The Hit List: January 18, 2019

  1. President Trump has cancelled Nancy Pelosi’s foreign trip, likely in retaliation for her withdrawal of his invitation to give the State of the Union address. Knowing she’d be in town, Trump used the opportunity to invite her to negotiate an end to the government shutdown.
  2. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid off a hacker to influence Trump’s standing in online polls ahead of the 2016 presidential election, stuffing cash and sports memorabilia in a Wal-Mart bag. Cohen says the fee was actually paid in cash. Rigging the polls isn’t illegal, though morally questionable. The legal issue is whether this was a campaign expense, or a citizen’s lawyer protecting his client. Cohen will go to prison because it has been ruled an illegal campaign expense. He’s testified the vote-rigging was Trump’s direct order.
  3. A huge storm is heading across the United States; the East Coast can expect up to 40 inches of snowfall over the weekend, along with freezing rain and heavy showers. Also brace for delays and cancellations ant any airports on freeways.
  4. Don’t get lost: The Magnetic North Pole is on the move, and has been for some time. Nature magazine estimates it’s hustling at a rate of 55km a year. But with the government shutdown, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is pushing back an update to the World Magnetic Model — which designates the position of the magnetic North Pole to assist in navigation — to January 30, from January 15.
  5. Prince Phillip’s car flipped in an accident — he’s ok, but the Land Rover flipped on its side. The 97 year old is shaken; more in ROYALS >>
  6. Lexington, Kentucky has a crappy situation — disposable wipes are being flushed into the sewers, but they’re not disintegrating. Workers must remove them by hand. One clog recently caused an 18 inch sewer line to spring a leak and dump 80,000 gallons of crapwater into a creek.
  7. Birth rates are down in Norway, and the socialists there are worried. With a strong welfare state, a smaller tax base will make it very difficult to fund entitlements to the aging population.
  8. A study in “Science” journal says huge asteroids are hitting Earth much more frequently — but fret not. The collision rate over the last 290 million years is twice that of the 700 million preceding it. The closest space rock that could devastate the entire planet has a 99.988% chance of missing Earth … in 861 years.
  9. Leslie Moonves isn’t leaving CBS without a fight; he’s challenging the board’s decision to dismiss him without a $120 million golden parachute, since his wretched behavior was cause for dismissal.
  10. Ford Motor Company is developing an electric model of its F-Series pickup truck. Battery electric and hybrid models are in the works to “future proof” the popular line of pickups.