CNN's POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 29, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON SYRIA AT A STANDSTILL … A western diplomat tells CNN: "It was clear there was no meeting of minds, and no agreement on the text. It is clear that our approaches are very different.” - CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh reporting from the UN.
DEMOCRAT SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SYRIA: REP. ALAN GRAYSON, D-FLORIDA, HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: “I think the only people who really want in to happen are the military industrial complex. I just don't understand how this involves us, Americans. The British had estimated the strike will cost Americans billions of dollars, with a B. And at a time when the budgets are so tight, and we're cutting veterans' benefits and we're cutting education and we're cutting health care, why are we spending billions of dollars? I don't know where we got this odd notion that every time we see something bad happen in the world, we should bomb it.”
THE BUZZ: As fast food strikes hit 60 cities, Rush Limbaugh rushes into minimum wage debate: “The minimum wage has nothing to do with economics. The minimum wage is the Democrat Party's attempt, and anybody else that signed on to it, to make people think they care about them. But it's entirely arbitrary. They get $7.25 an hour for what? There are some jobs that aren't worth that. The White House interns don't make anything! Did you know Obama doesn't pay his interns anything?” LINK
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher on improved economic growth. Nasdaq adds nearly 1% on possible Verizon-Vodafone deal.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: U.N., British Parliament weigh response to Syria's chemical weapon use
Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee has concluded it was "highly likely" that Syrian government forces used poison gas outside Damascus last week in an attack that killed at least 350 people, according to a summary of the committee's findings released Thursday. Speaking in the House of Commons, Cameron said failure to respond would undo "decades of painstaking work" to prevent such weapons from being unleashed. – Matt Smith and Frederik Pleitgen LINK
Leading Drudge: Super-sized strike!
Beginning a day of protests that organizers say will spread to 50 cities and 1,000 stores across the country, a crowd of chanting workers gathered Thursday morning at a McDonald's in midtown Manhattan to call for higher wages and the chance to join a union. – Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times LINK
Leading HuffPo: Weed the people
The United States government took a historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults. – Ryan J. Reilly and Ryan Grim LINK
Leading Politico: The ironic war plan
Imagine Dick Cheney in a “Saturday Night Live” skit fantasizing about Barack Obama handling the pressures of going to war. – Jim Vandehei LINK
Leading The New York Times: U.S. Facing Test on Data to Back Action on Syria
The evidence of a massacre is undeniable: the bodies of the dead lined up on hospital floors, those of the living convulsing and writhing in pain and a declaration from a respected international aid group that thousands of Syrians were gassed with chemical weapons last week. - Mark Mazzetti and Mark Landler LINK
What U.S. literary figure set course for the Soviet Union on this day in 1962 in an effort to thaw Cold War relations?
What caught our eye today in politics
When Democrat and Republican critics of the administration start sounding the same, it usually spells trouble for the Obama White House. After reading the complaints and questions from anti-war Democrats, read the opening paragraphs from the CNN Opinion piece written by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky:
“On one side we have al Qaeda; on the other side we have Syria's authoritarian president Bashar al-Assad. On one side we have Islamic jihadists; on the other side we have Christians.
“In all likelihood the al-Assad regime has used chemical weapons to kill civilians. And without a doubt Islamic rebels have kidnapped and killed priests and civilians.
“It seems on all sides we have violence and chaos and it is unclear if any side will, in the end, be a friend of the United States.” LINK
The political bites of the day
- Syrian forces didn’t go rogue, congressman says -
HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN MIKE ROGERS TO CNN’S WOLF BLITZER ON “THE SITUATION ROOM:”
BLITZER: There's been some suggestion out there that perhaps some rogue military unit, without the formal authorization of Bashar al-Assad, decided to use these chemical weapons. Do you buy that?
ROGERS: I don't buy it. And that would be like saying that some, uh, carrier group in the U.S. started firing missiles, but they decided to do it on their own, therefore no one was responsible. Now, just - that's really implausible to me.
- Hagel says U.S. won’t attack Syria alone -
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL, WHEN ASKED IF THE U.S. WOULD GO WITHOUT GREAT BRITAIN: “As I have said regarding the situation in Syria, the United States is consulting with all of our allies, international community, regarding Syria. And we continue to consult with our allies. And as I think has been made very clear by President Obama - and I have said it on a number of occasions - if any action would be taken against Syria, it would be an international collaboration.”
- UK PM rejects Iraq comparison -
PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON MAKES THE CASE FOR MILITARY ACTION AGAINST SYRIA TO HIS PARLIAMENT: “I’m deeply mindful of the lessons of previous conflicts, in particular the deep concerns of the country of what went wrong in Iraq. We’re not invading a country; we’re not searching for chemical or biological weapons.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Jeff Simon (@jjsimonWP)
There's something refreshing about a deliberative body conducting genuine debate. The U.S. Senate could learn from the House of Commons.
Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz)
Byron Tau (@ByronTau)
Old single-candidate super PACs don't die, they switch candidates. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pro-obama-super-pac-priorities-usa-positions-itself-to-get-behind-hillary-clinton/2013/08/29/16cc98c6-1019-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html
Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston)
On this day in 2008, @SenJohnMcCain celebrated his birthday by announcing @SarahPalinUSA as his VP in Dayton. The crowd sang to him #TBT
TRIVIA ANSWER from @GREGORYWALLACE
Robert Frost, one of the best-known poets of the 20th century, became an unofficial ambassador from the U.S. to the U.S.S.R. on this day in 1962. America’s unofficial poet laureate, Frost was sent by the State Department on a goodwill tour to bridge the gaps between the two countries fostered during the Cold War.
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