The Hill's 12:30 Report: Postal Service crisis escalates

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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: Trump shrugs off Postal Service concerns | Two House Judiciary Dems call for USPS criminal inquiry | Pelosi calls on House to return for USPS vote | Trump admin. finalizes Alaska drilling plan | Dem convention begins | How the virtual convention will work | Five things to watch | Trump visits Minn., Wis. today | Interactive drink pouches



Signed! Sealed! Delivered…?:



President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE this morning shrugged off the outcry over the Postal Service and concerns of undermining the agency before the November election. https://bit.ly/2EdIKVD 

Trump told “Fox & Friends”: "We’re making it so it is going to be good, and we’re going to take care of our postal workers above all. We’re not firing people, but the way they ran that thing for many years, this isn’t a Trump thing… This has been one of the disasters of the world the way it’s been run.” 

Trump added: "It’s been run horribly. And we’re going to make it good. Now, what am I supposed to do? Let it continue to run badly. So if you fix it, they say ‘oh he’s tampering with the election.' No, we’re not tampering."


Reps. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesWhite House to Democrats: Get ready to go it alone on infrastructure 110 House Democrats endorse boost to staff pay Pelosi signals no further action against Omar MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ted LieuTed W. LieuGaetz, under investigative cloud, questions FBI director Crenshaw trolled after asking for examples of 'woke ideology' in military Kinzinger slams Gaetz speech: 'This is why we need a January 6 commission' MORE (D-Calif.) “called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to open a criminal probe into Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyFBI investigating political fundraising of former employees of Postmaster General DeJoy Postal Service raises stamps to 58 cents as part of restructuring plan Lawmakers request investigation into Postal Service's covert operations program MORE, accusing him of deliberately slowing the mail to give President Trump an advantage in the November presidential election.” https://bit.ly/318vA5H


Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrat says he won't introduce resolution to censure Greene after her apology Democrats weigh next steps on Jan. 6 probe 21 Republicans vote against awarding medals to police who defended Capitol on Jan. 6 MORE (D-Calif.) has called on House lawmakers to return to Washington this week to vote on legislation to block the Postal Service from changing its services before the November election. https://bit.ly/322UZNh


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process on Wednesday | Four states emerge as test case for cutting off jobless benefits GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' McConnell presses for 'actual consequences' in disclosure of tax data MORE (R-Ky.) is facing growing calls to bring the upper chamber back to Washington. This morning, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC On The Money: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process on Wednesday | Four states emerge as test case for cutting off jobless benefits Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC MORE (D-Mass.) pushed for McConnell to bring the Senate back from August recess. https://bit.ly/3g2f3Ef

It’s Monday — welcome back! 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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Join The Hill at our virtual 2020 Conventions Hub


Join The Hill at our virtual 2020 Conventions Hub — your digital headquarters for exciting events and the latest conventions news. We'll kick off each day with The Big Questions. Party leaders, pollsters and campaign veterans join our editors to discuss the political and policy issues shaping our nation, then stay tuned in for our afternoon briefings — deeper dives into the key policy areas that will shape the 2020 campaign including energy, affordable housing, and the ongoing response to COVID-19.


Check out the full schedule and RSVP now to hold your spot!


Open sesame:

Via The Hill’s Rachel Frazin, “The Trump administration announced Monday it would open up 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling. A document signed by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt would open up the entire 1.56 million-acre area of the refuge’s Coastal Plain. The whole refuge is 19.3 million acres.” https://bit.ly/3h7iRWd

The controversy: “The administration argues the decision will lead to jobs, but green groups and opponents for years have warned of a devastating environmental effect from opening up the area to drilling.”


BYO — Balloon Drop:

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE will accept the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination during this week during the coronavirus-era virtual convention.  

Where Biden stands: “Biden will enter the convention riding high, with a party largely united behind him, despite the lukewarm-at-best feelings of progressives.” How this could play out, via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley: https://bit.ly/3iNSq8n

Well, when you put it that way: “Joe Biden is less than three months away from the biggest triumph or disaster of his political career.” https://bit.ly/2Ya3DZ9


Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC Senate confirms Lina Khan to the FTC MORE (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoPast criticism of Trump becomes potent weapon in GOP primaries Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms Top union unveils national town hall strategy to push Biden's jobs plan MORE (D-Nev.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.); New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoPuerto Rico's former governor stages a comeback New York hits 70 percent vaccination goal, lifts COVID-19 restrictions Hundreds of people given expired vaccine doses in Times Square MORE (D); Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerBeyond California, a record year for recalls Whitmer vetoes bill exempting graduations from crowd limits Whitmer proposes using 0M of virus aid to boost minimum wage MORE (D-Mich.); and Reps. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnPelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement Black Republican advocates his case for CBC membership Meet the most powerful woman in Washington not named Pelosi or Harris MORE (D-S.C.) and Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreDemocrats offer bill to encourage hiring of groups hard-hit by pandemic Shining a light on COINTELPRO's dangerous legacy Lawmakers urge IRS to boost outreach about tax credits for low-income Americans MORE (D-Wis.).

Tonight’s keynote speakers: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC Zombie Tax punishes farmers to fill DC coffers Progressives threaten to block bipartisan infrastructure proposal MORE (I-Vt.) and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJill Biden, Kate Middleton to meet this week Jill Biden to focus on military families on foreign trip Book claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election MOREhttps://nym.ag/30ZuHMt


  1. How diminished will the event be by the pandemic?
  2. Can Biden inspire — or at least seem fresh — in his big speech?
  3. What will Trump do to take some of the attention away?
  4. How hard will the Obamas and the Clintons hit Trump?
  5. How public are the tensions between the left and the Biden camp?

Explanations for each, via The Hill's Niall Stanagehttps://bit.ly/3iTMX05


“Democrats have so far declined to reveal all of the details of how they will try to spice up their event. There is, organizers say, a plan to find some way to re-create the balloon drop, though they declined to disclose it days before Biden formally accepts the nomination.” https://wapo.st/2PYAw6L


Throwback: “Here's Andrew Cuomo at Democratic convention July 16, 1984, watching his father Mario Cuomo give keynote address. Next to Andrew Cuomo: Tim Russert.” (h/t C-SPAN’s Howard MortmanWatchhttps://bit.ly/3gZR8qq 

Op-ed: https://bit.ly/311jxXw


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 5,406,679 

U.S. death toll: 170,067

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y


Via The New York Times’s J. David Goodman, “The sustained low rate of infection has surprised local health officials. But a resurgence may be inevitable, despite the state’s and city’s best efforts.” https://nyti.ms/3awf6Hq


Join The Hill for our Big Questions Morning Briefing


Begin each convention day with The Hill. Party leaders, pollsters and campaign veterans join our editors daily at 11AM EDT to discuss the political and policy issues shaping our nation and the 2020 campaign.


RSVP now for this week's morning briefings!


I have a hard time watching this:




We are getting uncomfortably closer to ‘Smart House’ by the day:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2Q07vHz


The House and Senate are out. President Trump is in Minnesota and Wisconsin today.

Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

10:15 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leaves for Minnesota.

5:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump delivers remarks in Oshkosh, Wis., on jobs and the economy.

9:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump arrives at the White House.

August 24: House Democrats are calling on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify. https://bit.ly/348E91V


This morning: Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) spoke at The Big Questions 2020 convention event, hosted by The Hill. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3kTiUra

11 a.m. EDT daily during conventions: Party leaders, pollsters and campaign veterans join The Hill’s editors daily for “The Big Questions 2020” to discuss the political and policy issues shaping our nation and the 2020 campaign. RSVP for the DNC morning eventshttps://bit.ly/322lkuK RSVP for the RNC morning eventshttps://bit.ly/32eDPMT 

1 p.m. EDT: On the sidelines of the 2020 Democratic Convention, The Hill will host a discussion with policymakers and energy experts to explore what can be done to ensure reliable, affordable access to energy while limiting the impact on the environment. Details and how to RSVPhttps://bit.ly/3iUoK9X 

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump delivers remarks in Mankato, Minn., on jobs and the economy. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3azae48 

9­–11 p.m. EDT today — Thursday: The 2020 Democratic National Convention. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2Q20J4k

Today: The NBA Playoffs begin. Primerhttps://bit.ly/347bg6h 

Today: The NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs continue. The schedule:  https://bit.ly/3iRqf8u


Today is National Vanilla Custard Day.


Via Washingtonian’s Daniella Byck, “Artechouse Museum Launches Drink Pouches That Combine Cocktails and Interactive Art: The avant-garde museum is collaborating with Colada Shop, Maketto, and Thamee for creative sips.” https://bit.ly/3axQFJC

And to brighten your Monday afternoon, here’s a panda taking a bubble bath: https://bit.ly/3g6FzMS