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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: Meghan MarkleMeghan MarkleMeghan Markle lawsuit against newspaper to be delayed until fall 2021 Prince Harry on unconscious bias: ‘Ignorance is no longer an excuse’ Meghan Markle: You realize ‘your voice matters’ even more ‘when you’re not able to exercise it’ MORE writes NYT op-ed | Describes recent miscarriage | Trump allows Biden to receive intel briefings | Chinese president congratulates Biden | Progressives support Cabinet picks so far | Trump plans to pardon Flynn | Governors take heat for violating their own COVID-19 restrictions | Best online Black Friday deals



Yes, governors. We are looking at you.:



Via The Hill’s Reid Wilson, “Several top Democrats have come under criticism in recent days for violating the coronavirus restrictions they imposed on their own states and cities in hopes of curbing the spread of the pandemic.”


First up in California: “California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomBiden: ‘Difficult decision’ to staff administration with House, Senate members Don’t let ‘experts’ ruin your Thanksgiving The fuzzy math behind state and local bailouts MORE (D-Calif.) was photographed attending a dinner party at the French Laundry, one of the nation’s priciest restaurants, with a group of prominent lobbyists, including several who represent the California Medical Association. The photos show no one in the large party wearing a mask.” Newsom later apologized. 

Let’s move to New York: “Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNew York City to add COVID-19 checkpoints at bridges, crossings Don’t let ‘experts’ ruin your Thanksgiving Cuomo reverses on in-person Thanksgiving plans with family MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that his 89-year-old mother and two of his daughters would travel to his residence in Albany for Thanksgiving, after urging residents to avoid travel that might cause a spike in cases over the holiday.”  

In our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.: Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC – Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience DC limits indoor dining, gatherings The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC – Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans MORE (D) attended President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: ‘He’s been very, very helpful’ MORE’s election night celebration in Delaware but did not quarantine after. Why: She called the trip essential travel.

If you turn to Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) wouldn’t say whether he would follow the Chicago advisory urging residents not to travel. 

It continues — more examples:




Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 12,613,248

U.S. death toll: 260,190

Breakdown of the numbers: 

For context — five months ago today: 2,382,134 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 121,996 had died.


It’s Wednesday — you know what tomorrow is!! 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 protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook. 

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. Enjoy the long weekend. Monday. Same time. Same place. 😉


Trump canceled his plans today:

Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels, President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE canceled plans on Wednesday to attend an event orchestrated by Pennsylvania Republicans to highlight allegations of election irregularities.” 

Details of the planned trip: “Trump was expected to join Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiJake Tapper jokes he’s retained Giuliani to look into fraud in ‘Sexiest Man’ election Pioneering New York City Mayor David Dinkins dies at 93 Trump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism MORE and other legal representatives affiliated with his campaign at the event at a hotel in Gettysburg, but it was scrapped at the last moment. The trip was never officially on Trump’s schedule, but multiple news outlets reported he planned to make an appearance.” 

Timing: “The cancellation came shortly after a campaign adviser, Boris Epshteyn, shared that he had tested positive for coronavirus. Epshteyn was at a news conference last week alongside Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, who were both planning to make the trip to Gettysburg.”

Meghan Markle writes about her recent miscarriage:

In a New York Times op-ed, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, described her miscarriage last July.

What happened: “After changing his diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right. I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.”  

The aftermath: “Sitting in a hospital bed, watching my husband’s heart break as he tried to hold the shattered pieces of mine, I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?’ ” 

She also mentionsBreonna Taylor and George Floyd 

On the state of the country: “It seems we no longer agree on what is true. We aren’t just fighting over our opinions of facts; we are polarized over whether the fact is, in fact, a fact. We are at odds over whether science is real. We are at odds over whether an election has been won or lost. We are at odds over the value of compromise. That polarization, coupled with the social isolation required to fight this pandemic, has left us feeling more alone than ever.”


First Corn the turkey. Now Michael Flynn.:

Via Axios’s Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu, President Trump told allies that he plans to pardon Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser who pleaded guilty in 2017 for lying about his Russian ties. 

Why this is important: “Flynn’s pardon would be the culmination of a four-year political and legal saga that began with the FBI’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in the 2016 election.”


This a.m. — more congratulations:

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday congratulated President-elect Biden on his win. 

Xi said to the state-run news agency: “Promoting healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations not only serves the fundamental interests of the people in both countries, but also meets the common expectation of the international community.”

Let the briefings commence — ding:

President Trump has agreed to allow President-elect Biden to receive classified intelligence briefings.

How often Trump receives the briefings: Daily. 

When Biden will start receiving the briefings: That’s unclear.

What Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks have in common. Well, so far:

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “President-elect Joe Biden’s first round of Cabinet picks is so far largely unifying the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party.”

Biden is under a lot of pressure: “Biden has faced a difficult balancing act with his nominations. He’s under pressure from the left to not only appoint a diverse Cabinet, but to nominate individuals who reflect the progressive base that is an engine of the Democratic Party.”

^ Not to mention: “He also must nominate people who can get confirmed by a Senate that may be in GOP hands if Republicans can win one of the two Georgia runoff races to be decided in January.” 

A big theme in his picks so far: “Biden so far has leaned on Obama administration veterans in announcing a slate of national security nominees.” 

How progressives are feeling: “While Biden’s picks aren’t necessarily at the top of progressives’ wish list, so far the left is largely backing the president-elect’s choices.”


“Progressives are raising objections to the Biden team’s pick for overseeing the transition at a key regulatory agency in the White House, arguing the official has been too sympathetic toward President Trump’s deregulatory efforts.”

Who: “Bridget C.E. Dooling, a research professor at George Washington University, has been tapped to help with the agency review team at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which reviews all executive branch regulations before they can be enacted.” The full story:


Oh weirdddd:




The Washington Post was feeling sassy:





The House and Senate are out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. President-elect Joe Biden is in Wilmington, Del.

President Trump and Vice President Pence have no public events on their schedules.


Today: President-elect Biden will deliver a Thanksgiving address to the American people. Details:


Today is National Parfait Day.

Black Friday is a much better situation when it’s all at home:

Via CNet, here’s a list of the best Black Friday tech deals: 

At Target, Best Buy and Walmart: Here are the best deals, via The New York Times:

The best clothing deals: Via E! Online:  

Amazon’s early deals: Via CNN:

Yes, yes. Please do explain, New York Times:

The New York Times’s Yan Zhuang writes, “Why were Canadians warned not to let moose lick their cars?: Let us explain.”

And to get your holiday off to the right start, here is the dog with the funniest reaction to having its nails trimmed:  

This is incredible. Oh the drama!




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