Bring It On, Trump Tells Impeachment Backers
Donald Trump set the stage for what will be a historic day for his presidency with characteristic defiance.
Any lawmaker who supports the articles of impeachment, he wrote, “is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America’s Constitutional order.”
Democrats, who say impeachment is a necessary rebuke for the president’s pursuit of a political vendetta, have set up six hours of debate before two votes, one on each article of impeachment.
Both are expected to be adopted on mostly partisan lines, setting up a January trial in the Republican-led Senate, where Trump’s all but certain to avoid conviction.
The key cohort to watch will be the 31 Democrats who represent districts that Trump won in 2016. Most of those lawmakers are likely to support impeachment, a move that could put their seats in jeopardy. How their constituents respond could provide clues to how next year’s races for control of Congress and the White House will unfold.
Out of favor | Trump should be well ahead of his rivals in donations from real estate executives, who historically give to Republicans by a 2-1 margin. But the president — a self-proclaimed builder by trade — has received less from individual real estate donors this year than Democrats Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg.
- Click here for more on the doubts plaguing Buttigieg even as he leads in Iowa, the first state to hold a ballot for the Democratic nomination.
Under the microscope | India’s controversial religion-based citizenship act will have to pass the scrutiny of the nation’s top court, a development that may calm country-wide protests even as the government pushes forward with the law that bans undocumented Muslim migrants from neighboring countries. It’s the first major challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authority since he came to power in 2014, with violent clashes in the capital, New Delhi.
Canadian rumblings | The Quebecois aren’t the only ones who long to break away from Canada. As Kevin Orland reports, a small group of separatists in the oil-rich western province of Alberta are campaigning to secede because they say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is working to cripple the petroleum industry and that the region sends too much in taxes to Ottawa and gets too little in return.
Making an oligarch | Viktor Orban’s rule in Hungary has helped propel childhood friend and former gas-fitter Lorinc Meszaros to head a sprawling corporate empire in just five years of dizzying wealth accumulation. The first dollar billionaire in Orban’s entourage is now the symbol of an entrepreneurial class loyal to a government that watchdog Transparency International says is bedeviled by graft.
Chill out | Sick of populism, war, pollution and the rest of the bad news you’re seeing each day? Check out our Optimist’s Guide to 2020 and read how science, technology and changing social attitudes can plant the seeds for a better world. Instead of asking what’s wrong, we’re asking what could go right.
What to Watch
- The U.S. House plans to vote tomorrow on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement — a top legislative priority for Trump — after the measure gained committee approval.
- Rwandan President Paul Kagame says he probably won’t run for a fourth term once his current tenure ends in 2024, after being in power for more than two decades.
- President Vladimir Putin holds his annual marathon press conference tomorrow, with Russians still waiting for the “economic breakthrough” he said was necessary last year.
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And finally .... Macau has long provided Chinese leaders with a glimmering showcase for the virtues of obeying Beijing. The former Portuguese colony has become the world’s largest gambling hub, surpassing its more rebellious brother Hong Kong along the way. Marking 20 years of Chinese rule over Macau this week, President Xi Jinping is expected to send a message to neighboring Hong Kong: work with us to get even richer.
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