President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Congressional Republican leaders.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, January 4, the two-week mark of the government shutdown. The longest previous shutdown spanned 21 days under President Bill Clinton, from 1995 to 1996. Here’s what we’ve been keeping an eye on today:

On and On and On: During a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, President Donald Trump said that the government shutdown could go on for “months or even years.” More on the shutdown below.

Emergency Exit: In a press conference after the meeting, Trump said that he’s considered declaring a national emergency to build his border wall without congressional approval. More from The Atlantic’s January/February issue below.

Born to Run: The Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, is in the final stages of deciding whether to run for president. More from Edward-Isaac Dovere below.

Have you or people you know been impacted by the federal government shutdown? We want to hear from you. Reply to this email or send us an email here.

Madeleine Carlisle and Olivia Paschal


The Atlantic Reports

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House after meeting with lawmakers about border security. He was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP)

Will the Government Ever Reopen? (Russell Berman)
“[Trump] predicted the shutdown would be ‘over sooner than people think.’ But in the next breath, he said he was girding for a lengthy fight. ”→ Read on.

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency (Elizabeth Goitein)
“Unknown to most Americans, a parallel legal regime allows the president to sidestep many of the constraints that normally apply. The moment the president declares a ‘national emergency’—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—more than 100 special provisions become available to him.” → Read on.

How to Run for President While You’re Running a City (Edward-Isaac Dovere)
“The tension between his day job and his presidential ambitions may soon come to a head: Garcetti has said he’d decide by the end of 2018, and make an announcement either way by the first quarter of 2019. But this month, right in the middle of what’s expected to be a rush of candidate announcements, he’s facing a potential teachers’ strike that could shut down city schools.” → Read on.


Snapshot

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Dick Durbin, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speak with reporters after meeting with President Donald Trump about border security at the White House. (Evan Vucci / AP)


Ideas From The Atlantic

Trump Is Making It Easier to Get Away With Discrimination (Adam Serwer)
“Conservatives have long sought to eliminate disparate-impact regulations. In Donald Trump, a real-estate baron whose company was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black people, they finally found an eager champion.” → Read on.

The Truth About the Soviet War in Afghanistan (Gregory Feifer)
“Compared with Donald Trump’s bizarre ramblings on Wednesday, however, the Kremlin’s Marxism-colored delusions seem minor. His mischaracterization of the Soviet war contained no single scrap of truth, let alone logic. It was issued to justify an Afghanistan policy that risks undermining the very few gains almost two decades of Western-led effort have produced by ignoring lessons from both the Soviet and NATO-led campaigns.” → Read on.

Democrats Are Wrong About Defense Spending (Reihan Salam)
“It is a safe bet we will hear further calls for curbing the Pentagon’s putatively bloated budget from Warren and others in the weeks and months to come. But it would be a mistake to heed them.” → Read on.


What Else We’re Reading

After Natural Disasters, Workers Rebuild—And Face Exploitation (Jessica Kutz, High Country News)

How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump as an Icon of American Success (Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker)

While Federal Workers Go Without Pay, Senior Trump Administration Officials Are Poised to Get $10,000 Raises (Lisa Rein and Peter Whoriskey, The Washington Post)


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