CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 31, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
SUBPOENAED: The Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Thursday as part of its effort to obtain documents and other information about the embattled HealthCare.gov website. - Lisa Desjardins.
CAN'T GET IT RIGHT: OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN DARRELL ISSA IN AN INTERVIEW WITH WOLF BLITZER REGARDING HEALTHCARE.GOV: “They’re claiming that November 30th they'll be ready. We want to make sure they will. We want to make sure this doesn't happen again. You know, the process here of delivering expensive I.T. – $600 million – shows that government doesn't really get it right. Even when they employ good contractors, they seem to find a way not to use best practices.”
THE REBUTTAL: HHS SPOKESWOMAN JOANNE PETERS IN A STATEMENT: "Since Oct. 10, the committee has made five separate requests for a wide range of documents and transcribed interviews with HHS officials. While we are working diligently to satisfy their interest and have repeatedly communicated our intent to cooperate, their timeline was not feasible given the vast scope of their requests. We are disappointed that the committee believes a subpoena was necessary, however it does not change our intent to continue to cooperate with them to produce documents as expeditiously as we are able to."
LOGGING ON: VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN RESPONDING TO A QUESTION FROM HLN'S CHRISTI PAUL ABOUT WHETHER HE TRIED TO LOG ONTO HEALTHCARE.GOV: "No, actually, the president tried to get online and my daughter tried to get online. I did not, because it was clear that I wasn't getting online."
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ON BIDEN’S COMMENT: “As I've said many times, the President is conversant with technology and is fully computer capable. He's also, of course, been briefed periodically, been on the website both in the run up to and the aftermath the launch date. . .I certainly don’t doubt what the Vice President said. . . I’m sure that the President has had demonstrated to him the site and the processes around logging in and the like.”
WELCOME TO THE SENATE: “He didn't get sworn into the U.S. Senate until Thursday afternoon, but Cory Booker's nameplate was already up hours earlier outside his new office in the Senate Hart office building.” – Paul Steinhauser
MARKET WATCH: Despite falling Thursday, U.S. stocks end October with solid gains. S&P 500 and NASDAQ rise 4%. Dow adds 3%.
Which senator currently occupies the Senate “candy desk?”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Senate Republicans block Obama pick for housing finance oversight
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the confirmation of President Barack Obama's pick to head the agency that oversees housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Leading Drudge: NSA SPIED ON POPE!
The National Security Agency spied on the future Pope Francis before and during the Vatican conclave at which he was chosen to succeed Benedict XVI, it was claimed on Wednesday. – Nick Squires
Leading HuffPo: Another Obamacare Deadline Blunder Is Worrying Democrats
Senate Democrats facing reelection next year aren't just fretting about a balky website and President Barack Obama's misleading campaign statements on health care. Now they've begun worrying about another deadline a year away. – Howard Fineman
Leading Politico: Donald Trump: Bill de Blasio to be ‘good mayor’
Business mogul Donald Trump is optimistic about the future of New York City if Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio wins the mayoral election. – Lucy McCalmont
Leading The New York Times: As Talks Open, Democrats Show Signs of Division
President Obama and congressional Democrats, astonishingly united through recent fiscal fights with Republicans, were showing some divisions as budget negotiations opened on Wednesday between the House and Senate to avert another crisis in coming months. – Jackie Calmes and Jonathon Weisman
The political bites of the day
- We can't face it -
SEN. BOB CORKER AT SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE HEARING ON SYRIA: "Let's face it guys: what really happened when the Russian offer came forth, it was less about seizing an opportunity and it was more about our country not having the stomach to follow through on a strategy over the longer term relative to Syria."
- Clear and frank -
GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER GUIDO WESTERWELLE TO CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR IN HIS FIRST ENGLISH TV RESPONSE TO U.S. SPYING ALLEGATIONS: "We addressed our message in a very clear and in a very frank way. I understand that it is necessary to fight against terrorism, but you cannot fight terrorism by taping the chancellor’s cell phone."
- History lesson -
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID IN A PRESS RELEASE CELEBRATING NEVADA'S 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS' ENTRANCE INTO THE UNION: "Many Nevadans believe that the state was only allowed to join to the Union so its mineral riches could help fund the Northern war effort. That is a myth. The tale probably stems from the fact that the Nevada territory was created in 1861 so its gold and silver could be used to help the Union rather than the Confederacy. The state’s slogan, Battle Born – a reference to the war – and an erroneous episode of Bonanza – which depicted a constitutional convention in Carson City – may have helped cement the legend."
- Boston Strong -
“BIG PAPI” DAVID ORTIZ IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S RACHEL NICHOLS ABOUT WINNING THE WORLD SERIES: “This is something that every player dreams. Being here … it’s the top of the world right here. We’ve been through so much this year and just getting to this point, I think, changed a lot of people’s minds and it’s something that we dedicate to the whole city. And I’m pretty sure that a lot of people, even if they’re not even from this city, they can enjoy this.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Cory Booker (@CoryBooker)
10 mins to swearing in. Still in holding room. The bible I'm using is one given to me by my mother & family for my 2006 Mayoral swearing in.
Manu Raju (@mkraju)
Elizabeth Warren on the floor now gloating about the Red Sox
McKay Goblins (@mckaycoppins)
Who Said It: Ted Cruz Or Kramer? http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/who-said-it-ted-cruz-or-kramer …
Brandon Benson (@Bensane)
"@verge: Edward Snowden gets a tech support job at 'major' Russian website http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/31/5050096/edward-snowden-tech-support-job …" NSA admin to Russian IT Helpdesk...
Electronic devices will soon be allowed during all phases of flight http://ti.me/HwBGjR
Brad Dayspring (@BDayspring)
The 10 Worst Product Launches Ever.... Arch Deluxe... Crystal Pepsi... The Edsel.... & #ObamaCare http://ow.ly/qmC60
Eric Weisbrod (@EricWeisbrod)
Wow – Investors think Snapchat is worth $4 billion. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/31/investors-think-snapchat-is-worth-4-billion-thats-insane/ … h/t @lindseymacnabb
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
The Senate "candy desk" is currently overseen by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois. The desk filled with candy has been a tradition in the United States Senate since 1968. According to the National Confectioners Association, a Republican senator who sits near the east entrance to the Senate Chamber keeps a desk stocked full of candy so that colleagues who need a little sugar rush when voting can stop by and get a candy fix.
The “candy desk” rotates every few years between Republican senators. Sen. Kirk’s desk, number 95, is the 14th “candy desk” to exist since Sen. George Murphy, R-California, started the tradition of keeping a supply of candy in his desk for his colleagues in 1965. Former occupants of the “candy desk” include Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
According to Sen. Kirk's website, the desk is currently stocked with candy made in Kirk’s home state of Illinois, including Mars, Milky Way and Snickers bars.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) and Alex Coelho (@apcoelho) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question
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