Let me begin by saying that I am a big fan of Rush Limbaugh. He, almost daily, offers insights that enlighten the political and social dialog. But in the last two days he has said two loopy things that have me worried.
Yesterday (or Monday) he said that the U.S. stock market is up in September because the Federal Reserve is buying stocks to prop them up before the elections in November. This clearly is nonsense. The Fed is prohibited from such equity speculation. After a while Rush tried to back off this statement (after his e-mail inbox went viral?) by saying that he meant that the low interest rates that the Fed was charging banks was essentially inflating the money supply which was then being used to buy stocks. Even this is not totally true. Most of the money that banks borrow overnight from the Fed (for essentially the doughnut) is then reinvested in government securities for a small marginal profit. However, the huge dollar amounts of these money flows still make a healthy return for these banks nonetheless.
Today, he opined on Obama’s comments in Albuquerque on how Obama’s Christianity taught him to be “his brother’s keeper.” Now, this reference comes from the Old Testament when God asks Cain where Abel was and Cain says, “Am I my brother’s keeper.” (Rush sounded very much like he had been reading a reference to this incident on the Powerline blog. See here.) However, Rush called this concept the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” said by Jesus Christ in Matthew 7.12). This mixing of religious dogma was later backtracked by Rush (after another e-mail storm?) but he never really dumped the Golden Rule reference.
Now these brain farts were so unlike Rush that I am concerned that something is afoot. I won’t speculate on what it is here, but, if something transpires in the near future, remember you heard my concern here first.