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    Tentative deal, 5 days to shutdown, warning signs in polls

    enSeptember 25, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Hollywood Writers' Strike: Tentative Deal ReachedThe Hollywood Writers Guild and studios reached a tentative deal, but members must vote. The deal is exceptional, talks shows/late-night shows may return, impact on industry uncertain, economic losses over $5B, last issue was AI.

      The Hollywood writers' strike, which lasted for 146 days, may be coming to an end with a tentative deal. The Writers Guild and the studios have reached a deal, but the members still need to vote on it. This deal is described as exceptional by the union, and it's expected that the talk shows and late-night shows will be the first to return to production. However, the impact of the strike on the entire industry, including TV and movies, is still uncertain and depends on the outcome of the actors' strike as well. The economic losses due to the strike are estimated to be over $5 billion. The last sticking point in the negotiations was artificial intelligence. The details of the deal will be released after the membership ratifies it. This is a significant first step towards resolving the long-lasting strike.

    • WGA Strike Tentatively Resolved, Actors' Union Still On Strike and Government Shutdown LoomsThe WGA and studios reached a tentative agreement, but the actors' strike continues and the government shutdown is imminent due to political gridlock.

      The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the studios have reached a tentative agreement, but the strike is not officially over yet. The WGA has communicated to its members that they fought for them and secured some gains, but the actors' union remains on strike and negotiations with them are ongoing. Elsewhere, the government shutdown is looming as GOP hardliners refuse to accept spending deals proposed by Democrats and the White House. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is under pressure to keep his promise to pass separate spending bills, but conservative Republicans threaten to oust him if he works with Democrats instead. In entertainment news, Usher has been announced as the halftime performer for the Super Bowl, a fulfillment of a long-held dream for the singer.

    • Pressure on McCarthy to bring clean spending bill, Menendez faces bribery charges and calls for resignationRepublican Speaker Kevin McCarthy faces pressure to pass a clean spending bill, while New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez faces serious bribery charges and growing calls for resignation. Menendez's actions and the severity of the charges have divided opinions on whether he should step down.

      Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing pressure from within his own party to bring a clean spending bill to the House floor, but some hardliners, like Matt Gaetz, are not on board with this approach. Meanwhile, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is facing serious bribery charges and growing calls for resignation, but he has yet to indicate if he will step down. The indictment against Menendez alleges that he provided sensitive US government information and took steps to aid the Egyptian government, which is a more serious charge than his previous indictment. Menendez's support from New Jersey Democrats has waned since the first indictment, and he is focusing on his home base for support. Senator Cory Booker has yet to comment on the situation. The inconsistency in Menendez's actions and the seriousness of the charges have led some to believe that he should resign, while others argue for due process. The outcome of these situations could have significant implications for both McCarthy and Menendez.

    • New Jersey Politics: Menendez's Influence and Hutchinson's AllegationsNew Jersey politics are shaped by Menendez's power and the differing landscape with a Democratic governor. Hutchinson accuses Giuliani, shares January 6th experiences, and Biden's approval rating remains low.

      Senator Bob Menendez, a long-time New Jersey politician, holds significant power and influence in the state, making him a formidable figure in politics. In the context of New Jersey, where a Democratic governor would appoint a replacement if he steps down, the dynamics of the political landscape are different compared to when there was a Republican governor. Meanwhile, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, is coming forward with new allegations against Rudy Giuliani and sharing her experiences during the January 6th insurrection. Despite her past admissions of lying, she insists she's telling the truth now because she felt torn between her loyalty and her duty to share what she knows. President Biden's approval rating continues to struggle, with many Democrats expressing dissatisfaction and desire for alternative candidates in the 2024 race. These polls, while significant, are still 14 months out from the election and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Biden team faces concerns over messaging and voter perceptionsDespite recent polling showing a potential Trump lead in 2024, it's crucial for both parties to effectively communicate and address voter concerns on economic issues and perceptions of age and health.

      The current political landscape shows concerns for the Biden team regarding the resonance of their messaging, particularly on economic issues, and voters' perceptions of Biden's age and health. A recent poll suggesting a significant lead for Trump in a hypothetical 2024 matchup has raised eyebrows, but it's important to consider potential outliers and changes in voter demographics. The economy remains a significant issue, with differing perceptions between parties, and upcoming events like student loan repayments and potential UAW strikes could impact the political landscape. Ultimately, it's too early to panic, but effective communication and addressing voters' concerns will be crucial for both parties leading up to the general election.

    • Effective communication and swift action are crucial for the Biden administrationThe Biden administration must address public perception of economic issues and crises like the migrant surge at the border through effective communication and swift action to prevent negative impacts on voters' decisions.

      Effective communication and swift action are crucial for the Biden administration to address public perception of economic issues, such as inflation, and to mitigate the impact of crises like the migrant surge at the border. The cautionary tale of the George H.W. Bush presidency serves as a reminder that voters base their decisions on their personal experiences and kitchen table issues, and the contrast between political leaders can also significantly influence their choices. The new agreement between the US and Mexico to deport migrants and prevent them from using railways to reach the border is a significant step to alleviate the pressure on US border towns and may have worked in the past. However, it's essential to consider the potential consequences and criticisms of such strategies.

    • Border Crisis Escalates, Wildfires in Maui SubsideThe border crisis persists, straining resources in El Paso, while wildfire evacuees in Maui begin to return home, but face a lengthy recovery process. The US and Mexico have agreed to address the border issue, but specifics are lacking. General Milley retires this week, leaving a divisive legacy.

      The border crisis continues to escalate, with over a thousand migrants encountered daily by border patrol agents. The situation has reached a breaking point for border towns like El Paso, leaving them struggling to provide shelter and ensure community safety. The US and Mexico have reached an agreement to address the issue, but details remain scarce on the US side. Meanwhile, people affected by wildfires in Maui are finally able to return home, but it will likely take months for everyone to do so due to potential hazards. General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, is retiring this week, leaving behind a controversial legacy following his actions during the Trump era and his stance on social issues.

    • Milley's Role as a Barrier and NFL's Super BowlGeneral Milley acted as a barrier against Trump's potentially unconstitutional actions, while the NFL's Super Bowl saw the Miami Dolphins setting a new record with 70 points.

      General Mark Milley, during his tenure, acted as a barrier between President Trump and actions that could have potentially violated the constitution. Milley would listen to Trump's tirades but would not act unless given a direct order. This behavior has been criticized as a dangerous perversion of civilian control of the military. Meanwhile, the NFL's Super Bowl halftime show saw the Miami Dolphins setting a new record with 70 points in a game. Taylor Swift made a surprise appearance at the Chiefs game, fueling dating rumors with Travis Kelce. The Dolphins' impressive performance overshadowed Swift's appearance, with Milley's actions in the political sphere remaining a topic of debate.

    • Hollywood writers strike could end, but actors' strike continues and government shutdown loomsA tentative deal in the Hollywood writers strike may bring late-night shows back, but the actors' strike continues and a government shutdown is imminent, with potential economic consequences

      A tentative deal has been reached in the Hollywood writers strike, potentially ending the 146-day long standoff. This is a significant development as the economic impact of the strike has been substantial, with estimates suggesting over $5 billion in losses. The agreement still needs to be voted on by the Writers Guild members, but if ratified, late-night shows and talk shows are expected to be the first to return. However, the actors' strike, which started in July, is ongoing and the resolution of that situation remains uncertain. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., a government shutdown is looking increasingly likely, with just five days until the government runs out of money. The political divide within the Republican party is evident, and the impact on the economy could be significant. The resolution of both the Hollywood writers and government shutdown situations will be closely watched.

    • Republican Infighting Delays Spending BillHouse Republicans' internal disputes over spending bills with steep cuts hinder progress, lacking bipartisan support and facing opposition from Democrats and moderate Republicans, causing delays in passing a short-term spending bill.

      The ongoing inter-party warfare in the House of Representatives, specifically within the Republican Party, is causing delays in passing a short-term spending bill. Speaker Kevin McCarthy is under pressure from conservatives to pass full year spending bills with steep cuts, but this approach lacks bipartisan support and has no chance of passing in a Democratic-led Senate or with a Democrat in the White House. The US Senate has already started moving its own bill, but the House has yet to find a path forward. McCarthy's tentative plan is to pass full year spending bills with steep cuts and add a short-term stopgap bill with border security. However, this plan also lacks support from Democrats and may not even pass within the Republican Party due to opposition from some members. The situation is complicated by the fact that Republicans had previously agreed to a deal that set the baseline for appropriations negotiations, but have since walked away from it. The moderates in the House may hold the key to finding a solution, but McCarthy may need to bring in Democrats to pass the bill. Meanwhile, New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez faces calls to resign after being indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges. The serious nature of these charges could lead to prison time if convicted. Menendez has denied the charges and plans to give a press conference this week to address the situation.

    • Senator Menendez Faces Bribery Charges, Shows No Signs of ResigningDespite bribery charges, Senator Menendez refuses to resign. A government shutdown could disrupt air travel, risk public health, affect food assistance, and cause financial hardships for federal workers.

      Senator Menendez, who is facing bribery charges, has shown no signs of resigning despite the ongoing legal proceedings. He is due in court on Wednesday and could be arraigned then. Menendez is accused of receiving bribes worth $100,000 from three New Jersey businessmen and taking steps to aid Egypt and interfere with investigations. The consequences of a potential government shutdown were also discussed, which could impact everyday Americans. Air travel could be disrupted, public health and safety could be at risk, and food assistance programs could be affected. For federal workers, including active duty military and law enforcement, a shutdown would mean going without pay, which could lead to financial hardships. The largest federal employee union, American Federation of Government Employees, with 750,000 members, is encouraging its members to prepare for a potential shutdown.

    • The government shutdown's impact on federal employees and the communityPoliticians suggest drastic measures for federal workforce reduction amidst government shutdown and UAW strike. Critics argue against such actions, emphasizing the importance of federal workers to the community and economy.

      The ongoing government shutdown and discussions about reducing the federal workforce have significant implications beyond just federal employees. The shutdown can affect the entire community and even the global economy. Some Republican politicians, like Vivek Ramaswami and Ron DeSantis, have suggested drastic measures such as laying off 75% of federal employees or "slitting throats in the federal bureaucracy." However, these suggestions are met with criticism from others, including former federal worker Everett Kelly, who argues that America depends on the federal worker and that such statements reveal the kind of person we would be working for if they were elected president. Meanwhile, the ongoing UAW strike in Detroit has seen both Trump and Biden physically present to support their respective sides. This highlights the clash between two populist figures, each appealing to the everyday person but with different approaches and messages.

    • Biden and Trump's Approaches to Rust Belt VotersBiden aims to rebuild the Democratic coalition by empowering labor unions, while Trump tries to appeal directly to workers. Biden's support for electric vehicles and wage hikes creates tension with union leadership, while Trump's past ambivalence towards unions doesn't require a defense.

      During their recent visits to the Rust Belt region, both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are attempting to appeal to the white working class voters, but with different approaches. Biden is focusing on bolstering the power of labor unions as institutions, while Trump is trying to appeal directly to the workers themselves. The distinction lies in the fact that Biden is looking to rebuild the Democratic "blue wall" by activating the labor movement as a key part of the Democratic coalition, whereas Trump needs to win back some of this base. However, Trump's criticism of union leadership comes at a sensitive time for auto workers, who are facing the threat of electric vehicles replacing traditional jobs. This creates a complicated situation for Biden, as he must balance his support for electric vehicles and wage hikes with the concerns of union leadership. Conversely, Trump's entire administration was ambivalent to unions at best, and he doesn't have to answer for his policies regarding labor during his term.

    • US-Mexico deal to address migrant crisisThe US and Mexico have reached a deal to address the migrant crisis at the US southern border, with Mexico agreeing to deport migrants and prevent their use of railways to reach the border.

      The United States is currently facing a significant migrant crisis at its southern border, with thousands of migrants crossing illegally each day. To address this issue, the United States and Mexico have brokered a new agreement, which includes Mexico deporting migrants to their home countries and preventing them from using railways to reach the border. This agreement aims to ease the burden on border cities and prevent a potential border surge. However, immigration advocates and human rights organizations have criticized these tactics. Meanwhile, the tension between the United States and labor unions, particularly under the Trump administration, has hindered the country's progress in producing electric vehicles, making it reliant on imports from countries like China. This subplot has been used against President Biden, who is pushing for the adoption of electric vehicles. Mexico's agreement to help address the migrant crisis is a significant political favor for the Biden administration, as it could prevent another border surge and ease the strain on border towns.

