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January 29, 2009

The IceMan Cometh

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
But after 8 years of failed Republican policies
The Science is screaming at us.
And if we have to perish twice,
I've heard enough of hate.
The road to Copenhagen
Begins with a single step
.

- Jack Frost

Sacre bleu! The Princess sprang from betwixt the marital sheets yesterday morning to find the long driveway leading to her humble abode encased in a solid inch of glistening ice. It had been shoveled clean of snow at 9 pm, but for some odd reason having nothing to do with the utter absence of orange trees in her yard, she preferred sleep to staying up all night with smudge pots lit and snow shovels at the ready.

In the morning, she dutifully donned multiple layers of clothing and trudged outdoors to chip a 2 foot path to the street. The rest of the driveway is still encased in ice today. It never did melt.

Our new President, who chose to send his daughters to an exclusive private school in DC, was quick to chide area residents for our general lack of hardiness in the face of the latest irrefutable evidence of global warming:

A winter storm has socked about half the US the past couple of days, affecting Arkansas, Kentucky, the southern plains, Michigan, New England, etc etc., in an arc from the Deep South to the extreme North.

Al Gore was in D.C. to give an address to Congress today on the dangers of global warming. I mean, climate change. Wait, he actually said “the climate crisis”, which I guess is what you use for cold weather that (A) isn’t warm, that (B) occurs in winter, so it’s not very changey, but (C) does cause some actual crisis, if temporary power outages and icy roads are a “crisis”.

Anyhoo, if we take a string and put one end on D.C., then stretch it to Arkansas, and then move that end in a northerly arc encompassing Michigan to Maine, we can conclusively demonstrate the range of the Gore Effect as a radius of well over one thousand miles. That’s a pretty impressive swath of inconvenience.

You may recall that previous Gore Effects were fairly localized. I posit a tentative theorem that the intensity of the Gore Effect rises exponentially with his size. We’re about fifty triple cheeseburgers from worldwide apocalypse.

It seems We the Little People ought to be more like Chicago... notwithstanding the fact that our climate is completely different and our traffic far worse than Chicago's:

Nonetheless, we really are just a bunch of wussies down here in the South. What we ought to be acting like, is Northerners.

In the President's opinion, a city that rarely experiences heavy snowfall (making taxing the citizenry to keep armies of snowplows and sanding trucks standing by "just in case" somewhat hard to justify) ought to behave more like a city in a climate zone where heavy snow is routine.

There's just one problem with the President's complaint.

DC public schools weren't cancelled for the day. They were on a 2 hour delay to allow school buses more time to navigate icy roads, but they opened. It was tony private schools like Sidwell Friends that didn't open at all, so if the Obama girls were inconvenienced, they were inconvenienced by their parents' decision to send them there, not by public policy.

But it's easy to complain when your children are being driven to school in an armored limo instead of walking to school on icy sidewalks or riding a school bus on unplowed back country roads, isn't it? Fortunately, enlightened folks realize Obama's remarks are nothing like the first George Bush's surprise at the cost of a gallon of milk several years ago (we all know heads of state are constantly hopping in and out of the local Piggly Wiggly for a gallon of 2 percent). Certainly no one should poke fun at them - after all, we can't read anything into completely understandable occurrences like his trying to open a window the other day. Continually digging at him for understandable human mistakes the way the media continually broadcast that photo of George Bush trying to open... what was it? an actual door?... well, that would be childish, wouldn't it?

And we have been asked to put away childish things.

The important lesson to take from all this is that after suffering through 8 years of "stupid", relief is at hand. That's right: the Smart People are finally in charge.

What a relief.

Update - via AirForce Wife: Yikes! Is Obama's carbon footprint bigger than... Bigfoot's?

The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Hmmm.... so much for that 'return to an era of responsibility' stuff:

... to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

Must be another one of those Executive branch exceptions that shows the rest of us why these rules are so important.

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say "OK"... That's not leadership. That's not going to happen." - Barack Obama

With Obama continuing to brandish the Egg of Power with such finesse and nuance, how can the world fail to love us?

Posted by Cassandra at January 29, 2009 07:35 AM

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Comments

Well, yeah, you guys in the NCR *are* a buncha wussies.

I'm always bemused when I happen to be in that region during a smattering of snow or ice as I nimbly wend my rental through the carnage of local driving... all the while bemused at what's closed.

I'm afraid I was making north-south head movements at the President's comments, too.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at January 29, 2009 09:02 AM

Traffic worse in DC than Chicago, in the winter? I've driven in DC, and I know the traffic can be pretty bad, but Chicago is a lot bigger than DC. And once you get off the freeways in Chicago, well......

Well, uh, I don't think Barack drove in Chicago, either.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 29, 2009 09:08 AM

See, and after growing up in CA, DC's precautions always seem to be erring on the side of danger to me.

I mean, when I was a kid in Long Beach Unified School District's school on Catalina Island we had (you'll die over this one) rainy day schedules.

Oh yes. Rain. Not even cold rain. It doesn't really get cold on that island.

Posted by: airforcewife at January 29, 2009 09:10 AM

I checked 5 lists of traffic congestion in the US over the past 5 years.

Chicago was in *one* of them.

ONE.

DC was in ALL of them. Every. Single. One.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 29, 2009 09:14 AM

Here's one that says Chicago is worse:

http://scorecard.inrix.com/scorecard/Summary.aspx

DC is right after Chicago.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 29, 2009 09:22 AM

I spent a few months in training at the USN base in North Chicago during the early 1970's. I can't recall that driving around Chicago proper in those days was very bad. But then that was a pretty good while ago.

D.C.? Sheesh... When I left D.C. in 1989, I was routinely spending over two hours each morning and each afternoon traveling ~30 to 40 miles to and from the Naval Research Lab. I hated that drive more than I can say, at least in polite company. Loved the work, hated the commute.

Atlanta... My perception is that the traffic is similar to D.C. in congestion and volume, only it seems to move a lot faster in metro Atlanta. When it's moving. When I have a need to drive the old pickup on one of the multi-lane roads around here like Ga. 400, aka the Alpharetta Autobhan, I have my door blown off, even at 80 mph.

And in the interest of civility, I'll not comment on the masses driving ability on icy/snowy roads, regardless of the region. But I will say that we could learn a lot from the Germans regarding the preparation and licensing of folk for the operation of motor vehicles on public roads.

Posted by: bthun at January 29, 2009 09:35 AM

Well darn, I should have checked the charts... Thanks for the link M'lady.

Apparently Atlanta has improved. Could have fooled me.

Posted by: bthun at January 29, 2009 09:38 AM

Tim Blair's been keeping track of Albert's Gorbal Worming Catastrophism appearances.

*Wherever* he's scheduled to speak, the locale invariably gets whacked with either a record snowfall or ice storms. You'd think he'd take the hint...

Posted by: BillT at January 29, 2009 10:05 AM

"When it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things." -Obama

"The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat." -NYT

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say "OK"... That's not leadership. That's not going to happen." -Obama

Thanks for pointing me towards that first quote - it really helps makes a great trifecta.

Posted by: Falze at January 29, 2009 10:06 AM

I remember when Obama chastised us about our SUV's, gluttony, and 72 degree homes.

For the past 7 years we have turned our thermostat to its lowest setting in winter (59 degress) and move it to 66 during the day. The only time our house is 72 degrees is in the spring/fall when the outside temperature and inside are the same. But I am keeping the SUV. What other vehicle will hold 2 adults, 2 booster seats and a baby seat, not to mention 2 dogs and a bunch of groceries.

Posted by: Sloan at January 29, 2009 10:12 AM

In Cincinnati, we got a few inches of snow early in the morning on Tuesday, and then the freezing rain set in mid-afternoon... and then it snowed another 4-6 inches on top of that overnight. Needless to say, it's a MESS here!

3-4 inches of snow, topped by an inch of ice, topped by 4-6 inches of snow = massive closed schools, businesses, and entire counties. It was actually illegal for me to drive to work yesterday.

That being said... President Greenhouse needs to grow a pair and lighten up, Francis.

Posted by: AFSister at January 29, 2009 11:01 AM

According to NOAA (not the ark dude), even if C02 emissions were to cease and desist IMMEDIATELY, it would take 1,000 years for the earth to begin to recover.

Off to get Ann Coulter's latest Screed In Print, iconoclastically blasting Single Motherhood and the Welfare State. I found things in my conflict theorist's sociology text that actually support moral principles and defending marriage as between a man and a womyn.

*rubbing hands together with glee*

Posted by: Cricket at January 29, 2009 11:35 AM

According to NOAA (not the ark dude), even if C02 emissions were to cease and desist IMMEDIATELY, it would take 1,000 years for the earth to begin to recover.

BLASPHEMER!!!!

Posted by: We have found a witch - may we burn her? at January 29, 2009 11:38 AM

The important lesson to take from all this is that after suffering through 8 years of "stupid", relief is at hand. That's right: the Smart People are finally in charge.

Too too funny.

All due respect, Cassandra, I think that there is very little in important lessons here. Or maybe we just disagree on what's "important".

Ok. Your undies are in a bundle over this, but hey, it's been obvious for a long time that you just plain don't like Obama. You still could take a teasing for a teasing, rather than getting all menopausal about it. A line or two about "Douche Northerners" would have done it. Sometimes less is more.

Anyhow. You don't like the guy (and you don't particularly care for any defense of him, to boot), but you may want to fight the impulse to react quite . . . quite . . . oh, quite the way you do. E.g., http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/archives/2009/01/fish_barrel_no_1.html ;
http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/archives/2009/01/coffee_snorters_20.html) It doesn't serve you particularly well, or your readers, or your position.

As in jumping to conclusions or mis-direction (see referenced posts), over-reaction is generally counter-productive. And in these veins, there's no need, is there, to misrepresent what the President did say?

(Excuse me if I err, but so far as I saw, nowhere did Obama say "the DC public schools were cancelled for the day". Cf. "There's just one problem with the President's complaint. [¶]
DC public schools weren't cancelled for the day.
"

[As if any such (non-error) error would have been particularly blog-worthy in any event.])

Chill out. You transplant Southern wuss. Chill out. :)

You've got more important things to be concerned about; and to address. Don't you?

Posted by: hoover1 at January 29, 2009 11:40 AM

It is cold here. Time to break out Thornton Wilder's 'By the Skin of our Teeth.' I am in the mood for that today. And who are you, missy, to say that the Presidential Parents have to deal with Actual Responsibility for sending their children to a private school that closed when the going got tough?

Posted by: Woolly Mammories at January 29, 2009 11:40 AM

BillT,

Speaking of Gorebal Worming versus the the current reality, you might enjoy the little piece begins with

Al Gore braved a midwinter snowstorm yesterday to tell a Senate committee that the world is heating up and the only thing that can save us is "conservation and renewables."

If I may be excused, I'm going to put on a coat.

Wait! I pledge to put on more outerwear in cold weather! Hot dang, yet another pledge I can make... =;^}

Posted by: bthun at January 29, 2009 11:41 AM

All due respect, Cassandra, I think that there is very little in important lessons here.

Err... that was the point of the post. Apparently I need to be less subtle.

Lighten up, Frances... :p Err... hoover. If you can't make a point without being insulting (and you seem to have trouble with that) you might want to re-read you own comment for some helpful advice. And then repeat after me:

Not all posts have to be serious. It's OK to laugh.

Really. It is.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 29, 2009 11:54 AM

And re: the public/private school thing, you are missing the point (as usual). When you make a comment about an entire city and how they "ought to be more like Chicago" on the basic of how a MINORITY of schools (private ones) chose to react to an ice storm, it's entirely appropriate to point out that Obama didn't know what he was talking about.

The city of DC didn't close its schools. Therefore, they don't need to be more like Chicago, DO they?

Duh. Of course hoover will try to tell us Obama knew that. Do try to read more carefully - and more importantly try thinking about what you read.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 29, 2009 11:59 AM

So Obama is from Chicago when its convenient, and then from Hawaii, when that's convenient. How conveeeeeeenient!

Which is it?

My only comment about driving in Chicago was "off the freeways, in winter". I know that driving in DC is crazy bad. The few times I've visited I park away out and ride the Metro into town.
I've driven more in Chicago and can only say that there is a lot of gridlock on the freeways at certain times of the day (Chicago is much bigger than DC and the surrounding environs), and generally not as bad as DC. But in winter driving on the ground streets of Chicago can be an adventure, meaning just after a lot of snow has fallen. And they do get a lot more snow in Chicago than DC. I usta live in Cleveland, and their weather is much like Chicago; Lake effect and all that.

And yes, this is just fun carping, hoover1.

AFSister, the weather was much the same in Columbus yesterday. Much fun driving around (but my car has all-wheel drive); really slippery-slidy. It was also fun watching the dog figure this out during one of his 3 or 4-times daily excursions for relief.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 29, 2009 12:16 PM

The GOREACLE has a pair of "Snowballs" that goes with his "Snowjob Travelin' Salvation Show" coming to a theater near you.

