A tribute to Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush who, despite voluminious evidence to the contrary, said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," adding that "even in retrospect" there was "nothing" to suggest that" and "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," respectively.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Beginning of the End for FEMA 

George W. Bush at swearing in ceremony for Joseph Allbaugh, March 05, 2001.

We never know where FEMA will be needed next, but we do know what makes this agency so effective, more than 2,000 dedicated employees all across America; 4,000 standby employees, ready if needed; an ethic of professionalism and a willingness to work with state and local officials to help people in need.

As governor, I worked with FEMA officials. Joe and I have great respect for the outgoing director, James Lee Witt, and for the acting director, John McGaw. A lot of change is needed in Washington, but in this agency the standards are already high.

Every year, many thousands of Americans live through floods and hurricanes and fires. They know from personal experience that FEMA is an example of the federal government at its best.

FEMA Announces Organizational and Functional Changes
Release Date: June 18, 2001
Release Number: HQ-01-060

Washington, DC -- Joe M. Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has announced a realignment of functions within the agency and the establishment of the Office of National Preparedness. The realignment is effective immediately and will be fully implemented by August 25, 2001, Allbaugh said.

"After serving as director for several months, I recognized that the existing organization is not the best fit for the evolving mission of the agency, nor does it support President Bush's restructuring and streamlining goals," Allbaugh said. "The structure that I'm announcing is how I see us operating to best maximize our workforce, meet mission requirements and comply with the administration's requirements for workforce planning and restructuring."

A little over 4 months after taking the helm, Allbaugh, with no previous disaster management experience, decides to reorganize the premiere federal agency, which, according to his boss is an example of "federal government at its best.".

And they said Kerry was a flip-flopper! When the GOP talks about privatization of government functions, what they mean as a way to dole out contracts to their cronies, associates and supporters with no regard to competently carrying out that function.

For an example of how this push to grant government contracts based on patronage and not cost or competent completion see my post regarding the private bus debacle after Katrina.


I've never heard of any reports or investigations of this blatant abuse by FEMA of their contracting apparatus. The trite adage of "follow the money" is unfortuately still appropriate.

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