12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Jobs near pre-pandemic levels 

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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.


I love sharing good news:

The U.S. added a robust 428,000 jobs in April, according to new data from the Labor Department. 

A point of reference: Economists had expected roughly 300,000 jobs to have been created, so this was a great month. It also means almost all the roughly 21 million jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic have been recovered. 

How is inflation affecting this good news?: “Despite rising inflation, high gas prices, and a first-quarter decline in economic growth, consumer and business spending have continued to grow—even when adjusted for inflation.” 

What about the unemployment rate?: It remained unchanged at 3.6 percent. That’s just 0.1 percentage point above the level in February 2020. 

More on what this means for the economy, via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane: https://bit.ly/3vPEofW 

The Washington Post’s Heather Long pointed out: “Wages are not keeping up with inflation. Wages are up +5.5% in the past year, according to the Labor Department. That’s well below 8.5% inflation in the past year.” https://bit.ly/3kNgfQM 

IT’S FRIDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

🏛 In the Supreme Court 

First stage is denial. What’s the plan for the anger stage?:  

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “The initial shock is beginning to fade over reports that the Supreme Court is set to strike down the constitutional right to abortion — but the political battle is only beginning.” https://bit.ly/37pjI58 

The obstacle for Dems: “Democrats, horrified by the likely loss of a right that was enshrined almost half a century ago, are plotting a course ahead, yet the path looks uncertain. Some of the measures Democrats are proposing seem more symbolic than substantive.” It may not even change anything in November — here’s how  

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Amie Parnes: https://bit.ly/3vRirwQ 


Via Vox’s Ian Millhiser: https://bit.ly/3KY4gL6

In the White House 

Karine, step right up

Karine Jean-Pierre, the current principal deputy White House press secretary, will replace Jen Psaki in the role next week. (The Hill) 

This is historic: Jean-Pierre will be the first openly gay person and first Black woman in the role (!)  

When Psaki will officially pass the torch: May 13

📍 Latest with Ukraine 

Psst, Putin’s rumored girlfriend may get sanctioned:

CNN’s Luke McGee reports that “Alina Kabaeva, a woman who has previously been romantically linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is included in the sixth proposed package of European Union sanctions against Russia … according to two European diplomatic sources.” More from CNN 

Keep in mind: At this stage in the process, names can easily be added or removed from the sanctions list, so nothing is definite.  

What Russians are seeing on TV

The New York Times’s Stuart A. Thompson pulled together footage of how Russia is covering the invasion of Ukraine. It’s worth watching

An example in a suburb of Kyiv: “In one clip, Russian journalists noted that clothing on some dead civilians was too clean to have been in the streets for days, implying they could not have been killed during Russia’s occupation.”  

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement: “All that is irrefutable evidence that the photos and videos from Bucha are yet another staging by the Kyiv regime for the benefit of Western mass media.”

In Congress 

Live look at Democrats:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is putting his attention into an ambitious bipartisan energy bill, which Democrats are questioning as Manchin’s way to stall to avoid discussing President Biden’s social spending agenda. https://bit.ly/3siktUB 

What Manchin’s been up to: “Manchin told reporters this week that his focus is on crafting bipartisan energy legislation, which would center on proposals to incentivize green energy technologies and bolster the fossil fuel industry, and not on moving Biden’s most ambitious proposals with a budget reconciliation package.” 

Yes, but: “[T]he talks over the bipartisan energy bill are at the earliest stages, and the chances of getting a deal are small.”  

More on how this could play out, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: https://bit.ly/3siktUB 

Here’s an explainer from NBC’s Pete Williams: https://nbcnews.to/38WMQ3Y 

Madison Cawthorn’s Google alerts are having an active week:

Via The Hill’s Emily Brooks, “Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is speaking out more forcefully against a barrage of negative news stories about him as he tries to hang on to political life less than two weeks before a contentious primary vote with top Republicans in his state working against him.”  

How so: “Cawthorn had largely avoided directly addressing allegations of insider trading, twice taking a loaded firearm to the airport, getting speeding tickets and more. But an anti-Cawthorn PAC’s recent release of videos showing the 26-year-old first-term lawmaker engaging in suggestive and vulgar behavior has pushed him to be more vocal.” More on the controversies 


🦠 Latest on COVID 


Cases to date: 81,492,170 

Death toll: 994,187 

Current hospitalizations: 13,281 

Shots administered: 577 million 

Fully vaccinated: 66.3 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

It’s a bit familiar. I just can’t place it …

NPR’s Steve Inskeep tweeted a photo of a campaign yard sign in Georgia. Photohttps://bit.ly/37ld8MS


On tap 

The gist: The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Ohio. 

  • 11:10 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for Ohio. 
  • 3 p.m. EDT: President Biden meets with manufacturing leaders in Hamilton, Ohio. 
  • 5:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden leaves for Delaware.  
  • 3 p.m. EDT Monday: The Senate returns. The Senate’s Monday agenda

📺What to watch 

  • 12:15 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream 
  • 3:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on the Bipartisan Innovation Act. Livestream 
  • 5 p.m. EDT: Former President Trump holds a campaign rally for Dr. Oz’s Senate campaign. Livestream

🥞 In lighter news 

Today is National Crepe Suzette Day.

A friendly lil’ bun!

The Huffington Post’s Amanda Terkel tweeted, “A bunny — which clearly is an escaped pet bunny — has been running around my parents’ backyard trying to make friends with all the wild rabbits.” Photos: https://bit.ly/37mINxz

And to get your weekend off to a great start, here’s a dog trying to play it cool. Make sure your sound is on!

Tags 12:30 Report Economy Jobs Report Joe Manchin Karine Jean-Pierre SCOTUS ukraine unemployment Vladimir Putin

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