10 things in politics: Buttigieg’s Legacy Moment

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Here’s what we’re talking about:


Pete Buttigieg

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Photo by Ian Forsyth / Getty Images


1. DOWN THE ROAD: Pete Buttigieg is facing a historic moment of transport. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the $ 1,000 billion bipartisan infrastructure plan into law today, which will give Buttigieg effective control of more than $ 200 billion in estimated grants over five years. An expert said it is about five to six times as much money as any former transport secretary has had to work with.

Here’s what this will mean:

This is Buttigieg’s most significant achievement to date: Biden called him to help lead the negotiations on Capitol Hill. During this push, Buttigieg held 300 calls and meetings with lawmakers right up to the final hours of legislation, logged more than 125 local news hits, and conducted more than 300 press interviews selling the road-and-job package.

  • And now he has a huge pile of cash to help distribute: Despite Republican efforts to limit the size and scope of what is in the legislation, the Department of Transportation will be tasked with distributing approximately $ 210 billion over five years in estimated grants.

DOT is also expected to change drastically: The department’s annual budget under Buttigieg is set to rise to $ 140 billion from $ 90 billion, and department officials acknowledge that they will have to staff to match the moment.

Read more about what this moment means for Pete Buttigieg.


2. There are low expectations for tonight’s virtual China summit: Both sides have tried to downplay what will come out of Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping later tonight, reports Politico. Their meeting comes at a critical time for US-China relations, as tensions over Taiwan, questions about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and the legacy of Trump-era tariffs are spearheading. Here’s what experts expect to come out of the negotiations.


3. A Democratic operator started a group to raise money for candidates. Then his company packed most of the money raised: Mike Reid, a digital operator who worked on campaigns for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and activist Sean Eldridge, also started When Democrats Turn Out PAC. Potential donors who clicked on one of the group’s ads might have thought that their money went directly to their favorite candidate (s). But of the over $ 2.5 million that When Democrats Turn Out has spent since it was founded in 2018, most has gone to Basecamp Strategy, a digital company that was also founded by Reid. Events like this make it harder for donors to see where their money is going.


The White House seems convinced that the House Democrats will adopt Biden’s spending plan this week: Brian Deese, Biden’s top economic adviser, told the Associated Press that Democrats would quickly pass Biden’s nearly $ 1.85 trillion spending plan later this week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues on Friday that she was still planning to move the spending package soon. Here’s where things stand.


5. Trump sells his hotel in Washington, DC: His real estate company is selling the rights to its luxury hotel in Washington, DC, for $ 375 million, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources. The lease for the Trump International Hotel has reportedly been acquired by the CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based investment firm. It is said that Trump’s name comes from the hotel.


6. The agreement on the World Climate Summit gives mixed reviews: “Many world leaders and activists expressed disappointment over the weekend over the climate deal that emerged after two weeks of heated negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland,” reports The Washington Post. The final agreement lacks the full funding needed for developing countries to mitigate extreme weather events and to build clean energy infrastructure, reports The New York Times. Officials also diluted a promise to “phase out” undiminished coal. Instead, the nations agreed to “phase out” their use. Here are the key details of the COP26 agreement.


7. Closing arguments are expected in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial: Judge Bruce Schroeder will allow jurors to consider some minor charges in addition to the current charges Rittenhouse faces, which include first-degree premeditated murder, USA Today reports. Rittenhouse is on trial for fatally shooting two men during Aug. 25, 2020, protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that erupted in the wake of Jacob Blake’s police shooting. More on what to expect today in the closely-watched trial.


8. A 9-year-old boy has died after being trampled in Travis Scott’s Astroworld: Ezra Blount is the youngest of 10 victims who lost their lives in a crowd at the November 5 concert. Those who died ranged in age from 9 to 27 and also included a ninth grader and a 16-year-old dancer. Hundreds of other concertgoers were injured.


9. Elon Musk starts a Twitter match with Senator Bernie Sanders: Musk, the richest person in the world, continued his tendency to attack liberal lawmakers by responding “I’m forgetting all the time that you’re still alive” in a tweet from Sanders urging “the extremely rich to pay their fair share.” More on Musk’s latest move, including raising nearly $ 7 billion in Tesla shares.


Ernie and Ji-Young.

Ernie with the latest “Sesame Street” member, Ji-Young.

Noreen Nasir / AP


10. “Sesame Street” Must Have Its First Asian-American Muppet: Ji-Young is a 7-year-old Korean American who loves “rocking out on his electric guitar and skateboard,” the Associated Press reports. Ji-Young is set to be formally introduced during a special upcoming Thanksgiving Day d


HBO Max

. Read more about the newest resident of Sesame Street.


Today’s trivia questions: Who most recently went directly from being a cabinet member of the US president to becoming president himself? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

  • Friday’s answer: President Theodore Roosevelt was originally supposed to have a memorial where the modern Jefferson Memorial now stands.

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