Hurricane Sandy from Boston

It is just past 3 pm when I began to write.  The morning was pretty calm.  Nothing we haven’t seen before and I wondered if Mayor Menino had made the right decision to close City Hall and the Boston Public Schools.  But the trains and subway shutdown at 2 and kids would have been dismissed early.

We live on the top two floors of a post-Civil War house on top of one of the hills in Boston and the house has weathered a lot of storms.  But we can now feel the house shaking.  About an hour or so ago things really picked up with rain and wind lashing the east and north facing windows.  And we are hundreds of miles from the eye of the storm!  I have been watching scenes from the Jersey shore where I spent many summers of the childhood and can only imagine the devastation on Long Beach Island.

The main impact is due between 5 and midnight.  Midnight is when Boston Harbor has high tide.  But already people are posting pictures of damage.

This is from Belmont, just outside of Boston and where Mitt Romney lives.

And this is from South Boston not sure of the exact location but I’m sure near the Boston Harbor Walk and Castle Island where I often walk.

Hurricane Sandy in South Boston, Mass. -- Photo courtesy: @Brooke_Marlowe

More updates as things progress.

South Boston Photograph from @Brooke_Marlow.  Belmont photograph from Liz.

Election Chatter

It appears that while Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon have made the mayoral race here in Boston interesting, Thomas Menino, who has been Mayor for 16 years, will win again.  This is according to polls out over the weekend.  The debate tonight between Menino and Flaherty should be the final deciding factor.  As far as City Council goes, there are a number of interesting folks running – most of them young.  Hard to predict the 4 at-large winners.

Jon Corzine is likely to get reelected in New Jersey.  But the Democratic candidate in Virginia, Creigh Deeds, is likely to lose despite the Washington Post endorsement.  His opponent is Bob McDonnell is what I would call a right-wing religious nutcase who has written about a woman’s place.

If you live in Virginia and you’re planning to vote for governor in November, if you happen to be between ages 18 and 44 and you also just happen to be a woman, gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds has something he’d like to talk to you about.

It has to do with a certain graduate school thesis written by Deeds’s opponent, Robert F. McDonnell, in 1989. McDonnell wrote about how to use public policy to strengthen the traditional family and said that working women and feminism were “detrimental” to the family.

While this provided a surge for Deeds in September, it doesn’t look as if the surge is holding.  Of course, I know from having lived in Virginia working state government is like being on a roller coaster:  Democratic governors seems to care for state workers (and for Virginians who need their services) while Republicans do not.  And the Virginia electorate seems to need periodic reminders about how bad governors like George Allen are for the Commonwealth.

But the most interesting election news is the Pew Research Center poll about Obama.  A few days ago, Paul Krugman had an interesting post about the midterm (2010) elections.  I think most experts believe that the Democrats  will lose some seats, but not control of either the House or Senate.  

Lots of buzz about the possibility that 2010 will be another 1994, with the triumphant conservative majority sweeping back into its rightful place of power. And of course, anything is possible.

But the signs really don’t point to that.

You can obsess, if you like, about the generic Congressional ballot — but historical patterns suggest that this ballot is meaningless at this early date.

If we look at Obama’s personal position, it seems to have stabilized — and as the Pew people point out, he’s in relatively good shape:

 

DESCRIPTIONPew Research Center

 

And there’s one more thing which I think matters: Republicans don’t have anything positive to sell.

I think the Republicans are being too optimistic and the Democrats a little gun shy.  The Democrats should move on, pass health care reform with a public option and give people a meaningful reason to vote for them.