From canceling student debt to the problems Joe Biden has ahead of him, here are some of our top columns you may have missed.


In today's fast-paced news environment, it can be hard to keep up. For your weekend reading, we've started in-case-you-missed-it compilations of some of the week's top USA TODAY Opinion pieces. As always, thanks for reading, and for your feedback.

— USA TODAY Opinion editors

1. Make America incompetent again? Trump wants to ruin our merit-based federal jobs system.

By Max Stier

"Federal agencies across the government are quietly moving ahead with an 11th hour plan to fill vacant, nonpartisan career jobs with political appointees as well as fire and replace civil servants with individuals loyal to President Donald Trump." 

2. Veteran: When I came 真人百家家乐官网网站home from Afghanistan, everyone wanted to know, 'Was it worth it?'

By Frank Biggio

"I’ve often been asked whether my service in Afghanistan was worth it, even before Trump’s announcement. It’s a simple question that has no simple answer. It’s not my place to speak for the families of the Marines who were killed or wounded in Afghanistan whether it was worth it. But I can say to them that the service of their loved ones mattered and made a difference."

3. I sold Bibles to keep my student debt low. Turns out, I didn't even need that degree.

By Emma Ayers

"I graduated from college in 2018. That's a sentence my father certainly supposed I’d never write. Growing up as a hill child with little career ambition, I even surprised myself. And when I finished high school in 2014, no one in my family was especially eager for me to attend a four-year institution."

4. Have Trump Republican leaders no sense of decency?

By The Editorial Board

"In fact, only about a fifth of Senate Republicans have publicly recognized Joe Biden as president-elect. A few others, including Senate Majority Whip John Thune and Senate President Pro Tempore Charles Grassley, have at least acknowledged that the former vice president should begin receiving intelligence briefings as preparation for taking the Oval Office." 

5. Cops shouldn't be first at scene in mental health crises. NYC pilot program needed nationwide

By Amanda Fialk

"Last month, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the pilot of a new program that would end the city's de facto police response to mental health emergencies. The city's health department and hospitals will help train new mental health teams and provide case conferencing. Mental health professionals will be the responders for a person in crisis. The program will be piloted in two high-need precincts."

6. What to do about that pardon Trump will grant himself

By Chris Truax

"Though some people insist that self-pardons are impossible, that’s more of a fervent hope than a legal certainty. While, not surprisingly, the issue has never really come up, the language of the Constitution seems to allow for it, probably because none of the founders ever imagined that any president might try such a thing. Certainly, philosophical concerns about being a judge in your own cause aren’t going to deter President Trump from giving it a try and he’s already mused about the possibility."

7. A farewell to Donald Trump editorials and USA TODAY: It's been anything but tweed

By Dan Carney

"In 2002, when I was considering an offer to become an editorial writer at USA TODAY, a friend tried to warn me off. I was, at the time, just in my 40s and was contemplating a job with a reputation for being a last stop before retirement. 'You’re not ready for tweed jackets,' he said. As it turns out, the job became my last stop before retirement, at least from full-time journalism, which will begin on Wednesday. But it would take nearly 20 years, and those years would be anything but the cozy and sedate affair represented by the tweed jacket motif."

8. Trump won't leave graciously, but Pence can and should

By Michael Medved

"If Trump does shun the national spectacle dramatizing the peaceful transfer of power, then Vice President Mike Pence could make a high-profile decision to reshape his own political future and place in history. By standing with wife Karen on the inauguration platform, surrounded by the Biden and Harris families, Pence could definitively distance himself from Trump’s self-destructive refusal to concede his loss amid angry claims of a 'stolen', 'rigged' election."

9. Making John Durham a special counsel will cause problems for Biden

By Jonathan Turley

"Attorney General Bill Barr made two important evidentiary decisions yesterday that delivered body blows to both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. First, Barr declared that the Justice Department has not found evidence of systemic fraud in the election. Second, he declared that there was sufficient evidence to appoint United States Attorney John Durham as a Special Counsel on the origins of the Russia probe. The move confirmed that, in a chaotic and spinning political galaxy, Bill Barr remains the one fixed and immovable object."

10. Trump has already left the building, but there's lots we can do while waiting for Biden

By David Rothkopf and Bernard L. Schwartz

"Since Election Day, Donald Trump has done virtually nothing. His schedule on most days has been empty. For three weeks he did not take questions from the press and then, when he did, first he melted down and then he turned to trading conspiracy theories with a friendly face at Fox. There has been plenty of golf and tweeting. But if golfing and tweeting had anything to do with presidenting, Trump would have been the best president in our history instead of the worst."

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