Monday, September 12, 2005


On Brown and Katrina

Bush Administration Full Coverage on Yahoo! News: "Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown said Monday he has resigned 'in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president,' three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. 'The focus has got to be on FEMA, what the people are trying to do down there,' Brown told The Associated Press."

Okay, while I do not have time to air all of my Katrina concerns, the news of the day, Brown's resignation, is worthy of reams of comment. It was my belief, after seeing him say that he did not know about the Convention Center, that he should be out of his position based on his lack of public relations skills alone. Knowing when to boost your image by saying that everything is going well when it isn't, and knowing when to be real is central to the public's confidence in that person and the organization as a whole. Remember that many called out CEO's of failing companies when they encouraged purchase of doomed stock. Public relations and idiocy uttered is enough for him to lose his job. Add to that his lack of experience and possible issues with his resume, we have really big problems. The President will absolutely have to answer for his poor decision making and not being more thorough in his hiring decisions. He too will deserve the problems that arise from such shoddy hiring. Not all of the issues are to be laid at the federal door. The mayor and governor will take their very public and deserved spankings as well. The mayor, in particular, tried to paint himself out of the picture of blame yesterday on "Meet the Press". He did not fool me, so I expect he fooled few others as well. He just plain sounded dopey. And, oh Blanco. She seems like a nice woman with two good daughters who have granted interviews. In this very sad case, however, it is not enough to be nice. Decisiveness, courage, and a commitment to the poorest in her state were necessary and lacking. Then there is Congress. Vitter giving all of this effort an "F" was particularly interesting given that they have known about the levy problem for forty years, and he has been in Congress for some considerable period. Landrieu, also on a Sunday morning political show sounded ignorant. That is the kindest word I have for her sad display. One lesson, not such a small one, in fact, is that we hold a greater duty in electing officials at all levels. Now we have all been reminded how important mayors, police chiefs, Congressmen, fire officials, the Coast Guard, Governors, Cabinet Secretaries, and other elected and appointed folks really are. I hope no one ever has to stand on United States soil and chant "help" like that ever again. It seems it may be up to the rest of the country to prevent it.

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