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Monday, September 26, 2005

work for the government

because if you do, apparently, there's no end to the benefits. First, city judge Fran Gallegos gets three months PAID leave while investigations go on about apparent malfeasance in her court. I assume that, even if she's found to have done anything wrong, she gets to keep her three months pay. Then, State Treasurer Michael Vigil is on paid leave for his $85,000 a year job even though he's been indicted for allegedly taking more than half a million in kickbacks.
But this, from CBS news, takes the cake:

6:44 p.m.
(CBS) — CBS News correspondent Gloria Borger reports that Michael Brown, who recently resigned as the head of the FEMA, has been rehired by the agency as a consultant to evaluate its response following Hurricane Katrina.

You can read a little more on this here..

But just to be clear, folks. The guy on whose watch it happened that thousands died and were stranded and abandoned and left for dead etc. etc. (you saw it too) now gets paid to evaluate how the agency did while he was in charge of it.

Granted, Wikipedia's definition of a conflict of interest doesn't really cover this sort of thing, but that's probably because who could imagine any government would be so outrageously ridiculous in its blatent disinterest in the public good. I am really grossed out by this. I hope it turns out to not be true.
On another note, I read TWO pieces titled "The New New Orleans" today, both of which I liked. (Yes, I know both journalists writing them but, let's face it, I know lots of journalists.) One is by Joel Bleifuss, editor of In These Times and the other is by Michael Tisserand, and you can read it here.
So I was talking with a good, good friend of mine who voted for Bush (yes, I have Republican friends) and she was saying she liked him better than Kerry but didn't see much difference between any of them, a position held by Noam Chomsky and others, and I was thinking to myself, well, sure, on some level, this is true. And yet, and yet, and yet, I'm sorry. I have to say it at least once, for the record, I WANT A NEW PRESIDENT. I read editorials like this one and endless others and see the mess this country is in, and it's in a mess, and I just think, I want a president who impresses me with his intelligence. I'm sorry. I'm not saying they won't be corrupt, because I think that's what power does, and I'm not saying they won't make compromises I find unacceptable because that's what politicians do, but, Jesus, could they at least speak in complete sentences and pretend to care about the concerns of half the populace? Forget politics and political parties for a second because I could really care less about political affiliations…is there anyone right now who is happy with the government? Anyone who isn't being paid by the government in exchange for fucking up that is?