I don't believe his snowjob is anything other than a cover-up for his failure to as a candidate. He is now gathering awards, movies, a Peace prize that comes with a futon, and enough "merit badges" to make a cub scout blush.

He protests too much and tries too hard. He will single-handedly melt his "pair" with his own hot air. I wonder if Tipper is laying in a store for the upcoming Armageddon? We haven't heard much from her lately come to think of it.

Posted by: vet66 at January 29, 2009 12:21 PM

Hey, Witchburner, won't you be increasing CO2 emissions if you burn me, not to mention incurring Gaia's wrath?

Just sayin'...

Posted by: Cricket at January 29, 2009 12:27 PM

Hey, Witchburner, won't you be increasing CO2 emissions if you burn me, not to mention incurring Gaia's wrath?

SILENCE!!!!

My undies are in a knot... or ... wad... or something like that! And I'm all menopausal! :p

Besides, aren't you supposed to be smoldering or something?

Posted by: We have found a witch - may we burn her? at January 29, 2009 12:41 PM

Oh Cassandra, you're one funny funny gal. Of course it's ok to laugh, but frankly I didn't sense any playfulness in your post - just criticism. (And much of that unfounded.)

[Oh. And by the way, I don't "get" the "Frances" thing-y; care to enlighten me?]

Anyhow, as playfully funny or as smoothly satiric as you see yourself in this post, well . . . don't go quitting your day job. I mean, really -- going off researching "5 lists of traffic congestion in the US over the past 5 years" -- not so much bang for the comedic buck, there, seems to me. Seems all-too-serious a jones against The Man.

And, finally, No thank you. I won't be taking directions on reading comprehension and "thinking" about what's written from you, thank you very much. Ballsy of you to suggest it, though, given your sad sad record on that subject -- so recently displayed in http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/archives/2009/01/fish_barrel_no_1.html#comments.

Yep. You certainly are quite some gal.

Posted by: hoover1 at January 29, 2009 12:43 PM

FWIW, I think when they say "DC" in those traffic studies they are including the entire DC/MD/noVA metropolitan area, which is pretty darned big. I am not sure that it is as big as Chicago, but I think that's the only way they get to our traffic being so bad. Maryland's traffic is really horrendous (if you go on a state-by-state basis, we are in the top 5 in the nation and no doubt boost the "DC" stats).

Posted by: Cassandra at January 29, 2009 12:44 PM

Boy, I really hit a nerve with that post, didn't I? :p

Hoover, there is this wonderful feature in your brower that allows you to control which pages you read. I suggest you use it. No one forces you to read anything I write - if you don't find it amusing, move on.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 29, 2009 12:47 PM

re: "Lighten up, Frances", here you go!

Posted by: Cassandra at January 29, 2009 12:52 PM

Boy, I really hit a nerve with that post, didn't I? :p

Hoover, there is this wonderful feature in your brower that allows you to control which pages you read. I suggest you use it. No one forces you to read anything I write - if you don't find it amusing, move on.

You're just making it worse, Cassandra. You're jumping to conclusions, again. And making it worse. Just ask anyone who can, in fact, read.
And who can find a fish in a barrel.

(But thanks for the low-down on the Frances reference)

Posted by: hoover1 at January 29, 2009 01:01 PM

Ooooh ... :(

You're right, Hoover. I *have* been schooled :p

Posted by: Sooooo much worse! at January 29, 2009 01:13 PM

Hoover, you are not very bright, are you? Have you figured out you have just had your ass handed to you?

Posted by: Mark at January 29, 2009 01:49 PM

Yes, reminding everyone of the massive beating you took as though it was somehow a victory for you isn't exactly helping your case...

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 29, 2009 02:11 PM

Who has the popcorn?

Posted by: bthun at January 29, 2009 02:26 PM

Does it matter? Not even Obama has enough hot air to counter this new and more massive Gore Effect to be able to pop it.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 29, 2009 02:34 PM

Well, while it lasts, the good old pickup has 40 gallons of BP's finest in the tanks.

Place corn and oil in dutch oven, insert hand pump in truck's petrol tank. After a couple of revolutions of the pump handle with the output directed to very a small pile of fat wood, followed by a lit match. We place some more wood on the fire and voilà!, have a popcorn popper, circa 1830. And we have a location on which to site a USGS weather station.

Praise Gaia and pass the popcorn.

Posted by: bthun at January 29, 2009 03:06 PM

Well, as witches go, I am smoldering. I am having hot flashes as well, so I should spontaneously combust any time now, especially if someone gets on my last nerve.

