CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 12, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
SYRIA DEAL: NOT A GAME… Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S.-Russia efforts to pursue a transfer of Syria's chemical weapons to international control "is not a game." He said it has to be "comprehensive," "verifiable," and "implemented in a timely fashion." "There ought to be consequences if it doesn't take place," Kerry said Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland.
CARNEY: PUTIN’S CREDIBILITY ON THE LINE: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Russian President Vladimir Putin... “Both in his op-ed and in the statements and actions that we have seen from President Putin and his foreign minister it is clear that President Putin has invested his credibility in transferring Assad’s chemical weapons to international control and ultimately destroying them. This is significant. Russia is Assad’s patron and protector and the world will note whether Russia can follow through on the commitments that it’s made.”
WHILE WE ARE ON THE TOPIC OF PUTIN’S CREDIBILITY… “As long as we always remember who Putin is. He is a KGB colonel, apparatchik who has never really ever abandoned the Russian ambitions for an empire and influence in the world," Republican Sen. John McCain said on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper. "What has Putin or Lavrov ever done that would make us entrust them with the mission of removing chemical weapons from Syria?”
ECONOMIC INSECURITY: FIVE YEARS AFTER MARKET CRASH, U.S. ECONOMY SEEN AS ‘NO MORE SECURE’… Sixty-three percent of Americans said that the economy is just as insecure as it was before the 2008 market crash, according to a Pew Research Center study released today.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower. S&P breaks 7-day winning streak, falling 0.3%. Dow dips 26 points.
Which country has taken to naming large mountains after Russian leaders?
Wal-Mart is coming to the District of Columbia after a prolonged debate over whether the big box store's low paying jobs would be good for the capital's economy.
"Wal-Mart said it will go forward with plans to open stores in Washington D.C. now that the capital's mayor has vetoed legislation that would require large retailers to pay higher wages," Emily Jane Fox writes for CNN Money. "Mayor Vincent Gray on Thursday overturned a new law, which would have required big box stores like Wal-Mart to pay no less than $12.50 an hour in combined wages and benefits. The city's current minimum wage is $8.25."
This sort of fight is nothing new for Wal-Mart. Anti-Wal-Mart groups have tried to keep the big box store out of countless communities from California to Illinois to New York.
But the district fight was different: the organized campaign that passed legislation through the District’s legislative body was being heralded as a possible example of how other local communities could fight Wal-Mart.
Now that the tables have turned, it isn’t Big Labor pointing to the District as an example, it is Wal-Mart. Company spokesman Steven V. Restivo said in a statement, "now that this discriminatory legislation is behind us, we will move forward on our first stores in our nation's capital."
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Biden to South Carolina–again
One day after making an appearance in Iowa, Vice President Joe Biden will stop in another crucial presidential voting state: South Carolina. The vice president will visit the Port of Charleston on Monday to discuss jobs and infrastructure, the White House announced Thursday. Biden is also scheduled to travel to the Port of Savannah, Georgia later that day.
Leading Drudge: UN: Circumstantial Case
U.N. inspectors have collected a "wealth" of evidence on the use of nerve agents that points to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against his own people, according to a senior Western official. – Colum Lynch for Foreign Policy
Leading HuffPo: The Kerry Show
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his team open two days of meetings with their Russian counterparts on Thursday, hoping to emerge with the outlines of a plan for the complex task of safely securing and destroying vast stockpiles of Syrian chemical weapons in the midst of a brutal and unpredictable conflict. – Matthew Lee for the AP
Leading Politico: Exclusive: The Koch brothers' secret bank
An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide. – Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei
Leading Washington Post: Battle for nomination to top job at Federal Reserve heats up
The battle for the top job at the Federal Reserve escalated over the past week amid a renewed push to support the central bank’s vice chairwoman for the post. – Ylan Q. Mui
The political bites of the day
Gut Check Full Service: Putin to America: You’re not special… If Vladimir Putin wanted to get America's attention, he's done a pretty good job. The Russian president's opinion piece arguing against military intervention in Syria, published on The New York Times' website late Wednesday, set off a flurry of reactions - some outraged, some impressed, and some just plain bemused. – Jethro Mullen
- Lawmakers offended by Putin’s opinion piece -
REPUBLICAN SEN. JAMES INHOFE OF OKLAHOMA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: "Putin was lecturing to the United States and I could hear Reagan turning over in his grave as this was going on."
DEMOCRATIC REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE OF TEXAS IN A STATEMENT TO REPORTERS: "I don’t need to be chastised about whether America is great or whether America is moving in the right direction."
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER AT A PRESS CONFERENCE WITH REPORTERS: "I was insulted."
- … except for Reid -
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ON CAPITOL HILL: "He wrote this. I didn't agree with it. But I think he wrote it and I think it's good he's appearing in an American newspaper. Hopefully that will allow him to do some work that hasn't been done in a long time, to come up with an agreement, help Syria do what they need to do."
- Assad says the United States needs to take force off the table -
SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD IN AN INTERVIEW WITH RUSSIA24: “I want to clearly express to everyone that these mechanisms will not be carried out unilaterally. This does not mean that Syria will sign these documents, carry out the conditions and that's it. This bi-lateral process is based, first of all, on the United States' stopping its policy of threatening Syria. Also, to the degree that the Russian proposal is accepted.”
- David Letterman’s ‘Top Ten Future Plans for Anthony Weiner’ -
DAVID LETTERMAN ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW:
10. Spend more time disgracing his family
9. Finally get out of his pants
8. Start seeing Dr. Feldstein again
7. Visit my smartass buddy in Albuquerque
6. Just hang out.
5. Honestly, does it matter?
4. Restore dignity to the name Carlos Danger
3. Learn to play drums
2. Write autobiography: 'Dreams from my Weiner'
1. Keep making new friends
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Rick Klein (@rickklein)
something deeply weird about a red-state Republican accusing a Democrat of being too quick to use force. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/09/syria-twisting-2014-scripts-yes-already/ … #GASEN
Ellie Hall (@ellievhall)
J.K. Rowling Announces New Harry Potter Universe Film Series http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/jk-rowling-harry-potter-new-movie-fantastic-beasts-newt-scam … via @ellievhall
AWESOME: 2013 Kennedy Center Honorees: Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, Carlos Santana.
Molly Ball (@mollyesque)
The distilled essence of Harry Reid. "I'm not having fun. I'm happy as a lark. I'm the best leader we have." http://www.newsreview.com/reno/public-servant/content?oid=11387279
Andrew Katz (@katz)
Wow. Peace vigil outside WH for 30 years was dismantled at 4 a.m. after its sole attendant walked away: http://wapo.st/1g5gmN8
Elle Ess (@ViaMarsala18)
Footloose, basically RT @inforum: Banned by principal from grinding, Grand Forks high schoolers hold their own dance http://ow.ly/oOsAf
NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar… http://instagram.com/p/eK3RUKIaCS/
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
Don't blame the president of Kyrgyzstan if he has an inferiority complex – his country is naming massive peaks after the leaders from another country.
Kyrgyzstan – a former Soviet Republic – has named mountains after the first two presidents of the Russian Federation.
Boris Yeltsin Peak, located in the Issyk Kul province, is a 16,955 foot peak that was named after the first president of Russia in 2002.
Vladimir Putin received his Kyrgyz peak in 2011. The aptly named Vladimir Putin Peak, at 14,587 feet, is slightly smaller than Yeltsin's mountain.
No word on how that made Putin feel.
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