The Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004

The Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004 (Pub.L. 108-264) reformed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the terms of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. It was designed to “reduce losses to properties for which repetitive flood insurance claim payments have been made.” The Act’s main sponsors were Sen. Jim Bunning, Rep. Doug Bereuter, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer.
The Act’s preamble included the following Congressional findings that quantify the motivation for the new law:
the NFIP insures approximately 4,400,000 policyholders;
about 48,000 properties in the program have experienced, within a ten-year period, two or more flood losses where each loss is more than $1,000;
about 10,000 repetitive-loss properties have experienced two or three losses that cumulatively exceed building value;
these repetitive-loss properties cost the taxpayer about $200 million annually;
about 1% of insured properties account for 25-30% of claims losses;
the vast majority of repetitive-loss properties were built before the 1974 implementation of floodplain management standards created under the original program and thus are eligible for subsidized flood insurance.
When introduced in the House on January 8, 2003, the bill was called the Two Floods and You Are Out of the Taxpayers’ Pocket Act of 2003.

Woodrow Wilson

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. Running against Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt, a former President, Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912.
In his first term as President Wilson persuaded a Democratic Congress to pass major progressive reforms. Historian John M. Cooper argues that, in his first term, Wilson successfully pushed a legislative agenda that few presidents have equaled, and remained unmatched up until the New Deal.[1] This agenda included the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and an income tax. Child labor was curtailed by the Keating–Owen Act of 1916, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1918. He also had Congress pass the Adamson Act, which imposed an 8-hour workday for railroads.[2] Wilson, after first sidestepping the issue, became a major advocate for the women’s suffrage. Although Wilson promised African Americans ‘fair dealing…in advancing the interests of their race in the United States” the Wilson administration implemented a policy of racial segregation for federal employees.[3]
Narrowly re-elected in 1916, he had full control of American entry into World War I, and his second term centered on World War I and the subsequent peace treaty negotiations in Paris. He based his re-election campaign around the slogan, “He kept us out of war”, but U.S. neutrality was challenged in early 1917 when the German Empire began unrestricted submarine warfare despite repeated strong warnings and tried to enlist Mexico as an ally. In April 1917, Wilson asked Congress to declare war. During the war, Wilson focused on diplomacy and financial considerations, leaving the waging of the war itself primarily in the hands of the Army. On the home front in 1917, he began the United States’ first draft since the American Civil War, borrowed billions of dollars in war funding through the newly established Federal Reserve Bank and Liberty Bonds, set up the War Industries Board, promoted labor union cooperation, supervised agriculture and food production through the Lever Act, took over control of the railroads, and suppressed anti-war movements. During his term in office, Wilson gave a well-known Flag Day speech that fueled the wave of anti-German sentiment sweeping the country in 1917–18.[4]
In the late stages of the war, Wilson took personal control of negotiations with Germany, including the armistice. In 1918, he issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict. In 1919, he went to Paris to create the League of Nations and shape the Treaty of Versailles, with special attention on creating new nations out of defunct empires. In 1919, Wilson engaged in an intense fight with Henry Cabot Lodge and the Republican-controlled Senate over giving the League of Nations power to force the U.S. into a war. Wilson collapsed with a debilitating stroke that left his wife in control until he left office in March 1921. The Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles, the U.S. never joined the League, and the Republicans won a landslide in 1920 by denouncing Wilson’s policies.
An intellectual with very high writing standards, Wilson was a highly effective partisan campaigner as well as legislative strategist. A Presbyterian of deep religious faith, Wilson appealed to a gospel of service and infused a profound sense of moralism into his idealistic internationalism, now referred to as “Wilsonian”. Wilsonianism calls for the United States to enter the world arena to fight for democracy, and has been a contentious position in American foreign policy.[5] For his sponsorship of the League of Nations, Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize.[6]

The Rock and the Bubble by Louisa May Alcott

The Rock and the Bubble
by Louisa May Alcott

Oh! a bare, brown rock
Stood up in the sea,
The waves at its feet
Dancing merrily.

A little bubble
Once came sailing by,
And thus to the rock
Did it gayly cry,

“Ho! clumsy brown stone,
Quick, make way for me:
I’m the fairest thing
That floats on the sea.

See my rainbow-robe,
See my crown of light,
My glittering form,
So airy and bright.

