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Review: The SVS Prime Elevation are Atmos speakers that can do it all


There are few things you can do to upgrade your home theater experience like adding a pair of height speakers. Whether you’re listening to Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or Auro 3D, the added vertical dimension makes the sound more immersive and helps transport you to the scenes on film. But while most speakers designed for Atmos compromise on the acoustics, SVS’ $400 Prime Elevation are good enough to deserve a spot in almost any part of your home theater setup. Dolby Atmos speakers usually fall into two categories: speakers meant to be embedded in a ceiling or speakers that are placed…

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Hung-over dad gags while changing baby’s diaper
This man needs hair of the dog — not poop of the baby. Watch as a hung-over dad in Orange, Australia, nearly vomits while changing his daughter’s diaper after a night out drinking.   Subscribe to our YouTube!
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New York Post
CyberGhost VPN is on sale for just £2.15 a month with an extra 6 months for free
TL;DR: CyberGhost VPN is on sale for just £2.15 a month, with an extra six months for free on the one-year plan. The list of reasons why you should seriously consider CyberGhost VPN is long, but don't worry, we're going to condense it into four key points. Firstly, CyberGhost VPN has over 3,900 servers worldwide. This means that you should be able to link up to a fast connection, wherever you are in the world. Secondly, you can connect seven devices to the service, at the same time. So you can protect all your devices at once, with one plan. Thirdly, CyberGhost VPN offer around the clock live support, which is great if you encounter any problems with the service. Read more...More about Vpn, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, Uk Deals, and Cyberghost
Mashable
Swedish prosecutor wants rapper A$AP Rocky's detention extended
New York native was arrested over a fight in Stockholm last month, and police say they need more time to complete their investigation
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Journey creator’s Sky debuts on iPhone and iPad
Building positive social bonds is key in thatgamecompany's ambitious new title.
Ars Technica
UK's Javid says 'send her back' chant at Trump rally unacceptable
Chants of "send her back" directed at politicians are completely unacceptable in a modern democracy, British interior minister Sajid Javid said on Friday after a crowd chanted the phrase at a rally for U.S. President Donald Trump.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Rohan Dennis: Tour de France rider mysteriously withdraws from race
Rohan Dennis' unexplained withdrawal from the Tour de France midway through the 12th stage has left the cycling world perplexed, with his team director saying he is "confused and disappointed" by the Australian's decision.
Sport
Merkel feels solidarity with minority congresswomen attacked by Trump
German Chancellor Merkel on Friday distanced herself from U.S. President Donald Trump's comment that four minority Democratic congresswomen should "go back" to where they came from.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Author Tim Alberta says Trump is galvanizing supporters with attacks on Omar
The Politico Magazine chief political correspondent and author of "American Carnage" spoke with Major Garrett on this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Watch a behind-the-scenes look at 'Terminator: Dark Fate'
Paramount Pictures has released a Terminator: Dark Fate featurette at San Diego Comic-Con, showing an inside look at the making of what people are calling the true sequel to Terminator 2. While the franchise spawned three movies since the iconic flic...
Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features
PepsiCo to buy South Africa's Pioneer Food for $1.7 billion
PepsiCo has struck a deal to buy South Africa's Pioneer Food Group for $1.7 billion, the companies said on Friday, lifting Pioneer's shares and boosting a sector that has been hit by drought and tough trading conditions.
REUTERS
Netflix Says 105 Million Subscribers Have Watched an Episode of Orange Is the New Black
One of Netflix's first original series is its most-watched, according to a Variety cover story.
Slate Articles
House Democrats are hoping the special counsel's testimony will shift public perception about Trump
House Democrats are intensely preparing a pointed line of questioning for Robert Mueller to pin him down on the alleged criminal activity of President Donald Trump as outlined in the special counsel's sweeping investigation, banking that the testimony will shift public perception about the President's actions, according to Democratic committee aides.
CNN.com - RSS Channel
Seth Meyers slams Trump's weak reaction to racist rally chant
Seth Meyers is not having any of Trump's excuses. During a rally on Wednesday night, fans of the president were caught on camera chanting "send her back" about Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar — one of the four people Trump attacked in a barrage of racist tweets on Sunday. And when asked by a reporter why he didn't stop the chant, Trump claimed he "started speaking very quickly" — even though footage shows him pausing for a solid 12 seconds before the crowd tapers off. "That's not how you stop a chant," said Meyers on Thursday. "That's how you wait in line at the deli for them to call your number." Read more...More about Racism, Donald Trump, Seth Meyers, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and Entertainment
Mashable
World Aquatics Championships: Lilly King says drugs cheats will probably be competing
Olympic champion Lilly King says she expects there to be drug cheats at this week's World Aquatics Championships.
BBC Sport - Sport
Iran Denies Claim That U.S. Military Destroyed Drone in the Strait of Hormuz
The government of Iran has denied reports that the U.S. shot down an Iranian drone this week in the Strait of Hormuz, contradicting claims by the U.S. military and President Donald Trump that an enemy drone had been destroyed.Read more...
Gizmodo - We come from the future.
Gold price hits six-year high as investors await US interest rate cut
One troy ounce reached $1,452.60 amid increased US-Iran tensionsGold prices have hit their highest levels in six years as investors brace for an interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve and seek a safe haven amid tensions between Washington and Tehran.The price of one ounce of gold peaked at $1,452.60 on Friday morning, the highest point since May 2013, with fears over the Persian Gulf standoff also driving the price of a commodity that is viewed as a market refuge during geopolitical crises. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Tour de France 2019: individual time trial on stage 13 and La Course – live!
Geraint Thomas among favourites for 27.2km stage in PauBack in Pau: 20 years on from Armstrong’s first Tour winEmail Barry or tweet @bglendenning with your thoughts 11.29am BST 12km to go: It’s worth noting that Spratt’s Dutch team-mate, Annemiek van Vleuten is trying to win her third consecutive La Course title. She is currently chasing down Lucinda Brand and Marianne Vos, who are trying to bridge the gap from the peloton to Spratt. The gap is dissolving, however. 11.23am BST 16km to go: Marianne Vos and her CCC Liv domestiques are towing the bunch along as Spratt, who was previously in a five-woman breakaway before dropping her travelling companions and striking for home on her own. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
TimelIne: Key dates for Britain's Brexit crisis: Choosing a new prime minister
Britain is due to appoint a new prime minister and attempt to renegotiate the terms of its Brexit deal, all before Oct. 31, when it is scheduled to leave the European Union.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
1Password Restores Free-to-Use Local Vault Option in Latest Version of iOS App
1Password has restored the option for customers who originally purchased its iOS app to create a local vault during setup, after users queued up online to voice their frustrations that the option was silently removed in an update. The Canadian password management service caused a string of complaints on Reddit and elsewhere earlier this month when a v7.3.3 update to the 1Password iOS app removed the free-to-use local vault option from the app setup process without alerting users to the change. Withdrawing the option meant that users who reinstalled the iOS app for whatever reason could no longer configure a new local vault on their device, even if they'd paid an upfront fee for the app or bought the Pro in-app purchase in the past for exactly this purpose. The change meant that users looking to maintain local vaults on iPhone or iPad had to either pay for a 1Password membership, or sync their iOS device with a standalone vault created by 1Password for Mac or 1Password Windows – both of which require a subscription. The good news is that 1Password has listened to user feedback, and the latest update, v7.3.4, restores the ability to create standalone vaults from setup to customers who had previously purchased 1Password 4 for iOS or the Pro Features in-app purchase. However, for new users at least, there's no longer any way to use the password management service without subscribing to a paid plan.Tag: 1PasswordThis article, "1Password Restores Free-to-Use Local Vault Option in Latest Version of iOS App" first appeared on MacRumors.comDiscuss this article in our forums
Mac Rumors: Apple Mac iOS Rumors and News You Care About
The Political Crisis in Puerto Rico
A leaked group chat involving the governor set off protests demanding his resignation. The outcry has brought the island to a crossroads.
NYT > Home Page
Why Amadou Diallo’s Mother Still Fights ‘This Good Fight’
Years before Black Lives Matter, Mr. Diallo’s killing became a rallying cry. Now, the Eric Garner case brings painful reminders.
NYT > Home Page
US briefing: Iran tensions, racist chants and Kyoto Animation fire
Friday’s top story: Tehran denies that US shot down its drone in strait of Hormuz. Plus, the Cats movie trailer is trending for all the wrong reasonsGood morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories. Continue reading...
Politica
Johnny Clegg obituary
Singer-songwriter who used music to defy apartheid in South AfricaJohnny Clegg, who has died of cancer aged 66, was a white singer-songwriter who became a national hero in South Africa by using music to defy the apartheid-era segregation laws. He challenged the authorities by forming mixed-race bands, performing to both black and white audiences, and mixing Zulu influences into songs that brought him international success. Known as the “white Zulu” or umlungu omnyama (“the black white person”), he spoke fluent Zulu and was an energetic and skilful exponent of Zulu dance.He was best known for the poignant, stirring 1987 anthem Asimbonanga (We have not seen him), a tribute to Nelson Mandela, who was then still in jail, and to other key figures of the anti-apartheid struggle. Twelve years later, soon after he stepped down as president, Mandela joined Clegg on stage in Frankfurt as he was performing the song, in one of the most emotional scenes in political pop history. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Firework drone 'false news' says Instagram star Lucas Albert
Brazilian Instagram star Lucas Albert says his "revenge" video watched by millions was not real.
BBC News - Home
A man escaped a high-rise on fire by climbing down it in true 'Spider-Man' style
Did Philadelphia's friendly neighborhood "Spider-Man" just escape an apartment fire?
CNN.com - RSS Channel
U.S. Navy Ship Sunk in World War II by German Sub Is Found Off Maine Coast
The U.S.S. Eagle PE-56, which lost 49 of 62 crew members, was located by a civilian dive team.
NYT > Home Page
Will Hiding Like Counts Be Good for Instagram Users? Test Is Expanded to 6 More Countries
The social media platform theorizes that the move may reduce pressure on users.
NYT > Home Page
The 'Cats' trailer is horrifying the internet
Expect to hear the haunting refrain of "Memory," as performed by Jennifer Hudson, approximately 80 times in the office today: There's a good chance your coworkers are all watching the "Cats" trailer, and there's a very good chance they're all horrified by it.
CNN.com - RSS Channel
U.S. House Democrats to focus Mueller testimony on Trump's conduct
When former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears in Congress on Wednesday, House Democrats will try to focus his testimony on clear examples of conduct by President Donald Trump that would lead to criminal charges against any other American.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Billy Eichner got banned from Tinder for violating the terms of use
It might seem like celebrities have a gilded passage in life, but turns out even they're not immune to the odd mishap. Like getting banned from apps.  It happen to Lion King star Billy Eichner. He told Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday he was suddenly banned from Tinder.  "You're laughing but I am going to die alone," he told the audience, who appeared to find the whole thing hilarious.  "I've been on Tinder for like seven years and I'm very nice. I don't do anything naughty or weird, I'm a normal person," he clarified.  "They didn't give me an explanation, they just said you violated the terms of use," Eichner explained. "And I said, I've been single for seven years, you violated the terms of use. I didn't violate anything!" He suspects that the issue arose from someone thinking his profile was fake.  Read more...More about Tinder, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy Kimmel, Billy Eichner, and Culture
Mashable
As 'superstar' cities keep winning, worrisome U.S. divide widens
In the depths of the financial crisis, when the world was shunning debt and battening down for the worst, city officials here zagged in what seemed a preposterous direction and spent $600 million on a new convention center.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Homeowners struggle to pay fines in Dunedin, Fla. code enforcement violations
The city of Dunedin, Fla. may be running afoul of the Supreme Court with its aggressive code enforcement policy. Kristine Phillips reports.       
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Anyone Can Hire a Team of Spies
There is a booming industry of private hackers, snoops and secret agents. Is it too late to rein it in?
NYT > Home Page
Defenders of a Racist President Use Jews as Human Shields
Trump’s bigoted attack on four congresswomen of color has nothing to do with fighting anti-Semitism.
NYT > Home Page
Send Me Back to the Country I Came From
Ireland, the country of my ancestors, has become what America used to be.
NYT > Home Page
Trump's attacks on congresswomen could boost Biden campaign
As U.S. President Donald Trump intensifies his efforts to brand four progressive congresswomen as the new face of the Democratic Party, its presidential front-runner, Joe Biden, has been quietly reminding voters in Iowa there remains a middle ground.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
5 things to know for July 19: Politics, Iran, Ebola, Boeing 737 Max, heat
Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
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Politica
Sony speakers, Instant Pots, Amazon devices, Eufy smart scales, Hive thermostats, and more on sale for July 19 in the UK
It's time to start celebrating. Not only is it Friday and the end of the working week, but we have also tracked down a bunch of great deals, just for you. To help you get in the mood for the weekend, we have lined up deals on kitchenware and appliances, smart home devices, and more. You can pick up great discounts on brands like Tefal, Bosch, Le Creuset, Eufy, and other big names. It's all here. These are the best deals from across the internet for July 19. Best of the best Take your pick from this stellar selection of deals, including discounted Sony speakers, Microsoft laptops, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Read more...More about Smart Home, Mashable Shopping, Kitchen Appliances, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals IMAGE: AMAZON £32.49 £47.50 OFF (59%) £79.99 Oral-B Pro 2 2500 3D White Electric Toothbrush -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £20.99 £29.00 OFF (58%) £49.99 Oral-B Junior Kids Electric Toothbrush -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £129.99 £210 OFF (62%) £339.99 Oral-B Genius X with Artificial Intelligence Electric Toothbrush -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £79.95 £70.04 OFF (47%) £149.99 Braun Silk-Epil 7 7-561 Epilators -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £38.89 £21.11 OFF (35%) £60 Sony SRS-XB10 Compact Portable Wireless Speaker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £617.99 £181.01 OFF (23%) £799 Microsoft 13.5-inch Touchscreen Surface Laptop -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £409.99 £160 OFF (28%) £569.99 Arlo Pro 2 - Wireless Home Security Camera System -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.99 £86 OFF (68%) £125.99 ENACFIRE Wireless Headphones -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £37.99 £62.00 OFF (62%) £99.99 ENACFIRE E18 Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Headphones -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.98 £40.01 OFF (50%) £79.99 JoyGeek Drone with Camera -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £204 £61 OFF (23%) £265 Le Creuset 3-Piece Toughened Non-Stick Cookware Set -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £177 £48 OFF (21%) £225 Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.99 £67.50 OFF (63%) £107.49 Bosch Tassimo Vivy 2 Coffee Machine -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £294.99 £155 OFF (34%) £449.99 De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM Bean to Cup -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £70 £29.99 OFF (30%) £99.99 Tefal All-in-One Electric Pressure/Multi Cooker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £99.99 £70.00 OFF (41%) £169.99 Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.99 £20 OFF (33%) £59.99 Aicook Juice Extractor -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £49.99 £30.00 OFF (38%) £79.99 Bagotte Juice Extractor -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £34.97 £25.02 OFF (42%) £59.99 Russell Hobbs 21600-10 Illuminating Glass Kettle -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £37 £18 OFF (33%) £55 Swan Retro Jug Kettle -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £24.99 £25.00 OFF (50%) £49.99 Echo Dot (3rd Gen) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £59.99 £30.00 OFF (33%) £89.99 Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £22.99 £13.00 OFF (36%) £35.99 RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Scale -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £27.99 £9.00 OFF (24%) £36.99 KAMTRON Smart Body Fat Scale -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £39.99 £49.01 OFF (55%) £89 eufy Smart Scale with Bluetooth -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £269 £130 OFF (33%) £399 iRobot Roomba 671 Robot Vacuum -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £199.99 £160 OFF (44%) £359.99 Bagotte BG600 Robot Vacuum Cleaner -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £141.98 £37.02 OFF (21%) £179 Hive Active Heating and Hot Water Thermostat -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON £143.99 £35.01 OFF (20%) £179 Hive UK Outdoor Security Camera -- See Details
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Mashable
Committee Democrats Prepare For Highly Anticipated Robert Mueller Hearings
Members of Congress and their staffs are studying old film, reviewing the special counsel report and preparing for a lot of terse responses, they told reporters.
1 h
News : NPR
Tell us: how has social media changed your neighbourhood?
From local WhatsApp and Facebook groups to other virtual communities, how do you connect with neighbours online?People don’t just hide people behind their screens. Whether it’s a WhatsApp group for park parties, or a Facebook page for your entire street, the internet also connects neighbours who might once have passed each other by. Has the internet made you more neighbourly? Related: WhatsApp: inside the secret world of group chat Continue reading...
1 h
US news | The Guardian
DealBook Briefing: Boeing Lost $8 Billion Over Its 737 Max Crisis
The financial fallout from the troubled 737 Max jetliner continues to swell for the plane maker, and could yet climb higher.
1 h
The New York Times
Why your house won't make you rich
More Americans prefer real estate as an investment than stocks, bonds or other financial products. But while homeownership has a lot of benefits, getting rich quick isn't one of them.
1 h
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Ilya Kaminsky: ‘Deaf culture is such a beautiful thing’
Until his family migrated to the US when he was 16, the Ukrainian-born poet lived without sound. He discusses his family’s persecution and his first collection in a decadeIlya Kaminsky has only published two poetry collections in 15 years, but his second, Deaf Republic, has been hailed as “a contemporary epic”, “a perfectly extraordinary book” from a poet described by the writer Garth Greenwell as “the most brilliant of his generation, one of the world’s few geniuses”. The man who has attracted all this hyperbole has a wraparound smile, and responds to a photographer’s demand to look more animated by reciting poetry in Russian and English. “Here is some Mandelstam,” he says. “Now I am going to give you some Emily Dickinson.” His speech drags slightly and he is apologetic about his accent: “After all this time, it should really be better,” he says, “but I only hear what the hearing aids give me.” For Kaminsky is hard of hearing – so, if you count sign language alongside Russian and Ukrainian, he is speaking in his fourth language.Deaf Republic is an investigation into “what happens to language in a time of crisis, how we carry on and how we try to remain human,” he explains. “It’s something I’m trying to find out in my book and in my life.” In just under 60 lyric poems, some only two lines long, it tells the story of a fictional town whose inhabitants react to the murder of a deaf child by shutting their ears. Little Petya’s crime is to spit at an army sergeant who has arrived to break up a public gathering in a time of martial law. “Deafness passes through us like a police whistle,” say the townspeople of Vasenka, who are described by the author as “the ‘we’ who tell the story”. Continue reading...
1 h
US news | The Guardian
Big Little Lies: has season two really been a screaming great flop?
Fuelled by reports about behind-the-scenes turmoil, armchair experts have torn into the returning HBO drama. But is it really as bad as people say?It is a truth universally acknowledged that – as reliably as Renata Klein sets off any metal detector she walks through in the HBO series Big Little Lies – most modern-day fans will ruin the experience of watching a hit TV programme. We can’t help it; we worry away at imperfect character arcs or narrative misfires until the very fabric of the show comes apart in our hands.The more the first season of a show delivers, the more the armchair commentariat chews through any subsequent offerings, like moths working through cashmere. We saw it most overtly with the final season of Game of Thrones which – while admittedly far from perfect – attracted the sort of furore normally reserved for tax-dodgers or cold callers. Later, the actors who had worked on the flagship HBO show revealed that the experience of seeing the show’s final season ripped apart online had been deeply hurtful. Continue reading...
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US news | The Guardian
Where’s your parenting column? You’re doing great.
Parenting advice on business trips, birth control for teens, and the KLM breastfeeding tweet.
1 h
Slate Articles
Hollywood has had a field day with the moon, but these are the films to watch
From a 1902 silent film to a biopic of astronaut Neil Armstrong, these films celebrate everything that led to mankind setting foot on the surface of the moon. Check them out in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
1 h
Digital Trends | Technology News and Product Reviews
Mueller hearings to highlight 'shocking evidence of criminal misconduct' by Trump, Democrats say
The former special counsel is set to appear before the Judiciary and Intelligence committees on Wednesday.
1 h
NBC News - Breaking News & Top Stories - Latest World, US & Local News
The Squad and the Speaker
Rambunctious freshmen come in to the House in a wave election, shake things up, challenge the leaders, divide the party. That is a pretty good capsule description of “The Squad,” the four freshman congresswomen whose squabble with Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now been overshadowed by the astonishingly racist attacks on them by the president of the United States, and by the defense of those attacks by nearly all congressional Republicans. For now, the tensions between the Squad and the leaders has been submerged, as Democrats, starting with the speaker, have come to their defense and closed ranks to condemn Trump’s racist and ignorant remarks. But the tensions over tactics, strategies, and outcomes are still there, and will inevitably reemerge.In some respects, there is nothing new about tensions between freshman members of the House and its leadership. The wave classes of 1958, 1964, and 1974 for the Democrats, and 1994 and 2010 for the Republicans, brought similar struggles. Looking closely at them helps reveal both what they share in common with today’s tensions, and what’s genuinely distinctive about this moment.Democrats gained 48 seats in 1958, the second midterm election of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency, including seats won by a substantial number of non-Southern liberals that added to their large majority in the House. The 63 freshmen included a number of notables who played a big role in the House in subsequent decades—including Bob Giaimo of Connecticut, John Brademas of Indiana, Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois, Jim O’Hara of Michigan, Ken Hechler of West Virginia and Bob Kastenmeier of Wisconsin. But in many ways, the biggest influence came from a House member who left for the Senate that year, Minnesota’s Eugene McCarthy.[Steve Israel: House Insurrections Are Here to Stay]McCarthy was a liberal agitator who had bristled at the continuing oversized role of Southern conservative Democrats, known then as Boll Weevils, after the insect that infects cotton. He organized a group of like-minded members into McCarthy’s Marauders, including George McGovern, Stewart Udall, Frank Thompson and Lee Metcalf, all of whom went on to long and significant political careers. They held a weekly Friday luncheon to plot strategy. McCarthy focused liberals on trying to capture influence commensurate with their numbers; after the new class of ’58 came in, they masterminded the creation the next year of the Democratic Study Group, which had an outsized influence on the House. The Democratic Study Group crafted the major reforms of the early 1970s that were implemented with the votes of the huge freshmen class of 1974—reforms that persisted until Newt Gingrich, in one of his first acts as speaker in 1995, found a way to kill them.The Democratic Study Group became the strategic base for House liberals, but also had a broader reach. Powerful committee chairs used their near-monopoly on information to maintain control over votes in committee and on the floor. The new group became a major information outlet on legislation, challenging that monopoly. Speaker Sam Rayburn was a master at balancing power centers in the House, and was not thrilled at the audacity of these junior members, although they gave him no public or frontal challenge. But Rayburn was also not happy with the arrogance of right-wing committee chairs like Howard “Judge” Smith, who used the House Rules Committee to kill any bills he did not like—and did not limit his antipathy to civil-rights legislation. So Rayburn used the impetus of the new members to thwart Smith and open up opportunities for liberal legislation. That enabled passage of much of the progressive Kennedy program, and the Great Society that followed in 1965-66.That program, including landmark civil-rights and voting-rights bills, federal education reform, Medicare, and Medicaid, among others, was facilitated by the arrival of 71 Democratic freshmen in the 1964 elections. The net gain of 36 seats gave Democrats a two-thirds majority. Significantly, despite these gains, Democrats lost a number of once-safe seats in the South to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction, heralding the coming regional realignment and the weakening power of the Boll Weevils. The new freshman class brought a number of important liberal members to Washington, including John Tunney, Sid Yates, Lee Hamilton, Andy Jacobs, John Culver, John Conyers, Bill Ford, John Gilligan, and Tom Foley. They bristled at the efforts of committee chairs to limit their role, and experienced tension with Speaker John McCormack, who was not a strong leader and did not champion their desire for a larger impact. But given that there was a president elected in a landslide who promoted their substantive agenda, their main role was to provide the votes for the bills that Johnson backed.Like the Class of 1958, the 75 members of the Class of 1974 came in with the second midterm of an incumbent Republican—in this case, President Richard Nixon. Their landslide at a time of scandal brought them a nickname: “Watergate babies.” Some of the members of that class stayed in the House for decades, amassing power—George Miller, Norm Mineta, Henry Waxman, Steve Solarz, Phil Sharp, and Tom Downey among them. Others, like Chris Dodd, Tom Harkin, Paul Simon, Paul Tsongas, and Max Baucus, moved to the Senate and had illustrious careers. (Jim Blanchard did the same as governor of Michigan and ambassador to Canada.)[Read: How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul]As the historian John Lawrence recounted in his excellent book The Class of ’74, the freshmen were eager to upend the power structure and disdainful of many of the committee chairs. They helped propel three of those chairs with seniority out of office, upending the seniority system, while also providing votes for more extensive reform that spread power and resources to junior members and to subcommittees.But the reforms that were implemented had actually been initiated, and received their first successes, before that class arrived. They were spearheaded, through the DSG, by people like Jim O’Hara, Bob Kastenmeier, Ben Rosenthal, and Don Fraser, who had either come in the Class of 1958 or in the two elections that followed. So the resonant impact of dramatic change in the House that occurred after the Class of 1974 arrived was actually grounded in the actions of members elected in 1958 and 1962 who had not lost their revolutionary zeal, and who had enough experience to know how to write reforms and get them implemented as soon as they had reinforcements.The 1974 Class was not discouraged or reined in by Speaker Carl Albert, but his soft-spoken and more reticent style clashed with theirs; indeed, before their first year in Congress was done, some of the class tried to get him ousted as speaker to be replaced by Majority Leader Tip O’Neill (who was appalled by the attempt.) Most of the class rallied around Albert, and the tension dissipated. The liberal agitators who had prolonged careers in Congress stayed liberal, but largely became pragmatic problem-solving lawmakers—like Waxman, working with the Reagan administration to expand Medicaid and protect Medicare, or Miller, who worked with the George W. Bush administration to create No Child Left Behind.In some respects, the Republican Class of 1994 resembled the Watergate Babies—a large class of revolution-minded freshmen, 73 in all, making up nearly a third of the Republicans in the House, while giving the party its first majority in 40 years. Contrary to conventional wisdom, they were not all bomb-throwers—the class included moderates like Tom Davis of Virginia and Ray LaHood of Illinois, both of whom became important forces in the House when there were still pragmatic Republicans. But the majority of the new class had been either recruited by Newt Gingrich or tutored by him in approach and language, or both. They were the culmination of Gingrich’s 16-year battle to tribalize and nationalize congressional politics, until voters were so disgusted with Washington that they would throw the incumbent party out.Most of his recruits and trainees won—including such right-wing stalwarts as Bob Barr, Sam Brownback, Helen Chenoweth, Tom Coburn, Lindsey Graham, J.D. Hayworth, Mark Sanford, John Shadegg, and Steve Stockman. Some in the class, like Graham, Coburn, Saxby Chambliss, and Rob Portman, moved on to the Senate—where, as Sean Theriault pointed out in his book The Gingrich Senators, they and compatriots like Rick Santorum (Class of ’92) brought Gingrich’s tribalism and disdain for norms to that body. A few, including Barr and Graham, were the shock troops who pushed for Bill Clinton’s impeachment and argued for it at the trial in the Senate.The Gingrich Class of ’94 made him speaker, and he used their numbers and revolutionary zeal to consolidate power in the speakership, ram through many elements of their Contract with America, and pass other conservative bills, most of which died in the Senate, where Republican Bob Dole was majority leader. Gingrich complained that he could do more business with President Clinton than with his own party counterpart, and ended up calling Dole “the tax collector for the welfare state.”[Read: The Man Who Broke Politics]But Gingrich was also bedeviled by his progeny, who were deeper true believers in the evil of government than he was, and who chafed at his imperious approach to running the House. While he succeeded in winning a second consecutive majority for his party in 1996, as Clinton simultaneously trounced Dole to win a second term, his inability to push forward his members’ vision of minimal government, his own ethics issues, and his failed interactions with Clinton doomed his speakership after only two terms. While only a small portion of the ’94 class is still in the House, its hard-line, uncompromising approach to governance laid the groundwork for the even more radical members of the next wave group, the class of 2010.In 1974, we had the Watergate Babies; in 2010 we had the Tea Party class. The net Republican gain of 63 seats—the largest the GOP had seen since 1938—actually included 87 new Republican House members, more than a third of their total of 242. The class was characterized by its hard-edged, right-wing populism, its distaste for President Obama, and disdain for the usual ways of doing business. Notable members of the class included Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar, Raul Labrador, Tim Huelskamp, Mick Mulvaney, Tim Wahlberg, Justin Amash, and Blake Fahrenthold. Early on, they had to deal with the debt limit. The new Republican speaker, John Boehner, said two weeks after the election of his freshmen and the debt ceiling, “I’ve made it pretty clear to them that as we get into next year, it’s pretty clear that Congress is going to have to deal with it….We’re going to have to deal with it as adults. Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations, and we have obligations on our part.”His majority leader, Eric Cantor, did not take that message well, nor did the freshmen. Cantor made it clear that he would push for a confrontation, making demands of President Obama for drastic cuts in domestic spending, with the threat of breaching the debt ceiling if the demands were not met. Cantor wanted to use spending bills as another set of prongs in a frontal assault on Obama and the Democrats, and he had eager participants in that huge freshman class. Boehner’s attempts to keep his caucus together with a more “adult” approach were not helped when Paul Ryan, who with Cantor and Kevin McCarthy had labeled themselves the “Young Guns,” offered a budget, as chair of the Budget Committee, that failed to meet any of the promises that had been made to the Tea Party freshmen for dramatic budget cuts.In the end, despite coming close to the brink, a debt-ceiling breach, with the ensuing consequences for the full faith and credit of the United States, was narrowly averted, but any significant resolution of the debt issue was scuttled by the right’s insistence on no new revenues to accompany budget cuts. In the aftermath, second-term firebrand Jason Chaffetz, a role model for the freshmen, spoke for them and told journalists, “We weren’t kidding around. We would have taken it down.”The debt-ceiling brouhaha was emblematic of the ongoing clash between Boehner, who wanted pragmatism to dominate the actions of the House, and radicals, including the core of the Class of 2010, who wanted no deals and no moderation. After the next big midterm gain, in 2014, the radicals formed the Freedom Caucus, a striking move since there was already a right-wing caucus, the Republican Study Committee, that included the vast majority of Republicans in the House. But believing the right-wing caucus was not right-wing enough, a group led by Mick Mulvaney, Jim Jordan, and Mark Meadows, created the new caucus; of the nine founding members, three were from that 2010 class (Mulvaney, Raul Labrador, and Justin Amash.)Not long after, besieged from his right, John Boehner, who had come into the House as a Gingrich-aligned firebrand himself, resigned. His replacement, “Young Gun” Paul Ryan, did not fare dramatically better, and resigned himself after less than four years in the job, at age 49. When Politico’s Tim Alberta, the author of the new book “American Carnage,” interviewed John Boehner after his departure and asked about some of the Freedom Caucus stalwarts, he used terms like “idiots,” “anarchists,” and “assholes.”