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The [Wednesday] Papers

"In a ceaselessly challenging winter, Tuesday, for many, was the breaking point," the Tribune reports.

"Schools across the area canceled classes for the fourth day in less than a month, and for the second straight day the cause was subzero temperatures and double-digit negative wind chills, not the typical culprit: heavy snow.

"The decision irked some parents, who once again had to deal with the logistics of having their kids home. It also raised the issue of how cold is too cold and what other factors are considered when it comes to deciding to keep schools shuttered."


It would be one thing if this was the norm, but it's not. For a fuller argument in favor of closing schools in extreme weather, I turn it over to this Op-Ed from the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Why Days Off Due To Extreme Cold Are Not 'Silly.'"

(h/t: Mike Knezovich)

State of The #SOTU
Obama: Ready To Act Alone.

Never say I didn't tell you so.


"Tuesday night, Obama didn't dwell on his lost 2013," the Tribune editorial board theorizes.

"There was an oblique nod to his gridlock with Congress last year: 'Let's make this a year of action.' The subtext: He has to wonder whether, if his signature health overhaul doesn't succeed, his presidency totals one year of managing through a financial crisis, followed by a biblical seven years of lean.

"That's why his staffers have been broadcasting the message that Obama will try to circumvent Congress by marshaling his powers of office."

Then what explains all the other years of broadcasting that message?


The New York Times says that the president's proposal to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors "underscores that Mr. Obama is willing to bypass Congress to make progress on his agenda."

I wonder what proposals underscored that concept in every year since 2009.

At least one of their reporters got right - though even his memory was short-sighted.


What Obama's use of that threat for virtually all of his presidency - including when his own party held both houses of Congress - really underscores is his inability to get a handle on how to do his job.

It's reminiscent of Larry Summers - not a sympathetic character I know - crying out (as reported in Confidence Men) during Obama's first year in office that "We're home alone. There's no adult in charge."

It also exemplifies a president no one fears, which doesn't bother me, and no one respects, which does. He was sized up a long time ago, and that's just as much the reason for congressional gridlock as the tea party caucus.


The Sun-Times is, unsurprisingly, guilty as well.

"Obama calls for 'year of action' - vows to act on his own, if necessary," the paper blares.

If necessary!

Apparently he hasn't found it necessary in five years despite making the same threat every year.

Politico caught on last year and wrote "[T]his time, he really, really, really means it. Really."

That was one "really" for each year he'd said it, so just add another and re-post!


For perhaps more entertaining #SOTU commentary, see our illustrious Twitter stream.


Didn't Snowden feel compelled to go around Congress too?

FAQ: NSA's Angry Birds
There is no adult in charge.

Fantasy Fix: Hot Stove Happs
White Sock Adam Eaton on the radar.


I'm gonna start using White Sock now.

Black Ink Book Exchange
A pop-up appeal.

Field Note
I'll be at the Field Museum again this afternoon with another group of kids in the Urban Youth Journalism Program. While we're taking the kids through the whole museum, our objective is showing them the State of Deception exhibit about Nazi propaganda.

Though I called it when the arrests first happened (see No. 4, for starters), I'm just about the last to comment on the trial. That's just the way the ball's bounced here at Beachwood HQ. The best I can do today is to direct you thusly. If you haven't been following it, you will surely be amazed.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Go around.


Posted on January 29, 2014

MUSIC - The Last 10 Songs I Shazamed.
TV - MSNBC In Full-Blown Freakout.
POLITICS - The Bagel's Socialist Roots.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Alert Cooperstown.

BOOKS - The Mind Is The Body.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - A Breath Sanitizer For Blowing Out Birthday Candles!

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