The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Brown: "Your fault."

I've been looking for a good take on Michael Brown's testimony today, and the intrepid OD1 comes to the rescue. The ex-FEMA head, who resigned after the disastrously slow response to Katrina, is still pulling in his pre-resignation salary of some $115,000. Only now his job title is consultant.

Amazingly, his erstwhile time off appears to have led him to the stupefying conclusion that he's a highly-qualified and eminently competent kinda guy.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former FEMA director Michael Brown blamed others for most government failures in responding to Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday, especially Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. He aggressively defended his own role.

Brown also said that in the days before the storm, he expressed his concerns that "this is going to be a bad one" in phone conversations and e-mails with President Bush, White House chief of staff Andy Card and deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin.

And he blamed the Department of Homeland Security - the parent agency for the Federal Emergency Management Agency - for not acquiring better equipment ahead of the storm.

His efforts to shift blame drew sharp criticism from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike.

"I'm happy you left," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn. "That kind of look in the lights like a deer tells me you weren't capable of doing that job."

Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., told Brown: "The disconnect was, people thought there was some federal expertise out there. There wasn't. Not from you."

We've now seen Condi Rice, John Roberts and Michael Brown testify before the Senate and pretty much lie through their teeth. Then there's official spokesmonkeys Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. I'm not really sure when the public decided that lying to the public-- even under oath-- is just something that politicians do. It reminds me of the justifications that battered wives come up with.

Make like it's Last House on the Left, and just keep repeating to yourself: "State and local officials... state and local officials...." 'Last White House on the Left,' you might say. (Not bad. I'm going to have to remember that one.)