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As some Americans closely watch Trump’s impeachment trial, others say their interest has faded

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PHOENIX — Sarah Edwards woke up early Saturday, thinking less about President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and more about getting her golden retriever puppy, Ralphie, to the dog park downtown.

It was not that Edwards, 40, who was born and raised in Phoenix, did not understand the event’s historical significance or its importance — her curiosity in the proceedings grew when a formal inquiry was announced and was piqued again last month when the House voted to pass two articles of impeachment against Trump. But she was exhausted after reading the news coverage about Trump’s all-but-imminent acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate. The facts seemed blurred, and her interest began to fade.

Rather than follow every detail, she decided to pay attention to just the major developments.

“Sometimes, that just makes for a better day,” said Edwards, who works in the health insurance industry, adding that her interest in the trial has diminished because she feels like Trump has gotten away with so many egregious acts during his presidency and the outcome will be no different this time.

“I’ve just lost so much hope,” she said.

Personal attorney to President Donald Trump, Jay Sekulow, speaks during the impeachment trial in the Senate on Jan. 25.Senate TV via AP

The Senate’s trial into the charges against Trump began on Jan. 21, marking it only the third time in American history that a president has been impeached.

While the Senate impeachment trial that began Jan. 21 was broadcast live on TV and the internet and made the front pages of newspapers across the country, the public’s interest has waxed and waned. Like Edwards, some people say they believe the outcome of the trial has been predetermined, causing their interest to fade. Others have remained engaged, following every detail, while some have pulled away completely.

Traffic on news sites show that between Monday and Thursday, impeachment trial coverage did not attract the most viewers (that went to other Trump-related coverage, which captured 35 million views). But it still held public interest, coming in third place with 13,106,960 views, right behind the coronavirus, which received 13,851,440 views, said Sachin Kamdar, CEO of Parse.ly, a web analytics firm.

Benedict Nicholson, managing editor of Newswhip, a company that tracks how people engage with stories across social networks, said their data showed that weekly engagement to web content about impeachment peaked at around 80 million the week of Dec. 16, when the House voted to impeach Trump. Last week, when the Senate trial began, it showed about 22 million social media engagements for impeachment-related coverage through Thursday.

Nicholson noted that the trial proceedings did not start until Tuesday and focused more on rules and processes, which could explain the much lower engagement numbers.

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“I think it’s fair to say that although it’s not been as big a week in terms of engagement as some of the House proceedings, people are very much still paying attention to what is going on,” he said, adding that the numbers are still growing.

Eric Forman, 43, an IT engineer in Phoenix, was one of those who paid close attention when the House hearings began, watching CSPAN for at least two to three hours every day, along with reading stories online each evening. But his interest waned last week when the Senate approved a trial rules resolution by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, that left the question of whether the chamber would subpoena witnesses and documents for later in the trial. Recent polls have shown that many Americans would like to hear from witnesses..

But when the decision was postponed, that’s the moment Forman said he knew Trump would be acquitted.

“That’s like presenting the evidence of your case after the judge has already hit the gavel,” he said, adding that he stopped keeping up with the proceedings as much as he had before. “They are having a trial without having a trial, and it’s a sham.”

Nancy Flynn, 51, of Las Vegas, said she followed the impeachment trial closely until last week when she lost interest after listening to arguments by House Manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. She said she did not find the lead impeachment prosecutor credible. But she intended to start paying attention again as Trump’s defense team presents its case, and senators begin questioning both sides.

“I think they (Democrats) are going after him because they don’t like him,” said Flynn, who owns a small marketing business.

She said she believes Trump will be acquitted of the charges that he used his presidential power to pressure Ukraine to investigate his Democratic political rivals. “They (Democrats) are really setting a dangerous precedent.”

While some have lingering curiosity about the trial’s developments, others say they are not keeping up with it at all because nothing will sway them from their views.

Nathan Beck, 40, of Los Angeles, said he has no interest in watching the trial and will vote for Trump no matter what because “when Trump speaks, it’s from the heart, unlike the other people.”

