Wednesday Reads: Leon sells cartoon balloons in town…

Intellicast – Current Radar in United States

Okay, so the storm is not called “Levon” but “Leon.”

It’s just that I had substituted the name Leon in that Elton John song as it “played” in my head, all day long yesterday…

Uh, Good morning!

Find the latest on the weather system the weather channel is calling Leon:

Winter Storm Leon Forecast: Major Snow, Ice From Gulf Coast to Georgia, Carolinas, Virginia – weather.com

Winter Storm Leon: 12 Inches of Snow?

Winter Storm Leon: Live Updates on Southern Snow, Ice Storm – weather.com

This storm is kicking the South’s ass…But this is no laughing matter: State troopers headed to schools where students, teachers are… | www.ajc.com

Shortly before midnight, about 50 students were still aboard Atlanta Public School buses, a spokeswoman for the district said. In DeKalb County, at least 20 vehicles were involved in a pileup on U.S. 78 eastbound, past Hugh Howell Road. All lanes were blocked around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

These kids are stuck in buses, some are stuck overnight in schools: State troopers to help with security at schools where stranded kids are spending the night | AccessNorthGa

Gov. Nathan Deal says state troopers are being sent to schools where students are stranded because they could not make it home on clogged roads caused by Tuesday’s snowstorm.

The governor spoke at a news conference at he State Capitol late Tuesday night.

Deal also said that state and local officials will try to rescue those stranded along highways that are at a standstill. Normal 30-minute commutes have turned into hourslong odysseys for thousands.

A winter storm that would probably be no big deal in the North all but paralyzed the Deep South, bringing snow, ice and teeth-chattering cold, with temperatures in the teens in some places.

Gridlock continues as unspeakably horrible commute home… | www.ajc.com

The winter storm has mostly moved into the Carolinas, but metro Atlanta traffic remained gridlocked at 4 a.m. Wednesday as Tuesday’s afternoon rush hour from hell stretched into hour 16.

Traffic was still bumper-to-bumper and barely moving on several Atlanta interstates, including on I-75 north of downtown, on I-20 west of downtown and on the top-end Perimeter.

Imagine those people stuck on the road without medicine…and running out of gas.

There were warnings…I don’t understand why the schools did not close or plan for a delayed opening. My kids almost did not make it home from the bus themselves, the snow hit so fast and hard. We could not believe how close the school board cut it this time. It really amazes me how many people got caught up in this mess.

In Atlanta, the gridlock was so bad, a baby girl was delivered alongside Interstate 285, said Capt. Steve Rose, a spokesman for Sandy Springs police in suburban north Atlanta. He said an officer made it to the mother and her husband in time to help with the delivery, which he described as “flawless.” There were no complications and the family was taken to a hospital.

That is something, eh?

Yesterday was the SOTU: Full text: State of the Union | Al Jazeera America

President Obama’s 2014 address was his fifth in office. Read the entire transcript here, all 6,777 words

What does it mean if I did not watch the speech live, nor did I watch a taped version, I haven’t read any commentary or summaries, and the thought of reading all those 6,777 words makes me want to throw up everything I ate this evening.  Even the possibility of nodding off during the speech was nothing to look forward to…

SOTU cheat sheet: Everything you missed

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sits among the other justices during President Obama's address.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sits among the other justices during President Obama’s address.  Win McNamee, Getty Images

• Did Justice Ginsberg fall asleep? Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, was trending during Obama’s speech, with viewers speculating that she had fallen asleep, or at least was in full head-bob mode. We may never know for sure if it was a slump or a nap.

It would not be the first time she nodded off…But WTF is this all about?

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., share a sign as they take their seats for the president's speech.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., left, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., share a sign as they take their seats for the president’s speech.  Charles Dharapak, AP

You know, that is pretty close to the sign for vagina (when I took ASL in college…from what I remember) could it be code for an anti-woman PLUB agenda? Or is it some little “I heart pussy” thing? Perhaps they were making reference to this:

The State of the Uterus (video)

To whet your State of the Union pallate, I give you: “The State of the Uterus.”

state-of-the-uterus

The State of the Uterus is a fun new video – it literally just went live – about a serious issue, women’s rights in America.

