RUSH: You know, I’ve always liked Mary Landrieu, I must confess. I’ve thought she’s cute. She’s still got baby fat on her. She’s cute, she’s bubbly, and she’s vivacious. I’ve always been partial to women named Mary anyway, and she’s voted a couple of times, three times with us. She is a swing vote in the Senate. She does swing, not with a lot of fanfare, but she does veer away from the kooks in that party’s leadership now and then. So I have to confess that I’m disappointed here. I know that she’s in the midst of a lot of stress, and I know that she’s feeling a lot of pressure, and I’m guessing that the Democratic leadership has gone to her and said, “We need you to cut loose and say what we want you to say here because we’ve got a political opportunity that doesn’t come along very often. We’ve got a great chance to sink Bush here, and since you’re from Louisiana where this happened, we think you’d be a good one to carry the water.” I don’t know that that’s the case. I wouldn’t be surprised. So she went to the floor of the Senate today and this is what she said.
LANDRIEU: We know the president said quote, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” Everybody anticipated the breach of the levees, Mr. President, including computer stimulations in which this administration participated. Even the clay figurine Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live anticipated the breach. His creator, a friend of mine, has used him in public service announcements for over two years, public service announcements, saying this will be the effect if this happened. How can it be that Mr. Bill was better informed that Mr. Bush?
RUSH: All right, now, this is painful for me to do, ladies and gentlemen. But once again, a person from the state of Louisiana who has had countless years and opportunities to do something about this, apparently cannot show us the legislation she has presented to prepare these levees for category five. Remember, these levees were built for category three. Americans are pouring billions of dollars into her state. No thanks to her, by the way. And a thank-you would be nice, but we’re not going to get a thank-you in this period, folks, we’re not going to get gratitude because the plan is to blame, blame, blame, blame, blame, everything is going wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. So in the middle of everything going wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, in the middle of all kinds of incompetence, how can you express gratitude? But Mary, senator, question for you. Where the hell were you, and where the hell was your daddy, Moon Landrieu, and where was your little brother? They’ve all run that state, and they’ve run that city for who knows how long. I want to see the bill, Senator Landrieu, in which you got Senator Daschle and your colleagues to vote for billions of dollars to build a levee system which would stand to cat five. I want to see the legislation that you proposed. You’ve been there since the Clinton administration. I’m not talking about money for the levee system. I’m talking about money to build a cat five levee system. Senator Landrieu, Louisiana is number one in Army Corps of Engineer funding. The Army Corps of Engineers gets more money to spend in Louisiana than any other state in this country. Where is the cat five levee system?
It is time to investigate your family, Senator Landrieu. It’s time to investigate your little brother, and your Daddy Moon and everybody else, your whole party, it’s time to investigate Louisiana to find out why all the money that was sent down there somehow didn’t reach the levees. Senator Reid, I think you need to realize that Senator Landrieu is doing more to turn off the American people than anyone, and that’s saying something. She used to angelic compared to the rest of you, but with this, when this gets out, she’s doing more to turn off the American people who are giving everything. They’re opening their homes. They are sending dollars. They are sending supplies, they have made it a focus to help out in these last seven or eight days, and to send Senator Landrieu out, and once again try to pass the buck and make this a political thing at President Bush, is not serving your cause. The other day on Stephanopoulos, she was crying and threatening to “punch out” the president. I guess that didn’t get enough attention. I guess that didn’t get enough reverberation, and so they had to send her out to say this today, that she’s in over her head on this, perhaps too emotionally impacted by it. But Senator Landrieu, you perhaps should have read your own house organ today before you went onto the floor of the Senate. Stand by and I will read to you relevant facts from a Washington Post story today, that had you known, you would not have gone to the floor of the Senate and made such a fool of yourself.
RUSH: How can it be that you, as the senator from that state, didn’t do a damn thing about it if everybody knew? Where was your daddy? Where was your little brother? Where’s the legislation you introduced to Tom Daschle when he was the majority leader to get this done? Everybody says, “Yep, they’ll handle a cat 3, but nothing higher, certainly not a cat 5.” Where was the legislation to fix these and move them up to a cat 5? We need to investigate Louisiana, Mary Landrieu’s family, and the Democratic Party down there. From the Washington Post today, here’s the headline: “Money Flowed to Questionable Projects — Louisiana leads in Army Corps spending, but millions had nothing to do with the floods. Before Hurricane Katrina breached a levee on the New Orleans Industrial Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers had already launched a $748 million construction project at that very location. But the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was building a huge new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge traffic. Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing. In Katrina’s wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush’s administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large. Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state’s congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana’s representatives have kept bringing home the bacon. For example, after a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations,” so that the money would get spent.
Can I read this to you again so you understand this? Mary Landrieu cooked the books. “After a $194 million deepening project for the Port of Iberia flunked a Corps cost-benefit analysis, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) tucked language into an emergency Iraq spending bill ordering the agency to redo its calculations.” In other words: Cook the books so that the cost-benefit analysis works, because we want the money.
“The Corps also spends tens of millions of dollars a year dredging little-used waterways such as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, the Atchafalaya River and the Red River — now known as the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway, in honor of the project’s congressional godfather — for barge traffic that is less than forecast.” Not only over the five years of President Bush’s administration has Louisiana received far more money for the Corps of Engineers civil projects than any other state, 1.9 billion, “overall the Bush administration’s funding requests for the key New Orleans flood control projects for the past five years were higher than the Clinton administration’s for its past five years. Lieutenant General Carl Strock, the chief of the Corps, has said that in any event, more money would not have prevented the drowning of the city, since its levees were designed to protect against a Category 3 storm, and the levees that failed were already completed projects. Strock has also said that the marsh-restoration project would not have done much to diminish Katrina’s storm surge, which passed east of the coastal wetlands.” They buried the lead of the story! I am halfway to the second page of the story, and the lead of the story is that Bush in his five years spent far more on these projects down there, flood control projects, than Clinton did in his last five years. We also know that the Corps of Engineers gets more money for Louisiana than any other state. We now have learned that Mary Landrieu cooked the books on the $194 million deepening project that flunked a cost-benefit analysis.
So senator, it seems to me you’re going to have a real hard time making the case that George Bush didn’t do enough. It seems to me, senator, you’re going to have a real tough time blaming President Bush for this. It seems to me, senator, that what you ought to really be worried about is somebody investigating you and your daddy and every other Democrat that has run that state, that has willfully accepted all of these dollars and not spent them where they were targeted. And again, Senator, I’d simply like to ask you, where is the legislation that you sponsored to upgrade the levees from category three to category five? Where is it? Is Bush supposed to have done that, too? Yeah, everybody’s reading all these articles written years ago about the dangers of what could happen, and, yeah, they look awfully prophetic. Well, you could have read them, too. The mayor could have read them. That governor down there could have read them. And you all could have demanded that something be done about the levees, lifting their capabilities from cat three to cat five, but I don’t see anybody producing legislation saying, “See? We asked for it, and we didn’t get it.” I see you getting more than any other state gets on these types of projects, but I don’t know how, senator, you can go from where you are to blaming President Bush for this, and somehow portray yourself as an innocent bystander. You’re a member of the US Senate. You did nothing.
RUSH: I’m still stuck on this. So Mary Landrieu says that even Mr. Bill, of Saturday Night Live even knew the levees would fail. Well, where was Mary Landrieu then? My gosh, if a cartoon character on Saturday Night Live knows the levees are going to fail! By the way, Mr. Bill…? I don’t even watch Saturday Night Live anymore. When’s that bite from, Mike? Mike’s got the bite of Mr. Bill saying it. I don’t know if I want to play it, but do you know what the date of it is, how long ago? Has Mr. Bill been on the air since Bush took office? They brought him back, or is Mr. Bill one of these ancient characters that’s still ancient on Saturday Night Live? Does anybody know? It’s ancient, okay. Okay, okay. So the point is, if Mr. Bill knew this way back in the nineties, if a cartoon character knew it, then a lot of people knew it during the Clinton years, during all kinds of things, and yet here comes Mary Landrieu. I’m telling you, folks, this effort to steer this away from New Orleans. You know what they’re going to propose next? You watch. The next commission that is appointed to study this, the chairman will be Kathleen Blanco and the assistant chairman will be Ray Nagin, and people will say, “Well, we put Jamie Gorelick on the 9/11 Commission and you didn’t object.” That’s about where this is headed, if they get their way. Here’s Tom in Memphis. Tom, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, hope you’re having a good day.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: The reason Mary Landrieu is running around making so much noise is politically she is toast. She just lost her base. She’s run twice and barely won her Senate seat by just thousands of votes each time, very close elections.
RUSH: Yeah, from New Orleans is where that support came from.
CALLER: That’s right. Orleans Parish pulled her through. Now, it’s problematic. If most of those people are going to move back, A, if the city is even going to be ready to vote next time she’s up a year from November —
RUSH: Ah, ah, no, no, the Democrats, they’ll vote even if they’re not there.
CALLER: Well, that may be, but still a lot of those people are never going to go back and if they do have anything approaching a normal election, which I agree in Louisiana is problematic. She’s lost her base. She’s gotta run around sounding different and appealing to different people or she loses next time easy.
RUSH: That’s an interesting point and I’m going to use your point to expand it into an overall discussion here that does not impact the Democratic Party well. Let’s stick to New Orleans. You’re exactly right. All these evacuees are not going to go back to New Orleans. They’re all Democrats. They all vote Democrat. You know they vote Democrat, 99% of them vote Democrat, and a lot of them are not going to go back, and one of the reasons they’re not going to go back is because after all this aid gets spent they’re going to have nicer places to live than they had when they lived in New Orleans, and they’re going to have more opportunities for jobs. New Orleans was a demonstrable failure for these people, and that’s why I think there needs to be an investigation of liberalism down there. Far from creating a utopia, look at what they created. So these people don’t go back. So there’s a significant number of Democrats not voting in Louisiana, and it could be. I mean, how many people have been evacuated, 182,000? I don’t know how many of those are going to go back, but let’s say 90,000 of them don’t, that’s 90,000 votes that are not going to be voted for Democrat candidates in Louisiana, and Tom is right. Mary Landrieu barely, barely eked out the last two elections, and it took Bill Clinton making phone calls down in New Orleans to get these people out to vote, and it was razor-thin.
Now, little known to people is that much the same type of thing is happening in the northeast and the upper Midwest, otherwise known as the Rust Belt. The number of people, for example, moving to Florida is calculated to be 800 a day, despite four hurricanes last year, and one hurricane this year, 800 people a day moving to Florida. Many of them are moving to the Tampa-St. Pete area, Jacksonville along the panhandle in Florida. They’re moving from places like Long Island and other parts of New York state. They’re coming from Cleveland, they’re coming from places in Detroit and Michigan and so forth, and the reason is that the taxes, real estate, property tax, income taxes have gotten so high that people cannot afford to live there and work there. And they’re able to move to Florida with a job that pays pretty much the same but have twice the house, with no state income tax. They have more disposable income. They’re able to actually factor sending their kids to college. If this rate of 800 people a day moving to Florida — and, by the way, most of the people in these areas are Democrats. When you’re talking about New York and Michigan and upper Ohio, Cleveland, you’re talking about Democrats. So if this rate of 800 a day moving to Florida keeps up and everybody expects it not only to keep up but increase, in ten years Florida will have more electoral votes than New York, and when the Democrats start losing bodies to get to the polls in these northeastern and Rust Belt states, they’re losing Democrats up there. It’s not so much that enough Democrats are leaving New York, say, that it will become a Republican state, but they’re going to lose electoral votes. Their electoral map for winning the presidency is what’s going to change. Florida is clearly a Republican state and getting more so by the day, and the same thing is happening in the South. The Democrats have written the South off, as you know, except for Louisiana. They’ve written it off, and that’s where these people happen to be moving. Some are moving to North Carolina. Some are moving to South Carolina. Some are moving to Georgia. Some are coming all the way down to Florida. But they are leaving, and it’s going to change the electoral map for presidential elections for the Democratic Party.
It used to be you get New York and California and you’re pretty much home free. Not going to be the case in ten to 15 years, and what can the Democrats do to reverse this? There isn’t a whole lot they can do to reverse it because they’d have to change their whole world view and ideology. They’re not going to cut taxes. They’re not going to make it easier for people to move into the state and open businesses. You get punished for success in these liberal-run places. But you have states that have no income tax, and a property tax base that makes some sense, some places. Not all. But some places. You have a far better lifestyle, not to mention, not to mention the weather aspects and the climate aspects, not to mention not having any snow, not to mention any of the trials and tribulations of winter. Yeah, you trade that for hurricane possibilities and so forth, but 800 people a day are making the bet moving to Florida. So what’s happening in Louisiana, a little microcosm of it, all those Democrats that are being evacuated from the state, and this will be what the Democrats will ultimately decide was the real Bush conspiracy. To get all these Democrats out of Louisiana, give them all kinds of state money, turn them into wards of the Republican state, make them so love and appreciate Republicans for helping them out, after the Republicans point out that you were living in squalor for year after year after year under Democrat control, hurricane came along, yeah, wrecked your life but look who helped you. We did. We wrote the checks. Ka-ching. That’s how government works, folks. I’m sorry. It’s frustrating, but it’s just the way it works. But in electoral politics you have a chance that these voters may stay Democrat, they’re black, they may stay Democrat, but some of them may not. But regardless, the voting base of Democrats in Louisiana has been lessened. It’s been diluted now because of some of them aren’t going to go back. And this is a trend that not too many people are talking about. Where I first heard about this trend in the northeast interestingly was in a very long and worrisome article in one addition of the Sunday New York Times about two months ago. And they had quotes of families, they had individual stories of families who had left, and why, with comparative numbers on their lifestyles, earning the same amount of money, more job opportunities outside Long Island and Cleveland and so forth.
I’m telling you, you hang around where liberals run the show, where liberalism is unchecked, and you do not get utopia. You don’t get anything. You get a welfare state. You get a welfare state on top of a welfare state. We got the federal welfare state, then you got the one the liberals set up in these states. So you got redundant welfare states that these residents are paying for on both ends. And there’s no thought given to whether the next tax increase can be afforded. They just levy it, and if you can’t afford it, too bad. Well, people are finally saying too bad for you because we’re leaving, and what could the Democrats do to stop it? Not much because they’re not going to change their world view.
RUSH: I’ve read the other day yesterday that there are two options with the Superdome. By the way, one more thing on this Mary Landrieu business. Bush did not say, “Nobody anticipated the levees would fail,” before the hurricane. This is a key thing that you people must know. She took the president’s quote out of context. He was talking after the storm had passed and the levees at that point held, the city was dry the second day. Nobody anticipated then that the levees would break. That’s what he was talking about. If they had survived the storm, then nobody expected them to break after that, and that’s probably true.