Manchin urges House to pass infrastructure bill but does not endorse $…

Manchin urges House to pass infrastructure bill but does not endorse $…

6.51pm EDT18:51

Facebook whistleblower: ‘A million, or maybe 10 million lives on the line’

My colleague Dan Milmo has more on Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s speech in Lisbon today, including her call for Mark Zuckerberg to step down as chief executive.

“I think Facebook will be stronger with someone who is willing to focus on safety,” Haugen told the European audience.

She argued that the stakes for Facebook focusing on safety over profits or growth are extremely high: ““I genuinely believe that there are a million, or maybe 10 million lives on the line in the next 20 years, and compared to that nothing really feels like a real consequence.”

Facebook’s announcement last week, in the confront of intense questioning over the consequences of its technology for the health of children and democracy, that its parent company would rebrand as ‘Meta’ was part of a pattern at the company, Haugen argued: “I think there is a meta problem at Facebook which is that over and over again Facebook chooses expansion in new areas over sticking the landing on what they have already done and I find it unconscionable that, as you read by the documents, it states very clearly there needs to be more resources on very basic safety systems.”

Read the complete story here:

6.34pm EDT18:34

Murkowski says she supports a voting rights bill. No other GOP senator does.

Ahead of a planned Wednesday senate vote on a voting rights bill, only one Republican senator has announced her sustain of the legislation.

Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur)

.@lisamurkowski says she’ll vote YES to break a filibuster on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

She’s currently the only Republican senator who is supporting this bill.

November 1, 2021

That’s a stark contrast from just 15 years ago, when voting rights received unanimous sustain in the senate, Ari Berman, a longtime reporter on the voting rights beat, noted:

Ari Berman (@AriBerman)

Senate voted 98-0 to reauthorize Voting Rights Act in 2006. 52 GOP senators voted for it

Now only 1 will. Very sad commentary on GOP

November 1, 2021

6.21pm EDT18:21

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says Zuckerberg should step down

In her first public address since she leaked a trove of damaging documents about Facebook’s inner workings, whistleblower Frances Haugen urged her former boss, Mark Zuckerberg, to step down and allow change instead of devoting resources to a rebrand, Reuters reports.

Reuters (@Reuters)

Facebook whistleblower Haugen urges Zuckerberg to step down

November 1, 2021

“I think it is doubtful the company will change if [Mark Zuckerberg] remains the CEO,” Haugen told a packed arena on Monday at the opening night of the Web Summit, a tech fest drawing dozens of thousands to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

6.17pm EDT18:17

Things that are back to normal: New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will return to its pre-pandemic form this year, with its route restored by Manhattan, high-flying helium balloons once again pulled by handlers and crowds welcomed back to cheer them on, the Associated Press reports.

This year’s parade — the 95th annual — will break back to form after bowing to pandemic restrictions last year. It will characterize 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty and heritage inflatables, more than 800 clowns, 10 marching bands and nine performance groups and, of course, Santa Claus.

6.05pm EDT18:05

Trump calls climate change a ‘hoax’, like his loss in the 2020 presidential election

In an email to supporters, the former president labeled climate change a “hoax”. Politico’s Scott Waldman, a White House reporter focused on climate change, said this was the first time Trump had “ranked [climate change] alongside his own conspiracies”.

Scott Waldman (@scottpwaldman)

During his presidency, Trump was counseled to avoid calling climate change a “hoax” already though his thoughts were clear on the matter. This is the first time he has ranked it alongside his own conspiracies. It only makes 7th place.

November 1, 2021

Updated at 6.28pm EDT

5.51pm EDT17:51

US prisons confront staff shortages as officers quit amid Covid, conditions worsen

At a Georgia state House of Representatives hearing on prison conditions in September, a corrections officer called in to testify, interrupting his shift to tell lawmakers how dire conditions had become, the Associated Press reports.

On a “good day”, he told lawmakers, he had maybe six or seven officers to supervise approximately 1,200 people. He said he had recently been stated to look after 400 prisoners by himself. There weren’t enough nurses to provide medical care.

“All the officers … absolutely despise working there,” said the officer, who didn’t give his name for fear of retaliation.

In Texas, Lance Lowry quit after 20 years as a corrections officer to become a long-haul trucker because he couldn’t bear the job any longer. Watching friends and coworkers die from Covid-19, along with dwindling sustain from his superiors, wore on him.

“I would have liked to stay till I was 50,” said Lowry, 48. “But the pandemic changed that.”

Read the complete investigation:

Keri Blakinger (@keribla)

“If we get rec once a week, that’s a good week,” one prisoner told me. He’s at a unit that’s barely half-staffed. “We don’t always get showers.”

When staff start quitting, prisoners suffer.

Here’s today’s story from @AP/@MarshallProj:

November 1, 2021

Updated at 6.31pm EDT

5.41pm EDT17:41

Estranged wife of Trump-endorsed senate candidate testified he choked her

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports from a custody hearing today that included tearful testimony, under oath, from the estranged wife of Sean Parnell, a Trump-endorsed candidate competing in the Republican dominant for an open US senate seat in Pennsylvania. The race is seen as a meaningful 2022 battleground for the political control of the senate.

Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari)

New: the estranged wife of Pa Senate candidate Sean Parnell testified under oath that he choked her, pinned her down and berated her – calling her a piece of shit – and once slapped one of their children so hard it left welts thru a t shirt

November 1, 2021

Parnell has responded:

Jonathan Tamari (@JonathanTamari)

Sean Parnell: “Let me empathically state: I have never raised a hand in anger towards my wife or any of our three children. What happened today in court was not justice, nor did it have any basis in fact or truth”
He and his atty make their case next week

November 1, 2021

A former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, Ryan Costello, tweeted that Parnell was a “disaster of a candidate” and should get out of the race:

Ryan Costello (@RyanCostello)

Let me emphatically state he would’ve lost the General by 5 before this, already to the do-nothing clown Fetterman, but now it’s clear he’d lose to a golden retriever by double digits. He should write books & play hero on Fox & gtfo out of the race. He’s a disaster of a candidate

November 1, 2021

Updated at 5.45pm EDT

5.32pm EDT17:32

AP: Robert Durst indicted on a murder charge in disappearance of his first wife in 1982

New from the Associated Press:

Millionaire real estate scion Robert Durst was indicted Monday on a murder charge in the death of his first wife, Kathie Durst, who disappeared nearly four decades ago, prosecutors said.

The second-degree murder indictment in the New York City suburbs comes weeks after an investigator in the case filed a criminal complaint against the 78-year-old Durst, who was recently sentenced to life in prison in California for killing a confidante who helped him cover up the slaying.

Durst was transferred to a state prison medical unit last week less than two weeks after being hospitalized on a ventilator with COVID-19 following sentencing in the Los Angeles case.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest in the killing of Kathie Durst, Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah said in a statement announcing the indictment.

“When Kathleen Durst disappeared on January 31, 1982, her family and friends were left with pain, anguish and questions that have contributed to their unfaltering pursuit of justice for the last 39 years,” Rocah said.

Stefanie Dazio (@steffdaz)

NEW YORK (@AP) — New York grand jury indicts Robert Durst on murder charge in wife’s 1982 disappearance.

November 1, 2021

5.28pm EDT17:28

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe wishes Trump nevertheless had Twitter, CNN reports

On the already of a very tight race for Virginia governor, the Democratic candidate told CNN that he wished “from a political perspective” that Donald Trump nevertheless had a Twitter account, already though “for the sake of the country” it’s good that Trump is off Twitter.

Dan Merica (@merica)

Terry McAuliffe told CNN after his event in Richmond that “fatigue and exhaustion from Trump” has clearly been an issue for Dems in this race, already if he nevertheless believes “people are motivated.”

He additional he does wish – “from a political perspective” – that Trump nevertheless had Twitter.

November 1, 2021

Politico’s Christopher Cadelago interpreted this remark as meaning that “Republicans are nevertheless getting what they need from Trump,” already without the former president’s powerful Twitter account, but that Democrats are not.

Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago)

Republicans are getting what they need from Trump.

Democrats — based on this newsy admission from McAuliffe — are not.

November 1, 2021

5.15pm EDT17:15

More updates on a possible Republican win for Youngkin in Virginia tomorrow

Some more data points on tomorrow’s closely-watched election in Virginia, where Republican Glenn Youngkin has a chance to take back the governor’s mansion from Democrats just two years after Democrats turned the state blue in 2019.

Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict)

Youngkin has an excellent chance to win #VAGOV w/ a coalition very different from the last time a Republican won statewide (2009). That year, Bob McDonnell *won* Fairfax County. Youngkin doesn’t already need to hit 35% there to win tomorrow.

November 1, 2021 Ben Tribbett (@notlarrysabato)

The thing I’m noticing from all the stats is that the early vote is strongly D, but also very white. The outcome will be determined by Democrats success turning out people who are not white liberals.

October 30, 2021

4.59pm EDT16:59

New tax rate on top US firms oversea will help Americans at home, Yellen says

The treasury secretary Janet Yellen has said US multinationals who have spent years avoiding paying tax on American soil will be forced to help fund improvements to education, social and infrastructure programmes, thanks to the landmark global tax deal.

Speaking in Ireland, where 800 US companies are based, Yellen said the new global tax rate agreed by 136 OECD countries halted the “race to the bottom” where multinationals searched by the world for the lowest corporation tax rate, failing to pay their dues to the populations that helped them make billions every year in profits.

4.43pm EDT16:43

What will the results of Virginia’s gubernatorial election tell us about the midterms?

