August 26th, 2013
05:53 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for August 26, 2013

CNN's POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 26, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

“MORAL OBSCENITY”: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that a chemical attack in Syria last week was "inexcusable" and "undeniable," adding that there was "a clear reason that the world has banned entirely chemical weapons." Kerry accused Syria's government of "systemically destroying evidence" of the attack. But he said the accounts of aid organizations and the symptoms shown by the victims "strongly indicate" the use of chemical weapons against civilians, something he called "a moral obscenity." Kerry said that President Barack Obama "will be making an informed decision about how to respond" and "believes there must be accountability."

REED CALLS FOR A COALITION: Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, Armed Services Committee, on CNN’s the Situation Room, “I think unilateral action would be a mistake. I think we have to enlist all of the - a willing coalition. The statements by Great Britain, by France, by many others, the acts and statements of some of the Turkish leaders, suggest that they would be supportive but what the secretary and the president has to do is build this coalition.

WOLF BLITZER: “Including from the Arab League, Arab friends of the United States?”

REED: “I hope so, because without their participation it looks as if this is just a Western vs. Islamic struggle. It's not. This is to vindicate a basic rule of international law that these weapons will not be used, not by Iran, not by any power.”

GLOBAL PRESSURE MOUNTS: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the use of chemical weapons was a crime against humanity that must be punished. "Every hour counts. We cannot afford any more delays. We have all seen the horrifying images on our television screens and through social media. Clearly, this was a major and terrible incident. We owe it to the families of the victims to act." LINK

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower. Dow falls 64 points. S&P drops 0.4%. Nasdaq is flat.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Missile strikes on Syria likely response to chemical attack
Few question that there was a major chemical attack in Syria last week, and the United States has made clear that it blames the government of President Bashar al-Assad. - Chris Lawrence, Elise Labott and Tom Cohen LINK

Leading Drudge: Declares WMD
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the use of chemical weapons in attacks on civilians in Syria last week was undeniable and that the Obama administration would hold the Syrian government accountable for what he called a “moral obscenity” that had shocked the world’s conscience. – Michael R. Gordon, Alan Cowell and Rick Gladstone LINK

Leading HuffPo: Preemptive strike: Republican already taking aim at Hillary
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) became the first congressional lawmaker to wade into a preemptive proxy war for the 2016 presidential race, throwing his support behind "Stop Hillary PAC," a group seeking to drum up opposition to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. - Nick Wing LINK

Leading Politico: Kerry: Syria's use of chemical weapons 'undeniable'
Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday called Syria's use of chemical weapons "undeniable" and indicated that President Barack Obama is plotting action in the coming days. - Jennifer Epstein LINK

Leading The New York Times: Under Obama, Little Progress on High-Level Jobs for Women
The White House has taken steps to even its gender balance in recent months with high-profile nominations like Samantha Power as ambassador to the United Nations and Susan E. Rice as national security adviser. But by most measures of gender diversity, including the proportion of women at cabinet level, the executive branch looks little different from 20 years ago, even as the House of Representatives, the Senate and corporate America have placed significantly more women in senior roles. - Annie Lowrey LINK

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)

The 19th amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote, took effect on this day in 1920. In what year was it first proposed?

MICHELLE (@MjaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

The second paragraph of Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement on Syria today caught my eye – and deserves yours as well:

“What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and – despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured – it is undeniable.”

The power of the podium speaking in such direct and forceful language changed the tenor, tone and pace of the global conversation about Syria.

Full Text of Kerry’s Remarks LINK

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– McCain calls for more than missiles against Syria –
WHILE IN SOUTH KOREA, SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZONA, SAYS HE IS "TOTALLY CONVINCED" SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD'S REGIME IS BEHIND THE ATTACK: "The president of the United States said over a year ago if Assad uses chemical weapons, he crosses the red line. We know for sure that he has used them at least once. Now here it the second time, horrific, horrific, and if the U.S. stands by and doesn't take very serious action - not just launching cruise missiles - then again our credibility is diminished even more, if there's any left."

– Bigger than life, or life-sized? –
NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN ON CNN'S "NEW DAY" REGARDING THE LAWSUIT HE FILED OVER REAL ESTATE MOGUL DONALD TRUMP'S UNIVERSITY: "We've been looking into for profit schools. We just had a $10 million settlement with another one a week or so ago. And we started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme ... People came to the seminars thinking they were going to meet him. In fact, all they got was a chance to stand next to a life-sized poster of Mr. Trump to make it appear as though they had met him."

– But Trump insinuates he's being politically targeted –
TRUMP RESPONDS, ALSO ON CNN'S "NEW DAY:" "Look, maybe [it's a] a mini-IRS. I am a Republican. I'm proud to be a Republican. I have been a critic. By the way, I would love to be a fan of the president, if things would work out, I would be a fan. If he was doing a great job, I would stand up as a Republican and say he's doing a great job. It's just not that working out that way, unfortunately."

– Parents group blasts MTV over Cyrus performance –
PARENTS TELEVISION COUNCIL PUBLIC POLICY DIRECTOR DAN ISETT CRITICIZES SUNDAY'S VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS: "MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials - while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable. ... MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds? How is it appropriate for 14-year-olds to see a condom commercial and a promo for an R-rated movie during the first commercial break?"

– RNC speaker: progress on race lags behind other groups –
AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE LUNCHEON COMMEMORATING THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON, BOB WOODSON SR., FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF THE CENTER FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD ENTERPRISES: "Blacks today, we’re talking about the dream, for many the dream, for poor people, is a nightmare. Everybody has come in front of them on the bus. Gays, immigrants, women, environmentalists. We never hear any talk about the conditions confronting poor blacks and poor people in general." LINK

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

CNNMoney.com ‏(@CNNMoney)
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew informs Congress that U.S. will hit limit of its 'borrowing authority' in mid-October. http://cnnmon.ie/bkgnews

Peter Hamby ‏(@PeterHambyCNN)
Scott Walker tells @ByronYork the government shouldn't be shut down over Obamacare

Edward Wong ‏(@comradewong)
Bo Xilai said he cares nothing for money – "The long cotton underwear I'm wearing now was bought by my mother in the 1960s."

Jon Lovett ‏(@jonlovett)
It was quite a moment when Bobby Jindal said that the GOP can't be the "stupid party" in a speech that treated his audience like idiots.

John King ‏(@JohnKingCNN)
Maybe a few #NH trips, will sway @GovChristie to #redsox nation? Probably not, but at least he is anti-pinstripes: http://on.cnn.com/17f94VG

Tony Fratto ‏(@TonyFratto)
Digital marketers have figured out that I'll buy just about anything for $9.99/month with auto-renewal.

TRIVIA ANSWER from @GREGORYWALLACE

By the time women were allowed to vote in 1920, at least nine state legislatures had already passed laws giving women the right on the state level. On the federal level, what would become the constitutional amendment was first proposed in Congress in 1878.

It reads, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Congress passed the amendment in the spring of 1919, and just over a year later, Tennessee ratified it and became the 36th state necessary for the amendment to take effect. LINK

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

Resolved that today's winner is Steve Liguori, whose answer went above and beyond answering the base question. Congratulations, Steve, and we'll have another trivia question tomorrow.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. just asking

    so where is obama the great leader in assembling a large coalition of forces to go in and deal with the problem in syria? instead i'm sure he will inflict yet another empty speech on us and syria. the world has figured out long ago obama is a toothless paper tiger.

    August 26, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Ramping up for WWIII. Wouldn't it be simpler, and cheaper, to send in the James Bond types, assassinate Assad, and a couple of his top generals; and make it very clear to the new leadership they we will not hesitate to do it again. Could be less then a couple of weeks. Of course that will not pay the Military Industrial Complex, which is what this is really all about. If you think they really care about the people, you are deluded.

    August 26, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. 0g

    during the american civil war.what if the south got on the phone and brought in foreign armys to help them out .

    August 26, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |