Things That Tick Me Off: Irene’s Hurricane Coverage in Washington

My brother sent me this mocking picture making the rounds on the Internet. I thought it was àpropos in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The coverage in Washington of the hurricane-that-wasn’t has been absolutely bizarre. It is good to see that this city does not just panic with an inch of snow. We panic with any weather above a flurry or a misting. Folks in parts of North Carolina and other coastal areas have had legitimate concerns (including New York, Vermont and other areas) and Irene’s flooding and power outages were expected to take quite a toll in those hardest hit areas. However, the D.C. coverage was comically ridiculous. I watched one story of how Irene had began “its trail of misery and destruction” toward Washington. General Sherman’s March To the Sea had less dire reviews. I am only talking about Northern Virginia and Washington where the coverage continued in sharp contrast with the actual forecasted weather for our area.

I have been admittedly snarky of the coverage for days, particularly the last 24-hours when the hurricane was a Cat-1 hitting hundreds of miles away. Having lived through pretty big hurricanes in Louisiana, I have a respect for the storms but there was never any predictions of serious rain in my area. For days, I have been checking the various weather sites only to find predictions of two inches of rain and strong winds on Saturday night (with clearing on Sunday). I would then turn on the television or go on the Internet and find live, round-the-clock, breathless coverage of the “misery” and “destruction” coming to Washington. At no time did the forecast predict anything more than roughly a couple inches of rain and high winds. There was clearly a chance for power outages due to the soaked soil and winds, but the coverage in this area was positively apocalyptic.

In addition to ratings, the hysteria did produce record sales at stores as people prepared for the apocalypse with bodies stacked like firewood in the streets.

Everything closed despite the fact that only two inches of rain and some strong winds were predicted. This morning, the coverage continues with reporters showing the same pictures of a couple of trees down to fill time. The rest of the coverage is largely “things that did not happen” stories. My favorite this morning on Channel 4 (NBC) was how in Alexandria the harbor man thought that people who tied up their boats for high tide might have to come back and tie the boats for lower tide. The reporter then went to show how the water has not risen and how high water could have been a problem in causing flooding — if there was high water. As predicted in the actual forecasts for days before the hurricane (as opposed to the news coverage), we had some trees down, some power outages, and rain. Various forecasters (here and here) objected to the overblown claims in places like Washington before the storm hit.

I was not alone in feeling a significant loss of credibility for our local media in the hype leading to the storm — which seemed overtly disconnected to the actual predictions of rain and wind. Of course, at the coast, there were some curious moments such as the reporter who gave a live account while covered in what appears toxic foam.

We decided not to join the apocalyptic preparations and instead invited a couple of the friends of the kids over for a hurricane party and sleepover. Our power went off for exactly twenty seconds, but we had a grand time and watched “Cats v. Dogs” while devouring bags of popcorn. The overkill coverage will only make it more difficult for media and the government to get people to believe them next time when there is a serious threat, in my view.

Of course, most everything is still closed today as we clean up the carnage of blown leaves and soggy lawns in our area. In your view, was Irene overblown?

163 thoughts on “Things That Tick Me Off: Irene’s Hurricane Coverage in Washington

  1. I am happy you and yours weathered the storm unscathed and in good spirits. Living in Louisiana is good training for dealing with hurricanes later in life.

    What has been coming out of Washington recently–and perhaps not so recently–more closely resembles a Santa Ana wind instead of a hurricane. Vast amounts of hot air, lives disrupted or destroyed, damage to the environment and at times the wind is strong enough to overturn large trucks, thus blocking normal traffic on highways and bridges.

  2. Crazy coverage even in UK, Sky news is follow hurricane Irene in earnest. I was in Houston during tropical storm Allison and narrowly escaped being flooded out but when my partner phoned from the UK and I said it was okay our home had escape the flooding she had no clue what I was talking about.

  3. Don’t under estimate the time and energy of cleaning up soggy leaves….Not fun….

    Can we say hype….can we say hyperbole…Can we say Katrina….but then not everyone lives in a swamp pit….

    I’ll trade you some fine Texas heat for some rain…..

  4. Its not just DC, it is everywhere. News stopped being about reporting important information to grown ups years ago. Now it is all about driving ‘eyeballs’ to advertisers. The best way to do that is drama and panic. That is why every little thing is always THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!!!!

    Sadly, a certain panic deafness sets in and when there is a real need for concern most people are numb to it. We have not been well served by our media for more than 20 years as profits are the only driving force now.

  5. The weather people got this one right.And I guess the people who didn’t take it serious were use to the “wolf is coming”but never showed up.
    He showed up big time on this one.

    Got a lot of water on the ground in my area haven’t been able to go out yet to see whats really going on.Just had 8” of rain the other day all in one day,the ground is saturated and there is talk on TV of electrical wires down in other areas and fallen trees.Luckily have not lost any power yet.Storm should be thru here by about 4 or 5pm they say.

  6. Hey, did everyone know that there was an earthquake in Colorado? As well as aftershocks.

    My personal favorite over-reporting was “Snowmageddon” in Seattle several years ago. We got maybe an inch and a half.

  7. Just because it didn’t happen in D.C, means YOU WERE LUCKY.
    Others not so much.
    Don’t worry before the seasons over I’m positive your gonna get a second chance and this time you might not be.

    Eniobob good luck with the cleanup. I forecast this system to be an ominous situation a week ago. Every storm is different and this one just happens to be historic. Just not for some, but for a whole lot of people.

  8. It was 110 in Austin yesterday and the same is expected for today, and dry as a bone. I can’t wait for winter so I can complain about how cold it is. :)

  9. Eniobob what people don’t understand is as far as financial loss a slow moving Tropical Storm or Tropical Depression, say at 5-10 mph can have a greater impact than say a Hurricane moving at 25 miles an hour.

    Enibob Long range model forecast take the system designated 92L (currently off the African Coast) pretty much in the same direction as Irene Started. Alot of times a specific pattern develops in the Jet stream. What am I trying to say? Irene’s sister Katia is coming and don’t be surprised if she comes up the East Coast like her sister in about 10-14 days.
    Like Irene 92L has a very very large envelope and already has a 40% chance of development in the next 48 hours.

    Keep an eye on my forecast page as I keep an eye on the eye of the next Hurricane.

  10. Bda:

    “what people don’t understand is as far as financial loss a slow moving Tropical Storm or Tropical Depression, say at 5-10 mph can have a greater impact than say a Hurricane moving at 25 miles an hour.”

    That’s the point that a couple of weathermen was trying to make people understand.A slow moving storm has more time to create havoc.

  11. Bdaman and eniobob point out an important point.

    The ground is soaked from rain, which makes the soil boggy down below just the topsoil. Add torrential rain such as a hurricane or tropical storm can produce, factor in the fact it is slow-moving and add several inches of rain, the soil becomes even weaker to support tree roots and structures embedded in the ground. Then consider winds in excess of 25-40 knots and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Stuff is getting blown over that would have been able to withstand the wind gusts under ordinary circumstances.

