CNN's GUT CHECK for June 11, 2013
June 11th, 2013
05:06 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for June 11, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 11, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEBATE IS ON: A major hurdle in the clash over how to reform the nation’s immigration laws was cleared Tuesday when the Senate voted 82-15 to allow debate to begin in the chamber. Now, the hard work begins as opponents and supporters seek to find middle ground on this complicated and complex issue. – Ted Barrett and Tom Cohen

CONSTITUTIONAL? The ACLU has filed “a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States,” according to a release from the group.

MOSTLY DRAMA OBAMA: IN THE SECOND TERM… History shows that second terms in the White House can be much tougher than first ones and that is proving true so far for President Barack Obama. Less than five months in, Obama and his administration appear knocked off balance by a barrage of controversies and criticisms exacerbating the bitter political battles that marked his first four years in office. – Tom Cohen

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower after volatile trading session. Dow falls 116 points. NASDAQ and S&P lose 1%.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
On this day in history, five men were tasked to write the Declaration of Independence. Two would later become president. Name the other three.

MARK (@PrestonCNN), MICHELLE (@mjaconicnn) & DAN (@DanMericaCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

“The New Parenting Arms Race”

Definition: The idea that middle class families are looking to outspend, out-work and out activity one another in an effort to guarantee success for their kids.

It is that phrase, written in a brilliant piece by Marketplace’s Scott Tong and highlighted by Ben Domenech in today’s Transom, that caught our eye.

In his radio story, Tong compares “The New Parenting Arms Race” to the gripping arms race that shook the United States and drained the Soviet Union during the Cold War. And while that comparison may seem hyperbolic, it is actually fairly apt.

Tong’s story is about the Jackson family of Charles County, Maryland. Three tightly scheduled kids, with music, sports and academics stacking on top of one another. The costs mount, the sacrifices are obvious, but to Louis and Nikki, it is all worth it.

Here – in a sampling from Tong’s story – is why:

“What people buy is often dictated by what everyone around them is spending. But today keeping up is about more than a bigger lawn mower. For parents, it's about kids. We all want them to get into college - so we spend on tutors, sports and experiences to get them in.”

“The point of all this, Nikki and Louis explain, is to build their junior resumes with academics and activities, the currency of future school and job applications. Once, only the wealthy ran this kind of race. Now, kids from middle-class communities like Charles County (income per capita: $36,000) have entered, too.”

“You gotta pay to play. That's the theme of the modern-day parenting arms race. Like the Cold War arms race, each side invests in an arsenal. Except it's not ICBMs; it's that baseball bat, it's trophies, it's accolades, it's supersized diplomas.”

What are the repercussions of this type of hyper scheduling? What does this do to parents who drop everything to raise their kids? Is this sustainable?

There is no concrete answer to any of those questions. To some, getting a full ride to college – like the oldest Jackson child did – is financially worth it. To others, scheduling kids like full grown adults breeds a level of competitiveness that isn’t good for young kids.

Your view on the good vs. bad debate may stem from how you were raised.

But to economist Robert Frank, who tells Marketplace that this sort of arms race can’t continue. The negatives of this sort of spending, he said, outweighs the positives:

“This is more than just envy or keeping up with the Joneses. Instead, something's happening in the structure of our consumption-based economy: as the rich spend, they induce the almost-rich to follow suit, a pattern that cascades on down to the middle class. Thus, families unconsciously adjust upward their consumption norms. As Frank describes it, they feel ‘relatively deprived.’” LISTEN LINK

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Prostitution, drugs alleged in State Department memo
Senior State Department and Diplomatic Security officials may have covered up or stopped investigations of inappropriate or even criminal misconduct by staff, according to an internal memo from the department's Office of the Inspector General. – Ashley Fantz and Jill Dougherty

Leading Drudge: Wanna' Come To Russia?
Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from the U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, in the Kremlin's latest move to woo critics of the West. Snowden fled the United States before leaking the details of a top-secret U.S. surveillance program to the Guardian this month. He is currently believed to be in Hong Kong, but has reportedly changed hotels to keep his location secret. – Miriam Elder for The Guardian

