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.

In the News

  • Ebola: Hospital blames records “flaw”
  • Testy, testy! Officials v Press on Ebola
  • JPMorgan Chase hacked: 76+ million
  • Who? How? Why?
  • Obama/immigration: “I’m about to to get to that”
  • September jobs report today
  • SCOTUS takes new cases – not gay marriage
  • Midterms Madness: October surprises!
  • Hong Kong: Talks accepted / stand-off
  • William to photog: Back off Prince George!
Ebola: Hospital Blames Records “Flaw”


• The Dallas hospital that failed to admit Thomas Eric Duncan on 25 Sept, who later tested positive for Ebola, said Thursday night that a nurse had noted his recent trip from Africa. But because of an electronic records “flaw,” his travel history wasn’t seen by the physician who released him – so as many as 100 people may have come into contact with him

• The hospital statement said that the “documentation of the travel history was located in the nursing workflow portion” of the electronic records and “would not automatically appear in the physician’s standard workflow.” (so what’s the point of that, then?) (WaPo, NBC, NYT, TRNS, Hill, CNN, me)

• Meanwhile, it’s getting nasty and dangerous in the apartment where Duncan was staying. More than a week after he fell ill, and even as four family members are confined to the apartment in isolation, the apartment hasn’t been cleaned because nobody will go in – and the sheets and dirty towels he used are still in the home

• President Obama called Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings from Air Force One Thursday to discuss the response to the first individual diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He called to make sure the mayor was getting the resources he needed from the federal govt, including the CDC, a WH spox said

• NBC News says Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman working for the network, has tested positive for Ebola in Liberia and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment

• Great graphic: Retracing the steps of the Ebola patient (NYT)


Testy, Testy! Officials vs Press on Ebola


• Under intense questioning from reporters, officials with the CDC, the Texas health department and the City of Dallas repeatedly declined Thursday to provide details about the steps being taken to prevent an Ebola outbreak. Texas Health Commissioner David Lakey declined to provide info about the hospital communication error (above) (Hill, me)

• Lakey wouldn’t explain why the quarantine order was necessary, saying only that it brings “confidence” that key medical monitoring will take place. Another official said later that the four individuals sought to leave home, but wouldn’t provide more detail

• Texas health officials faced a barrage of questions at a presser Thursday afternoon. Reporters asked: How many of Duncan’s younger contacts were in school this week? Why weren’t the four individuals quarantined in a medical facility? Why weren’t soiled linens that likely carry the virus immediately removed?

• The event became increasingly confrontational. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings scolded journalists for being “part of the problem.” “It is, at best, disorganized out there and we have some members of the press that are creating a bit more of that,” he said. We need everybody to be professional.” (like removing infected towels?)


• Journalists complained about the lack of info as officials left. “Is this transparency?” asked one reporter. “You bring us all here and then only take six or seven questions? … I have a job to do.” (so’ve I, mate, I mean, if you could see my inbox..moan moan bitch whine)

• Federal health officials are investigating illnesses with paralysis-like symptoms among children in several states that may be related to the outbreak of severe respiratory infection thats swept the nation. Not all the children had enterovirus 68. Could be other enteroviruses causing the illnesses (Detroit Free Press, TRNS)

JPMorgan Chase Hacked: 76+ Million


• A cyberattack this summer on JPMorgan Chase compromised more than 76 million household accounts and seven million small-business accounts, making it among the largest corporate hacks ever discovered (NYT, WSJ, me)

• JPMorgan said financial info wasn’t compromised in the attack and that customer money is “safe” since there was no breach of any login info such as passwords, dates of birth, social security numbers or account numbers

• But the bank said contact info of the customers’ – names, email addresses, phone numbers and addresses – were captured by hackers, who remain unknown and under investigation by the bank and law enforcement

• JPMorgan, the largest bank in the country by assets, reiterated that it wasn’t seeing unusual levels of fraud since the counterattack, first disclosed in late August. It added that customers wouldn’t be liable for any unauthorized transaction on the account if they occur and the bank is notified

Who? How? Why?


