10 Things in Politics: Supply-chain disarray won't ruin the holidays

10 Things in Politics: Supply-chain disarray won't ruin the holidays
A help-wanted sign outside a Dunkin' location in Boston on June 14. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

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1. THE ECONOMY: The holiday season may be more normal than you think. Hiring data shows that companies are betting on a return to pre-pandemic shopping trends. Logistics experts also say the supply-chain crisis is starting to fade, casting some doubt on predictions of shipping bottlenecks bedeviling holiday plans.


Here's where things stand:

Not everything is merry and bright: Online out-of-stock warnings are nearly triple precrisis levels, and prices continue to climb at their fastest pace in more than a decade. And the coronavirus pandemic has widened inequality, hitting vulnerable workers hard while making the rich richer.

  • Experts are wary of looking only at overall growth to assess the recovery: "There are a lot of people that are slipping through the cracks, that are being kicked out of their homes and their apartments that never did have much spending. Those people are not doing well and their children are not doing well, and that isn't being reported on very much," Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist who is a cochair of the University of California at Berkeley's Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, told Insider.

But there are some good signs: US retailers, warehousing businesses, and transportation companies plan to hire 939,300 seasonal workers to handle holiday demand, the outplacement and business-coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a report. That would be a record.

  • And the supply-chain crisis may be easing: Jefferies economists led by Aneta Markowska said in a note published October 15 that the US was most likely "past the peak pinch," while one of the world's major warehousing CEOs just called a peak this week.

Read more about what you can expect to see this holiday season.

2. House plans a marathon day of votes on Biden's agenda: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed votes on the two biggest pieces of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda to today after long-simmering disputes threatened to once again derail final passage, Politico reports. Lawmakers are now expected to vote on both the nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $1.75 trillion social-spending plan later today. Pelosi and her leadership team spent the day pushing Democrats to support both pieces of legislation and trying to resolve concerns about the spending plan's drug pricing and immigration provisions as well as concerns about the lack of independent budget analysis. Here's where things stand at the start of a pivotal day for Biden's presidency.


10 Things in Politics: Supply-chain disarray won't ruin the holidays
Dave Portnoy. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

3. Young women say sex with Dave Portnoy turned violent and humiliating: In a new Insider investigation, one woman described sex with the Barstool Sports founder as "traumatic," and two said he filmed and choked them without permission. More than two dozen people with direct experience with Portnoy and Barstool spoke with Insider. Three women - who had no professional connection to Portnoy - said that they had sex with him and that the encounters had taken a toll on their mental health. Portnoy, in two videos posted after the story was published, said he had never done "anything remotely nonconsensual" and described the deeply reported story as "the next iteration" of cancel culture. Read more from Insider's investigation.

4. Biden's COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing mandate is set to take effect January 4: The White House said the president's previously announced requirements for people working at companies with 100 or more employees would take effect after the new year. There's also a separate mandate - without an exception for testing - for healthcare workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated. The rules for private businesses are expected to cover 84 million Americans, which combined with the healthcare-worker mandate would cover roughly two-thirds of the US workforce. In response, Republican attorneys general have threatened legal action. Here's everything you need to know about the coming mandates.

5. Prosecutors say a source for the Steele dossier lied to the FBI: A Russia expert who contributed to the so-called Steele dossier was arrested as part of the special counsel John Durham's investigation into the origins of the FBI's Russia inquiry, The New York Times reports. Igor Danchenko, a Russian national who lives in the US, was charged with five felony counts of making false statements to the FBI. This latest indictment also casts doubt on the origins of the Trump pee-tape rumor.

6. Veteran Democrat warns of a midterm bloodbath: Former Rep. Jim Moran was with Terry McAuliffe on the disappointing election night for the former Virginia governor. Moran told Insider that McAuliffe "was more surprised than he should have been" and that "some of the people that have been advising him were kind of deluding him." Moran, who is now a senior policy advisor and lobbyist at the firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, warned of a coming "bloody" midterm election if Democrats failed to resolve their differences on Capitol Hill and Biden didn't return the party's focus to more centrist economic issues. More on the Virginia politician who is worried about 2022.


10 Things in Politics: Supply-chain disarray won't ruin the holidays
Mayor-elect Eric Adams of New York City. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

7. Mayor-elect Eric Adams wants to be paid in bitcoin: Adams has been vocal about wanting to transform New York City into a bitcoin hub to compete with Miami for the status of the epicenter of the US crypto community. He said his first three paychecks would come via bitcoin. More on how politicians are jockeying over the future of crypto.

8. WHO warns of major COVID-19 surge in Europe: The World Health Organization's European head, Hans Kluge, warned the continent could see 500,000 more deaths by February amid slowing vaccination rates and a relaxation of coronavirus-prevention measures, the BBC reports. Among the worrying numbers, Germany hit a record rise in its daily case count of more than 37,000, just 32% of Russians were fully vaccinated by the end of October, and Romania recorded its highest daily death toll, 591, this week. More on why health officials are worried about the months ahead.

9. The most powerful New Jersey state senator lost to a Republican truck driver: Edward Durr, a truck driver for a local furniture chain, is now projected to have pulled off a monumental upset by dethroning Sen. Steve Sweeney, the New Jersey Senate president, The Times reports. Sweeney's loss drives home Democrats' struggles in 2021 elections, which nearly claimed Gov. Phil Murphy as well. The upset will leave a major hole in New Jersey politics.

10. The Rock says his production company won't use real guns on sets: Dwayne Johnson told Variety his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, would no longer use real guns in its productions in response to the fatal shooting of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film "Rust." Johnson added that his productions would switch to "rubber guns" and simulate gunfire in postproduction. "We're not going to worry about the dollars - we won't worry about what it costs," he said.


Today's trivia question: Which president's son was nearby when three presidential assassinations took place? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.