Storm Warnings

As Republicans prepare for a convention in faraway Minneapolis events happening in the Gulf of Mexico are looming large in the race for the presidency.

Hurricane Gustav (Pardon jumping the gun on type of storm. It almost certainly WILL be a hurricane.) is expected to make landfall somewhere on the central Gulf Coast Monday or Tuesday. Anticipation of how this will be played by the media has already prompted Rush Limbaugh, in an interview with Mike Huckabee on Wednesday to ask how Republicans plan to deal with this reminder of Hurricane Katrina.

"RUSH: Let me ask you a question, I'm serious about this. This hurricane down there is brewing, and if they're right, and this is very early, their range of error is 300 miles four and five days out, but the models are starting to coalesce on the Mobile, Alabama, New Orleans area, early Monday morning, two a.m., eight a.m. If this hurricane and a Cat three, Cat four, bears down New Orleans while the Republicans are in St. Paul, I can just see Obama and Biden in New Orleans, sandbags going down and bottled water. What would the Republican Party do, do you think? You know, half the media would decamp St. Paul for New Orleans. Is there anybody that you've talked to planning this convention that's putting together some way to deal with this?"

Of course, Rush is right about this. There a great many staunch supporters of Obama in the media seeking to find a way to overcome the slump in his fortunes that has come from greater and greater familiarity. What better way than to exploit a storm surging through the Deep South, reliving memories of the worst storm to hit the U.S. in a century, and obscuring what little opportunity McCain has to get his message out?

Watch for this to be a developing story over the weekend.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at August 28, 2008 10:57 AM
Comments
Comment #259834

Lee, you get your information from rush limbaugh? This is the source you’ve been bringing to this forum to defend the current republican version of conservatism?
What about hurricane Hanna? That’s forecast to run across Florida into the gulf mid-week or so.
Maybe god doesn’t like republicans; since it’s the only remaining entity that COULD like republicans (i say this because republicans have styled themselves as the spokesmen for god, so what choice does god really have : ).

Posted by: charles ross at August 28, 2008 11:48 AM
Comment #259835

I think whether or not you want to be cynical about it, the right move would be to help whoever ends up in the way of this storm.

Obama will probably go down there, send plenty of volunteers down there because that’s how he approaches things. The Midwest Floods evoked the same approach.

If it obscures the Republican message, they only have themselves to blame. The botched response to Katrina essentially crystallized a generation’s worth of anxieties about Republican leadership into flat-out loathing. If a repeat of such events makes people queasy about further Republican leadership, Democrats cannot be blamed for it.

Now what you really don’t want to happen is for some bureaucratic foul-up to leave people not-so high and dry, and to have Obama and his volunteers be seen as more effective in getting help out there.

So, a lot depends on whether your people have their act together, inside and outside the White House.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 28, 2008 11:55 AM
Comment #259838

Lee

Damned dude you actually admit to putting stock in the pathetic ultra biased rants of Limbaugh. That takes some balls. I thought maybe republicans were waking up and moving beyond his one sided negative pessimism. Guess I was wrong.

I wouldn’t expect republicans to do anything. After all the perpetuation of the party trumps the needs of the people. Republicans by way of agenda have long demonstrated where their priorities lie. Those priorities side with the wealthy and the profits they crave. But then there are probably a few wealthy people down that way worthy of some emergency services or perhaps a bailout if their businesses happen to suffer at the hands of weather.

Posted by: RickIL at August 28, 2008 12:14 PM
Comment #259839

Here are some random thoughts for you Lee, hopefully it will help to trigger ideas that could help out the repubs in their week of glory.

If it bleeds it leads in the coporate media Lee.

Competition is whats its all about right. Buck up, dont wait for those planning the convention their hands are full.

This fantasy about liberal bias is so 70’s.Think ratings, think infotainment not news. Rush Viagra Onstage.

