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

  • Immigration: Obama to shield 4 million
  • Republican preax
  • Democratic preax
  • TV nets skip Obama address: WH slams
  • Wicked weather: More to come
  • CIA torture report in trouble
  • Acting Secret Service head on Hill: Grilled
  • Obama pitches high-speed internet for schools
  • Judge strikes Montana gay marriage ban
  • NBC scraps upcoming Cosby comedy


Immigration: Obama to Shield 4 Million
• Up to four million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years can apply for a program that protects them from deportation and allows those with no criminal record to work legally in the country, President Obama is to announce today, according to people briefed on his plans (NYT, AP, TRNS, Politico, me)
• An additional one million people will get protection from deportation through other parts of the president’s plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration enforcement system, including the expansion of an existing program for “Dreamers,” young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. No longer to be a limit on the age of the people who qualify
• But farm workers will not receive specific protections from deportation, nor will the Dreamers’ parents. And none of the five million immigrants over all who will be given new protections will get govt subsidies for health care under Obamacare. No path to citizenship, either. It’s all about families. (If you don’t have U.S. kids, you’re out of luck)
• Obama will use an 8 pm EST address from the East Room tonight to announce his measures and will sign the executive actions during a rally in Las Vegas Friday. Obama’s to speak at Las Vegas’ Del Sol High School Friday, a school with a large population of non-English speaking students, where he spoke in 2013&&&

• Laying the groundwork for his actions, Obama invited 18 Democratic members of the House and Senate – but no Republicans (grumble grumble) – to dinner at the WH on Wednesday
• Admin officials have said the president’s actions were designed to be “legally unassailable,” which activists said led the WH to make some tough choices
• In one specific example, about 250,000 farm workers in the U.S. illegally would receive work permits. United Farm Workers had been hoping for more. The 250,000 workers would be eligible by being parents of children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents
• The WH decision to deny health benefits also underscores how far the president’s expected actions will fall short of providing the kind of full membership in American society that activists have spent decades fighting for. The immigrants are also unlikely to receive food stamps, Medicaid coverage etc

• Graphic: Obama’s immigration plan could affect millions (NYT)

Republican Preax
• Rep Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told reporters Wednesday, “The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer – millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the U.S. who can’t speak the English language. Even though the president says they won’t be able to vote, we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote.” (nice lady)
• Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) spox, Michael Steel, said: “If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue – and many others.”
• Sen Tom Coburn (R-OK) warned: “The country’s going to go nuts … You’re going to see – hopefully not – but you could see, instances of anarchy…you could see violence.”
• Gov Rick Perry (R-TX) accused Obama of “sticking his finger into the eye of the American people” after an election that gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress. He called a lawsuit against the Obama admin “a very real possibility.” (Hill, WaPo, AP, Fox, CNN, NYT, Politico, TPM, me)
• Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote in an op-ed in Politico, “If the president announces executive amnesty, the new Senate Majority Leader who takes over in January should announce that the 114th Congress will not confirm a single nominee … outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists.”

