Seeking shelter from the storm — at home

 

Hurricanes and other natural disasters often leave those people who are not trying to survive with little to do. Since I am off work until a week from today, I spent last night watching TV and surfing the internet. Thus, I went to bed about 1 a.m. I woke up at 7 a.m. and went back to bed until 12:30 p.m. During those times when I was awake I think I can safely say that the rain from now-Tropical Storm Harvey has not abated.

An Army National Guard soldier rescues a woman from her flooded home in Houston. Texas National Guard photo by LT Zachary West.

Beaumont, Texas, does not receive the publicity of, say, Houston. This is obviously because of a matter of scale. Houston, with a population of more than 2.3 million, is the fourth-largest city in the United States. Beaumont, with around 115,000 people, is not.

But, publicity be damned, weather does not play media favorites. Of course, that may have been difficult to fathom for some of the folks in other locations 12 years ago when Katrina inundated New Orleans and wrecked the Mississippi coast. Even now as Tropical Storm Harvey has moved into Louisiana, the national media seems fixated on New Orleans.

New Orleans suffered a significant loss in people and damage, there is no doubt about that. Houston, where thousands of refugees from Katrina sought shelter, will likely see much more damage from Harvey. Hopefully the casualties will not come even close.

It seems a lull in the heavy rain is taking place. The same for the pounding thunder and 35-40 mph wind gusts. But we likely have at least another 24 hours of tropical storm ahead of us. One only needs to look at the weather warnings from NOAA here in Jefferson County to know that:

 

 

The clown prince speaks his insanity once more

Trump is talking about what “we” will do in Afghanistan and issue yet again a “Trump” doctrine. Is there a mouse in his pocket? Crap o’mighty.

He speaks in his hyperbolic narcissism.  It is just too ridiculous to repeat.

Trump’s Secret Squirrel attitude once again promised he will not tell the public — who provides “blood and treasure” in the manner of bullet catchers and unlimited money — what  our troops will do. That danger is a government that willingly spends those lives and those dollars with no oversight. Oh, well there is “congressional oversight,” if you don’t find those words oxymoronic.  Perhaps in Trump’s mind, this might be viewed more toward the moronic.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on a “town hall” with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the former whom I have long felt bears a scary resemblance with the 60s sitcom “The Munsters” character Eddie Munster, is back ready to suck up to Trump after the president’s bright shining insanity last week.

This is all for right now. Such clarity. I wish I could say this all is a big joke. Well, at least Trump is a joke, but his mouthing off and his stupidity is out for all to see.

The honest smile that lights the day’s dim news

Our journalistic future, with Mizzou-Columbia alum, RealClearPoly, and CNN analyst, is bright with that sincere smile. Public Domain, I hope.

I get mesmerized … with that smile. It’s hard to turn away.

I speak of Rebecca Berg. The 27-year-old California native is national reporter for RealClearPolitics. But I see her quite often on Wolf Blitzer’s “Situation Room” on CNN where she is a political analyst.

Berg speaks with a gravitas that belies her age. And, even though she is cuter than a speckled pup — trust me, that is cute — she is more than just a pretty face. I have seen young female journalists who were not much more than a pretty face. But that is, fortunately, rare.

 

Nonetheless, it appears Berg has put in a lot of work  from her days at University of Missouri — a well-regarded J-school — and her earlier OJT as a fellow at The New York Times, plus a stint at BuzzFeed.

Berg is not a wannabe scribe, and not a TV poser. She does it without extraneous “Look-at-me-me-me” face time.

Young Ms. Berg does wield a smile  that seems second nature — Or first nature perhaps. The smile looks so very honest. Smiles such as the journalist’s can be mistaken for those whose lives have been cruelly locked into a sadder-than-sad cynicism. Not her smile.

Her honesty shines through while speaking of heavy interactions in the often screwed up world within and outside the District of Columbia.

To quote an old Southern rock and roll tune from the 1970s by the oddly-named band, Wet Willie:

“You say you got the blues/You got holes in both your shoes/Feeling alone and confused/Just keep on smiling.

“Keep on smilin’ through the rain, laughin’ at the pain
Rollin with the changes til the sun comes out again.”

Yes ma’am, Ms. Berg, keep on smiling.

 

 

Straight from The Donald’s mouth

It really is remarkable. Maybe it isn’t. Remarkable. Perhaps.

Such is the communication style of our “beloved” president. As Donald J. Trump is a piece of work, so are his utterances. Take for instance his recent interview with several reporters from The New York Times. I mean, I have met many politicians in my life. Trump and his loyalists all say that the president is no politician. But, he is a politician, no matter what anyone says. And just as many politicians are full of bullshit, so is The Donald. That is why I marvel at this Times interview and what he said during that interview.

The Donald is watching you! White House photo

First of all, part of Trump’s shtick is the interview. He rails against the media and if you believe Trump, The Times is among his largest target.  But three of those Times reporters, Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, and the latter especially, seem to report and write as if they can actually translate what the president says in his circuitous manner of speaking.

The interview sparked some of the most baffling sentences put together by a modern U.S. president. Take, for instance, Trump and his apparent view of the Affordable Care Act as enacted by his predecessor and the earlier health care efforts of his predecessor’s predecessor’s predecessor.

“Look, Hillary Clinton worked eight years in the White House with her husband as president and having majorities and couldn’t get it done. Smart people, tough people — couldn’t get it done. Obama worked so hard. They had 60 in the Senate. They had big majorities and had the White House. I mean, ended up giving away the state of Nebraska. They owned the state of Nebraska. Right. Gave it away.”

Wake up Nebraska, your Abylai Khan is here, and he is asking for Donald Trump. By Agymsaly Duzelkhanov – Museum of the First President of Kazakhstan, Public Domain,

One can hope –especially those Nebraska folks — that the Cornhusker State wasn’t inadvertently given to another nation. Let’s just think how it would feel to wake up to find your state was now under rule of, say, Kazakhstan.

It is anyone’s guess as to what Trump is talking about — well maybe someone in Kazakhstan would know — once he gets fired up and expounds in thought of health insurance. At least, that seems to be what he is talking about:

 “As they get something, it gets tougher. Because politically, you can’t give it away. So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan. Here’s something where you walk up and say, “I want my insurance.” It’s a very tough deal, but it is something that we’re doing a good job of.”

But as many in the U.S. fear for what kind of damage Trump might do domestically, he would have you believe that we should have no major problem with foreign policy. Hence:

 “I have had the best reviews on foreign land. So I go to Poland and make a speech. Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president.”

Oh well, we still have Kazakhstan.

Perhaps the strangest part of Trump in Europe, and with his foreign relations in general is his “handiwork.” It seems that our current president has some sort of hand fetish. His latest hand job was with the French President Emmanuel Macron. Here is the breakdown on the marathon shake from CNN’s Chris Cizzilla.

Apparently Trump has found himself a bro in Macron:

“He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand.”

What more could the leader of the free world need?

 

The Trumps rocking the oldies

Do you know the latest about the continuing Russia-U.S. Election saga?

Well, if you do know you are ahead of me.

Jim Morrison in a 1969 promo picture for a Doors appearance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer.  — Whoa. I’m channeling my inner Jim Morrison. All the cable news people were talking all this stuff about the Donald’s boys — Kushner and all the rest. but of all the Putin’s man boys Donald Jr. was the best … Donnie the helpless president’s offspring… Also a bit of Warren Zevon channeling as well.

Send lawyers guns and money, the shit has hit the fan. I guess I shouldn’t  quote Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” while quoting from his “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.” Wikipedia Creative Commons.

All that I know is that some evidence turned up about the Trump boys meeting with the Ruskies then Don Jr. released some e-mails in an attempt to “get ahead of the story.”

Perhaps Trump Jr. got way too ahead of the story. It seems like Jr. is a deep dung daddy.  It  likewise appears that Trump Jr. has that Trump trait of his father, that being a lying, arrogant, narcissist.

Now like father, like son, perhaps should– just in case — find an outside con who may know guys inside who the father and son might hire to pick up their soap on the prison floor.

Or, perhaps, maybe not. Better to be safe than, well, you probably know what I’m talking about.

Boy howdy, Gee Dubya, you don’t know how much we miss you these days. President George W. Bush comforts a Hurricane Katrina refugee in Louisiana in 2005. White House photo by Eric Draper.