Lieberman and FEMA
The only confirmation hearing for Mike Brown was his appointment to be Deputy Director of FEMA (his previous title).
It appears that Mike Brown suffered 42 breathtaking minutes of serious nothingness (unless Lieberman's withering questioning regarding whether Brown would sufficiently keep the Senate informed --- duh,yes) to become Deputy Director of FEMA. When FEMA was, just a few months later, subsumed into DHS, Brown didn't need to be Senate confirmed as his new position -- technically as Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response -- was "germane" to his old position. Guess that's true. But it means that the four Senators who showed up to confirm a deputy director were, in fact, confirming the head of America's entire emergency management apparatus.
Worse, still, besides Brown's obvious lack of qualifications, is the obvious lack of any serious questions about previous disasters, what would he do in a future disaster, his thoughts -- if he had any -- on what should be done.
Except one. In an eerie exchange between Lieberman and Brown, when Lieberman is concerned about nuclear facilities and evacuation plans in Connecticut, Brown says this:
“ I think my role is a very serious one. I think the agency's role is a very serious one, that we should not just wait for someone to petition or request that we evaluate, that those types of plans should be evaluated (plans regarding evacuations) on an ongoing basis. It would be my intent to somehow implement the ongoing evaluation so we do not have to look in hindsight and say, gosh, we wish we had looked at that. We should be looking at that all the time to make sure they (plans) are adequate, and I will pledge to you that we will certianly do that.”
Previously Brown had said in the testimony:
“ State and local governments are looking to us for leadership. They are looking to FEMA to tell them where are the holes in response plans? Where are the holes in our mutual aid agreements? What incentives can you provide us to fill those holes?”
Mike Brown didn't appear from Mars. He was appointed by the President (shame on him) and confirmed by Congress (shame on them.) And 42 minutes later, Brown was in charge.