The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 September 2005

Air America Talk Hosts In Nonstop Blame Bush Mode

RHODES: BUSH HAPPY

AAR Host Says Dead Democrats Bring President 'Joy'!





With so many sleazy Air America corporate scandal details to investigate, Michelle Malkin and I don't focus much on its programming content.

You either agree with their viewpoints, or not, right? It's a reflection of your ideology.

"Progressives" are going all-out to pin the blame for Hurricane Katrina on President Bush. Graphic: Randi Rhodes.


It's the hypocrisy and phony moral outrage, all the while making every effort to cover up sleazy corporate behavior, that make Air America worth covering.

Otherwise, why take it seriously? Listeners sure aren't rewarding it with high ratings.

Wednesday's programming caused the Radio Equalizer to rethink this position: perhaps we should pay closer attention to the rhetoric. It began with this email:


While I was driving home tonight, I put Air America on for the heck of it. Of course, they were engaged in pure hateful vitriol about President Bush for 45 straight minutes. But Randi Rhodes made a comment that is outrageous even for Air America.

At about 5:57 PM, she said that Bush didn't care about helping the people in New Orleans and that he gets joy out of the people dying, because they are Democrat voters!

I couldn't believe it. I am paraphrasing, but people need to know how these people think. Tony Oberley, Windham, Maine



While there's plenty of similar message board rhetoric pointing back to her program, I haven't yet been able to confirm Rhodes's specific comments.


UPDATE-- we've obtained Wednesday's Randi Rhodes Show. She DID make this comment:


"This President is never gonna do the right thing. I think somewhere deep down inside him he takes a lot of joy about losing people, if he thinks they vote Democrat or if he thinks they're poor, or if he thinks they're in a blue state, whatever his reasons are not to rescue those people who are (planning?) for their safety."


Would a conservative host get away with similar rhetoric about Democrat leaders? That Harry Reid, John Kerry or Nancy Pelosi hope Republicans are swept away by a hurricane?

Is this really the type of program that Orkin and other advertisers should sponsor?

By picking just about any thread here at Randi's discussion area,
be prepared for a late summer moonbat festival.


Here's what Randi's listeners contend:


--- That Bush waited too long to tour the damaged region,

--- That he'll need to bomb Iceland, or some other helpless country, to deflect attention from the disaster,

--- That Cheney's only concern was with Gulf oil rig damage (followed by cracks about his heart condition),

--- Why didn't the administration have sandbags ready in time? One poster suggests the President be locked up for this supposed offense.

--- National Guard troops were unavailable because they're all in Iraq,

--- Bush cut funding for New Orleans levee system, therefore the storm damage is his fault,

--- The President was more worried about playing golf than lining up donor aid for victims.


Al Franken fill-in host Rachel Maddow sounded quite similar, with some "debate tactics" thrown into the mix. Without callers with which to spar, "debate" belongs in quotes, she's only taking on herself.

Conservatives take callers and blog reader messages from across the ideological spectrum, while lefty hosts often don't, especially at Air America. Why is that?

Some of Maddow's Bay Area-shaped conspiratorial mindset:


--- Bush is responsible for the resulting flood damage, because local officials had long warned the feds this type of event was inevitable,

--- Bush knew the pumping system was inadequate but did nothing to fix it,

--- Louisiana National Guard troops have been begging to return home from Iraq, but are ignored. This led to a supposed lack of soldiers to protect New Orleans.


Note the many similarities between Maddow's show and Randi's website comments.

A key difference: Maddow falsely ties together facts that don't fit, while Randi's posters are purely emotional.

If you go to an auto wrecking yard and put a thousand random car parts together, will you create a racecar, or a hunk of junk? Maddow thinks she has one ready for the Autobahn.

Her tactics are just like those of extreme-right John Birch Society conspiracy theorists, slanted to the leftward fringe.

For instance, you'll never hear her explain the potential timetable for such levee upgrades, whether Bush actually supported them or not. Could they really have been ready in time to prevent this?

What evidence is there to support her claims these improvements were opposed by the Bush Administration because the very same funds were needed for the war effort?

Has there been an accusation from any Louisiana public official that having National Guard troops in Iraq has somehow impeded Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts?

On Wednesday, 1600 police officers were redirected to the city to restore law and order. So where's the shortage?

If the warning signs of a catastrophic collapse in New Orleans were so clear, why haven't Air America's hosts been talking about the subject for the last 18 months?

Perhaps most importantly, could even the costliest upgrades have protected the city from a Category Five hurricane's near-direct hit? Especially during a major power failure?

Maddow didn't address any of these inconvenient points during the hour I heard.

Even better, Rachel, why don't you explain how you have any moral authority to criticize Bush, or anyone else, while you've sat silent for over a month on the sleazy scandal affecting your company.

It was the one where $875,000 in taxpayer funding meant for a Bronx-based community center apparently went to your network's coffers.

I'm sure you've heard about it by now, haven't you, Rachel?

UPDATE: Shawn Wasson, an alert radio employee and noted blogger at Bare Knuckle Politics, captured the audio and posted it here.

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72 Comments:

  • Sorry Brian, I have to disagree with you...........unhinged is an understatement.

    I haven't been listening to AAR, but have been monitoring Democratic Underground. I've never heard so much hate, conspiracy theories based solely on opinion and no or wrong facts, and either outright lies or uneducated ignorant statements and accusations as I have heard the past few days. It is really disgusting. It seems the less power they have and the less they feel in control the more vile and hate filled they become.

    The thing that puzzles me is that they want to win elections, yet act out and speak like this. It will only draw the equally hate filled and far left liberal to vote for a Democrat. Meanwhile those moderates (who they need to win elections) are going to be repelled by what they hear and see and will distance themselves.

    By Blogger Linn, at 01 September, 2005 03:59  

  • Here in Baton Rouge, the AAR affiliate is one of the few stations that is broadcasting "regular" programming. The other exceptions though have local news desks that can keep residents current on electricity updates, school closings, and who's got ice. Meanwhile, WYNK-AM's sole local news is a guy doing AP rip-n-reads from who knows where. (He's constantly mispronouncing city names, which tells me he's either not from here, or he's doing it remotely.)

