- THE FLAG
- 🇺🇸 Israel Aid Package
🇺🇸 Israel Aid Package
Plus, he's beauty, he's grace, he's...a bat?
Good morning, and happy Thursday. In China, a true medical breakthrough has been achieved in a human trial that restored the hearing of children born deaf through a genetic therapy method.
Plus, The Bureau of Land Management announced a Townsend’s big-eared bat named William ShakespEAR is the winner of this year's national Bat Beauty Contest.
Also, if you’re like us and love supporting American entrepreneurs, today’s partner is right up your alley. Don’t take our word for it…
Right: Democrats could be split for a 'generation' as left tears 'itself apart over Israel' Jeffrey Clark, FOX News
Right: Anti-Trump GOP Hopes Are Based on Fantasy Math Timothy P. Carney, Washington Examiner
Right: Mitch McConnell: The Underminer Bradley Devlin, The American Conservative
Left: My Father Would Ask These Hard Questions About Isreal-Hamas War Elisha Wiesel, USA Today
Left: Is Pendulum of Power Swinging Towards U.S. Unions? Robert Reich, The Guardian
Left: Why RFK Jr.'s 2024 Bid Is a Threat to Republicans Gibson & Piper, POLITICO
Trump Jr. Takes the Stand, Reps Retire, Rafah Border Opens
US: Donald Trump Jr. takes witness stand in civil fraud case against his father’s business empire (POLITICO)
US: Cornell student who allegedly made antisemitic threats to appear in court (The Guardian)
US: Tennessee families, doctor ask Supreme Court to block state’s gender-affirming health care ban (The Hill)
US: Republican Reps. Kay Granger, Ken Buck announce they won’t seek reelection (CNBC)
World: Americans leave Gaza for first time during Israel-Hamas war through Rafah border crossing into Egypt (CBS News)
World: Key US ally in Middle East, Jordan, pulls ambassador from Israel in protest of Gaza war (The Hill)
Economy: Fed leaves interest rates unchanged again despite still-high inflation (FOX Business)
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Israel Aid Package
On Monday, House Republicans, led by newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), announced an aid package that would redirect $14.3 billion in aid from the IRS to Israel, and separate Ukraine aid altogether.
Reporting from the Right: House on track to pass Israel aid package as White House objects (New York Post)
Reporting from the Left: House GOP’s $14.3 billion Israel aid sets up collision course with Senate (CNN)
From The Flag: The $14.3 billion was pulled from funding allocated to the IRS as part of the 2022 Democrat-backed, Republican-opposed Inflation Reduction Act. Lowering IRS funding and untethering Ukraine aid from Israeli aid has not been well received by Democrats.
Democrats Want to Overspend
Democrats are cynically opposing this bill that will send valuable aid to Israel because they don’t want to take money away from the IRS.
“The fight over decoupling Ukraine aid from Israel aid is unfolding just as Democrats hoped it would.”
It seems this administration’s efforts to “modernize” the IRS isn’t about shrinking the deficit, but rather adding trillions more to national debt.
Democrats Love the IRS More Than They Love Israel Scott McKay, The American Spectator: “It’s a very typical dirty trick, and it’s the kind of crappy politics that Washington is known and hated for. It’s a classic example of why omnibus bills absolutely, positively ought to be banished to the ash-heap of history. So Johnson and the GOP leadership offered a dirty trick of their own. Rather than jacking up his own members by demanding they vote for Ukraine or else be accused of failing to stand for an orderly southern border, he’s jacking up Democrats and the D.C. uniparty crowd by demanding that they pay for this foreign aid with domestic cuts. And $15 billion in IRS swag is the easiest place to find the money. … So he’s now smoked out the fact that Democrats have absolutely zero interest in fiscal sanity and, furthermore, are unwilling to prioritize Israel over the expansion of the IRS’s capability to bludgeon average Americans who can’t afford white-shoe tax attorneys.”
The House GOP Is Getting Played by Democrats Noah Rothman, National Review: “House Republicans appear to need regular reminders that their party’s control of the levers of government in Washington is limited to one legislative chamber. The leverage that tenuous control provides is constrained by political realities that are neither a secret nor particularly inscrutable. … The Biden White House and the Democrats in control of the Senate knew what they were doing when they proposed a package of aid to two American partners abroad with whom the U.S. is not formally aligned, but whom it nonetheless supports in their efforts to repel invasions by hostile neighboring powers … The Democrats’ defense of one of the least liked, most inefficient law-enforcement agencies in the federal government serves only to energize their base voters and strengthen the efficacy of using Johnson’s name in the party’s fundraising solicitations. … Maybe Republicans have convinced themselves that they could capture the high ground in a debate over funding Israel’s defense, but Democrats don’t seem especially deterred.”
One more opinion piece from the Right: Yellen Throws A Fit Over Reducing IRS Expenses To Fund Israel Aid Shawn Fleetwood, The Federalist
House GOP Plan Is a Hypocritical Nonstarter
“The new House Speaker, who has demanded that $14.3 billion be siphoned off the IRS budget to fund Israel, is pulling a stunt that one Senate Democrat called ‘horrifying.’”
Johnson is proving the hypocrisy of Republicans claiming to be “fiscal conservatives” by looking to reduce the IRS budget, which would ultimately widen the deficit.
“Speaker Johnson has put the House on a collision course with the Senate and President Biden.”
Mike Johnson Just Put a “Poison Pill” in the House’s Israel Aid Package Caleb Ecarma, Vanity Fair: “‘It’s a poison pill,’ said Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee….adding, ‘The idea that somehow you would basically condition support for Israel on giveaways to wealthy tax cheats takes your breath away.’ The White House has painted Johnson’s bill as a ‘nonstarter’ and described it as an attempt to play politics with US national security. … Senate Democrats previously had issues with getting Ukraine funding through the House toward the end of Kevin McCarthy’s nine-month tenure as Speaker. But that was before military aid to Israel became a top priority following Hamas’s October 7 attack. Those disputes have only worsened under Johnson: House Republicans now hope to chip away at the nearly $80 billion in additional funding the IRS received last year from the Inflation Reduction Act, despite having already cut $21.4 billion from the agency’s budget during the debt ceiling crunch in May.
Mike Johnson Just Confirmed How Unserious He Is David Firestone, The New York Times: “Nothing in Mr. Johnson’s record suggested he might try to shore up America’s leadership in the world, but his actions show that his new position has not added any gravitas to his thinking; he’s just pandering to his cronies in the far right wing. …essentially the U.S. can protect Israel as long as it also protects rich white-collar criminals. The I.R.S., of course, has nothing to do with the war between Israel and Hamas, but it has everything to do with the Republican desire to score political points whenever possible. … But the aim of the extra enforcement was always the wealthy, whose complex tax fraud schemes cost the Treasury billions every year. Reducing the I.R.S. budget would actually widen the deficit, the opposite of what Republicans claim they care about.n … he Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that if the I.R.S. enforcement budget is cut by $25 billion, as some Senate Republicans have proposed, it would cost $49 billion in revenue from auditing the rich, and widen the 10-year deficit by nearly $24 billion.”
One more opinion piece from the Left: Johnson’s Israel Aid Bill Sets Stage for a Clash Over Security Assistance Catie Edmondson and Karoun Demirjian, The New York Times
Support for Israel Remains High
During President Biden’s visit to Israel, a survey conducted by CNBC found that 74% of respondents believe the US should help Israel through military funding, 2 points more than the 72% who say it’s important for the US government to fund securing the southern border and send Mexico foreign humanitarian aid.
Additionally, support for Israel has grown since 2014 from 34% to 39%. Support for Palestine grew 2 points but remains low, at 6% (The Hill).
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Cubs Win!, Shape of Space, Cola Colonels
The Chicago Cubs celebrate after winning the 2016 World Series. Credit: CC BY 2.0 Arturo Pardavila III
On This Day in 2016: The Chicago Cubs win their first World Series championship since 1908, beating the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, in a thrilling Game 7 delayed by rain. The win snaps the “Billy Goat Curse,” one of the more infamous sports curses, and baseball's longest World Series title drought.
Big Think: What is the shape of space itself?
Scientific American: To Lead a Meaningful Life, Become Your Own Hero
Today I learned that during WWII, Coca-Cola dispatched technical observers, nicknamed Coca Cola Colonels, to the frontlines to set up bottling plants to supply soldiers with their soda. They ended up establishing 64 bottling lines during the war.
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*Kevin O’Leary is a paid spokesperson for StartEngine. See his 17(b) disclosure, https://www.startengine.com/17b.
**Based on StartEngine’s unaudited financials: $1.88M for first half of 2019 compared to $9.9M for first half 2023, since these are semi-annual numbers and have not been audited, they may not include year-end adjustments necessary to make those financial statements comparable to audited results.
***Inc 5000 measures fastest growing private companies by revenue growth over a three-year period.
****StartEngine Community: Count of 1.8 million is determined as the number of unique email addresses in StartEngine’s database as of 10-6-2023.
*****Includes $760M in funds raised as of May 9, 2023 via Reg. CF and Reg. A+ combined through StartEngine’s funding portal and broker dealer, StartEngine Capital, LLC and StartEngine Primary, LLC respectively, as well as StartEngine’s own raises. Also includes $470M in funds raised previously through offerings conducted on www.seedinvest.com outside of the StartEngine platform. In May 2023, StartEngine acquired assets of SeedInvest, including email lists for SeedInvest’s users, investors and founders seeking to raise funds.