France launches first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. Destroys militants’ depot (BBC)

In the News

  • Scotland votes NO

  • Congress approves Syrian rebels’ aid
  • Use of force next, Congress?
  • Clapper: We underestimated ISIS
  • Hagel: “We recognize this is difficult”
  • ISIS video uses British hostage as spox

  • Obamacare chief under fire on Hill
  • Clapper says he didn’t lie…
  • WH: “Full-court press” for climate summit
  • Adrian Peterson’s awful texts
  • Senators urge judge to resign: domestic abuse
  • UN: Ebola threat to peace and security
  • OK Satanic black mass: protests
Scotland Vote: Och Aye the NO
• Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence. With the results in from all 32 council areas, the “No” side polled 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989 for “Yes.” Scotland rejected independence by 55% to 45%, and 84.59% of the Scottish population voted. England and Scotland were united in 1707

• Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond (Yes) called for unity and the unionist parties to deliver on more powers. UK PM David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and called for national unity (BBC, Independent, Telegraph, Guardian, NYT, me)

• Cameron said the three unionist parties at Westminster would follow through with their pledge to deliver more powers to the Scottish Parliament. He also said, “In Wales there are proposals to give the Welsh Govt and Assembly more powers and I want Wales to be at the heart of the debate on how to make the UK work for all our nations.” (ie! – yes in Welsh)

• The pound hit a two-year high against the euro and a two-week high against the U.S. dollar following the vote. British bookies and the markets had been predicting No all along. Ladbrokes said it was the biggest political betting event in history. So the bookies beat out the opinion polls by about 3%!

• Cameron said the referendum had “stirred strong passions,” “electrified politics in Scotland and caught the imagination” of people across the UK. Alistair Darling, who led the Better Together campaign, said the result “reaffirmed all that we have in common and the bonds that tie us together. Let them never be broken.”

• The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews, Scotland, voted Thursday in favor of allowing women members for the first time in its 260-year history. (about bloody time) 85% Yes. Founded in 1754, the links course is regarded as the “home of golf.” (BBC)

Congress Approves Syrian Rebels’ Aid
• The Senate gave overwhelming approval Thursday to the training and arming of Syrian rebels – then fled the Capitol with the House for the fall campaign, avoiding the debate over the extent of American military action until the lame-duck session later this year (too awkward for the campaign trail) NYT, Hill, Politico, TRNS, me)

• The training measure was tucked into a larger Senate bill to keep the govt funded past 30 Sept, a maneuver that suited leaders of both parties as it ensured few defections. The Senate’s 78-22 vote, a day after the House passed the measure, masked the serious doubts that some senators had

• In a statement from the WH after the Senate vote, President Obama heaped praise, saying: “We are strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together,” calling it a “hallmark of American foreign policy at its best.” Obama also thanked France for saying it would provide airstrikes

• Some senators are pressing to quickly add what’s tantamount to a declaration of war to an annual defense policy bill still pending in the Senate. Oh no, House leaders say, and so the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee could begin drafting their own authorization of force as soon as next week

• Nine Senate Democrats voted against giving the president authority: Tammy Baldwin (WI); Mark Begich (AK); Sherrod Brown (OH); Kirsten Gillibrand (NY); Patrick Leahy (VT); Joe Manchin (WV); Ed Markey (MA); Chris Murphy (CT); Elizabeth Warren (MA); also Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Use of Force Next, Congress?
• Many liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans agree that the admin’s justification for using force today – the congressional authorization for using force granted after the 9/11 attacks – is specious (to say the least, they say) (NYT, me)

• If Republicans take control of the Senate in November, wounded Democrats will be in no mood on take on an authorization of force, and triumphant Republicans won’t want to bind the coming Republican Congress with a lame-duck resolution

• House members in both parties will oppose efforts to add a use-of-force authorization to the Senate defense bill, arguing they’d be given no chance to amend it or debate it as an issue separate from the broader military policy measure

• Instead, Congress is likely to tuck an extension of the Syrian rebel training authority into the defense policy bill, said Rep Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee. If they can’t get that done, Congress might simply pass (yet) another stopgap spending bill that automatically carries the training resolution forward (lame)
Clapper: We Underestimated ISIS
• DNI James Clapper was (astonishingly) frank about ISIS in a phone interview Wed. “What we didn’t do was predict the will to fight. That’s always a problem. We didn’t do it in Vietnam. … In this case, we underestimated ISIL and overestimated the fighting capability of the Iraqi army. …

• “I didn’t see the collapse of the Iraqi security force in the north coming. I didn’t see that. I boils down to predicting the will to fight, which is an imponderable. (not entirely. If people truly believe in a cause, they will fight for it – we don’t always get that) (WaPo, me)
Hagel: “We Recognize This is Difficult”
• SecDef Chuck Hagel took fire from skeptical members of the House Armed Services Committee Thursday over President Obama’s strategy for combating ISIS. Lawmakers have expressed doubt over whether training 5,000 rebels initially over a year would be enough to take on ISIS, whose fighters may number more than 30,000 (#math) (Hill, TRNS, Politico, TRNS, me)

• “The goal is not to achieve numerical parity with ISIL, but to ensure that moderate Syrian forces are superior fighters,” said Hagel. (Ninjas?) “We recognize this is difficult. We recognize there is no good option here. There will always be an option in a program like this, but we believe that risk is justified given the threat ISIL poses.”

• Rep Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) questioned whether the U.S. could build an international coalition, adding that in the Iraq War, some countries only had one person in the fight, “training dogs, maybe a bomb expert.” “I hope your plan works,” she said, adding sarcastically, “because we did such a great job in Iraq.”

• Rep Adam Smith (D-WA) said it was essential to find Muslim partners. “This is a complicated dynamic on a good day,” Hagel said of getting Sunni Arab countries on board. “There are many factions and factors that are flowing through this.” (why don’t I feel full of confidence?)

• Security is being upgraded at the Australian parliament following “chatter” suggesting extremists could target it for attack (BBC)
ISIS Video Uses British Hostage as Spox
• Departing from its serial beheading videos of Western hostages, ISIS released a new video Thursday, featuring captive British journalist John Cantlie seated behind a desk and apparently reading from a script, explaining the group’s message and warning that America and its allies are foolishly heading into another unwinnable war (NYT, me)

• Looking calm but stressed, Cantlie spoke of what he described as the foolhardiness of yet another U.S.-led military commitment abroad, following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

• “Now, I know what you’re thinking,” he said. “You’re thinking: ‘He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner. He’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this.’ Right? Well, it’s true. I am a prisoner, that I cannot deny.”

• But seeing as I’ve been abandoned by my govt and my fate now lies in the hands of the Islamic State, I have nothing to lose. Maybe I will live and maybe I will die, but I want to take this opportunity to convey some facts that you can verify.”

• Cantlie was kidnapped in Syria before, and released a couple of weeks later. He and a Dutch photographer were shot during an escape attempt before their release. Four months later Cantlie was captured again while riding in a car with American journalist James Foley

• Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said after a meeting with President Obama at the WH Thursday, “I’m getting everything that is possible.” The Ukrainian leader came to DC seeking increased aid, but he didn’t get the lethal aid he called for in a speech to Congress Thursday (Hill, TRNS, me)
Obamacare Chief Under Fire on Hill
• A total of 7.3 million people were paid enrollees in Obamacare by the end of the summer, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner told the House Oversight Committee Thursday. Oversight chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) called it a “precipitous drop,” while Tavenner called it a “strong number.” (Hill, Roll Call, Fox, Politico, me)
• Aaand they were off to the races. Issa accused the Obama admin of scheming to cover up failures with, which he said put millions of people’s health data at risk

• Issa said federal officials responsible for the flawed launch of the website have refused to cooperate with govt investigations, and blamed their alleged recalcitrance on a “cozy relationship” with the Democratic Party (is it Groundhog Day yet?)

