- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Big Heat

President Obama probably expected a chilly reception from the conservative blogosphere, but not this sense of “chilly.”

Ed Morrissey at the popular site Hot Air noted a New York Times report that the new president had junked the “coat and tie” rule for the Oval Office. Mr. Morrissey asked, and then answered, why that wasn’t a problem “during a colder-than-usual Washington winter. All Obama did was turn up the thermostat to Hawaii hothouse levels.”

The New York Times report read, ” ‘He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?’ said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. ‘He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.’ ”

Then Mr. Morrissey laid into the New York Times as well as the hothouse president.

“And thus did the Times fall down on the job yet again in the Age of Obama. While candidate Obama talked endlessly of the need for energy conservation and limits on the use of fuels that produce so-called greenhouse gases, President Obama has no trouble heating the White House for himself to greenhouse levels…. Did the Times even note the hypocrisy, or at the very least the incongruity, in its report on Obama’s White House? Not at all.

“In fact, candidate Obama spoke directly to that end in May of this year,” Mr. Morrissey wrote, linking to an article that originated with Agence France-Presse: ” ‘We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,’ Obama said. ‘That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,’ he added.”

As other conservative bloggers went with the story, they seemed to compete for best headline. In the derisive category, there was Ann Althouse with “Never Lecture Me Again About Global Warming, Barack Obama.” In the dry category, there was Elizabeth Scalia at the Anchoress with “Turn up the heat: Yes we can!”

The Big Chill

Speaking of chill, more than 40 deaths, mostly around the Midwest and the Ozarks, have been attributed to an ice storm and the resulting lack of electricity that left a million people in the dark for several days in the past week.

Under the headline “Obama Dozed, People Froze?” Jimmie at Sundries Shack notes a couple of absences: FEMA and political complaints about FEMA.

“Has anyone seen FEMA lately? It seems we have people dying by the dozens in the midwest, where they’ve been freezing to death for a few days. Local officials are calling out the Federal government for its notable lack of response,” he wrote.

Jimmie noted that rescue efforts usually are best done by local officials, who in most cases will have better knowledge of local conditions and have the resources closer to hand.

“Reasonable people can not expect the Federal government to simply swoop in a day or [two] after a disaster and work at anything near top effectiveness. Then again, it’s not unfair for us to hold the Obama administration to the same standards the [mainstream media] and Democrats held the Bush administration. By those standards, the President is failing and people are dying,” he wrote.

Michelle Malkin chimed in, alluding also to the White House hothouse, with the suggested slogan, “Obama perspired, people expired.”

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