Hurricane Florence

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There are two new blog posts:


Updates

  1. Originally published, September 12, 1:23 am.
  2. September 12, 6:02 pm:
    • It seems that Donald Trump thinks his administration did a great job with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. He said this at a briefing in anticipation of Hurricane Florence which appears to be taking direct aim at North Carolina.[1]
  3. September 13, 4:41 am:
    • How do you know that the Philippines are one of those “other” places, where human lives and property don’t matter as much? I’m only now finding out about Super Typhoon Mangkhut.
  4. September 13, 12:54 pm:
    • Cable News Network stopped just short of calling Donald Trump a liar for denying that about 3,000 people died in Hurricane Maria.[2] But apparently, this is how Trump deals with failure.[3]
    • Hurricane Florence has begun already moving onshore in North Carolina. But it will only make landfall in the next few hours. The New York Times explains some hurricane-related terminology.[4]
    • Jennifer Rubin utters the I-word.[5] (Hurricane Maria)
  5. September 14, 4:04 pm:
    • After making a beeline that seemed directly aimed at my friend’s house, Florence made a hard left turn, skimming the North Carolina coast, finally making landfall very near to Wilmington (figure 1).
    • Paul Manafort is “flipping”[6] and Jennifer Rubin thinks she already knows what he knows,[7] but then, so does everybody else. And who knows? Maybe they’re all right. But I’m beginning to suspect we’re all getting way ahead of the evidence. (James Comey)
  6. September 14, 9:55 pm:
    • So Robert Mueller is going to a lot of effort, all to write a report that Rudy Giuliani says the Trump administration will likely seek to bury. Some legal experts want to offer Mueller a road map from the Watergate era for getting his report out.[8] (James Comey)
  7. September 15, 4:51 am:
    • Florence isn’t done yet (figure 2). The center of the storm has nudged over into South Carolina and back toward shore. It looks to me like it might head back to sea where, I guess, it could regain strength.
  8. September 15, 5:21 am:
    • Saved an image of Mangkhut crossing the Philippines (figure 3). I’m still hearing a lot less about this storm but, for now, I’m keeping the latest available immediately below figure 3.
    • Niall Stanage is a little better on the significance of Paul Manafort “flipping.”[9] I just think we need to slow down here and wait to see what Robert Mueller actually gets, that is, assuming we can.[10] (James Comey)
  9. September 16, 12:38 am:
    • The latest imagery seems to show Florence has now, after a feint toward the South Carolina coast, moved a bit inland. It looks to me like it is still drenching North Carolina.
    • Deanna Paul is a reporter for the Washington Post. But apparently before she was a reporter, she was a prosecutor in New York City. She thinks Paul Manafort flipped because he was facing a “functional life sentence.” She doesn’t appear to take into account that Donald Trump was dangling a pardon.[11] (James Comey)
  10. September 16, 6:54 am:
    • While this probably says at least as much about my own coverage (which has rarely focused on ‘natural’ disasters and relies heavily on English sources) as it does the mainstream media, Typhoon Mangkhut finally hit my news radar as it reached China (figure 4). The Washington Post story includes mention of the damage and casualties in the Philippines and mention of it reaching mainland China[12] (where it looks to me is where the eye is) but focuses Hong Kong. The Guardian does a little better, giving the Philippines its own story[13] in addition to including mention in its story on the impact on Hong Kong.[14]

Florence

You won’t find this link on my Weather Satellite Photos page because I haven’t updated that page. But I finally went through and tried to refresh some of the stale links I’d been using to download weather satellite photos. In fact the one for the U.S. East Coast is still live, but the photographs uniformly have roughly the rightmost third blacked out. So I started a new series for the east coast.

In fact, I have a childhood friend who now lives directly in the path the hurricane now seems to be taking (which now seems unusually straight). She and her husband have evacuated, but of course, they couldn’t take their house with them.

Fig. 1. From the run on September 14 at 7:00 am: After making a beeline that seemed directly aimed at my friend’s house, Florence made a hard left turn, skimming the North Carolina coast before making landfall at or very near to Wilmington.

Fig. 2. From the run on September 15 at 4:00 am: Florence has edged over into South Carolina and back toward the coast. It looks to me like it might be headed back out to sea, where, presumably, it might regain at least some strength. In the meantime, North Carolina continues to feel the effects.

Karen Zraick and Christina Caron, “Landfall, Storm Surge and the Waffle House Index: Hurricane Terms and What They Mean,” New York Times, September 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/us/hurricane-season-terms.html


Hurricane Maria

The Whiner-In-Chief, also known as the delusional, raging Narcissist-In-Chief, is at it again. As if he ever stops.

Trump’s outburst should remind us of several troubling facts. First, whether he is lying (or is simply a victim of his own self-delusion that he is incapable of error) is beside the point. He’s not functioning as a president or any other officeholder should. He cannot comprehend facts, process them and take appropriate action. He is, in a word, non-functional.[15]

And yes, I’m wondering what to make of a so-called leader who, instead of emphasizing a need to do better than Puerto Rico, focuses on, not merely defending, but actually implausibly praising an indefensible past performance,[16] even as catastrophe looms in the Carolinas.

Josh Dawsey, “‘Never give an inch’: Trump keeps touting perceived failures as successes,” Washington Post, September 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/never-give-an-inch-trump-keeps-touting-perceived-failures-as-successes/2018/09/12/12801b80-b6a9-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html

Jen Kirby, “Trump keeps trying to rewrite reality on his Hurricane Maria response,” Vox, September 12, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/9/12/17851122/trump-comments-puerto-rico-response-hurricane-florence

Betsy Klein, “Trump falsely claims nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico ‘did not die,’” Cable News Network, September 13, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/13/politics/trump-puerto-rico-death-toll/index.html

Jennifer Rubin, “What we learn when Trump says crazy stuff,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/what-we-learn-when-trump-says-crazy-stuff/


Typhoon Mangkhut

This link hadn’t gone stale, so the 72-hour gif was available as soon as I found out about this storm.

Fig. 3. From the run on September 15, 4:00 am: Mangkhut crossed the northern edge of one of the Philippines’ main islands.

Fig. 4. From the run at 5:00 am on September 16. Typhoon Mangkhut has reached China.

Lynzy Billing, “‘Wiped out’: Philippine region in direct path of Typhoon Mangkhut counts cost,” Guardian, September 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/16/completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-httpsviewergutoolscoukpreviewworld2018sep16completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-tuguegarao-city

Shibani Mahtani, “Severe typhoon hits Hong Kong, Southern China after taking at least 30 lives in the Philippines,” Washington Post, September 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/severe-typhoon-hits-hong-kong-southern-china-after-taking-at-least-30-lives-in-the-philippines/2018/09/16/c042c372-b973-11e8-b79f-f6e31e555258_story.html


Golden Showers

Jennifer Rubin, “Not even Republicans trust Trump on Russia,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/not-even-republicans-trust-trump-on-russia/


James Comey

Spencer S. Hsu and Devlin Barrett, “Manafort will cooperate with Mueller as part of guilty plea, prosecutor says,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/manafort-plans-to-plead-guilty-to-second-set-of-charges/2018/09/14/a1541068-b5c9-11e8-a7b5-adaaa5b2a57f_story.html

Jennifer Rubin, “Trump can start panicking now: Manafort will cooperate with the special counsel,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/14/trump-can-start-panicking-now-manafort-will-cooperate-with-the-special-counsel/

Niall Stanage, “Manafort pulls surprise on Trump with Mueller deal,” Hill, September 15, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/406813-the-memo-manafort-pulls-surprise-on-trump-with-mueller-deal

  1. [1]Jen Kirby, “Trump keeps trying to rewrite reality on his Hurricane Maria response,” Vox, September 12, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/9/12/17851122/trump-comments-puerto-rico-response-hurricane-florence
  2. [2]Betsy Klein, “Trump falsely claims nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico ‘did not die,’” Cable News Network, September 13, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/13/politics/trump-puerto-rico-death-toll/index.html
  3. [3]Josh Dawsey, “‘Never give an inch’: Trump keeps touting perceived failures as successes,” Washington Post, September 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/never-give-an-inch-trump-keeps-touting-perceived-failures-as-successes/2018/09/12/12801b80-b6a9-11e8-94eb-3bd52dfe917b_story.html
  4. [4]Karen Zraick and Christina Caron, “Landfall, Storm Surge and the Waffle House Index: Hurricane Terms and What They Mean,” New York Times, September 13, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/us/hurricane-season-terms.html
  5. [5]Jennifer Rubin, “What we learn when Trump says crazy stuff,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/what-we-learn-when-trump-says-crazy-stuff/
  6. [6]Spencer S. Hsu and Devlin Barrett, “Manafort will cooperate with Mueller as part of guilty plea, prosecutor says,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/manafort-plans-to-plead-guilty-to-second-set-of-charges/2018/09/14/a1541068-b5c9-11e8-a7b5-adaaa5b2a57f_story.html
  7. [7]Jennifer Rubin, “Trump can start panicking now: Manafort will cooperate with the special counsel,” Washington Post, September 14, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/14/trump-can-start-panicking-now-manafort-will-cooperate-with-the-special-counsel/
  8. [8]Charlie Savage, “Legal Experts Urge Release of Watergate Report to Offer Mueller a Road Map,” New York Times, September 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/us/politics/mueller-report-grand-jury-watergate.html
  9. [9]Niall Stanage, “Manafort pulls surprise on Trump with Mueller deal,” Hill, September 15, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/406813-the-memo-manafort-pulls-surprise-on-trump-with-mueller-deal
  10. [10]Charlie Savage, “Legal Experts Urge Release of Watergate Report to Offer Mueller a Road Map,” New York Times, September 14, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/us/politics/mueller-report-grand-jury-watergate.html
  11. [11]Deanna Paul, “I was a prosecutor. Here’s what stands out to me about Manafort’s deal with Mueller,” Washington Post, September 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/15/i-was-prosecutor-heres-what-stands-out-me-about-manaforts-deal-with-mueller/
  12. [12]Shibani Mahtani, “Severe typhoon hits Hong Kong, Southern China after taking at least 30 lives in the Philippines,” Washington Post, September 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/severe-typhoon-hits-hong-kong-southern-china-after-taking-at-least-30-lives-in-the-philippines/2018/09/16/c042c372-b973-11e8-b79f-f6e31e555258_story.html
  13. [13]Lynzy Billing, “‘Wiped out’: Philippine region in direct path of Typhoon Mangkhut counts cost,” Guardian, September 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/16/completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-httpsviewergutoolscoukpreviewworld2018sep16completely-wiped-out-philippine-region-in-direct-path-of-typhoon-mangkhut-counts-cost-tuguegarao-city
  14. [14]Hannah Ellis-Petersen, “Typhoon Mangkhut: more than 100 injured in Hong Kong,” Guardian, September 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/weather/2018/sep/16/typhoon-mangkhut-to-china-as-philippines-death-toll-rises
  15. [15]Jennifer Rubin, “What we learn when Trump says crazy stuff,” Washington Post, September 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/13/what-we-learn-when-trump-says-crazy-stuff/
  16. [16]Jen Kirby, “Trump keeps trying to rewrite reality on his Hurricane Maria response,” Vox, September 12, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/9/12/17851122/trump-comments-puerto-rico-response-hurricane-florence; Betsy Klein, “Trump falsely claims nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico ‘did not die,’” Cable News Network, September 13, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/13/politics/trump-puerto-rico-death-toll/index.html

If Bob Woodward is right, then why aren’t all these White House malcontents invoking the 25th amendment?

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 5, 8:59 pm.
  2. September 5, 11:25 pm:
    • So you can see my critique of that anonymous op-ed in the New York Times below. Now here’s David Frum with an entirely different but no less harsh take.[1] (Donald Trump)
    • Meanwhile, and mostly for the record, the White House reaction.[2] (Donald Trump)

Donald Trump

Funny how no one is talking about the 25th Amendment, which provides for this contingency. The argument that “[w]e want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous[3]” only makes sense if Mike Pence is not a more reliable conservative than Donald Trump. But, also according to this unnamed opinion writer, allegedly a senior White House official, “the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.” Further, we are to understand, “[t]here are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more. But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”[4] Would Pence have a worse “leadership style?” And finally, if you claim that “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president” but that “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis,”[5] what exactly would this official call what (s)he and his or her unelected colleagues are doing when they subvert an elected official’s will? (Hint: David Frum has a clue.[6])

I think Matthew Yglesias has this right:

And come to think of it, here’s someone we haven’t heard from in a while either:

I’ve said before that if it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense, and it cannot last. My problem is that with Donald Trump, we are now so far beyond that point, that I have to question my understanding of what makes sense.

