“I somehow doubt, too, that she would ever confuse the stock market with the Treasury”
Clinton, the Dark Lady of Russian Fiction
A Guardian Opinion piece (21 Oct) by senior journalist Zoe Williams, asks “Why does nobody mention that Hillary Clinton is perfectly nice?”
She bases her report on an appearance by Clinton on BBC 1’s The Graham Norton Show, plugging her new book, What Happened? It seems a fair question. Actually they both do.
Because in The Pumpkin’s view, this lady has been seriously traduced; while the sheer insouciant hypocrisy of Trump’s continuing attacks on her is something that surely needs to be countered by an objective analysis of his own record.
The stories about Clinton spread on social media by Russian bots through ‘false-front’ pressure groups and fake social media accounts, and by advertising paid for by ‘dark money’ sources ran to ‘hundreds of millions’ of micro-targeted views, according to recent research, almost certainly with inside help from US data analytics companies in the pay of the Republican party, and must have gone a long way to create the overall impression of the Democrat candidate as some kind of malevolent ‘dark lady’ that chimes with the absurd ‘demon eyes’ campaign the Tories ran against Blair in 1997, taking personalized politics to a new level of trashy.
Where was the substance to them?
The Whitewater property scandal* was never proven; the emails – well, it’s perfectly clear, all politicians (especially Trump’s closest ‘advisors’ and nepotistic appointments) use public networks, they’re probably safer than the official servers.
Clinton did not murder the Ambassador to Benghazi, her acceptance of responsibility was as the Secretary of State, the head of the diplomatic department – not as an admission of personal error or guilt. Trump however has accepted no responsibility for military and civilian casualties in his secret wars.
Several million Americans who can’t think for themselves actually believed, and many still believe, the ludicrous Pizzagate allegations; and despite Trump’s appalling history of Weinsteinian abuse many apparently intelligent members of the sorority were persuaded to vote for him because Clinton stood by her husband and she so shouldn’t have done that – bad optic; while ethnic minorities seem to have been persuaded against her in sufficient numbers by blatantly obvious commercials shot in Nigeria, using Nigerian actors pretending to be Black Lives Matter advocates, claiming Clinton was the racist bitch candidate and Trump, who in real life refused to rent properties to blacks and Puerto Ricans, the champion of the oppressed.
I somehow doubt, too, that she would ever confuse the stock market with the Treasury (Chump has claimed credit for wiping out half the national debt through
bringing about, somehow, record levels of speculative investment in the market, which most economists agree is a seriously dangerous state of affairs. Figures published this week show the deficit to be increasing faster than at any time in the last five years, while unemployment is again rising); or that she might seek to reward her corporate sponsors in quite the same spectacular way as Trump’s ‘beautiful’ $4 trillion Christmas tax cuts that will bear hardest on the poor and aspirant middle-class, while making repeated, futile attempts by diktat at destroying ‘Obamacare’, to the detriment of the health and security of 32 million voters; or that she would seek to multiply the US nuclear arsenal tenfold, having first told the Russians in a phone call what she was planning to do.
It also seems unlikely that she would by now have fired the director of the FBI for refusing to suspend an investigation into her collusion with Russia and swear personal fealty to her; or bitterly attacked her own officials and party for failing to support her crazier policy initiatives; or appointed incompetent and venial placemen to all the key offices of State. Virtually all senior politicians are invited to speak at corporate get-togethers, and well paid for their insights. But would Clinton have appointed five former Goldman Sachs executives to her cabinet?
Would she have complained that the official Opposition keeps unfairly opposing her and thus failed to achieve any significant legislation in ten months, apart from rolling back all the environmental and consumer protections of her predecessor; pissed-off America’s allies by seeking to tear down a raft of painstakingly negotiated security treaties; demanded NATO pay the USA billions of dollars of protection money; schmoozed the world’s worst dictatorships; advocated torture and police violence; raised trade barriers 300% to “protect” already successful US global corporations, and proposed to destroy the current status quo on world trade to the detriment of her own economy?
Would she have threatened to deport 11 million useful and mostly peaceable family people, lied about the intentions of the Muslim community to create fear and division, banned children from entering the USA in case they were terrorists, and imagined building a 20-foot-high, 2,000-mile-long, $25 billion wall to stop Mexicans from flying over it, tunnelling under it or going around it by sea – a pointless wall to divide even white American communities along the border, to stop billions of dollars in cross-border trade, all at the expense of the US taxpayer and consumer – when illegal Mexican immigration has already slowed to a trickle?
Would she be banning transsexuals from serving in the military, and rolling-back protections for gay people against discrimination by rabid Christians? Would she have managed to lose an entire carrier squadron in the southern Indian Ocean, imagining it was in the southwestern Pacific? Would she have had her Attorney General let rip on users of cannabis, even for medical purposes, in States where Federal law outranks local legislative freedoms only recently gained? Would she have threatened the starving and hagridden peasants of North Korea with nuclear annihilation, or told lies deliberately to justify war with Iran?
Would she have told the grieving 22-year-old pregnant widow and mother-of-two of a Green Beret soldier killed on a dubious secret op she can’t talk about in some flyblown oil-rich African desert that ‘he knew what he was getting into’ – even if she knew his name, and that he was a black man whose service she could traduce? And then lied about it, and attacked the reputations of the five witnesses, just simple folk? Would she have betrayed the confidence of her Chief-of-Staff and forced him to dishonor the memory of his own fallen son in order to pursue her own vengeful, dishonest attacks on the widow and her Congresswoman? Would she ever have appointed that sweaty sack of lies, Sarah Huckabee ‘I’m a Christian’ Sanders, as chief press spokesthing to bully and browbeat the pathetic gaggle of White House press correspondents?
Is there any suggestion that Clinton is a disgusting orange pig with no moral boundaries; an egomaniacal, vindictive, uneducated, sociopathic sex-pest in an expensive suit bought with money stolen from Russian banks? That she learned her business methods at the knee of a notorious member of the Mafia? That she takes from money-launderers and racketeers, or that she uses money from her own tax-exempt charity foundation to buy-off investigations and diverts funds donated for her re-election campaign to pay lawyers to defend herself aggressively against potential charges of money-laundering and obstruction of justice or worse? Has anyone suggested that she ever ran a dubious ‘modelling agency’ importing, as is claimed, underage girls from eastern Europe and pimped her own daughter at the age of 14 to another agency owned by a notorious pedophile, just to get more party invitations? Or that she perhaps ripped-off Chelsea’s annual charity fundraisers for children with cancer, to the tune of half-a-million dollars?
Nor, one suspects, would she be aligning herself with the malign machinations of the pro-Life campaign, its Christianized violence against the medical profession, its doxing and other abusive attempts to harass health employees and marginalize and deny women’s rights over their own lives and bodies in the 21st century (see following story). Or imagining that the lie she was told to put out, that her predecessor in the White House was bugging her calls, has somehow become true?
Oh, but she took bribes from a Canadian businessman to approve the sale of Canadian uranium under NAFTA rules to a Russian power company…! Except that Business Insider investigated the allegation made by an author plugging an anti-Clinton diatribe in the New York Times, a book plug, and found: “we have no evidence of a quid pro quo, and we don’t have evidence that Hillary Clinton took any action at all with regard to this sale, in favor of the interests of the donors or otherwise.”
And now, oh! But she colluded with the Russians to get intel on Trump! No, she didn’t do that, American conspiracy dimwits. She – or her party – colluded, if anything, with a former BRITISH MI6 spook, Christopher Steele, to get the Russian intel on Trump AFTER the Republicans first commissioned Steele to find out what the Russians had on Trump BEFORE adopting him as their candidate.
Just as we have no evidence that Trump had a business association with a convicted Russian mobster, Felix Sater, whose company Bayrock (based in Trump Tower but he “wouldn’t know what he looked like” (except there are photos of them with arms around shoulders) was a front for a major investment in Trump SoHo by the man believed to be the ‘capo di capi’ of the Russian mafia, Semion Mogilevich. No evidence that he sold a Florida mansion to Dmitry Rybolovlev, an oligarch associated through Bank of Cyprus – a known money-laundering conduit – with his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, for $56 million more than he’d paid for it two years earlier. A mansion that was subsequently demolished as unfit for habitation. Nor that he defaulted on $340 million of a 2007 loan from Deutsche Bank; a marker that some foolish journalists suspect may have been picked up by Russian banks linked with the Kremlin.
