Stop the presses! For once, John Boehner speaks the truth!

The first thing you need to know here is that right-wing talk radio has a finite audience. There are only so many beady-eyed weirdos available to listen to that crap. Consequently, the competition among wingnut blabbers on radio is intense. Each of them feels pressured to raise the ante almost every day. They know that the most outrageous broadcasters are the ones who will draw the biggest audiences. This inescapable of life has finally occurred to Republican House Speaker John Boehner, as we see HERE: Boehner appeared on The Golf Channel with David Feherty last night and lamented how things are so partisan these days, he can’t even play a game of golf with President Obama without people getting so worked up. “20 years ago, when we won the first Republican majority in 40 years, there was one radio talk show host nobody had ever heard of,” he said. “There was one cable news channel that just did news. And you look at today, you’ve got hundreds of radio talk show hosts all trying to outdo themselves by going further right and further right.” That one unnamed talk show host he mentioned is, of course, Rush Limbaugh, and Limbaugh responded on his radio show today. He mockingly declared, “We have just learned that I, your host, am the reason the Republican House feels trapped and unable to do what they would really like to do.”...

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The return of the polar vortex likely means we’re in for more nonsense from Rush Limbaugh

Weather forecasters are warning that America’s heartland is in for an unusually cold snap next week as the dreaded polar vortex makes another unwelcome visit. Ordinarily, the polar vortex is confined to the Arctic, but it occasionally leaks southward and brings especially nippy weather to portions of the United States. This has been happening with greater frequency over the past 15 years, and you might recall that it happened with a vengeance last winter. You might also recall that radio blabber and notorious climate-change denier Rush Limbaugh peddled loads of misinformation about the polar vortex last winter. Here’s one of Limbaugh’s rants on the matter: We are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country. And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex. Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week. See, normally the polar vortex stays up there in the polar region, but something is causing it to dip down like it’s never happened before. We’ve never had arctic air blasts before. And remember, now, the key to all this is you have to understand one of the fundamental concepts of man-made global warming is ice melting at the poles. One of the ways they have always sought to convince you that the world is warming is not the climate where you live, but rather where you aren’t, where you can’t see what is really happening. So they tell you the ice is melting at the North Pole and the South Pole. And then they publish pictures, which are fraudulent pictures, of poor little polar bears stranded on three square feet of ice that you are told used to be the North Pole. … Well, obviously there is no melting of ice going on at the North Pole. If they’re gonna tell us the polar vortex is responsible for this cold, that means record cold is also happening in the North Pole, which means there isn’t any ice melting. Let’s itemize a few of the ways in which Limbaugh has been shown to be wrong about all of this: 1. The term “polar vortex” is nothing new. It wasn’t coined just last winter. In scientific literature, it goes back more than 60 years. 2. A polar vortex here in the United States does not mean that “record cold also is happening at the North Pole” and does not mean that “there isn’t any ice melting.” The North Pole is not experiencing record cold. 3. Arctic sea ice is, in fact, melting — no matter Limbaugh’s claim to the contrary.   In fact, it’s currently at one of its lowest levels in more than 1,000 years, according to a recent report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Climate-change deniers like Limbaugh seem not to understand that occurrences like the polar vortex do not disprove mainstream scientific theories on man-made global warming. It’s all too counter-intuitive for them to grasp. To them, the weather they see outside their kitchen windows is all...

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Once again, Limbaugh is proven wrong — not that it will matter to his gullible listeners

Radio blabber Rush Limbaugh, political guru to angry geezers across the land, said this the other day: We are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country. And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex. Do you know what the polar vortex is? Have you ever heard of it? Well, they just created it for this week. See, normally the polar vortex stays up there in the polar region, but something is causing it to dip down like it’s never happened before. We’ve never had arctic air blasts before. And remember, now, the key to all this is you have to understand one of the fundamental concepts of man-made global warming is ice melting at the poles. One of the ways they have always sought to convince you that the world is warming is not the climate where you live, but rather where you aren’t, where you can’t see what is really happening. So they tell you the ice is melting at the North Pole and the South Pole. And then they publish pictures, which are fraudulent pictures, of poor little polar bears stranded on three square feet of ice that you are told used to be the North Pole. … Well, obviously there is no melting of ice going on at the North Pole. If they’re gonna tell us the polar vortex is responsible for this cold, that means record cold is also happening in the North Pole, which means there isn’t any ice melting. Let’s itemize a few of the ways in which Limbaugh has been shown to be wrong about all of this: 1. The term “polar vortex” is nothing new. It wasn’t coined in just the past week. The image above shows that it goes back more than 50 years. 2. A polar vortex here in the United States does not mean that “record cold also is happening at the North Pole” and does not mean that “there isn’t any ice melting.” The North Pole is not experiencing record cold. 3. The truth is that Arctic sea ice is near a record low for this time of year. There is more about all of this HERE and...

