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[greenyes] Mr. Bush's Crony Appointments

NYTIMES - September 12, 2005
All the President's Friends
The lethally inept response to Hurricane Katrina revealed to everyone that
the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which earned universal praise
during the Clinton years, is a shell of its former self. The hapless Michael
Brown - who is no longer overseeing relief efforts but still heads the
agency - has become a symbol of cronyism.
But what we really should be asking is whether FEMA's decline and fall is
unique, or part of a larger pattern. What other government functions have
been crippled by politicization, cronyism and/or the departure of
experienced professionals? How many FEMA's are there?
Unfortunately, it's easy to find other agencies suffering from some version
of the FEMA syndrome.
The first example won't surprise you: the Environmental Protection Agency,
which has a key role to play in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, but which has
seen a major exodus of experienced officials over the past few years. In
particular, senior officials have left in protest over what they say is the
Bush administration's unwillingness to enforce environmental law.
Yesterday The Independent, the British newspaper, published an interview
about the environmental aftermath of Katrina with Hugh Kaufman, a senior
policy analyst in the agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response,
whom one suspects is planning to join the exodus. "The budget has been cut,"
he said, "and inept political hacks have been put in key positions." That
sounds familiar, and given what we've learned over the last two weeks
there's no reason to doubt that characterization - or to disregard his
warning of an environmental cover-up in progress.
Peter Anderson, President
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address

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