Does Louisiana Deserve Federal Flood Aid when its Congressmen Voted to Deny it to Others

The answer to that question is pretty clear to me, the folks that elected Congressmen Steve Scalise, Bill Cassidy and John Flemming that flooded out in Louisiana should practice what they preach and not get a dime of federal help. By extension, since Mississippi’s fluffer Congressman Steven Palazzo also voted to deny Federal Aid to Superstorm Sandy victims the same would apply here in Mississippi the next time a hurricane hits the coast right?

These Louisiana politicians are demanding flood aid, but voted against Sandy relief ~ Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

With due respect to Foster Campbell it’s a bit late for an apology:

Members of Louisiana congressional delegation owe Sandy victims an apology ~ Foster Campbell

Time for folks in the bayou country to start Hitchin’ their britches….

I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this in the national media.

 

Some things may never change….

FEMA still bites as do the insurance companies that adjust NFIP claims that take 33 cents on the dollar of the premiums doing so.

Business Of Disaster: Insurance Firms Profited $400 Million After Sandy ~ Laura Sullivan

Or you can listen to the 20 minute plus segment from NPR’s All Things Considered embedded below.

Meantime here on the coast where the false claims act suit against State Farm over dumping its winds claims on the NFIP is raging on for the 10th year, Delay, Deny Defend is still the strategy du jour as this order from Magistrate Walker earlier this month illustrates.

Gerald Nielsen, the NFIP Katrina and Sandy claims handling topical again here on Slabbed

The chickens are coming home to roost:

FEMA Sets Up Review Process for Sandy Flood Claims ~ Insurance Journal

In light of recent allegations that some insurers in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may have denied or rejected Superstorm Sandy flood damage claims based on falsified reports, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is now prepared to reopen “every flood insurance claim” filed by Sandy victims, officials announced.

You don’t say. Meantime last night a new commenter stopped in on an old insurance post sharing some information that is worth highlighting:

As someone in the industry who has represented liberty mutual on dozens of their cases it is with certainty that I can say they are the worst slimeballs in the industry second only to State Farm. I have heard their newbie adjusters tell elderly insureds they did not have a claim despite having lost their teeth and fractures to their jaws from slipping on wet floors that had been mopped in dark rooms. I have seen them deny claims that were clearly covered. I have seen them justify and defend cheating beneficiaries of their benefits and I have seen them cheat their own employees.

State Farm just had another reorg and guess who got cut. All of the employees from Mississippi who had to defend Eds Russ and Lecky’s decisions to cheat policyholders. That is how they rewarded their loyal senior staff. It was sad that the local adjusters managers and agents got the shaft for Ed and lecky’s unscrupulous behavior.

Additional vital background can be found here and more recently here.

There’s something about Mary: A National Flood Insurance Disaster update

Folks, a few years ago when the Ed Rust Memorial Flood Insurance reform act was passed there was one website in the country that knew the fix against the ordinary Joe was in and that would be Slabbed. Locally, the real estate market died when the cost of Flood Insurance skyrocketed and all the local pols like Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu and Mississippi’s Steven Palazzo, both of whom voted for the insurance industry sponsored bill, ran away as fast as they could as the specter of mass bankruptcies in their constituency loomed large. Another bill with band aid attached was passed and all was declared right in the world, except it isn’t.

There is nothing I could write on election day that would impact more than a handful of voters as people generally have their minds made up well before election day but today before most of you head out to the polls I’d like to remind you folks there is not a nickle’s worth difference between the two political parties as it appears most of those running for high office are strictly in it for themselves, their friends and family and I have an example right here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast which again illustrates the concept.

Last February, NBC News’ Bill Dedman ran an expose on how the rich, famous and powerful had an inside fix for the Flood Insurance blues in simply paying someone to have their property removed from the Flood plain in the FEMA Flood Maps. Gulfshores Alabama had several beachfront luxury condominiums remapped from the Flood Zone saving them (and the folks from places like Jackson, Mississippi that own the units) literally hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. The specter of the owner of the house just up the beach actually paying more in annual flood premiums for a beach house than a luxury condo tower became reality and those that can afford to own an oceanfront condo once again get the government subsidy.

The NBC series on the topic had multiple installments including one which detailed how hard it is for the average Joe to get FEMA to correct errors in their maps let alone getting repetitive loss properties removed from the flood zone.  It is not cheap or easy unless one happens to know the right person, or happens to be related to one and that brings me to the coast because the NBC map of properties removed from the Flood Zone included two in the Pass.  Here is one of the subject properties

12-04-4027A-285261
Click to Obtain 3 Page PDF

The property owner’s name is listed at the bottom of the cover letter but I went to the Harrison County Tax Collector’s website to verify the subject beach front property is owned by John and Joanne Curren.  Here is a pic of the house circa June 2013 when it was being constructed after the property was removed from the flood zone per Google maps: Continue reading “There’s something about Mary: A National Flood Insurance Disaster update”

Tuesday Twofer: Ask not what Good Government Citizen groups can do for you……..

Ask what you can do for Good Government Citizen Groups.

FEMA is out of touch ~ Tommy Elkins

StopFemaNow is a group of concerned citizens, who have not only been effected by Super Storm Sandy, but who have been impacted on varying levels by the implications of the new FEMA flood maps. The decision to adopt these maps is premature and requires additional consideration. We want to, quite simply, Stop Fema Now!

Our goal is to create community awareness as the adoption of these maps will heavily impact many communities across this country. These maps will tear many from their homes, force many to make harsh decisions about their futures with no real place to turn and ultimately change our lives. The financial implications alone are frightening!

