The good news: America should be able to get together safely for the holidays. The bad news: Older relatives and the kids might have to get daily at-home COVID-19 tests to make it happen. Former Food and Drug Administration chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb offered his mixed prediction Monday about the upcoming end-of-year holiday season with Thanksgiving just six weeks away. “Certainly we will be (able to celebrate),” Gottlieb said. “Now have the tools available to create a much more protected safe setting for families to gather around the holidays.” But Gottlieb laid out a scenario that certainly did...
Capitol rioter disavows Trump in bid to leave jail: ‘He should be ostracized from any political future’
An accused U.S. Capitol rioter has been allowed to return home as he awaits trial because a federal judge believes he's more likely to become further radicalized in jail.
Thomas Sibick, who is accused of assaulting D.C. metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone and stealing his radio and badge, was ordered released Tuesday morning by Judge Amy Berman Jackson after he disavowed former president Donald Trump and agreed not to watch any TV news or look at social media, reported HuffPost's Ryan Reilly.
"[The attack was] a disgrace to our nation that left a scar Trump is ultimately responsible for," Sibick wrote in a court filing. "[Trump] is not a leader and should be ostracized from any political future, what he honestly needs to do is go away!"
"The shame, dishonor, and regret endured are without question the worst emotions ever experienced," Sibick added. "I disagree with what occurred that fateful day, especially the trauma suffered by Officer Michael Fanone, it is without question unconscionable."
Corrections officers praised Sibick's conduct while jailed and commended him for getting vaccinated, and the judge asked what "inputs" drove him to violently storm the Capitol with other Trump supporters.
"It was Fox News," Sibick told the judge.
Jackson barred him from watching the conservative network and other political TV programming, and released him home confinement in his parents' custody until trial, in part, to keep him away from other rioters jailed in the so-called "patriot wing" of the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility.
Facebook is desperately trying to hire a lobbyist to sway Democratic officials — but no one will do it
Facebook had a cozy relationship with the White House when President Donald Trump was in power, but since Democrats have taken over, they've struggled to create a similar closeness.
According to the Wall Street Journal, internal documents that have become known as "The Facebook Papers" revealed that the company hasn't managed to find a lobbyist who will convince Democrats to leave the company alone. The result has been that Democrats are talking about regulations, breaking up the company and tighter restrictions.
According to the papers, the company can't keep a Democratic lobbyist. Ever since power moved to Democrats, Facebook has been looking for a lobbyist to go after the new president and persuade the House and Senate. They're offering a salary of $2.5 million, stock options and bonuses, but no one wants the job. Those familiar with the jobs also say that they're looking for Democrats and Republicans to fill out a high-level in-house lobbying team and for public policy jobs.
"Democrats who have passed on Facebook's outreach include veteran Capitol Hill aides, a senior adviser to Mr. Biden and aides to former President Barack Obama, including Valerie Jarrett, according to people familiar with the job search," said the report.
Previously, Facebook had hired John Branscome, a Democratic tech-policy aide from the Senate Commerce Committee and Daniel Kidera, who served as Sen. Chuck Schumer's scheduler.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn't have any close relationships with Democratic leaders. When former President Donald Trump was in the White House, he was welcomed for a visit. Photos of Zuckerberg in the Oval Office add to speculation that the company's algorithm is giving Republicans priority. For years the top-performing Facebook posts have been from conservative sites or personalities.
CEO Sheryl Sandberg lacks the relationships with Democrats as well. She may have worked as an aide in the Clinton White House, but she hasn't been in Washington for decades.
"Facebook's difficulty recruiting Democrats for Washington roles is the latest sign of the company's declining political fortunes and could make it harder for the company to influence efforts by Democrats to write tough new rules for internet platforms and take antitrust action against Facebook and other technology companies," said the Journal.
Up until recently, the lobbying shop was overseen by former Republican operative Joel Kaplan, Politico reported Tuesday. While he has spoken out on free-speech issues and dealing with right-wing figures, misinformation and ads for Trump, Kaplan never managed to sway conservatives angry about the censorship of Nazis and white supremacists and any effort, however meager, to stem false information on the platform.
It wasn't long ago that Facebook was cozy with Democrats, joining White House events with former President Barack Obama and even supported by many Republicans. But after 2016 things changed.
"It was like an overnight switch," said Facebook's former GOP rep. Katie Harbath. "It went from working at the coolest company to the company that got Donald Trump elected, in their eyes."
Problems persisted after Facebook refused to remove a false video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that was intentionally slowed down to make it seem like she was drunk. Creator Mark Zuckerberg was personally involved in the decision and he attempted to reach out to the top House leader, but she refused to take his calls. Angering the third most powerful Democratic lawmaker in Washington, particularly one whose district has a Facebook office located in it, was probably not the best strategy for winning friends among the Democrats. Pelosi attacked the social network as a "disgrace" and an accomplice for "misleading the American people."
Now it appears Zuckerberg is facing the consequences with angry Democrats eager to regulate his company and unable to find a prominent Democrat willing to lobby for him. Meanwhile, all of the relationships with Republicans has turned into boycotts and conservatives fleeing the social media site for Parler or one of the new sites being started by Trump and his allies.
On his fourth day in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) gained nationwide attention for his actions during the January 6th attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the election.
After a quarter century career in law enforcement, the former Fort Bend County sheriff and Army Reserve major helped barricade the doors to the House floor.
Nehls was proud of his actions, posting a photo of him in a blue shirt standing next to a Capitol Police office with a drawn-gun pointed at a rioter looking through a broken window.
But during a Monday appearance on Newsmax, Nehls claimed Ashli Babbitt had been "murdered" while trying to climb though a window into the Speaker's Lobby on the other side of the chamber.
Politico reporter Olivia Beavers noted on Twitter that Nehls had told her on January 15th that officers would have been "totally justified" if they had shot rioters trying to enter the House floor. She provided audio of his comments.
Watch local news coverage of Nehls' efforts to defend the House floor:
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