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
  • Trump under fire for Muslim “plan”
  • Democrats’ scathing reax
  • Terror couple: Latest – plotted attack
  • Spending bill: No deal in sight – tick tick
  • Democrats push gun votes
  • SCOTUS: “One person one vote”
  • Dems slam Cruz’ climate “denier” hearing
 
Trump Under Fire for Muslim “Plan” (NYT, NYT, Politico, BBC, Politico, Hill, me)
• Donald Trump on Tuesday stood by his call to block all Muslims from entering the U.S. He cast it as a temporary move in response to terrorism and invoked President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s authorization of the detention of Japanese, German and Italian immigrants during World War II as precedent
 
• “I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to ISIS,” Trump claimed in an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters Tuesday night (best thing – just what they want in their apocalyptic vision of West vs Islam). “We have to do the right thing, somebody in this country has to say what’s right,” Trump maintained (not you, apparently)
 
• Fellow Republican 2016er Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is vying for much of the same base of support that Trump enjoys, (sort of) disavowed his proposal but pointedly declined to join in the scolding. “I commend Donald Trump for standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.” (equally as scary as Trump)
 
• Trump has increased his lead in New Hampshire’s GOP primary to 18 percentage points, a CNN/WMUR poll found Tuesday – nearly double his lead in September. Trump has 32% in the Granite State. Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla) has 14%, Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ) has 9%, former Gov Jeb Bush (R-Fla) has 8% and Gov John Kasich (R-Ohio) has 7%
 
Trump’s Nonsense Claims About London/Paris
• On MSNBC, Trump claimed on Tuesday – with no evidence whatsoever: “They have sections that are radicalized where the police refuse to go there. They’re petrified. The police refuse to go there. We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives.” (that is a lie or talking out of an orifice)
 
• There are no districts in Paris or outside Paris where the police have said they’re unwilling to go. Mayor Boris Johnson of London, a conservative, said that Trump’s claim about his city was “complete and utter nonsense.”
 
• A spox for London’s Metropolitan Police said: “We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong.” She issued an invitation to any presidential candidate to receive a briefing from the Met Police “on the reality of policing London.”
 
• That could be difficult for Trump. His detractors across the pond have started an online petition on an official govt website asking British officials to block Trump from visiting. The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The petition has already gained 25,000 more than 10,000 signatures, the minimum to get a formal response

 

• Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter (D) on Tuesday called Trump an “a**hole” and said that if he had the power he’d ban him from the city. Monday, Rick Kriseman, mayor of St Petersburg, Fla, tweeted: “I am hereby barring Donald Trump from entering St Petersburg until we fully understand the dangerous threat posed by all Trumps.” Later said he wouldn’t really do it (CNN)
 
WH: “Disqualifies” Himself from Presidency
• Trump said last week he plans to visit Israel and meet with PM Netanyahu in coming weeks. Tuesday, columnist Chemi Shalev of Haaretz wrote: “For some Jews, the sight of thousands of supporters waving their fists in anger as Trump incited against Muslims and urged a blanket ban…could have evoked associations with beer halls in Munich a century ago.”
 
• Trump on Tuesday denied an AP report that he planned to visit the Muslim majority country of Jordan while he was overseas

• In an unusual move, WH spox Josh Earnest waded into the GOP primary: “The fact is that what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president, and for Republican candidates for president to stand by their pledge to support Mr Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.” Earnest called Trump a “carnival barker.” (sounds right)


 
• On ABC, Trump clarified that his proposal wouldn’t apply to U.S. citizens. “If a person is a Muslim, goes overseas and comes back, they can come back. They’re a citizen. That’s different. But we have to figure things out.” (one of his typical vague phrases, with a “but” – but what? he just said citizens can come back. wink and nod to his followers. might not be so easy…)

 

Pentagon Warns: Bolsters ISIS Narrative
• Even the Pentagon spoke out. “Without wading into politics, anything that tries to bolster the ISIL narrative that the U.S. is somehow at war with Islam is contrary to our values and contrary to our national security,” Pentagon spox Peter Cook told reporters (think it would be helpful for them to spell out the apocalyptic vision that ISIS has. some people don’t know)
 
• Trump’s proposal on Monday came hours after a poll was released showing that Cruz had overtaken him for the lead in Iowa, and a day after President Obama gave a rare Oval Office address to discuss fears of terrorism after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino and warned against backlash against Muslims
 
• House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) tried to have it both ways. “This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for – and more importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.” “I’m gonna support whoever the Republican nominee is and I’m gonna stand up for what I believe in as I do that.” (could be a pretzel in that case?)
 
• Trump on Tuesday tweeted out a link to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll that found that 68% of his followers said they would stick with him should he run for the WH as an independent. That’s a nightmare scenario for the GOP, as many believe Trump would siphon of GOP votes and Hillary Clinton would “walk,” as VP Joe Biden said Tuesday
 
Democrats’ Scathing Reax (NYT, NYT, Bloomberg, NYT, me)
• “Is this guy doing ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ for himself?” VP Joe Biden asked, in an interview Tuesday. “Is this just a guy who’s an entertainer? It may have started there, but I now think now he wants to be president.” “But I don’t think there’s much chance of that. I believe he’s smart enough to know half of what he’s saying makes no sense.”
 
• Democratic 2016er Hillary Clinton slammed Republicans during a town hall in Salem, NH, on Tuesday. “Their language may be more veiled than Trump’s, but their ideas are not so different. They are all driving the same argument that jihadists are trying to advance – that we are at war not with barbarous jihadists but with an entire religion.”
 
• “What someone like Trump is trying to do is divide us up,” Democratic 2016er Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) said on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday. “A few months ago, we were supposed to hate Mexicans that he thinks are all criminals and rapists. Now, we’re supposed to hate Muslims. And that kind of crap is not going to work in the United States of America.” (will with some)

• Syrian rebels have begun evacuating the last area they hold in the city of Homs under a ceasefire deal reached with the govt, a monitoring group has said. The deal means the entire city returns to govt control. Those leaving are due to go to areas of Idlib province still in rebel hands (BBC)

 
Terror Couple: Plotted (Reuters, LAT, Fox News, CNN, NBC News, me)
• A married couple who killed 14 people in a California shooting rampage the FBI is investigating as an act of terrorism borrowed about $28,000 from online lender Prosper, a sum deposited into their bank account about two weeks before the attack, a source said Tuesday
 
• The killers began practicing with guns at a shooting range in Riverside, Calif, in 2014 and began making monetary savings for their child and the husband’s mother during the same period, NBC News said, citing two sources
 
• Investigators are looking into the possibility that Tashfeen Malik was “an operative,” A law enforcement official told Fox News authorities are certain Malik was radicalized before she came to the U.S., and are looking very closely at her family overseas as also being radicalized
 

• Investigators believe Syed Rizwan Farook may have plotted an attack three years earlier in California with someone else, two U.S. officials said. One U.S. official said the two conspired in 2012 and a specific target was considered. One official said they “got spooked” and decided not to go through with it after a round of terror-related arrests in the area
 

• The FBI has described U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his Pakistani-born wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, as a couple “radicalized” by Islamic extremist ideology. Authorities say the heavily armed couple opened fire on Farook’s co-workers from the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Dept during a holiday party. They died in a shootout with police

• The ISIS papers translated: 24-page doc outlines principles for governing territory under the group’s control and strategy for becoming a viable state – chilling and arresting (Guardian)

• U.S. govt officials said the FBI’s examination of the couple’s finances hasn’t linked them with any foreign group. Still, one govt source told Reuters that they apparently followed a pattern set by other militants who drained their bank accounts and exhausted credit lines before embarking on what they believed would be a suicide mission


 
• Fox News reported at least three $5,000 transfers were made in the days before the shooting, apparently to Farook’s mother. A booby-trap consisting of three pipe bombs rigged to a remote controlled device that failed to detonate was left by the killers at the scene of the attack, apparently intended to go off as police and emergency personnel arrived
 
• Enrique Marquez, a onetime friend of Farook who U.S. officials said had purchased the two assault rifles in the attacks, was questioned by investigators on Tuesday, according to a law enforcement official. He had checked himself into a mental institution shortly after the shooting. Federal agents raided his home over the weekend
 
• Investigators have been trying to determine whether Farook was influenced by Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, a former Minneapolis resident known as “Mujahid Miski” who has served as a recruiter for ISIS. He surrendered to authorities in Somalia on Monday. U.S. officials are discussing his case with Somali govt leaders. There’s no extradition treaty
 
• Malik, who may have spent a good portion of her life in Saudi Arabia, is believed by investigators to have pledged allegiance on Facebook to the leader of ISIS just before the killings. There are reports that Farook did, too

 

• Fox Business Network will host another GOP presidential debate on 14 January, two days after President Obama’s State of the Union address. The debate, in North Charleston, SC, will come between two other debates: 15 Dec (CNN in Las Vegas) and 28 Jan (Fox News in Iowa) (NYT)
 
Spending Bill: No Deal In Sight – Tick Tick (Politico, Hill, me)
• The House looks likely to vote Friday on a short-term govt funding measure to avoid a shutdown, giving Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) more time to negotiate over policy riders, including how to address Syrian refugees seeking to come to the U.S. The govt runs out of funding this Friday, the 11th
 
• Internal GOP rifts are beginning to surface. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) want to wrap up a yearlong spending bill now, but the conservative House Freedom Caucus (who else?) wants to include language that would increase security screening for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and has floated pushing the spending fight into next year
 
• House Republicans also want to add language that would tighten controls on visa free travel in the U.S. That proposal was adopted by the House by an overwhelming bipartisan vote on Tuesday, but the GOP will likely push for it to be included in the spending bill
 
• House Democrats have their own concerns. A high-profile tax extenders package is hung up amid partisan bickering over the cost and scope of provisions to middle class families, which Democrats want to expand. Republican tax-writers want to ensure that there’s not what they say is fraud or abuse in the programs and are insisting on more “program integrity” checks
 
• Ryan said Tuesday a CR would buy Congress a “handful of days.” Democratic whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md) said, “I want to know what a handful means. One person’s handful – we all have 10 fingers and the 18th is about 10 days from here. So if that’s a handful, I think that’s not a problem. Longer than that, I think, is a problem.” A possible WH veto hovers in the background
 

• Watch: This is really kind of riveting. Seattle police have released dashcam video showing a carjacker speeding the wrong way up a one-way street, firing out the window at pursuing officers and finally spinning out his stolen sports car as about a dozen police shoot and kill him (no body shown)

 

Democrats Push Gun Votes (AP, Politico, me)

• Democrats took to the floors of the House and Senate Tuesday – prob today, too – to draw attention to their drive to prevent suspected violent extremists from getting guns. #fail. They believe the issue has gained potency from last week’s shooting massacre in California by a “radicalized” Muslim couple
 

• Facing certain defeat, Democrats unsuccessfully tried forcing votes on legislation that would let the govt prohibit firearms sales to people suspected of terror acts. (some of the confusion is around the difference between the no fly list and the terrorism watch list – which Republicans and Democrats conflate. No fly list is much, much smaller and the one Obama refers to)
 

• Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called it “absolute insanity” that suspected violent extremists are not already among the categories of people barred from buying guns from gun dealers. Without naming them, he blamed the NRA. “We can’t let a small group, an influential, powerful lobbying group, make Americans less safe,” Schumer said
 

• The No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn (Texas) blocked debate on the legislation, which is sponsored by Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif). He offered his own plan giving the govt 72 hours to delay gun sales to those suspected of terror acts and persuade a judge to block that sale and let the govt immediately arrest the suspect. Democrats blocked that
 

• In the House, Democrats led by Rep Mike Thompson (D-Calif) forced a series of procedural votes to protect GOP leaders’ refusal to allow debate on legislation by Rep Peter King (R-NY) that’s similar to Feinstein’s. Rep Scott Perry (R-Pa) drew boos and catcalls from Dems when he railed against the “fool’s errand” of their push for a gun control vote

• SCOTUS: “One Person One Vote” (NYT, Reuters, me)
• A closely divided Supreme Court on Tuesday struggled to decide “what kind of democracy people want.” as Justice Stephen Breyer put it during an argument over the meaning of the constitutional principle of “one person one vote.”

• The case basic question in the case, Evenwel v. Abbott, is who must be counted in drawing voting districts: all residents or just eligible voters? The court’s decision, expected in June, has the potential to shift political power from urban areas to rural ones – big boost to Republican voters in many parts of the nation (and the point of bringing the suit by the challengers)

• The difference between all residents or eligible voters matters, because people who aren’t eligible to vote – children, immigrants here legally who aren’t citizens, unauthorized immigrants, felons, prisoners – aren’t spread evenly across the country. With the exception of prisoners, they tend to be concentrated in urban areas

&&&

• Their presence amplifies the voting power of people eligible to vote in urban areas, usually helping Democrats. Rural areas that lean Republican, by contrast, usually have higher percentages of residents eligible to vote. The Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on who must be counted (human beings?)

• Chief Justice John Roberts seemed attracted to counting only voters. “It is called ‘one person one vote,” he said. “That does seem designed to protect voters.” But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, “There’s a voting interest, but there is also a representational interest.”

• Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed to be looking for a middle ground. “You should at least give some consideration to the disparity you have among voters” in different voting districts, he said

• The “one person one vote” principle, rooted in cases from the 1960s that revolutionized democratic representation in the U.S., applies to the entire American political system aside from the Senate, where voter from states with small populations have vastly more voting power than large ones. Everywhere else, voting districts must have very close to the same populations

 

Dems Slam Cruz’ Climate “Denier” Hearing (Hill, Hill, Hill, me)
• “The only thing that requires a thorough scientific investigation is why Sen
[Ted] Cruz (R-Texas) is having a hearing on climate science,” Sen Ed Markey (D-Mass) said during a presser before Cruz’s hearing. “The last group of deniers are the Republican Congress. The last sub-cult of deniers are the Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee,” Markey snarked
 
• Republicans on Tuesday called three witnesses whom Democrats deem climate science “deniers.” Sen Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said, “Just as America finally reclaimed the moral and political high ground when it comes to climate, moving into the COP21 Paris climate talks, Ted Cruz is attempting to undermine America’s leadership on this issue.”
 
• In the hearing, Cruz, a 2016er and chair of a Commerce subpanel, repeatedly referred to satellite data that showed a long pause in global warming, data that recent studies have debunked. “According to the satellite data, there has been no significant global warming for the past 18 years. Those are the data. Global warming alarmists don’t like these data,” Cruz said
 
• Sen Bill Nelson (D-Fla), ranking member on the Commerce Committee, said, “Miami Beach is basically ground zero in the U.S. for what we are seeing as a consequence of global warming, and that is, sea-level rise. Some of us, representing our constituents, have to deal with the realities of what we see.”
 
• Meanwhile, President Obama has talked about climate change with at least three world leaders in the last four days while international negotiators in Paris hash out a final deal. Securing a deal is a top priority for Obama. The UN conference is scheduled to end on Friday

• Top 10 girls’ baby names for 2015 1-10: 1: Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Ava, Mia, Isabella, Zoe, Lily, Emily, Madison (Victoria will make a comeback – matter of time – you’ll see). Top 10 boys’ baby names for 2015 1-10: 1: Jackson, Aiden, Liam, Lucas, Noah, Mason, Ethan, Caden, Logan, Jacob (BabyCenter, me)

___________________
Victoria Jones – Editor

 
 

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