Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Why this government shutdown was unlike any other

The U.S. government has shut down 18 times in the past four decades, but this most recent instance has proven unique.

Trump at the White House via Mark Wilson/Getty
Trump at the White House via Mark Wilson/Getty


The Senate voted to end the three-day government shutdown on Monday after Democrats agreed to extend government funding by three weeks in exchange for a pledge by Republicans to allow an immigration bill to reach the floor in February.

The agreement marks the first time Democrats have received a hard deadline for a vote on an immigration bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also promised to allow debate on the floor and an open amendment process.

But the vows of the majority leader fall short of what Democrats had initially demanded: an immediate vote on protections for Dreamers — undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Some lawmakers seemed to express frustration at the compromise.

“Well I think the first thing he needs to do is strengthen his statement from last night,” said Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent who typically votes with Democrats. “‘I intend.’ I would much rather he say, ‘I commit’ or ‘I will move.’”

Among the Democratic senators who voted against extending government funding were potential 2020 presidential candidates like Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris

The shutdown is the country’s 18th since the modern budget era began with the passing of the Budget Act of 1974, and it’s unique for a couple reasons.

For one, it’s the first time we’ve seen a shutdown where one party has controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House, and federal employees were furloughed — sent home without pay.


But more remarkable about the shutdown was the lack of involvement and clear direction from the White House. Prior to the shutdown, Republican leaders had attempted to force Democrats to choose between negotiating solutions for either DACA or CHIP, a health insurance program that provides services to 8.9 million children.

#Senate Democrats have a choice to make. This should be a no-brainer... pic.twitter.com/zdUFXxclZ9

— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) January 19, 2018

Radical innovation: Unlocking the future of human invention

Ready to see the future? Nanotronics CEO Matthew Putman talks innovation and the solutions that are right under our noses.

Big Think LIVE

Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.

Keep reading Show less

Dark Forest theory: A terrifying explanation of why we haven’t heard from aliens yet

The Fermi paradox asks us where all the aliens are if the cosmos should be filled with them. The Dark Forest theory says we should pray we never find them.

If this theory is correct, the day after contact would look like this. (Pixababy)
Surprising Science

The Milky Way galaxy has 200 billion stars and perhaps 100 billion planets. If even a small fraction of those planets harbored life, and even if only a pathetic scattering of those planets had lifeforms which became intelligent, our galaxy would be teeming with alien civilizations, some of whom would be either looking for us or discoverable for at least a little while.

Keep reading Show less

Russia claims world's first COVID-19 vaccine but skepticism abounds

President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced coronavirus vaccine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Coronavirus
  • Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in Russia.
  • Scientists around the world are worried that the vaccine is unsafe and that Russia fast-tracked the vaccine without performing the necessary phase 3 trials.
  • To date, Russia has had nearly 900,000 registered cases of coronavirus.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Therapy app Talkspace mined user data for marketing insights, former employees allege

    A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.

    Talkspace.com
    Technology & Innovation
    • In the report, several former employees said that "individual users' anonymized conversations were routinely reviewed and mined for insights."
    • Talkspace denied using user data for marketing purposes, though it acknowledged that it looks at client transcripts to improve its services.
    • It's still unclear whether teletherapy is as effective as traditional therapy.
    Keep reading Show less
    Mind & Brain

    Viewing abstract art causes notable cognitive changes

    Viewing art that doesn't look like anything makes your brain take extra steps to try and get it.

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast