“I called FEMA and they didn’t even know a hurricane hit New Orleans”

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Most days, I type like a turtle.  On a good day, I’m a Wilma Flintstone backed up by little birdies pecking away.

Today is one of those “most days” and I wanted you to know that I’m working and will have a post up soon that explains the title and a whole lot more.

So, with apologies to unowhour, cominglatersooner  is the very believable unbelievable story of the disaster known as FEMA.  SLABBED is pleased to provide the disaster assistance and pass along with this picture of the post-Ike assistance provided in Houston by a kind-hearted, clear-headed Home Depot.

My thanks to AFGE Local 4060 for trusting us to tell the story.  Otherwise, I would have been the last to know – it seems I always am.

For example, I’ve only recently discovered that FEMA pays the legal fees when a WYO insurance company is sued by an NFIP policyholder!

Could I ever have used one of those orange buckets last night!  My stomach was so unsettled after reading the Agency’s legal guide that I got little more than a wink of sleep.

Slabbed Welcomes FEMA’s Rank and File Employees

Nowdy’s post on Janet Napolitano’s choices for the new FEMA Director has stirred a good bit of interest and commentary, including our newest commenter Fedresponse. I could be wrong but I think we’ve chatted enough and the many good hard working people that are FEMA first responders have read enough to understand we’re on the same page.  Along those lines we’re honored to publicize a scathing report on FEMA management issued today by local 4060 of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents FEMA staff in the DC area.

In checking local 4060 out the first thing I noted was this June, 2004 letter to Senator Hillary Clinton from local president Pleasant Mann that was featured in the indyweek.com article, “A Disaster Waiting to Happen“:

In June, Pleasant Mann, a 16-year FEMA veteran who heads the agency’s government employee union, wrote members of Congress to warn of the agency’s decay. “Over the past three-and-one-half years, FEMA has gone from being a model agency to being one where funds are being misspent, employee morale has fallen, and our nation’s emergency management capability is being eroded,” he wrote. “Our professional staff are being systematically replaced by politically connected novices and contractors.”

On August 29, 2005 that disaster did happen wih Katrina’s arrival. Brownie, in hindsight didn’t do a heckuva job and the agency took a black eye with the public. FEMA professionals and first responders alike suffered in silence despite sounding the early warning while Bushie political hacks like Michael Brown wreaked havoc both within and outside FEMA. The result is rather predictable:

This is an agency still suffering from a failure in leadership, the heavy influence of political appointees, a lack of strategic direction and coordination, poor and unqualified management, over-reliance on contractors, undervaluation of employees, hostile work environments, Continue reading “Slabbed Welcomes FEMA’s Rank and File Employees”

Another One Bites the Dust…

McKinsey and Company’s own Nancy Killefer is the latest Obama adminsitration tax compliance victim closely following former senate majority leader Tom Daschle out of the beltway. Taxing Timothy Geithner got by in by a hair. Nowdy that tax thang sure must be complicated if all these highpowered folks couldn’t get it right.  A good CPA might just be worth his/her weight in gold to an aspiring presidential cabinet appointee these days. People tend to forget about Zoe Baird or the debacle that became of Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Burger’s estate.

I’ll rank the transgressions in order of their seriousness from least to worst (JMPO):

Tim Geithner (Failure to pay S/E Tax on “Non employee compensation”) #3
Tom Daschle (Failure to pay income and S/E tax on his Benies) #2
Nancy Killefer (Ignoring SUTA requirements to the point of tax lein) #1

The Sun Herald has a curious editorial in today’s paper that concluded the dollar magnitude of Daschle’s mistake should automatically DQ him. Honest mistakes happen a good bit, I’ve amended many a 6 figure return with mistakes running both for and against the treasury.

Given the complexities of the tax code, the miracle is more people have not been washed out by the political vetting process through time.

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The ice claims cometh! Kentucky reports more damage from ice than Ike

Just months after Hurricane Ike whipped by Kentucky, the emergency management agency there is reporting the ice storm gripping the area is even more destructive.

Kentucky insurance carriers have taken thousands of claims as a result of this week’s ice storm, and agents said yesterday they expect to hear from more policyholders as power is restored.

State Farm, which insures 22 percent of Kentucky homeowners, expects to handle about 6,000 claims statewide.

Although damage was widespread in Louisville, State Farm spokeswoman Lisa Ripley said the worst was in the Paducah area, which didn’t have full cell phone and landline service as of yesterday.

Some of the larger insurers are setting up mobile response vehicles, and the state Department of Insurance is allowing licensed adjusters in other states to come to Kentucky to speed up the claims process.

“Once power has been restored and people are able to get out and assess the damage, we believe the number of claims will begin to rise,” said spokeswoman Ronda Sloan.

Kentucky Farm Bureau, the state’s second-largest insurer for homeowners after State Farm, already has taken about 2,000 claims, spokesman Greg Kosse said. Continue reading “The ice claims cometh! Kentucky reports more damage from ice than Ike”