The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Obama closes in on SCOTUS pick | Clinton accused of breaking debate rules | Last stand for Rubio? | Senate passes opioid abuse bill | Canadian PM at White House today

CONVERT THOSE DOLLARS TO LOONIES AND GO CELEBRATE WITH SOME TIM HORTONS TIMBITS, EH?!: Because Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in America! President Obama welcomed Trudeau at the White House this morning. "About time, eh?" Obama said, noting that Trudeau was the first Canadian prime minister to be invited for a state visit in 19 years. During the ceremony, Obama joked about the Chicago Blackhawks, who currently hold the Stanley Cup, being from the U.S. Trudeau jokingly trolled him back, citing all the Canadian players on the Blackhawks. Overall, it was a great start to the visit. More from The Toronto Star:

Happy Thursday! 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 comments, story ideas and upcoming events to and on Facebook.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off tomorrow for a long weekend. We'll be back on Monday. If you have any serious objections with that, email me and I'll see what I can do. ;-) And for weekend planning purposes, don't forget to change your clocks on Sunday!

BREAKING – SENATE PASSES BILL TO COMBAT OPIOID ABUSE: The Senate passed a bill that would give states grants to address abuse of heroin and prescription drugs. The bill passed 94-1. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the lone vote against the measure.

SO ABOUT THAT ROCK AND THAT HARD PLACE: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, Republican lawmakers are warily eyeing the possibility of a brokered convention that could force a choice between Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MOREHow they view it: It's picking between the devil they know and the devil they don't know. Yippee, that sounds enthusiastic.

HEY, CHELS ... I THINK WE NEED TO TALK ... : Via Politico's Annie Karni, "When Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump were introduced by their husbands a few years ago, they clicked immediately. ... They seemed to genuinely delight in each other's presence and discovered much common ground. ... But with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE and Donald Trump now on track for a King Kong versus Godzilla political collision in November (lol to that imagery), that friendship has been put on temporary hold -- both women ... have chosen to no longer be seen together in public during the election."

IT'S LIKE I CAN SEE THE HURRICANE COMING IN THE DISTANCE: Via The Hill's Jordan FabianPresident Obama is zeroing in a Supreme Court pick and has reportedly begun to interview potential replacements. Time frame: Obama is now expected to put forward a nominee any day now. His schedule makes it most likely to be next week.

NOT THE TIME FOR A PHOTO WITH YOUR SQUADHillary Clinton is being accused of breaking the rules of Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate. A Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE aide circulated a photo of Clinton and her aides during a break in the debate. So, what's wrong what that? Candidates aren't allowed to meet with their staff during the debate. A Clinton spokeswoman said she "wasn't aware of the pic."

EVERYONE'S GOT A 'BAD' SIDE: To celebrate International Women's Day, first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama criticizes lack of diversity in politics: one side is 'all white, all men' Obama interrupts Michelle's appearance with 25th anniversary tribute Michelle Obama: Young people feel what's happening now 'not what they were taught' MORE pulled out a can of spray paint and went tagging in Washington, D.C. Watch: 



LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE -- LET'S BREAK IT DOWN: Last night's Democratic presidential debate was the last before the all-important March 15 contests, when Ohio and Florida vote. Here are five things to know about last night's bout:

  • The Democratic Party has moved to the left on immigration  
  • Clinton and Sanders are getting under each other's skin 
  • Sanders has eyes on the superdelegates 
  • Clinton is done with the email questions 
  • Sanders won't back down on Clinton's paid speeches 

Context for each from The Hill's Ben Kamisar

NOT TO PUT PRESSURE ON TONIGHT, BUT IT HAS TO BE SPECTAULAR: The survival of Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE presidential campaign largely depends on tonight's Republican debate and Tuesday's contest in Florida. RealClearPolitics' Rebecca Berg breaks down what needs to happen tonight: And The Hill's Jonathan Swan has five tough questions for Rubio:

NOTE FOR FUTURE TRUMP RALLIES – PREPARE FOR BATTLE: The campaign manager for Donald Trump yanked Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields out of the way after a press conference. It started quite the stir.

UPDATE: Fields explains the story from her perspective. "Even if Trump was done taking questions, Lewandowski would be out of line. Campaign managers aren't supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground, no matter the circumstance."  Read her full take here: 

ALSO SPEAKING OF PREPARING FOR BATTLE: A Trump supporter sucker-punched a protester in the face at a rally. Good times!



The Washington Post's Aaron Blake
James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeA third of Congress hasn’t held a town hall — it’s time to take action Anonymous affiliate publishes claimed list of GOP private contact info Wasting America’s nuclear opportunity MORE's middle name is "Mountain." How in hell did I not know this? 

Inhofe (R-Okla.) tweeted back: You should have read your colleague Ben Terris's piece

IJ Review's Benny Johnson
The Dem Debate in one photo 

BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick
omg so Syrian refugees were put in the same hotel as a furry convention and THERE ARE GIFS 



Today: Former first lady Nancy Reagan will lie in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. 

After 11:30 a.m. EST: Following the vote on their opioid bill, Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDem senator: 'How many lives must be lost before we act?' Sen. Manchin won’t vote for Trump’s mine safety nominee Overnight Regulation: SEC chief grilled over hack | Dems urge Labor chief to keep Obama overtime rule | Russia threatens Facebook over data storage law MORE (D-R.I.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Reddit hires first lobbyists Senate panel approves bill compelling researchers to ‘hack’ DHS MORE (R-Ohio), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharFacebook shifts strategy under lawmaker pressure Competition law has no place raising prices some say are ‘too low’ CNN to host town hall featuring Nancy Pelosi MORE (D-Minn.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteDems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections Trump voter fraud commission sets first meeting outside DC MORE (R-N.H.) will hold a news conference.

12 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton holds a campaign event in Tampa, Fla.

12 p.m. EST: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) holds a rally in Kissimmee, Fla.

1:30 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) campaigns in Heath, Ohio with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

5:30 p.m. EST: Clinton campaigns in Durham, N.C. 

Tonight, before the debate: Former presidential contender Jeb Bush, who has yet to endorse another candidate, is meeting with Ted CruzMarco Rubio and John Kasich before the GOP presidential debate. The glaring omission from that list: The Donald.

8:40 p.m. ESTPresident Obama and first lady Michelle Obama host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau for a formal dinner at the White House. Here's the back story to their visit

9 p.m. EST: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow will interview Hillary Clinton

10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST Saturday: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is holding a Museum Day Live event to celebrate Women's History Month. 



8:30 p.m. EST: GOP presidential contenders Donald Trump, Ted CruzMarco Rubio and John Kasich debate in Miami. The event is hosted by CNN, The Washington Times and Salem Media Group.

10 p.m. EST tomorrow: ABC's David Muir presents a special report about the heroin problem in America. 



Today is National Ranch Dressing Day!

JON OLIVER'S MOST SUCCESSFUL SEGMENT EVER: Two weeks ago, HBO comedian Jon Oliver did a segment on Donald Trump's business record -- and reverting Trump's surname to the ancestral "Drumpf." So far, the YouTube clip has attracted more than 20 million views, a Google Chrome extension changing "Trump" to "Drumpf" has been downloaded 433,000 times and 35,000 "Make Donald Drumpf Again" hats have been sold.

IT'S A BIG WEEK IN THE ICE CREAM WORLD: Ben and Jerry's is rolling out three new Core flavors: brownie batter core, cookies and cream cheesecake core and coconuts for caramel core. On that note, I'll be tracking these pints of perfection down if anyone needs me.

UHH, WELL, I GUESS I SHOULDN'T KNOCK IT TILL I TRY IT: But The New York Times is featuring a recipe for stir-fried ketchup chicken.

And with that, here's a video of a dog taken in by the Humane society being reunited with her puppies. You can't not smile watching this.


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