Accountability for the Oil Spill

More

The other day, I noted in this post that one thing distinguishing the Obama administration from its predecessor is the generally high quality of the staff responsible for disaster response--in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and the Gulf. In light of today's news that the Interior Department official who oversees the Mineral Management Service will be resigning, it's worth nothing that getting rid of those who perform poorly is another way in which the current administration differs from the last. During much of the Bush administration, officials who screwed up or otherwise brought ignominy on the White House rarely were forced to resign. I profiled one of them, former Enron executive and Army Secretary Thomas White, who, when I spent time with him in the wake of the Enron scandal, seemed as incredulous as everyone else did that he was still around. One notable exception to this tendency, though, was the notorious FEMA director Michael "Brownie" Brown. Just ten days after being told by President Bush that he was doing "a heckuva job" responding to Hurricane Katrina, Brownie was forced out under pressure.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In