RUSH: Virginia in Bristol, Tennessee. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. Hello, Rush. Merry Christmas to you —
RUSH: Same to you.
CALLER: — and major dittos from a longtime listener when I can listen, and I have several members who also listen to you faithfully.
RUSH: Great. Thank you.
CALLER: I’d like to bring up two things. First of all, I noticed in the news that there is still a lot of negativity associated with Governor Palin — who, I just wanted to mention, served both honorably as a mayor and now governor with much responsibility from public works to taxes and everything in between — but somehow there seems to be a lack of, you know, honorability in Washington, DC, at this point. But also I wanted to give you a compliment and hopefully a little Merry Christmas gift to you. While my oldest son was in college, he read your first book and Cal Thomas’ book, and he was a business major. He added public administration. He went on for his masters in public administration at American University, and now he’s serving as a public administrator in the field and, you know, working positively and honorably in making changes in his area — you know, almost daily, you know, trying to make a better life for people. And I just want to thank you for that.
RUSH: You’re more than welcome. I’m happy to be accredited or associated with the good works of your son.
CALLER: Yeah, he’s doing well, and he loves what he does, and works hard. But that’s why it bothers me when people in Washington downplay what people do, like what Governor Palin did from mayor on up and to people who have worked —
RUSH: Well, you know, there’s this thing called campaign rhetoric and this thing called politics. Sarah Palin was targeted for destruction precisely because she’s effective, because she was rallying excited crowds that outdid Obama’s. Obama’s crowds were showing up just to be there. Sarah Palin’s crowds showed up because of what she was saying, not how she was saying it. They showed up because they were genuinely thrilled to have somebody representing their point of view in a national campaign, and this scared a lot of people. It scared Republicans who are of the Rockefeller moderate stripe, the Colin Powell-Bill Weld Republicans. It scared Democrats and liberals. It scared the media. So she had to be destroyed. Folks, we’re going to have to understand something. There’s no such thing as an incompetent Democrat or liberal. Look, it makes total sense, common sense to compare Sarah Palin and her life with Caroline Schlossberg.
In a case of those two women, there is no question — cut-and-dried, hands down — who is the more qualified to serve in an elected position in Washington, DC. It’s not even close! Yet Caroline Schlossberg is said to be qualified because of her last name, because of her DNA, because she’s ‘a mother,’ and because ‘she cares.’ Look at this Clinton Massage Parlor Library Foundation. Look at the conflicts of interest! Look, ladies and gentlemen. Practically all of the oil nations and sheiks from the Middle East have thrown gobs of money at the Clintons. His wife is going to be Secretary of State. Talk about a conflict of interest? But it will not be a Clinton because where the Democrats are concerned, there’s no possibility of ethics violations, except in the case of Blagojevich, and these are selected cases.
The same rules do not apply. Somebody sent me a note earlier today when we did our side-by-side comparison of Blagojevich and his denial press conference on Friday. I had Shanklin do the whole thing in the voice of Obama, and I said, ‘Be Obama. I don’t want any funny affectations. Just be who the guy is because I want to illustrate that it’s how he says what he says not what he says, that mesmerizes people.’ So Shanklin did a good job and he put in all of the protracted, elongated pauses, ‘Eeeh, uuuh, ummmm.’ Somebody sent me a note and said, ‘Look, Nixon did the same thing. Nixon had these pregnant pauses where he was thinking. How come Obama is treated one way and Nixon another?’ (snorts) It’s the template. Obama’s thoughtful. Obama’s The Messiah. Obama’s deep.
Nixon was a schemer. All Republicans are schemers! To expect the same kinds of standards to be applied here by the media is never, ever going to happen. Those standards have to be applied evenly by voters. And if there are a lot of voters who are not treated to a daily dose of just how unethical and corrupt Democrats are, then the argument is that they will never know it. It’s just the world we live in. It’s one of the challenges that we all face to take the truth to as far and wide an audience as possible. Look, here’s another one. There’s a great… I can’t believe I’m saying this. It’s a great column by Nicholas Kristof, published on Saturday in the New York Times.
It’s entitled, ‘Bleeding Heart Tightwads,’ and the essence of Mr. Kristof’s column is how shocked researchers have been recently to learn that conservatives and Republicans are far more personally charitable of than liberal Democrats. He says, ‘We liberals are personally stingy. Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.’ Now, Mr. Kristof, if I might interject here this is not compassion we’re talking about. We’re talking about hypocrisy. But, see, liberals cannot ever be called ‘hypocrites.’ Democrats will never be called hypocrites, either. He talks about a book by Arthur Brooks: Who Really Cares?
