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

  • Man injured: Gunfight at Ferguson rally
  • Why did cop shoot Tx football player?
  • Trump: Bloodied at last?
  • Trump: True blood fallout
  • Trump’s GOP rivals bleed him out
  • Trump’s history of trashing women
  • Scientists praise Iran deal in letter to Obama
  • Report: Problems with controls on health exchanges
  • RedState convention: 5 takeaways
  • Clinton to propose “new college compact”
  • Sanders shut down, then addresses big crowds
Man Injured in Gunfight at Ferguson Rally (AP, AP, AFP, NYT, me)
• A man, identified by his father as 18-year-old Tyrone Harris, who opened fire on officers in Ferguson Mo on the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, was critically wounded when the officers shot back, St Louis County’s police chief said early today
• Chief Jon Belmar said at a presser that they had been tracking Harris, who they believed was armed, during a protest marking the death of Brown, the black, unarmed 18-year-old whose killing by a white Ferguson police officer touched off a national Black Lives Matter movement
• Harris approached the officers, who were in an unmarked police van, and opened fire, Belmar said. The officers returned fire from inside the vehicle and then pursued the man on foot when he ran. Harris again fired on the officers, and all four officers fired back. He was struck and fell, Belmar said
• Harris was taken to a hospital where Belmar said he was in “critical, unstable” condition. All four officers have been put on admin leave. The shooting happened shortly after the chief said “an exchange of gunfire between two groups” rang out around 11.15 pm while protesters gathered on West Florissant Ave, a site of previous protests
• The chief said an estimated six shooters unleashed a “remarkable” amount of gunfire over about 45 seconds. Belmar waved off any notion that the people with the weapons were part of the protest. “They were criminals. They weren’t protesters,” he said

• Raw vid: Gunfire scatters Ferguson protesters (AP)  Map: Police killings nationwide since Ferguson (Vox)

• Earlier, the anniversary of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson began with a solemn march in his honor and ended with a protest that grew increasingly confrontational. Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr, led a march through town after a crowd of hundreds observed 4 1/2 minutes of silence

• The time was symbolic of the four and a half hours that Brown’s body was left in the street after the shooting. Two doves were released at the end. The crowd then marched to a local church for a service. Brown was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson, who is white. A grand jury and the DoJ declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in Nov

• Organizers of some of the weekend activities have pledged a day of civil disobedience today, but haven’t yet offered specific details
• “Every city, I want us to close it down!” Anthony Shahid, a local activist, screamed into a mic before leading the crowd in a chant, “If we can’t get it, shut it down.” Although things remained peaceful during the day Sunday, a tension pulsed through the air
• The city of Ferguson, two-thirds black, has taken some steps to address concerns about policies that the DoJ described in a report as discriminatory. It’s hired a black interim city manager and a black interim police chief. It’s released city officials who were discovered to have sent racist emails. It’s hired a new municipal judge
• In an NPR interview airing Tuesday, President Obama was asked whether it may have been politically harder to address race issues during his first term. “Well, yeah, that I don’t buy,” Obama replied. “There’s no doubt that after over six and a half years on this job, I probably have an easier time juggling a lot of different issues, and it may be that my passions show a little bit more.” (Hill)
Why Did Cop Shoot TX Football Player? (Reuters, AP, Slate, me)
• Texas police on Sunday were trying to figure out what prompted a black teenager to drive his car into a car dealership, where he was seen on surveillance video vandalizing cars, and why a white police officer still in training fatally shot the unarmed 19-year-old four times. Christian Taylor became the latest unarmed black man to be killed by a white police officer
• Taylor was shot four times by Arlington police officer Brad Miller, 49, who was still undergoing training with the dept, Arlington police chief Will Johnson said Saturday. He had never before fired his gun while on duty. A second officer used a taser. Christian was a college football player (vandalism and running away: death penalty offense?)
• Johnson repeatedly refused to describe a confrontation inside the dealership, which took place after 1 am Friday, or say how close Taylor got to either officer before Miller opened fire. It’s unclear who fired first. The video is heavily edited and doesn’t show the shooting, which occurred as Taylor attempted to flee. The officers weren’t wearing body cameras

• The fatal police shooting of Zachary Hammond, an unarmed white teenager, by a white police lieutenant at a Seneca SC Hardee’s drive-through window last week, has so far drawn little public attention, in part because of a lack of video footage. A police spox said dashboard video footage will “at some point in time” be made available (NYT)

• Taylor’s brother, Joshua, said: “He was a really good guy. He was family oriented. He was an A student and he had everything going for him.” He had recently “given his life to God.” It’s been reported that Taylor was sentenced to six months deferred adjudication probation in Dec for unauthorized possession of prescription painkillers
• Miller was placed on admin leave and Johnson said he had asked the FBI to help investigate Taylor’s death. The FBI is expected to respond to the request today. The two officers were responding to a call from a security company about a burglary at the dealership

• Edited portions of the video released to the media show Taylor jumping on top of cars parked outside the dealership and attempting to stomp out a front windshield. He can then be seen getting into his SUV which he apparently drives through the dealership’s glass window. A few minutes later, police walk into the parking lot (why can’t we see the whole video?)

• Two attackers opened fire on the U.S. consulate in Istanbul today, while 10 people were injured in a car bombing on a police station. No one is reported to have been injured in the attack on the consulate. Two attackers, one man and one woman, fled after the consulate attack. Police later detained the woman (Reuters)
Trump: Bloodied At Last? (NYT, Politico, CNN, me)
• Donald Trump on Sunday struck back at critics of his remarks about Megyn Kelly, one of the Fox News debate moderators, saying that his appraisal of Kelly’s motives for questioning him sharply – “that she had blood coming out of her – wherever” was being deliberately misconstrued by his rivals as a reference to menstruation to hurt him with Republican voters
• “I was going to say nose and or ears, because that’s a very common statement,” Trump said on CNN’s State of the Union, then said: “I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I was an excellent student. I’m a smart person,” before adding: “You think I’d make a stupid statement like that?”  (absolutely you would – have said equally stupid things so far)
• “Only literally a sick person would say that,” Trump said on ABC, adding later: “Part of the problem we have in this country, we’re trying to be so politically correct that nobody can say anything anymore.” “There’s nothing to apologize for,” Trump said on NBC. “I thought she asked a very, very unfair question.” (not politically correct, it’s basic respect – he has none)
• Trump defended his record on women’s issues, saying he cherished women and that he had “always had a great relationship to the women.” (the? huh?) He argued that his real estate company had been among the first to put women in charge of major construction projects. Trump again threatened a third party run if he wasn’t treated “reasonably fairly” by party leaders
• Kelly defended her probing questions in a CNN interview recorded Friday before Trump’s menstruation comments and aired Sunday. “I’m sure nerves were high as they were for all of the candidates. He felt attacked. It wasn’t an attack. It’s okay with me that there’s some consternation. He’ll get over that and we’ll be fine.” Kelly is said to be privately disgusted
• Vid: Donald Trump: “She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. “You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her – wherever.” (There’s a pause before he says “wherever.” He chose the word. It was no accident, in my belief) (CNN, me)
Trump: True Blood Fallout (NYT, Politico, NYT, me)
• Donald Trump made the surprising announcement Saturday afternoon that he was firing his top adviser, Roger Stone, but hours before that, the political consultant’s friends told Politico that Stone was actually quitting. Stone is known in Washington circles as a Nixon-era “dirty trickster.” He, like Trump, has a combustible personality (and how)
• “Sorry @realDonaldTrump didn’t fire me – I fired Trump. Disagree with diversion to food fight with @megynkelly away core issue messages,” Stone tweeted just before 3 pm. Earlier in the day, Stone’s friends said he sent an email to Trump announcing his decision to leave the campaign. More than an hour later, Trump told a WaPo reporter he fired Stone
• Stone had increasingly felt that the campaign team surrounding Trump as feeding his bad habits: megalomania and peevishness. They fought the day after the debate over the Megyn Kelly issue, with Stone urging him to “stop with the Megyn Kelly shit. It’s fu*king crazy. It’s killing us.” Trump wouldn’t. Stone pushed for a professional campaign, but “we’re winning,” Trump said
• The following morning, influential blogger and radio host Erick Erickson disinvited Trump to the RedState gathering of conservatives in Georgia over the weekend. Erickson said at the event, “We will not gain the WH if we’re screaming at people, calling them whores and queer and the N-word.” The Trump campaign called Erickson “a total loser.”
• Erickson said at the event that he’d spoken to Trump’s campaign manager, who denied Trump meant to say Kelly was aggressive because she was menstruating. Erickson asked if Trump would clarify that publicly. Erickson: “He said no. I said, I’m sorry. I would prefer Mr Trump not come to the event. I don’t want my daughter in the room with Donald Trump so he’s not invited.”
• Trump will be interviewed this morning on The Today show on NBC at 7 am EDT and Morning Joe at on MSNBC 7.30. Can we expect a lame apology? Or more doubling down?
Trump’s GOP Rivals Bleed Him Out (Hill, AP, me)
• Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican 2016 race, rejected on Twitter Trump’s comments Friday evening. “Mr Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse. I stand with @MegynKelly.” (Trump then – naturally – attacked Fiorina – see below)
• Former Gov Jeb Bush (Fla) said in an appearance at the RedState Gathering: “Come on, give me a break. What Donald Trump said was wrong. What he said does not win elections. Worse yet, it is not something that brings people together. Mr Trump should apologize.”
• Sen Marco Rubio (Fla) refused to condemn Trump’s remarks, saying on NBC Sunday “If I comment on everything he says, my whole campaign will be consumed by it. He says something every day. But Rubio found time to say of the debate’s ratings: “We beat ‘Sharknado.’ That’s not bad.” (time for a 3rd rate shark movie, but not time for women, eh, Marco? priorities…)
• Former Gov Rick Perry (Texas) said in a statement, “Donald Trump has proven once again that he doesn’t have the temperament to hold the nation’s highest office. Attacking veterans, Hispanics and women demonstrates a serious lack of character and basic decency and his comments distract from the serious issues facing our country.”

• Sen Lindsey Graham (SC) said in a statement, “Enough already with Mr Trump. As a party, we are better to risk losing without Donald Trump than trying to win with him.”

• Ah, a helpful tweet Sunday afternoon from Trump – for his war on women: “I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than 10 minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance.” Fiorina had slammed Trump over the weekend for his disgusting Megyn Kelly comments

• Gov Scott Walker (Wis) said “there’s no excuse for Trump’s comments.” Walker said on Twitter: “@MegynKelly is a tough interview. Being POTUS is tougher. @GOP candidates & media need to get back to how we’re going to turn U.S. around.”

• Former Gov Mike Huckabee (Ark) didn’t really address the issue. “The Republican party is not engaged in a war on women,” he told reporters at RedState. He sounded frustrated when he told ABC on Sunday it was sometimes hard for candidates to get their message out “because all the air in the balloon is going to Donald Trump right now.”
• Sen Ted Cruz (Texas) wouldn’t address Trump directly. “I’m not going to engage in the back-and-forth on personalities. I get that’s what the media loves.” (no, just would love to hear whether you think it’s appropriate to refer to a reporter as menstruating because you don’t like her questions – fact that you won’t is telling)
• Sen Rand Paul (Ky) said on Fox News on Sunday, “I don’t think we should reward vulgarity. And I don’t think vulgarity equates with insight.” Paul continued, “I have no idea whether he’s conservative. He could be a liberal, for all I’m concerned.”
• “It’s very hard for them to attack me on looks because I’m so good-looking,” – Trump on his female opponents, speaking on NBC on Sunday (I actually think he’s a magalomaniac)
Trump Trashing Women (WaPo, me)
• Friday, Donald Trump retweeted a follower’s description of Fox anchor Megyn Kelly as a “bimbo.” But his misogyny goes way back. A few examples. 1991 Esquire: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what
[the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass. But she’s got to be young and beautiful.”
• Trump once sent NYT columnist Gail Collins a copy of something she had written about him with her picture circled and “The face of a dog!” written over it. In a 2006 book, he wrote of women as objectified collectibles: “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building or a work of art is not just superficial or something pretty to see.”
• In 2012, he tweeted that HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington is “unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.” Huffington’s ex-husband, former Rep Michael Huffington (R-Calif) came out as gay after their divorce
• Thursday night, Kelly said to Trump, “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. ” Apparently amused, Trumps said he was referring to Rosie O’Donnell. Kelly said that he once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would a pretty picture to see her on her knees.”
• Trump threatened Kelly: “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. But I wouldn’t do that.” (so a liar as well as a misogynist)
• Quiz! Match the debater to the most difficult word he used in the debate (I got 8 – I was over-ambitious for two of ’em. Thought they had bigger vocabs than they apparently do…) (WaPo, me)
29 Top Scientists Praise Iran Deal in Letter to Obama (NYT, TRNS, me)
• Twenty-nine of the nation’s top scientists – including six Nobel laureates, veterans of nuclear arms and former WH science advisers – wrote to President Obama Saturday to praise the Iran deal, calling it innovative and stringent
• The letter may give the WH arguments a boost after the blow Obama suffered Thursday when Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY), among the most influential Jewish voices in Congress, announced he would oppose the deal, which calls for Iran to curb its nuclear program and allow inspections in return for an end to international oil and financial sanctions
• In a technical judgment that seemed more ominous than some other assessment’s of Tehran’s nuclear capability, the letter says that Iran, before curbing its nuclear program during the long negotiations, was “only a few weeks” away from having fuel for nuclear weapons (that’s major – conventional wisdom is about two to three months)
•The deal’s plan for resolving disputes, the letter says, greatly mitigates “concerns about clandestine activities.” It hails the 24-day cap on Iranian delays to site investigations as “unprecedented,” adding that the agreement “will allow effective challenge inspection for the suspected activities of greatest concern.”
• The letter notes criticism that the Iran accord, after 10 years, will let Tehran potentially develop nuclear arms without constraint. “In contrast,” it says, “we find that the deal includes important long-term verification procedures that last until 2040 and others that last indefinitely.”
• President Obama doubled down in a CNN interview aired Sunday on his comparison of Republicans with Iranian hardliners. “What I said is absolutely true, factually. The truth of the matter is, inside of Iran, the people most opposed to the deal are the Revolutionary Guard, the Quds Force, hardliners who are implacably opposed to any cooperation with the international community.”(TRNS, Hill)
Report: Problems with Controls of Health Exchanges (WSJ, me)
• Some consumers who got health coverage or subsidies through healthcare.gov might not have been eligible to receive them last year because of deficiencies in the federal exchange’s internal controls, according to a Health and Human Services’ Office of the IG report to be released today – likely to cause Republicans to fume
• The report notes that without properly verifying eligibility and resolving inconsistencies, the federal exchange couldn’t ensure that applicants met requirements for subsidies or that subsidies were the right amount, based on audits and in a review of two different samples of 45 applicants – doesn’t necessarily mean the exchange improperly enrolled applicants
• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which implements the health law, said in comments attached to the report, that it has taken or will undertake steps to improve the vetting process. The IG found that applicants’ Social Security numbers weren’t always validated and that citizenship, family size and household income weren’t always verified
• The findings come on the heels of a July report by the GAO that found 11 fictitious applications submitted in an undercover operation were able to maintain coverage and re-enroll in 2015 on the federal exchange
• Meaghan Smith, a CMS spox, said multiple safeguards are used to verify eligibility, resulting in the termination of coverage for about 226,000 individuals as of the end of March 2015 who failed to properly verify their citizenship or immigration status. She said tax credits were adjusted for hundreds of thousands of others
• A family of six children and two parents were mostly handcuffed and all were fatally shot in the head at a Houston home by a man with a violent criminal history who had previously been in a contentious relationship with the mother. Question: Did he acquire the gun legally or how did he get it? Not seen reporting on that so far (AP, me)
RedState Convention: 5 Takeaways (Politico, me)
• 1) Remember that Donald Trump had been disinvited. This was Ted Cruz turf. Many candidates got enthusiastic receptions, but Sen Cruz (Texas) basked in several sustained standing ovations and chants of “Ted! Ted! Ted!” In talks with around 20 participants,, nearly everyone mentioned him as a candidate under consideration – most had him as one of top two choices
• 2) Keep an eye on Scott Walker in the South. After Cruz, Gov Scott Walker (Wis) was one of the most talked about candidates of the weekend. Attendees, many of them Southerners from right to work states themselves, expressed admiration for his work taking on unions in the Midwest as well as his record of winning elections
• 3) Bush held his own in hostile territory. Former Gov Bush’s (Fla) high-energy performance Saturday was a marked contrast with his lackluster debate performance, and he was well-received. He didn’t convert many attendees, but showed he could hold his own in deeply conservative territory
• 4) Lots of Carly Fiorina fans, but not necessarily Fiorina voters. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO delivered a well-received speech, and earned some of the loudest applause of the day when she slammed Hillary Clinton for “lying” about Benghazi and about her email practices. But no one named her as a first choice (veep? Gov Nikki Haley (SC) is also a possible)
• 5) The Trump tide may be turning. By Saturday evening, many attendees were expressing regret at best, fury at worst, over Donald Trump’s Friday evening attack on Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. There was a sense that the attacks broke through in a way that previous controversial remarks didn’t, suggesting that he’d crossed a conservative activist line (will be apologize?)
• Frank Gifford, star football player and later an ABC broadcaster, died over the weekend of natural causes, aged 84. Gifford won the 1956 NFL title with the New York Giants and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977. Gifford made 367 catches for 5,434 yards with 43 touchdowns, whilst also running for 3,609 yards and 34 touchdowns
Clinton to Propose “New College Compact” (AP, WSJ, me)
• Calling for a “new college compact,” Hillary Clinton today will unveil a $350 billion plan aimed at making college more affordable and reducing the crushing burden of student debt. The plan, a main plank of her policy platform, is an effort to address a major financial stress for many American families and satisfy the Democratic Party’s liberal wing – (may not work)
• At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the state with the highest average student debt in the country, Clinton will propose steps to reduce the cost of four-year public schools, make two-year community colleges tuition-free and cut student loan interest rates, according to campaign aides
• The proposal centers on a $200 billion federal incentive system aimed at encouraging states to expand their investments in higher education and cut student costs. States that guarantee “no loan” tuition at four-year public schools and free tuition at community colleges will be eligible to receive federal funds
• In May Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) released his own plan that would eliminate tuition and fees for public universities. The $70 billion annual proposal would be funded by imposing a tax on transactions by hedge funds, investment houses and other Wall Street firms. (Clinton’s plan – below – requires payment from families and students – liberals won’t be impressed)
• While military veterans, lower-income students and those who complete a national service program like Americorps would go to school for free in the Clinton plan, others would incur costs for schooling and living expenses. For most students, their families will still be expected to make a “realistic” contribution, and students will contribute wages from 10 hours of work a week
• Hillary Clinton has told a federal judge that she’s turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Dept after she was ordered to certify that she had done so. This follows District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordering Clinton and two former aides to state under penalty of perjury that they have produced all govt records in their possession (CNN)
Sanders Shut Down, Then Addresses Big Crowd (Politico, Hill, me)
• After being driven off the stage Saturday afternoon, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed the issue later before a crowd of about 12,000 at the University of Washington. Sanders was interrupted at a Seattle park by activists from Black Lives Matter, who demanded the opportunity to speak about police brutality against African Americans
• Sanders’ campaign allowed the activists to speak – they also sought moments of silence for Michael Brown. When Sanders, amid some confusion, tried to regain the mic, he was unable to do so. The protester who spoke identified herself as Marissa Johnson. She called out “white progressives” for lack of action on Black Lives Matter
• At that point, Sanders waved to the crowd and left the stage, greeting some attendees. Some of the crowd was audibly restless as the protesters spoke, with some people chanting: “Let Bernie speak.” Others said “let her talk.” Some shouts of “arrest her” were audible.” (Sanders has a bit of a problem with African American voters; doesn’t seem to get it)
• Johnson said, “Bernie says that he’s all about the people and about grassroots. The biggest grassroots movement in this country right now is Black Lives Matter.” She said later that Sanders had been confronted by activists at NetRoots Nation. “You have yet to put out a criminal justice reform package like [former Gov Martin] O’Malley did.”
• Speaking Saturday night, Sanders said, “No president will fight harder to end institutional racism and reform criminal justice system. Too many lives have been destroyed by [the] war on drugs, by incarceration; we need to educate people. We need to put people to work.” Sanders spoke Sunday night to c. 19,000 people in Portland, about income inequality and other issues

• Vid with the naughty bits obscured (why – lame): Couple convicted after alleged sex on Florida beach now face a ridiculous up to 15 years behind bars and will have to register as sex offenders. What’s wrong with us? Elected state attorney Ed Brodsky wanted to make clear that such behavior isn’t acceptable on the community’s public beaches. 15 years? (me, WaPo)

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___________________

Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ William McDonald and Sydnee Fried contributed to this report

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