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🇺🇸 Shutdown Shenanigans

Plus, the journey of library books.

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Wednesday. A Starbucks supervisor is getting ready to buy a new set of wheels, thanks to the loving concern of her coworkers — and an entire college campus — after her car was burglarized. How much did they raise for her?

Plus, a pair of long-overdue books arrived at their Ontario home after being returned to a library in Massachusetts… more than 600 miles away.

Also, want to trade like the 1% — or at least the 5%? With today’s sponsor, you may be able to trade $4 million. Here’s how.


Left: Democrats Desperately Need Sherrod Brown in Ohio Chris McGreal, The Guardian

Right: Trump Is Right. Dems Support No Limits on Abortion David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Right: What It Takes To Believe Biden Is Innocent David Catron, The American Spectator

Right: How Biden Will Circle the Wagon Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness


Zelensky Addresses UN, Giuliani Sued, Automatic Voter Registration

World: Russian 'evil cannot be trusted', Zelensky tells UN (BBC)

US: Rudy Giuliani sued by own lawyer for $1.3m in unpaid fees (The Guardian)

US: Pennsylvania announces automatic voter registration (FOX News)

US: House Republicans to hold first impeachment hearing into President Biden next week (NPR)

World: India expels Canadian diplomat, escalating tensions after Trudeau accuses India in Sikh’s killing (AP)

Business: Amazon adding 250,000 workers for the holidays and bumping average pay (CNBC)


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Shutdown Shenanigans

Over the weekend, as Congress inches closer to a government shutdown, House Republicans reached a deal on a bill to fund the government through October 31, with some provisions that will likely make it a non-starter in the Democrat-controlled Senate. The bill has even been criticized by some hard-line Republicans — enough that it could fail to pass in the House.

Reporting from the Left: House GOP struggles to find consensus on averting shutdown (CNN)

Reporting from the Right: Hard-line conservatives line up to oppose stopgap funding deal, making passage difficult (Washington Examiner)

From The Flag: The proposed bill would cut about 8% from all non-defense budgets except for the Department of Veterans Affairs, resulting in a cut of about 1% in the overall budget. It also includes measures from an immigration bill passed by House Republicans in May, and it lacks additional funding for Ukraine. With the deadline arriving at the end of the month, here’s what both sides are saying about an impending shutdown.


Republicans in Disarray

  • “The latest congressional villains are the GOP’s hard-right nihilists, but their motives for sabotaging the government make no sense.”

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing an extremely difficult predicament in trying to pass a bill that would appeal to both parties.

  • There’s a high degree of infighting among Republicans, making it appear like the issue is unlikely to be resolved at its current state.

The Government Shutdown Is a Cartoonishly Bad—but Still Terrifying—Sequel, The Nation, Chris Lehmann: “Today’s shutdown battle involves little in the way of clear policy objectives beyond McCarthy’s rapid capitulation to far-right House demands to launch Biden impeachment inquiries and the perennial demand for more draconian measures to police the US southern border. ‘In many ways, the shutdown is the goal,’ says Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer, another Gingrich biographer. ‘Meaning, to create chaos and dysfunction has become an animating goal for the GOP, which makes negotiation much harder to achieve even within the party.’ …the grievance arm of the GOP caucus is hard-pressed to mount a credible challenge to McCarthy’s rule, despite Gaetz’s repeated threats to invoke a motion-to-vacate vote to throw the speakership open. In that same gruesome conference meeting last week, McCarthy reportedly told the restive would-be bolters clustered around the Freedom Caucus to ‘go ahead’ with a motion-to-vacate vote.”

Kevin McCarthy Is Getting Desperate as Government Shutdown Looms Vanity Fair, Eric Lutz: “McCarthy has had a shaky grip on the gavel since January, when he made major concessions to the far-right to finally clinch the speakership on the fifteenth ballot. But this spending battle could be his biggest test yet, with a government shutdown looming at the end of this month. … Under the proposed stopgap, which McCarthy wants to vote on this week, the government would remain open through the end of October—but with significant cuts to non-defense spending. It would also include a hardline border bill favored by the far-right. In other words, it’s got basically no chance with the Democrats, who have been calling for weeks on McCarthy to pursue a bipartisan path. … But while the measure may be too extreme for Democrats, it’s not extreme enough for some Republicans… Overall, the math isn’t looking great for McCarthy: He can only afford four GOP holdouts if he doesn’t gain any Democratic support…”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Tensions flare inside House GOP as moderates explore new plan to avoid shutdown Melanie Zanona et al., CNN


Currently No Viable Solution

  • McCarthy doesn’t appear to have a grasp of the situation, claiming he still doesn’t know what members of his party want.

  • Republicans really need to ask themselves how and why they’re going to justify some of the proposed fundings.

  • The continuing resolution proposed by Republicans has notable detractors with in the party, largely because it’s temporary and some feel it doesn’t go far enough.

Kevin McCarthy Expresses Frustration with Freedom Caucus Over Funding Fight, Possible Government Shutdown David Zimmermann, National Review: “The Freedom Caucus members say they are using the bill as leverage to force President Joe Biden to negotiate with them over border security, weaponization of the federal government, and abortion policy. They have also floated the idea of trying to oust McCarthy from his post. The federal government will shut down if the spending bill isn’t approved by the end of the month. … The House must come to a consensus on the funding bill before it moves to the Senate and Biden’s desk, all of which must happen by September 30. If not, the federal government will run out of money, prompting a shutdown. The private meeting was intended for House Republicans to discuss their impeachment inquiry into Biden, which they did, but McCarthy started the discussion with a defensive rant about his position. … Despite the Freedom Caucus making their demands on the spending bill clear for months, McCarthy claims he is ‘not quite sure what they want.’”

There’s No Way To Justify Continued Funding For The Federal Government Eddie Scarry, The Federalist: “What did you get done this week?” Every Republican in Congress should have to answer that question to the American taxpayer (you and me) before even thinking about giving another cent to Ukraine, the Pentagon, the DOJ, Health and Human Services, and every other department that is, at best, useless, and at worst, packed with paper pushers overtly harassing the people who pay their outsized salaries (you and me). … Biden is requesting just another $24 billion in aid to Ukraine, which, of course, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is crying happy tears to have approved as soon as yesterday. We’re marching into the second year of footing the bill for this war, having committed many billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine. In that time…Russia has managed to occupy tens of thousands of square miles of Ukraine territory, while simultaneously ingratiating itself to critical U.S. adversaries China and North Korea.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Rebel uprising threatens to derail House GOP deal to avoid shutdown Elizabeth Elkins, FOX News


Low Awareness of Potential Shutdown

At the start of the month, 61% of likely Republican primary voters had either heard nothing or heard very little about the prospects of a government shutdown, according to a recent survey from Echelon Insights.

According to pollster Brian Bennett, “Only about 11% of Americans have even heard a lot about the government shutdown. Fewer than half, 47%, have heard some about a government shutdown” (Roll Call).

Before today's newsletter, how would you rate your awareness and exposure to shutdown-related coverage.

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.


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Paoli Massacre, Mindfulness Hack, Not an Island!

A “Dreadful Scene of Havock,” a 1782 portrait depicting the Battle of Paoli

On This Day in 1777: In the evening, near Paoli, Pennsylvania, General Charles Grey and nearly 5,000 British soldiers launch a surprise attack on a small regiment of Patriot troops commanded by General Anthony Wayne in what becomes known as the Paoli Massacre.

Today I learned that in 1985 the Supreme Court ruled that Long Island is not an island, but a peninsula!

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