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What a jackass!! Thats it, Rush Limbaugh makes the Rogues Gallery

March 1, 2011

So a bit over a week ago, Rush Limbaugh was at it again, calling Michelle Obama a hypocrite after eating ribs last weekend while skiing at Vail.  The whole rant by Limbaugh is bizarre.  He shifts from calling her a hypocrite to implying that she could stand to lose some weight…  It is the rant of a mad man… I am not sure what point he is trying to make, other than liberals are lying hypocrites (and the only reason I know this is his point is that he has said that is the only thing he is sure of in his past rants against Michelle Obama).  Whatever point he is trying to make though, he fails miserably.  He doesn’t do any research to support his odd claims.  He denigrates the physical looks of Michelle Obama (I think), when in fact she looks great.  He suggests that she is telling people what to eat when she is in fact, helping to educate people as to what is currently believed to be the healthiest food choices while simultaneously trying to make sure that everyone has access to healthy food choices.  So, what is he saying this time?  You can see the video and read the transcript here.

What in the hell is he talking about?

Outback Steakhouse Baby Back Ribs

So, he suggests that the first lady is eating a 1575 calorie serving of ribs that contains 141 grams of fat.  This is certainly possible, after all, some restaurants serve huge portions of food.  To get an idea of how big of an order that 1500 calories of ribs is though, you have to realize that an average half rack of ribs is about 500 calories.  A full rack of ribs is about 1000 calories at almost all chain restaurants (although the worst case scenario is the full rack of ribs at Outback Steak House, coming in at 1551 calories, and one thing we know about Outback, their servings are HUGE).  I was wondering if Michelle Obama could polish off a full rack of ribs at Outback or a rack and a half at any other chain restaurant-my initial thoughts are no way, so I figured I would dig into this a little deeper.

Where was Michelle Obama dining?  Did she order the whole rack and a half to herself?  Did it come with a side?  Did she eat the whole thing?  I am not claiming to be a journalist, but these are the first questions that I needed answers before I would comment on this story.  Good thing for me I found this story right away, as I probably wasn’t about to dig very deep.

So Michelle Obama wasn’t dining at a chain restaurant at all… she was dining at a restaurant called Kelly Liken in Vail Village.  Now, a little more research shows us that this isn’t a chain restaurant at all.  My understanding of current nutrition laws in the US leads me to believe that local restaurants in Colorado are not required to post nutritional data, so how did Mr. Limbaugh figure out that these ribs were 1575 calories?  Did he just guess?  Did he even know what restaurant she was eating in before making his pronouncements? How did he come up with that number?

Wait a minute, it appears that the restaurant owner has an idea of the portion size and the calorie count of her meal:

A braised short rib is a relatively lean cut of beef, braised with most of the fat cooked off. The 5-ounce serving runs about 600 calories, Liken said — a far cry from the 1,500 calories and 141 grams of fat it’s accused of.

Typical serving of Braised Short Rib

WHAT?!!?  She ate a braised short rib!?!?  WTF?!?!  There are many different types of ribs, but when you just say ribs 90% of people will believe you are talking about pork back ribs.  I think that is what Rush Limbaugh thought, or maybe he was thinking beef ribs (by the way, beef ribs are probably my greatest weakness and they certainly are not good for you).  A huge order of those can total 1575 calories, but seriously, you have to eat a LOT of food to get through an order of those.

So, she ate a braised short rib (actually it looks like 2 or 3, each rib is about 357 cals so depending on preparation, they could be 200 or 300 calories each), what the hell is wrong with that?   By the way, I just made braised short rib ragu last week, and I have to tell you, it isn’t a lean cut of meat and I had a hell of a time draining off the fat, so I do take a bit of an issue with the restaurants claims as well.  Later they note:

A skier will burn off about 6,000 calories during the course of a day.
“It’s a hearty meal for sure, a great meal after a day of skiing, well-balanced and nutritious,” Liken said.

Again, more hyperbole.  It is possible to burn off 6,000 calories in a day of skiing, but seriously…  (You burn 700 calories per hour of downhill skiing.  This doesn’t include time on lifts, eating lunch, taking a break.  So you do the math…).  In any case, when they said it is a hearty meal for sure, they are right.  Hearty, but fine for a day on the slopes.  By the way, they may have meant 4,000 calories of exercise and 2000 calories of basal metabolic rate, but still that is extreme.

So, how the hell did he come up with this exact number… 1575 calories?  In my research by the way, I have not determined if she ate the whole portion of ribs or not….

Berries and Bark

This is kale. It is as tough as it looks.

