Heckuva Job, Brownie

The fall-out surrounding just how thoroughly incompetent and callous former FEMA director Michael Brown was continues. Yesterday, Rep. Charlie Melancon, whose district south of New Orleans was devastated by the hurricane, posted on his website a selection from 1,000+ e-mails provided to the House committee now assessing responses.

"Can I quit now? Can I come home?" Brown wrote to Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of public affairs, the morning of the hurricane.

A few days later, Brown wrote to an acquaintance, "I'm trapped now, please rescue me."

"In the midst of the overwhelming damage caused by the hurricane and enormous problems faced by FEMA, Mr. Brown found time to exchange e-mails about superfluous topics," including "problems finding a dog-sitter," Melancon said.

Melancon said that on August 26, just days before Katrina made landfall, Brown e-mailed his press secretary, Sharon Worthy, about his attire, asking: "Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?"

A few days later, Worthy advised Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working."

On August 29, the day of the storm, Brown exchanged e-mails about his attire with Taylor, Melancon said. She told him, "You look fabulous," and Brown replied, "I got it at Nordstroms. ... Are you proud of me?"

An hour later, Brown added: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god," according to the congressman.
You can see copies of the emails here.

Here are some other fun exchanges I found:

Howard W. Pike: Mike, CNN reporter Lisa Sylvester called from the D.C. bureau and was doing a story. I provided very favorable comments on your service with the Arabian Horse Association. They do not seem to be seeking the “truth” but rather want the slanted view I have seen today on CNN etc. […]

Brownie: […T]thanks, Howard, for helping me while I deal with this awful mess down here.

In another email, we find out from Brownie that “Howard Pike is the former head of the Air Line Pilots Association and a good friend of mine.” Which clearly makes him qualified to be orchestrating media coverage to reflect the “truth” (note: his quotes, not mine) on behalf of an administration official.

Sharon Worthy: (under the subject line “Sonic and other food places”) Well, in Ocala, Fla, the gourmet capital of the fast food world, my grease choices are bountiful. Tonight Whataburger. Tomorrow night Sonic. Wednesday Shake ‘N Shake. But Thursday, my dinner options grow as I am staying in Orlando…I’m so excited for Thursday night!

Brownie: Order a #2, tater tots, large diet cherry lemonade.

I guess it would just be too obvious to point out that the people who were desperate for food and water would have been pleased as punch to have the same troubles with which Ms. Worthy was faced.


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus