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 rails: “Disgusting” delegate rules
  • Sanders and Clinton: Fracking / guns
  • Navy officer faces spying charges
  • Zika: “Bit scarier” than thought
  • Zika: New health problems found
  • Colorado clinic shooter docs released
  • Goldman Sachs skates with civil deal: Mortgages
Trump Rails: “Disgusting” Delegate Rules   (Politico, Politico, me)
• At a mass rally in Albany, NY, on Monday, Republican front-runner Donald Trump repeatedly railed against the “crooked, crooked system” by which delegates to the Republican National Convention are chosen. “The system, folks, is rigged,” he said. “It’s a rigged, disgusting system.” (because he’s not winning any more and is being outmaneuvered by Ted Cruz)
 
• Trump, who has expressed his suspicion of caucuses after losing Iowa and then a series of other caucus states to Cruz, said, “Maybe we’ll clean up the system so that in future years we can have an honest contest.” He said he felt sympathy for Democrat Bernie Sanders. “Oh it’s rigged just like ours. It’s disgusting.”
 
• Trump went after Cruz’s disparagement of Trump’s “New York Values.” “Remember New York values when this character said with disdain and actually with hatred?” Trump said, before launching into a defense of New York. Then: “Take a look at the scorn on his face when he said it.”
 
• Getting back to Colorado’s system, which chooses delegates directly at conventions, without holding a presidential preference primary or caucus: “It’s a fix,” Trump declared. Saturday, Indiana selected a slate of delegates that will like vote against him. He won South Carolina, but Cruz is gobbling up delegates and Trump is being outmaneuvered in Louisiana, despite winning it
 
• Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus told conservative radio host Mike Gallagher on Monday that “that’s perfectly OK” for Colorado to have a convention system. He also said of the national convention: “There won’t be any games in Cleveland. If someone’s at 1,237, they’re going to be the presumptive nominee. No one can get talked out of it.”

 

• Despite whining against the GOP rules, Trump and two of his children didn’t take the time to study them in New York State because Ivanka and Eric didn’t register as Republicans by the deadline and so they can’t vote for their father in the primary next week. Oops. “They feel very, very guilty,” Trump said. They’ve both donated to Democrats in the past (me, Politico)

Sanders & Clinton Duel: Fracking/Guns (NYT, Politico, me)

• Bernie Sanders, campaigning across New York State on Monday, called for a nationwide ban on fracking and hammered Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for her record and stances on environmental issues. Hydraulic fracturing is a technique for oil and gas drilling that has led to an increase in U.S. energy production but also raised concerns about health and safety risks
 
• Sen Sanders (I-Vt) stressed that he and Clinton have “very strong differences of opinion” on the issue. “Sec Clinton and her State Dept worked to export fracking throughout the world,” Sanders said. He added that Clinton used fracking to reward companies like Chevron, Halliburton and Exxon Mobil and that he, as president, would push to end fracking everywhere
 
• Sanders also said Clinton was late to opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline (she was) and that she doesn’t support legislation he introduced calling for a carbon tax to discourage the use of greenhouse-gas-emitting fossil fuels. He also pointed out that unlike Clinton, he opposes offshore drilling
 
• Meanwhile, Clinton hammered Sanders on his frequent invocation of his rural state of Vermont in defending his past gun votes. “Most of the guns that are used in crimes and violence and killings in New York come from out of state. And the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont,” Clinton said
 
• “So this is not, ‘Oh you know, I live in a rural state we don’t have these problems,'” Clinton continued at a gun violence panel in Port Washington NY. “This is, you know what? It’s easy to cross borders. Criminals, domestic abusers, traffickers, people who are dangerously mentally ill – they cross borders, too. And sometimes they do it to get the guns they use.” (good issue for her)

• Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, is arranging a meeting of about 20 of the GOP’s top financial bundlers, to be attended by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) at the Mandarin Hotel in Manhattan next week, according to the Observer – (but Ryan’s sooo not interested in being the nominee, right, if this is accurate)    (Observer, me)

 

Navy Officer Faces Spying Charges (WSJ, me)
• Military authorities are weighing charges of espionage, making false statements and failing to obey an order against U.S. Lt Cmdr Edward Lin, who was born in Taiwan and became a U.S. citizen after moving to American with his parents as a teenager, on suspicion that he passed secrets to foreign govts
 
• Lin also faces charges under a provision of U.S. military law prohibiting improper behavior in the armed forces, based on allegations that he hired a prostitute and committed adultery, according to the docs. Lin is assigned to the HQ of the U.S. Navy’s Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, which controls naval aircraft that gathers info and conduct surveillance – legal docs
 
• A redacted charge sheet reviewed by WSJ accuses him of communicating secret info related to national defense to a rep of a foreign govt twice and attempting to do so in three separate instances. – Taiwan and possibly China, according to officials. He had also scheduled a trip to China to meet with military officials there, according to a defense official
 
• Lin worked in signals intel with EP-3 aircraft that conduct reconnaissance missions and collect electronic info, according to USNI News, an online news outlet associated with the U.S. Naval Institute, which first reported the potential charges (signals intel would be a great place to be – if you were thin king of doing something iffy)
 
• “I always dreamt about coming to America, ‘the promised land,'” a 2008 Navy public affairs dispatch quoted Lin as saying. “I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland.” During the naturalization ceremony, Lin recounted the difficulties associated with moving to the U.S. and called on members of the military becoming citizens to safeguard the U.S.
 
 
• Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will take his cases for recruiting women for all combat jobs in the military to Camp Pendleton, Calif, today, where he will address about 300 leaders from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to “discuss his intent and expectations for gender integration” in a town hall setting. Could be a frosty reception. The Marines have been skeptical… (AP, me)
 
Zika: “Bit Scarier” Than Thought (Reuters, AP, Hill, me)
• Top health officials expressed heightened concern on Monday about the threat posed to the U.S. by the Zika virus, saying the mosquito that spreads it is now present in about 30 states and hundreds of thousands of infections could appear in Puerto Rico (I was at this WH briefing – they had no good scientific news to report)
 
• At a WH briefing, they stepped up pressure on the Republican-led Congress to pass approx. $1.9 billion in emergency funding for Zika preparedness that the Obama admin requested in February. “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said Dr Anne Schuchat of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
 
• The WH said last week in the absence of emergency funds it will redirect $589 million, mostly from money already provided by Congress to tackle the Ebola virus, to prepare for Zika before it begins to emerge in the continental U.S. as the weather warms (so Ebola, despite new outbreaks, becomes the ugly stepchild)
 
• Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said if Congress doesn’t provide emergency Zika funding, U.S. officials likely would be forced to redirect money currently dedicated for research into malaria, tuberculosis and a universal flu vaccine. “I don’t have what I need right now,” Fauci said (and can’t get where he needs to go, he added)

 

Zika: New Health Problems Found
• In addition to babies born with abnormally small heads, researchers have linked Zika to stillbirths, miscarriages, eye problems and other complications, with complications not only in the first trimester but throughout pregnancy. Brazilian researchers reported Sunday that Zika preferentially targets developing brain cells
 
• There’s also evidence that some adults occasionally may suffer serious effects from Zika. Not only possibly Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis. Sunday, a Brazilian research team reported two Zika patients with a brain inflammation that damages the coating of nerve cells in a way similar to multiple sclerosis (in other words – not only pregnant women anymore)
 
• Fauci said a first vaccine candidate is on target to enter initial clinical trials in September. He said they’ve screened 62 medications in quest for a treatment, and 15 show some degree of possible activity against Zika in lab tests
 
• Schuchat declined to forecast the number of Zika infections that could occur in the U.S. While she said she didn’t expect large outbreaks in the continental U.S., “we can’t assume we’re not going to have a big problem.”
 
• But Doug Andres, a spox for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis), said in response to the briefing that the WH is trying to “politicize” Zika. Any additional funding, he said, should come through the regular appropriations process, which means waiting until the fall (oh goodie, so let’s wait until the weather cools down, the mozzies are going away and we’ve been bitten…)

 

• Hundreds of protesters flocked to the U.S. Capitol Monday for a demonstration against the role of money in politics, prompting arrests of more than 400 by the Capitol police force. The demonstration was part of a series of Democracy Spring protests planned in DC this week by a coalition of groups, demanding changes to several voting laws (AP, me)
 
Colorado Clinic Shooter Docs Released (Reuters, AP, me)
• The man accused of fatally shooting three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic last year said he hoped that when he died fetuses in heaven would thank him for stopping more abortions, court docs showed on Monday. Robert Lewis Dear, 57, made the comments to police after he surrendered following a shooting rampage last November
 
• Dear is charged with first degree murder and attempted murder. Among those killed were a young mother, a U.S. Army veteran and a police officer from a nearby university who responded to the scene. El Paso County District Court Judge Gilbert Martinez agreed to unseal arrest and search warrant affidavits in the case – after first saying media have no First Amendment rights to them (?)
 
• Dear also told police that he was upset with Planned Parenthood for performing abortions and “the selling of body parts,” according to the docs. He said he admired Paul Hill, an anti-abortion extremist executed in Florida in 2003 for the 1994 murder of an abortion provider, police said (at the time, people warned that Hill would be turned into a martyr if he was executed)
 
• Dear ambushed several responding police officers, and was wearing a homemade ballistic vest comprised of silver coins and duct tape, police said. In outbursts at earlier hearings and in media interviews, Dear called himself “a warrior for the babies,” claiming he was guilty and that there would be no trial. He also said he wanted to defend himself
 
• Martinez ordered the South Carolina native to undergo a competency exam at the state mental hospital to determine if he was fit to act as his own lawyer. The court appointed evaluation deemed him incompetent, his lawyers said in court filings. Martinez will rule whether Dear is competent sometime after a 28 April hearing on the issue
 
• The ex-lawyer of DC Madam Deborah Jane Palfrey on Monday released some of the names that called her escort service between 2000 and 2006. No individuals. Included: FBI, IRS, Archdiocese of Washington, National Drug Intel Center, Dept of State, Coast Guard, Dept of Commerce, Dept of Health and Human Services, Embassy of Japan (WTOP – more names in story…)
 
 

Goldman Sachs Skates With Civil Deal: Mortgages (AP, Hill, Hill, me)

• The Justice Dept on Monday announced a $5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs over the sale of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. The deal resolves state and federal probes into the sale of shoddy mortgages before the housing bubble and subsequent economic meltdown
 

• The settlement requires the bank to pay a $2.4 billion civil penalty and an additional $1.8 billion in relief to underwater homeowners and distressed borrowers (hmm pity it’s not homeowners getting $2.4 billion and civil penalty $1.8 billion – shafted again) along with $875 million in other claims
 

• The govt noted that the civil settlement doesn’t rule out potential criminal charges in the future, nor does the deal provide immunity to anyone from future criminal charges. Goldman also agreed to cooperate fully with any potential future probes as part of the settlement. (when? who? anyone?)
 

• The poor quality of the loans led to huge losses for investors and a slew of foreclosures, kicking off the recession that began in late 2007. Democratic 2016er Bernie Sanders told supporters in New York Monday, “what they have just acknowledged to the whole world is that their system … is based on fraud.”
 

• The bank admitted that it didn’t share with investors troubling info that it had received about the business practices of some loan originators, and that it falsely told investors that the loans had been checked to ensure that they met quality standards (falsely told = lie, when you’re 6-years-old)

Watch British Labour MP Dennis Skinner get kicked out of the House of Commons Monday by Speaker John Bercow for the rest of the day. Skinner called Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron “Dodgy Dave” over Cameron’s alleged connection to the Panama Papers scandal. Skinner repeated the forbidden “dodgy” word – and refused to withdraw it. He’s 84

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Victoria Jones – Editor