The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Bezos completes first all-civilian space trip, deboards in cowboy hat


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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: Bezos completes space trip | First all-civilian crew | Deboards spacecraft in cowboy hat | Tokyo Olympics organizer won’t rule out last-minute cancellation | Olympic athletes sleep in cardboard beds | Negotiators scramble with infrastructure time crunch | Hannity calls on viewers to get vaccinated | CDC advises against UK travel amid spikes



Tbh, Jeff Bezos should have emerged carrying the fastest-arriving Amazon Prime package:

Via The New York Times’s Kenneth Chang, “Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosIt's time for US to get serious about cleaning up space junk Press: Give those unemployed writers a job! Progressive group launches M ad campaign to call for tax hikes on the rich MORE, the richest human in the world, went to space on Tuesday. It was a brief jaunt — rising more than 65 miles into the sky above West Texas — in a spacecraft that was built by Mr. Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin.”

“The flight, even though it did not enter orbit, was a milestone for the company that Mr. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, started more than 20 years ago, the first time a Blue Origin vehicle carried people to space.” 

Why it was so historic: “The billionaire entrepreneur made history by being part of the first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew.” More from NBC


Wow, I feel this to my core: CNN’s Omar Jimenez tweeted, “Jeff Bezos really went to space and back before I could make coffee today.” 

I wonder what was going through their minds at this moment: Here’s video of the crew boarding the spacecraft:

This is pretty interesting: Via CBS News, “Former NASA administrator [Charles Bolden] breaks down the differences between Jeff Bezos’ training for today’s Blue Origin launch and typical astronaut training.” Watch the explanation 

Video of the crew successfully returning to earth 

Houston, Jeff Bezos is wearing a cowboy hat. I repeat, Jeff Bezos is wearing a cowboy hat


Jeff Bezos returns from space launch




Here’s the livestream


From The New York Times:

Happy Tuesday afternoon! 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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The Tokyo Olympics aren’t necessarily a sure thing…:

Via Reuters, the head of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics said the games could still be canceled if more athletes test positive for COVID-19. 

Olympic organizing committee's Toshiro Muto told reporters: “We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases … We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”  

Everything we know


They’re made of cardboard. 

Lol, the headline in The New York Times: “‘Anti-Sex’ Beds in the Olympic Village? A Social Media Theory Is Soon Debunked: The coronavirus has forced a number of social distancing measures at the Summer Games, but the recyclable cardboard beds provided by organizers are not one of them.” 

Photo of the cardboard beds — imagine competing in the event of your lifetime after sleeping on this

The first felony sentence in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack:

Capitol rioter Paul Allard Hodgkins has been sentenced to eight months in prison for his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The charge: Hodgkins pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding. That charge came with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.


Everything has to be a buzzer beater with you, doesn’t it Congress?:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “A bipartisan group of Senate negotiators and senior White House officials is struggling to finish work on an infrastructure package that is now set to get its first vote as soon as Wednesday.” 

Where negotiations stand: “The senators have narrowed the number of outstanding disagreements in the talks to roughly a dozen, but the biggest problem of them all, how exactly to pay for $579 billion in new spending, remains unresolved.”

The urgency: “Republicans warn there’s no chance they’ll get it all wrapped up by Wednesday, when Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerAn August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Schumer's moment to transform transit and deepen democracy MORE (D-N.Y.) plans to force a vote on a motion to proceed to the bipartisan infrastructure legislation.” 

Why tomorrow’s vote really matters: “Without the support of at least 10 GOP senators, a vote to begin the infrastructure debate Wednesday will fail, putting the bipartisan legislation in limbo and raising serious questions about whether it can ever get across the finish line.”




Sean Hannity is encouraging viewers to get vaccinated:




CDC: Not the time for that London trip:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised Americans not to travel to the United Kingdom for any nonessential travel amid the rising cases of COVID-19.

From the advisory: “Because of the current situation in the United Kingdom, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”  

Read the CDC advisory


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 34,134,715 

U.S. death toll: 609,277

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 338 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 520,952 doses 

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.

Breakdown of the numbers:


^Well, *not* in the White House, I should say:

Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Sylvan Lane, “It’s been six months since President Biden took office, and one Cabinet position remains vacant: director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).”

Don’t forget, Biden did nominate someone: “Biden’s first choice for the job, Neera Tanden, withdrew from consideration in early March as her path to confirmation seemed to hit a dead end. 

And since then … *crickets*: “[Biden] has yet to put forward another nominee for the role as the agency gears up to work with congressional Democrats on a sprawling multitrillion-dollar reconciliation bill.”

Sooo, what’s happening at OMB…?: “Shalanda Young was confirmed months ago as deputy director of OMB and is serving as the acting director in absence of a Senate-confirmed leader. Young is well-liked on Capitol Hill and within the administration, was confirmed by the Senate as deputy director by a strong 63-37 margin and is seen as a natural choice for full-time director.”  

Where the nomination of a director stands: No update, according to the White House.


These robots objectively dance better than I ever could:


Machines with dancing AI



A new Annual PassHolder at Magic Kingdom:





The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

8:45 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris hosted Jordan’s King Abdullah II for a working breakfast.

9:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.

11:30 a.m. EDT: Two roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today 

3:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden holds a Cabinet meeting to mark his six months in office. Vice President Harris also attends. 

3:15 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today

5:30 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.


11:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to celebrate their Super Bowl Championship. Lol, my favorite part: Second gentleman Doug EmhoffDoug EmhoffBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act JD Vance takes aim at culture wars, childless politicians The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Bezos completes first all-civilian space trip, deboards in cowboy hat MORE also attends. Livestream

11:45 a.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Hunter Biden blasts those criticizing price of his art: 'F--- 'em' MORE held a press briefing. Livestream 

1 p.m. EDT: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The Road to Zero-Emission Trucks: Manufacturing.” Details and how to RSVP


Today is National Lollipop Day and National Fortune Cookie Day!

And to brighten your day, here are some adorable best friends: