At first glance, I thought, Some people just have no clue.
The you would think disgraced ex-head of FEMA, Michael Brown, whose chief worry as New Orleans drowned in the aftermath of Katrina was where he was going to eat dinner in Baton Rouge---the restaurants there were just so crowded!---has decided to go into business for himself as a consultant on disaster planning.
"If I can help people focus on preparedness, how to be better prepared in their homes and better prepared in their businesses — because that goes straight to the bottom line — then I hope I can help the country in some way," Brown told the Rocky Mountain News for its Thursday editions.
Brown said officials need to "take inventory" of what's going on in a disaster to be able to answer questions to avoid appearing unaware of how serious a situation is.
I thought, this is like Custer setting up as an expert in White-Indian relations.
Marie Antoinette going into social work.
James Dobson offering advice on child rearing.
I announced Brown's plans to the assembled Blondes and Mannions at the breakfast table this morning and got a big laugh. Everybody thought I was joking.
Brown is oblivious enough, pompous enough, and vain enough not to see the ridiculousness of offering his "expertise" in disaster planning. At the Congressional hearings looking into how to whitewash George Bush's incompetence---I mean, looking into what caused the disasterous non-relief efforts in the aftermath of Katrina, Brown managed to give the impression that he thought the chief victim of Katrina was Michael Brown.
Even now he can't talk about Katrina and his failures without a mixture of bragging and self-pity, as if he still can't get over how mean people were to him. Just what did they expect?
Brown said companies already have expressed interested in his consulting business, Michael D. Brown LLC. He plans to run it from the Boulder area, where he lived before joining the Bush administration in 2001.
"I'm doing a lot of good work with some great clients," Brown said. "My wife, children and my grandchild still love me. My parents are still proud of me."
What a clown, I thought with a sneer.
But then I remembered that although they made a big show of firing Brown the Bush Leaguers never actually fired him. All they did was change his job title to "consultant" and give him a new, out of the way office. Their object wasn't to punish an incompetent and keep him from causing any more trouble. It was to find a safe place to hide a loyal minion from the Media so that the President wouldn't be embarrassed anymore by Brown's face on the evening news.
These people do not fire anyone for screwing up. They especially don't fire anyone who was doing the job they were hired to do. As head of FEMA, Brown's real job was bagman.
In the wake of disasters he showed up with a checkbook and wrote checks to everyone and anyone who came to them with their hand out, buying loyalty, votes, and favors for George W. Bush.
(As Joe Gandelman reported, Brown finally got off the federal gravy train a couple weeks ago.)
It's no wonder he sat still during Katrina's approach and the first few days after the hurricane hit. In his mind his job wasn't set to begin until after the winds died and the profiteers began lining up for their payoffs. He probably spent those days practicing signing his signature.
I'm sure Brown's first client will be some proxy for the Bush Administration. After that, companies looking for access and favors from the Bush Leaguers and the Republican Congress will line up outside his door, their briefcases full of bundles of cash.