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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 September 5, 2019

SMITH: Post-Trump Republicanism has to start somewhere
"President Donald Trump is accumulating primary challengers, which should make both Democrats and never-Trump Republicans happy. Prominent never-Trumpers, however, have balked at the campaign of Joe Walsh and seem at best lukewarm about the prospect of Mark Sanford entering the race. They shouldn’t be," says columnist Karl W. Smith. "History shows that presidents who face strong primary challenges go on to lose the general election."
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NewsPlexus Media September 5, 2019

O'BRIEN: Mike Pence’s Doonbeg visit proves he’s a giver
"Go ahead and forgive yourself if you find some details of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Ireland confusing," says columnist Timothy L. O'Brien. "Although Pence has official meetings in Dublin (on Ireland’s east coast) he and his federal entourage have found lodging in Doonbeg (on Ireland’s west coast). Why Doonbeg? Well, Pence has ancestral ties to Doonbeg, about which he waxed poetic on Tuesday as he explained his decision to burden his team and U.S. taxpayers by staying 125 miles away from Dublin. Even better: Donald Trump owns a hotel and golf course in Doonbeg, which Pence also found inviting."
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NewsPlexus Media September 5, 2019

BUSH: What we keep getting wrong about mass shootings
"There is a special kind of stupidity that approaches terrible and repeating problems with an obstinate assurance of what the answer will or won’t be. Or maybe it’s cynicism — just digging in against any sort of movement that might be politically dangerous, even if it promises to break the paralysis of doing nothing repeatedly," says columnist Rudolph Bush. "By now, with more than 200 mass shootings since Columbine and already 33 this year, we have to acknowledge that we are a deeply unwell nation. Or at least we are a nation cultivating terribly unwell people with the nihilistic will to kill all in their paths."
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NewsPlexus Media September 3, 2019

PONNURU: Trump deserves a primary challenge, but not from these guys
What Republicans need "is a protest candidacy: a way for anti-Trump Republicans to register their opposition to the president and their support for the values that underlie that opposition," says columnist Ramesh Ponnuru,. "The campaign’s backers would of course want their candidate to become president if (several bolts of) lightning should strike. But a merely respectable showing would demonstrate the continuing relevance of a non-Trumpist conservatism and could help to set the direction of the party after Trump — especially if he either loses in November 2020 or has a second term that Republicans come to see as a failure."
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NewsPlexus Media September 3, 2019

LOUIS: The word socialism has largely lost its power to scare. That’s good
“'America will never be a socialist country,' President Trump vowed in his last State of the Union address, a line he has repeated to crowds at his rallies. The sentiment has been echoed by other conservative politicians, who often frame the choice as 'socialism vs. freedom,'" says columnist Errol Louis. "That old-fashioned red-baiting approach, familiar to those of us who lived through the Cold War, doesn’t seem to be working these days."
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NewsPlexus Media September 3, 2019

DAVICH: Andrew Luck tossed life lessons our way with his retirement speech
"I’ve watched hundreds of video snippets from press conferences involving the National Football League. Ninety% of them are boring and predictable, sacked for a loss by tired sports clichés, obligatory responses and polished coach-speak," says columnist Jerry Davich. "And then I watched the impromptu press conference by now former Indianapolis Colts’ superstar quarterback Andrew Luck after their preseason game against the Chicago Bears on Aug. 24. ... That night, as he paused to contain himself more than once, Luck was just as human and vulnerable as the rest of us. He was real. And we felt it. Or we should have felt it. Without calling a play or sharing a huddle, Luck tossed us quite a few life lessons. Did you catch any of them?"
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NewsPlexus Media September 2, 2019

BASU: Trump’s gag rule will hurt the cause of making abortions rarer
"Some days lately, it feels as if we’re living in an inverted reality, where core assumptions we once relied upon to move forward are under challenge. Take planning a family. There was a time when you couldn’t. And for some people, that may soon be the case again," says columnist Rekha Basu.
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NewsPlexus Media September 2, 2019

