Slabbed Daily July 8: Dollar Bill Meets the Pillsbury Doughboy

US Government Photo (H/T The Times Picayune)
US Government Photo (H/T The Times Picayune)

With Dollar Bill standing trial we only need one story for todays open thread. Lets visit with Stephanie Grace at the Times Picayune:

We may never know why former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson stashed $90,000 in his freezer rather than deliver the money to then-Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar, as he promised a business associate who was secretly recording their conversations.

It may be that something went awry with the planned handoff, which was allegedly aimed at cementing a telecom deal in Nigeria. It may be that Jefferson had always intended to keep the money. There may be another reason entirely, one that would actually deliver on Jefferson’s “honorable explanation,” although as his trial in Virginia progresses, there’s no such explanation in sight.

This week’s evidence suggested an intriguing new alternative.

Recordings played in court Tuesday, when the jury finally watched investor Lori Mody’s climactic delivery of a briefcase containing the marked bills, suggested perhaps Jefferson held on to the money, rather than handing it off to Abubakar, because he suspected he was being watched. Continue reading “Slabbed Daily July 8: Dollar Bill Meets the Pillsbury Doughboy”

The Commish sets up a “Stakeholder” Meeting. If he’d only invited all the stakeholders…..

I’ve been hanging onto Anita Lee’s story from June 27th (H/t Editilla for the ease in finding the link) on Insurance Commish Mike Chaney’s upcoming insurance forum for almost 2 weeks now trying to figure out how to make all the puzzle pieces fit. Puzzle pieces? Now our readers are confused too but perhaps not as temporarily disoriented as I was left after seeing the Commish that same weekend being interviewed by WLOX’s Dave Elliot late that Sunday night. It was only this week that I figured out the Mike Chaney dichotomy to the point where I can convey the man’s fundamental contradictions and the differences between Mike Chaney the politician and Mike Chaney the ideologue. I’ll begin with Mike Chaney the politician and his upcoming forum designed to coincide with the National Governor’s conference scheduled for later this month in Biloxi as we visit with Anita Lee and the Sun Herald:

A wide variety of measures aimed at improving the coastal insurance market will be explored at a multi-state insurance forum scheduled on the eve of the National Governor’s Association conference.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney expects key stakeholders at the conference, including insurance commissioners from coastal states, insurance industry representatives and mitigation specialists. Chaney also hopes Gov. Haley Barbour, who is on the agenda, will bring coastal governors with him.

“It’s top-notch,” said Joseph Ammerman, a spokesman for the Mississippi Insurance Department, the host of the two-day forum July 16 and 17 at IP Casino Resort. “We’ve got a great lineup of speakers. The commissioner has been telling everybody who has agreed to speak, ‘We want answers.’

“We want to come away from this conference with some strategies about how to make things better on the Coast. We’re looking for solutions.”

I’d submit Mr Chaney and MID isn’t looking too hard for answers because the speaker lineup, while impressive, does not include a single consumer advocate. Mr Chaney is an industry guy who evidently doesn’t see the need for a consumer perspective at his forums. Mike Chaney the pol is always quick to take credit for the state funds given the windpool by the legislature to reduce premiums and that is what left me confused. You see, Mike Chaney the ideologue doesn’t believe in insurance subsidies for consumers nor any solution that involves governmental involvement beyond providing a free government backstop to for profit insurers …at least according to the 14th draft of the National; Association of Insurance Commissioner’s whitepaper titled: Natural Catastrophe Risk: Creating a Comprehensive National Plan. I’ll start with the AM Best story on the whitepaper before we delve deeper into Mssrs. Chaney and Richardson’s dissent: Continue reading “The Commish sets up a “Stakeholder” Meeting. If he’d only invited all the stakeholders…..”

Weathers Bitch Slaps Eleuterius while the Supremes sing a new legal precedent song: An O’Keefe v State Farm update

We have activity in the Federal Case O’Keefe v State Farm and this time due to a somewhat unlikely source, the Mississippi Supreme Court. This is a good topic because it appears from the conduct of the Corban proceedings the Court is once again deciding cases based on legal precedent which had become somewhat of a rarity in recent years as Chamber of Commerce approved justices like Jess Dickinson issued several very curious rulings such as in Jenkins holding the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case begins at the point of injury rather than the death itself in a ruling that favored a corporate defendent at the expense of the deceased family as the deceased evidently lingered and lived too long after the injury for his estate to sue. The public spectacle of Mississippi’s highest court beclowning itself lead to a reversal of Jenkins though I suspect the family remains SoL, forever shafted by Justice Dickinson.

Such behavior out of this State’s highest court explains why I had no confidence the Supremes would do justice in Corban but I’ll admit I was very pleasantly surprised, especially that Justice Dickinson actually asked intelligent questions during the proceedings and appeared to be open to the law, no doubt with an eye to the electoral calender. Regardless of the reason I almost suffered a heart attack when I read the latest from O’Keefe and then discovered Justice Dickinson voted with the other justices to reverse a badly decided case against an insurer where the agent made material misrepresentations to the customer. The agent’s legal arguments that the cause of action was time barred due to the statute of limitations had originally prevailed in the lower courts. For the State Farm agent in question in O’Keefe, this ruling could not have come at a worse time.

Nowdy covered the legal arguments of SF agent Marshall Eleuterius that the O’Keefe’s claim against him was time barred due to the Statute of Limitations in a post from this past Monday. The Thursday before, however, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruling in Weathers v Met Life detailed above was handed down and team O’Keefe wasted no time letting the Federal Court know about Weathers and the nitty gritty details in the case, especially the parts where Stephens v Equitable was too restrictive: Continue reading “Weathers Bitch Slaps Eleuterius while the Supremes sing a new legal precedent song: An O’Keefe v State Farm update”