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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.
IN WASHINGTON, DC
Please be a dud. Please be a dud.:
Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “Washington is bracing for Saturday's ‘Justice for J6’ rally where demonstrators will be backing people who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6 — a scarring memory for many in the Capitol Hill community worried about a potential repeat of that day’s terror.” https://bit.ly/3zhl4H2
The enormous pressure security forces are under to prevent a repeat attack: https://bit.ly/3nHwIZF
Road closures in D.C.: Via Fox 5 DC: https://bit.ly/3CfXU5G
THE GOAL OF TOMORROW’S RALLY — ‘TO REWRITE JAN. 6 HISTORY’:
Via The Associated Press’s Brian Slodysko: https://bit.ly/3EvacJ8
DHS IS WARNING OF POTENTIAL VIOLENCE TODAY AND TOMORROW:
Via CNN’s Geneva Sands, The Department of Homeland Security shared a briefing with local authorities on the threat of violence on the day of the rally — and the day before.
Anything specific?: Not that we know of. https://cnn.it/3lvXCB2
TRUMP CALLED TOMORROW’S RALLY A ‘SETUP’:
In an interview with The Federalist’s Sean Davis, former President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE commented on Saturday’s demonstration. In Trump’s words: “On Saturday, that’s a setup,” Trump said. “If people don’t show up they’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of spirit.’ And if people do show up they’ll be harassed.” https://bit.ly/3Esy7sH
It’s Friday! 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 email@example.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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Internet regulations are as outdated as dial-up
Facebook supports updated regulations, including four areas where lawmakers can make quick progress:
– Reforming Section 230
– Preventing foreign interference of our elections
– Passing federal privacy law
– Setting rules that allow people to safely transfer data between services
Will it give us a magic Mario Kart booster start?!:
A Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory committee meets to discuss whether booster shots are needed for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Do we know how this will go?: It could get tricky. “The meeting and vote … come amid a fraught debate within the Biden administration about whether booster shots are needed now, and for whom. If the discussion mirrors the acrimony in the administration, the expert committee may end up divided, complicating the F.D.A.’s decision.”
Is this panel the end all be all?: It doesn’t have to be. “The F.D.A. is not obligated to follow the advice of the committee, but often does. The panel’s meetings earlier in the pandemic to consider vaccine authorizations were mostly agreeable, ending in decisive votes in favor of the F.D.A.’s presumed position.”
More on what to expect, via The New York Times’s Noah Weiland and Sharon LaFraniere: https://nyti.ms/3hFHH1I
Livestream of today's meeting: https://bit.ly/3hHETkL
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 41,796,204
U.S. death toll: 670,128
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 383 million doses have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 781,574 doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Why you keep seeing headlines about Mark MilleyMark MilleyPoll: New Hampshire Senate race tight Republicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' We've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive MORE:
Veteran journalist Bob Woodward and The Washington Post's Robert Costa published excerpts of their new book, in which they describe calls from Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to his Chinese counterparts in the final stretch of former President Trump’s administration.
The gist of the revelations: Via The Associated Press’s Jonathan Lemire and Robert Burns, “[F]earful of Trump’s actions in his final weeks as president, twice called his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the United States was not going to attack China. One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that Trump lost. The second call was on Jan. 8, 2021, less than two weeks before Biden’s inauguration and just two days after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Trump.” https://bit.ly/2YXAHqq
The newsy quote from Milley to China, according to the book: “You and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.” https://bit.ly/3kj0RMM
Read the excerpt in The Washington Post: https://wapo.st/3zdLCc4
Republicans are furious: Milley has come under attack from Republicans who allege that Milley leaked classified information to the Chinese. https://bit.ly/3kj0RMM
HOW THIS COULD FURTHER POLITICIZE THE MILITARY:
Via The Washington Post’s Missy Ryan: https://wapo.st/3CiOFSj
General Mark Milley spoke with The Associated Press, where he defended his calls as “routine.” https://bit.ly/3hJFAdj
“In his first public comments on the conversations, Gen. Mark Milley said such calls are ‘routine’ and were done ‘to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case in order to ensure strategic stability.’”
Why Facebook supports updated internet privacy regulations
Protecting privacy means something different than it did in 1996 — the last time comprehensive internet regulations were passed.
We’ve introduced tools like Privacy Checkup that help people control their information. Now we need updated regulations to set consistent data protection standards.
To quote Miley Cyrus, it’s the cliiiiiiiimb:
Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, Democrats are set to face the toughest stretch yet in passing President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE’s agenda. https://bit.ly/3hHplxc
Progress this week: “House Democrats this week wrapped up the bulk of committee work on a $3.5 trillion package of social benefits and climate programs — a massive undertaking that advances what would be a legacy-defining domestic agenda for President Biden.”
^ That was just the easy part: 13 committees separately agreed to their relevant parts of the legislation. Now those separate pieces must be ironed out into one piece of legislation. Good luck…
What to expect: https://bit.ly/3hHplxc
Lol, hello and welcome!:
My favorite reaction to the setup: Politico’s Bake Hounshell tweeted, “7/10 add books and pineapple” https://bit.ly/39u72aF
The House and Senate are out. President Biden is heading to Delaware this afternoon.
10 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
12:20 p.m. EDT: President Biden leaves for Rehoboth Beach, Del.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Today: A Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory committee meets to discuss booster shots. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3hHETkL
8:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden reconvened the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) to discuss climate change. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3ke1p6p
11:45 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3tMZVmR
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Apple Dumpling Day.
Via Fox 5 DC, six lions and three tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19.
We’re still waiting for the official test result, though: “Animal keepers observed symptoms like decreased appetites, coughing and sneezing in several of the animals last week. Officials say final test results are expected in the next few days.” https://bit.ly/3tSKREb
Lol, I can’t stop thinking about this: My colleague, Reid Wilson tweeted: “Imagine having to do those nose swabs” https://bit.ly/3tLsRf2
And to get your weekend off to a good start, here’s how dogs make phone calls: https://bit.ly/3nHGUkT
^ Make sure your sound is on ;)