Friday, October 14, 2005

Cronyism revisited...

I just had to come back to this topic...
This administration is very good at portraying the IMAGE that safeguarding our citizens is number one on its agenda... but a cursory look at how they are preparing and protecting generates a completely different picture:
Remember Brown, the FEMA director? The Arabian Horse judge? Great qualifications huh? Clinton's appointee (James Witt) had more than 20 years of disaster management experience and was regarded by both parties as eminently qualified. He even received praise from Bush himself. From a Slate article:

What must make this irony especially painful for Bush is that he knew how good Witt was. In fact, Bush knew it coming and going. When he was helping run his father's 1992 re-election campaign, he saw the miserable federal response from FEMA when it was still a dumping ground for political hacks. As a governor, Bush was so impressed by the agency's renaissance under Witt that he singled him out for praise in his first presidential debate with Al Gore:

You know, as governor, one of the things you have to deal with is catastrophe. I can remember the fires that swept Parker County, Texas. I remember the floods that swept our state. I remember going down to Del Rio, Texas. I have to pay the administration a compliment. James Lee Witt of FEMA has done a really good job of working with governors during times of crisis.

How about Simonson as Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, the administration's point man for Emergency Preparedness. As I've blogged his last job was as council for AMTRAK.
Clinton had William Clark as his Deputy Director in the Office of Emergency Preparedness...
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee,

My name is Bill Clark, and I am the deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). I have over 40 years of experience at the city, county, state and federal level in emergency services. I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the Nation's readiness to medically respond to acts of biological terrorism against civilian populations within the United States .

How about the Bush appointee for Deputy Secretary U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Alex Michael Azar

Prior to joining HHS, Azar was a partner with the firm Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in litigation and appellate practice involving white collar criminal defense and internal investigations, congressional investigations, government ethics, administrative law and employment counseling.
Every time I do a bit of research -- scratch the surface of this administrations image -- I find cronyism and a complete lack of understanding of the importance these agencies play in our public health, safety and defense.
Our current leaders simply do not believe that these government agencies have a real role in helping/protecting our citizens. I only hope they are all tossed out of office before something really devastating happens.

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