• The lack of any apparent profit motive has generated speculation among law enforcement officials and security experts that the hackers were sponsored by foreign govts either in Russia or in southern Europe

• It’s still not clear how hackers managed to gain deep access to the bank’s computer network. By the time the bank’s security team discovered the breach in late July, hackers had already gained the highest level of administrative privilege to more than 90 of the bank’s computer servers – according to people briefed on the results of the bank’s forensics investigation

• More disturbing still, these anonymous people say, hackers made off with a list of the applications and programs that run on every standard JPMorgan computer – a hacker’s road map of sorts – which hackers could cross check with known vulnerabilities, in search of an entry point back into the bank’s systems

• These people said it would take months for the bank to swap out its programs and applications and renegotiate licensing deals with its technology suppliers, leaving hackers plenty of time to mine the bank’s systems for unpatched, or undiscovered, vulnerabilities that would allow them reentry into JPMorgan’s systems

 • A U.S. appeals court has ruled Texas can require clinics to meet the same surgical standards as hospital-style surgical centers. Thirteen abortion clinics in Texas were forced to close immediately. No abortion facilities will now be open west or south of San Antonio pending appeal (NYT, BBC)

Obama/Immigration: “I’m About to Get to That”


• President Obama on Thursday pledged to Latinos that he’ll take executive action to ease deportations before the year’s end, vowing “this is not a question of if, but when.” Obama laid the blame for delays squarely at the feet of congressional Republicans, who he said exploited a crisis of undocumented children at the southern border for political gain

• Speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala, Obama said, “But if anybody wants to know where my heart is or whether I want to have this fight, let me put those questions to rest right now. I am not going to give up this fight until it gets done. I know the pain of families because we live with a system that’s broken.”

• Obama was interrupted repeatedly by a protester heckling him: “We need relief now!!” As she yelled, Obama told her “I’m about to get to that” and “you’re going to want to hear” his remarks about deportations. But Blanca Hernandez, a paralegal whose deportation has been deferred, was quickly whisked away by law enforcement

• Before he spoke, Sen Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said the room was looking to Obama “for big, bold, unapologetic administrative relief for millions.” “Mr President, we need your help,” Menendez said (Politico, WaPo, Hill, Fox, CNN, me)

• Obama said he knew there was “deep frustration” among those there and said he shared it. But, Obama said, “I ask you to keep believing.” “I meant what I said,” Obama said, adding that, “no force on earth can stop us” if activists and politicians remain determined
• “Isn’t it a bitch? Excuse me… the vice president thing…” VP Joe Biden said Thursday, when fielding a question from the student council vice president at Harvard University. “I’m joking,” he said to laughter. “Best decision I ever made. That was a joke.” (sure it was) (CNN, Hill, me)

September Jobs Report Today

• The Labor Dept will release its initial September jobs report this morning at 8:30 and a revision of August’s numbers. Psychic Victoria and real analysts predict the data are expected to show that non-farm payrolls rose by 215,000 in September and the jobless rate stayed at 6.1%. That would please Wall Street, which closed slightly up Thursday after a choppy couple of days

• Unemployment fell in August because more Americans quit looking for jobs and thus were no longer counted as unemployed. One-time factors, including a supermarket strike in New England and auto plant shutdowns for retooling, weighed down job growth in August, which is a notoriously difficult month to measure

• There have been some signs of cooler economic activity in September, but economists have parsed this as less-torrid growth rather than a significant slowdown. Growth in factory activity throttled back in September, for example, but the pace of expansion remains near a three-year high

• Most economists see the economy expanding at around a 3% annual rate in the third quarter, well above the average over the last two years of 2.2%. Average hourly earnings are expected to have increased 0.2% in September, equaling their advance in August

• The Federal Reserve is set to wind down its quantitative easing program at its next policy meeting, scheduled for 28-29 Oct. Inflation and the strength of the labor market are the keys the Fed will watch after concluding QE as it considers when to begin raising interest rates (Business Insider, International Business Times, Reuters, Market Watch, me)


• Shawn McCoy, former chief spox for Mitt Romney in Iowa, writes for InsideSources that a Secret Service agent, on the ground in a swing state, disclosed key details of Obama’s schedule to an individual within the Romney camp “to impress one of the staffers.” The agent also apparently took people for joy rides in a Secret Service vehicle with lights flashing – not me 🙁 (Guardian, me)

SCOTUS: Takes New Cases – Not Gay Marriage

•The Supreme Court took no action Thursday on requests that it decide whether there’s a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. The court accepted 11 new cases. Court watchers have said they expect it could be weeks or months before the justices decide whether to hear the same-sex marriage issue (WaPo, Reuters, NYT, me)

• Most think it would be almost impossible for them to pass up same-sex marriage this term. If the court takes up the question, it would have to decide which of the cases before them provides the best vehicle for a decision. There are petitions from Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Indiana. Among other cases, the court agreed:

• To consider whether judges running for election can be banned from personally asking for campaign contributions. Laws vary. The court took a FL case. A candidate, who was reprimanded and fined for signing a fundraising letter, said the ban in that state violates her free speech rights

• To rule on whether voters can take away from the legislature the right to draw congressional districts (please say yes). AZ voters gave the job to an independent commission in 2000 to try to get politics out of it. But the state’s Republican-led legislature says the Constitution gives the power to draw districts exclusively to lawmakers

• To decide whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch violated antidiscrimiantion laws when it denied a job to a Muslim applicant because her headscarf conflicted with the company’s dress code, described then as “classic East Coast collegiate style.” Court of Appeals said she never asked for a religious accommodation during the job interview – she was wearing the headscarf

• Vid: Ouch – the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a new TV ad Thursday hitting state Sen Joni Ernst (R) over Personhood. The ad uses a clip of Ernst saying “I think the provider should be punished, if there were a personhood amendment.” Ernst is leading Rep Bruce Braley (D), her Dem opponent, in Iowa (TPM, me)

Midterms Madness: October Surprises!


• This is the month when campaigns get the long knives and the remaining opposition research out of the deep bottom of their trunks and – pounce. And then there are the surprises nobody expects. So forewarned is fore armed: (Hill me)

National security crises: Hint – we’re in one. ISIS, journalist beheadings, Ebola in the U.S.A. But there could be more. It’s a very volatile world. A terrorist attack at home or abroad could have a huge and unexpected electoral impact (speaking politically – not minimizing human cost)

Gaffes: Ah yes. Who can forget Bill Maher playing a clip of Christine O’Donnell saying she’d “dabbled in witchcraft,” leading to her infamous “I’m not a witch” ad in early Oct. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment came in mid-September and doooomed his campaign

• Latest Senate forecast: FiveThirtyEight has Republicans at 58%; has Republicans at 8/15 and Democrats at 11/8


Opposition research dumps: Republicans are promising devastating details could still come out about KS independent Senate candidate Greg Orman’s business background. Both sides have trackers on the trail and researchers combing through docs and public records in search of a nugget in campaigns across the country

Spending blitzes: In 2010, House Dems were shocked by a late flood of outside spending from conservative groups. Caught unprepared, many were swept out of office. Dems vowed after that to never let outside groups outspend them by such wide margins. You can expect to see late injections of cash into key races

Scandals: Officials behaving badly – yes please. In September 2006, Rep Mark Foley R-FL), and the emails and texts he sent soliciting underage congressional pages, blew up on House leadership and turned a bad year into a disaster for the Republicans

• In his speech at Northwestern University Wednesday, President Obama said some words that may haunt Democrats during the midterms: “…Make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” Democratic Senators in key states are running like gazelles from Obama’s policies this fall (WaPo, me)


Hong Kong: Talks Accepted / Stand-Off


• Protesters in Hong Kong have accepted an offer of talks with the govt after a week of unrest. Chief exec CY Leung offered the talks with his deputy late Thursday but rejected calls to resign (BBC, South China Morning Post, me)


• The protesters, angry at China’s plan to vet election candidates, have been occupying parts of the city since the weekend, though numbers have fallen. Beijing has thrown its full support behind Leung, calling the protests illegal and “doomed to fail.”


• Today, Hong Kong temporarily closed govt offices in the main protest-hit area, saying staff should work from home because roads were blocked. Though protests were significantly smaller today, some groups remained on the streets and were quarreling with members of the public objecting to the blockades


• At the heart of the conflict is how Hong Kong elects its next leaders. In August, Beijing ruled that while Hong Kong residents would have a vote, their choice of candidates would be restricted by a committee. The protesters say this falls short of the free elections they’re seeking


• Writing in the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s last British governor Chris Patton said that “open and honest” consultations were the way forward now. “Hong Kong’s citizens are not irresponsible or unreasonable. A decent compromise that allows for elections that people can recognize as fair, not fixed, is surely available.”

William to photog: Back off Prince George!

• Lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton) have asked a photographer to “cease harassing” Price George. A statement said they were prompted to take action after the man was spotted near the 14-month-old and his nanny in a central London park (BBC, me)


• The couple are not taking legal action (or the Tower) at the stage, but may consider it in the future. Lawyers for the photog, Niraj Tanna, said he’d done nothing wrong and would continue his, er, work


• The palace statement said there was reason to suspect the photog may have been “placing George under surveillance and monitoring his daily routine for a period of time.” The BBC says the man had been warned off (I’ll bet) last week by royal protection officers and had been spoken to “over a number of years” about his behavior (love to be fly on lens)


• Lawyers for Tanna say the photog strongly objects to what he calls “the groundless allegations.” A letter contesting the claims says that press photogs are “fully entitled to take images in public places such as parks (true) and that any legal action will be “vigorously contested.”


• The Independent Press Standards Organization
[in Britain] editors’ code of practice states that young children “must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.”




• Rocking into the weekend with “The Lady is a Tramp” – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. Tony Bennett, at 88, is once again the oldest performer with a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, this time for “Cheek to Cheek,” his jazz duets collaboration with Lady Gaga. Tony rocks


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Victoria Jones

TRNS’ Celina Gore and Leah Schwarting 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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