The Wider World

Limbaugh, 70, was a radio pioneer

RUSH LIMBAUGH celebrating being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020 (White House photo).

He never held public office, but Rush Limbaugh, who died on Wednesday after a year-long battle with cancer, was one of the most influential political voices in America.

Limbaugh, 70, helped conservative political talk dominate much of the radio airwaves and had a major role in paving the way for Fox News and other voices of the right at a time when broadcast news was characterized by its critics as afflicted with a “liberal bias.”

He was more than just an advocate for conservative causes and politicians. He was also entertaining and had an eye and ear for catchphrases that became popular with his millions of listeners.

Limbaugh coined the term “feminazis” and introduced the phrase “death panels” into discussion of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”). He claimed that Obama may not have been born in the U.S.

His popularity survived a loss of hearing and allegations of opiod addiction and weathered accusations that he promoted unsupported conspiracy theories.

Limbaugh has been inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame and in 2021 was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Donald Trump.

News: More dangerous storms coming

ANOTHER SNOWSTORM is headed to the Northeast.

It’s going to get colder for a lot of people across a large swath of the United States. More winter storms are on their way, according to the Associated Press. As of Wednesday as many as 3.4 million customers were without electrical power and some also lost water service.

Record low temperatures are bringing freezing dangers to areas such as Texas, Arkansas and other parts of the South. “There’s really no letup to some of the misery people are feeling across that area,” Bob Oravec of the National Weather Service told the AP, referring to Texas.

There are also major power outages in the Pacific Northwest.

The weather system that has killed at least 30 people is forecast to extend into the Northeast by Thursday, bringing over 100 million people under some kind of winter weather advisory.

Business: Falling snow may mean rising gas prices

GAS PRICES could be going up (Wikipedia).

The effects of the “deep freeze” winter storms across much of the nation may not be limited to the folks shivering from Texas to Tennessee. The frigid weather has led to the closure of a dozen refineries in Texas, reports USA Today.

The ripple effect could be that gas prices could rise, perhaps to $3 a gallon by the summer, reports the American Automobile Association. The sidelined refineries represent about 20 percent of the nation’s refining capacity.

Another split ticket: For the second day, Wall Street can’t seem to agree on whether it’s a good time to invest or not. The Dow Jones Average rose 90.27 points to 31,613.02, but the S&P 500 slipped 1.26 points to 3,931.33 and Nasdaq declined 82 points to 13.965.49.

Sports: Big Ben getting a big snub?

BEN ROETHLISBERGER (All-Pro Reels Photography)

Ben Roethlisberger, 38, seems to have been the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers forever. (Actually, it’s just been since 2004). Despite a 12-3 record for the team in 2020, it looks like Big Ben might not be in Steeltown much longer. According to Sports Illustrated, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert had this comment: “As we sit here today, Ben is a member of the Pittburgh Steelers. He reiterated to us that he wants to continue to play. We told him he have to look at this current situation.”

Observers suggest that Roethlisberger may be offered a contract with a big pay cut, or a trade.

Tuesday’s results:

  • Los Angeles Kings 4, Minnesota 0: Goalie Jonathan Quick got this 53rd career shutout as the Kings won their second straight game. Four players scored for the home team at Staples Center as LA’s record improved to 5-6-3, good for 13 points and a tie for fifth place in the NHL West.

Weather:  A sunny winter week

The West Orange County area can continue to enjoy sunny, pleasantly warm days the rest of this week and well into next. Thursday’s forecast is for a high of 71 with and overnight low of 46. Friday will be close to identical with a daytime high of 71, overnight low of 48. Temperatures will begin to rise this weekend with Saturday’s high hitting 72, and then rising to 78 on Sunday. Winds are expected to pick up to as high as 11 miles an hour. In the coastal areas of Huntington Beach, daytime highs will range from 67 to 75 toward the weekend.

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