CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for August 13, 2014 | 5 p.m.
— n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING … ISRAEL SAYS CEASE-FIRE VIOLATED: For 70 hours, there was relative peace. But - as has proven true time and again in relations between Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza - it didn't last. Two hours before a 72-hour cease-fire was to expire, and as talks continued in Egypt aimed at extending it, an Israeli military spokesman told CNN that a rocket from "Gaza terrorists" struck in the Hof Ashkelon area of southern Israel on Wednesday night. There were no initial reports of injuries or damage. – Jethro Mullen, Antonia Mortensen and Reza Sayah
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RAND PAUL CHOOSES THE HAMPTONS OVER IOWA … Photos of Sen. Rand Paul in the Hamptons on Saturday raised some questions about the Kentucky Republican, who had previously said he couldn't attend a social conservative event in Iowa over the weekend because he had a "family commitment." As it turns out, the likely presidential candidate was photographed in East Hampton at a fundraiser for a public library. The New York Post reported that actor Alec Baldwin co-sponsored the event, and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and former New York Gov. George Pataki were also at the event. – Ashley Killough
EXCLUSIVE: SEN. MARY LANDRIEU'S CAMPAIGN FLIGHT WAS CHARGED TO TAXPAYERS … CNN’s Chris Frates reports: Sen. Mary Landrieu made headlines last November when she hitched a ride home on Air Force One with President Obama, but chose not to attend his event in New Orleans. Another lesser-known flight Landrieu took that same day mistakenly cost taxpayers more than $3,000. CNN has learned that the vulnerable Louisiana Democrat used government money to charter a private plane to travel to a campaign fundraiser, in violation of federal law.
BILL CASSIDY TWEET: “Senator Landrieu's disregard and abuse of taxpayer money is unacceptable and, reportedly, illegal.”
ROB MANESS STATEMENT: “I am updating my 'Contract with Louisiana' to unequivocally say that 'I will not violate any federal laws in dispensing my duties as your United States Senator.'
310,000 COULD LOSE HEALTH COVERAGE BY SEPTEMBER 30 … Over 300,000 individuals who enrolled in a healthcare plan through the Affordable Care Act could lose their coverage come the end of September if they fail to provide the proper documentation demonstrating legal residency, according to the Obama administration. The issue at hand is not necessarily an immigration status problem, but a data-matching issue. – Elizabeth Hartfield
THE OBAMA DOCTRINE: INARTICULATE OR DISENGAGED? … It sounds like advice offered by parents to teenagers on prom night: Don't do stupid stuff. But it also is an important guiding foreign policy principle of the President of the United States. Ever since the President uttered the phrase during an off-the-record discussion with reporters earlier this year - the actual words were a bit saltier and later confirmed privately by administration officials - foreign policy critics have seized on "DDSS" as a crystallization of the Obama Doctrine. In an interview with CNN, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes insisted that "DDSS" is not the "entire foreign policy" of the Obama administration. But he maintained the expression has substance … Rhodes also said the President did not take the criticism from Hillary Clinton on his foreign policy over the weekend personally. "I think their relationship is very resilient. They've been through so much together," he said. – Jim Acosta
THE BUZZ: EARNEST IS ‘NOT IN A POSITION’ TO STOP YOU FROM LAUGHING AT THIS VIDEO … “I am not in a position’ has quickly become Josh Earnest’s new favorite phrase. The Huffington Post found 100 examples of him saying it already. Watch the video here.
Josh Earnest (@PressSec)
Typically, I am not in a position to recommend @HuffingtonPost videos, but this one made me laugh: http://huff.to/1uN5dtg
MARKET WATCH: Stocks finish with solid gains. Dow adds 91 points and is back in positive territory for 2014.
Which two presidents did Robin Williams portray during his acting career?
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Challenge accepted: Chris Christie gets doused in ice water
Wearing a t-shirt and shorts, Gov. Chris Christie accepted the increasingly popular Ice Bucket Challenge and let his two youngest kids dump a large pail of water on the New Jersey Republican. In a video posted on Facebook Tuesday night, Christie said he was nominated by Scott O'Neill of the New Jersey Devils. In return, he challenged Sen. Cory Booker, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and NBC’s “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon. – Ashley Killough
Leading CNNMoney: This is the new USB connector – and it's reversible!
