So Long Ed Asner (1929-2021)

Lou Grant (1977-1982)

Television legend Ed Asner passed away today at the age of 91.

With an acting career that spanned well over 60 years, Ed Asner’s career accomplishments are far too numerous to cite in a few paragraphs to honor his legacy, but one of his final roles was to play in a few episodes of ‘Cobra Kai’, and Asner fans loved that.

To play ‘Lou Grant’ was a dream role for any 1970’s TV actor, and Ed Asner got to play Lou in not one, but two golden age of television shows; Lou Grant and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Many of today’s older reporters were inspired to get into journalism because of Ed Asner.

Ed Asner’s signature career accomplishment was in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. No one person in American history did more to advance the modern women’s movement (and modern journalism maybe) than Mary Tyler Moore. And Ed Asner’s ‘Lou Grant’ (on Mary Tyler Moore Show), was a big part of this legacy, whether he knew it at the time, or not.

Winning seven Emmy awards, Ed Asner is the most celebrated male actor in television history, This reflects both Asner’s top notch acting skills, and the great TV writing projects he was a part of.

When Gavin Macleod (Captain Stubing on the Love Boat) passed away last May, Ed Asner tweeted this, which has stuck with me.

Now Betty White is the last of the old MTM crew.

RIP Ed Asner

Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall at 930 mb.

Satellite image of Hurricane Ida on August 29, 2021

In August 29, 2005, over 1,800 people perished from Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana; stunning the nation with unbelievable aftermath images of flooding and destruction.

On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (today), high-end category 4 Hurricane Ida just slammed into Louisiana, once again close to New Orleans. Over the coming hours and days, we will learn the extent of what will likely be much catastrophic damage.

It was just three days ago I began seeing lower pressure models, so knew the potential was there for a catastrophic hurricane. I write a lot about hurricanes each year, so here’s some additional insights on power and pressure of these storms.

At 919 mb, Hurricane Michael (2018) was a slightly stronger storm than Hurricane Katrina (2005), but Katrina is the modern benchmark for the near worst case scenario of a landfalling hurricane in America.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Lousiana at a pressure of 930 mb. Katrina made landfall at 920 mb.

Months after Hurricane Michael devastated parts of the Florida panhandle coast, I drove from Panama City to Mexico Beach, FL, and saw a good 30 mile stretch of Category 4/5 devastation. Learned a lot about the distribution of power from a 919 mb hurricane that day.

930 mb is a very bad store. But it isn’t a Katrina.

National Hurricane Center 5PM Cone

Here’s the 5PM cone from NHC. NYC and New England in the crosshairs, for now.

If there is going to be a hurricane strike, likely end of weekend, or into next week. H = Hurricane, and S = Tropical Storm.

This is a tough forecast, and as usual, storm could go out to sea, or slam into Long Island or elsewhere. Intensity is unknown, but intensification is expected.

Not expected to be a Sandy 2.0, but it could have a curve like Sandy.

Because there are some lower pressure models floating around, can’t rule out a major hurricane.

Model: National Hurricane Center

Peak of Hurricane Season Brings Us a Potential Major Storm

This is the time of year when hurricane season begins to peak, and models are showing potential activity into the Northeast, Long Island, or New England.

Early on, seeing some Sandy (2012) track similarities, and some lower pressure models out there (lower the pressure, stronger the storm).

Not a forecast, and still room for the storm to head out to sea.

Model: HWRF

The Halloween Season Arrives Early This Year

Home Deport reports early brisk sales of Halloween products, to the tune of selling out.

From CNBC

Home Depot said Tuesday it quickly sold out of an early release of Halloween products, offering a signal that consumers will be eager to decorate their homes this fall and winter.

The home improvement retailer recently offered shoppers a sneak peek at its Halloween products online and sold through everything “almost immediately.”

“That’s a very strong indication that people are still going to engage in decorating,” management told analysts during a conference call.

Last year, Halloween generated $8 billion in retail sales.

Only 75 days to Halloween!

Image: It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

President Biden Addresses the Nation on Afghanistan

Here’s a roundup of what feels like the most anticipated Presidential address since President Bush post 9/11.