Leading HuffPo: Just Do It
President Barack Obama gave a full endorsement of the "gang of eight" immigration reform bill on Tuesday, just ahead of its first vote on the Senate floor. – Elise Foley

Leading Politico: Leaks fallout: How bad could it be?
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claims the recent wave of leaks has done “huge, grave damage” to our intelligence gathering capabilities. Nonsense, says Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who served as the primary conduit for the leaks: “There’s not a single revelation that we’ve provided to the world that even remotely jeopardizes national security.” – Josh Gerstein

Leading The New York Times: With Senate Set to Vote, Obama Makes Immigration Pitch
With the Senate starting to cast votes on a bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, President Obama on Tuesday made a high-profile pitch for the legislation, saying, “There’s no reason Congress can’t get this done by the end of summer.” – Mark Landler and Ashley Parker

TRAIL MOMENTS
The political bites of the day

– Obama stresses diverse support for immigration reform –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A WHITE HOUSE IMMIGRATION EVENT: “We've got Democrats and Republicans, we've got labor and business leaders up on stage, we've got law enforcement and clergy, Americans who don't see eye to eye on every issue, in fact, in some cases don't see eye to eye on just about any issue (laughter) but who are today standing united in support of legislation that is front and center in Congress this week.”

– Cruz points to the House as a road block –
REPUBLICAN SEN. TED CRUZ OF TEXAS IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “This bill is going to pass the Senate, but as written, this bill will not pass the House. As written, this bill will not pass into law. And if this bill did become law, it would not solve the problem. Indeed, it would make the problem of illegal immigration that we have today worse rather than better.”

– Rubio: Status quo would be de facto amnesty –
REPUBLICAN SEN. MARCO RUBIO OF FLORIDA IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “They are all around us everywhere you look whether you know it or not they are here. Most have been here for longer than a decade. We can ignore it but if we do – if we leave it in place, if we do nothing, if we do nothing, if this bill fails and we do nothing that is de-facto amnesty. The second option is we can make life miserable on them. We can basically put E-verify in place, continue to secure the borders and make life so tough on people they will just leave on their own. I don’t think that is a practical approach. I don’t think it works. I don’t think most Americans would tolerate what we would have to do in order for that to happen.”

– In support of whistleblowers –
REPUBLICAN SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY OF IOWA IN A COMMITTEE HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL: “Not every whistleblower would necessarily be right but every whistleblower is entitled to a hearing either when they are personally affected and retaliated against or in the case of somebody bringing information forward. They ought to have that information considered. I have come to the conclusion a long time ago that whistleblowers are about as respected in their organization as skunks at a picnic. So I think they need a lot of consideration because they give us a lot of valuable information.”

– Wyden says NSA director didn’t give straight answers, calls for more hearings –
DEMOCRATIC SENATOR RON WYDEN OF OREGON IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE PRESS: “One of the most important responsibilities a senator has is oversight of the intelligence community. This job cannot be done responsibly if senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions. … Now, public hearings are needed to address the recent disclosures and the American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives.”

– Enjoy Justin Bieber’s telephone records –
DAVID LETTERMAN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “Happy birthday to the president's daughter Sasha. Twelve years old. What a lovely young woman, young girl, 12 years old. This was sweet. Her father for her birthday gave her Justin Bieber's phone records. That was good.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN

While Thomas Jefferson, America's third president, is considered the author of the Declaration of Independence and John Adams, the nation's second president, is considered the man who suggested Jefferson for the job, there were three other men tapped to write the founding document.

Those men – each from a Northeastern state – were: Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.

The Continental Congress, on this day in 1776, selected those five men to write the document that would break the 13 American colonies away from British rule.

Writing and editing the declaration took 17 days. On June 28, 1776, Jefferson, Adams and the three other drafters submitted the work to the Continental Congress for review. Though minor edits were made to Jefferson's words, much of what Jefferson wrote remains in the seminal American document.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

No winners again today. Come on people.

