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.
Which state ranks the highest in gender paycheck equality?
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
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.”
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.
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