Here We Go Again
For the first time in U.S. history, a president will undergo a second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. On Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent an Article of Impeachment that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had been anticipating. “Make no mistake. A trial will be held in the United States Senate, and there will be a vote whether to convict the president,” Sen. Schumer said.
Speaker Pelosi released a statement that the House’s impeachment managers “are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process.”
The problem seems to be the timing of the process. Typically, a trial begins in the U.S. Senate the day after an Article of Impeachment is received. If that happens, as is the norm, Mr. Biden’s cabinet confirmations would immediately be placed on the back burner until the trial is completed.
As Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and others have said publicly, it is understood that a trial would have to start immediately. As there is no specific timeline from start to finish, Biden’s cabinet could remain in limbo indefinitely.
The National Guard and the New Administration
National Guard troops were ordered to leave the Capitol on Thursday last week and told to take rest breaks during their 12-hour shifts outside. About 5,000 soldiers were relocated to the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Center garage, where they had access to one restroom, one electrical outlet, and no internet. After being called in to protect Congress after several people breached chambers, the treatment of troops did not sit well with a lot of people.
Republican Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, and Greg Abbott of Texas all reacted to how their troops had been treated by ordering them to head home.
One soldier spoke with Politico and allegedly said, “Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands, and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage.” Another Guardsman allegedly added that they felt “incredibly betrayed.”
United States Capitol Police (USCP) Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman spoke on the record after the news was broadcast:
“I want to assure everyone that, with the exception of specific times on Inauguration Day itself while the swearing-in ceremonies were underway, the United States Capitol police did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities. And on Inauguration Day, the Guard was notified and encouraged to reoccupy the spaces in the Capitol and CVC at 2 p.m.”
First Lady Jill Biden delivered chocolate chip cookies to several troops while thanking them for their service on Friday. And troops have now been ordered back into the capital until further notice of deployment.
Lessons From a Dinosaur’s Rear End
All birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even a few mammals possess a cloaca. That’s a scientific term for the catch-all orifice providing various uses in each species – namely excrement and breeding. Researchers today know all about the modern cloaca but not so much about the dinosaur’s cloaca. But that’s all changing thanks to the discovery of one intact cloaca of a Psittacosaurus. This dog-sized creature is now providing reams of information on how it lived, reproduced, and functioned 120 million years ago.
One paleobiologist, Jakob Vinther, said, “It took a long while before we got around to finish it off because no one has ever cared about comparing the exterior of cloacal openings of living animals, so it was largely uncharted territory.”
But charting they are. With the newly found fossil of the cloaca, scientists know it is unlike any modern creature of today. They have also concluded that it is close in several features to the crocodilian reptile – alligators and crocodiles – and some birds.
The fossil did not have the internal organs preserved, making it more challenging to determine the sex of the Psittacosaurus. However, there were similarities near the cloaca – including a dorsal lobe – found in birds.
It is without a doubt that scientists will no longer overlook the cloaca – now that the intact rear end on the dog-sized dinosaur has wielded such extraordinary information.