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News FEMA director Michael Brown.

  1. Sep 8, 2005 #1
    OK, if you've been paying attention, you'll remember that Michael "Brownie" Brown has been the butt of some jokes recently. His last job was an exec. at the International Arabian Horse Association. He was fired for incompetence.

    Turns out that was the tip of the iceburg.

    So what was his qualifications to head the organization responsible for saving untold American lives in the event of an emergency?

    Well, according to Brownie's resume released by the White House, he was the Assistant City Manager for the city of Edmonds, Ohio. He handled emergency situations, that sort of thing.

    Only problem is- it's untrue.

    As investigative journalists just found out, he wasn't Assistant City Manager for the city of Edmonds, OH. He was an assistant TO the City Manager. It was a college intern position: getting coffee, making copies, etc.

    But wait, there's more!

    His resume also claims he spent a few years working in a retirement home. The only problem is, the retirement home in question has no record of him working there. There's been people there since 1981, when Brownie says he worked there, and they've got no idea what he's on about.

    And then there's the professorship. The White House says Brown was a professor at some university in Oklahoma. Somebody should have told that university, because they had no idea he was ever there.

    So, you may ask, how exactly did Brown ever get that job?

    Turns out... excuse me a moment...

    It turns out he's the former college roommate of former FEMA head, Director Allsbaugh.

    You remember Director Allsbaugh, right? He was one of Bush's campaign managers from the 2000 election.

    If you want more information, or if you don't believe me (I don't know why anybody wouldn't believe me, this really comes as no surprise to me. Just look who's in charge) you can read all about it in a hot, hot, hot expose in the newest issue of Time Magazine.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2005 #2

    cronxeh

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  4. Sep 9, 2005 #3
    It's not Brown's fault. What happened in new orleans is the result of the fallable social structure. Having a few people take the fall is not going to do any good for anyone, any time.
     
  5. Sep 9, 2005 #4
    I don't think that is the point here.

    The fact that people are appointed to fill vital position within our government who have no qualifications is the point. Brown is an extreme example, because of his history of incompetence, however I think it might be more common than we think.
     
  6. Sep 9, 2005 #5

    Art

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    Just look at who you have as president for an example of a guy in a vital position with zilch qualifications :smile:
     
  7. Sep 9, 2005 #6

    BobG

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    Especially when five of the top eight positions in FEMA are filled with people with little to no experience in disaster response (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050909/pl_nm/brown_dc [Broken]).

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. Sep 9, 2005 #7

    kat

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    and here I thought his prior job was as Deputy Director......
     
  9. Sep 9, 2005 #8

    cronxeh

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    Its funny you should mention that, but yet you dont point out that our President himself has a good history of incompetence, and yet the American public, especially the South, chose to reelect him. I guess they got exactly what they bargained for :wink:
     
  10. Sep 9, 2005 #9

    Astronuc

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    Brown is a political (patronage) appointee in the Bush administration. He is not qualified for the job he holds.

    All presidents have made 'political' appointments in their respective administrations. That is one reason policy keeps shifting.

    With each new administration, work is stopped, projects cancelled, and people from various labs and government facilities go to Washington to explain to a new department secretary what it is they do - not that the secretary is likely to understand. :rolleyes:

    The stories I could tell. :rolleyes: :grumpy:
     
  11. Sep 9, 2005 #10
    The very point that this is not a one time occurence, or even necessarily rare, gives support that it is the social structure that needs amending because it is that which makes these blunders possible in the first place.
     
  12. Sep 9, 2005 #11

    SOS2008

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    True. However, can we think of any appointment, promotion (Rice, Bolton, now Roberts), or medal awarded that has not been controversial in this administration? The cronyism seems to be worse with Bush, because for this president loyalty is always more important than qualifications.

    Edit: Did anyone catch Ted Koppel's interview of Brown? I hear Ted ripped him one. And did anyone catch Cheney's interview "on the ground" (in a less-damaged Republican sector), and a resident telling him to *$%%#!! off? I think Bush will pay a heavy price over this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2005
  13. Sep 9, 2005 #12
    Video here: http://mediachannel.org/blog/node/861 [Broken]

    [edit] seems bogged down at the moment.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  14. Sep 9, 2005 #13

    kat

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    I'm not sure how you can really call his appointment controversial when congress put him there by a vote of..what 89 to 0? not sure the exact number of fors..by I know there were no against.
     
  15. Sep 9, 2005 #14
    Well, it sure is controversial now.
     
  16. Sep 9, 2005 #15
    I think the current storm of criticism counts as a controversy. SOS did not say the controversy existed at conformation but that there has been a storm surrounding many of Bush's appointees; moreover, there is a literary term called hyperbole .
     
  17. Sep 9, 2005 #16

    Gokul43201

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    And what on earth was Congress thinking when they approved the nomination ?! :eek:

    And just for the sake of completeness (since the OP lacked any links) :

    Source : http://www.fema.gov/about/bios/brown.shtm
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  18. Sep 9, 2005 #17
    They were probably thinking that his resume was true.
     
  19. Sep 9, 2005 #18
    It's not Brown's fault? Smurf, providing false information to win confirmation is a felony.

    So is negligent homicide.

    I don't know if nepotism is a felony, or a misdemeanor, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal.

    Furthermore, FEMA did screw up. That's a given. It's the responsibility of the head of FEMA to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen.

    Letting the guy stay in place one more day is a threat to this nation's security.
     
  20. Sep 9, 2005 #19
  21. Sep 9, 2005 #20

    Astronuc

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    Probably thought he couldn't do any harm. :rolleyes:

    From Brown's bio at FEMA site -
    :rolleyes:

    Right. It turns out that al-Qaida secretly infiltrated Florida, hi-jacked Katrina and drove it right into New Orleans. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2005
  22. Sep 9, 2005 #21
    I don't think Smurf is excusing Brown. Of course he must take his share of the blame. What I think Smurf is getting at is that 'the buck doesn't stop' at Brown. The way in which unqualified people like Brown can be appointed to such positions is an indication of the failure of the political system itself. I may be wrong in my interpretation of what Smurf means (correct me if that is the case, Smurf).

    alex
     
  23. Sep 9, 2005 #22

    BobG

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    I couldn't find his confirmation hearing for FEMA head. But the two senators who introduced him in his hearings for for deputy gave an accurate description of his background.

    It's actually a little embarrassing to read Campbell's intro - I always liked him as a senator.

    More pertinent is Senator Bennett's concerns (which have little to do with Brown, himself).

    Taking a bigger picture, FEMA didn't do that bad a job responding in Florida last year, did he? Or were things better when only hit Florida instead of several states, simultaneously? (neighboring states are in a better position to help out). Or is Jeb Bush just better at handling hurricanes on his own than Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama? Or is the federal government just more responsive when a swing state is hit by disaster in an election year?
     
  24. Sep 9, 2005 #23
    Well, if that's the case than good. There's a lot more unqualified people that are to blame and should be removed.
     
  25. Sep 9, 2005 #24
    That is exactly right Alexandra. Brown's failure is not a cause but rather an effect of the much bigger problem in American society as a whole.

    Bush being elected, the lack of decent candidates from any party, the situation in iraq, the attacks of september 11th, the so-called culture war, the response to katrina, the fundamentalist movement, the poor international opinion, the support of dictators abroad, the support of inethical business practice abroad. These are not problems that ail a just and healthy society.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2005
  26. Sep 9, 2005 #25

    Astronuc

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    It would be worthwhile to compare the FEMA responses in both situations. Perhaps the FEMA infrastructure is better in Florida, because they frequently have hurricanes.

    On the other hand, I am quite sure Jeb was talking with his brother GW.
     
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