CNN's GUT CHECK | for December 13, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING… SCHOOL SHOOTER IN COLORADO HIGH SCHOOL DEAD FROM POSSIBLE SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND, SHERIFF SAYS: The suspect in the shooting at Arapahoe High School is dead from what appears to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Sheriff Grayson Robinson told reporters. At least one person - a minor - has been taken to Littleton Adventist Hospital with a gunshot wound. – CNN Staff
SUSPECT PLANNED SET OFF EXPLOSIVES AT WICHITA AIRPORT… A local man was arrested trying to deliver a vehicle packed with fake explosives that he thought were real onto the tarmac of the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas, federal officials said. Terry Loewen, 58, who worked at the airport, was taken into custody about 6:40 a.m. ET "when he attempted to open a security gate with his pass," said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.
GOV. SAM BROWNBACK, R-KANSAS, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE: “In our ongoing war on terrorism, the good guys won one today. The joint operation with federal, state and local components, captured a would-be terrorist before he caused any harm. This is the way your government is supposed to operate, united and effective and it happened today.”
ANOTHER RESIGNATION IN CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION OVER BRIDGE SCANDAL: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Friday the resignation of New Jersey's top Port Authority official Bill Baroni, as controversy swirls regarding allegations that politics played a role in a traffic study that closed several access lanes to the George Washington Bridge–one of the busiest in the world–in September … Critics of the governor speculated the lane closures were an act of political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie in his re-election campaign this year. – Ashley Killough
GOV. CHRISTIE AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE: “National Democrats will make an issue about anything about me. So get used to the new world everybody. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.”
Gut Check Full Service: FORT LEE MAYOR MARK SOKOLICH TO A PORT AUTHORITY OFFICIAL QUESTIONING THE REASONING BEHIND BRIDGE CLOSURES ON SEPTEMBER 12: “Try as we may to understand the rationale without the benefit of a response from the Port Authority, we are reaching the conclusion that there are punitive overtones associated with this initiative … What other conclusions could we possibly reach?"
OBAMA STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH SET: The White House accepted Friday the official invitation of House Speaker John Boehner for President Obama to give a State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on January 28, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET. “He will be there,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in his daily briefing.
THE BUZZ: Vanity Fair has proclaimed George W. Bush a “bona fide hipster icon.” The magazine says that the former President’s passion for painting, love for animals, use of social media, biking hobby and tech savviness have a driven him from being the most “uncool” and “unpopular” president to a hipster sensation.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower as concerns continue over timing of the Fed's tapering of stimulus. Dow drops 103 points.
Which U.S. president was known to have a fear of Friday the 13th?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Democrats' dream of a blue South: Moon pie in the sky?
The Southern Progress Fund, a super PAC of Democrats whose goal is to provide money and infrastructure to down-ballot Democrats in the South - state legislators, attorneys general and mayors - put on the "Southern Supper." "We are trying to turn the South blue," said Amanda Crumley, the group's executive director. "This event is all about how Democrats can win in the South again." – Dan Merica
Leading Los Angeles Times: Celebrities and social media promote healthcare enrollment
Celebrities And Social Media Promote Healthcare Enrollment
It was just last week when officials at the state's health insurance exchange, Covered California, gave the green light to Obama impersonator Iman Crosson to come up with a rap song to sell young people on the virtues of Obamacare. – Maeve Reston
Musician Adam Levine (@adamlevine) tweets: California is where I call home. Now you can #GetCovered if you're a resident. So hurry!
Leading Miami Herald: Charlie Crist: "Thank you, Senator Rubio, for your endorsement of" Obamacare
Charlie Crist loves the fact that his old opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio, is enrolled in Obamacare. The email: ‘Senator Marco Rubio’s endorsement of Obamacare for his own family should end the rhetoric coming from Governor Rick Scott and other tea party groups.’ – Marc Caputo
Leading The New York Times: Tension Eases in Senate Ahead of Weekend
After a second straight late-night session, Democrats and Republicans said they were calling a weekend cease-fire that will allow them to move on to the unfinished budget and defense bills next week. – Jeremy Peters
Leading HuffPo: Marco Rubio: I Knew 'All The Details Of The Important Parts' Of The Ryan-Murray Plan
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) rejected the criticism that he came out against the bipartisan Ryan-Murray budget agreement before reading it, saying Friday on CBS' "This Morning" that he knew the "details" of the plan before it came out. – Luke Johnson
Leading Politico: How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight
President Barack Obama was on the phone repeatedly with Sen. Patty Murray during the high-stakes budget talks and asked how he could help. Murray’s response: I got this. – Manu Raju
Leading Denver Post: Ken Salazar teams up with billionaire Louis Bacon to form PAC
Congressional candidates willing to work on land conservation efforts could benefit from a new political action committee announced Thursday. The bipartisan America's Conservation PAC is spearheaded by former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and billionaire philanthropist Louis Bacon. Will Shafroth, founder of Colorado Conservation Trust and the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, will serve as the PAC's executive director.
