CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 25, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BACHMANN UNDER FIRE: Former GOP 2012 presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign is under investigation by an independent ethics panel on Capitol Hill, according to a statement from an attorney representing Bachmann. William McGinley, a partner at Patton Boggs, a Washington law firm, released a statement to CNN on Monday confirming a story that first appeared in the Daily Beast that the Office of Congressional Ethics is looking into the Minnesota congresswoman's presidential campaign. – Deidre Walsh
HE’S BACK: Tiger Woods regained the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Monday in Orlando, Florida. Woods won the tournament for the eighth time, tying Sam Snead for the most times winning one event in a career.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks end lower on fears about Eurozone debt. Dow falls 62 points. NASDAQ and S&P lose 0.3%.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, the presidential yacht had an elevator to accommodate the handicapped leader. Once Lyndon B. Johnson became president, what did he put in place of the elevator?
What caught our eye today in politics
In the 2008 motion picture retelling of his life, Harvey Milk, played by Sean Penn, implores other gay rights activists to come out to their families and friends.
“They'll vote for us 2-1 if they know one of us,” Milk said during his fight against Proposition 6, a bill that would have barred gay teachers from schools.
Milk’s argument was simple: if someone knows a gay person, they are more likely to be supportive of gay rights.
Although Milk was assassinated in 1978 by Dan White, another San Francisco city supervisor, the gay rights activist has been validated by a recent trend in polling, particularly in the connection between the number of people who support gay marriage and the number of people who have a family member or close friend who is gay.
In 2008, according to a CNN/ORC International survey, the number of people who said gay marriages should be recognized was 44 percent.
Today, that number is 53 percent.
Over generally the same time period, the number of people who have a gay family member or close friend also jumped dramatically.
In 2007, 45 percent of people said they knew of someone close to them who was gay.
Today, that number is 57 percent.
Gay rights activists have long trumpeted Milk’s words and encouraged people to talk to their friends and family about their sexuality. With the Supreme Court hearing two cases regarding same-sex marriage this week, those calls continue.
“I think we tend to empathize with people we know and it is important,” said the Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral. “I got to know same sex couples and it really changed my understanding of the issue.”
But the issue is contentious and the belief that same-sex marriage is wrong is something many people hold deeply. For some, knowing a gay family member doesn’t at all sway them from those beliefs.
“We all have a lesbian cousins,” Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said in an interview with CNN. “I do. So what?”
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Marriage and the Supreme Court: Five things to watch
After years of struggle on both sides of the issue, the question of same-sex marriage goes before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. People were already lining up outside the court Friday morning for the limited number of seats available Tuesday and Wednesday, when the justices will hear oral arguments on two cases. – Matt Smith
Leading Drudge: 360,000 More Rounds!
While the Department of Homeland Security continues to ignore members of Congress demanding to know why the federal agency is engaged in an apparent arms build-up, the DHS has just announced it plans to purchase another 360,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition to add to the roughly 2 billion bullets already bought over the past year. – Paul Joseph Watson for InfoWars
Leading HuffPo: Turning Up The Heat: Secretive Koch Groups Face Fire
California officials have widened an investigation into the source of $11 million that was mysteriously funnelled by a few nonprofit groups in 2012 to sway two ballot measures in the state, The Huffington Post has learned. The state’s election watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission, which launched the inquiry last November, is working closely with the California attorney general’s office, according to a person familiar with the matter. – Peter H. Stone
Leading Politico: Paul Ryan’s disappearing act
He seems to have fallen entirely off the radar of early state Republicans. Democrats bring up his name with more zeal than do people in his own party. And his footprint at the Conservative Political Action Conference was so faint that his being an afterthought was itself an afterthought. What the heck has happened to Paul Ryan? – Jonathan Martin
Leading The New York Times: Justices Take New Case on Affirmative Action
The Supreme Court added a case to its docket on a Michigan voter initiative even as it is considering a major challenge to the University of Texas’s race-conscious admissions program. – Adam Liptak
Leading CNN Opinion: Straight marriage is the real issue
While straight young Americans support marriage for gays, increasingly they opt against marriage for themselves. Nearly half of American children, 48%, are now born to unmarried women. Among women without college degrees, and of all races, unwed motherhood has become the norm. This is the crisis of the American family. Whether same-sex marriage proceeds fast or slow, whether it extends to all 50 states or stops with the current nine plus the District of Columbia, the crisis will be the same. – David Frum
The political bites of the day
- Obama heralds immigration progress at naturalization ceremony -
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A WHITE HOUSE NATURALIZATION CEREMONY: “We are making progress but we've got to finish the job because this issue is not new. Everyone pretty much knows what's broken. Everybody knows how to fix it. We've all proposed solutions and we've got a lot of white papers and studies, we've just got, at this point, to work up the political courage to do what's required to be done. So I expect a bill to be forward. I expect the debate to begin next month. I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible.”
- Christie, New Jersey takes over Camden school system -
NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE AT A PRESS CONFERENCE: “We're taking the lead because for too long, the public school system in Camden has failed its children. The situation, I believe, is dire now and so far gone that we're at a breaking point. For decades we've seen attempts at fixing what seems impossible to fix – instead of it getting better, it's very oftentimes gotten worse. Each day that it gets worse, we're failing the children of Camden, we're denying them a future, we're not allowing them to reach their fullest potential.”
- EU confident in Cyprus bailout, but with a level of uncertainty -
JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE CYPRUS BAILOUT: “I'm confident the program will work, but let's be honest - at this moment we cannot say exactly what is going to be the impact. It will depend on the level of implementation and the commitment of Cyprus itself.”
- Chief Justice John Roberts’ lesbian cousin to attend same-sex marriage hearing -
JEAN PODRASKY IN AN OP-ED EMAILED TO MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR LESBIAN RIGHTS: “I know that my cousin is a good man. I feel confident that John is wise enough to see that society is becoming more accepting of the humanity of same-sex couples and the simple truth that we deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality under the law.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
TRIVIA ANSWER from @DanMericaCNN
Roosevelt, who was wheelchair bound, installed an elevator in the USS Sequoia, the presidential yacht. After the Roosevelt presidency, the elevator remained in the vessel until Johnson replaced it with a liquor bar, according to Gary Silversmith, the current owner of the boat.
For 44 years, from 1933 to 1977, the White House had access to the Sequoia. The venue hosted a number of iconic moments in presidential history, including Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower planning the D-Day invasion, John F. Kennedy's last birthday and entertaining foreign dignitaries.
President Richard Nixon even told his family he was resigning from the presidency aboard the ship.
On this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter ordered to boat be sold as a symbol of government cutbacks. The boat fetched $286,000 and cut just less than $1 million in government spending.
Today, the boat is owned by a nonprofit and can be rented for events on the Potomac River.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)
Congrats to Steve Liguori (@SteveL3877), a longtime Gut Check reader, for correctly answering today’s trivia question.
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