☕ Cover Shot: Live Free or Die
Welcome to America’s Newsletter from Tag The Flag, the best morning newsletter on the internet, bringing you nonpartisan news and every view of the Red, White, and Blue. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
📌 BULLETIN BOARD
Do you have “Newyorkitis”? Or maybe even “Americanitis“, defined as “an intense desire to ‘git thar’ and an awful feeling that you cannot”? In reality, we probably all do. A great morning read from Lapham’s Quarterly: An Inflammation of Place.
🦅 U.S. NEWS
As former Vice President, Joe Biden continues to struggle, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Mayor, Pete Buttigieg are setting their sights on today’s New Hampshire primary, casting the contest as a two-person race Alexander Burns and Nick Corasaniti write for The New York Times. Why it matters: Over the past year, Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have dominated the campaign at different stages, but after edging out Bernie in Iowa, Buttigieg, the younger, more moderate option and older self-proclaimed socialist appear to have the momentum. Here’s how it’s playing:
- On the left: Alex Seitz-Wald of NBC writes that “Buttigieg’s improbable rise [is] looking more real every day.” That being said, “Buttigieg is still struggling to connect with nonwhite voters” which could be an issue in South Carolina, which holds its primary on Feb. 29.
- On the right: Christopher Bedford of the Federalist points out the “Myth of Pete Buttigieg [being] ‘Moderate’”. “From health care and abortion to guns and immigration, and from the Supreme Court to the Electoral College, the man is decidedly a radical” despite the fact that CBS, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Guardian, and others” label him as such. On the other hand, Bedford says that “if you listen to the left-wing activists trailing Buttigieg around, he’s “Wall Street Pete” and “will kill us.”
- From The Center: As for Bernie, Jimmy Vielkind notes in the Wall Street Journal, that the Democratic establishment is pushing back against a potential Sanders nomination for their party: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he doesn’t believe U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is the best Democratic candidate to beat President Trump and said it is too early to determine who the party’s standard-bearer should be. Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat in his third term as governor, said he believed Mr. Sanders’s identification as a democratic socialist would be a liability in a general election challenge, calling the label “a big pill for a lot of voters to swallow.”
How it stands: As of now, RealClearPolitics is projecting Sanders to win New Hampshire by a decent-sized margin over Buttigieg. Joe Biden is currently projected to finish in fifth place.
From the AP: “Four members of the Chinese military have been charged with breaking into the networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans, the Justice Department said Monday, blaming Beijing for one of the largest hacks in history.” Why it matters: “The case comes as the Trump administration has warned against what it sees as the growing political and economic influence of China, and efforts by Beijing to collect data on Americans and steal scientific research and innovation.” By the numbers: “The 2017 breach affected roughly 145 million people, with the hackers successfully stealing names, Social Security numbers and other personal information stored in the company’s databases.” – AP
A Prime Showdown
Amazon’s cloud computing arm wants to depose President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and former Defense Secretary James Mattis over a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract awarded to Microsoft, according to court documents unsealed Monday. Why it matters per Axios’ Fadel Allassan: Amazon claims the decision last year to hand Microsoft [the] contract was influenced by Trump, who has repeatedly and publicly taken shots at Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos.” Big Picture: Bezos has been a constant source of frustration for Trump. The billionaire executive owns The Washington Post newspaper, which Trump regularly criticizes for its coverage of his administration. Trump also has gone after Amazon repeatedly for, as he claims, not paying its fair share of taxes and ripping off the U.S. Post Office. – CNBC / Axios
🤝 PRESENTED BY: GLERUPS
There’s simply no better way to stay cozy during the cold winter months then keeping your feet warm with the indoor, outdoor wonders known as Glerups. These slippers are handcrafted from a blend of Merino and Gotland wool so you get all of the heat without any of the sweat. Try a pair on today→
🌎 WORLD NEWS
President Xi Inspects Coronavirus Hospital in Beijing
The Chinese leader paid his first public visit to the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, stopping at a Beijing hospital treating infected patients and at a local disease-control office after weeks of remaining largely out of public view. The death toll from the outbreak climbed above 1,000 and globally, more than 42,000 have been infected. Additionally, China has released a mobile app that tracks people and alerts them if they have been in close contact with the new coronavirus. Big picture from CNBC: It is the latest effort by the Chinese government to use its sprawling surveillance system to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. Question: Does technology always help? See the next story. – WSJ / CNBC
It’s Iowa All Over Again in Israel
As first reported by Haaretz on Sunday night, an app used by Prime Minister Benjamin’s Likud party ended up leaking personal data on 6,453,254 citizens. How bad was it? The information includes the full names, identity card numbers, addresses, and gender of every single eligible voter in Israel. Why it matters: Technology’s track record with Democracy has taken two major hits within the span of one week, first in Iowa, now in Israel. – Haaretz
Sinn Fein’s Stunning Surge In Ireland
Sinn Fein, perhaps best known for its historical links with the militant Irish Republican Army, surged in the country’s general elections over the weekend. Why it matters: it marks a major “rebranding” for the party, seemingly burying their past as a party long accused of aligning with terrorism and violence, Nic Robertson writes for CNN. Big picture: It could impact Brexit: “Sinn Fein are now the only Irish party with major political influence both north and south of the Irish border, the European Union’s new land border with the United Kingdom. Such is the seismic shift in Irish politics that Sinn Fein’s demand for a united Ireland will be heard louder.” – CNN
Stocks Rebound & Microsoft Reclaims
Despite ongoing worries over the deadly coronavirus, US stocks climbed higher on Monday. Remember: On Friday the jobs report showed US hiring picked up during the first month of the year. Additionally, more Americans are entering the labor market. Furthermore, of the 324 S&P 500 companies that have handed in their latest earnings reports, over 70% have surpassed Wall Street estimates. Meanwhile, during the trading day, Microsoft reclaimed its title as the largest U.S. company by market capitalization after its shares rallied to start the week. The company is currently battling Apple for the top spot, but the iPhone maker stumbled yesterday on a report that its Chinese production line was hit hard by the coronavirus. According to Business Insider, the news caused Apple’s market value to drop by $27 billion. Elsewhere, Tesla stock edged higher as its Shanghai factory resumed operations. Across the board, all three major US indexes ended the day in positive territory. – Markets Insider / MarketWatch
NCAA, allies spend nearly $1M on Capitol Hill
As Congress considers whether to allow college athletes to receive endorsement money, the NCAA and its allies spent nearly $1 million last year lobbying lawmakers to shape any reforms to the organization’s liking, Ben Nuckols reports for the Associated Press. Remember: The NCAA last fall said it would allow athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image, and likeness” and is crafting rules to put in place for its 1,100 member schools in coming months. Why it matters: “Organizations representing athletes have no paid lobbyists, leading to concern among some reform advocates that the deep-pocketed NCAA is shaping the debate. The NCAA’s pressure campaign comes as the Senate prepares for a committee hearing today on player compensation.” Keep reading. – AP
Online Dating Surges in the US
According to a new Pew Research Center report on online dating, 30% of U.S. adults have at some point used a dating app or website. Why it matters: That’s up from just 11% in 2013. A smaller number of U.S. adults, 12%, said they found a long-term relationship via online dating. Big picture: while a majority of users reported an overall positive experience with online dating, there are some significant issues around harassment. 37% of online dating users said someone on a site or app continued to contact them after they said they were not interested, 35% said they were sent an explicit message or image they didn’t ask for and 28% were called an offensive name. A smaller percentage (9%) said they were threatened with physical harm. Keep reading. – Tech Crunch
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1990: Nelson Mandela released from prison
Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990.