FEMA’s Brock Long Is Our Duke Of The Week

getty Images/ TPM illustration

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt may be gone, but he’s left a looming legacy in his wake.

Who can forget the $43,000 super-secret and ultimately completely useless telephone booth? Or his attempt to use his position to buy a gift for the woman who has everything, a Chick-Fil-a franchise?

FEMA administrator Brock Long, while admittedly a neophyte when compared to his mentor, is trying his best to live up to Pruitt’s legacy.

You would think that Long would have his hands full, what with the cataclysmic embarrassment of his department’s handling of Hurricane Maria, and the beginning of a new hurricane season, almost guaranteed to feature death and destruction as weather events become increasingly extreme.

But Long was busy, beating the heat by escaping D.C. to his North Carolina home so frequently that even DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversaw the systemic separation of vulnerable migrant families, noticed.

She politely suggested he resign. He politely decided against it.

Now, skipping out on work for which you are compensated with taxpayers’ money at a time when natural disasters are becoming more fatal is definitely not cool. But it doesn’t rise to Pruitt levels of corruption.

That is, until news broke that Long has been forcing aides to shuttle him back and forth in government-issued vehicles, also dipping into the coffers to put up those aides in hotels near his home.

An internal investigation has been launched into the matter. But as Pruitt could tell you, you’re sitting pretty until the probes number in the double digits.

In sum: we have been paying for Long to hang out at home, away from the pressures of Washington, after he spearheaded a department at least partially responsible for emergency efforts after Hurricane Maria—efforts that were so severely lacking that thousands of American citizens died.

Now, Hurricane Florence is beginning to pummel the southeastern coast, promising raging winds and storm surge for days. I, for one, feel confident that Long has put in the time and work to prepare for this situation.

For proving that there actually is a worse use of government vehicles than racing, sirens a-blazing, to get a timely steak tartare from Le Dip, Brock Long is our Duke of the Week.

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