The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Lunchtime links

It's not all about PETUS today:

  • Via AVWeb, the FAA has issued an airworthiness directive requiring owners of Boeing 787-8 airplanes to reboot them at least every 21 days. I am not making this up.
  • Trump, never a fan of intelligence of any kind, is sticking his fingers in his ears about Russian hacking of our election. Jeet Heer warns that this yet another way Trump is very dangerous. Plus, he's lying about the CIA's role in the Iraq WMD fiasco. It wasn't the CIA who lied; it was the Administration.
  • By the way, Trump has the lowest approval ratings of any incoming president since 1988 (and probably since 1974).
  • Oh, and we got about 200 mm of snow over the weekend. Parker's going to need a new pair of pairs of shoes.

Winter is here.

Longing for the halcyon days of James Watt

Trump has outdone himself with this doozy of a cabinet nomination:

Donald Trump intends to select Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, a senior transition official confirmed to NBC News Wednesday — the clearest sign yet the president-elect will pursue an agenda that could undo President Obama's climate change legacy.

An ally to the fossil fuel industry, Pruitt has aggressively fought against environmental regulations, becoming one of a number of attorneys general to craft a 28-state lawsuit against the Obama administration's rules to curb carbon emissions. The case is currently awaiting a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which heard oral arguments in September.

Pruitt, who questions the impact of climate change, along with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, penned an op-ed in the Tulsa World earlier this year that called criticism they've received "un-American."

Meanwhile, Josh Marshall raises the alarm that having four (or five) recently-retired generals in top national security positions is not normal, for very good reasons. He concludes, "as a pattern, a government dominated by recently retired generals is a very negative development. Even if the nominees in question are not part of his thinking, there's little doubt that Trump's decision to nominate so many generals is rooted in a mix of his own lack of military service and his instinctive inability to think of relations between people or nations as anything but ones of domination."

It just keeps looking more and more like 1933.

The constant drumbeat of stupidity and cupidity

Tales in the war against reality waged by Trump and his party:

And yet, James Fallows sees cause for optimism (assuming Trump doesn't blow up the world):

In [the election's] calamitous effects—for climate change, in what might happen in a nuclear standoff, for race relations—this could indeed be as consequential a “change” election as the United States has had since 1860. But nothing about the voting patterns suggests that much of the population intended upheaval on this scale. “Change” elections drive waves of incumbents from office. This time only two senators, both Republicans, lost their seats.

[C]ity by city, and at the level of politics where people’s judgments are based on direct observation rather than media-fueled fear, Americans still trust democratic processes and observe long-respected norms. As I argued in a cover story last year, most American communities still manage to compromise, invest and innovate, make long-term plans.

Given the atrophy of old-line media with their quaint regard for truth, the addictive strength of social media and their unprecedented capacity to spread lies, and the cynicism of modern politics, will we ever be able to accurately match image with reality? The answer to that question will determine the answer to another: whether this election will be a dire but survivable challenge to American institutions or an irreversible step toward something else.

Only 698 days until the 2018 election...

Second-warmest autumn in Illinois history

The Illinois State Climatologist reports on the autumn season, which for meteorologists ended Wednesday:

This was the 5th warmest November on record for Illinois, based on preliminary data. The statewide average temperature was 8.6°C, and 2.7°C above normal.

It was also the 2nd warmest fall on record for Illinois. The statewide average temperature for fall was 15.2°C, 2.8°C above normal. Only the fall of 1931 was warmer at 15.4°C The climatological fall months are September, October, and November.

It was an absolutely beautiful season here. That's one of the benefits to Chicago of anthropomorphic climate change.

Sunny days

Despite everything awful happening around the country, here in Chicago we've had unusually gorgeous weather. We've had 81% of possible sunshine this month, well above the normal 43%. And we've also had near-record heat, with today predicted to be 22°C, a whopping 14°C above normal.

Of course, tomorrow a cold front will come through to give us our first freeze since April, but hey, it's November.

How's the weather where you are?

The Weather Channel has the forecasts for battleground states in one convenient location:

Today is Election Day, and you may be wondering, not only what conditions will be like as you head out to the polls, but also whether the weather may factor in the battle for control of Senate, not to mention the presidency.

A 2012 poll commissioned by The Weather Company found weather can have a game-changing effect on turnout in a close election, with party affiliation and demographics key factors.

Possibly Wet

  • Michigan: Some rain showers will move through the state from west to east along a cold front during the day, but widespread heavy downpours are not anticipated. Highs will range from the 40s in upper Michigan to the 50s in lower Michigan.
  • Ohio: Light rain showers will increase during the day, particularly in western and northern Ohio. It will be much warmer-than-average with afternoon readings in the 60s for most.

But most of the U.S. is precipitation-free today, and many places, including Chicago, have near-record warm temperatures.

So what does it mean? It means we may have the largest voter turnout in U.S. history, which will help the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton more than the other guys.

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there

Recaps of the debate comprise just a few of the things I haven't had time to read today:

Back to my meetings.

End of the week

Tonight I've gotten invited to hear Lin-Manuel Miranda speak at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and after that, a masquerade. Then tomorrow is Chicago Gourmet. Then Sunday I'll either plotz or walk 30 kilometers. (Though in truth I'll probably be fine as my cold, tapering though it is, makes me not want to indulge too much.)

Meanwhile, here are some articles that I may read in the next few hours:

If possible, I'll post some photos from Gourmet.

Thrown into a Cell

So...I hate to admit this, but I'm going to US Cellular Field tonight, because my trivia team won a bunch of Sox tickets. This will make me 0-for-3 on paying to get into the place, which I like. And tonight, in a very literal way, the park will go to the dogs:

The White Sox will receive an attendance boost from some canine fans Tuesday when the team hosts its annual “Bark at the Park” event, and they hope it’s enough to set a new Guinness World Record.

The Sox are attempting to set a record for the most dogs at a sporting event when the Sox host the Indians in the second game of a four-game series. They need a minimum of 1,000 dogs in attendance for the record, and the dogs must remain in their outfield seats for a period of 10 minutes, starting at the top of the third inning, in order for the record to count.

A Guinness World Record adjudicator will be on hand to verify the record.

The event is sold out. The event, not the game, mind you; as the Tribune points out, "The Sox announced an attendance of just 12,588 fans for Monday’s 11-4 victory over the Indians, so 1,000 dogs could make up a sizable chunk of the crowd Tuesday."

Oh, and it's supposed to rain.