1 Brutal Cold Sets In
As folks in the Northeast buck up for what’s clearly headed their way, residents in the Midwest are already dealing with some of the coldest weather seen in a generation. A polar vortex is diving down across the region and bringing with it actual air temperatures of between 20 and 35-degrees below zero. Wind chills will make it feel even worse…as much as -75! Not surprisingly, thousands of flights across the U.S. have been delayed or canceled because of the frigid weather. But for those on the ground? They’re being reminded that unexposed skin can lead to frost bite in mere minutes. Skin damage aside, extended periods can lead to hypothermia, and of course, that can lead to death. As such, those in need are encouraged to seek out local warming centers. Everyone else? Bundle up and stay inside as much as you can. Similarly, the Post Office motto may say they won’t be stopped by “snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night,” but no one’s ever said anything about a polar vortex. That’s why no one should be shocked that the U.S. Postal Service is suspending pickups and delivery in several states because of the freezing cold. At last check, the affected states are Iowa, Minnesota, western Wisconsin and western Illinois.
2 McConnell: Shutdowns Don't Work
While America faces another partial shutdown in a few weeks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t cheering the notion on. In fact, he says government shutdowns “don't work.” Speaking at the Capitol yesterday, McConnell said shutdowns are “an example of government dysfunction.” When asked about efforts to fully fund the government beyond mid-February, McConnell said he is for "whatever works." How that squares with President Trump remains to be seen. Either way, McConnell also suggested that he may support legislative efforts to curtail future shutdowns. Similarly, McConnell signaled that he’s not thrilled about the notion that Trump may declare a national emergency on the southern border in order to wrangle some border wall funding. Across the aisle? Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says the costs of the recent government shutdown are still rising and when he addressed reporters at the Capitol yesterday, Schumer squarely blamed the GOP and called shutdowns “a hot stove that should not be touched.” As you might recall, the shutdown ended with a short-term funding extension to February 15th, and congressional negotiators are working on a longterm solution. The shutdown was prompted by President Trump's demand for border wall funding. Trump has threatened another shutdown and is considering declaring a national emergency at the southern border. That could allow him to divert Defense Department funds to help construct a massive border wall. It would also surely face a significant legal challenge.
3 FBI: Las Vegas Shooter Wanted Infamy, Nothing More
Whenever horrible things happen, we all want answers – most especially to the question of “why?” Sadly, we don’t always get them and when it comes to the horrific mass shooting at 2017’s “Route 91 Harvest Festival” in Las Vegas…that’s also the case. The FBI is concluding in its final report on the incident that the gunman probably sought infamy – and really didn’t have a motive. At least, not one that they’ve been able to uncover. More than that? The Bureau believes the shooter probably chose his targets because people at the outdoor music festival were having fun. Sadly, we’ll never know for sure as the shooter killed himself as police were closing in on his hotel suite. What we do know is that in the years before the shooting, he complained about his declining physical and mental health – and that his meticulously planned attack likely included his suicide in the end. As for the "infamy" aspect, it's believed that he was emulating his father - a bank robber and fugitive, who, in 1968, was on the FBI's top-ten most-wanted list.