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All Fall Down

If you care, this is the text of the latest in the Stay the Course speeches. This one is just another excuse to stick the next president with all of the Shrubbery’s problems.

Lately they have been dusting off the “domino theory,” which I have always considered absurd, basically because I have played dominoes. The Wikipedia entry has enough information to learn the basics, but the best way to learn is to go to a park on a nice day in a city that has a Caribbean population of any kind, because everybody in the Caribbean plays dominoes.

The first thing you will learn is that the tiles [bones, stones – depending on where the players are from] are very stable. Some games get loud and physical, but the tiles don’t “fall” because they are laying down on their faces or backs, not on their edges.

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September 13, 2007   7 Comments

How Could He Not Know?

The Associated Press tells us: Greenspan admits mistakes in subprime mess

WASHINGTON – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan acknowledges he failed to see early on that an explosion of mortgages to people with questionable credit histories could pose a danger to the economy.

In an upcoming interview, Greenspan said he was aware of “subprime” lending practices where homebuyers got very low initial rates only to see them later jacked up, causing severe payment shock. But he said he didn’t initially realize the harm they could do.

He didn’t realize the harm they would do to his buddies with money. He didn’t give a damn about the people who took his advice and got an ARM [adjustable rate mortgage] when the mortgage rate couldn’t do anything but go up as the Fed raised rates. He wasn’t a bystander, he advised people to get ARMs in his public testimony.

September 13, 2007   5 Comments

Tropical Storm Ingrid

IngridPosition: 14.7 N 48.7 W. [10PM CDT]
Movement: West-Northwest [300°] near 6 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph.
Wind Gusts: 50 mph.
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 50 miles.
Minimum central pressure: 1002 mb.

Currently 840 miles East of the Lesser Antilles.  They aren’t expecting much strengthening, but who knows this year.

September 13, 2007   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Ingrid

House of Cards¹

CNN reporting for the White House office of Agitprop: Bush to tout Iraq progress, official says

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush is expected to emphasize what his administration calls “bottom-up” political progress in Iraq in a major address to the nation Thursday night, a senior administration official said.

Amid Democratic criticism and Republican concerns that the so-called troop surge has failed to produce national reconciliation at the top levels in Baghdad, the official said the president is expected to argue that grass-roots efforts by Iraqis are “laying the groundwork for national reconciliation” but there is a “long haul and tough work ahead.”

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September 13, 2007   Comments Off on House of Cards¹

Hurricane Humberto

HumbertoPosition: 29.4 N 94.4 W. [12:15AM CDT]
Movement: North-Northeast [010°] near 8 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 85 mph.
Wind Gusts: 95 mph.
TS Wind Radius: 60 miles.
Hurricane Wind Radius: 15 Miles
Minimum central pressure: 992 mb.

It is 20 miles East of Galveston.

Update: at 10AM CDT Tropical Storm Humberto Discussion Number 6:

Based on operational estimates…Humberto strengthened from a 30 kt [35 mph] depression at 15z [10AM CDT] yesterday to a 75 kt [86 mph] hurricane at 09z [4AM CDT] this morning…an increase of 45 kt [51 mph] in 18 hours. To put this development in perspective…no tropical cyclone in the historical record has ever reached this intensity at a faster rate near landfall. It would be nice to know…someday…why this happened.

Currently,

Position: 30.6 N 93.2 W. [10AM CDT]
Movement: Northeast [040°] near 12 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 65 mph.
Wind Gusts: 80 mph.
TS Wind Radius: 35 miles.
Minimum central pressure: 990 mb.

If you live on the coast, after the record breaking development of Felix, this surprise leap in intensity near landfall is a bit unnerving. Storms normally lose intensity near landfall as the storm interacts with the land.

September 13, 2007   6 Comments