It's time to fix our democracy, says former state Sen. Cal Potter, now on the board of Common Cause-Wisconsin. The Sheboygan Falls Democrat, who spent three decades in the state Legislature, said Washington politicians need to support the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections.

This is no time to be wise-cracking about global warming, says Political Environment blogger James Rowen, citing Donald Trump's comments that the East could use some good, old global warming during the current cold spell that has gripped much of the nation. You know who won't find global warming funny, he writes — people like the flood and hurricane victims in Houston and Florida and those impacted by the California fires.

It's now or never for Congressman Paul Ryan and his quest to remake America's safety net, insists the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's conservative columnist Christian Schneider. The columnist agrees with the House speaker that Social Security and Medicare are the biggest drivers of federal spending, and says that if Ryan is to get something done to change that, he's got but a year to do so.

And if blogger Chris Liebenthal has anything to do with it, Ryan will be gone after 2018, succumbing instead to Democratic candidate Randy Bryce. Liebenthal gives a shout out to Bryce's campaign and contends that he is making inroads against the House speaker.

In a WisOpinion column, Bill Kaplan pays tribute to Marcus Raskin, who passed away Christmas eve. Raskin, he points out, was a tireless fighter for economic and social justice and an outspoken opponent of war during his years working for the late 2nd District Congressman Robert Kastenmeier and other Washington icons.

The Racine Journal Times is enamored with the apparent success of Airbnb in Wisconsin, citing a report that travelers' use of the in-home room-sharing service increased 97 percent last year. The paper admits that there are still problems of unfair competition with hoteliers over the payment of room taxes, for instance, but says overall it's been good for the state's tourism industry.

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