Tuesday Reads

Oh no! Not another giant snowstorm!

Good Morning!!

Have you heard about the gigantic winter storm that is affecting 29 states?

From the Washington Post:

National Weather Service advisories and warnings are in effect in more than 20 states as a powerful storm gets organized in the Midwest. A blizzard warning is in effect for Chicago, where 12 to 20 inches of snow is possible. Other cities which may experience blizzard conditions include Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City, and Detroit. Snow is expected to begin tonight and tomorrow from southwest to northeast and continue into early Wednesday.

The Chicago Tribune’s Weather Center cautions: “Snowfall totals in excess of 12 inches coupled with winds of 25 to 40 mph will make long distance travel extremely dangerous if not impossible.”

Wednesday morning into Thursday, the heavy snow moves through central New York, northern Massachusetts,southern Vermont, New Hampshire and southeast Maine.

Weather.com says the storm may be historic, due to the areal coverage of snow forecast – with upwards of 1 foot likely across a “2100-mile long swath from the Southern Plains to coastal New England.”

We’re supposed to get 18 inches in the Boston area, plus it will be mixed with ice pellets on Wednesday. I can’t take it anymore!!!!! All this snow is really getting to me.

In other news, the Republicans are all a-twitter over some guy named Jon Huntsman who is probably going to run for President. I admit I never heard of him and couldn’t care less what he does, but it seems to be the talk of the Village. To top it off, this guy has been working for Obama. Does he have any Democrats working for him?

Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the U.S. ambassador to China, sent a resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House said. Huntsman now is likely to explore a Republican presidential bid, according to supporters.

In a letter hand-delivered to the White House, the former Utah governor said that he wants to return to the United States by May. The letter thanks Obama for the opportunity to serve the country and praises the U.S. embassy staff in Beijing.

If Huntsman won the GOP nomination, he would be challenging the reelection of his former boss. White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal, but know that any public criticism would be likely to benefit Huntsman if he enters the primaries.

Huntsman boasts the most foreign policy experience of any of the likely GOP candidates, and would be a formidable entry to the unformed GOP field. He had a fiscally conservative record as governor, opposes abortion and is a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights.

Yep, sounds like Obama’s type.

If you haven’t read Joseph Cannon’s latest, you should rush right over and do so. He has a fascinating, well-researched post up about Ali Abdul Saoud, a.k.a. Ali A. Mohammed, a muslim double agent who worked for both the CIA and al Qaeda and may have been involved (along with Omar Suleiman?) in the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

It’s a fascinating read, and I’m not just saying that because Cannon linked to my post on Suleiman.

This is a frightening story out of Egypt: Google Executive Missing in Wake of Egypt Protests.

An executive for Google Inc. is missing in the wake of Egypt’s tumultuous protests, according to his brother. Wael Ghonim, whose LinkedIn profile says he is head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa at Google, hasn’t been heard from since Friday at 6 p.m., his brother Hazem said.

[….]

Wael Ghonim’s web postings suggest a deepening engagement with politics. His Facebook page lists opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei as a person he admires, along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs. In mid-January he tweeted that he was traveling to Qatar to participate at an Internet freedom forum hosted by network Al Jazeera.

Later, he sent a tweet that said he was going to join the Egyptian protests despite “all the warnings I got from my relative and friends.”

[….]

On Friday, he tweeted: “Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die.”

I think a lot more people are probably dead and missing in Egypt than we are being told. I hope Ghonim will be found.

The Christian Science Monitor asks, “Did Jimmy Carter just throw Obama under the bus?”

Commenting on the week’s tumultuous events in Egypt from the Maranatha Baptist Church near his home in Plains, Ga., the former president who brokered the 1979 peace accord between Egypt and Israel gave a candid personal assessment of Egypt’s embattled leader and said his “guess is Mubarak will have to go.”

President Mubarak has “become more politically corrupt” in recent years and has “perpetuated himself in office,” he told a Sunday school class of 300, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Assessing the popular uprisings sweeping across the region, he said: “This is the most profound situation in the Middle East since I left office” more than 30 years ago.

I sure hope it’s a different bus than the one we’re under, because I don’t want Obama down here with us.

Speaking of throwing people under the bus, Tom Brokaw made a critical reference to Keith Olbermann in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. Here’s Huffpo’s gossipy take on it.

