Katrina - FEMA is a Joke
"I'm going to go home and walk my dog and hug my wife, and maybe get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night's sleep.'' Michael Brown, former head of FEMA's onsite Hurricane Katrina relief efforts
You do that, Mike. Too bad thousands of Katrina's victims--living and dead--can't do the same, thanks in large measure to your appalling incompetence.
Even before Brown's recall to Washington this afternoon, the jokes were starting. I'm sure you're getting emails too. Some are macabre, in the uniquely American tradition of dealing with untenable tragedy. Some are slick, Ba-Dum-Bum lines from late night talk show hosts -- mostly tweaking the president.
But the one I got today from a dear pal who's worked forever on Capitol Hill is my favorite. Not because it makes you smile, which it does. But because it also makes you think. And it's a way to articulate the anger, frustration and helplessness we all feel at our government's criminal lack of timely response to the plights of Katrina's victims. And at the political Blame Game currently consuming those responsible.
This list from the National Journal Hotline (warning, website open to members only) supplies new descriptions for the FEMA acronym. I've edited and trimmed a few, grouped them conceptually and in a rough timeline. Look the entries over here, then feel free to add your own.
The Joke's On Us
FEMA can stand for a lot. Here are some readers' ideas.Now Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen, who was already overseeing New Orleans relief, recovery and rescue efforts on the ground is in charge. Let's hope he's not a joke.
F**k! Evacuate! Move on. Apply blame
F**k Every Minority in America
F**k Every Man and Animal
F**k Everything, Massive Anarchy
Few Emergencies Merit Attention
Flood Evacuation? Maybe After
For Evacuees Missing in Action
Fearing Every Mass Attack
Federal Experts My Ass
Federal Emergency Mismanagement Agency
Fumbling Every Major Attack
Failure to Evacuate and Manage Appropriately
Federal Emergencies Managed Atrociously
Funneling Everyone's Money Away
Federal Excuse-Making Agency
Falsely Exaggerated Management of Accidents
Finally Emergency Men Arrive
Finally Evaluating Messy Aftermath
Failure to Effectively Manage Anything
Flood Event Maims Administration
Feeble Excuses Mounting All over
Foreseeable Election Matter Already
Forget Ever Managing Again
Failure Eventually Means Asskicking
Farewell Emergency Mike, Adios
Here's their favorite, and one of mine too:
Former Equestrian Managers Association.
This just in from my Hill pal:
Yeah, No One "Means" To Insult An Entire Demographic
Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) was overheard telling lobbyists: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." Baker later explained that he "didn't intend flippancy" but has "long wanted to improve low-income housing" (Harwood, Wall Street Journal, 9/9).
Hooboy. Talk about a real joke.
Labels: Hurricane Harangues