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

  • Obama: Terrorism fears
  • Cruz “bit of a maniac”
  • Spending bill: Ryan & Pelosi
  • “Historic” climate deal: GOP slams
  • Man killed by deputies had gun: Officials
  • Planned Parenthood sues Ohio
Obama: Terrorism Fears (AP, NYT, Reuters, me)
• With fears of terrorism hanging over America’s holiday season, President Obama visits the Pentagon today for a rare meeting outside the WH with his National Security Council. He will then make a statement about the fight against ISIS. Thursday, he visits the National Counterterrorism Center, which analyzes intel – (hope he says why he doing what he’s doing – missing piece)
• Obama’s visits are part of a push to further explain his terrorism-fighting strategy, WH officials said, after a prime-time Oval Office last Sunday that critics said fell flat (it did). Another goal is to draw a contrast with GOP 2016er Donald Trump and his inflammatory remarks about Muslims – Obama has a conference call scheduled today with religious leaders
• Thousands of shoppers were evacuated from malls in at least three states on Saturday by bomb threats or scares on one of the busiest days of the year for holiday shopping: an outlet mall near Tampa, Fla; a mall in Hackensack, NJ; and a mall in Farmington, NM – no bombs were found
• Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, passed three background checks by American immigration officials as she moved to the U.S. from Pakistan. None uncovered that she said openly on social media that she supported violent jihad and wanted to be a part of it. U.S. law enforcement officials said they recently found postings

• A masked man yelling, “This is Daesh

[ISIS]! This is a warning!” stabbed a French kindergarten teacher in the throat today with a box cutter object in a Paris suburb, authorities said. The teacher is hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries and was in class when the man attacked. No students were in the class. The man fled the scene (al Jazeera)
Cruz: “Bit of a Maniac” (Reuters, WaPo, WaPo, WSJ, me)
• “I don’t think he is qualified to be president,” GOP 2016er Donald Trump said of opponent Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Fox News Sunday. “I don’t think he’s got the right judgment. When you look at the way he has dealt with the Senate, where he goes on there like a, you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac – you are never going to get things done that way.”
• Trump also criticized Cruz for talking behind his back at a private fundraiser last week. Cruz had questioned Trump’s “judgment” and “strength.” Cruz rose to 31%, above Trump’s 21% in the influential Des Moines Register/Bloomberg News Iowa poll released Saturday. That’s a 21-point jump from Oct. Ben Carson dropped to third with 13% (Trump now taking Cruz seriously)
• WaPo reports that a WaPo/ABC News November poll showed 69% of “very” conservative voters had a favorable opinion of Cruz, while just 21% regarded him in an unfavorable light – that’s huge. Also, Cruz has raised $65 million – the second-most money in the Republican race. Sunday pm, Cruz tweeted a link to “Maniac” from Flashdance, in answer to Trump

• Hillary Clinton would cruise to a 10-point win over Trump, 50 to 40%, with the help of independent and Hispanic voters, according to an NBC News/WSJ poll out today. She would also beat Cruz by 3 points. But she would lose to Marco Rubio by 3 points and Ben Carson by 1 point in head-to-head matchups

• CNN’s GOP 2016 debate Las Vegas Tuesday 15th: 8:30 pm ET: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Rand Paul / 6:00 pm ET: Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki / Moderator: Wolf Blitzer, plus CNN’s Dana Bash and Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt (CNN)
Spending Bill: Ryan & Pelosi – Dinner (Politico, Politico, Hill, me)
• The House Friday approved by voice vote a five-day stopgap omnibus spending bill that keep the govt open through Wed, allowing party leaders and the WH more time to reach a deal on the spending package and a companion package of mostly business-focused tax breaks – (if they don’t keep fooling around with riders)
• The House and Senate are expected to vote on both measures this week, but it’s all a bit fluid. Even if the House passes the omnibus Wed, the Senate may need more time. And unless all senators cooperate to move the omnibus package quickly, the measure could be bogged down in procedural hurdles for as much as a week (war on senators’ Christmas)
•  Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) on Friday morning. During the call, she asked if he’d be open to lifting a ban on govt-funded research into gun violence (um no). Call was described as “productive.” The two leaders later had dinner in Ryan’s office. They spent most of the time over steak and fries getting to know each other
• Republicans have been working with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) to end a prohibition on U.S. oil exports. In return, GOP leaders would drop environmental riders that have angered Democrats. Aides expect Democrats to supply the majority of votes for the omnibus bill (you mean they can’t get their own party behind it?)

