CNN's GUT CHECK | for November 25, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
JUST IN: NO CLEAR MOTIVE BEHIND SANDY HOOK SHOOTING: The evidence clearly shows that the shooter planned his actions, including the taking of his own life, but there is no clear indication why he did so, or why he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut officials wrote in a report released Monday afternoon on the second-deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
Lanza had "an obsession" with mass murder and "a strong interest in firearms," the report states. On his computer, investigators found a spreadsheet detailing mass murders over the years; two videos depicting gunshot suicides; two pictures of Lanza pointing guns at his own head; and movies and a video game depicting school shootings.
NEGOTIATOR-IN-CHIEF … HOW JOHN KERRY DELIVERED THE IRAN DEAL: Just nine months into his tenure as Secretary of State, John Kerry successfully delivered an interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program. It is the most significant level of cooperation between the United States and the Iranians in decades and it could impact the remainder of his tenure. – Leigh Ann Caldwell
WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR BEN RHODES TO CNN’S WOLF BLITZER: ‘THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT FIRST STEP TOWARDS AN AGREEMENT’: “This is the most progress we've made with Iran, certainly in the five years that President Obama has been in office. And it sets a course towards potentially resolving one of the most difficult issues we've confronted as a country for the last several decades which is the Iranian nuclear issue.”
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: IRAN DEAL IS JUST A DISTRACTION: “These people will do anything to distract us from how bad Obamacare is, including let the Iranians get a nuclear weapon down the road. It's unbelievable. And you know what they're counting on? They're counting on the fact that most people don't care about Iran.”
WHITE HOUSE: OBAMACARE WEB SITE "ON TRACK" TO MEET NOV. 30 GOAL
Obama administration officials are sounding increasingly confident they will meet the president's goal to have the troubled web site, healthcare.gov working for the "vast majority" of users by November 30. – Jim Acosta
MARKET WATCH: Dow ends at record high. NASDAQ touches 4,000 for first time in 13 years but backs off at the close.
Despite rigorous sanctions, what was the top U.S. export to Iran from 2003 to 2012?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: President's marks as manager take hit in new CNN/ORC poll
And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.
Leading Drudge: MOVIES, TV AWASH IN HIDDEN ANIMAL ABUSE
American Humane Association monitor Gina Johnson confided in an email to a colleague on April 7, 2011, about the star tiger in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. While many scenes featuring “Richard Parker,” the Bengal tiger who shares a lifeboat with a boy lost at sea, were created using CGI technology, King, very much a real animal, was employed when the digital version wouldn’t suffice. “This one take with him just went really bad and he got lost trying to swim to the side,” Johnson wrote. “Damn near drowned.” – Gary Baum
Leading Politico: Dems worry leaders in denial on Obamacare
Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation — a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls. – Alex Isenstadt
Leading The New York Times: Longer-Term Deal With Iran Faces Major Challenges
The Obama administration’s successful push for an accord that would temporarily freeze much of Iran’s nuclear program has cast a spotlight on the more formidable challenge it now confronts in trying to roll the program back. – Michael Gordon
Leading Boston Business Journal: Former congressman Bill Delahunt looks to open three medical marijuana centers
Delahunt, a former prosecutor-turned-congressman, tells me he was first approached by a group of doctors early this year about helping put together a medical marijuana operation. That proposal came shortly after Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question that would allow up to 35 nonprofit dispensaries in the state. – Jon Chesto
The political bites of the day
- Cheney: Our values are threatened by the government -
LIZ CHENEY IN A STATEMENT REGARDING HER NEW TV AD TITLED, “DAUGHTERS”: “Phil and I are proud to be raising our children on the same Wyoming values of freedom, faith, and family that I grew up with. Sadly, these values are under threat today by a federal government that is out of control. As a fourth generation Wyomingite, I know what it will take to protect and defend Wyoming values and our freedom. As Wyoming’s senator, I will fight hard, I will fight smart, and I will get the job done.”
See the new ad here.
- Bibi: I’m obligated to block Iran nuclear progress -
ISRAEL’S PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU IN A STATEMENT TO THE ISRAELI KNESSET: "This agreement needs to bring one result, the dismantlement of the Iranian nuclear military capability. I remind you that just last week during the talks the leaders of Iran restated their obligation to destroy the state of Israel and I reiterate today as the Prime Minister of Israel: it is my obligation to prevent them from getting the ability to do that.“
–– Reid sympathizes with Israeli concerns over nuclear agreement -
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID ON NPR'S 'THE DIANE REHM SHOW': "I would be concerned too. I am concerned a thousand of miles away. You can imagine how he (Netanyahu) must feel being a few miles away."
- Graham on Iran: We're so far away from the 'end game' -
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA, ON CNN'S 'NEW DAY': "What will this deal accomplish in terms of the end game? The end game is to dismantle the plutonium reactor ...The end game to stop enrichment. This allows 18,000 centrifuges to stay in place and it basically suspends construction of the plutonium reactor. We're so far away of what the end game should look like. I'm very worried."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Senator Angus King (@SenAngusKing)
Question on building alliances in the Senate- I've found most Senators want to work together, it's the party structure that pulls us apart.
Chris Hughes (@chrishughes)
A 31-Year-Old Is Tearing Apart the Heritage Foundation via @tnr http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115688/heritage-foundations-michael-needham-tears-apart-right-wing …
Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)
The guy whose partner is trying to buy a Congressional seat is upset with conservatives for not staying bought. https://twitter.com/chrishughes/status/405019913707745281 …
We are thrilled to welcome Brynn Catherine to our family! (Born Nov. 24, weighing 7 lbs. 6 oz.) Our hearts are full. bit.ly/1aT
Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN)
By tiny margin, Dem declared official winner in Virginia AG race; recount uncertain http://cnn.it/1hdFs17
Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune)
The Truth Would Have Lost Votes: @nytimes explains how Obama advisors banned use of term “redistribution” nyti.ms/IcWP38
J Charles Jackson (@liturgiae)
Putin meets Pope amid claims he will make Berlusconi an ambassador http://dailym.ai/18Bn9yb via @DailyMailUS
Very excited to welcome Katie Couric to @Yahoo! Anchors... http://tmblr.co/Z4v08s-PSBGY
Andrew Wallenstein (@awallenstein)
Couric is not the kind of star who has a following that goes wherever she goes. If anything, her nomadic TV career is proof of that
India could replace the US as Facebook's #1 market in a matter of months http://qz.com/150274/india-facebook/ …
Aaron Engelhart (@Aaengelhart)
That awkward moment The President of these United States gets placed among GQ's least influential list: http://politi.co/1cL2iHV
'Family Guy' Kills Main Character for 'Fun,' Sparks Fan Outrage http://on.mash.to/1dwkfPw
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
From 2003 to 2012, the largest U.S. export to Iran was wheat.
The U.S. and U.N. have imposed sanctions on Iran since 2006 in order to curb the country’s nuclear program. These sanctions, however, do not include food or medicine, although both resources can be indirectly affected by other financial sanctions.
According to Reuters, Iranian private buyers are beginning to investigate purchasing options for 300,000 tons of wheat shipments in 2014 for the first time in two years. European traders speculate that wheat importation from the private market may be a signal that the recent nuclear agreement is beginning to take effect in the private sector of Iran.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, after wheat, pharmaceutical preparations and pulpwood and woodpulp were the second and third largest U.S. exports to Iran on average from 2003 to 2012.
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