ESSENTIAL #1: “PAUL MANAFORT SENTENCED TO 47 MONTHS IN PRISON, FAR SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS” KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN
From the article: “Lobbyist and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort learned on Thursday that he will serve almost four years in prison -- far short of what had been expected and recommended -- for financial fraud convictions obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigated Manafort's alleged collusion with the Russian government in 2016..”
ESSENTIAL #2: “WHY SHERROD BROWN DECIDED NOT TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT” PHILIP ELLIOTT, TIME
From the article: “Sherrod Brown’s decision to forgo a bid for the White House is the first big surprise of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
Ultimately, Brown concluded his path was too narrow to be viable. Much of the Democratic base has its eyes on the history-shattering candidacies of Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar or Kamala Harris. Others are thrilled by the likes of social-media darlings Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke. All signs point to former Vice President Joe Biden jumping in the race in short order. The gruff, plain-spoken Brown had a tough path to match would-have-been rivals’ charisma. While he may have offered Democrats their best shot at a Midwest revival that is desperately needed should the party stand a chance at the White House, he was unlikely to survive a crowded primary, one adviser told TIME.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “THE CASE FOR REPARATIONS” DAVID BROOKS, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “We’re a nation coming apart at the seams, a nation in which each tribe has its own narrative and the narratives are generally resentment narratives. The African-American experience is somehow at the core of this fragmentation — the original sin that hardens the heart, separates Americans from one another and serves as model and fuel for other injustices.
The need now is to consolidate all the different narratives and make them reconciliation and possibility narratives, in which all feel known. That requires direct action, a concrete gesture of respect that makes possible the beginning of a new chapter in our common life. Reparations are a drastic policy and hard to execute, but the very act of talking about and designing them heals a wound and opens a new story.”
ESSENTIAL #4: “FEBRUARY JOBS REPORT: JOB GROWTH FELL SHARPLY WHILE WAGES GREW FASTER” ALEXIA FERNÁNDEZ CAMPBELL, VOX
From the article: “Economists didn’t see this one coming.
Job growth plummeted in February, while wages kept rising, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employers added only 20,000 new jobs this past month — far below economists’ predictions of about 190,000 new positions. It’s a staggering difference from the average 223,000 jobs added to the economy each month in 2018.
In fact, it’s one of the worst months of job growth since President Donald Trump took office.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The jobs report doesn’t explain the drop, but the dramatic change suggests that the US economy is reaching full employment. Here’s another sign of the tightening labor market: The unemployment rate fell in February, from 4 percent to 3.8 percent — which is one of the lowest unemployment rates in the past 50 years.”