New Orleans Since Katrina: A Carnival of Ineptitude!

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How’s this for a blistering editorial, from the Beaver County Times?

One year after Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi, huge swaths of that area look as bleak as they did in the days immediately following the storm.

Debris is piled in massive mounds everywhere; block after block of homes are boarded up; signs of rebuilding are few and far between; thousands of residents are still displaced.

In a way, that’s to be expected. Katrina was a storm of such immense proportions and the geographic area it hit was so widespread and populated, especially in regard to New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss., that the resulting damage was on a scale that is and was unimaginable.

And yet, and yet…

[E]ven given the depth and breadth of the destruction, the response of government at the local, state and federal levels has been pathetically inadequate.

This isn’t just about the rip-offs and scams, the squabbling over how to proceed, the blame-gaming and the power plays. These things are going to happen when dealing with an unprecedented event like Katrina.

However, it’s the paralysis that continues to grip government that is long-term scary. For a nation and a people who pride themselves on problem solving, post-Katrina muddling stands as a rebuke to that can-do attitude. …

…the failure of government post-Katrina to do what it is supposed to do – look out for the common good – is a bad sign.

Mark Fiore makes much the same point in his own inimitable way. (Click on the image below.)

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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