The Grass isn't any Greener


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In terms of Katrina recovery, much of the national spotlight has focused on Louisiana’s recovery, or the lack thereof. When CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who has kept to his word and returned to New Orleans a number of times since the levees failure, reported on the two-year anniversary, Cooper compared Biloxi to New Orleans. The basic message was: Biloxi was thriving in the post-Katrina world while New Orleans was failing.

Turns out that Mississippi and its governor, Haley Barbour (R) hasn’t really fared that well either when it comes to aiding those most affected by the storm: the poor and vulnerable. As reported by PBS’s Bill Moyer, the casinos, hotels and condos are beginning to re-dot the Mississippi Gulf Coast while

many of Biloxi’s displaced families continue to live in trailers. And although Barbour received heaps of praise for his leadership last year, it’s becoming apparent that Barbour thought that reconstructing gambling halls was more important than giving people a permanent place to live. In September of this year, Barbour even went so far as to propose diverting $600 million in federal housing aid in order to expand the Port of Gulfport. The proposal has been strenuously opposed by a Gulf Coast organization, The Steps Coalition, because of the proposal’s disregard in adhering to Fair Housing Act requirements.

In fact if you read between the lines, or just read the lines, a Washington Post article from yesterday nation basically says that Louisiana has shown more compassion for people trying to come home than Mississippi. And, in terms of failure, Mississippi is just as bad as Louisiana when it comes to rebuilding small rental properties.

So the next time you feel like complaining about the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Ed Blakely, The Road Home or Kathleen Blanco, sling as much mud as you want, but remember things aren't any better on the other side of the state line.


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