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Ex FEMA's director Michael Brown's e-mails discussed clothing & dog sitters

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Ex FEMA's director Michael Brown's e-mails discussed clothing & dog sitters

Old 11-03-05, 01:22 PM
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Ex FEMA's director Michael Brown's e-mails discussed clothing & dog sitters

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/200...ectorsresponse

FEMA e-mails provide window on ex-director's response
By Andrea Stone, USA TODAY
Thu Nov 3, 9:29 AM ET

E-mails sent as Hurricane Katrina raged reveal that FEMA's then-director, Michael Brown, discussed his clothing and his need for a dog sitter but left unanswered urgent messages.

A House committee investigating the response to Katrina released about 1,000 e-mails as members complained that the Bush administration had failed to provide copies of communications among high-level officials, including White House chief of staff Andy Card and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Deputy White House press secretary Trent Duffy said, "The White House staff is working on that information collection."

The newly released e-mails depict an official who "made few decisions and seemed out of touch," said Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La.

Last month at a Senate hearing, Marty Bahamonde, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's only employee in New Orleans when Katrina struck Aug. 29, said he e-mailed Brown on Aug. 31, "Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical ... many will die." Brown replied, "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"

An e-mail offering critical medical equipment got no response for four days.

Brown resigned two weeks after Katrina hit. E-mail excerpts:

Aug. 29, 7:19 a.m., Cindy Taylor, FEMA deputy director of public affairs to Brown, about his shirt as he appeared on NBC's Today: "My eyes must certainly be deceiving me. You look fabulous - and I'm not talking the makeup."

Brown, 7:52 a.m.: "I got it at Nordsstroms ... Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?"

Aug. 30, 10:52 p.m. Brown to assistant Tillie James: "Do you know of anyone who dog-sits?"

Sept. 2, 8:37 a.m. Brown to acquaintance Betty Guhman, on his pre-Katrina plans to leave FEMA: "Last hurrah was supposed to have been Labor Day. I'm trapped now, please rescue me."

Andy Lester, Brown's lawyer, said the committee "ought to focus" on FEMA's budget and other issues and not on e-mails that he characterized as efforts to boost morale among stressed staff and deal with family matters.


Chris
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Old 11-03-05, 01:27 PM
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Seriously, what was he supposed to be doing WHILE the hurricane was hitting? He wasn't being asked for help yet... all they were doing is monitoring the situation. I blab useless emails back and forth while i'm on conference calls or getting status updates all the time .. so? I guess people were expecting him to do what they expected of Bush when he was told about the WTC - he should have somehow done something miraculous to stop the whole thing.
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Old 11-03-05, 01:34 PM
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I predict that responses to this story will "coincidentally" fall along party lines. Liberals/Dems will be outraged, Conservatives/Reps will say "No big deal."

(Libertarians are too busy travelling to Denver to respond)
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Old 11-03-05, 01:35 PM
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It shows a real lack of professionalism.
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Old 11-03-05, 01:38 PM
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I didn't like Brown, but I have to say, so what about the emails. Not an issue. If we were going to be fair, how many emails did he sent which DID relate to Katrina.
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Old 11-03-05, 02:19 PM
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Sorry, Blanco and moronic Nagin are not getting out of jail free card.
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Old 11-04-05, 08:01 AM
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i guess everyone here only writes official and bland sounding emails. you have to be dumb not to realize that he is joking.
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Old 11-04-05, 08:17 AM
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The only thing I see that's bothersome is that it took him 4 days to respond to the email about a group wanting to offer medical equipment and aid. Especially while it's evident that he was still emailing about more trivial matters. That's pretty pathetic.

Who really cares about the rest though? What's the claim, that over a four-day period he must've spent 15 minutes or so on personal emails? Whatever side you're on regarding his responsibility in the whole ordeal, I can't imagine anyone arguing that those 15 minutes made some kind of difference in the effectiveness of FEMA's response.

