Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Is This the End, My Friends?

Houston and the Texas coastal areas of Beaumont and Port Arthur are bailing themselves out after as much as 52 inches of rain fell on them over the four days of Hurricane Harvey.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Irma is building over Puerto Rico and may hit Florida as a Category Four hurricane, bouncing up the east coast of Florida from Miami to North Carolina.  It's early yet, and the storm could veer west or peter out, but if it doesn't, it will hit sometime Sunday and wreck havoc. Florida roads mostly run north and south (the path of the hurricane) and there is not much to go "inland" towards, as it's all small roads and alligator swamps in central Florida, and these will see their own rising flood waters.

Neil Frank, the former director of the National Hurricane Center, spent his entire career fretting about what would happen if a Category Four hurricane came in at Miami and walked its way up the Florida coast. A core problem is that much of the beach development here consists of long rows of high-rise condominium towers and beach houses and hotels built on sand. The towers near Boca Raton are like dominoes, and if one falls due to storm surge scouring out its foundation, the building could tip over and bring with it the condo tower next door.

Meanwhile, out West, 77 large fires are burning across 1.4 million acres in eight western U.S. states. That’s an area more than three times the size of Houston, and the smoke is so thick you can see it from outer space (see link).

And did we mention that Congress is coming back to town and has a dozen bills to pass in 12 days, and that North Korea has both an H-Bomb and a missile to put it on?

And standing over it all is Donald Trump, an Alzheimer's patient let loose, an aggrieved and child-like emotional cripple who lives in a fantasy infused by right-wing paranoid conspiracy theories, racist fear-mongering, and a sense of impending doom. The folks in the Special Prosecutors Office, the New York Attorney General's office, and reporters from The New York Times and The Washington Post are closing in on the billion dollar real estate Ponzi scheme that Donald Trump built to launder money from Russian oligarchs. Trump's world is about to crumble, and the video tapes (they exist) are not even out yet (look for those to drop in October). Trump's  generals are in open revolt, the Congressional leadership is in open revolt, Trump's crackpot friends and hangers-on are being tossed out of the White House at record speed, the Vice President and Trump's son-in-law are now implicated in the corruption, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may soon bolt from a still-unstaffed State Department, and everyone is lawyering up, flipping, and leaking faster than the Titanic two hours after impact.

Bottom line:  When it all becomes too much, be sure to take the dogs for a good long walk.


Jennifer said...

Oops! Understatement. Irma's strengthened to a record breaking Category 5. Perfect time to appoint a climate denying politico to head NASA.

dp said...

What did you expect?

LRM said...

Perhaps Irma might teach him a lesson...by flattening Mar-a-Lago to the ground. It would certainly succeed in focusing his meager attention.
And in my fantasy, everything around it remains untouched. Why harm the Everglades and all those beaches?


Jennifer said...

Teach a lesson? I'm afraid that old dog is well past learning new tricks.