Updated 7:36 p.m. ET, 8/1/2014
CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 1, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
OBAMA: ISRAELI SOLDIER MUST BE RELEASED … President Barack Obama said an Israeli soldier captured in the Gaza conflict must be released unconditionally. Hamas has denied abducting the soldier. He also said reviving the collapsed cease-fire is "going to be challenging" without confidence Hamas will comply. And, Obama said "it's hard to reconcile Israel's legitimate need to defend itself with the legitimate concerns" for civilian casualties in Gaza. But he noted the "incredibly irresponsible action by Hamas" in storing rockets in crowded neighborhoods.
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MORE MONEY FOR IRON DOME … Divided on other issues, Senate lawmakers united in support of Israel on Friday by approving another $225 million for the Iron Dome missile defense system. The House could take it up quickly. – Dana Bash and Tom Cohen
POTUS TO ACT ALONE ON BORDER CRISIS … President Barack Obama said he must take steps on his own to address the immigrant surge at the southern border because Congress has failed to help, saying "we've run out of money and we're going to have to reallocate resources." He said House Republicans "are not able to act even on what they say their priorities are." House leaders sought Friday to bring around conservatives to pass a scaled-back border bill. But the whole thing was moot anyway as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate wouldn’t take it up, even it was approved. Also, the Senate’s left town for August.– Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh
PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE HOUSE BORDER BILL:
Adds $35 million to help Texas pay for National Guard troops sent to border
Expands on 2008 trafficking law language
Makes it easier to expedite deportations
Reverts DACA language back to original language
ORDERED RIGHT OFF OF DCCC’S IMMIGRATION MENU: “The changes brought into this are ones I’ve developed and advocated for over the past two years,” Rep. Steve King of Iowa told Roll Call. “Like I ordered it off the menu.”
Gut Check DVR: Watch Inside Politics with John King Sunday at 8:30am with guests Jonathan Martin, Mike Allen, Nia-Malika Henderson and Robert Costa for a look at how the House GOP leadership was defeated in their efforts to court their own party.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: OBAMA: ‘WE TORTURED SOME FOLKS’ … Answering questions on the CIA’s recent admission that the agency spied on Senate Intelligence Committee computers, President Obama acknowledged that the CIA has acted before in regrettable ways. Citing interrogation techniques in the aftermath of 9/11, the President said, “We tortured some folks … We did some things that were contrary to our values."
CNN POLL: PERCENT WHO SAY ECONOMY'S 'GOOD' IS UP: Most Americans still say that the economy's in poor shape. But the percentage who describe economic conditions as good continue to slowly but steadily increase, according to a CNN/ORC International poll.– Paul Steinhauser
2016 WATCH: KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE HAWKEYE: Marco Rubio's in Iowa this weekend to campaign for state Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa's GOP Senate nominee. Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Ted Cruz, former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will also make stops in Iowa in coming weeks.
BEN CARSON’S BIG MOVE ... Ben Carson is taking a significant step toward a 2016 presidential run by forming a political action committee, CNN confirmed. The renowned neurosurgeon and a popular figure among conservatives told the Washington Times he chose Houston businessman Terry Giles to be his campaign chairman, if he decides to launch a White House bid. – Dana Davidsen
THE BUZZ: CANTOR’S LAST DAY AUGUST 18 … Eric Cantor will leave Congress earlier than expected. The former House majority leader, whose primary defeat less than two months ago rocked the Republican Party, says he'll resign effective August 18.
MARKET WATCH: Wall Street began August with a decline, completing a week of losses. The Dow dropped 70 points on Friday following a slide of more than 300 points on Thursday. The S&P 500 dropped nearly 3% this week, and the NASDAQ lost more than 2%.
