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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: Breaking - Bannon removed from National Security Council | Dem ends all-night Supreme Court protest | Tillerson heading to Russia | Trump pressures North Korea | Ivanka defends husband's WH role | Brooklyn's new avocado bar
BREAKING -- BANNON BOOTED FROM NSC: President Trump has removed chief White House strategist Steve Bannon from his role on the National Security Council (NSC). Don't forget: Bannon in January was elevated to a position on the NSC principals committee, in a shakeup of the council. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of national intelligence had their roles downgraded in the move. http://bit.ly/2oIMjqL
JUST ENDED -- AT THIS RATE, IT'LL BE TUESDAY ALL WEEK IN THE SENATE: Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Regulation: Lawmakers look to delay labor board ruling Senate Dems offer bill to restore internet privacy rules Dem senator on Gorsuch: 'The dark deed is done’ MORE (D-Ore.) held an all-night talkathon from the Senate floor to protest Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination. Timing: He started speaking shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday and ended at 10:14 a.m. -- more than 15 hours later. At 6:30 a.m.: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) became the first senator to join Merkley's talkathon. http://bit.ly/2oIjNW8
ANNOUNCED THIS A.M. -- MORE HOLLYWOOD IN THE (WHITE) HOUSE: Via The Hollywood Reporter's Kim Masters, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has hired Josh Raffel, a top PR executive for Hollywood producer Jason Blum's Blumhouse Productions, to run communications for the new White House Office of American Innovation. http://bit.ly/2oIo3VK
TALK OF THE MORNING -- HALF OF WASHINGTON'S NEWEST POWER COUPLE: First daughter Ivanka Trump's interview on CBS aired this morning. Highlights:
- Ivanka says her father is always receptive to her opinion, even when they disagree. http://bit.ly/2oBX4yt
- Ivanka also shot down the possibility of running for office in 2024: "Politics is a tough business." http://bit.ly/2nKbd8t
- The first daughter on criticism that she is "complicit" in her father's policies: "I don't know what it means to be complicit, but I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly, that my father's administration is the success that I know it will be." http://cnn.it/2nE2oMQ
- Ivanka also defended her husband Jared Kushner's White House role. http://cnn.it/2nE29RR
IN INTERNATIONAL NEWS -- SOOO *NERVOUS LAUGH,* WHEN DO WE START PANICKING ABOUT NORTH KOREA...?: Via The Hill's Rebecca Kheel, lawmakers and the Trump administration are upping the pressure on China as worries about North Korea's nuclear capabilities grow. What they're up to: Satellite imagery in recent weeks has indicated that Pyongyang may be preparing for its sixth nuclear test, which would follow two nuclear tests and a flurry of missile tests over the last year. http://bit.ly/2oBIYwS
IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND: North Korea fired a ballistic missile yesterday into waters off the peninsula, according to the U.S. military. http://bit.ly/2oIkgrH
TILLERSON'S REACTION -- YOU'D THINK THIS WAS A TWEET BY THE BREVITY: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released an extremely brief statement. "North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment." http://bit.ly/2oIkgrH
WHAT TO WATCH LATER THIS WEEK: President Trump is holding a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago later this week, which will present Trump with his first in-person opportunity to make progress on his stated goal of reining in North Korea. China is likely in the best position to accomplish that, as it has long propped up the isolated nation.
Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' Poll: Almost half say Trump off to poor start MORE TAKES UP BEEKEEPING! ... NO, INTERPRETIVE DANCE! ... NO, TAEKWONDO!: Hillary Clinton is very unlikely to return to her family's foundation, three sources close to the former Democratic nominee tell The Hill. "She's taking a look at her life and wants to try some different things," said one ally who has spoken to Clinton in recent weeks. "She's not tying herself to something that's always been an option. She wants to figure out what she wants to do." What she does know: Clinton wants to figure out how she can best use her voice for the benefit of the Democratic Party, sources say. http://bit.ly/2nXpEac
*PULLS OUT THE HANDY DANDY BULLHORN* 'WHAT DO WE WANT?' 'IDK, LOTS OF THINGS!' 'WHEN DO WE WANT THEM?' 'NOOOW!': Democrats plan to drive a hard bargain when Republicans try to pass a stopgap spending bill by the end of April to prevent a government shutdown. Why: They think any shutdown will be blamed on President Trump and Republicans. What to they want: A clean funding bill with no conservative policy riders. I.e., measures blocking ObamaCare funds, removing environmental protection, etc. What to expect: http://bit.ly/2nXr5FE
CALLING ALL UBER DRIVERS -- INVEST. IN. SEATCOVERS.: Via Stat's Leah Samuel, there is a new trend for people who need a trip to the emergency room: calling an Uber instead of taking an ambulance. "The trend, experts say, is driven by a few key factors. Ride-hailing services are cheaper and more predictable than ambulance services. And it allows riders to choose the hospital they're taken to. But emergency Uber and Lyft rides come with significant risks -- to drivers, to patients, and potentially to the companies themselves." http://bit.ly/2o9N7au
NOT REPORTED UNTIL NOW -- KUSHNER'S MEETING BEFORE THE TRAVEL BAN: Via BuzzFeed's Hannah Allam, President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, quietly met with a group of Muslim leaders just weeks before Trump issued his initial travel order in late January. Details: "Though the transition team was based in Trump Tower, this meeting took place off site, away from the cameras. The goal was a candid talk about what kind of relationship the new administration might forge with American Muslims -- a minefield of a topic given Trump's anti-Muslim remarks during the campaign." http://bzfd.it/2p0FvnS
Yahoo's Colin Campbell
I like Ivanka brand tweets that could be White House subtweets. http://bit.ly/2nb43Ov
The House and Senate are both in.
12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan.
1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House.
4 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House.
4:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence hosts a reception for Gold Star wives.
5:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has a phone call with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.
April 27: Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaDems, GOP bicker via official Twitter accounts Bill Maher to Dems: 'When they go low, you go lower' Lily Collins shares letter from Michelle Obama MORE will speak at a public architecture conference in Orlando, Fla. Details: http://bit.ly/2nXxkJF
WHAT TO WATCH:
1:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a bilateral press conference with King Abdullah II of Jordan. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2oIdYIl
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:
Today is National Caramel Day!
WE BOW DOWN TO YOU, BROOKLYN: An avocado bar -- a restaurant with avocados as its staple ingredient -- is opening in Brooklyn. http://bit.ly/2oByBcj
THE WOMAN BEHIND A PHOTO THAT WENT VIRAL: A recent "queer dance party" was held outside of Ivanka Trump's house as a protest. A photo emerged of a woman in a fur coat sipping wine outside of Trump's house watching the protest with a smile. The internet sure had fun with that one. Back story and interview with the woman: http://ti.me/2nK9BeW
And because I kept you this long, here's the best video I've seen in a while: birds dancing along to their owner's singing. Hint: The ending is the best part. http://bit.ly/2naKKF5
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