As the berms turn part three: Jindal's "Dutch Treat" not working out. Dutch dredging company Van Oord says Jindal is all wet.

Folks, at the true extent of Bobby Jindal’s sand berm boondoggle comes to light Team Jindy is circling the wagons as hard questions are being asked. My last post on this topic was linked over at and it stimulated an interesting discussion. This much is clear after reading some of the commentary.  If Bobby Jindal passes gas and says it smells like lavender there is a segment of the populace that will buy in no questions asked. There is not much any of the rest of us a do for that group except show some patience and understanding. Meantime lets add some color about how the sand berm scheme came about and what some of the participants are saying now.

First off let’s begin with Dutch company Van Oord, a huge dredging company that had an angle on making some money off the oil spill in building some massive berms to “shorten the coastline”.  I’ve embedded their May 4, 2010 power point presentation to Scribd:

[scribd id=35125073 key=key-ip7frn6drt4rw2nqr1g mode=slideshow]

Next up is Kyle Graham, a Jindal political hack who did a Powerpoint presentation pushing the sand berms on June 16th where he credited Van Oord on page 16: Continue reading “As the berms turn part three: Jindal's "Dutch Treat" not working out. Dutch dredging company Van Oord says Jindal is all wet.”

National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Realtors, and American Bankers Association all support H.R. 1264!

Members of Congress would be well-advised to follow Sandra Bullock’s lead and consider the source – and source of funding – of opposition to Congressman Taylor’s HR 1264.Bullock, according to the story appearing in today’s Sun Herald, “wants her parts of a video promoting Gulf Coast restoration removed until she learns whether oil companies influenced it”:

[Bullock’s]…statement Thursday came after the website DeSmogBlog called the campaign an industry push to get support for drilling and taxpayer money to repair wetland damage caused by the BP oil spill.  Women of the Storm, a New Orleans group that produced the video, lists America’s Wetland Foundation as a partner. The foundation lists BP and other oil companies as sponsors on its website.

After reading the article about Bullock’s stand, I found a related email message about Congressman Taylor’s latest “Dear Colleague” letter:

The lobbyists for a few environmental groups have contacted your offices in opposition to H.R. 1264 the Multiple Peril Insurance Act.

Their statements are not only misguided, they are offensive. It is offensive to suggest that no one living within 30 miles of a coastline should be able to buy reasonably-priced insurance that would pay claims promptly and fairly simply because there are some ecologically sensitive coastal areas that should not be developed.

My bill does not subsidize development for anyone, anywhere, not in sensitive areas or any areas. Continue reading “National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Realtors, and American Bankers Association all support H.R. 1264!”

State Farm stops "dickin" around in Oxford, files Motion to Withdraw (a Rigsby qui tam update)

Believe me folks, State Farm won’t be pressing the Wall Street Journal to pick this story up – but that’s not to say State Farm’s Motion to Withdraw isn’t breaking news, only that some may have forgotten the history of discovery in the Rigsbys’ qui tam case.

Nowadays, there’s too much evidence on the table and the latest installment  of the State Farm-created “Sticky Note Caper” in filed northern Mississippi federal court proved no more effective than “dickin” around with oiled silk paper.

The “Sticky Note Caper” actually began with a Court in Washington, D.C. before it moved to Kentucky.  Oxford, where  State Farm’s Motion to Withdraw Motion for Return of Property was filed with hubris in USA v Scruggs, however, should be the last stop.  The Motion to Withdraw summarizes this short-lived attempt to play State Farm’s Scruggs sideshow” in a three-ring circus:

On July 20, 2010, State Farm filed its motion pursuant to Rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, for the United States to return property that State Farm believed may have been seized by searching agents while executing search warrant(s) issued in No. 3:07-mc-24 in this district.

State Farm’s motion was primarily seeking the recovery of the original of a document, to wit, an engineering report and “sticky note.” State Farm had reason to
believe that the papers may have been in the possession of Scruggs Law Firm, P.A., and seized during the execution of search warrant(s) on the premises of Scruggs Law Firm.

On July 27, 2010, the United States filed its response to State Farm’s motion, and in its response the United States asserted that: Continue reading “State Farm stops "dickin" around in Oxford, files Motion to Withdraw (a Rigsby qui tam update)”

Thomas "Chris" McIntosh speaking on the record about settlement with State Farm – a Rigsby qui tam update

“Thomas “Chris” McIntosh trusted insurance companies before Hurricane Katrina…My grandfather was in the insurance business. My father was in the insurance business, and I grew up trusting the insurance business…you knew if you paid your premiums, they would take care of you…I trusted State Farm when they walked in my door, and I had no reason to distrust them. I had trusted them for 20 years, and I trusted them for the year after that they lied to me and defrauded me, and now I probably will never trust anybody again in my life.”

Anita Lee’s Homeowner lambasts State Farm, appearing in today’s Sun Herald, reports McIntosh speaking on the record about his settlement with State Farm – in contrast to the record speaking for McIntosh:

“As part of the settlement, the McIntoshes acknowledged in the dismissal order entered into the court record that State Farm had a “reasonable basis” for its original payment and adjusted the claim fairly.

State Farm attorney Robert Galloway quizzed McIntosh about the dismissal order during the pretrial testimony. Galloway asked McIntosh if he agreed the majority of damage to his property was caused by flooding, as the order said. McIntosh said he did not know.

