Archive for Brent D. Griffiths

10 Things in Politics: John Boehner’s wildest stories

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John Boehner at Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017.

Good morning! If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. I'm Brent Griffiths. Send tips to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about today:


1. SPEAKING FOR HIMSELF: Former House Speaker John Boehner has never been one to conceal his emotions. His memoir, out next week, takes that to a whole new level. But don't think his style won't make Washingtonians blush.

Here's a collection of some of the juiciest excerpts thus far:

Boehner blames Trump for the insurrection: The former president, Boehner writes in an excerpt published by The New York Times, "incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he'd been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November."

He really hates Sen. Ted Cruz: This isn't surprising - Boehner once called the Texan "Lucifer in the flesh." He went even further in the audiobook edition.

  • "There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz. He enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP in what was a truly dumbass idea. Not that anybody asked me," Boehner writes in an excerpt published by Politico Magazine.

He also tries to come to grips with the current GOP: Boehner describes how the historically large Tea Party class that elevated him to the speakership was driven by lawmakers "who wanted to blow up Washington." This vendetta, he writes, was egged on by the conspiracy-driven hysteria of conservative media. He calls this environment "Crazytown."

And he once thought that he might have killed Mitch McConnell from shock: Boehner worried that Mitch McConnell was "going to 'keel over from cardiac arrest" when Boehner told then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "to f--- yourself" after amid tense fiscal cliff talks in 2013.


2. Rep. Matt Gaetz's scandal intensified: The Florida Republican reportedly paid accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg in two 2018 Venmo transactions that The Daily Beast uncovered. According to the report, after getting the money Greenburg sent three young women funds that added up to the $900 amount. Gaetz also used the nickname of an 18-year-old in the memo field of one of the payments. More on the story here.

  • After the report, the first Republican lawmaker called on Gaetz to resign:

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There's also the possibility that Greenberg may flip on Gaetz: Greenberg is expected to enter a plea deal with federal prosecutors, The New York Times reports. While nothing is certain yet, Greenberg's attorney tweaked the congressman by telling reporters "I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today."


3. Biden called gun violence in America "an international embarrassment": He portrayed his executive orders that target so-called "ghost guns" and expand the push for "red flag" laws as the White House's first step on the topic. Biden also laid into Congress, urging lawmakers move beyond offering their prayers to victims of mass shootings and gun violence. More on his comments here.

  • Biden pointed out there was another mass shooting just Wednesday evening in South Carolina: And then just hours after he spoke on Thursday, a gunman killed one person and injured five others during a shooting at a cabinet store in Texas.

4. Ranking Virginia's 7 GOP gubernatorial hopefuls from most to least Trumpy: Republicans haven't occupied the governor's mansion in more than a decade. Here's a peek at our roundup of hopefuls vying for the open position (Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is term-limited. There's also a sizable group of Democrats running to replace him.)

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Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidates Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox, Pete Snyder, and Sergio de la Peña.
  • Amanda Chase, a state senator dubbed "Trump in heels": Her colleagues censured her for participating in the January 6 rally that Trump spoke at that preceded the deadly Capitol riot.
  • Glenn Youngkin, a former top executive at the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm: His top issues are reopening the state and rebuilding its economy through lower regulation, protecting Second Amendment rights, and passing election integrity measures.

Read the rest of our exclusive report here.


5. Medical expert testifies about "the moment" George Floyd died: Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist, told jurors that Floyd's struggle to breathe with Derek Chauvin's knee on his neck was "like breathing through a drinking straw, but it's worse than that." Tobin also rebutted part of Chauvin's defense, arguing that a "healthy person" would have died under the same circumstances. This undercut theories that drugs or prior health conditions led to Floyd's death. Jurors listened with rapt attention.


6. The Biden administration is spending $60 million a week to house unaccompanied minors: The record number of migrant children coming to the border has overwhelmed permanent shelters, where the cost of caring for a child is about $290 a day, The Washington Post reports. The lack of beds in permanent facilities, exacerbated by pandemic restrictions, led to the building of 10 large emergency facilities with much higher costs. More on the situation at the border.


7. Washington moves of the week: "A diaspora of Hoosier politicos in DC made big job moves this week, a sign of the enduring and sprawling political networks forged by former Vice President Mike Pence and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg." Here are some of the other biggest moves this week.

Former Vice President Mike Pence launched a new political advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom. A slew of Trump alums joined, including former White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and Seema Verma, who led the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under Trump.

Elsewhere, Rey Benitez was named Sen. John Ossoff's chief of staff as the Georgia Democrat builds out his team. Zaki Anwar, a former clerk for Chief Justice Roberts, joined Jones Day as an associate in the firm's appeals practice.

Read the rest of our exclusive list of DC hirings.


8. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin's trial resumes
  • 11:00 a.m.: The White House's pandemic team holds a news briefing
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing with Buttigieg

9. Dr. Fauci reveals which activities he will and won't do now that he's vaccinated: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told Insider that his biggest shift is moving small gatherings with his neighbors indoors and without a mask. But given where cases stand currently, Fauci said he'll continue to avoid large indoor crowds where people removed their masks. That means no movies or indoor dining for now.


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10. A different kind of red-eye: "NASA's Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter are having some fun on Mars ahead of the rotorcraft's highly anticipated first liftoff. That flight is scheduled to take place early Monday morning. So before clearing the area, Perseverance co-starred in a selfie with the tiny helicopter." Here's a look at the historic snap.


One last thing.

Today's trivia question: Today marks the anniversary of Robert E. Lee's surrender to Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The side table where Grant signed the terms was given as a gift to a wife of a Union general. This general would later be remembered for a far different war. Who was he? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

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10 Things in Politics: Biden wants top companies to pay up

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President Joe Biden discuses his jobs plan during an event on the White House campus on April 7

Good morning! If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. I'm Brent Griffiths. Send tips to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about today:

With Jordan Erb.


1. WILL BIDEN MAKE A DEAL?: President Joe Biden says he's willing to cut a deal on parts of his infrastructure plan. He said he could accept a lower corporate tax rate than the 28% he proposed to help pay for his $2 trillion jobs over 15 years. But Biden also offered a resounding defense of both the scope of his plan and the idea that companies are not paying their fair share.

  • Key quote: "We're going to - we're going to try to put an end to this. Not fleece them - 28%. If you're a mom, a dad, a cop, firefighter, police officer, et cetera, you're paying close to that in your income tax," Biden said at an event outlining his plan.

The gap between the two parties seems difficult to bridge: Republicans have slammed the proposal for stretching the definition of infrastructure. They have also zeroed in on paying for it with one of the largest tax increases in decades, not to mention that raising the corporate rate would undo part of the signature tax law enacted by former President Trump and the GOP.


