🇺🇸 Great Scott!

Plus, does God exist? Here's how many Americans say yes.

The Flag

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Good morning, and happy Wednesday! A Nashville accountant took a side job as an arena security guard just to see Taylor Swift's “Eras" tour. He went viral after fans took notice of his passionate singing.

Plus, does God exist? Here's how many Americans say a definite yes.

Also, water doesn't have to be boring. Take a Hint already!


FLAG POLLS

🐘 Friday, May 19: 2024 Republican Presidential Nomination: Trump 58, DeSantis 16, Pence 4, Haley 4, Ramaswamy 4, T. Scott 1, Elder, Christie, Hutchinson 1, Sununu (Harvard-Harris)

🐘 Friday, May 19: General Election: Trump vs. Biden: Trump 47, Biden 40 (Harvard-Harris)

🟰 Friday, May 19: General Election: DeSantis vs. Biden: Biden 42, DeSantis 42 (Harvard-Harris)

🐎 Friday, May 19: General Election: Haley vs. Biden: Biden 40, Haley 38 (Harvard-Harris)


TRENDING

Left: How Republican States Are Eroding Local Democracy Ellen Ioanes, Vox

Left: DeSantis' Referendum on Freedom a Fight He'll Lose Michael Tomasky, New Republic

Left: It's Time for Dianne Feinstein to Resign Dean Phillips, The Daily Beast

Right: The Absurdities of Our Age Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness

Right: The Damning FBI Scandal Mark Hemingway, Washington Examiner

Right: Biden & Obama Knew Truth About Russia Hoax, Kept Silent Gregg Jarrett, FOX News


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QUICK CLICKS

Here Comes DeSantis, Debt Talks Continue, Cross-Border Attack

US: Ron DeSantis will launch his presidential bid with Elon Musk on Twitter (NBC News)

US: White House 'dug in' on demands in debt limit talks, McCarthy told House GOP: source (Fox Business) + How raising the nation's debt limit could reduce spending of some coronavirus relief funds (AP)

US: Jordan Neely's uncle arrested for pickpocketing after saying Daniel Penny doesn't deserve plea deal (NY Post)

World: Anti-Putin Russians say they launched a cross-border attack from Ukraine. Here’s what we know (CNN)

Sports: CatholicVote Leader Slams Dodgers For Re-Inviting ‘Queer And Trans Nuns’ Troupe To Pride Night (Daily Wire)

Economy: Benchmark 10-year yields ease as debt ceiling talks continue (Reuters)

Business: Ford keeping AM radios in vehicles amid lawmaker pressure (The Hill)


POLITICS

Great Scott!

On Monday, Republican US Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina announced his candidacy for president. He did so at an event in his hometown of North Charleston, while celebrating America as the “land of opportunity.”

Reporting from The Left: Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, enters the 2024 GOP primary Kit Maher, Eva McKend and Greg Krieg, CNN

Reporting from The Right: Tim Scott says GOP voters have ‘hunger’ for positive, conservative message as he declares 2024 candidacy Paul Steinhauser & Mark Meredith, Fox News

From The Flag: Senator Scott spoke of his upbringing in a single-parent household, noting it didn’t stop him from serving in Congress, and maybe even the White House. He joins former President Trump, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, talk show host Larry Elder, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in the race for the GOP nomination. Here’s more from both sides.


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Can Scott Succeed in This Trump Era?

  • It will be potentially difficult for Scott to beat Trump in the Republican primary, but voters may be open to a candidate with less baggage.

  • Senator Scott flew mostly under the radar before Trump took office, but has crafted a spirit of compromise and optimism since then.

  • It looks like Scott wants to maintain a lower profile and gain the benefits of running for president, but avoid Trump’s wrath.

Tim Scott Will Have To Play By Trump’s Rules in 2024 Masket & Azari, MSNBC Opinion: "South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has formally filed the paperwork to enter a presidential nominating contest that, by some measures, looks a lot like previous ones. ... But the informal rules that have governed these contests in the past have frayed, leading to far greater unpredictability in just how this competition will unfold. ... Trump’s decades-long fame, his ability to attract media attention and his stance on certain issues (particularly immigration) roused the Republican base, and the informal process in place had little recourse to stop it. ... He’s the clear favorite with the party’s voters, and it’s hard for other candidates to compete with the name recognition of a former president. Lingering rage around the 2020 election also matters, but in a more complicated way, entrenching some supporters while leaving others wondering if there might be a lower-risk candidate with less baggage."