David Frum, “This Is a Constitutional Crisis,” Atlantic, September 5, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/this-is-a-constitutional-crisis/569443/

Jeremy Herb, Jamie Gangel, and Dan Merica, “Bob Woodward: Trump’s aides stole his papers ‘to protect the country,'” CNN, September 5, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/04/politics/bob-woodward-book-donald-trump-fear/index.html

Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, “‘The sleeper cells have awoken’: Trump and aides shaken by ‘resistance’ op-ed,” Washington Post, September 5, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-sleeper-cells-have-awoken-trump-and-aides-shaken-by-resistance-op-ed/2018/09/05/ecdf423c-b14b-11e8-a20b-5f4f84429666_story.html

“I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” New York Times, September 5, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html


  1. [1]David Frum, “This Is a Constitutional Crisis,” Atlantic, September 5, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/this-is-a-constitutional-crisis/569443/
  2. [2]Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, “‘The sleeper cells have awoken’: Trump and aides shaken by ‘resistance’ op-ed,” Washington Post, September 5, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-sleeper-cells-have-awoken-trump-and-aides-shaken-by-resistance-op-ed/2018/09/05/ecdf423c-b14b-11e8-a20b-5f4f84429666_story.html
  3. [3]“I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” New York Times, September 5, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html
  4. [4]“I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” New York Times, September 5, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html
  5. [5]“I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” New York Times, September 5, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html
  6. [6]David Frum, “This Is a Constitutional Crisis,” Atlantic, September 5, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/this-is-a-constitutional-crisis/569443/

Thank you, Verizon. In part due to your sheer rapacity, we may get net neutrality in California

Mendocino Complex

Don Thompson, “Verizon makes changes as lawmakers decry firefighters’ woes,” SFGate, August 26, 2018, https://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Verizon-No-internet-speed-restrictions-for-first-13179865.php

Jon Brodkin, “Verizon throttling could trigger FTC investigation of deceptive practices,” Ars Technica, August 27, 2018, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/verizon-throttling-could-trigger-ftc-investigation-of-deceptive-practices/


Net neutrality

Brian Fung, “California lawmakers vote to pass toughest net neutrality law in the nation,” Washington Post, August 31, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/california-lawmakers-pass-toughest-net-neutrality-law-in-the-nation/2018/08/31/f67fd3d0-ca93-498a-ac9a-46703c87583e_story.html

Taryn Luna, “Californians’ internet speed protected in bill sent to Jerry Brown,” Sacramento Bee, August 31, 2018, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article217410335.html


Unemployment

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, “Public May Not Trust Higher Ed, but Employers Do,” Inside Higher Education, August 28, 2018, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/08/28/survey-business-leaders-believe-students-are-learning-skills-not-those-needed


Donald Trump

Greg Sargent, “Trump’s rage-tweets about Google reveal a frightening truth about the midterms,” Washington Post, August 28, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/08/28/trump-rage-googles-himself-and-reveals-a-frightening-truth-about-the-midterms/


James Comey

Aaron Blake’s article[1] prompted a new blog post entitled, “Donald Trump and the elite quest for freedom.”

Aaron Blake, “Did Trump just admit that he tried to fire Mueller and Sessions?” Washington Post, August 30, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/08/30/did-trump-just-admit-that-he-tried-fire-mueller-sessions/


Golden Showers

Jeremy Herb, “Ohr says Steele told him Russian intel believed they had Trump ‘over a barrel,'” CNN, August 31, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/31/politics/bruce-ohr-christopher-steele-donald-trump/index.html


Kyriarchy

Jim Geraghty, “America Was Meant to Overcome Identity Politics,” National Review, August 29, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/america-made-to-overcome-identity-politics/


  1. [1]Aaron Blake, “Did Trump just admit that he tried to fire Mueller and Sessions?” Washington Post, August 30, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/08/30/did-trump-just-admit-that-he-tried-fire-mueller-sessions/