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Add the papacy to the list of things about which Rush Limbaugh is ignorant

As I noted HERE the other day, right-wing radio blabber Rush Limbaugh has taken issue with some of the things Pope Francis has been saying lately. And now, political and social commentator Andrew Sullivan, a practicing Catholic, SAYS Limbaugh is mistaken in arguing that Francis’s warnings about unfettered capitalism “would have been unthinkable for a pope to believe or say just a few years ago.” Limbaugh specifically invokes the great anti-Communist Pope, John Paul II, as an alleged contrast with this leftist gobbledegook. So let us look at John Paul II’s discussion of capitalism and communism in his 1987 Encyclical, “Sollicitudo Ri Socialis”: The tension between East and West is an opposition … between two concepts of the development of individuals and peoples, both concepts being imperfect and in need of radical correction … This is one of the reasons why the Church’s social doctrine adopts a critical attitude towards both liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism. My italics. The church has long opposed market capitalism as the core measure of human well-being. Aquinas even taught that interest-bearing loans were inherently unjust in the most influential theological document in church history. The fundamental reason is that market capitalism measures human life by a materialist rubric. And Jesus radically taught us to give up all our possessions, to renounce everything except our “daily bread”, to spend our lives serving the poverty-stricken takers rather than aspiring to be the wealthy and powerful makers. He told the Mark Zuckerberg of his day to give everything away to the poor, if he really wanted to be happy. Limbaugh has obviously never read the Gospels. He has never read the parables. His ideology is so extreme it even trashes, because it does not begin to understand, the core principles of capitalism, as laid out by Adam Smith. Market capitalism is and always has been a regulated construction of government, not some kind of state of nature without it. Indeed without proper regulation to maintain a proper and fair and transparent market, it is doomed to terrible corruption, inefficiency, injustice, and abuse. But let us return to Limbaugh’s hero, John Paul II, this time in “Centesimus Annus,” written in the wake of Soviet Communism’s demise: The Marxist solution has failed, but the realities of marginalization and exploitation remain in the world, especially the Third World, as does the reality of human alienation, especially in the more advanced countries. Against these phenomena the Church strongly raises her voice. Vast multitudes are still living in conditions of great material and moral poverty. The collapse of the Communist system in so many countries certainly removes an obstacle to facing these problems in an appropriate and realistic way, but it is not enough to bring about their solution. Indeed, there is a risk that a radical capitalistic ideology could spread which refuses even to consider these problems, in the a priori belief that any attempt to solve them is doomed to failure and which blindly entrusts their solution to the free development of market forces. My italics again. Could anyone have offered a more potent critique of current Republican ideology than John Paul II? Could anything better illustrate John Paul II’s critique of radical capitalist ideology than the GOP’s refusal to be concerned in any way about a fundamental question...

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Limbaugh says the pope is peddling Marxism

Why am I not surprised that Rush Limbaugh is taken aback by some of the things Pope Francis has been saying lately? Here’s an excerpt from Limbaugh’s radio show of a few days ago: I mentioned, last night — I was doing show prep last night — usual routine. And I ran across this — I don’t actually know what it’s called — the latest papal offering, statement from Pope Francis. Now, up until this — I’m not Catholic. Up until this, I have to tell you, I was admiring the man. I thought he was going a little overboard on the “common man” touch, and I thought there might have been a little bit of PR involved there. But nevertheless, I was willing to cut him some slack. I mean, if he wants to portray himself as still from the streets of where he came from and is not anything special, not aristocratic, if he wants to eschew the physical trappings of the Vatican — OK, cool, fine. But this that I came across last night — I mean, it totally befuddled me. If it weren’t for capitalism, I don’t know where the Catholic Church would be. Now, as I mentioned before, I’m not Catholic. I admire it profoundly, and I’ve been tempted a number of times to delve deeper into it. But the pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism here, and this is pure political. Now, I want to share with you some of this stuff. “Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as ‘a new tyranny.’ He beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church. In it, Pope Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the ‘idolatry of money.’ “ I’ve gotta be very caref– I have been numerous times to the Vatican. It wouldn’t exist without tons of money. But, regardless, what this is — somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. There’s no such — “unfettered capitalism”? (NOTE: Text of Limbaugh transcript courtesy of Media Matters for America.)  ...

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