• Issa charged that Tavenner had deleted emails related to to block a federal investigation. He read aloud her emails asking her staff to delete their correspondence and asked if she’d written it. She said she had, adding that the emails contained information about the president’s schedule

• The security of the website came into question again this week after a federal audit reported “deficiencies” in security. Tavenner said that nearly all of the fixes recommended by the GAO had already been made
• A woman has sued NV rancher Cliven Bundy for negligence since a cow he let roam on public land caused her to crash her car. Bundy said, “It’s a state problem. It’s not our problem.” (what a peach) (Las Vegas Review-Journal, TPM)

Clapper Says He Didn’t Lie

• James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said Thursday at an intelligence summit that he didn’t lie last year when he denied, in a Senate intelligence committee hearing, that the U.S. was collecting data on millions of Americans. “It has been very disappointing to have my integrity questioned because of a mistake.” (mistake, error, lie – what’s the diff…)

• Docs leaked by Edward Snowden later showed that the agency had been gathering and storing phone records for years. Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked the question and already knew the answer from classified briefings, so knew that Clapper had answered incorrectly (CBS, Politico, me)

• Wyden has said before that his staff not only provided Clapper with the question in advance, but also a chance to change the answer afterward, which didn’t happen

• Clapper’s explanations for his answer have – – – shifted over time. At first he defended his comments and said he meant to say the NSA wasn’t going through Americans’ mail. Later (memorably) he said his response was “the least untruthful” he could give Congress

• Finally, he wrote a letter to Congress last June saying his answer was “clearly erroneous” and said that he’d been thinking about the substance of the phone calls rather than the “to” and “from” info, which is known as metadata

• Federal officials briefed on the criminal investigation said Thursday they’ve not found info linking Gov Chris Christie (R-NJ) to traffic lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. So far uncovered no evidence he had knowledge of or directed the road closures (Hill)

WH: “Full-Court Press” for Climate Summit

• On a call with reporters Thursday, WH senior adviser John Podesta said the Obama administration is preparing a “full-court press” ahead of next week’s UN climate summit where the president will use his speech to “call on world leaders to keep their ambitions high.”

• Podesta said the admin is taking the UN summit in New York on Tuesday “seriously” to “show that the U.S. is committed to lead the fight against climate change.” Roughly 125 heads of state from across the globe are expected to attend the daylong summit, which offers President Obama an opportunity to “showcase” actions the U.S. has taken

• “We don’t have time to dabble with climate denial,” Podesta quipped, while noting the U.S. is currently dealing with raging wildfires, ongoing droughts and rising sea levels (riotously funny stuff)

• The admin’s carbon pollution rules on existing power plants and latest actions to phase out a popular coolant found in air conditioners and refrigerators will be on the mouths of every Cabinet member. The admin will also tout actions announced Thursday to boost energy efficiency in homes and businesses

• Obama won’t stop there, Podesta said. Early next week the president will announce more executive actions on aid to vulnerable populations to help build up resilience to the impacts of climate change. And members of the Cabinet will fan out around the country to say the time for ambitious climate action is now

• Home Depot said 56 million cards may have been compromised in a five-month attack on its payment terminals, making the breach much bigger than the holiday attack at Target. Home Depot said the malware has been eliminated from its systems (oh boy I know I’ve been to Home Depot…) (WSJ, me)
Adrian Peterson’s Awful Texts
• A sad and horrific text exchange between MN Vikings’ Adrian Peterson and the mother of one of the child he had whipped: “…toughest of the bunch,” Peterson wrote. “He got about five more pops than normal. He didn’t drop one tear! So that was another indicator I’ll have to try another system with him. SMH he’s tough as nails…”

• The mother replied: “Well you can’t hit him til he cries! That’s just mean. He’s trying to be strong for you. He’s afraid of you. He’s 4, he’s not playing mind games with you.” (she’s so insightful – you wonder what her role was) (Yahoo)

Senators Urge Judge to Resign: Domestic Abuse
• Alabama’s two Republican U.S. senators Wednesday called for AL federal judge Mark Fuller to step down nearly six weeks after he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery after a confrontation with his wife. He’s agreed to participate in a pretrial diversion program – could have the arrest removed (NYT, me)

