Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Brownie, you're one heck of a putz
Proof that there is intelligent life on the other side:

Connecticut Republican Chris Shays just handed Mike Brown his head on the issue of FEMA's failures to meet its responsibilities in the Katrina disaster. He started out by excoriating Brown for declaring that his only failures were not holding enough press briefings and not "getting Nagin and Blanco to work together." He then began dressing down the ex-director (with his fellow GOPers, including committee chairman Tom Davis (of Virginia) weighing in periodically to throw Brown a lifeline) for the manifold failures of his former agency, and Brown's failure to adequately describe how his attempts to talk to the mayor and governor constitute adequate coordination. This exchange (paraphrased) goes into the "I love Chris Shays lexicon:

SHAYS: "Well that's why I'm happy you left. Because that kind of look into the lights like a deer makes me realize you weren't capable of handling the job..."

BROWN: "...I guess what you wanted me to do was to be this superhero and take everybody out of New Orleans."

SHAYS: "No, what I wanted you to do was to do your job of coordinating. ... I think its breathtaking for you to say that you didn't have the resouces to do your job and then to describe the job of coordinating in such a feeble way. ..." adding that Brown is doing more complaining about state and local officials than explaining what he perceived his job to be and what went wrong...
Earlier, Louisiana congressman William Jefferson told Brown: (again, not a transcript):

"I find it stunning that this hearing would start out with you Mr. Brown laying the blame for FEMA's failings at the feet of the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans. ... As you know, Governor Blanco requested emergency declaration three days before the storm made landfall and president bush made an emergency declaration two days before. But even if they had made no request at all -- even if they had been plainly dysfunctional (and I'm not here to defend them but I don't think that is an adequate characterization at all), FEMA had already made designations that made it clear that this was an emergency that the state and federal governments could not have handled at all. Your own documentation states that a catastrophic storm of this size would quickly overwhelm the state's responses.
If FEMA was overwhelmed, how much more overwhelmed would the state and local governments be?"
And he asked Brown if he would be surprised to hear that the complaints about FEMA's inadequacies are coming from other states besides Louisiana...? Take Texas for example...

Update: Brown now says he "misspoke" when he said he didn't know about the convention center evacuees until Thursday. He now says he was "tired" and first began hearing about it "around noon on Wednesday." Said Brown:
"What I meant to say was that we were just learning about it 36 hours earlier..."
Brown came off in this hearing as arrogant, petty, ill-informed, and well, incompetent; a penny-ante blame shifter if ever there was one. I sure hope he wasn't this careless with the horses...

Tags: , Katrina, New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, Politics, Rita, News, ,
posted by JReid @ 11:41 AM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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