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Limbaugh “bigly, hugely” an asshole

October 24, 2006

I deliberately try to ignore crazy, way out there partisans like Limbaugh. Paying attention to them tends to distract me from the real political issues and discussions of the day, in the same way that staring into the sun makes you blind. But this latest vomitous outburst really got me.

Limbaugh has accused Michael J. Fox of “acting” in a stem cell research political issue ad. Everyone knows Fox has Parkinson’s disease. So, yeah, he has visible tremors. That’s no act. Publicly accusing him of faking it is reprehensible, mean and disgusting.

In his own defense, Limbaugh says he’ll “bigly, hugely admit that [he] was wrong,” if it turns out that Fox really does have this debilitating and fatal degenerative disease.

I maintain that Limbaugh is a self-serving, disingenuous, sociopathic ghoul. If there really is a hell, there will undoubtedly be a very special place reserved for him there.

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  1. I agree. There’s an intelligent way to discuss this . . . a humane way to discuss this . . . Rush didn’t take either route. He often is to the conservatives what Joel McNally (in my opinion) is to the liberals. One would have to live in a cave or be an idiot not to know Fox has Parkison’s Disease. Last time I checked, Rush had a pretty nice house.


  2. Rush knows perfectly well that the man wasn’t acting. It’s his bread and butter, however, to provide cover and ammunition for the right. If there’s no tasteful way to do it, he’ll be obnoxious. If there’s no truthful way to do it, he’ll lie. Then, when cornered in his factually-challenged ways, he retreats into “I’m just an entertainer!”

    This is the guy who got on the air one day and criticized the environmental movement by preposterously claiming that there are more trees in the United States today than when Columbus discovered America. So what can you expect?

    Anyone who takes him even the least bit seriously should have their head examined. Limbaugh is poison. Every day he takes a rhetorical whiz all over legitimate political discourse. For money, of course.


  3. Tell us how you really feel Scott.

    Fox has admitted that on a number of occasions including testimony before Congress that he intentionally did not take his meds in time to take effect. I also agree with Rush that anyone who enters a highly charged political campaign is not immune from criticism or comment. I listened to the show the day Rush made the comments and they were neither disingenuous or sociopathic. His exact comment was that “he did not take his medication or possibly acting under medication”. Parkinson’s is a terrible, degenerative disease in which a close uncle died from. I have great empathy for Fox and what he is going through to cope. Fox spearheads and contributes to many promising research avenues for Parkinson’s beyond embryonic stem cells. Many of these have resulted in promising treatments and possible cures. Still, going off or delaying your medication to hype a politically slanted commercial for one avenue is not right. Listen to the show and not the sound bites from the press to make a fair assessment of what was really said and how it was said. You pride yourself on being a logical thinker, yet your bias often overwhelms you in these situations to write emotional and exaggerated blogs.


  4. I didn’t hear the show. I did read the transcripts of what was said. Including his apology. While there might have been an attempt to sound concerned, it was still a stupid thing to say. It’s too bad, too. It does focus attention away from the obvious pandering being done. Particularly in light of how much Doyle has lied about Green’s position on the subject.


  5. What lies has Doyle told? His campaign made a commerical in which one of the three times it is mentioned it is called “stem cell research” instead of “embryonic stem cell research”? That hardly constitutes an outright lie. After all, the embryonic kind is the only controversial one. It is also the most promising type of research in this area. If it weren’t for the embryonic type, nobody would know what stem cells even were. So I think it’s fairly forgivable for a split-second-sensitive medium like a television commercial to say “stem cell research,” even if Green supports the non-controversial, non-promising kind.


  6. “And now the Republican Party has nominated a candidate for Governor who is a relentless opponent of stem cell research. ”
    From Doyle’s speech.

    I’m not sure at what grade level backwards this becomes difficult to understand. You say in your own arguement to be, I assume, clear . . . “the non-controversial, non-promising kind”. Why point that out? Using your logic, Green DOES support embyonic stem cell research. After all, it’s just one word. Even you admit he supports stem cell research.

    But, another thing. Let me ask you two simple, direct questions:
    1. No one heard of stem cells before the embryonic issue was raised . . . really?
    2. What evidence exists that proves embryonic stem cell research is more promising than other stem cell research?

    jimi


  7. No evidence exists that embryonic stem cell research is more promising than other stem cell research. This has been proven by the people and venture capitalist that invest in promising research and have not invested in embryonic research. Considerable progress and investment (worldwide) has been made in other stem cell research including clinical trials. No results have come embryonic stem cell research world wide. The only attractiveness about embryonic stem cells is that they are more versatile cell for generating a variety of cell types (bone, organ, etc.) The panacea to cure thousands of diseases through embryonic stem cell research is purely conjecture and opinion at this point. This issue has risen to the forefront as an extension of the Democratic stand on abortion and counter point to right to life issues.

    Mark Green does support a new form of embryonic stem cell research – from his web site:

    “Recent breakthroughs in stem cell research have allowed us to take the politics out of science. By demonstrating the potential to create embryonic stem cell lines without the destruction of human embryos, scientists have removed the ethical dilemma that has surrounded embryonic stem cell research. I am committed to supporting these advances in the search for cures to a number of diseases. That is why I am calling for an investment of $25 million over the next four years dedicated to advancing promising medical research without the destruction of embryos.”

    Again the Doyle campaign and liberal press distort the facts.


  8. If I recall, Limbaugh continued to say, was that Fox was acting, or THAT HE WAS OFF HIS MEDICATION. Which, Fox has admitted to doing – stopping his medication when he was to speak before congress, or filming television spots. Specifically to make all the symptons of his parkinson’s worse, to gather sympathy. Again, just the media taking what they want and twisting words to suit their needs.


  9. 1. No, “stem cell research” would simply not be a household term were it not for the embryonic type. That is the most controversial kind and it is also…

    2. It is the most promising kind of stem cell research. Five seconds on google gives me “of the three sources of stem cells, human embryos are the most promising.” All the vague comments about venture capitalists and the like is nothing but a lame dodge. Scientists – the people who know – say ESR is the most promising kind.

    3. Doyle is for ESR, Green is against it. Defending him by saying he’s for other kinds of stem cell research is totally true … and pretty irrelevant.

    4. Green’s support of recent “breakthroughs” in stem cell research that may allow future researchers to extract stem cells from embryos without destroying them is ironic in the extreme. This breakthrough was discovered by destroying a whole lot of embryos and thus, according to Green, should never have been done in the first place. It’s not clear to me what he intends to spend $25 million on without funding the very activities he opposes.

    5. Dr. John Boockvar, a neurosurgeon and assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical Center at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, called Limbaugh’s claim that Fox was acting ”ludicrous.”


  10. Limbaugh is at worst, uneducated. Fox admitted in his own book that he stayed off his meds before testifying before congress. So now he appears on a commercial with symptoms characteristic of his disease. Limbaugh shot his mouth off, not aware that as treatment advances the medicine causes similar symptoms (so I read, I am no expert on it myself.)

    As for Dr. Boockvar, what qualifies him to comment on the circumstances or motivations of Mr. Fox? Was he aware that Fox has admitted to doing this in the past (for which Limbaugh’s claims would have been perfectly accurate , since obviously that’s why Fox did it.) Has he personally examined Mr. Fox to make a determination of the progression of his illness that would allow him to evaluate if Fox was exaggerating his symptoms? I’m not a physician, but I do know it’s unethical for a doctor to make a prognosis without examining the patient. Limbaugh never claimed that Parkinson’s victims don’t have tremors, Dr. Boockvar.

    I find it distasteful to defend Mr. Limbaugh, but I do agree with his basic premise: that utilizing a debilitating illness as a shield against criticism is cheap politics. However; If he doesn’t want to play that game, he needs to make sure he isn’t saying something untrue, like that someone is “faking it.”

    I guess what’s the difference though? Either way someone would be calling him an asshole because Fox has Parkinson’s, which is exactly his problem with the debate.


  11. You might talk me into a very reasoned discussion in which Rush is given some benefit of the doubt. However, this topic doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Limbaugh has a long and broad history of lying, misrepresenting, distorting and otherwise obfusticating the truth about a wide range of political issues. It’s his job. That’s what he does. He also has a similarly impressive history of being abrasive, abusive, hateful and mean. He’s not just a guy with a conservative opinion. He’s not just an advocate of an ideology. He’s an attack dog unfettered by the bounds of appropriateness or, for that matter, the facts.

    There are few people for whom I have such contempt that I would not shake their hand if it were offered. He’s one of those few. And I don’t feel a bit sheepish about saying so.

    (Hey, there’s a fun blog topic: people who’s hand you would not shake.)


  12. “1. No, “stem cell research” would simply not be a household term were it not for the embryonic type. That is the most controversial kind and it is also…”

    Ever hear of a bone marrow transplant?

    “2. It is the most promising kind of stem cell research. Five seconds on google gives me “of the three sources of stem cells, human embryos are the most promising.” All the vague comments about venture capitalists and the like is nothing but a lame dodge. Scientists – the people who know – say ESR is the most promising kind.”

    5 seconds. Sounds about right. Thanks for helping me make part of my arguement that you’re obviously not adequately informed. Two things I’ve never brought up about the whole stem cell issue are the monies, and the ethical debate. Mostly because both issues pale in comparison to the science. Spend a little more time on google and try looking up clinical studies involving humans and ebryonic stem cells. You’ll find none. Try googling what diseases have benefitted from embryonic stem cells. You’ll find none. Try finding ANY success story with embryonic stem cells. You’ll find none. You mentioned money. Part of the reason there’s a lack of money being poured into ESC research is that there’s nothing to fund. Funding has to be pretty specific. No one has come up with a trial that reaches the funding stage. Adult stem cells? Over 1000 clinical trials in process. Many success stories. Here’s a link from our own Journal Sentinel:

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=489953

    The best we have so far about ESC’s is the “promise”. I asked you to give me evidence of ESC’s greater promise of beneficial use. Obviously, you can’t. Say the word and I’ll post a minimum of 10 links to the greater promise of adult stem cells. Nothing about money. Nothing about ethics. Science and results. You often talk about the right being “brainwashed”. The ESC debate is one large lemming run if I ever saw one.

    “3. Doyle is for ESR, Green is against it. Defending him by saying he’s for other kinds of stem cell research is totally true … and pretty irrelevant.”

    Yeah. A lot of things are irrelevent to you. But, like the other libs, you’ve got it wrong. Green is simple against taxpayer money going towards research that destroys viable embryos. He understands embryos are being destroyed now in invitro procedures. He might not think that’s right. But, it’s what’s going on and as long as it’s in the private sector . . . so be it. He simply doesn’t want federal tax money going towards it. Go to his site and read his statement on this.

    As far as Green commiting 25 million to alternative research that doesn’t destroy embyros . . . I agree, it was a goofy move as it’s counter to his position in the long run.

    My dad has Parkinson’s. I know Rush is a moron for saying what he did.


  13. I asked you to give me evidence of ESC’s greater promise of beneficial use. Obviously, you can’t.

    Actually I don’t have to. I’ll let the NIH do it for me:

    “Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells.”


  14. I encourage everyone to read the FAQ link Scott has provided. I’m not sure if he read it, but it supports everything I and others have stated. Some highlites:

    “Adult stem cells such as blood-forming stem cells in bone marrow (called hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs) are currently the only type of stem cell commonly used to treat human diseases. Doctors have been transferring HSCs in bone marrow transplants for over 40 years. More advanced techniques of collecting, or “harvesting”, HSCs are now used in order to treat leukemia, lymphoma and several inherited blood disorders.”

    “Pluripotent stem cells, while having great therapeutic potential, face formidable technical challenges. First, scientists must learn how to control their development into all the different types of cells in the body. Second, the cells now available for research are likely to be rejected by a patient’s immune system. Another serious consideration is that the idea of using stem cells from human embryos or human fetal tissue troubles many people on ethical grounds.”

    “Until recently, there was little evidence that multipotent adult stem cells could change course and provide the flexibility that researchers need in order to address all the medical diseases and disorders they would like to. New findings in animals, however, suggest that even after a stem cell has begun to specialize, it may be more flexible than previously thought.”

    Of note is nothing that says research on ESCs can’t be done with private funds.

