The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, as the U.S. Senate convenes to decide whether to convict the former president of the “high crime or misdemeanor” of inciting the insurrection of Jan. 6 in which hundreds of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, an event in which five people died.
Democrats are calling Trump’s speech leading up the incident a “grievous crime,” while Republicans label the process “political theater.” Each side filed briefs on Monday, according to the Associated Press. The managers of the prosecution from the House of Representatives called Trump’s urging his backers to “fight like hell” at the Capitol “the most grievous constitutional crime ever committed by a president.”
Trump’s lawyers have declared the trial unconstitutional since Trump is no longer in office and his comments simply the exercise of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.
It’s expected that the trial will result in an acquittal – again – for Trump because a two-thirds vote is required for conviction. The Senate is evenly split – 50-50 between the parties – so 17 Republicans would have to break with their colleagues for conviction to happen.
News: U.S. corona deaths show decline
Some good news nationally on the coronavirus pandemic comes from Johns Hopkins University. Updated statistics from Sunday were reported Monday to show only 88,000 new cases, the lowest since before Christmas and the first time in four months in which new daily cases in the U.S. fell below 100,000.
In another sign of optimism, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that – starting Friday – indoor dining could resume at restaurants with 25 percent capacity.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases, said that while new variants on the coronavirus represent a serious challenge, the vaccines currently available would still be effective.
Business: GM vs. Norway good for a laugh
The Super Bowl ad showing the most legs is General Motor’s challenge to Norway as to which nation will sell the most electric vehicles per capita. Will Farrell satirically made the challenge on behalf of GM, which is promising to have 30 new electric vehicles by 2025.
Ford responded with a video noting that it was already selling electric cars in Norway; the Norwegian prime minister responded to Farrell’s prank call ordering 5 million anchovy pizzas by asking if she could have pineapple instead.
Merry Monday for Wall Street: The stock market continued a warm streak from last week, as all three major exchanges reported solid gains. The Dow Jones Average was up 237.52 points to 31,385.76. The S&P 500 rose 28.76 to 3,915.59 and the Nasdaq jumped 131.3 5 points to 13,987.64.
Sports: The Sho-hei’s not over
Despite some concern over the durability of two-way star Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels on Monday announced that the team and Ohtani had agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract, skipping arbitration.
The contract will call for him to make $3 million in 2021 and $5.5 million in 2022, guaranteed. As pitcher, he posted a 4-2 record in 2018 and 0-1 in 2020 but missed all of the 2019 season. As a batter, he hit 22 home runs in 2018 and 18 in 2019, but just seven in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season. His career batting average is .269. However, he did bat .286 and .285 in his two full seasons with the Angels.
Weather: Cool, sunny and then – maybe – some rain
What’s the difference between partly sunny and partly cloudy? We’re not sure but that’s what the weather looks like for the rest of the week through Saturday. Highs will range from 62 on Tuesday, up to 68 by Thursday and then 67 on Saturday. However, in the West Orange County area, there will be a 19 percent chance of rain on Friday rising to 24 percent by Sunday. Overnight lows will be in the low 50s. Along the coast, daytime highs are expected to ve about five degrees cooler.
Categories: The Wider World