(Please see update below.) Local internet service (and phones and TV service) all went down again five hours ago, just a minute after the previous post. So this is a first-ever post-over-a-handheld-device-via-cell-hotspot, and I will make it terse.
1) I hear on the radio that many people in New York and New Jersey are getting panicky at the three-day mark with no electricity. Boy do people in D.C. sympathize and understand. We've had three episodes of that duration or longer in just the past two years -- of course minus the flooding, fires, and other terrible destruction. (One five-day stretch after an ice storm, with sustained temps in the 20s and 30s -- that was Dr. Zhivago-like; one after a summer thunderstorm; one after a "derecho," which I can't manage to link to now.) These things are boring when they happen to someone else. Maybe this will create some pan-Eastern-Seaboard solidarity on American infrastructure issues. And climate ones too.
2) I am a huge fan and admirer of the new NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan. But I think she has made her first mistake and is picking the wrong fight in criticizing the now-embattled Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight for placing a (mainly symbolic) charitable-donation bet with Joe Scarborough over who has a better model of how the election will turn out. In fact, the arrivals of Mr. Silver and Ms. Sullivan each at the NYT constitute good news. They are both forces for improvement in journalism.