Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Trump Impeachment To Move Forward


Former President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial on a single count of "incitement of insurrection" will move forward with opening arguments today, after the Senate voted 56-44 yesterday that it's constitutional to hold the trial for a former president who's no longer in office. Six Republicans joined all the Democrats in affirming the trial's legitimacy. The vote came after arguments were presented during the afternoon by three of the Democratic House managers who are prosecuting the case, and two defense attorneys for Trump.
 

Managers' Case: The House managers began their presentation with a 13-minute video of violent scenes from the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as of Trump urging the crowd at his rally that day to march to the Capitol, where the electoral votes were formally being certified for Joe Biden's presidential election win, and, quote, "fight like hell." Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin argued that saying Trump can't be tried because he is no longer in office creates what he called a "January exception" to impeachable offenses, that would allow a president to commit wrongdoing as he's leaving office. Rep. Joe Neguse argued that impeachment, quote, "exists for a case just like this one." Raskin grew emotional at one point as he spoke about his daughter and son-in-law being at the Capitol on January 6th and fearing for their lies as they hid in an office, saying, "This cannot be the future of America."

The Defense: Trump's attorney's contended that it would be unconstitutional to have an impeachment trial of a president once they've left office, with David Schoen arguing that it would open any former office holder to retroactive impeachment, which he portrayed as being "canceled." In making his argument, Bruce Castor acknowledged something Trump still hasn't, that he lost the election, saying Trump shouldn't be convicted and barred from holding federal office because the American people with their votes had already decided to remove him from office. The two men argued that Trump's remarks were protected by the First Amendment, and Schoen accused the Democrats of partisan motivation in impeachment Trump, saying they were fueled by, quote, "base hatred" of him. To back that up, they showed their own video of several Democratic lawmakers calling during Trump's presidency for him to be impeached.

Trump Furious at Attorneys' Presentation: Trump's attorneys didn't get high marks, including from many of the Senate Republicans who back Trump, particularly Castor, whose presentation was unfocused and rambling, and they appeared to be unprepared. Trump himself was also said to be unhappy with his attorneys, with reports saying he was furious as he watched from his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he's now residing.

➤POLL: 83 PERCENT OF AMERICAN FAVOR COVID RELIEF BILL: How often does this happen these days? An overwhelming and bipartisan majority of Americans, 83 percent, support Congress passing a new coronavirus relief bill, according to a new CBS News poll. Large majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents, as well as people of all income levels approve of having a Covid relief package. Americans also want the package to have bipartisan support in Congress, with three in four Americans saying it's at least somewhat important that it does and 41 percent saying it's very important. There isn't agreement, however, on how big the relief package should be. Four in 10 think President Biden's $1.9 trillion package being discussed in Congress is about the right size, but about the same percentage think it's too small, and one in five think it's too big.


➤CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS INSPIRED THIS NEW DATING SLANG: The coronavirus pandemic has made dating even more complicated than it was before. With all the changes that have happened over the least 11 months or so, the language-learning website Babbel has compiled a list of pandemic-specific words and slang that can better help one navigate the dating world. They note that “corona-zoned” refers to when a physical relationship with someone is put off because one or both people don’t want to catch or spread the virus, while “lockblocking” refers to cancelling or rescheduling a date if lockdown rules and restrictions ruin plans for a date. New types of online dates have also inspired new terms, including the Japanese word “on-nomi”—which is an expression for drinking together online. Another phrase to look out for is “FODA” which stands for “fear of dating again,” which is intended to sum up the fear and anxiety of dating again for those who have been “out of the game” since the pandemic began. Other terms to know include “quarantine bae,” to be used by those dating exclusively during the pandemic, and “quarantionship,” which is defined as a relationship that started during lockdown and developed virtually. Finally, there’s “smugsolation,” which refers to flaunting a flourishing relationship all over social media during this difficult time.

➤WHO: CORONAVIRUS UNLIKELY TO HAVE COME FROM CHINESE LAB: A team of World Health Organization experts who went to Wuhan, China, to investigate the origins of the coronavirus said Tuesday that it most likely first appeared in humans after jumping from a bat to another animal and then to us, and that the theory some have put forward that it may have escaped from a Chinese lab was unlikely. Team leader Peter Ben Embarek said at a news conference at the end of the four-week visit that experts now consider the lab leak theory so improbable that it won't be suggested as something for future study. However, another team member, Thea Koelsen Fischer, said they couldn't rule out the possibility of further investigation and new leads. China has strongly rejected the idea that there was a leak from a lab.
 

➤ONE PERSON KILLED, FOUR INJURED IN SHOOTING AT MINNESOTA HEALTH CLINIC: One person was killed and four others injured in a shooting at an Allina health clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota, yesterday morning. Three of the injured were in critical but stable condition last night. Gregory Paul Ulrich, a 67-year-old from Buffalo, was arrested, with police saying he'd been unhappy with the health care he received at the clinic. Bomb technicians were investigating a suspicious device left at the clinic and others at a motel where Ulrich was staying. Police said they didn't know yet if Ulrich had targeted anyone specifically, but AP said court records show he had been ordered at one point to have no contact with a man whose name matches that of a doctor at the clinic. Police Chief Pat Budke said Ulrich has had a long history of conflict with health care clinics in the area and was well known to law enforcement.

➤CRACKDOWN IN MYANMAR ON PROTESTERS AGAINST MILITARY COUP: Police in Myanmar shot water cannons and fired warnings shots in a crackdown yesterday to disperse people who have been demonstrating against the country's military coup despite new protest bans. There were reports of many injuries. The protesters are demanding that power be restored to the deposed civilian government and that ousted national leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other governing figures who have been detained since the February 1st coup be freed. The U.S. State Department condemned violence against the protesters and repeated calls for the military to restore power to the civilian government.


➤SCIENTISTS REVEAL THE BEST PICK-UP LINES TO USE ON TINDER AHEAD OF VALENTINE’S DAY: Valentine’s Day isn’t too far off now, and scientists have uncovered the best pick-up lines you can use on Tinder. U.S. researchers tested out various pick-up lines on 237 young, heterosexual adults and found that it was best to use humor for one’s opening line as opposed to a compliment. In fact, they found men who used funny introductions were seen as more attractive, and women also rated them as more intelligent, kind, and trustworthy. By contrast, men overwhelmingly choose prospective dates based on how attractive they found the woman’s profile. The top five pick-up lines, as rated by women, were: 1) “Do you have any raisins? No? Well, how about a date?” 2) “Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only 10 I see!” 3) “I’m not really this tall, I’m sitting on my wallet.” 4) “Is your name wi-fi? Because I think we’ve got a connection,” and 5) “Are you a tower? Because Eiffel for you.”
 

➤NTSB: PILOT ERROR CAUSED KOBE BRYANT HELICOPTER CRASH: The National Transportation Safety Board said yesterday that pilot error was primarily responsible for the January 26th, 2020 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six other passengers, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan. The NTSB said Zobayan made a series of poor decisions that led him to fly into thick clouds, in which he became so disoriented he thought he was climbing when the helicopter was actually plunging toward a Southern California hillside. Even though he was an experienced pilot, the federal safety officials said Zobayan ignored his training, violated flight rules by flying into conditions where he couldn’t see, and failed to take alternate measures, such as slowing down and landing or switching to auto-pilot. The NTSB also placed some blame on Island Express Helicopters, which operated the helicopter, for inadequate review and oversight of safety matters.

šŸˆMAHOMES TO HAVE SURGERY ON TOE: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will undergo surgery this week for the turf toe injury he suffered during the playoffs, according to media reports Tuesday. The decision was made Monday, one day after the Chiefs lost the Super Bowl 31-9 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for Mahomes to have the surgery this week. Mahomes was playing with the sore toe during the Super Bowl, which was his worst game as an NFL quarterback. But the quarterback didn't blame the injury, saying after the game, "I mean, I can’t say the toe was a problem when I played two weeks ago and played well on it."

šŸŽ¾DJOKOVIC, SERENA WILLIAMS ADVANCE AT AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic and 10th-seeded American Serena Williams won their second-round matches at the U.S. Open yesterday. Djokovic got a challenge from American Frances Tiafoe, taking five sets to beat him in a three-and-a-half-hour match. Other winners on the men's side included U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem and eighth-seeded Diego Schwartzman. Williams easily defeated 99th-ranked Nina Stojanovic of Serbia in straight sets, and two-time major winner Garbine Muguruza also won her second-round match. But the news wasn't good for Williams' sister, 40-year-old Venus Williams, who lost in straight sets to Italy's Sara Errani after injuring her ankle during the match.

Marty Schottenheimer
šŸˆNFL COACH MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER DEAD AT 77: Marty Schottenheimer, who was an NFL head coach for 21 seasons and had 200 regular-season wins, the eighth most in NFL history, died on Monday, more than six years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014. He was 77. Schottenheimer was head coach for Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego in the 1980s, '90s and 2000s. Despite his regular season success, Schottenheimer's teams couldn't put it together in the playoffs, and he had just a 5-13 postseason record. He never made it to the Super Bowl, neither as a coach nor during his six-year playing career as a linebacker.

šŸ€TIMBERWOLVES' BEASLEY SENTENCED TO 120 DAYS IN JAIL ON GUN THREAT CHARGE: Minnesota Timberwolves player Malik Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail Tuesday (after he pled guilty to a felony charge of threats of violence for pointing a rifle at a family. He was allowed to serve his sentence after the end of his NBA season. A couple and their 13-year-old child who were house-hunting in September pulled up the home where Beasley was living with his wife and their baby and saw the property was roped off. Beasley approached their vehicle and pointed a rifle as he told them to leave. Beasley apologized during the remote sentencing yesterday. He was also given three years probation, required completion of an anger management program, and a lifetime ban on the possession of guns.

šŸ€MAVERICKS NO LONGER PLAY NATIONAL ANTHEM BEFORE HOME GAMES:
The Dallas Mavericks have stopped playing the national anthem before home games this season at the direction of owner Mark Cuban, ESPN reported yesterday, citing Cuban as confirming the story, but not giving any further comment. Cuban reportedly made the decision after consulting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, but the change in policy wasn't publicly announced. Cuban expressed support last June on ESPN's Outside the Lines for players kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality and police brutality. He said, "If they were taking a knee and they were being respectful, I'd be proud of them," and added that he hoped the NBA would, quote, "allow players to do what's in their heart."

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