House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump on Jan. 23.Senate TV via AP

Natasha Watson, a Philadelphia resident who was visiting Detroit to participate in an equity, diversity and inclusion workshop last week, said watching the impeachment process has left her “disheartened and annoyed.”

“I really don’t really have faith that it’s going to make a difference at all,” she said, predicting that Senate Republicans would unanimously vote to keep Trump in office. “I have no doubt in my mind that he (Trump) will be our next president and we will suffer for it.”

Cody Quinn, 37, who works for a car dealership in Las Vegas, said he has not paid any attention to the impeachment proceedings because he feels it’s out of his hands and watching the trial would only bring him frustration.

“We vote and we’ve done our job,” Quinn said, adding that he does not believe lawmakers have brought forth any evidence that shows Trump committed a crime. “Now it’s up to the politicians we voted for.”

Others have little interest in continuing to watch the proceedings because they feel their time would be better spent paying attention to the upcoming presidential election.

“It’s like watching someone sitting in front of all their friends and asking them if they should send you to jail, and you know they are going to say no,” said Lakisha Banales, 42, a phlebotomist at a blood bank in Las Vegas. “Let’s move on and all come together to get someone into office who doesn’t cause so much division.”

Patrick Monahan, 26, a law student from Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, said he also believes lawmakers have been voting along party lines.

“I think the most important thing is probably just getting through with this,” said Monahan, who watched “probably three quarters” of the House hearing and is watching some of the Senate proceedings. “We just need to move on with this and start getting ready for 2020 (the election).”

Many are still committed to keeping up with details of the impeachment trial, regardless of outcome. Ronald Simms, 36, of Beverly Hills, California, said he understands that people are not watching because they feel the trial’s end has been predetermined, but he thinks it is important for Americans to pay attention.

“This is a historic moment and it’s finally happening and it’s important and everybody should be watching,” he said. “If anything, people need to be informed of what their government is doing, what their president is doing. What the president does is news.”

Mark Nimmons, 53, a lifelong Democrat who lives in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan, and works as a robot programmer for Ford Motor Co.,says he has watched “quite a lot” of the process in both the House and the Senate.

“I really do believe that this is the biggest threat to our democracy or democracy, period, that this country has ever had,” he said. “We really and truly need our democracy to pass this test.”

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White Sox Luis Roberts, Other Possible Future All-Stars Take Field – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS) —  Spring Training offers a fresh start around MLB, insofar as that’s possible with baseball working through the aftermath of the Houston Astros cheating scandal. The exhibition games have started. And while they mean nothing in terms of the standings, they can mean a lot for players’ futures.

The league’s prominent up-and-comers have an opportunity to secure their places on opening day rosters or at least make their case for a call-up in the weeks to follow. Luis Robert looks poised to hold down an outfield spot on a young and exciting Chicago White Sox squad. Jo Adell could do the same in Los Angeles for the rising Angels.

The Astros’ exhibition season is already offering a taste of what the team can expect on the road this season. Houston was technically the home team in Saturday’s opener with the Washington Nationals, and none of their projected regulars were in the lineup. Though none of that was obvious from the fans’ spirited reactions.

Madison Bumgarner revealed himself to be a budding rodeo star. The recent success may be short-lived, however, now that the Arizona Diamondbacks are wise to him.

This week’s Spring Training Report looks at some of MLB’s rising talent, a little of the secondary fallout from the Astros scandal and MadBum’s rodeo exploits.

Young Players To Watch

Part of spring training’s fun is seeing the players who may soon dominate the box scores. This year’s MLB rookie class boasts its fair share of potential stars. White Sox outfielder Luis Robert is already being compared to Mike Trout, despite never having actually played in the big leagues, while the Angels Jo Adell looks destined to play alongside Trout himself as the season progresses.

Robert seemingly has all the tools to be a longtime producer at the highest level. He’s fast, can hit for average and power, defend his position and, perhaps most importantly, plays with unrivaled passion. Whether this potent mixture makes him a generational talent remains to be seen; Robert has yet to play a regular season game. But his stats in AAA last season — .328, 32 HRs, 36 stolen bases — were enough for the White Sox to offer him a $50 million contract extension. The AL rookie of the year favorite should be in the lineup come opening day.

Adell may not be one of the Angels in the outfield when Los Angeles takes on Houston on March 26, but it’s just a matter of time. Adell is coming off an up-and-down 2019 season in the minors that started with a spring training injury. He eventually hit .308 in 43 games in AA, but only .264 in 27 AAA games. The 20-year-old prospect went 2-3 from the designated hitter spot in his spring training debut for the Angels, picking up an RBI and a stolen base. He sat out Monday’s action.

Jesus Luzardo, the Oakland A’s young left-handed pitcher, actually made his MLB debut last season. In six appearances down the stretch, Luzardo put up a 1.50 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP in 12 innings pitched out of the bullpen. He also logged two saves. This season his fastball has already been clocked at over 96 MPH, though he has yet to take the mound in exhibition action. Luzardo is scheduled to start Tuesday against the San Diego Padres, and should round out the A’s rotation then the regular season begins.

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux would already be starting on many major league teams. Lux spent most of his 2019 season in AA and AAA and most of that time at shortstop, hitting well over .300 at each of his stops. But Corey Seager already holds down the Dodgers’ shortstop spot, which means Lux may have more luck cracking the Dodgers’ lineup at second base. Lux had 79 big-league at-bats in 2019, hitting an uninspiring .240 with two home runs and nine RBI. Those numbers should improve with regular exposure to big-league pitching.

Astros Exhibition Season Stumbles To A Start

Opposing fans players aren’t happy with the Astros, and neither are opposing fans. The team was recently exposed as serial sign-stealers throughout their 2017 World Series run, leading to the suspension and/or firing of multiple coaches and executives. No current players were disciplined for their actions that season, leading to ongoing outrage among players around the league.

Houston started their exhibition season Saturday night in West Palm Beach, Florida against the Washington Nationals. The Nationals beat the Astros in the 2019 World Series, and the two teams currently share a spring training practice facility. This was Houston’s first game since the World Series and their first game since the scandal erupted into public view.

The crowd at Saturday night’s game was clearly rooting for the Nationals, with audible boos for anyone in an Astros jersey, including the mascot. At least one fan hoping to heckle the Astros had his sign confiscated. (Maybe “stolen” is the right word.) That none of the Astros regular players were in the lineup didn’t matter. Baseball’s faithful were (are) mad and looking to voice their displeasure.

The Astros should expect to hear booing on the road all season long, and that this game was technically a home game didn’t really matter. The crowd was on the Nationals’ side. The fallout from the scandal will continue through opening day and well beyond. Houston’s best approach may just be to let it play out and not make things worse. Confiscating signs certainly won’t help. Neither, frankly, will expressing disagreement of any sort with the disgruntled people who fill the stands. Within the bounds of decency, the way to get through this is to sit back and take it.

The Nationals-Astros exhibition game was rained out after two innings.

MadBum At The Rodeo

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher and three-time World Series champion Madison Bumgarner has been moonlighting at the rodeo. The 2014 World Series MVP, it was recently discovered, ropes steers and competes in other events under the name Mason Saunders. He says he picked up the rodeo bug as a teenager, and uses an assumed name to limit the attention he receives while competing in rodeo.

Bumgarner, as Saunders, partnered with roping professional Jaxson Tucker, recently won $26,550 in competition. The left-hander, who was one of the most sought-after free agents this past off-season, signed a five-year $85 million contract last December, just weeks after the incriminating photos were taken.

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ACLU Files Lawsuit To Block Texas “Sanctuary Cities” From Outlawing Abortion – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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Simone Missick On CBS’s ‘All Rise’ & Netflix’s ‘Altered Carbon’ – CBS DC

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