CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 16, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
CHENEY IS IN: Liz Cheney will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) in next year’s Republican primary. She announced her candidacy on YouTube.
NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: TENTATIVE DEAL STRUCK TO AVERT SENATE NUCLEAR OPTION… Senators have reached a tentative bipartisan deal to avert the so-called “nuclear option” – a controversial rules change in the Senate. The deal would lift filibusters and allow confirmation votes. In exchange, Democrats would agree to withdraw two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board. – Ted Barrett and Dana Bash
AND THEN THERE WAS ONE: Ed Markey was sworn in as the new senator from Massachusetts. He replaced interim Sen. Mo Cowen, leaving the Senate with just one African American member: Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina.
SENATORS (UNLIKE CELEBRIRTIES) ARE NOT JUST LIKE YOU:
Average Age in America: 37
Average age in the Senate: 62
(H/T: Lisa Desjardins)
HOLDER SLAMS ‘STAND YOUR GROUND’ LAWS: ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER, IN A SPEECH TO THE NAACP CONVENTION... “It’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if – and the “if” is important – no safe retreat is available. But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely. By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.”
SNOWDEN APPLIES FOR TEMPORARY ASYLUM IN RUSSIA: NSA leaker Edward Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday, a move that might soon allow him to leave Moscow's international airport while the request is considered, a Russian lawyer who helped him with the request told CNN. – Alla Eshchenko
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower, with the S&P and NASDAQ snapping an eight-day winning streak. Dow falls 32 points.
What colorful national security strategy was unveiled on this day in history?
Bob Filner caught our eye today, as the embattled San Diego mayor is losing the support of women’s groups who helped elect him in 2012 as allegations of sexual misconduct grip “America’s Finest City.”
The National Organization for Women’s San Diego County chapter and the San Diego-based National Women Veterans Association of America were two groups prominently mentioned in a San Diego Union-Tribune story last fall with this headline: “Filner touts endorsements from women.” A politician couldn’t ask for a better headline a little more than one month before Election Day.
But now as Filner battles allegations of sexual harassment, leaders of these two groups are having second thoughts about backing the Democratic politician.
“We endorsed him with very high hopes of what he would do for women,” Gloria Johnson, president of San Diego NOW told Gut Check Tuesday afternoon. “But we are disappointed in what we know about his recent actions.”
Johnson later added that she “and the majority of NOW members agree” that Filner no longer has the organization’s backing. “Ending harassment on the job is one of NOW’s top priorities,” she said.
The National Women Veterans Association of America was set to honor Filner at an event next month, but has now removed him from the program.
“He has admitted that he has had inappropriate behavior,” said Tara Jones, a U.S. Navy veteran who serves as the president and founder of National Women Veterans Association of America. “To what level of that behavior is to be determined.”
Jones, whose organization is holding a news conference on Saturday to address the Filner issue added, “We helped put him in there and we will help get him out.”
Despite calls for his resignation, Filner is digging in.
The allegations against him are ugly. One campaign volunteer alleged that Filner forcefully kissed her, "jamming his tongue down her throat" and later groped her, while a former staffer said the mayor "grabbed her a** and touched her chest" while she was employed by his office.
This comes as Filner’s former fiancée, Bronwyn Ingram, said this week that she broke up with him because of his "constant infidelities," according to an email published by the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“While I had heard rumors that he was engaging in sexual relationships with other women, I was never able to determine their validity,” Ingram said in a statement to the Union-Tribune. “However, as Bob’s behavior continued to become more aggressive, standard decorum seemed to disappear. Bob recently began texting other women sexually explicit messages and setting up dates while in my presence and within my line of vision.”
As we watch Filner fight for his political future, it is important to note that this is not a “sex” scandal. It is a “sexual harassment” scandal, surrounding a recently elected man who runs America’s sixth largest city.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: After immigration push, Rubio sees fundraising spike
While Sen. Marco Rubio's push for comprehensive immigration reform drew some derision from conservatives – particularly his support for a bill that contained a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants – the Florida Republican's fundraising spiked as the measure was debated in Washington.
Leading Drudge: Jeantel Warned Zimmerman Could Be Gay Rapist
Last night Trayvon Martin's friend Rachel Jeantel gave CNN her first interview since testifying in the George Zimmerman murder trial. Jeantel opened up and let loose on the murder case that gripped that nation. She explained to CNN's Piers Morgan how she warned her childhood friend that Zimmerman - could be a gay rapist!
Leading HuffPo: Ready To Strike: Texas Dems Plot Takeover
It would seem that Texas Republicans have never been stronger. An all-but-certain Republican successor is emerging to follow the departing Gov. Rick Perry. They're jubilant over their victory at the Capitol, where a GOP-heavy legislature plowed through a bill to sharply restrict abortions. Behind the scenes, however, anxious Republicans and hopeful opponents are poring over data suggesting that the GOP hegemony may end. – Thomas Beaumont and Will Weissert
Leading Politico: Kirsten Gillibrand's slow climb to 51 votes
For weeks, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s staff has been keeping a large whiteboard whip chart to tally her uphill fight for a military sexual assault measure. On Friday, her staff made a big change to the chart – and to Gillibrand’s momentum: They moved Sen. Rand Paul’s name from the “maybe” category into the “yes” column. – Darren Samuelsohn and Anna Palmer
Leading The New York Times: In Second Term, Obama Is Seen as Using ‘Hidden Hand’ Approach
In his first year, President Obama seemed to be everywhere, talking about everything. In his fifth year, he has kept a low public profile in response to various crises. – Peter Baker
The political bites of the day
– Holder talks Trayvon Martin to NAACP –
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER IN SPEECH TO THE NAACP: “Years ago, some of these same issues drove my father to sit down with me to have a conversation – which is no doubt familiar to many of you – about how as a young black man I should interact with the police, what to say, and how to conduct myself if I was ever stopped or confronted in a way I thought was unwarranted. ... Trayvon’s death last spring caused me to sit down to have a conversation with my own 15 year old son, like my dad did with me. This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down. But as a father who loves his son and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, I had to do this to protect my boy. I am his father and it is my responsibility, not to burden him with the baggage of eras long gone, but to make him aware of the world he must still confront. This is a sad reality in a nation that is changing for the better in so many ways.”
– White House: Expel Snowden –
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “Our position is that Mr. Snowden ought to be expelled and returned to the United States and that he should not be allowed to engage in further international travel except as necessary to return to the United States. He is not a human rights activist. He is not a dissident. He is accused of leaking classified information. He has been charged with three felony counts related to the leaking of classified information and for those reasons he should be returned to the United States.”
– An epiphany: It helps to for Republicans and Democrats to talk –
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “I hope that everyone learned the lesson last night that it sure helps to sit down and talk to each other, or stand and talk whatever it is. It was a very, very good meeting. It lasted four hours. People were still as highly engaged at the end of that four hours as they were at the beginning. ”
– House Republican wants more focus on Benghazi –
REPUBLICAN REP. FRANK WOLF OF VIRGINIA IN A SPEECH ON THE HOUSE FLOOR: “Perhaps the most telling signs of the incomplete state of the Benghazi investigation is the fact that not one of the survivors of the Benghazi attack from the consulate or the annex have publicly testified before Congress. Despite nearly a full year of multiple committee investigations, not one witness has been brought before the committee to publicly testify under oath about what happened that night.”
– After Zimmerman, Sharpton urges peaceful ‘war’ –
REV. AL SHARPTON AT A PROTEST OUTSIDE THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: “We are going to fight. On Saturday night, we lost the battle but the war is not over and we intend to fight. Let me just say before we open up that we urge all that participate with us to do so nonviolently and peacefully.”
– The popemobile meets the chick magnet scrutiny –
CONAN O’BRIEN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “The new pope working very hard to forge a humbler image. Popes are usually seen as very grand. He's trying to be humble. This is true. Pope Francis showed up to his first public prayer in a Ford Focus. Yeah, good for him. All I have to say to the pope is good luck keeping that vow of celibacy cruising around town in a Ford Focus.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
So Liz Cheney will primary Mike Enzi. Enzi has 93% ACU rating, 100% National Right to Life, voted against amnesty.
Ana Navarro (@ananavarro)
My money is on Enzi, unless Liz Cheney gets her father to invite Enzi to go hunting....
Jennifer Liberto (@jenliberto)
Consumer financial chief to be confirmed soon http://cnnmon.ie/1dCsdRw via @CNNMoney
Mark Knoller (@markknoller)
Pres Obama resubmitted his nomination of Cordray on Feb 13, 2013. The recess-appointment ends with this session of Congress.
Rex Nutting (@RexNutting)
Big cave by Republicans to allow Cordray to officially take over at CFPB. Big cave by Obama to give GOP veto over NLRB. On balance, a win.
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn)
Most House Democrats expected to oppose GOP Obamacare bills – according to top Dem vote counter – http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/16/most-house-democrats-expected-to-oppose-gop-obamacare-bills/
Annalyn Kurtz (@AnnalynKurtz)
Um, why does CPI track women's underwear and nightwear, but not men's?
Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias)
9 US.cities — NY, LA, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, & Dallas — have more residents than Montana.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
Standing at a sweltering hot Rose Garden ceremony on this day in 2002, President George W. Bush and Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge announced sweeping changes to the U.S. national security apparatus. The changes included creation of the White House Office of Homeland Security and, subsequently, the Department of Homeland Security.
Also in Bush's proposal: the color-coded warning system to outline the level of terrorist threat. The "Homeland Security Advisory System" went from green (low risk) to red (high risk). Criticized for its simplicity, the program was regularly made the butt of jokes by comedians.
It was phased out in January 2011.
In addition to the color-coded system, the changes included proposed standards for state driver's licenses and new technology to detect chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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