    As low as AAR ratings would normally be here, they're going to get CREAMED in this quarter.

    By Blogger BF, at 01 September, 2005 09:46  

  • I knew he was a great guy but I never knew that George Bush was God.... Not only does he control the world he also controls the weather? Never in the history of the world has one man had so much power! I mean with a snap of his fingers he destroyed New Orleans! I am sure God must be in awe!

    By Blogger Doug, at 01 September, 2005 10:32  

  • "'I'm not saying it wouldn't still be flooded, but I do feel that if it had been totally funded, there would be less flooding than you have,' said Michael Parker, a former Republican Mississippi congressman who headed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from October 2001 until March 2002, when he was ousted after publicly criticizing a Bush administration proposal to cut the corps' budget." - from the Chicago Tribune

    By Blogger Justin, at 01 September, 2005 11:23  

  • From the June 8th, 2004 edition of the Times-Picayune:
    For the first time in 37 years, federal budget cuts have all but stopped major work on the New Orleans area's east bank hurricane levees, a complex network of concrete walls, metal gates and giant earthen berms that won't be finished for at least another decade.

    "I guess people look around and think there's a complete system in place, that we're just out here trying to put icing on the cake," said Mervin Morehiser, who manages the "Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity" levee project for the Army Corps of Engineers. "And we aren't saying that the sky is falling, but people should know that this is a work in progress, and there's more important work yet to do before there is a complete system in place."

    By Blogger Justin, at 01 September, 2005 11:25  

  • Knight ridder:
    WASHINGTON - The federal government so far has bungled the job of quickly helping the multitudes of hungry, thirsty and desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina, former top federal, state and local disaster chiefs said Wednesday.


    The experts, including a former Bush administration disaster response manager, told Knight Ridder that the government wasn't prepared, scrimped on storm spending and shifted its attention from dealing with natural disasters to fighting the global war on terrorism.


    The disaster preparedness agency at the center of the relief effort is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was enveloped by the new Department of Homeland Security with a new mission aimed at responding to the attacks of al-Qaida.


    "What you're seeing is revealing weaknesses in the state, local and federal levels," said Eric Tolbert, who until February was FEMA's disaster response chief. "All three levels have been weakened. They've been weakened by diversion into terrorism."

    By Blogger Justin, at 01 September, 2005 11:30  

  • I hate to mention this to Ms. Rhodes, but last time I checked, the electoral votes of Louisiana...and all the Southern states...went to Mr. Bush.
    So much for her theory.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 01 September, 2005 12:35  

  • Though Louisiana is a "red" state, New Orleans is overwhelmingly minority and the city proper consistently votes Democrat.

    Nevertheless, the Western Suburbs of Metarie and Kenner are among the most Republican of areas in the state (no doubt due to white flight). And they got water too.

    By Blogger BF, at 01 September, 2005 12:57  

  • Instead of the leftist morons whining about the government doing nothing (like Justin), maybe THEY should do something, like donate money and blood.

    I have a good group for them to donate to: Northwest Medical Teams. It would help out those people down in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. And it would show that they all have a damn heart.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 01 September, 2005 15:06  

  • We wouldn't have to "Blame Bush" if Bush would accept RESPOSIBILITY for something - anything - that goes wrong under his watch. And we don't "hate" Bush - we just think he's the most incompetent President we've ever had.

    By Blogger Robert, at 01 September, 2005 16:12  

  • Justin:

    February 17, 1995

    An Army Corps of Engineers "hit list" of recommended budget cuts would eliminate new flood-control programs in some of the nation's most flood-prone spots - where recent disasters have left thousands homeless and cost the federal government millions in emergency aid.

    Clinton administration officials argue that the flood-control efforts are local projects, not national, and should be paid for by local taxes.

    Nationwide, the administration proposes cutting 98 new projects in 35 states and Puerto Rico, for an estimated savings of $29 million in 1996.

    Corps officials freely conceded the cuts, which represent only a small portion of savings the corps ultimately must make, may be penny-wise and pound-foolish. But they said they were forced to eliminate some services the corps has historically provided to taxpayers to meet the administration's budget-cutting goals.

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 16:20  

  • Justin:

    June 23, 1995

    A hurricane project, approved and financed since 1965, to protect more than 140,000 West Bank residents east of the Harvey Canal is in jeopardy.

    The Clinton administration is holding back a Corps of Engineers report recommending that the $120 million project proceed. Unless that report is forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget, Congress cannot authorize money for the project, U.S. Rep. William Jefferson's office said Thursday.

    On June 9, John Zirschky, the acting assistant secretary of the Army and the official who refused to forward the report, sent a memo to the corps, saying the recommendation for the project "is not consistent with the policies and budget priorities reflected in the President's Fiscal Year 1996 budget. Accordingly, I will not forward the report to the Office of Management and Budget for clearance."

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 16:23  

  • June 19, 1996

    The Army Corps of Engineers, which builds most flood protection levees on a federal-local cost-sharing basis, uses a cost-benefit ratio to justify a project. If the cost of building a levee is considered less than the cost of restoring a flood-ravaged area, the project is more likely to be approved.

    For years, the Jean Lafitte-Lower Lafitte-Barataria-Crown Point areas couldn't convince the corps they were worthy of levee protection. But the use of Section 205 and congressional pressure has given the corps a new perspective, Spohrer said.

    But even so, when the Clinton administration began to curtail spending on flood control and other projects a year ago, the corps stopped spending on Section 205 projects even after deciding to do a $70,000 preliminary Jean Lafitte study, Spohrer said.

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 16:25  

  • February 8, 2000

    For the metropolitan New Orleans area, Clinton's budget was seen as a mixed bag by local lawmakers and government officials. For instance, while Clinton called for $1.5 billion to be spent at Avondale Industries to continue building LPD-17 landing craft, his budget calls for significantly less than what Congress appropriated last year for Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity hurricane protection and for West Bank flood control projects.

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 16:26  

  • September 29, 2000

    The House approved Thursday a $23.6 billion measure for water and energy programs, with sizable increases for several New Orleans area flood-control projects. The Senate will vote Monday, but it may be a while before the bill is enacted.

    President Clinton is promising to veto the annual appropriation for the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers, not because it is $890 million larger than he proposed, but because it does not include a plan to alter the levels of the Missouri River to protect endangered fish and birds.

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 16:27  

  • Hat tip to EU Rota for the great research.

    (show off)

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 16:28  

  • I am a travelling salesman and have been monitoring the different talk radio programs for the past couple of days while driving.

    It's absolutely sickening to listen to the so-called "liberal" hosts. All they have been doing is ranting and frothing at the mouth trying to blame the president for the hurricane and the problems with the resultant rescue and relief operations.

    Randi Rhodes is the absolute worst of the bunch. While the conservatives hosts are actually begging people to give as much as they can, that pig Rhodes is saying something as moronic as can be like the president is letting people die because they are democrats. Not once did I hear her talk about ways to help.

    If anyone at Err Enron asks you to send money to them....DON'T. Give it instead to a reputable charity. Randi and friends would just end up stealing it.

    By Blogger Crapdog, at 01 September, 2005 16:55  

  • Brian pretends he is some credible journalist when in fact he is simply a tool of the Right Wing Echo Machine. Can you explain why the US army corps and the local news paper in new orleans ..the Times Picayune...both stated that the money for improving the levees was diverted to Iraq.....did you list that...NO you didn't ...you decided to try to ofuscate the facts and the facts are the response is horrible, the lack of presense and leadership from Bush is a travesty....even the Manchester NH Union Leader, perhaps the most conservative paper in the northeast, agrees that Bush's leadership is lacking at best and a joke at worst.
    Why don't you focus on your president's failure. YOu guys admire Juliani for his work in NYC,does the alleged leadership of Bush come close to that...NO not by a longshot....your agenda is showing and its not about the truth..its only to slander AAR and libel Liberals. Get a job, Maloney and quit pretending to be a journalist

    By Blogger DOC, at 01 September, 2005 16:58  

  • Brian pretends he is some credible journalist when in fact he is simply a tool of the Right Wing Echo Machine. Can you explain why the US army corps and the local news paper in new orleans ..the Times Picayune...both stated that the money for improving the levees was diverted to Iraq.....did you list that...NO you didn't ...you decided to try to ofuscate the facts and the facts are the response is horrible, the lack of presense and leadership from Bush is a travesty....even the Manchester NH Union Leader, perhaps the most conservative paper in the northeast, agrees that Bush's leadership is lacking at best and a joke at worst.
    Why don't you focus on your president's failure. YOu guys admire Juliani for his work in NYC,does the alleged leadership of Bush come close to that...NO not by a longshot....your agenda is showing and its not about the truth..its only to slander AAR and libel Liberals. Get a job, Maloney and quit pretending to be a journalist

    By Blogger DOC, at 01 September, 2005 16:59  

  • Doc, money if fungible. You can talk about funding "cuts" (is it really a cut in year-to-year funding, a decrease in the amount of increase or a real cut?) for levees going to fund the Iraq War because you obviously don't like the war. I can complain about funding cuts to levees in order to build something named after Sen. Robert C. Byrd in West Virginia, or ethanol subsidies or any other liberal favorite charity.

    Get a grip, Doc.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 01 September, 2005 19:45  

  • Sailor,

    I have given. But that doesn't mean that I shouldn't -- at the same time -- be ashamed by our government's lack of preparedness. In fact, I have never been more ashamed (not to mention frustrated and saddened).

    By Blogger Justin, at 01 September, 2005 19:53  

  • By the way, I should emphasize that I do not blame republicans for what is happening, nor do I blame democrats. I blame 'em all, equally.

    The local Louisiana politicans who told people to go to the convention center (and then didn't provide food/water). The Red Cross, for not pre-positioning itself adequately (if it had, there wouldn't be so many people in NOLA who haven't seen them). FEMA for not having already airlisted food pallets. And, yes, Pres. Bush for not getting in the military early enough, and spending time on Monday giving a speech on Medicare, instead of spending 100% of his time/attention on Katrina.

    This does not have to be partisan. But it does have to hold people to accountability.

    By Blogger Justin, at 01 September, 2005 20:02  

  • By the way, I should emphasize that I do not blame republicans for what is happening, nor do I blame democrats.

    You just blame Bush.

    Or were your previous posts, which ONLY blamed Bush, in error?

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 20:09  

  • Two of my posts cited blame for the federal gov't as a whole, while another did, indeed, refer to a particular bush administration decision. again, i blame everyone, president and democratic LA. governor included.

    This is not a time for partisanship. Let the chips fall where they may. Do you disagree?

    By Blogger Justin, at 01 September, 2005 20:22  

  • Then what, exactly, was the purpose of your posts? I think we all know.

    And lets get this straight.

    I. DON'T. BLAME. ANYBODY.

    This was an act of God. Nothing could have prevented it. All the money to build all the levees they wanted wouldn't have helped. Somewhere, somehow, the pressure of the water would have breached the wall.

    As far as the aftermath goes, I blame the subhuman creatures holding the city hostage. I look forward to the marines being called in to clean up that trash.

    By Blogger Tom, at 01 September, 2005 21:06  

  • Rhodes is a lying skank. Someone should count up the lies in a single hour of her show and post them her, but I doubt there's enough room. She does ZERO preshow prep, has no knowledge of politics, lacks any radio talent, and is a moron to boot. Her listeners (what few there are) are these types of people:
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y32/mryoop789/tinfoil-hat.jpg
    She's the left's answer to Rush? Looks like the right will control the radio airwaves for years to come.

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 01 September, 2005 22:03  

  • Evan Cohen... has been found!

    As far as the left/liberals/Dems/ANSWER response to Katrina, while I wasted some time blogging about it, I've since decided to stop that for a while.

    What I urge everyone else to do is just to save off web pages, audio, video, pictures, etc. of all the loony response to Katrina. After things have settled down somewhat, then we'll start to go back and discuss it and further marginalize these nuts.

    For now, I suggest concentrating on trying to help the victims of the tragedy, and just ignoring (for now) the loons.

    By Blogger LonewackoDotCom, at 02 September, 2005 00:12  

  • Here's what you left out:

    "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." - President Stupid

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4204754.stm

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 02 September, 2005 00:47  

  • I have a couple questions regarding those "improved" levees for y'all here.

    1) Do you have any idea how strong a hurricane they were planned to handle?

    2) Do you know when they were scheduled to be ready to do their job, with full funding?

    A bit of cursory searching would show you that the current levee improvements would only protect against a Category 3 hurricane. Katrina, as you might recall, was ever the teensiest bit stronger than that.

    There was a plan in the works to protect the city from a Cat 5 hurricane, but the city had not even started the planning stage of that project yet. It wasn't supposed to start until next year and, even at full funding, would take 3-5 years before it was finished.

    I think a lot of folks are shooting off at the mouth without doing even the most basic research about the levee improvements. That seems par for the course these days on the airwaves, but we out here ought to be able to do better. I mean, no one's paying us to look like jackasses on the radio, right?

    By Blogger Jimmie, at 02 September, 2005 01:08  

  • justin - I do have questions.
    Why, exactly, is it the President's job to provide immediate relief to a single state, or a single city in a single state?

    Where, exactly, are the Governor and the Mayor in your calculations? They are the ones responsible for what's been happening. They have control of the National Guard and could have mobilized them at any time. They have control of the evacuation orders and could have issued them at any point. They have access to food stores, medical stores, and a means to deliver them to the city. They have access to ways to let people know where to go to get the help they need and they have the wherewithal to coordinate rescue efforts and relief response.

    So how does this fall on the President? What gives him the obligation, or the Constitutional authority, to do the job of a democratically-elected Mayor and Governor?

    By Blogger Jimmie, at 02 September, 2005 01:13  

  • Jimmie,

    If you read my earlier posts, I clearly point out that the La. Gov has not done a good enough job, nor have other local politicians. I believe Bush also (not exclusively, but ALSO) has failed the people of NOLA, in large part by not sending in the military early enough, and for appointing a FEMA director who seems overmatched (did you watch him on TV last night? didn't seem to have a clue).
    Why is it that when I post a comment blaming many people for the response, it is only my criticism of Bush that gets attention?

    By Blogger Justin, at 02 September, 2005 07:23  

  • The President and the Federal Government dropped the ball.

    FEMA ranked this scenario as one of the three most likely disasters to befall the US back in 2001.

    FEMA ran this exact scenario last year (Hurricane "Pam"). It predicted the flooding of New Orleans.

    So why wasn't FEMA or the federal government even remotely prepared for this event? Why are people dying on the steps of the Convention Center?

    Put aside the levee funding argument for now. The fact, fact, is that the federal government knew this could happen and did NOTHING to prepare for it.

    And yes, that means the President and the Congress must accept responsibility for what is unfolding in New Orleans.

    Jimmie asks "Why, exactly, is it the President's job to provide immediate relief to a single state, or a single city in a single state?" Were you asking that after 9/11? Because he, and the GOP, seem to have no problem taking credit for helping New York. What's different now, besides the fact that their failure to plan for this is costing thousands of lives?

    And blaming "subhuman trash" for the aftermath, Tom? Go to Nola.com and read the Times-Picayune newsblog. The looting has been vastly overplayed by the media and government. Most people are simply trying to get food and water to survive, since FEMA and the feds utterly failed to do so.

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 10:08  

  • Dave, I'm not referring to those people walking out of stores with water, I'm talking about the ones walking out with GUNS, you know, the kind that were fired at rescuers and busses at the Superdome.

    And as far as blame goes, you conveniently left out the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. Geez, you think they might have something to do with things.

    But even if all the upgrades had been accomplished, it WOUNLD'T HAVE MATTERED! The levees were built to withstand a Cat 3 storm. As a matter of fact, the part the failed had just been upgraded.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 11:23  

  • It's not just Air America. More comments here.

    By Blogger The Editors, at 02 September, 2005 11:30  

  • Tom,

    What I am saying is that the "roving bands of thugs" that the media and gvt. are portraying are not as numerous as they say. And even if they were, are you telling me that national guardsmen couldn't fight them off?

    I'll grant that the state comes in for some blame. But the city? The mayor did what he could, which was get the people to the Superdome who couldn't get out on the buses. When 80% of your city is flooded, what resources is a city supposed to bring to bear? That's why all three levels are supposed to work together.

    And the feds dropped the ball.

    It's not about the levee system (though that is an issue, Cat. 3 or not) as much as it is that FEMA, DHS and the federal government knew that a major catastrophe could occur in NO. They 'gamed' it in 2004, calling it Hurricane Pam. FEMA issued a report in Dec. 2001 saying it was one of the three most likely disasters to occur.

    And yet, when it does happen, there is no meaningful federal assistance for almost 96 hours. Where is the contingency plan? What have FEMA, DHS and the White House been doing?

    If Harry Connick, Jr. can drive his car down to the Convention Center by himself and get out with no thugs shooting at him, why couldn't the feds get food there 3 days ago?

    The federal government utterly failed in doing their job. Period.

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 12:08  

  • Bush declared a Federal Emergency before the hurricane hit. And FEMA had assets prepostioned before the disaster. As much as you try to wish it away, things in the city are dangerous and putting a hamper on rescue efforts.

    And the last time I looked, the Mayor was in charge of the police, who are having a real problem keeping the peace. If you want to blame people, who don't deserve it btw, you MUST start with the people who were in charge at the state and local level. To not do that shows you to be the cheap partisan hack you are.

    Why can't you just admit that with a disaster this extensive, things are going to be chaotic?

    Why don't you tell us YOUR plan?

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 12:47  

  • Tom,

    Declaring a state emergency frees up resources and monies. It does NOT get things to where they need to be.

    And if assets were pre-positioned by FEMA, where were they Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday? Thursday? Why could news crews and individual citizens get into the city, not be shot at, and leave. Why couldn't FEMA and the feds get into the city?

    As I said, the state deserves some criticism as well. As for the city, I ask you again how a city that is 80% flooded is supposed to provide any meaningful resources?

    Yes, the police are stretched tight. So where are the Guardsmen? Why did they only start trickling in yesterday?

    Of course things are going to be chaotic. But isn't it FEMA and the feds' job to mitigate that, not contribute to it? Again, they've known about this possibility since 2001. Why haven't they planned better for it?

    But you seem determined to see no mud splashed on Bush. Sorry, but that doesn't wash.

    My plan? Isn't that why we have FEMA and the DHS? Aren't they supposed to plan for these very events?

    As for being a hack? I voted for Bush 41 in 92 and Dole in 96. God help me, I voted for W in 2000. I've been a registered Republican since I was 18. None of that keeps me from recognizing what a cluster**** the federal government has acheived here. Why does it stop you?

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 13:08  

  • Yea, you're a republican. Heh.

    Can you point me to the evacuation and disaster plan for the City of New Orleans? Since the danger was so well acknowledged, I'm sure they had a comprehensive plan.

    How long does FEMA have to get relief to a disaster area before whiners like you start to bitch?

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 13:15  

  • Sorry, Tom. I didn't realize being a Republican had devolved into slavish devotion to the Party no matter the situation. I'll be sure to make that note in my handbook.

    Point to the plan? Seeing as they got over 350,000 people out, I'd say they had one. And they moved many of the people who stayed to the Superdome, expecting the Feds to do their part.

    Which they failed to do.

    As for time, aren't you the one telling me they "pre-positioned" assets? So where were they Monday through Thursday?? Since they knew about this possibility for over four years I'd like to think the federal agency tasked with the job of dealing with disasters could kick it in gear a wee bit quicker.

    The better question, Tom, is how many people have to die needlessly before you start demanding more of your government?

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 13:31  

  • Here, from the city of NO website, is their evacuation plan"

    -Stay calm.

    -Take your disaster supply kit.

    -Remember as you leave your house to do the following:
    - Turn off lights, household gas appliances, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems.
    - Leave refrigerator/freezer on.
    - Lock house.

    -Only use the phone in case of an emergency, injury, or illness. If you must use the phone, keep calls brief.

    -Do not listen to rumors. Turn on your radio or television for up-to-date information from public officials during an emergency.

    -Use only one vehicle for your family. If you have room, assist any neighbors that may need a ride.

    -Tune to Emergency Alerting System 870 AM or 101.9 FM radio stations for reports about evacuation routes, conditions, etc. Use those travel routes specified.
    Drive safely. Traffic will be heavy. Law enforcement officials along the route will help with traffic.

    -If you need a ride, try to go with a neighbor, friend, or relative.

    -Let others know when you leave and where you are going.
    Make arrangements for pets. Animals are not allowed in public shelters. Pet carriers are recommended along with pet supplies.



    That's it. No plans for evacuating the OTHER people, those you want the Federal government to take care of.


    The levee breach occurred midday Monday and the scope of the disaster in NO was only apparent late that nite or early Tuesday. Relief officals began to get a handle on things Thursday.
    Exactly how fast do you think they should have gone?

    I know, "faster than they did".

    Why do you continue to excuse the local and, more specifically, the state government. In case you didn't know, the state is the primary agency tasked with disaster relief.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 13:40  

  • Tom,

    Again, I point out that over 350,000 people were evacuated, which would point to an evacuation plan.

    And I also said the state does deserve some blame. What I find amazing is your utter refusal to assign any blame to the federal government.

    FEMA says their top two goals are: 1. Reduce loss of life and property and 2. Minimize suffering and disruption caused
    by disasters. By any standard, they failed in those two goals.

    The first sentence in the FEMA Mission Statement says their purpose is to "...prepare
    for, mitigate against, respond to, and help individuals and
    communities recover from natural and man-made disasters."

    Where was the preparation? Where was the response? A 96-hour gap is inexcusable. As soon as that breach occured, FEMA should've been in gear. They knew for more than four years that this was a possibility. You talk of the local plan of emergency. Where was FEMA's?

    Again, if assets were "pre-positioned", why the lag in response? Why, if they knew what would happen if that levee was breached, were they not ready to repsond?

    And why do you refuse to hold them responsible? Could it be because they're the only level of government run by the GOP? Who's the partisan hack?

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 14:01  

  • I go back to a statement I made earlier. I don't blame ANYBODY. You are then one assigning blame.

    It was a catastrophic natural disaster and I'm mature enough to realize there is nothing anybody could have done. But here we have you jumping up and down screaming "DO MORE! DO MORE!". Without even being able to say just WHAT they were supposed to do. From Tuesday morning to Thursday afternoon. If you can't recognize that as quick, you are hopeless.

    Please tell me EXACTLY how they would have gotten in any quicker.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 16:24  

  • Forget the blame. I DEMAND people match the $25 contribution I made to Northwest Medical Teams. Screw who blamed who, you give and you give NOW!

    http://www.nwmti.org

    More giving, less griping. Gogogogogo.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 02 September, 2005 16:43  

  • Amen Sailor. Give until it hurts and then give some more. May I recommend to those who haven't, Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.

    Oh and remember those thugs that Dave said aren't really there, well Fox is reporting they're firing on firefighter's and their families trying to be rescued from St. Bernards Parish, perhaps even killing some sheriff deputies.

    But, of course, we know that isn't really happening.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 18:57  

  • And don't forget the American Red Cross. Both for monetary donations and blood donations.

