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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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Back to the Post-Labor Day Reality

Labor Day weekends are usually light on news, and this past one was thankfully no exception, but there’s no way to avoid news altogether. The great state of Texas suffered a second mass shooting in a month, a major hurricane battered the Bahamas and threatened to do the same to the southeast coast of America, and President Donald Trump got in another round of golf.
To be fair to Trump, which we try our best to do, there’s not much he could have done about either the mass shooting or the hurricane. Better he should be golfing than “tweeting” a brand new feud that offends allies or spooks the stock markets.
There’s no getting rid of America’s millions of privately owned guns, and no way of predicting who’s going to lose a job and start shooting up the highway between Midland and Odessa, and so far none of the media reports have shown that enhanced background checks or any of the other popular solutions would have prevented the tragedy. We’ll frankly admit that we have no good ideas about how to stop or at least slow these all-too-common massacres, so we can hardly blame Trump and all those very best people he’s surrounded himself for failing to find the magic elixir. The president is expected to offer some hope and comfort to the loved ones of the victims, and we hope he’ll prove better at the task than he has on all the previous occasions.
There’s not much anybody can do about a hurricane, either, although the internet news site Axios reported Trump had floated the idea of bombing them with a nuclear missile. Trump insists this is “fake news,” and we sincerely hope that on this occasion he’s right, but we can’t quite dismiss it as completely implausible. Trump wore a “FEMA” ball cap as he videotaped a message about how the Federal Emergency Management Agency was a well-oiled machine ready to manage any emergency that a fully-fledged and mostly English-speaking state of the union might encounter, and he once again admitted that he’d never heard of a Category Five hurricane. The current Hurricane Dorian is the fifth Category Five hurricane to threaten the United States and its territories during Trump’s time in office, so that’s not at all reassuring, but we’ll hold out hope that hurricane stays at sea and in the worst case the bureaucrats at FEMA are more knowledgeable about these things.
Today school is back in session, the stock markets reopen, the trade wars with China and the rest of the world resume, politics goes in to full swing, that hurricane might or not wreak havoc on the southeast coast of America, and it’s a sure bet that Trump will “tweet” something outrageous. The local forecasts give ample hope for several more warm and sunny days here on the central plains, and the coming winter might prove just as mild as the passing summer has been, but we’re forecasting stormy weather in domestic politics and international relations and the global economy and the actual weather.
Even so, we hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend.

— Bud Norman