Posts Tagged ‘Talk Radio’

Mark Levin and the Establishment

Thursday, March 10th, 2022

Why does Levin sound like the establishment on Ukraine?

I really didn’t see this coming. I was on my way home from another day of work on Wednesday as Levin’s show began.  As he began talking about the events in Ukraine, it came to that moment when he said that he’d be having Lindsey Graham on in his third hour to discuss the Senator’s notion that Putin needs to be taken out, an idea with which Levin heartily agrees.  As I listened to him go on about his disdain for “nationalist-populists” and so on, before too much time had passed, a thought formed in my mind that I simply couldn’t escape.  At first, I thought, and may even have said aloud in answer to the radio: “Mark, you sound just like the establishment against which you always rail.” A commercial came on as I pondered that thought a little longer, and then it struck me.  It’s not that Mark Levin merely sounds like the establishment.  He is the establishment, or at least its errand-boy, perhaps unwittingly.

Do I think Mark Levin is deep within the DC establishment?  No.  On the other hand, he’s in their circle, perhaps loosely, and he’s put himself in a position through which they will attempt to exploit him, and thereby, his audience.  When he speaks, millions listen attentively.  They listen because he offers a view from inside politics, as a former chief of staff to an Attorney General of the United States.  Though his connections into the mechanisms of state are dated and most will have long since retired, that doesn’t mean the existing establishment hasn’t cultivated a connection to him through which they hope to propagandized and manipulate his audience.

Do you need proof?  Every time the Republican establishment needs something from him, he gives it, with few exceptions.  They know there will be some times and some areas of policy on which he will be unapproachable, but they know when election time rolls around, for the most part, they can count on him to carry their water.  He helped give us a whole string of Senators under the vague umbrella of the Tea Party movement, but most of them went on to betray us in varying degrees.  In 2020, he brought his audience Lindsey freaking Graham.  He pushed Lindsey for re-election.  He should have given him a strong kick in the ass and run him off.  Instead, Levin played the good soldier and brought Graham on his show, and while you could almost hear part of Levin holding his nose, he did it nevertheless.  In 2016, when Ted Cruz needed a “constitutional expert” to vouch for his eligibility to run for President, he went immediately to Levin.  In what I regard to be the biggest single betrayal of his audience in the whole of his career on the radio, he cobbled together some nonsensical explanation that “Natural Born Citizen” was “just a citizen.”  It was embarrassingly infantile and nonsensical, and it took a long time for me to get over it.  I had been researching the issue(and continued to for some time before publishing my article) when Levin made this pronouncement, and knew him to be full of piss and wind on the issue that day.

I knew then that Levin would bend things to support his own agenda, and that while it wasn’t perfectly aligned with the establishment, it was nevertheless amenable to them in some instances.  What happens to Levin seems to be that he’s so invested in winning that he’ll make friends with alleged enemies if he thinks it will help him advance his cause, but the problem with this approach is that often, it’s self-defeating, not only to Levin, but also to his audience. As another example, he’s friends with Senator Mike Lee, (R-UT,) a guy who makes many good arguments, but unfortunately also is the Senator from Google.  He’s thoroughly compromised by the funds and lobbying that rolls in the door from that company.  Levin won’t tell you about that. He’s protective of Lee on that issue. It’s as though it doesn’t exist.

Another good example is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA,) another establishment stooge and first-rate swampster. Levin brought this stooge to you in 2020 also, just as he did Speaker Paul Ryan(R-WI) in previous election years. On Wednesday evening, Levin bashed McCarthy, after mentioning he was seemingly interested in coming on the show an longer.  Of course not, Mark, he got what he needed from you in 2020, pre-election. Check back in with him this coming Fall!  Ryan is the definition of a swampster, a Republican who’s married into a thoroughgoing Democrat family(and his sister-in-law is the Biden SCOTUS-pick, Ketanji Brown Jackson,) and who spent as little time in Wisconsin as was humanly possible.  In that respect, Ryan was a good deal like another swampster Levin brought you on his show when she was seeking election to the house: Elizabeth “Liz” Cheney(R-WY) spends even less time in Wyoming than Ryan spent in Wisconsin.  Do you see how the Republican establishment exploits him?  How is this possible for an alleged Tea Party guy, a constitutionalist?

I don’t believe Mark Levin is a part of the DC UniParty, but his orbit crosses theirs, whether he’ll admit it or not.  He makes mention from time to time on-air about how they reach out to him, and want to come on the show, but most of the time, if an election is tight, and he thinks he can help a little, he’ll bring them on.  It’s what it is.  Is he an evil guy?  No. Absolutely not.  The problem is that when you get into bed with these people, it’s hard to get away.  I also wouldn’t say he provides strictly establishmentarian propaganda.  He does provide much very good content, but I’m afraid that very often, too many of the wrong people have his ear.  He gets “insider” information from some people who are truly swampy.  How do I know?  I hear it on air.  I can tell what sorts of people within the bureaucracy or in the Congress have his ear. For Pete’s sake, he brought John Bolton(!) to Donald Trump.  He admitted on-air that Bolton had lobbied him strongly to get in on the NSA job with Trump.  Bolton was a catastrophe who spent his whole time in that job undermining Trump’s foreign policy agenda.  Levin admits it now, belatedly.  If I were Trump, I’d never listen seriously to another recommendation from Levin on personnel.  Ever.  Thinking about it, maybe neither should you.

Now Levin is taking information from the same crowd with respect to Ukraine.  He can see the Democrats are a catastrophe, but he can’t see that the information he’s being passed comes from the same sort of corrupt sources that brought Trump a recommendation of John Bolton via Mark Levin.  He remarked the other day that some fan had asked him in public whether he believed anything about it, because the media is so corrupt.  Levin explained to his audience that he’d told the man that the whole of the International Press isn’t corrupt too.  You see, he doesn’t see it.  The politicization of media hasn’t stopped at the water’s edge, any more than politics itself has stopped there.  Levin seems to be having a weird kind of “bromance” with Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but the problem is that much of that upon which Levin bases his admiration for Zelenskiy has been debunked.  It turns out that Zelenskiy may be just as corrupt as his predecessor, if not quite as wealthy. He’s tied-in with Ihor Kolomoisky, another corrupt Ukrainian oligarch. Somehow, these facts escape Levin, or he’s not mentioning them because of his admiration for the Ukrainian president.  Either way, it’s a dangerous lack of perspective.

Levin has always had his strawmen and his foils.  Lately, he’s been concentrating on the “nationalist-populists,” decrying them as Putinophiles, or something in that vein.  I actually hate when he does this.  Name names, for Heaven’s sake!  In the case of “nationalist-populist,” I’m pretty certain he means Steve Bannon of WarRoom fame.  There seems to be real heartburn there, and Bannon, for his part, doesn’t help when he tosses out phrases like “Neocon” because it seems to trigger Levin’s antisemitism alarms.  Levin needs to get a grip.  Virtually nobody who uses the term “Neocon” means anything to do with Jews, and most of them won’t even know the relationship between “Neocons” and Jews in the purely historical sense.  It’s much like “establishment” in the sense that you might not be able to name an actual “neocon,” but you can identify their policies in action and advocacy when you see them, and while the original description “neocon” may have applied specifically to a particular group of Jews, it’s been clear for some time that their basic set of military and foreign policy issues have been adopted by a wider group of interventionist Republicans, many of whom are clearly not Jews.

It’s maddening. Levin is so close to the truth about Ukraine, but he’s being strung-along by his emotions, his admiration for Zelenskiy, and his cold-war-hardened hatred for all things Russia, particularly Putin. When you add to it what’s being pumped-out in the mainstream narratives, even by Republicans, especially swampsters, he just can’t shake it loose.  I’m afraid that until Levin overcomes these demons, he’s simply incapable of bringing you full and sensible information on Ukraine, and that’s simply the most disappointing development in media in a long, long while.

At the end of his show, in the last hour, Levin had Graham on his show to talk about taking out Putin.  If you listen, you can hear Lindsey Graham ingratiate himself to Levin with the slobbering remarks near the end of his appearance.  One could almost hear Levin’s heart melt.  I could vomit.

Here’s the full podcast(The Graham interview begins at the 1:28:55 mark):


Oh, and Mark? Ronald Reagan never once called for taking-out Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko or Gorbachev. He knew that the last thing a nuclear-armed country run by a totalitarian government needs is any sort of instability of that sort.  Do you think the people who would take out Putin would be any more stable or less dangerous to the United States?  No.  Reagan knew better than nonsensical ideas like that. You should be ashamed of yourself for associating such a foolish idea with the temperament and wisdom of Ronald Reagan.

 

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The State Funeral Rush Limbaugh Deserves

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

A Man, a Legend, a Way of Life

I was a young veteran with a family. Times were tough in the economy, and troops were deployed and deploying to the vast desert of the Arabian peninsula. I was working a temporary contract job on Fort Hood, Texas, in support of the troops training to augment that deployment. Saddam Hussein had been delivered an ultimatum: Withdraw from Kuwait or be expelled forcibly. Everybody was monitoring the news, and in the field supporting the troops with spare gear and equipment in a rented truck, I tuned that truck’s radio(that had only the AM band) to find the latest information. There was this guy on the radio playing parody songs and talking politics, and one of those songs was a take on “Barbara Ann” the lyrics having been re-written into Bomb Iraq. It was entertaining and informative, and I’d never heard anything like it. Rush Limbaugh was leading the nation to support our troops, to buoy morale of the American people, and Democrats were busy telling America that the war, if it came, would result in the slaughter of tens or hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

The Democrats saw this as a revival of the discord of Vietnam. Rush Limbaugh saw it differently: He believed American might would steamroll Hussein and his forces. The media was, as ever, taking(or advancing) the Democrats’ narrative. The war began, and for a month, the reports of airstrikes rolled on, the reports of Iraqi fighter jets fleeing to Iran mounted, and when the ground war commenced, it was over almost before one could catch up with the news. It was a stunning victory, and in those days I learned something that was contrary to what the media propaganda had told me: America was great, and this guy on the radio, Rush Limbaugh, had been exactly right. For this alone, for his boundless confidence in the American servicemembers, Rush Limbaugh deserved a great honor. In all the years since, in his tireless support of America, he not only earned our respect, but has earned an honor the official government will never bestow. Rush Limbaugh deserves a state funeral on par with an American President, because in so many ways, and for so many people, in all the days spanning the period from the end of the Reagan Presidency to the inauguration of Donald Trump, Limbaugh had been conservative America’s presidency-in-exile, giving voice to a vast swath of America that was in a constant state of siege and disparagement by the Washington DC elite.

I had been raised in a union Democrat home, but through my years in the Army, I had begun to question the orthodoxy. Rush used humor as a means to entertain the audience while delivering serious information. As Rush would say in various forms over the years, the critical heart of humor is truth: There must be universal truth in a thing for it to be funny to the audience, or they won’t “get it.” In those days, Rush had various impromptu “updates” of various sorts and topics, with various songs and parodies as the introductory themes. This was delicious humor, and to listen to somebody on the radio skewering the sacred cows of the leftist mob was particularly entertaining. As a young guy at the time, it was all quite appealing to me. Rush was ever the defender of America, and when Japanese Parliament Speaker Yoshio Sakurauchi in January 1992 called America’s workers “lazy,” Rush had a single-sentence answer, posed as a question:

“We build a damn fine bomb, don’t we?”

The left shrieked. The political class in Washington DC gnashed its collective teeth. How dare Limbaugh say such a thing? Rush had intimated that the atomic bombs dropped on Japan were the hallmark of American creativity and productiveness, but more broadly, that the “lazy” American worker Yoshio Sakurauchi had criticized had kicked Japan’s Imperial ass all over the Pacific after the cowardly sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. Rush was right again, and he defended America’s history and unique culture as the greatest in human history. Rush believed in American exceptionalism, and he was its unabashed advocate for all the years he was on the radio. This should have earned Rush a state funeral, because more than any other American, he believed in America and sung her praises, recognizing her warts, but knowing that America is great because at its heart, “the people who make the country work” are the salt of the Earth, and the people who go about making it great by the aggregation of their tens of millions of individual efforts.

In truth, we could go through most of the events of the last thirty years and show how Rush Limbaugh had been the voice of a nation, who offered a counter-argument to the mainstream media, and had served as a proxy for the President we would have elected had we been a more sane, rational country. The problem has always been the advancing elements of the hard left, and Rush was ever there to warn us about their latest tricks, traps, and subterfuges. He really was on the cutting edge of societal evolution, and he held up the nation when we needed a voice of calm and sanity.

