Sunday, August 29, 2021

POTUS's Trifecta


Often, I try to post stories that are somewhat timeless.  Over the last 17 years, we post stories about Climate Change and advanced technology, about our move towards fascism in our politics, about the importance of respect, and the need for humanity to evolve on the planetary level.  But this Sunday is a trifecta of time and events.

It's the 29th of August and Hurricane Ida has come ashore as a class 4 hurricane with 150 MPH winds and gusts to 185.  Its eye is not quite to Houma, Louisiana, a town just west of New Orleans.  Landing at Port Forchon, it is going right through the oil and gas refining and shipping infrastructure of the region. Already, a half a million are without electricity and its just getting started. And four hours after landfall, it is still a class 4 storm that is traveling slowly.  This is a recipe for calamity.

Today is the 16th anniversary of Katrina.  Moreover, Ida is the second class 4 hurricane to hit Louisiana in less than a year.

Meanwhile, almost all the hospitals are packed with over 3,000 Covid 19 patients with 500 patients on ventilators.  With a 40% vaccination rate, Louisiana is 46th in vaccinations,  above Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, Idaho, and West Virginia. Because of the politicalization of the pandemic started by the previous administration and exacerbated by the current R establishment, the states that voted for the Rs are the states with the most deaths from Covid.

Earlier today, the POTUS and his defense team formally honored the 13 soldiers that we lost last Thursday at the airport in Kabul as a result of a 25 pound bomb attached to a Sunni Isis suicide bomber. Almost 200 locals were killed as they fought to find an exit from the 2 week old fledgling Taliban government. Over the last 2 weeks, over 5,000 troops at the the facility have managed  to oversee the departure of over 120,000 Americans, coalition partners, and Afghanis.

As the 20 year war comes to a blistering stop as President Ghani unexpectedly leaves with his millions, the corruption ends and the religious rule of the Taliban begins. Somehow caught with their pants down, the administration is left with control of the Harmid Karzai International Airport and nothing else except for  the sky. The outside perimeter is controlled by our state department declared terrorist Taliban who have publicly stated that they intend to be less ridiculous in their treatment of women and those who worked in the previous government.  

We have promised to get all the Americans out that want to leave and to get as many Afghans out as we can before our drop dead date on the 31st. It makes my stomach turn to think that Biden's term is now in the hands of the Taliban. And it is a testament to the power of the crazy behavior of his predecessor.

It's hard for a president to survive humiliation, ask Jimmy Carter. Americans like kicking ass, but we viscerally detest getting ours in a crack. Ask Gerald Ford.  And we don't like it when a hurricane almost destroys a historic city and the response is slow and incompetent. And we don't like liars who don't talk to us straight about a dangerous virus. Don't ask, he's really not with us.

Oh and what else?

How about the IPCC report on Climate Change:

It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred.

The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years.

Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

Many changes in the climate system become larger in direct relation to increasing global warming. They include increases in the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, and heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions, and proportion of intense tropical cyclones,as well as reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow cover and permafrost.

Sure you say that the R's will just continue their efforts to minimize climate change, their foreign policy mistakes, and their irresponsible response to Covid.

But I think there is a chance that the R's might fall short in their efforts to blame the War they started and abruptly stopped on the current administration.  They may find that their attempt to confuse their own followers with silly yet dangerous cures even as they refuse to take the actual  cure will backfire and erode their barely existent credibility.  They may find that this hurricane along with all the other signs of climate disruption evident in the fires in the northwest and the life threatening lack of water in the southwest will awaken some to the true enemy of our time and the coming generations.

If the POTUS can focus all of this into the infrastructure bills that are in the House and the Senate with their powerful approaches to the challenges before us and move with honesty and resolve, he might be able to arise from this moment. But we must protect the troops from the sky so they come home, we must rush supplies and help the storm victims, and vaccinations should be required to go anywhere.

A Trifecta is a bet placed on a horse race in which the bettor must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third in the exact order.

It's an unusual bet unless you really know the horses.

And you still need to get a little lucky.

Let's hope the POTUS does. 

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Painting Courtesy of Karen Dupre

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