RUSH: Alright. There’s, of course, a huge, huge story that has been unfolding to the last basically 24 hours, but particularly the last six, intensely the last five. Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel has now come ashore and it is wreaking havoc. It really is, and the cable networks, understandably, have all gone wall-to-wall. There’s all kinds of other news out there, and I would be remiss if we didn’t spend some time on some of that other news — and I’ll give you an illustration. The New York Times today — I haven’t seen the front page this morning; I was told last night, that the New York Times was not going to even front-page the hurricane. When I heard that, I said, “Hmm. Well, now, that’s interesting. The biggest disaster to hit the country in a long time domestically certainly since 9/11 of 2001, and they’re not front-paging Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel?” I don’t know if that held up. That was early last night. That was the Times original plan. I haven’t seen the newspaper today. I actually never see the newspaper. When I look at it, I look at it on the website. But if that held up, it ought to give you some indication what’s actually important to the New York Times. This is a hurricane in the South. This is a hurricane in Mississippi, in Louisiana — and that’s the South. Meanwhile, we’ve got a war that we have to defeat, an administration that I have with to defeat at the New York Times and elsewhere. So we have to spend some time here at the outset of the program on the hurricane, and we will get to some of the other news as well. I was struck by the reporting all day yesterday. I’ve been glued to this hurricane. I’ve been watching this all afternoon, all night last night. I got up earlier than I normally do today to see if it had hit landfall earlier than usual, and I was struck in all the reporting — and I guess this is natural.
I don’t want to make too big a deal of it. It’s just that I’m very sensitive to this. I was struck by the apocalyptic nature of the reporting. I was struck by the doom and gloom of the reporting, and then it kind of hit me that that’s sort of what reporting has become: “Apocalyptic in Iraq! Doom and gloom there! Doom and gloom on oil prices! Doom and gloom on everything!” For example, there was an AP story: “Hurricane Could Leave One Million Homeless.” This cleared yesterday afternoon: “Experts say hurricane could leave one million homeless; could turn one of America’s most charming cities into a vast cesspool tainted with toxic chemicals, human waste, and even coffins released by floodwaters from the city’s legendary cemeteries. Experts have warned for years that the levees and pumps that usually keep New Orleans dry have no chance against a direct hit by a category five storm. Experts have warned about New Orleans’ vulnerability for years, chiefly because Louisiana has lost more than a million acres of coastal wetlands in the past seven decades. The vast patchwork of swamps and bayous south of the city serves as a buffer partially absorbing the surge of water that a hurricane pushes ashore. Experts have also warned that the ring of high levees around New Orleans designed to protect the city will only make things worse in a powerful hurricane. Katrina [vanden Heuvel] is expected to push a 28-foot storage surge against the levees, even if they hold. Experts say water will pour over their tops and begin filling the city as if it were a sinking canoe,” and experts went on then to say “that New Orleans could be buried under water for six months with tens of thousands of dead.”
Now I realize this was a Category Five hurricane at the time this story cleared, and I understand the specifics of all of this. The eye of the hurricane, by the way, followed the exact forecast path of four or five days ago, and the eye wall went to the east of New Orleans and they were spared the worst of it. They got a huge hit. You have to wonder how much of the Mississippi coast is going to be remaining after this storm goes through there. There are reports of roofs blowing off, windows blown out. Last I heard there was no flooding in the French Quarter, but there is lots of flooding south of Lake Pontchartrain, where one of the levees did in fact break. I’m not saying the reporting is wrong, just the doom and gloom of it was something that I noted — and that’s all I did. I just noted it. I just noted the doom and gloom nature. “We are hopeless. We haven’t got a chance,” and I don’t want to be sarcastic here or anything, but I also thought while all this doom and gloom was being preached and forecast and predicted, I said, “Well, why can’t we do something about this? We’re going to get ready to embark on a plan here to stop global warming. I mean, why can’t we just stop the hurricane?” and then I knew what would happen. I made a prediction, and if I have to get F. Lee Levin on the phone to very far my prediction, I’ll do it. But I made this prediction to him late yesterday afternoon. I said, “It isn’t going to be long before we’re going to see headlines: ‘Bush: Did He Act Too Late?’ and we’re going to get stories about what would Bill Clinton have done. ‘Would Clinton have gone to the Super Dome to welcome residents in? Would Fidel Castro have gone down to the coast and put his arms up to the hurricane and warned it to turn around?'”
