Shutdown Deja Vu

Plus, what would you do with 69,255 pencils?

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Tuesday. A dog’s keen nose led a resident of Cornwall to a mineshaft, where 100 feet down, her cat Mowgli was lost and alone for 6 days.

Plus, in the high-stakes world of pencil collecting, an Iowa man was officially awarded a Guinness World Records title for his collection of 69,255 pencils.

Also, take the stress out of holiday hosting while making sure your guests always have something delicious to nibble on.


Right: The Damage of the ‘White Privilege’ Smear Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness


SCOTUS Code of Conduct, Tim Scott Drops Out, LA Crisis

US: Supreme Court attempts to address ethics concerns with new code of conduct but leaves many questions unanswered (CNN)

US: Jan. 6 Capitol riot 'QAnon Shaman' files for 2024 congressional bid (FOX News)

US: Tim Scott suspends his presidential campaign (POLITICO)

US: Los Angeles braces for a transportation ‘crisis’ as part of Interstate 10 is closed indefinitely after massive blaze (CNN)

World: Ex-leader David Cameron makes shock return to UK government as Sunak rolls the dice with a shakeup (AP)

World: Iceland declares emergency in anticipation of volcanic eruption (NBC News)

World: Israel calls on Hamas to surrender Shifa hospital base as US strikes Iran proxies in Syria (FOX News)


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Shutdown Deja Vu

Over the weekend, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) announced a funding plan to avoid a government shutdown. The bill faces an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled Senate and has some House Republicans wondering how it would work.

Reporting from the Right: Speaker Johnson rolls out plan to avoid government shutdown, prevent 'spending monstrosity' (FOX News)

Reporting from the Left: Speaker Mike Johnson unveils plan to avoid government shutdown (Axios)

From The Flag: The current stopgap bill expires this week, and Congress needs to approve a continuing resolution by Friday night to avoid a shutdown. If Johnson's two-tiered approach fails, he plans to propose a full-year stopgap bill. Here’s what both sides are saying about Johnson’s proposal and a potential shutdown.


Uphill Battle, But Better Than Nothing

  • Johnson’s proposal doesn’t handle everything at once, but it is a reasonable step forward.

  • As more Republicans come out in opposition to Johnson’s plan, he is more than likely going to need help from Democrats.

  • The problems that existed within Congressional Republicans before Johnson was elected speaker still exist, and he has an uphill battle.

Speaker Johnson's two-part spending plan deserves support Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner: “…it makes more sense to break projects down into bite-sized chunks than to insist on all-or-nothing propositions. If Congress can find agreement on a third of the government’s annual “discretionary” spending, well, why not at least get that third done and then work on the other two-thirds separately?… It is true that budget hawks will be unhappy at even temporarily keeping spending at current levels rather than cutting it, but they must learn that incrementalism works. Congress usually hikes spending each year, so just keeping it at a steady level rather than raising it is a step in the right direction of fiscal discipline. Plus, as Johnson is new to the Speakership, it would be incredibly counter-productive for his Republican colleagues to kneecap him just as he is getting his feet on the ground. For the House to work, and for Republicans to stop turning voters off with their constant chaos, Johnson needs room to operate. It’s time to stop insisting on perfection. And time to stop the air of crisis. Johnson has outlined a reasonable step forward. Individual representatives should stop being prima donnas, and instead walk ahead with their new Speaker.”

Democrat support critical for Johnson's plan to avoid shutdown amid growing GOP opposition Elizabeth Elkind, FOX News: Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is going to need help from House Democrats to pass his plan for averting a government shutdown this week. Johnson is facing the first big legislative test of his speakership as the deadline to fund the federal government, Nov. 17, rapidly approaches. … At least five House Republicans voiced opposition to the CR as of Monday morning… With just a razor-thin House majority, GOP leadership can only lose four Republican votes to pass something solely on party lines. Both chambers of Congress need to agree on a path forward by Nov. 17 to avoid a shutdown. The central point both agree on is that some kind of temporary extension is needed to give lawmakers a chance to cobble together fiscal year 2024 spending priorities. … Several Democrats have already decried it, but the House Democratic leadership has yet to specifically come out against Johnson’s plan. … Democrats had been publicly opposed to his idea of staggering deadlines, preferring a straightforward single "clean" funding extension. However, the lack of spending cuts is likely to win support of at least several left-wing lawmakers.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Speaker Johnson faces toughest test yet on how to avoid a government shutdown Reese Gorman, Washington Examiner


