Beelzebub in the Briefs

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Sorry for the title of this post–I was looking for a play on “the devil is in the details,” (devil in the digest? Satan in the summaries?), and this one is hardly satisfactory.

Buried at the bottom of a column in today’s Washington Post was a shorter version of this item:

Senator Asks Navy to Aid Shipyards Hit by Katrina

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is pressing the Navy to pay for hurricane damage to Northrop Grumman Corp. shipyards in his home state that the firm’s insurer won’t cover.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, which Cochran chairs, added language to an emergency spending bill that could force the Navy — against its wishes — to give the company, the service’s No. 1 shipbuilder, as much as $500 million.

The Navy says it is negotiating with Northrop on payment of some damage costs. The emergency spending request that the House approved directs the Navy not to pay costs that insurance may cover.

Northrop is suing Factory Mutual Insurance Co. of Johnston, R.I., for denying claims to its shipyards in Pascagoula, Miss., but says it needs the money now.

Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman employs 10,000 workers at its Ingalls unit in Pascagoula.

In 2005, Northrop Grumman had gross profits of $5.1 billion; it’s not clear why they couldn’t afford to direct $500 million of that to rebuilding a facility that they may not have had enough insurance to cover, or why they would be unable to secure credit to meet their needs while their dispute with their insurer is ongoing.

Northrop Grumman is Cochran’s second most generous career patron, according the the Center for Responsive Politics.

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