"I'm not making any predictions, but I think [the Russians] have got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate," said Hillary Clinton on her former campaign manager's podcast. "They know they can't win without a third party candidate." Was Clinton referring to US Representative Tulsi Gabbard, CNN asked? "If the nesting doll fits," her spokesperson replied.

"There continues to be meaningful public conversation about how we think about Tweets from world leaders on our service," begins a post at the micro-blogging service's non-micro-blog.

Unless there's some dramatic change in the political landscape over the next month or so, I believe that the US House of Representatives will impeach President Donald Trump. Unless there's some dramatic change in the political landscape between now and Trump's trial in the US Senate, I don't believe the Senate will vote, by the necessary 2/3 majority, to convict him. Taken together, those two outcomes constitute a bad thing. Here's why:

On October 9, Pacific Gas and Electric began shutting down power to about 750,000 customers (affecting as many as 2 million people) in California. The company claims the shutdowns are necessary to reduce the risk that its power-lines and other infrastructure will cause wildfires like last year's Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and and caused $16.5 billion in damage.

In March 2018, US president Donald Trump promised "we'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon." That December, he issued an order to begin withdrawing US troops. Apparently the order never got executed. Most of a year later, US forces remain.

Americans pay more for our prescription drugs than other people do — half again as much as Canadians or Germans, more than twice as much as Greeks or Italians.

Politicians are people with jobs and with bosses. On its face that seems like a relatively uncontroversial statement, but I'm always surprised at how much time people spend looking for high principle in the decisions politicians make instead of considering the mundane dynamics of political employment.

On September 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) elbowed her way to the front of a parade she'd been trying to disperse since early 2017. "Today," she said, "I'm announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry and directing our six committees to proceed with their investigation under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry."

Did Vice-President Joe Biden threaten to withhold $1 billion in US loan guarantees from the Obama administration if the Ukrainian government failed to remove a prosecutor whose investigation targets included Burisma Holdings, a gas company on whose board Biden's son, Hunter, sat? Yes. He's publicly admitted it.

"Walmart Inc will stop selling e-cigarettes in its US locations as the country grapples with a string of vaping-related deaths," Bloomberg reports. CNN: "Walmart said Friday [September 20] it will stop selling e-cigarettes as the number of deaths tied to vaping grows." Associated Press: "Walmart said Friday that it will stop selling electronic-cigarettes at its namesake stores and Sam's Clubs following a string of mysterious illnesses and deaths related to vaping."

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