CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 27, 2013 | 3 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
JUST IN: Sen. John McCain was in Syria today and met with rebel leaders, the senator’s Communications Director Brian Rogers confirmed to CNN. – Rachel Streitfeld LINK
Gut Check DVR: This Memorial Day, CNN Chief Washington Correspondent and Anchor of “The Lead” Jake Tapper reports on a soldier's heroic efforts from one of the deadliest fights of the Afghan war. His report, "An American Hero: The Uncommon Valor of Clint Romesha," runs today at 4 p.m. ET. LINK
MARK (@PrestonCNN) & DAN (@DanMericaCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics
As the nation observes Memorial Day, CNN is honoring the fallen by spotlighting a U.S. casualty from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars every hour on CNN.com in “100 Hours, 100 Faces.” They're from every state and from every branch of the U.S. military. They're 18 years old and 60; they're sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. And they're just 100 of the more than 8,000 U.S. and coalition troops who have died. LINK
Here is a sampling of their stories:
Spc. Tyler John Orgaard (Bismarck, North Dakota) Age 20 – One of two soldiers killed when an roadside bomb detonated under their vehicle during route clearance operations in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on December 3, 2012.
Spc. Leslie Denise Jackson (Richmond, Virginia) Age 18 – Killed when her military vehicle hit a roadside bomb as it was returning to Camp Eagle in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 20, 2004.
Master Sgt. John Thomas Stone (Norwich, Vermont) Age 52 – Killed along with a Canadian soldier when Taliban insurgents attacked a forward operating base near Heydarabad with mortars, rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire in northern Helmand province in Afghanistan on March 28, 2006.
Chief Petty Officer Nicholas Heath Null (Washington, West Virginia) Age 30 – One of 22 Navy SEALs killed along with five soldiers and three airmen when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down while flying to assist a unit of the 75th Ranger Regiment that was pinned down by enemy fire in the Tangi Valley, Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, Afghanistan, on August 6, 2011. Seven Afghan soldiers, a civilian interpreter and a military working dog also were killed in the crash.
Cpl. Holly Ann Charette (Cranston, Rhode Island) Age 21 – One of four Marines killed along with a sailor when a suicide car bomber attacked their convoy vehicle in Falluja, Iraq, on June 23, 2005.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Obama gives Memorial Day speech amid controversies
President Barack Obama delivered Memorial Day remarks the week after addressing America's controversial counterterrorism strategies and a rash of sexual assaults in the military that he said could threaten national security. - Eliott C. McLaughlin LINK
Leading Drudge: Remember
President Obama laid a wreath Monday at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington. – Fox News LINK
Leading HuffPo: In Memoriam
Americans planned to gather at cemeteries, memorials and monuments nationwide to honor fallen military service members on Memorial Day, at a time when combat in Afghanistan approaches 12 years and the ranks of World War II veterans dwindles. – The Associated Press LINK
Leading Politico: Silicon Valley not buying GOP data plan
A California investor — with help from Karl Rove — won the highly competitive contest to help build the Republican National Committee’s data platform. – Tarini Parti and Michelle Quinn LINK
Leading The New York Times: Groups Flagged by I.R.S. Tested Political Limits on Tax Status
An examination of nonprofit applicants revealed activities that tax experts and former Internal Revenue Service officials said would provide a basis for closer review. – Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo LINK
What caused President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to declare a state of “unlimited national emergency” on this day in history?
The political bites of the day
– What most Americans don’t see –
PRESIDENT OBAMA, SPEAKING AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY: “This truth cannot be ignored that today most Americans are not directly touched by war. As a consequence, not all Americans may fully see or grasp the depths of sacrifice. The profound costs that are made in our name right now, as we speak, every day. Our troops and our military families understand this, and they mention to me their concern about whether the country fully appreciates what's happening.”
– After combat, one remembers ‘the uniqueness of every person’ –
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE AND VIETNAM VETERAN CHUCK HAGEL TO CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT BARBARA STARR AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY: “There's an inventory of people that you remember and you remember everyone. … Anybody who has ever been in combat remembers the names, remembers the faces, remembers the fun, remembers the uniqueness of every person.”
– Who will play Hillary Clinton? –
‘RODHAM’ DIRECTOR JAMES PONSOLDT ON CHOOSING BETWEEN SCARLETT JOHANSSON, REESE WITHERSPOON, AMANDA SEYFRIED AND JESSICA CHASTAIN: "They're all wonderful actresses. We're very fortunate that a lot of really great actors are interested in playing these roles. We're in an enviable position. … Regardless of people's political affiliation or how they feel about Hillary Clinton, you don't find people who question the quality of her intelligence or her drive. I want a wonderful actress who could embody that." LINK
– Time for GOP rethink, says Dole –
FORMER SEN. BOB DOLE, SPEAKING ON FOX NEWS SUNDAY: “I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says closed for repairs until New Year's Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas…Reagan wouldn't have made it.” LINK
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
In light of the Nazi’s intention for world domination, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced the United States was in a state of “unlimited national emergency.” LINK
“With profound consciousness of my responsibilities to my countrymen and to my country's cause, I have tonight issued a proclamation that an unlimited national emergency exists and requires the strengthening of our defense to the extreme limit of our national power and authority,” Roosevelt said in a radio address on May 27, 1941.
In the address, Roosevelt paints a bleak picture of what a future under Nazi control would be.
“They plan to treat the Latin American Nations as they are now treating the Balkans,” Roosevelt said. “They plan then to strangle the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada.”
Although Roosevelt’s imagery was near apocalyptic, he had a reason to be so bellicose.
At the time, Germany and the Axis powers – Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania – had invaded Yugoslavia, Greece and Egypt. The group was also fiercely patrolling seas surrounding the United Kingdom and, according to Roosevelt, “the present rate of Nazi sinkings of merchant ships is more than three times as high as the capacity of British shipyards to replace them.”
Less than eight months later, the United States would be attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack would compel the United States to join the Allied Powers in World War II.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it?)
Congratulations to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for his correct answer to our Memorial Day trivia.
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: email@example.com
WANT TO SIGN UP?
Do you have a friend who wants to sign up for GUT CHECK or our new CNNPolitics Breaking News Alerts? Click here, log on and scroll down. LINK