Last (maybe) prediction

No, and not because of some elaborate reason, Edgar wants to spend time with his family and the risk to the legacy throws it over the top.

No inside information, just my guess. And hell, I have a 50% chance of being right. Last time that was true I said Gephardt was the VP nominee so….

Off ot Kansas City for the weekend, but may be able to do some posting–more than anything, I am going to try and catch up on e-mail to many of you.

And remember to subscribe to Illinois Issues which has it’s 30th Anniversary celebration today and is likely to be overshadowed.

Next!

Well, that took a couple hours.

ABC is pointing out that Roy Blunt had employs one of the indictees in the Texas campaign finance scandal . The ROYB (Rely On Your Beliefs) PAC employes Jim Ellis as a consultant and they are happy with his work.

Roy Temple has been all over this of course. Not surprisingly, ROYB had some irregularities as they say.

The case against DeLay is a tough case to make, but the case against Ellis is far more solid. There is one rule in Texas concerning campaign finance–you can’t use corporate or union money to finance election campaigns.

As the Stakeholder points out, no one is even pretending these guys are rogue operatives. In fact, they are ensuring they have ongoing jobs at least until the indictments dropped. Sort of like someone else who is now the former head of FEMA.

Everyone in this case is being “taken care of” and quite well taken care of, yet there has already been a finding in civil court against TRMPAC for violating Texas law and no matter how you add up the math, someone was funneling money to support statewide candidates with corporate donations.

Politics isn’t a way of making people’s lives better for these people, it’s just bidness.

Roy’s Popping An Artery

Roy Temple is a long-time Democratic strategist in Missouri who is known for playing rough. He’s generally a good guy as long as he’s on your side, but he has a special place in his heart for the Blunts. I haven’t added him to the blogroll yet, but that will happen soon for his Fired Up! America site which has state companion sites in Missouri (the MotherShip), Washington and Maryland. He ran the Kerry Campaign in Minnesota in during the general election and won in a close race up there.

He’s all over the Blunt, his relationship with DeLay, TRMPAC and all sorts of other fun Roy and Blunder Boy’s stunts.

Ronnie Earle Yadda, Yadda Yadda

Most people haven’t heard of Ronnie Earle outside of Texas so there’s going to be a rush to label him as on a partisan witchhunt. Oh, wait, that started some time ago.

There is one basic rule in Texas Politics–which is one more than in Illinois–corporations and unions can’t donate directly to political campaigns nor does that allow money to be funneled.

The Washington Post layed out the basic DeLay scheme last year.

From the accompanying article

In May 2001, Enron’s top lobbyists in Washington advised the company chairman that then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was pressing for a $100,000 contribution to his political action committee, in addition to the $250,000 the company had already pledged to the Republican Party that year.

DeLay requested that the new donation come from “a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron’s executives,” with the understanding that it would be partly spent on “the redistricting effort in Texas,” said the e-mail to Kenneth L. Lay from lobbyists Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson.

……………

Many corporate donors were explicitly told in TRMPAC letters that their donations were not “disclosable” in public records. But documents from several unrelated investigations offer an exceptional glimpse of how corporate money was able to influence state politics — and also of DeLay’s bold use of his network of corporate supporters to advance his agenda.

Thus, conspiracy to violate the law. Campaign finance cases like this are always tough in terms of nailing the head of the operation because there have to be pretty clear fingerprints if no one flips. In this case, DeLay signed letters for TRMPAC, but he’s still trying to claim nothing was done wrong and that he didn’t know everything sent out. That’s for a jury to sort out, but it’s pretty hard to argue this is a weak case. Already, one civil case based on the same violation of the law was found in favor of the Congressmen who were defeated.

My only complaint with Earle is that he didn’t nail Mattox.

And this is only one of several scandals of which he’s in the middle.

Apparently Dreier was pushed back from being his replacement putting Roy Blunt in some sort of power sharing arrangement. Denny originally named Dreier, but didn’t check with DeLay because he came back announcing Blunt. My guess is that Dreier will be a public face for Blunt who is a poor public speaker and scares small children with his demeanor. He also has some issues with integrity. Roy isn’t so much about turning all of DC into a Republican dominant machine as much as making sure his friends and family plan is well executed.

If it wasn’t clear before, there’s a reason I call Denny, DeLay’s Pool Boy.

DeLay won’t be back either. While he has all sorts of chits to call in, he’ll be toxic by the time this is over. Not only does he face this case, but close associate Jack Abramoff has been indicted bringing along Administration official David Safavian. Adding to the fun is a SEC investigation of Frist which will be pesky, though is the least likely to lead to criminal wrongdoing charges.

A good primer on DeLay’s “issues” is found right here. They haven’t even added Safavian yet.

One might expect that Rove would have to deliver the bad news to The Hammer, but Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury in the Plame case is coming to a close next month and Karl might be otherwise occupied.

Even with George Ryan, Ohio and Texas are producing more fun than Illinois right now.

While I think an indictment at a high level in the Blagojevich administration would change the calculus I’m about to make, don’t bet against a Blagojevich administration running against GOP corruption. It seems absurd to many who follow politics closely, but we aren’t the swing voters. With George Ryan fresh in people’s minds, further headlines out of Ohio, and a multitude of scandals in DC he can find a boogeyman to run against and he’s always better with a boogeyman.

My sense is that the overall impact of all of these will be an anti-incumbent mood in 2006 which could swing both ways for Blagojevich–if he can turn it into a referendum on the National GOP and their ideas, he does well, but a skilled candidate can run from the outside and hurt him.

The key to using a strategy for Blagojevich is to use the press’ tendency to report misdeeds on both sides and say any attack is hypocritical. Such a strategy muddies the picture enough to avoid to much taint often. It doesn’t always work as Ernie Fletcher in Kentucky and Bob Taft in Ohio are learning.

I’ll delete any comments about personal lives of the pols above in comments.

Brownie Doesn’t Even Bother With Understanding the Louisiana Evacuation Plan

The essential order of an evacuation is layed out on the map for evacuations

During a threat of a hurricane, a phased evacuation will be based on geographic location and time in which tropical storm winds are forecasted to reach the affected areas.

Phased evacuation procedures are for traffic management purposes only. Consult your local Office of Emergency Preparedness Director for further evacuation information.

Phase I – 50 Hours before onset of tropical storm winds. Includes areas south of the Intracoastal Waterway. These areas are outside any levee protection system and are vulnerable to Category 1 and 2 storms. These areas are depicted in RED on the Evacuation Map. During Phase I there are no route restrictions.

Phase II – 40 Hours before onset of tropical storm winds. Includes areas south of the Mississippi River which are levee protected but remain vulnerable to Category 2 or higher storms. These areas are depicted in on the Evacuation Map. During Phase II there are no route restrictions.

Phase III – 30 Hours before onset of tropical storm winds. Includes areas on the East Bank of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area which are within the levee protection system but remain vulnerable to a slow-moving Category 3 or any Category 4 or 5 storm. These areas are depicted in YELLOW on the Evacuation Map. During Phase III, certain routes will be directed and the Contraflow Plan

Brown complains that no one would order the mandatory evacuation, but he misses the importance of these phases from past events like Ivan.

My mistake was in recognizing that for whatever reason that we might want to discuss later, but for whatever reason, Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco were reticent to order a mandatory evacuation. And if I, Mike Brown individual, could have done something to convince them that this was the big one, and they needed to order a mandatory evacuation,

The thing is that the expected time for landfall was around 10 AM on Monday for most of the planning period. It came in four hours early. Tropical storm winds hit the City of New Orleans around 4 AM from what I’ve seen. Move that to 8 AM as the expected start of tropical storm force winds for the beginning of the process.

