I just finished watching Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. I remember the first time I really heard of Bill Clinton. I was working, but in an uninspired way, for a different candidate, standing on a Massachusetts street corner holding that candidate’s sign, and the guy next to me was holding a Clinton sign. It was primary day in the Bay State. I was not getting too much into that election season’s work because I was just about to head out of the country for an extended period in a remote part of Africa where I would not likely hear much news. The guy holding the Clinton sign made a very good case for Bill being the man we should nominate, and the main reason was very simple: He, Clinton, was much, much smarter than all of the other candidates. I’m sure he was right. I turned the sign in early that day.
Tonight’s speech at the DNC demonstrated Clinton’s abilities, and it demonstrated a few other things as well, including the simple fact that Democrats are simply much better than Republicans. I respect the fact that if you are a life long Republican that it may be hard to leave your party and you have to kind of keep your head down until the culture of the GOP totally changes, but really, if you are in that position, you should seriously consider stepping away from that particular cookie jar. It is starting to get a little embarrassing. Well, it has been embarrassing for a long time and it is actually getting to be very embarrassing. Maybe I should have said something to you earlier.
There are so many words that can be used to replace “Republican” in the sentence “I am a Republican” that you would never want to use in reference to yourself or anyone you respect. So maybe you should just stop using that word, Republican, as well. At least, stop calling yourself that. And for goodness sake, stop voting that way too.
You may remember that several months ago, a Twin Cities fellow named Andrew Wagner went missing. I did not know Andrew, but we have a number of mutual friends. The circumstances of his disappearance indicated that he may have been intent on committing suicide, though this was not perfectly certain. He disappeared along with a very unique looking red Volvo, so it was thought that if enough people knew he was out there somewhere potentially with self-harm on his mind, and if people knew about his Volvo, it wouldn’t be that hard to find him. A search effort was launched by his friends. I’m not sure how much the “authorities” helped out with this (it seemed to me at the time like not much but I may have that wrong). Eventually the search wound down and stopped.
Yesterday, Andrew’s body was found, in the old Volvo, on the side of a remote logging road in St. Louis County, which is up in the “arrowhead” region in northeastern Minnesota where pretty much everything is remote. Authorities say they do not suspect foul play, so we may guess that Andrew did take his own life.
[Update Update: The probability of ex-Isaac becoming a tropical cyclone is now 50%, and the storm is looking pretty good.]
[Update: The probability of this low pressure system turing into a tropical storm has been increased to 40%. It is moving in the general direction of some relatively warm water.]
Hurricane Isaac was supposed to move, as a tropical storm then as an extratropical low, up the Mississippi, then east across the middle of the US. However, the low pressure system that was once Isaac has instead started to move back south again, and it is now a low pressure system of interest. When I checked last night, there was a very small chance of this low forming a tropical storm, but this morning the probability of this happening is set at 20% (which is a very rough guess). There is a large low pressure system to ex-Isaac’s east which is expected to dissipate the energy of the erstwhile hurricane. But, so far, much of what has been “expected” for this storm has not happened exactly as planned. It would be interesting, not unprecedented but a rare event, if ex-Isaac moved back over the Gulf of Mexico, gained strength and got organized into a tropical storm then a hurricane.
Here is a picture of ex-Isaac at the present time, from the NWS Hurricane Center:
In case you were thinking that this has to be some other weather system not related to Isaac, I went to the archives and pulled the GEOS East Satellite images, one per day since mid week, and made them into a moving GIF for you: