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

  • Step right up! It’s Trumpalooza time
  • Trump: Third party run? Maybe…
  • Rivals jab in testy GOP debate
  • Fiorina shines at kiddies table debate
  • Democrats will have debates, too
  • Schumer opposes Iran nuclear deal
  • Obama: Iran deal vote “squeaks by”
  • July jobs report: 5 things to watch
  • Obama: 50 years of Voting Rights Act
  • Ferguson: One year on Sunday
  • Russian hackers attack the Pentagon
  • Bye bye Daily Show

Step Right Up! It’s Trumpalooza Time (NYT, WSJ, me)

• Donald Trump was outrageous. He was demeaning. He was even menacing, warning moderator Megyn Kelly that he could turn on her at any moment. From the opening moments of the evening, when he flashed a wry grin and a mischievous victory sign at the crowd, Trump remained his irrepressible self: aggrandizing, unapologetic and cutting (and appalling)
• “I don’t think you heard me,” he scowled at Sen Rand Paul (R-Ky), when the lawmaker – who uses hearing aides – sought to interrupt him, then added, condescendingly, “You’re having a hard time tonight.” Over and over, in moments that were as startling as they were comedic, he openly flouted the rules of political decorum
• At one point, Trump bragged about his donations to leading Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, “I said, ‘Be at my wedding.’ And she came to my wedding,” Trump declared. “You know why? She didn’t have a choice because I gave.”

• At another moment, he boasted about making a “lot of money” before abandoning his casino business in a struggling Atlantic City as a dumbfounded Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ), who has sought to revive the seaside town, looked on. “Chris can tell you,” Trump said

• Here are all Donald Trump’s insults to women that Megyn Kelly asked about (Vox)


Trump: Third-Party Run? Maybe…
• He severely tested the audience when, at the start of the debate, he blithely refused to rule out a third-party run that could doom the GOP nominee. In an unfamiliar experience for a candidate accustomed to adoring crowds, the arena erupted into jeers. “I have to respect the person,” Trump said, suggesting that he likely wouldn’t do that at all…
• Paul courted danger by directly confronting Trump, seizing on Trump’s past support for Democrats. “He buys and sells politicians of all stripes,” Paul said with disdain. Trump’s reply? “I’ve given plenty of money to him,” referring to Paul. That claim isn’t supported by federal records
• Trump’s preparations were virtually nonexistent. As his fellow WH contenders studied for the debate, he blithely announced that such labors were unnecessary. And he arrived in Cleveland oddly late in the day, aboard his Boeing 757
• When Kelly pressed Trump on his unflattering descriptions of women, “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” – “only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump quipped (wild applause) – Trump grew impatient and finally intimidating. “Honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me.”
• Trump received about three times as many opportunities to speak as some of his rivals. Whenever the crowd or moderators signaled disapproval, a pursed-lipped frown came over his face and he seemed genuinely wounded. “I don’t think they like me very much,” he said (he’s emotionally about six, I think)
Rivals Jab in Testy GOP Debate (NYT, NYT, WaPo, WSJ, TRNS, me)
• Shedding any pretense of civility and party unity, Donald Trump overwhelmed the first Republican presidential debate on Thursday night by ripping into his rivals and the three moderators alike, but also drew fire from Jeb Bush and others who are seeking to stop his breathtaking surge (g’luck with that right now)
• Trump displayed his trademark pugnacity from the start with a bravura moment: refusing to rule out a third-party run for the presidency if he doesn’t win the party’s nomination. Facing loud boos from the audience in a Cleveland sports arena, he held up his hand in defiance as several other Republicans looked flabbergasted, “I have to respect the person.”
• Gov John Kasich (Ohio) fluidly described his fiscal leadership in the state and spoke bigheartedly about the mentally ill and the poor. Sen Marco Rubio (Fla) showed a command of policy and an eagerness for the fight with Democrats
• Others struggled to grab attention. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen Ted Cruz (Texas) both effectively delivered well-honed talking points and one-liners, but didn’t leave dramatically new impressions. Gov Scott Walker (Wis) appeared fluent on policy and emerged untouched by rivals
• Naughty Naughty: WaPo’s fact checker – 20 suspicious claims from the candidates during the prime-time debate
• The Republican gathering was unpredictable and often rambunctious. Trump repeatedly made the most of his center-stage position. “Our politicians are stupid,” he said, while dismissing President George W. Bush’s tenure as “a catastrophe.”
• Bush said, “We’re not going to win by doing what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do each and every day: dividing the country, saying, creating a grievance kind of environment. We’re going to win when we unite people with a hopeful, optimistic message.”
• Trump shot back: “When you have people that are cutting Christians’ heads off, when you have a world at the border and at so many places that it’s medieval times, we don’t have time for tone – we have to go out and get the job done.” Trump offered few substantive details about his plans for the country (because he doesn’t have any)
• Megyn Kelly cited Trump’s negative comments about some women, whom he’s called “fat pigs” and “slobs,” before Trump cut her off. “Only Rosie O’Donnell,” he said, looking for a laugh. More back and forth. Then: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness.” (then he whined about Kelly)
• Donald Trump was up late tonight! He sent out a tweet at 2.31 am EDT this morning saying that Megyn Kelly is “totally overrated and angry. She really bombed tonite.” (translation from Trump-speak: She nailed the bastard – she was professional and unintimidated)
• After Paul said he only wanted to seek the phone records of terrorists, not average citizens, Gov Chris Christie (NJ) called that “a completely ridiculous answer” – and then went further. “When you’re sitting in a subcommittee, just blowing hot air about this, you can say things like that,” Christie fumed
• Paul shouted that Christie misunderstood the Bill of Rights. “I don’t trust President Obama with our records,” then went in for the kill: “I know you gave him a big hug. If you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead”
• Boos and cheers from the audience quickly enveloped the exchange on stage. Christie, seemingly ready for the attack, shot back that the hugs he recalled were with “the families who lost their people on Sept 11.”
• Kasich struck one of the (rare) empathetic notes when asked what he’d say to one of his daughters if she came out as gay, given that he opposes same-sex marriage. “I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because someone doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or can’t love them,” cheers from crowd