GOT NEWS?
Tips or comments? Our inbox awaits: gutcheck@cnn.com
Anyone can sign up for Gut Check by emailing gutcheck@cnn.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.


Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. A Kickin` Donkey

    Real Journalists . . . here is your chance to follow up on something of substance that will make you look good when the next Aurora, Newtown, etc. occurs.

    Do we have a permananet Diretor for the ATF yet? Or are NRA back Republican politicians STILL obstructing?

    June 11, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Woman In California

    Yet another week of Obama Bashing for CNN. Haven't you had enough already? I certainly have.
    ----------

    Indeed, Woman In California. I have had enough as well. Apparently, the media is really, really pushing their agenda to a point of no return. Sad, but there you have it. I saw this coming when they threw their false polls at us and then doubled down after his re-election. This is all payback. To his supporters for having the audacity of re-electing him. It has been non stop since January and is only going to get nastier.

    June 11, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. saywhat

    There is always much a do about the second amendment & our unrelenting spirit to protect this provision.
    Well how about 4th & 5th, in fact the whole spirit of Bill of Rights which has been under attack under the provisions of Patriot Act and other related legislation or actions of the Executive.

    June 11, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    CNN still unwilling to break their toy nontroversies by reporting the evidence that shows Issa most certainly is witchhunting and cherry-picking the "evidence" he has his aides leak in order to paint a very different picture than the totality of the evidence shows. When a 20-something year veteran of the IRS who self-identifies as a "conservative Republican" is telling interviewers that HE was responsible for the "targeting" and that Washington and the WH had nothing to do with it AND Issa is having his staff leak tidbits of that person's interview transcripts that do not contain his admission, there is but one conclusion: Issa is dishonestly manipulating the evidence in order to dishonestly manipulate the narrative. Perhaps CNN considers it to their advantage to help him do so...a nice profitable partnership in controversy manufacture....but it certainly serve no public interest.

    June 11, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. just sayin

    Lynda/Minnesota
    Woman In California
    Yet another week of Obama Bashing for CNN. Haven't you had enough already? I certainly have.
    ----
    Indeed, Woman In California. I have had enough as well. Apparently, the media is really, really pushing their agenda to a point of no return. Sad, but there you have it. I saw this coming when they threw their false polls at us and then doubled down after his re-election. This is all payback. To his supporters for having the audacity of re-electing him. It has been non stop since January and is only going to get nastier.
    --

    ahhhhhhhh..... sniff, sniff.... it is so so sad when lefties are thrown into the cold cruel world we all call reality. especially when they have not had enough of their special koolaide.

    June 11, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    ahhhhhhhh..... sniff, sniff.... it is so so sad when lefties are thrown into the cold cruel world we all call reality. especially when they have not had enough of their special koolaide.

    Sweetheart, you have no clue how utterly useless your comments are to me. Just saying ...

    June 11, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. just sayin

    Sniffit
    CNN still unwilling to break their toy nontroversies by reporting the evidence that shows
    ---

    wahhh!!! wahhh!!!! stomp!!!! stomp!!!! wahhhh! wahhh!!!

    please give it a rest little sniffy. your tantrums against cnn are getting old and tiresome. like most of your lie filled posts.

    June 11, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "A month into their IRS investigation @DarrellIssa & Dem counterpart Cummings are more In synch than they seem watch: .....................Dana Bash"

    Nice whitewash attempt. Cummings excoriated Issa in a letter for his cherry-picking of the transcript quotes he was "leaking" and Issa sent one back trying to claim that Cummings was not honestly trying to "get to the bottom of it." They couldn't be further from each other on this. Issa is blatantly trying to get the court of public opinion to find Obama guilty by withholding exculpatory evidence and manipulating the narrative with out-of-context quotes he releases to the MSM...and Cummings called him out for it, which elicited a temper tantrum and a tornado of Teatroll talking point word salad from Issa. Your false equivalency paradigm is showing, CNN.