    “You may do the derivation in your university laboratory as long as: 1) you carefully and consistently charge all direct costs of doing the derivation to a non-federal funding source and 2) your university or research center has in place a method of allocating the costs of supporting your laboratory so that this activity’s appropriate facilities and administrative (F&A) costs are charged to non-federal accounts.”

    Thanks, Scott.

    jimi


  15. In some parallel universe you just won an argument. Somehow. Heh.

    I have no interest in denying the 40 years of research and medical treatment made possible by adult stem cells. It’s really irrelevent to my point: embryonic ones have even greater potential (for reasons the FAQ clearly explains). The fact that no treatments are available from such research yet is, you know, due to the fact that such research wasn’t even possible 40 years ago. This is all a pretty recent development. As the FAQ clearly indicates.

    The argument that all you need to do is use private funds for your ESR is a dodge. Yes of course you can do that. But federal funds are the lifeblood of important research like this. Without it, the promise it holds will be set back decades.


  16. You miss the point of funding. It’s not unlike an investment. With any investment, it is based on some return. In the case of research, results. To date, there hasn’t been any “promising” results. Just the thought that maybe there might be. In fact, results have been lied about, and others have been disasterous. We’re likely decades off as it is. As a taxpayer, when I look at all the evidence before me . . . my money is on adult stem cell research. In your NIH FAQ it even states the potential of ASC’s is greater than originally believed.

    But, all this is beyond a couple of points . . . government IS willing to fund ESC research. Just not the type that destroys embryos. And can continue with embryonic lines already in place. Admittedly, ethic questions override the medical representation of the research thus far. I’m not sure I agree with that, but it’s the way it is.

    Lastly, your arguement that lack of funds will set back the promise of research for decades is also a dodge. First, it completely ignores the huge advances we’ve made with ASC’s . . . and why that area of research needs funding. Also, and you can bet on this . . . the second ESC show ANY sign of actually working, the money will pour in.


  17. Incidentally, here is an interview with Michael J. Fox in which he is asked about Limbaugh’s comments.


  18. No question Fox is closer to this than you or I. As with my dad, I feel bad for him. As I’ve said in other posts, I don’t trust legislators to be experts on certain issues. This is one of them. A lot of “reading into the research” is done by both sides for various reasons . . . and I don’t trust that. We’ve done it, too. I worked as a producer in the medical field for 15 years and I can tell you these two things . . . 1, scientists don’t always agree with one another. and 2, medical science isn’t always correct. I’m not saying that’s the case here. History will tell.

    As an aside, I WANT ESC to be successful. We both have a stake in it. Certainly in my case, I’m fearful of heritary factors. But if I was to write a check right now to help me and my family, it would be to the ASC folks. And I don’t have a huge issue with the ethical part. I’m kind of moderate there. Not that there aren’t issues . . . but some of them are rather ridiculous.

    I respect anyone with an informed opinion. I can’t deny you have yours. Perhaps we should call a stalemate and move on.

    jimi


  19. It is finally good see a real debate (Scott & Jimi) in which some level logic and fact is used rather than biased emotion and sensational sound bites from the news. I see the later allot on this web site including the unfounded accusations, exaggerations and even some far left & right fringe conspiracy nuts. This comment is aimed at both sides, but most often I see the emotionally charged, exaggerated comments from the liberal side. These comments often far exceed anything that the conservative talk show hosts (like Rush) say or imply. One thing these talk show host frequently comment about is the inability of the left to budge one inch off their view and bias in light of hard facts and truth. After participating in this blog, I was starting to believe this. Sott’s last comments on FISA under the Tillman blog and the exchange between Scott and Jimmi have proven that reasonable people can listen, debate facts and be swayed to some degree from their viewpoints in light of the biases. Once last thought – stop relying solely on the news and news show as the sole source of “fact” and actually read some of the laws, transcripts, research, candidate web sites, etc. for the true source of information regarding topics making the news. The media embellishes and sensationalizes much more than we think and often gets it wrong (even though they won’t admit it).


  20. Thanks for your vote of … reasonableness! I disagree, however, on your assessment of which side is more guilty of being swayed by emotion and less inclined to factual arguments. Vehemently disagree.



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