Two-Month-Old History Is Repeating Itself

  • Johnson finds himself in the exact situation McCarthy was in — which ultimately led to Johnson’s ascension to the speakership.

  • “Speaker Mike Johnson has inherited the same problems that faced Kevin McCarthy. Turns out, he doesn’t have a solution either.”

  • “Johnson can only lose a handful of Republicans on any piece of legislation, but no one wants to compromise and virtually everything is unacceptable to one group or another.”

Government shutdown looms as new speaker struggles to control hardliners Stephen Collinson, CNN: “New House Speaker Mike Johnson may already be losing his first big clash with the hard-right lawmakers who are making the Republican majority and the nation ungovernable as time races down to yet another federal funding cut-off. The Louisiana conservative, who was just lifted from obscurity to second in line to the presidency, may soon find himself in the position that doomed his predecessor Rep. Kevin McCarthy — needing Democratic votes to keep the government open. … [Jonathan’s plan] could head off the Washington holiday-season tradition of shutdown dramas and mammoth all-encompassing spending bills. But the chances that a GOP majority that has trouble passing any bill could deliver on this intricate plan seem very low. Given the House’s record, Johnson may simply be setting the country up for two government shutdowns rather than one. … Johnson’s task is so difficult because the tiny GOP majority means he can lose only a handful of members on any bill and still pass it with only Republican votes – hence the need to get help from Democrats on some issues and the consequent risk of further alienating far-right members of his conference.”

House GOP’s Dysfunction Inches Government Toward Shutdown Riley Rogerson, Daily Beast: “If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the exact situation in which Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) found himself in September—only now, it’s November and it’s Speaker Mike Johnson’s problem. Republicans are hoping Johnson will somehow deliver a solution to all of their legislative woes. But without a recognition that the House GOP isn’t going to magically come to an agreement about a host of issues—like overall spending levels, individual policies in appropriations bills, or the fact that the Democratic Senate and the Democratic president aren’t just going to swallow Republican bills—a solution doesn’t appear in the offing. … But this week, that momentum screeched to a halt as Republicans reignited their internal bickering. Johnson was forced to yank two spending bills after Republicans failed to get on the same page. … With Johnson’s hopes to pass each spending bill individually in tatters, some kind of stopgap spending plan seems inevitable. But it’s unclear what that bill could look like. Rather than proposing legislation this week, Johnson polled his GOP conference for their ideas and got back a host of different ideas.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: The shutdown looms, and Speaker Mike Johnson has nothing Jackie Calmes, Los Angeles Times


Republicans To Blame, But…

When the government was facing a potential shutdown in September, polling found that over a third of voters (34%) said Republicans in Congress would be mostly to blame for a government shutdown, while 23% would blame President Joe Biden and 21% would blame Democrats in Congress.

Notably, the poll also found that 46% of voters said fighting between Democrats and Republicans is to blame for the shutdown brinkmanship (Morning Consult).

Do you believe Congress will be able to pass a funding bill in time to avoid a shutdown?

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Ruby Goes to School, Future of Books, Quicksand Myths

US Marshals escorting Bridges.

On This Day in 1960: A court order mandating the desegregation of schools came into effect in New Orleans, Louisiana. Six-year-old Ruby Bridges walked into William Frantz Elementary School, accompanied by federal marshals and taunted by angry crowds, instantly becoming a symbol of the civil rights movement, an icon for the cause of racial equality, and a target for racial animosity.

Today I learned the cartoons we watched as kids unambiguously lied to us. It is virtually impossible to die from quicksand.

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