    Tom,

    I said the thugs were exaggerated, not non-existent.

    And I noticed that no other news group, including the newsblog for the Times-Picayune, is reporting your Fox story. But, whatever you need to do to excuse the feds lack of response.

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 19:10  

  • Dave you continue to ignore my questions. How fast is "fast enough". The scope of the disaster was realized on Tuesday morning, the floodwaters stopped coming in Thursday and the relief convoys started coming in the same day. That is damn quick no matter how you measure it.

    And:

    Please tell me EXACTLY how they would have gotten in any quicker.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 19:14  

  • 96 hours is not fast enough, and that is what matters.

    FEMA knew this could happen, have gamed the scenario a year ago. They knew that Katrina was a Category 5. And yet when the floodwater started coming in Monday (not Tuesday), there was no relief on the way. And as of today, there are still thousands of people who have no help.

    If assets were pre-positioned (as you claimed), why did it take until today for adequate food and water to arrive?? Sorry, but four days is an inadequate response. Especially when people were able to drive, at will, into the center of the city.

    You want to know what an adequate response window is? One that keeps people from dying in front of the Convention Center.

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 19:26  

  • 96 hours is not fast enough, and that is what matters.


    I repeat. The levee broke midday Monday, and the extent wasn't clear until Tuesday morning. The supplies started coming in on Thursday. How in the name of God do you get 96 hours?


    And you STILL haven't answered: Please tell me EXACTLY how they would have gotten in any quicker.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 19:32  

  • The levee cracked Monday. FEMA made no adequate response until today. So call it 86 instead of 96. I guess that makes all the difference, huh? Heck, 86 hours is nothing. The people dying should be thankful!

    "Extent" is irrelevant. They gamed the scenario. They knew what could happen. And yet they couldn't get the relief in until today, despite the fact they supposedly moved supplies from Atlanta and Denton into position before the storm.

    I ask you, again: If they "pre-positioned" assets, how did it take almost four full days??

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 19:55  

  • Dave, if you are going to lie, why even bother.

    The EARLIEST they could have started recovery efforts was Tuesday morning, that puts 96 hours at TOMORROW. But the fact is that the city was STILL FLOODING on Tuesday and Wednesday. And supplies started getting into the city on Thursday, not today.

    Your whole post is one big lie and you STILL didn't answer how they could have gotten there quicker. Because there was no way.

    All you are doing is making your own facts up to bash Bush.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 20:06  

  • Tom,

    Flooding started Monday, not Tuesday. And if FEMA had bothered to prepare for the storm they knew was coming FIVE DAYS before it hit, this could have been avoided.

    Yes, water was coming in Tuesday and Wednesday. Yet news crews could drive in and out of the city at will. Why couldn't relief trucks?? Because FEMA ignored their own scenarios and reports and didn't bother to prepare. So spare me that excuse, one of many yo've trotted out.

    And you still refuse to answer why, if assets were prepositioned, that it took almost 4 days (Mon - Fri a.m.) to get any real relief to the city.

    All you want to do is deflect any blame that may hit Bush. Blame the mayor. Blame the governor. But heaven forbid that W be held repsonsible for anything.

    Hackdom, thy name is Tom.

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 20:44  

  • I must say it takes a great deal of courage for Ms Rhodes to criticize this Administration, as so many of those who already have, are now suffering.
    Examples abound. Where is Al Franken? Martin Sheen? Michael Moore? the list goes on, and on, and on, of those liberals who dare not call themselves that, disappearing into the night and smog, never to be heard from again.
    Frightening, isn't it?

    By Blogger Peter, at 02 September, 2005 21:04  

  • Flooding started Monday, not Tuesday

    So you wanted the relief to go in BEFORE the storm ended?

    Brilliant.

    Relief can't come in until the flooding STOPS.

    Blame the mayor. Blame the governor.

    And I repeat AGAIN. For the third time:

    I blame nobody.

    Yes, water was coming in Tuesday and Wednesday. Yet news crews could drive in and out of the city at will. Why couldn't relief trucks??

    Because trucks are heavier and roads and bridges were washed out and undermined. Not to mention people were taking pot shots at them.

    And you still refuse to answer why, if assets were prepositioned, that it took almost 4 days (Mon - Fri a.m.) to get any real relief to the city.


    You continue to ignore that supplies were reaching the city Thursday.

    And you STILL didn' answer my question: Please tell me EXACTLY how they would have gotten in any quicker.


    You continue to invent facts to suit you situation.

    God you are pathetic.

    By Blogger Tom, at 02 September, 2005 21:24  

  • I place the blame SQUARLEY on the French. If the French hadn't colonized this city some 300 years ago none of this would've happened.

    Also for you libs crying Bush didn't get there fast enough. I don't know if you know much about aviation, but I'll let you in on a secret. you DON'T want to fly your aircraft through the eye of a hurricane.

    By Blogger Organic Panic, at 02 September, 2005 22:27  

  • Looks like the race bombs are flying.Black racists, oops caucus members, charged that the response was slow because those most affected are poor. They aren't charging racism though.

    Really, i thought they just did.Their definition is different I guess.

    Blacks are the problem because they don't want to be equal. They could be the majority and whites the minority, and still whine they are "dissed".(couldn't resist)

    Losers.


    From the Commie news network:




    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Black members of Congress expressed anger Friday at what they said was a slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina.
    "It looks dysfunctional to me right now," said Rep. Diane Watson, D-California.
    She and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, along with members of the Black Leadership Forum, National Conference of State Legislators, National Urban League and the NAACP, held a news conference and charged that the response was slow because those most affected are poor. (See video of Congressional Black Caucus taking feds to task -- 5:50)
    Many also are black, but the lawmakers held off on charging racism.
    "The issue is not about race right now," said Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio. "There will be another time to have issues about color." (Video: Mayor tells feds to 'get off their asses' -- 12:09)

    By Blogger Owen, at 02 September, 2005 23:28  

  • Tom,

    You're the pathetic one. The aid convoys didn't arrive until this morning. The Convention Center was still full on people who had received no food or help as of Friday night.

    People were being evacuated by air from rooftops on Monday PM. So helicopters could fly but trucks couldn't roll?

    News crews were driving in on Tues, Wed and Thurs. So obviously the flood waters were not preventing vehicles from entering the city. So why couldn't relief vehicles?

    And if the relief trucks, that arrived today, could drive on the roads and bridges, why wouldn't they have been able to three days ago? Did someone sneak in and fix them?

    I'l tell you why; because the feds were not prepared.

    You just choose to ignore the facts. Fine. But you stil haven't answered MY question: Why weren't the Feds prepared?

    FEMA knew this could happen. They knew that a Cat. 5 was coming Five days before it hit. They supposedly pre-positioned assets.

    So where were they??

    And pot shots? If the federal government and the national guard cannot handle "pot shots", then we have even bigger problems. That excuse is an utter joke.

    By Blogger Dave, at 02 September, 2005 23:53  

  • um, hello? many leaders and politicians are criticizing Bush's lethargic response, not just AAR and the black community.

    can you right wingers understand the difference between "cause/effect" and "exemplification"?

    as in, the hurricane was not caused by the Bush administration but this whole Katrina debacle --prequel, event, and aftermath-- exemplifies their cynical, conflicted, and frankly immoral approach to governance.

    it's a fine distinction, but if y'all put your heads together for awhile, I'm sure you can figure it out.

    By Blogger radfem, at 03 September, 2005 00:05  

  • Since the left or so called want abe moderates are claiming that Bush is not God , yet blaming him for this natural disaster. That he lacks leadership. I ask these simple questions to all. Does not FEMA tell everyone everywhere to maintain three days of supplies just in case of a disaster? Hasn't it taken three days to get relief up and into New Orleans? Where is the local elected leadership? The Govenor of LA. ? Why is the mayor of New Orleans hiding in Baton Rouge and not in his city spearheading the relief efforts, instead of whinning about a lack of leadership? Where is his leadership?
    Where is the outcry and condemnation of looters, rapists and thugs who are destroying their own city? Just like in L.A. an excuse to throw blame on those who have no control over the situation in order to excuse behavior that is criminal on the looter/punks part.
    Why is there no outcry about lack of sympathy and help from the rest of the world?
    These are just a few of the questions I have running threw my mind about this disaster and now embarrishment of outlandish behavior and rhetoric from so called experts and politico's

    By Blogger CarpiJugulum, at 03 September, 2005 00:38  

  • The latest outrage from Rhodes: She's encouraging the poor to loot.

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46124

    "In a broadcast yesterday, Air America radio talk radio host Randi Rhodes repeatedly urged listeners in the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast to go out and loot, insisting the poor should be allowed to steal goods at will"

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 03 September, 2005 06:30  

  • Looters should be shot. Period.

    But people looking for food and water? Why not let them take it? It will spoil long before any sense of normalcy comes back to NO. And the companies will write the whole stock off as flood-damaged.

    Since FEMA has been an utter failure in helping these people, I say let them take any food and water they need.

    By Blogger Dave, at 03 September, 2005 12:05  

  • Dave, here is the head of Louisiana's emergency management complaining that nobody's doing his job for him:

    "This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control," Ebbert said. "We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."

    Yes, the man in charge is complaining there's nobody in charge.

    Oh and Dave, he said this ON THURSDAY.

    I guess they got there earlier than you said.

    By Blogger Tom, at 03 September, 2005 12:47  

  • What Bush Should Have Done: A Twelve Step Program

    I guar-on-tee this would have resulted in immediate response to the disaster! Randi would have loved it.

    1. First sign of a bad hurricane, proclaim total martial law in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Suspend entire American federal system.

    2. Arrest all the Democratic governors and mayors of all major cities therein.

    3. Move regular military into all major cities.

    4. Arrest newspaper editors who don't like Bush.

    5. Arrest all talk show hosts who don't like Bush.

    6.Sieze all airports, seaports, food, water, power plants, hospitals, schools, sports arenas, etc.

    7. Wait for storm.

    8. After storm, move troops out in armored convoys.

    9. Rescue white people first.

    10. Ignore the Negroes.

    11. Shoot looters on sight or in groups, in public, as a lesson to the others.

    12. Take a vacation.

    By Blogger Rickvid in Seattle, at 03 September, 2005 14:10  

  • Okay, a bit over the top, but not more so than Rhodes and her utterly dimwitted sort seem to think Bush is capable of.

    Next post, "How Bush Conjured Up Hurricanes, Floods and Non-Evacuations." Soon to follow, "How Bush Conjures Up Plagues of Frogs, Lice, Boils, Eczema, The Heartbreak of Psoriasis."

    By Blogger Rickvid in Seattle, at 03 September, 2005 14:15  

  • As a regular contributor on the Randi Rhodes board, I am saddened, but not surprised, that you resort to ad hominem attacks. What Randi says is TRUE: Bush is HAPPY that this happened! His refusal to understand that we need a MASSIVE and IMMEDIATE environmental regulation overhaul in our corporations fostered conditions that caused Hurricane Katrina. Followed up by his INCREDIBLY SORROWFUL performance sending in aid while people DIED, literally in front of cameras, is NOT something that is supposed to happen in a civilized world. What OTHER conclusion can a reasonable person can come up with: Bush and the entire republican party is 100% to blame for this calamity, and must be held to task. Every death that occured is equivalent to a first degree count of murder for this criminal administration.

    You have put up so many falsehoods it's not even worth responding to, and the amount of hate spewing in the comments section is nothing short of appalling. To gloss on an internal problem regarding the radio station, rather than face the truth as Randi sees it, is a bare-faced indictment of your contempt for decent Americans and global citizens. Indeed, those moderates you say are "repelled" by what they hear and see is on the money, but not what you think. The moderates are repelled by an out of control administration, congress, and increasingly extremist judiciary that they CANNOT be but alarmed at the present state of the republican party.

    In short, I challenge you to come up with anything that would justify not only Bush's actions, but any action that the republican party has performed since the Joe McCarthy era. I have posted several messages that you can review to get to the truth, under my own name (mojekearthe), so there is nothing for me to hide. You do have to log in, but your membership in our forum is welcome. The link is http://forums.therandirhodesshow.com

    Long live Randi Rhodes, and her commitment to providing the TRUTH to America and the rest of the planet.

    Until it is banned, the republican party is, has been, and always will be, America's Ultimate Hate Crime.

    By Blogger mojekearthe, at 03 September, 2005 19:05  

  • The Department of Homeland Security is obstructing the Red Cross from entering New Orleans? It is plainly stated on the Red Cross website:

    "The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city."

    Check it out: http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,1096,0_682_4524,00.html#4524

    The government, this administration, IS the problem, and it is criminal. The Red Cross is helpless to provide assistance to the victims in New Orleans. How often does that happen -- has such a thing ever happened? Victims are being prevented, by our government, from leaving the city and particularly the death trap of the Convention Center while they were given nothing and support was banned.

    FEMA did not provide food, water, generators or even drop leaflets of information onto the roof of Charity Hospital for a full FIVE DAYS after this disaster struck, and longer. Charity Hospital appears, from aerial photos, to be walking distance from the Super Dome and next to freeways which appear (in that area) to be well above flood water. Doctors and nurses begged for help and were ignored by all but the press. The administration has completely failed in its primary job: the protection of its citizens. So much for Homeland Security.

    On Thursday SEPTEMBER FIRST, while bodies were floating through the streets of New Orleans, while Bush himself had not yet bothered to be in the affected "part of the world", Haliburton had secured a contract to handle clean up of bases in the area. The government had no difficulty in moving quickly to get profit into the pockets of private corporation friends who have been raping this country’s resources for years while they put their money in the Cayman Islands and avoid paying taxes.

    I hope you are paying close attention to people now. From everywhere, every political affiliation, people are furious. This is a national disgrace and the political repercussions will be immense, not just for the Bush administration but for any elected, including democrats, who did nothing with the power of their position over the past 5 days, something far beyond "sending thoughts, hopes, prayers." As human beings we are all called upon to make a difference, however God expects us to do more than pray for others, he expects us personally to provide the help.

    This country is not going to put up with such platitudes as, "Let's never allow this to happen again." I believe there WILL be accountability for the first time in years. Neither will we be stifled by such framing as, "This isn't the time or the place to point fingers." There is no better time to expose this administration for such criminal acts.

    Maloney...I did notice that on your site, you're hoping people will somehow compare you to Limbaugh, a hypocritical lying drug addict. Wow, buddy that is completely pathetic.

    By Blogger WA98296, at 03 September, 2005 20:42  

  • Even the Washington Post has placed the blame squarely on Kathleen Blanco.

    But who gives a damn?

    Give you people! Give until it hurts. Don't tell me you already gave, Give some more. How about actually volunteering at the local Red Cross to supervise? Your local relief agency?

    Give, dammit. Give!

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 04 September, 2005 04:49  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Whazdat!, at 04 September, 2005 12:53  

  • May I use your own quotes in my post in order to take issue with them?

    They give me a few cases in point:

    "Bush waited too long to tour the damaged region,"

    Any other president would've been in the White House Situation Room the day Bush was shilling for his war and strumming his guitar in San Diego.

    "National Guard troops were unavailable because they're all in Iraq,"

    I just now heard that 3000
    Guardsmen are in Iraq, and only 80 are in New Orleans.just now, on CNN, a Wolf Blitzer interview with Chertoff!

    "Bush cut funding for New Orleans levee system, therefore the storm damage is his fault,"

    He cut $71.2 million in federal funding. Ask Al Naomi, project manager of the New Orleans District of the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Here's the article:

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4200/is_

    By Blogger Whazdat!, at 04 September, 2005 13:00  

  • Read this link...

    http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=19418

    By Blogger jrs, at 09 September, 2005 17:32  

  • It's very important to remember what Mayor Nagin said to the people who needed to be evacuated. He told them (go back and read the articles and watch the videos from before the hurricane)where to go to get on the buses so that they could be transported to the Superdome, among other places, that it would be, and I quote, "miserable" there, to bring enough food and water and medicine to last them a few days, which they didn't do, apparently. Many of them were interviewed and said even though they could have gotten out, they didn't want to (why would they when they knew they could be housed and fed with government funds), and the same goes for those who didn't leave their homes. Many of them said they could but didn't want to.
    That would be fine, except for that you can see how much easier it would have been to take care of and rescue the ones who truly COULDN'T get out, if not for the scores of those who "chose" not to. The mayor knew these people, who don't have sense enough to come in out of the hurricane (to put a twist on an old phrase) wouldn't bring food and water and medicine, like he besieged them to, so he should have stocked the Superdome. And it will come to light soon that the governor was in a power struggle with the mayor, and was pulling rank on him and was probably balking at his requests for assistance. The liability that President Bush has in this is that he expected the local governments to have a handle on mandatory evacuation and immediate relief, the way it's supposed to do until the cavalry arrives, whenever it can get in, depending on the circumstances. It worked in MS and AL, just like it has worked several times in FL. For some reason, it didn't work in LA though, and it has nothing to do with the color of the citizens. Anytime you have that many people who can't take care of themselves, you'd better vote in someone who will see to it that the government will do it for them.

    By Blogger Miss N. Sleep, at 12 September, 2005 04:40  

  • People very passionately hate to be lied to, and that is why they hate Bush. You can keep pretending that he didn't lie, in fact, you can lie yourself and say he didn't lie, but he did and everyone but GOP apologists knows it now. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice,shame on me. The Bush Family is done for in this country. It has no more credibility.

    By Blogger Jon, at 14 December, 2005 10:21  

  • That's an amazing research - another Bush post out there.

    By Anonymous Fiat Car Parts, at 13 July, 2008 14:08  

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