RT mikememoli: Biden vows “devastating force if necessary” if the Taliban disrupts U.S. efforts to evacuate U.S. personnel and partners from Afghanistan

Ending the War in Afghanistan

Next month will be the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and USA’s twenty year involvement in Afghanistan has been a disaster. Not since the Fall of Saigon (end of Vietnam War) has the United States had to leave an extensive war effort with our heads tucked down in failure.

It was President Obama who took out Osama Bin Laden in year 2011, which was the biggest victory the United States will see in our twenty year involvement in this war operation.

Launching the Iraq War was an historic, huge blunder, as USA diverted resources and focus from Afghanistan, leading a forever war that went nowhere fast. Incredible incompetence, and our military establishment and politicians need to hear this, because in the history books, America mostly wins our wars.

In the 20th Century, Republicans were masters at American warfare. Generals MacArthur and Eisenhower are both giants and legends of world history warfare. Trained of centuries of war, both were great warriors who won our nation’s most difficult war, on different theatres of war. They earned their glory and legacy.

Through the era of President George H.W. Bush with stunning success in the Gulf War, Republicans excelled in American warfare. Into the 21st Century, mostly, Republicans are lousy at war. Today’s Republicans are weak at war strategy, judgment, spending, instinct, and common sense.

Just being fair here, but as a Biden critic, the President gets an A on his report card for bringing an end to the war in Afghanistan, under fierce criticism from the nation’s war hawks.

Over 2300 American military personnel have died while serving in Afghanistan.

From a financial perspective, the United States spent upwards of $2 trillion in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (interest by 2050 is $6.5 trillion – Source: AP).

Afghanistan is very poor, and a tough nation to win wars in. Afghanistan has an economy of near $20 billion in GDP. About the size of Vermont’s economy. And over the course of twenty years, USA blew trillions in taxpayer dollars to let the Afghan army now likely fall to the Taliban.

Just in the last month, as the U.S. military began pulling assets out, the Afghanistan military simply fell apart as the Taliban made rapid gains. That the Afghan army quickly ‘evaporated’ begs the question, what was USA doing for twenty years occupying Afghanistan? Apparently nothing!

It is widely accepted that a main reason the Soviet Union (today’s Russia) communist model imploded was because of it’s forever war (1979-1989) in Afghanistan. We didn’t learn from the Soviets 10 year experience. Took us 20 years to end this war.

To make a historical comparison, in just four years (between 1941-1945), the United States spent over $4 Trillion (in 2019 dollars) to defeat Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. Let this sink in. We spent (what would be in today’s dollars) $4 trillion to defeat the two most hostile nations in world history, globally, and did it in four years. Not twenty years, to lose it all.

Reports coming out of Afghanistan that the Taliban are making major gains are disturbing. But in war, once the occupying force pulls out, whichever side is strongest is going to brutally destroy the other side to seize and maintain power. We’ve seen this over and over throughout history.

President Biden may remember all too well how things ended with the Fall of Saigon (end of Vietnam War) in 1975, and the mad rush to evacuate. That’s how wars often end.

Time to cut our losses in Afghanistan and bring our troops home.

Photo Credit: Hugh Van Es, and his iconic Fall of Saigon photo from 1975.

Cuomo to Resign in Disgrace; Kathy Hochul Set to Become the Next New York Governor

The pressure was too much for Andrew Cuomo, and he will resign in disgrace. Cuomo will leave the Governor’s mansion and the great New York state Cuomo family dynasty in shambles.

In the end, Cuomo defiantly stood his ground on the allegations and AG report, but threw in the towel.

My instinct is to fight through this controversy because I believe it is politically motivated. I believe it is unfair and untruthful. If I could communicate the facts through the frenzy, New Yorkers would understand.

New York state will soon have it’s first female Governor. Her name is Kathy Hochul, who is currently the Lt. Gov of New York.

Photo: Reuters

Big July Jobs Report Beats Expectations. 943,000 Jobs Added; Unemployment rate drops to 5.4%

Stellar jobs report out today, as the economy bounced back to life just before a tidal wave of Delta mandate hype crested over the nation in the last week. Economic trouble could still be ahead.

President Biden is expected to take an economic victory lap today.

July data below:

Payroll Image: Zerohedge