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PBC News & Comment: State of the Union? It’s a Big Mess!

Trump will call for unity and bipartisan cooperation, then demand money for The Wall, stoking more political conflict and division…–GOP will keep “sowing discord” with plans to demonize all immigrants with anecdotes of the few serious undocumented criminals

–Speaker Pelosi will permit hearings on Medicare for All, but her top health advisor has told health insurers not to worry

–and the Dems are united in dumping Gov. Ralph Northam, ignoring the brutal takedown engineered by anti-abortion extremists

–and a wave of unity will fill the joint session when Trump calls for removal of Maduro in Venezuela

–Pope Francis agrees to mediate as Maduro has asked, if Guiado goes along

as Maduro threatens to jail the opposition leader

–in Guardian op-ed, Maduro’s former chief of staff corrects the record in recap of the political battles in Venezuela

–and at ConsortiumNews, Patrick Lawrence argues that Russia and China can checkmate attempted regime change

–Trump inaugural committee gets subpoena from NY federal prosecutors

–as expected Mueller investigators are now probing lawyers and lobbyists Manafort hired to support Yanukovich

Buzzfeed drops 2 megastories, one on payments to Russian lobbyist, the other is a timeline of the Trump Moscow project

–filling the swamp, Trump officially nominates former oil lobbyist to run Interior Dept.

–Centcom commander Gen. Votel tells Congress “I was not consulted” on Trump’s tweeted decision to exit Syria

–Apple is one of the world’s biggest tax cheats, just settled audit with France for about $500 million