Friday, September 09, 2005

Mission Accomplished . . . Or Is It?

A short time ago, Michael Brown was relieved of command of federal onsite relief efforts in the Gulf Coast and sent packing back to Washington. He's being replaced by the highly competent and eminently qualified Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen.

Technically he wasn't "fired." But he was given the forceful shove out the door we'd been demanding. Money quote:

"Michael Brown has done everything he possibly could to coordinate the federal response to this unprecedented challenge," Chertoff told reporters in Baton Rouge, La. Chertoff sidestepped a question on whether the move was the first step toward Brown's leaving FEMA.

But a source close to Brown, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the FEMA director had been considering leaving after the hurricane season ended in November and that Friday's action virtually assures his departure.

Yes, Michael Brown has done "everything he possibly could" -- and we're still catching up with the corpses.

A huge thank you to everyone who called President Bush and who linked to this blog. Check back later today for the final wrap-up. And please see me over at my main blog, where political and cultural commentary will keep on rollin' along.

UPDATE, 9/9/05, 3:26 P.M.: Maybe I spoke too soon, at least before reading the rest of the AP story, which contains this worrying tidbit:

"I'm anxious to get back to D.C. to correct all the inaccuracies and lies that are being said," Brown said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Asked if the move was a demotion, Brown said: "No. No. I'm still the director of FEMA."

Brown goes on to insist that he will "get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night's sleep. And then I'm going to go right back to FEMA."

I hope he's just trying to save face. I hope he's not gonna show up as a spinner on the weekend news shows -- if he does, that's a sign the president really does not get it. Why do we have a federal government if it cannot rescue us, with all due speed and force, from the aftermath of an apocalyptic event?

And I hope al Qaeda's not watching and cooking up their next strike.


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