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.

TRNS News Notes is on assignment tomorrow, 28 October. We’ll be back on Thursday the 29th
News Now

  • Budget deal?
  • What’s in the budget deal?
  • Cop assaults girl seated in class
  • US Navy trolls Chinese-made islands
  • Pentagon mulls deeper involvement in Iraq
  • FBI chief touts “Ferguson effect” – little evidence
  • Jeb and W seek to charm donors
  • Wednesday’s GOP debate
Budget Deal? (AP, Hill, NYT, Bloomberg, Politico, me)
• House GOP leaders struck a budget deal made with the WH just before midnight Monday, aimed at averting a govt shutdown and forestalling a debt crisis. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wants Republicans to pass the hard-won deal before Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wis) assumes the speaker’s job later this week (Ryan is praying GOP goes along)
• But Boehner ran up against immediate pushback when he laid out his plan Monday night. His idea is for members to vote on the deal Wednesday. The budget pact, in concert with a must-pass increase in the federal borrowing limit, would solve a huge issue facing Ryan, who’s set to be elected speaker on Thursday. The deal has to be approved by the Senate, too
• The deal would also take budget showdowns and govt shutdown fights off the table until after the 2016 presidential election (what no more drama?), which could cause a sigh of relief to GOP candidates who might otherwise have to face awkward questions about messes in the GOP-led Congress
• Congress must raise the federal borrowing limit by 3 Nov or risk a first-ever default, while money to pay for govt operations runs out 11 Dec unless Congress acts (yes that same movie). The emerging framework would give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies two years of budget relief of $80 billion in exchange for cuts elsewhere in the budget


What’s In the Budget Deal?
• The plan was outlined for rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door session Monday night. The budget relief would total $50 billion in the first year and $30 billion in the second year. But conservatives who pushed Boehner out: “We were told nothing about it,” said Rep John Fleming (R-La). “I’m not excited about it at all,” said Rep Matt Salmon (R-Ariz) (hey ho)
• The measure would suspend the current $18.1 trillion debt limit through March 2017. The budget side of the deal is aimed at undoing automatic spending cuts which are a byproduct of a 2011 budget and debt deal and the failure of DC to subsequently tackle the govt’s fiscal woes. GOP defense hawks are pushing for more money for the Pentagon
• The tentative pact anticipates designating further increases for the Pentagon as emergency war funds that can be made exempt from budget caps. There’s also a drawdown from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, reforms to crop insurance and savings reaped from a DoJ fund for crime victims
• Offsetting spending cuts that would pay for domestic spending increases includes curbs on certain Medicare payments for outpatient services provided by hospitals and an extension of a 2% point cut in Medicare payments to doctors through the end of a 10-year budget
• Negotiators also looked to address a shortfall looming next year in Social Security payments to the disabled and a large increase for many retirees in Medicare premiums and deductibles for doctors’ visits and other outpatient care. The deal would make good on a promise Boehner made to “clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets here.”

• House Republican centrists teamed up with Democrats Monday night to force a vote on reviving the Export Import Bank, whose charter expired in June, outraging conservative opponents of the agency. They began the process of a discharge petition, which is a three-step process. Conservatives say the bank is corporate cronyism (Hill)


Cop Assaults Girl Seated in Class (Reuters, NYT, WLTX, WTLX, me)
• Two videos of a while male police office at a South Carolina high school flipping and slamming a black girl to the ground in a classroom arrest have sparked outrage. #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh was trending No.1 on Twitter. The incident comes after numerous, high-profile killings of unarmed black men by police across the U.S. in the last two years triggered protests
• The 15-second video, apparently recorded by another student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia on Monday, begins with Officer Ben Fields of the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept, who was assigned to the school, approaching the girl, who is seated at a desk. Fields has been placed on administrative leave
• Fields can then be seen yanking the girl’s arm and wrapping his arm under her chin before flipping the desk with her still seated in it. Fields then drags her from the chair and tosses her on the floor, as the classroom full of students looks on in silence, before handcuffing her (the kids seem frozen in fear to me – and rightly so – the man is absolutely terrifying)

• Raw: shocking assault by white officer Ben Fields on a black teenage girl at Spring Valley High School in Richland County, South Carolina


