The Hill's 12:30 Report — Takeaways from Trump address | White House says emergency declaration 'on the table' | Dem response becomes a meme

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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: Takeaways from Trump's prime-time address | Sights and sounds | Dem response becomes a meme | WH says emergency declaration 'on the table' | Rosenstein reportedly leaving after new AG confirmed | Trump tells FEMA not to send money for California wildfires | Ginsburg misses third day | Pompeo makes surprise Iraq visit | Mickey ice cream bars now sold outside Disney parks  

  

NEWS OF THE MORNING

I cannot WAIT for Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinShowdown looms over Mueller report If Mueller's report lacks indictments, collusion is a delusion Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report MORE's tell-all:

How is it on the other side?

Via ABC's Pierre Thomas, Jonathan Karl, John Santucci and Mike Levine, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is planning to leave his job at the Justice Department once President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE's attorney general nominee, William Barr, is confirmed. https://abcn.ws/2TC9amr

Keep in mind: Rosenstein has overseen special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe for more than a year -- since former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report MORE recused himself. 

Context to the announcement from journalist Garrett M. Graff: "This is actually one of the most normal things we've seen happen in the Justice Department--and a sign that Rod Rosenstein is confident about the progress of the Mueller probe."  http://bit.ly/2TC8P39

  

It's Wednesday -- halfway there! 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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LAST NIGHT'S ADDRESS

It me:

During President Trump's first Oval Office address last night, he made his pitch for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border amid a partial government shutdown. http://bit.ly/2RhUTyQ

 

The takeaways:

  1. Trump did not shift the debate.
  2. Trump did not declare a national emergency. 
  3. Both Trump and Democrats accomplished what they needed to accomplish.
  4. Trump's speech was for his base.
  5. Trump succeeded in getting the TV networks to air his address. The pro: Trump kept to his time limit. The con: He did not deliver any major news. 

Context and details for each: http://bit.ly/2RhUTyQ

 

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM TRUMP'S ADDRESS:

If you noticed the photos placed behind Trump's desk: "As President Trump speaks from the Oval Office, photos of his mother (who immigrated from Scotland) and father (whose family immigrated from Germany) are in the background." (Via The Washington Post's Matt Viserhttp://bit.ly/2H2yQXX

Takeaway from The New York Times's Maggie Haberman: "I see the president's face but I hear Stephen Miller's voice."  http://bit.ly/2Fh5i7f

Can someone explain this quote to me?: "This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart, a crisis of the soul." http://bit.ly/2RgMvzC

The New York Times speech fact-check: https://nyti.ms/2H1vPHm

Meanwhile from Stormy Daniels -- I can't...: "So Stormy Daniels is in fact folding laundry live on Instagram in her underwear -- as Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' plays. What a country." http://bit.ly/2FgVEAZ Screenshot if you're wondering: http://bit.ly/2VAqEBL

 

FROM THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE: Following President Trump's remarks, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPelosi, Dems plot strategy after end of Mueller probe Coons after Russia probe: House Dems need to use power in 'focused and responsible way' Trump, Congress brace for Mueller findings MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis Schumer4 in 5 Americans say they support net neutrality: poll GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar MORE (D-N.Y.) delivered a rebuttal. Read their full remarks: https://nbcnews.to/2TGMLVj

The gist of the news from the Democratic response --> http://bit.ly/2CXr51n ;)

From Pelosi: "The fact is we all agree we need to secure our borders, while honoring our values." http://bit.ly/2C8Oyez

From Schumer -- ouch: "We don't govern by temper tantrum," Schumer said. http://bit.ly/2Fl2OUT

 

OK, REAL TALK -- WHAT EVERYONE WAS ~ACTUALLY~ TALKING ABOUT DURING THE DEM RESPONSE:

Dem response or hostage video?

 

Social media caption contest for this setup: 

Lol, 'The Daily Show' is a strong contender for the caption of the night: "We're not mad, we're just disappointed." http://bit.ly/2Tx09ey

Another solid contender: "You heard right. $250,000 of term life coverage, with no exam, for just $14.99 a month." http://bit.ly/2VGa1Vk

This one, too: "When you think you can sneak into the house after staying out too late, but Mom & Dad are up waiting for you in the living room." http://bit.ly/2LXodED

Their inspiration for this shot: I laughed at this photo. http://bit.ly/2RyHaD2

How one journalist spent her time: The Huffington Post's Ashley Feinberg tweeted, "Tonight was a waste of time for everyone but especially me since i just spent ten minutes doing this." Her image: http://bit.ly/2SSboy0

This photo comparison is also pretty funny: http://bit.ly/2FiWLQt

 

THE AFTER PARTY:

Response to the response: After the Democratic response, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (I-Vt.) offered his own response on Facebook Live. Watch: http://bit.ly/2ADlyeU

There was no way AOC would sit this one out: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars 'Washington Monthly' editor says diversity on Capitol Hill starts with interns Why is my party prioritizing an extreme environmental agenda? MORE (D-N.Y.) appeared on MSNBC after the addresses. Quote from AOC: "Those women and children trying to come here with nothing but the shirts on their back to create an opportunity and provide for this nation are acting more in an American tradition than this president is right now." http://bit.ly/2Rkbjq8

Oh hello there, John Kasich: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) released a statement. Excerpt: "The President and the Democrats need to learn how to compromise and put the American people first." His full statement: http://bit.ly/2AzQLzS

  

DAY 19 OF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

The White House is keeping a trick in its back pocket:

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News this morning that President Trump declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a border wall is "certainly still an option" and "something that's on the table." http://bit.ly/2RD2hEc

JUST NOW — Trump on a national emergency: Via The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus: "'I think we might work a deal, and if we don’t we might go that route.' Says he has the 'absolute right' to declare an emergency. The 'threshold' for declaring one is if he can’t make a deal." http://bit.ly/2FitYwu

Fascinating graphic: Here's a Washington Post graphic flyover of the U.S.-Mexico border. See for yourself: https://wapo.st/2VEhAf1

Tidbit -- CNN's Chris Cuomo attended Trump's lunch with journalists today: "The content was off the record, but I will tell you [that President Trump is] much more compelling making his case in person than he was on tel-e-prompter." He then added: "I've never seen [Trump] more confident. I've never seen him more secure in his arguments." http://bit.ly/2CYm2y0

HAPPENING LATER TODAY: The House will vote on Democratic bill to reopen the Treasury Department. Keep in mind: This is one of several upcoming Dem votes to put pressure on Republicans to break with President Trump and reopen the government. 

  

This morning -- no mo $$:

President Trump announced that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to withhold funding for California until the state improves its forest management to prevent wildfires. http://bit.ly/2QxKBFy

Trump tweeted: "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!" http://bit.ly/2H2obN9

Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2Fil5mA

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Justice Ginsburg misses another day on the bench:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed a third day on the court while recovering from a Dec. 21 surgery. What this means for the cases?: Ginsburg will still participate in today's case using briefs and transcripts. http://bit.ly/2sjHMOC

 

Pompeo's surprise visit:

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS sanctions Venezuelan bank after Guaidó aide's arrest The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference MORE met with Iraqi leaders today during an unannounced visit. What they discussed: The United States' Syria strategy and securing the region. http://bit.ly/2skbMd4

 

Divorce announcement via Twitter:

Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced their divorce this morning. Excerpt: "As our family and close friends know, after a long period loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends. We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other." Details and full statement on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2HckmFk

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

I'm not taking any sides here, but it's beard SZN: 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary The Memo: Trump can't let go of McCain grudge Michael Bennet is close to deciding on possible presidential bid MORE (R-Texas) is on the left; on the right is his 2018 opponent, former Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (D-Texas).

Beard breakdown from Esquire (lol, yes this is a thing): http://bit.ly/2sjBbDH


This is so well said:

 

ON TAP

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

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump signs anti-human trafficking legislation in the Oval Office.

Noon: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

1 p.m. EST: President Trump and Vice President Pence attend the Senate Republican policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol.

1:30–2:30 p.m. EST: First votes on the House.

3 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with congressional leadership. Vice President Pence also attends.

5–6 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

This morning: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) discussed the shutdown with furloughed workers. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2VG07Tu

2 p.m. EST: Senate Republicans hold a news conference following their weekly caucus luncheon. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2M1otm5

2:30 p.m. EST: Senate Democrats hold a news conference following their weekly caucus luncheon. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2SGdr8h

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Apricot Day.

 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

Mickey Ice Cream Bars will be sold at grocery stores for a limited time. http://bit.ly/2M73y1j 

 

Now is the time to try that new restaurant:

Jan. 14–Jan. 20 is Washington, D.C.'s restaurant week. The list of participating restaurants: http://bit.ly/2ACMDix

 

And to break up your Wednesday afternoon, try to spot the puppy in the corn field. It's not easy, let me tell you ;) http://bit.ly/2CZV7Si