View Full Version : Bush's FEMA Show Pony was fired as Pony Show-man

09-03-2005, 09:15 AM

Brown pushed from last job: Horse group: FEMA chief had to be `asked to resign'
By Brett Arends
Saturday, September 3, 2005

The federal official in charge of the bungled New Orleans rescue was fired from his last private-sector job overseeing horse shows.

And before joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a deputy director in 2001, GOP activist Mike Brown had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position.

The Oklahoman got the job through an old college friend who at the time was heading up FEMA.

The agency, run by Brown since 2003, is now at the center of a growing fury over the handling of the New Orleans disaster.

``I look at FEMA and I shake my head,'' said a furious Gov. Mitt Romney yesterday, calling the response ``an embarrassment.''

President Bush, after touring the Big Easy, said he was ``not satisfied'' with the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

And U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch predicted there would be hearings on Capitol Hill over the mishandled operation.

Brown - formerly an estates and family lawyer - this week has has made several shocking public admissions, including interviews where he suggested FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center.

Before joining the Bush administration in 2001, Brown spent 11 years as the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association, a breeders' and horse-show organization based in Colorado.

``We do disciplinary actions, certification of (show trial) judges. We hold classes to train people to become judges and stewards. And we keep records,'' explained a spokeswoman for the IAHA commissioner's office. ``This was his full-time job . . . for 11 years,'' she added.

Brown was forced out of the position after a spate of lawsuits over alleged supervision failures.

``He was asked to resign,'' Bill Pennington, president of the IAHA at the time, confirmed last night.

Soon after, Brown was invited to join the administration by his old Oklahoma college roommate Joseph Allbaugh, the previous head of FEMA until he quit in 2003 to work for the president's re-election campaign.

The White House last night defended Brown's appointment. A spokesman noted Brown served as FEMA deputy director and general counsel before taking the top job, and that he has now overseen the response to ``more than 164 declared disasters and emergencies,'' including last year's record-setting hurricane season

09-03-2005, 09:21 AM
It is a shame that Brown had burned those bridges. He could have sent a calvary of beautiful Arabians to rush into the city, perform a couple of horse dances, and keep up the fecal chloroform levels in the floodwaters.

09-03-2005, 09:23 AM
I think he's been unfairly criticized. If you ask me FEMA has put on a pretty good pony show, so far.

09-03-2005, 10:04 AM
Kind of a moot point... after all, FEMA has been retasked by it's parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, to focus on terrorism related emergencies.

How rude of Mother Nature to not suspend natural disasters. Didn't she get the memo?

09-03-2005, 10:06 AM
I think he's been unfairly criticized. If you ask me FEMA has put on a pretty good pony show, so far.

I am sure B*sh was impressed with Brown's terror response skills when he saw "Arabian" on Brown's resume.

I think his old college roommate Allbaugh misunderestimated how Brown's demonstrated alacrity in leaving the dorm room when Joe wanted to toss his girlfriend around would carry-over into evacuating people from disasters.

09-03-2005, 10:14 AM
Kind of a moot point... after all, FEMA has been retasked by it's parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, to focus on terrorism related emergencies.

How rude of Mother Nature to not suspend natural disasters. Didn't she get the memo?


I have to admit that is a wonderful defense for turning the FEMA head position into a patronage hire.

09-03-2005, 10:24 AM
Kind of a moot point... after all, FEMA has been retasked by it's parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, to focus on terrorism related emergencies.

How rude of Mother Nature to not suspend natural disasters. Didn't she get the memo?

So the federal government left no agency in charge of natural disasters?

Is it possible for natural disasters to create a threat to our security?

That argument seems a little silly. Is that really what happened?

09-03-2005, 01:22 PM
Wow, this is really relevant.....to something...

Duck Dog
09-03-2005, 01:23 PM
The title of this thread sucks to read.

09-03-2005, 02:29 PM
Wow, this is really relevant.....to something...

Considering how sh*tty a job Cheney, Rumsfeld and Brener have done in Iraq, I have to admit that it is no surprise that B*sh has hired another boob for an important job.

I think that FEMA director should be someone that can plain, coordinate, and improvise. Brown could not even keep a job managing a leisure pasttime regulating body.

Surprisingly enough, that seems relevant to me.

09-03-2005, 03:50 PM

Release Date: August 29, 2005
Release Number: HQ-05-174

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response and head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), today urged all fire and emergency services departments not to respond to counties and states affected by Hurricane Katrina without being requested and lawfully dispatched by state and local authorities under mutual aid agreements and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

“The response to Hurricane Katrina must be well coordinated between federal, state and local officials to most effectively protect life and property,” Brown said. “We appreciate the willingness and generosity of our Nation’s first responders to deploy during disasters. But such efforts must be coordinated so that fire-rescue efforts are the most effective possible.”

The U.S. Fire Administration, part of FEMA, asks that fire and emergency services organizations remain in contact with their local and state emergency management agency officials for updates on requirements in the affected areas.

“It is critical that fire and emergency departments across the country remain in their jurisdictions until such time as the affected states request assistance,” said U.S. Fire Administrator R. David Paulison. “State and local mutual aid agreements are in place as is the Emergency Management Assistance Compact and those mechanisms will be used to request and task resources needed in the affected areas.”

Paulison said the National Incident Management System is being used during the response to Hurricane Katrina and that self-dispatching volunteer assistance could significantly complicate the response and recovery effort.

FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.

