Saturday Evening Horrorshow Open Thread: SKITTLES?!?


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If this turns out to be some Repub’s idea of a funny joke — and we’ll know if it was, because the bastids won’t be able to keep from bragging about it — then I vote we bring back that neglected correctional tool, the pillory.
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Apart from praying for a targeted meteor strike, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Thoughts & Prayers?


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The news stays this bad, people are gonna revive the old superstition about the health of a nation depending on the health of its king. Given the season, Trump’s handlers should probably be suspicious of any invitations for him to visit an oak grove, Bohemian or not…


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Apart from doing what we can to help those most in need, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Hurricane Maria’s Aftermath: The Leaks Become A Flood

Trump’s Oval Office Occupation has shattered so many norms, it’s impossible to assess what “bad news” might be for him. But this is an ongoing tragedy in real time — not just in Puerto Rico, either…



Puerto Rico: Hard Blows / Blowhards


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Irmageddon

Weak spelling skills, strong feelings about the storm.

As many of y’all already know from updates Adam was kind enough to post or my intermittent comments on Twitter, my family, pets and I successfully weathered the storm. There are many tales of heartbreak, loss, destruction and tragedy associated with Hurricane Irma. Ours is a tale of mild bad luck, poor planning and personal inconvenience, which makes us fortunate indeed. Details below the fold… Read more



Late Night Open Thread: Florida Men (& Ammosexuals in General)

The guy responsible for the original Facebook post says it was always meant as a joke…

A Florida man says his Facebook event inviting people to shoot at Hurricane Irma was a joke that got out of hand, saying Sunday that he never expected anyone to take his suggestion seriously.

More than 50,000 people had signed up by Sunday after 22-year Ryon Edwards of Daytona Beach posted the invitation with the note, ‘‘YO SO THIS GOOFY LOOKING WINDY HEADASS NAMED IRMA SAID THEY PULLING UP ON US, LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST.’’

Edwards told The Associated Press on Sunday in a Facebook message it ‘‘seems the joke may have gone over many people’s heads. I’ve got people in my inbox mad as hell because they think this is actually happening. I don’t know whether to laugh or sigh.’’

Most, but not all, Facebook responders seemed to understand that Edwards was not serious, posting photos and comments making fun of Florida stereotypes, including pot-bellied men dressed only in their underwear holding handguns and rifles…

… but here in America, guns have assumed the role that Korans hold in the more orthodox Muslim nations. Invoking the sacred totem attracts an angry mob of ill-educated worshippers ready to start a fight, over anything or nothing. And a Koran, at least, isn’t intended to be a weapon.



Open Thread: Waiting-for-Irma Reading

Jeb Lund, at Esquire:

The worst part of most hurricanes is the existential doom, knowing that your fate has been decided but waiting days to find out what it is, like a production of Waiting for Godot that lasts for a week and stands at least a slight chance of killing you…

Of course, you could skip all this and leave; you should leave. We can’t. My wife is trained in hazard mitigation and floodplain management and is one of the thousands of civil servants around the state who will help to put it back together. It’s a refreshing break from spending 364 days a year being called a government parasite…

Things are already quieter than normal. You can hear all the people who aren’t here. Costco was hushed. Nobody freaked out; nobody swore; nobody was rude. Several people looked antsy, like maybe they knew they were trapped, but most people feel that way now, to some degree. (Later, the people in the long propane line at Ace Hardware were basically a cooler full of Bud Light away from being a tailgate, but a few of them seemed like they’d figure out how to do that on Sunday regardless.)…

By the end of Saturday, it will be time to begin lying heavily to my son, who is almost three. To be fair, I’ve been lying to him since he was an infant because it’s funny, but he watches the Weather Channel and says, “It’s gonna rain,” in his toddler voice, and I tell him, “That’s ok, because mama and I are going to be here to keep you safe,” which isn’t true.

What I can’t tell him is that his parents can prepare to the very best of their ability—that they have good shutters and a new house built to high safety standards outside of the floodplain—but that if a hurricane decides to kill him, however low the odds, it will. Even a lowly Category 1 storm capriciously spins off little tornadoes that can descend on a random house and tear a family to bits. …

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Poynter reprinted Miami Herald reporter Martin Merzer’s “‘Bring pencils’ and 49 other things hurricane pros know”:

— The main thing is, don’t get overly stressed. You have to really work at it to get hurt by a hurricane these days.

— So, above all, remember the first commandment of hurricane coverage: Be careful during and after the storm. Don’t take unnecessary chances. Don’t get hurt. Rewrite gets real annoyed when your screams of pain and other ambient noise from the emergency room inhibit transcription of your dictated notes…

— Go early. Nag your supervisor until he or she sends you early. Early is good — you get a feel for the scene and you make friends before the other reporters ruin everything. Also, online needs fodder early, late, always…

— Plug in and charge everything you have — laptop, cellphone, sat phone, everything — and keep them charged.

— Carry cash, a lot of it. When electricity fails, credit cards become nothing much more than toothpicks.

— Bring stable rations and plenty of water. Raisins, crackers, cereal bars, etc. Lots and lots of them, and some sports drinks and lots of small bottles of water — a case or more. You’ll need enough for yourself, and they work as friend makers/quote generators if you pass them out to emergency workers and storm victims…

— Don’t stand in standing water. Let the other idiots get electrocuted — we don’t need them anyway. You, we can’t replace because we’re in a hiring freeze. Also, if you die, we need to fill out a lot of messy paperwork.

— Don’t stand outside or drive around during the storm. What’s the point? Most of you aren’t filming anything, and you could get killed and, you know, that hiring freeze again. Just look out the window and tell us what you see and hear and feel…

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Florida native Jennine Capó Crucet, in the NYTimes“Miami Always Thinks the Storm Will Turn”:

We are raised not to take them seriously.

It will turn at the last minute, there’s no reason to cancel school, this is just a way for supermarkets to make money: all things I’ve heard, and even said, growing up in Miami.

We wait to put on the shutters until the last minute because it is a pain to take them off later, after the storm makes that last-minute turn. We don’t take them off, not all of them, and that one room in the house is dark for weeks, maybe months. We watch as the storm devastates the countries our families are from and maybe still live in, only to have ourselves — with all our unused resources — spared.

On Wednesday, I read a tweet from a scientist with the National Hurricane Center saying that Hurricane Irma’s size and strength left him at “a complete and utter loss for words.”

I lose my Miami-born-and-bred resolve and send frantic texts to my sister saying she should get out. She assures me that they are prepared, she just needs to pick up steak and baby yogurt for her 10-month-old.

Last year, I missed her baby shower when the threat of a hurricane canceled my connecting flight into Miami. My family thought I should’ve gone for it, that the worst-case scenario was that I’d have to turn back in Atlanta. No, I said, the worst-case scenario is that I get stuck in Miami as a hurricane hits and I can’t get back to Nebraska, where I now live.

This scenario didn’t register for them as a possibility. They said, It’s going to turn just as it always does. In that case, they were right. They’re still angry I missed the baby shower, that I didn’t make the airline fly me toward the storm…