Monday, October 26, 2020
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The Luck of the Mormon??

Poor Mitt Romney. Now, the first hurricane to threaten the U.S. mainland this year heads to the Gulf of Mexico and shortens the GOP convention by one day. Flights into Florida have been cancelled. Republicans struggle to get to Tampa to crown their guy. If this somehow happened in Charlotte, Pat Robertson would be raging about how it was God's judgment on the homo-loving, baby-killing, feminazi Democrat agents of the Devil. But, since it's the GOP, I guess Pat will say God decided to use the Republicans to bring rain to the parched United States.

Poor Mitt's problems just keep piling up. He took a trip to Europe not so long ago, hoping to duplicate Barack Obama's wildly successful overseas trip four years ago. That sure didn't turn out as planned. It takes a whole lot of obtuseness and diplomatic foot-in-mouth-disease to make the British seethingly angry on the eve of their Olympic extravaganza, but Mitt managed it.

As Romney tried to refocus his campaign on the eonomy after his selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate made Ryan's draconian budget and its phony math the talk of the news for days, the crazy uncle the Missouri Republicans keep in their closet, Todd Akin, created a new mess with his parsing of "legitimate rape" and his bogus claims that women have "magic uteruses" that can keep a rapist's sperm from impregnating them.

Then, Virginia's very own Bob McDonnell reinforced the GOP war-on-women by telling a news reporter that rape and incest were "details" for the states to work out if the United States adopted the Republican platform's idea of applying the 14th Amendment guarantees to a fertilized egg. Now, I realize that Bob McDonnell went to Pat Robertson's "law school" and may be lacking in legal expertise, but even he should see that declaring an egg still in the fallopian tube a "person" means it can't be deprived of - I quote the 14th Amendment here-  "life, liberty, or property." Not much room there for "details."

Rep. Cantor Holding Virginia Disaster Victims Hostage to Ideology, Again

yikes!After Rep. Eric Cantor's district was shaken by last week's earthquake, he said he'd refuse earthquake aid for Virginia's 7th unless the federal government laid people off in other sectors. So when the 7th was hit hard by Hurricane Irene over the weekend, Lowell asked, "Will Can'tor hold his own district hostage to his crazy ideology, just as he held the entire country hostage over the summer, or will he cave to practical political reality?"

Today we have our answer - Cantor's sticking with the Tea Party over his own district once again:

Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere. The Washington Post reported this morning that FEMA will need more money than it currently has to deal with the storm's aftermath and is already diverting funds from other recent disasters to deal with the hurricane, but Cantor's comments suggest Republicans won't authorize more funds without a fight.

Cantor took the position following the tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Missouri and elsewhere in the spring and summer, and after last week's earthquake, the epicenter for which was in his district, but the hurricane's level of destruction is far beyond that of those disasters. Still, Cantor told Fox News that while "we're going to find the money," "we're just going to need to make sure that there are savings elsewhere to do so."


UPDATE by Lowell: Check out this tweet by Bob McDonnell, and note whose name is NOT on there. Could it be...the guy in the title of Miles' article here? Hmmm. Also, note that Bon Air is in Eric Can'tor's district!!!

Eric Cantor’s District Gets Nailed by Irene: Now What Will He...

As you can see below, the greater Richmond area, including a significant slice of Eric Can'tor's Congressional 7th District, was badly affected by Hurricane Irene. Yet, just before the storm hit, Cantor was holding to his rigid right-wingnut ideological stance, that "additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts." The question now is, will Can'tor stick to this purist (albeit idiotic) stance, or will he back down and look like a complete hypocrite? Will Can'tor hold his own district hostage to his crazy ideology, just as he held the entire country hostage over the summer, or will he cave to practical political reality? This should be fascinating.

Bottled Water Blitz Wastes Money & Ignores a Real Risk

The Costco before the stormWas the mid-Atlantic region's mad rush for bottled water ahead of Hurricane Irene a necessary evil of disaster preparation or a waste of money? As with many questions like this, it's an environmental concern, sure - but the bigger issue is what an unnecessary waste of money it is, along with the real risk we're ignoring.

Yes, bottled water is worse for the environment and might be worse from a health perspective than tap water. But considering Americans drink nearly 9 billion gallons of bottled water last year requiring millions of gallons of petroleum to produce, the Irene surge is a drop in the bucket.

If there's a storm coming and you don't already have backup water, there's absolutely no need to waste money on buying it from the store. Any household has plenty of pitchers, bottles, Tupperware and pots that can serve as temporary tap water storage. For free! Putting those containers in the fridge or freezer can then keep your food cold longer in case you lose power. (Side note: I think people take "water" too literally. Just looking in my own fridge right now, I have a case of Sprite Zero that could sustain me for few days in a pinch. I guess waiting in long lines to purchase items specifically to ward off this threat gives people a sense of security.)

But the whole mad dash to prepare shows just how unprepared most people really are for sudden disaster.