Snow Blinds Washington — Hold Your Questions, Please

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

A pedestrian pauses to take a photograph, right, of the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 2014.

The snow that started falling on Washington before dawn has becoming something of a white-out at the nation’s capital, with fine flakes blown by blustery winds burying the district and surroundings in a blanket of silence.

In a town whose celebrities thrive on visibility, there is none today.

All manner of business has been called off — though the U.S. District Court of Appeals is plowing ahead with oral arguments. The federal courts tend to have a full-snowblower-ahead attitude toward these weather events.

NPR is still on the air, of course. And many of us are working from home, snowed in.

At the white-lawned White House, President Barack Obama is pressing ahead with a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose stay at a hotel a block from 1600 Pennsylvania last night has diverted traffic from a blue-lighted cordon of police surrounding the Intercontinental.

It snowed in Jerusalem this winter, as one of our editors noted of the meeting, so “Bibi” should feel right at home. See the interview that Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg conducted with the president about his meeting with the prime minister:  “If not now, when?” Obama said of Middle East peace, “If not you, who?” he plans to ask Netanyahu.

 

On this 21-degree day in Washington, the administration has made it clear on another front — Ukraine — that it has no interest in another cold war with Russia. And Secretary of State John Kerry’s plane is taking off tonight from the snow-cleared runway at Andrews Air Force Base for meetings in Kiev.

Today’s White House press briefing will be brief indeed, snowed out.

And what great timing, here: the Federal Emergency Management Agency had already declared this “Severe Weather Preparedness Week” — Heckuva snow job:

The White House is supposed to be releasing its proposal for a 2015 fiscal budget tomorrow.

Yet at this writing it was unclear if they’ll go ahead with that release, it was noted, because the people who make that call aren’t at work.

Congress, too, is quieted by the snow day.

This is one shutdown they can’t hang on Ted Cruz.

 

 

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