The Hills 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden convenes world leaders for Earth Day


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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: Biden hosts virtual climate summit | Putin, Jinping, Merkel join | Biden’s goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 | Greta Thunberg testifies | Promising study on safety of COVID vaccine and pregnancy | Weekly jobless rate drops to pandemic low | Mars rover creates oxygen | Panda mom trades baby for apple



If everything is infrastructure, does that make today’s summit an infrastructure summit…?: 

President BidenJoe BidenCornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge Harris to travel to Northern Triangle region in June Biden expected to formally recognize Armenian Genocide: report MORE is hosting a two-day virtual summit on climate change. 

Who is participating in today’s summit: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinUS, Russian officials discuss sanctions Menendez threatens sanctions on Russia if Navalny not given medical treatment More than 200 arrested in Navalny demonstrations in Russia MORE, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel 

Latest updates from the summit

White House schedule of events


Biden’s theme — ‘we’re all in this together!’: Biden demanded collective action from the world’s largest economies to combat climate change. 

Biden’s goal: Via The Hill’s Rachel Frazin, President Biden is aiming to reduce the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent when compared to 2005 levels by the year 2030, an interim goal in his quest to reach net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.”

How Biden’s goal will work: “The target, called a Nationally Determined Contribution, is being made as part of the Paris Agreement and will be formally submitted to the United Nations.” 

For context: “The target follows an Obama-era goal of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 percent by the year 2025 compared to 2005 levels. In 2019, U.S. emissions were 13 percent lower than 2005 levels, according to data recently released by the Environmental Protection Agency.” 

U.K. applauded Biden: “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday commended President Biden’s commitment to halve emissions by 2030, calling the announcement ‘game-changing.’”

It’s a chilly, 40-degree Thursday in Washington. REALLY 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 follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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The White House got all dressed up today: 




Meanwhile — it’s never uneventful outside the White House:




^ If you’re curious, they did follow through: Here’s video of protesters finishing the job:



It’s time to update internet regulations



The internet has changed a lot in the 25 years since lawmakers last passed comprehensive internet regulations. It’s time for an update. 

See how we’re making progress on key issues and why we support updated regulations to set clear rules for addressing today’s toughest challenges.



To quote Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, ‘get low, get low, get low, get low’:



Via The Hill’s Niv Elis, “Initial jobless claims for the week ending April 17 fell to a seasonally adjusted 547,000, a 39,000 drop from the previous week and the lowest level since pandemic lockdowns began last March.” 

For context on where we stand: “The continued drop in weekly claims is a sign of an improving labor market but also indicates how tough conditions remain. The weekly figure is over double the pre-pandemic level.” 


Interesting read — ‘Bidenworld fears many vaccine skeptics may be unreachable. They’re trying anyway.’:

Via Politico’s Eugene Daniels, “The Biden administration is launching a renewed, more nuanced push to tackle a resistance problem of its own — it has more Covid vaccines than people willing or able to take them.”  

How so: “In recent days, officials have leveraged community groups, attempted to lower financial hurdles and utilized top health care officials all in the service of one objective: convincing reluctant folks to get the jab.” 


New promising study on the vaccine and pregnancy:

Via The New York Times’s Emily Anthes, “In an early analysis of coronavirus vaccine safety data, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found no evidence that the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines pose serious risks during pregnancy.” 

Keep in mind about pregnant women getting COVID: “Covid-19 poses serious risks during pregnancy. Pregnant women who develop symptoms of the disease are more likely to become seriously ill, and more likely to die, than nonpregnant women with symptoms.”  

Read the study in The New England Journal of Medicine


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 31,865,342

U.S. death toll: 569,438

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 216 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 3.02 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.

Breakdown of the numbers:


The name of the game is T-R-U-M-P:

Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester, “Former President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was ‘suicide by cop’ House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE’s daughter-in-law Lara TrumpLara TrumpFormer Gov. Pat McCrory enters GOP Senate race in North Carolina Lara Trump leads GOP field in North Carolina Senate race, poll shows Former North Carolina governor set to launch Senate bid MORE is looming over the Republican Senate primary in North Carolina as the field grows with some of the state’s biggest GOP names.”

Is she running?: “The younger Trump, a North Carolina native married to the former president’s son Eric TrumpEric TrumpHunter Biden blasts Trump in new book: ‘A vile man with a vile mission’ Sunday shows preview: Spotlight on Georgia voting law; lawmakers tackle gun violence, border surge Chicago hospital exec resigns after improper Trump Tower vaccine distribution MORE, has yet to announce whether she’ll jump into the race to fill retiring Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrBipartisan Senate group announces support for ban on big cat ownership Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US MORE’s (R-N.C.) seat, but she stands to have a major impact on it.” 

What to expect if she does run



Facebook supports updated internet regulations



It’s been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. But a lot has changed since 1996. 

See how we’re taking action and why we support updated regulations to address today’s challenges — protecting privacy, fighting misinformation, reforming Section 230, and more.



Oh my gosh!:

OK, but we don’t ~know~ that it was her. The evidence is purely circumstantial. 




Meanwhile in the Pentagon:





The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

10 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief. 

10:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden participated in another session of the virtual leaders’ summit on climate. 

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today 

Noon: President Biden and Vice President Harris have lunch together.

3:45 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris receive a COVID briefing.


8 a.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris delivered remarks. Biden then participated in the virtual leaders’ summit on the climate. Livestream

10 a.m. EDT: Climate activist Greta Thunberg testified on Capitol Hill. Livestream 

11:30 a.m. EDT: Four roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today 

1:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiHillicon Valley: Tech companies duke it out at Senate hearing | Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech Vaccination slowdown could threaten recovery New signs of progress emerge on police reform MORE, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John KerryJohn KerryBrazil wants U.S. to pay not to raze Amazon Overnight Energy: Biden will aim to cut US emissions in half by 2030 | Oil and gas leasing pause on public lands will last at least through June The era of climate statecraft is here MORE, and National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyRussia, China to attend White House climate summit OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior says it isn’t immediately reinstating coal leasing moratorium despite revoking Trump order | Haaland seeks to bolster environmental law targeted by Trump | Debate heats up over role of carbon offsets in Biden’s ‘net-zero’ goal White House adviser: Climate summit will ‘show the world that we’re back’ MORE hold a press briefing. Livestream


Today is National Jelly Bean Day!

Go, Persy! Go!:

Via CNN’s Ashley Strickland, NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance just made oxygen on Mars. 

Details — for the scientific readers in the bunch: “The rover on Tuesday successfully converted some of the plentiful carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen as a first test of its MOXIE instrument. The name MOXIE is short for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. After warming up for about two hours, MOXIE produced 5.4 grams of oxygen. This is enough to sustain an astronaut for about 10 minutes.” 


And to make you laugh, here’s a mama panda who literally trades her baby for an apple:

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