ESSENTIAL #1: “THE 116TH CONGRESS ADJOURNS FOR FIRST TIME” CNN
Note From the Editor-in-Chief: Congress is now in session, as Nancy Pelosi regains the Speaker’s gavel (a historic return, last accomplished by Sam Rayburn). CNN is providing special coverage throughout the day.
ESSENTIAL #2: “THE ANTI-TRUMP DEMOCRATS VS. THE ANTI-WAR DEMOCRATS” W. JAMES ANTLE III, THE WEEK
From the article: “If someone like Gabbard, frequently panned as too cozy with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, is reluctant to back Trump on troop withdrawals, there is little hope for Warren or rising stars like freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y). But if a genuine left-right anti-war coalition of the kind that was impossible during Pelosi's first reign can be assembled, real progress is possible.
Whether Democrats would like to change the country's sputtering foreign policy or merely the commander-in-chief remains to be seen.”
Note from the Editor-in-Chief: This article does not include Sen. Warren’s interview from last night on MSNBC, where she told Rachel Maddow she supports withdrawing troops from Syria and criticized the foreign policy establishment.
ESSENTIAL #3: “THE LEFT CASE AGAINST OPEN BORDERS” ANGELA NAGLE, AMERICAN AFFAIRS
From the article: “Meanwhile, members of the open-borders Left may try to convince themselves that they are adopting a radical position. But in practice they are just replacing the pursuit of economic equality with the politics of big business, masquerading as a virtuous identitarianism. America, still one of the richest countries in the world, should be able to provide not just full employment but a living wage for all of its people, including in jobs which open borders advocates claim ‘Americans won’t do.’ Employers who exploit migrants for cheap labor illegally—at great risk to the migrants themselves—should be blamed, not the migrants who are simply doing what people have always done when facing economic adversity. By providing inadvertent cover for the ruling elite’s business interests, the Left risks a significant existential crisis, as more and more ordinary people defect to far-right parties. At this moment of crisis, the stakes are too high to keep getting it wrong.”
ESSENTIAL #4: “WHY THE NEW DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY COULD WORK BETTER THAN THE LAST” RON BROWNSTEIN, THE ATLANTIC
From the article: “The new Democratic majority that takes command of the House on Thursday starts with 21 fewer seats than the party held the last time it elected Nancy Pelosi as speaker. But this new majority may prove easier for the party to both manage legislatively and defend electorally.
Though slightly smaller, the Democratic caucus that’s assuming power is far more ideologically and geographically cohesive than the party’s previous majority 10 years ago. While the 2009 class included a large number of Democrats from blue-collar, culturally conservative, rural seats that were politically trending away from the party, the new majority revolves around white-collar and racially diverse urban and suburban districts that are trending toward them.”