Monday, July 9, 2012

High Summer Respite, More GOP Despite

A dogwood tree and other ornamental greenery outside the apartment building at 1530 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 8:36PM, July 9, 2012. I was walking home from the gym after work at July dusk.

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[I inadvertently hit the publish button on this entry well before it was ready, so the timestamp is about 11:40PM 7/9/2012 though I didn't actually finish it until 12:30AM 7/10/2012.]

I've decided to update this entry since I don't particularly like the previous entry's lead image, at least to keep it up as the top picture.

The ferocious heat has broken -- today only reached 87F at National Airport (DCA), which was actually, amazingly, 2F below the normal high of 89F (which is the highest daily average temp of the year for the current climate record period -- it lasts from July 7th to July 22nd).

I suppose the GOP Teabaggers will instantly start screaming about how the end of the heat wave "proves" global warming is a "hoax." And the American media carnival barking machine will instantly pick up on that deranged Koch Brothers-funded meme. And Howie "Mistah" Kurtz will examine "both sides of the issue" in an "even-handed manor" with a panel consisting of a GOP operative, a Chamber of Commerce lobbyist whore, and a "neutral" CNN reporter.

I hate that kind of amorality masquerading as journalism.

As it is, if the overnight low at DCA is included, the weather day in Washington, D.C., works out to about average temperature-wise, or maybe a hair above.

June 2012 signficant weather events across the U.S.

Oh, yes, the first six months of 2012 were the warmest first half of any year on record across the contiguous U.S. with an average departure of +4.5F at 52.9F. See the NOAA NCDC State of the Climate National Overview - June 2012.

There were also thunderstorms late last night into the wee hours. National Airport (DCA) actually had 0.95" of rain (spanning the 8th and 9th) while BWI Airport and Dulles Airport (IAD) had 0.26" and 0.21", respectively. So, yes, DCA was the high spot. However, we're still way below normal for the year and it is not at all clear that the advertised "unsettled weather" all week will pan out because 30% chances of t-storms 3, 4, or 5 days out rarely come to pass in that fashion.

NWS forecast for the 3 miles NNW Washington, D.C., gridpoint, icons for July 10 - 13, 2012.

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So tonight I went to my YMCA gym -- the one at 17th and Rhode Island Avenue -- and I had a good work out. I jogged for a half hour plus 5 minutes on the treadmill reaching 5mph. I was also on one of those elliptical machines and did a tad of weight-lifting. Finally, I went swimming, although the pool was very crowded.

The Australian flag waves at dusk outside the Australian Embassy at Scott Circle, Washington, D.C., 8:31PM, July 9, 2012. I was walking home from the gym.

Ah, Australia. I wonder how Fifi LaStupenda is doing.

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I went to the top 7th floor of the building where I had never gone before (not once during the approx. 3 years I went there from July 2001 - April 2004). There is a nice view looking up 17th Street. The Hughes Memorial Tower is visible about 4 miles away (just to the left of the hulking structure of the Cairo).

There's still nothing noticeable in terms of weight loss ... well, maybe a pound or two.

Sunflowers growing in an overgrown yard in the 1200 block of T Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:33PM, July 8, 2012.

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I'm home tonight flipping between the reruns of The Golden Girls on We TV shown on Monday nights and reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond on TV Land.

Also, it has been a while since I gave my standing recommendation to read Paul Krugman's regularly updated New York Times-hosted blog and his twice weekly New York Times op-ed columns that are also available online (scroll down to "columns").


Krugman's recent blog entries have been excellent, especially this one about the assertion that the super-rich of the overclass are the "engines of job growth" and that if they "choose" to "withdraw" their labor in John Galt / Ayn Rand fashion because of supposely high (but actually historically incredibly low tax rates) will have negligible effect thanks to optimal taxation theory in which the tax rate on the really rich (we're talking multimillionaires and billionaires) should be at the level that maximizes revenue (since their marginal utility from an extra dollar of income is so low). See above chart.

In short, the taxes of the superrich should be at a level that makes the cost of "hiring" rich people to produce some number of jobs (J) equal to the true marginal cost of that J.  Again, refer to above chart.

Oh, and BTW, this is basically how society was organized in the 1960s and 1970s (yeah, I know there were lots of loopholes, but overall taxation on the rich was still much higher).

Krugman's op-ed piece this Monday contrasted Mitt Romney's secretive behavior about taxes with that of his father George Romney when he ran for president in the 1960s. Krugman references the Vanity Fair piece that talks about what is known concerning Romney's shadowy offshore finances involving the Cayman Islands and other family accounts including an IRA with possibly over $100 million in it.

Click / download for larger version.

I'm so glad working class Red State GOP'ers and Teabaggers everywhere see this slimy corporate plutocrat as their everyman savior. At least they don't think he's also Jesus the way they did with George W. Bush.

I think that's all for now.

Oh, wait, I should mention that I thought I saw Oooza the Unloved crow creature driving in an SUV-like vehicle with Virginia tags. But I'm not sure if that was him as the individual had on beady little sunglasses. It was over around T and 11th Streets.

As it is, I thought I saw him in the shower with me the other day. Turned out it was a centipede, and I hit it with the plastic top of a shaving cream can and it sort of exploded and disintegrated. Gross. They really are disgusting insects.

There is moth over the doorway in my little room tonight, but it's just sort of sitting there and it doesn't gross me out, so I guess it's OK.

Flowers -- hydrangea of some sort? -- growing in a yard along the 1300 block of T Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:36PM, July 8, 2012.

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Lastly, I *may* have a slight dental issue but I'm going to hold off on mentioning it for now.

OK, that's all for now. My next update will be in a day or two.

--Regulus

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