[Ibram X. Kendi: Am I an American? ]Now comes the Democratic Class of 2018, 60 new Democrats from a net gain of 40 seats. The most striking thing about the class, as many have noted, is its remarkable diversity: more than half are women, and 40 percent are Hispanic, Native American, or people of color. By contrast, the huge Democratic Watergate class had two women and one lone African American. But the class also boasts ideological diversity, with a large number of the freshmen joining both the Progressive Caucus and the more center-left New Democratic Coalition (with some overlap, and several joining the more conservative Blue Dog Coalition). Watching them, and spending time with many of them, I have also been struck by their enormous talent—including from some with no previous political or governmental experience, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; others who have been in the military or in intelligence, like Abigail Spanberger and Elissa Slotkin; some, like Dean Phillips, with a business background; and the most experienced of all, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.Given that the net gain of 40 seats came mainly from districts Trump had won in 2016, or where he came relatively close to winning, the Democrats’ most vulnerable seats today are largely occupied by more pragmatic and moderate members. That itself makes the Class of 2018 different from the others: In 1974, even though many of the gains came from districts Nixon had won in 1972, the Democrats who made up the class were generally far more liberal than their districts, and driven to change the status quo in Congress. The Republican classes of 1994 and 2010 included a few moderates, but mostly, whether the districts were ones previously held by Republicans or taken from Democrats in blue areas, the new members were far more conservative, and far more radical in their approaches to politics, than previous freshmen groups.There is a commonality, of course, in the dynamic generated by each of these classes that come to Congress in wave elections. There is no doubt that, like the challenges faced by Speakers Rayburn, McCormack, Albert, Gingrich and Boehner, Pelosi has to deal with divisions in her caucus, and faces pressure to put aside pragmatism and respond to the more insistent base that has been elevated by the influx of new members.But there are differences as well. The story, focused as it is on the squad vs. the speaker, is about four remarkable, different, and outspoken freshmen out of 60. While they have allies in their desire to be more confrontational with the Trump administration, to move more radical legislation and to head straight to impeachment without passing Go, there is nowhere near the larger center of gravity for upending the status quo that we saw with the classes of ’74, ’94, or ’10. And that is true of the Democratic Caucus at large.[Read: Trump’s Greatest Contribution to American Politics]Pelosi is intent on protecting those members who won in the wave but have to respond to constituents who are not naturally inclined to vote for Democrats. Keeping the House from getting too far out over its skis is a constant challenge for her. Of course, the difficulty is heightened by the breadth and reach of social media and the 24-hour news cycle; if we had had a small group like the squad in 1974, for example, with the other members of the class arrayed ideologically like this one, I do not think that group would have been the dominant story.But the ability of an individual with some celebrity to reach a huge audience via Twitter and to use the leverage of social media to amplify a message that includes criticism of leaders, makes the story bigger. It is made greater yet by two other realities: a Republican tribal media and leadership that reinforces the narrative in order to make the squad the face of the Democratic Party and to divert attention from the Trump scandals and malfeasance, and a media that loves the narrative that Democrats are in disarray because it wants to show that it is not biased and can criticize both sides.The diversity of the Democratic coalition in Congress is not just ideological; accommodating the massive changes that have taken place requires a set of skills that previous speakers did not have to employ. House Democrats reflect the diversity of the country, while Republicans move even more to be a congressional party of middle-aged and older White Christian males, with barely trace elements of women or people of color. And Pelosi also has to deal with a bombastic and narcissistic president who has no ability to make legislative deals or find coalitions; a dominant White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who came from the radical Class of 2010, helped found the Freedom Caucus, and has no interest in compromise; and a Senate counterpart, Mitch McConnell, who has shown little regard for the longstanding norms of governance.No one is better equipped to deal with these challenges than Nancy Pelosi. But no one should envy her task.
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