April 8th, 2014
05:19 PM ET
5 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for April 8, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 8, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

RUSSIA WARNS OF CIVIL WAR IN UKRAINE … Russia warned Tuesday that any use of force in Ukraine's eastern region could lead to civil war, as Kiev seeks to regain control after pro-Moscow uprisings in three cities. …Rebels occupying Donetsk's regional government building Monday declared a "people's republic" and called for a referendum on secession from Ukraine to be held by May 11. – Laura Smith-Spark, Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Victoria Butenko


OBAMA STRENGTHENS EQUAL PAY PROTECTIONS … President Obama signed two executive actions Tuesday aimed at strengthening existing equal pay laws. Both actions could make it easier for some workers to find out how much their colleagues are making and, as a result, whether or not they are being compensated fairly. The move comes on what has been dubbed "Equal Pay Day," and is part of Obama's push to ensure women earn equal pay for equal work. – Katie Lobosco

INSIDE POLITICS: "DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO" ON EQUAL PAY? For the past several elections, Democrats have adopted the equal pay issue and made the equality of paychecks a huge priority. But the issue of equal pay plagues President Obama’s White House. An analysis by the conservative American Enterprise Institute found that women staffers made about 88 cents on the dollar, compared with male staffers. – Z. Byron Wolf

Dana Bash (‏@DanaBashCNN)
Stat why Dems pushing equal pay so hard: 2006 midterms Dems got 55% of their women to vote & took Congress. 2010, only 48% & lost the House

THE BUZZ: HUSBAND ON KISSING CONGRESSMAN: ‘HE HAS WRECKED MY LIFE’ … The husband of the woman caught making out with Rep. Vance McAllister said the Louisiana Republican destroyed his life and marriage. “I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this,” 34-year-old Heath Peacock said. “I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare.” Peacock told CNN that McAllister has “wrecked” his life and that he’s “headed for divorce.” – Chris Frates

Mike Memoli (@mikememoli)
"McAllister said he plans to stand for re-election next fall 'unless there is an outcry for me not to serve'" thenewsstar.com/article/201404…

2014 WATCH: BIG MONTH FOR NRSC
The National Republican Senatorial Committee brought in over $6.3 million last month, their best month so far this cycle. This brings the total amount the NRSC has raised so far this year to more than $16 million. The group says it has nearly $16 million cash on hand. The rival Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has yet to reveal its March fundraising figures, but thanks to some high profile help from President Obama, we expect them to announce a pretty hefty haul. Tomorrow, President Obama will attend a joint event for the DSCC and DCCC at the home John Eddie and Sheridan Williams in Houston, Texas. Tickets for the event range between $16,200 and $64,800. DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet will also attend. – Paul Steinhauser

RUBIO: GROSS HAS BECOME HAVANA’S PAWN… After spending four years imprisoned in Cuba, former American subcontractor Alan Gross has launched a hunger strike, trying to spur the U.S. and Cuba to resolve his case. "He's a hostage. Under no normal law and order is providing internet access a crime, and therefore he's being held as a hostage," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in an interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” "The government of Cuba is trying to use him as a bargaining chip," and as a "pawn," Rubio said.

U.S. ECONOMIC CONFIDENCE INCHING UP … Gallup's Economic Confidence Index averaged -15 for the week ending April 6. This reading is similar to last week's average of -16 but is higher than the -20 recorded in early March, the low point so far for 2014. – Justin McCarthy

MARKET WATCH: Stocks fall for third straight day, led by big decline in the NASDAQ. Dow, S&P and Nasdaq now down year to date.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
Which state ranks the highest in gender paycheck equality?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics.com: First on CNN: Jindal to headline South Carolina GOP convention
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will headline the South Carolina Republican Party’s Silver Elephant Dinner, a major GOP fundraising event in the early primary state that doubles as a must-do stopover for ambitious politicians with an eye on the White House. – Peter Hamby

Leading Drudge: I’m a cat, not a rat…But I was fat
The Rev. Al Sharpton on Tuesday addressed his long-known role in assisting a joint FBI-NYPD investigation in the 1980s. At a news conference, Sharpton said he was threatened by “music industry goons” years ago and went to the government for protection.