RUSH: Arthur Brooks is referenced by Nicholas Kristof in his Saturday New York Times column, ‘Bleeding Heart Tightwads.’ Arthur Brooks, by the way, is a guy that writes a lot of things, scholarly works. He’s the guy who has chronicled how conservatives and Republicans are much happier people than liberal Democrats are. ‘Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, ‘Who Really Cares,’ cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals. Other research has reached similar conclusions. The ‘generosity index’ from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.
‘The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans…’ Mr. Kristof, I must say, the fact that this surprises anybody is the problem. You guys live in your protected, cocoon-like worlds with all of your templates so that real-world truth is a shock. Conservatives have always known, instinctively, that Republicans and conservatives are far more personally charitable than liberals are. Liberals love to use other people’s money to get their credit for compassion. ‘The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans… ‘When I started doing research on charity,’ Mr. Brooks wrote, ‘I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people.’
Well, bingo! But there he proves our point. This pointy-headed guy, whoever he is, actually thought liberals did care more, because that’s the template. That’s the public relations. I can’t tell you the number of times that people who care for me greatly will come to me and say, talking to me personally and as a conservative, ‘You’ve got to do something to change what people think of you, because you’re really such a nice guy, and all these people out there think you’re the worst thing trodding the earth today.’ Or, ‘You conservatives, you’ve got to get more PR about the good works that you do.’ I said, ‘What’s the point of doing good works? Is it to get credit for it, or is it to do the good works?’ There’s a story (I guess it was yesterday, at some point during my show prep cycle) about all of the military people that George Bush and Dick Cheney personally visited, consoled, thanked, and spoke to over the years; both active military and their families.
And everybody is shocked, because they thought that Bush was this cold-hearted, mean-spirited guy who sent other people’s kids off to die in battle and didn’t care. Now, those of us who know George W. Bush know just the exact opposite. But Bush doesn’t do it to get credit for it. Our culture today is largely built on perception, not reality, and this is a great illusion. The reality of personal charitable giving is that Republicans, conservatives, personally contribute twice — more than double — what liberals contribute privately, and yet everybody thinks they’re the ones who care. Everybody thinks they’re the ones who are the good guys. You know, when people say to me personally, ‘Rush, why do all these people have these wrong perceptions about you? Why don’t you do something about it?’ I said, ‘What could I possibly do? They know. They already know the truth. They’re not going to report it. They’ve got their templates.’
Look, I’m hated and despised by these people because I’m effective. They’re not interested in making me look good, and I don’t do what I do to look good. I’m not in this for public relations. My whole career, what I do privately, charitably, I’m not into it for public relations. You know, the Harry Reid Smear Letter, that was a different thing. That was him trying to smear me and so forth with this ‘phony soldiers’ business, but that was a giant national fundraising effort. It was not done to make me look good. It was done to embarrass Harry Reid and to raise money for the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation using a Harry Reid written-and-signed letter. Let me expand this, this whole notion that people in this country react to public relations (PR moves, image, and so forth), because we just elected a president on that basis. I hadn’t planned on discussing this, so if I tend to stumble while putting my thoughts together, please forgive me.
But I have been watching this Bernie Madoff scandal unrolled before my very eyes, and for those of you who have been following it, you are well aware that lots of people where I live (Palm Beach, Florida) have either been wiped out or severely hurt, and have lost a tremendous amount of their worth. But the story goes even beyond that. This is a community of… There are three or four different Palm Beaches, and there’s the Palm Beach of everybody’s image, and that is of old blue-bloods who are about 105, who start sipping gin cocktails at 4:30 in the afternoon and still don’t know that we won the Gulf War in ’91 ’cause it doesn’t matter. That Palm Beach doesn’t exist much anymore because those people have gotten old. Those people resented earned income. These are people that inherited family wealth from long, long, long ago.
They look down on earned income. They’re not just here, but anywhere in the country where there’s this level of society. There’s another Palm Beach that features the sons and daughters of the blue-bloods, who wouldn’t know how to work a day in their lives if they had to, so they depend on coupon clipping and this sort of thing. I never see any of these people, by the way. I only read about them, but I don’t see them. The other two Palm Beaches are made up of an ever increasing younger demographic who are still working, but because of the prosperity of the US economy, are able to afford to live somewhere either here or near here. This group still works, and those people hang around with each other. Some are semiretired but they’re certainly not the blue-bloods of the old past. Now, in the Madoff scandal, what is being highlighted here — and I’ve always had a bugaboo about this
This is going to be a tough thing for me to explain, because I’ve thought about it for decades. I’ve been suspicious of it for decades, but I have never articulated it to anyone, certainly not publicly like this, ’cause it always seemed to be taboo because we’re talking charities. But I’ve always been amazed at how one climbs the ranks of society by being involved in ‘charities.’ Many of these people don’t donate a dime to the charity. They go out and raise money for a gigantic party, or series of balls or what have you — where the women put on their finest clothes and jewelry and the men reluctantly, you know, stuff themselves into tuxedos; and they head to these fabulous places where the cost to put the whole thing on may be a million dollars and the net amount raised is a hundred grand. All of the newspaper society reporters are there. All of the photographers are there; all the phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ roller people who are impressed with people who have wealth.
They might be reprobates. They might be worthless. They might be mean. They might be dull, boring. But because they have a lot of money, they are fascinating and what they do is considered fascinating. So this creates a cycle where these sometimes dull, boring, dry, phony frauds that are not donating a dime but are going out there and asking everybody else to give them a dime, then get their pictures in the society pages and written up. And they massage the reporters and they try to get all this good stuff said about them. They try to get themselves on the boards of directors of a lot of charities. They create boards of directors and put themselves on these things. It’s all image. It’s all PR. And they get all this credit for caring — and they are all liberal Democrats, the vast majority of them, and they’re all empty suits. At the end of the day, there’s nothing there.
The Madoff scandal is illustrating this. All these charities have been wiped out, and you have to ask yourself, ‘Was the money ever really there?’ There was a lot of money running around, but all these people owed it to each other in one way or another. Did anybody ever really have it? And if they had it, did they give it all to Madoff, and did he then redistributed the profits that came in the door out another door? I’m spinning off of this story here about how conservatives are far more personally charitable than liberals, and yet liberals get all the credit. They get all the notice because they’re on boards of charities, and they hold parties for charities. Hell, folks, try this. It gets to the point that retail outlets will hold a fundraiser for a zoo or something, and all the swells in town — it’s not just here, a number of places — will show up to sip champagne, and donate 75 bucks or so, so that the baby jaguar can eat for another day.
It’ll show up on the all the society pages and columns of how greatly contributing these people are, how compassionate they all are, when the whole point here is for the retail outlet hosting the thing to sell whatever they’ve got inside the store and to get publicity. It’s all PR. There isn’t a whole lot of substance to it, as this Madoff thing is illustrating. Some people — with the highest of reputations, the most impeccable reputations — are now toast ’cause they were associated with Madoff. I’ll guarantee you: in the privacy of their homes, they’re devastated, not just over the money that was swindled, but because of the loss of stature that they feel. I look at this, and I feel a little sad because the people who pursue stature to me are people who will never, ever be happy ’cause it’s all external. It’s all based on what you can craft as an image, which is what? What people think of you rather than crafting a life of substance and genuineness based on what you do, and who cares who knows about it.
In fact, a lot of people want to live that way. They want to live a little anonymously so as not to be browbeat when their charitable donations are discovered. I look at all the money donated to charity in this country and I look at all the tax revenue that’s transferred to the needy, and I really don’t understand why we have needy people. All of the charitable giving and all of the taxes and all the transfers… What is it now, seven to $8 trillion in just the Great Society alone has been transferred from producers to non-producers since 1964, and we’ve still got the same percentages of people in need. Every year a bunch of brand-new charities pop up, competing for the charitable donations, the charitable dollar, and we find that some of those are frauds. It’s all about people trying to ingratiate themselves in some social structure someplace, in some social climate somewhere. In those situations, it’s not the kind of person you are; it’s how much money you have, and that’s what’s attractive about you, and I just think that’s horrible.
Well, to each his own. I would just hate to be trapped in that kind of life. So we have all of these templates, all of these theories that conservatives are mean-spirited, rotten SOBs, cold-hearted and mean. Liberals are the giants of compassion, the giants of tolerance! It’s just the exact opposite. Liberals are tightwads. They try to give a lot of money that’s not theirs. Conservatives do a lot of things privately. Nobody knows about it because they’re focused on the good works. Conservatives don’t seek PR because it’s very difficult to get it unless you go out and hire a PR firm, and even then that’s a waste of time. Hiring a PR firm is an abject, utter waste of time. You know what a PR firm is going to tell you? I’ll use myself here. It’s easier to do that. Let’s say I’m concerned about my public image, and I want it changed. I’m going to go out, and I’m going to hire the best PR firm I can. You know what they’re going to tell me to do? They’re going to arrange a meeting with the New York Times editorial board. This has happened to me.
