Another storm

But probably not a big one, and probably it will stay out to sea:

The Atlantic is quiet, with no threat areas to discuss. An area of low pressure is predicted to develop just north of Bermuda on Wednesday, and the GFS model predicts that this low could become a subtropical cyclone as moves north-northeastwards out to sea late in the week.


The long-range models are in increasing agreement that a Nor’easter will develop near the North Carolina coast on Sunday, then move north to northeastwards early next week. High winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding could affect the mid-Atlantic coast and New England coasts next Monday and Tuesday due to this storm, but it appears likely that the Nor’easter will stay farther out to sea than the last Nor’easter and have less of an impact on the region devastated by Sandy. Ocean temperatures off the coast of North Carolina were cooled by about 4°F (2.2°C) due to the churning action of Hurricane Sandy’s winds, but are still warm enough at 22 – 24°C to potentially allow the Nor’easter to acquire some subtropical characteristics. I doubt the storm would be able to become a named subtropical storm, but it could have an unusual amount of heavy rain if it does become partially tropical. The Nor’easter is still a long ways in the future, and there is still a lot of uncertainty on where the storm might go.

Queen Rush

I caught a reference to this little Limbaugh riff on the teevee yesterday (no, I’m not linking to his site):

RUSH: Do you remember that piece by Angelo Codevilla that came out in summer 2010 in the American Spectator called “The Ruling Class”? We spent a lot of time here analyzing it and talking about it. That’s what we face today. And our guys in the upper echelon of the Republican Party want to fashion themselves as members of the ruling class.


We, the country class, are not in the ruling class. We’re the problem. A couple of sound bites, then I’ll illustrate. Let’s just pick a couple at random, but grab number one. Meet the Press during the roundtable. The guest is Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who authored the John McCain defeat against Barack Obama in 2008. Steve Schmidt, the consultant who came up with the plan that secured defeat in the presidential election, has the answer.

And I couldn’t help but think of one of his past homes, the one that tried for that “ruling class” Versailles feel:

Limbaugh’s Fifth Avenue condominium is 4,661 square feet, with 4 bedrooms, and 5.5 bathrooms. The apartment has 10 rooms in all, with direct elevator entry and spacious living room with fireplace, and huge windows on three sides with views of Central Park opening to a terrace, with similar views and terrace from the formal dining room. The condo has a wood paneled library/den, and a media room with terrace. The East side of the condo has three bedrooms with en suite. The master suite has a private foyer flanked by separate en suites and dressing rooms.

I wonder if, like Marie Antoinette, he has a sweet little home in the woods where he goes to get away from the pressures of his life. Heavy lies the head that wears the crown!

Rush’s royal bedroom, with hand-painted murals and gold leaf accents

A modest affair. I’m surprised the table doesn’t seat more, but maybe he doesn’t have many friends.

Doesn’t look like a very comfy couch for an everyday guy like Rusty. Maybe the recliner’s in the corner.

The royal throne is hidden from view.

Jamie gets no respect

Mark Gongloff, who writes about the financial markets for Huffington Post, caught this whiny exchange between poor oppressed Jamie Dimon and hard-hitting, ass-kissing talking head Maria Bartiromo on CNBC. It’s even more bewildering when you think how frequently the Obama administration has bent over for the bankers, but for some people, nothing is enough:

Dimon on Friday afternoon did his whining on CNBC, which has become a sort of Dr. Phil for aggrieved CEOs in the wake of the national catastrophe that is Obama’s reelection, according to CNBC. Dimon played some slow-pitch softball with America’s greatest journalist, Maria Bartiromo, who threw several fat pitches down the pike.


But the juiciest of all was when she asked him, for journalism, why Obama has such an “antagonistic relationship with business” and when we can expect our civilization to collapse because of it. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it.


Dimon had, up to that point, been on his very best behavior in the interview, shrugging off her questions about bank regulations by saying JPMorgan would be just fine with any regulations, what are you gonna do, it is what it is.


But when he saw this one juicy pitch from Bartiromo, he could not resist. He reached deep into his temperature-controlled whine cellar and broke out one of his classic whines: A lovely bottle of “Nice Economy, Shame If Something Should Happen To It.” In the spirit of post-election bipartisanship, he watered it down a little bit, but it was still classic Dimon.


“This is the greatest economic engine ever built,” Dimon began, speaking of America, poor put-upon America, saddled with a president like Obama. “It’s growing slowly, waiting to be ignited.


“I have tremendous respect for President Obama,” he continued, in the manner of mob bosses throughout the tri-state area, who begin every disrespectful statement by saying “All due respect.”


“I just think that business and government collaboration has a much better chance of igniting that engine than this antagonist behavior,” he finished.The subtext, as always: Nice economy you’ve got there, shame if something should happen to it.


As always, it is hard to know exactly what sort of “antagonist behavior” Dimon and Bartiromo are whining about. True, there was that one time Obama referred to “fat cat” bankers, which still keeps bankers up at night sobbing tears into their pillows full of money.

What happens next?

I suppose it all depends on what you mean by wealthy. Still, sounds like Obama is maybe semi-solid on ending those upper-class tax cuts — he’s just going to screw us on everything else:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama promised liberal groups on Tuesday that the Bush tax cuts will end for the nation’s wealthiest, according to a statement from the progressive group MoveOn.


“MoveOn’s 7 million members will be pleased to know that President Obama today strongly reiterated his steadfast commitment to ensuring that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent finally end December 31—and to protecting the middle class in the process,” said the group’s political action executive director Justin Ruben after meeting with Obama at the White House.


In his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rejected the GOP’s approach to raise revenues by cutting loopholes and deductions from the tax code, saying raising taxes on the rich was non-negotiable for Obama.


But Carney did not say whether Obama would stand by his “wealthy” cutoff line at $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for families — a response to disagreement among Democrats over where to raise taxes and where to keep the rates the same or lower. Sen. Chuck Schumer has proposed raising the threshold to $500,000 or even $1 million.

The president “is not wedded to every detail of that plan,” Carney said, when asked about the income levels. “I’m not going to negotiate hypothetical details.”

No one’s really saying much about Medicare and Social Security, but I got emails late yesterday afternoon from several of the organizations whose representatives attended the meeting, asking people to get ready for a fight:

Labor and progressive leaders who met with President Obama Tuesday drew a line in the sand on taxes, unemployment insurance, and entitlements—all of which are subject to change under the looming fiscal cliff deadline.


The meeting was the first of three the president will hold on the topic this week. He will meet with business leaders Wednesday and Congressional leaders Friday.


Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO said the meeting was “very positive,” and that the president reiterated his position on preserving tax breaks for the middle class and seeing that the wealthy pay more.


One point of conflict between labor leaders and the White House may arise if the president offers to raise the eligibility age for Medicare as leverage to reach a deal. Trumka made no indication that the two sides made any progress on negotiating the issue during their one-hour meeting.


“I’ve always had this notion that unless we can negotiate, and you have the power to settle it with me, there’s no negotiation,” Trumka said. “We were pretty clear of our position on ages and benefit cuts.”

Matt Bai says it’s too late:

Liberal activists will tell the president that things are very different now. He’s won a mandate, they will say, and that means he doesn’t need to compromise.


But while Mr. Obama can probably claim some vindication on the need to make the tax code more equitable, it would be a stretch to say that the voters demanded that he hold the line against entitlement cuts as part of a broader deal. The possible terms of a grand bargain hardly ever came up during the campaign, because neither side wanted to talk about it.


Mr. Obama may have more leverage now than he did in 2011 to put a hard limit on the scale of entitlement cuts, but it’s unthinkable that he could reach a comprehensive deal — something he still badly wants to do — without at least accepting the terms he found acceptable the first time around. That’s how negotiations work.


So while it may be good strategy for progressive groups to pressure the White House on entitlement spending, no one should harbor the illusion that the president won’t sign off on reductions. The simple fact is, he already has.

Flood insurance

Lots of things go into making the program inadequate. One of those things is that the premiums are based on flood maps that haven’t been updated in decades. I saw this as a reporter. The state leg required updated stormwater reports for each watershed (passed the law in 1987), but counties refused to update them because the developers didn’t want them to do it. And so on.

This is an opportunity to update the program, and I hope the feds don’t fall apart under the weight of the politics. If anything, these storms are going to get worse, and we need to start moving people out of harm’s way.

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