CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for July 28, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
FINAL COUNTDOWN … WHAT WILL AND WON'T GET DONE: Congress faces several big issues before beginning its August recess at the end of the week. While it appears lawmakers might get to a few things on the to-do list, other matters are likely to be left until they return. Here's what’s happening:
Washington (CNN) – An administration official told CNN that President Barack Obama "is being updated" on the outbreak of the Ebola virus in parts of Africa.
The administration official would not offer further details on the briefing.
Updated 5:21 p.m. ET, 7/31/2014
(CNN) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the work of a commission designed to quell corruption in New York state politics against a report that his office interfered with the panel's investigation.
"By definition the commission took advice and opinion from many, many people," Cuomo said Monday in response to questions about a top aide's communication with the Moreland Commission, a group appointed last year by the Democratic governor.
Washington (CNN) – Haim Saban, a multibillionaire media mogul, said Monday he is prepared to spend "as much as needed" to get Hillary Clinton into the White House in 2016.
While it is no secret that Saban, the head of Univision and a prodigious Democratic money man, is excited about the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016, these recent comments to Bloomberg up the ante of his support.
Washington (CNN) – During an awards ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama whispered in the ear of superstar musician Linda Ronstadt that he once had a crush on her.
The President admitted to the crowd afterwards that, "I told Linda Ronstadt I had a crush on her back in the day " Ronstadt joined Obama on stage, along with 11 other recipients of the 2013 National Medal of Arts.
(CNN) - Georgia Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn's campaign is defending Monday an early campaign plan detailing challenges the U.S. Senate hopeful might face in courting voters and outreach strategy, after the internal memo was leaked.
Republicans have jumped on the document, obtained by the conservative National Review, as an effort by the Democrat's campaign to exploit voters, while Nunn's team is pushing back, underscoring that the document was "...a draft of a document that was written eight months ago" and was always subject to alternation.
"Like all good plans, they change" campaign manager Jeff DiSantis said in a statement.
Washington (CNN) - Around half the public says that marijuana use should be legal, according to recent national polling.
Forty-eight percent of those questioned in a CBS News survey in early May said that the use of marijuana should be legal, with 47% disagreeing. The poll suggested partisan, gender and generational divides, with a majority of men, younger Americans, Democrats and independents saying recreational pot should be legal. Women, those 45 and older, as well as Republicans, disagree.
(CNN) - A federal appeals court on Monday struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage in another legal victory for gay and lesbian couples seeking the right to legally wed.
"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws," the divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit in Richmond concluded.
(CNN) - Natalie Tennant is making it clear: she opposes President Barack Obama's policies on coal.
"Where do they think their electricity comes from?" asks West Virginia's secretary of state and Democratic Senate nominee, as her new campaign commercial shows a picture of the White House.
(CNN) - Jury selection was set to start on Monday in the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is charged along with his wife of improperly accepting gifts from a businessman while in office in exchange for promoting his company.
McDonnell, a one-time rising star in the Republican Party with potential presidential ambitions, and his wife, Maureen, entered the federal courthouse in Richmond for the trial that is expected to last several weeks.