After Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency bought $85 million worth of basic personal and household goods for the storm's victims. For at least two years, FEMA warehoused it all - towels, shirts, pants, shoes, coffee makers, pillowcases, dinnerware, plastic food containers, cleaning supplies, etc. - at a cost to taxpayers of an additional $2 million-plus.
Throughout that period, nonprofit relief agencies in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama made repeated public pleas for donations of those sorts of items. ... But FEMA kept all its stuff under lock and key because "we were not notified that there was a great need for this particular property," a spokeswoman told CNN.
Thousands of Gulf Coast residents still could use some or all of those items. ... Mercifully, FEMA came to its senses and gave all the goods to people in need, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Just kidding; with a stroke of a pen, FEMA officials declared the $85 million in goods government surplus and distributed it to federal agencies and governments in 16 states, which gave the stuff away to bureaucrats, college professors and prisoners, among others.
FEMA officials expressed surprise and outrage after nearly three years of rank incompetence and untold billions in waste and fraud - they have that act down cold and promised a full investigation, meaning they will wait until the scandal disappears from the headlines before throwing some low-level bureaucrat under the bus.