Snow Day Winners. But the Big Story: The Veep Misfires--Big Time
Winner of the big blog's Snow Day Roulette game:
Maggie, who correctly predicted that school throughout Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland would raise the white flag. She also called the two-hour delay in the District correctly, though she, like me, wrongly assumed that Prince George's County would go along with the D.C. schools in that decision. PG instead joins the others in the Big Three (Fairfax and Montgomery) in closing.
MoCo appears to have made the first decision to close, though of course many would argue that the system really made that decision in about 1983, at the dawn of the age of security ueber alles.
Reader BDTLRVA makes the point on behalf of parents everywhere, writing, "I guess it is important for kids to be taught that no theoretical danger, however slight, should be dealt with in person. Retreat home and watch daytime TV, which seems to me to be more dangerous for kids than walking down a snowy or icy sidewalk."
As for me, I reiterate my call for a law requiring school administrators to come to your house and watch over the kids while mom and dad head off to work, because pretty much every single office in the region is open even when virtually every classroom is shuttered.
The tiebreaker in today's contest was going to be the number of minutes the local TV news shows devoted to snow hysteriamongering at the top of their 11 p.m. broadcasts. As it turned out, we didn't have a tie to break, but if we had, we'd have ourselves a bit of a quandary because the lead story was not the snow, but the news that Vice President Cheney shot a guy.
Why this story is being played as a brite--that's newspaper lingo for a cute little piece that offers the reader a chuckle--is beyond me. Here's the #2 guy in the nation firing a weapon and hitting a 78-year-old lawyer from Austin, sending him to intensive care. The vice president's office delayed releasing the news for a day (if a vice president shoots somebody deep in the heart of Texas and nobody hears, did it really happen?), the victim was flown to a trauma center and remains in the ICU, and Dick Cheney puts out a statement saying he's glad the guy is doing "fine?"
I'm not a doctor, but I've been in enough ICUs to know this: If you're there, you're not "fine."
Apparently, the victim will survive and that's good to hear. But isn't it a bit unseemly for the veep to have left town on the afternoon following the quail hunting expedition? If you shot somebody by accident, wouldn't you want to stick around for a couple of days to make certain he was "fine," to express your apology to the family, to offer to help in some way? Even if you are vice president and spend much of your time in secret locations, doesn't basic human decency call for you to cancel your plans and sit tight?
James Brady, the former Reagan press secretary who was disabled in the 1981 assassination attempt on the president and became a gun control advocate, issued a somewhat churlish, if mildly amusing, response to the shooting: "Now I understand why Dick Cheney keeps asking me to go hunting with him. I had a friend once who accidentally shot pellets into his dog - and I thought he was an idiot."
Maybe we all need a snow day.
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