The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Obama closes in on SCOTUS pick | Clinton accused of breaking debate rules | Last stand for Rubio? | Senate passes opioid abuse bill | Canadian PM at White House today

CONVERT THOSE DOLLARS TO LOONIES AND GO CELEBRATE WITH SOME TIM HORTONS TIMBITS, EH?!: Because Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in America! President Obama welcomed Trudeau at the White House this morning. "About time, eh?" Obama said, noting that Trudeau was the first Canadian prime minister to be invited for a state visit in 19 years. During the ceremony, Obama joked about the Chicago Blackhawks, who currently hold the Stanley Cup, being from the U.S. Trudeau jokingly trolled him back, citing all the Canadian players on the Blackhawks. Overall, it was a great start to the visit. More from The Toronto Star:

Happy Thursday! 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 comments, story ideas and upcoming events to and on Facebook.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off tomorrow for a long weekend. We'll be back on Monday. If you have any serious objections with that, email me and I'll see what I can do. ;-) And for weekend planning purposes, don't forget to change your clocks on Sunday!

BREAKING – SENATE PASSES BILL TO COMBAT OPIOID ABUSE: The Senate passed a bill that would give states grants to address abuse of heroin and prescription drugs. The bill passed 94-1. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the lone vote against the measure.

SO ABOUT THAT ROCK AND THAT HARD PLACE: Via The Hill's Alex Bolton, Republican lawmakers are warily eyeing the possibility of a brokered convention that could force a choice between Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzState Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first Trump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MOREHow they view it: It's picking between the devil they know and the devil they don't know. Yippee, that sounds enthusiastic.

HEY, CHELS ... I THINK WE NEED TO TALK ... : Via Politico's Annie Karni, "When Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump were introduced by their husbands a few years ago, they clicked immediately. ... They seemed to genuinely delight in each other's presence and discovered much common ground. ... But with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMissing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani On The Money: Trump downplays urgency of China trade talks | Chinese negotiators cut US trip short in new setback | Trump sanctions Iran's national bank | Survey finds Pennsylvania, Wisconsin lost the most factory jobs in past year Meghan McCain, Ana Navarro get heated over whistleblower debate MORE and Donald Trump now on track for a King Kong versus Godzilla political collision in November (lol to that imagery), that friendship has been put on temporary hold -- both women ... have chosen to no longer be seen together in public during the election."

IT'S LIKE I CAN SEE THE HURRICANE COMING IN THE DISTANCE: Via The Hill's Jordan FabianPresident Obama is zeroing in a Supreme Court pick and has reportedly begun to interview potential replacements. Time frame: Obama is now expected to put forward a nominee any day now. His schedule makes it most likely to be next week.

NOT THE TIME FOR A PHOTO WITH YOUR SQUADHillary Clinton is being accused of breaking the rules of Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate. A Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Krystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans 2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MORE aide circulated a photo of Clinton and her aides during a break in the debate. So, what's wrong what that? Candidates aren't allowed to meet with their staff during the debate. A Clinton spokeswoman said she "wasn't aware of the pic."

EVERYONE'S GOT A 'BAD' SIDE: To celebrate International Women's Day, first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPortraits of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeff Bezos headed for National Portrait Gallery Trump: House Judiciary should investigate Obama Netflix deal instead of his business 2020 is not a family affair, for a change MORE pulled out a can of spray paint and went tagging in Washington, D.C. Watch: 



LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE -- LET'S BREAK IT DOWN: Last night's Democratic presidential debate was the last before the all-important March 15 contests, when Ohio and Florida vote. Here are five things to know about last night's bout:

  • The Democratic Party has moved to the left on immigration  
  • Clinton and Sanders are getting under each other's skin 
  • Sanders has eyes on the superdelegates 
  • Clinton is done with the email questions 
  • Sanders won't back down on Clinton's paid speeches 

Context for each from The Hill's Ben Kamisar

NOT TO PUT PRESSURE ON TONIGHT, BUT IT HAS TO BE SPECTAULAR: The survival of Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioLiberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE presidential campaign largely depends on tonight's Republican debate and Tuesday's contest in Florida. RealClearPolitics' Rebecca Berg breaks down what needs to happen tonight: And The Hill's Jonathan Swan has five tough questions for Rubio:

NOTE FOR FUTURE TRUMP RALLIES – PREPARE FOR BATTLE: The campaign manager for Donald Trump yanked Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields out of the way after a press conference. It started quite the stir.

