CNN's GUT CHECK | for January 23, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … SNOWDEN SAYS RETURN TO U.S. “NOT POSSIBLE”:
In response to a question tweeted by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Edward Snowden said that returning to the US is “not possible” because he is not covered under whistleblower protections. Tapper asked “under what conditions would you agree to return to the U.S.?”
Snowden responded in an online chat, “The hundred-year old law under which I’ve been charged, which was never intended to be used against people working in the public interest, and forbids a public interest defense. This is especially frustrating, because it means there’s no chance to have a fair trial, and no way I can come home and make my case to a jury.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he is prepared to let the Justice Department talk to Snowden's lawyers about how he can return home to the U.S, a Justice Department official tells CNN.
WORDS OF THE DAY: WOMEN, LIBIDO, UNCLE SUGAR
HUCKABEE INVOKES 'LIBIDO' IN BIRTH CONTROL DEBATE …
CNN’s Peter Hamby reports: Mike Huckabee urged Republicans to aggressively fight back against Democratic attempts to make female "libido" a campaign issue – language that may inflame the ongoing war of words between Republicans and Democrats over women's health issues. Addressing a Republican National Committee luncheon in Washington, Huckabee said Thursday Democrats have invented a phony "war on women" in an effort to lure female voters into their fold.
"It is time Republicans no longer accept listening to the Democrats talk about a war on women because the fact is the Republicans don't have a war on women," Huckabee said. "They have a war for women – for them to be empowered to be something other than victims of their gender."
"Our party stands for the recognition of the equality of women and the capacity of women," he continued. "That is not a war on them it is a war for them. And if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it." – Full Story: http://cnn.it/LMqamU
DEMOCRATS POUNCE: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a release responding to Huckabee’s comments at the RNC Meeting: “Mike Huckabee has no idea what he’s talking about. If this is the GOP rebrand a year later then all they’ve gotten is a year older.”
Gut Check Full Service: Huckabee's comments come as the RNC debates a new resolution calling on GOP candidates to frame the abortion debate on their terms in 2014 and several weeks after House Speaker John Boehner acknowledged that some GOP members “aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be” to women.
GOP RESPONSE TO SOTU ... IT’S A GIRL
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will deliver the Republican response to State of the Union address on Tuesday… “As Conference Chair, McMorris Rodgers is the fourth highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. She co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus and the Congressional Military Family Caucus. She is married to Brian Rodgers, a retired Navy Commander, and they have three children: Cole, 6; Grace, 3; and Brynn, 2 months.” – See more at:
SOTU FUN FACT: Cathy McMorris Rodgers holds the congressional record for having the most babies while in Congress with three births while serving.
GAME ON?: MAJOR OBAMA GROUP WILL NOW PUSH FOR HILLARY CLINTON … The major super PAC that supported President Obama's re-election now will begin raising money to help elect Hillary Clinton to the White House if she chooses to run, a source familiar with the group's plans confirmed to CNN. Priorities USA Action is reaching out to major Democratic donors as it starts to build support for her potential run and plans to raise tens of millions of dollars to begin to lay the groundwork for a potential candidacy. – Kevin Bohn
THE BUZZ: SEAN HANNITY THE POLITICIAN?
CNN’s Brian Stelter reports: On Wednesday the Fox News host, a favorite of conservatives, said he sometimes thinks about a political run. He didn't specify what office he'd like to take a shot at, though … Hannity indicated that he could run someday in Texas or Florida. He has talked recently about "leaving New York," partly in order to protest a remark made last week by the Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, about "extreme conservatives" in the state.” Hannity is planning on attending next week's State of the Union address as a guest of Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. Gohmert is a frequent guest on Hannity's shows.”
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks take a drubbing on concern about corporate earnings. Dow slides 172 points. NASDAQ loses 0.6%.
What food has been served daily as a tradition in both the House and Senate dining rooms since the early 20th century?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Prosecutors subpoena political groups linked to Christie
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's reelection campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee have been subpoenaed for documents by federal prosecutors investigating the George Washington Bridge traffic controversy, a law firm representing those groups said in a statement on Thursday.
Leading Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Welder lauded by Scott Walker in speech is sex offender
Emphasizing his role as a job creator, Gov. Scott Walker praised Christopher Barber's initiative during the governor's annual "state of the state" speech on Wednesday. Records show that he is a registered sex offender with two felonies and three drunken-driving offenses. Because of his checkered past, Barber has been in and out of jail and prison for much of the past decade, with his probation having been revoked at least twice. – Daniel Bice
Leading Drudge: SAVE ME!
Singer Justin Bieber–belligerent and apparently stoned on a mixture of beer, pot, and prescription drugs–cursed out a cop who had stopped his Lamborghini, demanding, “Why the f*&! are you doing this?” and “What the f*&! did I do. Why did you stop me?” according to a police arrest report.
Leading HuffPo: Chuck Schumer: Two-Party Primary Undercuts Tea Party
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer says a number of states let voters of all parties participate in a primary, with the top two vote-getters deciding the election in a runoff. Schumer says this can result in more moderate Republicans and independents prevailing. – Donna Cassata
Leading Politico: ‘The guerrilla’: Mitch McConnell’s long-shot challenger
For Matt Bevin, the rookie Senate candidate taking on one of the most powerful Republicans in the country — and possibly the most ruthless — every day on the stump brings a new hazing. – James Hohmann
The political bites of the day
– V.A. A.G. wants to ensure V.A. on ‘the right side of history’ --
VIRGINIA’S NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL DEMOCRAT MARK HERRING IN AN ANNOUNCEMENT DISAPPROVING THE STATE’S BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: “I believe the freedom to marry is a fundamental right and I intend to ensure that Virginia is on the right side of history and on the right side of the law … I have just come to the conclusion that I wouldn't want the state telling my son or my daughter who they can and cannot marry.”
– Ex-Shell Oil President: ‘I felt extorted’ –
JOHN HOFMEISTER IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN’S DREW GRIFFIN ABOUT AMERICA’S POLITICAL FUND-RAISING SYSTEM: "I feel extorted … Every time I wrote a check I felt that it was a form of extortion, the price of entry, because of the reception that you got when you contributed versus the reception when you did not contribute."
– Rouhani: Iran will not accept nuclear limitations –
IRANIAN PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH FAREED ZAKARIA WEDNESDAY: “Iran will not accept this. When it comes to nuclear technology, the Iranian people are very sensitive. It is a part of our national pride and nuclear technology has become indigenous. And recently, we have managed to secure very considerable prowess with regards to the fabrication of centrifuges … So in the context of R&D and peaceful nuclear technology we will not accept any limitations” (ZAKARIA): “So there will be no destruction of centrifuges, of existing centrifuges?” (ROUHANI):”No, not at all.”
– Rand Paul doesn’t want to jinx his chances –
RAND PAUL IN AN INTERVIEW WITH KENTUCKY’S BLUEGRASS POLITICS ON BEING CALLED A 2016 GOP FRONTRUNNER: “That sounds unlucky to me … I think it’s still too early probably to talk about things like that.”
– Phelps: Athletes focused on competition, not threats –
MICHAEL PHELPS ON SOCHI TERRORISM THREATS AT A “LET’S MOVE” EVENT HOSTED BY THE FIRST LADY: “You know when I was talking to my mother the other night she was saying how nervous she was to go over because she didn't know what was going to happen. And as an athlete we don't notice anything.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Nia-Malika Henderson (@NiaWaPo)
Reince P. on Huckabee: I don't know what he was talking about. Sort of a goofy way of using some phrases. Not the way I wud have phrased it.
Trendsmap DC (@TrendsDC)
#unclesugar is now trending in #DC http://trendsmap.com/us/washington
David Gura (@davidgura)
"@clayaiken is assembling a political team to seek the Democratic nomination in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District," @WRAL reports.
Brad Dayspring (@BDayspring)
From bad to worse for Mark Pryor: Tom Cotton out raises him n 4th quarter. Pryor spending more than raising. http://bit.ly/1hmZMdM #ARsen
Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles)
According to spokesman @TerryMcAuliffe supports @MarkHerringVA move, but will continue to uphold VA's existing ban on #SSM.
Jim Roberts (@nycjim)
Feds round up 5 aging mob suspects in $6-million Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport in 1978. http://nydn.us/LZ8GnW pic.twitter.com/N1T71wuFXB
Tim Miller (@Timodc)
.@GovernorOMalley pulls an Anchorman during his State of the State: reads "Conclusion" off the prompter. http://youtu.be/j-SxG7rwYgs
Booker, Menendez, Pascrell blast NFL for shortchanging state in Super Bowl run-up http://nj-ne.ws/sT5XZ #SuperJersey
Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)
Obama's Super Bowl tradition - an interview on the network carrying the game - continues: he'll sit down w/ Bill O'Reilly at 4:30pm on 2/2
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Bean soup is served daily as a tradition in both the House and Senate dining halls, though the soup and its political backstory is different in each chamber.
In 1904 House Speaker Joseph Cannon, R-Illinois, started the tradition of serving a white bean soup daily at the House dining hall. When Cannon found out that the bean soup had been eliminated from the menu on a hot summer day, he declared that bean soup be should be served every day of the year, regardless of the weather.
The origin of the Senate bean soup tradition is less clear. According to the U.S. Senate website, one story claims that the tradition began early in the 20th-century at the request of Sen. Fred Dubois, R-Idaho. A different story says that it was Sen. Knute Nelson, R-Minnesota, who requested the Senate bean soup be served daily in 1903.
The official House bean soup recipe calls for white Michigan beans and ham hock. The official Senate bean soup calls for navy beans and ham hock. Click here to see the full recipe for the traditional House bean soup. Click here to see the full recipe for the traditional Senate bean soup.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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