CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 5, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
U.S. GENERAL KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN … An American general was killed Tuesday after a shooter wearing an Afghan military uniform opened fire at a training facility in Kabul, U.S. officials told CNN. The gunman, who was killed, was believed to be an Afghan soldier who had served for some time, according to a Pentagon official. At least 15 coalition troops, including other Americans, were wounded in the attack, U.S. officials said. – Ashley Fantz and Jim Sciutto
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KIRBY: ATTACKS STILL A THREAT … Insider attacks are "a pernicious threat" that are "difficult to always ascertain, to come to grips with... anywhere, particularly in a place like Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
THERE’S ANOTHER SNOWDEN, GOVERNMENT SAYS … The federal government has concluded there's a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN. Proof of the newest leak comes from national security documents that formed the basis of a news story published Tuesday by the Intercept, the news site launched by Glenn Greenwald, who also published Snowden's leaks. The Intercept article focuses on the growth in U.S. government databases of known or suspected terrorist names during the Obama administration. – Evan Perez
Gut Check Flash Back: GLENN GREENWALD TO CNN’S BRIAN STELTER ON FEBRUARY 9th: “I think one of the things that (new) sources need to know is that if they do come forward they are going to be defended and protected, and that whatever they come forward to reveal is going to be aggressively reported by media outlets and by journalists even if the government doesn’t like it … I think that some of them will be able to work with us.” STELTER: “Some sources? It sounds like you have other sources you are protecting.” GREENWALD: “Yeah, until the stories are revealed I really can’t address that.”
GOP LAUNCHES MAJOR FUNDRAISING EFFORT FOR 2014 SENATE … Republicans are launching a fundraising effort that will let donors cut six-figure checks to support GOP Senate candidates this fall — a move that capitalizes on the Supreme Court’s landmark McCutcheon v. FEC decision. Senate Republicans have filed paperwork to form the Targeted State Victory Committee — a joint fundraising effort between the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican state parties in 13 Senate battleground states. – Politico’s Byron Tau
MEANWHILE TONIGHT … SENATE PRIMARY VOTE COULD END UGLY KANSAS GOP RACE: Tuesday's Senate primary in Kansas could end another ugly showdown that pits a tea party-backed challenger against an establishment Republican incumbent. The race between Sen. Pat Roberts and challenger Milton Wolf, a second cousin of President Barack Obama, has seen controversies over residency and Facebook photos, and a rare street-side confrontation. – Paul Steinhauser
Gut Check Full Service: Polls close at 7pm. Follow @CNNPolitics and @GutCheckCNN for results.
NOTE TO CONGRESS: YOUR CONSTITUENTS ARE TURNING ON YOU … For the first time, a majority of Americans said they disapproved of their representative and thought they were part of the problem in Washington, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll out Tuesday. The poll found that 51% of Americans disapprove of the way their own member of Congress is handling his or her job, while 41% approve. – Dan Merica
SOCIAL WATCH: CONGRESS DEFINED: "USELESS," "WORTHLESS," A "JOKE" … CNN asked Twitter and Facebook users to describe Congress in one word, and the most popular responses gave a clear verdict. Congress is “useless.” More specifically, Congress is “useless,” “worthless,” and a “joke,” according to the most popular responses from over 5,000 respondents on social media. – Jeremy Diamond and Eric Weisbrod
THE BUZZ: 5-YEAR-OLD OUSTED AS MAYOR, REPLACED BY JUNIOR HIGH ICE CREAM EATER … A 5-year-old boy’s run as mayor is over in a tiny tourist town in northern Minnesota. Robert “Bobby” Tufts lost his bid for a third consecutive term as mayor of Dorset on Sunday. Eric Mueller, a 16-year-old from Mendota Heights, Minnesota, won when his name was drawn from the ballot box during the annual Taste of Dorset festival. Bobby was only 3 when he was first elected mayor in 2013. Dorset, about 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis, has no formal city government and a population ranging from nine to 28. Eric, the new mayor, said he came up with the idea to run after he ate five fried ice creams at one sitting. He’ll be a high school junior this fall.
MARKET WATCH: The Dow and S&P 500 are back at the levels they last saw in May. The Dow finished the day down 140 points (0.8%) while the S&P 500 ended down almost 1%.
World War I began 100 years ago this month. Who was the only member of Congress to vote against U.S. entry into both World War I and II?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: With Congress divided, Obama to go his own way on immigration
Here is a look at how we got here and steps Obama could take in coming months to address what all parties agree is a broken immigration system and boost the Democratic brand, though not necessarily in this year's congressional elections. – Tom Cohen
Leading CNNMoney: Lego cashes in on sexism critiques
Lego sure knows how to cash in on criticism. Seven year old Charlotte Benjamin penned a letter that went viral in January, criticizing the company for the lack of professional female Legos. – Sara Ashley O'Brien
Leading HuffPo: 'So Beyond Wrong' 'Pro-troop' Charity Misled Voters, Funneled Money To Tea Party
Move America Forward calls itself the nation's "largest grassroots pro-troop organization," and has recruited a bevy of Republican luminaries, including former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney, to support its efforts. Yet an examination of its fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move America Forward has repeatedly misled donors and inflated its charitable accomplishments, while funneling millions of dollars in revenue to the men behind the group and their political consulting firms. – ProPublica’s Kim Barker
Leading Drudge: U.S. General Killed By Afghan Soldier
A United States Army major general was killed on Tuesday by an Afghan soldier, shot at close range at a military training academy on the outskirts of Kabul, officials of the American-led coalition said Tuesday. The officer was the highest-ranking member of the American military to die in hostilities in the Afghanistan war. – New York Times’ Matthew Rosenberg and Haris Kakar
Leading New York Times: Justices’ Rulings Advance Gays; Women Less So
Gay men and lesbians still have a long way to go before they achieve the formal legal equality that women have long enjoyed. But they have made stunning progress at the Supreme Court over the last decade, gaining legal protection for sexual intimacy and unconventional families with stirring language unimaginable a generation ago. – Adam Liptak
Leading Washington Post: These people I interviewed in Iran clearly loved the country. So why did it put them in jail?
I desperately wanted to film in Iran … It took many years of trying, but we finally received approval from the government, and I flew to Tehran with my crew of four in June. While there are certainly restrictions to shooting a TV show in Iran, the country was exactly as we’d heard from the few who’d actually been there: ridiculously, outgoingly friendly … I think this fall, when people watch the episode I filmed there, they will be surprised, whatever their feelings on the politics. It will challenge their assumptions, just as my trip challenged mine. – Anthony Bourdain
Leading The Daily Telegraph (100 years ago today): War.
Relations have been broken off between Great Britain and the Kaiser’s Government, war has been declared, and England is plunged into the greatest conflict since the Napoleonic era.
The political bites of the day
- Bill Clinton: U.S. has 'barely scratched the surface' on African investment –
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AT THE U.S.-AFRICA LEADERS SUMMIT: African business is a "massive opportunity for American business … We are missing the boat … This is a very important part of our future."
- Mo Brooks defends "war on whites" comment -
MO BROOKS, R-ALABAMA, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH USA TODAY: “It is repugnant for Democrats time after time after time to resort to cries of racism to divide Americans and drive up voter turnout … That is exactly what they are doing in order to drive up their vote and they are doing it when there is no racial discrimination involved.”
- Johnson: GOP shouldn’t attack Burke’s private sector success -
RON JOHNSON, R-WISCONSIN, TO THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, ABOUT ATTACKS AGAINST DEMOCRAT MARY BURKE’S WEALTH: “I think there are far better areas to address … Far too often in the political realm we demonize success, we demagogue against it … What we should be doing is incentivizing success.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT)
GOP getting nervous about GA Senate? NRSC just put down $2.6 million in ATL for a month of tv. Ad buy starts next week.
Robert Costa (@costareports)
From McDaniel to Milton Wolf, the top name to cite on the right this year has been "Ted Cruz." http://kcur.org/post/interview-next-ted-cruz-dr-milton-wolf …
Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier)
From the speed/intensity of Dem' reaction to @SenRandPaul fleeing Dreamer, you'd think @HillaryClinton et al see him as a huge '16 threat.
Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS)
@ron_fournier Nah. Illustrates perfectly Rs have locked themselves into untenable position on immigration long term: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/08/04/morning-plum-gop-moves-from-self-deport-to-throw-them-all-out/ …
Martin O'Malley (@GovernorOMalley)
I was asked earlier today and answered that I do believe it is probably time for the Washington Redskins to change their team name.
Bill Nichols (@BillPolitico)
What a morning vision from @mikeallen and @dlippman: @newtgingrich riding #SilverLine, where he "stood like a gentleman."
Liz Claman (@LizClaman)
BREAKING: 21st Century Fox $FOXA withdraws 85$ per share bid 4 Time Warner. $TWX plummets to $75 in aftermarket. TWX strategy questioned?
Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)
Murdoch: "Our proposal had significant strategic merit" but Time Warner "refused to engage with us..."
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Jeannette Rankin, R-Montana, was not only the first woman elected to Congress, but she was also the only member of Congress to vote against U.S. participation in both World War I and World War II. Rankin ran for the House in 1916 and held her seat for one term. She ran again in 1940 and served one additional term.
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Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins) and Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) and Omeed Firouzi (@OmeedFirouzi) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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