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SEASONED NUTS: QUOTABLE
“Most successful people are people you’ve never heard of. They want it that way. It keeps them sober. It helps them do their jobs.”

“The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.”

– Ryan Holiday

IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ
Don And The Giant Impeach

This week the House took final steps in the impeachment of President Trump, voting along party lines to deliver two articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, and to approve managers who will prosecute the case. The seven diverse managers chosen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi are all experienced attorneys; fellow Californian, former prosecutor, and current Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff will take the lead.

Senators announced new rules on behavior and movement in the Capitol during the trial, which include restrictions affecting journalists, and even conversations on the Senate floor. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has worked closely with the White House to keep witnesses and documents from Congress and the public. Some key GOP senators said they would like to hear from witnesses, but won’t decide until after opening arguments.

On Tuesday House Democrats unveiled new evidence they plan to send to the Senate floor as part of their case. The trove of documents includes text messages and hand-written notes from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, that show how Parnas sought to set up a meeting between Giuliani and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and connect with members of his government. The records also add more details about Giuliani’s push to oust then US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, including text messages between Parnas and a new actor, Connecticut GOP congressional candidate Robert Hyde, implicating Hyde in surveillance of Yovanovitch.

Hours after the new evidence release Pelosi criticized Republican tactics, tweeting: “There can be no full & fair trial in the Senate if Leader McConnell blocks the Senate from hearing witnesses and obtaining documents President Trump is covering up,” adding: #DefendOurDemocracy. The trial will likely start Tuesday, January 21.

MIXED NUTS: QUICK TAKES ON WORLD NEWS
India Tries To Hack Themselves

  • Americans have almost no control over all their financial information that is used by banks and companies, and shared with third parties. But around the globe there has been a handful of initiatives to return control of data to consumers, notably with the “open banking” movement in Europe and Australia.
  • In India, top banks are preparing to roll out a system that gives consumers access to a wide swath of their financial data and allows them to share it instantly. Backed by the Reserve Bank of India, it’s an ambitious approach that combines privacy protection with credit reporting: if it works, it could unlock the credit market for millions of Indians while offering new levels of data security and consumer control.
  • The approach is unique — it relies on third parties to mediate the often complicated process of information sharing — and so is its target population, which is predominantly poor and currently excluded from the formal banking system. (Bloomberg)

A Big Red Scare In The Big Blue

  • For the second time in seven months a Russian warship has ignored warnings and come dangerously close to an American ship. The US Navy said that last week a Russian navy ship “aggressively approached” the USS Farragut while it was conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea.
  • The Farragut gave five warning blasts on its horn before the Russian warship changed course and avoided a collision.
  • Russia’s Defense Ministry denied any wrongdoing, saying the crew of its warship acted professionally to avoid a collision with “the intruder ship,” and that the US Navy was “grossly in violation of international rules. ”
  • In June 2019 a Navy spokesman told of a near collision in the Pacific: “A Russian destroyer …. made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville, closing to 50-100 feet, putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk,” and forcing Chancellorsville to “execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision.” (CNN)

Additional World News

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NUTS IN AMERICA
The Big Boomer Theory

  • A big part of the American Dream was always that each generation will do better than the one preceding it. But for Millennials — born between 1981 and 1996 — that’s only true half the time. Studies show their generation is on track to be the first one not to exceed their parents in terms of job status or income, despite 76 percent of Americans believing the economy is doing better than it has in decades.
  • Millennials came of age at the worst possible moment — when the economy collapsed in the Great Recession. According to a sociology professor at NYU, the US economy is not supporting a continuing increase in occupational status to the extent it once did.
  • Among Americans born in the late 1980s, only 44 percent were in jobs with higher socioeconomic status than their parents when both were age 30, while 49 percent had positions of lower status.
  • A 2017 study found that only half of those born in 1984 earned more than their parents at about age 30, a big factor in why homeownership among Millennials is lower than previous generations.
  • Democratic presidential candidates have seized on that reality of stalled upward mobility. They’ve announced plans for erasing crippling student loan debt, guaranteeing health care, even a guaranteed monthly income, all designed in large part to appeal to a generation that feels it can’t get ahead. (CNN)
  • Chief Justice Roberts: Is ‘OK, Boomer’ Evidence Of Age Discrimination? (NPR)