The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Tech execs testify on platforms' liability


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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Tech CEOs testify | Debate social media companies’ liability protections | Cook moves Texas from ‘lean Republican’ to ‘toss-up’ | Biden, Obama to campaign together this weekend | Trump, Biden plan competing Tampa rallies | Omaha Trump rally attendees left in cold after bus issue | National Chocolate Day deals



‘It’s not ~our~ fault that your crazy aunts and uncles are on Facebook, amirite?’:



Facebook’s Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergTexas governor signs ban on outside help for election administrators Hillicon Valley: NATO members agree to new cyber defense policy | YouTube banning politics, elections in masthead ads | 50 groups urge Biden to fill FCC position to reinstate net neutrality rules Pink Floyd's Roger Waters: 'No f---ing way' Zuckerberg can use our song for ad MORE, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey are testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee today on a statute that largely shields them from liability from third party content on their websites.   

The statute: The “1996 statute known as Section 230 … shields online companies from lawsuits for hosting, taking down or otherwise moderating user content.” Here’s a good breakdown from Politico’s Cristiano Limahttps://politi.co/37P3EqU

Where the three executives stand: Facebook is willing to update their policies, while Twitter and Google are a little more hesitant to make changes. https://politi.co/37P3EqU

The argument for keeping the statute as is: The platforms would constantly worry about the legal liability of posts and would over censor content to avoid penalties. That could violate free speech. 

The argument for updating or removing the statute: The platforms lack incentives to properly police third party content.




NPR’s Bobby Allynhttps://n.pr/3jvgSLS

Tidbit: Fox News’s Chad Pergram tweeted: “Keep in mind that today's Commerce hrng w/Facebook/Twitter/Google execs is not the same as a potential [Judiciary Committee hearing.] Judiciary [Committee] subpoenaed Zuckerberg/Dorsey to testify about why their sites curbed access to NY Post article about Hunter Biden” https://bit.ly/37PSDph

Happy Wednesday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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Trump rally attendees were stuck in the cold because of a bus issue:

Via The Washington Post’s Tim Elfrink, “By the time President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE finished speaking to thousands of supporters at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield on Tuesday night … the temperature had plunged to nearly freezing. But as long lines of MAGA-clad attendees queued up for buses to take them to distant parking lots, it quickly became clear something was wrong.” 

What happened: “The buses, the huge crowd soon learned, couldn’t navigate the jammed airport roads. For hours, attendees — including many elderly Trump supporters — stood in the cold, as police scrambled to help those most at-risk get to warmth.”

At least seven people were taken to local hospitals.  

The full storyhttps://wapo.st/3kIcFWI 

In Atlanta yesterday



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2JfYpXh


You’re in Tampa?? No, I’M IN TAMPA!:

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE are both planning competing campaign events in Tampa, Fla., tomorrow. https://bit.ly/2TKtlkx 

Why both campaigns are giving Florida a lot of love: “Polls show a tight race between Trump and Biden in the Sunshine State, with the Real Clear Politics average of polls putting the president with a mere 0.4 percentage point advantage over his Democratic challenger. A Florida Atlantic University poll released on Tuesday — one week before Election Day — showed Biden with a 2 percentage point advantage over Trump, a result within the margin of error.”


Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama: Voting rights bill must pass before next election The world's most passionate UFO skeptic versus the government Biden plans to host Obama for portrait unveiling that Trump skipped: report MORE and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are expected to appear at a campaign event together in a battleground state this weekend, according to a source. What we know, from The Hill’s Tal Axelrod and Amie Parneshttps://bit.ly/34yiz74


Remember the secret Trump voters that were hard to poll in 2016?:

There might be secret Biden voters this time around. Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, “Political observers say there is a group of voters that has emerged in this cycle: Republicans who have never supported a Democratic candidate — not for the city council, Congress or president — who suddenly find themselves set to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. And they don’t want anyone to know it.” https://bit.ly/37OvhAH

Refresher from 2016: “In 2016, some strategists concluded that a number of voters were secretly voting for Donald Trump but were not getting picked up by pollsters.”

