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.

News Now
  • Planned Parenthood shooting: Motive?
  • Three slain victims
  • GOP 2016ers reax – careful
  • Shooter: “No more baby parts”
  • Obama: Paris for climate summit
  • Obama wants climate legacy, but…
  • Climate: Difficult issues
  • Congress: End-of-year dash
  • Iowa & NH: GOP 2016ers hunker down
  • Trump scrambles: Blacks, Muslims
 
Planned Parenthood Shooting: Motive? (AP, Reuters, me)
• Robert Lewis Dear told authorities “no more baby parts” after being arrested for the Friday shooting of a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, according to a senior law enforcement official, part of a rambling statement that investigators are parsing to understand the reasoning behind an assault that left three people dead (think it’s a clue, though)
 
• Colorado Springs police on Sunday said they wouldn’t disclose any info on the motive for the attack, a move that guarantees further speculation over the intention of Dear as he prepares for his initial appearance in state court by video this afternoon (media need to challenge secrecy – it’s rubbish – no possible reason to seal it – public has right to know)
 
• Planned Parenthood cited witnesses as saying the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion. He killed a police officer and two civilians who were accompanying separate friends to the clinic
 
• U.S. Attorney John Walsh said investigators have been in touch with lawyers from the Justice Dept’s Civil Rights and National Security divisions, suggesting officials could pursue federal charges in addition to state homicide ones. Maybe the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which makes it a crime to injure or intimidate clinic patients and employees
 
• Gov John Hickenlooper (D-Colo) said on CNN Sunday that the attack was “a form of terrorism” and said people need to be mindful of “inflammatory rhetoric.” Nine other people were hospitalized, including five officers. PP tweeted on Sunday that “we now know” the man who attacked the clinic “was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion”
 
Three Slain Victims (WaPo, WaPo, me)
• University of Colorado Police Officer Garrett Swasey, 44, was killed Friday when he responded to reports of a shooter at the clinic. He was one of 12 victims – and one of three fatalities. “He was kind,” his mother said in an interview. “He wasn’t arrogant or selfish, and I wish people could hear more about that, about how caring the police really are.”
 
• Swasey was an elder and co-pastor at his nondenominational evangelical church, Hope Chapel. He taught guitar to fellow churchgoers and helped with the chapel’s care groups. He also coached and taught figure skating. Figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan remembered him over the weekend

• Saturday, President Obama praised Swasey in a statement: “May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save – and may He grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing.”


 
• Ke’Arre Marcell Stewart, a 29-year-old veteran of the Iraq war, was a DJ, entrepreneur and devoted father to his two young daughters.  He had gone to Planned Parenthood to support a friend. “He was always trying to make things better for him and his family,” said his aunt Tronda Stewart. Sharon Wolfe, who worked with him, said, “He was so loving and so gentle.”
 
• Jennifer Markovsky, a 35-year-old native of Hawaii, had two children, a son and a daughter, and had gone to Planned Parenthood to support a friend. “She was the most wonderful, kindest person you would ever know,” said her father, John Ah-King, from Hawaii. “She was willing to help everybody or anybody who needed help.”
 
GOP 2016ers Reax: Careful (WaPo, HuffPo, Guardian, Politico, me)
• Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was the first GOP 2016er to directly address the fatal shooting of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado on Friday. Speaking in Iowa Saturday, Cruz said that while the motives weren’t clear, it was “unacceptable, horrific and wrong.”
 
• “It’s obviously a tragedy. Nothing justifies this,” Carly Fiorina said on Fox News Sunday (if so obvious, why wait two days?). “We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers over the last few months,” Planned Parenthood’s Vicki Cowart said in a statement Sunday. “That environment breeds acts of violence.”
 
• “This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message, Fiorina said. During the second GOP debate, Fiorina described from a “video” a “fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” That turned out to be totally untrue – didn’t exist

 

• Democratic 2016er Hillary Clinton on Sunday followed up on her earlier reax to the shooting. “This is truly unbelievable, that after what we’ve seen in Paris and other places, Republicans will not bring up a bill that will prohibit anyone on the no-fly list from buying a gun in America.” (Hill)
 
• Donald Trump said in a phone interview (why do people do these phone interviews? make him show up) with Chuck Todd on NBC on Sunday that the shooter was a “maniac.” “I will tell you, there is a tremendous group of people that think it’s terrible, all of the videos they’ve seen with some of these people from PP talking about it like you’re selling parts to a car.”
 
• Former Gov Mike Huckabee (R-Ark) said on CNN Sunday, “Regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism, and what he did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the pro-life movement.” (but no GOP 2016ers condemned the hate speech against Planned Parenthood, which has increased since the deceptive videos)
 
• An anti abortion group released a series of edited videos attacking PP for purportedly harvesting and selling fetal body parts. There have been many state investigations, some GOP-led, as a result, which have not found wrong-doing. In a scene not shown in one brief video, PP’s Dr Deborah Nucatola says: “Nobody should be ‘selling’ tissue. That’s just not the goal here.”
 
Shooter: “No More Baby Parts” (NYT, AP, me)
• Robert Lewis Dear lived off the grid, and he seldom spoke to neighbors in a desolate stretch of land in rural Colorado where he lived. After his arrest, Dear, 57, said “no more baby parts,” according to a senior law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Planned Parenthood cited witnesses as saying the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion
 
• In July, anti-abortion activists released undercover videos they claimed showed the group’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs. PP has denied seeking any payments beyond legally permitted reimbursement costs for donating the organs to researchers. The National Abortion Federation says it’s since seen a rise in threats to clinics nationwide
 
• Neighbors described Dear, who makes his first video court appearance today, as reclusive. They said he stashed food in the woods, avoided eye contact and offered unsolicited advice such as recommending that one neighbor put a metal roof on his house so the U.S. govt couldn’t spy on him (ok, he was a mego-weirdo – and a terrorist)
 
• “He was the kind of person you had to watch out for,” one neighbor said. “He was a very weird individual. It’s hard to explain, but he had a weird look in his eye most of the time.” In addition to the Colorado shack, he also lived in a mobile home in North Carolina and a camper in Colorado, which he shared with a woman

Maps and pics of the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic – how it unfolded (NYT)

 

• Some who knew Dear found him unremarkable, while others said he seemed delusional and aggressive. He had a history of run-ins with neighbors and police,  including arrests for alleged cruelty to animals and allegedly being a “peeping Tom.” He wasn’t convicted in either case. His then-wife reported assault to police in 1997, but declined to file charges
 
• Colleton County police released reports of at least seven other episodes of disputes or altercations with neighbors or residents. One neighbor said, “He said he worked for the govt and everybody was out to get him and he knew the secrets of the USA. He said ‘Nobody touch me, because I’ve got enough information to put the whole of the USA in danger.’ It was very crazy.”
 
• A neighbor said that Dear would leave two dogs abandoned for days at a time with no food or water. He would carry a stick as he rode his trail bike, and he would slow down and try to bait dogs in the area. The neighbor also said that Dear swung the stick at his dog several times. Dear made his money from selling prints of his uncle’s paintings of Southern plantations
 
• An online personals ad seeking women in NC interested in bondage and sadomasochistic sex showed a picture that appeared to be Dear and used an online pseudonym associated with him. The same user appeared to have sought companions with whom he could smoke marijuana
 
• On Cannabis.com, the writer said in 2005: “AIDS, hurricanes, we are in the end times. Accept the LORD JESUS while you can.” He was registered to vote in Colorado for the past year – unaffiliated. One of his new neighbors, Zigmund Post, said Dear handed him a few pamphlets strongly critical of President Obama (where did he get the gun, legally or what?)
 

 

Obama in Paris for Climate Summit (AP, Politico, CNN, me)
• President Obama is in Paris with more than 150 world leaders for the opening days of a two-week conference where negotiators from 195 countries are trying to negotiate a deal aimed at avoiding a calamitous increase in global temperatures. 151 world leaders held a moment of silence this morning for the victims of the Paris terror attacks
 
• Obama paid a midnight tribute Sunday night to the victims of the Paris terror attacks, laying a single white rose at the Bataclan club. He stood for a long minute of silence in blustery darkness, with French President Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo standing to his right. Obama walked back to his car in silence after his first stop in Paris
 
• “What makes this gathering different is that more than 180 nations have already submitted plans to reduce the harmful emissions that help cause climate change, and America’s leadership is helping drive this progress,” Obama wrote on Facebook hours before his arrival in Paris late Sunday night
 
• The goal in Paris, he said, was a long-term framework for more reductions of greenhouse gas, with each nation setting targets that other countries can verify. Leaders also will try to support “the most vulnerable countries” in expanding clean energy and “adapting to the effects of climate changes that we can no longer avoid.”

