The Hill's 12:30 Report - The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations - 90-year-old 'Star Trek' actor describes space visit

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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. 



Captain Kirk visited his old home today!:



“Star Trek” actor William Shatner — ahem, I mean Captain Kirk — headed to space today on Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosReplace Kamala Harris with William Shatner to get kids excited about space exploration Shatner pushes back on Prince William over space flight comments Shatner says he was struck by 'fragility of this planet' on trip to space MORE’s Blue Origin rocket. 

Who else was on board: Via NBC, “Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations, and two paying customers, Glen de Vries and Chris Boshuizen” were also on board. 

Watch the launch — here’s the livestream


Team photo!: Here’s a photo of the crew: 

Each crew member rang the bell before loading onto the rocket: Watch: 

The crew spoke to CNN’s Erica Hill before their flight: Imagine the nerves and excitement going through their heads. Here’s the video 


Blue Origins takes off


The Blue Origin team jumped into action when the crew landed 

William Shatner gave Jeff Bezos a big hug when he walked off the capsule: Here’s a photo: 

Watch the landing


Shatner returns to Earth


What the launch looked like from a distance: Here’s video from NBC’s Morgan Chesky

Lol: HuffPost’s Igor Bobic tweeted, “really don't understand why they sent the Priceline guy into space” 

Oh mannn


Champagne celebration


^ Shatner did not seem to enjoy this: Check out his reaction:

Happy Wednesday. 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 elves are kicking things into high gear for the holidays:

To address the global supply chain bottlenecks, the White House announced that Walmart, FedEx and UPS will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Plus: “The Port of Los Angeles will move into 24/7 service. The port of Long Beach has been working 24/7 for the past three weeks, the official said.” More on the port’s increased efforts

What is President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE doing to fix the issue?: Biden is meeting with stakeholders today to discuss the transportation bottlenecks. 

Wow: The White House said UPS and FedEx shipped 40 percent of American packages by volume last year.


NBC’s “Today” has a guide of how to prepare for holiday shopping supply shortages this year:

Meanwhile — workers are threatening big strikes:

Via The Hill’s Karl Evers-Hillstrom, “Workers in various industries nationwide are threatening to go on strike in a sweeping effort to secure higher pay and better working conditions.” 

Who: “More than 100,000 unionized employees — between Hollywood production crew members, John Deere factory workers and Kaiser Permanente nurses — have overwhelmingly voted to authorize strikes and are preparing to join the picket line unless they get stronger collective bargaining agreements.”  

Strikes have already started: “Thousands are already on strike, including 2,000 New York hospital workers, 700 Massachusetts nurses and 1,400 Kellogg plant workers in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.” 

What to expect:


When you look around and realize you used all your favors:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “The backlash Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (Ky.) received from fellow Republican senators last week is a wake-up call to the GOP leader that he doesn’t have any more political capital to spend on helping Democrats raise the debt limit again, say GOP aides and strategists.” 

Should McConnell be worried about his job?: “McConnell is still secure in his position as Senate Republican leader, despite regular attacks from former President Trump, who has called for him to be replaced.”  

Yes, but: “Yet at the same time, Senate Republican aides and strategists say McConnell’s reputation took a hit last week when he agreed to a two-month increase of the debt ceiling after saying for weeks that Republicans wouldn’t help Democrats on the issue.”

A how-to guide on how to ruffle a lot of feathers:

Via The Hill’s Scott Wong, “Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseGOP's embrace of Trump's false claims creates new perils House GOP campaign arm raises .8 million in third quarter The Hill's 12:30 Report - The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations - 90-year-old 'Star Trek' actor describes space visit MORE, the No. 2 House GOP leader, refused this week to say the 2020 election was not stolen from Republicans, sparking fury from Democrats and even some in his own party.” 

Will this hurt him politically? — Probbbb not: “But his dubious remarks are unlikely to harm the Louisiana Republican’s growing political ambitions. In fact, Scalise likely will be rewarded for taking that position if the GOP wins the House in 2022.”  

This tells us a lot: “It’s yet another sign of how rank-and-file and powerful veteran Republicans alike are bending the knee to former President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE and embracing his false claims that widespread fraud led to President Biden’s election victory.” 


You may enter!:

Via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel, “The Biden administration is preparing to reopen the U.S.'s land borders with Canada and Mexico to fully vaccinated individuals traveling for nonessential reasons at some point in early November, according to senior administration officials.”

‘An unvaccinated man met a doctor at a bar. He left agreeing to get his first dose.’:

The full story, from The Washington Post’s Andrea Salcedo


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 44,577,802 

U.S. death toll: 716,834 

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 404 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 783,896 doses 

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

Breakdown of the numbers:





Robot dogs


Getting traction: 

Radio Shack was a thing


There are some real throwbacks in the replies


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

9:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.

11:15 a.m. EDT: President Biden signed a bill into law “to designate the September 11th National Memorial Trail Route, and for other purposes.”

1:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden meets with senior officials to discuss global transportation supply chain bottlenecks.

4:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris meets with Mia Amor Mottley, the prime minister of Barbados.


11 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID-19 Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream 

1 p.m. EDT White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiPaid family leave is 'not a vacation,' Buttigieg says Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream

2:20 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on global transportation supply chain bottlenecks. Livestream


Today is National Yorkshire Pudding Day.

Absolutely not:

Via NBC “Today’s” Randee Dawn, two butchers in Madison, Wis., are selling bratwursts with candy corn mixed in. 

Photo of the bratwursts

And to get you through your Wednesday afternoon, here’s a cat and its nonsense: