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Wednesday: The Northeast cries “Uncle!”

See that area of pink between the white and green? That's us.

It is snowing. Or raining?  Snain? Again.

Yesterday, we had freezing rain.  Delightful.  Last night when I left work, my car was like the top of a creme brulee.  I LOVE chipping off the icy crust only to realize as I got to the security gate that my window was frozen shut and I had to engage  in a tricky maneuver of applying the emergency brake, opening my door, swiping my ID, and quickly getting the car moving before the gate came down.

Schools are closed.  There have been so many snow days and delayed openings that these kids will be going to school in July.  Today, Brooke is competing in a national linguistics competition at Princeton.  Well, that should be fun, getting into Princeton.  And there’s no place to park in Princeton.  The only way the competition will be postponed is if there is four feet of snow on the ground.  But do they mean cumulative?  Does last week’s foot and a half that is still on the ground count towards that total?  And what if the snow plow doesn’t dig us out in time to make it down to Princeton??

Seriously, we give up.  We’re waving the white flag.  We completely identify with the bleak prospect of Ethan Frome’s winter scape, that endless expanse of dirty white coldness, leaden skies and bitter cold, the way the salt spreading trucks hurl pellets of salt and gravel at my car like a shotgun as I pass them.  Lovely.  Sometimes, I feel like I will never be warm again.

I’d love to take a flight to someplace warmer but in all likelihood, the airports are delaying flights and there’s a backlog.

Get us out of here.

The NYTimes gives a confusing version of who was proactively encouraging Mubarek to move on. Funny, my recollection was that Hillary Clinton was hot out of the box with a statement last week asking the Egyptian government to respond to its people.  Joe Biden is reported to have said “No” when asked if Mubarek should go as late as last Sunday.  But no, it was Obama who the NYTimes credits with sending a diplomatic envoy to Egypt on Sunday, even though it was Hillary Clinton who chose the guy and recommended the strategy last Saturday.  But you don’t know that until paragraph 14:

At a two-hour meeting at the White House last Saturday, Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser; William M. Daley, the White House chief of staff, Secretary of StateHillary Rodham Clinton; the director of the Central Intelligence AgencyLeon E. Panetta; and other officials coalesced around a strategy to start trying to ease Mr. Mubarak out, an official said.

Mrs. Clinton, officials said, suggested that the administration send Mr. Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt who knows Mr. Mubarak well, to deliver a message directly from Mr. Obama to the Egyptian leader. Officials said Mr. Wisner urged Mr. Mubarak to declare publicly that he would not run for re-election. But Mr. Wisner has extended his stay in Cairo, officials said, and may have a follow-up meeting with Mr. Mubarak if events seem to demand a quicker exit.

Oh, sure, Obama is the guy who is her boss and he has to be the one to approve the strategy, yadayadayada.  {{rolling eyes in exasperation}}.  But come on, Obama and Biden have definitely been behind the curve here.  Getting Mubarek out and someone the Egyptians want in as soon as possible is the best way to control the crazy turmoil that is rocking that nation.  After a couple of days of dizzy triumph and champagne, wait, Muslims don’t drink, ok, days of lines of guys dancing around, people would start getting back to work and the wheels could start turning again.  The army is on the side of the protestors.  It’s time for Mubarek to give it up.  When it comes to self-determination, it became clear last weekend that the Egyptians had self-determined.  It’s just a waiting game now.

But Obama gets the credit.  {{yawn}}  Look, NYTimes, we all know of instances when the supervisor takes credit for his underling’s work, makes the presentation to a high stakes audience, forces their way onto a patent without lifting a finger… where was I?  Oh yes, we all know people like that.  No one wants to work for them.  It might be common practice but it’s not moral or ethical to take credit for someone elses work.

So, Hillary read the tea leaves correctly and had to drag Barry kicking and screaming, once again, to do the right thing. Whatever.  We know what we saw.  Barry dithering again.

The DNC has chosen Charlotte, NC for their mock convention in 2012.  We should have known in 2008 that Denver meant a caucus strategy focussing on the west and mountain states.  So, what does Charlotte say?  Well, to me , North Carolina conjures up Roanoke, the Lost Colony, those intrepid colonists of fortune hunters.  Carolina means tobacco plantations.  It means furniture manufacturing.  It means very little union strength.  It means the Research Triangle.  It means a very large Cherokee reservation.  It means the largest private house in the United States.  It means “First in Flight”, Kitty Hawk, the horses of Chincoteague and a large African American population.  It means Jesse Helms and his infamous commercial.

It means bible belt.  It means Southern Appalachia.  It means generational poverty.  It is more rural than the most Democratic states in the nation.  Put it all together and what do we get?

