As Ned Sublette said a couple of days ago, some call it "cronyism," but there's a more accurate word — corruption. Snip from Time article about "discrepancies" in FEMA head Michael Brown's resume:
Before joining FEMA, his only previous stint in emergency management, according to his bio posted on FEMA's website, was "serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight." The White House press release from 2001 stated that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 "overseeing the emergency services division." In fact, according to Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city of Edmond, Brown was an "assistant to the city manager" from 1977 to 1980, not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees. "The assistant is more like an intern," she told TIME. "Department heads did not report to him." Brown did do a good job at his humble position, however, according to his boss. "Yes. Mike Brown worked for me. He was my administrative assistant. He was a student at Central State University," recalls former city manager Bill Dashner. "Mike used to handle a lot of details. Every now and again I'd ask him to write me a speech. He was very loyal. He was always on time. He always had on a suit and a starched white shirt."
Update: "Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown is being removed from his role managing Hurricane Katrina relief efforts." Link. A step in the right direction — how about removing him from his *job*?
Reader comment: BB reader Robert, who happens to work at the Naval Research Lab, says:
You might want to note in your story on BoingBoing that the city of edmond put the crucifix on the city seal and was at one point in the late 90's contemplating approving a 100 ft. cross to be built by a religious group up there. It's also the site of one of the first big postal shootings.