Then if you go to some of the Democrat websites, try this: “I just watched a bit of the press conference being held…” and I predicted that the Democrats are going to find a way to blame Bush about this, and, lo and behold, at this Daily Kos website: “I just watched a bit of the press conference being held by the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans. The levee system is endangered by the floodwaters and winds that will accompany this storm when it hits land. Historically it’s the National Guard along with other emergency personnel who attempt to provide emergency services to the community in disaster relief situations like Katrina — and where are these National Guard right now? They are in Iraq.” So it’s Bush’s fault that there aren’t enough emergency services personnel, and we don’t even know that that’s the case but that’s what’s being stated and what’s being claimed. Mary Landrieu was on Fox News. She’s a senator from Louisiana, and she was saying that the damage to Louisiana will be worse than it had to be because “government” didn’t spend enough money on building levees and other protective structures for New Orleans. She then went on to say that — and Bush is thinking about releasing the strategic oil reserves. The barrel price is over 70 bucks now, and of course a lot of the offshore drilling in this country that produces a lot of our domestic oil affected by the hurricane.
She said that using these strategic oil reserves to alleviate shortages wouldn’t be much because the government hadn’t spent enough federal money in building a greater industrial base for Louisiana which the government has neglected. So it’s up to the federal government to do all these things. They haven’t done all these things, and you know who runs the federal government these days, it’s the Republicans! I guess if the Republicans just raised taxes and collected more money, then we could have alleviated the problem. I just want to put you on notice/ I just want you to beware that the libs are going to use this hurricane to advance all of the wacko aspects their agenda, global warming and you know what else. In fact, I was watching one of the networks, I forget which, and they went to Max Mayfield, this guy that runs the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and the reporter said, “Max! Max! What about global warming?” and you could see he looked disgusted, or annoyed. He looked annoyed with the question. “No, no, no. Global warming? We’re not talking about global warming here,” but nevertheless you can be prepared for the left to go full speed into their agenda blaming Bush for it, the government for it, and nature for it — essentially us — for what happened here, and then full-fledged liberalism will be proposed to fix everything that has been broken and replace things that have been destroyed.
RUSH: Okay, the New York Times did front the hurricane in their published edition. I went and checked it out, and they did. Greetings and welcome back. Rush Limbaugh, the Excellence in Broadcasting Network. Let me not be misunderstood, folks. I have all of the sympathy in the world for the people going through this. That’s why I’ve been watching this it. That’s why I have been glued to it. I have been hoping that this thing would take a turn to a less populated area. One of the bad things about a hurricane is that when you root for it to go someplace, it’s going to hurt somebody, at least at this stage. This is a massive disaster. There’s no question about it, and believe me, as one who lives in the path of many of these things, I have heartfelt relatability to what these people are going through and what they’re going to face when they’re able to return and see what happened. It is truly devastating. At the same time — I’m not trying to be aloof on this or anything — I’m just telling you that the left politicizes everything in the country. Everything is a political issue, and this is going to end up being one way or the other, and I just want to be out of in front it, warn you of that so you’re not surprised or caught short when it happens. I don’t think you would be, but I still wanted to get it out there. Forecaster says, by the way, that, “Hurricane Katrina may cost US insurers more than $30 billion which would make the storm the most expensive to hit the United States ever,” so it’s just what it is. But, you know, there’s another way of looking at this, and one of the reasons that I noted the doom and the gloom in all the reporting. There is a fatalism about this. Before it even happens, there’s a, “Oh, we’re doomed! Oh, we’re screwed! Oh, what are we going to do?” sort of fatalism, and that’s not what this country is to me, and I will bet you that the people affected by all this don’t come out of this all defeated and doom and gloom and commit suicide and throw their hands up in frustration.
I remember when the earthquake hit San Francisco back in ’89 during the World Series. In fact, even a portion of the Bay Bridge fell, and they had to repair that, and I remember saying back then, “You know, the people of San Francisco are going to get in gear and put this place back together, put the city back together as quickly as they can. It’s just the way we are. It’s just what Americans do,” and the same thing is going to happen here. Already you have utility workers from neighborhoods states on standby ready to rush into the affected areas and try to restore power as quickly as possible. You’re going to see a nationwide effort here to try to rebuild the areas that have been destroyed or damaged severely by this storm, and in many cases what goes up is going to be better than what went down. What replaces what was destroyed is going to be new, and it’s going to be better. It’s going to be hard work and it’s going to take some money and it’s going to take some time, but it is going to be rebuilt, and it would be a source of pride, and it will be something that is quintessentially American — and it will, by the way, happen with a whole lot of aid from Americans. When this sort of thing happens around the world, we are the first country on scene to help out when these situations occur. We have experience doing this around the world. We have built for ourselves and we will do so again, and so I think celebrating the American spirit here and understanding the cheerful, optimistic nature that eventually overcomes us — not overcomes us, we eventually will get it — even in the midst of such destruction.
It’s quintessentially American, and it will happen in this case. Even amidst all of the doom and gloom, amidst all of the desperation here that is being cited — and, again, I’m not trying to minimize that. It’s more an add attitude natural thing with me. You can find positives anyplace that you want to look for them, and in this case we had plenty of warning. People were given the option to leave. Now, this is another thing, however. I should point out that some in the media are saying that the evacuation scenarios were not fair, because the poor didn’t have a way out. Only the rich had a way out, and the rich were selfish, and the rich didn’t carpool and take the poor with them when they left some of these areas and so the rich again exhibited an insensitivity and selfishness. I’ve seen that floating around. So you’ll get the doom-and-gloomers, and you’ll get the naysayers and so forth. But even those who couldn’t get out or didn’t want to get out, steps were taken to take care of them, to give them some sort of shelter in virtually everyplace. Nobody was forgotten; nobody was ignored. I’ve never seen such efforts on the part of local officials to get people out of their communities. I mean it was to me unprecedented. So the effort was sincere, and it was heartfelt. Let me grab Frank in Auburn, Maine. Welcome to the program, sir, nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Mr. Limbaugh.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: Hey, how you doing?
CALLER: I’m just a little confused because what I’m wondering is, I keep hearing on the news that there’s going to be a lot of “environmental damage.” I didn’t think it was possible for anybody but white males to do environmental damage.
RUSH: (Laughing.) I understand the joke you’re trying to make, but it’s not just white males. It’s America. But in this case… What he’s trying to say is, “Hey, here comes some environmental damage that came along and we didn’t do anything about it.” That’s my point: We are going to get blamed for this. Some aspect of America is going to be blamed for this. The left is going to politicize it. I don’t want to dwell on this because it’s not worth a sneeze, but I’m just telling you: At some point in the aftermath of this you and I are going to be talking about this. You and I are going to be sharing stories about what kind of criticisms and blame is being thrown around by people trying to make this political. When you say only the environment causes damage, who is destroying the environment? We are! We caused the hurricane. I mean, the hurricanes already happened this year there were attempts made to blame the Bush administration for not taking global warming seriously, even though if global warming had an effect on hurricanes, it would be to reduce them, because the warming would take place in the polar spheres, the polar areas of the planet, and that would not affect temperatures elsewhere. Experts have looked at this.
William Gray, the big forecast from the University of Colorado, is even working on a piece now to try to debunk this, but it’s just that: a myth. But you’re still going to have people try to saying that the severity of the storm needn’t have been what it was because of the efforts that we have made in climate change here, the problems we’ve caused. You’re going to here a lot of people blame. “Look how hot the water temperature was down there in the Gulf of Mexico! It’s hotter than it’s ever been out there! Why, this is absolutely unprecedented. That’s because of global warming,” but you’re going to hear all this folks and it’s all going to be an effort to advance a liberal agenda, big government, tax increases and so forth. But the fact of the matter is the pressure of this hurricane was not nearly as low as Camille was. It’s not the lowest pressure, therefore the most damaging hurricane. It may be in dollars, but in terms of the most powerful hurricane, it’s not. Camille was a more powerful hurricane 40 years ago before anybody was even talking about global warming in terms of how low the pressure was, and the pressure gradient has had to do with water temperatures. The warmer the water as you’ve heard the experts say it’s like throwing high-octane fuel in an engine. It just burns and burns and burns. Well, if the water is hotter now than it’s ever been this hurricane should have been the strongest ever. But just prepare yourself for these kinds of stories — and we’ll deal with them as they happen. But you know me, I love to predict things. That’s what being on the cutting he just of societal evolution is all about.