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3 Stories You Should Read: 1/7/2020: Qassem Soleimani, Bernie Sanders, McConnell

3 Stories You Should Read:  1/7/2020:  Qassem Soleimani, Bernie Sanders, McConnell
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In the category of:  Wag the dog

It Was ‘Safer Before Soleimani Was Killed,’ Retired Admiral Tells Jake Tapper

There’s no room for well-planned strategy in the “turmoil” of personnel changes in Donald Trump’s administration, warns retired Adm. James Stavridis.

“This is a tactical move that takes a very dangerous chess piece off of the board — but we need a strategy like you do in a chess match … to think about the longer term. How can we leverage the fact that Soleimani is gone and what are our next moves?” he said. America needs to “get better at launching ideas; we’re really good at launching missiles.”

Stavridis said he doesn’t believe the Trump administration is strategic due to the “turmoil and the change” of people, and the loss of strategic thinkers.

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In the category of:  Feel the burn

Bernie Sanders can unify Democrats and beat Trump in 2020

The first in a Vox series making the best case for each of the top Democratic contenders.

The case for Bernie Sanders is that he is the unity candidate.

The Vermont senator is unique in combining an authentic, values-driven political philosophy with a surprisingly pragmatic, veteran-legislator approach to getting things done. This pairing makes him the enthusiastic favorite of non-Republicans who don’t necessarily love the Democratic Party, without genuinely threatening what’s important to partisan Democrats. If he can pull the party together, it would set him up to be the strongest of the frontrunners to challenge President Donald Trump.

Sanders breaks from the pack in constructive ways on foreign and monetary policy, where the president has an unusual amount of freedom to act. And in the legislative arena, where any president is going to be sharply constrained, he stands the best chance of getting the left on board with the sure-to-be-disappointing compromises that will be necessary to advance the ball at all on important issues.

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In the category of:  Full steam ahead

McConnell prepares to move forward on impeachment trial rules without Democrats

Senate Republican leaders are preparing to move forward on a set of impeachment trial rules without Democratic support.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is on the verge of having sufficient backing in his 53-member caucus to pass a blueprint for the trial that leaves the question of seeking witnesses and documents until after opening arguments are made, according to multiple senators.

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