Snowed in. The winter storm that socked the Midwest has landed in Washington, forcing the closing of the federal government and area schools. By mid-morning, more than 241,000 homes from Ohio eastward were without power. CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said D.C. could see 10 inches of the white stuff, while some areas in northern Virginia and West Virginia could get up to 30 inches of the wet, heavy precipitation. Plus, the storm has caused thousands of flights to be canceled in the Northeast, stranding travelers.
Dinner for 13. The snow may have closed federal offices in the nation’s capital, but it hasn’t (so far) canceled President Obama’s private dinner party with a dozen Senate Republicans scheduled for tonight at the Jefferson Hotel. The White House hasn’t released a guest list, but USA Today reports that Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., are expected to be at the table to discuss the sequester with the president.
Media blackout. The College of Cardinals, who are charged with electing a new pope for the Catholic Church, have stopped talking to the media. “Concern was expressed in the General Congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reported in Italian newspapers,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “As a precaution, the cardinals have agreed not to do interviews.” I guess the press will have to watch for smoke signals from the Vatican like the rest of us.
The Dow the day after. After yesterday’s record high, the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained steady this morning. Also, a jobs report from ADP Research Institute shows that companies added 198,000 workers last month, which is more than the 170,000 predicted by Bloomberg in a survey of economists.