Monthly Archives: February 2007

Muqtada Says Cheney Is Full Of Shit

Via Juan Cole:

Also in Basra, al-Hayat reported that Muqtada al-Sadr’s representative in that city, Baha’ al-A’raji, read a statement from him that said, “The decision of the British to withdraw is a sign of the victory of the Resistance there.” He added, “The partial withdrawal of the British forces from the city constitutes a defeat for the forces of Occupation, and is the fruit of the struggle and jihad of the sons of the city.”

Americans Know We’re Screwed

Gallup.

More Americans today say they are dissatisfied with the United States’ position in the world, believe that other nations have an unfavorable view of the country, and believe other world leaders do not respect George W. Bush than have said this in any previous Gallup Poll.

[snip]

The Feb. 1-4, 2007 Gallup Poll finds just 37% of Americans saying they are satisfied with the position of the United States in the world today — the lowest reading Gallup has recorded on this measure, which dates back to 1962.

[snip]

Most Americans, 54%, now think the United States rates unfavorably in the eyes of the world, the third consecutive year a majority have held this view. From 2000 to 2004, most Americans believed the opposite — that other nations regarded the United States favorably.

Moreover, only 21% of Americans believe that foreign leaders have respect for Bush, while 73% say they don’t respect him. This is the worst reading on this measure since the question was first asked (about Bill Clinton) in 1994, and is down 12 percentage points from last year’s 33%, which had been the previous low. The decline is even steeper when considering that 75% of Americans thought foreign leaders respected Bush several months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

[snip]

Americans’ frustration with the war is evident in the fact that they are nearly three times as likely to disapprove as to approve of Bush’s handling of the war, 72% to 26% — the worst rating Bush has gotten on Iraq to date.

[snip]

The poll finds 53% of Americans saying they have “a great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the government to handle international problems, the worst it has been in the past decade, when Gallup began tracking it regularly. Gallup recorded a similar 52% reading last fall.

[snip]

When asked about Bush specifically, only 31% of Americans say they approve of the way he is handling foreign affairs, the worst rating of his presidency.

Also from Gallup, Dick Cheney is full of shit.

When asked for their views on the British troop withdrawal, 65% of Americans interviewed in a Feb. 22-25, 2007 Gallup Poll Panel study say it is a sign things are going poorly, rather than well. Just 3 in 10 agree with the more positive interpretation.

Clothes Whores

Just pimping the latest piece for Sirens:

I wouldn’t be so skeeved by commentary like this if there had been equal treatment of Illinois Rep. Dennis Hastert while he held Pelosi’s position. It’s not like Hastert’s fashion sense isn’t a target-rich environment, either: The man is the size of a small bus, and he chose to clothe that bus in suits that looked like he’d borrowed them from somebody on the way to the Capitol. Suspenders dragging his ill-fitting blue pants toward his chin, cheap jacket left sloppily unbuttoned and flapping like bat wings, Denny spent the entirety of the last State of the Union seated with his ginormous white-shirted belly thrust forward, as though inviting children to sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.

But did anybody ever worry he was diluting his power by dressing like that? Hell no. Nobody opined that it looked bad for Republicans to be represented by a Weeble.

A.

Nimrod

Via Dan Froomkin, the White House apparently held a hugely important, serious terror drill yesterday.

Dozens of high-level officials joined in a White House drill yesterday to see how the government would respond if several cities were attacked simultaneously with bombs similar to those used against U.S. troops in Iraq.

White House homeland security adviser Frances Fragos Townsend and the Homeland Security Council that she heads mapped out in advance a massive disaster involving improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. The attack targeted 10 U.S. cities, both large and small, at the same time, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Townsend presided over the three-hour exercise, which brought the government’s top homeland security officials to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House. All Cabinet agencies were represented by their secretaries or other high-ranking officials, with about 90 participants in all, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

Here comes the punchline.

President Bush went on a bike ride yesterday morning and did not take part in the test.

Sorta reminds me of that day in May 2005 when an airplane penetrated the “no fly zone” over Washington, DC, forcing the evacuation of 30,000 people including, “the vice president, first lady and Supreme Court justices”, and the Secret Service chose not to tell Chimpy until he finshed his bike ride.

Suicide Bombing at US base during Cheney Visit

Cheney was at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan for an unannounced visit when a suicide bomber attacked the main gate. From AP

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – A suicide bomber killed 19 people and wounded 11 on foot killed and wounded some two dozen people outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, officials said.The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.

From BBC

The US military said the explosion did not appear to be aimed at the vice-president, who was safely inside at the time.

SNIP

A US spokesman described it as a “direct attack” on the base, which was put on red alert for a while.

SNIP

The vice-president left the base about 90 minutes after the blast, the White House said.

SNIP

But the BBC’s Charles Haviland in Kabul says Bagram is one of the most heavily guarded sites in Afghanistan and such incidents there are extremely rare.

SNIP

A trader in a market outside the base described the explosion as “huge”, saying it shook market stalls. (all emphasis mine)


CNN International reports Afghan officials say 3 foreign (likely US) solders were killed.
BBC now reports…One US soldier and one other coalition soldier were among the dead.

———————————————

Such attacks are extremely rare but it wasn’t aimed at Cheney?

So how will they spin it?

Dick…another sign of progress.

Laura… “it’s the one bombing a day that discourages everybody.”

W…will just go for a bike ride

UPDATE: AP updates that there is a discrepancy on the death toll thus the strikeout and change in the AP story above

BBC’s article has changed also.

Today On Holden’s Obsession With [Yesterday’s] Gaggle

Gaze in delight asPony Blowdoes the Pakistani Two-Step.

Q You said this morning that you hadn’t had a chance to talk to with the Vice President or his people about what he said to General Musharraf. Have you been briefed on that?

MR. SNOW: Well, actually, what I said, too, is that the precise nature of his comments and the tenor of comments to the President would be the sort of things that would be confidential.

[snip]

Q Do you think that General Musharraf is keeping his commitments to go after the Taliban —

MR. SNOW: I’d frame it in a different way, he is doing —

Q Well —

MR. SNOW: Well, I’m not sure how exactly one would — the question, “keeping commitments,” it is not something where he lays out goals and timetables, but he is committed, in fact, to trying to defeat al Qaeda.

[snip]

Q Tony, results matter, as The Times indicated quoting a senior administration official anonymously today. And the bottom line is this administration is only letting Musharraf know that he could lose a very sizeable foreign aid package because he’s not producing. True?

MR. SNOW: Well, the President not so long ago — it was a couple of weeks ago, as a matter of fact — was talking about a number of recent events in which the Pakistanis, in fact, were very helpful in going after the Taliban. And he pointed out that even though there is not a Taliban spring offensive yet, there have been aggressive actions going after terrorists within Pakistan — in one case, some were chased across the Afghan border, there they met with resistance; when they came back into Pakistan they were also met by actions by the Pakistanis.

I’ll let others answer questions about what they think the political atmosphere here is in the United States.

[snip]

Q If Musharraf — and this is kind of well out on the table — I mean, there’s political difficulties dealing with this part of the border region, this lawlessness — the President describes it as the “Wild West.” There’s been a deal that Musharraf made with some of the tribal leaders there. Why doesn’t the United States military, in concert with its allies, if it thinks that al Qaeda is reconstituting, take direct military action?

MR. SNOW: Well, again, I would leave that — I would let military officials answer a question like that.

Q But why — I’m sorry, just one more. Why dance around so much on this issue when you’re certainly not doing anything to knock down the idea that this administration, this White House, is sending a tough message to the Musharraf government today, correct?

