ESSENTIAL #1: “MUELLER: 'IF WE HAD HAD CONFIDENCE THAT THE PRESIDENT CLEARLY DID NOT COMMIT A CRIME, WE WOULD HAVE SAID SO'” JEREMY HERB, KATELYN POLANTZ AND LAURA JARRETT, CNN
From the article: “Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a rare and remarkable public statement Wednesday his investigation could not clear President Donald Trump and that charging the President was not an option his office could consider.
In Mueller's first public comments on the investigation since he was appointed special counsel two years ago, he emphasized that Justice Department guidelines did not allow him to charge a sitting President, and as a result, his office did not determine whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice.
‘If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Mueller said. "We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime.’”
Editor’s Note: CNN has live updates, including a new surge of Democratic elected officials and 2020 candidates calling for the impeachment process to begin.
ESSENTIAL #2: “TOWARDS A PRO-WORKER, PRO-FAMILY CONSERVATISM” J.D. VANCE, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE
From the article: “Sometimes government needs to be smaller, but sometimes it actually needs to work better and it needs to work for goals that conservatives actually care about. Now, I know my libertarian friends, they hear things like that and they say, “Well, why should we care if people are having fewer kids if they choose to have fewer kids?” And there’s definitely an economic argument for why we should care about declining fertility in this country.
There’s the simple fact that if you look at the economic evidence, places that have fewer children have less innovation, less dynamism, they’re less stable societies. There’s the very basic mathematical fact that we have a social welfare state that is built around more young workers coming in as older workers retire, and you can’t have more young workers unless you have more children.
But I’d suggest that if we focus too much on the economic factors, we’re missing the very thing that makes us conservative. I care about declining fertility because I’ve seen the role of fatherhood, the positive role that it can play in the lives of my friends and in my community. I’ve seen young men who are relatively driftless, but became rooted and grounded when they had children. I’ve seen people who become more attached to their communities, to their families, to their country, because they have children. And in my own life, I’ve felt the demons that come from a traumatic childhood melt away in the laughter, in the love, of my own son.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “POWER IS EVERYWHERE, BUT LOVE IS SUPREME” CORNEL WEST AND GEORGE YANCY, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “Love of beauty is that love that has to have a universality. It’s grounded in a particular tradition, but it has to have a universality, a scope beyond the individual — the family, the clan, the tribe, the nation. And of course, given the ecological crisis, it’s got to be beyond even the human, in some sense.
So the love that I’m talking about is usually a love that leads toward crucifixion. I mean, this is what Jesus understood — that if you’re really loving, in the deepest, broadest sense, one, your capacity is always inadequate, so you’re always needing growth, maturation and development.
But the other, narrow love, usually has the power to snuff you out. Augustine was fundamentally right — if you’re going to love, why not have the broadest, deepest, self-emptying kind of love that embraces everybody?”
ESSENTIAL #4: “SUPREME COURT BYPASSES MAIN ISSUE IN RULING ON ALABAMA ABORTION LAW” ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN AND RACHANA PRADHAN, POLITICO
From the article: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked an Indiana law barring abortions based on a fetus' sex, race or disability, while allowing a separate state measure requiring fetal remains to be buried or cremated to take effect.
The justices declined to review a lower court's decision overturning a law restricting when and why an abortion could be performed. Vice President Mike Pence signed the measure into law in 2016 when he was Indiana governor, and it was blocked by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last year.”