He single-handedly saved the AM band on radio, He created the genre that is talk radio. Certainly, there had been talkshows on the radio before, but it was mostly a bunch of drivel or interview-based shows. Rush built it. Now we enjoy hundreds of talk-shows, the AM band is far bigger in terms of daily listenership, and the statistics are quite clear: Rush made our modern world, and before these combined-platform news and information shows began to proliferate, there was Rush 24/7. He set so many trends, and showed the way forward in an industry that had been dying.

Steve Bannon said that Rush had been a bridge from Reagan to Trump. This is self-evident, but there’s more to it than this. He understood something I had missed. I think many of us missed it on the conservative side. In 2016, many conservatives gravitated to the candidacy of Ted Cruz. I had become a bit annoyed by Rush, because it was clear to me that he favored Trump. Like many conservatives, I didn’t understand why. Cruz seemed to be a genuine conservative, and while Rush didn’t demean Cruz, Rush went as far as to say that he(Rush himself) had never really been a “movement conservative.” That seemed to fly in the face of what Rush had been telling us for the decades we’d been listening. To a degree, I felt a little betrayed.

In the end, I grudgingly voted for Trump like so many conservatives who might have preferred a more doctrinaire conservative candidate. It wasn’t until some time after Trump’s inauguration that I finally realized what Rush had meant, and what he’d been telling us. Ted Cruz, for all his conservative positions, is just another politician, just one more creature of Washington DC. Yes, he’s better than most, but in the main, he’s revolved around DC and the DC set for much of his career. He certainly has better instincts for the grass roots of the conservatives, but I think that owes to the fact that Cruz is amazingly smart. What Ted Cruz isn’t is what America needed more desperately: Somebody who could win.

What Rush saw in Trump now, belatedly, makes perfect sense once you recognize the real, central issue, which I’d missed at the time: There’s no point having a putatively conservative candidate who is part of the UniParty oligopoly that has failed us repeatedly since 1988. In Trump, Rush saw an outsider who loves his country, warts and all, and who may not be a doctrinaire conservative, but because he comes from a place of common sense, would govern functionally as a conservative. More importantly, Trump had nothing personal to gain from the Presidency, except perhaps satisfaction in saving and restoring America. For the entirety of his presidency, Donald Trump donated his entire presidential salary. All of it. His presidency should rightly be viewed as a colossal gift to the American people. If not for the media, we’d have known this.

Rush was right. Always two steps ahead of the media and the political intelligentsia, Rush intuitively understood his role in American politics and culture. Every day, millions hung on his words. Every day, millions tuned into his show, and he formed an anchor for most talk stations’ lineups, but also for America. Rush loved life. Rush brought a whole back-bench of under-studies to America. He elevated them. He elevated us all. When I look back over the thirty years since I first heard his voice, I realize just how much Rush gave to us all. Every day, year after year, he kept me abreast of most of the things that mattered. He told conservative America how to fight. He offered entertainment and wisdom. He gave valuable insights from a value base so fundamental to what America is, and has been. Whether I live another week or decade, I will miss Rush for all days of my life, like a friend or an older brother. “What would Rush say?” He made us all smarter, and he made America immeasurably greater. Of all the politicians who’ve enjoyed the honors of official Washington DC in passing, none of them, save perhaps Ronald Reagan, had meant as much to our country as Rush Limbaugh. If there were true justice, all flags across this nation would for a week be at half-mast, and the parades in honor of Rush would speak to the triumph of a great life and great man who lived and fought with all his love for a nation that had scarcely deserved him.

 

 

RINOs on the Radio: WBAP’s Morning S-Show

Monday, December 7th, 2020

WBAP Morning Crew – Brian Estridge and Hal Jay at Center

In this post-election period, as Democrats continue their efforts to cement the steal, the media is showing its knickers. Even in venues many have long held are “conservative,” the truth is becoming obvious. On Monday, during the morning show on the very popular WBAP in the DFW area, the hosts, Brian Estridge and Hal Jay, spent their time explaining how it’s the “right thing” for Donald Trump to attend the inauguration of Joe Biden in January. Naturally, many of their listeners disagreed, and they read a few emails. Estridge implied in a haughty tone that he wanted people to explain how it would be consistent with their Christian principles for Donald Trump to skip the inauguration.  Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know a single thing in Christianity that suggests one must play along happily with fraud, theft, and pure evil. I don’t know anything in scripture that says Christians are condemned to be suckers.

