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.
Meantime the statistical gurus over at FiveThirtyEight have increased Bill Cassidy’s chances of winning to 79% with their latest simulation (Election tab). Drilling down on the polling data shows that many of the polls in the Louisiana Senate race are from C rated pollsters though Suffolk University, which conducted one of the latest Louisiana Senate polls is B rated. All the polls line up with Landrieu losing to Bill Cassidy, the main difference being in victory margin.
As I was doing my morning sweep of the news yesterday I ran across several articles that once again distilled the extent to which Louisiana’s citizens have been let down by both their elected officials and at times the local media, which is peddling a message that is not playing outside of Louisiana.
Now that it appears that BP’s Macondo blowout has been killed once and for all national media outlets are beginning to reassess the events and ask some harder questions including at the Whitehouse. I personally think this second looksie will not treat the politicians kindly.
Let’s begin by spotlighting Louisiana’s own Mary Landrieu, who bashes BP in public while continuing to push for limiting the liability of the oil industry when they pollute. Bruce Alpert has the skinny for the Times Picayune:
But it’s clear that Reid also had problems with some Democrats, including Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.
She raised issues with the Reid bill’s unlimited cap on oil company liability for future spills, a proposal she said could prevent small and mid-size companies from competing for off-shore drilling permits.
I’ve been out lately so I’m trying to catch up. It took me 50 seconds to write that long title so I better be quick. First is the verbal a$$ whipping laid on FEMA by Rep Barney Frank of Massachusetts with an assist from our own Bennie Thompson as told by the Sun Herald:
At a congressional hearing of two House subcommittees Wednesday, officials from FEMA and HUD failed to satisfy congressional critics about their efforts to find housing for 22,000 Katrina victims still living in trailers nearly three years after the storm.
House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank, D-Mass., who attended the hearing, was incensed HUD and FEMA have not resolved a dispute over funding affordable housing. And House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said lawmakers should tie strings to federal funds to prevent the diversion of housing funds to other uses, such as Mississippi’s decision to spend $600 million in Housing and Urban Development funding on port improvements in Gulfport.