Thursday, November 03, 2005

Let Them Float On Cake

How Heckuva Job passed the time during Katrina, from CBS/AP:
"Can I quit now? Can I go home?" one e-mail sent by former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown reads.

E-mails sent by Brown during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast reveal that he was looking for a dog sitter, chatting about shopping and showing concern about his appearance during the tumultuous time.

A House panel investigating the government's sluggish response to the storm has released 23 pages of internal e-mail from the time Katrina hit. The e-mails could bring more criticism to Brown, who has already been removed from his post after being denounced by lawmakers for his handling of Hurricane Katrina.

In one e-mail, sent on Aug. 29 as Katrina was pummeling the Gulf, a FEMA public affairs official tells Brown the outfit he wore on a television appearance looked "fabulous," to which Brown replies, "I got it at Nordstroms," then adds, "Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?"

Within the hour, Brown began complaining about the more standard, government-issued threads: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god." (sic)

In another, an aide reminds Brown to pay heed to his image on TV, suggesting that he roll up his sleeves.

By Sept. 2, Brown expressed inundation with the disaster response. He wrote to a GOP consultant who had requested a meeting, "I'm trapped now! Please rescue me!"
In Japan, a public official similarly shamed would fall on his sword---literally. Here, for officials who idly pass the time with smarmy email banter while people drown in attics, accountability doesn't quite mean what it should.


Anonymous Natasha said...

You have got to be kidding me. Those emails sound as if they were written by a child - an insecure, approval seeking child. How much lower shall we sink?

11/03/2005 9:30 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Dresner said...

Japanese politicians haven't actually fallen on swords in a very long time, and even the ones who lose their cabinet posts, because of the Japanese parliamentary system, don't really lose their jobs in any meaningful sense of the word. Japan has a very high incumbent reelection rate (almost as high as the US!), and a very high percentage of "second-generation" politicians (local dynasties, anyone?), so they're not really the best exemplar of political responsibility.

They would, though, apologize much more quickly and more sincerely....

11/03/2005 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

The man who should be apologizing is the man who appointed this sad, lost boy. Just as he should apologize to the loyal woman he hung out to dry earlier this month & to his base and his nation for trying to foist her as he did.

His moral emptiness both shocks me daily, and fails to surprise me, simultaneously, if that makes any sense.

11/04/2005 8:49 AM  
Anonymous jay said...

Can we call this criminal negligence now ??

11/04/2005 9:29 AM  
Blogger Lymond said...

Just for good measure, remember that he is still on the US a consultant, no less. No doubt giving lots of sage advice to Chertoff, et al.

11/04/2005 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe this guy is still on the payroll!

When the radical and corrupt reveal themselves it is pretty frightening: "The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

But more Brownies: "President Bush last week appointed nine campaign contributors, including three longtime fund-raisers, to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a 16-member panel of individuals from the private sector who advise the president on the quality and effectiveness of U.S. intelligence efforts."

11/04/2005 12:36 PM  
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