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.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.
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!"