No doubt, North Carolina is an up and coming place. I’ve heard very good things about how their educational system is improving.  But culturally?  It’s still the south.  Let’s ponder this one for awhile.  The religious aspect is really bugging me here.    It also shows that the party is leaving the rust belt and the northeast to fend for itself.  Good bye labor.  Hello Cavalier Culture, that remnant of English royalists who settled Virginia and the Carolinas, entrenching a social hierarchy and vast disperities of wealth.  Yeah, North Carolinians might be pulling themselves up by their bootstraps but look at how many centuries it took for them to actually get boots.

It also spurns California and the tech heavy states like Washington and Massachusetts.  It looks like Obama is going to reach out to the south.  And that can only mean that he intends to court them.

Go away all you silly middle class Americans!  He farts in your general direction.

31 Responses

  1. Funny! In my tabloids collection I found that very headline in Boston Herald. I included it in spite of us, NYC-ers having to contend only with…frozen rain (lucky us!)

    • I just looked out at the cul de sac. It’s like an ice skating rink out there. I’d be completely nuts to drive to Princeton today.

      • I am completely nuts

        • You and Brooke are welcome to visit (normally winter-warm) Tucson…but it was 21 degrees here this AM and is going down to 18 tonight.

          There is no place warm in the country it seems.

          • Napa wine country 68 degrees and 72 tomorrow. Sunny and breezy.

            My daffodils are blooming.

  2. !! I just woke up to an unbelievable amount of snow. They said on the news (last night) that we’re supposed to stay off the roads for 24 hours. So, I get another snow day!

    If it was me, I’d say I wasn’t going to Princeton. But, I probably would. Be careful though.

    • Nope, no can do. The street is an ice slick. It might be better on the main road but if I can’t get there without having an accident…
      I only have one car. It’s old and falling apart but it’s all that I’ve got and I can’t afford to total it.

  3. seems like we will be thinking of a new for. policy for the middle east that isnt Made in USA

  4. Crap, the satellite is iced over and I can’t seem to stream Al Jazeera.
    What the heck is happening in Egypt? The NYTimes has a lot of pro-Mubarek nitwits kissing the Egyptian flag and throwing rocks. Party poopers.

    • Is Lambert still live-blogging the stream?

      • Dunno. Haven’t been watching.

      • Yes, lambert is still live blogging.

        He has screen grab up of police ID taken from one of the pro-Mubarek protesters (aka paid thugs/security police?).

        Also, statement from (former) general:

        ~12:10PM Int former military intelligence general, Mahmoud Zahir: Incidents took place, timing, very regretful, due to paranoia of Hosni M. They do not reflect E spirit, reflect certain classes in regime, including businessmen. The Army is not willing to get implicated in violence. This point will be considered to one minute to 48 hours action will come [????] Anch: No orders to stop. Int: Correct. Anch: Army not protecting people, from what we have seen today. Int: True. Today I [praise] the spirit of the youth. At the same time, the other side are also E. And the E armed forces are supposed to protect both sides. Now army is recalculating. Anch: As former military man, what is your message? Int: Good, smart question! First, to the so-called Hosni, who is no longer the legit Pres, abandon paranoia. We offered him a safe exist without any trial. Grave situation, not acceptable to armed forces. Second, through AJ, through this smart question, we call on all E in the streets, whether the youth, who I respect, you all… [lost this, but the idea is “stand down.”] Third, to opposition, [use political tactics not violence] Youth smart. “I name ElB”: Think thoroughly and carefully. Consider domestic and regional stability. Also consider Arab strategic position, eyes on E. E has a big role to play at all levels, impress E opposition parties to avoid opportunism.

        [This sounds very much like a message broadcast from a govt faction through AJ. –lambert]

        Gibbs just said “being transition” means to do it now. Well, begin now or get an actual transition undersay now? As in Mub, get off that lawn?

    • Try this link for some up to date info….Chris Floyd says it’s pretty good: http://www.guardian.co.uk/

      • Wow, it must be pretty freaky to get run down by a camel.
        Well, I would find it freaky. Probably less so in Egypt.

        • When I first saw that picture I laughed – then realized how grim things are. But that camel picture is very freaky.

  5. For those of you keeping track, Pfizer announced yesterday that it is closing its Sandwich UK R&D site. They are the guys who discovered Viagra. They are also getting out of the following therapeutic areas: respiratory, urology and allergies. They bought Wyeth last year. Wyeth got out of cardiovascular and women’s health. That leaves… CNS, inflammatory diseases, aging and oncology. I think.
    Everybody else boogeying up to Cambridge, MA.
    All other pharmas pretty much doing the same. Just thought you’d like to know.

  6. Speaking as a buckeye, Cleveland could have used that convention and attendant hoopla for sure.
    Cleveland has been amazingly loyal to the Democrats and Obama is going to need every Cuyahoga County vote in 2012 to carry Ohio.
    Once purple, as of this moment, must win Ohio is very red.

  7. RD, I think you were correct when you said that the Dems are in trouble in no small part because they ignored and offended what used ot be one of their strongest constituencies–the blue Appalachia and South. It seems to me that siting the convention in Charlotte is perhaps a first glimmer that maybe they shouldn’t have done that

  8. All this week on other websites, (like FiredogLake) the argument from Obama voters who are angry but can’t seem to give Hillary a break, were saying that Hillary’s response to the situation in Egypt was too tepid and it showed her to be the pro-authoritarian polititician they always took her for.
    Who is the President might I ask? Who is a cabinet member that serves at the “pleasure” of said President. Oh, that’s right, it would be Hillary.

    Almost 20 years ago, the right wing accused Hillary of over-stepping the bounds of first lady by offering the people (free of charge) her expertise on hammering out a public health care option. She and Bill were undercut at every turn by the right and the so-called left.

    In 2009, when Obama decided on Hillary to be his Secretary of State, the squawk box left said that she would go rouge and would do her own thing without authorization.

    Now, those same squawk box voices want to say that Hillary isn’t being vocal enough.

    Trying to spin anti- Hillary hatred so as to prop up your inept leader is called triagulation….the very thing they were always incorrectly, accusing Hillary of!!

  9. Don’t bet the ranch on Bush/Obama/Clinton wanting this regime removed. Watch what happens not what any of them say.

    • We are watching what Clinton is doing. If Obama would keep up, Mubarak might be gone by now.

    • Remember, if you don’t like the response, it might be because you put Obama and not Clinton in charge.

      OBAMA is in charge.
      If he dithers, if he’s ambiguous and you don’t like it, blame OBAMA.
      He has the last word.

  10. Where on earth did you get your information about North Carolina? First of all Chincoteague is in Virginia, not even close to NC. Next, the Cherokee Reservation, or the Qualla Boundry, in NC is a tiny village, home to around 8,000 Cherokee who managed to avoid being forcibly removed to Oklahoma on the trail of tears, where the vast majority of Cherokee (300,000) now reside. Tobacco plantations? Well, NC never did even have plantations, and quite reluctantly seceded from the union before the Civil War. And while NC was a large producer of tobacco then and far into the 20th century, it transitioned quite well from dependence on that crop, as well as textile and furniture manufacturing, mostly in the late 80’s (around the same time that Jesse Helms video was made). Since then NC has had an economy that is driven in large part by banking, tech and biotech research, and health care (and of course tourism, given the diverse beauty and temperate climate the state has to offer). NC is home to such giants as IBM, GSK, Bank of America, and SAS (which was recently ranked by its employees as the best place to work in the nation in Fortune magazine). Raleigh Durham is one of the fastest growing regions in the country, as well as being consistently ranked one of the best places to live. NC has been hit hard by the recession, but forward thinking legislation protecting homeowners from foreclosure and a lower cost of living has given its citizens a buffer in these hard times. You have a point about unions, but where in the country are unions thriving? NC might not be your typical blue state, but we do have a democratic governor and senator (both women) as well as a dem. Lt. Gov and attorney general. I’m a little bit shocked that you would be so wildly misinformed given the vast quantities of your fellow New Jerseyan immigrants to NC whose obnoxious accents now outnumber the redneck ones in cities like Cary and Greensboro. So many, in fact, that NC just passed NJ to become the 10th most populous state (and a state which is 60% urban, I might add). This growth not only gained us a seat in the house in the 2000 census, but only fell short by 14,000 of gaining another one this go around . You obviously suffer from the same prejudices and elitist stereotyping that plagues you NE “progressives” as you sit in your overpriced, overtaxed, snow covered homes. I suggest you visit NC. Given the nonsense you’ve written in this post, I’m sure you’d be quite surprised. PS: It was 70 degrees and sunny today in Raleigh. What was the high there?

  11. Could the news from Cairo actually be good? This AJ reporter throws down the gauntlet:

    I am going to be busy filing and uploading, but suffice to say tonight was the Battle of Tahrir, and the protesters won. Cairo is changed.

  12. Southern Appalachia has some union. The railroad has a fairly strong union presence in the UTU and the BLE(who also represent teamsters). They’ve done pretty well by their members. Not perfect by any stretch but they’ve managed to keep pensions for their members, get decent insurance(just $3000 shy of “cadillac”) and a wage that is on par for the national median as a starting point.

    Yes, these states are right to work states but that doesn’t mean that there is no union presence.

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