Rise and Shine: Jan. 14, 2020

Good Tuesday morning, CivMixers.

We’re headed back into the territory of seasonally appropriate weather with clouds and occasional showers this afternoon, according to The Weather Channel.

Of course, those will be RAIN showers and not SNOW showers, as temperatures will be in the mid-40s, so it’s still not completely up to winter’s standards. But we’re getting there.

Tonight the final Democratic 2020 debate will be held before voting begins in the Iowa caucuses, which take place Monday, Feb. 3. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer have qualified to participate in what will also be the first debate with no minority representation.

The debate, hosted by the Des Moines Register and CNN, is taking place at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. It will air from 9-11 p.m. ET.

The latest CBS News poll in Iowa found Sanders, Biden and Buttiegieg in a three-way tie for first place with 23 percent of the vote, and things are starting to get a little ugly out there, so don’t be surprised if sparks fly this evening.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who did not qualify for the seventh debate of this primary cycle to date, announced yesterday he’s suspending his campaign. Also not on the stage will be former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is spending millions of dollars on anti-Trump TV ads – far more than any of his Democratic colleagues thus far.

Andrew Yang also was among the six candidates who didn’t make the cut, and he’s not happy about that, saying polls show voters want him to participate even if they haven’t committed to supporting him yet.

For those of you not interested in politics, it’s National Clean Out Your Desk Day, in case you’re looking for something to keep you occupied.

On this day in 1784, the U.S. Revolutionary War ended with the Congress of the Confederation ratifying the Treaty of Paris.

In 1938, the National Society for Legalization of Euthanasia formed in New York.

In 1952, NBC’s long-running morning news program Today debuted, with hosts Dave Garroway and Jack Lescoulie.

In 1967, The New York Times reported the U.S,. Army was conducting secret germ warfare experiments.

In 1973, Elvis Presley’s concert Aloha from Hawaii was broadcast live via satellite, and set the record as the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in TV history.

In 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter proposed Martin Luther King’s birthday be a holiday.

And on this day last year, President Donald Trump denied he is a Russian agent after a New York Times article stated the FBI started an investigation and the Washington Post raised issues over a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ah, memories.

Rapper LL Cool J is celebrating his 52nd birthday today. He shares his day with: rocker Dave Grohl (51), actor Jason Bateman (also 51), rapper Slick Rick (51, who, as you may recall, made headlines in New York when he was pardoned by then-Gov. David Paterson, in 2008), and actress Faye Dunaway (79).

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is headed back to Puerto Rico today to assist recovery efforts following several massive earthquakes that have struck the U.S. territory recently.

In other non-debate news…

Iran’s judiciary said that arrests have been made for the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed all 176 people on board just after takeoff from Tehran last week.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. Senate should simply dismiss the impeachment case against him, an extraordinary suggestion as the House prepares to transmit the charges to the chamber for the historic trial.

…but Senate Republicans indicated they won’t heed the president’s call, proceeding instead to a trial with arguments and the possibility of calling witnesses that could begin as soon as tomorrow.

Trump plans to divert $7.2 billion from the Pentagon to go toward border wall construction this year, an amount five times greater than what Congress authorized in the budget.

Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock, plans to announce today that his firm will make investment decisions with environmental sustainability as a core goal.

Popular dating services like Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder are spreading user information like dating choices and precise location to advertising and marketing companies in ways that may violate privacy laws, according to a new report that examined some of the world’s most downloaded Android apps.

Democratic Staten Island Rep. Max Rose, who is facing a well-funded Republican challenge to his re-election, endorsed Bloomberg’s presidential bid.

NY-21 Rep. Elise Stefanik has joined the chorus of New York Republicans who are calling for changes to the state’s newly enacted criminal justice reforms, which even some state Democratic leaders acknowledge needs tweaks.

A gun-rights group based in Western New York is pushing for all New York public schools to beef up their Second Amendment curricula.

A group of state lawmakers called on their colleagues in the Legislature to swiftly pass measures that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in New York.

A former National Grid official, a lawyer and clean energy proponent are Senate Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ choices for the new state Climate Action Council, the 22-member group that will guide how the state enacts its mandate to reduce greenhouse gases going forward.

Rensselaer County lawmakers will vote tonight on a resolution calling for the state Legislature to repeal the state’s new bail reform laws.

The man charged in a machete attack on a suburban Hanukkah party could face the death penalty if a comatose victim dies from his wounds, a federal prosecutor said.

New York could not issue driver’s licenses yesterday because of a nationwide outage at an outside association, the state Department of Motor Vehicle confirmed.

Employees at a Delmar nursing home and assisted living facility are preparing to strike after their employer asked a federal bankruptcy judge for permission to reject their union contracts.

Four defendants charged in connection with the fatal shootout at a Memorial Day cookout that claimed the life of Ayanna Hunter face time behind bars for their role in the crime, according to court records and attorneys involved in the criminal cases.

It’s been just over four months since a Clifton Park payroll company’s sudden closure caused money to be yanked from the bank accounts of employees across the country. But headaches continue to be felt — even by companies who did not do business with MyPayrollHR or its CEO, Michael Mann.

A federal judge has ruled that New York is violating the Equal Protections Clause of the Constitution by refusing to include inactive voters on poll ledgers on Election Day.

The New Year’s Eve crash that left state Assemblyman Brian Kolb facing DWI charges has renewed questions about providing state lawmakers with taxpayer-funded vehicles.

A town resident is facing multiple felony drug charges after State Police responded to a fight in a Schodack home.

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shaun Gillilland blasted his counterparts in neighboring Warren County over their recent move toward abandonment of the 40 mile line of unused railroad tracks between Hadley and North Creek.

The New York Attorney General is probing whether the NYPD has shown “racial biases” against people of color as it polices fare evasion.

Crime in NYC’s Central Park shot up 33 percent last year compared to 2018 — due in part to a series of robberies committed by teens, NYPD data shows.

Starting this week, adults in New York will be allowed to request a copy of their original birth certificate.

The Rochester Institute of Technology is ranked as one of the colleges with the most complaints of sexual violence in New York state.

Subaru claims they had “nothing to do” a NSFW name of one of their models that appeared at an Asian auto show.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has revealed the name of her new pooch — “Deco,” short for the early 1900s Art Deco movement.

Prince Harry is reportedly “heartbroken” over quitting the royal family — but wife Meghan Markle pushed for Megxit because being a royal is “not working” for her.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has “privately assured” Queen Elizabeth II that Harry, Meghan and baby Archie’s safety “will not be jeopardized” in his country, which is part of the British Commonwealth.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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