Skimm'd after book club

theSkimm50 West 23rd Street, Suite 5B; New York, NY, 10010, United States Update Profile

JANUARY 11, 2019


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Skimm'd after book club


"I went on a date with a CES robot. He was nice." – A headline from the Consumer Electronic Show. Sounds about right.


The Story

Remember when the government used to run all the way?


Well, it's officially day 21 of the partial gov shutdown – caused by the funding fight over the US-Mexico border wall. Since last month, around 800,000 federal workers have been working without pay or are on unpaid leave. Today, many of them are missing their first paychecks. Some are starting to do things like apply for unemployment benefits or launch GoFundMe pages while they wait for the shutdown to end. A group representing FBI agents are urging the gov to re-open, arguing that the limited funds could hurt national security. If that's not bad enough, economists are warning about what could happen next.

Go on…

Right now, the shutdown is hitting the pockets of federal employees. It's also doing things like slowing down some airport lines because there are fewer TSA agents and impacting gov services at national parks and museums. The FDA isn't doing all of its regular food inspections. *Slowly puts down breakfast.* But if it continues much longer, the US economy could take a hit. Some gov services that people rely on – like food stamps – are safe for now. But there's not enough money for those services past next month.

How are negotiations going?

They're at a stalemate. Yesterday, Trump visited the southern border. He said he's increasingly open to declaring a national emergency to get the funding without Congress's go-ahead. But if that happens, it's expected to face legal challenges. Congressional Dems have tried to force a vote on spending bills without wall funding but they've been DOA so far. And VP Mike Pence said, "no wall, no deal."


This partial shutdown is tied for the longest in US history. Tomorrow, it would become the longest. And the longer it goes on, the more likely it is going to take an economic and human toll on workers and the country.

PS: We asked app subscribers to text us their questions about the shutdown. Here are some answers.


What to say when your friend takes credit for your idea…

Hear my warning. Turkey is saying 'same.' Yesterday, its foreign minister said the country would start attacking Syrian Kurdish fighters whether or not the US withdraws from Syria. Last month, President Trump said the US has defeated ISIS in Syria and would start pulling troops out. But people were worried about what would happen to the US-backed Kurdish fighters, since Turkey considers some to be part of a terrorist group. National security adviser John Bolton said the US won't leave Syria until Turkey promises the Kurdish allies will be safe. Now, Turkey is saying 'don't count on it.' Then today, a spokesman for the US-led coalition said it has started "the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria," but didn't give specifics. Add that to things on US Sec of State Mike Pompeo's mind. He's in the Middle East to do damage control and reassure allies after Trump's surprise announcement. Yesterday, Pompeo gave a speech in Egypt, saying the US would still play a key role in the region. And that it was committed to defeating ISIS and containing Iranian influence in Syria. He also used it as an opportunity to criticize previous US approaches in the region (cough, the Obama administration, cough). And said the Trump admin brings "a new beginning."

What to say when you hear Starbucks is trying to protect its workers from needles...

In other business news, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover are cleaning house. Yesterday, the two car-making companies announced they're both cutting thousands of jobs. Carmakers are struggling over a lot of things: diesel car sales are down in Europe ever since the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal pushed regulators to take a microscope to these cars. And things like lower demand in China plus confusion over what Brexit could mean for future biz haven't helped the industry. In other news related to emissions, oceans are getting warmer faster than previously estimated. Greenhouse gas emissions are warming up the atmosphere and some of that heat gets absorbed by oceans. Researchers say 2018 was a record high for ocean temps...not a good sign.

Who people are talking about…

Shahid Shafi. Last night, Texas Republicans voted to keep the Muslim doctor as vice chairman of the GOP in one of the state's most populous counties. The background: a local chairwoman had been trying to remove Shafi because he's Muslim – accusing him of things like being connected to terror groups, preferring Islamic law to US law, and being anti-Israel. Several top TX Republicans – including Sen. Ted Cruz – have condemned the campaign against him, some calling it bigoted. County officials voted to keep him in office by a landslide majority.

What to say when your co-worker moves on...

Miss you already. Earlier today, Andy Murray announced he plans to retire this year because of a hip injury. The former world no. 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner plans to play at this month's Australian Open. He said he'd like to play at Wimbledon as well, but isn't sure he'll be able to.

What to say when you debate eating al desko

Consider adding some cheese to your meal.


"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi

A 36-year-old neurosurgeon gets diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Turns out, the surgeon is also a brilliant writer who will make you cry in public. This book, published posthumously, will make sure you don't take your health for granted.


For when you need to catch more shut-eye…

Join the club. We broke down all the ways to make sleep a priority this year. Because the recommended 7-9 hours are just the beginning. Read up on the A-Zzz's here.


Spotlight on...Laura M (FL) who's been recognized for her years of nonprofit volunteer work to help underprivileged kids. She received the 2018 Professional Leader of the Year award by Soroptimist International of Boca Raton.

Congrats to...Pam E (AZ), who became the first in her fam to get a doctorate. And to Taylor K (CA), who's going out of her comfort zone and taking acting classes. And has learned to cry on cue. Watch out Meryl.

(Some) Birthdays...theSkimm's Meg Gegler (NY), Allison Statter (CA), Christiane Amanpour, Leanne Miller (NY), Aly Mazza (CO), Matt Lara (KS), Addie Diradoorian (CA), Karen Eisengruber (TN), Jono Adams (PA), Jess Ridolfino (NJ), Necessittee Lyday (OK), Aaron Riggs (IA), Dani Cifelli (RI), Saira Taneja (MA)

*Welcome to a new Skimm community section we're testing. Want to take it to the next level with us? Reach out here for a chance to be featured.