RUSH: So a continuing variety of things to discuss today, and of course it’s interesting to look at the perspective that certain people have when discussing the story of what has to be if not the worst one of the worst natural disasters that has occurred in American history, certainly modern American history, and it seems like with each new hour comes information, findings of even more disaster, and the news gets even more startling. You get to a point where you get numb. You can’t relate to it. If you start thinking about sort of the domino effect of what has happened here, it becomes mind-numbing. You lose your ability to carry it out as far as it’s going to go. Then on the other hand, you at the same time you have these realizations. You also see the real heroes of America banding together. The people that I’ve always talked about who “make the country work,” and you see them here. I mean, you don’t know who they are, and you don’t know their names. You know the names of their leaders and their commanders because they’re on television describing the actions being taken, but you see all these people that are banding together to try to alleviate the suffering and limit it as best possible and then to take steps forward, and at the same time you see all this devastation and destruction, you can’t help but notice things that are positive about this, and so we want to focus on both today, and I hate — I really hate — this, but, folks, we’re going to have to fire back again today.
What we do, we get up here and we get to work every day; we look at the news and we see the institutions and traditions and some people that we believe in under assault, being attacked, and so it’s necessary to defend them — and of course the left is mounting even more assaults today, or trying to, continuing previously mounted assaults from earlier in the week. A lot of people are sending me the op-ed written by Robert Kennedy, Jr., and I’ve had this. He wrote it on Monday, or it was published on Monday. I’ve had this in the stack for two days. I didn’t want to give it the time of day, but it’s been spread around out there now and it deserves comment, and we will. But it’s absolutely ludicrous. It’s all about: Global warming is responsible for the disaster, and God steered the hurricane to Mississippi to get even with Haley Barbour. That’s Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s contribution to this. So we’ll get into all of this. We have some audio sound bites. We’re going to talk about the energy situation. This is a major, major thing. Now, you know me. I try to look at the positive side of everything, not to the extent that I ignore reality. I’m firmly grounded in reality, but I also try to look at things which are positive, and I see a whole bunch of positive opportunities here, great opportunities regarding our whole energy situation that I want to get into with you as the program unfolds. In fact, we’ll be doing it pretty soon here. I have to mention this because some of this stuff that the left does is just so predictable, you have to laugh at it.
Those of you who have regularly been listeners to this program, how many times have you heard me say that liberalism “defines equality by spreading misery equally”? May I share with you a headline from today’s New York Times: “The Misery is Spread Equally.” I looked at this today, and I said, “Hooah!” I said, “Unbelievable.” What do you think the story is about? It’s obvious what the story is about. You don’t even need to read it. The Misery is Spread Equally, and so everything is fine. “The storm was nothing if not equal opportunity in its misery. In Waveland and Bay St. Louis, modest bungalows and working-class apartment buildings were thrashed, torn open like cellophane bags and filled to their first-floor ceilings with muddy Gulf of Mexico water by Hurricane Katrina’s howling winds and powerful tidal surge. But a few miles away, affluent Diamondhead fared no better, and perhaps worse, as the hurricane obliterated an entire subdivision of $500,000 houses, leaving just the pilings they once stood on and piles upon piles of rubbish, sodden clothing and battered appliances.” So Katrina vanden Heuvel, Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel was an equal opportunity destroyer. It spared nobody. It made sure that not only did the poor who normally get hit by hurricanes get hit, but the rich got hit, and the affluent got hit! What a way to look at this. What a way to look at it. It’s not enough just to say that there’s devastation all along the Gulf coast, but to have to divvy it up into the haves and have-nots and somehow express some sort of… Not pleasure, but why else would you note this?
Why else would you take the time point out, “Hey, you know, rich finally got it just as bad as the poor did this time!” So we have the misery spread equally — and that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the things that I have always said is how liberals define equality. As long as everybody is miserable, then everything is okay. But some people are happy, while other people are sad, that’s not okay. If some people are prosperous while other people aren’t, that’s not okay. And what do liberals usually do to try to level the scales? Try to lower those at the top either at the achievement level, the income level, the educational level, to be more in line with those who have not achieved as well, rather than elevate those at the bottom. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re taking pleasure in the result here at the New York Times, but you have to wonder about the fact that they note it in the first place, that somehow, “Hey, you know, yeah, the shanties, God! But, hey, look, those half-million-dollar houses, they may have gotten it worse. Yeah!” The misery is spread equally. You have to have some kind of a warped worldview to even look at this and see it in that regard. When you do look at this, you see things that are unimaginable in terms of the destruction of things that we have built. You realize the monumental task that is ahead, and then you’re brought back down to a sober reality because we still have to find people out there who are desperately to affix blame, and half of what’s going on out there is that effort to find anybody could be persuasively affix blame to elements of this country. It’s either our high-tech lifestyle, it is our ignoring the Kyoto protocol — and they have to be dealt with, folks. They have to be knocked out of the park. I hate to have to take time on this program during a disaster like this, but I look and see and read these things. I cannot let them stand.
RUSH: The exploitation of this natural disaster, a natural disaster that has happened many times in our past, continues. The exploitation of this that will disaster for political gain continues ? and so it must be answered, folks, and who better than I to deal with it? We have so much BS that’s being spread around out there. For example: “Well, hell, yes, Rush, we know it’s global warming! Look at the temperature of the waters in the Gulf. They were 90 degrees. Why, as you yourself have said, big guy, that’s like throwing gasoline on the fire.” Seawater alone is not the only thing that determines the strength of a hurricane! Do you know what knocked this down from a five to a four right before it hit shore? A puff of dry air from the continental shelf that was not expected and it also nudged it a little bit east. So if it’s global warming that is responsible for this hurricane, why didn’t the ocean temperature, the Gulf temperature of 90 degrees overpower the dry puff of air? There are countless hundreds of ingredients that go into the strength of a hurricane. For example, Hurricane Charley was a much more powerful hurricane than this one. The difference is that Charlie was moving lickety-split compared to this and had a much smaller eye wall. This eye wall was almost a hundred miles wide. Charley’s was like 20, maybe 25 miles, maybe even less than that. But it was, by the way they measure these things, a more powerful hurricane. It had a lower barometric pressure and so forth and so on, but this is not the first natural disaster like this. This is not the first big hurricane that’s rolled in, but now all of a sudden — and you can go back to the days of Camille and you can go back to the days of Andrew. Just go back to 1992. Go back to Andrew. See if you can find any elements of American politics trying to blame a president or a party or a policy on the fact that Andrew existed and happened and was a category five.
It’s a relatively new phenomenon, and I know why it’s happening. I’m just going to repeat this again. I know we’ve got thousands and millions of new tune-ins going on because of this whole story. So some of this is going to be redundant to you, but the left has lost its power. The left had a power grip on this country for arguably 40 or 50 years and they’ve lost it, and they can’t deal with it, and so they have lost their rationality, hence the arrival of such groups like MoveOn.org and George Soros and all these other kook groups that have become the mainstream of the Democratic Party. It’s all about trying to hold on to the halcyon days that they have lost. You couple that with what happened in Florida in 2000 and add a little personal hatred to George W. Bush, and you’ve got a mixture here that is turning normally rational people into bordering on insane. The New York Times today, to give you a classic illustration of this, let me just read to you from their editorial. All you need to know is one little sentence here from their editorial, and it is this. New York Times, by the way, headline: “New Orleans in Peril”
“But this seems like the wrong moment to dwell on fault-finding or even to point out that it took what may become the worst natural disaster in American history to pry President Bush out of his vacation.” So on the one hand they say, “It’s not the time to bash Bush. It’s not the time to be critical of anybody,” and then they go ahead and criticize Bush for being on vacation, as did Jack Cafferty yesterday afternoon on Wolf Blitzer’s show on CNN. Blitzer is talking to Cafferty, says, “Jack, it’s a horrible situation. Did you ever think in our lifetime a major American city like New Orleans, population half a million, could be in a disaster situation like this?”
CAFFERTY: You have to wonder watching these pictures and listening to these accounts if we’ll ever see, uh, the city of New Orleans as we all, uh, remember the Big Easy. Where’s [President] Bush? Is he still on vacation?
BLITZER: He’s cut short his [working] vacation. He’s coming back to Washington tomorrow.
CAFFERTY: Oh, that will be a good idea. He was out in San Diego I think at a naval air station giving a speech on Japan and the war in Iraq today. Uh, based on his approval rating and the latest polls, uh, my guess is, uh, getting back to work might not be a terrible idea.
RUSH: And so once again, all this happened because Bush was on vacation, and whatever is not happening to Jack Cafferty’s approval in the recovery effort is because Bush isn’t there — and this whole concept of presidents being on vacation? Presidents are never on vacation. If you go to Washington you can’t find anybody but a tourist there and the Democrats on the Senate judiciary committee who are licking their chops at their shot at John Roberts next week — and in fact that’s another thing. Here we have this major natural disaster that is just overwhelming, and when you listen to Democrats in Washington speak, they are salivating over new documents they have found that they think can finally railroad John Roberts to be on the Supreme Court. Now, if there’s anybody indicating they’re out of touch here, it is the media. Not so much the people on the ground covering this because the reporters on the ground covering it are facing it. They know full-fledged what they’re facing and they see it, and some of them are having trouble reporting it. I think I probably would be, too, to be quite honest with you, and I think most of them on the ground are doing a fabulous job but these little ankle biters out there just can’t resist an opportunity like the Times and Jack Cafferty at CNN to somehow say that Bush is uncaring? I know what’s coming. “Bush doesn’t care! Why isn’t he there? Clinton would have been there. Why doesn’t Bush go there? Doesn’t he realize how big this is? He better get himself down there real fast, and not just for PR, he better get down there and do something real fast.”
Well, what do we have? We have the US military that’s been mobilized. The president has been talking to the governors. The senators of these states can’t really do a whole lot, but the governors can. He’s had numerous conversations with the governors. He’s assured them that they’re going to get what they need. You have neighborhoods governors from Texas, Rick Perry, they’re going to take some of these people from the Superdome into the Astrodome. They’re even going to give them school books and try to conduct school and sessions for the youngsters that are going over there to try to have some sense of normalcy. All kinds of people are banding together. Folks, this is no disparagement to President Bush or anybody else, but I’m sorry, it’s not going to be the president that puts this back together. It isn’t going to be a member of Congress and isn’t going to be a series of governors that puts this back together. It never is. The people who make — they’ll be a part of it but a crucial role, they’re not irrelevant — but without the people who make this country work none of what you see on TV would be taking place. The Army Corps of Engineers, you’ve got people down there risking drowning trying to get these pumps going, trying to fix these breaches in the sea walls and the levees, doing the rescue operations, the search operations. They’re going to have to deal with the dead. Nobody has even talked about the wildlife yet that they’re going to find that has expired, and that’s going to have to be dealt with. This is going to take us into the whole energy problem — and there is where I think a tremendous opportunity lies. Let me play for you a sound bite. This also on CNN, Lou Dobbs Tonight last night, had a guy named Mike Tidwell. He’s a “noted environmentalist” and also the author of “Bayou Farewell, The Rich Life and Tragic Death Of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast.” This is what he said about global warming.
TIDWELL: Scientists are predicting — even our own government is predicting — three feet of sea level rise in this country because of global warming. That’s another problem on top of it yet 90 degrees of sea surface temperatures in the Gulf record temperatures that I think contributed to this and in my book Bayou Farewell I mentioned that one of the ways we save New Orleans is the same way we save all of us —
TIDWELL: — is we’ve got to get off of the fossil fuels that create the greenhouse gases and make everything worse.
RUSH: Do you realize how absurd this is? What is the major problem facing America today? We’ve had — what is it? — 85 or 90% of the oil production in the Gulf shut down. We’ve got refineries down there that are flooded, not going to be able to work. We are worried. There was a problem with distribution, pipeline distribution of jet fuel and gasoline from that reason to Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this story today. The president is considering making a speech on conserving energy, conserving fuel use. The president has made the decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which I think — well, I disagree with it. I don’t think it’s time to do that. I don’t think it’s necessary. We don’t have a shortage here. We have a distribution problem we have to deal with. We’ve got refineries down; we’ve got production down in the Gulf, and who knows how long it’s going to be down. Hopefully they will be up much sooner than a lot of people think. But for the solution to come from an expert author, saying the only way to fix this is to get off of fossil fuels? Folks, do you realize the golden opportunity that is presented by this? You know what the president could do? The president, instead of releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, he could by executive order, eliminate all gasoline taxes for a short period of time, a temporary period of time. He could, by executive order, eliminate, temporarily eliminate, all of these different regulations on the formation of gasoline that cause all kinds of distribution problems, even in normal times — and he could illustrate that one of the real problems we have here is brought on by militant environmentalists. Militant environmentalists who will not let — even today, there are people who are suggesting the last thing we need to do now is start drilling in ANWR. We’re facing some energy problem, but it’s not a shortage. There is not a shortage of oil anywhere. It’s just not. The price is being bid up by these maniacs on the futures market and it’s creating this notion that nobody’s going to be able to afford gasoline or oil, and that there’s a short supply, and there isn’t. There is increased demand. There’s all kinds of oil. The idea that the solution to this is to stop using fossil fuels is the most unrealistic. There’s no air-conditioning in New Orleans or all along the Gulf coast. There’s no way to refrigerate food. There is no way to keep water cold or ice. What are we supposed to do, go back and live primitive lifestyles just to avoid global warming? None of this makes any sense and this is the time to expose these people for who they are.
RUSH: Here’s the opportunity that I see here. The left, particularly the militant environmentalist wackos, have been saying that we need to sacrifice. “Where is our sacrifice, compared to the rest of the world? You know, we steal and use two-thirds of the world’s resources. We are only 5% of the world’s population.” So, bammo, here we got — we’ve got higher oil prices, largely thanks to the left, and no more ability to depend on ourselves for production, to deal with whatever market forces exist in the rest of the world. That’s because of the left as well. So I guess now we have our suffering. So in the midst of the suffering, what does a prominent lib author suggest? Get rid of fossil fuels now because they are causing hurricanes, which has destroyed New Orleans, and we’ve got to get rid of these fossil fuels. Here’s the opportunity. We have a big problem, too, by the way, and I think stating the problem before the opportunity would put it into some better focus and context here. Because I think what’s going to happen here, folks, is, as time goes on in this disaster, we will be focused more than ever before on our need for energy — not just for growth, but for stability and rebuilding. Let the left, let the militants whine and moan about global warming. Let them complain. Every time we need more energy than we can get because of this circumstance, let the left oppose it. Let them oppose every effort to find more fossil fuel energy in the midst of this disaster and trying to bring people back from it and trying to bring back normal human lifestyle situations as they are known to exist in the United States, and the left will be seen as the obstacles they are.
We have a big problem in political terms, because many decisions about energy and the environment are now made by the bureaucracy: the EPA, which nobody elects, and the courts, which nobody elects. It only takes a small minority of senators to block any legislative change. So you’ve got a large part of unelected Washington that runs much of our energy policy now. So, fine and dandy, this is the opportunity. Let the left, let the unelected in Washington tell the people in the Gulf Coast Area that they’ll have to adapt to a more primitive lifestyle and that we all should. Let them say that this is an opportunity here for us to finally wean ourselves from the perils and burdens of fossil fuel. Let them say that to these people down there. Let them say it to the people in the country. They will eventually be run out of town for this. You know, the role that the left and the unelected bureaucracy in Washington has taken, the role that they’ve played in running up the cost of energy. Everybody thinks it’s the Saudis and the oil companies that have really run up the cost of energy, and it’s not. It’s the bureaucracy, and it is the environmentalist wackos and their idiotic regulations. It is the fact that we can’t go find and produce any more oil in our own continental shelf which we know exists. By the way, I still maintain that there’s this maniacal futures market trading in oil going on that’s participating and contributing to the unrealistic jump in the price of oil per barrel. A lot of that is a factor here, too — and I said this at the top of the show. I am an optimistic person by nature. I think what we have here is an opportunity to expose the real culprits in our energy problems because they will show themselves in the midst of this problem.
Oil companies want to drill. The nuclear industry wants to build plants. The refineries want to expand. The energy bill that we got does next to nothing to help this, because the people on the left have hijacked the environment, and they use it to block progress. Now, we’re going to need to come up with faces and names of people on the left who are actually standing in the way of this stuff, because that’s the way to make the point and to drive it home. But I know that what’s going to happen here is as we strive to get energy back to normal and bring prices down, and let market forces determine them, we’re going to have people stand up and oppose it, and we’re going to have people on the left stand up and say, “This is a great opportunity here for us to finally wean our way off of fossil fuels,” and they’ll be coming out at the same time saying, “Well, see, it is our use of fossil fuels that cause global warming that led to the hurricane.” So we’ve got two lessons we can learn here at once. In the meantime when you have people in the depths of deprivation such as they are, they’re not going to care about anything the left has to say. They’re going to care about air-conditioning, automobiles, gasoline, hospitals, the things that energy produces that make life livable and normal in this country — and until those things get back to normal, and it’s going to be awhile, and energy is going to be key. It’s going to be the foundational building block to getting things back to normal. Until that happens, I don’t see them having much sympathy for these arguments the left traditionally puts out. At this point, they’re not worried about what caused the hurricane.
All they know is it happened and all they know is their lives are destroyed, totally upside down, and they want to do something as quick as they can to get back to normal. They want to find out how their relatives are that they haven’t heard from. They want to get their property back, do whatever they can with it. They’re not going to be sensitive to all the people who will end up placing themselves as obstacles in the way of this. There is a golden opportunity, folks, to finally illustrate or have illustrated for us just exactly who the environmental militant left are and what they want and what they believe, and when you hear a never-ending refrain that this hurricane was caused by global warming, I urge you to go back into history and check all the big hurricanes we’ve had long before anybody talked about global warming. I’m talking about manmade global warming, you can go back and find giant hurricanes that were destructive, as destructive in a proportionate sense given whatever was available to destroy back then. The point is this is nothing new. They’re rare. Hurricanes this big are rare, but they are nothing new. But the very idea, just the idea — forget everything else I’ve said, just the idea — that this disaster is looked upon as an opportunity for political gain by the left, and that particular political gain actually results in a decline of Western lifestyles, that’s something that ought to sober everybody. I wouldn’t be talking about this, I assure you, were it not for the fact that others on the left are out there making these asinine, ridiculous statements, and they have to be responded to and reacted to.