Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'd settle for Jimmy Olsen

Former FEMA chief & current consultant Mike Brown complained to a congressional Republican panel that everyone expected him to be an expert in managing disasters and save the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans
"I guess you want me to be the superhero that is going to step in there and suddenly take everybody out of New Orleans." [CNN]
He then went on to state his qualifications expertly managing over 150 presidentially declared distasters (not to be confused with presidential disasters such as the mess in Iraq and the Bush family's response to the devastation in the gulf coast) and laid the responsibility for all the problems in the response to the hurricane at the feet of Louisiana state and local officials. Brownie, who did a heckuva job not coordinating the disaster response, delineated one huge mistake on his part
"My biggest mistake was not recognizing by Saturday that Louisiana was dysfunctional," two days before the storm hit, Brown told the panel. [AP]
as well as 2 additional errors he made in preparation for Katrina's recent visit to Louisiana

"First, I did not set up a system of media briefings which I should have done as that would have required less of my time than responding to all the requests for interviews.

"Second, I regret not being able to persuade Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin to sit down and coordinate their response." [CNN]

If he had the chance for a do-over, Brownie would have found a way to NO Mayor Ray Nagin and LA Governor Kathleen Blanco to mandate evacuation and stressed that FEMA is coordinating agency, not a first responder organization.

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