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: Trump arrives in Texas | Levee outside Houston breached | Harvey sets tropical storm rainfall record | GOP risks spending fight with Trump | Melania's shoes cause stir on social media | Ten notable Trump Team departures | Newseum may sell its building

BREAKING -- A LEVEE SOUTH OF HOUSTON HAS BEEN BREACHED: A levee in Texas' Brazoria County has been breached, with local officials urging residents to "get out now" as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to hammer The Lone Star State. For context: This county is south of Houston. The announcement: The county tweeted a bright red alert. The evacuation situation: Two days ago, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta put in place a mandatory evacuation for residents in certain parts of the county.

A broken record: Via the National Weather Service Houston, "The record for total rainfall from a tropical system has been BROKEN! Mary's Creek at Winding Road recorded 49.20', previous record is 48'."

ALSO BREAKING -- THIS IS A HEARTBREAKING DEVELOPMENT: Via The Houston Chronicle, a Houston police officer, who had been with the department for more than three decades, drowned in his patrol car during the flood. His name?: "The department has not yet formally notified the officer's family." What happened: "'He was trying different routes, and took a wrong turn,' said a high-ranking official. After getting trapped in high water, the officer tried to get out but was unable to."

It's Tuesday. 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.


LATEST FROM TRUMP’S TEXAS VISIT — AIR FORCE ONE TOUCHES DOWN IN CORPUS CHRISTI: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, as President Trump heads to Texas today to assess the damage and meet victims of the first natural disaster of his presidency, he faces political opportunities and perils. How he and his team have been reacting so far: Very proactively on social media.


Total rescues: "More than 6,000 people have been rescued in Houston since flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey began" (Via The Weather Channel)

Wow: "The Coast Guard is continuing to receive upwards of 1,000 calls per hour," U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Mike Hart said Monday. "Today alone, the Coast Guard has rescued over 3,000 people. That includes both air rescues and rescues using boats."

Lolol, these are "glass half full" kinda people: Via Barstool Sports, here are people tubing from the back of a pickup truck in flood waters. Video:

Ugh, this is terrible: Via BuzzFeed, here are 17 photos that show how bad the flooding actually is. Yikes.

This is by far a superior form of transportation: "It takes a real man to ride a duck," this man says. Photo:

What this means for the climate change debate: Via The Hill's Timothy Cama, "Climate scientists looking to assign blame for Hurricane Harvey say that climate change is not likely to be a direct cause of the devastating storm. But global warming has undoubtedly played a role in the storm and its historic precipitation, since warmer seas fuel higher-volume storms, scientists say." Reasoning:

I'M PERSONALLY IMPRESSED SHE CAN WEAR THOSE HEELS, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING HER DAY. I APPLAUD YOU, MELANIA: Via The Washington Examiner, several journalists mocked first lady Melania Trump for wearing stilettos for her trip to Texas. Photos:

Ok, fine. I laughed at this: "Those stilettos should help her stay above the flood line." (From Time's Ryan Teague Beckwith)

You've got this, Ben!: Politico's Ben White tweeted, "God grant me the serenity not to comment on the shoes."

The look: "First Lady this AM was like:
Aviators: check
Bomber Jacket: check
4 inch Manolos: check
Let's roll." (From NPR's Susan Davis)

REACTION FROM TEAM FLOTUS: The first lady's communications director responded, "It's sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas, and people are worried about her shoes." (h/t CNN's Kate Bennett)

WHENEVER THIS FIGHT BLOWS UP, SORRY I'M BUSY WASHING MY HAIR THAT DAY: Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "GOP leaders seeking a way out of their September logjam are talking about tying a disaster aid bill for Hurricane Harvey to a larger measure funding the government and raising the nation's borrowing limit." The upside: Including disaster relief would almost certainly win some Republican votes for the package who might otherwise oppose key parts. The downside: It would risk a confrontation with President Trump, who is demanding that the end-of-month bill include $1.6 billion in funding for his border wall.

