The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Booker jumps into 2020 race | Trump to suspend nuke treaty with Russia | Economy adds 304K jobs in January

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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: Booker jumps into 2020 race | Trump to suspend nuke treaty with Russia | Economy adds 300K jobs for second month | Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneCounterprotesters outnumber far-right extremists at DC rally Judge orders Roger Stone to file rebuttal to allegation he violated gag order Federal prosecutors allege Roger Stone violated gag order with Instagram posts MORE headed back to court | Dems find new target in Mnuchin | Pence to meet Venezuelan exiles in Miami | Vice Media hit by layoffs | &pizza opening in House office building | National Bubble Gum Day




My favorite reaction to Booker’s presidential announcement. Credit | @hotpockets

Back story — throwback: Remember when Corey Booker was the mayor of Newark, N.J., and got residents hundreds of free Hot Pockets after Hurricane Sandy? Details:


He should do well with the pizza contingent:

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHarris slams DOJ decision not to charge police in Eric Garner's death The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Fundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race MORE (D-N.J.) announced this morning that he is running for president in 2020. 

From Booker’s announcement video: "The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it.” 

Watch Booker’s announcement video:

Is Booker’s announcement surprising?: Booker's entry into the race was anticipated and he had been telling lawmakers he would run.

Timing: Booker made the announcement on the first day of Black History Month. 

Following the announcement video: Booker talks more about his bid on Instagram Live. The theme: Bringing the country together. “Don’t tell me that’s weak. Don’t tell me you can’t win elections that way.” Watch the Instagram livestream — click his profile picture on the top left:

Tidbit:Cory Booker’s the first presidential candidate with a sports-reference page.” Booker played football at Stanford. (Via National Journal’s Josh KraushaarHis stats:

Here’s video of Booker playing college football: Via Sports Illustrated:

New Twitter banner, who dis?: “Spotted on Booker's new Twitter banner: ‘South Carolina NAACP’” (Via The New York Times’s Shane Goldmacher

Throwback: Earlier in January, from CNN’s Rebecca Buck, “I forgot to tweet about this yesterday, but I can't overlook Cory Booker's commitment to going coat-less in South Carolina. It was freezing. Even Bernie (of Vermont) was bundled up. But as any winter bride can relate — gotta get pics in your good outfit no matter what.” She referenced that tweet this morning, adding some context: “Now we know why Booker didn’t wear a coat in SC: His team was filming for his announcement video that day” Photos — he looks cold!:

WASTING NO TIME: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) began calling members of Congress yesterday to try to get their support.  

REACTION FROM A COLLEAGUE / 2020 COMPETITOR: Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Fundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race Five things to watch for at Defense nominee's confirmation hearing MORE (D-N.Y.) tweeted, “Congratulations and welcome to the race to one of my closest friends, [Cory Booker]! I'll be cheering you on—just, you know, not TOO hard.”

Gillibrand linked to a Marie Claire video of the two quizzing each other on ‘How Well Do You Know Your Co-Worker?’ — watch:


Happy Friday! It’s a snowy start to February in D.C.! 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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First Fridays of the month are for jobs:

The economy added a robust 304,000 jobs in January.

For context: Economists had predicted 165,000 jobs for January. 

Keep in mind: This is the second straight month of growth above 300,000. 

The unemployment rate: Ticked up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent. That’s a sign that more people were entering the labor force.


It’s been a bad stretch for media companies:

Via The Hollywood Reporter, Vice Media’s CEO announced this morning that the company is laying off about 10 percent of its employees. 

Details: “Around 250 jobs are expected to be cut, a company spokeswoman tells The Hollywood Reporter, as the 2,500-person Vice reduces redundancies internationally and reorients to focus on growth areas like film and television production and branded content. All departments at every level are expected to have layoffs, from IT to finance to television.”



This morning — *cue dramatic tearing of the document*:

“The Trump administration announced Friday that it would suspend its obligations under a decades old Cold War arms control pact with Russia on Saturday, citing Moscow's violations of the treaty.”

From Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoAs tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Trump's Huawei concession is 'the rope that could hang America' MORE: “Russia has refused to take any steps to return to real and verifiable compliance over these 60 days. The United States will therefore suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty effective Feb. 2, and we will provide Russia and the other treaty parties with formal notice that the United States is withdrawing from the INF Treaty effective in six months pursuant to Article 15 of the treaty.” 


Yeeeea, that’s awkward. I’d cancel that briefing, too...:

The White House abruptly canceled President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE’s daily intelligence meeting on Wednesday after CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, the top intelligence officials in the United States, contradicted the White House’s foreign policy in front of Congress.

How Haspel and Coats contradicted the Trump administration: They testified that Iran has been complying with the Obama-era nuclear deal, said that North Korea likely won’t give up its nuclear weapons and said that ISIS is still a threat. Trump has publicly disagreed with each of these policies.



Raise a glass to more lunch options!:

Via Roll Call’s Katherine Tully-McManus, a new &pizza is opening in the Rayburn House Office Building on Feb. 6. Details:



Democrats smell fresh meat:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Olivia Beavers, “Democrats have a new investigative target: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocrat Sherrod Brown torches Facebook at hearing: 'They broke journalism, helped incite a genocide' Beware the digital tax trap The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE. The leaders of three powerful House committees are requesting a trove of documents related to the Treasury Department’s decision to lift sanctions on companies tied to Oleg Deripaska, a prominent Russian oligarch linked with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”


Enough of this cold!:

An 18-year-old pre-medicine student at the University of Iowa froze to death this week. The temperature: “Temperatures at the university plunged to about minus 21 degrees, with a windchill as low as 51 degrees below zero, this week amid an Arctic front that has hit large parts of the country.” What we know: 



This is pretty bad acting...:



The House and Senate are out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is heading to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Vice President Pence is in Miami. 

8:30 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to squash fight with progressives The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi looks to tamp down Dem infighting MORE leave Washington, D.C., for Miami.

11:40 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence holds a roundtable with Venezuelan exiles in Miami.

11:45 a.m. EST: President Trump had a meeting in the Cabinet Room to discuss human trafficking on the southern border.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

2 p.m. EST: Roger Stone will be in court. “Judge Amy Berman Jackson is expected to discuss and possibly rule on motions before her in which prosecutors have asked for more time to prepare for trial, citing ‘voluminous and complex’ evidence in the case.” (Via The Hill’s Lydia Wheeler

4 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpCruz in 2016 said 'something fundamentally wrong' with Christians who back Trump: book Designer defends Melania Trump statue: 'People may laugh but the context still resonates' Melania Trump heading to West Virginia to discuss opioid epidemic MORE leave for the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Keep in mind: This is the president’s first trip since Thanksgiving.



12:35 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at a Venezuela solidarity event in Miami. Livestream

6:30 p.m. EST Sunday: The kickoff for Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Preview from ESPN's Bill Barnwell:



Today is National Bubble Gum Day.


Wow, he got Bill Belichick to smile!: 

For a segment on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' Kimmel's sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez went to the Super Bowl LIII Media Night and asked players and coaches some pretty weird questions. Watch -- the reactions from NFL players and coaches are hilarious:

Including -- lol: Guillermo asked defensive tackle Aaron Donald, "If you guys win the Super Bowl, what fast food do you think Donald Trump will serve to you guys?" Watch his reaction: 


Does anyone want a low-key wedding on, say, March 14, 2019?:

You can get married at &pizza on Pi Day. Here are details and the form to apply: 


And to get your weekend off to the right start, here are ducks reacting to snow similarly to most people in Washington, D.C. I laughed out loud at this:

Can’t you just hear the ducks quacking, “nope, nope, nope, nope?”