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There’s little urgency in Congress to end the shutdown
Today, the current partial government shutdown becomes tied for the longest in American history. By coincidence, today is also the day around 800,000 federal workers will miss their first paycheck.
A big difference between this shutdown and previous ones: Congress is treating this like a normal standoff rather than a national crisis.
During previous shutdowns, Congress stayed in session through evenings and weekends trying to hammer out a deal. This time, they took the Christmas season off and have been heading home for their regular weekends.
Rather than showing any sign of bipartisan action, lawmakers on both sides have dug in and mostly seem resigned to a sustained standoff.
From the opinion pages: You may not be feeling the shutdown, but thousands of families are already in crisis.
Italy’s new sanctuary movement will challenge an anti-immigrant law in the Constitutional Court
Officials from about half of Italy’s 20 regions will ask the Constitutional Court to pass judgment on a recently passed law that strips legal immigration status from tens of thousands of people who are already in the country.
The law, backed by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, cancels residency permits that were granted to immigrants on humanitarian grounds. Now regional governments — the equivalent of US states in Italy’s system — plan to ask the Constitutional Court to suspend the law.
A 13-year-old girl missing for three months after her parents were killed has been found alive. Authorities said Jayme Closs was found alive roughly 100 miles from her home in Wisconsin, and a suspect was taken into custody. No details about the circumstances of her disappearance were immediately available.
A TV station fired a staffer after a doctored video of Donald Trump sticking out his tongue aired. The video of Trump’s primetime address was broadcast on the TV station Q13, a Fox affiliate in Seattle. It’s not clear if the editor created the video or merely inserted it into the programming.
Google’s board is being sued for allegedly silencing misconduct claims against former executives. The suit says that even after Google investigated and found that the allegations of former company executive Andy Rubin’s sexual misconduct were credible, the company allowed him to resign and approved a $90 million severance for him.
Beto O’Rourke live-Instagrammed himself at the dentist, because this is politics in 2019. He was at his dental cleaning, talking about his views on border security, as one does.
Terry Crews called out Kevin Hart and said men should hold one another accountable. On our Twitter morning show AM to DM, Crews said, “The truth is, Kevin, you’re not being attacked. The truth is you have to just acknowledge what went on and acknowledge the pain of other people. That’s all anybody’s asking for.”
The internet is a privacy disaster. But we still don’t know how to talk about it.
The last year has been particularly damaging to the credibility of tech companies that say they can keep our data safe.
The latest outrage is over PopSugar’s Twinning app, which lets you upload a selfie and supposedly tells you what celebrity you look like. It turns out the selfies users uploaded were stored unprotected on Twinning’s servers.
But what does that mean? We are getting madder and madder over privacy violations. But, as Charlie Warzel notes, we are not even sure why, because we don’t have a clear understanding of the consequences.
From Warzel’s piece: “The end result of this broader privacy reckoning is a bizarre, low-grade feeling of anxiety about the safety of our digital lives, but without any concrete way to see the larger picture.”
Slow it down this weekend with these great longreads
Ellen DeGeneres And The Limits Of Relatability. Ellen is likable. This much we know. In an excellent piece, Shannon Keating dissects that likability — how Ellen has “been a goofy, gentle, funny reminder to the mainstream that gay people aren’t so radically different from everybody else.” But Keating also takes on the consequences: “Acceptance of LGBT people has also rarely extended beyond the bounds of the sort of gay person Ellen represents: white, wealthy, desexualized, monogamous; neutered and relatively nonthreatening.”
I’m Definitely In Debt But I’d Rather Not Say How Much. Debt is incredibly personal. And people can get quite judgmental about the circumstances that lead others to get into debt. Eva Hagberg Fisher wrote a great essay on all the reasons — wrong or right — to never look at your debt straight on: “If no one knows how much money I owe, or how much I have, then they don’t know me. And if they don’t know me, then I’m safe.”
Is It Just Me Or Is Marie Kondo’s Netflix Show Weirdly Dark? Are you watching Tidying Up With Marie Kondo? Alison Willmore reflects on the dark premise that moves the show forward: “It’s hard to believe that organizing a house will be able to address the anxieties and old wounds that some of the clients, through polite smiles and grateful tears, lay bare onscreen. Still, every episode ends with the carefully edited conclusion that it might, and that they won’t know until they try.”