The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sessions defends Hawaii comments | Trump admin begins shutdown prep | Major hiccups for ObamaCare replacement plan | Pentagon's communication issues | Obama's first post-prez appearance Monday | McDonald's new 'dystopian' unis

BREAKING -- I MEAN WHAT I SAID AND I SAID WHAT I MEAN: Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLaura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' Merkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry DHS secretary defends Trump administration's migrant policies MORE on Friday defended his criticism of a Hawaii-based federal judge who issued an injunction blocking President Trump's travel ban, saying that he wouldn't have wanted to phrase his remarks any differently. The comment he defended: In an interview with conservative radio host Mark Levin aired Wednesday, and first reported by CNN, Sessions expressed frustration with the Hawaii-based federal judge's order blocking the travel ban. "I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power," Sessions said.

Happy Friday! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to and on Facebook.

JUST IN -- IN CASE OF A SHUTDOWN, TAKE THIS TINY HAMMER, SMASH THE GLASS AND PRESS THE SHINY, RED BUTTON: The Trump administration is preparing for the possibility of a government shutdown, even though the president and his staff believe one is unlikely to occur. What that means: The Office of Management and Budget set up a phone call to go over agencies' shutdown plans, which could include painful steps such as furloughs for federal workers. When a shutdown would happen: Midnight on April 28 if  Congress cannot agree on a must-pass spending bill.

I THINK THEY MIGHT NEED SOME OF THESE BARNEY STINSON OFFICE POSTERSVia The Hill's Ellen Mitchell, the Pentagon is having a communications problem. On two separate occasions this month, the military has sent out information that was either misleading or unauthorized. Details:

FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, I FEEL PUTIN AVOIDING EYE CONTACT --> Fears about Russia interfering in democratic election processes are shifting to France. Experts say that there is already evidence of Russia using fake news, social media trolls and other tactics to disrupt the election in France and in other European countries. Keep in mind: The first round of France's presidential election is Sunday.

TRUMP WEIGHS IN ON PARIS: After offering condolences yesterday, President Trump said Friday morning that this week's "terrorist attack in Paris" will have "a big effect" on the country's presidential election, set for Sunday. Tweeting is the new press release: "Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!" Keep in mind: Trump didn't mention any French candidate by name.

BACKSTORY: Paris police say a gunman was shot dead yesterday after opening fire on officers along the Champs Elysees, killing one and wounding another.

CHUGGA, CHU-*SCREECHING HALT*: An ObamaCare replacement plan is hitting major speed bumps. What the White House is hoping for: A vote next week. Ehhh, but: GOP aides and some lawmakers say it seems doubtful the deal could win approval in the House. Yep, yep. This is key: They also note that there is not even legislative text yet to mark a deal, which makes the prospect of holding a vote next week even more unlikely.

I'M MORE OF A 'THERE IS HALF OF A BIG MAC LEFT' THAN 'HALF A BIG MAC EATEN' KINDA GUY: President Trump took aim at the media early Friday morning (wouldn't be a Friday without it) for disparaging his early accomplishments in the White House. Tweet: "No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days,  & it has been a lot (including [Supreme Court]), media will kill!"

OMG GUYS, THIS IS REAL!: Remember the story yesterday about "one of the most lavishly funded gadget startups in Silicon Valley last year," Juicero Inc., that claimed the juice press was so powerful it could "lift two Teslas?" Bloomberg then discovered that squeezing the juice packets with your hands had the same power as the $400 gadget.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Juicero Inc.'s CEO wrote a post defending the product. It reads like a parody. Excerpt: "It provides ... the first closed loop food safety system that allows us to remotely disable Produce Packs if there is, for example, a spinach recall. In these scenarios, we're able to protect our consumers in real-time." It's worth reading:

OH SNAP: President Obama's former photographer, Pete Souza,posted a photo response to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and musicians Ted Nugent and Kid Rock mocking a portrait of Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThere are many unanswered questions about FBI culture FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts offers to testify on Capitol Hill Giuliani wants 'full and complete' investigation into Russia probe's origins MORE during a White House visit. Souza's reaction:



Former President George H. W. Bush
"Big morale boost from a high level delegation. No father has ever been more blessed, or prouder." Photo from the hospital with Former President George W. Bush:



Congress – still out.

2:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs financial services executive orders at the Department of Treasury.

Saturday: Scientists and climate activists opposed to the Trump administration are hosting a March for Science on the National Mall. Keep in mind: The People's Climate March will be held the week after. What to know:

Sunday: The first round of the French presidential election. Brief catch-up of why this election matters:

Monday: Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaShould President Trump, like President Obama, forsake human rights in pursuit of the deal with a tyrant? Obama shares summer reading list ‘Three Californias’ plan would give Dems more seats MORE makes his first post-presidential public appearance, at an event at the University of Chicago. Details:



7 p.m. EDT: Actors Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac will appear on MSNBC's "Hardball" to talk about their new movie "The Promise."

9 p.m. EDT: Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina will appear on CBSN's "The Takeout" with Major Garrett and Steve Chaggaris.

10 p.m. EDT Monday: CNN is hosting a town hall meeting with Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R)



NBC's "Meet the Press": House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The panel will include Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher; The Washington Post's Robert Costa; NBC's Savannah Guthrie; and The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan.

"Fox News Sunday": Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). The panel will include Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush; The New York Times's Peter Baker;The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel; and The Washington Post's Charles Lane.

CBS's "Face the Nation": Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) Sanders If Congress takes no action, the Social Security trust fund will become depleted in 2034 Ex-campaign manager: Sanders is still eying another presidential bid DNC chair backing plan to cut superdelegates opposed by Dem lawmakers MORE (I-Vt.); Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).



Today is National Chocolate Covered Cashews Day! Sure, why not.

THE WEIRDEST AIRBNB ON EARTH: Via BuzzFeed's Terri Pous, here's the most outrageously decorated pink house in England. Yep, you can rent it. -->

TRENDING -- THIS MAKES JOHN MCENROE'S TENNIS MATCHES LOOK UNEVENTFUL: A tennis match in Sarasota, Fla., was interrupted by some adult sounds from an apartment nearby. "Both players had fun with the situation while the crowd laughed. Kreuger hit a ball sharply in the direction of the sounds, and Tiafoe screamed, 'It can't be that good!'" The announcer's reaction in the video is pretty hilarious, too:

CHECK OUT THE NEW HUNGER GAMES HQ: McDonalds unveiled a pretty strange new uniform for employees. Gizmodo referred to them as looking like "every dystopian sci-fi movie ever" -- and that seems about right. Photos: Is that ...  Katniss ... Everdeen??


And to get your weekend off to a great start, here's an amazing series of tweets from a guy who went on a date with the former general manager of Olive Garden in Times Square. The anecdotes are so, so funny.

"Q Did y'all ever run out of breadsticks? If so what happened?
A Yes. Twice. Worst shifts of my life. People were angry, kept telling us 'no'"

"Q: What's the weirdest thing that ever happened?
A: Oh, there was a knife fight.
Q: Tell me everything.
A: Two women. They came together
Q: Steak knives? Like the knives from the table or BYOK?..."

Full series of tweets:


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