Here’s a portion of their press release:

We all know the State of the Union is strong, but what about the State of the Uterus? On this most ceremonial of days in the nation’s capital, a uterus is taking up that question and will deliver a live address moments after President Obama’s Speech and the Republican Party responds.

“Madam Uterus” (UTOUS) for so she shall be addressed — will talk at length about the state of the uterus, and the vagina, in a country where state legislatures have variously deemed that women are pregnant before they are pregnant, have magical powers to deactivate rape sperm, and must be forced to carry stillborn babies to term.

“The state of our uterus is in the hands of so many,” Madam Uterus will say, according to the text of her prepared remarks. “As the old saying goes, behind every successful uterus is a man calling her a whore while cutting her pay.”

So here are a few links on the SOTU speech:

Dak, Boston Boomer and others live blogged it here…and here.

State of the Union by Political Cartoonist Bruce Plante

143671 600 State of the Union cartoons

SOTU POTPOURRI | Gin and Tacos

The best of the worst: Right-wing Twitter reacts to the State of the Union – Salon.com

We Got Your Back | BobCesca.com | News and Politics Blog and Podcast | We Cover the World

After the speech there was this: Rep. Grimm Threatens NY1 Reporter Following State of the Union – NY1

Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm physically threatened NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto at the conclusion of an interview in the Capitol Rotunda following Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

 Grimm’s threats came at the end of a brief interview in which he discussed the president’s speech, calling the address “divisive.”

Scotto then tried to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising:

Grimm told the reporter:

Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”

Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”

Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”

[[cross talk]]

Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Hmmm…taking some pointers from Christie? Or did he watch that movie A Few Good Men? Or perhaps he was listening Divine on his iPod during the speech:  You Think You’re A Man Lyrics – Divine

You will notice in the video…there are a lot of boys being tossed over balconies.

Digby had this nugget of news at her site: Hullabaloo

Iceland’s big problem: bringing 4% unemployment down to 2%

by digby

At one time there was a big debate about whether or not Iceland came out on top during our current depression, largely due to it’s hard core treatment of its banks. It was always pretty obvious that they made the smarter decision.  It looks even more obvious today:
Iceland let its banks fail in 2008 because they proved too big to save.

Now, the island is finding crisis-management decisions made half a decade ago have put it on a trajectory that’s turned 2 percent unemployment into a realistic goal.

While the euro area grapples with record joblessness, led by more than 25 percent in Greece and Spain, only about 4 percent of Iceland’s labor force is without work. Prime MinisterSigmundur D. Gunnlaugsson says even that’s too high.

“Politicians always have something to worry about,” the 38-year-old said in an interview last week. “We’d like to see unemployment going from where it’s now — around 4 percent — to under 2 percent, which may sound strange to most other western countries, but Icelanders aren’t accustomed to unemployment.”

It doesn’t sound strange to me, it sounds fucking awesome!

The island’s sudden economic meltdown in October 2008 made international headlines as a debt-fueled banking boom ended in a matter of weeks when funding markets froze. Policy makers overseeing the $14 billion economy refused to back the banks, which subsequently defaulted on $85 billion. The government’s decision to protect state finances left it with the means to continue social support programs that shielded Icelanders from penury during the worst financial crisis in six decades.

We, on the other hand are making nearly 7% official unemployment (along with many millions not even being counted) the new normal. And we’re slashing our meager safety net, even food assistance. But our megabanks are doing very well which is what matters.

Geez, I really want to move to Iceland…to hell with this country’s right-wing assholes who have taken over everything. I mean, how can we even be at the point where the dicks are actually debating this shit…

Texas GOP Lt. Gov. Candidates Agree: More Religion Needed in Science Class – Little Green Footballs

Submitted without comment other than to notice how several of the candidates refer to evolution in schools as being part of a “politically correct” conspiracy.
From left: Sen. Dan Patrick, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson
Texas GOP Lt. Gov. Candidates Agree: More Religion Needed in Science Class

Oh…can someone get me outta here? I can’t take it anymore!