2. Biden to take first steps on gun control: He plans to announce tighter regulations for buyers of so-called "ghost guns" by requiring them to undergo background checks. The White House is also instructing the Justice Department to draft model "red flag" legislation for states, an area that has received bipartisan support. More on his six orders that will be announced later today.

  • Gun control advocates have pushed Biden for more: The president built a bond with the families of those gunned down in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Biden was tasked with helping pass legislation in the wake of the tragedy while vice president, but a proposal to expand background checks narrowly failed in the Senate. Many activists see this as his second chance.

3. 62 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine need to be checked for contamination: The doses come from a Baltimore factory that already had to throw out up to 15 million doses due to contamination issues, The New York Times reports. The issue could affect Johnson & Johnson's promise to produce 24 million doses by the end of the month. More on the situation here.


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First Lady Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona tour Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut, on March 3, 2021.

4. Jill Biden is only the third first lady to be a union member: Her membership in the National Education Association is a distinction that's not only historic but fully in line with the administration's pro-union stance. More on what it means for Biden to follow in Eleanor Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan's footsteps.


5. Expert says Derek Chauvin was inflicting further pain on George Floyd: Jody Stiger, an LAPD sergeant and use-of-force expert, said Chauvin had most of his body weight on Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Stinger, a prosecution witness, also testified that Chauvin appeared to be gripping Floyd's hand as a way to inflict further pain after Floyd had stop resisting officers. More key moments from Day 8.


6. Federal probe is reportedly looking at Rep. Matt Gaetz's travel to the Bahamas: The Justice Department is looking into trips the Florida Republican took in 2018 and 2019 with a marijuana entrepreneur, CBS News reports. The entrepreneur, Jason Pirozzolo, allegedly paid for the trip, accommodations, and female escorts. Gaetz's office continued to deny any illegal conduct. At issue is whether any women were illegally trafficked across state or international lines.

  • Trump broke his silence on Gaetz's case: The former president said Gaetz "never asked" for a pardon, contradicting a Times report about Gaetz asking White House officials for blanket pardon for him and other members of Congress. Trump also noted that Gaetz "totally denied the accusations against him."

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

7. Mitch McConnell retracted his demand that corporations stay out of politics: "I didn't say that very artfully yesterday," the Senate Minority Leader told reporters of his earlier comments. McConnell had chastised CEOs and companies that criticized Georgia's new voting law.

  • Speaking of corporations in politics: "Visa's political action committee has resumed its political giving after a much-publicized halt following the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol, donating $139,000 to members of Congress and other political committees on both sides of the aisle, federal records show." More from Insider's scoop.

8. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin's trial resumes
  • 11:45 a.m.: Biden, Vice President Harris, and Attorney General Garland make remarks on gun violence prevention
  • 12:00 p.m.: Rep. Steve Scalise leads a group of fellow House Republicans on a trip to the border
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing

9. Mike Pence reportedly has a seven-figure book deal: The former vice president signed with Simon & Schuster. The news comes amid questions on how the publishing industry will treat Trump alums. Pence's book is due out in 2023.


10. Freedom fries walked so Woke Coke could run: Trump's call for a boycott of Coca-Cola is not the first time members of the GOP have deemed a food unpatriotic. In 2003, in the midst of Bush's war on terror, Republican Rep. Bob Ney renamed French fries "freedom Fries" in congressional cafeterias. A look at the history of the patriotic potatoes.


One last thing.

Today's trivia question: Yesterday was national beer day, so pardon me while I hop back for a related question. Who is thought to be the first president to brew beer at The White House?

  • Yesterday's answer: President Eisenhower had a special cabin built for him and first lady Mamie Eisenhower at Augusta National. Ike was already a member of the club that hosts the Masters before becoming president. A special cottage was thought to be the best way to accommodate his new role. The best part? After leaving office, Eisenhower made a request to have a tree he kept hitting on the 17th hole removed. He was ruled out of order and the tree stood until 2014.
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10 Things in Politics: Anti-Trump Republicans weigh in on Biden

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Clockwise from top left: Former RNC Chair Michael Steele; former New Jersey Gov. Christie Todd Whitman;Former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci and Former Rep. Susan Molinari

Good morning! Congratulations to Baylor who finished Gonzaga's quest for a perfect season with a rout in the men's national title game. And, of course, we now have another installment of "One Shining Moment."

If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. I'm Brent Griffiths. Send tips to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about today:

With Jordan Erb.


1. JUST HOW BIG WILL THE TENT BE?: Hundreds of high-profile Republicans supported President Biden in 2020. The aisle-crossing was not unexpected given former President Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party, but it boosted Biden's unity pitch. Now that Biden has indicated that he will run for reelection in 2024, Insider reached out to ten of them to see where they stand.

Here's a peek at what they said:

Former Rep. Susan Molinari of New York: She served in Congress in the 1990s and was among four Republicans featured at the Democratic National Convention.

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In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Former U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020. The convention, which was once expected to draw 50,000 people to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is now taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)

  • Molinari is ready to ride with Biden again: "He's obviously still early in the term but … he will still be that man of compassion and outreach and leadership in four years, so I don't anticipate that anything will change," she said.

But Molinari might be the exception. Many others are taking a wait-and-see approach.

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Former Trump White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci surprised many in endorsing Biden last year.

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci: Scaramucci's turn from Trump friend and top aide (briefly) to staunch critic was incredible even by Trump White House standards. After swinging in behind Biden, he remains a fan:

  • "President Biden is doing a great job. Additionally, he is saving the nation from more unnecessary death, general incompetence, and hate."

Rep. Chris Shays 2008
Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) questions Lehman Brothers Bank CEO Richard S. Fuld Jr. at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the collapse of the institution.

But count former Rep. Chris Shays of Connecticut as skeptical at best: Shays said he respects and admires Biden, but a 2024 run would "a huge mistake." The former congressman added: "[Biden's] older, I don't think he is as sharp as he was."

  • Shays is also unhappy with the current situation at the border: "My one disappointment with Joe is the foolish way he has allowed illegal immigration at our southern border to become a very real crisis. His missteps have given credibility to Trump's advocacy of a wall, and Trump's tough stance on the flow of illegal immigration. Besides the outrageous flow of young children, a path to citizenship will not be popular and introduces a whole new set of problems."

Read the rest of our exclusive report here.


2. Biden's infrastructure plan has a possible path in the Senate: Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough handed a major win to Democrats by ruling that they have an extra shot at using the special legislative procedure of reconciliation. The special procedure would allow Democrats to pass Biden's infrastructure plan without Republican support.

A little-known power player in the spotlight again: MacDonough previously sparked Democrats' ire for forcing them to drop the $15 per hour minimum wage. Her latest ruling means she'll continue to have a major say in Biden's legacy.

This isn't a golden ticket: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has insisted on bipartisan support for the infrastructure package and other party priorities. Reconciliation only works if every single Democrat is on board. There are also specific rules for reconciliation, meaning issues like voting rights aren't suddenly about to be waved through.

  • Former Harry Reid aide and noted filibuster critic Adam Jentleson on what it means:

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3. The Treasury Secretary is calling for global minimum corporate tax: Janet Yellen said she is working with counterparts around the world on a minimum tax for multinational corporations. Her proposal faces a number of skeptics, but it could provide another revenue source to help fund Biden's domestic agenda. More on how she wants to stop a "race to the bottom."


4. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Google in its 10-year legal battle with Oracle. The landmark decision sets a precedent that it's not possible to copyright code or set limits on how software is built and distributed. This will have a huge impact on the future of software.


5. Minneapolis police chief says Derek Chauvin "absolutely" violated protocol: "This was murder - it wasn't a lack of training," Chief Medaria Arradondo testified. The department's former head of training later echoed Arradondo's sentiments. Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, the ER doctor who operated on George Floyd, testified that his leading theory for the cause of death was asphyxia, or loss of oxygen. More key moments from Day 6 of the murder trial.


6. Arkansas governor vetoed the state's historic anti-trans bill. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he vetoed the "Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act," which would have banned doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, or gender-affirming surgeries to trans youth. Advocates had warned the law would be devastating. The governor on Monday called the bill "overboard" and "extreme."


7. Attaboy-cott: Trump is a known Diet Coke fiend. But like many Republicans, he wanted to can-cel Coca-Cola for, in his view, bowing to cancel culture by criticizing Georgia's new voting law. It didn't appear to take long for his resolve to soften. A photo of his post-presidential office shows what appears to be a bottle of Diet Coke slightly hidden by a phone.

Take a look at what else you can see in his new digs: He also appears to have a statue of himself.

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8. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin's trial resumes
  • 1:00 p.m.: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at an event about the economic recovery and climate change
  • 2:10 p.m.: Vice President Harris tours a union-led vaccination site in Chicago.
  • 3:45 p.m.: Biden speaks about the state of COVID-19 vaccinations

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Jared Kushner stands for a televised interview in 2020.

9. Will the real Jared Kushner please stand up? After years of being mistaken for Trump's senior advisor, two other men named Jared Kushner are ready to reclaim their name. Insider spoke with two Jared Kushners - a 21-year-old college student and a 28-year-old Canadian - who told us what it's been like to share a name with a widely loathed political figure.


10. How our new DC bureau was built: In early 2020, Insider hired Darren Samuelsohn away from Politico to lead a new DC bureau. In a new essay, Darren shares that he was excited to build something from scratch and get away from the break-neck pace of being a reporter on the Trump legal beat. Then came a pandemic, a personal health scare, and a complete overhaul of his plans.


One last thing.

Today's trivia question: Today marks the anniversary of the US entering WWI. While historians thought such a move was inevitable, what was the name of the secret message that accelerated the push to war?

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 Things in Politics: Trump sees legal danger ahead

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President Donald J. Trump meets with bank CEOs about Coronavirus COVID-19 response in the Cabinet Room at the White House on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what you need to know:

1. THEY MAY STILL SEE HIM IN COURT: Former President Donald Trump doesn't think he's out of the woods yet. His advisors tell him that's he's unlikely to face legal repercussions over the deadly Capitol Riot, but they are increasingly worried about prosecutors in New York and Georgia.

Insider dove into Trump's legal exposure: Top advisors see the two separate probes as "politicized," but they also see the investigations escalating. As the only twice impeached president, Trump increasingly runs the risk of becoming the only sitting or former president to be indicted.

  • One major concern is the Clarence Darrows of the world aren't on speed dial: "It's a reality that the traditional rock-star lawyers you would see in a high-stakes matter involving a president or former president ... he doesn't really have access to those people anymore," a former Trump administration official told Insider.

A reminder of what Trump's facing:

  • In New York, prosecutors are probing the Trump Organization's finances: Favorable court rulings have given them access to Trump's tax returns and other financial records. Investigators have also received boxes of evidence from the former daughter-in-law of a top official.
  • In Georgia, a newly elected DA is investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the election: Trump's call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780" remains at the center of his efforts to pressure state officials after narrowly losing its 16 electoral votes.

For more on Trump's legal fears - and details about his "walk-on" legal team - read our exclusive report here.


2. Lawmakers are gearing up for the fight over Biden's infrastructure plan: White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Biden is prepared to move forward without GOP support for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan if it comes to it. His comments came as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans wouldn't support it and a top Republican congressman called the proposal "the biggest economic blunder of our lifetime."

Here's what Biden's plan means for you.


WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) during a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Army has fired or suspended 14 leaders at Fort Hood following an investigation into the death of Specialist Vanessa Guillén and numerous other deaths and reports of sexual abuse on the military base. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Rep. Matt Gaetz is reportedly under investigation for violating sex-trafficking laws.

3. DOJ probing Rep. Matt Gaetz over allegations he paid women for sex: The Justice Department is investigating money the Florida congressman and a political ally paid directly to women via apps, The New York Times reports. Gaetz denies ever paying for sex, but The Times reviewed receipts for payments that the women reportedly said were for sex. The congressman also reportedly used ecstasy prior to the encounters. More on the latest here.

  • Separately, Gaetz reportedly showed nude photos to fellow lawmakers on the House floor: CNN reports that Gaetz gained a reputation in Congress for bragging about his sexual escapades. Gaetz's conduct, the network reports, included showing photos and videos of nude women to his colleagues. There is no indication that this is connected to the DOJ investigation.

4. It's not just Georgia. These states are the new fronts for voting rights battles: Florida, Michigan, and Texas, all battleground states in 2020, have Republican lawmakers undertaking unprecedented efforts to limit mail voting. New figures from the Brennan Center for Justice as of March 24 show that lawmakers in 47 states have introduced a total of 351 measures that would restrict voting. More on the nationwide efforts to make it harder to vote.


5. A supervisor said Derek Chauvin should have stopped restraining George Floyd: Minneapolis Police Sgt. David Pleoger, who worked as Chauvin's supervisor, testified that he viewed the body camera footage and believed Chauvin could have stopped his use of force on Floyd when he was handcuffed and on the ground. A paramedic also testified that Chauvin was on top of Floyd even when he was unresponsive. More key moments from day four.


6. Washington moves of the week: Republican lawmakers added to their teams and a former Harris aide is moving to a lobbying firm. Here are some of the other biggest moves this week.

Hunter Lovell, who worked for Sen. Bill Cassidy, became Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise's new press secretary; Kiera O'Brien will be joining Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan's office; and Patrick Bond will join the office of Sen. Angus King, an independent of Maine.

Outside of Capitol Hill, Yasmin Rigney Nelson, a former senior advisor to then-Sen. Kamala Harris, will become a partner at the lobbying firm Bracewell LLP. Former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will be co-anchor of Fox News daytime show "Outnumbered."

Read the rest of our exclusive list of DC hirings.


7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 8:30 a.m.: The Labor Department releases March's jobs report
  • 11:00 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House's pandemic team hold a news briefing
  • 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin trial resumes
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing

8. Here's what to expect from today's jobs report: "After months of either meager gains or unexpected losses, March is poised to be a turning point for the US labor market's recovery ... March had warmer weather, and a faster rate of vaccinations led some states to partially reopen for the first time since the winter's dire surge in cases." The consensus is to expect the strongest gains in months.


9. People flocked to Florida and Texas for a lower cost of living during the pandemic. They were shocked by the cost of healthcare: "As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, healthcare enrollment experts are encountering people laid off from their entertainment jobs in New York and California looking for a cheaper state to live in. They are then hit with the healthcare sticker shock in their new homes."

Find out what's happening in red states that haven't expanded Medicaid in our exclusive report.


10. The peeps behind Peeps: Just Born makes 2 billion Peeps a year in their Bethlehem, Pennsylvania factory. We're in peak Peeps season, so Insider took a look at how they churn out 5.5 million edible chicks and bunnies a day at their facility. In fact, it takes just six minutes to create the iconic treat.

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One last thing.

Today's trivia question: On this day in 1917, who was the House lawmaker that finally took her seat in Congress as the first woman elected to the chamber after her colleagues spent a month debating whether to admit her? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

That's all for now. Have a great weekend!

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 Things in Politics: How Biden plans to spend $2 trillion

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President Joe Biden unveils part of his infrastructure plan in Pittsburgh on March 31.

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

With Jordan Erb

Here's what you need to know:

1. BIDEN MAKES A MASSIVE PITCH: President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan seeks to reorient the US economy with a "once-in-a-generation investment" that redefines what is considered infrastructure. His expansive definition means the plan reach far beyond everyday transportation, but it also underlines the political fight that is just getting started.

Here are some key details: We also have a guide on where the money is going.

  • About half would go to traditional infrastructure: That's fixing 20,000 miles of highways, roads, 10,000 smaller bridges, and 10 of the nation's most economically significant larger bridges. There's also money for public transit, Amtrak, and the nation's ports. ($621 billion)
  • Eliminate of all lead pipes and service lines for drinking water, part of $111 billion in water-related spending
  • Affordable broadband for every American, the lack of which Biden said is "even more pronounced during this pandemic." He also pledged to work to drive down internet service prices. ($100 billion)
  • Boost electric vehicles by creating a national network of charging stations, specifically 500,000 EV stations by 2030. ($174 billion, part of the transportation spending)
  • Large investments in manufacturing and small business: $300 billion would fund a new office focused on domestic industry and support for domestic manufacturing among other areas.

One of the most important parts may be what's not in it: Traditionally, user taxes like a gas tax fund transportation infrastructure. But, in a sign of how politically toxic that has become, the plan is instead offset by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% and increasing the global minimum tax to 21%.

  • Technically, this pays for the plan over 15 years, even though the spending would end in eight years: As The Washington Post points out, history shows it's optimistic to assume Congress would keep tax increases in place that long.

The plan's sweeping scope touches many other areas: Housing, public schools, community college, child care, higher wages for home care workers, research and development, and care for the elderly and people with disabilities all feature.

  • This also just part one: Biden's second plan is expected to include proposals like universal pre-K, free community college, and a national paid family leave program.

Biden pitched infrastructure as an area for bipartisan agreement: But early Republican reaction suggests this may be a tough sell. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the plan "a Trojan horse" full of tax increases. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a potential vote, said the plan includes areas "a far cry away from what we've ever defined as infrastructure."

  • This could mean Biden needing near-unanimous Democratic support: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's majority has shrunk to just three votes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has none to spare. Progressive lawmakers are already saying that the plan isn't large enough.

2. 4 people, including a child, were killed in a California shooting: "At least four people were killed, including a child, during a shooting Wednesday evening at an office complex in Orange, California, located in Orange County just south of Los Angeles." Here's what we know. A police press conference is due at 10 a.m. local time/ 1 p.m. ET.


3. Matt Gaetz's media blitz is adding to his legal woes: DOJ veterans said any professional investigator would be listening closely to Gaetz's comments in search of evidence to use against him in an indictment and trial. More on why they're saying Gaetz should remain silent.


george floyd tou thao body cam
The crowd of onlookers grew larger as officer Tou Thao sought to keep them off the street, while they yelled that Floyd was unconscious and not moving.

4. Derek Chauvin's defense began (kind of): For the first time ever, Chauvin or another Minneapolis officer defended their treatment of George Floyd that led to his death. Newly disclosed bodycam footage shows Chauvin defending his actions to a bystander, saying Floyd was "probably on something" and officers need to "control" him. More graphic footage was shown to jurors that shows Floyd struggling to breathe.

More takeaways from Day 3 of the trial: A bystander broke down after seeing footage of Floyd sobbing for his mother. Charles McMillian, 61, told Floyd at the time he "couldn't win" as officers were arresting him.


5. Trump is trying to bring order to his post-presidency: The former president has tapped longtime Florida political operative Susie Wiles to help lead his post-White House political operation, Insider scooped last night. Her elevation comes as Donald Trump Jr. and Trump's former campaign manager Bill Stepien have jostled with others over how to handle Trump's endorsement. More on what this could mean for 2024.


6. Georgia Republicans hit Delta after its CEO criticized its new voting law: Georgia's House voted to end a tax break on jet fuel just hours after Delta CEO Ed Bastian blasted the new law as "based on a lie," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and top Republicans were taken aback by Bastian and Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey bashing the law, which put two of the state's largest companies against it. More on the unfolding situation.

Here are the facts on Georgia's law: Insider's full explainer here.

  • Biden says he would "strongly support" the MLB moving its All-Star Game: Major League Baseball players union head Tony Clark previously suggested that the game could be moved from Atlanta, where it is due to ake place this summer, because of the law. Biden made his comments to ESPN on the eve of MLB's opening day and as fans are set to return to stadiums. He also questioned why the Texas Rangers are reopening at full capacity.

