|Suomi NPP satellite image (courtesy of NASA/NOAA)|
Some of the people in the company I work for deal directly with snow removal from parking lots and sidewalks.
Even back in Autumn when preparations for the winter were being made in terms of purchases of salt and equipment, the word amongst these guys was that this winter was going to be bad; and they were on the money.
One of the most interesting winter weather predictions I heard came not from the Weather Channel or Janice Huff - but from horses.
A plumber I work with has a good friend who resides in Pennsylvania and he keeps horses. Now I never knew this but it's normal for our sturdy four-legged friends to shed some of their hair after summer and grow a longer "winter coat" in preparation for colder temps.
This year his horses were shedding in late August, which is much earlier than usual, as their horse-sense told them winter was coming early. And sure enough we've had at least two snowfalls and temps down in the single digits BEFORE winter began this year - maybe the Weather Channel should have like a live "Horse-Cam" and have an actual horse-whisperer (like Monty Roberts) stand there and translate their weather observations.
Seriously though, how do horses know bad weather is coming months before it comes? Perhaps it's just evolution and horses having to find ways to prepare for winters for thousands of years.
Speaking of evolution, a recent ThinkProgress.org article cites recent polls showing a significant increase in the number of Republicans who do NOT believe in evolution. What's next for the Republican base, going back to the flat-Earth theory?
The degree to which Tea Party extremists have shifted the base of the Republican party and moved its values to the far right is simply incredible. It's reached the point where even mainstream Republicans have now drawn a line in the sand and are actively raising funds to keep members of their OWN party safe from Tea Party supporters and their warped scorched-Earth policy views.
Eric Lipton wrote an interesting article in the New York Times on Friday about Steven C. LaTourette, a former long-time Ohio Congressman who left office over frustration with the massive gridlock in Washington caused by obstruction-obsessed members of the Tea Party who've adopted an inflexible policy of blocking virtually ANYTHING President Obama supports - even if most American voters support it.
Their "ideology over the good of the People" approach to governing has produced the least productive House of Representatives in US history. For instance, by June of this year, they had passed a total of thirteen laws, none of which had to do with creating jobs.
The Tea Party has torpedoed Republican approval ratings to record lows, to the degree that even main stream Republicans like Mr. LaTourette are now actively engaged in battling to keep them out of office.
Isn't it interesting how it's taken the GOP this long to finally learn what an unqualified disaster the Koch Brother's-financed Tea Party is for the American people? Too bad these mainstream conservatives stood by when all these wing-nuts were crying about the president not being born in America or being a Muslim.
Now that Tea Baggers have embraced not believing in well-established scientific theory like evolution and climate change, and are all but tripping over themselves defending Duck Dynasty's Phil Roberts to trumpet their fundamental "Christian belief"s to boost their "street cred" with Bible-Belt district voters in the south and middle America - beliefs which have little to do with the actual teachings of Jesus by the way - centrist Republicans are scared.
These mainstream members of the GOP are waking up out of a six year slumber to realize this enormous dangerous chicken not only came home to roost long ago, it's now turned on them (and is not to be confused with the Vicious Chicken of Bristol).
It's not going to be easy getting it out of the hen house in time for the next Congressional elections or the 2016 presidential race either.
So congrats to our mainstream Republican friends! You've finally discovered what we've been saying all along - that chicken just ain't gonna fly with the mainstream voters you need to win the White House. And it's a really crazy bird - Allen West anyone?