Bloomberg News Reveals Insurance Secrets to Obscene Profits

From the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Mid-West to California, insurance companies routinely low ball claims estimates at a time when policyholders are most vulnerable. Bloomberg News recently published Home Insurers' Secret Tactics Cheat Fire Victims, Hike Profits, a riveting and insightful article that disclosed the industry's dirty, unknown secrets.

''Fighting an insurance company is like staring down the wrong end of a cannon,'' Dr. Bennett said after fighting his insurance company.

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Louisiana's Sen. David Vitter Named In Prostitution Scandal - updated

The AP reports,

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apologized Monday night for "a very serious sin in my past" after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called "D.C. Madam."

Vitter's spokesman, Joel Digrado, confirmed the statement in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press.

"This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible," Vitter said in the statement. "Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there -- with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

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Congress Finally Addresses Katrina Recovery - but with a Catch

Cross posted from The Wayward Episcopalian: Nathan on New Orleans. Also put on Daily Kos and Democratic Underground.

Finally, some good news for the Gulf Coast from Congress! (But with a catch, as described below.) The Iraq War supplemental passed by Congress wasn't just an Iraq War supplemental. It also contained $6.4 billion in funding for Katrina recovery. According to the Times Picayune and, the funding included:

  • $3 billion, by waiving the Stafford Act requirement that state and local governments pay 10% of FEMA disaster costs. The law has been waived 33 times since 1985 - makes you wonder what took them so long. This eliminates lots of paperwork, so perhaps will help cut through red tape.

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From "White House admits responsibility for Levee Failures"

Here's another e-mail from Note: I am NOT affiliated with, I just feel this needs highlighting. Cross-posted from The Wayward Episcopalian: Nathan on New Orleans. Also sent to Daily Kos.

"Yesterday Donald Powell, recovery czar for the Gulf Coast, publicly made this statement regarding the survivors of the federal levee breaches.  He said, "...the federal government is responsible for this hurricane damage because of the failure of the levee system...."

This is the very first statement ever out of the White House that accepts responsibility for the failure of the federal flood protection system in Louisiana."

The full text is below the jump.

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New Poll Is Good News For Mary Landrieu

Since Republican Cong. Charles Boustany has now ruled out a race against incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana it appears that she may be in better shape for another term than was originally thought. A January poll published today in the Advocate shows that she leads Republican challenger Jay Dardenne by a wide margin. The Louisiana race has been of much concern to Democratic insiders because of the loss of hundreds of thousands of voters who relocated to other states after Hurricane Katrina. yId=219

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