CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 3, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
COUP D’ETAT: EGYPTIAN MILITARY OUSTS MORSY… Egypt's military deposed the country's first democratically elected president Wednesday night, installing the head of the country's highest court as an interim leader, the country's top general announced. Gen. Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi said the military was fulfilling its "historic responsibility" to protect the country by ousting President Mohamed Morsy, the Western-educated Islamist leader elected a year ago. Morsy failed to meet demands to share power with opponents who thronged the streets of Cairo, and those crowds erupted as the announcement was made.
GUT CHECK FLASHBACK: POPULARLY ELECTED… On June 24, 2012, Morsy defeated former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in presidential run-off elections with 51.7% of the vote. Shafiq received just over 48% of the vote.
A YOUNG DEMOCRACY: Not only is Egypt’s democracy just over a year old, but the average age of an Egyptian is 24.8 years, according to the CIA Factbook. For comparison, the average age of an American is 37.2 years.
MILITARY PLANS: Military leaders said they’re suspending the constitution and dissolving parliament. In Morsy’s place, the military has installed the head of the country’s highest court as Egypt’s interim leader.
AMERICAN RESPONSE: Earlier today, before the coup, State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said the United States is “concerned” about the situation and realizes it is a “tense and fast-moving.” She said the United States has been in touch with the government, the military and the opposition over the last several days.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher in holiday shortened session as economic reports trump global concerns. Dow gains 53 points.
What government agency was created on this day in 1930?
Late Tuesday, the Treasury Department announced that a crucial Obamacare mandate would be delayed by a year – from January 1, 2014, to January 1, 2015. The rule compels business with more than 50 full-time employees to start providing healthcare coverage to them or risk penalties.
Politically, Republicans seized on the news, while Democrats downplayed the delay’s importance. But how does the change affect you?
According to CNN Money’s Jose Pagliery, it really depends on who you are and where you work.
“The vast majority of the nation's businesses, 97% of them, are too small to be affected,” Pagliery writes. “What's more, most larger employers already provide insurance anyway. Of the nation's 6.5 million workplaces, only about 70,000 - a little more than 1% - must actually start providing insurance.”
That 1% of people, however, could be fairly large. “According to the latest Census data, close to 80 million people work at firms that must provide insurance,” Pagliery continues. “Though most of them are offered insurance, that still leaves millions who will have to wait another year.”
On top of personal questions, the mandate changes have left many asking political questions, too. An example: What does this mean for the rest of the president’s landmark healthcare law?
Timothy Finnell, president of the Group Benefits health consulting in Memphis, tells CNN Money that this change could be a signal.
“This is just the beginning,” Finnell said. “The employer mandate is a cornerstone of the entire Obamacare exchange system.”
For more details on how this decision affects you, check out Pagliery’s story.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Scrutiny continues over McDonnell's ties with donor
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, already under fire for reported ethics violations, apparently took a flight to the Final Four basketball tournament in April 2011 that was sponsored by one of his political donors, according to the Virginia-Pilot. The newspaper reports that "people familiar with the trip" now say Jonnie Williams Sr., who heads the health supplement company Star Scientific Inc., covered McDonnell's travel. – Ashley Killough
Leading Drudge: Zimmerman Trial In Tech Meltdown
As a witness in the George Zimmerman murder trial testified this morning via Skype, pranksters watching the case bombarded the man’s account with calls, forcing the judge to interrupt the man’s testimony. Buster for the Smoking Gun
Leading HuffPo: 'Shame': State GOP Sneaks In Harsh Abortion Bill
The North Carolina state Senate quickly voted Wednesday to pass a package of anti-abortion amendments attached to a bill that would ban Sharia law, despite Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's concern that the Senate had unfairly rushed the amendments on Tuesday night. – Laura Bassett
Leading Politico: The mega-donor glass ceiling
Women are breaking barriers in all parts of the political world. But when it comes to campaign contributions, there’s barely a crack in the glass ceiling. – Tarini Parti and Byron Tau
Leading The New York Times: U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement
Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: A handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home. “Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in green. – Ron Nixon
The political bites of the day
– Wisconsin Gov. supports path to citizenship –
WISCONSIN REPUBLICAN GOV. SCOTT WALKER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WISCONSIN DAILY HERALD: “If people want to come here and work hard and benefit, I don't care whether they come from Mexico or Ireland or Germany or Canada or South Africa or anywhere else. I want them here.”
– ‘Nobody’ gives you naturalized citizen status, says Lew –
SECRETARY OF TREASURY JACK LEW AT A NATURALIZATION CEREMONY IN WASHINGTON: “This is something that my parents could never have foreseen half a century ago. Each of you has taken a separate journey and each of you has your own story of challenges overcome. It took incredible resolve to become an American citizen. You had to work for it. Nobody gave this to you.”
– Pro-life groups pushing Rubio on 20-week abortion ban bill –
A RUBIO ADVISER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “I can tell you that the pro-life groups are asking Senator Rubio to sponsor the bill in the Senate. He's on a family vacation this week and will decide when he returns to D.C. next week.”
Gut Check Full Service: Sen. Marco Rubio is considering a request by anti-abortion groups to sponsor a bill in the Senate that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, an adviser to the Florida Republican confirmed to CNN. If Rubio does sponsor the legislation, it would give the measure added media attention, as Rubio is one of the GOP's biggest stars and is considered a possible 2016 Republican presidential contender. – Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough
– Sarcastic Rush: On Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman and Obama –
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “One of the reasons we elected and then reelected Barack Obama was so that there would not be any more race riots. I thought the election of the first black presidents would end racial strife. … Isn’t it a shame, now we actually have media people agitating for race riots in regards to the George Zimmerman trial. … I thought electing Obama and reelecting Obama, none of this was going to happen anymore. I am kind of sad. A little let down.”
– Why we love the Fourth of July –
JIMMY KIMMEL ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “This year, the Fourth of July lands on July Fourth, which is interesting. I love the Fourth of July. It is probably my favorite holiday. I mean, name one other holiday where we celebrate by setting off a Roman candle in our cousin's face.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
The Veterans Administration was created on this day in 1930 when Congress passed legislation allowing President Herbert Hoover to "consolidate and coordinate government activities affecting war veterans."
At the time, three governing bodies dealt with veterans – the Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions of the Interior Department, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. Although this system had been in place since the early 1920s, the need for one consolidated agency became apparent by the end of the decade.
The first administrator of Veterans Affairs was Brigadier Gen. Frank T. Hines. He held the job for 15 years – until 1945.
The head of the VA became a Cabinet-level position in 1989, with Ed Derwinski becoming the first secretary of Veterans Affairs. The VA has had seven secretaries, all of whom served in the military. Eric Shinseki, a retired general, currently holds the post.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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