O’er the waters blue,
I’m floating away,
To dance by the shore
With the foam and spray.

Now, make way, make way;
For the waves are strong,
And their rippling feet
Bear me fast along.”

But the great rock stood
Straight up in the sea:
It looked gravely down,
And said pleasantly,


“Little friend, you must

Go some other way;

For I have not stirred
this many a long day.

Great billows have dashed,
And angry winds blown;
But my sturdy form
Is not overthrown.

Nothing can stir me
In the air or sea;
Then, how can I move,
Little friend, for thee?”

Then the waves all laughed
In their voices sweet;
And the sea-birds looked,
From their rocky seat,

At the bubble gay,
Who angrily cried,
While its round cheek glowed
With a foolish pride,

“You shall move for me;
And you shall not mock
At the words I say,
You ugly, rough rock.

Be silent, wild birds!
Why stare you so?
Stop laughing, rude waves,
And help me to go!

For I am the queen
Of the ocean here,
And this cruel stone
Cannot make me fear.”

Dashing fiercely up,
With a scornful word,
Foolish Bubble broke;
But Rock never stirred.

Then said the sea-birds,
Sitting in their nests
To the little ones
Leaning on their breasts,

“Be not like Bubble,
Headstrong, rude, and vain,
Seeking by violence
Your object to gain;

But be like the rock,
Steadfast, true, and strong,
Yet cheerful and kind,
And firm against wrong.

Heed, little birdlings,
And wiser you’ll be
For the lesson learned
To-day by the sea.”

The bow-leg boy by Eugene Field

The bow-leg boy
by Eugene Field

Who should come up the road one day
But the doctor-man in his two-wheel shay!
And he whoaed his horse and he cried “Ahoy!
I have brought you folks a bow-leg boy!
Such a cute little boy!
Such a funny little boy!
Such a dear little bow-leg boy!”

He took out his box and he opened it wide,
And there was the bow-leg boy inside!
And when they saw that cunning little mite,
They cried in a chorus expressive of delight:
“What a cute little boy!
What a funny little boy!
What a dear little bow-leg boy!”

Observing a strict geometrical law,
They cut out his panties with a circular saw;
Which gave such a stress to his oval stride
That the people he met invariably cried:
“What a cute little boy!
What a funny little boy!
What a dear little bow-leg boy!”

They gave him a wheel and away he went
Speeding along to his heart’s content;
And he sits so straight and he pedals so strong
That the folks all say as he bowls along:
“What a cute little boy!
What a funny little boy!
What a dear little bow-leg boy!”

With his eyes aflame and his cheeks aglow,
He laughs “aha” and he laughs “oho”;
And the world is filled and thrilled with the joy
Of that jolly little human, the bow-leg boy–
The cute little boy!
The funny little boy!
The dear little bow-leg boy!

If ever the doctor-man comes my way
With his wonderful box in his two-wheel shay,
I ‘ll ask for the treasure I’d fain possess–
Now, honest Injun! can’t you guess?
Why, a cute little boy–
A funny little boy–
A dear little bow-leg boy!


The Irreverent Lawyer: Dumb and dumber and the soundtrack for sneaking around

The Irreverent Lawyer

Dumb and dumber and the soundtrack for sneaking around.

by lawmrh


photoWhat are you laughing at?

Just one little moment — “Un momento poquito” — otherwise you’ll think this is piling on atop the schadenfreudean snarkfest already encircling the military’s four-star circus and the question, “Two GeneralsTwo Women and the FBI: What could possibly go wrong?”

Ethical lapses and all things Petraeus.

The puritanical scolds and the prurient muckrakers have converged and it’s all things David Petraeus right now. Even the Old Testament inspired “The Bathsheba Syndrome: The Ethical Failure of Successful Leaders” has been highlighted by an enthusiastic press tosignal the growing concern over the ethics of our nation’s senior military officers.Find the rubber gloves and ‘assume the position,’ the examination is overdue.

File:Truth-Warner-Highsmith.jpegSince 9/11 and two wars, it’s been politically incorrect and patriotically unfashionable to do anything but nod with approbation, appreciation and admiration at anyone wearing the uniform, especially the fruit-salad festooned high-ranking soi-disantindispensables. But the ground beneath the bobbleheads has started to shift although slightly. And though I count among friends and family, many who have honorably served, the reality-check is a good thing.

The deification of man or of his institutions is never recommendable. Not gods but mere mortals — beneath our robes and chasubles, we put on our pants or wear our birettas like anyone else and even bestride the porcelain throne the same.

Given the ethical lapses this year by top military officers, which so far have culminated with the Petraeus scandal, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has justifiably asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review ethical training standards and come up with ways to keep officers away from trouble.

File:GEN Petraeus Aug 2011 Photo.jpgCertainly, the usual suspects on the leftare deriding the “total trust” and “blank checks” given to generals, particularly with respect to David Petraeus, “accustomed to being a demigod, expert at polishing his own celebrity and swaying public opinion.”

But the criticism has also emanated from unexpected sources, including a former officer ‘in-the-know’ like John L. Cook, author ofAfghanistan: The Perfect Failure, who says Petraeus’s real scandal is the legacy he left in Afghanistan. “What matters more was what Petraeus did as a commander, not what he did in the bedroom.”

academic,boys,children,discipline,dunce caps,educations,kids,people,punishments,schools,sitting in corners,students

And then there’s Roger Simon who also had a bit of biting judgmental commentary, “Petraeus dumb, she’s dumber, giving both Petraeus and “paramour” Paula Broadwell a verbal beat-down — calling the general “blockhead” and of Broadwell, “She is as smart as a bag of hammers.

All this nastiness because Simon says they were“dimwitted” for using unsecure, traceable Gmail accounts to transmit sexually explicit emails.

. . . getting dumber.

photoNo sooner had I digested Simon’s diatribe, where by the way, he also parenthetically praised Bill Clinton for having “gutted it out”and for lying “sensibly” when caught in his own sex scandal, I next found out the situation is more dire than I realized. Thanks to an unsettling report, “Dumb and Dumber: Study Says Humans Are Slowly Losing Their Smarts,” — don’t tell Simon but we’re all getting dumber! If you believe Simon, Petraeus and Broadwell may just be slightly ahead of the curve. The ‘dumb and dumber’ study was published atTrends in Geneticsand authored by Gerald Crabtree, a Stanford geneticist.

The soundtrack for sneaking around.

audio equipment,DJs,headphones,music,people at work,persons,Photographs,record players,records,smiles,smiling,studios,turntables,women

So even though the Petraeus affair still threatens to get weirder with each passing day, my real focus is not to pile on but instead to take notethat on the same November 9th that the Army 4-star resigned from the CIA, another genre-ranking ‘officer,’ Major Harris, also left the scene.

The untimely but coincidental death of Harris, an old school R & B stylist, was announced this week. And frankly, “Love wont let me wait,” his signature tune provided pretext and inspiration for this post.

The good Major’s riff and bodacious background sound effects “guaranteed to inspire” an appropriate musical soundtrack for sneaking around, military or otherwise — background music if you will to accompany this swordsman tale’s thrusts and gyrations.

The late Major was not a sworn member of any branch of military service. “Major” was his given name. But even after all these years, at least musically speaking, he had a military tactician’s taste for saucy soulful mischief.

Pillow talk.


Which finally leads me to the most appropriate soundtrack of all, especially now that the question’s also being asked, “Is Petraeus pillow talk a security threat?”

Aptly enough, the tune is called“Pillow Talk” and was performed by Sylvia Robinson whose obituary last year called her ‘the Mother of hip-hop.’ 

A Harris contemporary, Sylvia’s tune emanates the same sensual vibe as she breathily croons, “Un momento poquito — aye-aye-aye-aye.” 


Photo Credits:”What are you laughing at?” by Dave Sizer at Flickr, via Creative Commons-license required attribution; “Truth (1896). Olin Warner (completed by Herbert Adams). Left bronze door at main entrance of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building,”at Wikipedia Commons, public domain;”Caricature of William Ballantine. Caption reads “He resisted the temptation to cross-examine a Prince of the blood,” by Alfred Thompson, at Wikipedia Commons, public domain; “David Petraeus, portrait photo,” by Monica King, at Wikipedia Commons, public domain; “Bill Clinton,” by DonkeyHotey at Flickr via Creative Commons-license requiring attribution.