10 of our top columns this week: ICYMI

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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. America has more important things to worry about than a Trump Senate impeachment trial

By Peter Funt

"After Trump incited an attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, impeachment by the House was necessary, no matter how little time remained before President-elect Joe Biden took office. Now, however, with the rejuvenation we experienced on Inauguration Day, things are different. A trial won’t hurt Trump, and it won’t help the nation. Here’s why."

2. Biden promised to get tough on Putin. Start now by saving Alexei Navalny: Garry Kasparov

By Garry Kasparov

"Despite the vicious winter cold and the even more vicious police, Russia erupted in protest on Jan. 23. Over 100,000 came into the streets and plazas across the country to heed the call of Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption activist who has become the leading opponent of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin."

3. Democrats need an autopsy to figure out why 74 million Americans voted against them

By Ross K. Baker

"The paradoxical result of the inquest should not be read as proof of that such exercises are useless. In truth, there is no reason why such autopsies should be conducted only by the losers. Winners such as 2020 Democrats would be well-advised to conduct one of their own about why 74 million Americans voted against them and why they lost strength in the House of Representatives."

4. Where are all the neighborhood kids who shovel snow? We've put them out of business.

By Bob Brody

"Back in the 1960s, as an adolescent and then as an early teenager, I shoveled snow for my neighbors to earn a little pocket change. Rarely where I live now in New York City do I see any kids doing the same."

5. Let's get real. Joe Biden, Democrats and America need results much more than unity.

By David Rothkopf

"When Biden spoke of unity ... he explicitly did not mean he expected we would all agree on every initiative. Rather, his intent as laid out in the speech, was to remind Americans that we are all in this together. He has said that his goal is to detoxify American politics, to end the zero sum, us vs. them mentality that dominated during the Trump years. He wants to make sure people understood that under his administration, no state, city or individual will be penalized for legitimate political beliefs."

6. Why we need a bipartisan censure to deal with Trump, not another circus impeachment trial

By Greta Van Susteren

"In the case of Mr. Trump, impeachment is about political punishment. The upcoming Senate trial seems more like an act of political score settling, not any kind of effort to get at the truth. Is now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mad enough over his party’s losses in the Georgia Senate runoff races that he wants to make Trump pay and banish him from the Republican Party? Or is he leaning toward acquittal because he doesn’t want to fracture his political base?"

7. Better policing begins with accountability and an end to qualified immunity

By Ben Cohen

"Perhaps the most egregious of all protections is qualified immunity. It saves law enforcement officers from lawsuits, some of which stem from excessive force cases that have resulted in brutality or death. Disproportionately, the people cops are brutalizing are people of color."

8. No president should have unilateral power to use nuclear weapons: Sen. Warren and Sec. Perry

By Elizabeth Warren and William J. Perry

"Two weeks after he incited an insurrection against the Congress and the Constitution he swore an oath to defend, former President Donald Trump retained full authority to use the most deadly weapons ever created. As disturbing as it may be, this authority is a central feature of our nation’s nuclear decision-making structure — and it is long past time for reform. There is no question that we must place firm limits on presidential nuclear powers, first by enacting a formal policy not to use nuclear weapons first and then by making any decision to use nuclear weapons subject to the approval of Congress."

9. Holocaust Memorial Day: They were rescued from deportation. Now, Jewish orphans reunite.

By Reinier Heinsman

"When the Nazis raided a Belgian orphanage on Oct. 30, 1942, it was unthinkable that the arrested Jewish children, soon to be deported, would still be alive more than 78 years later. Earlier this month, they finally reunited. Unaware of the fate they barely avoided, the young Jewish children innocently posed for a picture shortly after the rescue from the Dossin barracks — the former Belgian transit camp from where Jews were deported."

10. Of course the Senate can hold a Trump impeachment trial. There's no real legal argument against it.

By Norman Eisen and Spencer Scharff

"Forty-five Republican senators voted this week to dismiss former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial before it even started. Although their maneuver failed, it focused the spotlight on a question of constitutional procedure — the Senate’s ability to try a former official. Senate Republicans wishing to duck their constitutional obligation and avoid giving offense to Trump and his loyal supporters would like nothing more than to engage in debates about process. That way they can avoid talking about the actual insurrection Trump incited and the damage and death it caused. But like so many legal arguments Trump intimidates GOP officials into making, the question isn’t a close one."

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Impeachment, Democrats, policing, and snow shoveling: Top columns

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