CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 14, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
GINGRICH’S TOUGH TALK: Republicans have 'zero' health care ideas… Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich reprimanded his fellow Republicans in unusually harsh terms Wednesday at the Republican National Committee's summer meeting, blaming GOP members of Congress for developing “zero” alternatives to President Obama's health care reform law. – Peter Hamby
MANNING APOLOGIZES IN COURT: “I want to start with an apology,” Pfc. Bradley Manning, who faces up to 90 years in prison if the judge imposes the maximum sentence, said. “I understood what I was doing was wrong but I didn’t appreciate the broader effects of my actions.” – From CNN’s Chris Lawrence in the courtroom
‘OPEN WAR’ IN EGYPT: BLOODIEST DAY SINCE REVOLUTION MARKS NEW 'BEGINNING'… Military raids on protest camps and vicious battles left scores dead Wednesday in Cairo, starting a new turn in the tumultuous cycle that has rocked Egypt for more than two years. "It's an open war," said a protester who escaped one of the two protest camps. At least 278 people were killed, state TV reported. – Josh Levs. Holly Yan and Ian Lee
MCCAIN KNOCKS KERRY: “As we predicted and feared, chaos in #Cairo,” Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona tweeted. “Sec Kerry praising the military takeover didn't help.”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower after Fed official's comments. Dow drops 114 points. NASDAQ loses 0.4%, S&P falls 0.5%.
Who was the first president to be born in a hospital?
Journalism lost an icon today: Jack Germond, one of the original political "Boys on the Bus," died early Wednesday morning. He was 85.
Germond was a fixture on the national political scene in print and broadcast, including for CNN, as an analyst beginning in the 1990s.
The touching memories and plaudits for Germond flooded in throughout the day; people remembered him for his tenacity and intellect.
Two colleagues at CNN – Chief National Correspondent John King, who covered campaigns with Germond, and Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, whose first job in journalism was because of Germond – told touching stories in his honor.
"Jack's appetite was legendary - for news, for stories, for food, and for washing it down," King said.
"On the campaign trail, he always took newbie reporters under his wing, and traveling with him on campaigns was a joyous way to learn American politics," Borger said. "He loved his job and elections and reporting, and it showed in every column he wrote and every TV appearance he made."
But possibly Gut Check's favorite memory of Germond came from how he was described by Timothy Crouse in his seminal work on political reporting, "The Boys on the Bus."
"He was sitting all alone at one of the long typewriter tables, waiting in vain for a poker game to materialize and slowly getting drunk," Crouse wrote. "He was a little cannonball of a man, forty-four years old, with a fresh, leprechaunish face, a fringe of whet hair around his bald head, and a pugnacious, hand-on-hip manner of talking. He was not simply drawn to journalism as a profession… he was addicted to it as a way of life."
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Jesse Jackson Jr. going to jail; says he 'manned up'
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., once a rising Democratic star whose political fortunes imploded, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Wednesday. "I misled the American people," Jackson, 48, said about his misuse of roughly $750,000 in campaign funds over several years. – Dan Merica, Larry Lazo and Leslie Bentz
Leading Drudge: As The NTY Turns
Is the New York Times being guest edited by Rush Limbaugh? Today it runs with a fascinating takedown of the Clinton Foundation – that vast vanity project that conservatives are wary of criticising for being seen to attack a body that tries to do good. But the liberal NYT has no such scruples. – Tim Stanley
Leading HuffPo: 'Living off of Fumes': 'Devastating' cuts usher in new dark age
A feeling of despair has taken hold within research communities like Dutta's. Top officials at academic and medical institutions have grown convinced that years of stagnant budgets and recent cuts have ushered in the dark ages of science in America. – Sam Stein
Leading Politico: Empty jobs plague Obama administration
A terror threat has embassies on high alert. Hurricane season is about to pick up. And over at the Department of Homeland Security, the No. 3 person is about to be left in charge. Not because he was nominated for the top job. But with Janet Napolitano’s upcoming departure Sept. 6, and President Barack Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary tangled in corruption allegations, the undersecretary of homeland security for national protection and programs is the highest confirmed official at the critical agency. – Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jennifer Epstein
Leading The New York Times: Unease at Clinton Foundation Over Finances and Ambitions
In the coming weeks the Clinton Foundation, long Bill Clinton’s domain, will become the nerve center of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s increasingly busy public life. – Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick
The political bites of the day
- Stringer, Spitzer's NYC comptroller opponent, goes on air... -
A NARRATOR IN SCOTT STRINGER'S FIRST AD IN HIS RACE FOR NYC COMPTROLLER: “It’s not always easy, making it in this city. Sure, you may not feel it up here. But the people who built this city are getting priced right out of it. This is Scott Stringer. And he’s got a plan. Make the city stop spending so much on programs that don’t work. He’ll audit every city agency to cut waste. So we can invest in better schools. And small businesses that want to grow. Because if you’re in the middle class or trying to get there, this is your city. And he’ll fight to keep it that way.”
- … but Spitzer widens lead in newest poll -
MAURICE CARROLL, DIRECTOR OF THE QUINNIPIAC POLL THAT FOUND ELLIOT SPITZER UP BIG: “Spitzer is all over the TV screens, building on his better name recognition and leaving Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in the dust.”
Gut Check Full Service: Spitzer, the former New York attorney general and governor, leads his opponent, Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer, by a commanding 19 points – 56 to 37 – among Democratic primary voters. – Peter Hamby
- Obamacare and A-Rod -
DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “It's a little hard to take their (GOP) criticism seriously considering their opposition to the law in the first place. I was telling somebody - this is akin to Alex Rodriguez complaining that the drug testing program that major league baseball has in pace isn't sufficiently strict. It's just hard to take it on its face.”
- Will Ben Affleck ever run for office? -
AFFLECK’S WIFE, JENNIFER GARNER, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ALLURE MAGAZINE: “Right now [Ben] feels like he can do more good for people politically from outside the system Would I be surprised if one day he did go into politics? No. But not now.”
- Keith Olbermann on damage control -
KEITH OLBERMANN, FORMER MSNBC PERSONALITY, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER ON HIS RETURN TO ESPN: “I could see it on my tombstone, or at least in my obit: 'Keith Olbermann, who left ESPN in a tempest. What I would like to go for is: 'Keith Olbermann, who left ESPN in a tempest in 1997 and then returned later and retired with a gold watch.' I'd like to give that a shot, having repaired most of the damage. I think that really would be great.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Rebecca Sinderbrand (@sinderbrand)
.@jearnest44 : "It has been determined by senior FP officials in this admin to not make a determination" whether Egypt was a coup or not
Rania Abouzeid (@Raniaab)
A black day. #Egypt's Tiananmen. scores killed, churches torched. vigilante revenge. Blood is blood, & in this case it is all Egyptian
Laura Stevens (@LauraStevensWSJ)
New York Times sites are down following a "major cyber attack," Fox Business reports – http://fxn.ws/17Ns1LV (HT @fricadellic)
Philip Bump (@pbump)
The Times' commemoration of the 2003 blackout is remarkable.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey (@spulliam)
Calm down, everyone RT @nydnpolitics: ‘Duck Dynasty’ darling says reports of his candidacy for Congress exaggerated http://nydn.us/19sSN30
Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)
Virginian-Pilot editorial: @TerryMcAuliffe "willing to play fast and loose with the truth for political gain" http://ow.ly/nVnf0#VAGov
Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe)
Catch our new ad? @KenCuccinelli's office under investigation for helping energy companies over #SWVA families http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz7gkphqchs … #VAGov
Average cost to raise a kid: $241,080 http://cnnmon.ie/1eK8mjT via @CNNMoney "...a rate that many families can't keep up with."
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
Born at the Wise Sanitarium in Plains, Georgia, on October 1, 1924, Jimmy Carter is the first president to be born in a hospital.
Prior to Carter, most presidents were brought into the world using midwives, and many were born at home.
Not every president after Carter, however, was born in a hospital.
Ronald Reagan was born in a second floor apartment in Tampico, Illinois, on February 6, 1911. George H.W. Bush, too, was born at his family's house at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1924.
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, first time winner.
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