According to Meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters’s blog on Weather Undergound, “the culprit behind the cold blast is a lobe of the stratospheric polar vortex that is setting up shop across the Great Lakes, far south of its usual position.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that “schools are closed and several rail lines have suspended service.” Tens of thousands of people in the Chicago area are without power.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that residents are being urged to lower their thermostats to 60 degrees, to avoid straining the electrical grid.
President Trump: Congressional Negotiators ‘Wasting Time’
President Trump insists that funding for the border wall needs to be included in any deal on immigration reform and could be moving closer to declaring a national emergency.
Trump tweeted that if the group of Republicans and Democrats meeting on the issue don’t include it — “they are wasting their time.”
“I’m for whatever works, Sen. Mitch McConnell told reporters in Washington D.C., “which means avoiding a shutdown and avoiding the president feeling he should declare a national emergency.”
But the Senate GOP leader added, “Exactly how to do that, as you all know, has been quite challenging.
“Im for whatever works that prevents the level of dysfunction we’ve seen on full display here in the last month,” Sen. McConnell added.
Politico reports that “Senate Republicans May Block Trump from another shutdown.”
Utah Senator Mitt Romney told Politico, I don’t think we want to face another shutdown. And I certainly don’t think we want to have emergency action taken. So the president and Congress will have to come together.”
The Washington Examiners’ Susan Ferrechio points out that the “House, Senate committee is stacked against Trump’s border wall.”
“Democratic members of the 17-member conference committee are among the strongest opponents of funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border…”
Ferrechio also writes that some of the Republicans on the Committee like Richard Shelby and Shelly Moore Capito are…”much more interested in avoiding another shutdown that hurts them politically,” – than funding the Border Wall.
2018 GA Gov. Runner-up Stacey Abrams to Give STOU Response
We are now just one week away from the State of the Union, and we now know who is going to be giving the Democrat’s response.
Stacey Abrams, who lost the Georgia Governor’s race in 2018 to Republican Brian Kemp, will follow President Trump’s nationally televised speech with one of her own, written to reflect the vision of the Democratic Party in 2019 and beyone.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports The speech will be a pivotal moment for Abrams, who narrowly lost last year’s gubernatorial race to Republican Brian Kemp and refused to formally concede the race, citing what she said was a vote marred by irregularities and his refusal to step down as the state’s top elections official.
Abrams was America’s first black female, in any state , to win a major party nomination is a governors race.
President Trump Accepted Nancy Pelosi’s new invitation yesterday to give the state of the Union next week, now that the government is back open.
More often than not, the person who delivers the response is remembered for what went wrong, not what they said…if they are remembered at all..
Remember Sen. Marco Rubio’s water bottle moment in 2013?
Last year, Rep. Joe Kennedy III gave the officially Democratic party response year, and many people are still trying to figure out why he was in a mechanics garage in front of a car that looked broken-down.
Democrats Want ‘God’ Removed From Oath
Democrats are pushing to eliminate a reference to God from the oath witnesses take in front of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fox News reports.
Witnesses would be asked this question before testifying:
“Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
The proposed change replaces the traditional phrase “so help you God” with the words “under penalty of law,” according to Fox News
TV Star Recovering after Homophobic Attack
Jussie Smollet, star of the hit TV show “Empire,” is now recovering in Chicago after an attack reportedly based on the the actor’s sexual orientation.
According to a website called Blast,”Chicago police now say during a follow-up interview with Smollett, he recalled the suspects shouting about “MAGA Country.”
Smollett also told police the suspect threw bleach in his face. No one has been arrested yet, police continue to investigate.
Ex-Starbucks CEO Shultz: Howard Schultz: Dems, GOP Unable, Unwilling to Face Change
Neither political party has been willing or able to solve the many issues the United States is facing, meaning nothing will change unless an independent candidate is elected as president, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Wednesday, following up on comments that he is seriously considering a presidential campaign in 2020.
“I see for the last three or four or five presidential elections, only 8 to 10 battleground states are pretty much controlled or predicted going to be president,” Schultz told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“What if Republicans and Democrats lifelong are looking for (someone). They’re not going to vote for left-wing Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris and they don’t want to reelect Donald Trump.”
Schultz said he does not want to mount a campaign as a Democrat, as he does not affiliate himself with a party that has gone “so far left.””What we need is comprehensive tax reform,” said Schultz. “What we need is sensible solutions to immigration. All of these things can’t happen under the current environment.”
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