August 8th, 2014
05:55 PM ET
1 month ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for August 8, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 8, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

JUST IN … U.S. MILITARY LAUNCHES SECOND ROUND OF AIRSTRIKES IN IRAQ:  The U.S. military has begun a second round of airstrikes against ISIS near Irbil, U.S. officials told CNN on Friday afternoon. News of the latest airstrikes came just after the governor of Irbil, Nawzad Hadi, told CNN that ISIS fighters may be as close as 30 kilometers to Irbil. Air strikes are "very important" because ISIS fighters are well armed and are outgunning the Kurdish forces, thanks to the weapons the militants seized from the Iraqi military in Mosul, Hadi said. During that second airstrike, four U.S. fighter jets struck an ISIS convoy of seven vehicles, according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. The warplanes dropped four laser-guided bombs, Kirby said.


Earlier Friday, two U.S. F/A-18 jet fighters bombed artillery of Sunni Islamic extremists in Iraq, escalating America's military involvement more than two years after President Barack Obama brought home forces from the country. Obama on Thursday authorized "targeted airstrikes" if needed to protect U.S. personnel from fighters with ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State. The U.S. military also could use airstrikes to prevent what officials warn could be a genocide of minority groups by the ISIS fighters. – Tom Cohen and Ben Brumfield

SPEAKER BOEHNER: “The president’s authorization of airstrikes is appropriate, but like many Americans, I am dismayed by the ongoing absence of a strategy for countering the grave threat ISIS poses to the region. Vital national interests are at stake, yet the White House has remained disengaged despite warnings from Iraqi leaders, Congress, and even members of its own administration. Such parochial thinking only emboldens the enemy and squanders the sacrifices Americans have made.”

MAJORITY LEADER REID: “I support President Obama’s decision to send humanitarian air drops to the thousands of stranded Iraqi civilians who have been forced to flee their homes and are at risk of dying. I also support the President’s decision to launch air strikes as long as no combat forces are on the ground. These air strikes are the correct action for our national security, they will protect American interests and save lives in Iraq. I look forward to the Administration’s continued close consultations with Congress.”

Gut Check Flash Back: PRESIDENT OBAMA ON ISIS IN AN INTERVIEW IN JANUARY: “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”

GAZA CEASE-FIRE OVER, ROCKET FIRE BEGINS … For residents of Gaza and southern Israel, the fleeting period of calm is over. The Israeli military said it carried out strikes on militant targets in Gaza on Friday in response to a barrage of rocket fire after a three-day truce in the region came to an end without a longer-term agreement. – Azadeh Ansari, Jethro Mullen, John Vause and Matthew Chance

TEA PARTY STRIKES OUT IN TENNESSEE … ALEXANDER WINS PRIMARY: Longtime GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander easily won the Tennessee Republican primary Thursday, defeating tea party backed candidate state Rep. Joe Carr. With nearly all precincts accounted for, Alexander held off Carr with just under 50% of the vote while Carr received just over 40%, according to the Associated Press. The Republican primary was the tea party's last chance – albeit a distant one – to beat an establishment incumbent this election year. – Dana Davidsen

THE BUZZ: WHITE HOUSE GOES ON TODDLER ALERT… President Barack Obama was about to address the nation on Iraq Thursday night when the briefing was delayed because of a security breach on the North Lawn of the White House. A toddler forced the President, the press corps and the nation to wait. The little boy managed to squeeze himself between the bars of the White House fence, just before the briefing was expected to start. It forced a temporary lockdown. – Melodi Smith

MARKET WATCH: The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all rally Friday, pushing the three indexes higher after a rough week.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer Below)
What was Richard Nixon's last meal at the White House before he resigned 40 years ago today?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Hillary Clinton's unpaid warriors
All over the Internet, bloggers and their circles of friends with no backing from the Clinton orbit defend the former first lady from attacks. While their defenses don't have the weight of a Clinton spokesperson or a former top aide, they are influential in their small community of friends and family. And they are standing up for the person they hope becomes the next President. – Dan Merica

Leading Los Angeles Times: NRCC chairman to stump for 8 GOP congressional candidates in Calif.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden will host an event Thursday for military veteran Paul Chabot, who is battling Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, for the Inland Empire seat being vacated by Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga) … The other districts Walden is scheduled to campaign in include two in Sacramento suburbs, where Assemblyman Dan Logue of Loma Rica is challenging Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) and former congressman Doug Ose is taking on Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove). – Jean Merl

Leading CNNMoney: FDA allows use of Ebola drug. Stock soars
The company behind a potential Ebola drug is red-hot again. Canadian biotech firm Tekmira Pharmaceuticals announced that the Federal Drug Administration knocked down a key barrier to its medicine, TKM Ebola, reaching some patients. The FDA moved the drug from a "full hold" to a "partial hold," which means Tekmira can use the drug in limited experiments. – Melvin Backman

Leading Alaska Dispatch News: Murkowski attorney demands Begich take down TV ad touting cooperation
An attorney for Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s political committee is demanding that the re-election campaign of her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mark Begich, take down a TV ad that features a photo of the two senators standing together. Begich, who is running in a hard-fought campaign against three Republican challengers, has used the ad to tout his cooperation and frequent agreement with Murkowski, over her objections. -Murkowski attorney demands Begich take down TV ad touting cooperation. – Nathaniel Herz

Leading Des Moines Register: Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman vote alike more often than you might realize
According to data maintained by Open Congress, a project run by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan watchdog group, Brown and Portman voted in unison on 227 out of 548 roll call votes. – Stephen Koff

Leading The Hill: Tea Party Senate candidates flop
The Tea Party’s much-hyped war on GOP Senate incumbents is officially a bust. With Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-Tenn.) victory on Thursday night, conservative groups have failed to net a single incumbent scalp this cycle. No other GOP incumbents face major primary challenges this year.- Jessica Taylor and Cameron Joseph

Leading New York Times: Clintons Support de Blasio's Push to Bring Democratic Convention to Brooklyn
Hillary Rodham Clinton has never been more of a New Yorker than she has since she left the State Department a year and a half ago. And if she runs for president in 2016, she would appreciate a Democratic National Convention on her home turf. – Amy Chozick

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

– Issa: Over 20 Obama officials ‘lost or destroyed’ emails –
HOUSE OVERSIGHT CHAIRMAN DARRELL ISSA IN A STATEMENT: “The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law … It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails.”

– Alexander: ‘Stuck to my guns’ on immigration -    
LAMAR ALEXANDER, R-TENNESSEE, IN A PHONE INTERVIEW WITH THE WASHINGTON POST: "I had a good win, and I pretty well stuck to my guns.” On lessons learned: “If you have a solution to immigration, it is possible to come home and defend it … Run a Colin Powell-type campaign. Have a clear objective and use overwhelming force."

– Davis rips Abbott in ad highlighting rape case –
NARRATOR IN A NEW WENDY DAVIS FOR GOVERNOR AD: “March 26, 1993. A pleasant spring day in Seguin, Texas. But for one woman, it quickly became a nightmare. A Kirby Vacuum salesman came to her door to offer an in-home demonstration. And while her children slept in the very next room the salesman brutally raped the young mother. The salesman was a sexual predator on probation…but the Kirby vacuum cleaner distributor had failed to perform a routine background check on him. The woman and her husband went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. Fighting for their right to sue Kirby. Six judges – Democrats and Republicans – ruled in their favor and they won. But Greg Abbott sided with the company against the victim. Saying the company had no responsibility. Thank god, this time…Greg Abbott lost.”

– Bernstein on Nixon resignation: ‘My feeling was just one of total awe’ -
CARL BERNSTEIN TO POLITICO’S MIKE ALLEN: “We were aware that we had a real role in what had happened. My feeling was just one of total awe. The nation had gone through this, and now it seemed it was finally going to end. … The whole system worked. The press had done its job.”

Gut Check Flash Back: NIXON RESIGNATION SPEECH, AUGUST 8, 1974: “I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time, with problems we face at home and abroad. Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Alan Grayson (@AlanGrayson)
There is no such thing as humanitarian bombing, in Iraq or anywhere else. Petition: NoNewWar.com pic.twitter.com/clKCrZccCz

Chris Moody (‏@moody)
Mitch McConnell's wife joined board of a group spending $50 million to shut down coal plants. http://news.yahoo.com/mitch-mcconnell-s-wife-sits-on-the-board-of-a-group-working-to-kill-the-coal-industry-041726501.html

Sam Stein (@samsteinhp)
CONFLICT: in Playbook, Woodward says he and Bernstein ate bologna sandwiches as Nixon announced resignation. Bernstein says they ate pizza.

Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz)
A false-alarm bomb threat at the National Zoo triggered ape escape rumors http://ti.me/1sFFgMA

Vaughn Sterling (‏@vplus)
Big day in our newsroom. It's @CNNSitRoom's NINTH birthday (a feat in the rocky seas of cable news) & our great intern @KOMarchand final day

State of the Union (@CNNsotu)
Pinning the blame on Nixon. 40 years later: Buttoning up Nixon’s resignation. http://cnn.it/1ojqOtu #cnnsotu pic.twitter.com/LdUDSKseod

TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
President Richard Nixon resigned from office 40 years ago tomorrow. His last White House meal was one of his favorites - cottage cheese with pineapple and a glass of milk. View the archived picture of his final meal here.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(Why aren’t you in it?)

Congrats to Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) and Steve Liguori (@SteveL387) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    @ rs....Keep knocking it out of the park!!!!!

    August 9, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. ja

    The Middle East cess pool belong to the previous administration, in retrospect the native Americans are the true citizens in America all else are immigrants

    August 9, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Hugo

    rs- 9/11 happened or did you forget that one and Hussein was practicing genocide on the Kurds, just like now only it is now by a bunch of crazed militant Muzzie trash, and last I heard rs (real stupid?) the Congress along with your hero Hillary, Kerry, Biden et al sent our troops to war, not our last President. Yammering Conservatives? Look around you idiot, does the world look like stability or uncertainty with America being over run by a bunch of foreign infiltrators with support from idiotic self serving Socialistic minded nuts supporting an ideology that has proven itself over and over in history to be an epic FAIL.

    1. The end of the war was negotiated by the Bush Administration to run out after he left office.
    Oh it was, you mean the Messiah Obaba didn't 'get us out of Iraq like he has repeatedly raised funds on and proclaimed, of course until his failures evidence themselves, then of course it is ALWAYS someone else's fault (George W. Bush). Pathetic

    August 9, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Hugo
    rs- 9/11 happened or did you forget that one and Hussein was practicing genocide on the Kurds, just like now only it is now by a bunch of crazed militant Muzzie trash, and last I heard rs (real stupid?) the Congress along with your hero Hillary, Kerry, Biden et al sent our troops to war, not our last President. Yammering Conservatives? Look around you idiot, does the world look like stability or uncertainty with America being over run by a bunch of foreign infiltrators with support from idiotic self serving Socialistic minded nuts supporting an ideology that has proven itself over and over in history to be an epic FAIL.
    _________________
    Did you forget? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

    August 9, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. rs

    Look around you idiot, does the world look like stability or uncertainty with America being over run by a bunch of foreign infiltrators with support from idiotic self serving Socialistic minded nuts supporting an ideology that has proven itself over and over in history to be an epic FAIL.
    ________________
    So in that very dark uninformed place of your thought process called your brain- you think the President can fix every issue in the world? Here's a thought- with GOPpers in Congress- the same idiots who do nothing to fix their recession, nothing to fix the VA nothing to fix our infrastructure, nothing to make jobs because "it is too expensive"- you think they'll support re-invading Iraq? Because buddy, that's what it's gonna take. Here's a hint: no one wants to go there.
    Face it- you don't care about Iraq, or Syria, or anyplace else- you just want a stick to beat the President with. That, my friend is called PATHETIC.

    August 9, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Tom l

    What is truly PATHETIC is coming on the ticker day in and day out and blindly supporting our president no matter what the topic or issue.

    August 9, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. rick

    One real problem that nobody has addressed yet. Is that its a very short step from islam to radical islam. And the difference is blurred very quicky. That the fact this radical version under different names has tried to spread into civilized world since 600s. And the other religions have fought wars to run it back to the deserts where it came from ever since. Only thing has changed is the weapons they have used to violently try. The retoric is always the same. Convert or die. That has not changed in one iota. Like mindless army ants that march on plantations. Eat and destroy. Then go into hiding till next time. Then attempts to twist the facts to show themselves right after being defeated again. If their phrophets are so good. Then why wasnt they warned about the air strikes?? Or do they enjoy the carnage and bloodshed for just what it is? Intentional murder..

    August 9, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. And don't forget the GOP all time favorites........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!

    August 9, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. g

    if the arab muslin world don,t care IRAQ or its people why should America ,the only reason some Americans is because of the profit ,like giving guns and bullets ,I said giving ,to gropes that don,t like you.PROFIT

    August 9, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Hugo

    rs-What freaking planet do you live on, MSNBC Mars? The recession was primarily resultant of both sides, the Republicans and predominantly the Democrats control over Enron financing in support of the "Fair Housing Act" where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac turned housing mortgages into commodities. Of course without old Slick Willie the lefts Godfather, repealing the Glass-Stegall Act the greedy pigs could never have destroyed our dollar or our economy. Oh yeah, you might want to recall Bush repeatedly tried to rein this in during 06-07 however your Democrat pals thwarted the effort, look up Franklin Raines and his 90 Million dollar bonus and job on Obama's campaign finance committee and Nancy Pelosi and her millions made during the 08 "recession", a 60% increase of her personal wealth. You're full of it, if you think my disdain for Obama is anything other than he is a traitor and a treasonous piece of crap! Thank God for the GOP holding the line, the bad part is they haven't got the balls to Impeach this moron.

    August 9, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. it must be said

    rs
    perhaps if our attack hadn't touched off the "Arab Spring" we wouldn't be facing these challenges today
    ---

    This is the garbage and rewriting of history you get from the drug riddled brains of the leftists in here. The war in Iraq had ZERO to do with the Arab Spring. The war in Iraq was over and won (until Obama decided to turn victory into defeat).

    The Arab Spring was ignited when a person demonstrating in Tunisia set himself on fire and then people around the Middle East went bonkers. Obama threw gas on the fire by throwing several allies under the bus, resulting in the radical Muslim Brotherhood taking power in Egypt and terrorists taking over Libya after Obama started attacking and ultimately killing Kaddhafi. He had been cooperating with the USA for years, but Obama didn't care.

    Obama threw more gasoline on the fire when he threatened Syria and then didn't follow through. He did nothing to help Syrian rebels and the ultimately jihadis moved in to take up the fight against Assad, and thus ISIS was born and spread out of Syria into Iraq. The Iraqi government had been requesting help and sir strikes against them for at least a year and Obama failed to act. Obama has a lot of the blood in Iraq on his hands because of his feckless, invisible leadership.

    August 9, 2014 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque

    Hugo
    You can attempt to defend W all you want. But what he accomplished doing, that GOP has always wanted is he has plunged the United States into a state of perpetual war. It would not have mattered if we had left five minutes from the time he left office or 500 years. The country was bound to fall into Civil War, and now we get to be part of it, and with the rest of Islam involved--never ending war. And we fired it up. Thanks W. Your so special.

    August 9, 2014 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Marcus (from...?)

    Tom l – What is truly PATHETIC is coming on the ticker day in and day out and blindly supporting our president no matter what the topic or issue.