MR. SNOW: Well, no, I just — I’ll let others characterize. We have not been saying it’s a tough message. What we’re saying is, we’re having — the Vice President is meeting with President Musharraf because we do understand the importance of making even greater progress against al Qaeda, against the Taliban. It is important not only for the safety and security of people within Pakistan, but obviously within Afghanistan, as well. And it’s an important element in the larger war on terror.

Q Does the President feel that President Musharraf has been aggressive enough in living up to the commitments that he made?

MR. SNOW: Again, I think — Jim, you act as if — a question like that seems to presume that everything is predictable; you do a certain amount of things, and you’ll get a predictable result. You’re dealing with an unpredictable enemy. President Musharraf certainly has been responding to a changing threat and to changing conditions, and we are going to support him on that. Do we —

Q But the question —

MR. SNOW: No, the question — I’m sorry, then I’ll let you go back at me. I think the appropriate question is, is he doing what he can, is he committed to winning? The answer is, yes.

Q The question is, is the President satisfied?

MR. SNOW: The President — as long as you have terrorists at large in the world, the President is not going to be satisfied. And I daresay President Musharraf is not satisfied.

Q The question is, Dick Cheney —

MR. SNOW: What you’re trying to do — I’m not going to answer a question —

Q I have a very simple question; there’s no trick question to this. The Vice President was in Pakistan, he was meeting with President Musharraf. There are media reports that he was saying, expressing the administration’s dissatisfaction with the way that President Musharraf has conducted incursions or overseen the border regions. Is that the message that the Vice President was delivering?

MR. SNOW: Again, I’m not going to try to convey precisely what the Vice President said. The President made it clear a couple of weeks ago, President Musharraf is committed to winning this, and we are committed to working with him in this war on terror. We’re not going to be — we’re often asked to give out report cards on other heads of state. I’m not going to play.

Q But you give out report cards on Mr. Maliki all the time.

MR. SNOW: Well, no, quite often you guys will ask us, are you satisfied with X, Y, and Z, and we talk about how we’re working with them.

Q Can you talk about the aid — part of the Vice President’s message, I know it was just referred to in David’s question, about the potential for aid being cut off by the U.S. to Pakistan?

MR. SNOW: No, because what you’re speculating about is congressional action. I’m not going to talk about that.

Q Do you believe that Congress is thinking about —

MR. SNOW: No, I’m not going to speculate about that, nor am I going to talk about the tone, tenor, or precise content of what the Vice President had to say to President Musharraf.

Continue reading

The Continuing Disillusionment

Rasmussen.

Most Americans (54%) believe that in the long run the U.S. mission in Iraq will be judged a failure. Just 29% say it will ultimately be viewed as a success.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 36% of voters believe the U.S. and its allies are winning while 36% hold the opposite view and believe the terrorists are winning. A month ago, 37% believed the U.S. allies were winning while 32% said the terrorists are winning.

These results mark the third time in four surveys that 36% have said the terrorists are winning. That matches the highest level of pessimism ever recorded in this survey series conducted at least once a month since January 2004.

[snip]

Just 25% now believe the situation in Iraq will get better over the next six months. That’s down slightly from 27% in our previous survey. Forty-nine percent (49%) say that things are likely to get worse in Iraq.

Pretend Evidence

The Bush Justice Department seems to be making up evidence in a prominent terror trial.

When the Bush administration shut down the Holy Land Foundation five years ago, officials of the former Richardson charity denied allegations that it was linked to terrorists and insisted that a number of accusations were fabricated by the government.

Now attorneys for the Holy Land Foundation say the government’s own documents provide evidence of their assertion.

In recent court filings, defense lawyers disclosed discrepancies between an official summary and the verbatim transcripts of a wiretapped conversation in 1996 involving Holy Land officials.

The summary attributes inflammatory, anti-Semitic comments to Holy Land officials that are not found in a 13-page transcript of the conversation, recorded by the FBI. The transcript recently was turned over to the defense in an exchange of evidence with the government.

Citing the unexplained discrepancies, defense lawyers asked U.S. District Judge A. Joseph Fish in Dallas to declassify thousands of hours of FBI surveillance recordings so that full transcripts can replace government summaries as evidence.

The demand could force government prosecutors to either declassify evidence they have fought to keep secret or risk losing a critical part of their case.

[snip]

“Throughout the run-up to trial, the government has insisted that the defendants can learn what is contained in the [surveillance] intercepts by reading the so-called ‘summaries’ of those intercepts,” defense attorneys said in their papers.

But the recently disclosed transcript, attorneys said, shows that, “Not only are the summaries so inaccurate and misleading as to be useless [but the] author of the attached summary has cynically and maliciously attributed to the defendants racist invective and inculpatory remarks the defendants never uttered.”

Oscar Night Through Vodka Goggles

Altas’ Juggs live-blogs the Academy Awards show — and only makes it through the first hour.

I usually avoid leftarded “award” shows like the plague but my girls are insisting I watch with them so here I am checking out the brainless “leaping out of their limos.”

[snip]

“Alan Arkin is my idol,”Steve Carol (sp) of Little Miss Sunshine …oy

[snip]

Penelope Cruz is the bomb, what a dress! She still can’t talk – how many years in this country?

[snip]

Next train wreck, Eddie Murphy – attending with some totally hot fookin babe. Left his predilection for the little boys at home eh?

[snip]

DeGeneres is hosting. My kids want to know why Ellen DeGeneres is dressed like a man. “Why is she always dressed like a man?” I am saying nothing.

[snip]

Peter O’Toole looks like Bernie (weekend at Bernies).

Al Gore gets rabble rousing applause.

It’s a sad Little show. Going to walk Dagny, Will missing nothing I am sure.

Came back. Giving out awards now.

UGH. Of course short film win. Ari Sandel for WEST BANK STORY. Those cute cuddly Palis.
I’m done. It’s one schmuck after another.

Your President Speaks!

Today, in Washington, speaking to our nation’s governors.

What The Governor’s Got To Know

First, obviously — well, I don’t know if it’s obvious to you, or not, but my biggest concern is protecting this country. You got to know something, that a lot of my thinking was defined on September the 11th.

It Is The Way It Was

I wish that wasn’t the way it was. But it is.

Two-In-One

You’ve got two governors who are active in the Guard and Reserve — Governor Blunt and Governor Sanford. He’s not here because he’s at a Air Force Reserve meeting, as I understand, and I appreciate very much the example you all are setting.

Obviously, There Is Concerns

Obviously, there’s concerns about the decisions I have made regarding Iraq, and I understand that.

Um… Nothing Comes Out Of A Vacuum

If we leave before that country can govern itself and sustain itself and defend itself, there will be chaos. And out of chaos will come vacuums; and out of vacuums will come an emboldened enemy that would like to do us harm.

The White House Transcription Service Goes Phonetic

And if our job is to protec this country, it’s important we get it right in Iraq.

Outside Of Washington He Calls Them Traitors

I hope out of all this debate — and by the way, there is — you’ve just got to understand, here in Washington, I do not believe that someone is unpatriotic if they don’t agree with my point of view.

He Said, Pointing To Dick Cheney’s Stock Portfolio

We submitted a strong budget for 2008. And we’re going to need your help to make sure Congress keeps that budget intact. The temptation sometimes is take a little bit from the defense and add it to here.

The Importance of Importance

The reason I think it’s important to keep taxes low is because I think that’s important to sustain economic growth and vitality.

Stuff It

I wish I had the line-item veto like you all do — or some of you do. It makes it easier to deal with the issues like earmarks or these interests that get stuffed into these bills at the last minute without having been debated.

It Rubs The Lotion On Its Skin Or Else It Gets The Hose Again

It helps keep those budgets lean and focused and having the priorities real clear.

Universal Health Care for Some

We believe one of the biggest needs is to make sure private health insurance is available to a lot of folks in our country. And so the Affordable Choices program is a real program.

Who Made The World Into A Globe?

The real challenge facing this country is whether or not we’re going to be competitive; whether or not we’ve got the skill set necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st century. If we don’t, they’ll go elsewhere. That’s just what happens in a globalized world.

There He Goes Again, Showing Off His Book Larnin’

Another exciting technological breakthrough is going to come with cellulosic ethanol. It’s a long, fancy word for making gasoline — or making ethanol out of product other than sugar and corn, like switchgrass or wood chips.

Old Habits Die Hard

I’ve had some good meetings with the Democrat — Democratic leadership.

Southerners Dump Bush

An intriguing poll of our Southern brethren.

The Iraq war is the most important issue facing the United States, according to 45 percent of the 719 residents of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas who were surveyed this week.

The response was especially telling because it was an open-ended query made at the beginning of the poll, before surveyors mentioned Iraq or any other issue, Bacot said. “It’s just off the top of their heads,” he added.

The related issue of terrorism and security came in second, cited by 12 percent of respondents. The economy came in third, at 8 percent.

Sixty-four percent of respondents disapproved or strongly disapproved of Bush’s handling of the Iraq war – up from 57 percent last year – while 31 percent approved or strongly approved of it, a decrease from 38.5 percent last year.

“The war is his boondoggle and it’s going to be his legacy,” Bacot said.

[snip]

Approval or strong approval of Bush’s overall performance dropped from 43 percent last February, when Elon conducted its first regional poll, to 38 percent this week. Disapproval went from 52 percent last year to 58 percent this year.

It’s understandable that the war is of major interest in the five polled states because they contain 13 percent to 14 percent of the nation’s military installations, Bacot said.

What’s changing is that the states, which typically vote Republican in national elections, are coming more and more into line with Bush’s approval rating nationwide, he said.

More than 48 percent of respondents said they trust Congressional Democrats “to do a better job coping with the main issues the nation faces over the next few years,” while just under 35 percent chose Bush.

To handle Iraq specifically, 44 percent of respondents said they trust Congressional Democrats, while 38 percent trust President Bush. Schorr Johnson, spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, said the poll “confirms what voters said loudly in November – people in the South are dissatisfied with the direction in which Bush and the Republicans have led our country, both at home and in Iraq.”

[snip]

The poll showed opinion evenly split over whether the United States should be in Iraq “at this point,” but 55 percent said the war with Iraq was not worth fighting – up from nearly 51 percent last year, and compared to more than 39 percent who said it was worth it.

Respondents who were military veterans, retirees, reservists and active duty were vastly more in favor of U.S. involvement in Iraq – but surprisingly, Bacot said, only if Bush’s name was not raised.

Almost 61 percent of military respondents said the United States should be in Iraq now, but 53 percent strongly disapproved or disapproved of Bush’s handling of the war, compared to 42 percent who approved or strongly approved.

They were nearly split on support for Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq, with 49 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed. Non-military respondents were 35 percent in favor and 61 percent opposed.

“This has held just about every time we asked it. When Bush is in the equation, (military respondents) don’t like it. But when you take Bush out, they’re very supportive of their brothers in arms,” Bacot said. “The issue’s with the commander in chief, not with the war itself.”

“Fauxtography”

Photographer Tyler Hicks has won a prestigious award. From Editor and Publisher…

NEW YORK Tyler Hicks of The New York Times
has been named newspaper photographer of the year by the prestigious
Pictures of the Year International, which is based at the University of
Missouri School of Journalism.

Hicks had been a target of the “Fauxtography” Gang of Photo Kerning Hunters (warning Malkin link)

Feel the Surge

Oy.

