It was all fun and games before the storm struck. Last week, East Coast pundits were having a field day with the snowpocalypse, but the initial wonderland joy has worn off as Washington, D.C. braces for another 6-16 frozen inches. Exasperated with transportation delays and bare supermarkets, commentators have taken to the Internet commiserate over cabin fever and air their grievances.
- This Is Getting Expensive notes Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress: "A given quantity of snow has a much more severe impact on transportation and such in the DC area than it would if it fell on Boston or Chicago or Toronto. ... It turns out that a day when non-functioning commuter infrastructure causes a federal government shutdown costs the taxpayers $100 million."
- 'Snow Days Are Evil' concurs David Adesnik at the Moderate Voice, irked by the implications of Yglesias' observation: " Matt doesn’t provide a link, so I’m not sure where his $100 million estimate comes from. But I’d be curious to know how much of that is actually a cash loss, versus how much is simply the cost of paying salaries for workers who have to stay at home. If the latter, it would explain why the government doesn’t do much."
- Basic Government Services Can't Handle It scoffs Charlotte Hays of the National Review Online, arguing that the USPS' poor weathering of the storm spells trouble for future government-run programs: "I don’t expect the P.S. to deliver mail, but couldn’t they answer phones and tell us when we can expect to get our mail? In this snow emergency, the USPS has been just about as helpful as the Amtrak employee who glowers because you had the audacity to hope that the café might open before Baltimore. ... If you still yearn for government-run health care, try mailing a letter in Washington today."
- When Congress Should Be Working, The Aren't Washington Post's Paul Kane points that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's closure of the chamber for the remainder of the week is followed immediately by a week-long break for President's Day. Ezra Klein, with help from Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles, highlights what Congress is really thinking about their inability to do business: "at last an excuse."
- It's Impossible To Get Anywhere Robert Thomson reminds us with a headline haiku of the ongoing mobility disaster that is Washington D.C. in winter: "Lanes dissappear...visibility is limited...pedestrians in the roads...no place to put the snow...bus stops: they don't exist...shelters don't shelter...it will get worse."