January 30, 2014

Snowstorm politics

From the NYT:
Mayor, in Storm’s Eye, Is Unapologetic 
By KIM SEVERSON 9:12 PM ET 
While Gov. Nathan Deal, left, has been contrite after Atlanta was gripped by an icy paralysis during a snowstorm this week, Mayor Kasim Reed, right, has rejected criticism.
ATLANTA — Anyone who has listened to Kasim Reed, the former entertainment lawyer who became Atlanta’s mayor in 2010, knows the man who calls himself a street fighter likes to be forceful when he makes a point. 
But for the past two days, as the national face of a city that was virtually incapacitated by two inches of snow and ice, Mr. Reed has come across more as peevish than powerful as he has done interview after interview, mostly rejecting criticism of the government’s role in Atlanta’s vast ice storm gridlock. 
“I don’t want to get into the blame game,” he snapped at local reporters Wednesday as children were still stranded in schools and images of thousands stranded on frozen interstates rolled in a seemingly endless media loop. 
The next day, he fired back at national journalists, suggesting that Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” be more accurate in the images of a crippled region he was presenting to viewers and sniping with Mika Brzezinski on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. ...

Gov. Nathan Deal, in an apologetic briefing for reporters on Thursday and in his own series of national interviews, was as soft and contrite as Mr. Reed was unyielding and combative.  

I haven't been following the Biggest Story Since the Fort Lee Lane Closure Crisis as carefully as I should, but let me see if I have this straight: the white politician is deftly putting on a self-effacing image and trying to keep his head down until this whole thing blows over, while the black politician is displaying the kind of inflated but fragile ego that's essential to When Keepin' It Real Goes Wrong.

I never would have seen that coming.
  

44 comments:

Mr. Anon said...

I bet Margaret Mitchell never would have imagined that one day the mayor of Atlanta would be a guy named Kasim.

Oswald Spengler said...

Whiskey hit the nail squarely on the head: "Black culture’s fatal flaw: toxic levels of self-esteem combined with manifest incompetence and lack of any driving fear of failure or doubt."

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Something out of a Tom Wolfe novel.

Anonymous said...

For a Canadian, being informed that a city was almost completely shut down by a whole two inches of snow brings on a distinct sense of unreality, as though one had been told that HRH had voluntarily abdicated the Throne in a fit of Republicanism, or that Vancouver had won the Stanley Cup.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey's statement is redundant, but at least it's a departure from his usual shtick.

Whiskey said...

Anon who do you think Cheerios is aimig for. After all, chicks dig not only Chechens but toxic levels of self esteem.

Simian Browse said...

Black leadership:
In charge of everything;
responsible for nothing.

Simon in London said...

Do you think it could ever happen that black voters in a majority black electorate will vote for a white candidate, in order to get better governance? I know it sounds far-fetched for the USA (though wasn't there a white woman on Detroit city council?). Are there any examples of this happening elsewhere in the world?

If not, I guess it's a case of people get the leaders they deserve.

Bert said...

"Do you think it could ever happen that black voters in a majority black electorate will vote for a white candidate, in order to get better governance? I know it sounds far-fetched for the USA (though wasn't there a white woman on Detroit city council?)."

Sheila Cockrel (who was only on the council because her husband was a powerful black politician) retired four years ago. Detroit just elected a white mayor and now has a Mexican and a Jewish councilman. Not that it matters, because the state now rules the city completely.

It's not unprecedented for black cities to elect white mayors, but it's fairly rare in the South.

Hunkered Down in Hilton Head said...

BIG NEWS! SOUTH CAROLINA SHUT DOWN!

The Columbia area received between 2 and 3 inches of snow.

Emergency officials recommended that all of the state's 4.6 million residents stay home Wednesday unless absolutely necessary.


Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/29/3233592/snow-ending-in-south-carolina.html#storylink=cpy

Cail Corishev said...

"For a Canadian, being informed that a city was almost completely shut down by a whole two inches of snow brings on a distinct sense of unreality"

No kidding. It's like saying you couldn't get into your attic because the cobwebs were too thick. I'm south of Chicago, and I don't bother shoveling my driveway for two inches.

Camlost said...

New Orleans just elected a white mayor.

Camlost said...

I live just outside Atlanta city limits and while I'm no fan of the HNIC Kasim Reed I must also admit that there's not much he could do.

