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
Are these things absurd, or awesome, or both…
🦅 U.S. NEWS
War of Words: Washington’s Merry-Go-Round
The war of words between Donald Trump and four Democratic congresswomen continued. Having defended his assertion that if the lawmakers were unhappy, they could “go back”—a sentiment condemned as racist—he urged Republican lawmakers to oppose a Democratic-backed resolution condemning his comments. The Merry-Go-Round: the Democratic congresswomen were originally fighting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then Trump jumped in, then the Congresswomen called for impeachment, which then, in turn, lead them back to fighting with Pelosi. Why it matters: the whole debacle is a distraction and it’s slowing any sort of progress that can be made both at home and abroad. – The Economist
Prime Day to Remember: How Did Amazon Do?
Amazon’s fifth annual Prime Day ended last night and it was its biggest one yet according to Axios. One Cool Thing: It was the first time more than half (51.3%) of U.S. households were Prime members during the deals marathon. Amazon is expected to bring in a record $8 billion. One not so cool thing: Last year, Chinese e-commerce king Alibaba’s Singles Day — its own summer sale — beat Amazon’s 2018 Prime Day sales in 10 minutes. Why it matters: see the first story about how political infighting and mudslinging in Washington is slowing down the United States. – Axios / Retail Dive
Thicker Than Water: Neighbors Face-Off Over Texas’ Other Lucrative Resource – Water
When you think of Texas, you generally think of oil, and the riches that have helped some families build their fortunes in the American south. Now, however, a new, clearer liquid is at the center of various power struggles: water. Many of the region’s farmers and ranchers depend on income from selling their water to oil producers and some desert towns fear their water sources will dry up. Why it matters: there has never been a better time to sell West Texas water, thanks to the fracking boom. Shale companies use large volumes in hydraulic fracturing, blasting underground rock with water, sand, and chemicals to unlock oil and gas. By the numbers: Supplying water for fracking in the Permian is a roughly $1.2 billion industry annually, and including transportation and other costs, water spending for fracking there will surge to as much as $54 billion over the next decade. – WSJ (subscription)
🌎 WORLD NEWS
No Fighters for You: Turkey Out of F-35 Fighter Jet Program After Buying from Russia
The Trump administration has confirmed that NATO ally Turkey will be removed from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program after it began accepting deliveries of the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system. Background: Two years ago, when Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his government would buy this system from Russia, some American diplomats believed the deal would never go through, and that Turkey’s leader was bluffing. He wasn’t. Why it matters: The ongoing dispute between the countries with the two largest armies in NATO marks a deep division in the Western military alliance, which was forged after World War II to counter Moscow’s military power. – Military / Al Jazeera
Lost in Translation: U.S. & Iran send conflicting signals and Europe Doesn’t Know What to Do
Iran and the United States sent mixed signals on Tuesday about resolving their disputes. Iran’s supreme leader said Tehran would keep removing restraints on its nuclear activity in the deal and retaliate for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker. Meanwhile, President Trump told reporters that “we’re not looking for regime change” in Iran and that Iranian leaders had communicated a desire for negotiations with the United States despite their hostile remarks in public. As for the Europeans, on Monday, U.S. allies across the pond decided not to trigger its dispute mechanism over Iran’s breaches in favor of pursuing more troubleshooting diplomacy. Sounds like everyone is on the same page. – Reuters
Ready for Takeoff: Pakistan reopens airspace after India standoff
Pakistan has fully reopened its airspace to civilian flights, nearly five months after it was closed following a standoff with India. Background: Pakistan shut its airspace in February after India carried out an airstrike against what it said was a terrorist training camp in Pakistani territory. The standoff nearly brought the countries to the brink of war. Why it matters: Thai Airways briefly suspended all flights to Europe. Rerouting has cost Air India alone more than $70m. – BBC
Along way to go: Stocks Finish Lower
U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday after President Donald Trump said an agreement with China on trade tariffs had “a long way to go”. Investors were also digesting a series of earnings reports from major banks like J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sach, and Wells Fargo. The Big Picture: despite being in the 11th year of a history-setting economic expansion, the Fed has hinted strongly that it is likely to cut interest rates as it attempts to dull the effect of trade conflicts and expectations that the economy may weaken. – Market Watch
Old or Disloyal: The Modern Sports Fan
The way we watch sports and support athletes is changing and die-hard fans are going extinct. That’s according to a new report, from the Sports Innovation Lab, co-founded by former Olympic gold-medal-winning ice hockey player Angela Ruggiero, who suggests we are entering an era of the “fluid fan,” whose allegiances and attention shift rapidly. In the U.K. already, almost half of younger fans now support more than one soccer team — something that would have been hard to imagine decades ago. Big picture: In 2018, the value of the global sports market reached almost $500 billion with more than 100 sports franchises valued at $1 billion or more. – Bloomberg
Love, Hate Relationship: Trump and Social Media
A new analysis by the Pew Research Center found that nearly one in five US adults (19%) on Twitter follow the president’s account. More than 30% of adult Republican Twitter users follow Trump on the platform, compared with 13% of adult Democrats on Twitter, the study found. Why it matters: the President has an interesting relationship with the service. He has tried to block certain users and also accused Twitter of liberal bias and suppression of conservative voices. Meanwhile, on Zuckerberg’s platform, Trump is blowing Democrats out of the water in Facebook ad spending. Trump’s page spent $14,723,569 on ads from May 2018 to this past Saturday, according to Facebook’s ad archive. For contrast, top Democrats each have spent between $1 million and $2 million in the same period. – Pew Research Center / CNET / Newsday
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1955: Disneyland opens
Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opens on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.
Did you know: California’s Disneyland and Florida’s Disneyworld have a chronic issue of people spreading the ashes of their loved ones on rides. It happens at least once a month, and rides have to be shut so they can be cleaned.