Joe Lieberman: 1942-2024

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Good morning and happy Thursday. And get ready to live in a world where each day is only 23 hours and 59 seconds. International timekeepers anticipate they will need to subtract a second from clocks around 2029 due to the Earth spinning faster on its axis. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Florida: DeSantis, Disney settle

  • Gaza: America’s opinion shift

  • Biden: Campaigning with Clinton, Obama

  • SBF: Sentencing is today

  • Opening Day: MLB season begins

... and more

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Top Tips

1) Unexpected passing

Former vice presidential candidate and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman died yesterday at 82 due to complications from a fall.

  • Independent voice: Lieberman served four terms in the Senate. He was a Democrat during his first three terms. But after losing the 2006 Democratic primary, he won re-election as an independent. Lieberman, who was previously the state's Attorney General, called himself an Independent Democrat during his final term.

  • Presidential politics: Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate in 2000 and launched a failed bid for the Democratic nomination in 2004. He was strongly considered to be Arizona Sen. John McCain's running mate on the GOP ticket in 2008. Lieberman endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and President Joe Biden in 2020, but was involved with the centrist No Labels group at the time of his death.

  • His legacy: Lieberman was considered a true centrist; he made history as the first Jewish candidate on a major party's presidential ticket. His strong support for the Iraq War pushed him out of lockstep with the Democratic Party. 

2) The day after

Two bodies were recovered from a submerged vehicle yesterday near Baltimore's collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge.

  • Still missing: Officials said four of the six people presumed dead remained unaccounted for. The two men recovered, both workers, were in a pickup truck when a shipping vessel crashed into the bridge. Two people were rescued alive following the collapse early Tuesday morning.

  • The investigation: The ship's captain and some crew members were interviewed by the NTSB. The ship's black box has not yet been examined and a full probe could take up to two years. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the bridge was not built to handle a direct strike from such a large vessel.

  • The comeback: Buttigieg estimated the price tag to rebuild the bridge will be $2B and said Congress will need to provide some funds. Experts say it could take a decade to rebuild. Concerns about supply chain disruptions linger in the meantime.

3) Found money

Who hasn't stumbled upon close to $2B unexpectedly?

  • What happened: The state of South Carolina has collected $1.8B in a bank account over the last decade. But no one knows how the money got there or where it was supposed to go, and an investigation has not yet turned up any solid answers.

  • Some clues: The Palmetto State previously dealt with an accounting breakdown that caused a $3.5B error on paper and led to the resignation of the state's comptroller general, who was elected. But this seems to be a cash issue involving the office of elected State Treasurer Curtis Loftis. State lawmakers said they have not received an explanation yet.

  • Big picture: Loftis blamed the comptroller general's office and claims he made the state $200M in investment interest, but has not explained how the money got there. It does not appear the state lost any money; the incident could lead to reforms at both agencies as some argue the positions should become gubernatorial appointments.

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' office and Disney settled a lawsuit regarding development of the Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando. The litigation was sparked by DeSantis' feud with the entertainment giant regarding the state's "Don't Say Gay" bill (More)

  • Texas' new immigration law will remain on hold. The latest federal appeals court decision could freeze the legislation until the Supreme Court determines whether it is constitutional (More)

  • Hunter Biden's attorneys asked a federal judge to dismiss tax evasion charges, arguing they are politically motivated. A plea deal previously fell through; the president's son was not present at the hearing in Los Angeles (More)

World News

  • A majority of Americans now disapprove of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza. A Gallup poll found 55% of participants no longer support the war, up from 45% in November (More)

  • Italy expanded a controversial program that removes children from families involved in organized crime. The project must prove a child's life is in danger, but families then have no recourse under law (More)

  • Thailand's lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill. The Asian country would join Nepal and Taiwan as countries in the region that allow same-sex unions if the law is finalized (More)

Campaign News

  • President Biden will hold a campaign fundraiser with former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama tonight. The event will be at New York's Radio City Music Hall; late-night host Stephen Colbert will moderate (More)

  • New Hampshire Rep. Ann McLane Kuster will not seek re-election this fall. The Democrat has served six terms in the House; she is the chairwoman of the moderate New Democrat Coalition (More)

  • Former RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel may retain a high-profile celebrity attorney after she was fired by NBC. McDaniel is reportedly seeking to have her $600K contract paid out and may seek additional damages (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed higher yesterday. The Dow Jones jumped over 450 points while the S&P 500 closed at a record high (Dow +1.22%, Nasdaq +0.51%, S&P 500 +0.86%).

  • Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will be sentenced by a federal judge today following his fraud conviction. His attorneys are seeking a 5-6 year sentence; federal prosecutors want 40-50 years (More)

  • Amazon invested $2.75B in artificial intelligence startup Anthropic. It is the commerce giant's largest-ever outside investment; the San Francisco-based company is an OpenAI competitor (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Twenty-six of 30 teams are scheduled to play; the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies have already postponed their home openers due to rain (More)

  • A Delaware judge said a defamation lawsuit against Netflix over the Inventing Anna miniseries can proceed. A woman depicted in the show is suing the streamer, alleging she was falsely portrayed (More)

  • NCAA President Charlie Baker called for a ban on college sports prop bets. That is a wager on events unrelated to the final result of a game, such as how many points a specific player scores (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Fun Stuff: A hippo got a free spa treatment when it fell asleep underwater and a school of fish groomed it. You have to see the mesmerizing video.

  • Help Needed: A British museum is trying to identify the child portrayed in the 1844 painting A Black Boy. It is now soliciting tips online.

  • Go Deep: Did drinking Sunny Delight actually turn a girl orange? This exhaustive investigation seeks to uncover the truth. 

  • Take Note: Is ghee healthier than butter? Here is the answer, as well as a closer look at how the two cooking staples differ.

  • Life Hack: Cleaning is never fun, but it can be easier when done right. These time-honored tricks never fail.

  • OPTIMIZE ME: Researchers “found convincing evidence that higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death, a 48% to 53% higher risk of anxiety and common mental disorders, and a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes”

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These numbers are staggering.

Looking Ahead …

The late Tony Bennett's estate will auction off some of his memorabilia. Among the collection: Letters from five presidents and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the crooner's paintings.

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