• The girl doesn’t appear to resist or argue with Fields during the short video. In a second, longer video, Fields can be heard telling another student who was expressing dismay, “Hey, I’ll put you in jail next.” The girl and another student were arrested and released to their parents. She had apparently been disruptive in class (wasn’t being disruptive when flipped)
• The other student, Niya Kenny, 18, said she was standing up for her classmate. “I was in disbelief. I know this girl don’t got nobody and I couldn’t believe this was happening. … I was screaming ‘What the f, what the f is this really happening?’ … And he said, since you have so much to say you are coming too. I just put my hands behind my back.”
• Richland School District Two said in a statement, “The district will not tolerate any actions that jeopardize the safety of our students.”  Sheriff’s Dept spox Curtis Wilson said Sheriff Leon Lott was “totally disturbed” by the video but cautioned the public to reserve judgment until an investigation was completed
• Fields is the subject of two federal lawsuits. The most recent, filed in Nov 2013 by a former Spring Valley student Ashton Reese, charges Fields and the school district of violating his civil rights (see NYT piece for details – goes to trial in January – and for 2007 lawsuit, which Fields won in a jury trial, and sounds iffy. i’m so tired of this crap)


US Navy Trolls Chinese-Made Islands (Reuters, FT, TRNS, me)
• The U.S. Navy sent the USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea, today, in the first of a series of challenges to China’s territorial claims, a U.S. defense official said. The ship was accompanied by surveillance planes (this looks to be a fun game of chicken)
• WH spox Josh Earnest on Monday said, “There are billions of dollars of commerce that float through that region of the world.” “Ensuring that free flow of commerce … is critical to the global economy.” The Chinese Embassy in DC said today the U.S. “illegally” entered waters near islands and reefs in the Spratlys without permission
• China claims most of the South China Sea and on 9 Oct its foreign ministry warned that Beijing would “never allow any country to violate China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight.”
• The patrols come just weeks ahead of a series of Asia-Pacific summits President Obama and President Xi Jinping are expected to attend in November (awkward). The U.S. argues that under international law, building up artificial islands on previously submerged reefs doesn’t entitle a country to claim a territorial limit

• Washington worries that China has built up the islands with the aim of extending its military reach in the South China Sea. Satellite photographs have shown the construction of three military length airstrips by China in the Spratlys. Xi said after a meeting with Obama in DC last month that China had “no intention to militarize” the islands (so what then? golf?)


• The Obama admin is offering to provide assistance to victims of a devastating earthquake that struck Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing over 300 people and injuring more than 2,000. Iran and India also have offered help. Rescue efforts are being stepped up to help those affected and rescue teams have been sent to mountainous areas (BBC)
Pentagon Mulls Deeper Involvement in Iraq (Hill, WaPo, me)
• U.S. military commanders have forwarded several options to the Defense Dept in the last several weeks to bolster the military campaign against ISIS, as part of a mounting push within the admin to more aggressively target the terrorist group, according to two U.S. officials (get out popcorn today – see below)
• One of the options presented was embedding U.S. troops with Iraqi security forces; they would have the ability to call in airstrikes – closer to having boots on the ground. A second option would embed U.S. forces with Iraqis closer to the battlefield, at the level of a brigade or a battalion – now embedded at division level, which keeps them stationed back at HQ
• Some of the options sent to Pentagon leaders would entail “high” risk for U.S. troops in Iraq and require more personnel, one of the officials said. Also under consideration is increased targeting of ISIS’s production and sale of oil on the black market. The coalition has struck oil refineries controlled by ISIS, but officials are looking at different kinds of weapons
• SecDef Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen Joseph Dunford will have an opportunity to discuss the options for the ISIS campaign when they testify today in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The proposal would also put a small number of U.S. advisers on the ground in Syria for the first time (boots?)
• A big topic will be the way forward in Syria, where the WH recently suspended a program to train and equip rebels after it failed miserably, producing only 80 rebels, compared with a target number of 5,000 by end of year. Complicating the situation in Syria, Russia has launched an airstrike campaign to shore up President Assad and Iran is getting in on the action (munch munch – watch Sen John McCain)
FBI Chief Touts “Ferguson Effect” – Little Evidence (WaPo, Guardian, Reuters, Hill, me)
• FBI director James Comey told police chiefs in Chicago on Monday that he had little evidence to support his theory that a recent increase in crime was caused by heightened scrutiny of the police – Ferguson effect – which then led to a retreat by officers, but said this was “common sense.” (gotta do better than that in his job)
• WH spox Josh Earnest said at a briefing Monday that available evidence “does not support the notion that law enforcement officers around the country are shying away from fulfilling their responsibilities.” They were “on a daily basis” putting their lives on the line, Earnest said. He declined to explicitly disagree with Comey’s comments
• Monday’s remarks were the second time in four days that Comey had backed the much-debated theory. “These statements are not backed up by data,” Amnesty International said. Earnest said the admin was devoting “serious consideration” to a recent uptick in crime, while also attempting to push an overhaul of the criminal justice system through Congress
• President Obama today will address the same conference as Comey in Chicago, the International Association of Chief of Police, attended by thousands of police chiefs. Obama will push for prison reform as he seeks to push for criminal justice reforms, and will address “the need for commonsense gun safety reforms,” a WH official said in a statement
• Police chiefs at a presser at the IACP on Monday called for universal background checks for firearms purchases. Current rules apply to licensed dealers, but up to 40% of firearms sales involve private parties or gun shows and don’t require checks, they said. “This is a no-brainer,” Garry McCarthy, Chicago Police Superintendent, said


• Donald Trump said Monday that life “has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars. I came into Manhattan, and I had to pay him back. And I had to pay him back with interest. But I came into Manhattan. I started buying up properties, and I did great.” (sooo elitist – and not the whole truth – see WaPo)
Jeb & W Seek to Charm Donors (Reuters, NYT, Hill, me)
• Former President George W. Bush made his first public campaign appearance for his (beleaguered) 2016er brother Jeb Monday, appearing on stage before an important gathering of Bush donors in Houston, an event the Bush team sought to use to calm jittery supporters alarmed by his months-long slide in the polls
• W offered a strong testimonial for his brother, saying he would score well with Latino voters because of his welcoming stance on immigration. And he said Jeb would be prepared for the unexpected, like he faced on 9/11. “I am absolutely certain given his background and his steadiness that he’d be able to deal with the unexpected,” said George W
• The Houston event marks a new phase in the Bush campaign, coming days after his team announced deep cuts in payroll and staff to cope with slowing donations in response to challenges from outsider candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson (they’ve got to do something – and he’s really got to perform in the GOP debate Wednesday night)
• Senior campaign aides laid out for the donors their case for why Bush can make it despite stiff headwinds. They stressed that the Republican battle, currently led by Trump and Carson, remains volatile and that Bush has the organizational strength to carry him to victory (their hope is that people will lose interest in Trump – he’s a shiny object, they think)
• Bush’s campaign team struck out at presidential rival Marco Rubio (R-Fla) in a PowerPoint presentation, telling donors, “Marco is a GOP Obama.” The slide said the two men “haven’t shown much interest in the process of advancing legislation and getting results.” (Bush sees Rubio as his long-term opposition on the campaign trail)

• Monday, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, published an analysis linking colorectal cancer to the consumption of processed meats and red meat. Here are answers to a few questions in the report (NYT)

Wednesday’s GOP Debate (Politico, me)
• The third Republican presidential debate – “Your Money, Your Vote” – will be Wednesday 28 October at the University of Colorado in Boulder at 8 pm ET on CNBC. The debate is set to run two hours, including commercial breaks – after Donald Trump and Ben Carson held organizers to ransom and threatened to pull out otherwise
• CNBC says the debate will pay particular attention to economic issues, including taxes, retirement spending and job growth. CNBC also says tech policy will come up in the questioning (I’d expect Carson’s strange Medicare plans to come up). Moderators are all from CNBC: John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla
• Main debate: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and John Kasich – Scott Walker (who?) has gone. 6 pm debate: Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham (oh good – some jokes)
• To decide, CNBC took nine “methodically sound” polls released between 20 Sept and 21 Oct and gave a spot to anyone with an average of at least 3%. The 6 pm debate includes four candidates polling with an average of at least 1%. Trump will stand center stage – although with an even number of candidates, so will Carson – (Trump is going to hammer Carson)
• The fourth GOP debate is scheduled for Tuesday 10 November – one year from Election Day. It’s in Milwaukee, hosted by the Fox Business Network and the WSJ. The next Democratic debate will be in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday 14 November. It will be hosted by CBS News, KCCI-TV and the Des Moines Register

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Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ Loree Lewis contributed to this report


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