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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