The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips Dems as shutdown looms | Congress deadlocked | Flynn associates charged will illegal lobbying

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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: Trump rips Dems as shutdown looms | Congress deadlocked | Trump finds himself isolated | How the spending fight is testing McConnell | Dems dig in for long shutdown | Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe next step for justice reform: Ending the ban on federal Pell Grants for eligible students behind bars Senate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks Overnight Health Care: Survey finds 1 in 10 ration medicines to lower costs | Senate Dems call for hearing on Trump abortion rule | Trump health chief backs needle exchanges | Outgoing FDA chief keeps heat on e-cig maker MORE won't seek reelection | Flynn associate charged with illegal lobbying | Senate criminal justice bill heads to a vote | 2018's most Googled politician (it's not who you think) 

 

T-MINUS 4 DAYS UNTIL A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

Step 1: Cue up ‘Closing Time’ on the intercom: 

--> http://bit.ly/2SVb9lD;) 

Via The Hill’s Niv Elis, House Democrats are planning for a prolonged shutdown that would begin Saturday if President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE and Congress are unable to agree to a spending bill. http://bit.ly/2ULaAMS

The plan — Step 2: If the shutdown goes until Jan. 3 when Democrats take over the House, they will have a new funding bill. They will likely try to pass a measure with no funds for Trump's border wall, setting up a clash with the GOP-led Senate.

 

Maybe the president should start a group text to talk to Congress:

A few days before the looming government shutdown, President Trump called out Democrats who say that the U.S. border is secure. http://bit.ly/2QxOpLL

He tweeted: "Anytime you hear a Democrat saying that you can have good Boarder Security without a Wall, write them off as just another politician following the party line. Time for us to save billions of dollars a year and have, at the same time, far greater safety and control!" http://bit.ly/2SUztDZ

Where things stand -- just don't get ~too~ attached to your government being open: Lawmakers are returning to Washington this week with no clear plan to avert a partial government shutdown.

When the government would shut down without a deal: Midnight Friday.

When is the soonest Congress can resolve the issue: The House doesn't return until Wednesday evening.

The holdup: President Trump is demanding $5 billion in border wall funding. 

What Democrats are willing to agree to: $1.3 billion for border funding, but no more than that.

What agencies will stay open regardless: The Pentagon, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and energy programs. Those agencies have been funded through Sept. 30, 2019. http://bit.ly/2rHly96

What agencies would shut down: The departments of State, Transportation, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security. Yeah, but: Law enforcement agents deemed "essential" will still work. http://bit.ly/2rHly96

WHERE TRUMP STANDS IN THE SHUTDOWN FIGHT: He's pretty isolated with even members of his party. How so: http://bit.ly/2A5NBmW

WHY Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' McConnell calls McCain a 'rare patriot' and 'American hero' after Trump criticism MORE NEEDS TO TREAD CAREFULLY: Most Senate Republicans see a shutdown as a mistake heading into a tough 2020 cycle, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is up for reelection. Keep in mind: Republicans are defending 22 Senate seats (!) in 2020. What to expect from McConnell: http://bit.ly/2QX6MJy

 

It's Monday -- Christmas Eve is a week from today! 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 cmartel@thehill.com-- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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NEWS THIS MORNING

Breaking -- A two-year senior slide sounds nice:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced on Monday that he will not run for reelection in 2020. Yeah, but: He will finish the rest of his term. http://bit.ly/2EAb3wI

From Alexander: "I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate in 2020. The people of Tennessee have been very generous, electing me to serve more combined years as Governor and Senator than anyone else from our state." 

Read his full statement: http://bit.ly/2US3INK

 

Which company do you think will control our free will first, Amazon or Google?:

Google announced plans to open a new campus in New York. Where: On Hudson Street and Washington Street in Manhattan. When the company campus will open: By 2022. How much Google is investing in this new campus: $1 billion. http://bit.ly/2QFbPz3

Last week: Google announced last week that it is opening another $1 billion facility in Austin, Texas. http://bit.ly/2rCmVWu

Keep in mind: Amazon also recently announced a new headquarters in New York City. https://on.mktw.net/2CinPxy

 

Meanwhile — Facebook, Google and Twitter may not have been so helpful in the Russia investigation:

