Enrollment for ACA health insurance begins today and lasts until December 15. Tell everyone you know! [FactPower note: Please see FactPower's enrollment information here.]
NEW YORK ATTACK
The president this morning tweeted that the attacker got to the United States by way of a visa lottery program called the Diversity Visa Program he blamed Chuck Schumer for. I'm just going to fact check that real quick, with the help of Senator Flake:
1) Visa information is not public, so IF we know how the man got his green card yet, it's knowledge that right now only the FBI has. The State Department even issued a statement yesterday saying as much.
2) Senator Flake this morning retweeted the presidents tweet and said: "Actually, the Gang of 8, including @SenSchumer, did away with the Diversity Visa Program as part of broader reforms. I know, I was there."
3) The president has access to the most up-to-date and in-depth Intelligence in the world. This was nothing more than lashing out at his political enemy to exploit a situation.
I'm having some serious déjà vu this week with all that's going on in this space.
Here's the conclusion our office has come to about this whole thing. They may very well come out with a bill tomorrow (it's still really not certain that they will), but no matter what they come out with tomorrow will change. They're going to have to walk back all of the pay-fors because they'll piss too many people off, and then they'll be back at square one trying to make up for a $5.5 trillion deficit loss (only $1.5 trillion is allowed under budget rules).
I know this is all very wonky. On Marketplace this morning, there was a great conversation about the tax bill. Here's the link so you can listen: https://www.marketplace.org/latest
The lawyers from Facebook, Twitter and Google got ripped apart yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and as we speak they're about to experience that same thing by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
At this stage, what lawmakers seem to want to know most is:
1) What kind of platform are these online companies: social platforms or content platforms. The differentiation is important because if Facebook, Twitter and Google are purely social and not producing their own content, the onus to regulate that content falls on them (and they claim that they're improving there). If they are producing their own content, which some groups and politicians claim they are, then some think the government has the responsibility to regulate ads just like they do on TV and the radio.
2) Right now, these platforms, especially Facebook, are resisting regulation. They claim that it's too hard to root out hostile actors purchasing political ads, but they're trying. The exchange between Al Franken and Facebook's lawyer yesterday demonstrated that, so google that and watch it.
I'm sure today's hearing, which just started, will focus more on the national security aspects of this conversation, rather than the legal points. This will definitely be a meatier conversation because this is the committee that's been most effective investigating Russian meddling in the election.
Other than that, there's not terribly much going on up here today. It's open enrollment day, so spread the word (also a very good Morning Edition story on that this AM). I'm tuning into the Intel hearing now, and will of course keep you posted.
Moore was on Capitol Hill yesterday, and it didn't go so well.
DEPT OF JUSTICE NOMINATIONS
New batch of DOJ nominations. All men. This brings the ration to 50:3 for DOJ noms...