Clinton was high energy, Sanders was charming (and apparently a very good high school long distance runner) and O’Malley was also there. It was a CNN town hall in Iowa, just days before the caucuses. There were no fireworks, but the candidates didn’t waste their chance to make a final impression. Via CNN.
Not so bad
The Democratic establishment is pretty much united in saying that nominating Bernie Sanders would be too great a risk for the party. But Brian Beutler writes in The New Republic that’s he not so sure it would be.
Te-Nihisi Coates responds on why he criticized Sanders for his stand on reparations and not Hillary Clinton, who holds the same position. Coates writes in The Atlantic that if Sanders is going to call himself a radical, he should be called out if he doesn’t meet his own standards.
Suddenly Trump has edged ahead of Ted Cruz in Iowa and is back to thinking early-state sweep. He’s so excited by the prospect that he even spent the night in Iowa instead of jetting back to snowbound Manhattan. Via Politico.
Eugene Robinson: Could Michael Bloomberg really win? The answer should be no, but it’s leaning toward “it depends.” Via The Washington Post.
Obama writes an op-ed in The Washington Post on why we need to rethink solitary confinement. Because it’s right and because it works and because it’s an important part, he writes, of the broader issue of criminal-justice reform.
No one expected this, but a grand jury looking into accusations against Planned Parenthood instead indict two anti-abortion activists who were behind the sting videos. Via The New York Times.
Krugman: If you want to understand the failure of government’s role in public health, all you have to do is check out the Big Stink in Flint, Michigan. Via The New York Times.
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has been hard on all the city’s residents. But undocumented immigrants may be hit the hardest, as they are too scared to show up to water distribution centers. Via Think Progress.
The story of how David Patraeus avoided felony charges and possible prison time. Yes, having good lawyers helped. Via The Washington Post.
As the Supreme Court says it will determine whether Obama’s executive actions on immigration are legal, law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky writes in The Los Angeles Times that of course they are.
Photo credit: Richard Hurd, Creative Commons, Flickr.