CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 28, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
A DAD’S PLEA: FATHER PROPOSES DEAL FOR SNOWDEN'S VOLUNTARY RETURN… The father of Edward J. Snowden has offered federal authorities a deal that he says would likely lead the accused leaker to return voluntarily to the United States to face espionage charges. The proposal was laid out in a letter, dated Thursday and obtained Friday by CNN, addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and written by Bruce Fein, a Washington-based lawyer for Snowden's father, Lonnie G. Snowden. – Tom Watkins
HISTORIC MOMENT WATCH: OBAMA NOT RULING OUT VISIT TO AILING MANDELA… “I don't need a photo op and the last thing I want to do is to be in any way obtrusive at a time when the family is concerned with Nelson Mandela's condition,” the president told reporters traveling with him in Africa.
The President’s schedule for his trip to Africa is available here.
RNC CHIEF NUDGES BOEHNER’s HOUSE… One day after the Senate passed a full-spectrum immigration bill with overwhelming support, the chairman of the Republican National Committee re-emphasized the need for reform but said the final contours of the legislation are far from settled. – Peter Hamby
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher for the second quarter, even though June was the first losing month of 2013.
What economist was made famous by vocally protesting the Treaty of Versailles – a document that was signed on this day in 1919?
We traditionally use this column to highlight news that caught our eye –stories we believe are important or interesting. Today, we are turning the column over to you.
What political news story from this week caught your eye?
We reached out to our followers on Facebook and Twitter and received some insightful responses. Here is a sampling of responses:
Nancy Rose Ollerman Myron: Wendy Davis caught my attention, brave, well-spoken woman!
Austin Matthew: DOMA. I'm glad Wendy was working for abortion rights, but gays at least get some rights back, which I feel is waaaay more important.
Heather Gwynn: What caught my eye is how DOMA distracted everyone from Immigration...
Jamie Hastings: Benghazi
Tina Armstrong: Benghazi did not get enough Paula Deen got too much. Benghazi is current. Paula is 2 decades ago.
Peggy Hagel: Virginia's Governor McConnell is in deep water with his connection to a Health Food CEO who may or may not have given him bribes. A grand jury is being impaneled. Don't see much about this anywhere.
Steve Higgins: Obama's $100 Million trip to Africa...
Jordan Logue: How about cover the protesters in Turkey more?
Mary Ruth Quirk: I missed the president's speech re:climate change so I would like to know more about that. Sen. Davis was enthralling! Not so interested in the senate vote on immigration at the moment – especially not Marco Rubio.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Finalized rules let religious groups opt out of contraception mandate
The Obama administration finalized rules on Friday that allow religious-affiliated organizations opposing the use of contraception to opt out of a federal mandate requiring that they provide their employees with insurance coverage for birth control. – Dan Merica and Kevin Bohn
Leading Drudge: Freak Heat: Phx Set For 119°
Leading HuffPo: The Rand Tour
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is visiting South Carolina Friday in an attempt to reach a broader audience in The Palmetto State. “We come with the hope of trying to grow the Republican Party, bringing the message to people who haven't been hearing it... to try to broaden our message,” Paul told The Associated Press. “I think we'll get a good reception.” – Paige Lavender
Leading Politico: Where gray hair is a plus
Think you need to be in your 20s to launch a hot startup? Not on Capitol Hill. – Anna Palmer
Leading The New York Times: Roberts Pulls Supreme Court to the Right Step by Step
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. may work slowly, but he has a long-term strategy for putting his mark on the Supreme Court. – Adam Liptak
The political bites of the day
– Obama says Mandela’s message still needed –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN A GAGGLE ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE ON THE WAY TO SOUTH AFRICA: “I think the message will be consistent because it draws on the lessons of Nelson Mandela's own life - that if we focus on what Africa as a continent can do together and what these countries can do when they're unified, as opposed to when they're divided by tribe or race or religion, then Africa's rise will continue. And that's one of the central lessons of what Nelson Mandela accomplished not just as President, but in the struggle to overcome Apartheid and his years in prison.”
– Cruz dishes red meat –
REPUBLICAN TEXAS SEN. TED CRUZ IN A SPEECH TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE CONVENTION: “Apparently the job of the IRS is to play the role of the enforcer protecting Planned Parenthood. They've asked groups tell us the content of your prayer. The federal government has no business asking any American the content of our prayers. I've got a simple solution for you. We need to abolish the IRS.”
– State denies U.S. is "bullying" countries that might take in Snowden –
PATRICK VENTRELL, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN, IN A BRIEFING WITH THE PRESS: “We are making a consistent point to any government that might take him as a final destination that this is somebody wanted on serious felony charges and we would like him returned to the United States. And so we have had law enforcement cooperation and other types of cooperation with some of these countries including Ecuador. We would like to see that continue but clearly detrimental if that cooperation isn’t received.”
– Davis shrugs off Perry's scolding –
DEMOCRATIC TEXAS STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS IN AN INTERVIEW ON MSNBC: “I would say to him that I had the privilege of making a choice about the path I chose for my life, and I am so proud of my daughters, but I could never for a moment put myself in the shoes of another woman confronting a difficult personal choice, and it really isn't for him to make statements like that.”
Gut Check Full Service: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s spokeswoman Lucy Nashed released a written statement: “The governor was praising Sen. Davis for her success despite coming from difficult circumstances, and that should be an inspiration to others.”
– Leno burn –
JAY LENO ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “President Obama is currently on a weeklong trip to Africa where he'll promote freedom, democracy and economic opportunity. I guess he figured it hasn't worked out here so we'll try it somewhere else.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
i'm not a lawyer, but couldn't lois lerner just plead the 5th again after being brought back to House oversight?—
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) June 28, 2013
Frustrated and upset with Rubio over immigration? Fine. But calling him treasonous & urging him to switch parties is moronic.—
Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 28, 2013
Bloomberg on NYPD: "I think, we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little." It's just math, he says.—
Matt Apuzzo (@mattapuzzo) June 28, 2013
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
The Treaty of Versailles, the document that punished Germany for its aggressive war mongering during World War II, was signed on this day in 1919.
After leaving the conference in protest, economist John Maynard Keynes published a book – “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” – in which he predicted the punishment leveled on Germany for World War I would lead to country's collapse and have wider repercussions throughout Europe.
Keynes, who was the primary representative of the British Treasury at the conference, went into the meeting hoping to limit the punishment on Germany. When that goal was proved to be futile, he left in protest and became an outspoken contrarian to the widely held belief that Germany must be punished.
"The policy of reducing Germany to servitude for a generation, of degrading the lives of millions of human beings, and of depriving a whole nation of happiness should be abhorrent and detestable, abhorrent and detestable, even if it were possible, even if it enriched ourselves, even if it did not sow the decay of the whole civilised life of Europe," Keynes wrote in The Economic Consequences of the Peace.
Keynes' predictions proved to be accurate when Germany suffered massive hyperinflation in 1923. The economic woes crushed the German economy and the Weimar Republic, leading to the rise of Adolph Hitler and, subsequently, World War II.
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Congrats to Greg Dean (@gregdean11) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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