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Victoria Jones created and edits Quick Morning News. She is chief White House correspondent with Washington DC-based Talk Media News, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.
 

 
Quick News
  • Cruz-Trump: Buh-bye bromance 
  • GOP debate: Winners
  • GOP debate: Losers
  • GOP debate: 4 big moments
  • Happy hour debate: Not so jolly
  • Chicago releases 2013 police shooting video
  • SecDef: US sailors “misnavigated”
 
Cruz-Trump: Buh-Bye Bromance (WaPo, Politico, NYT, me)
• Ted Cruz unloaded on Donald Trump in the 6th GOP debate held in North Charleston. “I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are falling in Iowa, but the facts and the law here are really quite clear. Under long-standing U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural-born citizen.” (not quite that clear, actually)
 
• “Now he’s doing a little bit better
[in polls]. Before I didn’t care,” said Trump (bit cynical), who vowed not to sue Cruz himself over citizenship questions because Cruz was born in Canada. “There’s a big question mark over your head and you can’t do that to the party.” (but he had no prob with it until Cruz was doing better in the polls…)
 
• Trump: “I choose him [Cruz] as my vice presidential candidate, and the Democrats sue because we can’t take him along for the ride.” Cruz: “I’ll tell you what. If this all works out, I’m happy to consider naming you as VP. So if you happen to be right, you could get the top job at the end of the day.”
 
• Cruz expanded on his recent Trump dig about the mogul having “New York values.”  “I can frame it another way. Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.” “I think most people know exactly what New York values are: socially liberal, pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion, focused on money and the media.” (were those last two antisemitic dog whistles?)
 
• Trump responded calmly that “the people in New York fought and fought and fought [after 9/11], and we saw more death, even the smell of death – no one understood it. And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everyone in the world watched and loved New York and New Yorkers. And I’ll tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.”

• Watch: OMGG it’s the official Donald Trump jam sung by terrifying little girls. “Cowardice – are you serious? / Apologies for freedom – I can’t handle this!” … “Enemies of freedom face the music, c’mon boys take them down! / President Donald Trump knows how to make America great / Deal from strength or get crushed every time!” (get me a bucket – quick)
 

 
GOP Debate: Winners (WaPo, me)
Ted Cruz: The former Princeton debate champion is just good at this. He owned Donald Trump on a back-and-forth over questions about his citizenship – and did it with a smile on his face. As he’s done in previous debates, Cruz showed an appealing profile for conservatives still looking for a candidate (conservative talk radio is backing him on citizenship, too)
 
Marco Rubio: Rubio came out hot from the start – channeling the anger of the Republican base much more effectively than he has in past debates. He also re-proved his ability to drop the opposition research book on an opponent, unloading on Cruz as a flip flopper in the final moments of the debate – (but even so, he didn’t overshadow Cruz)
 
Donald Trump: Unlike in the previous five debates, (where he sort of nodded off) Trump seemed engaged throughout. His response to Cruz’s attack on “New York values” was good. His insistence that he is “very angry” worked well. Cruz got the better of him on the citizenship back-and-forth. Trump’s answer on a 45% tariff against China was just weird (and untrue)
 
Seven-person debates: Sure, Rand Paul (who boycotted the happy hour debate) and Carly Fiorina didn’t like it, but the truth is that limiting the number of people on the debate stage makes for a much more watchable experience. Commercials: Four commercials – now you’re talking

 

• Fact checks: Interactive – Trump & the 45% China tariff – transcript doesn’t lie / Christie said he didn’t support Sonia Sotomayor to be a Supreme Court justice – you can’t take it back / Cruz said Trump said in Sept that his lawyers concluded Cruz was OK to be president – that was his conclusion / ++++ much more (NYT)
 
GOP Debate: Losers (WaPo, me)
Ben Carson: Words fail. The neurosurgeon has often looked out of his depth, but this time you wondered why he was even there. He spoke, well, almost never. And when he did manage to get the floor, he didn’t seem to be in the same debate as everybody else. (Time to go, Bennie)
 
Neil Cavuto/Maria Bartiromo: You’ve got to get the candidates off their talking points, and you’ve got to be able to ask a pointed follow up question – and allow the candidates to go at one another. The only reason there were sparks in the debate was because the candidates are panicked about Iowa – not because the moderators did their jobs (they didn’t)
 
Two-hour debates: A debate that starts at 9 pm on the East Coast is tough enough – make it 8. One that ends at 11:30 is ridiculous. Why can’t we limit these things to two hours, for crying out loud?