Now I’m sure some of you members of the new castrati: “This is typical of what you do Mr. Limbaugh, you take an isolated, once in a lifetime experience, and try to say that she’s a hypocrite.” She is a hypocrite. Leaders are supposed to be leaders. If we’re supposed to go out and eat nothing — if we’re supposed to eat roots, and berries and tree bark and so show us how. And if it’s supposed to make us fit, if it’s supposed to make us healthier, show us how.

By the way, she ate the ribs with Kale.  Rush Limbaugh goes on about eating berries and bark and Michelle Obama leading, and teaching people to eat berries and bark… has he ever had Kale?!  Kale is much less tasty than berries and bark.  It is the nastiest and toughest of the fall greens.  It grows in the fall and winter…  It is incredibly nutritious, shockingly nutritious and nearly inedible.  How do you lead people, how do you show by example?  You eat your protein with kale.  That is how you show people what they should be doing.  She ate 5 ounces of protein with a very healthy vegetable.  She took her family on a very active trip skiing for the holidays.  I cannot even begin to see where he is going with this.  By the way, I have no evidence that she actually ate her kale at all, but current reports seem to indicate she did.

A Modern Day Dicken’s Tale

Poor kids are living in food deserts, parents are unemployed, kids got no place to go other than the mall, hang around for scraps at the Orange Julius place, maybe get some papaya juice out there, and then they hear about Michelle My Belle and the kids 1,500 calories per rib serving — 141 grams of fat, I’m just saying. Mom and dad unemployed, kids in the food court hoping for some drips of papaya juice and there they are eating ribs, skiing in Vail.

What is he ranting about?!? What does this mean??  Is he now trying to give the impression that Michelle Obama is a modern day Marie Antoinette, feasting while her impoverished subjects need to beg for food in the mall??!  Is this a ‘How dare Michelle Obama eat ribs while Americans kids starve’ kind of point?  Does he not see how ridiculous this is?

Seriously, not only did Rush Limbaugh get the entire story wrong, nearly every single point of it, but then he takes it down some bizarre, nonsensical alley…  I really don’t know how to comment on this.  I am sure that if the kids are starving and begging in the mall then we need to look at the choices we have made as a nation over the last few decades and see if we can right this wrong.  If the kids are starving though, why are we showing such a propensity towards obesity.  Starving isn’t the problem, no matter how Mr. Limbaugh wants to paint his tableau. The parents unemployed though, that is a problem and I am not sure that Rush Limbaugh has the brain power to come up with a way to convince people that Michelle Obama is responsible for that.

What an idiot!?!

On a final note, I don’t call people out for their weight problems.  That is their issue and theirs alone.  I wish to help them if I can, but otherwise, If you choose to indulge in eating in life, I salute you, it is a tough path, a tough decision but if you do it, embrace it until you are ready to make some other decisions.  If you choose to live in the gym and get so ripped that you can snap a person in half, I salute you too.  Life really is about those personal decisions, the personal addictions, responsibilities and values and balancing them all.  We are all going to find our own way, but seriously Rush… What are you thinking?!?!  You say:

I’m trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you.

In 2009 Rush Limbaugh followed a strict diet and apparently went from 300 pounds down to 210, a self reported loss of 90 pounds.  That is impressive.  It was clear that he lost a lot of weight and for that he should be very proud, losing weight can be one of the hardest things anyone does.  210 pounds though is not an insignificant weight for him to carry on his 5′-11″ frame, so he too must realize just how hard this battle is and how much more help we all need.  Rush Limbaugh has often been ridiculed for his weight, so I find it exasperating, even disgusting for him use such a pathetically thinly veiled political attack, that includes implications based upon someones weight, against anyone.  I find it utterly moronic though for him to make disparaging comments about the woman in the image to the right.  Seriously Rush?!!? I could actually see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and even in the Swimsuit issue and yes, I think I could totally see Alex Rodriguez going for her.  I would recommend that the President guard against the latter, and make sure that A Rod isn’t invited to any presidential events, and as for the latter, I would be surprised if Sports Illustrated hasn’t already offered her a cover.

Personally, when it comes to weight-loss, I don’t care what your motives, what your political bent, in this arena, Rush Limbaugh is an idiot.  He is an idiot because he has the power of an audience of millions and he squanders it on poor logic, wrong facts, and a political vendetta that will leave as a victim, the millions of people trying to get fit but unable to find a way how.  I can only ask you Mr. Limbaugh to use your power to help your country.  Help it solve its problems not to continue to poorly ridicule its solutions.

For using the issues surrounding weight-loss and obesity as your own political puppet to attack others who are trying to provide solutions, for obfuscating facts and out and out creating new ‘facts’ that support your bizarre and logically incoherent beliefs, for being totally oblivious to your massive hypocrisy, you sir are officially invited to the 3rd class of the You Are Not A Fit Person Rogues Gallery.

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