CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 11, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
GOING NUCLEAR: ‘VAST MAJORITY’ OF DEMOCRATS WANT TO CHANGE SENATE RULES, SAYS REID… Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that his fellow Democrats were supportive of a controversial change to Senate rules that would prevent filibusters against executive branch nominees. “The President deserves to have a qualified team he has selected to help our economy grow. And he needs his whole team, not half of it, or a few that the Senate Republicans let through here and there,” Reid said. “That's not how this works.”
REPUBLICANS CRY FOUL: ‘WORST.LEADER.EVER’… “This is really a sad, sad day for the United States Senate,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in regards to the rules changes. “And if we don't pull back from the brink here, my friend, the majority leader, is going to be remembered as the worst leader of the senate ever.”
SOMETHING YOU DON’T READ OFTEN: U.S. BOOKS $117 BILLION SURPLUS… June marks the fifth month since October 2011 that the government has recorded a monthly surplus. In terms of revenue, $287 billion flowed into federal coffers in June, about 10% more than last June. – Jeanne Sahadi
BUT POLITICS STILL EXPENSIVE: Last year, winning Senate candidates spent an average of $10.3 million, according to the latest edition of Vital Statistics on Congress, which was released this week. That's a 61% increase, adjusted for inflation, since 1986. The report indicates that it took, on average, $1.6 million to win a House seat in 2012, a 112% increase since 1986. – Paul Steinhauser and Robert Yoon
MARKET WATCH: The Dow and S&P finished at record highs as investors hoped the Federal Reserve will continue stimulus. The Dow added about 170 points, and the S&P was up 1.4%.
Which president awarded Martin Luther King Jr. the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
According to the Journal of Politics, in an article highlighted by Pew Research, men who were raised with sisters are more likely to “grow up to be Republicans.”
“Having sisters makes males more politically conservative in terms of their gender role attitudes and their partisanship,” wrote authors Andrew Healy and Neil Malhotra. “Particularly for gender role attitudes, we find that these political socialization effects persist until respondents are well into adulthood.”
Some of the data is truly striking: Boys who grew up with just sisters in their household are over 8 percent more likely to identify with the Republican Party later in life.
Now to the key question: why?
“Researchers have found that sisters are more likely than their brothers to help wash the dishes, sweep the floor and do other traditionally gender-stereotyped tasks around the house,” Rich Morin at Pew writes. “For example, in the data they examined, about 60% of boys but 82% of girls 10 and older with younger siblings told interviewers they were expected to help with the dishes. This early exposure to gender stereotyping, the researchers argue, translates into more socially conservative views in later life.” Full Study
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: House Republicans want to reform immigration on their own terms
Immigration reform entered an uncertain new phase on Wednesday as House Republicans signaled some willingness to compromise with President Barack Obama and Democrats, but rejected a Senate-passed bill and insisted they would take their time drafting their own version. – Deirdre Walsh and Tom Cohen
Leading Drudge: Manslaughter: 30 Years?
Judge Debra Nelson ruled Thursday that the jury in the George Zimmerman trial will have the option to convict Zimmerman of manslaughter for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, but that they won’t be able to consider third-degree murder. – Chuck Ross
Leading HuffPo: No Biggie: Paul Brushes Off Aide's 'Stupid' Past Remarks
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Sen. Rand Paul stoutly defended an aide who, as a radio shock jock in South Carolina, praised John Wilkes Booth, heaped scorn on Abraham Lincoln and wore a ski mask emblazoned with the stars and bars of the Confederate Battle Flag. – Howard Fineman
Leading Politico: Role reversal: Republicans dispense Obamacare advice
Republican lawmakers have spent the past three years blasting Obamacare, but now they have a new role: helping people sign up for it. It’s a role reversal that puts party politics at odds with constituent service. Even Obamacare’s most strident opponents say that if people call their offices looking for help when enrollment starts in October, they’ll direct their staff to assist. – Jennifer Haberkorn
Leading The New York Times: House Approves Farm Bill, Without Food Stamp Program
Republicans muscled a pared-back agriculture bill through the House on Thursday, stripping out the food stamp program to satisfy recalcitrant conservatives but losing what little Democratic support the bill had when it failed last month. It was the first time food stamps had not been a part of the farm bill since 1973. – Ron Nixon and Jonathan Weisman
The political bites of the day
- House to “wrestle with” illegal immigration process -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT HIS WEEKLY CAPITOL HILL PRESS CONFERENCE: “A vast majority of our members do believe that we have to wrestle with this problem. They also believe that we need to do this step-by-step commonsense approach. Thirdly, I would add, it's clear that securing our borders and having the ability to enforce our immigration laws are the first big step in this process.”
- The Senate won’t bigfoot the House, says McCain -
REPUBLICAN SEN. JOHN MCCAIN OF ARIZONA AT A PRESS CONFERENCE OUTSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE: “We are in no way big-footing the members of the House of Representatives. We would like to see legislation along the lines of ours, but we can work with them on different pieces of legislation. We want legislation that we can go to conference on that we can get a majority vote in both houses.”
- WH not weighing in on Zimmerman -
CNN’S JIM ACOSTA IN TODAY’S WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “The president once said that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin. Is the president watching this trial and does he have any concerns as to what the response might be once it has come to a conclusion?”
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: “The president, as you know, does not spend a lot of time watching television during the day. But, you know, his comments on that are, you know, what they were but we are not going to say anything from here in the midst of a trial of that nature.”
Gut Check Flashback: In March 2012, while the Trayvon Martin case was being investigated, Obama told reporters in the White House Rose Garden: “You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
- “What is it about poor people that you don’t like?” -
DEMOCRATIC REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA IN A SPEECH ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: “Shame on you! You have removed food stamps, the SNAP program, from this legislation. I don’t know where it is going to go. It looks like it is going to die a slow death. It is despicable. What is it about poor people that you don’t like? What is it? Tell us today. What is it about poor people that you don’t like and you don’t want to feed their families?”
Gut Check Full Service: The U.S. House of Representatives passed a revised version of the Farm Bill, without the food stamps extension, included. The final vote was 216-208. The bill now heads to a conference committee with the Senate. The White House has issued a veto threat over the bill that passed the House.
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award the nation’s chief executive can give, and Martin Luther King Jr. was a logical choice to receive it.
It wasn't, however, until nine years after King's assassination that he was honored with the award.
On this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter posthumously conferred the medal.
"When I was a child in Georgia, there was another threat as well which was even more all-encompassing and which afflicted us as did a physical disease, and that was racial discrimination, a deprivation of human freedom and a prohibition against the realization of the American dream for black people," Carter said. "With unswerving dedication, superb courage, sensitivity, and humility and a dedication to peace, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., helped to remove this threat and this affliction."
King's widow, Coretta Scott King, accepted the award in his honor.
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