🎁 Good Saturday morning. Retailers call this "Super Saturday," which vies with Black Friday for the biggest shopping day of the year.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
President Trump's self-inflicted shutdown before Christmas has left Republicans with a debacle as their last act in control of the House. And now the party is even more worried about the outlook beginning Jan. 3, when Democrats take over.
Why it matters: The shutdown is a preview of how divided government could play out, with a Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the first national counterweight President Trump has had since he was inaugurated two years ago.
A top White House official told me last night that negotiations were underway, and progress was being made.
House Republican leaders had been worried that so many defeated or retiring members might stay home that there wouldn't be a quorum. The GOP wound up with plenty of votes — but just no solution Trump would take.
In the Oval Office just 11 days ago, Trump told Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer: "I am proud to shut down the government for border security ... I’m not going to blame you for it."
And somehow this final-hours pitch didn't win over Dems:
For Republicans, the hell of this is that this could have been a celebratory week to a bleak political year:
"The disruption affects many government operations and the routines of 800,000 federal employees," AP reports:
"Those being furloughed include nearly everyone at NASA and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service. About 8 in 10 employees of the National Park Service were to stay home; many parks were expected to close."
A reprieve for some national parks operating with skeleton staff, per Reuters:
President Trump "discussed firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as his frustration with the central bank chief intensified following this week’s interest-rate hike and months of stock-market losses," Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs, Saleha Mohsin and Margaret Talev report.
Why it matters: "Any attempt by Trump to push out Powell would have potentially devastating ripple effects across financial markets, undermining investors’ confidence in the central bank’s ability to shepherd the economy without political interference."
"We are the workers tasked with saving retail — for $9.50 an hour," Bonnie Miller Rubin writes on the cover of tomorrow's WashPost Outlook section.
After a long career as a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, she took a "little retirement job" at White House Black Market at Oakbrook Center, an upscale women’s clothing store in a high-end mall in Chicago’s western suburbs.
"Such attentiveness [is] a key strategy to increasing units per transaction (UPT), ... an incredibly crucial metric.
"Melania Trump's cranberry topiary trees may have left some of her critics seeing red, but they turned out to be a Christmas hit — one of several new ideas the Trumps introduced this holiday season," AP's Darlene Superville reports:
"In a four-week stretch of 21 holiday parties, the president also did fewer official photo ops and largely froze out the press."
The parties had a rhythm: "A tuxedo-clad Trump and the first lady, who has worn a variety of white, black and green gowns, descended the red-carpeted staircase hand-in-hand from their second-floor residence."
"Largely absent from the festivities this year was the traditional opportunity for guests to have a picture taken with Trump and his wife, a time-consuming process that requires the president and first lady to stand for hours, grinning, posing and making small talk with hundreds of guests, some of whom they hardly know."
"[N]otables who attended include 'Six Million Dollar Man' Lee Majors, Trump supporters Diamond and Silk and professional soccer player Wayne Rooney."