National News, Thursday, Feb. 6 – Senate Acquits President Trump of Impeachment

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Acquitted. President Trump was acquitted yesterday in the Senate trial of his House impeachment as the Democrats left the Senate chambers hanging their heads and wondering what’s next for them.  

Today, Mr. Trump held up newspapers with large “Acquitted” headlines as he denounced the now-concluded impeachment process, in remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Speaking to the annual gathering of faith leaders, politicians and dignitaries Thursday, Mr. Trump railed against Democrats, saying: “My family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) was in attendance at the event and seated at a long table near the podium.  She was among the leaders who spoke before Mr. Trump’s remarks and clapped as he entered the room.

Mr. Trump went on to take a veiled shot at Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah), who was the lone Republican to vote to convict the president on the first article of impeachment.  “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Mr. Trump said.

In announcing his plans to vote to convict Mr. Trump on abuse of power, Mr. Romney said Wednesday that he was a very religious person and reached an “inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded” that he reach that finding.

The president also appeared to reference Mrs. Pelosi, saying, “nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”  At a press conference in December, Mrs. Pelosi said “I pray for the president all the time.”

In her own remarks later in the morning, Mrs. Pelosi said that she did pray sincerely for Mr. Trump, calling the presidency a heavy responsibility, while criticizing him for his actions in office.

“I pray hard for him, because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values, our country,” she said.  “I don’t know if the president understands about prayer, or people who do pray.”

Mr. Trump, whose list of accomplishments keep growing for the American people was confident and smiled at times during the breakfast.   Trump, known for his combative style, concluded his remarks, adding: “When they impeach you for nothing, then you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy folks.  I do my best.”

As for Democratic candidates running for president against Donald Trump, Pete Buttigieg still holds a razor-thin lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in delegates awarded in the Iowa caucuses, as results from the first nominating contest of the 2020 election continue to trickle in today, more than two days after the balloting.

With 97% of precincts reported, Mr. Buttigieg led by just a handful of state delegate equivalents, the state party’s preferred metric, with Mr. Sanders in a close second.

A win for Mr. Buttigieg, a 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Ind., would provide him a major boost in the party’s nominating contest. But news organizations have been unable to declare a winner in the race because of a results-reporting debacle that has dragged on since Monday night.

A close finish between Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Sanders would illustrate the continuing fight between progressives and more moderate candidates in a field still totaling close to a dozen candidates.

An audit has found that just 2.5 million people out of the 104 million eligible people made use of free tax filing through the US Free File Program.

But more than 34.5 million people who could have filed for free instead used commercial, paid software for their tax returns — software from companies that are part of the program.

… The Free File Program is a joint partnership between the IRS and Free File Inc. It provides tax return software free of charge to those who earn $69,000 or less. It uses software from program members including Intuit’s TurboTax, H&R Block, FileYourTaxes, TaxSlayer and TaxHawk.

… The audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said taxpayers don’t know that the only way to access free filing is via the IRS website. The audit found there is “lack of adequate advertising … by the IRS.”

A plane flying from Toronto to Montego Bay, Jamaica, was forced to turn around mid-flight on Monday after a man told his fellow passengers that he was infected with the coronavirus.

The passenger was 28-year-old James Potok, an aspiring musician from Ontario, who says he decided to falsely claim he had the illness in order to create a viral video to post on his social media channels.

… According to a statement from police, at around 1PM Monday Potok “stood up and announced that he had been to China and ha[d] the coronavirus.” The announcement was then shared with the flight crew, who decided to return the flight to Toronto.

… Potok was charged and will have to appear in court in March.

A person in Cape Coral, Florida, thought someone sent them coronavirus in the mail. The 911 caller told police that an empty package from China was delivered to their doorstep. The call prompted Cape Coral Fire Department to respond with their hazmat team.

The CDC said Coronavirus cannot survive within a package and there is no record of that ever happening. The virus spreads through droplets, like a cough.

What parent wouldn’t want to help their daughter sell as many Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos as she needs to raise money for camping trips, prizes and other fun Girl Scout stuff?

But how many are in a position of power in a state agency where they can ask nearly 500 employees to buy as many boxes of their favorite cookies as their pocketbooks will allow?

… Adam Blalock, a recently-appointed deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Division for Ecosystem Restoration) did just that Friday afternoon. State ethics law forbids public officials from using their office, staff or resources within their trust to secure a “special privilege, benefit or exemption” for themselves or others.

… Blalock had his assistant send out an email to more than 460 state employees he oversees, directing them to a link to his daughter’s Girl Scouts website for cookie sales. The email read: “Happy Friday, everyone! As you’re heading into the weekend, if anyone is in need of a Girl Scout cookie fix, you can go to the below link to purchase as much as you need.” He ended with: “Please do not feel obligated!”

Oregon’s Wildlife Images is again offering a unique way to get revenge on your ex-valentine.

In exchange for a $20 donation, your ex’s name will be put on a salmon and served to one of the rescue organization’s 1,000 pound bears, Kodi or Yak. • LINK

… The Catch & Release Standard cost is $20. Wildlife Images will “provide you with an individualized certificate recognizing that you symbolically fed your ex to a bear and exclusive access to the carnage from the Catch & Release Fish Feed via video link just in time for Valentine’s Day.”

… The Catch & Release Premium is $100. This option “comes with an individualized photo of your named fish, a photo of the bears ripping into the ex’s, access to the carnage from the Catch & Release Fish Feed via video link, and an individualized certificate recognizing that you symbolically fed your ex to a grizzly bear.”

If you find yourself struggling with a big decision that offers multiple options, researchers (Basel University) have a helpful suggestion: narrow your choices down to the two most promising options. According to their findings, that will help you make a decision as quickly as possible.

… Over the course of two experimental sessions, 139 people were asked to choose between three different food options that changed over various rounds. As the research team recorded eye movements during the experiment, they discovered that most of the participants weren’t spreading their attention out equally across all three options. Instead, they were focusing much more on the two most appealing food options. This approach universally led to faster decisions; because participants easily dismissed the least appealing option, they were able to choose between their top two options much faster and with less stress.

Archaeologists have discovered a 7,000-year-old well built by Neolithic farmers in what is now the Czech Republic.

After analyzing the structure, researchers determined it to be the oldest wooden architectural structure in the world.

… The structure was first uncovered by construction workers in 2018 (in Ostrov). Archaeologists analyzed the growth rings in the wood and concluded it was built out of oak that was cut down around 5255 B.C.

The secret to happiness doesn’t come from thinking happy thoughts … it comes from thinking happy thoughts fast.

Here’s what researchers at Princeton and Harvard universities found: Results suggested that thinking fast made participants feel more elated, creative and, to a lesser degree, energetic and powerful. Activities that promote fast thinking, then, such as whip­ping through an easy crossword puzzle or brain-storming quickly about an idea, can boost energy and mood. The researchers think that “thinking quickly may unleash the brain’s novelty-loving dopamine system, which is involved in sensations of pleasure and reward.”

Last month was the hottest January on record, according to newly published data from the European Union’s climate monitoring system.

Earlier this year, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) determined 2019 was the second hottest year on record, bringing the streak of record-warm years to five in a row. According to the latest report from the Copernicus survey, 2020 is off to a record hot start.

A day after Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Derrick Nnadi paid for dog adoptions at a Kansas City shelter, Coors Light said hold my beer — literally.

Coors Light will reimburse up to $100 in fees for 1,000 dog adoptions across the country for pups taken to their forever homes through February 21. The offer is good to those ages 21 and older.

… To be reimbursed, text COORS4k9 to 28130 along with a picture of the adoption receipt.

… Coors Light estimates they will spend $100,000 toward rescuing dogs.

During the Chicago Auto Show, which begins Saturday, Nissan will have a maroon 2007 Frontier on display.

It will be sitting right alongside brand new Frontiers. The difference between a brand new Frontier and the 2007 one is that owner Brian Murphy has racked up more than 76,000 miles per year.

… Murphy’s been sitting behind the wheel of his 2-wheel drive 4-cylinder manual transmission King Cab, which he purchased new, for around 50,000 hours. If you do the math on that, it’s an average of 20 miles per hour, including delivery stops. The truck has 1 million miles on it!

… That maintenance has been key in getting the truck to do this kind of mileage. Murphy says the truck still has its original engine and transmission. He managed to get the clutch to last 801,000 miles. He replaced the timing chain at 700,000 miles. The radiator and alternator were only able to run 450,000 miles before needing replacement.

A recent survey tested Americans’ knowledge regarding some of today’s top logos, and compiled a list of the 30 most recognizable in 2020.

1. Apple
2. McDonald’s
3. Coca-Cola
4. Nike
5. Starbucks
6. Google
7. Facebook
8. Adidas
9. Amazon
10. YouTube
11. Pepsi
12. Mercedes
13. Disney
14. Ford
15. Toyota
16. Twitter
17. Instagram
18. Windows
19. Nissan
20. BMW
21. Playboy
22. Visa
23. FedEx
24. Red Bull
25. Honda
26. Burger King
27. Levis
28. Ferrari
29. Marvel
30. LEGO

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