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September 09, 2005

A nightmare on the dream job

Did you ever have one of those bad dreams, where you show up to an exam, but you haven't taken the class and haven't studied? Or -- I have this one -- where you're on stage but don't know the play or the lines?


Brown's biography on the FEMA Web site said he had once served as an "assistant city manager with emergency services oversight," but Time quoted an official in Edmond, Oklahoma, as saying the job was actually "assistant to the city manager," with little responsibility. The magazine also said Brown padded his academic accomplishments.

"The assistant is more like an intern," city spokeswoman Claudia Deakins told the magazine. "Department heads did not report to him."

Mike Brown, the dream candidate for the dream job.

(Thanks also to Dreamweaver Joe Lieberman for Brownie's tenure.)

UPDATE: Brownie is out, a few days late and $125 billion short. Great work, everyone.

Posted by Charley on the MTA at 11:22 AM in National | Permalink


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Assistant to the Manager? Just like Gareth from "The Office."

Posted by: Brittain33 | Sep 9, 2005 12:00:12 PM

Brittain, I don't know the show, but I'm likely to have a lot of DVD time soon -- Should I Netflix it?

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Sep 9, 2005 12:13:18 PM

I sent this to FEMA this morning. Feel free to copy or do your own version. Inundate them with something like this--

Hey 'Brownie' -- Now is NOT the time to think about yourself you bozo.

Fuck your pride and resign this weekend. Americans are not the stepping-stone to your future. Your learning curve is just not our responsibility.

AND DO NOT THINK ABOUT YOURSELF OR YOUR CAREER. You may be the only one alive who is concerned about that. You are alone. Learn from this "you-are-in-way-over-your-head" experience and take those lessons with you to your next job.

You do not have the leadership skills nor the management ability to lead this disaster. Please, please, please resign this to someone who has more ability than you to lead, to manage and to do the job of coordinating this extremely complex position.

Bush apparently is afraid to fire anyone so.... Please do it yourself. STOP BEING SUCH A WEASEL BROWNIE!!!

Posted by: jhm | Sep 9, 2005 1:11:48 PM

Oh, God. Don't even get me started on Lieberman. That man needs to go.

Posted by: Abby | Sep 9, 2005 1:52:44 PM

It's fantastic. The British series, at least, although I like the American version as well. It can be very uncomfortable to watch, but that's where the humor lies.

Posted by: Brittain33 | Sep 9, 2005 2:08:32 PM

The problem is not Brown as much as the pattern in this administration of unqualifieds for patronage jobs where career govt management types should be. This happened and is happening in Irac startiong at the very beginning with the people under Paul Bremer. Galbraith (John K's son) is acvtive on the isue as it relates to Irac.
Katrina exposed FEMA, so what else is out there?
I mean even Andy Card was considered a light weight when he was in the house.
Scary stuuf.

Posted by: The troll | Sep 9, 2005 2:21:29 PM

jhm, it worked. Congrats.

Troll, you read Talking Points Memo? This administration and Congress are absolutely chock-full of clowns like Brownie. They're like roaches. Abramoff and DeLay kind of breed them.

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Sep 9, 2005 3:32:52 PM

Looks like Brownie has been sacked:


Posted by: jdarnold | Sep 9, 2005 4:17:05 PM

Sory Charley, not as worldly as I appear. Talking poiiny memos another blog i assume?

Posted by: The troll | Sep 9, 2005 5:54:30 PM

Yeah, it's on our blogroll on the left. One of the biggest lefty blogs, and he does lots of stuff on Repub corruption in DC.

"Not as worldly as I appear" ... What, do you wear a monocle or something?

Posted by: Charley on the MTA | Sep 9, 2005 6:07:52 PM

of course a monocle. Very continental.

Posted by: The troll | Sep 9, 2005 10:21:49 PM

I don't have aproblem with people like Brownie. It is part of the game, My problem is that good administrations have people who know what they are doing protecting the patronage people from screwing things up. The Bushies didn't do Brownie a favor by appointing him to a high profile job like this. Who was his number 2 guy? That's the scary part. Not the corrupt appointments, but the incompetence in where they put them.

Posted by: The troll | Sep 9, 2005 10:25:10 PM

I think that's right. Patronage is unavoidable, and it's fine if the hacks are arranged so that they can't do any real harm. But Brown was obviously a disaster waiting to happen (and which, of course, actually did happen). Originally, Brown WAS the number 2. This is the huge mistake that Bush made - it can't be hacks all the way down. Somewhere, and preferably pretty close to the top, you've got to have people with some authority who know what they're doing. And you also have to have hacks who will listen to those people. No idea whether Brown was such a hack, since he apparently didn't have anyone competent telling him what to do. But, for example, it does appear that Richard Clarke was not able to convince the political people that he knew what he was talking about EVEN THOUGH he had worked for Clinton. What the Bushies don't seem to get is that the competent government folks - the bureaucrats in the best sense of that word - don't really care which party is in power, they just want to keep doing their job. Smart top managers get that, but Bush doesn't.

Posted by: David | Sep 10, 2005 2:36:06 PM

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