Preposterous. Just more of those fake news things.
While Clinton’s failure to run an ominous series of quasi-fascist Orwellian hate-speech rallies, tell the most enormous porky-pies (around 1,400 of Trump’s public utterances and tweets have to date been verified as out-and-out falsehoods by the Washington Post), refuse to condemn white supremacist terrorists and neo-Nazis, disparage Gold Star parents, send critics and perceived enemies and the Mayor of London vicious bullying tweets at 4 am, declare the press to be ‘Enemies of the People’, obsess endlessly over her turnouts and poll ratings, fire anyone who won’t agree to lie about them and encourage her supporters to beat-up protestors – these omissions may have left the impression Hillary is a bit – well, dull for the modern presidential era.
Wouldn’t you think?
“…a surprisingly large contingent of fully qualified American psychiatrists and psychologists actually held a rally in Washington last week to try to bring to the attention of senior Republicans on the Hill, their firm belief that Trump is genuinely crazy…”
It seems somewhat unfair that Trump is allowed to brood darkly for months over his election victory and spend public money on trying to prove that he won because the opposition cheated, while when Clinton complains about him stealing the election from her she’s accused of being hysterical. Misogyny – back to the kitchen, anti-feminism – indeed seems to have played a large part in her downfall, just as race-hatred plays a part in Trump’s Obama-obsessed policy-making – and, judging by the online commentariat – probably continues to do so. We need to consider that Clinton did get 2.8 million more votes nationally than Trump; and that new analysis is showing how voter suppression in key marginal states – a form of electronic gerrymandering favoured mainly by Republican administrations – was largely responsible for him winning the decisive Electoral College votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – natural Democrat constituencies – against the polling numbers.
This process has been continuing with the help of data analytics companies and Russian hacking of voter rolls to determine who is to be disenfranchised on spurious grounds (such as not having an expensive new photo driver’s licence, or having a similar name to someone else) before the mid-term elections next year under the aegis of Trump’s special commission on the so-far unproven ‘voter fraud’ involving millions of invisible aliens, which he believes in his madness was responsible for his lack of a numerical majority at the last election. It’s a strategy designed to keep the Republican boot stamping on a human face foreever.
At least there is no sign that Clinton demands the unconditional love of the people. She’s not a diagnosable psychopath.
For we should next consider that a surprisingly large contingent of fully qualified American psychiatrists and psychologists actually held a rally in Washington last week to try to bring to the attention of senior Republicans on the Hill, their firm conviction that Trump is genuinely crazy – mentally unfit to be left anywhere near the guy with the nuclear football. Senator Bob Corker has also made the same point quite openly – beyond all of which, it should be obvious to anyone that the President is a nasty piece of work: not only a vindictive and malignant narcissist, but a lazy and incompetent administrator and disastrous person-manager with an unheard-of turnover of key staff, highly dubious business history and a habit of spending vast sums of other people’s money on securing his own comforts and position, to allay his fundamental insecurities.
A propos, it’s hard to imagine workaholic Clinton spending three days a week out of the office at any of her many private resorts, funded by Russian investment, playing golf and promoting membership at a cost to the taxpayer of over $50 million in her first six months in – or rather, out – of office; finding the task of understanding healthcare, immigration rules, the history of the Korean War or the constitution of the United States intellectually too exhausting; or blowing $1 billion on additional security for 42 members of her family and their business properties. It’s hard to imagine her mistaking impoverished, hurricane-battered Puerto Rico for a separate country that owes the US Treasury $74 billion and must pay it back before qualifying for emergency aid; or that she is not also the president of the US Virgin Islands – the clue is in the name. Hard to see her imperiously throwing paper towels at hurricane survivors…
…or defunding important executive offices, or banning scientists from reporting on environmental dangers, failing to appoint managers to key positions and ambassadors to key allies, hysterically abusing the courts and firing judges for obstructing her illegal orders and poking around in her affairs, sacking staff she perceives as opposing her merely for offering the experienced advice they’re paid to offer, claiming that they were underperforming, or disloyal, or that they resigned – there’s always a lie attached…
…or praising Putin’s policy of eliminating opponents and inconvenient journalists; or blaming a traffic accident in London on Muslim refugees while continuing to claim without any justification that the (Muslim) Mayor of London is soft on terrorism; or approving the policy of the dictator of the Philippines of exterminating drug users through extrajudicial murders, or rolling-back limits specifically on coal-fired power stations whose emissions are thought to add another 4 thousand American deaths a year to the toll of over 30 thousand gun deaths she refuses to do anything about, or removing protections for endangered wildlife and treasured monument lands and removing controls on polluting emissions from coal-fired power stations and oil and gas fracking operations….
…or needing to be shown cartoon versions of policy documents and half-page briefings with lots of simple bullet points and her name mentioned in every other line, to be constantly praised for nonexistent triumphs, at the same time having to be ‘kept calm’ and distracted by White House staff 24-hours a day, in what Sen. Corker describes as a ‘day-care center’, lest she starts World War Three in one of her constant rages – literally.
All in all, it’s not really surprising that the poor woman feels she was robbed: she was.
So was everyone else.
And now we have Bannon coaching egregiously from the sidelines, making open threats against Republicans who don’t toe the Breitbart line, and Putin pleading with the 67% of Americans who now understand the presidency is a historic train-wreck, amid a growing realization of the extent to which Russian interference played a part in electing the man, to give poor, traduced Mr Trump a chance, we can see all the more clearly the nature of the attempted coup, the treason; yet still nothing is done about it for fear the Republicans will be defunded by their shady corporate backers while incurring the electoral wrath of Trump’s only-slowly shrinking legion of deluded, screaming dumbfucks: his audience.
Because for him, it’s all about the ratings. It doesn’t matter who gets fired – hurt, insulted, sexually propositioned or even killed in the process. No-one and nothing outside Trump really exists. It’s all about the ratings; the living proof that the unlovable child who could never live up to his alcoholic, dead brother’s image in their father’s eyes, is truly loved and admired by the multitude. And any perceived slight sees him ranting and raving for the benefit of his crazed followers. The man is clearly not in control of himself: incoherent, forgetful, mendacious and undisciplined. But who will act?
Fortunately the plotters are so inept and unable to figure out where the levers of power really are, that it’s not been too successful – yet. Which is why Trump needs to be removed from office, now, before the squabbling bunch of criminals, neofascists, alt-right ‘Christians’, sycophants, useless and incompetent dimwits, the corruptly funded shills for the energy and chemicals and pharmaceutical industries, the swamp-dwellers and bottom-feeders, the financiers and corporate lawyers who know where his bodies are buried – the attack-dogs, the authoritarians, the racists and the crusaders; all the billionaire riff-raff with whom he has surrounded himself and his administration – private-jet-renters and tax-eaters whom, by and large, he has recently admitted he ‘hates’, the ones he screams abuse at on a daily basis but absolutely needs inside the tent pissing out; before they get the hang of things and really start going to town.
It surely can’t be long now.
*Whitewater was a 1980s property deal that went bad (Trump’s of course never did!) involving the Clintons when Bill was governor of Arkansas. David Hale, the source of criminal allegations against the Clintons, while himself facing arraignment, claimed in November 1993 that Bill Clinton had pressured him into providing an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the Clintons’ partner in the Whitewater land deal. Neither Bill Clinton nor Hillary were ever prosecuted, after three separate inquiries found insufficient evidence linking them with the criminal conduct of others related to the land deal, who were convicted; McDougal serving jail time. (Edited from Wikipedia entry)
My sperms have rights. Your eggs don’t.
Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
Yet again I have to thank Rachel Maddow for drawing the attention of The Pumpkin to a story far down the news agenda, concerning yet another federal agency director, a Trump appointee of staggering inappropriateness for the job. (I think ‘Trumpian’ ought to be the correct adjective for ‘staggeringly inappropriate’.)
This gentleman was nominated by Trump, in all his cartoonishly malevolent insanity, to run the national refugee resettlement program. Needless to say, he had no experience whatever of resettling refugees, overseas aid work or indeed of any sort of official bureaucratic duties before now. Actually, that’s not quite true: he was for a time on the board of a ‘charity’ devoted to supporting Christian refugees fleeing from ISIS. (The Muslim and Yazidi women and children were going to Hell anyway, so no need bothering with them.) This entity called itself The Knights of Columbus (after a well-known mass-murderer falsely stated to have ‘discovered’ America).
E Scott Lloyd is, it seems, a rabidly homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-abortion, anti-contraception, pro-spermatozoa, ‘Christian’ crusader; a sanctimonious-looking fellow with that perfectly varnished face, deviant smile and fanatical eyes only Americans of a certain religiose kind can present to the camera for posterity. The kind of male whose sperm have infinite rights to reproduce while your eggs have no rights to stop them under any circumstances.
The kind who believe women belong on their backs, probably in the kitchen. According to The Asylumist website:
“Mr. Lloyd has been an active volunteer in the pro-life movement. He is on the Board of Directors of the Front Royal Pregnancy Center, an organization that provides “counseling” related to unwanted pregnancies. He is also a founder of Witness Works, which aims to build a “culture of life.”
In addition, he contributes to various pro-life publications, including Human Life International (“Contraception: The Root of the Culture of Death”) and Veritatis Splendor, where he writes, “The Supreme Court, when it claimed to recognize for women the ‘right’ to abortion on demand, simultaneously stripped the fathers of these children of their right to be parents, and other associated rights”. (Presumably, that includes the rapists and the uncles?)
And he does have some experience of managing immigrants.
The agency he heads – practically a cult within Government, according to Maddow – is at this time holding 38 young immigrant teenage girls in a private facility, apparently to prevent them from continuing with their plans to abort unwanted pregnancies, although abortion is legal under the present regime in the State of Texas, where they are being illegally detained, up to 20 weeks.
It is reminiscent of the Irish concentration camps for unwed mothers, the baby farms whose mass graves are even now being exhumed after fifty years; the ‘laundries’ operated by the Catholic Sisters of this-or-that – Mercy, Charity, Piety – but never Compassion or Understanding.
According to the story, the girls are being forcibly indoctrinated and denied access to medical care and advice from any doctor who is not signed-up to the pro-Life movement. Lawyers are trying to get them out, but the clock is ticking. Mr Lloyd is also a lawyer, famous for having spun-out a case for seven years while a family tore itself apart (at vast cost), a husband warring with his “Christian” in-laws over whether or not an injured woman in a persistent vegetative state should have her feeding-tube removed. Lloyd prolonged the agony, he claimed, in order to best fulfil Christ’s teaching. (My own researches into the New Testament have failed to turn up any references to life-support machines.)
Given that there is no obvious record of the service in Government Mr Trump’s recommendation refers to in his CV, and given his complete lack of interest in or empathy with anyone who is not a fully signed-up and baptized Christian, which describes pretty much most refugees, The Asylumist (a website devoted to legal issues related to asylum-seekers) concludes of him: “All this begs the question, how is Mr. Lloyd qualified to direct the Office of Refugee Resettlement?”
Oh, but surely, he is qualified by virtue? I mean, sorry, by “virtue” of his being an utter slimeball?
What a shame the Romans failed to eradicate these sanctimonious, compassionless, hateful hypocrites at birth, in the most imaginative, entertaining and very painful ways possible – before their own empire collapsed amid division, corruption and administrative – should we say “Trumpian”? – chaos.
But even the lions, I fear, would gag on the likes of E Scott Lloyd: gristle through and through.
What hope is there for humanity?
More frightening even than Trump himself is the psyche of the people who support him.
The Pumpkin lazily visits a website called ‘Mary Greeley’ from time to time, to check on the progress of the impending Yellowstone supervolcano cataclysm, as she is the only person unconnected with the lyin’ US Geological Survey who sounds even remotely sane, podcasting regularly from wherever she lives, analysing the seismometer feeds from all the main sensors and webcams in and around the park, reporting gloomily on the many earthquakes that affect the region (this year since June has seen a record number, perhaps 15 thousand, ranging up to M5.2 but mostly much smaller – and, unusually, significantly, just outside the caldera in Montana and Idaho).
I say remotely sane, although she has been telling us the underground chambers are rapidly filling with dangerous quantities of magma – that’s lava before it bursts out – and the caldera is about to erupt at any moment, since at least 2013; all in all it’s been 40 years since the first signs of impending doom appeared. Whenever she tires of this theme, or of lecturing her many viewers on the interesting subject of borehole design, Mary likes to wander off in search of more incredible things, such as a recent sighting of Bigfoot (now with three “littlefeet” in tow and a pig on its back, as witnessed by a local farmer, Mr Gonzalez.)
The Bigfoot photo she shows us has been kicking around for years, and is a ‘simulacrum’ – ie, something that bears a slight resemblance to something it isn’t. In this case, it’s been shown to be just a shaded hollow on a sunlit earth bank beside a river. Even Mary is curious to know why photos of Bigfoot are always so indistinct, and I feel like replying, it’s because they make really strong moonshine liquor in the Ozarks, or wherever the thing is, which makes focussing a Kodak Box Brownie kinda tricky.
Mary has a tiresome habit of putting interesting web pages with unattributed articles up on screen and then reading them aloud to us. She’s not the most fluent or accurate reader, and we tend to get to the end long before she does. But despite this evidencing of some actual source for her reports, folks are more than inclined to just pick up the subject and twist it to their own crazed agendas, rather than Googling it and finding other, often more balanced – or nuanced – interpretations.
In the last coupla days, for instance, Mary has uncovered alarming news of an outbreak of Marburg virus (’caused by, er, the Marburg virus’… and closely related to pneumonic plague, spread by the Yersinia Pestis bacillus) which is (and has been known to be for many years) endemic in fruit bats on the Uganda/Kenya border. Both are a very long way from Plainsville and pose absolutely no threat to the American way of life, thousands of miles away.
Plague is not that uncommon, even in America. Travel Health reports: “Since 1970, 42 human cases of plague have been confirmed in California; nine were fatal.” So, the Kenyan Digest reports (20 Oct): “Two people have died from the Marburg virus in eastern Uganda, in the country’s first outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like pathogen in three years, the health ministry said. Blood samples were taken from two people who have since died and were found positive for Marburg …. A team of experts has been sent to Kween district, near the Kenyan border, to contain the virus. ‘At the moment we don’t know if there are other people apart from the dead who have contracted the disease because the experts are still investigating'” – Health Ministry spokeswoman.
Not a global pandemic yet, then. Just as well, as the World Health Organization is in a bit of disarray after its CEO appointed the 94-year-old Robert Mugabe as a public health ambassador and was then forced to change his mind after it was pointed out to him that Zimbabwe’s hospitals are in such terrible shape, Mugabe gets his personal treatment in South Africa.
But despite her strange little exaggerations and wide-eyed acceptance of daft conspiracies, as a supplier of feedstock for this curious thread of near-insane paranoia running through the American psyche; born, I suspect, out of their ancestors’ howling nights in rudimentary shacks out on the prairie a hundred miles from town, fearful of wolves, huge storms, travelling preachers and raiding parties of Sioux, Mary Greeley is clearly loved by a certain section of American society, who are forever sending her little messages of blessing, their constant thoughts and prayers and heartfelt thanks for her existence.
In a world of troubles, despite all her alarming prognostications, Mary somehow offers a reassuring presence. The devotion she inspires is heartfelt and really quite touching.
But the shocking ignorance of the world and the bizarre beliefs and prejudices of her, I should guess mainly rustic audience are a wonder to behold. In response to a report of the deaths from an unpleasant disease caught from bats of just two unfortunate people out on safari in the forests of Uganda, Lady Ali writes:
Its from the chemtrails. Theyre dropping viruses on us now. Stay positive, somehow God will fix this. Cuz Hes our FATHER and he loves us. He said He did lol, i dont think Hes a liar. He will take care of those who live and call on Him, and they will. Buckle up folks, frick this sucks. Dont these bad guys get it that GOD always wins. ALWAYS. Many blessings, much love and light. Nothing we can do now but pray and pick the winning team. Gods team.
