FEMA Learns Wrong Katrina Lesson
It's not that the learning curve for this Administration is flat. It just skews away from reality. It's like giving a student an assignment to draw a standard graph where X is one axis and Y is another, so the student decides to plot along the Z axis by jabbing his pencil through the paper and the table.
Case in point, FEMA's "lesson learned" from Katrina on how to deal with the press. As folks may recall, the way in which FEMA (and the Administration generally) dealt with the press over Katrina and its aftermath was a critical factor in exposing the current Administration for a passel of incompetents more interested in covering their rears than protecting the nation.
The lesson FEMA drew from this? Hold a fake press conference
! Yes, the Administration that brought us "town hall meetings" filled with loyal Bushies willing to sign a pledge of allegiance to get in, now brings us a "press conference" in which the onsite participants (and those called on to ask questions) were actual FEMA employees.
On the plus side, it does appear that Michael Chertoff, at least, has learned that it is far better to denounce your people rather than defend them when they are caught unambiguously doing something stupid. "[o]ne of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I’ve seen since I’ve been in government," said Chertoff
. No "heckuva job" for FEMA FEMA Deputy Director Vice Admiral Harvey Johnson, apparently. Chertoff also promised "appropriate disciplinary action" against "those responsible." Which probably rules out a Medal of Freedom, but may not rule out the President commuting any reprimand.