• Interactive: Short answers to hard questions, like: How much is the planet heating up? How much trouble are we in? Is there anything I can do? What’s the optimistic scenario? What’s the worst-case scenario? (NYT)


 

 

Obama Wants a Climate Legacy – But…
• At the summit’s opening today, Obama joins French President Francois Hollande and philanthropist Bill Gates for an announcement about an initiative to spend billions of dollars over the next five years on developing clean energy technology. Several countries have decided to participate, according to a French official

 
• Obama, with just a year left in office, wants to lead the world by example on climate change. The U.S. is the world’s second largest polluter, surpassed only by China, and the president has pledged that the U.S. will cut its overall emissions by 26% to 28% by 2030
 
• But his climate action plan has run into stiff opposition from Republicans who control Congress. They say his commitment to reduce emissions from U.S. power plants would cost thousands of American jobs and raise electricity costs for business and families
 
• Twenty-six states are suing to block the power plant rules, claiming Obama has abused his authority under the Clean Air Act. The president also faces congressional opposition to committing U.S. dollars to a UN Green Climate Fund designed to help poorer countries combat climate change

 

Climate: Difficult Issues (AP, me)
The Firewall: the previous treaty, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, divided the world into developed and developing countries and only required the former to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. U.S., EU and other developed countries say this time the firewall is outdated. But India and many others want the deal to state developed countries have a bigger responsibility: brawl
 
Finance and technology: Developing countries need money and technology to make the switch to clean energy sources like solar and wind power. They’re also asking for help to adapt to climate change. Developed countries are willing to help but reluctant to make firm commitments – want to expand the pool of donors to including advanced developing countries like China
 
American hurdle: Many countries including the EU are insisting on a legally binding deal. The U.S. has a problem with that because an international treaty imposing emissions limits isn’t likely to be approved by the GOP-controlled Congress. Negotiators are trying to find a compromise – parts of the deal are binding and others, like emissions targets, are not: controversy
 
Long-term goal: Many countries want the deal to include a long-term goal that spells out what it is they’re trying to accomplish. Proven very difficult. Big oil producers like Saudi Arabia don’t want language that suggests fossil fuels have to be phased out. The current draft contains multiple options
 
Loss and damage: Small island nations, particularly vulnerable to climate change, want a mechanism in the deal that deals with climate impacts that they can’t fully adapt to, like rising seas and more devastating storms. That issue, called loss and damage, makes the U.S. and other wealthy countries uncomfortable: worried about claims for compensation and liability
 
Congress: End-Of-Year Dash (Hill, me)
Highway bill: Lawmakers need to get a long-term deal and avoid a shutdown of federal highway funding, with the current patch set to expire on Friday 4 Dec. They’re bogged down in negotiations. And facing pressure from conservative groups to drop language reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank’s charter as well as skepticism over funding of the bill (again)
 
Reconciliation: The Senate is heading for a battle over Obamacare, as Senate Republicans gear up to use a parliamentary maneuver to repeal parts of the law. But GOP Sens Rubio (Fla), Cruz (Texas) and Lee (Utah) have threatened to oppose any bill that doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare, while three moderate GOPers oppose a link to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood
 
Syrian refugees: While the anti-Syrian refugee bill passed the House with a veto-proof majority, including 47 Democrats, it could be tougher in the Senate. Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) has said “it won’t get passed.” Democrats are focused on the visa waiver program and on closing a loophole that allows suspected terrorists to buy guns or explosives (showdown)
 
Govt funding: Syrian refugees is an issue here, too. A push by 2016er Sen Rand Paul (R-Ky), to get a vote on blocking benefits for new refugees derailed a bill funding the Dept of Transportation and the Dept of Housing and Urban Development. Looks like the bill might need to be folded into a broader “omnibus” spending bill – he’s vowing to block any attempt
 
• Conservative Republicans are also pushing to tie blocking funding for refugee resettlement to the larger spending legislation. In the House, Rep Brian Babin (R-Texas) has dozens of backers in his effort to bar funding. Meanwhile, Sen Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) is asking colleagues to include a provision blocking funding until Congress approves a plan from the admin

