Krugman boldly points fingers and plays the blame game
Do read the whole thing: "In Iraq the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran the country during the crucial first year after Saddam's fall - the period when an effective government might have forestalled the nascent insurgency - was staffed on the basis of ideological correctness and personal connections rather than qualifications. At one point Ari Fleischer's brother was in charge of private-sector development.
The administration followed the same principles in staffing FEMA. The agency had become a highly professional organization during the Clinton years, but under Mr. Bush it reverted to its former status as a 'turkey farm,' a source of patronage jobs.
As Bloomberg News puts it, the agency's 'upper ranks are mostly staffed with people who share two traits: loyalty to President George W. Bush and little or no background in emergency management.' By now everyone knows FEMA's current head went from overseeing horse shows to overseeing the nation's response to disaster, with no obvious qualifications other than the fact that he was Mr. Allbaugh's college roommate.
All that's missing from the Katrina story is an expensive reconstruction effort, with lucrative deals for politically connected companies, that fails to deliver essential services. But give it time - they're working on that, too.
Why did the administration make the same mistakes twice? Because it paid no political price the first time."