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Sandberg: Russian-financed ads, fake news is a "new threat"

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks with Mike Allen today. Screengrab via Axios

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Axios' Mike Allen Thursday that Facebook is doing everything it can to help the government in their Russia probe, and acknowledged that the Russian-financed ads and fake news on their site is a completely new threat that they need to address, and accept responsibility for. "We'll do everything we can to defeat them," she said.

Yes, but: Sandberg also said that if the Russian-linked ads were posted by "real people" and not fake accounts, Facebook would have let their content remain on the site. "When you allow free expression, you allow free expression," she said.

Amy Harder 1 hour ago
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Column / Harder Line

The swamp’s tug-o-war over America’s ethanol mandate

American eagle with corn in its claws
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A biofuels standard Congress passed more than a decade ago in the name of rural development, energy security and climate change has devolved into an arcane fight over market share that has nothing to do with those initial three goals.

Why it matters: The law — called the renewable fuel standard that requires refineries to blend biofuels into gasoline — is a textbook example of how regulations create winners, losers and unintended consequences.

Caitlin Owens 1 hour ago
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GOP: Fixing the tax law is nothing like fixing the ACA

Sens. John Thune, Roy Blunt and Mitch McConnell
Sens. John Thune, Roy Blunt and Mitch McConnell (Photo: Al Drago / Getty Images)

Republicans have discovered their tax law contains a mistake and are hoping Democrats will help them fix it. But if the narrative of "one party passed a giant law and now wants to change it" sounds familiar, Republicans are insisting this is different from when they wouldn't help fix the Democrats' Affordable Care Act.

Between the lines: This is a great indicator of why Congress struggles to get anything done — because now the precedent has been set for one party to refuse to fix problems with the other party's laws. And for what it's worth, some Democrats are also denying the parallel — because, of course, they say their ACA process was much more inclusive than the GOP's tax one.