CNN's GUT CHECK | for February 19, 2014 | 5 p.m.
- n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
WARNING…. NEW TERROR THREAT …The U.S. government has warned airlines that terrorists may try to detonate a new type of shoe bomb on flights into the U.S., intelligence and law enforcement officials tell CNN's Evan Perez. The officials cautioned that there is no indication of a specific plot, but rather the warning is the result of intelligence gathered in recent weeks. Homeland Security officials issued the warning out of caution, according to the officials.
SARAH PALIN IS BACK IN THE GAME: “IF HE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR TED NUGENT, HE IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME”… Sarah Palin makes her first 2014 endorsements, starting with Greg Abbott for Governor of Texas, “If he is good enough for Ted Nugent, he is good enough for me!” She also endorses House candidate Katrina Pierson, Pete Sessions' primary challenger in Texas. Here’s a great read from Peter Hamby to read why Palin matters: http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/25/politics/return-of-sarah-palin/
HILLARY CLINTON SURFACES AS ISSUE IN REPUBLICAN SENATE RACE … CNN’s Peter Hamby reports: Each one of Lindsey Graham's five underfunded Republican primary opponents have been struggling to gain traction in the race and emerge as the South Carolina senator's leading conservative opponent … For the first time, one of Graham's opponents has tried to make hay out of his gracious attitude toward Clinton - and it's another signal that Clinton's standing among Republicans has diminished since she left the State Department a year ago and inched her way back into the political spotlight.
POTUS WARNS UKRAINE: THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES… President Obama Wednesday condemned Ukraine’s government for violent action against protestors and criticized it for being partially responsible for the chaos. “I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we’re going to be watching closely and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protestors. We’ve also said we expect peaceful protestors to remain peaceful and we’ll be monitoring very closely the situation, recognizing that with our European partners and the international community there will be consequences if people step over the line.”
JUST IN … UKRAINE 'BEGIN TALKS FOR PEACE'- Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych has issued a statement declaring "the beginning of negotiations aimed at cessation of bloodshed and stabilization of the situation in the country for the sake of civil peace."
BUSH ON THE MILITARY: THEY ARE THE ONE PERCENT OF AMERICA WHO KEPT THE 99% SAFE … Speaking at a Library Military Service Initiative event Wednesday, former President George W. Bush addressed American’s lack of awareness about military veterans and the challenges they face:
“Seventy one percent of Americans said they do not understand the problems facing our veterans. You might call this a civilian-military divide. One lesson of our research is that the divide is exacerbated by public perceptions that the veteran is either a hero or to be pitied. Most veterans don’t consider themselves heroes or victims. They see themselves as Americans who took on a tough job and did it well.”
MORE AMERICANS NOW VIEW AFGHANISTAN WAR AS A MISTAKE … For the first time since the U.S. initially became involved in Afghanistan in 2001, Americans are as likely to say U.S. military involvement there was a mistake as to say it was not. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they viewed the war as a mistake, compared to 6% in 2002. – Gallup’s Frank Newport
THE BUZZ: NOW WE KNOW: PRETZEL THAT CHOKED PRESIDENT BUSH IN '02 CAME FROM … Lancaster, Pennsylvania. According to city native and former White House Chef John Moeller, it was a handmade pretzel from Hammond Pretzel Bakery Inc. that got into the president’s windpipe as he was watching a football game on television on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2002.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower after disappointing housing data and Fed minutes. Dow dips 88 points. NASDAQ loses 0.8%.
When did Russian President Vladimir Putin make his first full speech entirely in English on a world stage?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: U.S., Canada, Mexico to streamline trade, travel
The "Three Amigos" - or, as they're more formally known, the leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico - will meet in Mexico to streamline some procedures and requirements on trade and travel among their countries, a source in the Mexican Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. – Nick Parker and Jim Acosta
Leading Drudge: FEDS IN DC CLOSED 25% OF TIME!
Offices have been closed in whole or in part for 27 of the 105 weekdays so far in the fiscal year, according to a Washington Times analysis of announcements from the federal Office of Personnel Management that found the government was closed for 21 days because of the shutdown, snow days or holidays. Delayed openings or unscheduled leave and telework policies were in effect for six more days. – Stephen Dinan
Leading HuffPo: Did Bob Corker Taint The UAW's Volkswagen Union Election? And If So, Will He Get Away With It?
As Tennessee Volkswagen workers were voting last week on whether or not to have the United Auto Workers represent them, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) dropped what Reuters aptly called a "bombshell" on the proceedings. – Dave Jameison
Leading Politico: Mississippi 2014 Senate election: Anatomy of a takedown
As Sen. Thad Cochran faces a potentially career-ending primary challenge, his strategy for victory is straightforward: Stress his decades of bringing home federal largesse and his long relationships with home-state Republicans; tap Washington rainmakers to fill his campaign account; and bring in Mississippi political legends like Haley Barbour and Trent Lott to help seal the deal.
Leading Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Judge expanded secret probe a day before Walker's 2010 election
The day before Scott Walker was elected governor in 2010, a judge expanded the secret investigation to four more of his top aides, thousands of pages of documents released Wednesday show. The documents reveal Nov. 1, 2010, was a busy day for investigators and prosecutors in the case.
The political bites of the day
– Paul Ryan wants Mitt Romney to run again –
REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WISCONSIN, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AP TUESDAY: "I'd love it if he did … but I don't think he would.”
– CBO Director: We’re not the hall monitors of Twitterverse –
CBO DIRECTOR DOUG ELMENDORF WEDNESDAY AT A CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR BREAKFAST IN DC: “Our job is mostly to speak to the Congress. We think it's important that the other reporting of work be accurate because we recognize that many members and staffers in the Congress won't go to our website necessarily. They'll learn about our work through something else they read. So we think it's very important to have that be right, but our job is basically to do the analysis and give it to Congress. It's not basically to sort of be the hall monitor in the Twitterverse about our work.”
– Obama apologizes to art history teacher –
PRESIDENT OBAMA IN A LETTER TO PROFESSOR ANN COLLINS JOHNS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AUSTIN: “Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.”
Marco Rubio (@marcorubio)
Pathetic Obama apology to art history prof. We do need more degrees that lead to #jobs via @POLITICO for iOS http://politi.co/N6No7O
– George P. Bush: Despite my name, I’m a man on my own two feet –
GEORGE P. BUSH IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ANA CABRERA ON CNN’S “NEW DAY”: “Well you know, they’ve (his family) lent their support. They’ve shared a lot of anecdotes over the years whether it’s my grandfather running here in Texas, or my uncle or my dad. And that’s truly priceless and it’s been of great benefit to me to be able to call somebody up and say what do you think about this but, like I said I’m a man on my own two feet and have been providing my own vision to voters.”
– Senator admits: Congress could work on Fridays –
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, R-TENNESSEE, ON CONFIRMING OBAMA’S JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS: “I mean, they’re piling up. It concerns me … We could work Mondays; we could work Fridays.”
– What George W. Bush misses about being president –
GEORGE W. BUSH AT A BUSH LIBRARY EVENT IN DALLAS SAYS HE MISSES AIR FORCE ONE: "I mean in eight years they never lost my baggage.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Strobe Talbott (@strobetalbott)
Ukraine is turning into a disaster for Putin. Instead of "integrating" it into a Moscow-centric union, he's abetting its distingration.
John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain)
Don't think it's a coincidence that the #Ukrainian gov't used violence the same day they got billions from #Russia. #euromaidan
Richard Thompson (@rthompsonMSY)
Edwin Edwards apparently running for La.'s 6th Congressional District: "I'm the only hope the Democrats have here." http://bloom.bg/1e8cZU0
Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh)
Great @NJHotline overlooked. Negrete McLeod the first Rep. to outright retire after 1 term since... George Allen! http://sulia.com/my_thoughts/b88bd127-d369-4cda-91b8-3c2c54e7f4c9/?source=tw&action=prop&form_factor=desktop …
Abby Livingston (@RollCallAbby)
Tea Party Express endorses Republican Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (has a primary on his hands...) #MI11
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski)
"It may only be a matter of time before the US Senate majority ends the right to filibuster legislation all together." #aklegspeech
Steve Brusk (@stevebruskCNN)
Jeb Bush to co-host conference on Higher Education in Dallas next month...Hillary Clinton will among the speakers
But hey, if Bevin wants to spend lots of $$ telling Kentucky voters that McConnell opposes the 2nd Amendment, Alison Grimes will take it.
Erick Erickson (@EWErickson)
GA Secretary of State Brian Kemp coming on air with me now to discuss a March 1st Southern primary for 2016. http://wsbradio.com
Reid Wilson (@PostReid)
OH GOV Q poll: Kasich 43, FitzGerald 38. Kasich's job approval at 51, up 21 points from March 2011 low - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/ohio/release-detail?ReleaseID=2009 …
Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)
Well, that's that. He's on @FoxAndFriends tomorrow. RT @washingtonpost: Scott Brown renews contract with Fox News http://wapo.st/1ghXMlO
Facebook to buy messaging platform WhatsApp for $16 billion. http://cnnmon.ie/bkgnews
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first full speech entirely in English on a world stage in 2007 to address delegates at the 119th International Olympic Committee Session in Guatemala City. Putin spoke to lobby on behalf of Russia for a bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Putin made another major address in English in 2010 in an appeal to the delegates of the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau to present a case for Russia to host the World Expo 2020.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Michelle Edelman (@m_edelman1) and RobertBialeVineyards (@BialeVineyards) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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