Starting today, the U.S. Senate sits as a court of impeachment for President Donald Trump’s trial. Lawyers for Trump on Monday called for swift rejection of charges. Meanwhile, Hawaii’s Sen. Mazie Hirono, who, along with Sen. Brian Schatz, was sworn in as a juror last week, has sensibly stated that “the trial should take the length of time we need to get to the facts and have the witnesses come and testify.”
How long might that be? Hard to say. Former President Bill Clinton’s trial lasted for about five weeks, wrapping up on Feb. 12, 1999. Some of Trump’s supporters want this one to be done before his Feb. 4 State of the Union address.
Put pedal to metal for new Year of Rat
The lunar new year that starts Saturday is the Year of the Rat — and as unappealing as rats are to most of us, it is the first zodiac sign in the 12-year Chinese cycle. And the animal is paired with an element for each cycle, so this is the Year of the Metal Rat.
Various stories tell how the Jade Emperor of Chinese mythology selected it, but the bottom line is that the clever rat won a race among all the animals, garnering the top spot in the calendar. Respect is owed to the rat — at least in 2020.