July 17th, 2014
04:50 PM ET
3 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for July 17, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 17, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

HAPPENING NOW … ISRAEL LAUNCHES GROUND OPERATION INTO GAZA … The Israeli military launched a ground operation into Gaza late Thursday, the government said. The much-anticipated operation follows some of the most intense fighting in the 10 days of bombings and airstrikes between Israel and Hamas. Palestinian medical and security sources say 240 people have been killed in Gaza, including at least seven children who died Thursday, and about 1,800 injured. Israel says one of its citizens has died. – Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman, Michael Pearson and Jethro Mullen

IDF (@IDFSpokesperson)
BREAKING NEWS: A large IDF force has just launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. A new phase of Operation Protective Edge has begun.


MALAYSIA AIRLINES PLANE CRASHES IN UKRAINE ...A Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, prompting a Ukrainian official to say that the flight carrying 295 people had been "shot down." "Terrorists" fired on the plane operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to a Facebook post from Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. The plane, a Boeing 777, went down near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, according to the post, as it flew at about 10,000 meters (nearly 33,000 feet).– Ashley Fantz

U.S. CONCLUDES PLANE WAS SHOT DOWN… A senior US official tells CNN’s Barbara Starr that the US has concluded the Malaysian airline was shot down. One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane was shot down, according to the official. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official explained.

PRESIDENT OBAMA… “Obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border, and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy. Right now we're working to determine whether there were American citizens on board – that is our first priority – and I've directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why, and as a country our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.”

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: U.S. SENDING TEAM TO UKRAINE … Vice President Joe Biden said he has been in contact with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and has offered U.S. assistance in the aftermath of the "tragic event that's taken place on the Ukrainian border" with Russia. The Ukrainian president accepted the assistance, Biden said.

PUTIN BRIEFED OBAMA … According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, near the end of a call this morning with President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the early reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border.

MCCAIN: 'PROFOUND REPERCUSSIONS' IF PLANE SHOT DOWN ... "If it is the case, then we're going to have to act, and act in the most stringent fashions, including real sanctions (and) including giving the Ukrainians the ability to defend themselves, which we have not done so far," the Arizona Republican said in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

ON THE HILL ... HOUSE OVERSIGHT FIGHT GETS UGLY: House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a Republican, and the panel's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings, have clashed repeatedly. And now they're at it again. A day after sparring over a committee subpoena of a top White House official, Cummings blasted Issa for using the committee as "center stage for political theater."Cummings told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "New Day" that it was wrong for Issa to try to compel testimony from David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach.

Issa is looking into that unit and demanding to know whether Simas' duties violate the Hatch Act, which bars most federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities ... Cummings has said Issa lacks any evidence to show Simas or his staff violated the law ... Issa contends the White House has delayed providing the panel with information about the re-creation of Simas' office in January. – Sara Fischer

THE BUZZ: GEORGE W. BUSH'S STAND-IN? HILLARY CLINTON ...After former President George W. Bush had to cancel an upcoming speech at a conference because of knee surgery, Hillary Clinton has agreed to speak instead. Politico's Maggie Haberman, who's also a political analyst for CNN, reports that Clinton will speak at the Ameriprise Financial conference in Boston next week as Bush recovers from a second partial knee replacement surgery he had last weekend in Chicago. He had surgery on his other knee in May.

THE KICKER: POLL: REPUBLICANS SLIGHTLY BEHIND CLINTON IN KEY 2016 STATES ... A new poll indicates Hillary Clinton is either tied with or holds a narrow advantage over potential Republican presidential contenders in Iowa and New Hampshire. According to a new NBC News/Marist survey, Clinton is tied with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 45% in Iowa and barely edges out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 44%-43%. – Ashley Killough

SOCIAL WATCH:HAPPENING TONIGHT … Breaking News and Drinking Brews: CNN and National Journal join forces to explore the 2014 midterm elections at the first "Politics on Tap" event this evening. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will join CNN’s Jake Tapper, Brianna Keilar and Peter Hamby, as well as National Journal’s Ron Fournier, and Michelle Cottle for the private gathering starting at 6pm. Follow along with the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #PoliticsOnTap.

MARKET WATCH: Sharp selloff for stocks after Malaysian Air crash in Ukraine and Israeli offensive in Gaza. Dow falls 162 points.

TRAIL TRIVIA
Which foreign leader has made the most addresses to Congress?
(Answer Below)

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Netroots Nation's to-do list: Get Democrats to polls in November
The spotlight will shine on the 2014 and 2016 elections as some 3,000 activists from the left gather in Detroit starting Thursday. That's when the annual Netroots Nation conference, the largest gathering of progressive leaders and activists, kicks off. And two of the Democratic Party's biggest stars – Vice President Joe Biden and freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – will give keynote addresses. – Paul Steinhauser

Leading CNNMoney: Gold prices jump after Ukraine plane crash
Gold prices rose and the market's fear gauge spiked Thursday after a civilian aircraft crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border. Gold futures were up 1.5%, to about $1,317 per ounce as investors sought safety in so-called hard assets. – Ben Rooney

Leading Des Moines Register: Chris Christie tells Iowans: 'I preach to the choir so they'll sing'
In a private fundraiser here, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the story about how he thought "preaching to the choir" sounded like a waste of time until a Lutheran minister in Albany explained the phrase in a way that gave it new meaning. "I preach to the choir so they'll sing," Christie said, according to guests who attended his second Iowa stop of the day, a $125-a-person luncheon fundraiser for Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen on the campus of Kirkwood Community College. – Jennifer Jacobs

Leading HuffPo: Just Stop: Akin Won't Quit Talking About Rape
Two years after he lost his 2012 Senate campaign, former Missouri Republican congressman Todd Akin still can't stop talking about rape. Appearing on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" on Thursday, Akin sought yet again to explain the infamous comments about rape that roiled his bid to oust Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). In a 2012 interview, Akin said, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." – Igor Bobic

Leading Politico: VA request complicates reform push
An unexpected funding request from the Department of Veterans Affairs is complicating negotiations over a bill to reform the embattled agency, Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller said on Thursday. On Wednesday, Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson told the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs the department needs $17.6 billion to hire thousands of doctors and reduce wait times at VA facilities. – Lauren Frernch

Leading New York Times: Political Duel for California Governor Spans Nation
Gov. Jerry Brown has a little-known Republican challenger campaigning against him across California, taunting him on issues from taxes to transit. But his most formidable Republican adversary is turning out to be a fellow Californian who wields his power from an office 2,700 miles away: Representative Kevin McCarthy, the incoming House majority leader. – Adam Nagourney

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Schiff: Plane crash could say something about Russian conflict –
SENIOR HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE MEMBER REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIFORNIA, IN A STATEMENT: “If this was indeed a missile attack on a civilian airplane by pro-Russia separatists, it represents a tragic and dramatic escalation in this conflict. It’s been clear from the beginning that, notwithstanding Putin’s duplicitous statements to the contrary, Russia has continued to stoke the conflict and allow violent separatists in eastern Ukraine access to an array of Russian armaments. I hope that Europe will quickly follow America's lead by implementing broader sanctions, since it is plain that until Russia stops its support of the separatists, this conflict – and all the loss of life it has occasioned – will not end.”

Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk)
Russian-made advanced SAM has murdered 295 innocent people. Over-due Russian sanctions should expand to oil and energy sectors.

– Iranian official: Measures will ensure Iran doesn’t create nuclear weapons -
IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JAVAD ZARIF TO CNN’S CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: “We will put in place an international mechanism in order to make sure that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons.”

– Feinstein: GM bankruptcy doesn’t get company off the hook –
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIFORNIA, AT A GENERAL MOTORS RECALL HEARING: “The bankruptcy of GM is no barrier to compensation. If there were accidents that occurred before the bankruptcy, they are as eligible as accidents that occurred after the bankruptcy.”

– Warren, McCain, Ayotte, King: Time to tackle the ‘too big to fail’ problem –
SENS. ELIZABETH WARREN, JOHN MCCAIN, KELLY AYOTTE, AND ANGUS KING IN A CNN OP-ED: “Congress should not wait until the next crisis to address the ‘too big to fail’ problem. Nor should it wait any longer in the hopes that regulators will end this phenomenon themselves. It's been four years since Congress passed, and rulemaking began on, the Dodd-Frank Act. The regulators have so far missed more than half of their statutory rule-making deadlines and many rules remain unwritten.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jim Acosta ‏(@JimAcostaCNN)
POTUS says US officials working to determine whether Americans were on board plane that crashed

Jim Roberts ‏(@nycjim)
Very strange to watch Obama talking about infrastructure at a rally when everyone else is transfixed by plane crash in #Ukraine.

Niels Lesniewski ‏(@nielslesniewski)
Surprise! Nominee to be ambassador to UN airplane crash investigator is stuck in #Senate confirmation limbo: http://roll.cl/1kAa9vi   #MH17

Kate Nocera (@KateNocera)
rival seems like an odd word choice MT @j_strong: Issa leading 'rival' delegation to investigate border crisis http://breitbart.com/Big-Government …

Brandon M. Mercer (‏@bmmercer)
#MH17 Passenger posts photo of his plane before boarding, making joke about "in case it disappears." http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/07/17/passenger-posts-facebook-photo-of-malaysian-flight-mh17-as-joking-reference-to-mh370-before-taking-off-mh17-mh370-social-media-cor-pan/

John Gravois ‏(@Grav1)
Is Wendy Davis' campaign distorting campaign finance numbers? Jay Root finds her money haul was less than advertised http://trib.it/1mVOQsc

Kasie Hunt (‏@kasie)
US Senate-branded flip flops, on sale in gift shop, feature a bottle opener on the bottom #bottomsup https://twitter.com/kasie/status/489839632268292097

Travon Free (‏@Travon)
Starbucks opened a store in Columbia? Well I guess we should get to work on that Olive Garden location in Italy.

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill still holds the record for the most addresses to Congress made by a foreign leader. Churchill addressed joint meetings in 1941, 1943 and 1952. South African president Nelson Mandela addressed Congress on two occasions in 1990 and 1994. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin also addressed joint meetings of Congress twice, in 1976 and 1994.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. just asking

    The spotlight will shine on the 2014 and 2016 elections as some 3,000 activists from the left gather in Detroit starting Thursday. That's when the annual Netroots Nation conference, the largest gathering of progressive leaders and activists, kicks off. And two of the Democratic Party's biggest stars – Vice President Joe Biden and freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – will give keynote addresses. – Paul Steinhauser
    ---

    can we get a list of all their names so we know who is trying to destroy this country?

    July 17, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    I hope the Israelis push the Palestinians right into the sea and gets rid of Gaza. These terrorists had their chance and they blew it. No country should have to endure constant missile bombardment and live in a constant state of fear. Destroy this terrorist nest once and for all.

    July 17, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. it must be said

    PUTIN BRIEFED OBAMA … According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, near the end of a call this morning with President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the early reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border
    --–

    It's nice to see that Obama is getting his daily briefings from his good buddy Vladimir Putin. Here's how I think it went...

    "Oh, by the way Barack, I may have or maybe not, shot down an airliner today, killing many people, maybe some Americans. I hope you have no problem with this."

    "No problem Vladimir, I got your back on this one. If you messed up we'll blame it on a street demonstration caused by an internet video. Works every time."

    July 17, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Rudee Poodee

    They should have named it Operation Good Bye Gaza. I hope they finally put a stop to this and get rid of that worthless terrorist state. This is just proof certain, you can't negotiate with terrorist and people that have sworn to kill you.

    July 17, 2014 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    No doubt Israel should reclaim the Gaza territory they gave up in 2006. I heard Hamas is making women and children hang out on roofs so they don't blow up their tunnels underneath. Islamic terrorists are such humanitarians and gentle souls its no wonder liberals love them. Here is to sending a lot of prayers and more cold hard cash to my brothers in Israel.

    July 17, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. rs

    just asking

    The spotlight will shine on the 2014 and 2016 elections as some 3,000 activists from the left gather in Detroit starting Thursday. That's when the annual Netroots Nation conference, the largest gathering of progressive leaders and activists, kicks off. And two of the Democratic Party's biggest stars – Vice President Joe Biden and freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts – will give keynote addresses. – Paul Steinhauser
    -

    can we get a list of all their names so we know who is trying to destroy this country?
    ____________________________
    Sorry, JA, you'll have to get with the GOP for that data- and they aren't going to have that until their conference in Cleveland in August....

    July 17, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. don in albuquerque

    just spewing
    Your name I am certain would be in the top five.

    July 17, 2014 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    -only solution this nation can have is just get rid of all republican trash. Derrel Issa the idiot is looting tax dollars. Bust this idiot.

    July 17, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Hugo

    Yep, don't worry, not even a smidgen of corruption in using the IRS to persecute citizens right to form while stifling free speech during an election followed with conspiring to obstruct justice....but hey, that darned old Chris Christie and his bridge disrupting traffic and all.

    July 17, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. Hugo

    Just asking:
    Barrack Hussein Obama
    Michelle Obama
    Eric Holder
    Valerie Jarrett
    Oprah Winfrey
    Micheal Moore
    Harry Reid
    Nancy Pelosi
    Joe Biden
    Bill and Hillary Clinton
    George Soros
    John McCain
    Lindsey Grahm
    Larry Summers
    Bill Ayers/Dorn
    Jane Fonda
    Ted Turner
    Warren Buffet
    Bill Gates
    Sean Penn
    George Clooney
    Matt Damon
    Barbra Streisand
    Tom Hanks

    These are just a few on the list that will be the opening speakers, billed to the taxpayer via back door campaign fraud at a rate of $2,717.00/minute....

    July 17, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. Tom l

    Have to concentrate at work so te gang is lucky to not hear my drivel but I was able to read that Sniffit commented on a woman's appearance. When repubs on here made comments about Hillary Clinton's looks they were called mysogonists but silence with Snifit because I guess IOIYAD and another member of the gang told fair to KMBA, and she wasn't referring to the Knoxville Mortgage Bankers Association and Rudy was more belligerent and nasty than ever. Other than that, it was a true lovefest for the gang agreeing on their wonderfully valid points.

    July 17, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Issa knows where the WMDS were moved too .

    He has a witness .

    July 17, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  13. Stuffitu

    Well it appears that Russia shot down an airliner while the most corrupt, inept, incompetent president in history is out attending democrat liberal fundraisers and of course he is off on another multi million dollar vacation next week. Of course hair plug Biden said whoever shot down the plain would be held accountable. He also said 20 was the summer of prosperity. Holder said Bush and racism were responsible for downing the plane.

    July 17, 2014 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "can we get a list of all their names so we know who is trying to destroy this country?"
    --------------------------------–
    Such anger and venom, scorn and disdain. Why would anyone want to vote for an angry mob to be in power?

    July 18, 2014 08:40 am at 8:40 am |