Sandy: a potential billion-dollar storm for the mid-Atlantic and New England

Keep an eye on this, kids:

On Friday, a very complicated meteorological situation unfolds, as Sandy interacts with a trough of low pressure approaching the U.S. East Coast and trough of low pressure over the Central Atlantic. The Central Atlantic trough may be strong enough to pull Sandy northeastwards, out to sea, as predicted by the official NHC forecast, and the 06Z GFS, 00Z UKMET, 00Z Canadian, and 06Z HWRF models (00Z is 8 pm EDT, and 06Z is 2 am EDT.) However, an alternative solution, shown by the 00Z ECMWF, 06Z GFDL, and 06Z NOGAPS models, is for Sandy to get caught up by the trough approaching the Eastern U.S., which will inject a large amount of energy into Sandy, converting it to a powerful subtropical storm that hits the mid-Atlantic or New England early next week with a central pressure below 960 mb and sustained winds of 60 – 70 mph. Such a storm would likely cause massive power outages and over a billion dollars in damage, as trees still in leaf take out power grids, and heavy rains and coastal storm surges create damaging flooding. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical tides will be at their peak for the month, increasing potential storm surge flooding. A similar meteorological situation occurred in October 1991, when Hurricane Grace became absorbed by a Nor’easter, becoming the so-called “Perfect Storm” that killed 13 people and did over $200 million in damage in the Northeast U.S.

Survival of the Netroots

So I was interviewed for this Daily Beast article that appeared today, and I think the author missed a few things. One is, as Jane Hamsher points out, we lost revenue over Google ad practices. (Not to mention the Obama campaign’s refusal to buy ads directly from blogs. Guess they showed us, huh?)

But I liked Pam Spaulding’s take best. Like me, Pam is just trying to stay afloat with her health problems:

What Freedlander didn’t mention is the decline and fall of newspapers and other traditional media over the same time period. Just this week Newsweek (part of the Daily Beast network…hmmm.) announced it’s going digital only. That’s a huge if not unexpected shift — it’s another bookmark on the media timeline. Publishers have been rocked by the success of e-books; Amazon sells more books for its Kindle than hard copies. The landscape is shifting for everyone. Is it good or bad, or just “change.” It’s obviously causing pain, as the scramble to adapt means jobs lost and people who need to re-tool themselves for jobs that require a different skill set. What’s happening to independent blogs is not occurring in a vacuum.

A logical question, going back to blogs, is does activism of the kind that flourished in the Netroots back in the day suffer? Yep. But things have morphed. The bottom line is people love free content, and at least in my case I don’t have the time to “sell” what I do; I barely have time to do it. The fact that the advertising world on blogs is dominated by Google makes it easier for those wishing to advertise to do so “economically” and more easily in their minds — at the expense of those independent blogs and their networks. So essentially there’s little incentive to do long-form writing except for personal reasons when I want to do it. And so I’m in full circle — back to why I did it in 2004, when no one was reading PHB and I had few ads. And that has to be OK? Who knows.

It’s not that independent political blogging is toast — after all the longevity of a blog post in the historical record far outweighs a short message on social media. A blog essay has more lasting influence; the problem is independent blogs don’t have sufficient value in today’s commercial space to sustain their existence — save for the lucky few people who have been able to monetize (or fundraise) for theirs to continue to exist.

Off the record

Obama talks about the Grand Bargain, and the campaign permits it to be published after the newspaper pitched a fit. Via Digby:

It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs.

And we can easily meet — “easily” is the wrong word — we can credibly meet the target that the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and even more in the out-years, and we can stabilize our deficit-to-GDP ratio in a way that is really going to be a good foundation for long-term growth.
 Now, once we get that done, that takes a huge piece of business off the table.

[…] Now we’re in a position where we can start on some things that really historically have not been ideological. We can start looking at a serious corporate tax reform agenda that’s revenue-neutral but lowers rates and broadens the base — something that both Republicans and Democrats have expressed an interest in.

As Digby points out, this is the bargain Obama offered the Republicans the last time:

T]he major elements of a bargain seemed to be falling into place: $1.2 trillion in agency cuts, smaller cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients, nearly $250 billion in Medicare savings achieved in part by raising the eligibility age. And $800 billion in new taxes.

I don’t know about you, but this is only a “bargain” to millionaire politicians. I’m not interested in sacrificing myself on the altar to the deficit gods. Nope. Particularly when cutting government services during a recession is a surefire way to stall a recovery, just like 1937 when FDR gave into the Republicans on deficit reduction.

Those who do not learn from history, etc.

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