Tim Scott is in a better position than you might think David Byler, Washington Post Opinion: "For many Republican politicians, the quickest path to power and money is to court controversy on TV. Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz and other GOP firebrands have all launched their political careers by spreading conspiracy theories (and) demonizing opponents... Even Republicans with establishment roots — such as Gov. DeSantis — have learned how to grab donations and attention by exploiting explosive culture-war issues. Tim Scott has a different playbook. (He's) quickly built a national profile and a cash surplus by earning media attention... through compromise. That strategy has made him the strongest candidate of the GOP’s second tier. Scott has been in Congress since 2011, but he mostly flew under the media’s radar until Trump took office. At that point, Scott started gaining coverage for steering his party on racial issues and test-driving an optimistic message."

One more opinion piece from the Left: Tim Scott Could Win—if Trump and DeSantis Go Nuclear Matt Lewis, Daily Beast Opinion


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Winning Isn’t the Only Thing: Sen. Scott Can Make an Impact Either Way

  • Senator Scott’s optimistic conservatism may stand out in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries.

  • Even if his candidacy fails to result in a nomination, Scott will improve the tone and dialogue of the entire campaign season.

  • Scott is really a non-factor in what’s a two-man race (Trump vs. DeSantis) — but he has other reasons for running.

Tim Scott’s ‘Land of Opportunity’ Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: "One regrettable reality of today’s politics is that a left-right condominium is preaching that America is a failed experiment. All the more reason to welcome GOP Sen. Tim Scott as a presidential candidate running on better days ahead and a 'new American sunrise.' The question is whether he can refine his aspirational politics into a credible agenda for national renewal. ... Mr. Scott has been a Senator for a decade, which isn’t an asset in an era when most of the country dislikes Washington. But he has been largely a constructive force, as Senators go. He helped build the GOP coalition for tax reform in 2017, and he rightly says the Tax Cut and Jobs Act built 'the most inclusive economy' in recent US memory, with record low unemployment for black and Hispanic Americans.”

Tim Scott just made the GOP 2024 field deeper and richer Editorial Board, New York Post: "In a huge boost to the 2024 Republican presidential field... Scott brings heft and depth to the contest: Win or lose, he’ll help make his rivals and the dialogue better. He has smarts, passion and calm, anchored by his deep faith and first-hand experience rising from generational poverty to earn his share of the American dream. And he enters the race with $22 million cash on hand — a record for a first-time prez candidate, per the Federal Election Commission. ... Scott’s been on a 'Faith in America' tour... (saying) 'America is starving for positive, optimistic leadership' (yep!) and speaks of a 'new American sunrise.' ... As the only black Republican in the Senate, he’s discussed race honestly while standing by his conservative views, pushing rational criminal-justice reform as well as school choice while calling out the flaws in critical race theory."

One more opinion piece from the Right: Tim Scott Is Running for President in 2024, and He Really Shouldn't Bonchie, RedState


FLAG THIS

Polls Say Scott’s a Long Shot Against Trump

Polling data puts Senator Scott well behind former President Trump, who at this point is the clear frontrunner in aggregate polling from FiveThirtyEight.

Trump checks in with 53% of the vote, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is the next closest with 21%.

In a hypothetical matchup, Trump leads Scott 79 to 21 (Harvard/Harris).

Meanwhile, the Scott campaign is on the offensive, planning a $6 million ad buy in the coming weeks, per Axios.


FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

Brooklyn Bridge Opens, Doom Pile, Your Water Can Go Bad

On this day in 1883: After 14 years, the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River opens, connecting the great cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history.

Real Simple: How to Deal With Your Doom Pile

Lifehacker: Yes, Your Water Can Go Bad

Inc: 10 Things Incredibly Likable People Never, Ever Do (and Why You Love Them for It)

Today I Learned that Disney is said to spend $10.68 billion every single year to keep their parks open and functional. If you were to split that evenly, each park would cost roughly $3.25 million per day to stay open.