Or not. Depends on the strength of the hot flashes. Can we have drumming at my burning?

Posted by: Cricket at January 29, 2009 03:11 PM

hoover1 if I might be so bold as to point out that I absolutely love snow days. We get all cozy, and have old fashioned fun. I enjoy having my children around and I sort of wish the public schools would take a permanent holiday, but then what would other parents do for a babysitter? I mean, ones that believe in compulsory attendance for Head Start through high school as a day care service?

The Obamas selected the private school and they are certainly entitled to be upset when they chose to close. It had nothing to do with global warming, but private schools that charge 20 grand a year for tuition per child sort of get to make their own rules, as long as the closing doesn't affect their accreditation and the students are caught up on their work.

IOW, I thought it was funny. Cassandra doesn't dislike Obama the man, she doesn't know him to dislike him or not. She doesn't like his policies, and that, we are entitled to like or dislike as we see fit.

Posted by: Cricket at January 29, 2009 03:20 PM

Algore the Ecoevangelist is a massive fraud.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

Who would have thunk the sun influences our weather? Some thirty years ago a woman physicist was interviewed regarding global warming/cooling as pimped by the political hacks. She said it is all garbage and thast the sun controls our weather. She is right and Algore is an idiot.

Posted by: Mark at January 29, 2009 03:25 PM

I think that's about right.

There really is nothing that I personally dislike about Obama. On a personal level I find his wife far less likeable than he is, and I have hardly written about her at all.

I would have to say that I personally dislike Harry Reid as well as disagree with him. I absolutely loathe Keith Olbermann.

He has done things which make me think he is not a good or honorable man. But Obama has done nothing to make me dislike him.

Posted by: Cass at January 29, 2009 03:50 PM

"I absolutely love snow days."

I grew up in eastern Washington. Snow is a nice place to visit, but I would not want to live there again. The family and I once drove to Lewiston/Clarkston to watch an icebreaker work in the river. It was -45 degrees. Ice storm, anyone? I'm an hour from snow if I want to visit. Living in it is just plain miserable. I can sympathise with Cricket getting cozy with her family though.

Posted by: Mark at January 29, 2009 03:58 PM

Funny I come over here and see you had the same thoughts as my post, does that mean I too will be burned at the stake for posting something so in-important? Excuse me while I smolder.

Posted by: MrsG at January 29, 2009 04:56 PM

A lot of folks wrote about this.

Hoover is going to be very busy telling them all to find something more important to write about :p

Posted by: Cass at January 29, 2009 05:15 PM

Well, I would say that the last I had heard was that judging the group by the actions of one (the entire city of D.C. by a single private school Obama chose to send his children to) and hypocrisy (superheating the White House while telling the rest of us we ought to lower the thermostat and bundle up) were very important things to condemn.

But as BillT pointed out earlier, the last thing I heard was that they weren't important anymore.

Obama, once again, proves just how miraculous he is that he can render prejudice and hypocrisy unimportant in just 9 days in the White House.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 29, 2009 06:03 PM

The thermostat is set at 50 degrees during the night, 65 during the day and if I'm cold it's my own darn fault for letting the wood stove go out. If I'm really cold, there are always the coveralls...grow a pair, BO

Posted by: Leslie at January 29, 2009 11:37 PM

What is this "thermostat" that you people speak of?

Posted by: Tropic Lightning Goddess at January 30, 2009 12:30 AM

We use wood heat; there have been a couple of weeks that it was so cold we could have used the basement as an extension of the fridge. Last night it dipped into the teens. We got all the CLUs together, got a fire going and read, ate snacks and just chatted. They dropped off to sleep around 9 pm. Gathering wood wears out children.

Posted by: Cricket at January 30, 2009 10:53 AM

Hoover, my buddy, you're really on the wrong site. If you can't stomach Cass's very mild needling of the President (not to mention the Goracle), you're going to have a long four years.

Posted by: Texan99 at January 30, 2009 12:15 PM

Talking about hoover1 is like talking about vacuum cleaners that suck.

The Engineer and the CLUs are going to the Klondike Derby tonight. There is no snow at Camp Thunder and it is all Obama's fault! I don't know how I will be able to make it stick, but I will find a way!

In the meantime, they are selecting food, Dutch ovens and pestering me for cooking techniques. I might as well pack up my tatting shuttle, laptop and Current Class Literature and the two youngest CLUs and join them. Much less painful.

Posted by: Cricket at January 30, 2009 02:17 PM

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