1. The Atlanta mayor doesn't control any local school systems. He had no authority to shut down schools early.

2. The Atlanta mayor only presides over 450,000 residents of the city of Atlanta proper, in contrast to the 5.25 million residents of the Atlanta metro area.

3. Most of the inhabitants of the actual city of Atlanta (75% black) are low income and may not own cars anyway - these are the few people who actually take MARTA rail daily (MARTA only carries about 2-3% of Atlanta area workers, most of them in low level service, government or airport jobs) Emergency decisions made by Kasim Reed affect suburbanites about as much as they affect Steve Sailer.

4. The Atlanta region is spread out across 22 counties and the average commute in the region is 35+ miles. There's no such thing as a road grid here and no contiguous secondary roads, and this is a very difficult thing to Midwesterner and Northeasterners to understand. For instance, if you work in Atlanta city limits and commute the 22-40 miles to Atlanta's affluent northern suburbs and the freeway is blocked you are NOT getting home in less than 12 hours. There's no alternative.

Claude S.K. Greenlee said...

This whole Atlanta story is a perfect example of much ado about nothing.

I grew up in Atlanta and these ice storms generally happen once a year. It may only have been "2 inches', but that doesn't really tell the tale. What happens is that there will be a sudden heavy rain that freezes as it nears the ground. EVERYTHING becomes coated in a sheath of solid ice; streets, houses, trees, power lines, etc.

Snowplows wouldn't help. Nothing helps. Thousands of pine trees can't stand the weight of the ice so they fall all over streets, power lines and buildings. I used to work downtown in the 80s and what used to happen then was that all the White people would begin a trek, on foot, to their neighborhoods in the north; stopping at every bar along the way. Great fun. Serious fun.

Cars would be abandoned on the freeway. Buses would slowly drift through intersections, coming to rest against whatever would be in the way.

Power would be out for days and days. This happens every year to some extent. It's no big deal.

It is true that the Black power structure is a model of incompetence, corruption and simple stupidity, but they used to just leave the situation to White firemen, policemen and individuals to work it out themselves.

Of course the Blacks have no plan for ice storms. Blacks never have a plan for anything, and now it's become "racist" for Whites to plan in advance too. It didn't used to matter because the Blacks just stayed out of the way.

Most of this brouhaha is just the media having its usual panic attack in the perpetual soap opera of reality denial.

8to12 said...

I'm no fan of the Democrat mayor of Atlanta (or the GOP governor, for that matter), but the criticism of them both is ignorant.

Atlanta gets snow (maybe) once a year. So they haven't invested money in road clearing equipment (or employees), because it would be a waste of money for a once a year event that lasts 1 or two days.

Everyone was advised days ahead of time that snow was coming, and to stay home. That's the plan in the south. Stay home when it snows, and when it clears in a couple of days go back to life as normal.

But, there are always the stubborn who think they can drive in the snow on uncleared (and unsalted) roads. They can't, and they create a mess. Then they blame the mayor, because they couldn't follow instructions.

Then they blame the government for their stupidity.

Nobody can drive on a road that is iced over. And that's what happens when you get even just 1 inch of snow in the south. The roads don't get cleared or salted, and then they ice over.

And they don't get cleared or salted, because--unlike up north, where they have snow multiple days every year--it's not worth spending money on expensive road clearing equipment that is only used one day every other year.

John Mansfield said...

It's not just a little bit of snow. It's an overloaded, unstable transportation network that breaks down whenever there is minor stress. At least that's the way it is my area where an inch of rain will turn a forty minute commute into an hour and a half.

pat said...

I believe that Toronto's mayor Rob Ford is locally popular because despite his drinking and smoking crack he is very good at keeping the snow plowed.

All of his many enemies have waited expectantly for Bill de Blasio - the new mayor of New York - to screw up. Most expected the trouble to arise over stop-and-frisk but his first crisis was over the snow plows.

This feisty black mayor won't last long is he under estimates the importance of snow removal.

Albertosaurus

Svigor said...

No kidding. It's like saying you couldn't get into your attic because the cobwebs were too thick. I'm south of Chicago, and I don't bother shoveling my driveway for two inches.

Southerners (I'm very much including blacks in that category here) have problems driving in the rain. So, yeah, it was like a ghost town at 5pm yesterday. It was all of 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Svigor said...

