February 13th, 2014
06:27 PM ET
6 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for February 13, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 13, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING … SEN. AL FRANKEN BLASTS COMCAST – TIME WARNER CABLE DEAL, TELLS JAKE TAPPER: “There’s not enough competition. We need more competition significance, not less. This is going exactly in the wrong direction. And consumers are - I am very concerned are going to pay higher bills, they are going to get even worse service and less choice.” CNN.com/THELEAD

PROFILES IN COURAGE?

SENATORS’ DEBT LIMIT VOTES KEPT OFF MICROPHONES; REPORTERS PROTEST Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski reports, “In a major departure from procedure during Wednesday’s climactic vote on suspending the federal debt limit, the Senate kept some senators’ votes secret while the nearly hourlong tally was under way — a move that has drawn sharp criticism from Capitol Hill reporters. … The stakes for Wednesday’s vote were as high as they come, with the full faith and credit of the United States, the political future of Republican leaders and another government shutdown showdown on the line.…. Instead of announcing the rolling vote tally as the vote went along on the critical motion to limit debate on the debt limit measure, senators were allowed to cast their votes in relative secrecy. Overlooked at the time, it has since caught the attention of numerous reporters.

REID’S OFFICE RESPONDS: Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson in a statement to CNN: "After the vote began, it was quickly clear that Republican leaders were struggling to deliver enough votes to clear the 60-vote hurdle upon which they had insisted instead of a simple majority, and a potentially catastrophic default suddenly seemed possible. At Senate Republicans' request, the clerk did not call the names during the vote to make it easier for Republican leaders to convince their members to switch their votes.”

“Such a request is consistent with Senate rules. Senator Reid believed that protecting the full faith and credit of the United States and avoiding a default that could have disastrous consequences for anyone with a bank account were the most important objectives. For this reason and as a courtesy to his Republican colleagues, he consented to Republicans' request. As always, the Senate floor was open to the public, the press was free to observe the proceedings from their vantage point in the chamber, and the proceedings were broadcast live and unedited on CSPAN2.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL OP-ED PAGE DUBS TED CRUZ “THE MINORITY MAKER”: “Ted Cruz hurts his party by forcing a meaningless debt-ceiling vote. … Not coincidentally, activist groups allied with Mr. Cruz announced they will use those votes in GOP primaries this year against Messrs. McConnell and Cornyn. Mr. Cruz claims to be neutral in Senate primaries, but he knew exactly what he was doing. …Democrats beat the odds and retained their Senate majority in 2010 and 2012 in part because they stuck together. If Republicans fail again this November, a big reason will be their rump kamikaze caucus.

ANOTHER SENIOR HOUSE REPUBLICAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT… Republican Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington state announced Thursday that he'll retire at the end of this year rather than run for re-election in November. Hastings, who currently serves as the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement he was stepping down after 10 terms to allow someone new to represent Washington's 4th Congressional District. - Deirdre Walsh and Paul Steinhauser

QUOTE OF THE DAY: HILLARY CLINTON: “One of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever heard came from Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1920s, who said women in politics "should grow skin like a rhinoceros.’ I think there's some truth to that.”

THE BUZZ: DON’T PISS OFF THE WEATHERMAN:

ROKER VS. DE BLASIO

10:43 a.m. Al Roker ‏(@alroker)
So now my daughter's NYC public school is being let out early. @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools Is it worth putting kids' safety at risk?

10:44 a.m. Al Roker ‏(@alroker)
And how about all the parents and caregivers who have to scramble to get their kids home? Is there no one there with any common sense

10:48 a.m. Al Roker ‏(@alroker)
I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term

NEW YORK CITY MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO IN RESPONSE TO ROKER AT HIS PRESS CONFERENCE: “I respect Al Roker a lot, watched him on TV for many, many years, it’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV … I respect all the meteorologists out there, but the one I respect the most is called the National Weather Service, and this did, and they just affirmed to us on the call before we came out to you, that this went faster and heavier than their projections last night.”

11:57 a.m. Al Roker ‏(@alroker)
How dare @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools throw NWS under the school bus. Forecast was on time and on the money

12:19 p.m. Al Roker ‏(@alroker)
Mr. Mayor, I could never run NYC, but I know when it's time to keep kids home from school
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end the day higher. The Dow adds 63 points, while the NASDAQ rises 0.9% and S&P 500 climbs 0.6%.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
What are the three mascots of the Sochi Olympics?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Obamacare sign-ups jump to 3.3 million
Americans continued to sign up for health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges in January, with 1.1 million people picking plans in state and federal exchanges. That brings total sign-ups since the exchanges opened four months ago to nearly 3.3 million, according to federal data released Wednesday. – Tami Luhby

Leading Baltimore Sun: Strongest winter storm in years could bring nearly a foot of snow to state
The State Highway Administration has exceeded both its snow removal budget of $46 million and its normal annual spending of $70 million, spokeswoman Valerie Burnette Edgar said. The agency typically asks the General Assembly to make up the difference, though it has sought to gradually increase the budget each year, she said. The agency has used 319,000 tons of salt so far this winter and had about 250,000 tons on hand for use Wednesday and Thursday. – Scott Dance

Leading Drudge: Valentine’s Day Ruined
Roses are red, violets are blue, the Nor’easter is a pain for everyone, even florists too! Another snow storm is hitting us in time for Valentine’s Day. – Syma Chowdhry

Leading HuffPo: Elizabeth Warren's Postal Banking Idea Has Big Public Support, New Poll Finds
Many Americans say they would support the U.S. Postal Service expanding into basic banking and financial services and would sometimes use those services if they were available, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. Expanding post office services to include banking was recently explored in a report by the Postal Service inspector general, and is backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) as a way to bring affordable basic banking services to low-income neighborhoods. – Emily Swanson

Leading Politico: Obama to raise money for House Democrats
President Barack Obama will do at least six fundraisers for House Democrats this year, with “the potential for more,” according to Democratic sources. Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, made the announcement on the Obama fundraisers during a presentation to his colleagues at a Democratic retreat here, according to a source in the room. Obama has also committed to do more fundraising with Senate Democrats in coming months. – John Bresnahan

Leading Wall Street Journal: Gay Republican candidate’s ad poses test for party
Carl DeMaio is one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress this year, and he would be at least the third to serve in the House if he wins. But Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has, airing a campaign ad that features a shot of him with his same-sex partner. Several GOP campaign officials and Elizabeth Wilner, who tracks campaign ads for the nonpartisan firm Kantar Media, said it was the first time they knew of a candidate of either party airing an ad featuring a gay partner. – Patrick O’Connor

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Palin not sure Christie is telling the truth –
FORMER ALASKA GOV. SARAH PALIN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH INSIDE EDITION: "It's hard to be the CEO of an organization and not know what the closest people to you are up to … It's tough not to know. I know when I was mayor and manager of this city and then governor of the state, certainly you know what your top aides are up to … I just hope that truth is being told right now.”

– Sen. criticizes debt ceiling filibuster, then votes to filibuster –
SEN. DEAN HELLER, R-NEVADA, ON CNN’S “CROSSFIRE” TUESDAY, THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TED CRUZ-LED FILIBUSTER VOTE: “Well, I don't think it's right, because at the end of the day, we're going to pass a clean debt ceiling increase, with Ted or without Ted's support, with my support or without my support.”

– Patty Murray reflects on the messy debt ceiling process –
SEN. PATTY MURRAY, D-WASHINGTON, TO THE WASHINGTON POST: “It was painful to watch.”

– No snow days for The Great Document –
ARCHIVIST OF THE UNITED STATES, DAVID FERRIERO, IN AN UNPLANNED INTERVIEW WITH A CNN PHOTOJOURNALIST AT DUNKIN DONUTS THURSDAY MORNING:
Question: “Why in the world are you out here in this weather?”
Ferriero: (Laughs) “I only live two blocks from my office, so I'm going in to catch up. “
Question: “What kind of work are you hoping to get done today?”
Ferriero: “I'm the archivist of the United States, so I'm going to be down there taking care of the Constitution of the United States.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

frates (‏@frates)
Trouble keeping track of the Christie Saga? Never fear CNN is here with this nifty timeline: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/02/politics/christie-scandal-timeline/index.htmlhttps://twitter.com/frates

Quinnipiac Poll (‏@QuinnipiacPoll)
NY – Cuomo Thumps Trump, Astorino In New York Gov Race, Poll Finds; Clinton Runs Better Against Christie In 2016 Race http://bit.ly/1nu1iw6

Jonathan Karl ‏(@jonkarl)
President Obama has nominated Vicki Kennedy, widow of Ted Kennedy, to the Board of Governors of the US Postal Service.

Paul Steinhauser (@psteinhauserCNN)
Some Democrats maybe saying no to Obama on the campaign trail, but it's a yes to the President on the money trail. http://cnn.it/1nwwWsX

Chris Boyette ‏(@Chris__Boyette)
.@VanJones68 says the #KeystonePipeline will create only 35 perm. jobs. @PunditFact checked- He's right. http://bit.ly/MIejGP @Crossfire

AFL-CIO (‏@AFLCIO)
This Valentine’s Day, let’s get tipped workers a date. On the House floor. For a vote on HR 1010. #RaiseTheWage #TimeFor1010

The White House ‏(@WhiteHouse)
Want to help a friend or loved one #GetCovered by Valentine's Day? Send them #ACAValentines → http://wh.gov/ACAValentines pic.twitter.com/dIgPcNjL5O

Mark Warner (@MarkWarner)
Just a matter of time: waiting for the @VA_GOP to claim this winter storm was caused by The Affordable Care Act. #Snowbamacare

Mark Warner (‏@MarkWarner)
Oops. Staff #fail on a snow day. Removed as quickly as possible. Enjoy the rest of your snow day.

NRSC (‏@NRSC)
Hey Sen. @MarkWarner, less tweeting offensive jokes & a little more shoveling would be appreciated by your neighbors pic.twitter.com/Iq6LOkdy4r

Chuck Schumer (‏@SenSchumer)
My legislative director snowshoed to work to help us keep the office open today. Talk about #snowday http://instagram.com/p/kXZe7gkwF8/

Brian Stelter ‏(@brianstelter)
"To really compete on equal footing with Apple and Amazon, Comcast has to figure out what it can offer the world..." http://cnnmon.ie/1dKl40Q

Jake Tapper (‏@jaketapper)
CNN: At least 702,067 customers w/o power from Louisiana to Conn. N & S Carolina hardest hit, with 448,777 outages there

Jeff Simon ‏(@jjsimonWP)
Al Franken going on @jaketapper's show today. Is this the first time he's done nat'l media in five years?

Alex Weprin ‏(@alexweprin)
In non-snow or Comcast news: Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Kelly Osbourne and Andy Dick will appear in Syfy's "Sharknado 2."

Business News ‏(@biznewsjournal)
Facebook Adds 50 New Gender Pronouns Beyond Male And Female: In what’s being hailed as a victory for the LGBTQ... http://bit.ly/1iT6uJR

Sarah Pulliam Bailey ‏(@spulliam)
“I quite frankly don’t know how you do these hard jobs without some faith." –Clarence Thomas http://news.yahoo.com/clarence-thomas-on-race-194104252.html … by @Chris_Moody

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

The three mascots of the Sochi Olympics are the hare, snow leopard and polar bear. The mascots were selected by telephone and through text message by the Russian public in 2011 during a nationwide broadcast in Russia. Voters were asked to select their favorite mascots among nine candidates that were narrowed down from over 24,000 sketches by a panel of judges.

Since 1972, it has been a tradition that each Olympics Games has had its own mascot or set of mascots. According to the International Olympic Committee, mascots "can be a person, an animal or a fictitious being, which reflects the cultural characteristics of the host country and symbolizes the values of the modern Olympic Movement."

Check out the official Sochi Mascot Facebook page to see the winning designs for the Sochi Olympic Game mascots. https://www.facebook.com/Sochi2014.olympic

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Matt Gilberston (@MattRGilbertson) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Cable is such a rip off

    February 13, 2014 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  2. Tony in Maine

    The greatest danger to the comcast?Time Warner merger is not price of service or even lack of customer service – it is the content of the media stream being subject to decisions of ever smaller groups of people.

    February 13, 2014 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  3. Neutral Observer

    What's the average cable – internet – phone bill? 190, 200 dollars per month. Let's just say, to be fair, 100 dollars per month. Imagine how many households have cable tv. Imagine,....100 dollars per month from nearly every single household in usa,....wow that's even more money than the insurance co's take in. And just think, there are what, maybe 1 or 2 dozen insurance companies that have to split that and then pay out when there is as bad accident? How many cable company's are there, what 3??!! And they get all that dinero, and for airing complete crap. Home shopping network? Foreign language tv? Why can they sell such a lousy product for so much money, ....because govt regulation that prohibits anyone else from stepping in and giving the people what they want!! How about a menu for channels? How about we choose just the channels we watch and only pay for those? No more home shopping network, no more ditzo clueless bimbos on day time tv. All I want is to pay for only what I watch and nothing else. Is that such a bad thing to want?

    February 13, 2014 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Hooper

    Here goes another rate hike for those with cable. Look for it to happen real soon.

    February 13, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    You think paying to watch TV is bad now? It's going to get worse.
    Who would have thunk it that we would ever pay to watch the boob tube.

    February 14, 2014 07:59 am at 7:59 am |