CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 22, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
‘ASSAD WILL GO’: President Barack Obama at a press conference in Jordan said the Syrian regime has lost legitimacy and it is only a question of when President Bashar al-Assad will fall. “We are going to continue to closely consult with everybody in the region and do everything we can to bring an end to the bloodshed and to allow the Syrian people to get out of a leader who has lost all legitimacy because he's willing to slaughter his own people,” Obama said. “And I'm confident Assad will go. It's not a question of if, it's when.”
TURKEY GETS MUCH DELAYED APOLOGY: Obama scored a diplomatic coup just before leaving Israel when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey for a 2010 commando raid that killed nine activists on a Turkish vessel in a Gaza-bound flotilla. The apology, long sought by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, eased strained feelings between Turkey and Israel, two vital U.S. allies in the Middle East.
CLOSE TO A DEAL: A group of bipartisan senators on the verge of a new comprehensive immigration reform bill have tentatively agreed to the stickiest issues, like a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and metrics for securing the border, and they are now working on the remaining unresolved detail: how to construct a guest worker program for the future. A source familiar with the immigration negotiations tells CNN the eight senators, four Democrats and four Republicans, will hold their final meetings Friday before a two week spring break. The source says they feel confident that they will be ready to unveil the highly anticipated immigration bill early in the week of April 8th, when Congress returns to work. – Dana Bash
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end slightly lower for the week as concerns about Cyprus linger.
On this day in 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Beer and Wine Revenue Act. How alcoholic could beer and wine be according to the new law?
The 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference ended with the crowning of two Republican stars: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Paul won CPAC's presidential straw poll on Saturday, drawing 25% of the vote. The Kentucky senator finished slightly ahead of Rubio, who finished with 23% of the vote.
Though they both share a youth and vigor that many say the GOP is lacking, their principles - Paul as a civil libertarian and Rubio as a social conservative - are very different.
Their speeches at CPAC highlighted those differences. Rubio spoke at length about the right to life, college loan debt and defining “marriage in a traditional way," while Paul spoke about drones, foreign aid and how the old Republican Party is “stale and moss-covered.”
With an eye toward the future, who is more likely - Paul or Rubio - to become the party’s 2016 presidential nominee?
We reached out to our Gut Check devotees on Facebook, Twitter and email and here are some of the best responses.
The overwhelming majority of Facebook and Twitter respondents supported Rand Paul for president:
Thomas Rakes: Rand Paul! No, he isn't a true Libertarian, he's simply a fantastic combination of Republican and Libertarian beliefs. Not sure I'd support Rubio, but I'd definitely vote for Rand without hesitation (he could be a little better on the environment though, but that's it)
Robert Stubblefield: Rand Paul is a boss who doesn't choke under pressure!
Jay Salgado: If the GOP wants to continue in the path of failure. Rand. If they want to progress with the rest of us. Rubio.
Although substantially less than Paul, Rubio was not shut out:
Liz Lovoi Welch: Rand stands by his words, but so does Rubio. I would vote for Rubio, because he is not as abrasive to the moderate-conservative. Therefore, in the general election, he has a better chance to win. We must think who can actually get elected in 4 years, but not just in Republican primaries.
Richard Halvorson: My vote would be for Marco Rubio!
Patricia Gander Rich: Rubio, totally. Rand will burn out.
And a few people want both:
Eddie Vetter: Looks like a good ticket to me.
