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: Acrimony rises within GOP | Takeaways from Trump's Arizona rally | Police hit protesters with pepper spray | Trump blasts Flake as 'weak' on crime, border; presses Senate to kill filibuster | 7 most vulnerable Senate seats | 'Game of Thrones' carpool karaoke | Happy birthday to the hashtag

JUST POSTED -- GUYS, STOP PUTTING PIECES OF STRAW ON THAT POOR CAMEL: Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Scott Wong, the Republican Party is at the brink of breaking out into open warfare with itself after months of straining to keep its internal divisions under control. How so: After shaking up his own leadership team out of frustration with its performance, Trump is firing warning shots at Capitol Hill, and openly criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCongress had a good couple of weeks — now let's keep it going McCarthy: 'The Mueller investigation has got to stop' McConnell: Mueller 'ought to wrap it up' MORE (R-Ky.). 

It's Wednesday. 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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.

NEW RESIGNATION -- WOW, THIS TOOK SOME EFFORT: A science envoy for the U.S. State Department has resigned following President Trump's response to the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. The clever part: Daniel Kammen announced his resignation in a letter addressed to Trump in which the first letter of every paragraph spelled out "Impeach." See for yourself:

NEW THIS A.M. -- ON SECOND THOUGHT, WHY NOT ATTACK YOU BY NAME?!: President Trump this morning attacked Arizona Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeDHS secretary defends Trump administration's migrant policies White House faces growing outcry over migrant family policies GOP senators push for clarification on migrant family separations MORE by name, accusing his fellow Republican of being "weak on crime & border." Tweet: "Phoenix crowd last night was amazing -- a packed house. I love the Great State of Arizona. Not a fan of Jeff Flake, weak on crime & border!" Keep in mind: Trump didn't mention Flake by name during the rally but made his displeasure clear.

MORE TWEETS -- A LINE WE HAVEN'T HEARD IN A FEW WEEKS: President Trump this morning called for Senate Republicans to get rid of the legislative filibuster. Tweet: "If Republican Senate doesn't get rid of the Filibuster Rule & go to a simple majority, which the Dems would do, they are just wasting time!"

IT'S ALWAYS CAMPAIGN SEASON THESE DAYS -- HA, HA *RUNS AWAY SCREAMING*: President Trump traveled to Arizona yesterday for a campaign-style rally, where he was met by a near-capacity crowd of supporters as well as protesters outside.

Outside the arena:

Oh my god: "This Trump supporter is shouting at protestors: 'McCain needs to die now!'"

Another day, more pepper spray: Police deployed pepper balls in the streets of Phoenix as protests raged after President Trump delivered a fiery speech in the city. Photos:

What a line: One woman in downtown Phoenix yelled "Can I see your papers?!" at an anti-Trump protester. (h/t CNN's Jake Tapper)

Inside the arena:

Interesting tidbit: "Sitting right behind the podium at Trump rally is an African American man wearing a shirt that says 'Trump & Republicans are not racist.'" (From USA Today's Eliza Collins) Back story on the guy from The Washington Post:

Here are seven takeaways on the rally from The Hill's Niall Stanage:
1. Trump will be Trump -- Unscripted, unrestrained and unfiltered.
2. He brought Charlottesville back -- He decided to re-litigate the controversy, a move that struck many Republicans as peculiar.
3. No names, but clear jabs -- Trump didn't mention Arizona's two Republican senators, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDonald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing The Memo: Trump’s media game puts press on back foot Meghan McCain shreds Giuliani for calling Biden a 'mentally deficient idiot' MORE and Jeff Flake, but his message to them was clear.
4. A shutdown threat over the border wall? -- One of the most startling sentences from Trump was, "Believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall."
5. Pardon coming for Sheriff Joe? -- Trump did not issue a pardon -- but his sympathies were obvious.
6. Busy night for fact-checkers -- The president's rhetoric stretched reality on several occasions.
7. Plenty for the base to applaud -- Trump's themes sounded great to his base.

NEW — PARDON ME: Via CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, The paperwork has reportedly been readied for President Trump to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe ArpaioWhite House talking points for surrogates: They include emphasizing that Arpaio should not be put in prison for "enforcing the law" and "working to keep people safe."

IT'S THE MIDTERM SEASON (THE MIDTERM SEASON). SO WHOOP-DE-DO AND HICKORY DOCK...: Via The Hill's Ben Kamisar and Lisa Hagen, next year's midterm elections will provide Republicans with a major opportunity to build their majority in the Senate -- if they can overcome President Trump's dismal approval ratings and internal party rancor. Looking ahead, here are the seven most vulnerable Senate seats up for grabs in 2018:

NEW INFO​ -- YOU DON'T WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME, CUBA: U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Cuba suffered mild traumatic brain injury and likely damage to their central nervous system in an incident that has been linked to a sonic attack. What happened: More than 10 U.S. and 5 Canadian diplomats in Havana began experiencing "a variety of physical symptoms" in the fall of 2016, according to the State Department. Why: The symptoms have been traced to a sonic attack – a deliberate use of a sonic device operating outside of the audible range – on diplomatic residences in Havana.



NBC Nightly News (Wow!)
NBC News cameraman Dwaine Scott captured this incredible drone shot during NBC's eclipse coverage on the USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor. Photo:

Dan Harmon (Lol)
Do we even talk about how everything flammable is inflammable? English, you quixotic, voluptuous, ten limbed goddess of quantum smartupidity



Congress is out. President Trump is traveling from Arizona to Nevada and back to Washington, D.C., tonight. Vice President Pence is spending the day in Doral, Fla., and will return to D.C. tonight.

12:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds a briefing and listening session at U.S. Southern Command in Florida.

1:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives in Reno, Nev.

2:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act.

8 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives back in Washington, D.C.

9 p.m. EDT Saturday: The highly anticipated Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor

fight in Las Vegas. What to know:

Sept. 6: The Senate Health Committee is holding a hearing with state insurance commissioners and governors about how to stabilize the ObamaCare exchanges. Details:

Sept. 12: 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's new book, "What Happened," will be released. Excerpts released on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this morning:



2 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the National Convention of the American Legion in Reno, Nev. Livestream:

What to expect: Trump plans to call for a "new unity."

4:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Florida. Livestream:



Today is National Sponge Cake Day.

FOR ANYONE FEELING FOMO FROM THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE: We can start planning for the next total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. in 2024. The path runs through Texas, Cleveland and up through northern New England. 2024 map:

WHAT A MILLENNIAL DAY TO CELEBRATE: Today is the hashtag's 10th birthday! #celebrate #birthday #blessed #ThisIsWhyEveryoneHatesOurGeneration

WE CAN ALL AGREE THEIR SISTERLY CHEMISTRY IS MUCH BETTER OFF THE SHOW: "Game of Thrones" actresses Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) participated in Apple Music's Carpool Karaoke. Keep in mind: They're best friends in real life. Watch:

And because you read this far, here's the next edition of unlikely animal best friends -- a raccoon and a dog swimming together in a pool:


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