CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 24, 2013| 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: Former Vice President Al Gore condemned the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Thursday, calling the proposed project an “atrocity.” “This should be vetoed. It is an atrocity. It is a threat to our future,” Gore said during a speech at a policy forum held by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. – Alison Harding
POINTING FINGERS: Contractors on the problem-plagued website for President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms blamed the government and each other, but not themselves, at the first congressional hearing on the troubled online enrollment system. – Tom Cohen
INSURANCE COMPANIES KNEW OF PROBLEMS: The nation's top health insurers were well aware of the technical problems plaguing the application process on the Obamacare website prior to its October 1 launch, an industry insider told CNN.
‘HERE WE GO AGAIN’: REP. FRANK PALLONE (D-NJ) AT THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE HEARING ON OBAMACARE: “Here we go again – another cynical effort by the Republicans to delay, defund or ultimately repeal the Affordable Care Act. I would like to think that somehow this hearing is above board and legitimate but it is not. The Republicans don’t have clean hands coming here. Their effort obviously is not to make this better but to use the website and the glitches as an excuse to defund or repeal Obamacare.”
NUMBER OF THE DAY: Nearly 700,000 applications have been submitted on state and the federal healthcare site, according to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which is spearheading the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end higher on positive earnings reports and China factory data. Dow adds 97 points. NASDAQ gains 0.6%.
Who received the first transcontinental telegraph message?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Maryland AG admits mistake at teenage party
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said Thursday he should have done more to investigate alleged underage drinking at a high school beach party this summer. -Dan Merica
Leading Drudge: NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders
The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. – James Ball
Leading HuffPo: Mitch McConnell Wins Praise In Unlikely Corners Back Home
In the midst of a double-barreled re-election fight, Mitch McConnell is earning praise back home from some unlikely corners for brokering the deal that ended the partial government shutdown and averted a potential default on U.S. debt. –Roger Alford
Leading Politico: Obamacare hearings: Oversight or heckling?
There’s congressional oversight that answers everyone’s most urgent questions — and then there’s just heckling from the partisan peanut gallery. Over the next few weeks, Republicans are going to have to decide which path they’re going to take as they open hearings into the broken Obamacare website. –David Nather
Leading The New York Times: Health Care Law Fails to Lower Prices forRural Areas
As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama’s health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program’s loftiest goals — to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low — is falling short for many rural Americans. – Reed Abelson, Katie Thomas and Jo Craven McGinty
The political bites of the day
– The White House didn’t know—
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY, AT A WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “What I can say is we did not know, we did not anticipate, we did not know of the kind of problems that would take place beginning on October first until October first came and we saw these challenges.”
– How the White House should handle a crisis –
MARK FABIANI, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE LAWYER AND SPOKESPERSON, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST’S CHRIS CILLIZZA: “All too often, fundamental mistakes are made in the fog of crisis by those who either panic or feel so much pressure that they say or do something that in fact only throws more fuel on the fire. Thus, for the White House, in this situation, it needs a real game plan to substantively understand how the online issues can in fact be fixed and then develop its campaign based on these facts — even if it means getting beaten up for a few days.”
– Sebelius and the Titanic –
BILL DALEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CBS: “Some people are calling for her (HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius) to be fired. To me, that’s kind of like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg – it’s not going to do much right now.”
– German Chancellor condemns spying –
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY, ARRIVING AT THE EU SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS ON NSA SPYING: “This issue doesn’t affect just me but in the interest of all German citizens. Now we have to discuss what sort of data-protection do we need and what sort transparency is there. We are closely tied in with the US and trust is an important part of the relationship and now that trust has to be re-established between us. Spying among friends is never acceptable.”
– President Barack Obama on kicking the can on immigration –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN IMMIGRATION REMARKS FROM THE ROSE GARDEN: “It doesn’t make sense to have 11 million people who are in this country illegally without any incentive or any way for them to come out of the shadows, get right with the law, meet their responsibilities and permit their families then to move ahead. It's not smart. It's not fair. It doesn’t make sense. We have kicked this particular can down the road for too long.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Excited to join @Twitteras Head of News in January. Leaving @NBCNews at year's end. Grateful to my beloved colleagues for 2+ great years.
Twitter to offer 70 million shares at range of $17-$20 a share. IPO would price company as high as $10.9 billion. http://cnnmon.ie/bkgnews
Pew Research Center(@pewresearch)
Just 4% of #Facebook news consumers say the site is the most important way they get news http://pewrsr.ch/1eN0LTrpic.twitter.com/rGLlPlrF7R
Ryan Grim (@ryangrim)
Dem senators were told Pete Sessions was the man who insulted Obama http://huff.to/16xQ41Uscoop from @jbendery
Krauthammer to Stewart: 'If Cruz is the Leader of Conservatism You’re the Leader of Liberalism’ http://ow.ly/q8vJL
Red Alert Politics (@RedAlert)
No lie: A category on last night's "Jeopardy" was "Farther left than Barack Obama." http://shar.es/IXzxB
Laura Chapin (@LauraChapin)
To the Rs calling for Sebelius' resignation: do you really want a confirmation fight over birth control coverage in #Obamacare
Ready for Hillary (@ReadyForHillary)
We are proud to welcome George Soros as one of the co-chairs of @ReadyForHillary's national finance council.
Adam P. Levy (@adamplevycnn)
Wow, @algore is @tedcruz-ing it on the stage at the @amprog conference. Podiums are officially out of style for the left AND right.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
President Abraham Lincoln received the first transcontinental telegraph message 152 years ago today in 1861.
The first message, sent to Lincoln by President of the Overland Telegraph Company Horace W. Carpenter, read, "I announce to you that the telegraph to California has this day been completed. May it be a bond of perpetuity between the states of the Atlantic."
The message traveled over 2,000 miles from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. Its’ speedy delivery revolutionized national communication and made the former Pony Express system of message carriers on horse and foot obsolete.
Prior to the development of the transcontinental telegraph, it took the Pony Express seven days and 17 hours to deliver President Lincoln's Inaugural Address across the country, which was considered fast for its time.
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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