Facebook and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:
Whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook manager who alleges that Facebook is actively putting the company’s growth over public interests, is testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee on protecting children online.
Watch her testimony: It started at 10 a.m. EDT: https://bit.ly/3Dd0Pwj
FROM THE HEARING SO FAR:
On Facebook’s power: "A company with such frightening influence over so many people—over their deepest thoughts, feelings and behavior—needs real oversight.” Watch: https://bit.ly/3Fkz2fd
On Facebook’s lack of transparency: "Almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside of Facebook. The company intentionally hides vital information from the public, from the U.S. government, and from governments around the world." Watch Haugen elaborate: https://bit.ly/3oAzhgk
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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.
HEADING INTO TODAY:
Here is a quick primer on what we know: https://bit.ly/2YoXVpq
What we know about Frances Haugen: From CNN: https://cnn.it/3DsTJnR
IF YOU MISSED THE ’60 MINUTES’ CLIP:
Here’s the segment: https://cbsn.ws/3ivmcBa
It’s Tuesday! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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FROM THE FACEBOOK OUTAGE
This made me realize how often I mindlessly open Instagram:
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were down for around six hours yesterday.
So what even happened?: “The outage … was caused by ‘configuration changes on the backbone routers,’ [Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure, said,] without specifying exactly what the changes were. The changes caused ‘issues’ that interrupted the flow of traffic between routers in Facebook’s data centers around the world, he added.” More from CNBC: https://cnb.cx/300dJQ7
TIMING — IT’S BEEN A TOUGH STRETCH FOR THE COMPANY:
“At a Senate hearing on Sept. 30, Sen. Richard Blumenthal pressed Facebook global head of safety Antigone Davis on Facebook-owned Instagram and the platform's potential negative impact on children, particularly young girls.”
“On Sunday, ‘60 Minutes’ aired a segment in which Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen claimed the company is aware of how its platforms are used to spread hate, violence and misinformation, and that Facebook has tried to hide that evidence. Facebook has pushed back on those claims.”
More on Facebook’s bad stretch, via CNN’s Clare Duffy and Sean Lyngaas: https://cnn.it/3Dd1pdv
SOME OF MY FAVORITE REACTIONS:
I mean, did anyone else think to try this?!:
Hahaha: The Daily Beast’s Sam Brodey tweeted, “Damn, Sen. Blumenthal actually shut down finsta” https://bit.ly/3mjPkwc
If you don’t understand that Blumenthal tweet: Basically, Blumenthal mistook a slang phrase for a private Instagram account. Here’s the story and clip from last week: https://bit.ly/3DsF7Vx
NEWS THIS MORNING
A suspicious package at the Supreme Court:
Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “Capitol Police removed a man from a suspicious vehicle in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning after a roughly hour-long incident, a day after the court convened for a new session.” https://bit.ly/2ZYKY6p
Capitol Police then warned people of a possible loud bang: Roll Call’s Chris Marquette tweeted. “Capitol Police just sent this out: ‘The USCP is preparing to disrupt a Suspicious Vehicle in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building. A loud bang may be heard in the area. There is no cause for alarm, and no action needs to be taken by Congressional Staff.’” https://bit.ly/2Yp7yEE
Marquette videoed the disruption: Watch: https://bit.ly/3DiC8yN
LATEST WITH THE DEBT CEILING
Giving it the old college try:
Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters McConnell-aligned group targeting Kelly, Cortez Masto and Hassan with M ad campaign MORE (D-N.Y.) has teed up a Wednesday vote to try once again to suspend the debt ceiling through Dec. 2022. https://bit.ly/3iAOdHv
I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if this passes: 10 Republican “yes” votes are needed for the measure to pass. Right now that doesn’t seem like a possibility.
Then why is Schumer teeing up the vote?: To put pressure on Republicans
^ Schumer said on the Senate floor yesterday: "Even a near-miss can have dramatic consequences —every single day we delay taking action, we increase the chances of doing irreversible damage to our global financial system, our economic recovery and trust in our country’s ability to pay its debts.”
Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “The White House and Democrats sought Monday to make Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights MORE (R-Ky.) feel some political pain for the high-stakes poker game he is playing with Democrats over raising the debt ceiling.” https://bit.ly/3aaEAKY
How: “Democrats engaged in a choreographed effort to convince voters that the GOP leader would be responsible for a debt default. President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE took a starring role, using the bully pulpit to say the U.S. faced a real possibility of defaulting, and that McConnell would be to blame.
LATEST WITH THE SPENDING PACKAGES
Howdy, rock! ... How are you holding up, hard place?!:
Via The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda, “Democrats face challenges in reducing the size of their wide-ranging social spending package, a task that will be necessary in order to get key centrists to support a bill.” https://bit.ly/3mtuHOe
Options for cutting back the spending plans: “There are several ways that Democrats could go about cutting down the size of their plan, from shortening the duration of spending programs and excluding others to cutting back the availability of various priorities and making some less generous.”
What could happen now: https://bit.ly/3mtuHOe
BIDEN IS STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF A TRICKY DEMOCRATIC FIGHT:
Read the column from The Hill’s Niall Stanage: https://bit.ly/3oOhUcj
ATTACKS ON SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA TURN INCREASINGLY PERSONAL:
Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester: https://bit.ly/3Fgvafo
LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
“A study published on Monday in The Lancet medical journal found that the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine fell below 50 percent after about six months after the second dose.” https://bit.ly/3DfhsYg
From the study: “Pfizer's vaccine was 88 percent effective in the first month after full vaccination but dropped to 47 percent effectiveness at about six months. The vaccine was also found to be highly effective against the delta variant, which was found to be over 90 percent effective in the first months before dropping to 53 percent effectiveness after four months.”
Read the Pfizer-funded study: https://bit.ly/3izmVkM
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 43,858,922
U.S. death toll: 703,550
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 397 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 900,434 doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
That is a hill I will die on.
The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden is in Michigan today. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C.
9 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
10:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden held a virtual meeting with House Democrats to discuss the infrastructure bill and social spending package.
11:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for Michigan.
11:30 a.m. EDT: A cloture vote on a nomination in the Senate.
2:15 p.m. EDT: Two more roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3izx01d
3 p.m. EDT: President Biden visits the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 training facility in Howell, Mich.
6 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris participates in a virtual finance event for the Democratic National Committee.
6:40 p.m. EDT: President Biden returns to the White House.
WHAT TO WATCH:
12:15 p.m. EDT: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-PierreKarine Jean-PierreBiden intends to sign short-term bill raising debt ceiling Biden, Manchin huddle on reconciliation White House calls debt ceiling compromise 'positive step forward' MORE speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3DdzxWN
3:30 pm. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on the infrastructure bill and social spending package. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3mtat7g
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Apple Betty Day.
And because you read this far, here is BY FAR the best squirrel feeder I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to give anything away, so just watch: https://bit.ly/3oAKz4s