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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 says GOP healthcare push ‘coming along great’ | Ryan pulls out PowerPoint to make pitch | Paul unveils alternate repeal bill | EPA chief downplays carbon dioxide's role in climate change | Snow possible in DC this weekend (!)
BREAKING -- SHOOT NOW, AIM LATER: Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump: 'No doubt' we'll make a deal on healthcare Overnight Defense: General says US strike probably led to civilian deaths | Tillerson to push NATO on spending | Trump taps F-35 chief Senate backs Montenegro's NATO membership MORE (R-Ky.) has introduced a bill -- a clean ObamaCare repeal bill -- mirrored off a 2015 bill that cleared the Senate along party lines. Rand has been a fierce critic of GOP leadership's ObamaCare repeal and replacement plan. The fine print: Paul's proposal would effectively separate repeal of ObamaCare from replacement. Why moderate Republicans won't be happy about this: The move could alienate a group of centrist Republicans who want at a minimum the key details of replacement nailed down before they vote to repeal. http://bit.ly/2m6OBOH
JUST NOW -- OMG THERE'S A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ON CABLE NEWS: During his weekly press conference, Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRepublicans seek to lower odds of a shutdown Trump: 'No doubt' we'll make a deal on healthcare Overnight Finance: WH wants to slash billions | Border wall funding likely on hold | Wells Fargo to pay 0M over unauthorized accounts | Dems debate revamping consumer board MORE (R-Wis.) explained the GOP replacement plan for healthcare using a PowerPoint presentation. The funniest part: A PowerPoint presentation consumed cable news, essentially without commercials. Video: http://cs.pn/2nas0Sq
Photo of cable stations: http://bit.ly/2m6uQqM
Politico's Kevin Robillard: "one of the reasons i got into journalism was the lack of powerpoint presentations involved" http://bit.ly/2mKWhtz
The Boston Globe's Annie Linskey: "Ryan: "This is the closest we'll ever get to repealing Obamacare." http://bit.ly/2mFjKMe
ALSO JUST NOW — IT’S BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT. INCREDIBLE, REALLY." President Trump is insisting the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare :"is coming along great," pushing back on news reports detailing serious roadblocks for the plan. I'm feelin' a sale's pitch: Trump and his team have ramped up their sales pitch for the plan, which would roll back core elements of the Affordable Care Act and replace them with a more conservative system centered on tax credits to help people buy health insurance. http://bit.ly/2mq8pPN
AVOIDING EYE CONTACT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES AT ALL COSTS: Via The Hill's Lisa Hagen, Republicans facing challenging reelection races in 2018 have so far been largely silent on the legislation, which has sparked backlash from Democrats and conservative Republicans alike. For example: Nevada's Dean HellerDean HellerWith GOP’s healthcare bill on ice, Dems go on offense Red-state Dems in Supreme Court pressure cooker This week: House GOP faces make-or-break moment on ObamaCare MORE, the most vulnerable GOP senator up for reelection, has yet to comment on the House bill even as pressure mounts on him from both sides of the aisle. Heller is the only senator facing reelection in a state that chose Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton defends April Ryan, Rep. Maxine Waters in speech Lobbying world Trump puts foreign investors first by supporting the Republican tax plan MORE for president in November. http://bit.ly/2nixHNg
INDUSTRY GROUPS HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ON THE TOPIC: Via The Hill's Megan R. Wilson, powerful industry groups are taking sides in the politically charged fight over repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Healthcare associations, including those representing doctors and hospitals, have largely come out in opposition to the legislation from House Republicans. Meanwhile, some of the nation's largest business groups have expressed support for it. http://bit.ly/2mFgAbz
WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL FACEBOOK FRIENDS ANGRILY POSTING ABOUT TODAY: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said this morning that he does not believe carbon dioxide is a "primary contributor" to climate change. "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," Pruitt said on CNBC. Why it's so newsy: Pruitt's position is in contradiction with the agency he runs, which concluded in 2009 that greenhouse gas emissions "threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations" because they cause warming. http://bit.ly/2m6wVmB
NEW TRUMPIAN TIME MAGAZINE COVER: This one is actually pretty cool: http://bit.ly/2m626hS
*INSERT STRING OF BARELY AUDIBLE SWEARS AND GRUMBLES*: Via The Capital Weather Gang, snow is actually possible in the D.C. area this weekend. Details: "The most likely timing for any storminess would be Saturday night into Sunday -- although that could shift some. Forecast uncertainty is very high and there still is no clear consensus on whether the storm will provide us with accumulating snow, plain old rain or miss us to the south." http://wapo.st/2niUFUw
GETTING IT FROM ALL SIDES -- AN UNEXPECTED TRAVEL-BAN SIDE EFFECT: Via The Hill's Rafael Bernal, President Trump's temporary ban on refugees could create a new wave of illegal border crossings, experts warn. Why: The latest iteration of Trump's travel ban includes a provision that halts entry of all refugees into the United States for 120 days. How so: That could interfere with an Obama administration-brokered deal that allowed Central American children to apply for refugee status in the United States without leaving their countries. http://bit.ly/2n3CxlC
WRITING CHILDREN'S BOOKS SEEMS LIKE A FUN POST-POLITICS PROFESSION: Via The Guardian's Nadia Khomami, "George Galloway, the former Labour and Respect MP, has announced that he has signed a publishing deal for a series of children's books about an 'ethical pirate' who travels the high seas around Indonesia with his family." Lol, yes, you read that right. An "ethical pirate." http://bit.ly/2mn4HEO
The Miami Herald's David Ovalle (Omg, this actually happened.)
HOT STORY: Miami lawyer's pants erupt into flames during closing arguments in arson trial. He blames e-cigarette http://bit.ly/2nazCnP
The House and Senate are in.
Noon: Roll call votes in the Senate.
12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has a legislative affairs lunch regarding the federal budget.
1:30 p.m. EST: First votes in the House. Their schedule today: http://bit.ly/2mFfRqW
1:45 p.m. EST: Roll call votes in the Senate.
2 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Pete Peterson, a Commerce secretary during the Nixon administration.
3 p.m. EST: President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
4 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks to the Senate Youth Program.
5 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence holds an anti-abortion rights listening session.
5:30 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.
8:30 a.m. EST Friday: February jobs report is released.
Saturday: Vice President Pence travels to Louisville, Ky., to pitch the GOP's replacement plan for ObamaCare. http://bit.ly/2niDOBn
WHAT TO WATCH:
12:45 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing. Live stream: http://bit.ly/2mFhF32
12:45 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at the Latino Coalition's Policy Summit at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. Live stream: http://bit.ly/2mFbonZ
1:30 p.m. EST: Fox News's Bret Baier interviews Vice President Pence at the Capitol.
2 p.m. EST: Former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonTrump seeks to stop lawsuit from ‘Apprentice’ contestant Trump asks why Clintons' ties to Russia aren't under investigation Playing hot potato and musical chairs with healthcare MORE speaks at a Brookings Institution event honoring former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich. Live stream: http://brook.gs/2mJZx8z
3 p.m. EST: Lawmakers attend a memorial ceremony for former GOP House Leader Bob Michel (Ill.) in Statuary Hall. Expected to attend: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinRepublicans seek to lower odds of a shutdown No. 2 Senate Democrat opposes Trump's Supreme Court pick The Hill’s Whip List: 30 Dems are against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-lll.) and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Live stream: http://cs.pn/2mEUlCk
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:
Today is National Crab Day.
I'M USED TO COMPARING TECHNOLOGY TO THE JETSONS, BUT THIS IS WAY PAST THAT -- AND REAL!: Via Mashable, electronic tattoos are being developed to monitor wellness -- and eventually diseases in real-time. Video: http://bit.ly/2mmCfmo
THIS IS BEAUTIFUL AND WEIRD AND CONFUSING: The tap water in a small Alberta town turned bright magenta. It's apparently safe, but the mayor apologized for not communicating this to residents. http://bzfd.it/2n3HoDq
LOL, THIS HEADLINE!: From Yahoo! Sports, "Lox to advance: How Israel's [World Baseball Classic] team engineered the greatest Jewish miracle since the oil burned for eight days." https://yhoo.it/2narBzm
And because you read this far, here's a gorilla giving his annoying friend the finger. So. Funny. http://dailym.ai/2mKEZwM
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