Katrina anniversary no proud moment
Today is the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina slamming into the Gulf Coast. It's not a happy day about which man can boast of overcoming Mother Nature.
The buzz of saws, the droning of bulldozers, the echoes of hammers striking nails are the sounds of good things happening there. But the area is far from recovering for many reasons.
The devastation was so complete and widespread, recovery takes time. Mismanagement was equally so widespread that government actually made the problems worse in some instances. People lack the resources to bounce back.
In New Orleans' case, some neighborhoods are much as they were after the floodwaters receded. Poor people don't have the resources to pitch in and rebuild. Thus apathy is an enemy, too. The billions of dollars they need to recover simply haven't trickled down.
President Bush is in New Orleans today as part of the one-year observance. The administration blames lack of progress on the money being wasted and said no more will flow until the government has proof it is being spent wisely.
If that had been the policy early on, taxpayers might have saved some of the $2 billion in no-bid contracts that went to politically connected firms and to people who didn't need help.
New Orleans still has a long journey back.