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On Trump and the Weather Back East

The good people of the great state of Alabama have been spared any effects from Hurricane Dorian, but there was no avoiding the fallout from another of President Donald Trump’s “tweets.”
Earlier this week Trump “tweeted” that Alabama was threatened by the hurricane, but shortly afterwards the National Weather Service “tweeted” that Alabama was well beyond any anticipated path of the storm and unlikely to suffer any nasty weather. Trump is loathe to ever admit any mistake, however, so on Wednesday he unveiled a weather map that had been clearly and quite clumsily altered to back up his “tweet.”
By now Trump’s die hard fans have come to accept his frequent “bullshit” — if you’ll forgive a vulgarism that is now part of presidential rhetoric — but this is hard for anyone else to overlook. When a president takes to “twitter” to prognosticate about the weather he should be relying on the most reliable data available, and if it proves wrong, as it so often does, he should be willing to admit it. Clumsily altering an NWS weather map with what looks to be a felt-tipped pen, or a “Sharpie” as the youngsters call it, should be beyond the presidential pale.
The best available data suggests that the Carolinas and the east coast up to the Washington, D.C, are threatened by flooding rains and surge tides and battering winds from Hurricane Dorian. We surely hope not, as these are great states full of fine people, but we advise them to put more more trust in God than Trump.

— Bud Norman

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The Story That Drowned in the Flood

If the easternmost cities and towns of North Carolina weren’t underwater, and a Supreme Court nomination wasn’t facing equally stormy weather, the big story on Tuesday probably would have been President Donald Trump declassifying several documents related to the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the “Russia thing.”
Trump has “tweeted” that “Very bad things were happening, but now they are being exposed. Big stuff!” His critics have countered that it’s yet another out-in-the-open obstruction of justice based on yet another unconvincing conspiracy theory, and threatens to expose the Justice Department’s sources and methods and thus pose a threat to national security. In either case, we figure it would be a very big deal in a slower news cycle.
The documents include a very top-secret filing for a warrant from the very top-secret court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, some internal e-mails sent by several DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigations suspected of a “deep state” conspiracy to overthrow Trump’s presidency, and various other “big stuff.” If you haven’t been keeping up with the whole “Russia thing,” the FBI and all the intelligence agencies and even the Trump appointees who now run them agree that the Russians meddled in America’s past presidential election on Trump’s behalf, but Trump and all of his talk radio apologists agree that it was actually Democratic nominee “Crooked” Hillary Clinton who colluded in the effort.
Although that Clinton woman was indeed pretty damned crooked we have to admit she’s at least shrewd enough that this conspiracy theory makes no sense to us, but these days nothing does, so we can’t rule out the possibility that the declassified documents will definitively prove that Trump is the blameless victim of a “deep state” coup. We’ll not be wagering any of our meager amount of money on that outcome, though, and those damned Democrats’ sudden and opportunistic fussiness about sources and methods and national security seems a surer bet.
As horrible as it’s been the storm in the Carolinas will eventually dissipate, and one way or another a conservative jurist will eventually take a seat on the Supreme Court, but one way or another this “Russia thing” isn’t going away anytime soon.

— Bud Norman