Today is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting land. While the storm is most closely associated with causing substantial destruction to New Orleans, the storm also did enormous damage in Alabama, Mississippi, parts of northern Florida as well as in the Bahamas and Cuba before striking the U.S. mainland. More than 1,800 people were killed as a result of Katrina while thousands of others were displaced.
The Spectacle Blog
Former NHL player and coach Al Arbour passed away today of Parkinson's and dementia. He was 82.
Arbour is best known for leading the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles in the early 1980's. Those teams included the likes of Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Billy Smith in goal. Those championship teams made Arbour the second winningest coach in NHL behind only Scotty Bowman.
Arbour also won four Stanley Cups as player - one with the Detroit Red Wings, one with the Chicago Blackhawks and two with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He would end his playing career with the St. Louis Blues where he would later become its coach before beginning his association with the Islanders in 1973.
In a classy gesture, Ted Nolan arranged for Arbour to come back and coach one more game for the Islanders in 2007. It would be his 1,500th game coaching the Islanders. Arbour became the oldest man in NHL history to win a game as a coach.
Very few people called Hillary Clinton out on her "Republicans are terrorists" comment from yesterday, so she appears to be doubling down on the inappropriate historical allusions.
Today, though, instead of saying that Republicans were just like those guys in the Middle East who sell women into sex slavery, mutilate their genitals, gang rape them repeatedly and then sell their organs on the black market for cash, she noted that Republicans who oppose immigration reform are just like those Nazis who rounded up Europe's Jewish population in railroad cars bound for concentration camps.
Clinton was asked by a reporter how she would handle the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country. “Well, I’m glad you asked me that,” she responded. “Because I know that there are some on the other side who are seriously advocating to deport 11-12 million people who are working here.”
Caleb Howe is reporting live from the Jackson Hole Summit, a major financial summit that is attracting the world's greatest thinkers on money and economics. Look for Caleb's posts throughout the weekend.
On Friday morning at the Jackson Hole Summit, Judy Shelton of the Sound Money Project and Atlas Network spoke on the subject of the gold standard and addressed the perception that people who even dare to mention it are lunatics or, as The American Spectator noted earlier today, Quixotic. Shelton's presentation focused in the main on the numbers and the policies. Dr. Shelton pointed out that the Fed can't seem to face up to a simple, apparent, easily understood fact: Their policies aren't working.
As the Dodd-Frank “financial reform” celebrated its fifth anniversary this summer, just about every financial business—as well as many nonfinancial firms—have come under its thumb. This is true whether or not these companies had anything to do with the financial crisis.
Community banks and credit unions that had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage meltdown suddenly found that they couldn’t issue mortgages to creditworthy borrowers, thanks to provisions such as “qualified mortgage” and “qualified residential mortgage” mandates enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the unaccountable new agency created by Dodd-Frank. Stable insurance companies such as MetLife that never faltered during the crisis and served policy holders for decades suddenly found themselves subject to bank-like capital requirements that even liberal Democrats like Sherrod Brown said was inappropriate.
The Jackson Hole Summit, billed as being "designed to challenge the policies of the Fed," opened this morning, to the sounds of Ray Charles and "We're Off To See The Wizard." The Wizard of Oz and the Yellow Brick Road are already a constant theme, with only two speakers under the group's belt. Taking place at the same time as the Fed Conference, introductory speaker Steve Lonegan made it clear this is not mere collocation but absolute defiance. The speakers and attendees here in Wyoming have differing points of view on policy prescriptions and possible solutions, but they are joined together in at least one single purpose: total condemnation of the Fed.
The weekend is so close you can taste it.
In Our Sights
House Majority leader John Boehner would do well to remember that people carry cell phones with them to donor dinners now. And the ones who don't don't necessarily have similar feelings about Ted Cruz.
Speaking of, while Democrats are busily whipping votes to get the Iran deal past a Republican blockade in the Senate, Ted Cruz is taking matters into his own hands. The circus comes to town on September 9th, tentatively.
Former NBA player Darryl Dawkins died suddenly of a heart attack. He was 58.
Forty years ago, Dawkins was the talk of the NBA when the Philadelphia 76ers drafted him. It was the first time a high school player had ever been drafted by the league. Dawkins never lived up to expectations during his tenure with the 76ers and later the New Jersey Nets as well as brief stints with the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons before ending his NBA career in 1989. He would play another decade in Europe.
Nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder" by Stevie Wonder, Dawkins is best remembered for not once, but twice breaking the backboard with his slam dunks in 1979. The NBA would then make that move illegal.
After his playing career, Dawkins did some coaching with the ABA and the short-lived USBL before landing a gig with Lehigh Carbon Community College near his home in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Even if Dawkins didn't become one of the greatest NBA players, he sure was one of its memorable.
Back in 2011 I wrote several times about the failure of Solyndra, the solar panel company that was well connected to the Obama administration. Then, as with so many stories, the topic passed out of the headlines and I lost touch with it. Today, the Washington Post and other papers bring news of a newly released federal investigative report:
It’s a bit like Bill endorsing Hillary, Penn endorsing Teller, or ham endorsing eggs. The news, which came while I was eating dinner Thursday night, that former Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has endorsed Jeb! Bush for president, gave me my biggest laugh in weeks. I’m just glad my mouth wasn’t full when I first heard it.
In an election cycle where there is every indication that being an establishment candidate will almost certainly lead to a loss, Jeb! now has a big air-kiss from a guy who has already lost because he was too establishment. Did Jeb! know this was coming? Was there any way he could have headed it off? Will he send someone to loosen Cantor’s tie-rods?