Monday, September 29, 2008

The storm that wasn't!

That didn’t turn out to be too bad. The weekend that featured Hurricane Kyle, I mean. We had expected one mighty lousy weekend; but as weekends go, it just wasn’t sunny. We did get a bunch of rain yesterday as Kyle, downgraded to a tropical storm, passed well out to sea from us here In Southern Maine and Friday night as the first storm went by.

My weather station did record a good amount for the two storms that hit us this weekend. Between the Friday night one and Kyle I recorded 4.15 inches of water split about evenly between the dual events. I had anticipated watching my anemometer going wild with the wind speed and direction. It didn’t. In fact the wind was mostly calm at my house all weekend.

Because of an easterly turn, even the Downeast sections of Maine were spared much, if any, significant damage from Kyle. Along the Maine coast, Kyle took a sharp turn out to sea before returning to its projected course through the Maritimes and Canadian provinces. There was considerable damage on Nova Scotia. But Maine was spared, and for us, that was a good thing.

Today will be an interesting day as Gator Wife begins her new part time work schedule. She asked for and received fewer hours on her schedule. She told her bosses that she was continuously tired and, as she gets a little older, she wanted to cut back. They like her work ethic well enough that they granted her request easily. She retired from a full time position as an office manager several years ago.

I suspect the next 36 days will speed by as we’re almost in the final push for the November elections. I suspect that if we think we’ve seen some negative advertising during the last few weeks, it’s going to get downright nasty as we approach November 4th. I’ve said it in the past and I’ll repeat here that I honestly would like candidates to tell me what they can do for Maine and our citizens rather than what the opponent has or has not done.

So far, my prejudiced opinion is that Susan Collins, the Republican seeking to retain her U.S. Senate seat, is doing the better job of promoting herself. Her “attack” ads seem to be mainly about refuting the claims made by Tomas Allen, the Democrat about-to-be former Congressman seeking her seat. Polls, and we got a great demonstration following the Presidential debate last week how accurate they are, indicated Collins has at least a 16 point lead over Allen.

Allen, on the other hand, seems to me to be attacking in a move of desperation. He won’t quit, though, as he used a similar tactic in past elections to pull out a win. Those attacks may not work this time.

The TV news this morning indicated that Congress has reached a compromise agreement on the bailout of financial institutions to help resolve the current financial crisis. We’ll learn more of the plan as the day moves along. It is expected that the House will debate and vote today with the Senate to follow later this week after the House makes its decision. There also appears to be much disagreement among Congressional Republicans about the plan.

Since I haven’t taken the time yet this morning to research the plan, I can’t make comment on how I feel about it. My first reaction is that mortgage lenders were a force in getting us into this mess, they should bear the brunt of getting us out of it. Then I remember it was the insistence of the Clinton Administration in the early 1990s that lenders equalize loans among qualified and unqualified borrowers. As those unqualified borrowers demonstrated what everyone should have known, they couldn’t pay their mortgages, and now the proverbial mess has hit the fan.

Of course the Democrats have very successfully transferred any blame there may be on President Bush and the Republicans. They’ve had lots of help from the news media.

Speaking of the news media, I can’t wait for news outlets in our state to start reporting on the non-medical expenses of the Dirigo health plan. When that begins, if that begins, Mainers will truly understand why Dirigo is a costly disaster.

Getting back to the weekend’s non-hurricane for a moment, I will never, ever again buy a house within five miles of an oak tree. We didn’t get the wind here, but what rain we got caused two and a half billion acorns to fall on my driveway. I haven’t counted ‘em, but it is an impossibility to walk safely anywhere out there. I guess I know where GW’s and my efforts will be placed once she gets home today.


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