• Watch “President George W. Bush,” who already served two terms and who seems to be in utter despair at the GOP hopefuls, declare for the presidency in 2016 (Will Ferrell cold open – SNL)

“Historic” Climate Deal: GOP Slams (BBC, Politico, AP, me)
• The “historic” climate deal reached in Paris is “the best chance we have to save the one planet we have,” President Obama said on Saturday. He said it could be a “turning point” towards a low-carbon future. China, the world’s biggest polluter, hailed the deal, as did India. But some campaigners said it didn’t go far enough to protect the planet
• Nearly 200 countries took part in tense negotiations in Paris over two weeks, striking the first deal to commit all nations to cut emissions. The deal delivers a major victory to Obama, who has made the issue a core priority of his presidency. He hailed “American leadership.” (for domestic consumption – delegates from all the countries did the work)
• The agreement will come into being in 2020. Some aspects of the deal are legally binding, such as the obligation on individual countries to set an emissions reduction target and the regular review of that goal. However, the targets themselves will not be legally binding under the Paris deal. Delegates greeted the deal with raucous applause, hugs and tears
• Measures include: To peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century. To keep global temp increase “well below” 2C (3.6F) and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C. $100bn a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020 – commitment to further in future
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said Obama should remember the deal “is subject to being shredded in 13 months.” Sen Jim Inhofe (R-Okla), the Senate’s leading climate skeptic, blasted the agreement, saying the U.S. isn’t legally bound to it without approval by Congress, and that he planned to bring members of the admin before his committee (a fun outing)
• Final vote on the climate deal was delayed – a typo? Reps of the U.S. reportedly objected to the word “shall” – “Developed country parties shall continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets.” U.S. wanted – and got – “should.” U.S. may have feared they would have to have taken more steps than China – considered “developing” (Hill)


Man Killed By Deputies Brandished Gun: Officials (NYT, AP, LAT, me)
• A black man who was killed by Hispanic deputies in a hail of 33 bullets in front of a gas station in Lynwood, Calif, was brandishing a gun at officers and passers-by, and he apparently fired it into the air at least six times during the encounter, the police said Sunday
• Nicholas Robertson, 28, was seen carrying a gun during the entire encounter on Saturday, the police said, displaying photographs and videos in which the gun was clearly visible in the suspect’s hand. They said he had been acting erratically and had ignored instructions of deputies from the LA County Sheriff’s Dept to drop his weapon
The video shows the shots being fired in two bursts, continuing after the suspect had fallen and was crawling on the ground. “When he collapsed, his arms were underneath him, and the gun was still in his hand.” homicide Capt Steven Katz said (at that point, did they have to kill him? – it will be found justified)
• Nekesha Robertson said her mother-in-law had called her shortly before the shooting to say her husband was under the influence of alcohol. Passers-by railed against the police. Tyree Boyd-Pates, 26, came from Compton to protest. “This doesn’t feel like policing. It feels like an occupation.”


• Egypt’s chief investigator says today that a preliminary investigation into the October crash of a Russian passenger plane in Sinai has found no indication yet of any “illegal or terrorist act.” The vaguely worded statement implied this isn’t the final conclusion of the investigators (AP)
Planned Parenthood Sues Ohio: Fetal Tissue (CNN, AP, me)
• Attorneys for Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Sunday in federal court claiming that Ohio politicians are attempting to ban abortion. The suit comes after Ohio AG Mike DeWine said Friday a probe by his office revealed that PP – or the biomedical company working with the health organization – dispose of aborted fetal parts in landfills
• PP officials called the claims “bogus” and said it uses the same practices as hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities. The organization is seeking a preliminary injunction that would block DeWine and Ohio health officials from interfering with its services
• DeWine also said Friday his office’s investigation didn’t turn up any evidence that the women’s health organization is selling fetal tissue, an allegation that was the subject of a heated political debate in recent months after heavily edited undercover videos attacking the organization were circulated (this is key – they found nothing – so they’re inventing something)
• DeWine plans to seek an injunction today to prevent PP from disposing of fetal remains in landfills. PP has asked the court to block the state from taking any sort of action and allow it to work with the health dept. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Ohio House plan a presser today to announce legislation


• Want a holiday tune sung to you – for free? Until 11.59 pm on 16 December, students in Snyder Hall at the University of Illinois are hosting Dial-a-Carol – and have done since 1960. Call them, ask for anything – your fave (Fairytale of New York, please) – they may not always be in tune, but they’re ready and willing – (217) 332-1882 – it’s for real (WaPo, me)

Victoria Jones – Editor