Florence — ARRIVING

Florence is starting to hit the shore right now:

Jackals, check in and give a brief update of what you are seeing as you stay safe, smart and dry.






217 replies
  1. 1

    Here’s all the other fake Florence news. Check before you tweet, FB or otherwise believe anything someone tells you. :-)

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    @TaMara (HFG): It did make me laugh though, this morning.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    As someone who grew up in hurricane alley, I just want to add a couple of points to Dave’s frequent, excellent posts on Florence.
    1) Just because Florence is currently a Category 2 hurricane doesn’t mean things are now safe. Sustained winds will still be above 100 mph and gusts will be higher. But even the outer band winds ranging from 40 to 90 mph are enough to do serious, life threatening damage.
    2) The real threat here, just as it has always been, is water. This storm is basically a 500 mile wide water pumping system. Between storm surge and the prolonged rain, water is going to be the real damage. Flash flooding, dangerous animals – gators, venomous snakes, feral hogs/pigs, etc – moving through the water during and after the storm, etc.
    3) The probability that it will stall for several hours to at least a day of the coast of the Carolinas until the steering pressure systems change so it can move, will only exacerbate the water threat. We’re talking erosion. Sink holes. Foundations of homes and buildings being undermined by water.
    4) Despite reported precautions, the commercial pork farming hog waste lagoons are going to overflow and spread that toxic, fecal sludge everywhere. Coal slurry waste from holding tanks at coal fired plants will do the same. Be very, very, very, very careful once the storm has passed about walking through any water.
    5) This storm is geographically huge – even as a Category 2 hurricane. If you plopped the thing on land it would stretch from NC at the top to FL at the bottom covering both of them as well as SC and GA.
    6) If you can still get out, or help get someone else out, even if it is only 50 or 60 miles more inland, then do so immediately.

    Stay safe!!!!

  4. 4
    Cermet says:

    This monster (very large – thank you gulf stream – not) is over the hyper warm gulf so as it slows, its power will stay until it finally gets inland. Those poor fellows who either by being poor or just too smart for their own good are going to see a really bad hurricane. Lucky (!?) it hasn’t exploded into a Cat III.

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    Soprano2 says:

    Treat water outside from the storm like sewage, because that’s what it is. I feel sorry for the public works people in the cities that are affected by this storm – they’re going to have quite the job when it’s all over. I went to a presentation several years after the Joplin tornado; it cost almost a million dollars to close off all the sewer service lines from houses that weren’t going to be rebuilt. My sister-in-law, two nieces and one of their husbands all work for a disaster cleanup company – I’m sure they’ll be headed for this area once the danger is past. Someone always profits from a disaster.

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Yup, what Harvey did to Houston for me at least reset the bar as to the nature and extent of what a hurricane or even tropical storm can do to a region, over time. Florence seems a little like that.

    When the next ARkStorm hits California I and millions of others will be forced from our homes and frankly, the insurance industry may not recover either.

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    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TaMara (HFG): As the father of two young girls, I both approve of and hate you for posting this.

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    Speaking of Hurricanes…..

    George Papadopoulos says he’d testify before Senate

    George Papadopoulos, the former Trump campaign adviser who triggered the Russia investigation, is willing to testify before the Senate intelligence committee, Thomas Breen, his lawyer, said today.

    Breen said the Senate panel reached out to several months ago but they could not make a decision until after his client was sentenced. Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison Friday for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian intermediaries.

    Now that the criminal case is resolved, Breen said, “we’ll make him available upon a proper request.”

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: Unfortunately that is what will, eventually, force climate change concerns to be taken seriously by the elected officials that have chosen to not believe it for politically expedient purposes. The insurance industry will simply stop writing policies to cover commercial and residential properties, as well as cars, boats, etc in places most susceptible to catastrophic weather impacts as a result of climate change. This will force businesses to relocate or to close, as well as for residents to relocate causing massive population disruption. All of this will create pressure to actually do something.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The insurance industry will simply stop writing policies to cover commercial and residential properties, as well as cars, boats, etc in places most susceptible to catastrophic weather impacts as a result of climate change. This will force businesses to relocate or to close, as well as for residents to relocate causing massive population disruption. All of this will create pressure to actually do something.

    They will simply force the federal government to cover the insurance.

  12. 12
    Cermet says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No, that will not work: as long as thugs control our media and get their hands on the reins of government like now, they will use government backed insurances to keep the money flowing for the wealthy – as the deficient’s grown, just more excuses to cut the safety net and earned social programs. Win – win until the whole structure comes unglued. You underestimate the party of Ray-gun.

  13. 13
    Elizabelle says:

    Where is Jim Cantore, this very moment? Might have to find The Weather Channel, streaming (is that his home?). Or MSNBC. A blowhard other than Trump in the news.

    Have so far missed all the hurricane disaster porn.

    @Adam L Silverman: Let’s all look for good reporting on how insurance and reinsurance companies are acting in the wake of these natural disasters, many with a great assist from climate change.

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    Mary G says:

    Scary, even without the sharks. Everybody stay safe.

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    Walker says:

    When I said in another post that this was a Floyd and not a Hazel, I was not claiming it was a nothingburger. Floyd did a lot of damage. It is just that this is now the scope of a 90s hurricane (and there were a lot of damaging 90s hurricanes: Bertha, Fran, Floyd) and not a once-in-a-lifetime event.

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    cmorenc says:

    Finished mounting polycarbonate hurricane shutters on our house on the barrier island at Sunset Beach, NC yesterday, and moved all porch furniture inside. The house is 10 ft up on pilings, but the storage shed where lots of valuable tools and beach equipment are stored is underneath, and so anticipating a storm surge will probably overwash the island, I did some triage and moved stuff I really didn’t want to lose upstairs into the house (tools, bicycles, a ladder, my surfboards and SUP (stand-up paddleboarf).

    …and then left Sunset Beach for our house in Raleigh. There were 20x the cars going north/west on I-40 out of Wilmington toward Raleigh as going toward Wilmington, and traffic occasionally slowed to a crawl, but I made it home.

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    Doug R says:

    The Weather Channel has a nice frightening simulation of what a Storm Surge looks like,

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: That will be an option, but it would be a stopgap. Eventually it will become too expensive. All it will take is one active and damaging hurricane season combined with a very active and damaging wildfire season out west and an active and damaging tornado season in the plains and that funding will be done.

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    cmorenc says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I certainly hope the insurance industry will start refusing to insure the fools who have built oceanfront houses on 3rd street toward the east end of Ocean Isle, NC, apparently too stupid and incurious to ponder what happened to first and second street at that end of the island? (I’ve been familiar with that area for 50 years – they used to be there, but are now in the sea).

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    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: Here you go:

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    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Eventually it will become too expensive.

    That’s what we thought about the F-22 & F-35 too.

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    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Quite right. The insurance, banking-finance, healthcare and related industries have a lot to lose from climatic extremes and need to stop being so shy about pushing back against the energy, transportation and other sectors working so hard to retain the status quo. They’re unnatural bedfellows, to say the least and they way they kowtow to the Republicans should be a source of shame and boardroom firings.

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    J R in WV says:

    I never want to experience any storm larger that storms I have already experienced and liver through. On the edge of a hurricane long ago, then the derecho that moved from Illinois to the east coast in no time at 100 MPH, taking out power lines all the way.

    We had crews from SC, MS, GA, TN NC, all over the place coming it here and it was still 2-3 weeks until utility services started to be available.

    I got the guys in our neighborhood pecan rolls from Panera, a big hit with all of them.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    Are robots coming for your lawyer?

    San Francisco-based Atrium has just raised $65m from a few very well-known venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, General Catalyst and Greylock Partners, and recently welcomed Marc Andreessen as a board observer.

    So why all the fuss about a company that just opened its doors only 14 months ago? It’s because Atrium is doing something that hasn’t yet been done: use artificial intelligence to completely disrupt the legal industry, a disruption that could potentially replace many high-priced lawyers with inexpensive machines.

    “I’m pretty stoked about that,” Justin Kan, one of the 110-person company’s founders told TechCrunch (he was referring to the raising of capital). Kan is not new to this game. He was also a founder of the highly successful live-streaming video platform Twitch.

    Atrium aims to be a full-service corporate law firm (almost half of its employees are attorneys) that leverages AI technology to do much of the legal work required by growing startups who need help dealing with raising equity, hiring employees or writing up commercial contacts. The company’s software uses machine learning code to understand legal documents and automate repeatable processes.

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    Walker says:

    @cmorenc:

    If we return to the hurricane activity of the 90s, that will happen. Remember that Bertha and Fran were in the same year. People who got damaged twice in a row got up and left.

    And another Hazel is a when, not an if (this could have been that had it continued as a Cat 4). Hazel erased the entire eastern seaboard from Wilmington to the state line. The difference was that, in 1954, people weren’t stupid enough to build permanent structures on the coast.

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    cmorenc says:

    BTW: the land underneath barrier island proprty, which is typically more valuable than the residential structure built on it, is uninsurable. You can only insure the structure itself.

    Every hurricane, I’m constantly astounded how few houses on barrier islands like Sunset Beach are even makeshift boarded up with plywood over the windows, let alone equipped with prefab hurricane shutters (ours has ’em). A breached window allows a hurricane to literally huff and puff the frame of a house apart.

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    chris says:

    Want to pay for nice things? it’s time to return to the glory days of the 1950s.

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    Luthe says:

    @trollhattan: Hell, the tourism sector needs to push back. We were at Disneyland at the end of July and someone fainted from heatstroke in line for a ride. What happens when it gets too hot for visitors to come to the parks? Or when half of South Beach is underwater?

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    LAO says:

    @cmorenc: Good. Glad you made it home.

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    cleek says:

    we’re watching the alternating bands of cloud and sun blow by.

    it’s not raining but there’s a strange mist blowing around.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    @TenguPhule: Pie-ing you for the afternoon.

  33. 33

    @cmorenc:

    I’m constantly astounded how few houses on barrier islands like Sunset Beach are even makeshift boarded up with plywood over the windows

    I see that on the news here on the west coast, I’ve never understood that.

  34. 34
    Cermet says:

    The F-35 will cost over 1.3 trillion dollars over its lifetime – that is far more than four or five complete carrier battle groups. Insanity if it makes the wealthy class richer, is the norm. Their is far too much money tied up to allow common sense to occur as long as the government teat can be milked via taxpayers, cuts in social programs, and the middle class. The wealthy control the media, the government and the religious loons – they hold all the cards.

  35. 35
    chris says:

    @chris: Oops!Worse than that chart shows.

  36. 36
    Keith P. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Holy Moses! (ba-dum-bump!_

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Flash flooding, dangerous animals – gators, venomous snakes, feral hogs/pigs, etc – moving through the water during and after the storm, etc.

    No love for floating balls of fire ants.

  38. 38
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It’s already starting. The insurance companies we contract with are all insured by bigger insurance companies. Those big re-insurance companies, many are Swiss, are sick of our science denying bullshit. I’ve been telling my kids for years that it will be the re-insurance companies who will force us to act if our elected officials continue to fail us.

  39. 39
    Mike in NC says:

    Evidently Fat Bastard has tweeted that 3000 dead in Puerto Rico was a vicious lie by those nefarious DemocRats trying to demean his stable genius. Fox & Friends will bleat that all day long.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    Oh For Fuck’s Sake. We had Congressionally mandated requirements for this position and somehow Trump STILL MANAGED TO FIND A CORRUPT ASSHOLE TO FILL IT.

    With a monster hurricane barreling down on the Carolinas, the man leading the federal government’s disaster response is facing an investigation into his use of government vehicles.

    The inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security is now investigating FEMA administrator William “Brock” Long for using a government vehicle to travel between Washington, D.C., and his home in Hickory, N.C., where his wife and two young children live, according to a DHS official familiar with the situation.

  41. 41
    catclub says:

    @trollhattan:

    They’re unnatural bedfellows, to say the least and they way they kowtow to the Republicans should be a source of shame and boardroom firings.

    GM should have been coming out in favor of nationalized healthcare, since it would erase a huge liability of theirs. But somehow, class loyalty tops common sense. So I am not surprised. Likewise hospital admins should have been pushing for expansion of medicaid in the GOP states.
    I sure heard nothing significant from them.

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    catclub says:

    @cmorenc:

    Every hurricane, I’m constantly astounded how few houses on barrier islands like Sunset Beach are even makeshift boarded up with plywood over the windows,

    I would suspect that the range of winds where the plywood is effective, but the plain windows are not effective, may be small. At higher winds it does not matter if you put on plywood or not, at lower winds the plywood is wasted. I put on plywood for Katrina, but others in my neighborhood did not, and they came through ok, just like I did.

  45. 45
    Jeffro says:

    @Luthe:

    What happens when it gets too hot for visitors to come to the parks? Or when half of South Beach is underwater?

    I guess we’re going to find out.

    Meanwhile, “both-sides” fools like Robert Samuelson want to pretend that we as a society are unable to prepare for the future: we only react, dontcha know?

    Does America adapt by crisis or consensus? Do we spontaneously change because we see we must, or must we be coerced by events that leave us no choice?

    — “The Good Life and Its Discontents: The American Dream in the Age of Entitlement”

    That’s what I wrote more than 20 years ago. Americans would solve their most pressing problems through either consensus or crisis.

    We would debate the country’s controversial issues until we reached agreements that, though not fully satisfying to everyone, would enjoy grudging majority support. If consensus failed, we would wait for some crisis — ill-defined and disruptive — to force us to do what we don’t want to do.

    The jury, I think, is in: We’re relying on crises. We hope they don’t occur and pretend they’re not inevitable, whatever they might be.

    As a society, we have failed to confront some of the major social, political and economic realities of our time: immigration, globalization, health spending, global warming, federal budget deficits, stubborn poverty and the aging of society, among others.

    What almost all of these issues have in common is that the remedies they suggest are unpleasant. They demand, in the political vernacular, “sacrifice.”

    To close federal budget deficits, taxes must go up and spending must come down. To deal with an aging society, people must work longer. (Also, eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare must rise, and benefits for the affluent elderly must fall.) To resist global warming, fossil-fuel prices must go up — a lot — either through taxes or regulations.

    Um, Robert, I hate to tell ya but one party was all for this problem-solving thingy you’re talking about, and one party just wants to watch the world burn (and make money while doing it)

    I can haz better Post columnists, pleeeeeeez?

  46. 46
    Jeffro says:

    @raven: about every eighth or ninth comment there on the side is pretty funny!

  47. 47
    raven says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I guess it’s not off Hatteras.

  48. 48
    trollhattan says:

    @Luthe:
    Hadn’t thought of that and of course you’re right. Yosemite was closed for weeks this summer from fires and the surrounding communities’ economies were wiped out at the time of year they get most of their income. I had to completely change my August backpacking plans when our trailhead was evacuated from another fire (still burning). And of course, all the western ski resorts are scratching their heads over how to survive drought winters when there no, you know, snow.

    The current Middle East and North African diaspora, said to be the biggest since WWII, are a scrap of what we’ll see when climate renders huge swaths of land uninhabitable. We’re completely unprepared for that.

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @Jeffro: You can read those????

  50. 50
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    This ignores that it may already be too late to do anything to stop catastrophic climate change. Any “last ditch” efforts to correct the climate could make things worse.

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @catclub:
    Floating balls of fire ants is too long for a band name but would make a super debut album title.

  52. 52
    catclub says:

    @cmorenc:

    I certainly hope the insurance industry will start refusing to insure the fools who have built oceanfront houses on 3rd street toward the east end of Ocean Isle, NC,

    Me too, but you can bet that US Flood insurance program will be the LAST to change and not cover those places. ANY attempt to rationalize US Flood insurance runs against concentrated political opposition. (Think Trent Lott’s house)

  53. 53

    @raven: I got that from their Facebook page. The video doesn’t say where it is. 🙄

  54. 54
    BretH says:

    @catclub: Strikes me plywood would definitely be useful in protecting against breakage due to flying objects. Then once the window is breached I suppose all sorts of other Bad Things could happen.

  55. 55
    Elizabelle says:

    All the best to the Coast Guard and all the first responders and all the helpers in Florence’s path.

  56. 56
    LAO says:

    @raven: And people are very upset about in the comments.

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    sheila in nc says:

    @catclub:

    plywood over the windows

    I saw them interviewing one guy who just said he couldn’t score any plywood.

  58. 58
    raven says:

    A story from the Oregon Inlet Facebook page.

    Pre-hurricane kindness. Long story short, our totally packed Ford Explorer broke it’s drive shaft while we were heeding the mandatory evacuation orders to leave Ocracoke island. Mind you it’s 90 plus degrees out, too. We limped back into town in 4-wheel drive making all kinds of a racket. All island services were shut down- Jimmy’s garage, the towing company as they prepared for the storm. As we made our way to high ground to abandon the car, pull out necessary items and simply walk onto the ferry a sweet family pulled up beside us and offered to let us borrow their car. She cleans houses on the island and uses the van for her business but they had her husband’s car and we could use hers. We didn’t even know each other’s name only that the cottage we had rented on the island was across the street from where they lived and they recognized us coming and going for the last 2 days. She raced back to pick up her van and clear it of her work supplies. When she returned it was full of gas. She gave us the keys. We then exchanged phone numbers and names. Today we meet her in Greenville, NC where her family was going to ride out the storm and we returned the van to her. She also said her sister goes back and forth from Greenville to Ocracoke cleaning houses and she would help us get the car back to Clayton after it got fixed so we wouldn’t have to go all the way back to the island. She didn’t want to take the $$ I wanted to give her but I insisted. Bless you Margarita Gonzalis you are forever welcome in my home, held in my heart and counted as an angel among us.

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    trollhattan says:

    @sheila in nc:
    Can definitely believe that. I’m sure Trump’s Canadian lumber tariffs help the supply bigly.

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    raven says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’m pretty sure you can book a night out there now.

    This ocean cam is affixed to the Frying Pan Tower, 34 miles off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. The tower was built in the 1960s to warn ships of the shallow waters nearby. Though GPS navigation technology means this tower is no longer used for its original purpose, it’s an important ecosystem for marine wildlife (check out the underwater shark cam to see what we mean) and provides a beautiful view of the sun rising and setting over the Atlantic Ocean.

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    jacy says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    During the Katrina aftermath I was bit by a) a brown recluse spider and b) a loose German shepherd.

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    geg6 says:

    I very definitely care for all who are in the path and hope they all come out of it okay.

    But I simply don’t get this obsession with weather events. Every single network and every blog and all of Book of Faces are obsessed with this. Unless it’s going to hit me, I’m really not interested in the build up, which almost always is magnitudes larger than the actual storm ends up being. Get it off my tv and computer screen unless I’m in the path and until it’s over when the damage can be assessed and something can actually be done. It’s a weird sort of anticipatory disaster pron. Again, let me be clear, if you are in the way, you need these reports. But people in places that will not be affected don’t need to spend a week prior to the actual storm watching people in a place that is nowhere near them buy generators and nail plywood to their windows. Maybe it’s just me.

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  65. 65

    @raven: I think I’ll forgo that for this week.

  66. 66
    Martin says:

    This is why California is working so hard on climate change.

    Rainfall:
    The forecasted Hurricane Florence rainfall amounts over the Carolinas are increased by over 50% due to climate change and are linked to warmer sea surface temperatures and available moisture in the atmosphere.
    Storm Size:
    The forecasted size of Hurricane Florence is about 80 km larger due the effect of climate change on the large­scale environment around the storm.

    I appreciate FEMA and the Waffle House for leading the way on planning and recovery, but California figured something out decades ago.

    In 1973, Rosenfeld was working as a particle physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. That September, the Democratic-controlled state legislature passed a bill creating a commission to manage California’s energy policy. Ronald Reagan, then governor, vetoed it as an intrusion on free enterprise. But after the first Arab oil embargo caused energy prices to spike, two things happened. First, Reagan switched his position. Stung by popular discontent in car-conscious California, he agreed in 1974 to create what eventually became known as the California Energy Commission. Second, Rosenfeld shifted his focus toward energy efficiency, organizing a working group (which eventually became the Center for Building Science) at the laboratory. “I thought,” he told me dryly, “we had better do such things as learning how to turn out the lights.”

    California’s new commission was born with something of an identity crisis: environmentalists hoped it would promote conservation, while utilities wanted it to fast-track production (particularly of nuclear power) to close a potentially crippling shortage in electricity generation. Rosenfeld, who had initially come to the commission’s attention when he critiqued its first energy-efficiency standards for residential buildings, quickly proved instrumental in setting the agency’s direction. In 1976, San Diego Gas & Electric Company asked the commission to approve a nuclear-power plant called Sundesert. Jerry Brown, the eclectic Democrat who succeeded Reagan as governor, didn’t want to authorize the plant, but he faced pressure to close the anticipated gap between electricity demand and supply. Rosenfeld squared the circle for him, telling Brown that if the state imposed efficiency standards on refrigerators (which then consumed about 20 percent of a typical home’s power), it would save at least as much electricity as Sundesert could produce. The state went on to block the Sundesert plant, and in 1977 the commission approved aggressive efficiency standards not only for refrigerators and freezers but also for air conditioners.

    We figured out that avoiding the cost was cheaper and easier than planning for how to respond to the cost. The efficiency standards were important, but another thing was more important:

    The solution was a policy known as “decoupling” because it severed the link between consumption and profits. Here’s how it worked: the commission first set a revenue target for utilities by calculating how much money they needed to make to recover their fixed costs, plus an approved profit rate. Next, the commission estimated how much power it expected the utility to sell. Then, it established an energy price that would allow the utility to meet its revenue target at the expected level of sales. If the utility sold more power than it needed to meet its target, the difference was returned to consumers. If it sold less, rates were increased to make up the difference. Applied to natural-gas sales in 1978 and electricity in 1982, decoupling had a profound effect.

    “Utilities were rendered indifferent to sales,” says Ralph Cavanagh, a senior NRDC attorney and central figure in California energy policy since the late 1970s. “They couldn’t make more money by selling more; they didn’t lose money by selling less. Their addiction to increased sales was eliminated.” In September 2007, the state utility regulators shifted the incentives for utilities further toward conservation by allowing them to split the savings with customers whenever energy use falls below state targets.

    There’s no law of economics that says that profits need to be tied to revenues, or revenues to consumption or even production. California has an economic model that is focused on reducing consumer overall costs, reducing production, and increasing profits. Those profits are paying for solar installations as well as for consumption – many of our rebates are paid directly by the energy companies. And this remains a capitalistic system, aside from the monopoly implications of having a sole provider of power connectivity. But the power utilities in the state aren’t in the business of energy production. In fact, they don’t need to produce power at all. They’re really in the transmission business. They buy power from one another all the time, and so there is both competition on the production side, as well as on the consumption side particularly when it comes to saving energy. Part of why the residential solar industry is so strong in CA isn’t just because of the climate (compare us to Arizona who has a better overall climate for this) but because the utilities aren’t competing with the consumers. Residential solar at this point is still helping utilities.

    So when we look at the preparations for Florence, we need to also think about how those coastal states could be making a different set of decisions that would reduce the need for so much planning and recovery. California needs to be doing more along those lines with respect to fires.

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    Tenar Arha says:

    @raven: Is it just me, or has the camera shifted in the sustained wind? (I swear the flag used to be more centered in the frame).

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    Martin says:

    @cmorenc:

    I certainly hope the insurance industry will start refusing to insure the fools who have built oceanfront houses on 3rd street toward the east end of Ocean Isle, NC, apparently too stupid and incurious to ponder what happened to first and second street at that end of the island? (I’ve been familiar with that area for 50 years – they used to be there, but are now in the sea).

    Flood insurance is administered by FEMA. Floods are too devastating for private insurers to cover.

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    JPL says:

    @raven: If Trump cared so much for the flag and the military, he’d be out there lowering the flag so it would not tear. .

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    ARoomWithAMoose says:

    Wunderground’s doppler radar widget (repackaged NWS ground based radar feeds);

    https://www.wunderground.com/weather-radar/united-states-regional/nc/charlotte/animated

    You can click on the individual radar stations on the regional view.

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    raven says:

    @Tenar Arha: The camera was panning earlier in the day so it’s not a surprise it’s moving since it’s on some kind of mount.

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    Doug R says:

    @catclub: A friend of mine who grew up in Hong Kong told me they used to put an X of tape on windows when storms were coming.

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    Jeffro says:

    @raven: For all I know they’re ALL funny – my eyes can only catch every eighth or ninth one! =)

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    rikyrah says:

    ICE HAS TAKEN $169 MILLION FROM FEMA, TSA AND OTHER AGENCIES TO FUN THOSE INTERNMENT CAMPS!

  75. 75

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The insurance industry will simply stop writing policies to cover commercial and residential properties, as well as cars, boats, etc in places most susceptible to catastrophic weather impacts as a result of climate change.

    And then the politicians who don’t want to believe will write insurance regulations that force the insurance companies to keep selling those policies, the same way PPACA forces health insurance companies to sell policies to people with preexisting conditions. It will make everyone’s insurance rates go up, but they won’t care as long as the bill doesn’t come from the government and it gives them an excuse to continue pretending climate change is a myth.

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    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    All it will take is one active and damaging hurricane season combined with a very active and damaging wildfire season out west and an active and damaging tornado season in the plains and that funding will be done.

    Uh-uh. All it takes is the Big One in CA. Maybe Rainier blowing in WA (if you have trouble sleeping, skip similations for THAT potential event)…

    …but a Big One in CA will probably send insurance companies running to the Government for help (let’s hope Trump is gone by then).

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Ninedragonspot says:

    Spare a thought for the Filipinos about to be overwhelmed by supertyphoon Mangkhut, which is a scary beast. Hong Kong could also be on the receiving end of a very solid thwack. (Small silver lining for me: Mangkhut will only graze the southern part of Taiwan, and will be long gone when I reach Taipei next week.)

    If Mangkhut is too difficult to remember, in Chinese it is rendered as Mountain Bamboo.

  79. 79
    Martin says:

    @Jeffro: In this case yes, but I will point out that the housing crisis in California isn’t the fault of the GOP, but mostly from older liberals that have benefitted from Prop 13 and are staring huge equity values and deciding that we can’t build housing because it’ll result in developers profiting, in luxury units, and in environmental issues that are entirely of their own imagination. The worst housing problem in the country is in its most liberal city, and it’s not a conservative/liberal battle, but an old/young one. Those who got in early and profited are fighting those that will never be able to sit in that position because they were born too late.

  80. 80
    raven says:

    @Jeffro: You got the volume up?

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah: 12,800 children in the internment camps as of this month.

    Trump is tripling the camps in Texas in size.

  82. 82
    Jeffro says:

    @trollhattan: works better with parentheses

    “AWRIGHT! That was awesome and you’re a great crowd! We’re the Aloe Vera Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and we’re gonna play you another number from our debut album, ‘Floating Balls (Of Fire Ants)’ called em>Insure This!…take it away, Munge!”

  83. 83

    @TenguPhule:

    Atrium aims to be a full-service corporate law firm (almost half of its employees are attorneys) that leverages AI technology to do much of the legal work required by growing startups who need help dealing with raising equity, hiring employees or writing up commercial contacts. The company’s software uses machine learning code to understand legal documents and automate repeatable processes.

    I wonder if they can use AI to replace paralegals, too. Having a computer find relevant case law could be really cool.

  84. 84
    boatboy_srq says:

    NoVA is already drenched but seems to be holding on. Naturally, the locals have bought ALL THE WATERS and are hunkered down to wait out the deluge.

    Slightly O/T: anyone noticing the noise coming from all the FundiEvsngelist bigwigs as each one “protects” his/her own little part of the US? Any suggestion that these execrables are not unreconstructed Confederates goes out the window watching them congratulate themselves for “saving” their own precious states and to Hades with the rest.

  85. 85
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Doug R: Nightmare fuel!

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    Republicans insisted they still support funding the border wall as Trump wants, but that it doesn’t make sense to have a fight about it ahead of the midterm elections. The House Appropriations Committee has allocated $5 billion for the wall for 2019 — the figure Trump wants — but the Senate Appropriations Committee bill provides only $1.6 billion. Senate Democrats have shown no interest in going along with the higher number from the House, and Democrats have the ability to block spending bills which require bipartisan votes in the Senate.

    Whether the federal government will be fully running on Oct 1, 2018 depends on whether Trump’s cowardice is stronger then his assholeness.

    Currently too close to call.

  87. 87
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Having a computer find relevant case law could be really cool.

    Isn’t that search engine already in existence?

  88. 88
    Jeffro says:

    What is the deal with this Kavanaugh letter that got turned over to the FBI? Fox News dot com is trying to act like it’s Feinstein’s fault that she called the proper authorities.

  89. 89
    Martin says:

    @The Dangerman:

    …but a Big One in CA will probably send insurance companies running to the Government for help (let’s hope Trump is gone by then).

    I think you overestimate how many Californians have earthquake insurance. It’s only about 10%. And the insurers that offer it are part of a statewide, state organized consortium to cost pool, so norcal insurers are bailing out socal and v/v. Yes, the big one will be extremely expensive, but California is actually bigger than the big one can be, so a large amount of the state will be largely unaffected. The 90% without insurance are going to FEMA with their hands out, though.

  90. 90
    Fair Economist says:

    @Martin: The housing crisis has been caused by the wealthy and middle class in general regardless of their political standing. The left, however, is starting to shift to the realization that if you don’t have enough housing, somebody ends up homeless no matter what else you do, and there has been some movement to sanity in a few urban areas. The right is still proudly ruining lives without second thoughts, as usual.

  91. 91
    NYCMT says:

    @cmorenc: What hurricane codes are in effect by you? In New Jersey, we had mandated 140mph windows (we are beach block, one house from the bulkhead) and the structural requirements go to 175 for walls. We overbuilt during the renovation, but left off storm shutters on the theory that a storm packing >130 mph winds would also have a structure-destroying storm surge. Street level is 12ft above MSL and the first story is five feet above that, on footers and not on a slab. For reference, Sandy left some sand at the bottom of our driveway, but did not cover the driveway, where there was a nine foot storm surge.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    FDRLincoln says:

    My sister’s home in Iowa was severely damaged by a flood a few months ago. She is NOT in a flood plain but her neighborhood got 9 inches of rain in 2 hours and the storm drains were overwhelmed. She suffered about 40K in damage and the insurance company won’t cover it since she didn’t have flood insurance. She didn’t think she needed it because she wasn’t in a flood plain.

    I’m not in a flood plain either but I went and got flood insurance this summer anyway after seeing what happened to her.

  94. 94
    germy says:

    And now, the comedy stylings of Sarah’s dad:

    Breaking wind from CNN! Sen. Feinstein will appear w/ Judge Kavanaugh to release a letter from someone who just remembered something from when he was in high school. She offered to have her Chinese driver bring him to the event. #desperate— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) September 13, 2018

  95. 95

    @geg6:

    But I simply don’t get this obsession with weather events.

    I think the key to understanding our news media is that there isn’t actually enough news to keep a 24/7 news network in business. That’s why they have hours and hours of “news analysis” and bloviating editorials; it’s way cheaper than sending people out to find enough genuine news to fill the time.

    Weather events, especially major storms, are a great exception because they’re a news-generating machine. In the days before the storm hits, you can talk about where the storm is, where it’s likely to hit, and what people are doing to prepare. While it’s hitting, you can broadcast live from the scene to show exciting stuff as it’s happening. After the storm is over, you can cover the damage and cleanup. And the whole thing is predictable enough that they know how to position their reporters for every part of the event. And it is actual news. People in the potential path of the storm have a serious need to know about it, and people outside have an interest. It’s not like sports- another great, predictable content generator- which are staged specifically to create an event.

  96. 96
    Martin says:

    @TenguPhule: Shit, already there. LegalZoom is the progenitor of these services, and had the effect of wiping out a ton of paralegal work. Anyone familiar with the law industry knows that a huge amount of it is internally produced legal templates that they then fill in and charge you $300/hr for the privilege. Virtually all of that work is going to be automated, and this is just the natural extension of the first entrants but with better software.

    This is why I tell people to very seriously look at your value add to the thing your job produces. If you add no value, you will be automated out of a job. If half of your job is filling in forms and pushing paper around, that’s going to go away at some point. What will you be expected to do to fill that gap? Will it be programming the software that does that work? Are you ready for that or will that job go to someone who has your domain expertise and also knows how to program? Or datamine. Or whatever.

    This is not new. We replaced farmers with domesticated animals and then tractors and now satellite controlled autonomous tractors. This has been a thing since long before anyone dreamed up lawyering.

  97. 97
    Jeffro says:

    @Fair Economist:

    The housing crisis has been caused by the wealthy and middle class in general regardless of their political standing. The left, however, is starting to shift to the realization that if you don’t have enough housing, somebody ends up homeless no matter what else you do, and there has been some movement to sanity in a few urban areas. The right is still proudly ruining lives without second thoughts, as usual.

    I need to read up more on this. I’m wondering what models work well.

  98. 98
    The Dangerman says:

    @Martin:

    I think you overestimate how many Californians have earthquake insurance.

    I’m not even counting personal homes. Infrastructure and business should be enough to do it. For example, I toured a massive Amazon Fulfilment Center built basically ON the San Andreas (it’s on the former Norton AFB). Just that massive building (with contents) alone would be a huge price tag. Scale that from one building to entire regions and it’s goodnight Irene.

  99. 99
    Elizabelle says:

    @boatboy_srq: Hey there. Any chance you can come to White Flint/Rockville area for a meetup Saturday night?

    We haven’t picked a place yet, but it will be after 7:00 p. Matt F and I are going to be at the SPX at the North Bethesda Marriott.

  100. 100
    Jeffro says:

    @germy: I think I’m catching a whiff of desperation there from ol’ Huck…that his great white hope might just possibly be swirling down the drain even as Trumpov is clearly about to join him. I can only imagine the regret of someone who sold his soul to the devil for tax cuts and SCOTUS, to not get SCOTUS

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    They are all alive; you can see them, crowding around, cheering, demanding paper towels.

    Trump is pathetic. His supporters, who still cheer Trump on, despite this crap, are even more pathetic.

    I hear local talk radio hosts defend Trump by insisting that he is joking or just screwing with the heads of the Democratic leadership. But he not only looks stupid, he underscores that he doesn’t know what the fuck he is doing.

  102. 102
    trollhattan says:

    @rikyrah:
    FUN those camps had me thinking they were sending clowns [shudder].

    The “comedy’ of this administration is how utterly over-the-top they are. I could never write that book.

  103. 103
    geg6 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Bores me stiff. 99.9% of the stuff they run on weather events is irrelevant, outdated or simply wildly speculative. I don’t care about anything other than how bad is it where it hit and what can I, in my small way, do to help?

    I understand local stations and media outlets going nuts in coverage, but I’d rather they would have covered the flooding rains we got when no one was looking over the weekend than a week of pre-hurricane coverage that meant nothing to people around here.

  104. 104
    ARoomWithAMoose says:

    @FDRLincoln: No homeowners insurance covers water damage from ground sources, which means any sort of inundation from ground level. That includes water entering your house if the water main/fireplug at the road breaks, whooshing water across the ground at the front door.
    Homeowners will only cover water damage from the roof being torn off in a storm or windows breaking and allowing rain water in.
    So if you’re serious about it, get the federal flood insurance, which should be dirt cheap if you’re outside any flood zones.

  105. 105
    Martin says:

    @Fair Economist:

    The housing crisis has been caused by the wealthy and middle class in general regardless of their political standing. The left, however, is starting to shift to the realization that if you don’t have enough housing, somebody ends up homeless no matter what else you do, and there has been some movement to sanity in a few urban areas. The right is still proudly ruining lives without second thoughts, as usual.

    I don’t think the left is remotely close to that point yet. I see a LOT of liberals that came up fighting the system that was holding them down, never considering how they would view things once they wound up in a million dollar home. Turns out they keep fighting the system without recognizing that they are the system. The movement to sanity isn’t coming from this group, it’s coming from the increasingly growing population, primarily of young people, that are on the outside looking in. It’s not something I’m willing to give the left credit for until they start to really embrace the underlying dynamics of the problem. Rent control doesn’t solve this, but capitalism does, and the left is still struggling with the idea that developers are the only solution. That doesn’t mean you can’t still zone and have regulation around them – we should, but in the same way that liberals undermined ACA by focusing on the insurers rather than the care providers because it made them feel good, they’re repeating the same mistake here.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jacy:

    a loose German shepherd

    As in a German shepherd dog that had gotten out and away from its owners or a German who raises goats and sheep and has questionable morality?//

    More seriously, I’m very sorry to read that.

  107. 107
    Yutsano says:

    Way OT: Dolt45’s personal Beverly Hills tax lawyer just got confirmed as IRS commissioner.

  108. 108
    geg6 says:

    @ARoomWithAMoose:

    Really? Because ours covered a sewer backup into our basement.

  109. 109
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Floating balls of fire ants are second only to the copper heads swimming up to the pet door and struggling to get into the house to get away from the water. No I am not joking. When there is that kind of water out there every kind of wild life will do whatever it needs to do to get away from the water. If that means coming into your house then so be it. The water out there is not to be trifled with, it is DEADLY remember it has gone through everyone’s garage, that means it has picked up paint, gasoline, pesticides, fertilizers, oils, as well as farms so hog shit, cow shit, turkey shit and who knows what else. It also includes floating fire ant balls and swimming venomous snakes, as well as rats, raccoons, squirrels and the odd gator. The water is DEADLY.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: If Rainier goes, the last thing anyone will be worrying about is insurance adjustments. They’re going to quickly be trying to figure out how to live in the set of books Terry Brooks wrote to link up the US in the early 00s with the Four Lands of Shannara.

  111. 111
    Mike in NC says:

    Just returned from getting provisions and the rains have started in North Raleigh.

  112. 112
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think the key to understanding our news media is that there isn’t actually enough news to keep a 24/7 news network in business.

    To the contrary, there are not enough reporters to cover all the news adequately. And few people are news junkies who want news all the time.

    Weather events, especially major storms, are a great exception because they’re a news-generating machine.

    Agree with you on this. Also, it chaps my hide that there are people who say, “if it ain’t affecting me,” I don’t care. So, a storm can smash the shit out of every island in the Atlantic, and there will be some people who say, “I don’t care until it hits the US.”

    This kind of thing probably led to our Dear Leader and other dopes to say of a past hurricane, “Oh, it destroyed Puerto Rico. Thank God it didn’t hit the US.”

  113. 113
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: In the early 90’s I was at a social gathering that included folks from a nearby university. One of the men in attendance was part of a world wide group of climate information gatherers focused on this topic. His feeling was that it was already too late at that time.

  114. 114

    @Martin:

    Rent control doesn’t solve this, but capitalism does, and the left is still struggling with the idea that developers are the only solution.

    I think this view is also a mistake. Rent control isn’t a long-term solution, but more construction has too long a lead time to help people who are getting priced out of their home right now. We need both rent control in the short term and more construction in the long term.

  115. 115
    trollhattan says:

    @Brachiator:
    “How many divisions does the popeelectoral votes does Puerto Rico have?”

  116. 116
    ARoomWithAMoose says:

    @geg6: Was the sewer attached to the house, or did the sewer back up across the ground and flood the basement from outside?

  117. 117
    trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Left to their own devices developers never build low-income housing.

  118. 118
    shelley says:

    Floating balls of fire ants

    Damn! That sounds like a bad Jerry Lee Lewis song.

  119. 119
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Elizabelle: I am SO there (barring work emergencies)

  120. 120
    sheila in nc says:

    @Brachiator:

    They are all alive

    Petri is a treasure. Powerful, powerful column. It just smacked me.
    Thanks to Cheryl for linking.

  121. 121
    Martin says:

    @Jeffro:

    I need to read up more on this. I’m wondering what models work well.

    It’s a bit tricky because transportation and commercial use come into play. The best models seem to be other international cities that were built up prior to automobiles. Paris, etc. Basically, ground floor commercial use, then residential above it to maybe 5 stories (rent or own). Dramatically reduce private vehicle use and replace with pedestrian spaces and mass transit. If you allow developers to build constrained to that sort of a model, and have them put in money to build out the mass transit and public spaces, then you naturally get a good balance. The prices are high because of inefficient land use, and artificially constrained access to buildable land.

    Consider that 25% of Manhattans land use is dedicated to cars. The land value of the island is just shy of $2T, so we have $500B worth of potential housing tied up in letting people drive through a city that nobody has any business driving through – and those drivers contributing effectively nothing for that land. It becomes a tax on everything else in the city – a really big tax.

    One challenge that my city is facing is how to add housing without overloading the existing transportation system. And you do that in a variety of ways. Mixed use construction eliminates the need for a certain amount of travel. The restaurant or dry cleaner on the first floor of your building is one you don’t need to drive to. The bodega on the corner at least reduces the number of trips to a large grocery store. If you make for pedestrian spaces, then your willingness to walk or bike to businesses slightly further way increases, and the inconvenience of the car not being so close to everything increases that more. In urban areas services like Amazon are more popular for this reason, but they can more easily be regulated to help the problem along. Add trollies or metros, etc. to expand reach further. All of these things help to increase population density, which you need to do. Without the need for space for cars you can build closer together. You build upward. You incorporate commerce in the same space rather than segregate it to malls and whatnot. Mass transit usually doesn’t require a lot of space (though it does require a lot of planning).

    But it requires that people change. It requires they not look at the home as a piggy bank. It requires they give up their cars to some degree. It requires they embrace a different notion of a neighborhood and what ‘making it’ means, giving up the acreage of a yard that 99% of the time does nothing, the 3 car garage, etc.

  122. 122
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Roger Moore: there was a lot of talk one time about tech replacing court reporters, especially due to the fact that there are skills required that not just anybody has. Turns out there were parts of the job that just needed humans. I expect the same will be true in other aspects of the legal profession. ( My SIL made a very good living at that particular job for 30 years. Still gets calls to free-lance from time to time.)

  123. 123
    NotMax says:

    Stay safe. And sane.

  124. 124
    Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t disagree. Rent control tends to be proposed as long term effort though, not as a short term component.

  125. 125
    PJ says:

    @Roger Moore: @trollhattan: This is the thing. There is a housing shortage in New York for middle income and poor people, but the city won’t (or can’t? something about federal funding being denied for this?) build housing for them, and developers only want to build housing for the wealthy (many of whom will not even live in those apartments), which drives the price of housing up for everyone else. Since the financial crash of the mid-70’s, New York has relied on giving developers massive tax breaks and zoning changes in exchange for up to 20% of “affordable housing” (much of which is only affordable if you make a decent wage – new “affordable” studios in Stuyvesant Town are going for $1462/mo., https://www.6sqft.com/latest-stuytown-affordable-housing-lottery-opens-rents-from-1462month/, which means that a person needs to be making well over $30,000 after taxes to be able to afford it and health care, transportation, and food.) But the city needs much more actual affordable housing than developers are ever willing to build, even with massive incentives that drain tax dollars which could be going to help working people instead of the wealthy.

  126. 126
    Gravenstone says:

    @TenguPhule:

    and his home in Hickory, N.C.

    You’d like to think he has a vested interest in getting this response right. At least for his little corner of Northcackalackie.

  127. 127
    PJ says:

    @PJ: Also, too, developers will never contribute to increasing or improving the infrastructure of the neighborhood surrounding their developments unless they are forced to, and since most city politicians are dependent on contributions from developers, development ends up straining already stressed transportation, education, health care, and sanitation systems.

  128. 128
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Martin: Predictive coding for document review has changed the nature of that sector of law within the last few years. Large corporate clients – the kind that get investigated by agencies and sued a lot – are starting to want 1st level review done with predictive coding, then issued tagged by offshore paralegals before the lawyers look at it. And hope not much gets missed…. The scary part is how accurate good predictive coding can be.

    You still need careful review by lawyers though. I’m working on 2 things where the previous (big, high priced) firm produced privileged material to agencies.

  129. 129
    jk says:

    @germy:

    You can always count on Mike Huckabee to bring a massive load of stupidity.

  130. 130
    trollhattan says:

    @sheila in nc:
    She takes no prisoners. I like that!

    Nobody can replace Molly Ivins but Alexandra Petri makes an excellent Alexandra Petri.

  131. 131
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Yutsano: Because of course. Just shoot me.

  132. 132
    Jeffro says:

    @Martin:

    It requires they not look at the home as a piggy bank. It requires they give up their cars to some degree. It requires they embrace a different notion of a neighborhood and what ‘making it’ means, giving up the acreage of a yard that 99% of the time does nothing, the 3 car garage, etc.

    I am down with all of that…unfortunately, as with so many other things, people don’t think like me. (I know, right? The nerve.)

    Oddly enough, with Millennials being unable to afford their own homes and seemingly less interested in cars than the previous generations, may help solve these issues as they gradually take over from the Boomers and my own uber-selfish Gen X Reagan babies

  133. 133
    geg6 says:

    @ARoomWithAMoose:

    Actually, both. A major rain event plus a weird configuration of our very old township sewer system caused outside lines to back up into the yard and the lines inside to back up inside.

  134. 134
    Jeffro says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: She has had some of the most pointed commentary on Trumpov and his enablers than anyone I’ve read these past two years. Maybe Pierce at times.

  135. 135
    NotMax says:

    Marginally related music.

    Hold On – Hurricane Smith

  136. 136
    germy says:

    @jk:

    You can always count on Mike Huckabee to bring a massive load of stupidity.

    He never disappoints.

    A painful experience for a woman writing a letter about past abuse. He is jocular about it. There’s something missing in his soul.

    Reminds me of when he tweeted about his colonoscopy. He joked they gave him the same drug that killed Michael Jackson! And he joked that he “moonwalked” out of the hospital.

    Something’s definitely missing.

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    @geg6:
    It’s not just you.
    Disaster “coverage” is useless to most of us. We do need to know that it’s happening, but like the people in the path, there is only so much time one can spend listening/watching before it’s intruding into the time to get ready or do something useful.

  138. 138
    Jeffro says:

    @trollhattan:

    Left to their own devices developers never build low-income housing.

    I almost wonder if some counties/cities couldn’t build their own…not “projects” but actual homes (townhouses) that could be sold for just a smidge above cost, with the money going right back into building more units. Sold to folks with jobs and decent credit.

    NIMBY would naturally be a major pain in the ass, as always. But if they piloted it, and it worked, and a couple years later the success stories were rolled out (and the originally-NIMBY-but-now-I’m-a-believer folks helped with those stories)…

    Also, I would like a unicorn. But STILL…

  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:
    There is a lot missing from that rotten mellon head

  140. 140
    MattF says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Jen Rubin has a good column on Trump’s lies about Maria.

  141. 141
    PJ says:

    @Jeffro: Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting that it was the Generation X kids who got all the good jobs and houses and low-cost education and health care that the Boomers freely shared with them instead of hoarding everything for themselves. /s (I don’t mean to start the “generation wars” again, but if ever there was a generation that had the “Fuck you, I got mine” attitude, it was the baby boomers, who, incidentally, were the ones voting for Reagan – the first Presidential election anyone from Generation X could vote in was 1984).

  142. 142
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @boatboy_srq: On and after the 9/11 attack, some colleagues were talking about reports of people being miraculously saved from death. Someone asked why God saved some and not others. One young woman said it was because they weren’t saved.

    Several protested this view. I don’t recall anyone taking the tried-and-true Calvinist approach that God had preordained that they should die in this attack.

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    @Martin:

    It requires they not look at the home as a piggy bank. It requires they give up their cars to some degree. It requires they embrace a different notion of a neighborhood and what ‘making it’ means, giving up the acreage of a yard that 99% of the time does nothing, the 3 car garage, etc.

    So in other words, not a fucking chance in the USA unless we somehow remove 65% of the population for being greedy self-centered jerks.

  144. 144
    The Dangerman says:

    @Jeffro:

    I almost wonder if some counties/cities couldn’t build their own…not “projects” but actual homes (townhouses)…

    Seems to me there are shitloads of old shipping containers that could be repurposed for small homes (and I’m definitely thinking super small for those insanely priced areas; stand up and bow, Silicon Valley). Quick and cheap (well, other than land).

  145. 145
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    But it requires that people change. It requires they not look at the home as a piggy bank. It requires they give up their cars to some degree. It requires they embrace a different notion of a neighborhood and what ‘making it’ means, giving up the acreage of a yard that 99% of the time does nothing, the 3 car garage, etc.

    It means returning to a model of the city based on medieval Europe or medieval Japan. No thanks.

  146. 146
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Stay safe. And sane.

    one out of two isn’t bad.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    Doug R says:

    Well, here in Lotusland we’re experimenting with a few taxes. A couple of years ago we introduced the foreign buyers tax, and the new government has a speculator/empty house tax:

    The new annual property tax will target foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C, including those who leave homes vacant. So-called satellite families, or households with high foreign incomes that pay little provincial income tax, will also have to pay the tax.

    Principal residences and long-term rentals will generally be exempt, meaning the majority of B.C. homeowners will not pay the tax

    https://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/b-c-unveils-housing-plan-that-raises-foreign-buyers-levy-and-taxes-speculators

  149. 149
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @shelley: While I appreciate your humor shelley it isn’t funny. You know what happens when a floating ball of fire ants hits a solid object. They swarm and start biting. That means anyone who is walking through the water gets bitten, in some cases to the point that they die from the sheer weight of the venom in their blood system. As I recounted in a previous thread my DH had to carry me through the water to get out of the house, he threw me onto to the trunk of the car after he was hit by a fire ant ball because he knew more than a couple of fire ant bites would kill me. It isn’t funny. What is about to happen to the people in the Carolinas is not a joke.

  150. 150
    TenguPhule says:

    @PJ:

    the first Presidential election anyone from Generation X could vote in was 1984).

    I thought Gen X was born in the 1980s?

  151. 151
    Martin says:

    @trollhattan:

    Left to their own devices developers never build low-income housing.

    I think that’s focusing on the wrong problem. Demand for low income housing isn’t a housing problem but a wages problem. Right in the name we acknowledge that it’s an income problem.

    But it also misses how this works entirely. Let’s say your city has 10 properties, valued at $100K to $1M in $100K increments (aggregate value of $5.5M). You have 5 homeless people that need homes and can afford $100K homes (additional $500K that is unused in the market), so you decide to build more properties. If you are thinking about what price the new properties should be, you’re approaching this as a supply-sider – and we know that doesn’t work. Don’t think like Reagan and Trump. The city only has a potential aggregate value of $6M – $5.5M currently realized and $500K not realized. The developers can only extract an additional $500K from the market. If they build a $1M home, then the only way to sell it is through a reallocation of market prices. Effectively, the value of the existing homes needs to go down until one of those homeless people finds a $100K home to buy. In the end, the market can’t be worth more than $6M so maybe everyone gives up $50K-$100K and that $200K home becomes a $100K home and a homeless person buys it. The $1M home still created low income housing, but in a different way. In all likelihood, the developer wouldn’t try and build a $1M home. Instead, they’d build a $200K home and try and get the $100K and $200K homeowners to move into it, likely lowering prices slightly around the market and freeing up something at the low end.

    It’s not a fast process, and there’s a lot of other variables at play – migration, wage growth, improvements, etc. The homeowners objecting to the luxury homes aren’t objecting because its not affordable, they object because it will depress the value of their home, and they don’t want to live in affordable housing. It doesn’t matter what kind of housing you add, the value of the market will drop.

    And if you try to mandate low income housing, in a high cost real estate market, it becomes impossible to build. The value of that plot of land is a function of the value of the surrounding plots of land. If you want cheap housing, then you need to be willing to throw away the value of your own land, or you need the taxpayers to subsidize the effort. In short, the value accrued by existing homeowners becomes a tax on everyone else, including the poor. It’s just one they can’t afford to pay, so they live in their car, or on the street. If you want cheaper housing then the existing homeowners need to pay that tax – either by accepting falling equity values, or by a straight up tax that funds the cheaper housing, which will inevitably lead to lower property values since yours is taxed and the new one isn’t.

    So why add all of the bureaucratic machinations of a tax collection and redistribution when relaxing zoning laws will work just as well and cost a whole lot less, and in the end be put down more fairly. People like me that have equity built up won’t be able to politic to protect our equity, so the only way to realize it is to sell. My single family home gets torn down and a multiunit property goes up which is vastly more affordable while still netting the developer a profit. The neighboring property values drop with the introduction of the new housing model, making them easier to buy up and convert. In the end low income housing gets created by destroying or displacing the wealth of the people that earned their wealth by blocking others from buying in.

    And for the record this would apply to me. My $200K replacement value home is worth just about $1M. That $800K difference is a scarcity tax on people who can’t afford to spend $1M for a $200K property. As much as I like my house, I shouldn’t have the right to deny people housing and if economics encouraged me to sell, I would do so. Right now it doesn’t encourage me to sell. It does the opposite. I’m getting a hundred grand wealthier each year by doing nothing.

  152. 152
    Ruckus says:

    @Martin:
    It’s always a problem when people try to find a solution by studying less than half the issues.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @MattF:

    Jen Rubin has a good column on Trump’s lies about Maria.

    Yep. Good column.

    What is most pathetic about stuff like this…

    This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico

    … is that Trump thinks that whatever he has done is sufficient, and that he should be thanked for it. More and more it is clear that our president is a truculent man-child. That the Republican leadership continue to prop this fool up is a travesty. It’s just sad.

  154. 154
    Mary G says:

    Please respect Ivanka’s privacy during this difficult time where she waits 3-6 months to respond to her father’s comments about Puerto Rico and say she didn’t agree with him.— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) September 13, 2018

  155. 155
    Martin says:

    @TenguPhule:

    So in other words, not a fucking chance in the USA unless we somehow remove 65% of the population for being greedy self-centered jerks.

    At some point the system gets far enough out of whack that it changes. The bay area is facing the potential that non-homeowners have more voting power than homeowners, and then all bets are off. If you’re going to fuck over a population, then you damn well better be sure they never get into power. Story of the GOP right there. SF homeowners would probably be better off at this point giving up some of their gains to recruit at least some of those on the other side into their ranks.

    But NYC is largely already there. It’s not impossible. But yeah, its damn hard.

  156. 156
    rekoob says:

    @Elizabelle: As it turns out, I’m planning to be in Annapolis Saturday afternoon and could possibly swing by on my way back to Richmond. Perhaps we can keep the discussion going.

  157. 157
    MobiusKlein says:

    safe, smart and dry

    I’m in Cali, so all I got is dry.

  158. 158
    Jeffro says:

    @PJ: @TenguPhule:

    By “Reagan babies”, I meant kids who spent their formative years (8-18) with Reagan as president*.

    Gen X is technically ‘born between 1965 and 1980’, so if you were born in ’69 like me, you had the Gipper as the national fake father figure from age 11-19. I’m convinced it’s why so many of us seem to be The IGMFU Generation.

  159. 159
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Gelfling 545: After my son graduated from college in 90, he lived for several months in an environment focused commune near his CA university. The invited speakers, the discussions, the work they did individually and as a group–that all convinced him that at that point (1990) it was probably already too late to do anything to save the environment.

  160. 160
    Martin says:

    @Doug R: This, frankly, is dumb. My city is considering the same thing, and I fucking went off on them.

    Foreign investors just means ‘export’. That’s a good thing. We produce something here (a house), and someone outside of the country gives us money. That’s an export and that’s a net good. That’s literally free money for the local economy. The problem is the local economy doesn’t know how to convert that free money into more housing because they lack the political will to make those tough calls. So, rather than face the problem of how to spend the free money, they instead put a tax to try and prevent that money from arriving. Worse, if the money still arrives, you’ve now increased the value of the property and made it even harder for people to afford. It doesn’t matter if 20% of the value of the property goes into city coffers, you’ve still valued the property 20% higher than it was, and inevitably that will spread across the city. And still you don’t know how to spend the free money, which you now have more of as well as more of a need for housing. You just made the problem worse.

  161. 161
    Mary G says:

    NEW: Two officials familiar with the matter say the incident detailed in the Feinstein letter involved possible sexual misconduct between Judge Kavanaugh and a woman when they were both in high school.https://t.co/6UI9DSPiMJ— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) September 13, 2018

  162. 162
    TenguPhule says:

    New estimate: GOP’s second tax cuts would add $3.8 trillion to deficit

    Its always Infrastructure Week,

    A second round of Republican tax cuts would add an additional $3.2 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade, according to a new report released by a centrist think-tank.

    The package was taken up by a House committee on Thursday and is expected to head to a vote on the floor later this month.

    The GOP’s “tax reform 2.0” would make permanent many of the individual and estate tax provisions in the tax law Republicans passed last fall, which the Congressional Budget Office said would already add about $1.9 trillion to the deficit, factoring for interest costs.

    The second round of cuts would cost $631 billion before 2028 and an additional $3.15 trillion in the decade after that, according to the Tax Policy Center. The finding was somewhat larger than the $2.4 trillion cost over 10 years projected by the Tax Foundation, a conservative think-tank.

    But wait, surely this time the Republicans have realized their error in tilting all the benefits to wealthy people who don’t need tax cuts?

    TPC also found that the law would give a substantially bigger tax breaks to the richest families over those in the middle class. The richest 1 percent of filers would see an average tax cut of $40,000, while those in the middle 20 percent of earners would see an average cut of $980, TPC said.

    Overall, that makes it slightly less regressive than the first round of GOP tax cuts, which included corporate tax cuts that primarily helped richer Americans, according to Rosenberg.

    Baby steps.

    It almost certainly won’t pass. But fuck, nothing seems to make sense these days so who knows for sure?

  163. 163
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mary G: Did the good judge force the girl to have an abortion to avoid ruining his potential future career? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  164. 164
    Martin says:

    @Mary G: Huh. I would have put money on it being a victim of Kozinski testifying that Kavanaugh was a knowing witness to the harassment.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mary G:

    I admit, IANAL, but what “sexual misconduct” from 30 years ago would not have passed the statute of limitations by now?

    Also, after 2016, I no longer trust anonymous “officials” to be telling the truth.

  166. 166
    Chris T. says:

    @catclub

    But somehow, class loyalty tops common sense.

    Worth remembering: these things are run by people (insert Mitt Romney quote as needed). The people who run them don’t necessarily put the interests of the corporation above their own personal interests. If I were cynical, I’d say they never do that, they merely claim they do that (“must be bad corporate citizen because fiduciary duty!”) when their personal interests line up the same way…

  167. 167
    trollhattan says:

    @MobiusKlein:
    Ain’t that the truff?

  168. 168
    trollhattan says:

    @MobiusKlein:
    Wanted to add–we had clouds yesterday a.m. and I was, “What’s that?!?”

  169. 169
    CapnMubbers says:

    CBS has Florence’s projected path taking direct aim at the blogmeister. First his vacation, now his house??? Hey John, how would you like to visit California? Just the intent might work, book a stay in both SoCal and NorCal, I’ll chip in for trip insurance.

  170. 170
    Martin says:

    Meet your national leader.

    As part of the Climate Alliance announcement, the 16 states resolved to reduce their emission of methane and other short-lived super-pollutants by 40 percent by 2030. The governments of Mexico and Canada joined them in making this pledge.

    “It’s pretty remarkable to have the governments of Mexico and Canada issuing a statement with 17 U.S. governors, as opposed to the federal government,” says Dan Lashof, the director of the World Resources Institute in the United States. “That is not normal—and in this particular instance, it’s a very positive thing.”

    Also in opposition to Trump, the states promised to implement a suite of utility policies that will reduce the costs of new solar-panel installation. After Trump imposed an import tariff on solar panels earlier this year, U.S. companies froze or canceled $2.5 billion in new large-scale solar projects.

    “There’s a lot of tertiary or supply-chain ways we think states can continue to drive down the [solar] costs,” Inslee told me.

    The states also pledged to adopt the same strict energy-efficiency guidelines for household appliances, which it says will save consumers $4 billion by 2025. Trump’s Energy Department has sometimes neglected or tried to close similar federal programs, like EnergyStar.

    Jerry Brown has built an international coalition, including state governors and city leaders and established a climate agreement in defiance of the federal government. Instead of aligning with policies that Congress and the EPA would have established, they’re aligning with policies that California is establishing. DC has ceded control of this to California and likely won’t be able to get it back without embracing California’s policies. This is how we’re going to win.

  171. 171
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Martin:

    Mixed use construction eliminates the need for a certain amount of travel. The restaurant or dry cleaner on the first floor of your building is one you don’t need to drive to.

    Tell me, how does that restaurant gets it’s food delivered in this city of the future with no roads? And Manhattan was laid out before cars…

  172. 172
    Martin says:

    @Mnemosyne: Rape. Particularly of a minor. Varies by state, but lots have no statute of limitations on rape.

  173. 173
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    So twitter is down, when I go to downforeveryoneorjustme.com they don’t even recognise twitter as a website? What the hell is going on?

  174. 174

    @PJ: Folk under 30 was the only age group that didn’t vote for Reagan in 1980.

  175. 175
    C. Isaac says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Don’t get my hopes up like this.

  176. 176
    Martin says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: The same way it does in other cities. Commercial vehicles can enter pedestrian areas, during certain hours, etc. They are usually well regulated, and the city can impose a number of restrictions on them. I would suggest that in this day and age that commercial vehicles must be electric powered – reduce the noise and air pollution. NYC already has some restrictions on commercial vehicles entering Manhattan.

    And NYC is largely there, however a lot of its growth took place after cars – particularly in Brooklyn and Queens. You might want to read up on Robert Moses, and the impact he had on the city.

  177. 177
    trollhattan says:

    SOMEBODY financed all those fine-looking Myrtle Beach residences and facilities. Wonder how they’ve been sleeping lately?

    https://twitter.com/jpetramala/status/1040263275882196993

    Also wonder what the hell kind of consumer drone can fly during the leading edge of a hurricane? I’m impressed.

  178. 178
    Fair Economist says:

    @Martin: Most of the movement to saner housing policies is coming from renters (largely younger), true, but they are mostly on the left. There are some homeowners also supportive of saner housing policies (raises hand) and they are mostly on the left too, although I admit it’s a smallish number.

    I fully agree there are a lot of “liberals” packing city hearings to keep house prices above a million or whatever the ridiculous local number is and that it’s pretty hypocritical to pretend to be supportive of the disadvantaged and then demand they pay those kinds of housing prices.

  179. 179
    Dan B says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Rainier is dangerous but mostly for communuties that built on old Lahars. (They make ‘nice’ level areas..) Upper level winds, and surface winds, tend to carry ash NE into eastern WA, ID, MT, and southern Canada. The biggest ash plumes have come from some of the smaller volcanes like Glacier Peak (in the middle of my favorite wilderness area). Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake) had a similar ash plume.

    Bug weather changes would likely cause far more damage to crop yields.

    Having said that the melting glaciers on Rainier could trigger an eruption or landslide in the same way a champagne cork does. Interesting times.

  180. 180
    J R in WV says:

    @Martin:

    I saw a power-grid map posted in relation to storm Florence and was surprised to find that NC is covered with commercial photovoltaic power plants. Very interesting!

    In Arizona, walmart parking lots are roofed to shade shoppers’ cars, with photovoltaic panels, to lower the net cost of power to the shopping warehouse building. Other big box stores also.

  181. 181
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Martin: There’s an article at crooksandliars on 7-10-18 (Kavanaugh has a Jim Jordan Problem) that discusses Courtney Milan’s experience working with Kavanaugh for Kozinski. IIRC, she claims Kavanaugh got porn for him, showed her pictures? All the while he was working to vet possible interns for SCOTUS Justice Kennedy.

  182. 182
    Fair Economist says:

    @Brachiator:

    It means returning to a model of the city based on medieval Europe or medieval Japan. No thanks.

    Have you never been to a European city? They are extremely pleasant for the most part. Any, most of them are moving in the direction Martin is describing, as they have found that they will be even more pleasant if they strip out most of the auto-serving scars built over the last century.

  183. 183
    Mary G says:

    Spoke to more than a dozen House Rs here at the Capitol. Very few had any criticism of the president's handling of the coming storm or his tweets on P.R. Most offered hearty praise. A revealing snapshot of the GOP.— Robert Costa (@costareports) September 13, 2018

  184. 184
    Dan B says:

    @Gelfling 545: I was at a lunch with the directors of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1984. They were seeing evidence of advanced bloom and leaf out timing, and longer frost free periods, worldwide. They were aware of the enormity of the energy input required to force that scale of change. We’re just now seeing the impact of greenhouse gases released in the ’90s.

  185. 185
    Fair Economist says:

    @CapnMubbers:

    CBS has Florence’s projected path taking direct aim at the blogmeister. First his vacation, now his house??? Hey John, how would you like to visit California? Just the intent might work, book a stay in both SoCal and NorCal, I’ll chip in for trip insurance.

    He’d probably bring us an earthquake, not a rainstorm. I’ll help chip in anyway.

  186. 186
    Fair Economist says:

    @trollhattan:

    Left to their own devices developers never build low-income housing.

    Not exactly. They don’t build stuff that is immediately low-income housing, but frequently it becomes low income housing in a couple of decades. This is going to produce a very long-lasting hangover from the Cult of Housing Appreciation because the strangulation of most kinds of housing construction over the past 60 years is going to restrict the supply of low income housing for decades to come.

  187. 187
    debit says:

    @Fair Economist: I know I’ve posted this link before. The city leaders eliminated cars from the city center. Everyone screamed and said it would never work, it would be awful. It’s been wildly successful. One of my favorite videos. https://vimeo.com/76207227

  188. 188
    ruemara says:

    I hope everyone gets through this safe & sound, pets safe and homes safe. But I’ll settle for you and your pets being fine. Hang in there and keep your galoshes on.

  189. 189
    Dan B says:

    @Jeffro: Vancouver has been successful at creating density that people like. It took decades to change attitudes. Brent Toderian was one of the people who managed to get everyone on board with “High quality density”. It hasnt solved all problems but it’s reduced NIMBYism. Portland, OR has done a similar job on a smaller scale. Seattle has been constrained by our state’s extremely regressive tax structure and the hatred rural areas have for the big gorilla.

  190. 190
    trollhattan says:

    @Fair Economist:
    HUD was once a significant player in building housing with low- and very-low income setasides. Wonder how sleepin’ Ben is managing that these days?

  191. 191
    Mart says:

    @catclub: The plywood is not so much to keep the force of the wind from busting them out, but to keep flying debris from doing that,

  192. 192
    Fair Economist says:

    @debit: I just wish there were more of that. There are less drastic approaches as well. Here’s a video of an English town that converted a nasty highway intersection into a roundabout. The slower traffic speeds made it bikeable and walkable while, surprisingly, actually increasing the potential vehicle throughput.

  193. 193
    debbie says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Roundabouts have suddenly become a very big thing around here. I have to go through SIX of them to get to where I get my hair cut. The problem is the circles aren’t large enough so there’s lots of extra-tight turning. Sometimes I get through them feeling like I’ve just ridden the Tilt-a-Whirl. Calling them “calming devices” is the biggest laugh of all.

  194. 194
    Cermet says:

    The faster the storm travels, the more people that will suffer. But, if fast, then suffering of the many will be far less in total magnitude than the suffering of the fewer for a slow storm. Not sure that translates from vulcan, very well.

  195. 195

    @PJ:
    The problem with a place like New York (or San Francisco) is that you have to look at a regional picture rather than just the city. Barring crime or some other cause of serious decline, the core of a major metro area is going to be a highly desirable place to live because it puts you close to all the good stuff, and that’s going to drive up prices there. It doesn’t make sense to build cheap housing in an area with astronomical land prices. It makes more sense to build a great mass transit system so people can easily commute from less expensive peripheral areas into the metro center. Of course that requires A) willingness to spend money on that infrastructure and B) willingness to accept higher population density in the outlying areas so commuting times aren’t outrageous. But treating New York City as if it’s the only place to live in the New York metro area is going to get you terrible solutions; treating San Francisco as if it’s the only place to live in the Bay Area is even crazier.

  196. 196
    Elizabelle says:

    I worry a bit about that Kavanaugh-related article. Events of 30 years ago. That have never come out. Maybe that will elicit a wave of sympathy for this nominee if they can be proven false.

    Or if it becomes a he said/she said case.

    If these were normal times, and they are not, there are already all manner of red flags WRT Kavanaugh. He should be voted down because he’s just not the calibre required for a Supreme Court lifetime appointment.

    I do hope his nomination is in serious jeopardy, though. That it gets pulled, and no action on a new Justice — if any — until after the new Senate takes office.

    Let the Mueller investigation play out before Trump gets to appoint one more justice. We can do just fine wth 8 justices, for the meantime.

  197. 197
    Elizabelle says:

    @debit: Great video.

    And did you notice how much more fit the Dutch were? No Wal-Mart nation there.

  198. 198

    @trollhattan:

    Wonder how sleepin’ Ben is managing that these days?

    Shhhhh, you’ll wake him.

  199. 199
    JMG says:

    Water in the Carolinas, fire in Mass. An over pressurized gas main has resulted in several explosions and at least 50 fires in the city of Lawrence and the towns of Andover and North Andover, with more popping up by the minute. Andover ordered all residences and businesses evacuated. Unknown number of injuries, but there have to be some. No one seems to have any idea when the gas will be brought under control.

  200. 200
    dnfree says:

    @debbie: Do you live in Wisconsin? Wisconsin has gone nuts with roundabouts. They will have three in a row some places I’ve been (like north of Green Bay, and around Janesville). You go out of one and you’re right into another one, and two of the three will have exits onto major highways. So there you are, spinning around and trying to figure out if you want to go on 59 north or south, or 14 east or west, or whatever. I’m sure locals get used to it, but if you’re just thrown into them, it’s scary. We have some roundabouts near us in northern Illinois, but there’s just one at a time.

  201. 201
    Mart says:

    As noted way back in comments, European re-insurers are freaked out about climate change. Swiss-Re, Munich-Re, and here in the states FM Global have all been scrambling to put together Global flood mapping. Get so many 1,000 year plus storms now, kind of breaking down the 100 and 500 year models. FM Global just started squaking about climate change. Hard to bring up in front of old white insurance buyers in the US who know it is a hoax from China.

    I was at the FM lab and they were shooting 2 x 4’s into windows and glass doors at 100 plus MPH to get their Approval for windstorm resistance. Was at a lab at NC and SC border where they have I don’t know – 300 large fans that produce 130 MPH winds that are aimed at model houses. They also model wildfires where high winds whip burning embers every which way. Construction methods that withstand the wind get their stamp of approval. Roof that withstand the burning embers get another stamp. We were already heading in this direction. Florida has mandatory roof uplift rating for new construction. Much of California requires seismic shut-off valves on gas lines. Going to be building brick shit-houses on top of 20 foot beams.

  202. 202
    raven says:

    @JMG:

    City inspectors, bill collectors,
    Evolution, revolution, gun control, the sound of soul,
    Shootin’ rockets to the moon, kids growin’ up too soon
    Politicians say more taxes will solve ev’rything, and the band played on.

  203. 203
    trollhattan says:

    @JMG:
    Jeez. (Did PG&E start providing gas service in Mass?)

    Yesterday’s Bakersfield spree killer had a .50 caliber pistol. Fifty. Caliber. Pistol. What the everlovin’….

  204. 204
    debbie says:

    @dnfree:

    No, this is Ohio. After almost a year, they put signs up pointing to the name of each street off each spoke. It’s still dizzying, but at least I don’t miss a turn anymore.

  205. 205
    debit says:

    @Elizabelle: I was in New York last month and could tell (most of the time) who was a native and who was a tourist just by general fitness levels. Even with really using the subway I walked a LOT. I did at least 12 miles every day and really enjoyed it, even when it was rainy and/or hot and humid, just because it was awesome to have everything you could possibly want in a one or two mile radius, no matter where you were.

  206. 206
    Tenar Arha says:

    @debit: That was incredibly worthwhile ~17 minutes! Thank you.

  207. 207
    debit says:

    @Tenar Arha: Yay! I’m so glad! It honestly makes me happy and I pull it up every couple of months just for the smile.

  208. 208
    Gravenstone says:

    @dnfree: I believe she’s in Ohio. But yes, WI has adopted them with a vengeance. I traverse several on my daily drive. I just wish people could 1) figure out the basic rule – traffic entering yields to traffic in, and 2) people exercised common sense in regard to them. I had someone try to exit one, through me unfortunately.

  209. 209

    @Martin:

    The homeowners objecting to the luxury homes aren’t objecting because its not affordable, they object because it will depress the value of their home, and they don’t want to live in affordable housing. It doesn’t matter what kind of housing you add, the value of the market will drop.

    I think you’re wrong about this. People try to figure out why home owners act the way they do in terms of home prices, and it never makes a lot of sense. If home owners were thinking primarily in terms of market values, they’d love to have their neighborhood of single family homes rezoned for luxury condos. After all, the land they’re on is much more valuable if you can build multiple dwellings on it instead of just one.

    No, most home owners thing about their homes as places to live first and foremost, and they want rules that help to preserve their quality of life. They don’t want their neighborhood of single family homes rezoned for condos because they’re worried about traffic, noise, and how a large increase in the local population is going to overwhelm the infrastructure. They object to neighbors building bigger houses, even if there aren’t going to be any more people living there, because they’re ugly and they’re worried about the new neighbors staring in through their windows.

  210. 210
    ruemara says:

    @trollhattan: There was a spree killer? Sheesh, so many we don’t even hear about it any more.

  211. 211
    Kifaru1 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Per some folks from FEMA at a training I attended for the new “V” Zones, has been trying to get Congress to change the rules so that after one total loss you can’t get insurance again….hasn’t been approved yet. The guy also relayed how he absolutely hated a Senator from NY for telling people not to worry about getting flood insurance on Staten Island a few months before Sandy hit.

  212. 212
    Fair Economist says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think you’re wrong about this. People try to figure out why home owners act the way they do in terms of home prices, and it never makes a lot of sense. If home owners were thinking primarily in terms of market values, they’d love to have their neighborhood of single family homes rezoned for luxury condos. After all, the land they’re on is much more valuable if you can build multiple dwellings on it instead of just one.

    It does make some sense if you think in terms of *house* prices, rather than *land* prices. Not many homeowners are planing to tear down their house to put up a 4-plex.

    Additionally, a lot of people don’t really understand what makes land value go up or down. Most people think tearing down old dilapidated buildings and replacing them with shiny new suburban development increases property values and are so flummoxed by the fact that it actually reduces them that they often get mad when confronted with the facts. In general people think wider streets, bigger lawns, etc. – all the trappings of suburbia – increase property value when it actually reduces it overall (individual houses may be worth more, but the neighborhood is worth less.).

  213. 213
    The Pale Scot says:

    @trollhattan:

    And a Desert Eagle that’s one great big ol’ pistol
    I mean .50 caliber made by bad ass Hebrews

    Choctaw Bingo

  214. 214
    Brachiator says:

    @Fair Economist: Lived in Europe. Loved having a car there.

  215. 215

    @Fair Economist:

    It does make some sense if you think in terms of *house* prices, rather than *land* prices. Not many homeowners are planing to tear down their house to put up a 4-plex.

    But you can’t realize the value of your home without selling it, and after you’ve sold it you can’t live there anymore. I understand that people like the idea of their house increasing in value, even if only so they know they won’t be screwed if they have to sell, but it’s just an estimate until you actually sell it. Yes, I realize you can borrow against the value of your home, but in that case you’re stuck paying back the loan, so the value of the house only matters to the extent it’s enough to cover the amount you want to borrow.

    Meanwhile, rising home values should hurt people by raising their property taxes. That’s one of the worst things about Prop 13, IMO; it decouples the good and bad sides of increases in property value. Home owners get all the benefits of their house value going up, but none of the downsides. If Californians’ property tax was tracking the nominal value of their house, we’d be screaming bloody murder every time there was a housing bubble. Instead, we sit back and laugh at how much our imaginary net worth is increasing while ignoring all the terrible side effects.

  216. 216
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @The Pale Scot: That was t the first thing I thought of too.

  217. 217
    tybee says:

    @Kifaru1: change the rules so that after one total loss you can’t get insurance again

    i live on a sandbar off an island off the coast of geogia and i think that’s the only way we can wean ourselves off of the federally subsidized insurance.

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