    June 11, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. petroskies

    44 millions illegals that Mr. Obama love to put into the Obama-care and couple of million of perverts whom will go married very soon let some real american people start open theirs eyes to see the big and clear difference between Mr. Bush and mr. Obama.

    June 11, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. RJ

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Woman In California

    Yet another week of Obama Bashing for CNN. Haven't you had enough already? I certainly have.
    ----

    Indeed, Woman In California. I have had enough as well. Apparently, the media is really, really pushing their agenda to a point of no return. Sad, but there you have it. I saw this coming when they threw their false polls at us and then doubled down after his re-election. This is all payback. To his supporters for having the audacity of re-electing him. It has been non stop since January and is only going to get nastier.
    --

    The Republicans didnt invent these scandals. They occurred during Obama's presidency. The fact is that the President has failed to handle these scandals with reasonable answers. Obama's so called transparent government is a joke. Obama could release the information about the IRS guy at the White House, but he hasn't. He could identify where the talking points came about Benghazi, but he wont. And of course, the person at the heart of it was rewarded with a promotion! We were told a few months ago, that phone data was absolutely not being collected, only to hear that that accounting was a complete lie. We still don't know about emails. The IRS was systematically targeting US citizens who were involved in conservative groups. The Republicans didn't force Obama to do any of these things. It's time to pull your head out of the sand and see things for what they are. This administration has proved that it cannot be trusted.

    June 11, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. ny88

    If anyone out there thinks that this is the first time the government has been doing this, you're all delusional. Back in the early 1970's I was a college student. One of my room mates it turns out was on the fringes of one of those radical student organizations. The FBI (we assume it was the Edgar) had our phone tapped. Since we were not involved in anything, it never really bothered me. From time to time, if I was home alone and bored, I'd pick up the phone and have a nice little one sided chat with Edgar. I know of other students who did the same thing. Invited him to come on over for a party, a trip to the movies, whatever.

    The tone of some (not all) of the Republicans, especially the TeaBags is much more destructive to our country then some computer program sifting thru a bunch of emails looking for specific words and phrases. I do think they need to be more careful of those they hire to monitor the system. When this Snowden says he was able to read anyone emails, that would mean he was going outside his job description. It's not that hard to break in and read someone's email. There are probably thousands of hackers who can do that. Essentially what Snowden was saying was he was a hacker. He was bragging about his ability to flout the regulations put in place to prevent someone like him just reading anyone's emails or phone texts.

    We live in a digital world. Go apply for a home loan and check out the financial investigation they do on you. There will be old credit cards, old loans you've completely forgotten about, pages and pages of data. All listed right there for anyone in the bank to check out. To me that is much more invasive. Yet we think nothing of it.

    Now if you'll excuse me, we're having a barbacue and I'm going to send out an email and invite that Clapper guy. He looks like he'd be a good time!

    June 11, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    You know what? I would be a lot happier if
    1) all these senate investigations/ committees got around to making sensible recommendations on what needs to be changed even if on an interim basis and modification if investigations find other things need doing later. The current constant witch hunt approach to track everything back to the Whitehouse is going to be futile.
    2) Then they spend more time on why we cannot go to reconciliation on the budget and long term solutions to debt an budgetary deficit matters = spending and entitlements..
    3) In a similar fashion they negotiate and debate the immigration bill and stop this complete nonsense of the House always passing its own version of immigration reform or a budget.
    that 3 above does only one thing delays a budget ( economic recovery) and reducing budget deficits and QED debt and delays and delays immigration reform
    For too many years all members of congress are talking at each other rather to each other, ( you can go back to the Bush II years and the current presidents years) bi-partisan ship has had no real meaning for far to long and the current ways and behavior ( both sides) are totally and utterly dysfunctional and intolerable to 80% plus of reasonable voters in a constitutional democratic republic.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    June 12, 2013 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  13. Tony

    @ just saying
    Guy you should just say nothing.

    June 12, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  14. Tony

    @just saying
    Just continue to sniff

    June 12, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |