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RUSH: To Jacksonville, Florida. This is Scott. You’re next on the Rush Limbaugh program, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Allen Brothers and Boston Legal mega dittos, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you, sir, very much.

CALLER: I was over at my in-laws’ house last night watching the two-hour season seven of ’24,’ and what a great show last night. I’m looking forward to it tonight also. And the one thing, Rush, I wanted to say was one of my favorite scenes was when Jack was sitting in the SUV with the young FBI agent — and if Cookie could get the audio clip of this and play it, I tell you — and the gentleman looks back, he goes, ‘Mr. Bauer,’ and Jack kind of looks at him, and, ‘You know, it’s wrong what the Senate is doing to you, grilling you like that, and I just want to let you know that I appreciate and a lot of other agents appreciate what you have done for our country.’ And Jack looks up, so sincerely, and says, ‘Thank you.’ And I think this is going to be the best season of ’24’ yet.

RUSH: Well, it’s off to a rousing start. I, of course, as a powerful, influential member of the media have seen advanced episodes but I refuse to talk about it, because why ruin it, you just gotta watch these. I don’t think that you will in the slightest way be disappointed. Folks, my favorite scene of episode one last night is Jack Bauer being grilled by these pompous senators. Here’s the guy who has done everything possible to keep his country safe in the midst of genuine terrorist acts, and these people want to throw him in jail forever for torture and so forth, and he just basically says, ‘You guys do what you want, but I think the people you claim to represent fully appreciate and understand what I and others have been trying to do.’ We sit here and we have fantasies, we dream, for example, of Big Oil CEOs saying, ‘You know what, the tables are wrong here. You guys need to be seated where I am and I need to be where you are so we can start asking you questions about why you have targeted my business for eventual destruction. You guys are the ones making it harder for us to do business.’ Here, let’s go to the audio sound bites.

Now, this is the perfect illustration of something that is a big bugaboo of mine. Think of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina happens, the federal response is supposedly slow. As the president said today in his swan song press conference, ‘We had 30,000 federal people in there, almost overnight, there wasn’t anything slow about it,’ but that notwithstanding, every member of the House and every member of the Senate stood up, demanded hearings, as though they knew nothing of what went on in New Orleans and they got to act as total spectators while the Bush administration gets dumped on here for a lack of recovery effort. In the meantime, it was Congress which authorized the expenditure to fix the levees and to prevent flooding. It wasn’t the hurricane that tore down New Orleans, it was the flooding aftermath when the levees broke, when the levees didn’t hold, and all the money that hadn’t been spent and all of the attention that hadn’t been given and all the warnings, and yet every time something like this happens, members of Congress and the Senate get to sit there and act like spectators like they had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Chris Dodd was on Good Morning America today being interviewed by Diane Sawyer.

As you know, the original TARP fund, the Troubled Assets Relief Program, 700 billion, 350 billion has been allocated to the banks, and the banks are not lending it, and there hasn’t been any oversight. There wasn’t any oversight written into it, as we are now learning. And the reason there wasn’t any oversight written into it is because everybody just decided to rely on a handshake, okay, we’re bailing out the credit markets here. Of course, it’s come now that we’re bailing out the auto companies from these funds and a number of other institutions have been able to change their structure so that they’re called banks so that they can have access to TARP funds. There hasn’t been any accountability. The banks are not lending. I quoted the Business Week story earlier today about why they won’t lend. There’s little financial incentive to make fresh loans in the current unease, new corporate loans are immediately marked down to between 60 cents and 80 cents on the dollar, forcing banks to take a hit on the debt. It’s more lucrative for them to buy old loans that are discounted already, rather than make new loans.

Anil Kashyap, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor, said, ‘Banks don’t have enough money to bear the risk of making new loans right now. We’re going to need TARP 2 and TARP 3.’ Well, we haven’t even began halfway of TARP 1 and the banks are still not lending any money. Now, most people would look at this and say, ‘Now, wait a second here,’ it was members of Congress that were running around screaming bloody murder, saying we had to do this, we had to do it now, the Bush administration, too, they were demanding $700 billion, it was a crisis, if we didn’t get it now we’re in deep trouble. The first vote failed. The country did not collapse. The country kept on keeping on. Two weeks later after the pressure had been applied to those who voted against the bailout, they ended up voting for it, and, lo and behold, the magic didn’t happen. We didn’t bail anybody out, well, we bailed the banks out, but didn’t lend the money. Nothing got circuited in the private sector. We’ve announced all these other stimulus programs, government’s the only entity that can fix this, we’re told by President-elect Obama, and yet all this spending and all this infusion hasn’t led to anything positive happening.

The auto companies got their money but I haven’t seen any improvement there. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 85 today, and it’s been down last week. Nothing is happening, Obama’s announced all of his big, exciting plans, and if government is the only entity the announcement of the plans alone should be causing a huge spike in economic activity, a huge spurt, because if the government’s the only entity and everybody knows the government’s the only entity, the government’s in the game and the government’s going to get in the game even bigger, and yet there isn’t any confidence, there isn’t one bit of detectable movement in our economy, as a result of these bailouts or promised bailouts that’s leading to any increased economic activity, is there? There isn’t. And so now all of a sudden it’s just like Katrina, it’s time to start pointing the fingers of blame. Well, who’s responsible? And in that light I want you to listen to Chris Dodd on Good Morning America today with Diane Sawyer. She said: ‘Now, if Treasury didn’t set up any mechanisms –‘ in other words, for the banks to put the TARP money into circulation ‘– and you, Senator Dodd, were there when the American people were asked to sign on for this bailout, how can they believe, the American people, how can they believe it’s going to happen with another bailout?’

