Atmospheric River In California, Shitshow In DC

January 5, 2023

Thickly overcast with just a slight sprinkle this near-noon Thursday here in California’s Central Valley, and although we got rain-hammered last night, hopefully, the most-potent downpour is gone for a while.
An ‘atmospheric river’ that collided with the coast yesterday will still play out in more wetness and subsequent flooding for days to come.

Water everywhere:

Two people were killed yesterday, one a 1-or-2-year-old child, the other a 19-year-old woman, both in the northern part of the state, as the force of the blasting storm poured across the coastline.
Some details via CNN a couple of hours ago:

A deadly storm that lashed coastal California with hurricane-force winds and torrential rain is far from over.

Now, big cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento are getting walloped by the powerful cyclone.

About 35 million people – or 90% of the California population – are under a flood watch Thursday. Much of California, which has been marred by drought, wildfires and recent flooding, can barely absorb any more moisture.

And yet another storm this weekend will bring even more rain and wind, threatening to topple trees and power lines from increasingly saturated ground.

Further per NPR, also just a while ago:

The intense weather was brought on by a “potent Pineapple Express,” the National Weather Service warned this week, using the term for an atmospheric river that brings moisture-rich low pressure waves from around the Hawaiian Islands to the Pacific Coast.

It’s the third round of heavy precipitation from an atmospheric river to hit California since Christmas.

Despite all this rain, California is still eyeball-deep in a multi-year drought — will our current shit help?
An analysis via Grist this morning:

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Jered Shipley, the general manager of the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District, which provides water to pasture owners in the northern part of the state. “It gets us on track.” Shipley’s district takes water from Lake Shasta, the state’s largest reservoir, which all but bottomed out during the drought but has started to rebound over the past month.

If the reservoirs fill up as predicted, that will be great news for farmers and cities up and down the state, from Chico all the way to San Diego. Come spring and summer they’ll release the stored-up precipitation to cattle ranchers, nut farmers, and local water utilities around the state, ending a three-year spell of privation.

“To put it very bluntly, it’s been total devastation,” said Shipley. “This drought was a natural disaster. You may not have seen apartment buildings on fire or communities underwater, but [there were] displaced families, migrant workers not having jobs, businesses closing because nobody needed to service their tractors, feed stores closing.”

Even if 2023 does end up a wet year, it won’t prevent an ongoing water crisis, because surface precipitation is only one pillar supporting the state’s water needs. Since the reservoirs can’t hold more than a year of water, officials don’t have the option of holding it back to conserve for future years. And the other two pillars ensuring regular water availability in the Golden State — groundwater and the Colorado River — are facing crises that even a wet year won’t fix.

“This will fill our reservoirs, so that’s the good news,” said Jeffrey Mount, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center, who studies atmospheric rivers and their impact on California’s water. “But we have been in a really dry period for the last 20 years, and that hasn’t come to an end yet.”

In the agriculture-heavy Central Valley, for instance, many farmers rely on water deliveries from a federal canal that funnels water westward from the Sierra Nevada. But households in this area also depend on groundwater withdrawn from underground aquifers, and recent research shows that these aquifers are drying up at an alarming rate. This dropoff has led to a surge in the number of dried-up wells in recent years and has forced some towns to rely on deliveries of bottled water.


“Our focus tends to be on filling of surface reservoirs, and everybody declares the drought over,” said Mount. “That’s just fundamentally wrong.”

California living is no longer a fun time in the sun — drought made worse by climate change has altered the landscape and created a blistering desert where once there thrived civilization. Although that might be a poetic overboard summary, the state still apparently has some lean, waterless years ahead of us. And despite the shitty weather right now, maybe in the long run there’s hope.

Meanwhile, back East this morning in the dry-ass halls of Congress, another ‘pineapple express’ is bubbling up in the form of a shitshow produced by assholes for the sake of other assholes. And there’s still no end in sight.
Update of the Kevin McCarthy speakership debacle per The Washington Post‘s live blog minutes ago:

Today, the House remained deadlocked as Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) failed to sway hard-right Republicans and lost his eighth vote for speaker over the course of three days.

McCarthy has offered fresh concessions as he and his allies negotiate with GOP defectors who have denied him a majority vote in the chamber. The compromises, however, have failed to move his foes and no other business in the House can proceed without a speaker.


Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters there’s no chance that Democrats will strike a deal to provide the votes to elect GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as speaker.

“You’re missing the whole point,” she said. It’s Democrats’ responsibility to find common ground with Republicans on policy and even on House rules such as the motion to vacate, she said, “but they have to select their leader first.”

Pelosi also called the deadlock over electing a speaker “unfortunate” because it distracts from the $35 price cap on insulin passed last year as part of Democrats’ climate package, which takes effect this month.

Along with other duties of government. America has no House of Representatives right now. And to make matters worse, there’s showboating, grandstanding and asshole antics to further bullshit the shitshow:

Gaetz is a pure piece of shit, and it hurts. He comes from my old neck of the woods — I grew up and graduated high school in the panhandle of Florida and the asshole is a shame and a disgrace.
In the clip above one can see the shit-eating grin from Marjorie Taylor Greene as if two eighth graders just pulling a vicious stunt aimed at their homeroom teacher. They are members of a class of pure-and-total assholes.

Regardless of Gaetz’s stunt, T-Rump is to blame — intriguing synopsis of all this from the Financial Times just a bit ago, including this snip:

This dysfunction is Trump’s true legacy. Those blocking McCarthy’s nomination may revel in that. But ultimately, this zero-sum mentality is self-defeating. Moderate Republicans ought to understand the damage that Trump and his acolytes have wrought — not just to the business of government but to their electoral prospects come 2024 too. That Trump and his anointed candidates have become electoral liabilities rather than dividends was evident in the midterms, which failed to yield the predicted “red wave” of votes. Moderates, and companies traditionally aligned with Republicans, ought not even entertain another Trump presidential nomination. As it stands, the Republican party has proven that it is not in the business of governing, only of keeping the Democrats from governing.

Pretty much nails it.

Assholes galore:

Bad weather in America or not, once again here we are…

(Illustration out front found here.)

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