USBs are getting a big makeover - and you're going to like the new look. The universal, ubiquitous computer ports, connectors and cables will soon be reversible. That means no more struggling to figure out which way the plug is supposed to go. – David Goldman
Leading Hartford Courant: Foley Declares Victory, Looks Ahead To Malloy Battle In The Fall
Greenwich business executive Tom Foley roared to victory Tuesday night in a low-turnout Republican gubernatorial primary, setting up a potentially contentious rematch with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy this fall that polls show will start off as a dead heat. – Christopher Keating, Jenny Wilson and Matthew Q. Clarida,
Leading Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 6th District race still up in air as Grothman leads Leibham by 215 votes
Just 215 votes. That's how close the Republican primary in the 6th Congressional District was on Tuesday, leaving the winner in doubt as state Sen. Glenn Grothman for now holds on to a slim lead over state Sen. Joe Leibham. – Don Behm
Leading Minneapolis Star Tribune: Newcomer McFadden wins big in GOP Senate primary
Republican political newcomer Mike McFadden handily clinched a deciding triumph over insurgent challenger state Rep. Jim Abeler in Tuesday’s primary election, winning the chance for a costly and hard-fought battle against Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken. – Allison Sherry and Ricardo Lopez
Leading National Journal: NRCC Launches Fake News Sites to Attack Democratic Candidates
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which came under fire earlier this year for a deceptive series of fake Democratic candidate websites that it later changed after public outcry, has launched a new set of deceptive websites, this time designed to look like local news sources. The NRCC has created about two dozen of these new faux news sites targeting Democrats, both challengers and incumbents, and is promoting them across the country with localized Google search ads. – Shane Goldmacher
Leading Boston Globe: Warren plans Israel trip after mid-term elections
A Warren aide said the freshman senator is planning to join a congressional trip to Israel, but given her aggressive schedule campaigning on behalf of Senate Democrats it likely will come after the midterm elections in November. That trip could raise speculation that Warren is trying to add to her foreign policy portfolio ahead of a potential presidential run, but it also could be seen as her playing catch up to other freshman senators who have already traveled abroad. – Matt Viser
The political bites of the day
– Clinton looking forward to 'hugging it out' with Obama –
REPORTER TO HILLARY CLINTON AT HER BOOK SIGNING ON MARTHA'S VINEYARD: "Are you (and President Obama) going to hug it out?"
CLINTON: "Absolutely. We're looking forward to it."
REPORTER: "Was it a hard call to call the president?"
CLINTON: "No. We agree. We are committed to the values and the interests and the security of our country together. We have disagreements as any partners and friends may as well have."
– White House: Iraq evacuations won’t include a U.S. combat role -
DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER BEN RHODES AT A PRESS BRIEFING: “Our goal here is to work with the Iraqis and with international partners so that these people (Yazidi refugees) can get off that mountain to a safer place. Again, we don’t believe that that involves U.S. troops re-entering a combat role in Iraq.”
– Harf: ISIS threat in Iraq is a ‘direct result’ of Syrian conflict –
STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN MARIE HARF: “This, unfortunately, has been a direct result of what we've seen in Syria and the situation there … We've continued to watch it and continue to figure out the best way to go after it. We also … talked a lot about whether this is a threat to the homeland or not. We'll keep watching that.”
– Paul tweaks Christie, again –
RAND PAUL, R-KENTUCKY, WHEN ASKED IN AN INTERVIEW TO DEFINE GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-NEW JERSEY, IN ONE WORD: “Bridges.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Brian Stelter (@brianstelter)
Snowden "said he was nervous that posing with the flag might anger people but that it meant a lot to him." http://cnnmon.ie/1pO9eMo
Eric Kleefeld (@EricKleefeld)
Pro-tip: If you're going to defect to Putin's Russia, manage your PR by appearing on a magazine cover literally cuddling an American flag.
Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP)
The Associated Press might have blown a call in Wisconsin on Tuesday night (from @pbump) http://wapo.st/1mJDuUT pic.twitter.com/WU1gxyxoyi
Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker)
Wow, @lisamurkowski jumped into freezing Alaska water for ALS & challenged all 99 other senators http://youtube.com/watch?v=j08KBu …
TRIVIA ANSWER from @sarafischer
Robin Williams played President Theodore Roosevelt in “Night at the Museum” in 2006 and again in “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” in 2009. He also played President Dwight Eisenhower in “The Butler” in 2013.
Williams was scheduled to play TR for a third time in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” in 2014.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(Why aren’t you in it?)
Congrats to Peter Ubertaccio (@ProfessorU), Christopher S. Brown @chrisbrowntv, James Gray (@RealJamesGray) Steve Liguori (@SteveL387), Adam Sharp (@AdamS) Ricardo A. Perez (@elaggie) and Jessica Niestzche (@jneetch) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check trivia question.
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