    Says the guy who comes every single day to this place to bash the POTUS on whatever is the issue of the moment, even if it's not related to the POTUS in any way....

    August 10, 2014 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    -Hugo, go eat your Burrito, then think, it is a mistake by republican garbage in going to war with Iraq, Afghanistan while Bin Laden hid in Pakistan. I bet these Bush bunch hid him. It is all a Drama, and eye-wash to American Public as though these Guys care USA. Instead of busting this terrorist, they gave billions to PAKISTAN. I BET TO KEEP HIM HIDDEN. KNOW THIS TRUTH, IDIOT. Get educated. It is the reason Obama get elected TWICE, I mean TWICE. Shhh, regardless of very few crazies cry on this blog. USA is NOT that stupid to elect its leader twice.

    August 10, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  15. don in albuquerque

    Tom I

    What is truly pathetic is that day in and day out you demonstrate a large part of the problem, and have no idea you are part of what is killing this country. Truly pathetic.

    August 10, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Lizzie

    The GOP Solution, not to worry the democrats already made as slaves and trying very hard that old people die, so it won't drain the SS fund, or what's left of it.

    August 10, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Tom l

    don in albuquerque says:
    August 10, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am
    Tom I

    What is truly pathetic is that day in and day out you demonstrate a large part of the problem, and have no idea you are part of what is killing this country. Truly pathetic.

    ---

    Yeah, you're right Don. I should just blindly follow and trust everything that our president does and should never question it. My bad. Clearly, he's so trustworthy that I don't know why I would ever not implicitly follow him and should never dare to think that our dear leader would ever do anything nefarious.

    August 10, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Lizzie

    Gurgyl wrote: USA is NOT that stupid to elect its leader twice.
    Sec.of State Kerry told foreign leaders, Americans ARE stupid and have the right to be.

    August 10, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Klutch Cargo

    UM, Sorry,
    The Conservative Position is to follow the Constitution. The Liberal Position is to shred the Constitution. So far the Liberal's are winning. Now to the tune of 18 Trillion Dollars. Along with 50 Million on Food Stamps, high unemployment, High Grocery Bills, Roads, Electric Grid, rising health care costs etc, in extreme disrepair. But we do have the best talking points money can buy!!

    August 10, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. it must be said

    J Anthony
    @rabid-right commenters begging for WW3: yes, we should wipe all these hateful fanatics off the face of the Earth. So how do we do that, without major collateral damage and global repercussions?
    ---

    Yeah, attacking a terrorists army that the world wants stopped and destroyed is going to start WW3. Please get a clue before commenting in here!

    And as for "major collateral damage and global repercussions", what do you call what is now going on WITHOUT our involvement?! Tens of thousands being killed and persecuted, driven from their homes. A major new terrorist threat getting bigger and more powerful, declaring they don't intend to stop until they hit us as well. Yeah, no "major collateral damage and global repercussions" there right? Honestly, some of you blind peaceniks are just so dang blind and stupid. You'd want until they were storming over our southern border before you took them seriously. And then you'd tell us they are just poor refugees seeking asylum and demand we take them in and pay to put them through college.

    August 10, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    -Lizzie, now you cry on SS, elderly, Republicans controlled WH, Reagan eight and bush one, bush eight years, that is seventeen years total for the last two decades or three, why didn't they fix SS, pass healthcare? Do you have a clue other than ranting idiotic color and race. Nonsense. Finish your high school. So only USA is not stupid to elect wise nonetheless color.

    August 10, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. don in albuquerque

    it must be said
    Really stretching aren't we?

    August 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. it must be said

    don in albuquerque
    it must be said
    Really stretching aren't we?
    --

    Stretching what? Are the facts too much for you to handle? Yes, most Obama supporters are living in a dream/denial world at this point. They simply can't continue the massive lie campaign any longer to make their cult leader Obama any more palatable to the American people. The Democrat Messiah has turned out to be the Democrat Disaster. Sorry if the truth hurts. Lefties never do well when it comes to reality.

    August 10, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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