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Stuff You Should Consume - Jan 15, 2023
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“Red Wave, Blue Undertow” by Michael Podhorzer, Weekend Reading
I have consistently underscored that to the extent that Americans understood the stakes of the midterms to be about defeating MAGA, they would once again show up in sufficient numbers to bar the door. All that was needed to confound the usual midterm rout for the president’s party was making sure that 2020 voters understood that, just as they didn’t want Trump for President, they certainly didn’t want his criminal accomplices and MAGA fascists to take over Congress and their state capitals.
This midterm bore that out to a stunning degree. Where voters understood the stakes, they voted as they had in 2018 and 2020; where they did not, they met the pundits’ expectations about a Red Wave.
“To defeat Trumpism, stop letting MAGA stunts drive the debate” by Greg Sargent, Washington Post
The dirty secret of this debate is that Republicans like DeSantis plainly relish as much border chaos as possible. As immigration writer Alex Nowrasteh notes, in the public mind such chaos imagery perversely undermines the case for more legal immigration, which gets things exactly backward. More legal channels would reduce the incentives to migrate illegally, mitigating disorder at the border.
“Republican Control of the House of Representatives: A Guide for Advocates” Navigator Research
“Our debt ceiling crisis could hit as early as June. Here’s how Biden can sidestep it” by Dylan Matthews, Vox
Breaching the ceiling and violating what Yellen called the “full faith and credit of the United States” would be almost incomprehensibly bad. Beth Ann Bovino, chief US economist at Standard and Poor’s, was hardly alone in 2017 when she predicted that “the impact of a default by the U.S. government on its debts would be worse than the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, devastating markets and the economy.”
And yet America keeps running this apocalyptic Groundhog Day, one that, thanks to Yellen’s letter, now comes with a countdown clock. Luckily, there is a way out of the dilemma: ending the debt ceiling once and for all. The best way to do this is through legislation, but given the stranglehold of Republican hardliners in the House, that looks impossible. The administration couldn’t raise the debt ceiling on its own, but experts have floated a few options for the president to consider to avert a crisis. None of these are free from risk, and all would likely spark considerable litigation that could in turn cause market turmoil. But all would be preferable to defaulting on US debt.
“Biden Administration Moved to Block Non-Compete Agreements” (a new pro-worked policy outlined in this thread from FTC Chair Lina Khan)