I said, ‘Why do I need to talk to them? I’m hiring you!’
‘Well, they need to speak with you. They need to see who the real you is.’
Okay, then I fire them, ’cause there’s no way that’s going to change anything. I’m not gonna go groveling to some editorial board! It is what it is. And if you can’t be made happy by the substance in your life — if you have to rely on what other people think of you and phony baloney, crafted images — then you are setting yourself up for some type of similar experience to those who got involved with Bernie Madoff. Maybe not on that big scale, but certainly on some scale.
RUSH: If you are a Limbaugh Letter subscriber, ladies and gentlemen, we had this story about how conservatives are far more generous than liberals on a personal level. In the May 2008 issue of the Limbaugh Letter on pages 12 and 13, what is amazing about it is that it’s found its way into a New York Times op-ed by Nicholas Kristof, who has written a piece called, ‘Bleeding Tightwads.’ Now, Mr. Brooks also, the author of the book entitled Who Really Cares, writes this: ‘When my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views,’ which are, conservatives are more personally charitable by half, or by two times than liberals are. This guy tried everything he could to massage the facts, and he had to change his views. He also found this: ‘If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.’ But then again we’d have to ask ourselves, do we want liberal blood coursing through the veins of otherwise innocent people?
Quickly, Mary in Madison, New Jersey. Great to have you on the program. Nice to have you here.
CALLER: Nice to be here, Rush. Merry Christmas.
RUSH: Same to you.
CALLER: I read Who Really Cares last year, or earlier this year I guess it was, and one of the things that I’m thinking is out there among your listenership I know there are a lot of Democrats, and they’ll be thinking, ‘Oh, sure, Republicans have more money, that’s why they give more money,’ you know, the party of the rich. But it turns out that Arthur Brooks found he compared statistically family to family, according to income, and people in the family, so it’s leveled, it’s person to person, and there’s no doubt about it, conservatives are more generous people, and I found not only with their money, but also with their time. They volunteer behind the scenes. They don’t show up at balls —
RUSH: Exactly right.
CALLER: — they do the grunt work in the back room.
RUSH: Look, we do have our charlatans who do things for show.
CALLER: Oh, yes.
RUSH: But there’s also substance behind what they’re doing. They just want public credit for it. A lot of us couldn’t care less about the public credit. But it’s an interesting question. Even in similar income levels, the charitable contributions, personable, of conservatives dwarf liberals, and there has to be a reason for this. And I, ladies and gentlemen, know what it is.
RUSH: Donna in Dallas, great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. It’s good to talk to you.
RUSH: Same here.
CALLER: My opinion about why liberals don’t give as much as conservatives is because deep in their heart, they believe that it’s the government’s job.
RUSH: Yeah, there’s a lot of truth to that. Remember liberals, too, are people who get by. They really think they’re good people just because they tell people they care. Liberals don’t have do diddly-squat to fix anything. In fact, liberals can make it worse, but as long as while they’re making it worse, they talk about how much they care; it’s their good intentions, of course, versus their results. But I think if you look, Donna — and this will be controversial to some, but that’s what you expect when you hire me. I think you’ll find religion is a (if not the) dominant key. I can’t prove it. It’s just my instincts here. I think religion and the notion of private, charitable works is a fundamental reason why there is far more personal charity from conservatives as opposed to liberals.
RUSH: Andrew in Molalla, Oregon. Hey! Nice to have you on the program, sir. Welcome.
CALLER: Welcome to you, too, Rush. Merry Christmas. Good to talk to you.
RUSH: I appreciate that.
CALLER: I had a question to the Madoff scandal. They are telling us, the news media and everything, that that money just disappeared. I thought maybe you were the expert that could tell me where in the world it disappeared to.
RUSH: All right, now, where do you think the money went? Let’s use the figure $50 billion because that’s what Madoff said. Nobody really knows yet how much, but let’s use the $50 billion figure — and it’s a Ponzi scheme. You know what that is, obviously?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Okay. So where do you think the money went?
CALLER: That’s still an unanswerable. Heh, heh.
RUSH: No, it’s very answerable. Let’s walk through the steps here, because this is — by the way, I don’t blame you for asking. This is the one element of the story that the ‘exhaustive examinations’ by the Drive-Bys have yet to answer. You have a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that starts whatever number of years ago. You go out to your original investors and they give you whatever, a billion dollars. And you have that billion, and you take your share of it as the schemer. You siphon off whatever you want, and then you pay whoever your runners are. The notion he was doing this on his own is difficult to believe. He had to have people hyping the business. And we know, we found out who they are. They were getting a point-and-a-half per investment, gross investment made by clients. And the way they were doing this is going out and telling people about these great returns this guy is getting and then denying them access to the fund.
You tell somebody (especially this crowd that thinks they’re a cut above anyway) that there’s something super-exclusive, outperforming anything and they can’t get in, that just makes ’em want it more, and so you hook ’em. So he had a bunch of runners, he had a bunch of hookers that were getting these people in. The money comes in, and the runners, the rainmakers, they get their take. The schemer takes his and puts it someplace. He buys three yachts. He buys a corporate jet. He buys four homes. Then he buys his brother a home, buys all these things, and that creates the public image that, ‘Wow, is this thing really growing! Look at Bernie!’ And then Bernie starts joining country clubs, starts playing golf with these guys and he starts joining these charities himself, and he starts showing up at all these charitable benefits in a black tie, and he’s the toast of the town. He’s making everybody rich — and he’s getting rich, understandably so. People don’t begrudge him his five houses or four and his airplane, and his three yachts, one in the Med. Oh, four houses. He had one on the Cote d’Azur in the south of France.
RUSH: Well, he’s not paying returns. What happens is that the first billion or whatever it is that comes in, Bernie lops off his share, and he does probably invest that money somewhere for a while. He keeps recruiting new money, Andrew, and what happens is these original investors are the ones that do get paid. The first people in the Ponzi people always get paid, but how did they get paid? In this case they got paid by seeing a financial statement that said their investment was growing at 10% a year, no matter what happens. They might have taken some cash out of it now and then, but the odds are they left it there. So the money that went in, Madoff got to do with it whatever he wanted, and this just kept going and going and going.
As new people sent money in the front door, Madoff would send out financial statements to his early investors showing these increased profits. If some of them wanted cash, he had the cash on hand to send to them. The money on paper actually went to the investors. What has happened is, we find out that it was all on paper. It was never actually really invested. What he had to do, what any Ponzi scam artist has to do is to keep taking money coming in the front door and giving a little bit of it away to the people in the backside who were the first in, in order to make it look like things are growing. Now, there was whatever it was, and that $50 billion is somewhere. It has not vanished. It’s just not in the investment accounts that the investors put up that Bernie Madoff started for them. It is somewhere. It didn’t just vanish. It vanished from those who had it. It was stolen from them. And, you know, Andrew, what brought all this to light was the market plunge.
In fact, the Democrat Party may have brought down Bernie Madoff with this October Surprise plunging market. Because even his robust clients (who thought he could do no wrong, who were seeing 10% increases while the market was down 30%) apparently enough of them got panicked at the same time and they made requests for redemptions, meaning they wanted their cash for these accounts that they thought they had, totaling $7 billion; and he didn’t have it, and he couldn’t raise it. He was feverishly trying to raise new money from new investors for his scheme, from China and from the Middle East, to cover that $7 billion. He could not get it. So when there was no cash, that’s when he gave it up.
The money is somewhere. It’s impossible for it to have vanished because it existed. And remember, some of the people who invested got some back early on. This was going on for years. You know that people have cashed out some of these investments and sold them. At some point, this had to be legit. There had to be a small share of it that was legit. There had to be some genuine investment in some genuine market instruments early on. After a while, after the early customers are satisfied, they then sell their reputation to Madoff. ‘Oh, yeah. When I need it, it’s always there. You don’t want to take it out, though. It’s growing by leaps and bounds.’ So after a while, nobody wants it. They trust him totally because everybody doing business with him sings a song of his reputation that is just impeccable, unassailable. So the money is somewhere. That’s what they’re trying to figure out now in The Lipstick Building and the three floors that Madoff occupied.
RUSH: Gail in Sioux Falls, I have one minute, but I wanted to get to you. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Rush, Christmas greetings from the frigid Midwest.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Being one of your students, I hark back to about eight years ago when Dick Cheney divested himself of his holdings and gave I think nearly $7 million to charity, and I believe that Algore, the record that was made public was just a little under $400 dollars.
RUSH: That’s right, Cheney, $7 million from his Halliburton holdings.
RUSH: And I think the number for Algore was $256. I might be confusing it, but you’re right, it was less than $400. But, see, that’s not hypocrisy. No, no, no, in the current realm, see, Algore cares. He spends his life helping other people. Not being cold-hearted. His whole public persona has been to help people. That’s how this works.