RUSH: Let’s go to the phones. Twin City, Minnesota and Tim. It’s nice to have you on the program, sir.
CALLER: Yes. Rush?
CALLER: Hi. I don’t know if you are aware of it, but the media here in the paper are saying that the reason that the inspections were not done properly on the 35W Bridge is because of pigeon crap, spider webs and people yelling at the inspectors.
RUSH: We saw that. We talked about that yesterday.
CALLER: Well, I want to know why in the multi-billion dollar budget they can’t remove the pigeon crap and spider webs and do a decent inspection, and isn’t that sad…?
RUSH: Well, they can, but they don’t want to. Who wants to mess around in pigeon crap? Guano, we say on this program. Pigeon guano. These are good liberals up there doing that. You don’t expect them to do that. Plus, motorists are driving by and throwing things at them and shouting at them when they have to close a lane when they do the inspection. It is just too hard.
CALLER: Too hard. So we can expect all over the nation, wherever there is pigeon crap and spider webs and people yelling, then all over the nation there won’t be decent bridge inspections done, is that correct?
RUSH: I don’t think pigeon guano and spider webs is a problem in bridges, except in Minnesota. I haven’t heard of it anywhere else.
CALLER: No other pigeons that crap underneath bridges and spider webs?
RUSH: It may happen.
RUSH: I’m sure it does but I’ve never heard about it. This is the first time that I’ve heard they couldn’t do inspection because of pigeon guano. Please, guano. There are children listening. This is summertime.
CALLER: Okay, pigeon guano, then.
RUSH: Let’s stick with that then. So we can expect that in the future in Minnesota, because of pigeon guano we will not be able to do bridge inspections so we can expect them to fail all over Minnesota because of the pigeon guano —
RUSH: I’m thinking —
CALLER: — lack of funds to wash away the pigeon guano and the spider webs?
RUSH: The investigation knees to find out what it is about the bridges attracting the pigeons.
CALLER: Oh, I see. So as long as they keep the pigeons away, the bridges won’t fail?
RUSH: That’s right. (Laughing.) No. No. Let me be serious here. He’s right. Everything he said is true. The inspectors got hassle and all of this stuff when they closed a lane and the motorists go by shouting at them. The story says they cut their work short. They did encounter spider webs, and the spider webs looked like cracks. They made it really tough. Plus, they had to hang over the side of the bridge. The stuff is underneath the roadway where the pigeon guano is. But the New York Times has a story: ‘Potential Flaw Found in Design of Fallen Bridge — Investigators have found what may be a design flaw in the steel parts that connect girders, raising safety concerns for other bridges around the country. The Federal Highway Administration swiftly responded by urging all states to take extra care with how much weight they placed on bridges when sending construction crews to work on them.’ That’s another thing. Apparently there was a lot of weight on the bridge with repair materials, but how else are you going to get it on the bridge if you don’t take it on the bridge? If you have to use the material to repair the bridge, you have to take it out where the repairs need to be done. So they’re saying there’s a potential design flaw. Now, another story. We had a bunch of stories yesterday, and another one today by Frederic Frommer at the AP: ‘Higher Gas Tax Proposed to Fix Bridges — The chairman of the House Transportation Committee proposed a 5-cent increase in the federal gasoline tax…’ The president was asked about this today. He shot it out of the White House. He blew it out of the water. We’ll let you hear the water coming up. Also they took a poll in Minnesota. KSTP took a poll. 57% of Minnesotans oppose an increase in the gasoline tax. Way to go, citizens of Minnesota! This is not the solution to the problem and they know it: 57% oppose a gas tax increase.
RUSH: Santa Rosa, California, this is Chris, appreciate your patience, sir.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Mega dittos from Reagan country out here in California.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: One question on the bridge collapse in Minnesota out there. Couldn’t we say this is a fault of union labor? Not to pick on those guys too much but the libs keep saying that it was tax cuts or spending for the war that neglected the bridge, but you know this bridge was built by union labor and it was maintained by the union guys. You know, the government inspectors, they got to be part of the union, you know, couldn’t we say that union labor could —
RUSH: I get your point. It’s a good point. The knee jerk reaction when something like this happens is, oops, we’re not paying enough taxes. Bush is distracted. Too much money going to Iraq. Everybody picks it up and it becomes the mantra. You’re right. Hey, this thing failed for some reason. Who built it? Who built the thing?
CALLER: I know. Not to pick on the union guys, I know you’ve had a bunch of calls the past couple days.
RUSH: We’re not picking on the union guy. You are making a rhetorical point here.
RUSH: You’re simply talking about what people’s first initial reaction goes to. We need more taxes. We are spending too much money in Iraq. Why, the government is not doing enough to maintain the bridges because it doesn’t have the money because Bush cut taxes, blah, blah, blah. You are saying why not create another just as ridiculous, if you want to say, assumption, because we don’t know yet.
RUSH: All of these theories are ridiculous. We don’t know. So we can go out and say, ‘Yeah, well who built the damn thing and who was maintaining it? Who was inspecting it?’ I sort of did that the first day when I pointed out, ‘Isn’t it strange how all these infrastructure disasters are happening in blue states and blue cities.’
CALLER: Right if we find the body of Jimmy Hoffa in there as well, hey, that is another piece of the puzzle.
RUSH: Well, the bridge is not as old as Jimmy Hoffa has been stuck in concrete.
CALLER: Well, it’s worth a shot.
RUSH: True. Anyway, Chris, I appreciate the call. Thanks much.
RUSH: Here is Russ in port St. Lucy, Florida. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: Dittos. I’ve been a listener since ’88.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Commenting on the bridge collapse. I saw where that bridge was built in the 1960s, and back in the 1960s, those roads, most roads were built to emulate the New Jersey Turnpike which was the biggest and best at the time built in the ’50s, and the maximum weight of trucks allowed on roadways back then was 40,000 pounds, and today, it has slowly crept up to where the maximum weight is 80,000 pounds.
CALLER: A lot of truckers know how to get around that, too, because they know where the weigh stations are and so forth. So no one ever mentions that. I just thought it was worth passing it on.
RUSH: I appreciate that. I had not heard that. Nobody had passed that bit of information on to me. It’s a nice try to blame the truckers here. Everybody knows it’s the SUVs!