“So you don’t disagree with that?” Galloway asked. “You’re just saying you don’t have personal knowledge one way or the other?

As a long day of questions drew to a close, McIntosh responded: “I vehemently disagree, and I disagreed with this and was extremely (upset) at my counsel when I read this.

“I didn’t approve it. I didn’t read it in advance. I have no doubt that State Farm wrote it and gave it to my counsel; and at this point, we were financially unable to continue, and the message was sent to us that — excuse my language — but we would never see a (expletive) dime if we didn’t settle now. It would be appealed till hell froze over.”

Frankly, it appeared hell was at least icing down when McIntosh v State Farm settled “on the date the Rigsbys… ‘Response to the second set of dispositive motions’  was due”.  SLABBED reported: Continue reading “Thomas "Chris" McIntosh speaking on the record about settlement with State Farm – a Rigsby qui tam update”

As the sand berms turn part deux: Dear Thad, time to end the madness.

The coastal science community continues to over fly the developing environmental catastrophe also known as the sand berm boondoggle as Bobby Jindal’s sand castles continue to wash away at the hands of our typical summer weather patterns.  Bonnie’s remnants probably did a good bit more damage. A few days before her passage, Coastal Scientist Rob Young wrote an open letter to Thad Allen calling for an end to all permitting associated with the berms.  This means Chris Roberts will have to eat those rocks that were purchased that he kept whining about on Anderson Cooper 360 but we’ve let the merry gang of political incomps do enough damage to the environment as it is.

Len Bahr featured Rob’s open letter over at Louisiana Coast Post, which was signed by over 20 coastal scientists. I’ve embedded the original to scribd for our audience.

[scribd id=34984055 key=key-u5r71elh9ptr1k4mu69 mode=list]

Speaking of Len, Continue reading “As the sand berms turn part deux: Dear Thad, time to end the madness.”

Kathleen Koch's Rising from Katrina delivers the Katrina experience

I introduced the Slabbed Nation to former CNN Whitehouse reporter Kathie Koch back in June after we renewed acquaintances as we gave her new book an advance plug along with her second CNN special on Bay-Waveland that we profiled back April 2008. The evaluation copy of the book arrived in late June and I could not put it down once I cracked it open as the 344 page narrative stirred my memories of those early post Katrina days, a time period that had a profound impact on countless lives from the disaster victims to those that came to help including my partner in blog Nowdy who was a first responder.

There are certain events that still stir the emotions of the Slabbed and Kathie covered most of them in her book.  Knowing how I reacted to reading certain passages I watched Mrs Sop as she began reading the book after I finished it.  I knew immediately when she reached the story of the Clevelands and their fight for survival during the storm as her facial expression told the story. Nikki and her husband Patrick not only were separated from each other by the storm surge but were also separated from Nikki’s parents who did not make it. And yet despite the tragedy of Nikki losing her parents, and being hosed by Nationwide while her husband Patrick battled cancer,  Kathie also conveys how the Clevelands’ story is one of hope in how they recovered from the storm even finding the strength to start a family of their own literally from the rubble. Similar themes run through the book from cover to cover as the events Kathie experienced are laid out in detail. Continue reading “Kathleen Koch's Rising from Katrina delivers the Katrina experience”

Slabbed news miscellany: Another politician checks into the drunk tank. The Waveland Citizens Fund is shut down. The Sun Herald takes a crack at Simpsongate.

MDOT Executive Director Larry 'Butch" Brown

It seems as though MDOT Executive Director Butch Brown has a gambling problem to go along with his drinking problem folks. Michael Newsom and Geoff Pender have the story for the Sun Herald.  

Brown, 67, was arrested early Friday morning at Beau Rivage casino. According to Biloxi Municipal Court, a Beau Rivage representative asked the court Monday to drop the disorderly conduct charge. A court date of Sept. 13 has been set for the drunkenness charge.  

Biloxi police records say Brown was “intoxicated and unconscious” at a slot machine at 5:43 a.m. on Friday. Casino security woke Brown and “he became extremely belligerent and caused a big disturbance within the casino in view of numerous other people,” police records say, and that he “repeatedly refused to cooperate with officers on the scene.”  

Mississippi is the only state that elects its transportation commissioners and I could spend several posts detailing the systemic corruption and lack of oversight at MDOT but the Sun Herald has already done a great job of doing that. Suffice it to say former Natchez mayor Butch Brown is just the type of stuffed shirt drunk for the job of running MDOT day to day. The shame is I could never connect his son’s bond work to TheRiot and Coastal Securities but it isn’t because of a lack of effort here at Slabbed.  😉 Continue reading “Slabbed news miscellany: Another politician checks into the drunk tank. The Waveland Citizens Fund is shut down. The Sun Herald takes a crack at Simpsongate.”

About the reach of the new media….

I had to laugh last night when I saw BP’s involvement in the early release of the Lockerbie Bomber was being rehashed in the news.  Rehashed? You betcha as Bam Bam Bigelow covered this exact topic for Slabbed almost one year ago.  And what of the dying Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi? Seems going home has done wonders for his health.

Covering such topics before they become “news” also may explain why we get more unique visits per week here at Slabbed than every Mississippi weekly paper except a few. Our circulation is a bit more well heeled to boot.

We thank you for being in that number.