Oh, in our defense, I will say that any amount of snow, sleet, freezing rain, etc., does play havoc with our power grid. We lost power for 48 hours a few years back when it snowed.

Not that this is much of a defense.

Anonymous said...

Spengler,

That's pretty funny because in his frequent predictions of future events Whiskey displays manifest incompetence and lack of any driving fear of failure or doubt.

Anonymous said...

"chicks dig not only Chechens but toxic levels of self esteem."


*At a certain age* chicks dig... etc

hence r-type men generally targeting 13-16 year olds.

Reg Cæsar said...

Do you think it could ever happen that black voters in a majority black electorate will vote for a white candidate, in order to get better governance? --Simon

They already did, in Gary, Indiana.

Reg Cæsar said...

. I'm south of Chicago, and I don't bother shoveling my driveway for two inches.

We grew up near the eye of the Snow Belt, and my brother worked in Alaska for several years. Driving in drifts is second nature for him.

Nevertheless, when the rare snowfall hits the Florida Panhandle, he refuses to go out. Because none of his neighbors can be trusted on the roads!

, …or that Vancouver had won the Stanley Cup. --anonymous Canadian

Speaking of unreality, is anyone in either city aware that Seattle won the Stanley Cup a century ago? Or that Portland went to the Finals the year before?

Anonymous said...

Mobile is a half black city that recently elected a white mayor

Btw, the two inches of snow also shut down all of Birmingham. In the city's defense, the outlying (white) suburbs also did nothing about the problem. They even left thousands of kids trapped at school for 24 to 72 hours.. Laziness all around, with all the government officials claiming it was not their fault because "it rarely snows." It actually usually snows here once or twice a year....not that rare. I think some sort of mass hysteria happened this time because it was not forecasted.

Anonymous said...

Agreeableness is a very double-edged trait methinks.

Anonymous said...

For instance, if you work in Atlanta city limits and commute the 22-40 miles to Atlanta's affluent northern suburbs and the freeway is blocked you are NOT getting home in less than 12 hours.

How can the roads be blocked by 2 inches of snow? Can't motorists just trundle along at 20 mph?

Marc B said...

It was the White Georgia governor's fault for Atlanta's infrastructural failure. Stop blaming Mayor Reed. It could never be the responsibility of an Atlanta mayor named Kasim.

Camlost said...

How can the roads be blocked by 2 inches of snow? Can't motorists just trundle along at 20 mph?

You get one minor accident on an Atlanta freeway and it's total blockage - there's NO secondary roads to take here as Atlanta is not built on a grid - cars were sitting gridlocked as the snow came down while everyone left their jobs at the same time when the snow started around 12noon. And even if the Atlanta regional municipalities had trucks with plows (they don't) they couldn't get deployed thru traffic or couldn't actually do any plowing anyway due to cars being in the way.

late on the brake said...

From my personal experience Americans have problems driving in any but the most friendly weather conditions. I vividly remember being at a party in southern california when a little rain storm let to a defcon 2 because the host feared that his numerous guests might had to stay for the night. Winter tires are an invention that has yet to reach all parts of America.

jody said...

under zucker, CNN is out of the news business. last night during primetime they were running some retrospective on the 60s. mainly, interviews with the who and the beatles, and concert footage of them playing. what does that have to do with anything in 2014.

the only 'news' they seem to have reported in the last week is that georgia got shut down by 2 inches of snow - and why we should blame the governor. 3 guesses as to which group the governor hails from.

meanwhile:
revolution in ukraine
civil war in egypt
civil war in iraq
civil war in syria
possible revolution or civil war in south mexico. militias formed, shots fired
american soldiers still regularly getting killed in afghanistan, on their way to 1700 killed under obama.

no reporting of any of this, really. maybe a casual brief mention, if that.

most shocking to me, and perhaps the nadir of CNN's fall, was about a month ago, when i saw anderson cooper, andrew sullivan, jeffrey toobin, some mulatto lady, and a guy i had never seen or heard of before, discussing the biggest goofs of 2013, in a round table on anderson cooper's show. i was thinking, isn't andrew sullivan that homosexual who actually has HIV? so 2 homosexuals, a jewish guy, and a mulatto lady. the other guy must be the lone heterosexual european man, for balance.

nope. when i got home, i googled him to see who he was. dan savage - ANOTHER homosexual! so for anderson cooper's show that day, they had zero heterosexual european men - not unusual for CNN these days - but THREE homosexuals at once, one who even has HIV. all discussing their view of the world, in their cultural marxist echo chamber. with the jew and the mulatto lady chipping in. a far, far cry from the days of ted turner.

