December 12, 2018

Oval Office Meeting and Looming Shutdown

Letter from the founder...

Phew, it’s been a busy few months! As you'll see below, we’ve gotten a makeover. We took to heart all your incredible feedback, and launched a new site that betters tells the story of who we are and what we do.

We also just launched a holiday campaign to #FixTheFilter! We all have that one relative... This holiday, let's encourage them to skip the clickbait, bypass the trolls, and #FixTheFilter with The Flip Side. Here are quick links for Facebook and Twitter. Please share far and wide!

The past year has been quite the journey for this bootstrapped entrepreneur. I began making a list of people to thank, and literally ran out of room in my notepad. I’ll stick to a small handful so as not to bore you all toomuch...

Thank you Angela, Alfredo, and the Function Labs team for working tirelessly to get the bears just right on our new site. Thank you Isaiah, Charlie, and Audrey for toiling through a hundred drafts to create a kickass campaign video. Thank you Ian for always jumping in to fix my tech blunders, and Allison for being our north star through it all.

A HUGE thank you to the entire Flip Side team for their incredible work day in and day out, and of course, my co-editor and business partner Jihan, whose knowledge of esoteric grammar rules never ceases to amaze. (I’m writing this at 3 am after he’s gone to bed; sorry Jihan if this is riddled with errors!)

Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to thank you —  our readers. Thank you for taking a chance on us, bearing with our missteps, and sharing our work with friends and family. It truly means the world.

Now let’s go out and #FixTheFilter!

With gratitude,
Annafi

U.S. President Donald Trump openly fought with the top two Democratic lawmakers in the Oval Office on Tuesday about government funding, throwing into question whether a deal to avert a government shutdown was possible ahead of a deadline next week.”
Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left believes the Oval Office meeting was a Democratic victory, and that a shutdown would backfire on the GOP.

“Though the bickering wasn’t a flattering look for any of the leaders in attendance, Democrats ultimately secured the sound bite they wanted, with Trump welcoming blame for any shutdown that might come.”
Slate

“The first rule of shutdown fights is never say you are for a shutdown. Voters invariably oppose this kind of stunt and see it as evidence of incompetence and unnecessary rancor by the governing party…

“Since Republicans control everything and are likely to be blamed for shuttering the government, the last thing President Trump wants to do is say he is for a shutdown. And that’s exactly what he said Tuesday, no doubt to the joy of Democrats who are trying to convince Americans the GOP is unfit to govern.”
Washington Post

Some point out that “65 percent of Republicans do not think Trump should compromise, even if it means a shutdown, and 63 percent say building a wall should be a top priority. Among strong Republicans, just 19 percent believe Trump should compromise on wall funding to avoid a shutdown. More than 90 percent of all Republicans approve of Trump’s handling of immigration… [This] helps explain why both sides are digging in their heels.”
Washington Post

“The issue [however] is not border security per se. Democrats are willing to spend billions of dollars on border security. They have been for years. Trump is fixated on the wall, and only the wall.”
Chicago Sun Times

“As important as border security unquestionably is, Trump’s proposed ‘beautiful’ wall wouldn’t meaningfully hinder illegal immigration, drug smuggling or any other problem the president has cited as a rationale. Illegal border crossings have shrunk over the last two decades, and drugs are smuggled primarily through tunnels or legal entry points… lawmakers should continue to resist throwing $5 billion worth of tax dollars at what amounts to a vanity project for Trump.”
Los Angeles Times

After 9/11, “the administration threw billions of dollars at border security, dramatically tightened visa screening, made passports more secure, and instituted systems for gathering information about travelers before they reached the United States… border security is an important component of counterterrorism—but in the United States, that part of the problem was already largely solved before Trump’s tenure.”
The Atlantic

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right supports Trump’s strong stance, but is divided about which party will gain from a shutdown.

From the Right

The right supports Trump’s strong stance, but is divided about which party will gain from a shutdown.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted, “Great job sticking to your guns on border security, Mr. President!”
Twitter

This is why we elected Trump, folks. He’s a fighter… the president knows he's in it to win a shut down fight--and on this issue, he probably would.”
Townhall

“To be honest, there’s no better moment for a shutdown to signal seriousness of purpose than right now. The GOP’s as far away from the next election as it can be and the opposing party is about to take over a house of Congress. An early test of wills will show Democrats up front that Trump intends to make border security a top issue over the next two years and that he won’t take no for an answer.”
Hot Air

“According to the Department of Homeland Security: ‘On average last year, DHS prevented 10 individuals tied to terror – known or suspected terrorists – each day from traveling or attempting to travel to the United States’... Added to this number are the 17,000 criminals and 3,000 special interest aliens that U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended in 2017… Democrats are on the wrong side of the American people.”
Fox News

Furthermore, Pelosi “doesn’t do herself or anyone else favors by trying to hide the debate in darkness… You want a good example of democracy in action, how about the image of party leaders publicly and freely disagreeing, without fear of death, bodily harm, or imprisonment? We should have more public discussions like the one held in the White House on Tuesday, not fewer.”
Washington Examiner

Some posit that “the first rule of shutdown fights is never to say that you want a shutdown… [Trump’s comment] almost guarantees, no matter how recalcitrant Democrats are, that Republicans will get blamed for any shutdown, and probably creates more incentive for congressional Republicans to avoid one in the first place.”
National Review

Others note that “this is the President's last best chance to get the wall going… Offer dreamers the right to stay in the country without threat of deportation in exchange for the wall. Don't offer up citizenship. They get the right to stay, and they no longer have to live in the shadows… Then toss it to the Democrats. They can either reject it and let dreamers live with the fear of deportation. Or they can take it and fund the wall as well. Make it their choice.”
The Resurgent

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

People from all over the world are sending emails to Melbourne’s trees.
ABC News

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