(CNN) - For the Obama administration, the watchword is "de-escalate." Stop the fighting, especially rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel, then deal with longer-term issues.
But President Barack Obama, who continues to support Israel's right to defend itself while urging that the fighting cease, cannot do it on his own.
(CNN) - As the conflict between Israel and Gaza escalates and the investigations into the former CIA Director David Petraeus and attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi dominate the news cycle, a new poll shows Americans are following Washington's debate over the so-called fiscal cliff more closely than the other stories.
According to the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 36% of Republicans and 35% of Democrats say they are following the debate 'very closley' while only 28% of Republicans and 21% of Democrats are following the Petraeus investigation 'very closely.'
CNN's GUT CHECK | for November 19, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
HAPPENING NOW: As the violence continues in Israel and Gaza, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is in Jerusalem, where he will anchor “The Situation Room” this week. Blitzer described Ashkelon, Israel, a town just north of the Gaza border as “eerie” as the cafés and beaches are deserted. As soon as he arrived, there was a series of loud booms, air raid sirens went off and soldiers rushed Blitzer and others to a bomb shelter. … Today Blitzer interviews former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman Avital Leibovich and Israeli Government spokesman Mark Regev. Frederik Pleitgen and Christiane Amanpour report from Israel, and Anderson Cooper, Arwa Damon and Ben Wedeman report from Gaza City.
DEVELOPING: GUT CHECK ON MEDIA COVERAGE: New Pew Research report says “more Americans say they followed the debate over the ‘fiscal cliff’ very closely than the investigations into the Libya embassy attack, renewed violence in the Middle East or the FBI investigation that led to David Petraeus’s resignation as CIA Director. … Nearly identical percentages of Republicans (36%) and Democrats (35%) say they followed the debate over the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect at the beginning of next year unless the president and Congress act. Republicans also are about as interested as Democrats in the Petraeus investigation (28% vs. 21%). But there is a wide partisan gap in interest in another major story of the week: Republicans (42%) are much more likely than Democrats (21%) or independents (22%) to say they followed the investigation into the September attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya very closely.” FULL REPORT
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) - Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar on Monday, praising the courage of fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi while also providing a symbolic nod to initial reforms in a nation once notorious for political repression.
Later, Obama traveled to Cambodia for a summit of regional leaders and held what an aide called a "tense"meeting with the host country's prime minister that emphasized the need for improving human rights there.
(CNN) - Retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe said Americans are "fed up with the posturing in Washington."
A moderate Republican from Maine, Snowe shocked the political world in February when she announced that she would not seek a fourth term in the Senate because of its "debilitating partisanship, polarization and the overall dysfunction."
(CNN) – After Republican Sen. Marco Rubio took some heat on Twitter Monday for waxing philosophic about his favorite rap music, former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain had a message for Rubio's critics.
Amazingly some conservatives think Rubio liking rap music matters. No wonder we have trouble winning bit.ly/WgxpSp...— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) November 19, 2012
Amazingly some conservatives think Rubio liking rap music matters. No wonder we have trouble winning bit.ly/WgxpSp...
(CNN) – Since winning his U.S. Senate seat in 2010, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has frequently weighed in on immigration, education and the economy.
But the 42-year-old freshman lawmaker apparently has a lot to say about another topic: Rap music.
(CNN) - While the election may be over, don't expect an end to the campaign emails–the latest of which hailed from President Barack Obama's re-election team Sunday evening.
The email asked for feedback from supporters about the president's campaign and signaled the organization may stick around for future use as a policy advocate tool under Obama's second term, or even further down the road as a blueprint for national Democratic candidates.
Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans say that Israel's current military strikes against Gaza are justified, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 57% of the public says Israel is justified in taking military action in Gaza against Hamas, with one in four saying the attacks are unjustified.