The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

If you'd like to subscribe to The Hill's midday political newsletter, please click here:


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Win a Ted CruzTed CruzThree more GOP senators announce opposition to healthcare bill Senate GOP delays ObamaCare repeal vote past recess Club for Growth opposes Senate ObamaCare repeal bill MORE shotgun | Brendan Buck on Draft Paul RyanPaul RyanOvernight Defense: Pentagon sees signs of chemical weapons activity in Syria | House votes to reaffirm NATO defense pact | Saudis refuse to ease Qatar demands Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Overnight Healthcare: Senate delays ObamaCare vote past recess | Trump says GOP 'very close' to deal | Three more senators come out against bill MORE rumors | Obama to discuss executive action on gun violence with AG | Bill is back

ON THE GROUND IN N.H. – TRUMP, TRUMP CITY: While the 12:30 Report was on hiatus, I spent a few days roaming the back halls of campaign events in New Hampshire (in between overloading on cannoli from Mike's Pastry and frolicking in the 65-degree Christmas). Here are some the highlights:

TRUMP IS DEFYING THE EARLY STATES: Donald TrumpDonald TrumpScarborough defends CNN against Trump: CNN 'has more integrity' Time asks Trump Organization to remove fake cover from golf clubs Why UK millennials voting for socialism could happen here, too MORE is making his own rules for campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, mocking early-state traditions in the process. Here's how (and a throwback to when Trump called Iowa voters stupid!):

TRUMP'S CHANGE IN STRATEGY: There are 36 days until the first-in-the-nation primary, and Trump is going for broke in New Hampshire, heavily ramping up his ground game in the state. How: major TV ad buys (beginning positive, but he won't promise to keep them that way!) and naming 200 town chairmen to organize on-the-ground efforts. 

-- A telling quote from a Trump county chair: "Finally after decades of incompetent [political class] leadership, they're going to see a real opportunity for redemption, [which will] translate to actually getting out and voting with their hearts." Note the word "redemption."

RETAIL POLITICS, SHMETAIL SHMOLITICS: If you've never been to a Trump rally, read this for a gist of what they are like. Hint: It involved a protester kicked out while yelling "fascist!", raucous cheers for Trump and countless "Make America Great Again" trucker hats.

Happy Monday and welcome back from the holidays! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the afternoon. Send tips, comments, gripes and New Years resolutions that will never last past January to and @CateMartel

DEVELOPING NOW – BILL. IS. BACK.: Former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonJared Kushner hires Abbe Lowell for legal team Overnight Energy: Trump White House kicks off 'Energy Week' Bill Clinton: 'The water is going to keep rising’ whether US stays in Paris or not MORE is hitting the campaign trail today (solo!) for his wife, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPro-Trump group pulls ads targeting GOP senator on ObamaCare repeal Stone to testify before House Intel Committee next month Overnight Cybersecurity: New ransomware attack spreads globally | US pharma giant hit | House intel panel interviews Podesta | US, Kenya deepen cyber partnership MORE. Here are a few tweets from his first stop in Nashua, N.H. 

Politico's Gabe Debenedetti
Some symmetry here @ Bill Clinton's '16 debut: it's the same gym where  Hillary made her return to NH to campaign for Shaheen/Hassan in 11/14 

USA Today's Heidi Przybyla
Bill Clinton closing with a message to the economically disenfranchised, highlighting @HillaryClinton's early work on behalf of poor kids 

The Boston Globe's James Pindell
.@billclinton in Nashua zeros in on the heroin crisis. "This is a very big deal."

CNN's Dan Merica 
Bill Clinton on his first solo campaign trip: "I don't fit anymore. First of all, I'm a happy grandfather. I'm not mad at anybody." 

NEW THIS A.M. – ADS, ADS, ADS: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Donald Trump have released their first TV ads. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton also released new ads. The gist of each: 

Kasich ad: Never give up, because the best days in America are ahead. 

Trump ad: "Make America Great Again" and touting his stances on immigration and foreign policy.

Cruz ad: Cruz will stand by the country's first principles. Note: Cruz is also kicking off a six-day bus tour in Iowa today. 

Bush ad: How to take out ISIS

Clinton ad: Targeting New Hampshire voters and featuring former President Bill Clinton!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, NOW BACK TO BUSINESS: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, here are six fights set to erupt in Congress in the next year: #1: resettling Syrian refugees #2: closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility #3: fighting ISIS #4: gun control #5: criminal justice reform #6: restoring normal order on appropriations.

NOW, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE REAL ISSUES (ALIENS): Via The Huffington Post's Lee Speigel, at a stop in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton vowed to investigate UFOs and Area 51. "I'm going to get to the bottom of it." This election is getting even weirder.

FEELING THE BERN IN IOWA: Via The New York Times's Trip Gabriel and Amy Chozick, needing an early lift in the race, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: FBI inquiry of wife is 'pathetic' attack Why UK millennials voting for socialism could happen here, too WATCH LIVE: Senate Dems hold ‘People’s Filibuster’ against ObamaCare repeal MORE (I-Vt.) is building an Iowa ground operation. Comparing the Sanders campaign to the Clinton campaign, "Pete D'Alessandro, Mr. Sanders's Iowa campaign coordinator, compared his field team to the Continental Army taking on the British Redcoats." Lol.

THAT BUNDY THING OVER THE WEEKEND: Via The Washington Post's Carissa Wolf, Peter Holley and Wesley Lowery, a group of armed anti-government activists took over a federal building over the weekend in rural Oregon. Who's leading the protest? Ammon Bundy, the son of Cliven Bundy who led an armed standoff with federal agents in 2014, escalating a years-long fight over government regulations on his land. Why: to protest the treatment of a pair of local ranchers who are reporting to prison today.

WIN A TED CRUZ SHOTGUN: No, really. You can enter the contest to win a shotgun with Cruz's logo engraved. You don't have to contribute to enter:

INTERESTING READ FROM A STACKED BYLINE: Via The Washington Post's Dan Balz, Philip Rucker, Robert Costa and Matea Gold, one year, two races: Inside the Republican Party's bizarre, tumultuous 2015.

A SHORT LEAP TO 'JETSONS' LIVING: Lyft and General Motors are partnering to create on-demand driverless cars by 2025 -- maybe even sooner.



Brendan Buck, Spokesman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), on whether Ryan could be drafted to run for president:

The Washington Post's James Hohmann
RNC chair Reince Priebus: "I'm not one of these people that think that Donald Trump can't win a general election." 

Washington Examiner's David Drucker retweeted, adding: File this under "What else is he supposed to say."

Carly Fiorinawho took a lot of heat for this tweet
Love my alma mater, but rooting for a Hawkeyes win today. #RoseBowl

@Darth, the friendliest Twitter troll that has ever lived, is back!

Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist
An armed people are a free people. If our forefathers were not armed before the American Revolution we would all be speaking English today.


ON TAP (and live-streams to bookmark):

The House is out until tomorrow; the Senate is out until next week.

1 p.m. EST: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks at the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention in Manchester, N.H. Live stream:

2 p.m. ESTPresident Obama meets with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon to discuss executive actions to curb gun violence. 

6:30 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) holds a town hall in Manchester, N.H.

9 a.m. EST tomorrow: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) speaks at the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention. Live stream:

11:55 a.m. EST tomorrow: Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulThree more GOP senators announce opposition to healthcare bill Rand Paul: Trump 'open to making bill better' Senate GOP delays ObamaCare repeal vote past recess MORE (R-Ky.) speaks at the New Hampshire Primary Student Convention. Live stream:

12 p.m. EST tomorrow: The New York Times's Charlie Savage will discuss his new book "Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency" with Michael Glennon, professor of International Law, Fletcher School, Tufts University at a CATO event. Live stream: 

12 p.m. EST tomorrow: API President and CEO Jack Gerard will give an address on the state of American Energy in 2016. 



6 p.m. EST: Bloomberg's "With All Due Respect" makes its debut on MSNBC



Today is National Spaghetti Day!

BUZZING ON SOCIAL -- WATERMELON BOY: Meet the boy who ate an entire watermelon at a cricket game. Yes, an entire watermelon -- white and green parts included.

DAILY OUTRAGE -- BAGEL MURDERERS: Via The New York Post, upon request, some bagel shops in New York will scoop out the bready part of a bagel. This makes me want to cry. The quote that best sums up this blasphemy: "Few things inspire more passionate disdain among New Yorkers -- bagel scoopers are lumped in with people who eat their pizza with a fork or wear flip-flops on the subway." Keep on fightin' the good fight, New York Post.

And with that, here's HBO's John Oliver with his smart take about New Years' resolutions. It's exactly what you think it would be.


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: