Brown rehired by FEMA.. what?!

“CBS News says Michael Brown rehired as FEMA consultant”

CBS News’ Bob Schieffer just announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has rehired ex-FEMA chief Michael Brown – as a consultant to evaluate the agency’s response to the disaster!

Sadly, these sorts of things don’t even surprise me anymore.

Well since they let him go, they couldn’t give him a medal. How else do you reward his failure then?

Come on, the man needs to be rewarded!

“Disaster prep is your responsibility
And mitigation is important to our agency.”


“Brownie” is a very, very, stupid man:

“My biggest mistake was not recognizing, by Saturday (before the storm made landfall), that Louisiana was dysfunctional,” Michael Brown told a House of Representatives panel looking into the aftermath of the catastrophic storm.

“I very strongly personally regret that I was unable to persuade (Louisiana) Governor (Kathleen) Blanco and (New Orleans) Mayor (Ray) Nagin to sit down, get over their differences and work together,” he said. “I just couldn’t pull that off.”

The raw story article indicates that Brown is being retained beyond his resignation to insure there is knowledge transfer. I’m not sure what critical knowledge is locked in his head that needs to be liberated and imbedded into other staff. I suspect that this is really more of a case of giving him a soft landing. Bush seems to stand by his people even when they screw up severely.

As for putting the blame on the state and local governments, no doubt there were mistakes made at that level. But when your agency is charged specifically with emergency management, I can’t see how the state and local government can take the blame for such a sluggish response.

This is most starkly clear in both plans’ Strategic Goal Number 2: to "reduce human suffering and enhance the recovery of communities, " according to Witt’s version, or to “minimize suffering and disruption caused by disasters,” according to Allbaugh’s. In Witt’s Strategic Plan, which was set to go to fiscal year 2003, although its goals were stretched out to fiscal year 2007, FEMA sought to “By FY 2007, reduce by 25 percent human suffering from the impact of disasters.” Human suffering “is defined as the feeling of loss of control over one’s physical and economic state.” In order to measure the success of this objective, FEMA would conduct “an assessment of the percentage of times that, within 12 hours of a disaster, the agency and its partners act on all identified State and local government requests to meet disaster victims’ needs for water, food, and shelter. The intention is to coordinate the provision of these basic needs within 72 hours of the disaster,” among other things. Performance time is also a measure of the restoration of infrastructure to affected areas in this report. Read the whole report. It’s so Clinton-era, with its imploring the reader to think about the psychological trauma suffered by victims. It’s just so give-a-damn.

By contrast, the Allbaugh Strategic Plan, for fiscal years 2003-2008, reads like the manual for training desk jockeys at a paper clip company. Its emphasis is on quantity - the ability to handle four catastrophic and twelve non-catastrophic disasters at once. Other than saying that a “quick” and “timely” response is ideal, there’s no measure of what “quick” means (unlike the hours stated above). A major part of the plan is to slough off responsibility for disasters. Whereas the Witt Strategic Plan was clear and forceful about the role of FEMA, Allbaugh’s is all about delegation of duty, with goals of “Shared Responsibility in Managing Disasters” and the truly darkly comic caveat on page 14: “Increasing expectations of FEMA may cause mission creep beyond the Agency’s current focus and capabilities, but without accompanying resources.This could compromise FEMA’s ability to succeed at its core mission.”

Why is Brown stupid? He’s absolutely right in everything he said. I’m feeling rather stupid for jumping on the bandwagon bashing him. Mississippi and Alabama DID handle things just fine. Louisiana WAS screwed up. FEMA does NOT have the resources to magically fix everything in a couple days, and should not.

Mission creep. Do you really think a giant Washington-based bureacracy would be best suited to have the primary responsibility in a disaster in your local area? They’d bungle it, as giant bureacracies always do … and then you’d howl and insist on more bureacracy to regulate the failing bureacracy.

One of these days I’ll remember this for more than a couple hours at a time: if the media is all pounding one particular point, and the denizens of Qt3 P&R are all in agreement, the best bet is to take precisely the opposite position, and wait. You people are so consistently and thoroughly wrong it really boggles the mind.

Mississippi and Alabama did not handle things much better than Louisiana as the Republic Rep. from Mississippi pointed out at the hearing. To the extent that problems seemed more manageable, it was because neither had a million+ resident metropoliltan area rendered uninhabitable. I know, for instance, that a number of nursing home facilities in Mississippi were without power and water for days with no federal relief.

Rollory, who was right about Iraq?

Wait, so the Federal Emergency Management Agency shouldn’t be expected to properly manage an emergency? What exactly should they do, then? If it’s such a bureaucratic nightmare, then why is it allowed to exist? When most of a state is utterly destroyed, how does one expect them to coordinate anything? Shouldn’t an outside agency, whose resources aren’t completely underwater, be better able to perform disaster relief?

FEMA has never been set up as a first response agency. That’s not its mission nor is it equipped to do that. I’ve lived in hurricane and flood hit areas, and their role has been to come in after the disaster and help with the longer range recovery.

While Brown may or may not be incompetent, Louisiana’s idiot governor and New Orleans’s idiot mayor are key reasons for the disaster there. I’ve lived down there, visit often (I have relatives there,) do business there, and I’ve always been disgusted at what total ignoramuses both of those people are. They’ve stolen money that was intended for disaster relief situations (and the crookedness of the politicians there is no secret at all - it’s a common joke that LA folks brag about how good their politicians are at being crooked, a tradition that goes all the way back to Huey Long.)

I’d certainly rather have the federal government involved in something as important as disaster relief than the incompetents who are generally elected to municipal governments.

I’d certainly rather have the federal government involved in something as important as disaster relief than the incompetents who are generally elected to municipal governments.[/quote]
Local government cannot be trusted, so the Federal government should take over in the interest of increased accountability.