Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lost Iraq Money, Libby Trial, And Car Insurance Hell (Wednesday's Second Hour)

Hi everyone. We kick off the second hour with a "Keeping Them Honest" piece from Joe Johns. Today some indictments were handed down to people accused of ripping off $3.6 million in Iraq money, but Joe tells us that's not even chump change. You see $12 billion was sent over to get the economy started and only a third has been accounted for. The money wasn't ours this time though-it came from Iraqi oil sales. Still doesn't make me feel better. So why did we bring over all that cash? Former CPA head Bremer says that the banks were closed and the Iraqis still had to be paid. Yeah, because you were really thinking about the well being of the Iraqis at that point. Joe ends his piece with the line, "Between Iraq and a hard place over Iraq." Okay, you know what? That little pun is not to be used anymore. It's over. I can only roll my eyes so much.

Next up we have a Brian Todd piece on the Scooter Libby trial. Hey, they're actually covering it! They've skipped so much though they need to do one of those things they do for tv shows, "previously at the Scooter Libby trial." Anyway, today we got to hear a tape of Libby's 2004 grand jury testimony. Libby claims he heard Plame's name from Tim Russert, but Russert testified today and was like, "nuh uh." By the way, if you're wondering what the hell happened to Tim Russert, apparently he fell while playing with his dog. It's kind of funny seeing him on crutches though seeing as that's how Libby was during his own testimony. So as it turns out, Libby actually heard Plame's name from Cheney! Anybody shocked? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

On now to more coverage of the topic with John Roberts live. Wow, color me impressed. Anderson notes that this is the first glimpse we've gotten behind the curtain of the Bush Administration. I know! That's why you should be freaking covering it more. John says that the trial is showing that the office of the VP was extremely involved in all this-even getting an NIE declassified. John also says it really reinforces the perception of Cheney as the "dark lord". Ha! That's Darth Vader. You really need to watch The Daily Show more John. It's also noted that people like Condi Rice, George Tenet, and Andy Card didn't even know this was going on. Tenet, btw, was head of the CIA at the time and seeing as how an NIE was involved...anybody else really disturbed here?

Now we've even got discussion with Jeffrey Toobin and David Gergen. I'm so excited! See, this is the kind of story that one should go indepth-not diaper wearing astronauts. Toobin thinks things are not going so hot for Libby and Anderson notes a lot of people are contradicting him. The Gerg says that basically they knew before through whispers about the VP's involvement, but now there's proof. He also notes that it's rare for a VP to act like a chief of staff. Anderson points out that Cheney even got that NIE declassified by going just to Bush-the CIA didn't even know. Again, disturbing! Anderson also talks about how disdainful Cheney has been of the press, noting he even called a "New York Times" reporter an "a-hole". Hold the phone! Did Anderson Cooper just say "a-hole" on CNN? Bwah! Oh, my innocent little ears! Although as amusing as that was to hear, it's incorrect. It was Bush that did the "a-hole' calling. Cheney just agreed with him. Oh if only Anderson would have repeated the Cheney/Patrick Leahy f-bomb incident. If you don't know, google it. Toobin thinks the Bush administration gets unfairly criticized for putting bad news out on Friday so it won't get much coverage. He notes that Clinton did that too. Yes he did, but nothing like these guys. It's funny, there was so much cross talk during that exchange that originally I thought Toobin was denying that Friday night news dumps occurred. I was all set to put him on notice. Saved by the transcript, Toobin.

Transitioning now to a great investigative Drew Griffin piece on how car insurance companies are actively working to screw us over. We meet a woman who was hit by someone with Allstate insurance and quickly found that she was not in fact in good hands. Though she had lots of medical bills they gave her a take it or leave it offer of $15,000-and that was after three years of fighting. So what's going on? Apparently State Farm and Allstate are changing to a policy where now they challenge all minor accidents and drag them out in court. And it's making them billions in profit. One former Allstate employee was even trained to treat all minor accidents as fraud. Lovely. State Farm and Allstate are doing this after consulting with McKinsey & Company, a giant in the consulting industry. Consulting companies should be illegal.

We then meet another woman who actually fought in court, but the insurance company dug up all this stuff on her and in the end she was only offered $1500. That is so wrong. Some of the jury members thought she had already been paid by the insurance company and was out to get more money. Also, they were shown a picture of her car, which didn't look that damaged. However, that really has nothing to do with injuries a person might have. Basically the whole goal of the company is to drag it out and make it so expensive to fight that attorneys won't even take the cases anymore. Man, I really hate these people.

I actually had to sue State Farm a few years back after a guy hit me, totaled my car, and sent me to the emergency room. The guy didn't have insurance, a license, proper plates, or the ability to speak english. I'm pretty sure he was illegal. Don't tell Lou Dobbs! Anyway, if you remember my tornado post a few back, you'll know that my car got totaled out by hail. Well, I don't care about appearances and it still ran, so I bought it back and just drove around in what was essentially a metal golf ball. The problem was I was then only allowed to have liability and this is when the guy hit me, totaling out the car for good this time. Since I had uninsured motorist coverage I had to sue my own insurance company for my medical bills. It was a big hassle, but it wasn't too horrible. Also, at the time I didn't have real health insurance, but I did have the temporary kind for situations just like this one. To my uninsured readers: at least get the temporary kind. It's crappy, but comes through nicely in a pinch. Some more wisdom: Always wear your seat belt. Always. And it's really good if you can have an airbag too. Also, know that even if you're hurt pretty bad and your door is smashed in, you still have the ability to get to the passenger side in less than two seconds with no pain if you believe the car is on fire. It's good to know.

After all this we have astronaut redux, though there is an amusing moment when John Zarrella apparently surprises Anderson by just being there. "Well, still to come, inside the mind of -- oh, hey, John. Sorry. I didn't even realize you were going to be there live. " Heh. That'll do it.

Are you guys into the Libby trial? Any insurance stories?

7 Comments:

Anonymous gissou said...

PLEASE don't get me started on insurance companies. There's a reason they make all that money.
I have to say, I'm always amazed at the fact that you live in the richest country in the world, your country doles out 2 billion dollars a week in Iraq and yet 60 million Americans ( out of 300 million ) have no medical insurance! Makes absolutely no sense to me. Sadly, we suffer from the opposite problem here. Most Canadians take our "free" health care for granted.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I have to say that I really like John Roberts. He's pretty cool.

Libby what? Oh, like I care. Oh, wait- I don't. I already knew that Cheney is insane. Thanks.

I've personally never had a problem with my insurance company. I used to have State Farm and now I have Allstate. But, I've never been in an accident that involved me being injured, either.

Bummer I turned the TV off right then, cuz I love snafus... I had totally giggled at the "a-hole" comment. HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh c'mon Anderson. I know perfectly well you could probably out-cuss ME, and I'm a champion at it ;)

At the moment I'm watching Anderson reshow me all the crap I just saw on Larry King. Yay. Not.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I just noticed the "Bueller, Bueller?" comment. LOL- I love that movie....

YAY! Tonight they're talking about Herbert!! I'm so excited. How did the fundraising effort on your end go? If I knew how, I would go over and help him with my own hands, but I haven't the slightest idea on how to accomplish that...

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Sharla Dawn said...

I just noticed the "Bueller, Bueller?" comment. LOL- I love that movie....

YAY! Tonight they're talking about Herbert!! I'm so excited. How did the fundraising effort on your end go? If I knew how, I would go over and help him with my own hands, but I haven't the slightest idea on how to accomplish that...

10:53 PM  
Anonymous ivy said...

I really like Griffin! I'm not surprised insurance companies suck, but it's nice when you can see facts connected together. A surprise --they spent some time on Libby trial -- finally! what I appreciated that Anderson didn't avoid the question about the media being so directly involved and manipulated.

@eliza
Stewart was awesome, and Anderson was lucky Jon spared him on the most part -) And Colbert --ahh, it was soo good. That we should start a war with iran to sell them those f14 parts for the planes we damage. Ohhh.-)

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7:34 PM  

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