Don't Blame FEMA's Brock Long For All Those Wifebeating Puerto Ricans!
Brock Long is competent. Brock Long is an asshole. And if he gets fired, he's likely to be replaced with an incompetent asshole -- which would be WORSE. The world is a complex place.
In any other administration, we'd be howling for FEMA Administrator Brock Long's head. Politico reported last week that he's under investigation for improper use of government vehicles to ferry him back and forth to see his family in North Carolina. It's not yet clear whether that involved hopping in an SUV wired for secure communications and putting his driver up at the Motel 6, or a Pruitt-style retinue taking weekend trips on the government dime. The Post reports,
Long, a veteran emergency manager whom staffers described as highly respected throughout the agency, is under investigation by the DHS inspector general for his use of government vehicles during weekend travel between Washington and his home in North Carolina to see his wife and young children. Investigators have surveilled Long during those trips, which were said to include other FEMA staffers, raising questions internally about his use of government resources, a senior administration official said Saturday.
Last week, Donald Trump went on a bizarre Twitter rant to dispute George Washington University's 2,975 mortality estimate for Hurricane Maria.
Then Brock was dispatched to defend Trumpland's honor -- and his own -- on the Sunday talk shows. It went ... not well!
Brock Long knows that Hurricane Maria caused "direct deaths, which is the wind, the water, the waves, buildings collapsing." But the "extra deaths" in the six months after the storm when much of the island had no electricity -- as compared to similar months in PR with no hurricanes -- don't count because REASONS. And he's not taking responsibility for all those temperamental Latin types who beat their wives for stress relief.
Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can't blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody.
On the one hand, there is some logic in arguing that FEMA can't be held directly responsible for every hurricane-related death. On the other hand THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, DUDE?
The Post reports that Brock refused a request to resign last week from his boss, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen "Baby Snatcher' Nielsen. With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast, Nielsen and her BFF John Kelly decided the time was right to bounce Long and replace him with FEMA's deputy administrator for "resilience" Daniel Kaniewski. Unlike Long, who has a decade of emergency management experience and is respected by agency staff, Kaniewski's qualifications are largely academic. He was, however, Nielsen's roommate and remains tight with her, so ... it's all good!
"The fact that someone within the administration is taking shots at FEMA in the middle of a hurricane is insane," said a former top FEMA official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive personnel matter. "Lives are at stake. People are working around the clock to get resources and assets in place. . . . Why would you do that?"
NO CHAOS! NO CHAOS! YOU'RE THE CHAOS!
The Post reports that Nielsen and Kelly have decided to hold off on the staff shake-up until after Florence's floodwaters recede from North Carolina. And once again, we find ourselves in the awkward position of rooting for the asshole, because whatever flunky the White House puts in there will be so, so much worse.
Kristi, you're doin' a heckuva job!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.