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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt


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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Open Mouth

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1) "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." – President Bush, on "Good Morning America," Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

2) "What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) – this is working very well for them." – Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the Hurricane flood evacuees in the Houston Astrodome, Sept. 5, 2005

3) "We've got a lot of rebuilding to do ... The good news is — and it's hard for some to see it now — that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house — he's lost his entire house — there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch." (laughter) — President Bush, touring hurricane damage, Mobile, Ala., Sept. 2, 2005

4) "Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well." – FEMA Director Michael Brown, Sept. 1, 2005

5) "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." – President Bush, to FEMA director Michael Brown, while touring Hurricane-ravaged Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2005

6) "Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?" – House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX), to three young hurricane evacuees from New Orleans at the Astrodome in Houston

7) "Well, I think if you look at what actually happened, I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, 'New Orleans Dodged the Bullet.' Because if you recall, the storm moved to the east and then continued on and appeared to pass with considerable damage but nothing worse." – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, blaming media coverage for his failings, "Meet the Press," Sept. 4, 2005

8) "What didn't go right?'" – President Bush, as quoted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), after she urged him to fire FEMA Director Michael Brown "because of all that went wrong, of all that didn't go right" in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort

9) "I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving." – Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Sept. 6, 2005

10) "You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals...many of these people, almost all of them that we see are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold." – CNN's Wolf Blitzer, on New Orleans' hurricane evacuees, Sept. 1, 2005

11) "If one person criticizes [the local authorities’ relief efforts] or says one more thing, including the president of the United States, he will hear from me. One more word about it after this show airs, and I…I might likely have to punch him, literally." – Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), "This Week with George Stephanopoulous," Sept. 4, 2005

12) "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." – Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) to lobbyists, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal

13) "There are a lot of lessons we want to learn out of this process in terms of what works. I think we are in fact on our way to getting on top of the whole Katrina exercise." – Vice President Dick Cheney, Sept. 10, 2005

14) "It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level.... It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." – House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Aug. 31, 2005

15) "I believe the town where I used to come – from Houston, Texas, to enjoy myself, occasionally too much – will be that very same town, that it will be a better place to come to." – President Bush, on the tarmac at the New Orleans airport, Sept. 2, 2005

16) "I have not heard a report of thousands of people in the convention center who don't have food and water." – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, on NPR's "All Things Considered," Sept. 1, 2005

17) "Last night, we showed you the full force of a superpower government going to the rescue." – MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Sept. 1, 2005

18) "We just learned of the convention center – we being the federal government – today." – FEMA Director Michael Brown, to ABC's Ted Koppel, Sept. 1, 2005, to which Koppel responded " Don't you guys watch television? Don't you guys listen to the radio? Our reporters have been reporting on it for more than just today."

19) "Louisiana is a city that is largely under water." – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, news conference, Sept. 3, 2005

20) "I also want to encourage anybody who was affected by Hurricane Corina to make sure their children are in school." – First Lady Laura Bush, twice referring to a "Hurricane Corina" while speaking to children and parents in South Haven, Mississippi, Sept. 8, 2005

21) "It's totally wiped out. ... It's devastating, it's got to be doubly devastating on the ground." – President Bush, turning to his aides while surveying Hurricane Katrina flood damage from Air Force One, Aug. 31, 2005

22) "FEMA is not going to hesitate at all in this storm. We are not going to sit back and make this a bureaucratic process. We are going to move fast, we are going to move quick, and we are going to do whatever it takes to help disaster victims." - FEMA Director Michael Brown, Aug. 28, 2005

23) "I understand there are 10,000 people dead. It's terrible. It's tragic. But in a democracy of 300 million people, over years and years and years, these things happen." - GOP strategist Jack Burkman, on MSNBC's "Connected," Sept. 7, 2005

24) "A young [black] man walks through chest deep floodwater after looting a grocery store in New Orleans..." ... "Two [white] residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans..." – captions at Yahoo News, Aug. 30, 2005

25) "Thank President Clinton and former President Bush for their strong statements of support and comfort today. I thank all the leaders that are coming to Louisiana, and Mississippi and Alabama to our help and rescue. We are grateful for the military assets that are being brought to bear. I want to thank Senator Frist and Senator Reid for their extraordinary efforts. Anderson, tonight, I don't know if you've heard – maybe you all have announced it -- but Congress is going to an unprecedented session to pass a $10 billion supplemental bill tonight to keep FEMA and the Red Cross up and operating." – Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), to CNN's Anderson Cooper, Aug. 31, 2005, to which Cooper responded:

"I haven't heard that, because, for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated. And when they hear politicians slap – you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough facilities to take her up. Do you get the anger that is out here?"

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