The largest homeowners insurer in Florida is canceling the policies of 125,000 of its most vulnerable customers beginning Aug. 1, halfway through the 2010 hurricane season.
The company, State Farm Florida, began sending out cancellation notices this week to nearly a fifth of its 714,000 customers, most of them in the state’s hurricane-prone coastal regions.
A spokesman for State Farm said the decision was the direct result of its failure to win a 47.1 percent rate increase from state regulators.
State Farm stopped writing new policies and sought the increase a year ago, saying severe losses from a series of devastating hurricanes in recent years had rendered its business model unworkable. It said that without the large increase, it would be insolvent by the end of 2011.
Among Bank of America’s 50 million customers, Pierre Falcone was far from ordinary. An infamous global arms dealer who unlawfully sold weapons to Angola for its civil war and an international fugitive, Falcone was convicted of tax fraud and illegal arms dealing in 2007 and 2009 and is currently serving six years behind bars. Yet for nearly two decades, Falcone and his relatives freely used 29 different bank accounts to funnel at least $60 million into the US from secretive havens like the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Singapore, and from shell corporations and secret clients. Despite his criminal record and worldwide notoriety, Bank of America essentially treated him like any other depositor.
President Barack Obama's sharp-tongued, often profane, chief of staff is under fire -- not only from Republicans but by increasingly uneasy Democrats.
Rahm Emanuel has long had a reputation for diarhearra of the mouth and published reports that he called the efforts by fellow Democrats who questioned compromises on the health care plan "fucking retarded" has brought rebukes and questions over whether or not the former political consultant and Illinois Congressman is an asset or liability to the President.
After Emanuel's outburst, an angry Obama ordered his Chief of Staff to immediately call the executive director of the Special Olympics and apologize for using the word "retarded."
President Barack Obama's new plan to give money to banks with the promise that banks will lend the money to small business looks good on paper.
But the odds are that the banks will keep the money and it won't find it's way to the public.
Like the original program that was supposed to increase lending, the plan doesn't really force the banks to funnel the money to its customers.
Not that long ago, owning a home topped the list for the American Dream.
Now home ownership is the American Nightmare as more and more find they owe far more than their home is worth and the only way to recapture that dream is to walk away.
Some 4.9 million homeowners now live in homes with values below 75 percent of their mortgage value and that fiture is expected to rise to 5.1 million by June of this year.
The Obama administration is working to expand the controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) beyond its traditional role of fighting terrorism, giving the enforcement agency broad powers over cybercrime, disease control, immigration enforcement and other areas of American life.
The proposed changes could turn DHS into a powerful national police agency with broad control -- a move that some civil libertarians worry could become an "American Gestapo."
White House officials outlined the proposed changes in a document called the "Quadrennial Homeland Security Review," delivered to Congress recently but embargoed for public release.Read More
An old rule of politics says that if a strategy fails...don't try it again.
Democrats trying to ram heatlh care through Congress forgot that rule.
They've been down this road before. In 1992, the Clintons launched health care reform of pop, circumstance, hype and hoopla.
Been there, done that, got their asses handed to them.
But the Democrats didn't learn from the mistakes of 1994. They tried some of the same old strategies again.
And, once again, they fell short.
Sarah Palin, the former governor, former vice-presidential candidate and current political headache for the GOP, used her personal political action committee to buy lots of copies of her book.
In fact, Palin spent more PAC money on her book than she handed out in contributions to candidates.
She also paid more in salaries to long-time associates than she gave out in contributions.
Contributions to candidates appear to have a low priority for the Palin PAC.
Such waste of funds usually lands a candidate in hot water with the Federal Election Commission.
The Temple of Obama is crumbling from assault by disaffected Democrats and liberals who join the growing ranks of Americans who feel sold out by the one-time agent of change.
Even comedian Jon Stewart, a one-time Obama cheerleader, is soured.
Stewart recently unloaded on Obama for using an elementary school classroom for a full-fledged photo op -- complete with teleprompters.
Stewart wonders why the President felt he had to be scripted and controlled by teleprompter in front of a bunch of kids.
Democrats say they never saw it coming, but the breakdown of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was abetted by their own mistakes.
It wasn't just a political fluke brought on by the surprise election of a Republican senator in true-blue Massachusetts.
Looking back, Obama and his congressional allies failed to appreciate the depth of frustration with Washington — people's desire for health care legislation that would respond to their anxieties, not the clamor of interest groups.
Former President Bill Clinton was criticized for dictating to lawmakers when his health care plan imploded in the 1990s. But Obama may have swung too far in the opposite direction, giving free rein to Capitol Hill's culture of insider dealmaking.