Time Magazine's revelations that FEMA Director Michael Brown lied about numerous items on his resume, are even more shocking since it already was obvious there was nothing in his background that would qualify him to lead an emergency management agency.
What we have seen with President Bush and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is nothing that has not turned up in other administrations, Democratic and Republican, over the years. Friends and friends of friends get tabbed for important government positions whether they are qualified for them or not.
In the case of Michael Brown, his ineptness has cost lives.
The abuse is even more blatant in Missouri, however, where Governor Matt Blunt has not only awarded jobs to political cronies, but he has created a number of jobs for them through such methods as the privatization of license fee offices and the addition of an unnecessary group of former legislative buddies to serve as buffers between big business and the Department of Natural Resources.
To get a job in Missouri state government, you did not have fill out a resume or go through a job interview. All you had to do was pay $1,200 to the governor's election campaign.
As a case in point, consider Randa Hayes, 33, St. Peters, whose service in providing a big fundraiser for the governor's campaign apparently was all the qualification she needed to land an $81,000 a year job as director of the business development division of the Department of Economic Development. As Turner Report readers are aware, Ms. Hayes subsequently resigned that position after it turned out she had pleaded guilty to theft and forgery charges in Illinois under her maiden name Randa Ismail.
Of course, she had the nerve to term this business as a "youthful indiscretion." That "youthful indiscretion" took place when she was placed in charge of her college sorority's money.
History records case after case of politicians who have damaged themselves by surrounding themselves with cronies and spoils system appointees. Sometimes it results in widespread graft and corruption as it did under President Grant and President Harding. Sometimes it is simply political ineptness as in the case of President Carter. At no time, has it been good for America.
The reason we always tell our young people they need to learn history is that if they do not learn it, they are condemned to repeat it. Apparently, we have a president and a governor who slept their way through history class.