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Brownie Was Doing "A Heckuva Job"
...Finding a dog-sitter during the crisis in New Orleans:


From a story:

The lawmaker (Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Louisiana) cited several e-mails that he said show Brown's failures.

For instance, two days after Katrina, Marty Bahamonde, one of the only FEMA employees in New Orleans, wrote to Brown that "the situation is past critical."

"Here are some things you might not know. Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the streets with no food or water. Hundreds still being rescued from homes," Bahamonde said.

"The dying patients at the DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) tent being medivac. Estimates are many will die within hours. Evacuation in process. Plans developing for [Superdome] evacuation but hotel situation adding to problem. We are out of food and running out of water at the dome, plans in works to address the critical need.

"FEMA staff is OK and holding own. DMAT staff working in deplorable conditions. The sooner we can get the medical patients out, the sooner we can get them out. Phone connectivity impossible."

Brown's entire response was: "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"

Two days later, on September 2, Brown received a message with the subject "Medical help." At the time, thousands of patients were being transported to the New Orleans airport, which had been converted to a makeshift hospital. Because of a lack of ventilators, medical personnel had to ventilate patients by hand for as long as 35 hours, according to Melancon.

The text of the e-mail reads: "Mike, Mickey and other medical equipment people have a 42 ft. trailer full of beds, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, etc. They are wanting to take them where they can be used but need direction.

"Mickey specializes in ventilator patients so can be very helpful with acute care patients. If you could have someone contact him and let him know if he can be of service, he would appreciate it. Know you are busy but they really want to help."

Melancon said Brown didn't respond for four days, when he forwarded the original e-mail to FEMA Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks Altshuler and Deputy Director of Response Michael Lowder.

The text of Brown's e-mail to them read: "Can we use these people?"

Melancon also charged that few of the e-mails from Brown show him assigning specific tasks to employees or responding to pressing problems

On September 1, FEMA officials exchanged e-mails reporting severe shortages of ice and water in Mississippi. They were to receive 60 trucks of ice and 26 trucks of water the next day, even though they needed 450 trucks of each.

Robert Fenton, a FEMA regional response official, predicted "serious riots" if insufficient supplies arrive.

Brown was forwarded the series of e-mails about the problem, but no response from him is shown in the e-mails provided to the committee, Melancon said.

Posted by aalkon at November 3, 2005 9:23 AM

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I loathe this administration and the clowns in it.
However, I could make any person in the world look bad if I had access to their records, emails, computer downloads, letters, phone calls, tax returns, etc. Not one of the 6.2 billion people alive on this planet would escape.

Posted by: chris hates everybody at November 3, 2005 9:00 AM

However in this case we have well-known results that attest to the high levels of disregard and incompetence. The e-mails just serve as filligree around the frame of an ugly picture.

Posted by: deja pseu at November 3, 2005 2:26 PM

If you look at the PDF file at the CNN link, I think you'll see there's a general level of inability to deal with the task at hand as well as an overwhelming attention to the superficial.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 3, 2005 2:41 PM

There is no way you could tell what I do at work by my e-mails - and I use it more, with far more detail in each message, than my Operations or Facility managers.

Time to overhaul the Federal jobs program, though, right? Another function of Congress, not a President.

Posted by: Radwaste at November 3, 2005 3:05 PM

You may laugh at "Brownie," but if he were to leave his dog untended as he, um, did his job, you liberal animal-huggers would be the first to criticise him. (Just kidding. Sort of.)

Posted by: Harold X at November 3, 2005 9:08 PM

Oh, Harold, it's so tiresome to assume everyone here is a liberal, or even that I am. I'm just against cronyism in government, imagine that. Remember when Bush promised to clean up Washington? Well, he's done "a heckuva job!"

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 4, 2005 5:48 AM

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