Viewer Katherine Westover concludes in block capitals:
there is a site you can go to to monitor outbreakes that are happening but I can’t remember the name of it
Rica Bogdany theorises that Marburg virus was created in a laboratory in Germany in the 1970s as a precursor to Ebola, while James Dohalek disagrees:
We could laugh at these ludicrous posts all night, but if you care to browse the podcasts on YouTube you will find thousands of people writing in with similar thoughts, feelings and prejudices on most subjects; any one of whom might immediately be diagnosed with a learning disorder or mental illness; extreme ignorance or just wishful thinking.
Japan: General Election day, 22 Oct, Mr Abe gets back in and a powerful typhoon causes chaos across the country, with 4 deaths reported, injuries, evacuations, floods, landslides, power outages and transport links down. “While voting went ahead, more than 70,000 households were advised to evacuate – with 5,000 of those ordered to leave. Typhoon Lan – a category 4 storm – has also forced car manufacturer Toyota to suspend operations at several plants. … Heavy rain and flood warnings have been issued to the Pacific side of the country, with winds of over 140mph and 80mm (3 in.) of rain predicted per hour.” In fact in the Western Prefecture, 800mm (31 in.) of rain fell in 24 hours.
Pakistan: Extreme and almost unprecedented heatwave affects Karachi; tropical cyclone invades from Bay of Bengal.
Zimbabwe: has experienced record October heat with temperatures in excess of 40 deg. C.
USA: “A record-breaking heatwave will build over Southern California over the weekend (20-22 Oct) and peak on Tuesday, bringing triple-digit temperatures that could set marks for the hottest temperatures ever recorded so late in the year in the Los Angeles area. Accompanying the heat will be the notorious Santa Ana winds, which will bring a multi-day period of critical fire danger, Saturday through Tuesday.” Temperatures in and around the city have already exceeded 101 deg. F (38C).
“The October 2017 California wildfire event is likely to top $3 billion in damage, making it the most expensive wildfire event in world history.” But never mind, because….
Three dead after powerful storm hits Washington State causing flooding and mudslides. 70% of consumers without power in Spokane region. “Several highways also remained closed, including a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 84 in Oregon that authorities declared impassable into midday Wednesday.” Huge storm travelling at unheard-of 65 mph crosses Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri. Many tornado warnings out for southern and eastern states.
Environment: Three scientists working with the EPA have been banned from attending a conference at which a major research paper was to be delivered on the environmental damage done to an estuary in New England, in part due to climate change. “Scientists from a variety of agencies and institutions had been working for years on the 500-page technical document, which does not cover policy recommendations.”
EPA Director, Scott Pruitt is to announce tomorrow that he is scrapping Obama era limits on emissions from coal-fired power stations, declaring ‘The war on coal is over’. Mr Pruitt is, everyone suspects, a corrupt official in the pay of a number of large coal producers.
Caribbean: “An area of low pressure with the potential to develop into a tropical depression is expected to form in the Western Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua by mid-week and move slowly northward, bringing heavy rains to Cuba by the weekend. The system may also bring heavy rains to South Florida and the Bahamas by the weekend, but due to the uncertain nature of the formation location and track of the storm, it is uncertain which region might be at most risk.”
Trinidad: experiences severe flooding following heavy rain.
Pacific: Satellite imagery shows a weather phenomenon known as an “atmospheric river” – a belt of rain and storms stretching continuously 5,000 miles from China to the northeastern USA. Known as ‘The Big Dark’, it: “is poised to funnel gigantic amounts of rain and snow to the Northwest over the next few days. As much as 15 inches of rain is forecast … It could be Seattle’s wettest weather since February, the National Weather Service said. There is also a risk of flash flooding in western Washington and northwestern Oregon on Thursday as a result of the heavy rainfall.”
In mid-Pacific, Tropical Storm 27 is heading for Guam, strengthening to a Cat 2 typhoon.
Portugal: with many wildfires still burning in the north, “Portugal experienced unprecedented summer heat this year. In data going back to 1931, the period from April to September and the month of September were both the hottest on record, according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA). Severe drought extended across 81% of mainland Portugal at the end of September.”
UK: After battering Ireland, Storm Brian brought several inches of rain and high winds to the southwest and west of the country over a 48-hour period at the weekend, together with 50-ft waves and coastal flooding. Schools were closed and train services suspended, but damage was “not as great as expected”.
Sky News/ Weather Underground/ USA Today/ Phys.org/ NBC News/ ABC News/ BBC News