UPDATE: Fields explains the story from her perspective. "Even if Trump was done taking questions, Lewandowski would be out of line. Campaign managers aren't supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground, no matter the circumstance."  Read her full take here: 

ALSO SPEAKING OF PREPARING FOR BATTLE: A Trump supporter sucker-punched a protester in the face at a rally. Good times!



The Washington Post's Aaron Blake
Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeNegotiators kick off defense bill talks amid border wall, Iran debates House rejects GOP motion on replacing Pentagon funding used on border wall Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE's middle name is "Mountain." How in hell did I not know this? 

Inhofe (R-Okla.) tweeted back: You should have read your colleague Ben Terris's piece

IJ Review's Benny Johnson
The Dem Debate in one photo 

BuzzFeed's Ryan Broderick
omg so Syrian refugees were put in the same hotel as a furry convention and THERE ARE GIFS 



Today: Former first lady Nancy Reagan will lie in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. 

After 11:30 a.m. EST: Following the vote on their opioid bill, Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes narrowly focused response to Iran attacks Kavanaugh impeachment push hits Capitol buzz saw Senate GOP pledges to oppose any efforts to 'pack' Supreme Court MORE (D-R.I.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanCost for last three government shutdowns estimated at billion The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (R-Ohio), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharMSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The two most important mental health reforms the Trump administration should consider Sanders searches for answers amid Warren steamroller MORE (D-Minn.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (R-N.H.) will hold a news conference.

12 p.m. EST: Hillary Clinton holds a campaign event in Tampa, Fla.

12 p.m. EST: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) holds a rally in Kissimmee, Fla.

1:30 p.m. EST: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) campaigns in Heath, Ohio with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

5:30 p.m. EST: Clinton campaigns in Durham, N.C. 

Tonight, before the debate: Former presidential contender Jeb Bush, who has yet to endorse another candidate, is meeting with Ted CruzMarco Rubio and John Kasich before the GOP presidential debate. The glaring omission from that list: The Donald.

8:40 p.m. ESTPresident Obama and first lady Michelle Obama host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau for a formal dinner at the White House. Here's the back story to their visit

9 p.m. EST: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow will interview Hillary Clinton

10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. EST Saturday: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is holding a Museum Day Live event to celebrate Women's History Month. 



8:30 p.m. EST: GOP presidential contenders Donald Trump, Ted CruzMarco Rubio and John Kasich debate in Miami. The event is hosted by CNN, The Washington Times and Salem Media Group.

10 p.m. EST tomorrow: ABC's David Muir presents a special report about the heroin problem in America. 



Today is National Ranch Dressing Day!

JON OLIVER'S MOST SUCCESSFUL SEGMENT EVER: Two weeks ago, HBO comedian Jon Oliver did a segment on Donald Trump's business record -- and reverting Trump's surname to the ancestral "Drumpf." So far, the YouTube clip has attracted more than 20 million views, a Google Chrome extension changing "Trump" to "Drumpf" has been downloaded 433,000 times and 35,000 "Make Donald Drumpf Again" hats have been sold.

IT'S A BIG WEEK IN THE ICE CREAM WORLD: Ben and Jerry's is rolling out three new Core flavors: brownie batter core, cookies and cream cheesecake core and coconuts for caramel core. On that note, I'll be tracking these pints of perfection down if anyone needs me.

UHH, WELL, I GUESS I SHOULDN'T KNOCK IT TILL I TRY IT: But The New York Times is featuring a recipe for stir-fried ketchup chicken.

And with that, here's a video of a dog taken in by the Humane society being reunited with her puppies. You can't not smile watching this.


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