The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Detroit's debate battle

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Detroit's debate battle
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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.



Two primary debates down, 10 to go. Aren’t we having So! Much! Fun!?:


  1. No clear winner emerges after an ugly night
  2. Candidates pile on Biden
  3. Rivals chip away at Harris
  4. Booker stands out with viral zingers
  5. Democrats were united on health care in 2018; now they’re terribly divided

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Jonathan Easley

How the party’s ugly divisions were on display

Winners: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Sanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Democratic strategist: Sanders seeking distance from Warren could 'backfire' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Four companies reach 0M settlement in opioid lawsuit | Deal opens door to larger settlements | House panel to consider vaping tax | Drug pricing markup tomorrow On The Money: Trump dismisses 'phony Emoluments Clause' after Doral criticism | Senate Dems signal support for domestic spending package | House panel to consider vaping tax MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerPoll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special Bennet: Warren 'not being honest about' her 'Medicare for All' plan MORE (D-N.J.), Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockSuper PAC seeks to spend more than million supporting Yang The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Private flight spending soars in Democratic presidential race MORE (D) and author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson on impeachment: Trump's actions 'too perilous' not to continue inquiry Marianne Williamson: DNC is 'dictating' rather than 'facilitating the process of democracy' Marianne Williamson explains how she, Tulsi, and Yang have been marginalized MORE.


Losers: Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisClinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Poll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Trump declines to participate in Weather Channel 2020 climate change special MORE (D-Calif.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), progressives who back impeachment of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE and centrists. 

Mixed: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Warren to protest with striking Chicago teachers Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Hillicon Valley: Facebook removes Russian, Iranian accounts trying to interfere in 2020 | Zuckerberg on public relations blitz | Uncertainty over Huawei ban one month out Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race MORE (D). 

Reasoning for each

This is a pretty interesting point: “Whoever just made this point on CNN was very right: this was a joyless debate. I think it’s a net negative for the party.” (Tweet from Brian Rosenwald)

It’s Thursday — it’s officially August! 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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Candidates rode the elevator together — oh man, Andrew YangAndrew YangOn The Money: Trump dismisses 'phony Emoluments Clause' after Doral criticism | Senate Dems signal support for domestic spending package | House panel to consider vaping tax Sanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race MORE’s pose:

I wonder what the small talk was about...



Here’s another photo from the elevator: I love Booker and Gillibrand’s facial expressions!

DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE channeled his inner Jed Wyatt — he made a jingle: "Ol' McConnell had a farm. Ee-eye-ee-eye oh. And on his farm, he kept all those bills that passed the House. Ee-eye-ee-eye oh."

Overheard on stageJoe Biden told Kamala Harris as they enter on stage, “Go easy on me, kid.” Listen to the interaction

^Reaction from Harris’s national press secretary: “Kid?” Ian Sams tweeted

Photo of Washington Post reporters covering the debate

Check out this Obama T-shirt for sale in Detroit’s Eastern Market: Photo from The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere: 

Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate CNN catches heat for asking candidates about Ellen, Bush friendship at debate MORE decided to wear glasses this round

Protesters interrupted the opening statements: “Whole debate interrupted with ‘FIRE PANTALEO’ chants aimed at de Blasio. Pantaleo is the Staten Island cop involved in Eric Garner death.”


‘Ohhh yeeeeah’: “You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor,” Cory Booker says to Joe Biden.

Amazing: Comedian Roy Wood Jr. depicts what America did after hearing that Kool-Aid line. Watch — lol

Kool-Aid responded!!:



Gillibrand and Biden had a pretty tense debate about women


ThRoWbAcK: Biden’s national press secretary, Jamal Brown, resurfaced an old tweet from Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick MORE (D-N.Y.) in 2016. Gillibrand tweeted in 2016: “Thank you @VP Biden for your unwavering commitment to combating violence against women! #ItsOnUs” Selfie of Biden and Gillibrand:

Here’s a list of the top moments during the debate

  1. Booker repeatedly hit Biden
  2. Gillibrand says the first thing she'll do as president is "Clorox the Oval Office" 
  3. Booker says 'shithole' on live TV 
  4. De Blasio takes heat over Eric Garner case
  5. Gabbard hits Harris over prosecutor record 

Details for each



When and where: Sept. 12 (and possibly Sept. 13) in Houston, depending on how many candidates qualify. 

Why there may be half the candidates: The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has raised the bar to qualify for the next debate. 

What candidates need to qualify: “At least 2 percent in four national DNC-approved polls and at least 130,000 unique donors, coming from at least 400 unique donors in 20 or more states.” For context: That is about double the last qualification.

Which candidates have qualified so far: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Who else is close: Julián Castro, Andrew Yang and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharPoll: Biden holds 10-point lead nationally over Warren Robert Reich sees Democratic race as Warren, Sanders and Biden: 'Everyone else is irrelevant' Democrats lead Trump by wide margins in Minnesota MORE have reached one of the two requirements.


Don’t take this the wrong way, senators, but GO HOME:

The Senate just passed a two-year budget and debt ceiling deal, paving the way for the upper chamber to leave for August recess. The sweeping bill already passed in the House and is heading to President Trump’s desk.

The vote: 67-28

Details of the budget deal


President Trump tweeted his support for the budget deal this morning. “Budget Deal is phenomenal for our Great Military, our Vets, and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! Two year deal gets us past the Election. Go for it Republicans, there is always plenty of time to CUT!”

Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan US troops leaving Syria cross into Iraq Graham says he's open-minded on supporting impeachment: 'Sure, I mean show me something that is a crime' MORE inspected his battering ram this morning:


Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) just pushed legislation to overhaul the asylum system through the Senate Judiciary Committee by waving committee rules to force a vote. 

From the Democratic ranking member of the committee: "You're breaking the rules of the committee," Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All' Khashoggi fiancée meets with lawmakers seeking 'justice and accountability' for his slaying Schiff should consider using RICO framework to organize impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) said as Graham told the committee’s staff to ignore Democratic attempts to speak  of the vote. 

Livestream of the committee meeting

What next: The bill is headed to the Senate floor where it is not expected to reach the 60 votes necessary. 

What Graham’s bill would do: “It would increase the number of days a family can be held together from 20 days to 100 days, preventing family separations but lengthening the period children could be held in custody with their parents. It would also require asylum claims be filed in Mexico or a home country instead of the United States, provide funding for 500 new immigration judges and allow unaccompanied minors from Central America to be sent back to their home countries, similar to unaccompanied minors from Canada or Mexico.”


Pour one out for wine — literally:




The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is heading to Cincinnati this afternoon. Vice President Pence is in Hagerstown, Md., and is meeting Trump in Cincinnati.

11 a.m. EDT: Roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full schedule today 

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump urges GOP to fight for him Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Trump says Israel, Jordan asked US to leave troops in Syria MORE.

1:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves Hagerstown, Md., and flies to Cincinnati. 

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves the White House for Cincinnati. 

6:10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a Trump Victory reception in Cincinnati.

6:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a fundraising reception in Cincinnati.  

9:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C. 

10:35 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.


10 a.m. EDT: The Senate Judiciary Committee considers an immigration bill. Livestream

11:40 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers event at Manitowoc Cranes. Livestream

7 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Cincinnati. Livestream


Today is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day.

Another theme park is coming to Orlando:

Via The Tampa Bay Times’s Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Universal Studios announced this morning that a new theme park is opening in Orlando, Fla.

What Universal has said about the theme: “In a vague description, Universal said Epic Universe will ‘take guests on a journey where beloved stories expand into vibrant lands.’”  

Speculation about the park’s theme: Nintendo, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung-Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing and Fantastic Beasts. 

Concept art released by Universal

And to make you smile, here’s a dog meeting his idol: