News and Weather

I mentioned in a post a couple weeks ago that the weather in Philadelphia had been quite balmy lately, but in the past few days, it's been positively screwy. On Wednesday Austen and I left the house at 10:24am (I was timing us) en route to my six-week post-partum checkup (I'm fine, all systems are go). I was wearing my fuzzy-collared winter coat, but I didn't bother donning my hat and gloves. Soon I even had to unbutton the coat. While not exactly *warm* out, it was too warm for wool and fake fur. By the time we left the doctor's office around noon, however, I was glad I brought my hat and gloves. The temperature was dropping, and the walk home proved a chilly one.

Yesterday was the complete opposite. The temperature in the morning started out about the same as it had on Wednesday, but throughout the day it got *warmer*. Wait, you're thinking, isn't that normal? Doesn't the temperature usually rise as the day goes on? Well, yes, but generally it drops again after dark. Not so yesterday; when Austen and I left on foot at 5:30pm to meet Al at his office, it was about 65 degrees. I was wearing a tiny short-sleeved t-shirt and a lightweight hoodie, and I was plenty warm. I'd say it was still over 60 when we went out again at 10pm in an attempt to quiet the screaming kid, which is where the News portion of this post comes in—more on that in a second. Minutes after we re-entered the house, the skies opened up, and it began to POUR. And guess what? The temperature started to drop. It was 48 degrees when I got up this morning around 8:30 (and still raining heavily), and by noon Philadelphia is expecting snow flurries. Biz-fucking-arre. I'm just glad that by 3pm it's supposed to be partly cloudy, so the kid and I can get out for a walk. I hate being trapped inside with him all day (although right now he's snoring sweetly on my chest and being so kind as to leave my hands free to type).

And now, the news. I mentioned to Al when we were out walking that I was behind on my blog posting; I'd only just finished the posts I'd started on Monday and Tuesday that afternoon, and I hadn't even started writing the one I'd intended to post on Wednesday. The subject of that one was going to be how seeing the Metro headline "Codey: N.J. Should Be Stem Cell Leader" made me wonder whether the passing of California's Prop 71 would start a competition among the states to see who could pour more money into stem cell research. Although I agreed with my friend nj's reason for voting against Prop 71, I can totally see now that *how* the research was funded wasn't the issue: it was that it was funded at all. Prop 71 is probably more powerful as a symbol than as a vehicle for advancing scientific research (although it's likely to do that, and maybe even be more successful at it *because* of its symbolic status).

I think because we were tangentially discussing the Governator and his love of funding projects with bonds, and because Al wondered aloud if Arnold weren't perhaps a Democratic trojan horse in the Republican party, we then started debating whether foreign-born U.S. citizens should be allowed to run for president. Although Arnold started the debate, we were discussing the principle rather than whether Arnold himself should be allowed to run, and I have to tell you that it was thoroughly exhilarating. I am as attracted to Al's mind and conversational skills as I am to the rest of him, and it was such a thrill to talk about politics, current events, and Constitutional law for like 30 MINUTES STRAIGHT without being interrupted by the baby. My mind is still buzzing this morning, and I almost hope that Austen requires another walk or drive tonight so we can talk some more. (I'll be scanning the newspaper boxes when I go out this afternoon for fodder!)

In any case, I was arguing that naturalized U.S. citizens wouldn't necessarily have divided loyalties and thus would make perfectly fine presidents, while Al argued the opposite. I felt that any loyalty issues would come out during the campaign, but Al felt that the last couple campaigns just proved that any idiot could be elected president, even over the strong and logical objections of many—that the media couldn't be trusted to raise the right issues, and that the voters couldn't be trusted to vote on them. Actually, now that I think of it, even if there aren't any interesting headlines in the news boxes today, we'll still have plenty to talk about tonight. We'll just pick up where we left off last night. :)

Posted by Lori in news/media and philadelphia and politics at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2005