“How con-VEEN-ient” – Representative Pugh joins Senator Martiny on the dark side with amendment to Louisiana open records law

Email messages readers are sending to SLABBED indicate Louisiana citizens want more transparency not less.  The most recent message contained a link to the blog forgotston and news that reports Rep. Steve Pugh, R-Ponchatoula, has joined Jefferson Parish’s Senator Martiny on the dark side with an amendment to Louisiana open records law:

Rep. Steve Pugh, R-Ponchatoula, has filed some bills in the current lege session to hide more public documents from the public. That’s rather odd considering how the LA public (his constituents) thinks there isn’t enough transparency in government. Most politicians when seeking office (At least the first time.) have a plank in their platforms about more transparency.

One of Pugh’s bills really hits home with me.

Pugh wants to give himself and other public servants the right to determine which electronic mailing (”email”) they receive are considered “junk” and therefore not subject to the Public Records Law. They could simply delete e-mails transferred by their junk filters (for which they control the criteria) into their “junk box”. ( See HB 1074.)

As the “Church Lady” on Saturday Night Live used to say: “How con-VEEN-ient!

forgotston is the incredibly interesting blog of C.B. Forgotston, a  former New Orleans attorney, now in Hammond where he is  “engaged in the private practice of law as a sole-practitioner limited to legislative and governmental matters.  Given his background, it’s not surprising  that Mr. Forgotston really nails Pugh: Continue reading ““How con-VEEN-ient” – Representative Pugh joins Senator Martiny on the dark side with amendment to Louisiana open records law”

BREAKING: Corban v USAA settles

Anita Lee has all the scoop as the wind water debate rages in the commentary to her story. I suspect, given the related Mississippi Supreme Court decision, USAA paid up big. (Our exhaustive coverage of Corban can be found by clicking here.) Sadly for the public, we will not get to see Mr Haney lose another big case for USAA like Lisanby. Congratulations to the Corbans and their legal team of Judy Guice, Buddy Gunn, Flip Phillips and Chris Van Cleave. Rather than quote the news story lets visit with Anita’s blog for her take on the news:

The landmark Katrina case, Corban vs. USAA, has settled on the usual “undisclosed terms.”

The case established that wind damage is covered even if water contributes to the loss, a fact insurance companies tried to fight after Hurricane Katrina.

The Mississippi Supreme Court decision came in October 2009, far too late to help countless policyholders who settled under an erroneous federal ruling that came down much earlier.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could have certified the question to Mississippi’s Supreme Court, which has say over state-governed insurance contracts, but chose not to.

The federal legal system, in fact, has let down policyholders in more ways than one. Magistrate Judge Robert Walker in particular Continue reading “BREAKING: Corban v USAA settles”

A quick detour from bashing corrupt politicians: Sell in May and go away.

Those that know me from the financial boards know that I was 100% in Ginnies in my retirement account back in the fall of 2008 when the markets began to crater along with the near collapse of our financial system. Of course when I perceived an opportunity in early 2008 to buy back into equities, I was all over it, indexing the market and overweighting certain sectors I thought would do well on the way back up. I am pleased to report I consider that mission accomplished to my personal satisfaction.

But there is also an old Wallstreet saying, “sell in May and go away”. It refers to the historical fact that the market performs best from December to May while most of the spectacular crashes have occured in the June to November time period with an overweight on big declines beginning in the months of September/October.

Toby over at Greenbacked wrote a post last Friday that highlighted a post on the DShort blog which analyzes current market valuations using the Ben Graham’s PE10 which is an excellent read, especially for you lay people that self direct your own 401k accounts. Lets begin at DShort:

Legendary economist and value investor Benjamin Graham noticed the same bizarre P/E behavior during the Roaring Twenties and subsequent market crash. Graham collaborated with David Dodd to devise a more accurate way to calculate the market’s value, which they discussed in their 1934 classic book, Security Analysis. They attributed the illogical P/E ratios to temporary and sometimes extreme fluctuations in the business cycle. Their solution was to divide the price by the 10-year average of earnings, Continue reading “A quick detour from bashing corrupt politicians: Sell in May and go away.”

“No matter how long we’ve been together Edith, you still, as the kids say, ‘turn me over’.” Ashton O’Dwyer files for rehearing at 5th Circuit.

We have some new documents in the ongoing saga of Ashton O’Dwyer v the local federal court system and a quick update on the criminal case. Let’s tackle the appeal of the dismissal of his Judicial misconduct complaint by quoting from a recent email Ashton sent to the 5th Circuit:

I recall getting very “angry” at St. Amant’s letter of 7/02/09, because:(1) I aver, upon information and belief, that St. Amant is an “enabler” and co-conspirator with Dennis, and is as culpable as Dennis or any of the other judges in connection with the dismissal of Case No.08-30052; (2) I thought that St. Amant was “setting me up for a fall”, which unfortunately became reality, when Chief Judge Jones dismissed my Complaints summarily, without even reading my Complaints, much less considering my exhibits; and (3) St. Amant’s letter indicated to me that the Chief Judge (no doubt with St.Amant) was not even reading my quite detailed Complaints of Judicial Misconduct of: (a) 4/14/09, 4/16/09 and 4/27/09, which meticulously detailed with precision: (i) Continue reading ““No matter how long we’ve been together Edith, you still, as the kids say, ‘turn me over’.” Ashton O’Dwyer files for rehearing at 5th Circuit.”