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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Limbaugh Lies on Goldman Sachs

When the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a civil suit against Goldman Sachs, Rush Limbaugh saw a conspiracy: "this whole thing was organized, with Goldman probably involved in it." He claimed it was all agreed to "in exchange for being in bed with the Obama administration." According to Limbaugh, "There aren't any coincidences in politics."

Limbaugh has spewed a lot of insane conspiracy theories, but this one is over the top even for him. Limbaugh actually believes that Goldman Sachs wanted to be sued by the SEC to help make Obama look good. There's no evidence that Obama had any influence on the SEC decision, and there's certainly no evidence that Goldman Sachs persuaded the SEC to go after them.

Today, Limbaugh declared about Goldman Sachs that "Republicans don't get any donations from these guys." Oh really? According to OpenSecrets.org, in the 2010 cycle so far, Democrats received $332,375 in donations from Goldman Sachs employees, while Republicans received $190,200.

That means Democrats received 63.6% of the Goldman Sachs donations. Democrats hold 303 out of 521 positions in the House and the Senate, or 58.2%. This is a marginal difference. In fact, based on geography (most Goldman Sachs workers are in the overwhelmingly Democratic area of New York City), the Goldman Sachs donations are probably unusually pro-Republican compared to fellow New Yorkers.

One example of this is Republican Congressman (and candidate for the US Senate) Mark Kirk of Illinois, who ranked 3rd in the House (behind two New York Democrats) in Goldman Sachs donations. Kirk announced that he would return his donations. And the top Senate recipient of Goldman Sachs money? Alabama Republican Richard Shelby.

Yes, the majority of money from Goldman Sachs workers has gone to Democrats. And the influence of the financial elite on American politics is a bipartisan problem to worry about. But at this moment, the differences between the two parties are clear: the Democratic Administration is going after these financial crooks, and proposing substantial financial reforms. And the Republican opposition is resisting all regulation of Wall Street. All of the faux-populism in the world can't change these basic facts.

Crossposted at DailyKos.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Limbaugh Lies, Smears DailyKos

On today’s show, Rush Limbaugh was in top form, declaring that he had never compared Barack Obama to Hitler. In fact, Limbaugh said that DailyKos “or whatever it’s called” was guilty of this. According to Limbaugh, “They call everybody on the right Nazis over there.”

That’s absolutely untrue. In fact, I'd bet that Rush Limbaugh has compared liberals to Nazis more often than any individual on DailyKos has compared conservatives to Nazis. After all, Limbaugh is the man who invented the term "feminazi."

Take a look at the diaries tagged Nazi or Nazis and you’ll find it’s not used very often on DailyKos, and typically refers to the conservatives who bizarrely accuse Obama and Democrats of being Nazis. In the rare cases where someone compares a conservative to a Nazi (such as “MICHELLE MALKIN IS A NAZI” the diary is mostly ignored apart from some comments objecting to the term.

Of course, DailyKos is a very open site where anybody can call anybody else almost anything. By contrast, Rush Limbaugh’s own words compare Obama to Hitler on a regular basis even while he denies the fact.

Let’s look at the record.

Limbaugh claimed, “the Obama health care logo is damn close to a Nazi swastika logo” and “Obama's got a health care logo that's right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook.” Limbaugh proclaimed, “It is liberalism that's the closest you can get to Nazism.” Limbaugh claimed that Obama is “sending out his brownshirts to head up opposition to genuine American citizens” and said that "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate."

Limbaugh called one of his callers “crazy” for objecting to the comparisons of Obama to Hitler. Limbaugh said, “Why can we not use Hitler, who was the architect of National Socialism in Germany?” Limbaugh said, “when you're dealing with a guy like Obama and the Democrat party, who are going to impose Nazi-like socialism policies on this country, you've got to say it!” He claimed, “Look who is acting Nazi-like anyway? Who is it that's sending out thugs to beat people up at these meetings?...It's the Obama White House.”

But you don’t need to trust me. Listen to all of the conservatives who have said that Limbaugh compared Obama to Hitler and Nazis. The Anti-Defamation League, certainly not part of the liberal establishment, issued a statement about Limbaugh from national director Abraham Foxman: “Regardless of the political differences and the substantive differences in the debate over health care, the use of Nazi symbolism is outrageous, offensive and inappropriate. Americans should be able to disagree on the issues without coloring it with Nazi imagery and comparisons to Hitler. This is not where the debate should be at all....It’s off-center, off-issue and completely inappropriate.”

The National Review's Cliff May noted, “It is wrong, outrageous and damaging for Rush Limbaugh to compare Obama to Hitler.” Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called Limbaugh's comments "shameful," "beyond the pale," and "unworthy of Americans."

It takes some chutzpah for the man who compares Obama to Nazis to falsely accuse DailyKos of constantly comparing all conservatives to Nazis.

Crossposted at DailyKos.