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

  • Boehner unloads: “False prophets”
  • Speaker scramble: Kevin McCarthy?
  • Obama/Putin showdown at UN today
  • Putin: Assad regime is legit
  • Obama chides bad govts at global summit
  • Pope meets child sex abuse victims in US
  • SCOTUS: 5 cases to watch
  • Trump releases tax plan today
  • Obama boosts LGBT goals
  • Hillary Clinton struggles on emails
Boehner Unloads (NYT, Politico, Bloomberg, me)
• House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), in his first one-on-one interview since his bombshell resignation announcement Friday, said that there won’t be a govt shutdown this week, though he’s “sure” it will take Democratic votes to pass a temporary funding extension – govt runs out of funding on 30 Sept
• “The Bible says, beware of false prophets. And there are people out there spreading, you know, noise about how much can be get done,” Boehner said. “We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things they know – they know! – are never going to happen.”
• In an indication that some deals might get done in October, Boehner said, “I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn. I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there.” He said he expects to find increased cooperation “from some around town to get as much done as possible” before he leaves office (might be last time for a while…)
• Visibly exasperated, Boehner said his top accomplishments as speaker – including deficit reduction and the first major entitlement reform in decades – “all were voted against by my most conservative members because it wasn’t good enough. Really? This is the part I really don’t understand.” (simple: they’re not interested in governing)
• “Our founders didn’t want some parliamentary system where if you won the majority you got to do whatever you wanted. They wanted this long, slow process,” Boehner said. “It’s not about Hail Mary passes. It’s the (former Ohio State coach) Woody Hayes school of football. Three yards and a cloud of dust. It’s a slow, methodical process.”


• The Senate is scheduled to vote today on a procedural motion to advance a spending bill that would keep the govt open, putting the measure’s fate in the House. Boehner decided “today was the day,” on Friday, he said, after waking up and saying his prayers. President Obama praised Boehner as a “good man” (TRNS, TRNS)

Speaker Scramble: Kevin McCarthy? (CNN, NYT, me)

• House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif), who is quietly locking down support to be the next House speaker, is privately assuring Republicans he’ll take a tougher stand against the WH  – and also against the Senate GOP leadership, according to people familiar with the talks (sort of an accidental speaker – not experienced)
• McCarthy has spoken to nearly every GOP lawmaker in his caucus, seeking their input and calling for party unity. He’s hearing from members who have “serious” anger that the GOP Congress hasn’t advanced the conservative cause more forcefully and about the GOP’s lack of direction
• House Republicans are expected to meet behind closed doors this week to talk about their future. Rep Daniel Webster (R-Fla) who won just 12 votes when he ran against speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in January, has announced (loser). GOP aides said that House Financial Services Committee chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is weighing a run
• Rep Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a frequent thorn in Boehner’s side, said on Fox News Sunday that McCarthy has an “inside track.” Mulvaney said the “important question” is “will they change for the better or will we simply replace Mr Boehner with somebody else who will do the same thing.”
• Boehner has said it’s up to the members to decide. But, “having said that, I think Kevin McCarthy would make an excellent speaker.” McCarthy could face a potential challenge from the right – he’s on the right, too. McCarthy, who is only serving his fifth term in Congress, would be the least experienced speaker since 1891 (and right flank doesn’t want to play nice)


• GOP Lawmakers who have been making calls this weekend to build support for their bids to McCarthy’s No.2 spot include Reps Steve Scalise (La) – No. 3, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash) – No.4 and Tom Price (Ga). Reps Pete Sessions (Texas) and Peter Roskam (Ill) may also make a push for the No. 2 job (bloodbath) (CNN, me)
Obama / Putin to Meet at UN Today (WaPo, AP, NYT, me)
• President Vladimir Putin’s objectives in Syria, where he’s been sending tanks, aircraft and personnel, remain a mystery to the WH, leading President Obama to conclude that the best way to find out is to ask him. The two are scheduled to hold a formal meeting this evening, for the first time in two years, after they both deliver morning speeches at the UN General Assembly
• For now, officials said, Obama’s goal is to hear Putin out, stress U.S. policy goals, warn against interference, and determine whether there’s room for cooperation. Obama will also take advantage of the UN gathering to hold a Tuesday summit of the anti-ISIS coalition and other counterterrorism partners
• World leaders have begun a whirlwind series of closed-door meetings on Syria on the UN sidelines. Sunday, French President Francois Hollande announced his country’s first airstrikes in Syria, destroying a training camp in the east of the country. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told CNN that backing Syria’s “central govt” is the only way to defeat ISIS
• On 60 Minutes on Sunday, Putin said, “Russia will not participate in any troop operations in Syria. Well, at least we don’t plan on it right now.” (sooo ummm) He said he supports Assad: “We support the legitimate govt of Syria.” Sunday, Iraq’s military said it will begin sharing “security and intelligence” info with Russia, Syria and Iran to help combat ISIS
• The U.S. and UN are both reaching out to Iran in the glow of the nuclear deal for help in finding political solutions in Syria. Obama speaks today, along with Putin – first time in 10 years – and Chinese President Xi Jinping


• WH spox Josh Earnest emphasized last Thursday that it was Russia that had sought the meeting. In fact, Earnest insisted, Putin was “desperate” for it. “Not true,” said the Kremlin Friday, with Yuri Ushakov, a top foreign policy adviser to Putin, saying the Obama admin sent a proposal on 19 Sept for a meeting (NYT)


Putin Says Assad Regime Legit (NYT, WaPo, NYT, Hill, me)
• In an interview with CBS and PBS, President Vladimir Putin said Syrian President Bashar Assad commanded the only legitimate army fighting ISIS in Syria and deserves support. “In my view, providing military aid to illegitimate organizations contravenes the principles of international law and the UN charter. We back only legal govt entities.” (swipe at U.S.)
• Putin said Russia was taking proactive steps to stop the violence before it can spread to Russia. “So this is the most important thing which encourages us and pushes us to provide assistance to Assad. And in general we want the situation in the region to stabilize.” (and keep our influence in the region and grow it, too)
• The Putin interview and an Iraqi announcement that Iraq, Russia, Iran and the Syrian govt have agreed to share intel about ISIS, underscored how quickly facts are changing on the ground. Although they’ve not backed down from their demand that Assad must go, SecState John Kerry and officials from other officials acknowledge he may stay on for a transition period
• In addition to pressing Putin to abide by a cease-fire in Ukraine and to cooperate on Syria, President Obama plans to bolster UN peacekeeping, encourage commitments to fight climate change, coordinate efforts against violent extremism and address the refugee crisis engulfing Europe. His speech is at 10 am ET today
• In his meeting with Putin later today, “President Obama will seek to understand what the Russian govt means when it states that it is enhancing or increasing its military involvement in Syria in order to support efforts to counter ISIL,” said Celeste Wallander, the president’s Russia adviser (means it’s bolstering its client state temporarily to keep its interests in the region secure, for starters)


• President Putin said on 60 Minutes that he doesn’t view President Obama as weak. “I don’t think so at all. You see, here’s the thing. In any country – and in the U.S. I believe this happens even more often than in any other country – foreign political factors are used for domestic political battles. There is a presidential campaign coming up.” (Hill)
Obama Chides Bad Govts at Global Summit (Politico, AP, Vox, me)
• Since this is his seventh trip to the UN General Assembly, President Obama said Sunday: “I tend to be more blunt.” Bad govts, Obama said, are responsible for their citizens not getting the resources they need and deserve. Those leaders need to change what they’re doing, Obama said. And they need to get out of the way
• The same goes for those who are holding women back in their countries. “One of the best indicators of whether a country will succeed is how it treats its women,” Obama said. “I do not have patience for the excuse of ‘Well, we have our own ways of doing things.'” (vital to say – but bad govts won’t do)
• Obama made the remarks in an appearance at the Sustainable Development Goals conference. He offered a powerful defense of a 15-year development agenda that will require trillions of dollars and effort from countries, companies and civil society. Obama said the agenda “is not charity but instead is one of the smartest investments we can make in our own future.”
• Obama told delegates that 800 men, women and children scrape by on less than $1.25 a day and that billions of people are at risk of dying from preventable diseases. He called it a “moral outrage” that many children are just one mosquito bite away from death
• Addressing the world’s greatest refugee crisis since World War II as millions flee conflict in Syria and elsewhere, Obama said countries “that can, must do more to accommodate refugees,” but added those efforts must be matched by diplomacy. Here’s the Syrian refugee crisis – explained in one map


• President Obama and President Raul Castro will meet Tuesday in their first formal encounter since the U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic relations in July. They’ll meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Obama isn’t expected to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (WSJ)


Pope Meets Child Sex Abuse Victims in US (AP, NYT, TRNS, me)
• Pope Francis met with five victims of child sexual abuse on Sunday and told them he was “deeply sorry” for the times they came forward to tell their stories and weren’t believed. He assured them he believes them. “Clergy and bishops will be held accountable when they abuse or fail to protect children,” Francis said. He said he was “overwhelmed by shame”
• Minutes later, he went into a meeting of bishops from the U.S. and around the world and told them the same thing. “God weeps” over what was done to the youngsters, he lamented. The pope has agreed to create a new Vatican tribunal to prosecute bishops who failed to protect their flock. Three U.S. bishops have resigned (too little too late?)
• The main victims’ support group, SNAP, said: “Is a child anywhere on Earth safer now that a pope, for maybe the seventh or eighth time or ninth time, has briefly chatted with abuse victims?” (no)
• Later, Francis urged hundreds of thousands gathered for the biggest event of his U.S. visit to be open to “miracles of love for the sake of all the families of the world.” Crowds a mile away fell silent during the Communion part of the Mass, held at the columned steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
• Earlier Sunday, Francis visited an overcrowded Philadelphia jail to give hope of redemption to about 100 inmates, included suspected killers, rapists and mobsters. He greeted the men one by one, telling them to use the time inside to get their lives back on track. The inmates appeared moved, two gave him a hug. Francis has now returned to Rome


• Royal Dutch Shell said today it would stop exploration off the coast of Alaska “for the foreseeable future.” It said the well it drilled this summer produced disappointing results. It also cited high costs and the “challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.” The move will be cheered by environmentalists (NYT, me)
SCOTUS: 5 Cases to Watch (Hill, me)
• The Supreme Court returns for its October term, and will decide some cases to take up during its first conference today. Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin: Before the court for a second time is a case challenging UT’s policy of using race as a factor in its undergraduate admissions process
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn: Centers on a Calif law that allows school districts to require public school teachers, as a condition of employment, to either join the union or opt out – but still pay a portion of union dues. At issue is whether the court should overturn a ruling where it said non-union workers should pay a portion of the union fees because a public union shop bargains for everyone
Evenwel v. Abbott: How states should measure population when drawing voter districts – major political implications. Two people claim their votes for state Senate representation count less than those in bigger districts because the state used total population to draw voting districts instead of voting age population
Montgomery v. Louisiana: Henry Montgomery, 69, sentenced to life in prison for a murder he committed at age 17, is challenging Louisiana’s decision to keep him behind bars despite the SCOTUS ruling in 2012 that the Eighth Amendment prohibits anyone under 18 from being sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole as punishment for murder
Sharpe Holdings v. U.S. Dept of Health/Human Services: Justices not taken this up yet, but legal experts think they will. About mandate in Obamacare that requires all employer health plans to cover federally approved forms of birth control. 8th Circuit ruled against the mandate in a case of religious nonprofits who must seek an exemption – other appeals courts have ruled for


• The stage collapses on Carly Fiorina in San Antonio, Texas – curtain literally comes down – everyone is OK


Trump: Releases Tax Plan Today (WSJ, Jezebel, me)
• Donald Trump is set to release a tax plan at 11 am today that calls for major reductions in levies on middle income and poor payers, while increasing taxes on the wealthy and reining in companies that pay less in taxes by moving their headquarters overseas
• The plan will offer a “major tax reduction for almost all citizens” and help stimulate business in the U.S. again, the GOP candidate’s campaign said Sunday. The presidential front runner is also expected to call for the poorest filers to pay no federal taxes at all while also recommending that corporate levies be reduced
• In a 60 Minutes interview, Trump shrugged off questions as to how he would pay for the tax plan. “Some very wealthy are going to be raised. Some people that are getting unfair deductions are going to be raised. But overall it’s going to be a tremendous incentive to grow the economy and we’re going to take in the same or more money.” (gets away with not saying)
• ISIS: “Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants? Russia wants to get rid of ISIS, we want to get rid of ISIS, maybe let Russia get rid of ISIS! What the hell do we care?”
• Media: “You know, some of the media is among the worst people I’ve ever met. I mean, a really good percentage is really a terrible group of people.” (takes one to know one…) Universal health care: “Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say … I don’t care if it costs me votes or not.”


• In a major shift in immigration patterns over the next 50 years, Asians will have surged past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to the U.S., according to estimates in a new Pew Research study out today. The actual tipping point comes in 2055 (AP, NYT)
Obama Boosts LGBT Goals (AP, Hill, me)
• “We affirm that we cherish our religious freedom and are profoundly respectful of religious traditions,” President Obama said Sunday as he addressed members of the LGBT community, “But we also have to say clearly that our religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights.”
• Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser, Obama said, “And even as we are respectful and accommodating genuine concerns and interests of religious institutions, we need to reject politicians who are supporting new forms of discrimination as a way to scare up votes.” (catnip to GOP 2016ers)
• Earlier this month, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis spent days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples despite a Supreme Court ruling that made same sex unions legal nationwide. She said such marriages violate her Apostolic Christian faith. Since being released, she has permitted licenses without her name and title
• Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the legal case that led the Supreme Court in June to rule in favor of gay marriage, introduced Obama. The president noted that everyone in the U.S., regardless of sexual orientation, is protected by a federal hate crimes law he signed in his first year as president
• Obama got some of his biggest cheers and loudest applause when he said “we live in an America where ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is something that ‘don’t exist.'” Obama lifted the Pentagon policy that barred gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military


• Donald Trump and Ben Carson are atop the GOP field with 21% and 20% support from Republican primary voters. Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina are tied for third place with 11%. Hillary Clinton is at 42%, just 7 points ahead of Bernie Sanders at 35%. VP Joe Biden is at 17% – NBCNews/WSJ poll – margin of error 6.5% (ridiculously high) (Hill, me)
Hillary Clinton Struggles on Emails (NYT, Bloomberg, NYT, me)
• Hillary Clinton said Sunday that she couldn’t fully explain the discovery of a string of work emails sent from her personal account more than two months earlier than when she has said she first began using that address as secstate. “There was a transition period. You know, I wasn’t that focused on my email,” Clinton said on NBC’s Meet the Press
• Pressed to explain the discrepancy, Clinton said it was beyond her technical understanding. “I am by no means a technical expert. I relied on people who were,” she said. The emails were between her and Gen David Petraeus
• Former President Bill Clinton said in a CNN interview, “I have never seen so much expended on so little.” He said, “I think that – that there are lots of people who wanted there to be a race for different reasons. And they thought the only way they could make it a race was a full-scale frontal assault on her. And so this email thing became the biggest story in the world.”
• NBC’s Chuck Todd suggested to Hillary Clinton that another possible reason she had perhaps used a private server was because she planned to run for president in 2016 and wanted to shield her correspondence from FOIA requests or potential congressional investigations. “It’s totally ridiculous. That never crossed my mind,” she said
• When Todd suggested the cycle of allegations, explanations and further explanations by her campaign had “the feel of a drip, drip, drip” and asked if she could reassure Democrats “that there’s nothing else here,” Clinton demurred. “It is like a drip, drip, drip. And that’s why I said there’s only so much that I can control.”


• How low can you go? A lousy season took an ugly turn Sunday for the Washington Nationals when closer Jonathan Papelbon attacked MVP candidate Bryce Harper in the dugout during the eighth inning of their game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Grabbed him by the throat. Nice. Class move

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Victoria Jones – Editor

TRNS’ William McDonald, Justin Duckham and Anthony Herrera contributed to this report


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