10 Things in Politics: Infighting at the DNC

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Here's what we're talking about:


Jaime Harrison

1. SO MUCH DRAMA IN THE DNC: Allies of the Democratic National Committee's chairman, Jaime Harrison, are sounding the alarm about an internal party feud that has major implications for the midterms and the 2024 presidential race. The tensions inside the DNC cover numerous topics, including staffing decisions, the party's critical voter data, and who should be included among the party's top decision-makers.

Here's a rundown of the simmering disagreements:

"We're headed into a fucking buzz saw next year, and people are working on their own agendas and vendettas," one senior Democratic strategist said of the infighting. Three people close to Harrison pointed to frustrations about how much he's being looped in on staffing and operational decisions, complaining that he's not being given the leeway he needs to be an effective chair.

  • Key quote: "They've taken this African American candidate and tokenized him," one of the people familiar with Harrison's frustrations with the DNC told Insider. "They put him out as the figurehead of the party but haven't actually given any ability to shape its future."

The conflict centers on the relationships between top party officials: One of the people familiar with Harrison's frustration told Insider that the senior advisor Mary Beth Cahill and Sam Cornale, the executive director of the DNC, were making staffing decisions and "not consulting with Jaime on anything." Another Democratic strategist, who is aware of the internal disputes, said Harrison wanted Cahill gone.

  • Several Democrats did push back when asked about the tension described by Harrison's associates: Harrison himself denied there's any tension between him and Cahill, who led John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. "She is a great colleague at the DNC," Harrison said.

Read more about how the top White House aide Jen O'Malley Dillon factors into the simmering discontent.


2. Data shows inflation at its highest level in decades: Prices in the October US inflation report grew at their fastest annual rate in 30 years. And that's not even the most worrying thing. The report shows inflation that's fueled not just by a handful of categories but by accelerating price growth in nearly every corner of the economy. If high inflation is scary, persistently high inflation is a nightmare. Here's where things are and where they might be heading.


US special climate envoy John Kerry

3. US and China pledge to tackle climate crisis together: "The world's two biggest greenhouse-gas emitters said they would take 'enhanced climate actions' to meet the central goals of the 2015 Paris climate accord — limiting warming to 'well below' 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) beyond preindustrial levels, and if possible, not to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius," The Washington Post reports. The surprise announcement jolted the ongoing UN climate summit in Scotland, but the pledge doesn't have firm deadlines or specific commitments. More on how Washington and Beijing were able to reach an agreement.


4. Irate callers are flooding the phone lines of some Republican lawmakers: Staffers for the 13 House Republicans who voted for President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan say callers are ranting at aides over the vote. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who tweeted the phone numbers of her 13 colleagues' offices, most likely fueled the telethon of rage. "These types of threats, sadly, have just become far too frequent," said Billy Fuerst, the communications director for Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan. Upton told CNN that someone called his office saying, "I hope everyone in your fucking family dies." Threatening calls are said to have become "par for the course" for a certain set of Republican lawmakers.


Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down on the stand as he testifies about his encounter with the late Joseph Rosenbaum during his trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021

5. Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down during emotional testimony: Rittenhouse broke down in tears on the witness stand as he described the moment when he said a man he would go on to fatally shoot "ambushed" him during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2020. Judge Bruce Schroeder repeatedly admonished the prosecution for its cross-examination of Rittenhouse, particularly after Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger appeared to question why Rittenhouse remained silent after the shooting. Rittenhouse's defense responded later in the day by requesting a mistrial. More from a busy day in the closely watched trial.


6. Federal judge overturns Texas' ban on school mask mandates: District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that Texas' ban violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, CNN reports. Gov. Greg Abbott, like other GOP governors, took unilateral action meant to prevent local school districts from imposing masking requirements on students, staff members, and visitors. A disability-rights group in the state sued, alleging that the spread of COVID-19 imposed "an even greater risk for children with special health needs." The office of Texas' attorney general, Ken Paxton, pledged to review "all legal avenues" to challenge the decision. More on the news.


7. Sen. Lindsey Graham says he "will never forgive" Biden over Afghanistan: "He has blood on his hands, and he's made America less safe," Graham told Fox News of the president with whom he once had a decades-long friendship. Appearing distraught, Graham recounted recent developments of Islamic State violence in the nation despite promises of peaceful times from the Taliban. More on Graham's breaking point.


8. Elon Musk sells off $5 billion worth of Tesla stock: Musk's move came just days after he asked his Twitter followers in a poll whether he should sell 10% of his shares in Tesla amid a swirling debate among policymakers about whether to increase taxes on the ultrawealthy. Musk's stock sales this week, however, were part of a plan that was put in place in September. In the past two days, Musk's net worth has fallen by about $50 billion.


9. Department of Justice alleges Uber discriminates against people with disabilities: The DOJ alleges in a suit that Uber overcharged passengers with disabilities. An Uber representative rejected the notion that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, telling Insider the wait fees were never meant to charge people who needed extra time to get into a car. More on the lawsuit.


10. Ho ho-oh no, even Santa isn't immune to labor shortages: Older men are opting out of the job of Santa, largely because of concerns over COVID-19, The Wall Street Journal reports. Mitch Allen of the staffing agency Hire Santa told the outlet there had been a 121% increase in requests this holiday season compared with last year but there were 15% fewer professional Santas available. More on why the holidays might be a little less Santa-mental.


Today's trivia question: A resident from which state is officially recognized with reframing Armistice Day into Veterans Day? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

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