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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