Remote broadcasts.Rush and the dittoheads massing early to help the locals evacuate to Minnisota where the RNC has rooms waiting for those that need the assistance.

Perhaps a paranoia check is needed Lee maybe the media can do 2 things at once. 24 news channels may not have to re run the same thing until you cant stand it.

Fox , Faux Fox . Biilboards with RNC propaganda, New Orleans, Now.

PBS has had the best coverage Ive seen at the DNC get the word out to those interested in the convention to watch PBS.

Perhaps Bush could get FEMA to respond ths time. Ask for the favor he a repub afterall.

McCain New Orleans Help Leadership Compassion.

Instead of thinking only about yourselves and the hurricane distracting people from watching the convention try considering those that are actually gonna be in the path of the Hurricane.

You really have to love the irony and the timing on this Lee perhaps its time to rethink things, beause this is definite proof that mother nature doesnt like republicans right?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #259842

DNC - a lot of hot air (and a lot of substance)
RNC - a lot MORE hot air (and even less substance)
Gustav - Mother Nature: “Wanna see hot air, huh?”

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 28, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #259843

I think that it is a little selfish to be worried about how a hurricane will affect a political convention. How about the people in its path? Not that Rush ever worried about a few people’s misery.

As Steve Martin once said, “It’s all about ti-ming, tim-ing, timing”

Instead of being worried about how many Dems will be there lending assistance how about the administration responding effectively and not letting people die due to their inaction. Michael “Skeletor” Chertoff, Cheney, & W can be spared from the convention - not exactly the poster boys you want to show your party off with anyway. I for one hope that people are spared this storm’s wrath and your party can go on with its convention. The GOP has nothing to show for the last 8 years.

Posted by: tcsned at August 28, 2008 1:22 PM
Comment #259853

Wow, suddenly the subject becomes Rush and not the content of the article? Actually I almost never listen to him. He is rant-ish and, for that reason, pretty irritating to me.

He is also, however, close enough to the target of how politically-minded people think that his observations can be illuminating and, since I had been thinking for a couple of days that the storm would likely present the media with a reason to ignore the political races at a time when doing so could most help Democrats, his mention of it yesterday gave me a source from which to springboard a little article.

Mainly I wanted to get in ahead of the curve, showing how the storm in the Gulf might be put to political use by Democrats so Republicans could be thinking about how to counter the inevitable stonewalling.

Governor Jendal has taken the first rational steps by trying to be prepared for whatever might happen. The ‘elephant’ in the living room, of course, is that New Orleans remains a stupid experiment in maintaining an artificial dry lake / detention pond as a major American city. It is the world’s largest mass self-delusion to think we can keep the city viable forever. Every penny this nation has spent rebuilding that portion of the city which is below sea level has been, is, and will be a waste.

Another Bush mistake, that.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 28, 2008 2:20 PM
Comment #259858

Lee -

Ever hear of the Netherlands? The dikes that keep their below-sea-level land dry has done so for generations.

If America had the political will - and had our military HERE instead of supporting Bush’s military adventurism - we could do the same thing.

But we CAN’T because the Republicans say we can’t. Just like we CAN’T have universal health insurance because the Republicans say it would bankrupt the country…never mind that almost ALL of the rest of the free world has it, has been doing better economically than the U.S., and has a longer national life expectancy than the U.S.

If you want references, I’ll happily provide them.

The Republican Party - the party of CAN’T-DO.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 28, 2008 2:59 PM
Comment #259862

Here is something about the content of the article… it is disgusting. This is some of the absolute worst drivel to come from this site, and I have seen my fair share.

According to all the hard-core righties, if Obama seeks to halp in anyway it would be nothing more than political grandstanding. BUT… if he did nothing, I am sure all the neo-cons would be accusing him of not caring… it’s a no-win situation, isn’t it? And you want to talk about politicizing a hurricane? Monday is still four days away… any relief effort at least a day or two later… a minimum of 5-6 days in the future and you are ALREADY accusing Obama of “exploit a storm surging through the Deep South, reliving memories of the worst storm to hit the U.S. in a century, and obscuring what little opportunity McCain has to get his message out?”

Poor, poor McCain! It is SO unfair that Obama directed this hurricane to happen during McCain’s convention! Now poor, poor McCain won’t have a chance to get his message out!

Mr. Jamison should worry more about how he and his friends/party members are going to react to this potential tragedy and less about the political ramifications…

Mr. Jamison should also grow the hell up.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at August 28, 2008 3:23 PM
Comment #259863

I just hope McCain, while impersonating a preacher, doesn’t claim any speakers “rocked the house”. I don’t want to see if McCain’s wife has received a new personality. It will also be nice to not have to watch Olbermann gush like a school girl after every speech. Less phonyness and more specifics and substance is my preference.

Posted by: andy at August 28, 2008 3:26 PM
Comment #259874

Doug:

You’ve been reading my mind. :)

Posted by: womanmarine at August 28, 2008 4:38 PM
Comment #259878

Doug - I thought that Pat Robertson was the only one who could redirect a hurricane.

Lee - this is just bad timing for the GOP especially if they are dealing with two hurricanes at once. Kind of like all the terrorist alerts and the DNC 4 years ago - oh yeah, those were made up. I don’t buy the liberal media bias if they all vacate Minnesota for the Gulf if a disaster does hit. The irony is too much to ignore with the way W’s admin handled Katrina and Rita the press would have a field day showing pictures of Bush and McCain having a birthday party while people were dying in New Orleans. Just plain old bad luck.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRar6yKZE8g

Posted by: tcsned at August 28, 2008 4:59 PM
Comment #259893

Recalling Pat Robertson`s rant on Dover Pa, it should make you on the religious right wonder who your god is really smiting.
If preachers can be political,so can gods —Maybe your god is a left wing environmentalist. — Savage

Posted by: A Savage at August 28, 2008 6:59 PM
Comment #259894

People on the Mississippi gulf coast have evacuated so often that some are wondering if they’ll ever rebuild. Gustav looks to me like it’s headed for TX, or possibly western LA. Are we going to have a big fuss every time a tropical storm goes past Cuba into the Gulf? In Florida, they used to say that the big hurricanes were the ones early in the alphabet,(A as in Andrew, C as in Camille) and the later ones were always weaker, except about once every 50 years. They don’t say that anymore.

The duopoly candidates have both been acting like they’re already POTUS, so maybe they’ll raise some funds to help people, instead of raising money to buy more advertising.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 28, 2008 7:02 PM
Comment #259899

Interesting post, Lee. If Bush clusters this one, McCain will have to recommend impeachment.

I live in Houston……please, no Gustav here, por favor!!

Posted by: googlumpugus at August 28, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #259908

j2t2,
Come on- “This fantasy about liberal bias is so 70’s.Think ratings, think infotainment not news. Rush Viagra Onstage.

Even serious journalists know there is a liberal bias. Look at Time Magazine from a few weeks ago. Every scientific poll in recent years also show the public tilts toward a belief in the slant of the news, usually about two to one (The most recent figures I have seen were roughly 37% believing the media too liberal to about 13% thinking them too conservative.) this represents a positive danger to the republic because the “press” is our Constitutionally authorized central nervous system and half of us (add the two figures above together) don’t really trust what we hear from them. We are a nation with the cultural equivalent of MS.

The fact of the matter is that there is no “news” any more for those who will not actively seek it out and vet what they read very carefully. Everything is part of a campaign and everyone has taken sides.

The coverage of Katrina was blatantly political from the start. For example why was the Federal government not in Louisiana immediately after the storm passed? The governor of a state must formally request the presence of federal resources after the incident of an emergency under federal law. That fact was hardly reported at all. I saw it in a BRITISH news report. It is a protection for the rights of states under our Constitutional system, a matter of considerable importance to us all who want to preserve the laboratory of state choice.

There is a reason Kathleen Blanco is no longer the governor of Louisiana. That’s another story you haven’t heard enough about. She is so incompetent that no amount of anger directed at Republicans for failing to live up to campaign promises could keep her in office. Over the last year THAT is really saying something. ‘Cept nobody was saying it to the rest of the country…

Gee, I wish we could get Shreveport and the rest of Occupied East Texas out of Louisiana and into Texas where it ought to be…

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 28, 2008 11:22 PM
Comment #259909

Here’s a link for the Time Magazine article from July 31 of this year.

Thanks for your comments Mr. Langworthy. I will consider growing up, very carefully.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 28, 2008 11:31 PM
Comment #259913

Lee Jamison-
Good heavens, man.

Katrina was such a debacle for the Republicans because you could not look at a drowned American city filled with thousands of American dead, and say “government sucks”, without people asking how and why it came to suck and concluding that it shouldn’t.

You got to the point where at the moment things went down, even folks on FOXnews agreed that it was a disgrace that things happened as they did.

America was willing to loosen its standards for government to a point, and no further. When the absence of government or the ability to admit to its mistakes costs thousands of lives and creates tens of thousands of casualties, either here or abroad, then people will naturally call for government intervention, and the most partisan of Republicans and Conservatives will read that as a liberal response, rather than as a progressive response; that is, a response built on the notion that American, with the government as it agent, can do better.

Katrina and Iraq together reawoke America’s long dormant progessive tradition, which had slumbered in the complacency of America’s peace and prosperity. It is a measure of the gravity and the magnitude of Bush’s failures that they took America past the breaking point of its tolerance for laissez faire economics, for Republican military policy, which dominated for so long.

You guys simply wore out people’s patience and goodwill, and the tragedy for you is that some of you people still don’t realize that your particular politics has outstayed its welcome.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2008 12:11 AM
Comment #259935

Apparently the GOP is considering delaying its convention. The Democratic convention was flawless, a stupendous success, culminating in a truly great speech by Obama. Liberal ascendancy is truly a thing of beauty. Now the GOP faces the prospect of holding its convention while Americans on the Gulf Coast flee for their lives as a hurricane heads their way.

Posted by: phx8 at August 29, 2008 2:03 AM
Comment #259939

Or…they could borrow one of the official planes (AF1 or AF2) and have an in-flight conference as they circle the devastation. Be sure they take Dubya ‘cuz he knows the procedure.

Posted by: janedoe at August 29, 2008 3:17 AM
Comment #259944

After Obama’s speech last night the storms might distract from the fact that, in comparison, McCain has no game. Following that act would be like following Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Looks like the GOP will take Romney - great choice. Another out of touch rich guy who thinks the Dow Jones is the measure of the economy.

Posted by: tcsned at August 29, 2008 7:58 AM
Comment #259948

Don’t be so sure on Romney, I don’t think that you are correct in that area. In fact, you might find him going a different direction…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 29, 2008 8:34 AM
Comment #259950
The Democratic convention was flawless, a stupendous success, culminating in a truly great speech by Obama

Wow, I wish I had been watching that convention instead of the one I saw on tv this week… That one sounds much better!

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 29, 2008 8:35 AM
Comment #259951

Stephen,

The ‘people’ were sold a bill of goods. Things didn’t go well in Katrina ‘politically’, but a lot went right that no one talks about. Why? Well, it’s not a good story. Now, a manufactured one…

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002767.html

Of course, nothing beats a good partisan point, even the truth.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 29, 2008 8:41 AM
Comment #259952

Oh, and http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/003421.html.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 29, 2008 8:44 AM
Comment #259963

Stephen,

New orleans is the best possible example of what happens to places that fall prey to “Americas long progressive tradition”. It is a place bred for helplessness, unable to move without direction, incapable of seeing reality when reality is chewing its leg off. People who live below sea level on the Gulf coast are fools. People who do so and believe Democrats who have taxed them for levy districts for generations when they promised those taxes would “protect” them from major storms, in the face of report after report to the contrary are brain dead.

Being brain dead is the legacy of America’s “progressive” tradition and New Orleans is the stinking example of that horror. There is, in fact, no better example in the country of why I fear the Democratic Party than Louisiana’s legacy of patronizing robber politics and being proud of it. No state in the U.S. has a greater foundation of natural resources per capita, yet Louisiana still manages to be at or near the bottom of every economic metric in per capita economic output.

Absolutely, Stephen, hold Louisiana up as an example of why we want Democrats running the country. I want to make that argument all day, every day.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 29, 2008 9:39 AM
Comment #259975

Rhinehold-
First, let me say this: if the Democrats show up with enthusiasm on election day, McCain is toast. It says something about the way Obama operates that the price of admission yesterday was volunteering for Obama, and that so many thousands were willing to do it. This was about solidifying the Democratic Party’s current progressive movement squarely behind him.

As for Katrina? It wasn’t the Lord of the Flies descent to lawlessness that seemed to be happening amidst the chaos, but trying to act as if it was all just media bias is disingenous, and a bit disgusting. I recall rather vividly George Bush going on with his usual photo-ops as the humanitarian crisis and suffering in New Orleans intensified. Additionally, few can look at what Bush did in the aftermath and say that he attacked the problem of rebuilding New Orleans and easing their people’s suffering with much vigor.

Lee Jamison-
I live in Houston. I must be pretty dumb to live near the gulf coast, to live in a place where flooding is such a problem, where Allison became the only Tropical Storm to cause so much damage that they retired the name. People in Seattle must be major dumbasses to live under the shadow of a volcano, to live with a major subduction fault off the coast.

The folks in California need a brainscan, what with their volcanoes, the worlds most famous transform fault, and exposure to Pacific Tsunamis. If you live on a river, you’re an idiot. In the area of a volcano, you’re an idiot. If you live in the Netherlands, you’re an idiot.

You could add up all the reasons that living in an area would make you a moron, and pretty soon you’d have no place to go. I do think New Orleans may eventually have to move inland, but in the mean time, we’re kind of dependent on it.

It remains an important Navigable port at the mouth of the Mississippi, a place where oil comes in and grain and ore goes out. Without it, the watershed’s worth of goods are going nowhere. Without it, a major link in our supply chain for oil is gone.

We build in non-ideal places because the risks justify it. Most of the people made homeless or trapped by the storm were good old-fashioned wage-earners. I know this comes as a shock to you, because you’ve told yourselves that they were all just lazy schlubs who got what was coming to them.

As for Liberal politics? The Northeast is doing just fine. Where you get into trouble is with the legacy of longtime cronyism which the Northern states got through with the help of progressive politics. The positively red states to LA’s east aren’t that terribly better off than Lousiana is.

The problem with Louisiana is corruption and complacency in that corruption, not stupidity or Liberalism.

When the Mississippi flooded back in 1993, you did not see the Clinton Administration bitching at people for locating their cities on the river. You did not see them making excuses for failure. The Clinton administration bit the bullet, did its utmost and counted the cost later. The Republicans let a problem fester and get out of control, because of their own corruption and their failure to intercede quickly, and now they’re playing revisionist historian in the hopes of erasing this black mark on their party’s history.

I can tell you now, it’s not going to help.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2008 10:37 AM
Comment #259979


A point I made on the left side this morning and was told I was a racist. Interesting…

but trying to act as if it was all just media bias is disingenous, and a bit disgusting. I recall rather vividly George Bush going on with his usual photo-ops as the humanitarian crisis and suffering in New Orleans intensified.

‘Disgusting’? I’m sorry, but pointing out that claims of 200 dead in the Superdome, sharks swimming in the streets and gangs of thugs roaming the city were all inventions of the media is not Disgusting but necessary points of fact.

Of course, you want to label that criticism as invalid because you need that invalid view to persist for political gains. But if you would actually address what I wrote, not what you were afraid I said, you would see that I make it clear that there were failures as well and I have never disputed it. But the picture we were presented by the media in those 3-4 days after the hurricane were more often than not an invention born from lazy newsmen and a lack of good information being presented to them.

6 people died at the Superdome, 4 from natural causes, one from an overdose and the 6th from a suicide. Was it crappy there? You bet. Was it what was claimed on the news? Nope.

Being accurate is disgusting now, Stephen? I guess when I can be called racist for not supporting Obama, I can be called disgusting for wanting a little truth in my news.

So is the mindset of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Rhinehodl at August 29, 2008 10:54 AM
Comment #260219

I thought the Who followed Hendrix at Monterey Pop and did pretty well, of course it was evening and the audience was toasted and shocked.

Lee, isn’t just a part of New Orleans below river level, but not sea level? Parts of east and north Texas were part of the Louisiana Purchase, so part of that should be returned to Louisiana, not the other way around. I believe that TX has the right to dismember itself and become more states. This year, the electoral votes of TX are worth the least of any state in the union, due to population increases and the proximity to the next census and reapportionment.

We are prosperous here in Illinois, and we’ve never had a shortage of crooks in the government.

“Wow, I wish I had been watching that convention instead of the one I saw on tv this week… That one sounds much better” LOL and ITA, and I voted in the Democratic Primary. The Green Party is the future.

Everyone who hasn’t should see Spike Lee’s documentary on Katrina, When the Levees Broke.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 29, 2008 7:40 PM
Comment #260273

Mikey Moore just said Hurricane Gustav hitting land during the convention is “proof there is a God”.

It didn’t offend me because, well because my mind doesn’t work like a liberal’s, but if it were reversed a conservative would be hung for a similar remark.

Posted by: andy at August 29, 2008 10:42 PM
Comment #260359

Even serious journalists know there is a liberal bias. Look at Time Magazine from a few weeks ago. Every scientific poll in recent years also show the public tilts toward a belief in the slant of the news, usually about two to one (The most recent figures I have seen were roughly 37% believing the media too liberal to about 13% thinking them too conservative.) this represents a positive danger to the republic because the “press” is our Constitutionally authorized central nervous system and half of us (add the two figures above together) don’t really trust what we hear from them. We are a nation with the cultural equivalent of MS.

Lee Im shocked that only 37% think the media is liberally biased. This fantasy has been pounded into the American psyche for decades by those that benefit from perpetrating the fraud. Because every once in a while conservative logic is exposed for what it is doesnt mean the media is biased it means they are doing their job. Because a magazine is targeted to liberals doesnt mean another magazine isnt targeted towards conservatives. Thats not bias thats marketing.

For years it was PBS that was biased, then boom, Bush appointed a conservative to run it and to ferret out the bias. They embarassed themselves as the ferret went hungary. I watched some of the Democratic Convention on CNN, Lee, and after a speech ther repub noise machine was allowed time to present their views, hardly a liberal bias.

The real threat is the control of the media in the hands of the corporate few. Infotainment and spurilous commentators acting as if they were investigative journalist. Trying to convince Americans that the news is biased liberally sure doesnt help as it only serves to point the light of truth in the wrong dirction. But then most conservatives think that benefits them.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 30, 2008 11:55 AM
Comment #260389

“I thought the Who followed Hendrix at Monterey Pop and did pretty well, of course it was evening and the audience was toasted and shocked.”

Actually Hendrix followed the Who, the Gratefull Dead followed Hendrix.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 30, 2008 3:04 PM
Comment #260487

RM, then they must have been scheduled to follow Hendrix, and gotten out of it, because I remember Pete Townsend complaining about having to follow Jimi, probably in the PBS series on the History of Rock N Roll.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 31, 2008 1:22 AM
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