Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Rush Limbaugh, I dare you to accuse me of exploiting Huricane Katrina for my twisted political agenda.

Because, El Rushbo, that dog don't hunt.

Especially when you've been calling this Hurricane Katrina vanden Heuvel and saying things like: "It would be pretty cool if Fox played to caricature and repeatedly referred to the hurricane as Katrina vanden Heuvel" and "The destruction from Katrina vanden Heuvel is expected to be massive...The poor and disabled are particularly likely to suffer from the effects of Katrina vanden Heuvel."

Rush, I know you are a heartless horse's ass, but you can't say something like that and then turn around and claim that "doom and gloom" liberals are the ones who are exploiting this natural disaster for political gain.

As to exploiting tragedy for poltical gain, there is no one who is more practiced at it than George W. Bush. He's no more likely to see me than Cindy Sheehan, but since I'm also going to be impacted by Hurricane Katrina, I've got a few questions I'd like the President to answer.

If I could meet with the President Bush, these are the questions I'd like to ask:

  • If we've spent every single day since 9-11 preparing for a catastrophic terrorist attack with Weapons of Mass Destruction, why weren't we better prepared for the massive destruction caused by this natural disaster? Katrina gave us a lot more warning than the terrorists will.

  • Do you continue to feel that your efforts to "prevent" such an attack by pre-emptive war in the Persian Gulf is actually making us safer here at home? If a massive terrorist attack does happen, we now know that because so much of our National Guard force (and their equipment) is in Iraq, we're woefully unprepared to deal with that attack. And, since the terrorists watch CNN too, don't they also know this? 35% of the Louisiana National Guard is currently fighting in Iraq, and money to repair breached levees was diverted to the Iraq War.

  • Why, sir, when FEMA predicted that this exact event was one of the "three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters" did you cut funding by a record $71.2 million for the Army Corps of Engineers, representing the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district?

  • Do you also, in retrospect, think that shelving the study of how to protect against Category 5 hurricanes was a mistake?

  • Now that we have had a natural disaster of what is being called "Biblical proportions", do you feel it is a mistake to have announced that FEMA is to "officially" lose the disaster preparedness function that it has had since its creation?

  • Will this administration now take a closer look at the "junk science" of global warming or will you continue to revise standards (such as CAFE last week) which actually encourage automakers to produce bigger, less fuel efficient vehicles, while preventing states from taking strong, progressive action to reverse global warming?

    Asking legitimate questions like this is not "pimping" Katrina, as the conservative blogger Steve Bowers at "Pardon my English" puts it in his attack of Robert Kennedy Jr.'s reasonable attempt to connect the severity of the hurricane to climate change.

    I think these questions need answers, and if you don't think so, which one of us hates America more?

    Hurricane Katrina is perhaps the worst natural disaster to hit the United States in history:

    • Entire cities across three states totally wiped out.
    • All along the Gulf Coast over a million people displaced from their homes.
    • All essential services in the area are out.
    • New Orleans is 80% under water and it is getting deeper.
    • At least $25 Billion dollars in damage.
    • There is no drinking water or safe food available to animals or humans. This will pose a terrible public health and safety problem for months to come.
    • Public health systems are pushed to the brink.
    • Over 110 people killed in the state of Mississippi and rising.
    • Oil prices are at $71 a barrel and rising, expected rationing of gasoline in afflicted areas, prices at the pump nationally expected to top $3 a gallon.
    • 80% of the state of Mississippi is without electric power. Refineries have shut down due to damage and loss of electricity.
    • Untold numbers of people now homeless and millions of jobs washed away. The stock market on the skids, the Dow retreating.
    • An oil rig washed up on shore, as yet no oil company is claiming ownership.
    • Horrific environmental damage to the entire region.
    • Reinsurers are in a panic about the massive blow these insurance claims will deal to the world economy.
    • It will be over two months before the airport in New Orleans can reopen.
    • Martial law declared, entire city of New Orleans ordered evacuated.
    • Looters are breaking into department stores and stealing all the guns and ammunition they can find.


    • Sources:
    • Global warming may be to blame for Katrina, By Andrew Buncombe, The Independent
    • How Not to Prepare for a Hurricane, AlterNet
    • State's military presence aids in storm relief: While some Guard members fight in Iraq, others battle elements. Shreveport Times
    • The Politics of Weather, American Progress Action Fund
    • Katrina Proves Bush Failed New Orleans, Swing State Project
    • Rush (mis)reads the news: Following pattern of distortion, Limbaugh contorts global warming article to falsely accuse NY Times of liberal bias, Media Matters
    • Destroying FEMA, By Eric Holdeman, director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
    • New Orleans as a casualty of the war in Iraq, This Modern World


    1 Comments:

    Blogger R said...

    I've got a one word answer to all of this. NOVEMBER.

    2:53 PM  

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