CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 10, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … BUDGET DEAL REACHED. CNN’s Lisa Desjardins reports that bipartisan budget negotiators have reached a deal that would set government spending levels and eliminate arbitrary forced spending cuts scheduled to hit early next year. The House and Senate must still vote on the agreement and opponents in both parties are already raising concerns. If passed by Congress, the agreement would mark a significant departure from repeated congressional showdowns over the budget. Watch the press conference with Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., as they unveil the agreement on CNN television at 6 p.m. ET.
OBAMA GOES ON SECOND TERM OFFENSIVE, ADDS PODESTA: Podesta, who served as former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff during the last tumultuous three years of his presidency, announced via Twitter that he is joining the White House during a critical time in the Obama's tenure. He plans to stay for a year as presidential counselor. – Leigh Ann Caldwell
OBAMA MENTIONS INCOME EQUALITY AT MANDELA’S MEMORIAL SERVICE: “There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.” Read the full transcript of Obama’s eulogy: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/10/transcript-obamas-speech-at-nelson-mandela-service/
THE HANDSHAKE THAT OVERSHADOWED HIS SPEECH: Arriving on stage at FNB stadium in Johannesburg to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama paused briefly to grasp the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro, in what the White House says wasn’t a pre-planned encounter. It was a moment of high symbolism. More than 50 years after the Cuban Revolution, the United States and Cuba still do not have diplomatic relations.
– The first Cuban American to be elected to Congress is horrified –
REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, R-FLORIDA, AT HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE HEARING: “When the leader of the free world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless dictator like Raul Castro it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant. Raul Castro uses that hand to sign the orders to repress and jail democracy advocates.”
CORNYN GETS A TEA PARTY CHALLENGER
Republican Rep. Steve Stockman is launching a primary challenge against fellow Texan Sen. John Cornyn. The NRSC has already endorsed Sen. Cornyn in a statement saying, "John Cornyn is one of the most conservative Members in the Senate and strong leader for the State of Texas. We proudly support Senator Cornyn.”
Gut Check Full Service: SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TEXAS, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH TEXAS MONTHLY: “We would not have won seven Senate seats (in 2010) without the tea party. But what I was talking about when I referred to ‘Republican on Republican violence’ was this purity movement that narrows the appeal of the party, in particular some of the groups that raise money to exploit that … We need an “all of the above” approach. As Haley Barbour says, ‘we need to multiply, not purify.’”
THE BUZZ: Ben Affleck tells Playboy Magazine that he has become disillusioned by politics, mostly because of the “pernicious effect of money in politics.” “It started to feel gross,” Affleck said. “Being used as a prop to schmooze people and try to milk the teat of the donor for money.” But despite his growing disillusionment, Affleck says he hasn’t totally abandoned the idea of helping campaign for Hillary Clinton in 2016 saying that Hillary “does excite” him.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks open lower, with Dow dipping 25 points. GM shares slip 0.5% after naming new CEO
Who was the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate without having been appointed to the position?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Senate enforces 'nuclear option,' confirms long-stalled judicial nominee
Senate Democrats on Tuesday began enforcing their politically explosive rules change on presidential appointments with the chamber confirming an appeals court justice and pushing aside Republican objections to another nominee.
Leading Drudge: COLDEST NIGHT IN 18 YEARS
Temperatures dipped below zero overnight, the earliest it has been that cold in Chicago in 18 years.
Leading Miami Herald: NAACP calls for probe of ‘harassment’ by Miami Gardens police
The organization urged Attorney General Eric Holder to review “the pattern of intimidation’’ by Miami Gardens police officers upon the city’s predominately black population. – Julie Brown
Leading HuffPo: Chris Christie Administration In A Jam Over Charges Of Using Busiest U.S. Bridge In Political Payback
The George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan to Fort Lee, N.J., is the busiest in the country. So it was no small matter when in September, two of the three access lanes to the bridge were shut down, creating significant traffic problems on the New Jersey side. – Amanda Terkel
Leading Politico: Tim Johnson to hold off on Iran sanctions
The Senate Banking Committee will hold off on passing a new Iran sanctions bill, Chairman Tim Johnson said Tuesday. The announcement is a victory for the Obama administration. – Burgess Everett
The political bites of the day
– Limbaugh on the “selfies” at the funeral –
RUSH LIMBAUGH, ON HIS RADIO SHOW: “It's not the handshake. It's the overall behavior. It's the posing for selfies, taking selfies… It's not the handshake with Raul Castro. It's the deigning to appear to be no different than these people, no different than the thugs and the thieves and the criminals that are among the dignitaries at this event. It's the willingness to make the United States appear no different.”
– McDonnell: We have an obligation to fix this –
V.A. GOVERNOR BOB MCDONNELL AT A PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE ACTION ON MENTAL HEALTH CARE INITIATIVES:
“Just looking over the last six-seven years, I think we just have a deeper obligation to try to put resources into the system for everybody … This is about fixing the system for all Virginians … Obviously it was a heartbreaking situation we experienced here recently. Senator Deeds is a very good man, good public servant. Obviously heart-broken about losing his son."
– Kerry believes Iran nuclear agreement will work –
SEC. OF STATE JOHN KERRY IN A STATEMENT TESTIFYING BEFORE THE HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ON IRAN NUCLEAR SANCTIONS: “The national security of the United States stronger under this first step agreement than it was before … Once implemented, this agreement halts the progress of Iran’s nuclear program…halts the progress…and rolls it back in certain places for the first time in nearly ten years. It provides unfrequented monitoring and inspections while we negotiate to see if we can conclude a comprehensive agreement…if we can conclude.”
– Gut Check Words of Wisdom –
JAKE TAPPER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ROLL CALL ON ADVICE HE’D GIVE TO YOUNG JOURNALISTS: “Sometimes it’s easier to get noticed when you’re young by being meaner and crueler than anyone else. But ultimately that can catch up with you.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Jim McGrath (@jgm)
You can now follow the 41st President of the United States on Twitter at @GeorgeHWBush which is where you will find his first Tweet.
George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush)
Barbara and I wish we could have joined the U.S. delegation honoring President Mandela today. He, and his countrymen, are in our prayers.
Aaron Schock (@aaronschock)
Our group leaving the stadium after an awesome day. @repjohnlewis repjohnconyers @RepMarciaFudge… http://instagram.com/p/hwBWmjJPsg/
Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon)
Like scene from Borgen! Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmitt takes selfie with Obama & David Cameron. FLOTUS not amused. pic.twitter.com/JTgb3su9ry
Thomas Erdbrink (@ThomasErdbrink)
Has anybody seen Iran FM @jzarif at the Mandela funeral? Note that Rouhani didn't come, which is odd, as has Iran always supported Mandela.
Lori Hendry (@Lrihendry)
Iranian Newspaper Warns Mandela Funeral Could B “Trap” 2 Bring Rouhani Face-Face W Ldr Of “Great Satan”http://shar.es/DNZly via @sharethis
Chris Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo)
Israel's Netanyahu won't attend #Mandela memorial (citing cost and short notice). Could it be more than that? Right move?
Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto)
.@JohnKerry to @BradSherman"You're dead wrong" when you say admin won't ask for new sanctions if#Iran nuke deal fails
Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn)
House gop leaders emerging from mtg saying no budget deal yet, some hopeful it's close but Ryan didn't attend the session
Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman)
The Houston Chronicle has an unbelievable story about Steve Stockman’s mess of a financial disclosure. http://bit.ly/1cmAk3J
The Fix (@TheFix)
Steve Stockman was once homeless. http://ow.ly/rDw47
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says U.S. has sold its remaining stake in General Motors, which it bailed out in 2009. http://cnnmon.ie/bkgnews
The Drum (@TheDrum)
Facebook reveal 2013 top trends: Pope Francis, Royal Baby, Election, Typhoon, Harlem Shake, Miley Cyrus http://po.st/FQ32S3
John McCain @SenJohnMcCain
Congratulations to @SenatorMenendez on engagement yesterday!
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Hattie Wyatt Caraway was the first woman elected to serve a full term as a U.S. Senator without having been appointed to the position. Caraway was elected in 1932. Although Carraway was also the first woman to run for a Senate seat, she was not the first female to serve as a Senator in the United States.
Rebecca Latimer Felton was appointed by Georgia's Democratic Governor Thomas Hardwick in 1922 to fill a Senate vacancy. Felton only served for 24-hours while the Senate was in session.
There are currently 20 female Senators, four Republicans and 16 Democrats. There have been 44 female Senators total in U.S. history, 14 of which have been appointed and seven of which have replaced their deceased husbands.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) and Jen Taranto (@jennifertaranto) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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