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

  • NH Forum: GOP candidates go solo
  • The first GOP rumble
  • Obama unveils climate rule: “No plan B”
  • Many GOP-led states say No to climate rule
  • House GOP says it has votes to nix Iran deal
  • Democrats block Planned Parenthood defunding
  • Senate cyber bill: Deal on amendments?
  • Amy/Chuck Schumer: Gun safety plan
  • Judge overturns Idaho’s “Ag gag” law
NH Forum: GOP Candidates Go Solo (Politico, WaPo, me)
• Three days ahead of the first official GOP debate, which will include only the top 10 candidates in an average of scattershot national polls, 14 of the 17 declared Republican presidential candidates took part in the “Voters First Forum” in Manchester NH Monday night
• The two-hour forum, a Trump-free zone, open to every candidate no matter their standing in the polls, did little to bring clarity to a cluttered GOP field
• For activists and officials worried about their diminishing relevance, it was a chance to preserve the outsize importance of Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire, smaller states that historically have given hard-working underdogs a chance to break through – and that the Republican National Committee and Fox News appear to be stomping on
• Donald Trump said he would only appear if the New Hampshire Union Leader, which is sponsoring the forum, endorsed him (has dissed him) As the forum started, Trump’s campaign put out a press release touting him as the “Definitive First Place Candidate in New Hampshire.” A WMUR poll released Monday showed Trump leading the GOP pack with with 24% in NH
The First GOP Rumble (Politico, Union Leader, NYT, WaPo, me)
• The forum, sponsored by the Union Leader newspaper, was moderated by nimble and adroit talk show host Jack Heath of WGIR-AM, Manchester. Candidates weren’t permitted to interact with each other directly. Instead, they took two turns at the mic, fielding speed-date type questions from Heath, before being given 30 seconds for closing statements. Immigration was big
• Former Gov Rick Perry (R-Texas) said, “You want to staunch the flow.” On those immigrants who have overstayed visas: “You go find ’em, you pick ’em up and you send ’em back where they’re from.” (how exactly? any due process or shove ’em in wheelbarrows and push ’em over the border?)
• Former Sen Rick Santorum (R-Pa) went further, calling for a 25% reduction of low-skilled immigrants coming into the country legally. “Everyone else is dancing around it. “I’m going to stand for the American worker.”
• Aside from Donald Trump, former Gov Mike Huckabee (R-Ark) and former Gov Jim Gilmore (R-Va) didn’t participate. (crazy move for Gilmore who needs the exposure) Sens Rand Paul (R-Ky), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla) appeared remotely. They opted to stay in DC to vote to advance a bill to defund Planned Parenthood (failed to advance)
Walker: Climate Rule “Buzz Saw to Economy”
• President Obama’s new climate rule came under fire. Gov Scott Walker (R-Wis) called the move “a buzz saw to the nation’s economy.” “I want to balance a sustainable environment with a sustainable economy,” Walker said
• Gov John Kasich (R-Ohio) said “law-abiding, God-fearing” immigrants should be allowed to stay. Those who break the law, he said, “have to be deported or put in prison.”
• Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina dripped sarcasm right out of the box and argued she was best positioned to take on Hillary Clinton, who “lied about Benghazi. She has lied about her servers. These go to core of her character. We have to have a nominee who will throw every punch.”
• Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for some reason decided to bring up the Monica Lewinsky scandal. “I’ve been dealing with
[the Clintons] for 20 years, and I can translate. When he said, ‘I did not have sex with that woman,’ he did. When she says, ‘You have all the emails you need,’ we haven’t scratched the surface.”
Christie: “I’m Washed Up?”
• Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ) had the gumption to point out how difficult he makes the lives of others. “I’m like the bad relative you invite to Thanksgiving,” he said. “I come early and stay late.” In answer to a question about whether his best shot at the WH was in 2012, Christie replied, “Jack, you saying I’m washed up?” (you said it, Chris, not Jack)
• Gov Bobby Jindal (R-La) gave a back-handed compliment to Dem presidential candidate Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “Give Bernie Sanders credit, he is honest enough to call himself a socialist. Obama, Hillary Clinton are no better, they are just not honest enough to say it.”
• Paul seemed tired. “I think we should collect more information on terrorists and less information on innocent citizens,” Paul said, without explaining how one does that
Cruz: Speaking Truth Not Rhetoric
• Cruz, the former Princeton debate champion, defended his fiery rhetoric in a calm tone. “Let me tell you something,” he said quietly. “Speaking the truth is not rhetoric.” (depends on whether it’s the truth) “I believe this Obama-Iran nuclear deal is the gravest threat facing America,” he said
• Former Gov Jeb Bush (R-Fla) stammered through an attempt at a joke about his famous family. “I’ve got a T-shirt that says, uh, at the Jeb swag store, that says I’m the, um, I’m the, my dad’s the greatest man alive. If you don’t like it, I’ll take you outside.” Also wobbly on U.S. forces on the ground to fight ISIS: “I’m not sure that’s necessary” – maybe, but GOPers want decision
• Graham offered what might have been the best line of the night. “Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill saved Social Security by working together after they had a drink. Maybe we need to drink more in Washington.” (and in New Hampshire)
• Airwars, an independent monitoring project aimed at tracking international airstrikes targeting ISIS, said in a report Monday, that it believe the U.S.-led coalition, in 57 strikes, had killed at least 459 civilians and caused 48 suspected “friendly-fire” deaths. U.S. has only acknowledged killing two civilians (AP)

Obama Unveils Climate Rule: Warns “No Plan B” (AP, Hill, WaPo, TRNS, TRNS, me)

• At a WH event on Monday, President Obama unveiled the final version of his plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, as he warned anew that climate change will threaten future generations if left unchecked: “There is such a thing as being too late when it comes to climate change.”

• Obama said the unprecedented carbon dioxide limits are “the single most important step” America has ever taken to fight climate change. He warned that because the problem is so large, if the world doesn’t get it right quickly, it may become impossible to reverse, leaving populations unable to adapt

• Obama was emotional when describing the Earth as a “blue marble” in NASA photos from space that “belongs to all of us.” He said “I don’t want my grandkids to not be able to swim in Hawaii or climb a mountain or see a glacier because we didn’t do something about it. That would be shameful of us.” He added, “There is no Plan B.” (downright gushy for him)

• Opponents immediately pounced, announcing they would sue to stop the rules from taking effect. Wast Virginia AG Patrick Morrissey (R), speaking at a summit of GOP state attorneys general, said West Virginia would be among a group of states “launching an aggressive legal campaign.”

• “Their legal foundation is very, very shaky,” Morrissey said of the Obama admin. “We are confident that we will prevail.” Power plants account for roughly one-third of all U.S. emissions of the heat trapping gases blamed for global warming, making them the single largest source

Many GOP-Led States Say No to Climate Rule

• As they prepared to sue the govt, states and energy companies asked the EPA to put the rules on hold while legal challenges play out – a notion that WH spox Josh Earnest dismissed. Opponents planned to ask the courts to issue a stay. Many Republican-led states have said their states simply won’t comply (sounds like Obamacare)

• The final version of Obama’s plan imposes stricter carbon dioxide limits on states than was previously expected: a 32% cut by 2030 compared with 2005 levels, the WH said. Obama’s proposed version last year called for a 30% cut. It also gives states an additional two years – until 2022 – to comply. States have an additional year to submit implementation plans to DC

• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) – coal-producing  state – said on the Senate floor Monday that the regs would mean “fewer jobs, shuttered power plants and higher electricity costs.” “I will not sit by while the WH takes aim at the lifeblood of our state’s economy.”

• Obama assailed “the special interests and their allies in Congress” who claim the rule will “cost jobs, kill jobs, destroy the coal industry, and hurt low-income and minority communities.” “We’ve heard these same stale arguments before. Every time America has made progress, it has been despite these kinds of claims.”

• The Obama admin estimates the emissions limits will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030. The actual price won’t be clear until states decide how they’ll reach their targets. But energy industry advocates said the revision makes Obama’s mandate even more burdensome, costly and difficult to achieve

• New York Post’s Amir Taheri reports that Ayatollah Khameini has written a 416-page book called “Palestine,” currently available only in Iran. He says the book states that Israel has no right to exist as a state and lays out Khameini’s strategy to destroy Israel through a long period of low-intensity warfare to make life so unpleasant for a majority of Israeli Jews that they’ll leave. It’s thoroughly vicious and detailed, if accurate (NYP)

House GOP Says It Has Votes to Nix Iran Deal (Hill, Jewish Insider, AP, Hill, NYT, me)

• House Republicans said Monday they have 218 votes to support a resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal, which has been introduced by Rep Peter Roskam (R-Ill). “Time is not the friend of this deal,” Roskam said in a statement. Republicans hold 246 seats in the House. President Obama would need 146 members to stand with him

• WH spox Josh Earnest said Monday, “We do feel confident that, if faced with the choice of sustaining the president’s veto of a resolution of disapproval, that we’ve got enough support in the House of Representatives to sustain that veto.” That’s one of the strongest statements yet from the WH

• Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who hasn’t disclosed his stance, said Monday, “This is such an important decision that I will not let pressure, politics or party influence [me].” Asked if he had spoken to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce foe of the deal, Schumer declined to answer

• Obama will meet with a small group of Jewish leaders – for, against and undecided – for the first time at the WH today. Obama will make the case that the accord “isn’t just in the best interest of the U.S., it is also within the national security interest of its biggest ally in the Middle East, Israel.”

• Persian Gulf monarchies issued a cautious endorsement on Monday of the agreement. “This was the best option among other options,” said Khalid al-Attiyah, the FM of Qatar, who hosted a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council that SecState John Kerry attended in Doha

• The American public is evenly divided over the nuclear deal with Iran, with a third supporting the agreement, a third opposing it and a third saying they don’t know enough to say, a new WSJ/NBC News poll finds. In June, WSJ/NBC poll found about the same level of support, but fewer people opposed – not so good for the WH now (WSJ)

Democrats Block Planned Parenthood Defunding (AP, TRNS, me)
• The Senate blocked a Republican drive Monday to terminate federal funds for Planned Parenthood, setting the stage for the GOP to try again this fall amid higher stakes – a potential govt shutdown that could echo into next year’s presidential and congressional elections – stay tuned
• The derailed bill was the Republican response to videos, secretly recorded and heavily edited by anti-abortion activists, showing Planned Parenthood officials dispassionately discussing how they sometimes provide medical researchers with tissue from aborted fetuses
• The anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress and its GOP supporters have said the videos show that Planned Parenthood sells the tissue for profit, which is illegal under federal law. Planned Parenthood says the videos are selectively edited and the organization only recovers costs of the procedures – which is legal
• Monday’s vote was 53-46, seven short of the 60 votes Republicans needed. Longer term, GOP leaders are hoping that three congressional committees’ investigations, plus several state probes and the expected release of additional videos, will produce evidence of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing
• The only senators to cross party lines were Democrats Joe Donnelly (Ind) and Joe Manchin (WVa) and Republican Mark Kirk (Ill), who faces a tough re-election fight next year. McConnell joined Democrats in voting to block the bill, a procedural move that allows him to force a fresh vote later. Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in New Hampshire, didn’t vote
• Member states of the UN have agreed on 17 development goals to be implemented globally over the next 15 years. Included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda are: end poverty…everywhere; end hunger, achieve food security; achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; end modern slavery and human trafficking (TRNS)
Senate Cyber Bill: Deal on Amendments? (Hill, Hill, me)
• The bipartisan co-sponsors of a major cybersecurity bill reached a preliminary deal on amendments that could help speed the measure through the Senate before August recess. Sens Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), top two lawmakers on the Senate Intel Committee, are backing the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)
• The bill would boost the exchange of data on hackers between companies and the govt. Supporters, including industry groups and a bipartisan group of lawmakers argue this exchange is necessary to better understand and thwart potential cyberattacks. A first vote on the bill could come on Wednesday
• Privacy advocates argue the bill simply shuttles more private data on American citizens to govt intel agencies, empowering surveillance programs. Privacy-minded senators, led by Sens Ron Wyden (D-Ore) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) want to significantly alter the bill. The amendments address some privacy concerns – but senators want more amendments
• But it wouldn’t eliminate all direct sharing between the private sector and govt intel agencies. This has been a sticking point for the WH, which has long argued all data swaps should go through Homeland Security – a civilian agency – rather than intel agencies (i don’t trust either one – but trust intel agencies even less)
• Nathan White, senior legislative manager with Access, a digital privacy group that has been working with Wyden, said, “Changes under the managers’ amendment won’t stop the govt from instantly passing along info to intel agencies. Law enforcement can still use info to prosecute whistleblowers under the Espionage Act.”
• Jurors on Monday moved one step closer towards sentencing James Holmes to death for his Colorado theater attack, taking less than three hours to reject arguments that the former neuroscience student’s mental illness means he shouldn’t die (TRNS, AP)
Amy/Chuck Schumer: Gun Safety Plan (Guardian, TRNS, me)
• Comic and actor Amy Schumer teamed up with her second cousin Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Monday to promote a three-point plan aimed at making it more difficult for violent criminals and mentally ill people to obtain firearms after a man opened fire at a screening of Amy Schumer’s film Trainwreck in Lafayette La last month
• The shooter killed Jillian Johnson, 33, and Mayci Breaux, 21, and injured nine others. “When I heard about this news, I was completely devastated … then I was angry,” the actor said during a NY presser. “We always find out how the shooter got their gun and it’s always something that never should have happened in the first place.”
• The proposed legislation would punish U.S. states that fail to submit relevant records into a background check system while reward those that comply. The senator will also ask Congress to retain funding for mental health and drug abuse problems
• Sen Schumer said, “Having people like Amy speaking out reaches people who I could never reach. It’s going to make a big difference.” Amy Schumer responded positively on Twitter on Saturday to an open letter from a woman whose mother survived the Sandy Hook massacre three years ago: “Don’t worry I’m on it. You’ll see.”
• In her letter to Schumer, Sarah Clements referenced media speculation that John RussellHouser may have specifically targeted the ribald comedy due to a hatred of women. She went on, “I know deep down that the tweet you sent after the shooting was not all that you’ve got. And we need your voice in this movement. We need your help.”
• A bottle held up by motorist Samuel DuBose before he was fatally shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer apparently contained a fragrance, not alcohol, a coroner said Monday. The bottle appeared to be labeled gin. Officer Ray Tensing has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter and been fired from his job (Guardian)
Judge Overturns Idaho’s “Ag Gag” Law (Guardian, me)
• A federal judge has lifted a controversial ban on undercover surveillance inside Idaho’s factory farms, delivering a significant victory to animal rights’ activists. Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Monday that the state’s so-called “ag gag” law violated the constitutional right to free speech
• “An agricultural facility’s operations that affect food and worker safety are not exclusively a private matter,” said the judge. “Food and worker safety are matters of public concern.” The agriculture industry’s political allies passed the law last year after an undercover investigator with advocacy group Mercy for Animals used a hidden camera to expose cruelty and neglect
• The 2012 expose at Bettencourt Dairies, Idaho’s largest dairy factory farm, documented workers beating, kicking and shocking cows, twisting their tails and dragging them with chains attached to their necks. It led to charges of animal cruelty against multiple workers, including a manager and prompted policy reform pledges by major food suppliers
• The state’s $2.5 billion dairy industry said the sting was an attempt to hurt businesses and rallied legislators in the state capitol to pass a law making it a crime to film inside agricultural facilities . The governor signed it. A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and media organizations lobbied the court to overturn the ban
• Judge Winmill said the law violated the First Amendment and the equal protection clause because it was animated in substantial part by animus towards animal welfare groups. Matt Rice of Mercy for Animals, said: “This is a huge victory not only for the Constitution but animals and consumers.” (yes it is – maybe next Iowa, Utah and North Carolina)
• Delta Airlines on Monday announced a ban on the shipment of big-game trophies worldwide on its flights – “all lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies worldwide as freight.” People compete for awards from Safari Club International for killing the Africa Big Five, the Humane Society of the U.S. said in a statement – (so fly Delta from now on)


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___________________Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ Anna Merod, Sydnee Fried, Luke Vargas and William Hadden contributed to this report

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