SLABBED Daily – October 1

The big slab of the day comes from President Obama who apparently can’t tell a federal flood from a hurricane.  Geoff Pender reports for the Sun Herald.

The White House on Wednesday indicated that President Barack Obama’s trip to the “hurricane damaged Gulf Coast” will not include Mississippi, nor, apparently, the Gulf Coast.

“The President will travel to New Orleans,” a White House spokesman said in a written response to the Sun Herald’s question of whether he would travel to Mississippi in his first trip to the region after being elected. Obama had promised to visit the Katrina damaged region by the end of his first year in office.

So the change we need is…a map.  Quick, someone get the President a map!

It appears State Farm has a similar problem.  Deborah Trotter’s response in opposition to State Farm’s motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discover tells that story: Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – October 1”

$37.5million – “pay to play” down payment

Connect the dots and you’ll see the $37.5 million the insurance industry invested in Congressional campaigns was a down payment on the industry’s  “pay to play” the regulatory game at the federal level.

“Pay to play” in 50 states may be too costly for an industry that undermined the world economy swapping worthless paper.  No doubt the  same “bright lights” that thought swapping worthless paper was an investment strategy, view consolidation of “pay to play” at the federal level as a cost-saving meansure.

The trickle down economic impact [sic] of the “pay” and the “play” going federal will be felt most in those states where the cost of competitive state-wide campaigns exceeds what the voting population can afford to contribute.

Mississippi is one of those states.  However, Commissioner Chaney who campaigned calling for the position to be appointed, is in better shape than his counterparts elsewhere.   In states with appointed commissioners, the insurance industry would only need need to pay the cost of one play – selecting the individual to fill the appointment.

Sop credits Katrina for his PhD in Hurricane.  I, on the other hand, credit the storm for my graduating summa cum laude from the School of Reality with a Specialty in Crushing Disappointments – Reuters has the story of the latest one.

Insurance industry reform will be the chief focus of a briefing scheduled for Thursday evening by Obama administration officials to financial industry lobbyists, said sources familiar with the agenda. Continue reading “$37.5million – “pay to play” down payment”

Friday Music – Theme from the Insurance Bailout

Dedicated to the ALL Finance Board with a special message for Mr. Gar wherever you are, now do u c it?  Adding wind to  the NFIP couldn’t make  insurance a welfare program, it has been for years – and now it’s a welfare queen!

Money don’t get everything it’s true.
What it don’t get I can’t use.
So gimme money (that’s what I want)
A little money (that’s what I want)
That’s what I want, ye-ye-yeh,
That’s what I want.

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Turn about is fair play – assuming you want to play fair

Like a man who had his own “tea party” before they became talked about in polite conversation really needs another flap – but then again, Louisiana Senator David Vitter must really enjoy flapping because here he goes again!  However, in that light, columnist John Maginnis might want to rethink the title of this week’s  tell-all Landrieu’s Hard Choices to Make. Actually he did – tough choices were in the headline when the column ran in the Times Picayune today.

Since Sen. Mary Landrieu’s re-election in November, the two issues she and her staff have heard the most about from constituents are: card check and Jim Letten…Whether or not the senior senator recommends that the president reappoint the Republican as U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District is a matter of intense interest beyond the New Orleans region.

For many, the career prosecutor has achieved folk hero status as a corruption fighter, whose ultimate trophy was the conviction of former Gov. Edwin Edwards for racketeering in 2000. Letten, then the first assistant, forcefully presented the government’s case at trial.

Letten’s critics acknowledge his competence while questioning his zeal to prosecute Democratic officials primarily. At any rate, they feel that with a change of administrations, it’s time for a new U.S. Attorney, and they expect Landrieu to recommend one.

Letten’s most fervent supporters proclaim that without him, that part of the state will return to its corrupt old ways–“the Louisiana way” as Letten famously dubbed it–and they demand that Landrieu do the apolitical thing and ask the president to keep him on the job. Leading that charge is Sen. David Vitter, who has promised Landrieu a fight if she goes with anyone but Letten.

What Vitter and like-minded others fail to understand is that one man’s trophy case is selective prosecution to another – and both terms reflect the “gotchya mentality” Jim Brown mentioned in his recent column cross-posted here on SLABBED. Continue reading “Turn about is fair play – assuming you want to play fair”

Biden – Geithner always there when you need to borrow money, no questions asked

Thanks to Vice-President Joe Biden we start the week with a smile. Politico reports Biden killed at Gridiron

“Axelrod really wanted me to do this on teleprompter — but I told him I’m much better when I wing it. … I know these evenings run long, so I’m going to be brief. Talk about the audacity of hope. … President Obama does send his greetings, though. He can’t be here tonight — because he’s busy getting ready for Easter. (Whisper) He thinks it’s about him. …

“I know that no president has missed his first Gridiron since Grover Cleveland. Of course, President Cleveland really did have better things to do on a Saturday night. When he was in the White House — he was married to a 21 year old woman. … I understand these are dark days for the newspaper business, but I hate it when people say that newspapers are obsolete. That’s totally untrue. I know from firsthand experience. I recently got a puppy, and you can’t housebreak a puppy on the Internet. Continue reading “Biden – Geithner always there when you need to borrow money, no questions asked”

I saw this at NPR and immediately wondered….

Each new president traditionally replaces his predecessor’s U.S. attorneys with new appointees. Obama has not yet nominated anyone. But according to sources close to the process, administration staffers have solicited recommendations from some members of Congress about who the new U.S. attorneys will be.

Those recommendations primarily come from the senior Democratic senator in each state. In states where both senators are Republicans, the administration is working with the state’s most senior Democrat in the House.

If that blurb from the NPR story on US Attorney selection is true, then Gene Taylor will be the man here in Mississippi as we have 2 GOP senators.


On an entirely different “note” tonight – more music

Although Solid was a hit when my ear was tuned to Muppet music, I thought some would find the story behind the recently revised lyrics interesting and a few might even want to sing along.  Take a look and a listen – and enjoy!

Some may call it a case of life imitating art, or a dose of excessive political enthusiasm, but singer-songwriters Ashford & Simpson call it a labor of love.

After hearing audiences change the lyrics to their 1984 hit song “Solid (as a Rock)” to “Solid (as Barack)” — and watching “Saturday Night Live” perform a skit in with cast members did the same thing — the performing duo went back into the studio, retooled the lyrics to honor Obama, and intend to release it via digital download on Inauguration Day. (more below the video)

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more about “McClatchy Washington Bureau | 01/14/2…“, posted with vodpod

Continue reading “On an entirely different “note” tonight – more music”

Bushwacked: Bushie goes down swinging. Deaf dumb and blind ’till the bitter end

Nothing gets a 30 percenter’s blood pressure up more than pointing out the complete failure of the Presidency of their hero George Bush. And instead of spending his last week in office pointing out the few good things he can claim for his presidential legacy he’s managed to remind the country exactly how completely inadequate he was as the Chief Exec during this country’s worst natural disaster in US history. Of course the local media is lapping it up like a boozer on a beer binge while the few remaining true believers take extra blood pressure medication.  Today’s front page Sun Herald story includes some quotes from our own Gene Taylor.  Good job Brownie and good riddance Bushie:

In his last press conference as commander-in-chief, President Bush on Monday forcefully defended his response to Hurricane Katrina, saying that the federal rescue of 30,000 people from rooftops was a tribute to the Coast Guard, but critics countered that FEMA was the president’s failure.

“I’ve thought long and hard about Katrina — you know, could I have done something differently, like land Air Force One either in New Orleans or Baton Rouge,” said Bush. “The problem with that … is that law enforcement would have been pulled away from the mission.”

Bush, who famously looked at the damage from the presidential plane without landing, has the specter of Katrina as a damaging part of his legacy. Continue reading “Bushwacked: Bushie goes down swinging. Deaf dumb and blind ’till the bitter end”

Well, how nice, the Editilla brought a guest – welcome to SLABBED Naomi Klein

Editilla, those links you sent weren’t in the can can; but, once I had time to read them, it was clear they merited a post so others could read them as well.

By way of introduction that few, if any readers need, the Editilla’s guest is an author – and, as noted below, a journalist and internationally syndicated columnist.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times and international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Published worldwide in September 2007, The Shock Doctrine is set to be translated into 20 languages to date. The six minute companion film, created by Alfonso Cuaron, director of Children of Men, was an Official Selection of the 2007 Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals and was a viral phenomenon, downloaded over a million times…

Here’s a sample from each of the three links Editilla sent today – starting with The Bailout Profiteer published on Halloween and still frightening, if not more so, here at Thanksgiving.

…As soon as the bailout was announced, it became clear that Treasury officials would hire outsiders to perform their jobs for them — at a profit. Private companies wanting to help manage the bailout were given just two days to apply for massive, multiyear contracts. Since it was such a mad rush — after all, the entire economy was about to implode — there was no time for an open bidding process. Nor was there time to draft rigorous rules to make sure that those applying don’t have serious conflicts of interest. Instead, applicants were asked to disclose their conflicts and to explain — and this is not a joke — their “philosophy in fulfilling your duty to the Treasury and the U.S. taxpayer in light of your proprietary interests and those of other clients.” In other words, an open invitation to bullshit about how much they love their country and how they can be trusted to regulate themselves.

The first major contract to be awarded in the bailout was for legal advice — and the choice Treasury made was Halliburton-esque in its audacity…the bidder who won the contract — Simpson Thacher & Bartlett…[is] a Wall Street heavy hitter…The first stage of the plan involves buying stakes in nine of the country’s top banks. Incredibly, Simpson Thacher has represented seven of the nine: JPMorgan, Bank of New York Mellon, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch… Continue reading “Well, how nice, the Editilla brought a guest – welcome to SLABBED Naomi Klein”