Opinion writer

* David Weigel and Chelsea Janes report that the presidential race just lost another contender:

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio announced Thursday that he will not seek the presidency, a decision he said came after a tour of early-primary states left him more confident that his party was focusing more on labor and workers than it had in 2016.

“I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2020,” Brown said in a statement. “The best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate.”

Brown, 66, is the second Democratic senator this week to pass on a White House bid; Oregon’s Jeff Merkley released a similar statement Monday. Both senators had hired staff in some early states and had begun to sketch out the argument that a populist Democrat with a record of winning the support of white, working-class voters could break the coalition that narrowly elected Donald Trump.

Brown is very well-liked among Democrats, but on the bright side, the Republican governor of Ohio won’t be able to appoint his replacement.

* Matt Viser reports on an interesting part of Joe Biden's history:

When Joe Biden was a freshman senator in the mid-1970s, his home state of Delaware, like other hotspots across the country, was engulfed in a bitter battle over school busing, debating whether children should be sent to schools in different neighborhoods to promote racial diversity.

Biden took a lead role in the fight, speaking out repeatedly and forcefully against sending white children to majority-black schools and black children to majority-white schools. He played down the persistence of overt racism and suggested that the government should have a limited role in integration.

“I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race,’ ” Biden told a Delaware-based weekly newspaper in 1975. “I don’t buy that.”

In language that bears on today’s debate about whether descendants of slaves should be compensated, he added, “I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation. And I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.”

On one hand, that was 44 years ago, and I’m sure Biden has different views now, even if he sounded a lot like Donald Trump at the time. On the other hand, if you’re going to run for president, all this stuff is going to be examined, and people will listen to your explanation and decide if they’re convinced.

* Former attorney general Eric Holder says Democrats should consider adding two seats to the Supreme Court to make up for Republican shenanigans on Merrick Garland.

* Margaret Sullivan explains why we have to acknowledge the enormously destructive effect Fox News has on our democracy.

* Marcy Wheeler argues that we've reached a point where Trump's corruption is so massive and varied that it has become almost impossible for journalists to properly convey.

* Julian Zelizer explains how history demonstrates that it’s a mistake to search for one dramatic smoking gun in the Russia investigation.

* Erin Banco reports that when Jared Kushner went to Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, U.S. embassy officials were shut out of the meeting in violation of ordinary practice.

* David Dayen examines the unnoticed part of Rep. Pramila Jayapal's Medicare For All bill that could make American health care dramatically more affordable.

* Colin McAuliffe and Greg Carlock share polling data showing that the elements of the Green New Deal are extremely popular among the public.

* E.J. Dionne looks at whether H.R.1, the Democrats' democracy reform bill, can do the job of repairing our system once Trump is gone.

* Amy Littlefield investigates how public hospitals routinely deny life-saving abortion care to women who need it.

* And Richard Friedman says we should abandon the idea that we have to suffer in order to overcome emotional and mental health challenges.