'Brownie' Was Just Tip of the Iceberg

When it comes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hurricane Katrina disaster, inexperienced ex-Director Michael "heckuva job Brownie" Brown wasn't the only weak link.

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When it comes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hurricane Katrina disaster, inexperienced ex-Director Michael "heckuva job Brownie" Brown wasn't the only weak link. Add to him a long list of other untrained managers, pay cuts, presidential inattention, and slashed budgets, says Princeton University Prof. David Lewis, author of the wonkish new book The Politics of Presidential Appointments. His assessment: Bush downgraded FEMA while former President Clinton had elevated it. Lewis argues that Bush helped to make the agency as bad as it was under his dad, whose FEMA was hit for blowing Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew.