Flood of Numbers, Caught on Camera

A Flood of Numbers: As the floods begin to drain away, emergency authorities say that about 100,000 homes in Texas and Louisiana have been heavily damaged or destroyed. Only about 15 percent of people have flood insurance, leaving the rest to ask for government grants that will cover only a fraction of their losses.

As many as 37 people have died, 30,000 are in shelters, 96,000 approved for emergency assistance. Hundreds of thousands are still without power. Thousands of cars have been ruined by water.

Gasoline prices are already rising with the closure of 10 Gulf Coast oil refineries, which produce about 16 percent of the country’s gasoline. The Colonial Pipeline, which carries gasoline from the Gulf to New York, is shut down at least until Sunday.

Beaumont, Texas, about 70 miles east-northeast of Houston, lost its entire water supply. The Feds are sending in bottled water to avert a health crisis.

Permawar: Iraq says it has fully liberated the norther city of Tal Afar from the Islamic State. It’s the second major victory after the re-taking of Mosul, but ISIS is far from done.

Tit for Tat: In retaliation for Russia’s order to reduce the US embassy staff by 755 people, the Trump administration yesterday ordered Russia to close its San Francisco consulate and two other consular annexes in Washington and New York.

The State Department said the move is retaliatory and not intended to escalate tensions between the US and Moscow. But the Russians said they take it as an escalation and will take time to study it before they respond.

Traffic Stop: A police lieutenant in Cobb County, Georgia has been fired for racial remarks during a traffic stop caught on camera. A woman in the car says she doesn’t want to move her hands because she’s seen too many videos of motorists killed during traffic stops. “But you’re not black,” Lt. Greg. Abbott replies. “Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah. We only kill black people, right?”

Abbott later said — too late for his career — that he was just trying to lighten up the situation.

Fraud Bank: Wells Fargo Bank announced that its sales force created 1.4 million more fraudulent accounts than previously announced. That brings the total to 3.5 million accounts created by sales people under pressure to meet unrealistic goals. Wells Fargo settled three lawsuits a year ago for $185 million.

Talking Heads: After getting fired from The Blaze for breaking with Republican orthodoxy over abortion choice, conservative firebrand Tomi Lahren has been hired to be a contributor to Fox News. The outspoken Lahren, who once compared Black Lives Matter to the Ku Klux Klan, fits the Fox Female mold — blonde, beautiful, and half a brain.

Over at ESPN, college football host Ed Cunningham, a veteran of the NFL, resigned because he said he could no longer support the game because of the damage it does to players’ brains. “I take full ownership of my alignment with the sport,” he said. “I can just no longer be in that cheerleader’s spot.”

The Fashion Shoot: First Lady Melania Trump caused a stir when she headed to the Texas flood zone in a fashionable flight jacket and stiletto heels, looking like a fashion shoot.

While some, including The Rooney Report, criticized the critics, author Rhonda Garelick wrote incisively for THE CUT explaining what was wrong with Melania’s appearance.

She writes, “When you see Melania headed to Marine One, or dining with world leaders, or standing on a White House balcony, the entire scene looks like a magazine spread in which ‘real’ people, equipment, and buildings are being used merely as dramatic backdrops for a fashion layout. On Tuesday, this meant that instead of being a supporting presence in the president’s trip to survey flood damage, Melania became the star and the trip morphed into a simulacrum, a kind of Vogue shoot ‘simulating’ a president’s trip. In other words, the realness of everyone and everything else (including hurricane victims) faded and the evacuated blankness of the commercial overtook the scene.”


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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