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 Friday everyone, let’s kick today off on a lighter note with one of our favorite videos on the internet yesterday. Get this little man an academy award.
President Donald Trump is edging closer to declaring a national emergency to fund the border wall, as pressure mounts to find an escape hatch from the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay. Today: Some 800,000 workers, more than half of them still on the job, will miss their first paycheck today under the stoppage, as Washington is close to setting a record for the longest government shutdown in the nation’s history. Here are the five worst US government shutdowns. – AP / The Guardian
Big Dairy Is About to Flood America’s School Lunches With Milk
The U.S. dairy industry is benefiting from relaxed regulations surrounding nutrition in school lunches. With schools attributing for 7.6% of total fluid milk sales — and children aged from 2 to 17 years making up 40% of consumption — the Trump administration’s overturning of Obama-era rules that restricted full-fat milk has brought a reprieve to the $200 billion-dairy industry. Back Up: the U.S. Department of Agriculture finalized plans to lower nutrition standards for grains, flavored milks and sodium in December. Got Milk? Despite people drinking 40% less milk than in 1975, production continues to increase. – Bloomberg
Put Down the Kombucha and Pick Up a Crossbow: Hipsters Are the New Hunters
Young Americans are losing interest in hunting so some groups and organizations are trying to win them back by appealing to the “Farm to Table” aspect of the sport. For Example: even though Frank Kennedy Jr., 25 said he found hunting “intimidating from the get-go” he now regularly goes out to the forest to hunt because he wanted to “eat food where [he] knew where it came from.” Big Picture: The number of Americans 16 and older who hunt is down 18% from two decades ago, according to federal data. An older generation of hunters is trying to lure recruits to the sport by pitching it as a good way to ensure meat is local, sustainable and probably organic. – WSJ (subscription)
+Americans aren’t making enough babies to replace ourselves
Pompeo Courts Arab Support Against Iran While Touting U.S.’s Mideast Role
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used a speech in Cairo to rally the Arab world against Iran, casting the Islamic Republic as the Trump administration’s top concern in the region at a pivotal moment in U.S.-Mideast relations. From Egypt, Pompeo will travel to the Gulf Arab states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait – to press the case. – Al Jazeera
Twitter Users in China Face Detention and Threats in New Crackdown
Chinese police, in a sharp escalation of the country’s online censorship efforts, are questioning and detaining a growing number of Twitter users even though the social media platform is blocked in China and the vast majority of people there cannot see it. Zoom Out: The crackdown is the latest front in President Xi Jinping’s campaign to expand the government’s suppression of internet activity beyond China’s borders. In effect, the authorities are extending their control over Chinese citizens’ online lives no matter where they post. – NYT
Croatia cancels F-16 deal with Israel due to U.S. objections
The Croatian government announced yesterday it is abandoning a plan to buy U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets from Israel after the Trump administration objected to the $500 million deal. Why it matters: This is one of the most serious rifts between Israel and the U.S. since Trump took office. Pentagon and State Department officials had contended Israel was taking advantage of the U.S. by selling the 12 jets, upgraded with Israeli technology, which were originally supplied to Israel 30 years ago as U.S. military aid. – Axios
Strong Economy Can’t Save Retailers From Holiday Blues
The strong U.S. economy wasn’t enough to give many mall-based retailers a strong year-end boost, as Macy’s and others posted tepid holiday sales, fueling a selloff in retail stocks. Shares in Macy’s dropped 17.7 percent, their biggest one-day sell-off on record and the news set off broader alarms across the retail industry as Target, Kohl’s and Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands reported their holiday sales yesterday as well. With that said, as of early this morning, global stocks are on track for the strongest week since late November as investors show muted enthusiasm over fresh signs of progress in the trade negotiations between the US and China. – CNBC / Financial Times
Football or Baseball? A’s expect top pick Kyler Murray to enter NFL draft
In case you didn’t know Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is also an unbelievable baseball player. So much so, that he was selected by the Oakland A’s ninth overall, and has a $4.66 million deal on the line. Declaring for the NFL draft isn’t really an issue now, however here’s what to watch, per Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle: “Should Murray, 21, opt to enter the NFL draft, the real question will come Feb. 15 when A’s position players report to Mesa, Ariz. — Murray has an invite to big-league camp. He still could opt to be in the A’s camp, but the NFL scouting combine begins Feb. 26 and any high-round hopeful would be expected to attend. That’s when Murray would have to make a decision between football and baseball. One source told The Chronicle that Murray, a possible first-round NFL pick, is leaning toward football.” – SF Chronicle
Amazon reportedly developing its own game streaming service
Amazon is reportedly developing its own cloud-based streaming service that would allow players to download and play games, although it seems the service won’t be available until 2020. Why it matters: we may soon have a huge battle between internet giants for the future of gaming. Google and Microsoft are already working on similar projects and Sony has already been streaming games with its PlayStation Now service for years. – The Information / The Verge
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1908: Theodore Roosevelt makes Grand Canyon a national monument
On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declares the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument. Fun Fact: Google Street view is available inside the Grand Canyon so you can visit it from your couch.