The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Kavanaugh heads to Capitol Hill as confirmation fight begins

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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 -- Sponsored by Delta Air Lines -- Supreme Court confirmation fight begins | Kavanaugh heads to Capitol Hill | Takeaways from Trump's announcement | Trump heading to Europe, says Putin summit will be 'easiest' stop | Dems wonder if Warren can beat Trump | BMW moving some SUV production overseas | IHOb back to IHOP (no, really)



Do you think Judge Kavanaugh has transitioned from the 'oh yay!' reaction to the 'oh no...' reaction yet?:

Vice President Pence is escorting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to Capitol Hill this afternoon to build support ahead of an all-out confirmation brawl. The plan: Kavanaugh will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi: 'Thug' Putin not welcome in Congress GOP to White House: End summit mystery Sunk judicial pick spills over into Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Ky.) and will then speak at the Senate's weekly Republican policy lunch.

What to expect during the confirmation process: Republicans have a tiny, 51-49 majority, but Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Memo: Summit fallout hits White House Graham: Biggest problem is Trump ‘believes meddling equals collusion’ Obama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena MORE's (R-Ariz.) prolonged absence because of his declining health means Republicans have an effective 50-49 majority. Eek.

Why this nomination is so, so important: Retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was often a swing vote on the court. Republicans now have the opportunity to change the court's ideological dynamic for decades. 

That's a pretty good endorsement to get: "A well-placed source tells me one key advocate for Kavanaugh was...none other than Anthony Kennedy himself." (Via The Hill's Niall Stanage

^If you've heard there's more to that storyline: "The story that Justice Kennedy negotiated for months and retired only when he had an agreement that the President would nominate Kavanaugh as his replacement is almost certainly false." (From SCOTUSblog)

Photo of Kavanaugh's family at the announcement: His daughters are adorable:


  1. Trump was at his most conventional.
  2. Battle lines are drawn, but what about red-state Dems?
  3. The pick was a rebuke to McConnell.
  4. Beware the long paper trail for Kavanaugh.
  5. Trump kept the secret.

Context and details for each:


It's a beautiful Tuesday in the District. 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.




A good ending to a terrifying story:

All 12 members of the Thai soccer team and their 25-year-old coach have been successfully rescued from the cave.

Because the boys must have been terrified: Thailand's prime minister said the boys were given anti-anxiety medication to prevent any panic attacks during the rescue mission.

Have the boys seem their families?: Yes, the parents have been able to see their sons. The parents of four of the boys have been able to visit, and the rest have seen their children through a window.

Live updates from CBS News:

Livestream of the rescue crew:


Michael Flynn is back in court today:

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will be in court today after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about a meeting with former Russian Ambassador Sergey KislyakWhy he pleaded guilty: Part of a plea deal with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE

Rally outside: "The pro-Michael Flynn rally today at the federal courthouse ended up being just this guy." Photo — he even has an extra sign:



Frenemy -- I think the word we're looking for is 'frenemy':

This morning before leaving for the Europe trip, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Chicago detention facility under investigation following allegations of abuse of migrant children Ex-Trump aide: Surveillance warrants are 'complete ignorance' and 'insanity' MORE wouldn't say whether he considers Russian President Vladimir Putin a friend or foe. What he did say: "I really can't say right now. As far as I'm concerned, he's a competitor," Trump told reporters.

TIDBIT -- MELANIA'S AN INTIMIDATING FASHIONISTA: British Prime Minister Theresa May's husband, Philip May, who will be entertaining first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpSoccer ball Putin gifted to Trump gets routine security screening Kavanaugh returns questionnaire to Senate panel Trump says he 'did nothing wrong' after Cohen tape revelation MORE during the upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, has purchased a new suit to impress her.



No longer IHOb -- one of the strangest PR stunts I've seen in a while: 

Psych! IHOP announced that it will *not* change from International House of Pancakes to International House of Burgers. So, why di--?: The company basically said it was a publicity stunt. Does anyone else find this really awkward?


In the words of Billy Joel, 'I'm moving out.'

The German car manufacturer BMW is moving some of its production out of its plant in Spartanburg, S.C., because of a new tariff on vehicles. Which automobiles: Some of its SUVs. Where they will be made now: China. Keep in mind about BMW prices: SUV prices will be raised in the United States because the company is "not in a position to completely absorb the tariff increases" after China retaliated with a 40 percent tariffs on car imports.


Murmuring in the Democratic Party -- Warren? Warren?:

Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, Democrats are pondering whether Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal On The Money: Trump rips Fed over rate hikes | Dems fume as consumer agency pick refuses to discuss border policy | Senate panel clears Trump IRS nominee Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy MORE (D-Mass.) can beat President Trump in 2020. What Dems are specifically asking: "Can Elizabeth Warren win back blue-collar Democrats from President Trump in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania?"




At Delta Air Lines, we’re striving to build a better world one home at a time, through our proud partnership with Habitat for Humanity. For more information about Delta, visit



Ahahahaha *pause for a deep breath* hahahha:


Princess Charlotte told the press 'you're not coming' to the baptism. Prince William's reaction is pretty great, too: 




The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in transit to Belgium, and Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

7:10 a.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump left for the Europe trip.

11:15 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

12:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a campaign rally at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

1:25 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence joins the Senate Republican policy lunch at the Capitol.

2:15 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive in Belgium.

3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes in the House.

Wednesday: This year's NATO meeting. What to expect: Op-ed:

Just announced -- Oct. 20–21: Politicon in Los Angeles.



2 p.m. EDT: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) briefs reporters. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerData confirm that marijuana decriminalization is long overdue Pollster: Kavanaugh will get Dem votes Democrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans MORE (D-N.Y.) briefs reporters. Livestream:



Today is National Pina Colada Day!


Today in 'ughhhh, millennials':

Via Food Insider, avocado toast–flavored chocolate bars now exist. Video:


Wow, this really is the viral meme:

A girl took a photo of her sister eating gelato in Venice, Italy, and then noticed a couple in the background with identical expressions to the viral "distracted boyfriend" meme. You have to see it:


And because you made it to the end, here's a grumpy toddler who lives for caffeine: