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
Just another example of how much the colors of the American Flag mean to some people and a simple reminder to never take them for granted. Click here to watch and hit the share button to send to your friends ↗️
🦅 U.S. NEWS
Jay Day: What to Watch in Fed Chairman’s Congressional Testimony
With bond markets betting that the Federal Reserve is likely to cut interest rates at its July 30-31 meeting, Chairman Jerome “Jay” Powell has a prime opportunity to either reset or ratify those expectations during two days of testimony on Capitol Hill starting today. Context: He will be making his first public remarks since President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck a trade cease-fire last month and the Labor Department released data Friday showing U.S. labor markets were solid through the first half of 2019. What to watch: lawmakers will want to know why Powell signaled there was a rate-cut coming at the end of this month. Keep in mind, we’re in the midst of the longest bull market ever. Do his comments imply that he knows something the rest of us don’t? Stay tuned. – WSJ / Yahoo Finance
Congress & Competition: Big Tech to testify in Congress on competition
The House committee investigating antitrust in tech is about to call some big names to the microphone on July 16th, namely Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook. Why it matters: this is an issue that has received the ever rare badge of bipartisan support. Both Democrats and Republicans have been concerned that just a handful of companies not only have control of the internet (and technology at large), but might be abusing their power to squeeze out competition. Be Smart: The investigation won’t necessarily lead to action, but it may help politicians determine if any problems can either be addressed through existing laws or can be solved through new legislation. – Engadget
Writer’s Block: Twitter blocking by Trump is unconstitutional, appeals court rules
Speaking of Big Tech, an appeals court said Tuesday that President Donald Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking users on Twitter. The judges on the appeals court concluded that “the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.” Somewhat related: The White House has not extended invitations to Facebook and Twitter to attend its social media summit tomorrow. – CNN
🌎 WORLD NEWS
Ailing Argentina: Macri Launches Re-Election
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri formally launches his re-election bid today with a rally in Buenos Aires, a month ahead of the primaries to decide who goes on the ballot. According to Alejandro Catterberg, director of Poliarquia, one of the nation’s top pollsters, Macri’s chances of winning Argentina’s election this year are improving as public sentiment climbs and the economy begins to find its footing after a currency crisis and even though the country remains in recession with unemployment in the double-digits. Macri’s top opponent is Alberto Fernandez, whose VP candidate is Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the former populist president from 2007 to 2015. – Bloomberg
Baby bust: Japan’s declining population
Figures released today are expected to show that the native Japanese population has shrunk for the tenth straight year. It’s the latest demographic record to tumble. In May the government said there were fewer babies born last year than at any time since records began in 1899. Big picture: Japan is hardly the only rich country struggling: Italy has just recorded the lowest number of babies born since unification in 1861. Why it matters: the world’s third-largest economy suffers a chronic labor crunch, but shuns immigration. The Pledge: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has finally been forced to act, pledging to hold the population decline at 100m (from today’s 127m). Yet the number of immigrants his government proposes to allow—500,000 by 2025—is merely a tap on the brakes as the car heads for a cliff. Deaths exceeded births by 444,000 last year. Critics have dismissed Mr Abe’s plan as a “fantasy”. – The Economist
Chafing China: US State Department approves possible $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan in a move that will likely anger China
The US State Department has approved the possible sale to Taiwan of M1A2T Abrams tanks, Stinger missiles and related equipment at an estimated value of $2.2 billion, the Pentagon said. Why it matters: this made China very mad. China has warned the US against arms sales to the self-ruled island in order to avoid harming bilateral relations. Big picture: The US is the main arms supplier to Taiwan, which China deems a renegade province. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. – Business Insider
Boeing Could be Bounced: Airbus Poised to Overtake Boeing as Biggest Plane Maker
For the third straight month, Chicago-based Boeing on Tuesday reported no new orders of the MAX aircraft, which have been grounded since mid-March following two fatal crashes. Why it matters: Boeing commercial-jetliner deliveries fell by more than a third in the first half of 2019 from a year earlier as 737 MAX aircraft continue to pile up at its facilities, with Airbus set to overtake its U.S. rival as the world’s largest plane-maker for the first time in seven years. More specifically, if Airbus hits its full-year target, it is poised to ship more jets than Boeing for the first time since 2012. Boeing faces other challenges. Airlines generally have slowed their plane-buying spree as global trade tensions rise, particularly those involving the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest airplane markets. – WSJ (subscription)
Drama on the Diamond: Juiced Baseballs
There’s some drama unfolding on the diamond. Background: Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander on Monday blamed the MLB’s uptick in home runs on baseballs that have supposedly been “juiced.” By the numbers: Batters have hit 3,691 homers in 1,345 games, on pace for 6,668 over the full season. That would be 19% above last year’s 5,558 and 9% over the record 6,105 hit in 2017 that topped the Steroids Era high mark of 5,693 in 2000. While Verlander surmised that baseballs have been “juiced” or altered because they are manufactured by an MLB-owned company, according to Deadspin, a spike in home runs has been observed for at least two years — and MLB purchased Rawlings last summer. As for the league’s response, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred firmly rejected claims that MLB changed the ball to spark offense. With that said, A May 2018 report concluded there was less drag on the ball, which still can’t be explained. – AP / Deadspin
Paying for Perks: Uber Comfort
Uber announced its rollout of Uber Comfort yesterday, which allows “riders who are constantly on the go and want a little extra comfort” to pay extra to request rides with newer cars, more legroom — and quiet drivers. Perks: “You can request your ideal temperature in advance and let your drivers know when you’re looking for a quiet ride so you can stay comfortable on the road.” Price: It’ll cost you … “Comfort rides cost 20% to 40% more for time and distance than standard Uber rides.” – Axios
📅 ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1925: Scopes Monkey Trial begins
In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.
Today I Learned: J.T. Scopes, the man charged in the Scopes “Monkey” Trial for teaching evolution in a public school, did not actually teach evolution but instead was chosen because his town was in an economic downturn and the trial would bring it national attention.
🇺🇸 TOP TAGS
Yesterday’s top tag was just a beautiful shot from Montauk, New York…
What percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic?