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Bringing you opinions and commentary on a variety of topics from around the country. || News Plexus LLC — delivering your news in a convenient, AD-FREE and easy-to-read stream.

Bringing you opinions and commentary on a variety of topics from around the country. || News Plexus LLC — delivering your news in a convenient, AD-FREE and easy-to-read stream.
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NewsPlexus Media February 28, 2020

LEUBSDORF: The enduring mystery of Trump and Russia
"It’s no secret why Vladimir Putin would want Donald Trump reelected: no other American president would have been as forgiving of his efforts to create chaos and destabilize the Western alliance," writes Carl P. Leubsdorf. "But the mystery remains why Trump has been such a willing participant, repeatedly excusing Putin for everything from aggression toward Ukraine to meddling in American elections."
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NewsPlexus Media February 28, 2020

RUBIN: Leaders of world’s two most important democracies trash rule of law
"To understand the growing global threats to democracy, you only had to follow President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to India this week," writes Trudy Rubin. "While this visit produced little substance, in better times it might have had huge symbolic significance. It could have advertised the virtues of the world’s two most important democracies in contrast to the authoritarian model of China. Instead, these two leaders displayed their disdain for rule of law and their embrace of a virulent strain of populist nationalism that is infecting democracies around the world."
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NewsPlexus Media February 28, 2020

SNYDER: Sex crimes prosecutors have made amazing progress over the decade
"Kudos to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, and particularly to lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and her team, on getting a guilty verdict in the Harvey Weinstein case. As we all recognize, the case was a major challenge," writes Leslie Crocker Snyder. "Placing this verdict in historical perspective makes it even more significant. Until the early 1970s, virtually no sex crimes case could be prosecuted because of onerous legal roadblocks, specifically corroboration requirements. Three elements — identity, force and penetration — had to be corroborated by additional evidence."
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2020

ZIMMERMAN: Sanders, Bloomberg and the threat of anti-Semitism
"Bernie Sanders, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is a Jewish socialist. One of his major challengers, Michael Bloomberg, is a Jewish billionaire who made his fortune on Wall Street," writes Jonathan Zimmerman. "What’s wrong with this picture? You don’t have to be a Jew or a historian — and I’m both — to know the answer. Across the past century, anti-Semites have reviled Jews as both rapacious capitalists and as revolutionaries against capitalism. That makes no sense, but prejudice rarely does. Add to the mix Donald Trump, who has traded in his own anti-Jewish rhetoric, and you have a formula for a hate-filled 2020 election."
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2020

ISHISAKA: Will there ever be a right time for a woman president?
"Will there ever be a right time for a woman president? I understood why progressive voters were ambivalent at best about Hillary Clinton in 2008 and 2016," writes Naomi Ishisaka. "Clinton was a core part of a powerful political dynasty, with centrist policies and backed by the Democratic power structure. With that gigantic head start, it was easy to feel that Clinton’s election would not be a true test of the potential for women to ascend to the highest office in the land. But four years later, the landscape looks dramatically different."
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2020

FELDMAN: Harvey Weinstein’s half-conviction is a full win for prosecutors
"Don’t let the appearance of a split verdict in the Harvey Weinstein case mislead you: the prosecutors’ decision to charge Weinstein with being a serial sexual predator was a success despite the jury’s decision to acquit on those charges — even as it convicted him of two felony sex crimes, including rape," writes Noah Feldman. "The strategic advantage of charging Weinstein as a predator was always that it would enable the prosecution to introduce more evidence, including evidence of sexual assaults from women who were not the primary victims in this case. That extra testimony very likely contributed to the jury’s decision to convict Weinstein on two felony charges."
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2020

PREMAWARDHANA: A cure for tribal politics? Learn from actual ‘tribal’ people
"The word 'tribalism' has become shorthand for everything toxic and ugly about politics in the Trump era. It’s meant to convey not just brute partisanship, but also how uncivilized and unthinking this divisiveness has made us. There is good reason, though, to drop the metaphor. 'Tribes' were rarely this polarized," writes Devaka Premawardhana. "What’s more, an understanding of actual social life among indigenous groups may be just the antidote to what ails us."
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2020

CRISP: Is Mayor Pete too young to be president?
"Is Mayor Pete Buttigieg too young to be president? Our nation’s founders didn’t think so; among the few limitations they applied to presidential aspirants was a minimum age of 35," writes John M. Crisp. "Nevertheless, at 38, the mayor stands out among the prominent Democratic candidates, that is, Buttigieg and the five others who participated in the debate last week in Las Vegas. Their ages are 78, 78, 77, 70 and 59. No wonder Buttigieg looks so young."
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2020

HEALEY: Trump wants to buy the election. And he wants to use your money to do it
"Some Democrats complain about billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg trying to buy the election, but at least he’s doing it with his own money. President Trump is using yours," writes Jon Healey.
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NewsPlexus Media February 22, 2020

DOLAN: Trump breaks promise on safety net
"Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are among the most popular federal programs out there. A 2019 Pew Research poll showed majorities across all parties and demographics opposing cuts to Social Security," writes Karen Dolan. "The programs are so popular that Donald Trump himself, back in his 2016 campaign, promised to keep his hands off of them. And in his State of the Union address on Feb. 4, he reiterated what he called 'an ironclad pledge to American families' to 'always protect your Medicare and your Social Security. Always.' These, of course, were falsehoods."
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NewsPlexus Media February 22, 2020

HEALEY: Bloomberg, Klobuchar and Biden each had cringe-worthy debate moments
"Much of the punditry about Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas focuses on the shelling that former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took from his rivals. And, indeed, Bloomberg had some very, very bad moments, as well as a few very good ones," writes Jon Healey. "Fortunately for Bloomberg, he wasn’t the only one to be caught in the glare of unflattering scrutiny. At least two of his rivals had cringe-worthy moments that they can only hope the public will soon forget."
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NewsPlexus Media February 22, 2020

SUNSTEIN: Why Sanders supporters are so tenacious
"Bernie Sanders has said that he will support the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, no matter who he or she is. But some Democrats worry that a lot of his supporters will not work or even vote for any other candidate, whereas the backers of his Democratic rivals will enthusiastically work or vote for anyone the party nominates, including Sanders," writes Cass R. Sunstein. "It is too soon to know whether this worry is justified. But we do know that in 2016, many of Sanders’s supporters were extremely angry that Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, and they refused to support her."
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NewsPlexus Media February 21, 2020

FELDMAN: Presidential pardons have been a bad idea since 1787
"The president of the United States isn’t a king, and he isn’t above the law -- or so constitutional law professors like me keep reminding everybody. But the painful truth is that there is one exception to this truth: the pardon power, exercised this week by President Donald Trump to free or absolve several white-collar criminals," writes Noah Feldman. "The presidential power to pardon is a holdover from British monarchy. And pardoning by definition goes above and outside the legal system. The pardon power therefore poses a structural threat to the republican character of the U.S. government. It gets worse."
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NewsPlexus Media February 21, 2020

LEUBSDORF: Why Democrats are concerned Bernie Sanders will win the nomination
"National polls consistently show Sen. Bernie Sanders beating President Donald Trump. And at a recent New Hampshire debate, only Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined Joe Biden in showing concern about the self-proclaimed democratic socialist heading the Democratic ticket," writes Carl P. Leubsdorf. "So why do so many other Democrats fear the 78-year-old Vermont senator’s possible nomination to head their 2020 ticket?"
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NewsPlexus Media February 21, 2020

SAFER: 3 reasons for Blagojevich’s release (and why they are wrong)
"We have stepped through the looking glass, or entered George Orwell’s dystopia. Criminals are victims. Public servants are criminals. Truth is a lie, and lies told loudly and persistently carry the day. We are at a tipping point where the bedrocks of our society are under attack," writes Ronald S. Safer. "President Donald Trump commuted Rod Blagojevich’s sentence Tuesday. Blagojevich will loudly proclaim his innocence, as he has for years, despite the irrefutable evidence that he is guilty. He will rant against the criminal justice system. He will say the prosecutors were the real criminals. The media will dutifully report those rants and many among the public will believe them because of our polarized political perspectives. But those rants are lies."
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NewsPlexus Media February 20, 2020

WILKINSON: Trump is already making stuff up about voter fraud
"While candidates jostle for advantage in the Democratic presidential primary, and the news media play the odds, President Donald Trump already knows the identity of his opponent. Indeed, his campaign, with the full support of the Republican Party, is already waging a vigorous crusade to destroy his opposition," writes Francis Wilkinson. "No, it’s not Joe Biden, who inspired Trump’s shakedown of Ukraine. Trump’s gunning for bigger game: democracy itself."
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NewsPlexus Media February 20, 2020

ZORN: Rod Blagojevich, Donald Trump and the circle of sleaze
"How can anyone be surprised? America’s swampy, self-dealing, scofflaw, narcissist president has commuted the prison sentence of Illinois’ swampy, self-dealing, scofflaw, narcissist former governor," writes Eric Zorn. "I thought President Donald Trump might wait until after the November election to spring Rod Blagojevich from federal prison, which he did Tuesday, given that such a wink to unapologetic political corruption is a bit on the nose given all the accusations that have swirled around Trump. But he’s clearly feeling emboldened by how stoutly his party and his political base stayed with him through his impeachment travails and no longer has any qualms at all about whimsically yanking on the levers of federal justice."
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NewsPlexus Media February 20, 2020

BASU: We need to support our local newspapers, really
"In the context of coronavirus, impeachment, caucuses, primaries and spring training, the bankruptcy of McClatchy, America’s second-largest newspaper chain, could not be expected to garner much attention. But such matters are of importance nonetheless," writes Anirban Basu. "The reason newspapers can’t charge enough is because: there is dishonesty, with many people free-riding on the subscriptions of others; newspapers have to compete with effectively free sources of information, including the nightly local news. Not enough of us are consistently interested in in-depth understanding of the daily workings of our communities. But we should be."
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NewsPlexus Media February 19, 2020

GLANTON: It’s tough being a Democratic voter if you’re not a clairvoyant
"If this were a normal presidential election, most Democrats would have decided by now whom they would vote for in the primaries. They simply would have weighed each candidate’s message and decided which aligned most closely with their own," writes Dahleen Glanton. "That’s how easy the political process is supposed to be. But this is no ordinary election. It never is when Donald Trump is involved."
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NewsPlexus Media February 19, 2020

ABCARIAN: Stop pulling out your hair, Democrats. You CAN beat Trump
"Calm down, Democrats. There have been exactly two nominating contests for your party’s presidential nomination, both in deeply unrepresentative states: Iowa and New Hampshire. And so far, it appears that Democrats are behaving exactly as everyone thought they would," writes Robin Abcarian. "They are torn between choosing a candidate who wants to turn over tables and really shake things up, or a more moderate candidate who wants to accomplish essentially the same goals without breaking too much china. All the first two contests really make clear is that there are still a lot of viable candidates in the race, and that Democrats are exactly where parties without an incumbent on the ticket tend to find themselves at this point in the campaign.
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NewsPlexus Media February 19, 2020

GROSSMAN: The right to bear arms is not absolute
"The Supreme Court has long recognized that even a right as critically essential to our democracy as our freedom of speech is not absolute, and speech can be regulated if it poses a clear and present danger among other reasons," writes Steven P. Grossman. "While virtually everyone accepts such a commonsense limitation on the First Amendment, there are those who argue that anyone who proposes limitations on the possession of guns is an opponent of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms."
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NewsPlexus Media February 18, 2020

"California had the right idea when it moved its presidential primaries from June to March. The nation’s most populous state needs to be relevant in the process of choosing the nominees for the two major political parties," says columnist Krist Novoselic. "But California, unfortunately, didn’t only switch its presidential primary. It also moved its state and congressional elections up to March 3 as well. This earlier date could make existing problems with state elections worse."
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NewsPlexus Media February 18, 2020

CRISP: Where are we on the global catastrophe spectrum?
"Sophisticated civilizations have come and gone, but you would have gone broke betting on catastrophe on a global scale, even during the 14th Century, when many thought the plague, raging through Europe, signaled the end of humanity. They were wrong," says columnist John M. Crisp. "Still, is it just me or do you, too, have the nagging feeling that the potential for global catastrophe has increased in inverse proportion to our shrinking world? Is it possible that, for once, the doomsayers are on to something?"
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NewsPlexus Media February 18, 2020

WILKINSON: 2020 election is a choice between democracy and Putinism
"Some crimes take only minutes, even seconds, to execute. Now imagine how many seconds Donald Trump has between this moment and Election Day," says columnist Francis Wilkinson. "For Democrats, too, November is far away. But what Trump does in the months ahead will be at least as important to the presidential contest as what Democrats do. There are plenty of crimes to come."
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NewsPlexus Media February 14, 2020

WESTNEAT: Others failed; now Amazon is taking up the case against the president
"First to have a crack at it was Robert Mueller. Next up was Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats, who took a mighty swing but also whiffed. Could the one to finally strike a blow be … Amazon?" says columnist Danny Westneat. "The filings this week in an obscure federal contracting court by our Seattle tech bad boys made some headlines, mostly because Jeff Bezos and company are brazenly seeking to depose the baddest boy of all, Donald Trump."
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NewsPlexus Media February 14, 2020

RUBIN: In worst Syrian refugee crisis ever, will anyone help?
"The most urgent Syrian refugee crisis of the entire nine-year civil war has exploded since mid-December with the potential to further destabilize Europe, or create islands of human misery from which jihadis can recruit," says columnist Trudy Rubin. "Approximately 900,000 desperate men, women and children, have flooded towards the Turkish border, two-thirds of them since December, as Russian and Syrian warplanes repeatedly bomb hospitals and other civilian sites, as well as fleeing families on the road — war crimes that an indifferent world is ignoring."
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NewsPlexus Media February 14, 2020

MCMANUS: Trump vowed to wipe out the federal deficit. Now he’s just pretending
"'Promises made, promises kept' has been one of President Trump’s frequent boasts in his campaign for a second term. So it was a little awkward this week when his own proposed budget acknowledged, in the fine print, that several of his key promises haven’t been kept at all," says columnist Doyle McManus.
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NewsPlexus Media February 12, 2020

BRETON: We should be able to talk about Kobe’s rape case without death threats
"Two prominent female journalists were pummeled on social media, one was even suspended from her job. Both received death threats for having the audacity to mention a well-established rape charge against the late Kobe Bryant," says columnist Marcos Breton. "Just consider the irony of that for a moment. You thought we were in the #MeToo generation and that we had moved beyond the previously allowed, or rationalized, shaming of women who raised their voices against sexual assault or harassment of women. Well, not so fast."
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NewsPlexus Media February 12, 2020

HILTZIK: Trump’s budget proposal shreds Social Security and Medicaid benefits
"In accordance with the old adage that budgets are political documents, President Trump’s budgets are windows into his political id," says columnist Michael Hiltzik. "Trump’s proposed $4.8-trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year makes his intentions crystal clear: He means to shred the federal safety net for the poor and the sick."
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NewsPlexus Media February 12, 2020

GLANTON: Let’s face the truth, America: John Bolton played us
"John Bolton never had any intention of testifying in Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. And he knew he would never have to," says columnist Dahleen Glanton. "Trump’s former national security adviser threw Democrats a sucker punch by pretending that he was noble enough to stand up against his old boss and the entire Republican Party. Turns out, he’s a selfish manipulator — just like Trump. And the American people got played."
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NewsPlexus Media February 11, 2020

"As a consular officer, I issued hundreds of tourist visas to pregnant women traveling to the United States whose primary purpose was so-called birth tourism — gaining U.S. citizenship for their child by having their baby here. It was a frustrating experience for me, because I mainly saw wealthy and elite foreign nationals secure U.S. citizenship for their newborn this way," says columnist Christopher Richardson. "But I made an uneasy peace with the practice, fearing what alternatives might arise if the U.S. ever actively sought to prohibit it. Since the administration put in place new rules in late January that make it harder for pregnant foreign nationals to enter the U.S. on tourist visas, we are about to see what those alternatives are. I fear they will not be pretty."
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NewsPlexus Media February 11, 2020

HILL: The winning 2018 Democratic playbook: Avoid talking about Medicare for All
"There are many factors that led to Democratic victories in the crucial swing states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2018, and it’s always hard to isolate any single cause. But the successful Democrats all talked about health care — with a focus on fixing the Affordable Care Act and reinforcing Medicare," says columnist Seth Hill.
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NewsPlexus Media February 11, 2020

RUBIN: Death of Chinese whistleblower doctor should sober Beijing — and us
"The death of a young Chinese doctor who was silenced by authorities when he tried to warn about the outbreak of the coronavirus has lit up the country’s social media with outrage," says columnist Trudy Rubin. "Back in December, he posted his concerns about a contagious new virus that resembled SARS, the lethal coronavirus that spread to 29 countries in 2003. He was arrested, jailed and made to recant. Now he has become a martyr for millions of Chinese."
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NewsPlexus Media February 9, 2020

BUNCH: Resistance clinging to faith that what’s right still matters in America
"It’s always sunny in nostalgia. When my mind summons up sepia-toned Kodak memories of the big protest marches I witnessed as a kid in the 1960s and ’70s, it sees big throngs under a bright powder-blue sky, on a crisp autumn day," says columnist Will Bunch. "Protesting in the Trump era has felt absolutely nothing like this. It is always dark, under steel-grey winter afternoons or early nightfall, marching into a stiff wind or icy pellets of drizzle."
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NewsPlexus Media February 9, 2020

STEVENS: Pelosi ripping Trump’s speech: our fave rule-breakers brought to life
"As a political strategy, I’m not sure Nancy Pelosi tearing up her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech worked all that well," says columnist Heidi Stevens. "As political theater? It was fantastic. And maybe that’s what she believed this particular moment in history called for."
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NewsPlexus Media February 9, 2020

DICKERSON: Reproachful but subservient, GOP senators bow to an unrepentant Trump
"It’s a panic button the nation had pushed just twice before in the Constitution’s 230-year history (three times, if you count Richard Nixon’s resignation to preempt his certain removal in 1974)," says columnist Brian Dickerson. "Yet, in the event, the impeachment of Donald Trump packed all the novelty of a tepid Super Bowl matchup."
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NewsPlexus Media February 5, 2020

COPELAND: African American museums help preserve an often ignored history
"An 1808 Certificate of Freedom for 'Negro Betsey,' a slave who lived in Frederick, Maryland. Harriet Tubman’s Bible and the shawl given to her by Queen Victoria. Emmett Till’s casket. These artifacts could be found in any historical museum in the United States. But these authentic objects are part of the collections of African American museums in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.," says columnist Jacqueline Copeland. "They are a source of pride, and a reflection of the resilience, ingenuity and courage that is the African American experience in this country."
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NewsPlexus Media February 5, 2020

SHYONG: Coronavirus, outbreak narrative and how fear fuels xenophobia and racism
"Let’s be clear about this: Your fear does not justify your racism and xenophobia. Your jokes and performative panic about the coronavirus are not funny. They are deeply pointless and trivialize something that should be taken seriously. And they are creating an environment of fear, panic and disinformation that’s more dangerous than the disease itself," says columnist Frank Shyong.
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NewsPlexus Media February 5, 2020

BUNCH: The truth that mattered at impeachment trial? America is a monarchy now
"In the end, it was kind of fitting that famed attorney Alan Dershowitz showed up to deliver the fatal blow. In the 1990s, the Harvard Law prof was part of a team of lawyers that established that if you’re a star in America they let you do it, even when 'it' is murdering your estranged wife. In the 2000s, Dersh helped put the exclamation point on the idea that American billionaires can even sexually abuse young girls and escape meaningful punishment," says columnist Will Bunch. "Fast forward to the first month of the 2020s, and comes now Dershowitz to declare the ultimate reversal of fortune, the overturning on appeal of the American Revolution. Defending President Trump at his impeachment trial last week, the 81-year-old author of 'Chutzpah' found the nerve — and a receptive audience — to proclaim that the American president is in reality a king, because whatever he does, it is not illegal."
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NewsPlexus Media February 4, 2020

KETCHAM: A target on the West’s defining forests
"The federal government is overseeing a program of massive deforestation on Western public lands. Some 7.4 million acres of pinyon-juniper forest in the care of the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada, Utah and southern Idaho are targeted for destruction over the next several years — an area larger than the state of Vermont," says columnist Christopher Ketcham. "Why wipe out millions of acres of thriving pinyon-juniper, trees that are superbly adapted to the heat and drought that climate change will throw at the West? To satisfy the demands of the cattle industry for grazing forage on public lands."
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NewsPlexus Media February 4, 2020

GLASS: Want a revolution? It’s easy: Vote
"I’m talking about a revolution. Not the kind that gets you tear-gassed in the streets of Hong Kong, tortured in a Syrian prison or guillotined in the Place de la Concorde," says columnist Russell Glass. "All we have to do for this revolution is show up to vote, first in our primaries, and then Nov. 3. All of us."
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NewsPlexus Media February 4, 2020

CRISP: Just how dark a day was Jan. 31, after all?
"Let’s take a deep breath as we consider the remarkable event that occurred in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 31, when 51 senators voted to conduct a constitutionally obligatory trial of an impeached president without looking at readily available, relevant evidence," says columnist John M. Crisp. "How bad was it, really? Was it the day the sky began to fall? Will we someday associate Jan. 31, 2020 with dates like Dec. 7, 1941 or Sept. 11, 2001?"
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NewsPlexus Media January 31, 2020

SCHRAM: GOP seeks smokeless gun
"Once again, 'smoking gun' evidence that seems to incriminate a Republican president has been uncovered – and once again, it turned up in a way that was indeed inconvenient for Republicans in Congress. Perhaps it’s a pattern that is going to occur every 45 and a half years," says columnist Martin Schram. "It first happened in the summer of 1974, when President Richard Nixon’s 'smoking gun' audio tapes were made available to impeachment investigators thanks to a unanimous Supreme Court order."
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NewsPlexus Media January 31, 2020

WALDMAN: Watch out when Trump’s impeachment slams into State of the Union speech
"A State of the Union address is among the few remaining civic rituals. Its purpose is outlined in the Constitution, and millions still tune in to watch. An impeachment trial, too, is a civic ritual. Like the big speech, it’s also in the Constitution," says columnist Michael Waldman. "Now the State of the Union, planned for Tuesday, and impeachment could collide. Both sides seem to be nervously gaming the schedule with that question in mind."
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NewsPlexus Media January 31, 2020

NISEN: Trump’s conservative overhaul of Medicaid is a loser all around
"American voters consistently name health care as one of the issues they care about most heading into the presidential election. That’s bad news for President Donald Trump, who gets bad marks on health issues after his party’s attempt to gut the Affordable Care Act failed and backfired," says columnist Max Nisen. "Instead of changing strategies, though, he is doubling down on unpopular policies. On Thursday, officials announced that the administration will allow states to pursue what it dubs “Healthy Adult Opportunity” initiatives. The new name is just a dystopic rebranding of 'block grants,' which itself is more palatable code for 'cap Medicaid funding and strip health benefits from poor Americans.'”
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NewsPlexus Media January 30, 2020

BASU: Sanders' rise shows voters want courage, principles and right priorities
"We’re living through unprecedentedly dangerous and discouraging times in America. ... The Statue of Liberty’s raised arm welcoming the world’s poor and freedom-seeking with a torch might as well be replaced by a fist. And we've been taken to the brink of war with Iran," says columnist Rekha Basu. "Against that distressing backdrop, I was buoyed to be standing on a platform in a Des Moines Marriott ballroom on New Year’s Eve watching 1,300 Iowans go giddy with excitement when a 78-year-old speaker took the stage."
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NewsPlexus Media January 30, 2020

RUBIN: Trump’s Mideast peace plan is about reelection — his own and Netanyahu’s
"If anyone doubts President Trump’s long awaited Israel-Palestine peace plan was mainly an election-oriented political document, he shattered those doubts Tuesday," says Trudy Rubin. "On the very day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu was indicted for bribery and fraud, and Trump’s impeachment trial was upended by firsthand evidence he blackmailed Ukraine, the president rolled out his "deal of the century.'"
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NewsPlexus Media January 30, 2020

HEALEY: Could the Democratic race come down to Sanders vs. … Bloomberg?
"Political polls are notoriously unreliable, but I’m going to point to the results of two new ones anyway that show a collision ahead between two polarizing candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination," says columnist Jon Healey. "According to the Los Angeles Times, a new UC Berkeley Institute of Government poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pulling away from the field in California. Sanders is at 26% and rising, while his nearest rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), is at 20% and fading (with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points). Meanwhile, the latest Morning Consult poll of national voters shows former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg climbing like a rocket since he started dedicating cash-stuffed mattresses to his television advertising campaign late last year."
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NewsPlexus Media January 29, 2020

GLANTON: Trump lawyers poised to defend him by cheating off Democrats’ homework
"Democrats did a thorough job laying out their case in the Senate for Donald Trump’s impeachment. Perhaps, they did it too well," says columnist Dahleen Glanton. "It is likely that quite a number of Republican senators left the room after Democrats finished Friday night convinced that Trump had, in fact, tried to get a foreign country to intervene in the 2020 election. Some, no doubt, were certain that his steps to block witnesses from testifying and his refusal to turn over pertinent documents during the House impeachment hearings amounted to obstruction of Congress. But that ran counter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s and other Senate Republicans’ sole mission of getting Trump off the hook."
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NewsPlexus Media January 29, 2020

"A rare thing happened in the California Legislature the other day. A gun-rights bill passed," says columnist Michael Smolens. "The bill was passed unanimously by the Democratic-controlled state Senate and sent to the Assembly, which is also dominated by Democrats. It would be a fool’s errand to suggest this could be a harbinger of potential common ground on one of the most polarizing issues in the nation. Still, it serves as a launching point to look at other signs that maybe — just maybe — there could be room for agreement on broader gun policies."
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