He told the Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal that NBC was better placed than its rivals because of MSNBC.

“Where it got sticky is when our commentators were anchoring political coverage,” he said, in a clear reference to Olbermann. Brokaw was widely known to have complained about Olbermann’s anchoring of campaign coverage during the 2008 race. “Those are, in some ways, incompatible roles,” Brokaw continued. “We worked our way through that.”

Rosenthal then asked Brokaw what he thought of Olbermann’s exit. “You’re not going to get me to go there,” Brokaw said. But when pushed, he said that MSNBC will weather the storm.

He went there.

Did you hear that Mayor Bloomberg arranged for an undercover investigation of the recent Arizona gun show? The New York Times has the skinny.

The investigation, part of an effort by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration to crack down on illegal gun sales nationwide, took place Jan. 23 at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show in Phoenix, officials said.

“The background check system failed in Arizona, it failed in Virginia and it fails in states around the country,” said John Feinblatt, an adviser to Mr. Bloomberg. “If we don’t fix it now, the question is not whether another massacre will occur, but when.”

Private, unlicensed sellers are not required to run federal background checks, but it is a violation of federal law to sell guns to people if sellers suspect they are felons or mentally ill or are otherwise prohibited from buying. In the case of Jared L. Loughner, who is accused of opening fire on the crowd in Tucson on Jan. 8, the gun used in the shootings was bought at a licensed gun dealer, and he passed a background check, the authorities said.

In two instances, the New York undercover officers specifically said before buying a gun, “I probably couldn’t pass a background check,” but were still sold guns, city officials said.

Finally, here’s a fluffy story to go along with the white stuff that a lot of us will be seeing outside our windows today and tomorrow: How Meditation May Change the Brain

…researchers report that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. The findings will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after the participants’ meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.

I’m not particularly surprised, but the woman who wrote the article is. Check it out.

Sooooo…. What are you reading and blogging about this morning? Please share!


33 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    bb: How are we going to survive this winter here in NE? Western MA is expected to get between 8-10 inches more and there is simply no place to put it! As it is, the pillars of snow lining my driveway alone reach to almost 5 feet but my biggest fear is the roof. With rain and sleet coming tomorrow how much more weight can be sustained?

    They are predicting even more snow on Sat and the only silver lining is that next week they are forecasting the temps to go up in the 30s. I am getting more and more depressed since I have had to cancel outside activities since Christmas what with all the snow, sleet, and cold.

    The only bright spot – if you can call it that – is the Red Sox spring training starts in April. Hopefully Fenway has melted all the snow by then or we can look for opening day to happen sometime around July!

    But in all honesty, this storm has me very anxious. Two days of nonstop weather that may prove more of a disaster than we have seen in a long time up here. Stay safe.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Pat,

      I was really depressed about this yesterday. I have no idea if I’ll be able to get to my class tomorrow. I just hope the school will close, because I’ve already had to cancel one class because of snow and have only been teaching for two weeks! I keep wishing I hadn’t taken this job, but in a way it’s probably good because it gets me out around people three days a week. Otherwise I’d probably be really isolated in this weather.

      You stay safe and warm too!

    • jawbone says:

      Pat, if you to up on the roof to shovel or brush off snow, please secure yourself with a rope of other safety device.

      My brother nearly slipped down his roof and off — with the rock garden looming below him. He then went down for rope and other securing devices.

      It was a winter of gloriously deep snow beginning in December in WI. So cold he was able to make stunning luminaries by freezing an inch or bit more of water in cardboard milk containers. When they were frozen to the proper depth, the dumped out the remaining water and set them to harden. Lined the whole drive down a longish hill with them for a holiday party. Just magical!

  2. Native1 says:

    Weathering the “Snowpocalypse” here just outside Tulsa. Blizzard conditions and a snow thunderstorm. I think I’ll build up the fire a little higher.

    • dakinikat says:

      Ouch. Stay warm!

    • bostonboomer says:

      This storm is so huge! I can’t believe it’s snowing in Mass. and Okla. and it’s from the same storm.

      • Native1 says:

        I saw a representation of the storm and it was 2600 miles long. I also just heard that Dallas-Ft. Worth airport was closed. This is an unprecedented occurrence( storm ). Tulsa’s record snow was just over 12 inches. An hour ago Tulsa Int’l Airport was reporting 12 inches and we are expecting up to 8 more inches. Since we rarely get this kind of snow we don”t really have the equipment to handle it. Naturally everything has ground to a halt.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Please, all of you affected by the storm, stay inside…take care and stay warm.

      • jawbone says:

        The global warming models predicted there would be extremes of weather, high volatility, greater intensity, etc., due to the higher moisture content. But…WOW!

        Suddenly that movie about gigantic storms joining together and wreaking havoc don’t seem quite so impossible…. Maybe not to the extent of destroying cities, but, well, look at those massive floods.

  3. Sophie says:

    Pat and BB: Same conditions here in CT. The snow piles are also that high–the plow guy had to come with the BobCat and move the mountains of snow to make room for the new.

    I’m over it already. Because of the huge snow piles at the end of every road, people can’t really see the traffic and just sort of fly out.

    On the one hand, I welcome warmer weather. On the other, I hope it doesn’t all come at once–at least not before I’m done building the ark.

  4. mablue2 says:

    Could the Middle East be any more tricky? (Part 983564188)

    Coptic Christians Worry About Future Without Mubarak

    Like the protesters who have flooded the streets of Egypt in the past week, the country’s large minority of Coptic Christians worry about joblessness and lack of freedoms. But most want President Hosni Mubarak to stay in power.

    Fear of what may follow the removal of Mr. Mubarak, a secular strongman who has ruled the country for the past 30 years, is making reluctant supporters out of the country’s Christians, an estimated 10% of Egypt’s 80 million population. Mr. Mubarak has been aggressive in pursuing perceived Islamist extremist groups, a policy that has endeared him to Coptic Christians, not to mention the U.S.

    This comes after Israel asked us to ease up on our criticism of Mubarak.

    Now I really understand why the administration has been so careful on the whole thing.

    • paper doll says:

      Fear of what may follow the removal of Mr. Mubarak, a secular strongman who has ruled the country for the past 30 years, is making reluctant supporters out of the country’s Christians, an estimated 10% of Egypt’s 80 million population

      This reminds me of how we have to stay in Afghanistan for the women’s sake…those writing about this, or rather, those who ordered the story… do not care about this 10%. They want Mubarak to have good press and shut the left up. imo

  5. mablue2 says:

    Oh ooh!

    Jordan’s King Abdullah sacks cabinet in wake of street protests

    King Abdullah appoints new PM after thousands of Jordanians take to the streets protesting rise in fuel, food prices, slowed political reforms.

    I think there are a couple of people who are not sleeping very well these days.

    • zaladonis says:

      Love it.

      Real hope for change.

      • Woman Voter says:

        I agree, and the young techie savvy Gen X & Y aren’t into religious bigotry. The theme I continue to hear is that it doesn’t matter if they are Muslim, Christians or Atheists, they see themselves as Egyptians first. When the ultra conservatives showed up they were chanted down and it became clear that HATE isn’t part of the movement for freedom of the Egyptian people.

      • zaladonis says:

        Yep, it really is a movement of their generation, very inclusive and friendly — only things they don’t have is a leader and a plan for what happens after they gather and demand change. They need a mommy and daddy. Sound familiar?!

    • TheRock says:

      Just saw this article. Dominoes……..

  6. zaladonis says:

    Brokaw’s right, but Tweety’s at least as bad as Olbermann so the problem remains.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    Keith Olbermann is a gifted writer. But he is also an insufferable human being. So many leaks of his personal behavior which bordered on tyrannical have emerged since he began to enjoy the spotlight brought on by his long awaited rant against the Bush administration in 2006. A fact that we all applauded at that time and thrust him into the spotlight.

    This is a broadcaster who has had difficulty over the years in holding a job that he had either been fired for or resigned from due in large measure to his overinflated ego. A man who came to believe in his own publicity and self righteousness that must have led to many a cringeworthy moment with his bosses.

    Keith did bring in the ratings for that timeslot so for MSNBC to part ways with him suggests that there was much more going on behind the scenes than what we already know. Especially since it came about as abruptly as it did. It stands to reason that perhaps his employers had had just about enough of his behavior and not as much with his political views which pretty much mirror Ed Schultz, Rachel, and Cenk. Each has been critical of Obama during their newcasts so I don’t get the feeling that MSNBC or Comcast was that put out by his views.

    Managing KO must have created many a headache for those in charge of that network and those who had to work for him. Keith is one of those people who think they are “the smartest guy in the room” and he probably brought the guillotine down on his own neck by his attitude.

    Now if they could only manage to get rid of that “spitting bore” Matthews…..

    • zaladonis says:

      It’s true Olbermann’s a diva, but you know that’s also the reason he was instrumental in making MSNBC a liberal powerhouse. He really was the one who drew us in, back during the Bush years. None of the others, Matthews et al, could have done that – they were supporting players.

      Further, I think if it hadn’t been for the visibility and potency Olbermann helped MSNBC establish for Dems, as FOX had for Republicans, Obama might not have won. MSNBC went all out for Obama and hammered the message hour after hour day after day, tied into TIME magazine and the NYTimes and Joan Walsh and Arianna et al. Of course there are so many variables but MSNBC was, at the very least, key for Obama overtaking and maintaining a lead over Hillary, even leading the charge in trying to demoralize her and her supporters by ridiculing her for not dropping out. That’s power.

      The thing is divas do big things and they’re big headaches.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Agreed.

      • Very good point. I still think he’s a dickwad though 🙂

      • paper doll says:

        He really was the one who drew us in, back during the Bush years

        It’s true. He’s a woman hating scum bag…but I watched him nightly during the Bush years . When KO’s use of Ed Murrow’s sign off, “good night and good luck” seemed not a usurpation, but a promise…a promise not only broken, but smashed.

  8. CinSC says:

    Someone may have mentioned this before… but isn’t Huntsman an associate of Glenn Beck? I would think that would make it pretty easy to poke some holes in his candidacy.

    Everyone stay safe in the snow/ice… I have relatives trying to make Dr. appointments in this mess…. I think we’ve all had enough of this weather, too much stress.

  9. dakinikat says:

    I’m getting tired of all the senate sturm and drang over that stupid HRC.

    It’s disingenuous to call it ‘Obama care’ when it was developed by the Heritage Foundation for Bob Dole in 1994-1995 in response to “HillaryCare” and then was resurrected by Romney into Romneycare in MA. The stupid thing was written by a libertarian/conservative think tanks that was later enacted in MA by a Republican Governor before Senator Max Baucus got a hold of it from an Insurance Lobbyist. File this under WakeTF up. I know. I saw it when it got presented to her panel in Minneapolis and had to dissect the thing back in my corporate sell out days. O just wanted his name on some “big f’ing deal” that enriched the FIRE lobby.

  10. B Kilpatrick says:

    Imagining Obama under the bus with us:

    O: “I have a plan (staccato pause and serious look) for getting our from under this bus. (Staccato pause) You all can lift the bus, (stacatto pause) and then I’ll get out from under it.”

  11. Minkoff Minx says:

    A few links that I found today,

    The Immediate Fallout from Egypt with More Fallout to Fall | James Wolcott’s Blog | Vanity Fair

    Allying Ourselves With the Next Egypt – NYTimes.com

    It is not enough for President Mubarak to pledge “fair” elections, as he did on Saturday. The most important step that he can take is to address his nation and declare that neither he nor the son he has been positioning as his successor will run in the presidential election this year. Egyptians have moved beyond his regime, and the best way to avoid unrest turning into upheaval is for President Mubarak to take himself and his family out of the equation.

    Further, he must guarantee that the election will be honest and open to all legitimate candidates and conducted without interference from the military or security apparatus and under the oversight of international monitors. The Egyptian people are demanding wholesale transformation, not window dressing. As part of the transition, President Mubarak needs to work with the army and civil society to establish an interim caretaker government as soon as possible to oversee an orderly transition in the coming months.

    President Mubarak has contributed significantly to Middle East peace. Now it is imperative that he contribute to peace in his own country by convincing Egyptians that their concerns and aspirations are being addressed. If he demonstrates leadership and accomplishes those goals, he can turn the Arab world’s most populous country into a model for how to meet the demands for reform engulfing the region.

    The Washington Monthly

    A VISION OF FOREIGN POLICY THAT ONLY BECK CAN PROVIDE…. Over the last year or so, Fox News’ Glenn Beck has lost about a third of his audience, which is a pretty significant drop, and may very well lead the deranged media personality to think of ways to bring viewers back.

  12. Minkoff Minx says:

    Fox News is saying Mubarak is stepping down, not seeking re-election.