CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 18, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BANKRUPT: The city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy Thursday afternoon, said Bill Nowling, spokesman for Detroit Emergency Manger Kevin Orr. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder approved the bankruptcy filing, Nowling said, which is the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
LIBERALS TARGETED, TOO: The inspector general who reported Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups said Thursday that he didn't have information until last week that the word “progressive” also was on a list of criteria for extra scrutiny of tax-exempt applications. – Tom Cohen
BEING BIDEN: WHAT IF HE NEVER BECOMES PRESIDENT? “I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America. But it doesn't mean I won't run,” Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with GQ magazine.
WHAT GOV’T MISTAKES LED TO SNOWDEN? A senior-level defense official said Thursday that keeping top-secret information on one shared server and giving an individual the ability to view and move that data were two mistakes that allowed NSA leaker Edward Snowden to disclose top-secret information. “This is a failure to defend our own network,” Carter said. “That failure originated from two practices that we need to reverse.” – Dan Merica
MARKET WATCH: Dow and S&P close at record highs. NASDAQ finishes at highest level since September 2000.
Who is famous for exclaiming "I have not yet begun to fight"?
What caught our eye today in politics
Marco Rubio’s decision to help draft a Senate immigration reform bill raised inevitable questions about whether the effort would imperil his chances of winning over the conservative voters who dictate the Republican presidential nominating process.
So does Rubio have a budding problem among Republican caucus-goers in Iowa, the first state to vote in the presidential race?
If Sam Clovis is any barometer, the answer is an unmitigated yes.
Clovis is a mustachioed, suspenders-wearing college professor from Sioux City who's running for Senate in Iowa, as a Republican. He’s not the favorite to win the nomination, but he’s no slouch either.
He also happens to be a popular conservative talk radio host who speaks the language of grassroots Republicans and has a keen sense of what motivates them.
That's why a low-budget web video posted by Clovis Wednesday, trashing Rubio for his work on the immigration bill, is an ominous sign for the Florida senator and would-be presidential candidate.
Despite recent hand-wringing about the flawed nature of the Iowa caucuses, the state is all but assured to keep its leadoff position in the 2016 nomination process. If Rubio runs, he'll have to make nice with Iowa conservatives. They just might not be nice to him.
“I might have expected this out of John McCain,” Clovis says of the immigration bill. “But we certainly didn’t expect this out of Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio was elected by conservatives in the state of Florida and he was supported by conservatives all over the United States. And there is nothing conservative in this bill.”
Like any self-styled member of the tea party movement, Clovis labels the bill “amnesty,” says it fails to adequately secure the border with Mexico and claims it will impose a heavy financial burden on state and local governments.
Clovis punctuates the video with a straightforward admonition: “Shame on Marco Rubio.”
Bottom line: If midterm Republican candidates in Iowa think they can score points with conservative voters by attacking Rubio and tying him to President Obama and reborn pragmatist John McCain, Rubio’s got some critical repair work to do on the right.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Exclusive: DNA test proves congressman not model's father
CNN obtained DNA from Victoria, and John Brink – the man who raised her – and from Rep. Cohen, who didn't want to appear on camera for this story. The results showed that Cohen was not Victoria Brink's father – and that John Brink was. – Miguel Marquez
Leading Drudge: Admit: NSA Spies On Friends' Friends' Friends
As an aside during testimony on Capitol Hill today, a National Security Agency representative rather casually indicated that the government looks at data from a universe of far, far more people than previously indicated. – Phil Bump
Leading HuffPo: 'Nonsense'
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) bristled at a suggestion on Thursday that Congress has been "historically unproductive." "That's just total nonsense," he told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "Now listen, we made clear when we took over, that we weren't going to be doing commemorative legislation on the floor. A lot of changes. In addition to that, most Americans think we have too many laws. And what they want us to do is repeal more of those. So I reject the premise to the question." – Amanda Terkel
Leading Politico: DeMint back at war with Republicans
Jim DeMint’s at war with Republicans — again. The tea party firebrand who made his mark in GOP primary races across the country is now at the helm of the Heritage Foundation where its political arm is doing the same thing: holding conservatives' feet to the fire. – Anna Palmer and Manu Raju
Leading The New York Times: Politicians Are Slowed by Scandal, but Many Still Win the Race
Across the country, politicians have faced opponents tainted by scandal — some of them seemingly muddied beyond saving — yet they have gone on to lose anyway. – Campbell Robertson
The political bites of the day
– Fairness on the border –
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT HIS WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: “Now those principles of fairness should extend to the issue of immigration as well. Americans expect that as a nation of laws that we'll enforce them, starting at the border. I think it's only fair. They expect that no one who broke our laws will get special treatment.”
– Half of the country affected if Obamacare repealed, says Carney –
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “We’re at a point now where the reality of repeal, if it were to ever happen, is that half of the country, because half of all of you have pre-existing conditions, would once again, if the Affordable Care Act were repealed as Republicans want, face the prospect of being denied insurance coverage.”
– ACLU leader offers first vocal defense of Snowden –
ANTHONY ROMERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ACLU, IN REMARKS AT THE ASPEN SECURITY FORUM: “I think he did this country a service. I have not said that publicly until this point. I think he did this country a service by starting a debate that was anemic, that was left to government officials where people did not understand fully what was happening.”
– Congress honors Mandela –
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT A CAPITOL HILL EVENT CELEBRATING MANDELA’S BIRTHDAY: “At times, it can almost feel like we're talking about an old friend, and the reason for that I think is scarcely a week, a day goes by without us pointing to Mandela as an example – an example of standing on principle, of loving your neighbor, and of extending the reach of freedom.”
HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI: “As President, he would extend the blessings of freedom even to men and women who denied him his own freedom. That was the true mark of courage. That was the statement of his values. Today, on his 95th birthday, that remains his legacy.”
– The other border wall –
STEPHEN COLBERT ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “When will we build the border wall with Florida? We cannot let, we cannot let those maniacs into our country. It is legal to shoot each other down there.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance)
“Those of you who are old enough may remember a time when Barack Obama was plagued with scandal.” http://bit.ly/195xNON
John R Parkinson (@jparkABC)
President King? NY Republican @RepPeteKing Considering Run for White House http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/07/president-peter-king-new-york-republican-considering-run-for-white-house/#.UehDq4D18VI.twitter
jennifer bendery (@jbendery)
Lawsuit filed in 3, 2, 1.... RT @LEBassett: Rick Perry Signs Abortion Bill Into Law http://huff.to/12OqXVk
John Presta (@MrGrassroots)
Liz Cheney says that Sen. Mike Enzi is "confused" about her running for his seat. Code word for "old." http://tinyurl.com/my333xg via @allvoices
Elise Foley (@elisefoley)
Crossroads GPS has a new "ObamaCareNado" video, which...no. http://bit.ly/13mtMBg
Lisa Desjardins (@AskLisaD)
NOMINEE TIDAL WAVE: Tom Perez confirmed by Senate 54-46 as Labor Sec., second major nominee greenlighted in three days.
Manu Raju (@mkraju)
59-40, McCarthy confirmed as new head of EPA
Matt Dornic (@mdornic)
Lost children fleeing despair pay smugglers thousands to enter Europe. #CNN exclusive on digital mag http://on.cnn.com/1bIiBGD
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
The life of John Paul Jones reads more like an epic Alexandre Dumas fiction novel than the nonfiction life of one of the U.S. Navy's greatest heroes.
Jones, a Scot who moved to Virginia as a teenager, sided with the Americans in the American Revolution and quickly became a lieutenant in the small U.S. Navy. Sent to England to raid forts and port cities, Jones became a hero because of his bravery and skill in battle.
Without a doubt, however, it was Jones actions on the Bonhomme Richard that immortalized his service. Going up against the massive HMS Serapis, Jones' ship was hit and began taking on water. When the British ordered Jones to surrender his beleaguered ship, he proudly proclaimed his most famous line.
"I have not yet begun to fight," Jones told the British.
And he was right. At the end of the battle, Jones had overcome the damage to his ship and had taken command of the Serapis.
On this day in 1792, after countless death-defying raids and battles, Jones died of a kidney disease in Paris. Honored as one of the fathers of the U.S. Navy, Jones body is entombed at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Christian Laatsch (@ChrisLaatsch) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question. Nice work.
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