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Rush Limbaugh pontificates on Measure 2 and a hitchhiker shot in the arm in the Bakken
June 11, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
Here's some food for thought as you head to the polls tomorrow: Rush Limbaugh is a Measure 2 proponent.
As I drove back from Stanley this afternoon, listening to Limbaugh's radio program, I heard him pontificating on how crazy it is that 75 percent of North Dakotans might vote tomorrow against abolishing property taxes. This is according to a Wall Street Journal article quoting polls of likely voters, by the way, so I would take it with a grain of salt. I'm never sure how accurate these polls are. Limbaugh, wealthy man that he is, likely owns mansions in several different states and has numerous other property interests. It was no great surprise to me when he said, if he lived in North Dakota, he'd move the election up to today just so he could vote to abolish his property taxes sooner. As far as I know, North Dakotans are the only ones voting on property taxes this week so Limbaugh won't get the chance.
Limbaugh went on to speculate that even conservative North Dakotans might have been brainwashed by liberals into believing that government should never get less funding and to scoff at fears that the oil boom in North Dakota might not last. A caller to the show said maybe North Dakotans don't want to vote for Measure 2 because they're afraid that President Obama will ban fracking, which would dry up the oil money. The Wall Street Journal article didn't say that, but Limbaugh agreed with the caller that this might be so and maybe he couldn't blame North Dakotans for being afraid of the President. And so on and so forth.
This came just after Limbaugh discussed a news item about Ray Dolin, a 39-year-old hitchhiker from West Virginia who was shot in the arm three miles west of Glasgow, Mont. on Saturday night, allegedly by Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, 52, a Washington state man who was driving to Williston in search of work in the oil fields. Danielson was allegedly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The story is somewhat ironic because Dolin is hitchiking across the country and plans to write a memoir about the kindness of Americans. I guess Dolin now may have something else to write about. Limbaugh told his staff not to laugh because it isn't a funny story, but he was obviously having a hard time holding back his laughter. I couldn't really blame him, given how ironic the story is. I wouldn't wish what happened to Dolin on anyone but it appeals to my dark sense of humor.
I found Limbaugh's commentary interesting for a couple of reasons: No. 1, because it says something about how prominent North Dakota and the Bakken have become on the national scene. This place has changed, not always for the better, as the story of the random shooting of a hitchhiker says. What Dolin is doing probably is no longer safe.
No. 2, it also says something about how much gets lost in translation when a local story makes the national news. There are other reasons why people might not vote for Measure 2, but those are arguments that are still being hashed out on the pages and comment forums of local news forums, over the dinner table and at community meetings.
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