Crooked Media - What A Day: Hurricane and Abel

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Former Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) having fun on his book tour about the current unhinged state of the GOP

Extreme weather events are getting, well, pretty extreme.

  • Work crews began restoring electricity to Cuba early this morning after Hurricane Ian knocked out power across the entire island, affecting all 11 million residents. Brigades from the Electrical Union of Cuba worked through the night after the hurricane crossed western Cuba Tuesday before heading north toward Florida. At least two people on the island have died in the storm, and buildings and infrastructure in the western provinces suffered major damage. This is slightly off-topic and I know there’s a special process in place by which hurricane names are chosen, but folks we must do better than “Ian.”

  • The hurricane made landfall today in southwest Florida and is now one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in U.S. history. Streets are swamped with water, trees smashed, and it has not yet shown signs of letting up. Scarcely an hour after the storm made landfall, local sheriff’s departments reported calls of people trapped in their homes. The hurricane’s center struck near Cayo Costa, a protected barrier island just west of rather heavily-populated Fort Myers. About 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate southwest Florida before Ian hit, but by law no one could be forced to flee. 

  • As the hurricane first barreled towards Florida, it experienced a phenomenon known as rapid intensification — which is exactly what it sounds like — getting super strong, super fast after moving over very warm water. Experts at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration explain that climate change is a determining factor in hurricane intensification because warmer ocean water fuels stronger storms. Man, somebody’s gotta do something about this climate change thing, huh?

Manmade climate change has caused extreme weather events to increase in both frequency and severity, but notably, these devastating events have become heavily politicized as well.

  • Natural disasters tend to put all eyes on a state’s governor, and Hurricane Ian is no different. Proto-Trump Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has been on the ground and giving regular news conferences as the storm moves across his state with winds just shy of Category 5 strength. President Biden and DeSantis spoke for “some time” last night, putting politics aside to deal with the oncoming devastation, with the president offering the federal government’s aid “every step of the way,” despite some conservative news outlets falsely reporting that Biden “refuses” to speak to DeSantis. And look, it would be fun to root for DeSantis to fail in literally any other situation, as some prominent news outlets have, but viewing a disaster only through the prism of whether or not it will hurt your political enemies is beyond ghoulish. If DeSantis “fails” here, innocent people die, which is…a bad thing!

  • Climate change, among all the other havoc it continues to wreak on our world, is adversely affecting political discourse, as well. Using drought-and-wildfire-stricken California as an example, political divides in the state have become deeply entrenched, and climate change has fueled extremism. As the Los Angeles Times explained, “As climate change worsens, water gets more scarce and the land becomes hotter, drier and harder to live upon, this discontent could very well metastasize into violence. That’s especially true if California uses financial leverage to discourage rebuilding fire-destroyed towns and encourages rural denizens to move to more defensible places.” And the evidence isn’t just anecdotal or hypothetical: experts who track domestic unrest raise such concerns. 

As environmental conditions continue to deteriorate, Democrats and basically anyone who desires a habitable planet in the future need to find an effective rhetorical strategy to bring people to our side before it’s too late.

Gift cards are now available at Crooked Coffee! Whether you’re shopping for picky loved ones or need a last-minute gift, Crooked Coffee is exactly what they want. Pick a value - $10, $25, $50, or $100 - and we’ll let the recipient know coffee’s on you. Don’t worry — we won’t tell your dad you bought it seconds before you showed up to family dinner. Give the gift of less chaotic mornings.

A much-anticipated new book by New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman claims that during his presidency, disgraced former president Trump seriously considered bombing drug labs in Mexico to “stop the flow of ilicit substances” across the border. According to the book, Trump raised this “option” several times, eventually even asking then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper whether the United States could, practicially speaking, bomb the labs. I get it, man: you gotta check the logistics first. This drastic measure appears to have stemmed from Trump’s Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir regularly wearing his full military dress uniform in meetings with the president, which confused him. We’re not sure exactly what about that was confusing to Trump, but watching 8+ hours of cable news per day can really do a number on the ole’ noodle. Miss that guy!

Kyle Young, the January 6 insurrectionist who took part in assaulting D.C. police officer Michael Fanone (who was dragged, beaten and electrocuted until he suffered a heart attack and lost consciousness) was sentenced to 7 years in prison yesterday


Russia’s aviation industry is planning to move forward without Airbus and Boeing, whose planes will never be delivered, in favor of exclusively Russian engineering and manufacturing. 


The Solomon Islands said it would not endorse a joint declaration that the Biden administration plans to unveil, in a blow to American efforts to rally Pacific island leaders toward their goal. 


Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano is planning to address his struggling campaign by engaging in “40 days of fasting and prayer.” Yep, that’ll fix it!


The Bank of England has moved to quell a financial crisis, after the announcement of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s new budget caused the pound to crash.


Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen accused his recent match opponent, 19-year-old Hans Niemann of cheating. I didn’t know cheating in chess even existed, but okay, you sold me!


Disgraced former president Trump’s first campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has cut a deal with Las Vegas prosecutors after he was charged with misdemeanor battery. Lewandowski had been accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a woman during a charity dinner in September 2021. These guys won’t even take a night off sexual harassment in the name of charity!


A Florida county commissioner appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) abruptly resigned last week after pictures allegedly showed him wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. Sounds about right. 

President Biden mistakenly called out for Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) while introducing lawmakers who were present at an annual White House conference today, even though Walorski died tragically in a car accident last month. Too dark, Brandon!

European leaders today vowed a “robust” response to any attacks on their energy infrastructure following a series of breaches in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater pipelines that poured tons of natural gas into the Baltic Sea. Investigations into the simultaneous leaks in the pipelines are in their early stages, but most are firmly pointing to sabotage (of the Russian variety) as the cause for the blasts. Seismologists in Denmark and Sweden said the two blasts they detected did not appear to be earthquakes, landslides or other natural activity. It was readily evident that the blasts were deliberate, but it was not immediately clear how the European Union would respond. Spokesmen for the Kremlin denied Russian involvement, and were quick to accuse the United States government of being behind the blast, which was a talking point almost immediately parroted by Fox News’s resident white supremacist bowtie, Tucker Carlson. Convenient how that happens! Danish Climate Minister Dan Jorgensen told reporters that it might take at least a week to halt the flow of gas to the surface of the Baltic Sea.

Fight back against book bans.

This is important. Freedom of expression protects our right to read, learn and share ideas free from viewpoint-based censorship—but recent legislative efforts across the country threaten that right. 


Book bans in schools and public libraries—places that are central to our abilities to explore ideas, encounter new perspectives, and learn to think for ourselves—are unconstitutional—and we need your support to fight back. Sign up today if you’re with us.


The vast majority of book bans that are taking hold across the country—whether through legislative proposals or direct school district or board actions—specifically aim to remove books that are by and about communities of color, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized groups. 


These book ban efforts work to effectively erase the history and lived experiences of women, people of color and LGBTQ people and censor discussions around race, gender and sexuality that impact young people’s daily lives. It’s wrong and it’s unconstitutional.


We all have a right to read and learn free from viewpoint-based or partisan censorship. Sign up today to help us fight for our right to read and learn.


Thank you for taking action,

The ACLU Team

In an historic deal between affordable housing groups and labor unions, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) will sign two major bills today to convert underutilized and vacant commercial buildings into housing


California is looking into making girls’ flag football a sanctioned high school sport


A first-of-its-kind renewable energy plant combining wind, solar, and massive lithium batteries, will be constructed in a small Oregon town, and is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs to the area. 


The Library of Congress allowed rapper and classically-trained flautist Lizzo to play President James Madison’s circa-1813 crystal flute (which got a Capitol Police escort to the venue!) at her recent concert in DC. A victory for all of us who played flute in our school band.

A new Alzheimer’s treatment is showing promising results, reducing patient decline by 27 percent when compared with placebo in a clinical trial.

. . . . . .

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