So how do you really feel, Brownie?

Former FEMA director Michael Brown speaks out in an interview with Playboy.

Published July 27, 2006 8:57PM (EDT)

The September issue of Playboy -- hey, we only read the press releases about the articles -- features an interview with former FEMA chief Michael Brown, who says that the federal government is "less prepared" for a natural disaster than it was before Hurricane Katrina. Among the snarky highlights:

Brown on "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job": "That didnt mean anything to me. Its typical of the president. Hes a cheerleader. You know what that comment did? How many people in the world do you think have ever called me 'Brownie'? His name's George W. Bush. When he used that nickname, a lot of people in the media went, 'Is he an insider?' Do they know each other? What's the deal here?' Thats when Time started researching my resume and came up with the totally false story about my having inflated it."

Brown on Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor: "That congressman, that little twerp, said I didn't understand suffering. He said I didn't understand the death and suffering that was going on. As I told him, I've seen death and suffering. Ive smelled death. I smelled death in the tsunami. I know what it's like to lose close friends in disasters ... For that little twerp to claim I didn't understand death and suffering -- he can just bite me, for all I care."

Brown on Bush's claim that nobody "anticipated the breach of the levees": "He doesn't have an incredible command of the English language. Maybe he meant 'None of us really wanted this to happen.' My friends in the Republican Party -- the bullies -- jumped all over Clinton about parsing words. Now the president was parsing words. 'Are the levees going to break?' 'Are they going to top?' Who cares? We are going to have flooding in New Orleans, and we knew New Orleans was a fishbowl."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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