going on somewhere and he wasn’t invited.

EVEN DON IMUS: Thinks Limbaugh’s apology is ‘lame’.

OUR TAX DOLLARS: Is sponsoring Rush the best use? Not according to some female veterans who think American Forces Network could make better use of the airtime. How much is a government subsidy inflating this show’s numbers?

YES, THEY’RE AFRAID: On This Weekthe fear that Rush will rile the base…

[Conservative Commentator, George] Will was specifically not pleased with House Speaker John Boehner’s and presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s response to Limbaugh’s comments, telling the This Week panel that conservative leaders need to ‘police their own kind.’

“It was depressing because what it indicates is that Republicans leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh,” he said. “They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.”