The Hill's 12:30 Report — Obama jumps into midterm fight with speech blasting Trump | Trump wants DOJ to probe anonymous writer | Day four of Kavanaugh hearing

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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: Breaking - Obama jumps into midterm fight with speech blasting Trump | Trump wants DOJ to probe identity of anonymous op-ed writer | Day four of Kavanaugh hearing | 28 witnesses to testify on nominee | Video of Kushner stuck outside locked door goes viral | Ex-Trump adviser Papadopoulos to be sentenced today



Brett Kavanaugh won't be attending his own roast:



Think: Michael Scott organizing an office roast --> ;)

Twenty-eight outside witnesses will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today during the fourth day of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

List of the 28 outside witnesses testifying for and against Kavanaugh today:

Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Push for paid family leave heats up ahead of 2020 New act can help us grapple with portion of exploding national debt MORE has a good point about the Sharpie: Last night, The Wall Street Journal's Byron Tau tweeted, "We may be close to or beyond 24 hours of questioning of Judge Kavanaugh and you can tell senators are running out of questions. Mike Lee asks why he takes notes with a Sharpie."

If you want to watch a part of the hearing and feel like you're caught up: "CSPAN has posted the entire nearly 8-minute exchange between Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment MORE and Kavanaugh on the Mueller probe. It is worth your time."

Live blog of updates:

Livestream of the hearing:


Happy Friday! The scorching heat is finally breaking in the District. Hallelujah! 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.



Barry’s back:

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaIntelligence for the days after President Trump leaves office Barack Obama sends Valentine's message to Michelle: 'She does get down to Motown' For 2020, Democrats are lookin’ for somebody to love MORE is speaking at the University of Illinois at noon, where he just received an ethics award and is reentering the political arena.

Obama on the midterms: “I’m here to deliver a simple message: You need to vote because our democracy depends on it,” he said. "Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment really is different,” he added. “The stakes really are higher. The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire." 

Obama on Trump: He turned directly to Trump later in the speech. "It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause," Obama said. "He's just capitalizing on resentments politicians have been fanning for years."

Livestream of the speech

Keep in mind: Obama is expected to start campaigning for Democrats in the homestretch before the midterms.

Happening tomorrow: Obama is headlining a rally in California for seven congressional candidates.


A Trump campaign adviser is sentenced:

Trump campaign adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosDrama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Fox & Friends host says program will ‘absolutely’ accept Mueller report findings Source of Steele dossier info sought access to Trump allies in 2016: report MORE, who pleaded guilty last year to lying about his Russian contacts, will be sentenced this afternoon.

What prosecutors want: Up to six months in jail and a $9,500 fine because his false statements "caused damage to the government's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election."

What his defense team wants: One year of probation. What his lawyers are arguing: "He was barely qualified for his role as a foreign policy adviser in a campaign focused on improving relations with Russia, his lawyers wrote. A meeting he suggested between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin during the campaign never happened. And he never realized the seriousness of a mysterious European professor telling him that Russia had 'dirt' on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea MORE. Even when FBI agents first approached him at his mother's house in January last year, Papadopoulos didn't realize the conversation would turn to Russian interference in the presidential election."

Why this case is important: Papadopoulos is the first Trump associate to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors in the special counsel investigation.



BREAKING — Tell meeeee!:

Via The Associated Press, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE just called on the Justice Department to investigate who wrote the anonymous New York Times op-ed that claimed there is a "resistance" within his administration. Trump’s reason: He cited national security concerns.


'Tell me or I will keep you here all night!'

'We can't keep them past four.'

'I will keep you here until four.':

--> ;)

The hunt to figure out which senior administration official wrote a scathing, anonymous op-ed about President Trump is picking up steam with dozens of high-ranking officials have issued statements denying their involvement. Who: Lawmakers and the media are racing to discover the official's identity. What to expect:

Haha, this is what happens!: The New York Times's Ken Vogel tweeted, "Not sure this is what [White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders] had in mind when she urged people to call The New York Times general switchboard to demand the identity of the writer of the anonymous op-ed." For example -- listen:



My second-hand embarrassment is off the charts -- Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE got locked out of the NAFTA negotiations yesterday:

As Talking Points Memo's Kate Riga writes, "Buckle your seat belts--it's a long two minutes."

The video has more than 1 million views since it was posted last night.  

Watch -- it's painful, but I can't stop watching:



Let's start living dangerously


Via Politico's Burgess Everett, "For nearly six years, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency Poll: Sanders, Biden seen as most popular second choices in Dem primary MORE has walked briskly through the throngs of reporters on Capitol Hill, waving off questions so sternly that journalists stopped even trying. Now, with Warren inching ever closer to a decision on a 2020 presidential bid, she says that's all about to change." How Warren says she will change: "I'm going to open up. You bet. I can't promise I'll have great answers, but I'll at least try," Warren said. "I am [intense]. And that won't change. And I still walk fast. That just doesn't change. That's genetic ... but I think it's important to be more open."



I can't decide which video is more awkward: Jared Kushner locked out of a meeting (^^above) or Alex Jones getting into a fight on the street with passersby: 

Watch -- it's really something:

Oh and here's a subsequent three-second clip: Jones is yelling and I can only assume imitating Shrek (?):

Keep in mind: Following YouTube, Facebook, Apple and Spotify which have banned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Twitter decided yesterday to permanently suspend Jones and his Infowars brand from their platform.



The House was in this morning. The Senate is out. President Trump is campaigning in North Dakota and South Dakota, and Vice President Pence is spending the day in Las Vegas.

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a roundtable with supporters in Fargo, N.D. Livestream:

2:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

3:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks to veterans and airmen at Nellis Air Force Base. 

4:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts roundtable with supporters in Sioux Falls, S.D.

5:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a Republican Governors Association event. 

5:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Sioux Falls, S.D. He then heads back to Washington, D.C.

6:00 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt in Las Vegas. He then heads back to Washington, D.C.

9:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.

11:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to the White House.

Sept. 12–14: National Confectioners Association's Washington Forum. Think: Smarties, Tootsie Rolls and Hershey Bars on Capitol Hill. Details:



Today: 28 outside witnesses testify on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. Livestream:

2:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Fargo, N.D. Livestream: 



Today is National Salami Day. And shameless plug, today is also National New Hampshire Day!! :)


It takes a lot to make a New Englander have negative feelings about Dunkin Donuts. This may be what it takes.: 

Via NESN, Dunkin Donuts accidentally sent Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl LII cups to some stores in New England. The company then apologized to New England Patriots fans. Keep in mind: The Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl last year. Photo of the cups — grumble:


And because you read this far, here's a stubborn little boy who insisted on eating straight Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder. His reaction is priceless.