Via The Hill’s Harper Neidig and Morgan Chalfant, “A report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee's probe into Russia's online disinformation campaigns aimed at U.S. voters accused Facebook, Google and Twitter of impeding the investigation.” How so: According to the firm The New Knowledge, the companies submitted incomplete data and may have misled lawmakers about Russian trolls. http://bit.ly/2PFLN9r

Read the report: http://bit.ly/2SV9RqN

 

A Michael Flynn associated has been charged: 

Via The Washington Post's Rachel Weiner, "A former business partner of Michael Flynn is being charged with acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy for attempting to get Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from the United States." Who: Bijan Kian. This morning: Kian appeared in federal court in Alexandria, Va. https://wapo.st/2S82QTl

  

IN OTHER NEWS

What else is happening in Congress this week -- 'It's Always Infrastructure Week in Philadel-- Washington:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke, the Senate is debating a White House-backed criminal justice bill this week after years of the legislation stalling. Happening at 5:30 p.m. today: The Senate has a vote related to the measure. It needs 60 votes to advance. http://bit.ly/2R3w88o

What's in the bill: "The legislation combines a House-backed prison reform with a handful of changes to sentencing and mandatory minimum laws. Senators rolled out a modified, final version of the legislation last week with changes aimed at winning over more GOP support, including increasing the list of offenses that make an individual ineligible from the 'earned time' credits that cut down on a sentence."  http://bit.ly/2R3w88o

Interesting read -- 'A complete guide to all 17 (known) Trump and Russia investigations': Via Garrett Graff in Wired. The list of investigations: http://bit.ly/2URDmeY

 

2018's most Googled politician -- any guesses??:

No, it's not Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez fires back at Jamie Dimon after CEO dismisses Green New Deal Inslee: We want world to know 'there is still intelligent life in the US' The importance of moderate voters MORE (D-N.Y.). The winner: Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee who lost to Republican Brian Kemphttp://bit.ly/2Er3fwc

  

TODAY IN POLITICAL PUNS

I laughed…:

From Journalist Jim Swift: "We're on teething watch with the twins. I told my wife we should call it the Molar investigation. She was not amused." http://bit.ly/2URfSXh

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel Schatz Advocate says Trump administration's new proposal would do 'absolutely nothing' to alleviate student debt Hillicon Valley: Huawei official asks US to ease restrictions | Facebook loses top execs | Defense officials hit Google over China | Pro-Trump 'safe space' app pulled over security flaw | Senators offer bill on facial recognition technology Senators introduce bill to regulate facial recognition technology MORE (D-Hawaii) tweeted that "President Carter divested from his peanut farm": MSNBC's Garrett Haake added, "And to think, he could have held it in a shell company. (I'll show myself out.)" http://bit.ly/2EBaAKq

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

What everyone was watching over the weekend:

This video has almost 15 million views so far.

Watch: http://bit.ly/2SbNddX

 

ON TAP

The Senate is meeting this afternoon. The House is out until Wednesday. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

1:45 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election Zinke cleared of violating federal rules tied to Pennsylvania special election Overnight Energy: Trump unveils 2020 budget | Plan slashes funds for EPA, Interior and Energy | Interior request highlights border security MORE.

3 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence meets with the deputy prime minister of New Zealand.

3 p.m. EST: The Senate meets to work on criminal justice reform.

5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain White House announces spring garden tour dates Trump heard sermon on calling out hate speech at St. Patrick's day church service MORE participate in a Christmas reception at the White House.

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes. The chamber's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2QYUujI

7:45 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence leaves for Cape Canaveral, Fla. 

 

WHAT TO WATCH

3 p.m. EST: The Senate debates criminal justice reform. Watch: https://cs.pn/2A1pOVg

For no good reason except that it's almost the holidays: Here's a livestream of a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla. Watch: http://bit.ly/2EzEzm6

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Maple Syrup Day.

 

Getting traction -- he got two minutes for ruffing:

A 5-month-old puppy played fetch on the ice during a St. Louis Blues practice. Watch: http://bit.ly/2LkM8h6

 

Today in 'You Should Probably Come Up With A New Hobby':

Surveillance video shows a person attempting to steal a television that was delivered to a home in Prince George's County. Watch -- smooooooth: http://bit.ly/2EuxgeT

 

And to break up your Monday afternoon, here's a panda enjoying a bamboo snack: http://bit.ly/2LkjLzu