The US Capitol building on Jan. 25. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

"Americans should understand that there will be a significant, long-term economic cost to our polarized politics and dysfunctional government," Washington Post economics columnist Steve Pearlstein writes on the Sunday Business cover.

The backdrop: House impeachment managers are arguing that the constitutional powers of Congress to indict a president will never function if Trump isn't found guilty of obstruction, while Trump's defense team is arguing that impeaching Trump would revoke voters' ability to judge the president for his actions.

"In the modern era, there are few if any examples of a country with a healthy, thriving economy and a broken political system. What distinguishes a successful economy from a failing one — what distinguishes Denmark from Italy and South Korea from North — is ... the laws, rules, norms and policies that create the framework in which any economy operates. ...
We can see [the] deterioration in our inability to adapt to changing conditions — the rise of China as an economic superpower, the influx of economic and political refugees, and the threat from global warming. ...
[O]ur approach has been to deny the problem, demonize those with whom we disagree and ostracize anyone who dares to compromise."
— Pearlstein, in the Post

Where it stands: Unemployment remains at a 50-year low, per the latest data from the Labor Department. But, chief financial officers are bracing for an economic slowdown this year, according to Deloitte's quarterly survey of nearly 150 executives at top North American companies.

The bottom line: "'Trump Impeachment Trial Begins. Stocks Hit New High.' If the headline sounds too good to be true, that’s only because it probably is.

Go deeper: Trump's economic shield against impeachment

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,642,602 — Total deaths: 1,007,769 — Total recoveries: 23,387,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,191,061 — Total deaths: 205,998 — Total recoveries: 2,813,305 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. Politics: 7 former FDA commissioners say Trump is undermining agency's credibility
  5. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  6. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  7. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  8. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed 46,600 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

Some 18,700 firefighters are battling 27 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: 8,155 wildfires have burned across a record 3.86 million acres, killing 26 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The first Trump v. Biden presidential debate was a hot mess

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.

  • We were told President Trump would be savage. Turned out, that was a gross understatement. Even the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, got bulldozed.

Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?