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RUSH: Yesterday, we had a big story here, and it caused a nationwide ruckus. We repeated the story that the Denver Post published yesterday that this charity group, Friends of New Orleans, which is headed up by Donna Brazile and James Carville, was going to pay for a party, a welcoming party at the Denver convention center and the opening day, the Sunday night prior to the Democrat National Convention beginning. Of course I raised several questions about this. This is a charity, Friends of New Orleans, which is designed to help New Orleans recover in any number of ways from Hurricane Katrina, and I said, ‘Well, it must be that New Orleans is back together. Maybe I missed this, maybe I missed it, but all of the suffering in New Orleans is over, all the buildings have been rebuilt, all the levees have been fixed, the Ninth Ward’s back up and running as it was, because they’re going to send the money out there to Denver.’ By the way, Friends of New Orleans with Brazile and Carville is a nonpartisan group.

Well, it turns out the Denver Post got this wrong: ”New Orleans Group That Raised Money for City Defending Itself’ — An organization that raises money and awareness for New Orleans’ rebuilding efforts is getting national attention but for all the wrong reasons. The group Friends of New Orleans is working to set the record straight on how it spends fundraising dollars. The homes in one Gentilly neighborhood range from untouched after the storm to rows of rebuilt homes. Some residents have done it on their own. Others got a helping hand from volunteer groups who want to bring New Orleans back. Then there are organizations like Friends of New Orleans, a group that Executive Director Emily Byram said raises money and awareness to rebuild the city.’ Money and awareness. They’re out raising awareness. Could somebody tell me, is there anybody in this audience that has not heard of Hurricane Katrina and the damage it did to New Orleans? What in the world do they have to go raise money for awareness? Don’t give me that. Bush flew over it. Snerdley is saying Bush never heard of Katrina. (laughing) Bush flew over it in Air Force One, got big grief for not landing. He flew over it in Air Force One, looked out the window.

‘So imagine the shock, the anger and the fallout from a Denver Post article, published Thursday. It reported the Friends of New Orleans — a non-partisan, non-profit group — was paying for a New Orleans themed-party for Democratic delegates during their Democratic National Convention in Denver in August because the party couldn’t afford it.’ That’s not what it said. It was because the host committee didn’t raise enough money. The host committee was supposed to raise 40 million, they topped out at 25 million; they’re 15 million short. So Friends of New Orleans was going to go in there and throw one big party on Sunday night before the convention because the host committee screwed up and didn’t raise enough money. They didn’t have enough money for all these parties that were supposed to go on during the week.

‘From that article, came the backlash on national talk radio. ‘Maybe what I’m missing is New Orleans is repaired, fixed, rebuilt and the suffering there is over,’ Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show. ‘Because if Friends of New Orleans is going to take money from New Orleans and spend on Democrats, the host committee failed to meet their obligations.’ Within hours, questions and concerns spread about the group, a group that’s worked to establish itself during its two years in existence. ‘People think we’re mismanaging the money and I want it to be clear — not one dollar is going toward any political committee, the DNC or anything,’ Byram said. The Friends of New Orleans, which has prominent Democrat and Republican board members, is hosting events to raise awareness of rebuilding efforts in both cities where the Democratic and the Republican conventions are held.’

So they’re not going to throw a party, but they are hosting events to raise awareness of rebuilding efforts. Raise awareness. ‘But the group said it isn’t affiliated with either party. Friends of New Orleans said the bad information came from the Democratic National Committee, which it said sent an erroneous press release to the Denver Post saying the group was footing the bill for the event. ‘The info was inaccurate and I understand why people are calling in and thinking we’re misusing funds we’re raising to help New Orleans,’ Byram said. The Denver Post and the DNC has corrected the information on their Web sites. The Friends of New Orleans, meanwhile, will work on salvaging its reputation. While the Friends of New Orleans and similar groups will be recognized because of the Katrina anniversary, it’s the Denver 2008 Convention host committee that is paying for the party festivities.’ Well, that’s big news, because the Post yesterday said that the host committee was not paying for parties, Friends of New Orleans go in there and do it to make up for the lost money that never came in thanks to the Denver host committee. So the Democrats have two anniversaries at their convention, then. They’ve got the Katrina anniversary — look at that. Look at that. Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton sitting on the couch out on the beach for Algore’s global warming thing, you know, the one that Newt sat down with Pelosi to do, and I guess we’re supposed to get the idea that if we don’t act fast the ocean is going to swallow ’em up there as they sit on a sofa on the beach. What’s the downside of that? Okay, so the oceans rise and swallow up the sofa with Robertson and Sharpton. Tell me the downside.

Forty-five trillion dollars, folks, $45 trillion is what they say it will take to beat manmade global warming. If that doesn’t tell you what’s ahead for you and I, then nothing else will. Forty-five trillion! The federal budget this year will be three trillion. I mean, this is a boondoggle. The Senate bill, as we knew, went down in flames yesterday, the cap-and-trade bill. So anyway, the Democrats during their convention will have the anniversary of Katrina. They will celebrate it. They will find a way to celebrate that within the context of, we can fix it, we can stop these things from ever happening again. Obama, the messiah, would simply have walked down to the delta of the Mississippi and put his arms up and redirected that hurricane right into Florida where Limbaugh lives. Just as Fidel goes to the western tip of Cuba and keeps hurricanes from hitting the Vuelta Abajo, so shall the messiah Obama. They’ll tell us it would never have happened, and if it did happen, it would have been fixed by now, they’ll celebrate that. They’re also going to be celebrating on Obama’s big acceptance speech night, the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

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