September 04, 2005

Ray Nagin's Legacy


These estimated 205 school buses drown in New Orleans, presumably along with the 364 buses of the New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority.

If these estimated 569 buses were truly on hand, and if each carried 60 people, then 34,140 of New Orleans' most needy citizens could have been evacuated completely out of the city each trip.

According to NOLA's official hurricane disaster plans, these very buses should have been used to evacuate the poor and the needy. Ray Nagin couldn't follow written directions. His incompetence was lethal to thousands.

Tell me, legal eagles, how long do you get in Louisiana for 10,000 counts of negligent homicide?

Update: It just keeps getting worse. Bryan Preston of Junkyard Blog, who has done excellent work on the bus scandal, now has more as he posts temporarily at Michelle Malkin's.

He has discovered that under Mayor Nagin's leadership, the New Orleans Police Department has suffered a near-complete meltdown.

Via poster "Cylinder" in the comments:

137 flooded New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority buses in New Orleans in a lot at 2817 Canal Street, as captured from Google Maps.

Additional Update: The New Orleans Disaster Plan? Make and send out a DVD to citizens saying , "you're on your own." Only they didn't make the video in time for hurricane season.

So, screw you New Orleans, only we're not gonna tell your screwed. Thanks, Ray.

The more I hear about the extreme incompetence of the local authorities, the defensive posturing of state authorities, and a federal response which is sounding more and more like it worked as designed, the more I think that we do need a "Katrina Commission," but one that realistically and honestly evaluates the responses of local, state and federal governments to Hurricane Katrina, not just the poltical federally-targeted blame-game Hillary wants to play political football with. Hillary actually does have something of a point - FEMA may very well function better as an independent agency - but an investigation targeted at the federal-level only addresses 1/3 of the problem (perhaps far less than that, as evidence to date seems to indicate).

We need to find the most efficient way to handle a mass casualty event, whether it be weather, or terror related. Weneed this as a nation, and it should be apolitical (yeah, I know...) An investigation of all three levels of government involvement, including honest failure analysis, is needed.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 4, 2005 10:33 PM | TrackBack

Where's Rudy Giuliani when you need him?

Posted by: Jen at September 4, 2005 10:50 PM

Rudy? We could have had Bernard Kerik as the Director of Homeland Security, which is almost as good, but the media gutted him for things he did out of the office.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 4, 2005 11:00 PM

Does anyone know how many (of the one thousand not on duty) have officially 'quit' (or committed suicide,) and how many were killed?

There's a big difference between 'quitting' and 'not showing up'. One could imply that they're already dead, y'know.

Dunno if you'll trust it as it's a leftist site (reprinting the NYTimes, which many on the right distrust on every matter,) but there are conflicting reports out there (Google it yourself,) and some points of it are worth considering.

A few choice quotes:
... at least 200 New Orleans police officers have walked away from their jobs and two have committed suicide, police officials said Saturday.
W. J. Riley, the assistant superintendent of police, said there were about 1,200 officers on duty on Saturday. He said the department was not sure how many officers had decided to abandon their posts and how many simply could not get to work.

Mr. Riley said some of the officers who left the force "couldn't handle the pressure" and are "certainly not the people we need in this department."

He said, "The others are not here because they lost a spouse, or their family or their home was destroyed or they don't know where their spouse is."

Then again, we also must consider that they want to save face to help keep order. There's little telling at this point who knows the truth and if the others are lying intentionally or if they just have the wrong info.

Posted by: Jay Bridge at September 4, 2005 11:19 PM

Jay, I don't think that is a matter of right or left, but simply what we know, or think we know, for now. Those numbers are about what I've heard, as well.

To the best of my knowledge they have not announced any NOPD officers as confirmed dead as a result of the hurricane, flooding, or even shootings (though one was in serious condition from the later). The only confirmed NOPD fatilities seem to be the two suicides.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 4, 2005 11:34 PM

You don't suppose Ray Nagin is a racist do you?? Maybe HE doesn't CARE about black people...

Nawwwwwww, no way...

Surely ALL thos buses didn't sit idle because Nagin WANTED to do a *racial clensing* of NOLA??

Well, it's not anymore outrageous than the idiots saying Bush and Rove did the exact same thing...

People just don't understand what it takes to get the logistics *staged* and then get them IN to a disaster zone of this magnitude...

I guess the next big slogan will be "Bush Lied, New Orleans Died..."

That'll look good on the Dems placards next election..

Posted by: TexasFred at September 5, 2005 05:49 AM

Idiots Abound...

For the last several days, I have scoured MANY websites, forums, news sites, blogs and opinion pages and the overwhelming view from the *LEFT*, read: Liberal Democrats, is this...

Bush is a racist... He hates blacks and held up hurricane relief because the majority of the victims were BLACK...

Bush cut funding to the New Orleans Levy Board in an effort to undermine their work so that in the event of a catastrophic hurricane, New Orleans would suffer horribly and BLACKS would die...

Bush somehow failed to *properly* warn the state of Louisiana thus causing the destruction of New Orleans and the death of blacks...

Bush didn't send in buses to get the people out in time, because they were black and Bush didn't want to commit Federal resources to save poor black people...

And my personal favorite, Bush had Karl Rove cause the hurricane so New Orleans can suffer *ethnic cleansing* so that Halliburton can come in and completely rebuild New Orleans as a *White Mans Haven* and a *City of Oil* dedicated to the glory of George Bush and Halliburton and a place where the troops and the hierarchy can engage in acts of unrestricted debauchery... This one came from the barking moon-bats at DU...

Look for any reason and excuse that can be concocted to come out of Louisiana itself and the Democratic party in general, ANYTHING to misdirect the blame from where it truly lies... The Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, and the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin...

Louisiana politics in general and New Orleans politics in particular have been beneath redemption for decades... The only reason a Dem runs for office in Louisiana is so they can participate in the biggest *graft and corruption* network in the USA... Been like that back at least to the Huey P. Long era... Probably before but I have 1st hand knowledge back that far because you see, I AM a Louisiana native, and was raised a good Southern Democrat, back in the days when that wasn't a *dirty word*... And as far back as I can personally remember, and having heard the stories my Mother and grandparents passed down, it was always like this in Louisiana, hooray for ME and screw you....

Ms. Blanco and Mr. Nagin have reached a day of reckoning, all the corruption has come back to haunt them, thousands of times over, and if this doesn't wake up the people of Louisiana, and make them realize WHAT it is they have in office, and where the responsibility really lies, nothing will and they deserve whatever befalls them in the future...

Place blame all you like, just make you sure you know what you're talking about before you spout off...

The Feds job is NOT to save you before the shit hits the fan, their job is to come in and clean up the splatters YOUR corrupt and ignorant Louisiana State government left you to suffer in...

Posted by: TexasFred at September 5, 2005 07:12 AM

I know Nawlins is the hot topic now, what with the incompetence in the governor's and mayor's offices and all... but according to what I've read, Mississippi has actually been hit a lot harder and they're getting no press. So far (officially) the MI death count is almost twice that of Nawlins. And you don't hear/read of people shooting at the help that arrives, either!

Posted by: John Yetter, CW5, USA (Retired) at September 5, 2005 07:45 AM

And that is a damned shame about Mississippi too... I can offer no explanation either... The folks in Mississippi need ALL the help they can get too...

Posted by: TexasFred at September 5, 2005 09:36 AM

Nagin said the city could and would commandeer any property or vehicle it deemed necessary to provide safe shelter or transport for those in need.

He also opened the Louisiana Superdome as a shelter of last resort that would begin accepting people around Noon. He said the Dome would have few supplies and that people were expected to bring food and other necessary items. RTA buses were going to be sent to pick up those going to shelters at designated pickup points.

Nagin discouraged staying in the Superdome, saying that people would not have access to power and possibly plumbing.

The largest problem was that he didn't act 'soon enough.' The number I hear tossed around is '72 hours', so far as how long it should've taken an evacuation. They called for it less than 24 hours before the storm him. He did fail, and the polity has said that the deathtoll is in the thousands in New Orleans. Now that we're in agreement that Nagin failed (and I'm willing to bet Blanco as well,) can we agree that the federal government didn't do enough after the fact? Like, oh, I dunno, waiting days to drop supplies?

And I'm not trying to flame, but pose an honest question that I do not know the answer to. Did Rudy Giuliani have to wait until the New York Governer formally asked for federal help on September 11th when 3000 died? Because while the numbers bounce up and down, there's (at the lowest number I saw, and hopefully it'll go down,) 15,000 people still missing.

Posted by: Jay Bridge at September 5, 2005 09:41 AM


I do not in any way want to diminish the failures of DHS, and FEMA in particular. Sadly, from what I am able to piece together, Blanco's refusal to use Guard troops also would have included the helicopters and crews that would have been dropping the supplies, did it not?

Despite their failures at the management level, FEMA did still react far faster to Katrina that it did previous major hurricanes. Can you imagine how much worse it could have been?


Sadly, (or perhaps not) Mississippi didn't suffer the human tragedy (in pure numbers) and incompetency (en masse) before, during, and after the storm that we see in New Orleans. The media goes where the most blood is, sadly.

Mississippians seem to have more competent leadership on every level, BTW, and that is a good thing.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 5, 2005 10:01 AM

Did Rudy Giuliani have to wait until the New York Governer formally asked for federal help on September 11th when 3000 died?

From what I remember of that day (I lived in NY at the time, both planes flew over my head in New Windsor, NY on the way into the city), Rudy got Pataki on the horn within hours. It was never an issue.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 5, 2005 10:06 AM

In every interview I've seen or read, the governor of MS isn't slamming the federal government the way Mayor Nagin has over the past few days.

So as seems to always be the case, the media goes where the voice backs up what they choose to report. And that place is New Orleans.

Posted by: Jen at September 5, 2005 10:08 AM

Post-Katrina imagery of 137 RTS buses.

You can find them yourself (as I did) by going to and searching for 2817 Canal, New Orleans.

These are not the school buses posted above.

Posted by: Cylinder at September 5, 2005 04:41 PM

Damn, maybe Blanco didn't fail quite as horribly as I thought she did. Relief Request.pdf

Posted by: Jay Bridge at September 5, 2005 08:55 PM

Blanco did not respond to neighboring governors who were offering their national guard assets until far too late, and was even late in using her own national guard units.

About the only thing she could have done worse was to put Sean Penn in charge of the seaborne rescue efforts.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 5, 2005 09:12 PM

I have figured it out. Katrina is a racist

Posted by: Brian at September 7, 2005 01:05 PM

Have hurricanes become a weapon of war? The USA has the technology to divert hurricanes to other areas - Could enemies of the USA have that technology?

Posted by: Lori at September 8, 2005 11:41 PM

Just was wondering...I had heard something about Ray Nagin having a Hurricane Party at his home the day prior to Katrina landing. He supposedly woke up hung over and unable to do anything for the residnets of his city.

If anyone has a link to back up this story, please post....

Posted by: krispykreme at September 22, 2005 06:55 PM