White House Chief Of Staff Gave The Order To Override Weather [UPDATE: TRUMP Ordered It]

Ken AshfordDisasters, Political Scandals, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NY Times: The White House was directly involved in pressing a federal scientific agency to repudiate the weather forecasters who contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian would probably strike Alabama, according to several people familiar with the events. Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, to have the National Oceanic and … Read More

Whither Weather

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & Administration, WeatherLeave a Comment

Last week, I largely avoided the controversy about Trump and Hurricane Dorian, mostly because it was such a small thing that I didn’t believe it would turn into a big thing. But that, of course, is why the Hurricane Dorian controversy — or “Sharpiegate” — is actually relevant: it shows the chaotic and psychotic nature of Trump, who was unwilling … Read More

So What’d I Miss?

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It’s hard to escape US news no matter where you are, and where I was was Norway. No point in recapping it all, since it is all laid out in the Weekly Lists here and here, but the highlights of course are Trump’s peculiar behavior about buying Greenland, insulting non-white Congresspeople, declaring himself “the Chosen One”, screwing up the stock … Read More

What’s Up With The Russian Explosions?

Ken AshfordDisasters, RussiaLeave a Comment

There have been two notable explosions in Russia this past week. First, an arms storage depot exploded at Achinsk, near Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia. Every summer, a couple of arms storage depots explode in Russia. They have a lot of them, and their safety measures leave something to be desired. Explosions have continued for a week. Once they start, it’s dangerous … Read More

Xander and Alex Boycott The White House

Ken AshfordDisasters, Red Sox & Other Sports, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

NBC: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora will not attend the ceremony at the White House on Thursday honoring the 2018 World Series champions.Cora cited the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico as the reason for his decision. “The government has done some things back home that are great, but we still have a long … Read More

Notre Dame Will Go On

Ken AshfordDisasters, HistoryLeave a Comment

From singing in the streets to donations of more than $678 million — here’s how the world is reacting to the Notre Dame fire pic.twitter.com/QK5Y3q3zdh — NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 16, 2019 There are few events that can so transfix the world that it seems everyone is watching, but as flames poured out of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, the world … Read More

Breaking: Notre Dame Burning Down

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Disasters, HistoryLeave a Comment

Just happening. Cause unknown, but it may be related to renovations. Idiot chimes in… AFP’s reporting on the fire’s origins doesn’t seem to be making it into English language media (it started in the attic in connection with ongoing renovation work, according to firefighters). Hit that translate button, CNN. https://t.co/nH02Ojoji7 — southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) April 15, 2019 Fire coming through the … Read More

Trump v PR

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Where to begin? Puerto Rico did got 91 billions dollars. Here’s the best possible estimate: Federal Emergency Management Agency: $15 billion obligated ($9.9 billion in outlays) Army Corps of Engineers: $2.5 billion approved ($3 million in outlays) Community Development Block Grants-Disaster Recovery (Housing and Urban Development): $20 billion approved, of which $1.5 billion has been obligated Small Business Administration: $1.95 billion for homes/business loans … Read More

Who Is Running The Show?

Ken AshfordCrime, DisastersLeave a Comment

NY Times: As the pilots of the doomed Boeing jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia fought to control their planes, they lacked two notable safety features in their cockpits. One reason: Boeing charged extra for them. For Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers, the practice of charging to upgrade a standard plane can be lucrative. Top airlines around the world must pay handsomely to … Read More

Trump Grounds 737 Max… For All The Wrong Reasons

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

There’s a word for how well the Trump White House handled issues surrounding the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and their possible connections to a Lion Air crash in October. Unfortunately, using that word would filter this story from many readers. Concerns about the plane being flown at the time of both crashes—the relatively new Boeing 737 Max 8—caused airlines and … Read More

737 Max 8 Grounded (Mostly)

Ken AshfordDisastersLeave a Comment

Plane crashes involving large passenger jets are such a rarity in the 21st century. Growing up, it seemed to happen once or twice a year. But in the span of six months, two Boeing 737 Max passenger jets have crashed. This past weekend, a crash in Ethiopia’s capital killed all 157 on board. A new Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 … Read More

The Camp Fire Horror

Ken AshfordDisastersLeave a Comment

The numbers coming out of the Northern California fires are horrible: The number of reported dead in Butte County’s Camp Fire increased by two Monday, bringing the total to 79, Cal Fire said in an incident report.One of the human remains found Monday was located in a structure in Paradise; the other was located outside in Magalia, according to a … Read More

At Least 31 Dead In California Wildfires

Ken AshfordDisastersLeave a Comment

At least 31 people are dead as entire California cities flee wildfires Over the weekend, three major wildfires in California wreaked havoc. So far, more than 190,000 acres have burned, and 272,000 people have been evacuated. Around 8,200 firefighters are battling the flames, according to state officials. In Northern California: A blaze dubbed the Camp fire has destroyed 6,700 structures, making it the … Read More

Hurricane Michael Devastation

Ken AshfordDisasters, Trump & Administration, WeatherLeave a Comment

Where I am, we are being hit by what’s left of Michael, but the wind and the rain is nothing to what hit the panhandle in Florida yesterday.  Mexico Beach appears to be the hardest hit.  Here’s what it was like yesterday: And now…. people are just getting in there, to find this: Aerial view of devastation at #MexicoBeach, Fl … Read More