RUSH: This is Karna. It’s Karna in Washington, our nation’s capital. Hi, Karna. It’s great to have you here.
CALLER: Well, hi, Rush! Delighted to be with you today.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Since it’s Open Line Friday, I thought I’d bring up a point about the great amassing of executive power that this new president’s been going through that hasn’t really gotten a lot of press coverage. I mean, for example, look. The man has now appointed — I think I’m right on this, I do a lot of research — 21 White House czars.
CALLER: He’s got the energy czar, the urban affairs, the faith-based czar, the regulatory czar, the climate czar, and today we got word of the pay czar: ‘The Special Master for Compensation.’
CALLER: You know, Rush, (laughs) the Russians, starting in the year 1600, up to the last of them, they appointed 22 czars. It took them, you know, 400 years or so, and they had one at a time. Obama’s got 21 of them in five months, and what people don’t realize is that these people serve quote ‘at the pleasure of the president.’ They’re not confirmed by the Senate. Most of these activities are ones that would normally take place in a cabinet office.
RUSH: Yeah, that’s right. That was my point. He was superseding his cabinet people.
CALLER: Well, precisely. He’s setting up all kinds of problems there, that’s another issue. But all the cabinet people are confirmed by the Senate down to the assistant secretary level. They go up to the Hill, give testimony, and so the Hill, of course, has oversight and all that sort of thing. I mean, even Senator Bobby Byrd has been upset about this. He’s tried to put out a couple of press releases questioning the way this is threatening the constitutional balance of power.
RUSH: Can you hold on through the break?
RUSH: I want to talk to you more about this. I want to ask you some questions. The latest to raise a stink about this is Steny Hoyer, who is raising a stink about Obama’s use of executive power by fiat.
RUSH: We rejoin Karna now in Washington, DC. Are you still there?
CALLER: I absolutely am.
RUSH: Terrific. Here’s the story and this is out of Washington: ‘House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Thursday that he disagreed with a major proposal President Obama advanced this week to help trim health care costs. Obama wants to give a little-known panel, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, more power to come up with recommendations to control costs in the government’s Medicare program. Congress then would be required to vote on those recommendations — up or down, without revision — much like the model used for the federal Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, or BRAC, for military installations. Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said there’s little support for the idea, which Obama floated Wednesday in a letter to two senators. ‘It was OK for BRAC,’ Hoyer said. ‘But for legislation that affects literally millions and millions of Americans — that’s an entirely different issue from a policy standpoint.” I don’t know. There is no way it conceivably can be constitutional. No agency can have the authority to tell Congress it can only vote up or down on what is obviously legislation. So here is another example of a czar-like group exerting total federal control even over Congress, and Hoyer is standing up and saying no.
CALLER: Well, he’s absolutely right. As I said Bobby Byrd is right, too, and all of these czars that they’re mentioning: the urban affairs czar, the car czar, the cyber czar, the regulatory czar, the climate czar, you know, they are all developing these little fiefdoms inside the White House without oversight at all on the part of the Congress. And it’s absolutely amazing all of these people. There’s one other example that I could give you, Rush, if I could. I served in the Reagan White House for six years —
RUSH: You sound very smart. I was going to observe that. You sound very intelligent.
CALLER: Well, you know, I work in government, so, of course, now we have, I would call the anti-Reagan president in the White House. And when I was there — and this has not received any publicity at all — the NSC staff, National Security Council staff in the White House, in the Reagan days, we had 40 professional staff, okay, 40 professional staff. And the job was to take the various policies from State, Commerce, DOD, and so forth, and analyze them, present the policies fairly to the president for a decision. Today, you know what he’s got in there? Two-hundred-and-eighty, 280 NSC staffers! I don’t know where they park. Of course, who has White House mess privileges, that’s sort of another issue. It’s incredible.
RUSH: Now, wait, wait, that is interesting to me. You gloss over that but I’ve been there enough times to know that that’s a great question, where do 280 National Security Council staffers park, and is there room for all of these additional people in the White House mess?
CALLER: Absolutely not. It’s amazing. I don’t know what they’re going to do about that. But they’ve got all these people. And as I said before, they’re serving at the pleasure of the president, not anywhere else in the government. And I don’t know where they’re going to put ’em. They’re going to have to have annexes all over town, I have no clue. But this amassing of executive power, I mean it makes anything that the Bush-Cheney White House did look like third-grade recess.
RUSH: Well, you know, you have two people, Hoyer and Robert Byrd pop up about specific things. I’ll tell you a little story. I was invited by the president on the day after my birthday, January 13th, to go to the White House for a lunch, a goodbye lunch in his dining room off the Oval Office, and he told me he was aghast, he says you won’t believe the number of czars this guy is going to appoint. He had talked to Obama, Obama had laid out some of his plans and they had talked. He’s going to have all these czars and they’re not going to be answerable to anybody.
CALLER: Exactly right.
RUSH: And it’s happened.
CALLER: Exactly right. I mean, we always had a few, you maybe had a drug czar, you had a faith-based person, you know, looking at things like that, but 21?
RUSH: Okay, so tell me the purpose of it. You can enlighten people here. Why is he doing this?
CALLER: Executive power. The man is into executive power. I mean look at everything he’s been doing. He has been gaining and grabbing as much power as he possibly can. This is his one chance.
RUSH: Yes, well, maybe.
CALLER: Maybe? Well, I’m not quite sure how you can stop it. The man does have the right to appoint his staff, you know, it’s just that it’s getting totally —
RUSH: Well, let’s play this out. You say and answered my question, why is he doing this? Executive power. That’s a term you inside-the-Beltway types use, and it’s not incorrect. But I think there’s a better answer.
RUSH: He’s a statist. He’s an authoritarian. He wants to rule; he doesn’t want to govern.
CALLER: Well, you did call him Lord Obama I think on a previous segment.
RUSH: I have, and the Most Merciful.
CALLER: I think you’re getting it right.
RUSH: The Most Merciful.
CALLER: I think you’re getting it right. I’ll tell you something, something else in my research, I write books, now, Rush, and there was something from the campaign, here’s a great line, he said, quote, ‘My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you’ll join with me as we try to change it.’
CALLER: Barack Obama.
RUSH: Barack Obama, which he’s doing.
CALLER: It’s scary.
RUSH: He is doing it and he’s got blanket support from government-controlled media.
RUSH: He doesn’t have anybody in his party standing and up opposing him. You look at all of these so-called Democrat strategists who show up on cable TV, they’re all supportive of all of this, they don’t dare disagree with any of it. It’s shocking. People don’t think this kind of thing can happen here.
CALLER: Well, the real question, Rush — and I’m sure you have an answer here — but the real question is once you put so many of these things in place, how do we turn it around?
RUSH: See, that’s the danger. Not just the czars, not just all the NSC staff you’re talking about, but let’s say that he succeeds — how do we get General Motors back?
CALLER: Oh, good luck.
RUSH: You know, for example. I mean let’s say that in 2012, just play this out, let’s say in 2012 we elect a conservative president. This conservative president may or may not have a Congress that goes along with him. He’s going to have to unravel — if he’s true to his ideology — he’s going to have to unravel and dismember so much of this growth of the federal government, and you know how hard that is to do. Reagan really was serious about closing the Department of Education.
CALLER: Well, if we look back, Rush, now the excuse they’re using is we have this incredible economic problem, worse than the Depression and so forth, and that’s their excuse for all of their moves, but when you look back — and you’ve talked about this before — President Reagan came in, we had some pretty tough times, 12% inflation, 21 1/2% interest rates, double-digit unemployment, but what was his answer? Exactly the opposite of every single thing this administration is doing, lower tax rates. When Reagan came in, the highest rate was 78%. When he left it was 28%.
RUSH: All of this is true. But I don’t think it’s just enough to say Reagan did it this way and it worked.
RUSH: We know that it worked. Obama, everybody on his side saw what happened, they know it worked, and yet they throw it out. In fact, Karna, even the Republican Party wants to throw it out. That’s the frustrating damn thing. The Republican Party wants to get rid of that. So I have to ask this question, which I’ve been doing. We all know that however wrong he is about things that are traditionally American, Barack Obama’s not stupid. Now, he may have been educated in a perverted and polluted way, but intellectually he’s not stupid, nor are people that work with him. Yet, they are doing the exact opposite of what everybody knows will work. Everybody knows this will not work, but, from whose standpoint will it not work? Ours. From Obama’s standpoint, it’s working like a charm. He is getting more control over everything. He is creating more dependency on the part of the general population for the government. The story came out yesterday that one of every six dollars the American people earn is from the government.
CALLER: Well, you know, Rush, I’m sure you’ve talked about this before, but during the campaign, Obama was asked, I think it was by Charlie Gibson, it was an amazing question, he said, ‘Well, looking back in history, every time taxes were cut across the board — the Kennedy tax cuts, the Steiger tax cuts, the Reagan tax cuts — revenues into the government actually increased. And with the Reagan tax cuts they doubled as a matter of fact.
CALLER: So then there would be more money for your programs.’ And Obama’s answer was incredible. His answer was, ‘Well, that’s not my concern. My concern is fairness.’
RUSH: Right! His concern is returning the nation’s wealth to its rightful owners. In his view, unions and the poor are only poor, are only middle class because evil, rich people have stolen it from them. This is what he’s been taught, and I’m sure he believes it anyway, and this is what his policies are all about. Look, with all of this unemployment and the recession, look at the drastic reduction in tax revenue to the government, so their projections, deficit projections and government revenue are already way off. And it doesn’t matter a hill of beans. The worse it gets, is my point, the better for him and for his designs.
RUSH: But you can’t make people believe that, because most Americans don’t want to believe that their president intends to benefit from the country being harmed. It won’t work. People will not be able to put their arms around that. Average Americans who are not political junkies like we are will not be able to grasp that.
CALLER: Well, the only thing we can do is keep up with shows like yours, of course, and, you know, I write about it, I write political thrillers, and I point out all of these things —
RUSH: Okay, now, you’ve mentioned that twice now.
CALLER: Yeah, I know, I probably shouldn’t do that.
RUSH: I gotta ask, do you write under your real name?
CALLER: Yeah, Karna Small Bodman. And the last one, Final Finesse, just came out recently. So it just came out.
RUSH: Final Finesse, by Karna Small Bodman?
CALLER: Right. Hm-hm.
RUSH: Spell Small Bodman for me.
CALLER: Well, it’s Karna, K-a-r-n-a, and then Small, S-m-a-l-l, and then Bodman, B-o-d-m-a-n.
RUSH: Okay. I just wanted to double-check. With my hearing constraints, I wanted to make sure.
CALLER: I appreciate that.
RUSH: And I wanted to make sure there was no L in Karna.
CALLER: No, no, no, no.
RUSH: No, no, no.
CALLER: Okay. Okay. Actually, that’s sometimes been mentioned, but, no, as a joke. In fact, in the White House mess, we used to come down to lunch, and Larry Kudlow was on the staff there, and I’d walk in, and he’d say, ‘Oh, Karnal.’ We’d joke around about that. But, no, it’s Karna. So I write, each book is about a different national security threat, but sort of seen through the prism of experiences with Reagan. And I do a lot of this research and then I watch what’s going on in this new administration and every time I pick up the —
RUSH: It’s shocking. I’m telling you —
CALLER: — Wall Street Journal I fear for the Republic, I tell you, it is just absolutely amazing.
RUSH: Speaking of that I’ve got a piece here from Dan Henninger yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, and he has a great — let me just read to you the first two paragraphs: ‘Studebaker, Nash-Kelvinator, Packard, Hudson, Stutz, Pierce-Arrow, Stanley, Checker and American Motors were once household names of the US auto industry. Unlike General Motors in our time, they were not too big to fail. Despite mergers and rescue efforts by their owners, each was shut down. Their legacy lives on as classic cars, restored with erotic affection by collectors. GM’s end is different. In the spirit of the new age, General Motors, like Citigroup and AIG, will be kept alive in an industrial coma. One has to ask: Is this where the entire country is headed? Since January, it looks like it is.’ An industrial coma is a great descriptive phrase applied to what Obama’s doing. It is just an industrial coma. And they all know it, they see unemployment getting worse, they see more jobs being lost, they see wages going down, they’re not doing a thing about it.
CALLER: And the question is, ‘When are the voters going to wake up?’
RUSH: That is the question, and I don’t know. His voters have a cult-like attachment, emotional attachment to him. And you even wonder if devastating personal economic circumstances will wake ’em up. This is the big question. Karna, I gotta run. I’ve enjoyed talking to you very much. I’m a little long in this segment so the next one’s going to be short. Best of luck with the new book, too.