 

• Watch: “I guess the bromance is over because he hit me, I didn’t hit him,” Donald Trump said in the spin room after the debate. “I hit him after the fact. … There was no reason for him to go that aggressive.” (er – you accused him of not being an American) (me, Hill)
 
GOP Debate: 4 Big Moments (Politico, WaPo, Hill, me)
• Towards the end of the debate, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz snarled at each other over the consistency of their Senate votes. Rubio ticked through (about) 11 votes he said were flip flops on Cruz’s part. “He had no fewer than 11 attacks there. I appreciate you dumping your oppo research folder on the debate stage.” “Rubio insisted: “No, it’s your record.”
 
• Rubio and Cruz harshly tangled over their competing tax plans – a wonky clash that went on and on. Chris Christie jumped in to remind viewers they were initially asked to talk about entitlement programs. Rubio said he’d get to entitlements. Watch Christie: “You already had your chance, Marco, you blew it.” (cheers from audience) Christie continued talking (good one, Chris)
 
• Christie called President Obama a “petulant child” for pursuing executive actions to implement his favored policies (oh come on, so would you). Then he ratcheted up the schoolyard language: “We’re going to kick your rear end out of the White House come this fall,” Christie said (think he’s leaving anyway, actually, Chris)
 
• Ben Carson outlined a terrifying scenario involving an “electromagnetic pulse.” “They explode the bomb, we have an electromagnetic pulse. They hit us with a cyberattack simultaneously and dirty bombs. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue at that point?”

 

• Watch Jeb Bush jab Hillary Clinton. “Here’s the problem. If she gets elected, she’s under investigation with the FBI.” “Her first 100 days … she might be going between the courthouse and White House (how long did he rehearse that one in front of the mirror?) (Hill, me)
 
Happy Hour Debate: Not So Jolly (WaPo, Politico, me)
• “You know everybody out there watching knows this – you cannot wait to see the debate between me and Hillary Clinton. You would pay to see that fight. That’s because you know I will win, and that’s important. We gotta start by beating Hillary Clinton,” said Carly Fiorina, (as though a woman-on-woman fight is a cat fight – so 20th century and sexist)
 
• The other two low-polling candidates on the stage at the early GOP debate – former Sen Rick Santorum (Pa) and former Gov Mike Huckabee (Ark) – talked about races they had run against Clinton’s allies. “You want a fighter? You want a winner? I’d appreciate your vote,” Santorum said (still, it’s time for you to go, Rick – right after Mike)
 
• The tone of the early Fox Business Network debate in North Charleston was unusually fearful and confrontational, as all three candidates hoped for a Hail Mary breakthrough. Santorum mocked Sen Rand Paul (Ky), who declined to show up. “I’m going to take some of Rand Paul’s time here for a second,” Santorum said after his own time had run out
 
• For Huckabee, the plan was to allege conspiracies by President Obama to crack down on gun owners and seize firearms from lawful owners. Huckabee was cheered when he said he would encourage gun sellers to disobey Obama’s latest executive actions that expanded background checks for gun sales

• The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet privately today to discuss whether to hear President Obama’s bid to revive his plan to shield more than 4 million immigrants from deportation, a move that bypassed the GOP-led Congress. Could announce this afternoon whether it will take up the dispute – would become one of the centerpiece cases of its current term (Reuters)

Chicago Releases 2013 Police Shooting Video (NYT, AP, me)

