Talk Media News

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

  • Snowzilla wins: House out
  • Iowa state of play: Unknowns
  • Bloomberg 2016 run? 2016ers reax
  • ISIS video: Paris attackers in Syria
  • Syrian rebel negotiator: Kerry’s pressuring us
  • Super Bowl 50: Broncos v Panthers!
Snowzilla Wins: House Out (AP, Hill, WaPo, me)
• The House will be out of session this week due to “the severity of the storm in the DC area,” so no votes until February. It was going to be a short week, anyway, as Dems are going on their annual retreat Wednesday. The Senate returns Wednesday pm. The federal govt is closed today. More than 12,000 flights were cancelled due to the blizzard this weekend
• The blizzard-blanketed Eastern U.S will confront a commute today slowed by slick roads, damaged transit lines and endless mounds of snow. Despite Sunday’s brilliant sunshine, treacherous conditions remained. At least 30 deaths were blamed on the weather, with shoveling snow and carbon dioxide claiming almost as many deaths as car crashes
• The Pennsylvania Turnpike reopened Sunday afternoon near Pittsburgh after more than 500 cars, trucks and buses got stuck Friday night. Airports returned limited services to the East Coast. Major airlines also canceled hundreds of flights for today. Amtrak operated a reduced number of trains on all its routes
• Overall snowfall of 26.8 inches in Central Park made it New York’s second biggest winter storm. There were 22 inches at the WH. Officials snow totals for DC are measured at Reagan National Airport, but they screwed up, so we may never know the correct number (#lamemegafail). The National Zoo’s giant panda Tian Tian made snow angels and had the best time
State of Play Iowa: Unknowns(AP, me)
Can anyone or anything stop Trump? He can’t say anything that hurts him. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?” (says something about his rabid fans) Trump said. But Trump’s success so far is based almost entirely on polls. He says he will outperform the polls. Prescient optimism or a mistake?
Did Ted Cruz peak too soon? As the new year dawned, Cruz appeared poised to unite a fractured conservative base. But his momentum has stalled as high-profile conservatives defect to Trump. Cruz has a well-tended network of grassroots conservative supporters across Iowa. Can it keep him on top? (GOP establishment hates his guts)
Do Clinton’s attacks on Sanders succeed? As Bernie Sanders’ standing in polls has risen, so has the level of Clinton’s attacks. But Sanders says the people of Iowa saw through the attacks on Barack Obama in 2008 and will do so again this year. If he’s right, will Clinton endure another Iowa backlash, again fueling a rival’s insurgent campaign?
Can Marco Rubio pull off his late, aggressive Iowa push? But he’s only recently visited key GOP strongholds in the state. However, he has a super PAC helping to turn out Rubio supporters. He got a boost Saturday with the endorsement of the Des Moines Register. Does he have enough on the ground in Iowa to pull out a strong finish? (no)
Who shows up to vote on caucus night? Party loyalists tend to dominate the Iowa caucuses, but an influx of independent and young voters can create a winning formula. Only Republicans and Democrats can participate, but the state allows same-day registration for independents. Trump and Sanders really want independents and youth. Who will vote next Monday?

• Watch the actual real Sarah Palin endorsing the real actual Donald Trump (drinking game: which Palin is actually, really, totally crazier?) (me, SNL)

Bloomberg 2016 Run? 2016ers Reax (NYT, Reuters, WaPo, me)
• The Republican and Democratic fields on Sunday reacted with deliberate nonchalance, ideological objections and grudging admiration to the specter of billionaire former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg entering the 2016 campaign as a third party candidate, bypassing their party’s primaries – and possibly spending up to $1 billion
• Hillary Clinton, who won the Des Moines Register’s endorsement on the Democratic side Saturday, said on NBC: “The way I read what he said is that if I didn’t get the nomination he would do it … I will relieve him of that.”
• Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), said on NBC: “My reaction is, if Donald Trump wins and Mr Bloomberg gets in, you’re going to have two multibillionaires running for president of the United States against me, and I think the American people do not want to see our nation move toward an oligarchy, where billionaires control the political process.”
• Trump gamely encouraged Bloomberg to get in the race. “I’d love to compete against Michael,” he told CBS. But he mischievously suggested that Bloomberg was chronically indecisive. “He’s wanted to do this for a long time. He’s never pulled the trigger.” Trump flirted with earlier presidential bids before finally “pulling the trigger” this time
• Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla), on Fox News Sunday, reminded viewers that the son of a bartender and a maid could seek the same office as the “son of a millionaire,” a reference to Trump. “In no other country in the world would that be possible,” Rubio said (Guatemala just elected a comedian as president – with no previous political experience…)


• Newly released video from a high school classmate shows Ted Cruz, 18, saying to an interviewer: “Aspirations? You mean like sweat on my butt? Oh I see. What I want to do in life. Well my aspiration is to, uh, oh I don’t know, be in a teen tit film … Well, other than that, uh, take over the world. World domination. You know, rule everything. Rich. Powerful. That sort of stuff.” (Politico)


ISIS Video: Paris Attackers in Syria (AP, NYT, me)
• New video released by ISIS on Sunday purports to show the extremists who carried out the 13 Nov attacks in Paris committing atrocities in ISIS controlled Syria, while plotting the slaughter in the French capital that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured. The group also threatened to attack Britain
• Seven of the nine militants seen in the 17-minute video were filmed standing behind bound captives, described as “apostates,” who were either beheaded or shot. “Soon on the Champs-Elysées,” says Samy Amimour, 20, who was raised in a Paris suburb near the national stadium, as he holds a captive’s head aloft
• The 13 Nov attacks targeted a packed concert hall, a restaurant and cafe, and a soccer match at the national stadium. It’s unclear why it took ISIS more than two months to release the video. In the video, the men say it’s a religious duty to join them
• They threaten more attacks in Europe, and footage closes with a militant holding a severed head and footage of PM David Cameron giving a speech – with text in English warning that whoever stands with the unbelievers “will be a target for our swords.”


Syrian Rebel Negotiator: Kerry’s Pressuring Us (Reuters, Reuters. me)
• The lead negotiator in the Syrian opposition said Sunday it was coming under pressure from SecState John Kerry to attend peace talks in Geneva this week in order to negotiate over steps including a halt to air strikes. The talks were due to begin in Geneva today, but are unlikely to begin before Wednesday
• The opposition’s High Negotiation Committee, which groups political and armed opponents of President Assad, said said it will not attend negotiations until the govt halts bombardments, lifts blockades and releases detainees – steps mentioned in a UN Security Council resolution passes last month. The govt says it’s ready to attend the talks
• Negotiator Mohamad Alloush said Kerry, who met HNC officials Saturday, had “come to pressure us to forgo our humanitarian rights … and to go to negotiate for them.” “There will be a big response to those pressures,” Alloush said, without giving further details. Whether talks would go ahead this week: “We leave this to the coming hours”
• Kerry, in Laos, told reporters today, “I don’t know where this is coming from. Maybe it’s a pressure thing or an internal political thing, but that is not the situation.” “The position of the U.S. is and hasn’t changed, that we are still supporting the opposition politically, financially and militarily.” (somebody seems to be telling naughties – and it’s not clear yet who)


• Authorities hunting three dangerous escapees from a maximum security jail in Southern California called on the public’s help to find them Sunday, offering $50,000 in rewards and saying they still don’t have all the details of the elaborate escape plan (AP)
Super Bowl 50: Broncos v Panthers! (AP, me)
• Today’s NFL is all about the quarterbacks, so perhaps it’s fitting that the 50th Super Bowl features a matchup between Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos and Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers. “Oh, wow,” Newton said. “Playing ‘The Sheriff.'”
• At 39, Manning – the only five-time MVP in history and one of the faces of the league – is the oldest starting QB to lead a team to the big game. Most folks figure his fourth Super Sunday will be the last time he dons a helmet
• Newton, meanwhile, is part of the new guard. He’s expected to be honored as the MVP for the first time – fans chanted those three letters during the NFC championship postgame ceremony – and he’ll be playing in his first Super Bowl
• Carolina (17-1) ran away with a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC title Sunday night, after Denver (14-4) edged the New England Patriots 20-18 in the AFC. The 7 Feb game at Santa Clara, Calif, will be the Broncos’ record-tying 8th Super Bowl appearances and the Panthers’ second. Bookies have Carolina as a 4-point favorite

• The CIA tweeted a link Sunday afternoon to a press release: “Take a Peek into Our X Files” – ahead of Sunday’s “X Files” opener. There are links to five docs the agency says Mulder would love to get his hands on and five docs the agency says Scully would love to get her hands on – haven’t yet watched – don’t. spoil. it.

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Victoria Jones – Editor