As a political junkie, I get lots of e-mail pleas from politicians and political advocacy groups. Today, I got one from US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Well, not exactly. That's what the "from" header said, but the message was signed "Team AOC" and delivered via Daily Kos.

On January 15, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. According to the US Constitution, that makes the ERA part of "the supreme law of the land."

In early 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump pronounced himself "neutral" in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He also expressed pessimism that a deal between the two sides was even possible: "I have friends of mine that are tremendous business-people, that are really great negotiators, [and] they say it's not doable."

Nicholas Sarwark is father to four pre-teen children. In his response to the State of the Union, delivered on behalf of the Libertarian Party (which he serves as national chair), he mentions that each of them are in debt to the tune of $70,633. "Not because we gave them credit cards to go buy cars," he explains, but "because politicians in Washington have a credit card called the national debt."

As I write this, US president Donald Trump has yet to deliver his 2020 State of the Union address. For two reasons, we don't have to wait for that speech, or for the Democratic response, to discuss the state of the union.

First, we know that he'll say what presidents always say (the state of the union is strong, etc, because of his policies) and that the Democratic response will be the standard opposition party response (the state of the union would be better if we were in charge).

The main Democratic impeachment charge against US president Donald Trump is simple: Trump attempted to pressure and/or bribe the president of Ukraine to investigate a political opponent (Joe Biden), House impeachment managers say, both for corrupt motives (to win re-election) and in violation of the law (by withholding congressionally appropriated aid).

According to its website, Shields of Strength "provides fashionable, functional, and durable Christian fitness jewelry and accessories." Those items include military "dog tags" engraved with quotes from scripture and sometimes the logo of the armed forces branch the customer belongs to.

When the Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained, the Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office ordered the company to stop combining scripture references and the Corps' emblem.

On January 20, comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan mentioned that he'll "probably vote for Bernie" Sanders in the Democratic Party's presidential primary. Rogan cited Sanders's decades of "consistency" as a "very powerful structure to operate from."

More interesting than Rogan's quasi-endorsement was the Human Rights Campaign's negative response. The organization called on Sanders to "reconsider" his acceptance of Rogan's support.

Are you free to express your opinions? The First Amendment says yes, but 8 US Code § 1324 says no. A case currently before the US Supreme Court, United States v Sineneng-Smith, will presumably clarify the matter, hopefully in favor of free speech.

Evelyn Sineneng-Smith, an immigration consultant, allegedly cheated her clients by charging them $5,900 to file applications for a permanent residency program she knew they didn't qualify for.

"The Constitution," Alan Dershowitz claims, "allocates to the president sole authority over foreign policy (short of declaring war or signing a treaty)."

Dershowitz makes that claim by way of defending US president Donald Trump against conviction in the Senate on two articles of impeachment.

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