Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Heck of a Job, Brownie
September 12, 2005 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Michael Brown resigns from FEMA
posted by me3dia (95 comments total)

 
Brownie, your doing a heck of a job.
posted by caddis at 12:15 PM on September 12, 2005


"you're"
posted by caddis at 12:15 PM on September 12, 2005


Welcome to three days ago.
posted by reklaw at 12:16 PM on September 12, 2005


1 down, several hundred more administration officals to go...
posted by H. Roark at 12:16 PM on September 12, 2005


reklaw, this IS news. He was reassigned last week.
posted by ghastlyfop at 12:17 PM on September 12, 2005


Welcome to three days ago.

Reklaw, he didn't resign three days ago -- he was just recalled from New Orleans. He resigned today.
posted by scody at 12:18 PM on September 12, 2005


SKAPEGOAT.
posted by afx114 at 12:18 PM on September 12, 2005


Best interest of the President? If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about administration priorities I don't know what will.
posted by machaus at 12:21 PM on September 12, 2005


Brown's a scapegoat, but at least he deserves to be one.

I'm also sure his parachute is quite golden.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:21 PM on September 12, 2005


In a day and age when a man like Tenet gets the Medal of Freedom, and Rumsfeld is still employed, my first response was, "Well, at least they gave us a scapegoat this time."

Sad what we have been reduced to.
posted by afroblanca at 12:22 PM on September 12, 2005


I always wonder how many people believe in these transparently fake "resignations." They set this one up with the supposed leak of the supposedly personal email saying it was all the media's fault and that his family was suffering.

But everyone knows what's up: Brown was fired.
posted by teece at 12:22 PM on September 12, 2005


They said that even before Katrina, Brown had been planning on leaving the administration late this fall to go into the private sector.

cough! Halliburton. cough!
posted by jperkins at 12:22 PM on September 12, 2005


We have our ninth Supreme Court Justice!
posted by hackly_fracture at 12:22 PM on September 12, 2005


I hear Haliburton have been commissioned to build an android replacement!1
posted by fire&wings at 12:22 PM on September 12, 2005


Brownie having been scraped off the administration's figurative shoe like the week-old dog turd that he was, we turn our attention to Michael "the undertaker" Chertoff...
posted by the sobsister at 12:24 PM on September 12, 2005


Hopefully the end result of the debacle will be a new emphasis on actual qualifications for appointees. I'm not going to hold out for all the republicants to be run out of town on a rail. However, we should all stand up and demand that when public officials appoint people to critically important positions, nepotism and quid pro quo is never allowed to be a factor again. There are so many people that could fill the FEMA director position and actually bring something to the table, other than how to play with horseys.
posted by mullingitover at 12:24 PM on September 12, 2005


Scapegoat 1 down. Now what about putting competent people in charge of FEMA beyond the current situation? My understanding is the Coast Guard gentleman is a Katrina-only situation.
posted by cavalier at 12:24 PM on September 12, 2005


I'm also sure his parachute is quite golden.

At the very least his margarita is a Golden Margarita!
posted by ericb at 12:25 PM on September 12, 2005


machaus writes "Best interest of the President? If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about administration priorities I don't know what will."

Does it ever. It's incredible that he said that.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:29 PM on September 12, 2005


Resigning is too good for him. A real leader would've fired him outright, and on live TV.

But a real leader would've known that he wasn't doing "a heck of a job" to begin with.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:30 PM on September 12, 2005


Hopefully the end result of the debacle will be a new emphasis on actual qualifications for appointees.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha (breathes) ahahahahahahahaha!

You know damn well all of these positions are filled with people that donated to the campaign of whoever's in charge.

A few thousand dead poor people doesn't mean jackshit to Bush, you might as well be talking about Iraqi civilians. Bad press that isn't easy to dismiss as liberal whining or obfuscated to the point of confusion, now that's more of a problem.

I fully expect Brown to get a medal of some sort, as sad as that idea is. Hell in a world where Ollie North hosts a television show, what else can you expect?
posted by Talanvor at 12:31 PM on September 12, 2005


I wonder if you can get the terms of his separation via the FOIA? Anybody know how to begin?
posted by spacewrench at 12:32 PM on September 12, 2005


Thanks for posting this rare exclusive item that's only on every freaking news site on the internet.

