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: White House admits 'frustration' with McConnell | Poll finds half of Republicans back postponing 2020 election | Trump officials face challenge of overseeing ObamaCare | North Korea details Guam missile threat | Bill Murray sees Groundhog Day musical -- again (lol) | National S'mores Day!

IT'S LIKE PAYING ALIMONY TO A FORMER SPOUSE YOU HATE: Via The Hill's Peter Sullivan, the Trump administration is now confronted with the challenge of deciding how to oversee ObamaCare, a law it fiercely opposes but that is still on the books. The threat: President Trump has threatened to cancel key ObamaCare payments to insurers as part of an effort to make the health law "implode." But he is yet to follow through on that threat, leaving insurers in a state of uncertainty. Next big date: The next sign-up period for enrolling in ObamaCare begins Nov. 1. http://bit.ly/2vmhnBX

MCCONNELL -- NEW PHONE, WHO DIS?: President Trump this morning ramped up his criticism of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.). Tweet: "Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!" http://bit.ly/2vmxgbB

Actual footage of McConnell getting the Twitter notification --> http://bit.ly/2vmsKty ;)

Keep in mind: McConnell and Trump have been pointing fingers for days: http://bit.ly/2vSdju4

JUST NOW -- Huckabee Sanders steps in: President Trump's top spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did nothing to downplay his public spat with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying "there some frustration" with the Kentucky Republican. Her words: "You can see the president's tweets. Obviously there's some frustration. I don't have anything more to add." http://bit.ly/2vmHwAB

It's Thursday! 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 cmartel@thehill.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off tomorrow and next week -- we'll be back a week from Monday! Don't get into too much trouble without me. ;)

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TALK OF THE MORNING -- WAKE ME UP WHEN 2020 EEEENDS: According to a new poll, 52 percent of Republicans said they would back postponing the 2020 election if President Trump called for it. Another fun fact: Pollsters found 47 percent of Republicans think Trump won the popular vote. Who did the poll: Two academics. It was published by The Washington Post. http://bit.ly/2hO35pd

THE SCARIEST THING YOU'LL READ ALL DAY: North Korea has escalated already heightened tensions with the U.S., warning that a plan to attack waters near Guam will be in place by mid-August and that President Trump understands "only absolute force." http://bit.ly/2vS3VGI

From a commander of the North Korean army: "The U.S. President at [golf] links again let out a load of nonsense about 'fire and fury,' failing to grasp the ongoing grave situation. It seems that he has not yet understood the statement. Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work with him."

How officials reacted to Trump's "fire and fury" comment: U.S. officials scrambled to clarify the administration's position on North Korea. The gist: Mixed messages from different official. http://bit.ly/2vRXCmn

SOME CONTEXT -- How Trump's plan could play out: The Hill's Niall Stanage breaks down President Trump's hard-line stance and the chances it'll work on North Korea: http://bit.ly/2vpDeqQ

HAPPY 50TH!: Via NBC News, "Today is President Trump's 50th day at one of his golf properties since taking office." Let's celebrate with a round of golf. http://bit.ly/2urAw6W

NEW DEVELOPMENT — YOU BETTER BELIEVE ROBERT MUELLER WON'T BE RECEIVING A HOLIDAY CARD FROM PAUL MANAFORT: Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation appears to be picking up steam, with his team issuing subpoenas in recent weeks for bank records from Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman. Logistics: Mueller’s investigation team has sent the orders from a Washington grand jury to global banks seeking relevant transaction records and other banking information that involve Manafort. What this means for Manafort: http://bit.ly/2vJ8UK6

FASCINATING READ -- BECAUSE AUGUST IS FOR THINK PIECES ABOUT HOW KIDS THESE DAYS ARE TERRIBLE: The Atlantic's Jean M. Twenge has a feature story about how smartphones have affected the post-millennial generation. "More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they're on the brink of a mental-health crisis." http://theatln.tc/2uJt9mF

AND BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T INSULTED MILLENNIALS HERE YET: NBC's Nicole Spector has a popular piece titled, "One Big Reason Millennials Are Buying Homes? For Their Dogs" http://nbcnews.to/2vmbViE

ANOTHER DAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: A large inflatable chicken meant to resemble President Trump was placed near the White House yesterday. The photos are pretty funny: http://bit.ly/2wwUcUh

THIS IS AWKWARD -- FIRST, THERE WERE 'GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN BABIES.' NOW THERE ARE 'CAMPAIGN LOVE CHILDREN: A married former White House aide says he fathered a child with one of President Trump's transition advisers during the 2016 campaign. Jason Miller told The New York Post's Page Six that his wife and family are accepting the birth of his son, William, with former Trump campaign senior adviser A.J. Delgado. Back story on the campaign trail sex scandal: http://pge.sx/2utEYxD

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

The New York Times's Sopan Deb
THIS IS NOT A JOKE: Bill Murray went to see the Groundhog Day musical again tonight. http://bit.ly/2vSpEyX

Google Ventures' Ken Norton
Millennial: your generation got houses and jobs
Boomer: yes but we lived with constant fear of nuclear winter
Millennial: hold my avocado http://bit.ly/2uJabMK

Former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci
[The New Yorker's] Ryan Lizza is the Linda Tripp of 2017. People know. And he is up at night not being able to live with himself. ... Yes. He absolutely taped the call without my permission. http://bit.ly/2vmdAVu

Lol -- Monica Lewinsky retweeted, adding a distressed emoji: http://bit.ly/2uIXHVx

 

ON TAP:

Congress is going, going, gone.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Friday: Vice President Pence speaks at the Ten Point Coalition's annual luncheon in Indianapolis, Ind. Pence will then attend a ceremony to unveil the official governor's portrait at the Indiana statehouse.

Friday–Sunday: Otakon, the second largest anime convention in the U.S., is coming to Washington, D.C., after a 17-year run in Baltimore. Expect to see lots of young people dressed as their favorite anime and video game characters. Schedule: http://bit.ly/2uifAiB

Aug. 21: A total solar eclipse. What it will look like in different parts of the U.S.: http://ti.me/2vpF2A2

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National S'mores Day (!)

KIT HARINGTON COULD DO ANYTHING AND IT WOULD BE FUNNY: Here's an "audition tape" from Kit Harington trying out several "Game of Thrones" characters. Let's just say it's a good thing he ended up as Jon Snow. http://bit.ly/2vpMqLB

GOOD NEWS, MY GINGER FRIENDS!: Redhead emojis are finally rolling out. When: June 2018 -- better late than never. http://bit.ly/2vSbApi

AH, TO BE HIP AND COOL: Via Time's Jennifer Calfas, here's a Manhattan apartment building where lots of celebrities live. Like: Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lawrence, Harry Styles and Jake Gyllenhaal. http://ti.me/2fuRo5K

I JUST THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW: There's a new kitchen gadget that makes fresh frozen yogurt in minutes. Sign. Me. Up. http://for.tn/2uK8ajf

And because you read this far, here's a bird who desperately wants attention from a bird friend. That facial expression! http://bit.ly/2vHa2hC

 

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