50 hours out starts evacuations of areas not protected at what would have been 6 AM on Saturday and we see that many of those areas were ordering those within a couple hours. The storm was only forecast to hit Louisiana with some likelihood in the late afternoon Friday–though not for certain. At 5 PM on Friday, Blanco announced a State of Emergency. So they were late by about 3 hours, but given the time of day, that probably is pretty irrelevant and any earlier had the real potential to be a false alarm

At 40 hours out, which would have been mid-afternoon Saturday places like Placquemines and St. Bernard should have been ordering evacuations. These had to start before Contraflow to avoid disruptions to traffic coming from those areas. Contraflow was begun at 4 PM on Saturday along with a call within that hour for evacuations from New Orleans that were voluntary.

New Orleans and Jefferson were supposed to wait some time before issuing mandatory evacuations because they would stop other traffic from getting out. So they are supposed to wait until 30 hours out. Jefferson essentially made that a bit early, but no one was complaining. Nagin essentially said it was a mandatory evacuation, but he didn’t think he could enforce it (stupid, but still made the point). That gave him until about 2 AM Sunday to make the order according to the timeline. He did the next morning at 9 AM. I think most would say he should have called it early in this case, but he was close to what the plan called for given waking hours.

Brown apparently was completely clueless about a plan developed with FEMA for exactly this kind of scenario. One of the reasons the evacuation from New Orleans didn’t look like Houston’s highways is that they hadn’t gotten Contraflow plans down very well after a debacle with Ivan. Without the sequencing the system doesn’t work.

The local officials other than Nagin on the Mandatory portion pretty much hit their timelines and got those out who would leave and had the means to leave in a remarkably efficient manor compared to Houston exactly because they called the evacuations as the did.

The exception is Nagin who made it pretty clear that people needed to get on the road as Contraflow opened up.

The resulting 80% that likely evacuated was the highest ever obtained by the City and to make matters worse for Brown’s point-of-view–he should have expected to have to move more people out by bus than he did.

He is utterly clueless to this day about his responsibilities and that of the federal government and about the local planning. This isn’t to say the local plan was adequate or that state and local officials didn’t make serious mistakes. I have pointed out Blanco’s mistakes with the National Guard, and I’ve now mentioned Nagin’s dithering on ordering a mandatory evacuation. All that said, the state and local authorities largely followed the plans developed between state, local and federal bodies. The Federal Government led by Brown denied the existence of those plans and apparently still doesn’t realize the grave errors made.

Does He Listen to Himself

Yeah, I can’t help myself

BROWN: Let me start out by addressing the premise of the question, which I don’t entirely agree with — that what could FEMA have done in terms of the evacuation? What could FEMA have done in terms of communications, law enforcement?

Those are not FEMA roles. FEMA doesn’t evacuate communities.

……………….

In terms of communications, one of the things that I didn’t mention in the litany of things that we pre-positioned is something called a MERS unit, our mobile emergency response system. Those are vehicles that are command and control units that have satellite hook- ups, telephone hook-ups, video hook-ups, enable us to do communications.

I pre-positioned those in all three states, so that we would have communications wherever we needed it. I eventually sent one of those command units — in fact, it’s one of the largest ones we have, called Red October — I eventually sent one of those into New Orleans for Mayor Nagin to use.

In retrospect, I wish I had done that four days earlier. Had I done it four days earlier, though, guess what? It probably wouldn’t have gotten there. So I am now second-guessing myself, and perhaps I should have pre-positioned it there before Katrina made landfall.

But again, that’s not the role of the federal government. That’s Mike Brown Monday morning quarterbacking, having seen everything that took place and trying to figure out, OK, now seeing everything that did not work in Louisiana, if I had known it beforehand, what could I have done?

I hate to break it to Mikey, but Communications probably is considered a federal issue given the problems with communications during 9-11.

The commission’s report will note that lawmakers, facing opposition from the broadcast industry, have not established a unified emergency communications system by dedicating a portion of the broadcast spectrum to medical and disaster responders.

As on Sept. 11, when malfunctioning radios contributed to deaths in the World Trade Center, public safety officials in New Orleans have reported widespread communications problems.

“The fact that Congress has chosen not to do something about this is a national scandal that has cost lives,” Kean said.

There was a big report by the folks on that commission. Maybe Brownie has heard of it.

Tried to Get them Out of the Ice Business

Poor, poor clueless bastard

BROWN: Can I address ice before you move on, do you mind?

JEFFERSON: Go ahead.

BROWN: I just want to state publicly that ice was one of those commodities that I feebly attempted to get FEMA out of the business of ice, because ice was originally intended to be only a life-saving commodity for baby formula, medications for hospitals and that sort of thing. And ice is one of those commodities that the demand for has just grown and grown and grown.

And so while I have tried to limit something, I failed miserably in that regard.

(UNKNOWN): Would the gentleman yield?

BROWN: Everybody wants ice.

JEFFERSON: Yes, I yield.

(UNKNOWN): Because I think this is really interesting, Mr. Brown.

Have you ever been through a hurricane?

BROWN: No, but I’ve been through disasters where I haven’t had power for a long time and I know that the refrigerators go on the blink and food spoils, et cetera. But I don’t think that’s a federal government responsibility to provide ice to keep my hamburger meat in my freezer or refrigerator fresh.

(UNKNOWN): Well, if it goes bad and, as you said, people should — you first said just a little while ago, people should be prepared to feed themselves for two or three days…

BROWN: With nonperishable…

(UNKNOWN): … if I may.

So now you’re saying, OK, they’re trying to feed themselves for two or three days. We have a low-cost alternative to feeding them; we should just give them a couple bags of ice to keep that stuff from going rotten.

BROWN: No, because they can’t cook it.

(UNKNOWN): Now you’re saying you shouldn’t do that.

But let me follow up.

What else do they do with the ice, Mr. Brown?

BROWN: Pardon?

(UNKNOWN): What else do they do with the ice?

BROWN: I assume…

(UNKNOWN): Because I think we have a serious disconnect and I think I’m really beginning to realize why you were removed from this job.

What else was that ice used for?

BROWN: Ice should be used for life saving, to keep baby formula fresh and for medications. And I think that’s what it should be used for.
(UNKNOWN): How about keeping the dead corpses from rotting in the…

BROWN: Because you can’t use it to keep…

(UNKNOWN): … sun?
BROWN: … hamburger meat because you can’t cook the hamburger meat. That’s why we say, have provisions for two or three days of nonperishable items.

And I think it’s wrong for the federal government to be in the ice business, providing ice so I can keep my beer and Diet Coke cool.
(UNKNOWN): How about the need to keep bodies from rotting in the sun?

Had you visited Hancock County, which you didn’t, you would have met a gentleman named Edmund Faise (ph). He was given the grisly task of trying to preserve the bodies. They were stacked up at his local mortuary. He had no power. And he literally came to me, tears in his eyes and said, You have got to find me a freezer truck because these bodies are rotting in my driveway.

BROWN: And we had refridge (ph) trucks available throughout the region to store…

(UNKNOWN): Two days later.

BROWN: … bodies.

(UNKNOWN): Two days later, sir.

Again, Mr. Brown, the more I listen to you, I’m thinking you’re probably a great attorney, but you were way over your head in your capacity at FEMA.

JEFFERSON: I reclaim my time for a moment here.

The ice is also used not for the dead, but to keep people from dying. In nursing homes, one of the major reasons that old people just suffered and died is because there was no ice, there was no way for them to refresh themselves and the heat was suffocating.

It’s awfully hot down there, as you know, and it just wasn’t there. And for other people who are out of the sun all day, the Superdome was hot (inaudible) people came outside, and it was still hot there.

Absolute critical need for people to stay alive as much as it was for anything else. And so it wasn’t a luxury to preserve hamburger meat. It was really a necessity to preserve life.

Dumb as a rock. Complaining about people wanting cool diet coke and beer while the Congressmen are talking about dead and dying people.

