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

  • Obama: Hiroshima remarks – excerpts
  • Hiroshima: Competing agendas
  • G7 leaders: Tackle risks to global growth
  • Sanders-Trump debate? For real?
  • Trump clinches it. Game on
  • LGBT fight sinks House spending bill
  • Deadly superbug is here


Excerpts from Obama’s Hiroshima Remarks
• “In the image of a mushroom cloud that rose into these skies, we are most starkly reminded of humanity’s core contradiction, how the very spark that marks us as a species, our thoughts, our imagination, our anguish, our toolmaking, our ability to set ourselves apart from nature and bend it to our will, those very things also give us the capacity for unmatched destruction
• “Every great religion promises a pathway to love and peace and righteousness, and yet no religion has been spared from believers who have claimed their faith as a license to kill
• “Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution as well. That is why we come to this place. We stand here, in the middle of this city, and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell”
Obama First Sitting President to Hiroshima (AP, me)
• Convinced that the time for this moment is right at last, President Obama today becomes the first American president to confront the historic and haunted ground of Hiroshima
• At a place of so much suffering, where U.S. forces dropped the atomic bomb that gave birth to the nuclear age, Obama will pay tribute to the 140,000 people who died from the attack seven decades ago. He will not apologize. He will not second guess President Harry Truman’s decision to unleash the awful power of nuclear weapons
• Obama will look back, placing a wreath at the cenotaph, an arched monument in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park honoring those killed by the bomb that U.S. forces dropped on 6 August 1945. A second atomic bomb, dropped on Nagasaki three days later, killed 70,000 more (this is the tricky bit – honoring the dead, but not apologizing – will be scrutinized by his enemies)
• Obama will also look forward. Hiroshima is much more than “a reminder of the terrible toll in World War II,” Obama said Thursday. It is a place “to remind ourselves that the job’s not done in reducing conflict, building institutions of peace and reducing the prospect of nuclear war in the future.” (Obama is working towards a nuclear-free world – but hasn’t get very far)


Hiroshima: Competing Agendas
• There are political foes at home who are ready to seize on any hint of an unwelcome expression of regret. There are Koreans who want to hear Obama acknowledge the estimated 20,000-40,000 of their citizens who died. There are blast survivors who want Obama to listen to their stories, to see their scars – physical and otherwise (some will accompany him)
• There are activists looking for a pledge of new, concrete steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons. There are American former POWs who want the president to fault Japan for starting the war in the Pacific. Obama will try to navigate those shoals by saying less, not more (an American WWII former POW will accompany him)
• The president will be accompanied on his visit by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe – a demonstration of the friendship that exists between the only nation ever to use an atomic bomb and the only nation ever to have suffered from one (Abe is controversial because he has broken with Japan’s recent pacifism)
• Bomb survivor Kinuyo Ikegami, 82, paid her own respects at the cenotaph this morning, well before Obama arrived, lighting incense and chanting a prayer. Tears ran down her face as she described the immediate aftermath of the bomb. “I could hear schoolchildren screaming: “Help me! Help me!” she said. “It was too pitiful, too horrible.”


• Prominent nuclear weapons activists are calling President Obama a hypocrite on nuclear proliferation. “That’s the word we use,” said Beatrice Fihn, exec director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Of particular concern is the U.S. military’s B61 Model 12 program, seen as a modernization effort of the nuclear arsenal, designed for combat not deterrence (TMN)
G7 Leaders: Tackle Risks to Global Growth (AP, me)
• The leaders of the G7 rich economies pledged today to “collectively tackle” major risks to global growth, including direct political threats to the international order from terrorist attacks, violent extremism and refugee flows as they wrapped up their annual summit at a seaside resort in central Japan (they pick the best spots for their shindigs)
• G7 host, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, appealed to his fellow leaders to act to avert another global crisis, comparing the current global economic situation to conditions just before the 2008 economic crisis. President Obama backed Abe’s call, “We’ve all got a lot of work to do,” Obama said
• The annual summit brings together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. In their declaration, the summit leaders cited a possible departure of Britain from the EU, depending on the outcome of a 23 June vote, as one of many potential shocks for the global economy (don’t think “out” voters care – they want immigrants gone; that’s their deal)
• The summit declaration also highlighted joint efforts on corruption, cybercrimes, terrorism, global health and migration – which has become a huge headache especially for European nations – as other top priorities (see “out” voters, above)
• It said a global response was needed to cope with the surge in refugees, migrants and other displaced people to its highest level since WWII and committed to increasing assistance to meet their immediate and long-term needs. Expanding their discussions to issues of “inclusive” growth, the group met today with leaders of seven developing countries
• House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said Thursday that he had a “productive phone call” with Donald Trump Wednesday night, but declined to answer if he was closer to endorsing the presumptive Republican nominee. Some media outlets had reported that Ryan would soon offer his support – but Ryan’s staff batted that down (TMN)
Sanders-Trump Debate? For Real? (Politico, AP, Politico, me)
• Donald Trump on Thursday accepted Bernie Sanders’ challenge to debate him, but for $10 million to charity. The Vermont senator, who is making a last stand in the Democratic primary, on Wednesday planted a question with Jimmy Kimmel, asking the presumptive GOP nominee to debate him before the 7 June California primary (has split Dems – many think it’s a Trumpie gift)

• Since then, Sanders and his deputies have been goading Trump to fully commit, with Sanders’ campaign manager even taunting that he better not “chicken out.” During a presser in North Dakota Thursday afternoon, Trump said, “I’d love to debate Bernie. The problem is he’s going to lose” in the primary because the system is “rigged.” (Bernie: it’s a Trumpie gift)
• “Donald Trump has agreed to debate me, and I look forward to that. Hillary Clinton has not agreed to debate me here in California, so I look forward to debating Mr Trump,” Sanders said at a social media town hall with Sean “Diddy” Combs Revolt TV. Clinton said to MSNBC Thursday afternoon that she didn’t think the debate would happen (during media blitz on emails)
• Sanders isn’t going to drop out, despite some not-so subtle calls for him to do so. Polls show him in a virtual dead heat with Clinton in California. And going toe-to-toe with Trump would guarantee a big prime-time audience. Democrats reacted with puzzlement, sarcasm and barely veiled anger. “Bulls#it,” said Sen Joe Manchin (D-WVa). A minority said it would be fine
• Reps for Fox News and ABC News say the nets are “interested” in hosting such a showdown. The Fox News spox added that the net had proposed a Trump-Sanders debate in Fenruary and while Sanders agreed, Trump backed out. (interesting) Some network sources said on background they’re trying to figure out whether Trump is even serious about participating


• This is bad for Hillary Clinton. First of all, she’s refused to debate Bernie Sanders, so both Sanders and Donald Trump can slam her for not having the guts to do so. Second, Trump is running a populist ticket to the left of her on some issues. When Sanders’ people watch the debate, they might be tempted to go with Trump in November if Clinton is the nominee (me)
Trump Clinches It. Game on (TMN, Politico, Hill, Hill, Politico, me)
• Donald Trump has surpassed the 1,237 delegate threshold needed to clinch the Republican nomination, according to AP and NBC News. Both report that enough unbound delegates have signaled their support to put him over the minimum. The remaining states in the GOP primary process vote on 7 June
• President Obama, in Japan for the G7 summit, said Thursday, “I think it’s fair to say they [leaders] are surprised by the Republican nominee, they are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements, but they’re rattled by him, and for good reason.” Obama said Trump’s proposals displayed either ignorance of world affairs, cavalier attitude or interest in tweets and headline
• Trump declared Thursday, “There’s one more thing that we must do to make America wealthy again – and you have to be wealthy in order to be great, I’m sorry to say,” during his speech in North Dakota. After an interlude, he went on to say, “We have to make our communities safe again.” (i thought Jesus was pretty great, actually, and he wasn’t exactly rolling in cash)
• Trump said Thursday at a presser in North Dakota that he would “absolutely” approve the Keystone XL pipeline project, but the U.S. deserves “a piece of the profits, because we’re making it happen,” – because it would run along American land. He also said he would use eminent domain to obtain land (the right hates eminent domain – will they give him a pass?)
• Hillary Clinton told Univision’s LA affiliate Thursday, “Many people [used private email]. It was not at all unprecedented. I have turned over all of my emails. No one else can say that. I have been incredibly open about doing that. I will continue to be open, and it’s not an issue that’s going to affect either the campaign or my presidency.” (what. planet. on?)
• Donald Trump laid out his energy plan in a speech in North Dakota Thursday. Politico breaks down its – er – “most eye-catching falsehoods.” In other words, it was brimming with statements and statistics that were flat out untrue or made up


LGBT Fight Sinks House Spending Bill (Politico, Hill, Hill, me)

• House Republicans voted down an energy and water projects spending bill 112-305 after Democrats successfully attacked a provision ensuring certain protections for the LGBT community. It marked the second time in two weeks that a nasty fight over LGBT anti-discrimination policies spilled out onto the House floor (it’s about discrimination. nobody should suffer it)

• Rep Rick Allen (R-Ga) opened the weekly GOP conference meeting with a prayer about the LGBT issue, prior to the vote. He read a passage from the Bible and questioned whether members would violate their religious principles if they supported the bill. Moderate Republicans were stunned. Some walked out in protest. “It was fu*king ridiculous,” said one lawmaker

• The death of an appropriations bill underscores the challenges ahead for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) if he wants to continue his commitment to so-called regular order, a process under which lawmakers have more say in what’s voted on. After the bill failed, Ryan wouldn’t rule out changes to the “open” amendment process for spending bills (back to boehnerville)

• Ryan blamed Democrats for the bill’s failure, though most of his own party turned against the measure, too. “The Democrats were not looking to advance an issue but to sabotage the appropriations process. The mere fact that they [Democrats] passed their amendments then voted against the bill containing their amendments proves this point.”

• When he took over the speakership seven months ago, Ryan acceded to conservatives’ wishes to return the chamber to regular order. But he warned at the time that more bills would go down to defeat. “We have regular order. This worked,” said Rep Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) a leader of the hard-line Freedom Caucus, after the energy bill failed (gotta hand it to a true believer)

• Watch: Senior Saudi cleric bans people from “new trend” of taking pictures with cats – and adds – for good measure, apparently, “not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.” If I was the kind of person who wished ill-will on people, I might hope the meanie cleric would get scratched by a clowder of cats, but I’m not like that

Deadly Superbug is Here (WaPo, me)
• For the first time, researchers have found a person in the U.S. carrying a bacteria resistant to antibiotics of last resort, an alarming development that the top U.S. public health official says could mean “the end of the road” for antibiotics (well, we take too many – and we stuff farm animals full of them – and big pharma big agbusiness won’t stop)
• The antibiotics-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Dept researchers determined that her infection involved a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin (we’re taking antibiotics for things that they don’t cure – and we’re demanding them from our doctors – who are too scared of being sued to refuse us)
• Colistin is the antibiotic of last resort for particularly dangerous types of superbugs, including a family of bacteria known as CRE, which health officials have dubbed “nightmare bacteria.” In some instances, these superbugs kill up to 50% of patients who become infected
• “It basically shows us that the end of the road isn’t very far away for antibiotics – that we may be in a situation where we have patients in our intensive-care units, or patients getting urinary tract infections, for which we do not have antibiotics,” CDC Director Dr Tom Frieden said in an interview Thursday
• “I’ve been there for TB patients. I’ve cared for patients for whom there are no drugs left. It is a feeling of such horror and helplessness,” Frieden added. Scientists have long warned that if the resistant bacteria continue to spread, routine operations could become deadly. Minor infections could become life-threatening crises. Pneumonia could be more and more tough to treat
• Feldenkrais!! Gesellschaft! (look them up). Winning words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday night which ended in a tie for the third consecutive year, with Jairam Hathwar, 13, and Nihar Janga, 11, declared co-champions after a roller-coaster finish (AP, me)

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Victoria Jones – Editor