• Surveillance video was released Thursday showing the 2013 fatal shooting of a 17-year-old black carjacking suspect by a white police officer, but the primary footage is grainy and doesn’t reveal whether the teen turned towards the pursuing officers or was holding anything, as they claimed – the family says he was running away and is suing
 
• A federal judge ordered the video of Cedrick Chatman’s last moments after the city withdrew its objection to it being made public. Since the Nov release of video showing a white officer shooting a black teenager 16 times in 2014, city leaders and the police dept have come under intense scrutiny over cases of alleged misconduct amid calls for greater transparency
 
• The video released Thursday was shot by several cameras and from various angles. The officers can be seen jumping out of their unmarked car, guns drawn and pursuing Chatman around a corner before he fell to the ground, struck by bullets. Officer Kevin Fry can be seen aiming his gun at Chatman and firing as the teen began rounding the corner in front of a bodega

 

• Video of shooting of black teenager Cedrick Chatman by white Chicago police officers – there are three short videos (Chicago Sun Times)
 
• City attorneys, until Wednesday, fought to keep the video under seal on grounds its release could taint any jury pool should a civil case brought by Chatham’s mother go to trial. They said Wednesday the city was dropping its opposition in an effort to be more transparent while it waits for a recently created special task force to review policies regarding release of videos
 
• In a final report, the Independent Police Review Authority concluded that complaints that officer Fry had used excessive force were unfounded. Neither officer has been charged with wrongdoing, and both remain on full-duty status. The other officer is Lou Toth
 
• However, court filings allege that the agency cleared Fry only after an investigator who opposed that finding, Lorenzo Davis, was fired after being ordered to change his report. Davis has filed a lawsuit about his dismissal. Fry “waited until he had a clear shot, and then he took one,” Davis said. “That’s what it looked like to me.” “He was running away, so why kill him?” (point)
 
• Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday arguing that the anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress acted illegally when it secretly recorded videos alleging the women’s health organization profited from selling fetal tissue from abortions. The lawsuit alleges conspiracy and fraud among other violations (Reuters, Hill, me)
 
SecDef: US Sailors “Misnavigated” (NYT, me)
• SecDef Ash Carter said Thursday that the crews of two American patrol craft “obviously had misnavigated” when they came within a few miles of Farsi Island, where Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has a naval base. “They were aware they should not get into Iranian territorial waters,” he said on Univision in Florida (really? two boats got it wrong? together? gosh…)
 
• Carter said that the 10 sailors on the boats hadn’t reported the navigational error to their superiors before they were taken by the Iranians. He also said that they weren’t spying, but simply transiting from Kuwait to Bahrain. Carter didn’t say what the explanation was for the navigational error, which resulted in the sailors being held overnight in Iran before being released
 
• “This was a debacle.” said one retired admiral with long experience in the Persian Gulf – anonymous. “The Iranians closely monitor their territorial waters, their air space, and their land borders. We have standard operating procedures to avoid incidents like this, and they obviously weren’t followed here.” i’m not buying a word we’re being told by DOD at this point)
 
• A DOD official said that the Navy had initially sent search and rescue aircraft to look for the sailors after the two boats lost contact with their superiors. Those aircraft, the official said, also entered Iranian airspace, after first alerting Iranian authorities that the two boats were missing
 
• In the cramped international waters of the Persian Gulf, relations between the Navy and the Revolutionary Guards Corps have long been tense. Both sides routinely spy on each other, and episodes between the two can flare up multiple times in a year (the way NYT has been writing its stories, the subtext is that it doesn’t believe much of what it’s being told)
 
• Rocking into the weekend with “Rebel Rebel” and “Modern Love” – late great David Bowie. Plus: RIP Alan Rickman, whose portrayal of psycho villain Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” – even though he’s actually a Shakespearean actor – is essential Christmas Day in our family. Severus Snape? May he slither all the way to greatness

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Victoria Jones – Editor

 
Talk Media News provides breaking news coverage of domestic and world news to more than 400 radio stations across the United States.