Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Storms of my Grandchildren

Weatherunderground's Jeff Masters has a nice review today of climatologist James Hansen's new book, "Storms Of My Grandchildren" HERE.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Palin, Tea-Partiers To Exempt Pentagon Fraud, Waste and Abuse?

According to today's WSJ, Queen Sarah Palin and her Tea-Bagging allies are under pressure to exempt defense spending from their attacks on the federal government's spending ways.

If they do so, they won't be Tea Partiers. Instead, they'll be Republicans, who traditionally have turned a blind eye to defense spending.

What, you don't think the Pentagon, which spends about a quarter of the U.S. budget, is subject to fraud, waste and abuse? You don't think defense spending contains pork? You don't think there's purely politically motivated spending going on there? You don't think there are corporations making a mint off Pentagon projects?

Think again!!

It's Official: We're In A Drought

Although the big weather focus of late has been on the HEAT, it's also been quite dry.

So dry, in fact, that much of Northern Virginia has now been officially classified into a drought by the denizens of the US Drought Monitor.

Doesn't look like there's much in the way of drought relief on the horizon either. After a fall and winter punctuated by serial coastal storms driven by El Nino conditions, it's now been several months since we've had any true rainy couple of days. We'll get some thunderstorms, but they provide spotty coverage, and the water runs off quickly. Ok for streams, but not great for plants.

Just a couple years ago, many parts of the Southeast endured lengthy severe drought conditions. We fear we're headed back that way. By fall, we may be hoping for the drought-busting remnants of a tropical storm or hurricane to head our way!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Committee For A Worse Arlington

Actions speak louder than words.

The so-called "Committee For A Better Arlington" is pushing for a change in the structure of Arlington's County government. We've already explained why the change is unnecessary and would only make things worse.

The Committee's actions, however, bespeak much. To get a referendum on the issue on the November ballot, the Committee needs to submit just over 14,000 petition signatures by July 14. Arlington election officials would then have to scramble to verify the signatures.

Nothing prevents proponents of the referendum from submitting petitions on a rolling basis. So far, however, they haven't presented a single signature, so officials are waiting, bracing to be dumped on at the last second. Of course, that will require bringing in extra personnel. It will cost taxpayers more, and potentially interfere with other work.

Is this really the type of people you want pushing for a "better" government?

Their approach to the petitions is simply further evidence that this is a small group promoting their own very selfish interests--not those of Arlington's general public.

[We think the Committee is delaying the petitions as part of a deliberate strategy. If election officials can't verify the petitions in time, the measure will have to be decided in a special election, rather than in November. Proponents may figure that the small turnout in a special election favors them. Of course, a special election will mean even MORE taxpayer dollars for this ridiculous measure.]