Top notch effort.
posted by xmutex at 12:32 PM on September 12, 2005


Hopefully the end result of the debacle will be a new emphasis on actual qualifications for appointees.

We don't even ask for our President to be qualified, why would we ask that his underlings be?
posted by any major dude at 12:34 PM on September 12, 2005


FEMA was certainly the gang that couldn't shoot straight. TV viewers seemed to have a better handle on what was happening than Brownie and Chertoff. The LA Times has a great article on the mess here. I was also surprised to learn that the levees broke Monday morning. Of course FEMA didn't seem to know until Tuesday. On Thursday after being told of the conditions at the Convention Center he avowed any knowledge. They looked like Keystone Cops.
posted by caddis at 12:35 PM on September 12, 2005


Thanks for posting this rare exclusive item that's only on every freaking news site on the internet.

It seems to be in these sorts of threads that the discussion is the Best of the Web(TM).
posted by VulcanMike at 12:39 PM on September 12, 2005


It takes a disaster of this magnitude for this administration to fire someone. Loyalty to minions over loyalty to the masses.
posted by bshort at 12:39 PM on September 12, 2005


So, who is now director of FEMA? Is it this guy? Patrick Rhode, former Alabama television personality, and deputy director of National Advance Operations for Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. If not Rhodes, how about Acting Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks Altshuler, former White House travel agent? Hmm, still no good. How about long-term recovery director Scott Morris? He used to produce radio commercials for Bush as the head of Maverick Media.

Oh, fuck, I feel much better.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:40 PM on September 12, 2005


Thanks for posting this rare exclusive item that's only on every freaking news site on the internet.

Top notch effort.
posted by xmutex at 12:32 PM PST on September 12


You should have flagged it or posted a MeTa thread about it, then. But since you haven't, do you have any opinion on Brown's performance or how unusual this resignation is, historically speaking? How does this resignation jive with the President's assertion that Mr. Brown was "doing a heck of a job"?

In short: do you have anything worthwhile to contribute?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:41 PM on September 12, 2005


VulcanMike: Spot on. The discussion is the best part of Metafilter. I can get news anywhere; insight and snark, not so much.
posted by John of Michigan at 12:42 PM on September 12, 2005


Good riddance.
posted by OmieWise at 12:43 PM on September 12, 2005


Ah, my mistake... so he was reassigned (ie. relieved of duty) before but now he resigned? Seems odd that he wasn't just forced to resign (ie. fired) to begin with, in that case.

And, of course, given that he'll just land in some other cushy job, I don't see why his resignation is really worth caring about, since he wasn't in charge of FEMA any more anyway.
posted by reklaw at 12:49 PM on September 12, 2005


Wow, being blatantly incompetent can get you fired in this administration? Some are probably getting a little nervous as of now...
posted by NewBornHippy at 12:49 PM on September 12, 2005


What VulcanMike and John of Michigan said.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 12:50 PM on September 12, 2005


His resignation had better not mean that he's immune from prosecution for his negligence that resulted in the deaths of alot more people than had to die.

I wonder what private sector pursuits he means? Anybody want to guess he winds at Halliburton?

And nice to know he was concerned with protecting Bush and not because he was woefully incompetent. Good that he's still loyal to his party, they will remember that and he will be rewarded quietly for his obedience.
posted by fenriq at 12:54 PM on September 12, 2005


Chertoff: "It was on Tuesday that the levee -- may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday -- that the levee started to break."

Metafilter: The NWS reports a levee breach at the Industrial Canal at Tennessee street. This is very close to where the levee was breached curing Hurricane Betsy, which caused flooding and destruction of the Arabi and Ninth Ward neighborhoods.
...
posted by suckerpunch at 9:28 AM EST on August 29 [!]

posted by caddis at 12:55 PM on September 12, 2005


xmutex, it wasn't everywhere yet when I posted it. Wasn't even registering in a Google News search, in fact.

reklaw, it's typical Bush political procedure not to fire people but rather to strongly encourage their resignation.
posted by me3dia at 12:56 PM on September 12, 2005


I'm also sure his parachute is quite golden.

Yep. Finally, a successful airdrop for Brownie!
posted by notmydesk at 12:58 PM on September 12, 2005


In a day and age when a man like Tenet gets the Medal of Freedom, and Rumsfeld is still employed,
and Kissinger is a Nobel Peace Prizewinner rather than prosecuted as a war criminal,
posted by Aknaton at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2005


Resigned, or fell on his sword? "Sign right here, Brownie."
posted by fixedgear at 1:35 PM on September 12, 2005


Feeb.
posted by docpops at 1:36 PM on September 12, 2005



The discussion is the best part of Metafilter. I can get news anywhere; insight and snark, not so much.


Insight: This implicates the administration of cronyism and fatal incompetence. If there's ONE THING they told the American people over and over after 911 and before the election, it's that they (Bush and Co.) would be there if something terrible happened and that they were ready and and willing to keep Americans safe.

Snark: Instead we got the freakin' Thurston Howell III of FEMA directors. Happy trails to Mr. Brown, a true horses ass, may he find himself behind an Arabian horse soon and here's hoping that lovely creature will know what to do.
posted by Skygazer at 1:37 PM on September 12, 2005


sweet - but now the problem is that his immediate underlings seem to be even more unqualified. sigh.
posted by 31d1 at 1:39 PM on September 12, 2005


Here's a sword; fall on it.

"Maybe you know something I don't know. I've been working," said Bush when asked about the resignation.

Yeah, well, you didn't know about the hurricane either, didja ace? In fact, this administration having no clue has kinda been the problem since the giddyup, hasn't it?
posted by klangklangston at 1:42 PM on September 12, 2005


Someone should tell Bush that Brownie has resigned.
posted by caddis at 1:43 PM on September 12, 2005


"Maybe you know something I don't know. I've been working," said Bush when asked about the resignation.

All hat, no cattle...
posted by SweetJesus at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2005


Too late for these poor folks. 45 bodies found in N.O. hospital.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2005


What VulcanMike said. Yeah, maybe this is on every news site on the internet, but do I really want to engage in discussion the members of Fark?
posted by nonmerci at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2005


My Pet Scapegoat
posted by kirkaracha at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2005


Someone should tell Bush that Brownie has resigned.

He'll learn about it in, give-or-take, five days -- and then only after Dan Bartlett prepares a DVD summary of television news reports about the resignation.
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on September 12, 2005


Back to Arabian horses!
posted by Dukebloo at 1:49 PM on September 12, 2005


Scapegoat or not, Brownie wasn't very competent, was he? Back to the horses I say!
posted by slf at 1:49 PM on September 12, 2005


The politics of cronyism only work for the cronies, not for the rest of us. Brown's usefulness as the head of FEMA has come to an end but his loyalty to his patrons will do him well in the coming years. His replacement isn't likely to have any more emergency services experience than he did but it only matters when there's an actual emergency. If Brownie v2.0 can manage not to be in charge when the next disaster strikes, he'll have nothing to worry about.
posted by tommasz at 1:50 PM on September 12, 2005


We don't want him.
posted by horsewithnoname at 1:50 PM on September 12, 2005




The latest issue of the Economist goes, at length, into the international head-scratching taking place as the US Gov't sat on its twiddling thumbs (eew). There are also plenty of calls for much-needed accountability...that goes well beyond the ex-FEMA horse-whisperer...
posted by tpl1212 at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2005


What? He's out of a job? I coulda sworn the early word was "Brownie dodged the bullet."
posted by soyjoy at 1:57 PM on September 12, 2005


This article should dispel the notion that Bush has any clue what he's doing, for those few that still entertain the notion that Bush is competent.

So I'm not in the least bit surprised that Bush doesn't know Brown quit. Bush is not a leader. It's not clear, at many times, who is the leader in any given situation. Often times, as in the NOLA aftermath, there seem to be no leaders at all in the White House. The only competent one there seems to be Rove, and he cares only about politics and PR.
posted by teece at 1:59 PM on September 12, 2005


Bush appoints R. David Paulison, head of FEMA's emergency preparedness force as new FEMA director.
posted by ericb at 2:00 PM on September 12, 2005


R. David Paulison profile.
posted by ericb at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2005


"R. David Paulison, head of FEMA's emergency preparedness force, will lead the beleaguered agency, according to two senior administration sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

Paulison is a career firefighter from Miami who was among emergency workers responding to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades in 1996, according to a biography posted on FEMA's Web site. He also has led the U.S. Fire Administration since December 2001, according to the site.

As chief of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, Paulison led 1,900 personnel under a $200 million operating budget. He was also in charge of Dade County's emergency management office, according to his biography." [The Associated Press | September 12, 2005]
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM on September 12, 2005


ericb, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the amount of work you've been putting in with these many news updates over the last week or so. At least one person is reading them.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:04 PM on September 12, 2005


Ex-firefighter. Fire chief before coming to FEMA. Good choice, Karl.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:08 PM on September 12, 2005


and Kissinger is a Nobel Peace Prizewinner rather than prosecuted as a war criminal,

touche
posted by afroblanca at 2:09 PM on September 12, 2005


My sources tell me he's already taken a job at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:12 PM on September 12, 2005


R. David Paulison
Director, Preparedness Division/U.S. Fire Administrator

...He began his career as a rescue firefighter and rose through the ranks to rescue lieutenant, battalion commander, district chief of operations, division chief, assistant chief and then deputy director for administration before becoming chief. His emergency management experience includes Hurricane Andrew and the crash of ValuJet Flight 592.


Sounds way better than Brownie already.
posted by slf at 2:15 PM on September 12, 2005


So I'm not in the least bit surprised that Bush doesn't know Brown quit.

Bush knows Brown quit. Politically, he said that to make it seem as if he's above it all. He's not about "blame", he's about "moving forward". The message is, Bush only deals with the important things.

It's a quip for the networks to run, and a dig at reporters who are spending all their time playing "the blame game", in Scotty McClean's words. But you're crazy if you think Brown just up and resigned, without letting Bush know. In fact, we all know he was handed his walking papers by the Bush administration. Nothing goes on in this administration without Rove, Card and Libby, and by extention the President, knowing.
posted by SweetJesus at 2:15 PM on September 12, 2005


Maybe he wasn't on the extension this time.
posted by soyjoy at 2:20 PM on September 12, 2005


Bush knows Brown quit. Politically, he said that to make it seem as if he's above it all.

You're probably right, SweetJesus.
posted by teece at 2:23 PM on September 12, 2005


I'd go with SweetJesus. Bush was definitely in the know.

But that's the funny part. When Bush isn't actually out-of-touch, he is acting it.
posted by slf at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2005


That darned Bush! What a nutty guy!
posted by squirrel at 2:46 PM on September 12, 2005


CNN just reported that Scott McLellan issued a clarification that Bush did know that Brown was resigning, but thought that the announcement would be made later in the day. McLellan said that when Bush responded to the reporter's question with "Maybe you know something I don't know." he was referring to the announcement having been made and not the fact that he didn't know about the impending resignation.
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on September 12, 2005


Oh, that clarifies a lot, then. So when Bush says he "doesn't know" something, what he really means is that his handlers forgot to tell him it's okay to talk about it now.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:57 PM on September 12, 2005


"You spin me right round, baby right round like a record, baby right round round round ..."
posted by ericb at 3:01 PM on September 12, 2005


I stand corrected.
posted by tommasz at 3:20 PM on September 12, 2005


From the Newsweek article:

With each tale, "the president just shook his head, as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing," says Jindal, a conservative Republican and Bush appointee who lost a close race to Blanco. Repeatedly, the president turned to his aides and said, "Fix it."

Way to lead there, dickwad.
posted by fungible at 3:37 PM on September 12, 2005


Mr. Paulison is also known for recommending plastic sheeting and duct tape as protection against terrorist attacks. [via]

Rumsfeld supposedly offered to resign twice. I wonder why his resignation wasn't accepted but Mr. Brown's was.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:40 PM on September 12, 2005



Rumsfeld supposedly offered to resign twice. I wonder why his resignation wasn't accepted but Mr. Brown's was.


