Honestly, I admire Mayor Nagin's intensity and understand his frustration. It's too bad he didn't show the same sort of urgency in ordering and organizing the evacuation last week, because things might have turned out much different. When you know that the city you lead is 1) below sea-level and built to withstand only a Category 3 storm and 2) is a very difficult place to evacuate based on past history and 3) is relying on what you yourself characterize as limited local resources to conduct such an operation, there is no excuse to wait until less than 24 hours (http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWL082705nagin.b7724856.html) to pull the trigger on ordering a mandatory evacuation when a Category 5 storm is bearing down on you. None.When all is said and done I think we'll find that the greatest contributing factor in this tragedy was Mayor Nagin's lack of urgency on the front end and his inability to coordinate and execute an evacuation plan (even one that now looks in hindsight to have been seriously flawed) that got as many people out of New Orleans as possible.It's hard to find any redeeming qualities in Governor Blanco's conduct during this entire affair. I haven't seen any reports on just how aggressively she mobilized state assets to prepare for and to assist the evacuation effort before Katrina struck, so perhaps details will emerge that will accrue to her credit - though frankly I will be surprised if that turns out to be true.Since the hurricane hit Blanco's response has been a case study in lack of leadership; from projecting weakness and insecurity to squabbling over turf. The Governor has done little to leave the impression she has been either confident or competent in helping to manage this crisis. Again, I suspect this is an impression that will be confirmed by numerous examples once all the facts are in.Michael Brown has got to go. The bottom line is that as the man in charge of coordinating federal relief efforts the results produced on his watch were simply not good enough. Again, we don't know all that went on behind the scenes so there may be a number of mitigating factors, but from what we have seen in the press Brown looks from the outset to have been extremely ineffective if not downright confused some of the time.The other reason Brown should be fired is because he didn't belong as director of FEMA in the first place. As everyone knows by now, Brown got his original job as the General Counsel for FEMA (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/05/AR2005090501590.html) because of a personal connection with Joe Allbaugh. That's fine, because at least Brown was qualified to hold that position. But lives aren't at stake when you're FEMA's lawyer, they are when you're FEMA's director. Joe Allbaugh bears a great deal of responsibility for promoting Brown to deputy director and for (I assume) recommending his appointment to director to President Bush.When you finish sifting through all of the partisan red herrings that have been thrown out to try and blame Bush for this catastrophe (budget cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers, budget cuts to and reorganization of FEMA, National Guard troops in Iraq, wetlands policy, global warming policy, "Is President Bush a liar (of course, but this is a new lie to dissect) or is he an inept uninformed figurehead?" and on and on) the President's main responsibility lies with the fact one of the members of his administration looks to have done a poor job of managing the federal government's portion of planning and responding to this crisis.As captain of the team, Bush is responsible for his players and he should have recognized sooner that Michael Brown was not getting the job done.Having said that, it's worth noting that even a more competent, experienced FEMA director wouldn't have been able to stop the flooding or most likely to have foreseen the widespread looting and violence that followed and caused such havoc with rescue efforts. In fact, short of President Bush stepping in an using executive powers to order the National Guard to forcibly evacuate New Orleans (something I'm not sure is possible), a perfectly executed post-hurricane relief plan under the circumstances in New Orleans would have sped things up by maybe 24 hours. That's a lot of time in a crisis relief situation and certainly would have saved a few lives, but I'm not sure it would have drastically changed the dynamics of what we saw unfolding in New Orleans last week.Katrina really was a perfect storm in that she struck a city that was extremely vulnerable to flooding; a city with significant crime, drug, and poverty issues that was effectively rendered lawless for three days causing a complete social breakdown, and a city (and state) government with a long and notorious tradition for corruption and incompetence. All of the tragedy resulting from these things was compounded by a poor response by FEMA.