Bring me the head of Michael Brown

What kind a guy assigns 1000-plus firefighters to do community relations work for when disaster victims are desperate for help?


As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta.
Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers.
Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA.
On Monday, some firefighters stuck in the staging area at the Sheraton peeled off their FEMA-issued shirts and stuffed them in backpacks, saying they refuse to represent the federal agency.
Federal officials are unapologetic."I would go back and ask the firefighter to revisit his commitment to FEMA, to firefighting and to the citizens of this country," said FEMA spokeswoman Mary Hudak. [LINK via Josh Marshall]
Does it get worse? Yes it does: "But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas."

This is the kind of thing that should piss every American off, irrespective of partisanship. As Jon Stewart pointed out last night, the same folks who were pushing the Democrats to take a stance against Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky are playing loyal soldier. And no, this isn't about Bush-bashing, but loving your country -- and most importantly, the people in it. Or did we forget that in our rush to wrap ourselves in the flag?
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