  12. Over 900 thousand people without power in Va.

    Dominion Power, servicing much of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, is reporting nearly a million customers without power. This is 40 percent of the total system. Nearly a quarter of Delmarva Power service area, all of Delaware and eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia
    All of Harford County, Md., has no power

  13. Irene’s Infamous Top Ten

    Totals through 10 a.m.

    Irene has caused damaging wind and excessive rains from the Carolinas to New England. Here are the highest rainfall and wind totals that we have seen through 10 a.m. EDT:

    Rainfall

    1. Aurora, N.C., 19.00 inches

    2. Bunyan, N.C., 14.00 inches

    3. Ft. Eustis, Va., 12.52 inches

    4. Washington, N.C., 11.31 inches

    5. Camp Springs, Md., 11.21 inches

    6. New Bern, N.C., 11.13 inches

    7. Suffolk, Va., 10.71 inches

    8. Grifton, N.C., 10.53 inches

    9. Newport, N.C., 10.22 inches

    10. Wenona, N.C., 10.13 inches

    11. Newark, N.J., 8.92 inches

    Wind Gusts

    1. Cedar Island, N.C., 115 mph

    2. Fort Macon, N.C., 92 mph

    3. Hatteras, N.C., 88 mph

    4. Buxton, N.C., 79 mph

    5. Cape Lookout, N.C., 78 mph

    6. Oregon Inlet, N.C., 78 mph

    7. Chesapeake Beach, Md., 72 mph

    8. Gaithersburg, Md., 72 mph

    9. Calvert Cliffs, Md., 72 mph

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/54348/irenes-infamous-top-ten-1.asp

  14. Bdaman:

    once they hit land it looks like they lose power. Do they continue to pick up water while they cycle over the ocean? the reduction in rainfall seems to indicate they dont. is that right?

  15. Roco, I can answer that. A hurricane can be called a heat engine. Heat over water is the energy source. As for picking up additional water, any onshore wind will pick up evaporated water over the ocean, no matter the temperature. For an example, look at lake effect snow. So what happens is when the hurricane eye moves onshore, it loses power because it loses the source of its energy: warm ocean water. It is dumping a lot of water and picking up more offshore, but the amounts are dropping off as it cools and loses wind energy.

    That was probably as clear as mud, but am trying to keep it relatively simple.

  16. Bda:

    “11. Newark, N.J., 8.92 inches”

    I,m not in monmouth county but on this day the Essex &Hudson county areas got 8” of rain in one day:

    What Led to the Rainy August in Monmouth County?
    Posted on August 19, 2011 at 11:02am
    “On Monday I reported on the impressive rainfall totals that were recorded throughout Monmouth County ranging from 2.78 inches in Freehold to 5.10 inches in Millstone Township. The following are rainfall totals taken throughout Monmouth County from the National Weather Service’

    http://matawan-aberdeen.patch.com/blog_posts/what-led-to-the-rainy-august-in-monmouth-county

    Airport Info-real time.

    http://www.emergencyemail.org/remoteflightWANG.asp

  17. That picture is West Coast snark about the eathquake a couple of weeks ago. It has nothing to do with the hurricane.

  18. Here’s a scary thought.

    The names for the 2011 Hurricane season are the same for what was used in 2005, with the exception of Katrina, which was retired and replaced with Katia.

    Katrina died on August 30th and looking at this afternoons model runs it looks like Katia will be born on August 30th.

    This afternoons model runs put what could be Katia near the Bahamas around September 6th/7th.

  19. I’m happy to say I’ve emerged from Irene and, like JT, thought the hype was unseemly but not unwarranted. There were 790,000 homes without power in Richmond and environs (mine just tripped on around 2:00 p.m. after being out for over 24 hours) and we’ve had hundreds of uprooted trees in the Fan & Museum Districts as well as throughout the suburbs. Resoration of all power might take over a week for the million and a half Virginians who lost it. We have three confirmed deaths from the storm.

    Flooding is the next hazard to deal with and the Hampton Roads area is expecting an 8′ crest of the Elizabeth River which would exceed the 1933 hurricane which set the standard for disaster. The tunnels into Norfolk are just getting reopened and we’ve got a big cleanup ahead.

    Glad JT fared well, but it’s still a mess here.

    Here’ some pictures:

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/list/richmond-rebounds-after-irene/gallery/

  20. Glad to hear you’re OK Mespo, no electricity is awful. When the low, ubiquitous hum of air conditioners all over the area ends (sometime for days) it’s the end of civilization IMO. Take care.

  21. mespo,

    Thank you for letting us know you are well. Irene was a nasty piece of work. Be careful through this clean up period.

    Now we need to hear from eniobob.

  22. Eniobob: “I,m not in monmouth county but on this day the Essex &Hudson county areas got 8” of rain in one day:…”

    Wherever you are I hope you’re doing OK.

  23. Glad to Hear the Professor and the Professor are safe…..I was going to say…The Professor and Gilligan….

  24. I am glad to hear that our host, my fellow guest blogger and our esteemed regular reader(s) in harms way have come through unscathed.

  25. mespo:

    Your photos are interchangeable with what we are and will be going through the next few days here in Jersey.

    Blouise things are fine.

    LK thanks!!

  26. I forgot about you eniobob….I thought about Elaine but got distracted before I posted…and thought I had…..Yes….We have the Professors, Mary Ann….and -the Millionaire…….

  27. NOAA and the National Weather Service should be disbanded to allow higher quality, competing private forecasting services to emerge.

    As things stand today hurricane forecasts by the federal government monopolize the messaging provided by the news media. Errors, oversights and exaggerations by government forecasters are amplified and repeated over and over. Overstated warnings reinforce the importance of government oversight and control. Only corporate clients with aviation and transportation dependencies are able to obtain independent information of any quality.

    Weather threats are routinely exaggerated and reinforce dependence on government and so-called emergency officials, while the public must live with frequent mistakes with no prospect for accountability or improvement by the government that provides them.

  28. As for the “mocking picture” sent by JT’s brother, here’s a little more serious group from Louisa High School and the damage from the magnitude-5.8 earthquake. Kids were in class when the disaster struck around 2:00 p.m. This school and an elementary school are too weak to house classes due to the risk of collapse. They are both out of commission for the rest of the year.

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/list/virginia-earthquake/gallery/

  29. puzzling, your last comment was so full of fail I do not even know where to start.

    NOAA and NWS save lives. They do not operate on a profit motive and the money that goes into this essential service is spent on service, not servicing overpaid CEOs and stockholders who care only that the next quarter dividend is a good one.

    What is your next “good idea?” Privatize the Coast Guard and make it fee for service?

  30. Enibob, here’s an example to what I said yesterday.

    “what people don’t understand is as far as financial loss a slow moving Tropical Storm or Tropical Depression, say at 5-10 mph can have a greater impact than say a Hurricane moving at 25 miles an hour.”

    and thats what FUCKING PISSES ME OFF

    (Reuters) – Vermont residents battled epic flooding on Monday after the remnants of Hurricane Irene set off the state’s worst flooding in nearly 40 years, washing out roads and knocking out power.

    Weather reporters said the flooding was the worst in Vermont since 1973 and perhaps since 1927.

    At least one of the state’s historic covered bridges was washed away as Irene’s rains sent rivers spilling over their banks.

    Governor Peter Shumlin called the flooding catastrophic and several people had to be rescued. Some 50,000 people are without power, officials said on Monday.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/29/us-storm-irene-vermont-idUSTRE77S1ZM20110829

  31. @OS

    Do you mean the “historic Quechee Covered Bridge” that is really a steel bridge that was built in 1970?

    The flooding is a problem for the folks in Vertmont, and my heart goes out to them, but I think describing a bridge built in 1970 as a historic covered bridge should be added to the list of things that tick me off. (I think you were likely deceived into thinking the bridge was much older. I was too.)

  32. NoWay, did not know that. At any rate, it was a beautiful bridge. The Bartonsville, VT bridge was built in 1870, according to what I can find online. Here is what just happened to it yesterday. This video has just been posted.

  33. Otteray Scribe:

    “What is your next “good idea?” Privatize the Coast Guard and make it fee for service?”

    What exactly does the Coast Guard do? Customs and drug interdiction and rescue/water safety, right?

    So legalize drugs and have free trade and what do you need the Coast Guard for? Rescue and safety/recovery could be done by private companies.

    Good idea OS. :)

  34. Well NoWay,

    If the private companies that it protected just paid for the services that are provided under the banner of the US which would not have the protection but for the army and navy which are the only constitutional branches of the US ARMED forces….the marines…..two time given birth….Air Force…well a branch of the Army….circa 1947 (around there) marines….Where is the authority for the USCG?

    You’ll see it was founded by Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790, it lays claim to being the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service.

    The Coast Guard’s legal authority differs from the other four armed services and it operates simultaneously under Title 10 of the United States Code and its other organic authorities, e.g., Titles 6, 14, 19, 33, 46, etc. Because of its legal authority, the Coast Guard can conduct military operations under the Department of Defense or directly for the President in accordance with Title 14 USC 1–3.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Coast_Guard

    They do much more than just protect private companies…Learn a little…

  35. @OS,

    I didn’t think you knew the details about the quechee bridge. The Bartonsville bridge is a sad event. There’s just something about those covered bridges that brings me peace.

    About NOAA cuts: Did you know the budget for NOAA was 3.8 billion in 2007? The 2012 budget (a decrease from 2011) is 5.4 billion. I think concern about a 40% increase in such a short period of time justifies taking a close look at the numbers to see if cutting back in some areas is doable.

  36. @AY

    I think you meant for your comment to be directed at Roco. You’ll find no disagreement with me when it comes to the purpose, value, and authority of the Coast Guard.

  37. I don’t think a private contractor is going to be operating landing craft during an invasion, as Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro did during the battle of Guadalcanal.

    A Coast Guard cutter, the USCGC Munro (WHEC-724) is named for him, as is the Navy destroyer USS Douglas A. Munro (DE-422). Also a barracks buildiing at the Coast Guard Academy is named for him. (Bet you did not know the USCG had their own military academy.)

    Signalman First Class Munro’s official Medal of Honor citation reads:

    For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy’s fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country.

    Yeah, we need to turn this service over to private contractors.

  38. NoWay:

    Cutting back is doable in all areas. Just go back to 2008 spending levels and reduce, in actual terms, 3-5% per year for the next ten years and the budget should be in good shape.

    I am betting we could do very well with half of the government we have.

  39. Roco,

    I wish cutbacks were so easy.

    Our population has increased since 1995, 2000, and 2008. It will continue to grow. To provide the same level of service, it’s not hard to figure out that more material costs more.

    I think there are cuts that can be made, but I don’t see just going back to a previous date or a certain percentage per year to be something that has any basis. I’m sure there is waste that needs to be addressed. There always is. But I think we need to look at the desired level of service, establish that, and then look to see where cuts can be made and how much they can be.

  40. Hurricane Irene’s N.J. legacy just beginning as floodwaters rise and commutes are obstructed
    Published: Monday, August 29, 2011, 6:00 AM Updated: Monday, August 29, 2011, 9:31 AM
    By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger

    “It will go down as one of the most damaging storms to hit New Jersey in a century, if not in recorded history.
    The state’s rivers, swollen by Irene’s relentless downpours, began spilling their banks Sunday, inundating backyards and basements, major highways and downtown streets. Many waterways were still rising, suggesting the worst is yet to come.”

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/08/hurricane_irenes_nj_legacy_jus.html

  41. NoWay:

    After watching the natural destruction of that bridge and last year’s MetroDome football stadium collapse from snow pack, I am anxiously awaiting the inevitable conclusion from our god-fearing brethren that God likes to see us wherever we are and will not tolerate the wicked coverings we place on bridges and football stadiums. I also expect to learn that gays, atheists, and agnostics had some role in the planning, design, and building of these structures. In the words of my more pious friends: “you can’t prove He didn’t do it.” Indeed, maybe He just likes football and the undisturbed sound, “clickety-clack.”

  42. Some of the storm skepticism comes from the same place climate change denial comes from.

    A professor at UCSD lays out the history of climate change science (1850 – 2011).

    She also lays out the origin and development of climate change denial.

    Here is a link to the video of the lecture.

  43. AY:

    I didnt say they just protected private companies. I said private companies could do most of the work the USCG does. The Navy could do the rest.

    The fact that it was started by Alexander Hamilton gives cause to believe it is a useless tool. Wasnt he for central banks as well?

  44. It never ceases to amaze me at how the budget cutting/private ownership crowd is so happy with an America of rotting infrastructure. Other nations are proud of their public works and their maintenance of same. here we are overrun with people who want it all on the cheap tax wise and don’t care what the country looks like.

  45. Roco (and kindred spirits), you are not going to be able to hire employees to do what the Coast Guard does on a daily basis for regular enlisted pay. First of all, when they get a call, the Regulations specify that they have to go out. There is nothing in the regulations about coming back. Here is a rescue surfboat–watch it till the end of the video:

  46. Roco
    1, August 29, 2011 at 11:32 am
    AY:

    I didnt say they just protected private companies. I said private companies could do most of the work the USCG does. The Navy could do the rest.

    The fact that it was started by Alexander Hamilton gives cause to believe it is a useless tool. Wasnt he for central banks as well?

