🇺🇸 The Ceiling Is Closing In

Plus, CEO salaries for 2022 were just revealed. Here's how much executives at Apple, Disney, and Netflix made.

The Flag


Good morning, and happy Monday! Think you love the American Flag? This Indiana man just painted a mural of Old Glory on his 10,000-square-foot rooftop...

Plus, CEO salaries for 2022 were just revealed. Here's how much executives at Apple, Disney, and Netflix made.

Also, whether you’re a professional getting an edge in your career or a lifelong learner sharpening your skills, Brilliant is the best way to level up in minutes a day.


🐘 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)


RightThere Was No Valid Predicate for Investigation & FBI Knew It Susan Schmidt, Racket

RightThe DOJ and FBI's Hearts and Minds Are Corrupted Margot Cleveland, The Federalist

RightDemocrats Beware: CNN Town Hall Was a Turning Point Conrad Black, New York Sun

LeftDurham Failed To Prove a Democratic Plot To Frame Trump Andrew Prokop, Vox

LeftBiden, Culture Warrior Jeet Heer, The Nation

LeftAmerica's Trains and Buses Are Speeding Toward a Cliff Eric Levitz, NY Magazine


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Ukraine Gets Jets, Second Shark Bite, Penny Speaks Out

US: Jeffrey Epstein Threatened Bill Gates With Sexual Blackmail: Report (Daily Wire)

World: F-16 fighter jets: Biden to let allies supply warplanes in major boost for Kyiv (BBC) + Zelenskiy secures fresh US military aid at G7 as Russia hails ‘liberation’ of Bakhmut (The Guardian)

US: Trans high school runner's state championship qualifying finish in girls' race draws backlash (Fox News)

US: NAACP issues travel advisory for Florida, says state "has become hostile to Black Americans" (CBS News)

US: Shark bites Florida angler on dock, in second incident of the week (CNN)

World: Conservative party of Greek prime minister in big election lead, to seek outright majority (AP)

US: Daniel Penny says he felt no shame after the NYC subway death of Jordan Neely (NPR)

Sports: At Least 12 Dead, More Than 100 Injured in Stampede at Soccer Stadium in El Salvador (People)


The Ceiling Is Closing In

Today, President Biden is scheduled to meet with GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during ongoing debt ceiling negotiations, ahead of a potential default, which experts say could happen by June 1 or sooner if the nation's borrowing limit isn't raised.

Reporting from The RightBiden declares himself 'blameless' if US defaults on debt: 'I've done my part' Anders Hagstrom, Fox News

Reporting from The LeftGOP turned down White House offer to freeze spending Andrew Solender, Axios

From The Flag: Late last month the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill that would raise the debt ceiling, but make spending cuts. GOP lawmakers also want things like Medicaid work requirements, which Democrats have pushed back against. The White House has accused Republicans of holding the economy hostage, given it is widely expected a default would cause financial upheaval. Here's more from both sides.


Block Out the Noise: Cut the Fat, Fight the Fraud, and Follow the Constitution

  • The left argues that work requirements for Medicaid and other reforms are cruel to the poor, but in reality it's about making programs more efficient.
  • It's crucial these negotiations address PPP fraud, which is another example of government flooding the market with cash, setting up debt-ceiling standoffs.
  • In a shameful display for any constitutional republic, President Biden is openly musing about seizing powers not granted to him, so as to avoid negotiating with the House.

Debt ceiling fight: Republican Medicaid plan shows how to make work requirements work right Newt Gingrich & Bobby Jindal, Fox News Op-ed: "The House GOP’s Limit, Save, Grow Act to raise the debt ceiling contains within it a vitally important reform — work requirements for able-bodied adults to qualify for Medicaid. ... In addition... Congress and the president should use the upcoming reauthorization of the farm bill to make reforms to incentivize the use of SNAP benefits to purchase nutritious food that improves health, rather than purchases that cause more health problems. The 'N' in SNAP stands for Nutrition, after all. ... President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will no doubt attempt to remove the work requirements as part of any negotiations on a final bill. ... the left will attack work requirements as being cruel to the poor. Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans... (should) make the case that in fact they’re about more than saving money — they’re for the health and wellbeing of those receiving benefits."

In debt ceiling talks, Biden and Congress must address PPP fraud David Walker, Washington Examiner Opinion: "Time and time again, the government has flooded the market with cash with the goal of boosting consumer spending and demand. But this recession mitigation strategy has inflated America’s debt instead and increased cases of fraud while ballooning the frequency of these federal debt ceiling showdowns... The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a recent example of the inherent flaws of Washington’s lax approach to government-sponsored lending and grants. Although the executive and legislative branches were correct in the need to create a system to protect businesses affected by government-mandated COVID-19 closures, they took the program too far and failed to incorporate adequate internal controls to prevent fraud and abuse. Rather than provide targeted relief to small businesses in need, they financially incentivized unproven financial technology companies (fintechs) to write as many loans as possible without regard for accountability or due diligence."

One more opinion piece from the RightJoe Biden’s 14th Amendment Folly The Editors, National Review


Republicans Are Acting in Bad Faith, So Go Around Them

  • Republicans are running an extortion scheme at the expense of millions of poverty-stricken Americans, who depend on the Federal Government to live.
  • Simply refusing to pay out debts is not an option: Biden should choose the best option available, within the framework of the Constitution.
  • Biden's legal hand is so strong that he should break off negations with House Republicans and break the impasse through unilateral executive action.

How to Use the Debt Ceiling to Inflict Cruelty on the Poor David Firestone, New York Times Opinion: "Seen from outside Washington, the debt ceiling battle might seem like an abstract argument between the political parties over federal spending and deficits. But for millions of low-income Americans who depend on the federal government for health care and basic nutrition, the debate is about their very lives. That’s because Republicans have singled them out, yet again, as a prime target in this year’s extortion scheme. The bill that Speaker Kevin McCarthy muscled through the House last month would impose tough new work requirements on Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare for needy families. The demands would effectively cut off health care for 1.7 million low-income people and cut off food stamps for 275,000 people. House Republicans say that if their demands are not met, they will refuse to raise the debt ceiling, plunging the country into an unprecedented default and almost certainly creating a recession."

The best way to deal with the debt ceiling: Ignore it Neil Buchanan and Michael Dorf, LA Times Opinion: "What happens if Congress fails to raise or suspend the statutory debt limit before the beginning of next month? ... Conventional wisdom says the president would have to choose which creditors to pay and which to stiff. But the conventional wisdom is wrong. ... Biden could no more fail to pay the nation’s bills than he could refuse to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. ... Does that mean the president should do nothing? Hardly. It’s not even clear what 'nothing' would mean in this context. Not pay the bills? ... Consider a financially distressed tenant who risks eviction if she skips a month’s rent but also must buy gas and make loan payments on the car she needs to get to work. She explores alternatives: Maybe the landlord will cut her some slack; maybe she can ditch the car and take a bus."

One more opinion piece from the LeftBiden Should Unilaterally End the Debt Ceiling Standoff Nicholas Creel, Newsweek Op-ed


Raising the Roof on Debt Ceiling Worries

Polling results released last week show 76% of Americans are worried "added financial stress" would be put on their families if the US defaulted on its debt.

This includes 84% of respondents who describe themselves as Democrats, and 84% of self-described Republicans.

Less than a third (29%) said the debt-ceiling issue is being overblown.

Respondents are split as to how the situation should be resolved: 49% say raise the borrowing limit right away, while 51% say the debt ceiling should not be raised without significant spending cuts attached (Reuters-Ipsos).

On May 5 we asked our readers if the debt ceiling will be raised by June 1: 75% said yes, 25% said no.


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Great Emigration Begins, How To Start Drawing, Get What You Want

On This Day in 1843: The first major wagon train to the northwest departs from Elm Grove. Missouri, on the Oregon Trail. Over 1,000 people joined the trek

QZHow to Start Drawing

VoxThe hidden force that shapes everything around us: Parking

Fatherly6 Phrases Good Negotiators Use To Get Whatever They Want

Today I Learned that it is a federal crime, punishable by up to $100,000 and a year in prison, for most people in the U.S. to possess any part of a bald or golden eagle, even just a shed feather found on the ground.