Slatest PM: Northeast Braces For Nemo

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 8 2013 4:50 PM

Slatest PM: The States of Emergency Edition

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A man transports supplies with a tobaggon in the snow in Boston Common on Friday

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

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Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Here Comes the Storm: Associated Press: "Snow began falling across the Northeast on Friday, ushering in what was predicted to be a huge, possibly historic blizzard and sending residents scurrying to stock up on food and gas up their cars. The storm could dump 1 to 3 feet of snow from New York City to Boston and beyond. Even before the first snowflake had fallen, Boston, Providence, R.I., Hartford, Conn., and other towns and cities in New England and upstate New York towns canceled school Friday, and airlines scratched more than 3,700 flights through Saturday, with the disruptions certain to ripple across the U.S."

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In New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency late this afternoon. New York Times: "The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Friday afternoon that the storm could require the suspension of service for portions of subway, bus and commuter train lines. At the very least, some express subway trains will be suspended after the Friday rush hour. Local trains that are not required for service will be stored underground along express tracks across the system, in an effort to prevent them from being trapped inside yards by drifting snow."

In Massachusetts: Boston Globe: "Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and banned cars from the road beginning at 4 p.m. today as Massachusetts braces for a potentially historic blizzard that could blanket the state with more than 2 feet of snow, whip up winds to 70 miles per hour, and batter the coast with giant waves. The travel ban, a rare measure, was announced by Patrick at a news conference at the state’s emergency bunker in Framingham."

In Connecticut: Hartford Courant: "Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered people to stay off the state's highways as a major snowstorm pushed into Connecticut on Friday. ... The travel ban is for all vehicles except for public safety vehicles, utility trucks and those carrying essential personnel or supplies. It went into effect at 4 p.m."

In Rhode Island: Providence Journal: "Governor Chafee said Friday that a state of emergency has been declared for Rhode Island ahead of the storm, emphasizing that 'Losing power, people being without heat, is really the emergency we are going to face.' But, the governor said, 'We're ready,' at a noon news conference. He urged people to stay off the roads."

In New Jersey: Newark Star-Ledger: "Gov. Chris Christie this morning activated the New Jersey Emergency Operations Center in anticipation of flooding, wind, sleet, snow and possibly blizzard conditions in the northeast corner of the state. State Police caution motorists to exercise extreme caution, allow for extra travel time and avoid unnecessary trips. The state Department of Transportation has prepared snow plows and salt-spreader trucks."

Latest From National Weather Service: "Total snowfall accumulations of 1-2 feet are possible, with locally higher amounts. In addition, gusty winds will create blizzard conditions, especially along the coast, making travel extremely hazardous, if not impossible." Words of Wisdom: NWS meteorologist Alan Dunham: "This one doesn't come along every day. This is going to be a dangerous winter storm. Wherever you need to get to, get there by Friday afternoon and don't plan on leaving."

Hooray, it's Friday! You made it; we all did. (Now let's hope everyone survives Nemo.) Welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees and the whole team at @slatest.

Latest From the L.A. Manhunt: Los Angeles Times: "As fresh snow continued to fall Friday in Big Bear Lake, authorities said they don't believe that fugitive former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner is still in the resort area. But SWAT officers continued to search the mountains around the town as part of the extensive manhunt for Dornan. At a news conference Friday afternoon, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon defended the decision to reopen local resorts, saying an extensive search around the city found no evidence that the slaying suspect posed a threat to those facilities."

Bush Family Email Hacked: Wall Street Journal: "The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a hack of Bush-family email accounts, a break-in that gained access to personal information and family pictures, representatives for the agency and the former presidents’ family said Friday. The intrusion, reported by the website The Smoking Gun, includes access to the email accounts of several relatives and friends of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, the website reported, citing email exchanges with the hacker."

Warming to Obamacare: Washington Post: "Several Republican governors have embraced a key pillar of President Obama’s health-care law: Extending Medicaid to 17 million Americans. Many Republicans balked at the expansion when the Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion optional in its ruling last in the summer. Supporters of the law worried that the opposition could undermine the entire health-care overhaul by shrinking the pool of Americans who would gain coverage. But six Republican governors have since come to back the program, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday and Ohio’s John Kasich on Monday. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced her support in mid-January."

White House Wants To Refocus Its Message: National Journal's Ron Fournier: "White House officials tell me they feel stung by coverage of the inaugural address. Reporters highlighted the president’s left-leaning stances on immigration, gun control, climate change and gay and women’s rights. Obama’s aides argue that he devoted more inaugural address language to the economy, jobs and the deficit than all other issues combined. Still, the perception remains that Obama lost focus on the economy -- the top issue in the minds of most voters. So look for an address Tuesday tilted heavily toward policies pledging action on joblessness, growing the economy and expanding the middle class, White House officials said Friday. Other issues will be discussed, aides said, but there will be no mistaking that Obama’s paramount concern is the economy."

And on the Sequester: Reuters: "The White House said on Friday that government spending cuts due to take effect March 1 would have harsh consequences on ordinary Americans and the economy, seeking to turn up pressure on Congress to come up with a plan to avoid what Washington calls 'sequestration.' In its strongest warnings yet, the White House gave examples of that it said program cuts would mean: 1,000 fewer FBI officers, mass layoffs of government meat and food inspectors, and aid benefits slashed for hundreds of thousands of low-income women and children."

Clinton's Advice to Congressional Democrats: The Hill: "Former President Bill Clinton came to the House Democratic retreat here armed with a warning: The Republicans won’t make it as easy for Democrats to win in 2014. 'I think that we should assume going forward that the people who disagree with us, honestly in our approach, will not make it quite as easy to draw the contrast on the things they do and say [as] they did last time,' Clinton told House Democrats in a wide-ranging and largely informal talk that lasted nearly 45 minutes."

Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Plea Deal: NBC Chicago: "It’s been nearly three months since Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress, but now NBC News confirms that Jackson has signed papers in a plea deal within the past several days.  Jackson’s case is being handled by the US Attorney’s office in Washington DC. While no public announcement is expected today, those with knowledge of the investigation believe the loose ends now deal with Jackson’s wife, former Alderman Sandi Jackson, and whether or not she is ultimately charged. Under the terms of the deal Jackson signed, he pleads guilty and his fate – as to jail time – would be in the hands of a federal judge, not yet assigned."

Malala Discharged From Hospital: Associated Press: "Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani education activist shot in the head by the Taliban, was discharged from a British hospital Friday after undergoing skull reconstruction and receiving a cochlear implant to restore her hearing. The 15-year-old had been released for a few weeks in January but re-entered Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital to undergo the latest procedures last weekend. The hospital said Malala is 'making good recovery' and will now continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in Birmingham."

More Quick Hits From Slate—

The Day/Week/Month's Must-Read: Justin Peters' awesome profile of Aaron Swartz.

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