What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 15, 2010

Trib Quick Shots

Proof (yet again) Richard Mellon Scaife's braintrust doesn't read - or doesn't care.

Two examples from today's Sunday Pops.

Example one:
Temperatures have been so below normal in Southern California this summer that fruits and vegetables are not ripening properly. Must be another of those curious side-effects of global warming.
This little jab is obviously designed to sow doubt about global warming:
How can it be getting warmer when it's so cold in SoCal that the fruits and veggies can't ripen?
Except when you actually look at the story. Via Global warming "skeptic" Marc Morano's Climatedepot.com we find a link to this article in the Whittier Daily News. It begins:
It hasn't been the coolest summer on record, but it's been close, forecasters say.

The average temperature in July was 79 degrees, five degrees below normal, and the first eight days of this month also have been five to six degrees below normal, weather experts said.

That could put Southern California on track for a near-record-low summer, but it's still too early to say, according to weather experts. The Los Angeles area, in fact, has had below-normal temperatures every month since April.
Huh. You might ask whether this is normal? I'll let the next paragraph answer:
"We normally get this kind of weather pattern when we are transitioning from an El Niño year to a La Niña year," National Weather Service meteorologist Jaimie Meier said. "It sets up this trough of moisture over the West Coast, and that's what's been happening. We end up with cooler-than-normal temperatures and cooler coastal waters."
Oh, I see. But that might not be the complete answer. Take a look:
It may be too early to be feeling any effects of La Niña, Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert said.

During a La Niña occurrence, certain ocean temperatures around the equator cool, resulting in wetter winter weather for Northern California and a drier winter in Southern California.

"Some would like to blame it on La Niña, but that La Niña is a long ways away," Patzert said. "The pattern we're seeing is that the Northern Hemisphere is having record-breaking heat and we're getting near-record lows."
Whah???? But I thought things were so cool that global warming couldn't be happening!

Set aside the Trib's overal mislead about using localized weather to "discredit" global patterns. This is just silly. Especially when the JPL expert shows up later in the piece:
People who absolutely love the heat can still look forward to September and October, two months in which we typically experience waves of above-normal temperatures, Patzert said.
Will we see a Sunday Pop in October decrying how warm it is in SoCal? Don't hold your breath, my friends.

Example two:
By one accounting the first family this weekend is on its fifth vacation since July. Can you even imagine that? No, not the amount of vacation time taken but rather Sasha and Malia sitting in the back seat of Air Force One repeatedly asking, "Are we there yet?"
This one is simpler.

Here's the "accounting" to which the Trib refers. It begins thusly:
There they go again. For the fifth time since July, the first family has set plans to board Air Force One for a frilly vacation, a 10-day return trip to exclusive Martha's Vineyard where they are expected to stay at the 28-acre oceanfront Blue Heron Farm that rents for up to $50,000 a week.
And it was published on August 11 at USNews.

Too bad the Trib editorial board couldn't be bothered to read it.

But Bedard (of USNews) actually lists the vacations:
  • Three days in July in Maine, primarily tony Bar Harbor.
  • Last week, the president traveled to Chicago for a birthday party with Oprah and others.
  • Michelle and Sasha spent much of last week on Spain's southern coast, ending it with a trip to Majorca to meet the king and queen of Spain.
  • Florida this weekend for a night on the Gulf Coast.
  • August 19-29 on Martha's Vineyard.
See that last one? It hasn't happened yet. Didn't stop the Trib from saying that this weekend is the 5th vacation since July.

They can't count or they can't read or they don't care as long as it's a good smear.

Especially since there's this tidbit from USNews:
A previous East Wing worker in a different administration added, "In the past, the first family pays their expenses and those of their guests, unless the guests are paying for themselves. Taxpayers do pay for the cost of security but that would be true no matter where they are since they have round the clock security. In terms of travel it varies: some will reimburse the government for cost of first class flight."

Despite all the criticism of the presidential vacations, especially Michelle and Sasha's recent summer trip overseas to Spain's ritzy Costa del Sol, Obama still has some catching up to do when compared to the days that former president Bush was out of town, mostly at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Funny how the city's conservative paper would leave that out.

Doncha think? Funny.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

I certainly don't want be saying that Obama can do no wrong. I think Glenn Greenwald's fairly strong attacks on Obama are well worth paying attention to and talking about.

But the attacks on Obama's vacations strike me as having nothing to do about policy. I don't think anyone would say that Obama is not trying to wade in and have an effect in politics. Their may be criticism about how Obama handled the oil spill, domestic spying or the war's in Iraq and Afghanistan, but no one would say Obama was not present (the exception might be Obama's inital reaction to the gulf, in terms of when he first went there). By contrast, Obama's predecessor (already forgot his name) did have a lot of vacations. He gave up golfing as his personal sacrifice, but Bush made no such accommodation vis a vis vacations.

Jack Kelly also covered this issue in his column today. Kelly spent more than two sentences on it, and I think it's telling that he seems concerned about how much the vacations cost the taxpayers. Combined with his suggestions that Michelle Obama has "regal pretensions" and I think Kelly column has some nasty overtones.