CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 7, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING …. JARED LOUGHNER PLEADS GUILTY IN DEAL THAT TAKES DEATH PENALTY OFF THE TABLE IN FEDERAL CASE: Tucson, Arizona (CNN)– Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged gunman in last year's mass shooting outside an Arizona supermarket in Tucson that killed six persons and wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, pleaded guilty Tuesday to 19 charges in exchange for the government not seeking the death penalty. Loughner faces multiple life sentences in prison under the plea deal, and he also waived his right to pursue an insanity defense. Earlier Tuesday, Judge Larry Alan Burns found Loughner competent to stand trial in a federal court in Tucson.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER DEFENDS PLEA DEAL IN A STATEMENT: “It is my hope that this decision will allow the Tucson community, and the nation, to continue the healing process free of what would likely be extended trial and pre-trial proceedings that would not have a certain outcome. The prosecutors and agents assigned to this matter have done an outstanding job and have ensured that justice has been done. In making the determination not to seek the death penalty, I took into consideration the views of the victims and survivor families, the recommendations of the prosecutors assigned to the case, and the applicable law.”
MARK KELLY’S REACTION: "Gabby and I have been in contact with the US Attorneys' Office throughout this process. We don't speak for all of the victims or their families, but Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea agreement. The pain and loss caused by the events of January 8, 2011 are incalculable. Avoiding a trial will allow us – and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community – to continue with our recovery and move forward with our lives."
Washington (CNN) - CIA Director David Petraeus is shooting down a report that tossed his name into the mix as a potential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The suggestion came Tuesday from The Drudge Report, which is very popular and influential among conservatives.
(CNN) – It's one version of the American dream: free McDonald's for life.
For Mitt Romney's father, the dream was reality - the one-time Michigan governor was granted free meals at the fast food chair by its founder.
(CNN) – After losing the monthly fundraising battle in July for the third straight month, the Obama campaign is rolling out a new money-raising gimmick to encourage its supporters to pony up donations.
In an email sent out on Tuesday, Obama for America announced that future donors to the president’s reelection campaign will be automatically entered into a lottery for the chance to play basketball with current and former NBA and WNBA stars at the rescheduled Obama Classic. The winner will also get a dinner with President Obama and NBA legend Michael Jordan.
(CNN) – Democratic Senator Jon Tester released a new television ad Tuesday highlighting his breaks with the Obama administration–like voting against Wall Street and for the Keystone Pipeline–and touting the Montana senator's home state first voting record.
"Why are out of state, corporate super PACs attacking Jon Tester? Because Jon always puts Montana first. Jon was 'the only Democrat who voted against both the Wall Street and auto' bailouts," the ad says.
Washington (CNN) – Partisan legal showdowns in battleground states over a spate of new voting laws could turn the 2012 elections into a repeat of the 2000 presidential vote recount saga, political experts say.
"Whenever you change the rules by enacting new laws, it triggers a round of litigation. I don't think we'll see an end to this anytime soon," said Dan Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor. "It could come down to the states counting of absentee ballots. ... We could see a replay of the 2000 election, where we don't have a winner for weeks."
(CNN) - Rafalca, the mare co-owned by Ann Romney, made her final appearance at the 2012 Olympics Tuesday.
Romney horse headed to Olympics
Ann Romney 'excited' her horse Olympic-bound
DNC to stop using Romney horse in attack videos
Looking a dressage horse in the mouth
Horserace turns (almost) literal in London
Observers: Romney Olympic horse could be political liability
(CNN) – The political puns won't stop.
After being labeled "Romney Hood" - Robin Hood in reverse - by the president Monday, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney fired back with his own wordplay Tuesday, calling President Barack Obama's jab a bunch of "Obamaloney."
Washington (CNN) – A major fiscal conservative group which has spent tens of millions of dollars on television commercials critical of President Barack Obama revealed new details on their next round of TV ads Tuesday.
According to Americans for Prosperity, the new ad buy starts Wednesday in 11 battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
(CNN) - In a political twist off of the music group Gotye's chart-topping summer hit, 'Somebody that I used to know,' some supposed supporters of President Obama are now singing the political blues.
A group called "JustNewProductions" posted the four-minute "Obama that I used to know" video on YouTube on August 4 with the video description: "We could have been so much more than just friends with healthcare benefits."