Day 581 until the long National Nightmare is over. 661 days ago, one of the worst natural disasters in our history occurred when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. Over 1800 deaths and $80B in damage later, The Gulf Coast region is still recovering. New Orleans is half the size it was in terms of population before the hurricane hit. While re-construction is occurring and signs of recovery are present, the situation in Louisiana and Mississippi is slow in its progress. Why do I lay this at the feet of the Bush Administration? While there are certainly more actors in this play than the federal government, the Bush Administration has squandered enormous opportunity to show how government can help heal. Since Bush's last visit to New Orleans, little press coverage is provided on the region, the stories of recovery and our efforts as a country to help in the work to make a home again for those who had their lives destroyed by this storm and our government's subsequent ineptness to respond.
Are things improving in Mississippi and Louisiana? To be sure. However, we are also seeing the by-product of the storm and its aftermath. Stress, higher death rates, crime, and a general sense of "oh well, Katrina's yesterday's news" has set in. Thank god for people like Harry Shearer of "Le Show" and The Huffington Post who has made it a personal mission to keep a history of the actions toward Katrina recovery.
The Bush administration has squandered an opportunity to help our neighbors in the gulf-coast recover. We could have been seeing press-conferences of federal, state and municipal leaders reporting progress and urging those who were displaced to come home and rebuild. But no. The Bush Administration failed in the test of leadership to bring these people together and is more interested in selling a phony war than helping someone get their house back. For shame Mr. President.
See you tomorrow,