February 1, 2019

TGIF 2/1/19

The first TGIF of February, and it's all good news - how does that sound?

First up,  a shout-out to new Congressman Anthony Brindisi, who represents the district next to mine here in Central New York. Brindisi was named one of the co-chairs of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 27  moderate-to-conservative Dems. In his role, he'll be the whip, the one responsible for helping ensure members stick together - and vote together - in support of the caucus's ideals:
The Blue Dogs are dedicated to pursuing fiscally-responsible policies, ensuring a strong national defense for our country, and transcending party lines to get things done for the American people.
Brindisi's already made a dent in his first few weeks in Congress - first, he kept his commitment and did not vote for Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker; and he and John Katko, my Congressman, managed to spend bipartisan time recently calling for an end to the #trumpshutdown.  Good on both of them for that.

The Customs and Border Protection gang had a good week, for sure, making the largest fentanyl bust in history.
Officers at the Port of Nogales in Arizona arrested Juan Antonio Torres- Barraza and charged him with two counts of possession with intent to distribute for allegedly attempting to enter the US with a combined 650 pounds of methamphetamine and fentanyl worth nearly $4.6 million dollars.
No Peaches involved in this bust- just good police work and technology, when the officers spotted what looked like a chamber under the floor of the truck as it went through a vehicle x-ray machine. The drugs were under a boatload of cucumbers (probably should have said a truckload, but you get the drift).

Even the Senate Republicans had a good week, having somehow found a backbone while they were milling about not voting on House-passed bills to reopen the government - and they voted against the president. Well, against his plans for our troops in Afghanistan, anyway.
In a bipartisan rebuke to Trump, Senate Republicans and Democrats voted Thursday in favor of a nonbinding amendment drafted by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-White House KY) expressing strong opposition to the president's plans to withdraw US troops. 
The measure said ISIS and al Qaeda militants still pose a serious threat to the US, and warned that "a precipitous withdrawal" of American forces from those countries could "allow terrorists to regroup, destabilize critical regions and create vacuums that could be filled by Iran or Russia. 
Fun stuff, right? The Senate not just showing up to go along with the president, but instead acting, I don't know, what's the word... senatorially?

And one last piece of good news this week:  when the Polar Vortex sent Chicago into a deep freeze, this woman sent the homeless to a hotel.
Volunteer Candice Payne "impulsively" charged 20 hotel rooms on her American Express card when she realized how dangerous the cold temperatures were going to be. She then posted about it on social media, according to CBS Chicago.
After seeing Payne's act of kindness, other volunteers started to follow suit, according to WUSA9, buying up a total of 60 hotel rooms for homeless people to stay warm in the polar vortex. 
 In all the donors covered three nights' stay for 80 homeless people. And that, friends, is a good thing indeed.

TGIF, everyone.

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