The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Trump turns to election boards in effort to upend election results


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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: Breaking: CDC recommends against Thanksgiving travel | Trump campaign turns to election boards | Two Mich. GOP board members ask to change ballot certification vote | Trump wild card in avoiding government shutdown | Trump campaign holds news conference | States with fewest restrictions have most outbreaks | McSally staff poses for maskless Capitol photo | Asked to break it up | Owl found in Rockefeller Christmas tree 



Reaching for plans C through H:



Via The Associated Press’s Zeke Miller, Christina A. Cassidy and Colleen Long, “Getting nowhere in the courts, President Donald Trump’s scattershot effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is shifting toward obscure election boards that certify the vote as Trump and his allies seek to upend the electoral process, sow chaos and perpetuate unsubstantiated doubts about the count.”  

What to expect:

It's a wild ride in Michigan:

Remember how the two Republican Board of Canvassers members in Wayne County, Mich., first voted on Tuesday night to oppose the county’s election results, but then abruptly changed their votes to unanimously certify the election? 

Well, those two Republican members are now asking to rescind their votes. 

Why: The Republicans said they only voted ‘yes’ because they were promised an audit of the votes. 

From an affidavit from the board's GOP chairwoman, Monica Palmer: “The Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation. I continue to ask for information to assure Wayne County voters that these elections were conducted fairly and accurately." Read Palmer’s full affidavit

From board member William Hartmann’s affidavit: “Late in the evening, I was enticed to agree to certify based on the promise that a full and independent audit would take place. I would not have agreed to the certification but for the promise of an audit.” Read Hartmann’s full affidavit   

What this move means — in short, we don’t know: “It's unclear what effects, if any, the two affidavits will have, as the board members already voted unanimously Tuesday night to certify the election results in the heavily Democratic county, which includes Detroit, Michigan's largest city.”

NEW UPDATE — ^MONICA PALMER SAYS President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE CALLED HER:

Via The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger, Kayla Ruble and Tim Elfrink, “ ‘I did receive a call from President Trump, late Tuesday evening, after the meeting,’ Monica Palmer, one of two Republican members of the four-member Wayne County canvassing board, told The Post. ‘He was checking in to make sure I was safe after hearing the threats and doxing that had occurred.’ ”


Via The Detroit News’s Riley Beggin, “President Donald Trump's re-election campaign withdrew its federal lawsuit challenging Michigan's election results Thursday morning, saying it already achieved its goals when the Wayne County Board of Canvassers initially refused to certify the election — even though the board later approved them.” 

Read the Trump campaign’s statement

It’s Thursday — Thanksgiving is one week from today! I can already taste the stuffing. 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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*Pulls out pen and paper* *Writes and underlines ‘hit list’ on the top line*:

President Trump is using his final two months in office to settle scores and to preserve his political legacy, even as he has refused to concede losing the election. 

How Trump is cementing his legacy: “On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced drawdowns of thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan … Trump signed an executive order last week prohibiting Americans from investing in firms the U.S. government says are linked to the Chinese military … The administration is also preparing to move forward with a … proposal that would lower the cost of certain Medicare drugs, and the president is expected to issue executive action further curtailing the use of H-1B work visas.”  

An example of setting scores: Remember when Trump fired the top cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs after he said this election was safe. 

The full story from Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels


The honeymoon stage is already over:

Via The Hill’s Niv Elis and Sylvan Lane, “Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE to take quick action on canceling student loan debt with an executive order to stimulate the economy and provide relief to struggling borrowers.” 

Where Biden stands: “Biden has expressed interest in forgiving some amount of education debt, a move that would undoubtedly trigger political backlash, perhaps on both sides of the aisle.” 

A wild card in the proposal: “A legislative path to lowering student debt is unlikely if Republicans maintain control of the Senate after two runoff elections in Georgia scheduled for Jan. 5.”


BREAKING — The CDC is begging you not to travel for Thanksgiving:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that Americans do not travel for Thanksgiving.

From Dr. Henry Walke at the CDC: “CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period,” he said. “For Americans who decide to travel, CDC recommends doing so as safely as possible by following the same recommendations for everyday living.” 

Walke also said: There is “no more important time than now for each and every American to redouble our efforts to watch our distance, wash our hands and, most importantly, wear a mask.”

The economy recovery has stalled a bit:

“Initial jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted total of 742,000, a jump of 31,000, in the second week of November, according to the Labor Department, a sign of a stalling recovery amid the most recent COVID-19 outbreak.”


Should we talk about the white elephant in the room in avoiding a shutdown…?:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are wondering if they can trust President Trump to sign legislation to keep the government funded and avoid a shutdown before the end of the year.” 

How so: “Republican and Democratic lawmakers say a government shutdown is not off the table and see Trump, who has refused to concede the election, as the main wild card.”  

What we know from the White House: “White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsSunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant Schiff: Jan. 6 panel decision on charges for Meadows could come this week Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE, who met with Senate Republicans on Wednesday, said the president wants to keep the government funded. But he’s not ruling out the possibility of a year-end shutdown.”





The new testing on Capitol Hill is quite efficient: NBC’s Garrett Haake tweeted, “The new Capitol Hill COVID testing site for members & staff was doing brisk business when I went this morning. In and out in 15 minutes. Demand is high after 7 House members have tested positive this week.”


Coronavirus cases seriously corelate with how strict state lockdowns are:

Using data from the University of Oxford, The New York Times’s Lauren Leatherby and Rich Harris compared the surges in COVID-19 cases in each state to the level of restrictions imposed.

The gist of the analysis: “The surge is worst now in places where leaders neglected to keep up forceful virus containment efforts or failed to implement basic measures like mask mandates in the first place.” 

The charts, by state


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 11,558,241 

U.S. death toll: 250,898 

Breakdown of the numbers



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What is keeping Democrats up at night — future elections:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “Some of the smartest minds in Democratic politics see warning signs for their party even as they celebrate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump. While Biden's advantage in the popular vote this year is nearing 6 million, some liberal political experts are disconcerted by demographic trends that they say look unexpectedly difficult for their party.” 

Two of the biggest worries: “A weaker than expected performance among Latino voters this year, and continued GOP strength among white voters who don't have a college education.”  

How this could play out


Whoa, this looks SO real:



Watch — I would have never known they weren’t in the same room

This owl looks pretty annoyed, tbh:




More about the owl


The House is in. The Senate is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisEmhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony GOP becoming a cult of know-nothings Stowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami MORE are in Wilmington, Del. 

President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

Today: Vice President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris hold a virtual meeting with the National Governors Association’s executive committee. 

Today: President Trump has no public events scheduled.

1 – 3 p.m. EST: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today 

2:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence leads a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room. 

Monday, Nov. 30: The Senate returns. The Senate’s full schedule


Noon: The Trump campaign held a news conference. Livestream

4 p.m. EST: The White House Coronavirus Task Force holds a briefing. 

Tonight: Former President Obama appears on ABC’s “Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelJimmy Kimmel responds to Lauren Boebert calling him a 'sexist pig' Jimmy Kimmel questions value of laughing at 'terrible' people Bezos offered Tom Hanks a ride on Blue Origin space rocket MORE Live!”


Today is National Macchiato Day.

Ooooh! Stirring up controversy!:



Enjoy the responses to this tweet

And because this cat made me laugh, here’s a cat who is happy to help with the lesson: