Welcome to Monday. The above is a picture taken from our Austin HQ, where wind & ice abound.
More than 150 million Americans are currently under some sort of winter weather advisory, according to the National Weather Service. Stay warm out there.
📣 PSA for Teachers: Today is the last day to fill out this quick survey to aid our development of classroom-centric resources. Every teacher who completes it will be entered to win a $25 Target for Teachers gift card (we’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow).
“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
This Week at a Glance
Monday: Presidents’ Day (markets closed)
Tuesday: Mardi Gras
Wednesday: Ash Wednesday
Thursday: Congressional GameStop hearing (announced Friday); NASA’s Perseverance rover attempts to land on Mars
Friday: U.S. monthly home sales
🏛️ Impeachment Roundup
On Saturday, the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump on the charge he incited an insurrection at the Capitol, capping off a week-long impeachment trial.
All 50 Democrats were joined by seven Republican senators in voting to convict.
The votedid not meet the required two-thirds majority to convict Trump in the Senate.
🤿 A deeper dive…
The course of the trial was briefly put into question hours before the final vote to acquit, when the Senate voted 55-45 to call witnesses after House impeachment managers expressed a desire to subpoena Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) for information concerning Trump’s actions as the Capitol mob rioted.
Faced with the possibility of a prolonged trial – and the defense poised to call witnesses as well – the situation was resolved when Rep. Herrera Beutler’s statement was read aloud into the record for senators to consider as evidence.
💬 Relevant Quote:
“In my January 12 statement in support of the article of impeachment, I referenced a conversation House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy relayed to me that he’d had with President Trump while the January 6 attack was ongoing. Here are the details:
When McCarthy finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol. McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’” –Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’sofficial statement.
🗣️ What They’re Saying:
“This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country. No president has ever gone through anything like it, and it continues because our opponents cannot forget the almost 75 million people, the highest number ever for a sitting president, who voted for us just a few short months ago.”
–Former President Donald Trump. (Full statement)
“The House accused the former President of, quote, ‘incitement.’ That is a specific term from the criminal law. Let me put that to the side for one moment and reiterate something I said weeks ago: There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President.
… If President Trump were still in office, I would have carefully considered whether the House managers proved their specific charge. By the strict criminal standard, the President’s speech probably was not incitement. However, in the context of impeachment, the Senate might have decided this was acceptable shorthand for the reckless actions that preceded the riot. But in this case, that question is moot. Because former President Trump is constitutionally not eligible for conviction.”
–Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). (Full statement)
“The case of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial was open and shut. President Trump told a lie, a big lie, that the election was stolen and that he was the rightful winner.
He summoned his supporters to Washington, assembled them on the ellipse, whipped them into a frenzy and directed them at the Capitol. And then he watched as the violence unfolded and the capitol was breached, and his own vice-president fled for his life, and President Trump did nothing. None of these facts were up for debate. We saw it, we heard it, we lived it.
… The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.”
–Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (Full video – 13 min | Transcript)
Trump acquitted, but impeachment managers left accountability road map
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
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🏫 CDC Publishes New School Guidelines
The CDC released new guidelines on Friday detailing how schools can safely return to in-person learning during the pandemic. The guidelines recommend schools phase their reopening plans in accordance with the severity of the outbreak in each area, continue to monitor the spread of the virus in the community, and encourage the use of masks and social distancing, among other things. (Full document)
More: The guidelines do not require all teachers to be vaccinated before in-person learning resumes, though they do recommend teachers get vaccinated “as soon as supply allows.”
💬 Relevant Quote:
“I think we need a lot more resources in order to get the schools safe. One of the things that’s really been emphasized in the school reopening is how unsafe some of our school ventilations are… there’s a lot of work we need to do in order to get our schools to a safer environment.”
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck northeastern Japan late Saturday night. The earthquake halted trains, injured dozens, and left nearly 900,000 homes without power throughout the region, though no deaths or major damages were reported.
More: The earthquake occurred near the epicenter of Japan’s massive 2011 earthquake that caused a 50-foot tsunami and a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, leaving 18K people dead or missing.
Even More: The prevailing theory at this point is the most-recent quake was an aftershock from the 2011 quake.
🇺🇸 Politics & Capitol Hill
A top aide to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly admitted to withholding information regarding COVID-19 nursing home deaths due to fear of a federal investigation. This comes two weeks after a report from the state attorney general revealed Cuomo’s administration undercounted COVID-related deaths of residents in state nursing homes by as much as 50%. (Left-Center | Right-Center)
Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt resigned over the weekend amid an array of scandals surrounding the super PAC, including allegations of another co-founder’s sexual misconduct and an AP report that the majority of the $90M raised by the PAC was paid to consulting firms tied to the group’s founders. (Left-Center | Right-Center)
The Senate unanimously voted to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal – its highest honor – for his work during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Goodman was widely praised for leading a mob of rioters away from the Senate chambers, where many members of Congress gathered seeking safety.
🇮🇹 From Europe… Mario Draghi, former president of the European Central Bank who’s largely credited with saving the euro, was sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister Sunday.
☝️ 1 Last Thing…
👶👑 Megan Markle and Prince Harryannounced they’re expecting child #2.
⚖️ Amazon Places a Court Order
Amazon filed a lawsuit against NY AG Letitia James on Friday to prevent the state from potentially suing the company over its handling of worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and its firing of a warehouse worker who protested working conditions last year. In the complaint, Amazon alleges the state “lacks the legal authority it purports to wield against Amazon” as the company’s operations are “governed by federal law and enforced by federal regulators.”
❌ Minneapolis Gets a Facelift
The Minneapolis City Council voted to ban the city’s police department from using facial recognition technology on Friday, joining other major cities such as LA, Portland, and Boston. Notably, the ban prevents the Minneapolis PD from using facial recognition software developed by Clearview AI, with which the department has a known relationship.
🏎️ Michael McDowell won his first-ever Daytona 500 yesterday after navigating past a fiery multicar wreck in the final lap. The race experienced a nearly six-hour weather delay – and this 16-car pileup.
👔 A Heartwarming Story for $600, Please…
Jeopardy host Alex Trebek’s wardrobe was donated to The Doe Fund – an organization that provides resources to people with histories of addiction, homelessness, and incarceration.
More than 440 different clothing items were donated for participants to use in future job interviews.
🏥 ⚕️ Toss in a Medical Marvel for Good Measure…
Eighteen-month-old Ava Reyes was born with spina bifida, and doctors told her parents that she would be paralyzed and never able to walk. The toddler just began standing and walking all on her own.
Are you too busy with the daily “fire drills” to tackle your to-do list?
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💡 Bright Idea… scientists at the University of Pennsylvania levitated two small plastic plates using only the light from LEDs, advancing a technology that could allow meteorologists to put floating climate sensors in the Earth’s atmosphere.
🌸 Flower Power… a 17-year-old stock photo of a purple flower hosted on Wikimedia Commons has mysteriously been receiving about 78 million hits per day since last June – and India’s TikTok ban may be responsible.
📰 Read All About It… Aaron Epstein, a 90-year-old from North Hollywood, CA, bought a $10K ad in the WSJ to tell AT&T’s CEO that he was disappointed with his slow internet speed (3Mbps). The telecommunications company responded by upgrading his network to 300Mbps.
🌋 Eruption Escape
What is the only continent with no active volcanoes?
C) South America
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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