This is what the media offers us as “conservative” media. These are the people who have a very superficial view of Christianity. In their view, apparently, being amicable to evil is a sign of maturity. That was their other contention: “Somebody needs to be the adult in the room.” I wonder what kind of parents these guys are or have been. Being an adult requires saying “no” to fraud, lying, deceit, theft, and other immorality. Being an adult requires refusing to accept those sorts of things for the sake of amicability. Can we just admit that so many of the so-called “conservatives” in media are anything but? This sort of superficial idea that being polite is “doing what’s right” is so despicable that my contempt for it cannot be overstated.  When people tell you such idiocy, you should recoil from it as withdrawing your hand from the path of a rattlesnake’s strike.

There’s nothing “right” or “adult” about accepting the inauguration of a stolen presidency. Indeed, what’s right is to stand against it. What’s right is to oppose it at every turn. What’s right is to prevent it if possible.

On that front, the two hosts offered: “Show the proof.” Apparently, they’ve not seen the testimony, or watched the video, or read any of the thousands of affidavits. That, or they don’t understand what constitutes “evidence.” Folks, sworn affidavits are evidence. You’ve seen the video of the “suitcases of ballots” being pulled out an counted without the presence of the press or legal poll watchers in Georgia. According to Georgia statute, every one of those ballots is illegal in Georgia.  EVERY ONE. Georgia statute requires no ballots be counted in secret.  Without press and poll-watchers present, this is precisely what occurred at the State Farm Arena between 10:45PM and 1:30AM on election night.  Ignoring this FACT is the typical media-driven nonsense by which you ignore details so you can run with the lie: “There’s no evidence…”

Listen to WBAP’s morning show with caution. These guys are your typical RINOs. They won’t take positions that the LameStream Media tells them are too controversial, and they’re not willing to stand on principles, but more, it’s clear that such “principles” as they observe are nothing of the sort. It’s typical for this class of fools to substitute surrender for the sake of alleged comity.  On Monday morning, they seemed to be indicating their growing contempt of their audience, in much the same way FoxNews has done since immediately before the election, and particularly afterward. There’s nothing Christian or conservative about accepting evil, or treating with it on equal footing. There’s also nothing adult about it. “Doing what’s right” is frequently controversial, difficult, and brings much gnashing of teeth from those who wish to endorse evil by silent assent.  I’m sorry to say that WBAP’s morning show is dominated by people who’ve either abandoned truth or simply never knew it.

Tammy Bruce: Passionately Independent Conservatism in the New Media

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

"Chick With Gun and Mic"

If you’re not familiar with Tammy Bruce, I would like to urge you to check out her show.  I listen to Tammy Bruce almost daily, as time permits, although it’s generally while I’m at work, and I’m in and out of the office, get pulled away for meetings and problems, and all the usual things that prevail upon my daily schedule.  Hers is an entertaining and informative show, and most days, I will listen to the opening hour of Rush Limbaugh, and follow that with the two hours of Bruce’s show.  It’s an interesting contrast in style and presentation, but each has their own merits above and beyond the superficial differences.  Tammy is a good deal more serious, although cheerfully so.  She’s a former liberal who woke up to the direction in which the left was steering the country, and since then, she’s been what she calls an “independent conservative,” because she owes no allegiance to party.  She’s also the author of  The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values,” a serious examination of how the left has debased our culture by design and intention.

Her independence also defines another distinction between her show and many others in conservative radio:  Hers is a commercial-free show that thrives on the power of subscribers, known as TAMs, or “Tammy Army Members.”  She frequently points to this as leaving her free of “Gestapos” of the sort Limbaugh is now facing in the latest controversy involving Sandra Fluke:  Advertisers who pull the plug on a host when things get too hot in the kitchen.  This helps make Bruce the leading edge of a new wave of new media that waits for none, and takes no prisoners, because she doesn’t need to do so.  She answers to her conscience alone.