Or are people actually upset about the content? While it might be a bit naive of him to have assumed the emails would only be read by their recipients, I imagine that's the case. I can say right now that there are coworkers and clients with whom I have enough of a personal relationship that we talk and joke in ways that would fall far short of 'professional' if we were just casual business acquaintences. Isn't this true of everyone? Or do most people talk to those they work with on a daily basis in the same formal tone they'd use if addressing the public or speaking with someone they just met?

Other than the delay in response on the medical issue, this reeks of trying to make someone look bad for actions that really have no relevance at all to the issue at hand.
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Old 11-04-05, 08:52 AM
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From Howard Kurtz's column today in the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...041100587.html
And how did Heck of a Job respond when his man in New Orleans wrote him on Aug. 31 that "the situation is past critical . . . Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the street with no food or water. Hundreds still being rescued from homes. The dying patients at the DMAT tent being medivac"?

"Thanks for update," Brown wrote. "Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"
Many of those emails don't bother me - I understand how it is used, even though people should be a bit more sensitive. But the one above is ridiculous.
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Old 11-04-05, 09:07 AM
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I read 1776 a few weeks ago and things like this go back hundreds of years. At the first sign of failure, King George III's enemies who were against the war used small events as an excuse to say that it was a waste of time and lives. Same thing when Washington lost the Battle of Long Island. Critics of the revolution found every little thing to criticise.
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Old 11-04-05, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by maxfisher
The only thing I see that's bothersome is that it took him 4 days to respond to the email about a group wanting to offer medical equipment and aid. Especially while it's evident that he was still emailing about more trivial matters. That's pretty pathetic.

Who really cares about the rest though? What's the claim, that over a four-day period he must've spent 15 minutes or so on personal emails? Whatever side you're on regarding his responsibility in the whole ordeal, I can't imagine anyone arguing that those 15 minutes made some kind of difference in the effectiveness of FEMA's response.

Or are people actually upset about the content? While it might be a bit naive of him to have assumed the emails would only be read by their recipients, I imagine that's the case. I can say right now that there are coworkers and clients with whom I have enough of a personal relationship that we talk and joke in ways that would fall far short of 'professional' if we were just casual business acquaintences. Isn't this true of everyone? Or do most people talk to those they work with on a daily basis in the same formal tone they'd use if addressing the public or speaking with someone they just met?

Other than the delay in response on the medical issue, this reeks of trying to make someone look bad for actions that really have no relevance at all to the issue at hand.

Yeah, but his actions (or lack thereof) speaks volumes.

Sure I send lots of dumb e-mails everyday to the people at work. It cuts down on the monotony of the day. But what I do (my job) doesn't affect peoples lives and it doesn't cost lives either.

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Old 11-04-05, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Nazgul
It shows a real lack of professionalism.
Agreed. It is pretty amazing how he even got this job.
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Old 11-04-05, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Agreed. It is pretty amazing how he even got this job.

It`s good to have friends in high places....
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Old 11-04-05, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Duran
From Howard Kurtz's column today in the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...041100587.html


Many of those emails don't bother me - I understand how it is used, even though people should be a bit more sensitive. But the one above is ridiculous.
It is ridiculous. There was an email exchange quoted on The Daily Show a couple of weeks back. I tried to find it, but came up empty. Paraphrased, it was a FEMA official in New Orleans saying the situation was dire. The reply back said that Brown was out to dinner with his wife and didn't want to be bothered. Then the official wrote back something like "Thanks. I just ate a cold M.R.E. and took a shit in the hallway."
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Old 11-04-05, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TracerBullet
It is ridiculous. There was an email exchange quoted on The Daily Show a couple of weeks back. I tried to find it, but came up empty. Paraphrased, it was a FEMA official in New Orleans saying the situation was dire. The reply back said that Brown was out to dinner with his wife and didn't want to be bothered. Then the official wrote back something like "Thanks. I just ate a cold M.R.E. and took a shit in the hallway."
here's the clip you're referring to:

http://www.comedycentral.com/sitewid...l?itemId=24364
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Old 11-04-05, 03:47 PM
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I predict that responses to this story will "coincidentally" fall along party lines. Liberals/Dems will be outraged, Conservatives/Reps will say "No big deal."
No different than any other political post.

