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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Associated Press: Today in History for August 29th- The 7th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina


Source: Associated Press- Hurricane Katrina Victims-
Source: Associated Press: Today in History For August 29th

This blog is just another example of what its like to blog on a slow news day. The seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina the worst natural disaster in American history, that turned a somewhat big city New Orleans which before this storm was a city of around 450K people, in an area of around 1.5M people, into a smaller mid-size city of 150K people almost overnight. Because the Federal Government, Louisiana and New Orleans, were caught completely off guard by this storm, didn't understand the aftermath of it and what this storm could do, caught completely off guard by it. Houston a large city of 2M people in an area of 5M people or so, became a much larger city almost overnight. Because hundreds of thousands of people were left with no place to go and live, even ending up having to stay on the floor of the Louisiana Superdome, a football stadium/convention center.

These kinds of things don't happen when the people and government's are prepared for storms like this. There's actually some good news to come from this.  A lot of unqualified people lost their jobs over this like Mike Brown who was the Director of FEMA and Americans finally woke up to the fact that the Bush Administration didn't know what they were doing and needed a watchdog. Hurricane Katrina is the final nail in the coffin for the then Republican House of Representatives. Who ran the House from 1995-2007. House Democrats only needed to pick up fifteen seats in 2006 to take back the majority. So it was just a question of how many they were going to pick up and how big their majority would be in the next Congress. The Senate, was a different story where they needed to pick up six seats out of thirty-three elections. Which meant that Senate Democrats had to run the table and beat every vulnerable Senate Republican.

Senate Democrats needed to win every open Republican seat and win some seats that didn't seem vulnerable going into 2006. Like in Virginia with Senator George Allen and in Montana with Senator Conrad Burns. Without losing any seats of their own and that's exactly what they did. Taking back the Senate for the first time since 2001, without losing a single Democratic seat.  Pre-Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the talk in Washington was that Congressional Democrats would probably pick up seats in both the House and Senate, but I doubt many people were seriously expecting them to take back both the House and Senate, or either one. The two big news stories that year were the very unpopular War in Iraq and Katrina. When President Bush was reelected in 2004, he had an approval rating of around 45%, a year later it was 29% and Congressional Republicans took the heat for that, because they were seen as backing the President.