Pleas and please – former Cochran aide admits to accepting gifts from Abramoff’s firm

Every story has two sides and sometimes both are true – the story of Ann Copland’s service to Senator Cochran is one with two truths.

The sad truth was told in a courtroom in Washington this morning – and about that I know nothing more than what I’ve read in the related news stories.

Please know there is another truth.  While Abramoff is quoted as saying, “She’ll get anything she wants”, I am one of the countless Mississippians who called on Ann for assistance empty-handed  and received efficient, effective assistance in return.

She did her job well – so much so, in fact, that it may have led to her downfall.  Several years later, I was in Washington with my daughter and made a point of stopping by the Senator’s office to thank her personally.  I found her to be the all-too-rare person you meet and find so warm and engaging that you would like to know them better.

I had nothing to offer but a thank you and never felt even that was expected. It is with that same spirit of goodwill that I now offer you, our readers, this different truth about Ann and her service to the Sentator and his constituents.  The Times-Picayune tells the sad one.

A former longtime aide to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran pleaded guilty today to swapping legislative favors for event tickets and other gifts from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s firm.

Ann Copland wiped tears from her eyes as she admitted to U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts that she took the gifts in exchange for helping one of Abramoff’s top clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Copland is the latest among more than a dozen congressional aides, lobbyists, lawmakers and Bush administration officials convicted as part of a lobbying scandal spawned by Abramoff, a former high-flying influence peddler now serving a four-year prison term. Continue reading “Pleas and please – former Cochran aide admits to accepting gifts from Abramoff’s firm”

What’s Another 3 Billion Dollars Among Friends? Rohm & Haas Busts Buffett’s Chops

Even an Oracle is sometimes blind. From the Business Insider at Clusterstock:

Investors are already fretting about Berkshire Hathaway’s pristine financial standing, as the CDS market assigns the company a 13% chance of going totally bust. Meanwhile, Buffett’s latest stock moves — which may pan out over the long term — have gone the wrong way.

Yesterday’s Dow Chemical/Rohm & Haas settlement means The Oracle needs to put up more cash, per an agreement he made last Summer. On Squawk Box yesterday, he described the $3 billion commitment as “dumb” in light of the changed economy:

QUICK: A lot of viewers wrote in and had specific questions about your investments. David wrote in and says, “You’ve committed financing for Dow Chemical’s acquisition of Rohm and Haas Company. What are your thought on the upcoming lawsuit and whether or not the deal should continue to move forward?” Continue reading “What’s Another 3 Billion Dollars Among Friends? Rohm & Haas Busts Buffett’s Chops”

Ever wonder….

Which companies are most likely to default on their debt? Courtesy of Zero Hedge:

Moody’s, which has long been criticized for sleeping through the credit bubble and, by many accounts, causing it in the first place, just came out with an attempt at absolution. In a quarterly publication called the “Bottom Rung”, the rating agency list 283 companies which it believes are the most likely to default.

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Delay, Deny, Deceive: Duh!

This story from the National Underwriter confirms what us unwashed masses already knew without seeing the stats:

The top three reasons consumers filed formal complaints against their insurance companies last year were process delays, claim denials and unsatisfactory settlement offers, according to regulators’ data.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said those three complaints were followed by premium/insurance rating action and policy cancellations as the biggest customer gripes. Continue reading “Delay, Deny, Deceive: Duh!”