Anonymous said...

You get one minor accident on an Atlanta freeway and it's total blockage

So snow or no snow, traffic accidents cause freeways to be converted into multi-day parking lots? Still scratching my head.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta as a metro region is particularly badly set up. It's one of your worst cases of urban Sprawl. This is blamed on black people somehow when it's actually a white screwup, and an epic one at that.

Kaz said...

Steve, you can't blame this on Kasim Reed.

Seriously.

There wasn't an issue in Atlanta proper, it was all outside Atlanta in the suburbs and surrounding metro areas where people work/live.

He could have plowed, cleared out everything in all of Atlanta and it would have done fuck all to alleviate the issues we faced on Tuesday. He doesn't have influence over the schools outside Atlanta. This is why he is frustrated. He's dealing with taking the blame for cities that HATE to be lumped in Atlanta, except now.

The interstates were clogged because people left work all at once and were driving too fast for icey/snowy conditions, the state government didn't pre-treat these roads, local governments did absolutely nothing for their roads, so this is what we get.

I was in the middle of this. I don't work in Atlanta and I had a 7.5 hour commute home. I work in what you would call the metro-ATL area, the mayor doesn't have control over it. This area fought to keep MARTA out, any semblance of public transportation out.

Simon in London said...

Thanks for feedback re black voters electing white mayors etc. So it sounds as if it does happen sometimes.

Maxwell Power said...

Seeing him on TV with the CBS evening news his caginess mixed with defensiveness was undeniable. In fact he looked and sounded like a nervous "Judge Judy" plaintiff. It was odd because most officials in the region were caught napping on this one; Reed could have easily adopted the small-time-operator posture (picture some Gallic politician, when a bridge collapses somewhere in Quebec: "Ayyyy wat can you do, guy, ees one ding after anudder"). Obviously he did not go that route

Anonymous said...

Atlanta as a metro region is particularly badly set up. It's one of your worst cases of urban Sprawl. This is blamed on black people somehow when it's actually a white screwup, and an epic one at that.
====

Mostly true, but the ending of restrictive housing covenants and school integration contributed to massive suburban white flight, reasonably, to escape black dysfunction. The the traffic gridlock is partly a refusal of regional planning but also a refusal of counties like Cobb and Gwinnett to allow MARTA transit into their counties-- again, because they don't want to have an easy channel for black dysfunction to enter their areas.

ben tillman said...

Atlanta as a metro region is particularly badly set up. It's one of your worst cases of urban Sprawl. This is blamed on black people somehow when it's actually a white screwup, and an epic one at that.

It's in the mountains. What do you want them to do?

Svigor said...

Nevertheless, when the rare snowfall hits the Florida Panhandle, he refuses to go out. Because none of his neighbors can be trusted on the roads!

THIS.

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian, I can't help but be amazed that just two inches of snow could bring a major U.S. city, even in the south, to a standstill and chaos.

Anonymous said...

"Nobody can drive on a road that is iced over."

Here in Canada I do it all the time. You ever hear of snow tires?

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

As a Canadian, I can't help but be amazed that just two inches of snow could bring a major U.S. city, even in the south, to a standstill and chaos."

Whenever Seattle gets a few inches of snow, which happens every couple of years or so, the city essentially just shuts down. Snow is a rare enough event that they have next to no snow-removal equipment. But just thirty miles away, up in the Snoqualmie mountains, where snowfall is a regular event, they do have snow-removal equipment, and they go on as normal, snow or not.

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian, I can't help but be amazed that just two inches of snow could bring a major U.S. city, even in the south, to a standstill and chaos.

Happens in Vancouver too, supposedly part of Canada.

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer is a racist who jumps to conclusions based on the race of the participants. You should be embarrassed over this post, Steve.

Jerry said...

A couple of years ago when I was in Seoul we got 2-3 inches of snow in the morning. The city was basically shut down, as far as road traffic. No, they do not have snow plows... most roads were simply left alone. Good thing they have a dozen subway lines.