Vermont's Republican governor endorses Bill Weld, not Trump, in 2020 presidential primary

Posted: 18 Feb 2020 09:58 AM PST

Bernie Sanders beats out Pete Buttigieg to win the New Hampshire primary. Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet drop out of the race. USA TODAY

Two weeks ahead of Vermont's presidential primary on March 3, GOP Gov. Phil Scott endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination, passing up the incumbent, President Donald Trump. 

"I've met with him before," Scott said of Weld. "I think a lot of him and his platform so I would be supporting him." 

Scott and Weld are both from the libertarian wing of the Republican Party and both have been fierce critics of Trump. 

"I'm a great admirer of [Gov. Phil Scott] of Vermont," Weld said in a tweet following a Saturday press conference. "VT has been well served in the past by Republican governors, and Gov. Scott admirably extends that tradition."

Scott supported impeachment proceedings against Trump. Earlier this month, following the Senate's acquittal of Trump, Scott doubled down on his dissent in a State House press conference.

"I believe that the president abused his powers," Scott said at the press conference, according to the Associated Press. "I didn’t vote for the president, and I don’t believe that he should be in office."

Vermont's primary falls on "Super Tuesday," when a third of the Democratic delegates needed to win the nomination are up for grabs in 16 contests. 

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a news conference on Sept. 26, 2019, in Essex Junction, Vermont, where he said he supported an impeachment inquiry into the actions of President Donald Trump. (Photo: Wilson Ring, AP)

Aside from Trump and Weld, the only Republican presidential nominee on Vermont's primary ballot will be California businessman Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente.

Weld has presented little challenge for Trump, winning just one delegate after the Iowa caucuses, where he had less than 2% support, and the New Hampshire primary, where he got 9% of the vote. 

Contact Ethan Bakuli at or follow him on Twitter @BakuliEthan.


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Drew Brees announces 2020 return: 'Let's make another run at it'

Posted: 18 Feb 2020 09:52 AM PST

Drew Brees announced Tuesday he will return for the 2020 NFL season, his 20th as a pro. 

The New Orleans Saints quarterback will be a free agent this spring, but in a social media announcement, Brees made it clear he wanted to stay with New Orleans. 

"My feelings about the 2020 season!" Brees said, including a photo of a mountain overlooking the ocean. "I look forward to the grind and the journey, for the reward at the end will be worth it!!! Love you #WhoDatNation. Let's make another run at it!" 

Brees, 41, is coming off a season in which he and the Saints fell short in the playoffs, losing to the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card round.

The three-time Pro Bowler won a Super Bowl in 2010 and holds a long list of passing records, including yards, completions and touchdowns.

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Cobb covered bridge has first close-call for 2020

Posted: 18 Feb 2020 09:49 AM PST

If you thought 2020 would be the year drivers would heed multiple warnings and not try to fit their too-tall vehicles through the Concord Road covered bridge, then human nature has dealt a blow to your optimism. 

One of Cobb County's most coveted structures experienced its first near-collision of the year Sunday when a driver crashed into one of the metal beams protecting the structure. 

Cobb County spokesman Ross Cavitt said the call to Department of Transportation crews came in around 8:30 p.m. Crews were able to reattach the beam at the entrance to the bridge. 

"Crews report a vehicle struck the beam and left the scene before police arrived," the county said in its Facebook post. "There is no sign of damage to the hanging pipes installed to give warning."

Sunday's incident was the first since June when a work van bonked one of its metal beams — while the county was installing traffic mast arms for a new warning system to alert driver of the one-lane bridge's 7-foot clearance. 

The system includes dangling rubberized pipes and chains suspended from two mast arms installed at both ends of the bridge. The county previously encased the chains with PVC pipes when it first installed the warning system in June. 

Cobb County says the new system works since, up until Sunday, no accidents have been reported at the bridge since the summer. 

READCobb residents portray covered bridge collision in Halloween costumes

The Concord Road covered bridge spans Nickajack Creek just south of the East-West Connector. It has had about two dozen close calls since December 2017 when the county installed protective metal beams at both ends of the bridge as part of an $800,000 taxpayer-funded rehabilitation. The beams are designed to absorb the blow from vehicles, protecting the bridge.

The covered bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a centerpiece of Cobb's Concord Covered Bridge Historic District, which features homes and mills dating to the 1800s. 

READExplore the history and beauty of Georgia's covered bridges

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2020 Tax Season: More children, less taxes? Top 7 tax benefits of parenthood

Posted: 18 Feb 2020 09:41 AM PST

Congratulations! You have just been handed your first little bundle of joy in the hospital and have embarked on the long journey of parenthood. It is a trip full of joyful experiences that make the corresponding aggravations worthwhile, and it comes with many benefits — some of which are tax-related. You can look forward to taking advantage of these child-related deductions and benefits.

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – Designed to help lower income taxpayers, the EITC is a tax credit that is scaled along with income and the number of dependents claimed. See IRS Publication 596, "Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)" for details on qualifications and the scaling criteria. The maximum EITC amount for tax year 2019 is $6,513 for joint filers with three or more qualifying children.
  • Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit – For tax year 2019, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) increased the maximum Child Tax Credit to $2,000 for each qualifying kid. The TCJA also raised the qualifying modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) to $400,000 for married filing jointly status, $200,000 if single, head of household, or married filing separately. "The child tax credit has been increased from $1,000 to $2,000," says Betterment Head of Tax Eric Bronnenkant. "And that's credits for each child that you have that's under the age 17. So, let's say you have three children under age 17, and you're below the income threshold, generally you're going to get a tax credit of $6,000."If your tax bill was not large enough to take the full tax credit, you may be able to take the Additional Child Tax Credit, which is a refundable credit (meaning that it is a credit you can claim and receive as a refund even if you do not owe any taxes). Check out IRS Publication 972 for more information.
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit – If you incur child care costs in order for you or your spouse to be able to work (or to look for work), you may be able to claim up to 35% of your child care expenses. The limit on the expenses that can be claimed is $3,000 for one child/dependent or $6,000 for two or more. That results in $1,050 and $2,100 in actual credit respectively.
  • Education Credits – As your children get older, you may be able to take advantage of either the American Opportunity Credit (AOC) or the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) that applies to the costs of higher education — but you must choose between the two. The AOC can yield up to $2,500 in tax credits that are refundable up to 40%, while the LLC can provide up to $2,000 in credit but is not refundable. Details on qualifications and phase-out limits are available in IRS Publication 970, "Tax Benefits for Education". The new tax law kept both these credits in place without change.
  • Student Loan Interest Deduction – If you do not meet the qualifications for the education credits, you may be able to deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest. To claim this deduction, your MAGI must be $170,000 or less if married filing jointly, or $85,000 or less for single filers. Publication 970 also covers this deduction.
  • Tax-Free 529 Savings – The TCJA expanded the use of funds in 529 savings plans. Before the new law, these funds could be drawn from your 529 plan tax-free only if used for qualified college expenses. Now you may use this fund to accumulate tax-free savings to pay for private elementary and high school fees up to $10,000, too.
  • Standard Exemption – The TCJA eliminated the standard exemption for tax years 2018-2025. When exemptions are in play, every child that you could claim as a dependent would decrease your taxable income by a set amount of money. Exemption amounts would usually begin to phase out above a certain adjusted gross income (AGI).
  • Take special care to investigate the tax credits, because they are more valuable than deductions. Tax credits are subtracted directly from the taxes that you owe, while deductions only reduce your taxable income, and therefore reduce your tax bill by the percentage of your tax rate. Confirms Bronnenkant, "Credits are, in general, more valuable than deductions, because they reduce your taxes dollar for dollar." For example, a $1,000 deduction lowers your taxes by $100 if you are in the 10% tax bracket, while a $1,000 tax credit lowers your taxes by the full $1,000.

    Who knew that your new addition to the family could bring you all these tax benefits? Don't forget about them come tax time — but in the meantime, simply get used to your new lifestyle and take the time to enjoy your new bundle of joy. Before you know it, he or she will be asking for the car keys… and then your insurance will go up!

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    Chinese President Xi Jinping expects country to meet 2020 growth target

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    Wu-Tang Clan will return to Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on 2020 tour

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 09:14 AM PST

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    Wu-Tang Clan will return to Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on 2020 tour

    History will repeat itself when the Wu-Tang Clan return to Nashville's Ryman Auditorium later this year.


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    History will repeat itself when the Wu-Tang Clan return to Nashville's Ryman Auditorium later this year.

    The rap group will perform for the second time at the legendary venue on May 3.

    Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, February 21.

    Last year, Wu-Tang became the first hip-hop act to headline a concert at the Ryman â€" known around the world as "the mother church of country music." Tickets for that 2019 concert sold out within hours of going on sale. 

    Taking the stage last year, group leader RZA said it was an honor to perform in "this great city of music," and called the show a "historical event."

    RELATED: The best concerts we saw in 2019: Lizzo, Garth, Cher, Wu-Tang and more

    "What makes a songwriter are their lyrics, know what I mean? There's a lot of great lyricists that come from here. But we're all actually really proud to be performing here, because we are lyricists."

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  • Panthers lead the NFL in most dead cap money for 2020

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 09:02 AM PST

    Marty Hurney wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone © Provided by Panthers Wire Marty Hurney

    The Panthers have had an eventful offseason to say the least. A new head coach has been hired, one future Hall of Fame linebacker retired, an All-Pro tight end was released and the team owner and starting quarterback don't appear to be on the same page, at least not in public.

    Rebuilding this team from its current state will certainly put Marty Hurney's roster-building skills to the test. In addition to having relatively little salary cap room and a ton of position needs to fill, the Panthers lead the league in a dubious category: most dead cap money for 2020.

    Here's a look at how that $27.3 million is broken down, per Spotrac.

    LB Luke Kuechly: $11,845,028

    OT Matt Kalil: $9,800,000

    TE Greg Olsen: $3,700,000

    OLB Mario Addison: $1,500,000

    S Rashaan Gaulden: $211,914

    LB Jared Norris: $75,000

    CB Corn Elder: $69,477

    WR/KR Terry Godwin: $61,125

    WR Damion Jeanpiere: $13,337

    DB Corrion Ballard: $13,334

    RB Elijah Holyfield: $13,334

    G Brendan Mahon: $4,168

    Not great, Bob.


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    21 crawfish deals at top-rated Houston spots for the 2020 season

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 08:55 AM PST

  • PHOTOS: Mudbug deals around Houston Crawfish season is in full swing and area restaurants are jumping in on the mudbug mania by offering daily specials and hard-to-beat prices by the pound. >>>See more for crawfish deals at 21 top-rated Houston restaurants...


    PHOTOS: Mudbug deals around Houston Crawfish season is in full swing and area restaurants are jumping in on the mudbug mania by offering daily specials and hard-to-beat prices by the pound.>>>See

    ... more Photo: Ragin' Cajun Facebook
  • Photo: Ragin' Cajun Facebook

    PHOTOS: Mudbug deals around Houston Crawfish season is in full swing and area restaurants are jumping in on the mudbug mania by offering daily specials and hard-to-beat prices by the pound. >>>See more for crawfish deals at 21 top-rated Houston restaurants...


    PHOTOS: Mudbug deals around Houston Crawfish season is in full swing and area restaurants are jumping in on the mudbug mania by offering daily specials and hard-to-beat prices by the pound.>>>See

    ... more Photo: Ragin' Cajun Facebook

    21 crawfish deals at top-rated Houston spots for the 2020 season

    Crawfish season is in full swing and area restaurants are jumping in on the mudbug mania by offering daily specials and hard-to-beat prices by the pound.

    To make your next crawfish outing easier, rounded up prices at 21 top-rated spots around the Greater Houston area. Looking for a good deal on mudbugs? Click through the photos above for crawfish deals around town...

    ON HOUSTON CHRONICLE.COM: Growing appetite for crawfish has Texas rice farmers hooked

    From laid-back food truck spots such as Big N's BBQ & Crawfish in Katy to bay area staples such as Crazy Alan's Swamp Shack in Kemah, these 21 joints are sure to fix your crawfish craving without breaking the bank.

    Prices for these restaurants were compiled using online menus, social media accounts and the popular phone application, "The Crawfish App." The Crawfish App provides daily prices on more 500 crawfish restaurants listed in the Houston area. Please note some of the prices listed above may have changed after the publishing date.

    FLAVOR: Hungry for restaurant reviews and recipes? Get the free, weekly Flavor newsletter delivered to your email.

    Rebecca Hennes covers community news. Read her on our breaking news site,, and on our subscriber site, | 

    How many games will the Minnesota Twins win in 2020?

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 08:43 AM PST

    Jess Root, Sportsbook Wire Published 9:43 a.m. CT Feb. 18, 2020

    The Minnesota Twins come back in 2020 after a highly successful 2019 season that ended with another postseason series loss to the New York Yankees. Today, we focus on the Twins' 2020 regular-season win totals and World Series odds. Do the Twins have what it takes? Let's analyze:

    Minnesota Twins 2019 wins

    Minnesota was great in 2019, winning 101 games and finishing atop the American League Central by eight games. They were No. 2 in the American League in runs and hits, and they were No. 1 in total bases and home runs. They failed to win any playoff games, as they were swept in three games by the Yankees in the divisional series.

    Minnesota Twins offseason

    Minnesota added to its already potent offense by signing 3B Josh Donaldson in free agency. He hit 37 homers and drove in 94 runs last season for the Atlanta Braves. The Twins also added catcher C Alex Avila, which will help with their starting rotation, as he manages a rotation well and plays very good defense. They traded for starting pitcher Kenta Maeda and signed Homer Bailey and Rich Hill to bolster the rotation, as well. RPs Tyler Clippard and Sergio Romo were added to the bullpen.

    Baseball season is right around the corner! Get some action on this season with an MLB futures bet at BetMGM. Bet now!

    Minnesota Twins odds to win AL Central division

    Odds via BetMGM ; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list. Lines last updated at Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 10:40 a.m. ET.

    The Twins are the odds-on favorites to win the Central Division at -145. The Cleveland Indians are next at +250 and Chicago White Sox at +350. The Kansas City Royals (+15000) and Detroit Tigers (+25000) are huge longshots.

    Minnesota Twins World Series odds

    Minnesota is among the favorites to win the World Series. The favorites are the New York Yankees at +350, the Los Angeles Dodgers at +400 and the Houston Astros at +550. The Twins are in the next tier at +1400, the same as the St. Louis Cardinals and world champion Washington Nationals.

    How many games will the Twins win in 2020?

    The Twins, despite winning 101 games in 2019, have a very reasonable win total for 2020. It is 91.5, allowing for a nine-game drop to still hit the Over. They bolstered their rotation and will continue to have a dangerous lineup. With two doormats in the division in the Royals and Tigers, they will be able to pile up wins in divisional games. They are still the clear favorites to win the division and getting over 90 wins is a lock. This seems like as sure a bet as there is among MLB teams. Take the OVER 91.5 (-110).

    Want some action on the MLB season or other sports? Place a bet at BetMGM now. For more sports betting tips, visit

    Follow @SportsbookWire on Twitter .

    Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage.


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    Ozzy Osbourne cancels 2020 tour due to health reasons

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 08:12 AM PST

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    NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals land WR, OT in first two rounds of 2020 NFL draft

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 07:30 AM PST

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    NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals land WR, OT in first two rounds of 2020 NFL draft

    The Arizona Cardinals could really use help for Kyler Murray at wide receiver and offensive tackle. A new NFL mock draft has them getting it.


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    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    USA TODAY Sports' takes a look at the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time. Who is the biggest? Phil Carter-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    33. Robert Gallery, T, Raiders (No. 2, 2004): Think Tony Mandarich-lite. Gallery never made it as a tackle before eventually settling in at guard. Like Mandarich, he was far eclipsed by others bracketing him in that year's top five: Eli Manning, Larry Fitzgerald, Philip Rivers and Sean Taylor. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    32. Tim Tebow, QB, Broncos (No. 25, 2010): Everyone knew he shouldn't go in the first round … except Josh McDaniels. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    31. David Carr, QB, Texans (No. 1, 2002): With the lack of blocking and weaponry around him, he quickly became gunshy. In Houston's defense, it wasn't a good year for quarterbacks given Joey Harrington and Patrick Ramsey were among the other options. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    30. Troy Williamson, WR, Vikings (No. 7, 2005): The man anointed as Randy Moss' replacement never came close. Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    29. Johnathan Sullivan, DT, Saints (No. 6, 2003): New Orleans could have had Terrell Suggs, Jordan Gross, Troy Polamalu, Nnamdi Asomugha, Anquan Boldin or Osi Umenyiora. Instead, it took a player who amounted to absolutely nothing. Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    28. Colts defenders: Indianapolis owned the top two picks in 1992 and came away with defensive tackle Steve Emtman and linebacker Quentin Coryatt, who combined for zero Pro Bowl nods. Emtman's career was derailed by injuries, while Coryatt never emerged as the playmaker the Colts envisioned. Linebacker Trev Albert got the call at No. 5 in 1994, but elbow problems limited him to 29 games. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    27. Steve Spurrier, QB, 49ers (No. 3, 1967): Before failing as an NFL head coach, the 1966 Heisman Trophy winner floundered as a player for San Francisco and, later, the expansion Buccaneers. Spurrier finished with 40 TD passes and 60 INTs in 10 seasons. The No. 4 pick in 1967 was Hall of Fame QB Bob Griese, who was followed two spots later by Canton RB Floyd Little. Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    26. Bengals QBs: Carson Palmer was pretty good for nearly a decade but very much contrasted with the other quarterbacks Cincinnati reached for in the first round: Jack Thompson (1979), David Klingler (1992) and Akili Smith (1999). Greg Cook (1969) might've been the best of the bunch had his career not been ruined by a shoulder injury in his rookie season. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    25. Rick Mirer, QB, Seahawks (No. 2, 1993): For a hot minute he outplayed Drew Bledsoe, who went No. 1 that year, before fading into oblivion. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    24. Steve Little, P/K, Cardinals (No. 15, 1978): Who? Exactly. The St. Louis Cardinals selected the combo specialist â€" who wasn't particularly good at placekicking or punting as it turned out â€" when they could have had Doug Williams or Ozzie Newsome. Tragically, Little was paralyzed in a car accident following his brief career. AP

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    23. Mike Williams: Whether you're referring to the Bills tackle (No. 4, 2002) or Lions receiver (No. 10, 2005), you've found a bona fide bust. Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    22. Mike Mamula, DE, Eagles (No. 7, 1995): Perhaps the most cautionary tale of a combine warrior, Mamula gave Philadelphia 31.5 sacks in six seasons. In that same first round, the Buccaneers landed both Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks after Mamula's name was called. Eileen Blass, USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    21. Blair Thomas, RB, Jets (No. 2, 1990): Thomas rushed for 2,009 yards in four seasons with New York. Emmitt Smith, who came off the board 15 spots later, did a bit better. Cortez Kennedy and Junior Seau were among the Jets' other options at No. 2. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    20. Heath Shuler, QB, Redskins (No. 3, 1994): Has done far more on Capitol Hill than he did for the capital city's beloved team. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    19. 1990s Bears: Among the team's Round 1 choices that decade were the inimitable Stan Thomas, Alonzo Spellman, John Thierry, Rashaan Salaam, Curtis Enis and Cade McNown. Duuuumb Bears. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    18. Courtney Brown, DE, Browns (No. 1, 2000): The 2000 draft receives far more recognition for the guy who went in the sixth round at pick 199 (Tom Brady) than the injury plagued player taken at the top. Paul Sancya, AP

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    17. 1999 quarterbacks: At the time, they were expected to compete with the vaunted 1983 QB crop. Didn't happen. Donovan McNabb (picked No. 2) had a solid career and Daunte Culpepper (11th) was on his way before ripping up a knee. But Tim Couch (No. 1), Akili Smith (3rd) and Cade McNown (12th) have long resided in the NFL's dust bin. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    16. Desmond Howard, WR, Redskins (No. 4, 1992): If only the 'Skins had known the Heisman Trophy winner was nothing more than an exceptional return man. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    15. Top of 2009 draft: Matthew Stafford went No. 1 â€" a fine choice â€" but was followed by Jason Smith, Tyson Jackson and Aaron Curry. Meanwhile, Clay Matthews barely snuck into the first round that year, Mike Wallace went in the third and Arian Foster didn't get picked at all. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    14. Ki-Jana Carter, RB, Bengals (No. 1, 1995): Ripped up his knee in his first preseason NFL game and never recovered. He barely cracked 1,000 career rushing yards in eight NFL seasons. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    13. Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals (No. 10, 2006): Party on. Pouya Dianat-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    12. Johnny "Lam" Jones, WR, Jets (No. 2, 1980): New York traded two first-round picks to get the Texas sprinter. He averaged fewer than 30 catches and 500 yards during his five NFL seasons. Elsewhere, Anthony Munoz, taken one spot after Jones, became arguably the league's best all-time tackle while Art Monk had a record-setting career for the Redskins. Joe Giza, AP

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    11. Andre Ware, QB, Lions (No. 7, 1990): A far more spectacular failure than even Joey Harrington or Chuck Long were in Detroit. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    10. Aundray Bruce, OLB, Falcons (No. 1, 1988): Atlanta thought it was getting the next Lawrence Taylor. Instead, the Falcons got 16 sacks in four seasons before Bruce floundered with the Raiders (who tried converting him to tight end) for seven more. Among the 10 guys taken after Bruce were Neil Smith, Tim Brown, Sterling Sharpe and Michael Irvin. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    9. Russell Erxleben, P, Saints (No. 11, 1979): If you're going to take a punter in the first round, he better be Ray Guy. Erxleben wasn't. Little wonder the Saints, who passed on Kellen Winslow (not to mention Joe Montana), were a laughingstock for decades. Michael Zagaris, Getty Images

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    8. 1991 QBs: Brett Favre was a second-round selection in '91. The guys who went in Round 1 instead? Dan McGwire (No. 16) and Todd Marinovich (No. 24), who combined for 2,090 career passing yards … or about half a season for Favre. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    7. Vernon Gholston, OLB, Jets (No. 6, 2008): In 45 games with New York, Gholston produced exactly zero sacks. Who could the Jets have had instead? Joe Flacco, Chris Johnson and Ryan Clady highlight the list of players who surely would've fared better for Gang Green. The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    6. Lawrence Phillips, RB, Rams (No. 6, 1996): St. Louis knew of Phillips' history of off-field issues but rolled the dice anyway while opting to trade Jerome Bettis to the Steelers. Eddie George, Marvin Harrison, Ray Lewis and Terrell Owens were all drafted after Phillips. Phillips was found dead in prison in January, 2016. He was 40. James A. Finley, AP

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    5. Charles Rogers, WR, Lions (No. 2, 2003): It seemed like when he wasn't hurt, he was getting arrested. Rogers managed just 36 catches in three seasons as the worst of Detroit's dubious run of first-round receivers pre-Megatron. The guy taken right after Rogers? Andre Johnson. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    4. Art Schlichter, QB, Colts (No. 4, 1982): Here today, banned tomorrow and not very good in between. Schlichter, infamous for his gambling issues, lost all six of his career starts, throwing three TDs vs. 11 picks. Alternatives that year included Jim McMahon, Mike Munchak, Marcus Allen and Andre Tippett. Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    3. Tony Mandarich, OT, Packers (No. 2, 1989): The man Sports Illustrated deemed "The Incredible Bulk" quickly morphed into "The Incredible Bust." Green Bay's miscalculation is only accentuated by the fact that the four other players in that draft's top five now have Hall of Fame busts: Troy Aikman, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders. USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    2. Ryan Leaf, QB, Chargers (No. 2, 1998): Who's better â€" Leaf or Peyton Manning? That was the talk leading up to the 1998 draft. San Diego actually preferred Manning but was left with Leaf. After winning his first two starts, Leaf's career quickly went down the drain. Players drafted afterward include Charles Woodson, Randy Moss, Alan Faneca, Fred Taylor, Matt Hasselbeck and Hines Ward. Peter Brouillet-USA TODAY Sports

    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    1. JaMarcus Russell, QB, Raiders (No. 1, 2007): Oakland paid $39 million for seven wins, 18 TD passes and 300 pounds of "passer." Worse, Russell came at the cost of picking Hall of Fame-caliber talents Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis and Darrelle Revis. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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    Ranking the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time

    USA TODAY Sports' takes a look at the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time. Who is the biggest?

    The Arizona Cardinals could really use help for Kyler Murray at wide receiver and offensive tackle.

    A new NFL mock draft from USA TODAY Sports' Draft Wire has them getting that help for their quarterback in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL draft.

    Luke Easterling has the Cardinals taking Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb, a former teammate of Murray's with their first-round selection, the No. 8 overall pick.

    He writes: "This may surprise some, seeing Lamb come off the board before Alabama's Jerry Jeudy, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some teams have them graded in that order. One such team could absolutely be the Cards, who would love to pair Lamb with his college quarterback, Kyler Murray. This tandem could make the same kind of magic they did in Norman."

    MORE: NFL mock draft: Intrigue surrounding Cardinals' No. 8 pick in 2020 NFL draft

    Lamb would be an intriguing pick for the Cardinals and would certainly help the team's offense.

    Could Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (2) and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) be reunited on the Arizona Cardinals? Some NFL mock draft projections think so. (Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

    But what about help protecting Murray so that he can throw to his wide receivers?

    Draft Wire has Arizona getting it with their second-round pick, the No. 40 overall selection.

    Easterling has the Cardinals taking USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson, a Phoenix North Canyon High product with that pic.

