The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Bush memorial service in Houston | House passes two-week spending measure | Markets drop after Chinese executive's arrest

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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 — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Memorial service held for George H.W. Bush in Houston | House approves two-week spending measure | Markets plunge after Chinese executive's arrest | Trump blames Mueller for low approval | GOP gets gender wakeup call | Would-be Dem candidates skip on 2020 run | National Gazpacho Day



Houston funeral service for George H.W. Bush:

About 1,200 invited guests just said goodbye to former President George H.W. Bush this morning at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

The difference between yesterday’s service and today’s: Yesterday’s funeral service was a formal state funeral for a former president. Today’s Houston funeral is more about George H.W. Bush as a person. 

What's happening after the funeral ceremony: Bush's casket travels by train to College Station, Texas, where he will be buried.

Livestream of the funeral:

Livestream of Bush's interment at 5:15 p.m. EST:



Photo of the train that will transport Bush's body to College Station, Texas

Tidbit about historian Jon Meacham's eulogy yesterday: Meacham read his eulogy to former President George H.W. Bush before he died. Bush's reaction: "That's a lot about me, Jon." (Via NBC's Willie Geist)

Letter from Bush: Rep. Mark SanfordMarshall (Mark) Clement SanfordEndorsing Trump isn’t the easiest decision for some Republicans Mark Sanford warns US could see ‘Hitler-like character’ in the future House passes year-end tax package MORE's (R-S.C.) son wrote a letter to "living legends" asking what they would say to their 20-year-old selves. Bush was the only one to respond. Read Bush's letter: 


From former Secretary of State James Baker: "James Baker says Bush 41's wish for a 'kinder, gentler' nation was not a cynical political act but set in motion of model of post presidency with their civic and philanthropic acts."


It's Thursday. 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 follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Two *clap* More *clap* Weeks*: 

The House just passed a two-week spending bill to keep the government open until Dec. 21. I.e.: The border wall fight gets a two-week extension. 


The market had A MORNING:

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by almost 500 points Thursday morning, the first day of trading after U.S. authorities secured the arrest of a Chinese technology company executive, fueling fears that the trade war with China is heating up."

What sparked this last night: "News broke late Wednesday that Canadian law enforcement had arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, a major Chinese tech firm that has been linked to the Chinese military. U.S. officials have requested her extradition, citing a suspected sanctions violation. A Chinese Foreign Ministry official on Thursday demanded Meng's release and called her detention a possible human rights violation."


Woulda, coulda, shoulda:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE blamed special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE for his low approval rating.

He tweeted: "Without the phony Russia Witch Hunt, and with all that we have accomplished in the last almost two years (Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judge's, Military, Vets, etc.) my approval rating would be at 75% rather than the 50% just reported by Rasmussen. It's called Presidential Harassment!"

Keep in mind from The Hill's Jordan Fabian: "The president's approval in the Rasmussen poll is higher than most other surveys. Gallup's tracking poll showed Trump's overall approval this week stands at 40 percent."


It's not a border wall. It's a border WALL:

Four Republican senators introduced a bill for $25 billion to fund President Trump's border wall.

The bill's name: The WALL Act.

How Republicans plan to pay for the bill: Cracking down on benefits for undocumented immigrants. Including: "Requiring that parents have a Social Security number to claim refundable tax credits, requiring any welfare applicants to prove they are a citizen and increasing minimum fines on individuals who cross the border illegally or overstay visas." 

Will this pass?: Nah, this bill likely won't go anywhere. 

The current bills to fund the border wall: The House's bill would allocate $5 billion to the wall; the Senate's bill would provide $1.6 billion. 

WALL FOR DACA?: This morning, House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiWhy Omar’s views are dangerous Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Graham clashed with Pentagon chief over Syria | Talk grows that Trump will fire Coats | Coast Guard officer accused of domestic terrorism plot MORE (D-Calif.) "says she would NOT support wall funding in exchange for a deal on DACA. Calls them two totally different subjects."


George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Mueller probe figures use fame to pay bills Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' MORE is a hardened criminal now:

Via Politico's Kyle Cheney, today is former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos's last day in prison. The charge: Lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. What day he went to prison: Nov. 26.


