Big Government

Destroyed houses are seen in the devastated Lower Ninth Ward August 25, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News anchor and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.

I love the news, but Friday night it made me sick.

I had talked that afternoon with Dr. Norman Francis, head of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, who told me he thought New Orleans is probably more vulnerable to a hurricane than ever.

Say what you will, New Orleans is still a mess. Officials at all levels are still groping with how to get federal funds to washed out homeowners, how to get FEMA trailers in Arkansas to people who need them, and how to get more schools open. More than half the schools in the city are still closed.

Byron Pitts asked New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin about it on Friday's Evening News. Basically he said "get over it", noting that New York still hasn't covered up what he called "the hole" caused by the 9/11 attack.

Arrogance is galling enough, but it was the next story by Allen Pizzey that really set me off. He reported that Hezbollah agents are on the streets of Southern Lebanon handing out U.S. dollars to people whose homes were bombed out.

One year after Katrina and we can't figure out how to get money to people who lost their homes in New Orleans, we're still not sure if it can survive another hurricane but a terrorist group has figured out how to get American money to the homeless in Lebanon?

Talk about threats to national security – how about government so big, so complicated and so unmanageable, it can't get out of its own way?

That's what scares me.


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By Bob Schieffer