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10 Things in Politics: Inside the Kamala Harris campaign diaspora

Business Insider
Business Insider
 2021-10-27

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Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics . Sign up here to receive this newsletter . Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android . Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com .

Here's what we're talking about:

P.S.: The Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies stole a base last night. That means free tacos on November 4 .

With Phil Rosen.


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Vice President Kamala Harris.

1. THE WHITE HOUSE: Only three of Vice President Kamala Harris' campaign staffers are working on her White House team. But the key people who helped position Harris for her historic election are not far away either. Many former campaign staffers now have top administration jobs.

Here's a look at where some of the top Harris alums have landed:

  • Laphonza Butler, president of EMILY's List: Butler is the third president in the 36-year history of EMILY's List and the first Black woman and mother to lead it. She previously led California's biggest union, SEIU Local 2015, and was a senior advisor to Harris during her campaign.
  • Emmy Ruiz, White House director of political strategy and outreach: Ruiz previously worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign in Colorado and Nevada. She was a senior advisor to Harris' presidential campaign.
  • Ian Sams, deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS: Harris' former national press secretary in 2020 now leads all Health and Human Services Department communications on COVID-19.
  • Joyce Kazadi, director of scheduling and advance at USAID: When she worked for Harris in 2020, Kazadi was the first Black woman to serve as the director of advance on a major presidential campaign. Now, she oversees the daily operations and trip planning for the US Agency for International Development's administrator, Samantha Power.

Check out Insider's entire list of where 52 former Kamala Harris staffers are now.


2. Elon Musk slams Democrats' possible billionaire tax: Musk ripped the idea, arguing it was the start of a new campaign from Democrats to redistribute wealth from the richest Americans. "Eventually, they run out of other people's money and then they come for you," he wrote on Twitter. Democrats are considering a plan that would impose taxes on tradable assets like stocks held by about 700 billionaires to fund an expansion of healthcare and childcare and to renew President Joe Biden's beefed-up child tax credit. Here's what else you need to know about the billionaire tax .

  • Such a tax would need congressional approval: Sen. Joe Manchin, one of two key Senate swing votes, has told colleagues he has deep concerns about the billionaire tax, Axios reports. More on Manchin's misgivings .

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, the US Capitol Building and President Joe Biden.

3. These five decisions could shake up crypto: Lobbyists tell Insider they're paying particularly close attention to Congress, the Treasury Department, and White House executive orders regarding digital assets. One of the issues they are closely tracking is whether Biden will issue an executive order requiring more regulation and oversight of cryptocurrencies. Read more about what crypto lobbyists are closely tracking in Washington .


4. FDA moves closer to OKing a COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids: A coronavirus vaccine for elementary-school-age children is closer than ever to reality after a Food and Drug Administration expert panel voted in support of offering Pfizer-BioNTech's shot to 5- to 11-year-old children. The vaccine would be the first authorized for younger children, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has to sign off too. Experts disagreed on whether every child should get the shot or whether it should be targeted to more at-risk kids .

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President Donald Trump with Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, and Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in April 2020.

5. Former top advisor says Trump could've saved 130,000 lives that were lost: Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House COVID-19 response coordinator, testified to lawmakers that President Donald Trump's approach to the coronavirus pandemic led to a massive number of preventable deaths. She also suggested the 2020 election distracted Trump and took attention away from the US's pandemic response .


6. UN trashes lackluster global climate efforts: UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a speech that countries were "utterly failing" to address the climate crisis. Guterres based his dismal view on a UN report that found countries' pledges to reduce carbon emissions were falling significantly short of targets. "The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap," Guterres told reporters. World leaders are set to meet in a highly anticipated UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, next week .


7. Lawmakers are expected to subpoena the lawyer who told Pence he could overturn the election: Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House select committee investigating the insurrection, said his panel would subpoena the conservative lawyer John Eastman, The Washington Post reports. Eastman, in now-infamous memos, made the case that Pence had the power to unilaterally overturn the election results when Congress met to certify them on January 6, a position Pence ultimately rejected. More on the news .


8. America is in store for an expensive Thanksgiving: "Nearly every component of the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, from the disposable aluminum turkey roasting pan to the coffee and pie, will cost more this year, according to agricultural economists, farmers and grocery executives," The New York Times reports. There's no single reason to blame for turkey day gobbling up more of your wallet, though supply-chain issues and inflation are part of the problem .


9. Trump endorses Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro: Trump announced his endorsement of Bolsonaro just hours after the incumbent had criminal charges recommended against him by a Brazilian Senate committee for his pandemic response. A six-month inquiry into Bolsonaro's response found he had repeatedly promoted dangerous, false claims about COVID-19 and had tried to stop the nation's Congress from introducing public-health mandates around masks. "Brazil is lucky to have a man such as Jair Bolsonaro working for them," Trump said .


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A composite image of M51 with X-rays from Chandra and optical light from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

10. Astronomers may have found a planet beyond the Milky Way: If true, this would be the first planet discovered in another galaxy. A global team of astronomers used NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope to study what is either a black hole or a neutron star in a distant galaxy. Something appeared to pass in front of that object, suggesting a planet might be orbiting it. The breakthrough offers early evidence that this X-ray technique could be used to find planets in other galaxies .


Today's trivia question: The Atlanta Braves took a one-game lead in the World Series with a 6-2 opening win against the Houston Astros . Speaking of the Fall Classic, who was the first president to attend a World Series game? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com .

  • Yesterday's answer: Prime Minister Winston Churchill once claimed he saw the ghost of President Abraham Lincoln at the White House. Churchill was a bit embarrassed about his close encounter because he had just finished taking a bath. Here are some other White House ghost stories .
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Comments / 23

Ted Rocafort
10-27

What on earth is that idiotic smile about? Self satisfaction? She's obviously very pleased with herself. Well, that make 1! Absolutely nobody else is.Yes, I voted for her and Biden, but little did I know she is the lowest common denominator. Biden has his Palin and we need to worry.

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Sherry Perry
10-27

Wipe that smile off her faces Nothing in this world is so funny right now. What is wrong with her? She’s not helping the polls for our President, we voted for her? Fire her and get a strong man in there.

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gmabear
10-28

She only cares about herself and moving her friends into jobs where they can be hateful to those who work for them. Worst vp ever. Such a sad administration ruining our country try one day at a time.

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