• Hillary Clinton sent out a fundraising email last night, boasting: “Right this minute, ten Republican men are on national TV, arguing over which one will do the best job of dragging our country backwards. I’m not watching and I don’t need to be.” Then she asked for $250 or more. She should have watched. Sun Tzu said know your enemy
Fiorina Shines at Kiddies Table Debate (TRNS, TRNS, WSJ, NYT, me)
• Republican presidential contenders who weren’t invited to a prime-time debate took muscular positions against  illegal immigration, ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal, abortion and the Clintons in the first debate of the 2016 WH race
• Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who delivered polished answers, likely did the most good for her long-shot campaign. “I am a conservative because I believe no one of us is better than any other one of us. Progressives don’t believe that. They believe some are smarter than others, some are better than others, so some are going to need to take care of others.”
• Fiorina delivered the sharpest blow against Donald Trump. “Did any of you get a call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t,” she said. “Since he
[Trump] has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion, I would just ask what are the principles by which he would govern?” Fiorina said
• Former Gov Rick Perry, the last candidate bumped from the prime time stage, said, “How can you run for the Republican nomination and be for single-payer health care? I ask that with all due respect.”
• Who said it? Match the GOP candidate to the outrageous quotation in this QUIZ! (smug smug – I got them all right) (Slate)
• The Fox News moderators, Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum, pressed each of the candidates on why they’re campaigning given their low status in the polls. “You know, we didn’t start out four years ago at the top of the heap,” said former Sen Rick Santorum (Pa). “We were behind where we were today.” He eventually placed second to Mitt Romney in 2012
• Gov Bobby Jindal (La) said, “Jeb Bush says we’ve got to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general. Let me translate that for you: That’s the establishment telling us to hide our conservative principles to get the left and the media to like us. That never works.”
• Sen Lindsey Graham (SC) said, “If you’re running for president of the U.S. and you don’t understand that we need more American ground forces in Iraq and that America has to be part of a regional ground force that will go into Syria and destroy ISIL in Syria, then you’re not ready to be commander in chief.”
• Former Gov George Pataki (NY) said he was “personally appalled” by abortion, but that it was fruitless to continue trying to overrule the Supreme Court’s decision to allow it under certain circumstances. Former Gov Jim Gilmore (Va) proposed there be “a Middle East NATO so that we can combine out allies there.”
Democrats Have Debates, Too (Politico, Hill, TRNS, me)
• Democrats have debates. A total of six are scheduled, with six different sponsors: 13 October in Nevada; 14 November in Des Moines Iowa; 19 December in Manchester NH; 17 January in Charleston SC; and two scheduled for either February or March in Miami Fla and Wisconsin. Some candidates are disappointed that only four are before the Iowa caucuses in February
• The six debates will “highlight the clear contrast between the values of the Democratic Party which is focused on strengthening the middle class versus Republicans who want to pursue out-of-touch and out-of-date policies,” DNC chair Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla) said in a statement
• VP Joe Biden’s chief of staff has been included on communications from the DNC about debate planning, but the Biden team has yet to chime in as Biden weighs his options (uh huh). To qualify for a debate, candidates must get at least 1% in three credible national polls within six weeks before the debate – Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley should be nervous
• Former Gov O’Malley (D-Md) ripped the schedule Thursday. “The schedule they have proposed does not give voters – nationally, and especially in early states – ample opportunity to hear from the Dem candidates for president. If anything, it seems geared toward limiting debate and facilitating a coronation, not promoting a robust debate and primary process.” (meow)
• Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) lamented, “I am disappointed, but not surprised, by the debate schedule announced by the DNC. At a time when many Americans are demoralized about politics and have given up on the political process, I think it’s imperative that we have as many debates as possible – certainly more than six.”

