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: Bergdahl expected to plead guilty | Trump reversing birth control mandate |  Economy’s first job losses in seven years | Tropical Storm Nate’s weekend path | AIM shuts down | Baltimore school evacuated for strange odor (pumpkin air fresheners lol) 

BREAKING THIS MORNING — NOT A GOOD TIME FOR JOBS: Severe weather battered the U.S. economy in September, leading to the first job losses since 2010. The labor market lost 33,000 jobs last month, though the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, the lowest since 2001. But keep in mind: Economists say the overall employment market is strong.  

LATEST WITH TROPICAL STORM NATE — HERE WE GO AGAIN...: Tropical Storm Nate is expected to hit the Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane. When it will make landfall in the U.S.: Late Saturday or early Sunday. Its projected path and what to expect:  


Happy Friday before Columbus Day! 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 and on Facebook.


BREAKING THIS A.M. — BOWE BERGDAHL EXPECTED TO PLEAD GUILTY: Via The Associated Press’s Josh Lederman and Lolita C. Baldor, “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for half a decade after abandoning his Afghanistan post, is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy ... Bergdahl’s decision to plead guilty rather than face trial marks another twist in an eight-year drama that caused the nation to wrestle with difficult questions of loyalty, negotiating with hostage takers and America’s commitment not to leave its troops behind.”  

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY — SEE YA, BIRTH CONTOL MANDATE: President Trump is lifting the federal requirement for employers to include birth control in their employees' health insurance plans. The new rules make the argument that the Affordable Care Act does not specifically mandate contraceptive coverage.  

THE UPDATE ON GUN LEGISLATION — THE NRA SLIDES A LITTLE OVER IN ITS SEAT TO MAKE ROOM: The National Rifle Association broke its silence on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, calling for additional regulations on bump stocks like those used by the Las Vegas shooter, which allow semi-automatic guns to fire much more rapidly. Why this is big: The NRA almost always opposes proposals to strengthen gun control laws or regulations. Yeah, but: Support is growing in both parties for this type of regulation, so the NRA is taking a cautious approach.   

THE WILD CARD IN THIS DEBATE — THE PRESIDENT: As rare bipartisan momentum builds on Capitol Hill for a change to gun laws, the wild card in the debate might be the man in the White House. President Trump has a long and varied history on gun reform.  

WHAT TRUMP HAS SAID: Trump yesterday said he is open to considering legislation. “We’ll be looking into that over the next short period of time,” Trump said when asked by reporters whether he would support a ban on the attachment, known as a bump stock.   

OP-ED ON BUMP STOCKS: In an op-ed for The Hill, political analyst Mark Plotkin argues why he thinks bump stocks should be outlawed. Full op-ed:  

GETTING TRACTION — DUN, DUN, DUNNNN: Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Naomi Jagoda, “The GOP’s push for tax-reform legislation is showing some early signs of trouble. With Republicans pivoting to their second big agenda item, leadership is facing a familiar dynamic: Divisions among members, competing demands and no room for error. Republicans have failed to score a major legislative win this year despite having the first unified GOP government in a decade. And they’re under intense pressure from both supporters and outside group.”  

IT’S A NO FROM ME: Via The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin, Iowa asked for help fixing their health-care market. Then, President Trump told the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, to say no.   

SAY IT AIN’T SO! — C U L8R, xoSoccrGurrlxo104: AOL Instant Messenger is officially shutting down on Dec. 15 after 20 (!) years. Their reasoning: "AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed," said Michael Albers, the vice president of communications of the service's parent company.  

The announcement:  

The real story from The Hill’s Megan Wilson: “NEWS: AOL Instant Messenger was still around” Lol.  

I also thought you should know: I tried signing in to my AIM account this morning for old times’ sake — my account from 2004 still works! RIP, xoCateMartelox —> ;)




ESPN’s Darren Rovell (Lol, omg.)

A real race between the tortoise & the hare worked out as we’ve been told it would. Watch:  

Fox’s Chad Pergram

Scalise to throw out first pitch at tonight’s playoff game between the Nationals and the Cubs in Washington  



The House is out until Tuesday. The Senate is out next week.

This morning: Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence visited St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to examine the damage of Hurricane Maria.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs the National Manufacturing Day proclamation.

2:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: 0B more in Trump tariffs kick in | China calls off trade talks | CEO confidence slips over tariffs | GOP to move spending bill over Trump concerns | Behind the scenes look at how the GOP tax law passed How the Trump tax law passed: Breaking the gridlock  5 things to know about Trump's escalating trade war with China MORE.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.

3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to see the hurricane efforts.



12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a Hispanic Heritage Month event. Livestream:   

2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing. Livestream:  

8 a.m. EDT Saturday: House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Jordan wants Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal MORE (R-Wis.) will talk about the gun debate on MSNBC's "Hugh Hewitt."

Sunday morning: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) will appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck ToddPhoto of the two:  

Sunday morning: On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” featured guests include Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHere's what the judiciary committee should ask Christine Blasey Ford Kavanaugh to address sexual misconduct allegations on Fox News Monday Kavanaugh accuser Ford to Grassley: 'My fear will not hold me back from testifying' MORE (D-Calif.), former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole and former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend

Sunday morning: On CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” featured guests will include The Atlantic’s David Frum,  New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, FiveThirtyEight’s Leah Libresco, Yale University’s Akhil Amar and Tim Fischer, former deputy prime minister of Australia. 



Today is National Noodle Day.  

¡ARRIBA ARRIBA!: In case you haven’t heard yet, Applebee’s is offering $1 margaritas for the month of October.   

GUYS, I’M ALL FOR PUMPKIN SPICE, BUT THIS HAS GONE TOO FAR.: Via WBAL-TV, a Baltimore school was evacuated and hazardous material crews were called Thursday afternoon because of a weird odor. Turns out, the smell was a pumpkin spice air freshener. Face palm.  

And because you read this far, here’s a semi-creepy, semi-cool looking walking starfish (!) spotted on a beach:  


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