CNN's GUT CHECK for March 28, 2013
March 28th, 2013
04:43 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 28, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 28, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA LAYS THE SHAME: President Barack Obama tried to shame the nation and Congress into action against gun violence Thursday, saying it was time for action after the tears and grief of tragedies like the Newtown massacre in December. His voice both somber and angry, Obama told the audience – which included family members of Newtown victims - that “we've cried enough,” and now it is time for Americans to pressure their elected leaders to pass a package of laws proposed by Senate Democrats.

“There are some powerful voices on the other side who are interested in running out the clock or changing the subject,” the president said, adding that “their assumption is that people will just forget about it.” If that happens, Obama said, then “shame on us if we've forgotten.”




ONE BILLION, PLEASE: Facebook's stock market debut left founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a paper fortune currently valued at $13 billion - and a 2012 tax bill of about $1.1 billion. Zuckerberg's whopping tax hit stems from his move in May to increase his stake in Facebook. – Stacy Cowley

MARKET WATCH: The S&P gained 0.4% for the day, closing at a record high of 1,569. The Dow rose 51 points to cap the best first quarter since 1998, adding 11%.

(Answer below)
Who is the only president to be censured by the Senate?

DAN (@DanMericaCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

The Obama administration has defended drone strikes as “legal,” “ethical” and “wise.”

Religious leaders from a number of different faiths, however, have their own label for the program: unholy.

In a recently released Web video titled “What Religious Leaders Want to Tell Obama on Easter,” a group of rabbis, reverends and priests describes the use of drones as "assassination by remote control," which violates religious principles.

“From a New Testament point of view, drones are completely appalling,” said the Rev. Paul F.M. Zahl, the retired rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland. “The whole idea of killing a guy without giving the guy a chance to surrender is preemptive. That for me was completely contrary to the teachings of Christ.”

In addition to questioning the program on moral grounds, the leaders use biblical principles, like the protection of life and the story of David and Goliath, to discredit the war practice.

“The Obama administration is playing God,” said Joe Nangle, a Franciscan friar at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Arlington, Virginia, in the video. “Instead of a culture of life, we are dealing death.”

“We are Goliath, and David is about the size of a mouse,” Zahl said in the video, alluding to the biblical story of David defeating the giant Goliath in a one-on-one fight. “It is about that evenly matched.”

The drone program has been a gift and a curse for the Obama administration. Long considered a powerful tool, it has also been a thorn in the administration's side, as evidenced by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky’s 13-hour filibuster on the subject.

Attacking drones because they violate religious principles, however, is a new thorn.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Massive turnover changing face of Senate
With South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson's announcement this week that he will not seek re-election this year, the recent string of Senate retirements has the political class debating whether Republicans have a real shot at taking control of the upper chamber. – Erin McPike

Leading Drudge: 'Speeches Aren't Enough'
President Obama called for action to be taken on gun control measures in a speech today at the White House, and said that “speeches aren't enough.” – Daniel Halper

Leading HuffPo: Really Roberts?
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday reacted incredulously to the notion that members of the Senate or the U.S. president may have been motivated to pass the Defense of Marriage Act by animus or moral objection to gay and lesbian couples. It was a window into his apparent belief that the U.S. is simply not a place burdened by such things as bigotry or racism. – Ryan Grim

Leading Politico: Buzzkill? Cash-strapped states eye pot tax
Now that voters in Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use, dope smokers there can light up without the usual paranoid fear that the cops are at the door. The taxman is another matter. Cash-starved legislators are seeing dollar signs in dime bags — with talk that a tax on marijuana could pump hundreds of millions or even billions into budgets still reeling from the recession. – Rachel Bade

Leading The New York Times: Success on Political Front Can Be Setback in Gay Rights
The Supreme Court justices signaled this week that they might limit their intervention on same-sex marriage, since the democratic process seems to be playing out on its own. – Peter Baker

The political bites of the day

- Obama’s budget coming April 10 -
PRINCIPLE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST AT THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING: “About the day that the budget would come out, I know so many of you are planning your social lives and professional lives around this, the budget will be released on April 10 of this year. So let's get the countdown clocks started on the appropriate networks.”

- Momentum is with same-sex marriage advocates, Limbaugh says -
RUSH LIMBAUGH ON HIS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW: “A lot of people have no personal animus against gay people at all. It's instead, you know, a genuine, I don't know, love/respect for the things they believe define this country as great. They get up every day, and they see all this stuff under attack. They see it all under assault. And I think they're just worried about the survivability of the country. And to which the opponents say, 'Well, the country's changing, and you better get with it and understand it, because this genie's not getting put back in the bottle.' And I think that's right. I don't care what this court does with this particular ruling, Proposition 8. I think the inertia is clearly moving in the direction that there is going to be gay marriage at some point nationwide.”

- The Pentagon will reduce impact of furloughs, says Hagel -
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL AT A PENTAGON EVENT: “We are going to be able to reduce and delay these furloughs but not eliminate furloughs, and that right now looks as though we'll be able to go from an original estimate of 22 days to 14. That, we think, will save the department anywhere from, I think the original estimates were around $4 billion, and we can probably plan on about $2.5 billion, and these numbers are floating, as you all know, but it is good news.”

- Fallon jokes about the late night shift -
JIMMY FALLON ON HIS LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW ON NBC: “This is interesting. A new survey found that the average American stays at their job for about 4 1/2 years. That is, unless they're a late-night host on NBC.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less










When President Andrew Jackson decided to defund the Bank of the United States, his administration knew it would be controversial.

And it was.

On this day in 1834, Jackson became the first president to be censured by the Senate because he failed to turn over documents relating to the dismantling of the bank. The future of the bank was a campaign issue in 1832 and drew a distinct line between Jackson, a Democrat, and Henry Clay, a Whig. When Jackson lived up to his campaign promise, the Whig party was appalled and forced a censure through the legislative body.

“After a ten-week debate, the Senate voted 26 to 20 to censure the president for assuming power not conferred by the Constitution,” writes the Senate’s historian. “Jackson responded with a lengthy protest denying the validity of the Senate's action. In another unprecedented move, the Senate responded by refusing to print the president's message in its journal.”

To this day, even though impeachment trials have been held in the Senate and other articles of impeachment have been introduced, Jackson is the only president to ever have a censure pass in the Senate.

That said, after the Senate fell into Democratic control in 1837, the censure was expunged and no longer hangs on Jackson's official record.

After the vote, “Henry Clay lamented: ‘The Senate is no longer a place for any decent man,’ ” according to the Senate historian.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Simon (@SimonKnowz) for an very speedy answer to today’s trivia question and for beating Christopher J. Hale (@chrisjollyhale) by a whopping two seconds. Larry Shaughnessy on Facebook also answered correctly.

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "The economy is weak, national debt is mounting, too many Americans are out of work, but Obama campaigns against #guns to please the fringe"

    And there we have it. I just finished posting that the GOP/Teatrolls and their radicalized conservative brethren all know that they can use the MSM's false equivalency paradigm to get CNN and others to treat moderates as the oppsite extreme. Polls show a vast majority of Americans thinks we should have universal background checks and do things like close the gun show loophole. By definition that's not the "fringe" position. It's all nothing more than NRA/radicalized conservative pathological projection and the MSM acting as the enabler.

    March 28, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Religious leaders from a number of different faiths"

    Who and how many? Hint: When the "news" is not telling you the answers to those kinds of questions, they're inflating the importance of their story.

    March 28, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Attacking drones because they violate religious principles, however, is a new thorn."

    It's also politically motivated as proven by the fact that it was never even a complaint on their religio-partisan radar while Dubya was doing it.

    March 28, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. acepylut

    "There are some powerful voices on the other side who are interested in running out the clock or changing the subject"

    Thank God for them!!!! Obama's lying again, his statement, if truthful, should read, "here are some powerful voices on the other side who are interested in defending our Bill of Rights"

    March 28, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. acepylut

    "Sniffit", if only the Senate was going for universal background checks, your rant might be spot on. But they aren't, they are trying to infringe on my, and your, 2nd Amendment rights. For that, all those gun-grabbing lunatics should all be charged with treason.

    March 28, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "if only the Senate was going for universal background checks, your rant might be spot on. But they aren't, they are trying to infringe on my, and your, 2nd Amendment rights."

    I see you missed the part where Reid threw out Feinstein's assault weapons ban so it, as the most incendiary of the proposals being discussed, wouldn't poison the attempt to get background checks enacted.

    March 28, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. iratenate

    blah, blah, blah...more stupidity from our Idiot-in-Chief. Nobody will ever forget the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, but you can stop trying to exploit it now, Mr. Obama. Hey, here's an idea – why not concentrate on our economy and our debt for a change?

    March 28, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    @acepylut-Interesting how you can so quickly say the POTUS is lying, and then that the majority of the country who want stiffer gun control should all be charged with treason. To find treason, or lunatics, all you need do is take a peek in your mirror.

    March 28, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Len

    For all you gun fanactics and think you know what has been said by the Supreme Court in regard to the 2nd Amendment:

    2008 (Bush Administration) decision by the Supreme Court and Justice Scalia recognized the 2nd Amendment created a personal right to bear arms unrelated to serving in a militia, the Supreme court also recognized the permissibilty of "reasonalbe" restrictions on that right including potentially prohibiting carrying "dangerous and unusual weapons".

    Tell the parents of Sandyhook that the weapons used are not dangerous and unusual weapons. Know one wants to eliminate the 2nd amendment. Just want senseable gun control that our society can be somewhat safe. Do what is best for all Americans not just a few. We have our 1st amendment rights.

    Or do we stand in front of the world and say: America: Where guns are sacred and life is cheap.

    March 28, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |