Something no one's mentioned on mainstream television so far came to me over the weekend during the Gustav hurricane coverage.
NOLA had about 2 million permanent residents before Katrina. As they were evacuating NOLA this time, they had about 200-300,000 residents to evacuate.
So what happened to 1.8 million people who used to live in NOLA?
They are in Houston, Arkansas, Mississippi, and in a large number in Atlanta. In fact, the demographics (and voting tendencies) of states all over the South have changed dramatically!
These are states that may have been solidly red, but with the influx of a few hundred thousand blue NOLA residents, are now most likely solidly blue. I just read a story about how North Carolina is 46/41 Obama.
Now for the interesting and conspiracy theorists this is good. The conspiracy side of this says, that the Bush Administration couldn't be happier that the primarily black residents of New Orleans who always made Louisiana a little more pink than red are no longer there. They say that the Bush Admin deliberately didn't return those people home because for political reasons, the map looks much better to them with LA Red instead of Pink or light blue.
The funny thing is, if the CT's are right and that was the motivation, it very nearly could have been the most backward calculation in the history of sleezy political maneuvering! Gone and forgotten, but perhaps more viable where they went to LOL!
Because now pink states all over the country have the very blue NOLA residents to tip the scale to blue in November. Population centers changed in this country forever thanks to Katrina, but not the hurricane itself, the refusal to do anything after the fact (and to this day) could translate to a November blue landslide all over this country...