Are there any Rush Limbaugh fans out there?
Today’s blog may be of particular interest to you if you are.
It seems that Rush doesn’t like the criticism voiced against the cruise industry as the Carnival Triumph was towed back to Mobile last week. He does not like the references to the fact that cruise lines are incorporated in foreign countries to avoid taxes, labor laws and safety regulations.
As you can read in the transcript here of his show, he quoted everyone who made a critical comment of Carnival on the CNN broadcasts. He mocked Erin Burnett, Howard Clark, Donny Deutsch, Martin Savidge. He even quoted me, for goodness sake, when I was on a CNN show as a set-up to his talking points:
JIM WALKER: "Foreign-incorporated companies that are essentially registering their operations overseas to avoid US taxes."
Rush then launched into a classic diatribe, mocking the criticism of the cruise industry:
RUSH: "Yeah, but look at what they do. "They register these ships outside the US. They don’t pay any US taxes. The cruise ship passengers have no rights. They’re basically slaves — and if there’s sewage on the walls? Big whoop. We’ll tow you in when we get a chance — and after we get you, the bus that we transport you in will break down, and then for all your trouble we’ll give you a refund and a 15% discount on the next cruise of your choice. What a bunch of rotten SOBs!"
He eventually explained his argument that:
"Make no mistake. Make no mistake. The whole point of this was to impugn the entire cruise industry and this particular cruise line as having some linkage to Bush."
Rush then rambled on with his radio broadcast trying to tie in his diatribe about the alleged left-wing conspiracy against cruise lines and George Bush to his rant against women and Hispanics and farm workers and President Obama and Reverend Wright. After a few minutes I had no idea what he was talking about except that he somehow implicated me in some type of conspiracy against George Bush.
I suppose that it’s funny to be accused of being part of such a clandestine plot. I must be a secret agent or master spy or spooky sleuth or member of an illegal coalition against America, according to Rush. I suppose that criticizing a major corporation or participating in anything not officially sanctioned by a corporation is an act of conspiracy, rebellion or treason.
Why is it that ultra-conservative Republicans love cruise lines which pay no taxes? Last summer, Newt Gingrich disappeared from his Republican Presidential campaign because he could not resist a luxury cruise aboard a foreign flagged cruise ship in the Mediterranean.
I have never reconciled the maniacal bashing of President Obama for somehow not being "American" enough with the hard core Republican love of the tax-avoiding-foreign-incorporated cruise industry.
At the bottom of Rush’s web page I could not help but notice a banner ad featuring Rush posing for a company that fights paying taxes to the federal government.