CNN's GUT CHECK for July 26, 2013
July 26th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
9 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 26, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 26, 2013 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

QUINN CALLS OPPONENT “RECKLESS” & “IMMATURE”: NYC Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn in an interview on CNN’s “The Lead”: “I think what the former congressmember has done, as I've said, is reckless. It's a pattern of recklessness. It's immature. It's irresponsible. No one should have behaved this way; no one should have lied about how they behaved this way.”

FILNER GETTING HELP, BUT NOT GETTING OUT: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced Friday that he will take a two-week hiatus for “intensive counseling” in response to a tide of sexual harassment allegations. Filner said he would return to office on August 19 and “my focus will be on making sure I am doing right by this city by being the best mayor I can be and being the best person I must be.” – Tricia Escobedo

WHY WAIT FOR 2016? Gov. Chris Christie says Sen. Rand Paul’s “strain of libertarianism” might be “dangerous.” Paul equates Christie with the Republican-cum-Democrat Charlie Crist. MORE BELOW IN “WHAT CAUGHT OUR EYE.

NO DEATH PENALTY FOR SNOWDEN: The U.S. Justice Department will not seek the death penalty for U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to Russian authorities in a letter dated July 23. In the letter, Holder says Snowden's arguments for temporary asylum in Russia are without merit. Once back in the United States, Snowden would not be tortured and would face a civilian trial with a lawyer appointed to him, the attorney general wrote. – Mariano Castillo

MARKET WATCH: Dow barely manages a fifth straight week of gains. NASDAQ adds 0.8% for the week, but S&P finishes flat.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
Which president signed the National Security Act on this day in history? And what did the act do?

MARK (@PrestonCNN), MICHELLE (@mjaconiCNN) & DAN (@DanMericaCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

In one fell swoop, Gov. Chris Christie distanced himself from libertarians, took a shot at one of their heroes – Rand Paul – and signaled that 2016 might not be as far off as we think.

At an Aspen Institute event in Colorado, Christie said he was not a fan of the “esoteric, intellectual” libertarian debate going on right now over government surveillance and the anti-terror tactics. The governor even warned that the “strain of libertarianism” trumpeted by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky might be “dangerous.”

“On the libertarianism side of things, as a former prosecutor who was appointed by president George W. Bush on September 10, 2001, I just want us to be really cautious because this strain of libertarianism that is going through both parties right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought,” Christie said.

Christie told the audience that while it is easy to talk negatively about government monitoring programs in the abstract, it is a different story when you see the lives lost to terrorism, referencing the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“I love all these esoteric debates that people are getting in,” Christie said. “Listen, you can name any number of people who have engaged in it and he (Rand Paul) is one of them. These esoteric, intellectual debates, I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation and they won't because that is a much tougher conversation to have.”

It has been difficult not to look at Christie’s comments on libertarianism and Paul through the prism of 2016.

Christie, the brash but well-liked governor of a blue state, is widely seen as a frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2016. And Paul, the libertarian favorite, is seen as a possible counter to the Republican establishment.

Paul and his close advisers didn’t wait long to hit back at Christie.

Early Friday morning, Paul tweeted, “The President and Chris (Crist)ie need to explain to 9/11 victims their support for Islamic militants in Syria,” alluding to the Florida Republican-cum-Democrat Charlie Crist.

“If Governor Christie believes the constitutional rights and the privacy of all Americans is ‘esoteric,’ he either needs a new dictionary, or he needs to talk to more Americans, because a great number of them are concerned about the dramatic overreach of our government in recent years,” Doug Stafford, senior advisor to Rand Paul told CNN. “Defending America and fighting terrorism is the concern of all Americans, especially Senator Paul. But it can and must be done in keeping with our constitution and while protecting the freedoms that make America exceptional.”

Christie leads off with a punch and Paul returns fire. We wish we could book them on Crossfire tonight, but alas … the show doesn’t launch until the fall.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: North Carolina lawmakers approve controversial election changes
North Carolina lawmakers passed a measure that requires residents to present photo identification to vote, joining a handful of other states that have approved the controversial proposal. The Republican-dominated House approved the measure late Thursday , saying it will help prevent voter fraud. It passed the state's Senate a day earlier. – Faith Karimi and Joe Sutton

Leading Drudge: Makes $3.8 Billion In A Day!
Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune soared $3.8 billion yesterday as shares of Facebook Inc. (FB), the world’s most-popular social-networking service, rallied 30 percent to the highest level since May 2012. – David De Jong

Leading HuffPo: Biting Back
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) announced her 2014 senatorial campaign kickoff Thursday, releasing her first campaign video. Grimes announced on July 1 that she would be challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the upcoming election. – Ashley Alman

Leading Politico: Obama vs. Texas
They might as well put a “Mess with Texas” bumper sticker on the presidential limo. Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement Thursday that he’s taking Texas to court over its voting laws is the latest battle between the White House and Lone Star State Republicans — and one that both sides are eager to have. – Edward-Isaac Dovere

Leading The New York Times: Roberts’s Picks Reshaping Secret Surveillance Court
As Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has filled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court with Republican appointees, critics have voiced concern about their deference to the government on spying. – Charlie Savage

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– DNC chair tells embattled Filner to step down –
DNC CHAIR DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT ABOUT SAN DIEGO MAYOR BOB FILNER: “The misconduct Mayor Bob Filner has been accused of is reprehensible and indefensible. I am personally offended by his actions and I firmly believe no employee should face a hostile environment or harassment at their place of employment. There is no place for this type of conduct in the workplace and certainly not in our city halls and public offices. For the good of the City of San Diego, I call on Mayor Filner to resign.”

Gut Check Full Service… Local Democrats call for his resignation, too: “We are not here to determine guilt or innocence,” party Chair Francine Busby said after emerging from the closed session where the committee voted 34-6 for resignation. “However, in the best interests of the city, the San Diego County Democratic Party has asked Mayor Filner to step down to seek the personal help that he needs, to address his legal issues and allow the city of San Diego to move forward.” – Mark Walker for the San Diego Union Tribune

– Snowden will die content, his father says –
LON SNOWDEN, NSA LEAKER EDWARD SNOWDEN'S FATHER, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NBC: “I think my son, when he takes his final breath, whether it's today or 100 years from now, he'll be comfortable with what he did. He did what he knew was right. He shared the truth with the American people. What we choose to do with it is up to us as a people.”

Gut Check Full Service… Lon Snowden pens a letter to Obama: "We urge you to order the Attorney General to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed. Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour."

– Trayvon’s Mom: God is using my family to make change –
SYBRINA FULTON IN A SPEECH AT THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE CONFERENCE: “All I can say to you is nobody is hurting worse than me as a parent, me as a mom. Because, you know, as a mom, we are most sensitive when it comes to our children and we have every right to be. When they hurt, we hurt. When they are happy, we are happy. At times, I feel like I am a broken vessel. At times, I don’t know if I am going or coming. But I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is using me and God is using my family to make a change and make a difference.”

– Why did ‘41’ shave his head? –
PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NBC: “Little Patrick had leukemia. A lot of the agents shaved their heads and I said, ‘Why not me?’ … I kind of identify with him.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jake Tapper (@jaketapper)
A rare second Medal of Honor for fierce Afghan battle at COP Keating

http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/26/second-medal-of-honor-for-fierce-afghan-battle/

Alan Gomez (@alangomez)
Provided without comment: Rep. Gowdy Has The Most Confusing Hair In Congress http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/this-man-has-the-most-confusing-hair-in-congress … @bennyjohnson @KateNocera

Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski)
Biden pool: @VP "surprised [a] diner when he sat down next to him so that the two could take a photo ... Later the man asked 'Who is he?'"

Bill Schneider (@BillSchneiderDC)
Support from young voters is not a function of a candidate's age, but their association with new ideas & change. http://reut.rs/18H78Zk

Christine Bohan (@ChristineBohan)
The New Yorker's cover with Anthony Weiner on it is excellent: pic.twitter.com/IaF9rK8Kow

Gerald F Seib (@GeraldFSeib)
Are those speaking up for Yellen for Fed chief really speaking against Summers? And vice versa? Hmmm. http://on.wsj.com/15Obhol via @WSJ

Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta)
Obama likely won't announce Fed chair pick until fall, senior White House official says http://mobilebeta.reuters.com/obama-likely-wont-announce-fed-chair-pick-until

Igor Bobic (@igorbobic)
'Stop Hillary' PAC implies a Clinton presidency would make them suicidal: http://bit.ly/13apLQX

TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN

President Harry Truman implemented one of the largest expansion and reorganizations of the U.S. government’s foreign policy and military operations when he signed the National Security Act on this day in 1947.

On top of reorganizing the existing defense apparatus, the law created the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Although the law expanded the government, many of these offices grew out of existing offices. For example: the CIA grew out of the Office of Strategic Services, an operation that was key in World War II.

“The 1947 law also caused far-reaching changes in the military establishment,” a State Department historian wrote about the law. “The War Department and Navy Department merged into a single Department of Defense under the Secretary of Defense, who also directed the newly created Department of the Air Force.”

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Christopher S. Brown (‏@chrisbrowntv) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia. Clearly, Chris knows his Truman.

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