This is all I can bring myself to write, y’all go ahead and give it up in the comments below.

Oh yeah…

Enjoy your day…


64 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Leon sells cartoon balloons in town…”

  1. ANonOMouse says:

    There is nothing like being in the South for a snow or ice storm. And I agree JJ. I don’t understand why schools weren’t let out early or why they were even in class. We’ve known this weather event was on it’s way for days.

    • bostonboomer says:

      If climate change continues like this, a lot of Southern cities are going to have to invest in snow removal equipment. I heard Tallahassie was getting 1/4 inch of snow and they had to close everything for 2 days because they only have one spreader and no salt on hand.

      I would keep kids home whether the schools close or not. Why risk them getting stranded or hurt?

      • RalphB says:

        We’ve got 144 trucks in our area, which sounds sufficient, but they have to cover 14 counties. It’s kind of an impossible task for the folks assigned to it.

        • bostonboomer says:

          No, that’s nothing. I live in a small suburban town and we have lots of equipment, plus the town calls in independent contractors with plows on their trucks, etc. when there’s a good sized storm. I can totally understand why snow is a huge problem down there. Cities and towns can’t invest in lots of equipment they might not need again for years. But if the weird weather continues, they will have to. It’s possible Atlanta could get some people to come down there from northern cities like Boston to help.

          • RalphB says:

            Wet snow is a problem but the main one in these storms here is the ice. In the conditions we’ve had, snow cover would just give drivers a little more traction. Not to mention no one here has a clue how to drive with those road conditions. 🙂

      • This is a good review of what happened: Top weather guy to those who talk of ‘unexpected’ Snowjam: ‘Wrong, wrong, and wrong!’ | Political Insider blog

        Marshall Shepherd, a University of Georgia professor and president of the American Meteorological Society, just published a blog post that puts on notice those public officials who have described themselves as surprised by Tuesday’s snow:
        SheperdMarshall-23686-121_260_220_220_90_bor2_98AFB8_s_c1

        Marshall Shepherd, UGA professor and president of the American Meteorological Society

        As I watch the fallout from the Snow Fiasco in the Atlanta area, one thing is clear to me: “The buses had a tough time getting kids home, but meteorologists should not be thrown under the bus.”

        Meteorologists from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Atlanta issued Watches and Warnings BEFORE the event and provided ample time for decisions to be made. Yet, as soon as I saw what was unfolding with kids being stranded in schools, 6+ hour commutes, and other horror stories, I knew it was coming, I knew it.

        Some in the public, social media or decision-making positions would “blame” the meteorologists. I began to hear things like “this was not expected in Atlanta” or “they said this was going to all be South of Atlanta” or “there were no Watches or Warnings until snow started falling or “weather is just unpredictable”. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong!

        Certainly, the above might apply to Gov. Nathan Deal, who opened a late-night press conference on Tuesday with this: “As you know, we have been confronted with an unexpected storm that has hit the metropolitan area.” Specifically, Shepherd’s post details the advance notice that meteorologists provided:

        Watches and Warnings were issued in advance of the snow event and with plenty of time for decisions to be made. Here is text directly from the National Weather Service website on MONDAY at 4:55 am:

        CLAYTON-COBB-DEKALB-GWINNETT-HENRY-NORTH FULTON-ROCKDALE-

        SOUTH FULTON- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…ATLANTA…CONYERS…DECATUR…

        EAST POINT…LAWRENCEVILLE…MARIETTA

        455 AM EST MON JAN 27 2014

        …WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH

        WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON…

        Early on Tuesday morning well before the crack of dawn (3:39 am to be exact), the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning with expectations of 1-2 inches of snow.

        • Delphyne49 says:

          I have a really good friend who lives in Roswell and her 12 year old daughter’s bus arrived at 7:35 pm to pick her up – she got home at 1 am. Her husband’s drive from Atlanta got him home at 12:30 am. She had to walk about a mile to get her 9 year old son because his buses never arrived.

          I don’t understand why school wasn’t called, particularly since there is no equipment to handle weather like that. I agree with BB – cities should start preparing by purchasing some snow removal/salters – sanders. Even if they were only used once a year, it would be worth the investment.

          Oh, but silly me – climate change is a H O A X!!

          • RalphB says:

            At least around here they cancelled schools and lots of businesses closed or opened late. Less than the last icing but we had a little less ice this time.

          • bostonboomer says:

            They NEVER should have opened the schools in Atlanta, knowing they didn’t have the resources to deal with it. The roads down there look like MA after the Blizzard of ’78 and there’s barely any snow. That’s because up here we treat the roads before the storm and start plowing as soon as the snow starts accumulating. And schools are closed if a “big one” is expected.

      • Fannie says:

        Two days ago we were advised that in two days rain would be likely, and coming in during late night. That is a warning to all us, that rain can turn into ice, because water freezes in Idaho, cause it’s so damn cold at night, and if you’re out in it, your teeth with freeze, and you won’t be able to eat for a couple days. So when you wake up, think about that, and act accordingly.

        • Fannie says:

          Dang, you teeth WILL

          • bostonboomer says:

            That’s why everyone runs out to the grocery store here the day before a snowstorm. You never know how bad it could get. People down south prepare for hurricanes; up here we prepare for snow and ice.

          • Fannie says:

            Exactly BB………people need to PLAN, and shut down, and tell them to stay home, until everything melts. I don’t think they need snow plows like Boston does. Back in California I could tell you who were driving the plows on any given day. Boise, Idaho doesn’t have that many to put on the road, and they shut down the schools………….and call it snow days.

        • Fannie says:

          I have lived in the mountains for many, many years. I haven’t seen it, but I have friends that had snow so high that they had to open their upstairs windows to get out of the house. I am not a Mormon, and not a squirrel, but I know what and how to stock up on stuff to survive. I am not a prepper either. I have 5 shelves in a closet that has storage items, and that includes stuff for animals, and meds. If I have to grab stuff to go and get out, it’s in that closet.
          And I do the same for car/truck. You have got to have a plan. Everybody wants to blame somebody else. Keep your cars full of gas, and do not rely on the school system to handle situations with your child. Teach your children what to do, and how to do it, and why. Don’t rely on the school board, or telephone calls. If parents would have heeded the warning, and kept their children home because it was a “storm day”, and if they themselves stayed home, the community would be much better place to deal with the emergencies. You can’t forget animals – they too need to be protected and help. There will be puddles of mud all over, and trees are likely to come down. They need to keep the gutters cleans, and the drainage system free of debris flow, etc.

          I don’t mean to sound insensitive to the conditions during a storm, it is scary when you are smack in it. By the by, I was smack in a fire storm, and you haven’t seen nothing till you see those pine trees pop in front of your eyes. Talk about fear, I know it. You’ve got to keep trees and brush clear from your house, or it’s gone in a matter of minutes.

          We don’t get to pick our storms, fires, hurricanes, tornados. But we can better prepare and supply, and plan.

          I don’t like to compare, but you parents need to be more responsible, keep those guns locked up and away from kids. I mean, look at Freedom Enterprises, sat right there in that community, and nobody question anything, till it was too late. I am guilty myself, I need to ask more questions myself, I need to do a better job, and be courageous to stand firm.

          • bostonboomer says:

            After the ’78 blizzard, the governor shut down the entire state for a week and ordered business to pay their employees for the time. That’s what GA should do now. They need to keep vehicles off the roads so they can clean up. And they should definitely get some help from other states.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Instead of whiteout, Boehner should be holding a bottle of booze in that cartoon.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    Thought y’all might want to get ready for the next BIG rightwingnut NON-Event. Mark your calendars for May 16, 2014 because on that day they are going to attempt a coup. After the coup they are going to put some virtuous person in charge like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, maybe even Darrel Issa. These people are certifiable.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/harry-riley-operation-american-spring-fox-news

    • RalphB says:

      Do you think these people suffer from terrible headaches as they receive encoded instructions on what to do via the fillings in their teeth? What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

  4. janicen says:

    I love the title of your post, JJ! We got around 2 1/2 inches of snow here, which is pretty respectable considering originally, we were just north of the snow line before it shifted. It’s still cold as all get out so the snow isn’t going anywhere. My strength training class has been postponed until tomorrow so I think I’ll stay in and keep myself moving around this house and do some cleaning.

    • RalphB says:

      Another correction Slater should make is saying she became a single mother at 21 instead of at 19. Since she separated from her husband at 19, I’d say that makes her a single parent. Unless you’re trying to write a hit piece which was Slater’s goal. His entire story was shoddily sourced, consisting of only an ex-husband and an unnamed person.

      • NW Luna says:

        Yep, separated is single. Besides which, single -parenting a kid at 19 or 21 or whatever age is going to be hard.

        I doubt voters will have much sympathy with anyone picking on a hardworking single mother who makes good and fights the good fight.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Why would Wayne Slater be attacking Wendy? I don’t get that. He was pals with Molly Ivins, wasn’t he?

        • RalphB says:

          The courtier press in Texas has gotten used to sucking up to the Republicans since they’ve been in power so long. Texas Monthly was an Ann Richards supporting magazine until W became governor. Since then it’s been one GOP puff piece after another. Slater is not immune to those same forces and has carried GOP water as well, on the state level anyway.

    • RalphB says:

      Someone must have pointed out to Squint that every time Republicans attack Wendy with sexist bullshit more suburban Republican women donate to her campaign.

      Joe Scarborough: Attacks On Wendy Davis Are ‘Nonsense’

      “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough wondered aloud Wednesday why Republicans seem to care so much about the details of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’ (D) background.

      “So these Republicans in Texas have been saying some really crappy things about Wendy Davis, saying she’s a lousy mom — just really personal crap. It’s really the reason why people hate politics,” he said. “You know what? The empire didn’t strike back. Her daughters did. And, man, what a strong defense they gave for Wendy Davis, basically saying, we had great parents, thank you very much. Stop lying about it. I thought it was great.” …

  5. RalphB says:

    Dems taking control of the VA Senate and installing their own committees chairs was called a ‘power grab’ by the state GOP. Winning elections is now a ‘power grab’ to Republicans.

    The best part is that the ‘power grab’ was changing rules that the Republicans has instituted in 2012. “Republicans contended that the structure established in 2012 was supposed to last for the full, four-year term.” Then win the elections, whining assholes.

    WaPo: Democrats take control of Virginia Senate

  6. RalphB says:

    Wonder if Paul Ryan was driving?

  7. Fannie says:

    JJ. I heard the storm shall be called MOVE ON. I heard 150 Humvees are on the way to help, they are sending them their because there isn’t any more wars to send them too. Don’t that make you feel safe?

  8. RalphB says:

    Ouch…

    Introducing the Christie Countdown Clock

    This is the first post of a series by Scott Raab, an Esquire writer at large and New Jersey resident who has covered the Port Authority for years.

    Chris Christie is a dead man at the microphone. Just follow the money

  9. dakinikat says:

    Former GOP Governor: Party Thinks ‘Just Putting a Woman Up Front’ Will Get Female Voters

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/former-gop-governor-party-thinks-just-putting-a-woman-up-front-will-get-female-voters/

    “It’s hard for me to phrase this politely,” she said. “Sometimes Republicans think that just putting a woman up front means somehow that women are going to feel good about the party. It is not about the messenger. It’s about the message. And until we figure that one out — while it’s nice that we have a woman as a spokesperson — if the message itself doesn’t get changed a bit, it’s not going to work.”

  10. dakinikat says:

    Fox News host denies a gender gap, says women “make exactly what they’re worth” http://slnm.us/FJwTZ7K

  11. RalphB says:

    McConnell has spent a lot of money attacking her but, if Alison Lundergan Grimes gets her standing up among KY Dems, she could beat him like a rented mule.

    tpm: Poll: McConnell Has One-Point Lead In Re-election Fight

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leads Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes by just one point in the Kentucky Senate race, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

    The Public Policy Polling survey, conducted for Americans United For Change, found McConnell with 45 percent support to Grimes with 44 percent support. Eleven percent, meanwhile, said they were undecided.

    The poll also found McConnell with an approval rate of 37 percent while 57 percent of voters disapprove.

    The poll’s findings are some of the tightest since the race began. …

  12. dakinikat says:

    Republicans Roll Out New “Woman” Strategy During the State of the Union: Flatter Working Moms

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/01/29/republicans_rolled_out_their_new_woman_strategy_during_the_state_of_the.html

    As Hanna Rosin wrote here at Slate on Tuesday, Rodgers is the new ideal for Republicans: “Pen in one hand, baby in the other, having it all, all by herself.” The hope is that they can take the sting out of the phrase the “war on women” by highlighting women who don’t “need” those icky reproductive rights to get ahead. It’s an intriguing strategy, though one that likely underestimates how many married mothers also see themselves as people who need contraception and even abortion access. But will the narrative survive the ultimate test, when Hillary Clinton runs for president and reminds the public that there are plenty of married mothers who support the rights of all women, regardless of their marital or reproductive activity?

    • RalphB says:

      It’s easy to see what’s going on with this rhetoric. It’s an attempt to pit married mothers against all other women, by flattering married mothers with images of how hard working and sexually restrained they are while suggesting that all those other women—the single mother and the childless woman who doesn’t have to leave work early to get her kids out of day care—are either lazy, spoiled, or immoral.

      That’s gonna do it all for them. I’m sure of it, NOT.

    • RalphB says:

      Now that I think about it, wasn’t that Princess Dumbass’ schtick?

    • RalphB says:

      LOL…

  13. RalphB says:

    Battleground Texas seems to be doing well and has the GOP worried.

    Texsa Tribune: Despite Recent Hurdles, Battleground Founder Optimistic

    The Obama campaign operative who founded Battleground Texas says his group is closer than ever to reaching its goal of making the state hospitable to Democrats again, despite a controversy involving some of his volunteers and fierce criticism directed at the party’s candidate for governor.

    Jeremy Bird, Barack Obama’s former national field organizer, told The Texas Tribune that nearly a year into the creation of Battleground Texas, it has attracted more than 10,000 volunteers, exceeded the Republican Party of Texas in social media followers and has drawn more interest in field organizer “fellow” positions than it has openings currently available.

    Battleground was formed last February to register more Democratic voters and turn them out for the party’s candidates, who haven’t won a statewide race since 1994.

    “Those things are happening at a way accelerated pace. It’s because there’s an election that’s competitive,’’ Bird said. “But I didn’t think we’d be where we are today a year ago.”

    Battleground has essentially become Davis’ field operation, and the group’s top staffers work side by side at the senator’s headquarters in Fort Worth.

    “You know, just to be in the place where there’s a competitive election, and people are actually going to have a choice,” Bird said. “That’s fantastic for me. I didn’t think that would be happening so soon.”

  14. RalphB says:

    Wendy really blistered them. Ann Richards would be proud of this. Nice story as well.

    Texas Tribune: Davis Says Critics Picked on “Wrong Texas Gal”

    Saying she’d “had enough,” state Sen. Wendy Davis unloaded on Attorney General Greg Abbott on Tuesday night, blaming him and his allies for waging a smear campaign against her family and warning he had picked a fight with the “wrong Texas gal.” …