The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

DC buried under snow, too

But DC's snow is coming from the right, not above. Exhibit: the inability of any Republicans to speak honestly about the President's proposed stimulus plan. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) doesn't understand that a stimulus bill is, by definition, a spending bill; GOP Chair Ron Steele says to Wolf Blitzer, "Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job." (Um...NASA? The military? Jim DeMint's congressional staff?)

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has a good explanation of why:

[T]his isn't a brainstorming session — it's a collision of fundamentally incompatible world views. If one thing is clear from the stimulus debate, it's that the two parties have utterly different economic doctrines. Democrats believe in something more or less like standard textbook macroeconomics; Republicans believe in a doctrine under which tax cuts are the universal elixir, and government spending is almost always bad.

Note to Republicans: you live in the reality-based community now.

UK buried under 30cm of snow

Western Europe also. The snowfall has paralyzed (paralysed?) the entire country:

South-east England has the worst snow it has seen for 18 years, causing all London buses to be pulled from service and the closure of Heathrow's runways.

The Met Office has issued an extreme weather warning for England, Wales and parts of eastern Scotland.

Up to four inches is forecast to fall later on Monday in south-east England, and up to 12 inches in the north-east. Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "We are doing everything in our power to ensure services, road, rail and airports are open as quickly as possible, and we are continuing to monitor this throughout the day."

(After which Conservative Party leader David Cameron asked if Brown still believes that the freeze-thaw cycle has ended.)

All of my colleages at my client's office in Chicago—where we've had snow on the ground without interruption all year—wonder what the fuss is about. The visiting Londoners reminded us that the UK probably has fewer snowplows than a typical Chicago ward, and complained that the one snow day they're likely to see all year doesn't affect them (the client's London office is closed today).

In unrelated news, the cheeky rodent came out wearing sunglasses today, so if woodchucks are any good at predicting the weather, we'll have another 6 weeks of snow on the ground. (Malverne Mel, on Long Island, did not see his shadow. The cognoscenti know Mel's a better forecaster.)

Update: Le Monde has photos from Paris and Madrid.

So who is this Quinn character, anyway?

The Chicago Tribune has an introduction:

[T]he prospect of Gov. Quinn is shocking to many Illinois politicians who thought of him as a gadfly, a master of holding Sunday news conferences to gain media attention on traditionally slow news days. There he would pitch plans such as electing taxpayer and insurance watchdogs or non-binding referendum questions that looked good on a ballot but had no real effect, such as a ban on naming rights for Soldier Field.

His two biggest achievements, the result of tapping into voter anger, occurred more than a quarter-century ago: cutting the size of the Illinois House by one-third and creating the consumer advocacy Citizens Utility Board.

The piece touches on, but doesn't dig too deeply into, Quinn's financial interests and flirtations with good old Chicago-style corrup—er, politics. It'll be interesting to see what he does, and how his relationship with House Speaker Mike Madigan goes as well.