RUSH: This day would not be complete without a review of the doom-and-gloom news that you were greeted with if you turned on television today or if you read your local newspaper. First from Reuters: ‘Americans enter the holiday season in a dark mood, with economic worries, security fears and a lack of confidence in government fueling growing pessimism, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday. The Reuters/Zogby Index, which measures the mood of the country, fell for the third consecutive month, dropping from 96 in October to 94.9 on new growth in the number of Americans dissatisfied with the economy and pessimistic about the future. President George W. Bush rebounded slightly from last month’s record low, with the number of Americans who give him positive marks climbing to 28 percent from 24 percent. But Congress remained stuck with a dismal positive rating of 11 percent, tying its record low. ‘For the third straight month, Americans have a sense that things are not getting better, they are getting worse,’ pollster John Zogby said.’ And, of course, to the extent we’re going to believe this, we’ll chalk it up to the fact that the Democrats are in control of Congress.
‘Rising gasoline prices, a mortgage loan crisis and talk of a recession spooked the markets and hurt American confidence in the economy, he said, while concerns linger about a potential conflict with Iran, unrest in Pakistan and the Iraq war.’ Okay, so people are so blue, they’re so pessimistic, they’re so down on their futures, they are traveling in record numbers. Loans were given to people who could not pay for them. We have an adjustment going on in politically correct banking. It will pass. The economy is doing fabulous, folks. Do not listen to the Drive-Bys. And, trust me on this, I know America, and Americans are not concerned en masse about Iran, Iraq, Pakistan. It is not on their minds on a day-to-day basis. This is a conventional wisdom poll, and, of course, the questions are flavored by what’s on the pollsters’ minds. ”All that bad news has a cumulative effect. It feeds and festers,’ Zogby said. ‘The mood is driven by the economy, but Americans clearly don’t have much faith in their governmental institutions either.”
You know, folks, I don’t know how many of you heard about this before I told you about it. Hearing about it from me, of course, is healthy. Hearing about it from me, of course, is fine because we put it in proper perspective, we debunk it. But if you heard about this before I did, just turn off the television. Except for football this week, just turn it off. Don’t watch it. The Drive-Bys are not happy. Nobody on the Democrat side is happy. Clinton’s lost her lead in New Hampshire, well, she’s not lost her lead in New Hampshire, but she’s losing, she’s lost big. And, by the way, what did I tell you two, maybe three, weeks ago? I asked you to consider what happens if Huckabee wins Iowa. Was I prescient, ladies and gentlemen, or was I prescient? Huckabee has moved within the statistical margin of error on Romney in Iowa. This faith-in-government question, by the way, when did this whole concept of faith in government come about, as though it’s a religion? What is this faith in government? I know some people rely on government, you know, to protect us and this sort of thing, but, ‘How’s your faith in government?’ ‘Well, I don’t like it.’ Okay, Democrats are perceived as running it. If you watch television, you think they’re running the whole country, because they’re the only ones that are on television. You never see Republicans being asked to respond to this stuff.
Here’s the next story, this one from AP: ‘Julie Murray says life is good. Yet gasoline prices are crimping her grocery budget, she can’t afford a larger house, and she says President Bush is not focused enough on people’s problems at home. ‘My husband and I are happy,’ said Murray, 46, a homemaker from Montpelier, Miss. ‘We just wish we could buy more into the American dream.’ Like Murray, most in the U.S. say they are personally happy and feel in control of their lives and finances, according to an extensive Associated Press-Yahoo News survey on the mood of voters. Scrape beneath the surface, though, and a wellspring of personal and political discontent is bubbling.’ So Reuters and Zogby tell you that your mood sucks and now AP and Yahoo, on the same day, are telling you that your mood is pessimistic; you need Prozac, if you’re not already on it.
‘The AP-Yahoo News survey will track voters’ perspectives during the run-up to next year’s election, interviewing more than 2,000 people repeatedly about their lives and views about the country, candidates and issues. … People are paying attention to the 2008 presidential campaign. Solid majorities think their vote matters and say this wide-open presidential contest is more important than usual. Stirred in are warning signs for Republican candidates: Democrats seething after nearly seven years under President Bush are happier and more psyched up about this election than Republicans. More Democrats than Republicans say they are hopeful about the voting, 54 percent to 39 percent…’ Do you get this? The whole country is miserable, except Democrats are ecstatic, they’re happy, they can’t wait for the election. This is BS. The people who are the most deranged, the most unhappy, the most pessimistic by nature, are Democrats, liberals. So, anyway, two stories. By the way, the Zogby poll, ‘A majority of Americans still rate their personal finances as good, and two-thirds of Americans say they’re very proud of their country.’ That’s at the end of the Zogby story. Why is that not the lede? Because the lede is, Americans enter holiday in dark mood, but a majority — 55% — still rate their personal finances as good. Two-thirds — 66% — say they’re very proud of their country. Surprising they even put that in the story!
RUSH: Okay, back to the Doom-and-Gloom Stack. I have barely started. I’m just going to give you the headlines. “Fears, Recession Fears Spike Among US Voters — Poll.” “Parents Beware: Are Those Toys Safe? — Despite a record number of recalls this year, potentially dangerous toys remain on store shelves days before the start of the busy holiday shopping season, according to consumer groups who warned us of this Tuesday. Federal regulators under fire for lax enforcement urged shoppers to be vigilant.” They just think we are a bunch of babies, and these are the people that want to run health care — and they’ve let all of these little toys with lead and so forth into the country made by the ChiComs.
From the Washington Post today, “Thanksgiving travelers should brace for brutal trips in the air, on highways, and on the rails. Record numbers of Washingtonians expected to travel this week and a storm is threatening the Midwest today, transportation officials said.” “Energy costs may hurt holiday shopping. A new survey finds that higher prices for gifts and rising energy costs are expected to put a damper on the holiday shopping season. Some 35% of consumers said they planned to spend less than they did last year.” Usually people are thrilled when they save money! People are always looking for deals during the holiday season. Frankly, I’m thankful we spend money like crazy people even when the experts are worried. And the experts are always wrong about this economic stuff.
RUSH: Chris in Guilford, Maine, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush.
CALLER: This one’s going to seem like a bit of a stretch, but, you know, I think that you’re contributing to why they’re not approving us to drill in ANWR. That sounds backwards, right?
RUSH: You know, it’s Thanksgiving, and when you do Open Line Friday on Wednesday and you let rank amateurs run the content, anything is possible.
CALLER: That’s true. But as long as you keep saying that it’s not a problem and we have record number of travelers and everybody is driving anyway so the gas prices aren’t pertinent, as long as you keep saying that, why would they drill in ANWR off the coast of the United States? It’s like as long as we have environmentalists, why would the oil companies put refineries in America, why would they invest in us, right? Well, this is the same thing with you. As long as you keep saying that three something a gallon is not hurting people, which it is, then why would they think —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait a second. I did not say three dollars a gallon is not hurting people.
CALLER: Well, it’s implied; it seems like it’s implied.
RUSH: No, what I said is, they are spending it anyway. They are traveling —
CALLER: They have to.
RUSH: No, they don’t have to go anywhere on Thanksgiving, don’t have to go. People want to.
CALLER: Well, I think you have to. In a state like Maine, where I live, which is — I mean as backwards and left as it could be, you can’t survive up here without transportation. It’s just — it’s just a fact of life —
RUSH: Can’t survivor without transportation anywhere. I mean it’s —
RUSH: Wait a second, now. What do you want me to do, go all pessimistic and doom and gloom on you?
CALLER: No, but I mean, as long as — as long as it’s implied that, well, they’re going to — they’re doing it anyway, ha-ha-ha, it’s not going to hurt the economy, look at the economy, well, that’s — that’s — why would they bother — if it’s not perceived as a crisis, especially from us on the right, then why would they even consider doing something like that, in terms of drilling in Alaska or off the coast of the United States? Because they don’t — I mean even the right people on the right are acting like it’s not a crisis if we’re talking like it’s not a crisis. We should be talking like it is what it is, which is a crisis. Three dollars a gallon for gas and above for gas, is a crisis.
RUSH: The first two calls of this program have to do with gasoline prices and the hundred dollar oil benchmark now. Is there a spam thing going on out there, Snerdley? Let me clarify this, ladies and gentlemen. Let me clarify my position on this. As you know, I think life is to be enjoyed. And I think the opportunity to enjoy life and be productive in life, to accomplish your wildest dreams exists in this country, and every day there is an onslaught against that very concept in the media. The Democrat Party and their buds in the Drive-By Media are doing everything they can to convince as many Americans that this country’s best days are over. I’m watching CNBC right now. You know what — well, they weren’t — not talking about it now, but just minutes ago, they did a whole segment, they’ve been doing it all morning: ‘Recession: Are we there yet?’ They are trying to convince people that we’re, if not in a recession, then we’re headed there. And this is purposely done, it’s coming up on an election year, and of course the economy has not mattered at all for the last seven years. Now next year, in an election year, if they can push you into thinking we’re in a recession, and get you all agitated and full of pessimism, then they will do it because they think that will take you out to the polls for change, and change means getting rid of a Republican administration and putting in a Democrat administration. Now, I want to say more about this, too, but I have to take a brief time-out here. We’ll continue right after this.
RUSH: And we are back. Great to have you, ladies and gentlemen. Let me expand on this. By the way, can I ask you a quick question? Why all the worry out there about oil and gasoline? What are you people so worried about? We have wind. We have solar energy. Well, I know they may not work in the gas station, but I mean, isn’t this where the environmentalist wackos are trying to take us? I’m trying to make a point. Of course, it’s important. Oil is the fuel that drives this country and the freedom and democracy of the world, the engine that runs that runs on oil, and it always will. (interruption) What do you mean, you’re in a dark mood? I understand that the country is in a dark mood about the gas prices. I understand this. I’m going to try to address this. I was in the process of trying to address this when the official program observer stopped observing and started shouting at me on the IFB.
Now, this situation, as I said before the break — in fact, what’s happening here is a See, I Told You So. I told you some time ago, probably a month ago, or maybe even longer, that the 2008 presidential race would not have a thing to do with Iraq. Iraq will not be the subject, despite what the Democrat primaries have all been about, despite all the attention, it doesn’t matter if we’re winning or losing, Iraq is not going to be what we’re discussing, because the Democrats are eventually going to come around after they get their nominee and start making nice on national security. They’re going to start talking about things that will appeal to independent voters that will try to convince independent voters that the Democrats care about protecting them. That’s going to happen. That’s not going to be an issue. What’s going to be the issue is the future of the country, domestic politics and the economy.
Now, what is happening here, when I opened the show with all these doom-and-gloom stories, I admit, I should have gone into more detail about why I was doing it, rather than just read you the stories, but I make the mistake sometimes of assuming that those of you who are regular listeners understand points I have previously made. I don’t like re-chewing the fat and I don’t like being redundant, but sometimes it’s necessary. See, I believe, despite — and this has been true my whole life, I’m 56 years old and I have lived through recessions, so have you. I have lived through periods of time where the doom and gloom was real. I’ve lived through these energy crises. I’ve lived in gas lines, all these things, and I look at where we were then, I look where we are now, and I do that with any period in American history, and where we are now is better than anyplace we’ve ever been. Where we’re going to be tomorrow, and next year, and ten years from now, if we make the right decisions next year, this place is going to be a better country than it is today.
We’re going to go through all of these ups and downs, we always have, and we always will. It’s always been the resiliency and the entrepreneurism and the devotion, the dedication of the American people that propels this country. The people of this country — you — are what make it work, not government, which is why I laugh at these questions regarding faith in government. Government — Big Government — doesn’t work! The evidence is all over the place, just in the past year. But if you want to go back 60 years, you can see even more evidence of it. The idea that we’re going to turn over more of the private sector functions of this country to an inefficient, ineffective, bloated, Big Government, occupied by people who simply want to exercise power over us, that’s what scares me, far more than the gasoline price. Having people like Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama, or the Breck Girl, or any of those Democrats running this country with a Democrat-controlled Congress, that would put me into a spirit of doom and gloom.
A lot of people say, ‘You know, Rush, your show would really prosper when you’ve got those Democrats in the office, something to talk about every day.’ I love the country first. My success doesn’t depend on who wins elections, if I do the job right. So what are we faced with here? For the past two weeks, it literally has been unstoppable. It’s been nonstop. It has been doom-and-gloom after doom-and-gloom story. Now they’re talking about a ‘Recession: Are we there yet?’ They’re setting up the presidential election year, next year, for issues having nothing to do with Iraq. The last seven years the economy hasn’t mattered a hill of beans to the Drive-By Media, now all of a sudden, one year to go, and what are they doing? Trying to push a bad economy.
Now, the oil price, that’s a pain. Also the housing business is a pain. But these are market corrections that are going to be made, especially in the mortgage crisis here, the credit crunch. This is just simply some political correctness run amuck, lending money to people who had no business borrowing it. Let a bunch of liberals look at the downtrodden, ‘They can’t participate in the American dream. We must find ways to lift them up.’ Okay, just give people that are not qualified a loan, and they default, and guess what, you want to know whose fault this really is, you can blame it on the banks and all this sort of stuff, but who made ’em do this? Who pointed a gun and who put the pressure on them to do this, ‘to make life fair and equal in America, Mr. Limbaugh?’ Your United States Congress, meddling in the market. So, the market has gotta make a correction because somebody had no business getting involved in it — i.e., government. And so we got a pretty big correction going on. But, like I said, ten years ago, country is better off today than it was. You are, too. Twenty years ago, ditto. Thirty years ago, ditto.
Would you rather be alive today or the 1800s? I’m talking about economically. Would you rather be alive today, or would you like to go back to the 1950s and 1960s? I know some people have a romantic attachment to the innocence of those days, but you can’t anyway. The point I’m trying to make here is we live in the greatest country in the world, this is the Thanksgiving weekend, and there is a lot to be thankful for. Mark Steyn wrote a great piece this week. I’ll just paraphrase it. He thinks that the rest of the world ought to be giving thanks to the United States of America. I think the United States of America and its people ought to be giving thanks to capitalism, our way of life. The opportunities to do whatever we want are just as abundant, if not more so, than ever. The opportunities to realize our dreams, the opportunities to get educated, the opportunities to get your kids educated, every one of these things, if you look realistically and get beyond the media bubble every day and just assess your life, and even look at these idiot polls, these individuals, it’s a phenomenon, every one of these individuals in the poll, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m doing great, I am fine. But gosh, you know, I’m worried my neighbor, and I hear talk that there’s a recession coming, and I wish I had more money so I could buy more of the American dream.’ Well, there’s a way to get more money: work!
Well, see how that sounds insensitive? How do people do it? If you want more money and what you’re doing now doesn’t provide you what you want, then change to a field or an activity that will. This is the US; you can do that! Most people’s limitations in life are self-imposed, like the guy who called from Maine. ‘Well, you know, Rush, that hundred buck oil and gasoline, it’s a crisis out there, and you’re not helping because you’re not portraying it as a crisis. We live in Maine. Transportation’s vital.’ Okay, if things aren’t going well in Maine, move. Now, I don’t say that with a spirit of meanness. If you don’t like it, move. If there aren’t enough opportunities up there, move. If you don’t — self-imposed limitation. You can’t blame anybody else. The opportunity is out there. It’s always been out there.
Now, it doesn’t exist in equal amounts in every location, but people do well in every part of this country. It’s all up to you. What I’m trying to guard against here is joining this cacophony of pessimism because it doesn’t serve any aspect of what made the country great. You can get angry, and you can get prone and oriented toward action to try to take action or cause action to be taken that will have an effect on, say, the gasoline price or the oil price. But sitting around in a bad mood isn’t going to accomplish anything for anybody. Sitting around pessimistic is something you’re eventually going to have to abandon and go about your life.
So here we are at Thanksgiving, and we had a caller telling me I need to start portraying the oil stuff as a crisis. The theory being that if I join this fray portraying it as a crisis then people will then realize it’s a crisis and demand that we open up all of the oil reserves that we have in this country for drilling and so forth. The counter to that is, is that my eternal optimism counters people’s natural tendency, and correctly in this case, tendency to be pessimistic over the price of oil and gasoline, and so no crisis is created, and, therefore, no action will be taken. I reject the latter, because the anger is real. There’s a process by which the American people become informed and educated. This price, is like I told you the other day, the gap between rich and poor is a good thing. The fact that the gap keeps widening is a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. Remember the income statistics I presented to you just last week that the people in the lowest quintile of wage earners had the highest percentage increase in their wages in the last five years, 90%. The people in the top quintile, the wealthiest, had only a 10% increase in their wages.
So there is no gap that’s widening, but even if it were, it’s a good thing, and you know why? Because it means people have a place to aim for. If the gap was shrinking and the rich were getting poorer, then everybody should worry, but that’s the exact opposite of what’s happening. The rich are getting richer and so are the non-rich. Now, that’s positive. That means the opportunity is out there. It’s the same thing with the price of oil. Okay, a hundred bucks, maybe not enough to cause a real crisis, but anger. Let it go to 150 and see what happens. Let it maybe hit 200. Let gasoline hit four or five bucks a gallon, maybe all it would have to do hit $3.50 or $4 and then people will be conditioned to find out what the real solution to it is. The real solution is not what the left offers up, which is conservation, windmills, solar power and all that rot, nor is it hybrids. The solution is expanding energy supplies that we have and can tap if we could just get the left out of the way.
Eighty-five percent of our reserves here, we don’t tap. Meanwhile, the ChiComs are drilling with the Cubans in the Gulf. Brazil just found eight and a half billion barrels. Mexico just found a ten-billion-barrel field in the Gulf Coast. We can’t go there, because the federal government and some governors don’t want the oil derricks out there. ‘Well, what happens if there’s a spill, Mr. Limbaugh? Why, that would destroy the birds and the pelicans and the beasts.’ Well, at some point, something’s got to give here, and I’m optimistic that, at some point down the road, the people who are going to have it handed to them in the shorts are the environmentalist wackos. But these things happen in their own time. That’s why you have to constantly fight, stand up for what you believe in, and continue to be believing in your country as well as the opportunities that are provided here, especially this time of year. So it’s just not in me to go all pessimistic here, and it certainly isn’t in me to create a crisis out of something when I don’t think the time is right for it, plus these artificially created things don’t have legs. Gotta be genuine. We’re close, folks, to it being genuine as the price keeps going up, but what if it doesn’t?
Let me ask you, what if gasoline goes back to 90 bucks? What if it goes to 80? It’s also not up to me to define these issues for presidential and congressional hopefuls. They have to figure that out on their own. But this is all another See, I Told You So, my friends. Conservative leadership, conservative leaders, would make this oil and drilling gap an issue, just like immigration. They have to do it. They have to feel it. They can be persuaded en masse on some issues. But, look, even the immigration bill was stopped. You know they’re still trying to find a way to squeeze it in under the rug. San Francisco has now issued personal IDs to everybody without gender. That’s just the latest way. Governor Spitzer’s going to try something like this, too. Anyway, lots to do. I’m very long in this segment, but I didn’t want to interrupt this positive, upbeat message on Thanksgiving. Don’t go negative on me, folks.
RUSH: Thanksgiving Day show, or pre-Thanksgiving Day show, doing Open Line Friday on Wednesday, whatever you want to call and talk about, we will discuss.
I just got a note from a friend, after hearing my brilliant monologue, and the friend says, ‘I don’t think one can be optimistic without a happy disposition. I don’t think people are happy without the capacity for gratitude. So it makes sense to those who just expect things to be done for them or given to them, would move over time from gratitude to gripes, and then an increasingly negative view.’ Well, that makes sense. I realize not everybody can be optimistic. I realize not everybody has it in them. The natural disposition of the human being is to find the negative. We all do it. We all inflict suffering on ourselves. We tell ourselves stories about the future that are going to have a bad outcome, and we can’t possibly know, and then we sit around and we stew about it. ‘Oh, no, I just know this isn’t going to work, oh, no. I know I’m going to get caught, oh, no, I know that’s not going to work, oh, no, the price of oil I know is going to go to 150.’ You sit around and you suffer about all this. The point is, if you don’t have the ability to have gratitude and the way this is relevant to me is, we live in the greatest country on earth, and Thanksgiving is what it is, it’s like every holiday, it’s become commercialized.
I’m not trying to get syrupy here, but Thanksgiving means Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for in this country, particularly that we live here, particularly that as human beings on this planet, we live and make up and comprise the United States of America. The gratitude of that alone, if people could just harness that, then the root of optimism could be found there. Because if you have, as I do, a profound appreciation for what this country is and how rare and unique — remember, not long ago I asked you, you ever wondered why, throughout the history of human civilization, less than 300 million people, in less than 250 years, have created the world’s greatest empire? We’re all human beings on this planet, just like everybody else. Nothing special about us, in terms of the way we’re made. There’s nothing really special about where we live. It’s how we have organized ourselves and conducted ourselves. That question alone, and its answer, creates awe in me.
I have a vast appreciation for what this population of people since our founding has created, and therein lies a foundation of gratitude. When you have an appreciation and an understanding of what this country is and what’s possible here, well, then you have the ability to be optimistic about the future, if you think about it this way. But, if my friend’s right, if you take it for granted because you’ve either never thought about it, or because it’s never really been taught to you in the proper perspective, and, of course, these days there’s a lot of anti-Americanism being taught in the schools via the multicultural curriculum and so forth, if you expect that being an American simply means you’re entitled to low gasoline prices, if you think that being an American means you’re entitled to somebody taking care of your health, and then when things go wrong and you haven’t learned how to provide them for yourselves, you are going to get mad and think your country is going to hell in a handbasket because it’s not doing anything for you. Does New Orleans and Katrina strike a bell?