🎧 The Daily: The Republicans’ Shutdown Strategy | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: The Republicans’ Shutdown Strategy from New York Times

As the shutdown drags into its 20th day, both President Trump and Democratic leaders appear to be doubling down.

🎧 The Daily: Is There a Crisis at the Border? | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Is There a Crisis at the Border? from New York Times

President Trump says there’s a problem, but it may be one of his own making.

🎧 The Daily: Chuck Schumer on the Wall, the Shutdown and the Era of Divided Government | New York Times

Listened to The Daily: Chuck Schumer on the Wall, the Shutdown and the Era of Divided Government from New York Times

On the eve of a new Congress, the Senate minority leader sat down with “The Daily” to discuss his hopes — and his strategy for getting things done — before the next election rolls around.

👓 Donald Trump: Why US Law Makes It Easy to Stiff Contractors. | Fortune

Read Why U.S. Law Makes It Easy for Donald Trump To Stiff Contractors (Fortune)
Fortunately, the practice is not common in business.

I came across this article while thinking about how Trump’s stiffing workers and contractors seemed similar to his handling of the government shutdown.

After reading this, it almost seems to me that with the government shutdown Trump is “selling out his goodwill” in a political sense the same way he’s sold out the goodwill of his own businesses.

Seeing both of these things juxtaposed is another very stark reminder that he seems to have no empathy for anyone at all. This article seems to have called out the same thing long ago.

In practice this [selling out goodwill] rarely happens, for two reasons.
First, most business people, despite what some people think, have integrity, a heart, and a conscience.
[…]
Fortunately, you don’t see that too often. That’s because most business people, like most other Americans, are fundamentally decent people. They believe in, and practice, the Golden Rule.

Listening to the coverage of Trump’s offer to stop the government shutdown, I can’t help but recall the frequent reports that even in his personal business he unilaterally decided not to pay workers and forced them to sue him to attempt to recover the money. He’s literally now doing the same thing with the government and federal workers.

Apparently tigers do not change their stripes.

👓 So, I Got an Email From Matthew Whitaker’s Wife | Slate

Read So, I Got an Email From Matthew Whitaker’s Wife (Slate Magazine)
Marci Whitaker, wife of the acting attorney general, says the Mueller investigation is “wrapping up.”

This is just bizarre. I wonder if she discussed this with her husband before sending? (Not that she needs to, but it just seems so odd that something like this could cause them more trouble than not.)

👓 Joshua Tree National Park’s Signature Trees Are Among Shutdown Victims | New York Times

Read Joshua Tree National Park’s Signature Trees Are Among Shutdown Victims (New York Times)
The park said that an unspecified number of its spiky-leafed trees had been destroyed by visitors during the shutdown.

📺 “Face the Nation” on January 13, 2019 | CBS

Watched "Face the Nation" on January 13, 2019 from CBS News

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (read more)
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (read more)
  • Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro (read more) (full interview)
  • Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (read more)
  • Michael Crowley, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Nakamura, Seung Min Kim (watch)

👓 Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer demand equal airtime to respond to Trump’s address | CNN

Read Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer demand equal airtime to respond to Trump's address by Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy (CNN)
The major television networks said that they will provide wall-to-wall coverage of President Donald Trump's prime time address on border security on Tuesday.

This journalistic decision is sure to be completely ill advised.

I’m very seriously considering any major network that airs this without obtaining the text of the speech in advance and without serious fact checking and without additional rebuttal time for the opposition party in advance.

There is absolutely no credible threat of anything at the border and this play is pure politics. If there were a credible threat, then there should be someone from the Pentagon giving the briefing and it should happen immediately and not tomorrow.

👓 First on CNN: Hundreds of TSA screeners calling out sick | CNN

Read First on CNN: Hundreds of TSA screeners calling out sick by Rene Marsh and Gregory Wallace, CNN (CNN)
Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the partial government shutdown, have called out from work this week from at least four major airports