• Judge Fuller, an appointee of President G.W.. Bush, has for years been one of the most high-profile jurists in AL. In an incident report on 10 Aug, an Atlanta police officer wrote that Judge Fuller’s wife opened the door at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and displayed “visible lacerations to her mouth and forehead.” They noted “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” from the room

• Mrs Fuller, who’d summoned the cops, told them that she and Fuller had begun arguing after she questioned him about her suspicions that he was having a sexual relationship with a law clerk

• The police report said that when she confronted him, “he pulled her hair and threw her to the ground and kicked her. Mrs Fuller also stated she was dragged around the room and Mr Fuller hit her in the mouth several times with her hands.”

• Judge Fuller denied many of his wife’s allegations and said he’d acted to protect himself after she threw a Sprite and a drink glass toward him. (er, yeah, so of course, hair dragging’s the natural response to airborne Sprite). He’s not been suspended from the 11th Circuit, but he’s not getting much work…

UN: Ebola Threat to Peace and Security
• The UN Security Council on Thursday called the Ebola outbreak in Africa “a threat to international peace and security” and urged the world to provide health experts, field hospitals and medical supplies to combat the rapidly accelerating and deadly virus (AP, Guardian, CNN, me)

• SecGen Ban Ki-moon said the number of Ebola cases is doubling every three weeks and called for a 20-fold increase in aid totaling almost $1 billion to tackle the crisis over the next six months. He thanked President Obama for sending 3,000 troops to provide expertise

• Sierra Leone starts a three-day lockdown today in an effort to halt the outbreak. No one will be allowed to leave their homes, allowing volunteers to go door-to-door, educating people on the virus. Doctors Without Borders said it’s leading to the concealment of cases and jeopardizing trust

• The PM of Guinea said that seven bodies, including three journalists, have been found after a team of health workers went missing during a push to raise awareness of Ebola. Witnesses said the team was set upon by angry residents in a remote village, where many remain in denial about the disease or suspicious of foreign health workers

OK Satanic Black Mass: Protests
• An organizer says he expects up to 600 people from as far away as PA to attend a prayer rally expressing opposition to the Satanic black mass in the downtown civic center music hall in Oklahoma City this Sunday (me, ABC, newsok,com)

• The toned-down black mass has been sold out for weeks – thanks to panicked protests from Gov Mary Fallin (R), who drew attention to the obscure event in the first place. Nobody bothered to show up to the last one. I mean, they’re using vinegar instead of urine, for crying out loud. What fun is that? And BTW, where are the goats??

• Adam Daniels, co-founder of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu said the ceremony will wrap up with a Satanic exorcism intended to draw the Holy Spirit from the follower’s body. “Our practices have gotten it to about 22 to 25 minutes,” Daniels said (is that prolonging it or speeding it up?) The “naked” woman victim will wear underwear – I mean, come ONNN

• Daniels said organizers will wear profane costumes (supposed to be naked, aren’t they?), use explicit language (ooooo) and desecrate the fake unconsecrated host, which Catholics believe is a form of the resurrected Christ (a real one, that is). It’s not a Satanic black mass. It’s a lame-oh sham. Protesters should stay home. Satan would laugh at this. No goats, really

• Rocking into the weekend with: “Happy Iranians.” Original uploaded Iran version of Pharrell Williams “Happy” video. It’s so – happy – Watch and show solidarity with the dancers

• Apparently absolutely terrified by joy, Iran has sentenced the six young people who made the video and danced in it to a suspended sentence of six months in prison and 91 lashes. The regime’s pathetic, ridiculous – and sad

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Victoria Jones

TRNS’ William McDonald and James Cullum contributed to this report

The Talk Radio News Service is the only information, news booking and host service dedicated to serving the talk radio community. TRNS maintains a Washington office that includes White House, Capitol Hill and Pentagon staffed bureaus, and a New York office with a United Nations staffed bureau. Talk Radio News Service has permanent access to every breaking newsevent in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.