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
Happy Monday Everyone: we have some new sections rolling out over the next couple weeks, the first of which is our Top Tags section below where we’ll highlight some of the top tags of the American Flag from our Instagram. If you haven’t already, be sure to give us a follow across all social accounts: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, see below. It’s time to break out the candles…
We could have put this story in our history section, we could have put it in our technology section, we could have put it in our business, sports, world, or even trivia section: today is Facebook’s 15th birthday. The fact that we could have slotted this in just about anywhere is because Facebook has touched just about everywhere and everything on this planet. On this day in 2004, the young website with a baby-blue banner was born. Founded in a dormitory at Harvard, TheFacebook.com tapped into people’s instinctive desire to see and be seen. Fast forward to today, that website, now called Facebook, is generating more than $55 billion in revenue, connects 2.2 billion monthly users and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. Here’s a look at some of its biggest milestones. – The Economist / Fox Business
Blackface photo stirs calls for Virginia governor to resign
Gov. Ralph Northam clung to office Sunday amid nearly unanimous calls from his own party to resign over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook, going silent after a bizarre 24 hours in which he first admitted he was in the picture, then denied it. Be smart: it’ll be hard to weather this storm so keep an eye out for a resignation this week. Axios has an in-depth explainer which outlines Northam’s back and forth defense through the entire debacle. – AP / Axios
Proceed With Caution: Many small businesses holding back
After a banner year, many small businesses in the U.S. are becoming more cautious about their investment and hiring plans amid signs of slowing sales and unease about the economy. By the numbers: 66% of small businesses said they expected their revenues to grow this year. That’s good, right? Yes, but: that is down from 83% a year ago, when the same survey was conducted. Here’s the kicker: just 14% of those surveyed expect the economy to improve this year; 36% expect it to worsen. – WSJ / The Street / Vistage Research Center
Aid for Venezuela to Test Military’s Support for Maduro
Over the weekend, USAID administrator Mark Green posted images on Twitter of hundreds of boxes carrying food for malnourished Venezuelan children and bearing a U.S. flag being loaded on to pallets for delivery. Meanwhile, Maduro’s detractors began working on the logistics of how to get the supplies past his regime, which has long rejected aid as a Trojan horse for foreign intervention. Why it matters: The strategy deployed by Mr. Guaidó and the U.S. seeks to sow divisions within Venezuela’s armed forces. Big Picture: the aid shipments will be a test of allegiance for rank-and-file armed force members who are also suffering from the country’s economic woes. – WSJ (subscription)
Outsider claims victory in El Salvador presidential vote
A former mayor of San Salvador proclaimed victory on Sunday night in El Salvador’s presidential race, saying the country had left behind the post-war period by electing a young alternative to the two-party system. Nayib Bukele, 37, who has campaigned as an alternative to the country’s traditional politics dominated by former guerrillas and a party associated with past military-backed governments, looked to hold a fairly strong lead with over 80% of the votes counted. Driving Votes: One of the voters’ most significant concerns is violence blamed on gangs that have enormous power in this Central American nation. – The Washington Post
Nissan chooses Japan over UK to build new X-Trail car
Nissan announced Sunday it has canceled plans to make its X-Trail SUV in the UK. Why it matters: it’s a sharp blow to British Prime Minister Theresa May, who fought to have the model built in northern England. In a letter to workers, it said continued Brexit uncertainty is not helping firms to “plan for the future”. Speaking of Brexit, this headline received a lot of attention this weekend: Queen Elizabeth, royal family to be evacuated if Brexit unrest breaks out in London. – BBC / Daily Mail
Bystanders of Sears’ downfall will get their day in court Monday
Sears Holdings unsecured creditors will head to bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York today to protest Eddie Lampert’s $5.2 billion bid to save the company, which owns both Sears department stores and Kmart. The offer is the only one that would keep Sears alive, but its unsecured creditors allege misdealing by Lampert under his tenure as chairman and CEO. By the numbers: Under Lampert’s stewardship, Sears closed over 3,500 stores, slashed roughly 250,000 jobs and saw its share price fall from $193 a share in 2007 to less than a dollar. – CNBC
Patriots win 6th Lombardi Trophy, topping Rams 13-3 in lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever
The New England Patriots broke one record and tied another by beating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3, to win the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, and match the Pittsburgh Steelers as the NFL’s only six-time Lombardi Trophy winners. Big picture: this low-scoring win came in a highly offensive year in which there were 1,371 touchdowns scored in the 2018 N.F.L. regular season the most for a single season in the 99-year history of the league. Here are 7 wild facts about the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. – FTW
Spotify is in talks to buy Gimlet for more than $200 million. That’s a big deal for the podcasting world.
Spotify, which has been trying to branch out of the streaming music business, is getting ready to make its first big move into podcasting: It plans to pay more than $200 million to buy Gimlet Media. The logic: Spotify’s 200 million users are already used to consuming audio from the service — and, crucially, while the music business is controlled by three big companies who have real leverage when it comes to licensing their stuff, podcasting is in its early days, and no one has a chokehold on podcast content. – Recode
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1789: First U.S. president elected
George Washington, the commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, is unanimously elected the first president of the United States by all 69 presidential electors who cast their votes. Trivia Flashback: What did George Washington spend his 1758 campaign budget on?
Yesterday’s top tag came from @ag2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We held a little Super Bowl guessing game and @josh.larson from Strongsville, Ohio ended up winning. Congrats Josh, Tag The Flag Swag is on the way.