Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Silver Lining

The Silver Lining

Did Frankenstorm take America off a Path to Catastrophe?

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

October 31st, 2012

First, I am truly sorry for the death and destruction that the Frankenstorm visited upon people in the Northeast. For the vast majority, the storm means a few days without power, and perhaps talks with insurance adjusters over payments for storm damage. For those who lost loved ones or their homes, my deepest regrets.

Coming as it did, a week before a presidential election, it’s impossible not to look at the political calculus of the storm. If the election were as truly close as some of the polls suggested, then the fallout from the storm seems to be strongly favoring Obama.

It isn’t just that it happened while he was President, and the country always gives support to the President in times of national challenge. Merely pointing that political fact out is significantly less cynical than the Republicans, who, days after 9/11, started trying to parlay that massive catastrophe into a tax cut for the rich. Give billionaires tax cuts or the terrorists win. It was pretty disgraceful.

In this instance, there were several other factors that exacerbated the boost that Obama got at the expense of Romney.

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Something in the Air

Something in the Air

Climate Change affects the election

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

October 28th 2012

Once again, a rogue weather pattern has everyone transfixed this weekend. This time it’s “Frankenstorm”, the aptly named confluence of a hurricane, a nor’easter, an arctic blast, and a winter storm from the Pacific. They’re supposed to more-or-less merge over New England, and up to a million square miles of northeastern America and southeastern Canada are going to see some of the wildest weather seen since at least 1991 (“The Perfect Storm”) or 1938 (“The Labor Day Hurricane”) or, well, whenever. I’m hoping, for the sake of the hundred or so million people in the region, it turns out to be a bit of a fizzle. In part because I don’t want people to suffer, and partly because the region is a Democratic stronghold. Well, OK, Quebec and Ontario not so much, but they’re far enough to the northeast that it will probably turn into an unusually large snowstorm, something they can deal with.

It comes right after four debates over the past month in which the topic of climate change was never mentioned. That’s something that affects people far more than abortion, gay marriage, defense spending, taxes or even Obama’s college transcripts. For starters, it will cost them far more, and is more likely to kill or dispossess them than any of the items listed.

Back last March, a heat wave struck the same region now ducking the wrath of Frankenstorm and sent temperatures soaring 10, 15, even 20 degrees—not above normal, but above all-time records for the dates. Just imagine if a pattern like that set up in July! It not only can happen—it will.

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Aside

Cultthink When knowledge is an opinion, ignorance is king   © Bryan Zepp Jamieson October 22nd, 2012   No matter how this election turns out, the fact remains that the United States is a desperately sick society. You have nearly … Continue reading

Aside

Debate II The gloves come off, so do the Mittens  © Bryan Zepp Jamieson October 16th 2012  Well, at least Obama showed up for this debate. And he called out Romney on several of his lies. The funniest moment came … Continue reading

Aside

The Business of America …is not business. It’s being a society. © Bryan Zepp Jamieson October 20th, 2012 A favorite stance by Republicans and libertarians, especially this time of year when voter registrations are being trashed by Republican party operatives … Continue reading

Debate the First

Obama versus not-Romney

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson
October 4th 2012

 

The first debate is fairly easy to sum up: notRomney painted Obama as ineffectual and wedded to policies that hurt the middle class. Obama painted notRomney as vague and more than a bit scary. In short, both were playing trope-versus-trope for all they were worth, and neither had anything substantive to say. Romney decided he was debating as notRomney, the Unrepublican.

It was fun watching notRomney kind of pretend that he wasn’t sure who this “Paul Ryan” was, or why people should be afraid of him. Three times he said that his plan was not a five trillion dollar tax cut without acknowledging that he had supported the Ryan plan—which would do exactly that—continuously over the past two years. It’s strange to see a Republican repudiate the notion that his plan would cause a large tax cut.

He doubled down on the false claim that Obamacare would cut Medicare by $716 billion. Obama refuted it the first time he claimed it, noting that it saved that amount, but without cutting any benefits for anyone. Continue reading