7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:30 a.m.: Chauvin's trial resumes
  • 12:00 p.m.: House lawmakers hold a hearing on voting rights
  • 12:00 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing
  • 2:00 p.m.: Pelosi holds her weekly news conference
  • Today: Opening Day for MLB

8. Some migrant families are being freed without any paperwork: US authorities "are releasing migrant families on the Mexican border without notices to appear in immigration court or sometimes without any paperwork at all," the Associated Press reports. The move has left migrants confused.

  • More details: "The Border Patrol began the unusual practice last week in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, which has seen the biggest increase in the number of migrant families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border."

9. The Supreme Court appears poised to hand a victory to college athletes: Justices grilled the NCAA about its restrictions on compensation, questioning whether the organization that governs major college sports should still be entitled to anti-trust exemptions. Justice Brett Kavanaugh went so far as to question whether such an exemption has led to "the exploitation of college athletes." More on the case here.


Voltswagen skitch
VW's rebrand was all just a late-March April Fools' Day prank.

10. Not everyone is amped over Volkswagen's early April Fools' Day joke: The automaker said it would rebrand as "Voltswagen," signaling its commitment to electric mobility. Unfortunately, almost no one got the joke - including Wall Street. Volkswagen's stock popped more than 10% Tuesday. Here's how a prank gone wrong affected the company's stock. Reporters are also understandably upset too.


One last thing.

Today's trivia question: Who was the first sitting president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 Things in Politics: More shots are on the way

joe biden
President Joe Biden.

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what you need to know:

1. SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS FOR (ALMOST) EVERYBODY: President Joe Biden pledged that 90% of US adults will have access to a COVID-19 vaccine within five miles of their home by April 19. Biden urged governors and local officials to pause reopening efforts, declaring that "the war" against the pandemic isn't over. "Now is not the time to celebrate," he said.

Here's when your state will start vaccinating all adults:

2x1 state vaccinations march29

America's potential dual track: The US continues to set new vaccination records. But Biden echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky who expressed fear of the 4th surge in cases. Walensky told reporters she feels an "impending doom" looking at current numbers. Biden is also urging local leaders to reimpose mask mandates.

  • Internal CDC data illustrates a concerning picture: "The number of new cases jumped by 11 percent over the past week to a seven-day average of about 60,000 cases, according to an interagency memo dated March 29," Politico reports. "Nationally, the number of new Covid-19 hospital admissions and currently hospitalized patients both increased by 4 percent." In a sign of how quickly things can turn, on March 11 another memo documented decreases across the board.

A shot may also become your ticket, literally: The White House is reportedly exploring a vaccine passport program that would allow people to prove they've been vaccinated before entering venues. The plan would be for the proof to reside on a smartphone app with printed proof available as well. New York already launched its pass, which will be used by Madison Square Garden.


2. Gun safety groups are frustrated with Biden: His decision to prioritize infrastructure over gun control has frustrated advocates, though some remain optimistic that Biden will eventually take action on his own and potentially push for more violence-prevention funding. More on how their patience is running out in our exclusive report.

  • Key quote: "We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can move forward with an infrastructure bill...and spend time talking about this issue as the public health crisis it is," Kris Brown, president of the Brady gun violence prevention group, told Insider.

Derek Chauvin George Floyd officer trial

3. Emotional arguments begin Derek Chauvin's trial: Parts of the viral video of Chauvin pinning George Floyd to the ground were played. Jerry Blackwell, one of the prosecutors, said the former officer "betrayed his badge." Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson said that the "evidence is far greater than nine minutes and 29 seconds," a reference to the time Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck. Here are the other major moments.


4. Biden is reportedly set to unveil his first wave of judicial nominees: The White House is expected to make the announcement possibly as soon as today, Politico reports. Biden plans to name 11 nominees to federal courts, including three Black women. Just 16% of Trump's judicial picks were non-White, a worse rate than George W. Bush and the last three Democratic presidents.


5. A 10th accuser has come forward against Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Sherry Vill accused Cuomo of making unwanted advances, saying the New York Democrat grabbed her face and kissed her without her consent in 2017. Vill said it happened when Cuomo visited her neighborhood after a flood to survey damage and hold a press conference. More on the latest accusation. A lawyer for Cuomo said the governor's actions were in line with how he has greeted constituents.

A reminder of the mountain of scandals Cuomo is facing


6.Opposition to Georgia's new voting law is escalating: A leading Black civil rights group is calling for the PGA tour to pull out of the famed Masters tournament held in Augusta, Georgia. Major League Baseball is facing pressure to move its All-Star Game, which is scheduled to be in Atlanta this summer. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is also facing pushback over its statement on the law. Just the facts: Here's an explainer on the new law.

  • Even some Republicans are struggling to defend aspects of the law: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said "it doesn't make a whole lot of sense" for the law to criminalize giving food and water to voters waiting in line.

7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:00 a.m.: Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff visits a vaccination site in Maryland
  • 10:30 a.m.: Witness testimony resumes in Chauvin's trial
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing
  • 2:00 p.m.: Biden signs the PPP extension act into law

8. A Capitol riot suspect allegedly wore a t-shirt that said, 'I was there, Washington, DC, January 6, 2021' when the FBI arrested him: Court documents also state that Garret Miller, the suspect in question, also posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during and after the riot. On Facebook, he posted a selfie inside the Capitol. When someone commented on it with a congratulatory message, Miller replied "just wanted to incriminate myself a little lol."


9. A Trump appointee who had sex on the General Services Administration building's roof has a new gig: P. Brennan Hart III, a senior Trump appointee who made national news for having oral sex atop the federal agency's building, is emerging into a more public role. Hart is launching a political action committee called the American Business Federation. More on his new venture here.


10. Insider asked you to figure out the Suez Canal problem: 1,033 people submitted ideas on how they would have MacGyvered or perhaps MacGrubered how to unstick the Ever Given container ship. One prepared a PowerPoint that called for an Airbus aircraft, a long piece of rope, and a helium balloon. Another called for as much salt as possible to be poured into the canal. You can read the rest of the suggestions here.

And yes, many people offered illustrations:

Suez


One last thing.

Today's trivia question: Which president established the first designated office for correspondents at the White House? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

  • Yesterday's answer: President Ford was the first commander-in-chief to be the butt of an impersonation on SNL, courtesy of Chevy Chase. And he loved it.
Read the original article on Business Insider

10 Things in Politics: The future power players in Biden’s White House

Gen Z WH staffers

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what you need to know:

1. GEN Z IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE: While many in their generation are still too young to vote, some are already working at the highest levels of government and have bigger ambitions, including in politics and policy.

Here's a peek at Insider's list of 12 Gen Zers working for the Biden administration:

Alejandra Gonzalez Headshot
Alejandra Gonzalez was previously Policy Coordinator for National Security Action.

Alejandra Gonzalez, 23, works on the National Security Council: Gonzalez is a special assistant for Juan González, the senior director for the Western Hemisphere at the NSC.

  • She hopes to make contributions to immigration policy: "My dad crossed the border every day for 16 years, and my mom gave up her profession to get me to where I'm standing now, so this is a really big moment for my parents and everyone who came before them," Gonzalez said.
Joy Ngugi Headshot
Joy Ngugi was previously a television producer at the PBS station in South Bend, Indiana.

Joy Ngugi, 24, works in the White House's Office of Digital Strategy: She recently directed the first official White House musical performance under the Biden administration.

Dhara Nayyar Headshot
Dhara Nayyar previously worked for Human Rights Watch and EMILY's List.

Dhara Nayyar, 24, is on the research team at the Executive Office of the President: Nayyar told Insider her job responsibilities as a researcher for the White House changed regularly, but "the overall purpose of it is to defend and protect the president and his legacy."

  • A first-generation American, Nayyar said she wants to see others like her represented at the highest levels of government: "It's my goal to uplift more people who, like me, are beginning to reimagine what's possible for themselves by running for office one day in the future."

Read the rest of our exclusive list here.


2. The massive ship blocking the Suez Canal has been partially freed: "It's good news," a top canal official told The Wall Street Journal, but that doesn't mean it's smooth sailing for the Ever Given just quite yet. Crews now need to straighten the massive ship's course before it can continue moving up the canal. More of the latest here.


3. Open arguments in the trial of a former officer accused of murdering George Floyd start today: Arguments over Floyd's cause of death, including a contentious medical examiner's report, are expected to be at the center of former Officer Derek Chauvin's trial. More on what prosecutors will need to do.

  • This is the jury that will decide Chauvin's fate: Of the six men and nine women selected and still on the jury, eight are white, four are Black, and two are multiracial. They were all asked extensive questions, including about their views on the Black Lives Matter movement, interactions with law enforcement, and whether they've seen the video of Chavuin putting his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes. (At least one of the possible jurors has not.)

4. Dr. Deborah Birx says every COVID death after the first 100,000 "could have been mitigated": Birx, a former top coronavirus advisor in the Trump administration, said the horrific US death toll could have been substantially reduced. Birx made the comments to CNN's Sanjay Gupta in an explosive documentary recounting how top medical experts responded to the worst pandemic in a century. While some agree with Birx, many are frustrated by what transpired.


Garland Inner Circle 2x1
Clockwise from top left: Matt Klapper, chief of staff to the attorney general; John Carlin, acting deputy attorney general; Pam Karlan, acting head of the civil rights division; Merrick Garland; Kevin Chambers, associate deputy attorney general; Elizabeth Prelogar, acting solicitor general; Emily Loeb, associate deputy attorney general

5. These 15 people compose Merrick Garland's inner circle: The new attorney general's top aides include former clerks of Garland as well as Supreme Court justices, a witness who testified about constitutional law during Trump's first impeachment, a former advisor to special counsel Robert Mueller, and others who spent the Trump years challenging the administration. Our entire exclusive list is available here.


6. Welcome to infrastructure week: President Biden will head to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to unveil part one of his $3 trillion infrastructure plan, focusing on how to repair the nation's crumbling roads, bridges, water systems. The second part will focus on more social issues like healthcare and child care and will come in April. More on the details.


7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:00 a.m.: Chauvin's trial begins in Minnesota
  • 11:00 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House's pandemic team hold a news conference.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing.
  • 2:10 p.m.: Biden speaks about the pandemic and the state of vaccinations.

8. The situation is growing worse in Myanmar: "Myanmar police on Saturday opened fire on mourners at the wake of a 20-year-old student protester, arresting and wounding several funeral-goers." The violence is reaching new heights as the country looks to suppress those protesting Feburary's military coup.


9. Here's what caught our eyes in lawmakers' most recent stock trades: Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida made a flurry of trades, including some that appear to conflict with her clean-and-green policy positions. A spokesperson told a local newspaper last year that Frankel's portfolio is overseen by an independent money manager. Cynthia Malkin, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal's wife, purchased up to $100,000 in salad eatery Sweet Green, which is a private company. And Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, a noted Diet Coke enthusiast, bought up to $50,000 in Pepsi Co.

Here's the rest of our exclusive round-up of the latest trades.


10. SNL lampoons Harris and Biden with a new cameo: Maya Rudolph couldn't pass up a night hosting without another installment in her award-winning portrayals of Harris. This time Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff (played by Martin Short), whom she called "my Semitic smoke show," hosted a "unity seder" complete with visits from Ted Cruz (Aidy Bryant), Raphael Warnock (Kennan Thompson), and Biden (Alex Moffat). Watch the full skit here.


One last thing.

Today's trivia question: Speaking of SNL, who was the first president to be lampooned by America's favorite sketch show? (He later made it clear that he loved the portrayal.) Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected]m.

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 Things in Politics: Biden bets on infrastructure

joe biden
President Joe Biden.

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what you need to know:

1. BIDEN LEAVES OTHER ISSUES FOR LATER: "Infrastructure Week" was a punchline during the Trump administration. Meanwhile, President Biden is so insistent on tackling the issue that he's willing to leave immigration and gun control on the back burner. Biden's refusal to budge was abundantly clear in his comments to reporters during his first press conference as president.

  • Biden said infrastructure is "the next major initiative" after beginning his presidency focusing on the pandemic: "As you've all observed, successful presidents - better than me - have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they're doing - order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done," he told reporters. He said other issues like immigration and guns "are long-term problems," suggesting they'll be dealt with later.

Other key takeaways:

He upped his goal to 200 million vaccinations in 100 days: Biden initially pledged to get 100 million vaccinations in that time frame, but that goal was met last week. Like his original goal, Biden's new mark would only require the US to continue its current vaccination pace.

America's longest war may soon be over: Biden said he "can't picture" US troops being in Afghanistan next year. But the president also said he was unlikely to withdraw all troops by May 1, a deadline set by the Trump administration.

Questions about immigration dominated the briefing: Biden repeated the White House's message that Trump is to blame for the crisis.

Biden said he expects to run for reelection in 2024: Presidents usually wait to make such announcements, though Trump upended precedence by running for reelection from his inauguration day.


2. Inside the conveyor belt into Biden's administration: At least 56 alumni of the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, are now working at the White House and agencies across the federal government, an Insider analysis found.

CAP alumni fill some of the most important positions in Washington. More in our in-depth report.


3. Georgia's sweeping election-reform bill is now law: Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who faces reelection next year, signed the legislation on Thursday. The law makes it a crime to give food or water to voters waiting in line. Here are 5 other notable changes.

Screen Shot 2021 03 26 at 3.21.03 AM

Biden called GOP-led efforts to pass voting restrictions "un-American": He singled out Georgia in his comments, adding that efforts in legislatures around the country "makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle."


4. Lawmakers grilled tech CEOs, again: House lawmakers pressed Google, Facebook, and Twitter's top executives, furthering calls for more regulation of large tech companies. But like in the past, there appeared to be little agreement on how the federal government should reform laws like Section 230.


5. The Suez Canal holdup is costing the global economy an estimated $400 million per hour: A vessel called the Ever Given has been lodged in the canal since early Tuesday. The canal, which runs through Egypt, provides a vital shipping route connecting Europe to Asia. It could take weeks to dislodge the ship.

The problem? The ship is literally larger than the Empire State Building.

suez canel empire state 2x1
The Empire State Building is slightly smaller than the Ever Given, the container ship currently blocking the Suez Canal.


6. Prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization received boxes of documents from a messy divorce case: Jennifer Weisselberg, now a cooperating witness in investigations into Trump's finances, told us she got "seven boxes" of financial documents and gave them to investigators last fall. She was once the daughter-in-law of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. Her ex-husband, Barry Weisselberg, is also a key employee.

Read more in Insider's latest scoop.


7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House pandemic team hold a news briefing.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House daily news briefing.
  • 2:35 p.m.: VP Harris, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and other top officials hold a listening session at a New Haven Boys and Girls club on how Biden's relief plan addresses child poverty.
  • 3:00 p.m.: Sen. Bernie Sanders meets with Amazon workers in Alabama to support their unionization drive.

8. USC will pay the largest-ever settlement for sex-abuse cases in higher education history: The University of Southern California will pay $1.1 billion to former patients of George Tyndall, a former campus gynecologist, the Los Angeles Times reports. He awaits trial on dozens of sexual-assault charges.


9. Washington moves of the week: A three-woman trio is now leading Senate security for the first time. Here are some of the other biggest moves this week.

Karen Gibson was sworn in as the Senate's Sergeant at Arms (her predecessor resigned after the January 6 riot); Hilton Beckham, a former Trump administration official, is now communications director to Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona; and Amir Avin, a former Biden campaign flack, will become deputy communications director for Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

Elsewhere in Washington, Stephanie Psaki, the White House press secretary's sister, was appointed senior advisor on human rights and gender equity at the Office of Global Affairs.

Read the rest of our exclusive list of DC hirings.


10. Remembering Jessica Walter: "Walter, whose Emmy-winning acting career included roles on 'Arrested Development' and 'Archer,' has died. She was 80. She was perhaps best known for her role as Lucille Bluth, the matriarch of the Bluth family, on 'Arrested Development.'" More on her life here.


Today's trivia question: Today marks the anniversary of Dr. Jonas Salk announcing the creation of the polio vaccine. A famous celebrity later helped convince younger Americans to get the shot. Who was it? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 Things in Politics: Biden bets on infrastructure

joe biden
President Joe Biden.

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what you need to know:

1. BIDEN LEAVES OTHER ISSUES FOR LATER: "Infrastructure Week" was a punchline during the Trump administration. Meanwhile, President Biden is so insistent on tackling the issue that he's willing to leave immigration and gun control on the back burner. Biden's refusal to budge was abundantly clear in his comments to reporters during his first press conference as president.

  • Biden said infrastructure is "the next major initiative" after beginning his presidency focusing on the pandemic: "As you've all observed, successful presidents - better than me - have been successful, in large part, because they know how to time what they're doing - order it, decide and prioritize what needs to be done," he told reporters. He said other issues like immigration and guns "are long-term problems," suggesting they'll be dealt with later.

Other key takeaways:

He upped his goal to 200 million vaccinations in 100 days: Biden initially pledged to get 100 million vaccinations in that time frame, but that goal was met last week. Like his original goal, Biden's new mark would only require the US to continue its current vaccination pace.

America's longest war may soon be over: Biden said he "can't picture" US troops being in Afghanistan next year. But the president also said he was unlikely to withdraw all troops by May 1, a deadline set by the Trump administration.

Questions about immigration dominated the briefing: Biden repeated the White House's message that Trump is to blame for the crisis.

Biden said he expects to run for reelection in 2024: Presidents usually wait to make such announcements, though Trump upended precedence by running for reelection from his inauguration day.


2. Inside the conveyor belt into Biden's administration: At least 56 alumni of the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, are now working at the White House and agencies across the federal government, an Insider analysis found.

CAP alumni fill some of the most important positions in Washington. More in our in-depth report.


3. Georgia's sweeping election-reform bill is now law: Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who faces reelection next year, signed the legislation on Thursday. The law makes it a crime to give food or water to voters waiting in line. Here are 5 other notable changes.

Screen Shot 2021 03 26 at 3.21.03 AM

Biden called GOP-led efforts to pass voting restrictions "un-American": He singled out Georgia in his comments, adding that efforts in legislatures around the country "makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle."


4. Lawmakers grilled tech CEOs, again: House lawmakers pressed Google, Facebook, and Twitter's top executives, furthering calls for more regulation of large tech companies. But like in the past, there appeared to be little agreement on how the federal government should reform laws like Section 230.


5. The Suez Canal holdup is costing the global economy an estimated $400 million per hour: A vessel called the Ever Given has been lodged in the canal since early Tuesday. The canal, which runs through Egypt, provides a vital shipping route connecting Europe to Asia. It could take weeks to dislodge the ship.

The problem? The ship is literally larger than the Empire State Building.

suez canel empire state 2x1
The Empire State Building is slightly smaller than the Ever Given, the container ship currently blocking the Suez Canal.


6. Prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization received boxes of documents from a messy divorce case: Jennifer Weisselberg, now a cooperating witness in investigations into Trump's finances, told us she got "seven boxes" of financial documents and gave them to investigators last fall. She was once the daughter-in-law of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg. Her ex-husband, Barry Weisselberg, is also a key employee.

Read more in Insider's latest scoop.


7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 10:15 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House pandemic team hold a news briefing.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House daily news briefing.
  • 2:35 p.m.: VP Harris, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and other top officials hold a listening session at a New Haven Boys and Girls club on how Biden's relief plan addresses child poverty.
  • 3:00 p.m.: Sen. Bernie Sanders meets with Amazon workers in Alabama to support their unionization drive.

8. USC will pay the largest-ever settlement for sex-abuse cases in higher education history: The University of Southern California will pay $1.1 billion to former patients of George Tyndall, a former campus gynecologist, the Los Angeles Times reports. He awaits trial on dozens of sexual-assault charges.


