The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden's first news conference since taking office


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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: Happening soon — Biden’s first news conference since taking office | 9 questions he could face | Biden tasks Harris with immigration | Unemployment claims fall to lowest level since COVID pandemic began | Trump discusses his own social media platform



*record scratch* *freeze frame* yup. that's me. so you're probably wondering how I got myself into this situation:

President BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE is set to hold his first news conference of his presidency this afternoon. 

What time: 1:15 p.m. EDT

How to watch — here’s the livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3vWFXGM


  • Are you going to raise taxes?
  • What can your administration do to stem the wave of migrants at the border?
  • Why don’t you have more Asian Americans in your Cabinet?
  • How are you going to respond to China's aggression? 

Context and more questions Biden could face, including on guns and the filibuster: Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels:  https://bit.ly/2PwX4yw 

Tidbit from yesterday — Biden had jokes


President Biden is ready for his press conference


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/39bZCJm

It’s Thursday! The 2021 MLB season begins a week from today. It’s spring, my friends! 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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It's time to update internet regulations



The internet has changed a lot in the 25 years since lawmakers last passed comprehensive internet regulations. It’s time for an update. 

See how we’re making progress on key issues and why we support updated regulations to set clear rules for addressing today’s toughest challenges.



The Tech Titan Triplets — TTT if you will — are back together:

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergMark Zuckerberg, meet Jean-Jacques Rousseau? Republican legislators target private sector election grants Advocacy group accuses Facebook of fueling anti-Muslim hate MORE, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are testifying on Capitol Hill this afternoon to discuss the spread of misinformation and how to stop it. 

How to watch — here’s the livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3cly1qT


Via MarketWatch’s Jon Swartzhttps://on.mktw.net/31gDLft


For the first time since the pandemic began:

Via The Hill’s Niv Elis, “Initial Unemployment Claims for the week ending March 20 fell below 700,000, the first time below that number in a year, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 684,000.” https://bit.ly/31gfuGn

What that means: “It was the first week since the pandemic began that weekly claims fell below the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 set in 1982, though they remain above the Great Recession high of 665,000.”

Yes, but: “But the top-line figures mask deeper levels of pain still going on in the economy.” How sohttps://bit.ly/31gfuGn


Hey, Kamala. I have a quick favor to ask. Could you please solve the border crisis and just, well … immigration? K THX!:

President Biden has chosen Vice President Harris to lead his administration’s immigration efforts, including to curb the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. https://bit.ly/3rjc8gk

Biden announced yesterday: “I have asked her, the VP, today, because she is the most qualified person to do it, to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle and the countries that are going to need help in stemming the movement of so many folks, stemming the migration to our southern border.” 

Harris’s approach will be twofold: “A White House official said Harris’s work will run along two tracks — first to address the swell of migrants at the southern border, and second to build long-term partnerships with the Central American countries the people are fleeing.”


Can we just get a lil’ ~do over~? You know, between friends?:

Via The New York Times’s Rebecca Robbins and Benjamin Mueller, “AstraZeneca reiterated on Wednesday that its Covid-19 vaccine was very effective at preventing the disease, based on more recent data than was included when the company announced the interim results of its U.S. clinical trial on Monday.” https://nyti.ms/3rox4Cx

For context: “The company said in a news release that its vaccine was 76 percent effective at preventing Covid-19. That is slightly lower than the efficacy number that the company announced earlier this week.” 

What this means for the vaccine: “The new results strengthen the scientific case for the embattled vaccine. But they may not repair the damage to AstraZeneca’s credibility after U.S. health officials and independent monitors issued an extraordinary rebuke of the company for not counting some Covid-19 cases when it announced its initial findings this week.”

