The Daily Valet. - 2/5/24, Monday

Monday, February 5th Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
Sometimes I miss having a car, but not when I read about the cost of insuring said vehicle.

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Today’s Big Story

A Shaky Border Deal


The Senate's long-awaited national security deal landed with a thud


It’s a promising proposal, that now faces an uphill climb. After months of talks, Senate negotiators on Sunday released a sweeping bipartisan border security deal that is aimed at discouraging migrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The $118 billion national security legislation took months of agonizing negotiations and also includes billions of dollars in funding for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific and humanitarian aid.

But within the first few hours of the bill’s grand reveal, lawmakers on both the right—and, to a lesser extent, the left—flanks in Congress have slammed the measure and House Speaker Mike Johnson called it “dead on arrival” in the chamber. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise swore the bill “will NOT receive a vote in the House.”

The legislation—a top priority for President Biden—would, if passed, mark the first significant action taken by Congress on immigration in decades, reports the Washington Post. It attempts to close loopholes in the asylum process, limit the use of parole for migrants at the border and give the president new authority to effectively shut down the border to migrants when attempted crossings are high.

It would not, however, allow 5,000 illegal border crossings per day, despite what former President Trump has been saying on the campaign trail. So where did this 5,000-a-day figure come from? According to NBC News, after negotiators conferred with the Border Patrol and officials at the Department of Homeland Security, they crafted the legislation to give DHS the authority to close the border if they reached a seven-day average of 5,000 or more border encounters. If that happened, some who tried to enter at official ports of entry would still qualify to have their asylum claims considered, but the rest would be turned away.

Now, the House and Senate will be moving in opposite directions this week as the House votes on a standalone $17.6 billion Israel aid package. If the Senate manages to pass the sweeping national security package and the House passes the Israel-only bill, they could head to what is called a conference committee in an attempt to reconcile the differences.


Car Insurance Costs Are Rising Faster Than Ever


If hiked car insurance premiums have you wondering, is it just me? Nope, it's on everyone.

The overall rate of inflation may be getting back to normal—and some prices are actually dropping—but American drivers have a new budget-buster to deal with: soaring car-insurance costs. Premiums in the U.S. will continue to climb this year after rising more than 43% since January 2022, new research from Bankrate shows.

The national average cost for full coverage car insurance was $2,543 per year as of January, up 26% from $2,014 in January 2023 and $1,771 in January 2022, their research found. The increases are due in part to insurance companies reassessing their risk models to account for increasing claims due to the higher cost of vehicle repairs, theft and extreme weather. Car and Driver also put some blame on the rising costs of new cars, too.

Dig Deeper:
After the Fed’s latest interest rate meeting, Chair Jerome Powell pointed out that while goods inflation is falling, services inflation is not.


Give Her Something Lasting

Huckberry has well-made and meaningful gifts for Valentine’s Day.

We’re in the Super-Haul Flight Era


Commercial airplanes are flying farther and longer than they ever have before

This is good news, if you ask me. Because I’d rather be on a plane for longer than risk a delay or lost luggage on a layover. We’re now entering the “super-haul flight era.” This year, there will be a record setting number of long-haul flights, going distances previously unimaginable by even the most accomplished pilots in history.

According to The Points Guy’s just-released 2024 Travel Trend report, by the end of 2023 the longest long-haul flight was 9,487 miles between New York and Singapore. But by 2025, the world’s longest flight will be 10,349 miles long, and will connect Sydney and London. The total number of flights that are over 8,000 miles long jumped up from just 20 back in 2016 to 32 in 2023. And just last week, American Airlines added their newest (and longest) route: Dallas to Brisbane, which clocks in at 8,303 miles.

If the idea of crossing so many timezones makes you a little anxious, travel experts shared their survival secrets with the New York Times, which include everything from hydrating like crazy to mapping out a smarter sleep schedule onboard.

Ahead of booking, research the layout and model of your plane on SeatGuru to find the most legroom.

A Wild Night at the Grammys


From Taylor Swift’s historic win to arrests and Tracy Chapman’s return to the stage

Women thoroughly dominated the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. Taylor Swift made history as the first person to win album of the year four times and slipped in a surprise album announcement. And there were a slew of victories by Billie Eilish, SZA, Lainey Wilson, the Colombian pop star Karol G and the band boygenius. Miley Cyrus also won her first—and then second—Grammy for her song “Flowers” after eight career nominations and a thunderous performance of the song.

There were some sweet surprises as well: Celine Dion received a standing ovation when she walked out to present album of the year (after being diagnosed with stiff person syndrome, which caused her to suspend performing in late 2022). Joni Mitchell hit the Grammys stage for the first time (ever!) and Tracy Chapman wowed the audience by teaming up with Luke Combs for a twangy, soulful duet of her “Fast Car.” The singer-songwriter rarely makes public appearances these days—in fact, she’s only performed live three times since wrapping up her last tour in 2009.

Other surprises, I’m guessing, weren’t so welcome. Shortly after winning three Grammys, Killer Mike—one half of the massively successful rap duo Run the Jewels—was arrested at the awards show in connection with a physical altercation at the Los Angeles arena where the ceremony took place.

Red Carpet:
What were the biggest fits of the night? GQ compiled their list of the best looks.


Give Her Something Lasting


Huckberry has well-made and meaningful gifts for Valentine’s Day

Far too often, the gifts that get given for Valentine's Day are ephemeral. An elegant night out can be a lovely but fleeting experience. Chocolates? Gone before you know it. What's left as a token of your affection? This year, treat her to something lasting. Something that's as enduring as your love and shows that you care enough to get her something crafted with love and made to last a long while. Here are a few suggestions from Huckberry's array of well-made options.



Morning Motto

Rethink fear.





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