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: Latest on Harvey -- More rain in forecast; Trump heading to Texas Tuesday; State of emergency for Louisiana | Trump lifts restrictions on military equipment for cops | ACLU sues Trump over transgender ban | Amazon lowers Whole Foods prices | US Open time

ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING -- POLICE ARE GETTING A NEW GET-UP: The Trump administration is lifting a controversial ban on the transfer of surplus military equipment to state and local police departments, according to 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. What equipment: armored vehicles, grenade launchers, armed aircraft, bayonets, and guns and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher. Why it was banned: Mainly optics after the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Mo., after a white police officer shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown. When the restrictions were set, then-President 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 warned that such equipment cast the police in the role of an "occupying force." Sessions's justification: "Those restrictions went too far. We will not put superficial concerns above public safety."

It's Monday. 54 years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. 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.


THIS MORNING -- Louisiana state of emergency: President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-ethics chief calls on Trump to end 'monstrous' migrant policies Laura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' US denies report of coalition airstrike on Syria MORE has approved a Louisiana emergency declaration as rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey's aftermath continue to hit the region. Parts of Louisiana could get up to 25 inches of rain, the Times-Picayune reported Sunday.

Latest updates: From The New York Times:

Death count: At least five people have died and more than a dozen people are injured so far.

More rain?: More rain is in the forecast. Latest forecast from The Weather Channel:

Rescue from a sinking ship: Here's a video of the Coast Guard rescuing people from a sinking vessel as Hurricane Harvey hit.

This is insane: "A Houston reporter helps save a man from flood on live TV." Video:

Helicopter rescue: Here's video of a helicopter rescue in Houston, Texas.

This is amazing: "Check out the insanely long line at Dairy Queen on McArdle & Airline. They announced on social media they're open and everyone rushed over." Photos:

Aw, puppy: "This dog is walking around Sinton TX carrying a entire bag of dog food with him."

So. Much. Rain.: "9.92 [inches] of rain has fallen in just 90 minutes in Pearland, TX just southeast of Houston. Flash Flood Emergency."


TALK WEST WING TO ME: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, with Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon both out, Republicans on Capitol Hill are asking who they can talk to at the White House ahead of a crucial, difficult stretch in the legislative calendar. What about Priebus's replacement John Kelly?: Kelly is respected but doesn't have long-standing relationships on Capitol Hill.

What that story's photo reminds me of: This famous meme:

AND, UH, WHAT ABOUT BREITBART...?: The Atlantic's Rosie Gray discusses what Stephen Bannon's return means for Breitbart News. When he left: "It hired mainstream journalists and lost some of its most controversial staff. But he never left in spirit, and obtained an ethics waiver that allowed him to communicate with the company." The question: How much will Breitbart change again?

TRANSGENDER MILITARY BAN UPDATE -- I SAID GOOD DAY SIR. I SAID GOOD DAY!: Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing President Trump over his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Twitter announcement: "BREAKING: We're taking @realDonaldTrump to court to challenge the unconstitutional transgender military ban."

JUST NOW — *IMMEDIATELY MOVES TO ARIZONA TO MAKE SURE NOT TO MISS A SECOND OF COVERAGE*: Via The Washington Examiner’s Steven Nelson, after being pardoned by President TrumpJoe Arpaio is considering running against 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 (R) for Arizona senator. His words: "I'm sure getting a lot of people around the state asking me. All I'm saying is the door is open and we'll see what happens. I've got support. I know what support I have."

YOU KNOW THE ADVICE NOT TO READ TWITTER MENTIONS? ALSO TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT?: President Trump retweeted a post from conservative journalist Katie Pavlich criticizing former President Barack Obama, incorrectly, of pardoning Chelsea Manning. Pavlich, who also writes a column for The Hill, was tweeting at former Obama national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who criticized Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio. What Trump retweeted: "Your boss pardoned a traitor who gave U.S. enemies state secrets, he also pardoned a terrorist who killed Americans. Spare us the lecture." Who Pavlich was referring to: Obama's commutations of the sentences for Chelsea Manning and Oscar Lopez Rivera.

SPOTTED IN NORTH CAROLINA: An Air Force One plane seen in North Carolina at Raleigh-Durham International Airport practicing taking off and landing. Photo:

NEW — UPDATED CAPITOL SECURITY: Via Bloomberg's Billy House, "Full body scanners, like at airports, are being installed outside doors to House visitor galleries" at the U.S. Capitol.



Eric Fawcett
This is the coldest move by a punter I've ever seen. Video:

The New York Times's Shane Goldmacher
A Seb Gorka memory: I saw him at CPAC. He was carrying a book. I looked to see what he was reading. It was his own book.

The New York Times’s Ken Vogel
A NYC friend of Jared & Ivanka says they miss the city, & that DC “punctures their self-esteem on a daily basis.”

Josh Billinson retweeted adding: “If D.C. ever wins statehood, make this quote the state motto.”



Congress is out.

Today: The 2017 U.S. Open tennis tournament kicks off. How to watch and what to expect:

Today: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is speaking at the national conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tenn.

Today–Sep. 6: A march from Charlottesville, Va., to Washington, D.C., "to confront white supremacy." That's around 115 miles. Details:

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonNorth Korea looked to set up communications back channel through Kushner: report North America wins 2026 bid to host World Cup after lobbying from Trump Trump, Tillerson pledged to ease travel ban to win World Cup bid MORE in the private dining room.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with United Nations Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyAnti-Trump Republicans better look out — voters might send you packing US expected to withdraw from UN Human Rights Council: report UN approves resolution blaming Israel for Gaza violence MORE.

3:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump welcomes President Sauli Niinistö of Finland to the White House and holds a meeting.

Tuesday: President Trump is expected to travel to Texas after the catastrophic flooding. The logistical nightmare: There are still torrential downpours in the forecast and recovery efforts are ongoing.

NEW: First lady Melania Trump will travel with him.

Insight on Trump's trip: "To avoid interference in rescue/recovery ops, Gov. Abbott says Pres Trump won't be stopping in Houston tomorrow, but locations further inland" (From CBS's Mark Knoller)

3:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday: President Trump is holding an event on tax reform in Springfield, Mo.

In the meantime: Here's a newly published op-ed in The Hill from Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on the tax-reform plan. The gist: Trump's tax-reform plan prioritizes American voters, not lobbyists.

Sept. 7: The NFL regular season kicks off. Schedule:

And college football!: The season officially kicked off Saturday night, but for most programs, September 2 is opening day.

Nov. 9: 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 is traveling to Milwaukee, Wis. one year and a day after she lost the election to Donald Trump. Don't forget: Clinton unexpectedly lost a number of close states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

November 12: Breitbart News head Stephen Bannon is speaking to the Zionist Organization of America, his first public appearance since leaving the White House.



4:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a joint press conference with President Sauli Niinistö of Finland. Livestream:

6:30 p.m. EDT: The Cato Institute is holding an event on the politics of "Game of Thrones." Livestream:



Today is National Cherry Turnover Day.

THIS STORY IS SO BOSTON: Here's a tour of the "Skinny House" that was just sold in Boston's North End. Each of the four floors is less than 30 square feet.

KICKING OFF TODAY -- WHOLE FOODS 2.0: On Day 1 of Amazon owning Whole Foods, prices were cut by up to 43 percent. For example: Organic avocadoes dropped from $3.49 a pound to $1.99. Full list of new prices:

WELL SAID, ARYA STARK. WELL SAID: HBO actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on "Game of Thrones," tweeted what we're all thinking about the season 7 finale. I won't give any spoilers, so here's more on that:

Wanna see something crazy?: Check out these side-by-side photos of actor Kit Harrington, who plays Jon Snow on "Game of Thrones," and series author George R.R. Martin.

And because you read this far, here's a dog with an amazingly relatable reaction to leaving a pet store:


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