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This world map shows how the US legal drinking age is a weird exception

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Spurred in part by the powerful anti-drunk driving movement, by the late 1980s all 50 US states had set their legal drinking age at 21.

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

This is controversial. Why should legal adults—considered mature enough to join the army, get married, serve on a jury, or buy cigarettes (in most US states)—be denied this legal substance?

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Critics argue that age restrictions are remarkably easy to bypass, yet at the same time encourage a dangerous binge-drinking culture. Wouldn’t it be better for teens to learn to drink responsibly at home, rather than at frat parties?

Plenty disagree. But at any rate, Americans are in a small minority when it comes to drinking age.

According to a survey of 190 countries, only 11 other nations—including such bastions of human rights as Mongolia, Iraq and Oman, have a minimum drinking age of 21. Most—61 percent—have a minimum drinking age of 18. No other country in the developed world makes kids wait until they’re 21 to drink legally.

Has the US reaped any tangible benefit from this form of exceptionalism?

This map, from ProCon.org, highlights the divide:

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This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

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Devin Nunes’ hometown paper flooded with letters from disgusted out-of-towners

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The Frenso Bee, which hails from the San Joaquin Valley where California GOP Congressman Devin Nunes is from, published a series of letters from people around the country who watched his performance in this week's impeachment hearings. The letters all had one thing in common: a notable "absence of pro-Nunes sentiment," which the Fresno Bee's Marek Warszawski said was not intentional on his part.

"Angry people tend to send letters, not those who are pleased," he writes.

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WATCH: Lindsey Graham flees Iraq War vet who politely asks to talk about Trump’s conduct

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Friday was filmed running away from a war veteran who tried to talk with him about President Donald Trump's impeachable conduct.

In a video posted by progressive veterans organization Common Defense, a man who identifies himself as an Iraq War veteran from Louisiana calmly walks up to Graham and tells the senator that he believes that he's being treated unfairly by the media.

"I believe that you honestly believe in our democracy as I do," the man tells him.

"I do," Graham replies.

"I came here to D.C. because I'm a Marine, I went to Iraq, and I believe, as I believe that you do, that President Trump is not acting in accordance to his oath," the veteran continued. "The oath that you took and I did to defend the Constitution."

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2020 Election

‘The Senate’s in play’: Reeling GOP faces collapse into minority status as Trump drags party down

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According to a report in Rolling Stone, there is a very good chance that the Democrats could take control of the Senate after the 2020 election as the impeachment of Donald Trump casts a cloud over the Republican Party.

The report -- by longtime political observer Tim Dickinson -- states, "the fight to wrest the Senate from Republican control — and oust Mitch McConnell as majority leader — is arguably just as important" as the battle to force Trump from office.

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