CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 16, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
GOP ALLEGES EX-OBAMA OFFICIAL BROKE LAW ON POLITICAL ACTIVITY ... Ramping up his investigation of the White House and whether it illegally used government staff for political purposes, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa released audio of a 2012 voicemail message that his office says depicts then-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis asking an employee working for her to contribute money and recruit others to attend a fundraiser for the pro-Obama Organizing For America. In a release, the committee called the phone message a clear violation of the Hatch Act, which limits political activity for government officials. – Lisa Desjardins
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LAWMAKERS CONTEMPLATE REVERSING IMMIGRATION LAW ... In 2008, Congress passed a law to protect immigrant children from sex traffickers trying to bring them to the United States by requiring judges to hold hearings for children from any country except Canada and Mexico, preventing them from possibly getting turned away at the border. Now some in Congress want to change the law - a possibility that could bring more unintended consequences. – Tom Cohen
... PELOSI REVERSES IMMIGRATION DECISION: Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters that adding a provision changing the 2008 law to the border funding bill was “not a deal breaker.” But on Wednesday, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said she now “opposes this legislation as it is not in furtherance of due process for these children.” Hammill says Pelosi believes that if any changes to the law are made, they must ensure due process for children being held in detention facilities at the border.
ON THE LEFT ... O’MALLEY DEFENDS BORDER CRITICISM: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley defended his criticism of Obama administration plans to return thousands of undocumented children to Central America, even after his remarks sparked a heated discussion with a senior White House official. In an interview with CNN, O'Malley acknowledged that he asked White House domestic policy adviser Cecilia Muñoz that the immigrants not be sent to a site in western Maryland that was under consideration. "What I said was that would not be the most inviting site in Maryland. There are already hundreds of kids already located throughout Maryland," O'Malley said of his phone conversation with Munoz. – Jim Acosta
ON THE RIGHT ... CHRISTIE BETWEEN 'THE ROCK' AND A HARD PLACE: Aiming to promote state pension reform while having a little fun, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie released a flashy faux movie trailer – and then abruptly yanked it just hours after its YouTube debut on Tuesday. When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper why it was inexplicably removed, a spokesperson for Christie joked, "it was too much pain for The Rock." A source said Christie's office was actually forced to remove the video after Hollywood attorneys phoned to discuss its use of film clips. – Jake Tapper and Jessica Stanton
2016 CHECKBOOK: SUPER PAC PLANNING TO BACK HILLARY IN 2016 TOUTS TINY HAUL ... You don't see this every day. Priorities USA, the leading Democratic super PAC that supported President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election and is planning to back Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign if she runs, announced that it raised just $1,845 over the past three months. – Paul Steinhauser
... WHILE LESSER-KNOWN PRO-WARREN GROUP ANNOUNCES $1M PULL: The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, major backer of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, said it raised over $1 million this campaign cycle. The report comes a day before the kickoff of Netroots Nation, the largest annual gathering of progressives in the country.– Paul Steinhauser
Gut Check Full Service: Michelle Bachmann on potential Warren candidacy: If I were Hillary, I'd be concerned
2016 CALENDAR: CHRISTIE TO IOWA THURSDAY ... Chris Christie's jam packed swing through Iowa on Thursday is advertised as being all about the 2014 midterm elections. But the visit by the Republican governor of New Jersey and potential GOP presidential contender has plenty of 2016 implications, as Christie tries to get beyond a bridge controversy back home in the Garden State that's diminished his political standing. – Paul Steinhauser
... RUBIO TO COURT SOUTH CAROLINA CONSERVATIVES IN AUGUST: Marco Rubio, the Florida senator and possible White House contender, will court some of the Republican Party’s most conservative voters with a visit to South Carolina next month. Rubio has been booked as the keynote speaker at Rep. Jeff Duncan’s annual Faith and Freedom Barbecue in Anderson on August 25, a GOP source familiar with the plans told CNN. – Peter Hamby
THE BUZZ: HILLARY CLINTON ALLUDES TO WANTING AN OVAL OFFICE ... When Jon Stewart gave Hillary Clinton a career aptitude test on the “Daily Show” Tuesday night, her answers alluded to a presidential bid. The former secretary of state, senator, and first lady told the Comedy Central host that she wants a home office. "Do you have a favorite shape for that home office? Would you like it to have corners?" he asked her. "Fewer corners," said Clinton. – Gabe Lamonica
MARKET WATCH: Dow ends at record high on China growth and merger talk. Time Warner shares climb 17% after Fox bid revealed.
What is the name of Martin O’Malley’s Celtic rock band?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Senate Democrats to back House highway bill
The highway funding crisis is about to end. (For now.) Senate Democratic leaders have agreed to pass a nearly $11 billion House measure that would extend the life of the Highway Trust Fund through next spring, CNN has learned. – Lisa Desjardins
Leading CNNMoney: Midterm elections aren't good for stocks
Lawmakers in Washington are preparing to hit the campaign trail full-time in August. That's typically not great news for the stock market. Historically, midterm elections have not been kind to stocks, according to research released earlier this year by Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. Going back nearly 70 years, Stovall said the S&P 500 has suffered its worst six-month period of any four-year presidential term in the second and third quarters of a midterm election year. – Ben Rooney
Leading Des Moines Register:'Iowans 4 Joe Manchin' adds another Democratic name to 2016 mix
here may be another Democrat on the Iowa horizon as the wait for Hillary Clinton's decision continues. A "Iowans 4 Joe Manchin" Twitter page says it's organized by "Iowans ready to support U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin if we successfully draft him to run for president of the United States in 2016. Draft Joe!" – Jenifer Jacobs
Leading HuffPo: Koch Heads: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students
The official mission of Youth Entrepreneurs is to provide kids with "business and entrepreneurial education and experiences that help them prosper and become contributing members of society." The underlying goal of the program, however, is to impart Koch's radical free-market ideology to teenagers. In the last school year, the class reached more than 1,000 students across Kansas and Missouri. – Christina Wilkie and Joy Resmovitz
Leading Drudge: Animals Feast On Body Of Dead Migrant
The death march through Brooks County, Texas, claimed the life of yet another illegal immigrant. A human skull and the decomposed skeletal remains are all that is left of a person who decided to come to this country illegally. A total of 42 bodies have been found this year in the desert-like ranch fields surrounding the town of Falfurrias. – Breitbart’s Bob Price
Leading Politico: Behind the GOP focus on Obamacare
Proving that Obama misused his executive power is a long shot, most Republicans privately concede. Some even say that it is simply a way to quiet down the growing number of fringe Republicans who have said the party should move to impeach the president ... But senior GOP leadership aides describe a deliberate effort behind the scenes that they say gives them a fighting chance of defeating a sitting president in court. – Jake Sherman and Lauren French
Leading New York Times: Pelosi, in Reversal, Says She Opposes Speeding Child Deportations
Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, reversed course on Wednesday and said she would not back changes to a 2008 law that gave certain undocumented immigrant children broader legal rights to enter the United States. – Jonathan Weisman
Leading Washington Post: New Election Lab forecast suggests 86 percent chance that GOP wins Senate
A new Washington Post election map forecast gives Republicans an 86 percent chance of taking control of the Senate. And in the House? Democrats, can forget about it right now.
The political bites of the day
- Boehner fires back at Obama’s criticism about GOP not doing its jobs and quoting Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed” -
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER IN AN OP-ED FOR NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: “Rather than trawling through IMDB for partisan attack lines, President Obama ought to pick up the telephone and call the Senate Democratic leaders who are blocking nearly 40 House-passed bills to help our economy growing and create more American jobs.”
- CDC director: Dozens of anthrax exposures 'never should have happened' -
CDC DIRECTOR DR. TOM FRIEDEN IN A TESTIMONY BEFORE AN ENERGY AND COMMERCE SUBCOMMITTEE: "What happened was completely unacceptable. ... It never should have happened. ... We must do that work more safely, and we will."
- Kerry on Middle East peace talks: We’re working on it -
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT: "Well, our concern is to have a legitimate cease-fire and see if we can find a way to stop the conflict and killing so that we can get to the real issues that are underlying it and we're doing everything in our power, I've been in touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu with the Egyptians ... and with others in the region. And we'll continue to dialogue on it I'll be seeing the president today we'll talk about it later."
- Clinton: 60% of Israelis would support peace agreement with the Palestinians -
FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON IN AN INTERVIEW WITH NDTV IN INDIA: “Hamas was perfectly well aware of what would happen if they started reigning rockets into Israel. They fired 1,000 of them. And they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them. I believe that (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu could and should make a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians. I believe if he did it, and he did with either(Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud) Abbas or with this coalition in return for Hamas’ renunciation of terror and recognition of Israel’s right to exist, I believe 60 percent of the people of Israel will support it.”
- Kashkari on Illegal immigrant children: Send them home safely -
NEEL KASHKARI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH BREITBART:“We have to send these kids home, safely and compassionately," he said. "I come at this from the perspective of a son of immigrants. I believe immigrants add value, and that we are a nation of immigrants. I favor immigration reform. Yet I see these waves of kids coming, and it's shocking to me, and it shows if you do create incentives people respond to that."
- Former official: There’s less camaraderie in Washington when there’s less booze -
FORMER ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL WALTER DELLINGER AT A RULES COMMITTEE HEARING: “My job was to be the bartender. We had as many Republicans as Democrats drinking at Frank Thompson’s bar. And I think the amount of drinking has gone down considerably since I was an intern here which is good, but I think the amount of camaraderie has decreased though.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt)
WH’s @PressSec describes Obama-Merkel phone call as “friendly and cordial.” Diplomatic code for: She’s still PO'd but we’re trying ...
Sam Wang (@SamWangPhD)
There once was a pollster named Gravis Whose #s would often embarrass Said the nerd "GOP You're off 2 or 3 Learn from your brothers @ Marist
Jonathan Weisman (@jonathanweisman)
Doh! Scott Brown: "That's a big difference btwn Sen Shaheen & me & many other people in the Massachusetts delegation" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPkVn6
Justin Barasky (@JustinBarasky)
Scott Brown's day: forget he's running in NH, refuse to answer reporter Q's, hide from reporter in toilet, call cops on reporter #nhsen
Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe)
Looks like McDaniel plans to take his case to the people with a "Truth and Justice Tour" across Mississippi: https://m.facebook.com/ChrisMcDanielForUSSenate/posts/234624906747423… #MSSen
Sean Spicer (@seanspicer)
annual @GOP v @TheDemocrats softball game tonight - @MoElleithee loser uses the other party's symbol as their twiiter avatar all Thursday?
Mo Elleithee (@MoElleithee)
@seanspicer I was gonna suggest loser shaves his head, but no one would tell the difference with me. not that it will matter...
Hillary Clinton's speaking engagement contract is, unsurprisingly, hilarious http://slate.me/1p9nYn6
Christina Manduley (@cmanduleyCNN)
Murdoch's Fox made offer to buy Time Warner, offer was shot down http://cnnmon.ie/1rgxSYU
Washington Post (@washingtonpost)
Today, having pot in D.C. could mean jail. Tomorrow, it will mean a $25 fine. http://wapo.st/1t3V3U1
Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato)
JFK Jr., along with wife & sister-in-law, died his plane's crash 15 years ago today. Better to remember this pic. pic.twitter.com/JU6LypTnix
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
When he’s not working his day job leading his state, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley spends his time as the front man for his band, “O'Malley's March.” The band describes itself as “an American Irish folk rock band from Maryland” on its Facebook page and lists O’Malley as the lead vocalist, acoustic guitarist, songwriter, and tin whistle player.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congrats to Christopher S. Brown (@chrisbrowntv), Daniel (Dee) Savery (@DeeSavory) and sfpelosi (@sfpelosi) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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