Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Night Creature Feature for May 20th, 2016: The Weather Bellyaching and Strange Political Bedfellowing Edition

Entrance to the Thomas Law House, a historic residence in the oft-forgotten Southwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., 1:35PM May 19, 2016.

I was walking from my office at L'Enfant Plaza to Fort McNair for the annual DOE/EERE annual picnic. The other Southwest D.C. pictures were also taken on that walk.

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Friday night.

I really shouldn't be posting a blog entry as I have to complete something -- a series of cutting-and-pasting and formatting of peer review comments for a peer review report for one of DOE/EERE's technology offices corresponding to 18 projects -- by Monday morning as I am behind on that.

However, my compulsion to update this damn blog always gets the better of me.

Grassy expanse approaching the Thomas Law House, Washington, D.C., 1:34PM May 19, 2016.

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Last night, I went to Trade, where I met Mark D. and then we had dinner at Logan Tavern. We had a nice time, but (of course) I spent too much money. Tomorrow afternoon is my regular Saturday gym multi-part routine (one of three per week). For tonight, I dunno. I guess the same stuff.

Another view of the grassy grounds approaching the Thomas Law House in Southwest Washington, D.C., 1:35PM May 19, 2016.

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Weather Update: Endless, Annoying Complaints About This Cool, Damp May

NWS surface map forecast valid 12Z (8AM EST) Saturday, May 21, 2016.

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The weather is forecasted to be rainy tomorrow into early Sunday as a somewhat out-of-season coastal low pressure system develops off the North Carolina coast and tracks across the mid-Atlantic to New England. The low should have abundant moisture to work with and upper level support in the form of a trough axis moving across the Great Lakes / Ohio River valley that transfers its energy to the coastal low.

NWS/NWCP day 1 and 2 QPF for the Lower 48 U.S., valid 0Z May 21 - 0Z May 23, 2016.

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The amount of moaning, groaning, and bellyaching across the D.C. area because of this cool, gray, damp May has been off-the-charts.

The Capital Weather Gang has been leading the charge with the incessant complaining about this WORST MAY EVER FOR D.C. WEATHER!with entry after entry, after entry, after entry, after entry, after entry, after entry, after entry bitching about the weather (and these have just been in the past three days).

To be clear, it hasn't even been that unusually wet, just cool and cloudy a lot.

Month-to-date precipitation totals at KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD through May 20th are as follows:

KDCA: 4.02" (+1.49")
KBWI: 3.86" (+1.36")
KIAD: 4.31" (+1.44")

Year-to-date totals are +/-1" of normal.

Well, I for one can't stand the hot, humid, blazing sunshine, lack of rainfall, and sewage-y smell that characterizes a typical D.C. summer.

A lovely peony growing beside a church in a picture posted in this CWG entry; photo taken May 10, 2016 by Erin Kelly.

I'm assuming this was taken in or near Washington, D.C.

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On a more serious note -- and I do give kudos to Jason Samenow, the lead meteorologist for the CWG for touting this issue -- here is an article on the ongoing spike in global surface temperatures (link embedded): We are living in the planet's most unusually warm period in modern history.

Global land-ocean surface air temperature anomalies for Jan-April period for the period 1880 - 2016 versus the 20th Century average; source: NOAA.

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Top 8 warmest months globally versus the 20th Century (1901 - 2000) average.

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Sorry, Teabaggers. James Inhofe's snowball is still missing. It "went missing" outside a Walmart in Tulsa.

Oh, and George Will's thesaurus can't change any of this.

Sen. James Inhofe: Oklahoma's finest.

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Tree-lined walkway along the Waterfront in SW Washington, D.C., 1:36PM May 19, 2016.

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Political Commentary...

Turning (briefly) to some political commentary, I would like to note these two Jonathan Chait pieces (links embedded):

Donald Trump Hasn't Killed the Tea Party. He Is the Tea Party.

Bernie's Revolution Stops for No One
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In the first one, Chait easily dispatches with the fantasy -- subscribed to by the inverted Marxist "Movement Conservative" Trotskyites -- that the enraged teabaggers of 2009 and 2010 were all about "constitutional conservatism" and supporting the Paul Ryan budget when in fact (to excerpt the piece):

The backlash against Obamacare did not rest upon any abstract theory about the role of the state. It drew its power from the fear that subsidized (private) insurance would come at the expense of the (single-payer) health care that old people love.

Activists flooding health-care town halls in 2009, the core of the right-wing populist revolt, denounced mythical "death panels," and Republican messaging focused on the (actual) Medicare cuts to finance a program that's "not for you."

Citing the work of researchers Vanessa Williamson, Theda Skocpol, and John Coggin, Chait concludes (with paragraph break inserted):

The white racial identity, the fear of social change — all of these things perfectly predicted Trump's rise. But conservatives ignored these findings because they implied that the tea party was not a movement of amateur enthusiasts for the Lochner Constitution, and that the fierce conservative antipathy toward Obama did not arise out of Obamacare's particular design features or the legislative tactics by which it passed. The tea party was an ethno-nationalist revolt against Obama rooted in fear of social change.

Conservative leaders pretended this revolt was a demand for their agenda, but the dissatisfaction of the base implies that the conservative agenda was never the thing that motivated it. Trump hasn't hijacked the tea party. He's un-hijacked it.

Grassy expanse near SW Waterfront, Washington, D.C., 1:38PM May 19, 2016.

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For the second piece, here is an excerpt (with paragraph breaks added). The "procedural quarrel" refers to the growingly hysterical insistence by Sanders and his militant supporters that he is being cheated out of the nomination and embodied in the melee that happened last weekend in Las Vegas and the Nevada state Democratic convention):


Sanders depicts a procedural quarrel -- one in which his campaign has no leg to stand on -- as a fight between "the 1 percent" and "the people of this country."

Sanders has a longstanding habit of attributing any disagreement with his policies as the result of corruption, disregarding the possibility that actual conviction might inspire any of it.

He accordingly believes that only the corrupt power of big money has prevented his ideas from prevailing. Sanders is now applying the same logic to the primary fight, with Clinton in the role of greedy corporate overlord. Sanders does not merely believe he deserves to win, he believes that a Sanders defeat means the people have been thwarted; ergo, such a result is necessarily rigged.

Ha ha

In helping facilitate the possibility of a Trump presidency, Chait concludes:

It's remarkable that the opponents to Donald Trump, who (accurately) depicted him as a con artist, an authoritarian, and an existential threat to their party's character have all stepped aside, even in the face of mathematical odds less daunting than those of Sanders, who continues to fight on.

It's possible that both Sanders and the Republican opposition to Trump care less about stopping Trump than anybody expected.

The actual Waterfront in Southwest Washington, D.C,. 1:38PM May 19, 2016.

To be clear, the Waterfront "fronts" onto the Washington Channel, which separates East Potomac Park (visible across the channel in this image) from the main stem Potomac River. The Anacostia also flows into the Potomac River near here with the confluence of the three -- Potomac, Anacostia, and Washington Channel -- at Hains Point.

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As for Andrew O'Hehir at Salon.com -- man whose writings I have often loved and featured on this blog -- this anti-Hillary screed in wrote in support of Bernie Sanders and his crazed, bug-eyed Sandernistas was really annoying, but I'm not going to deconstruct it now except to say it was an unusually shallow and ill-thought-out piece.

In short, it was a piece clearly written in anger and beneath him.

The Titanic Memorial in Southwest Washington, D.C., 1:39PM May 19, 2016.

Yes, D.C. has a memorial to those who died on the RMS Titanic. It was unveiled in May 1931.

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Were I to deconstruct O'Hehir's piece, I would mention the lack of any mention to Ralph Nader's 2000 spoiler role and the resulting catastrophic reign of George W. Bush. The failure to mention Ross Perot's role in the 1992 election. The gratuitous insult of Paul Krugman. Most of all, I'd mention the breezy excusing of the incendiary and reckless accusations that Hillary is "stealing" the nomination from him when she has simply won a significantly higher fraction of the vote than he has (the low-population, homogenous, democratically problematic caucuses notwithstanding) and instead putting it all down to the corruption of the 1% overclass.

The large field at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., 2:58PM May 19, 2016.

I didn't take any pictures at the picnic. As it is, I couldn't stay that long as I had to get back to the office. (Contractors have to take personal time to go to the event.)

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I will admit that I find it a bit disconcerting that I find myself in agreement with Washington Consensus house organ Fred Hiatt's unsigned editorials, in this case, on the topic of Bernie Sanders' remaining in the Democratic presidential primary race and Ruth "Mother" Marcus most recent op-ed about Donald Trump.

But as is said, politics tends to make strange bedfellows.

One of the buildings at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., 3:02PM May 19, 2016.

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OK, I think I'm going to end this entry now. I may post both a Saturday Evening Post entry and Jukebox Saturday Night Entry tomorrow, or just the latter.

--Regulus

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