The Monday Morning Teaser

The big news of the week is that the Republicans in the US Senate lived down to my lowest expectations: They resolved Friday that they will not make any independent effort to find out what Trump did. So, they will not hear from John Bolton or any other witnesses. They will not subpoena any documents. They’ll have some speeches this week and then vote Wednesday to acquit Trump of whatever it is somebody says he’s supposed to have done — not that they’ve been paying attention to that. Along they way, Trump’s lawyers made some truly appalling arguments that would do away with Congress’ impeachment power for any practical purposes, and more-or-less do away with checks and balances completely. (Good thing Republicans will forget all this stuff as soon as a Democrat gets elected.)

But the world didn’t stop to watch. The coronavirus kept spreading through China, and the world’s stock markets began thinking about the economic effects of the plague. Jared Kushner’s long-awaited Mideast peace plan came out, and was as one-sided as expected. (Israel gets what it wants, and the Palestinians are just supposed to give up.) Brexit finally happened. A chunk of Trump’s impenetrable wall blew over in a windstorm. Next year’s budget deficit is expected to pass $1 trillion, a mark never before reached in a year without an economic catastrophe.

Oh, by the way, the Iowa caucus is tonight. Nobody has the faintest idea who’s going to win.

So I wrote an extended fantasy about how the ideas expounded by Trump’s defenders would have allowed Obama to rig the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton without doing anything wrong. That should be out shortly. My reaction to Jared’s “vision” for peace just kept getting longer and longer, so I finally had to move it out of the weekly summary into its own article. That should come out by 10:30 EST. The weekly summary will mention all that other stuff, before closing with a Weird Al music video celebrating palindromes. That should be out around noon or so.

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  • Creigh Gordon  On February 3, 2020 at 9:57 am

    What surprised me about the witness vote was that Senators Alexander and Rubio voted no and publicly justified their votes by saying that the House managers had proved their case adequately without further testimony.

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