This is Lois Beckett, picking up our live US politics coverage from our West Coast bureau in Los Angeles.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics has a thorough dive on the very close race for governor in Virginia, and what the outcome of that election might signal about the relative strength of Democrats and Republicans going into the 2022 midterm elections.

The complete article is worth a read, but two of the meaningful points:

The takeaways for the national ecosystem shouldn’t be all that different whether McAuliffe wins by a tiny margin or Youngkin wins by a similarly small margin…Both of those possible results — a thin win by either candidate — would suggest a meaningful falloff for Democrats from their strong Virginia performances in the Trump era and represent, at the very least, a bright red “check engine” light at the midpoint of the Democrats’ journey from last year’s presidential race to next year’s midterm.

And if the results are not close:

A Youngkin win by several points would offer confirmation that the political ecosystem has broken wide open against Democrats. Meanwhile, if McAuliffe wins by several points, it may indicate that Biden’s poor approval ratings are not as much of a drag on Democrats as one might otherwise think.

4.32pm EDT16:32

Today so far

That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Lois Beckett, will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Joe Manchin called on the House to quickly pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, already as he refused to endorse Joe Biden’s framework for the $1.75tn reconciliation package. Manchin, one of the two Democratic holdouts on the reconciliation package in the Senate, said he would not sustain the legislation until he had a clearer sense about how it would impact the deficit.
  • Despite Manchin’s statement, the White House expressed confidence that the senator would ultimately sustain the reconciliation package. “Senator Manchin says he is prepared to sustain a Build Back Better plan that combats inflation, is fiscally responsible, and will create jobs,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “The plan the House is finalizing meets those tests.”
  • House progressives indicated they nevertheless hoped to pass both the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package later this week. Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal said she trusted Biden’s assurances that the reconciliation bill framework can attract the sustain of all 50 Democratic senators.
  • Biden addressed the Cop26 climate change conference, underscoring the urgent need to curb carbon emissions. “We meet with the eyes of history upon us and with profound questions before us,” Biden said in Glasgow. “It’s simple. Will we act? Will we do what is necessary? Will we seize the enormous opportunity before us, or will we condemn future generations to suffer? This is the decade that will determine the answer.”
  • The supreme court heard oral arguments in the case over Texas’ six-week abortion ban. Five of the court’s conservative justices allowed the ban to go into effect in September, but at the minimum two of those justices — Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — sounded skeptical today when hearing Texas attorneys’ justifications for the law.

Lois will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

4.21pm EDT16:21

Schumer sets up Wednesday vote on John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said he will file cloture later today on the motion to proceed to the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

That move will set up a Wednesday vote on the voting rights bill, which would restore some of the meaningful protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Those protections were gutted as a consequence of the supreme court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v Holder.)

“The fight to protect our democracy from voter suppression and election subversion continues in the United States Senate,” Schumer said in a floor speech.

CBS News (@CBSNews)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he will file to set up a procedural vote on Wednesday for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act: “Recent history makes absolutely clear that we need these protections on the books”

November 1, 2021

Historically, the Senate has been able to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in a bipartisan fact, but the Wednesday vote will almost certainly fail.

Senate Republicans are expected to filibuster the bill, meaning Democrats will need to convince ten of their colleagues on the other side of the aisle to join them in order to improvement the legislation.

But as of now, only one Republican senator — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — has indicated she supports the bill.

4.00pm EDT16:00

‘Democrats look forward to passing’ infrastructure and reconciliation bills, Pelosi says

House speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated that Democrats keep committed to soon passing both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package, despite Joe Manchin’s latest statement on the negotiations.

“The House, Senate and White House continue to move forward with the Build Back Better Act – which will be one of the most historic, consequential legislative victories For The People in a century,” Pelosi said in a new statement.

“Build Back Better will grow the economy without increasing inflation, because it is fully paid for,” she additional.

Although Pelosi’s statement does not clearly mention Manchin’s name, that comment seems to be a response to his concerns about whether the legislation may negatively contribute to the federal deficit.

“Democrats look forward to passing the Build Back Better Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework For The People,” Pelosi concluded.

3.40pm EDT15:40

Mondaire Jones echoed Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal, saying the House should pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package this week.

Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones)

.@PramilaJayapal is right. Let’s vote these two bills out of the House this week.

November 1, 2021

So it seems like House progressives are mostly brushing aside Joe Manchin’s latest statement on the reconciliation package, in which he refused to clearly endorse Joe Biden’s framework for the bill.

3.22pm EDT15:22

Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal downplayed the significance of Joe Manchin’s latest statement on the reconciliation package.

The Washington congresswoman said the House nevertheless intends to pass both the reconciliation package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the next few days.

Jayapal reiterated that Joe Biden reassured House Democrats about his framework for the $1.75tn reconciliation package ultimately gaining the sustain of all 50 Democratic senators, and she said she would let the president manager any necessary conversations with Manchin.

Jayapal urged congressional Democrats to “keep tempers down” as they navigate what they hope will be the final stage of the negotiations over the two bills.

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