RUSH: Barry in Henderson, Kentucky, welcome to the EIB Network, sir, hello.
CALLER: Oh, my gosh. It is so good to have you back. I tell you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: That Zicam is working overtime to get you back and the captain’s on deck. Rush, self-respect, man, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This sitcom thing is just killing me that you’re doing today. I’m 53 years old today, spent 27 years retailing cars, and owned two dealerships in that time, and buddy, I gotta tell you that the United States government is the natural adversary for an auto dealer and for the manufacturers. And for a dealer, federal, state, and local governments are your natural enemy. It’s just the way it is.
RUSH: That’s the best damn way of putting this I have heard yet.
CALLER: Well, thank you, and —
RUSH: They are a natural enemy. It’s not enough to say an obstacle.
RUSH: They are —
CALLER: Natural enemy.
RUSH: — you are exactly right.
CALLER: Thank you. You know, and watching this morning —
RUSH: Now, tell people why ’cause you’re in the business. You gotta give people some reasons ’cause they think that you are the biggest obstacle, the enemy they have to getting the car they want.
CALLER: They also think when they write me a $30,000 check it all goes in the bank as profit, Rush, so that’s hard to rationalize —
RUSH: Well, you gotta cut ’em some slack. It’s the public school system.
CALLER: True. You’re right. Let’s take it from the national level first. I mean CAFE standards alone will explain why they’re the manufacturers natural adversary. But I’ll give you an example, our local government once passed a new sign ordinance that outlawed helium balloons, and that was one of the ways we got motorists’ attention when they drive by our car store, you know, helium balloons, they’re happy, they are fun-loving, they’re lighthearted. But, they became illegal and I became a criminal. But, you know, Rush —
RUSH: Wait a second. Wait a second, now. Why did they ban them?
CALLER: Well, they banned flashing signs because it was unsafe for motorists driving by who would look at our inventory.
RUSH: No, that’s not why. That’s not why.
CALLER: All right, tell me please. Educate me, sir.
RUSH: I’m going to tell you exactly why it happened.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: And if you’ve been a longtime listener of this program, you’ll remember.
CALLER: I have. I have, sir.
RUSH: The problem with the helium balloon is it escapes.
RUSH: Eventually the helium gets out of there and the balloon drifts back down to Mother Earth.
CALLER: Oh, that’s right! That’s right.
RUSH: Remember the turtles and the sea life were choking on the damn things, on the balloons that had been filled with helium?
CALLER: Okay, but Rush, I gotta get to my point or Snerdley’s going to kill me and it’s my birthday and I don’t want to die. Rush, watching those executives this morning, when you talk about self-respect, it’s just gone. I mean car dealers are cowboys. They’re the last John Wayne American. I mean those guys, they’re in the most competitive — I’m out now, but I did it for a number of years. They are in a highly competitive business. Fellow dealers will cut your throat for a dime. It’s just tough, and those guys have to learn to be tough, and here those four guys are, those executives sitting up there in front of these absolute unbelievable hypocritical Democrat senators, man and woman, gentleladies, I should say, having to answer the question in the way they want it to be told. And I’m sitting there listening to these questions thinking, okay, give ’em the true answer to why you’re not focused on electric and hybrids, give ’em the real answer. They can’t. They have to lay down and just go, ‘We need this,’ and if we’re fortunate enough… So Rush, all I gotta say is they must be out of options with all lenders, because any banker, that’s not always the easiest relationship for a businessperson, but any banker would be easier than the US Senate. I mean those guys are just so hypocritical —
RUSH: See, here’s the thing. Let me ask you, I will bet you that there isn’t a banker in the world that would give these guys the money with the plans they’ve put together asking for it.
CALLER: I totally agree.
RUSH: Now, what is the truth? See, you keep tantalizing us here. What is the truth about why they got making hybrids in great numbers and electric cars in great numbers, as you said, what is it that they will not say to these brilliant Little Lord Fauntleroys on these committees?
