The Federal Reserve warned (5/1) that “fiscal policy is restraining economic growth,” but the Republican National Committee released an ad crowing that “the sequester is here to stay.” Judging by the April jobs numbers published (5/3), Jon Perr noted at DailyKos.com, the Republican Party can declare “mission accomplished.” After all, the public sector shed another 11,000 workers in April, pushing the total just since March 2010 to 625,000. Worse still, a new analysis suggests, compared to past recoveries austerity policies at the federal, state and local government level have cost the US up to 2.2 mln jobs.
That’s the conclusion from the Hamilton Project (hamiltonproject.org), which noted that much of the damage has been self-inflicted by policymakers in Washington and the 50 states. The private sector has added 6.8 mln jobs since March 2010 and 2.2 mln in just the last year, but the public sector “has been a drag on the economy.”
“We find that the last several years’ policy choices are starkly different from those following previous recessions. Specifically, there are 2.2 mln fewer jobs today, relative to what would have occurred with the policy response typical of the five preceding recessions.”
The Hamilton Project is far from alone in lamenting the “anti-stimulus” of cutbacks across all levels of government. In April 2012, the Economic Policy Institute similarly concluded:
“The current recovery is the only one that has seen public-sector losses over its first 31 months ...”
If public-sector employment had grown since June 2009 by the average amount it grew in the three previous recoveries (2.8%) instead of shrinking by 2.5%, there would be 1.2 mln more public-sector jobs in the US economy today. In addition, these extra public-sector jobs would have helped preserve about 500,000 private-sector jobs. Instead, government employment decreased by more than 500,000.
OBAMA: WORST SOCIALIST EVER. How unhinged is the right wing? Capitol Hill Daily, a conservative newsletter based in Baltimore, proposed (5/7) that President Obama should be impeached for “wreck[ing] the stock market.” That same day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 15,056, an all-time record. That’s up from 7,949 when Obama took office. In other words, it has gone up 90%.
“It’s important to remember that the health of the stock market is very different from the health of the overall economy. Middle class wages are stagnating and millions are still unemployed or underemployed,” Scott Keyes noted at ThinkProgress.org (5/7). “But when a conservative organization ignores reality in such a blatant way, one can’t help but quote former Rep. Barney Frank: ‘On what planet do you spend most of your time?’”
NEW HERITAGE IMMIGRATION REPORT CONTRADICTS 2006 HERITAGE REPORT. The Heritage Foundation (5/6) published a widely panned study arguing that comprehensive immigration reform that allows undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship would cost taxpayers $6.3 tln, as the population will take advantage of an array of government programs, including, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, public education, and population-based services like police and parks.
But the study, which comes out under the leadership of right-wing former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), is a sharp departure from a “Backgrounder” the same foundation published in 2006. Then, Heritage noted that “worker migration is a net plus economically” and warned lawmakers against succumbing to “a lopsided, ideological approach that focuses exclusively on border security while ignoring migrant workers (or vice versa) is bound to fail.”
The new Heritage study has encountered criticism from conservatives such as Grover Norquist’s Americans For Tax Reform, American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute and Republicans Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, and Haley Barbour. They charge that the study ignores the upward mobility of legalized immigrants, as well as the contributions of highly educated, skilled immigrants. That did not stop DeMint from speculating that the parts of the bill he missed would still mean a “tidal wave” of low-skilled workers.
Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post noted (5/6) that the author of the 2006 Heritage report, Tim Kane, now at the Hudson Institute, disputes the 2013 analysis: “Unless they expect readers to believe all this household income (a) generates no productive work (e.g., makes product, mows lawns, nurses the sick, and starts businesses that hire other Americans) and (b) is 100% remitted abroad, consuming nothing in the US macro economy, then the report is misleading,” Kane wrote at BalanceOfEconomics.com. Like the other fiscal conservatives today, he argues, “The net effect of this Special Report does real damage to the cause of dynamic analysis. For more than a decade, Heritage has called on CBO to add dynamic analysis to its tax reform studies.”
The Washington Post Wonkblog’s Dylan Matthews also noted (5/8) that one of the co-authors of the new Heritage study, Jason Richwine, advocated barring immigrants from entering the US based on their IQ in 2009.
“Richwine’s dissertation asserts that there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races,” Matthews noted. “While it’s clear he thinks it is partly due to genetics — ‘the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ’ — he argues the most important thing is that the differences in group IQs are persistent, for whatever reason. He writes, ‘No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.’
“Toward the end of the thesis, Richwine writes that though he believes racial differences in IQ to be real and persistent, one need not agree with that to accept his case for basing immigration on IQ. Rather than excluding what he judges to be low-IQ races, we can just test each individual’s IQ and exclude those with low scores. ‘I believe there is a strong case for IQ selection,’ he writes, ‘since it is theoretically a win-win for the US and potential immigrants.’ He does caution against referring to it as IQ-based selection, saying that using the term ‘skill-based’ would ‘blunt the negative reaction.’”
While the Heritage Foundation distanced itself from the Richwine’s dissertation findings, claiming it “in now way reflects the positions of The Heritage Foundation,” Benjy Sarlin noted at TalkingPointsMemo.com (5/8), “The main premise of the heavily disputed Heritage Study is that undocumented immigrants will be unable to reach education and income levels high enough to make them a net plus to the economy, even after several generations.”
Zack Beauchamp of ThinkProgress.org also noted (5/8) that Richwine is not the only author of the Heritage report with questionable views. Robert Rector, the paper’s lead author, was the source for Mitt Romney’s racially charged attack on President Obama’s welfare policy, and has spent his career dismissing the idea that poverty hurts people. Rector admitted (5/7) he hadn’t read the whole immigration bill before coauthoring his analysis of it with Richwine.
BENGHAZI ‘SCANDAL’: THE STORY THUS FAR. As the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee prepares for hearings on the 9/11/12 attacks in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, an aide and two security personnel, Jed Lewison of DailyKos.com (5/8) outlined the story this far:
“As best I can tell, the right’s theory about Benghazi comes down to two broad claims. First, they believe President Obama and his administration, motivated by election year politics, deliberately misled the public about the attack by claiming it was spontaneous and denying terrorist involvement. Second, they believe the president and his administration — including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — failed to make decisions that would have saved the lives of the four Americans killed in Benghazi and then subsequently covered up their failures.
“Neither theory pans out, however. The first theory — that the administration deliberately and dishonestly covered up the nature of the attack in order to sway the presidential election — doesn’t make any sense at all, even if you ignore the facts and focus purely on motive. If Obama had wanted to exploit the attack politically, he’d have instantly declared it an act of war by al Qaeda and launched military strikes somewhere, even if he didn’t know who was actually responsible for the attack. Presidents always get a boost in such times. Remember how the bin Laden video boosted Bush in 2004? If anything, by avoiding a chest-thumping escalation, Obama created a potential political problem for himself.
“There’s another, more important, reason that the first theory doesn’t work: As you’ll see below the fold, it ignores the facts.
“While it is true that Susan Rice’s talking points inaccurately said that there had been a spontaneous protest outside the consulate in Benghazi, both she and the president said at the time that terrorists and extremists were involved. ‘We believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that,’ Rice said. She was wrong about the protest — those were in Cairo — but she specifically said extremists were involved. What she didn’t know is exactly who those extremists were. ‘Well, we’ll have to find out that out. I mean I think it’s clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine.’
“That’s worth emphasizing: Rice and the intelligence community’s talking points were wrong about there having been a spontaneous protest, but they did not deny that terrorists or extremists were involved in carrying out the attack. That fact severely undermines part one of the GOP’s Benghazi theory.
“The second general theory is that the administration covered up decisions that led to the deaths of the four Americans in Benghazi. As Meteor Blades wrote (5/7), they seem to have two theories on what was covered up.
“First, they believe the military was given orders to not protect the diplomats. Absent those orders, they suggest that the military could have saved the lives. Given that Obama is Commander in Chief, only he could have given those orders: Therefore, he is personally responsible for the deaths, and is now engaged in a coverup.
“Second, they believe that Hillary Clinton personally denied requests for additional security in Benghazi and during the attack cut the State Department’s antiterrorism unit out of the loop. As with Obama, they believe Clinton then covered up these actions.
“These, of course, would be monumental scandals if true. But as Meteor Blades wrote, they don’t add up. It’s true that a group of four Special Forces officers were told not to fly to Benghazi, but that was after the first wave of the attack had already concluded. Moreover, they were only armed with 9mm weapons at the time and whatever security they could have provided was also needed in Tripoli. Even GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz [of Utah] conceded they could have done little else than provide first aid. One of the witnesses at [the 5/8] hearing will say that he would have liked for there to have been a military overflight over Benghazi, but assets were poorly positioned to accomplish that task. The bottom-line: There’s a lot of innuendo and suggestion, but no real evidence — or even smoke — to support the GOP’s theory.
“The story is basically the same with Hillary Clinton. Clinton acknowledges requests came for more security, but she did not personally handle those requests — nor did she cover them up. As for whether she cut her counterterrorism unit out of the loop, even Fox News reports the chief of her counterterrorism unit forcefully rebutting those allegations.
“What this all boils down to is a political circus. It’s no surprise that Republicans are targeting the strongest Democratic candidate for 2016 as well as the sitting Democratic president: Their goals are transparently political. For them, this isn’t about the substance of what happened in Benghazi. It’s about winning an election three years from now, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone: It’s just how Republicans roll.”
ARK. HEALTH MONITORS TO PIPELINE SPILL NEIGHBORS: ‘SMELLS OK TO US’. Residents of Mayflower, Ark., who are experiencing dizziness, nausea and headaches since heavy crude oil started bubbling up from a pipeline (3/29) have the option to leave, the state Health Department said, but “air emissions continue to be below levels likely to cause health effects for the general population,” the air regulators wrote on a state-operated website that tracks Mayflower’s air monitoring data, InsideClimateNews.com reported (5/8).
Wilma Subra, an environmental consultant, told Inside Climate News she was concerned that only 22 families were evacuated. “They focused on the 22 homes ... but all around there’s residential homes, churches, schools, and those people were just ignored.” Three days after the spill, indoor air monitoring showed that the air inside the elementary school — which lies about half a mile from the rupture site — was safe to breathe. But eight students were sent home after falling sick from headaches and vomiting.
Shelia Harrell, who lives two blocks from where the crude oil bubbled out of the ground, said that although residents on the other side of the subdivision were evacuated, she received no guidance about whether she should leave her home as a precaution. So Harrell and her husband stayed put, enduring several nights of burning, acrid odors. Now she’s worried about what exactly she was exposed to during that time.
ExxonMobil, operator of the pipeline that has spilled an estimated 210,000 gallons of tar sands oil, has declined to pay into a federal oil spill cleanup fund because, thanks to a loophole in the 1980 law setting up the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, the diluted bitumen or dilbit crude — similar to that which would be transported in the controversial Keystone XL pipeline proposed to run from Alberta to Texas — is not classified as oil covered by an 8-cents-per-barrel excuse tax. Exxon also declined the state’s request that it pay the $4 mln cost of investigating the spill, but it has offered residents $10,000 to compensate for disruption and inconvenience.
FEDS CRACK DOWN ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES. Federal officials are initiating a new round of crackdowns against medical marijuana dispensaries in several West Coast states, Nicole Flatow reported at ThinkProgress.org (5/6). In Seattle, 11 dispensaries received shutdown warnings. In San Francisco, almost half of the city’s state-licensed dispensaries received similar warnings. And in neighboring cities like San Jose, several others were warned.
The cease-and-desist letters from the DEA warn of harsh federal punishment, including as much as 40 years in jail even for landlords that rent to marijuana dispensaries. They also warn that they if properties do not cease marijuana activity within 30 days, the agency will pursue “civil forfeiture,” in which the federal government threatens to seize the facility and other assets if the marijuana business continues. For those who are renting space, this means the landlord is effectively asked to evict its marijuana tenant — a process that has proved difficult, as state and federal courts handling eviction proceedings resist this federal intervention.
Flatow noted, “This is not the first round of crackdowns in any of these cities, which have forced shutdowns of dispensaries considered ‘models’ in their community, or festered in prolonged legal battles. But these crackdowns are particularly symbolic, because they come en masse, in the wake of ballot initiatives in November to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in two states, and because they are being executed post-sequester, even as prominent law enforcement officials like Attorney General Eric Holder have warned that the blunt cuts threaten public safety. Polls since the November ballot initiatives found that a majority of Americans now support marijuana legalization, and that an even greater percentage think the states should decide whether marijuana is legal.”
NRA ‘LAWYERS UP’. The new president of the National Rifle Association is a lawyer from Birmingham, Ala., whose law firm, Porter, Porter & Hassinger, is experienced in defending gun manufacturers in lawsuits. His father was NRA president from 1959-61, when the group advocated gun safety and marksmanship.
Porter has called President Barack Obama a “fake president,” Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American” and the US Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression,” which is the popular term among neo-Confederates. In his speech at the Houston convention (5/3), Porter repeated his call for training every US citizen in the use of standard military firearms, to allow them to defend themselves against tyranny, Jim Vertuno of AP reported (5/4).
Gun control advocates say Porter makes outgoing NRA President David Keene look like a moderate on gun issues, even though Keene had said the NRA would try to punish lawmakers who voted in favor of expanded background checks and other gun control measures.
Keene had worked to offer a softer, if equally staunch voice for the gun lobby’s ideas when compared with Wayne LaPierre, the fiery executive vice president who remains the NRA’s most prominent voice on the public stage.
Porter as president, “pulls (the NRA) more into the extremist camp,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “With Jim Porter, they’ve gone full crazy.”
REPUBLICANS READY TO RUMBLE. A plurality of 44% of Republicans believe armed revolution might be necessary to protect our liberties, according to a national survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University (5/1). Only 31% of Republicans disagree that armed revolution might be necessary.
And 25% of Republicans aren’t sure. Only 18% of Democrats believed that armed revolution might be necessary, while 61% disagreed. Of all respondents, 29% said an armed revolution might be necessary, while 47% disagreed and 24% were unsure (see publicmind.fdu.edu/2013/guncontrol/).
Jed Lewison noted at DailyKos.com (5/6), “I’d like to see people name exactly what liberties they think are at risk, and what liberties they think they’ve already lost. And if, as I suspect, the liberty they are most afraid of losing is the right to bear arms, I’ve got some good news for them: Republicans in the Senate couldn’t even agree to expand background checks to include gun shows and internet sales. So the liberty of of criminals to buy guns without any sort of background check isn’t going away anytime soon.”
WARREN: GIVE STUDENTS THE SAME LOAN RATE AS BANKS. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) proposes as her first bill to give students the same loan rates as the nation’s biggest banks. Under current law, federal subsidized loan rates will double in July to 6.8% Her bill would allow cut-rate loans of 0.75% — the same rate big banks get from the Federal Reserve — for students for one year, to give Congress the time to come to agreement on a long-term solution to interest rates. “Big banks get a great deal when they borrow money from the Fed,” Warren said in her floor speech introducing the bill. “In effect, the American taxpayer is investing in those banks. We should make the same kind of investment in our young people who are trying to get an education.”
MAINE LEGISLATURE VOTES TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED. Maine became the 13th state in the nation to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In the state House, 25 Republicans joined Democrats while five Republicans in the Senate joined Democrats (4/30) to “call upon each Member of the Maine Congressional Delegation to actively support and promote in Congress an amendment to the United States Constitution on campaign finance.”
Maine joins West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii in calling for that constitutional amendment, John Nichols noted at TheNation.com (5/1).
Joan McCarter noted at DailyKos.com (5/7) that Republicans hate corporate spending almost as much as Democrats (71% v. 73%, respectively) and want to see reform.
But media coverage has been scant because, well, corporate control of politics is not a big issue for the corporate media.
FERTILIZER PLANT — WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN? The fertilizer plant that exploded in West, Texas (4/17), killing 14 people, injuring more than 200 others and causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the surrounding area, but it had only $1 mln in liability coverage, lawyers told the Associated Press.
Tyler lawyer Randy C. Roberts, one of several attorneys who have filed lawsuits against West Fertilizer’s owners, said he expects the plant’s owner to ask a judge to divide the $1 mln in insurance money among the plaintiffs, several of whom he represents, and then file for bankruptcy.
He said he wasn’t surprised that the plant was carrying such little insurance. “It’s rare for Texas to require insurance for any kind of hazardous activity,” he said. “We have very little oversight of hazardous activities and even less regulation.”
The fire at the West Fertilizer Co. in West, a town 70 miles south of Dallas, was quickly followed by an earth-shaking explosion that left a 90-foot wide crater and damaged homes, schools and nursing home within a 37-block blast zone, AP reported. Among those killed were 10 emergency responders.
State and federal investigators haven’t determined what caused the blast.
The plant had reported just months before the blast that it had the capacity to store 270 tons of ammonium nitrate, but it was unknown how much was there at the time of the explosion.
Roberts said that even without a conclusive cause, negligence lawsuits can proceed.
“The law allows courts to presume negligence when something happens that would not ordinarily occur but for negligence,” Roberts said. “A fire might be an unavoidable accident, but an explosion of this magnitude resulting from a fire is not an unavoidable accident.”
Lawyers will look for other assets the company might have and search for the responsible parties, he said.
S.C. HATES DEMS MORE THAN LYING, CHEATING HYPOCRITES. Former Gov. Mark Sanders (R-S.C.) defeated Elizabeth Colbert Busch, 54% to 45%, despite Sanders leaving his wife and family to pursue, at state expense, a romantic liaison with his mistress in Argentina while he told his staff and constituents that he was “hiking on the Appalachian trail.” Then, a few weeks before the election, Sanders was caught apparently violating a court order that he stay away from his now ex-wife’s home, as she caught him trespassing. (And don’t forget that in his previous tenure in Congress, Sanford voted to impeach President Clinton for his private personal behavior.) The district was drawn to be solidly Republican, and Mitt Romney won it by 18 points last fall, so Dems could find solace that they kept Sanders’ margin to 9 points, but as a DailyKos headline put it (5/8): “Sanford wins: South Carolina voters reject family values, honesty, integrity and responsibility.”
John Nichols notes at TheNation.com (5/8) that gerrymandering often rigs elections, as it did last year when Democrats got more votes for Congress but ended up in the minority, and computers make it easier for legislators to choose voters who will re-elect them. Groups such as Common Cause argue for redistricting reforms such as creation of independent commissions to redraw districts after each census, with strict criteria for how districts must be drawn (it works in Iowa). Rob Richie of FairVote proposes that Congress allow states with three or more districts to elect members of Congress by proportional representation, where parties would get seats based on their proportion of the vote (see fairvote.org).
WHERE TO SUPPORT HUMANE WORKING CONDITIONS. Bangladesh’s $20 bln garment industry makes it the world’s second-largest apparel exporter, and the US is its second-largest buyer after Europe. Bryce Covert of ThinkProgress.org noted (5/8) that with the factory collapse death toll now over 800, American consumers may be looking to buy clothes that weren’t made in such working conditions. It is likely much better for the Bangladeshi economy and its garment workers for companies to invest in upgrades rather than flee the country, and those investments could cost consumers a mere 10 cents per garment. But in the meantime, there are some places for American shoppers to turn:
• Levi Strauss & Co., full range of men’s and women’s apparel; claims to be the first multinational apparel company to establish a code of conduct for its suppliers in 1991 outlines rules for child and forced labor, working hours and wages, freedom of association, and detailed safety requirements.
• Patagonia, sells outdoor apparel and gear; while it has factories in Bangladesh, it has eight in the US and a Code of Conduct for its suppliers that expressly prohibits unsafe working conditions, child labor, and excessive hours and encourages higher wages and unionization.
• Land’s End, sells jeans, shirts, and sweatpants as well as home and pet items; launched a “Made in the USA” collection in 2012 with its Durable Goods line.
• Brooks Brothers, sells men’s dress clothes; has a clothing line of men’s dress shirts, suits, ties, and dress shoes that are made in the US, as well as a commitment to philanthropic spending and partners with non-profit organizations related to health issues, education and the arts.
• New Balance, sells sneakers and sportswear either made in the US or assembled here.
• American Giant, sells men’s sweatshirts, T-shirts and sweatpants, sourcing its materials and manufacturing in the US.
• Alta Gracia, sells college apparel; products are made in the Dominican Republic, where it says it pays a living wage, sometimes “more than three times the minimum wage,” respects the right to form a union, and ensures a safe workplace.
Flint and Tinder, sells men’s underwear and accessories made in the US in its own facilities, which started with a single factory and has expanded to a larger group.
See an updated list and/or suggest your own favorite at (http://bit.ly/13hMsSx) and find other American-made goods at (http://madeinusachallenge.com/) and (http://madeusafdn.org/).
GOV’T DEBT BAD, SAYS MASS. SENATE NOMINEE DEBTOR. Gabriel Gomez, the Republican nominee to fill John Kerry’s open Senate seat in Massachusetts, is running on a platform of Congressional reforms including a constitutional balanced budget amendment. But Josh Israel noted at ThinkProgress.org (5/6) that while Gomez is using the recycled talking point that the federal government should model itself on businesses and families and stop spending more money than it takes in, a ThinkProgress examination of his own financial disclosure filings reveals that he has taken out debt of his own.
Gomez, a wealthy private equity investor who was paid more than $993,000 last year in salary and bonuses, won the Republican primary (4/30) and will face Rep. Ed Markey (D) in the Senate special election (6/25). The cornerstone of his campaign is his plan to “reboot Congress,” including a line-item veto and a “No Budget No Pay” law, but he also suggests Congress should enact a dangerous Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution.
Israel noted that government is nothing like a business and cannot be run as one — its aim is to protect its citizens, not to turn a profit. “But even businesses and individuals often borrow in the short term to make investments for the long term — mortgages, lines of credits, and other sorts of loans are facts of life for millions of Americans and businesses of all sizes. Start-up businesses rarely break even for the first several years and few people can afford to buy their first home outright or pay for their kids to go to college out of pocket.
“None of this should come as news to Gomez, who himself has borrowed money. His financial disclosure form reveals that despite his massive holdings and income, he took out a student loan in 2010. The debt, currently between $50,001 and $100,000, is to be paid back over a 23-year term at a 3.5% interest rate.
“And his former company? It’s website’s frequently asked questions section says:
“Does Advent use external debt as well as equity to finance its investments?
Yes, we do use third party debt financing as well as equity to finance our investments. This is typical industry practice. However, we take a very prudent approach to the use of debt.”
A 2011 study by the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities found that a Balanced Budget Amendment could throw about 15 mln more people out of work, double the unemployment rate from 9% to approximately 18%, and cause the economy to shrink by about 17% instead of growing by an expected 2%.
LIMBAUGH THREATENS TO QUIT CHAIN HE HELPED SINK. Rush Limbaugh is threatening to walk away from Cumulus Media, which carries the right-wing bloviator on 40 of its stations, including Limbaugh’s flagship WABC in New York as well as stations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. But that might be a good thing for Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey, who has said the company’s top three stations lost $5.5 mln last year, in part because of a boycott of Limbaugh’s show over his offensive comments about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student whom Limbaugh called “a slut” in February 2012 because she called on Congress to mandate insurance coverage of birth control.
Katie McDonough notes at Salon.com (5/7) that Limbaugh doesn’t see his offensive bloviating as the problem driving mainstream advertisers away; instead, he accuses media buyers who are ”young women fresh out of college” and “liberal feminists who hate conservatism” of “trying to harm” him.
But Media Matters’ Angelo Carusone notes that “Cumulus isn’t the only radio company reporting significant losses attributable to Limbaugh. Dial Global has also attributed millions in losses to Limbaugh. Many others in the industry report negative consequences resulting from Limbaugh’s recklessness. ...”
A Mediaite source agrees that the Limbaugh problem is far from limited to Cumulus, explaining: “The vast majority of national advertisers now refuse to air their ads during Rush Limbaugh’s show.”
From The Progressive Populist, June 1, 2013
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