    ******************

    How do you think merchant marines are able to get goods to other port…. I think it is illegal to use the USN during peacetime…The coast guard was specifically designed to aide the transportation of good and is was not seen as acts of aggression….

    Though that role has changed dramatically in the last 210 years…

    Do you think that private companies should be in the arena of defense….some people think not…

  47. Otteray Scribe:

    The Coast Guard is a volunteer service. They go because they wish to help people in distress and they understand the risks. They could make far more in the private sector doing the same job.

  48. roco,

    Would you endanger your life for a private corporation….I think the WC rules specifically prohibit an employer to require an employee to work in a known dangerous job…but then again…You are probably for CAPS….

    OSHA covers this: Maritime safety: Like the construction industry, due to inherent concerns regarding the safety of maritime workers, OSHA creates and enforces regulations to safeguard workers in the maritime industry.

    Do you think that the US Government abides by the same rules and game plan…If so…tell be about why Air crafts do not have to have mufflers….why military vehicles do not have to have a MPG….I am waiting…

  49. mespo:

    Jon Ward
    jon.ward@huffingtonpost.com
    Michele Bachmann Says Hurricane Irene And Earthquake Are Divine Warnings To Washington

    “WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann told Floridians Sunday that Hurricane Irene and the earthquake felt along much of the East Coast last week were messages from God to warn “politicians” to start heeding divine guidance, which she suggested is being channeled through small government conservatives.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/michele-bachmann-hurricane-irene_n_940209.html

  50. Roco sez: “The Coast Guard is a volunteer service. They go because they wish to help people in distress and they understand the risks. They could make far more in the private sector doing the same job.”

    ****************************************

    My point exactly. The private sector CANNOT do what the USCG does on a daily basis, seldom making headlines. Neither can the Navy; different mission, different training.

  51. Ask the crew aboard any fishing vessel if they’d want to depend on “help for hire” services when the weather gets bad. The fishing fleets of New England hold the CG in high esteem for their bravery and faithful service be it searching for a lost crew & boat or something as mundane as maintaining bouys and navigation aids.

  52. roco,

    Going to work every day is a voluntary activity in reality with no criminal implications….Really, it is….If you want to eat, have a place to live…sleep…be left alone….and if you don’t go….what are they going to do to you…I think contract for Indentured Servants are illegal…call be old fashioned in that regards…

    In the service once you volunteer…You have made a commitment for a term of years….with criminal implications if you refuse to perform and you are capable…….. Unless you name is Bush….

  53. DownEast Liberator, ain’t that the truth! When you have a rudder out, the engine is smoking and the boat is taking on water, that red racing stripe looks awfully good when it heaves into view. Semper Paratus, mate!

  54. Mike Spindell:

    you are guilty of the straw man fallacy. People who think like me want better infrastructure and are willing to pay for it. We believe the overall burden to everyone would be less if infrastructure was built by private investors and paid for by usage fees.

    Why do you want the poor working mother barely making ends meet feeding her 5 children to subsidize a wealthy businessman to take a first class plane ride from Atlanta to New York?

    Man, I would say you are much friendlier to the rich than I am. I think the rich ought to pay for the services they use. Why should the rest of us subsidize their extravagant lifestyles with tax subsidies?

  55. Roco,

    If anyone is guilty of a straw man fallacy here, it’d be you defending private profits at the expense of public use which will be limited by a private owned/user fee infrastructure scheme. Yet you are so close to the answer: an equitable tax code where the wealthy DO pay more in proportionate taxes than the poor. They receive greater benefit from society, they should pay a greater share – all of them, equally. Taxation takes the volitional component out of the equation. All should pay. All should pay a fair proportionate share. Our tax code needs to be fair. Warren Buffet should pay the same or higher tax rate than his secretary. He makes more money. His business interests benefit proportionately more from public infrastructure than the average person. He (and his brethren) should shoulder more of the costs and not for profit and not at the cost of removing the “public” from public infrastructure.

  56. About 85% of our critical infrastructure is privately held. The gas, electricty, sewer, telecommunications, and water companies are privately held. My phone, water and sewer rates are pretty reasonable, and reliable.

    There are some things, like roads, that I don’t think could be privately held without becoming a problem. Turnpikes, now that electronic payment is available, could be the way of the future. It has been my experience that most turnpikes are pretty decent.

  57. Gene H:

    If you had user fees for infrastructure, Warren Buffet would be paying more wouldnt he.

    You just want government control, it has nothing to do with paying taxes. Taxes allow government to do pretty much anything they want with our money.

  58. OS,

    The point is not that NOAA was accurate or inaccurate in this particular case, although even on that there is disagreement to your claims of a “gold metal” forecast:

    NYT: Hurricane Lost Steam as Experts Misjudged Structure and Next Move

    Government weather forecasts dominate the media message and have eliminated a market for private hurricane forecasting. There is no check or balance to agency mistakes since there are few alternate sources of information. We will never know how accurate hurricane forecasts could be until private-sector level innovation and expertise is allowed to return to this field.

  59. puzzling, as one who has depended on the NOAA to keep me out of trouble for more than fifty years, and who knows more than a little about micrometerology, I am appalled at any suggestion of privatizing such an essential service. Pay to play? I don’t think so. When I get a wx briefing from flight service, I do not want to have to wonder if it is accurate because they do not want to affect the bottom line of some client who wants to sell tickets to an event.

    No forecast is totally accurate. The latest computer modeling is infinitely better than the forecasts based on pencil and paper calculations that were the standard when I first started flying. Anyone who has even a smattering of knowledge of fluid dynamics knows that you have to apply a healthy dose of chaos theory calculations into a weather forecast. And to puncture your balloon regarding private forecasting, did you forget about Jeff Masters’ Weather Underground and Accuweather? Those two companies do a fairly good job and anyone can hire them for specialized forecasts. It is a wide open market. I just do not want my FAA flight service station using them when they give me a wx briefing.

    As for how accurate information gets disseminated, it is always smart to ignore the commercial weather forecasters and their breathless on-air personalities. I have NOAA bookmarked and the NOAA reporting station nearest to me linked so I can get it instantly. Go to the source, not the talking heads.

  60. Roco,

    It’s not about control except in your case and that desire for control is directly linked to a desire for profits. Some human endeavors simply should not be done on a for profit basis. It’s not only unjust, it’s inefficient. Take for example the bloated salaries of health care insurance executives, the systemic inefficiencies of forcing providers to maintain multiple paper trails and the desire to pay dividends to stockholders. Where does this money come from? It comes from collecting premiums and not paying claims and calling the differential profit. Just so with other forms of infrastructure, when you add the profit motive, you are skimming monies that could be used to improve the services to pay out ridiculous salaries and meet investor expectations that are driven not out of maximizing resource usage but rather maximizing profits. As the population of not just this country, but Earth, increases, waste to generate profit in an age of declining resources to meet demand will sooner rather than later show the folly of seeking to profiteer off of every civilized endeavor. The Romans didn’t build aqueducts and sewers and roads and harbors for personal profit. They weren’t privately owned. They were publicly owned and for the use of any and all citizens. They built them because potable water and sanitation and transportation address fundamental necessities for civilizations of scale.

    Public systems paid with tax dollars from an equitable tax schema would insure Warren is paying more too. He just wouldn’t be paying trumped up administrative costs and dividends nor would any other citizen/owner/user of that infrastructure. Money is not a God. Some endeavors should simply be done in the public interest driven by duties held to the public trust. The pursuit of profit in every aspect of life puts the worship of money in the form of private profits above all other considerations including something even more important to a civilized society; the general welfare of the citizens.

  61. Gene H:

    Where is the liberal not for profit health insurance company?

    Such an insurance company would surely draw a lot of people. So, where is it? What’s holding it back?

    There must be some liberal somewhere who wishes to help his fellow man with his own money and not someone else’s.

  62. Gene H:

    “The pursuit of profit in every aspect of life puts the worship of money in the form of private profits above all other considerations including something even more important to a civilized society; the general welfare of the citizens.”

    the pursuit of profits has increased the standard of living immensely over the last 200 years. It is that pursuit that has lead to just about every major life saving, life extending and life enhancing product or service now available.

    The pursuit of profit does more for the general welfare than all the trillions ever spent by government. A civilized society has evolved to be able to pursue profit, we no longer have to kill each other for resources, we can trade with each other. That fact alone has improved the welfare of countless millions of human beings.

    It is not money we value but human life, you call profit evil but what is profit? Nothing but human activity, a mans life, the sum total of his time spent on earth. Man must make profit to move forward and improve. That improvement helps all of us. Just look at what Steve Jobs has done in the pursuit of profit.

  63. Roco,

    First, yeah, we all know your religion by now.

    Second, the existing insurance companies are the greedy ones. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t resist a single payer system so vigorously.

    Third, bullshit. I don’t call profit evil. I call unjust profit and/or profit at the expense of human life evil. Which is exactly the scenario current American health care insurance creates. Money isn’t the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil. Capitalism is simply a tool. It’s not the ONLY tool and it’s most certainly not the best tool for every job. Like any tool, it is also capable of being misused and in the case of capitalism the leading cause of misuse is the pursuit of greater and greater profits no matter the societal cost. Greedy and venal people create suffering in the world by their bad acts – both illegal and legal but unethical – in pursuit of profit, but an honest profit is perfectly acceptable. It’s not a person making an honest living that’s the problem. It’s not making money that makes a person evil. It’s how they make their money that makes them evil. For profit health care insurance by its very nature makes profits off of not paying for health care treatment that can save or improve the quality of life for people. The purpose of health care insurance should not be profits for insurance companies. It should be reducing the cost of care by distribution of risk not matter what care is medically required. You cannot do that in a for profit model without taking actions which either result in the death or the reduction of the quality of life for people all so some ass can get a bonus. That’s evil.

  64. Roco, why is Gene’s (or anyone else’s hourly rate) relevant to the discussion? One’s hourly charge is for work done. It would be reasonable for a lawyer to charge a couple of hundred dollars for an hour of work, but how can one justify paying a CEO a couple of thousand an hour? Nothing I ever did in my life would justify the kinds of reimbursement some top level corporatists are awarded. Note that I said, “awarded,” not, “earned.” There is a difference.

    When you hire a lawyer or other professional, you are paying for not only the professional’s time, but also for the supporting staff and infrastructure. Hire me and you are also hiring the company–that is why the reimbursement is in three figures, not two per hour. But a top echelon corporate executive does not actually do “work,” yet is reimbursed millions per year. In some cases that comes out to five or six figures per hour. Yet, much of what many executives do could be done by a robot or skilled office manager. And truth be told, many top offices are run more by the secretarial staff than by the boss. I remember reading a humorous story years ago, entitled, “Sergeants Run the Army.” More truth to that than many CEOs and Generals would admit publicly.

  65. Gene H:

    “For profit health care insurance by its very nature makes profits off of not paying for health care treatment that can save or improve the quality of life for people.”

    I know from personal experience that what you say is not true. Now my experience may be isolated but I kind of doubt it. We have, in 20 years, only been denied a few things, none of which were life threatening.

    From my vantage point, we have had 3 health insurance companies, they have all gone out of their way to help us and given us case managers who actually did act as our advocate.

    Somehow I doubt I am isolated case and I can tell you the insurance companies have lost a good deal of money on us.

    And the drug companies? The new drugs are literally a life saver for a person very close to me. Those new drugs and that evil profit they generate have prolonged that persons life. 20 years ago life expectancy was 18, it is now 35 in large part thanks to “evil” profit which pays the salaries of the good men and women who do that exceptional work.

    I thank God [the creator of the universe, nature, etc] everyday that drug companies and insurance companies make big huge profits and hope they continue to do so.

    Are there evil people who exploit others? You can bet on it, are they the rule? No way, the majority of people are good and decent. Or so I have found in my years of life.

  66. Roco, my son quit the practice of family medicine because of insurance companies. He found he was spending more time on the phone arguing with insurance clerks than he was treating patients. Why should some insurance clerk with no more than a Bachelor’s degree at most be telling a doctor whether a patient should be admitted to the hospital? Why should he have to spend twenty minutes on the phone arguing with an insurance company why a patient with chest pains should be admitted to the hospital for a cardiac workup?

    If you have had few things denied, you can probably thank your doctor and his or her staff for running interference for you. Since I got on Medicare, my insurance troubles have all but vanished. If my doctor wants to refer me to a specialist, he does not have to call the insurance for an OK first. Also, when I go to his clinic for something, he knows he is going to get paid.

  67. Otteray Scribe:

    Sergeants and secretaries may run the army and the office but I doubt they make strategical decisions which either save/cost lives or move businesses along toward profitability/bankruptcy.

    Every executive needs a good secretary to free them up to make good decisions.

    By the way, you do understand that before you are a general or a CEO you did do work and you did it very well and are probably sharp as hell. It is easy to second guess or make light of someones work.

    When you are not a farmer, farming looks easy. Just throw some seed and fertilizer on the ground and step back and make some big money.

  68. Otteray Scribe:

    “Since I got on Medicare, my insurance troubles have all but vanished. If my doctor wants to refer me to a specialist, he does not have to call the insurance for an OK first. Also, when I go to his clinic for something, he knows he is going to get paid.”

    That is interesting, doctors around here are telling me they are not taking medicare/medicaid patients because they dont get reimbursed properly.

  69. “Where is the liberal not for profit health insurance company?”

    Roco,

    I know of one, since first my father and now I have been covered by it for more than 60 years. It was GHI/Blue Cross Blue shield of NY. It was a great insurance company and since between my Mother, Father and I it covered
    12 heart attacks and 3 strokes, not to mention numerous broken bones and other health issues. It stopped being great when in the 90’s with the connivance of Guiliani and the Republican Governor it was allowed to become private, with very healthy bonuses for the people who were previously in charge. It’s gone downhill ever since, but luckily with Medicare it is now my secondary insurance. There are probably many more that suffered that fate for the simple reason of someone profiting and the consumer losing.

    “I know from personal experience that what you say is not true. Now my experience may be isolated but I kind of doubt it. We have, in 20 years, only been denied a few things, none of which were life threatening.”

    You and your family are very lucky because that is not the common experience. Also too, unlike the majority of those covered, you as a businessman could probably afford a really good policy.

    “I thought liberals werent greedy?”

    Roco, if you would look beyond your dogma for a minute you might realize that you project a lot of beliefs onto people that are baseless and merely cant. One of the biggest misconception you have is that people who care for the welfare of their fellow humans must be self sacrificing altruists. they most certainly are not in almost all cases. They are realists who understand that the good of all of people make the world a better place to live in. They also understand that while wealth is certainly nice to have, it is far from a good determinant of a happy life.

  70. “That is interesting, doctors around here are telling me they are not taking medicare/medicaid patients because they dont get reimbursed properly.”

    Roco,

    Those Doctors are full of shit. I haven’t run into one Doctor who doesn’t gladly accept Medicare and I’ve had the best doctors in their fields.

  71. Mike and Roco: Either they are full of it as Mike say, or they prefer to gouge. Any responsible doctor will take Medicare, even those who do not take Medicaid. Medicaid reimbursements are lower, but I have had a suspicion for a long time that many doctors don’t want to take Medicaid because it is for poor and disabled people who have not worked enough to qualify for Medicare. That means your waiting room will be full of……..wait for it………..poor people. You know the type: bad teeth because they cannot afford a dentist, and raggedy clothes. Those folks.

  72. In old socialist country government would tell us how much we can charge. The government owns us.

    If you didn’t go to medical school, then do three years of internal medicine, then another three prusuing a specialty; STFU.

    I hate to be harsh, but what makes those who choose to pursue one career path think they should tell the others how much they can charge for their services? If we want to have government physicians, let the government enter into a contractual agreement with them. Let the government pay for their education. Then, the government should have a right to say how much they get paid for their services, while under contract with the government.

  73. The main reason I quit taking insurance from private payer insurance is the contracts. The last straw was when I got prior approval for two days of work for an extensive evaluation, did the work and then after submitting the HCFA 1500, was told after six weeks of delays and back and forth, that despite the fact I had gotten prior approval, on review they decided the evaluation was not necessary after all (it actually was), they were not going to pay me. Under the terms of my contract, I could not bill the patient and could not tell the patient I had not been paid. In fact, under the contract, providers are not allowed to say anything bad about the managed care insurance company–such as telling anyone the truth about their bad service or writing a letter to the newspaper about their bad service.

    My colleague, who happens to be a lawyer as well as physician, opined that it was because my evaluation showed the guy had a serious problem requiring many thousands of dollars in treatment. Had I found nothing wrong with him, according to my colleague, I would have been paid. The refusal to pay was a veiled warning.

  74. Lessee now….the orignal comment was, “…Then, the government should have a right to say how much they get paid for their services, while under contract with the government…”

    **************

    What was that about the GOVERNMENT telling us what we can charge? All private pay insurance companies do the exact same thing. Difference is, they give the provider a hard time over payment, whereas government does not.

  75. OS,

    Where is this private not-for-profit insurance company, that pays without a hassle? Why don’t a group of Progesssive/Liberals start their own insurance company? They would easily beat out any competition. Doctors would love them. Patients would love them.

    What I am seeing are two kinds of people: Those whom are greedy, and those who complain about those who are greedy. Those who complain about the greed have the same opportunity (for the most part) to go into the same business as those who are greedy, and could charge less for their services (because they are not greedy), but they don’t. Why is that? Why don’t the not-for-profits take over?

  76. Off Topic from the threads latest topic

    New, convincing evidence indicates global warming is caused by cosmic rays and the sun — not humans

    The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

    The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.

    In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/08/26/lawrence-solomon-science-now-settled/

    Where ever you are Buddha, I told you so.
    Listen to me now and believe me later.

  77. Yep I do. It is very gratifying. The problem is that they dismissed all of the information I have provided over the years based on a spoon fed belief by people like Al Gore.

  78. BDAman,

    When I want good scientific reporting, I go to an opinion piece in the Financial Post that with no quotes from scientists about the actual research, just a quote about what the theory it was testing “might” show. I also add bonus points to credibility score if it reads like part of the script from “Conspiracy Theory.”

    How about a link to the actual study?

  79. Gyges, did you notice this little jewel from the opinion piece that says the scientists created: “….a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.”

    I had to laugh out loud at that. First of all, the Earth’s atmosphere does not exist in a pristine environment–it is messy and dirty with lumps and random bodies of water and population centers. Second, it is IMPOSSIBLE to precisely recreate anything as random as an atmosphere. Look at the problems forecasting the track of the late unlamented Hurricane Irene. And that is just one small example out of many. I do not want to think what part of his anatomy the writer pulled that one out of.

  80. Hey, I know, since I’m expecting your response to be some attempt to deflect the question, why don’t I see what CERN says on the matter “However, it is premature to conclude that cosmic rays have a significant influence on climate until the additional nucleating vapours have been identified, their ion enhancement measured, and the ultimate effects on clouds have been confirmed.”

    http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2011/downloads/CLOUD_SI_press-briefing_29JUL11.pdf

    Or I could go ahead and look at the abstract from the study.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v476/n7361/full/nature10343.html

    Hmm I don’t see anything about this disproving that humans aren’t impacting the climate.

    Well, it looks like the author of that Opinion piece just sort of exaggerated it’s importance.

  81. “Describing their findings in this week’s Nature, the team has also found that our current understanding of the chemistry of these aerosols is inadequate and that manmade pollution could have a larger role in their formation than previously thought.”

    “As Kirkby explains, if the missing substance is manmade, then human pollution could be having a larger cooling effect than is currently believed (emissions of sulphur dioxide are already known to generate the sulphuric acid that is vital for aerosol production). Otherwise, says Kirkby, if the missing substance comes from a natural source, the finding could imply the existence of a new climate feedback mechanism (possibly, he adds, higher temperatures increasing organic emissions from trees).”

    “Jeffrey Pierce, an atmospheric scientist at Dalhousie University in Canada, however, is more cautious. Modelling carried out by his group shows that a 10–20% variation in atmospheric-ion concentrations, roughly the variation associated with solar storms or across a solar cycle, produces less than a 1% change in the concentration of cloud condensation nuclei, with the diminishing returns resulting from more aerosols having to share a given quantity of molecular raw material and aerosols merging with one another. ”

    “Kirkby shares Pierce’s caution. He argues that CLOUD’s results “say nothing about cosmic-ray effects on clouds” because the aerosols produced in the experiment are far too small to seed clouds”

  82. That pretty much says the exact opposite thing as the original columnist claimed.

    And you wonder why the information you’ve provided over the years was “dismissed.”

  83. Gyges

    ” Well, it looks like the author of that Opinion piece just sort of exaggerated it’s importance.”

    Just trying to give you both sides of the argument.

    Thats called bein fair and balanced :)

  84. BDAman,

    “Fair and balanced” is giving each side an equal chance to prove their theories. It’s not treating all theories as equally valid regardless of the quality\quantity of evidence to support them.

    You were just posting an article that happens to agree with your pre-established point of view. I’d have much more respect for you if you stopped the deflection whenever you’re called on the poor quality of your propaganda.

  85. BDAman,

    Personally, I choose to believe the primary author of the study.

    “Kirkby shares Pierce’s caution. He argues that CLOUD’s results “say nothing about cosmic-ray effects on clouds” because the aerosols produced in the experiment are far too small to seed clouds.”

  86. How about paying some attention to the American Meteorological Society. That is the professional scientists and reporters who know more about the atmosphere and its behavior than physicists whose specialty seems to be high energy particles and physical chemistry.

    There will be inevitable climate changes from the greenhouse gases already added to the Earth system. Their effect is delayed several decades because the thermal inertia of the oceans ensures that the warming lags behind the driving forcing. For the next several decades there is a clear consensus on projected warming rates from human influences among different models and different emission scenarios.

    They draw quite different conclusions than the cherry picking of the right wing opinion writers:

    ….there is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond. Focusing on the next 30 years, convergence among emission scenarios and model results suggest strongly that increasing air temperatures will reduce snowpack, shift snowmelt timing, reduce crop production and rangeland fertility, and cause continued melting of the ice caps and sea level rise. Important goals for future work include the need to understand the relation of climate at the state and regional level to the patterns of global climate and to reverse the decline in observational networks that are so critical to accurate climate monitoring and prediction.

    Policy choices in the near future will determine the extent of the impacts of climate change. Policy decisions are seldom made in a context of absolute certainty. Some continued climate change is inevitable, and the policy debate should also consider the best ways to adapt to climate change. Prudence dictates extreme care in managing our relationship with the only planet known to be capable of sustaining human life.

    When you read the opinions and research of those who actually live this stuff, the reasons the corporatist criminals who fund the right-wing want to defund NOAA becomes abundantly clear.

  87. OS,

    But, BDAman quoted an opinion piece in the finical post, AND a blog.

    Surely two people’s short reviews about how a new study completely proves they are right are just as valid as the author of the study saying that the study doesn’t actually have anything to do with that. You have to be fair and balanced.

  88. Gyges, it is like trying to get into a butt-kicking contest with a one-legged man. Sometimes the ludicrousness of the arguments have some entertainment value.

    Now if you really want to get ticked off, you might like to read this article. Here is the opening paragraph teaser:

    I am writing this to you from the ER at my hospital in Central Florida. I had chest pains at 3am last night so decided not to take any chances. I was taken by a nurse, then poked, stabbed, and prodded, then back to my assigned room. (I’ll be here overnight.) I was visited by a case worker, several nurses, a pharmacist, and of course, the bill collector. The bill collector was a nice, older lady that asked if I could pay all at once. I said yes. She told me it would be $100.00 with my insurance. Although I can afford it, I protested a little bit. I said it was $25 when I was here last (in 2001). She responded:

    “Good thing you aren’t a teacher.”

    You will have to go here to read the rest, but suggest you not have any sharp objects around–you might be tempted to gouge your eyes out.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/30/1011891/-Florida-ER:-Good-thing-you-arent-a-teacher!

  89. @OS

    “When you read the opinions and research of those who actually live this stuff, the reasons the corporatist criminals who fund the right-wing want to defund NOAA becomes abundantly clear.”

    Who wants to defund NOAA? I’ve never heard that before. Where did you come up with that?

  90. @pete,

    Bill Nye says the reason Al Gore uses racism is that “he grew up in world where racism was a big part of his life”.

    Really, Bill? I thought Al Gore grew up in the Fairfax Hotel along Embassy Row.

    I agree that the world is getting warmer. I also think that the science attributing that to anthropomorphic causes is based on insufficient data. In other words, it’s a lot like “shovel-ready jobs”.

  91. NoWay, there was a discussion on this blog during Hurricane Irene about doing away with NOAA and turning it over to private industry. The meme was that private corporations could do weather better than the government.

  92. Noway,

    Puzzling for one, “NOAA and the National Weather Service should be disbanded to allow higher quality, competing private forecasting services to emerge.”

  93. Yep, when I pointed out that Accuweather and Weather Underground already were in business for those that wanted to hire them, the discussion sort of fizzled after that.

  94. @OS

    So now it’s some discussion where the corporatist criminals who fund the right-wing want to defund NOAA? Or were there no corporatist criminals involved in that discussion?

    I can see that my comment from yesterday needs repeating.

    About NOAA cuts: Did you know the budget for NOAA was 3.8 billion in 2007? The 2012 budget (a decrease from 2011) is 5.4 billion. I think concern about a 40% increase in such a short period of time justifies taking a close look at the numbers to see if cutting back in some areas is doable.

    The NOAA budget went from $3.8 billion in 2007 to $5.5 billion in 2011. What the right wing wanted to do was cut it back $1.2 billion to $4.3 billion.
    They didn’t want to “defund” NOAA. They didn’t say that NOAA doesn’t play an important role. They looked at our debt and figured out that NOAA, unlike many other government funded programs, is an agency that had received huge budget increases in the last few years, should be able to survive the cuts.

    I also looked into your teacher story. I don’t believe it! I can’t find anything to support the teachers salary or her deductable. Why would you buy it? A story posted by an anonymous author, with nothing to support it, and you pass it around. Why?

  95. @Gyges and OS

    Is puzzling a corporatist criminal who funds the right-wing? I didn’t think so.

    Why would you expect politicians to be honest about what they say when you won’t hold yourself to the same standard? It’s all about spin to win. Isn’t it?

  96. NoWay,

    You asked “Who wants to defund NOAA? I’ve never heard that before. Where did you come up with that?” Now, maybe I’m missing something, but there’s no comma followed by the words “that is corporatist criminal who funds the right-wing” followed by another comma in between who and wants.

  97. @Gyges,

    You are missing something. You’re taking the question out of context. If you look at the quoted statement of OS and then look at my question, it may make more sense.

  98. I did some research of Florida insurance. Deductibles are all over the landscape, with some public employees paying a lot more than others. Seems different agencies contract with different third party payers. Based on the research I have done over the last thirty or so minutes, the DKos story is certainly credible. Also notice none of the Florida commenters disputed the diarist’s story. Believe me, that bunch will be on you like a rooster on a June Bug if you make a claim that is disprovable. DKos stories usually are subject to a lot of impromptu fact checking.

  99. Gyges, do not worry about it. I do a lot of courtroom work and am used to what I say being taken out of context and spun to make a point diametrically opposite to what I actually said or intended.

  100. Noway,

    Actually, I assumed that since you seem to have a pretty good command of the English language, that if you had meant to ask about which corporatist criminal who funds the right-wing wanted to defund the NOAA, you would have included something about them in your comment.

    However, since you either don’t say what you mean, or lie about what you meant later on, I’m done. I only talk to people who I can trust that what they say is what they mean.

  101. @OS

    “the DKos story is certainly credible”

    Then let’s change the teachers salary to $18K and her deductable to $500. Show me how that story would be any less credible.

    “am used to what I say being taken out of context and spun to make a point diametrically opposite to what I actually said or intended”

    I certainly did not take anything you said out of context. Where you commenting on how Gyges took my question out of context?

  102. I am with Gyges here. I am done. As Dr. Laurence Peter said, “Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.”

  103. @Gyges

    Isn’t it funny how those who need to take something out of context always find a way to do it?

    If someone said “Governors don’t want to be responsible for the National Guard”, and some asked “Who?” you would likely think they weren’t asking who the Governors were that didn’t want the responsibility.

    “I only talk to people who I can trust that what they say is what they mean.”

    Go put some Rhymes to music. You certainly don’t have a flair for adult conversation.

  104. “I am with Gyges here. I am done.”

    You’ve been done!

    As Dr. Laurence Peter said, “Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.”

    You were it well.

  105. LMAO at media hype. I lived most of my life on Topsail Island, NC but have retired away from the beach in a small rural community about 70 miles by road from ocean but 40 as the hurricane flies. During my life when even a small hurricane comes we would head to the old family homestead about 8 miles further west from here. It has ALWAYS been my experience that the media focuses on the beach at the expected point of landfall and Raleigh, as if nothing occurs between the ocean and the capital city. In this storm which not the strongest was certainly the longest sustained .( I had storm conditions for almost 24 hrs going from mild to very hurricaney) Another thing the national media does is pretend that only at eye landfall does it start to matter. Anyone familiar with hurricanes knows that you get the worst of it before the eye hits and that the remaining storm post eyefall is easier. Now if the local and national media only focus on the beaches and Raleigh then Va must only be concerned with Norfolk and DC. I rarely listen to local coverage due to the sensational aspect of the reporters. I mean, really, they hire a bevy of cutsey girls and hunkey men to stand in the oncomming winds being lashed with rain and standing at odd angles. I prefer my reports from noaa. But once you have picked your location and the storm is on you the reports are meaningless. Just pick a safe brick or sturdy frame house in a room that wont be hit by falling oak trees ( Hurricane Fran took out 8 on the old homestead) And for Petes sake LEAVE the beach. Even a mild Cat 1 can be devastating on a barrier island. Also mobile homes are never safe in a hurricane. And as for surfing just prior to a storm, These people should not pass on their DNA

  106. NoWay:

    I think you were quite clear in your responses.

    Sincerely,

    Logical Larry

    Ps why is it that people always seem to think logic consists of proving a false premise?

  107. I submitted this once and It didn’t show up. So if it does sorry for the duplication.

    Bdaman Said

    Just because it didn’t happen in D.C, means YOU WERE LUCKY.
    Others not so much.
    Don’t worry before the seasons over I’m positive your gonna get a second chance and this time you might not be.

    ******************************************************************************************
    Here comes your second chance. The overnight run of the GFS showing possible Hurricane Lee in the North Central GOMEX by Sunday. GFS moves what could be Hurricane Lee east over NE Florida and then up the East Coast just like Irene. You can watch as this develops on my forecast page. I have full confidence in the GFS at the moment based on the rest of the data I see.

    Stay Tuned

  108. Thanks, Bdaman. Stay safe. It is hard to predict the path this far out, but the computer models are still reason for concern and serious preparedness. As Jo comments above, these things are not to be trifled with. I am old enough to remember Camille on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Up until Katrina hit, there were still reminders of that storm in the form of damaged buildings and broken off trees that had never been repaired or cut down. After Katrina, there was little left of the Mississippi coast south of Interstate 10.

  109. Thanks O.S.

    National Hurricane Center has increased the odds on the system we are watching in the GOMEX. From 10% chance this morning to 30% as of the 2:00 p.m. update

  110. National Hurricane Center has increased the odds on the system we are watching in the GOMEX. From 10% chance this morning to 30% as of the 2:00 p.m. update

    Now at 60% for the 8 p.m. update

  111. Thanks Roco, It has gained alot of attention.

    I’m now linked up at Mrsurfs,com Panama City, Fluid Surf Shop Ft.Walton Beach Slavetothewave.com South Florida and my base at 911

  112. bdaman

    i was checking on katia earlier and noticed the one in the gulf. they can pop up quick there. i expect there are some people in texas that wouldn’t mind a wet tropical storm or a cat. 1.

    Jo
    when i first moved to the daytona area back in the 80’s a friend ask what i was going to do (there was a hurricane coming in). i lived on beachside and said it was only barely a hurricane (cat1) so i wasn’t worried. they suggested i get into the back of a truck while going down I 95 and try holding up a sheet of plywood.

    i took the hint and found somewhere else to be when the hurricane hit.

  113. Pete lol at creative example of hurricane force winds. There is nothing more beautiful than the roiling ocean waves just prior to a good hurricane. I look and say how magnificent then get in my car and run away.

  114. Someone should calculate the typical net worth of FEMA’s flood insurance recipients. The program is nothing more than a handout to the most affluent in our society, subsidizing extravagant oceanfront properties and creating economic incentives for continued commercial development in flood plains:

  115. i don’t care what their net worth is. anyone who builds on a sandbar in a hurricane zone should not be able to purchase subsidized flood insurance.

    i saw one being built sunday. no more than 30ft from the intercoastal waterway and only about 3ft higher than normal high tide. this house is about 2ft lower than the road that is posted “road may flood during storm”.

  116. for the lawyers:

    if I have an insurance policy that has a large deductible for wind events and a tree blows over and damages my house could there be mitigating circumstances if the tree was blown over because of ground saturation and a poor root system.

    Had the ground not been saturated and the tree had a better root system, the tree would not have been blown over.

    Could that fly with the insurance company or do you consider the wind the first cause? It seems to me the wind is the secondary cause. Especially since it had been raining for quite awhile before the tree fell. Giving the water a chance to saturate the ground and weakening the root system.

  117. puzzling:

    good video, the poor and middle class are subsidizing wealthy farmers as well as a good many other concerns because of regulations that mean well but get hijacked.

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