CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 13, 2013 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: The Department of Justice “secretly obtained telephone records” for over 20 business, cell and home telephone lines of Associated Press journalists and offices, the news agency said Monday afternoon.
DEVELOPING: CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ON IRS START FRIDAY: The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Friday on the Internal Revenue Service's admission it applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. The acting commissioner of the IRS and the inspector general for the Treasury Department will be the only witnesses at the hearing. – CNN’s Dana Bash
Obama: Alleged IRS political targeting 'outrageous': President Obama vowed Monday to hold the Internal Revenue Service accountable if reports of political targeting are proved true.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks finished mixed on worries about Fed ending stimulus. The Dow dips 27 points and S&P inched up to a record close.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: GOP walks fine line with Clinton over Benghazi
Republicans continued to put Hillary Clinton at the center of their inquest into last September's attack in Benghazi, claiming Sunday the former secretary of state wasn't assigned enough blame in an independent probe of the incident. – Kevin Liptak
Leading CNN.com/Opinion: Did political spin hide the truth of Benghazi?
Ever since Watergate became the shorthand for a government run amok, the political cliché of our time has been about the political lesson of that era: That the coverup can be worse than the crime. Apply that cliché to Benghazi - and questions about the motive for removing the terror link from talking points about the Libyan attack in the heat of an election. – Gloria Borger LINK
Leading Drudge: Did Press Make Him Cry?
A tear runs down the face of U.S. President Barack Obama as he answers questions about the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya while Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron listens during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, May 13, 2013. – Yahoo
Leading HuffPo: Obama On IRS Scandal: 'I Have Got No Patience' For It
President Barack Obama strongly condemned officials at the Internal Revenue Service for singling out conservative groups during the lead-up to the 2012 elections. – Sam Stein
Leading Politico: Obama: 'No patience' for 'outrageous' IRS mess
President Barack Obama said Monday that the alleged Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative political groups for extra scrutiny is “outrageous,” and promised those responsible would be “held accountable.” – Jennifer Epstein
Leading The New York Times: Obama Scoffs at Libya Outcry but Vows to Act on I.R.S. Audits
President Obama on Monday rejected as “a sideshow” criticism of his handling of the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. On the scandal at the revenue agency, he said the singling out of certain groups, if true, was “outrageous.” – Michael D. Shear
Check your wallet: what major change was made to U.S. currency on this day in 2003?
What caught our eye today in politics
Here in the nation’s capital, it is easy to talk in macro terms when describing how the Heartland is hurting in these economic times. After all, the Heartland is a nameless, faceless description used to describe “Anytown USA” in very broad terms. Politicians often refer to the Heartland in speeches as does the media in its reporting – including Gut Check.
But we need to look no further than 500-plus miles northwest of Washington to really see how bad things are in a major city, yes, in the Heartland.
Detroit is in trouble.
Deep, deep trouble and there are no easy answers as our CNNMoney colleague Chris Isidore writes today: “The Detroit city government is weeks away from running out of the cash it needs to operate, according to an initial report from the emergency manager overseeing its finances.”
What! A city on the verge of bankruptcy? Isidore writes that Kevyn Orr, the bankruptcy attorney appointed by the state, doesn’t use the term “bankruptcy” in his report but he is not ruling it out.
"No one should underestimate the severity of the financial crisis," Orr said in a statement. "The path Detroit has followed for more than 40 years is unsustainable and only a complete restructuring of the city's finances and operations will allow Detroit to regain its footing."
This is a story worth reading – just to be able to put a name and a face to a city in the Heartland struggling, gasping, in these difficult economic times. It definitely caught our eye.
The political bites of the day
– Obama’s first comments on IRS targeting conservative groups –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A NEWS CONFERENCE MONDAY: “If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous and there's no place for it. And they have to be held fully accountable, because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they're applying the laws in a non-partisan way.”
– Conservatives want to know extent of IRS knowledge –
KELI CARENDER OF THE TEA PARTY PATRIOTS ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “We need to know how did this start? Who started it? Who knew what? And when did they know it? How far up does this go? Does it go up all the way into Treasury? Does it go up into the administration? Who is a part of this? How are these decisions made? And what is going to happen to the people that did it? If there are no consequences for people who abuse their power like this then it's not going to stop.”
– Biden explains why he isn’t rich –
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IN HIS COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS TO THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: "I'll tell you why I had no money. Four years of Penn. Three years of Syracuse. Four years of Georgetown. Three years of Yale. Two years of Tulane. Two years at Penn. And now a granddaughter at Penn."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader)
I’m grateful justice has been served. Many families still recovering from the horror & pain. Pray for them and for all human life. #Gosnell
Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog)
If the Judiciary Committee tries to redefine marriage in the immigration bill they will lose me and many others.
Jim Brady (@jimbradysp)
6 times politicians voted for a law by mistake: http://www.denverpost.com/politics-national/2013/05/6-times-politicians-voted-for-a-law-by-mistake/ …
How to save USPS: members of Congress can't issue press releases about "sending letters" unless they pay for the postage& actually mail
The first U.S. currency design to include a broad array of colored ink debuted on this day in 2003. The new $20 bill included blue, green and peach background tones and was an effort to prevent counterfeiting of the currency. It was followed by designs of the $50 and $10 bills, which also incorporated colors.
But this was not the first time U.S. bills included a colored background. Twenty dollar notes were produced for a short time starting in 1905 with a gold background. The seal and serial number was printed on those bills in red.
The dollar was adopted as the official U.S. monetary unit in 1785 and the first paper currency in what is now the United States was printed in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1690.
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