DODD: This is a critical piece here. Obviously it’s been totally mismanaged in my view by the Bush administration. We’ve seen that over the last number of weeks. Again, the good news here, Barack Obama, the president-elect, has said he entirely needs to rebrand this effort entirely and demand accountability. I agree with him. You can’t go forward without demanding that lenders actually report and not be involved in providing — acquiring acquisitions that are healthy institutions. Executive compensation needs to be dealt with. We mentioned foreclosure mitigation needs to be a part of this.

RUSH: Where were you the first time? This is just infuriatingly hilarious, and it’s outrageous. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and others in Congress wrote the legislation that led to — remember all of the late-night negotiations, remember all of the things that had to be done here in order for this thing to get passed and for the president to sign it. Now all of a sudden the president’s to blame because he didn’t put any accountability in it? The president doesn’t write legislation, president doesn’t write the law. Members of Congress do. So once again, these clowns screw up royally and now get to act like spectators and say they were tricked, they were tricked by Bush and the banks. Now, the Bush administration in this case is Hank Paulson. The Treasury secretary, who, according — read the TARP legislation. I myself have done so. I have shared it with you. The Treasury secretary is a dictator here. The Treasury secretary is a czar. Part 1 and 2, the purpose and explanation of the TARP bailout, give the secretary of the Treasury sole authority, he’s the only one, to spend these funds and to take action to secure the welfare of the American people.

These guys thought they had a crisis on their hands, they thought they had an emergency, they passed this legislation to dole out $750 billion ’cause this is what people like this do, they spend your money, that’s what they’re experts at, without accountability. They do it all the time. They don’t want us knowing about their earmarks; they don’t want us knowing about pork. They, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, the rest of these people, are the ones who spend money, that’s all they’re good at, and they do it in stealth ways, they do it in public ways, but they do it without accountability for themselves. The one group here that is never held accountable other than at the ballot box every two years or four is the United States Congress. And here they are now running around blaming everybody else — Bush, the banks, or whoever, just as they tried to blame everybody else for Hurricane Katrina or every other natural disaster that happens. Every federal law in this country is written in Congress, a combination of the House and the Senate, and every time some disaster strikes, be it an economic disaster, natural disaster, guess what? They had no clue. Why, they didn’t know there wasn’t any accountability in it, they didn’t know that there was nothing in there to force the banks to lend money. Dodd was not finished, by the way. Diane Sawyer said, ‘Are you saying the Bush administration tricked you, pulled the wool over your eyes?’

DODD: They didn’t say what they were going to do. Five hundred and thirty-five members of Congress cannot manage a program like this. We can demand, as we did, accountability standards, warrants for taxpayers, limitations on executive compensation. But if the administration did not fulfill those commitments, then obviously they let us down and the country down.

RUSH: The administration can’t fulfill a damn anything unless it’s in the legislation. Executive compensation, that’s another straw dog; that was a political insertion into this thing, has nothing to do with whether the banks are going to lend money. This is pure Democrat populist politics, class envy, make the people who are suffering economic insecurities and so forth think that rich guys are going to have a limit on what they can make, make ’em think it, don’t actually do it, just make ’em think it, and even if you did put in limits on executive compensation, it doesn’t improve the life of one homeowner who’s having trouble paying his mortgage. It has nothing to do with it. So this is once again another cowardly cop-out by Senator Dodd, but he’s just the figurehead here. They’re all this way. Five hundred and thirty-five people can’t manage a program like this? Well, you certainly think you can manage a war, you certainly think you can manage the Iraq war, you certainly think you can manage the recovery of Hurricane Katrina, you can do everything better than anybody else does it except everybody has to go by the laws you write, and the laws you write have screwed up so much of this country and you get to pretend that you had nothing to do with it and then claim, ‘We can’t do anything about this. All we can do is sit here and hold hearings and punish people who had nothing to do with it while we save our own bacons.’


RUSH: We had a call previously from a guy who wanted me to play his favorite segment from ’24’ last night, Scott from Jacksonville, and Cookie ran and grabbed the particular sound bite he was talking about. Jack Bauer and Agent Kilner are sitting in a car on a stakeout because terrorism has broken out while Bauer is being grilled by a bunch of pompous senators. This is outside the building where there’s a sniper trapped inside and Agent Kilner and Bauer have this exchange.

KILNER: Mr. Bauer?

BAUER: Yeah?

KILNER: I just wanted to tell you, what they’re making you go through at that Senate hearing, it’s wrong.

BAUER: No, it’s not. It’s better that everything comes out in the open. We’ve done so many secret things over the years in the name of protecting this country, we’ve created two worlds, ours and the people we promised to protect. They deserve to know the truth, and they can decide how far they want to let us go.

KILNER: Still, you don’t deserve to be treated that way. Not after what you’ve done for our country. And I’m not the only one that thinks so.

BAUER: Thank you.

RUSH: Now, I wonder how many short years it will be before this conversation is taken with somebody and President Bush, not Jack Bauer. Stop and think of what these guys faced after 9/11. They had no clue whether the next wave of attacks was going to happen that night, the next day, the next week, they had no idea what was coming, because the intel on this was so bad. We don’t need to relive history, but just to mention in the nineties the Clinton administration couldn’t have cared less about any of this, so there really wasn’t much to go on, and the Bush administration took it deadly seriously, and it led to where we are now with the left-wing fringe just totally rewriting history and making it out to be some giant violation of civil liberties and so forth.

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