I’ve been a TAM for roughly half a year now, and it’s the best investment I’ve made in some time, and while I don’t always agree with Bruce on every issue, I do respect her delivery and her passion.  She’s the beating heart exemplifying new media, and she’s part of what traditional media both deplores and fears: An independent voice that has a direct relationship with her consumers, skipping the middle-men.  From 1p-3p eastern/10a-Noon Pacific, Bruce offers up a seldom-restrained run-down on the day’s events, and if you’re a subscriber, you get a bonus with a recorded Daily TAM Briefing she posts each night, and usually a weekend update too.  The community of her listeners get together in two venues: One is a chat that is available via her website that is open from just before the live show until just after its conclusion, and the other is via the Twitter hashtag: #tbrs.   Like most talkshows, there is a core of supporters, but hers are able to avail themselves of the chat during the live show, and they enjoy an uproariously good time commenting on Tammy’s broadcast in real time, or occasionally schmoozing with other celebrities who pop in on occasion, like Jedediah Bila.

I had the good fortune to meet Tammy at meet-up she held last September 3rd, in Des Moines, the evening after the Tea Party rally at which Governor Sarah Palin had delivered the keynote address.  Tammy gave a frank talk to the TAMs present about the ongoing campaign, and what it would take to overwhelm the left in 2012.  She was precise and her thoughts were well-organized, and she was gracious as can be to all in attendance.  I was pleasantly surprised at how thoroughly engaging and down-to-Earth she was, and that she wasn’t smitten with herself like so many celebrities seem to be.  Instead, she made rounds of all the tables, and engaged the people assembled, and sincerely answered questions, making it abundantly clear that unlike some in radio, whatever Bruce says, you can bet she believes it.

As for her radio show, I find it to be quite entertaining, and besides, who doesn’t love it when Tammy blows her stack over the latest leftist outrage?  She gives voice to the frustrations conservatives feel in the face of a monolithic mainstream media that is in league with the left.   The nice thing about her show is that because of the format, she’s able to speak frankly and without commercial interruptions when she gets on a roll.  Naturally, one of her favorite targets is Barack Obama, who has several nicknames on the show, including “Furkel” (an development of his earlier label as plain “Urkel,” with an “F” prefixed in order to convey “F-Urkel,”) along with the ever-popular DB,(or Dumb Bastard.)  The show is available via TalkStreamLive.com, and they now have an iPhone app, so you can listen there too, but the best part is even if you miss it live, even non-subscribers get access to her daily public show podcast.

What I find most valuable about Tammy’s show is the perspective of a former leftist, a woman who knows how the left operates, and easily recognizes their latest game-plans usually well in advance of the rest of conservative talk radio.  This distinction makes Tammy Bruce unique in talk radio, because she’s able to cut through the superficial nonsense and directly to the meat of most issues.  This makes her insight doubly refreshing, because in so many cases, she is able to see the heart of a matter with a clarity most cannot.  She knows how the left works, and she knows how the left is able to manipulate or collude with media in pushing their agenda, because not so very long ago, she was among their number.

She doesn’t like the Republican establishment for most of the same reasons she can’t stand the institutional left: She knows the fraud at the root of their agenda.  When I need a boost in the middle of a long day, Tammy Bruce is there to offer her audience wisdom, but also a good kick in the seat, exhorting them not to wallow in self-pity or doubt.  If you want to hear what an independent conservative with a passion for her country sounds like, you need go no further than Tammy Bruce.  Hers is a talkshow with a refreshing difference that is really quite addicting, and if you become a TAM, and join in the lively discussions, you’ll soon find that the crowd she attracts is of a similar mindset.  I translate it into the impression I first got when I heard Tammy’s blunt, incisive commentary, bold and rebellious with the fervor of a warrior:  “You’re not the boss of me!”

Tammy is the first woman I’ve ever heard in radio who espouses a belligerent rejection of authority that warns those who would tell her how to live where to get off.  That’s an endearing quality in my book, in this world of obnoxious, overreaching bureaucrats who wish to tell us whether we can have salt on our fries, or how many gallons our toilet-tanks may dispense per flush.  Her direct words to the would-be tyrants?  “Screw you!

Damned straight.  Check out her show, and you’ll quickly become addicted too.