Leading Drudge: Snow Hits Cairo, First In 100 Years
Snow coated domes and minarets Friday as a record Middle East storm compounded the suffering of Syrian refugees, sent the Israeli army scrambling to dig out stranded motorists and gave Egyptians a rare glimpse of snow in their capital. – Laura King and Batsheva Sobelman
Leading Cleveland Plain Dealer: Rep. Marcia Fudge writes fan letter to Pope Francis
"Since the beginning of your service, you have been vocal about the need for elected officials to acknowledge the growing inequality in our world," said Fudge's letter. "You have called upon us to look beyond the superficial approach to problem-solving and to dig deeper in addressing the real needs of people in our society. You have asked that we work together to make the structural changes required to close the widening gap between the rich and the poor. For more than 41 years, this has also been the charge of the Congressional Black Caucus." – Sabrina Eaton
The political bites of the day
– Huckabee sensing support for a potential 2016 run –
FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE BRODY FILE: “I’m not even close to being ready to saying yeah I’m going to run but I think that there’s an openness now … A lot of it has to do with the fact that I’ve had some incredible encouragement from people that I wasn’t expecting to get it from … I think even from people who didn’t support me before … I’m a little surprised at the intensity people feel.”
– Conservative think tank leader slams establishment GOP –
HERITAGE ACTION CEO MICHAEL NEEDHAM IN AN INTERVIEW WITH MSNBC ON FRIDAY: “The speaker is trying to turn this into a boring fight between outside groups and himself so we are not having a policy debate about whether or not this is a good deal …This deal increases spending, this deal increases taxes. And that is bad for the county and that is what we want to be focused on … The establishment is very upset with the notion that there are people having conversations with their voters, and I think that is good for Democracy.”
– Palin: ‘Read My Lipstick: No New Taxes’ –
SARAH PALIN IN AN OP-ED IN BREITBART: “No one can argue with the fact that Paul Ryan's compromise budget bill raises taxes and increases spending …The TEA Party's very acronym stands for "Taxed Enough Already." We sent these politicians to Congress in an historic landslide election in 2010 with a mandate to stop the runaway spending train bankrupting our nation … 2014 is just around the corner. If any member of Congress thinks raising taxes and increasing wasteful spending is a winning strategy to run on, then by all means they should vote for the Ryan budget. We'll be watching.”
– Kerry: “No comment” on missing former CIA operative in Iran –
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY IN REMARKS TO THE TRAVELING PRESS IN ISRAEL: “With respect to Mr. Levinson, I don’t have any comment whatsoever on the condition with respect to employment or any other issue except to say to you that we have raised the issue of his whereabouts on a continuous basis. I have personally raised it with the Iranians in the course of our discussions and we will continue to try to seek his release and return to the United States.”
– WH: Levinson wasn’t a U.S. government employee when he went missing in Iran –
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY AT A PRESS BRIEFING: “Bob Levinson was not a U.S. government employee when he went missing in Iran. As there is an ongoing investigation into his disappearance, I am not going to comment further on what he may or may not have been doing in Iran. I am not going to fact check every allegation made in the story you referenced, a story we believe it was highly irresponsible to publish and which we strongly urged the outlet not to publish out of concerns for Mr. Levinson’s safety.”
Gut Check Flashback: IRANIAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR ON SEPTEMBER 24: “There are two issues. First you mention a person I never heard of … Mr. Levinson, we don’t know where he is, who he is … sometimes you’re speaking of people who come to court of trial and other times people who disappear it’s not a clear question to put these two categories side by side. He is an American who has disappeared, we have no news of him, we do not know where he is, we are willing to help and all the intelligence services in the region can come together to gather information about him to find his whereabouts, and we’re willing to cooperate on that.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp)
Pentagon announces that as of today, same sex spouses are able to obtain DoD identification cards in every state.
Alex Stark (@AlexMStark)
BBC: UN report confirms Sarin gas used in Damascus; but no indication of by whom http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24113553 … #Syria
Ed Henry (@edhenryTV)
WH says chief Congressional lobbyist Miguel Rodriguez, is out; Katie Beirne Fallon is in. President says: "I will miss his advice & counsel"
Governor Dan Malloy (@GovMalloyOffice)
Gov. Malloy has directed US & state flags to fly half-staff on Sat. (12/14) in honor of the 1yr anniversary of the tragedy in #SandyHook
Senate D Floor (Watch@DSenFloor)
The #Senate confirmed Heather Higginbottom to be Deputy Secretary of State, 74-17.
Streetz 94.5 ATL (@streetz945atl)
Beyonce's unexpected album is already #1 in 66 countries in less than 24hrs of being released. 😳👏 pic.twitter.com/02jPIrtb0v
Don Neils (@ArticleSweep)
VIDEO: Kanye West Compares His Job to Police or Military Service http://wp.me/pOTJb-9SP
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
For the superstitious among us, Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day. So unlucky, in fact, that there is a term to describe extreme fear towards the day, called triskaidekaphobia.
Ironically, the man who proclaimed, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” had a fear of Friday the 13th. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was said to have had such a bad superstition for Friday the 13th that he wouldn’t travel on the 13th of any day.
Journalist John Gunther wrote in his 1950 biography of Franklin, ‘Roosevelt in retrospect, a profile in history,’ “Like most people with good luck, FDR was moderately—not excessively—superstitious. He hated Friday the thirteenth, he would never start an important trip on a Friday if he could help it, and he disliked sitting down with thirteen at dinner.”
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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