Thursday, May 05, 2011

April Showers bring May... floods? 

Newstar (5/3/11):

According to the National Weather Service , Mississippi River levels will reach an all-time high this month, but the Army Corps of Engineers officials said Lousiana’s levees should contain the rising waters.

We got a firm "should" from USACE. What more can anyone ask for? I think I'll toss out my pillow and rest my head on "should" for the rest of the month.

The forecast is for the river to crest at 57.5 feet on May 18 in Vicksburg. The 1927 crest was 56.2 feet. Flood stage is 43 feet.

...Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, and Rep. Noble Ellington, R-Winnsboro, expressed their concerns for the rising water and the integrity of the levees.

“The river levels are going to exceed that of 1927,” Riser said. “The weak link is Vidalia, where the water will crest on May 18. If it breaks, that water is coming all the way to the Monroe airport.”

Ellington reiterated Riser’s concerns. “What you don’t know is that the water would be 4 feet deep at the Monroe airport if something happened,” he said. “The infrastructure that we have in place today would be in jeopardy. The only thing we can do about this situation is to say a few prayers.”

Newstar (5/05/11):

Flood control officials said Wednesday they're having more trouble keeping people from panicking than they are from the rising waters of the Mississippi River.

Hmm. I wonder why?

Update: John Barry's WSJ op-ed is like all his other work-- a must read. Don't miss this little packet of butterscotch buried in the piece:

Blowing the levee is not some wild idea drawn up on a napkin; it is one small piece of a carefully thought-out and engineered plan to control the immense forces of the Mississippi.

What a subtle but wonderful little dig at the Laffer acolytes in the WSJ editorial department! They, quite literally, believe in a "wild idea drawn up on a napkin."

Gov. Jindal requests a pre-emptive Presidential disaster declaration. If granted, that won't please Gov. Perry in Tejas.
My latest Lens post is up.


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Monday, May 02, 2011

OBL Lens post 

Plenty of masturblogging in my recent Lens post celebrating the liquidation of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. There's a ton of self-links back to YRHT, and I'll even shamelessly add a few more  that I forgot.

One little anecdote. A reporter I know had the, um, displeasure of dining with bin Laden about 20 years ago. A middle eastern sheik was hosting a dinner, and all the various guests were having a fine evening. OBL is quiet the whole time, then suddenly pipes up and spouts off some extremely rigid fundamentalist Islamist garbage. There's an awkward silence, most of the Arabs roll their eyes at the bad form, and then OBL shuts up and the evening continues in good spirits.