09-03-2005, 05:45 PM
Its no surprise that the administration is looking for a scapegoat for this disaster of a response. Its only a matter of time before Brown is awarded the Medal of Freedom. The fact that the administration has been so shortsighted to cut down FEMAs primary role, especially at a time when resources used for disaster relief are all being used in Iraq is just another in the long list of poorly run enterprises by the Bush administration.

09-03-2005, 07:37 PM
Brown - formerly an estates and family lawyer - this week has has made several shocking public admissions, including interviews where he suggested FEMA was unaware of the misery and desperation of refugees stranded at the New Orleans convention center. Someone should let an Arabian Stallion f*ck Mike Brown up the poop shute for his incompetence. Jesus Christ that statement was tragically pathetic.

09-04-2005, 04:35 PM
Posted on Sat, Sep. 03, 2005

Head of FEMA has an unlikely background


Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - From failed Republican congressional candidate to ousted "czar" of an Arabian horse association, there was little in Michael D. Brown's background to prepare him for the fury of Hurricane Katrina.

But as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brown now faces furious criticism of the federal response to the disaster that wiped out New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast. He provoked some of it himself when he conceded that FEMA didn't know that thousands of refugees were trapped at New Orleans' convention center without food or water until officials heard it on the news.

"He's done a hell of a job, because I'm not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm," said Kate Hale, former Miami-Dade emergency management chief. "The world that this man operated in and the focus of this work does not in any way translate to this. He does not have the experience."

Brown ran for Congress in 1988 and won 27 percent of the vote against Democratic incumbent Glenn English. He spent the 1990s as judges and stewards commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association. His job was to ensure that horse-show judges followed the rules and to investigate allegations against those suspected of cheating.

"I wouldn't have regarded his position in the horse industry as a platform to where he is now," said Tom Connelly, a former association president.

Brown's ticket to FEMA was Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's 2000 campaign manager and an old friend of Brown's in Oklahoma. When Bush ran for president in 2000, Brown was ending a rocky tenure at the horse association.

Brown told several association officials that if Bush were elected, he'd be in line for a good job. When Allbaugh, who managed Bush's campaign, took over FEMA in 2001, he took Brown with him as general counsel.

"He's known Joe Allbaugh for quite some time," said Andrew Lester, an Oklahoma lawyer who's been a friend of Brown's for more than 20 years. "I think they know each other from school days. I think they did some debate type of things against each other, and worked on some Republican politics together."

Brown practiced law in Enid, Okla., a city of about 45,000, during the 1980s and was counsel to a group of businesses run by a well-known Enid family. Before that, he worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., and was an aide in the state legislature.

From 1991 until 2000, Brown earned about $100,000 a year as the chief rules enforcer of the Arabian horse association.

He was known as "The Czar" for the breadth of his power and the enthusiasm with which he wielded it, said Mary Anne Grimmell, a former association president.

The suspensions Brown delivered to those suspected of cheating resulted in several lawsuits. Although the association won the suits, they were expensive to defend, and Brown became a controversial figure.

"It was positive controversy," Connelly said. "It got word out that we were serious about enforcing our rules."

But he said Brown could be "abrasive." Others were less charitable.

"He just wouldn't follow instruction," said Bill Pennington, another former association president. "Mike was bullheaded and he was gonna do it his way. Period."

At FEMA, Brown rose from general counsel to deputy director within a year. Bush named him to succeed Allbaugh in February 2003. With FEMA now part of the Department of Homeland Security, Brown's title is undersecretary for emergency preparedness and response.

Brown's old friend Lester said the progression from horse shows to hurricanes was natural.

"A lot of what he had to do was stand in the breach in difficult, controversial situations," Lester said. "Which I think would well prepare him for his work at FEMA."

Despite the withering criticism and a promised congressional investigation of FEMA's performance, Brown still has the support of his most important constituent.

In Mobile, Ala., on Friday, Bush said the response to Katrina was unsatisfactory. But he had nothing but praise for his FEMA director. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," the president said.


(Stearns reports from Washington for The Kansas City Star.)


Following are excerpts of some of Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown's remarks about Hurricane Katrina:

_"The federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today (Thursday). ... And I - my heart goes out to every - even if they chose not to evacuate, my heart still goes out to them, because they now find themselves in this catastrophic disaster. Now is not the time to be blaming."

_"I think the other thing that really caught me by surprise was the fact that there were so many people, and I'm not laying blame, but either chose not to evacuate or could not evacuate. And as we began to do the evacuations from the Superdome, all of a sudden, literally thousands of other people started showing up in other places, and we were not prepared for that. We were, we were surprised by that."

_"We pre-positioned all the manpower and equipment that we could prior to the storm making landfall. And I think once the storm made landfall, it was still at a Category 5, and the devastation became so widespread that it moved further inland and geographically wider than we expected. And so now we're having to work our way inward from a lot further out than we anticipated."

_An exchange with Ted Koppel on ABC's "Nightline":

Brown: "The people in the convention center are being fed; the people on the bridges are being provided with water. ..."

Koppel: "With all due respect, sir, the people, the people in the convention center are not being fed. Our reporters. ..."

Brown: "I misspoke. The people in the, the people in the Superdome. I'm sorry, you're absolutely correct. We're getting the supplies to the convention center now. But the people in the Superdome have been being fed, that supply chain has been working, and that has been moving along and those evacuations have been continuous."

_On CNN:

"I don't make judgments about why people chose not to leave but, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans."

"Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans - virtually a city that has been destroyed - that things are going relatively well."

"I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot or, you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that."

the Talking Can
09-04-2005, 05:21 PM
Who appointed this asshole to the head of FEMA?

And why does this thread hate America and love Terrorists?