• Vid: Former CIA No. 3 Buzzy Krongard tells the BBC he’s comfortable saying they tortured people. “We were told by legal authorities that we could torture people. Now, you could say that’s wrong…” (BBC, Intercept)


Schumer Opposes Iran Nuclear Deal (NYT, Politico, WaPo, me)
• Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said in a lengthy statement Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program (huge blow to Obama admin)
• “Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Schumer said. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”
• Schumer had spent the last several weeks carrying a dog-eared copy of the agreement in his briefcase and meeting with Obama and officials like Wendy Sherman, the deal’s chief negotiator. With his decision, he paves the way for other Democrats on the fence to join Republicans in showing their disapproval
• As if on cue, Rep Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who was widely expected to oppose the deal, announced his opposition Thursday night. Schumer’s announcement comes as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) labors to build a firewall in the House in support of the deal
• Ultimately, Schumer wrote his statement on his decision alone in his Senate office with a pen and yellow legal pad. “To me, after 10 years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it,” he said
New satellite images released by the Institute for Science and International Security suggest officials may be trying to sanitize the Parchin site, where Iran is suspected of having conducted tests on materials related to a nuclear bomb, before international inspectors arrive (nuke materials leave traces for years) (Hill, me)
Obama: Iran Deal Vote “Squeaks By” (AP, Hill, New Yorker, me)
• “Everything in this Congress squeaks by,” President Obama told reporters Wednesday after his Iran nuclear deal speech at American University. “If I presented a cure for cancer, getting legislation passed to move that forward would be a nail-biter.” (Now that Sen Chuck Schumer has come out against the deal, that nail-biter may be a finger-chomper)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) ripped into Obama Thursday. The president so far “is treating this like a political campaign,” McConnell told reporters. “Demonize your opponents, gin up the base, get Democrats all angry and, you know, rally around the president. To me, it’s a different kind of issue.” Obama should “tone down the rhetoric.”
• “It’s those hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal,” Obama said of Tehran demonstrators during his speech Wednesday. “They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” Yet in recent weeks, Republicans have themselves ramped up the rhetoric to criticize Obama over the deal
• Presidential hopeful Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the pact would make the Obama admin “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism” because lifting the sanctions would restore money to Iran that it could use to support terrorist groups it sponsors
• Another GOP contender, former Gov Mike Huckabee (Ark) said Obama is marching Jews “to the doors of the oven.” Wednesday, Sen John McCain (R-Ariz) said of Obama, “He’s carrying on in the finest traditions of Neville Chamberlain,” the British PM best known for unsuccessfully trying to appease Adolf Hitler before WWII


July Jobs Report: 5 Things to Watch (WSJ, me)
• Out today. Economists surveyed estimate 215,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.3%. Some further improvement? Federal Reserve officials said last month they’re looking for “some further improvement in the labor market” before the first interest rate hike since 2006. July’s payroll numbers will offer one key set of data points
Unemployed or underemployed: One of the Fed’s favorite gauges is the unemployment rate, which peaked at 10% in Oct 2009 and has fallen to 5.3%. That’s close to the Fed’s estimate of full employment – 5% to 5.2%, and a sign the labor market is tightening. But people who have stopped looking for work and part-timers is still above prerecession levels
Wage woes: The employment cost index, out last month, showed labor costs rose at the slowest pace in the last three decades in the spring. In June, average hourly earnings were flat and another weak reading today will suggest there’s still slack in the labor market and little inflation pressure from rising pay
Showing up or dropping out: Pay may be stagnant because there’s still a ready pool of labor on the sidelines. Labor-force participation rate in June fell to 62.6%, its lowest level since 1977. Plus, there’s a meaningful chunk of the labor force that’s working part time but would prefer a full time job, another ready source for employers

An average year: So far this year, growth in nonfarm payrolls has averaged 208,000 a month. That’s pretty OK, though significantly below 2014’s 260,000 monthly average. Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpoint Securities, says a figure in the low 200,000s is “more than enough to take up slack in the labor market.”

Vid: Final Daily Show: Jon’s targets strike back, including Chris Christie, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton and many more (Comedy Central)
Obama: 50 Years of Voting Rights Act (WaPo, AP, TRNS, me)
• Marking the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, President Obama remembered the African-American men and women across the South who won their rights through persistence and courage, “thousands, many of them unnamed, who were courageous enough to walk up and try to register time and time again.”
Obama appeared at a WH event alongside Rep John Lewis (D-Ga), who was among the civil rights protesters who marched with the Rev Martin Luther King Jr in Selma Ala in 1965. Police beatings of those protesters aired on the nightly news shows stirred outrage that helped President Lyndon Johnson push the Voting Rights Act through Congress
• Obama said the right of all to vote is accepted now, “in the abstract, at least,” but has been eroded by voter ID laws, which, no matter how reasonable they may sound, discriminated against the poor, elderly, students and working-class voters who often work odd shifts or travel by bus or are single parents
• Obama called on Congress to revise and strengthen the Voting Rights Act in response to a Supreme Court decision that struck down a major provision of the law as outdated. He declared 22 September National Voter Registration Day. “We’re going to try to get everybody to register to vote,” the president said
• Obama noted that it’s not voter suppression efforts that are primarily to blame for keeping Americans away from the polls. “The fact of the matter is that far more people disenfranchise themselves than any law does by not participating, by not getting involved. Huge chunks of us citizens give away our power.” he said
Ferguson: One Year on Sunday (Reuters, Time, me)
• Civil rights activists, religious leaders and others from around the U.S. are converging on the mostly black community of about 21,000 in Ferguson MO to commemorate the life and death of Michael Brown, 18, and call for improvements in relations with police
• The events, many organized by Brown’s father and his Chosen for Change foundation, include marches, concerts and a moment of silence at midday on Sunday on the street where Brown was killed on 9 Aug 2014. Organizers also said they have planned a day of “civil disobedience” on Monday that would presumably strike a somewhat more defiant tone
• Brown, who was black, died after being shot multiple times by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson after a confrontation with Wilson on a sunny Saturday afternoon as Brown and a friend walked through their neighborhood. The grand jury that reviewed the case found that Wilson had broken no laws – that decision provoked a second wave of rioting
• Brown’s death sparked months of sometimes violent protests both in Ferguson and around the U.S. following subsequent police killings of unarmed black men in several other cities. It also spurred the “Black Lives Matter” movement that’s cast a spotlight on long-troubled relations between police and minority residents of many U.S. cities
• Area law enforcement leaders say they also want a peaceful weekend and have been meeting with protest groups to discuss strategies to make sure that’s the case, said Ferguson city spox Jeff Small. The Ferguson police force of 50 will be fully staffed this weekend and will have the help of the much larger St Louis County police force, he said
• Vid: Final Daily Show: Three different kinds of bulls*it (Comedy Central)
Russian Hackers Attack the Pentagon (Hill, Daily Beast, me)
• Russian hackers are attacking the Pentagon’s Joint Staff unclassified email system by sending legitimate-looking emails that turned out to be malware or “spear-phishing” attempts, leaving around 4,000 DoD workers without email for nearly two weeks, a DoD spox confirmed (what are they using? pigeons? owls?)
• Officials said no classified or military networks were accessed. Officials believe Moscow may have orchestrated the “sophisticated cyberattack,” which infiltrated the system sometime about 25 July. The Pentagon’s cybersecurity team quickly shut down the network and has been working since to revamp and relaunch the network
• The digital intrusion may be tied to a Russian hacking group known as APT29. That team uses a tactic called Hammertoss that allows hackers to clandestinely communicate with malware that has already infected a computer system, allowing it to remain undetected, a “discipline and consistency” nearly unmatched by other top-notch hacking groups, security firm FireEye says
• An official said the methods used to crack the Pentagon’s network were something govt investigators hadn’t seen previously. SecDef Ash Carter revealed in April that Russian hackers had broken into the DoD’s unclassified networks for a brief moment
• Late last year, suspected Moscow-based hackers also got into both the State Dept and WH unclassified networks, accessing sensitive material such as President Obama’s personal schedule. Both agencies spent months trying to kick out the cyber invaders (are they actually gone?)

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___________________Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ Ellen Ratner, Justin Duckham, Anna Merod and William Hadden contributed to this report

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