SCHRAM: Best words can be our best weapons
"There was a time when we amused each other by sharing the latest blurtations from our new national punchline. Like that December 2015 day in Hilton Head, S.C., when Donald Trump boasted to his campaign audience: 'I went to an Ivy League School. I’m very highly educated. I know words. I have the best words.' But none of that seems funny anymore," says columnist Martin Schram.
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NewsPlexus Media September 2, 2019

JENNINGS: Three gun reforms every Republican should embrace
"Signaling to shooting victims, their families and the American people that heinous acts like those in Gilroy, Calif., and El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, are unacceptable is the right thing to do. Americans know bad people will sometimes do bad things, no matter how hard we try to stop them, but we expect our politicians to counter such horrors with their best efforts," says columnist Scott Jennings. Trump has an opportunity to do that, and simultaneously splash mud on liberals who politicize these tragedies. Here’s how."
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NewsPlexus Media August 29, 2019

BERNSTEIN: Ending the Electoral College won’t lead to tyranny
In this column, Jonathan Bernstein takes apart this tweet from Dan Crenshaw, a Republican member of the House from Texas: “Abolishing the electoral college means that politicians will only campaign in (and listen to) urban areas. That is not a representative democracy. We live in a republic, which means 51% of the population doesn’t get to boss around the other 49%.”
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NewsPlexus Media August 29, 2019

MCDERMOTT: Evangelicals finally find the one Trump obscenity they can’t abide
"To the many believers and nonbelievers alike who can’t figure out why the religious right sticks by a president who so completely embodies each of the Seven Deadly Sins (while inventing a few new ones), we have encouraging news: Some white evangelicals are finally getting fed up with Donald Trump’s behavior," says columnist Kevin McDermott. "What is, finally, bothering them now is … Trump’s foul language."
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NewsPlexus Media August 29, 2019

MARTELLE: Is there any matter of state Trump won’t try to make a buck from?
"One of the odder elements of the recently concluded G-7 meetings in France came when the assembled world leaders took up plans for next year’s gathering, to be held in the United States. 'Hey, I’ve got an idea,' President Trump said (in words to that effect). 'Why don’t you all come to my place?'" says columnist Scott Martelle. "As in, the Trump National Doral Miami, a prime piece of resort property owned by the Trump Organization, the president’s family business from which, while he has sworn off any decision-making roles, he still profits."
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NewsPlexus Media August 27, 2019

HAHN: Are your genes to blame for mental illness?
"Headlines on the purported genetic basis for mental illness — like this one from The Washington Post: 'Some children born with the genetic risk for schizophrenia, scientists say' — have been staples of scientific journalism for years now. But what do they really mean? Is mental illness really just a matter of bad luck in the genetic lottery?" Patrick D. Hahn explores that question in this column.
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NewsPlexus Media August 27, 2019

ADAMS: My high school students don’t read any more. I think I know why
"In my two decades of teaching high school in California’s Central Valley, perhaps the biggest change I have noticed is that the belief that reading both enlarges and enlivens life itself has largely vanished from the lives of my young students," says columnist Jeremy Adams. "Today’s teenagers certainly read all day — memes, posts, tweets — but it is all of a transitory, casual nature. Reading books has been sacrificed to the tyranny of texting and the dizzying array of social media platforms."
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NewsPlexus Media August 27, 2019

SANTIAGO: Trump may think he’s God, but he acts like biblical King Herod
"If President Donald Trump’s new shtick to rally his base is to come across God-like — and in the process, use Israel as a poker chip to attract voters like he does with Cuba and Venezuela — he ought to at least flesh out his biblical characters and references more thoroughly before opening his mouth," says columnist Fabiola Santiago. "He’s far from being the Messiah. He’s more like the despicable King Herod, who ordered the slaughter of male children when he heard that a new king of Israel had been born."
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NewsPlexus Media August 22, 2019

AMBROSE: Trump: Here today, gone tomorrow and then here again
"He spins like a top, President Donald Trump does. He can get you going one minute, disappoint you the next and leave you wondering whether, in three more minutes, it will be tears or cheers that ultimately await the nation," says columnist Jay Ambrose.
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NewsPlexus Media August 22, 2019

