Friday Miscellany: Mack gets knifed, the second coming of Jesus, Louisiana Republican hypocrisy plus Levees and the NFIP

Whew that was a mouthful. Let’s start with BIll Mack, who cut a deal to testify against the former Goatherder in Chief. Judge Brown gave Mack 20 months, higher than what was requested by the Federal prosecutors for bribing Aaron Broussard.  If my preliminary calculations are in the ballpark, Mack will spend somewhere close to 10 months in a low security prison before hitting the VOA house in New Orleans.

Moving right along Michelle Hunter has been having fun with a guy that is obviously “nuttier than a Chinese fruit cake” who fancied himself as the second coming of Jesus Christ.  Not to minimize the deleterious impacts on the poor woman and child whose house Nike Ablia chose to spread the good word but if I may be so bold as to suggest that Ablia needs a rubber room and medication far more than incarceration.  I speak here as someone who watched a friend afflicted with bipolar disorder crack up (severe sleep deprivation will do it every time) along with those of a close friend that has a brother similarly afflicted that indeed also thought he was second coming of Jesus Christ right on down to wearing a white sheet and a white sheet only.  There but the grace of God…….

Next up is the source of my angst regarding FEMA giving credit for levees in their NFIP calculations and it comes from a somewhat unlikely source in the lawsuit against the Oil Industry filed by the East Bank Levee Authority, mainly the chatter surrounding it. Before we get to that we must highlight politicians exhibiting their ignorance mindlessly bashing trial lawyers:

But state Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie called into question the “hundreds of millions of dollars” the lawyers stand to make on the case if successful.

“I don’t understand why a levee district would hire trial lawyers when we have an attorney general to handle class,” Appel said.

If there is one group the GOP likes to scapegoat more than the poor and Mexican ditchdiggers it is the trial lawyers. Continue reading “Friday Miscellany: Mack gets knifed, the second coming of Jesus, Louisiana Republican hypocrisy plus Levees and the NFIP”

Monday Morning Omnibus: “Gone to hell in a hand basket”

Oh the memories……

I regret to announce that my previously unannounced central Mississippi tour this week has been cancelled.  I’ll likely make it up to Jacktown next month as it stands now.

First up is problems in the engine room here at Slabbed.  I dispatched Mr Scott and even he was confounded. So on the theory people across this great nation are both paying close attention and Slabbed positive I sent off a bat signal:

What can I say but 20 minutes later:

Plus DJ sent a detailed email explaining that one of the dilithium crystal nodes in the warp core needed replacing.  With that fixed and before we engage the warp drive how about some lovely music that first appeared on these pages in our insurance litigation blogging days:

First up is a question.  How can one tell when New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas is lying about NOLA crime stats? Answer: Continue reading “Monday Morning Omnibus: “Gone to hell in a hand basket””

Some stories I’m following this morning

I must make this super quick as I have a very busy day ahead. First is this story from the National Underwriter on problems with the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. I noted a detailed discussion of the Demotech Inc (an insurance rating business) that I hope puts to rest concerns about their methodology and why the market needs agencies willing to rate start up insurers. My hope is Steve and Sup pick up the discussion in comments as the story well illustrates the very real problems with Florida’s insurance market. I don’t blame Gov Crist or Commish McCarty though as the industry has resisted and out right undermined (IMHO) good faith legislative efforts there. Nonetheless the State of Florida is having a hard time bucking recent trends in the credit markets:

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, a key reinsurance provider, has a shortfall of $18.5 billion, which could pose problems for some of the state’s recent insurance startups, state officials indicated.

Jack Nicholson, chief operating officer for the state fund, said yesterday, prior to a briefing session with the State Senate Ways and Means Committee, that the fund under legislation approved last year is required to provide $29 billion in reinsurance, but may not be able to meet that obligation under today’s bond market conditions.

In November of last year, Dublin, Ohio-based rating firm of Demotech Inc. put insurers on notice that “the potential inability” of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund to honor claims adversely affects the ratings of carriers dependent on the reinsurance it provides.

Next up is from the front page of the Sun Herald. Steve will tell you that I took a good bit of heat for voicing the opinion that land buyouts were a great idea back in the fall of 2007. I really scratched my head at the anger the mere mention of the idea generated and quite frankly the image the locals projected at the public hearings was very poor. There is a behind the scenes tie in to the Bay St Louis/FEMA map controversy and the post Katrina annexation of the marshland off Highway 603 commonly known as Shoreline Park. Flooding out with both Ike and Gustav has since taken some of the starch and venom away from the buyout concept. With the amount of higher land that is available in the area there is simply no excuse to not indulge our greener instincts and let marshland be marshland. And besides the duck hunting is excellent. Nowdy hopefully will take it from here as we’ve discussed this a good bit offline: Continue reading “Some stories I’m following this morning”