Friday, January 30, 2009

The Great Ice Storm of 2009

An American disaster is going on right now and few are paying close attention. There's no Katrina-like outcry; no Geraldo crying on live TV. But thousands of residents in middle America are struggling just the same:
The number of Kentuckians without electricity continued to flicker during the fourth day of ice storm cleanup as the first signs of thawing brought with it some new outages and high waters on some roads.

And in many of the areas left in the cold and dark after Tuesday and Wednesday's storm, water and fuel remained scarce and food stocks were dwindling, prompting the governor to call for a donation drive this weekend.
Anecdotal: today I saw a convoy of utility trucks moving northward through Memphis heading for the disaster zone. It was a good sight. Memphians know what these things are like after 1994 and 2003. As to the areal coverage of the storm, here's the regional coverage (it extends farther and wider than this):



And here's a view of some of the impacts:



Now might be a good time to donate to your favorite disaster-related charity. More cold air is coming.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saltsman Has No Chance

He's probably a nice guy. The Shanklin CD had 40 tracks and only one was about Magic Negroes. And yes there is a double standard.

But if the man wants to be RNC chair he's gotta be faster on his feet than this:



The Democrats can get away with a boob like Howard Dean as DNC Chair and win back the entire government--they are Dems. But the Repubs need someone with a wit quicker than Christopher Hitchens who can handle the sneak attack media while staying on point and dismissing big government liberals in five different languages, one of them being Arabic. So he's got no chance.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Delta Dawning

The Washington Post has been prowling around the Delta talking to people about Obama and came up with an article today about the dangers of lofty expectations. It contains a few quotes worth quoting from the former mayor of Hollandale, MS, starting with this one:
"There were some people who'd never voted because they'd never seen the point in voting," she said. "Barack has made them believe; Barack has given them hope."
And that's a good thing. Having all Americans invested not only our future but our past is perhaps the biggest upside of an Obama presidency. He's taken pains to script his recent speeches with reminders of American patriots and how their courage ties into modern day promises, which compels his minority followers to take at least a partial, if not full ownership of the history that propelled Obama to the White House. The American dream actually worked! But Ms. Perkins also made a party-pooping observation (and a prediction):
"I know some people will be disillusioned if their lives don't change much in the next eight years," she says. "Even with Barack in there, they don't really believe in the system -- they think it's lowdown, dirty, dog-eat-dog. But they're giving it a chance now because of him. A lot is at stake. If it doesn't work out, there'll be more apathy and anger than ever. People will really be dogging him."
[Emphasis added to point out that at current levels of optimism he's apparently already been pre-elected for 2012 without a race.]

Sure, this is largely an attempt by the media to lower the stratospheric expectations they helped him create but Ms. Perkins is correct regards the downside of any failures that manage to slip through the liberal media's mosquito nets. It's not as if Barack, either through his own promises or via those of starry-eyed supporters, hasn't promised to:
  • Change Earth's climate and sea level;
  • Stop a war in Iraq whether the warring parties agree or not;
  • Send Osama bin Laden to hell;
  • Solve a major international financial crisis;
  • Provide affordable health care for all without raising taxes;
  • Solve the illegal immigration problem;
  • Solve the Social Security problem;
  • Stop nuclear proliferation;
  • Lower almost everyones' taxes and give checks to those who don't even owe them;
  • And restore America's image in the world even though that image gave birth to Osama bin Laden when Bush was governor of Texas.

Because he has. Hey, they say everyone should set goals.

Perhaps a poll of Obama voters might reveal exactly what they expect from the Federal Government under Obama's rule leadership. Presumably it might be higher-paying jobs via the redistribution process laid out to Samuel Joe the Plumber on that Ohio street, but unless Obama can somehow force entrepreneurs and venture capitalists into areas that have little chance of providing much return he'll be hard-pressed to change things very fast, especially the way the government works.

We've heard that nearly everyone except Rush Limbaugh wants Obama to succeed (Rush is being a literalist in that Obama basically ran as a socialist) but if widespread sweetness and light fail to materialize he may have to take the hit after entering-on-duty as the Great Fixer. The media won't give up on blaming Bush but if things are bad enough even they won't be able to hide the discontent. Worse case--the largest case of political apathy ever.

But silver linings might exist. A less than perfect Obama presidency might reveal that a) Bush wasn't as bad as polls now indicate, b) skin color isn't always a factor and c) earthly messiahs can ofttimes be misunderstood and disappointing just like the original version. Such might help things down the road.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good Grief

The stunt pulled by the Democrats yesterday was childishly appalling, made clear by this blurb in the Commercial Appeal story about it:
House Clerk Burney Durham told him that a previous state attorney general’s opinion held that once a speaker is elected, it is for a two-year term and there are no provisions for recall.

Democrats mostly ignored the GOP onslaught and generally proceeded as if they are still running the chamber. All the scripted parliamentary motions typically made by the majority leader were made today by Democratic Leader Gary Odom of Nashville. Mumpower did not rise to address the chamber or make a motion at all during today’s short session.
Pope Naifeh and Judas Williams...standing strong for change and respecting the will of the people. Blago would be proud.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hurricane Elvis

The CA's continuing story this morning on mayor Dubya Dubya Herenton, part something-or-other in the multi-part series, featured a look back at what many of us around here know as "Hurricane Elvis", perhaps an appropriate moniker with all the tributes to the King today.

It's a fine article, laying out the scenario of the mayor turning away from a destroyed city to attend a fund-raiser, something which if alleged against a Republican would have caused a thorough thumpin' at the next election. But the article is flawed by it's very first sentence:
It came without warning, attacking from a blue sky on an otherwise calm summer morning.
Unless they're talking about blue ceiling tiles in the CA bathroom they're plum out of their minds. I happened to be driving to work that morning when around 6:45 am I heard the thunderstorm warning over the radio about 100 mph winds. Ten minutes later it came screaming in, forcing a quick detour for shelter.

It was literally as if a hurricane was passing overhead, lasting a good 10 minutes with stuff flying everywhere and rain going sideways. The sun was up before it hit, but the sky became as dark as I've ever seen a sky after sunrise in my entire life. East Memphis looked like a war zone and as the story said, many were without power for weeks in the Mid South heat, but the storm got scant coverage in the national press. As County Mayor A.C. Wharton (the other AC) pointed out, a power failure in the Northeast for less than a day was world news. Looking back, Herenton was lucky nobody was watching.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Try Again

Said our esteemed Govner:
I have no sympathy for the Governor of Illinois. His political future is deservedly dead and cold; he may yet be removed by impeachment; he may well find himself in prison. He has diminished an office that I am proud to hold.

Now that it is clear that I am not carrying any water for this fellow governor, may I make the point that we are thankfully very near the end of an administration for which political calculation and the entitlement of power so often trumped the rule of law. A Democratic congress should move to heal this wound to America, not deepen it.
Dog won't hunt. This is a Democratic production from top to bottom. Blago is playing harder ball than the Cubs ever have and it's an amazing thing to witness. Bringing in Chimpy McBushCo as some kind of deflective strawman for this mess is like blaming the recent sludge dambreak on Michael Brownie.

The popcorn lamp is lit. Should be an interesting week.