    • Rising COVID-19 hospitalizations among children, especially in the southern US, and saltwater intrusion threat in New Orleans due to drought in Central USCOVID-19 hospitalizations among children are increasing, particularly in the southern US, and New Orleans faces a saltwater intrusion threat due to the ongoing drought in the Central US, both requiring immediate action

      There are two pressing issues currently affecting different regions of the United States. In the health sector, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children are rising at an alarming rate, with the youngest age group being particularly affected. This trend is most pronounced in the southern states, where vaccination rates among children remain low. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the mayor has declared a state of emergency due to the threat of saltwater intrusion into the city's drinking water systems. This issue is caused by the ongoing drought in the Central United States, which has resulted in the Mississippi River carrying less water and allowing saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico to push upstream. The US Army Corps of Engineers is taking steps to prevent this intrusion, but the situation remains critical. Both issues require urgent attention and action from authorities and communities alike.

    • Historically low water levels on Mississippi RiverClimate change, subsidence, and drought are causing historically low water levels on the Mississippi River, impacting residents, food production, and shipping costs.

      The Mississippi River is experiencing historically low water levels due to a combination of factors including climate change, subsidence, and drought. This issue not only affects residents in Mississippi and Louisiana, but also has far-reaching consequences for food production and shipping costs. The army corps of engineers are working to adapt to these changing conditions. In Hollywood, a tentative deal has been reached between the Writers Guild and studios, potentially ending the nearly 5-month-long writers' strike. However, the US government faces a looming deadline to keep the government open, and there are no signs of compromise between Republican lawmakers. The strike in the entertainment industry has already cost the US economy over $5 billion.

    • Writers' strike deal could impact actors' negotiationsThe writers' strike deal, addressing writers' wages, writer's rooms, and AI protections, may lead to renewed focus on actors' negotiations, potentially impacting production schedules and economic implications.

      The writers' strike deal, which is close to being finalized, could potentially impact the ongoing actors' strike negotiations. The deal addresses writers' concerns over wages, writer's rooms, and protections against artificial intelligence. However, it does not address the actors' strike, which has been ongoing since July. With the writers' strike potentially coming to an end, studios may now focus their attention on negotiating with the actors' union, SAG-AFTRA. The studios are reportedly eager to get this done before the end of the year. The writers' strike has had a significant economic impact and has prevented a return to normal production schedules, even for shows that may resume with striking actors still off the job. The deal's provisions regarding artificial intelligence may set a precedent for future negotiations. However, the actors' strike remains unresolved, and it is unclear when or how it will be addressed.

    • Government funding standoff could lead to shutdownPolitical gridlock over border security and spending cuts threatens a government shutdown, with blame on all sides and uncertain passage of a short-term spending bill.

      The ongoing government funding standoff between the House and the Senate, which includes disagreements over border security and spending cuts, may lead to a government shutdown despite efforts to pass individual bills to fund various departments. House Republicans and Democrats, as well as the President, share the blame for the impasse. A short-term spending bill is currently being discussed, but its passage is uncertain due to holdouts from both parties. The situation is complex, and it's crucial for all parties to work together to find a solution and prevent a prolonged shutdown.

    • Politicians need to work together to find real solutions for the border crisisPoliticians should focus on long-term solutions like enforcing laws and addressing legal immigration to find a lasting solution for the border crisis, instead of using it as leverage for other issues and blaming each other.

      The border crisis is a pressing issue with real consequences for people, and it's important for politicians to work together to find real solutions instead of playing the blame game and using it as leverage for other issues. The border security agencies, such as DHS and CBP, will be affected by a government shutdown, and real people will be hurt. The immigration system is broken, and both parties agree on that, but relying on other countries to handle our immigration system is not a viable solution. Instead, we need to focus on long-term solutions, such as enforcing the laws that are already on the books and addressing legal immigration through work visas. The current situation undermines the legal immigration process and creates unfairness for those trying to come to the US the right way. It's crucial for politicians to put aside partisan differences and work together to find a lasting solution.

    • Former President Trump's evolving stance on abortion and criticisms from rivalsTrump's shifting stance on abortion and the ongoing debate over abortion laws have shaped the political discourse, with Trump maintaining a lead in the Republican primary race despite criticisms and lack of accountability for his positions.

      The political landscape is filled with evolving stances and debates, particularly around contentious issues like abortion. Former President Donald Trump's stance on the issue has evolved over the years, leading to criticism from his Republican rivals. Meanwhile, the ongoing debate over abortion laws, such as Florida's 6-week ban, continues to shape the political discourse. Congressman Tony Gonzalez emphasized the need for bipartisan solutions and legal pathways like work visas to address larger issues facing cities. Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, defended the 6-week ban and criticized Trump for his changing stance on the issue. Despite the evolving stances and criticisms, Trump maintains a significant lead in the Republican primary race. The lack of accountability for Trump's shifting positions and his ability to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court have frustrated some activists but have not significantly impacted his support.

    • Trump's Political Strategy on Abortion and Other IssuesTrump appeals to base with conservative Supreme Court appointments, shifts stance on issues like abortion, guns, and environment to win over voters in key states.

      Former President Donald Trump's stance on various issues, including abortion, is seen as a political strategy to appeal to his base and position himself as a moderate in the upcoming 2024 presidential race. His appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court, leading to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, is a significant delivery for his base. Trump's shifting stance on abortion and other issues, like guns and the environment, is seen as an attempt to win over voters in key states, despite his previous commitments. The impact of this strategy on the evangelical voter base and the anti-abortion movement is a significant concern for some political observers. Additionally, President Joe Biden's approval ratings on the economy are low, and it remains to be seen how Democrats will respond to Republican attacks on "Bidenomics."

    • Senator Menendez to Speak Publicly Amidst Bribery ChargesSenator Bob Menendez, under bribery charges, denies allegations and continues in office, facing potential 20-year prison term. US treats allegations seriously, potentially breaching international rules.

      Senator Bob Menendez, who is facing bribery charges, is expected to speak publicly for the first time since his indictment at a community college in New Jersey today. The charges, which include allegations of using his office to aid Egypt's government in exchange for bribes, are very serious and could potentially result in up to 20 years in prison. Menendez has denied the allegations and has not resigned from his position, but the consistency of his actions and the seriousness of the charges have led many to call for his resignation. The US takes the allegations seriously and is treating them as a potential breach of international rules. The auto workers union's strike against GM and Stellantis is expanding, and the economic consequences could be significant. The US ambassador to Canada revealed that information leading to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's accusations against India regarding an assassination on Canadian soil came through the 5 Eyes intelligence sharing pact. The US has expressed concern to India and asked for cooperation with Canada's ongoing investigation.

    • GM and Stellantis strikes impact dealerships, consumersThe UAW strikes against GM and Stellantis are causing economic ripples, closing parts and distribution centers and halting repairs at dealerships, potentially leading to substantial losses for both parties.

      The ongoing UAW strikes against GM and Stellantis are causing significant economic impacts beyond the factories. With the closure of parts and distribution centers, dealerships are unable to provide repairs for consumers, leading to potential losses for both dealerships and consumers. The expanded impact on consumers could be substantial as negotiations continue between the union and the automakers. Ford, currently not part of the targeted strikes, is seen as making the best offer at the table, but there is still a significant gap on economic issues such as wages, pensions, and retiree benefits. The UAW may look to Ford's recent deal with the Canadian Union for inspiration. Meanwhile, NASA made history with the return of asteroid samples, which will provide valuable insights into the origins of the solar system. The Ukrainian president also announced the arrival of American Abrams tanks in Ukraine, marking a significant development in the ongoing conflict.

    • NASA's OSIRIS-REx collects sample from ancient asteroid BennuNASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected a sample from asteroid Bennu, which could contain early solar system material. The sample is being studied for signs of amino acids that might have contributed to life on Earth, raising questions about Earth's origins.

      NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft recently collected a sample from the asteroid Bennu, which is believed to contain ancient material from the solar system's early days. The asteroid, which is only a few hundred meters across, was approached by the spacecraft through a "touch-and-go" maneuver, during which it dropped a probe to kick up dust and gather samples. The sample is currently being studied at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where scientists are looking for signs of precious amino acids that might have contributed to the origin of life on Earth. The mission is significant because it raises questions about whether Earth had the necessary conditions to initiate life on its own or if it required external material from asteroids. The spacecraft is now on its way to another asteroid and is expected to arrive there in 2029. The study of the Bennu sample could take years, and new techniques and tests may be discovered in the future. Previous studies of moon rocks brought back by the Apollo mission revealed the presence of water trapped inside the rocks decades later.

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