ESSENTIAL #1: “IS THE GOVERNMENT GOING TO SHUT DOWN AGAIN IN FEBRUARY? HERE ARE 4 SCENARIOS” DYLAN SCOTT, VOX
From the article: “The longest government shutdown in US history is almost over, and the federal government will be fully operational again — at least for the next three weeks.
The relief is temporary. The deal cut by President Trump and congressional leaders to end the shutdown funds several government agencies only through February 15, with the understanding that Democrats and Republicans will keep searching for a compromisethat would give Trump the win he wants on border security while also providing protections for vulnerable migrants, as Democrats demand.
The next funding cliff is not that far off, and the lesson of the past two years has been that it is extremely difficult, maybe impossible, for Democrats and the president to make a deal on immigration.”
ESSENTIAL #2: “IN OAKLAND SPEECH, KAMALA HARRIS LAUNCHES WHITE HOUSE BID WITH SCATHING ASSAULT ON TRUMP” MELANIE MASON AND MARK Z. BARABAK, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
From the article: “Kamala Harris formally launched her Democratic bid for president Sunday with a blunt-force assault on President Trump and a promise to unify a country deeply riven along social, cultural and political lines.
Speaking from the steps of Oakland’s flag-bedecked City Hall plaza, to a crowd that spilled over several downtown blocks, Harris depicted her candidacy as a fight against those “trying to sow hate and division.”
“We are here at this moment in time because we must answer a fundamental question,” Harris said. “Who are we? Who are we as Americans? So let’s answer that question, America. We are better than this.”
Though Harris never mentioned Trump by name, it was abundantly clear she was painting a damning portrayal of the president and his actions.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “BIPARTISANSHIP: A NEW HOPE” JIM GERAGHTY, NATIONAL REVIEW
From the article: “So far, 2019 in Washington looks like another year of hyper-partisanship; a record-breaking government shutdown, with the threat of a second; angry brinkmanship; and deadlocked stalemates. And the whole harsh and divided mess appears likely to continue for the foreseeable future. But there was one glaring exception to the trend just last month.
In December, right before the government shutdown began, a surprisingly broad bipartisan coalition united behind long-discussed legislation on criminal-justice reform. The First Step Act won more than 350 votes in the House of Representatives and 87 votes in the Senate, and it was the rare time that the ACLU, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the NAACP, and Kim Kardashian all applauded legislation signed by President Trump — while scholars at the Heritage Foundation hailed it as “a conservative victory.”
ESSENTIAL #4: “FAMILY OF KALIEF BROWDER, YOUNG MAN WHO KILLED HIMSELF AFTER JAIL, GETS $3.3 MILLION FROM NEW YORK” DAVID K. LI, NBC NEWS
From the article: “New York City will pay $3.3 million to the estate of a young man who killed himself after a three-year jail stint over a minor theft case than never went to trial, lawyers said Thursday.
Details of the deal between the city and the estate of Kalief Browder are still being hammered out, but they have settled on that dollar figure, according to the New York City Law Department and an attorney for the estate.”