The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sparks fly at Detroit Democratic debate

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*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Key takeaways from Detroit debate's first night | Sights and sounds | Progressives, moderates brawl | Warren, Sanders dominate talk time | Williamson goes viral over 'dark psychic force' | Buttigieg forehead smudge explained | CNN takes heat over format | Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Now's the time to make 'Social Emotional Learning' a national priority Mourners gather outside Supreme Court after passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg MORE denies protesting anthem | Dems fear trap in Trump attacks on minority lawmakers | Senate to vote today on budget | Fight looms over Trump spy pick | National Avocado Day 



So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us

Like the ceiling can't hold us: 

--> http://bit.ly/2LSKuX0;)



  1. Debate puts Democratic divides on display -- moderates vs. progressives http://bit.ly/2GyKh7h
  2. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Sanders says he can't support bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal in its current form Progressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal MORE gets lots of time, but Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCan Biden find a third way between Trumpism and Obama-era globalism? Left seeks to influence Biden picks while signaling unity Schwarzenegger says he would 'absolutely' help Biden administration MORE gets biggest moment http://bit.ly/2GDHlWZ
  3. Steve BullockSteve BullockOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Down ballot races carry environmental implications | US officially exits Paris climate accord  GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race Senate control in flux as counting goes forward in key states MORE has big night -- this is the first debate that he qualified for.
  4. Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson discusses America's "soulless ethos" Marianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention Fewer people watched opening night of Democratic convention compared to 2016 MORE's 'dark psychic force' comment breaks internet and keeps her in race
  5. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeMexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized Mexico emerging as foreign policy challenge for Biden Beyoncé sports pro-Biden mask on Instagram MORE sags; Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegJuan Williams: Clyburn is my choice as politician of the year 'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' MORE doesn't leave big impression

Context and details for each from The Hill's Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley: http://bit.ly/2ZldtWx

CNN was criticized for the debate format: "CNN faced backlash for its first primary debate of the 2020 campaign season, with members of the media comparing its production to a sporting event or movie trailer and others lamenting the time spent to kick off the event." Explanation from The Hill's Joe Concha: http://bit.ly/2GDLJFr 

Here's a list of the top five moments during the debate: http://bit.ly/2Zlc8iw


It's Wednesday -- hump day! 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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Now THIS you have to watch: Here is video of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) scootering between the TV satellite trucks. Don't fall. Don't fall. Don't fall. Watch: http://bit.ly/2ZoEVD0

That's a nifty press badge: "The CNN press badge is in the shape of an orb, advantage Marianne" (From The Washington Post's Dave Weigel) Photo: http://bit.ly/2GAEyxS


Tidbit: "A Marianne Williamson staffer told me in Miami that when she visits the networks, reporters and producers sneer at her but the makeup artists always cry when they meet her." (Via BuzzFeed's Ben Smith) http://bit.ly/2Zmqijw



Did anyone notice the smudge on Pete Buttigieg's face at the beginning of the debate?: Here's a photo of the smudge: http://bit.ly/2ZmAclh Then this morning, Buttigieg explained on CNN's "New Day": "Alright, so our best guess is that there were these little, kind of gnats around. Maybe I smushed one and it got on my forehead. I don't know," Buttigieg laughed. "I didn't know about it until after." Watch: http://bit.ly/2Zlq3VH 

LOL -- that is code for...: "Whenever a candidate says, 'My friend here,' it's code for 'This SOB that I want to punch in their face'" http://bit.ly/2GzZx3G

Oops, that was Tim Ryan: Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly confused Tim Ryan for Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioUS records over 14 million coronavirus cases New York City positivity rate above 5 percent, highest level since May NYC mayoral contender challenges New York Times for defining candidacy by marijuana use MORE during the debate. Screenshot of the tweet: http://bit.ly/2GDm3Zx

The gif of the night: 'So we put our hands up like the ceiling can't hold us, like the ceiling can't hold us!' Gif of Sanders and Hickenlooperhttp://bit.ly/2GDfKoZ

Sir Charles was there: Photo: http://bit.ly/2GQh4F9

On the age difference between Sanders and Buttigieg -- oh snap: "Buttigieg won an essay contest in high school by writing about then-Rep. Sanders." (Via NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald) http://bit.ly/2ZlnGlR

^ Eeeek: "Sanders was older when Buttigieg was born than Buttigieg is now." (From The Hill's Reid Wilson) http://bit.ly/2ZiETfW

Observation after the debate: Right after last night's debate, CNN already added its countdown clock for the next debate. http://bit.ly/2Zq5CHm

New Twitter followers for each candidate: Marianne Williamson gained the most Twitter followers during the debate with 8,008. Full list of the Twitter follower increase: http://bit.ly/2GF3Hax


Can't. Unsee.:


Observation about Beto's answer about the border: "O'Rourke was clearly prepared for that question about illegal border crossings - and had his answer down pat - right down to the time limit." (Via MSNBC's Garrett Haake) http://bit.ly/2GDmTFs

Speaking times for each candidate: Elizabeth Warren spoke the most (18:33), followed by Bernie Sanders (17:45) and Pete Buttigieg (14:07). The full chart of speaking times: https://nyti.ms/2GAZPao

The Fox Theatre is beautiful: Here's a photo of the debate venue: http://bit.ly/2ZoW92W



The line of the night: "I don't understand why anyone goes through all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we can't do and what we shouldn't fight for," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.). http://bit.ly/2ZiGhiE Video of the back and forth: http://bit.ly/312rnxp

The top tweeted moments of the nightNo. 1: Warren's line ^ to Delaney about "what we can't do." No. 2: Responses to the Green New Deal. No. 3: Williamson and Warren discussing racism. http://bit.ly/2YxAxQO

The crowd got a kick out of this Marianne Williamson answer: "Crowd erupts after [Marianne] Williamson says the wonkiness of #DemDebate doesn't dispel 'the dark psychic force' of 'hate' coming from Trump." http://bit.ly/2YfXNYf

^ The force I'm now picturing: For all the Stranger Things fans: http://bit.ly/2ZhwNEa

Powerful moment from Buttigieg: "A 13-year-old asked me what we're going to do about school safety and then began shaking and ... crying ... all I could think of looking into the eyes of this child is, 'we're supposed to be dealing with this so you don't have to.' " http://bit.ly/2ZmKuBV

Good representation of the night: " 'Might as well FedEx the election to Donald Trump,' Hickenlooper says of Sanders' policy being a losing strategy in 2020.  (This is definitely a moderates vs. progressives night.)" http://bit.ly/333iZPN



From the chaos of the spin room: Claustrophobia warning. Video: http://bit.ly/2ZkLMNR

Let's play, 'where's Bernie?': Photo:  http://bit.ly/2ZkGiSV

From Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneySanders says he can't support bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal in its current form Romney blasts Trump lack of leadership during pandemic: 'It's a great human tragedy' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress inches closer to virus relief deal MORE (R-Utah): "Asked why @BernieSanders is so angry, the answer is simple: 28 years in Congress and never able to pass even a scintilla of his socialist agenda. All hat, no cattle." http://bit.ly/2YwXqrt

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) denies protesting the national anthem: "Congressman Ryan wasn't protesting and didn't mean to make any statement last night in Detroit, it was a moment of absentmindedness while on a debate stage that won't happen again," his campaign said in a statement. During the anthem, Ryan did not place his hand on his heart, attracting attention on social media. http://bit.ly/2GEe6Dh

Williamson on herself: During an interview with CNN after the debate, Marianne Williamson said that besides herself, she's "a Bernie and Elizabeth person." http://bit.ly/2ZjgarS


Finally, someone asks Warren the practical question we all want to know!: 

Watch: http://bit.ly/2ZpBz2G


Such a relatable answer: A reporter asked Marianne Williamson if the night went as she hoped it would. Her answer: "I don't know yet. I mean, I'll tell you when, you know, later when I see the memes." Watch: http://bit.ly/2ZkqboJ



Who is debating tonight:

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHarris taps women of color for key senior staff positions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases MORE (D-Colo.)

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Federal student loan payment suspension extended another month Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week MORE

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerJudge whose son was killed by gunman: 'Federal judiciary is under attack' Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Policy center calls for new lawmakers to make diverse hires MORE (D-N.J.)

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTrump doubles down on Section 230 repeal after GOP pushback Six people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity MORE (D-Hawaii) 

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' MORE (D-N.Y.)

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden officially clinches Electoral College votes with California certification Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Trump campaigns as wild card in Georgia runoffs MORE (D-Calif.)

Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington county warns of at least 17 positive tests after 300-person wedding The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down Washington state issues sweeping restrictions to combat coronavirus surge MORE (D-Wash.)

Businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangGroups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffs Media and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Andrew Yang: Democrats need to adopt message that government is 'working for them' MORE


What time: 8 p.m. EDT

Rules and logistics for tonight's debate: https://cnn.it/2GDWB62 



Trump has a natural talent for setting traps:

Via The Hill's Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, "House Democrats up in arms over President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE's attacks on minority lawmakers are sounding a warning to their own party heading into the 2020 elections: Don't take the bait." http://bit.ly/2GEa2TF

Keep in mind: "While Democrats have rushed to the defense of Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsWe must act on lowering cost of prescription drugs Voters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE (D-Md.), the prominent Congressional Black Caucus member Trump has attacked this week, they also sense the president is setting a political trap."


Democrats are making their dissatisfaction clear:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Morgan Chalfant, Democrats are signaling they will oppose President Trump's pick for director of national intelligence, Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeHillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Pompeo imposes visa restrictions on Chinese officials over 'intimidation' tactics Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security MORE (R-Texas), setting up a brutal and uncertain confirmation battle. http://bit.ly/2Zol0nu

What it would take for Ratcliffe to be rejected: "Republicans hold a 53-47 edge in the Senate, so it would take four GOP defections with unified Democratic opposition to deny Ratcliffe's confirmation."

Why Ratcliffe is controversial: "Ratcliffe, a three-term congressman and former federal prosecutor, has faced a wave of criticism for his dearth of intelligence credentials, and his opponents argue he lacks the experience to fulfill the role effectively ... Critics have also raised concerns that Ratcliffe, a staunch Trump ally, is too political for the role and will not be an unbiased steward of the nation's intelligence, an issue guaranteed to come up during his confirmation hearing." 

What to expect: http://bit.ly/2Zol0nu

Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2SSb03H


Happening today — let’s do this thing and get out of town:

The Senate is expected to vote on a House-passed two-year budget deal before they head out of town. https://cnn.it/2GEgRV4

When: “Exact timing of the vote on the budget deal is not locked in yet but is expected to be announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks GOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE sometime Wednesday -- meaning the vote could come in the afternoon or evening or slip to Thursday.”  

Is it expected to pass?: Yes, it will likely pass. The House already approved the measure and left town last week.

What to expect, via CNN’s Ted Barrett and Lauren Foxhttps://cnn.it/2GEgRV4



Announced this morning -- Puerto Rico's next governor:

"Outgoing Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) on Wednesday named former Resident Commissioner Pedro PierluisiPedro Rafael PierluisiPuerto Rico votes in favor of US statehood Puerto Ricans voters are key in the Sunshine State Puerto Rico Democratic boss: Party 'cannot support' AOC/Velazquez status bill MORE (D) as his secretary of State designate, putting Pierluisi in line to become Puerto Rico's next governor." http://bit.ly/2ZxoBzC


He should just wear a target polo, tbh: 

Via The Hill's Alex Gangitano, "Democrats and organized labor aim to make Eugene Scalia, the pick to lead the Labor Department, a target in 2020 in hopes of testing President Trump's support among rank-and-file union voters." http://bit.ly/2GE6dOt

Keep in mind: "Trump has yet to formally nominate Scalia but critics are already vowing to put a spotlight on that agenda and Scalia's work as a lawyer for businesses in high-profile labor fights." 



So close to recess, they can almost touch it:  



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

The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2Zig03Q

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the president of Mongolia. 

5 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a victory committee reception in Washington, D.C., for North Carolina House candidate Dan Bishop.

Today: Harry Potter's birthday! Photo of the celebration by the books' publisher: http://bit.ly/2Zq96cU



11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the Young America's Foundation Annual National Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2GBK0QS

2:30 p.m. EDT: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a press conference. The Fed is expected to cut rates today for the first time in a decade. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2GE2rV1

8 p.m. EDT: The next Democratic presidential primary debate in Detroit.



Today is National Avocado Day.


What is better than Chipotle guac? Free Chipotle guac:

To celebrate National Avocado Day, Chipotle isn't charging for guacamole on its entrees. https://cnn.it/2ZmbgKE


And because it's been a long week so far, here's a proud mama parrot posing with her newborn. So photogenic! http://bit.ly/2GBKLtc