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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.

 

Primary Day in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island

Quick News

  • Cruz-Kasich: Broken bromance?
  • Kasich: Me? Not Desperate. You?
  • Sanders campaign: To the convention!
  • Obama: 250 new US troops to Syria
  • NC transgender law battle: 50+ arrests
  • Tamir Rice: $6m Cleveland settlement
 

Cruz-Kasich Alliance: Broken Bromance? (NYT, Hill, Fox News, me)

• The temporary alliance between Sen Ted Cruz (R-Ohio) (cedes Oregon, New Mexico to Kasich) and Gov John Kasich (R-Ohio) (cedes Indiana to Cruz), formed to deny Donald Trump the Republican presidential nomination, was already in danger of fraying to the point of irrelevance on Monday, only hours after it was announced to great fanfare
 

• Voters in Indiana, Kasich said, “ought to vote for me” even if he wouldn’t be campaigning there. He was still slated to visit Indianapolis today for a fund-raiser and meetings with Republicans. Cruz’s campaign privately advised supporters not to endorse tactical voting, whereby his supporters might switch their allegiance to Kasich in stronger states for the governor (pathetic)
 

• Republicans believe Trump must be stopped in Indiana on 3 May if they’re to deny him the nomination. For months, rivals of Trump have claimed that he has succeeded only because the anti-Trump vote has been spread among so many alternative candidates. But Trump won nearly 60% of the vote in New York last week and captured nearly all the delegates. No more excuses

• “Listen, I don’t doubt that Donald Trump is going to scream and yell and curse and insult and probably cry and whine some as well,” Cruz said of Trump’s complaints about collusion. “That has been Donald’s pattern.” Later, Cruz challenged Trump to two debates in Indianapolis this week and said Trump was afraid to debate in the heartland

 

Kasich: Me? Not Desperate. You?

• Monday, Kasich quickly grew agitated at the suggestion that the deal was one of desperation: “Me? No, I’m not desperate – are you?” he demanded of a reporter. Cruz denied the effort to stop Trump was subverting the will of the people. “This is entirely about the will of the people,” he said. “This is about winning the votes of the Hoosier State.” (err better talk to Kasich)
 

• Trump appeared unbothered. “Kasich just announced that he wants the people of Indiana to vote for him,” he tweeted. “Typical politician – can’t make a deal work.” (it’s like feeding oil to a raging fire)

• Trump laid into Kasich and Cruz Monday. “I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion,” (gross Kasich pic) Trump said of Kasich. (gross Trump pic) Later, he called Kasich a “slob,” later a “spoiled brat.” Trump called Cruz a “basket case” and a “choker” under pressure (new Trump? same as old Trump – oh good times)
 

• Donald Trump will sit down for a prime-time Fox News special interview with Megyn Kelly airing 17 May, the network announced Monday. Trump skipped a debate Kelly co-hosted in January. (he’s referred to “blood coming out of her wherever,” called her “crazy,” “totally overrated,” a “lightweight reporter,” and said “everybody should boycott” her “terrible show” OK then)
 
Sanders Campaign: To the Convention (AP, Weekly Standard, Hill, me)
• Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, said Monday the millions of dollars flowing to Sanders and the boisterous rallies show that his “supporters will stand with us all the way to the end.” Weaver told reporters, in answer to a question, he “absolutely, 100%” expects a contested convention. “We’re going to take it to the convention.”

• In an MSNBC town hall with Clinton, Rachel Maddow looked ahead to June, “If you’re ahead in the vote, if you’re ahead in pledged delegates –  -” Clinton interrupted: “I am ahead in the vote, Rachel. I am way ahead in the vote. I mean… Now wait a minute. I have the greatest respect for Sen Sanders. But really, what he and his supporters are now saying just doesn’t add up.”

• At a Hartford rally with more than 1,800 people, Sanders drew distinctions with Clinton on the minimum wage, fracking and more. “We cannot afford to poison our water,” he said. Sec Clinton does not agree. As secretary of state she pushed fracking all across the world.” Sanders said he would phase out fracking as president


 
• “If you want to be president of the U.S., you’ve got to get familiar with the U.S.,” Hillary Clinton, in Delaware, said of Donald Trump.” “Don’t just fly that big jet in and land it and go make a big speech and insult everybody you can think of.” (her new attack line: he’s out of touch carries risks; she hasn’t driven for well over 20 years – don’t expect him to take this one)
 
• Former President Bill Clinton on Monday said Democrats will win Senate control if his wife is the party’s presidential nominee. “Last November, the Democrats lost the Senate,” he said during a rally in Hartford, Conn. “I think they’ll get it back if you vote for Hillary.” Democrats need to net five seats to take back the majority (biggish lift)

 

• U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are proposing that fingerprints be taken from all people claiming custody of children who have entered the U.S. illegally without an adult relative, a measure to which the Dept of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for finding housing for migrant children, say they have no plans of changing  (Reuters)
 
Obama: 250 New US Troops in Syria (Hill, Hill, Hill, NYT, me)
• President Obama on Monday announced the deployment of up to 250 U.S. military personnel to Syria, mostly special operations forces, to assist local troops trying to dislodge ISIS militants. He called the move essential to keeping up momentum against the group. The deployment brings the number of personnel to roughly 300, up from about 50 (things went downhill from there)
 
• “They’re not going to be leading the fight on the ground, but they will be essential in providing the training and assisting local forces,” Obama said during a speech in Germany that capped a weeklong trip that also took him to Saudi Arabia and Great Britain. ISIS was a focus of private talks with his counterparts in all three stops
 
• Obama told CBS News, “As a general rule, their role is not to engage directly with the enemy but rather to work with local forces. That is consistent with our overall policy throughout.” However, last May, a Delta Force unit led a raid into Syria that resulted in the killing of ISIS leader Abu Sayyaf (the new forces are expected to be close to the front lines – things sort of happen there)
 
• The Pentagon pushed back Monday afternoon against criticism of mission creep. “This is not a question of putting in thousands of American forces to wage this fight,” Pentagon spox Peter Cook said. “We are looking to others to carry this fight out, but to do what we can to support them.” (depends what the meaning of “support” is)
 
• Troops in Syria will not be on the front lines, Cook said, echoing the president. Rather, their role will be to connect with, train and assist local forces, and provide intel from the ground, Cook said. He didn’t rule out the possibility of sending more troops down the line. Sen John McCain (R-Ariz) said in a statement that 250 troops was “welcome” but “insufficient.”

 

• House Democrats on Monday introduced a bill to boost the nation’s response against the Zika virus with nearly $2 billion in emergency funds – would meet President Obama’s $1.9 billion funding request in full – an approach that’s been repeatedly ruled out by House GOP leaders. The mosquito-borne virus is expected to hit southern U.S. states in early June (Hill)
 

NC Transgender Law Battle: 50+ Arrests ((NYT, Reuters, AP, me)

• North Carolina lawmakers, buffeted by more than a month of bitter debate over a law about gay and transgender rights, returned Monday for their annual work session. More than 50 opponents of the law were arrested at the statehouse Monday night after a feverish day of impassioned demonstrations for and against the law
 

• North Carolina became the first state to require transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings and schools that match the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. Activists delivered petitions to Gov Pat McCrory’s (R-NC) office demanding the law’s repeal. A group of Democratic reps filed a bill also seeking a repeal (prob going nowhere)
 

• But leading Republican lawmakers in the state so far have shown little willingness to back down, and they were greeted at a rally on Monday by thousands of people who came on church buses and held signs thanking them for the measure
 

• Many companies that operate in North Carolina have come out against the law, including PayPal and Deutsche Bank. Projects have stopped. Jobs are not coming. The state has faced pressure from entertainers like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, who have canceled performances. President Obama said Friday in London the law was “wrong and should be overturned.”
 

• Sen Phil Berger, one of the most powerful Republicans in the General Assembly, issued a terse statement on Friday, after Obama spoke in Europe: “Not every father has the luxury of Secret Service agents protecting his daughters’ right to privacy in the girls’ bathroom.”

 

• A federal judge on Monday night upheld North Carolina’s 2013 voter ID law, dismissing all claims in the challenge. Judge Thomas Schroeder, appointed by George W. Bush, also upheld portions of the law that cut the number of days people could vote and eliminated same-day registration and voting allowances. An appeal is likely (Charlotte Observer)
 

Tamir Rice: Family to Get $6m from Cleveland (NYT, WaPo, me)

• The family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy whose fatal shooting by the Cleveland police in 2014 prompted national outrage, is set to receive $6 million from the city in a settlement announced Monday. The agreement must still be approved by a probate court. Under the terms, Cleveland doesn’t admit wrongdoing (the city got off cheap)
 

• The settlement spares Cleveland the possibility of a federal civil rights trial that could have brought new attention to Tamir’s death and to the city’s troubled police force. It also allows the city to avoid the possibility of an even larger judgment (why did the family settle? unclear to me – not been explained)
 

• Lawyers for Tamir’s estate said Monday that “no amount of money can adequately compensate” the boy’s relatives for their grief. The Rice family had called for criminal charges against the rookie officer who opened fire immediately after encountering Tamir. A Cuyahoga County grand jury decided last year not to indict officer Timothy Loehmann (led by noses by prosecutor?)
 

• Tamir had been carrying a real-looking pellet gun near a rec center when someone called 911 to report him. Moments later, a squad car drove to a sliding halt within feet of Tamir. Loehmann, who said later that he had feared for his life and had seen Tamir reaching for his waistband, stepped out of the cruiser and almost immediately shot the boy (was no interaction with Tamir)
 

• It came out that Loehmann had resigned from another Ohio PD after a “dangerous loss of composure” during weapons training. After a meandering 13-month investigation, county prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced that grand jurors had declined to charge both officers. McGinty was criticized for his approach to the case. Last month he lost his Democratic primary (karma)

 

• The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday restored the four-game “Deflategate” suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, overturning a federal judge’s ruling that had overturned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to penalize Brady over his alleged involvement in a scheme to deflate footballs in a 2015 playoff game. Appeal likely (Reuters)

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Victoria Jones – Editor

 

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