Iraq’s Shiite vice president escaped an apparent assassination attempt Monday after a bomb exploded in municipal offices where he was making a speech, knocking him down with the force of the blast that left at least 10 people dead.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi was bruised and hospitalized for medical exams, an aide said. Police initially blamed the attack on a bomb-rigged car, but later said the explosives were apparently planted inside the building.

The attack sent another message that suspected Sunni militants could strike anywhere despite a major security crackdown across the capital.

Is That A Surge I See Or Do You Have A Roll Of Dimes In Your Pocket?

I’m sure the citizens of Baghdad will sleep well tonight.

About 130 fresh Iraqi troops from the country’s Kurdish north flew into Baghdad on Sunday to join the fight for the nation’s capital with the promise of a $200 bonus, nearly a month’s pay.

[snip]

The troops represented a fraction of the expected influx of some 8,000 Iraqi reinforcements from the north, the Shiite south and the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province west of Baghdad.

The drafting of troops from the north most former Kurdish guerrillas who fought for decades against Saddam Hussein’s regime to participate in the security crackdown in the capital has raised concerns as many speak no Arabic and are unfamiliar with the territory and urban warfare.

[snip]

The inability of the Shiite-led government to deliver the promised number of Iraqi forces has been partly blamed for the failure of two previous security operations in Baghdad.

[snip]

A brigade from Sulaimaniyah, also in the Kurdish north, has reached Baghdad, but it is only 1,000-men strong, not the expected 3,000.

Pony Up

Chimpy is stuck with a 36% job approval rating in the latest ABC News/WaPo poll.

With Bush’s approval ratings mired by the unpopular war, Americans trust Congressional Democrats over Bush to handle the situation in Iraq by a 54 percent to 34 percent margin.

[snip]

Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of how the President is handling the Iraq war; 31 percent approve. And intensity continues to run against Bush on the issue: Fifty-five percent “strongly disapprove” of his work there, while only 17 percent “strongly approve” of it.

[snip]

The war also remains the biggest drag on the President’s overall approval rating. In this poll, 36 percent approved of the way Bush is handling his job, 62 percent disapproved. Bush’s approval rating has increased marginally from five weeks ago, when it matched his career low of 33 percent.

Still In Recovery

Safety Neal was one of my very first readers, when I first started in blogging, back when this was a semi-password-protected site half-full of Buffy fanfic and some stuff about bad drivers in Chicago. Send out some good thoughts for his partner Sarah.

As well, fingers crossed that Steve gets well soon.

For anybody else sick, worried, digging out of ten feet of snow, or just in need of a little virtual warmth:

A.

When will this end…

When I read this tragic story out of Bay St. Louis, MS…I couldn’t help but recall Laura Bush’s remarks this past week in Mississippi…“What we’re seeing is that people can call
upon their own resources. I think people are dealing with it.”

A murder/suicide in Old Town Bay St. Louis has stunned the Hancock County community. Police say prominent Bay St. Louis businessman Carl Heitzmann shot his wife, Mimi to death then turned the gun on himself.

SNIP

Carl Heitzmann was a well known
contractor in town who built hundreds of custom homes in Hancock County
and throughout the Coast. He also built and leased space in several
commercial buildings along Highway 90 in the Bay.

Mimi
Heitzmann was an accomplished author, writing such books as “No More
Tears In Heaven” and her latest, “Spell Bound on the Bay.”

SNIP

Chuck Benvenutti, a relative of the
victims, said, “Carl and Mimi are casualties of Katrina. They’re just
as much casualties as those people who lost their lives. Depression is
here in Bay St. Louis. Dealing with the post-Katrina, you can’t begin
to fathom unless you’re living here. And you don’t realize how bad it
is for some people until something like this happens.”

SNIP

“Mimi and Carl were both great people,
great people in the community,” Benvenutti said. “It’s just a terrible
thing and right now, I suggest you hold your loved one. And if they
need some help, get them to see somebody. There’s help out there. We
all think we’re made of steel, but we’re not.”