Reverend Al Sharpton (‏@TheRevAl)
"I am not a rat. I am a cat, I chase rats thugs, gangsters, bigots, drug dealers. Bad cops whoever out of our community. That is right"

Leading HuffPo: In No Hurry
The U.S. Senate passed a bill reauthorizing long-term unemployment insurance on Monday, with Democrats hoping the vote will increase pressure on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to move the bill through his chamber. Boehner has said the bill fails to create jobs and is "unworkable," partly because state unemployment agencies will have trouble finding all the people who've missed out on the benefits since they lapsed in December. – Arthur Delaney

Leading Politico: GOP solution to 'war on women': Women
Republicans say the Democrats’ “war on women” line is fake. But their fear of it is real. More than a dozen female Republican lawmakers gathered last week with GOP operatives to hold a broad discussion on conservative ideas to empower female voters. – Anna Palmer

Leading New York Times: U.S. Agency Defends Social Media Project in Cuba
Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID's administrator, told members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that the program was similar to others that the agency has financed in Africa to help citizens monitor elections.“It’s part of our mission to promote open communications,” Dr. Shah said. – Ron Nixon

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– McCain vs. Kerry: What would T.R. do on Ukraine? –
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZONA: “On the issue of Ukraine – My hero Teddy Roosevelt used to say, ‘Talk softly but carry a big stick.’ What you are doing is talking strongly and carrying a very small stick. In fact, a twig.”

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY RESPONDS: “Your friend, Teddy Roosevelt, also said that the credit belongs to the people who are in the arena trying to get things done. And we're trying to get something done. That's a Teddy Roosevelt maxim and I abide by it.”

– GOP accuses Dems of ‘politicizing’ women –
REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS, R-WASHINGTON, AT BRIEFING ON EQUAL PAY DAY: “On this equal pay day, I would urge us to stop politicizing women and let’s start focusing on those policies that are actually going to help women and everyone in this country have a better life.”

REP. LYNN JENKINS, R-KANSAS, AT THE SAME BRIEFING: “Some folks don’t understand that women have become an extremely valuable part of the workforce today on their own merits, not because the government mandated it.”

– Pelosi swings back –
MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI AT DEMOCRATIC BRIEFING:
“Does she (Rep. Jenkins) want to make less than her male counterpart with the same qualification and the same job description?

– Bush 43 advisor on Dem strategy: ‘Someone should be fired’ –
FORMER BUSH NATIONAL SECURITY AIDE MARK PFEIFLE ON REID’S KOCH ATTACKS:
“Who drafts the Democratic Party's campaign strategy? Whoever it is, they should be fired. Their 2014 plan violates a basic rule of electoral public relations: Don't build your entire campaign around a hypocritical allegation that could blow up in your face “

– New ad hits Braley for Obamacare support –
NARRATOR IN A NEW AD BY KOCH-AFFILIATED GROUP FREEDOM PARTNERS:
“No one likes it when politicians give special favors. Congressman Bruce Braley voted for Obamacare … The government spent millions of taxpayer dollars to promote it. Now, health insurance companies stand to make billions, and Bruce Braley, he takes tens of thousands from his friends in the health insurance industry. For Iowans, it’s cancelled policies and higher costs. That’s not right. Call Bruce Braley. Tell him, stand for Iowa. Stop supporting Obamacare.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Ali Weinberg (@AliABCNews)
Oh, snap – @JohnKerry: "Georgia [invasion] happened under George Bush. And he didn't even bring a sanction. President Obama has."

Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn)
@SenJohnMcCain to @JohnKerry: you have hit the trifecta: Geneva 2 failed, #Mideast talks breaking down and Iran not looking good.

Jim Acosta (@JimAcostaCNN)
WH: POTUS to check on recovery efforts and meet with families at site of Washington State mudslide on April 22.

Mark Knoller (@markknoller)
Reminded of gender difference in dry cleaning, POTUS says "I don’t know why it costs more for Michelle’s blouse than for my shirt."

Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck)
The White House today: Nuance for me, but not for thee.

Michael LaRosa ‏(@MichaelLaRosaDC)
Carney: "You can argue with the Census if you'd like, I can give you their number."

Scott Conroy (‏@RealClearScott)
As Gov, Jeb signed abortion restrictions, opposed embryonic stem cell research & fought to keep Terri Schiavo alive: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/04/08/could_jeb_bush_win_over_the_christian_right_in_16.html …

Hoyer Press Shop (‏@HoyerPress)
Not correct (1 of 2) RT @dnewhauser Steny Hoyer basically just told a room full of reporters he has tried marijuana.

MATT DRUDGE (‏@DRUDGE)
Stunning story on Sharpton as FBI informant not a surprise. I literally suspect so many in media are double agents!! http://bit.ly/1mV3wWC

Don Gonyea NPR (‏@DonGonyea)
4 Presidents speak at @LBJLibrary '64 Civil Rights Act conf this wk. Carter/Tues, Clinton/Wed, Obama/Thu, GWB/Thu. But no joint appearance.

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

Nevada ranks the highest of the 50 states in gender paycheck equality, according to the latest 2012 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Women in the Silver State earn 85 cents for every dollar men make. According to Forbes, the state’s powerful unions have been a driving force for pay equity.

Historically, Wyoming ranks the lowest in terms of gender paycheck equality, with women earning 64 cents for every dollar men make.

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

No correct answers for today’s Gut Check Trivia question. Try again tomorrow.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Stuffitu

    If you want to see the true effect Obama's economic efforts and class warfare, check the prices of gas and food when he took office as compared today and realize thAt he has given the shaft to working taxpayer while giving trillions to the dopers, welfare frauds and corrupt union.

    April 8, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Speaking of tweets...

    Neal Boortz @Talkmaster
    Democrats to women: "Hey, we know you're not, nor do you want to be informed, so we'll push this 'equal pay' scam on you to get your votes."

    Please proceed, GOPers/Teatrolls...clearly, you've hit upon precisely the argument that's going to cause all women voters to abandon the Dems and vote for your candidates. It's going to work almost, but not quite, as well as "minorities all voted for him for no other reason than that he's black." Simply brilliant.

    April 8, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "The White House today: Nuance for me, but not for thee."

    Except when talking about the federal government, you're talking about strict pay scaling and other employment rules that do not exist in the rest of the economy. It's a nice try...and the MSM is certainly doing everything they can to help you GOPers/Teatrolls out on this one...but, well, the lack of nuance evidenced by trying to make the comparison really just makes your tweet embarrassingly ironic, Brendan.

    April 8, 2014 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Hoyer Press Shop (‏@HoyerPress)
    Not correct (1 of 2) RT @dnewhauser Steny Hoyer basically just told a room full of reporters he has tried marijuana."

    Grow up and grow a pair, Steny. Nobody actually cares if you smoked it. In fact, I bet you I can fill a room with people who don't care if you smoke it every day before work as long as you vote right and support the right policies. In fact, I bet I can perform that trick and fill the room with only successful doctors and lawyers, all of whom also smoke it daily. In fact, ummm...what's the third one....hmmmm....oops...

    April 8, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    --before all this, these so-called Red-idiotic-states better expand Medicade. These crooks are voluntarily stopping expansion of Medicaid. They want to hurt ACA Law. States such as LA, NC, KY, TX need to wake up, kick these Republicans from political arena. God bless.

    April 8, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "If you want to see the true effect Obama's economic efforts and class warfare, check the prices of gas and food when he took office as compared today and realize thAt he has given the shaft to working taxpayer while giving trillions to the dopers, welfare frauds and corrupt union."

    You forgot "thugs" "inner city culture problem" "illegals" and "Benghazi." You're slipping.

    April 8, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. The REAL Truth...

    @Stuffitu – If you want to see the true effect Obama's economic efforts and class warfare, check the prices of gas and food when he took office as compared today...
    -------------------------------------
    Based on this bumbling logic, how about checking the price of gas in July 2008? Highest national average price ever. Then look at the number of jobs being lost. Then look at the cost of two off-the-books wars that added $3 Trillion to the Obama books. Then look at the TARP bailout for banks to big to fail perpetrated by the SecTreas (a former GS CEO). Then look at the unfunded TAX CUTS that cost $2.2 Trillion. Then look at the $1.2 Trillion cost for Medicare Part D.
    Then look at where we are now.. then look at how ludicrous your statement was.

    April 8, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    @Gurgyl
    –before all this, these so-called Red-idiotic-states better expand Medicade. These crooks are voluntarily stopping expansion of Medicaid. They want to hurt ACA Law. States such as LA, NC, KY, TX need to wake up, kick these Republicans from political arena. God bless.
    -----------
    Similar to holding the government hostage, the Tea Party end of the GOP has no problem causing people to suffer to prove a point.

    April 8, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. tom l

    The Real Truth,
    Ok, let's go at these one at a time (and I'm not attacking you so just relax)
    Unfunded wars – why all of the sudden is this up to $3 trillion? You probably supported this in the beginning and certainly support the Afghan part of it as our president said this was the right war so while you're right, you're also exaggerating and leaving out critical information so it's just another biased comment by you
    TARP – utilized by Obama to "save" the auto industry so why would you have a problem with that? I agree that TARP was horrible but you tout how much Obama saved the auto industry when the very instrument he used is the one you are complaining about
    Tax Cuts – It is interesting how liberals look at that as a cost. I am shocked that anyone would look at the govt seizing less of our money as a "cost" rather than it being OUR money in the first place but that's just the different perspective that liberals have
    Medicare Part D – so you have a problem with this yet you're totally fine with expanding Medicaid. It's highly hypocritical to support the ACA and have a problem with Medicare Part D. It just doesn't make sense.

    My question is why do you have so much trust in a govt when you can't stand half of the people in it (repubs). Why would you want to put more power and more control by an entity that you hate half of?

    April 8, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. tom l

    You forgot "thugs" "inner city culture problem" "illegals" and "Benghazi." You're slipping.

    ====

    You're like the guy who breaks wind in the room and then asks "did you smell that?" as if you had nothing to do with it. Look in the mirror. You are the one that thought of those terms and went to that level. You are the one that thinks of race every time. It's just pathetic. Man you need to grow up and realize that all of govt does not have your best interest at heart. How do you want to put more power and control into an entity that you have such hatred for half of (repubs)? It's just odd. Remember, once you give them power, you won't get it back. Let's say something crazy happens and repubs win more seats in the house and take over the Senate. You just allowed and supported those very people to have more control over you. How do you reconcile that?

    April 8, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. Chris-E...al

    Obama is not a black man PPL. he is half African American and half White . We have not had a African American president yet . Please he has did harm to all races in this nation under god !

    April 8, 2014 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  12. Stuffitu

    Another sign of failure for the most corrupt, inep, incompetent president in history, Americans pay more in taxes than they do for food, shelter and clothing combined.

    April 8, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Wes

    Sniffit

    "The White House today: Nuance for me, but not for thee."

    Except when talking about the federal government, you're talking about strict pay scaling and other employment rules that do not exist in the rest of the economy
    -------------------------------------------
    Bull. Exact quote from the White House: 'The White House said its gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked, among other factors'. They never mentioned 'strict pay scaling' and 'other employment rules that do not exist in the rest of the economy' as an excuse.

    April 8, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. Lizzie

    Gurgyl "These red states idiots are voluntarily stopping Medicaid Expansion to make system go bankrupt. Old people need to understand vote out all Republicans. "
    Old people are not on MEDICAID but on Medicare.

    April 8, 2014 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |