17 September 2008

All quiet on the Western Front

I'm here today to tell you that I have nothing to say. I apologize for not being more interesting but the events of the last couple of weeks have rendered me basically speechless. I have been dividing my time between voraciously reading the news and working on my thesis. I would tell you about my progress on that but it's pretty boring. I'd like, instead, to talk about the three big storms consuming the Eastern half of the country.

1. Hurricane Ike.
My god, what a monster storm this was. At its biggest it was about as wide as the state of Texas - I couldn't believe those satellite images. I can't remember the last time a storm entered the country and then "boomeranged" around like that. The really amazing thing is that it separated ... the winds went northeast and the rain went east. I know that the winds went northeast because as of today, many people in Cincinnati are still without power from the 70 mph gusts of wind that Ike sent in on Sunday. And without rain, the wind threw a bunch of debris into transformers which then set things on fire, including Grammer's and Findlay Market. I hope everyone gets their power back soon.

2. In the meantime, you can't find anything about the Great Midwest Blackout of 2008 because of the tornado on Wall Street. (On the 24-hour news channels, everyone has been using bad storm analogies, so I will too.) There are now only 2 major brokerage houses left in the United States, and late last night, the Fed decided to extend a loan to AIG, a big insurer of banks, among other things. Before you ask the Fed to rescue you from your bankruptcy (I think we all should), check out the latest interactive graphic explaining the mess from the NY Times. It's brilliant, and a little terrifying.

3. Typhoon Sarah.
In the past week, the favorability ratings for Governor Sarah Palin, aka John McCain's ill-advised pick for Vice President, have swung an unprecedented 10 points to the negative. This is, presumably, because the people who don't check the news every 5 minutes like I do are starting to realize that this person should not be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. I dare say she shouldn't be 5 or 10, or probably even 50 heartbeats away from the Presidency. I pay attention to who the Governors of many of the states in the country are, and I struggle to think of a Governor who would have been a worse choice for this position than Sarah Palin. And I'm a woman, and I want to see women succeed as much as the next girl, but not a woman who politicizes everything in her state government by firing those who disagree with her (just like George W. Bush). Not a woman whose primary foreign policy experience is being able to see Russia from land in Alaska. Not a woman whose hypocrisy is so broad that she wants to take away the option of choice from women everywhere, even though she offered it to her own daughter ... or who was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it ... or who accuses Senator Barack Obama of multiple budget ear marks for his state when she requested more, per capita, than he did.

At the end of the day, the people of Texas (and Cincinnati) will recover. The banks will be OK. And luckily we have at least one competent choice for President. This is all assuming we make the right decisions in the next few months ... let's not screw it up, people.

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