July 1st, 2014
06:44 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 1, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 1, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

LAWMAKERS TRIPPIN’: HOUSE ETHICS CHANGE ON TRAVEL REPORTING SPARKS CONTROVERSY ... Watchdogs and even some members of Congress raised alarms Tuesday after learning that the House quietly changed how lawmakers report privately funded travel worth millions of dollars a year, removing those trips from one of the most high-profile reports that members must file. But as the change sent out ripples of outrage, it was not clear how wide-ranging the effect would be because the trip information remains easily accessible in a separate report. – Lisa Desjardins


REVERSE IT! House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is calling for immediate action. “The new rule presented by the Ethics Committee for disclosure of travel must be reversed,” the California Democrat said in a statement. “While the committee’s aim was to simplify the disclosure process, Congress must always move in the direction of more disclosure, not less.”

A 2014 EFFECT? As noted on CNN’s Inside Politics, for candidates challenging incumbents in 2014, the controversy seems like a perfect issue for candidates to pin against their incumbent challengers.

OBAMA SLAMS CONGRESSIONAL INACTION: ‘SO SUE ME’ ... The President made clear on Tuesday that he is unafraid of House Speaker John Boehner’s threat of a lawsuit against his use of executive action on different fronts. “So sue me,” Obama said, drawing laughter from a crowd at an infrastructure event at the Key Bridge in Washington. “Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.”

CHRISTIE GIVES NO OPINION ON HOBBY LOBBY...  In a departure from other Republicans, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not give an opinion Tuesday on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, arguing there was no point in making a comment about the decision. "The fact is that when you're an executive, your Supreme Court makes a ruling and you've got to live with it unless you can get the legislative body to change the law or change the Constitution," the potential presidential candidate said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "The point is: Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did," he continued. "That's now the law of the land, unless people in the legislative branch try to change it." – Ashley Killough

THE BUZZ: CLINTON ON THE MEDIA: “IT’S JUST OVERWHELMING” ...

In an interview with CSPAN's Steve Scully, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bashed many of the stories written about her as "inaccurate or unimportant." She said she "can't" read all that is written about her. "It's just overwhelming. I can't do it. So I skim it. If it's important it will come to me, I assume," Clinton concluded. "I can't possibly read it all. I would be doing nothing else." – Dan Merica

THE KICKER: MONICA LEWINSKY: ‘I WAS A VIRGIN TO HUMILIATION OF THAT LEVEL’
...
After a self-imposed exile from the public eye, Monica Lewinsky reappeared on Tuesday in her first interview in a decade. In a National Geographic documentary on the 1990s, Lewinsky, “the most humiliated woman in the world,” described the public shaming as former President Bill Clinton’s mistress as “alarming … frightening … confusing … and excruciating.” In a documentary that was previewed on NBC's “Today” show, Lewinsky says she was “a virgin to humiliation of that level.”– Leigh Ann Caldwell

MARKET WATCH: Dow and S&P 500 end at record highs as stocks rally to start the second half of 2014. NASDAQ closes 1.2% higher.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer Below)
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton launched what program to promote the empowerment of women and girls?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Rick Perry's busy summer schedule
Rick Perry's headed back to South Carolina Tuesday and Wednesday. It's the third trip by the longtime Republican governor of Texas to the Palmetto State in the past year. Perry, who launched a failed campaign for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, is not running for re-election this year and instead is considering another bid for the White House in 2016. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading CNNMoney: Hobby Lobby does invest in birth control
Employees have the option to put their retirement dollars - and the money that Hobby Lobby contributes on their behalf - into over a dozen different mutual funds. At least six have been invested in companies that produce birth control, such as Teva Pharmaceutical, Bayer, and Pfizer, according to a CNNMoney analysis. Teva makes Plan B. One of the funds also held Forest Laboratories, which makes a drug that is used to induce abortions. – Heather Long

Leading Courier-Journal:Gays have right to marry in Kentucky, judge rules
A federal judge today ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry in Kentucky. "In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted," U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote, invalidating Kentucky's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Bluegrass Politics ‏(@BGPolitics)
Gov. Steve Beshear says state will appeal to Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Heyburn's ruling that gays have right to marry in KY.

Leading Drudge: Hamas Threatens 'gates Of Hell'
Hamas has warned Israel against waging war on the Gaza strip in retaliation for the deaths of three kidnapped Israeli youths, threatening that "the gates of hell will open" should action be taken. The response came after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed: "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay", following the discovery of the bodies of the three missing youths yesterday. – Independent UK’s Rob Williams

Leading HuffPo: Trouble Brewing: Hobby Lobby Win Could Mean Problems For Others
In his opinion concurring with the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby birth control case Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy may have tipped his hand on a related group of lawsuits brought by nuns and religious nonprofits against the contraception mandate. – Laura Bassett and Ryan J. Reilly

Leading Politico: Alito's moment
Moments after the buzzer sounded at the Supreme Court on Monday morning, one thing became clear: This was Justice Samuel Alito’s moment. Journalists crowded into the court’s public information office were taken aback when Alito — the most junior Republican appointee on the bench and a jurist who has been described as mild-mannered by conservatives — was tapped to deliver the majority opinions in the two big cases left on this term’s docket.- Josh Gerstein and David Nather

Leading New York Times: Hobby Lobby Made Fight a Matter of Christian Principle
For the family behind Hobby Lobby, fighting the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptives mandate all the way to the Supreme Court was a calling, not a choice. Since the company’s creation in 1972, Christianity has infused the culture of the chain of craft shops, dictating everything from its hours of operation to the choice to remain privately controlled. – Alan Rappeport

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Ethics Chairman on travel filing controversy: I had no idea –
CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE TRANSPARENCY COMMITTEE, MIKE QUIGLEY, D-ILLINOIS, TO CNN: "I only know what I read in the newspapers. I did not know this had taken place.”

– Kirby: We’ll know we have success in Iraq once we have three things ... –
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY AT A PENTAGON BRIEFING: “We'll know how successful we've been when assessment teams report back and we have a better sense of three things: the state of the ISIL and the security situation on the ground, the state of the ISF and their cohesiveness and readiness and number three, get a better sense of what a follow-on advisory mission can look like.”

– Iraqi Ambassador: No need to personalize crisis in Iraq –
IRAQI AMBASSADOR TO U.S. LUKMAN FAILY TO CNN’S JAKE TAPPER: “The formation of the government is elected by the parliamentarian. The Prime Minister's block is about 100 out of 328 seats. So he still has a good chance of getting it. I think the issue doesn't need to be personalized. The threat is immediate to Iraq, integrity which means that the region and therefore, the globe will be threatened, as well because of the importance of Iraq geo politically and in relation to energy.”

– Republican PAC selling Clinton ‘dead broke’ gear –
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AMERICA RISING PAC TIM MILLER IN AN EMAIL TO SUPPORTERS: “Hillary Clinton is so out of touch that she claims she and Bill were ‘dead broke’ when they left the White House, despite having two multimillion-dollar mansions. What?! Don't you wish you were as ‘broke’ as Hillary and Bill? If you contribute just $25, we'll send you a ‘I Wish I Was As Broke As The Clintons’ shirt and add in a matching bumper sticker for free!”

– WH announces Navy's first-ever four-star female admiral, also the first African-American to hold the post –
WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JOSH EARNEST: “For the first time in the Navy’s 236 year history a woman will be pinned with a fourth star. Vice Admiral Michelle Howard will be promoted at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery that is taking place today ... Admiral Howard attended the Naval Academy and she graduated there in 1982 ... She is also the first African-American woman to command a ship, the amphibious dock landing ship Rushmore in 1999. So her historic career is taking a next step today. She will be named the deputy CNO for Operations, Plans and Strategy at the Navy. So congratulations to Admiral Howard.”

– Obama jokes about 'crack' pies –
PRESIDENT OBAMA AT AN EVENT MONDAY COMPLIMENTING RETIRING PASTRY CHEF BILL YOSSES: “We call Bill the "Crustmaster', because his pies, I don't know what he does, whether he puts crack in them ... My cholesterol shot up, and the doctor was like, ‘what happened?’ And I thought, ‘it's the pie! It's the pie!’ So we had to establish like a really firm rule about no pie during the week."

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Zeke Miller ‏(@ZekeJMiller)
Obama: "it's not the imperial presidency. no laws have been broken. we're just building roads."

Steven Dennis (‏@StevenTDennis)
Obama has the power to cancel the August recess for one or both chambers of Congress. Art. II, Sect. III.

Logan Dobson (@LoganDobson)
Scott Brown with an impressive $ haul http://www.wmur.com/political-scoop/source-brown-raises-more-than-2-million-in-last-three-months/26745224?tru=6WbM9#ixzz36EiXQBa7

John DiStaso (@jdistaso)
.@MittRomney 6/29 Chicago fundraiser helps put @SenScottBrown over $2 million for quarter; #nhsen #nhpolitics http://nhjournal.com/romney-chicago-fund-raiser-helps-put-brown-over-2-million-for-quarter/

Paul Steinhauser (@psteinhauserCNN)
The score between the tea party and the establishment GOP – as we take a brief intermission in the primary calendar. http://cnn.it/VCrnT7

Mac LeBuhn (@maclebuhn)
"Strangely, inside her office is this photo with figures bowing before a picture of Jarrett" http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/whats-going-with-this-photo-in-valerie-jarretts-office

Valerie Jarrett (@vj44)
Don't worry friends, it was a gag gift. Us strong women don't need worship - just an economy for the 21st century. #WomenSucceed

Caitlin Summers ‏(@caitsummers)
Touching story from @barbarastarrcnn, Chuck Hagel reunites with his #Vietnam platoon commander http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/30/chuck-hagel-reunites-with-his-vietnam-platoon-commander/

The White House ‏(@WhiteHouse)
President Obama believes. #LetsWinThisThing #USA https://vine.co/v/MFLJQ97UXOY

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

In June 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the “Women's World Cup Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports,” to harness the power of sports and international exchanges.

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

Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. rick

    It seems like Hillary is repeating "getting in touch" almost as much as a mental patient does to a doctor to get out of the funny farm! Wonder if any parrellel??

    July 1, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Listen up guys. It isn't a good idea to opine on the Hobby Lobby ruling whereby you try to undermine the decision as being trivial. The underlining effect of treating women as social inferiors who can now be legally discriminated against for something as important to them as birth control will not bode well for the Grand Old Party. The Justices' have increased their findings to include ALL birth control, not simply that which is deemed "end of pregnancy". We're fast heading into ownership territory wherein the corporation OWNS the basic rights of the individual.

    July 1, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. TNPatriot

    Fake outrage by members of Congress over the change in ethics rule. The ethics committee is made up by Members of Congress, every one of them was aware of this change BEFORE it took place. The only reason for the fake outrage is because the public and media found out. Just like when they changed the rules to stop 'earmarks' and made a big deal with multiple press releases, but a few months later when they changed it back, it was "hear no evil, see no evil'.

    July 2, 2014 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  4. Marie MD

    Members of congress have been getting travel perks for decades. This isn't new, including free airport parking for those with no drivers.
    As far as Lewinsky? She must be really desperate and have gotten a LOT of $$$ from the kochs or adelsons to continue to make a bigger fool of herself. Keeping that blue stained dress shows what a conniving little witch she really is.

    July 2, 2014 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    -time to tighten all kinds of visas, Immigrations. Or else we will be in real trouble, be it IT, medicine.

    July 2, 2014 06:59 am at 6:59 am |