The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: 2015 was the hottest year on record | New planet in the solar system | Graham campaigns with Jeb today | Winter is coming

BREAKING -- 2015 WAS THE HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD: ViaThe Hill's Devin Henry, last year was the hottest recorded on Earth since officials began tracking temperatures in 1880. New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show average temperatures over land and ocean were 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average, clearing the previous record by 0.29 degrees Fahrenheit. 

WHAT WHAT WHAT?!: Via The Washington Post's Joel Achenbach and Rachel Feltman, new evidence shows a ninth planet lurking at the edge of the solar system. Called "Planet Nine," this giant icy planet is far beyond the orbit of Pluto. Well, time to start rewriting the "My Very Educated Mother..." planet acronym phrase? Anyway, I'm still salty about Pluto's demotion, so they better not be kidding around with this.

A (VERY REAL) BAD NEWS BEARS SCENARIO FOR HILLARY: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenate tees up Yemen vote for Tuesday Sanders supporters cancel Clinton protest Congress moving to end US involvement in Yemen MORE has a very real chance of winning Iowa and New Hampshire -- and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump adds to legal team after attacks on Mueller Press: You can’t believe a word he says Feehery: March Madness MORE is already strategizing on how to handle that scenario. Clinton is trying to lock down the support of black voters as a "firewall" for South Carolina and beyond, but in a year when all conventional wisdom has been turned on its head, that firewall might not be a sure thing.

JUST RELEASED -- TRUMP LEADS GOP FIELD 2 TO 1: Via The Hill's Jonathan EasleyDonald TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE holds a more than two-to-one advantage over the next closest contender in a new national poll. Trump leads with 36 percent (down from 41 percent in December!), followed by Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian The case for a new branch of the military: United States Space Force The problem with hindsight MORE at 17 percent, Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio: McCabe 'should've been allowed to finish through the weekend' For Tillerson, bucking Trump became a job-killer At least six dead after pedestrian bridge collapses on cars in Florida MORE at 11 percent, Ben Carson at 8 percent and Jeb Bush at 5 percent.

Note: While the lead is big, it's a national poll. State polls better highlight actual support in each caucus or primary.

It's Wednesday and to borrow from "Game of Thrones," WINTER IS COMING. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch for the D.C. area, with 12–20 inches expected. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send your tips, story ideas, complaints and your personal snow predictions to and @CateMartel

NEW THIS A.M. -- "FAST AND FURIOUS" RIFLE FOUND AT DRUG LORD'S LAIR: Via The Hill's Jesse Byrnes, a .50-caliber rifle recovered from the hideout of drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was reportedly lost by the U.S. government's "Fast and Furios" gun-smuggling operation.

COME ON IN, THE WATER'S FINE!: Via The Hill's Jonathan Swan, Republican donors are quietly coming around to the idea that Donald Trump could be their party's nominee. This is a major shift.

A BURIED LEDE -- SCOTT BROWN MAY ENDORSE: In the final paragraph of The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook report about Ted Cruz's campaign event in Rye, N.H., yesterday, Hook writes that former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) might endorse an unnamed presidential candidate next week.

A TRIBUTE TO BRADEN JOPLIN: Via The Hill's Rebecca Savransky, a 25-year-old volunteer on Ben Carson's campaign was killed in a car crash yesterday. Here are tributes from the presidential candidates:

BEFORE WE HUMILIATE EVERYONE -- HERE'S HOW POLLS TRICK PEOPLE: Yesterday, a survey was released saying 10 percent of college grads think Judge Judy is a Supreme Court justice. OY VEY. But wait, The Huffington Post's Samantha Guff explains how polls trick people into saying dumb things -- like that Judge Judy is on SCOTUS. Hint: It's the same misleading way that another poll asked whether the United States should bomb Agrabah without any context. Agrabah is a fictional city from "Aladdin."

READY, SET... LOBBY!: Fresh off the cooling period between working in Congress and lobbying, former Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Jim MoranJames (Jim) Patrick MoranDems face close polls in must-win Virginia Billionaire Trump donor hires lobbyists to help vets Lawmakers: Chaffetz has a point on housing stipend MORE (D-Va.) and Dave Camp (R-Mich.) are among the lawmakers who are free to lobby.

PALIN QUOTES YOU ASK? YOU BETCHA!: In honor of Sarah Palin endorsing Donald Trump, here are the top 12 Sarah Palin quotes from Nick Wing of The Huffington Post.

WELL, THAT'S RUDE: The front page of the New York Daily News features New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- on a baby's body. It's titled, "Crybaby." Photo: 

A WEIRD RELATIONSHIP: Via NPR's David Folkenflik, Univision, the parent company to the nation's leading Spanish-language broadcast channel, has acquired a controlling stake in the satirical news site "The Onion."

IN NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS: Via WMUR, the Supreme Court has declined to review a petition from New Hampshire's only death row inmate.



The Boston Globe's Matt Viser
John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report Schiff: I thought more Republicans would speak out against Trump Trump presses GOP to change Senate rules MORE's former running mate is now endorsing the man who said he's not a war hero. Welcome to 2016, everyone.

Mother Jones's Ben Dreyfuss
The funniest part of this Palin-Trump interview is when she is just spouting word salad and Trump looks like "WTF?"

National Journal's Ron Fournier 
President Donald Trump (just getting used to it)

Donald Trump tweeted back: Wow, very nice!

Ron Fournier replied: My tweet was a warning, sir, not a compliment.



The House is out of session this week. 

1:30 p.m. EST: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) addresses the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

1:30 p.m. EST: Jeb Bush is holding a meet-and-greet with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate GOP: Legislation to protect Mueller not needed Cornyn: Hearing on McCabe firing would be 'appropriate' McCain: Mueller must be allowed to finish investigation 'unimpeded' MORE (R-S.C.)

2:30 p.m. EST: The Senate will vote to open debate on the refugee bill.

4:30 p.m. EST: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds a rally in Hollis, N.H.

6 p.m. EST: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) speaks in Derry, N.H.

7 p.m. EST: Jeb Bush speaks at the Keene Country Club in Keene, N.H.

8:30 a.m. EST tomorrow: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks at the Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security forum at UNH-Manchester.



Today is National Cheese Lovers Day! Get at me. It's also #PenguinAwarenessDay.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place in Washington, D.C., from March 20 to April 17. Prepare. For. All. The. Tourists. 

TAKE A FRY, ADD CHOCOLATE: Because McDonalds French fries are too healthy (?), they're adding chocolate to them! It's called the "McChoco Potato." Yep, this is a thing. Here are the photos to prove it: 

BEST OF LATE-NIGHT TV: Hillary Clinton rattled off polls during a recent interview and then said, "I don't pay any attention to [polls]." Seth Myers on "Late Night" enjoyed this comment saying, "You can't say you don't pay attention to polls right after citing a poll. That's like saying, 'I'm not a gambler, but taking New England -3.5 plus the over is a fantastic parlay.' " Watch: 


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