🇺🇸 Xi for Three

Plus, a burping black hole.

The Flag


Good morning, and happy Tuesday! It's possible we're about to get a lot better at predicting hurricanes thanks to these Saildrones…

Plus, two years after ripping a star apart, this blackhole is baffling scientists…

Also, this Flag Find is an easy, luxurious, reliable pathway to a full battery…


📉 Biden Job Approval: Approve 39, Disapprove 58 (NY Times/Siena)

 🐘 2022 Generic Congressional Vote: Republicans 49, Democrats 45 (NY Times/Siena)

📉 Direction of Country: Right Track 24, Wrong Track 64 (NY Times/Siena)

🐘 General Election - Trump vs. Biden: Trump 45, Biden 44 (NY Times/Siena)


Right: Texas border city may stop busing migrants to sanctuary cities (The Blaze)

Right: How Big Is Fauci’s Ego? He’s Got A Pillow In His Living Room Bearing His Own Face (Daily Wire)

Right: Durham slams FBI for botching Trump-Russia investigation in closing Danchenko arguments (Washington Examiner)

Left: Trump’s company charged Secret Service ‘exorbitant’ hotel rates to protect the first family, House committee report says (CNN)

Left: Marjorie Taylor Greene Claims She's A Jan. 6 'Victim' During Wild Debate (Huffington Post)

Left: Doug Mastriano Is the Most Frightening Face of Christian Nationalism Today (Slate)


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Loan Forgiveness Goes Live, Truss Takes Heat, Furious Mrs. Fetterman

US: Student loan forgiveness applications now formally open, Biden says (CNN)

World: Ukraine war: Russia dive-bombs Kyiv with 'kamikaze' drones (BBC)

World: UK Prime Minister Liz Truss faces serious pressure to resign after failed budget (CNBC

US: 1st day of early voting in Georgia as Kemp, Abrams to debate (AP)

COVID: US warned to get ready as Europe deals with new COVID-19 rise (The Hill)

US: Exclusive: Gisele Fetterman calls for NBC to apologise following ‘shocking’ interview with husband John Fetterman (Independent)

Health: Hearing aids available over the counter without a prescription, as 2017 law takes effect (CBS

Sports: Todd Bowles: Tom Brady got no special treatment to attend wedding (ESPN)


Xi for Three

Credit: Paul Kagame (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

On Sunday Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a nearly two-hours long speech at the opening of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. He is seeking an unprecedented third term that would essentially cement his party rule for life.

Reporting from the Left: These are 4 key points from Xi's speech at the Chinese Communist Party congress (NPR)

Reporting from the Right: China’s Xi Issues Dark Warning On Taiwan As He Prepares To Consolidate Power Over CCP (Daily Wire)

From The Flag: Xi’s speech praised China’s “fighting spirit,” and he noted the nation is ready to proceed forward despite “dangerous storms” and a more hostile world. It comes at a time of renewed strain between Beijing and President Biden. Past editions of the newsletter have covered the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty and China’s zero COVID policy. Here’s more from both sides.


Xi Has Effectively Become Emperor, and Communism Is King

  • In just 10 years, President Xi has completely crushed all opposition to the communist party, and imposed strict surveillance.
  • This is a moment of victory for Xi, having guided China through COVID, he can continue to cut off influence from the West.
  • It might seem surprising that an Australian scholar blames Xi’s nationalist mindset on race, but it shouldn’t be – that’s the left’s playbook.

“The Thoughts of Chairman Xi” Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “The most important election in the world this year is no election at all. It’s a coronation. … We say this with regret, and not only because war with China would be a catastrophe. When China embarked on its reform project under Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s, there was reason to hope that the Middle Kingdom might eventually leave behind its murderous Communist past. For a time, into the 2000s, that still seemed possible as reforms continued and Chinese living standards increased. … But China’s Communist Party has never relinquished its grip on power… In a decade Mr. Xi has crushed all dissent, imposed a vast censorship regime, and created an intrusive surveillance regime beyond anything the East German Stasi imagined. He has erased the autonomy for 50 years that China had promised Hong Kong and made Xinjiang province a prison camp for the Uyghurs. He has also restored the Communist Party to the commanding heights of the economy, putting decades of market reform in reverse.”

“China has given up on the West” Bill Hayton, Unherd: “Xi Jinping’s great moment is nearly upon us. … The Party has weathered the Covid storm, crushed opposition in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and kept the economy afloat. … All of this was achieved while China sealed itself off from the world. The Party has not so much learned to live with Covid restrictions as learned to love them. … A self-imposed ‘walling off’ is becoming the leitmotif of Xi’s China, with the CCP separating its people from the outside world through the creation of physical, political and economic barriers. The aim is to exclude disease from the national homeland, but also unwanted information, influence and pressure. During the Eighties, the leader who oversaw China’s opening up to the world, Deng Xiaoping, is reputed to have said: ‘If you open a window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in.’ Xi is fed up with the flies: he’s closing the windows.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: The East Is … White? Xi Jinping Is A Cracker? Rod Dreher, The American Conservative


Xi Continues To Consolidate His Power, Hurting China

  • Xi’s heavy-handed style and overreach have reduced freedoms and harmed the nation’s economy – especially recently.
  • If the CCP grants Xi a third term, it will ensure that dictatorship and inward thinking dominate, rather than global cooperation.
  • Given how much China has changed under Xi’s 10 years of leadership, it’s worth exploring what a third term would mean.

“Xi Jinping Has Fallen Into the Dictator Trap” Susan Shirk, New York Times Op-ed: “President Xi Jinping’s first decade in power has been a study in hubris. He has purged political rivals and adopted heavy-handed policies that have imperiled China’s economy. He laid the groundwork for a crackdown in the Xinjiang region that drove Muslim citizens into thought reform camps and has alarmed and alienated neighbors with an aggressive foreign policy. And things just might get worse. The Chinese Communist Party congress… is expected to hand Mr. Xi another five years as general secretary of the party. Rather than a reassuring sign of continuity, his third term as the top leader of China could spell years of uncertainty as problems mount around an unbound leader who has shown little inclination to share decision-making. … The costs of his overreach are piling up. Mr. Xi, who favors a state-led, centrally controlled economy, began an abrupt crackdown on major Chinese internet companies last year… (casting) a pall over entrepreneurship, exacerbating an extended Chinese economic slowdown.”

“Xi’s coronation portends a hard era for China and the world” Editorial Board, Washington Post: “(The) outcome… is all but certain: a third consecutive five-year term for Xi Jinping as ruler of 1.4 billion Chinese. In ratifying an extension of Mr. Xi’s time as the political figure who controls more people, with fewer constraints, than any other in the world, the Chinese party would confirm that national aggrandizement and dictatorship, not global cooperation and human rights, are its lodestars. … Mr. Xi has stifled dissent, reimposed Marxist-Leninist indoctrination, subjected the populace to systematic surveillance, purged the party itself of potential opponents, and subjugated Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the latter through a genocidal campaign of forced labor and mass imprisonment of the Muslim Uyghur population. Ominously, he has expanded and improved China’s military capacities, while reasserting Beijing’s claim to Taiwan, most recently via massive military exercises to show displeasure with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: What Xi Jinping’s third term means for China and the world Muizz Akhtar, Vox


Americans' Feelings Toward China: A Decade of Difference

In 2012, the year before President Xi took office, more Americans (42%) expressed a favorable view of China than those who held an unfavorable view (40%).

Early this year, over 8 in 10 Americans said they now hold an unfavorable view of China (Pew Research).

Meanwhile, a survey conducted in China found over 9 in 10 citizens said they had a high level of trust in their government. But many scholars argue people living in autocratic nations feel pressure to express support (Edelman).


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Puerto Rico Colonized, Warranty for Life, Earth After Asteroid

On October 18, 1898, only one year after Spain granted Puerto Rico self-rule, American troops raised the US flag over the Caribbean nation, formalizing US authority over the island’s one million inhabitants.

Pro Publica: Rent Going Up? One Company’s Algorithm Could Be Why.

Life Hacker: You Don’t Even Realize These Products Have Lifetime Warranties

BBC: Why Meeting Another’s Gaze Is So Powerful

Today I Learned after traveling more than 1 billion miles, a Japanese spacecraft brought 1,500 grains from an asteroid back to Earth in 2010. It was the first time samples from an asteroid had been brought back to Earth.