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%.
On this day in history, five men were tasked to write the Declaration of Independence. Two would later become president. Name the other three.
“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.
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
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
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.”
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.
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