News Notes

 

TRNS News Notes is brought to you by Victoria Jones. Victoria Jones is the Chief White House correspondent and global analyst of the Washington DC based Talk Radio News Service, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.

News

  • Clinton emails: Meaning of classified?
  • Ky clerk defies SCOTUS: No gay marriage licenses
  • Obama heads to Alaska Arctic
  • CNN debate: New criteria to help Fiorina?
  • DOJ backs Planned Parenthood in lawsuit
  • O’Keefe to stalk campaigns / Journos laugh
  • Deadly US shootings

Notes

  • Iran deal: Obama’s nearly there
  • Pope to priests: Forgive abortion
  • US swoop on secret “steroids labs”
 

Clinton Emails: Meaning of Classified? (WaPo, Fox News, me)
• WaPo reports that when she was SecState, Hillary Clinton wrote and sent at least six emails using her private server that contained what govt officials now say is classified info, according to thousands of emails released (so far) by State. The emails were classified after Clinton left office. Heavy markings block out entire sentences or entire messages
 
• “I have said repeatedly that I did not send nor receive classified material, and I’m very confident that when this entire process plays out that will be understood by everyone,” Clinton said last week. She said that govt officials may now be making different determinations after the fact but “it does not change the fact that I did not send, nor receive, material marked classified.”
 
• One email Clinton wrote in Oct 2009 was addressed to former Sen George Mitchell (D-Maine) who was a special envoy for peace in the Middle East. The entire message, as released by State, is blacked out and tagged with a designation noting that the info was classified. The only part not public is Clinton’s opening: “George ….” (envoy for peace in Middle East – clue?)

 

• Newly disclosed emails show Clinton regularly received sensitive details from UK officials about issues including Afghanistan and “poisonous” negotiations in Northern Ireland. U.S. rules state that some info shared by allied govts is automatically treated as classified and shouldn’t be shared by email (Telegraph, Reuters, me)
 
• Fox News reports that at least four classified Clinton emails have their markings changed to a category that shields the content from Congress and the public, in what State “whistleblowers” believed to be an effort to hide the true extent of classified info on her server – the changes were confirmed by a congressional and an intel source
 
• The four emails were originally marked classified after a review by career officials at State. But after a second review by the dept’s legal office, the designation was switched to “B5” – also known as “deliberative process” – which refers to internal deliberations by the Executive Branch. Such discussions are exempt from public release
 

• Fox News says that one of the lawyers where the changes were made is Catherine Duval, who was at the IRS during the email scandal and apparently now handles the release of docs to the Benghazi committee. Fox News says (suggestively) Duval once worked for the same firm as Clinton’s private attorney, David Kendall. Fox doesn’t say she made the changes

 

• The House Benghazi Committee has rejected a request from Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff, to have her testimony occur in a public session on Thursday, a source close to Mills said. Mills fears that Republicans will leak selected info that casts her in a negative light (Benghazi is finally heating up – any odds they’ll leak it?) (Politico, me)

Kentucky Clerk Defies SCOTUS – No Same-Sex Marriage Licenses (Courier-Journal, NYT, Salon, me)

• Defying the Supreme Court, Rowan County, Ky, Clerk Kim Davis said she was acting under “God’s authority” and continued to deny marriage licenses Tuesday morning to gay couples whose lawyers filed a motion to find her in contempt of court
 
• “It is not a light issue for me,” she said in a statement. “It is a Heaven or Hell decision. For me this is a decision of obedience. I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God’s word.” (comes across as pretty sanctimonious when you watch her)
 
• The contempt motion, which asks that she be fined rather than jailed (bet she’d prefer jail – could be martyr), is to be heard Thursday by Judge David Bunning, who previously ordered Davis to end her policy of denying licenses to all couples to prevent issuing them to gays and lesbians. The Supreme Court Monday denied her last-ditch effort to stay the injunction
 
• David Moore and his partner, David Ermold, confronted Davis over the counter for more than five minutes, accusing her of discrimination and bigotry. At one point, she said, “I’m willing to face my consequences, and you all will face your consequences when it comes time for judgment. It’s plain and simple.” (Hell?)
 
