🇺🇸 Johnson's New Job

Plus, a noodling deer rampage.

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Friday. Guys! Apologies for the first send this morning. Total mess up on our part, we apologize. What you saw is one of our templates. We have a “RIGHT-FIRST TEMPLATE” and a “LEFT-FIRST TEMPLATE”. This is by design and it’s all part of our goal to bring you nonpartisan news — by highlighting both sides — every single day.

You see, we don’t always want to start with the right-leaning outlets, because then that might make some people think we lean right. And we don’t always want to start with the left-leaning outlets, because then some people might think we favor the left.

We have templates and formulas in order to make sure we’re doing our absolute best to present a balanced briefing every day. Again, apologies for the hiccup, but if we look at the silver lining, it gave us a chance to explain how thoughtful we try to be with this newsletter in terms of its presentation.

With everything going on right now, including the US fighter jet strikes on Iran-linked sites in Syria that just happened, we think our country needs a newsletter like this more than ever. The best ideas need to bubble to the top no matter what side is saying them. Anyway, thanks for listening to us and apologies again, let’s get on to your regularly scheduled programming.


Right: No, NYC subways still aren’t safe Nicole Gelinas, New York Post

Right: Warfare by Immigration Brian T. Kennedy, The American Mind

Right: The Changing Season Brings a Change in Politics Roger Kimball, The Spectator


Lewiston Shooting, Georgia to Redraw, Reporter’s Family Killed

US: Lewiston police identify Robert Card as a suspect in fatal shootings (NBC News)

US: A federal judge says Georgia's political maps must be redrawn for the 2024 election (NPR)

US: Jamaal Bowman pleads guilty in DC court arraignment on charges for pulling fire alarm (FOX News)

US: DeSantis says Florida helped send weapons to Israel in move that could boost him in the GOP primary (AP)

World: Hurricane Otis kills at least 27 in devastating blow to Acapulco, Mexico, that tore through high-rises and inundated roads (CNN)

World: Afghan girls' education advocate is freed from Taliban prison (NPR)

World: Qatar sentences 8 Indians to death, reportedly on charges of spying for Israel (Times of Israel)

World: Al Jazeera journalist learned his family had been killed while on the air (CNN)


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Johnson’s New Job

On Wednesday, The House elected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as speaker in a 220-209 party-line vote, ending weeks of gridlock and GOP infighting.

Reporting from the Left: Mike Johnson is a social conservative’s social conservative (POLITICO)

Reporting from the Right: Five dilemmas new House speaker Mike Johnson will have to tackle (FOX News)

From The Flag: The lack of Republican defectors marked a sharp change from the previous three votes when over 20 Republicans blocked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) from becoming speaker. The other GOP speaker hopefuls, Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Tom Emmer (R-MN) dropped out before even reaching the House floor because of opposition within their caucus.


Inexperienced and Dangerous

  • Johnson’s affable demeanor cannot hide his dangerous values, which are in complete alignment with far-right MAGA ideology.

  • Even though Johnson has gained the speakership, it is unlikely that Republicans have gotten past their infighting and may ultimately lose their majority next November.

  • “[Matt Gaetz] made a mess of his own party and shut down the House for a month. His reward: an election denier is the new Speaker of the House.”

Why Mike Johnson winning the speakership is a loss for the country Julian Zelizer, CNN: “With this decision, MAGA wins again. Johnson is no moderate. … Johnson might be a nice person, he carries himself in a reasonable way, but make no mistake about it: He is perfectly aligned with the new generation of Republicans…as they push their party even further to the right. … On almost every issue, Johnson is hard right. He has been a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage. He has been at the forefront of opposing reproductive rights. He opposed funding for Ukraine. He wants to deregulate the economy, cut taxes, and deny the very real problems facing our climate. … Most importantly, Johnson was at the center of the effort to overturn the 2020 election, something that in other times would have been immediately disqualifying for holding office, let alone being speaker. … Taking one more step in the enshrinement of MAGA, Johnson on Wednesday won with the support of many so-called “moderate” Republicans who had been more comfortable with McCarthy at the top.”

