Friday Morning Open Thread: We Do What We Must

Holding good thoughts for those still in Dorian’s shadow! Per the Washington Post:

Hurricane Dorian spawned damaging tornadoes and flooded low-lying communities in the Carolinas on Thursday, in what officials hope will be the closing chapter of a storm that devastated the Bahamas and has panicked East Coast residents for the past 10 days.

The center of the storm, which weakened to a Category 2 on Thursday, crept northward just offshore for most of the day, sticking largely to its forecast track, as it delivered heavy rain and hurricane-force wind gusts to Charleston and Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Ocean water poured over sand dunes in some communities, but officials cautioned it could take until Friday to assess the damage.

As it whipped up the coast, Dorian’s final blow was still aimed at North Carolina, and forecasters warned it could make landfall Friday near the Outer Banks. The trajectory was expected to produce what the National Hurricane Center called life-threatening storm surge in the Outer Banks, where four to seven feet of water could wash across the barrier island from two directions…

Even as officials warily eyed the possible effects of Dorian in the United States, federal officials announced Thursday that they are marshaling additional resources for the Bahamas, where the death toll continues to climb. The U.S. Agency for International Development announced it will send “shelter materials” for 35,000 people there…

Regarding a certain metaphorical disaster, this actually is the most plausible explanation I’ve seen so far…


(Mike Luckovich via

Open Thread: The Toddler-in-Chief Will *Never* Stop Talking About Alabama

If proof were needed that the conspiracy theories about HAARP are complete bullshite, the fact that Trump hasn’t busted out the weather-altering technology to force Dorian to threaten Alabama would be it. At least it’s great fodder for comic geniuses like David Roth:

It can be difficult to remember given that he routinely appears on television with toilet paper on the soles of both his shoes and at least one of his hands stuck in a big jug of peanut butter, but Donald Trump’s opening position in all things is that he has never been wrong. He has been wronged, and is in fact wronged constantly—by terrible nasty TV actresses and fake cable news anchors and the other antagonists he’s collected over a lifetime of nonstop blowsy public feuding. But that is just the price he pays for always being right and never being afraid to speak out on whatever he has just seen on television. He carries that weight lightly, give or take the fact that he whines about it constantly. There is an entire cable television network devoted to telling this story over and over again, and every day Trump parks his ass in front of it and watches embalmed-looking septuagenarian newsreader types talk about how correct he is and heatedly demand apologies on his behalf, for hours on end. It’s the treatment that he has always believed he deserves…

The issue here is not that Trump doesn’t believe in things like truth and untruth; he absolutely believes that some things are true and other things are false, but what makes them true or false to him is grounded entirely in how he feels about them. Once a belief is lodged in the sodden Nerf of his brain it becomes true to him, and remains that way forever. These things tend, if anything, to become more true over time, or at least become larger. There is probably some latent impulse from his days as a real estate huckster that powers this—in the same way that he once added floors to the oafish towers he developed, he now adds years or billions to the oafish tales he tells from the front of his trade war with China. It also cannot be ruled out that the guy just likes saying large numbers. When Trump authors one of his really avant-garde falsehoods, it’s this impulse that’s generally behind it. He just likes things to be big, if possible “much bigger many say than anything that we’ve ever seen” but always and everywhere as big as he can get away with making them.

And then, eventually, even bigger than that. This was a problem last week, when Trump took one of his favorite parts of the presidency—the constitutionally enumerated power to tell everyone about the weather, and how large it looks like it might be—too far. Hurricane Dorian, which is indeed big and terrible, was moving towards the southeastern United States at the time, and the forecast called for moderate-to-large amounts of destruction in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Trump evidently found this insufficient…

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Tis the Season

On the one hand, yeah, I’m sorry to be so repetitive. On the other hand… Stay safe, y’all…

Small good thing: Chella Phillips and her 97 ‘Voiceless Dog’ refugees came through battered but (relatively) safe, per the Washington Post:

Dorian lingered in the Bahamas for much of the weekend. Phillips told news outlet WFTS on Monday that she lost power and water came into her home at one point, but that all inhabitants — human and canine — were doing okay.

She posted another update to Facebook a few hours later, noting she and her brother had passed “a stressful night” trying to combat serious flooding. All her TVs were “fried” from the lightning, Phillips wrote, which meant “no more cartoons for the sick dogs.”
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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Hurricane Dorian

Stay safe, everyone in Dorian’s path — hope those of you who’ve had to, or will have to, evacuate are able to check in when you get the chance.

For those of us watching and worrying from a distance:

And, because this is Balloon Juice…

She continued: “We may not get hit as hard as other islands and the saddest part is that after the hurricane leave the Bahamas, some islands will take a long time to recover…Each island has [an] abundance of homeless dogs, my heart is so broken for the ones without a place to hide.”

Phillips told ABC News she has spent 15 years rescuing homeless dogs and finding them homes in the United States. Her story has been widely circulated online, prompting an outpouring of support and financial donations to support her rescue efforts…

Monday Evening Open Thread: Floriduh Man (Dorian Edition)