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January 1, GOP Senators Move Towards Wanting Witnesses



This Day in History | 1986

The space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after taking off from Cape Canaveral, Florida – killing the entire seven member crew including teacher Christa McAuliffe.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

When last we spoke… there was a tiny chance that former national security advisor John Bolton would testify in the Senate impeachment trial.  That chance is getting bigger by the hour. As the leak of Bolton’s book percolated yesterday, the fervor grew for more Bolton. This is either:  1) the greatest book publicity stunt ever 2) the saddest display of self-importance in recent history 3) both 1 & 2.  Stay tuned for more on this front. 

The Feds are fed up with Prince Andrew’s lack of cooperation with their investigation into disgraced Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation.  Think about this –  it’s been just a couple of days since we learned that Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell’s  emails were hacked. The Feds our now publicly calling out Prince Andrew for his lack of cooperation.  Who hacked the phone? Also, we wonder if what ever was hacked, may have been provided to the Feds. 

Bernie Sanders’ latest poll numbers have establishment dems crapping their pants. The question now is – what can be done to stop him? And who has the stones to stand up to Bernie Sanders’s sizable movement. Think about it, every AOC wannabe will be trying to shove tweets down that person’s throat all day long. Sounds like fun. Not.

The situation in China with the coronavirus continues to be ‘not great’.  The number of cases continues to climb and the Communist Party of China is struggling to keep up. Who knows what else they are hiding?  The U.S. Government is warning against travel to China and evacuating government posts. The stocks markets are spooked. Might be a good time to reassess things with your financial advisor. 

And we are all still reeling from the loss of NBA legend Kobe Bryant. The League announced Kobe will be going straight to the Hall of Fame this year, and other tributes continue to pour in.  We have a story with the last pictures taken of Kobe and his daughter before the crash. It’s a tragic reminder of how precious every day with our loved ones is. 

Read all about it!

– Fraser Dixon   

Romney: It’s ‘Increasingly Important’ For Senate To Hear From Bolton

(Talking Points Memo) – Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who is among a handful of Republicans who could cast a deciding vote to hear witnesses in the impeachment trial, said Monday that it’s “increasingly important” for the Senate to hear from John Bolton.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Romney said that he would “make a final decision on witnesses” after hearing from the prosecution and the defense.

“It’s increasingly apparent it would be important to hear from John Bolton,” Romney said. “I, of course, will make a final decision on witnesses after we have heard from not only the prosecution but also the defense.”

Romney added that Bolton has a “relevant testimony” and that he won’t be the only Republican who thinks Bolton should testify.

“But I think at this stage it’s pretty fair to say that John Bolton has a relevant testimony,” Romney said. “I think it’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton.”

Learn more here 

Prince Andrew has Provided ‘Zero Cooperation’ in Epstein Probe

(NBC News) – Prince Andrew has provided “zero cooperation” in the investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s network of enablers, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York said Monday.

Andrew, who has been accused of having sex with a teenage girl trafficked by Epstein, has publicly indicated that he would be willing to assist in any investigation related to the case.

But U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, speaking outside the late financier’s mansion in New York City, said the FBI and New York prosecutors have reached out to the prince and his attorneys but have yet to receive any assistance from him.

“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman said.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more here

Worried Democratic Operatives Scramble to Fund a Network to Take Down Bernie Sanders

(The Daily Beast) – A group of loosely affiliated Democratic operatives have been in discussions about putting together an effort to attack Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) should he end up winning next week’s Iowa caucus and, potentially, the New Hampshire primary a week later. 

The talks, which two sources described to The Daily Beast, are in their nascent stages, and have already hit a snag. Big money Democrats have shown reluctance at funding such an effort, which could consist of ads attacking Sanders, and institutions associated with Democratic politics have largely shied away from being part of any campaign that goes after the senator, either out of fear over the backlash or growing acceptance at the prospect of him becoming the party’s nominee. 

“It’s not any one group of people” trying to build the anti-Sanders effort, said one of the Democratic sources. “It is a loose network of people who think he would be very problematic as a nominee. There is, at this stage, calls to, and conversations with, donors and organizations that might support such an effort. But as far as I can tell, nobody has found sufficient financial support to get it off the ground.” 

Learn more here 

Dow Posts Worst Day Since October and Turns Negative for the Year as Coronavirus Fears Grow

(CNBC) – Stocks tanked on Monday after more cases of the coronavirus were confirmed over the weekend, ratcheting up worries over the virus’ impact on the world economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 453.93 points, or 1.6% to 28,535.80, wiping out the average’s gains for the year. The 30-stock average also notched its biggest one-day fall since October along with its longest losing streak since August. The S&P 500 dropped 1.6% to 3,243.63, snapping a 74-session streak without a 1% decline. The Nasdaq Composite had its worst day since August, dropping 1.9% to 9,139.31.

There are 2,862 confirmed cases so far in China and the death toll in China has risen to 81. The World Health Organization’s director general is traveling to China to meet with government and health officials. In the U.S., a fifth case of coronavirus was confirmed over the weekend.

“China is the biggest driver of global growth so this couldn’t have started in a worse place,” said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. “Markets hate uncertainty, and the coronavirus is the ultimate uncertainty in that no one knows how badly it will impact the global economy.”

Read more here

Touching Photos Show Kobe with Daughter’s Team, Day Before Fatal Crash 

(NY Post) – Heartbreaking photos show Kobe Bryant coaching his daughter Gianna’s basketball team Saturday at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif. — a day before they died together on their way to the same facility.

The 41-year-old retired Los Angeles Lakers star started the day Saturday on the mezzanine level, but made his way courtside to coach the Mamba Lady Mavericks in their first two games of the Mamba Cup Series.

“He had a clipboard, he was drawing up plays and talking to (the players),” said one person who was there.

See the photos here

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