"Qualifications? We don' got to show you no stinkin' qualifications..."

From David Corn:

"In recent days, there have been calls for firing Michael Brown, the FEMA director--who got his job because he was a college chum of George W. Bush's 2000 campaign manager. ..

Let's consider an obvious comparison: Michael Brown and James Lee Witt, who Bill Clinton appointed head of FEMA.

... before joining FEMA, Brown was a lawyer for the International Arabian Horse Association.*

Before Witt was tapped as FEMA chief, he had served for four years as director of the Arkansas Office of Emergency Services.

Bush placed a crony--Brown was also an attorney for the Oklahoma Republican Party--in charge of FEMA (and permitted the agency's disaster work to be downgraded).

Clinton gave the job to a fellow with years of experience in disaster management and maintained a close connection to Witt and FEMA, which then had Cabinet-level status."

... FEMA's lack of readiness was predicted. By Witt, it turns out. In March 2004, he testified at a hearing conducted by two House subcommittees. The issue at hand was DHS's plan to consolidate--that is, reduce the number of--FEMA's regional and field offices. Witt's comments were all-too perceptive. He practically predicted the mess to come in New Orleans

Read the rest here.

* He was available for the FEMA job because he'd been asked to resign from the Arabian Horse Association.


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