RUSH: In California, there is an old folks' home where controversy has erupted over a Christmas tree. The old folks, who live in the "happy home," love their tree. The people that own the happy home want to take the tree out because it's too religious. "Residents in a Newhall senior apartment complex are protesting an order from management to remove their beloved Christmas tree from the community room because, they were told, it's a religious symbol.
"On Tuesday, Tarzana-based JB Partners Group Inc. sent a memo to staff at The Willows senior apartment building demanding they take down Christmas trees and menorahs in communal areas. The company has owned The Willows for four years, but this is the first time it's given such a directive to staff." Now, there's no indication anywhere in the story that the happy home is a government institution, and I can't find anywhere in the story that anybody's complained.
Now, in Little Rock you had one malcontent -- sorry, one concerned parent -- who wanted to cancel a Charlie Brown Christmas play because that was too religious. But "On Wednesday, two dozen residents in the 75-resident complex gathered in the lobby to place a neon green sign that read: 'Please Save Our Tree,'" and there's a photo of the residents in the happy home here surrounding their tree.
It's a beautifully decorated tree with a big sign: "Please save our tree."
"'We're all angry. We want that tree,' said Fern Scheel, who has lived at the complex for nearly two years. 'Where's our freedom? This is ridiculous.'"
You can tell these are really old people, because they're talking about freedom. That's how you know that they're very old. Right, because they're talking about freedom. If you didn't have a picture of the residents at a happy home around their tree but then you heard that they were talking about this in the context of their "freedom," you would realize they have to be very old to be concerned about something like that.
I mean, to have that be a factor in this, you know you're dealing with people who are probably World War II-era vets. At any rate, "Resident Edna Johnson said Law had told her the tree had to be taken down because it's a religious symbol. 'We could put out Easter baskets, have turkey for Thanksgiving but no tree for Christmas because it has Christ's name in the beginning of Christmas,' Johnson said.
"Frances Schaeffer, who is Jewish, said she doesn't understand the property management company's stance. 'This tree is a symbol of reverence that we can all enjoy regardless of our religious beliefs,' she said." I can't find anywhere in here that anybody complained. Now, there are 75 residents of the happy home, and 24 are raising a ruckus over this. So it's probably the case that somebody did complain.
The odds are that one of the malcontent gummers -- uh, residents -- complained about it and is being protected by not being identified.
RUSH: From Reuters. "The US Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday released final rules for a new tax on medical devices, products ranging from surgical sutures to knee replacement implants, that starts next year as part of [Obamacare]. The 2.3% tax must be paid, effective after December 31, by device-makers on their gross sales.
"The tax is expected to raise $29 billion in government revenues through 2022. Companies including Boston Scientific Corp, 3M Co and Kimberly-Clark Corp have been lobbying the US Congress for a repeal of the tax," but that will not happen. "Many medical devices that are sold over-the-counter -- such eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids -- are exempt from the tax...
"The tax applies mostly to devices used and implanted by medical professionals," but it will encompass a lot of things that you have never thought of as a medical device. So earlier this week the IRS announced the rules for a 3.8% tax, and then there was the 1% income tax surcharge, and the 1.8% surcharge on capital gains for health care. Yeah, on your house.
I think it's capital gains. It's a surcharge on capital gain added to whatever the new capital gains rate is. The 1% (it's actually 0.9%) additional income tax rate, and now the 2.3% tax on medical devices, and there will be other IRS rules announced as we get closer to the end of the month, and thus the end of the year, as the Obamacare taxes continue to mount up. And we'll chronicle them all as they happen so that you know.
RUSH: Somebody just asked me if condoms are on the medical device list. I can't find 'em, and I'm kind of surprised at that. Somebody said, "Well, they're not on the list because they're disposable." So are thermometers now. So it can't be that condoms are disposable as to why they're not on the medical device list for new taxes. Look, a condom is deployed, and then it's implanted. I mean, that's one of the things that's said here, that taxes on medical devices which are implanted. A condom certainly is that. And then after that it's tossed. I don't know why it isn't on the list. And somebody said, "How does raising taxes on medical devices help?" I don't know how it helps, but that's the point.
See, all it does is further the notion that we haven't been taxed enough and that's why we're in the problem that we're in. The reason why health care costs are so high is that people haven't been taxed enough. That's really what all this is about.
RUSH: A Breitbart story: "Most Americans like to think of themselves as patriots, advocates for American values. But according to a new study, the very definition of 'American values' has changed dramatically thanks to President Obama’s leftist administration. According to the Pew Research Center, just 49% of Americans say 'our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior.'"
We are losing the population that believes in the greatness of this country.
RUSH: Here's the full Breitbart.com story: "Most Americans like to think of themselves as patriots, advocates for American values. But according to a new study, the very definition of 'American values' has changed dramatically thanks to President Obama’s leftist administration. According to the Pew Research Center, just 49% --" that's a minority "-- of Americans say 'our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior.'"
In 2002, 60% of Americans said our people aren't perfect, but our culture is superior. Now it's 49%. And I will acknowledge that there could be a number of people who think our culture is rot, and that is why they are saying that their culture is not superior anymore. And you would be hard-pressed to disagree with them. But it is nevertheless problematic, "considering that our culture is superior to other cultures," and all you have to do to prove that is "just ask the millions trying to get here out of hellholes like Afghanistan," or wherever else around the world that they live.
But this next number is quite telling. "Thirty-six of Americans say 'Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control.' And 58% of Americans said that it’s more important that all people be free to pursue their dreams than that the government guarantee nobody is in need." Let me read that again. "Fifty-eight percent of Americans said that it’s more important that all people be free to pursue their dreams than that the government guarantee nobody is in need."
Anyway, 36%, just over a third of the country, think success is not anything that has to do with them. So much for individualism.
RUSH: Dana Milbank is really, really mad at Mitt Romney. Did you know this? Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. Apparently, ladies and gentlemen, Mitt Romney has announced that he is rejoining the board of directors at Marriott. In his statement, Romney said, "It is an honor to once again be able to serve in the company of leaders like Bill Marriott."
Dana Milbank is livid.
The country's in a crisis, political leaders are in a standoff, and Romney is joining his buddy's corporate board! He ought to be helping the poor. He ought to be giving some of his money away. He ought to be donating to charity. He ought to be concerned about the unemployed. How dare he go back into the private sector where he might help some capitalistic monolith become more profitable?
Hasn't he learned anything by what happened to him?
Doesn't Romney realize what he has to do?
He ran for president and his ideas lost. What Romney has to do now is essentially give himself away. He has to pay for what he did! He has to pay for the advantages that he had in his life. See, Romney ran for office, but he had nothing personal at stake if he lost. It wasn't any big deal. He didn't lose anything by losing. Now he's going back to the board of Marriott and he'll probably be in a couple other companies. Dana Milbank is really angry about this in this piece.
I am not kidding you.
They think Romney still owes them.
RUSH: That's right. That's right. Dana Milbank believes that Mitt Romney is shirking his duty by going back to work in the private sector. Milbank is furious that instead of becoming a minor Santa Claus, Romney has gone back to work and is shirking his duty. Here is one of the things he writes. Milbank says, "Yet rather than stepping forward to help find a way out of the fiscal standoff..." What?
What does Milbank think that Romney been doing for the past two years?
Romney put forth ways to get out of the fiscal standoff, to fix the mess. He was rejected 'cause he hates dogs, and lets guys' wives die, and is a felon, and he has money in the Caymans, and has a female wife, and he's got five kids -- all boys. (That tells you something about his genes.) I mean, he's an abject American. What's he got to offer, anyway, Milbank? What in the world do you want out of Romney? He's despicable!
He allowed some guy's wife to die.
He kills dogs and hates dogs.
He's a felon.
He has money in the Caymans.
What value is Mitt Romney to you guys, anyway?
RUSH: Did you guys hear about the Twitter debate Piers Morgan had with a woman, Carol Roth, after the Jovan Belcher murder/suicide? Pierce Morgan, a Brit, by the way, lecturing us about our Constitution. I love Brits lecturing us about our Constitution, particularly the Second Amendment. So he's going on and on and on about it and we gotta get rid of the Second Amendment. It was written for muskets and, you know, one shot ball bearing pistols and stuff. It wasn't meant for any of these weapons we have now. And the woman wrote back and said, "No, the Second Amendment was written so that people would be able to protect themselves essentially against whatever danger or threat they faced."
And Pierce Morgan said, "Where does it say that in the Constitution?"
She says, "Yeah, it's right there next to muskets."
It was great. (laughing) It was right next to muskets.
RUSH: The UK Daily Mail headline: "Women Spend More Time Ogling Other Women Than Men Do." I have always known this. And now it has been scientifically proven, and I will carry this over 'til tomorrow on Open Line Friday, which will be here in 21 hours. See you then. Thanks for being with us today.