People are still suffering in so many different ways. I’ll never understand how this has been allowed to happen…to continue to happen and we know it is happening.

—————————————-

It is a marathon and dwelling in the midst of the tragedy and despair is hope and rebirth as TravelingMermaid points to.

Saturday Reading

Via Metaquotes, somebody finally gets to the bottom of those truck testicles I’ve been seeing with alarming frequency here in the civilized world:

The greatest argument against this law is this: if you let people hang these creepy doo-dads off the back of their vehicle, everyone else on the road will know that they are behind someone who is most likely drunk, getting a blowjob from his sister and unable to read the sign that says “LANE ENDS 1/2 MILE.” These people can then get two lanes over so they don’t get killed when the fucker jerks the wheel over to avoid ramming an abutment and flips over his shiny ten-ton stuntcock. Not only will lives be saved, but it’s a lot easier to find a giant belt buckle, a severed penis and chaw bucket when they’re not buried under a half-dozen other cars.

I could only hope that for a myriad of reasons this does not pass, but the way things are going, who knows? It’s now illegal to sell a dildo in Alabama. For the sake of pubic safety, let us all hope that in Maryland it shall remain legal to be one.

As the kids say on Livejournal, LOL.

A.

Allstate Really Sucks

Nola_august_2006_094

(Lakeview August 2006, photo: scout)

Allstate has begun dropping New Orleans homeowner’s policies often improperly so

So after being back in her house for 15 months, Halvorsen
was surprised to receive a notice from Allstate Insurance
Co. around Christmas informing her that her insurance policy
was slated to be canceled because the house was abandoned
and in disrepair.

“I have a gardener that comes every two weeks. How
could they think this house is abandoned?” asked
Halvorsen, an organizer of the Krewe of St. Anne parade on
Mardi Gras. “I’ve even got garbage cans in front
of my house.”

Halvorsen is one of scores of local Allstate customers
who contend that their homeowners insurance coverage is
being improperly dropped at the conclusion of a temporary
state rule that has kept insurance policies in place since
the storm.

In recent days, the Louisiana Department of Insurance has
received 100 complaints from customers who are being
terminated at the end of Emergency Rule 23, which allows
insurance companies to begin canceling customers March 1,
after proper notification, if there’s no indication
that they plan to repair.

So far, all of the complaints have been about Allstate.

The Louisiana
Department of Insurance met with Allstate on Thursday…

About half of the complaints are from
people, such as Halvorsen, who say there’s no reason
for them to be dropped. The other half got cancellation
notices without ever receiving an initial letter warning
them and giving them the chance to rectify the situation.

Whittington said the department made a spreadsheet of the
complaints and plans to work with Allstate to make sure they
are resolved satisfactorily. If not, the company could face
fines.

“In many instances it’s clear that the
homeowner should not have been canceled, and those will be
corrected,” Whittington said. “Those folks should
be reinstated.”

Kate Hollcraft, a spokeswoman for Allstate, said her
company inspected properties and sent out notification
letters, where appropriate, that gave customers an
opportunity to provide documentation of their repair plans.

“Allstate is willing to further review the customer
situation on a case-by-case basis,” Hollcraft said.

Another review? Great, how long will that take? And to what end so Allstate can say well sue us? Undoubtably Allstate knows they can just wear people down and deal with a few lawsuits and the fines…people like Maitri‘s friend who got a cancellation letter…

Last night, she got a notice from her insurance company announcing
that coverage on the rental property will be dropped as of next month
because the house is now considered “abandoned.” Imagine a grown woman
crying in your arms because her house on which she paid insurance for 36 years will be booted off an insurance company’s roster without as much as a Thank You.

“Thirty six years I did the right thing, I paid in on time, never a
day behind on the bill. And what do I get in return? It makes me feel
so bad. All I want to do now is give those houses to my church and
never return to Louisiana.”

Allstate is scum