CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 30, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE AT A TUESDAY PRESS CONFERENCE IN FRONT OF LITTLE FERRY FIRE DEPARTMENT: “Senator Paul is accusing us of having a ‘gimme, gimme, gimme’ attitude towards federal spending when in fact New Jersey is a donor state and we get 61 cents back on every dollar we send to Washington, and interestingly, Kentucky gets $1.51 on every dollar they send to Washington. So if Senator Paul wants to start looking at where he’s going to cut spending to afford defense, maybe he should start cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky at $1.51 for every dollar.”
KENTUCKY SENATOR RAND PAUL RESPONDS ON CNN’S THE SITUATION ROOM: “This is the king of bacon talking about bacon. We have two military bases in Kentucky, and is Gov. Christie recommending that we shut down our military bases? He wants to be this great champion of national defense. What does he want to do shut down military bases in Kentucky? … It is not helping the party for him to pick a war with me. It is a big mistake. It is not very smart. And it is not a good way to grow the party.”
MANNING VERDICT IS IN: A military judge has found Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, not guilty of aiding the enemy - a charge that would have carried a maximum sentence of life in prison. He was found guilty of most of the remaining charges, with the judge accepting some of the guilty pleas he made previously to lesser charges. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years behind bars on some of the other charges. – Ashley Fantz and Chelsea J. Carter
RESPONSE FROM WIKILEAKS: “Manning faces 136 years on the charges he has been convicted of today,” the group said on Twitter, labeling the ruling “dangerous national security extremism from the Obama administration.”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end mixed as investors await economic data. NASDAQ gains 0.5%. Dow and S&P finish flat.
What Central American nation shares a motto with the United States?
There are 1,270 days left in the Obama presidency. And in a speech last week, Obama made it clear that he wants to focus the rest of his time in office on equal economic opportunity for all Americans.
“That's where I will focus my energies not just for the next few months, but for the remainder of my presidency,” Obama said at the speech in Galesburg, Illinois.
In this vein, the Obama administration on Tuesday offered Republicans a “grand bargain” that would cut corporate taxes while investing in programs like bolstering the country's manufacturing infrastructure and network of community colleges.
Republicans, however, don’t think the offer is so grand. “This proposal allows President Obama to support President Obama's position on taxes and President Obama's position on spending, while leaving small businesses and American families behind,” House Speak John Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel said in a written release.
So if Republicans have already signaled they were unlikely to back the plan, why call it a “grand bargain”? Because language matters in politics – especially for a president trying to evoke compromise and negotiation – two things in short supply in Washington.
Some of the first references to a “grand bargain” in Washington date back to the fall of the Soviet Union and the United States helping the newly created Russian state. The idea, which was envisioned by a cadre of Harvard economists, stipulated that Russia make substantial free-market, democratic and political changes – like stopping aid to Cuba – in return for monetary aid from the United States and other allies.
Like other times in history, completing such a sweeping deal was seen as nearly impossible.
“The idea of a Grand Bargain, though, is a political fantasy,” Robert Zoellick, then undersecretary of state for economic affairs, told the New York Times in 1991. “
The Grand Bargain with the Soviet Union didn’t turn out as planned – in December 1991a coup kicked Mikhail Gorbachev out of office.
But as is true with any level of negotiation, the opening salvo is rarely the deal you end up agreeing on. The dictionary defines a “bargain” as “an advantageous purchase, especially one acquired at less than the usual cost.” We’ll see if President Obama’s turns out to be that grand.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Issa accuses IRS of obstruction, warns of consequences
The Republican congressman spearheading a House probe into alleged Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative political groups accused the head of the IRS Tuesday of obstructing his panel's investigation. – Alan Silverleib
Leading Drudge: Acquitted!
A military judge Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy — the most serious charge the Army intelligence analyst faced for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables. – Josh Gerstein for Politico
Leading HuffPo: O Tries Another Grand Bargain
President Barack Obama, seeking to break Washington's fiscal stalemate, is proposing cutting corporate tax rates in exchange for more spending on jobs programs. But his offer was immediately panned by congressional Republicans, casting doubts about its prospects. – Nedra Pickler for the AP
Leading Politico: Mythbusters: Obamacare edition
There are a lot of wild stories about Obamacare that make the debate sound like a fact-free zone. No, the IRS isn’t going to be posting your medical tests all over the Internet. No, people’s premiums aren’t doubling in the crucial swing state of Ohio. And no, the Obamacare “data hub” isn’t like a new version of the NSA, spying on your hemorrhoids instead of your phone calls. – David Nather
Leading The New York Times: A Bet on Clinton: If They Network, She Will Run
A new group dedicated to paving the way for a Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 has recruited dozens of the Democratic Party’s most elite donors. – Nicholas Confessore
Leading CNNMoney.com: Home Prices Keep Soaring
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index was up 12.2% compared to a year ago. It was the biggest year-over-year jump in prices since March 2006, near the peak of the housing bubble. – Chris Isidore
The political bites of the day
– McConnell before Obama speech: Nothing to see here –
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “We hear he is planning to make an announcement about corporate taxes. And while I understand he is looking for headlines here, reports indicate that the policy he intends to announce doesn’t exactly qualify as news. It is just a further left version of a widely panned plan he already proposed two years ago this time with extra goodies for tax-and-spend liberals.”
– Back at home: McConnell’s Dem challenger formally kicks off campaign –
KENTUCKY SECRETARY OF STATE ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES’ FORMAL SENATE CAMPAIGN ROLLOUT EVENT: “There is a disease of dysfunction in Washington, and after almost 30 years, Senator McConnell is at the center of it. Where once Senators and Congressmen tried to find common ground, now Senator McConnell, the proud ‘Guardian of Gridlock’ has ground government to a halt.”
– GOP split at defunding Obamacare –
REPUBLICAN SEN. BOB CORKER OF TENNESSEE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH MSNBC: “Oh, I think it's a silly effort. What people are really saying who are behind that effort is we don't have the courage to roll up our sleeves and deal with real deficit and spending decisions. … I don't look at that as very courageous. Most of us see through it and realize that these people are really just taking themselves out of the debate.”
– Israeli negotiator hopeful after first round of peace meetings –
ISRAELI CHIEF NEGOTIATOR TZIPI LIVNI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH REUTERS: “What we are hoping to do today is to restart the negotiations that will start between the Israelis and the Palestinians and hopefully to achieve peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, end of conflict, this is something that we all need in the region. It is the Israeli interest. It is the Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the international community, so let's do it.”
– Weiner’s sexting partner reflects on their relationship… with Howard Stern –
SYDNEY LEATHERS, ANTHONY WEINER'S SEXTING PARTNER, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH HOWARD STERN: “I think I was, like, flattered he trusted me enough to send that in the moment (the explicit picture) and also just completely baffled someone so book smart could be so stupid in life.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN)
Michael Steele on RNC's 50 State Strategy: "Gee, Michael Steele got it right. But no one has the balls to admit it." http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/30/steele-rips-republican-party-building-effort/
Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN)
EMILY'S List president and high profile Dem @Schriock1 declines to run for the open Senate seat in Montana next year http://on.cnn.com/13X5LkB
Patrick LaForge, NYT (@palafo)
Unions wants Stringer. Business leaders don't want Spitzer. An unlikely alliance is born. http://nyti.ms/13tNnLS
Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh)
McDonnell sorta deflects blame: "I apologize for mistakes I've made, or, perhaps, mistakes members of my family made..."
Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato)
McDonnell needs to have a full-blown press conference–no holds barred, no time limit.
Tasha Diakides (@TashaCNN)
.@DanaBashCNN on how House GOP women are trying to expand their rank. Right now they are only 8% of their conference http://bit.ly/13XjUOI
Barney Frank (@BarneyFrank)
I once said I did not intend to Tweet. As you can tell from reading this, I changed my mind.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
In 1956, Congress passed a bill that made "In God We Trust" the national motto. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law on this day in that year.
Although the phrase "In God We Trust" had been used on coins and currency since shortly after the Civil War, some academics have speculated that congressional passage was a direct response to the Soviet Union, which professed state mandate of atheism.
The United States, however, is not the only country with "In God We Trust" as its national motto. The Republic of Nicaragua's motto is "En Dios Confiamos" or "In God we Trust."
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Matthew Gilbertson (@MattRGilbertson) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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