• The scene at Davis’s office was raucous, with supporters of both sides lining the walkway into it. One of her supporters was her husband who warned people that he’s a firm believer in the Second Amendment. “I’m an old redneck hillbilly,” he warned. “That’s all I’ve got to say. Don’t come knocking on my door.” (Highway to Hell?)
 
 
• Vid: Verbal smackdown between Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and same-sex couple David Moore and David Ermold at the office counter (AP)

 

Obama Heads to Alaska Arctic (AP, me)
• President Obama’s historic visit to the Alaska Arctic today will shed a rare spotlight on the plight of Alaska Natives and others who live in more than 200 far-flung Alaskan villages under conditions unimaginable in most of the U.S.
 
• Outside of Kotzebue, where Obama will give a speech today, more than 32% of people in the Alaska Arctic lack complete plumbing, according to the Census Bureau. One in 5 doesn’t have a proper kitchen. This is a life of subsistence hunting for bowhead whales, walruses and seals, a proud tradition of dependence on the land that poses imminent logistical challenges
 
• With no roads to their villages, residents are dependent on boats, snowmobiles and bush planes – weather permitting – to ferry them to rare doctor visits or other business. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising twice as fast as anywhere else on Earth, NOAA has said, bringing with it profound changes to Alaska’s cherished landscape
 
• Amid dire poverty and few resources, many rural villages have had their foundations literally pulled out from under them as the planet gets warmer. In coastal Alaska, Pacific walruses, which like to rest on sea ice which is melting, have taken to “hauling out” on dry land, producing harrowing images of thousands of walruses piled up on shore
 
• It’s enough that 400 or so residents of Kivalina, an Arctic town on a skinny barrier island along the Chukchi Sea, have decided they have no choice but to pick up and leave. “What we’re facing is real. It is threatening our livelihood, our way of life,” said Millie Hawley, president of the Native Village of Kivalina, the tribal council
 
• Asian stocks fell for a third straight day today as weak manufacturing reports from China, the U.S. and Europe fueled worries about slowing global growth, while the dollar took back some ground in the previous session to the safe-haven Japanese yen (Reuters)
 

CNN Debate: New Criteria – Could Fiorina Qualify? (CNN, me)
• CNN is amending the criteria for its Republican presidential debate on 16 September, possibly opening the door for Carly Fiorina to join the other top-tier candidate on stage. Stated reason? A lack of national public polling following the 6 August debate has so far provided only three new polls to determine the lineup, according to a CNN statement
 
• As a result, CNN decided to add a provision that better reflects the state of the race since the first GOP debate in August, the network announced Tuesday. Now, any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in polling between 6 August and 10 September will be included
 
• Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus endorsed CNN’s decision: “I applaud CNN for recognizing the historic nature of this debate and fully support the network’s decision to amend their criteria.” (“historic nature” = bit of affirmative action? they need to have a woman on that stage to balance Trump’s misogyny)
 

• If the eligibility window closed today, CNN’s analysis of polls conducted from 16 July shows that Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich and Chris Christie would qualify for the top tier debate. With today’s change, Fiorina would also qualify

• Pow! Former Gov Jeb Bush (R-Fla) slams Donald Trump in a new video using the billionaire’s own words against him. “I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life, OK, so my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa,” Trump says as the attack ad kicks off (“The Real Donald Trump”)

 
DOJ Backs Planned Parenthood in Lawsuit (Hill, NYT, Hill, me)
• The Dept of Justice filed a brief in federal court in Louisiana supporting Planned Parenthood’s argument that cutting off state Medicaid funds for the organization violates federal law that beneficiaries may obtain services from any qualified provider willing to take them. Louisiana is trying to defund Planned Parenthood
 
• The move is the latest volley in the battle over Planned Parenthood, set off with the release of a series of heavily edited undercover videos, purporting to show organization officials discussing the cost of fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood says payment is legal compensation for expenses, not profit
 
• The filing comes ahead of a court hearing today in the case. When Gov Bobby Jindal (R-La) announced last month that Planned Parenthood would be cut out of the Medicaid program, he cited the state’s contract allowing cancellation at will. However, the DOJ says the contract doesn’t override federal law
 
• Jindal, running for president but way down in the polls, said in a statement on his campaign website Tuesday: “President Obama is so committed to protecting Planned Parenthood’s baby harvesting operation that he sent his lawyers from the DOJ all the way to Baton Rouge to sue me and try to stop us from canceling these contracts.”
 
• Meanwhile, the anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood released another heavily edited video Tuesday, but for the second time the video doesn’t include footage from any current Planned Parenthood officials. Even the “full-length” versions of the videos have been altered and edited, a scientific private analysis commissioned by Planned Parenthood found

 

• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said on Kentucky’s WYMT-TV Monday, “The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any
[govt funding] bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood.” (Hill, TRNS)
 
O’Keefe to Stalk Campaigns / Journos Laugh (NYT, WaPo, Hill, MSNBC, me)
• Presidential campaigns were put on notice on Tuesday that the stakes will be higher in this election cycle as Project Veritas Action, a research team that uses (highly suspect) undercover investigators, warned that it was stepping up its stalking
 
• The group is led by (creepy) James O’Keefe. In 2010, O’Keefe pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and was fined for posing as a repairman to gain access to the offices of former Sen Mary Landrieu (D-La). Two years ago, O’Keefe paid $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former Acorn member after he posed as a pimp during an investigation of the group
 
• O’Keefe’s team called a presser at the National Press Club in DC Tuesday to tout his latest “sting.” In a five-minute video, an operative approaches a Hillary [Clinton] for America booth manned by officials, when she notices the woman next to her get turned away from making a donation because she’s a Canadian citizen

&&&
 

• The undercover Project Veritas “journalist” then offers to serve as a middleman in the transaction, pushing for the transaction, accepting the Canadian’s money and handing it over to the campaign in exchange for about $75 worth of merchandise. O’Keefe said the video is evidence of the Clinton campaign officials violating federal election laws
 
• However, no one has ever thrown the book at an American for purchasing merchandise from a campaign, then giving it to a foreigner as a gift. Also, the person who takes the Canadian’s money and gives it to the Clinton campaign is the Project Veritas “journalist.” O’Keefe refused to name his “journalist” or to release the unedited video (hey ho – bad sign…)
 
• “Our staffers understand and follow the law, as demonstrated even in their selectively edited video,” said Jesse Ferguson, a Clinton campaign spox. “Project Veritas, on the other hand, has been caught trying to commit fraud, falsify identities and break campaign finance law – not surprising, given that their founder has already been convicted for efforts like this.”
 
• Reporters at the presser were skeptical. “Is this a joke?” a Daily Beast journalist asked. “It’s really a prank?” another asked. “Are you sure this isn’t a joke?” the same Beast reporter asked later. “Well, you know, I understand where you’re coming from, you’re trying to use ridicule, and I appreciate that,” O’Keefe said (get used to it)

• Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) is introducing legislation aimed at fighting high prescription drug prices. “Americans should not have to live in fear that they will go bankrupt if they get sick,” Sanders said in a statement. His bill would allow the importation of drugs from Canada, among other things (good) (Hill, me)

 

Deadly U.S. Shootings (AP, AP, me)
• Police in helicopters, with dogs and armed with rifles, conducted a massive manhunt in northern Illinois into Tuesday night after an officer was fatally shot while pursuing a group of men. Lt Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was a three-decade member of the Fox Lake dept and a father of four sons
 
