It is difficult to express the emotions stirred up by watching various government officials stagger through their slow-motion response to Hurricane Katrina. Fortunately, none of my family members were injured and they all live far enough from the coast to have suffered only minimal property damage. For them, it was more inconvenience than disaster.
Obviously, that is not the case for hundreds of thousands of other citizens in Louisiana and Mississippi. The death toll has been too high for two reasons. First, a lot of people simply refused to leave or were unable to evacuate. That certainly raises questions about the thoroughness of the state evacuation plans, particularly in Louisiana.
Second, and almost unbelieveable in this post-9/11 world, the federal government was AWOL until almost two days after Katrina made landfall. Apparently, both terrorists and natural disasters know that Washington, DC takes a long vacation in August. Once again, the Bush administration is left pleading surprise and shock -- this time that a hurricane can do exactly what the National Weather Service said it would do. More believable would be a plea of ignorance or indifference.
Along with hopes for a speedy recover and rebuilding effort, I retain hope that the nation will finally react against this administration's incompetence and dangerously skewed priorities.
UPDATE: FactCheck has a timeline.