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Okay, I guess we all know who the Wicked Witch of the West is now ...

or perhaps the Cowardly Lion...

Bush motorcade leaves other folks fuming!

By Dana Bartholomew, Staff Writer
LA Daily News  

One hundred Brentwood kindergartners, many dressed in costumes, were all set to go see "The Wizard of Oz" on Friday when their first-ever field trip was blocked by the nation's 43rd president.

They never got to see the wizard.

President George W. Bush, his Marine One helicopter grounded by fog, brought morning rush hour to a standstill while his motorcade proceeded from West Los Angeles through the San Fernando Valley to Simi Valley for the dedication of the Air Force One Pavilion.

"We had buses all loaded up - but by the time they got to school it was too late," said Julie Fahn, a volunteer mom at Kenter Canyon Elementary in Brentwood, where girls had dressed as Dorothy to see the play performed in Malibu.

"My poor children - they were so disappointed. They're all so sad. They were inconvenienced by a silly motorcade down Sunset (Boulevard)."

Bush's traffic jams - Westside to San Fernando Valley commutes Thursday night took up to three hours when traffic was rerouted because of a presidential fundraiser - added to the lore of a city notorious for its gridlock.

On Friday, police were alerted just before Bush began his commute. With only a few minutes' notice from the U.S. Secret Service, LAPD and city Department of Transportation cops shut down Sunset Boulevard west of the San Diego Freeway from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Thousands of commuters, unable to cross the legendary L.A. strip except for intermittent breaks in traffic, were trapped with engines idling in miles-long jams.

John Brooks, a news reporter for radio station KFWB-AM (980), was unable to move for more than an hour as gridlocked motorists as far south as Wilshire Boulevard screamed at traffic cops barring their commutes.

"They were saying, 'I gotta take my kid to school - what's going on here?"' he recalled, adding that some had also grumbled, "Presidents always come to this side of town because there's big money here."

One glamorous Westsider suggested an alternate route for the president. Another wielded a sign that said simply, "Impeach Bush."

At a Starbucks on San Vicente Boulevard, motorists drank lattes in resignation. "A lot of people were stuck," barista Denise Johnson said. "Traffic wasn't moving. It literally wasn't moving. I heard a few horns honking."

As the presidential motorcade turned from Sunset onto the northbound 405 for a dignified crawl on a freeway cleared of other cars, the CHP closed freeway entrances and exits along the entire motorcade route.

Opposing traffic, unable to ignore the president, braked to a crawl.

Like many from a region that overwhelmingly cast votes against Bush in 2004, Page was critical of the president's decision to disrupt the nation's busiest freeway commute.

"If he can sneak in and out of Baghdad without anybody knowing it, it seems like he could slip in and out of L.A. without disrupting rush hour - twice."

For the children of Kenter Canyon Elementary who had planned to see "The Wizard of Oz" at Pepperdine University, their buses were 90 minutes late. They missed the last performance and will not be given a rain check on $6 tickets.

"All the Kenter Canyon parents, they are not happy with (Bush) right now," said Fahn, 33, whose 5-year-old twin girls had prepared for their field trip for months. "He's not at the top of any list.

"The kids did not see the wizard!"

                                             George W. Bush
"I'll Auntie Em you! - DIE you little sniveling rotton kids .. heeheeheeheeheeheehee!"

Originally posted to DerekLarsson on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:43 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The 405 is a nightmare (none)
    at just about any hour but rush hour is unbearable. I guess the RNC doesn't care about that though.

    I heard a Republican talk radio guy saying that it would have been better to have the state send the RNC $1m and tell Bush to stay the hell away. It would have cost a hell of a lot less money for the state.

  •  That's just not right. (none)
    What is the alternate route do you think that one commuter was recommending Bush take?

    Ask not what your country can do for you....

    by khirkhib on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:47:48 PM PDT

  •  If you drive to work (none)
    you must not be rich enough to matter, eh?

    I'm 48 and I haven't seen a President in my lifetime who was worthy of the respect the office deserves. I guess it'll be the same for those kids, unless someone (or something) better comes along.

  •  Shit happens, kiddies, that you (none)
    can't control, and the sooner you learn it, the better off you'll be!

    [how's that for a contrarian view? lol]

    (I got stuck TWICE in the friggin Lincoln Tunnel b/c of Clinton's NYC events --- what a nightmare; I hate tunnels! hope his ears were burning!)


    ...with night falling, and down to his last flair, can Armando keep the coyotes at bay?...

    by PhillyGal on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:51:27 PM PDT

  •  Fucking Pepperdine! (none)
    That right-wing quasi fascist excuse for a university can't give rain checks to a bunch of little kids who missed the performance because of dick-wad Bush's motorcade?  Those assholes!!! But what do you expect from Malibu U, I guess.
    •  Amen. That is just wrong. (none)
      These are extenuating circumstances beyond these little kids control.  Unless the actors and stage crew are unable to put together another show (because, you know, they have lives, too)... so that the kids can see it at another time, then the kids should be given their money back.

      again, due to extenuating circumstances.

  •  Puh-lease don't insult the wicked witch! (none)
    If anything, he is the SCAREcrow, now more than ever:

    If I only had a brain....................

    Consolation: he's good at some things:
    stopping traffic, falling off his bike, running over cops in Scotland, tumbling head over heels off sequeways, getting knocked flat by a pretzel....

  •  The traffic jam is not the point of this story (4.00)
    What's significant about this story is not the traffic jame or the kids missing the play but the hostility and nastiness of people's comments.  Fun!
  •  Ha! (none)
    One glamorous Westsider suggested an alternate route for the president.

    Is this a clever way of saying he told Bush to go to hell?

  •  Try Living in a Swingstate in an Election Year (none)
    Four people entitled to motorcades -- we were visited by one of them at least every ten days and it seemed as if it was ALWAYS at rush hour.  By election day I didn't want to vote for either cnadidate unless they agreed to a constitutional amendment stating that no one enitled to a motorcade could travel in any city of the united states during rush hour.  (But I voted for Kerry anyway).  Just yesterday Cheney was in town for fundraiser and they closed both the innerbelt and the outerbelt and I64 -- at 5:30.  I feel for those kids -- Bush should refund their money.
  •  Get a life (1.50)
    This is my first comment; I hate George "Missing W's" Bush as much as the next person, perhaps more...but this smacks of "LAX delayed while Clinton gets clipped".

    W, like it or not, IS the President, has National Command Authority, and his time (unfortunately) is more valuable then a bunch of kindergartner's.  They have learned a very valuable lesson; namely that people more powerful then themselves will often step on them.

    Soon, very soon one can hope, W will have to decide if he is to pardon his buddies; and then he will bide his time wondering if he ever finds himself in a foriegn country...will he be remanded to a tribunal.

    •  True. (none)
      Fund raisers are nore important than people getting to work on time.
    •  except... (none)
      wasn't the clinton story proved to be a falsehood?  where's urban legend. com on this one?
    •  I agree, but only up to a point (none)
      If the only problem was that a few kindergartners missed a field trip, that would be too bad. Bush is the president, and his business is more important than whether or not some kids get to see the Wizard. And if Bush was working on something that was important for the country, or if there was a genuine threat on his safety, then the inconvenience to hundreds of thousands of people is acceptable and justified.

      But this was for a fundraiser.

      Can you honestly say you think it's ok for the president to shut down a significant portion of the second largest city in the country so that he can get to a fundraiser on time? That it wouldn't be better to cancel or reschedule the fundraiser, or have it continue without the president, and let Angelenos get to work -- making the money that pays the president's salary, among other things -- or school, or wherever else they may have been going?

      Like it or not, the Rethugs were right to criticize Clinton for effectively shutting down a major airport so he could get a haircut. I think turnabout is not only fair play, but very necessary.

      Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

      by wiscmass on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:16:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  bad start (none)
      "This is my first comment"

      Anything that starts with the hackneyed, juvenile phrase "get a life" is off to a bad start.

      Better luck next time.

    •  Tragic... (none)
      You saved your first post, for THAT?

      That's like saving your virginity for your wedding night, and then banging the town drunk at the stag party.


      Plot your political compass scores at KosCompass

      by Hatamoto on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 12:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A better motorcade (4.00)

    Isn't the point to get the Terra-scared president from one point to the next in a safe and efficient manner? It could be so easy.
    Put Bush in a hearse.
    Unmarked Tauruses, Toyotas, Chevies follow behind with their lights on. One state trooper Grand Marquis at the beginning and one at the end of the motorcade. Everyone on the road gets to where he or she wants on time and without inconvenience. I like the hearse part best.

    "Judy," he said. "It's Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qaddafi."

    by Petrasays on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:18:21 PM PDT

    •  I can not agree with you (none)
      These security measures existed long before 9/11, and they exist for a reason. The President is at his most vulnerable when he's moving over land, and any personal security expert will tell you the very real dangers of ambush that come from sharing the road with other drivers.

      For someone as high profile and vital as the President of the United States to be exposed to the danger sharing the road with other drivers would pose is totally unacceptable. Even using a ruse like you propose, the danger is still too great to be acceptable.

      Clearing the road is the only acceptable option for moving the President by car, and it would be negligent to accept any less.

      Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

      Feingold for President

      by Goldfish on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 11:43:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Thursday night... (none)
    ...commute home was the worst I have ever had thanks to the preznit.

    Leave it to a republican to keep children from seeing art in action one way or another.

    And furthermore, he should stay the fuck out of LA.  We have enough pollution without his hot air exacerbating the problem.

    I wish he would go away!

  •  Gee (none)
    The imperial President and bad tranportation policy meet. Just wait for the 2018 midterms, we're going to have some angry new voters.
  •  Is all this really necessary? (none)
    I mean it. This motorcade bullshit? Even for Clinton and the guys before? I'm getting sick and tired of all the inconvenience Presidents cause by this crap. I cannot believe they can't find a way to make it easier on people. Its really ridiculous when you think about it.

    And to not give the money back to those kids is inexcusable. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Dunbar on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:03:12 PM PDT

  •  "Air Force One Pavilion"? What the ...? (none)
    Like someone else posted upstream, I live in a swing-state too and these types of road blocks were too commonplace a year ago.

    What got my attention about this was the Air Force One Pavilion.  What's that?  A monument to an airplane*? And this "war-time" President is taking prescious time to attend such an event?  

    Give us all a break. If it were a public event, I'd feel differently. But if people want to give money to the president's political party, ask them to write a check and put it in the mail the next time.  Or require the people arriving at the fundraiser to get a sense of the despair the event has wrought by forcing them to sit in their cars in the parking an extra 30 minutes (no escapes for potty breaks!) before allowing them to get out.

    *It's the AF1 used before the 747s were put in service.

    •  You're fucking kidding me! (none)
      The Goddamn motherfucking Reagan Foundation is in charge of this? That was the plane that carried Kennedy's body back from Dallas, that was the plane LBJ was sworn into office on! And now it's in the possession of an organization that won't even acknowledge these facts? Not even a mention in the blurb you linked too. Just Reagan this and Reagan that!


      Anyone who voted against the patriot act is too good for the Senate

      Feingold for President

      by Goldfish on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 11:52:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With all the kindergarten kids (none)
    Bush didn't want to leave any of them behind...?

    "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

    by Thor Heyerdahl on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:39:15 PM PDT

  •  Ego Stroking. (none)
    If he hopped in a black SUV with tinted windows and a couple of undercover cars he would be more safe and quicker than an overblown parade disrupting the city and costing a lot of tax payer money.
     I'd love to see footage of that motorcade with "IF I only had a brain" as the music.

    "Patriotism is loving your country always and your government when it deserves it"-Mark Twain

    by fool me once umm on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:58:42 PM PDT

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