ROCKETT:  New York Times series on slavery should become required reading
"It’s been awhile since I can recall adults in a frenzy to purchase something not centered around technology (iPhone XS) or a hot Christmas toy (Hatchimals). Something that compels you to break through a digital paywall without hesitation — to brave the elements, checking store after store to get a copy of something printed and tangible, " says columnist Darcel Rockett. "The New York Times created that frenzy Sunday with “The 1619 Project” — a collection of essays and poems about the aftermath of slavery in America. It spans the 400 years that have passed since a ship arrived at Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia in late August 1619 with enslaved Africans."
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NewsPlexus Media August 22, 2019

SHIPP: It’s time for journalists to tell more complex truths
"Journalism is not for the faint of heart, especially in an era where the most powerful politician in the land has labeled its practitioners 'enemies of the people' who produce 'fake news,'" says columnist E.R. Shipp. "Sometimes we become so focused on the insanity emanating from that other Pennsylvania Avenue that we forget that our work is much more than responding to tweets and temper tantrums. We have a constitutional license to inform and educate."
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

MCMANUS: Trump’s silence on Hong Kong is making America weaker
"As China and its unruly possession Hong Kong teeter on the edge of catastrophe, President Trump has issued a series of messages with a common theme: If his friend Xi Jinping decides to crack down on the city’s pro-democracy movement, the United States will understand," says columnist Doyle McManus. "It’s the wrong message — not only because it abandons American values, but because it hurts America’s strategic interests as well."
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

BERSHIDSKY: Trump isn’t crazy to want to buy Greenland
"Former Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen called President Donald Trump’s reported idea of buying Greenland, a self-governed Danish territory, an out-of-season April’s Fool joke," says columnist Leonid Bershidsky. "Trump’s idea may be outlandish (and impossible) but that doesn’t mean there’s no benefit in thinking about reviving the market in sovereign territories, which once made America great."
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

MARTELLE: Trump tries to win over NH voters — by shamelessly lying to them
"President Donald Trump took a break from summer vacation at his personal New Jersey sleepover camp to try to persuade people in New Hampshire to back his reelection. And he gave them every reason to not do so — by lying," says columnist Scott Martelle. "Though being lied to has not been a deal-killer for his supporters in the past."
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

MAXWELL: Teacher vacancies show what happens when you abuse public education
"Welcome back to school, kids! We hope you’re excited to learn. There’s just one little problem: Many of you won’t have teachers. At least not permanent ones," says columnist Scott Maxwell.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

RITHOLTZ: The #TrumpRecession label is going to stick
President Trump inherited an accelerating post-credit crisis recovery, and he only had to avoid disrupting those healthy — and improving — economic trends. What occurred instead is a litany of unforced errors and misguided decisions, many of them made by Trump political appointees, says columnist Barry Ritholtz.
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NewsPlexus Media August 19, 2019

GARZA: Another day, another horrible policy from our racist and sexist president
"It didn’t take long after Election Day in 2016 before it became clear that what Donald Trump had meant by making “America great again” was taking the nation back in time. Waaay back," says columnist Mariel Garza. "Specifically, to some point in the nation’s thankfully distant past when white men were unquestionably in charge of things, when people of color feared speaking up, when a woman’s only virtuous path was as a mother and wife and when gay people stayed deep in the closet if they knew what was good for them."
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NewsPlexus Media August 16, 2019

HEFFERNAN: Trump’s empathy deficit, explained
Columnist Virginia Heffernan argues that President Donald Trump lacks something that makes him feel empathy. She says, "Mirror neurons have been directly observed only in monkeys, though there is evidence they exist in humans too. And in 2013, the neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran went so far as to claim that mirror neurons are what make us human and civilize us, helping us to imagine, and even experience, other people’s interior states. ... But perhaps neural attunement is not available to everyone."
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NewsPlexus Media August 16, 2019

DAROM: The sexist demand on female superheroes: Save the world and look hot
"Hyper-sexualization of women in comics is hardly news; what makes it relevant today is the fact that so many of these superheroines are leaping to the big screens," says columnist Naomi Darom. "Natalie Portman just announced that she is set to take on the role of a female Thor, after male Thor has abandoned his superhero duties. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is finally getting her own movie. They follow in the footsteps of the “Wonder Woman” movie, which in 2017 became the highest-grossing superhero origin movie of all time and of Brie Larson’s “Captain Marvel,” which earlier this year became the ninth highest-grossing superhero movie ever. We seem to be cresting a wave of heavily monetized female empowerment."
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NewsPlexus Media August 16, 2019

RAMPELL: Make gun owners buy insurance
"America has all types of insurance, some mandatory. There’s unemployment insurance, homeowners insurance, fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, travel insurance, health insurance, life insurance, et cetera. Auto insurance is compulsory in all but two states, and drivers’ licenses are required nationwide," says columnist Ed Rampell. "The time has come to legally impose firearm insurance on all gun owners and anyone purchasing pistols and rifles."
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NewsPlexus Media August 13, 2019

"If you believe that the federal government and the pharmaceutical manufacturers are effectively working together to protect patients from unsafe drugs, you might want to consider a trove of records released in an Ohio court case last month," say columnists Charles L. Bennett, William Kennedy Smith and Eric D. Perakslis. "The documents were unsealed, over the objections of the federal government and drug companies, in a landmark, multi-district opioid lawsuit, and they give new insight into an unparalleled epidemic."
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NewsPlexus Media August 13, 2019

SKELTON: Single-issue voters have doomed gun control in Congress
"Americans say they want meaningful national gun controls. But they don’t want them badly enough — or they’d already have them," says columnist George Skelton. "This is what I mean: Sure, voters tell pollsters Congress should pass legislation to toughen up background checks on gun buyers. Most even want to ban military-style assault weapons. But gun control is far down the list of voters’ priorities. Many other policy issues rank higher: immigration, jobs, schools, climate change."
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NewsPlexus Media August 9, 2019

HEFFERNAN: We are ignoring our interests in favor of attacking cartoon enemies
"In the past three years, Trump has taught Americans of every stripe to ignore our actual interests — peace, prosperity, education, social harmony — in favor of shadowboxing with cartoon enemies that dance around in his head," says columnist Virginia Heffernan. "It should come as no surprise that, for three years, extremists have blown past shadowboxing and taken up arms against the P.C. phantoms."
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NewsPlexus Media August 9, 2019

MCFEATTERS: McConnell might be worse than Trump
"Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell is from Kentucky, but he epitomizes what is wrong with the nation’s capital," columnist Ann McFeatters says. "McConnell is steadfastly refusing to bring up two House-passed bills that would mandate stiffer background checks on sales of guns. After a week of devastating shooting massacres in California, Texas and Ohio, McConnell would not bring the Senate back from its August recess to vote on any form of common-sense gun control. This is despite the shooting deaths of so many Americans in schools, movie theaters, churches, mosques, temples, festivals, offices — no place is safe."
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NewsPlexus Media August 9, 2019

LACOMBE: Gun control activists can learn from NRA playbook
Columnist Matthew J. Lacombe makes the case that now is the time to take a page from the NRA and turn the gun control debate around.
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2019

LEUBSDORF: Republicans abandon a sinking ship
“'They that sow the wind,' the Bible’s book of Hosea warns, “shall reap the whirlwind.” Donald Trump has sown the wind, and his Republican Party will reap the whirlwind," says columnist Carl P. Leubsdorf. "Hopefully in 2020, possibly not until 2022 and 2024. But sooner or later, probably sooner."
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2019

HILTZIK: Just before a shooter killed 20, NRA celebrated looser Texas gun laws
"What is most horrifying about the killings in El Paso, Texas, where a man openly carrying a rifle strolled into a Walmart in a shopping mall and opened fire, killing at least 20 people and wounding another 40, is not that they happened," says columnist Michael Hiltzik. "No. What was most horrifying is what the El Paso shootings tell us about the utter inability and unwillingness of our political leaders to heed the message of gun violence by doing something about it."
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2019

LAKE: Who should fight the war on white nationalism
"White nationalism, the warped ideology that claims (among other things) that non-whites are seeking to replace whites, is toxic and must be battled with the urgency of other political wars of the past. Think of the war against poverty or the war on drugs. What the scourge of white nationalism does not demand, however, is the kind of shooting war launched after Sept. 11, 2001," says columnist Eli Lake. "The current threat cannot be met with drone strikes against militia compounds in Idaho or public diplomacy campaigns to cleave non-violent white supremacists from violent ones. There will be no U.S.-led global war on white nationalism. The CIA will not be on the front lines. Instead, the threat of white nationalism requires a law enforcement approach."
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2019

BACHEVICH: Americans have trouble agreeing on the past, let alone the future.
"As President Trump and Trump’s myriad critics remind us on a daily basis, ours is today a profoundly divided nation. Yet understanding the source of those divisions, amply displayed in perceptions of this week’s Democratic debates, requires looking beyond the antagonisms of the moment. Americans need to recover what aviators call situational awareness — a knowledge of where we are and how we got here," says columnist Andrew J. Bacevich.
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2019

LOPEZ: Had enough? Here’s how to fight the madness of mass shootings
"It’s one senseless and horrific mass shooting after another, and you’re hit with waves of sadness, anger and frustration," says columnist Steve Lopez. "If 20 children were massacred at a Connecticut elementary school in 2012 and the sensible gun control proposals that followed were handily defeated, is there any way ordinary citizens can ever overcome the combined forces of the gun lobby and the large chunk of Congress it owns?"
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2019

MARTELLE: Two days, two mass shootings — just another weekend in America
"It’s curious that in response to mass violence so many people struggle to find ways to put on a brave face, or to deflect the real issues," says columnist Scott Martelle. "In Dayton, Ohio, a common refrain the last few days is that it could have been worse. ... Yes, it could have been worse. The police could have been a few blocks farther away. The gunman could have been more efficient in wielding his rifle — make and style still unknown but we all know what kind of gun it was — and the body count could have been much higher. That misses the point: There shouldn’t have been a body count at all."
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NewsPlexus Media July 31, 2019

"Last week U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin argued that Amazon has “destroyed the retail industry across the United States” and so the Department of Justice is “absolutely right” to investigate it. Both of those premises are dubious: The U.S. retail industry is changing but is very much alive, thank you — and rewriting the rules of antitrust law would hurt the American economy," says columnist Karl W. Smith.
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NewsPlexus Media July 31, 2019

Baltimore leaders: ‘Proud not only to be in Baltimore, but of Baltimore’
"We are proud and privileged to call Baltimore home," say some of Baltimore's leaders. "Baltimore is a city of creativity, optimism, and determination. Home to leading public and private research universities, world-class medical institutions, and a diverse business community, Baltimore is a city where both artists and start-ups thrive. From creating one of the nation’s first racially integrated library systems to producing today’s modern medical and technological breakthroughs, our city has a proud legacy of leadership in improving lives and setting a national example for a stronger tomorrow. It’s no wonder we are often named as a place where millennials are moving and staying. This is a city where people not only want to live, but love to live."
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NewsPlexus Media July 31, 2019

REYES: How DACA enriches public education
There are as many as 20,000 educators among the roughly 700,000 students and other DACA recipients whose jobs and security would be at risk if DACA isn't preserved, says Angelica Reyes.
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NewsPlexus Media July 28, 2019

SINYOR: Deleting suicide scene won’t erase danger series poses
"Two years after the series “13 Reasons Why” debuted, Netflix has finally edited out a graphic and highly controversial suicide scene. The network deserves some credit for deleting the on-camera suicide of a teenage girl, Hannah Baker, who remains a central character of the show even in death. But her suicide never should have been shown in the first place," says columnist Mark Sinyor.
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NewsPlexus Media July 28, 2019

