CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 16, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
OBAMA SLAMS HOUSE GOP ON IMMIGRATION … Marking the one-year anniversary of the Senate’s passage of a comprehensive immigration reform plan, President Obama released a statement Wednesday ripping House Republicans for "repeatedly failing to take action” on the issue. The president said the House GOP seems to prefer “the status quo of a broken immigration system over meaningful reform.”
AS DIAZ-BALART URGES GOP NOT TO CEDE THE ISSUE: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, warned fellow Hill Republicans on Wednesday that if they do not take action on immigration reform, Obama will take the matter into his own hands.
“I’m convinced that if we don’t get it done by the August break, the president, who is feeling a lot of pressure from having not done anything on immigration reform, will feel that he has to act through executive action,” Diaz-Balart told the Washington Post. “If he does that, the window for Republicans and Democrats to negotiate on this issue is closed until the next president.
WHITE HOUSE PUSHES JOB TRAINING … Hoping to help close the gap between workers' skills and the needs of businesses, President Obama announced Wednesday he's putting hundreds of millions toward job training programs. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to a community college in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to make the announcement. – Kevin Liptak
BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES BIG FUNDS TO COMBAT GUNS: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is investing another chunk of his vast personal fortune to combat the National Rifle Association. Bloomberg has pledged $50 million to his new group Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella organization for his two other gun control groups: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
“We’re going to do everything we can…to make sure that we reward those who are protecting lives and make sure that those who are trying to keep people from being protected lose elections,” Bloomberg said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today Show.” – Leigh Ann Caldwell, Kevin Bohn and Ed Payne
NEW AL QAEDA VIDEO: A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn't know about it or couldn't get a drone there in time to strike. U.S. officials won't comment on that, but every frame of the video is now being analyzed. – Barbara Starr
WATCH HERE: http://cnn.it/RoKuOy
THE BUZZ: TWITTER CO-FOUNDER CLAIMS SITE WORTH OVER $25 BILLION … In 2011, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg he thought Twitter was worth around $500 million. Asked on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” what it is worth now, Stone tweaked his estimate. “It’s north of $25 billion, I think,” he said.
Gut Check Full Service: For some perspective…
-Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion
-Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion
-eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion
-Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion
-Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion
-Snapchat’s value has been estimated at $4 billion
MARKET WATCH: Stocks rally on earnings, China and Yellen comments. Dow gains 160 points. NASDAQ climbs 1.3%. S&P 500 gains 1%.
Which U.S. president also served as president of the National Rifle Association?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics.com: Big bucks an indicator of outside groups' influence
They've become some of the most important players in campaign politics over the past four years, and brand new fundraising figures indicate that the influence of outside groups is not diminishing. In fact, the numbers suggest that these organizations, which are free of many of the fundraising rules that keep checks on candidates and party committees, will have a major impact on the 2014 Senate, House and gubernatorial elections, which are shaping up to be the most expensive midterms ever. – Paul Steinhauser
Leading Bergen County Record: Law firm hired by Christie for internal probe donated $10K in 2014 to RGA
Nine days before a team of its top lawyers made public a report clearing Governor Christie in the George Washington Bridge scandal, the law firm donated $10,000 to the Republican Governors Association, a group he heads. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher made its donation March 18. – Melissa Hayes
Gut Check Full Service: Shortly after the Record published their report, the DNC emailed supporters with the subject line, “Chris Christie thinks we are all idiots.”
Statement to CNN from Gibson Dunn: “Gibson Dunn’s annual contributions to the Republican Governors Association long predate our retention by the Office of the Governor and even predate when the current Governor was first elected to office. The firm has donated to the RGA since 2009 at the behest of Bill Kilberg, a partner in the firm’s Washington, DC office who has served on the RGA’s Executive Roundtable since 2009.”
Leading Boston Globe: Warren, Geithner, Obama: The Three Stooges
After she (Warren) agreed to help set up the (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), she recounts being with (former Treasury Secretary Tim) Geithner and Obama, about to go to the Rose Garden for a press conference. Obama said they would all go out together. “Well, not all at once,” he said. “This isn’t a Three Stooges routine.” The three of them laughed, and then launched into a round of Three Stooges gags. – Matt Viser
Leading Drudge: WWIII
Deep in the flat and featureless landscape of eastern Ukraine, it is all too possible that the outline of World War III is taking shape. Whipped up by the Kremlin propaganda machine and led by Russian military intelligence, armed men are erecting road blocks, storming police stations and ripping down the country’s flag. They are demolishing not just their own country — bankrupt, ill-run and beleaguered — but also the post-war order that has kept most of Europe…safe and free for decades. – Edward Lucas
Leading HuffPo: Supreme Court To Consider Ohio Ban On Campaign Lies
Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justices consider a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. The case has attracted national attention, with groups across the political spectrum criticizing the law as a restriction on the First Amendment right to free speech.
