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PBC News & Comment: As Obama Seeks His Legacies, State of the Union is Chaotic

In final year with GOP controlled Congress, annual ritual speech will try to shape history, not legislative agenda for 2016….–State of the Union message is a laundry list of ideas, talking points, political jabs; for a lame duck, it’s just going through the motions

–in new polls, Sanders breaks out into the lead over Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire

–“me, too!” says Hillary, as she proposes surtax on people earning over $5 million

–election integrity gurus Wasserman and Fitrakis warn that GOP will try to steal the 2016 election

–conservaDem Steve Israel, leaving the House after 7 terms, is tired of asking for money from donors

–in our in-depth interview with author Les Leopold, he makes the case for building a post-Sanders (win or lose) movement to fix income and wealth inequality

–based on oral arguments, Supreme Court is ready to hammer public employee unions by allowing “free riders” who benefit from bargaining but don’t pay dues

–as the Bundy gang continues to hang in Oregon, DHS whistleblower says his former agency has stopped monitoring white extremist groups

–members of Gaza Freedom Flotilla file American lawsuit against Israel for raiding and holding American vessel in international waters

–in House committee, former ObamaCo officials say war on IS isn’t going well, and offer some far-fetched ideas

–in Afghanistan, Taliban is more aggressive than most winters, and Afghan forces are 40% “ghost fighters”

–peace talks are underway in Islamabad, without Taliban representative

–scientists say that melting icebergs may unexpectedly lead to sequestration of carbon on ocean floor, but will add to risk of sea level rise

–Ringling Brothers will retire its performing elephants in a few months