HAUGHT: Second Green Revolution needed to feed burgeoning population
"When I was born in 1932, the world had 2 billion people. Today, the population is 7.7 billion and is likely to hit 11.2 billion by the end of the century, the United Nations reports," says columnist James A. Haught. "How can the planet feed the surging swarm? Here are some thoughts."
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NewsPlexus Media July 28, 2019

DUKES AND VAIL: Dems should take Mueller hearings as call to action
"Wednesday’s congressional hearings with former special counsel Robert Mueller revealed no new facts, because Mueller predictably stuck to the contents of his report during his testimony. But that doesn’t mean his appearance was a waste of time," say columnists Corey Dukes and Justin Vail. "For one thing, few Americans have had the time to study the 448-page Mueller report. So, in a way, Wednesday’s testimony served as a necessary education for the rest of us by providing details of Mueller’s investigation we hadn’t fully grasped before. "
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NewsPlexus Media July 23, 2019

"Having conversations with people who hold beliefs different from yours affords you the opportunity to reflect — and only then can you evaluate whether your beliefs hold true," say columnists Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay. "Immigration. Abortion. Gun control. The seemingly impossible issue du jour is irrelevant. What is relevant: To justify your confidence you must sincerely engage people who have solid arguments against your position."
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NewsPlexus Media July 23, 2019

MCMANUS: Democrats lurch too far left in response to Trump on immigration
"President Donald Trump has targeted Ilhan Omar, a naturalized American from Somalia elected to Congress in November, and suggested that she and other minority Democrats should 'go back.' At a rally in North Carolina last week, the president’s supporters took his cue, chanting 'send her back,'” says columnist Doyle McManus. "Democrats responded with appropriate outrage to Trump’s vilification of dissenters with different skin colors along with his draconian policies of mass deportation and separating migrant children from their families. But on immigration, Democrats are in danger of falling into Trump’s trap."
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NewsPlexus Media July 23, 2019

CURTIS: Will America ‘go back’ to where it came from?
"It’s an inside joke I’ve told the last couple of years. My ancestors on both sides have been in America for generations — men, women and children whose blood, sweat and grit drenched the Maryland soil they cultivated and farmed and lived on," says columnist Mary C. Curtis. "Originally brought by force, they claimed their place proudly and served the country’s ideals admirably. In contrast, my husband, second generation to these shores, on both sides, is an American-come-lately. But because his grandfather sailed into New York harbor on a ship that set off from Kristiansand, Norway, he is our president’s dream (Scandinavian) citizen. I’m not laughing at that punch line anymore."
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NewsPlexus Media July 20, 2019

HEFFERNAN: The Democrats’ ‘squad,’ infighting and extremism may save the nation
"When 65,853,514 of us cast our ballots for Hillary Clinton on November 8, 2016, we were voting for the relative peace, opportunity and pluralism of Barack Obama’s America. The majority of voters that day at the polls hoped for an experienced leader known for effectiveness and compromise," says columnist Virginia Heffernan. "We got the opposite. Now 2016 is a distant country, and high-minded Obaman governance — with its emphasis on civility and common ground — seems more like complicity than collegiality."
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NewsPlexus Media July 20, 2019

BASU: Trump’s attacks on colored members of Congress signal racism is acceptable
"In telling four congresswomen of color to go back to their home countries – which, as Americans, they’re already in – Donald Trump tells every American it’s OK to go after someone’s ethnicity if you disagree with, dislike or have cause to interact with them," says columnist Rekha Basu.
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NewsPlexus Media July 20, 2019

ROSE: Congress needs to retake its power to declare war
"Here are two facts Americans should be aware of: There will be men and women deploying to Afghanistan for the first time this September who were born after Sept. 11, 2001; the authorization for that war was signed so long ago that 80% of the men and women in Congress today never voted on it. Put these facts together and one comes to the inescapable conclusion that Congress is overdue in revisiting and updating the legal foundations on which the war in Afghanistan is based," says Rep. Max Rose.
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