CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 17, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
DEVELOPING … OBAMA ANNOUNCES MODEST CHANGES TO NSA DATA COLLECTION … Under pressure as a result of last year's classified leaks of U.S. surveillance, President Barack Obama unveiled new guidance for intelligence-gathering and reforms intended to balance the nation's security needs with concerns over privacy and civil liberties. Obama outlined a series of steps that would change some aspects of NSA collection of phone records and other information but generally leave intact the core and function of existing programs. – Tom Cohen. Jim Acosta and Mariano Castillo
REACTION FROM SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “He's not going to fundamentally change any of this… He says the right thing, I think his heart is really in the right place, and his motives are not bad...but I don't think there's enough of a healthy respect for the Fourth Amendment."
WIKILEAKS FOUNDER JULIAN ASSANGE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “What we didn't hear from the president was any meaningful protection of U.S. business … As far as the outside world is concerned, the United States has become an archipelago of coercion, where any person you are dealing with in business, at Google, or Facebook, or Yahoo!, or at a telecommunications company might have become secretly an agent of the National Security Agency, because they're ordered to do so by the FISA court, and they're forced to keep that secret, all through the mechanism of national security letters.”
JOINT STATEMENT BY SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS SEN. MARK UDALL, D-COLORADO, SEN. RON WYDEN, D-OREGON AND SEN. MARTIN HEINRICH, D-NEW MEXICO: “Make no mistake, this is a major milestone in our longstanding efforts to reform the National Security Agency’s bulk collection program.”
For more information read here: What Obama changed at the NSA: 5 takeaways
SUBPOENAS OF CURRENT AND FORMER CHRISTIE AIDES IN BRIDGE PROBE CAST WIDE NET … A state legislative committee in New Jersey is casting a wide net – from daily planners to blackberry messages - in its quest for documents and other materials relating to a political scandal that has rocked Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. Some 17 people, including current and former close aides to Christie, and three groups were formally subpoenaed on Friday by the Select Committee on Investigation. The governor’s office at large was also included although Christie was not subpoenaed.
THE BUZZ: NOW 50, MICHELLE OBAMA SHOWS OFF AARP CARD
First lady Michelle Obama, who turns 50 on Friday, tweeted out a photo of her new AARP card. "Excited to join Barack in the 50+ club today… check out my @AARP card!" she wrote. The first lady is celebrating the milestone with a big birthday bash Saturday at the White House that's sure to include a lot of dancing.
MARKET WATCH: Dow and NASDAQ end higher for the week after a batch of bank and tech earnings. S&P finishes lower.
Who does Michelle Obama say she wants to be like when she “grows up”?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: The smart politics of Snapchat
Politicians - at least the smart ones - aren't just flocking to new platforms because they're trying to be hip, though that's certainly part of the calculation. They're joining them because that's increasingly where the voters are. – Peter Hamby
Leading Tulsa World: Special election set for Sen. Tom Coburn's seat
Gov. Mary Fallin confirmed Friday that the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn will coincide with this year's regular election schedule. The election dates will include a June 24 primary, a potential runoff election on Aug. 26, and a general election on Nov. 4. – Randy Krehbiel
Leading Philadelphia Inquirer: Judge spikes photo ID requirement for Pa. voters
A Pennsylvania judge on Friday struck down a requirement that nearly all of the state's 8.2 million voters show photo identification at the polls, saying it imposes an unreasonable burden on the right to vote and that officials failed to demonstrate the need for it.
Leading Las Vegas Sun: Legalized medicinal pot has new supporter: Harry Reid
“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer – I would have said no, because (marijuana) leads to other stuff,” the Senate majority leader told the Sun today. “But I can’t say that anymore.” – Karoun Demirjian
Leading Drudge: NSA STEALS 200 MILLION TEXT MESSAGES PER DAY
The National Security Agency has collected almost 200 million text messages a day from across the globe, using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top-secret documents. – James Ball
Leading HuffPo: Congress Has No Plans To Stay In D.C. To Deal With Unemployment
House lawmakers will leave town for 10 days without having considered legislation to restore compensation to the 1.3 million people whose benefits expired in December. Boehner, for his part, is off to a fundraiser in unemployment-ridden Las Vegas for Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.). – Arthur Delaney and Samantha Lachman
Leading Politico: Romneyworld buzzes over Christie
Several former Romney donors and staff told POLITICO that their alumni network has been buzzing over revelations that Christie’s staff was involved in lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that caused massive traffic jams, and were allegedly politically motivated. Some view it as a vindication of Romney’s decision not to tap Christie as his running mate, while others have merely watched in amusement. – Kenneth Vogel
The political bites of the day
– Obama on Coburn: We found ways to work together –
OBAMA IN A STATEMENT ON THE RETIREMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OKLAHOMA: “Tom and I entered the Senate at the same time, becoming friends after our wives struck up a conversation at an orientation dinner. And even though we haven’t always agreed politically, we’ve found ways to work together – to make government more transparent, cut down on earmarks, and fight to reduce wasteful spending and make our tax system fairer. The people of Oklahoma have been well-served by this ‘country doctor from Muskogee’ over the past nine years, and I’m confident that Tom’s strength and optimism will carry him through the battles to come.”
