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: Latest on volatile stock market | Dow drops 500 then recovers | GOP plays hardball on funding bill | Senate to vote on House defense bill | DOJ watchdog becomes key player in FBI controversy | Julián Castro talks 2020 | Fred Warmbier to attend Olympic opening ceremony with Pence | Doritos creating 'lady friendly' chips



To quote the wise words of ... Katy Perry: "You're hot, then you're cold. You're yes, then you're no ... You're up then you're down."

Via CNBC, "After two huge sell-offs in a row, U.S. stocks are all over the map on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average opened with a big whoosh lower, then rallied all the way back and was more than 300 points higher at one point, before settling slightly higher. As of 12:01 p.m. ET, the Dow is 12 points higher. At its extremes the market average was down by 567 points and higher by 367 points."

What a drop would mean for you: CNNMoney breaks down what a Dow drop means for the average investor:

What this means for the presidentPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE has boasted a strong economy since he took office. Even with this decline: "Trump still has a big cushion. The Dow closed at 18,332.74 on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016, which means [even after yesterday's drop, it still had] 6,013 points to go before the Trump rally gains disappear."


WHAT TIMING: This morning, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner Mnuchin5 things to know about Trump's escalating trade war with China On The Money: Trump signs first 2019 'minibus' spending package | Mueller probing transactions by Russian organizers of Trump Tower meeting | Stocks brush off trade fears On The Money: Cohen reportedly questioned over Trump dealings with Russia | Trump hails economy | Tells workers to 'start looking' if they want a better job | Internal poll shows tax law backfiring on GOP MORE testified before the House Finance Committee on a financial stability report. The stock markets came up: Mnuchin said that stock markets are "functioning very well" and that the Trump administration is monitoring the markets, but doesn't see severe threats to the U.S. financial system.


This tweet got a lot of traction:

It's Tuesday -- time to start thinking about which Olympic sport you think you could do. 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.



Happening tonight -- let's keep those lights on!:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week GOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) says the Senate will vote on a House-passed bill to fund the military, with only days to prevent a government-wide shutdown. But absent a larger deal on lifting the budget caps, Senate Democrats are expected to reject the House's defense funding bill, which will require 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle. Timing: The vote comes as the House is expected to take up a separate stopgap bill that funds most of the government through late March, but would fund the Pentagon through the end of September.



Getting traction -- a name you probably don't know, but will: 

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz "is an increasingly critical player in the controversy surrounding the FBI, President Trump and the Russia investigation. With little fanfare, he has been conducting a sprawling probe of the FBI's handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPompeo: 'We've not been successful' in changing US-Russia relations Michael Moore ties Obama to Trump's win in Michigan in 2016 The Memo: Could Kavanaugh furor spark another ‘year of the woman’? MORE's use of a private email server. His full report, which could set off shockwaves, is expected by the early spring." What to know about Horowitz:

INTERESTING READ: In Wired, journalist Garrett Graff gives context to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation. The gist: The investigation is larger and further along than you think. "We speak about the 'Mueller probe' as a single entity, but it's important to understand that there are no fewer than five (known) separate investigations."



It's staaaaaarting -->

Via BuzzFeed's Ruby Cramer, Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyMcAuliffe won't rule out 2020 run in Iowa campaign swing Did Congress just settle for less than best plan to reform housing finance? 2020 Dems jockey for position before midterm elections MORE (D-Md.), who already announced his bid for president in 2020, is now running campaign ads in Iowa. When he announced his run: Last July; that's about 18 months earlier than normal. Takes deep breath

One-way ticket to paradise (New Hampshire!): 

^^Lol, you know I'm biased. ;)

Via NBC's Suzanne Gamboa, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is heading to New Hampshire to speak at a Young Democrats dinner. The unusual part -- on whether he will run for president: "I have every interest in running" in 2020 for president, Castro said. "Part of the process of figuring out whether I'm going to run is going to listen to folks and feel the temperature of voters."

Context from NBC's Benjy Sarlin: "I kinda like this new approach of 'Hell yeah I might run for president' rather than years of dumb word games."


A familiar face at the Olympic opening ceremony: Via The Washington Post's Ashley Parker and Anna Fifeld, "Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was jailed in North Korea and who died last year after returning to the United States, will attend the Olympics Opening Ceremonies as a guest of Vice President Pence this week."

OP-ED: Sung-Yoon Lee of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University argues how "everyone will be watching North Korea ... [which has] gained entry onto the world's biggest stage through the back door of the International Olympic Committee, a body not known as an exemplar of integrity and fair play." Reasoning:



Staffers out on the town:

Last night, the Embassy of Japan hosted an event teaching congressional staffers how to make Japanese sweets (wagashi), led by Japanese confectioner Yoshitaka Nishino. Staffers also learned the proper way to prepare Japanese tea with Teaism. Photos of the event:

The part you will all like: Wagashi is now sold at Teamism in Washington, D.C. Where specifically: The Penn Quarter and Union Market locations. Details:

Not sure why I'm advertising my lack of artistic ability, but for your entertainment at my expense: Yours Truly took part in the workshop, and I think we can agree I should stick to my day job. Mine looked like a #PinterestFail lol



Attention, Sweetgreen fans:



The House and Senate are in.

Not happening today: Despite a subpoena, former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon will not appear before the House Intelligence Committee today. Why: The White House and the intelligence panel have not yet reached an agreement on the scope of questions he could face. Keep in mind: Ignoring a subpoena issued by the committee could expose Bannon to a possible contempt of Congress charge.

11:30 a.m. EST: First votes in the House. Their schedule today:

12:30 p.m. EST: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. Their full schedule today:

3:40 p.m. EST: President Trump signs a National Security Presidential Memorandum establishing the National Vetting Center.

6:30 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

Announced today -- Monday, April 2: The 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll. Wow: This is the 140th anniversary of the event.

Lottery for the public to attend -- it opens Friday at noon:



1:45 p.m. EST: President Trump hosts a law enforcement roundtable on the MS-13 gang. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Frozen Yogurt Day.

In today's edition of "Articles I'd Assume Were April Fools Pranks, But It's [February]": Via The New York Post, Doritos Chips are creating a new "lady friendly" chip that is quieter to eat. Details: "The 'low-crunch' triangular snacks will even come in special packs specifically designed to fit into women's handbags." Full story:

Reasoning: From PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi: "You watch a lot of the young guys ... lick their fingers with great glee, and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth ... Women would love to do the same, but they don't. They don't like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don't lick their fingers." 

Let me guess the name -- Doritas

And because you read this far, here's an eagle floating on ice to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Incredible.