Icy mess!

February 1, 2011 1:38:50 PM PST
It's a bit startling if you look just at the numbers. Nearly 60 inches of snow since Christmas in New York City.

Last year the snow total was 40. Not sure New Yorkers would quickly raise their hands to live in a city that boasts more than 100 inches of snow over two seasons. I mean, why not live in Syracuse?

They are these days a weary lot folks in the tri-state. And there's no shortage of water cooler discussions about whether all this wicked weather will lead to some sort of exodus once it all thaws out.

Don't count on it. But that's just my two cents, and the truth is no one knows for sure. Including me.

The only truth: The ice storm cometh, and we could really in for some treacherous and power-killing weather.

Meteorologist Lee Goldberg leads our coverage tonight at 11; he's tracking the system and timing it out for us. We also have reporters out-in-it tonight, taking closer looks at how communities are preparing for what could be a terrible morning of weather. Will schools be open? Will trains run? Will electricity be cut? All very real questions that people are asking tonight.

Also at 11, is it too little too late? Or is it a stroke of diplomatic brilliance? Will millions of angry Egyptians, yearning for democracy but rode hard and put up wet from decades of dictatorship, and leery of the peeps who claim to be their saviors be placated by President Hosni Mubarak's pledge not to seek re-election next September?

Or will their call for Mubarak's immediate resignation continue?

The anger exists, to be sure. But as long as this chaos reins, whatever passes for normal life in Egypt will remain on hold. And life for many there is modern, high-tech, and lucrative. There's no school, no banking, little commerce. People aren't working. Life protesting in the streets can get old.

There's also the skepticism, justified, that the folks who are offering themselves as the answer to what ails Egypt may be worse than the man they want to replace.

So we'll see.

What we do know is that Pres. Obama, through his emissary, suggested to the 82-year-old Mubarak that he offer the I-won't-run solution. And Can you say Lyndon Johnson in 1968?

Former Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner flew to Cairo on Sunday and "gently" delivered Obama's message to Mubarak. Wisner also suggested that Mubarak's son, Gamal, shouldn't run either. ABC News is reporting that the idea of sending Wisner came from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Mubarak's departure could, sources say, come earlier than September. And he's now proposing the next President be limited to two terms, quite a concession from a man who has served for more than 30 years.

Will there be any type of domino effect? There are many who think so. But even if there won't be some leaders in the Middle East are apparently seeing the handwriting on the proverbial wall. Some are trying to stay ahead of the parade, which Mubarak did NOT do, and stay in power. Jordan's King Abdullah, for example, today dissolved his government and appointed a new prime minister. He gave the new leader a mandate for "effective, tangible and real political reform."

And in Yemen, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, faced with a "day of rage" on Thursday, announced increased wages and lower income taxes.

The winds of change are clearly blowing in the Middle East. The question is whether democracy will prevail.

We'll have the latest on the crisis in Egypt, tonight at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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