9. Washington moves of the week: A three-woman trio is now leading Senate security for the first time. Here are some of the other biggest moves this week.

Karen Gibson was sworn in as the Senate's Sergeant at Arms (her predecessor resigned after the January 6 riot); Hilton Beckham, a former Trump administration official, is now communications director to Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona; and Amir Avin, a former Biden campaign flack, will become deputy communications director for Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

Elsewhere in Washington, Stephanie Psaki, the White House press secretary's sister, was appointed senior advisor on human rights and gender equity at the Office of Global Affairs.

Read the rest of our exclusive list of DC hirings.


10. Remembering Jessica Walter: "Walter, whose Emmy-winning acting career included roles on 'Arrested Development' and 'Archer,' has died. She was 80. She was perhaps best known for her role as Lucille Bluth, the matriarch of the Bluth family, on 'Arrested Development.'" More on her life here.


Today's trivia question: Today marks the anniversary of Dr. Jonas Salk announcing the creation of the polio vaccine. A famous celebrity later helped convince younger Americans to get the shot. Who was it? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 Things in Politics: Mayor Pete’s trying to make DOT cool

ButtigiegUnionStation_2021
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. We have an incredible range of exclusive reporting from my colleagues today. I'm Brent Griffiths. Don't miss the best of Insider's political coverage! Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day.

Send your tips and thoughts to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what you need to know:

1. SECRETARY PETE'S HIGH HOPES: Pete Buttigieg is the only former 2020 rival in President Biden's Cabinet besides Vice President Harris. He's one of the youngest secretaries since RFK led the Justice Department. But if you think his future ambitions would flounder at the Transportation department then you haven't been paying attention.

  • The Insider story: "Helping get an infrastructure deal through Congress and helping formulate that - that's his biggest challenge. But with someone who raised $100 million, and won the Iowa caucuses, just a little bit more than a year ago, his political future is always going to be something that's lingering in the background …," my colleague Adam Wren told me.

Buttigieg sat down with Adam (virtually) for a massive profile on the road ahead for the secretary

Some highlights:

  • You can also expect the viral Fox News hits to continue: Adam says the White House is giving wide latitude to Buttigieg as he does everything from appearing ob "Late Night With Seth Meyers" to talking to The Points Guy.
  • It's all about Hoosier you know: Washington eyebrows raised after White House chief of staff Ron Klain retweeted a tweet (later deleted) touting a 2028 ticket of Harris and Buttigieg. As Adam points out, Klain is a fellow Hoosier who frequently travels back for the Indy 500.

In short, don't dismiss what DOT will mean for his future: "He'll meet every governor in the country, he'll meet so many mayors that he maybe was not acquainted with before, he'll do some foreign travel, and he's going to meet some foreign leaders," former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Insider of the future connections Buttigieg will forge.

Part of Buttigieg's imprint is an overhaul of the department's social media: Less staid, more memes.

Screen Shot 2021 03 05 at 2.57.44 AM

Here's what else my colleagues found: 

  • Getting Biden's infrastructure plan passed is the top priority: The Transportation secretary joined Biden for an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers on Thursday to discuss the topic.  
  • Buttigieg has also found a unique way to connect with career staffers: DOT staffers say they are excited for a high-profile boss. The former South Bend mayor is leaving voicemails to staff every Friday to serve as pep talks. 

Listen to a recent one here:

Screen Shot 2021 03 05 at 2.55.36 AM

Read the rest of the exclusive here.


2. Senate Democrats have moved forward on Biden's $1.9 trillion relief plan: The Senate will resume debate today on the stimulus plan after Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin forced Senate clerks to spend nearly 11 hours reading the 628-page bill word for word. Another free-wheeling "vote-a-rama" is also in store.


3. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's aides covered up high nursing home death tolls: The New York Democrat's advisors pressed officials to change a report last summer to hide the true count of COVID-19 related deaths at nursing homes, The Wall Street Journal first reported. Cuomo's most senior aides, per The New York Times, were involved in the effort. The result was an undercount of nearly 4,000 deaths.


4. Here's how much Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk would pay under a wealth tax: Bezos, the world's richest person, would pay $5.7 billion under the tax Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed. US billionaires would have paid a combined $114 billion for 2020, according to the estimates of two tax groups. More on what the nation's four richest people would pay.


pope francis 2020
Pope Francis.

5. Pope Francis is heading to Iraq for a historic visit: The Vatican says the trip is about showing solidarity with the dwindling number of Christians in the country as well as outreach to other religious communities. ABC News reports that Francis himself dismissed security concerns after renewed attacks in the region. One of his most important meetings will occur with the head of the Iraqi Shia community who was instrumental in overthrowing Saddam Hussein. More the importance of the three-day trip.


6. Washington moves of the week: Biden named TJ Ducklo's replacement, and top former Trump communication aides found new jobs. Here are some of the biggest moves this week.

Tim Murtaugh, the former communications director for the Trump campaign, is joining the Heritage Foundation. Chris Meagher, a Buttigieg world alumnus, will be deputy press secretary replacing Ducklo. On Capitol Hill, Grisella Martinez is now chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Ruben of Arizona; Josh Marcus-Blank is communications director for Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. 

Read the rest of our exclusive list of DC hirings.


7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 8:30 a.m.: The Labor Department releases February's jobs report.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House's daily news briefing.
  • 3:15 p.m.: Biden participates in a roundtable on his relief plan.

8. A Democratic congressman failed to disclose at least $671,000 of stock transactions: Tom Malinowski of New Jersey could face a congressional investigation and fines for failing to disclose dozens of personal stock trades as required by law. Malinowski's office told Insider, which noticed the missing trades, that he "very recently" filed all the missing information. More on our scoop here.


9. Biden's chief of staff once praised Trump's approach to chaos: Klain wrote a 2017 article touting Trump's crisis playbook, but the current White House is following a very different approach. Democrats tell my colleagues that four years of Trump proved that no one should be looking to him for wisdom. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer offered "He did stuff and said stuff that nobody else … can get away with."


10. News you can use, stop the spam robocalls: Billions of spam robocalls hit Americans every month. Why? Because they are incredibly profitable. Here's why the government is struggling to stop them and how you can help yourself.


One last thing. 

Today's trivia question: Today's question comes from Kristy Aldridge. Where did the US Senate first meet before moving to Philadelphia and later the nation's capital? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].

  • Yesterday's answer: In 1869, the then-Wyoming Territory granted full voting rights to women. It became a state 21 years later and women there have voted continuously longer than anywhere else in the country. But other states, especially Colorado, stake claims to suffrage history as well.

That's all for this week. Enjoy your weekends! I'll be watching the WandaVision finale.

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