CNN's GUT CHECK | for July 31, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: WYDEN SAYS CONGRESS HAS “BEEN ACTIVELY MISLED”… Key senator form the Intelligence Committee tells CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper that the NSA lied about monitoring communications. Sen. Ron Wyden: “The fact of the matter is, Jake, on issue after issue, too many of the leaders in the intelligence community have not just kept the Congress in the dark, the Congress has been given inaccurate statement and, in effect, been actively misled.”
TRUCE “IF HE WANTS TO”: A day after calling Gov. Chris Christie the “king of bacon,” Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he's open to easing the war of words with his fellow Republican. “I didn't pick this fight with the governor down in New Jersey, but I think people, I think the party does better if we have less infighting, so I would suggest if he wants to ratchet it down, I'm more than happy to,” Paul said. – Jim Acosta and Ashley Killough
PENTAGON MONEY CRUNCH: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a press conference on Wednesday that “continuing to limit military and civilian pay increases” was one way the Department of Defense could save money in life of forced budget cuts. “One post 9-11 war is over and the second, our nation’s longest war, is coming to an end. Overall personnel costs have risen dramatically, some 40% above inflation since 2001. The department cannot afford to sustain this growth.”
MARKET WATCH: All 3 U.S. indexes end July higher. Dow adds 4%, S&P gains 5%. NASDAQ rises 6.6%, its best month since January 2012.
The first-ever United States patent was issued on this day in history. What was it for?
Move over Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. According to a Pew Research Center poll released today, Rep. Paul Ryan has the highest favorability numbers of any Republican lawmaker. Sixty-five percent of Republican voters have a favorable view of Ryan, compared to 55% for Paul, 50% for Sen. Marco Rubio and 47% for Christie.
“Not only is Ryan highly visible after his vice-presidential run, but the vast majority of those who know him view him favorably,” Pew researchers write in their analysis of the poll.
What’s more, Ryan is the most popular Republican among both Tea Party and non-Tea Party Republicans, according to the poll. A whopping 81% of Tea Party Republicans told Pew they have a favorable view of Ryan.
There are a few reasons why this is a compelling discovery.
Ryan, as the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is a leading member of one of the most unpopular Congresses in history. According to CNN's Poll of Polls, 17% of people currently approve of Congress. Despite the overall unpopularity of the legislative body, Ryan remains popular.
Secondly, Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice presidential candidate, seems to have emerged undamaged by the Republican loss. Not since Walter Mondale in 1984 has the losing vice presidential nominee gone on to win the presidential nomination four years later.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Source: Obama was 'rude and dismissive' in exchange with Democrat
During a question and answer session Wednesday with Democrats on Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama offered what Democratic sources said was a testy response to a question about a federal loan guarantee program, with one source in the room calling it “rude and dismissive.” – Dana Bash and Lisa Desjardins
Leading Drudge: Revealed: Dirty Hollywood's Dark Nazi Past
In devastating detail, an excerpt from a controversial new book reveals how the big studios, desperate to protect German business, let Nazis censor scripts, remove credits from Jews, get movies stopped and even force one MGM executive to divorce his Jewish wife. – Ben Unwand
Leading HuffPo: Fire Fight
GOP lawmakers may be feeling more heat this summer at their town halls, speeches and fundraisers as progressive activists begin an aggressive effort to confront Republicans wherever they go. – Amanda Terkel
Leading Politico: Edward Snowden, broccoli and roses
Blame Edward Snowden if you soon find yourself paying more for frozen broccoli at the grocery store, or your special someone doesn’t bring you roses on your anniversary. Ecuador President Rafael Correa has been using the National Security Agency leaker’s surveillance scandal as a reason to pull out of trade agreements with the United States that, until now, have kept Ecuadorian imports of frozen broccoli, canned artichokes and flowers tariff-free. But as trade agreements expire and political tensions intensify between Ecuador and the United States, the consumer may begin to feel the pinch. – Hadas Gold
Leading The New York Times: Lonely Bipartisan Push to Overhaul Tax Code Finally Gets Noticed
For months, the leaders of two Congressional tax-writing committees have struggled to gain traction on their efforts, but events are starting to catch up with them. – Jonathan Weisman
The political bites of the day
- Senate Democrats encouraged by Obama’s visit -
SEN. CHRIS COONS IN A STATEMENT TO REPORTERS ON CAPITOL HILL: “It was a great conversation. He spoke forcefully, constructively about his agenda and our agenda for the fall, how we focus our work here in the Congress on helping create middle class jobs, and how we're going to deal with the challenges of Republican obstructionism and their seeming insistence on trying to shut the government down as a vehicle for defunding Obamacare."
SEN. JOE MANCHIN IN A STATEMENT TO REPORTERS ON CAPITOL HILL: “His main message was the economy and that we have to get the economy moving. This economy has got to get moving and we have to get work together."
- Republicans on Obama: Same script, different day -
HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRMAN DAVE CAMP IN A STATEMENT TO REPORTERS ON CAPITOL HILL: “He's really saying the same thing; that he's unwilling to compromise on the debt limit, on his plank that we have to spend more money and frankly raise taxes when we're doing it. All I'm hearing is a slightly different spin on it, but not hearing any difference in substance and until we hear that I'm afraid we're in the problem area where we've been for several years.”
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL IN A SPEECH ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “It’s almost like there is a ‘gone campaigning’ sign outside the Oval Office. And on the rarest of occasions when he does come to the Hill, as he will today, you find out it is basically just another internal campaign rally with Democrats.”
- The Atlantic’s Women of Washington Event -
TINA TCHEN, CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA, SPEAKING ABOUT HOW CALORIE COUNTS HAVE BECOME PART OF THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION: “I really believe the first lady is the change agent.”
- Syrian president launches Instagram account, State responds -
SPOKESPERSON MARIE HARF AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT PRESS BRIEFING: “This is nothing more than a despicable PR stunt that is repulsive that the Assad regime would use to gloss the brutality and suffering it's causing. To see what's really happening in Syria, to see the horrific atrocities in Homs and elsewhere, we would encourage people to take a look at unfiltered photos of what's actually happening on the ground.”
- Anthony Weiner: The Job Creator -
CONAN O’BRIEN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “One of the women who sexted with Anthony Weiner has been cast in her first porn movie. Already – yeah. When asked for comments – Anthony Weiner said, ‘See? I’m already creating jobs.’”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain)
To be clear: I opened the wrong door, looked in and saw the President, said "my mistake" and everybody laughed. Lighten up everybody...
Not my best day yesterday. Should've known better, been better. Gotta pay up. pic.twitter.com/aUaoE9JFo0
Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart)
According to @ezraklein, charges of sexism are backfiring. Emboldening pro-Summers folks. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/31/the-case-for-larry-summers/ …
Molly Redden (@mtredden)
Still skeptical that the campaign against Janet Yellen is sexist? So was @ObsoleteDogma. Until now: http://bit.ly/19xqmQC
Steve Contorno (@scontorno)
That's so fitting right now. MT @nielslesniewski: Told @SenJohnMcCain accidentally opened a door to the Democrat's meeting with Obama.
Mike O'Brien (@mpoindc)
67% of Republicans tell Pew the GOP needs "major" changes. 54% say more conservative, 40% say moderate http://www.people-press.org/2013/07/31/whither-the-gop-republicans-want-change-but-split-over-partys-direction/ …
Sherisse Pham (@Sherisse)
Clinton and quinoa - feature on former prez and his new vegan life http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-08-2013/bill-clinton-vegan.1.html
Vaughn Sterling (@vplus)
Google to make Starbucks Wi-Fi 10 times faster http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/31/technology/innovation/google-starbucks-wifi/index.html …
Rob Lowe And Rashida Jones Will Be Leaving "Parks And Recreation" http://bzfd.it/1cpib8D
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
Samuel Hopkins, a Vermont inventor who lived in Pennsylvania, was the first American to ever be issued a United States Patent. The patent was granted on this day in 1790 for an improvement in the process of making fertilizer.
This patent was issued long before the U.S. Patent Office – instead, a joint committee of the secretary of state, secretary of war and the attorney general authorized the patent. The document, which is now housed in the Chicago Historical Society, was even signed by President George Washington.
Since Hopkins' document, the United States has issued over six million patents.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Erin (@Erin_in_AR) for correctly answering today’s trivia question.
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