Two of the people injured refused a mandatory evacuation order, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. He said that the two didn’t realize how serious the threat of the fire was, and that they thought they could protect themselves by jumping into a Jacuzzi.
But when the 80-to-100-foot flames came barreling through their neighborhood, they were seriously burned, said Whitmore.
“These are two individuals who underestimated this fire,” Whitmore said. “This fire is serious.”
nytimes, 2 months ago:
“California’s day of reckoning is here,” Schwarzenegger said in a speech in early June, though in fact many Californians are convinced that the state is past its day of reckoning and that the governor is approaching his “end of days.” …
“Someone else might walk out of here every day depressed, but I don’t walk out of here depressed,” Schwarzenegger said. Whatever happens, “I will sit down in my Jacuzzi tonight,” he said. “I’m going to lay back with a stogie.”
The President is doing a terrible job of selling health care reform. This is surprising, because we all know the man can tell a good story. “I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas.” Remember that? Chills! But with health care, Obama can’t seem to find a narrative. It’s not even clear that he’s looking for one. And if you’re, say, a curious fence-sitter with an Internet connection, the Administration is doing little to sway you.
Go over to the White House website. Booming all-caps header: HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM, right there, front and center. Well done. Watch the video or learn more. Nice and simple. But now things get, well, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The video is over an hour long. And it’s a single, uncut, town hall meeting. Mr. President, have you no postproduction team? Even the title is snooze-worthy: “The President Highlights Health Insurance Consumer Protections.” No wonder this video has fewer than 5,000 views. Those kids who danced down the aisle to the Chris Brown song found an audience 3,000 times bigger.
Sure, you can argue that the informed voter should take the time to study the issues, blah blah blah. But come on. A spoonful of motion graphics helps the policy go down. And this Administration knows that. Remember how well Candidate Obama was packaged? The whole Shepard Fairey thing? “In no other country on Earth is my story even possible,” (chills, again!) and all that? Just because an issue is complicated doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty, or that it can’t be made more digestible.
Here are some examples of how to get a policy message across with a compelling style: The Big Brother State, by David Scharf. The Hidden Cost of War, by the fine folks at GOOD magazine. Iran: A Nation of Bloggers, by a Canadian film school student. Health care policy is filled with charts and graphs and statistics that can be made to fly around the screen and make the audience feel smart. Health care policy is also filled with sob stories and horror stories of people without insurance, stories that can give the numbers a human face and bring the issue home for constituents. Captivating narratives. Heartstrings to be plucked. More chills! What Obama needs is to deputize Ira Glass.
But no, the best presentation the White House can muster is an eight-point summary of Obama’s plan that reads like a mattress commercial. (If you act now, no cost-sharing for preventive care or your money back, guaranteed!) The President can do better. He has a massive online reach; if he produces a compelling video, people will watch it. Until then, the only health benefit his reform ideas will provide will be a cure for the nation’s insomnia.
During the election, Sarah Palin spent over $150,000 of GOP money on new clothes for herself, her husband, and her kids. As governor, she expensed $43,000 worth of travel for her family and didn’t pay taxes on it. Her salary as governor was $125,000; Todd makes $47,000 a year. Sarah Palin has five dependent children plus a grandson she probably supports. Her legal bills, for defending ethics complaints, now exceed $600,000.
Perhaps it just got too expensive to be Governor. Perhaps she hid her pregnancy because was worried about how she’d afford it, what with four other kids and a pregnant daughter. Perhaps she doesn’t understand the intricacies of the ethics laws that govern public money, and was biased in favor of taking what she could get so she could take care of her family.
Sarah Palin also rejected a pay raise on principal, rejected federal money for Alaska on principal, and rejected the abortion of a Downs baby and grandson on principal. I don’t think her scandals reflect a bankrupt morality. I think her morality is bankrupting her into scandal.