ESSENTIAL #1: “THE LEAST POLITICALLY PREJUDICED PLACE IN AMERICA” AMANDA RIPLEY, THE ATLANTIC
From the article: “But Watertown is notable for another reason, officially unrecognized until now. It is located in one of the most politically tolerant counties in America, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis conducted for TheAtlantic by PredictWise. Using an original national poll, voter-registration files, and other large data sets, PredictWise determined that Jefferson County and several nearby counties in the North Country are distinct from other parts of America. (See the accompanying story for more details about this analysis.) These are places where people can disagree on politics but still, it appears, give one another the benefit of the doubt.
Watertown is the seat of Jefferson County, a generally conservative place, which Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016. But people here tend to be less likely than Americans elsewhere to say they’d be upset if a family member married someone from the other party, according to PredictWise. They are more likely to describe their political opponents as “patriotic” and less likely to describe them as “selfish.” (Click here to see how your own county does in the ranking of political comity.)”
ESSENTIAL #2: “JOHN HICKENLOOPER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF COLORADO, DECLARES CANDIDACY FOR PRESIDENT” JULIE TURKEWITZ, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “John Hickenlooper, the two-time Colorado governor and former brewpub owner who has overseen Colorado’s remarkable economic expansion, declared his candidacy for president on Monday.
Mr. Hickenlooper, 67, a socially progressive, pro-business Democrat who has called himself an “extreme moderate,” had long said he was considering a run, and made early visits to Iowa and New Hampshire. His biggest challenge will be distinguishing himself in what is sure to be a packed field of potentially history-making candidates and deep-pocketed household names.
“I’m running for president because we need dreamers in Washington, but we also need to get things done,” he said in a video announcing his candidacy, with the Rocky Mountains as his backdrop. “I’ve proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver.”
Mr. Hickenlooper plans to run as a “pragmatic progressive,” a candidate with extensive executive experience in a primary field of senators. He also suggested that his childhood as a self-declared nerd has prepared him for an electoral battle against the president.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “CHILD SLAVES RISK THEIR LIVES ON GHANA’S LAKE VOLTA” LEIF COORLIM, CNN
From the article: “‘Every morning we wake up and we go to the lake, we paddle, remove the nets,” says Adam. “Then we come back, remove the fish, prepare the nets for the next casting and around 4pm, we go back to cast the net.’
Adam doesn’t know his own age, but appears to be about 12-years-old. He estimates he’s worked for Samuel, the man he calls “master,” for around three years. ‘I don’t want to be here,” says Adam. “I want to go to school, but I’m forced to be here.’
Adam is just one of 20,000 children on Lake Volta who the International Labour Organization reports are working for slave masters.
Most of the children come to the lake from hundreds of miles away. They are sold by their desperately poor parents to human traffickers, sometimes for as little as $250, which in this area, is what it would cost to purchase a cow.
CNN joined Adam and five other enslaved children working for Samuel, to witness what a typical day on the lake looks like for them. It started in the pre-dawn hours. The young crew loaded the gear onto a wooden boat and pushed off into the water.”
ESSENTIAL #4: “ONLY A UNIFYING FIGURE CAN BEAT TRUMP IN 2020, FORMER CLINTON ADVISOR SAYS” JON WARD, YAHOO NEWS
From the article: “If Democrats don’t put forward a unifying candidate in 2020 and try to win back at least some voters who supported President Donald Trump in 2016, they will lose, a prominent Democratic operative said.
‘I imagine by the time people start actually voting, what they’re going to be looking for is someone that can bring the country together,’ said Jennifer Palmieri, a top 2016 adviser on the Hillary Clinton campaign. ‘Either that’s the kind of nominee we’re going to have or we’re going to lose.’
Palmieri, in an interview on the Yahoo News podcast “The Long Game,” said that the political press now is overestimating the degree to which the Democratic primary electorate will move to the left.
‘The press equates enthusiasm and interest on the Democratic side with ideological extremism, and those two things, I don’t think, go together,’ Palmieri said.’”