CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 8, 2014 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
SHINSEKI SUBPOENAED, CALLS FOR AUDIT AT ALL CLINICS … Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has ordered a "face-to-face audit" at all Department of Veterans Affairs clinics, a spokeswoman told CNN on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the House Veterans Affairs Committee voted to subpoena Shinseki in the wake of accusations that his department is responsible for deadly delays in health care at some of its hospitals.
Washington (CNN) - Hindsight is 20/20, they say, but some people may need backwards-looking glasses in debating whether the State Department under Hillary Clinton erred two years ago by not designating Boko Haram a terrorist group.
The question arose Thursday as part of the international focus on last month's abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the jihadist group in northeast Nigeria that threatens to sell them into slavery.
Updated 6:11 p.m. ET, 5/8/2014
Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) – The Republican National Committee is expected to approve a new penalty Friday that will punish candidates seeking the 2016 GOP presidential nomination if they participate in non-sanctioned primary debates.
The penalty is meant to give the national party more control over the presidential nominating process after party leaders watched a nasty, drawn-out primary in 2012 that included 20 major debates.
Washington (CNN) – The Federal Election Commission on Thursday approved the use of the alternative currency Bitcoin for political contributions with limits of $100 per donor per election cycle.
The 6-member panel voted unanimously to allow the contributions, a move that could open the floodgates for donors to make political contributions with the digital currency in the upcoming midterm elections.
(CNN) – Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki will testify next Thursday before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, CNN has learned.
Shinseki is under fire from some congressional Republicans and veterans groups for the mounting backlog of health care cases at the VA and, specifically, allegations that veterans died while on a secret waiting list at the Phoenix VA hospital, which was first reported on by CNN.
Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio will emphasize the need for the federal government to rethink how it addresses key programs by embracing “free market principles” and new technology in a speech to Republican leaders and activists meeting here this week to discuss political strategy.
The Florida GOP senator’s address is just one of several he has delivered on the topic of reform – already, he has spoken about how to transform education, innovation and poverty. And it is a subject Rubio will carry to New Hampshire on Friday and back to Washington, DC next week when he will appear at the National Press Club to talk about “retirement security in the 21st century and propose new reforms to strengthen entitlement programs,” the senator’s spokesman Alex Conant told CNN.
(CNN) – Rob Maness, a GOP candidate in the Louisiana Senate race, released his first television ad showing him tying up an alligator - an act he compares to his promise to tackle "career politicians" in Washington.
The retired Air Force colonel also got an endorsement Thursday from conservative firebrand Sarah Palin - another instance this election cycle where the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee threw her support behind the non-establishment GOP candidate.
Los Angeles (CNN) - Faced with difficult odds in November's midterm elections, President Obama's trying to fire up the base, and energize major donors to the Democratic party as he makes a major fundraising swing along the West Coast.
"My main message to all of you is feel a sense of urgency about this election. This is my last campaign, and I'm going to put everything I've got into it, but I need you to feel that this is just as important, because we can't afford to wait until 2016," the President said at a fundraiser in Los Angeles Wednesday night for both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama once again lamented the limits of his power on the world stage, expressing regret in a speech Wednesday night that he was unable to stop recent atrocities against children in Nigeria and Syria.
"I have this remarkable title right now - President of the United States - and yet every day when I wake up, and I think about young girls in Nigeria or children caught up in the conflict in Syria - when there are times in which I want to reach out and save those kids, having to think through what levers, what power do we have at any given moment" Obama said in a speech at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation's gala in Los Angeles.
Washington (CNN) - It's not so noteworthy for Vice President Joe Biden to stop by a social reception. But what was noteworthy about the one he attended Wednesday evening was its audience – full of Iowans.
Biden stopped by a party at a Washington hotel for a group of 195 Iowans from the Greater Des Moines Partnership – a group aimed at promoting economic development in Des Moines. The group of Iowans are on a three-day trip to the nation's capital to help spur job creation in Des Moines and lobby Congress.