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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Second judge blocks Trump travel ban | Inside Trump's first budget | Budget panel advances ObamaCare bill despite defections | March Madness | Irish PM in DC before St. Paddy's Day | Interior chief shovels snow off Lincoln Memorial
TRAVEL BAN MAYHEM, TAKE TWO -- IT'S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN: A federal judge in Maryland early Thursday temporarily blocked parts of President Trump's revised travel order, according to multiple reports. Hours earlier, a federal judge in Hawaii had placed a nationwide block on Trump's order, delivering a major blow to the president's policy just hours before it was set to go into effect. Why: The Maryland judge said Trump's travel ban was still meant to discriminate against Muslims. He pointed to the president's own comments to defend the ruling. http://bit.ly/2mMIUa5
SERIOUSLY, HAVEN'T I WRITTEN THIS BEFORE...?: President Trump last night slammed a court ruling blocking his revised travel ban as "an unprecedented judicial overreach." "We're going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court," Trump said. "We're going to win," he continued. "The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear." http://bit.ly/2nrdk4x
EHHHH, WHAT'S A FEW WIRETAPPING CLAIMS BETWEEN FRIENDS, AMIRITE?: President Trump is defending his unsubstantiated claim that former President Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower. "Wiretap covers a lot of different things," Trump said in an interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson set to air Wednesday night. "I think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks." http://bit.ly/2n2ErSO
NBC's Brad Jaffy
Full stop. Take 2 mins. Read this Q&A between Trump & Tucker Carlson over where Trump got his wiretapping claims from. Read the whole thing. http://bit.ly/2nIbGaS
Including: Trump on his wiretapping claim: "Those words were in quotes." http://bit.ly/2n2ErSO
Happy Thursday -- March Madness has officially begun! 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 email@example.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.
HAPPENING THIS MORNING -- BUH, DUH, DUH, BUH, BUH, THEY'RE NOT LOVIN' IT: McDonald's in a tweet on its corporate account called President Trump "a disgusting excuse of a President" on Thursday morning. The tweet, which was briefly pinned to the top of the account before being deleted, mocked Trump and called for the return of former President Obama. Actual tweet: "@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands." http://bit.ly/2mSMTTX
UPDATE FROM MCDONALD'S: "Twitter notified us that our account was compromised. We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this." http://bit.ly/2nrGj8v
THROWBACK TO A SIMPLER TIME: Does anyone else remember when Trump was in a McDonalds commercial? --> http://bit.ly/2nroaaT
THIS IS PRETTY SAD: A growing number of nervous Republican senators are rooting for 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.) to fail so they won't be blamed for killing the ObamaCare bill in the upper chamber. http://bit.ly/2nrKmSp
THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF DOUGH: President Trump on Thursday made public his first federal budget blueprint, revealing a plan to dramatically reduce the size of government. http://bit.ly/2nIyLu8
28 percent reduction: For the State Department's budget, a cut that White House budget director Mick Mulvaney conceded was "fairly dramatic."
31 percent reduction: The departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development.
Terminated: Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
Added: President Trump will ask Congress for $1.5 billion this year to begin work on the wall he promised to build along the U.S.-Mexico border. http://bit.ly/2mvRS9G
UHHH? AND THE CREEPER DU JOUR AWARD GOES TO!: Via Mother Jones's Yashar Ali, two Secret Service agents are under investigation for taking photos with President Trump's grandson while he was sleeping. The source told Mother Jones Donald TrumpDonald TrumpManafort-linked accounts on Cyprus probed: report Republican failure Trump's environmental order jeopardizes our national security MORE III woke up as the agents were taking photos and "freaked out." The president's grandson then informed his family about the incident, prompting an investigation into whether the two agents abandoned their posts while on duty. http://bit.ly/2nvs0wn
WELL, IT INVOLVES JUSTIN TRUDEAU, SO YOU SHOULD READ THIS. BUT ALSO, IT'S FUNNY: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited first daughter Ivanka Trump to a Broadway musical that celebrates openness to foreign travelers. Yes, you read that right -- it's about openness to international travelers. President Trump's daughter accompanied Trudeau and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley to the performance of "Come From Away" in New York City. http://bit.ly/2mSpFgW
THE TIME. HAS. COME.: The first episode of The Hill's History-Cast has been released! The topic: We called a bunch of sherpas, people who helped guide nominees through the Senate confirmation process during the Obama administration, to try to understand their roles better -- and to understand how confirmation battles got so contentious. http://bit.ly/2m4X0Gq
IJ Review's Benny Johnson
"I rode in a cop car through the snow emergency D.C. yesterday with Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Things I saw the secretary do on his Snow Day:
1. Shovel snow off the Lincoln Memorial
2. Laugh with boyish joy after realizing he could get access to the secret memorial rooftop & basement
3. Give tours of the Lincoln Memorial to random tourists..." http://bit.ly/2m51c9d
Dallas Morning News's Jamie Lovegrove
As Rep. Will Hurd asks Rep. Beto O'Rourke to pull over so he can relieve himself [during their bipartisan road trip], O'Rourke considers forcing him to hold it in until they reach DC. http://bit.ly/2nrdzwJ
The Hill's Taylor Lorenz
This chrome extension automatically tweets everything you do
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is in Washington, D.C.
The House is in. The Senate is out until Tuesday.
Noon: President Trump speaks at a Friends of Ireland luncheon.
1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House.
2 p.m. EDT: "Rep. Bobby ScottBobby ScottThe Hill's 12:30 Report A guide to the committees: House Repeal without replacement: A bad strategy for kids MORE (D-Va.) hosts forum on driverless cars' effect on the labor market ... Location: 2261 [Russell House Office Building]" http://bit.ly/2m4Hs5G
2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence holds meetings on Capitol Hill.
3:30 p.m. EDT: Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden chats on the Sidewire app about the American Health Care Act, the GOP's ObamaCare replacement plan.
5:30 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.
WHAT TO WATCH:
2 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing. Live stream: http://bit.ly/2nrd8Cq
2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in the swearing in of director of national intelligence Dan CoatsDan CoatsMcCain says he hasn't met with Trump since inauguration Oversight committee asks White House, FBI for Flynn records Live coverage: FBI director testifies to Congress MORE. Live steam: http://bit.ly/2nIzyLy
6 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House. Live stream: http://bit.ly/2m4HYRi
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:
Today is National Artichoke Heart Day!
IN CASE YOU NEED ANOTHER REASON TO GO TO LONDON: Here's a shop in London that turns any candy bar into a calzone. Watch: http://bit.ly/2mMQqBH
CHEERIO, MATE!: Cheerios will send 100 free wildflower seeds to anyone who signs up. Uhh, why?: To save the bees, of course. http://bit.ly/2mwgP4P
And because you read this far, here's a hedgehog taking a bath: http://bit.ly/2mSPoG3
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