Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump : When Barack Obama revealed that his last phone call as President was to Angela Merkel, reaffirming their alliance and friendship of the last eight years, he wasn’t just saying goodbye. He was handing over his baton. The German Chancellor isn’t just the leader of Europe, she is now the de-facto leader of the free world. The thrice-elected, soft-spoken former scientist from East Germany, armed with a doctorate in quantum chemistry, doesn’t just carry the weight of Germany and Europe on her shoulders, but that of defending freedom and liberalism across the world.

GOP health-care plan: Key House panel calls for work requirements, additional cuts in Medicaid : The Republican proposal to overhaul the Affordable Care Act cleared a key hurdle Thursday, as the House Budget Committee narrowly voted to move it to the House floor and recommended a series of changes to the plan reflecting concerns from conservatives and centrists. All of the panel’s Republicans and five Democrats supported a motion to change the system of tax credits created under the plan to ensure they are “afforded to the population that they are intended to serve,” an idea embraced across the ideological spectrum, including among centrists whose votes could be key.

Borsuk: Trump’s budget abandons two bipartisan education efforts : …two of the things that would be dropped entirely under President Donald Trump’s budget outline released last week are programs that fund efforts to improve teaching and provide low-income kids good places to go after school.

Where Will We Get Our Journalism? : It is not going to fly, but Gannett is trying to put a positive spin on its continuing contraction of its news operations in Wisconsin.“There will be enhanced news content across the sate of Wisconsin,” said Pamela Henson, regional president of Gannett Wisconsin Media, to some of its news people recently.


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