The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Facebook — Republicans rejigger summer convention plans

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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.



Think of the GOP convention as more of an … ‘intimate soirée’ this year:  

Via The Hill’s Justine Coleman and Jonathan Easley, Republicans are scaling back the planned party convention in Jacksonville, Fla., this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Who will be allowed to attend: Only the 2,500 regular delegates will be able to attend the first three days of the convention. Alternate delegates will be allowed to attend on the final day — plus delegates can bring a guest.  

Keep in mind: The convention was scheduled to happen in North Carolina but was moved because of coronavirus restrictions. 

Convention dates: Aug. 24 – 27

To borrow from Drake — Started from the top, now he’s here: 

President TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE demoted his campaign manager Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE yesterday, naming Bill Stepien as his successor. 

Parscale’s new role: He will lead the campaign’s digital strategy and will work as a senior adviser to Trump. 

What to know about Bill Stepien: “Stepien was recently promoted to deputy campaign manager. He previously served as the White House political director during Trump’s first two years in office. Before that, he was the campaign manager for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) two successful statewide campaigns in the Garden State.”  

Read Trump’s announcement on Facebook (!) amid the Twitter outage:  


It’s Thursday. 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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Tune in: Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergTwo lawyers who filed suit challenging election results ordered to pay nearly 7K Hillicon Valley — Presented by Ericsson — DOJ unveils new election hacking charges State attorneys general launch probe into Instagram's impact on children, teens MORE and Dr. Fauci discuss COVID-19 pandemic

Mark Zuckerberg will go live with Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciPoll: Majority of Thanksgiving hosts not requiring COVID-19 vaccine, masks Overnight Health Care — Feds, military top 90 percent vaccine rate Fauci says changing definition of fully vaccinated to include boosters is 'on the table' MORE, the US’s top infectious disease expert, to discuss the latest efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Watch live: Thursday, July 16 at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT 



Name three buzz words of the era: Russia, COVID-19, hacking:

Via The Hill’s Olivia Beavers, “The U.S., Great Britain and Canada are alleging that Russia is attempting to steal information about a coronavirus vaccine from researchers and organizations in the three countries through cyberattacks.”

How so: “The three allied countries allege that the hacking group known as APT29, or ‘Cozy Bear,’ which is largely believed to operate as part of Russia's security services, is conducting an ‘ongoing’ cyber campaign to steal intellectual property about a possible COVID-19 vaccine.”


Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaSon gives emotional tribute to Colin Powell at service Biden, ex-presidents gather for Colin Powell's funeral Kal Penn says the Obamas made fun of him for applying to White House job through website MORE’s life is BECOMING a podcast. See what I did there?: 

^ I know. My jokes can’t all be winners.

Former first lady Michelle Obama is launching a podcast on Spotify.

What to expect: "Hosted by Michelle Obama, the series will bring listeners the former First Lady's most candid and personal conversations, showing us what's possible when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to open up, and to focus on what matters most.”  

Guests to expect: “Guests will include Marian and Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother and brother; late-night host Conan O'Brien; top Obama White House adviser Valerie JarrettValerie June JarrettKal Penn says the Obamas made fun of him for applying to White House job through website Whatever else he did, Cuomo did not obstruct justice by ranting to Obama White House Larry David, late-night talk hosts cut from Obama birthday guest list MORE; journalist Michele Norris; and Dr. Sharon Malone, who is married to former Obama-era Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe Memo: Democrats may rue pursuit of Bannon Ben Affleck, Tracee Ellis Ross join anti-gerrymandering fundraiser with Clinton, Holder North Carolina legislature approves new US House map MORE. 

When the podcast will debut: July 29


Getting traction — That’s a wild stat:

Almost one-third of Florida children who have been tested for the coronavirus have tested positive.

The numbers: “State data indicates that out of 54,022 Florida children tested, 31.1 percent have returned positive results on average. This is higher than the statewide positivity rate, which reads in at about 11 percent.” 

The worry: Health experts are worried about the potential lifelong lung damage for children who have the coronavirus, even without severe symptoms. 

What we know:

Georgia governor: ‘You do you!’:

Via The Associated Press’s Jeff Amy and Ben Nadler, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) banned local towns and cities in his state from requiring residents to wear a mask in public.

How many local governments does that affect?: At least 15 local municipalities around the state had issued mask mandates. Those mandates are now void. 

What Kemp is doing instead: Kemp has been encouraging residents and visitors to wear masks voluntarily, but does not require them.  




Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 3,499,771

U.S. death toll: 137,420

Breakdown of the numbers: 

For context: This time last week, 3,057,431 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 132,360 had died.



Tune in: Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Fauci discuss COVID-19 pandemic

Mark Zuckerberg will go live with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, to discuss the latest efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Watch live: Thursday, July 16 at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT





^ I couldn’t have come up with a better headline if I tried: 

Dozens of public figures’ Twitter accounts were hacked yesterday afternoon, prompting the social media platform to block all verified Twitter accounts for hours while it contained the hack. Everything we know, from the New York Times:

What those accounts tweeted: The hacked message told followers to send Bitcoin to public figures and would receive double in return. Screenshot of what the hacked tweet looked like:


“Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened. [Blue heart] to our teammates working hard to make this right.” 

Dorsey also linked to an update on what Twitter knows about the hack: Here’s the info:


And it was a pretty interesting evening. Here’s my favorite tweet from the chaos:  



This made me laugh, too: “um are all the blue checks in blue check jail?” (Via ProPublica’s Al Shaw)



*Picks up jaw* — what did I just watch…?:




Work it, Tony: 




The full cover — it does not disappoint:


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

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.


10:45 a.m. EDT: House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Bipartisan success in the Senate signals room for more compromise The GOP's post-1/6 playbook is clear — and it's dangerous MORE (D-Calif.) held a news conference. Livestream:

Noon: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGreene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' Christie: McCarthy, not Trump, will be the next Speaker The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Arbery case, Biden spending bill each test views of justice MORE (R-Calif.) held a news conference. Livestream:

1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing. Livestream:

4 p.m. EDT: President Trump delivers remarks on rolling back regulations. Vice President Pence will attend. Livestream:


Today is National Corn Fritter Day.

Popular on TikTok — well, we should have predicted this one:

Via The New York Post, “Teens are dressing up as mask-wearing grandmas to try to score alcohol.”

TikTok videos:

And because you made it this far, here’s a bear making itself RIGHT at home:

*nervous laugh*