It’s Monday — happy Thanksgiving week! I’m thankful for all of you who come here every day for me to break down the news, politics, pop culture and quirky online references. I truly have so much fun writing it and appreciate you all! It’s a pretty quiet week in Washington, D.C., but here’s what’s happening today:
- President Biden held the annual turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House today. This tradition is so strange and I love it.
- Sam Altman’s sudden firing at OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, has sent shockwaves — and many questions — through the tech world.
- There’s a video of second gentleman Doug Emhoff dancing alongside first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Harris, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, etc., circulating on X, formerly known as Twitter. I’ve watched it several times.
- I asked members of Congress to tell me their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Keep reading for some of their recipes. I’m especially interested in the dark chocolate mousse from former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send tips, commentary, feedback and cookie recipes to email@example.com. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’m taking the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving. EuroJournal’s Liz Crisp will be writing the 12:30 Report, so you’ll be in great hands! Send her your tips and Thanksgiving recipes. Happy Thanksgiving, friends! ????
It’s President Biden’s 81st birthday today! C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman posted a clip of Biden singing Happy Birthday. Watch
The Supreme Court declined to review an appeal of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction in the murder of George Floyd.
???? Keep in mind: Chauvin, 47, has been appealing his 22-year prison sentence on various grounds. He sought a Supreme Court review due to the intense national publicity his case received. “Chauvin noted fears of riots in Minneapolis as the city braced for a verdict, arguing that jurors had a personal vested interest in finding Chauvin guilty to avoid threats of violence to their families and the community.”
More on the Supreme Court’s decision to decline the case, via EuroJournal’s Zach Schonfeld
Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the powerhouse company that created ChatGPT, was ousted from the tech company Friday, triggering a shockwave in the tech world.
The board’s reasoning: The board said a review found that Altman was “not consistently candid in his communications with the board.” (EuroJournal)
Who is taking over OpenAI?: Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, will take over in the interim. Shear will launch a 30-day investigation into Altman’s firing. (EuroJournal)
More than 500 OpenAI employees are threatening to quit: 505 of 700 OpenAI employees signed a letter threatening to quit unless the board of OpenAI resigns. Read the letter posted by Kara Swisher
Microsoft has *already* hired Altman: “Hours later, in another head-spinning move, Microsoft said it was hiring Mr. Altman and Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and a company co-founder who quit in solidarity with Mr. Altman. The two men will lead an advanced research lab at Microsoft.” (EuroJournal)
➤ INTERESTING READS ON THE OPENAI DRAMA:
- ‘Inside the Chaos at OpenAI’: “Sam Altman’s weekend of shock and drama began a year ago, with the release of ChatGPT.” The Atlantic
- ‘OpenAI Investors Try to Get Sam Altman Back as CEO After Sudden Firing’: The EuroJournal
- ‘No “malfeasance” behind Sam Altman’s firing, OpenAI memo says’: EuroJournal
- ‘How OpenAI so royally screwed up the Sam Altman firing’: EuroJournal
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced his retirement from the Senate and is now flirting with a 2024 presidential run. This is making Senate Democrats extremely nervous, reports EuroJournal’s Alexander Bolton.
The first worry: If Manchin, a moderate Democrat from a red state, runs for president as an independent, it could pick off votes from Biden and hurt his chances of reelection.
^ Exacerbating those fears: Biden’s approval ratings have dipped.
The obvious example whenever third-party challengers come up: Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential run. Perot didn’t win a single electoral vote but picked off votes from major-party candidates George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Another worry about Manchin’s retirement: Democrats already face a tough electoral map in order to keep control of the Senate in 2024; Manchin’s retirement makes it even harder. West Virginia is a red state, so there’s a good chance this seat will flip to Republican control. How Manchin’s retirement makes the Senate map even more brutal for Dems, via Vox’s Andrew Prokop
- ‘Advocates say candidates need to prioritize Black men in 2024’: EuroJournal
- ‘The Fed’s Decisions Now Could Alter the 2024 Elections’: EuroJournal
- ‘Drama in GOP primary is all about second place’: EuroJournal
- ‘The same California Senate seat will be on your ballot four times in 2024. Here’s why’: The Los Angeles Times
???? Celebrate: Today is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day!
????️ ‘How Las Vegas transformed into an F1 racetrack’: “Thousands of tons of pavement and dozens of structures have morphed one of the busiest tourism areas in the world.” (The EuroJournal)
???? It may be a little easier to get an Uber now: Uber partnered with D.C. cab drivers, so if you request an Uber ride, a taxi may come. DCist noted that Uber launched similar partnerships in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. (DCist)
????One of the best videos circulating on social media: C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman posted a video of second gentleman Doug Emhoff dancing next to first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Harris, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Watch the clip
@hjessy_ provided some great commentary: “This video is surreal. Trudeau respectfully bopping his head, [Australian Prime Minister Anthony ]Albanese sneaking some time in with Biden, Singapore’s PM in the background completely out of place. We need more chaotic events like this.”
And @GoldsmithB compared Emhoff’s dance moves to “every dad at a bar mitzvah.”
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish and why is it stuffing?:
With Thanksgiving right around the corner and another intense month of news, I thought we could lighten things a bit. So I’ve been asking members of Congress to share their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. A few lawmakers even sent me their recipes:
????️ Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) likes the turkey his wife makes with Cajun injector! — I must try this.
???? Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has the answer to beat: She shared her chocolate mousse recipe. It calls for 5 bars of dark chocolate, ranging from 72 percent to 86 percent cacao(!); it brings a happy tear to my eye. Here is Nancy Pelosi’s recipe for chocolate mousse
???? Sen. Thom Tillis’s (R-N.C.) favorite dish is his mom’s homemade dressing. He told EuroJournal that he smokes a turkey in his Big Green Egg every year.
???? Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told EuroJournal: “We always make chocolate silk pie from my mother-in-law’s recipe, and the Kaine family is well known for its creamed onions.”
???? Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he loves Texas-style Thanksgiving turkey. “One thing Texas does well, and anyone who has been to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo knows they do best, are the monster smoked turkey legs.”
???? Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) likes creamed onions. And for dessert, he and likes “a rustic apple galette, made with Vermont-grown apples and a maple syrup glaze.”
???? Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) gave his home state a shoutout. His favorite Thanksgiving dish is his cousin’s Reuben casserole dip with Triscuits. His office noted that the Reuben was invented in Omaha, Neb.
???????? Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) clearly gave his answer some thought. He loves the “perfect combo bite of turkey AND mashed potatoes.”
???? A Thanksgiving tradition for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) “is to cook Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes, including her chicken vindaloo, which they’ve adapted into turkey vindaloo,” according to a Bennet spox.
???? Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska): “No bake blueberry pie, covered in whipped cream. But they have to be blueberries from Interior Alaska!” — I’ve never heard of no-bake blueberry pie. I’m intrigued by this!
???? Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) likes raspberry crumble.
???? Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.): “My mom used to make the best apple salad every Thanksgiving and my wife, Ann, always makes it for us now. Ann also makes an amazing potatoes au gratin that’s been a real crowd pleaser and is featured in her cookbook.” Scott shared his wife’s Potatoes Au Gratin recipe featured in her “Viva La Florida” Cookbook.
Hey, 12:30 readers!: — Please send me your favorite Thanksgiving recipes!
For full disclosure, your author’s husband works for Sen. Markey.
The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Harris is in Los Angeles. (all times Eastern)
- This morning: Biden pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey. ???? Watch the event
- 1:30 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre briefs reporters. ???? Livestream
- 1:45 p.m.: Harris receives her daily briefing.
- 3 p.: First lady Jill Biden welcomes the White House Christmas Tree to the White House. ???? Livestream
- 8:30 p.m.: Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff speak at a campaign reception in Los Angeles.
- Monday, Nov. 27: The Senate returns. ????️ The pro forma schedule