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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Veronica Rocha, Los Angeles Times

After months of worsening drought across California, conditions appear to have leveled off, at least for now.

According to the latest assessment released Thursday, more than 80 percent of California continues to suffer extreme drought conditions — a figure that has remained unchanged now for roughly two weeks. Things had been on a steady march toward worse, pushing more than half of California to the most severe level of drought for the first time since the federal government began issuing regular drought reports in the late 1990s.

Despite recent thunderstorms, 58 percent of California continues to experience “exceptional” drought — the harshest on a five-level scale. Nearly 82 percent of the state, meanwhile, is experiencing “extreme” drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map.

“It was seasonably dry along the West Coast, with measurable precipitation limited to parts of the Sierra Nevada and northeastern California,” according to Richard Tinker, who authored the latest map. “To wit, areas of dryness and drought remained unchanged.”

The state’s major reservoirs total 59 percent of the historical average, but are “still above the 41 percent of average recorded during the 1976-77 drought.”

Still, Tinker added that some reservoirs in the west-central parts of the state are below 1977 levels.

The report comes after a series of thunderstorms this week pummeled Northern California, where firefighters have been battling numerous wildfires burning in extremely dry terrain.

Thunderstorms brought lightning, which sparked dozens of fires, further stretching already thin fire resources.

Rain and hail fell in some parts of Northern California and eastern San Bernardino County, but forecasters said this week it was not enough to make a dent in the drought.

Photo via WikiCommons

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Donald Trump Jr.

Screenshot from Twitter

You've probably heard about Donald Trump's claim that his Democratic rival got "a big fat se onhot in the ass" before delivering a nearly perfect performance on a recently televised town hall. Or his more recent demand that Joe Biden get a "drug test" before their debate on Tuesday night. Having spent months lowering expectations for Biden, the Trumps are now busily defaming him as a junkie.

But that particular slur backfired spectacularly over the weekend when the Trump campaign posted a bizarre video of Don Jr. -- seemingly in a condition that called for rehab services. As his father might put it, "many people are saying" that the presidential spud looked and sounded like someone abusing a controlled substance. (His slurred message was disturbed too, something about an "army of able-bodied men and women" to intimidate voters).

It's both funny and sad to watch Don Jr. decompensate on Twitter. (More funny, though.)

Click and judge his condition for yourself.