Keep in mind: Via The Dallas Morning News, "Lawyers are urging waterlogged homeowners to file insurance claims by Thursday to avoid losing out on important rights that lawmakers limited during the [Texas] legislative session this year." Reasoning for the Sep. 1 deadline:

BUT THE HATS! WHAT ABOUT THE HATS!? DO THEY NOT CARE ABOUT THE HATS...?: Former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka said today on "Fox & Friends" that many in the White House don't agree with President Trump's "Make America Great Again" platform.

CLICK FOR BACKGROUND MUSIC AS YOU READ THIS NEXT STORY --> ;) Here's a timeline of the 10 most notable departures from President Trump's administration. Gosh, this has good slideshow potential...

FIRST IN THE 12:30 REPORT -- DNC CHAIR: U.S. CAPITOL CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS 'BELONG IN MUSEUMS': Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez weighed in on the issue of Confederate statues in the U.S. Capitol. Asked by The Hill on “The Bill Press Show” this morning, Perez said "they belong in museums perhaps and we can study them," but may not be appropriate to pay homage to. He also applauded Baltimore's removal of the statues. "They quietly and methodically one evening removed recently those symbols of a harsh past and I said, 'good for you.'" Full clip: 

Keep in mind -- Democrats are somewhat divided: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for the removal of the Capitol's Confederate statues, while Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump knocks Schumer, touts North Korea summit in early morning tweet Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Dems want answers on DOJ ObamaCare decision The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump, Kim make history with summit MORE (D-N.Y.) "took a very different tack, saying that Mr. Trump and his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, were 'trying to divert attention away from the president's refusal to unequivocally and full-throatedly denounce white supremacy, neo-Nazism and other forms of bigotry.'"

BECAUSE YOU GUYS KNOW I REALLY LOVE FUN FACTS: "The U.S. Air Force and The CIA share a birthday. They were founded on September 18, 1947." (Tweeted by the U.S. Department of Defense)

IN LOCAL NEWS -- OH NOOO: The Newseum is considering selling its building because of financial problems.

Also worth noting: Via The Washington Post's Margaret Sullivan, the Newseum's president, Jeffrey Herbst, stepped down yesterday.



Zlati Meyer (I mean, you have to know what this looks like, right?)
Amazon logo made out of ground beef at an LA-area Whole Foods. Photo:

Yahoo's Olivier Knox (Lol)
The Bloomberg booth in the White House basement is dark and full of terrors. Photo:

Politico's Steve Shepard
Meet D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's boyfriend. 



Today: Sen. 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 (R-Ariz.) turns 81 years old! How he celebrated with his family:

Noon: Vice President Pence has lunch with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

12:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive in Corpus Christi, Texas, to meet with local leaders and be briefed on the response to Hurricane Harvey. They will then head to Austin, Texas.

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump is briefed on Hurricane Harvey in Austin, Texas.

8:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive back at the White House.

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

Sept. 6: Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) announced that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) will return to Congress.  

November: Ousted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci is speaking at the Liberty University convocation. Details:

Today–Thursday: The Houston Astros' home series vs. the Texas Rangers has moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., because of Harvey.



1 p.m. EDT: The National Press Club is hosting new NAACP President Derrick Johnson for a lunch event. Livestream:



Today is National Chop Suey Day.

I LOVE THIS: Best friends Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio apparently still quote lines from "Titanic" back and forth.

GUYS, I SWEEEAR I WASN'T IN NOTTINGHAM THAT DAY. SCOUT'S HONOR.: An actual fight broke out during a Nottingham Forest-Leeds United soccer game during halftime. The best part: The two fans were fighting over who got the last pie.

FAN. TASTIC. I CAN ALWAYS USE A LITTLE MORE KIT HARINGTON (AKA JON SNOW) IN MY LIFE.: "Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington is already looking at his next gig. He will be in a BBC One historical drama called "Gunpowder." Consider my DVR set!

And because this made my day, meet Pinto the horse who likes to play dead -- and occasionally moo like a cow. I get it.


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