Because Bush fired him. Important, high-status people are never fired, they're given an opportunity to resign.
posted by SweetJesus at 3:46 PM on September 12, 2005


I hear Haliburton have been commissioned to build an android replacement!1
great Futureworld ref, at least.

Can we prosecute yet? now? now can we? how about now?
posted by amberglow at 4:04 PM on September 12, 2005


He'll probably get the Medal of Freedom(tm), just like George Tenet.
posted by clevershark at 4:13 PM on September 12, 2005


'bout time.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:45 PM on September 12, 2005


He's being replaced by the bonehead who suggested you all buy duct tape to protect yourself from terrorists?! I guess that's a step up.
posted by zarah at 5:03 PM on September 12, 2005


Mr. Brown,

Please don't come back to Edmond, OK. We already have an Ass to the City Manager.

Regards,

Citizens of Edmond
posted by HyperBlue at 6:45 PM on September 12, 2005


DuctTape Man?

are we being punk'd?
posted by tsarfan at 8:45 PM on September 12, 2005


The shareholders of Home Depot have nothing but praise for the duct tape and plastic sheeting guy.
posted by Balisong at 9:06 PM on September 12, 2005


Nothing goes on in this administration without Rove, Card and Libby, and by extention the President, knowing.

Except, you know, live national coverage of a city of a half-million people drowning in filthy water and suffocating heat for three days.
posted by mwhybark at 10:29 PM on September 12, 2005


Bush’s Fluctuating Degree of Ability
"Bush at 3:39 pm EST:
Question: Have you accepted the resignation of Michael Brown or have you heard about it?

Bush: No, I have not talked to Michael Brown or Mike Chertoff – that’s who I talk to. As you know, I’ve been working.
Bush at 3:42 pm EST:
I can do more than one thing at one time. By the time I’m finished president, I hope you will realize that the government can do more than one thing at one time, and individuals in the government can."
Walk and chew gum much?
posted by ericb at 10:31 PM on September 12, 2005


Suzanne Malveaux, CNN White House Correspondent:
"Well, Wolf, we just got some new information. Of course, coming off of Air Force 1. A full report essentially saying Scott McClellan the Press Secretary coming back to the plane. Reporters saying that the president appreciates Mike Brown's service. The president was asked about whether or not he was aware, in fact, that he was resigning. Earlier today the president has said that maybe you know some new that I don't know. Scott McClellan clarifying that saying well the president actually did know. He was aware of his resignation early in the day, but he wasn't aware that it had actually been made public and that Mike Brown came out himself and said so."
posted by ericb at 10:37 PM on September 12, 2005


Eric: "Yeah, yeah, that's what I meant! I meant that I wasn't aware of the announcement! That totally makes sense!"
posted by klangklangston at 6:09 AM on September 13, 2005


Look I thought FEMA stood for Fredericksburg Equine Management Association. That's why I took the job in the first place. No one told me I was supposed to help people. So screw that, I quit. I'm going back to my ponies.
posted by michaelbrown at 6:43 AM on September 13, 2005


I can do more than one thing at one time. By the time I’m finished president, I hope you will realize that the government can do more than one thing at one time, and individuals in the government can."

Too bad everything he does he fails at.
posted by amberglow at 7:04 AM on September 13, 2005


michaelbrown wins.
posted by soyjoy at 8:22 AM on September 13, 2005


What a way to put five more bucks into Matt's pocket.

Oh my, user number 1713.
posted by caddis at 8:42 AM on September 13, 2005


yippee!
posted by whatnot at 1:03 PM on September 13, 2005


Except, you know, live national coverage of a city of a half-million people drowning in filthy water and suffocating heat for three days.

I said knowing, not caring. They knew, they just didn't care.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:05 PM on September 13, 2005


It's now looking like Chertoff is equally -- if not more -- to blame. Knightridder report.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:24 AM on September 14, 2005


« Older A movie about the deaf, but not for the deaf...  |  God Tower... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments