Initially I thought this post would be of the wham, bam, thank you ma’am variety where I could upload a few PACER docs and call it a day. Instead, reading one court filing lead to another and then the googling commenced in earnest and this despite the fact I followed the Canal Street Madam case real time including the post Katrina introduction of Louisiana’s most famous whore hopper, Diaper David Vitter into the saga by Mark Moseley aka Oyster at Your Right Hand Thief, a blog which graced our original blogroll until Mark scored a gig at The Lens, an investigative blog which we now feature on our list of links.
Complicating matters is the introduction of new players to the saga and they had to be checked as well. Throw in the fact a movie featuring Miss Maier’s story is being released as we speak and while I’ve had a consistent interest in this case we’re not interested in being an unwitting part of a viral marketing campaign in support of other people’s for profit endeavors, no matter how compelling the story. I satisfied myself such was not the case with the tips given us.
With that bit of background in place I’ll go ahead and put in a plug for the movie so our readers that are not so familiar with the Canal Street Madam case can catch up.
The CBS investigative news magazine 48 hours also covered the case in depth in a 3 part report which can be found here. Continue reading
Once again the politicians in Washington are oblivious to the needs of the citizens they are supposed to be representing. We hear about bipartisanship and this is a situation that is truly bipartisan. Both parties are playing pure politics with the failure to extend the NFIP. This may not seem like a big deal to many folks, but by not having access to Flood Insurance the impact is rippling throughout our economy. Lenders will not close on loans without Flood Insurance in flood prone areas, which means every coastal community.
Are there some legitimate arguments against the NFIP as it is currently structured? Absolutely, it is $19 billion in debt. This is due to the fact it is like most insurance pools and funds regulated by a governmental agency, federal or state. The rates have not been adequate as it is a “take all comers’ program. This should not be a surprise as it is a government program with all the built in deficiencies that come with that structure. In the scheme of things in Washington when does $19 billion matter to a politician inside the “Beltway”. That is not the reason. The reason is everyone wants to pass the extension of the NFIP and it is a good “hostage” to hold to try and garner votes for other issues. This is why the politicians won’t do what is right and just pass some stand alone legislation.
Some legislators will try to use the argument it is an inefficient program and needs reforms. No argument here, but first things first. Our economy is in bad shape and historically in order for the economy to improve the housing sector must improve. As long as the NFIP is not extended the housing market cannot recover. This is proof positive our representatives in Washington do not care about the citizens, but only about their power. I believe the NFIP will be extended in the near future. I would hope they would extend it for at least five years so we can have continuity of the program. Continue reading
Partisanship once again trumps statesmanship. (H/T Dambala @ AZ)
Joe Barton’s 6th Congressional District stretches across the central counties of east Texas, far inland from any threat of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. From that safe vantage point, the compensation fund established by BP at the insistence of President Barack Obama may appear to be a “$20 billion shakedown” that makes Barton, a Republican, “ashamed.”
But seen from the perspective of South Mississippians living near, and dependent upon the Gulf of Mexico, the fund is merely a down payment on BP’s liability. Continue reading