Brown Doesn’t Even Know What his Own Agency Does

More from the Times transcript

THORNBERRY: OK. Now, obviously, if you’ve got an evacuation center, you’re going to have to figure out — you can’t just leave those people there. You have got to have some way to get them out.

And, according to some of the press reports, as early as Friday, before the storm hit, there were discussions at FEMA headquarters in Washington about the need to have buses in order to get people out.

What can you tell us about the plans and preparations for getting people out of the shelter once the storm had passed and that was possible?

BROWN: Headquarters had begun a planning process to bus people out of the Superdome. I don’t know whether they’ve actually gotten to the stage of contracting and collecting those buses, but they had planned to bus people out of the Superdome either to New Orleans International Airport or to other places to get them out of harm’s way.

That plan completely broke down when downtown New Orleans began to flood and the levees broke and you couldn’t get buses in there.

So that plan, obviously, went by the wayside.

THORNBERRY: You couldn’t get buses in or out?

BROWN: You couldn’t get buses in or out at that stage.

THORNBERRY: Now, my understanding further is that, by Tuesday, the day after the storm, the state folks started looking around trying to figure out how they were going to get people out there, started trying to put buses together, particularly school buses but the local officials were resisting that because they didn’t want their buses going down into this area where there was crime and violence.

Did you hear some of those conversations? Can you tell us what was happening then?

BROWN: I didn’t hear those conversations.

BROWN: But I did have that same general impression, that that was their concern, that the two concerns were: One, we can’t find a way to physically get the buses there because of the flood waters, and obviously school buses aren’t Humvees so you can’t move them into flooded areas; and, two, they were expressing concern not only about the reports of the violence and the anarchy but the unwillingness or the inability to find people willing, even if they could get there, to go into that area to take people out.

THORNBERRY: And what I’m trying to understand, I guess, is to what extent that was the city and the state’s job, to find buses to get in there and get those people out, and to what extent FEMA participated in it and could have done something else or more to get those people out.

BROWN: Well, we actually did do something else because we recognized that they could not. It’s their responsibility, but they could not do it.

And so that’s when we undertook the mission assignments to the Department of Defense to begin the airlift capability — not only the airlift capability of taking people out of the Superdome, but being able to treat them when they landed wherever they landed, whether it be New Orleans International or some other staging area.

But we would take those people out. And in fact, my first conversation with General Honore on Wednesday evening, that was probably the first topic that we discussed, was…

THORNBERRY: I’m sorry. Which evening?

BROWN: That was Wednesday evening.

THORNBERRY: So, Wednesday evening, the first topic you had with him is: How can we get people out of the Superdome?

BROWN: Yes. Not so much — let me rephrase it. Not so much how can we get people out of the Superdome, but that is one of our top priorities. I mean, you guys should have General Honore in here because it will be hugely entertaining.

I mean, Honore is — I got him on the phone; he was coming in and he’s a bull in a china closet — God love him. And I just had to sit down and say: OK, General, now, what are you willing to do? And just let me know what you’re doing so that we’re all on the same page here.

And I know that in the course of that conversation, the evacuation of the Superdome was one of the priorities.

THORNBERRY: My understanding is that, eventually, the governor signed an executive order that required parishes to turn over their buses to be available to take people out of the city of New Orleans. Is that true?

BROWN: I’ve heard that. I don’t know for a fact if it’s true or not.

THORNBERRY: My understanding, also, is that at some point FEMA stepped in to assemble a fleet of buses — about Wednesday — and within a couple of hours of a FEMA request, Greyhound put a bunch of buses together and could get them going toward the city.

Does that sound about right?

BROWN: That sounds right. And — yes, that sounds right.

The number of questions coming from this exchange are numerous.
Originally from the Trib by Andrew Martin and Andrew Zajac
First, if it’s not FEMA’s job, why do they have a contract with Landstar?

Instead the agency had farmed the work out to a trucking logistics firm, Landstar Express America, which in turned hired a limousine company, which in turn engaged a travel management company.

…………….

