Deadline Day, What's Going On in Vienna?

The Note 11/24/2014

The Note: Deadline Day, What's Going On in Vienna?

By SHUSHANNAH WALSHE (@shushwalshe )


  • VIENNA UPDATE: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani sent a subtle message on the eve of Monday's deadline to strike a nuclear deal with world powers. He posted a photo of himself on Instagram walking past a mural of the word "hope," written in Farsi, ABC's KIRIT RADIA reports from Vienna. On Twitter, Secretary of State John Kerry wrote "We're continuing to chip away in Vienna. P5+1 united," referring to the negotiating group of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China. As both sides work furiously towards the deadline, hope has replaced any optimism that a grand bargain can be reached by midnight. By all accounts, the parties remain far apart.
  • EXTENSION NEWS: The talks have been extended for 7 months. The new deadlines are now March for a political framework agreement with details hammered out by July, per a Western Diplomat, ABC'S KIRIT RADIA also reports. The talks are set to resume, but perhaps at a lower level, in December at a location to be determined.
  • PRESIDENT ON THE TALKS: President Barack Obama said just days before the deadline for negotiations over Iran's nuclear program that the gaps in the talks remain "significant" and that it was too soon to tell whether the parties could reach an agreement by Monday, ABC's ALI WEINBERG reports. "The good news is that the interim deal that we entered into has definitely stopped Iran's nuclear program from advancing. …. So it's been successful," Obama told " THIS WEEK" ANCHOR GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS in an exclusive interview. "Now the question is, can we get to a more permanent deal? And the gaps are still significant." Obama said if an agreement is reached, he was confident he could convince a skeptical Congress of its strength in preventing Iran from creating a nuclear weapon, even as members of the incoming Republican majority insist they'll impose additional sanctions on Iran if they don't like the deal.
  • IMMIGRATION FACE-OFF CONTINUES: ABC'S JONATHAN KARL reports on GOOD MORNING AMERICA on the president pushing back on the criticism he's received since issuing that executive action on immigration, as well as an update on the nuclear deal talks. WATCH:
  • TODAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE: At 2:15 pm, the president honors 19 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony, including Ethel Kennedy, Meryl Streep, Marlo Thomas, Stevie Wonder and Isabel Allende. Kennedy is being honored for her tremendous public service and for dedicating her life "to advancing the cause of social justice, human rights, environmental protection, and poverty reduction by creating countless ripples of hope to effect change around the world, notes ABC's MARY BRUCE.
  • NEWS ON THE HILL: Senator Rand Paul is calling for a declaration of war against the Islamic State, a move that promises to shake up the debate over the military campaign in Iraq and Syria as President Obama prepares to ask Congress to grant him formal authority to use force, reports THE NEW YORK TIMES' JEREMY PETERS. Mr. Paul, a likely presidential candidate who has emerged as one of the Republican Party's most cautious voices on military intervention, offered a very circumscribed definition of war in his proposal, which he outlined in an interview on Saturday. He would, for instance, limit the duration of military action to one year and significantly restrict the use of ground forces. Unlike other resolutions circulating on Capitol Hill that would give the president various degrees of authority to use force against Islamic militants, Mr. Paul would take the extra step of declaring war - something Congress has not done since World War II.


ABC's RICK KLEIN: "I've been very restrained with respect to immigration," President Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week." Maybe, if even one Republican agreed with that assessment… But just because the president went big - it's not the number of orders, but the impact they have, that counts in the end - doesn't make the political response an easy one. It looks like immigration, and calibrating the response, will dominate the lame-duck session of Congress, and spill over into the new year. There will plenty of ideas, from impeachment and censure to lawsuits and de-funding efforts. Some of them will come to reality. But the president's retort - "pass a bill" - is a hard one to argue against. If Republicans want to use the new Congress to show they can lead, and do more than vent and/or react, it might be the little-watched legislative route that takes them there.


PRESIDENT OBAMA DEFENDS USE OF EXECUTIVE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION. President Obama defended his decision to use executive authority to enact changes to the U.S. immigration system during an exclusive interview with "This Week," challenging Republican Speaker John Boehner to "pass a bill" if he was not satisfied with the president's unilateral actions, ABC's BENJAMIN BELL reports. "Congress has a responsibility to deal with these issues and there are some things that I can't do on my own," the president told ABC News' chief anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview in Las Vegas on Friday. "What I do have is the legal authority to try to make the system better. Given the resource constraints that we have, we have to prioritize."

PRESIDENT OBAMA: AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT 'NEW CAR SMELL' IN 2016 CAMPAIGN. President Obama, acknowledging he's taken some political "dings" during his time in the White House, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that the American people will want that "new car smell" when it comes to the 2016 presidential campaign, suggesting he may not have a prominent role on the campaign trail as the country prepares to select his replacement. ABC's BENJAMIN BELL reports the president said there were "a number" of potential Democratic candidates who would make great presidents, and that he would do everything he could to ensure that a member of his own party succeeded him.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: DON'T USE FERGUSON AS 'AN EXCUSE FOR VIOLENCE.' As a grand jury debates whether to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, President Obama - in an exclusive interview with ABC News - urged residents of the city and all others to "keep protests peaceful," ABC's BENJAMIN BELL reports. "This is a country that allows everybody to express their views. Allows them to peacefully assemble, to protest actions that they think are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are," Obama told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview conducted for "This Week." The grand jury is in the midst of determining if Wilson - who fatally shot Brown on Aug. 9 - should be charged for the incident. It is not known precisely when a decision by the grand jury will be reached.


TERRORISM AND DOUGHNUTS: FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY'S WACKIEST ANALOGIES. An ABC News investigation spanning several Google results has uncovered a radical analogist inside the FBI. His name: James Comey . His rank: FBI director. And compelling evidence indicates he is a homegrown verbal essayist, ABC'S MIKE LEVINE notes, with a smile. In fact, for the past year he's been using somewhat random metaphors to spread his message of law enforcement and national security. WATCH:


DEBBIE DINGELL READY FOR SPOTLIGHT AS HER HUSBAND, THE 'DEAN' OF CONGRESS, STEPS ASIDE by Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times: As the well-connected wife of the longest-serving congressman in American history, Debbie Dingell has long been her husband's fiercest protector. So when Representative John D. Dingell Jr., the famously irascible Michigan Democrat, announced in February that he would retire after nearly 60 years, he gave her a tender shout-out. "The lovely Deborah and I are simply coming home," Mr. Dingell said. Few believed him, and with good reason: "the lovely Deborah," a former auto industry lobbyist and General Motors executive, promptly ran for her husband's seat and won, positioning herself as heir to a political dynasty that dates to Franklin Roosevelt. Today she is Representative-elect Dingell, making her own history as the first woman to succeed a living spouse in Congress.

POSTSCRIPT: MARION BARRY (1936-2014) by David Remnick of The New Yorker: Give him this: Marion Barry was the most vivid local politician in the history of the District of Columbia. Like Earl and Huey Long, of Louisiana, he was a kaleidoscopically strange and contradictory political beast: a man of civil rights, a man of fallen character, a cunning operator, an arrogant hack, a builder, an underminer, a spokesman for the dispossessed…Barry, who died Sunday at the age of seventy-eight, did not play by the customary rules of modern political rhetoric. When he was asked once about an evening revel, he replied, "First, it was not a strip club. It was an erotic club. And, second, what can I say? I'm a night owl." In 1989, he remarked, "Outside of the killings, D.C. has one of the lowest crime rates in the country." When he failed to file tax returns, he shrugged it off, saying he had been "distracted." When he was arrested, in 2002, with a white substance under his nose and traces of cocaine in his car, Barry said, "They made all this up to justify questioning me. It's all made up."



OBAMA RAISES STAKES ON IMMIGRATION IN VEGAS RALLY. Pitching his immigration plan directly to the American people, President Obama told a rowdy crowd in Las Vegas that what he's offering is a "common sense" first step to fixing a "broken system," ABC's MARY BRUCE and CHRIS GOOD report. "Our immigration system has been broken for a very long time, and everybody knows it," Obama said. "It's not amnesty," Obama said of his plan to shield up to 5 million people from deportation. "Amnesty really is the system we've got today… What we are offering is accountability." The president claimed he tried everything to work with Congress and chastised Republicans in the House for refusing to vote on the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate. He pushed back against critics who claim his executive actions poison the well for future compromise and challenged Congress to pass a bill.

PRESIDENT OBAMA 'DAMAGING PRESIDENCY' WITH UNILATERAL ACTION, BOEHNER SAYS. House Speaker John Boehner said that President Obama is damaging the institution of the presidency by taking unilateral action to reform the country's immigration laws, setting up another political showdown on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as Republicans work on a strategy on how best to react to Thursday's announcement. "All year long I've warned the president that by taking unilateral action on matters such as his health care law, or by threatening action repeatedly on immigration, he was making it impossible to build the trust necessary to work together," Boehner, R-Ohio, said. ABC's JOHN PARKINSON reports that while Boehner refused to enumerate how the House might react to the president's actions, he stressed that "the House will in fact act."

HOW AMERICA REACTED TO OBAMA'S IMMIGRATION ANNOUNCEMENT IN PHOTOS. Americans across the country gathered Thursday night to watch President Obama address the nation on the executive action he will take on immigration. ABC's ALANA ABRAMSON takes a look at some of the reactions from across the country.

U.S. BROADENS MILITARY MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN NEXT YEAR. President Obama has authorized the military in Afghanistan to continue to target Taliban fighters next year, a move that broadens the scope of the training mission that is to begin in 2015, ABC's LUIZ MARTINEZ reports. The NATO and U.S. combat mission is slated to end at year's end and convert to a training mission for Afghan security forces that is expected to last two more years. U.S. officials confirm Obama has signed an executive order that would also allow military forces to conduct limited targeting of Taliban forces if they pose a threat to U.S. troops or if they were providing support to al Qaeda.

TOP HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTERS GATHER TO PLOT, STRATEGIZE. Two-hundred prominent Democratic strategists, former Clinton aides and donors, joined forces for a day-long strategy meeting hosted by the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary to coalesce their efforts, plot and plan for when and if Hillary Clinton runs for president. The meeting was made up of a series of closed-to-the-media strategizing panels and marked the beginning of the end of Ready for Hillary, which plans to shut down its operations once Clinton announces a run. ABC's LIZ KREUTZ reports that it also marked a turning point for Clinton's potential 2016 campaign.

COLUMN: DID BUSH, OBAMA SQUANDER THEIR PRESIDENCIES? A few weeks ago ABC's MATTHEW DOWD wrote in a column that "Election Day once again showed that our political system is broken - voters went to the polls, sent a message, and then leaders will in the days and months ahead ignore what the public was trying to tell them." Dowd says that President Obama's recent announcement bypassing Congress with executive orders related to immigration reform puts a highlight on our broken democracy.



HERE'S WHAT OBAMA ALMOST FORGOT TO BRING TO LAS VEGAS. Even the Leader of the Free World has mindless moments. President Obama walked out of the Oval Office with a spring in his step this morning, bounding toward the Marine One helicopter for an immigration campaign swing to Las Vegas, Nevada. ABC's DEVIN DWYER reports that after Obama boarded the bird, he quickly dashed out the rear door, making a bee-line for the White House, telling reporters, "I forgot something." Three minutes later, he emerged from the White House with a grin, saying "Do you guys ever forget something?" "What'd you forget?" ABC News asked the president.


A new Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire poll shows Rand Paul and Chris Christie leading the GOP field, each drawing 16% support among likely Republican primary voters when Mitt Romney is removed from the field…Jeb Bush (14%), Ben Carson (9%), Mike Huckabee (8%), Paul Ryan (7%), Ted Cruz (5%), Bobby Jindal (4%), Rick Perry (3%) Rand Paul also has the highest favorable rating (65%) in the 2016 field among likely Republican primary voters. Christie shows signs of weakness - he has the highest unfavorable rating (32%) among the same group. When Romney - who has repeatedly said he's not running - is included in the Republican field, he leads with 30%. Among likely Democratic primary voters, Hillary Clinton holds a historic lead with 62% support…Elizabeth Warren comes in a distant second, with 13% support.


@RebeccaShabad Aaron Schock with Ariana Grande lol aaronschock's photo

@rickklein interviewed #MarionBarry this past summer on "the good, the bad, the ugly" of his long + varied career. … #TopLine

@BillKristol What cd happen in 7 months: No deal or very bad deal. Congress needn't sit by as US position further erodes; should act now

@WesleyLowery In today's WaPo: an attempt at examining Ferguson's complicated relationship with the media horde

@mckaycoppins Isn't it kind of weird that the Bloomberg NH poll included Ben Carson but not Marco Rubio? …

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