ByKevin Sheekey

Shutdown Averted.

Kevin McCarthy Faces Far-Right Attempt to Oust Him as House Speaker After Bipartisan Funding Deal

Speaker McCarthy’s embrace of a bipartisan deal to avert a US government shutdown over the weekend triggered a mutiny by far-right Republicans. Florida Republican Matt Gaetz said Sunday he would file a motion to vacate the chair this week, seizing on a parliamentary process that has not resulted in a speaker removal vote since 1910.

The rare rebellion against a House speaker and unprecedented possibility members of the opposition party may rescue him unfolds as Washington is struggling to work out annual funding for the government.

The temporary funding includes about $16 million in disaster relief and will keep the government funded at the current spending levels. But both parties made some concessions — Republicans’ border security measures were dropped, as was the additional Ukraine aid backed by Democrats. 

Despite the temporary funding measure approved over the weekend with bipartisan support, the US faces another shutdown threat November 17.

An Eye on the Economy: A US Recession is Still Likely – And Coming Soon

A last-minute deal to avoid a government shutdown kicks one immediate risk a little further into the future. But a major auto strike, the resumption of student-loan repayments, and a shutdown that may yet come back after the stop-gap spending deal lapses, could easily shave a percentage point off GDP growth in the fourth quarter.

Fighting for Safer Communities.

A Winning Formula: How Lawyers Are Holding Gunmakers Responsible for Mass Shootings

It was February 2022, a $73 million settlement was announced in a lawsuit brought by lawyer Josh Koskoff against the gun maker Remington on behalf of families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. An AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle made by Bushmaster, which at the time was owned by Remington, was used in the 2012 shooting that left 20 first graders and six adults dead. Because Remington was in bankruptcy, its insurers negotiated the agreement.

While it was believed to be a record settlement in a case involving a firearms manufacturer, the real significance of Soto v. Bushmaster was not the payout but that it ever reached the point where the insurance companies felt compelled to make a deal.

Koskoff’s unexpected victory jolted the gun industry and energized gun-control advocates. Soto raised the possibility that gun makers could yet be constrained through the time-honored tradition of using litigation to induce more responsible corporate behavior.

Not surprisingly, he has become a go-to lawyer for other victims of mass-casualty gun violence. In addition to his clients in Highland Park, he was approached by families in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, after the deadly rampages in those communities last year. But while the three shootings followed a familiar script, Koskoff has struggled to balance the urgent desire for legal redress with the need to build cases that stand a chance in court.

Other organizations are also taking the same route to bring change: Everytown for Gun Safety, the Mike Bloomberg-founded gun-safety advocacy group, has filed claims against the gun manufacturers on behalf of the families of two children killed in the Uvalde, Texas school shooting. “Factually, Uvalde is stronger than even Sandy Hook,” Koskoff says. But Texas is a gun-friendly state, and persuading a judge or jury to rule against a firearms company could be difficult, unlike in Connecticut where Koskoff was successful. Click here to read the full story, which was on the cover of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.

What I’m Reading.

Higher Rates Are Here to Stay: Once Unthinkable Bond Yields Now the New Normal in Shift from Easy-Money Era

It was the week that bond markets finally seemed to grasp what central bankers have been warning all year: higher interest rates are here to stay. From the US to Germany to Japan, yields that were almost unthinkable at the start of 2023 are now within reach.

The selloff has been so extreme it’s forced bullish investors to capitulate and Wall Street banks to tear up their forecasts. Yields on 10-year German debt are close to 3%, a level not reached since 2011. Their US equivalent are back in line with the average from before the Global Financial Crisis and within striking distance of 5%.

UK Economy Watch: UK Growth Stronger Than First Thought in Boost for Rishi Sunak

Ukraine Latest: Ukraine Military Shoots Down 30 Russian Drones in Second Night of Attacks Marking Annexation Anniversary

US Defense News: Gen. Charles Q. Brown Becomes Nation’s Highest-Ranking Officer, Taking Over From Gen. Mark Milley

California’s New Senator: Emily’s List President Laphonza Butler to Replace Dianne Feinstein in US Senate

EU Gets US Election Anxiety: Europe Tries to ‘Trump Proof’ the Transatlantic Relationship Ahead of 2024 Election

The European Union is looking at ways to lock down improvements in its working relationship with the US in case Donald Trump wins next year’s presidential election. That means acting quickly to nail down binding agreements with the Biden administration.

Europe must be ready to work with Trump if he wins, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in an interview with Bloomberg Television this month, and it would be “naive” not to prepare for such an outcome. Baerbock visited Texas this month to build ties with Republican officials and other EU governments are also reaching out to the GOP to try to identify people who might end up being close to another Trump administration.

Eastern Europe Tension: NATO Bolsters Forces in Kosovo as US Urges Serbia to Withdraw Troops From Border

Must See New Venue: U2 Brings Swagger, Iconic Songs to Sphere Las Vegas in Jaw-Dropping Opening Night Concert

To call ‘Sphere’ a spectacle doesn’t do justice to the structure that, at 516-feet wide and 366 feet tall, takes up about two city blocks and is taller than a football field is long, according to USA Today. It’s the world’s largest spherical shaped venue according to designers and its walls of video screens envelop the audience in a visual embrace and pristine, isolated sound. Click here to see more upcoming shows.

Hot Ticket at The Shed: Highly Anticipated Musical ‘Here We Are’ Now Playing for 15 Weeks Only in Hudson Yards

The world premiere of the final musical by composer Stephen Sondheim, with a book by David Ives, took place late last week at The Shed in Hudson Yards, and now the show is in the midst of its exclusive run through early January.

Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, ‘Here We Are’ draws inspiration from two iconic films of Luis Buñuel, ‘The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie’ and ‘The Exterminating Angel’ with music from Sondheim, the great composer and lyricist who died in 2021 and had been working on and off on this show for years. Click here to get tickets to what the New York Times said was the ‘most anticipated event of the fall season.’

Best of Late Night.

With late night TV shows set to return tonight after the writers strike ended, here are some throwback one-liners from shows before the strike:

On Republican operatives in Pennsylvania trying to push a theory that John Fetterman was affiliated with a gang prior to his 2022 election win against Dr. Oz to become a US Senator: 

‌”Even worse, they’re trying to push the unfounded theory that Dr. Oz is affiliated with Pennsylvania.”
 Seth Meyers, on a 2022 episode of ‘The Late Show’

‌”The White House released a 44-page plan to fight hunger but it’s just the Cheesecake Factory menu.”
— Seth Meyers, on a 2022 episode of ‘The Late Show’

On Frankie Lasagna, the Yankees fan who missed catching the record-breaking 61st home run ball from Aaron Judge last year:

‌”Frankie Lasagna sounds like a name you get from the Olive Garden witness protection program.”
— Jimmy Fallon, on a 2022 episode of ‘The Tonight Show’

‌”Frankie Lasagna sounds like the name Robert De Niro checks into hotels to avoid paparazzi.”
— Jimmy Fallon, on a 2022 episode of ‘The Tonight Show’

About the Sheekey Daily Read

I’m always searching for the stories that shine a light on – and offer solutions to – some of the most pressing issues of our time. I started my daily email to capture and share the stories I think are important. Thanks for reading!
– Kevin Sheekey

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