• Authorities said Gliniewicz radioed in to tell dispatchers he was chasing three men on foot in the village of Fox Lake, 55 miles north of Chicago. Communication with him was lost soon after. Authorities urged residents to stay home while they conducted the search for three men, two of them white and the other black, using bloodhounds and helicopters
 
• Separately, jurors who convicted white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller, 74, of killing three people at suburban Kansas City Jewish sites heard him ramble largely uninterrupted about his belief that Jews controlled the media, govt and banks on Tuesday, as he took the witness stand during the trial’s sentencing phase. The three victims were not Jewish
 
• They’re weighing whether to sentence Miller to life in prison or death. “Have you ever heard the term ‘hang the messenger?’ he asked rhetorically. At one point, he called himself a “patriot” and described the killings as “righteous” and “honorable.” Prosecutor Chris McMullin called Miller a “proud and remorseless killer who deserved to be executed for his crimes

 

Iran Deal: Obama’s Nearly There (NYT, Hill, NYT, AP, TRNS, me)
• Democratic Sens Bob Casey (Pa) and Chris Coons (Del) threw crucial support behind the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, almost assuring that President Obama would have the votes to overcome congressional opponents seeking to derail the landmark accord. The WH appears to be just one vote short of the 34 needed in the Senate to sustain a veto – if needed
 
• In the House, Rep Adam Smith (Wash), the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee and an important voice in his party, also came out in favor of the deal on Tuesday. And Rep Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), came out in support of the accord despite his past reliance on pro-Israel groups for his political rise
 
• SecState John Kerry will send a letter to all members of Congress today outlining U.S. commitments to Israel and the Persian Gulf Arab states in light of the Iran nuclear deal. State officials said the letter would be sent shortly before Kerry delivers what’s being billed as a major policy speech on the agreement in Philadelphia

 

• Demonstrations are planned for today and police have canceled all leave as six Baltimore police officers appear for a number of pre-trial motions and rulings in the police custody death in a police van of Freddie Gray  (CBS)

 

Pope to Priests: Forgive Abortion (BBC, Beast, me)
• Pope Francis is making it easier for women and doctors to seek forgiveness for abortions, by allowing all priests to forgive it. In most countries, only a bishop can approve forgiveness for abortion. They would then delegate an expert priest to hear the confession. The change is only for the coming Jubilee Year – 8 December 2015 – 26 November 2016
 

• The Pope wrote that many women who sought an abortion did so because they “believe that they have no other option.” “I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision.” It’s another example of the Pope’s outspoken views on mercy and compassion (not going to go down well with everyone)

 

 

• Vital list: The best movies that Netflix will LOSE this month – if you want to watch them – do it fast. And – really? They’re going to lose “Apocalypse Now” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?” (me, Salon)
 

 

US Swoop on Secret “Steroids Labs” (BBC)
• U.S. agents have arrested more than 90 people and shut down 16 underground labs making illegal steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. The DEA said hundreds of kilos and thousands of liters of chemicals were seized in 20 states over five months
 
• Operation Cyber Juice focused on secret laboratories dealing in drugs obtained over the internet from China. Agents also confiscated steroid powder, liquid and more than $4 million in cash. The op began in April and ended with nine arrests on Tuesday
 

• DEA spox Chuck Rosenberg said too many young people were ruining their bodies and lives through steroid abuse, but this operation has tackled the “global underground steroid market, exposing its dangers and lies.”
 

 
• Pic: Well, he didn’t waste much time. Kermit the Frog has a new sweetie – Denise – who, like Kermit’s former longtime flame Miss Piggy, happens to be a pig
 

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___________________
Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ Nicholas Salazar contributed to this report

 

The Talk Radio News Service is the only information, news booking and host service dedicated to serving the talk radio community. TRNS maintains a Washington office that includes White House, Capitol Hill and Pentagon staffed bureaus, and a New York office with a United Nations staffed bureau. Talk Radio News Service has permanent access to every breaking newsevent in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.

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