RUSH: It was Monday and Tuesday that they were debating the Harkin Amendment on the floor of the US Senate, and the purpose of the Harkin Amendment was to set up an ombudsman for Armed Forces Radio that would oversee fairness and balance and so forth, and Harkin’s concern was that there was way too much of me and not enough liberalism on Armed Forces Radio, discounting that NPR was all liberal, and so in the process of conducting his debate, he took all these quotes of mine about Abu Ghraib out of context and we were having a lot of fun with that on Monday and Tuesday. So a guy called Tuesday afternoon. I forget what his name was. He had a brilliant idea. Randy in Dubuque, Iowa and he said, “Why don’t you put up an Adopt-a-Soldier program for your website?” Because what had happened, a bunch of soldiers had called in; we had calls from Germany and other places around the world from people saying, “Yeah, thank God for your website because we only get one hour of your show on Armed Forces Radio. I don’t know what all this talk is about how you dominate Armed Forces Radio. There’s one hour of you a day during the 24-hour busy broadcast day of Armed Forces Radio,” and there are a lot of military people who are subscribers to the website. I ran into them when I went to Afghanistan.
So this guy’s idea was, “Why don’t you have an Adopt-a-Soldier program?” and basically it was let people subscribe to the website for armed forces personnel around the world. It was a heck of a good idea — and ever since then, we have been deluged in the Rush 24/7 comments e-mail address with people who want to donate. I have people saying, “I’ll donate ten. I’ll do this.” It’s just going through the roof out there. So we started looking into this Tuesday night to find a way to see if this is possible, because, I mean, if you’re going to do this, you have to have a genuine, legitimate, verifiable database of armed forces personnel stationed overseas, and then you have to have a way of matching up those of you who want to adopt a soldier to those people, and the trickiest thing was going out and finding a legitimate database. That means working with people who know who is over there. But our people worked on this really fast and we have set it up. Now, here’s the way this is going to work. Full-time active duty service personnel stationed anywhere in the world are eligible as long as they can be reached with an APO, FPO address, or a street address that we can confirm as military. We will be very, very vigilant against people trying to scam this brilliant and great program. We have no doubt that many liberals who are expecting handouts their whole lives will try to glom onto this program and pass themselves off as military in order to get in the database so they can get free subscriptions to the website.
We’re going to be very, very diligent about this. Starting Monday, which is November the 14th, interested service personnel or their families on their behalf will be able to register for a donated subscription to Rush 24/7 and the Limbaugh Letter, we’re going to throw that in there too, by looking for the link from the home page of Rushlimbaugh.com. We are going to collect basic information from those people, including their branch, their rank, their base, their e-mail and mailing address, and when they complete that form, they’ll get a confirmation mail that their data has been accepted and they’ll be notified when they have been matched with a donor. This e-mail will contain a unique record number, so the first thing that has to happen here is that interested service personnel or their families on their behalf will have to register at RushLimbaugh.com for a donated subscription to the website and the newsletter, and there will be a link at RushLimbaugh.com starting Monday. It’s not up there now. It won’t be up there until Monday but there will be a link that will give you a form to fill out if you are the service person or if you are a family member wanting to register a service personnel member of your family. You complete that form, you get a confirmation mail from us that their data has been accepted, because we’re going to cross-reference it and make sure that all the data we get can be confirmed as military.
On the same day, starting Monday, November the 14th, donors of these — well, if you want to adopt a soldier, you the “adoptive parents,” if you will, will be able to find another link at RushLimbaugh.com that will let you donate as many one-year combo subscriptions as you would like at a price reduced by over 15% to 49.95. So that’s a 15% price reduction for the Adopt-a-Soldier program. It will be identical to placing a gift order, except they will not specify a recipient, and they’ll be asked if we can send along their e-mail address to the recipient of their gift. So you’re going to be cross-referenced. You will not be able to pick out your soldier. We’re going to do that for you. But you will know who your soldier is, and if you have a desire to share e-mail addresses, then we can arrange that. My staff is going to match donors to recipients. That will happen on a first-come, first-served order. That process will start on November 21st, because it’s going to take us a week to get all of the interested military personnel and their families registered, verified, so that we have a database to start with when it comes time to matching people who want to donate a combined subscription to a soldier. They will confirm that the recipient is a service person, enter them into the Palm Coast database and issue them with usernames and passwords.
They’ll be given everything they need on a complimentary basis, valid for one year. In every respect, these recipients of these donations will be identical to a combo subscriber in our overall system. It will be no different. My staff will send an e-mail to the recipient confirming the start of the subscription, and the e-mail address of the donor if the donor approves this — and then it will be up to the soldier, the recipient of the website and newsletter subscription, to get back to the donor and start a conversation. We’re going to be talking to press officers that are in all branches of the service to have them spread the word in their respective branches so that we get lots of potential recipients on this. Also doing it this way, so that any of you out there stationed anywhere, if you want to be in the Adopt-a-Soldier program and have people donate a subscription to you — and as I say, this was a caller generated idea. I wish I could say it was ours, but it was a caller generated idea, and the offshoot of it is that so many soldiers are calling her saying, “What is this about AFRTS getting all this Rush Limbaugh stuff? We get one hour a day,” and we had so many soldiers calling in saying, “Thank God for your website. We get all three hours. We can listen to it when we have time.” They run it at 8:00 at night, generally, the first hour of this program on the Armed Forces Radio Network. So this is the way we decided to do it, and it’s going to be great, and I’m just grateful as I can be to all of you who have written in, and it’s literally thousands of people who have written and offered to donate to the Adopt-a-Soldier program.
Now, one other thing. I’m going to be out all next week, but we’re going to go ahead and start the program anyway. I was given the option to delay this ’til I got back but I don’t want to delay it. You’ll be able to do all this on the website anyway. Our guest hosts next week will be reminding people of the details and chatting this up. But we need that week next week for service personnel or their families to start registering themselves so that we can do the cross-checking and verification, and get a database up there that we can then match donors to. So this program gets started, the matching and the turning on, the activation of these complementary subscriptions to the service personnel will start on Monday, the 21st, but the whole thing gets kicked off on Monday, the 14th. The service personnel and their families fill out a form, after they log on to let us verify who they are, and the donors, you who want to donate do the same thing, which there’s no form for you to fill out. Well, a little bitty one but you don’t have to be verified or anything. So we’re going to go ahead and start this, because it’s something that is of massive popular demand.
RUSH: Folks, I left a couple things out. Well, I didn’t leave two things out because I didn’t know about the second thing until the break, but I did leave one thing out. You know me. Look, I never ask people to do things I don’t do. When it comes to donating money to charities and so forth, I always donate too, because I’ve always been bugged by watching these telethons and watching these people (sniveling voice), “Won’t you give? Won’t you get off your sofa and stop stuffing your face for one second and give?”
I’m always sitting there saying, “What are you doing?”
“I am donating my time.”
I’ve never wanted that reaction. So I’m going to buy, personally — this is not going to be an accounting trick. I am actually going to have a number of these Adopt-a-Soldier subscriptions bought and paid for by me on my super-secret credit card — and I’m not going to tell you how many. Well, no, I’m not going to tell you how many but it’s going to be a significant number. I’m going to do it. I’m going to buy some too. I don’t want anybody to think that it’s all up to you, because it’s a great idea. Now, here’s the second thing that I learned during the break. We got an e-mail from a 24/7 subscriber who lives in Philadelphia. His name is Lawrence Hicks. He said, “Hey, Rush, count me on this but I think you ought to add one more feature to the program. As part of the Adopt-a-Soldier program, could you also send a thank you note on behalf of every soldier and every donor to Senator Tom Harkin? You see, without him, this idea would have never become available. If Harkin hadn’t ranted on and on and on, this idea from your caller would not have come up.” So, yeah, I think we can do that. We can make sure that thank you notes to Senator Harkin are sent on behalf of every soldier and donor, as part of the Adopt-a-Soldier program.
RUSH: I’ve got an idea for you liberals. Liberals are always out there saying you “support the troops.” Well, then adopt a soldier! Join the Adopt-a-Soldier program at RushLimbaugh.com if you’re a lib and you want to say you support the troops. This is a great way to prove it. We got an interesting note here. I’m glad I got this e-mail. It is from a gentleman in San Antonio. He says:
“Rush, there’s a potential snag that could adversely affect military recipients in the Adopt-a-Soldier program. Most military computer systems with a dot M-I-L address have multiple firewalls and security monitoring systems which block the Rush Limbaugh website. Deployed soldiers would need access to unrestricted public Internet, which is sometimes hard to come by in the field. I’m an Air Force pilot. I’ve been a listener since ’91. It’s been a chronic problem for me while flying worldwide. I carry a thumb drive. I’ve been downloading the MP3 podcast whenever I come across an unrestricted computer for later playback on my laptop. I’m usually unable to do it on an Air Force computer system.”
We even factored that into this. We know that. We know these firewalls exist and these security limitations. This is why we’re offering a combo subscription, and including the newsletter, the Limbaugh Letter, in this. So that if any soldier or Marine, airman, Navy personnel, sailor, has a hard time getting the website audio, they’ll still get the Limbaugh Letter. One of the reasons we’re offering podcasts every show is that the podcasts usually don’t encounter the same restrictions that streaming the audio on the website sometimes does. So the podcasts of each program — and they’re offered free to every subscriber and these people who are donated subscriptions in the Adopt-a-Soldier program will have the option of downloading the podcast right to your computer via our software, and in most cases these restrictions that restrict the availability of streaming audio, or even video for that matter, the Dittocam, will be overcome by the podcast delivery system. So we’ve thought of that, and we’re going to do our best to see to it that what is desired is received.