Where that could help Biden’s campaign: “States such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, but also other states Democrats lost to Trump in 2016, such as Iowa, North Carolina and Georgia, where the vice president visited on Tuesday.”


In WisconsinJoe Biden is leading Donald Trump by 17 (!) points, according to a new ABC News-Washington Post poll. The numbershttps://bit.ly/2TtOVcR 

Cook moves Texas from ‘lean Republican’ to ‘toss-up’: The nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved the traditionally Republican state of Texas to “toss-up.” Why: “Polling in the state shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden closing the margin with President Trump, who won [Texas] by 9 points in over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Memo: Some Democrats worry rising crime will cost them MORE in 2016. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Trump holds a 2.6 point lead in the state.” https://bit.ly/3kDd0Ka

Op-ed: Here’s an argument for why the polls could be wrong again, meaning President Trump could win again: https://bit.ly/35LiLzj


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 8,784,005 

U.S. death toll: 226,777 

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y 

For context: Six months ago today, 989,357 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 56,386 had died. https://bit.ly/2HHJ0OI

Stocks dropped this morning:

“Stocks opened with steep losses Wednesday amid growing fears that rising COVID-19 cases and the lack of a stimulus agreement between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats will force more U.S. cities to close or restrict businesses.” https://bit.ly/34ydRGn 

The numbers: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a loss of more than 570 points, falling 2 percent as the market opened. The Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 each fell roughly 1.8 percent.”



Explore Facebook’s Voting Information Center



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Here’s a fun fact:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3moGo7g

Welp, this is uncomfortably accurate.:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/37VLLqq 


The House and Senate are out.  

President Trump is in Nevada, Arizona and Florida today. Vice President Pence is in Wisconsin and Michigan.  

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is meeting with public health experts, delivering remarks on health care and attending a virtual fundraiser. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border Head of Border Patrol resigning from post Migrant children face alarming conditions in US shelter: BBC investigation MORE (D-Calif.) is in Arizona. 

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves for Mosinee, Wis.

2:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves Las Vegas and flies to Arizona. 

5:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence flies to Michigan. 

7:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves Arizona and flies to Doral Fla.

9:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence lands in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, Oct. 29: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “America's Agenda: Infrastructure.” Featured speakers: Reps. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate path uncertain after House approves Jan. 6 panel Capitol Police Board signals resistance to reform McCarthy says that he will not support bipartisan deal for Jan. 6 commission MORE (R-Ill.), Sam GravesSamuel (Sam) Bruce GravesGOP lawmaker points to Colonial Pipeline as infrastructure vulnerability Gas shortages spread to more states Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (R-Mo.) and Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonSenate dives into DC statehood debate in second hearing GOP senator on DC statehood: 'No one is compelled to actually' live there Senate to hold hearing on DC statehood bill MORE (D-D.C.). Details and how to RSVPhttps://bit.ly/35PtcBZ


3 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Bullhead City, Ariz. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3kBxUsR

3:35 p.m. EDT: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) campaigns in Tucson, Ariz. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3e5W9x4

4:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds a campaign rally in Mosinee, Wis. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2HIPHQk

5:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Goodyear, Ariz. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2TyVhHY 

7 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds a campaign rally in Flint, Mich. Livestream: https://cs.pn/34BTurP 

7:35 p.m. EDT: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) campaigns in Phoenix. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/2TtqPPr


Today is National Chocolate Day! To celebrate, here’s a list of chocolate deals today — thanks for compiling the list, Thrillist!: https://bit.ly/3e2bTBh

A free taco for you! And a free taco for you!:

“Taco Bell is handing out free tacos Wednesday thanks to Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts' stolen base in Game 1 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.” Details: https://bit.ly/3e4w3KG

And because you made it this far, you deserve to see a dog pretending it’s awake — and doing a pretty good job!: https://bit.ly/2Tvto3c