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Katrina Fallout: Who Will Go Next

  1. Sep 13, 2005 #1
    Now that FEMA's head Brown is gone, and President Bush today accepted at least some federal responsibility for failures that exacerbated the initial disaster, who likely will go next?

    I think no one can dispute that pre-hurricane planning and the initial days of response were grossly inadequate. Head have just begun to roll.

    A Sunday evening TV-aired interview of Mayor Nagram did not look good for the mayor. You could clearly see the mayor was unable to explain the failures and mis-steps that occurred at his level. Russert is usually viewed as fair. My view now is that pressure will eventually build for the major to step down.

    Next, or perhaps even sooner, will be the Louisiana governor. A "rift" has been exposed between the mayor and the governor, and also between the governor and Washington. The lack of smooth communications between these levels of government contributed greatly to the inadequacy in the response.

    In an interesting twist, the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor was been quite visible and well spoken, and I believe he would succeed if the governor resigned.

    With a great deal of rebuilding yet to get underway, I believe pressure will build for a "housecleaning" of those officials who have shown not to be up to their respective jobs.

    Mississippi seems to have escaped any criticism regarding their pre-planning and responses to Katrina, so I don't anticipate any leadership changes there.

    On the federal level, Democrats will continue to use the failed response in New Orleans to their political party advantage. However, with Brown gone that takes some wind out of their sails. They would have benefitted with his staying in office longer. I also find it interesting the President did not personally remove him - and the dems will be able to use this against his administration.

    So place your bets on who will go, and when.

    Knowledge and analysis breed vision. Action brings results.

    Stephen Dolle
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2005 #2
    Nobody else will resign.
  4. Sep 13, 2005 #3
    The Governor seems to be in good shape from what I have seen. As for the Mayor, I don't seeing him leaving office before the next election; but I imagine he will have to look for a new career at that point.
  5. Sep 13, 2005 #4
    You know, the only people I hear criticizing Mayor Nagin is the Republican spin machine. Anybody heard what the actual New Orleans people think of him?
  6. Sep 13, 2005 #5
    Good point about the people of Louisiana and their opinion, since they will vote in future elections there. The Governor seemed not to be familiar with emergency protocols, so the worst I can say at this time is she might have brushed up on this during the days prior to landfall. The Mayor did not start evacuation as early as he could have, and IMO should have. He has yet to answer why. My guess is cost and lack of funds? Ultimately the city did not have a lot of needed resources.
  7. Sep 13, 2005 #6


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    The next New Orleans Mayoral election is scheduled for February '06. Demographically, I wouldn't see New Orleans being as favorable to a Democratic candidate in February as it was in 2002. (In fact, I'm kind of wondering how they'll conduct the election).

    The Bush administration will have to trash a Democratic Louisiana governor if for no other reason than to deflect criticism from the federal government. Blanco would be doing really well to escape with her reputation intact considering the assault that's likely to come.

    With Brown's resignation, it might be hard to blame FEMA's response on the Department of Homeland Security, in spite of the fact that it the DHS that changed the emphasis of FEMA. FEMA became just another part of the DHS team responding to terrorist threats rather the nation's specialists in disaster preparedness.

    So I don't see anyone else resigning, although Nagin will almost certainly leave office in February and Blanco will have a tough fight to get re-elected.
  8. Sep 13, 2005 #7
    I don't see any more resignations, however I predict that the top brass in FEMA will be replaced by people with disaster plasnning and management experience.

    I hope Democrats are not fretting over Brownies resignation. :eek: Aside from the heroic effort of the people on the ground and the outpouring of support from across the country, Michael Browns resignation is the best news I've heard in awhile.

    And I think Bush did the right thing in assuming responsibility. I wish he had done so sooner.
  9. Sep 13, 2005 #8
    Actually, the governor was familiar with emergency protocols. She did everything properly.


    As for the mayor, I still haven't heard of anything he did wrong. He got 80% of his city to evacuate. FEMA was only predicting a 60% evacuation.
  10. Sep 13, 2005 #9
    Will NO be able to have an election in February?

    There is still a lot of rebuilding to do, and hurricane season is not over yet.
  11. Sep 13, 2005 #10
    I don't see why NO would now lean toward the GOP, since FEMA and Bush appointed offcicials are considered the most responsible party for their woes.
    There are other reports to the contrary, but regardless, there will be debate if for no other reason than from opponents in future elections.
  12. Sep 13, 2005 #11
    Well, since most of the poor black voters from NO are scattered across the country, and there are reports of rich white folk already starting to return, that would indicate a move towards the GOP.
  13. Sep 13, 2005 #12
    Reguardless of where it comes from, have you bothered to consider any of the information itself?
  14. Sep 13, 2005 #13
    The only thing I know of is a photo of school buses underwater. That's just a red herring. If there are valid criticisms of Nagin, I haven't heard them. Care to enlighten me?
  15. Sep 13, 2005 #14
    Actually it seems I'm the one to be looking for enlightenment here; I'm how the unutilized public transportation would be a red herring? That, compounded with the lateness of the evacuation call, gives me the impression that the Mayor faltered on his responsibilities.
  16. Sep 13, 2005 #15


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    I'm curious if you know how well the poor blacks got out to vote?
  17. Sep 13, 2005 #16
    The whole idea is that because New Orleans school buses were destroyed by the hurricane, the evacuation was botched. It's baloney.

    The evacuation was itself was as good as one could hope. It was better than FEMA expected; FEMA only expected a 60%. Mayor Nagin managed to evacuate 80% of the city. Probably due in part to his unprecedented calls for evacuation.


    Buses were used, both before and after the evacuation. They were used up until Katrina got to close, and the evacuation routes were becoming too clogged.

    So the whole basis of this argument is based on a context-less photograph of flooded school buses. It also ignores several obvious points.

    1. If NO school districts are like other public school districts, then a large purportion of its school bus fleet is inoperable at any given time. Often 50% of school buses are in various states of disrepair.

    2. It's assuming other evacuation methods were exhausted. Hundreds of city buses and privately-operated buses were used for the evacuation, were they full?

    3. Were there people waiting in line to get on buses to evacuate New Orleans? I suspect that most who wanted to evacuate on buses before the storm did so.

    4. Assuming people aren't lining up to get on buses, what is Nagin supposed to do, have buses driven on house to house searches and force people to leave at gun point?

    5. How many of the drivers, themselves civilians, did not evacuate themselves? Hundreds of police officers deserted, why would school bus drivers stay?

    6. Even if all buses were operational, and drivers ready, and places to go to, and no 150 mile an hour winds to worry about, and everybody willing to leave their homes/shelters, only a small fraction would have gotten out.

    There's also a lot of misinformation with the school buses. Fox news has reported several times that there were 2,000 school buses in that photo. NOISD only has ~345 buses.

    The evacuation of New Orleans was the only thing that worked in this mess. What didn't work was the response. Now given that New Orleans was destroyed, they were in no position to respond to its own destruction. A good portion of Louisiana was likewise destroyed.

    Hence, it's a red herring.
  18. Sep 13, 2005 #17
    Isn't the average black voter turn out rate typically equal too or slightly greater than the national average?

    I don't know about New Orleans itself.
  19. Sep 13, 2005 #18


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    I should rephrase that as how well do the poor turn out to vote? If I recall, it tends to be low.

    Edit: With a quick google: http://www.prcdc.org/summaries/voting/voting.html

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2005
  20. Sep 13, 2005 #19
    It will be difficult to hold elections in some of the affected areas for some time. One can't help but guess some will be delayed. I think what may occur in the interim is that those politicians who will likely get their walking papers, will be asked by party higher ups to resign. As reports and investigations continue, new details will emerge and these will find their way into respectable news services - plus the Congressional and Special Commission investigations to follow. It will be interesting to see when these actually get underway. The Roberts' Supreme Court hearings are keeping Congress busy. It would actually work to the Republicans' favor to have the Roberts hearings drag out for 1-3 months - so as to cause a delay in the Katrina investigations to follow. The Domocrats, on the other hand, must choose their battle. They risk loosing public interest in a Katrina accountability investigation.

    Ultimately, I see the issue is with weeding out inept elected and governmental officials PRIOR to geeting underway with rebuilding. It's like throwing money into a known bad investiment. As such, these individuals must be identified and removed, and it may NOT require an election to do so.

    MSNBC TV's Scarborough has aired detailed first-hand and resident interview accounts on the ground in the affected areas. His broadcast was highly critical of FEMA, the Red Cross, and the NO Police Department. Scarborough is a former Republican Congressman, but has been highly critical of the White House and federal Republican response.
  21. Sep 13, 2005 #20


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    As soon as I saw the topic, the first thing I thought was "Mayor Nagin." You make a good point about demographics, too. This disaster may very well end up reducing the population of democrats in the state, either by killing or just displacing them. Can you vote by absentee ballot in a mayoral election?
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