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The O'Reilly Factor
Monday, September 12, 2005
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Can Bush make a comeback?
Guest: Fox News analyst Dick Morris

"Poll numbers after Katrina show the President's job approval rating slipping below 40%. If Mr. Bush continues to fall, he will be handcuffed from getting his programs passed and his policies implemented. The anti-Bush press is smelling blood Reliable Bush-basher E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post is not only attacking the President, but anyone he considers sympathetic to Mr. Bush, like me. Dionne wrote that in a Talking Points memo I criticized Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco, but devoted only one sentence to the President. Strange how Dionne didn't mention three other Talking Points memos where I criticized the administration. The truth is that Fox News and The Factor have placed appropriate blame and reported accurately about Katrina. There's no question President Bush did not fulfill the leadership role Americans expect in a disaster like that. As soon as the levees were breached it became a national security issue and the President should have issued an executive order sending in the military. The question now becomes, can Mr. Bush make a comeback? Katrina, Iraq, gas prices, and the chaotic border have all descended upon the President. If something dramatically good doesn't happen soon, Mr. Bush could be staring at very tough times."

Fox News Video: FoxNews.com

Fox News' Dick Morris joined The Factor with a more optimistic analysis of President Bush's prospects. "I think Bush is going to shine in this recovery effort. When a disaster of this sort happens, he can travel all over the place, and the media will cover it. We're going to watch a recovery effort, and Bush is going to be right at the epicenter. Just as 9/11 came to define his first term in office, the rebuilding and response to Katrina will define his second term." The Factor countered that President Bush is being hurt by other issues. "If there was nothing else on the resume I would agree with you. But you've got chaos in Iraq, oil prices that are hurting Americans, and a border situation that could blow up at any time. And the anti-Bush press has now reached a crescendo of indignation."

Clarifying Hurricane Katrina
Guest: Author Robert Mittelstaedt

Hurricane Katrina is already surrounded by myths, legends, and outright falsehoods. Author and New Orleans native Robert Mittelstaedt has investigated what happened before, during, and after the flood. "The truth about the levees is that the problems started after the 1927 flood - ever since then everyone has known that New Orleans could flood easily. This was a series of mistakes that took a very long time to build." Mittelstaedt added that local officials were woefully unprepared. "We heard the governor and mayor say they had a plan, but if they had a plan why didn't they execute it. There was a failure of leadership on the part of both for failing to realize just how serious this was and get on it immediately." The Factor reminded viewers that hundreds of city buses sat idle during the evacuation. "I just can't get a straight answer from Mayor Nagin. He had the buses, but they sat there and got flooded. This guy has done 150 interviews and I still don't know why."

John Roberts confirmation
Guest: Fox News chief judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano

The Senate Judiciary Committee has begun confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. Fox News' Andrew Napolitano observed that some senators took the opportunity to preen for the television cameras. "Senator Diane Feinstein made the most outrageous statement I heard, bringing up World War II Hungarian fascists and religion. It was totally irrelevant to whether or not John Roberts is an appropriate person to be chief justice. You're going to see a lot of this loopiness, and senators appealing to the hard left or the hard right." In contrast, Judge Napolitano praised Roberts for his opening statement. "It was measured and brilliant in its simplicity. He said judges should be modest and not make laws. That appeals to conservatives and moderates."

Opposition to voter ID requirement
Guest: Nate Persily, University of Pennsylvania

In an effort to cut down on electoral fraud, Georgia is requiring citizens to produce a photo ID prior to voting. The measure has run into stiff opposition from the ACLU and other far left organizations. Professor Nate Persily explained that liberal groups fear their voters will be most affected. "It costs money to get a photo ID, and this will make it difficult for poor and minority voters. There's no problem with requiring some ID in order to vote, but the question is how disparate it's going to be on certain voters." The Factor asserted that Georgia authorities have pledged that no eligible voter will be disenfranchised. "All you have to do is call the state and they will come to your house and give you an ID. Everybody should show an ID before they vote in this country."

Michael Eric Dyson on Hurricane Katrina
Guest: Michael Eric Dyson

President Bush has denied that race was a factor in the post-Katrina recovery efforts, but author Michael Eric Dyson explained why he and many other blacks believe otherwise. "The government, in the eyes of many African-American people, just didn't respond appropriately. And when we're critical of the government, this predates George Bush. The government has been uncaring when it slashes programs for the poor and redistributes tax money to the rich people. The tax cuts did not trickle down to those who are poor, and there is a wide disparity between the have-gots and the have-nots." The Factor took issue with Dyson's assertions about government programs. "We have an enormous amount of entitlement spending targeted at minorities. Real dollar spending, particularly on education, is at historically high levels. American taxpayers are saying how much more do we have to give?"

Winning the "clash of civilizations"
Guest: Author Tony Blankley

Columnist Tony Blankley's new book deals with what he calls a "clash of civilizations" between the west and militant Islam. He complained that Americans are blasé about the war on terror. "Most people do not feel in mortal fear for their lives and the safety of the country. We haven't been attacked again, but in fact the threat is much greater than most people think. The leading experts believe there is a 70% chance we will get hit by a weapon of mass destruction within the next ten years." The Factor contrasted that seeming indifference with the prevailing spirit in other eras. "In World War Two, most Americans joined together and gave the commanders the benefit of the doubt. Now only half the people even believe we're in a war and it's been politicized. We don't have a sense of urgency."

Factor Words of the Day
Viewers sound off
Your e-mails are passionate about Hurricane Katrina and related topics, including the radical group MoveOn.Org's decision to protest in front of the White House. Some excerpts:

Donna Bulgrin, Mandeville, LA: "As a victim of Hurricane Katrina, I was enraged to see the MoveOn group trying to exploit the tragedy. I sent them a letter letting them know how I feel in no uncertain terms."

Beverly Cardoza, Middletown, RI: "If those MoveOn people really cared about the hurricane victims, they'd use their time and energy to help them down there."

David Organ, Loveland, CO: "Bill, you rant about people using the hurricane for partisan purposes. Bush and Cheney showed up. Why is that different than MoveOn?"

Belle, Virginia: "O'Reilly, I know for a fact that gas companies are price gouging. My husband is a dispatcher for a fuel company which is now charging 67 cents a gallon more for heating fuel than its cost. My husband is taking calls from panicked elderly people who can't pay it. When he asked the company if it could drop the price a bit, he was told no, the price would go up as much as possible. My husband may resign over this."

David Wiese, Lexington, KY: "O'Reilly, you should be encouraging conservation instead of your stupid Sunday boycott."

Books Mentioned


Will Your Next Business Mistake Be Fatal?: Avoiding a Chain of Mistakes That Can Destroy
by Robert Mittelstædt

Read more...
 


The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations
by Tony Blankley

Read more...
 
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