Breaking — North Carolina GOP calls for an election investigation:

"Senior North Carolina Republican officials on Thursday called for a bipartisan investigation into claims of absentee ballot fraud in one of the most closely divided U.S. House races in the country. In a press conference in Raleigh, three Republican state senators who represent parts of North Carolina’s 9th congressional district asked Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to create a bipartisan task force to investigate allegations that a contractor working for Republican congressional candidate Mark HarrisMark Harris GOP candidate Mark Harris's son testifies in NC ballot-tampering hearing Mark Harris consultant says he was not aware of alleged ballot-tampering scheme Undecided North Carolina congressional race may be headed for redo MORE was illegally urging people to collect voters' absentee ballots."



Because everyone and their mother is running in 2020:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D): Hickenlooper is interviewing dozens of potential aides to expand his staff.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Bloomberg is releasing an updated biography next month. The name -- you'll never guess it: "Bloomberg by Bloomberg, Updated."

Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times Sanders on Trump insult: Crazy that president 'is a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and a fraud' Trump revives 'Crazy Bernie' nickname one day after Sanders enters race MORE (D-Texas): O'Rourke is talking to former Obama operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire.


Except these people so far:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ruled it out last month.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) announced he won't run because of the "cruelty" of the election process.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, said on Tuesday he won't run.

What these exits mean for the 2020 Democratic primary:



'Wake up, dudes':

Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona, "Republican men and women are deeply divided over how to confront the results of a brutal midterm election that decimated the ranks of female GOP lawmakers in the House."

Most House Republicans: "Most House Republicans have so far shown little appetite for performing an autopsy on the 2018 election cycle and publicly identifying the root of their tough losses, which were stark among female voters, particularly in the suburbs." 

But then others: "But a vocal chorus of Republican women has been sounding the alarm to address what they view as a crisis, calling on party leaders to be more aggressive in devising a strategy to reverse the trend by the next election cycle."



A U.S. soldier and a patriotic pup died in Afghanistan:

A clash in Afghanistan led to the death of Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, whose death was previously reported, and Multi-Purpose Canine MaikoFrom a spokesperson: "The actions of Maiko directly saved the life of his handler ... and other Rangers."




Billinson then tweeted: "I was at their house TWO days ago, all of you need to stop taking her side all the time." The replies to this tweet are pretty funny:

He then added a screenshot to prove: "And we spoke on the phone three times yesterday trying to teach her how to use an InstantPot. I AM NOT A BAD SON"



New education and health initiatives launched alongside the 2019 Special Olympics World Games will have a lasting impact on social inclusion in the UAE and the region. Learn more



The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are both in Washington, D.C.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump received an intelligence briefing. 

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosStudents call on DeVos to offer free tampons, pads in schools to address 'period poverty' DeVos recovering from broken pelvis, hip socket after bicycle accident Student veterans deserve better than the DeVos agenda MORE.

1:45 p.m. EST: The Senate votes.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks at a Hanukkah reception. Vice President Pence attends.

8 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks at a Hanukkah reception. Vice President Pence attends.



2 p.m. EST: The Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. Featured speakers: Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump, Harris, Ocasio-Cortez, Charlie Kirk among Twitter's most-engaged users Ivanka must recalibrate her paid family leave plan to make it tenable Four names emerge for UN position: report MORE, JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s Jamie Dimon, Walmart's Doug McMillon and Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTalk grows that Trump will fire Dan Coats Harris on election security: 'Russia can't hack a piece of paper' Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' MORE (D-Va.) Details and livestream:

Livestream of Bush's interment at 5:15 p.m. EST:



Today is National Gazpacho Day.


This isn't helping your likeability, Harvard:

A Harvard professor told The New York Times that a serving of French fries should include six fries. I repeat: A side of fries should come with six individual fries, according to Harvard professor Eric Rimm.

The internet didn't take that news kindly: The responses are pretty funny:

"Seriously. I average 6 fries a bite."

"I've never felt so attacked."


And because you made it to the end, here's a dog who is not pleased by his vegan pals: