☕ Happy Friday!
⚡ BAGHDAD (AP) — "Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said the U.S. started 'the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria.'"
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a hot Democratic prospect for 2020, posted a video of a dental cleaning to his Instagram story yesterday, a make-it-stop moment that showed how different 2020 will be online.
Instagram is the new fad for politicians trying to communicate with younger voters in an authentic way — but the more they use it, the lamer the content is going to get, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes.
O'Rourke (age 46) and Ocasio-Cortez (29), who combined have over 2 million Instagram followers, made live-streaming a staples of their 2018 campaigns.
How they use it: Ocasio-Cortez makes mac and cheese while talking about her progressive platform or addressing her critics.
The bottom line: Just because it's live doesn't mean it's raw. Or good.
Another ominous clue that the shutdown could be prolonged: President Trump tweeted yesterday: "I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos." He had been scheduled to leave Jan. 21 — 10 days from now.
What's closed, per AP: "Nine of the 15 Cabinet-level departments have not been funded, including Agriculture, Homeland Security, State, Transportation, Interior and Justice. Some iconic National Park facilities are shuttered as are the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington. Nearly everyone at NASA is being told to stay home, as are most at the Internal Revenue Service, ... though the administration says tax refunds will be issued during the shutdown."
A reporter asks President Trump on the South Lawn, as he headed to Marine One for the border trip: "Does the buck stop with you over this shutdown?"
Many Republicans tuned out the Democratic response to President Trump's Oval Office address while Democrats tended to watch both speeches, according to a SurveyMonkey poll.
"The Mueller team's questioning ... shows their interest in obstruction extends beyond the President's firing of FBI Director James Comey," CNN's Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Laura Jarrett report:
Talking about "big tech" is making less sense: The giants increasingly are trying to differentiate their business models, and Washington realizes they can't be lumped together, Axios' David McCabe and Scott Rosenberg write.
Policymakers and regulators found it convenient to paint a single big target on "the big tech platforms" amid privacy and election controversies.
Now watch the companies go their separate ways: This week, Apple greeted Las Vegas' Consumer Electronics Show multitudes with a billboard that read, "What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone."
China "is more than ever consumed by the pursuit of national greatness," The Economist writes in its lead editorial:
Why it matters: "Amid the growing rivalry between China and America, many in the West fear that he will succeed."
This full-page ad appears today in The Washington Post.
Columbia president and CEO Tim Boyle, who has been with the company since 1971, told me in an exclusive interview from HQ in Portland, Ore.:
"Baby shark! (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo) ... Billboard chart! (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo)" — N.Y. Times' Daniel Victor:
Be smart, from NPR's Joshua Bote: "Much of the song's popularity, of course, just has to do with the fickle nature of the Internet, which [magnifies] the strange and the novel and continues to be hard to focus-group."