    Cards Wire's Jess Root analyzed this projected pick for the Cardinals: "Fans who don't want to see the Cardinals take a receiver in the first round might be happy with this scenario. They get a big-time receiver in the first round and a starting-caliber tackle in the second round. Jackson has good length and the Cardinals probably don't need him to start as a rookie."

    MORE: Arizona Cardinals will be NFL's hottest free agent destination in 2020

    Draft Wire has the Cardinals taking Utah edge rusher Bradlee Anae with their third round selection. It has the team selecting Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene with their fourth round pick.

    The NFL draft runs from April 23-25.

    Southern California Trojans head coach Clay Helton (right) and offensive tackle Austin Jackson (73) embrace after the game against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Fresno State 31-23. (Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

    More Stories
  • Could Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (2) and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) be reunited on the Arizona Cardinals? Some NFL mock draft projections think so. NFL mock draft: Cardinals land help at 2 key positions in first two rounds

    Feb. 18, 2020, 7:49 a.m.

  • Northern Arizona assistant coach Shane Burcar and Arizona head coach Sean Miller and others watch the Millennium-Mater Dei game during the Section 7 Basketball tournament at Brophy Prep High School in Phoenix, Friday, June 21, 2019.  State Farm Stadium to host 208 teams for high school basketball

    Feb. 18, 2020, 7:02 a.m.

  • Dec 14, 2019; Mexico City, MEX; Phoenix Suns forward Elie Okobo (2) and San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) fight for a loose ball during the first quarter at Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports


    Suns Tuesdays: Assessing the Phoenix Suns 10-man rotation

    Feb. 18, 2020, 7 a.m.

  • Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (74) during training camp on July 25, 2019 in Glendale, Ariz. Cardinals agree to deal with Humphries, per report

    Feb. 17, 2020, 7:50 p.m.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Eduardo Escobar (5) during spring training workouts on Feb. 17, 2020 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz. Diamondbacks’ Eduardo Escobar healthy after offseason scare

    Feb. 17, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick and manager Torey Lovullo during spring training workouts on Feb. 19 at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz. Diamondbacks' Kendrick opens up on his ‘magician’ GM, cheating scandal Chase Field’s future

    Feb. 17, 2020, 5:21 p.m.

  • Ronald Acuña Jr. unseats Mike Trout at No. 1 among fantasy baseball's top 200 players for 2020

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 07:10 AM PST

    For the first time since 2013, Mike Trout is not the top-ranked fantasy baseball player in USA TODAY Sports' overall rankings. Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. has taken over the No. 1 spot for the 2020 season, dropping Trout of the Los Angeles Angels all the way down to No. 3.

    Those player rankings are just one of the many interesting and informative things you'll find in USA TODAY Sports' annual fantasy baseball preview issue, on newsstands now. You'll get 400 player capsules, complete with three-year stats and 2020 projections. There are depth charts for every MLB team, along with their top prospects and projected impact this season. Plus, analysis on this season's fantasy trends, sleepers and top rookies.

    At the age of 21, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit 41 home runs and stole 37 bases for the Atlanta Braves in 2019. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports Weekly)

    To get you started, here's the full top 200 list:

    Rank  /  Player    Pos

    1.    Ronald Acuña, Braves    OF

    2.    Christian Yelich, Brewers    OF

    3.    Mike Trout, Angels    OF

    4.    Cody Bellinger, Dodgers    1B/OF

    5.    Mookie Betts, Dodgers    OF

    6.    Gerrit Cole, Yankees    SP

    7.    Francisco Lindor, Indians    SS

    8.    Jacob deGrom, Mets    SP

    9.    Trevor Story, Rockies    SS

    10.    Trea Turner, Nationals    SS

    11.    Justin Verlander, Astros    SP

    12.    Anthony Rendon, Angels    3B

    13.    Juan Soto, Nationals    OF

    14.    Alex Bregman, Astros    SS/3B

    15.    Max Scherzer, Nationals    SP

    16.    Jose Ramirez, Indians    3B

    17.    Freddie Freeman, Braves    1B

    18.    Nolan Arenado, Rockies    3B

    19.    J.D. Martinez, Red Sox    OF

    20.    Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres    SS

    21.    Walker Buehler, Dodgers    SP

    22.    Stephen Strasburg, Nationals    SP

    23.    Aaron Judge, Yankees    OF

    24.    Jack Flaherty, Cardinals    SP

    25.    Starling Marte, Diamondbacks    OF

    26.    Bryce Harper, Phillies    OF

    27.    Rafael Devers, Red Sox    3B

    28.    Mike Clevinger, Indians    SP

    29.    Jose Altuve, Astros    2B

    30.    Javier Baez, Cubs    SS

    31.    Pete Alonso, Mets    1B

    32.    Yordan Alvarez, Astros    DH

    33.    Gleyber Torres, Yankees    2B/SS

    34.    Blake Snell, Rays    SP

    35.    Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks    2B/OF

    36.    Ozzie Albies, Braves    2B

    37.    Shane Bieber, Indians    SP

    38.    Charlie Blackmon, Rockies    OF

    39.    Whit Merrifield, Royals    2B/OF

    40.    George Springer, Astros    OF

    41.    Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals    1B

    42.    Jonathan Villar, Marlins    2B

    43.    Charlie Morton, Rays    SP

    44.    Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox    SS

    45.    Anthony Rizzo, Cubs    1B

    46.    Chris Sale, Red Sox    SP

    47.    Chris Paddack, Padres    SP

    48.    Austin Meadows, Rays    OF

    49.    Luis Castillo, Reds    SP

    50.    Matt Olson, A's    1B

    51.    Adalberto Mondesi, Royals    SS

    52.    Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays    3B

    53.    J.T. Realmuto, Phillies    C

    54.    Kris Bryant, Cubs    3B/OF

    55.    Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers    SP

    56.    Keston Hiura, Brewers    2B

    57.    Manny Machado, padres    SS/3B

    58.    Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees    OF

    59.    Eugenio Suarez, Reds    3B

    60.    Tommy Pham, Padres    OF

    61.    Aaron Nola, Phillies    SP

    62.    Zack Greinke, Astros    SP

    63.    Patrick Corbin, Nationals    SP

    64.    Nelson Cruz, Twins    DH

    65.    Matt Chapman, A's    3B

    66.    Bo Bichette, Blue Jays    SS

    67.    Eloy Jimenez, White Sox    OF

    68.    Josh Donaldson, Twins    3B

    69.    Lucas Giolito, White Sox    SP

    70.    Yu Darvish, Cubs    SP

    71.    Victor Robles, Nationals    OF

    72.    Jeff McNeil, Mets    2B/3B/OF

    73.    Ramon Laureano, A's    OF

    74.    DJ LeMahieu, Yankees    1B/2B/3B

    75.    Noah Syndergaard, Mets    SP

    76.    Gary Sanchez, Yankees    C

    77.    Jose Abreu, White Sox    1B

    78.    Eddie Rosario, Twins    OF

    79.    Nick Castellanos, Reds    OF

    80.    Max Muncy, Dodgers    1B/2B/3B

    81.    Marcus Semien, A's    SS

    82.    Luis Severino, Yankees    SP

    83.    Kirby Yates, Padres    RP

    84.    Jose Berrios, Twins    SP

    85.    Yoan Moncada, White Sox    3B

    86.    Michael Brantley, Astros    OF

    87.    Mike Soroka, Braves    SP

    88.    Josh Bell, Pirates    1B

    89.    Josh Hader, Brewers    RP

    90.    Trevor Bauer, Reds    SP

    91.    Eduardo Escobar, Diamondbacks    2B/3B

    92.    Tyler Glasnow, Rays    SP

    93.    Brandon Woodruff, Brewers    SP

    94.    Zack Wheeler, Mets    SP

    95.    Trey Mancini, Orioles    1B/OF

    96.    Mike Moustakas, Reds    2B/3B

    97.    Sonny Gray, Reds    SP

    98.    Brad Hand, Indians    RP

    99.    Madison Bumgarner, Diamondbacks    SP

    100.    Aroldis Chapman, Yankees    RP

    101.    Marcell Ozuna, Braves    OF

    102.    Yasmani Grandal, White Sox    C/1B

    103.    Shohei Ohtani, Angels    DH

    104.    Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox    OF

    105.    Willson Contreras, Cubs    C

    106.    Joey Gallo, Rangers    OF

    107.    Jorge Soler, Royals    OF

    108.    Corey Kluber, Rangers    SP

    109.    Carlos Correa, Astros    SS

    110.    Hyun-jin Ryu, Blue Jays    SP

    111.    Roberto Osuna, Astros    RP

    112.    Yulieski Gurriel, Astros    1B

    113.    Yasiel Puig, free agent    OF

    114.    Oscar Mercado, Indians    OF

    115.    Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox    SP

    116.    Luis Robert, White Sox    OF

    117.    Rhys Hoskins, Phillies    1B

    118.    Jorge Polanco, Twins    SS

    119.    Max Kepler, Twins    OF

    120.    Byron Buxton, Twins    OF

    121.    Tim Anderson, White Sox    SS

    122.    Michael Conforto, Mets    OF

    123.    Liam Hendriks, A's    RP

    124.    Kyle Hendricks, Cubs    SP

    125.    Carlos Santana, Indians    1B

    126.    Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks    SP

    127.    Kenley Jansen, Dodgers    RP

    128.    Raisel Iglesias, Reds    RP

    129.    Danny Santana, Rangers    1B/OF

    130.    David Dahl, Rockies    OF

    131.    Lorenzo Cain, Brewers    OF

    132.    Carlos Carrasco, Indians    SP

    133.    Ken Giles, Blue Jays    RP 

    134.    Jesus Luzardo, A's    SP

    135.    Justin Turner, Dodgers    3B

    136.    Amed Rosario, Mets    SS

    137.    Max Fried, Braves    SP

    138.    Edwin Diaz, Mets    RP

    139.    Craig Kimbrel, Cubs    RP

    140.    Edwin Encarnacion, White Sox    1B

    141.    Aristides Aquino, Reds    OF

    142.    Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks    SP

    143.    Frankie Montas, A's    SP

    144.    Miguel Sano, Twins    3B

    145.    Franmil Reyes, Indians    OF

    146.    Elvis Andrus, Rangers    SS

    147.    Kyle Tucker, Astros    OF

    148.    Lance Lynn, Rangers    SP

    149.    Nick Anderson, Rays    RP

    150.    Julio Urias, Dodgers    SP

    151.    Lourdes Gurriel, Blue Jays    OF

    152.    Bryan Reynolds, Pirates    OF

    153.    Corey Seager, Dodgers    SS

    154.    Taylor Rogers, Twins    RP

    155.    David Price, Dodgers    SP

    156.    Adam Eaton, Nationals    OF

    157.    Paul DeJong, Cardinals    SS

    158.    Hector Neris, Phillies    RP

    159.    Hunter Dozier, Royals    3B/OF

    160.    Dinelson Lamet, Padres    SP

    161.    Mitch Garver, Twins    C

    162.    Andrew McCutchen, Phillies    OF

    163.    Wilson Ramos, Mets    C

    164.    Nick Senzel, Reds    OF

    165.    Jean Segura, Phillies    SS

    166.    Khris Davis, A's    DH

    167.    Mike Foltynewicz, Braves    SP

    168.    Kyle Schwarber, Cubs    OF

    169.    Hansel Robles, Angels    RP

    170.    German Marquez, Rockies    SP

    171.    Will Smith, Dodgers    C

    172.    Kenta Maeda, Twins    SP

    173.    Didi Gregorius, Phillies    SS

    174.    Mallex Smith, Mariners    OF

    175.    Gavin Lux, Dodgers    2B

    176.    Mike Minor, Rangers    SP

    177.    Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees     SP

    178.    J.D. Davis, Mets    3B/OF

    179.    Brandon Workman, Red Sox    RP

    180.    Cavan Biggio, Blue Jays    2B

    181.    Sean Manaea, A's    SP

    182.    Jake Odorizzi, Twins    SP

    183.    Salvador Perez, Royals    C

    184.    Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks    RP

    185.    Miles Mikolas, Cardinals    SP

    186.    Willie Calhoun, Rangers    OF

    187.    Marcus Stroman, Mets    SP

    188.    Mark Melancon, Braves    RP

    189.    Matthew Boyd, Tigers    SP

    190.    Jose Leclerc, Rangers    RP

    191.    Scott Kingery, Phillies    3B/OF

    192.    Brandon Lowe, Rays    2B

    193.    Christian Walker, Diamondbacks    1B

    194.    Sandy Alcantara, Marlins    SP

    195.    Alex Colome, White Sox    RP

    196.    Will Smith, Braves    RP

    197.    Andrew Heaney, Angels    SP

    198.    Carlos Martinez, Cardinals    SP

    199.    A.J. Pollock, Dodgers    OF

    200.    Joe Musgrove, Pirates    SP


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    Colorado snow totals for Feb. 17-18, 2020

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 07:03 AM PST

    The following Colorado snow totals have been reported by the National Weather Service for Feb. 17-18, 2020, as of 6 a.m. Tuesday.

    Crested Butte, Co — 3.3 inches at 9:15 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Gothic, Co — 4.5 inches at 7:12 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Mount Crested But, Co — 4.5 inches at 7 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Oak Creek, Co — 10 inches at 6:20 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Pitkin, Co — 2.5 inches at 7 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Powderhorn, Co — 2.3 inches at 8 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Snowmass Village, Co — 1.8 inches at 7:01 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Toponas, Co — 3.5 inches at 7 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Vail, Co — 6.1 inches at 8 a.m. – 2/17/2020

    Here's How Much Money 2020 Presidential Hopefuls Have Raised In Idaho

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 06:57 AM PST

    Idahoans, far and away, support President Donald Trump, at least when it comes to voting with their wallets.

    Click 'play' to hear the audio version of this story.

    In 2019, Trump raised $481,725, with more than $200,000 of that coming in the last three months of the year – the same time that the U.S. House began its impeachment inquiry and, eventually, voted to impeach him.

    In January, his approval ratings in Idaho were among the highest of his presidency at 60%, according to the polling firm Morning Consult.

    Jaclyn Kettler, a political science professor at Boise State University, said campaigns hit up donors for cash all the time when they're getting needled.

    "They're most successful at fundraising when their candidacy or campaign is being attacked because that really riles supporters up to donate to you," Kettler said.

    Trump's total, combined with each Democratic Party hopeful, add up to $1,065,985.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden still maintains a lead after holding lucrative, high-dollar fundraisers in Sun Valley and Boise last summer. Biden raised nearly $180,000 in Idaho last year.

    But his lead is beginning to shrink after much weaker numbers in the last three months of 2019.

    That surge is being led by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who blew away Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Idaho caucuses with 78% of the vote.

    "I think a lot of Sanders supporters are giving very small donations, $5, $10, or are volunteering," Kettler said.

    Sanders came in third in the fundraising totals, netting $115,585.

    He also has the widest base of support among Democratic donors here. His contributions came from 70 separate cities across the state.

    President Trump sees the broadest support, though. His donations came from more than 150 Idaho towns and cities.

    Sanders drummed up the most money in the final quarter of the year among all of those vying for the Democratic nomination, taking in nearly $48,000.

    The only other Democrat who came close to that kind of a push was Andrew Yang, who dropped out last week after anemic performances in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. Yang collected almost $39,000 from October through December 2019 – more than twice as much as he raised for the whole year.

    Following Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Yang were the only others to raise more than $20,000 in Idaho last year.

    Donations aren't a perfect way to measure how well a candidate will do in a particular state, Kettler said, since it doesn't measure the amount of people who are only able to offer up their time to help a campaign.

    Polling isn't often done in Idaho, either – a state that hasn't voted for a Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

    As for Kettler? Her money is on Sanders to lock down an easy win when Idaho holds its new Democratic primary March 10.

    Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

    Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio

    All-Star Game 2020: Kobe Bryant Honored As Team LeBron Defeat Team Giannis

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 06:49 AM PST

    [Unfortunately the link has been deleted]As the 2020 golf season hits full swing, it's time to identify some golfers to keep an eye on this season. More specifically, these are the golfers who could be ready to take the next step in their ...

    National Drink Wine Day 2020 Quotes: 14 Sayings In Honor Of Vino

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 06:06 AM PST

    Whether you like red, white or prefer it sparkling, National Drink Wine Day is the most exciting holiday for vino fans. Although there are plenty of other alcoholic beverages and unique cocktails out there, nothing compares the grape greatness that wine has to offer.

    On Feb.18, don't miss your chance to drink wine and read some messages about the satisfying beverage. Here are 14 quotes about vino to celebrate National Drink Wine Day 2020:

    1. "One should always be drunk. That's all that matters...But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk." ― Charles Baudelaire

    2. "Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine." ― Thomas Aquinas

    3. "The name 'The Tig' comes from a wine called Tignanello, and the first time I had a sip of this wine, it was such an 'aha' moment. I finally understood what people were talking about when they spoke about the body, the legs or structure of wine." ― Meghan Markle

    4. "Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized." ― Andre Simon

    5. "Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle." ― Paulo Coelho

    6. "I'm like old wine. They don't bring me out very often - but I'm well preserved." ― Rose Kennedy 

    7. "It is a maudlin and indecent verity that comes out through the strength of wine." ― Joseph Conrad

    8. "Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages." ― Louis Pasteur

    9. "The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity." ― Eric Hoffer

    10. "Beer is made by men, wine by God." ― Martin Luther

    11. "Wine is wonderful stuff. But so many people are put off by the snobbery of it." ― John Cleese

    12. "Wine can be a better teacher than ink, and banter is often better than books." ― Stephen Fry

    13. "Wine is bottled poetry." ― Robert Louis Stevenson

    14.  "Either give me more wine or leave me alone." ― Rumi

    drink wine day 2019 quotes Monday is National Drink Wine Day. Pictured: Cape Classics wines were served at SUGARCANE raw bar grill on Oct. 12, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for NYCWFF

    Here’s where the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates stand on key policy issues

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 05:36 AM PST

    Democratic presidential candidates, top row from left: Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. Bottom row from left: Joe Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard.

    (Los Angeles Times; AFP/Getty Images; Associated Press)

    Brit awards 2020: who will win every award … and who should

    Posted: 18 Feb 2020 04:17 AM PST

    Group of the year

    ColdplayFoalsBring Me the HorizonD-Block EuropeBastille

    Speaking from the venal, artistically disinterested, industry-beancounter point of view that is appropriate for the Brits, groups are nothing compared with solo artists in 2020. None of the acts up for group of the year has received any other nominations; it’s only the second time ever that no group has been up for album of the year, and none are scheduled to play live tonight. Which is a shame because there is some middling-to-good talent here. Coldplay are perhaps too big to fail, with their album Everyday Life a spirited, adventurous and â€" by their standards â€" politically engaged record. But given Academy members could give two votes to Foals, for each of their two robust albums last year, Chris Martin et al are likely to lose out. Bastille continue to slip down the zeitgeist like a lubed toboggan, and D-Block Europe, while a heartening independent British success story, rely too much on trap cliche. Bring Me the Horizon deserve this â€" their album amo was a towering confection of pop, emo and hard rock, like a cloud of black candy floss.

    Will win: FoalsShould win: Bring Me the Horizon

    Pan-demographic success … Mabel performing live earlier this month. Photograph: Richard Isaac/REX/Shutterstock Female solo artist

    MabelFreya RidingsFKA twigsCharli XCXMahalia

    There are so few women on this year’s ballots that you half expected the Brits to try and put a shaved Ed Sheeran forward for this category. Much ink has been spilled here on this topic but suffice to say, it is shameful that Mabel is the only British woman to appear elsewhere. It’s likely she will win after a year in which she broke through into proper pan-demographic pop success (even if she hasn’t yet matched Finders Keepers), though FKA twigs deserves it â€" and in a perfect world, album of the year â€" for her emotionally forthright Magdalene. Mahalia deserves her nod but will make better records; Freya Ridings doesn’t deserve her nod and will perhaps make less awful records. The evergreen Charli XCX, meanwhile, has that particularly horrible kind of fame that means you’re so famous to your fans that they feel they own you, while you remain totally unknown to nearly everyone else.

    Will win: MabelShould win: FKA twigs

    Male solo artist

    Harry StylesLewis CapaldiDaveMichael KiwanukaStormzy

    As the BPI’s chairman tried to spin it, these shortlists are merely what voters, who are nearly 50% women, went for. Well, yes, but Academy members were given 26 women to pick from in British female, versus 84 men in this British male category â€" an imbalance that could be addressed immediately by the Brits, and more profoundly by labels who should be bringing more female talent through to make it to the longlist (which is currently dictated by chart success). All that said, there is some formidable male artistry at this year’s awards and every kind of good male charisma: lawful-good from social consciences Michael Kiwanuka and Dave, neutral-good from statesmanlike sex magnets Stormzy and Harry Styles, and chaotic-good from larky emotional wreck Lewis Capaldi.

    Will win: Lewis CapaldiShould win: Lewis Capaldi

    New kid on the block ... Aitch. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian New artist

    AitchLewis CapaldiDaveMabelSam Fender

    As if to prove the efficacy of the major-label assembly line that is the Brit awards, one former rising star award winner (Sam Fender) and two former nominees (Mabel, Lewis Capaldi) make it to the big leagues. Capaldi has this sewn up: he had the biggest-selling album of last year in the UK, topped the singles charts in the US and UK, and did it all with the demeanour of a substitute teacher who can’t really be arsed. In a Britain that is allergic to pretension and addicted to really sad ballads, Capaldi is our god. Aitch will have to console himself with a new award at the Brits this year, the Ben Beaumont-Thomas Memorial Award for Troublingly Childlike Rappers Who My Girlfriend Would Nevertheless Risk It All For.

    Will win: Lewis CapaldiShould win: Lewis Capaldi


    Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber â€" I Don’t CareMabel â€" Don’t Call Me UpCalvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man â€" GiantDave ft Burna Boy â€" Location Mark Ronson ft Miley Cyrus â€" Nothing Breaks Like a HeartAJ Tracey â€" Ladbroke GroveLewis Capaldi â€" Someone You LovedTom Walker â€" Just You and ISam Smith and Normani â€" Dancing With a StrangerStormzy â€" Vossi Bop

    Over the last few years mainstream pop songs have gone from being galumphing EDM brutes crashing on to the dancefloor with a tray of Jägerbombs to sleek wallflowers slipping through the crowd with an espresso martini. Location, Ladbroke Grove and Vossi Bop flirt lightly; Giant and Don’t Call Me Up bang politely; and Dancing With a Stranger and Nothing Breaks Like a Heart stoically hold their tears back even though they’ve just seen their ex getting off with someone by the loos. In the end, it’s likely to be a big ol’ traditional blubfest that wins, though AJ Tracey could perhaps pull an upset.

    Will win: Lewis Capaldi â€" Someone You LovedShould win: Sam Smith and Normani â€" Dancing With a Stranger

    Fount of pop invention … Billie Eilish at the 2020 Oscars. Photograph: John Salangsang/BEI/Rex/Shutterstock International female solo artist

    Ariana GrandeBillie EilishCamila CabelloLana Del ReyLizzo

    Traditionally a powerhouse category, and even more so in 2020. In any other year, Ariana Grande would win for an album that expertly flips between flippancy and seriousness, Camila Cabello for releasing the song of the summer, Lana Del Rey for releasing the critical darling album of the year, and Lizzo for being a flute-huffing, glute-quaking, pop-cultural life force. However, they’re up against Billie Eilish, a fount of pop invention who makes it feel like the wind has changed whenever she comes on the radio.

    Will win: Billie EilishShould win: Billie Eilish

    International male solo artist

    Bruce SpringsteenBurna BoyTyler, the CreatorDermot KennedyPost Malone

    A much less predictable but no less high quality field here. Tyler, the Creator rightly won a Grammy for his album Igor, but he remains a much more cult artist in the UK; Burna Boy is British pop’s brilliant sideman du jour but is yet to have a solo breakthrough in the UK beyond the Afro-swing faithful. Springsteen is the equivalent of the dad waiting in the car outside the O2 while the kids have their fun. Post Malone has more streams than a Welsh mountain in February and his Lords of Anarchy: The Musical shtick is really quite brilliant, but, a bit like Eurovision, Academy voters might go for just-across-the-water Irishman Dermot Kennedy, whose raw talent powers his standard-wattage songcraft with a steady glow.

    Will win: Dermot KennedyShould win: Tyler, the Creator

    Blending the personal and social … Michael Kiwanuka performing in Milan in December. Photograph: Sergione Infuso/Corbis/Getty Images Album of the year

    Stormzy â€" Heavy Is the HeadMichael Kiwanuka â€" KiwanukaLewis Capaldi â€" Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish ExtentDave â€" PsychodramaHarry Styles â€" Fine Line

    Capaldi’s utterly cleaved psyche â€" allowing him to sing of devastating heartbreak one minute and record fish-out-of-water comedy for Instagram the next â€" might trouble his therapist, but it is surely catnip for Academy voters. He is the whole entertainment package, like Kevin Bridges and Adele spliced together by a nefarious Live Nation promoter. Yet he shouldn’t really win the big prize here, as his album â€" while containing some really strong songs, such as Hollywood, Grace and of course Someone You Loved â€" lacks range compared with the rest here. Styles is unlikely to win despite the excellent quality of his microdosed soft rock, but Kiwanuka, Stormzy and Dave are all heavyweight contenders, artists knitting together the personal and social. There is the tiniest bit of daylight between all of them in one of the strongest ever fields in this category, but ultimately, it feels like Capaldi’s year.

    Will win: Lewis Capaldi â€" Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish ExtentShould win: Dave â€" Psychodrama

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