Though it was well-known that New Orleans, much of it below sea level, would flood in a major hurricane, Landstar, the Jacksonville company that held a federal contract that at the time was worth up to $100 million annually for disaster transportation, did not ask its subcontractor, Carey Limousine, to order buses until the early hours of Aug. 30, roughly 18 hours after the storm hit, according to Sally Snead, a Carey senior vice president who headed the bus roundup.

Landstar made inquiries about the availability of buses on Sunday, Aug. 28, and earlier Monday, but placed no orders, Snead said.

She said Landstar turned to her company for buses Sunday after learning from Carey’s Internet site that it had a meetings and events division that touted its ability to move large groups of people. “They really found us on the Web site,” Snead said.

A Landstar spokeswoman declined comment on how the company responded to the hurricane.

Why does he think no one would come to help?

Unbeknownst to them, two key players who could reach the owners of an estimated 70 percent of the nation’s 35,000 charter and tour buses had contacted FEMA seeking to supply motor coaches to the evacuation effort.

On the day the hurricane made landfall, Victor Parra, president of the United Motorcoach Association, called FEMA’s Washington office “to let them know our members could help out.”

Parra said FEMA responded the next day, referring him to an agency Web page labeled “Doing Business with FEMA” but containing no information on the hurricane relief effort.

On Wednesday, Aug. 31, Pantuso of the American Bus Association cut short a vacation thinking his members surely would be needed in evacuation efforts.

Unable to contact FEMA directly, Pantuso, through contacts on Capitol Hill, learned of Carey International’s role and called Snead.

Pantuso said Snead told him she meant to call earlier but didn’t have a phone number.

Finally, sometime after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Pantuso and Parra had enough information to send an SOS to their members to help in the evacuation.

By the weekend, more than 1,000 buses were committed to ferrying stranded New Orleans residents to shelters in Houston and other cities.

Even if the area was blocked, why were the buses not ordered for when they could get into the city? Remember, if they had been on hand, the Convention Center was directly below the only major way in or out of the City at the time. I have no comprehension of how someone wouldn’t think buses wouldn’t be useful.

Brown indicates in the hearing he was familiar with the Hurricane Pam exercise where federal authorities knew over 100,000 people would be left in the City alone. Federal officials said they could help at that exercise–why weren’t federal officials prepared then?

How could they have not gotten buses to the Superdome?

Look at the Satellite image from the 31st If you zoom down to the Convention Center–I can specifically see clear routes from the Crescent City Connector. In terms of the Superdome, you can get within a very short distance if not up to the front door. He’s still clueless about the entire situation. Here’s a dry map

How this man continues to delude himself is a fascinating story in itself.

Idiot Didn’t Even Know For What Services FEMA Contracts

From today’s committee hearing

DAVIS: We want to give you an opportunity first. Then we are going to go through the timeline and a number of other questions.

BROWN: Let me start out by addressing the premise of the question, which I don’t entirely agree with — that what could FEMA have done in terms of the evacuation? What could FEMA have done in terms of communications, law enforcement?

Those are not FEMA roles. FEMA doesn’t evacuate communities.

BROWN: FEMA does not do law enforcement. FEMA does not do law enforcement. FEMA does not do communications. But having said that, I have got to tell you in hindsight there are things that I, as the former director of FEMA, wish that I had done that maybe would address those particular areas.

First and foremost, when we started the SVTS, the video teleconferences that we do with the state and locals, I should have pushed harder to both Louisiana — particularly to Louisiana, because I, with all due respect, I do not want to make this partisan, so I can’t help it that Alabama and Mississippi are governed by Republican governors and Louisiana is governed by a Democratic governor.

That’s not an issue with me. We go to every state regardless of who the governor is and do what we can, but I didn’t have a problem with evacuations in Mississippi or Alabama. They were doing it. Jeb Bush had already ordered evacuations through the Keys as Katrina was making its way through that area.