Republicans Don’t Really Want to Be in Charge Rich Lowry, POLITICS: “The Louisiana Republican has come out of nowhere to ascend to the speaker of the House, a job that people spend their entire adult lives aspiring to, but that Johnson picked up like a stray nickel. …. What ultimately elevated Johnson, and what could make his tenure rocky after a honeymoon, is that the Republican majority is not very comfortable being a majority. That requires a cohesiveness and realism that clash with the impulse of an element of the party to build its own brand at the expense of everything else. … No one who has the interests of his or her party at heart ever wishes for fewer members. If you want your majority to be so narrow that it is vulnerable to disruption and blackmail, maybe you don’t really want a majority at all. If that’s true of Gaetz and his friends, the chaos of the last few weeks may make it a little more likely that they are eventually relieved of the burden of being part of a majority next November.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Mike Johnson Got Elected, But Matt Gaetz Is the Big Winner of GOP’s House Speaker Battle Matt Lewis, The Daily Beast


Mixed: He Will Rise To The Occasion vs. Can He Govern?

  • Johnson may be green, but he has a substantial background and the personality to work with the varying factions of his party.

  • It’s unlikely that the divisions among House Republicans have disappeared, and we’ll soon see how well Johnson can govern.

  • House Republicans had to go through all this chaos, and it was worth it because Johnson is a true conservative who stands behind his ideals.

Mike Johnson lucked into speaker job — but he has talent to pull it off John Fund, New York Post: “Mike Johnson of Louisiana, the new House speaker, has pulled off what no one thought possible: He swept past the bad blood, the ego-driven personalities and ideological divisions among House Republicans and won a unanimous vote of his conference. … His leadership position as House Republican Conference vice chairman meant he had personal relationships with many moderate members, who liked his low-key style and his willingness to listen to them. And he has demonstrated an interest in the details of legislation, impressing other member experts in tax, budget, and defense issues. … The truth is, of course, most successful politicians combine real talent with great luck. Speaker Mike Johnson is no exception. Fewer than nine years ago, he was a mere lawyer in Shreveport, La., when his local state legislator resigned to become a judge. Johnson filed for the seat, and to his astonishment, he drew no opponents and was automatically elected.”

Can Speaker Mike Johnson Govern? The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: The question is whether the Republican malcontents will let him govern in a way they refused his deposed predecessor, Kevin McCarthy. It won’t take long to find out. Government funding expires Nov. 17, and America’s friends in Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan need military help to defend themselves. … Democrats are already branding Mr. Johnson a MAGA ideologue, which is unfair. But he will have to explain his view of the 2020 election, given that he pushed an implausible lawsuit at the time asking the Supreme Court to decertify results in four swing states. When a reporter Tuesday tried to ask him a question on that, Republicans hooted it down, which isn’t a great start for retaking the suburbs. …. A big part of Mr. Johnson’s job is to bring order to this Republican chaos. The hard reality is that the GOP’s narrow majority puts him in the same precarious position as his predecessor.

One more opinion piece from the Right: Chaotic Good Bradley Devlin, The American Conservative


Low Profile

Given his relatively low profile, a poll found Mike Johnson had only 1% support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the days leading up to his election.

The same pole found Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) with the most support (23%), while Former President Donald Trump received the second highest at 15% (YouGov).

Before Mike Johnson's election to the speakership, were you aware of him?

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Prison Population, Stages of Clutter, Ninja Dress Code

A Douglas C-54 Skymaster dropping candy over Berlin, c. 1948/49

On This Day in 1994, The US Justice Department announces that the US prison population had topped one million for the first time in American history. The figure — 1,012,851 men and women were in state and federal prisons—did not include local prisons, where an estimated 500,000 prisoners were held, usually for short periods.

Today, I learned ninjas did not wear black on missions because they would not blend in with the environment.

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