– Putin: We can’t be weak –
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ABC’S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS ON HANDLING TERRORISM AT THE SOCHI GAMES: “If we allow ourselves to be weak, feel weak, let our fear to be seen, by doing that we’ll assist those terrorists in achieving their goals.”
– Castro’s unusual description of Boehner in tell-all piece –
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, D-TEXAS, IN AN ARTICLE FOR TEXAS MONTHLY ABOUT HIS FIRST YEAR IN THE HOUSE: “The Democratic caricature of the speaker is that he’s an overly tan, overly emotional cat-herder who has lost control of his flock, but in person, he comes across as approachable and down-to-earth, and you can see how he earned the trust of his colleagues and became their leader. On a day not too long after Boehner’s political body check of Steve King for his immigration comments, the speaker was milling around the aisle walkway in the middle section of the House floor where the Democratic and Republican territories meet. Another Texas Democrat and I were standing a few feet away, and as the speaker passed us we thanked him for denouncing King’s offensive comments. He slowed his stride and then paused to turn toward us. “What an a**hole,” he said. My thoughts exactly, Mr. Speaker.”
– Trump: I have enough cash and credit to become Gov. of N.Y. –
DONALD TRUMP IN AN INTERVIEW WITH BUFFALO NEWS: “I can put up $200 million if I want … If I ran, it’s a race that absolutely could be won. When I started ‘The Apprentice,’ 10 years ago now, everybody said no. It became the No. 1 show on television.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
jennifer bendery (@jbendery)
Obama to Justice Dept staffers after speech: "I hope that I have the occasion to meet some of you...but hopefully not when I'm in trouble."
Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
Rand Paul gives POTUS speech "A for effort or C for content."
Tasha Diakides (@TashaCNN)
.@SenRandPaul reax to #Obama "I think what I heard was if you like your privacy, you can keep it." But didn't hear any "lessening of spying”
CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics)
Julian Assange tells CNN's @SuzanneMalveaux that Edward Snowden will respond to the President's #NSA speech early next week.
Mark Leibovich (@MarkLeibovich)
From #ThisTown: Coburn says his colleagues have “reproductive organs the size of BBs” and are “lacking in gonads.” http://www.amazon.com/This-Town-Parties-Funeral-Plus-Americas/dp/0399161309/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373497096&sr=8-1&keywords=leibovich …
Over the course of the last 20 years, America has benefited from the wisdom and common sense of Tom Coburn's... http://fb.me/2ZPw9L3fT
KQED News (@KQEDnews)
Gov. Brown declares drought emergency, saying the state could be facing its worst drought in history. http://ow.ly/sGYj6
Andy Marlette (@AndyMarlette)
New cartoon: Momma Bush, again, on @JebBush 2016 @adamsmithtimes #sayfie pic.twitter.com/Bp3youSnhy
Jeb Bush (@JebBush)
What date is Mother's Day this year? Asking for a friend.
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
In an interview with People Magazine, Michelle Obama admitted that she told Cicely Tyson that she wanted to be like her when she “grows up.”
The first lady was inspired after seeing Tyson perform in a two-hour play with stamina and passion.
Michelle Obama turns 50 today.
Gut Check DVR: Tune into to CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley at 9am E.T. Sunday to see Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Rep. Mike Rogers, R-MI, discuss his reaction to the President’s speech on NSA reforms and the future of the NSA.
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"Judge spikes photo ID requirement for Pa. voters"
CNN spikes any reporting on the UMass study that shows, using empirical evidence, that the GOP/Teatrolls in red states are enacting voter ID and other election law changes specifically in reaction to growing minority populations and in an attempt to suppress their votes.
Another picture of the Kenyan village idiot, the most incompetent, inept, corrupt president in history. Did not even read the article, but I am sure he blared, demeaned, demonized or diminished another group of hard working, taxpaying Americans. It is what he does and who he is.
WORDS JUST WORDS, from any Politian from the President down, until YOU , the American taxpayer, see actual changes, that all hey are. Words driving a dog and pony show.
It is INTERESTING that CNN has dropped all new coverage of the chemical spill in VA. They have went silent on a chemical company that has been poisoning the water in the river for years without any inspections or oversights from the State of VA or the EPA.