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● After two trips to Washington, D.C., in January, I am even more convinced that between a tight political calendar, partisan political acrimony, and financial chaos, almost nothing of serious policy substance will be accomplished by Congress prior to this fall’s general election.

● Suzanne Bonamici (Democrat) became the latest member of the Pacific Northwest’s congressional delegation by decisively beating her Republican challenger in a special election held on Tuesday in Oregon’s 1st District.  Ms. Bonamici, an attorney and state senator, will replace David Wu (Democrat), who retired from the House of Representatives last August under a dark cloud of personal misconduct.

● The Washington State Society will hold a Congressional Reception on February 28 at the United States Botanic Garden. This annual event in Washington, D.C., will be cosponsored ($850) by the Northwest Horticultural Council.

● Next week I will be in Berlin, Germany, for Fruit Logistica, the largest produce trade show in the world. Side meetings I plan to attend while in Berlin include those being held of the World Apple and Pear Association and Freshfel ( the European Fresh Produce Association).

POLITICAL FRUIT: “As usual, when [Debbie] Wasserman Shultz backs herself into a corner, she pulls out the ‘apples and oranges’ and throws them at the talking heads. Her South Florida constituents should be appalled that Wasserman Shultz continues to promote apples, since Florida only produces oranges.” Gregory Dail, Orange County Conservative Examiner, January 20, 2012.