Originally Posted by Nazgul
It shows a real lack of professionalism.


Agreed. It is pretty amazing how he even got this job.
No, it shows that he is no different than any other human being.
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Old 11-04-05, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BKenn01
No, it shows that he is no different than any other human being.
speak for yourself
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Old 11-04-05, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BKenn01
No, it shows that he is no different than any other human being.
Bullshit. If you're in a position of authority like that, you're held to higher standards of professionalism than people in lower level jobs that don't have people's lives riding on their performance.

It's like the Lewinski thing. Lots of people cheat on their wives, Clinton deservedly got extra heat from it because the president is expected to maintain higher standards.

And I'm still not sure that Brown's e-mails are the behavior of "any other human being." I don't send e-malis bitching about my job like that from my WORK e-mail. If you have that low of a level of common sense, so be it. But please don't generalize yourself to the rest of the human race.
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Old 11-04-05, 04:42 PM
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I'd like to subpeona Bush's emails during Katrina. Hell, I'd like to subpeona the entire Bush Administration's emails and see what their commentary is during disasters.

I think many of you would be surprised.

In any case, this just shows how dumb the person was who chose Brown in the first place. But I guess the Itty Bitty Special Committee won't necessarily be doing that now, will they.
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Old 11-04-05, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I'd like to subpeona Bush's emails during Katrina.
I don't think he sends much out over the internets.
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Old 11-04-05, 05:57 PM
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Bullshit. If you're in a position of authority like that, you're held to higher standards of professionalism than people in lower level jobs that don't have people's lives riding on their performance.

It's like the Lewinski thing. Lots of people cheat on their wives, Clinton deservedly got extra heat from it because the president is expected to maintain higher standards.

And I'm still not sure that Brown's e-mails are the behavior of "any other human being." I don't send e-malis bitching about my job like that from my WORK e-mail. If you have that low of a level of common sense, so be it. But please don't generalize yourself to the rest of the human race.
speak for yourself
The original post is critical of him for taking care of his personal matters while ignoring important emails. Everyone can play cutsey like they are robots who would respond perfectly if they where placed in a similar situation. That is easy to say when you are a Monday morning quarterback.
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Old 11-04-05, 05:59 PM
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Bullshit. If you're in a position of authority like that, you're held to higher standards of professionalism than people in lower level jobs that don't have people's lives riding on their performance.

It's like the Lewinski thing. Lots of people cheat on their wives, Clinton deservedly got extra heat from it because the president is expected to maintain higher standards.
Funny, I seem to remember all the Dems saying, it was no ones biz.
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Old 11-04-05, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BKenn01
The original post is critical of him for taking care of his personal matters while ignoring important emails. Everyone can play cutsey like they are robots who would respond perfectly if they where placed in a similar situation. That is easy to say when you are a Monday morning quarterback.

Bullshit. People are just saying they'd put the emergency first. I put my job first and my job isn't all that time sensitive or important. If I'm goofing at work, it's when I have nothing better to do. Which fortunately pretty often.

But seriously, you're the head of FEMA during arguably the worst natural disaster in U.S. history and you ignore urgent e-mail's while responding to stupid ones, say you want to quit and go home, etc.

Give me a break. Any decent human being would do a better job than that. I'd like to think most people would. If not this country has gone to hell worse than I thought.
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Old 11-04-05, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BKenn01
Funny, I seem to remember all the Dems saying, it was no ones biz.
I was stating my personal opinion. Not the democratic party line.

I don't think he should have been impeached for it as he should never have been on the stand over adultery, but he deserved all the scorn he got otherwise.
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Old 11-04-05, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
I don't think he sends much out over the internets.
That's Al Gore's territory.
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