We are faced with many unanswered questions and very little direction. StopFemaNow intends to provide a fact based argument as to how and why we can rebuild stronger and more resilient with a more “realistic” approach. Together we will prevail!

Magnolia Group sues over Bay Tech Building Swindle

And I am already hearing rumors additional defendants will be added to the suit. The Bay Waveland School Board, in my opinion, has wholly failed to properly discharge their fiduciary duty to the taxpayers and voters of Hancock County and if this litigation begins consuming tax dollars meant for education, Slabbed New Media will not be kind to the perpetrators. Click the pic to nab the PDF:

Magnolia Group v O'Dwyer et al Doc 1

I see from Pacer Magistrate Roper has recused himself from this case. It took me a few seconds to figure out the likely reason, which I will not share, but I will say Magistrate Roper is known as a straight shooter that calls his cases down the middle and he was absolutely right to stand down here IMHO. Continue reading “Magnolia Group sues over Bay Tech Building Swindle”

Biggert-Waters NFIP Disaster Update: Our politicians thus far unable to reverse the damage from their earlier votes….

So far the two state senatorial delegation of Mary Landrieu, David Vitter, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are striking out on delaying the massive NFIP rate increases coming down the pike. Per this Bruce Alpert piece, Senator Landrieu is now seeking a one year delay in the massive rate hikes coming for those that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. A few days later, Alpert covered a letter the area’s congressional delegation sent to FEMA asking for administrative relief.

The troubled Flood Insurance program is billions of dollars in debt and the Biggert-Waters Act, designed as it was by the Insurance Industry for the sole benefit of the insurance industry guarantees that the billions of dollars in wind claims private insurers such as State Farm dumped on the NFIP after Hurricane Katrina will be repaid by the NFIP ratepayers instead of the large companies that socialized their contractual obligations under their insurance policies that dumped them on the US Treasury. Unfortunately the people of this area were sold out to the insurance industry by our own politicians, who now claim ignorance of the impacts of the bill upon which they voted Aye.

In related news Alpert checked in yesterday with a report on the FEMA pilot program on adjusting flood maps to give credit for locally built, non-accredited levees.  This seems a risky proposition to me due to the fact ongoing maintenance of these systems has been historically neglected plus filling in marshlands for development is bad for the environment. What this area needs is smarter development that does not impact or alter the floodplain, not more levees.

Boss Hogg’s Niece Rosemary owes over $350K in unpaid court fines

What can you say folks except this is crony disaster capitalism at its finest.  As I remember Rosemary’s baby, Alcatec LLC also stiffed its employees on overtime pay.

Fines are unpaid in Rosemary Barbour case ~ Maria Recio

Let’s drill down on the OIG report on DMR’s friends and family program to expose fatal flaws in the appraisals obtained by the Bay Waveland School District in the Bay Tech Building Scandal

Let’s use some excerpts of the OIG report on DMR’s land acquisitions to illustrate why the taxpayer paid appraisals obtained by the Bay Waveland School Board as cover for their friends and family program are not worth the paper they are written on. First up we need to know what the OIG auditors did and they well explain it:

You see folks, the auditors may have had specific information that DMR Director Bill Walker and his assistant Tina Shumate were looting the program for their personal gain but going in blank they would have noticed a ton of red flags. Preliminary procedures would include comparing the real estate valuations (appraisals) against tax roll appraised values. Drilling down into the appraisal report themselves for those transactions that had large variances would include evaluating the appraiser’s work product against professional standards in the field. The OIG was kind enough to identify for us 15 requirements and best practices and summarize how each DMR transaction failed at least 4 of those 15 best practices/requirements: Continue reading “Let’s drill down on the OIG report on DMR’s friends and family program to expose fatal flaws in the appraisals obtained by the Bay Waveland School District in the Bay Tech Building Scandal”

Post holiday news miscellany

I guess it is time to crank things back up after Thanksgiving. I had the dessert cart this year and kept things kid friendly making Lemon squares, Blonde brownies along with the traditional pumpkin pie.  Since Pizza buns were a hit with the kid set last year we tried Stuffed pizza this year and it is a keeper.  While everyone works off all the good eats here are several links of interest:

Wanna work people up and get them good and mad?  Kill and mutilate a few dolphins as the Sun Herald editorial board explains.  The panel of marine experts in the Slabbed nation seem to think a local shrimper has gone postal.

Next up is another editorial from the Sun Herald that is extraordinary in respects on the taxpayer funded land graft at the DMR where they joined Slabbed in calling for a federal investigation.  Judging from the murmurs coming from the peanut gallery we’re both a bit late to that party and that is not a bad thing per se.  The DMR withholding public documents from reporter Karen Nelson is beyond disgraceful but about par for the course. That said where there is a will there is a way as the information is out there.

Next up we go way back to early November for the fake cover of Paula Broadwell’s book on former CIA director Petraeus as reported by ABC affiliate in Denver.  The Youtube embed below is thus worth the watch.

Next up is Hurricane Sandy as people are still yammering about it in the news and social media.  Slabbed is feeling the love too as google is leading people who are now being shafted by their insurance companies to our exhaustive Katrina wind water legal dispute archives. That topic after all, is where the Slabbed’s moniker originates so the extra traffic fits. But alas these days hazard mitigation is on my mind and the post Sandy media landscape is having that discussion as well so along those lines I chuckled when a reader emailed this New York Times story on Sandy featuring Dauphin Island Alabama, the undisputed repetitive loss champion of the US.  The piece featured all the usual suspects and special interests that Slabbed has skewered from time to time along with former skeweree turned friend to the Slabbed Nation Western Carolina U professor Rob Young.  This snippet from the story sums things up on the topic: Continue reading “Post holiday news miscellany”