January 28 2009
The day started out with a blanket of snow and ice covering the ground and area road ways. Making commuting a nightmare and adding to the frustrations being felt by large and small businesses alike. Many simply could not make the commute to work. Area schools were closed down and more cold and icy weather was expected through out the day. In opposition to the surrounding area DC public schools were open but did have a two hour delay to the start of the day. Both campuses of the private school Sidwell Friends were closed however, which afforded the Obama children the day off. According to some reports President Obama offered some humor; “My children’s school was canceled today, because of what? Some ice?” he said “As my children pointed out, in Chicago, school is never canceled,”
The storm and the blanket of snow and ice it brought with it was after all relatively minor, but in the Mid-Atlantic area even a minor bit of snow or ice can bring business to a halt. Many of the area townships just down have equipment to handle this type of weather and rely on private contractors to do the work. Many of those private contractors have been feeling the pinch of the economic downturn and that just makes the problems brought by the weather that much greater in scope.
Digital TV news
The House of Representatives was at work on Wednesday, despite the snow and ice. They passed a bill to delay the nationwide switch from analog to digital television signals by approximately four months. A move that many speculate was not wanted by television broadcaster's by was made as some fear that not all of the public are ready for the move to occur. The delay will move the switch over from February 17th to June 12th and is backed by both the Senate and President Obama. The rebates for the purchase of the DTV converters needed for the switchover on older televisions that still receive signal over the air has reportedly been straining its budget recently.
Aerospace Job Cuts
Boeing sighted the weakening economic conditions being felt worldwide as the reason they are now planning to slash about 10,000 jobs in preparation for a modest production cut for the coming year. One more example of how the financial meltdown has caused global financing problems and exactly how much weight now rests on the US economic stimulus programs outcome.
House Republicans offer a different take on Economic Stimulus
House Republicans put another economic stimulus idea on the table to be considered. This idea shifts the focus from spending to tax relief. This package is not attached to the previous amendment offered up by House Republicans, but is a separate package.
President Obama fully expects the Democrat stimulus package that has been presented to pass a full House vote later today. The House Republicans are hoping that there proposals will at least have some level of influence on the final stimulus package. This has little chance of being anything other than Political posturing at this point though.
"People are recognizing very quickly that's it's not one, stimulative, and two, it's full of all sorts of things that are sort of favorite political projects of the Democrat majority," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. This comment alone may be presenting the signs of the possible unraveling of the joint non-partisan political machine we have been promised as the parties members from both sides vie for the attention of the world as the group that will lead the citizens home to the promised land. Mid term elections are just short of two years away after all.
Rain nor sleet nor dark of night shall stop the mail - but budget problems?
The Postmaster General told Congress on Wednesday that the post office may need to scale back on the delivery schedule. The Postmaster asked Congress to lift the requirement that the mail be delivered six days a week. Removing the six day a week mail delivery doesn't mean there will be no Saturday delivery however. Studies have shown that the mail is actually lower in volume on other days of the week, and if they were to trim a day from the scheduled deliveries it could perhaps be Tuesday or Wednesday. On the other hand the impacts that the trimming of a work week day from thew delivery of checks and other needed business instruments could have yet deeper ripple effects. the thing that all of the lawmakers are loosing sight of is the ripple effect. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.