The Hill's 12:30 Report: Shutdown Day 33 | Trump tells Pelosi he intends to deliver State of the Union from House | House GOP cancels retreat | Trump unveils new rallying cry

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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: Shutdown Day 33 | Trump tells Pelosi he intends to deliver State of the Union from House chamber | House GOP cancels lawmaker retreat | Trump unveils new rallying cry: 'Build a wall and crime will fall' | Dem South Bend mayor launches exploratory committee | Diverse Dem field take shape for 2020 | National Pie Day



Who had Peter Buttigieg on their 2020 bingo boards? If so, bravo!: 

Peter Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced this morning that he is forming an exploratory committee to run for president.

His announcement video:

Buttigieg is openly gay: Buttigieg announced in December 2017 that he is marrying his partner, Chasten GlezmanHe posted on Facebook: "He said yes! Can't wait to spend the rest of my life with Chasten Glezman." The Facebook post and engagement photo:

What to know about Peter Buttigieg -- here's a profile:

He may not have the best name recognition, but why you should take him seriously: "Gonna be a lot of 'Pete Who?' reactions today, but don't write off Buttigieg. He's one of few new faces not weighed down by prior D fights, has an appealing biography, and has been prepping for some time. He could get a serious look if early frontrunners don't catch fire." (From NBC's Benjy Sarlin

Why yes, it does feel this way: "Rule for 2019: If you're a man ... and you have a name that starts with B, you're probably thinking about running for president. Booker, Bernie, Beto, Buttigieg, Bloomberg, Bullock, Biden, Brown." (From The Washington Post's Annie Linskey)

Photo of a Washington Post editor's candidate white board:

A MAJOR THEME TO EXPECT IN THE 2020 RACE -- RACE, GENDER AND IDENTITY: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, an especially diverse 2020 Democratic field is forming, making the explosive issues of race, gender and identity taking center stage. How so and how this could play out:


It's Wednesday. 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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Just now -- I'm on the edge of my seat in this saga: 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE just sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit MORE (D-Calif.) in which he says he will forge ahead with his plans to deliver the State of the Union address in the House, despite her objections.

Read the letter:

Meanwhile from Pelosi: "Speaker Pelosi advised members not to bring family to Washington next week, an implication that the State of the Union is not going to happen, per source in a morning caucus meeting. Members often invite spouses and other family to attend the SOTU." (Via CNN's Manu Raju

From the head of the Dem Caucus: Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesDemocratic leaders: Supreme Court fight is about ObamaCare Pelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief Races heat up for House leadership posts MORE (D-N.Y.), the head of the Democratic Caucus, said "it's highly unlikely that the State of the Union is going to take place on the floor of the United States House of Representatives." Well: Unless the government reopens.

Could it happen somewhere else?: "House Republicans are floating a lot of locations for SOTU -- including on the border. But Minority Leader McCarthy wouldn't say if any of those are real options, demanding it be held in House chamber."



Democrats' new gun bill:

Via Politico's Heather Caygle and Sarah Ferris, "Democrats are introducing a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy assault-style weapons, the latest in a multipronged effort to address a string of recent mass shootings and stifle the gun lobby's sway since taking back the House majority."


Covington student appears on NBC's 'Today':

NBC's Savannah Guthrie exclusively interviewed Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, who was at the center of the controversy over an incident at the Lincoln Memorial.

Sandmann on the incident: "My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips. I respect him, I would like to talk to him. I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could've walked away and avoided the whole thing." Watch Sandmann's response:

REACTION -- BOTH THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT CRITICIZE SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Liberals criticized Guthrie and 'Today' for giving Sandmann a national platform, while conservatives criticized her for asking if he should apologize to Native American activist Nathan Phillips." Tweets from the left and the right:



Any day now, guys. Anyyy day:

House Republicans decided to cancel their retreat scheduled for next week because of the ongoing partial government shutdown. When the retreat was scheduled: Next Wednesday through Friday. Where: The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Tidbit from Politico's Sarah Ferris: "Some Republicans had told me privately they were gonna skip anyways, wouldn't be caught dead near fancy WV golf course during shutdown."


I'm all for a catchy chant:

This morning, President Trump unveiled a new rallying cry for building the border wall.


Trump added: "This is the new theme, for two years until the Wall is finished (under construction now), of the Republican Party. Use it and pray!"

FACT CHECK -- THE WALL ISN'T ACTUALLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION BUT...: Congress has not authorized spending for building new parts to the wall, but existing parts of the wall have been renovated.  

Op-ed for the wall:

Op-ed against the wall:



The communication director for Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHundreds of lawyers from nation's oldest African American sorority join effort to fight voter suppression Biden picks up endorsement from progressive climate group 350 Action 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing MORE (D-Calif.) posted a video of the senator dancing to rapper Cardi B. in her office. The caption: "When we get tired of speech prep there's only one thing to do..." The problem…: CBS's Ed O'Keefe pointed out that the office's wi-fi password is visible in the video. Watch:



Ugh, I wish I didn't know this


A dating app campaign spotted on the metro -- this is cringy:

That's not all, folks!: Here's another ad in the same marketing campaign. It's equally cringy -- photo:



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

10:30 a.m. EST: President Trump held a briefing call with community leaders to discuss immigration.

1:15 p.m. EST: First votes in the House.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a health care roundtable on fair pricing.

3 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with conservative leaders on his immigration proposal. Vice President Pence also attends.

3:15 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.



12:45 p.m. EST: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. Livestream:



Today is National Pie Day!


If you've seen Instagram points accusing the platform of limiting certain posts' reach:

Instagram debunked the claim that its algorithms are limiting posts to reaching just 7 percent of followers. Instagram's explanation:


This is making me hungry:

The Washington Post's food critic Tom Sietsema lists his 9 favorite places to eat in the D.C. area. The list:


And to both entertain you and make you feel personally unaccomplished, here's a 19-month-old toddler who can rock climb: