Now for the un-prepping

I have jugs and jugs of water I need to pour out. I’m very glad I didn’t need them, though. The canned tuna and Spam and corned beef hash will come in handy in the future, and anyway, hurricane season lasts through November.

Two close calls were a-plenty, though. No más, storms, no más!

Away with you, Julio!

Stay north, stay north!

Stay north, stay north!

We may have dodged this one.

Meanwhile, our Governor may have been swamped by a different kind of hurricane. After the first of four printouts, the one with all the absentee ballots and many of the early walk-in ballots, he trails his opponent by 30,000 votes in a Democratic primary election. State Senator David Ige has 57,523 votes, or 65.7 percent of the first votes counted, compared to 27,180 votes for Governor Abercrombie.

Be prepared

Precious precious water

Precious precious water

I have every hope that I won’t need this 5-gallon cooler or the other four 2-quart containers of water. I have the same hope that we won’t lose power, as I’ve got a freezer-full of meat and vegetables and bread and burritos and stuffs.

Stores emptying

Considering that neither Iselle nor Julio are expected to be at any more than tropical storm strength by the time they arrive, my fellow residents obviously concluded that their hurricane kits needed updating. And the earlier storm isn’t scheduled to be here till the day after tomorrow! I’m impressed with the pre-planning!

emptyshelves (Photo from HawaiiNewsNow)

It was like that at Safeway and at the Navy Commissary. The Commissary had even sold out of Spam. I did manage to score some cans of tuna, a big jar of peanut butter (Jif Creamy, of course), and a couple of loaves of bread.

Republicans in disarray!

It’s not alliterative, so we most likely won’t see that phrase in any pundit’s written output anytime soon, but it’s certainly true.

…the Republican Party still can’t figure out what to do about illegal immigration.

It’s the issue that vexed Republicans as much as any in their 2012 presidential loss. It’s the one problem the party declared it must resolve to win future presidential races. And it still managed to bedevil the party again last week, when House Republicans splintered and stumbled for a day before passing a face-saving bill late Friday night.

The fiasco proved anew that a small number of uncompromising conservatives have the power to hamper the efforts of GOP leaders to craft coherent positions on key issues — including one that nearly two-thirds of Americans say is an important to them personally, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released last week.

And those are the ones that Senator Ted Cruz (R-Cruz for President 2016) met with last week and successfully lobbied to defeat Republican “leadership’s” bill to fund a whole 1/5 of what the Administration said was needed to meet the challenge of the kids coming across the southern border.

They owe their jobs to hard-core right-wingers in their districts and know if they weaken they’re almost certain to be primaried from the right. They’d rather keep their jobs than think about what might be best for the country and for those children. Statesmen they are not.

Being anti-everything is stupid

Once the news came that at least one of the Americans infected with the Ebola virus was going to be brought to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital for treatment, just like clockwork Twitter went off in panic. America’s resident real estate genius Donald Trump let loose with a series of tweets which were epic in their fear and stupidity. Sample:


Now look, Donald and all you other gutless wonders who took to the Twitter machine to show off your ignorance, unless you’re planning to go to West Africa to help, or you’re planning to go to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta to treat Dr. Brantly or Ms. Writebol, you have no chance of contracting this disease. It is spread only through bodily fluids like vomit, blood, or feces. Unless you’re planning to invade the isolation room in which the two patients (Americans, by the way, who have a right to return to their home country) will be treated, you won’t touch them. Likewise, unless you travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia to help treat the living or bury the dead, you won’t be infected.

This is yet another example of too many Americans being told by one of our political parties for years and years that scientists lie (see the climate change argument) and can’t be trusted, and that government can’t do anything right and shouldn’t be trusted either (see Reagan: “Government is the problem”). They have stopped thinking for themselves. All the facts about how the disease is transmitted are known and have been known for more than twenty years, as are the methods of treating it (isolation, constant hydration).

As Jim Wright said in a Facebook post earlier today, measles, a disease for which we have a proven vaccine, killed 122,000 people worldwide in 2012. That’s 330 deaths per day, 14 deaths per hour. Or take influenza. WHO estimates “Worldwide, these annual [flu] epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths.”

I’ll worry about measles and flu for a long time before I worry about Ebola.

Ted Cruz, Senator-Ted Cruz for President Committee

Senator Cruz, Republican of Texas, hasn’t made many if any friends in the Senate, but he seems not to care. He has, on the other hand, made quite a few friends in the House, particularly among the far-rightest of the right wing there. In the process, he’s made himself de facto Speaker of that particular group, which has caused the putative real Speaker and his leadership team huge amounts of grief.

His latest bomb-throwing exploit has made Boehner (Speaker) and McCarthy (Majority Leader) and Scalise (Majority Whip) pull an immigration bill already only one-fifth the size the Obama Administration identified as necessary from the floor because it couldn’t get the votes of his rump caucus. That meant they couldn’t get the 218 Republican votes needed to pass it on the floor of the House.

This meant they were just going to send everyone home yesterday, but the few moderate Republicans (read: those in somewhat purple districts where they need a few Democrats to vote for them) screeched and said “We can’t leave town without doing something about these kids crossing the border!”

The retreat sparked panic among GOP moderates, who have felt marginalized and bullied during years of warfare with a small but influential tea party caucus. In a remarkable scene Thursday ­afternoon, angry rank-and-file members rushed to the House floor to surround Boehner and McCarthy, waving their arms and jabbing their fingers as they demanded a vote.

So Boehner and company are trying again today.

How are they doing?

Oh, symbolically, they’ve gotten something they can take to the floor. But will it do a lick of good? Probably not. It would “tweak” the 2008 law requiring children from countries other than Mexico be given individual immigration hearings once they arrive in this country. It would provide $659M in additional funds for the agencies who have to deal with the kids. That sounds like a lot of money, but you’re not going to hire a whole lot of immigration judges with it, particularly since it’s only good till the end of this fiscal year. And it would provide $35 million to border-state governors, who would be given broader legal authority to deploy the National Guard. These supposedly well-informed legislators don’t understand that we’re not being “invaded” by these mothers and children; they’re crossing the border looking for Border Patrol officers to surrender to. It’s only in the fever swamps of Fox News and right-wing talk radio that that constitutes an “invasion.”

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has further cemented his reputation and credentials with the anti-immigration segment of the Republican party, which he’ll want on his side in the 2016 Presidential primaries.