Victor Schleich: I believe they can come together to form the perfect ticket for the party. There are more areas where they agree than issues where they disagree.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: FAA announces airport tower closings
The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday told 149 airports across the country it would begin closing their air traffic control towers beginning April 7, but said it would spare another 40 towers that had been on the chopping block. The agency said the closures are necessary to help meet $637 million in forced spending cuts. – Mike M. Ahlers and Rene Marsh
Leading Drudge: Cops Beg and Barter for Ammo
The nationwide shortage of ammunition has left many police departments scrambling to get their hands on the necessary rounds - with some even bartering among each other. Meanwhile, Rep. Timothy Huelskamp, R-Kansas, says the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to respond to multiple members of Congress asking why DHS bought more than 1.6 billion rounds in the past year. - Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. for CNS News
Leading HuffPo: Cruz Blues: Obamacare repeal fails again
The Senate on Friday rejected an effort by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to repeal Obamacare, an outcome that was expected but is far from the last attempt by Republicans to dismantle President Barack Obama's signature accomplishment. Cruz's amendment to the Democratic budget resolution failed 45 to 54. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, voted "no" with the Democrats. – Jennifer Bendery
Leading Politico: Obama, Kerry negotiate their own peace efforts
President Barack Obama is still testing the waters on Mideast peace — but John Kerry can’t wait to dive in. And Kerry, long used to getting to call his own shots, now has to wait for his new boss to say how deep he can go. – Josh Gerstein
Leading The New York Times: Capping Visit, Obama Brokers Israeli Apology to Turkey
In a gesture partly brokered by President Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that he regretted a 2010 raid on a Turkish ship that killed nine people, officials said. – Mark Landler and Jodi Rudoren
The political bites of the day
- VA Secretary on backlogged veteran's claims: 'There is a lot of work being done' -
VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY ERIC SHINSEKI IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN'S CANDY CROWLEY: "Veterans in the last four years, Candy, have joined us in unprecedented numbers. There are 800,000 more veterans enrolled today than were enrolled four years ago in health care. 940,000 more veterans enrolled for benefits than there were four years ago. So, the fact is that veterans are coming to us, and they are being enrolled. We produce a million claims decisions each year going out the door and have for the last three years. And so, when we talk about an inventory of claims today, of about 875,000 claims, of which about 600,000 are backlogged. Just the amount of work we put out the door indicates that this is not a static number. There are going to be a few who are complex enough to go longer than we’d like, but there is a lot of work being done."
- Leaving Afghanistan doesn’t mean an end to involvement, says Hagel -
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL AT A PENTAGON EVENT: “I believe that we must always be clear in our intent and while we mean the transition of full responsibility for the security of the country to the Afghans, this is not meant to signal an end to our presence or our involvement in the region. To the contrary, if we want to have an effective and lasting impact on that part of the world, we must remain engaged.”
- Rush sees similarities between Ben Carson and Obama -
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONAL SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “Some people were asking me about Ben Carson last night. And I said, ‘Let me tell you what his secret is. People are not able to detect an agenda when Ben Carson speaks. That's the magic.’ And it's the same thing with Obama. Obama does not appear to have an agenda. At least people don't attach an agenda to him. What that means is, people are not, therefore, automatically predisposed to being wary. People who have agendas, and those agendas are known, will automatically have people suspicious of them. Because what is an agenda? It means many things to many people.”
- The last time the Heat lost… -
JIMMY FALLON ON HIS LATE NIGHT COMEDY SHOW: “After their comeback over Cleveland last night, the Miami Heat have won an incredible 24 games in a row. It has been so long since the Heat lost, the last time it happened, I had to page my friend on his beeper to tell him about it. That’s how long. The last time the Heat lost, Honey Boo Boo was just what I said to my wife when I got a paper cut. The last time the Heat lost, Conan O’Brien was the host of 'The Tonight Show.'"
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was no fan of Prohibition. He enjoyed the social aspects of drinking and was known to imbibe when consumption was legal.
That is why during the 1932 election, the Democratic Party made the Beer-Wine Revenue Act a part of the party platform. And in 1933, Roosevelt lived up to the promise and signed the law that allowed the sale of beer and wine with an alcohol content of less than 3.2% by volume.
By today's standards, that would be considered weak beer and wine.
According to the Alcohol Content Database, today that average wine is 13% alcohol by volume and the average alcohol content in a beer is 5%. LINK
Prohibition was eventually repealed in December 1933 with the passage of the 21st Amendment.
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