Leading Politico: Ted Cruz faces 2016 skeptics in South Carolina
It didn’t take much for Ted Cruz to bring a crowd of conservatives to its feet here. By the time the Texas Republican senator finished speaking Tuesday night, an adoring audience hailed Cruz and his no-compromise, combative style of conservatism that has made him the scourge of the GOP establishment but a hero of the tea party. – Manu Raju
Leading New York Times: Sebelius Said to Weigh Run for Kansas Senate Seat
In her darkest hour last fall, Kathleen Sebelius suffered one of the deepest cuts from an old family friend who accused her of “gross incompetence” over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and demanded that she resign as secretary of health and human services. Now she is weighing revenge. Ms. Sebelius is considering entreaties from Democrats who want her to run against that old friend, Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas. – Jeremy W. Peters
Shira T. Center (@shiracenter)
I can think of a few Senate Dems who probably wouldn't welcome Sebelius to #KSSEN: Pryor, Landrieu, Begich, Hagan...
The political bites of the day
– Christie: Sky should be the limit for campaign donations –
NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE AT A TOWN HALL EVENT: “You are never going to keep money out of politics … I think we need to be realistic in this country about the fact that our political system costs money. None of these laws change that. So let's add transparency… I think it should be unlimited contributions and (a) 48-hour notification of every contribution you accept, so that so if someone wants to write a $100,000 check for my campaign, great, take it. But 48 hours later, everybody who has access to the internet is going to see that Mr. Smith gave me $100,000.”
– 39 pressures 44 to oppose Keystone XL pipeline –
FORMER PRESIDENT CARTER AND OTHER NOBEL LAUREATES IN A LETTER TO OBAMA AND KERRY: “Dear President Obama & Secretary Kerry, You stand on the brink of making a choice that will define your legacy on one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced – climate change. As you deliberate the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, you are poised to
make a decision that will signal either a dangerous commitment to the
status quo, or bold leadership that will inspire millions counting on you to
do the right thing for our shared climate.”
– Dueling new ads for Tar Heel Tillis –
NARRATOR IN NEW AMERICAN CROSSROADS AD BOOSTING TILLIS: “Tired of Obama and Kay Hagan’s big lies? Thom Tillis, a fiscal conservative with the guts to repeal and replace Obamacare … Stand up to Obama’s big government agenda. Thom Tillis, North Carolina values for a change.”
NARRATOR IN SENATE MAJORITY PAC AD BLASTING TILLIS: “Thom Tillis shared an apartment with his chief of staff when North Carolina news reported that the chief of staff was having an extramarital affair with a lobbyist and was caught on camera and resigned. Then, one week later, another Tillis staffer resigns for another sexual relationship with a lobbyist. Thom Tillis' reaction? He claimed he was surprised by his roommate's affair, but then rewarded both aides with taxpayer-paid bonuses. Thom Tillis - spending our money to clean up his mess."
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak)
Bloomberg: "When I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I'm heading straight in. I have earned my place" http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2014/04/16/michael-bloomberg-says-he-has-a-direct-path-to-heaven-for-his-gun-work-no-really/ …
Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman)
Hey @FiveThirtyEight, what are the chances Mike Bloomberg is going to heaven?
Simon Conway (@SimonRadio1776)
Heels on, gloves off! @SarahPalinUSA back to Iowa. Will share stage with @joniernst and others http://www.whoradio.com/onair/simon-conway-42296/heels-on-gloves-off-palin-back-12258800/ … via @WHORadio #tcot
Jason Koebler (@jason_koebler)
Montana congressional candidate (from MD, with the thickest Maryland accent ever), shoots down a drone in his ad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOoXJI4vBns …
Halimah Abdullah (@HAbdullahdcnews)
Landrieu faces toughest political storm. Beset by well-funded forces on the right; unpopular president on left http://cnn.it/1paKwby
Mike Allen (@mikeallen)
named to Commission on Presidential Debates board: Mitch Daniels, Charlie Gibson, Jane Harman, Leon Panetta, Olympia Snowe, Shirley Tilghman
Michael Martinez (@MMartinezCNN)
"We are North Koreans, and that is our leader on your poster," 2 men say of barbers' sign about Kim Jong Un's 'bad haircut…http://lnkd.in/bVRFPQx
Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz)
What’s worse than a guy with a bad haircut? A guy with a bad haircut who can’t take a joke: http://theguardian.com/world/2014/apr …
Deadline Hollywood (@Deadline)
Warner Bros Taps Former Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers As Communications Chief; Sue Fleishman Exiting http://dlvr.it/5Q9nkg
Elizabeth Holmes (@EHolmesWSJ)
VP Biden's first Instagram could double as an ad for Ray Ban. http://instagram.com/p/m264zNlwTT/
John Dingell (@john_dingell)
I'm not joining Snapchat, Benny. MT @bennyjohnson: It's funny when an older politician joins a new social platform...
April Andrews (@aprilCNNpr)
ICYMI: Paul Walker's brothers help finish 'Fast & Furious 7' action scenes cnn.it/1ipAAWd #Fast7
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Former President Ulysses S. Grant became the National Rifle Association’s eighth president on April 3, 1883. Grant is one of eight U.S. presidents to have been a lifelong member of the NRA. JFK is the only Democrat in the group. Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush disavowed their lifelong memberships
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.
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