The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Happy Iowa Caucus Day! | Adele bans Trump from using her music | BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Lobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom Rising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief MORE's political cash | Super Bowl 50 fumbles paint job

TODAY IS THE MOMENT OF TRUTH FOR TRUMP: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage on-the-ground in Iowa, the Iowa caucuses tonight offer the first opportunity for voters to weigh in on a presidential race that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE has transformed since declaring his candidacy. If Trump's supporters come out en masse, he'll prove beyond doubt his support is real, but if he doesn't do as well as polls predict, it could raise questions about his organizational muscle. Here's why:

SO HOW DO THESE CAUCUS THINGS WORK?: There is no "voting" at polling centers during the day in Iowa. Here's a brief rundown of how the caucuses work:

  • At 8 p.m. EST tonight (7 p.m. CST -- Iowa time), voters will gather at scattered locations -- school gyms, churches, fire stations, community centers and town halls -- around the state. There are 1,681 locations in Iowa. 
  • Caucuses usually begin with speeches by campaign representatives in support of each candidate.
  • The process is then different for each political party. 


  • Democrats shuffle around the room to stand in the corner of their candidate. 
  • If one candidate doesn't end up with a minimum of 15 percent of the people in the room, those supporters must reshuffle and pick another candidate (or stand in the "uncommitted" area). This could be an issue for Martin O'Malley, for example.
  • When a candidate doesn't meet the 15 percent threshold, caucusgoers can also yell over and recruit people standing in other corners to switch and help them reach the minimum. 


  • Unlike the Democrats, who physically shuffle around the room, Republicans caucus with ballots.
  • Participants cast secret ballots for the candidate they support. 
  • Unlike the Democrats, there is no 15 percent threshold for Republican candidates. Instead, each of the candidates gets the proportional number of delegates. 
  • Note: The delegates allocated in Iowa represent only 1 percent of total delegates in the country needed to get the nomination. The importance lies in momentum.

Happy Monday -- The Iowa caucuses are today!! I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send tips, comments, story ideas and predictions for nation's first caucuses to and follow me on Twitter @CateMartel tonight for live updates of the Iowa caucuses.

TRUMP/CRUZ BATTLE GETTING VICIOUS: Via The Hill's Jesse Byrnes, Donald Trump ripped Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE over controversial mailers Cruz's campaign has sent out. The mailers feature report cards that look like "voting violation" cards. Trump says they're "unbelievable" and "a total fraud." Fight, fight, fight!

YA BIG, DUMB, NO GOOD [INSERT MORE INSULTING DESCRIPTERS HERE] LOSER: The New York Times has created a complete list of Donald Trump's Twitter insults -- and by person! Eeek! Enjoy.

IN N.H. NEWS -- JEB ENDORSEMENT: Via NH1's Paul Steinhauser, New Hampshire Executive Council Member Ray Wieczorek has endorsed Jeb BushFun fact: A new highway exit and road to the Manchester, N.H., airport were recently named after Wieczorek.

ADELE -- OH NO YOU DID-ANT: Pop star Adele has issued a statement saying Donald Trump "had no permission" to use her music. Trump uses her song "Rolling in the Deep" as his campaign warm-up music at rallies.


IN NON-2016 NEWS...:

NEW THIS A.M. – OBAMA ASKS CONGRESS FOR CANCER MOONSHOT FUNDS: Via The Hill's Sarah Ferris, President Obama will ask Congress for nearly $1 billion to ramp up cancer research as part of the budget to be unveiled next week. Funding details: The administration plans to immediately use $200 million of existing funding at the National Institutes of Health in 2016, while requesting $755 million more for the NIH and the Food and Drug Administration next year. 

CONGRESS THIS WEEK: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain CarneyObamaCare: The House will vote again to repeal ObamaCare on Tuesday. This time it's a vote to override President Obama's veto of last year's repeal, inevitably inviting Groundhog Day jokes (also tomorrow!). Energy: The Senate will continue to debate the energy bill Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE (R-Alaska) introduced, which expands the conservation fund and updates the electricity grid. What's the holdup?: While nearly a dozen amendments to the bill have been approved, lawmakers have submitted nearly 200 potential changes to the legislation. Yes, 200. Here's a detailed explanation:

CONGRESS'S NEW BEST FRIEND, JOHN: Via The Washington Post's Paul Kane, former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIsrael should resist Trump's efforts to politicize support Lobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom Rising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief MORE (R-Ohio) heads into post-Speaker life with $2.7 million in political cash. Cue wide eyes and big smiles from his former colleagues who are still in Congress.



The Center for Public Integrity's Dave Levinthal
Mike Huckabee: $133K left in the bank, $49K in debt. Rick Santorum: Nearly flat broke. These are your two previous [Iowa caucuses] winners.

Ouch, ow, wow: Rick Santorum has $42,919 in his campaign account, $167,401 in debt 

Adam Sternbergh of NY Magazine and Vulture (ooof, this excerpt is brutal)
Outgoing NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan not going gently into that good night:

CNN's Chris Moody (Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE and Ted Cruz's awkward embrace)
Now that's true friendship 

The Hill's Julian Hattem
remember four years ago, when CNN had to track down that
little old lady at midnight to find out who won Iowa? lets not do that again 



3 p.m. EST: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is holding a pen-and-pad press briefing in the Capitol.

1:30 p.m. EST: Sarah Palin campaigns with Donald Trump in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

6:30 p.m. EST: The House votes. The Senate returns tomorrow.

8 p.m. EST: The Iowa caucuses begin. 

10 p.m. EST: While the Iowa caucuses don't have an end time, the results usually roll in around this time.

8:30 a.m. EST tomorrow: The Hill is hosting an event, "From Volume to Value: Designing a Patient-Centered Healthcare System," sponsored by Astellas. Register here:

Speakers include: 

Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessHouse approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran GOP rep: Children are free to leave migrant camps at 'any time' MORE (R-Texas)
Rep. Pat Tiberi 
Marc Boutin
, CEO, National Health Council
Dr. Christine Cassel
, president & CEO, National Quality Forum
Dr. Patrick Conway
, acting Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services principal deputy administrator, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and CMS chief medical officer
Dr. Barbara Hutchinson
, president-elect, Association of Black Cardiologists
Elizabeth Jurinka
, minority chief health policy advisor, Senate Finance Committee
Jim Robinson
, president, Astellas Pharma US
Dr. Janet Wright
, executive director, Million Hearts

Live stream 



3 p.m. EST: Mike Huckabee joins MSNBC's "Morning Joe" for a live special afternoon edition of the program from Java Joes in Des Moines, Iowa.



OOOOF -- SUPERBOWL FUMBLES AREADY: The grounds crew for Super Bowl 50 painted the team logos in the end zones last week. But here's the problem: They painted both sides with the Denver Broncos logo. The good news is they finally fixed it and added the Carolina Panthers logo, but the photos are funny:

Today is National Cake Pop (!) Day, National Baked Alaska Day and National Dark Chocolate (!) Day!

WHY YES, I'D LIKE TO ADD THE EXTRA GUAC: After hitting nine states, the E. coli outbreak at Chipotle might be over. On that note, my beloved readers, you first! ;)

SCENERY BEING BEAUTIFUL AND STUFF: Here is an amazing photo of the Potomac River this morning. WOW.

And with that, here's a throwback to a group of kids who were interviewed about how to make a marriage work. Included in those "wise words": "Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck." -- Ricky, age 10


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