Today is January 21, I am Dennis Michael Lynch, and these are the stories I am following:
1-Trump defense team gets last-minute reinforcements as Senate impeachment trial is set to begin
After an opening salvo of back-and-forth arguments from President Trump’s attorneys and Democrats’ impeachment managers on Monday, Senate impeachment trial proceedings are set to begin at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday with the expectation they will stretch well into the night on Capitol Hill — even as key procedural questions, including the timeline for debate and whether additional witnesses will testify, remain undecided and hotly contentious.
DML: The soap opera debuts today, ratings will be high. But by the time the weekend hits the interest level will be dead.
2- New GOP team for Trump announced
In a surprise move Monday night, a group of high-profile House Republicans announced that they would formally join the president’s legal team, including Reps. Doug Collins, Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan, Debbie Lesko, Mark Meadows, John Ratcliffe, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin. The last-minute show of force underscored the fluid nature of the Senate trial, which is also set to feature full-throated arguments against impeachment from constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz and Bill Clinton independent counsel Ken Starr.
DML: Zeldin is my congressman, and although I appreciate his part in this childish trial, I am still waiting for the local issues to be addressed. When does congress get back to handling the needs of the people?!?!
3- Condensed two-day calendar desired by McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed Monday that he wanted a condensed, two-day calendar for each side to give opening statements, at 12 hours per day. After the four days of opening arguments, senators would be allowed up to 16 hours for written questions to the prosecution and defense, followed by four hours of debate. Only then would there be votes on calling other witnesses, likely next week. Much of Tuesday’s proceedings will focus on debate over McConnell’s proposed resolution for the parameters for the impeachment trial.
4-Trump and Greta Thunberg set to cross paths at World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum [WEF] meeting in Switzerland opened Tuesday, and it could play host to a potential round two of the public fight between President Trump and teen climate activist Greta Thunberg. Following tensions at last fall’s United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York – which included icy glares toward the president by Thunberg and mocking tweets by Trump – the two are expected to cross paths once again in Davos with climate change and its effects on the global economy being major discussion points of the summit.
DML: I thought climate change was about the warm temps causing havoc? I am freezing my ass off in New York right now. I would be more than happy to see temps go up.
5-China coronavirus claims 4th victim, screening of travelers heightened
A fourth person has died in an outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, authorities said Tuesday, as more places stepped up medical screening of travelers from the country as it enters its busiest travel period. The increased control measures followed a sharp rise in the number of infections to more than 200 people since last month, with epidemiologists still uncertain of its nature and mode of transmission. Chinese health authorities confirmed late Monday that some cases had been transmitted person-to-person, a development that means the illness could spread faster and more widely, particularly at the start of the Lunar New Year travel rush.
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