The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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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 - Fox to reportedly oust Bill O'Reilly | Chaffetz won't run for reelection | Dem fails to avoid Georgia runoff | Brady skipping Patriots' White House visit | DC Metro getting WiFi by year's end

BREAKING -- O'REILLY'S HAVING O'REALLY BAD MONTH: New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman is reporting that Fox News has decided to end host Bill O'Reilly's run after 21 years. ​From Sherman: ​"Sources briefed on the discussions say O'Reilly's exit negotiations are moving quickly. Right now, a key issue on the table is whether he would be allowed to say good-bye to his audience, perhaps the most loyal in all of cable ... Fox executives are leaning against [it.] The other main issue on the table is money. O'Reilly recently signed a new multiyear contract worth more than $20 million per year..." ​Full story: ​

*TAPS FINGERS TOGETHER WITH SOME SIDE EYE* -- INNNNTERESTINGGG: Via The Hill's Joe Concha, Bill O'Reilly's fate may have been foreshadowed by a rare tweet from the reclusive Matt Drudge. "Very few in the business get to decide when and how things end. Media is most brutal of all industries..."

WHAT STARTED THIS CHATTER TODAY: The Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal reported last night that Fox News was considering parting ways with O'Reilly.

WHAT STARTED THE CHATTER ORIGINALLY: A New York Times story just three weeks ago revealed Fox or O'Reilly had paid out $13 million to settle five harassment cases against him.

LET'S NOT FORGET: O'Reilly denies any wrongdoing, saying the payments were made "to put to rest any controversies to spare my children."

TOP REPLACEMENT OPTIONS: Four names are seen as the most likely candidates to fill O'Reilly's shoes​: Fox News's Eric BollingDana PerinoGreg Gutfel​d​ and ​Jesse Watters​.​ What to know about each:

It's 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 on Facebook.

BREAKING -- OUTTA THE HOUSE: Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCurtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz Chaffetz named Harvard Institute of Politics fellow Fox's Chaffetz: Rosenstein has 'absolutely zero credibility' on going after leakers MORE (R-Utah) will not seek reelection in 2018, he announced in a Facebook post this morning. His reasoning: "After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018," he wrote. Hmmmmm: Chaffetz, 50, had been floated as a potential candidate for Senate or Utah governor, but he denied any interest in running for anything in 2018. However, he noted that he "may run again for public office, but not in 2018."  Don'tcha know: Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchHatch urged Trump to ‘speak clearly’ against hate groups The Memo: Trump tries to quiet race storm Senators push FTC to finalize changes to contact lens rule MORE's (R-Utah) seat is up in 2018, while Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's (R) seat is up in 2020.

IT. IS. (SADLY) ABOUT. TIME.: Starting in June, the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles will start using "Washington, D.C." instead of "District of Columbia" on drivers' licenses. Why: Lots of uncertainty over what "the District of Columbia" means.

THROWBACK -- UGH, I HATE HOW NECESSARY THIS CHANGE ACTUALLY IS: My ID was rejected in 2015 when a bartender didn't believe me that the "District of Columbia" meant "Washington, D.C." Face palm. Read the item titled, "NOTE TO DC JOURNALISTS TRAVELING TO N.H. -- BRING YOUR PASSPORT (AND A MAP)" ;) --> 

TO QUOTE 'MEAN GIRLS' -- 'THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST!': Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, the Trump administration is taking a serious look at capping tax deductions for charitable contributions, according to a source familiar with the discussions. What it would mean: Limiting tax deductions for major charitable gifts would be a way to raise revenue by targeting wealthier taxpayers. Be prepared for an uproar: Limiting tax incentives for charitable giving would trigger a lobbying frenzy against such a plan. It's also likely to stir opposition from conservatives.

OK, OK, I KNOW. IT'S A RANDOM HOUSE RACE. WHY SHOULD WE CARE?: First, here's the outcome: Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old investigative filmmaker and former congressional aide, will now compete in a June runoff with Republican Karen Handel in the Georgia special election to fill Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's seat. Results are still pretty shocking: Ossoff won 48.1 percent (!) of the vote in a heavily Republican district. Handel won 19.8 to finish second in the 18-person race. Why those numbers are important: If Ossoff had hit 50 percent, there would not have been a runoff. Why R's are happy/Dems are not: While Ossoff ran far better than any other Democrat had in this district before, narrowly missing the runoff will be a disappointment for the party because it allows Republicans to reload and unite behind one candidate. Why this matters nationally: A Dem winning this district would be the first slap in the face to Trump and Congressional Republicans -- foreshadowing potentially troublesome 2018 midterm elections.

'CONGRATS TWITTER' FROM THE BIG GUY: President Trump tweeted to congratulate the Republican: "Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidate, BIG 'R' win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!"

2018 TALK IS ALREADY CAUSING ISSUES: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump’s isolation grows Ellison: Trump has 'level of sympathy' for neo-Nazis, white supremacists Trump touts endorsement of second-place finisher in Alabama primary MORE (R-Ky.) is already clashing with conservative groups over GOP primaries in 2018. McConnell = picking "electable" candidates. Conservative groups = moving the party to the right.

FUNNY TIDBIT -- THAT'S WORSE THAN HEARING IT FROM YOUR GRANDMA: A CNN anchor asked Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff when he was going to marry his girlfriend yesterday. "I've been living with my girlfriend, Alicia, for 12 years now." "So when are you going to marry her?" Alisyn Camerota asked. "Well, I don't want to give anything away," an amused Ossoff said. "But I think I can reasonably say that's more of a personal question. I'll give you a call when I have something to announce."

A NEW TERRORIST GROUP ON THE BLOCK: Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) SessionsFBI opens tip line requesting information on Charlottesville rally Sessions rails against Chicago during visit to Miami DOJ warrant of Trump resistance site triggers alarm MORE says the MS-13 gang could be designated as a terrorist organization. Sessions called the gang "one of the most violent gangs in the history of our country." "We can devastate this gang. We're going after them," he said. "We're not going to allow them to take over a block, a corner of our communities and terrorize people with this violence."

FINGER-POINTING: President Trump on Tuesday blamed former President Obama's immigration policies for the formation of MS-13, a gang formed in the 1980s in Los Angeles that the FBI has been closely tracking since at least 2004. "The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!" Trump tweeted.

I MEAN, I'D JUST BE HAPPY WITH A WORKING METRO SYSTEM, BUT SURE, THIS WORKS TOO...: DC Metro plans to install free WiFi in 30 stations by the end of 2017. The transit agency also announced Wednesday that wireless voice and data service has been activated on the Red Line between Glenmont and Silver Spring, allowing passengers uninterrupted service. 



Chilling data: Netflix users have spent more than half a billion hours watching Adam Sandler movies.

NBC's Alex Moe
Workers here at the Capitol are preparing to remove the entire tree after part fell on a man 



Congress is still out.



Happening now: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots on the South Lawn of the White House. Livestream:

On the same day: Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison early this morning. Keep in mind: Last week, Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, but he was still serving a life sentence for a 2013 killing.

Update late this morning: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he will not attend the White House visit, citing "personal family matters."

6:15 p.m. EDT: MSNBC's Stephanie RuhleKasie HuntAri Melber and Jacob Soboroff join a special AOL BUILD Series event to discuss President Trump's first 100 days in office. Livestream:



Today is National Garlic Day.

A WORTHY CAUSE WE CAN ALL RALLY AROUND: A few weeks ago, a high school boy tweeted at Wendy's asking how many retweets he'd need for a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy's tweeted back: 18 million. How his tweet is doing: It has received over 3.2 million retweets so far! Why Ellen DeGeneres is angry: DeGeneres currently holds the record for the most retweeted tweet, at 3.3 million. She invited the teenager on her show, where she jokingly threatened him. It's pretty hilarious. Watch: 

Latest retweet count: "HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS." -->

OHHHHH, D.C.....: An apartment unit right by Nationals Park hung a Trump banner from their balcony. Several apartment units then hung up banners in response, including the apartment unit directly below, which hung a sign with an arrow pointing up reading "Nope." Update: The building has banned all signs. Photos:

And to get you through your Wednesday, here's a puppy that is upping the evolutionary standard for dogs with this innovative way to get his ball:


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