CALLER: Oh, gosh, you are so good. You know the answer before I give it. Those guys have been building products that ring the cash register, and that is trucks, sport utility vehicles —
CALLER: — the things you and I and about 65 to 70% of Americans want to drive, whether fuel is four dollars a gallon or a dollar a gallon, doesn’t make any difference, this is what we want to pull our boats, this is what we need to haul our families. And I tell you, they’ve been ringing the cash register, and who can blame them?
RUSH: You know, you’re exactly right. Try this. I think we’re talking Malibu, I’m not sure. Ford, Chevy, I’m not sure which here, but there’s a hybrid version of this car and a standard version of the car. The hybrid version of the car costs $9,000 more than the non-hybrid version.
CALLER: And that’s only part of the real cost. Go ahead.
RUSH: But the gas mileage the hybrid gets is not that much greater than the conventional version of the car, which costs $9,000 less, so if you amortize how much you’d have to drive the damn hybrid to save all the gasoline that the limited —
CALLER: It will never pay out, Rush. It will never pay out.
RUSH: No, I know, because by that time you gotta get a new battery in it.
CALLER: And that’s ten grand or eight or seven or six or something. Your car is totaled at a hundred thousand miles.
RUSH: So what we’ve learned is that these hybrids, what do you call ’em, I’m having a mental block because of the ravages of the virus that’s pouring through every cell —
CALLER: Yeah, but you’re doing good, you’re back in the saddle, sir.
RUSH: Well, but it’s vanity, it’s a vanity buy.
RUSH: These hybrids, they either say hybrid in 15-inch letters or they look like Jetson cars.
RUSH: In either case, it’s like putting on a red ribbon or a blue ribbon for something, ‘I care more than you do.’ That’s why when I see one of these things, you can tell by looking at the driver, it’s one of these vanity purchases. You can tell it’s sniveling little pencil-necked liberals. I got my 12 cinder hog and I get as close to them as I can and when I get a chance I just floor it, I dart by ’em and I hope they choke on my fumes in their little hybrid that’s not making one damn bit of difference to the climate.
RUSH: You know, our last caller who said that auto dealers, the retail auto dealers are the last American John Waynes, the last cowboys, I don’t know about that, but they are cowboys. They are renegades. I know a lot of them. I don’t know them all, of course, but they’re a certain breed of cat, and every business counts every penny. But these guys, he was exactly right about who they are, and they know their business inside out, and they love, they just love having the customer think that the customer is screwing the dealer. At the end of the day, the more customers they can make think, ‘Boy, did I screw this guy, this salesman didn’t even know what he was doing,’ they’re happy.
I’ll tell you who else, you’ll never meet these guys, but these people that fly cargo aircraft, I don’t mean FedEx and UPS, because they have corporate rules, but you’ve got some independent, like Flying Tiger was an outfit, you’ve got some independent cargo jockeys, they don’t care, 24 inches of snow in ten hours in New York, they’ll land. You give them a runway, and they will land, they will get the cargo. They are fearless. And since they’re not carrying people, the regulations that they have to go by are a lot less stringent. They still have airport minimums and so forth that they have to deal with on visibility and that kind of thing, but they’ll go places that people carrying people will not go, understandably so. But there’s some things here just uniquely American. And, sadly, none of it is on our television anymore, none of it’s on TV anymore. What’s on TV in this country is the politically correct sissies and wusses who have taken over things.
This would be a good time, ladies and gentlemen, to go back to the audio sound bites here. Debbie Stabenow, isn’t she the one whose husband was — well, let’s say he wasn’t Funkhouser. He was doing a lot more behind her back than zipping her up. Isn’t she the one? I think so. Google it. Shouldn’t take you long. Do that before you kill another caller. Ahem. That’s right, he was in a prostitution sting, and he was able to get away with it because his name is not Stabenow. It was in Beaver, Michigan. That’s where he got caught — Big Beaver, got caught — that’s right. Well, you have to specify Beaver from Big Beaver, ’cause there’s two of them. I can’t laugh or I’ll cough out there. Here’s Senator Stabenow on the Today Show today with David Gregory, who, by the way, David Gregory — (laughing) I can’t laugh, I can’t laugh. This is why I’m sad today. I want to laugh and can’t laugh. Gregory, it was leaked.
Did you hear about this? Earlier in the week, it was leaked that he’s the new host of Meet the Press. And then NBC came out and said no, no, no, no, no, no. They were going to announce it Sunday as anchor emeritus Tom Brokaw, who’s still researching just who Obama is, Brokaw was going to announce it and apparently the decision had not been made. Apparently there was a leak, and the leak, they think, came from Chuck Todd, who is the NBC political director, who wants the gig. So NBC, whatever the plan is, I don’t know who the new host of Meet the Depressed is. I don’t know who it’s going to be. But Todd apparently wanted it, the story is, I don’t know if it’s true, but Todd leaked it. That’s what they say. So NBC, which thrives on leaks, is now done in by one from inside its own shop. Anyway, sorry for the diversion. David Gregory was talking to Debbie Stabenow, whose, in case you’ve forgotten, husband was caught in a prostitution sting in Big Beaver, Michigan. Question: ‘Isn’t there a way to pursue bankruptcy for these auto companies? A lot of people have said that. Why not do that?’
STABENOW: Everyone agrees to an overseer and restructuring, but bankruptcy in the auto industry just doesn’t work. First of all, people aren’t going to buy automobiles from a company in bankruptcy. Secondly, the taxpayers will be hit with over 700,000 pensions that suddenly become our responsibility. We’re told that one bankruptcy could cost the taxpayers over $150 billion. It’s mind-boggling to me, when we look at what’s at stake here, going from recession to possibly a depression. Wall Street was helped, but when Main Street’s involved, middle class jobs are involved, all of a sudden there’s a problem.
RUSH: Yeah, when she finishes I’ll do that.
STABENOW: I don’t understand that.
RUSH: You know, folks, there’s something that we have to fix here right away, and that is this notion that nobody will buy a car from a bankrupt company. That’s just BS. That is absolute BS. They don’t go out of business, nothing gets shut down, business keeps going. In fact, they might even up their sales for a minute because it would be more of an indication that something is serious is going to happen — most people oppose the bailout. I mean, a tremendous number of people oppose the bailout. How’s that going to affect them in terms of public relations? The airlines filed bankruptcy. You are probably flying on a bankrupt airline right now, or a bankrupt airplane, depending on the moral condition of the pilot. Folks, seriously, you have flown on airplanes that are in bankruptcy proceedings. I think most of these are over. The airlines, they merged, they reorganized, and they lived another day under reorganization.
They’re unions had to make some concessions and so forth. So this is all part of this PR blitz. And, by the way, Debbie Stabenow is from Michigan. I have a correction. Her husband was nabbed in a prostitution sting not in Big Beaver, Michigan, but on Big Beaver Road, Big Beaver Road in Michigan. There’s probably a Little Beaver Road and there’s probably a Beaver Road, and maybe many Beaver Roads, Michigan’s a big state. Just figure a town, many towns, a lot of beaver streets and roads and so forth, and that’s why you differentiate between the Big Beaver and the Little Beaver. So anyway, she’s begging for the bailout here because this is her state. So Gregory said, ‘Well, for those who care about this on the other side of the aisle, the question is whether President-elect Obama must be more assertive now if something is going to get done before the end of the year. Senator Stabenow, take that question.’
STABENOW: Well, first of all, I’m very proud that the incoming president understands we need a twenty-first century manufacturing commitment, a strategy for our country. I’m confident he’s going to do that.
STABENOW: He is not yet our president.
STABENOW: The current president has the authority, right now, today, to solve this. We don’t have to be here. We don’t have to bring the Congress back in session, if the president of the United States would finally step up and fight for America’s jobs.
RUSH: Well, she better get together with Barney Frank because Barney Frank got all upset, let’s see, play number one. Barney Frank yesterday at a consumer advocates event got mad that Obama’s not assertive enough and he needs to step up to the plate.
FRANK: Here’s the problem. Secretary of the Treasury is waiting to hear from the Obama people, and the Obama people are waiting, and again, I’m a great fan of the president-elect but I think it’s probably a case that he’s going to have to be more assertive than he’s been. And I know what he says is, ‘Well, we only have one president at a time.’ My problem is, at a time of great crisis, with mortgage foreclosures and autos, he says we only have one president at a time. I am afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have (laughter) at the present time. And I think we have got to — I think we have got to — he — he’s — he’s got to remedy that situation some.
RUSH: They laugh at George Bush now, but they’re not going to be laughing for very long. You wait. But nevertheless, I’m just playing the bite again because there’s Barney Frank saying Obama’s gotta step up, Bush can’t do anything, Bush isn’t doing anything. Stabenow says Bush could solve this right now. What could Bush do? Could he go tell Paulson, ‘Okay, I want you to take money out of there and give it to the auto company’? Bush made a statement this morning before the program about the economy, and he hit these auto guys hard. He was critical. I don’t have it in front of me what he said, but he was critical as hell of them, pretty hard hitting, more so than he’s been up ’til now.
RUSH: All right, folks, details keep pouring in here, the EIB nerve center. Turns out that the husband of Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow was apprehended in a prostitution ring sting on Big Beaver Road in Troy, Michigan, which I’ve also just learned is right near an exit 69 off of something. I’m not making this up.
Here’s Mike in Nash, Texas. Mike, welcome to the program. Nice to have you here, sir.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Mega dittos.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: I just wanted to let you know, I think you’re at risk of losing your GM deal.
RUSH: Really? How?
CALLER: Well, because the union is getting so upset over the fact that you keep telling the truth about them that I think they’re going to start pushing the management to get away from you.
RUSH: Nothing is going to happen to the union here. This is what this is all about. This is the dirty little secret here that Debbie Stabenow and Granholm and Sander Levin, Carl Levin, the whole Michigan delegation, this is all about preserving United Auto Workers and its current deal. If there are any concessions made, they will be few. They will be window dressing. One of two things is going to happen. In fact, I think both of these things will happen. I think there will be a bridge loan to the bridge, and that will cover ’em until Obama’s inaugurated. And Obama’s gonna come in and then fix it. I think the whole objective here is to preserve the United Auto Workers, and maybe even off-load the pensions to the government, think of it, 700,000 pensions. That was the number that Debbie Stabenow used in that sound bite, 700,000 here. I mean, these companies are paying a whole lot of people who are no longer working. I know the deal was the deal. But at some point the money isn’t there. At some point it just isn’t there.
Have you been curious, ladies and gentlemen, as the auto company execs are up testifying, first time, whatever it was, two weeks ago, and now this week, and they’re painting a bleak picture, ‘Why, it’s horrible. If we don’t get this money we are out of business, we are out of business. We have to shut down on December 31st.’ I have yet to see a Drive-By news interview with a panicked member of the United Auto Workers. I think those people would be scared to death, there’s 200,000 of them, and then there are related jobs throughout the industry as we keep hearing. Maybe the local TV station is doing it, and maybe it’s happening — have you seen it? Normally when they go on strike over the years, the cameras have been there and we get the sob stories and sympathy plays and so forth. Not criticizing it. I’m just observing here. This is worse than going on strike. This is the industry supposedly shutting down. That means it’s over, kaput, good-bye. You have a contract but you’ve got nobody on the other end to honor it, it’s worth zilch, zero, nada. Just observing here, folks. Don’t forget, I am being ravaged by some mysterious virus that is immune to all attacks so far.