- Bingo Barnes
- U.S. government offices opened for business as usual early today, but there was nothing usual about the middle-of-the-night vote in Congress which prevented another full-on federal government shutdown. President Donald Trump signed the far-reaching budget deal—which includes $300 billion in additional spending—this morning. The New York Times reports that Congressional approval came after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) warned that federal budget deficits would continue to balloon.
The federal government's latest shutdown crisis has come to an end before sunrise.https://t.co/yJcamXGgEo— Thomas Kaplan (@thomaskaplan) February 9, 2018
- Idaho State Police reported a three-vehicle crash on Idaho State Highway 52, four miles east of Payette, sent several people to local hospitals Thursday night. ISP said a 2009 Nissan Sentra traveling westbound on SH52 was making a left turn into a rest area when it bumped a 1995 Ford Ranger, which overcorrected and crashed into a 2011 Toyota Camry. Five people were transported to St. Luke's Clinic in Fruitland by ground ambulance and two others were transported to St. Al's Regional Medical Center in Boise by air ambulance. The lanes of the highway were blocked for nearly three hours. The crash remains under investigation.
- The PyeongChang Winter Olympics officially have officially begun. The opening ceremonies took place early this morning, Mountain Time, but will be televised by NBC this evening. NBC News says the ceremony was a "dazzling display of swirling light and dance, energizing this sleepy corner of South Korea." Tongan athlete Pita Taufatofua didn't disappoint the crowd, once again appearing shirtless with his country's flag. In all, 2,900 athletes, representing 90 nations, will compete at the games over the next two weeks. Team USA includes 244 Olympians. The youngest is 17-year-old figure skater Vincent Zhou and the oldest is 39-year-old hockey player Brian Gionta.
- Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence didn't get VIP treatment in PeyongChang according to The Washington Post. He found himself without a seat at a dinner reception. Making matters a bit more awkward, when Pence was shaking hands with everyone around a table of dignitaries, he refused to greet North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, who was seated between the United Nations Secretary General and the chairman of the International Olympic Committee.
- In happier news, we may have found the best job on the planet. Food & Wine magazine reports that Mandelez International, which owns Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies, is hiring professional chocolate taste testers. The job entails working part-time at home, about 7.5 hours per week, and providing "objective and honest feedback" on chocolate. The pay is about 9 U.K. pounds, or $12.40 per hour. Interested parties can apply for the position at the Mondeliez website. The application deadline is Friday, Feb. 16.