What We’re Following
Kamala Harris makes the case for a 2020 run. Since arriving in the Senate two years ago, Harris has become a political superstar, earning a reputation for her tense grilling of Trump-administration officials. Her new book looks to be a setup for a looming presidential campaign, but “instead of weaving a political vision into the biography of its author, it assembles itself rather like a campaign pamphlet” and glosses over her track record as California’s top prosecutor.
Meanwhile, squeezing in some late Friday 2020 news is Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who told CNN she has decided to run for president.
The effects of the government shutdown are about to compound. As it drags into week four and becomes the longest ever in United States history, the federal government is reaching uncharted waters. Funds for food stamps will soon dry up for 38 million Americans. The federal-court system could soon run out of money, and a potential exodus of unpaid workers from the public could send the economy into a tailspin. These near-apocalyptic outcomes most likely won’t come to pass: “Come February, no one will have the political will,” said one former Obama-administration official who helped manage the 2013 shutdown.
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What to watch and read. With Barry Jenkins’s film If Beale Street Could Talk earning awards-season accolades, James Baldwin’s eponymous novel—which inspired the movie—is being dusted off the bookshelf. In the book, which is set in 1960s-era segregation, “Baldwin demands black people not only to accept whites, but to do so with love, positioning black love as a vital instrument for white liberation and interracial renewal on a national scale.” The director M. Night Shyamalan’s newest film, Glass, is the latest in a trilogy featuring comic-book heroes who somehow exist in the real world. It toggles back and forth between silly and serious in a way that’s sure to delight his fans, while infuriating other viewers.