CNN's GUT CHECK for August 12, 2013
August 12th, 2013
05:03 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for August 12, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 12, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

PREPARE TO BE BUZZED: At 6:30 p.m. ET BuzzFeed’s Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith sits down with New York City Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner to talk politics over beers. Watch the livestream exclusively on the “CNN BuzzFeed” channel on YouTube.

CAN’T GET NO: Three-quarters of Americans are now dissatisfied with the direction of the country, “up from 68% in July. U.S. satisfaction suffered a setback this month, after a two-month upswing. Twenty-two percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country, down from 28% in July and 27% in June.”

ON THE ROAD, AGAIN: President Barack Obama will dust off his presidential bus and head to New York and Pennsylvania for a two-day tour next week, the White House announced. Obama will use the trip to “discuss another cornerstone of his vision for a better bargain for the middle class.”

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end little changed, with no major economic or corporate news on tap. Dow slips 5 points.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
On this day in 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower increased the minimum wage. What did he increase it to?

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

It’s the easiest critique in Washington: gridlock is the norm, because no one is willing to work together. The reason why it’s easy: because it’s true.

Mostly true.

At a speech in San Francisco today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will no longer pursue mandatory minimum sentences for “certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders.”

Instead, Holder said, those offenders now “will be charged with offenses for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins.”

The move will help save money, shrink the sizable prison population in the United States and was, in part, inspired by the work of two Republican senators – Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.

Paul has been working with Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on a bill that would allow judges to depart from mandatory minimum sentences. Lee has worked with Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois on a similar effort.

“I am encouraged that the president and attorney general agree with me that mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenders promote injustice and do not serve public safety,” Paul said in a written statement. “I look forward to working with them to advance my bipartisan legislation, the Justice Safety Valve Act, to permanently restore justice and preserve judicial discretion in federal cases.”

People working together – a novel concept in the 113th Congress. And something that caught our eye.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: San Diego mayor out of rehab, but locked out of office
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, facing a growing tide of sexual harassment allegations, has completed his two-week intensive behavior therapy a week early and will begin outpatient treatment, his lawyer said. But he might not be back at work in his office any time soon. His chief of staff changed the locks, according to numerous reports, including one by CNN affiliate KFMB. – Kyung Lah and Melissa Gray

Leading Drudge: Americans Renouncing Citizenship At Record Levels
A growing number of wealthy Americans in Asia—and others with green cards—are exploring whether to renounce their U.S. citizenship or give up their green cards to avoid onerous tax obligations. – Mark Sanchanta and Jason Chow for The Wall Street Journal

Leading HuffPo: No Thanks: Ryan Proposal Faces GOP Backlash
Tea party forces may have dominated the House GOP's approach to the budget so far, but pragmatists in the party have served notice they won't stand idly by for indiscriminate spending cuts to politically popular community development grants, education programs and even Amtrak. – Andrew Taylor for the Associated Press

Leading Politico: Next fiscal fight: Why Wall Street should worry
Talk to anyone on Wall Street and they will tell you they really don’t care about the brewing fiscal storm in Washington. Possible government shutdown? Whatever. Debt ceiling crisis? Meh. – Ben White and MJ Lee

Leading The New York Times: Justice Dept. Seeks to Curtail Stiff Drug Sentences
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will announce new steps intended to curb soaring taxpayer spending on prisons and help correct what he regards as unfairness in the justice system. – Charlie Savage

Leading The Star Ledger: Christie, Booker share donors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley
Five dozen wealthy donors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley have placed their bets on both of New Jersey’s big political stars — Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker — this campaign season, a Star-Ledger review of state and federal records shows. – Salvador Rizzo and Jenna Portnoy

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– New York’s stop-and-frisk policy ruled unconstitutional –
JUDGE SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN IN HER WRITTEN DECISION: “The city's highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner. In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting 'the right people' is racially discriminatory and therefore violates the United States Constitution.”

Gut Check Full Service: NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg responds to the judge’s ruling… “It's a dangerous decision made by a judge who doesn't understand how policing works.”

Paul touts ‘alternative media’ with launch of Ron Paul TV
FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RON PAUL IN A VIDEO ABOUT HIS NEW MEDIA VENTURE: “In this day and age of spreading information, it's not getting on one of the major networks, it's not getting into the Washington Post or the Boston Globe anymore. It's alternate media, it's the Internet, it's handheld devices. … I hope we really contribute something beneficial to the cause of liberty.”

Weiner's first TV ad: 'Powerful voices' against him
NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE ANTHONY WEINER IN HIS FIRST TELEVISION AD: “I've waged a campaign focused like a laser beam on fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it. … Powerful voices have made it very clear from the beginning they didn't want me to win. But this isn't about what they want. They've gotten their way for far too long. If you give me the chance I'll fight for you and your family every single day.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

David Daniel (@CNNLADavid)
Whitey #Bulger found guilty on 31 of 32 counts (all but 1 extortion count), faces a max of life + 30 years. Sentencing set for Nov. 13. #CNN

Deborah Feyerick (@DebFeyerickCNN)
#Bulger betrayed NO emotion during the reading of the verdict. His brother entered court late after first "Guilty" verdict had been read.

Laura Walker (@lwalker)
A timeline on the history of Stop-And-Frisk in New York @WNYC http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2012/may/29/timeline-citys-use-stop-and-frisk/

Rachel Smolkin (@RachelSmolkin)
ICYMI: Idaho ground zero for GOP proxy fight, via @politicoalex http://politi.co/161HKJl

Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
Santorum back to courting the voters most pols ignore (but the GOP needs): blue collar workers http://swampland.time.com/2013/08/12/santorum-eyes-repeat-run-in-2016/

Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker)
Predictions for first 2016er to issue statement condemning? RT @TheFix: The Iowa State Fair butter cow, vandalized. http://ow.ly/nR0Su

Thom Patterson (@thompatterson)
Have you heard about @ElonMusk's idea to get you from NY to LA in 45 minutes? http://on.cnn.com/1cHb0ub via @CNNTech @WIRED

TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN

At the start of 1955, the minimum wage was set at 75 cents an hour. In today’s dollars, that is $6.53.

But in an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, President Dwight D. Eisenhower increased it by 25 cents to $1.00 – or in today’s dollars, $8.58.

Over the next few decades, the federal minimum wage gradually grew over time. It jumped 40 cents in 1974, 45 cents in 1990 and 70 cents in 2008.

Today, the federal minimum wage is $7.25.

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

Congrats to GMW1646 (@GMW1646) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. tom l

    @Rudy
    "Obviously, if the guy did anything to make Obama look bad, he must be a traitor. In the past, the left has heralded these types of guys, put them on pedestals and worshipped them. Now that one of them is doing it to one of our guys, he must be attacked as a traitor to the leftist cause. It exposes us badly."

    I'm impressed. Perhaps Sniffit should listen to you as you seem to not be as blinded by party as he is.

    August 12, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    ""Obviously, if the guy did anything to make Obama look bad, he must be a traitor. In the past, the left has heralded these types of guys, put them on pedestals and worshipped them. Now that one of them is doing it to one of our guys, he must be attacked as a traitor to the leftist cause. It exposes us badly."

    I'm impressed. Perhaps Sniffit should listen to you as you seem to not be as blinded by party as he is."

    God you're boring. I've never called him a traitor and always said that treason and aiding the enemy were excessive charges. I do, however, believe that calling what he did "whistleblowing" is overly broad and dangerous. But whatever...you go on with your mancrush. Just so you know though, I'm straight and not at all interested.

    August 12, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. lynn08081952

    i say fired our entire government.

    August 12, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  4. lynn08081952

    what i meant was fire our entire government federal and state, they are thieves

    August 12, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Winston Smith

    Every week this idiot manages to get his picture in the news. How this happens is beyond comprehension. He's not that important to anybody, except himself.

    August 12, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Snooki Palin just shut Rant Paul's coffin by endorsing him. The tea potty simpletons love her.

    August 13, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |