CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 17, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
HOW DID THE NAVY YARD GUNMAN GET IN? Aaron Alexis had a "pattern of misconduct" as a Navy reservist, had sporadic run-ins with the law, and had contacted two Veterans Administration hospitals for apparent psychological issues, sources have told CNN. Somehow, none of that prevented him from getting clearance to the Washington Navy Yard as a subcontractor. – Josh Levs
QUESTIONS ABOUT MILITARY CONTRACTS: Sen. Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the case of Aaron Alexis – combined with that of Edward Snowden –“really makes me question the kind of vetting military contractors do.”
SNOOPING DERAILS STATE VISIT: BRAZIL'S PRESIDENT CANCELS U.S. VISIT because of National Security Agency intelligence activities in the South American country, the White House said Tuesday. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had planned to come to Washington on Oct. 23, but she and Obama "agreed to postpone" the visit.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher as investors await Wednesday Fed news. Dow adds 35 points. NASDAQ gains 0.8%, S&P up 0.4%.
How many Nobel laureates is Lawrence Summers related to?
The Wall Street Journal caught our eye today with this quote, “Paying less than $3 per gallon for gasoline may be automotive history for most Americans, like using 8-track tapes or going to a drive-in movie,” AAA president and chief executive Bob Darbelnet told Jonathan Welch.
The article even sparked office grumbling with the stark realization about this day in history marking the “1,000th day of national average gas prices of $3 or more per gallon – the longest such streak ever, according to AAA.”
The price of gas is a particularly interesting political issue, because it hits consumers’ spending habits and is a frequent topic around the dinner table.
So, whether the price of gas is tied to the issues of foreign policy or taxes, it is sure to be a visual we shall see in a campaign ad coming soon to a television near you….
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: First on CNN: Perry to tour gun facility near Washington
With guns back in the national spotlight after a mass shooting at Washington's Navy Yard, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will tour Maryland's largest gun manufacturer on Wednesday as part of his ongoing effort to lure businesses to his home state. A Perry aide told CNN that the Republican governor will tour the Beretta USA facility in Accokeek, Maryland, just over the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. – Peter Hamby
Leading Drudge: Navy Yard Shooter 'Obsessed With Violent Video Games'
The Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis played violent video games including Call of Duty for up to 16 hours at a time and friends believe it could have pushed him towards becoming a mass murderer. Alexis, 34, who was shot dead on Monday after killing 13 people at Washington's Navy Yard, also carried a .45 handgun tucked in his trousers with no holster "everywhere he went" because he believed people would try to steal his belongings. – Nick Allen for The Telegraph
Leading HuffPo: A Wage Of Their Own
Women still earned only 77 cents for every dollar that men earned in 2012, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2012, the median earnings of American women working full time year-round were $37,791. American men earned a median income of $49,398. The gender wage gap has hovered at about 77 cents on the dollar since 2007. – Laura Bassett
Leading Politico: After shooting, talk turns to gun control
President Barack Obama on Monday stepped onto a podium and lamented the deaths of a senseless mass shooting — just as he did after Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. This time, his remarks came as office workers scrambled for cover and police searched for suspects at the Washington Navy Yard, just a few miles from the White House. – Josh Gerstein
Leading The New York Times: Congressional Budget Office Predicts Unsustainable Debt
The nonpartisan office says that lawmakers are focused on the wrong kind of spending and that annual deficits will begin rising in 2016 as baby boomers age. – Jackie Calmes
The political bites of the day
- Navy Yard shooting reignites mental health and guns debate -
DEMOCRATIC SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL OF CONNECTICUT IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “The mental health aspect of this senseless horrific tragedy ought to be front and center and a basis for action.”
DEMOCRATIC SEN. JOE MANCHIN OF WEST VIRGINIA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH REPORTERS ON CAPITOL HILL: “It makes all the sense in the world. … I don’t want some knee jerk reaction thinking everyone who owns a gun acts this way. We don’t. .. . I’ll support anything I can to rehabilitate people but also making sure people who are not rehabilitated should not be able to, because of their past and their record, not be able to purchase a gun.”
- Rush: Media hopes shooter is a ‘white Tea Party members’ –
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “The first thing they hope is it's a white Tea Party conservative. When that isn't the case they hope it's just white. Then they hope it's not Muslim. Then if all those are met, coast is clear. It's the problem of guns. And that's where we are, and that's why it's not terrorism. It's guns.”
- White House directs gun control questions to GOP senators -
PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “The problem here is not Democrats. The problem here is senators overwhelmingly from one party who refuse to do something very simple which is expand the background check system that everyone believes functions well but need to function better. And it's their choice. Those questions should be addressed to those senators.”
- Clinton on Syria -
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “Now, there are some who say well, you know, this gives the initiative to Putin. And, who cares how it came up? John Kerry got asked, well, ‘What can we do to stop you from bombing.’ And he said ‘Make the problem go away.’ So Putin says, ‘OK, I’ll do that’ – and so they say well this puts Russia in a position of leverage and it guarantees that Assad is going to be in power for a while longer. That’s a separate issue. But there is inherent and enduring benefit in taking a step that has the potential to rid the world of these chemical weapons.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Jay Newton-Small (@JNSmall)
Nancy Gibbs named editor of @TIME. Hurray for the first female editor of @TIME!!!
The @Nationals honor the victims of Monday's Navy Yards tragedy. pic.twitter.com/4nYDqsmrMS
Chris Dachille (@WBALDash)
So, Nationals allowed to wear Navy caps in BP and on field for ceremonies, but must change to MLB mandated hats for game. All about the $$$.
Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP)
Russian official says #NavyYard shootings are a "clear confirmation of 'American exceptionalism.'" http://wapo.st/15y1Yvu
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn)
Number 2 House Dem says #NavyYardShooting renews debate, but gun lobby likely to block new laws – http://bit.ly/14faA9o
Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein)
New #Census report underscores racial dimensions of #healthcare debate: 29% of Hispanics +19% of AA lack insurance-compared to 11% of whites
Justin Wolfers (@justinwolfers)
Amazingly, "21% of all married-couple households in America in 2011, had at least one spouse born in another country" http://bit.ly/19aklFs
Stuart Stevens (@stuartpstevens)
Day after POTUS boasts of his record:@BreakingNews Census: US poverty rate basically unchanged at 15% in 2012; record numbers persist – @AP
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN)
if you like khakis, you'll love the Kansas governor's race http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/09/17/democrat-davis-to-challenge-kansas-gov-brownback/?wprss=rss_election-2012&clsrd …
Jeff Smith (@JeffSmithMO)
Julian Castro promotes HRC's "excellent credentials" at IA Steak Fry, the pol equivalent of a guy promoting a gal's "excellent personality."
Daniel Sieradski (@selfagency)
Happy birthday, @OccupyWallSt. May your “terrible twos” be terrible for bankers and great for everyone else.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
Lawrence Summers, an economist, was born into a family of economists.
Although both of his parents – Robert and Anita – were economists and professors at University of Pennsylvania, that is just the tip of his family's proverbial economist iceberg. Two of Summer’s uncles – Paul A. Samuelson and Kenneth J. Arrow – were Nobel laureates in the field of economics.
Samuelson won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1970 and Arrow won the prize in 1972.
Summers, an accomplished economist himself, served as Secretary of the Treasury from 1999 to 2001 and led the United States National Economic Council under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2010.
Yesterday, however, Summers withdrew his name from consideration as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today's Gut Check trivia question.
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