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

  • Bill Clinton clashes w/ Black Lives Matters
  • Sanders/Hillary Clinton spat rages
  • Sanders tangles with Charlie Rose
  • NYC to Cruz: Take the “F U Train”
  • Obama: SCOTUS nominee not “black lesbian from Skokie”
  • Watchdog: Security flaws – state Obamacare exchanges
  • Senate FAA bill: No help on shrinking airline seats

Bill Clinton Clashes w/ Black Lives Matters  (NYT, Politico, Hill, me)
• Former President Bill Clinton repeatedly defended himself from criticism about his support of his controversial crime bill from Black Lives Matter protesters during a rally for his wife’s presidential bid. They interrupted his stump speech, attacking his support for the 1994 crime bill that raised mandatory minimum sentences (there’s zero communication going on here – watch)
• Explaining that the bill caused big declines in murders and other crime during his admin, Clinton said, “Whose lives were saved, that mattered?” remarking that his wife didn’t vote for the bill because she was trying to pass universal health care for children as first lady. A woman shouted that Bill Clinton should be charged for “crimes against humanity.” (really?)
• Clinton highlighted provisions of the bill – the assault weapons ban, money for after-school programs for inner-city children and funding for additional police officers that Clinton said reduced the need for police to bring in “militarized” equipment. Clinton also criticized the protesters by accusing them of overlooking the positives that came from the crime bill (but major negatives too)
• “See these other signs? I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-olds hopped on crack and sent them out in the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens,” an exasperated Clinton said. “You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth.”
• As the protesters continued to interrupt, a frustrated Clinton said that his wife, who was first lady at the time, wasn’t responsible for his record. “She had nothing to do with it,” Clinton said, reprimanding those who tried to speak over him. “When somebody won’t hush and listen to you, that ain’t democracy. They’re afraid of the truth.” (different truths to different peoples)


• The U.S. has more people in prison than any other country. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1.05 million prisoners were held in federal or state facilities in 1994. By 2014, it was 1.56 million. That year, 6% of all black men in their 30s were in prison, a rate six times higher than that of white men of the same age (Reuters)


Sanders/Clinton Spat Rages (Politico, NYT, AP, me)
• Democratic 2016er Bernie Sanders intensified his attacks on rival Hillary Clinton Thursday, saying of her: “People might wonder about your qualifications when you supported virtually every trade agreement, trade agreements which have cost the American worker millions of decent paying jobs.”
• At a rally Wednesday, Sanders had said: “She has been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote unquote, not qualified to be president. Let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton, I don’t believe that she is qualified, if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds.” He added her vote for the war in Iraq and other things
• Thursday, Sanders said to reporters, “This is not the type of politics that I wanna get in, but we’ll get used to it fast. I’m not gonna get beat up. I’m not gonna get lied about.”
• Clinton, who didn’t explicitly say that Sanders wasn’t qualified to be president, said Wednesday that he hadn’t done his “homework” when it comes to Wall Street reform. She also dodged on two other occasions in the same interview when asked point-blank on MSNBC whether he was qualified to be president (come on Hill, say or don’t say)
• Thursday, as she rode the New York subway, (took her five swipes to get her card through the turnstile) Clinton said, “Well, it’s kind of a silly thing to say. But I’m going to trust the voters of New York who know me and have voted for me three times.” “I don’t know why he’s saying that, but I will take Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz any time,” she added


Sanders Tangles With Charlie Rose (Politico, Hill, me)
• “Do you believe Secretary Clinton is unqualified to be president?” CBS host Charlie Rose asked Bernie Sanders later Thursday. “Well, does Secretary Clinton believe that I am unqualified to be president?” Sanders shot back. Back and forth. “So why can’t you say?” an exasperated Rose asked. “Because she is, you know, I have some experience, too.” Sanders said (say or don’t say)
• But “you’re right,” Sanders told Rose. “We should not get into this tit-for-tat. We should be debating the issues facing the American people. All I’m saying is that if people are going to attack us, if they’re going to distort out record as has been the case time and time again, we’re going to respond.”
• Asked about the campaign’s shift in tone, Sanders admitted he’s embarrassed, but blamed Clinton and her allies for starting the fight. (counterpunch?) “You said that Clinton should apologize for Iraq war deaths,” Rose said. “This is after I was asked to apologize for the tragedy in Sandy Hook. You know, put these things in a context” Sanders said
• “I think the idea of a Donald Trump  or a Ted Cruz presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for this country,” Sanders said. “I will do everything in my power and work as hard as I can to make sure that that does not happen, and if Secretary Clinton is the nominee, I will certainly support her.” (OK, you agree on the GOP thing – can y’all get along now?)


NYC to Cruz: Take the “F U Train” (AP, Buzzfeed, Hill, me)
• Ted Cruz’s attempt to upset Donald Trump in the New York primary has so far turned on three words: “New York values.” Cruz’s use of that phrase as a putdown in a GOP debate has hung around his neck, particularly in NYC, where he’s been skewered in the tabloids and repeatedly heckled at campaign events (including for his cowboy boots)
• “They are the values of the liberal Democratic politicians like Andrew Cuomo, like Anthony Weiner, like Elliot Spitzer, like Charlie Rangel – all of whom Donald Trump has supported,” (an Italian, two Jews, an African-American) Cruz said in the Bronx. “If you want to know what liberal Democratic values are, follow Donald Trump’s checkbook.”
• Bu fewer than 100 people showed up at that event at a Bronx restaurant, and several of them were there solely to jeer Cruz. A planned school visit nearby was canceled after several students threatened to walk out. “The presence of Ted Cruz and the ideas he stands for are offensive,” a letter to the principal said. The letter called Cruz “misogynistic, homophobic and racist.”
• NYDN put him on the front page Thursday, suggesting the senator take the “F U Train” to get out of the Bronx. Fellow Republican Rep Peter King (NY) said Thursday that any New Yorker needs to have “their head examined” if they back Cruz, who voted against Superstorm Sandy relief and medical benefits to emergency workers sickened at ground zero
• CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera separately accused Cruz of anti-Semitism with his remark. “He said New York values are about money and they’re about the media,” Toobin said. “That’s an antii-Semitic trope from a hundred years. It’s been around for a very long time. Money and media is Jews.”


Obama: SCOTUS Nominee Not “Black Lesbian from Skokie” (Reuters, NYT, me)
• President Obama on Thursday, holding court before Chicago law students, defended his choice of SCOTUS nominee. “At no point did I say” ‘I need a black lesbian from Skokie in that slot. Can you find me one?’ That’s not how I approached it. Yeah, he’s a white guy. But he’s a really outstanding jurist. Sorry!” (waiting for blowback from journos to WH spox)
• Obama accused Senate Republicans of jeopardizing the “integrity of the judicial branch” by refusing to consider his “extraordinary” nominee. Obama argued that the treatment of judge Merrick Garland will cause the public to lose confidence in the ability of courts at all levels to fairly judge cases
• Before Obama was even finished, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) accused the president of trying to deny the American people a voice by ramming through a nominee before the November election. (because Obama only elected for 7 years…) “They’ll say what they always say to get what they want today: a far-left Supreme Court for decades to come.”
• “We are going to see the kinds of sharp partisan polarization that have come to characterize our electoral politics seeping entirely into the judicial system, and the courts will be just an extension of our legislatures and our elections and our politics,” Obama said
• Only two of the 54 Republicans in the Senate have said Garland deserves hearings and a vote. Some have said they’ll meet Garland for a “courtesy” visit, including Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), next Tuesday for breakfast (like to be a fly in the omelette at that meeting)


• SecState John Kerry is in Iraq today to show support for PM Haider al-Abadi, who is grappling with a political crisis, a collapsing economy and a fitful fight to retake ground from ISIS militants (Reuters)
Watchdog: Security Flaws on State Obamacare Exchanges (Hill, AP, me)
• A federal watchdog has found security flaws in state-run Obamacare exchanges in California, Kentucky and Vermont, potentially putting millions of customers’ sensitive data at risk. The study was conducted from Oct 2013 to March 2015 by the Govt Accountability Office (so that’s great)
• Both California and Kentucky have been touted as a national model, (model for mess?) though Vermont has had a documented history of issues with its exchange (ie disaster). The GAO’s investigation was released in March, but without naming the states. (interesting that GAO didn’t name states) That info was reported Thursday by AP, in response to a FOIA request
• According to GAO, one state didn’t encrypt passwords, potentially making it easy for hackers to gain access to individual accounts. One state didn’t properly use a filter to block hostile attempts to visit the website. And one state didn’t use the proper encryption on its servers, making it easier for hackers to get in. The report didn’t say which state had what problem (why not?)
• Federal officials said their findings in the probe, which was initially limited to those three states, likely means that other states’ websites have faced similar cyber issues. State officials in California and Kentucky told AP that no breaches had been reported, while officials in Vermont declined to discuss the findings (i’ll bet)
• Super talented Trent Harmon won season 15 – and the final episode ever – American Idol on Thursday night, beating the also excellent La’Porsha Renae for the crown. Here he is being proclaimed the winner by the flawless Ryan Seacrest and singing “Falling” – a shaky start but he gets into a great groove – ooh and snarky Simon Cowell showed up last night, too
Senate FAA Bill: No Help on Shrinking Airline Seats (Hill, AP, me)
• Senators backed a package of amendments to the long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration that would ramp up airport security following a wave of deadly terrorist attacks across Europe
• But the Senate blocked 42-54 an amendment from Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that would have frozen the current size of airplane seats. The amendment would have directed the agency to develop minimum size standards and would also have required companies to post their seat sizes online (considering the size of some senators, it’s a bit surprising)
• Schumer blasted his GOP colleagues for not supporting his provision, but for favoring language in the underlying bill that requires airlines to refund passengers for lost bags. “You can’t say, ‘Well, leave it up to the free market on one, but not the other,'” he said. “The public is clamoring for change.”
• “Consumers are packed in like sardines,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “Ever get into a situation where you’re in the middle, and there are two sort of large people on either side of you? It is not the most pleasant flying experience.” He says it poses a safety threat if passengers can’t get out quickly in an emergency
• Economy class airline seats have shrunk in recent years on average from a width of 18 inches to 16.5 inches. The average pitch – the space between a point on one seat and the same on the seat in front – has gone from 35 inches to about 31 inches

• It’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony tonight. Let’s get geared up with a couple of this year’s inductees: “Child in Time” 1970 – Deep Purple (Steve Morse and Don Airey aren’t being honoured) and “Gangsta Gangsta” – NWA (lots of rude lyrics). Also headed in: Cheap Trick, Chicago and Steve Miller

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Victoria Jones – Editor