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Mike Brown is one of those utterly insignificant people in history that, as Baudelaire wrote, one is embarrassed to discuss, because no one will remember him in fifty years. Well, perhaps the good folks of New Orleans will.

This afternoon, watching MSNBC, I saw some remarkable testimony before Congress. Marty Bahamonde, the first FEMA official to arrive in New Orleans, sent a frantic message to Director Mike Brown, warning that victims were out of food, and would soon be dying. Portions of Bahamonde’s email reveal his insistence that help be sent immediately:

“Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical. Here some things you might not know.
“Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the streets with no food or water. …
“The dying patients at the DMAT tent being medivac. Estimates are many will die within hours. … We are out of food and running out of water at the dome, plans in works to address the critical need.”

Brown did not respond, but three hours later, his press secretary did:

Also, it is very important that time is allowed for Mr. Brown to eat dinner. Gievn that Baton Rouge is back to normal, restaurants are getting busy. He needs much more that 20 or 30 minutes. We now have traffic to encounter to get to and from a location of his choise, followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc.

Hmm…prioritizing going out to dinner while poor people die? How in the world did this guy get in the Bush Administration?

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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