Monday, July 25, 2011

A nicer day? Maybe week?

At last that heat spell appears to be behind us.  And what a heat spell it was!  We saw record breaking temperatures and, at least here on the swamp, we saw three consecutive days of temperatures over 90 which constitutes a heat wave..  I'm not sure the official temps passed 90 three straight days.

Friday was the worst.  The official temperature reached 100 degrees which had never before  happened in Portland.  My little extremely unnoffical device had a high reading of 108.9 that I saw.  I didn't sit here all day long watching it.  The high reading I saw on Saturday here was 99.9, but, again, I wasn't watching it constantly all day.  The official temperature both days were well over that magic 90 mark.

Sunday is the one I'm not sure of as I haven't bothered to check, but I don't think the official reading crossed 90, probably closer to high mid 80s.  My device did gain a 92.1 reading so the swamp had its version of a heat wave.

But Monday we awoke to nicer temperatures, 61 here and in the 50s in many parts of Maine.  This week we may get some much needed rain, tonight into tomorrow and again Friday, and temps will range mostly in the low 80s and upper 70s.  I think that makes it a much better outlook for Maine for the coming week.

We also awoke Monday to a continuing national budget problem.  Pundits are calling the failure of the Republicans and Democrats to reach a budget agreement "a crisis."  I heard some ideas over the weekend which makes all kinds of sense to me on how spending could be cut dramatically and revenues raised at the same time.  I'm sure you did, also.  What I didn't hear was saving any money by cutting billions and billions from spending on illegal immigrants.  That alone might solve the budget crisis.

Of course both parties are blaming the other.  The word "compromise" keeps popping up, but neither side seems willing to compromise.  The Republicans have, at least, offered a plan for a beginning.  But, according to Sen. Susan Collins, that plan has been dismissed out of hand by Democrats in the Senate.  The House Republicans have also presented a plan but, again, the Democrats say they will not discuss it.

Has anyone yet seen any plan submitted by Democrats?  They've said a lot and have been critical of Republican ideas, but what about a real plan on paper?  It's hard to compromise when only one side offers a solution.  We've grown to understand that the spoken words of Democrats and their promises for the future aren't worth too much.  And when was the last time the Democrats, even in a Congress they controlled, were able to even pass any kind of budget under the current President?  Think about that one carefully.

Edited Monday, 4 PM:  As a result of activity today, Congress now has two plans to discuss.  Both the Republicans and Democrats have introduced a plan to pass a budget before next week's "death" deadline.  Both plans also have some flaws and some good points which I'm not going to enumerate here.  The plans are availabe online.  But at least now there's something to discuss.  A couple of problems, the Republican plan won't pass the Senate and there's a chance the Democratic plan won't pass the House.  The Dem's plan also goes against President Obama's insistance of tax increases (or, he politicians prefer to call it, revenue).  So the new budget isn't yet a "done deal," but at least there are plans to discuss and perhaps be the basis for compromise.

Tues. AM:  But no one seems to want to talk.  Both sides look like they've taken a "It's my way or the highway" stance.  So, as it says in the next line .....

The drama, if one can call it that, continues today in Washington.  It really isn't fun watching it.

And a light item or two on the week's beginning.

I have one very simple question about a phrase we hear daily in the news reports.  That phrase is, "Here's the very latest on . . ."  My simple question:  Just how much later is the "very latest" than the "latest"? 

And finally, can't the high paid writers at NBC's Weekend Today come up with a less boring, repetitive to absolute trite degree way to move from anchor to anchor?  It seems like every time the change hosts, it's with the phrase, "Now here's [the other one]."  Hello, 1950s broadcasting.

Have a great day.


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