CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 20, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DNC TO VOTE ON FILNER: FIRST ON CNN… The Democratic National Committee will vote on a resolution this week calling on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign, ratcheting up pressure on the embattled Democrat who has been accused of sexually harassing multiple women. – Mark Preston
REASSIGNED, NOT FIRED: STATE DEPARTMENT WON'T FIRE BENGHAZI 4, BUT WILL REASSIGN THEM… The workers, put on leave after an Accountability Review Board report in December found bureaucratic failures at the State Department before the attack, will be reassigned to different jobs at the agency, an official said. – Jill Dougherty
RUSH LIMBAUGH, ON HIS RADIO SHOW: “What it means is that not one single person has been punished for what happened in Benghazi, not one person. If there was ever an event where heads should have rolled, that is it.”
DARRELL ISSA, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: “Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll.”
BOB CORKER, THE TOP REPUBLICAN ON THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: “I am highly disappointed that no one at the State Department will be held accountable in any real way over the failures that led to the tragedy in Benghazi. I don't understand how this administration will ensure accountability at one of our most vital government departments without disciplining those who fail in their duties.”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end mixed. Dow posts fifth straight day of losses. NASDAQ and S&P move higher.
What was the original name of the National Football League?
“For employers who rely on unpaid interns, it's been the summer of reckoning.”
That is how CNN Money’s Emily Jane Fox astutely described the drumbeat from people angry about unpaid internships.
Last week, Gut Check pointed out that Facebook COO Sheryl Sanberg’s “Lean In Foundation” – a group dedicated to female empowerment and equal pay – was offering an unpaid internship.
And now, the White House.
The Fair Pay Campaign, a grassroots lobby set to launch around Labor Day, is calling on President Barack Obama to pay White House interns in order to set an example for other government agencies and private employers.
A White House internship – although considered prestigious – is unpaid and does not include a stipend for housing. The White House website says interns are expected to work "at least Monday-Friday, 9 am-6 pm" leaving many to question how such a time commitment could be possible from financially strapped students.
This puts the White House in tough policy terrain as just last month Obama told an audience in Illinois that he would use the rest of his presidency to fight for equal opportunity for all Americans.
"This growing inequality isn't just morally wrong; it's bad economics," Obama said.
CNN reached out to the White House on Tuesday for an explanation on why it doesn’t pay their interns and we did not receive a response.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: U.S. officials differ on status of military aid to Egypt
The Obama administration is withholding some military aid to Egypt as it reviews how it wants to proceed, a U.S. official told CNN, but a Pentagon spokesman said he knew of no action to stop aid to Egypt. – Jessica Yellin
Leading Drudge: Crush The Bros!
Until Monday night, Farid Ismail was one of the few Muslim Brotherhood leaders who still answered his phone, even when many of his associates had been arrested or gone underground. By Tuesday morning Ismail was nowhere to be found after the authorities seized the group's chief, Mohamed Badie, overnight. – Michael Georgy
Leading HuffPo: Ridiculous
The Senate's most prominent climate change skeptic, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), called in to Mike Huckabee's radio show on Monday to discuss conspiracy theories on global warming and the Obama administration's plans to deal with it.
Leading Politico: The Clinton dramas: Here we go again
Tabloid headlines. Personal dramas. Organizational disarray. Score-settling between rival factions documented in news accounts like a soap opera. Does this have a familiar ring? – Maggie Haberman
Leading The New York Times: Scandal-Weary San Diego Asks a Question: Where’s the Mayor?
Bob Filner was supposed to be back on the job after two weeks in rehab and a week of personal leave, but at City Hall he was nowhere to be found. – Rob Davis and Jennifer Medina
THE OLYMPIC BUZZ: RUSSIAN RUNNERS KISS ON THE WINNERS PODIUM AT COMPETITION IN MOSCOW… Their kiss came at a highly charged moment for gay rights in Russia, which recently implemented an anti-gay propaganda law. The law, which bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere children might hear, has led to calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The political bites of the day
– Sen. Roberts on Larry Summers, and lawn care –
REPUBLICAN SEN. PAT ROBERTS OF KANSAS IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WICHITA EAGLE: “I wouldn’t want Larry Summers to mow my yard. He’s terribly controversial and brusque and I don’t think he works well with either side of the aisle, quite frankly.”
– Turkish leader blames Israel for Egypt strife –
TURKISH PRIME MINISTER TAYYIP ERDOGAN IN A SPEECH TO HIS PARTY’S LEADERS, ACCORDING TO REUTERS: “What do they say in Egypt? Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in our hands documentation.”
Gut Check Full Service: Spokesman Josh Earnest at the White House briefing… “We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister Erdogan today. Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong.”
– Former politicians split on House of Cards –
FORMER CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK IN AN OPINION PIECE FOR THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD: “I have never met anyone in a position of power in Congress who resembles that caricature. … There is a constant theme to the flaws in this show: Nothing is remotely close to being as easily manipulated by an amoral strategic superhero as the show portrays.”
IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE ROSE, KEVIN SPACEY RECALLS WHAT FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON TOLD HIM: “I love that show. It’s so good. We watched it over three days it was so good.”
– Crossfire Classic: KKK Grand Wizard in 1982 –
TOM BRADEN, FORMER CROSSFIRE HOST: “You are against the thing that makes this country great. And I think you are a disgrace.”
GRAND WIZARD OF THE KKK: “You know nothing about what I believe or what I stand for.”
Braden: “I just heard what you believed. You are a damned disgrace to the country.”
Grand Wizard: “No, I have a strong belief, in fact…”
Gut Check DVR: Crossfire returns to CNN on September 16, airing weekdays at 6:30 p.m. ET.
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
sherry nash (@harleypyrate02)
Tea party favorite Ted Cruz will renounce Canadian citizenship http://www.wfaa.com/news/politics/Tea-party-favorite-Ted-Cruz-releases-birth-certificate-220287571.html
Guy Cecil (@guycecil)
Canadian flags will be lowered to half-mast tomorrow to mourn the political loss of Ted Cruz. Or not.
Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)
Suddenly the media is cool with birthers. http://fb.me/6rDDb2Uz8
Washington Post (@washingtonpost)
Sandy Hook Elementary is replacing concrete barriers with iron gates to keep gawkers at bay, improve image http://wapo.st/1d2KefS
David Daniel (@CNNLADavid)
Eric Holder's decision to avoid mandatory minimums comes too late for some convicted in the '80s war on crack http://on.cnn.com/17Hl0NW #CNN
Jonathan D. Salant (@JDSalant)
Like Romney, Caroline Kennedy is familiar with the Cayman Islands. http://bloom.bg/16Y0mZX via @BloombergNews
It would take about 76 8-hour work days for the average person to read through all the “Terms and Conditions” they agree to in a year.
SOCIAL WATCH: OH SUNNY DAY
The White House (@whitehouse)
There's a new puppy at the White House… http://at.wh.gov/o4DkW #MeetSunny, pic.twitter.com/poen5pP7Cv
Rebecca Berg (@rebeccagberg)
Team of rivals RT @petesouza: Instagram of Sunny and Bo just now pic.twitter.com/msvYGk4l1J
Jim Antle (@jimantle)
Bo is better than Sunny because Bo signs all of the president's tweets.
Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui)
I'm totally the jealous older sibling on behalf of Bo. #sorrySunny
Christina Bellantoni (@cbellantoni)
Will #Sunny Obama meet the press? Bo did in April '09, and it was a circus: http://youtu.be/-YAVP7JseLQ
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
On this day in 1920, all-star athlete Jim Thorpe helped form the American Professional Football Conference at the Jordan and Hupmobile Auto Showroom in Canton, Ohio.
The first APFC game: the Rock Island Independents of Illinois vs. the St. Paul Ideals. The Independents - whose name was an oxymoron as it had decided to join the new league - crushed the Ideals 48-0.
Today, the NFL is an incredibly successful endeavor that captures the eye of the nation for months during the fall and winter and commands a good section of the economy as well. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants are valued at more than $1.5 billion each. LINK
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Dave Muscato (@davemuscato) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question. Now we can get ready to rumble.
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