Friday, September 09, 2005

BUSH'S CORRUPT & INCOMPETENT FEMA CHIEF FINALLY GIVEN THE BOOT!

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The AP just reported that FEMA's reviled Director, Michael Brown, "is being removed from his role managing Hurricane Katrina relief efforts." AP claims "Brown is being sent back to Washington from Baton Rouge, where he was the primary official overseeing the federal government's response to the disaster, according to two federal officials who declined to be identified before the announcement.
Brown will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts. Brown has been under fire because of the administration's slow response to the magnitude of the hurricane. On Thursday, questions were raised about whether he padded his resume to highlight his previous emergency management background." Even as the Bush Regime positions Colin Powell to come in and save their asses from all the bungling and incompetence, Powell told 20/20 that "there was more than enough warning over time about the dangers to New Orleans. No enough was done."

Less than an hour before Brown's removal came to light, Bush's official spin-meister, Scotty McClellan said Brown had not resigned and the president had not asked for his resignation although, in his weasely way, Scotty refused to directly answer a question about whether the president had full confidence in Brown. "We appreciate all those who are working round the clock, and that's the way I would answer it," he said.

The Bush Regime were less appreciative of the WASHINGTON POST's expose on how BushCo destroyed the once effective/now moribund FEMA. An article by Spencer Hsu was published a few hours before BushCo finally decided to pull their man Michael "Brownie, You're doing a heck of a job" Brown out of Louisiana. The POST article:

LEADERS LACKING DISASTER EXPERIENCE
"BRAIN BRAIN" AT AGENCY CITED

Five of eight top Federal Emergency Management Agency officials came to their posts with virtually no experience in handling disasters and now lead an agency whose ranks of seasoned crisis managers have thinned dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
FEMA's top three leaders -- Director Michael D. Brown, Chief of Staff Patrick J. Rhode and Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks D. Altshuler -- arrived with ties to President Bush's 2000 campaign or to the White House advance operation, according to the agency. Two other senior operational jobs are filled by a former Republican lieutenant governor of Nebraska and a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official who was once a political operative.
Meanwhile, veterans such as U.S. hurricane specialist Eric Tolbert and World Trade Center disaster managers Laurence W. Zensinger and Bruce P. Baughman -- who led FEMA's offices of response, recovery and preparedness, respectively -- have left since 2003, taking jobs as consultants or state emergency managers, according to current and former officials.
Because of the turnover, three of the five FEMA chiefs for natural-disaster-related operations and nine of 10 regional directors are working in an acting capacity, agency officials said.
Patronage appointments to the crisis-response agency are nothing new to Washington administrations. But inexperience in FEMA's top ranks is emerging as a key concern of local, state and federal leaders as investigators begin to sift through what the government has admitted was a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.
"FEMA requires strong leadership and experience because state and local governments rely on them," said Trina Sheets, executive director of the National Emergency Management Association. "When you don't have trained, qualified people in those positions, the program suffers as a whole."
Last week's greatest foe was, of course, a storm of such magnitude that it "overwhelmed" all levels of government, according to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). And several top FEMA officials are well-regarded by state and private counterparts in disaster preparedness and response.
They include Edward G. Buikema, acting director of response since February, and Kenneth O. Burris, acting chief of operations, a career firefighter and former Marietta, Ga., fire chief.
But scorching criticism has been aimed at FEMA, and it starts at the top with Brown, who has admitted to errors in responding to Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in New Orleans. The Oklahoma native, 50, was hired to the agency after a rocky tenure as commissioner of a horse sporting group by former FEMA director Joe M. Allbaugh, the 2000 Bush campaign manager and a college friend of Brown's.
Rhode, Brown's chief of staff, is a former television reporter who came to Washington as advance deputy director for Bush's Austin-based 2000 campaign and then the White House. He joined FEMA in April 2003 after stints at the Commerce Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Altshuler is a former presidential advance man. His predecessor, Scott Morris, was a media strategist for Bush with the Austin firm Maverick Media.
David I. Maurstad, who stepped down as Nebraska lieutenant governor in 2001 to join FEMA, has served as acting director for risk reduction and federal insurance administrator since June 2004. Daniel A. Craig, a onetime political fundraiser and campaign adviser, came to FEMA in 2001 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he directed the eastern regional office, after working as a lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said Brown has managed more than 160 natural disasters as FEMA general counsel and deputy director since 2001, "hands-on experience [that] cannot be understated. Other leadership at FEMA brings particular skill sets -- policy management leadership, for example."
The agency has a deep bench of career professionals, said FEMA spokeswoman Nicol Andrews, including two dozen senior field coordinators and Gil Jamieson, director of the National Incident Management System. "Simply because folks who have left the agency have a disagreement with how it's being run doesn't necessarily indicate that there is a lack of experience leading it," she said.
Andrews said the "acting" designation for regional officials is a designation that signifies that they are FEMA civil servants -- not political appointees.
Touring the wrecked Gulf Coast with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff yesterday, Vice President Cheney also defended FEMA leaders, saying, "We're always trying to strike the right balance" between political appointees and "career professionals that fill the jobs underneath them."
But experts inside and out of government said a "brain drain" of experienced disaster hands throughout the agency, hastened in part by the appointment of leaders without backgrounds in emergency management, has weakened the agency's ability to respond to natural disasters. Some security experts and congressional critics say the exodus was fueled by a bureaucratic reshuffling in Washington in 2003, when FEMA was stripped of its independent Cabinet-level status and folded into the Department of Homeland Security.
Emergency preparedness has atrophied as a result, some analysts said, extending from Washington to localities.
FEMA "has gone downhill within the department, drained of resources and leadership," said I.M. "Mac" Destler, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. "The crippling of FEMA was one important reason why it failed."
Richard A. Andrews, former emergency services director for the state of California and a member of the president's Homeland Security Advisory Council, said state and local failures were critical in the Katrina response, but competence, funding and political will in Washington were also lacking.
"I do not think fundamentally this is an organizational issue," Andrews said. "You need people in there who have both experience and the confidence of the president, who are able to fight and articulate what FEMA's mission and role is, and who understand how emergency management works."
The agency's troubles are no secret. The Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit group that promotes careers in federal government, ranked FEMA last of 28 agencies studied in 2003.
In its list of best places to work in the government, a 2004 survey by the American Federation of Government Employees found that of 84 career FEMA professionals who responded, only 10 people ranked agency leaders excellent or good.
An additional 28 said the leadership was fair and 33 called it poor.
More than 50 said they would move to another agency if they could remain at the same pay grade, and 67 ranked the agency as poorer since its merger into the Department of Homeland Security.


LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE!

Associated Press is now reporting that "a beleaguered Mike Brown said Friday he doesn't know why he was removed from his onsite command of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts..." Meanwhile, although apparently unknown to Brown, Bush Regime officials have leaked something about Brown having planned to retire after hurricane season (next month). When reporters asked Brown why he was recalled from Louisiana to DC, he said "You'd have to ask Secretary Chertoff why he made that decision." Chertoff, responding in true Bush Regime Orwellian fashion said he decided to bring Brown back to Washington because the Gulf Coast efforts had entered a new phase and Brown might be needed to manage other potential disasters (giving every governor in the Union cause to pray extra hard that no disasters hit their states in the next month).

2 Comments:

At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so ashamed that I wasted my vote on George Bush. What was I thinking? Why did I let my right wing extremist, neo-conservative, neo-evangelical thinking get in the way of exercising sound personal judgment when I entered that voting booth?

Growing up, I was led to believe that the Republican Party was a grass roots party of the people & for the people. In retrospect, it is clear that the last 3 presidents produced by the Republican Party were nothing more then the rich man’s rich man hiding under the disguise of jingoistic patriotism and the lie of conservative values. The economic dark ages of reagonomics fleeced the middle and lower classes of this county simply to benefit the rich and wealthy and waste money on unnecessary unconstitutional military actions. George Sr. carried that same self-serving torch. George Jr. has quietly shifted this country back to those dark ages. Bush inherited a strong economy and squandered that real quick. And even though 9 -11 did happen, none of bush’s reckless decisions are in any way justified by that day in history. It is clear that he never had any real salient foreign & domestic policies when he became president in 2000. Bush and Cheney have pimped the Presidency and turned the senate into an auction house for legislation to the highest bidder.

Now we have 3 more years of neoconservative republican lies and a growing body count overseas. When are people going to wake up to the truth that neoconservative political philosophy does not work for anyone but the rich and wealthy at the top? When are people in the USA going to wake up to the fact that neoconservative republican political philosophy does not even cross paths with reality? The main goal of the neoconservatives who have destroyed the soul of the Republican Party is to consolidate national wealth to the nation’s top 2% wealthiest at the expense of the middle and lower classes while imperialistically occupying other nations. This is promoted under the façade of promoting democracy elsewhere in order to hide ugly truth regarding the real agenda. It is imperialism but we are now trying to do it to other countries instead of the British doing it to us.

Anyone who believes George war bush’s lies about promoting democracy in these Middle Eastern Islamic states is living in serious denial of reality. Those who believe bush’s lies are simply easy pickins and victims of logical fallacies. Historians and political scholars realize that to impose such changes on another country takes decades and that is only if it seriously adopted. Something that you are not going to make happen in an Islamic state. Also, the very definition of democracy is not something that the United States has any claim of ownership to. But then, if one looks at Bush’s view of democracy, it more closely resembles Mexico where you have a small rich elite ruling class and no middle class. In short…..a plutocracy.

If we ever actually do get out of Iraq, nothing will have changed and nothing will have been gained. The American people have never been given a specific objective in Iraq or a clear definition of exactly what “victory in Iraq” is from the president. Invading Iraq never had anything to do with, WMD, freeing the Iraqi people or making Americans safer and secure. Statements about WMD, Freeing Iraq or Making America Safer are nothing more then a neo-conservative marketing spin used to hide the ugly truth and make the lies palatable to the American public and justifiable to the red necks who voted for him. Bush likes to make statements such as “It’s worth the price” but he never says just what exactly “it” is. If he really believes that all of his waste of human lives and our tax dollars are worth it, then he should put his money where his mouth is and send his little party animals to go fight in Iraq. Isn’t it strange how all these young republican youths that get interviewed claim to be for Bush’s private pseudo war, but very few if any at all are willing to enlist in the military???

The Republican Party is currently composed of a lot of chicken hawks. Those who believe that advocating a war from afar is a sign of personal courage and strength, and that opposing a war from afar is a sign of personal cowardice and weakness. These chicken hawks are cowardly idiots who not only advocate wars, but they also believe that their advocacy is proof of the courage which those who will actually fight the war in combat require. You know the type…quick to judge, quick to anger and very very slow to understand. These republican chicken hawks will, conversely, attempt to depict those who oppose such wars as being weak, spineless and cowardly even though the war opponents are not seeking to avoid any personal risk to themselves, but instead, are arguing against subjecting their fellow citizens to what they perceive are unnecessary dangers.

Under the current President of the USA, we have now seen what the Republican party really stands for now that they have had about 6 or so good years of unobstructed ruling power. Yup…they’ve had their chance to demonstrate what they are made of and we can all now see that they are not what they claim to be. They are basically, a bunch of uncompassionate, un-conservative hypocrites. Fake, Christian, hate mongering Taliban trash like Ann Coulter.

I for one am tired of our political party making all these huge messes that have historically fallen to Democrats to clean up. Clinton took the 2 trillion dollar deficit economy that he inherited from our boys Reagan & Bush Sr. and prospered the country into one with a surplus without overtaxing the rich, middle and lower classes. Wake up America! Bush created the mess in the middle east starting with his personal desire to invade Iraq. “War on Terror???” Wake up America… you cannot wage war on a concept. Reagan sold this lie to us with his so called war on a concept we all know as the “war on drugs”. This has done absolutely nothing for our country. You cannot wage war on a concept but Bush, Cheney and most of the Republican Party hope that most Americans are stupid and impressionable enough to believe their lies.

The republican party claims to be for smaller less wasteful government but the current administration is responsible for the waste of more money, resources and human lives then any past democrat presidency. I have a hard time sleeping at night knowing that the blood of Americans and innocent Iraqi civilians is on my hands and the hands of those who voted for Cheney….I mean Bush. The real legacy of the bush administration is going to be one characterized by lots of wrongful deaths, lots of money and resources wasted, unnecessary tax increases for our children and grandchildren and the unnecessary destruction of various social programs that were never in need of fixing or eliminating to begin with.

Thanks to bush and his power hungry cabinet who all want to control congress, the senate & the Supreme Court, the USA is now a third world country hiding behind a lie of prosperity and so called society of personal ownership. In retrospect, I seem to own less now under this administration of “personal ownership” then I did during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Thanks to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their puppets, the USA is now a huge debtor country. The only ones with real ownership as a result of the current presidential administration are the rich and elite. Now that the USA owes all these hundreds of millions of dollars to countries like China, Germany, Russia & Japan, I wonder which language I need to learn for the day when these countries come to collect…

Respectfully,


Leroy


PS: Farwell GOP. Thanks for all the corrupt memories…I’m now a Democrat.

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger KenMayne420 said...

U guys are all retarded. G dubb in the clubb for life. only stupid people who dont know sh*t about politics dont support OUR NATIONS PRESIDENT. Democrats have proven themselves to be the a$$ party of the U.S.. Look at Obama and Hillary. Shes straight up retarded shes lied like what twice? underfire my ass. and obama sounds alot like osama. love to bush. love to uS

 

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