Sunday, September 04, 2005

Heads need to roll

I'm trying to relax for Labor Day weekend, since it's the last free time I get before I start teaching for the semester. But I've gotten to the point where I can't read hurricane news without wanting to punch something. The incompetence here is breathtaking.

Heads need to roll. Whose heads I'm not clear on quite yet. But we can comfortably start with Michael Brown, the head of FEMA. He was appointed because he was a Bush crony, and had no previous experience in disaster management. His previous job? "Before joining the Bush administration in 2001, Brown spent 11 years as the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association, a breeders' and horse-show organization based in Colorado."

Think that's outrageous? Well, "Brown was forced out of the position after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures."

He can't manage a horse-show organization and Bush thinks he should be put in charge of the government agency responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of people from disaster? The mind boggles. Mr. President, if you have to pass out political favors to your friends, can't you at least put them in agencies where lives don't depend on their job performance? The Department of Commerce, for example. ANYTHING but FEMA.

Kevin Drum has a few quotes showing just how out-of-touch the people in charge of disaster management have been. I'm sure this is not exhaustive, but it will get us started.