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February 13, 2020

Senate Democrats Threaten A.G. Barr with Impeachment

This Day in History | 1965

President Lyndon B. Johnson orders Operation Rolling Thunder, which authorized a sustained bombing campaign of North Vietnamese supply routes. 

Good morning Middle Americans!

One has to wonder if Democrats will ever learn their lesson. One day after President Trump and Attorney General William Barr got involved in Roger Stone’s sentencing, Democratic Senators are warning Barr and President Trump, that they may try to re-start impeachment proceedings over the president’s interjection. 

In another sign of frustration with the president’s foreign policy, eight Republicans joined with Democrats to reign-in president Trump’s war power in Iran. 

How strong is the economy, really? There seems to be some disagreement on that front.  President Trump and Republicans say the economy has never been stronger. But Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Jerome Powell is sounding the alarm about the Fed’s ability to keep up, should the U.S. economy face another economic calamity. 

One man who doesn’t seem to be too worried about an economic calamity is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. He just purchased the home of media mogul David Geffen for a record price of $165 Million dollars. What do you get for that? 

Read all about it!

– Fraser Dixon

Senate Democrats Demand Barr Resign Or Face Impeachment Over Roger Stone Case

(Huffing Post) – Senate Democrats have called on Attorney General William Barr to resign or face impeachment after President Donald Trump appeared to confirm that Barr had intervened in the case against the president’s longtime friend Roger Stone.

“Donald Trump is shredding the rule of law in this country,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted Wednesday. “Congress must act immediately to rein in our lawless Attorney General. Barr should resign or face impeachment.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, another Democrat, told NBC News earlier in the day that he believes Barr has “no choice” but to resign.

“He’s acting simply as a henchman of the president,” Blumenthal said.

All four federal prosecutors who ran Stone’s trial abruptly withdrew from the case on Tuesday after Justice Department leadership intervened to reduce their sentencing recommendation. 

The prosecutors told the court on Monday that Stone should face seven to nine years behind bars for witness tampering and lying to Congress. Trump, who has leaned on Stone as an adviser since the 1980s, tweeted that the sentencing recommendation was too long and called it a “miscarriage of justice.”

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8 Republicans Join Democrats in Vote to Limit Trump’s Military Powers in Iran

(Bloomberg) – President Donald Trump, fresh from his impeachment acquittal, is set to face a bipartisan Senate vote to limit his ability to strike Iran without authorization from Congress — another effort backed by some Republicans to constrain his foreign policy.

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia introduced the resolution and actively sought Republican support after Trump authorized an air strike to kill a top Iranian general without alerting Congress. The measure is expected to get enough GOP votes to pass on Thursday, but it will fall short of the margin needed to override Trump’s promised veto.

The resolution is “fundamentally about Congress owning up to and taking responsibility for the most significant decisions that we should ever have to make,” Kaine said Wednesday. “An offensive war requires a Congressional debate and vote. This should not be a controversial proposition.”

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Fed Chief Issues Stark Warning to Congress on Deficits

(The Hill) – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called on Congress to reduce the U.S. federal budget deficit to ensure the central bank could adequately respond to a financial crisis or recession.

Powell told a House committee Tuesday that lawmakers should curb federal spending while the economy is running strong before a downturn forces Congress or the Fed to pump stimulus spending into the U.S.

“Putting the federal budget on a sustainable path when the economy is strong would help ensure that policymakers have the space to use fiscal policy to assist in stabilizing the economy during a downturn,” Powell said Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee.

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Buys $165 Million LA Mansion 

(The Wall Street Journal) – L.A.’s optimistic home developers spent the last few years constructing over-the-top glass compounds with candy rooms, helipads and bowling alleys on spec—assuming ultrarich buyers would bite. But a recent spate of $100-million-plus deals shows that buyers at the very top of L.A.’s market are looking for something different: history.

Amazon.com Inc. chief executive Jeff Bezos paid $165 million, a record for the area, to purchase a 9.4-acre quintessential old Hollywood estate—a Georgian-style compound built by Jack Warner, the enigmatic onetime president of Warner Bros.

The property was last owned by retired entertainment impresario David Geffen. Mr. Geffen paid $47.5 million for it in 1990, setting a record back then.

No brokers were involved in the recent sale of the Warner estate, according to a person familiar with the deal.

In addition to the Warner estate, Bezos Expeditions, an umbrella company that includes Mr. Bezos’ ownership of the Washington Post and his charitable foundation, also paid $90 million for a plot of undeveloped Los Angeles land owned by the estate of Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who died in 2018.

So what exactly does $165 million buy in 2020?

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