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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I'm a software engineer / partner working for a young company in Austin, Texas, USA. I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends and family, eating out, and partying in the Warehouse District. I should spend more time working on my house....

Monday, September 05, 2005

Failing upward

George W. Bush failed upward. He has never been successful at anything. He would come out fine personally, but every organization or company that we was in charge of would be in worse shape after he was there than before. This pattern is, obviously, being repeated on a much larger scale in the U.S. today. The higher the post the bigger the failures.

Unfortunately, Bush isn't the only member of his administration to fail upward. One example, FEMA director Michael Brown. Yeah, the guy in charge of disaster relief for Katrina has failed upward, very upward. After all, a guy who gets fired from being the commissioner of judges and stewards for the International Arabian Horse Association (his full-time job!) really shouldn't have been elevated to deputy director of FEMA (and later elevated to director). This is just sad.

People complain about affirmative action suggesting that a less qualified minority candidate may be put in a position that they are not prepared for and thus underperform. Certainly a point to consider if evidence were to show it to be true. However, I think the Bush administration's cronyism has proven to be worse than could have been imagined.

Update: Maureen Dowd says it elequently in the Saturday Times:
Michael Brown, the blithering idiot in charge of FEMA - a job he trained for by running something called the International Arabian Horse Association - admitted he didn't know until Thursday that there were 15,000 desperate, dehydrated, hungry, angry, dying victims of Katrina in the New Orleans Convention Center.
I guess she didn't know the horse lovers fired his ass.

Update 2 : Krugman does an even better job on Monday:
But the downgrading of FEMA continued, with the appointment of Michael Brown as Mr. Allbaugh's successor.

Mr. Brown had no obvious qualifications, other than having been Mr. Allbaugh's college roommate. But Mr. Brown was made deputy director of FEMA; The Boston Herald reports that he was forced out of his previous job, overseeing horse shows. And when Mr. Allbaugh left, Mr. Brown became the agency's director. The raw cronyism of that appointment showed the contempt the administration felt for the agency; one can only imagine the effects on staff morale.


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