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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

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Signed! Sealed! Delivered…?:

 

 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit 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."

THIS A.M. — TWO JUDICIARY COMMITTEE DEMS CALL FOR POSTMASTER GENERAL CRIMINAL INQUIRY:

Reps. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ted LieuTed W. LieuHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Mark Cuban asks voters to 'reconsider' donating to Georgia run-off elections MORE (D-Calif.) “called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to open a criminal probe into Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyJudge orders Postal Service to sweep facilities twice a day for any ballots that can be delivered on time Brent Budowsky: Democracy in America is on trial Postal Service misses court-ordered deadline for unsent mail ballots MORE, accusing him of deliberately slowing the mail to give President Trump an advantage in the November presidential election.” https://bit.ly/318vA5H

OVER THE WEEKEND — IN THE HOUSE:

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiVoters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus 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

MEANWHILE IN THE SENATE:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFeinstein to step down as top Democrat on Judiciary Committee Voters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus MORE (R-Ky.) is facing growing calls to bring the upper chamber back to Washington. This morning, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary: report Bottom line 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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THE HILL CONVENTIONS 2020

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!

NEWS THIS MORNING

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.”

HAPPENING TONIGHT

BYO — Balloon Drop:

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide 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

WHO IS SPEAKING TONIGHT:

Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharFormer Minnesota Democratic leader quits party Top cybersecurity official ousted by Trump Lawmakers question tech CEOs about content moderation in first post-election hearing MORE (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoFavorites emerge as Latino leaders press Biden to appoint 5 Hispanics to Cabinet Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  McConnell, Graham warn GOP Senate majority on the line in Georgia MORE (D-Nev.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.); New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo calls a sheriff who won't enforce mask mandate a 'dictator' New York City to reopen field hospital as COVID-19 cases spike White House largely silent on health precautions for Thanksgiving MORE (D); Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan county board approves resolution in support of impeaching Whitmer Say 'no thanks' to Thanksgiving mandates Overnight Health Care: Trump announces two moves aimed at lowering drug prices | Sturgis rally blamed for COVID-19 spread in Minnesota | Stanford faculty condemn Scott Atlas MORE (D-Mich.); and Reps. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnIn the final chapter of 2020, we must recommit to repairing our democracy Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress MORE (D-S.C.) and Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreDemocrats accuse Kushner of 'casual racism' over comments about Black Americans Lawmakers urge IRS to get stimulus payments to domestic violence survivors Texas Democrat: US natural gas vital in transition to renewables MORE (D-Wis.).

Tonight’s keynote speakers: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' in new administration In the final chapter of 2020, we must recommit to repairing our democracy MORE (I-Vt.) and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMedia and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Obama jokes that he's 'scared' of Michelle, Sasha Obamas' Higher Ground Productions working on Netflix sketch series with host of 'Adam Ruins Everything' MOREhttps://nym.ag/30ZuHMt

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH:

  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

WHAT ABOUT THE INFAMOUS BALLOON DROP?:

“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

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

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

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

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

U.S. death toll: 170,067

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

‘NEW YORK HAS TAMED THE VIRUS. CAN IT HOLD OFF A SECOND WAVE?:

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

THE HILL CONVENTIONS 2020

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!

NOTABLE TWEETS:

I have a hard time watching this:

 

 

Watchhttps://bit.ly/311z9dM

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

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2Q07vHz

ON TAP:

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

WHAT TO WATCH:

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

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Vanilla Custard Day.

Intriguing:

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