 

• LA Lakers great Kobe Bryant, arguably the best player of his generation, announced on Sunday he will retire after the 1025-16 National Basketball Assn season. Bryant, who is struggling through the worst season of his illustrious career, said in a post that “I’m ready to let
[basketball] go.” He’s been plagues by injuries in recent seasons
 
Iowa & NH: GOP 2016ers Hunker Down (WaPo, me)
• Less than 10 weeks before Iowa’s caucuses and just weeks before the holidays pause the campaign season, many of the candidates in a field that still numbers more than a dozen are camping out in a couple of states as they try to build up their support and survive the winter – it’s getting down to the wire – and it’s still early
 
• Former Gov Mike Huckabee (Ark) is in Iowa today, gripping a cane after knee surgery. Gov Chris Christie (NJ) is at a town hall at the Loudon Fire Dept, NH – he got a big endorsement from New Hampshire Union Leader. Sen Marco Rubio (Fla) will be in nearby Laconia, NH, answering questions about ISIS
 
• After months of waiting for popular outsiders to implode, numerous GOP strategists no longer expect them to do so. Instead, opponents are angling to position themselves for what could become a protracted fight. Looming is 15 Dec’s CNN debate in Las Vegas (everyone wants to make the main stage – kiddies table no longer cuts it)
 
• Huckabee is all about Iowa. Ben Carson, Sen Ted Cruz (Texas), Carly Fiorina and former Sen Rick Santorum (Pa) have followed suit in focusing on Iowa with faith-based pitches. The latest Iowa polls show Cruz surging as Carson dips (even with his Jordan refugees trip over the weekend – which was weird in itself – refugee camps “really quite nice:”)
 
• In New Hampshire, Christie pitches as a tough-talking former prosecutor, Rubio is a voice for the next generation, Former Gov Jeb Bush (Fla) is the seasoned reformer, Gov John Kasich (Ohio) is the one who spent nearly 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee. Sen Lindsey Graham (SC) is pushing muscular foreign policy (looming is Trump, the friendly racist)

 

• At an event in Boston Sunday, Hillary Clinton unveiled a $275 billion infrastructure proposal to fix highways, trains, airports, aging sewer systems and the country’s frayed electrical grid, flanked by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and in front of a cheering crowd of 800 construction trade union members and supporters (Politico)
 
Trump Scrambles: Blacks, Muslims (Politico, Reuters, Hill, NYT, me)
• After prematurely announcing the endorsement of 100 black pastors – prompting several to protest that they weren’t supporters – Donald Trump’s campaign abruptly cancelled a presser with the group scheduled for this afternoon at Trump Tower. The botched endorsement is an embarrassing setback for a campaign trying not to look racially divisive (pretty difficult)
 
• Sunday, Trump insisted he was “100% right” when he said he saw thousands of American Muslims in Jersey City, NJ, cheering the 9/11 attacks, even though fact checkers have debunked his (ridiculous, untrue) assertion. “I saw it. So many people saw it. “So, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.” (see NYT from last week – was Palestinians in West Bank)
 
• When NBC anchor Chuck Todd suggested the people Trump heard from are supporters and might want to agree with him, Trump interrupted to note the “huge Muslim population” New Jersey has. “I’ve had hundreds of people call in and tweet in on Twitter, saying that they saw it and I was 100% right.” (people of Twitter see Jesus in popsicles, too)
 
• “You’re running for president of the United States. Your words matter. Truthfulness matters,” said Todd. “Take it easy, Chuck. Just play it cool,” responded Trump. At one point, a frustrated Todd said, “But Mr Trump, this didn’t happen in New York. There were plenty of reports. And you’re feeding that stereotype.”
 
• Trump spoke over Todd, referring to unverified reports in WaPo of tailgate parties in New Jersey. “We’re looking for other articles. And we’re looking for other clips.” “And I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them, Chuck. But for some reason, they’re not that easy to come by.” (they wouldn’t be if they don’t exist, Donnie)

 

• Whoa! What’s up? Brits aren’t bottling – they’re winning. Underdog Tyson Fury (6′ 9″) ends the reign of Vladimir Klitschko and becomes the new heavyweight champion of the wooooorld. Great Britain wins the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936 after Andy Murray beats Belgium’s David Goffin in straight sets (what a lob, Andy)

 

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