My mistake was in recognizing that for whatever reason that we might want to discuss later, but for whatever reason, Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco were reticent to order a mandatory evacuation. And if I, Mike Brown individual, could have done something to convince them that this was the big one, and they needed to order a mandatory evacuation, I would have done it. Maybe I could have gotten on the telephone with General Landreneau in the emergency operations center and said: General, get some of those National Guard troops out there and start driving buses and pick people up and take them out of there. Maybe we could have done something like that. That’s all speculation.

The problem with this, as I’ve stated previously, is FEMA was part of the Hurricane Pam process and knew that the plan was to get the people out after the hurricane passed–there simply wasn’t enough transportation to move everyone and everyone would not have left.

But worse than that, on the 28th, if he knew there was a problem, he could have called up the contractor FEMA had hired to provide buses for as soon as the hurricane passed.

Landstar didn’t order buses until August 30th.

Though it was well-known that New Orleans, much of it below sea level, would flood in a major hurricane, Landstar, the Jacksonville company that held a federal contract that at the time was worth up to $100 million annually for disaster transportation, did not ask its subcontractor, Carey Limousine, to order buses until the early hours of Aug. 30, roughly 18 hours after the storm hit, according to Sally Snead, a Carey senior vice president who headed the bus roundup.

Landstar made inquiries about the availability of buses on Sunday, Aug. 28, and earlier Monday, but placed no orders, Snead said.

She said Landstar turned to her company for buses Sunday after learning from Carey’s Internet site that it had a meetings and events division that touted its ability to move large groups of people. “They really found us on the Web site,” Snead said.

A Landstar spokeswoman declined comment on how the company responded to the hurricane.

Yep, the FEMA contractor called on Sunday to even find a subcontractor for buses and didn’t actually ask for them until 18 hours after the storm hit.

But Mike Brown blames the state and locals for not getting along. They certainly need to be accountable for their mistakes, but Brown needs a big dose of reality.

The Punchline: Landstar has a bigger contract now.

Who Thought Calling This Guy was a Good Idea?

Who let’s this idiot collect one more dollar of public money?

Some of the more amusing statements include that descriptions of his background were near defamatory. Strangely, the information contained in this Time Magazine piece is never actually refuted other than a declaration that it wasn’t true.

In more fun, Think Progress isolates a bizarre bit from Brown

BUYER: So I?d like to know why did the president?s federal emergency assistance declaration of August 27th not include the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines?

BROWN: ?[I]f a governor does not request a particular county or a particular parish, that?s not included in the request.

BUYER: All right.

Orleans Parish is New Orleans. I was listening to my colleague, Mr. Jefferson?s, questions about when they talked about, you know, they asked for this assistance for three days and then president responded the very next day, not the day that it was made ? the request ? but the governor of Louisiana actually excluded New Orleans from the president?s federal emergency assistance declaration?

BROWN: Again, Congressman, we looked at the request.The governors make the request by?

BUYER: Let me ask this. Since you went through the exercise in Pam, was that not shocking to you that the governor would excluded New Orleans from the declaration?

BROWN: Yes.

BUYER: When that request came in excluding these three parishes, did you question it?

BROWN: We questioned it. But I made the decision that we were going to go ahead and move assets in regardless because

And as anyone who followed this would know Blanco asked for a fairly broad declaration from the President that included the New Orleans Metropolitan area

Under the provisions of Section 501 (a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. ?? 5121-5206 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR ? 206.35, I request that you declare an emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina for the time period beginning August 26, 2005, and continuing. The affected areas are all the southeastern parishes including the New Orleans Metropolitan area and the mid state Interstate I-49 corridor and northern parishes along the I-20 corridor that are accepting the thousands of citizens evacuating from the areas expecting to be flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

The uncharitable view is that he lied. My guess is he really was so stupid as to not even go back with his current free time and figure out what happened. He’s not even competent to cover his own butt.

Why Buyer didn’t understand that Blanco did cover the New Orleans Metro area is bizarre as well, but at least he wasn’t there.

The President’s declaration doesn’t seem to include the New Orleans Metro area, but I’m not certain what that means in the context.