Wonder how some ballplayers are sleeping these days? Pretty active few days for the feds. First, they show their hand for the case against Barry Bonds, but some of the best evidence may get tossed by the judge. I’m not so sure the court of public opinion will be so forgiving. Then, A-Rod got nabbed by Sports Illustrated and fessed up, but questions remain on whether or not his fessing up was the total truth. I pointed out that if he had said he used PED while with the Yankees, that his new contract could be voided. Not only that, but if he said he used them after 2003, then he’d be subject to suspension penalties. Of course, we have Roger Clemens under investigation for lying to Congress and now Migel Tejada has been charged with lying to investigators. He’s not nailed for using PED’s, but instead lying to the federal investigators, much like Martha Stewart got nailed. Is it possible that Jose Canseco ends up being the only one telling the truth? Who knows. But, I suspect the other 103 players who tested positive in 2003 are a bit nervous.
On This Date in History: I think most people are familiar with Stephen A. Douglas. He was the “little giant” who was Abraham Lincoln’s political opponent. He was a candidate for president in the 1860 election. While he is
associated with the pro-slavery forces of antebellum America, it seems that some suggest that he really wasn’t all that enthused about the issue. Instead, his support for the Southerners position was more rooted in his desire to get a transcontinental railroad from Chicago to the Pacific. Standing in the way was the Nebraska Territory. Every bill that had been brought up to organize the territory had been defeated by the southern states out of fear that it would be a free state, as proscribed by the Missouri Compromise.
Undaunted, Douglas had a solution. He proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which would divide the territory into two states and let the settlers decide whether or not they would have slavery or not. In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed and the Missouri Compromise that had stood for over 3 decades was repealed. That blew the lid off the simmering pot and some historians say that pretty much sealed the fate of Douglas’ bid to be president. Nebraska was certain to be a free state and that left Kansas in the crosshairs of the southern coalition. Both sides of the issue sent their minions pouring into the state. Proslavers from Missouri poured in and founded the towns of Leavenworth and Atchison. Free Soilers responded by sending in folks to found Lawrence and Topeka. Guerilla warfare ensused.
Abolitionist minister Henry Ward Beecher’s congregation funded the shipment of rifles in boxes marked “Farming Implements.” The guns became known as “Beechers’ Bibles.” Raiders from Missouri torched Lawrence in 1856 and the infamous John Brown retaliated by killing 5 slavery supporters in Pottawatomie. An abolitionist minister was spared a lynching when it was determined that killing a man of the cloth would not do the pro-slavery cause much good. So, they settled on tar and feathering him instead. On this date in 1856, the ineffective President Franklin Pierce issued a proclamation that requested citizens from all of the states to stop meddling in the affairs of Kansas. Pierce was about as popular then as he is now and his proclamation was ignored pretty much as it is ignored by history. He didn’t exactly speak from a bully pulpit. Kansas became known as “Bleeding Kansas” as homes and crops were burned, livestock killed and some 200 people were killed.
So, what about the vote that Douglas had called for? Well, when it came about, a bunch of thugs from Missouri came into the territory to intimidate voters and stuff the ballot box. Their side won in 1857 and wrote a constitution that included slavery. When the constitution came to a vote in 1858….it failed. In 1859, a new consitutional convention was convened and produced a new constitution that outlawed slavery. It didn’t really matter much in the end because by the time Kansas became the 34th state, 11 southern states had already seceded from the Union. But, it could be said that the preview of the bloody civil war to follow could be seen in Bleeding Kansas. How people in the nation on both sides could see what happened there and still conclude that a national conflict would be short is beyond me.
President Lincoln pretty much took a system with a relatively weak presidency and turned it into a strong presidency and the office has become more dominant ever since. While Thomas Jefferson favored a weak central government, we have an example of total catastrophe when there is a weak presidency and Congress tries to steer the nation and set the agenda. Keep that in mind today.
Weather Bottom Line: I may not be on the tube at the moment but my flock still keeps me informed. Now, I’ve been warning you for a number of days now about the potential for big old storms here and the day has arrived. I told you that all indications are that the main threat appeared to be strong winds. All of that is holding fast and the
boys at the National Weather Service have issued a high wind warning for Wednesday. I’ve heard from several people that “they” say that we’re going to have 90 mph winds tomorrow. Snow White’s dad was digging around for flashlights on Tuesday to be prepared. Of course, no one ever tells me where they hear this stuff, though I have an idea. So, will we get 90 mph winds? I suppose it is possible but I would not say its probable by any stretch and in fact not all that likely nor would it be the norm. What we will have is a strong southwesterly flow for the first part of the day. Winds should be running some 20-30 mph with higher gusts. The outlook from the Severe Prediction Center indicates that a line of storms ahead of the front could come running along here at about 50 kts. The data all indicate winds aloft at that speed. The forward momentum alone will help get winds to up to and perhaps over 50 mph. But, as I’ve said before, the potential energy, or CAPE will be
limited, though latest indications from the 18Z profile of both the NAM and GFS has a bit more than previously advertised. So, what that would do would increase the chances of thunderstorms that could draw down some of those winds to the surface. 90 mph is probably a stretch but something in excess of the 58 mph severe parameter would not be out of the question, hence, the slight risk of severe thunderstorms. The SWEAT indices of both models are still high but the threat of tornadoes would probably be limited to what I call trash can twisters that are quick hitters showing up on bow-echo segments. Still dangerous and something to watch for, but the wind will be the primary
threat. The helicities are high, again, indicating a lot of wind energy. You probably don’t have any of this stuff outside but perhaps some tools or things from cleaning up from the ice storm should be put in a secure place. You don’t need a rake flying down the street. The trees don’t have any leaves so, on the one hand, I wouldn’t think that would be a problem. However, limbs and branches may be more susceptable to being a problem given that some that may not have fallen could be weakened from the ice storm or there may be branches that are broken that are laying precariously in the trees. So, it may be a hard hat area under some trees. Afterward, we chill down to more seasonal levels but not terribly cold. The GFS is trying to throw out a half an inch of snow on Sunday morning but the low level temperatures will most likely be above freezing and the ground certainly above freezing so even if that happens, it won’t be a problem. Storm threat Wednesday I would think would be in the early afternoon and the threat should be done pretty quickly as, if a line does form, it will be racing through the area and then we’ll be done though the winds will still be gusty as they shift to the northwest.
DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1120 AM CST TUE FEB 10 2009
VALID 111200Z – 121200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS THE OH/TN VALLEY REGION
INTO THE NRN GULF STATES…
…OH VALLEY/TN VALLEY…
INTENSE MID LEVEL HEIGHT FALLS…ON THE ORDER OF
240-270M/12HR…WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE MID MS/OH VALLEY REGION
DURING THE DAY2 PERIOD AS STRONG SPEED MAX…120KT AT
500MB…INTENSIFIES AND EJECTS ACROSS AR INTO OH BY LATE AFTERNOON.
AT THE SURFACE…DEEPENING CYCLONE WILL LIFT NEWD FROM NEAR STL AT
12Z INTO SWRN LOWER MI BY 00Z. A NARROW AXIS OF BOUNDARY LAYER
MOISTURE…SFC DEW POINTS INTO THE UPPER 50S…WILL ADVECT NWD AHEAD
OF SFC LOW AND ATTENDANT COLD FRONT AS IT SURGES EAST ACROSS MO INTO
IL/IND DURING THE MORNING HOURS PROVIDING SUFFICIENT INSTABILITY FOR
THUNDERSTORMS ALONG WIND SHIFT. ALTHOUGH INSTABILITY WILL BE
SOMEWHAT MARGINAL…STRONG/FOCUSED ASCENT WILL UNDOUBTEDLY ENHANCE
CONVECTIVE POTENTIAL WITHIN STRONGLY SHEARED
ENVIRONMENT…ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE OH VALLEY. FORECAST SOUNDINGS
SUGGEST THUNDERSTORMS THAT DEVELOP AHEAD OF STRONG COLD FRONT WILL
MOVE RAPIDLY NEWD…SPEEDS IN EXCESS OF 50KT…ENHANCING THE THREAT
FOR DAMAGING WINDS. IN ALL LIKELIHOOD AN ELONGATED SQUALL LINE WILL
EMERGE ALONG SHARP BOUNDARY FROM IL INTO WRN TN EARLY…THEN MOVE
RAPIDLY NEWD ACROSS THE OH/TN VALLEY REGION BY LATE AFTERNOON INTO
WRN PA DURING THE EVENING HOURS. AIRMASS EAST OF THE APPALACHIANS
WILL PROVE SOMEWHAT HOSTILE FOR MAINTAINING STRONG/ORGANIZED
UPDRAFTS GIVEN THE MARGINAL MOISTURE/INSTABILITY EXPECTED DURING THE
OVERNIGHT HOURS. FARTHER SOUTH ACROSS THE CNTRL GULF COAST…LAPSE
RATES SHOULD REMAIN TOO WEAK TO WARRANT ANY MEANINGFUL THREAT FOR
ROBUST ORGANIZED UPDRAFTS GIVEN THAT SIGNIFICANT LARGE SCALE UPPER
SUPPORT SHOULD SPREAD WELL NORTH OF THIS REGION.