A Note to Our Conservative Friends, Pt. II

So I picked up today’s Boston Herald expecting to see the usual Hannity-esque apologetics for the Bush administration’s bungling. But lo and behold, I looked at the front page and this is what I saw:


Yes, the giant headline on the cover of today’s Herald is: “Frustrated New Orleans refugees ask: WHAT TOOK SO LONG?” And if you look up in the right-hand corner, you’ll see a blurb for Peter Gelzinis’ column that reads, “Biloxi Katrina Survivors Offer Bush and Earful.” Keep in mind, people, that this is the goddamn Boston Herald.

At any rate, I turned to page 5 and found this lovely story:

Brown pushed from last job: Horse group: FEMA chief had to be `asked to resign’

By Brett Arends

(I should note that in the print version, the headline simply reads, “FEMA BOSS FIRED FROM LAST JOB.”)

The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows.

And before joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a deputy director in 2001, GOP activist Mike Brown had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position.

“This can’t be serious,” you say. “Surely, his work overseeing horse shows was a short-term position, right? I mean, maybe he had some kind of relevant experience before then, right?” And you’d hope so. But if you skip to the end of the piece, you’ll find a big ol’ “Sadly, No!”

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.

“We do disciplinary actions, certification of (show trial) judges. We hold classes to train people to become judges and stewards. And we keep records,” explained a spokeswoman for the IAHA commissioner’s office. “This was his full-time job . . . for 11 years,” she added.

Brown was forced out of the position after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures.

“He was asked to resign,” Bill Pennington, president of the IAHA at the time, confirmed last night.

“You gotta be shitting me,” you say, slapping your head. “The guy who’s in charge of the federal government’s disaster relief program previously ran horse shows for 11 fucking years??? And he got fired from it???!!! How did he even get a job with the government???”

Ah, that’s the best part!

Soon after, Brown was invited to join the administration by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh, the previous head of FEMA until he quit in 2003 to work for the president’s re-election campaign.

This is today’s Republican Party establishment in a nutshell. They hire totally unqualified people to run governnment agencies simply because they used to be partners in beer pong tournaments. I hope, I really hope, that I’d be just as outraged were a future Democratic administration to exhibit such outright nepotism and incompetence. I cannot imagine being a mindless apologist for this kind of stupidity.


Comments: 9


Necessary background reading to New Orleans in terms of race, class, geography and history:

Craig Colten, _The Unnatural Metropolis_ (LSU Press, 2004).
Robin Blackburn, _The Making of New World Slavery (Verso, 1998).
Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, _Africans in Colonial Louisiana_ (reprint edition, LSU Press, 1995).

Please read and cite these titles to ignorant ones.


So he had a job where it sounds like you basically fuck the dog all day and somehow he got fired for “supervision failures”. Is that anything akin to being a lazy asshole that does less than nothing all day? We have a few of those at work too, only when the workplace catches fire they aren’t the ones in charge.


So the Bush M.O. has been to hire the most inappropriate person for the job for many positions (Bolton at the UN, Leavitt at EPA and now HHS) but couldn’t they come up with a greater walking disaster than this guy? I mean he just sounds so qualified. I guess they really went against the grain on this one.

On a serious note, what greater evidence does one need that this admin. hates the flying fuck out of America?


On a serious note, what greater evidence does one need that this admin. hates the flying fuck out of America?

Wait for it. A couple of months down the road, they’ll give Brown the Medal of Freedom.


Well, it makes perfect sense if Government is the problem. You can’t possibly do anything to screw it up any more. Might as well treat any and all government posts as sinecures funded by suckers if they can’t figure out that all needs and desires can be met by unfettered capitalism.
Why require demonstrated competence from any office holder?


The point is often made that the republican argument, from Reagan on down, has been that government is not the solution, it is the problem.
So if you can appoint ninnies and nutjobs and morons to government positions, then you can point to them and say, “See? It doesn’t work!”
Then you can cut their budget because obviously if you gave them more money they would only accomplish more screwups.
Of course, once you’ve cut their budget, they will inevitibly screw up even more. And the cycle of endless Grover Norquist masturbation continues.
You’d think this would backfire on them after a while, but it never seems to, because “Government takes your money and can’t do anything right” is a very easy premise for any idiot to grasp, whereas “If you want them to do a better job, you must give them more money, even if you think, right at this moment, that they are jackasses, and the people we currently have in the jobs must be replaced” is more complicated.
Giving a failing student more money is counterintuitive, though giving him more money for decent schoolbooks is a good idea.
And, let’s face it, the notion that government employees are all lazy idiots is so deeply ingrained in us all that it’s difficult for most of us to imagine that the next guy in the job will be any different.

Needless to say, this is all very, very depressing. But we went to the zoo today, as my birthday is tomorrow, and I saw porcupines and ratfish, so I’ll survive it.
Seriously. I was born on Labor Day, many years ago. It explains a lot.


Sheesh…I can’t understand why you guys are so mad at Mr. Brown for his handling of the Katrina crisis. I mean really…”He’s done a hell of a job, because I’m not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm,” said Kate Hale, former Miami-Dade emergency management chief.”



I wonder if Kate Hale would marry me.


Bush Loses Republican Base In the Wake of His Response to Katrina

The plight of the victims of Katrina and the utter failure of our government to respond (the word adequately isn’t appropriate here–there was no response, at all) to Katrina is devastatingly sad. For some, it has confirmed their worst fears…


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