Which U.S. senator worked with a mnemonic specialist to learn how to memorize the Constitution through the Bill of Rights?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Cuomo gets new lawyer as controversy swirls
New York State politics have never been the cleanest but it seems things are getting a bit murkier in Albany. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has retained new counsel to the Executive Chamber, CNN confirmed Friday. – Sean Kennedy
Leading CNNMoney: Jobs recovery marches on, but at slower pace
After gangbusters jobs growth in June, hiring slowed to a less impressive pace in July. The economy added 209,000 jobs last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. – Annalyn Kurtz
Leading Tampa Bay Times:
Florida judge orders special session for new congressional district map Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ruled Friday that the Florida Legislature must immediately revise its flawed congressional map and gave it until August 15 to submit a revised map. He also ordered the state to propose a special election schedule for the affected congressional districts. – Mary Ellen Klas
Leading HuffPo: Called Out: Republicans Admit GOP Move Is Hypocritical
A pair of House Republicans admitted on Friday that it made little sense to sue President Barack Obama over executive overreach and, at the same time, urge him to act without Congress to solve the border crisis. – Igor Bobic
Leading Drudge: Ceasefire Erupts
Less than three hours after a three-day humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas went into effect Friday, the truce broke down when clashes between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters erupted and militants fired rockets into Israel. – Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan, William Booth and Ruth Eglash
Leading Politico: Friends With Benefits: Rand Paul and Cory Booker’s convenient bromance
Is it too soon to induct the bizarre bromance between Cory Booker and Rand Paul into the Hall of Fame of timeless odd couples? The two young senators’ budding relationship is probably one of the creepier examples of strange modern American politics. One man is a Tea Party-loving opthamologist from Kentucky who once employed a former radio shock jock nick-named “the Southern Avenger”; the other a fast-talking, fast-tweeting liberal black ex-mayor of Newark.- Charles D. Ellison
Leading New York Times: House Republicans Agree on Border Measures
House Republicans emerged from a closed-door emergency meeting Friday morning largely unified over how to handle the flood of tens of thousands of young migrant children from Central America pouring over the nation’s southern border. – Ashley Parker
The political bites of the day
–Book says Hillary Clinton blamed husband's infidelity on abuse as a child HILLARY CLINTON TO AUTHOR LUCINDA FRANKS IN HER NEW BOOK ‘TIMELESS: LOVE, MORGENTHAU AND ME’: "He was abused. When a mother does what she does, it affects you forever. … I am not going into it, but I'll say that when this happens in children, it scars you. You keep looking in all the wrong places for the parent who abused you."
– Perry: Stand with Israel –
TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY IN A POLITICO OP-ED: “Israel needs more than our passive support—it needs our vigorous support. The overwhelming success of the Iron Dome defense system has been the only thing to prevent the deaths of thousands of Israelis, and changes nothing in Hamas’ deadly intent. And under the circumstances, Israel’s response has been anything but disproportionate. In fact, Israel has taken extraordinary – even unprecedented – measures to protect as many lives as possible in its efforts to disarm and disable Hamas.”
– Earnest: Hostage situation would be a ‘barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement’ if true –
WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JOSH EARNEST TO CNN: “We finally thought we had reached an agreement just yesterday for a humanitarian cease-fire. The Israelis are reporting this morning that that cease-fire was broken, and that apparently Hamas individuals used the cover of a humanitarian cease-fire to attack Israeli soldiers and even to take one hostage. That would be a rather barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement.”
– McConnell, Graham: Kerry means well, but is a failure –
SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “I think his first attempts by bringing in parties that are clearly not unbiased was a predictable total failure. We wish him well. We want him to succeed but the results speak for themselves.”
JOHN MCCAIN ON THE SENATE FLOOR: “Senator Kerry is full of commitment and passion, that's a noble quality. He's trying to make the world a better place. But quite frankly he's tone deaf at times.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt)
Obama backs Brennan in CIA flap: "I have full confidence in John Brennan.” But agency showed “some very poor judgment."
Annie Lowrey (@AnnieLowrey)
We tortured some folks. We brutalized some dudes. We beat on some chaps. We tormented some peeps. We waterboarded some cats.
The White House (@WhiteHouse)
Our businesses have added: 9.9 million jobs over 53 months ✓ 2.5 million over the past year ✓ 198,000 in July ✓
Ben Pershing (@benpershing)
The WH would rather talk about the economy than almost any other subject right now. When was the last time that was true?
E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan)
the scene in the House today, from a GOP staffer source via IM just now: "the congressman fell asleep watching re-runs of an 80s show."
john r stanton (@dcbigjohn)
I'm wearing my sweet DHS t shirt today, in honor of the headaches I plan on giving their various flaks around the country
Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC)
"I'm actually a little nervous about the whole thing," is what @RepTimRyan said of his #LiveTheWage challenge http://cnn.it/1tAbJWr
Jen Buesinger Sperry (@jenbuesinger)
.@GovernorPerry says US reax to Gaza-Israel being watched closely by Iran, Russia, Beijing. Perry is exclusive on #CNNSOTU Sunday 9am ET
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
While studying at an extracurricular school, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was selected to join a group of students who were taught by a mnemonic specialist on how to memorize the text of the Constitution.
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Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins) and sfpelosi (@sfpelosi) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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