How experts are hoping to convince skeptics to get vaccinated:

Via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel and Reid Wilson, “Top public health experts and officials are developing new strategies to reach out to the conservatives most skeptical of or hesitant about receiving a coronavirus vaccine.” https://bit.ly/3fcoHYg 

The biggest hurdle: Convincing supporters of former President Donald Trump

How to accomplish this: “The officials and experts are making appearances on Fox News and Newsmax and taking part on panels with prominent conservative politicians to reach out to vaccine skeptics on the right.”

Keep in mind: “The public health experts are not taking an antagonistic approach either. They say many conservatives have legitimate questions about COVID-19 vaccinations that are worth listening to and answering.”


Via The New York Times’s Jason Horowitz and Emma Bubola, “Bureaucratic inertia, a diffusion of responsibility and logistical problems have seriously undercut vaccination efforts. In Italy, it’s the older population that bears the brunt.” https://nyti.ms/3rsFjh6


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 30,014,615 — yes, we just topped 30 million cases in the U.S.

U.S. death toll: 545,317 

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


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 130 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 2.49 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH



Internet regulations need an update



It’s been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. But a lot has changed since 1996. 

See how we’re taking action and why we support updated regulations to address today’s challenges — protecting privacy, fighting misinformation, reforming Section 230, and more.



Coming soon to a social media market near you (well, maybe):

Via Axios’s Jonathan Swan and Sara Fischer, former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE is discussing creating his own social media network. https://bit.ly/3d6569x 

Details: Trump’s team is in talks with a lesser-known app platform called FreeSpace “as he contemplates partnering with an existing platform to create his own social media network.”  

What we know — there are a lot of unknowns: https://bit.ly/3d6569x


Oh PLEASE make a bird beak print:

Watch the video to see what I mean. 


Nose only mask




The House is out. The Senate is in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

9:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.

10:45 a.m. EDT: Four roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/3rfPtRW

3:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden meets virtually with the European Council during its summit. 

5:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffHarris moves into official residence after delay Harris puts DC condo up for sale The Hill's Morning Report - Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure MORE participate in the White House’s virtual Passover celebration.


11 a.m. EDT: Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHolder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ Capitol Police officer killed in car attack lies in honor in Capitol Rotunda Rep. Andy Kim on Asian hate: 'I've never felt this level of fear' MORE (D-N.Y.) held a news conference. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3soe88a

Noon: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify on misinformation. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3cly1qT

1 p.m. EDT: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The COVID-19 Vaccine & the New Era of Manufacturing.” Details and livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3tUWjhC 

1:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden holds his first news conference of his term. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3vWFXGM


Today is National Lobster Newburg Day.

Bahaha, we don’t deserve you, Onion:


Onion article of people getting glazed at Krispy Kreme


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3dbwHGy 

The fine print: “Spraying our patrons head-to-toe in a fresh, piping-hot layer of our trademark icing is our way of saying thank you to those who choose to get vaccinated. After everything our communities have been through during this pandemic, we think it’s important to stop and enjoy the things that make life worth living. Please note this offer is limited to one ride per customer per dose of an FDA-approved immunization.” The full storyhttps://bit.ly/2P9NP7j


Krispy Kreme is offering vaccinated customers a free doughnut every day this year. https://cbsn.ws/3rnsrbK 

Tidbit — not everyone is pleased with this promotion: For example, in a Twitter thread, a doctor made the case against giving people free doughnuts. 

“First, if someone indeed eats an Original Glazed #KrispyKreme donut every day as your offer provides, and changed no other aspects of their diet/exercise, they'd gain approximately 15 pounds by the end of 2021.” Her full thread of tweets — excuse me while I cover my eyes and ears and repeatedly hum ‘la la la’https://bit.ly/3vXRTbj

Did birds write this headline?:

“New study finds birds give people as much happiness as money.” https://bit.ly/39bfOdx



And to lean into my accidental bird themed newsletter today, here’s a bird strutting its stuff: https://bit.ly/2PncaX8

^ Seriously, I didn’t notice the theme until I finished writing. It’s also ironic because I’m pretty creeped out by birds.