Prevent disaster at FEMA: Push “hell no button” on Witt and Merritt with email to Obama and Members of Congress

I’m pushing all the “hell no” buttons I can find to oppose Witt’s return to FEMA.

Join me in saying Hell no to Witt and Merritt at FEMA and Hell no to others who would likewise come with “strings attached” to the insurance industry.

Send your “hell no” directly to President-elect Obama.

Let the President-elect know the change we need is a FEMA without ties to the insurance industry.

Make your voice even louder by sending this same message to Congress.

We’ve got two great ones for this issue – send both a copy of your message.  Your voice will be heard; just don’t expect a reply unless you’re from their District.

Representative Bennie G. Thompson (D – 02) (Chairman, Homeland Security)
202-225-5876 phone
202-225-5898 fax
email Representative Thompson

Representative Gene Taylor (D – 04) (Champion of the Slabbed)
202-225-5772 phone
202-225-7074 fax
email Representative Taylor

Connect to any/all Members from here.

Change we need – an independent FEMA.  Continue reading “Prevent disaster at FEMA: Push “hell no button” on Witt and Merritt with email to Obama and Members of Congress”

The New York Times on Bush Lackey Marc Racicot Leaving the AIA: “Don’t be the last guy off the (Gravy) train”

Our readers no doubt remember our recent post on George Bush political lackey Mark Racicot being curbed by the American Insurance Association from his $1.8 million dollar a year job with them. Our take was vastly different from the Kool Aid being served by AIA at the time. Today, the New York Times picks up the story and puts a slabbed like analysis on the recent turnover on K Street:

Richard Hunt, a top Republican lobbyist for the securities industry, was among the first to go, just a week after the election. Marc Racicot, the president of the American Insurance Association and former Republican Party chairman, resigned a few days later. So did Frank L. Bowman, the retired admiral and Republican-leaning chief of the nuclear energy lobby, citing “this period of dramatic change in Congress and the White House.”

All were casualties of a broad shake-up of the lobbying world set off by the Democratic ascendance in Congress and at the White House. Continue reading “The New York Times on Bush Lackey Marc Racicot Leaving the AIA: “Don’t be the last guy off the (Gravy) train””

It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

There is story in today’s Washington Post that includes a Team Obama trial balloon for FEMA director that reminded me of that famous bit of Yogism I used in the post title in that James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton’s FEMA director is being looked at closely for the post.

On the surface Witt would seem like a great choice as his resume is packed full of skins on the wall. For the slabbed however it represents no real change at all. In fact Witt coming back to FEMA would represent more of the revolving door and the inherent problems associated with it.

We first ran across Mr Witt in his association with Allstate front group Protecting It is there you can find a press release from last Thursday that predicts a federal backstop will soon pass now that Obama will soon be President:

Edward T. Collins, a national director of, the nation’s largest coalition of first responders, emergency management professionals, small and large businesses and 20,000 individual members dedicated to improving America’s preparation and protection from massive natural catastrophes, today told the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) that the nation and the states are poised to create financial backstops that will address the looming threat of record-breaking disaster losses without relying on bailouts from the federal taxpayers.

‘Tremendous progress has been made at the state and national levels to create a system of pre-funded financial backstops that will rely on private insurance company contributions to replace the after-the-fact taxpayer bailouts that have followed major catastrophes like hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Ike,’ Collins told the NCOIL Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Insurance Legislation meeting in Duck Key, Florida today.

I personally found it ironic NCOIL was meeting in such posh surroundings as Hawk’s Cay Resort on Duck Key given the current controversy about traveling in style and partying while asking for taxpayer handouts but as the Protecting America press release illustrates the memo has been slow to be passed around. Cynics would say of course this is just another brazen illustration of arrogance. In fact taking cynicism a step further I’ll note that while Hawk’s Cay Resort is renowned Continue reading “It’s Deja Vu All Over Again”

We Aren’t the Only Ones with a Grocery Shortage

Waveland recently solved theirs with last weeks announcement that Claiborne Hill was coming to town though the insurance plan was not made public. Thanks to Editilla I noted our friends in New Orleans are having the same problem in parts of town. In the case of the Marigny and Bywater residents who shopped at the now destroyed Roberts Fresh Market on St Claude Ave., grocery shopping means taking a hike over the industrial canal to St Bernard.

Our readers may remember we’ve mentioned the Roberts grocery store chain on Slabbed before in connection with a large verdict in their favor against United Fire and Casualty Company. To their credit UFCC didn’t try to BS the reason they drug their feet on a legit wind claim as the company admitted in court they  “delayed and refused to make payments because of the financial stress put on that company because they didn’t purchase enough reinsurance…”

Of course UFCC wanted Robert’s money up front in the form of insurance premium and it is an insurance dispute that is keeping residents of the Marigny and Bywater grocery store deprived as this article in City Business makes clear:

“The area is in tremendous need of a full-service grocery store,” Carter said. “We’ve been working pretty hard for some time now trying to help that process along.” Continue reading “We Aren’t the Only Ones with a Grocery Shortage”

How POTUS knew Katrina hit New Orleans [sic] (formerly titled “Guess our invitation won’t be in the mail!)

If any of us were actually expecting an invitation from the White House, this announcement ought to be enough to keep Sop’s tux, belle’s party dress, and my dancing shoes in the closet.

Desiree Rogers, a prominent Chicago businesswoman, is receiving loads of attentiDesiree Rogers Chicago businesswoman and Obama fundraiser named White House social secretary by president elect Barack Obamaon today. Barrack Obama named the 49-year-old Rogers as his White House social secretary this morning, making her the first African American to hold that position, like her boss.

Rogers happens to be a friend of Michelle and a major fundraiser for the Obama campaign.

She’ll leave her position managing social networking at Allstate Financial to join the cabinet. Continue reading “How POTUS knew Katrina hit New Orleans [sic] (formerly titled “Guess our invitation won’t be in the mail!)”

Well, how nice, the Editilla brought a guest – welcome to SLABBED Naomi Klein

Editilla, those links you sent weren’t in the can can; but, once I had time to read them, it was clear they merited a post so others could read them as well.

By way of introduction that few, if any readers need, the Editilla’s guest is an author – and, as noted below, a journalist and internationally syndicated columnist.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Published worldwide in September 2007, The Shock Doctrine is set to be translated into 20 languages to date. The six minute companion film, created by Alfonso Cuaron, director of Children of Men, was an Official Selection of the 2007 Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals and was a viral phenomenon, downloaded over a million times…

Here’s a sample from each of the three links Editilla sent today – starting with The Bailout Profiteer published on Halloween and still frightening, if not more so, here at Thanksgiving.

…As soon as the bailout was announced, it became clear that Treasury officials would hire outsiders to perform their jobs for them — at a profit. Private companies wanting to help manage the bailout were given just two days to apply for massive, multiyear contracts. Since it was such a mad rush — after all, the entire economy was about to implode — there was no time for an open bidding process. Nor was there time to draft rigorous rules to make sure that those applying don’t have serious conflicts of interest. Instead, applicants were asked to disclose their conflicts and to explain — and this is not a joke — their “philosophy in fulfilling your duty to the Treasury and the U.S. taxpayer in light of your proprietary interests and those of other clients.” In other words, an open invitation to bullshit about how much they love their country and how they can be trusted to regulate themselves.

The first major contract to be awarded in the bailout was for legal advice — and the choice Treasury made was Halliburton-esque in its audacity…the bidder who won the contract — Simpson Thacher & Bartlett…[is] a Wall Street heavy hitter…The first stage of the plan involves buying stakes in nine of the country’s top banks. Incredibly, Simpson Thacher has represented seven of the nine: JPMorgan, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch… Continue reading “Well, how nice, the Editilla brought a guest – welcome to SLABBED Naomi Klein”