CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 12, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
WIN ONE FOR JOURNALISTS: “Federal prosecutors can no longer obtain search warrants for information obtained by journalists unless reporters are the subject of a criminal investigation, a Justice Department official said Friday.”- Carol Cratty
MR. PUTIN, CAN YOU LEND A HAND? SNOWDEN SEEKS TEMPORARY ASYLUM IN RUSSIA… NSA leaker Edward Snowden said he was requesting asylum from Russia while he awaited safe passage to Latin America, according to Wikileaks released transcript of Snowden’s remarks to human rights groups. – Phil Black, Laura Smith-Spark and Alla Eshchenko
CARNEY REMINDS PUTIN: PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “I would simply say that providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian government’s previous declarations of Russia’s neutrality and that they have no control over his presence in the airport. It is also incompatible with Russian assurances that they do not want Mr. Snowden to further damage U.S. interests.”
Gut Check Flashback: Speaking to reporters in June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said NSA leaker Edward Snowden “is a transit passenger in the transit zone and is still there now. Mr. Snowden is a free man. The sooner he selects his final destination point, the better both for us and for himself.” Putin said Snowden's arrival in Russia was “completely unexpected.” – Jethro Mullen and Michael Pearson
MARKET WATCH: S&P and Dow close at record highs, with Dow up 2% for week. NASDAQ gains 3.5% to close at highest level since 2000.
Who is the only woman to ever receive the Medal of Honor?
What caught our eye today in politics
Immigration reform isn't anywhere near crossing the finish line in Congress. And Friday's announcement that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was stepping down from her post is likely another setback for bill’s supporters.
Napolitano would have been the Obama administration official most closely tied with implementing immigration reform had it passed the House and been signed by the president. Strengthening the border, an important trigger for Republicans who supported the bill, would have fallen under her purview.
But with Napolitano on her way out, now the administration needs to nominate her replacement.
While names are batted around Twitter – Sen. Chuck Schumer has already contacted the White House to push for NYPD’s Ray Kelley – the reality of the situation is this: no matter who Obama nominates, it is highly likely the nomination process will become a proxy vote for immigration reform.
Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House committee that oversees the Homeland Security department, evidenced this difficult road in his statement about Napolitano's departure.
“The many agencies housed within DHS are only as effective as their leadership, and it is crucial that the Administration appoints someone who does not underestimate the threats against us, and who is committed to enforcing the law and creating a unified Department,” McCaul said in a written press release. “Ten years after the creation of the Department, it is critical that its mission isn’t undermined by politics or political correctness. The border is not secure, and the threat of terrorism is not diminishing. The vision and actions of the Department must reflect that reality.”
Momentum behind immigration reform is slowing. And Napolitano's departure is just another road block in the already difficult path towards comprehensive immigration reform.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Spitzer's opponent won't challenge petition signatures
Eliot Spitzer's main rival in the New York City comptroller race will not challenge his petition signatures. A spokesperson for Scott Stringer confirmed Friday that the Manhattan borough president will not attempt to drag out the qualifying process for the Democratic primary ballot. – Ashley Killough
Leading Drudge: Show Judge Life Long Dem
Years before they would endure a televised pummeling in the Florida courtroom of Judge Debra Nelson, the two lawyers representing accused murderer George Zimmerman actually donated money to the prickly jurist’s first election campaign, records show. – The Smoking Gun
Leading HuffPo: Citizens Ignited
Pushback against the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision keeps growing in the states. Over the first six months of this year, even as campaign finance reforms go nowhere in Congress, five more states have backed resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 ruling. That brings the total number of states supporting an amendment to 16. – Paul Blumenthal
Leading Politico: Bob McDonnell's stunning fall from grace
In 2010, the political world pegged Bob McDonnell as a president in the making. Last year, they put him on every VP list. As recently as May, they called the popular Virginia governor a political model for his would-be successors in Richmond, Democrat and Republican alike. And now – well, now nobody’s sure what to call Bob McDonnell. – Alexander Burns
Leading The New York Times: Napolitano Stepping Down as Homeland Security Chief
Janet Napolitano, who has overseen an expansive portfolio as President Obama’s secretary of homeland security, plans to become president of the University of California system. – Peter Baker
The political bites of the day
– That was fast: Schumer suggests NYPD head for Homeland Security –
DEMOCRATIC SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER OF NEW YORK IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE: “The Department of Homeland Security is one of the most important agencies in the federal government. Its leader needs to be someone who knows law enforcement, understands anti-terrorism efforts, and is a top-notch administrator, and at the NYPD, Ray Kelly has proven that he excels in all three. As a former head of the Customs and Border patrol, he has top-level federal management experience. There is no doubt Ray Kelly would be a great DHS Secretary, and I have urged the White House to very seriously consider his candidacy.”
– Inspiring words from a teenager –
MALALA YOUSAFZAI, THE 16-YEAR OLD HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST, AT A UNITED NATIONS SPEECH: “Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen, can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
– The real Bieber apology –
CONAN O’BRIEN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “Justin Bieber got into a lot of trouble because a video surfaced of Justin Bieber saying F Bill Clinton. So after the video surfaced of Justin Bieber saying F Bill Clinton, today Justin Bieber called to apologize to Bill Clinton. That's the latest. No word on when Bieber plans to call everybody who has heard his music.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
A surgeon during the Civil War, Mary Edwards Walker is the only woman to ever win the Medal of Honor.
Born in New York, Walker went to medical school and opened up a small practice after getting married. When the practice failed, she volunteered for the Union Army. She was captured while trying to save soldier behind enemy lines and taken to Richmond, Virginia, the confederate capitol, as a prisoner of war.
After being released in a prisoner swap, Walker went back into battle and saved lives in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.
With the war over, Walker joined the women's suffrage movement and became a notable speaker on women's rights. She died in 1919 at the age of 86.
On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln began the tradition of giving out Medals of Honor when he signed a law that started the award. The first group to receive the honor were six members of a Union regiment that ventured deep into Confederate territory and destroyed bridges and railroad tracks.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congratulations to Sean Evins (@Evins) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question. Happy Friday, all.
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