Thursday, May 13, 2010

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up File #107

I was watching the coverage of the oil spill in the gulf and listening with some interest to the innovative ways they are attempting to combat the spreading disaster. I was wondering how long it would take before the left wing anti-drilling crowd would break out the soap boxes and scream that drilling off the coasts and in Alaska were unsafe. It took only a few short hours. Apparently they were better prepared for their press releases then the Federal Government was to respond to the spill.

I also listened with some interest to how quickly BP began taking responsibility and assuring everyone that they would pay for the clean up and any “reasonable” claims for damage. I wonder how long it will take for people to realize that BP is not being completely honest. Oh yes, they will pay for the damages but they will actually be acting more as a distribution and clearing house for the payments. The money is going to come from us. I am guessing about 10 to 15 cents per gallon of gas and about a nickel per quart of oil. Oh sure, there will be an outcry. Bill O’Reilly, who is more astute about such things then his cohorts at CNN or the Obama Press Club (formerly known as NBC), will undoubtedly catch on to this scheme fairly fast. When he does and mentions it in one of his talking points some Congressman or other, anxious to make political points, will sternly warn BP not to try it. The folks at BP will smile and say “Us? No, we won’t do that.” And then they’ll go ahead and do it. It’s a game we have seen played way too many times.

While I was watching all this circus take place a shadowy ghost from the past crossed my screen. Mike Brown, the former head of FEMA during the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, is using the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to sell some book he's written and to promote his business. Yes, Mike Brown, "Brownie" as in the "You're doing a heck of a job" Brownie. It gets better. He is working at a Denver firm as vice president "of its disaster recovery practice." He has been literally running from one cable news studio to another in an attempt to sell his new book and get some clients for his company –as if anyone would hire a firm that would hire him.

Watching him, I kept remembering the stories about how he “managed” FEMA during the early days of Katrina. Staying in Washington and then moving to Baton Rouge only after he was able to get a reservation at a fine hotel (at taxpayer expense, of course) while his entire staff lived on buses. Despite repeated requests from his people to move the FEMA Command Trailer closer to New Orleans and the action, he refused because he did not want to commute back to Baton Rouge and his nice hotel and dinner each night.

I think my favorite story about Mr. Brown and Katrina, was that Brown was making plans to leave FEMA and return to private life. A network ran an unflattering piece on Brown and he got really upset. Talking about the hurricane and the developing disaster a staffer said, "We have to get our arms around this thing." Brown took that to mean repairing the damage done to his reputation, not repairing the damage done to New Orleans. "I know it," he said, completely missing the point. "I have three offers on the table and they're all going to be withdrawn if we don't fix this."

Fortunately for everyone, President Bush finally realized that this was not someone who was focused enough on the job and turned overall charge for the Federal response over to General Honore (who turned out to be very well capable of doing the job).

Mike Brown, Vice President of Disaster Preparedness. WOW. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Today's Fun Picture

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