CNN's GUT CHECK for March 10, 2014
March 10th, 2014
04:49 PM ET
9 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 10, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 10, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

DEVELOPING: QUESTIONS ARISE OVER STOLEN PASSPORTS ON MISSING MALAYSIAN FLIGHT… It is perplexing enough that a jetliner seemed to have vanished without a trace. Adding to the mystery is the news that at least two people on board were traveling on passports stolen from an Austrian and an Italian. According to Thai police officials, an Iranian man by the name of Kazem Ali purchased the tickets for two friends who he said wanted to return home to Europe. While Ali made the initial booking by telephone, either Ali or someone acting on his behalf paid for the tickets in cash, according to police. – Saeed Ahmed

2016 PREVIEW: TED CRUZ V. RAND PAUL…

Round 1: Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas highlighted his foreign policy disagreement with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in an interview with ABC on Sunday. “I don't agree with him on foreign policy. I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad," Cruz said. The Texas Republican went on to invoke Reagan's declaration of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” and heralded the former president’s foreign policy views.

Round 2: Paul, who is known for his libertarian views, penned an op-ed on Monday that faulted Republicans for distorting Reagan's views on foreign policy. While the piece didn’t mention Cruz by name, it was a fairly obvious swipe. “I will remind anyone who thinks we will win elections by trashing previous Republican nominees or holding oneself out as some paragon in the mold of (Ronald) Reagan, that splintering the party is not the route to victory," the Kentucky Republican wrote in an opinion piece for Breitbart.com. – Ashley Killough

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 25, 2013
October 25th, 2013
04:06 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 25, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 25, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

TWO MONTHS LATE: FEDERAL OFFICIALS VOW HEALTHCARE WEB SITE WILL BE FULLY FUNCTIONING BY END OF NOVEMBER… The federal healthcare site is expected to be almost fully functioning by the end of November, predicted Jeffrey Zients, who has been appointed by President Obama to help lead the fixes of healthcare.gov. Zients spoke to reporters Friday for the first time since being brought on board and said the “vast majority” of people should be able to use all elements of the site by that point. Zients said they are appointing contractor QSSI to lead the effort to fix the site. “Healthcare.gov is fixable,” Zients said on the conference call. – Adam Aigner-Treworgy

AND THEN THERE WERE TEN: TEN DEMOCRATS SAY DELAY OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT DEADLINE “As long as these substantial technology glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans. Our constituents are frustrated, and we fear that the longer the website is not functional, opportunities for people to log on, learn about their insurance choices, and enroll will be lost,” reads a letter signed by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Dianne Feinstein of California, Mark Udall of Colorado, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico.

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 24, 2013
October 24th, 2013
05:36 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 24, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 24, 2013| 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: Former Vice President Al Gore condemned the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Thursday, calling the proposed project an “atrocity.” “This should be vetoed. It is an atrocity. It is a threat to our future,” Gore said during a speech at a policy forum held by the left-leaning Center for American Progress. – Alison Harding

POINTING FINGERS: Contractors on the problem-plagued website for President Barack Obama's signature health care reforms blamed the government and each other, but not themselves, at the first congressional hearing on the troubled online enrollment system. – Tom Cohen

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 23, 2013
October 23rd, 2013
04:52 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 23, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 23, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

IS THE U.S. LISTENING? Germany has information that the United States might have monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday. “We have immediately sent a question to our American partners and have asked for immediate and wide-ranging clarification," he said. “This would be a grave breach of trust. Such practices have to stop immediately.”

AWKWARD: President Barack Obama told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone call Wednesday that the United States "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 22, 2013
October 22nd, 2013
05:29 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 22, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 22, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

HHS HITS BACK, ANNOUNCES TECHNOLOGY ‘SURGE’: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, announces “a tech surge to continue to improve the consumer experience on HealthCare.gov: “We are bringing management expert and former CEO and Chairman of two publicly traded companies Jeff Zients on board to work in close cooperation with our HHS team to provide management advice and counsel to the project. … We have secured additional staff and commitments from our contractors, including CGI, the lead firm responsible for the federally facilitated marketplace technology. They are providing and directing the additional resources needed for this project within the provisions of their existing contract.”

OBAMA TECHIE: BLAME THE CONTRACTORS: CLAY JOHNSON, IN A BLOG POST: “The contractors who made this website were at best sloppy, and at worst unqualified for the job. … Healthcare.gov got this way not because of incompetence or sloppiness of an individual vendor, but because of a deeply engrained and malignant cancer that's eating away at the federal government's ability to provide effective online services.”

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 21, 2013
October 21st, 2013
04:31 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 21, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 21, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: NEW CNN POLL SPELLS TROUBLE FOR GOP… Republican House members, especially Speaker John Boehner, received disturbing news Monday when a new national survey showed the party brand is badly damaged one year before the midterm elections. While there is a lot of road to cover before November 2014, several Republican strategists expressed frustration to us about how the debt ceiling and government shutdown was handled. One veteran Republican remarked, “If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is.

KEY FINDINGS:

54% of the country thinks it is “bad for the country” for the GOP to control the House.
75% of the country does not think most Republicans deserve re-election (54% of the country does not think most Democrats deserve re-election)
63% of the country thinks that Boehner should be replaced as speaker (55% of conservatives said Boehner should go as well as 69% of independents).
56% of the country thinks the “views of the Republican Party are too extreme” (42% of the country thinks the “views of the Democratic Party are too extreme)

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 18, 2013
Obamacare applicants will face tougher income verification standards under debt ceiling deal.
October 18th, 2013
04:36 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 18, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 18, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: The New Jersey Supreme Court has denied the state’s motion for a stay in the same sex-marriage case and as a result, same-sex couples can get married as soon as Monday in New Jersey. New Jersey is now the 14th state to allow legal same-sex marriage.

MOVEOVER SHUTDOWN, HELLO HEARINGS: THE FIGHT OVER OBAMACARE TURNS TO WEBSITE WOES… One venue that Republicans are turning to for leverage, starting next week: Congressional oversight hearings, beginning with some tough questions about why the rollout of the website for enrolling in health care exchanges is having so many problems. “The American people deserve to know what caused this mess,"” said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. – Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd

THE PROVERBIAL CAN: NEXT DEFAULT RISK COULD COME AS EARLY AS MARCH… The budget deal brokered by Congress this week allows Treasury to keep borrowing until February 7 to pay the country's obligations, and by doing so, avert default. After that point, Treasury will be able to use special accounting maneuvers, called "extraordinary measures," to keep paying bills without going over the debt limit. – Jeanne Sahadi

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 17, 2013
October 17th, 2013
05:23 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 17, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 17, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: The president intends to nominate Jeh Johnson, former General Counsel for the Department of Defense, to be the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, sources tell CNN. Obama will nominate Johnson on Friday.

NUMBER OF THE DAY: 2,168. That is the number of hours until the next government funding bill will be needed on January 15, 2013.

MCCONNELL PROMISES NO MORE SHUTDOWNS: “One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there’s no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid 1990s and the second kick was over the last 16 days,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Hill. “There is no education in the second kick of a mule. There will not be a government shutdown.” “I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is,” he said. – Alexander Bolton

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 16, 2013
October 16th, 2013
05:32 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 16, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 16, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

VOTE TONIGHT, ‘AFTER DINNER’: A Senate vote on an agreement to end the partial government shutdown and avert a possible U.S. default as soon as midnight could come sometime Wednesday evening, a senior GOP Senate aide told CNN's Ted Barrett. The aide said the vote was expected “after dinner” to give Senators time to read the measure. Meanwhile, a senior House GOP leadership aide said the House also could vote "as early as tonight" after the Senate acts. – Tom Cohen

THE DEAL: The deal funds the government through January 15, raises the debt limit until February 7, includes a provision in the deal that strengthens verification measures for people getting subsidies under Obamacare and sets up budget negotiations between the House and Senate for a long-term spending plan.

THE WHIP WATCH: U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Urges YES vote. Club for Growth: Urges NO vote.

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CNN's GUT CHECK for October 15, 2013
October 15th, 2013
05:42 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 15, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 15, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: AMERICA’S RATING ON WARNING… Fitch warns of possible downgrade of U.S. AAA credit rating, citing risk of default from 'political brinkmanship:' “The U.S. risks being forced to incur widespread delays of payments to suppliers and employees, as well as social security payments to citizens – all of which would damage the perception of U.S. sovereign creditworthiness and the economy.”

HOUSE ‘EXPECTING’ TO VOTE TONIGHT: House Speaker John Boehner was "struggling" to come up with enough votes to pass a GOP counter-proposal to the Senate plan, a House Republican leadership aide and other sources told CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh.

WHAT IS IN THE HOUSE GOP PLAN: House GOP sources say the they plan to bring a bill to the floor tonight that would include the following provisions: fund the government until Dec. 15 (a month earlier than a plan the Senate is discussing); raise the debt limit until Feb. 7 and not allow the Treasury Secretary to use extraordinary measures to extent that deadline; prohibit federal health care subsidies for members of Congress, their staff, the president, vice president, and administration officials and staff.

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