• Vid: President Obama’s brief Facebook announcement on immigration

Democratic Preax
• Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said on the Senate floor Wednesday, “We’ve given them
[Republicans] time – 510 days to be exact. They need to do comprehensive immigration reform, and they’ve refused to do just that.” (Reuters, AP, Hill, me)
• WH spox Josh Earnest responded to GOP criticism of the upcoming executive action: “We’ve heard this kind of rhetoric from House Republicans for some time … If that is something that Republicans are critical of, then that’s you know, maybe a criticism that the president wears with a badge of honor.”
• “I wish he wouldn’t do it,” Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) said. “I think we ought to work through this process, and with the new elections and the results of the elections, we ought to try in January to see if we can find a pathway to get something accomplished.”
• Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday, “As far as I can tell every president in the modern era has issued some executive orders affecting immigration, so I think it – I imagine he’s on pretty firm legal footing.”
• Sen Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said she supports comprehensive immigration reform but, “I have to be honest, how this is coming about makes me uncomfortable, I think it probable makes most Missourians uncomfortable.”
TV Nets Skip Obama Address – WH Slams
• The WH is exasperated with the major broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – for skipping out on President Obama’s primetime address tonight on his executive actions on immigration (Politico, WaPo, me)
• “In 2006, Bush gave a 17 minute speech that was televised by all three networks that was about deploying 6,000 national guard troops to the border. Obama is making a 10 minute speech that will have a vastly greater impact on the issue. And none of the networks are doing it. We can’t believe they were aggrieved that we announced this on Facebook.”
• When the president wants to make a primetime address, WH officials will reach out to the big networks to gauge whether they would consider running the speech live before putting in a formal request for airtime. But Wednesday morning, those feelers came back with a negative report. So the admin didn’t send out a formal request
• However, the admin’s target audience of Hispanics will likely be tuning in. The two Hispanic-focused networks, Univision and Telemundo, will broadcast the speech live. Univision is even delaying the Latin Grammys broadcast for the speech. CNN, MSNBC and Fox News will also broadcast the speech live
• Florida State University police fatally shot a gunman at the campus library early today in a shooting that left three others wounded. Hundreds studying inside the library fled or took cover in panic – developing (AP)
Wicked Weather: More to Come
• Another 3ft of snow is expected to hit parts of the north-eastern U.S. after a massive snowstorm left at least seven dead in New York state on Wednesday. Weather-related deaths were also reported in New Hampshire and Michigan – about 20 people have died across the U.S. since Saturday (AP, BBC, Fox, CNN, me)
• Parts of Buffalo are under 5 1/2 feet of snow. Gov Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) called the snowstorm a “historic event.” Freezing temperatures have continued in many parts of the U.S., with heavy disruption to travel. Mail delivery was interrupted in certain areas with travel bans
• The storm came in so fast and furious over Lake Erie Tuesday that it trapped more than 100 vehicles along a 132-mile stretch of the New York State Thruway that remained closed Wednesday
• Tom Wilson of West Seneca, split a Salisbury steak frozen dinner with co-workers and tried his best to get some rest when he was stuck 36 hours at his warehouse job. “I slept on a pallet. Then I found some sponges to sleep on. I found one pack of sponges unopened. That looks like a pillow to me.”
• Bethany Hojnacki went into labor at the height of the storm and ended up giving birth in a Buffalo fire station after she and her husband couldn’t get to the hospital. Mother and daughter were later taken to the hospital in an ambulance
• SecState John Kerry’s in a frenzy of high-stakes diplomacy today in a last-minute push to secure an agreement in the Iran nuclear talks – or at least prevent the process from collapsing. Deadline is Monday 24 November. Confidence in a deal is less than 50% (AP, me)
CIA Torture Report in Trouble
• The WH is fiercely resisting the release of a 6,300 page Senate report on the Senate’s detention and interrogation program, Senate aides tell Foreign Policy. At issue is the report’s identification of individual CIA officers by pseudonyms. There had been hopes the report could come out post-Thanksgiving (FP, me)
• The CIA and the WH want the pseudonyms and references to other agency activities completely stricken to further protect the identities of CIA spies. Senate aides say many of those redactions are unnecessary and make the report unreadable. The WH denies it’s dragging things out (um think it prob is)
• WH chief of staff Denis McDonough recently got involved in personally negotiating with Senate Intelligence chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for further redactions. McDonough, who is close to CIA director John Brennan, is slated to meet with Senate Democrats today – agenda is primarily immigration and economy, but aides say they’ll raise the torture report
• What happens if the report doesn’t come out before Republicans take control of the Senate? Many Senate Republicans, including the Intel Committee’s next chair, Richard Burr (NC), strongly oppose the report and could seek to bury it when they take control. So Democrats may have to relent and release the redacted version (pointless)
• But Democrats also have a nuclear option. Sen Mark Udall (D-CO), who was defeated in the midterms, has threatened to read the unredacted report into the Congressional Record on the Senate floor, a rare and provocative move that’s nevertheless protected by the Constitution’s “speech or debate” clause. (cool) He hasn’t said definitely whether he will
• The Ferguson grand jury is preparing to meet Friday for what might be its final decision and a decision could come that same day, law enforcement officials briefed on the plans told CNN. Current plans could change. 48 hours notice would be likely before a public announcement – leaks could easily happen, though (CNN, me)

Acting Secret Service Head on Hill: Grilled

• Joseph Clancy, who became acting director of the Secret Service last month following a string of security missteps, told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that he found the multiple failures that allowed a fence jumper to race deep into the WH “devastating.” (WaPo, Hill, TRNS, me)

• Clancy was sharply critical of the agency’s management culture. He was unflinching in his assessment of the agency’s problems. He acknowledged fundamental breakdowns in security protocols in several instances, including advance agents failing to determine that a private security guard was armed when he boarded an elevator with the president in Atlanta

• Clancy emphasized that Secret Service agents and officers are stretched thin and have missed critical training because there aren’t enough to cover all the daily, required posts. “When we’re not properly trained, sir, we fail,” he told one lawmaker

• In one tense exchange, Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asked Clancy whether anyone had been disciplined for misleading initial statements the agency made about the fence jumper being unarmed and being tackled just inside the North Portico doors. “The Secret Service misled us on purpose. Was there any consequence to any personnel?”

• Clancy said no punishments had been meted out and said that the agency “failed” in communicating properly to the media and Congress. But Chaffetz said the service needs to hold people responsible for misstatements

Obama Pitches High-Speed Internet for Schools
• President Obama on Wednesday took a break from crisis and gridlock to advance two often-overlooked priorities focused on children, one to wire more of the nation’s schools to the internet and the other to overhaul child care for low-income families (NYT, me)
• In the Oval Office, Obama signed a bipartisan bill that will authorize $12 billion over five years for child care and overhaul the system to improve safety and training while expanding parental choice. The legislation cleared the Senate Monday with just one negative vote – (don’t know who the grinch was)
• The new law will require more training for caregivers, background checks for staff and inspections of facilities. Parents who receive a raise or find a job will not automatically lose their child care because their income status has suddenly changed. And parents will be given more info about different child care options
• For his “ConnectED” internet-in-schools program, Obama hosted educators for a daylong meeting to talk about the potential of education technology. Last year he set a goal of connecting 99% of American students to high-speed broadband in their schools and libraries in five years. Right now, he told the audience, fewer than 40% have internet in classrooms&&&

• “That’s not good, since we invented the internet,” Obama said. “In a country where we expect free wi-fi with our coffee, the least we can do is expect that our schools are properly wired.”

• Just days after the FCC issued plans to invest billions of dollars toward that goal, Obama announced that two online education companies, EdX and Coursera, will join others in the initiative• He said the admin would convene 12 regional summit meetings over the next year and he said 1,200 school superintendents were signing a pledge to help meet the target

• “We’re inundated, I think, with news of mayhem and mishap and war and disease, I think sometimes we forget how much good work is just being done, day in day out, by a lot of good people who just care about their kids,” Obama said
• Game on! Wednesday evening, one minute before midnight, former Virginia senator and secretary of the Navy Jim Webb (D) became the first established figure to officially wade into the race for the WH when he unveiled his 2016 presidential exploratory committee website and video (Business Insider)
Judge Strikes Montana Gay Marriage Ban
• U.S. District Judge Brian Morris on Wednesday overturned the state’s gay marriage ban. He ruled that Montana’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to between a man and a woman violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause (AP, me)
• “This court recognizes that not everyone will celebrate this outcome,” Morris wrote. “This decision overturns a Montana Constitutional amendment approved by the voters of Montana. Yet the United States Constitution exists to protect disfavored minorities from the will of the majority.”
• In September, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Idaho and Nevada’s bans are unconstitutional. Montana is part of the 9th circuit, and Morris cited the appeals court’s opinion in his ruling. The move comes after four same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in May challenging Montana’s ban
• Separately, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday that the first legal same-sex marriage has taken place in South Carolina. The Charleston County probate court began issuing licenses Wednesday morning. Kristin Anderson and Kayla Bennett got married moments afterwards on the courthouse steps
• The office of Probate Judge Irvin Condon in Charleston said that he had issued six licenses in total to gay couples. The judge’s attorney, John Nichols, said the way was cleared for issuing the licenses by a decision in a case in Columbia
NBC Scraps Upcoming Cosby Comedy
• NBC has scrapped a Bill Cosby comedy that was under development and TV Land will stop airing reruns of “The Cosby Show,” moves that came a day after yet another woman, model Janice Dickinson, came forward claiming the once-beloved comic had sexually molested her (AP, Vox, me)
• Former PA prosecutor Bruce Castor Jr, who investigated a woman’s claims that Cosby had sexually assaulted her in 2004, said Wednesday, “I wrote my opinion in such as way as I thought conveyed to the whole world that I thought he had done it, he had just gotten away with it because of a lack of evidence.”
• Cosby was asked about the growing furor by an AP reporter on 6 November this year when the comedian was promoting an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art that features the comedian’s African American art collections alongside African artworks
• When the AP interviewed Cosby, he declined to comment, saying, “We don’t answer that.” After his initial refusal to comment, as the interview was winding down but with the camera still running and Cosby wearing a lapel mic  – – –
• – – – the comedian asked the AP to not use the brief on-camera refusal to comment he had just made about the allegations. “And I would appreciate it if it was scuttled,” he said. The interview was on the record. The AP had made no agreement to avoid questions about the allegations or to withhold publishing any of his comments at any time

• Vid: Full Cosby exchange with AP on allegations of rape. Vid: CNN’s Don Lemon asks Cosby accuser Joan Tarshis whether she considered biting Cosby’s penis when he allegedly forced oral sex on her. Lemon’s subsequently apologized (#revictimize the victim)

Sign up here for TRNS News Notes

______________Victoria Jones

TRNS’ Justin Duckham and Loretta Lewis 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.