SDB Evening News Reads for 090211: Doom and Gloom and Flu and Rain and Obama…disaster alerts!

Good Evening

It’s Friday and the weather is kicking up a storm that’s heading to New Orleans…So to catch you up on some of the rain that our Dakinikat will be experiencing this weekend, take a look at the links below.

Flash floods likely in New Orleans from storm, governor says | Reuters

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal warned on Friday that Tropical Storm Lee is likely to produce flash flooding in low-lying parts of the New Orleans metropolitan area throughout the holiday weekend.

Winds as high as 65 miles per hour could affect coastal communities as the storm moves across land on Saturday evening, forecasters said. The tropical depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Lee around earlier on Friday, but forecasters said it could reach Category 1 hurricane status briefly before weakening when it hits land.

Gulf of Mexico storm upgraded to Tropical Storm Lee | Earth | EarthSky

Lee will have plenty of time over the Gulf of Mexico’s very warm waters to strengthen. The system is looking more symmetrical.  Here is the forecast track from the National Hurricane Center:

Forecast track of Tropical Depression 13. Image Credit: National Hurricane Center

Here’s what the projected five-day rain total looks like for the United States from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center:

Too much rain for the southern United States

HPC rainfall forecast for the next five days. Over a foot of rain along Louisiana and New Orleans. Image Credit: Hydrometeorological Prediction Center

Based on the image above, Louisiana could see as much as 17.1 inches of rain over the next five days. Tropical Storm Lee is projected to meander and barely move along the central Gulf of Mexico for the next couple of days. 

Tropical Storm Lee Forms Over Gulf As Louisiana, Mississippi Declare States Of Emergency |

Mississippi’s governor declared a state of emergency in seven counties on or near the coast, saying the storm is expected to cause tremendous flooding. A state of emergency frees up resources that can be used to prepare for a storm, and Louisiana’s governor declared one Thursday because of the threat of flash flooding.

On to some news from the European Union:

Ban on Syrian oil: EU tightens the noose –

Offering another sign of the international community’s tightening noose on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the European Union on Friday announced an embargo on all imports of Syrian oil.

The move will not be music to the ears of Mr. Assad, whose coffers rely on the proceeds from about 150,000 barrels of exported oil a day, most of which goes to Europe.

The EU imposed its oil import ban as Western diplomats suggested that Assad’s continuing repression of pro-democracy forces in Syria was resurrecting efforts to adopt a United Nations resolution of international sanctions against Syria. French officials said Friday that another try at approving a Syria resolution would be launched in the coming days.

A new travel warning from the U.S. State Department Issues World Travel Alert for Sept. 11

The U.S. State Department today issued a world travel alert for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“While we have not identified any specific threats” from al-Qaeda and affiliates, “In the past, terrorist organizations have on occasion planned their attacks to coincide with significant dates.”

And if you think that is more than enough alerts or warnings of doom, I have a couple more for you…

New Flu Virus a Reminder That Mutants Still Out There – Maggie Fox –

A report released on Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serves as a reminder that pigs can be “mixing vessels” for new flu viruses. Two young children became infected with new versions of flu – luckily, strains that were not especially harmful — and both recovered.

Both cases are linked to summer agricultural fairs, where swine and other animals are on display and often petted by adults and children, CDC and state health officials said.

What’s unusual about both cases is the type of changes in the virus. Flu viruses have eight genes, and this one is seven-eighths pig virus – a virus designated H3N2 that’s been circulating among swine for years. But one single gene comes from the H1N1 swine flu virus that caused a new pandemic of influenza in 2009 and which is now part of the human seasonal flu mix.

For the latest on CDC guidelines and recommendations:  CDC – Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

CDC – Seasonal Influenza (Flu) – 2011-2012 Flu Season

Not only do I have weather, terrorist, and flu alerts for you…on now to economy alerts.

Fifty economists ask Obama to step up on trade | Reuters

Fifty economists have written to ask U.S. President Barack Obama to “step up to the plate” on World Trade and champion a last gasp deal on the moribund Doha round of world trade talks.

The letter was drafted by Jagdish Bhagwati, a professor at Columbia University, and signed by economists based in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore and Japan, as well as three former trade ministers and a former president of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo.

“As the window of opportunity for a robust deal on Doha Round is closing, with the United States now about to enter into an election mode, we make an appeal for Presidential leadership in the United States to put Doha into closure along with the three Free Trade Agreements that finally seem close to passage by bipartisan agreement,” said the letter, which was sent on Wednesday.

“The fear of the labor unions that trade with the poor countries produces poor in the rich countries is mistaken. The demand of the business lobbies that want ever more concessions from others is excessive. The contention of some experts that the gains from Doha are minuscule is flawed in neglecting the costs of the failure of Doha and the ensuing damage to the WTO.

“The retribution by a protectionist public is greatly exaggerated: many jobs today depend on both exports and imports and the polls reflect that,” the letter said.

Dak, will the trade agreements alone solve this problem? These economist are pushing the idea that it will…

“If the White House wants to lead, if they want to turn to a more proactive trade policy, then we can see a turnaround rather quickly,” he said.

For a comment on that, I’ll give you another cartoon from Mike Luckovich:



And then there’s Maude…

Solyndra closure affects foundation linked to Obama donor – The Washington Post

A foundation linked to a top donor to President Obama says it took a hit like all other investors in a distressed solar company that this week shuttered its plant and laid off 1,100 workers, leaving taxpayers on the hook for loans guaranteed by the federal government.

The Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation said in a statement that it is among many investors in Solyndra, the California-based company that received a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Energy Department. The independent foundation said that its lead funder, billionaire oilman George B. Kaiser, a prominent Obama campaign bundler, was not personally invested in the company or involved in its loan application.

The foundation is one of many that “suffered a loss as a result of the company’s inability to overcome serious challenges in the marketplace, especially the drastic decline in solar panel prices during the past two years caused in part by subsidies provided by the government of China to Chinese solar panel manufacturers.” the statement said. “George Kaiser is not an investor in Solyndra and did not participate in any discussions with the US Government regarding the loan.”

The GOP members of the House are vowing to have the White House investigated for links to Solyndra.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee, wrote to the White House Thursday:

“We have learned from our investigation that White House officials monitored Solyndra’s application, and communicated with DOE and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials. Documents received by the Committee also show that DOE and OMB officials were aware of the White House’s interest in the Solyndra loan guarantee.”

I am not sure, but there seems to be so many things like this foreshadowing the jobs speech next week.

That is it for me today, these kids are driving mad!

We’ll see you this weekend Saturday and Sunday morning…