The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Obama taps Merrick Garland for SCOTUS | Lightning strikes Trump tower as polls close (literally) | Sanders vows to go to convention | Trump's delegate challenge | Ted CruzTed CruzRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report How 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump MORE hates avocados?

BREAKING -- OBAMA STEPS INTO BATTLE: President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to the Supreme Court.

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein: In statement against Garland, Susan B. Anthony List (pro-life group) admits, "We do not know this nominee but we do know Barack ObamaBarack ObamaCoal executive: Trump 'can't bring mining jobs back' Graham: Left is 'going insane' after Trump's win President travels again for meetings at Trump golf club in Va. MORE

The Wall Street Journal's Kristina L. Peterson: Obama says Garland will begin traveling to Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with senators. Republicans have said they won't meet with nominee.

Politico's Isaac Dovere: Right after Garland announcement, that's Cecile Richards [of Planned Parenthood] heading into the West Wing

The Hill's Scott Wong: Garland choking up: "Thank you Mr President. This is the greatest honor of my life."

What to know about Garland: The 63-year-old judge is from Chicago and graduated from Harvard undergrad and law school. Garland was confirmed with a 76-23 vote to his current post in a Republican-controlled Congress, proving to be a moderate liked by the GOP. And like his potential colleagues Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Samuel Alito, Garland has prosecutorial experience.

So, what's next? "Hahaha" ­-- i.e., this is going to be a slugfest between the administration and Republicans in Congress. Get ready for a show. More from The Hill's Jordan Fabian:

Who voted for him last time? Seven Republicans who voted to confirm Garland to the circuit court are still in the Senate: Sens. Dan CoatsDan CoatsMcCain says he hasn't met with Trump since inauguration Oversight committee asks White House, FBI for Flynn records Live coverage: FBI director testifies to Congress MORE (Ind.), Thad CochranThad CochranOvernight Defense: FBI chief confirms Trump campaign, Russia probe | Senators push for Afghan visas | Problems persist at veterans' suicide hotline Senators ask to include visas for Afghans in spending bill Shutdown politics return to the Senate MORE (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR nominee Lighthizer Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (Utah), James InhofeJames InhofeRepeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate GOP senator: EPA 'brainwashing our kids' A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (Okla.), John McCainJohn McCainGrassley wants details on firm tied to controversial Trump dossier Republicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report This week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat MORE (R-Ariz.) and Pat RobertsPat RobertsDems mock House GOP over lack of women in healthcare meeting Perdue vows to be chief salesman for US agriculture abroad GOP senator apologizes for mammogram joke MORE (R-Kan.).

And a nay: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThis week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat The Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over healthcare GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (R-Ky.) and current Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley wants details on firm tied to controversial Trump dossier This week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (R-Iowa) both voted against him.

It's Wednesday, and the entire Metrorail system in D.C. is shut down for at least 29 hours. It's like a 73-degree snow day! I've been checking the Uber surge all day, and the highest I've seen is 1.9x -- this feels like the "pope traffic freak-out" all over again. 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.

SAYYYYY WHAT NOW?!: Via The Capital Weather Gang, lightning struck the iconic Trump tower in Chicago as polls closed in Illinois -- where Trump won. Now that is creepy.

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE ... IN THE GOP: ...because Wednesdays are for rhymes. With a devastating loss in his home state of Florida, Marco Rubio has bowed out of the race for the Republican nomination. Rubio only mentioned Trump by name once in his concession speech, to congratulate the front-runner on his victory. But, he repeatedly alluded to the threat he thinks Trump poses to the nation.

AND IN THE SPIRIT OF A HUMBLE WIN: ...naaaaaht! Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCombating opioid epidemic, repealing ObamaCare will hurt the cause Money doesn't buy elections and elections aren't rigged. Period. Ongoing wiretapping saga raises host of legal questions MORE took one last jab at Rubio after Rubio dropped out.

WINNERS AND LOSERS: Tuesday was a pivotal night for the nominating process, especially with Ohio and Florida's winner-take-all contests. The Hill's Niall Stanage breaks down the winners and losers of last night. 

Winners: Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDemocrat in district won by Trump running for governor Combating opioid epidemic, repealing ObamaCare will hurt the cause Money doesn't buy elections and elections aren't rigged. Period. MORE, Donald Trump and John Kasich
Losers: Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's Labor pick Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE, Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders will 'absolutely' work with Trump to lower prescription drug costs Sanders says he will introduce 'Medicare for all' bill Sunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill MORE and Ted Cruz
Here's why:


Trump: FloridaNorth Carolina, and Illinois 
Kasich: Ohio (!)
Rubio: None :(

Clinton: IllinoisFloridaOhio and North Carolina
Sanders: None :( 

Missouri is too close to call for either party. Recounts for both parties are possible.


Trump: 646
Cruz: 397
Kasich: 142

Clinton: 1,132
Sanders: 818

Here's the full breakdown from The New York Times: 

INTERESTING READ -- THE 'REAL' DONALD TRUMP: The New York Times's Jason Horowitz spent time at Donald Trump's house in Palm Beach, Fla., getting a different perspective on Trump from his longtime butler, Anthony Senecal. It's fascinating. 

-- "Trump would meet [Senecal] at the arched entrance of his private quarters to accept a bundle of newspapers including The New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post and the Palm Beach papers. Mr. Trump would emerge hours later, in khakis, a white golf shirt and baseball cap. If the cap was white, the staff noticed, the boss was in a good mood. If it was red, it was best to stay away."

THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT CRUZ: Via US Weekly, Ted Cruz is on level 350 of Candy Crush, he was once bitten by a poisonous octopus, he hates avocados and he can quote every line of "The Princess Bride." Here are more fun facts you didn't know about him:



I WOULDN'T DECLARE VICTORY QUITE YET, DONALD: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar, Donald Trump has secured more than half of the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, but he's unlikely to finish with enough delegates to reach that threshold before the convention unless he steps up his pace. The math: With 60 percent of delegates awarded so far, Trump has won 47 percent of them. If he continues at this clip, he'll fall 100 delegates short of the magic 1,237 number. To win, he'll need to win 60 percent of the remaining delegates.

I AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE: Via The Hill's Jesse ByrnesBernie Sanders insisted that he will continue to campaign and fight for the nomination until the convention. Hope you aren't sick of the nominating process fun!



DC Streetcar
So... we're open tomorrow if anyone needs a ride.

Erick M. Sanchez, senior adviser at Frontier Solutions, posted on Facebook, adding: Like getting a text from an ex.

Politico's Burgess Everett
Massive sustained round of applause for [Sen. Claire] McCaskill when she returns to D caucus after cancer treatment's Henry J. Gomez
Welp. Poll worker draws gun during argument at Cleveland voting site 

Roll Call's Bridget Bowman
McConnell & Trump spoke today. McConnell said he told Trump it might be a good idea to condemn and discourage violence

National Review's Alexis Levinson
Kasich says at dinner tonight at restaurant, "people started to cheer. My reaction: please don't do that cause you're gonna make me cry."



11:45 a.m. EDT: The Senate voted.

12 p.m. EST: John Kasich is holding a town all in Villanova, Pa., ahead of Pennsylvania's April 26 primary.

1:15–2:15 p.m. EDT: The House votes.

2 p.m. EDT: The House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on cybersecurity tools for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

2 p.m. EDT: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the 2017 budget for U.S. Cyber Command.

2:30 p.m. EDT: White House official R. David Edelman and the Federal Communication Commission's Gigi Sohn discuss the Lifeline program reforms at the Open Technology Institute. Details: 

3:15 p.m. EST: President Obama holds a roundtable with Cuban-American leaders.

4:30 p.m. EDT: The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

5:10 p.m. EST: President Obama delivers remarks at a reception in the East Room for Women's History Month.

8 a.m. EDT tomorrow: The Hill is holding a special deep-dive event on President Obama's White House. Speakers include White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Buwell, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPence pushes Manchin in home state to support Gorsuch Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-W.Va.), House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), former Senior Communications Director for Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidAfter healthcare fail, 4 ways to revise conservative playbook Dem senator 'not inclined to filibuster' Gorsuch This obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all MORE Jim Manely, former Advisor to the Democratic National Committee & Principal, The Raben Group Jamal Simmons and former Chief of Staff for Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorDemocrats step up calls that Russian hack was act of war Paul replaces Cruz as GOP agitator GOP shifting on immigration MORE & Partner, Harbinger Strategies Steve Stombres. Details:

12 p.m. EDT tomorrow: Kasich holds a campaign town hall in Orem, Utah.



5 p.m. EST: Former presidential candidate Bobby Jindal joins Chuck Todd on MSNBC's "MTP Daily."



Today is National Artichoke Heart Day!

SOUNDS LIKE THE WIZARD OF OZ WOULD BE DEEMED "INAPPROPRIATE": Until 1950, U.S. weathermen were forbidden from talking about tornadoes. It was considered "career suicide."

REMEMBER WHEN I CALLED "CHERRY BLOSSOM" THE NEW "PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE?: Starbucks must have heard. They just unveiled a new Cherry Blossom Frappucchino. It contains strawberry puree, cream, white chocolate sauce, whipped cream and green tea powder. The description sounds slightly better than the name of it.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME SCRATCH MY HEAD: To make life drastically easier for serial mandarin orange eaters, Whole Foods tried selling peeled oranges in sealed containers for a mere $5.99/lb. -- what an innovative world we live in. Anyway, all the backlash got Whole Foods to pull the item from the shelves and apologize. 

SAD NEWS FOR GBD'S FAN BASE: GBD, the doughnut and fried chicken shop in DuPont Circle in D.C. is closing today. The store made the announcement on Twitter.

And with that, here is a racehorse that wears a three-piece tweed suit -- and he looks pretty sharp.

-- "Some models can be real divas, but Morestead was calm and a pleasure to work with," said the suit's creator Emma Sandham-King. "Creating the world's first tweed suit for a horse has been one of the biggest challenges that I have faced in my career as a designer." 


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