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Uber-Right Wing Talker Mark Levin: Emergency Aid for America's Farmers Is "Crap"

Reported by Marie Therese - March 26, 2007 -

Last night on Hannity's America obnoxious radio talk show host Mark "The Great One" Levin got so caught up in a game of oneupsmanship with Democrats Juan Willliams and Jane Fleming that his true feelings about emergency aid for America's farmers came spilling out. (With video.)

Hannity opened his show with a diatribe accusing House Democrats of "legislating defeat in Iraq" with their passage of the recent Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill. The bill is the latest in a long series of "emergency appropriations" submitted by the Bush administration to the Congress for approval. At a cool $100 billion, it was the largest such supplemental request on record. These bills are not reported as part of the budget and, therefore, the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not added to the deficit.

Hannity went on to say that in order to "get politicians to vote against America like that", Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had to "sweeten the deal for liberal defeatists" by adding $21 billion in "pork" to what Hannity erroneously called the "Iraq Supplemental Bill."

So, Hannity has his knickers in a knot because - gasp! - $315 million (or .00150%) of $21 billion was earmarked for shrimp farmers in Louisiana, lettuce growers in California, peanut farmers in Georgia and, oh yes, let's not forget America's dairy* farmers. (Hannity left out the millions of dollars that went to Republican districts, thus making it appear that ONLY Democrats benefitted from this bill.)

According to the Washington Post:

"The $124 billion legislation includes more than $100 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus billions more than Bush requested for combat equipment and training, for military housing and health care, to address the flaws in mental health care, brain trauma treatment and other issues that surfaced in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal. Billions more were added for veterans' care, agricultural assistance and drought relief, homeland security, and Gulf Coast hurricane recovery."

Hannity has every right to be angry at such an overwhelmingly large display of pork. As we can see from his frequent exposes of similar excesses when the Republicans were running Congress - oh, wait a minute. There aren't any such exposes. Well, I'll be damned. Where was the great champion of the taxpayer when Republicans approved - and the President signed - the very same type of regionally favorable "pork" add-ons to the last 4 years of emergency supplemental legislation?

Where was all that Hannitized anger in spring 2005 when Congress approved - and Bush signed - an Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill with $14 billion in new, non-emergency spending tacked on, including $3.9 billion for farm subsidies and $13 milllion for drought aid to farmers? (Source: OMB Watch.) Those two pieces of "pork" accounted for .2785% of the non-emergency funding in the Spring 2005 bill!

Democrats - .00150% for "pork"
Republicans - .2785% for "pork".

It seems to me that Speaker Pelosi has seriously cut down on the amount of pork, not increased it, as FOX News and its favorite waterboy, Sean Hannity, would have us believe. She is to be commended.

At one point in last night's discussion Juan Williams expressed his disbelief that Hannity could be so dense.

WILLIAMS: "No, Sean, Sean, Sean, you know what? Sometimes I think you just do this for show."

However, it was Mark Levin's abrasive, rude behavior that stole much of Hannity's thunder. He disparaged Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel by claiming that the Senator is not a real Republican. He made some snide comments regarding the line-item veto, but clearly he himself forgot that the Supreme Court rejected the line-item veto in June 2005.

After Jane Fleming challenged him on his false claim that most military personnel in Iraq approve of the war, he seemed to feel the need to a test his vocal power. By the end of the 5 minute segment, he was shouting.

Transcript of the End of the Segment

MARK LEVIN: Juan, the overwhelming majority of the troops on the field who are putting theirr lives on the line don't agree with you ...

JANE FLEMING; That's not true.

LEVIN: ... don't agree with what the ...

FLEMING: That is absolutely not true.

LEVIN: Excuse me. Excuse me!

JUAN WILLIAMS: Oh, come on!

LEVIN: Well, that's why you guys don't like 'em when they vote! (Jane Fleming shook her head.)

WILLIAMS: No. That's the polls!

LEVIN; Excuse me!!

WILLIAMS (louder): Jane is talking about polls.

LEVIN: Don't agree with what this House is doing! And that's why (raises voice) even the Democrats don't agree!! 'Ya had to spread around $25 billion dollars and our hard-earned money for all kinds of crap that had nothing to do with the war!!!!!

FLEMING: It's not crap. So, do you think farmers and ranchers who have lost ....

SEAN HANNITY: It had no place in this bill.

LEVIN: I'm sick of subsidizing 'em!!!

FLEMING: ... a lot of crops and head of cattle

LEVIN: That's exactly right!!

WILLIAMS: You know what?

LEVIN: It is crap!!! I'm sick of it!!


(N.B. This was my very first attempt at capturing video from my VCR. Apologies in advance for the fuzziness. TiVo is the next thing on my shopping list! However, I had some fun with iMovie and the News Hounds logo!)



* Post updated 3/28/07 to correct typo - "daily" changed to "dairy". - MT